Friday, May 22, 2015

Do you really want this couple to be Bill Clinton’s third term?

Organizations addressed by Bill Clinton include the U.S. Islamic World Forum (between $250,000 and $500,000 contributed), a South Korean energy and chemical company ( between $500,00 and $1 million), the China Real Estate Development Corp., and the Qatar First Investment Bank (both paying between $250,000 and $500,000).

http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2015/05/22/clinton-foundation-reveals-up-to-264m-in-previously-undisclosed-payments/

Dark Chocolate is good for us

I have one or two cups of dark chocolate drink in the morning.  I make my own brew. Lately, I’ve been having the chocolate drink before my coffee.  Hersey’s dark chocolate powder, brown box, 100% cacao, adding half the sugar/sweetener recommended. I like it made with about 1/4 cup decaf coffee, with milk added. Yummy and energy inducing.

1) Dark Chocolate is Good for Your Heart

2) Dark Chocolate is Good for Your Brain

Dark chocolate increases blood flow to the brain as well as to the heart, so it can help improve cognitive function. Dark chocolate also helps reduce your risk of stroke.

Dark chocolate also contains several chemical compounds that have a positive effect on your mood and cognitive health. Chocolate contains phenylethylamine (PEA), the same chemical your brain creates when you feel like you're falling in love. PEA encourages your brain to release endorphins, so eating dark chocolate will make you feel happier.

3) Dark Chocolate Helps Control Blood Sugar

Dark chocolate helps keep your blood vessels healthy and your circulation unimpaired to protect against type 2 diabetes.

4) Dark Chocolate is Full of Antioxidants

Antioxidants help free your body of free radicals, which cause oxidative damage to cells. Free radicals are implicated in the aging process and may be a cause of cancer.

5) Dark Chocolate Contains Theobromine

Dark chocolate contains theobromine, which has been shown to harden tooth enamel. Theobromine is also a mild stimulant, though not as strong as caffeine.

6) Dark Chocolate is High in Vitamins and Minerals

Dark chocolate contains a number of vitamins and minerals that can support your health.

  • Potassium
  • Copper
  • Magnesium 
  • Iron

http://www.fitday.com/fitness-articles/nutrition/healthy-eating/6-health-benefits-of-dark-chocolate.html

http://my.clevelandclinic.org/services/heart/prevention/nutrition/food-choices/benefits-of-chocolate

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/08/07/chocolate-brain-blood-flow-thinking-skills_n_3721880.html

http://darkchocolatebrands.net/top-health-benefits-of-dark-chocolate.html#.VV-IYWfbL0c

Bison return to Illinois

The next time I’m in Franklin Grove, I think I stop by the preserve and try to see the bison.

At least 30 million bison grazed the North American prairies in the 1500s, allowing plants to grow and attract native animals. But over-hunting killed most of the iconic creatures, crushing the population to less than 1,000 by the 1800s, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

With the help of ranchers and conservationists, bison have made a comeback. A 2007 U.S. Department of Agriculture census shows more than 198,000 bison on private properties across the country, with more than 1,200 in Illinois. An additional 20,000 bison roam public land in the U.S.

Ninety miles west of Chicago, staff and volunteers have worked since 1986 to restore Nachusa, a 3,100-acre mosaic of agricultural land and prairie fields. http://articles.chicagotribune.com/2014-04-22/news/ct-illinois-bison-met-20140422_1_prairie-fields-bison-tallgrass

And a new baby. http://www.inquisitr.com/1992159/illinois-baby-bison/

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Islamic TV in Columbus

I watched a segment on our Islamic channel this morning about dawah, or proselytizing/preaching and offering an invitation. The speaker said 1) Listening is the key to establishing a relationship, then 2) thank the person for his question no matter how abusive and misinformed because that disarms the hate. Since both Muslims and Christians are learning the same messaging techniques, let's hope the message of salvation is different.

In another segment, the speaker had a red, white, blue ball cap with stars and stripes, and long white beard, a Midwestern good ol’ boy accent, and explained how to tangle Christians in their own misinformation about their own religion as they are led to Islam. Culture awareness swings both ways.

