Twenty Facts About the Muppets

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Elliott of Mental Floss focuses on Muppets facts in this video starring Kermit and the ever humble Miss Piggy. Statler, Waldorf and the lovable Animal make appearances as well. When did they make their first television appearances? How have they contributed to our culture? How big are Animal's muscles? All of these questions and more get a workout. 


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The Shoeboxus parade

The relatively new New Orleans Krewe of Chewbacchus has sci-fi events outside of Carnival season, too. For Star Wars day on Monday, they staged a parade. This one was called Shoeboxus.

Often the landscape of Mardi Gras is dotted with larger parades helmed by the moneyed and reigned over by the famous; they are slick, professional affairs, with strict rules and big fees.  Shoeboxus brings spectators back to their elementary school days when celebrating Mardi Gras meant making your own miniaturized float á la an empty shoebox, a bit of paint and paste, and lots and lots of beads.

“Part of the ethos of Chewbacchus is to both celebrate and mock the things we love. It's this earnest love of science fiction but we also know that we're a bunch of silly nerds and we do this crazy, homemade parade,” says co-founder Ryan Ballard. “We don't take it seriously whatsoever.”

There were larger vehicles bringing up the rear, like tricycles, but altogether, the Shoeboxus parade with small but showy. You can read more about it and see plenty of pictures at Atlas Obscura. A good time was had by all.

(Image credit: April Siese)


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Hiding Peach Bottom Kobito

Redditor nerdlygames had no idea what this thing is, but had to buy it. Others introduced him to Kobitos, a line of Japanese toy characters. This character is Hiding Peach Bottom Kobitos, who lives in peach orchards and sucks the sugar out of ripe peaches. Kobitos (previously at Neatorama) are kind of like fairies, in that they inhabit the natural world, but are unseen as they go about their daily business. But of course, you can buy a doll representing them.

 

Healing Green Wing Kobitos flies around the woods, spreading a pleasant fragrance come its wings. House Princess Kobitos lives in houses, plays with mosquitos, and may hide your possessions. Red Mushroom Kobitos lives in the woods, have gentle dispositions, and are tasty in a stew, once you remove the poisonous parts. There are plenty of others to select from.

(Image credit: nerdygames)


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Shetland Pony Race

(YouTube link)

Watch this adorable Shetland Pony race at Bath Racecourse! What the ponies lack in stride, they make up in heart. And you know they have to take way more steps to get to the finish line than the average Thoroughbred. The entire time, they manage to look like toys that little girls and Bronies would play with. -via Daily Picks and Flicks

Love cute animals? View more at Lifestyles of the Cute and Cuddly blog

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Out Crazing Crazy - Limited Edition X-Men Variant


Out Crazing Crazy (limited edition X-Men variant) by The Staziac

The idea of some joker using cheap gadgets and stinky gas to make an entire city laugh themselves to death really got under Wade's skin, and seeing as how he was fresh out of chimichangas Wade decided to pay Gotham's clown prince of crime a visit. Pool wanted to shoot him dead, but the villainous madman had a plan- use him as a wildcard and the two of them could split the loot, that way they'd both make a killing and the joke would be on old Bats...

Don't miss your chance to bring home this amazing Out Crazing Crazy t-shirt by The Staziac, featuring everyone favorite's merc with a mouth putting a smile on the Joker's face. This amazing variant shirt will only be available in the NeatoShop through May 10th, 2015 so grab this ultra rare limited edition shirt today!

Visit The Staziac's Facebook fan page, then head on over to his NeatoShop for more geek-tastic designs:

Che Lebowski Sweet Sweet Art Mandalorian Scum JOKE

View more designs by The Staziac | More Comic T-shirts | New T-Shirts

Are you a professional illustrator or T-shirt designer? Let's chat! Sell your designs on the NeatoShop and get featured in front of tons of potential new fans on Neatorama!


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The Time the Allies Tried to Disarm Hitler With Female Sex Hormones

Did you hear the one about the plot to sneak estrogen into Hitler’s carrots? It sounds like the setup for a joke, but the Allies really tried this one out.

A study at the time by the U.S. Office of Strategic Services, a precursor to the CIA, claimed that on the gender spectrum, Adolf Hitler fell notably near the middle—"close to the male-female line," wrote the OSS’s director of research and development, Stanley Lovell. The Allies thought if they could just tip him over the line into "female" territory, he would lose his hold on Germany and the war would be won.

