77 thoughts on “Thursday Open Thread

  1. Can’t remember the last TV I had with VHF/UHF dials. As a kid we only had three channels and they were all VHF. I never knew what that other dial was for.

  2. Second! WE only had NBC, CBS and PBS, couldn’t get ABC out of Columbus since we didn’t have a 60′ tower. Our first TV (B&W, 54) had a UHF dial that wasn’t hooked up to anything, no tuner installed, if you wanted it, you had to pay extra.
    TGIT!! It’s my Friday!
    Mornin’ Gang

  3. Don’t lose your head celebrating Bastille Day.

    Liberty, equality, and brotherhood quickly turned into you have more than I, so to the guillotine with you.

  4. Well, I wasn’t going to say anything about this, but since Brother Dave brought it up, here’s the story. I’d been watching a fat doe all spring, and then about a month ago, she wasn’t so fat anymore, so I figured that she had a fawn stashed somewhere. But after several (4 or 5) weeks, she had not presented the fawn, so I was guessing that she must have lost it or something. But yesterday evening, here she came with the fawn in tow. Last year I had 2 sets of twins plus another solo, but this is the only one I’ve seen this year. It was grazing on grass and corn, so it’s already weaned. I’ll be looking for a photo-op.

  5. #3 SD: She also met with Team Skankles a mere 8 days or so after meeting with DJT Jr.
    What about the Ukrainian Connection with Team Skankles?
    What about the interference by JugEars in the last Israeli election?

    I wish the Rs had just a few testicles between them and would pursue these obvious crimes and take the heat off of Trump. As it is, they appear to be part of the same uni-party so to hell with them.

  6. Shannon says:
    JULY 12, 2017 AT 5:19 PM
    So parsnips are another of those strange root crops that starving humans decided was okay to eat but under other circumstances wouldn’t have dreamed of eating?

    Personally, I’d try the starvation thing for a while rather than eat some. They’ve got a smell that would chase a vulture off a gut wagon.

    Dad loved them, that’s why they were in the garden. You have to let them go through one or two freezes but pick them before the ground freezes hard. We got an unexpected cold snap with snow once and Dad knew that the hard freeze would likely come that night, so we had to go out and pick them— Picture a 9 year old and a 10 year old sweeping snow off the ground while a grown adult digs up ground behind them, and then they all get on their hands an knees to pull the parsnips out of the ground. By flashlight in the dark. While its snowing.

    The only saving grace was that Dad was aware he was the only member of the family, perhaps the human race, that liked them, so he only planted a 10 foot row.

  7. #8 – I’m in full agreement with you on that. Problem is that Trump represents as great a threat to the eReps as he does to the Dems. And the eReps do not take lightly to some interloper trying to drain their cozy little swamp. Sometimes I wish that Trump would just explode on the congressional leadership, but then I remember that he does need them to approve some of his appointments – which so far they are not in any hurry to do – before he can fully alienate them. My congresscritter ran unopposed last term, but since he voted for Ryan as speaker, I could not bring myself to cast a vote for him. He’s a back bencher anyway, but serves as a reliable vote for the eReps. The eReps do have the testicular fortitude to put up a good fight, problem is they are fighting against their constituents and not representing on their behalf.

  8. So I’ve had a number of questions about all these heads yammering about the legality/illegality of Donald, Jr., a free and privately employed citizen of the USA, having a conversation on American soil with a privately employed citizen of another country.

    Professor Eugene Volokh of the Volokh Conspiracy
    at WaPo boils it all down and points out that our Federal Election Commission rules and laws appear to interfere with our First Amendment rights to freedom of speech. No one has tested these regulations before the courts for their constitutionality, but they should.

    Yet that, it seems to me, can’t be right. It would raise obvious First Amendment problems: First, noncitizens, and likely even non-permanent-residents, in the United States have broad First Amendment rights. See Bridges v. Wixon, 326 U.S. 135 (1945) (“freedom of speech and of press is accorded aliens residing in this country”); Underwager v. Channel 9 Australia, 69 F.3d 361 (9th Cir. 1995) (“We conclude that the speech protections of the First Amendment at a minimum apply to all persons legally within our borders,” including ones who are not permanent residents).

