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Ramadan

I had a pretty busy day. In the morning I went to one of the trainings and town hall meeting for the Poor People’s Campaign in the morning. In the afternoon I decided to go to Third Eye Comics in Annapolis, since that day was also Free Comic Book Day nationwide. (If all that weren’t enough, it was also Cinco de Mayo. I ended up eating tacos at home that I made myself using ingredients that I purchased from Aldi. I learned a long time ago that it’s total folly to attempt to eat in any kind of Mexican/Hispanic/Latino restaurant on Cinco de Mayo.)

So after checking out the Poor People’s Campaign, I drove to Annapolis. I arrived at Third Eye Comics only to find that parking was harder to find than usual. I ended up parking a few blocks away in an office park, which had some nice wall murals.

The next photo shows how crowded that store was. The next photo shows the line to the checkout counter.

I saw these vintage Atari video game cartridges on sale. I remember when Atari originally came out but I never owned one mainly because I was in college at the time and money was a bit tight at the time. It never bothered me that I never owed an Atari because my college (the University of Maryland) had plenty of arcade games on campus and some of the local off-campus fast food places also had arcade games.

I saw a few other interesting things on sale at Third Eye Comics.

I came across a whole aisle full of the ever-popular Funko Pop! statues. I found one new trend: Funko Pops based on real dead rock stars like Lemmy Kilmister of Motörhead and Joey Ramone of The Ramones.

There were plenty of Funko Pops based on comic book and video game characters such as Rocket Raccoon, Mega Man, Superman’s alter ego Clark Kent, Wonder Woman, Batman, Batwoman, and Batgirl.

I also found an actual WTF t-shirt and a special edition of the Monopoly game board based on the latest Jurassic Park movie called Jurassic World.

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Ramadan

A look at the digital ruins of a forgotten future called Second Life.

U.S. mints coins for Donald Trump-Kim Jong Un summit that might not happen.

Fewer tourists are coming to the U.S. and experts say that it’s largely Trump’s fault.

Barbie “Shero” doll with a hijab honors Olympian Ibtihaj Muhammad.

Martin Luther King may have been killed by a Memphis police officer, not James Earl Ray.

How white Americans used lynchings to terrorize and control black people.

Laminated jewelry crafted from vintage books by Jeremy May.

A look at the guerrilla grafting movement—secretly grafting fruit-bearing trees onto ornamental city trees in order to feed the poor.

A Princeton sociologist spent 8 years asking rural Americans why they are so pissed off. Hint: It’s not about the economy.

The surprising secret to aging well.

New York City has genetically distinct “uptown” and “downtown” rats.

Why the DNC is fighting WikiLeaks and not Wall Street.

How Australia all but ended gun violence.

83,500 vintage sewing patterns put into online database from Vogue, McCall’s, Butterick, and Simplicity.

Stunning images of pagan costumes worn at winter celebrations around the world.

Watch the illustrated version of “Alice’s Restaurant,” Arlo Guthrie’s Thanksgiving Counterculture Classic.

The bots that are changing politics.

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Ramadan

Not too long (April 26, 2018) I decided to check out Third Eye Comics in Annapolis. I took a few photos of some random comic book covers for a Facebook friend who’s into dinosaurs in a very big way. There are issues of a Marvel comic book called Monsters Unleashed which, judging from the cover, seems to focus on a different dragon or dinosaur each issue.

There’s also a Japanese imported kit featuring a robot dinosaur.

That same friend also works in one of the many new cannabis dispensaries that have cropped up in Maryland since medical marijuana was legalized not too long ago. I shot this cover of a comic book called The Gingerbread Man Meets EvilBong. The cover looks hilariously surreal.

Lastly I saw this comic book series that’s a joint publication of DC Comics and Archie which has this improbable scenario: What if Betty and Veronica from Archie meet Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy? I would’ve loved to check these issues out but, at $3.99 per issue, I’m financially struggling too much to afford them. Oh well.

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Ramadan

Budweiser’s new beer is based on George Washington’s handwritten recipe.

Suhad al-Khateeb, the first female communist elected in Iraq’s holiest city, calls for social justice.

How Amazon is holding Seattle hostage.