Sources differ on whether the hope was that a more feminized Hitler would be less aggressive, and thus, less inclined to commit mass genocide, or that if he lost his facial hair and grew breasts he simply wouldn't have the confidence or charisma to allow him to serve as an effectively malevolent dictator.

We know that didn’t happen, but the reasons why are murky. Read about the scheme to feminize Hitler at mental_floss.


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Cat Attacks Mirror

(YouTube link)

A cat named Lincoln isn’t putting up with any feline intruders, even if it is his own reflection in a mirror! And he’s not giving up just because the glass stopped his attack -he’s coming back for more. That’ll show that other cat. -via Daily Picks and Flicks

Love cute animals? View more at Lifestyles of the Cute and Cuddly blog

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This Man is Brewing Coffee on Sand


(Video Link)

This video shows a street vendor in Aqaba, Jordan. The brewer has a pan of sand over a gas burner. The hot sand evenly distributes heat over the cups. When he presses them in deeply, the coffee boils. Then it's ready to pour. It's an amazing technique that I've never heard of before. Starbucks, get on it.

-via Laughing Squid

We dish up more neat food posts at the Neatolicious blog

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Sylvester Stallone's First Film: The Party at Kitty and Stud's

Neatorama presents a guest post from actor, comedian, and voiceover artist Eddie Deezen. Visit Eddie at his website or at Facebook.

The year was 1970 and a young, unknown, 23-year-old actor named Sylvester “Sly" Stallone was going through very hard times. The truth is, young Stallone, who had finally found employment as a movie usher, was now jobless and flat broke. He was so broke he had recently been evicted from his apartment and was literally homeless. At the time he was hired for his first movie gig, he was living in a local bus station.

New York, at the time, was the hub of porno films and young Sly was about to film his motion picture debut. For a modest salary of $200 (for two days work) sly signed on for the title role of “Stud" in a cheapie softcore porno flick called The Party at Kitty and Stud's. The film's budget was a mere $5,000.00.

According to Sly, the film was financed "by a group of wealthy lawyers- very, very solid.” The film's triple threat director/writer/producer was the immortal Morton Lewis. Sly's co-star (“Kitty") in this epic was Janet Banzet.

The film's cast was rounded out by an illustrious cast consisting of Jodi Van Prang, Nicholas Warren, Frank Michelli, and Barbara Storm. No doubt each one has spent the last 40 years regaling their friends, mates, relatives, co-workers, and associates about "being in Sylvester Stallone's first film.” (Hey, look, the movie business is a very tough, competitive racket- more power to them!)



The "plot" (and I use the term loosely) of The Party at Kitty and Stud's involves Kitty and Stud, a New York couple, who throw a party and engage in group sex. To the delight of female (and gay guy) viewers, Sly spends much of the film stark naked.

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Chocolate-Covered Tequila-Filled Jalapeño Peppers

(Photo: 7 Deadly)

The Chocolate Covered Company covers things in chocolate, then sells them. That’s a great business premise! Everything is better when drenched in chocolate. I’ve never had chocolate covered jalapeños, but I can definitely imagine how wonderful the combination would be.

The crew at 7 Deadly took them even further. They injected half a shot of tequila into each pepper. The combination was perfect:

The result was an explosion of liquor (we used some leftover Los Abuelos), followed by the unforgiving single of a densely-seeded jalapeño. The heat was only lightly tempered by the chocolate, which for amusement’s sake, was quite tasty.

-via Incredible Things

We dish up more neat food posts at the Neatolicious blog

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Cats Opening Fridges

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The felines shown in this compilation have figured out how to penetrate the barrier between them and tasty treats. Knowledge is power, and a cat with power is  to the cat  an appropriate state of affairs. All is right with the kitty world. -Via Tastefully Offensive

Love cute animals? View more at Lifestyles of the Cute and Cuddly blog

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BB-8 Droid Nails

BB-8 is the name of the spherical droid that appears in Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Ever since it first appeared on screen for a couple seconds in an early trailer, fans have been fascinated by it.

You can count on nail artist Kayleigh O'Connor to express a pop culture phenomenon on her hands. In the past, she's made nails inspired by Breaking Bad, Futurama, The Lord of the Rings, and more. For Star Wars Day, she made this rounded thumbnail droid that looks like it's ready to roll off her hand.


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Tables

As soon as people cross that line into adulthood, they are met with the slow bombardment of signs telling them that being an adult isn't all that it's cracked up to be. Suddenly your bills aren't paid unless you pay them, your toys and treats are no longer free and sleeping with a teddy bear to ease the stress is no longer acceptable. This Lunarbaboon comic emphasizes the joys of childhood in the context of the "children's table."


