Andrea Harner
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May 31, 2007

100 words every high school graduate should know

OK, agreed, but let's see the sparse list of words that most high school graduates actually know - now that would be an interesting if depressing side-by-side!

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* via Kottke.

Bush administration and Hitler regime's torture policy

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* via Kottke.

Help! My friend got made out with last night!

The sheer size and pattern of this nearly tips it over into NSFW category. Ow. Ew.

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Grammar Nazis

I can't help it - I am a grammar nazi. Luckily I have a verbal filter so I don't correct every mistake that attacks my aural and visual senses but rest assured the misuses torture me. Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that my dad used to correct our grammar in mid-speech or I simply feel there's something lovely about speaking and writing in a grammatically correct way.

This is hilarious - back of a Finesse shampoo bottle!

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* via BuzzFeed!

May 30, 2007

Purple Rain dress..me..up!

My new go-to dress:

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* Thanks to Gabby Golightly for this link!!

Swimming tigers will be tigers!

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May 29, 2007

The Gatekeepers: Inside the Admissions Process of a Premier College by Jacques Steinberg

This was such a memorable book (and it's not just because its setting is my alma mater). Steinberg shadows Wesleyan's admissions officers in the fall of 1999 to gain insight into the little-known admissions process of top colleges. In this quest Wesleyan serves as a mirror, albeit an imperfect one ( Wesleyan is unique in that it has a more progressive history and mission that those of its peers) to the admissions processes of other elite, northeastern colleges. Amidst the grueling process of recruiting applicants then rating thousands of applications are suspenseful stories of a handful of high school seniors who applied to Wesleyan among other schools. And although the question of whether or not they would gain acceptance to Wesleyan and their other choices had me tantalized, the theme most salient to me was an extended, more comprehensive form of affirmative action in which not only race but socioeconomic status as measured by how far an applicant's parents received schooling are significant factors, and how that plays out in the Wesleyan admissions process in 1999 - I'm curious about the philosophical and administrative changes which have undoubtedly affected the process since then. The basic idea can be summed up by stating that students are not just being rated by their absolute test results (there is of course no such thing since not everyone attends the same classes taught by the same teachers and subject to same grading system) but are also judged in relation to their environment. In general I believe in this idea. For example, if both your parents have gone to college you are not just financially more privileged but your home environment is more intellectually enriching, therefore you should exhibit higher grades or test scores than someone who grew up with less financial means and intellectual stimulation at home. The strengths of this argument are fairly obvious to me but perhaps the more interesting discussion centers around its limitations: Does this mean wealthy kids must become leaders? While that would be great, reality doesn't support that. It seems that as an educator or admissions officer you're always seeking out potential but unfortunately potential isn't limitless. I would surmise that for all the potential that is tapped and then blossomed in the middle of the spectrum, there are on the extreme ends, cases of rich kids who have been bred for leadership all their lives and poor kids who have thrived relative to their environment all their lives, who in the end have maxed out their potential and aren't able to fulfill the affirmative action dream. I could go on and on about this but I'll stop to say that this book is fascinating and I highly recommend it!

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* Thanks to Eric Klinenberg for lending me the book! P.S. I won't hold it against you that you went to Brown.

Lunch date with Paul: Bergdorf Brunettes

You know when people say, "you can't order the same thing!"?? Well they're wrong.

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Apparently the ladies next to us did the same thing with a different dish and drink so Paul's pointing and saying, "they're us."

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Can you guess what this was?

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Club soda and cranberry. Note to self: Next time, club soda with just a splash of cranberry.

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This is how you pose for a photo when nothing else will work:

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Do I see a guy who will begin a creative writing MFA program at the New School this fall??!! I do! Congrats Paulito!! Now you're gonna bring in the big buckeroos!!

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It's ok to resort to the do you like seafood?/ to see food? level when all else fails:

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British family, duck style!

