Friday assorted links

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Without reading any links, I would say: No, Cats, OK, underhanded means gay?, Free trade is now Democrat, too bad about the burger, and Canada banned blood sales? How close did I get to being 1st!

I feel bad about the burger place too. Especially since there is no way that a burger that "had every element I craved: the griddled thin patty, the caramelized onions, the oozy American cheese" with "red relish and mayo on one side and the mustard mixture on the other" can actually be the best burger... Oozy American cheese... yuck.

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3. Or it was a fraud from the outset. One need not rely on Paul Krugman's column to reach that conclusion, as many books have been written providing the proof. Sure, one can agree with Brooks, that the conservative movement just lost its way. But where, in the dark?

>One need not rely on Paul Krugman's column

That's some Universally Good advice, right there.

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Yeah, go with that. There's less effort involved than in actual thinking, reflection, and study.

Some observations just can’t be made.

Perhaps it is Brooks who lost his way or exposed for what he is and now needs to coverup and place blame elsewhere.

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They do go with that. Less effort spent on actual thinking leaves more energy for many conservatives’ preferred activity: calling other people lazy.

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6. The owner should sponsor a counter listicle with his own restaurant in the middle of the pack.

Btw: relish, mayo, and mustard on the same burger? The author did the world a favor.

What he should do is charge $100+ per person who can't prove they're a local. I don't know how this isn't an obvious fix. Coase theorem anyone?

Or, just double the prices, and give all employees a pay rice, and add some employees, to decrease the stress.

Ouch, that was supposed to be pay rise!

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That's not a Coase thing. But yes, price discrimination giving locals significantly lower rates is commonly done

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"During the Cold War, being a conservative was a moral cause. You were fighting Communist tyranny — aligned with Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn and Lech Walesa." Solzhenitsyn would not have been a fellow traveler of David Brook's conservatives. He was a skeptic of free markets and an anti-Semite. The rest of the article is filled with similar kinds of revisionism.

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/europe/russia/1309348/Solzhenitsyn-in-attempt-to-heal-Jewish-wounds.html

Whatever

I've very recently redd August 1914 and Lenin in Zurich. Nothing anti-Semitic there. Some Jewish Communist characters -- not to have included them would have been unrealistic. Anyway, what matters isn't "Is he annoyed at The Jews?"; what matters is "Does he want great harm to be done to The Jews?" He doesn't appear to have wanted great harm to be done to The Jews.

Oh, so "great harm" is the new standard. Squirrel Hill - great harm or nah?

Okay, just harm. But I mean, everybody has angry thoughts now and then, and angry thoughts sort of by definition involve wishing some degree of harm on someone. If we're gonna throw away everyone who has mean thoughts about us there won't be very much left that's worth reading.

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"I'm a well-wisher, in that I don't wish you any specific harm"

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It's a fairly ridiculous attempt, isn't it?

Another misreading of history is to elide over disruption of Reagan-Thatcher to the "meritocracy" of the technocratic bureaucracies of the 70s.

And was a new "meritocracy" established by this revolution? Jeb Bush and Ted Cruz were the candidates of "meritocracy" and the system really was fair?

Consider as well: Brooks implies that the Conservative movement was but is no longer, about being "anti-Communist and pro-market, but also believing in international alliances like NATO" at the same time as throwing shade at PIS. But in what sense do the populists he describes pro-Communist, anti-market or anti-NATO? And the Cons movement was never pro-global and pro-international in all incarnations - in his hallowed 80s-90s no great fans of the UN, and Euroskepticism also was very common in Thatcher's party.

You also have to wonder if Brooks would apply his summation of nationalist parties to the confrontational nationalist governments of Israel...

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#3. "Over the past few days, there’s been a lot of gossip over whether Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker will keep his job. But it almost doesn’t matter, because from here on out, it’s Whitakers all the way down."
I wonder if David would entertain a bet on this. He seems so sure that he would have to give me at least 3 to 1 odds.

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I live in Portland and have driven by Stanich's a hundred times, and never had any idea they had even "a really good burger", let alone notionally The Best One.

Equally, I've never heard anyone here mention them at all.

("Best in America" is frankly something nobody should take seriously, anyway, as burger tastes are too variable and subjective.)

