Crawling through technology, life and love
Pool Paradise - GC on Wii
Podcasts - Chris Moyles, Mark Kermode and Stephen Fry
Bits and Bobs:
Gerry's Lyrics Pop Quiz
Sites I like:
Top 40 Singles
Some blogs I enjoy:
Books recently read:
Time Out Guide to Havana (and Cuba)
And The Hippos Were Boiled In Their Tanks - William S Burroughs and Jack Kerouac
At My Mother's Knee ... and Other Low Joints: The Autobiography - Paul O'Grady
Star Maker - Olaf Stapledon
My Booky Wook - Russell Brand
When You Are Engulfed in Flames - David Sedaris
Then We Come To The End - Joshua Ferris
A Spot of Bother - Mark Haddon
The End of Mr. Y - Scarlett Thomas
I Never Knew That About London - Christopher Winn
The Arsenal Miscellany - Adam Gold
Young Hearts Run Free: The Real Story of the 1970s - Dave Haslam
Magical Thinking - Augusten Burroughs
Veronika Decides To Die - Paulo Coelho
Time Out Guide - Amsterdam
Lillian's Story - Kate Grenville
The God Delusion - Richard Dawkins
Schott's Original Miscellany - Ben Schott
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - J K Rowling
A Gay History Of Britain - Matt Cook
Time Out Guide to Madrid
Time Out Guide to New York
Kingdom Come - J. G. Ballard
The Hours - Michael Cunningham
Mutants - Aramand Marie Leroi
A Young Man's Passage - Julian Clary
Growing Pains - Billie Piper
The Bell Jar - Sylvia Plath
Wild Swans - Jung Chang
Highbury: The Story of Arsenal N.5 - Jon Spurling
Red Carpets and Other Banana Skins - Rupert Everett
Affinity - Sarah Waters
Lighthousekeeping - Jeanette Winterson
Tipping The Velvet - Sarah Waters
The Kite Runner - Khaled Hosseini
Of Human Bondage - W Somerset Maugham
Rebecca - Daphne Du Maurier
Lucky Man - Michael J Fox
Labyrinth - Kate Mosse
Fingersmith - Sarah Waters
The Night Watch - Sarah Waters
The Pedant's Revolt - Andrea Barham
The Republic Of Trees - Sam Taylor
Written On tbe Body - Jeanette Winterson
Untold Stories - Alan Bennett
The Plot Against America - Philip Roth
Read All About It - Max Clifford
The Folding Star - Alan Hollinghurst
Thursbitch - Alan Garner
Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim - David Sedaris
Staying Alive - Matt Beaumont
The Bookseller Of Kabul - Asne Seierstad
Harry Potter and The Half-Blood Prince - J K Rowling
A Short History Of Nearly Everything - Bill Bryson
Count Karlstein - Philip Pullman
The Shadow Of The Wind - Carlos Ruiz Zafon
The Handmaid's Tale - Margaret Atwood
The Spell - Alan Hollinghurst
The Double Life Of Daniel Glick - Maurice Caldera
The Smoking Diaries - Simon Gray
Straight- Boy George
Digital Fortress - Dan Brown
Deception Point - Dan Brown
The Ladies No. 1 Detective Agency - Alexander McCall Smith
Angels and Demons - Dan Brown
Sydney - Time Out Guide
Oryx and Crake - Margaret Atwood
Eleanor Rigby - Douglas Coupland
The Scarecrow and His Servant - Philip Pullman
Tha Da Vinci Code - Dan Brown
The Perks Of Being A Wallflower - Stephen Chbosky
Planet Simpson - Chris Turner
The Line Of Beauty - Alan Hollinghurst
Barcelona - Time Out Guide
The Closed Circle - Jonathan Coe
The Clerkenwell Tales - Peter Ackroyd
Copenhagen - TimeOut Guide
The Butterfly Tattoo - Philip Pullman
The Broken Bridge - Philip Pullman
In Search of the Pleasure Palace - Marc Almond
Brick Lane - Monica Ali
Vernon God Little - DBC Pierre
Last Exit To Brooklyn - Hubert Selby Jr
You Shall Know Our Velocity - Dave Eggers
Touching The Void - Joe Simpson
Life Of Pi - Yann Martel
Istanbul - Time Out Guide
Millennium People - J G Ballard
