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A Calendar Page for March 2014 - Medieval manuscripts blog -
A Calendar Page for March 2014 - Medieval manuscripts blog
"The agricultural labours of the year are shown beginning in earnest in these calendar pages for the month of March. On the first folio, two men and a woman are continuing the work of vine-trimming that was begun in February, while one man pauses for much-needed refreshment. On the following folio, the listing of March's saints' days and feasts continues. In the roundel below can be found a ram (inexplicably lacking his horns) for the zodiac sign Aries. Beneath him is another well-bundled labourer turning the earth in a field in preparation for planting." - Maitani from Bookmarklet
Abstracta Iranica - Revue bibliographique pour le domaine irano-aryen -
Abstracta Iranica - Revue bibliographique pour le domaine irano-aryen
"Abstracta Iranica est une revue de bibliographie sélective et critique pour le monde irano-aryen, publiée en supplément annuel à la revue Studia Iranica par l’Institut français de recherche en Iran ; elle rend compte des travaux concernant tous les aspects de la culture et de la civilisation iraniennes, des origines à nos jours. Les travaux recensés sont sélectionnés parmi les publications de l’année précédente, et présentés par des chercheurs." - Maitani from Bookmarklet
The Past in Pieces: Lego and Lost Civilisations | res gerendae -
The Past in Pieces: Lego and Lost Civilisations | res gerendae
The Past in Pieces: Lego and Lost Civilisations | res gerendae
"As I think I may have mentioned once or twice, I was a Lego-mad child. Of all the things under the tree on Christmas morning, Lego was always the most prized. Like many, I ‘grew out of’ Lego in my teens, only to come back to it as I’ve got older and had more disposable income. That distinctive rattle of a cardboard box full of little plastic bricks still has a Pavlovian effect on me, equal measures calming and relaxing. The cares of the world slip away and the inner ten-year-old is unleashed." - Maitani from Bookmarklet
"I’ve always concentrated my Legoine affections primarily on Space and Castle Lego, with occasional forays into Pirates. When I visited my mum last December, I dragged eight boxes of Lego from the shed and spent Christmas afternoon rebuilding a Space-themed Christmas present of 20 years earlier. By last week, the Castle itch was reasserting itself and I decided to indulge. For the first time in many years I bought some new Lego – my first new Castle sets since childhood. And I made a discovery." - Maitani
The Stunning Symbiosis between Math and Knitting [Slide Show] - Scientific American -
The Stunning Symbiosis between Math and Knitting [Slide Show] - Scientific American
"Truncated Temari. Temari is a traditional Japanese art form that often uses geometrically inspired designs. Yackel's temari balls show spherical versions of geometric shapes based on the five Platonic solids...." - Maitani from Bookmarklet
International Dunhuang Project -
International Dunhuang Project
"The whole text of the earliest dated printed book — the Diamond Sutra — will be on display at the British Library for the first time over a period of eighteen months from March 8, 2014." - Maitani from Bookmarklet
"Following extensive conservation, the Diamond Sutra scroll currently remains in separate panels giving the unique opportunity to show all the panels in turn (see timetable below). Each panel will be on display for two months in the Treasures Gallery at the British Library, open to all and with free admission." - Maitani
"The first panel on display (March-April 2014) will be the illustrated frontispiece showing the Buddha with his elderly disciple, Subhūti. The text of the sutra concerns the philosophical discussion between the Buddha and Subhūti." - Maitani
Pompeii – a Geological Movie-Review : Introducing the Main Character | History of Geology, Scientific American Blog Network -
Pompeii – a Geological Movie-Review : Introducing the Main Character | History of Geology, Scientific American Blog Network
"The new movie “Pompeii” reconstructs one of the most famous volcanic eruptions in history with unprecedented “3D” special effects – but even the best visuals can’t help if the science is wrong – so how geological accurate is the movie?" - Maitani from Bookmarklet
"The appearance of Mount Vesuvius and the surrounding area before the catastrophic eruption has been – and still is – a topic debated by geologists and archeologists alike. In case of Vesuvius we not only have some geological clues, but also written descriptions and maybe some contemporary drawings." - Maitani