Also, there was religious leader advising parents on their children's marriages--good English, accented, alternating with phrases in Arabic, and I think he was speaking from Sri Lanka, but is U.S. based. He warned them--there are plenty of good women, few good men of character and honesty. He suggested they stop seeking the perfect mate for their daughters--we don't live in the same culture of even 10 years ago. Don't tolerate long engagements--just a reason for sex and unhappiness for your daughters. Sometimes abortions. He counsels them and hears what their parents don't. He railed against social media--Twitter and Facebook--and said the only reason he used it was to promote Islam, but that their children could be led astray.

Sounds familiar, doesn't it?

Ravi Zacharias Baccalaureate address 2013

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fdxVhqncmP4

We hear about some that aren’t so good, this one is excellent.

And Ben Carson in 2012

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i-Foz-EjZ3g

Our lost blood and treasure—frittered away by Obama and followers

“The hasty retreat this week of the Iraqi army from the capital of Anbar province, the country’s largest and the heartland of its Sunni minority, clearly stunned an administration that has argued it is making steady progress toward Obama’s goal of debilitating and defeating the Islamic State.” WaPo, chief lap sitter of the WH

Good God, even Washington Post?

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Take his daughter to work on your tax dollar

I was reading the USDA page about waste (Americans waste an obscene amount of food, much of which I’m convinced is because of government regulations about safety, labeling, quality, etc.) http://www.usda.gov/oce/foodwaste/# So as I was browsing, I saw there was a blog. I’m a blogger, so I clicked and found out it was written by a 15 year old who had gone to work with her dad, Director of the USDA Climate Change Program Office in Washington, D.C. —several states away in Michigan, since he was a government employee attending a conference with people (farmers, producers, processors) who also had flown in to Michigan from around the country slurping up fuel and leaving a huge carbon footprint in the process. http://blogs.usda.gov/2015/04/28/on-bring-your-daughter-to-work-day-a-local-student-learns-about-climate-change/

She’s been brainwashed about Earth Day and Climate Change (it’s her father’s livelihood), but what I noticed was how much money was being wasted for show. I attended many conferences in my professional life, and made wonderful friends, some still on Facebook with me, but they are opportunities for cities and hotels and invited speakers to make money and the people in the profession to add to their resume for Promotion and Tenure.

So here’s the comment I left on the blog.

I didn't know "Take your daughter to work day" was still in place. But the "cha-ching" of the cost of doing this, travel, hotel, food, conference facilities, flying people around the country to attend a conference that could easily have been done via Skype or e-mail or just reading the literature is the first thing that jumped out at me. And then the really big one: "incentives," aka my tax money. And carbon credits--what a scam. All for Earth Day, to honor Rachel Carson who killed more black children than the cross Atlantic slave trade after she got DDT off the market before there were replacements.

If Bush lied, then Democrats committed treason

Of course, Bush lied--well, maybe not. Perhaps Democrats like Clinton, Biden, Reid, Pelosi, etc. lied about WMD? First supported the war, then stabbed our brave military personnel in the back.  They warned us about the security threat from Saddam. Don't let them rewrite history.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RhZ2ZvS2t_E&feature=youtu.be

European union will fight illegal immigration—will we?

“LONDON — The European Union on Monday [May 18, 2015]  approved the use of military force to take on migrant smugglers in the Mediterranean, significantly escalating Europe’s response to a crisis that has left at least 1,800 people dead this year.

The decision allows European governments to move ahead with plans for a naval operation that has been taking shape for weeks and that officials say is crucial to any attempt to confront the burgeoning tide of smuggler vessels ferrying migrants from North ­Africa to Europe.” Washington Post

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Exercising with Eric

Today the YouTube I found for my exercise routine was our own Pastor Eric Waters in an "reenactment" of his July 4, 2010 sermon of several years ago. We're not usually here in the summer, but I did attend this meeting. Enjoy.

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

If you Google Eric Waters, you’ll have to wade through all the ones about an athlete by that name.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Why there is an income gap

Five people in a household working make more money than one person working part time.

Households with two full-time workers earn five times as much as households in which nobody works.