A look at why babies in medieval paintings look like middle-aged men.

Between financial troubles, lawsuits, and trailer park brawls, has the alt-right peaked?

New NRA President Oliver North once worked with cocaine traffickers to arm terrorists.

Working for free is not an opportunity, it is an imposition.

How American racism influenced Hitler.

Yes, there are worker-friendly alternatives to Walmart. Here are four good ones.

The Internet Archive “liberates” books published between 1923 and 1941 and will put 10,000 digitized books online.

Almost all violent extremists share one thing: their gender.

What it’s like to work in the sex industry in the wake of #MeToo.

These tiles turn your walls into a giant Lego playground.

An open letter that every LGBTQ+ person needs to read.

A presidential historian speaks out about Donald Trump.

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Ramadan

Once again I took part in the Changing Focus Yard Sale, which was held on the grounds of the Prince of Peace Presbyterian Church in Crofton, Maryland. Like the previous times I attended, I collected money from people who wanted to buy the used items that were donated from the members of Changing Focus (which is a non-profit organization dedicated to helping people deal with being separated, divorced, and widowed). In-between handling the money and interacting with the customers, I took these photos of a few choice items that were on sale this time around.

Changing Focus Yard Sale, April 28, 2018

This porcelain doll looked like the late Princess Diana having an incredibly bad hair day while wearing a dress that looked a couple of sizes too big for her.

Changing Focus Yard Sale, April 28, 2018

These two Victorian-style dolls were snapped up about a minute or two after I took this shot.

Changing Focus Yard Sale, April 28, 2018

Changing Focus Yard Sale, April 28, 2018

The weather was warm and gorgeous outside. It was the perfect day to hold a yard sale. The flowers were at their peak bloom as well.

Changing Focus Yard Sale, April 28, 2018

Changing Focus Yard Sale, April 28, 2018

Changing Focus Yard Sale, April 28, 2018

These kids were playing under one of the flowering trees while their parents shopped at the yard sale.

Changing Focus Yard Sale, April 28, 2018

This is definitely the epitome of kitsch: a porcelain Avon Lady figurine dressed in Victorian-style clothes.

Changing Focus Yard Sale, April 28, 2018

There were plenty of other things on sale that were definitely kitschy.

Changing Focus Yard Sale, April 28, 2018

Changing Focus Yard Sale, April 28, 2018

Changing Focus Yard Sale, April 28, 2018

Changing Focus Yard Sale, April 28, 2018

Most of the time I participate in these yard sales, I come across at least one item that belongs in a museum. This time it was a film cartridge for the Kodak Pocket Instamatic camera (which was my first camera I ever owned—this post I wrote over two years ago has photos I shot with that camera when I was trying to earn a photography badge in Girl Scouts). What’s even more amazing is that this film was still in its original foil cover, which has never been opened.

Changing Focus Yard Sale, April 28, 2018

Here’s another view of the wrapped Kodak film cartridge that has the words “Open at Cut.” (There’s a little cut along the center seam where one is supposed to rip in order to open the package.)

Changing Focus Yard Sale, April 28, 2018

I don’t know if anyone bought it. I have no way of knowing if that film would be usable since it was probably manufactured during the Pocket Instamatic’s 1970s heyday. When I was doing a quick Google search about the Pocket Instamatic, I came across this website that was not only selling vintage Pocket Instamatic cameras but it was also selling newly manufactured 110 film cartridges just for that camera. (Which proves that there’s a market for just about anything these days.)

But that wasn’t the only Kodak film product I saw on sale that day. There was also a Kodak 35mm camera gift box set that was definitely for those who miss the days of shooting with 35mm film.

Changing Focus Yard Sale, April 28, 2018

I saw a vintage Soviet Union sports pendant (note the hammer and sickle in the center).

Changing Focus Yard Sale, April 28, 2018

The Prince of Peace Presbyterian Church has a labyrinth on its property. A young boy was walking along the labyrinth while his father was watching the child while sitting on a bench on the far left side of the photograph.

Changing Focus Yard Sale, April 28, 2018

At one point I went indoors where I checked out the Prince of Peace Presbyterian Church’s used book sale.

