Gerry Canavan

the smartest kid on earth

Posts Tagged ‘England

Monday Morning Links

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* I was delighted to find Octavia E. Butler on Locus’s 2016 Recommended Reading List. And you can vote for it as nonfiction book of the year! Make Ursula work for it.

Eight works of science fiction that present tyrants (not all of them human).

To maintain the USA as an integral entity is a constant struggle, with no guarantees of success. Science fiction shows us some of the many ways to fail at the task.

* I’d taken England off my list of countries to flee to, but perhaps I could be coaxed.

* Madness at the National Security Council. The Spy Revolt Against Trump. ‘A Sense of Dread’ for Civil Servants Shaken by Trump Transition. How To Deal with Reichstag Fire Fears in the Age of Trump. Twilight of Mike Flynn. Meanwhile, Trump is doing international diplomacy in the public dining room at Mar-a-Lago. “We have at most a year to defend American democracy, perhaps less.” Trump’s two-year presidency. Two years. Jesus. Shitgibbon.

* This seems fine.

One of the great achievements of free society in a stable democracy is that many people, for much of the time, need not think about politics at all. The president of a free country may dominate the news cycle many days — but he is not omnipresent — and because we live under the rule of law, we can afford to turn the news off at times. A free society means being free of those who rule over you — to do the things you care about, your passions, your pastimes, your loves — to exult in that blessed space where politics doesn’t intervene. In that sense, it seems to me, we already live in a country with markedly less freedom than we did a month ago. It’s less like living in a democracy than being a child trapped in a house where there is an abusive and unpredictable father, who will brook no reason, respect no counter-argument, admit no error, and always, always up the ante until catastrophe inevitably strikes. This is what I mean by the idea that we are living through an emergency.

We have been shy about stating the obvious: that something is terribly and uniquely wrong with this president. His powers weaponise the problem.  We can all see it. We can all feel it, too. Donald Trump is the walking, talking, hate-tweeting embodiment of the howling identity crisis afflicting the entire United States.

* Federal agents conduct immigration enforcement raids in at least six states. What it’s like to be arrested by ICE. Fear and panic. Guadalupe Garcia de Rayos’ deportation to Mexico from Arizona this week was the last chapter of a long nightmare for her family. It began in 2008 with a knock on the door by sheriff’s officers. And they finally found an undocumented immigrant who voted. For Abdulkarim Jimale, escape was the only way to survive. Trump’s immigration order means bureaucrats have to decide who’s a “real” Christian. #KnowYourRights. What Geology Has to Say About Building a 1,000-Mile Border Wall. How big a deviation is this from Obama?

The initial estimate is here: Trump’s wall will cost more than a year of the space program that we’re also not going to have anymore.

* Asylum seekers fleeing the US into Canada. Losing Hope in U.S., Migrants Make Icy Crossing to Canada. Newcomer centre has no more room for border-crossing refugees.

* Revealed: FBI terrorism taskforce investigating Standing Rock activists.

* Shock report: Republicans are completely morally depraved. But don’t worry, the Democrats have got this.

An updating tally of how often every member of the House and the Senate votes with or against the president.

screen-shot-2017-02-12-at-11-05-04-pm* Mr. President.

* Everything is about Trump now.

* Well, it’s come to this: a geoengineering plan to refreeze the Arctic Circle. We may live in a post-truth era, but nature does not. Simple equation shows how human activity is trashing the planet.

* Turns out you make more money on university endowments when you don’t sign over all the money to hedge-fund scam artists.

As for hedge funds and other high-cost alternatives, “the whole two-and-20 model” — in which investors typically pay 2 percent of assets under management and 20 percent of any gains — “is ridiculous,” Mr. Morris said. “The cost structure is outrageous. As they say on Wall Street, ‘Where are the customers’ yachts?’ I’m not going to play that game.”

A US-born NASA scientist was detained at the border until he unlocked his phone.

* Hello old friends: Foreground objects in adventure game scenery.

* lol x2: Geraldo Rivera quits post after Yale removes slavery supporter’s name.

* Today in “police claim.”

