Useful, accessible information on circulation and audience development for magazine publishing professionals.

December 12th 2017

is the 346th day of the year and there are 19 days remaining until the end of the year.



Britain has recorded its coldest night of the year so far, with temperatures plunging lower than Moscow and Oslo.

U.S. talk show host Jimmy Kimmel had tears in his eyes as he held his baby son in front of the cameras and made a passionate plea over children's healthcare.

The suspect (you know, the guy found with a bomb strapped to his leg!) being held after an attempted terror attack at New York City's main bus terminal has said it was in retaliation for U.S. attacks on so-called Islamic State, US media say.

Alabama voters are heading to the polls in a Senate election
that could have wider implications for Donald Trump - and women's rights in general.

Singer-songwriter Neil Young's extensive collection of model trains have fetched nearly $300,000 at auction, along with classic cars and musical equipment owned by the 72-year-old folk-rock icon.

The rate of inflation in the U.K. rose to a near six-year high of 3.1% in November - led by a hike in the cost of air travel and computer games.

Oscar Pistorius has been injured after getting involved in a prison fight.

U.K. rail companies are allowing passengers to buy tickets for
services that will not be running over the Christmas break, according to new research.

Britain's best-known publicist, Max Clifford, died on Sunday after collapsing in prison, where he was serving an eight-year sentence for indecently assaulting teenage girls in the 1970s and 1980s.

Buckingham Palace released on Monday a new portrait of Prince Philip, painted by Australian-born artist Ralph Heimans in the year that Queen Elizabeth's husband announced his retirement from active public life.

Hundreds of thousands of ultra-Orthodox Jews crammed into the streets of a Tel Aviv suburb on Tuesday to mourn a 104-year-old rabbi who had significantly influenced a succession of Israeli coalition governments.

The U.K. Government is scrambling to avoid a defeat on key Brexit legislation just hours before the Prime Minister travels to an EU summit on Thursday.

Sam Dastyari, an Australian senator, has pledged to resign following politically damaging revelations about his dealings with a Chinese businessman.

Several influential figures responsible for creating the internet have demanded that a controversial vote be cancelled. It refers to the principle that all traffic on the internet is treated equally. The pioneers said the F.C.C. did not know what it was doing.

Canada's provinces will be getting the lion's share of the lucrative taxation revenues from legal cannabis.

The defect that causes the neurodegenerative disease Huntington's has been corrected in patients for the first time; an experimental drug, injected into spinal fluid, safely lowered levels of toxic proteins in the brain. The research team, at University College London, say there is now hope the deadly disease can be stopped.

I.T.V. has confirmed there will be a third series of royal drama Victoria after this year's Christmas Day special.

Russia's transport minister has said Moscow is ready to resume direct flights to Egypt, more than two years after a Russian passenger plane crashed as it left Sharm el-Sheikh airport.

No trade takes place between Thailand and North Korea, Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-ocha said on Tuesday, ahead of an expected visit by a U.S. envoy seeking to step up pressure on North Korea over its weapons programs.

San Francisco Mayor Ed Lee died suddenly early Tuesday morning.

Celebrity chef Mario Batali was abruptly removed from his role as co-host of "The Chew" on Monday amid sexual harassment allegations that span over a period of at least 20 years.

Apple is buying Shazam, a popular app that identifies music for users by listening to a short snippet of it.

President Donald Trump wants to send humans back to the moon — and on to Mars.

Uber rival Lyft launches today in Toronto. The two companies will begin a battle not just for customers, but also for drivers, as many plan to double dip. 


1574 – Anne of Denmark (d. 1619)
1610 – Basil of Ostrog, Serbian monk and saint (d. 1671)
1806 – Stand Watie, American general (d. 1871)

1893 – Edward G. Robinson, American actor (d. 1973)

1915 – Frank Sinatra, American singer, actor, and producer (d. 1998)
1928 – Helen Frankenthaler, American painter and academic (d. 2011)

1931 – Lionel Blair, English actor
1938 – Connie Francis, American singer and actress
1949 – Bill Nighy, English actor
1962 – Tracy Austin, American tennis player and sportscaster

1966 – Ian Paisley, Jr., Northern Irish politician
1970 – Regina Hall, American actress
1975 – Mayim Bialik, American actress
1994 – Otto Warmbier, American student (d. 2017)
1996 – Lachlan Croker, Australian rugby league player

2013 – Audrey Totter, American actress (b. 1917)

2008 – Van Johnson, American actor (b. 1916)
1978 – Fay Compton, English actress (b. 1894)
1976 – Jack Cassidy, American actor (b. 1927)
1843 – William I of the Netherlands (b. 1772)

1475 – Joan of Portugal, Queen of Castile (b. 1439)


1787 – Pennsylvania becomes the second state to ratify the United States Constitution, five days after Delaware became the first.

