Fri. Jan. 11, 2019 – another week gone, and we’re just getting started

64F and 40%RH… hmm, not sure I trust that number, but if true, hooray.

There’s a truism in construction that everything costs more and takes longer than you think. Trump knows this in his bones. His enemies and even his supporters don’t seem to know it.

It takes a while to get the vast machinery moving, but once moving it takes another large effort to get it stopped. Our .gov and .mil are both famous examples of how that inertia works. This is normally a good thing. It protects from spurious changes and ‘flavor of the month’ policy making.

Our country has been moving toward socialism and tyranny since the 20’s at least, why expect we can undo that overnight? The real question is ‘can we push on the rock long enough to get it moving, and keep it from immediately rolling back and crushing us?’

Some very interesting thought developing in some dark corners of the web about the whole process, when it started, and who’s been pushing it. Timothy Leary was born in 1920…and worked at Harvard…

n

Extra credit for remembering the question “Are you a Harvard or a Yale man?”

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61 Responses to Fri. Jan. 11, 2019 – another week gone, and we’re just getting started

  1. Greg Norton says:

    Yeah, I’m not buying this one. SpaceX may indeed have a DC/X 2.0 in the hangar … or even under all that foil, but this display looks like CYA PR for Musk. Next time, call Disney.

    Times like this I miss Dr. Pournelle’s input.

    https://www.marketwatch.com/story/elon-musk-shows-off-spacexs-massive-starship-test-rocket-2019-01-10

    I thought that the woman who really runs SpaceX was much smarter than that.

  2. Nick Flandrey says:

    First picture I saw of the wrinkled skin, I thought “That’s gotta be a prop.”

    n

  3. Greg Norton says:

    First picture I saw of the wrinkled skin, I thought “That’s gotta be a prop.”

    If they built a next gen DC/X (my guess as to what they’ve done), the shape would be similar to the top half of the “Starship”. Dr. Pournelle always said that orbit would have been a matter of scaling up from DC/X, adding more fuel mass with a larger ship.

    Fins aren’t required as the tests proved.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wv9n9Casp1o

    Sadly, NASA “accidentally” burned up DC/X when they inherited the project so a logical first step for SSTO would be to build a new one and recreate the tests. After that, build three big copies … most people here know the rest.

    Don’t get me wrong, I’d love to see a new DC/X fly, regardless of the source.

  4. brad says:

    Dunno about the stainless steel rocket. Having a reflective surface makes irregularities show up a *lot* more than they would otherwise. And worked metal will be less perfect than a cast material.

    Still, it does look very non-smooth, which – especially on re-entry – seems like a problem.

    As Greg says: it would be good to hear from someone like Jerry, someone who really knows if that’s realistic or not. Anyone know a real rocket scientist?

  5. JimL says:

    I’m fairly sure one of the regulars here IS a rocket scientist.

  6. JimL says:

    21º and partly sunny here. Better than it was yesterday when it was warmer but damp & windy.

    My favorite XC ski area got about a foot on Wednesday and is planning to groom it all up. I’ll be going out there tomorrow morning for an hour or so of funercise.

  7. MrAtoz says:

    Off to San Antonio on Saturday.

    I remember when there was no TSA. Now the TSA has a Union and are protesting the goobermint shutdown. A friend sent me a “CLEAR” discount code and I signed up and got “scanned”. I wonder if it will help expedite getting through security with the shutdown. MrsAtoz got a code too, but didn’t get scanned. Now she’s mad that I might get ahead of her in line. Lol!

  8. Harold Combs says:

    I rode this rocket to the Moon many times in my youth
    https://youtu.be/9tCD-41NcWA
    Looks like TWA may hold the intelectual property for this one. Did SpaceX buy the buleprints?

  9. ITGuy1998 says:

    First picture I saw of the wrinkled skin, I thought “That’s gotta be a prop.”

    When I first read this, I though it was in reference to Pelosi……….

  10. Greg Norton says:

    When I first read this, I though it was in reference to Pelosi……….

    Whenever I see Pelosi, the word “Stretch” immediately pops into my head followed by the post centrifuge scene from “Spies Like Us” — after the 2:00 mark in the clip.