Amazon now controls 46% of all e-commerce in the United States.

* A brief history of the gerrymander.

Why does the United States still let 12-year-olds get married?

How American women fell behind Japanese women in the workplace.

* A brief history of punching Nazis in Marvel Comics.

* AI and the end of the middle class.

Rio’s Olympic Park, 6 months after games.

Reframing Faculty Criticisms of Student Activism.

* Milwaukee offers America’s longest-lived experiment with urban-school vouchers, but their mixed legacy is not a story you’ll frequently hear from lawmakers and advocates currently championing the spread of private school–choice programs across the country.

* A university, attacked by its own malware-laced soda machines and other botnet-controlled IoT devices, was locked out of 5,000 systems.

* Double majoring will not save you. Only the great god STEM will save you. All praise STEM!

* Springsteen shrugged.

* Mark Fisher (1968-2017).

* And this is great, like everything they do: Arnie, Usidore, and Chunt play Gauntlet.

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Weekend Links!

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The link post yesterday went up only partially finished by mistake, so here’s the other half and then quite a bit more…

* Science Fiction Film and Television 9.2 is out, with articles on First on the Moon, Doctor Who, Star Trek, and Orphan Black/Extant, and even a review of Kingsman: The Secret Service by yours truly.

The crew of the Enterprise going back in time to prevent the Kennedy assassination? Check. Some “mildly erotic, midlife-crisis stuff”? Check. Time travel that results in Spock being the reason that Vulcans turn to logic? Check! Jesus? Check. Elsewhere on the Star Trek beat: Being Simon Pegg. Sulu Is Gay in Star Trek Beyond and It’s Not a Big Deal, unless you’re George Takei.

Why is Hollywood ignoring this incredible black science fiction writer? They certainly haven’t had any problem  ripping her off without attribution.

* The Only Good Tarzan Is a Bad Tarzan.

The Many Faces of Strangelove, or, The Grand Incineration.

The Night Of will turn your love of Serial against you.

* The Moon Is An Even Harsher CEO.

Farewell to Pnin: The End of the Comp Lit Era.

* Social Media as Liturgy.

* Dialectics of the Clinton Tuition-Free-College Plan. Meanwhile, I predict this will be framed by the right as an illegitimate direct payout to her constituents, regardless of the merits.

“Please accept our condolences on your loss,” a letter from that agency, the Higher Education Student Assistance Authority, said. “After careful consideration of the information you provided, the authority has determined that your request does not meet the threshold for loan forgiveness. Monthly bill statements will continue to be sent to you.”

* Alton Sterling. Philando Castile. San Diego. Dallas. A truly terrible few days in America.

* Alongside the tragedy in Dallas, new debates: Using a Bomb Robot to Kill a Suspect Is an Unprecedented Shift in Policing.

As professions go, ethnography and espionage are, if not siblings, at least distant cousins with a strong resemblance.

The Future of Archaeology Is ‘Spacejunk.’

* Nailing it: “Psychologists recommend children be bored in the summer.”

* This Man Keeps Getting Killed in Terrorist Attacks. Dibs on the screenplay but in my version it’s a glitch in the Matrix.

* Clinton’s emails today, Clinton’s emails tomorrow, Clinton’s emails forever.

* George Saunders: Who Are All These Trump Supporters? Inevitably, this nasty but essential explanation of Trump’s appeal will annoy supporters and enemies alike, who insist on ascribing purely economic motives to those who have lifted him so shockingly high in American political life. Sorry, but I don’t think uncontrollable rage at having to “press 1 for English” or say “Happy Holidays” can be explained by displaced anger over wage stagnation or the decline of the American manufacturing sector.

* Syllabus as Terms of Service, Syllabus as Manifesto.

Ah, the life of the mind.

Ah, the pure knowledge of the sciences.

* Life on emergency funding.

* The Myth of the English Major Barista?

