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Quite a self explanatory title, don't you think?

Entries in this City Journal



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After such a long time, maybe it is a bit nonsense, right?


The meeting had gone quite well, better than expected. It was already a bit late, and those who had flown from out of Barnanova were already checking their phones and checking in their flights. I was one of those, who tried to do this while giving farewell to the barnanovese business partners.


Doing business in Barnanova, and especially with barnanovese officials, is quite an experience. All business meeting etiquettes tend to highlight the same points in regards to Barnanova, and they tend not to be wrong. Handshakes between men are almost comparable to getting your hand stuck with the car door: a painful experience. Barnanovese are used to hardcore handshakes, which can cause them some trouble when dealing with Asian partners. Businesswomen are spared this pain, and most handshakes are milder.

We wrapped out our meeting and left the very official-looking building in the historic quarter, and made my way to the Metro entrance. A huge national flag flew in the middle of the circle. Time to head to the airport. Just a couple of stations down to the city's central station, which still keeps its original name, North Station.


The underground interchange at North Station was complex and rather confusing, even for locals. Barnanova has pushed since several years the so-called Plan BNN, a hugely ambitious plan to improve the air links of the nation with the world. And the first step, was improving the signage downtown, in order to effortlessly guide the business traveler back to the airport. The yellow BNNExpress train can be invariably found at platform 14. It is painted in yellow colors and of course, sponsored by barnanovair. I was flying with these airlines today.


The BNNExpress train breezes through the modern CBD, only stopping at the "Centre de Negocis" station before the airport. A dozen passengers hop in the train, most of them businesspeople and some, having already removed their ties and jackets off. The train starts again and rapidly accelerates running through the city. We arrive just 20 minutes later to the Barnanova-Mediterranean International Airport.


The Plan BNN revamped in 10 years this airport from a mid-range international airport to an air hub, competing directly with the large European airports. The success was so large that the airport is already struggling to cope with the increased demand barnanovair brought to the airport. The lack of taxiways forces air traffic control to plan ahead all flight movements to the second, making the airport work like a huge clockwork. Another expansion is already on the planning phase.

The advertisements at the station are statements of barnanovair's vision of the air industry.


The departures/arrivals screens at the station lobby informed me that my flight was departing from the north terminal. There was still no gate information though. Pushed my carry-on luggage down to the north terminal departures lobby and headed to one of the automatic check-in machines. Only a couple minutes later I received my boarding pass and an SMS with a link where I could download my mobile-friendly pass as well.


The new barnanovair boarding pass design looks gorgeous in these vibrant colors! The airline has gone the extra mile taking care of these kind of details, and the high quality printing on the automatic check-in counters is a good proof of that. The mobile pass looks more basic, as per compatibility.


The security check was painful as always, a bad experience one has to go through in any airport in the world. Once cleared, I found myself breezing through the duty-free shop, looking for gate N21. The activity was intense in both in the terminal building and outside. I stopped by for a second to see an Airbus 330-300 aircraft, the backbone of barnanovair's medium-range fleet, being loaded for its departure to London-Gatwick. This particular airliner is christened as Alessandro Volta. All planes in the fleet are christened after famous inventors and scientists.


Not too far from there, the Queen of the Skies reclaimed my attention while resting on gate N12. She had just been polished and shone under the sun, looking majestic. barnanovair placed an order for 15 Boeing 747-8I in 2011, and the first orders have been flowing in since 2015. The 747 covers these intercontinental high-demand routes between Barnanova and other world capitals, and helped the airline to reach all five continents, placing it among the big names in the airline industry. This particular plane was christened after Marie Sklodowska Curie; all 747s are christened with women scientist names. Her departure to Tokyo-Haneda was expected in half an hour.


Near the gate, some more advertisements. Some of them help clear out what is the mission of the airline for the years to come:



I relaxed on my seat until boarding time. The Barcelona route is the busiest for this airport. barnanovair offers up to 28 flights between both cities per day, even with its own name, the Viceroy Shuttle. The route is always operated with Airbus 320 aircraft, with 28 business class seats. I wasn't traveling business today, small companies can't afford that anymore.

The boarding was fast. In contrast with low-cost airlines, barnanovair makes customers board in four batches in this case: rows from 1-7 (business), board first. Rows 25-32 board after that, later rows 13-24 and finally rows 8-12. People tend to find this confusing at the beginning, but speeds up the boarding procedure, essential to make the Viceroy Shuttle work properly.

Once on my 21C seat, I sat back on the confortable seat and leafed the in-flight magazine, Panorama. Found myself discovering the route map, a staple in any in-flight magazine. barnanovair's had drammatically expanded in recent years. Barcelona and Rome are marked in blue, meaning shuttle destinations with many routes per day. The yellow destinations are seasonal, most of them only served during the summer months (Dubrovnik, Santorini, Larnaca...), some during the winter months (Lulea, Trondheim...).


It is however the world map the one that had gone through the most changes recently:


With the new B747-8I fleet, destinations such as Denpasar (Bali), Buenos Aires, Cape Town and Chengdu could be introduced this year. Barnanova-Mediterranean airport is increasingly becoming an intercontinental hub, efficiently connecting long-haul destinations with European regional destinations.

The read distracted me from the emergency procedures demonstrations, and felt already the pushback. In no time we would be departing already. 






... it looked like getting a cab was going to be even harder than leaving East Berlin. I will forever remember the Heinrich-Heine-Strasse checkpoint.


Comment answers on an (eventual) next update! Credit to Mr Saturn64 for inspiring this update with that terminal picture [link]!


Barnanova. Unleashed.

Comment Replies


@Prophet42: Thank you very much!


@Benedict: Thank you! I try to put always an special attention on the typography in everything I do, both on the SC4 and my job :)

@pasqualegiò: Breaking the monotony with some spectacular livery! Thanks for commenting!

@garyF: Thank you very much!

@kelistmac: Muchas gracias!

@SimCoug: You can see a better one just below!





Let's see some pictures of the historic quarter!


Coming from the airport to the city center, this is probably the first thing you will see after stepping out of the train. Railroad Avenue is usually busy, but it doesn't look like that today.


A massive underground transport hub lets commuters and tourists alike to have a confortable way. Commuter rail, metro, buses, regional buses and light rail meet on the beautiful-but-expensive terminal building designed by Santiago Calatrava.


Not too far from the station, The Triangle shopping mall can be found. It has rapidly become one of the places to be for the young and hip barnanovese. Videogames, books, music records and movies take up the whole mall.


The Barnanovese Navy avenue boasts a long array of cafés and bars to have a relaxed drink with friends.


The streets closer to St. Claudia's cathedral are surprisingly quiet. Normally, the quietness is broken by groups of tourists flocking to admire this marvel of gothic architecture and the prices of the really expensive stores nearby.


Lots of barnanovese were outraged when the beautiful old stock exchange building was demolished to build the new one. Some find it as a drab big blue prism.


Instead, the Ambassadors' Building fits quite nicely on its environment. Al-Qurayyah, and other middle-eastern and nordic nations have their embassies here.


The statue of the former Prince Jaume IV was erected just a few months after his death. Really expensive luxury shops can be found on this area of the historic quarter.


Paris Square had never been a very popular spot in the historic quarter, until the city of Paris gave Barnanova a present. This present was an obelisk, that nowadays stands on this square. One of the favorite places for the instagrammers.


Not much student activity on the University Square today. The University of Barnanova has campuses and buildings scattered throughout the nation, but the central building on the City is the most promienent facility.


A massive barnanovese flag waves at the center of the circle considered to be the center of the nation, the center of the principality. In front of this circle stands the main building of the government of Barnanova.


Hope you liked it! Comments/+1's are always welcome!


Going World-Class

Comments replied on Lübbenauer Tor CJ.

Barnanova-Mediterranean Airport and BarnanovAirlines are meant together. The success of each one depends on the success of the other, and the generated synergies directly impact on the small Principality of Barnanova.

A new formal partnership is oficialized today but also, we're unveiling some novelites.


Since its inception, BarnanovAirlines has used BNN as its operations hub, but there never was an oficial agreement on it. Today, BarnanovAirlines becomes a priority airline, which in practice means that international connections will be favoured in all cases. Our aim is double-edged: Making BarnanovAirlines a true world-wide carrier and projecting BNN as the air transport hub on Southern Europe. Both face a great competition, this is why we have to sum our forces.


(Yeah, still a WIP. Barnanova will sadly be, for ever, a WIP).


The airport has undergone a lot of changed during our latest show. We boast now of four runways, which even though they don't allow parallel operation, they offer the possibliity of a really short usage gap between landing planes.

The parking lots are currently the largest parking space in the whole principality of Barnanova, higher than any stadium. But sometimes, we ask ourselves why do we need them...


The airport's rail terminal offers express trains running to the city center in a never-seen before time. 10 minutes. Of course, regular trains stop at every station on the route, for the ones not going straight to the City.


A new, state-of-the-art ATCT uses the latest standards on air traffic control in order to manage the whole airport traffic. The old control tower is now currently used as an observation point for visitors and airfans.

What else can we say about our terminals?



But not everything is made for passengers. Our cargo handling standards and situation, have made of BNN the third European hub for FedEx Express.


Parallel to our growth, BarnanovAirlines has grown too. In a drammatic way. Fewer codeshare agreement operations, more direct flights, even point-to-point operations; focusing in business rather than touristic locations. Air connections ruin businesses. A flight connection in one airport at the other side of Europe can be a hurdle that some companies may not be able to accept. BarnanovAirlines is striving to end with this problems.



