Sunday, 3 August 2014

11:13 – We have everything we need to make up another batch of 60 forensic science kits except molybdate reagent, which we supply in 15 mL bottles. I made up a liter of the stuff recently, but I don’t like the looks of it. It’s a 2% w/v solution of ammonium molybdate in 32% v/v sulfuric acid, and it should be a colorless liquid. In the presence of phosphate ion and ascorbic acid (vitamin C) it reacts to form an intense blue complex that can be used for quantitative colorimetric determination of phosphate concentration. But the liter I made up is a very pale blue, which concerns me. I checked reference bottles that I made up a year ago and two years ago, and both remained colorless. So I think I’ll pitch that batch and make up a new batch.

Barbara and I decided to join Sam’s Club. We don’t particularly care for the company or its policies–particularly how it treats its employees–but Sam’s carries a lot of stuff that Costco doesn’t (and vice versa).


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39 Responses to Sunday, 3 August 2014

  1. OFD says:

    We don’t have any Sams’ Clubs up here; just Costco, and we haven’t been in quite a while; it’s 30 miles south in the congested traffic highway interchange that makes that part of Vermont look just like northern NJ or eastern MA.

    So we shop for groceries at Price Chopper, which has the best seafood selection around and a pretty good variety of other stuff; occasionally the Hannaford’s, and the Food City just up the road. I suppose we should make a Costco run and next time I have a truck and slide down to MA, I’ll pick up a load at the Woostuh LDS store, too.

    We have a chest freezer in the basement and I’m working on making that a food storage area to some extent; we also have a dehumidifier down there running all the time. I’ll be fixing the cement floor and installing those nifty industrial floor tiles. Also gonna be putting plywood and tile flooring in the attic and knocking at least one ventilation hole in the brick up there at some point. And bringing the juice up; next large expense after fixing the ceiling will be getting the electrician in here.

    Also getting another truck.

    Slowly but surely building a going enterprise here but as many of us know, nothing works in an old house but us.

  2. Miles_Teg says:

    “But the liter I made up is a very pale blue, which concerns me. I checked reference bottles that I made up a year ago and two years ago, and both remained colorless. So I think I’ll pitch that batch and make up a new batch.”

    What do you think went wrong? What could cause that?

  3. Chuck W says:

    For only the second time in my life, I encountered an adult cockroach inside my house. Since I have never had them except when living in apartment buildings, I am pretty sure it is nothing about my habits that has brought this on, precisely because I do not normally have them. The house across the alley does not mow but about twice a summer and the weeds there are right now chest high. My house is anything but tight around the foundation, and since I have yet to see young cockroaches, I am assuming these adults came in from outside. There really is no way to close the house to the outside as it is not modern construction, so I am not even going to try. Crickets squeeze in all summer long, and so do other bugs as cold approaches. None have been a real problem until this sighting.

    I will lay out some of the gel poisons, as I do not have pets or children to worry about, and hope I get the adults before they nest and hatch new ones. I don’t mind sharing the house with spiders, but cockroaches are vermin and need to be eradicated.

  4. Miles_Teg says:

    You often don’t see cockroaches, but they can be there.

    My old place in Canberra had them on and off, as well as mice. Haven’t seen a mouse or mouse droppings in my place in Adelaide in the six months I’ve been here, nor a ‘roach. In the warmer months a few bugs get in, as they always will, but they get dispatched as soon as I see them.

    Got some nasty ants in the garden: a pest control guy said if one bit me I’d sure as hell know it. I grew up 10 km from here but never saw this particular species of ant ’till I moved up here.

  5. OFD says:

    You poor buggers in the damn tropics should consider moving fah North as to avoid all these nasty vermin. Oh wait–we have Black Fly Season, but that’s only if you live near mostly stagnant bodies of wottuh out in the woods. And we’ve had skeeters on and off this year because we had so much rain and the landscape got saturated. And that’s about it; when six to eight months of the year are cold, you avoid all that nonsense, and if you have cats, you also avoid the rodents who try to sneak in from said cold.

    You just gotta not mind scraping inches of ice off your vehicles on mornings so frigid that your nose closes up, your eyes tear and then freeze, and if you spit, the spit freezes in mid-air. Also either shoveling tons of heavy wet snow or manhandling a snowblower through it. And maneuvering your spiffy 4wd vehicle on glare ice that is invisible and where your spiffy 4wd is worthless.