When we accept as commonplace the idea that the study of art, especially art that appeals to the masses — television, video games, comics — is less important than the study of much-fetishized STEM subjects, when we claim that the objective and the concrete requires expertise but the subjective and the abstract do not, then we are making a dangerous assumption. We are assuming that because something is made for everyone, and accessible to everyone, that its existence is somehow simple and straightforward — a vehicle for testing out theories without an aura of its own. But, art, especially art that seems to require the least amount of scholarly attention — reality TV, video games, comics — is precisely the art that most needs history, context, and deep study. Media matters and media has consequences.

* What Game of Thrones characters look like in the books. Game of Thrones Season Seven May Be Delayed Due to Inclement Weather.

Corey Feldman has some bad news about that supposed Goonies sequel.

Pottermore problems: Scholars and writers call foul on J.K. Rowling’s North American magic.

* Underwritten Female Character: The Movie.

* Return of the Great Lakes Avengers. A 15-Year-Old Black Girl Is Going to Replace Tony Stark As Iron Man.

The Center for Communal Studies promotes the study of historic and contemporary communal groups, intentional communities and utopias. Established in 1976 at the University of Southern Indiana, the Center encourages and facilitates meetings, classes, scholarships, publications, networking and public interest in communal groups past and present, here and abroad.

The Strange Perils of Running a Novelty Item Empire.

New legal filings detail reporting of Rolling Stone’s U-Va. gang rape story.

* Neoliberalism and the end of roads. Judge Orders Macy’s to Quit Fining, Detaining Suspected Shoplifters in In-Store Jail.

400 athletes vie for US Paralympics Team spots.

African Union launches an all-Africa passport. Against globalization, for internationalism.

* The violence of eviction.

Here’s How That Wild Lawsuit Accusing Trump of Raping a 13-Year-Old Girl Hit The Headlines. Sounds like most major media outlets are staying away from the story for a reason. When your campaign should share images from social media: A flowchart. Only 75 times. “Trump Campaign Departures Suggest That Perhaps This Is a Highly Dysfunctional Enterprise.” A White, Male Reporter Goes to a Trump Rally.

So in the short-term, Britain is likely to be an increasingly nasty and hateful place to live, thanks in no small part to Farage’s accomplishments as a politician; in the long-term, Farage was very much a product of his moment, that spasm of backlash on the part of declining socio-demographic layers still steeped in a colonial culture, which is unlikely to be repeated. With Farage at its helm, Ukip operated adroitly on the accumulating dysfunctions and crises of British politics, finally convoking a popular bulwark that pulled Britain further to the right than it has been since the 1970s. And in the next few years, the reactionaries will seek to use their victory to achieve maximum damage, maximum reversal on all fronts. And there will be other sources of reaction in the coming decades. Yet, Farage’s resignation signals the looming end of this end of the pier show. Even if Britain survives as such, this Britain is finished.

* This is a genuinely scary time: The newly elected Philippines president, Rodrigo Duterte, urged a crowd of about 500 people on Thursday to kill drug addicts, according to the Guardian.

Hardly Any Former Felons Have Registered to Vote in Virginia Since It Was Made Legal.

Why 13-year-olds can no longer marry in Virginia.

Why Title IX Has Failed Everyone On Campus Rape.

You Shouldn’t Have to Crowdfund Your Wheelchair.

The marathon-running Luik sisters of Estonia are believed to be the first triplets to have qualified for an Olympics.

Condoms Don’t Necessarily Help Teen Girls Avoid Pregnancy.

Men who harass women online are quite literally losers, new study finds. Shock finding.

Great white sharks congregate every year to party in the middle of the Pacific. This new camera tag might help us understand why.

A new theory seeks two explain childhood disintegrative disorder.

Five Men Agree To Stand Directly Under An Exploding Nuclear Bomb.

Inside the Deadly World of Private Prisoner Transport. As Court Fees Rise, The Poor Are Paying the Price. Police Shootings Won’t Stop Unless We Also Stop Shaking Down Black People.

Sometimes the world really can get together and avert a major ecological catastrophe before it’s too late. Case in point: A new study in Science finds evidence that the Earth’s protective ozone layer is finally healing — all thanks to global efforts in the 1980s to phase out CFCs and other destructive chemicals.

* That’s a hell of an act: “As a psychiatrist, I diagnose mental illness. Also, I help spot demonic possession.”