Book Sale, Prince of Peace Presbyterian Church, April 28, 2018

Book Sale, Prince of Peace Presbyterian Church, April 28, 2018

I saw boxes full of vintage Nancy Drew and Hardy Boys mystery series.

Book Sale, Prince of Peace Presbyterian Church, April 28, 2018

Book Sale, Prince of Peace Presbyterian Church, April 28, 2018

The church sold more than just used books. They had boxes full of VHS tapes. (I saw people actually browsing and buying them.)

Book Sale, Prince of Peace Presbyterian Church, April 28, 2018

I purchased two books at the used book sale. One was Dan Brown’s Inferno, which is another novel in the historical series featuring Robert Langdon. (I had previously read Angels & Demons, The Da Vinci Code, and The Lost Symbol.)

Book Sale at the Prince of Peace Presbyterian Church, April 28, 2018

I also found this book on puppet making, which I bought on impulse. (It only cost $1.)

Book Sale at the Prince of Peace Presbyterian Church, April 28, 2018

Both the yard sale and the used book sale were scheduled to coincide with the Festival on the Green, which is usually held on the grounds of the Crofton Country Club that’s located next door to the Prince of Peace Presbyterian Church. The festival had all kinds of handcrafted goods made by local artisans while providing entertainment (some of which included people dressed in costumes). I browsed through the various tables but I ended up not buying anything because money was very tight for me.

Festival on the Green, April 28, 2018

Festival on the Green, April 28, 2018

Festival on the Green, April 28, 2018

Festival on the Green, April 28, 2018

Festival on the Green, April 28, 2018

Festival on the Green, April 28, 2018

Festival on the Green, April 28, 2018

Festival on the Green, April 28, 2018

Festival on the Green, April 28, 2018

Festival on the Green, April 28, 2018

Festival on the Green, April 28, 2018

Festival on the Green, April 28, 2018

Festival on the Green, April 28, 2018

Festival on the Green, April 28, 2018

Festival on the Green, April 28, 2018

Festival on the Green, April 28, 2018

Festival on the Green, April 28, 2018

Festival on the Green, April 28, 2018

Festival on the Green, April 28, 2018

Festival on the Green, April 28, 2018

Festival on the Green, April 28, 2018

Festival on the Green, April 28, 2018

Festival on the Green, April 28, 2018

Festival on the Green, April 28, 2018

Festival on the Green, April 28, 2018

Festival on the Green, April 28, 2018

Festival on the Green, April 28, 2018

Festival on the Green, April 28, 2018

Festival on the Green, April 28, 2018

Festival on the Green, April 28, 2018

Festival on the Green, April 28, 2018

Festival on the Green, April 28, 2018

Many of the items on sale were displayed with the upcoming Mother’s Day holiday in mind.

Festival on the Green, April 28, 2018

 

This year is also an election year with the midterm elections coming up in Maryland. There were plenty of political candidate signs on display.

Festival on the Green, April 28, 2018

Festival on the Green, April 28, 2018

This event was the first time I ever shot a video at the Festival on the Green. There was a woman who wore fox ears and a fox tail who was playing the ukulele and singing “Hickory Dickory Dock.”

All in all it was a pretty glorious day. I learned that Changing Focus managed to raise $1,600 from that yard sale. Sweet!

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Last month I attended my first Dr. Sketchy’s Anti-Art School session of 2018. There have been other Dr. Sketchy’s events in Baltimore and Washington since the New Year but, for a variety of reasons, I wasn’t able to make one until last month.

Even though it was April and the cherry blossom trees in the entire metropolitan area were starting to bloom, winter was still holding on. I remember it was around 40 degrees Fahrenheit so I wore my winter coat while going to downtown DC. When I arrived at the Greenbelt Metro station I saw a group of cosplayers in winter coats who were obviously going to the Tidal Basin (where many of the cherry blossom trees are located and it gets a huge share of the tourists this time of the year).

One of them had this clear backpack that had all kinds of Donald Duck charms, buttons, and pins.

I arrived at Dupont Circle where I noticed that the fountain had been turned on with the water coming in at at a trickle.

A pair of ducks were swimming in the fountain despite the winter-like cold weather.

