Taboo Topics, Social Media and a Pretty Girl


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Taboo Topics, Social Media and a Pretty Girl

I’ve been feeling the wind start to shift for a while now. That shift is becoming more apparent.  A few days ago, I posted a photo from a recent shoot on Facebook and Instagram.  It got banned for “violating community standards” (pornography). Here is the image. Judge for yourself.  Yeah it’s sexy, but it’s also well within the standards. I’m not sure who reported it, or why the moderators at Instagram & Facebook proceeded to remove the photo. One way or the other, it’s a reminder that those platforms are not mine. I’m a guest in their house, and I have to play by their rules, no matter how stupidly or incorrectly they apply them._DSC1617_v2_BW final_edit_1500w 72ppi

I have two other friends who are very polarizing public figures who have depended on Facebook for their business, who have been severely harassed by Facebook. Cat Palmer, a controversial photographer and artist in SLC, had her Facebook page permanently disabled because someone accused her of impersonating…. herself.  Seems like that should be pretty easy for Facebook to sort out, but, no.  She lost 7 years of audience and community building and had to start a new Facebook account from scratch.  Men’s coach Sean Whalen was banned for 5 days for a mere controversial political post.  It’s a well known fact that Facebook and Instagram (Instagram is owned by Facebook, by the way), use algorithms to determine what you do and don’t see in your news feed. THEY DECIDE.  Facebook has become the mainstream media.

I’ll pass, thanks.

Though I’ll continue to use all of the social media platforms, here’s how it’s going to be moving forward:  What you see on social media will just be a watered down version of my work. If you want the full strength stuff, you’ll have to come here, to my website.

Things are getting crazy out there, ladies & gentlemen. Every week I’m a bit more amazed at how insane the world is becoming. Our society is quickly spiraling downward into a state of handing over our liberties for the illusion of security. This is a dark place that never ends well.

AND YET – I am hopeful!  As crazy as things are, many brilliant opportunities, technologies, ideas, and leaders are emerging!

The fact that you are even here reading this leads me to believe you are one of the few in society who care about social progress, life, love, and liberty. Otherwise, you probably wouldn’t like or care about my work. The way I see it, you and I are freedom fighters. This next war is not going to be fought with guns, though – it will be fought with ideas.  The battle ground is the life of the individual. The social progress we all crave will not come from the top down anymore. That’s an old paradigm that has died. The revolution will happen from the bottom up. One liberated individual at a time.

My goal is to create things that make you smile, inspire you, and ultimately, help you share the ideas of life, love and liberty in a fun way with the people in your circle. You are a leader. My goal is to help YOU become a more effective leader of those in your world. 


Sex, politics, and religion… these are the taboo topics. The things you get in trouble for bringing up at family dinner. So often the sensitive topics are the very ones that need to be discussed. So often these topics are the battle ground for freedom in the 21st century. It’s CRITICAL that you and I become very skilled at discussing difficult ideas in a way that relaxes and inspires people, rather than putting them on the defense. It’s my hope that the podcasts, books, photographs, and comedy that I create will help you facilitate that.

I’ve relied a lot on Facebook to put out word about new stuff over the past few years. It’s proving to be less and less reliable, and I have no faith of that improving, so it’s time to get serious about the email list.  If you want to receive email notifications about cool new things, get on board my mailing list:

Receive updates from Paul Duane:
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You should receive a confirmation email from me within 2 or 3 minutes of signing up. Be sure to send back the confirmation AND add my email address to your white list / approved / safe email address list.

That being said, welcome 😉

Here are some more of the photos from my shoot with Allison, for your viewing pleasure.

Makeup by Amber Dawn Powell

Hosiery by Cecilia de Rafael &



Gary Johnson in SLC 19 May 2016

IMG_6351Governor Gary Johnson is running for President of the United States as a Libertarian. Gov Johnson’s platform can be summarized as being socially liberal and fiscally conservative. People should be free to do what they choose, without government intervention, so long as they aren’t harming anyone else. Does this sound like you? Learn more about Gary here:

I had the opportunity to spend a few minutes talking with him – I can’t say enough about how articulate kind he is to everyone around him – truly a great leader.