Taken right outside friend and prof Duncan's doorstep in Oxford this morning!!

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May 25, 2007

OTTERS HOLDING HANDS!!!

You have to watch until the end for the coup de grace. I screamed when I saw it - you might too.

If you're not one of the 6 million plus people who have already seen this you now have seen the best video of 2007!!

Gucci Girls

Who are the Gucci Girls?! You're dying to know, I can feel it.

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Me and my mom! We should be paid by Gucci...in merch:

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Balls of Fury

This upcoming movie reminds me of when I recently told my mom I liked playing ping-pong and she said, "I'm very good at ping-pong! Asians are very good at ping-pong!" ...and you wonder where I get my fine stereotyping skills...

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Yankees Girls

From left to right: Hot! Hot! Hot!!!

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May 24, 2007

This is your life (and how you tell it) by Benedict Carey

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Some excerpts:

YouTube routines notwithstanding, most people do not begin to see themselves in the midst of a tale with a beginning, middle and eventual end until they are teenagers. “Younger kids see themselves in terms of broad, stable traits: ‘I like baseball but not soccer,’ ” said Kate McLean, a psychologist at the University of Toronto in Mississauga. “This meaning-making capability — to talk about growth, to explain what something says about who I am — develops across adolescence.”

At some level, talk therapy has always been an exercise in replaying and reinterpreting each person’s unique life story. Yet Mr. Adler found that in fact those former patients who scored highest on measures of well-being — who had recovered, by standard measures — told very similar tales about their experiences. They described their problem, whether depression or an eating disorder, as coming on suddenly, as if out of nowhere. They characterized their difficulty as if it were an outside enemy, often giving it a name (the black dog, the walk of shame). And eventually they conquered it. “The story is one of victorious battle: ‘I ended therapy because I could overcome this on my own,’ ” Mr. Adler said. Those in the study who scored lower on measures of psychological well-being were more likely to see their moods and behavior problems as a part of their own character, rather than as a villain to be defeated. To them, therapy was part of a continuing adaptation, not a decisive battle. The findings suggest that psychotherapy, when it is effective, gives people who are feeling helpless a sense of their own power, in effect altering their life story even as they work to disarm their own demons, Mr. Adler said.

Psychologists have shown just how interpretations of memories can alter future behavior. In an experiment published in 2005, researchers had college students who described themselves as socially awkward in high school recall one of their most embarrassing moments. Half of the students reimagined the humiliation in the first person, and the other half pictured it in the third person. Two clear differences emerged. Those who replayed the scene in the third person rated themselves as having changed significantly since high school — much more so than the first-person group did. The third-person perspective allowed people to reflect on the meaning of their social miscues, the authors suggest, and thus to perceive more psychological growth. And their behavior changed, too. After completing the psychological questionnaires, each study participant spent time in a waiting room with another student, someone the research subject thought was taking part in the study. In fact the person was working for the research team, and secretly recorded the conversation between the pair, if any. This double agent had no idea which study participants had just relived a high school horror, and which had viewed theirs as a movie scene. The recordings showed that members of the third-person group were much more sociable than the others. “They were more likely to initiate a conversation, after having perceived themselves as more changed,” said Lisa Libby, the lead author and a psychologist at Ohio State University. She added, “We think that feeling you have changed frees you up to behave as if you have; you think, ‘Wow, I’ve really made some progress’ and it gives you some real momentum.”continued...

May 23, 2007

Virgin (Shark) Mary

I've just had my (shark) heart broken one too many times to put up with any more males! I'm just over it ok? I'm gonna do it on my own! Watch me procreate DIY style!...said the shark that spawned this little guy:

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At the time of the birth, many scientists thought that the female had mated with another species, or that it had used sperm obtained years before. Female sharks are capable of storing sperm, although none have been known to store it as long as these sharks had been isolated. But through the analysis “it was pretty clear that there was no male contribution,” said Mahmood S. Shivji. continued...