The Duchess Who Wouldn't Sit Down - Jesse Browner
Hey Nostradamus! - Douglas Coupland
Eats, Shoots and Leaves - Lynne Truss
The Wind-up Bird Chronicle - Haruki Murakami
Our Man In Havana - Graham Greene
The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time - Mark Haddon
Lyra's Oxford - Philip Pullman
Doran - Will Self
Lovely Bones - Alice Sebold
Middlesex - Jeffrey Eugenides
the book, the film, the t-shirt - matt beaumont
High Society - Ben Elton
Man And Wife - Tony Parsons
I Was A Rat - Philip Pullman
Harry Potter: The Order of the Phoenix - J R Rowling
Great Apes - Will Self
Barrel Fever - David Sedaris
Round Ireland With A Fridge - Tony Hawkes
Close Range - Annie Proux
The Third Way - Anthony Giddens
dot.con - John Cassidy
The Salmon of Doubt - Douglas Adams
One Hit Wonderland - Tony Hawkes
The Thief Lord - Cornelia Funke
The Corrections - Jonathan Franzen
The Cloud Sketcher - Richard Rayner
Keane: the Autobiography - Roy Keane
A Wasteland of Strangers - Bill Pronzini
The English - Jeremy Paxman
How to Lose Friends and Alienate People - Toby Young
Dead Famous - Ben Elton
The Amber Spyglass - Phillip Pullman (again)
The Subtle Knife - Phillip Pullman (again)
Northern Lights - Phillip Pullman (again)
The Bear and The Dragon - Tom Clancy
101 Reykjavik - Hallgrimur Helgason
Forward The Foundation - Isaac Asimov
Carter Beats The Devil - Glen David Gold
The Tin Princess - Philip Pullman
Atonement - Ian McEwan
The Tiger In The Well - Philip Pullman
The Rotters Club - Jonathan Coe
Generation X - Douglas Copeland
Perfume - Patrick Suskind
All Families Are Psychotic - Douglas Coupland
The Shadow In The North - Phillip Pullman
No Logon - Naomi Klein
The Dirt - Motley Crue
Miss Wyoming - Douglas Coupland
The Amber Spyglass - Phillip Pullman
The Subtle Knife - Phillip Pullman
Northern Lights - Phillip Pullman
The Ruby in the Smoke - Phillip Pullman
The Sandman - Miles Gibson
Blood and Gold: The Vampire Marius - Anne Rice
The Actrocity Exhibition - J G Ballard
Shameless - Paul Burston
Sing Out! - Boze Hadleigh
Brilliant Orange - David Winner
New Boy - William Sutcliffe
London - Peter Ackroyd
Wonder Boys - Michael Chabon
One For My Baby - Tony Parsons
How To Be Good - Nick Hornby
White Teeth - Zadie Smith
Lust - Geoff Ryman
Tulip Fever - Deborah Moggach
Dead Souls - Ian Rankin
The House Of Sleep - Jonathan Coe
A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius - Dave Eggers
What a carve up! - Jonathan Coe
The Amazing Adventures of Kavalier & Clay - Michael Chabon
The Grapes Of Wrath - John Steinbeck
Heartwood - James Lee Burke
Cryptonomicon - Neal Stephenson
Man and Boy - Tony Parsons
The Map Of Love - Ahdaf Soueif
e - Matt Beaumont
The e Before Christmas - Matt Beaumont
Friday, May 28, 2004
Here's a bit of fun for a Friday. Can you click on a plain black dot when you see one? I got stuck on level 3.
The cutest picture of a kitten - ever!
Brain Teasers: The Answers...
1. 42 seconds. Travelling at 180km an hour, the train would take 20 seconds to travel 1km and therefore 40 seconds to travel 2km, plus 2 seconds for the complete train to pass any point, making a total of 42 seconds.
2. 37 and 64
Thursday, May 27, 2004
1. A train takes 2 seconds to enter a tunnel which is 2km long. If the train is travelling at 180km per hour, how long with it take to pass completely through tunnel?
2. When you add two numbers their total is 101. When you compare the numbers their difference is 27. What are the numbers?
