Deep Fried Tarantula

(Photo: The Bug Chef)

Get that roach out of your mouth! It hasn't been properly cooked yet. For that, you need to go to The Bug Chef. That's David George Gordon, a professional chef who specializes in preparing insects.

Gordon thinks that humanity's culinary future lies with the insect world. If your goal is to produce a large quantity of meat, then livestock insects, such as crickets, are much cheaper than pigs or cattle. They require less food, water, and land. They're also nutritious. KPLU explains:

Crickets are high in calcium, said Gordon. Termites? Rich in iron. Grasshoppers? About as much protein (by weight, dried) as beef. Bugs are really pretty good for you. The U.N. report notes that bugs have high proportions of omega-3 fatty acids, comparable to those in fish (and much better than beef or pork).

And most bugs are good protein sources. Scorpions, for instance, have lots of edible muscle tissue. “I like their tails and claws,” said Gordon. “There’s the equivalent of crabmeat in there.” Just take out the stinger first, folks.

Best of all, Gordon argues, bugs are delicious. He's published a cookbook of 40 recipes that you can use to make your insect preparation tasty. For example, you can deep fry tarantulas. Here's Gordon's recipe. It's coated in a tempura batter and accented with smoked paprika. Yummy! 

-via Super Punch


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The Amazing Tree Of 40 Fruits

An old New York state orchard was about to be left for dead in 2008, an orchard that grows varieties of stone fruit over 200 years old, when artist Sam Van Aiken stepped in and took over the lease, saving many fruit varieties no longer commercially available.

Sam now grows totally magical trees that he calls the Trees of 40 Fruit, applying artistic ideas and some serious grafting skills to create a tree that "grows over forty different types of stone fruit including peaches, plums, apricots, nectarines, cherries, and almonds."

His fascinating take on tree hybridization as living sculpture has produced multiple hybrid trees, and Sam even gave a TED talk about his project, so why are we seeing a photoshopped image of the Tree of 40 Fruits?

Because it could take them decades to grow to that size, so at the moment his magic trees look more like this:

-Via Sploid


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One Simple Chart Shows 72 Uses For Common Household Products

People have been using common substances like citrus juices, oils and vinegars for cooking, as household cleaners and personal grooming products, for centuries, and many of the store bought products we buy everyday use these items as their core ingredients.

However, these store bought products also contain chemicals and toxins we’re better off leaving on the store shelves, and using core ingredients also means saving money.

This simple yet informative chart takes household products back to the old school, showing dozens of great uses for everyday products like baking soda, white vinegar and coconut oil.

The chart is missing amount recommendations for each use, but they're pretty easy to figure out with a little help from the all-knowing Google.

72 Uses for Simple Household Products To Save Money & Avoid Toxins


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Top Ten Ways To Hack Your Grill

It's summertime, which means a lot of people will be grillin’ and chillin’, and whether you’re a grill master or you’re still too scared to light your own coals you’re bound to find something useful on this Lifehacker list Top 10 Ways To Hack Your Grill.

The hacks range from simple- use your grill as a smoker by adding an aluminum tray of water, which helps keep the meat moist during the lengthy process, to more complicated- converting a Weber grill into a portable pizza oven:

The mostly simple yet always informative articles that make up this top ten list will help you step up your barbecuing game, and may inspire you to host a BBQ of your own so you can share some great grilled grub!


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Traditional Scottish Food: Deep Fried Mars Bars


(Photo: unknown)

Scotland is a land of refined tastes and thoughtfully-developed food traditions. (My ancestors were Scottish, so I know of what I speak.) Among their inventions are those now famous pillars of haute cuisine: haggis and Scotch eggs.

Yet the Scottish people are not the type to rest on their laurels. Among their more recent inventions is the deep fried Mars Bar. A 2012 article in BBC News describes how this culinary marvel has emerged from the fish and chip shops of Scotland:

Ahmed at Neptune's on Duke Street refuses to fry chocolate bars because "it turns the oil black and oil is very expensive."

But Mustapha from Denis's takeaway on the High Street is happy to oblige. He says he will deep-fry anything.

"That's my job", he says.

That's the spirit!

Mustapha says he sells one or two deep-fried Mars bars a day - more when the students are back at the nearby Strathclyde University residences.

He takes a Mars bar from the shelf, unwraps it, dips it in the same batter he uses for the fish and throws it in the fryer. A couple of minutes later he presents a soggy chocolate bar covered in batter.

The caramel squirts out when it is bitten. It is soft warm and sweet. Sickly sweet and fatty.

