Monthly Archive: November 2017

The world of Scandinavian female percussionists

I went on a little musical journey this week over Thanksgiving.
As I often do, I explore the world of music by seeking out the work of musicians who have played with my favorite musicians. This is particularly useful for drummers and percusionists, who often move around.
This week, I began by journey by digging into the work of Marilyn Mazur. Born in the USA to Polish-African-American parents, Mazur has lived in Denmark since the age of 5, so she is for all intents and purposes European. She first came to prominence worldwide when she joined the touring band of Miles Davis after playing in the band for his 1984 Sonnings Award-winning concert, where he played a lengthy composition written for him by Palle Mikkelborg, The composition was finally recorded as “Aura” and released in 1989, after Davis had to get an NEA grant to cover recording costs, since his record company at the time refused to pay for the project.
Several years touring with Miles Davis were followed by a lengthy period as the percussionist in the Jan Garbarek Group. This incarnation of the group became the best-known internationally, a beautifully balanced ensemble with Garbarek on reeds, Eberhard Weber on bass, Rainer Bruninghaus on keyboards, and Mazur herself on percussion. All the time, Mazur was recording her own music, via a collection of ensembles that she uses to explore a wide variety of musical forms. Her CD “All The Birds”, culled mostly from live concerts in Scandinavia, is probably the best overview of her musical skills and sesibilities. Collaborators on it include Palle Mikkelborg.
One of the ensenbles that Mazur formed in the late 1990s was Marilyn Mazur’s Percussion Paradise. This occasional group comprised Mazur and whoever she could grab at the time from the ranks of local female percussionists.
Lisbeth Diers is another one of the established Danish percussionists. Adept at both kit drumming and percussion, she has been playing and recording in Scandinavia and Europe for a long time. Here she is holding her own against the great Airto Moreira and Triok Gurtu in 1999 . Here she is at the same festival playing with Mazur and Don Alias. Here she is trying to get gongs and suspended blocks made of ice to sound, well, percussionistic…
Benita Haastrup has been a member of the Mazur ensemble for a number of years. She is a percussionist and music educator, traveling through Scandinavia bringing live music to schools and colleges with her trio DrumDrum. Here is the trio in Copenhagen earlier this year. The trio has released a CD named “Going North”.
Birgit Lokke-Larsen is the fourth member of the ensemble, a percussionist, composer, singer and painter. She has recorded solo CDs “Forbidden Forest”, “Lid Digt”. She formed an occasional duo in 2012 with Jesper Silberg on trumpet and keyboards named Timeland. Like all true percussionists, she will hit anything that might make an interesting sound.
Diers, Haastrup and Lokke also have an occasional side project named Trigong, where they go outdoors and make percussive music using instruments and natural objects.
So here is Percussion Paradise – Mazur, Diers, Lokke and Haastrup, tearing up the Copenhagen Jazzhouse in 2006.
There is a free-wheeling experimental edge to Scandinavian jazz that always results in interesting sounds. Here is Lisbeth Diers playing a small venue with Staffan Svensson in 2012.
There is so much more interesting stuff being created under Mazur’s wing, including Marilyn Mazur’s Shamania, an all-female ensemble, including Lisbeth Diers and the singer Jennifer Cronhokm, with a rotating cast of characters, including dancers. Shamania is true world music, impossible to categorize.
Another Mazur ensemble is Spirit Cave, including Eivind Aarset and Nils Petter Molvaer. .
Here is another live video of Spirit Cave, with a Mazur percussion solo that shows her raw power and chops. She also seems to have brought just about every heavyweight percussion instrument on stage for that concert.
And here is another occasional ensemble, Future Song.
Marilyn Mazur is woven into the DNA of Scandinavian jazz so tightly, and is involved in just about every leading-edge ensemble in the region. Not only that, but her presence has led to an explosion of interest in percussion by women.


Brexit negotiations – posturing and threats to “walk away”

The current Brexit negotiations do not seem to be advancing well.
One of the recurring themes that rabid Brexit supporters keep coming back to is that the UK should just “walk away” from negotiations.
Leaving aside the utterly deluded ideas that many of them possess about what a “hard” Brexit entails, the idea that one should flounce out of a negotiation or threaten to do so in order to get what one wants is an idea promulgated by somebody with no clue whatsoever about how to negotiate.
The UK lawyer Sean Jones wrote a tweetstorm about this pathology recently. I am sharing it below, merged and edited.