    But no damn bugs or venomous reptiles. Also no sign yet of hordes of “unaccompanied alien children” riddled with diseases that were wiped out in First World countries fifty or a hundred years ago. Camp of the Saints, but not here. So fah.

  6. SteveF says:

    Another advantage of six months of winter every year is that we don’t have hordes of bums homeless people, nor need of overreaching laws to keep their numbers under control. They die up here. And then we natives throw them on the bonfires and roast marshmallows.

  7. OFD says:

    Clearly, Mr. SteveF, you are not up to date on how certain English words are used. “Homeless,” for example, is no longer an adjective but a noun, as in “I saw a homeless today down the street.” (actual language as used by my freshman college students twenty years ago). In any case, the phrase probably used now would be something like “domicle-challenged,” or “transitioning resident.”

    You are correct, however, on the shortage of these folks during the cold months; they head south by the many countless thousands and have since colonial days. A few are visible up here during the summuh but there are local shelters, soup kitchens, and other charitable enterprises, and even hard-case OFD has handed out the occasional cash if I thought they weren’t total wastrels and needed a boost that day, having been on the edge a couple of times in my own history.

  8. Chuck W says:

    I hate these awful talent shows, but my kids tell me this guy is the next Stevie Ray Vaughn. The difference between his speaking and singing voice is pretty dramatic.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5WwLbY4FNSI

    He says among his influences is Fever Tree. Anybody who even knows of that Houston group, who sounded more San Francisco than San Francisco bands, is a winner in my book.

  9. OFD says:

    Never heard of them but I had heard of the 13 Floor Elevator guys. Also noted that the deceased guitarist from Fever Tree had worked with some big names, including the late and very amazing Roy Buchanan.

  10. CowboySlim says:

    During a bull session at work, one fellow asked: “With all these different religions telling you different things, how do you know which one is right?”

    I let the question go uncorrected instead of responding: ” “With all these different religions telling you different things, why would you think any one of them is right?”

    After 2,000 years, one Christian cult has become how many? Followed several centuries after the start by several Muslim variations?

    So, after several hundred years, how much longer do we have to wait for a second, non-Newtonian law of gravity? If ever, will the scientists devolve into ??? number of variations?

    Notice that shortly after the introduction of the first polio preventive, there was a second and, naturally, an argument developed about which one was best. Hmmm….did it take 2,000 years to resolve that? Has the first ever been used in the last 4 decades?

    I just can’t envision true scientists going with faith on the seventh day. No, I did not pray for all to be well when we took our children to the Drs. for their inoculations. (Prevention being better than faith healing IM(not so)HO.

  11. OFD says:

    “After 2,000 years, one Christian cult has become how many?”

    It didn’t split at all for the first thousand years. Then it didn’t split again for another five-hundred years, thanks mainly to the evil spawn of Satan, Henry VIII, Luther, and Calvin, the prime movers, aided and abetted by lesser demonic spawn.

    But points well taken on the scientific developments being put to use (though others have languished). Holy Mother Church takes wicked long times to do stuff but has been in place for the whole two-thousand years. With its valid apostolic succession and the Holy See of Peter occupied legitimately, for the most part, while recognizing that it is a human institution, subject as such to human frailty, error and sin, like all other such institutions.

    Reverend OFD hath spoken.

  12. SteveF says:

    Whoa, whoa, whoa, OFD. I hate to call BS on my honorary cool older brother, but BS.

    Your “didn’t split at all” is apparently viewing Christianity as a monolithic entity until what became Roman Catholocism broke off in the Great Schism in 1054. That is grossly incorrect. There were bazillions of little Christian sects for a couple centuries, mainly because Christianity as a whole did not have a single leader. Each bishop was nominally independent, though of course subject to theological, economic, and social pressure.

    Things first came to a dramatic head because of Arianism. Arius’s nontrinitarian position threatened to split Christianity down the middle in the early 4th century CE. This “heresy” and threatened split nominally ended with the First Council of Nicaea in 325, and the sole reason the Arians lost was because Roman Emperor Constantine backed what he decided was the more popular side. (Constantine was a more-or-less battlefield convert to Christianity. Legend has it that he personally was visited by Jesus several times. The more skeptical might suspect that claims of dreams or visions were cynical lies for political advantage. Regardless, there is reason to believe the conversion was not especially deep, and Constantine seems to have had no positions on theological issues. “No positions except for pragmatic reasons”, I should say.)