-via Ace of Spades HQ


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Beverage Logic

It’s a sure-fire formula! This comic at Doghouse Diaries is accompanied by the observation that McDonalds Coke has an apple pie taste that bottled Coke does not. I don’t drink Coke, so I don’t know. The discussion is here.


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Recreating A Trip to the Moon in Cake Frosting

Artist and photographer Henry Hargreaves made a “moving portrait” of cake maker Amirah Kassem from Flour Shop. He wanted to incorporate cake frosting into the scene in a big way. Hargreaves (previously at Neatorama) had the idea to recreate the iconic moon landing scene from the 1902 special-effects film Le Voyage Dans la Lune (A Trip to the Moon) by Georges Méliès. Continue reading to see how he did it.

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Thief Takes Doughnuts at Knifepoint

A new Krispy Kreme outlet in Adelaide, Australia, has proven to be a hit. Customers queued up days before the doors opened, and still wait in line for hours to get doughnuts a few days later. One doughnut fan apparently decided to skip the wait. Two teenage boys bought six boxes of doughnuts after waiting in line for two hours. Minutes later, they were confronted by a man with a knife, who demanded the Krispy Kremes.

“He was pretty much saying ‘if you don’t give me the doughnuts now I’m going to stab you’,” one of the boys told 7News.

The thief took the doughnuts but did not demand anything else.

The other victim said: “It’s pretty bad, like you think he’d like take the money or something, but he took the doughnuts.”

Police are looking at security video to see if they can identify the perpetrator. Krispy Kreme’s manager offered to replace the stolen doughnuts, but the teenagers are afraid of returning to the store. -via Arbroath  

(Image credit: forzaq8 from kuwait, kuwait)


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Testing the Limits of TGI Friday’s Endless Appetizers

The restaurant chain TGI Friday’s unveiled a promotion called “Endless Appestizers,” in which you pay $10 and eat as many appetizers as you want (at participating locations only). Caity Weaver at Gawker decided to push the envelope and see if the restaurant could live up to that claim. She had incentives: her boss promised a week off if she could keep it up until 1AM, and a colleague offered cash for the mozzarella sticks she ate over 30. It was not easy. You can only select one kind of appetizer for the promotion, so she selected mozzarella sticks, and quickly regretted that decision.

1:40 p.m. Even if I ate 1000 sticks, TGI Friday's Endless Apps would be a bad deal, because they taste worse than eating nothing at all. TGI Friday's should pay me $10 to clear out as many of these mozzarella sticks for them as I can. TGI Friday's End This App(s).

1:42 p.m. Gabby catches me guzzling water like Joey Chestnut to get my hastily chewed mozzarella sticks down. "Haha!" she laughs from a couple tables away. "I'm coming to check on you!" While the water trick makes me feel like I'm about to throw up every time I swallow a bite of mozzarella stick, it does help to mask the taste. For this reason, I consider it superior to eating the mozzarella sticks normally.

1:45 p.m. I ask Gabby if she's had the mozzarella sticks, and what does she think of them? She tells me "They're good." Gabby and I are not yet good enough friends that we can be honest with one another.

And that’s with 11 hours to go! Weaver tries to adjust by eating the dreaded mozzarella sticks as slowly as possible, but boredom becomes problem. Her notes become weird.

9:23 p.m. I keep thinking I hear people say "Caity." I write down in my notebook that I am "definitely hallucinating."

I put my head near the table to write more and the scent of old marinara and burnt rubber fills my nostrils. I sit back up.

Will Weaver make it to 1AM? Will she receive her rewards? How many mozzarella sticks can one person really eat? Read the entire story at Gawker. -via Neetzan Zimmerman

PS: The endless appetizers promotion is $10 per person, so a group is not supposed to share an order.

(Image credit: Tara Jacoby)


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Inglorious Fruits and Vegetables

(YouTube link)

While the price of fresh fruits and vegetables goes up, vendors regularly toss out tons of produce because it’s not pretty. Perfectly good food in irregular shapes, sizes, and colors is too often just wasted. French grocery chain Intermarché began a program of buying those “unacceptable” fruits and vegetables and selling them to the public -for 30% off regular prices! They call these products “Inglorious Fruits and Vegetables.” Shoppers get a bargain, and much less of the crops go to waste.

I would love to buy ugly but fresh fruit at a 30% discount, instead of the way I do it now: saving 30% because the pretty fruit is old and overripe. -via Viral Viral Videos


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Gummy Bear Bratwurst Is, Thankfully, Completely Real

(Photo: Grist)

Peanut butter and chocolate. Pasta and tomato sauce. Beer and chicken wings. Bratwurst and gummy bears.

