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1. Cartoon-Loving Chinese Boy Attempts to Kill Noisy Construction Worker

A 10-year-old boy in Guizhou, China scored a victory for animation lovers everywhere when he sawed through a construction worker's safety harness rope, leaving the worker dangling 11 stories above ground. The boy had a perfectly reasonable defense.

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2. Hidden

Inside a "rock" that's very fake,
We hid our extra key
And there it sat with real rocks 'round
Beneath a nearby tree.

We've never used it; all the same,
It's comforting to know
It's always there, though sometimes topped
With leaves or rain or snow.

A landscape crew came by last week
To neaten up our land.
Today we saw the work they did
And they deserve a hand.

Except those stones all disappeared,
With mulch piled there instead.
The missing rock with key
Made paranoia rear its head.

They'll break into our house, I thought,
Since often we're away.
Of course they'd recognized
That plastic rock where real ones lay.

But then I got my trusty rake
And moved that mulch around
Until my bogus rock ( with key!),
Surprisingly, I found.

A jump to a conclusion
Often's quite a foolish thing
And isn't worth the stress and worry
That it tends to bring.

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3. Micro-Fiction Competition: River Styx

River Styx 2015 Schlafly Beer Micro-Brew Micro-Fiction Contest

Enter online.


$1500 First Prize plus one case of micro-brewed Schlafly Beer
Judged by the editors of River Styx
Submissions open August 1, 2014
500 words maximum per story, up to three stories per entry.

 
Entry fee: $10 or $20. $20 entry fee includes a one-year subscription (3 issues). $10 entry fee includes a copy of the issue in which the winning stories will appear.
Include name and address on the cover letter only.
All stories will be considered for publication.
Previously published stories, including those that have appeared on websites, blogs, and personal home pages, are not eligible.
Though submissions are anonymous, judges will remove from consideration any entries they recognize as having been written by writers with whom they have worked or studied.
1st, 2nd, and 3rd place winners and honorable mentions will be published in the spring issue.
Contest results will be announced in April.

Enter by mail or online via Submittable. To enter by mail, include an S.A.S.E. for notification of contest results and a check payable to River Styx Magazine. Entries must be received by December 31. Mail entries to:


River Styx Schlafly Beer Micro-Brew Micro-Fiction Contest
3547 Olive Street, Suite 107
St. Louis MO 63103

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4. Karla Mialynne's Photos of Realistic Drawings

Karla Mialynne makes realistic renderings of animals using colored pencils and markers, and photographs them with the tools she uses to create them. The photos give us an intriguing hint of scale and process.

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5. Look Inside the $8 Million Apartment of ‘Simpsons’ Voice Actor Hank Azaria

It may not pay to be an artist on "The Simpsons," but it definitely pays if you're a voice actor on the show.

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6. Bluebird by Lindsey Yankey




Bluebird is a beautiful and unusually illustrated children's book. The illustrations are done in a sparse, yet delicate style with the bluebird being one of a few featured colors on each page. The occasional flowery typeface and the collaged images add a touch of whimsy to the whole look. The bluebird is in search of his friend the wind, without whom he's convinced he can't fly. He looks high and low around the city and country encountering dandelion seeds, kites and scarves who also can't fly without the wind. In his search, he realizes that he's flown to the tallest building without his friend the wind. At the end of the book his friend returns, but the bluebird now knows he can also fly alone.