    A few decades later there was Nestorianism, which the Council of Ephesus condemned and which led to another group splitting off. And again 20 years later. And so on.

  13. CowboySlim says:

    As they say on late night infomercials: “but wait…there’s more..”

    I do agree that the Bible is an amazing composition. Where it is not obviously specific, it benefits from some very creative interpretations.

    For example, it is quite specific regarding the flood and Noah saving mankind and the many species of the animal kingdom. However, not specifically mentioned regarding that salvation were the common houseflies. And for good reason, how could Noah save the fly species and condemn people to such pestilence. Would the bible propagators not lose credibility trying to convince people of such. Well, the explanation given by bible interpreters was that neither did Noah gather up a pair and provide for them on the ark, nor did the flies survive the flood on their own. Nope, all the flies at the time died in the flood and forever after, as before, the the succeeding flies are created by “spontaneous generation” in manure.

    No, I did not invent this anecdote myself, as a source:
    http://www.amazon.com/History-Warfare-Science-Theology-Christendom-ebook/dp/B004UJ7WD0/ref=sr_1_8?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1407099183&sr=1-8&keywords=history+of+warfare

    Caution: If you feel comfortable with your faith in the bible but also feel that your intellect is rational with a scientific bent, do not read this book.

  14. Chuck W says:

    If Noah had anything to do with these damned cockroaches, I’ma comin’ after him.

  15. MrAtoz says:

    Hey Mr. Chuck. It’s raining in Vegas, so if you find Noah, could you ask him to send the Ark this way.

  16. Chuck W says:

    Noah’s not going to have an ark when I get through with him.

    Fever Tree’s lead singer, Dennis Kelley, sounded an awful lot like Burton Cummings of the Guess Who. Except Kelley often took his voice further to a gravely rasp. There was a LOT of good music coming out of West and South Texas from the 50’s through the ’70’s. Until we release the choke-hold big business places on music, radio, and TV, there will not be much creative coming out of it. Actually, music produced the best product when it was in the hands of the mafia. Of course, they did not pay anyone back then.

    Here’s Fever Tree’s first full album on YouTube

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qz8Tc4qaIKg

    Break out the incense and don’t bogart that joint, my friend. “San Francisco Girls” was their national hit. It only made it really big as a regional break-out in some places, so if you have never heard it, you were in the wrong place for good underground music back then. It peaked at Billboard #91 and stayed there for 4 weeks starting 1 June 1968. Got played in Indy, but we had a couple of underground outlets — one of them a long-running pirate station.

  17. MrAtoz says:

    Jeezum! Just got back from Walfart picking up my Mom’s dope. The guy in the drug line in front of me had a frickin’ monkey on his shoulder! It had on a diaper and everything (the monkey that is). The Walfart people weren’t saying anything, so I guess it was a “helper” monkey. I thought he might be a Vet with PTSD, but didn’t have the usual signs. You know, tall, crusty, long reddish hair and beard, Bible under his arm, bulge at his hip. lol Calling Mr. OFD! You could use a helper monkey to hand you bullets whilst reloading.

  18. Chuck W says:

    Wow. They definitely will not let dogs into Walmart here. Even people with ‘seeing eye’ dogs cannot bring them in, but they get a Walmart employee to escort them around personally for as long as they are shopping. Hard to believe they let a monkey in.

  19. OFD says:

    “…viewing Christianity as a monolithic entity until what became Roman Catholocism broke off in the Great Schism in 1054. That is grossly incorrect. There were bazillions of little Christian sects for a couple centuries, mainly because Christianity as a whole did not have a single leader.”

    Yep, more or less monolithic entity, despite various schisms, conferences, synods, sects and other such hassles over the centuries; the throne of Peter always had an occupant, thus unbroken apostolic succession.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_popes

    I’m just a dummy, but if it was good enough for such genius saints as Augustine and Aquinas it’s good enough for me. They did not get rich pushing Scripture and preaching.