1862 – American Civil War: USS Cairo sinks on the Yazoo River, becoming the first armored ship to be sunk by a controlled mine.

1897 – Belo Horizonte, the first planned city in Brazil, is founded.

1911 – Delhi replaces Calcutta as the capital of India.

1911 – King George V of the United Kingdom and Mary of Teck are enthroned as Emperor and Empress of India.

1939 – HMS Duchess sinks after a collision with HMS Barham off the coast of Scotland with the loss of 124 men.

1940 – World War II: Approximately 70 people are killed in the Marples Hotel, Fitzalan Square, Sheffield, as a result of a German air raid.

1948 – Malayan Emergency: Batang Kali massacre: Fourteen members of the Scots Guards stationed in Malaya allegedly massacre 24 unarmed civilians and set fire to the village.

1963 – Kenya gains its independence from the United Kingdom.

1964 – Prime Minister Jomo Kenyatta becomes the first President of the Republic of Kenya.

1983 – The Australian Labor government led by Prime Minister Bob Hawke and Treasurer Paul Keating floats the Australian dollar.

1985 – Arrow Air Flight 1285, a McDonnell Douglas DC-8, crashes after takeoff in Gander, Newfoundland, killing all 256 people on board, including 236 members of the United States Army's 101st Airborne Division.

2000 – The United States Supreme Court releases
its decision in Bush v. Gore.

Oh the aches and pains of the new fifty!
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For previous 'And Another Thing' articles, click here.

The Myths of Circulation.
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For previous 'Straight Talk' articles, click here. publishes cartoons from time to time; to check out some of the best, click here.

Day 346 of 365: Neutrality Day (Turkmenistan); Kanji Day (Japan); Constitution Day (Russia).
News Corp. have announced they are to pull out of being audited by the Audited Media Association of Australia. News Corp. say 'the decision had come following an extensive review with more than 100 advertisers and agencies. However trying to find even one of those advertisers and agencies seems to be proving elusive.

'Nunn Media’s managing director Chris Walton confirmed: “I was not approached and to my knowledge neither were any of our clients in Sydney”,' reports Zoe Samios at Mumbrella and indeed some agencies are questioning 'the publisher’s commitment to transparency.'

Enhanced Media Metrics Australia (EMMA) will provide audience data but more and more the type of "reader" is more important than the number, and dare we say quality? For more, click here.

Born in May 1929 Marshall Robert Loeb was an American author, editor, commentator and columnist specializing in business matters.

Mr. Loeb was born in Chicago and was awarded a degree from the University if Missouri.

He worked for Time Inc. from 1956 to 1994 and wrote over 130 articles for Time magazine and also served as managing editor of not only Fortune magazine but also Money magazine.

During his tenure at Fortune, Loeb was credited with expanding the traditional focus on business and the economy with added graphs, charts and tables, as well as the addition of articles on topics such as executive life, and social issues connected to the world of business, such as the effectiveness of public schools and on homelessness. Loeb stepped down as managing editor of Fortune in May 1994 upon hitting Time Inc.'s mandatory retirement age of 65 after 38 years working for the company's network of magazines

Ryan Lizza the well known political reporter for both C.N.N. and the New Yorker is not longer a reporter for either C.N.N. and the New Yorker.

It seems as though he has been "suspended" by C.N.N. which we presume means he might be back if their investigation into alleged sexual misconduct proves groundless. The New Yorker seem to be more definite. They say: 'We have reviewed the matter and, as a result, have severed ties with Lizza. Due to a request for privacy, we are not commenting further' reports Erica Pandey at For more from her, click here.