maitani dur allasen ortalik karisik - Ori
3quarksdaily: Not thinking - by Rishidev Chaudhuri -
3quarksdaily: Not thinking - by Rishidev Chaudhuri
"Perhaps a reasonable proxy for wisdom is the ability to stop thinking when you want, to interrupt the tortured spiraling progression of thoughts that serve no function and lead nowhere, the symbolic productions of a machine gone mad. Like much else, this can (and, I think, should) be approached as a skill that can be practiced, as part of a general package of cultivable techniques and approaches that help in being happy, especially for those not naturally gifted in that way and especially for the anxious neurotic, constantly harried by thoughts that something is not right and that it will all come crashing down[1]." - Maitani from Bookmarklet
"As a (mostly) former obsessive I'm still not very good at this, but I'm thankful for all the time spent practicing. Obsessions and compulsions take an ordinary pattern (that of a persistent thought or behavior) and, by carrying it to an extreme, reveal a pathology that was always there. Being confronted by a thought that won't leave is a dramatic education in the possibility that... more... - Maitani
The Smart Set: Vermeer and the Threshold - February 13, 2014 -
The Smart Set: Vermeer and the Threshold - February 13, 2014
The Smart Set: Vermeer and the Threshold - February 13, 2014
"They are among the most mysterious paintings. But it is very hard to say why. Nothing much happens in the paintings. People engage in simple tasks. A man and a woman sit at a table and speak. A woman smiles. A woman reads a letter. A girl looks at us over her left shoulder. A woman sews. A woman pours some milk out of a jug. That’s it. One task, one episode, one moment in each painting." - Maitani from Bookmarklet
"Vermeer used various painterly tricks to make these moments – these mundane tasks – look special. He expended a great deal of time and energy capturing the effects of light. He studied the way light comes in through a window, bathing a room. He seems to have painted most of his pictures in one or two rooms in his own home. He knew that light well. He analyzed that light, meditated on... more... - Maitani
What’s Left of My Books by Charles Simic
"There is nothing more mysterious and wonderful than the way in which some bit of language—a clever quip, a pithy observation, a vivid figure of speech found in a book or heard in a conversation—remains fresh in our memory when so many other things we were at one time interested in are forgotten. These days, I look in disbelief at many of the books on my shelves, from thick novels and memoirs to works of great philosophers, wondering whether it’s really possible that I devoted weeks or even months reading them. I know that I did, but only because opening them, I find passages and phrases I’ve underlined, which upon rereading I recall better than the plots, characters, and ideas I encountered in these books; sometimes it looks to me that what has made the lasting impression on my literary taste buds, to use culinary terms, are crumbs strewn on the table rather than the whole meal." - Maitani
"I recall, for example, Flaubert saying that it is splendid to be a writer, to put men into the frying pan of your imagination and make them pop like chestnuts; St. Augustine confessing that even he could not comprehend God’s purpose in creating flies; Beckett telling about a character in his early novel Murphy whom the cops took in for begging without singing, and who was jailed for... more... - Maitani
The last post: letters home to India during the first world war | Books | The Guardian -
The last post: letters home to India during the first world war | Books | The Guardian
"More than a million Indian soldiers fought in the first world war. As the British Library's collection of their correspondence is put online, Daljit Nagra reflects on their horror, heroes and hopes" - Maitani from Bookmarklet
"'Our people have many lice in their clothes, and they bite terribly. They are worse than a rifle bullet. But there are no mosquitoes or other creatures which bite mankind, and no snakes or scorpions at all." This extract is from a letter by an Indian soldier in 1915. He is in France and writing home to a friend. The letter comes from a collection of correspondence copied by British... more... - Maitani
Wide Urban World: Cities of Tipis? -
Wide Urban World: Cities of Tipis?
