2 Mar
2021

Live Music Is Scientifically Proven To Help Universally Lower Stress Levels

first_imgA scientific study published in Public Health in 2016 shows clear-cut evidence for the benefit of attending live music events. The groundbreaking test comes in at the biological level, as scientists measured levels of cortisol and cortisone both before and after a concert.Cortisol is a hormone factor, produced under conditions of psychological stress. By measuring saliva samples before and after a specific concert, the entirety of the 117 participants showed major reductions in cortisol levels after the fact.While previous studies had shown similar results, this was the first conducted in a natural concert setting, as opposed to a laboratory. The results showed that cortisol levels were reduced in participants of all ages.“These results are in line with 22 previous studies showing that listening to music in the controlled setting of either a laboratory or a hospital can reduce cortisol levels,” said one researcher in an interview with The Telegraph. “It is of note that none of these biological changes were associated with age, musical experience or familiarity with the music being performed. This suggests there is a universal response to concert attendance among audience members.”The one drawback, however, is that the music selection was limited to classical. Further research would be needed to see if other genres show similar conclusions. Still, as lead researcher Daisy Fancourt said, “This is the first preliminary evidence that attending a cultural event can have an impact on endocrine activity.”So, keep on living for live music!last_img read more

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2 Mar
2021

New Mastersounds & Turkuaz Are Bringing The Funk To New York City

first_imgWhen it comes to modern funky music, not many are doing it better than Turkuaz and The New Mastersounds. Each band has been road-tested and fan-approved, bringing their big dance party sounds to fans across the country. When these groups share the stage, the energy is seriously through the roof. That’s why we can’t wait for their tour to hit Terminal 5 in New York, NY, on Friday, December 2nd. Tickets can be found here.The pairing between these two bands started last summer, when the bands got together after High Sierra Music Festival for a meeting of the minds at Sharkbite Studios in Oakland, CA. The resulting session saw each band cover a track from the other’s catalog, with their collaborative help, of course. The two tracks they laid down – Turkuaz’s rendition of NMS’s “On The Border” and New Mastersounds’ rendition of  Turkuaz’s “The Rules” – were recently released as the Split 7″ EP.Their tour just kicked off with a few nights in Colorado, including a great show in Boulder, CO that we reviewed here. Each show with these two bands turns the energy up the max, as Turkuaz’s funk army style is matched by the chilled out funky grooves of The New Mastersounds. Expect exciting collaborations and non-stop dancing when these two bands come to town!Be sure to catch Turkuaz and The New Mastersounds in New York City when they come into town on Friday, December 2nd. Tickets are still available here, so don’t miss a beat.Enter to win tickets:[Photo by Dani Brandwein]last_img read more