I'm having to go away on business today for a couple of nights. It'll be a working trip and will cut right into the Bank Holiday weekend (boo hoo); but I could think of worse places to be than let's say, Brocket Hall. I wonder if I can sneak off to the spa while they're off clay pigeon shooting?
Wednesday, May 26, 2004
Doctor Who Companions...
My favourites were Jo Grant, Sarah Jane Smith, Romana and the oh so sexy Adric.
With William Hartnell (November 23, 1963 - October 29, 1966)
Susan Foreman (Carole Ann Ford) (Seasons 1, 2 )
Barbara Wright (Jacqueline Hill) (Season 1-3)
Ian Chesterton (William Russell) (Seasons 1-3)
Vicki (Maureen O'Brien) (Seasons 2, 3)
Steven Taylor (Peter Purves) (Seasons 2, 3)
Katarina (Adrienne Hill) (Season 3)
Sara Kingom (Jean Marsh). (Season 3)
Dorothea "Dodo" Chaplet (Jackie Lane) (Season 3)
Ben Jackson (Michael Craze) (Seasons 3, 4)
Polly (Anneke Wills), (Seasons 3, 4)
With Patrick Troughton (November 5, 1966 - June 21, 1969)
Ben Jackson (Season 4)
Polly (Season 4)
James Robert "Jamie" McCrimmon (Frazer Hines) (Seasons 5, 6)
Victoria Waterfield (Deborah Watling) (Season 4, 5)
Zoe Herriot (Wendy Padbury) (Season 6)
With Jon Pertwee (January 3, 1970 - June 8, 1974)
Liz Shaw (Caroline John) (Season 7)
Josephine "Jo" Grant (Katy Manning) (Season 8-10)
Sarah Jane Smith (Elizabeth Sladen) (Season 11)
With Tom Baker (December 28, 1974 - March 21, 1981)
Sarah Jane Smith (Season 12-4)
Harry Sullivan (Ian Marter) (Season 12)
Leela (Louise Jameson) (Seasons 14, 15)
K-9 Mark I (voice of John Leeson) (Season 15).
K-9 Mark II (voice of John Leeson [Seasons 16 and 18]), voice of David Brierley [Season 17].)
Romanadvoratrelundar ("Romana") (Mary Tamm [Season 16]; Lalla Ward [Seasons 17, 18])
Adric (Matthew Waterhouse) (Season 18)
Nyssa (Sarah Sutton) (Season 18)
Tegan Jovanka (Janet Fielding) (Season 18)
With Peter Davison (March 21, 1981 - March 16, 1984)
Adric (Season 19)
Nyssa of Traken (Seasons 19, 20)
Tegan Jovanka (Seasons 19-21)
Vislor Turlough (Mark Strickson) (Seasons 20-1)
Perpugilliam "Peri" Brown (Nicola Bryant) (Season 21)
Kamelion (voice of Gerald Flood) (Season 20, 21)
With Colin Baker (March 22, 1984 - December 6, 1986) Perpugilliam "Peri" Brown (Seasons 21-23)
Melanie "Mel" Bush (Bonnie Langford) (Season 23)
With Sylvester McCoy (September 7, 1987 - December 6, 1989)
Melanie "Mel" Bush (Season 24)
"Ace" (Sophie Aldred) alias Dorothy. (Seasons 24-6).
Tuesday, May 25, 2004
Honey To The Beeb...
Mrs Chris Evans and singer of such classics as Because We Want To, Girlfriend, Honey To The Bee and Day And Night is now going to screaming at the top of her lungs a different tune... while being violated by the Menoptra, poor gal. Yes kids, be afraid, be very afraid Billie Piper is new Doctor Who assistant.
Who Ate All The Pies?...
The FA Cup Final on Saturday was a sad game. Sad that Millwall didn't win! Ronaldo did look well fit though when he took his top off after shoring his goal. That is he did look well fit... the photos tell a slightly different story.
This from Kevin: Do you think pretty boy Ronaldo has succumbed to English footballing tradition and had a few too many pies? Roy Keane certainly looks appalled at the "wonderboy"s mid-riff bulge. Let's hope José-Antonio doesn't follow suit.
Monday, May 24, 2004
What a weekend! Paul's sister Anne and her husband Paul came to stay on Friday. Paul is like The Simpsons' Otto Man in every respect. Needless to say we had a blaaaast, maaan. My head is still spinning.
