Movie Review: Your Name

Apr. 26th, 2017 07:00 am
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Posted by Carrie S

Your Name is an anime film that has been a huge hit in Japan, China, and South Korea. You could watch it with a keen understanding of Japanese culture and Shintoism, both of which I lack. Or, you could watch it with two middle-school girls at the end of a very long day, with a solid case of PMS. The verdict from the girls: “The movie is pretty, but it’s very confusing.”

The first part of Your Name is a romantic comedy version of Freaky Friday. Mitsuha lives in Itomori, a small town in the countryside. It’s a beautiful but boring setting for a teen, especially a teen who feels pressured to live up to the expectations of various family members.

Mitsuha wishes she were a boy living in Tokyo. When she falls asleep, she wakes up in the body of Taki, a teenaged boy living in — you guessed it — Tokyo. In Itomori, Taki wakes up in Mitsuha’s body. When they fall asleep, they switch back, and so on. Gradually the two work out a system of leaving journal entries on each other’s phones. Taki helps Mitsuha deal with bullies at school and Mitsuha helps Taki get a date.

It’s weird, but fine, until they realize that they can’t call each other (“This phone is out of service”). This is the first sign that things are seriously awry.

Take and Mitsua

Eventually Taki makes a discovery that I will not reveal. This causes the movie to change tone, becoming in turns a mystery movie and a disaster movie. There’s a lot of running and strategizing and freaking out. There happen to also be several heart-rending moments in which characters yell, “WHAT’S YOUR NAME!”

These moments are probably more touching when you don’t have a middle-school girl next to you whispering “ALEXANDER HAMILTON!”

I went in with almost no idea of what the movie was about. Since it has some powerful twists and turns, I’m not going to spoil the plot. I will say, though, that the funny parts are very funny and the suspenseful parts very suspenseful. Periodically Taki and Mitsuha lose their connection and begin to forget each other. These sequences are horrifying and heartrending as they try to hold on to a wisp of memory of “something precious – something I don’t want to forget.” The more fragile the relationship seems to be, the more heavily the participants and the viewer invest in it.

I suspect that this movie would benefit from multiple viewings. For one thing, the plot is not entirely linear. It’s told from different points of view, and there are time skips of several years. However, it’s not as confusing as my teenaged review team suggests. I’m pretty sure I followed it, and with one more watching I’d have it down. In addition to helping make sense of the timeline, multiple viewings would show off a lot of facets and clues – you can tell the movie is layered with details, too many to catch at once.

Taki and Mitsua on a mountain at sunset

The themes of “union” are powerful, and the characters feel real, but the standout quality of this movie is how incredibly beautiful it is. Itomori is a town on a mountain, surrounded by forest, with a lake that is shown at different times of day in all kinds of lighting. Tokyo pales in comparison – but there are details like the blinking lights on a crane and the food in a café that are just lovely. The use of light and space, geometry and shape, reinforces the ideas about the importance of connection in a cosmic sense. There’s a contrast between the small people and the big world that makes connections between people seem more, instead of less, important. See this on the big screen if you can!

Some American viewers may think of anime as an art form involving science fiction and action and fanservice, all of which I enjoy considerably. However, Your Name is an example of an anime that is a character-centered drama with just a touch of the mystical. There are no overt fantasy or science fiction elements except for the body switching. There’s no sex, although Taki’s reaction to waking up as a girl is, inevitably, to start squeezing his/her breasts which gets more and more hilarious every time he wakes up and is inevitably caught by Mitsuha’s little sister. It’s a sweet, sometimes tragic, sometimes happy love story about two very confused teenagers growing up in a beautiful but sometimes catastrophic world. It’s geared towards adults but other than some language there’s nothing inappropriate for children.

Just keep in mind that they will probably react like this:

 

Your Name is in theaters now and tickets (US) are available at Fandango and Moviefone.

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[personal profile] the_comfortable_courtesan

Comes Sandy one morn to say that The Fearsome Strand, that is my novel of wreckers and sea-monsters does extreme well, and the publishers are exceeding anxious for anything else I might give 'em.

I sigh and say, 'tis gratifying, but has he had a chance to look over the plays I gave him?