* “Intelligent robot that ‘remembers and learns’ could be scrapped after escaping a lab for a second time.”

* Requiem for Mrs. White.

* Real talk: should I be more worried about snails?

* Nice try, US Navy, but Batman had shark-repellent technology decades ago.

* A watched pot never boils. Self-driving car ethics. Why humanity is doomed.

* Is there life after capitalism?

* The $80M Bomb Detector Scam.

* This answers a lot of questions for me actually.

* And I could watch this GIF forever.

Written by gerrycanavan

July 8, 2016 at 3:54 pm

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Blogging from the Mid-Atlantic, But the Other Way

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An awakening anatomy of the average life’s two years of boredom, 6 months of watching commercials, 67 days of heartbreak, and 14 minutes of pure joy. 14 minutes of joy seems low even for a single day. What are you people doing with yourselves?

* The Voyager records, as art.

* I’m With™ Clinton’s ‘Innovation Agenda’ for Higher Ed.

* Republicans seem pretty obviously right about this one. I don’t see how there’s any case for its propriety, but here’s a try.

The Humiliating Practice of Sex-Testing Female Athletes.

Estimate of U.S. Transgender Population Doubles to 1.4 Million Adults.

* For 20 years, the center has blocked off female-only hours to accommodate the area’s large Hasidic population. The pool has no male-only hours, and some Hasidic men swim during the hours that are open to all genders. An anonymous complaint was lodged recently with the city’s Human Rights Commission, which sent a notice to the parks department this spring saying that the policy might violate a city law barring gender discrimination in public accommodations.

Using the budget usually reserved for the committee, they created a program called Dudes Understanding Diversity and Ending Stereotypes, or DUDES.

He said he’s glad colleges have found the research useful, but he is cautious about the institutions that are taking it as an absolute. Mr. Sue said his goal had always been to educate people, not punish or shame them, if they engage in microaggressions.

* Boris Johnson and the Cuckoo Nest Plot. Now even Gove says he won’t Brexit before the end of the year. Sanders and Corbyn: The Survivors. Brexit Might Never Happen. Brexit: a disaster decades in the making. So you want to con a country. Based on a close reading of Frank Bruni’s Brexit commentary, “A Bachelor Named Britain, Looking for Love” (reproduced below the question), please describe the bearing of the New York Times op-ed staff on the collapse of serious political argument in American establishment institutions in the early 21st century.

How J.R.R. Tolkien Found Mordor on the Western Front. Bonus Tolkien! How To Tell If You Are In A J.R.R. Tolkien Book.

A wizard has roped you into a quest because one of your ancestors invented golf.

* Westeros Is Poorly Designed. A Followup: It’s Okay That Westeros Is Poorly Designed. Some more nerdery on the subject.

When asked how fast the ships in Babylon 5 travel, creator J. Michael Straczynski replied that they travel “at the speed of plot.”

How big is Westeros? “Plot-sized.” How many people live there? “Plot thousand.” How do they make their living? “Tilling the plot.”

Game of Thrones season 6 was good TV that shows why the series will never be great.

Why did the Stars Wars and Star Trek worlds turn out so differently? Please Stop Marrying Fictional Characters to People They Met as Children, It’s Creepy. I started thinking absently about Steve Rogers’ jogging route during my run today and then i couldn’t STOP thinking about it because there’s literally NO WAY it makes sense unless you accept that he is specifically fucking up his entire morning routine to get another look at the cute boy he clocked on his run.

* How to Get Tenure. Counterpoint: You Probably Won’t Get Tenure.

* How to Give a Conference Paper.

* Elsewhere on the academic beat: Study Finds First-Year Students Who Take 15 Credits Succeed. Why Can’t My New Employees Write? The New McCarthyism. Right-Wing Elites Love Your Abigail Fisher Hot Take.

* Rationalia has already garnered some powerful enemies.

* Amazing, awful: Author Gay Talese disavows his latest book amid credibility questions.