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

  11. Greg Norton says:

    Reports indicate that the idiot Castro brother will announce for President tomorrow — the first Prog in.

    (Ok. They’re both idiots, but I digress)

    Surprisingly, even in mainstream media, the local political analysts say that his chances are slim and that the Castros’ failure to step up and take on Cruz and Abbott may mean that the days of the brothers being considered to be Democrat party “rising stars” are over. The other brother may not have a choice about taking on Cornyn in 2020 if the family wants the dynasty to continue.

    https://www.motherjones.com/politics/2019/01/julian-castro-is-democrats-most-serious-latino-presidential-contender-can-he-mobilize-latino-voters/

  12. nick flandrey says:

    If any of you are still thinking the CWII might be avoided, please show your work below…

    “A sitting Congressman claiming that “we” will fight a sitting President….. in the streets.”

    Mike Levin, D, CA, tweeted “If @ RealDonaldTrump declares a “nationial emergency” to pay for his border wall, well fight him in Congress, in the courts, and in the streets.”

    Yeah, me I’m buying some more ammo, and some more body armor. And probably some more truck guns. And food, lots more food.

    n

  13. CowboySlim says:

    I’m fairly sure one of the regulars here IS a rocket scientist.

    I worked propulsion systems and environmental systems for the Delta II ELV. I did not participate in exterior design or structural issues. We did launch the current generation of GPS satellites. We did not have fins, neither fixed nor movable.

  14. CowboySlim says:

    Mike Levin, D, CA, tweeted “If @ RealDonaldTrump declares a “nationial emergency” to pay for his border wall, well fight him in Congress, in the courts, and in the streets.”

    If he is going to the streets, I will not offer him my yellow vest.

  15. Greg Norton says:

    If he is going to the streets, I will not offer him my yellow vest.

    I actually have one of those vests for work.

    At our CA installation site, we have to wear the matching pants as well by state law.

  16. JimL says:

    At our CA installation site, we have to wear the matching pants as well by state law.

    See, this is the kind of thing that makes me think lawmakers haven’t read the Constitution. Seatbelt laws. Helmet Laws. Doggone it, I’m the best judge of my own self-interest. We don’t need laws “for our own good”.

  17. Harold Combs says:

    “Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.”

    ― C. S. Lewis

  18. lynn says:

    From @ayj in Argentina yesterday:

    Lynn

    Argentine fiscal apocalypse is describe as:

    a) Upper class, they always have foreing assest, so, bullet proof
    b) midle income, they always save in hard income, 1, 10 100 USD (hard for us, true) so, when rains, spend it, and property is always sold in USD since 50? years
    c) Lower income, in good and bad times they survive, also there are a vast gvnemet subsidies, covers all this? no, but they could eat, hospitals are free, all, they have everything?, no, but they care you, and a vast private network for a) and b), it includes dental coverage too (and in upper echelons, estethical surgery)

    I had 4 fiscal apocalip in 40 years, so, 1972, 1981, 1989, 2001 and so on, so, another one is well…, every ten years we have one, we were due for one since 2001

    Sometimes is hard to explain to foreign people how we survive, but, as an old motto stated, there are four classes of countries, Capitalist, Comunist, Japan and we.

    Oh wow, thanks for the analysis. I totally understand how Argentina survives, you muddle through it. In fact, we are all muddling through it. Venezuela is so screwed up now that they are not even muddling anymore.

    I had not realized that when the financial apocalypse in the USA happens, the resulting failure of the USA Dollar is going to take down the rest of the world’s financial systems. Since, the USA Dollar is the Earth’s reserve currency.

    Wow. We have a responsibility to the world to conduct ourselves in a responsible manner. Since we are not doing that by running trillion dollar deficits now and two trillion dollar deficits soon, everyone in the world will pay for our mistakes.

  19. lynn says:

    Yeah, I’m not buying this one. SpaceX may indeed have a DC/X 2.0 in the hangar … or even under all that foil, but this display looks like CYA PR for Musk. Next time, call Disney.

    Times like this I miss Dr. Pournelle’s input.

    https://www.marketwatch.com/story/elon-musk-shows-off-spacexs-massive-starship-test-rocket-2019-01-10

    I thought that the woman who really runs SpaceX was much smarter than that.