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7. Fiction Competition: The Iowa Short Fiction Award and John Simmons Short Fiction Award

The Iowa Short Fiction Award & John Simmons Short Fiction Award 

Eligibility

Any writer who has not previously published a volume of prose fiction is eligible to enter the competition. Previously entered manuscripts that have been revised may be resubmitted. Writers are still eligible if they have published a volume of poetry or any work in a language other than English or if they have self-published a work in a small print run. Writers are still eligible if they are living abroad or are non-US citizens writing in English. Current University of Iowa students are not eligible.
Manuscript

The manuscript must be a collection of short stories in English of at least 150 word-processed, double-spaced pages. We do not accept e-mail submissions. The manuscript may include a cover page, contents page, etc., but these are not required. The author's name can be on every page but this is not required. Stories previously published in periodicals are eligible for inclusion. There is no reading fee; please do not send cash, checks, or money orders. Reasonable care is taken, but we are not responsible for manuscripts lost in the mail or for the return of those not accompanied by a self-addressed, stamped envelope. We assume the author retains a copy of the manuscript.


Publication

Award-winning manuscripts will be published by the University of Iowa Press under the Press's standard contract.


Submission

Manuscripts should be mailed to:
Iowa Short Fiction Award
Iowa Writers' Workshop
507 North Clinton Street
102 Dey House
Iowa City IA 52242-1000

No application forms are necessary. Entries for the competition should be postmarked between August 1 and September 30; packages must be postmarked by September 30. Announcement of the winners will be made early in the following year on our Facebook page and Twitter account.


Previous Winners

Potential entrants wishing to read stories by previous winners may order The Iowa Award: The Best Stories from Twenty Years and The Iowa Award: The Best Stories, 1991ñ2000, both selected by Frank Conroy.

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8. Revising Too Much

Overworking your revisions can sometimes be as bad as underworking them.

http://scotteagan.blogspot.com/2014/07/dont-over-work-your-manuscripts-you.html

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9. Short Fiction Competition: Boston Review

Submit online.

Deadline: October 1, 2014
Judge: Ruth Ozeki


Prize: $1,500

 
Complete guidelines:
The winning author will receive $1,500 and have his or her work published in the July/August 2015 issue of Boston Review. Runners up may also be published. Stories should not exceed 5,000 words and must be previously unpublished. Mailed manuscripts should be double-spaced and submitted with a cover note listing the author’s name, address, and phone number. No cover note is necessary for online submission. Names should not appear on the stories themselves. Any author writing in English is eligible, unless he or she is a current student, former student, relative, or close friend of the judge. Simultaneous submissions are not permitted, submissions will not be returned, and submissions may not be modified after entry. 


A non-refundable $20 entry fee, payable to Boston Review in the form of a check or money order or by credit card, must accompany each story entered. All submitters receive a complimentary half-year subscription (3 issues) to Boston Review. 

Submissions must be postmarked no later than October 1, 2014. The winner will be notified in the spring of 2015 and publicly announced by July on the Boston Review Web site.

Please enter online using our contest entry manager. This requires payment using a credit card.


Or mail submissions to:
Short Story Contest, Boston Review
PO Box 425786
Cambridge, MA 02142

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10. DC and Marvel Comics. Dead In The Water.

Well, I've given it a bit of thought and to be honest both DC and Marvel -DISNEY Comics are so far beyond redemption it really is no longer worth covering either of them. I was a Marvelite from about 6-7 years old so 50 years later to just look at what has happened....sad.

The thing is, though, I predicted all of this at the time Disney took over "Marvel UK"/Pannini and warned that UK creators would be out of work.  No one listened.  I demonstrated the history of what Disney does. "Total rubbish!"  When all those long faces came up to me with "Marvel UK arent giving us any more work" I could have laughed. But its wrong to laugh at morons.

I actually posted that Disney were buying Marvel MONTHS before it was officially announced and where were those "nay" sayers when it happened as I said it would?  Convenient amnesia.  When I told everyone that Disney "promised" (did anyone check for crossed fingers?) NOT to interfere in any way with Marvel comics I pointed out the history again and that Disney WOULD be controlling everything from day one...and yet Marvel COULD have purchased Disney.  Sheesh.

Disney Comics is a huge cash-cow. Marvel is dead.  Long live the memories!