    “Noah’s not going to have an ark when I get through with him.”

    Noah is one of the ‘virtuous pagans,’ released from Hell by You-Know-Who during his harrowing of same, but he may still be otherwise occupied now; I daresay I would not call upon him or his ark these days.

    “There was a LOT of good music coming out of West and South Texas from the 50′s through the ’70′s.”

    Indeed. Among the various artists were Janis Joplin, and the Sir Douglas Quintet, led by the late Doug Sahm.

    “…Break out the incense and don’t bogart that joint, my friend.”

    Oh my, some classical riffs a-happenin’ in that record, eh? The album cover looks vaguely familiar; I must have seen it somewhere or other back in the day. The full album link off to the right on that page of Spooky Tooth was more my speed then and now. Those guys still tour, often in Germany and the Netherlands; one of their rock star guitarists, Mick Jones, went on to form Foreigner, and they, of course, still tour, although he’s the only original guy now. Spooky Tooth seems to still have at least two original dudes and they often play with another original guy, Gary Wright (Dreamweaver).

  20. OFD says:

    “I thought he might be a Vet with PTSD, but didn’t have the usual signs. You know, tall, crusty, long reddish hair and beard, Bible under his arm, bulge at his hip. lol Calling Mr. OFD! You could use a helper monkey to hand you bullets whilst reloading.”

    LOL, yeah, wicked violent PTSD, with the King James Bible and a straight razor. Goin’ after The Pusher Man…

    …say, that monkey gimmick might be just the thing for me; my fingers have been numbing up lately and I drop stuff a lot, usually like certain NFL receivers who are looking where they’re gonna run before they’ve caught the ball? So fumbling for rounds in a pocket and messing around with a speedloader just ain’t gonna cut it no mo. I might now have a semi-auto so I can just slap mags in and out. The monkey can hand me the mags and when I get going with the sniper rifle he can be my spotter.

  21. Chuck W says:

    I was pretty much addicted to psychedelia. Was still in radio at the time. Arthur Lee, Moby Grape, Spirit, Blues Project, Iron Butterfly, Cream, Beatles (for a very short period), and some of the lesser-knowns like Fever Tree, The West Coast Pop Art Experimental Band, Chocolate Watchband, The Electric Prunes, and H.P. Lovecraft. There was so much good stuff coming out, my budget did not allow me the ability to buy it all (we only got one copy at the radio stations I worked at, so that was no source). My cousin, who was 5 years younger, was more into Spooky Tooth, Grand Funk, Humble Pie, Emerson Lake and Palmer — although Spooky Tooth had that driving Hammond B3 that I loved.

  22. OFD says:

    I dug some psychedelia, and the hundred trips I took from ages 15-18 sorta accelerated some of that. Of the first bunch you mention, I liked some of Moby Grape and Spirit, loved Cream and still do, and also dug the Beatles for a very short period myself (Revolver through some of the White Album, but my parents got me “Abbey Road” for Xmas the year it came out.) Liked a couple of the Electric Prunes singles and I’m assuming your H.P. Lovecraft is the books, amirite? I still leaf through those, and he’s gotten a little rash of popularity again, it seems; there are also a bunch of Xmas parodies of Lovecraftian themes on the Tube, i.e. “Death to the World,” “Have Yourself a Scary Little Solstice,” “It’s Beginning to Look a Lot Like Fishmen,” and “I’m Dreaming of a Dead City.”

    I was probably into more stuff like your younger cousin was; esp. Spooky Tooth; another band that rocked their B3 was/is the Zombies; Mr. Argent can kick out the jams on that thing to this day. The local “album station” plays them and also Funk and ELP pretty regularly. Mark Farner, of course, is now a Christian rocker.

    http://www.markfarner.com/

  23. Chuck W says:

    Actually, H.P. Lovecraft was a Chicago group that moved to San Fran. They claimed their music was inspired by Lovecraft’s stories. Their most famous was “The White Ship”.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7WrA0iGsYqk

    Technology is astounding. I swear if iPods existed when I was in school, I would have flunked out but good. Today’s music and radio would not have done that, as I probably would not even listen to the crappy music of today, but back when I was growing up, it was more addictive than any drug, and tunes were constantly going through my head when I should have been focusing on something else.