Check this out. We are at the center of the map, just like the other large European flight hubs, so... why not? BarnanovAirlines flies now, non-stop to destinations like Sao Paulo, Atlanta, Mumbai, Al-Qurayyah, Dubai, Hong Kong... And several very important others in codeshare agreement operations (in blue). We are solidly connected with the Business hubs, and this is reverting in our little nation.

Before today, the Airbus A330 aircraft was our flagship, or flagplane. It is currently used in a variety of routes, both long and medium haul. Small aircrafts are used for regional operations, but the A330 is the aircraft we really feel confortable with.


Today, the A330 stops being our flagship, we just needed something a bit bigger...


We are one of these privileged companies who are able of putting an order for one of these wonders. The first delivered unit will be put into service between Barnanova-Mediterranean and Al-Qurayyah World Airport on January 2014. Of course, they are ordered in these two different tail liveries, as usual since our image make up years ago. The demand on this route is quite high and we need some extra power to cope with it, both on the business and touristic sectors. The next units will cover the Far East and North-American routes. Hong Kong will come next, and our ads already reflect this.


As it is almost compulsory in our airline, we have made sure that the first class on the A380 is not just a first class service. In addition to our typical Gold Class service, we introduce along with this beauty, the Platinum Class service. For the ones that really want to enjoy the flight and don't matter much on how much it costs.


Of course, we will not stop here, both BNN airport and BarnanovAirlines are always going...



Comment Replies

@Schulmanator: Thank you!

@MilitantRadical: I'm not sure what are you meaning with your comment, but thank you anyways for your support.

@Benedict: Thank you once again for that neverending support! Just consulted what is that novel about, quite an interesting concept...

@Ace<3: Thanks for commenting!

@Hazani Pratama: Don't thank me, thank the BATters!


An idea for a spin-off CJ? Let me know your opinion!



Lübbenauer Tor is a kind of "inner response" to a sensation I sometimes have of "Stop Ihlingen, get to the real cool stuff!"

Instead of making a proper recreation of the city, I have decided to take a lot of inspiration from a particular district, Kreutzberg. It all began placing these stations front-to-front, very reminiscent of real U-Bahn stations like Görlitzer Bhf, Kottbusser Tor or Hallesches Tor. Now there is one more station on Berlin's U1 line: Lübbenauer Tor.

Coming soon to a CJ Section near you (?)


Comment replies

@mystic_destiny: Thanks!

@blunder: Thank you! Here's more from me!

@SimCoug: Thanks!

@ROFLyoshi: Glad to be back on my side!

@Huston: Thank you! As far as I have time and will for playing, I'll be here or there CJing...

@Benedictx3: Thanks!

@spursrule14: Thank you!

@ggamgus: Thanks! I like to do it this way!

@Hazani Pratama: Yeah, I love how they add the final touch!

@Terring: Well, at least they're not Nazi communists... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gzGdJNwj2Hk. It's dubbed in Spanish, but if you watch The Simpsons regularly, you'll have the Greek or English translation in your head.

@NMUSpidey: They're above your head!



It was no news that population of the north and south sides had different political ideas. But these differences were so deep, so radically rooted on people's brains, that they sometimes said to each other on heated arguments "we'll put you behind a wall some day". Two different sights of the world were represented in a single city.

One day on the 20th century, it just happened overnight. A long barrier of barb wire was dividing the whole city any given Monday morning. They day after, the wires became fences. And the fences became double fences. The wall, not technically a wall, but called The Wall by the population, was installed above the rail tracks, which were eventually removed in order to form a 32-meters-wide Death Strip where, any trespassor had only one fate. Death.

Physical communications were cut, telephone lines were cut, all transport lines were cut.

The one and only checkpoint between the two city halves became the ironically named Union Station, where the now two separated commuter rail systems had a stop. Both station halls (the formerly called North and South halls) became improvised customs and detention zones, supervised 24/7 by military personnel. Bureaucracy in order to cross from one side to the other was so long and complex to do that you never know if you would come back sometime to your original city half.

More than a divided city, it became a dead city.


This update has been inspired by Fox's update here [link], but also by Friedrichstrasse rail station in Berlin [link], which has a really interesting history behind it.


Replies from the last update coming on the next update. First of all, a short message for you guys.

As some of you may know, I had to give up CJing last February due to the incompatibility of devoting time to SC4 and living my Erasmus Experience at the same time. A LOT has gone on these six last months; incredible things and the most unexplainable emotions, the wildest parties ever and the longest research nights ever for my end of degree project. It would have been totally impossible to develop a decent CJ when having virtually no hours to play.

These live-changing six months come to an end tomorrow, when I'm going back to Barcelona's suburbs, home. I'll have my "good" computer again and plenty of free hours in August to devote to SC4, combined with some ideas that came up these last months. You can expect some updates on my CJs, even the birth of a brand new CJ. Still have to see how it turns up.because I'm on a conception stage right now.

What about after August? I've been tremendously lucky, and got a job at the university I've been attending these months, so I'll be moving back to Berlin but, this time, carrying my SC4 computer and CJing will with me.

See you on the CJ section/forum, guys!!


Comment replies

Benedict: Thanks for the comment! Here's my (eventual) return to CJing!

GreekMan: Thank you and glad you liked it!

Schulmanator: As great as it was on my hands, I guess...

Forthwall: Thanks! Tried to do it a bit "special" given that there are barely no "rules" on how a closing ceremony has to go.

Ace<3: Thank you!

mitsos: Thanks!


All wars are bad.

But civil wars and popular revolutions have even more nasty consequences. Most of the times, they make brothers go against each other just because of their diverging ideas. Most countries which have been torn apart by civil wars, keep suffering this problem decades later. Usually, it is bound to grandsons and grandoughters the task to forget the past and just keep going.


Inside one of the labs of the massive Polytechnical University building, Captain Adler was trying to find a way out. There was no way of getting out of the campus alive, let alone the city. The rebel forces had performed a coordinated surprise attack over the structure where the Republic forces were trying to make a last effort to resist until the reinforcements came. And this time, it was too much.

A dozen of zeppelins was hovering the university main building, bombing the spots where they suspected there would be republican soldiers or just logistical support for the Republic. Major Adler's approach was that it wasn't a matter of bringing the building down to its ashes, given that the rebels thought it could be a good place to use as the headquarters of the New Order. The attacks had to be punctual only on the designated spots. Later on, the foot soldiers would end the job.

Ironically, the place that educated the most brilliant mechanical engineers, was being attacked by the zeppelins designed by these engineers. Wars destroy structures but also families; even though none of their members die.



Jim: Ladies and gentlemen, kids from around the world, good evening to all of you!

Ann: Be all welcome to the closing ceremony of these Winter Simlympics!

Jim: It's that time, Ann? Time has flown these days!

Ann: Yes, Jim, it's sad but all good things lead to an end... All closing ceremonies are a bit sad, but, as usual, there's one answer to this sadness: each day passed is one day less to see the XVIII Summer Simlympics.

Jim: Why don't we put an end to this sadness remembering some of the most spectacular and exciting moments of these Simlympics?

Ann: Let's go!

[Please play the video while watching the pics.]



Stephanie Beckert. Speed skating, Womens 1500 m Quarterfinals. Day 9. Benson Tech Stadium.



Petra Fill. Alpine skiing, Womens Super G Warm-up. Day 8. Mt. Independence Ski Resort.



Michelle Kelly. Skeleton, Womens Competition Final. Day 7. Mt. Independence Simlympic Sliding Center.



Mark Grimmette (top) and Brian Martin. Luge, Mens Double Competition Final. Day 5. Mt. Independence Simlympic Sliding Center.



Dmitry Reiherd. Freestyle Skiing, Mens Moguls Final. Day 2. Mt. Independence Ski Resort.





Venrayan fan. Ice hockey, Womens Competition Pool A Round Robin. Day 7. Joe Louis Arena.



Matthew Depeters. Freestyle Skiing, Mens Aerials Final. Day 13. Mt. Independence Ski Resort.



Michael Schmid. Freestyle Skiing, Mens Ski-Cross Final. Day 9. Mt. Independence Ski Resort.


Several competitors.

Biathlon, Mens 15 km Mass Start Final. Day 9. Mt. Independence Ski Resort.





Eric Iljans of Tongolia (L) and Daron Rahlves of Kiji. Freestyle Skiing, Mens Ski-Cross Quarter-Finals. Day 8. Mt. Independence Ski Resort.



Adam Malysz. Ski Jumping, Mens Team Large Hill. Day 11. Crest Peak Jumping Hill.



Simone Ammann. Ski Jumping, Womens Team Normal Hill. Day 9. Crest Peak Jumping Hill.



Lukasz Rutkowski. Ski Jumping, Mens Large Hill. Day 7. Crest Peak Jumping Hill.



Richard Spalinger. Freestyle Skiing, Mens Ski-Cross Quarter-Finals. Day 8. Mt. Independence Ski Resort.


Several Competitors.

Curling, Womens Competition Round of 16. Day 10. Bicentennial Hall.



Curling, Womens Competition Quarter-Finals. Day 11. Bicentennial Hall.



Bobsleigh, Mens Competition Final. Day 9. Mt. Independence Simlympic Sliding Center.



Aleksandr Lebedev. Short Track Speed Skating, Womens 500 m. Shigley Skating Rink.



Shingo Doi. Speed Skating, Womens 5000 m Warm-Up. Benson Tech Stadium.