Image result for marvel comics

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11. Inspiration Must be Cultivated

Hi folks,

Inspiration doesn't just show up when you want it to.It's something that must be drummed up from the earth of you. Imagine you are a garden --Butchart Garden, a Japanese tea garden, a rose garden-- you pick.  This garden did not just happen. It took planning, work, and weather to create this dazzling place. A cultivated garden bursts with inspiration. The ground of you is the same and to be a place of inspiration, you'll have to work at it.

First up, you have to be rich ground.  You will enrich your ground by reading books -- lots of books, all kinds of books. This adds nutrients to the soil of you. You will absorb fantastic ways of approaching stories. You'll find rhythms, turns and surprises that will inform your work. You'll become of aware of things that don't work. Books will take you on life changing journeys. Without this influx of story, you will struggle to find inspiration.

There is more to the enrichment process than simply reading. You will open up to experience.  Douse yourself with regular bucketfuls of the arts. Engage your senses. Participate in the art. Draw, sing, dance--. If you like to bake culinary masterpieces, go for it. Don't let anyone sniff down their nose at your lowbrow pursuits. If some bachelor reality show inspires, watch it. If some monster truck rally appeals, go. Allow yourself freedom, and you will be welcoming inspiration into your life.

Another important enrichment step: go on adventures. Don't let anyone define what an adventure is to you. If you find visiting tiny off-the-road museums meaningful, huzzah! If you like a walk on the beach, huzzah! If you want to jump out of an airplane. OK. If your idea of adventure is shopping in the garment district in New York, go for it. If your idea of adventure is visiting a website like Atlas Obscura and heading out, so be it. Allow yourself to follow your heart, and you will be opened up for inspiration.

There is more to the cultivation process. All this enrichment will help you on your inspiration road but you must also work. You must work regularly in your creative area to easily access inspiration. This requires you to open up your definition of what work is. Work for me isn't just writing. It's staring out the window. It's taking a nap perchance to dream. It's moving through the manuscript backwards looking for typos. All this work helps prime me for inspired moments.

You've added nutrients to the soil, you've been working, but you need the right weather to make this garden thrive. You know certain things grow in the desert. Certain things grow in the rain forest. Your climate is important. Are you hanging out with a bunch of folks who have no artistic vision? Is anyone supporting you as an artist? No? You MUST expand your circle of friends. Surround yourself with the best and the brightest. Be sure you are in the right climate for this garden to thrive. This is a necessary element for inspiration.

Work on the garden of you this week and you will find that inspiration springs up. It just does! I will be back next week another series on Writer Myths. :)  

Here is a doodle:


Here is a quote for your pocket.
The best and most beautiful things in the world cannot be seen or even touched - they must be felt with the heart. Helen Keller

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12. Week in Review: August 24-30

The Daughter of Time. Josephine Tey. 1951/1995. Simon & Schuster. 208 pages. [Source: Bought]
The Red House Mystery. A.A. Milne. 1922. Dover. 156 pages. [Source: Bought]
The Courtiers: Splendor and Intrigue in the Georgian Court At Kensington Palace. Lucy Worsley. 2010. Walker. 432 pages [Source: Bought]
The Actual & Truthful Adventures of Becky Thatcher. Jessica Lawson. 2014. Simon & Schuster. 224 pages. [Source: Library]
Kiss of Deception. (The Remnant Chronicles #1) Mary E. Pearson. 2014. Henry Holt. 489 pages. [Source: Library]
Platypus Police Squad: The Ostrich Conspiracy. Jarrett J. Krosoczka. 2014. HarperCollins. 240 pages. [Source: Library]
Slave: The Hidden Truth About Your Identity in Christ. John MacArthur. 2010. December 2010. Thomas Nelson. 227 pages. [Source: Bought]
PROOF: Finding Freedom Through the Intoxicating Joy of Irresistable Grace. Daniel Montgomery and Timothy Paul Jones. 2014. Zondervan. 224 pages. [Source: Bought]

This week's favorite:

It wasn't as easy as you might think. I found many of these books charming and delightful or absorbing and compelling. But. There is something about The Daughter of Time that I just love and adore. I have to go with the book that I love most, right? But honorable mentions could definitely be given for Kiss of Deception and The Actual & Truthful Adventures of Becky Thatcher.