    This is a sub-oribital craft. It is not a spaceship. They are working on certifying the engines for working together.

  20. lynn says:

    If any of you are still thinking the CWII might be avoided, please show your work below…

    “A sitting Congressman claiming that “we” will fight a sitting President….. in the streets.”

    Mike Levin, D, CA, tweeted “If @ RealDonaldTrump declares a “nationial emergency” to pay for his border wall, well fight him in Congress, in the courts, and in the streets.”

    Yeah, me I’m buying some more ammo, and some more body armor. And probably some more truck guns. And food, lots more food.

    Antifa has proven that they will go to the streets.

    The question is, will they do to the streets at the orders of the dumbocrat leadership ? Or, will they wait until Soros and his ilk offer to pay them ?

    I wonder if they will march through my neighborhood and/or city, and, if they will survive that ? I also wonder if the idiots in my county who voted the dumbocrats in will realize that these people are dangerous and vote them out in 2020 ?

  21. lynn says:

    Alley Oop: an alternate dimension
    https://www.gocomics.com/alley-oop/2019/01/10

    Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooo !

    Wait, I had a taco with my lunch on Monday. Therefore, our dimension did not lose the tacos, yes !

  22. nick flandrey says:

    @lynn, lots of articles at zerohedge on the continued “de-dollaring” by those who no longer wish to be held hostage by USA monetary policy….

    @jimL, blame GEICO, [Government Employees Insurance CO] for seat belt and helmet laws. Adoption of crumple zones and other auto engineering advancements meant more people were surviving crashes, but with extensive injuries. Enter GEICO. Tired of paying for claims, they funded the lobbying efforts and the PSAds [remember the mom worrying about the belt wrinkling her daugher’s dress, while the camera pulls back to show the wheelchair?]. Add police agencies looking for an easy reason to pull people over so they can look for other crimes, and local .gov who wanted more of that sweet sweet ticket money…. and you get another step in the nanny state.

    n

  23. lynn says:

    See, this is the kind of thing that makes me think lawmakers haven’t read the Constitution. Seatbelt laws. Helmet Laws. Doggone it, I’m the best judge of my own self-interest. We don’t need laws “for our own good”.

    A seatbelt saved my life in 1972 in a fatality car wreck in Navasota, Texas on state highway 6. I had helped my dad install the seatbelts in our Ford vista cruiser a couple of years before that when my grandparents gave the car to us since we were broke. I am sure had we not had seatbelts or not used them that the five of us would have been dead. One of the people in the other car died when our cars hit the second time. Yes, our cars initially hit at 70 mph, circled, and hit again. My glasses hit the inside of the windshield from the rear seat where I was and shattered.

    BTW, we do not have mandatory motorcycle helmet laws here in Texas for those who have health insurance.

    And, I am beginning to like all of the mandatory safety features in car nowadays. That was one of the things that I was able to talk my wife into purchasing a Toyota Highlander for last Dec 30. It only took me two years to make that happen.

  24. JimL says:

    @Harold – that’s in my email sig for the past decade or more.

    I wonder if they will march through my neighborhood and/or city, and, if they will survive that ? I also wonder if the idiots in my county who voted the dumbocrats in will realize that these people are dangerous and vote them out in 2020 ?

    You give them too much. Most of the folks that voted that way believe in their way of thinking, just as you believe in yours. The challenge is in changing their minds without your mind changing to their way of thinking. It’s harder than many think. Very difficult, in fact.

  25. Greg Norton says:

    This is a sub-oribital craft. It is not a spaceship. They are working on certifying the engines for working together.

    Right. My guess is that they’re building another DC/X, the vehicle in the video.

    DC/X wasn’t designed to make orbit either. Dr. Pournelle’s web site should still have the relevant articles, including his excellent explanation of the rocket equation and the challenge of making orbit.

    The theatrics are mystifying.

  26. JimL says:

    I don’t object to seatbelts. I don’t even object to safety features in cars. I object to the requirement that I must use these things whether I want them or not.