Ivan Skobrev. Short Track Speed Skating, Mens 500 m Final. Day 14. Shigley Skating Rink.



Olga Belyakova. Short Track Speed Skating, Womens Team Pursuit. Day 14. Shigley Skating Rink.



Julia Mancuso. Alpine Skiing, Womens Super G Final. Day 8. Mt. Independence Ski Resort.



Oksana Domnina and Maxim Shabalin. Figure Skating, Ice Dance Final. Day 10. Shigley Skating Rink.



Evan Lysacek ©. Figure Skating, Mens Individual Final. Day 6. Shigley Skating Rink.



Claudia Schramm. Figure Skating, Ice Dance Practice. Day 10. Shigley Skating Rink.



Ice Hockey, Mens Competition Final. Day 16. Joe Louis Arena.



Lídia Montalat. Snowboarding, Womens Half-Pipe Final. Day 6. Mt. Independence Ski Resort.



Shaun White. Snowboarding, Mens Half-Pipe Final. Day 5. Mt. Independence Ski Resort.

Jim: And so many others have written their names in gold on the Simlympics history book.

Ann: Let's take a look to the final medal table of these Simlympics, the ones which whose names will be effectively written in gold, silver and bronze.


Ann: But we have to make ourselves clear. This table means nothing but the nation who has won the most medals. The true success of each athlete is given by themselves.

Jim: If you have competed putting your best effort, pushing yourselves to the limit and putting passion on your competition; this medal table is pointless. You are the gold medalists.

Ann: And meanwhile we were watching all these moments, a new show was in the making.

Jim: We are honoured to see which is going to be for sure a great performance from... Safri Duo!

Ann: Great show, guys, great show! One of the best ways to end such a special event for all of us like these Winter Simlympics.

Jim: It's time, as we did on the Opening Ceremony, to hear the closing speech from the Governor of the State of Benson, Monique McKenzie.


ISC members, SBSC members, athletes, Bensonians, viewers from around the world:

This is it.

If only one of my wishes could came true tonight, it would be to keep on with the Simlympics in Benson like one or two more years. Despite the difficulties and the time constraints, we've all been about to burst in proud when watching how all events were taking place one after each other, like in a well-greased huge machine. We all have shone, from me to the latest volunteer who must still be cleaning the mess at Rorysville locker room at the Joe Louis Arena. I said in the Opening Ceremony that I was proud of you, but now, the whole world is proud of you.

To all athletes, you have competed as we expected you would do, you have excited us, made us vibrate, enjoy... You'll find your families and friends at your local airports, but there won't be the only ones to be there. An entire nation will be greeting you because of the things you've achieved.

Finally, to the State of Benson Simlympic Comitee, and specially to the guy who, months ago was an stranger to me but nowadays it is one of my best friends, Michael Spalding. Great job, man!

Ann: After the words of our Governor, we're heading to the final parts of this Closing Ceremony.

Jim: Yes, after 16 days, the Simlympic flag will be handed again to the ISC members. And, as happened in the Opening Ceremony, the Ceremonial Corps of the Benson State Police will be proceeding with the ceremony.

Ann: And finally, the flag is handed to the ISC members present at this ceremony, which will keep it until the next Simlympic games. It's been a great honour to see it hanging on our stadium!

Jim: The cauldron is now about to extinguish, but looks like something is going on in the 08080 Arena inside galleries... I wonder what can it be.

Ann: With that ahtletes invasion, a real party down there, we have to bid farewell to everybody. This time, to let place for the next city, the next nation that will have the privilege of hosting the Simlympics. That's all from Benson!

Jim: Goodbye, world! Goodbye, all!


A previous message

Thank you all very much for your support during these previous days, both the users and the ISC guys. You all have made the whole task much easier, funnier and rewarding. I've enjoyed imaging, creating and checking stuff for these Simlympics, and I hope you enjoy these days too. Due to my upcoming move to Germany this February, I've had to push the Simlympics Opening Ceremony to an early date to avoid as much as possible any disruptions when the moving day arrives; this is why there has been no torch relay these games, my apologies for that and thanks for your understanding.

I recommend you to follow the OC step by step, all videos are short (and entertaining) enough to watch the whole ceremony in a reasonable amount of time.

To post this OC in Simtropolis, however, I've had to remove the link to the cauldron lighting, given that there is a limit on the media links a CJ update can host.



Ann: Ladies and gentleman, children from around the world, be all welcome to the opening ceremony of the Games of the V Winter Olympiad. This is my colleague Jim Stephenson!

Jim: And she is Ann Trevitchick, we'll be the presentators from Benson to the world of this opening ceremony. Because our time is also here and now!


Ann: Now let us explain something to our viewers... We have no idea of what is going to happen. We have been given the scripts a few minutes ago and everything from now on is going to be a surprise for us!

Jim: I can't wait to see what the Organisation has prepared! Look, Ann, looks like something is changing down at the arena!

Ann: A large Benson state flag is entering the stadium, carried by six people. At the other side of the arena, there's the place where San Francisco Symphony Orchestra are placed, they'll be playing Benson State anthem, during the flag display.

Jim: The flag protocol is being executed by the Ceremonial Corps of Benson State Police. Let's remind our viewers that Benson's anthem is, basically, the Barnanovese Imperial March, which was kept as state anthem after Benson's independence and inclusion in the US.

Ann: Everybody is standing to listen the State of Benson anthem.


Jim: Oh, Ann, that has caused some serious excitement among the audience, the cheering and clapping is deafening!

Ann: And that's only the beginning of the ceremony!

Jim: Now the arena floor is clear, waiting for the next show, called "Here". It is a series of dances explaining Benson history, from the Native-American days, America's discovery, its foundation, independence and modern days.




Ann: That's been a very impressive act performed by several dance crews from across the nation!

Jim: As far as we know, it cost the SBSC a lot of work to convince the Uintah Native American Association to perform during this opening ceremony, but looks like all the efforts were worth!

Ann: All dancers are leaving the arena, to make room for the next show, called "Now". These Games' slogan is "Here, Now", we've seen something of Benson's history, now we should prepare for the second part of the show.

Jim: There's a bunch of people dressed in white around a large structure in the middle of the arena.

Ann: Look, the structure is rising!

Jim: I wonder what are we going to see...

Jim: Among the disorder, people have slowly arranged into a pattern, they look like large-scale snowflakes, but also symbollize that, if several people unite, they can do something big; just like these Games!

Ann: That show has been performed by the same theater group that performed that memorable naval battle during Barcelona Olympics opening ceremony, they surprised back then and they've surprised today.

Jim: Performers are now taking their positions on the stage, and looks like everything is getting clear and ready to host the athletes.

Ann: One of the most exciting parts of the ceremony is about to begin, the Parade of Nations. As usual, athletes from all 167 participating nations will be entering the arena one by one, saluting the viewers from around the world. They'll be distributed throughout the stage and the show will go on with all the athletes taking most of the arena space.

Jim: The speakers have began playing the music that will accompany the athletes during their entrance. The same people who performed the pervious show will be greeting the athletes.




Jim: Now Aleksania is entering the arena, one gold and one silver during the IV Winter Simlympics, we also wish them the best of luck for these Simlympics.




Jim: And now, the whole arena is standing to welcome Barnanova, the Motherland! As some viewers may know, Benson was founded by Barnanovese during the 18th century, being a part of the empire until it became a state of the Union. Cultural ties are still very strong between both nations, and this can be felt right now!

Ann: Barnanova is a superpower in only two sports, synchronized swimming and bobsleigh; we all remember that drammatic race against Rorysville on the III Winter Simlympics. Time for two golds both in two men and four men boblseigh?




Jim: Now is Collanden making its appearance in the arena! One of the most powerful nations in the Winter Simlympics, has brought a legion of athletes to Benson!

Ann: They closed their performance on the IV Winter Simlympics with three gold medals, the same three medals the almighty Rorysville got!






Jim: Island Union athletes are entering now!

Ann: Its athletes could only bring home three silver medals during the last Winter Simlympics, but no gold medals for them. Let's hope they win a gold medal here!




Jim: Murcia is entering right now! First appearance for them in the Winter Simlympics.

Ann: That's right, Jim. Their previous participations had been under the Ventiseri flag, until that change. This nation is, among others, representing the SCJU alliance in these Games.



Jim: From the other side of the world, we welcome New Gelderland to the arena!

Ann: One gold medal for them the latest Simlympics, a decrease after being the 13th most successful nation of the III Winter Simlympics.




Jim: The next nation, Queensland, is the first time their athletes step in a Winter Simlympics venue!

Ann: Our warmest welcome to the Simlympics family!




Jim: And now a white tide is entering the arena! It's Shihaisha!

Ann: No previous appearances for them, but given the size of their group, they will definately take some home!





Ann: The Parade of Nations is closed after the nation of Zyth has entered the stadium. Now, representing athletes from all 167 nations are standing at the stage.

Jim: And it looks the volunteers have prepared the left part of the stage for a new act! All the work has been done meanwhile the athletes were on their parade!

Ann: The ceremony goes on with a new music performance! Right from the cold Collanden, Nigthwish are ready for the show!

Jim: Absolutely magic performance!

Ann: I think there's nobody inside this arena who hasn't get excited by this awesome song, even though you don't like this kind of music, you must have felt something!

Jim: And the fireworks, Ann, splendid!

Ann: After that climatic ending of the artistic show, we should proceed with the more traditional part of this surprising opening ceremony.