© 2014 Becky Laney of Becky's Book Reviews

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13. Top 10 War Novels: A Response

You might have seen the great post by Jon Page entitled My Top 10 War Novels. Like most people I was entertained and added more books to my ever growing ‘to be read’ list. I was also thinking about all the great war novels that were missed; in fact I made a mental list of […]

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14. Wild flowers

2014-08-30

Wild flowers | This year I planted a big chunk of my backyard into wild flowers. I highly recommend it. The seeds were a Western wild flower mix. It has been fun to see what comes up. I have more seed to plant this Fall.

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15. Gordon

22886898

Title: Gordon (A tale of a baby American bison)

Author/Illustrator: Martha Mans

Publisher/Year: WinterBird Press/2014

 

Children’s picture books are works of art. Gordon, written and illustrated by the incredibly talented Martha Mans, is proof. Hold it in your hands. Look at the front cover. Turn is over and look at the back cover. Open it up and flip through the pages. Let your eyes take in all the majestic beauty of life on a Colorado ranch.

Then start at the beginning and read about Gordon, a young American bison, and his animal friends. Follow along as he is rescued from a creek, meets new friends, and finally discovers what he is and where he belongs. Gordon is an endearing story based on true events and it really brings to life, especially through Martha Mans’ amazing watercolor paintings, a part of America that many people may not be familiar with.

I really like how this story introduces readers, young and old, to the animals and wildlife that can be found in the gorgeous state of Colorado, particularly the bison. Did you know that back in the 1800’s, bison were on the brink of extinction? But thanks to the efforts of many, bison are no longer in danger of disappearing, at least for now. And thanks to Martha Mans and Gordon, the majestic bison will not soon be forgotten.   


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16. the very height of things, the end of summer




You know summer is ending when the flowers at Chanticleer are taller than you, when the pods are mostly empty, when the petals have mostly blown away, when the cardinal flowers light the bendy paths.

You stand at the crest of the hill. You consider the months that are now tucked inside your history.

There's a breeze out there. A stirring.

Next week, or the week after, I will drive to the beach and stand on the shore and talk to the sea. Because the end of summer also means a little reckoning with the salt and the churn of the sea.

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17. Essay Contest for Writers 18 and Younger: Creative Minds Writing Contest

Creative Minds Writing Contest

Submit here.

We invite submissions for Imagine’s Creative Minds Essay Contest.
The first-place winner will be published in the January/February issue of Imagine. Second- and third-place winners will be excerpted in print and published in full online. Winners will receive copies of the issue in which their work appears.
Winners will be announced in the Jan/Feb issue of Imagine and on the Imagine website.

Contest Guidelines:
Entrants must be 18 years old or younger.
Entries must be received by 5:00 ET on Friday, November 7, 2014.
There is no theme or topic for this competition. Essays may be any work of creative nonfiction including, but not limited to, memoirs, personal essays, travel writing, and lyric essays. We will not accept book reports, critical works, or research papers.
Essays must not exceed 1,000 words and must be titled.
Entrants may submit up to two essays.

Entries must include text only. Do not include photographs, illustrations, or background graphics or colors.
Essays must be entrant’s original work. Essays that have won other contests or that have appeared in any print or online publications are not eligible.

Save all essays in a single Microsoft Word document with your last name as the file name. Submit your entry online here.

Questions may be directed to:

mhartmanATjhuDOTedu (Change AT to @ and DOT to . )

See the winning essays from previous years in our essay archives.