    I look at it this way: The law should protect you from me, and me from you. You may not harm me, and I may not harm you. If I sell a product, you should not fear that it will harm you in unexpected ways. A knife may cut you when used as intended. Not my problem. You are free to cut off your own ears if you choose. But selling you a drinking glass that explodes when water is poured into it should be frowned upon.

    Safety glass comes to mind. I would object to the requirement of it except that its presence protects others from harm should I have an accident. Some of the other features annoy the snot out of me, however. Tire pressure sensors come to mind. I’m perfectly capable of checking my own tire pressure, thank you. And when it went bad on my wife’s car, we wound up ignoring it and checking the tire pressure every month anyway. Idiots.

  27. nick flandrey says:

    I object to the forced, and penalized, and imprisoned aspects. I object to the hidden agendas.

    I would never skip wearing my seatbelt, because I understand the benefits, one practical one being it keeps you in your seat during ‘exciting’ driving.

    I had my first motorcycle accident without a helmet, and would never choose that again. In fact, I bought a very expensive helmet with the next bike. It saved my brains and face during the second accident. I don’t ride anymore.

    I have protective chaps for use with a chainsaw. I wear eye and ear protection, and lung protection as appropriate.

    I do not believe it is the government’s place to require or enforce the use of same under threat of violence or imprisonment. That is antithetical to a free society.

    n

    (no, I do not accept the “social costs” arguments. DON”T PAY.)

  28. nick flandrey says:

    Apropos of my comments above, I just ordered some canned and dehydrated food from amazon. Some big cans of auguson farms dehydrated (what varieties were on sale and reasonably priced) and some smaller cans of Keystone meats. At $7/can there is no way…. but as an “Add On” at <$5/can (same cost per ounce as local bacon) I will give it a try. None is available locally that I've found.

    n

  29. Greg Norton says:

    Apropos of my comments above, I just ordered some canned and dehydrated food from amazon.

    Mike Levin is a new Congresscritter who replaced Darrell Issa in what has been a Republican district. He’s pumped up and full of himself.

    Replacing Darrell Issa means that the constituents have a certain expectation of pork, probably *high* expectations. Issa retired, he wasn’t voted out.

    Ocasio-Cortez already moved on to dissing Lieberman. Mossad’s dime drop will be interesting as well as entertaining.

  30. Bob Sprowl says:

    See, this is the kind of thing that makes me think lawmakers haven’t read the Constitution. Seatbelt laws. Helmet Laws. Doggone it, I’m the best judge of my own self-interest. We don’t need laws “for our own good”.

    I believe use of safety equipment for adults should be optional. If you opt out, your insurance may opt out also.

  31. Ray Thompson says:

    I believe use of safety equipment for adults should be optional. If you opt out, your insurance may opt out also.

    As should any form of government assistance or disability payments.

  32. dkreck says:

    Moonbeam and now Gabbin’ Nuisance are bragging about Calif budget surplus.
    Please explain the following…
    1. Why did you raise the gas tax and vehicle fees?
    2 Why are local governments raising sales tax?
    3 Why are you bot refunding it to the taxpayers? You know, the ones that paid it.

  33. JimL says:

    I believe use of safety equipment for adults should be optional. If you opt out, your insurance may opt out also.

    I couldn’t agree more. I wear a seatbelt because I WANT to. I want my kids to. I do NOT want the state to make it so, and I don’t want corporations to be required to pay for the failure to use it. You’re free to die in an accident if you want to. Dummy.

  34. JimL says:

    So I see LA teachers may strike.

    https://www.npr.org/2019/01/11/684420036/i-m-a-little-stressed-la-teachers-brace-for-a-possible-strike?utm_medium=RSS&utm_campaign=news

    But I see the problem with education in LA right in this quote:

    [redacted] says it’s important for her preschooler, Jennifer, to be in school, even if her teachers aren’t, “because they learn more, and at home they don’t do nothing.”

  35. nick flandrey says:

    ‘cuz what’s yours is ours….

    And there isn’t any way on this earth that Cali is actually running a surplus. It has to be an accounting trick, or deferred spending with the money sitting in an account. The CalTRANS scandal of a decade ago comes to mind. People voted tax increases to fund earthquake retrofit on the highways. CalTRANS kept the money in an account, slow rolled the retrofits, and showed a nice balance. Worked fine until the quake. Then everyone wanted to know why the freeway fell down. Oops. Our bad.

    n

  36. JimL says:

    I must be missing something here.