Jim: Voluteers are removing the music instruments off the stage, and the vicepresident of ISC and the rest of authorities are getting ready for their speeches.

Ann: The stage and the lectern are ready to host the speeches. Let's hear now the Governor of the State of Benson, Ms. Monique McKenzie.


Vicepresident Canuck, ISC members, SBSC members, athletes and sports personnel, Bensonians, viewers from around the world.

Several weeks ago, we dreamt of this opening ceremony and the Games behind it. At the 22nd ISC Session in Anedau, we spoke of all the effort put on the bid and all the work we all have had to do, and all the work needed in case we were given the hosting rights. Well, it's been a pleasure for us to do the rest of the work. What you've just seen this evening is only the tip of the iceberg, the appetizer of what's about to begin tomorrow with the first events.

Tomorrow, it's going to be the athletes' time. Here and now, your time to shine has arrived. Please compete with all your forces and soul and in a clean way. Make your nation be proud of you, and demonstrate that, above all that doping controversies, clean sport is way stronger than that. In a time that there are very few people you can feel proud of, be the example just competing as you know.

Let me emphasize the work of all the volunteering staff; all people working on this opening cermony and the ones who are now at Mt. Independence ski resort anxiously waiting for tomorrow. Without you guys, there would be no Simlympics, that's for sure. Your time is to shine has also began, it is here and now.

Without further ado, on behalf of a proud, determined and grateful nation, I declare open the Games of Benson celebrating the V Winter Simlympic Games.

Jim: The whole audience are giving a standing ovation for the speeches we have just heard.

Ann: Without time for a rest, the Simlympic flag is entering the stadium, carried by an ensemble of veteran sportsmen and sportswomen from around the world, while the Simlympic anthem is played by San Francisco Symphony Orchestra. The anthem lyrics are performed by the First Church of Benson Choir.


Jim: And after the Olympic flag is raised next to the Benson state flag, it's time for the Simlympic Oaths.

Ann: Sara Vilamajó, Barnanovese snowboard rider is prepared for the oath. Given that the State of Benson doesn't take part on the Simlympics due to its special status, a representative from Benson's Motherland has been chosen. Behind her, Takeshi Matsumara from Atarashima and Robert Strickland from Ainkien will pronounce the judges and coaches oaths respectively.




Ann: After the oaths, we're approaching the final part of this opening ceremony.

Jim: During the oaths, athletes have left the stage and everything is clear for the cauldron lighting. The Simlympic torch is about to enter the arena to end one of the last legs of its relay across the world!

Ann: The orchestra has began playing again!






Jim: And here it is, ladies and gentlemen, the V Winter Simlympics have officially started!

Ann: We have reached the most exciting point of this opening ceremony, and, as happens in the best operas, the best has been left for the ending.

Jim: It's been an evening full of different emotions, that for sure is going to be part of our memories during the rest of our lifetime. It's been a pleasure to share these moments with all of you.

Ann: Meanwhile the opening ceremony is reaching its end, we have to bid farewell to you and to wish the best luck to all athletes participating in these Simlympics. We'll be back during the closing ceremony!

Jim: Ladies and gentlemen, Ann Trevitchick!

Ann: And Jim Stephenson, it's been a pleasure! Goodbye, Benson, goodbye world, see you in 16 days!


Massive Benson Update

Simlympic Replies

@spursrule14: Thank you!

@Benedict: Thank you for your support and for your Christmas card!

@Schulmanator: It looks I've been lucky!

@raynev1: Thanks!

@RepublicMaster: Thank you! :D

@Hazani Pratama: Thanks!

@10^13: I hope so!

@NMUSpidey: We're now waiting for them!

@ForthWall: Thank you and congrats for your fantastic ISC Session! Very cool job there!

@blunder: It took more than expected to make it look the way I wanted, but the results are worth! Too bad that, in the close ups, it looks like a regular road... :uhm:

@Johan_91: Thank you!

@ggamgus: :blush:

@SC4L0ver: ¡Muchas Gracias!

@k50: Thank you! I learnt from previous Simlympic bidders like you... As for the orange fencing, you're right, I think I've gone a bit overboard with it.

@Fox: Thanks! It is my first crossed-runways publicly shown airport, I think it is one of my best designs ever. Very simple, but nice IMHO.

@111222333444: Thank you for your support here and at SimSports!


I planned to release this update during the next days, but given that Benson has been awarded with the V Winter Simlympics, I can't resist to show my largest update ever, 32 pictures with their own little stories on them about one single city, Benson. The next thing you'll see about it, will be in a Simlympic contest.

Happy tour around Benson, don't forget to take a look to the souvenir shop!


Many visits to this city begin at the airport. It is usually flooded with Delta and FedEx airliners, given that David F. Woodward is a focus airoprt for them, but in this case, we can spot a AA plane landing.


The airport is divided in the Concourses A and B, which join at The Triangle. At the other side, the cargo area is taken by FedEx and UPS airplanes, surrounded by agricultural areas.


Benson Valves, Inc. state-of-the-art new premises are placed very near the airport. BV is among the top 5 valves manufacturers in the USA, and the leading safety valves manufacturers in the nation. Their safety valves are well-known nationwide and around the world. If there's a water, steam or air installation, there's a Benson safety valve.


Red Terrace District is one of the quietest and safest suburbs of Benson. Its Victorian houses and aligned trees make it a very desirable place to live, still not taken by the richest.


This bridge is one of the oldest in Benson, first used by railroads and later reconverted to road transit, it is now a city landmark. It links West Benson with the Industrial Area and the Simlympic Athletes' Village.


The Simlympic Athletes' VIllage is ready to host all the V Winter Simlympics participats and their ice skates, sticks, stones, skis, boards and all their equipment. After the games, it will be reconverted in a public housing district.


Things have evolved a lot since the first public housing attempt in Benson. North Deadwoods Estates cannot be considered a success, although they put an end to the city housing problems during the 60s and the industrial boom.


Deadwoods Estates dwellers have privileged sights of the Interstate 70 freeway, one of the longest freeways of the Interstate Highway System, running from Utah to Maryland. The junction with I-370 highway is a typical traffic jam area during rush hours.


Several dozens of warehouses can be found along the I-70 all over the State of Benson. Logistics is an important business here, given it's key placement between the western and the central states.


I-370 first was an easy and fast way of travelling between Benson city and the I-70. The city expansion swallowed the highway, and it is currently considered a scar on the city. There are very few bridges from one side to another, and is both a physical and psychological divide between the two sides.


The I-370 ending (or beginning) is witnessed by Wren Insurance headquarters. When it was constructed there, in 1950, many thought it was misplaced, in a run-down area of the city where there wasn't much more than a highway. Nowadays, it is a historical landmark.


Not far from there, Barnanova Circle is the center of a kind of mini-downtown, a district taken by department stores and chic boutiques.


The Benson Goverment building, placed very near the city downtown; where the statewide decisions are taken. It is one of the safest buildings around, being constantly monitored by the Police.


Despite the increasing gentrification of the inner-city districts, still remain some historical buildings. These three towers were one of the tallest residential buildings in the time they were built, when the high-speed tracks weren't laid yet and vast rye fields surrounded the area.


High-speed rail was a revolution for Benson when the first train arrived during the 00s. Travelling to cities like Denver, Colorado Springs or Salt Lake City was much faster and easier.


The old Benson Valves, Inc. premises were placed very near the city downtown, in a formerly industrial area. Many old industrial buildings are being currently reconverted into new uses. In this case, this is going to be the future site of Benson State Library.


The old Studebaker factory is now part of Benson Convention Center, with plenty of space for exhibitions and with the Studebaker nightclub inside, one of the most popular clubs in town (note that the old neon sign is used as an ad for the club). Besides, the Aqua nightclub is also a very popular place during weekends. In front of it, the old Domino Sugars plant was reconverted into expensive loft flats, mostly occupied by liberal professionals and architects.


The city downtown is expanding, new skyscrapers are built from time to time. This new one, is built very near the single-family houses, making the nearby land value drop.


Benson doesn't only live of valves and logistics warehouses, important companies like AT&T have regional headquarters on it. The AT&T building is one of the tallest in Benson.


Benson City Hall is placed at the very city downtown, very near the first settlement founded by the Founders. Its plaza is a popular place for office workers to meet and have a coffee during breaks.


Very near the plaza, the main station can be found. Combined with the HSR station, it makes the Avenue of the Americas hub, as seen in the Simlympic updates. This station is the center of all the suburban and regional rail transit in the area.


Finally, a panorama of Avenue of the Americas, where almost all skyscrapers and tall buildings are aligned. What we usually call "The Downtown".


Still many industrial structures remain besides the rail mainline east of the station. The container terminal is still very active, meanwhile the orange cranes (nicknamed "Goodfellas" by the citizens) are unused these days.


The city railyard is another of these industrial remnants that is waiting for its demolition or historical conservation. In this case, it is still active, and, due to its placement, it's a popular place among railfans who enjoy taking pics to the shunting locos on duty.


It is usually said that there are only three sports in Benson: high school football, college football and professional football. This is obviously a lie, but football is lived with a special passion here right from the cradle.


The demonstration of how false is the above statement is the home of Benson Hawks, MLB team member of the American League West Division. Its retractable roof is very useful during the cold and windy October games.


Moving on to East Benson, all we can see are suburbs and some ritzy residential skyscrapers scattered here and there.


Riverfront properties are specially precious in Benson, they'd be like the dark blue boxes at Monopoly game, and Ingebretson Residence would be the box right next to the "Start".