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"The Native Americans of the North American Plains were some of the better known nomads of recent centuries. Groups like the Crow, Cheyenne, and Sioux took advantage of the horses brought to the New World by Europeans to forge a successful way of life hunting bison on the plains. They moved their settlements of tipis throughout the year, following the requirements of bison hunting. Life alternated between small camps of five or ten tipis and larger camps of up to 100 tipis. Some of the larger camps ("cluster camps" in the language of Banks and Snortland 1995) had an unorganized arrangement of tipis, and some ("circular camps") were ceremonial in orientation and the tipis were arranged in a huge circle." - Maitani from Bookmarklet
"Is there anything "urban" about these big circular camps? Archaeologist Alice Kehoe thinks so. In her textbook, North American Indians, she says:" - Maitani
Carson McCullers Understood Human Nature | New Republic -
"Out of the tradition of Gertrude Stein’s experiments in style and the clipped, stout prose of Sherwood Anderson and Ernest Hemingway comes Carson McCullers' "The Heart Is a Lonely Hunter." With the depression as a murky backdrop, this first novel depicts the bleak landscape of the American consciousness below the Mason-Dixon line. Miss McCullers' picture of loneliness, death, accident, insanity, fear, mob violence and terror is perhaps the most desolate that has so far come from the South. Her quality of despair is unique and individual; and it seems to me more natural and authentic than that of Faulkner. Her groping characters live in a world more completely lost than any Sherwood Anderson ever dreamed of. And she recounts incidents of death and attitudes of stoicism in sentences whose neutrality makes Hemingway's terse prose seem warm and partisan by comparison. Hovering mockingly over her story of loneliness in a small town are primitive religion, adolescent hope, the silence of deaf mutes—and all of these give the violent colors of the life she depicts a sheen of weird tenderness." - Maitani from Bookmarklet
"I don't know what the book is about; the nearest I can come to indicating its theme is to refer to the Catholic confessional or the private office of the psychoanalyst. The characters, Negro and white, are "naturals," and are seen from a point of view that endows them with a mythlike quality. The core of the book is the varied relationships of these characters to Singer, a lonely deaf... more... - Maitani
I read several of her books, and each one was beautiful and movingly sad. Though it was a long time ago, I still remember the characters and their stories. I am in awe that Carson McCullers wrote most of her stories at a very young age. Now I have learned that throughout her life she suffered from strokes and other severe illnesses that began in her youth. - Maitani
NeuroLogica Blog » Reality Testing and Metacognitive Failure -
NeuroLogica Blog » Reality Testing and Metacognitive Failure
"Imagine coming home to your spouse and finding someone who looks and acts exactly like your spouse, but you have the strong feeling that they are an imposter. They don’t “feel” like your spouse. Something is clearly wrong. In this situation most people conclude that their spouse is, in fact, an imposter. In some cases this has even lead to the murder of the “imposter” spouse." - Maitani from Bookmarklet
"This is a neurological syndrome known as Capgras delusion – a sense of hypofamiliarity, that someone well known to you is unfamiliar. There is also the opposite of this – hyperfamiliarity, the sense that a stranger is familiar to you, known as Fregoli delusion. Suffers often feel that they are being stalked by someone known to them but in disguise." - Maitani
The Man Behind The Dialect Quiz | Here & Now : Bert Vaux -
The Man Behind The Dialect Quiz | Here & Now : Bert Vaux
"“It started when I began teaching at Harvard in the mid-’90s. I wanted to be able to figure out where people were from who didn’t have a noticeable accent — and that would include you. So I started researching what people know about dialects of English, and I found out that everything that was available at that time was from the ’30s and ’40s and ’60s and it was largely collected from old white male farmers. And I decided to start collecting material that was relevant to speakers then, especially to students in my class.”" - Maitani from Bookmarklet
"“I put that on my survey originally because many of my students had strong opinions about what dinner and supper meant. But when I actually ran the survey, I found there wasn’t any coherent regional distribution. In both the United States and the United Kingdom, dinner and supper are sort of randomly spread out, with a few exceptions. One is, people in the western U.S. generally only... more... - Maitani
Natural News is a Facebook hit: Never click on its stories about cancer, vaccines, conspiracies. -
Natural News is a Facebook hit: Never click on its stories about cancer, vaccines, conspiracies.