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26 Jan
2021

State senator examines Indiana labor policy

first_imgFor believers in the power and need for collective bargaining, Indiana State Sen. John Broden says now is an incredibly frustrating and troubling time. “In the last five to six years, a lot of our labor laws have fallen to the wayside. If you believe that labor organizations have the right to collective bargaining, Indiana has certainly taken a number of steps back,” Broden said. Tuesday night, the Higgins Labor Studies Program Friends and Alumni Network sponsored a discussion with Broden, who graduated from the University in 1987, in which he focused on fighting for laborers rights in the Indiana State Senate. “I’ve loved working in the General Assembly, but it’s definitely gotten more challenging. I’m a Democrat, and we’ve always been the minority but we’re even more severely the minority now,” Broden said. “Indiana has traditionally sort of been a swing state, it’s not monolithically Republican. But right now, at the state legislative level, it is.”Though 32 members of the Indiana General Assembly were Republicans when Broaden was sworn in, there are currently 40 Republicans, making up a more significant majority.“The 32 members that are Republicans were much more moderate strain when I was sworn in than the 40 members that are there now. Now, you know, we’re seeing more and more conservative members beating those more moderate members in elections, and we’re losing that middle, more moderate group,” he said. Broden said his most difficult fight came over the common construction wage, which the Republicans wanted to repeal.“It appeared that logic was thrown out the window. The only people who were for this were non-union contractors, who did very little public work, and then there were very right wing people that were just ideologically opposed to this,” he said. “… and that’s what was so frustrating about this, because we then ended up repealing the common construction wage.”Broden talked about his growing frustration with the Republican majority in the General Assembly, particularly in regards to workers rights.“Running against teachers unions became very popular for Republicans. They were calling them out for protecting bad teachers, and then those bills passed, and then you know, Right to Work was next to go,” he said. Regarding Indiana’s recent status a Right to Work state, Broden said he was discontent with the way that legislation had been passed. In Right to Work states, labor unions are allowed, but workers in unionized professions cannot be forced to join unions.“Indiana is now what they call a Right to Work state. For a while, we avoided kind of taking up this fight, but you know you look around and there were a lot of members who wanted that. Recently, though, we’ve lost some members who were against Right to Work, so they were able to get that bill passed,” Broden said. Looking to the future, Broden said he is working on policies regarding the minimum wage in Indiana. “It’s extremely frustrating if you believe in labor rights, because things like minimum wage right now are being challenged and that’s something that we’re really fighting for but you know, we just can’t get it passed,” he said. Broden said his passion for politics and labor rights came primarily from his time at Notre Dame. “I really enjoyed my curriculum at Notre Dame, it confirmed everything I thought about politics, which I was interested from the very early days,” he said. “Two of my favorite courses were in labor studies, and there’s labor and labor history but then more importantly there’s labor economics, which sparked an interest in me that remains today.”Tags: John Broden, Right to Work Rachel O’Grady | The Observer State senator and Notre Dame alumnus John Broden discusses the variety of issues the Indianalegislature faces regarding minimum wage, right to work status and other labor policies.last_img read more

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26 Jan
2021

SMC for the Spectrum seeks to foster acceptance, support for community members with autism

first_imgIn 2018, Saint Mary’s established the Master of Autism Studies program, allowing Belles to gain a deeper understanding of autism science and intervention in a multi-disciplinary program. Students from the department recently created a new campus club called SMC for the Spectrum to provide support and educate the community about the autism spectrum.Saint Mary’s alumna and club president Emily Bednar (‘20) explained how the club has been in the works.“SMC for the Spectrum was an idea that my fellow board members and I have been thinking about for about a year now,” Bednar said. “We are all members of the first cohort of the Master of Autism Studies Program, and we wanted to come up with a way to expand our passion for autism past the walls of our classroom and integrate it within the Saint Mary’s community.”Bednar also described SMC for the Spectrum’s mission as focused on education and acceptance.“As a club, SMC for the Spectrum aims to educate students about autism spectrum disorders, create an accepting culture at Saint Mary’s regarding autism spectrum disorders, and provide support for the wider autistic community and culture in the greater South Bend area,” Bednar said.Courtesy of Emily Bednar Saint Mary’s alumna and club vice president Catherine Coggeshall (‘20) stated that in addition, the club seeks to correct common stereotypes about people on the autism spectrum.“There was a realization that students and faculty members at Saint Mary’s College know autism exists, but they do not know what autism actually is, which leads to issues like misinformation, stereotypes, an inability to support those with ASD and their families and poor interactions with those on the spectrum,” Coggeshall said.Coggeshall encouraged all tri-campus students to join the organization.“The club is targeted towards students at Saint Mary’s College, Holy Cross College and the University of Notre Dame who are interested in learning about autism, raising awareness and acceptance of autism, or those with autism who are looking for an accepting group of peers to interact with on a regular basis,” Coggeshall said.Bednar reiterated this point, emphasizing the importance of building community among members.“Our aim is to be as inclusive as possible and make it known to our members that we want them there and to be enjoying themselves while they are attending our meetings and events,” she said.Bednar also hopes that students learn about how to be allies for individuals with autism spectrum disorders.“Overall, we would like students to walk away from our club with a greater understanding of autism spectrum disorders and with skills that will help them to promote and support neurodiversity in all aspects of their lives,” Bednar said.The club is planning to begin events in September.“We have meetings prepared for the second Sunday of each month, beginning on Sept. 12,” Coggeshall said. “While meetings will be conducted in person with safety precautions in place, there will also be a Zoom link provided for those that would like to participate virtually.”Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, SMC for the Spectrum has had to adapt their original event plans, but is eager to share them with the community.“We also have a number of student and community events planned but need to make adjustments due to COVID-19 and the safety precautions set by the College,” Coggeshall said. “Some of these events include movie nights, a sensory night and a walk/run to raise awareness for ASD. While these do not have a set date, we are determined to make them happen this semester despite the pandemic.”Coggeshall expressed why autism awareness is important for people to understand.“According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, it is estimated that an average of one in [54] children is diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder in the United States,” Coggeshall said. “This high percentage of prevalence means that at one point or another everyone is going to come in contact with someone that has ASD, whether it is a relative, classmate, family friend or complete stranger. By creating an awareness and acceptance of autism, these interactions will become natural and beneficial for both parties.”Though autism awareness is important, Bednar argues that people need to take further action to truly advocate for individuals with autism spectrum disorders.“Personally, I think that awareness for ASD is awesome, but I think that it is only a small step in the right direction,” Bednar said. “Instead, I think that we should be focusing on acceptance of ASD because to me acceptance goes further than awareness does. … [W]hen people begin to have acceptance for a situation it shows that they understand. With that, as a club we decided to focus on three major points: education which leads to acceptance which leads to support.”Coggeshall stressed the value of individuals on the autism spectrum.“As a previous special education teacher, it hurts me to hear about those with ASD being misunderstood, written off or completely ignored by teachers, family members, doctors and others they come in contact with,” Coggeshall said. “Those with ASD are important and loved, and add a unique perspective on life. They matter and deserve the same respect that everyone else does.”Tags: Autism Awareness, Masters of Autism Studies, Saint Mary’s Collegelast_img read more