East Benson is almost a city by itself, it even has its own town center, virtually the only place where commercial services can be found.


The 08080 Arena, home of Benson Express NFL team, will also host the V Winter Simlympics opening ceremony. It is well-known in the league as the noisiest venues, where away teams are more prone to false starts. Its architecture, combined with a passionate fanbase, makes the Express a very successful team on home games.


At the city outskirts, we can see one of those gigantic shopping malls. In this case, the largest in all the State of Benson. Definately the place to be during Black Friday after Thanksgiving or Super Saturday before Christmas.


Hope you've enjoyed the tour!



We're going west to take a look to Mt. Independence, where the hard-core snow events will take place. Mt. Independence's base can be reached in about an hour by car, and it would have been impossible without it to present this bid.

Its world-class ski resort is only the tip of the iceberg, brand new, state-of-the-art venues are being built at the moment to ensure everything is ready if the Simlympics are hosted here.



Mt. Independence Ski Resort is the epicenter of the Simlympic activity far from Benson city. Crosscountry, Biathlon, Snowboarding, Freestyle, Alpine slalom, Giant Slalom, Super G events will be hosted in these confortable facilities. A truckload of snow cannons is prepared in case it doesn't snow enough to provide the best snow conditions to the athletes.

The fastest events will be held at the drammatic slopes, wide enough to make this possible; meanwhile the biathlon and crosscountry events are expected to take place off the slopes and among the trees, a very beautiful scenario.


The steepest slope is, however, Crest Peak Ski Jumping Hill, a brand new facility specifically built for this bid. After searching the whole county for the perfect spot, our engineers decided that Crest Peak was the optimus place to build a facility that will also last way beyond the Winter Simlympics to become the main facility for the developing of new ski jumpers.


And last but not least, we're unveiling today the key venue of these Simlympics we expect to organize, the Sliding Center. Our designers, engineers and contractors have worked really hard to build this baby on time for the bid, the place we feel the proudest of. There are no Winter Simlympics without an sliding center and this bid wouldn't exist if it wasn't by this venue; were the thrilling bobsleigh, luge and skeleton events will be held. Nearly 4,500 feet of pure excitement both for the rider and the viewer.

And with the Sliding Center, the resume of our venues is over. During next updates, we'll be seeing the different transit and accommodation options throughout Benson and Mt. Independence.


As important as venues, transportation is another aspect a city must shine if it wants its Simlympics shine too. Despite being a relatively small city, Benson boasts a variety of means of transport, that will make the task of reaching Benson much easier to both athletes and visitors.


For most of our visitors, the entrance gate to the city of Benson will be the David F. Woodward Intl. Airport. It currently services only domestic routes, but if the games are awarded to Benson, it's going to be improved to host international flights and work at its maximum capacity.



During the Simlympics, most of the small aircraft concourse will be fully dedicated to the connection between Benson and Mt. Independence. Our sponsoring airline plans an air bridge between the two centers by using small aircrafts, the only ones capable of landing at Independence Airfield.


This tiny airfield, primarly dedicated to civil aviation and charter domestic flights on Winter, will see an age of glory with the Simlympics, as it's going to be the main transportation hub for the events held at the slopes.

Obviously, not only air transport is important in our bid. Any city-scale event in Benson is impossible to organize without counting with our main transport center.


Commuter rail, Amtrak, HighSpeedRail, Benson Light Rail and BTA commuter buses meet at the very city center, a two minute walk far from Benson downtown. Visitors and athletes from our continent will have no problem on reaching Benson with the current scheduled services, both at high or at lower speeds. During the Simlympics, BTA bus transit will be derived to the nearby Greyhound Terminal to make room for the Simlympic Bus service connecting all the venues and also Mt. Independence.


The Greyhound Terminal is the place where visitors with a tighter budged will meet. Placed at Benson Downtown and surrounded by many historical landmarks, it is also considered an historical landmark; an art decó marvel.

Next update: Accommodation.


Finally, an small review to the accommodation options in this Simlympics bid will close our bid before proceeding to the authorities' speeches.


There's no bid without an Athletes Village, and this is Benson's. It is placed in West Benson suburb, a five-minute walk far from the Bicentennial Hall and only a couple of miles far from David F. Woodward Airport. All athletes taking part in events held at Benson city will be staying here, and will boast brand new facilites right next to a rural surrounding.


The other half of athlete's accommodation will be placed at the town of Uintah Springs, at the very base of Mt. Indepencence ski resort. Just like its Bensonian counterpart, athletes will feel at home in these newly built apartments, with plenty of space for all athletes' equipment. The white apartment building is reserved for media members who are not willing to travel between Benson and Mt. Independence.


The Atlantic Hotel is the place where foreign authorities, press members and collaborating staff will be staying during the Simlympic Games. It is placed in Avenue of the Americas, at Benson city downtown and very near the transportation hub and Greyhound bus terminal. This hotel has been recently renovated, and hass all kinds of commodities to ensure the visitor's confort: unlimited Internet Wi-Fi access, satellite TV, 4 different restaurants...


Christmas Cards


Al-Qurayyah is an Islamic nation, but the thousands of Western-born people living there meet with their friends and celebrate Christmas as if they were at home. They usually share their traditions with people coming from other countries.


It's going to be a white Christmas in Benson, it's beginning to snow on Christmas Eve. Traffic is very heavy at the Downtown, many people are finishing their last-minute purchases.


The Barnanovese Royal Family planted their Christmas tree, the largest one in the nation, a couple of weeks ago, and it's going to last until 7th January, when the Three Wise Men will have left their presents to Barnanovese kids. Tonight, HSH Princess Victoria III will make her usual annual speech to the nation.

Merry Christmas, Simtropolis!


Right from SimSports, here's the first part of my Winter Simlympics bid. The exams, uni projects and this new SC4 project made Al-Qurayyah to take a little rest meanwhile I can't provide good-quality updates. Stay tuned for Part II!


*Not an original logo, but I think this is one of the best Olympics logos ever!


Where is Benson?

The City of Benson is placed somewhere on the North American midwest. Its privileged situation, in a plain area next to the Rockies, makes it the perfect spot for a Winter Simlympics bid.

Why Benson?

1. Ours is an small but vibrant city, with very diverse areas, an animated nightlife, a very high living standard and with many interesting landmarks to see. Not only a cold place but a cool place!

2. The venues placed in the Benson city area manage to meet tradition with the most modern facilities, somewhere where athletes will surely be happy to compete in.

3. The nearby Mount Independence ski resort is a popular touristic destination, having earned a great reputation during the latest decades; has proven to be a confortable place surrounded by snow during the Winter months.

4. Benson has a wide range of accommodation for all visitors and participants of these Simlympics.



How are we going to do that?

With lots of illusion, passion for sport, and the venues we'll be seeing onwards!


As previously said, the venues placed at in the Benson city proper show the perfect balance between tradition and modernity. Some venues have seen great sports moments for our city, and others, are only temporary and will go back to its regular use once the Simlympics end. Provisional doesn't mean "bad" here, and athletes will never notice they're in a temporary facility. Let's take a closer look to them.


This spectacular stadium with capacity for roughly 42,000 spectators will see the opening and closing ceremonies. The NFL team Benson Express will cease its competition here during the Winter Simlympics, we thank them for their collaboration with the Organising Comitee. Below its fiberglass fabric roof, we're going to host an spectacular show broadcasted live to the whole world.


Moving east we find the Shigley Stadium, a tennis venue. During the Winter Simlympics, as it is done every Winter, it is going to be covered by a thick ice layer, making it the perfect choice for the figure skating and short track speed skating competition. The roof, inspired in Munich 1972 Olympics and in the Rocky Mountains, prevents the ice meltdown, covering all the stadium's south side; this makes that ice will keep being ice during all Winter without the Organisation intervention.


Joe Louis Arena is placed between Benson river and the city downtown, a place that has seen the NHL Benson Red Jackets win two Stanley Cups since its construction in 1977. This venue, with capacity for around 20,000 spectators will have the privilege of hosting the always exciting ice hockey competition. The Red Jackets staff will proudly help with the Organisation to conduct the competition.


This stadium, Benson Tech Skrewdrivers home field, will be aconditioned to host the speed skating competition, also with a thick ice layer over the field. Its length and width makes it a good place to host this competition, given that the Joe Louis arena is already taken by the ice hockey competition. This stadium boasts plenty of public transport and parking space, providing an easier access for all attendance.


Placed in West Benson suburb, this facility was built in 1992 and was specifically designed for curling practice; it has become a very popular sport in Benson since then. It is only a short walk far from Athletes Village, anyways, hydrogen-powered Simlympic Buses will link the Bicentennial Hall and Athletes Village to avoid curlers to carry all the instruments by themselves.

As you can see, the city is all in with the Winter Simlympics!


Next update: Mount Independence venues



It is always so difficult to be the best at something. It requires a natural born talent, a physical condition, but also the hardest training to push your abilities to the limit. On every sport, there's somebody who is simply above all the others, usually by a mix of the described qualities. There are a lot of examples of individuals, or teams, that have built a legend on their respective sports: Tiger Woods in golf, FC Barcelona in football, Michael Schumacher and Ayrton Senna in Formula 1, the New Zealand national rugby team, the Miami Dolphins during the Perfect Season, Michael Phelps at swimming, Usain Bolt at athletics... There are many examples of that.