"Have you heard that eating whole lemons prevents cancer? Or that bathing in Himalayan salt rids the body of harmful toxins? That eating hijiki seaweed can delay hair graying? If you have a few Facebook friends, you’ve probably encountered some of these claims. The website Natural News —which seems like a parody but is unfortunately quite serious—published these preposterous stories, and many others just as silly, last week alone." - Maitani from Bookmarklet
"Hokum like this is best ignored, but hundreds of thousands of Americans fail to do so. Natural News has achieved astonishing traction on social media, garnering Facebook shares in the high five and low six figures. These numbers should trouble you—Natural News has an uncanny ability to move unsophisticated readers from harmless dietary balderdash to medical quackery to anti-government zealotry." - Maitani
I'm not on Facebook, but I've still not managed to avoid that site. I'm not surprised it's hugely popular. - Eivind
Thinking about the mind: an anti-linguistic turn | OUPblog -
Thinking about the mind: an anti-linguistic turn | OUPblog
"It would be extremely surprising if the way the mind is shaped had anything to do with language as language is such a late addition to our mental life. A much more natural suggestion is that it has a lot to do with the actions the organism performs. We are evolved creatures and what matters in evolution is really whether one performs actions successfully (and not what one thinks). The mind is shaped in a way that would help us to perform actions. What we should expect then is that the structure of the mind is geared towards facilitating actions and not towards representing propositions. Of course, some select minds can also do that – and, may even use propositional thoughts to perfect one’s performance of actions. But it would be a methodological mistake to start with propositions. We should start with actions." - Maitani from Bookmarklet
nice... - Technology Spot
Etymology of 'beggar', 'bugger', and 'bigot', part 1 | OUPblog -
Etymology of 'beggar', 'bugger', and 'bigot', part 1 | OUPblog
"The story of beg and beggar is full of dramatic moments. Both words surfaced at the same time (the mid-twenties of the thirteenth century), but no one knows which “begat” which. If it was the verb, one wonders why beggar was not spelled begger in the first place; beggar is the oldest (and the modern) form of the noun. Begger had great currency in the fifteenth, sixteenth, and seventeenth centuries, but this variant must have been due to the belief that beggar originated as an agent noun; thus, a product of folk etymology. Assuming that beggar preceded beg, the verb will end up as an example of so-called back formation, like peddle from peddler or sculpt from sculptor." - Maitani from Bookmarklet
"The attempt to trace beg to German begehren “to desire, covet” was given up quite early, for be- in begehren is an unstressed prefix. The first volume of the OED (the letters A and B) appeared in 1884. By that time James Murray had already known all the hypotheses that reference books occasionally recycle today. And so did Skeat, whose etymological dictionary of English appeared in... more... - Maitani
Though it beggars belief, I have never been buggered by a bigot. Had I been so besmirched, it might behove me to berate the blighter - Steel Penguin Slippy from Android
nice... - Technology Spot
The Latest Scheme for the Parthenon by Mary Beard | The New York Review of Books -
"In March 1816 a Select Committee of the British House of Commons met to decide the fate of “The Earl of Elgin’s Collection of Sculptured Marbles; etc.” Whatever high hopes or greedy intentions had driven Elgin to take these sculptures from the Athenian Acropolis in the first place, the whole enterprise—with the huge cost of the excavation, the removal of some precious slabs from the Parthenon itself, and the transport back from Greece to England—had ruined him. He was close to bankruptcy and his only option was to sell his marbles to the government. The asking price was £74,000." - Maitani from Bookmarklet
Muddying the Waters | George Monbiot -
Muddying the Waters | George Monbiot
"How the government’s farming policies have produced a perfectly designed system for flooding your home." - Maitani
"We pay £3.6bn a year for the privilege of having our wildlife exterminated, our hills grazed bare, our rivers polluted and our sitting rooms flooded." - Eivind
BBC News - The beauty of the UK's loneliest bus stops -
BBC News - The beauty of the UK's loneliest bus stops
BBC News - The beauty of the UK's loneliest bus stops
"The Magazine recently visited an isolated, slate-roofed shelter in rural Cumbria and asked whether it was the UK's loneliest bus stop. A number of readers suggested even more solitary alternatives." - Maitani from Bookmarklet
The oldest star in the Milky Way: A pure, second-generation star. -
The oldest star in the Milky Way: A pure, second-generation star.