    Second, Americans have the right to receive information even from speakers who are entirely abroad. See Lamont v. Postmaster General, 381 U.S. 301 (1965). Can Americans — whether political candidates or anyone else — really be barred from asking questions of foreigners, just because the answers might be especially important to voters?

    The Supreme Court did affirm (without opinion) a federal court decision in Bluman v. FEC, 800 F. Supp. 2d 281 (D.D.C. 2011), that upheld a ban on contributions and independent expenditures by non-citizen non-permanent-residents, on the theory that the government can use such a ban to limit foreign influence on American elections. But the panel decision expressly stressed that it was limited to the restriction on spending money. And it seems to me that restrictions on providing information to the campaigns — or on campaigns seeking such information — can’t be constitutional. Can it really be that the Clinton campaign could be legally required to just ignore credible allegations of misconduct by Trump, just because those allegations were levied by foreigners?

    Read the whole thing.

  9. I heard some discussion on Calexit over the last few days. Ain’t gonna happen. It’s a feel good, middle finger activity for some, but it ain’t gonna happen.

    If California secedes, the Dems lose every major election henceforth. Unless the R’s continue to shoot themselves in the metaphorical foot, that is. The dems won’t let California go. They’ll hold ’em prisoner by force, if necessary.

    If Texas, however, wants to secede, I can see them cutting those mooring ropes with chain saws and forbidding that boat to ever moor at the US dock again.

  10. Kyle Smith writing back in February:

    In order to even make it onto the ballot, Calexit would need to gather 585,000 valid signatures in the next six months, a process that could cost millions. (So far the campaign has raised zilch.) In order to pass, the secession proposal would require half of all registered voters to show up at the polls, and for 55 percent of them to vote yes on making America a 49-state country.

    If anyone should love an actual California secession, it’s Republicans. Take away California, and Trump would have won the popular vote by over a million votes instead of losing by nearly three million. Take away California, and the GOP increases its electoral college margin by 55 votes, its Senate margin by two seats and its House margin by 24 seats.

    Minus California, the USA essentially becomes Greater Texas.

  11. Excellent news via Instapundit:

    The department announced last week that between President Trump’s inauguration and July 3, it had fired 526 employees, demoted another 27, and temporarily suspended another 194 for longer than two weeks.

    In April, the department launched a new website that lets veterans compare the wait times at its facilities and view Yelp-style reviews of each facility written by previous patients. Veterans Health Administration’s Veterans Crisis Line — designed for those struggling with PTSD, thoughts of suicide, and other forms of mental stress — is now answering “more than 90 percent of calls within 8 seconds, and only about one percent of calls are being rerouted to a backup call center.” A year ago, an inspector general report noted that “more than a third of calls were being shunted to backup call centers, some calls were taking more than a half hour to be answered and other callers were being given only an option to leave messages on voicemail.”

    At the end of June, Shulkin unveiled the world’s most advanced commercial prosthetic limb — the Life Under Kinetic Evolution (LUKE) arm — during a visit to a VA facility in New York. Veteran amputees demonstrated the technology, a collaboration among the VA, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, and the private sector. (The name alludes to the lifelike robotic hand that Luke Skywalker is fitted with in The Empire Strikes Back.)

    In May, Shulkin said the department had identified more than 430 vacant buildings and 735 underutilized ones that cost the federal government $25 million a year. He said that most of the buildings are not treatment facilities and could profitably be closed or consolidated. Of course, if he actually attempted to close or consolidate some of the buildings, he might face a controversy along the lines of those touched off by military-base-closing announcements in recent decades.

  12. I remember when Democrats called Bush a monster because there was a leaky roof at Walter Reed and they would fix the VA.

  13. It’s patently obvious we should all be donating to the Calexit campaign.

    And get the ballot language to simply read Fire Trump!

  14. There’s a guy on Twitter using the name “Sean Spicier” as a parody address. He tweets hilarious stuff about Hillary and Obama and the Lefties come out of the woodwork not realizing it is not the Press Secretary’s Twitter feed.

    Read it here.

  15. Off the rails and into the ditch.

    Democratic congressman threatens President’s life.

    [ Facebook text edited to protect the sane and innocent. ]

    A Democratic state representative in Maine threatened President Trump’s life in a Facebook post Tuesday, and vowed that if he ever encountered Trump, the president would not make it through his first term in office.