Rating Best Burgers is/are all a matter of personal taste, don't you agree? That's a mouthful to say.

Here in the Philippines, the best burger is deemed by the people to be "Jolibees" burger, which is terrible food. Horrible. Really bad. Really really bad. A half hour wait, even with a superior Burger King, McDos and Wendy's, all without lines, next door. I think it's nationalism, since J* is deemed a Filipino company. It's really bad food. Whew. So bad it's just bad. Try it yourself (they have stores in LA, NY) and see. Unless they change their burger for the US market, which they might do since they acquired some US chain (Fatburger? something) a year ago.

Here in the Philippines, the best burger is deemed by the people to be "Jolibees" burger, which is terrible food. Horrible. Really bad. Really really bad.

Those are close to my thoughts on Bigos in Honduras.

Wait, what?

Honduras is a real country with businesses and professionals and a middle class that can support a restaurant sector?

Honduras is neither artificial nor imaginary. About 30% of the population works in agriculture and about 55% works in the informal service sector ('individual as enterprise' and 'family as enterprise'). It does have a business and professional class, but they're a thin stratum.

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Pretty much agree, I'd never heard of Stanich's nor of their #1 ratings.

I did hear another recent accolade though: some visiting big-name pizza chef or pizza writer (I forget) said that Portland is the best pizza city in the country. That's pure BS, the entire west coast lacks good pizza compared to Chicago or for that matter the Northeast. So even if I had heard of Stanich's #1 rating, I wouldn't have believed it. There are a lot of BS lists around.

But maybe what's-his-name (the author of the article, I'd never heard of him before and cannot be bothered to learn his name) is actually a good critic of hamburger places? And deserves to have his "best of" lists taken semi-seriously? (Sigivald is correct that no "best of" list should be taken seriously.) Not so much that Stanich's deserved to be #1 but maybe it did have notably good hamburgers.

That could've still been enough to cause customers to flock to it. This could be another example of how the web in general and social media in particular might be doing more than simply amplifying social movements (both good and bad), they may be changing the nature of social movements of all sorts from Occupy to Arab Spring to Alt-Right to China's Social Credit metrics to ... reviews of hamburger stands.

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#2 I wish we in Florida would do the same with the varieties of mosquito that bite humans. https://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-172757/Is-end-mosquito.html

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#1 I hope Andy Warhol rots in hell

#6 Buddhism has two concepts - Mahayana (large way) and Nihiyana (small way) - which relate to the proselytizing of the faith, but can apply to the proselytizing of just about anything. Is it better to "spread the word" far and wide with its attendant purity/quality pitfalls or remain small, obscure, but fixed in your perfection. If you're curious, Mahayana won. It always wins.

@EverExtruder - #6 was about a burger place, not Buddhism, but now I see your point. I think Mahayana (Great Vehicle or Wheel) won because it promised a tangible heaven as opposed to the Nihiyana (Lesser Vehicle) which was more nebulous, with spirits just dissolving into nothing (the way originally Judaism was, until the Hellenistic era, when they got religion and constructed a heaven, which is a Indian/Eastern construct).

Bonus trivia: did Pythagoras invent reincarnation or some Indian guru? I know, I know, the weight of evidence is the latter but frankly Pythagoras wrote about it at roughly the same time. Was he just first to record or first to invent?

I was trying to show that - in this day and age - attempting to maintain purity/quality might be impossible regardless if it's done for the all the right reasons.

Being the best burger (also BBQ) in the world is like being some ultra dense element with obscenely short half-life under quantum observation. The moment it is created or observed, it ceases to exist. The moment people know of its existence, it is doomed.

Its aesthetics. The whole "don't be sad because it's over be glad because it happened" thing. I don't know, I just know the writer of that piece is asking a question for which the answer would put him out of a job. His job is telling.

Bonus? Probably first to record in both cases. Things like that got passed around the campfire orally for a long time BBCE (Before the Before.Common.Era).

Quite fitting that this story takes place in Portland.

"don't be sad because it's over, be glad because it happened"

- Portland's new city motto

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I'm sure reincarnation's been thought of anew and independently in many places again and again for the past 120,000 years. It's one of the basic options on the menu of weird entertaining possibilities.

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3. At this point we might as well pop popcorn and watch them drown in their own bile.