In synchronized swimming, the Barnanovese national team is the legend, and the place where this legend has been forged is the CEINS (ITCSS on its English acronym, Intensive Training Center for Synchronized Swimming), the place where 10 chosen girls from a large array of aspring swimmers can become an important part of this legend. Accepting this challenge means almost leaving your former life behind and live 24/7 on the ITCSS, surrounded by a small group of 14-16 more people and living one only thing: swimming.


The ITCSS is usually known by the national and foreign media as the "Factory of Dreams" because all the success achieved by the synchro swimmers during these years. It is really difficult to know what goes on inside the ITCSS, as it is one of the most hermetic places in Barnanova. No media can get inside and the only pictures and footage crossing the ITCSS gates is carefully chosen by the national team staff to make sure that no new moves and routines leak to the outside. Secrecy is an important part of this business.


A walk along the "Medals corridor" is a kind of legendary tale written by unbeatable women. An overwhelming gallery of skyrocketing scores at world championships, European championships and, where the true glory is forged, the Simlympics.

We have to go back years ago, to the XII Simlympiad in Sarnia City. The Barnanovese synchro team had worked hard on the Aquacenter training pool, but it wasn't enough to go beyond the minimum scores to have an access to the Simlympic competition. This was such a hard hit for the Barnanovese Swimming Federation, who had a lot of hope put on the synchro team, that decided to erect the ITCSS. Its construction was carried in a record time, halfway between the Sant Just district and the national border; and the girls trained since then during four years with a single idea on mind: Gold or nothing. In fact, this slogan is painted in the gate leading to the training pool on its Catalan version "Or o res".

The XIII Simlympiad, in Chihiro, was the true trial for a team and for an entire nation, who was beginning to know what was that sport called synchronized swimming. The gold medal came in the duet competition, but the whole team had a tremendous hit when they did not qualify for the team competition finale.



After the games, swimmers Clara Muntalà and Blanca Candela confessed that they would have exchanged their gold medals to compete in the team finale with the 6 other girls.


After Chihiro, the whole country was more conscious of what the girls had been doing, and this was translated in a never seen before meda support.


Four years later, the XIV Simlympics started in Erikkson, Insulo, with a clear goal, entering and winning the team competition. After Chihiro, the "Gold or nothing" slogan was engraved in the pool gate and in the swimmer's mind. It was clearly shown that, these games, a bit more of a million people was swimming with them.

The gold medal came again, but only for Clara and Blanca on Day 12 of competition. Day 13, when the team qualifiers were held, was, perhaps, the hardest hit this team has ever had. Again, there was no medal option in the teams competition, 6 girls who had been training for 4 more years for "nothing".



They all said they were happy that Clara and Blanca had achieved their second gold medal, but they all confessed they weren't. They wanted these gold medals.


Because of their old age, Clara Muntalà and Blanca Candela left the team and two new girls took the team's leadership. They were, with their two gold medals, among the most successful sportspersons in Barnanovese history, but always carrying the burden of never won a medal with the whole team.


Lots of things changed in the ITCSS in four years, two new girls were added and new technicians joined the team. The Federation was determined to be successful in both disciplines, the whole center was overhauled and discipline got even harder.

The glory came in New Chandler, during the XV Simlympics. During this days, the whole nation had in mind the "Gold or nothing" motto, and the synchro competitions broke audience records. New Chandler Simlympics were a true success for all Barnanovese sport, but there would haven't been a success if it wasn't by the synchro contribution. Out of the 8 won medals, 2 belong to the synchronized swimming.



Ruteria won the gold medal in the last performance of the duet competition, which was quite a hit for the girls, who thought that a new duet gold was something unavoidable.


The true glory came two days later, in the teams competition. Barnanova lead the ranking in the technical routine, but the free routine was the performance that opened the eyes to the world. Both routines had a combined score 1,965 points higher than Daun Mew, second qualifier, and the technical routine is still remembered as one of the most impressive performances ever in a synchronized swimming pool, because of its spectacular and brand new moves.

For the first time, Barnanova had won medals in both disciplines, the media began knowing the synchro team as the "Dreamgirls" and recieved as heros at the airport due to their performance.


During four more years lived being the current Simlympic synchronized swimming team champions, and trained hard to keep this award four more years. Nothing changed in the team internal management and free routines got more risqué, new spectacular stuff were shown at the XVI Simlympics in Das'Gotn, the most successful Simlympics ever for Barnanova.

The duet team rose to the podium's highest stage once again, but the team couldn't qualify for the team finale. The drama came back into the ITCSS after the Simlympics. Again, another gold that was simply "not enough"



The teams qualifiers were a complete mess, the girls later admitted having comitted several errors that had been severely punished by the judges.


There was no glory but for Agnés Gutiérrez and Gianna Domenicali, gold medal winners. Despite the mistake, they kept being the "Dreamgirls" and kept having the support of an entire nation. If they could avoid these mistakes in the following Simlympics, they would have no rival.


The XVII Simlympics in Atarashima were, again, the "Gold or nothing" games. The time was now. The team recieved the farewell of thousands at the airport, and everybody knew these would be the Simlympics. Technically and artistically, the Barnanovese were well above the rest of competitors, but the smallest mistake could ruin again all the work. Fortunately, the girls had learnt a lot from the Das'Gotn experience.

Finally, the gods of synchronized swimming were fair with the Barnanovese Dreamgirls and the legend was certified as a legend.



For the first time, the first nation monopolized the duet and team gold medals. The difference between Barnanova and Aeropoli was 2.025 points, an insulting difference; meanwhile the teams competition caused more than one heart attack in Ellis Valley when the Barnanovese results were announced (sorry, Ben!)


It was difficult to present a more challenging and surprising performance than the one shown in New Chandler, but the synchronized swimming team got even further this time. The Dreamgirls were finally the Golden Girls, and the whole nation celebrated this success. Again thousands recieved the synchro team at the airport, they were the new national heros.


Despite this, after some well-deserved holidays, the girls got back to work at the ITSCC. Because glory doesn't grow on trees.



Resistance II

Some days ago I realized that the pic I posted in the first entry of this CJ had vanished. Sadly, I don't keep it, then I prefered to get into SC4 again and make something a bit better, but with the same concept. Here's the result.


Sorry if it sounds repetitive...


GTA: Barnanova Tales


One year after the Liberty City happenings, Niko Bellic goes east. The particular anti-drug policy* of a tiny nation in the middle of the Mediterranean Sea called Barnanova can make a man like Niko milionaire in no time... or get killed.

Drug production and dealing is a very risky business in Barnanova, but it involves a whole underworld that communicates the last street dealer with the highest members of the Royal Family. A world of corruption, chased by the Anti-Drugs Brigade, that is waiting for Niko to be at the top of it.

An action-packed sequel to GTA IV that will take Niko through an entire nation mapped to the detail by all imaginable means of transport, and meeting all kinds of people during his risky journey to the top of the underworld pyramid.

(*) In Barnanova, it is illegal to produce, sell or even consume any kind of banned drug from a list updated every two months. To keep this statu quo, the special Anti-Drugs Brigade of the Police of Barnanova, has all means to avoid the entrance of forbidden substances in the nation. They are the only security corps immune to The Constitution and all laws regarding how the police have to treat a suspicious person. This is why drug-dealing in Barnanova is an extremely difficult activity.


The Principality of Barnanova is a nation with a long and rich history, which goes back to the Phoenician expansion on the Mediterranean Sea.


During all this time, this settlement has been ruled by Phoenicians, Greeks, Romans, Ostrogoths, Franks, Aragonese and finally, the Genovese until the Barnanovese independence. All of them left some of their influence here, but Barnanova had no flag (other than the Roman SPQR ensign) until the Aragonese rule, when the territory was annexed to the Crown of Aragon.

The standard worn by the Aragonese during its Mediterranean expansion in the 13th century, which became the de facto flag of that city called Barnanova was this:


The decline of the Aragonese rule all over the Mediterranean came during the 14th century, helped by the Black Death. At the same time a new powerful nation was rising, the Republic of Genoa. The Aragonese flag was well-rooted all over Barnanova at that time, the Genovese decided to add their own motifs to an existing flag. Also note the slight change of colours overall:


The Genovese rule over Barnanova lasted during about a century. The war between the tiny Barnanova and a powerful Genovese army and navy lasted during a long time, until the Genovese realized that they couldn't keep Barnanova attached to the Republic. This is known as the Independence War.

The first flag of an independent Kingdom of Barnanova was this:


The blue stripe symbolizes the Mediterranean sea and it is also the family colour of the Vallhonrat family, which took the rule of the nation after the independence; their rule has lasted until our days. This is currently known as the Imperial Flag, which is used in some cases we'll see later on. The anthem of the nowadays Principality of Barnanova

Also, note that the blue colour in the Vallhonrat family coat of arms is darker than the flag blue stripe (there will be more details about this coat of arms in following updates).


The Kingdom of Barnanova expanded all over the Mediterranean Sea, becoming one more of the thalassocracies that ruled the Mediterranean during the History. This was the beginning of the Empire of Barnanova, which lasted until the 17th Century.

The Imperial Flag has been the longest lasting flag in Barnanova's history, two and a half centuries. The time the Empire lasted until its decline and destruction. The Empire became the Principality of Barnanova, due to the fact that there was no King anymore; and the First Constitution was enacted.

The Principality brought many changes. The whole nation's mentality changed, but also did it's flag. An official national Coat of Arms was established, and worn in the newly designed flag according to the First Constitution. Note that, instead of a

royal crown, a mural crown is used. This would be an incorrect design under an heraldic point of view, due to the fact that Barnanova wasn't a village but a region or province, but it has kept unchanged until our days.