Indeed, says he, as Celeste comes with coffee and shortbreads, and has already been see Mr J- with 'em. Likes 'em exceedingly – in particular the comedy, for hints most alluring at certain late scandals, without it could be suppos’d to refer to specifick persons. Also, there is Miss T-, that undertook Miss R-'s parts while she was unable to be about the business, comes on very promising, and with three fine parts for actresses, there will be no brangling amongst 'em.

I am pleas’d to hear it, says I, but I doubt not that Mr J- has suggestions for telling business that might be includ’d.

Why, says Sandy, taking a shortbread, I have a few notes to the purpose. But I think he may be dissuad’d from including a volcanick eruption in The Antiquarian’s Daughter.

La, says I, I may suppose he has late took on some fellow that manufactures spectacles -

Sandy remarks that he fears 'tis so, for Mr J- put out some feelers as to whether the esteem’d dramatist thought of turning The Fearsome Strand into a play?

I shudder and say, why, had consider’d upon it, but should shrink from matters of vulgar spectacle.

Sandy laughs and says, sure you are in accord with Mr P- for once, for he deplores that practice, as too oft employ’d to distract from the poorness of the play itself. And I myself am in some doubts as to whether brings about anything of enduring value to the drama.

We look at one another very amicable.

But, says Sandy, dear sibyl, you look a little troubl’d.

O, says I, 'tis entire foolish qualmishness about this dinner-party I go give, Lord and Lady T- and their gloomy son, and Sir B- and Susannah, with their house-guests.

Sandy winces and says, including Mrs D- K-, I apprehend. Sure will not be the jollyest of gatherings, but I daresay you have some strategy upon hand?

Why, says I, I am not sure I entirely have a strategy upon hand, but there are matters I hope observe; and sigh. Sure, says I, I can think of more congenial gatherings.

Come, dear C-, consider your soirées, that have brought together in harmony a deal of assort’d society.

La, says I, I would not answer for what might happen did Mr P- ever discover that Deacon Brodie was of the company.

Sandy laughs quite immoderate and says, naming of seconds, for a dawn meeting for the exchange of critickal opinions, at ten paces.

I am brought to laughter myself. My dear, says I, I am delight’d to see you in such restor’d spirits.

Why should not my spirits be lighten’d at receiving such kindness as I do not deserve? Has he not quite the noblest of hearts?

I look at him very fondly and say, harmony entire restor’d, then?

Sandy looks thoughtfull and says, somehow seems that the painfull breach has come to bring about a better understanding.

Long may it endure, says I.

But, dearest C-, I must be about my business: you may laugh when I tell you, Lord A- is mind’d to employ a secretary that may advize him upon such politickal matters as he is call’d upon to deal with in the Lords –

What? I cry.

- 'tis the influence of Mr O- B-, that he finds himself on excellent terms with, has contriv’d to bring him about to think upon his responsibilities and the condition of the nation &C.

I laugh a little, 'tis such a very unexpect’d conjunction of the fribble and the cotton manufacturer: but indeed I am pleas’d to hear it.

- so I go about certain of my acquaintance that might suit.

Why, I would not hinder you in such a task. Kindly leave Mr J-'s notes with me and I will address myself to the matter, ‘twill distract my mind from fretting.

But, alas, when I have done that, and set certain suggestions aside so I may think 'em over further, I am return’d to the frets, so I determine go take a little ride on Jezebel.

When I come to the stableyard I find Nick, Nell, and Sal, that is her sister that tends the mews cottage, that huddle together and I daresay are in concern over the matter of the sale of the livery-stable. They jump apart and Nell and Sal scurry off about their proper business. Nick goes fetch out Jezebel, that Ajax has been saddling &C.

'Tis another matter for me to go fret over as I ride.

But comes at last the time when my guests arrive, and sure 'tis ever pleasing to see Sir B- W- and dear Susannah, and Captain C- looks as tho’ having made his decision to sell out takes a deal of weight from his mind, and Mrs D- K- is looking in good taste. And Lord T- is ever amiable, and Lady T- makes exceeding civil to me, even if Lord K- is the same sad dull fellow, his eyes ever straying towards Mrs D- K-.