On Saturday Marky and I went to my sister's engagement party out in Benington in deepest darkest Hertfordshire. Joanna and Martin are tying the knot next year and by way of marking the year's build-up Martin threw a lavish engagement party for a hundred of their nearest and dearest - huge marquee, endless drinks, disco, fully catered food, flowers, fireworks - the lot. It was just a shame is was so cold once the sun went down. It was great fun though and everyone soon warmed up once they started dancing. Roll on the wedding itself.
Sunday was a games afternoon, Adrian and Drew came over to play Nintendo. I'd recently bought a projector and after a rushed trip to Wickes and a spot of painting we had a giant white screen to play Mario Kart: Double Dash with three foot high cars. Way cool.
Thursday, May 20, 2004
Simon, Paul, Charlie, Gordon and I went to see the lusciousness and gorgeousness that is Ilya last night at Hoxton Hall. Think Goldfrapp (circa Felt Mountain) meets Annie Lennox meets Air meets Leslie Garret meets Cleo Layne meets Anastasia and you'd be pretty near the mark.
Cool band. Cool crowd. Watch this space, kids. They're gonna be big(ish).
The video to their single Bellissimo stars our own, our very own... Martin Freeman! a.k.a. Ben's cousin! a.k.a. Tim off of The Office! a.k.a. Arthur Dent in a movie version of The Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy!
Dumber and Dumber...
[Thanks to the lovely Guy for the picture]
So Tony Blair has to get his suit cleaned. Yesterday Sky News were showing and reshowing the 'purple haze' footage frame by frame : "This is the precise moment where the Prime Minsiter was almost hit" (fast forward video tape) "This is the precise moment where the Prime Minsiter actually was hit." With footage like that I bet they would have loved it if it'd been something some serious than purple flour.
There is loud singing in the tree above me right now and the sidewalk is littered with dead bodies. Sound bizarre, right? Well this was the description by a botanist as America is hit by storm of insects. What next? Frogs? Slaying of first born?
Wednesday, May 19, 2004
Brain Teasers: Answers...
Fellow bloggers Diamond Geezer and Dave were both right.
1. 23 cards are missing. Making 29 left from the pack of 52. 9s into 29 go 3 leaving 2. 4s into 29 go 7 leaving 1. It was a tough rubber.
2. And that lard arse, Betty, ate 40 doughnuts in her final sitting. 1st sittings 22 x 10 = 220; Overall sittings 30 x 34 = 1020; So 2nd sittings was 1020-220 = 800; Making each sitting 800 / 20 = 40
Tuesday, May 18, 2004
Minipops Quiz (revisited)...
There are lots of adverts on the tube at the moment for the Observer's music coverage. They are using minipops (low res graphics of pop stars) and they are pretty much instantly recognisable. Last year David sent me a minipops quiz, it was then and still is fantastic. See how many you can get. Many more minipops at http://www.flipflopflyin.com/minipops/index.html
1. I have a deck of cards from which some are missing. If I deal them equally between nine people, I have two cards to spare. If I deal them equally between four people, I have only one card to spare. There are normally 52 cards in the deck. How many are missing?
2. At a mass doughnut eating competition Elizabeth eats an average of 22 doughnuts in her first 10 sittings. After a further 20 sittings her average increases to 34 doughnuts. What was her average for her last 20 sittings only.
Monday, May 17, 2004
Roger and I had a fantatsic weekend in Birmingham this weekend; Joseph, Donny Osmond, Joan Collins, Mr Egg, Boots, Simon Pegg, the Fountain, the canal, Harvey Nic's, the Nightingale, the sunshine, Dr Aktins, Eurovision, the new bullring - it was almost like Amsterdam. Almost.
Friday, May 14, 2004
The more eagle-eyed amongst you may have noticed I've added a site feed to my pages. There's a link on the right-hand side bar. If you use a newsreader please let me know if it works for you and if I've set it up right. The default feed for Blogger seems to be Atom rather than RSS so that's what I'm using at first. But if anyone has any suggestions or knows if I can use both please drop me a line.
Thursday, May 13, 2004
Arsenal Victory Parade...
This coming Sunday at 10:30am Arsenal football Club will be holding a victory parade starting at the Highbury ground and finishing at Islington Town Hall at about 11:30.