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18 Jan
2021

Anna-Jane Casey and More to Star in London’s Forbidden Broadway

first_img Casey, who starred in the 2009 production of Menier’s Forbidden Broadway, has also appeared in Billy Elliot, Spamalot, Company and Sunday in the Park with George. Dann, who received an Olivier nomination for Lend Me a Tenor—the Musical, has also stared in a previous incarnation of Forbidden Broadway, in addition to Sunday in the Park with George. Humbley recently took to the Menier stage in Merrily We Roll Along and has also appeared in productions of Company, Lend Me a Tenor—the Musical and The Last Five Years. Lewis’ theater credits include Candide, Therese Raquin, Love Never Dies, A Little Night Music, Spamalot and Priscilla—Queen of the Desert. Under the direction of Phillip George, who also helms the show in New York, Forbidden Broadway will feature music direction by Joel Fram, costumes by Morgan Large and sound design by Gareth Owen. View Commentscenter_img Anna-Jane Casey, Sophie-Louise Dann, Damian Humbley and Ben Lewis will star in the previously announced London return of Gerard Alessandrini’s Forbidden Broadway. New York’s longest-running comedy revue will feature takes on productions from both Broadway and the West End, including The Book of Mormon, Once, Matilda, Wicked and Miss Saigon. Performances begin June 19 prior to a July 2 opening night at the Menier Chocolate Factory. The show will play through August 16.last_img read more