Here is a summary  (from 2010) of some of the key demographic differences between American households in the bottom and top income quintiles in 2010:

1. On average, there were significantly more income earners per household in the top income quintile households (1.97) than earners per household in the lowest-income households (0.43).

2. Married-couple households represented a much greater share of the top income quintile (78.4 percent) than for the bottom income quintile (17 percent), and single-parent or single households represented a much greater share of the bottom quintile (83 percent) than for the top quintile (21.6 percent).

3. Roughly 3 out of 4 households in the top income quintile included individuals in their prime earning years between the ages of 35-64, compared to only 43.6 percent of household members in the bottom fifth who were in that age group.

4. Compared to members of the top income quintile, household members in the bottom income quintile were 1.6 times more likely to be in the youngest age group (under 35 years), and three times more likely to be in the oldest age group (65 years and over).

5. More than four times as many top quintile households included at least one adult who was working full-time in 2010 (77.2 percent) compared to the bottom income quintile (only 17.4 percent), and more than five times as many households in the bottom quintile included adults who did not work at all (68.2 percent) compared to top quintile households whose family members did not work (13.3 percent).

6. Family members of households in the top income quintile were about five times more likely to have a college degree (60.3 percent) than members of households in the bottom income quintile (only 12.1 percent). In contrast, family members of the lowest income quintile were 12 times more likely than those in the top income quintile to have less than a high school degree in 2010 (26.7 percent vs. 2.2 percent).

Coffee research

cappuccino-593256_150

Free image from Pixabay.com

Do you need some more reasons to enjoy that cup of coffee in the morning? I switched to decaf because of a-fib, but it still has the good stuff. A really good summary of current research. http://samadimd.com/latesthealth/coffee-and-your-health

I watch Dr. Samadi on week-ends on Fox, and find him a good balance between sound research and alternative concepts.

I've tried several brands of decaf (never brewed coffee until about 2 years ago) and have settled on Folger's. I like it with some half n half, or if mixing it with dark chocolate, about half a cup of 2% milk. I use a little Mr. Coffee machine, and have no problem with reheating in the microwave, which brings nightmares to purists.

Exercise for body, mind and spirit

My exercycle is in my office. I try to use it 35-45 minutes a day, in 1 mile segments--which is about 6 minutes, 24 calories. I've learned to walk around some after each so I don't irritate my bursitis. But I really don't like exercise, never have, so I look through the worship bulletin (Lutheran) and select a hymn or two, Google it with the words You Tube. Sometimes it's just audio, but that's really what I want. That way I'm helping body, mind (hearing but not reading is terribly challenging for me) and spirit; a good way to start the day. This morning I found instruction on The Athanasian Creed. That may be more than I wanted to know and it's 19 minutes--good for 3 miles.

If we say this creed once a year at UALC: Upper Arlington Lutheran Church I'd be surprised. It's difficult, long, theological and quite dogmatic. Those qualities make it challenging for 21st century Christians who prefer to clap, swing and sway during worship.

The narrator/scholar seems to want no inconsistencies, nothing illogical, no paradoxes, everything linear, in other words, very 20th century. I prefer to think it a wonderful statement/summary of 4th-5th c. Christianity, one it wouldn't hurt to review from time to time.

Cash for influence

Quid pro dough

“Almost a decade ago, as Hillary Clinton ran for re-election to the Senate on her way to seeking the presidency for the first time, the New York Times reported on her unusually close relationship with Corning, Inc., an upstate glass titan. Clinton advanced the company's interests, racking up a big assist by getting China to ease a trade barrier. And the firm's mostly Republican executives opened up their wallets for her campaign.

During Clinton's tenure as Secretary of State, Corning lobbied the department on a variety of trade issues, including the Trans-Pacific Partnership. The company has donated between $100,000 and $250,000 to her family's foundation. And, last July, when it was clear that Clinton would again seek the presidency in 2016, Corning coughed up a $225,500 honorarium for Clinton to speak.”

http://www.vox.com/2015/5/16/8614881/Hillary-Clinton-took-money

Even the American Institute of Architects. . .