It'll be the usual open top bus and if it's anything like last time round, the route will be packed with screaming fans and there'll be a sea of red as far as the eye can see.
The parade is, of course, to celebrate the winning of the 2003/2004 Premiership title - Arsenal will actually receive the trophy after Saturday's game against Leicester City.
Shame I won't be there as I'll still be in Brum.
Last night Emma, Catherine, Paul, Andrew and I went to our local theatre pub, the Hen and Chickens, to see stand-up comedian Ardal O'Hanlon. Ardal O’Hanlon shot to fame after playing the dim-witted Father Dougal Maguire in the classic sitcom Father Ted. His most successful role to date has been that of Thermoman - alias mild-mannered shopkeeper, George Sunday - in My Hero. Ardal was trying out some new material prior to his nationwide tour. He's a very funny guy.
Wednesday, May 12, 2004
Church of Fools...
Today sees the launch of the Church of Fools - the UK's first web-based, 3D church. No, you didn't misread that. It's an internet church. With avatars and everything. It even has a sanctuary and a crypt. And surprise, surprise, it even has details of how you can donate money (£3 by texting "amen" to 83248).
Better Than I Thought It'd Be...
I bought The Streets's new CD A Grand Don't Come Easy yesterday. I've only listened to it once so far: what I hear I really, really like. The Victoria Line was screwed this morning so I got to listen to the album in full. It's a concept album in that it tells a story - albeit with a rather lame twist at the end. But it is fun, street-witty and rings true. Catch it if you can.
Worse Than I Thought It'd Be...
I bought The Magnetic Fields's new CD i yesterday. I've only listened to it once so far: what I hear I don't really like. Which is a shame because I thought 69 Love Songs was simply perfect. Maybe my expectation was too high. I will, of course, give it a 2nd chance.
Happy Birthday to you...
Happy Birthday to you
Happy Birthday to you
Happy Birthday, dear Simon
Happy Birthday to you
Tuesday, May 11, 2004
I Close My Eyes, Drew Back The Curtain...
Roger and I are going to Birmingham on Friday for 'a boys' weekend away; we get on well, enjoy each others company and travel well together. Oh, and egg each other on.
So what will we be doing in the lovely city of Brum for two whole days (and nights)? Art Galleries? Museums? Architectural tours? Not quite.
Friday night: Sing-A-Long-A Joseph And The Technicolor Dreamcoat A chance to singalong with all the well loved songs in this specially subtitled version of the hit musical starring Donny Osmond. So dress up in your brightest clothes and sing your heart out, Any Dream Will Do..." No, really.
Saturday: Find a trashy bar. And get trashed. And watch the Eurovision Song Contest. Can't wait.
Monday, May 10, 2004
No doubt powered by Google's money, Blogger has had a complete makeover and it look really cool/Mickey Mouse*
There are one or two features that I'd not seen or used before and I might try some of them out over the next few weeks to see how they work. The RSS feed is one and the Blogger comment system is the other.
(*delete as applicable)
Britain's Greatest Mingers...
Last night Sky One had a show called Britain's Greatest Celebrity Mingers. A show title that had us in fits.
For those of you unaware of the term, UrbanDictionary defines a 'minger' thus: A person, either male or female, who is asthetically un-pleasing to the general public. Someone so appalingly ugly, their appearance can cause gastro-intestinal distress, erectile disfunction and/or vaginal dryness.
I tuned in just to watch the top ten count down - all listed below with Google image links.
10. Lisa Riley
09. Elton John
08. Michael Winner
07. Jordan (Katie Price)
06. Andrew Lloyd-Weber
05. Jade Goody
04. Rik Waller
03. Ann Widdecombe
02. Shane McGowan
01. Mick Hucknall
Saturday, May 08, 2004
Brain Teaser: Answer...
(Twice 4 plus twenty is 28. A seventh of 28 is 4. The 4 that were shot remain, the others flew away).
Friday, May 07, 2004
Twice four and twenty blackbirds
Were sitting in the rain;
I shot and killed a seventh part,
How many did remain?
Most Annoying Star Trek Cliche...
Imitating.... Shatner's... delivery...
Sacrificing the red suits
'I'm a doctor Jim, not a...'
That wretched Scottish accent
Setting phasers to stun
'Make it so'
Time travel plot lines
'Beam me up...'