    Anyway, we had a hard drive failure on the main playout machine at the radio project a couple days ago. Our computer guru girl came in and fixed it. No loss of data (bad cable connection), but there is a new backup regimen to a different drive than we had been using, so there was a very large amount of data to transfer to that new drive. The computer is fairly old now (about 7 or 8 years), so we did not think it could do the transfer and continue to playout without burps, so we needed substitute programming.

    At Tiny House, I have a broadcast quality encoder that I tried unsuccessfully to get working last week. It was used to simulcast the campus radio reunion weekend broadcasts from Bloomington to our Indy station. Another IT guru from the campus radio group got that working (it is all in the numbers and choices of those several dozen little setup boxes). I brought it back home and plugged it into my router, changed only the gateway setting, and voilà, it worked!

    There are two locations besides the main studio that can originate programming in case of emergency, and mine was supposed to be the third. Since about 2005, I have been recording half-hour music programs for the station, and over the years have about 150 half-hours in the can. So in order to free up the playout computer for the backup transfer, I loaded all those into my iPod, put it on shuffle, and plugged the iPod into the stream encoder. The guy in charge put that on-air. I can receive the station on the radio in my kitchen (it is about 80 miles away), which is connected to an outside yagi antenna. It was pretty darn weird, knowing that my iPod was sitting in the next room, feeding what programming I was hearing for a good 12 hours while the backup was going. That the sound quality of that combination exceeds the technical specs that FM radio can transmit is just mind-blowing.

  24. SteveF says:

    so if you have never heard it, you were in the wrong place for good underground music back then [around 1968]

    Yah, my babysitter before I started kindergarten was, like, a total bitch about not letting us listen to cutting-edge music.

  25. CowboySlim says:

    “There was a LOT of good music coming out of West and South Texas from the 50′s through the ’70′s.”

    … all my exes live in Texas, that’s why I’m in Te…….

  26. Dave B. says:

    Three weeks ago today, I had surgery to put two plates and a number of screws in the arm I broke while riding my bicycle the day before. Three weeks after surgery I have put the mouse back on the right side of my keyboard and I can type with both hands. Typing tires my right hand faster than it should, but I am still improving every day.

    I’ve heard two bicycle accident stories since that make me very glad I just broke two bones in my little accident, and it really was a little accident.

  27. OFD says:

    Three weeks is pretty dahn good; I can remember when other kids broke their arms or wrists and they were in casts for months.

    Glad to hear you are on the mend.

  28. Ray Thompson says:

    I can remember when other kids broke their arms or wrists and they were in casts for months.

    It’s the metal they install that is making the difference. Really immobilizes the break and it will heal much faster. Requires surgery but the outcome is worth the effort and small risk.

  29. OFD says:

    I hope I continue to not find out such effort and small risk; knock on wood; 61 years without a broken bone. Still got the appendix, too. Nutty as a damn fruitcake but I have all my pahts.

    Mrs. OFD is in the Vampire State’s Capital District this week; the usual fembot sturm und drang and angst all afternoon here from noon until five, as she, Princess and MIL were all in the mix. Now quiet as a cemetery here. Even the tourista riff-raff and local yokels on the Redneck Riviera have quieted down. Without me even firing a shot.

  30. Lynn McGuire says:

    Having fun today trying to decide whether or not to make a lowball offer on a house we visited today that we may or may not can afford:
    http://search.har.com/engine/1110-Mulberry-Farm-Ln-Richmond-77469-7207_HAR93794948.htm

    Trying to get a quote on getting a residential elevator installed if we buy this house. The elevator would be in garage and opening into breakfast area on first floor and game room on second floor. We would need the elevator for our disabled daughter who cannot do stairs anymore.

    Did you see the freaking garage? 50 ft wide by 40 ft deep!

  31. Miles_Teg says:

    Pretty impressive place Lynn. 2.5x the size of my place, very much nicer and more modern, and only a little more expensive.

  32. brad says:

    We live next to the forest, and there is a type of tree roach that looks just like a cockroach. Occasionally one comes inside. The first few times we have a brief panic “oh no!”. Thankfully, you can tell the difference when you chase them, because you can actually catch a tree roach.

    @Lynn: What are you gonna do with 5800 square feet? Our building is around 4500 square feet, nearly half is used for the business, and we have way more space than we need for a family of four.