Timothy comes with some excellent fine wine - has acquir’d a deal of polish in the matter, I confide he took some lessoning at R- House in such duties – that most fortunate I had already in my cellar, for have been so busy since my return have had no opportunity to convoke with Mr H- concerning his friends of the Trade.

We exchange a little civil conversation – Lady T- wishes to know is there any lace made about Naples, for 'twas once most exceeding not’d for that art. Alas, says I, has declin’d from those days, there is indeed lace hawkt about but 'tis somewhat coarse. However, I go on, the Contessa di S- has some very fine antique lace that has been in her family this long while.

Susannah says, she is ever in the greatest admiration for Lady T-'s skill with the bobbins and the fine lace she makes. Alas, she goes on with a flourish of her lorgnette, I fancy I am too near-sight’d to be able to undertake anything of the like, even did my fingers have the skill.

Lady T- smiles a little and I see this prepossesses her with dear Susannah, that she has been like to suppose a sad bluestocking that rules her husband.

In due course comes Hector to inform us that dinner is serv’d, and we go into the new part of my house and my fine dining-room, and I look about it very pleas’d, for the furniture is all well-polisht and the table laid with my good china and my very fine wine-glasses, and there are candelabra with fine candles burning, and two epergnes that hold pickles and relishes and are deckt with flowers that were especial sent over from R- House.

'Twas no difficult matter to think who should take who in to dinner: Sir B- W- takes Lady T-, Lord K- takes Susannah, Captain C- arms in Mrs D- K-, and I, of course, am took in by Lord T-.

And Hector and Timothy come around laying the dishes that have come fresh and hot by means of that very excellent device from the kitchen beneath, and go round with wine, and I observe Lady T- look most approving at my dinner service. Euphemia has done most exceeding well and all except Lord K-, that looks sorrowfull at Mrs D- K-, look upon the first course with great pleasure.

I hear Sir B- W- offer to carve Lady T- some of this excellent beef, or perchance she would prefer duck, and here are some little new peas, and I see that she becomes amiable towards him. Susannah goes endeavour make conversation with Lord K-, that picks at his food as if fears might be poison’d.

Lord T- says 'tis pleasing to see me return’d to Town in such health, and hopes that the matters of my property at Naples are entire settl’d? – indeed, says I – and hopes they may see me at C- Castle this summer. We discourse a little of mutual acquaintance, and he remarks that Mr C- answers most excellent as secretary.

There is a pleasing little buzz of conversation tho’ one must observe that Lord K- does not say much.

At the remove and the bringing of the second course – Euphemia has contriv’d to obtain a very fine fresh salmon upon which all exclaim, and there is also the excellent early sparrowgrass – Lord K- is at last at liberty to speak to Mrs D- K-, that he does in somewhat of an undertone, waving away the while the offer of the very fine rice pillow with almonds and raisins. (Sir B- W- looks at me, and says, all the more for the rest of us.)

Lady T- goes converse with Captain C-, and very soon they determine upon some family connexion by way of Mrs Robert G-, and she displays a markt increase in civility towards him, and shortly he is telling her about his adventures at the Cape with his regiment, and later in Nova Scotia, and I see her eyes go to Lord K-, that leads such a dull life going about quacking himself for imaginary ailments, and I daresay she makes odorous caparisons.

The ice-pudding is most well-receiv’d, except by Lord K-, that says somewhat about the unwholesomeness of such things. He also eschews the very good cheese, that has been sent by Martha from the dairy on the Admiral’s estate.

At the proper moment I rise to withdraw the ladies to my parlour, so that Hector may bring out the port and brandy and cigars for the gentlemen.

There is tea and ratafia ready for us, along with some little macaroons, and we talk of various matters – what a shame 'twas I misst the M- House ball, 'twas an excellent occasion, but doubtless I saw a deal of society at Naples – until the gentlemen come in, that is not a long while at all.

Lord T-, Sir B- W- and Captain C- are conversing very amiable about Nova Scotia, but Lord K- has somewhat of a sulky look and goes with somewhat uncivil expedition to Mrs D- K-'s side.