    California’s debt is measured in Billions with a B. Any budget surplus should be servicing the debt. They don’t have a surplus until the debt is paid down.

  37. nick flandrey says:

    ” Trump Makes History: Government Shutdown Will Be Longest On Record

    If the shutdown persists for another two weeks, the cost to the US economy will exceed $6 billion – more than the $5.7 billion Trump is asking of Congress…

    But costs in “the economy” aren’t borne by the .gov, they’re borne by the businesses and employees, so suck it flyover states.

    n

  38. dkreck says:

    California doesn’t count CALPers obligations before they are due. Future bond obligations are also ignored. Shitty way to finance as it about doubles the cost. Half the surplus is the voter mandated rainy day fund. How will that be abused?

  39. Greg Norton says:

    Moonbeam and now Gabbin’ Nuisance are bragging about Calif budget surplus.

    Nuisance is going to run for President in 2020 unless the Clintons decide to try one more time.

  40. dkreck says:

    Here we go. Lets win all the elections
    https://pjmedia.com/jchristianadams/h-r-1-democrats-act-to-strip-state-powers-over-elections/

    Not that they can pass it.

  41. CowboySlim says:

    You’re free to die in an accident if you want to.

    10-4, but is it suicide or retroactive birth control?

  42. lynn says:

    This is a sub-oribital craft. It is not a spaceship. They are working on certifying the engines for working together.

    Right. My guess is that they’re building another DC/X, the vehicle in the video.

    DC/X wasn’t designed to make orbit either. Dr. Pournelle’s web site should still have the relevant articles, including his excellent explanation of the rocket equation and the challenge of making orbit.

    The theatrics are mystifying.

    That is because you and I are left brain people. Musk is a right brain person.
    https://www.healthline.com/health/left-brain-vs-right-brain

  43. CowboySlim says:

    “because they learn more, and at home they don’t do nothing.”

    Yes, and they are taught to respond with a double negative.

    CowboySlim, who ain’t speak no bad grammar.

  44. ayj says:

    I didnt knew muddle, and, still trying to understand the meaning in both (or the same) context.

    but, no, really you dont have any obligation to preserve USD, more, it is good for you to preserve it
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Seigniorage

    And maybe, Lynn, this is a fact, nor our election to survive thru this, but it happens

    Cheers

  45. lynn says:

    I didnt knew muddle, and, still trying to understand the meaning in both (or the same) context.

    Muddling is moving forward in a somewhat straight line hoping that everything is ok. 98% of businesses in the USA are run like this.

  46. lynn says:

    “Our 401Ks may never recover, but Apple’s tough couple of months at the end of 2018 have turned into a full-on emergency during the first week of 2019. Apple CEO Tim Cook warned on Wednesday that the firm’s revenues for the current quarter will be $5-10 billion less than its original estimates thanks to lower-than-expected iPhone sales. That’s amazing on a number of levels, including the fact that Apple’s estimates are always conservative so that it can blow past them when it actually releases its financial results. As troubling, it’s inconceivable that Apple didn’t see this sales shortfall coming, which makes its previous estimates laughable and, for investors, of legal concern. Look, no one is saying that Apple or the iPhone is “doomed,” and the firm will post dazzling numbers at the end of January, I’m sure. But as any Microsoft fan can tell you, the dangers of having only a single hit product are very real. And where Microsoft had Office and Server to fall back on, Apple has … what? Apple Watch and some services, both of which rely on, wait for it, iPhone sales? Sorry, but that’s not a solid foundation for the present or the future.”
    https://www.petri.com/paul-thurrotts-short-takes-january-4

    This is why Apple is going to buy Tesla. Apple is a high dollar consumer products company and electric cars are a high dollar consumer product. Apple needs to diversify.

  47. lynn says:

    Questionable Content: Crushbot got injured too
    https://www.questionablecontent.net/view.php?comic=3915

    How in the world did two ton Crushbot get injured when he / it fell on 100 lb Roko ?