Free stock photos

You can get in trouble using unattributed photos on your website.  But here are some free sites.  I always search the word “horses,” or “horse,” even if searching Library of Congress images.  Here’s one of me riding a horse downloaded from Pixabay.

saddle-419745_1280

http://bloggerspassion.com/finding-free-images/

This one is from Free Public Archives

public-domain-images-free-stock-photos-bicycle-bike-black-and-white-1000x667.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

The cross is an offense to the unbeliever

"The message of the crucifixion is insanity to the lost, but to those of us who have life it is the power of God." (Aramaic Bible in Plain English.)

You would almost think this is from the Onion (parody/humor site), but I checked several versions. "Crosses in every room at Washington D.C.’s Catholic University of America are a human rights violation that prevent Muslim students from praying. That’s the complaint to the Washington, D.C. Office of Human Rights filed by a professor from rival George Washington University across town."

http://www.beliefnet.com/columnists/news/2011/10/lawsuit-says-crosses-at-catholic-university-offensive-prevent-muslim-prayers.php

http://sonsoflibertymedia.com/2015/05/catholic-university-investigated-for-having-too-many-crosses-because-its-offensive-to-muslims/

http://townhall.com/tipsheet/katiepavlich/2011/10/28/muslims_want_crosses_at_catholic_university_removed_before_they_pray#!

Childlessness decreasing, family size increasing

“Among women in the United States, postgraduate education and motherhood are increasingly going hand-in-hand. The share of highly educated women who are remaining childless into their mid-40s has fallen significantly over the past two decades. Today, about one-in-five women ages 40 to 44 with a master’s degree or higher (22%) have no children – down from 30% in 1994, according to a Pew Research Center analysis of newly released Census Bureau data.

http://www.pewsocialtrends.org/files/2015/05/2015-05-07_children-ever-born_FINAL.pdf

Lemon Lush—could it be?

This sounds a little like  Lemon Dessert at McKinley Hall at the University of Illinois.  I won’t know unless I try it, and right now I’m not doing any desserts.  Also, in the 50s, I don’t think our cooks would have used an instant pudding mix.

1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons chopped pecans, divided
8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, softened
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1 cup confectioners' sugar
1 (8-ounce) container frozen whipped topping, thawed, divided
2 (3.4-ounce) packages lemon instant pudding mix
2 2/3 cups milk

Preheat the oven to 375F.

Combine flour, 1/2 cup pecans and butter in a medium bowl and mix well. Press onto the bottom of an 11 x 8-inch baking dish. Bake until lightly browned, about 15 minutes. Let stand to cool.

Place cream cheese in a medium bowl. Beat with an electric mixer set at medium speed until fluffy. Add confectioners' sugar and beat until mixture is light and fluffy.

Add 1 cup whipped topping to cream cheese mixture and fold in gently. Spread over cooled crust.

Combine pudding mix and milk in a medium bowl. Beat until thickened. Spread on top of cream cheese layer. Top with the remaining whipped topping. Sprinkle with remaining pecans. Chill, covered, for 1 hour. Store any leftovers in the refrigerator.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Who is asking for favors from the Clintons?

http://www.bizpacreview.com/2015/05/16/in-one-fell-swoop-clinton-foundation-exposes-dozens-in-media-with-list-of-donors-204968

Here's the list of all the media figures who are donors to the Clinton Foundation. With all the established charities with good track records that are not tied to political figures, I wonder why both liberals and conservatives would be hedging their bets that our next president would be Hillary? The Clinton Foundation gives a pittance to charity--most goes to staff and PR. And to buy influence and publicity. I'm not really asking, I know the answer.

There is no diversity on college campuses

Ninety-six percent of donations in the data set from the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, which includes Harvard College, supported Democratic efforts. That figure was even higher—nearly 98 percent—at Harvard Law School." I hope this doesn't come as a shock--but our campuses have no diversity of thought. They are the farm clubs for Democrat plantations.

http://www.thecrimson.com/article/2015/5/1/faculty-political-contributions-data-analysis

“I am amazed at how high that number is,” FAS Dean Michael D. Smith said.  I’m not.