See more of my photography here:

Confessions Of A Boudoir Photographer

For the past decade, I’ve been in the rather odd position of getting paid to have women get naked, or nearly so, in front of my camera. Some are for commercial clients such as hosiery companies. Some are everyday people who want to give sexy photos to someone special as a gift. Sometimes that special someone is themselves.  Here are a few things I’ve learned along the way about myself, people, and life:

  1. _DSC5635watermarkedThere are no perfect bodies. No matter how amazing you think someone looks on the street, those clothes hide some secrets. Everyone, no matter how seemingly perfect, has something that must be “dealt with” either in Photoshop, or in their own mind.
  2. I feel a lot of pressure:  Our society is saturated with images of perfection, and none of us are totally immune to it. I feel a huge responsibility to make my clients look amazing. It’s one thing to  make someone look kind of chubby when they are in their Christmas sweater… it’s another matter when they have put themselves in the most vulnerable spot imaginable: naked in front of a stranger holding a camera. One wrong angle, lighting pattern, or critique of a photo could leave someone worse than I found them. Of course, the opportunity exists to create something that really lifts them up and makes them feel more beautiful. Either way, the fewer clothes, the higher the stakes. It’s a painstaking process.
  3. Everyone wonders if there’s anything sexy happening off camera. The answer is no.
  4. Editorial portraiture is more interesting to me than sexy photos.  Yes, sexy is fun to shoot, absolutely… and expression is even more fun. 
  5. I don’t get hot and bothered over nudity anymore. I love the female form. It is poetic. Like  rock star on stage with a guitar and streaming lights, like the angular Teton Mountains, its curves and texture and mystery begs to be photographed. And sure, I used to be more easily amused when I was a younger man. Now, it’s just part of the job, just another body. There’s one caveat: To my lover, girlfriend or wife: when you share your nakedness with me, with intention, in the context of our love connection, your bare flesh fascinates and excites me endlessly. It’s all about the connection.

    Helmut Newton quote "the photographs don't arouse me"

    Helmut Newton quote “the photographs don’t arouse me”

  6. Sexy is a state of mind. It’s all about feeling gratitude for your physical being. It’s about reveling in your 5 senses. It’s about enjoying your sexual nature without any shame. If you don’t feel sexy, there’s nothing I’ll be able to do photographically to change your mind about that. Please, be nice to yourself. Love yourself. Learn to feel really good in your own skin.
  7. The Last 1o lbs are a lie part 1: Oh, how I wish I could have a dime for every person who has said, “As soon as I lose 10 more pounds, I’m in coming in for photos”.  It never happens. Also, it doesn’t matter because I can sculpt the light and add or subtract “20lbs” from you by moving the light just a few inches.
  8. The Last 1o lbs are a lie part 2: I’ll make this personal, tell me if you can relate. I have often created some kind of line in the sand, a “finish line” of sorts, that when I cross it, I’ll allow myself to be happy / worthy / sexy / whatever/. The line either constantly moves, or when I cross it I find that I’m not much happier than I was before, and create another one to chase after.  Happiness / sexiness / worthiness is something I can give myself permission to feel right now. Today. The second I place it out there in “tomorrow”, I’ve lost a small battle with my own shame. Give yourself permission to be amazing TODAY. You aren’t going to do it tomorrow. I promise. Do it today. Like, right now, while you are reading this.
  9. My mother and I don’t talk about my work.
  10. Being on set is pretty boring.  If you were a fly on the wall, this is what you would see and hear:“Ah, okay… you look gorgeous right there. I love the way your breasts look in that light…”
    [adjust a studio light]”How’s your boyfriend doing these days?”[click, click]
    “Stop! Okay. To the right a little…”
    [try a different f-stop or aperture setting]”Yeah? I bet Hawaii would be an amazing spot for your anniversary”[click]
    “Alright, you look constipated. Breathe a little..”
    [goddammit, my light trigger didn’t work…]
    “Step toward me 3 and a half inches. NO MORE. come, come, come. STOP! Too far… go back. okay, almost there…””Do you think you’ll end up having any kids someday?”
    [hoping we get this shot in before the sun goes down and kills this great window light]
    “Suck in… belly in…. suck ! SUCK IN! HOLD IT… okay… GOOD!”[click click click click]
    [hate having to tell women to suck in their belly even when they don’t seem to have one]”Yeah, I’ve got two daughters, 16 and 18, they are awesome…”
  11. Playboy used to be fun. Now it’s about the articles. And how to properly set up lighting for skin.  Those guys are masters.