5. Someone needs to remind Harris and Warren that they've always been in favor of free trade.

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#7 - hemimastigotes are by far the most controversial of the links by TC. The article wrongly implies they are one billion years old, which surely cannot be from fossil evidence like Cyanobacteria (1 B yrs old) but must be from their "DNA clock" which is much less accurate, with said clock speeding up and slowing down, making extrapolation to a evolutionary year zero problematic. But WHOOSH right over your flat heads, most of you. ;-)

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5. To be fair, no one really knows what anybody actually means by the phrase "free trade." Tyler Cowen, for example seems to combine the notion that the US should meekly acquiesce to foreign mercantilism and not tax imports in any way with the notion that we need to restore the 35% corporate income tax rate. His "free trade" is really not much different than restoring something akin to the heyday of English mercantilism and colonialism. China gets to be England and the US gets to play colonial Inda. Oikophobia appears to be the operational animus.

See Jagdish Bhagwati on trade treaties. An actual free trade treaty, he says, would be about 10 pages long. The 1,000 page treaties we sign (which Congress is not permitted to read before ratifying) are compendia of carve-outs. No one actually understands them, though the lobbyists who hustled particular carve-outs do understand those pieces of handiwork). But then people like Scott Sumner or the editors of The Economist huff and puff about 'trade wars' when the President is pugnacious with foreign countries in negotiations. We'd be better off if most of our chatterati would just self-deport.

Cause Trump would totally sign that 10 page long treaty. You know it!

Hé offered a zero tariff deal in Canada. No world leader agreed. You'd be wise to think on that.

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Bhagwati is almost right. A true free trade agreement would be five words long: "You are free to trade." There is no economic justification for taxing an activity just because someone else in some other country does.

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+1. Post 2016 definitions of free trade put forth by the Centrist pundit class and their favourite economists have included:

a) whatever policies allow China export oriented development, without regard to whether China actually changes from an authoritarian and at least nominally Communist dictatorship with huge gov intervention in private sec and without any regard to whether there is reciprocity in trading arrangements or not

b) setting all product regulations for European nations centrally in a single pan-European bureaucracy, which uses its power to prevent or permit trade to bundle this with general open borders for migration, with the ultimate aim of absorbing all European nation states

Dems in the US and left in Europe, not surprisingly more "open" to these as good and fair things.

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Trade so free it requires 1,000 page treaties and armies of international bureaucrats.

@edgar

Thank you. A breath of fresh clear insight.

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#5 Just a proxy for the urban/rural divide, no?

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#6 "truckers are being offered $100k a year jobs but they can’t pass the drug tests."

Such is life in Trump's America.

They have the freedom to lead the lives they choose.

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3. After the midterms, and things like the Republican rout in Orange County, there will be postmortems. This one isn't terrible. I see the split differently, but agree there was a split. Pretty much from mid 2016 until now center-right Never-Trumpers like me were seen as "progressive!" or "leftist!" by the right because that was the only way they could wrap their head around our dismay.

Well boys, look at this picture:

https://twitter.com/OsitaNwanevu/status/1063425821644374016

If Trump were smart he'd repair that by tacking toward the center .. but we know he isn't and so he wont.

At the same time, Obama governed mostly as a centrist in his first two years in office, and after getting killed in 2010 started his tack towards the left but managed to win quite convincingly in 2012, so who knows. One thing's for sure: long-time Republicans got cleaned out, whether acting as NeverTrumpers or as pro-Trump acolytes. The GOP still needs to put together a somewhat coherent platform, too many were coasting by on "I will stop Obama, Pelosi, and Harry Reid", so it's no surprise they ran out of gas after two years where none of those people were in power.

At the same time, Obama governed mostly as a centrist in his first two years in office,

I sometimes wonder who partisan Democrats fancy they fool with these semantic games.

You did it to yourselves man,

"In 1991, Mark Pauly and others developed a proposal for George H.W. Bush that also included an individual mandate. While others credit Stanford economist Alain Enthoven with the idea, Enthoven's earliest published reference to an individual mandate was an indirect one in the 1992 Jackson Hole paper."

Republicans mind-gamed themselves and convinced themselves that their own old ideas were rampant socialism.