It was the topic du jour of the 'the annual Hearst 100 luncheon' says Kara Bloomgarden-Smoke at Women's Wear Daily. Joanna Coles was the host to a 'lineup of power women — and Hearst men — at Michael’s' yesterday.

'As in years past, the event' says Ms. Bloomgarden-Smoke 'drew an eclectic crowd from across industries. Guests included Katie Holmes, Sarah Jessica Parker, Candice Huffine, Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards, Norah O’Donnell, Stephanie Ruhle, Arianna Huffington, producer Amy Pascal, power posing expert Amy Cuddy, New York City Deputy Mayor Alicia Glen, E Street band member (and Bruce Springsteen spouse) Patti Scialfa, screenwriter Liz Hannah, who was in town to promote the Katharine Graham biopic “The Post,” and tennis legend Billie Jean King.' For more, click here.
'FourFourTwo and Haymarket Media have announced the publication of GOAL! using the FourFourTwo team’s expertise in both football and magazine making.'

It will be edited by David Hall and the publications is aimed at the 7 - 11 years old market.

Laura Rutkowski at the P.P.A. notes 'the pilot issue is bagged free with the January edition of FourFourTwo magazine, which is on sale now'. For more, click the ball!
'Dylan Jones, Editor of British GQ and Editor-in-Chief of GQ Style, [has] announced a number of new hires to the magazine' says Laura Rutkowski at the P.P.A.

Among the newbies are Luke Day as the fashion director, Teo van den Broeke has been appointed as Style and Grooming Director of British GQ AND Elgar Johnson has been promoted to Deputy Editor of GQ Style.

There are more, click here for those.

'Into' Taps Trish Bendix As Managing Editor, Boasts Strong Q1 Numbers. No Longer Just Purveyors of Ad Space, Publishers Must Learn to Sell Their Content Expertise. We’re Still Here: Media Buyers Keep the Print Faith. How gossip magazines tackled the year’s juiciest stories.

Day 345 of 365: Pampanga Day (Pampanga province, Philippines); National Tango Day (Argentina); International Mountain Day.
Merle Ginsburg at the New York Post says 'the Vanity Fair Oscar party' and the 'Met Gala in Manhattan' may look quite similar this year, and it is all due to Dame Anna as 'tongues are wagging.'

So, we hear you cry "what is making them wag?" Ms. Ginsburg says it is because Dame Anna 'editor-in-chief of Vogue, editorial director for Condé Nast and Met Gala host — will helm the VF Oscar party as well. This despite Vanity Fair having a brand-new editor, Radhika Jones, who takes over' today.

It is fun to think there might be an out-and-out fight between Dame Anna and Ms. Jones, sunglasses at dawn type of thing, but we suspect what the Dame wants, the Dame gets - at least for now. For more, click here.

'Charlie Sheen had one message for the National Enquirer' according to Nicole Bitette at the New York Daily News, and that message is "game over!"

Back in November (seems to long ago doesn't it?) the Enquirer published a story that Charlie Sheen raped Corey Haim, Haim being thirteen at the time, Sheen nineteen.

'Sheen is suing National Enquirer executive Dylan Howard and actor Dominick Brascia, who claims in the story that Haim told of him the incident, for defamation and false light' reports Ms. Bitette. Someone however says Charlie Sheen did not abuse Corey Haim, Corey's mom - but she notes 'someone did.' For more, click here.
'The Boston Herald will be sold to Gatehouse Media, while also filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection' report D.B. Hebbard at Talking New Media. You may be wondering why they would file for chapter 11 if they are being sold and the reason is 'the filing will be an attempt to renegotiate its debts and allow GateHouse Media to pick up the property at a lower cost and without pension liabilities' says Mr. Hebbard.

For more, click here.

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Content marketing specialists know there is a great return on investments especially when teamed up with a quality telemarketing... Ronen Ben-Dror explores some options. Click here to read.

Native advertising is here to stay, probably. It is a good thing, possibly. So why can't Glen Martin decide whether he likes native or not? Click here to read.

We act as if “native advertising” is something new, so what is it and how should we best use it... an introduction to "native advertising!" Click here to read.

Just how safe is your data? With so much data held by publishers, could it be "hacked?" Elaine Tyson and Roy Beagley asked the people that know, the fulfillment bureaus themselves. Click here to read.