A threat to walk away *can* be effective in negotiation, but it is rarely the *key* to a successful outcome.
Very broadly, that’s because most negotiations are not zero sum. An optimal outcome is achieved through co-operation and creative compromise.
First things first: like any threat it can only be at all useful if it is credible.
That has 2 aspects.
1. Your negotiation partner must believe you’ll carry it out;
2. It must be a sufficiently meaningful threat to their own interests (NOT THE COMFY CHAIR!!)
So if walking away is so disastrous that no rational person would contemplate it, your negotiating partner will conclude…
either (1) you don’t mean it;
(2) you do
If you state publicly that it is a negotiating tactic, that undermines the credibility of the threat as it puts sincerity in doubt.
Equally, If you open negotiations with it in the hope or expectation the negotiating partner will “crumble” you aren’t negotiating, you’re bullying. You may feel “strong” but saying “we can’t be precise about what we want but if we don’t get it, we’re off” is not a constructive or rational posture.
There’s a reason we refer to the tactic as an ultimatum. It‘s best used at what might be the *end* of a process; where positions have closed and each side has reached their respective red lines.
It causes each side to ask whether their “final position” should be sacrificed for a deal that is otherwise within touching distance.
My hope is that the UK’s negotiation team is less fixated on this tactic than the Press and the public appear to be.
It’s usually a sign of a failing negotiation and using it as principal leverage is much more likely to be self-defeating than people assume.


America, America – STOP

Stop. Stop Stop Failing US History.
For several years in the early 1950s, according your oral and written history, you were seduced by a demagogue US Senator named Joseph P. McCarthy, who had exaggerated his wartime record, gotten himself elected to the Senate, and then, in 1950, decided to start a campaign against Communists.
Every group in the USA except for one, that should have been acting as a check and balance on abuse of power, then proceeded to say and do next to nothing as McCarthy ran a full-bore persecution campaign using the House Un-American Activities Committee as his own personal kangaroo court forum,. The media swallowed his progressively more ludicrous statements like credulous nodding dogs. (Nothing much has changed). The Senate and the House of Representatives stood idly by. The President did not say anything of consequence (Eisenhower apparently disliked McCarthy and his methods, but, like many politicians of the era, preferred to say nothing of substance publicly).
McCarthy’s abusive power trip was finally ended in 1954 when he was called out by the US Army. Suddenly, nobody wanted to be associated with him, and he died a few years later, having seemingly drunk himself to death. But the damage that he caused to lives, careers and industries took a long time to heal.
Folks, we have McCarthyism unfolding right now, in the form of the backlash (long overdue, I will say) against endemic and pervasive inappropriate and abusive behavior by men in positions of power over women in workplace situations.
So far the main areas where the backlash is pervasive are the entertainment and media sectors, and politics. Bit let nobody be fooled. The level of bad treatment of women in corporations and government was been every bit as bad as those industry sectors. They wre merely shielded by a lower level of consistent public scrutiny.
This backlash has been a long time coming.
However, as those of us who have been on the plant know only too well, humans have a tendency to lurch from one non-optimal extreme to its polar opposite.
Along the way, we are watching the appearance of McCarthyism in front of our eyes. Unsourced or anonymous accusations are being made public against people. This is not good. We have a legal system based on due process for a damn good set of reasons. Mostly, this stems from the idea that maybe, just maybe, you don’t charge ahead and punish people without some verifiable, corroborated and substantive evidence.
What I am seeing unfolding right now is a rush to tar, feather and run men out of town on a rail. The level of vengeful enthusiasm is both salutary and frightening.
Now, I am a white male, so some people reading this will probably already be mouthing “who the **** does this misogynist enabler think he is, mansplaining to us about how to tolerate sexual misbehavior? ***k that”.
Sorry, you will be missing the point.
The point here is a simple one. If you want to run a society based on attempting to compensate overnight for decades of abuse of power by, in revenge, engaging in abuse of the power of publicity and the power of sanction, you are heading down a dangerous path. Vengeful behavior is what turns disagreement into demonization, persecution, skirmishes, fights and wars. This will not end well.
We are starting to head down a dangerous path, with media of all kinds feasting on any anonymous allegation or claim with cries of “See! I knew he was an asshole all along!”. This is not measured, sensible application of logic and careful analysis. This is mob-like behavior, the bayings of groups who seek revenge, not judgment.
Would you like to be put on trial by opinion poll?
Because that is what is happening now in the United States. We currently have all manner of people advising Senator Al Franken to resign because a majority of people asked about the allegations against him think he should resign. Ditto Roy Moore in Alabama.
That is not how politics works, folks Franken was elected by the electors of Minnesota. If those electors decide he is no longer fit to represent them, they can un-elect him. The electors in Alabama can also decide if they want to elect Roy Moore or not.
In the meantime, if the Senate wants to investigate Al Franken’s conduct they can do so. So can law enforcement. However, those latter activities will be based on due process, including the evaluation of evidence. That will require real people to provide evidence, and be prepared to testify in public. This may be difficult for them. However, that’s due process for you. It is not quick or simple.
Right now, the world of social media is full of people who are signing on to any number of cockamamie ideas and theories about just about everything. Many of these people seem to be quite happy to believe anything bad about people or groups based on little to no evidence. They are, individually and collectively, behaving like intellectually comatose credulous dimwits.
I have one question for those people: would they be OK if I showed up at their house and arrested them on suspicion of a felony based on evidence from anonymous sources that I am not going to reveal, and by the way, they are going to stay in jail because the internet social media discussion forums have already decided that they are guilty?
Yeah, I can see them not liking that process all of a sudden.
This is where we are and where we are headed. The destination is undefined, but it will not be a good place to be if we do not wise up and stop behaving like vengeful dimwits.