Some foods, just by nature's design, belong together. That's why it was inevitable that someone would combine the sweetness of gummy bears and the hearty saltiness of bratwurst. But it was Spencer Grundhofer who actually put them together, thus ushering in a new age of greatness for the human race.

(Photo: Rachel Hutton)

Grundhofer is the owner of Grundhofer's Old-Fashioned Meats, a butcher shop in Hugo, Minnesota. Like the wheel, the transistor, and other revolutionary inventions, the gummy bear bratwurst was invented as a joke. 


(Video Link)

Now it is in high demand and spreading across the United States. They're already available in Minneapolis and Austin.

-via That's Nerdalicious!


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11 Psychological Tricks Restaurants Use To Make You Spend More Money

When you eat at a restaurant, you are usually well aware of what the costs will be and plan for them. You often have some idea of the food quality and what dishes you might like. But you might not be aware of all the tiny details restaurants employ that are the result of research into the optimum way to get the most profit from each customer. For example:  

7. They use expensive items to draw you to the cheaper items. According to Rapp, restaurants use extremely expensive foods as decoys. "You probably won't buy it, but you'll find something a little cheaper and it'll look more reasonable," he says.

According to William Poundstone, author of "Priceless: The Myth of Fair Value (and How to Take Advantage of It)," in a New York Magazine interview, "The main role of that $115 platter — the only three-digit thing on the menu — is to make everything else near it look like a relative bargain."

8. They offer foods in two portion sizes. This strategy is called bracketing. The customer has no idea how much smaller the small portion is, so they assume it's the best value price because it costs less. What they don't realize is that the restaurant wanted to sell the smaller portion at the lower price all along, and simply used the bigger portion with the higher price as comparison.

That one reminds me of a barbecue place that offers three sizes of standard meals: the “all-you-can-eat,” which is expensive and you can’t take the leftovers home; the dinner size, which is more than I can eat, but you can box it up if you want; and the least expensive luncheon size, which fills me up. I am always surprised by how many people think the all-you-can-eat is the best bargain, which goes against the above research, but it works for that restaurant. Read the rest of the list of psychological tricks at Business Insider.    


(Image credit: Flickr user Ian T. McFarland)


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Irwindale’s Sriracha Approximation Experiment

If you recall, we told you about the kerfluffle over the Sriracha factory in Irwindale, California, which posed the possibility of a Sriracha shortage if the factory were to be shut down. And it was, temporarily. After courting the industry vigorously, the city received complaints about smells and air quality after the factory began production.

One part of the story that’s making the news now is the experiment the the South Coast Air Quality Management District did to simulate conditions during pepper-grinding at the factory. Although it wasn’t pepper-grinding season, and they didn’t have the same peppers, equipment, or procedures as Huy Fong Foods, the researchers found that pepper particles filled the air during the process. What they did was grind three pounds of jalapeño peppers using a manual grinder and a food processor in a kitchen.   

The ridiculousness of this shouldn't be ignored: South Coast AQMD measured particle levels in a random kitchen after grinding peppers in a completely different way than Huy Fong Foods does. The group did it on a tiny scale, with none of the filtration systems that are common in factory-level food production. Its researchers measured particle matter right next to the blender; presumably the residents who were allegedly smelling this stuff were not living inside the factory.

But it all worked out in the end, when Huy Fong Foods and the city worked out their differences, and production of Sriracha continues. Read more about the experiment at Motherboard. -via Digg

(Image credit: City of Irwindale)


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The Foodnited States of America

CORRECTION 7/15/14: It's Durso's son, not daughter, who concieved of the project. I've altered the text accordingly.

--------------------------

Chris Durso is the proprietor of Foodiggity, an excellent food blog that you should be reading. In addition to rounding up delicious bites of eccentric culinary creations from around the world, he's a father of a creative little boy. Durso's son suggested that he compose food maps of each of the 50 United States.

He's developing puns from the names of the states, such as those you see above. Would you like to contribute? You can suggest your own puns here and help his son earn a high grade in his social studies class.


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Twinkiritos Combine the Best of Chinese and American Cuisine

The chef behind the food blog Oh, Bite It! thinks that these confections "might be my all-time craziest, mind-blowing mash up EVER!" They're brilliant! She took Twinkies, wrapped them in spring roll pastry sheets, then deep fried them. A bit off powdered sugar added to the visual appeal and texture. May I suggest dipping them in Nutella?

-via Incredible Things


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Denny's Earns A Dining High Score By Teaming Up With Atari

Nobody serves up greasy spoon style food quite like Denny’s, home of the Grand Slam breakfast, Moons Over My Hammy and movie themed menu items like the Hobbit Hole Breakfast, but their latest team up with iconic video game company Atari left them with one major problem-how can Atari and Denny’s come together in a way that feels organic?