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30 Dec
2020

Power of the Peak

first_imgI spent last week trekking across big, beautiful mountains, and their pull on me was powerful as ever. It prompted me to wonder: Why do we seek out mountains and, in some cases, challenge ourselves against them?I was hoping to find answers in science. Biologist E.O. Wilson argues that we’re hardwired to feel a special connection with natural systems, something he calls “biophilia.” Because of how we evolved, he says, certain natural settings can be inviting at a deep, biological level. These settings embody the “connections we subconsciously seek with the rest of life,” connections Wilson believes are literally rooted in our blood. For example, Wilson suggests that we are drawn to the African savannah because our species originated there. But this certainly doesn’t explain why mountains—which can be dangerous and forbidding, and often lack life—wield such a visceral effect on us.Next, I turned to the intersection of natural science and math, where there is longstanding evidence that humans are attracted to symmetry. This can be traced back to ancient Greek times when Plato wrote of golden ratios and shapes like rectangles were held in the highest regard. The Greeks believed in three prongs to beauty: symmetry, proportion, and harmony.Modern experiments confirm the Greeks were on to something. Numerous psychology studies show that babies are more attracted to symmetrical shapes than non-symmetrical ones, and that we rate people’s beauty based on the symmetry of their faces. Scientists hypothesize this strong preference for balance is borne out of the fact that symmetry may represent superior genetic quality and also symbolize a lack of stress during development.Mountains, however, are anything but symmetrical. If anything, their inherent asymmetry—jagged edges, undulating ridgelines, and steep pitches—is the very result of continuous stress throughout their development, including earthquakes, monsoons, and other natural disasters. If mountains were humans, they’d be disfigured and malformed, the oldest, most battered of us all.Physics was easy to cross off the list. Its fundamental force, gravity, says that what goes up must come down. Yet mountains tend to have the opposite effect, bringing what is down up, elevating the spirit and soul of those who stand below.A neuroscientist might argue that the sensation mountains elicit is related to a lack of oxygen in high-altitude air. While altitude definitely has real and formidable effects—I can attest to these effects personally—feeling drunk is different than feeling moved. Mountains continue to take our breath away long after science says it should have returned.Although science may not directly answer the question of why we are drawn to mountains, it is beginning to uncover the benefits of such a draw. Researchers from the University of California, Berkeley, found that awe may be related to good health. Experiencing awe is associated with lower levels of interleukin-6, which is a molecule that encourages inflammation. In other words, more awe is likely associated with less inflammation. Dacher Keltner, senior author on the study, told the New York Times that although awe can be hard to define, one of the emotion’s primary qualities is that it “passes the goosebumps test.”Perhaps we are drawn to mountains because they elicit awe, and awe makes us feel good. But this still does not explain why mountains inspire awe in the first place.Could it be that mountains affect us so powerfully because they are big and remind us that we are small? Especially in today’s tumult of Facebook and Twitter and customized newsfeeds and on-demand everything, it is very easy to get lost in our own little worlds—little worlds in which it is easy to feel pretty big. While there is a power to feeling big, there is an equal and perhaps even greater power to feeling small.Dasher Keltner seems to agree. He wrote that “vastness” and “self-diminishment” are typical characteristics of awe. He even called out mountains as emblematic of an “awe inspiring entity.”George Mallory, a British Mountaineer who partook in the first three expeditions on Everest (and ultimately lost his life trying to summit), famously said of why he climbed Everest, “Because it is there… Its existence is a challenge. The answer is instinctive, a part of man’s desire to conquer the universe.”But perhaps Mallory wasn’t completely correct. Yes, we want to conquer mountains, but maybe not because we long to “conquer the universe.” Rather, it could be that the act of climbing a mountain tends to have the opposite effect—not conquering the universe but connecting us to it, reminding us how vast the universe is and how small a part of it we are.last_img read more