Professional negligence in the NFL

I am not watching any NFL games right now. I think you know why. At least, I already told you.
However, I can read numbers, and my Twitter feed is alive.
The numbers and Twitter told me that Nathan Peterman, promoted to the starting quarterback position today for the Buffalo Bills to replace Tyrod Taylor, who, in the age-old jargon of pro football, was benched, came into the game at the start today against the San Diego Chargers and proceeded to throw 5 interceptions in the first half. Whereupon, he was removed from the game, and Tyrod Taylor, the man he replaced, was re-instated as the quarterback.
The Bills were down 40-7 at halftime when Peterman was replaced. They ultimately lost the game 54-24.
In other words, with Peterman under center, the Bills were outscored by 33 points. With Tyrod Taylor under center, the Bills gained back 17 points on offense, but gave up another 14 on defense.
Peterman was a good college quarterback not playing on a title-winning team. The Bills had drafted him in the 5th Round this year, and he had won the number 2 spot on the quarterback chart in the pre-season. So, with the Bills seemingly no longer convinced that they could win with Tyrod Taylor, he was The Man when they decided to bench Taylor.
Now, I keep reading all of the time these days that the NFL is nothing like college on offense. Most college teams do not run NFL-style offenses any more, relying heavily on read-option-based offensive schemes that require limited check-downs by mobile quarterbacks. The lament I read is that many college quarterbacks are nowhere near ready to run an NFL-style offense out of college. This implies that many rookie quarterbacks are essentially “project” players, not expected to play for at least 2 seasons.
Peterman’s scouting reports out of college reveal a smart, fairly accurate passer, but one lacking the deep-throw arm strength prized by many NFL coaching teams.
So, I wonder: just what the hell were the Bills doing throwing a 5th round draft pick with limited pre-season game experience and only mop-up regular series experience into a game at a crucial point in the season, with the Bills’s season finely poised at 5-4?
What possible improvement could he provide over Tyrod Taylor?
He does not have a cannon for an arm, so the idea that the Bills could suddenly become a vertical passing team makes no sense. That is before you even look at the Bills’ receiving corps, which does not scream “deep threat”. In fact, it doesn’t even scream “receiving threat”. The Bills do not have a single top-drawer receiver, and their best current receiver, Jordan Matthews, was inactive for today’s game. So Peterman did not exactly have much in the way of likely downfield targets. He can scramble, but lacks the fleet-footed elusiveness of Taylor, who has excelled in the past at escaping from seemingly hopeless broken-play situations and making something happen, usually with his legs.
At this point some bright spark will say “but…Tom Brady!”.
OK Weisenheimer, let’s look at Tom Brady.
Brady was drafted in the 6th round out of Michigan. He was the number 3 quarterback for all of his first season, mostly inactive on game days. In his second season, he moved up to the number 2 spot on the quarterback chart. He was then promoted early to starter after Drew Bledsoe suffered a serious chest injury.