    “Well then fu** you, snowflake. You’re a fu**ing pussy … See, it’s not only Trump supporters who can talk like complete a$$holes,” Rep. Scott Hamann wrote in a lengthy comment. “As long as that’s what’s coming out of that side, then I’ll match you dumb fu**s word for word. Trump is a half term president, at most, especially if I ever get within 10 feet of that pussy.”

  16. I have a problem with seeing something in a move/TV show that is just plain wrong, (mountains near Galveston) factually incorrect, (six-shooter firing twelve times) or historically inaccurate, (Roosevelt Dime in The Titanic). So, last night I was watching an old MASH rerun and it had Rizzo teaching drivers ed in the motor pool. He repairs and maintains old Willis Jeeps (flathead four) and there happened to be an intake manifold for a Chevy V-8 with a Rochester two-barrel carburetor on it, painted Chevy Orange. Now this happened around 1950-1952, and not only was this before the Chevy Small block was introduced, (1955) but also the paint and carburetor indicate a 1960’s intake. BTW; My observations drive my wife crazy.

  17. (mountains near Galveston)

    Uncommon Valor with Gene Hackman. Drove me crazy too. Training camp somewhere north of Galveston, in the mountains. Where, Arkansas?

  18. Another one was White Lightning with Burt Reynolds. He drove an early ’70s Galaxie. There was a chase scene where you see and hear him shifting gears manually on the floor. After he outruns whoever was chasing him he pulls up to a house and puts the car in Park on the column.

  19. #22,23: Don’t forget about that one season wonder, Houston Knights. They had a scene where they were driving an illegal bad hombre from Houston to kick his bad azz back across the Mexican border where the Federales were waiting for him. They went by way of Galveston, then, mysteriously, into mountains before they got to the border.

  20. I don’t really remember that show, but it might be the one where I remember they showed traffic being halted for a cattle drive in the middle of Houston, and the locals acted like it was an everyday occurrence.

  21. On the Calexit issue, it seems that I remember when some states tried once before to extricate themselves from the USA. Didn’t turn out too well, and was the most costly war in history when measured in number of fatalities (at least according to some historians). Let them just sit out there and stew in their own juices, but with the ports, Kalifornia’s strategic importance to the US will keep them with us. Now, praying to the merciful gods of the San Andreas fault to hear our prayer is another matter – maybe the coastline could just be realigned a little – and another plus in the global warming column were sea levels to rise just a bit.

    Now if you want some real reality TV movies, go over to the Lifetime channel (I call it the Sick Women’s Channel) and watch some of that stuff. You will appreciate mountains on Galveston Island after that.

  22. Love the OC pic. Noted the Spyduckus sitting atop the TV set. Got a chill from the handprint blended in with the wallpaper pattern.

  23. BTW – I have a cousin living in Lufkin who is looking for work. She’s quite happy to go elsewhere – Houston, Bryan/College Station, wherever.

    She’s worked in office settings as a dispatcher, accounts payable, etc., and is looking for a wage $10-15/hour. She has a great attitude, and would be an asset anywhere, IMHO.

    If y’all know of someone who’s looking, jest lemmeno. Thanks.

  24. I believe that humans use less brain activity watching TV than when sleeping.

    Except for Dave and me. We’re always looking for subtle inconsistencies.

  25. Like an episode of Happy Days where Marian was putting sandwiches into Ziploc bags which weren’t invented until the late ’60s.

  26. I’m completely off the grid concerning TV news programs. I don’t have the patience or inclination to watch any of these people. I refuse to waste my time on the Sunday morning panel shows too. They are wrong about almost everything in the race to be first and the 24/7/365 pressure to fill 525,600 minutes of airtime per year.

  27. #26: That’s the one. They used every cheese-ball, corny, bogus stereotype in the book. It was obviously conceived and written by someone who had never been to Houston or prolly Texas for that matter.

  28. In a rare moment of bipartisan agreement, Congress approved legislation in 2016 that would have capped presidential pensions at $200,000 per year and staff, travel and other expenses at another $200,000. Future increases for both would be tied to those given Social Security recipients.

    And it also applied a limited form of means testing, stipulating that every dollar a president earned in outside income above $400,000 would result in a one-dollar decrease in the expense allowance, excluding costs for security.

    But Obama vetoed that measure — one of only 12 vetoes during his presidency. His own financial stake in the matter drew little comment at the time.