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20 Dec
2020

Military Women Making Great Strides in Latin America

first_img Lilian Bobea, a sociologist and an expert on security and defense issues in Latin America, calls the women in U.N. peacekeeping missions “women of peace.” The U.N.’s efforts have provided women in Latin America with “a window” of opportunity in the armed forces. At least 3,332 women served among the 99,245 military and police personnel in U.N. 2010 peacekeeping missions. Women represented 3.3 percent of that total, up from 1.5 percent in 2005; within police forces, they had the strongest showing ─ 8.7 percent. Women account for roughly 4 to 7 percent of all military in Latin America, said Cecilia Mazzotta of the Buenos Aires-based Security and Defense Network of Latin America, known by its Spanish acronym RESDAL. That number is low but signifies an improvement over previous years, analysts said. Women have made their greatest advances in the air and naval branches of the armed forces. The armies of most countries have also made progress, analysts said, but not as much as the air and naval branches. Many areas of the armed forces, including combat positions, are still off limits to women. “There is a difference between the inclusion of women as participants and the inclusion of women as equals,” Mazzotta said. These differences emerge as limitations within the military, cultural differences, or both. Bueno has the same opportunity as her male counterparts to attain the rank of general, she said, but culturally women who have children are expected to stay close to home. Leaving home for days at a time is still looked down upon, she said. Women who stay close to home can maintain an administrative career, she said, but cannot become generals. Asked if she would like to become a general, she said, “For now, yes.” Maycock echoed the Colombian sentiment toward motherhood in Peru. Physical strength is a key asset in combat, she said, and “we don’t pretend to have the same strength as a man or to be able to run as fast.” Plus, she said, it’s not a good idea to put married women with children in that kind of danger. Both Bueno and Maycock are following in the footsteps of their fathers. Bueno’s father is a retired colonel from the Colombian Air Force, and Maycock’s is a retired general from the Peruvian Air Force. “I grew up in a military family,” Maycock said. “I like planes, and I like discipline.” She’s been in Haiti for nine months (as of late December). “My replacement will be a woman,” she said. “Just a few years ago, women were not considered very often for international assignments. Now, women are taken into account more frequently.” Maycock is the only woman among the 371 military personnel representing Peru in Haiti. MINUSTAH is comprised of 418 women and 11,405 men from 58 countries. Of those, Maycock said, 80 are military officers and four of the officers are woman. Maycock has gone out on patrols in addition to her work in the command center – not to provide security, she said, but to build rapport with Haitian women and children. “We send women because they have a friendlier approach with other women and the kids,” she said, adding that she enjoys getting out of the command center and into Haitian communities. “That’s a lot of fun,” she said. At the same, she said, “It’s been a difficult year….Sometimes it’s very hard to be here.” She was referring to a series of calamities that have struck the Caribbean since the beginning of last year, beginning with an earthquake that killed a quarter million people, followed months later by a cholera outbreak and flooding from Hurricane Tomas, as well as general instability in the streets and a contentious presidential election process. “In my day to day work,” she said, “I’ve come to appreciate how the international community works, how people do things from Nepal, Brazil, Sri Lanka and other parts of the world…..I’ve learned a great deal.” Maycock, who is engaged, said she plans to get married when she returns to Peru in March. She also plans to rise through the ranks, become a major, then a colonel, and raise her children. By Dialogo January 25, 2011 ‘Women of peace’center_img Colombian Air Force Capt. Maria Andrea Bueno and Peruvian Air Force Capt. Nadia Maycock have several things in common. Both are the children of military officers, both are human resources specialists, and both were among the first women admitted into the air force academies of their respective countries. Bueno was admitted in 1997; Maycock, in 1998. Both broke new ground in a setting that up until then had been off limits to women. “It was very difficult,” Maycock said, referring to the air force training. It was not only rigorous, she said, but it took a while for the 36 men in her class to get used to the four women who joined them. “When I first enrolled…, I wanted to leave, but I endured through the first two years and after that it became much easier,” she said. “I finished very well, very successfully, and I am very pleased with what I’m doing.” Maycock, who opted for an administrative career, is a human resources specialist for the Peruvian Air Force. She represents the Peruvian armed forces in MINUSTAH, the United Nations peacekeeping mission in Haiti. Bueno is a pilot and a human resources specialist for the Colombian Air Force Central Command. She’s pregnant and currently restricted to a desk job, but she’s flown combat, intelligence and transport missions, and intends to fly again when she returns from maternity leave. Bueno was one of 124 people in her class at the Colombian Air Force academy. There were 90 men and 34 women. Of the 64 who graduated, 16 were women. “The men didn’t know how to treat us,” she said. “They didn’t know what our capabilities were or if we would be able to do it. We were like pioneers.” The women demonstrated that they were just as capable as the men, she said, and today “we have the same opportunity as any man” to ascend the ranks. “We have made great strides,” she said. Several factors have contributed to the success of women in the Latin American armed forced: the democratization of much of Latin America, widespread modernization efforts, and the United Nations’ inclusion of women in U.N. peacekeeping missions. last_img read more