Until then, the Principality had had no Coat of Arms different than the Coat of Arms of the City of Barnanova:


During the 18th century, new ideas leaked in Barnanova after the French Revolution. After much turmoil, the Principality was over, the Constitution was reformed (making it's Third version) and the flag changed again to suit the new national spirit.


The Republic lasted for twenty years, until the comeback of the Vallhonrat family to Barnanova. The mural crown was never added again to the flag with the intention of keeping "something" of the Republic. This flag lasted until the World War II.

During WWII, the Axis forces took Barnanova and the whole island of Corsica and used it as an airport, outpost and a kind of puppet state. All personal liberties were suspended and the nation fell in a permanent state of emergency. The Vallhonrat family were thrown out of the nation and exiled in Barcelona. The Axis changed the flag to show the Barnanovese people they were part of the Axis then:



This flag is by far, the most hated in the history among the Barnanovese, being instantly removed when the US marines entered in Barnanova and defeated the Nazis in the whole island of Corsica. It symbollizes a time when Barnanova was ruled by a despotic regime with the only interest of using the nation as an airport for the German Luftwaffe and the Italian Regia Aeronautica. The establishment of Nazi policies in Barnanova led to a very serious political repression during the Axis dominance over the nation.

During 2 years, Barnanova stayed without an stable goverment, ruled de facto by the United States. A new flag was designed to be used by the USA authorities during their goverment and also, as a symbol of greatfulness towards the United States.


The Vallhonrat family came back to Barnanova two years later the WWII was over and the Fourth Constitution was enacted. The Principality flag was restored and it lasted until the 1990s, when taking advantadge of the new Fifth Constitution, the whole design was revisited to give a more modern feeling:


The national Coat of Arms and the Royal Standard were also revisited:



These symbols are in use since then.

Other flags

The flags recognised by the Fifth Constitution are:

The Civil Ensign, used in private-use vessels.


The State Ensign, used in state-owned vessels


The War and Navy Ensign. The Barnanovese Army and Navy kept the Imperial Flag after the fall of the Empire as their own ensign. They are unused since the nation's Demilitarization during the 2000s, only worn by supporters of the A.E. Ciutat de Barnanova and followers of the right-wing ABCD political party.


The Naval Jack, worn at the head of the ship, is only an squared version of the national flag.


Montserrat Island flag, a Barnanovese overseas territory in the Antilles.


Barnanovese Antarctic Territories flag:




Comment Replies

Benedict x2: Thank you for your comment! It's all in the details, isn't it?

k50dude: Thank you for commenting and suggesting! You're right, two simple roads can't be enough for such a campus, I recently added a couple more access roads.

NMUSpidey x2:Thanks for commenting! My Erasmus petition is going alright (at the moment). Paperwork is a pain in the neck, but one step at a time... As for the team with the prettiest fans... Have you thought in FC Barcelona? :D

MamaLuigi945: Thanks for commenting! This trees issues is something that concerns me too. I'm not kidding, I'm the first person who thinks that the transition between the Maxis trees and Cycledogg's trees isn't good. The point is that I don't want to miss the Maxis trees, as they look a lot like the ones I'm used to see and I feel them very familiar. I really like Maxis trees and I enjoy having them in my cities; this is why I'm reluctant to replace them. But you're right, the transition isn't the best thing of this campus.

Schulmanator x2: Thank you for your comments, glad you like them!

Evanm1487: Thanks for commenting! You can find this set here [link]. Make sure you've registered there and beware the dependencies! As for the stadium, I have bad news for you. It is in the STEX, just search for "Reliant Stadium" and you'll find three parts, download all three and you'll get it (formerly, the STEX didn't admit such large files, this is why the user had to split it in three parts).

VicRusty: Gràcies per comentar! Want to visit it? Take a plane, and go to one of these US East Coast private unis... Meanwhile, SC4!

canadiansim: Thank you for your comment! I've heard ManC is about to be the Premiership champion, isn't it?

JGellock: Thank you for your comment! Elevated rail through CBD's is a constant in my cities, I feel like a kind of signature. Just can't resist to it...

escilnava: Thanks for commenting!



They played with people's mortgages. They spent their benefits. They knew that they were doing wrong, and nobody stopped them. They thought they were modern Gods. They ruined a lot of people. They made goverments fall, corporations bankrupt and a world to change entirely.... They thought we would never know. Will they be punished?


Comment replies coming with the next update!


This Sunday, hasn't been just another Sunday. The whole nation paralyzes for an hour an a half twice a year. The reason is...

The Clash

clubdefutbolatlticdebar.jpg vs. associaciesportivaciuta.jpg

Club de Futbol Atlètic de Barnanova vs. Associació Esportiva Ciutat de Barnanova

The major European cities have their own intra-city rivalry matches, called "derbies". Barnanova has a passion for football, and has its own derby, popularly called "The Clash". The rest of the league system is ignored during a week, and the two greatest football clubs in the nation take the lead.

The fierce rivalry between CFAB and AECB is as old as football in Barnanova. Fans of both teams are divided by their colours, but, as it also happens in many other cities across Europe and South America, politics are an important part of this rivalry.

Club de Futbol Atlètic de Barnanova

It was founded in 1903, being one of the oldest clubs in the nation. It was made of a mixture of English and Barnanovese naval workers, who wanted to try a new sport, which was beginning to rise all around the continent. They didn't play professionally until 1925, ten year later after the Barnanovese Football Federation and the Barnanovese National League were founded. Due to its humble beginnings, they have a large fanbase in Barnanovese lower and middle class,

Associació Esportiva Ciutat de Barnanova

Founded in 1906 as an aristocrats' hobby team, they gained relevance with the addition of the first professional players in Barnanova's history, who were regarded at first as "mercenaries". Since then, they've been regarded as the establishment team, a powerful institution and the team the upper class and the Royal Family roots for.

Both fanbases just hate each other. Hooligan wars were held during the 80s in the stadiums until the goverment passed strict laws regarding violence in stadiums and hooliganism. Nowadays, the situation is less fierce, but in Barnanova, it's not generally a good idea to talk about football when having lunch or in a social meeting. In fact, it is regarded as bad manners. The rest of the league teams have also it's fanbases, but these two teams take up the largest part of the pie.


Atlètic de Barnanova fans in the old stadium.


Ciutat de Barnanova fans

As you've seen football is serious business here. During the week before The Clash, the rest of teams, the rest of sports, dissappear, and the two big ones get all the media attention. The week is very long for football fans, but sooner or later, Sunday arrives...


Floodlights are still off. American football hashmarks (for Barnanova Almogàvers, the American football nation team) still have to be erased and the football markings ones still have to be painted for Sunday. 71,054 rabid CFAB fans will be seating in this modern colosseum on Sunday night to watch their team play, but also to intimidate their rivals, their enemies.

This stadium is known for being among the most intimidative in Europe, always behind the Turkish and Greek ones. The Ixterconnections Stadium becomes a large scale pressure cooker where the most fierce team is just dwarfed by fans.

Sunday passes by slowly... But finally, the sun sets and fans head to the stadium by car, rail, subway and bus.


Not a single car in the city's CBD, everybody's at home, or in a bar, watching the match with family or friends.


One more Clash, CFAB fans are up to the circumstances. Many fanbases in the world claim to be "The Twelfth Player", without a doubt, CFAB fans deserve to be one of them.

Soon, the first goal arrives:


A few minutes later, the AECB strikes back, with a fantastic goal.


After a drammatic match, the home team take the victory. When the match ends, as in every match here in the Ixterconnections Stadium, Atlètic players turn to the North Stand, where the most radical and creative fans gather, and greet them.


Another epic Clash is over now. Barnanova will calm down on Monday.

[borussia Dortmund? Manchester City? :???: I know nothing...]


Comment Replies

elavery: I won't be thankful for that comment... Football is serious business! ;)

folokashi: Thank you for commenting!

Benedict: Thanks for commenting! The real thing is just... awesome.

spursrule14: Thank you for your comment!

escilnava: Thanks for your comment! You can try ambitious projects, but make sure you can take them at first!

10000000...: Thank you for commenting!

NMUSpidey: Thank you for commenting! I think I know which movie are you referring to: Pot Luck aka L'Auberge Espagnole. It's got to be funny, and I think I'll take a look to it, because tomorrow the results of my Erasmus petition are announced. If everything goes fine, I'll be finishing my degree at TFH Wildau (next to Berlin) next year!

LastTrueChamp: Thanks for commenting! I was trying to catch the feel more than the accurate recreation, if I have captured (at least a bit), it is a huge success for me.

VicRusty: Gràcies per comentar! So many places that would be fantastic to recreate, don't you think?


Before taking a long CJing rest due to the Exams Season, let me show you another creation I'm quite proud of:



Barnanova Polytechnic University’s main campus (colloquially "The Poly") is located in Barnanova’s east end, in the Incorporated Borough of The Lagoon. Surrounded of a natural environment but also closely placed near the city center, it is the most prestigious university in Barnanova due to its studies programmes, tradition and students’ facilities.

Its history runs along Barnanova’s industrialization, from the first and humble efforts in educating engineers from scratch to the high-end study programs in fluid dynamics, automation, heat transfer, automotive industries... Talking about Barnanova’s industry is talking about Barnanova Polytechnic.

The Core


“El Nucli” ("The Core") is made by the first buildings ever built in the campus, the four fields of engineering that ruled the world in the 19th century and keep being an important part of it nowadays. Later on, the corner buildings were added, first as residence halls and later as lab buildings.