At the time of his promotion, Brady had already been in the Patriots’ system for over a season, and had played in 2 seasons’ worth of pre-season games. By any objective standards, he was far more experienced in the NFL than Peterman was when he ran out on the field today. As history shows, Brady was ready and able to assume the quarterback role for the Patriots at the time of his promotion. As today shows, Peterman was not.
But this is not just about Peterman.
It’s also about the team. Peterman was not expected to be the starter, so he had limited work with the first-team offense in the pre-season, and he and the team had 1 week to prepare for the game. Peterman is a fundamentally different player to Taylor – he is basically a pocket passer with some scrambling ability. Taylor is a scrambler first and foremost, and his pocket skills and check-down abilities are said to be weak, which is probably part of the reason that he was benched.
Most importantly, this decision is about leadership.
Bad leadership.
The decision to insert Nathan Peterman today was professionally negligent. If it was mid-December, with the Bills at 4-9 or similar and already eliminated from the playoffs, the decision would have made a lot of sense. With Taylor on an option year for his contract, it would be time to play the rookie and see what he can bring to the team. But, for crying out loud, the Bills were at 5-4, and still very much in the hunt for a playoff slot. Playing Peterman has resulted in a blowout loss, which leaves the Bills at 5-5, and in a much weaker playoff position.
Now…I can think of a reason why the decision was made to start Peterman today. The head coach for the San Diego Chargers, Anthony Lynn, had been the offensive co-ordinator for the Buffalo Bills the previous season, and the coaches may have decided that Lynn, experienced in the play and behavior of Tyrod Taylor, would create a game plan for the Chargers to disrupt a Taylor-led offense.
While this is all logical, swapping quarterbacks at the last minute only works if the team and the new quarterback are prepared to execute a different sort of game plan. As we saw today, that was not the case.
The decision and resulting loss has left the quarterbacks in a bad place. Taylor was benched last week, a signal (probably already received) that he has no real future in Buffalo. Peterman was thrown into the fire, and has been severely singed, with 5 interceptions in 30 minutes of play ringing in his brain. That will shake any quarterback, especially a rookie.
But the bigger negative message will have made its way to the team. By benching an established starter and experimenting with an unproven rookie, the Bills leadership has essentially told the team that they are quite prepared to throw away the season. That is a horrible message to send. It may actually cause the team to quit on the coaching staff.
No matter which way you analyze the decision to play Nathan Peterman, it was a terrible decision. The only saving grace is that the coaches realized that they had made a big mistake and re-inserted Tyrod Taylor for the second half, but with a leaky defense, and a second-rate offense, even Superman would have struggled to bring the Bills back from a 40-7 hole.
It would not surprise me if one or more heads roll in Buffalo next week. There was no saving grace, no visible upside from today’s events. There is nothing that the coaching staff can point to that was obviously good. They might argue from game tape that Peterman did X better than Taylor, but 54-24 as a box score will blow any of that pretty-pretty analysis to hell and back. If Twitter is any indication of fan reaction, the Bills fans were furious with the outcome, and they blame the coaching staff. Something may have to change.