Unprecedented’: Scientists declare ‘global climate emergency’ after jet stream crosses equator. The Window for Avoiding a Dangerous Climate Change Has Closed. The Day After Tomorrow Happened 30,000 Years Ago. Geoengineering at the CIA.

Physicists just confirmed a pear-shaped nucleus, and it could ruin time travel forever. Not if I undiscover it yesterday!

* America is lying about its involvement in Africa: AFRICOM’s reports simply don’t add up.

* Secret History of the AOL Disc Campaign.

* More from the twilight of the law schools.

* “This is the single greatest panel ever published in a Transformers comic.”

* Trumpocalypse watch! Another boondoggle. And another. And another. And another. This one is probably the best yet. 4 Ways Cleveland’s Colleges Are Bracing for the Republican Convention. Who will win the presidency? Why not play along at home! And if you want a vision of the future: imagine Trump’s vice-presidential candidates stomping on a human face, forever.

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Written by gerrycanavan

July 1, 2016 at 9:00 am

Posted in Look at what I found on the Internet

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Blogging from the Mid-Atlantic!

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Modern conservatism came onto the scene of the twentieth century in order to defeat the great social movements of the left. As far as the eye can see, it has achieved its purpose. Having done so, it now can leave. Whether it will, and how much it will take with it on its way out, remains to be seen. Clinton Opens Double-Digit Lead in National Poll.

Virginia GOP Delegate Files Suit To Get Out Of Voting For Trump At Convention.

All agree that we have entered an era in which “peace” coexists uncomfortably with interminable global violence (for those non-state actors that risk committing it or those state actors powerful enough to do so and avoid condemnation). All agree that executives have pushed the boundaries of national and international legality and redefined the scope and timeline of legal violence with little apparent constraint — except, theoretically, a wayward public, which has not done much to push back yet.

* “Protestors on both sides of the fray were stabbed.”

Ferlinghetti at 97.

* I wouldn’t say this is great news, given the franchise’s recent experiments in that direction: The New Star Trek Series Can Feature All the Sex, Blood, and Profanity It Wants.

Scremain, or Scoveto? I’m sticking with my gut: Brexit May Well Never Happen. “Bracksies.” All told, quite an achievement.

How to Prep for Your PhD If You’re Poor.

Study Links 6.5 Million Deaths Each Year to Air Pollution.

This amount of rain in such a short time is likely a “one-in-a-thousand-year event,” the weather service said. A zunguzungu flashback.

Texas Gun Rights Advocates Fatally Shoots Her Two Daughters.

* Whiteness and AI.

* The Secret Life of Babies.

* They call it the seagullypse.

A New League Of ‘Barefoot Lawyers’ Will Transform Justice In The Next 15 Years.

* Strange days: The Icelandic translator of Stephen King will likely be the country’s next president.

* This tweet seems sweet but is actually ice cold. Truly chilling.

And it Looks Like Pluto Has a Liquid Water Ocean. Last one in is a rotten egg…

Brecial Brexit Brexddendum

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Saturday Morning’s All Right for Linking

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* Bryan Fuller Reveals New ‘Star Trek’ Details, Says Series Will ‘Eventually’ Revisit Characters. Interesting interview that suggests a lot of what is circulating about this series is wrong.

* On the deep, abiding, and highly dispersed influence of Gordon Lish.

* West Virginia in the Anthropocene: At least 23 people have been killed after powerful storms swamped West Virginia on Thursday night, forcing high water rescues across the state and leaving thousands of customers without power through Friday evening, officials said.

* CDC: Flint water crisis “entirely preventable.”

tumblr_o9axiw1hWA1romv9co1_500* Why Brexit Is Much Scarier Than You Think. Brexit: The Crisis Begins. The Sterling Depreciation of 2007-2008 and Its Implications for Brexit. A timeline of the coming slow-motion car-crash. “Clusterfuck.” We will never know the full extent of the lost opportunities, friendships, marriages and experiences we will be denied. Freedom of movement was taken away by our parents, uncles, and grandparents in a parting blow to a generation that was already drowning in the debts of our predecessors. David Cameron Has Secured His Place as One of the Worst Prime Ministers Ever. Boris already flinching. Article 50 as Stalemate. No Takebacks. Brexit and the university. The A-Z of Brexit. Brexit Impact Will Be Felt in Wisconsin. The United Kingdom is the fourth-largest export market for Wisconsin goods, with $824.2 million worth of products shipped from the Badger State last year, or about 3.7% of the state’s exports. Morexit?