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18 Dec
2020

Peter Figoski Getaway Driver Acquitted

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York NYPD Officer Peter FigoskiTwo days after a North Carolina man was convicted in the slaying of a New York City police officer from West Babylon, a separate jury acquitted the man accused of driving the getaway car.Michael Velez was found not guilty on burglary and murder charges Wednesday in the death of 47-year-old NYPD Officer Peter Figoski, who was fatally shot in the face in December 2011 while investigating a burglary in Brooklyn.In his testimony, Velez told the court that he thought he was just giving the four other suspects a ride.NYPD Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly was critical of the verdict.“When juries fail to comprehend the monstrous scale of a police officer’s murder, they fail society itself,” said Kelly in a statement. “God help us if other gunmen and  their getaway drivers take comfort in these verdicts because when a police officer is murdered society at-large is struck a mortal blow. It’s shameful that the family of Peter Figoski must be crushed again by another incomprehensible verdict.”The New York City Police Benevolent Association was also clearly disappointed.“This jury did not exhibit an ounce of the courage that Peter Figoski showed time and time again during his life as a police officer,” PBA President Patrick Lynch said in a statement. “This is a devastating verdict for all police officers and for the Figoski family. We are deeply disappointed that the jury completely disregarded the role that the defendant played in the death of a brave police officer.”“While Peter’s tragic death brought our city together,” he continued, “today, this jury let the entire city down.”Another jury Monday convicted the gunman, 28-year-old Lamont Pride, for Figoski’s murder. He was found guilty of second-degree murder, burglary and manslaughter. Prosecutors were not able to convince jurors to convict Pride on the top charge of first-degree murder.Figoski’s partner chased down and arrested Pride after he shot and killed the decorated cop and father of four.Two other suspects, 28-year-old Nelson Morales and 31-year-old Kevin Santos, have pleaded not guilty and are awaiting trial. Meanwhile, a fifth suspect, 23-year-old Ariel Tejada, pleaded guilty and will testify against the two men in exchange for a lighter sentence.last_img read more

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18 Dec
2020

Freeport Duo Charged With Attempted Murder

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Two men have been arrested for shooting and seriously wounding a 23-year-old man in the suspects’ hometown of Freeport last month, Nassau County police said.James Tobin, 23, and 20-year-old Ali Jones were each charged with second-degree attempted murder.Police said the two men shot the victim in the abdomen on Randall Avenue near Wallace Street at 1:10 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 4.The victim was treated for his injuries at a nearby hospital.Investigators found four .380 caliber shell casings at the scene and a fifth shell casing found in the victim’s clothing.First Squad detectives alleged that the duo “intended to cause the death of the victim,” they said in a news release.Tobin was arrested a day after the shooting and was ordered held without bail. Jones was apprehended this week and will be arraigned Friday at First District Court in Hempstead.last_img read more

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18 Dec
2020

Let’s hope the regulation is worth it

first_imgI’m sure that “the regulation” needs little, if any, further definition. Just as “the drive” in Super Bowl annals will always be associated with John Elway and the Denver Broncos, “the regulation” is a good candidate to forever be associated with the Department of Labor and its fiduciary definition package of final regulations and exemptions.  This guidance has been that big.Big, of course, can mean a couple of things.  In terms of length in its Federal Register-published version – or any version, for that matter – the guidance is certainly big.  It fills more printed pages than any other in my 31 years in the retirement industry.  In terms of its potential impact on the way advisors do business with retirement investors, it is certainly big.  While notably improved over the proposed regulations, the final regulations are likely to be just as demanding in terms of the analysis required to comprehend what it all means, and configure operations and administration in order to comply.These DOL regulations contain a Regulatory Impact Analysis that attempts to quantify in dollars-and-cents terms the effort – translated into cost – that will be required to comply.  Notably, the costs being accounted for – whether or not they are reasonably accurate – measure chiefly those costs incurred by individuals and organizations involved in the advising relationship.  The brokerage, the mutual fund company, insurance company, street corner bank or credit union, and their employees or affiliates, are theoretically taken into account in this assessment of effort and cost. continue reading » 2SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblrlast_img read more

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