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Adorable Hand-Drawn Flipbook Illustrates a Couple’s Love Story


(Video Link)

Ben Zurawski is a collector of flipbooks and flipbook artist for people who want a tangible, animated story of important parts of their lives. Sometimes people hire him to tell their personal love stories. That’s what Wayne Brandes did. He married his wife Rachel in January and gave her this flipbook as a wedding present.

Rachel loved it. The Huffington Post quotes Wayne:

"I think it is perfect," Brandes said of the finished product. "Ben obviously put a lot of effort into making it special. Rachel loves it. She cried when I gave it to her."


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Microwave Oven Baffled Astronomers for Decades

Astronomers at the Parkes Observatory in New South Wales, Australia, have been noticing strange signals coming through the radio telescope since 1998. These signals were designated as perytons, and were observed maybe twice a year. No one knew where they were coming from, but lightning was proposed as the cause. Of course, we’d all prefer it to be aliens. A new receiver installed this year picked those signals up even stronger at 2.4GHz, which led the scientists to suspect the facility’s microwave oven.

Immediate testing of the oven failed to detect any perytons -- until they opened the microwave door a few seconds before it had finished cooking. Johnston told The Guardian: "If you set it to heat and pull it open to have a look, it generates interference."

Although the telescope, known locally as "The Dish", is operated largely remotely, a few operational staff who maintain the facility would use the microwave oven to heat their lunch in the daytimes. Moreover, the interference would only occur when the telescope was pointed in the oven's direction, making the cause even harder to pinpoint. The findings have been published in the notices of the Royal Astronomical Society.

So much for aliens trying to contact us. But it’s nice that the 17-year mystery has been solved. -via @pourmecoffee

(Image credit: CSIRO)


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Ruler Of Snake Mountain - Nobody Has To Know You Have The Power


Ruler Of Snake Mountain by Russ Jericho

Walking around all day with a dark secret can make maintaining a normal life a bit of a challenge, but when you've got the heart of a ruler beating in your chest, and the six pack abs to match, it's only natural to want to show off. Still, it's better to pretend you're an average human and not an alien sorceror with a skeletal face and he-man physique, so you can bide your time and buy the power needed to take over this puny planet...

Become the master of your own universe with this Ruler Of Snake Mountain t-shirt by Russ Jericho, it's the easiest way to get that mighty cartoon physique you've been looking for!

Visit Russ Jericho's Facebook fan page, Instagram, Twitter and Tumblr, then head on over to his NeatoShop for more mighty cool designs:

Prelude Of Light I Have The Power! Duckula (Red) Keep Calm It's Morphin' Time (White)

View more designs by Russ Jericho | More Funny T-shirts | New T-Shirts

Are you a professional illustrator or T-shirt designer? Let's chat! Sell your designs on the NeatoShop and get featured in front of tons of potential new fans on Neatorama!


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Puppies Re-Enact Star Wars


(Video Link)

The Pet Collective proves that everyone, regardless of species, can get into the thrilling story of Star Wars. It recreated scenes from the original trilogy using puppies in place of the main characters. It is up to Yo-dog to train Luke to avoid the Bark Side of the Force and show him how to defeat Darth Hound.

-via Tastefully Offensive

Love cute animals? View more at Lifestyles of the Cute and Cuddly blog

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If Ben & Jerry Made Horror Movie-Inspired Flavors

Artist Frank Browning and John Squires of the blog Freddy in Space created this entertaining look at what horror movie-inspired Ben & Jerry's flavors might look like. It's really too bad these aren't the real deal. Wouldn't you love to open your freezer and be met with some of this packaging?

See all of Squires and Browning's fun flavors of fright here. 

Via Dangerous Minds | Images: John Squires and Frank Browning



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Toilet Covered with Anime Characters

(Photo: @unkogakkai)

If you want to experience true defecatory excellence, then go to Japan. That nation is known for producing the most technologically advanced toilets in the world. They’re serious business, which is why there’s a toilet museum and some Japanese people clean public toilets as a hobby.

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An Honest Trailer for Fifty Shades of Grey

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Screen Junkies gives the Honest Trailer treatment to Fifty Shades of Grey in this video, their 100th episode. It's pretty much everything one would expect, based on the goofiness of the subject matter. Contains borderline NSFW sexual terms. -Via Cheezburger


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The Magician Who Astounded the World by Conjuring Spirits and Talking with Mummies

A hundred years ago, before movies and TV became our default entertainment media, magic shows were a staple of the stage. Illusionists flourished, but none more so than Howard Thurston, whose over-the-top shows combined pretty women and life-or-death stunts to leave audiences astonished.  