Can't you come up with some original talking points? This one - which says we're all obligated to do x becuase some position paper generator at Heritage once suggested it, is now maggot infested. Again, no clue whether partisan Democrats actually believe this rubbish or not.

Why would I want original, when truth tends to be grounded in history?

Look, obviously it was a short-term advantage to simply declare that everything Obama did was Socialism. But from my center right perspective that built in some defects, it crossed off a lot of good solid center right solutions.

So the Republicans rejected socialism means what?

It means absolutely nothing.

Socialism proper, state ownership of the means of production, is not even on the table.

"Socialism" for Republicans has become meaningless edge cases, like who owns the Post Office.

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http://www.startribune.com/minneapolis-grain-belt-sign-to-be-re-lit-in-2017/367162531/

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1. Speaking of free speech: don't ads deserve status as speech? Of course, ads are everywhere. I have images of ads from my childhood forever implanted in my brain. Like cigarette ads. Why didn't free speech protect cigarette ads? If the issue were taken to today's Supreme Court, I bet the freedom lovers on the Court would rule for the cigarette ads, I mean free speech. If hateful speech is protected by the first amendment, as opponents of politically correctness point out, why not cigarette ads? Indeed, stupid ideas are soon to have their own journal - the journal of stupid ideas. If stupid is protected by the first amendment, why not ads. After all, ads are no different from lobbying, and lobbying is protected by the First Amendment: "to petition the government for a redress of grievances". And lots of folks have lots of grievances. Citgo, you go girl!

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#3: Brooks is always playing this same game: a fake mea-culpa that is actually targeting people he doesn't like. He is not a conservative now and I doubt he was really one back in the "good old days" he loves so much to describe. Of course conservatives are different now. The world is different. Lefties are different too, and you don't really see a lot of reflection from him about that. I am not a Trump fan but all this doom and gloom about "the end of Republicans" is the same old crap we've heard when Obama beat McCain. It is also the same thing we heard when Romney called Russia our biggest enemy and was mocked by Obama (one of the most ironic twists of recent politics). Anyway, it is just the same old Brooks. He only calls himself a conservative to be able to criticize conservatives without being called an ideologue.

No, he calls himself a 'conservative' because the Sulzbergers and Judy Woodruff need their pretenses. If they didn't have Brooks, they'd have to admit that the viewpoint of half the country has no place in their venues (or they'd have to hire someone who would manifest that viewpoint, which they certainly do not wish to do). Forty years ago, there was space at PBS for Wm. Buckley, James Jackson Kilpatrick, and the young George Will (who was still engaging and inventive). Nowadays, they hire a poseur like Brooks while the multi-culti / red haze sectaries get dedicated time in the form of POV and Independent Lens. (Standard issue Democrats get Frontline and the Ken Burns oeuvre).

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Agreed FYI. What is hilarious too is how Brooks goes out on a limb and champions "standards of professional competence and ... the importance of experience, integrity and political craftsmanship"! He must have eaten his Wheaties that morning.

But the real question is what have the professionals done for us lately?
Did they denuclearize North Korea? Did they get China to observe the norms of international trade (and respect for its neighbors) commensurate with its economic and political power? Did they slay our budget deficits? Did they tame the identity politics that is corroding our society? Did they regain control of our borders and restore order to immigration into the country? Did they convince our European allies to take concrete steps to deter Putin from further military adventurism?No, no, and again no. None of the above. They created the vacuum that Trump filled.

Of course, I am not saying that Trump will put these things right. Some he may not even attempt to do. But, hey, let's give it a shot.

"let's give it a shot"

What, starting now?

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Agreed. Conservatives like to say that Obama created Trump but to be honest, mainstream Republicans for the past 20 years have quite a big part of that to be blamed for as well.

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1) I am a little biased (Sox fan) but this is more than ok with me. The number of ads that will reach this status are small. Someday, Citgo won't be around but hopefully the Sox will still be playing in the same exact stadium.

We live in a fast changing society. Baseball is all about holding on to something for the sake of holding on to something. That sign is such an integral part of Fenway that any efforts to tear it down would at the very least, cause me to donate some $ to whomever is fighting the teardown.

Every kid in the Boston area should experience the delight of being told about Fenway, finally going to see a game there (I did in 1989), and that memorable sign

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I was number 8 ("dreamer, always off on a tangent") in "The Psychology of Holding Cigarettes" during my 12 blissful years as a heavy smoker.