    Not my photo… this glorious capture of the lovely Pamela Anderson was featured in Playboy Magazine in 1994

  12. Being a straight guy is a liability from a marketing perspective. See point #3 again.
  13. I’m in it for the money.  Look. I love photography, but I love riding my motorcycle even more.  If the money is right, I can be talked off of my bike, and into the studio. Regarding boudoir –   I’m really good at it, I create a very comfortable and positive experience for you, and that’s worth a lot of money. Also. Motorcycles are expensive. 😎
  14. I’ve seen lives change because of boudoir photography. One in particular comes to mind. I’ll call her “Rachel”. She entered my studio a plain-jane athletic type on the tail end of a failing marriage. Months later, I met her again. She almost looked like a different person. She was radiant, dressed in sexy, classy feminine ways, carried herself differently, and most importantly, started commanding the respect of people around her. She left her abusive husband, her business started booming, and she attracted an amazing love into her life. She explained, “I didn’t know that I other people could see me like that until I saw it in your studio”. This will forever be one of the high points of my photography career.

No matter what style I’m shooting, my artistic standard is best summed up in the words of Dr. Ferry Porsche, designer of the iconic sports car by the same name:

“If you can create something time cannot erode, something which ignores the eccentricities of particular eras or moments, something truly timeless, this is the ultimate victory.”


See more of my boudoir work, click the pretty picture below:

I am currently accepting new portrait commissions, and am available for travel nationwide. Contact me to discuss your photo shoot.

much love –
Paul DuanePaul Duane Photo Logo 2014 BLACK 300 wide300dpi


3 Things: The Collected Bucket Lists of Burners at Burning Man 2015

In 2013, I did a project called “3 Things: The Collected Wisdom of Burners at Burning Man 2013“. It proved to be such an awesome experience, both on, and off the Playa, that I decided to do a follow up project in 2015.

I wandered around Black Rock City and met people from all over the world. I asked them

“What are three things you want to do before you die, that you have not done yet?”

Here are their answers.

Recommended listening while you are perusing the images… a gorgeous set by Hernan Cattaneo, performed at the iconic White Ocean 2015 sound camp:


Kendra Sunderland – Henna Art Nude Shoot

Jahshua Photography-5075 1Kendra Sunderland, aka, “The Library Girl”, joined me in the studio for a special henna art session and photo shoot.  Later that evening, Kendra joined us for a special live edition of The Paul Duane Show. Check out video and photos from that night here. SUPER fun show!

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It’s been an interesting year to be a Mormon.  The excommunication of Kate Kelly from and the impending excommunications of other church members who are publicly questioning the status quo (John Dehlin, Alan Rock Waterman, and others) have shaken many people’s faith.  Many have questions about what it means to be a gay Latter-day Saint, with few comforting answers.  The Church’s oblique statements on why Blacks were denied the Priesthood for so long and the recent official confession that Joseph Smith did not literally translate Egyptian papyri leading up to The Pearl Of Great Price are unprecedented statements with serious implications.

And yet…Sunstone cover 162_cover-231x300

….something compels millions to hold to the idea of Mormonism. It means something special to so many people. I grew up LDS. My grandparents are all returned missionaries, as are both of my parents. I served a full time mission in Philadelphia. I was married in the Temple, was active and held priesthood callings through most of my 20’s. When I turned 29, I had experiences that caused me to take a step back and reconsider what faith meant in my life.

…as have millions of other Mormons.

It’s in the spirit of honest seeking, no pre-determined conclusions, of honoring one’s culture while being willing to question, that I have created this piece. A few years ago it was run as the cover of Sunstone Magazine.  I’m now offering it as a fine art print in a few different sizes.  I hope the image resonates with you and helps you on your path.