* via BuzzFeed!

May 22, 2007

Learn a new animal! Nene!

Thanks again to the NYT crossword, we now know that the answer to 16 Down: Hawaiian goose is Nene!

The official bird of the State of Hawaiʻi, the Nēnē is exclusively found in the wild of the islands of Maui, Kauaʻi and Hawaiʻi. The Nēnē gets its Hawaiian name from its soft call. Its strong toes have much reduced webbing, an adaptation to the lava flows on which it breeds. It mates on land unlike most other wildfowl. This is the world's rarest goose.

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Jersey Shore '07: Cyrus' first slide experience!

Look at my cute, brave face:

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This is fun and exciting!

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Woooooaaaaaaahhhh! You didn't tell me you were letting go, Mom!!

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Cop on pot brownies

This is hilarious ~ overdosing...I think we're dead...time's going by really really slow~

Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha. Let's be compassionate here - we've all been there. Right?!

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* Another treasure from Jonah via StumbleUpon!

Quiz: Computer programmer or serial killer??

As is almost redundant to say, there's a fine line between programming and serial killing!!

I did much poorer than I thought I would. Advice: Go with your gut and let us know how you did.

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* From Jonah via StumbleUpon!

May 21, 2007

World's smallest laptop!

Until the next world's smallest laptop, let's enjoy this one for a second!

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* via BuzzFeed.

Jersey Shore '07: Park play!

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Learn a new animal! Smew!

Thanks to today's crossword puzzle featuring the following clue 38 Across: Eurasian duck we now know about the smew! And aren't we better for it?! I'm not sure.

The Smew breeds in May and lays 6-9 creme-colored eggs. It nests in tree holes, such as old woodpecker nests. It is a shy bird and flushes easily when disturbed.

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Jersey Shore '07: Three faces of tub-time Cyrus!

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Happy birthday, 1 year old Cyrus!!

May 16, 2007

Octopi: "Mischief and craft are plainly seen to be the characteristics of this creature."*

I love octopi. Apparently others do too!

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They are so cool looking, mischievous! and brilliant to boot! Did you know that octopi are the only animals that aquarium keepers bother to name because they have such distinct personalities? Also, they have been known to imitate behavior which suggests smarty-pants!! Watch out - an octopus will morph its body into a teeny-tiny thing and slither out of the tiniest crevice - or attempt to open your coke bottle:

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My desktop wallpaper is often this:

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* The Roman natural historian Claudius Aelianus wrote at the turn of the third century A.D, via Discover.

Into the Wild by Jon Krakauer

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Another great book by Krakauer! As with the Mormon book, he takes the reader into the minds of the people or person he's illustrating, or so it seems. In this case, it's Chris McCandless, an extremely idealistic and morally absolute kid from the D.C. suburbs who, only as one last appeasement to his parents, graduates from college then pretty much drops off the face of the earth. For years he doesn't contact his parents, they have no idea where he is or whether he's dead or alive and all the while he's hitchhiking up and down the west coast and sometimes inland, living off the land and working menial jobs. His final journey which he spoke feverishly about to everyone who crossed his path (turned out quite a few people did and that he was memorable as a smart and charming if distant kid) was a great Alaskan voyage, much in the tradition of Jack London. Four months from the day he hiked into the Alaskan forest, he was found dead of starvation. Krakauer weaves a rich tapestry of Chris' journal entries, letters to his friends he met along the way, and scenery and excerpts from Thoreau, Muir and London of the wild west. As per usual with Krakauer, it's thoroughly conceived, well-written, and leaves a heavy impression.

Horrible tattoo or hilarious hoax?

This can't be real can it? I mean that hairline on the tattoo is too horrific to be real.

As Jonah said, "there are some really dumb and really smart people so you can imagine some dumb guy actually getting this done by an untalented tattoo artist or a smart person realizing this would be a funny hoax and drawing this terrible rendition." Agreed!