    Reminds me of visiting one of my cousins in Texas the last time I was in the US. They had recently bought a huge McMansion. Only because they gave us the tour did they discover that the dog had been pooping in one of their entertainment rooms – that’s how often they actually got around the whole place.

    We’ve decided that our next house, after we sell the business and the kids move out, will be much smaller: bedroom, guest room, kitchen, living room, office. In the basement, the garage and a workshop, that’s it, done.

    That said, with your daughter, you really have more like 1-1/2 families – I assume she needs her private space, you don’t want to live in each others’ laps. Have you considered looking for a place where you could create a single-level, semi-independent apartment for her?

  33. Dave B. says:

    What Ray said about the metal is true. In addition there are breaks that aren’t inclined to be set by traditional methods. A few hours after I broke my arm one of the residents wiggled the bones to get them closer to the right position to hold me over for surgery. Thankfully they gave me as shot of something before doing this. Otherwise I wouldn’t have been sitting there with a relaxed expresssion on my face while he did it.

    I have briefly wondered how my arm would be doing if I had been unlucky enough to break it before they figured out how to add plates and screws. There are only two alternatives, and I don’t like either one.

  34. Lynn McGuire says:

    That said, with your daughter, you really have more like 1-1/2 families – I assume she needs her private space, you don’t want to live in each others’ laps. Have you considered looking for a place where you could create a single-level, semi-independent apartment for her?

    Yes, I have. It is dadgum difficult to find a decent place for a decent price right now. My thought has been to purchase a one story of 3,000 to 3,500 ft2 and put her in the master. The wife and I would take a junior bedroom or two and then build on a new master. And pool.

    I thought I had a winner with this other house but the foundation turned out to be broken:
    http://search.har.com/engine/6211-Waterwalk-Court-Richmond-77469-7354_HAR31802249.htm

    And in this house, the house interior was too small (the doorways are too small for a wheelchair should she be in one of those soon):
    http://search.har.com/engine/7218-Savannah-Glen-Ln-Richmond-77469-7351_HAR96084881.htm

    I been thinking about buying a lot and building a 4,000 ft2 one story with two masters but the price to build just the house is $115/ft2 for a total of $625K with the lot. And the house will not be done for a year or so and I am fairly sure that the interest rates going up before then. My house affordability is predicated on getting a 30 year loan locked at 4.25%.

  35. Lynn McGuire says:

    I have briefly wondered how my arm would be doing if I had been unlucky enough to break it before they figured out how to add plates and screws. There are only two alternatives, and I don’t like either one.

    In 1965, they talked about pinning my humurus (upper arm bone) that was broken one inch above the elbow. The surgeon said that my arm would never grow with the pin so they put me, a five year old, in traction for six weeks. Worked like champ except for the mental scars.

  36. Miles_Teg says:

    Lynn, what does this mean in the ads:

    “Maintenance Fee: $668 annually”

  37. Dave B. says:

    In 1965, they talked about pinning my humurus (upper arm bone) that was broken one inch above the elbow. The surgeon said that my arm would never grow with the pin so they put me, a five year old, in traction for six weeks. Worked like champ except for the mental scars.

    Traction might have worked, but I wouldn’t want to be in traction for six weeks. Let me rephrase that. I wouldn’t want to eat hospital food for six days let alone six weeks. And six weeks of traction sounds even worse than six weeks of hospital food. Hospital food isn’t nearly as bad as it was 37 years ago, but I still almost all other food to be preferable.

  38. Lynn McGuire says:

    Lynn, what does this mean in the ads:

    “Maintenance Fee: $668 annually”

    That means that the home is located in a subdivision ruled (literally) by a Home Owners Association and there is a yearly fee associated with it. In this case, it is:
    http://www.bridlewood-estates.com/

  39. ech says:

    Anybody who even knows of that Houston group, who sounded more San Francisco than San Francisco bands, is a winner in my book.

    I’ve seen them live. I also have seen 13th Floor Elevators and Moving Sidewalks (Billy Gibbons’ group before ZZ Top) play. But I grew up in Houston.

    There is a great 13th Floor Elevators/Roky Erickson tribute album available, Where the Pyramid Meets the Eye. It was one of the first tribute albums every done.

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