"Astronomer Anna Frebel of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology is part of a team that reported the discovery this week of a star that is almost as old as the universe. She specializes in the early universe, the beginning of the chemical evolution, and the formation of the first stars and galaxies." - Maitani from Bookmarklet
3quarksdaily: Socialism is about converting hysterical misery into ordinary unhappiness -
"Last year, I said, somewhat tongue in cheek, that socialism is about converting hysterical misery into ordinary unhappiness." - Maitani from Bookmarklet
"This is what I meant. Socialism won’t eliminate the sorrows of the human condition. Loss, death, betrayal, disappointment, hurt: none of these would disappear or even be mitigated in a socialist society. As the Pirkei Avot puts it, against your will you enter this world, against your will you leave it (or something like that). That’s not going to change under socialism. But what... more... - Maitani
did you catch the discussion around startrek economics, - daveeza
No, I haven't so far. Thank you for providing the article, I am reading it now. - Maitani
Etymological Dictionary of Akkadian -
Etymological Dictionary of Akkadian
"Akkadian (Babylonian-Assyrian), a Semitic language written in the cuneiform script, was the native language of Babylonia and Assyria, the two main areas of Ancient Mesopotamia. It spread all over the Ancient Near East and was used, at least in written form and during certain periods, also from Elam in southwest Iran to Anatolia Syria, Palestine and even Egypt in the west. Written from ca. 2600 BC to the 1st century AD, Akkadian is one of the best attested languages of antiquity: the size of the Akkadian text corpus approximately corresponds to the size of the corpus of ancient Latin." - Maitani from Bookmarklet
"The Akkadian lexicon is actually accessible through two large dictionaries, W. von Sodens Akkadisches Handwörterbuch (1958–1981, 3 volumes) and The Assyrian Dictionary of the University of Chicago (1956–2010, 20 volumes). Both dictionaries present Akkadian words with their meaning in context and a large number of references. As a huge reservoir for the history of Near Eastern languages... more... - Maitani
polis: Happy Fifty Years, Gentrification! -
polis: Happy Fifty Years, Gentrification!
polis: Happy Fifty Years, Gentrification!
"According to recent literature, the word "gentrification" appeared fifty years ago in 1964. It describes a historical shift after World War II — the unmaking and remaking of cities along new class lines, although it has previous historical precedents, of course. Scholars attribute its coinage to British sociologist Ruth Glass. Its everyday use could predate her writing and Glass herself may have used it in an unpublished draft before the 1960s." - Maitani from Bookmarklet
"Working on research about London, Glass wrote: "One by one, many of the working class quarters have been invaded by the middle class — upper and lower." She then adds, "Once this process of 'gentrification' starts in a district it goes on rapidly until all or most of the working class occupiers are displaced and the whole social character of the district is changed."" - Maitani
Beringians vindicated! - The Unz Review -
Beringians vindicated! - The Unz Review
"Sometimes science turns out as you’d expect. It’s not revolutionary, but it solidifies what should already be a solid foundation basis for extending knowledge into new territories. The latest ancient genome paper, The genome of a Late Pleistocene human from a Clovis burial site in western Montana, does just that. As the media has correctly pointed out this is probably the end of the Solutrean hypothesis, and a host of other exotic explanations for the ethnogenesis of Native Americans. Rather, the truth is what we’d always assumed. On the order of ~15,000 years ago a small group of Siberians crossed over Berengia into the New World. Their descendants are the various indigenous populations of the Americas which span the expanse from the Canadian Arctic down to Patagonia." - Maitani from Bookmarklet
Literary Review - Felipe Fernández-Armesto on the Mythology of the Ark -
Literary Review - Felipe Fernández-Armesto on the Mythology of the Ark
"Among the British Museum's prodigious collection of cuneiform tablets and fragments, strangely parallel experiences befell two scholars. First, in the 1870s, George Smith identified two pre-biblical accounts of a hero divinely commissioned to build an ark and so save the denizens of the world from a cosmic flood. Reading The Epic of Gilgamesh for the first time 'after more than 2,000 years of oblivion', he rushed around, tearing off his clothes in a state of ecstasy resembling St Francis's embrace of his vocation. Less demonstratively, over a hundred years later in 1985, Irving Finkel was 'more than taken aback' when he discovered a fragment of one of the earliest versions of the flood story among bric-a-brac gathered by an English airman in Iraq during the Second World War. Finkel, like Smith, has a beard worthy of a Victorian or perhaps a biblical patriarch. His book explores even stranger parallels between Noah and the much earlier Mesopotamian ark builders." - Maitani from Bookmarklet