Thurston’s popularity also benefited from a growing interest in ghosts and the occult. During the mid-19th century, a religious fad known as Spiritualism gained millions of followers as mediums claiming to contact the dead sprang up all over the country. At a time when new technologies and scientific discoveries introduced seemingly magical concepts into everyday life, everyone was looking for ways to communicate with ghosts—even Thomas Edison worked on a “mechanical medium” to contact the deceased. Archaeological discoveries in Egypt, like the finding of King Tutankhamun’s tomb in 1922, furthered the public obsession with the afterlife.

Like other prominent thinkers, famous magicians became embroiled in the public debate over the supernatural. Houdini took the staunch position that all mediums were fakes and set out to publicly debunk them and destroy their businesses (frequently making headlines in the process), while Thurston favored a more nuanced view. Thurston agreed that many mediums engaged in trickery, but also believed he’d seen spiritual phenomena that couldn’t be explained by science. Of the mysteries he was unable to crack, Thurston wrote to Houdini, “I lean to the belief that these effects are produced by an intelligent force, which can manifest itself mentally and physically to some people under certain circumstances.” Regardless of what he believed personally, Thurston was aware of the profit to be made by exploiting the murky realm of religion, mysticism, and the supernatural.

The Morbid Anatomy Museum in Brooklyn has a new exhibit on Howard Thurston called “Do the Spirits Return?” on display the rest of this year. Read about the man behind the magic at Collectors Weekly.


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Playgrounds Around the World

Tokyo, Japan | Due to the high cost of land in Tokyo, this playground was built on the roof of a school. The children are allowed to play only with soft balls, in case one lands on pedestrians on the streets below. The playground has a retractable roof that plays music as it closes. Every two days, the children clean the school. The principal says it’s important they learn to clean up after themselves.

Award-winning, UK-based photographer James Mollison has a rich, global background, being born in Kenya, raised in England and working in Italy. Mollison was featured previously at Neatorama for his series "Where Children Sleep." His latest project is a book called Playground, for which he traveled around the world to capture children at play during their breaks from school. He visited thirteen countries including Bhutan, Israel, India, Argentina, and the U.S. 

See more photos from Mollison's fascinating series here. The photographs are available at the Aperture Foundation and his book can be purchased at Amazon.

Sierra Leone The Kroo Bay Primary School in Sierra Leone was once used as an army base. There’s no sanitation or garbage collection, and the school closes from July to September because of floods from the Crocodile River. Teachers subsist on fees paid by parents.


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The Imperial March on Hard Drives and Floppy Discs

(YouTube link)

I started this video and immediately thought my phone was ringing because this is my current ringtone. Arganalth programmed two hard drives and six floppy disc drives to play the Imperial March from Star Wars. And not just a few notes of the theme- this is an entire arrangement! -via Geeks Are Sexy


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How One Woman Quit Her Tech Job to Become a Professional Faerie

(Photos: Happily Ever Laughter)

Jenny Harrison used to work with computers. But she found it unsatisfying. So she decided to become a faerie. Fortunately, Happily Ever Laughter, a company in the San Francisco Bay area, employs many faeries. Harrison found a way to stand out from the competition. In an impressive piece of longform journalism, Lauren Davis of io9 learned about the modern faerie world and how Harrison broke into it:

But she figured out a way to make her application stand out anyway. For one thing, she made her cover letter rhyme. For another, she transformed her resume from that of tech professional to that of a silly faerie who happened to work in the tech industry. She removed the references to servers and MySQL, for example, replacing them with job descriptions like, “I look at computer screens all day! And oh my gosh, there are so many numbers!” She scored an interview.

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Scientists: Sarcasm Requires More Brain Activity Than Sincerity


(I loooove Sarcasm! t-shirt on sale at the NeatoShop)

In 2005, Drs. Simone Shamay-Tsoory and Judith Aharon-Peretz published an article in the journal Neuropsychology that examined how the brain processes sarcasm. They studied how people with selected brain damage understood sarcasm and concluded that the prefrontal cortex provides essential information processing of sarcasm:

The authors explored the neurobiology of sarcasm and the cognitive processes underlying it by examining the performance of participants with focal lesions on tasks that required understanding of sarcasm and social cognition. Participants with prefrontal damage (n  25) showed impaired performance on the sarcasm task, whereas participants with posterior damage (n  16) and healthy controls (n  17) performed the same task without difficulty. Within the prefrontal group, right ventromedial lesions were associated with the most profound deficit in comprehending sarcasm. In addition, although the prefrontal damage was associated with deficits in theory of mind and right hemisphere damage was associated with deficits in identifying emotions, these 2 abilities were related to the ability to understand sarcasm. This suggests that the right frontal lobe mediates understanding of sarcasm by integrating affective processing with perspective taking.