  29. I think this is an extremely important problem in this country. I’m glad Malkin is trying to shine some light on it.

    It’s the wrongfully prosecuted and convicted who suffer the heaviest deprivations — and taxpayers who must foot the astronomical bill for all the costs and damages incurred by crime lab corruptocrats and their enablers.

    As I’ve been chronicling in my newspaper columns and CRTV.com investigative reports, many state crime labs and police departments are particularly ill-equipped and inadequately trained to interpret DNA evidence, especially “touch” or “trace” DNA — minute amounts of DNA of unknown origin often transferred through incidental contact — which has resulted in monstrous miscarriages of justice against innocent people.

    The aura of infallibility conferred on crime lab analysts by “CSI”-style TV shows exacerbates the problem when juries place undue weight on indeterminate DNA evidence of little to no probative value. Just last week, North Carolina’s Mark Carver, who was convicted of murdering a college student based on dubious touch DNA that was likely the result of investigators’ contamination, won a new court date for a hearing that may set him free.

  30. #33

    I refuse to waste my time on the Sunday morning panel shows too.

    I used to be an avid Sunday morning show watcher.

    Can’t do that anymore. Ran out of duck tape.

  31. #37

    That reminds a question I’ve had. I heard that politicians/gubment people draw pensions from each sector of government they *coff* worked in, say like daddy Bush would be drawing separate pensions from being congressman, CIA Director, ambassador, VP and Prezzy.

    Is this true, or is it just a matter of years served no matter the job held?

  32. #35

    They used every cheese-ball, corny, bogus stereotype in the book. It was obviously conceived and written by someone who had never been to Houston or prolly Texas for that matter.

    I had a flashback to a paperback I picked up with some excitement, a supposed thriller called “The Third Secret” which would have been based upon the Fatima visions. I was really interested in seeing how the Catholic view would fare in such a situation.

    As I read the book, I was quite dismayed. The author was obviously rabid anti-Catholic, and deliberately twisted the Faith into something I wouldn’t even drag out of the sewer. Talk about liberal? Get this:

    1) Love ‘in all its forms’ was condoned by the Virgin Mary. The book mentioned homosexuality, but I’m assuming that pedophilia and bestiality would be included in this definition.

    2) Euthenasia was approved, and even promoted, by the same.

    3) Papal infallibility included every utterance that passed through the Pope’s lips. EVERY utterance.

    4) Let’s just shorten this one to “a complete misdefinition” of Scripture at every chance.

    5) At the end scene, the Pope commits suicide – at the command of and with the approval of Mary.

    I kept reading to the end hoping that at some point a character would appear who would point a finger and say “YOU GOT THAT COMPLETELY WRONG!” It never happened. My sense of disbelief kept growing until the last page, upon which I wanted to vomit, but couldn’t. It was the worst thing I’d ever read, and the anti-Catholic rage was evident within it. Every anti-Catholic stereotype was used.

    I literally carried that book out to the trash between my thumb and forefinger. It was disgusting.

    PS: I forgot the pro-abortion of stance of Mary: Since Mary was given the choice whether or not to carry Jesus, all women should have the choice whether or not to carry their children.

  33. #42

    Oilfield workers are needed.

    Very funny. She could keep up with them in conversation and hold her own, but I don’t think she’s quite up to the field work.
    😀

  34. From FB Group Old Midland, a pic of the rolling irrigators that I remember seeing watering small cotton farms outside of Midland in the 1960s. Although this one seems to be standing in a field of weeds. I would not be surprised if that is the downtown skyline of Midland in the distance at the middle of the photo. Those few tall buildings could be seen from 10-12 miles away on the flat terrain.

  35. I have an old (really old!!!) friend who distributes low humor like this…

    I’ve sure gotten old!
    I’ve had two bypass surgeries, a hip replacement, new knees, fought prostate
    cancer and diabetes. I’m half blind,
    can’t hear anything quieter than a jet engine,
    take 40 different medications that
    make me dizzy, winded, and subject to
    blackouts. Have bouts with dementia.
    Have poor circulation; hardly feel my
    hands and feet anymore. Can’t remember
    if I’m 85 or 92. Have lost all my friends.
    But, thank God, I still have my driver’s license.