The Interactive Advertising Bureau found that more than a third of web traffic is fraudulent and BPA says only 40% of ads measured are actually viewable, but how much of a problem is this? Click here to read more....

Telemarketers are well aware of the Personal Identifier Question and recent changes in rules regarding the PIQ have caused somewhat of a debate in the industry. Ronen Ben-Dror of Blue Valley Telemarketing takes a look at what gives. Click here to read more....

Customers of telemarketing services often commission work without undertaking even the most elementary checks. What should the informed customer look for when choosing an outbound telemarketing agency? Click here to read,

Publishers need to address the USPS's suggested increase before it is too late. Click here to read,

Social media channels today are playing an interesting role in the future and the publishing world now views social media as a positive exchange with subscribers, so To Tweet or Not to Tweet, That Tis the Question Click here to read more....

How Well Do You Know Your Audience? The more you know, says Ronen Ben-Dror, this could eliminate the battle of qualifying leads. Click here to read more....

When executing a direct mail program, you should give lots of thought to the requirements of merge/purge. This could end up saving you a great deal of money, not forgetting making your life a great deal easier. Karen Tyson explains...

5 Mistakes You Should Avoid When Planning Your Audience Development Efforts by Kinjal Husges. Click here to read more....

To develop a realistic circulation forecast based upon current economic, industry, and company conditions is part of any circulation director's job. Benefit from the accountant's view and read Peter Sangiorgio's 5 Simple Tips to consider when developing a Circulation Budget. Click here for Peter's insight.

Businesses that put their customers front and center will ultimately win and the secret to successfully scaling CRM practices into any large organization is to really understand your markets. Benefit from Pam's years of experience and learn how to segment your file and become a success. Click here for Pam's insight.

Sending out a direct mail campaign requires a good lettershop operation... Karen Tyson explains....

For years the concept of earning and deferring income has confused many, but it is not that difficult. Get the facts behind earned and deferred income from Peter Sangiorgio. Click here to read more....

To be added to the weekly alert, complete the form below. Or click here to send an email.

Cash flow is probably the most important resource any business has. Benefit from Peter's insight and knowledge. Click here to read this exclusive article.

Circulation can be an asset on a sales call. Peter Lenahan explains what to do, and as importantly not what to do in this exclusive article. Click here!

How to manage a telemarketing campaign and make it work for you. Karen Tyson explains....

While all major publishers maintain marketing databases, it is just as important for small publishers too. Pam would argue it’s more important than ever to maintain a database as a tool for identifying, developing and implementing strategy. Click here!

Getting a direct mail package printed takes advance planning. Karen Tyson has some thoughts and ideas as to how to make this sometimes daunting prospect easier to handle... Karen Tyson explains....

Rebecca Sterner is one of the most respected people in the audience development job function. Now you can benefit from Rebecca's knowledge on Setting Up an Auto Renewal Program. Click here.

Enjoy and benefit from this exclusive article for written by Peter Lenahan who explains why the circulation staff keep the sales force motivated, and how that benefits all concerned. Click here!

Reader's response: One of most intelligent articles I have ever read on ad sales and the all-important relationship with circulation. Well said. Harry S, Sacramento, Calif - via email.

Free magazines are different from "Controlled" as we all know, but the distinction is becoming less and less relevant to advertisers. Click here!

Evaluating how a campaign is working while agents are in the process of communicating with current or potential clients, live monitoring is an essential tool. Can companies afford to waste all those efforts on a careless approach to monitoring the campaign? Of course not. Click here to read more....

An accurate call list is an extremely important aspect in waging a successful telemarketing campaign. Scrubbing the list is the responsibility of the publishing company and the telemarketing agency. Click here to read more....

Virtually all marketing campaigns are most successful when they employ a multi-channel approach to a targeted audience... even in the "all-digital" world. Click here to read more....

On October 16th last year, a new regulation from the FCC went into effect. Ronen Ben-Dror asks how does the FCC rule affect you in the B2B environment? Click here to read more....



WWD does good email subscription promotions.  This one is hard to resist.  It’s got a good subject line – “URGENT:  Prices Going up in July.  Lock in Lower Rate Today”.  The email subject line is just like envelope teaser copy – it has to pull prospects into the promotion and this one accomplishes the mission.