This unique quadriptych photograph of the Salt Lake LDS Temple is comprised of 4 different exposures produced on a Holga camera using Kodak Tmax 400 black & white film. This piece is offered in the following sizes:

  • 12×12 print only, $24.00
  • 20×20 print only, $59.00
  • 16×16 framed (slim black wood frame) $295
  • 24×24 framed (slim black wood frame) $395

Your photograph will be printed and shipped directly to your home.  Order yours today:


You may also enjoy “The Uttermost Farthing”:


Anberlin and Utah make a beautiful couple

Originally published at

In The Venue
supporting acts: Lydia, From Indian Lakes
article and photos by Paul Duane

Anberlin performed to a full house at In The Venue in Salt Lake City on 15 October 2013. The performance was part of a co-headlining tour with The Maine,with tour support by Lydia and From Indian Lakes. Anberlin was here on June 28th for their acoustic tour and commanded a very healthy crowd. How many bands can manage to return 3 ½ months later to find an equally robust crowd waiting for them again?

Whereas the last tour was a more mellow acoustic show, Tuesday’s show was plugged in and turned up to 11.  I interviewed Anberlin’s frontman, Stephen Christian prior to the show on Tuesday. Regarding the high octane setlist, Stephen said “This is the most fluid I feel like our setlist has ever been, at least in  the last 5 years. There’s not a song I’m disappointed we are playing. The whole thing ebbs and flows . I’m not sure there’s one standout track that makes that for me, but right now this setlist is awesome. We haven’t got a chance to play “Dance Dance Christa Paffgen” which comes off our second record… we haven’t had a chance to play it on this tour yet, and I’m hoping for it tonight. If that’s the case, that will be my favorite song.”

Anberlin_15oct2013-415The setlist turned out to be as follows:

Paperthin Hymn
We Owe This To Ourselves
The Resistance
Someone, Anyone
Day Late Friend
Unwinding Cable Car
City Electric
The Other side
Self starter
Feel Good Drag
encore: Godspeed

Anberlin plays Utah very regularly, perhaps more than any other national touring band. Stephen gushed about why they play here so often:  “Honestly, it’s probably the most… unbelievable crowd.  SLC is going to be up there (in the top 2 or 3 cities), if not our favorite. It’s magical, unbelievable, it’s just a staple. We are co-headlining with the maine and we were like, “I bet you are stoked to get back to SLC, and they said, “Nah, we actually don’t do that well there” That’s unbelievable! I thought Everyone does well there!”

Utah loves Anberlin. Hard. After the first few minutes of their performance, Stephen and bandmates seemed taken back by the thunderous cheering from the audience – they didn’t bask long though, getting right back to the business at hand. Throughout the night the crowd’s singing matched the band’s volume.  During “City Electric”, Stephen gave some love back to the crowd, substituting in “Salt Lake City’s electric tonight” during one of the choruses of “City Electric”, much to the crowd’s delight.

Anberlin released an LP called “Vital” in 2012; On the day of the show the band released an album called “Devotion” which is a re-issue of all the tracks found on Vital along with B-sides and  live tracks from the 2013 acoustic tour.  Stephen explained why the band chose to reissue the material:   “Universal Republic has been our label for the last 3 records. When Vital came out we felt like it was a  very soft push. Universal was very honest with us and said “Listen, you can stay on Universal as long as you want, but, we’re only going to push you this hard. It’s going to be very soft releases from here on out. We like you guys but we’re going in a different direction. The label has artists like Taylor Swift, Jack Johnson and these massive bands…. and then there’s Anberlin.  What an awesome experience to have worked with Universal Republic but we want to see if somebody else will take Vital.  We believe in the record. Critics and fans alike [believe in it]…. we didn’t want to lose that. We put way too much work into it. It’s like a work of art: the artist spends hours and hours painting it, and it takes almost a year to craft it, and then somebody at the gallery is like, “Were’ not going to show it. But if you sell it online, then that’s good for you.”  This company out of Tampa , this indie label said, “We’ll buy you out of your contract with Universal, we’ll buy Vital, we believe in it that much. We love the record, we know there are singles, we know the band has history, we know you can sell records.”  It’s not a permanent switch, it’s just a parenthesis of our career. We have no idea where we’re going next. After this release of Devotion, we can go back to Universal, we can resign with this Big3 [record label], it doesn’t matter. Devotion is kind of a parenthesis in our career and the fact that we knew we had to push Vital and Big3 wanted to push it as well.”