  48. nightraker says:

    From RT.com: LINK

    The article details the boo-hoo’ing employees of the FBI, Treasury, TSA and Air Traffic Control unions making a lawsuit for their lost pay during the “shutdown”. ATC is a huge airline subsidy. The TSA is an $8 billion/year… um, bad joke. Apparently 90% of the Treasury’s IRS’s 130,000 employees are furloughed, yipee! FBI Special Agents’ base pay is $120,000/annum before overtime or per diem, although the article says 13,000 “employees”, not Agents.

    So, why should I care?

  49. lynn says:

    xkcd: Thor Tools
    https://www.xkcd.com/2097/

    I guess Thor just got lucky with the hammer.

    Although, in the “Thor: Ragnarok” movie, …

    Explained in:
    https://www.explainxkcd.com/wiki/index.php/2097:_Thor_Tools

  50. Greg Norton says:

    That is because you and I are left brain people. Musk is a right brain person.

    A YouTube video of a SpaceX DC/X doing all the tricks of the old DC/X plus more would be better PR than a prop “starship”.

  51. lynn says:

    A YouTube video of a SpaceX DC/X doing all the tricks of the old DC/X plus more would be better PR than a prop “starship”.

    They’ve got to walk before they can run.

    ADD: Actually, I am wondering how high that they are going to fly that thing. I doubt LEO.

  52. nick flandrey says:

    they’ve got to sell tickets to watch them walk before they can afford to build “run”….

    n

  53. lynn says:

    they’ve got to sell tickets to watch them walk before they can afford to build “run”….

    Huh, reputedly, the Japanese dude paid one billion dollars for a five day trip around the moon and back in 2021 for him and 40 members of his family. I wonder if that is refundable ? I wonder if the barf bags are extra cost ? I wonder how the diaper changes will go ?

    Elon Musk is truly D. D. Harriman.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Delos_D._Harriman

  54. lynn says:

    “Microsoft’s killer Windows 7 patch: Breaks networking, flags legit PCs as ‘Not genuine'”
    https://www.zdnet.com/article/microsofts-killer-windows-7-patch-breaks-networking-bricks-legit-not-genuine-pcs/

    “Windows sysadmins wake up on Wednesday with an almighty Patch Tuesday headache.”

    And the gift that keeps on giving gets even better. At least we have not had any of the Windows Activation errors here on our 15 PCs. Yet.

    Cue the Beatles “Getting Better All the Time”
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y925oc8bnOs

    I want to see Paul McCartney and ??? again.

  55. Greg Norton says:

    ADD: Actually, I am wondering how high that they are going to fly that thing. I doubt LEO.

    LEO would require a bigger vehicle. The “starship” looks about as big as the X-33, NASA’s boondoggle project from the mid-90s, which was intended to go 75-100 km.

  56. Greg Norton says:

    I want to see Paul McCartney and ??? again.

    McCartney was at ACL last year with David Byrne and Hozier opening.

    I’ve heard that the evening was quite a show. Byrne alone is a great evening if he’s not too experimental.

  57. lynn says:

    Mike Levin, D, CA, tweeted “If @ RealDonaldTrump declares a “nationial emergency” to pay for his border wall, well fight him in Congress, in the courts, and in the streets.”

    BTW, I agree with Bocephus, “Hank Williams, Jr. – “Country Boys Can Survive” (Official Music Video)”:
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3cQNkIrg-Tk

    I’ve never skinned a buck (watched it done, blood everywhere) but I’ve run a trotline many times.

  58. lynn says:

    McCartney was at ACL last year with David Byrne and Hozier opening.

    Cool !
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C7SczuahF1I

    I saw him in 2015 ???. His voice was awesome then.

  59. lynn says:

    ADD: Actually, I am wondering how high that they are going to fly that thing. I doubt LEO.

    LEO would require a bigger vehicle. The “starship” looks about as big as the X-33, NASA’s boondoggle project from the mid-90s, which was intended to go 75-100 km.

    The X-37B lives at LEO and it is way smaller than that engine test platform.
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boeing_X-37

  60. Greg Norton says:

    The X-37B lives at LEO and it is way smaller than that engine test platform.

    X-37B hitches a ride on a booster.

    SSTO is the next great challenge.

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