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18. I Know


I know we will,
Fly light as feather,
Made for each other,
Sharing delicate moments together,

I know we will,
Drink our wines of passion forever,
Sharing that same glass,
Rising high as ever,

I know we will,
Melt inside each other sighs,
Marking presence for life,
In all lows and highs,

I know we will,
Turn every single moment as best,
Our symphonic relation,
Will surpass every test,

I know we will,
Love each other till eternity,
Hugging each other with love,
Counting seconds till infinity

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19. Call for Submissions: Lunch Ticket

Submissions for Lunch Ticket’s Summer/Fall 2014 issue are now being accepted!

Lunch Ticket is accepting submissions for its Summer/Fall 214 issue.The following genres are encouraged to apply: Fiction, Flash Fiction, Poetry, Writing for Young People, & Visual Art. 

The deadline is set for October 31, 2014. Send us your best work! For guidelines and submission manager, visit our website.

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20. Pug

I thought it would be fun to draw a pug!

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21. Poetry Collection Competition and Artist Residency: The Lexi Rudnitsky First Book Prize

The Lexi Rudnitsky First Book Prize (formerly the Lexi Rudnitsky Poetry Prize) is a collaboration between Persea Books and The Lexi Rudnitsky Poetry Project. This annual competition sponsors the publication of a poetry collection by an American woman poet who has yet to publish a full-length book of poems. The winner receives an advance of $1,000.00 and publication of her collection by Persea.

In addition, the winner receives the option of an all-expenses-paid residency at the Civitella Ranieri Center, a renowned artists retreat housed in a fifteenth-century castle in Umbertide, Italy.

 

Submission and Eligibility Guidelines:
• Entrants must be women with American citizenship.
• Submitted manuscripts should include two title pages: one containing the author's name, the author's contact information, and the title of the collection; and another containing only the title of the collection.
• Submitted manuscripts should be at least 40 pages. They should be paginated, with the title of the collection included on each page as a header or footer, and fastened with a clip. Please do not staple or permanently bind submissions.
• Submissions may include a page of publication credits. However, they should not include other sorts of acknowledgments, thank-yous, or dedications.
• Submissions must be primarily in English to be considered. Translations are not accepted.
For the purposes of this contest, a previously published full-length book is defined as a volume of at least 40 pages in an edition of 500 or more copies that has been made readily available through trade distribution (i.e. local and/or on-line booksellers, including Amazon.com). Any woman who has published a book that meets these criteria is ineligible.
• Simultaneous submissions are accepted. Please contact us immediately if you must withdraw your manuscript(s) from consideration.
Submissions must be postmarked between September 1st and October 31st (or the first weekday thereafter if October 31st falls on a Sunday). They should be sent to: 


The Lexi Rudnitsky Poetry Prize, c/o Persea Books
PO Box 1388
Columbia, MO 65205

and should include a check (in U.S. funds) in the amount of $25.00, made payable to the order of The Lexi Rudnitsky Poetry Project. Please do not send submissions to Persea’s New York City office.

• Entry fees are nonrefundable.
• Submissions should be sent via USPS First Class, Priority, or Express mail. We reserve the right to disqualify submissions sent by other methods (e.g. USPS Media Mail) should they reach us after the postmark deadline.


The winner is chosen by an anonymous selection committee and announced on Persea's web site in January. Submitted manuscripts will not be returned.

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22. Strike: the farm workers fight for their rights By Larry Dane Brimmer

Strike: the farm workers fight for their rights By Larry Dane Brimmer Calkins Creek. October 2014 ISBN: 9781590789971 Grades 9 thru 12 I used an ARC given by the publisher to write this review. In 1965, a group of Filipino and Chicano farm workers, unhappy with their deplorable working conditions and substandard wages organized a strike against the grape industry. The strike, which

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23. Poetry Book Competitions: New Issues Press

The 2015 Green Rose Prize

$2,000 and publication for a book of poems by an established poet

Guidelines:

Eligibility: Poets writing in English who have already published one or more full-length collections of poetry. We will consider individual collections and volumes of new and selected poems. Besides the winner, New Issues may publish as many as three additional manuscripts from this competition.
Please include a $25 reading fee. Checks should be made payable to New Issues Press.
Postmark Deadline: September 30, 2014. The winning manuscript will be named in January 2015 and published in the spring of 2016.