"Finkel's find, which dates from at least 1,200 years before the earliest supposed recording of the Noah story, contains two stunning revelations for biblical studies. Astonishingly, it includes a phrase (about the animals entering the ark) plausibly translatable as 'two by two'. So one of the striking features of the Bible story unanticipated in previously discovered Mesopotamian... more... - Maitani
BBC News - The international swap trade in useful words -
BBC News - The international swap trade in useful words
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"Philip Durkin, deputy chief editor of the Oxford English Dictionary, showed how patterns of borrowed words reflect complex patterns of cultural contacts across the centuries - with more than 50 examples. Here he looks at readers' own favourite examples." - Maitani from Bookmarklet
"Lots of people turned their attention to borrowings that reflect British colonialism in South Asia. Mark (@neuropathik) imagines a scene where you "take off your jodhpurs, put on your pyjamas, and sit on the verandah of your bungalow". You could add to this scene some chintz curtains, a baby in a cot wearing dungarees snuggled under a shawl, its mother with freshly shampooed hair... more... - Maitani
AWOL - The Ancient World Online: Sumerian Resources from Pascal Attinger -
AWOL - The Ancient World Online: Sumerian Resources from Pascal Attinger
Sumerian Resources from Pascal Attinger - Maitani from Bookmarklet
Robert Payne Smith’s 'Syriac Lexicon' | OUPblog -
Robert Payne Smith’s 'Syriac Lexicon' | OUPblog
"Dictionary projects can famously, and sometimes fatally, overrun. In the nineteenth century especially, dictionaries for the more recondite foreign languages of past and present (from Coptic to Sanskrit) were compiled by independent scholars, enthusiasts who were ready to dedicate their lives to a particular project. This may make for an exhaustively comprehensive text; it doesn’t make life easy for a publisher who needs to know when the book is going to be finished. And from the compiler’s point of view, it’s equally difficult. The passion needed to keep you going alone in the study with your pages of manuscript, is also what makes hard to recognize when it’s time to move on to the next entry. (The etymologist W. W. Skeat, who made it a personal rule not to spend more than three hours on one word, is a shining exception.)" - Maitani from Bookmarklet
"The clergyman and scholar Robert Payne Smith’s Syriac Lexicon was signed up in 1859. Peter Sutcliffe in his “Informal History” of Oxford University Press says that it was “thirty-three years in the press and the death of thirty-one compositors,” although it’s not clear quite how the second part of this calculation was made. The files show a number of attempts by the publishers either... more... - Maitani
The Utter Silence of the Andalusian Refugee » 3:AM Magazine -
The Utter Silence of the Andalusian Refugee » 3:AM Magazine
"The Andalusian refugee claims a natural world in clear sight of science and reason that is proof of a strange theology drawn from a civilisation’s social and spiritual crisis. Maimonides’ religious vision was forged out of a backdrop of exile and displacement. As this extraordinary individual lives and experiences further personal heartbreaks – a much-loved brother drowns and is never forgotten, for example – the theological vision deepens. Its oddness, like Blake’s physical, heavy-boned spirits, invents a passionate everydayness. Its practical consequence is exhortation to action. The refugee settles in Egypt, becomes a medic and helps the sick." - Maitani from Bookmarklet
"Back in the twelfth century the Andalusian refugee Moshe ben Maimon aka Maimonides tried two things. Firstly, he took Jewish law and tried to make it unambiguous and transparent. Secondly, he attempted to change Jewish religious consciousness. There were three components to this shift. Firstly there was anthropomorphism. Maimonides attacked it as a kind of idolatry in the heart, worse... more... - Maitani
Fwd: The Cambridge Companion to Medieval Jewish Philosophy #felsefi_FF (vía - Terra Barselonevî
He Moves in Mysterious Ways: Maimonides on Eternity - Terra Barselonevî
"Religions make metaphysical claims about fundamental reality and skeptical arguments that treat them as alternative scientific arguments in the skeptical tradition misunderstand this. One of the consequences of accepting the metaphysical hypothesis of a religion is that it may be totally compatible with science and naturalism, both of which are usually presented as counterfactuals to... more... - Eivind
Eivind, I agree with your comment. It's hard to imagine what remains of religion if it is made totally compatible with naturalism. But now I want to try and read the book, too. :-) - Maitani
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