Denny's Chief Branding Officer Frances Allen came up with the brilliant idea to turn some Atari's most popular games, like Centipede and Asteroids, into food-related titles, and the best part is- you'll be able to download and play the games while you wait for your food to arrive, which is about as long as you'll want to spend playing an Atari game anyway! 

-Via Gamma Squad


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The Most Common Common Complaints At Restaurants

Very few workers deal with as many complaints on a daily basis as those in the foodservice industry, and whether you’re a busser, server, or simply pouring drinks in a restaurant bar, you hear your fair share of complaints from customers who expect more from your establishment than they do from most anywhere else.

Many restaurant patrons want things done their way, because in their mind paying for a meal means paying for their idea of service perfection, so it was probably easy for Consumer Reports to create this infographic detailing The Most Common Restaurant Complaints.

Most people have no problem sharing their opinions about dining out, and if you eat out enough you're bound to have complaints, so how do your complaints about eating out measure up to the percentages on this infographic?

Click here to see an enlarged version of the infographic

-Via DesignTAXI


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The WokMon Can Make Your Stir Fry Seriously Wok

If you love stir frys, you've probably noticed that it's practically impossible to make a restaurant-quality one at home even if you have all the right ingredients and a wok. While some people claim it's the MSG (and it sometimes is), the real lacking element is the heat.

Chinese restaurants cook on incredibly high heat stoves that you can't get at home -until now. The WokMon is a great new design that can focus your stove's flames so you can get the high temperatures you need to make real Chinese dishes. Best of all, you don't even need to change out your existing stove. Just put the small piece over your burner and the large part on the grate to hold your wok for you and you're ready to go.

You can read more about the WokMon, including where to get your own over at Homes and Hues: Wok N' Roll At Home With the WokMon


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Make Your Own Magic Shell Chocolate Syrup

You know Magic Shell, that wonderful chocolate syrup that hardens when it comes in contact with ice cream? You can make your own at home! And despite what you may have thought, there’s no paraffin involved at all. The secret is refined coconut oil, which is liquid at room temperature, but hardens in the refrigerator. The complete instructions are at Serious Eats.

They also have suggestions for ways to use your homemade Magic Shell, to make homemade versions of Klondike Bars, King Cones, and more. It would also be good for dipping frozen bananas and other fruits. -via Metafilter

(Image credit: Vicky Wasik)


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These World Cup Hot Dogs Will Fill You with National Pride and Heartburn

Even if you can't attend World Cup matches in person, you can still enjoy good stadium food and the comfort of your own couch. Grill up some hot dogs and turn on the TV set. But if you can make it to Brazil, visit the WDOG food seller. It created these elaborate hot dogs inspired by the flags and traditional foods of competing countries.

Pictured above is the American hot dog, which has mustard, mayonnaise, cheddar cheese, barbecue sauce, and cole slaw.

The Mexican dog has tortilla chips, chili, guacamole, and a hot red pepper.

The Brazilian dog has feijoada, which is a meat and bean stew, as well as bacon and cabbage.

The Italian dog has mozzarella-stuffed polpettone, which is a type of meatloaf. It also has tomato sauce and a hit of basil.

The German hot dog has pickles, mashed potatoes, mustard, onions, and sauerkraut.

The Japanese hot dog has a sushi roll instead of a sausage and sukiyaki, which is a type of stew.

The Argentinian dog has chimichurri, which is a type of green sauce, as well as garlic mayonnaise and vinaigrette.

-via Foodiggity


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Full-size Watermelon Jell-O Shots

Here’s something really impressive to try for the Independence Day party you’re throwing: Fill an entire watermelon with Jell-o and vodka! You’ll most likely want to slice this into manageable portions before serving, or else grandpa will have half of it eaten before he realizes it has booze in it. Meanwhile, the watermelon you scooped out of the rind can be chilled and served to the kids. The recipe calls for four cups of vodka, so you should add a designated driver in the list of needed equipment. The complete instructions are at Buzzfeed.

(Image credit: Macey Foronda/BuzzFeed)


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Fast Food Facts You Won't Believe Are Actually True

(Video Link)

Wherever you go there’s a fast food restaurant lurking around the corner, waiting to fry up pounds of delicious fatty foods for you to stuff in your gob, and yet these ever present restaurant chains are surrounded by secrecy and mystery.

They all claim to be number one, but who’s telling the truth? Where do Subway sandwich shops get all of their avocados, and what’s the farthest distance a pizza chain has ever gone to delivered a cheesy pie?