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May 15, 2007

Woodstock for the day: Lake creature and pearls!

I wanted to see how this new camera would capture water images when I looked at my screen and noticed that I had unknowingly snapped this lake creature and pearls to boot!

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Woodstock for the day: 1740's stone farmhouse

An impetus for the impromptu Woodstock day trip was to check out this farmhouse I had been lusting after. Let's just say, while the farmhouse was nice...the family clinic five feet away, the firehouse which doubles as concert venue across the street and the location at the intersection of a few country highways was...well not as nice. Lesson learned: Always check out a place before letting it take on a fictitious life of its own or don't, and fantasize away!

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Woodstock for the day: A very hippie town

This past Saturday we rented a car and drove up to Woodstock for the day. It took exactly two hours - very doable - a super fun day trip, New Yorkers!

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May 14, 2007

Not everything small is cute: Bound feet

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* Thanks to my Uncle Derek for the photos and his email: I saw one of these women in Taiwan in 1979. She was 96 years old. I wanted to take a picture of her feet. She was so superstitious that she thought the camera would steal here soul, so she refused.

A Death in Belmont by Sebastien Junger

Finished this book last week by a fellow Wesleyan alum and while I am glad to have read it I can't help but agree with an Amazon reviewer that the book could have used more editing. Something about the tone and pace wasn't quite right. Nevertheless I enjoyed learning about the times and places surrounding the Boston Strangler cases, Roy Smith who may or may not have been wrongly convicted of a Boston Strangler crime and Al DeSalvo a convicted rapist who insisted he was the Boston Strangler but was never tried for those crimes. Did you know that as the jury finished hearing the judge's instructions and was released to begin deliberations on the guilt of Roy Smith they were told that JFK has just been shot and killed? Just a little intense!

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Twin koala joeys!!

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* Thanks to Sally for the link and the email intro, "NOTHING IS CUTER THAN THIS...NOTHING!!!!" All caps and four exclamation marks to be exact.

May 11, 2007

Watch Jonah dunk!!

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* Jersey Shore, Long Beach Island 5.4.07 weekend.

May 10, 2007

Prince perfume!!

On July 7th, me and Jonah's wedding anniversary, Prince is releasing his new perfume!!! Jonah says he commissioned it for me by sending the majesty in minneapolis smells that I like...of course I know he's kidding and that Prince concocted it from his own inspirations...for our wedding anniversary gift.

Hope it's not grose!

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Psychiatrists, Children and Drug Industry’s Role by Harris, Carey & Roberts

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This reality is so disturbing. We are so obsessed with the quick-fix (drugs) and our children suffer for it.

When Anya Bailey developed an eating disorder after her 12th birthday, her mother took her to a psychiatrist at the University of Minnesota who prescribed a powerful antipsychotic drug called Risperdal.

Created for schizophrenia, Risperdal is not approved to treat eating disorders, but increased appetite is a common side effect and doctors may prescribe drugs as they see fit. Anya gained weight but within two years developed a crippling knot in her back. She now receives regular injections of Botox to unclench her back muscles. She often awakens crying in pain. continued...

World's smallest praying mantis!

From a reader!

So my friend posted this picture and I just had to send it over to you. I fell in love with your world's smallest pancake when you first posted it, and have been enjoying small things ever since.

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Thank you Serenity! Love the little PM!

You're welcome for this.

Fracture by Gregory Hoblit

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In spite of the fact or maybe due to the fact that Ryan Gosling looks like he's playing a 12 year old lawyer, this movie was pretty entertaining. Anthony Hopkins' awesome accent and his creepiness plus the "how is he getting away with murder?" and "where did he hide the gun?" questions keep the movie exciting. Also, Ryan Gosling is too dreamy not to fixate on.

May 9, 2007

Jersey Shore '07: Beach!

More photos from this trip to come - in the meantime enjoy this first installment! P.S. I love you Nikon!