I do not think he would drag her from her bed to kick her, but sure I am in some concern about how he would show as a husband.

Chapter 62: Page 17

Apr. 26th, 2017 12:00 am
[syndicated profile] gunnerkrigg_feed
The Work progresses.
------------------------
Here's the latest video in my chapter recap series on Youtube! This time it's Chapter 40: The Stone.

Detoxing the Ocean

Apr. 26th, 2017 12:15 am
[syndicated profile] hakai_magazine_feed

Posted by Michael Allen

New technology could pull toxic metals out of contaminated water.

by Michael Allen | 850 words

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WASHINGTON (AP) -- There's an unconventional new president in the White House. And the Republicans now have a new lock on both ends of Washington's Pennsylvania Avenue. But the capital city is still up to its old gridlock tricks....
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NEW YORK (AP) -- You'd think Twitter would be able to milk its status as President Donald Trump's megaphone. But the company still faces stagnant user growth, has never made a profit and may even report a quarterly revenue decline Wednesday, a first since going public....
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WASHINGTON (AP) -- Leading House conservatives are saying good things about a plan to revive the GOP health care bill. But an influential GOP House moderate is opposing the proposal, leaving party leaders to assess whether the idea could help one of President Donald Trump's premier but most problematic priorities spring back to life....

My father-in-law

Apr. 26th, 2017 08:39 am
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[personal profile] happydork
My father-in-law passed away on Monday morning.

He was a kind man. Brilliant, playful, curious, funny, generous, loving — and kind. He loved to laugh and he loved to share, and his love for Amy shone out of him. He was so open to and enthusiastic about anything that made her happy — even if I hadn’t loved him for himself (and I did), I would have loved him for that.

I know he wanted to be remembered for who he was before the last few months of his life. The lively, silly, driven man who raced his small daughter down corridors (feinting the wrong way and giggling as she followed his misdirection), who trekked the world for charity, who took beautiful photographs, loved music, cooked and ate with gusto, and took great pleasure in so many things. But I’ll also remember how, at the end, he kept his kindness and kept his warmth. Every time we visited, I was struck again by how clearly he wanted Amy to feel welcome, to feel loved.

I was so lucky to have him in my life for the last few years. I'm far from the only one who'll be carrying him in my heart from now on.

neat

Apr. 26th, 2017 12:18 am
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[personal profile] solarbird
Looks like Navbar version 3 might get fast-tracked. Mobile and desktop both. Might even be in next Monday's news post. Excellent.

Question: Favourite character

Apr. 26th, 2017 08:00 am
kayim: (Expanse: Pretty Amos)
[personal profile] kayim posting in [community profile] rocinante
I'm so pleased that so many people are joining the community. Not only does it fill me with happy glowing feelings, it's also pretty awesome that there are other Expanse fans out there!

So today I'll wanted to ask a question: Who is your favourite Expanse character?

Feel free to include book characters in here, but if your answer includes something that could be considered a spoiler, please write SPOILER WARNING in the subject line of your comment :)

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[personal profile] dialecticdreamer
Temporary Neighbors
by Dialecticdreamer/Sarah Williams
part 1 of 2, complete
word count (story only): 1021


:: This story takes place the same evening as “Opportunities Lost and Found.” ::



The atmosphere in the chocolate house fell somewhere between the reserved, earnest quiet of a reading room and the testing, inquiring chatter between college students after a particularly stirring lecture. The main room was perhaps the same area as the whole ground floor of the rooming house next door, but the open space dotted with white-painted support pillars was crowded with round tables covered with calico print tablecloths in an assortment of colors and fan-backed Windsor chairs stained nearly black. Sunset colored the windows, but could not overcome the bright gaslight inside.