These tasty factoid nuggets and more can be found in BuzzFeed’s low calorie video 9 Fast Food Facts You Won’t Believe Are Actually True, winner of the 2014 award for Most Exaggerated Factoid Video Title.


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Cereal Taste Test: Name Brand Or Knockoff?

(YouTube link)

Can you tell the difference between your favorite name-brand cereals and their knockoffs just by taste? The folks who guess correctly here seem to be proud of themselves, but as a group, they would have guessed just as well without tasting the cereal at all.

The experimenters upped the difficulty factor by including Kroger store brands, which I’ve found are pretty high quality. There are some food products for which I prefer the the taste of Kroger brand over the national brand name, although I often buy knockoffs from elsewhere to save money. Which brings up another question: even if you can identify the name brand cereal over the generic, which do you like better? You can save money by trying them out with an open mind. -via Buzzfeed


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Bites of Fright by Christine McConnell

This is artist and photographer Christine McConnell, a/k/a my role model. She does everything, and does it well. She bakes (Miss Cellania featured the cake she baked of her parents' house last month), and some of her creations are delightfully dark. 

She is lovely (see photo four) and, according the photo captions on her imgur albums, she personally delivers her baked goods in a beautifully restored classic car (photo five). She does oil paintings. She does house painting. She makes most of her clothes from scratch. She designed a Halloween decoration concept for her parents' large home. She makes skeletons, aliens and snakes out of sugary tastyness. I just love that Christine!

Visit McConnell's imgur albums, instagram account and her recent reddit post to see more. 


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Rolo Cheesecake Bars

Yes, you're looking at a computer screen. But I'll bet that if you take a good slurp, you'l be able to detect a bit of chocolate from Danielle's Rolo cheesecake bars. They're made with Rolo candies, which are gobs of caramel encased in chocolate.

Danielle made them by first putting down a layer of graham cracker crumbs, then adding a mixture of cream cheese and mini Rolos. She topped it with chocolate and Rolo halves. Yummy! I'd try to make it, but I'm afraid that I'd eat the ingredients before finishing the recipe.

-via Endless Simmer


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Ten Saintly Sweets

The actual title of the article at Atlas Obscura starts with “sinless sweets,” which sounds like something to eat with no fat, no sugar, and no pleasure. That’s a bit misleading, because these sweets have plenty of what makes food worth eating -but they were developed specifically to celebrate the feast days of certain saints. That in itself should make you feel virtuous as you stuff your face! For example, in Italy they enjoy bigne for the feast of San Giuseppe, or St. Joseph.

Like many stepparents, St. Joseph doesn’t get the respect he deserves year round, but at least his feast day is a big deal in Italy where it’s essentially the equivalent of Father’s Day in the United States. No San Giuseppe feast would be complete with out the bigne, or zeppoli — sugar-covered fritters filled with custard or cannoli filling and topped with chocolate or candied cherries.

Though most people think of Joseph as a carpenter, he’s nicknamed “frittellaro” in Rome. According to local legend, he sold fried pancakes after the flight to Egypt to support Jesus and Mary, hence their inclusion in his feast day.

After all, it’s pretty difficult to eat tables and chairs to celebrate a carpenter! This list has ten different saints, feast days, and decadent traditional desserts you can try at Atlas Obscura. 


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10 Strangely Specific Apology Cakes

Cake makes everything better, including apologies. Like this one above, for example. We can tell that the person is truly sorry for trying to sacrifice another humanbeing to Satan. How can we tell? They put extra sprinkles, of course.

Here are a few more fantastic photos of "I'm sorry" cakes making their rounds on the Web:


Sorry I Spoiled Game of Thrones Cake via bloglovin


I'm Sorry You're on Your Period Cake by redditor derolle. We're guessing it's a red velvet cake.


I'm Sorry I Blacked Out, Tried to Kill You, and Almost Got Us Arrested Cake

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Resume + Beer = Resum-Ale

When Brennan Gleason got an idea, he sure "hopped" to it. The web and graphic designer and home brewer decided to combine his love of brewing his own blonde ale and his search for gainful employment by making and sending his resumes in the form of a four-pack of beer.

Gleason described it as "Resume + Beer = Gleason's Resum-Ale." The designer printed his resume on a specially printed box, while each of the four beer botle labels feature a piece of his work. To add a finishing touch, the bottle cap sports his custom logo.

This is so cool we can "barley" stand it! You got a resume mashed up with alcohol? "Ale" take two! Via Design Taxi


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Check out Twaggies' very funny clip:

Give a Man a Fish - Twaggies by Twaggies

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