The 2014 New Issues Poetry Prize
$2,000 and publication for a first book of poems
Judge: to be determined

Guidelines:
Eligibility: Poets writing in English who have not previously published or self-published a full-length collection (48+ pages) of poems.
Please include a $20 reading fee. Checks should be made payable to New Issues Press.
Postmark Deadline: November 30, 2014. The winning manuscript will be named in May 2015 and published in the spring of 2016.

General Guidelines:
Submit a manuscript at least 48 pages in length, typed on one side, single-spaced preferred. Photocopies are acceptable. Please do not bind manuscript. Include a brief bio, relevant publication information, cover page with name, address, phone number, and title of the manuscript, and a page with only the title.
Enclose a stamped, self-addressed postcard for notification that the manuscript has been received. For notification of title and author of the winning manuscript enclose a stamped, self-addressed envelope. Manuscripts will be recycled.

A manuscript may be submitted that is being considered elsewhere but New Issues should be notified upon the manuscript’s acceptance elsewhere.

Send manuscripts and queries to:

The New Issues Poetry Prize
(or) The Green Rose Prize
New Issues Poetry & Prose
Western Michigan University
1903 West Michigan Ave.
Kalamazoo, MI 49008-5463

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24. For Subzero -a FULL Version!


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25. AL PACINO Dazzles at Venice Film Festival

Al Pacino in Venice (Photo: David Azia)
(Venice, Italy) Al Pacino looks and acts like the legendary movie star he is. Pacino is 74-years-old, but has the energy of someone 30 years younger. One of the things that makes Al Pacino so unique is that he is a movie star from New York, not Hollywood. During one of his two press conferences today, when he was asked to comment on Hollywood, he said, "I don't know and I never did know what Hollywood is." He said he had a relationship with Hollywood that was not unfriendly, but not really clear. He said the people who were running the studios these days were different -- not better or worse, just different, and that times had changed. He said he had even gone to see an action figure flick (I forget which one) with one of his kids, and really enjoyed it.

Al Pacino & Chris Messina (Photo: David Azia)
Al Pacino likes to talk. He gives even the simplest questions long, complex answers, winding paths through a forest of riches, which is fascinating to experience firsthand. It is like going to the theater. 

Greta Gerwig & Al Pacino in The Humbling
Pacino is here in Venice with two films this year, David Gordon Green's MANGLEHORN and THE HUMBLING, directed by another legend, Barry Levinson, based on the Philip Roth novel. The storyline is:

"Simon Axler is a famed stage actor who becomes depressed then suicidal when he suddenly and inexplicably loses his gift. In an attempt to get his mojo back, he has an affair with a lesbian woman half his age. Before long, the relationship causes chaos as people from the romantic duo's pasts resurface in their lives."


The character, Simon Axler, has isolated himself in the country, and someone asked if Pacino had based the character on his own life. Pacino said, "Of course it's based on my life. Once you're famous anonymity goes up in value."

Barry Levinson said it was it was literally like making a home movie because they shot the movie in 20 days in and around his Connecticut home. I thought the film was terrific, and that Pacino hasn't been in such fine form in years. I pretty much agree with the review in Variety, which said: "Pacino, who seemed to have awakened from a long acting coma when he played Dr. Jack Kevorkian in Levinson’s 2010 HBO movie, “You Don’t Know Jack,” seems similarly rejuvenated here, in what’s easily his best bigscreen performance since Christopher Nolan’s “Insomnia” in 2002."

Simon Axler may have lost his mojo, but Al Pacino most definitely has not.

Ciao from The Venice Film Festival,
Cat
Venetian Cat - The Venice Blog

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