The copy and design is clean, colorful and loaded with benefits – the biggest of course is “Beat the prince increase!  Last chance for Current Rate”.

And, if you order with this offer, you can also save 20% on the 6 month online access price and pay only $59.  It looks as if this might actually be a last chance.  And, it’s always good to think a last chance offer might actually be a last chance for something.  This offer was overused in mail efforts – but you don’t see it as often in email. The offer is used to good effect here.

There’s a prominent Subscribe button to make ordering easy.  Following that is a picture of the web site and arrows that call out the features of the site.  Clearly, WWD offers a lot for the money.  And as subscription promotions are all about the offer, this is a winner. To see a larger version of the offer, click here.

This TV Guide gift effort is colorful and loaded with smart ideas – a two for one offer, special donor renewal price, holiday gift cards, multiple premiums and a reply-by date to move prospects along.

This is a very good email offer for a subscription to the print edition of WWD.  There is a lot to recommend the creative.  First, the email looks the way you expect WWD to look – smart, elegant and intriguing.

Second, the copy is filled with proven direct marketing technique.  The headline says “Summer Special for Industry Insiders” and that’s an appeal to the recipient’s ego.  It’s very flattering to be considered an industry insider and to be recognized as such by an industry leader such as WWD is even more appealing.  If done correctly, flattering prospects is a smart move.

There is a very strong subscription offer being made and the email leads with that offer – a 34% price saving on a six month subscription.  Offers drive promotions and it’s important as a marketer to remember that fact. 

You can’t miss the call to action – a GET IT NOW button to order coupled with a prominent respond by date.  This technique generally moves prospects along to order as it creates a fear of missing out.  Direct marketers have used reply by dates for years and years in mailed offers.

There are also benefits offered in addition to the special subscription price – more content, a new, bolder look and “extras” such as daily email of top stories and three issues of Beauty Inc.

This email offer uses smart direct marketing technique developed through many years of print campaign testing and marries it to the immediacy of email.  It’s difficult to ask for more.

We recently received an interesting direct mail package offering a subscription to House Beautiful magazine.  It’s interesting for a number of reasons. Click on the picture below for more details.
The New York Times wants me back - nice. An outer envelope that perforates on the right, left and top which then revels a single order form and a postage paid reply envelope (not shown.) It is an interesting offer '50% off for 16 weeks' - the 50% off I understand, but the 16 weeks has me a tad confused... more than a quarter, less than a half and not quite a third. If it was intended to get me thinking, it did.

I can get all the digital elements my little heart desires and access to Ordering is made easy, I can phone, go online even use the USPS and try and reduce their losses.

Sadly, the reason I canceled my subscription weighs heavier on my mind as does the all-singing, all dancing offer I received, so for the moment NYT - thanks, but no thanks. To enlarge the image on the left, click on the image.
We recently received the regular offer from Opera News and this offer, like our old nanny Mary Poppins is practically perfect in every way. '3 Risk-Free Issues' always a vote grabber, a free gift offer of a CD, an involvement device, savings of 68%, and a reply by instruction. We may have died and gone to heaven!

Inside, or the reverse depending on your point of view, 'Free' is mentioned not once, nor twice but four times in as many paragraphs and an excellent re-stating of what we are going to get, or not if we don't reply in ten days. The Free issues are even restated on the reply card. Whoever wrote and designed this should be sent a bag of onions, because they sure as hell know them. It looks good, does all the right things and Opera News mail it regularly, so we can conclude that it works for them. (Click here or on the thumbnail to view larger image.

We received our monthly renewal offer from TV Guide this week, and it does all the right things and looks good, and makes ordering very simple. As with many publications the actual renewal date is not mentioned, something which annoys me as a subscriber, but pleases me as a marketer - can you tell I am a Gemini? IF you click on the image above, you can see what happens at the ordering stage, although this is made as simple as possible. Interestingly, for an online order form, and a renewal form at that, TV Guide offers a Bill Me option.
Here's a good offer from Oracle Magazine for a qualified controlled publication. It has good benefits copy and makes requesting Oracle Magazine easy with a couple of "Subscribe Now" buttons.  There is interesting PS copy offering a new publication for those who might be interested in Java Magazine as well as Oracle. The design is clean, uncluttered and attractive. To view the offer, click here. Not sure why the publisher is only offering six free issues, but given the quality of the promotion there must be a very good reason.