Anberlin_15oct2013-369Cutesy couples constituted a large portion of the audience, and there’s reason for it. Anberlin writes catchy, heartfelt love songs that have real staying power. Though incurably romantic, their songs eschew candy coated takes on love in favor for the nuances, layers, and the often complicated endings that love brings.  When asked about the romanticism of Anberlin songs, Stephen Christian gushed. “I am completely a romantic at heart. I like to pretend like I’m a fighter with my flannel shirt and my tattoos…. I hate to admit that I was that guy in high school that liked poetry … E.E. Cummings, T.S. Eliot, I liked it all.   The problem is, with romance in movies and cartoons and Disney and all this stuff is there’s a ‘happy ever after’ –  and it’s not. Anybody that’s been in love for an extended period of time or made a vow or a commitment knows that its not all love .  There are moments when that feeling dissipates and it becomes a choice. Sure, you can feel it again, and it’s fine, but it’s not going to be this lifelong feeling of giddiness where you’re  floating where nothing else matters and money doesn’t’ matter and life doesn’t matter and credit cards don’t matter and the mortgages and kids and whatever else that comes in your life…. it’s not this colossal floating. There are moments: pinnacles and peaks and valleys and caverns… songs like, for instance, “Inevitable”, where it talks about “we end up hurting the worst the ones that we love” That is absolutely true. If you truly love them and if they truly love you . If you love each other more than anyone on this whole world , you’ve pulled down every wall . They’ve seen your chest and your insides and your anatomy and physiology and that means they have a direct access to hurt the crap out of you. That person that you love the most is the most easy for you to attack and hurt and vice versa .  I try not to make the love songs where it’s just like “we’re all just going to float on”. Even in “I’d Like To Die” talks about the inevitable death  .  There has to be a natural balance to it all . I’m not going to be in a Disney movie were the prince kisses you and, holy crap, you’ve beat a witch and you live happily ever after –  because the witch keeps coming back. She keeps coming back over and over in different forms . It might be a dwarf. It might be the prince. It might be whatever. It’s going to come, it’s going to happen. I stole the line from Dylan Thomas [for the name of their 2010 album name]  where he says  “dark is the way, light is a place”. Same difference with love. You are going to come into dark moments. If you truly love that person, if you have truly made those commitments, if you truly believe those vows, then it’ll be back . Light is a place. there is still hope. There is still love.  “I’d like to die” [is the ultimate Anberlin love song] because it’s the most sincere, earnest, real.”


Speaking of relationships, we talked about the band and what it’s like to manage the artistic whims of 5 very talented guys with varying musical proclivities over the long haul: “I do [get that itch to explore outside the Anberlin sonic tradition] but I think that bands that get that itch need to start side projects. Within the 5 of us, there are 3 side projects:  a punk rock band, an indie rock band, and whatever my project is.  I don’t feel like you should stray. People found you because of that formula. If you are going to switch the formula to be unrecognizable, just quit. Start a new band. You are ruining and tainting a name, and the fans aren’t coming with you. If you ever want to go back, now you are just fighting an uphill battle. Take a year off, go start a side project, tour with it, come on back when you’ve got a dose of reality and you can stop being cool. For us in Anberlin, we do have a sonic tradition… there has to be a moment of evolution, adaptation, to wherever the climate is shifting or wherever you feel you should be shifting with the natural progression of musicianship. Hopefully you are becoming a better songwriter, a better listener, a better writer. All those things better take place or you’re just re writing that same first record over and over and over. As soon as you get sidetracked from who you are or who you were, then it’s over.”


I’ve been attending and photographing Anberlin shows for seven years. I’ve watched the love affair between Utah and Anberlin develop. This is more than just a fling; I think we want to marry Anberlin. The energy of the crowd on Tues night confirmed my suspicion that the passion is still hot. As I wrapped up the interview on the tour bus prior to the show, I asked Stephen what message he’d like to leave with the SLC fans. In his characteristically humble, anti-rockstar, gracious manner, he spouted “Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you.”


3 Things: The ladies of Jouissance

I recently joined my friend Nick James at his hair salon, Jouissance, in Salt Lake City.  I asked his clients the question:

Imagine that I handed you a microphone; when you speak into it, the whole world can understand and hear you at the same time.  You can make 3 statements. What would you say?