The Core Quad hosts the graduation ceremony every June, the Campus Week in May and most of social events in BPU. It was also an important protest place during May 68 protests and keeps being the political center of the university.


School of Mechanical and Automotive Engineering

- Dpt. of Graphic Expression (DGE)

- Dpt. of Materials Resistance and Structural Engineering (DMRSE)

- Dpt. of Mechanical Engineering I (DMEI)

- Dpt. of Thermical Machines and Engines (DTME)

- Dpt. of Automotive Engineering (DAE)

School of Textile Engineering

- Dpt. of Mechanical Engineering II (DME2)

- Dpt. of Textile and Paper Engineering (DTPE)

School of Civil Engineering

- Dpt. of Construction Engineering (DCE)

- Dpt. of Structural Engineering II (DSE2)

- Dpt. of Transport and Territory Infrastructure (DTTI)

- Dpt. of Urbanism and Territorial Organisation (DUTO)

School of Naval Engineering and Architecture

- Dpt. of Hydraulics, Maritime and Environmental Engineering (DHMEE)

- Dpt. of Nautical Science and Engineering (DNSE)

The Chapel Quad


This small quad, north of The Core, hosts the Old Administration Building and the External Relations Office, the first place the Erasmus students visit in BPU. The most iconic structure here is The Chapel, built at the same time than The Core. In the old times, Catholic students came here to say their prayers and to see the priest. Masses are still held every Sunday, only for the handful of students who stay in the campus and attend to it.

The New Core


This quad was born as a response to the needs of the 20th century, where new fields of knowledge appeared. As its older brother, this is also an activity center, although chemistry, electricity, aeronautics and mathematics students rule the place. It is regarded as a confusing place by freshmen, as the four schools are built exactly the same facing the four cardinal points. Lab buildings take up the corners, built in the same style than the first labs in The Core. The Tower Gardens, behind the Math School are a popular place to have some relax or to read a good book.


School of Chemical and Agricultural Engineering

- Dpt. of Chemical Engineering (DCE)

School of Electrical Engineering

- Dpt. of Electrical Engineering (DEE)

School of Aeronautical Engineering

- Dpt. of Aeronautical Engineering (DAE)

- Dpt. of Fluid Mechanics (DFM)

School of Mathematics and Statistics

- Dpt. of Applied Mathematics (DAM)

- Dpt. of Statistics and Operative Investigation (DSOI)

Residence Halls


Residence Halls are a very important part of any campus, but their proximity to the central quads and the vibrant student life that goes on them makes them even more important. BPU’s residence halls boast all the equipment the students may need (comfortable rooms, spacious dining halls, Wi-Fi access all over the campus, cafeteria open 24/7…). As an extra, the corner buildings are “special”.

- 3.NE – Relax Hall

- 3.SE – Residence Halls Administration Building

- 3. SW – Study Hall

- 3.NW – Cafeteria and Campus Restaurant

The other structures...


One of the newest buildings in the campus, built to satisfy the growing needs for new kinds of engineer during the 20th century, directly facing The Lagoon in perhaps the quietest place in the whole campus, built very near of The Core. Labs and facilities are integrated in the building, paying special attention to robotics and industrial regulation.


- Dpt. of Telematics Engineering (DTE)

- Dpt. of Signal Theory and Communications (DSTC)

- Dpt. of Electronics Engineering (DEEL)

- Dpt. of Electronic Systems Design and Programming (DESDP)

- Dpt. of Systems, Automatics and Industrial Computer Science (DSAICS)


The Barnanovese National Heat Transfer Center is one of the few research centers integrated in the campus, built in the 80s; it meant the giant leap the BPU took to become a major research campus. Mechanics, chemistry, civil engineering and aeronautics students take their lab lessons here, which means they practice in the best heat transfer facilities in the nation.


The Barnanova SuperComputing Center at the time of its construction in 2001, ranked the 4th in the world by processing speed. It allowed solving a good part of the problems the campus research centers were facing; and it is today the most valuable tool for all the research centers here. BPU is planning to replace this supercomputer by a brand new one placed in the campus’ vicinity by year 2015.


The Students Center was built at the same time than The Core, and has a popular place for students to meet, chat, study, read a book, or whatever they need. Also, the gym gives the students the opportunity to disconnect a bit of their study routine.


The Main Library is the place to be during the exams season, the place where failed exams become passed exams and the place of almost all human knowledge on engineering can be found. A silent and full of books place, also open 24/7.

At the other side of the gardens stand the state-of-the-art facilities of BPU’s Wind Tunnel, where theorical investigation is applied at sports like motor racing and bobsleigh. This facility is the main responsible for the three Simlympic medals Barnanova has won in the latest two Winter Simlympics in bobsleigh.



This modern building houses the univerity’s new administration departments, which is currently centralizing all schools administration departments in an only building, in an attempt of reducing paperwork, wasted time and problems. The lower part of the building houses the Sports Center, where all sports-related affairs are dealt, it also houses the FCBPU and Barnanova Tech Skrewdrivers headquarters.


Named after the most prominent Barnanovese scientist, the stadium is the home field for the football and track & field BPU teams. FCBPU currently plays in the Golden Division, the highest division on Barnanovese Football League system.


The campus has traditionally ended here, in the railway station, which allows that nowadays, most of BPUs students don’t live in the residence halls. Campus can be reached from the North Station in 10 minutes.

The Boiler provides hot water to the residence halls, the Sustainability Observatory also houses the Sustainability and Environment Department.

Furthermore, the Spire Plaza is the most popular meeting place during Friday and Saturday nights in the campus, it is the only place in the whole campus where consumption of alcohol is allowed.

Well... That's all, hope you liked it! Still have to show the Architecture School and Computer Science School, both are placed in the city proper, but we'll leave those for another day!


Comment Replies

vivapanda: Thank you for your comment!

Benedict: Thanks for your comment! You must be as stunned as I was when I first saw Heblem's...

Blunder: Thank you for your comment! I showed (the past simple form of show is showed?) the pic to a friend and the first thing he noticed was that strange thing.

Evillions: Thank you for commenting! It's going to take an afternoon or two, but the results will be worth!

10000...: Thanks for commenting! Yes, all water you see is 2x2 tiles ploppable water. It took some time, but disguising the limit between the water and land with ploppable rocks took even more time!

Efkin: Thanks for your cool comment!

Fox: Thank you for commenting!

Escilnava: Thank you for your comment, glad you enjoy it!

k50dude: Thank you for your comment!

Schulmanator: Thanks for commenting, keep rocking!


NMUSpidey: Thank you for commenting!

GreekMan: Thank for commenting! I was thinking to use the pun as a title, but wasn't sure if ST rules accepted the word "damn"...

VicRusty: Gràcies pel teu comentari! No siguis impacient...



Some previous words...

One of my SC4 dreams has always been recreating Barcelona; I live on its metropolitan area and I think it's a fascinating city, both with its good and its bad things. Why haven't I done it before? There are many issues that make an accurate (and thus, good) Barcelona recreation absolutely unfeasible:

1. Lack of BATs: The most important hurdle. There are barely no BATs from Barcelona, and the existing ones' quality is not up to the standards the players need (with the due respect to their BATters, of course). Underscaling and bad texturing are the most common mistakes with them.

2. Mapping: drunkapple recently uploaded a Barcelona map. Technically brilliant as usual, but very, very difficult to deal with. Some of you may know that a good part of the city is built in an orthogonal grid (L'Eixample). In drunkapple's map, you're forced to play diagonal with this huge orthogonal grid, and you all know how this game deals with diagonals...

3. Planning: Ring roads (Rondes) tunnelling, impossible curve layouts, streets narrower than 16 meters in the historical district, and the aforementioned Eixample problems (including chamfers) are things that make the recreation truly difficult.

Of course, all these problems can be solved BATting, mapping and finding a compromise between realism and functionality, but this would take an über-awful amount of time I don't have. This is why this project is impossible, then, it's better to take an small approach, like I've done.

Now, with the pictures!


Sagrada Familia, perhaps the most famous landmark in the city; visited by millions during the year. Gaudí's masterpiece, a captivating building, a feast for your senses. A building we all feel proud of and we all hope to live enough time to see it finished some time.

Too bad that the Maxis guys made a seriously underscaled version. Its correct measures would take up an 8x8 SC4 lot, just like the rest of Eixample blocks. Furthermore, it's current status is much more advanced than what can be seen in the picture.


Away of the hustle and bustle of the city center, at the "mountain" side of Diagonal Avenue, more quiet neighbourhoods can be found. This one could be placed in the zone enclosed by Diagonal Av. and Via Augusta. Wall-to-wall midrises are a constant throughout the city, the metro area and the nation, this pic is a good example.

I personally love this picture, one of my all-time favourites!


The other side of Barcelona can be seen at night, when most of people are sleeping and tourists are having a well-deserved rest. There's a bunch of clubs, music-bars and discos to go out at night; in a relaxed way or in the most genuine fiesta way. Sala Razzmatazz and L'Ovella Negra near Marina Street, Opium, Sotavento or Catwalk in the Olympic Port; Balmes 51, Nick Havanna and Arena in L'Eixample; Up & Down, Oshum or Pachá in Les Corts... There's a club for every style and every day in the week. And if you're not convinced with all this nearly neverending offer, a party in a rooftop like the above can be a good option too.

And a bonus picture...


A little homage to The Best Football Club in the World.


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