A few weeks ago, I was at a party at a shoreside mansion, where the lawn leading down to the water was spotted with old seats and benches, some of them under exotic trees, offering idyllic views of the horizon. Even though the party was crowded, these seats were unoccupied. And it occurred to me that they - and similar resting places all over the world - were placed there during the heyday of smoking.

In those days, one sought such places to enjoy a contemplative cigarette, alone or with company. There, you would spend fifteen minutes or so, happily puffing away, gazing into the distance, considering the universe and finishing your smoke. Then you'd sigh, get up, and go about your business with a renewed sense of all being right with the world.

Quitting smoking was the best thing I ever did (besides quitting drinking), but I have to say, the habit such as it was, shaped a whole civilization, leaving wistful gaps in social behavior, symbolized by those empty seats and benches, that are slowly being refilled by the behaviors surrounding the checking of smart phones.

This comment made me happy. It channeled something of Sebald. Thanks for taking the time to write it.

I got a whiff of Fitzgerald, and rather than making me happy, it made me melancholy, although I never really was a smoker. The smart phone thing is way, way past any previous addictive behaviours to my observation.

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+1

I agree, except that for me the best thing I've ever done was to quit crack cocaine and meth, and also divorce my 4th wife.

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#6 "If there was one main negative takeaway from the raging fires of food tourist culture and the lists fanning the flames, it was that the people crowding the restaurant were one time customers. They were there to check off a thing on a list, and put it on Instagram. They weren’t invested in the restaurant’s success, but instead in having a public facing opinion of a well known place. In other words, they had nothing to lose except money and the restaurant had nothing to gain except money, and that made the entire situation feel both precarious and a little gross. " sounds a lot like DFW description of tourists as parasites.

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Brooks's chirpy writing style masks a very confused argument, which conflates the conservative movement, Anne Applebaum's dinner party in 1999, the Trump administration and NAZIs.

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Seven of Brooks' 15 paragraphs directly refer to Anne Applebaum's essay. He may or may not be not be a conservative, but he does know how to conserve his mental energy

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3. Brooks, interestingly, cites Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, who catalogued plainly how non-Russian Jews subverted and destroyed Russia, murdering millions in the process. Now that the same disease infects Europe, folks who don't enjoy the trajectory are of course "Nazis."

Search the Holodomor, unwisened ones.

You're funny.

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Someone escaped the anti-Russian-troll filter.

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#4. Nobody on 4? Somewhere I read cigarette smokers are down to 15% in the US. I would imagine the rate is even lower in the "9.9%." Not sure about the 0.1% as I dont encounter them often.

So..yeah...#4's a little like reading about the various kinds of buggy whips.

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#1
The Citgo sign should be maintained forever. It is Kenmore Square..

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3. Brooks. lol "conservative meritocracy". I think Normal Rockwell made that up.

It is as if the Rove/Bush/Rumsfeld sh*tshow never happened.

6. Lists. The internet is the worst thing that ever happened to low-key "authentic" joints that did one thing well and made a decent living catering to locals and people in the know. And for lovely lonely trails/beaches.

We are a nation of gawkers. Who haven't the slightest clue how to sniff out the good stuff without having someone else of perceived authority shove thier noses in it first.

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The hemimastigote report is fantastic. It's the sort of thing that a beginning graduate student dreams of.

I think most of us who have worked in genomics believe that there are lots of weird micro-scale organisms out there (protists, archae, bacteria etc) that will make us think of the tree of life differently. As indicated in these articles, culturing them has been a major barrier to studying them.

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Mr. Roy Medvedev has died.

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"Conservatives" get mad at David Brooks, Bret Stephens et. al as milquetoast, but for a middle aged white guy that doesn't get held accountable on any predictions or useful insight, it’s hard to say no to a $250k+/yr no show job where you blog once a month and have 19 assistants that you cheat on your wife with.

It’s the the 74 virgins thing for “almost went to law school” guys.

Or maybe I'm getting him confused with the global taxi insight Saudi Arabia apologist guy? That's my Straussian reading of it.

So edgy

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#6. What's wrong with this country? Can't a man walk down the street without being offered a job?

--Waylon Smithers

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