Leland raised a hand to wave at the young blond man who normally cleared tables and washed dishes for the House owner, frowning as he spotted two men in suits emerging from the archway that led to the cellar stairs. The kitchen and larder were downstairs, and Mary did not allow anyone, even delivery boys, into her domain in order to help secure the secrecy of her recipes.
Read more... )

Suspiria: Raspberry Swirl by se42

Apr. 26th, 2017 02:12 am
aurumcalendula: (Default)
[personal profile] aurumcalendula posting in [community profile] vidrecs
Vid Title: Raspberry Swirl
Vidder: se42
Fandom: Suspiria
Summary: Suzy enrolls in a prestigious dance academy, befriends a girl named Sarah, and uncovers an ancient evil. (Or, welcome to evil dance school.)
Reccer's Comments: This is very cool and really well done! I love the use of color and how the cutting never lets up (and it kind of makes me want to watch the source despite not being fond of horror movies).

Surgery Eve

Apr. 26th, 2017 01:44 am
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[personal profile] cathugger
I was hoping to write something before the surgery scheduled on the 26th (AKA tomorrow), but I've just been so overwhelmed over the past week. Family problems, paranoia, stress, pain, and all the stuff we have to get done before surgery (much more than I expected at least) have me sitting here with less brain power than usual. Now it's past 1AM, and... I can't even remember what I was going to say. I really wanted to write the past few days, but they're already being pushed deeper into my memory. 

Yesterday I'm pretty sure [personal profile] woofelss  followed through with a last-minute plan to meet up with someone we used to hang out with. Thinking the person has been trying to avoid me, I wasn't sure about the plan, but [personal profile] woofelss  pushed the idea so I'd do something social. After all, he hasn't picked up any negative signs from that person, and I generally trust him more than I trust myself. We also went to a presurgery checkup earlier that day, and getting out of the DC area took two hours longer than expected this time. So we ended up only getting two hours with them, though they both got to see each other for a few hours before I showed up. That should've been fine, but paranoia isn't easy to control. It ended up being fun anyway--just probably spent more time feeling strong negative emotions before + after the event than positive emotions during the event (if my half-asleep words make any sense). I don't know if it was worth it.

Today, I signed a few documents on what is to be done when I am dead or unable to make decisions. [personal profile] woofelss showed up after his classes and is planning to spend the night and hang around the hospital on surgery day. 

Now? I'm exhausted, and I still have more to do. I had to take a shower tonight and will have to take one at about 6AM tomorrow. (Before today, the plan was to leave around 3-4AM, so I just decided hat I wouldn't sleep. Apparently, that's when the doctors who are more aware of my conditions are available. Not sure how I feel about that change. I'll go along with, though.) Then I have take meds at a specific time. Blah, this is starting to look glitchy on my iPPad, so Ill probably just sleep now.
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Posted by grammaboodawg

When TheOneRing.net marked its 10th anniversary in 2009, we celebrated in style. We had such a good time, we decided to celebrate every year on April 26, the date that TORn was established.To us, however, this is more than an Anniversary.

Inspired by TORn Discussion Board member weaver, April 26 has evolved into Founders Day!  It’s become TheOneRing.net’s official holiday to celebrate our four Founders and is our time to say thanks to them and the people who keep this place going.  It’s a great day to find shade under our FD Tree and reminisce, tell war stories, and reflect on all the adventures and friendships that have been forged over the years.  If you watch closely, you’ll see that every year a new leaf sprouts with its own unique look. [Here’s more about our FD Party Tree]

 

Come to our Discussion Boards where the day is filled with the best that a virtual party can offer.  Everyone is invited to join in — so don’t be shy!  Look for special party threads clearly identified in the subject line on our message boards (mostly on Main, Off Topic and Feedback).  Hunt around, find a party game you like, or a conversation you enjoy, and dive in! Plus Barliman’s chat is always open, as is our facebook page, of course. While we understand they don’t currently have a special event planned, they always welcome both old friends and new visitors, so why not drop in and say Hi!

Here’s to our Founders: Corvar, Xoanon, Tehanu, Calisuri!

Happy 18th TORniversary, TheOneRing.net!!

As part of our celebration every year we reprise posting the TORn “Valaquenta” shown here. The TORn Valaquenta was written by member Alassëa Eruvende and set most beautifully to paper by our dear friend Daniel Reeve, calligrapher and artist for Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings and Hobbit movies. Enjoy!