So go vote at BBspot Poll Home Page. And while you're there why not check out the Most Over Used Star Wars Cliche, the Preferred Starship Control System and many other pointless but rather pleasingly geeky polls.
Thursday, May 06, 2004
Death To Smoochy...
A big, big thank you to Hanko for giving me Death To Smoochy as a gift. You're a star.
The film is hilarious.
Basic plot: When he is fired for taking payola, the host for a children's television show played by Robin Williams, plots revenge against his replacement, a purple rhino named Smoochy played by the gorgeous Edward Norton.
Basically it's a satire on kids TV but with lots of effing and jeffing. And any resemblance between Smoochy The Rhino and Barney The Dinosaur is, of course, completely coincidental.
(You can click the image here for a bigger version)
Bridge of Sighs...
I shouldn't take much glee at Chelsea being knocked out of the European Championship last night at Stamford Bridge. I shouldn't...
Big Gay Out......
EPKAMG (the event formally known as Mardi Gras) which took over from EPKALLGTP (the event formally known as London Lesbian, Gay and Transgenger Pride) which itself took over from EFKAGP (the event formally known as Gay Pride) will now simply be called The Big Gay Out and returns to London’s oh-so-rainy Finsbury Park on Saturday 3rd July this year. £15.00. Hmmm. I expect I'll go. But not making any firm plans just yet.
Wednesday, May 05, 2004
We watched The Guru last night. What a load of inane twaddle. I fell asleep. What's the worst film you've seen recently?
The Best Song Lyric Ever?...
I saw a werewolf with a Chinese menu in his hand, walking through the streets of Soho in the rain. He was looking for the place called Lee Ho Fook's, going to get a big dish of beef chow mein.
Do the recognise the song from these opening lyrics? And even if you don't, is this the best song lyric ever?
Well, according to BBC Radio listeners it is. It pipped Every Day Is Like Sunday by Morrissey, Lynryd Skynryd's Freebird and the Manic Street Preachers' Design For Life to the top spot. Wot? No Steps?
Oh, and in case you don't recognise it, the lyric is Werewolves of London written by Warren Zevon when "fuelled by a little too much vodka". A good song, but the 'best ever'? Nah.
Tuesday, May 04, 2004
Are you the weakest link?...
Thanks to Lorayne for sending me these. Of course I got every single one wrong!
Below are four (4) questions. You have to answer them instantly. You can't take your time, answer all of them immediately.
OK? Let's find out just how clever you really are.
GO!!! (scroll down)
First Question: You are participating in a race. You overtake the second person. What position are you in?
Scroll down for answer...
Answer: If you answered that you are first, then you are absolutely wrong! If you overtake the second person and you take his place, you are second!
Try not to screw up in the next question. To answer the second question, don't take as much time as you took for the first question.
Second Question: If you overtake the last person in the race, then you are...?
Scroll down for answer...
Answer: If you answered that you are second to last, then you are wrong again. Tell me, how can you overtake the LAST person?!
You're not very good at this are you?
Third Question: Very tricky maths! Note: This must be done in your head only. Do NOT use paper and pencil or a calculator. Try it.
Take 1000 and add 40 to it. Now add another 1000. Now add 30. Add another 1000. Now add 20 Now add another 1000. Now add 10. What is the total?
Scroll down for answer...
Did you get 5000? The correct answer is actually 4100.
Don't believe it? Check with your calculator! Today is definitely not your day. Maybe you will get the last question right?
Mary's father has five daughters: 1. Nana, 2. Nene, 3. Nini, 4. Nono. What is the name of the fifth daughter?
Scroll down for answer...
Answer: Nunu? NO! Of course not. Her name is Mary. Read the question again.
Saturday, May 01, 2004
Welcome to Europe...
Today ten new countries have joined the European Union. I have listed them below. But can you name their capital cities?
Cyprus : Nicosia
Czech Rep : Prague
Estonia : Tallinn
Hungary : Budapest
Latvia : Riga
Lithuania : Vilnius
Malta : Valletta
Poland : Warsaw
Slovakia : Bratislava
Slovenia : Ljubljana
[Thanks to Mark for the answers. Which you can get at by a bit of nifty mouse-selecting. My geography is crap!]
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