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Thanks again to Eric, Caitlin and Cyrus for the great weekend!

May 8, 2007

Global Warming confusion

You know what would be most confusing?!

Finding someone who's not at all confused by the weather and just A-OK with it! Then you will have met an alien - congratulations!

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Crossword confession

I am an addict. Just as I truly enjoy my coffee addiction, I relish my crossword addiction. They are both innocuous, easily satisfied and fun! Not to mention how incredibly razor-sharp they make me! You can't touch me - I'm too pointy! The fact that I sit for hours at a time doing crosswords makes me fear for when I have children as I may or may not put down the puzzle - Can't you see Mommy's busy with her crossword?? Idiot!!

Jonah just alerted me to a cool little crossword constructed by Bill Clinton and of course edited by Will Shortz. It supposedly contains more word play than the usual puzzle - oh that Bill! Answers will be posted on May 11th.

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In addition to the Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday NYT crossword puzzles (I don't purport to even attempt the other days of the week), I carry around this little book - it's portable and about the same difficulty level as Monday through Wednesday:

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Finally, a site I truly adore is Rex Parker's. I love his writing and thinking style - he writes about the puzzle's difficulty level, theme and noteworthy clues and answers, both interesting and frustration - always written with a fun flair. Plus, he's the 166th greatest crossword solver in the world!

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Let me know if I manage to turn you into a crossword addict. I will sleep better at night knowing so!

Paris lodging SOS

Anyone know of a nice, inexpensive place to stay in Paris? We have found ourselves priced out of places because of the exchange rate (plus I'd rather buy clothes than expensive lodging) and late to secure reservations for our June 19-26 trip ("Je suis tres desolee mais our hotel is completely booked and has been for months - how idiotic of you!"). We prefer the Marais neighborhood in the 3rd and 4th arrondissements but am now open to other neighborhoods nearby (it's amazing how flexible one becomes in the face of no other option). An apartment exchange is also an option.

Good leads will be rewarded with a great Paris present! Merci! Merci beaucoup! Mercy buckets!

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May 7, 2007

Dreaming of this Woodstock cottage

...although I've realized I wouldn't be able to spend one night alone in the country.

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May 4, 2007

Being a photoblogger has paid off - big time.

In the midst of completing my final paper for school, I received a D80 as a gift-loan, as part of a sponsorship PR program from Nikon (THANK YOU, Nikon!). Now that school's out for summer! I have finally had the time to "make it my own": inserted the charged battery and the memory card (double thank you to Nikon), strapped on the strap and set my custom settings.

Off to the Jersey Shore later today - I'm sure that location is what Nikon had in mind for my inaugural photo shoot with the D80!

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Shanghai '07: Elderly Pizzazz!

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May 3, 2007

Bjork @ Radio City Music Hall 5.2.07!

Even though I don't love her music since Vespertine, she remains an inspiration and proof of a creative genius fairy on earth!

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Thanks to Flickr for the first and second to last photo!

College Humor guys impressively channel (old) MTV

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May 2, 2007

When Jerri hurts, I hurt.

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Fastest secretary in the world!

If only she were looking for a job in the US...working for me...

Thanks to my bro for the link!

Hip little Shanghai to Tokyo travel message from my dad

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Missing Tokyo...

And yes, I still call my parents Mommy and Daddy.

May 1, 2007

New comment policy

Please note that comments are now approved by a comment approval team who works earnestly and swiftly to approve comments based on guidelines of relevance and interest.

You comment will not appear right away but be patient, it will appear soon enough, if it deserves to.

Thanks!

David Sedaris draws Clinton staring at my cousin's boobs!

I am super jealous of my cousin Angelina's night with David Sedaris!

Awesomeness:

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Chou dofu

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* Thanks to my bro for the photo!
** To smell more click here.

My all-around favorite Japanese restaurant in NYC: Marumi

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Video projects





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