The Obama Victory Fund, a joint fundraising committee that supported both Obama’s reelection and the Democratic National Committee, was the single largest recipient of contributions in the data set in this time frame, at $541,001, or 18 percent of all donations. The second largest recipient, with 10 percent of total donations, was Obama’s official re-election campaign, Obama for America. It received $294,107 from faculty, instructors, and researchers in the data set.

The third- and fourth-largest beneficiaries were former Harvard Law School professor Elizabeth Warren’s successful campaign for the U.S. Senate and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney’s second unsuccessful presidential bid, respectively. Both occurred in the 2012 election cycle.

How ISIS gets its money and where it goes

CNN had a excellent "short" on how and where ISIS gets its money. Extortion, kidnapping, theft, arms trading, slavery, you name it, they've mafia'd it. And although I didn't hear much about ISIS (ISIL, IS) until last summer, this is a vast, well run money organization that didn't develop over night, and how did our President call them JV? They seem better organized than a lot of our state and local entities

http://money.cnn.com/2015/05/07/media/isis-brand-media-twitter/

At my age, should I appreciate this joke?

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Citizens against government waste—2015 pig book

http://cagw.org/reporting/2015-pig-book

Oink, oink. This little piggy stole your money.

"The latest installment of CAGW’s 23-year exposé of pork-barrel spending includes $120 million to upgrade the M1 Abrams tank, which is opposed by the Pentagon; $15 million for the Pacific Coastal Salmon Recovery Fund, a pet project of Senate Appropriations Committee member Patty Murray (D-Wash.); $5.9 million for the East-West Center, an earmark championed by Senate Appropriations Committee member Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii); and $4,000,000 for the aquatic plant control program."

Surprise. Congress has different definition of "pork" so it says there is no waste. Sounds like the War on Poverty is still in the trenches.

"$21,800,000 for the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC), which is a 38.9 percent increase over the $15.7 million earmark in FY 2014. ARC was created by Congress in 1965 to “bring the 13 Appalachian states into the mainstream of the American economy.”

Additional costs of doing business are always passed along to customers

“The Health Insurance Providers Fee (in Obamacare) was aimed at insurance companies. The thinking went: Because insurers would gain a windfall of customers, they ought to help pay for the expansion of coverage. Insurers say they have raised prices for individuals and small businesses to cover the new tax.

As it turns out, they are raising their prices to state Medicaid programs, too.

http://www.foxbusiness.com/markets/2015/05/16/inside-washington-insurers-pass-health-law-tax-along-to-states-could-cost-13b/

Work through that bad mood with a walk

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At Metro Fitness today I chatted with a woman who is a personal care giver; she exercises 3 hours a day, she told me. Her client is in her 90s, still smokes, and is on oxygen. I'd exercise that much, too, if I had her job.

The ex-wives club

I see no reason Bruce Jenner's three ex-wives can't marry each other so they can get government benefits. There is no reason to limit marriage to two people if we’re not limiting it to a man and a woman. They all seem to like each other, they’ve shared step children, plus years of sex with Jenner. As a bonus, now they could all wear each others clothes and won't have to share them with him. He’ll be able to buy his own.

Millionaire rapper Azealia Banks hates the country and white teens that made her rich and famous

“I hate everything about this country,” Banks told the men’s magazine (Playboy, she's on the cover). “Like, I hate fat white Americans. All the people who are crunched into the middle of America, the real fat and meat of America, are these racist conservative white people who live on their farms. Those little teenage girls who work at Kmart and have a racist grandma — that’s really America.”. . .

Banks has previously called for reparations in America, a point which she claims angered a lot of her white fans. “Why do I have to explain this to y’all?” she said. “My little white fans will be like, ‘Why do you want reparations for work you didn’t do?’ Well, you got handed down your grandfather’s estate and you got to keep your grandmother’s diamonds and pearls and shit.” (Mediaite.com)”

What a classy performer fat, white, poor, rural, teens are paying their hard earned money to so a high school drop out can be a millionaire. And she luvs Obama--thinks he's so fine. No surprise there.

I’m tagging this “celebrities,” because I don’t have “a-hole” as a tag, but also I’d never heard of her before seeing the article.