  36. I believe that humans use less brain activity watching TV than when sleeping.

    Watching reruns of Gilligan’s Island keeps the brain very active and full of questions such as…

    Why did a supposedly smart man like the Professor think the island was sinking when the water never rose or went past the tree line down at the lagoon?

    Why couldn’t he tell his marking stick was being moved and used by Gilligan for his lobster traps?

    Why did the Howells bring all that money and booze on a 3 hour tour?

    Why did Gilligan, the Skipper and the Professor always wear the same clothes but the others had complete wardrobes?

    How did their clothes always stay Bold detergent, bright and clean no matter how dirty they got?

    Where did they store all that luggage on such a small boat which was only going on a 3 hour tour?

    Why would the Howells even go on a tour on what looked like a shrimp boat? You would think the multi-millionaire Howells would’ve been on their own luxury 200 ft yacht or at the least have rented one if they wanted to go on a tour.

    Why were so many other people able to find the uncharted island but the Navy and other search parties could not?

    How big was that island? They talked about the other side of the island like it was about the same distance as it is from Houston to Los Angeles?

    When the Russian cosmonauts splashed down in the lagoon were they really sent to collude with Gilligan in order to steal Mary Ann’s coconut cream pie recipe?

    And finally, why did the Skipper, the Professor or Gilligan never show any real interest in getting jiggy with with either Mary Ann or Ginger?

    The questions are almost limitless.

  37. Overall, marketplace enrollees would pay on average 74 percent more towards the premium for a benchmark silver plan in 2020 under the BCRA than under current law (Table 1). Younger enrollees would see modest increases on average (10 percent for those under age 18; 17 percent for those ages 18 to 34), while average premiums would more than double for enrollees ages 55 to 64. State-level results are in Appendix Table 2.

    [ ]

    These results vary significantly by income as well (Table 2). Marketplace enrollees with incomes below 200 percent of poverty would see an average increase in their premium costs of 177 percent, while higher income enrollees would see an increase of 57 percent.

    Table 1: Monthly Premium for a Silver Plan Among Exchange Enrollees (By Age), 2020
    Age ACA Premium After Tax Credit BCRA Premium After Tax Credit % Change
    Under 18 $110 $120 10%
    18-34 $145 $169 17%
    35-44 $194 $271 39%
    45-54 $208 $403 94%
    55-64 $271 $583 115%
    65 and Older $310 $660 113%
    Overall (All Ages) $197 $342 74%

    http://www.kff.org/health-reform/issue-brief/premiums-under-the-senate-better-care-reconciliation-act/

  38. Alls I know is Mrs Howell always had a smile on her face.

    Perhaps there was more to ol’ Thurston than what met the eye. . . . .

  39. 50

    Not when she thought the Mr had sunk in quicksand or when he was leaving her love notes signed by a secret admirer which actually turned out to be him.

    They got into a a big row over that.:)

    I think he had to move to the other side of the island.

  40. I had been hearing thunder for an hour, but every time I checked the Ch 13 online weather radar, it showed nothing within 10 miles of me. Then it started raining, hard, and still nothing on their radar. I switched to Weather Underground and finally saw I was in the middle of a thunderstorm.

  41. If you think fake news is bad now, wait till the DNC/CNN/MSNBC gets a hold of this.

    In addition, the research team notes their work did not model emotions, and so Obama’s facial expressions in the output videos could appear too serious for casual speeches or too happy for serious speeches. However, they suggest that it would be interesting to see if their neural network could learn to predict emotional states from audio to produce corresponding visuals.

    The researchers were careful to not generate videos where they put words in Obama’s mouth that he did not at some other time utter himself. However, such fake videos are “likely possible soon,” says study lead author Supasorn Suwajanakorn, a computer scientist at the University of Washington.

    However, this new research also suggests ways to detect fake videos in the future. For instance, the video manipulation the researchers practiced can blur mouths and teeth. “This may be not noticeable by human eyes, but a program that compares the blurriness of the mouth region to the rest of the video can easily be developed and will work quite reliably,” Suwajanakorn says.

    There’s a demonstration video using Obama, but it’s pretty spooky given the possibilities.

  42. And the DOT morons-in-charge have decided that now, while 290 is near about undriveable, would be a good time to resurface the only alternate route back into town, Hempstead Highway.