Saturday Morning Music #3 – Rambling Syd Rumpo

Once upon a time…there was radio comedy (yes, folks, no visuals, just sound).
In the 1960s in the UK, radio comedy was still the primary comedy medium, although by the end of that decade it would be eclipsed by television.
Radio comedy operated under a lot of guidelines from the BBC, not least of which was the original BBC charter that obliged the BBC to “uphold the morals of the nation”. As far as The Authorities were concerned that meant one thing for sure.
Sex Must Not Be Mentioned.
So…the comedy writers, being the inventive people that they were, proceeded to punch through the prohibition by the use of innuendo. Radio comedy in that era was full of innuendo.
The comedy show “Round The Horne” was a prime example. “Round The Horne” was an anarchic melting pot of British radio comedy, with most of the famous names of UK comedy making appearances. The show was fronted by Kenneth Horne, who essentially operated as the straight man, attempting (usually unsuccessfully) to keep the rest of the cast and crew in line.
The show was not so much riddled with innuendo as it was powered by innuendo. It even had two stock characters (Julian and Sandy) who were flagrantly and obviously gay, this in an era where homosexuality was still a felony in the UK.
Like most radio comedy shows, the show had its collection of stock characters, many of them played by Kenneth Williams. The gifted Williams was, personality-wise, a classic tortured comedy genius, privately homosexual, but deeply conflicted about it. He would ultimately commit suicide due to depression. However, at this point in his life he was at the peak of his powers, a gifted mimic, with a fast acerbic wit that thrived in the seat-of-the-pants environment of “Round The Horne”.
One stock character created for the show that Williams played was Rambling Syd Rumpo.
Rambling Syd was a simple country guy from somewhere in the West Country of England, speaking in a caricature Dorset or Devon accent, who would show up almost every week. He would operate as a music educator, ultimately whipping out his guitar (in reality played by another musician) to sing a ditty, mostly some English traditional song with greatly altered lyrics.
Rambling Syd was a creation of writers Barry Took and Marty Feldman (yes, that Mary Feldman). In the process of creating him, Took and Feldman created an entire new lexicon for him to talk and sing. Words, mostly invented by Feldman, such as “grunge”, “nadgers”, “cordwangle”, “ganderbag”, “grussets” and “splod” were the staple currency of Rambling Syd’s verbal repertoire, as he proceeded to, ahem, re-interpret the traditional English song catalog in his own unique style.
Of course, since this was “Round The Horne”, the entire Rambling Syd slot in the show was an innuendo lover’s feast. The words just sounded naughty, and Kenneth Williams’ intro to the first tune on this Best Of tells you exactly where he was headed.
Trivia thought – this might have been the first time that the word “grunge” was popularized, prior to its appropriation by the Seattle indie rock scene in the 1980s.


Saturday Morning music – 18th November 2017

1. Kane Gang – Motortown
The Kane Gang were a short-lived band that originated in the North East of England in the early 1980s. They started out as an electronic pop trio, but soon morphed into a unique band with a style that was part US blue-eyed soul, English pop, with witty and often acerbic lyrcis. Unfortunately, the band imploded while recording their third LP and that was that.
“Motortown” is an acerbic satire about the Nissan car company’s new car plant that opened in the mid-1980s near Sunderland. At the time Nissan were hailed as saviours of the local economy, which was declining due to coal mine and industry closures. The Kane Gang put the whole hype into perspective with some suitably acerbic commentary.

2. Emerson Lake and Palmer – Fanfare For The Common Man
Keith Emerson was no stranger to re-interpreting the works of classical composers – he had re-arranged Mussorgsky’s “Pictures At An Exhibition” for ELP, generating an entire LP in the process. Having always liked Aaron Copland’s piece, ELP proceeded to re-work it for their 1976 LP “Works”.
They then proceeded to film a promotional movie for the tune in the Olympic Stadium in Montreal in the middle of the Canadian winter. Not sure how impressed the band members really were at being asked to film this video in sub-standard temperatures, all wearing winter coats that made them look like Michelin men.
In the film, Emerson is playing a unique and expensive multi-bank polyphonic synth – the Yamaha GX1 – a leviathan with a ludicrous price tag, owned by a handful of pioneering keyboard players at the time, including Emerson (who ended up with two), Stevie Wonder, John Paul Jones and Rick Wright of Pink Floyd.
Copland actually heard ELP’s version and was not entirely appalled by it…


The Houston Texans signing of Josh Johnson

The signing of Josh Johnson makes no football sense for the Houston Texans. Johnson last participated in the NFL as a player in 2013. He has not played in an NFL game since 2011.
One thing I learned a long time ago in IT is that if a project or an action makes no sense…that is because there is another reason for it, you just haven’t worked it out yet.
In the case of the signing of Josh Johnson, I see two separate messages being sent by the Houston Texans:

1. We are not racist
Johnson is African-American. His signing allows the Texans to claim that they have no animus against African-American players.

2. We will not sign Colin Kaepernick under any circumstances
The signing of a player who last played in the NFL in 2013, and who last played in a real game in 2011, sends the message that the Texans wold rather sign anybody else to play quarterback than Kaepernick. They would probably sign Vince Young before they signed Kaepernick.

In the context of the collusion complaint by Kaeernick, today’s events prove nothing. One team making a decision has nothing to do with collusion. IMHO, the signing of Johnson acts as a “f**k you” to Kaepernick, and makes the Texans ownership look like assholes. But then I don’t think that a billionaire NFL owner is likely to care what folks like me think. Those kinds of business leaders tend to only respect power and money.