The Gotcha question

The Iraq question isn’t the only gotcha question Jeb Bush will be getting about his brother. Just as Hillary will be carrying Bill, so Jeb and Dubya.  I believe he handled it poorly—and Marco Rubio did an excellent job and said the closest to what I would say.

  • Who in the world “would have gone into Iraq knowing what we know today (in May 2015).
  • Who could have known the next president (Obama) would take a war won in Afghanistan, and essentially won in Iraq (after the surge) and throw it all away because he made promises to the far left to get elected and then play footsy with Iraq and draw meaningless lines in the sand?
  • Knowing now what Obama would do, of course, Saddam would have been the choice to hold Iraq in check. He was a really bad dude, and the Iraqis and Iranians are different ethnic groups.
  • Now we know what Obama intends, and Saddam could be useful if not dead.
  • Osama bin Laden’s death has probably led to the growth of ISIS, so that’s on Obama’s record. A year ago, none of us had ever heard of ISIS.
  • Bush acted on intelligence from the Clinton era and the Democrat candidates in 2000 were really beating the war drums about WMD.
  • Obama acted on intelligence from the Bush era.

How far back should we go? What if Truman had decided to undo the tentative allied victory in Europe and not use the bomb on Japan? What if there had been no Communists in FDRs cabinet and administration to push for giving Eastern Europe to the Russians laying the ground work for almost half a century of domination by the powerhouse USSR that we helped create?

I’d like to hear a candidate play the history “what if” game and out smart the reporters reading a script. The Republican candidates will all run from the Iraq-Afghanistan wars, and no one will turn the table to speak on Obama’s complete failure in the middle east. But if such a candidate emerges from the large, talented field of Republicans, I’ll vote for him/her.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Did you know the Republicans outlawed the Klan?

In 1871, the Republican-controlled 42nd Congress passed a Civil Rights Act aimed at the Ku Klux Klan. Guilty of murdering hundreds of African-Americans, this terrorist organization had also eradicated the Republican Party throughout most of the South. The law empowered the Republican administration of Ulysses Grant to protect the civil rights of the former slaves in federal court, bypassing the Democrat-controlled state courts.

The 1871 Civil Rights Act, along with the GOP’s 1870 Civil Rights Act, effectively banned the Klan and enabled Republican officials to arrest hundreds of Klansmen. Though the U.S. Supreme Court would eventually strike down most of the 1871 Civil Rights Act, the Ku Klux Klan was crushed. The KKK did not rise again until the Democratic administration of President Woodrow Wilson.

See more stories at Review of America

God spoke

Reading first chapter of Genesis: "And God said" seven times about light and dark, waters, vegetation, heavenly bodies, creatures of the seas and skies and then livestock, and when he finished He saw that it was good. The eighth time he spoke He created male and female made in his image blessing them to increase and rule over the rest of creation and then he said it was all "very good," and rested.

Why are people fat?

I see a lot of speculation and research on why people are fat--everything from fast food, to TV, to women returning to the workforce in the 1970s, to antibiotics in childhood, to genetics. So when I look at pictures of paintings from the 17th century, or photos of my family reunions in the 1920s, and no one had fast food, everyone had physical work, there was no modified or processed food and they look just as overweight in middle age as today, I do wonder what the researchers are missing. Frick Hals portrait

Obama got the gimmes

Obama wants just a smidgen more from the rich to support his failing pre-school idea (for over 50 years and trillions of dollars Head Start designed to end poverty has shown no permanent gains in education for children). I admire the foundations the super wealthy support, but really, they can do both--just don't take the tax deduction and they'll have Obama's wish that the wealthy pay more. Also, it's been known for years that conservatives and middle income people contribute... to charity at higher rates than the super wealthy. According to the Chronicle of Philanthropy red states are more generous than blue states. The eight states where residents gave the highest share of income to charity went for John McCain in 2008. The seven-lowest ranking states supported Barack Obama. So wanting others to pay more sort of goes with the political philosophy. "Am I my brother's keeper" was first said by Cain after he killed Abel. I thought this was not a good choice of words for Obama's big push to help black men and Latino men.

The Amtrak business model is off the rails, too

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