Valaquenta

TORn’s Founders Day Party Tree

Apr. 26th, 2017 05:50 am
[syndicated profile] the_one_ring_net_feed

Posted by grammaboodawg

On April 26, 2009, TheOneRing.net marked its 10th anniversary with a huge celebration. It was quickly agreed that the TORn-born Founders Day holiday would be an annual event.  The Discussion Board members wanted a proper logo to mark each year; so being fans of J.R.R. Tolkien, we decided a Party Tree would be perfect!  Discussion Board member Ainu Laire gave us this lovely elvish design to build upon. Every year, a unique leaf has been added to mark each TORniversary.  So, beginning with our 11th Founders Day/Anniversary/TORniversary (also like Tolkien… there are several names applied ;), we planted our Founders Day Party tree with a leaf for our 10th and 11th TORniversaries (2009 & 2010).

There really hasn’t been a formula for deciding which type of leaf should be added; but it was agreed that avoiding the same kind year-after-year would make the leafy symbol of each year as unique as the events surrounding it.  So whoever led the year’s Party chose which foliage to display.

As time slides by, if you watch closely, you’ll see that every year a new leaf will sprout to help our Party Tree grow fuller and stronger… just like the TORn Community that has grown in its shade.

Here’s a glimpse of the leaves added since the beginning and a bit  of the Trends and Threads going on within the Discussion Boards each year.

10th TORniversary Leaf (2009) Elven – April is always launched with an “April’s Fool” homepage prank by tptb.  This year found the Discussion Board members’ nicknames suddenly converted to Harry Potter monikers.  The Discussion on the Boards were also fascinated with Susan Boyle.

 

 

 

11th TORniversary Leaf (2010) Shumard Oak – It’s been 7 years since the release of RotK, and we were panting for information on the filming of The Hobbit!  Would it happen or not!?  But it was tempered for a spell at the announcement of Peter Jackson’s Knighthood!

 

12th TORniversary Leaf (2011) Sugar Maple – A preview for an upcoming HBO show starring Sean Bean had posters filled with anticipation… something called A Game of Thrones.  More importantly, TORn’s community was brought together with the destructive earthquake(s) of Christchurch.  Many members of the Boards live in or near the area overwhelmed by the devastating quakes.  This year’s Founders Day Party included an incredible video made by Discussion Board poster One_Ringer of TORnsib’s pictures attending LotR-related conventions, moots, etc.

 

13th TORniversary Leaf (2012) Alder – Long-time poster and creator One_Ringer, who gave us a video of TORnsib pictures at conventions, moots, etc., offered his thoughts about TORn, which sums up how many posters feel about their online community.  The reviews and reactions to the first installment of The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey are still coming in; but the anticipation of Smaug in The Desolation of Smaug has really captured our imagination!

 

14th TORniversary Leaf (2013) Oak & Acorn – Many long-anticipated movies /videos were getting TORn members very excited, but none more than the fan-made work called Born of Hope.  Posters were very busy discussing the 1st Hobbit installment, An Unexpected Journey and longer-anticipated part 2, The Desolation of Smaug.

 

 

15th TORniversary Leaf (2014) Rhododendron – This year’s Founder Day included another TORn first, Tolkienia Times; a local online newspaper created by local sibbies.  And there’s one thing TORnsibs do very well…a pants thread.  Although, a good pun thread will do the trick.

 

 

16th TORniversary Leaf (2015) Shamrock – Every once in a while, a thread will take on a life of its own.  This was the case for a run-away Name that word game that eventually had to be locked (replies no long possible) because it grew so much, but it’s still great fun to read.  This Founders Day season also gave us another issue of Tolkienia Times!

 

 

17th TORniversary Leaf (2016) Mallorn – The 3 installments of The Hobbit have been completed; but our thirst for more Tolkien is not quenched.  TORnsibs discussed casting for the Silmarillion.  We also talked about which scenes we liked better in the LotR/Hobbit movies than in the books.

 

 

18th TORniversary Leaf (2017) Silver Fern, national symbol of New Zealand, a.k.a., Middle-earth – The love of J.R.R. Tolkien’s books is still very popular and finds its way to magazine special editions.  And a year later, we’re still talking about The Silmarillion being made into films.  We never give up… never surrender!

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