The supposed Roger Goodell – Colin Kaepernick meeting

NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell apparently asked for a 1:1 meeting with Colin Kaepernick. It seems that he requested the meeting as long ago as October 31st, which is after Kaepernick and his legal team had announced that they were filing a collusion complaint against the NFL.
Although the initial leak claimed that Kaepernick had not formally responded to the invitation, it seems that he did in fact respond. In alignment with the policy of the NFLPA, Kaepernick said that he would attend the meeting on two conditions: (1) the subjects did not include his grievance claim for collusion, and (2) a mediator was present at the meeting. (2) has been part of the NFLPA policy on meetings with the Commissioner for a while. Quite simply, the NFLPA does not trust Goodell to act in the best interests of the players. The trust has been eroded by three consecutive issues: the new CBA is less favorable to the players in terms of revenue distribution, the players believe that the Commissioner has been abusing his powers to levy discipline, and now the Commissioner has been weaselling over the anthem protests.
The NFL apparently rejected the proposal for a mediator to be present, and so the meeting, in common with several other proposed meetings, is not going to happen in its originally proposed form. The NFLPA insists on a mediator being part of the process; the NFL is declining to have one involved.
What is also clear is that until quite recently Roger Goodell’s position as Commissioner was far from secure. His contract expires in 2019, and negotiations to give him a new 5 year contract had become bogged down, with several NFL owners (including Jerry Jones) said to be lobbying for additional performance clauses in the contract. However, it seems that Jones may now have removed himself from that process, which will allow a new contract to be finalized.
The deterioration in the relationship between the players and the NFL owners over the anthem protests is a visible result of a more fundamental tension that Goodell is stuck with; namely that 70+% of the players in the NFL are black, but over 70% of the audience and fans are white, and the NFL owners are (with one exception) older white men, some of them very politically conservative.
The bigger demographic issue that the NFL must also be aware of is that the average age of NFL supporters is steadily increasing. The current NFL does not have much appeal to younger people. The games are too long, the game is seen as violent, and the NFL has been seen as negligent in its tolerance of CTE and bad behavior at all levels as long as teams win games and are perceived as successful.
Right now, the relationship between the NFLPA and the commissioner is a fragile one, but Goodell is smart enough to realize that in 3 years’s time he will be leading a re-negotiation of the CBA, and he will need a much better relationship by then if that negotiation is to be a win:win. This will be especially true if NFL viewing figures continue to decline, meaning that there will be a lot less money to go around. The players felt that the owners screwed them over financially in the last CBA, so they will be taking a hard line on that issue, and the discipline process will also be on the table. This negotiation will be fractious. The NFLPA ought to be preparing for a lock-out.


Clues for why a Twitter user is a sockpuppet or bot

Now that I have been reading and absorbing data and clues on social media for the behavior of bots and sockpuppet accounts, it is getting easier for me to spot them.
While reviewing tweets about the affair in DC where a government contractor fired Juli Briskman for flipping the bird at Donald Trump from her road bike as his motorcade passed her, I came across a Twitter user named Therese tweeting a fairly standard slam against ms Briskman.
Using the hover button reveals the first clue:

251k tweets? That’s a lot of tweets…so I surfed over to her Twitter profile.
Clue #2 – only a Twitter member since October 2015, just over 2 years, and the account has tweeted 251k times? Quick math says an average of well over 300 Tweets a day. That’s a lot of tweets…

So then I ran “Therese” through analytics. The results for the tweet pattern are…not normal, at least not for a personally-operated account.

Note the two short periods of intense Tweeting (upwards of 30 tweets in a single hour), with a big separation. This is not a human tweeting randonly during the day.
So are there any further clues as to how “Therese” is generating some of those tweets? Well, yes, there are. Here is a snapshot of two recent tweets.

Note the “%s” characters at the end of the tweets. Those are string terminators used in Java and older version of Python.
Most probably, a lot of the activity on this account is automated, with the account’s controlling software (probably Python) running keyword searches for tweets, and copying those tweets into a table for re-tweeting. I suspect there is a bug in the code for copying tweets or embedding them in a posting script, which occasionally causes duplication of string terminators, thus leaving a second string terminator at the end of the re-posted Tweet.
Another interesting factoid: these tweets can be found, exactly the same, in other tweets by other Twitter users, even with the same %s spurious terminator. Other bots are propagating the same defective Tweet string.

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