I saw a group of people near the fountain who took off their coats and started swing dancing in public. I have no idea if they were a flash mob or if they were heavy swing dance enthusiasts. I shot a short video of these people in action.

I shot a few more photos of Dupont Circle.

Like I wrote earlier, many of the cherry blossom trees are further downtown at the Tidal Basin. However, I saw a couple of blooming cherry blossoms planted outside of a building at the intersection of Dupont Circle and New Hampshire Ave., NW so I was able to take a few cherry blossom pictures.

I went to Kramerbooks & Afterwords where I browsed through a few books while noticing all of the Donald Trump-related books that are now available for sale, many of which are less-than-flattering towards The Donald.

As I was walking down P Street, NW, I noticed something I hadn’t noticed before on previous trips. There is a restaurant called Tiki Taco, which serves a fusion of Mexican and Polynesian food. (Seriously!) If I wasn’t financially struggling I might have tried eating there. (I had just started a new day job and, at that point, I was only working around 15 hours per week.)

I made a brief stop at Fantom Comics where I took pictures of the various posters and wall murals.

I noticed this Batgirl costume on display, which reminded me of the costume that Batgirl wore in this graphic novel that I checked out of the library last year called Batgirl of Burnside (which I enjoyed, by the way). One of the employees told me that the Batgirl costume was on display because one of the writers of Batgirl of Burnside had stopped by the store the day before signing autographs. There were plenty of signed graphic novels that the person had written that were still available for sale that not only included Batgirl of Burnside but also other books he wrote, such as Black Canary and Gotham Academy. (I also checked out one of the Gotham Academy books out of the public library recently. I hadn’t read Black Canary mainly because it has yet to arrive at the library.) They were all laid out on the table. I felt tempted but if I had purchased one of those signed books, I would not have been able to afford to go to Dr. Sketchy’s, which was the main reason why I even commuted to Dupont Circle on a cold April Sunday afternoon. So I had to just content myself with taking a picture of the Batgirl costume.

I finally arrived at The Bier Baron, where I took a couple of colorful beer signs on display.

Here’s a shot of the stage where the model posed.

The model for this event was Sally Cinch, who is a sideshow performer and dancer. Since she’s not a burlesque performer, all of the drawings in this post are definitely safe to view unless you are someone who gets offended at seeing a bare midriff.

Sally Cinch’s big talent is the ability to squeeze herself into tight spaces. She did a brief performance where she squeezed herself into a couple of hangers, which inspired this contest: Incorporate Joan Crawford into that drawing. I remember when I read that notorious book Mommie Dearest as a teenager and I even saw the movie featuring Fay Dunaway as Joan Crawford.

As it turned out, I was one of only two people who actually took part in the contest. I think it was because the majority of the people who were there were either not born or were too young to remember Mommy Dearest. The two of us were declared the winners and our prize was a drink of our choice from the bar. (I chose a hard cider that I really liked. I’m sorry I didn’t write down the name of what I drank.)

I did another sketch of Sally showing why her last name is Cinch using a belt that was pulled very tight around her waist.

I drew one last sketch of Sally before the event ended.

The event was cut relatively short compared to previous Dr. Sketchy’s events because of some kind of a scheduling snafu with a comedy show that was following Dr. Sketchy’s. I managed to talk briefly with Sally Cinch and the emcee, Reverend Valentine. I found out that Sally Cinch has performed in my neck of the woods. Not only did she once performed at The New Deal Cafe in Greenbelt, Maryland but she’s also friends with two friends of mine, which was ironic and it goes to show that it’s a small world after all.

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Last Saturday I had a pretty busy day. In the morning and early afternoon I helped out my support group for people who are separated or divorced with its spring yard sale in Crofton. (I took a bunch of pictures there but I’ll upload them at a later date.) I made sure that I left no later than 2 p.m. so I would have ample time to travel north to Baltimore so I could arrive at an entirely different event on time.

I attended the Poor People’s Campaign’s Art Build + Theomusicology Training that was held at Oak Hill Center. I parked my car on a side street and walked about a half a block. I found that Oak Hill is located in what looked like a one-time industrial area that has fallen on hard times over the past few decades.