Here is the latest offering from People magazine. Nice personalized outer envelope, and a simple and concise brochure showing good covers and copy that sells the subscription. To order, it's old school, snail mail - no mention of ordering via the web anywhere. Nice package and well done to People for knowing that direct mail via the post office is still a good way to get orders.

Click on the image to see large versions.
Here’s what appears to be an advance renewal offer from Vegetarian Times.  It’s a renewal sweeps – smart idea because the original sub order was placed through PCH.  We’re assuming it’s an advance renewal as only one copy of the subscription has been received thus far.  The offer is a strong one –a 78% saving on the renewal plus a chance to win $25,000 (along with other prizes).  Package includes clever “sweeps” techniques on the outer envelope, an offer deadline and small flyer detailing prizes.  Good job, Vegetarian Times!

Click on the image to see large versions.
We received this double postcard from GQ magazine. The card looks great, has a nice cover and a nice free gift, but also has a rather confusing offer. '24 issues of GQ for only $20.00 - that's 83c (plus 17 cents shipping and handling) per issue; in other words $24.00 then. If you add 83 cents to 17 cents, you get $1.00 which if you then multiply by 24 issues you get $24.00. Click on the image to see large versions.
When my subscription of 'The Week' arrived last week, inside the envelope was an offer for 12 issues of 'The Oldie' magazine. As far as I am aware these magazines are independent of each other, but have a great deal in common.

This is a nice way of promoting a magazine that is probably already known to readers of another magazine and would be fairly cheap to produce and execute. Nice offer. Click on the image for a larger view of the outside and inside.
Always nice to get something from 'The Economist' as they always do things so well.

A free copy of 'The World in 2013' is a nice incentive for the readers among us, and a free tablet cover for the tecchies to boot - which also indirectly pushes the digital version.

The predominant red is great as it screamed "ECONOMIST" as soon as I opened my email. Oh and 69c a copy, they got me! [Click here or on image for large version].
'People' really knows how to use it's house file. Good offer, nice creative and use of personalization.

The offer is strong and the order form is pre-populated - what's not to love?
(Click on the image to see larger size and also the order form page.

This is an interesting offer. On the one hand it pushes newsstand sales, you can save $1.00 if you print out the coupon. However if you clicked on the Save $1.00 link you can also subscribe and get eight issues free.

An offer is an offer,
even though this offer
is not publishing related,
it has ignored basic
promotion rule 1-0-1:
Know Thy Prospect!


To view larger size, click on the above image.

A recent offer from People magazine. It looks simple but a great deal of thought has gone into this offer, not least the cover featured on the tablets.

To view larger size, click on the above image.
Let's state it up front - we know the email at the end of the link is spam. Even so, it is a great example of why some design is a good thing in email promotions - even text only promotions. We cannot believe anyone who got this email would even have got so far a clicking a link! Click here to see the email, which is a screen shot taken from our computer.

Rebecca Sterner wrote on CircSpot on how to set up an autorenewal. It just so happens that today we received our auto renewal for Time. In all honesty we had not planned to renew it, but it is done, and although we could cancel it, $81.00 for 56 issues is not worth the hassle of canceling, so we guess the auto renewal worked... at least in our case.

To view larger size, click on the above image.
A reader looked for something on the Times of London web site, and this popped up while the page they wanted to view was loading. He liked it, took a picture, and sent it to us - thanks Glyn C-R of Buckinghamshire.

To view larger size, click on the above image.

A reader subscribed to Fast Company and paid $10.00 for a subscription. After placing the order, they received an email offering a $5.00 credit if she can get another person to subscribe in the next 6 hours. This seemed like a very clever idea to the the person who sent us the information - and we agree.

To view larger size, click on the above image.

Here's a nice promotion from The Nation.  It's quick to read, offers an invitation to receive exclusive free offers - it's a flattering offer and comes from a credible publication.

It ultimately leads you to a subscription landing page offering 4 free issues (very strong offer) plus attractive subscription prices and a choice of format - print or online access.
The promotion is clean and uncluttered with enough enticing benefits to attract readership.

Click on the image above for a larger version.