* “Worst ‘Zombie States’ in America ‘Deteriorate Faster, Further.’

* Oil Made Venezuela Rich, And Now It’s Making It Poor.

* Against grit.

* The central problem is that employment policies that are gender-neutral on paper may not be gender-neutral in effect. After all, most women receive parental benefits only after bearing the burden of pregnancy, childbirth, nursing, and often, a larger share of parenting responsibilities. Yet fathers usually receive the same benefits without bearing anything close to the same burden. Given this asymmetry, it’s little wonder some recently instituted benefits have given men an advantage.

Six weeks before the Summer Olympics open in Rio de Janeiro, the laboratory that was set to handle drug testing at the Games has been suspended by the World Anti-Doping Agency in a new escalation of the doping crisis in international sports.

* FBI Says There’s No Evidence Orlando Gunman Omar Mateen Had Messaged Men or Had Secret Gay Affairs.

* Can Daenerys Fly to Westeros on Her Dragons?

* What’s The Matter With Poetry?

* This is near my neighborhood, and I can confirm this intersection is singularly terrible.

* Theft Quadrant.

* And I know things seem bad, but here’s a preview of Civilization 6‘s gameplay. Hang in there!

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London Calling to the Faraway Links

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Screen Shot 2016-06-24 at 1.20.29 AM* accessiblesyllabus.tulane.edu.

* Global Markets in Chaos After UK Votes to Leave EU. Five terrifying immediate reactions to Brexit from the markets. Results Map. All this and the vote wasn’t even legally binding. (Though the EU is saying no-takebacks.) David Cameron will go down in history now as one of the legendarily bad prime ministers. And just because you might be feeling down: “The Socialist Case for Leave.”

Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump’s campaign announced Thursday that he has forgiven more than $50 million in loans he made to finance his presidential bid, converting them into contributions in an effort to reassure GOP donors that he is personally invested in the effort.

* How Obama can break the SCOTUS logjam on his own.

Here’s how that would work. The president has nominated Garland and submitted his nomination to the Senate. The president should advise the Senate that he will deem its failure to act by a specified reasonable date in the future to constitute a deliberate waiver of its right to give advice and consent. What date? The historical average between nomination and confirmation is 25 days; the longest wait has been 125 days. That suggests that 90 days is a perfectly reasonable amount of time for the Senate to consider Garland’s nomination. If the Senate fails to act by the assigned date, Obama could conclude that it has waived its right to participate in the process, and he could exercise his appointment power by naming Garland to the Supreme Court.

Presumably the Senate would then bring suit challenging the appointment. This should not be viewed as a constitutional crisis but rather as a healthy dispute between the president and the Senate about the meaning of the Constitution. This kind of thing has happened before. In 1932, the Supreme Court ruled that the Senate did not have the power to rescind a confirmation vote after the nominee had already taken office. More recently, the court determined that recess appointments by the president were no longer proper because the Senate no longer took recesses.

* News you can use: The Game of Thrones Character That Embodies Each State.

New Jersey: Petyr Baelish, aka Littlefinger. Lurks on the outskirts of and envious of great power, and always gives off the vibe that he’s about to do something unseemly.

Got our number there.

* Actually existing media bias: CNN’s Newest Paid Commentator Legally Prohibited From Criticizing Donald Trump. Worth every penny!

“You’re not buying news when you buy The New York Times. You’re buying judgment.”

Experts says a ‘space base’ halfway between the Moon and Earth could be built in 10 years.

* Some for-profit colleges may be too big to fail.

* Emails today, emails tomorrow, emails forever.

The Crazy Plan to Clean Up a Giant Island of Trash Might Actually Happen.

* I never realized innumeracy was the major driver of economic growth.

* And Disney is still trying to figure out what Rogue One even is.

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