Poor People's Campaign Art Build + Theomusicology Training, Baltimore, April 28, 2018

Poor People's Campaign Art Build + Theomusicology Training, Baltimore, April 28, 2018

Poor People's Campaign Art Build + Theomusicology Training, Baltimore, April 28, 2018

Poor People's Campaign Art Build + Theomusicology Training, Baltimore, April 28, 2018

Despite the seediness of the neighborhood, I found a few bright spots, such as Midway Park and a neighborhood that looks fully inhabited.

Poor People's Campaign Art Build + Theomusicology Training, Baltimore, April 28, 2018

Poor People's Campaign Art Build + Theomusicology Training, Baltimore, April 28, 2018

Poor People's Campaign Art Build + Theomusicology Training, Baltimore, April 28, 2018

Oak Hill Center is located in a building that looks like a typical white industrial building on the outside. In fact, if it weren’t for the banner on this door, I would have walked past it.

Poor People's Campaign Art Build + Theomusicology Training, Baltimore, April 28, 2018

Oak Hill looks way more impressive on the inside. It’s a combination of a library, art studio, and makerspace. It’s nice, big, and airy.

Poor People's Campaign Art Build + Theomusicology Training, Baltimore, April 28, 2018

Poor People's Campaign Art Build + Theomusicology Training, Baltimore, April 28, 2018

Poor People's Campaign Art Build + Theomusicology Training, Baltimore, April 28, 2018

Poor People's Campaign Art Build + Theomusicology Training, Baltimore, April 28, 2018

Poor People's Campaign Art Build + Theomusicology Training, Baltimore, April 28, 2018

The room where the workshop was held was decorated with prints related to the Poor People’s Campaign.

Poor People's Campaign Art Build + Theomusicology Training, Baltimore, April 28, 2018

Poor People's Campaign Art Build + Theomusicology Training, Baltimore, April 28, 2018

Poor People's Campaign Art Build + Theomusicology Training, Baltimore, April 28, 2018

The next shot shows the room where the bulk of the workshop was held.

Poor People's Campaign Art Build + Theomusicology Training, Baltimore, April 28, 2018

The workshop started off with learning how to sing a few of the songs that are affiliated with the Poor People’s Campaign while watching a few online videos that one can access anytime thanks to YouTube. We learned how to sing “Everybody’s Got a Right to Live” and “Somebody’s Hurting My Brother.”

Afterwards we split into two groups with people who preferred to sing walking over to the library end of the building where they continued to practice the songs while those of us who were more into creating art stayed in the same room where we engaged in some large-scale screen printing. The objective was to screen print large banners that would be flown in Annapolis by protesters on the Monday after Mother’s Day.

Poor People's Campaign Art Build + Theomusicology Training, Baltimore, April 28, 2018

Poor People's Campaign Art Build + Theomusicology Training, Baltimore, April 28, 2018

Poor People's Campaign Art Build + Theomusicology Training, Baltimore, April 28, 2018

Poor People's Campaign Art Build + Theomusicology Training, Baltimore, April 28, 2018

Poor People's Campaign Art Build + Theomusicology Training, Baltimore, April 28, 2018

Poor People's Campaign Art Build + Theomusicology Training, Baltimore, April 28, 2018

We did the screen printing assembly-line style and there were times when we switched jobs or took a break and let someone else take over the job. The whole process was pretty lively and jovial at times.

Poor People's Campaign Art Build + Theomusicology Training, Baltimore, April 28, 2018

Poor People's Campaign Art Build + Theomusicology Training, Baltimore, April 28, 2018

Poor People's Campaign Art Build + Theomusicology Training, Baltimore, April 28, 2018

Poor People's Campaign Art Build + Theomusicology Training, Baltimore, April 28, 2018

Even though I stuck with the screen printing the majority of my time, there was a time when I felt thirsty so I went into the other room to get a drink, which was where the singers were rehearsing the two songs. One of the singers saw me getting a drink and recruited me to yell insults at the singers as loud as possible. So I was yelling things like “COMMUNISTS!”, “DEGENERATES!”, “GET A JOB!”, and “GO HOME!” I was relatively restrained in my yelling because I really didn’t want to delve into yelling anything racist (especially since there were a few African Americans present) or something that’s really offensive to someone (such as using a religious slur). After a few minutes of yelling insults, the singers thanked me for doing this. Apparently they were preparing themselves for the possibility that counter protesters would yell nasty insults while they were singing so they wanted to learn how to sing despite distractions.