A 2005 article in The Guardian summarizes the implications of these findings:

First the language centre in the brain's left hemisphere interprets the literal meaning of words. Next, the frontal lobes and right hemisphere process the speaker's intention and check for contradictions between the literal meaning and the social and emotional context. Finally, the right ventromedial prefrontal cortex - our sarcasm meter - makes a decision based on our social and emotional knowledge of the situation.

Therefore you should be sarcastic whenever possible in order to demonstrate to people your superior intellectual abilities.

-via Ace of Spades HQ


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Concerned Kitten

Remember Sam, the cat with eyebrows? Now we have a kitten with the same look. Gary is an 8-week-old kitten in Bolton, UK. He belongs to Andy and Caroline Entwistle, whose cat Luna had four kittens. They kept two, Gary and his special needs sister Amy.

Now Gary (named after Gary Barlow)  and his two eyebrow markings are internet stars under the name Concerned Kitten. You can see more pictures of Gary at his Facebook page. And the name is just about his looks -at eight weeks, Gary isn’t really concerned about anything. -via Laughing Squid

Love cute animals? View more at Lifestyles of the Cute and Cuddly blog

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SCORPION - No Mortal Shall Ever Claim A Kombat Victory Over Him

SCORPION by ALIENBIKER23

Kombat is only truly mortal when it involves fatalities, and among those deadly fighters who brave the pits there's one man who makes a habit of slaughtering the competition. He goes by the terrifying name Scorpion, and when he tells you to "get over here!" you'd better listen! No amount of blocking or moving backwards can stop him from sinking his stinger into you, so if you hear the words "finish him!" being shouted by the crowds you'd better lie down and play dead!

Add some deadly cool game to your geeky wardrobe with this SCORPION t-shirt by ALIENBIKER23, it's the perfect way to get geared up for the return of your favorite fighting game.

Visit ALIENBIKER23's Facebook fan page and Twitter, then head on over to his NeatoShop for more deadly cool designs:

LUMINOUS BEINGS HE-MAN CONTAMINATION Magma Fighter

View more designs by ALIENBIKER23 | More Funny T-shirts | New T-Shirts

Are you a professional illustrator or T-shirt designer? Let's chat! Sell your designs on the NeatoShop and get featured in front of tons of potential new fans on Neatorama!


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Rihanna's Met Gala Dress Meets the Internet

Manhattan's Met Gala is an annual, star-studded fundraiser to benefit the Metropolitan Museum of Art's Costume Institute. Each year, attendees walk a red carpet similar to that of a movie premiere or the Academy Awards and show off their expensive designer gowns. Most of the ensembles match a theme based on the yearly fashion exhibit by the Costume Institute. This year's theme was "China: Through the Looking Glass."

Singer Rihanna showed up at the Gala last night outfitted in a yellow embroidered gown with a huge train. Once pictures of the over-the-top gown circulated, the People of the Internet took to their keyboards and image editors. Some of the results are shown here. See more jokes about Rihanna's dress here. 

See also this article, in which other celebrity outfits are joked about, including a connection made between Sarah Jessica Parker's head gear and Heat Miser of Christmas special fame. 

Image: @RichCj on Twitter


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Guys Mime Through Time

The video Mime Through Time by SketchSHE stands at 24 million views! And why not? It’s a fun idea that brings us a lot of music, memories, and comedy. Chris, Michael, and Ali of the comedy group Goat Chatter decided to do their own version.

(YouTube link)

It gets stranger and stranger as it goes along. -via Viral Viral Videos


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The Strangest Libraries in the World

(Photo: BC Architects)

Improbable Libraries is a new book by Alex Johnson that shows photos of the oddest and most inventive library designs in the world today. They include camel-mounted bookmobiles and bubble-like reading pods. I especially like this library in Muyinga, Burundi. BC Architects designed it to use local materials and construction techniques. It features an enormous hammock made of sisal rope woven by a local master of that craft. Children access it from a loft. They lie on cushions and read as cooling air flows in from the outside.

Improbable Libraries sounds like a fun book! You can see more photos from it at the Huffington Post.


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