  43. My appreciation for wildlife does not extend to slamming on the brakes on a gravel road to allow two quail to get off the road, like this idiot in front of me just did.

  44. If any of you flew up here today and got off the plane, you wouldn’t think you had ever left Houston. The heat has been mid-90s with humidity somewhere close to that.

  45. #57: It gets so bad that it almost seems like they are doing it on purpose – just to screw with us.

  46. Rod Dreher:

    This is genuinely shocking to read. I went to the same annual ADF meeting last summer. It was a normal gathering of religious conservative lawyers and others, who talked about various challenges to religious liberty. Yet those scamming trolls at the Southern Poverty Law Center tagged them a “hate group,” and ABC News repeats that slur. What ABC says is technically true. SPLC does in fact call ADF a “hate group.” The shocking thing is that ABC News takes that incredible charge for granted, and uses it to trash both ADF and Attorney General Jeff Sessions.

    Here’s a link to a PDF file from ADF that gives you the basic facts about the organization. Does this look like the moral equivalent of a neo-Nazi outfit to you?

    Here’s the link to the SPLC page explaining why they labeled ADF a “hate group.” You should be aware that if they say this about ADF, they must also say it about any church that upholds orthodox Christian teaching on sexuality. SPLC calls it “hate” — and again, ABC News repeats that vicious smear, because no doubt they think it’s true.

    Pete Madden is the author of this drivel at ABC. If anybody here is a member of LinkedIn, which I am not, they could look up his email address.

  47. Dang, I’ve been busy today! Didn’t slow down until about 4 and Paula called to ask me to submit my time card. Smooth Azz forgot about it, but I did accomplish a lot today in spite of the “Chinese Midget Engineer”, you’d NOT believe how hard it was to convince him that the wires on one side of a terminal block were at EXACTLY the same potential as the other side, not that I convinced him……SIGH,….

  48. SD

    I don’t know what this country is going to do when we old folks hang it up, but the few hard working millenials are going to have their hands full.

  49. I really neat picture just popped up over yonder, my two kids, on the Beast @ the 2013 Crawfish Boil, it was unseasonably cool that year, we had a couple of 15K, BTU Propane heaters on the deck after dark,…Has it been 4 years?

  50. One of the most exciting features of BarryCare 2.0 is 0.4 billion dollars for America’s newest entitlement – OpioidCare!!

    I wonder if any of the money will go for prosecution of Big Pharma executives?

    Never mind.

  51. Dayaam, Shannon has apparently been taking lessons from ole Dave, he has figgered out how to kill a Blog “Graveyard Dead”!

  52. So, I’ve been watching old reruns of the Rifleman. The reason is that I mostly watch Fox News and I’m just getting Tarred of all the Bovine Scatology that the Lamestream media keeps regurgitating. What amazes me the most is that the fake news coverage of the Trump/Russian collusion crap would have not made it for more than a day or two if it involved a Democrat, BUTT since it was directed to Trump the Lamestream media keep feeding the flames of a nonexistent narrative…..SPITS~

  53. I hope/bet that Ms Adee is having a great time somewhere,….you recon she went home? Europe? Alaska?
    Well, I’m tarred, Nytol, see y’all tomorrow,…did I tell you that I’ll be able to sleep in until 7 or so in the morning? 😀

  54. AHA!! Iron Mary to the rescue!!
    Musta’ had a great nap! 😀
    …….Ducks and hauls AZZ, running the zig-zag pattern that Southern Tragedy Learn’t me!

  55. IIRC, Ted Cruz said he’d vote for the new bill because his amendment is included. Paraphrased, it says “and insurance companies can issue policies that don’t meet the policy guidelines”.

    In other words, insurance companies can do what they want

    That’s what I think I heard this afternoon. I may be wrong.

  56. I just dropped off a rider here in League City. I think I’m in David Deloney’s territory do I better leave PRONTO! 🙂

    I drive here from Bush Airport and I’m beat. Time to grab a chocolate shake and head back home to Spring. I’ll rest as much as possible for Friday’s are long driving days.

  57. My evening parade to the water trough this evening included the three regular bucks previously photoed, one more buck, and three yearling does. The mama doe and her fawn were not among them. I enjoy watching the wildlife parade every morning and every evening. Now it’s time for the spy ducks to watch me turn into a pumpkin for the evening. Night all.

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