After my brief role as an obnoxious counter protester, I went back in the other room and continued with helping people with screen printing while I took photos. There were two young sisters who accompanied their father to this workshop. At first they were focused on doing their own drawings.

Poor People's Campaign Art Build + Theomusicology Training, Baltimore, April 28, 2018

But then, once the screen printing was underway, they became fascinated by the process and they were eager to help. So we allowed them to carry the newly-printed banners over to the person who was hanging them on the clotheslines.

Poor People's Campaign Art Build + Theomusicology Training, Baltimore, April 28, 2018

Here are a few shots of the newly printed banners drying on clotheslines.

Poor People's Campaign Art Build + Theomusicology Training, Baltimore, April 28, 2018

Poor People's Campaign Art Build + Theomusicology Training, Baltimore, April 28, 2018

The last photo shows a chart indicating how many copies of which banners needed to be printed. By the end of the workshop we made great headway. The workshop is going to be repeated at the same place tomorrow night but I won’t be able to make it. If the next workshop is as productive as the one I attended was, I’m sure that the organizers will meet their entire production goal by tomorrow night.

Poor People's Campaign Art Build + Theomusicology Training, Baltimore, April 28, 2018

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20 highly inspirational rules of life a Japanese Buddhist wrote four centuries ago that may change your life.

A new study suggests that the lower your social class, the “wiser” you are.

Cards Against Humanity buys area of the U.S. border in an effort to prevent Donald Trump from building his wall.

Beautiful color photos of Paris taken 100 years ago—at the beginning of World War I and the end of La Belle Époque.

A 15-point guide to surviving authoritarianism.

How the residents of a wealthy Bristol district have managed to ban birds from the trees.

A look at the first translation of The Odyssey made by a woman classicist.

San Francisco animal shelter hires a robot to force out homeless people.

You think your job sucks? Take a look at some real conversations from the clients from hell.

Black leaders in Memphis buy city parks and remove Confederate statues.

Inside the library that holds the world’s rarest colors.

A video showing the dark past of Sea Monkeys.

I am buried alive in a Michigan prison.

How 12 teens invented a solar-powered tent for the homeless.

The Disney version of Donald Trump is 100 percent less awful than the real thing.

When life gives you a divorce, get drunk and set your dress on fire.

10 reasons to visit the only country where North Koreans can take a permanent vacation.

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I’m currently trying to pay off my debts I’ve incurred when I underwent an expensive car repair by selling off a few things on eBay.

Book

If you are a pediatric nurse or aspire to become one, this is the book for you. The leading text in pediatric nursing, Wong’s Nursing Care of Infants and Children takes a unique, easy-to-understand developmental approach to describe the care of children at each age and stage of development. Childhood diseases and disorders are organized by age groups and body systems, and described through the nursing process framework. This book is in very good condition.

You can bid on this book right here. To see the rest of my auctions, click here.

Passover

I’m currently trying to pay off my debts I’ve incurred when I underwent an expensive car repair by selling off a few things on eBay.

The Lore of Ships by Tre Tryckare

The Lore of Ships is a distinguished work which comes out of the international co-operation between maritime specialists in Sweden, the United States, Denmark, Finland, Great Britain, Holland, Norway, and Germany.

The Lore of Ships by Tre Tryckare

This magnificent volume explains and illustrates all of the significant components of sailing ships, merchantmen, liners – every kind of ship from primitive dugouts to the nuclear warships of the present. It contains more than 1,550 illustrations of diverse nautical details – more than any previous work – in the form of drawings printed in a total of seventeen different colors, including gold.

The Lore of Ships by Tre Tryckare

This is a handy reference guide for anyone who wants to build a model ship or is doing research into ships. If you or someone you know like ships, this is the book for you!

You can bid on this book right here. To see the rest of my auctions, click here.

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