Burning Stan

Okay. I just had to share something awesome with you…

Some of you may have seen the little photo essay I did while at Burning Man, the “3 Things” project:

Two weeks later, I got word that a teacher in North Carolina had seen my project and was inspired to have her kids do likewise:

Today, the Official Burning Man Blog featured this whole story:

Before I share what happened next, I should explain one aspect of the Burning Man experience for those who have not yet been.  The drive into Black Rock City is arduous. From SLC, it’s an 8 hour drive along I-80 toward Reno.  Just before arriving into Reno, you exit onto a small road called Route 447 that proceeds north for 97 miles, deep into the northern Nevada desert.  That 97 mile drive happens along a 2 lane road (one lane each direction) and 68,000 other Burners are making the same trek. It took me from 6 pm until 3 am to complete that leg of the journey.  When you arrive at the Black Rock Desert, you can start to see the lights of Burning Man off in the distance. the anticipation is tedious yet kind of delicious. The one lane of traffic divides into 4 lanes, which divides into 8, and into 12, or something close to that. A huge swath of vehicles slowly proceed along the entrance route toward the gate. After presenting your ticket, you proceed to the final stage of the journey before finding your camp: the welcome gate. The person at the welcome gate asks you to get out of your car, and gives you a HUGE hug and says, “Welcome Home!” It’s quite a remarkable initiation into what will prove to be the most remarkable week of your year. You are given a map of the city and a schedule of all the happenings – and then you drive toward your camp.   Hopefully this next part will make more sense now.

A few minutes ago, I received the following email:

Hi Paul —

Just wanted to share a brief anecdote about the guy in this picture (Caveat: I’m 98% certain it was this guy, but with the burn… sometimes hard to be 100% on anything):

It was my third year at the burn. Our camp always does a greeter shift. This was my third. This year it was Wednesday 4am-8am. In the “organizer” role for my camp, I didn’t actually man a gate — I spent most of my time walking back and forth, directing traffic, making sure everything was moving fine.  What that really means is: anytime a line of cars started to develop I’d talk to the people in cars to keep their stress level low.

This guy was in a truck. I walked up, started talking, and it was his turn to pull up to the greeter gate.

I asked if he wanted a hug.

“Sure!” He didn’t just say it, he sort of flung it out there. At greeter gate, not everyone actually wants to get out for a hug. But this guy… He was downright gleeful on the prospect.

He opens his car door and then starts to pull pieces of metal from the passenger seat. It takes me a moment to realize…

…this guy is putting together his wheelchair.

In my cumulative 12 hours working greeter shift, he is the only guy I have ever seen who is wheelchair bound and drove himself into BRC [Black Rock City].

He hoists himself from the driver’s seat to the wheelchair, gives us all hugs, then gets back into the car, disassembles the wheelchair, and drives off into the city.

And he was *boisterous* — literally, filled with JOY — the entire time.

I’ve greeted bus loads of people. I’ve greeted hundreds of virgins. Hundreds and hundreds of Burners.

But this guy will always stand out in my mind. Because he didn’t just overcome his hardship, he straight up murdered it; and because he was so filled with joy at being home, at being back in BRC, at being part of the community.

Thanks again for reminding me, and of giving me a picture of him to keep.

In that vein…

Thanks so much for your project!  I hope you had an amazing virgin burn and hope to see you out on the Playa next year — my camp is the Mystikal Misfits and we are generally located at either 4:30 & B or (as was the case this year) at 4:30 & C.

With hugs,


 Here is the photo that he was referring to:

This is Stan Clawson. He is a burner from Salt Lake City, and was one of the participants in my “3 Things” photo essay. Though I’ve only met him twice, I can vouch for the abundant good energy this guy packs along. I was really moved by this story, especially because I was in such a crabby mood when I got to the welcome gate where this story took place, where Stan was so joyous.

I was hesitant to blog and talk about Burning Man yet AGAIN… but how could I get an email like this and not share it with you guys? This is just another small slice of heaven that happens out on the Playa. Stan is an awesome guy, and I had to share this. I hope it doesn’t embarrass him too much.  I am so grateful to everyone and everything that made it possible for me to experience Burning Man this year.  The moral of the story here?

Always say YES, especially to hugs and guys with cameras that want to take your picture.

Share your gift, whatever it is.

You never know how your story, your smile, hug,  or experience, will help someone out.

Be like Stan.