World Record Cat Noise

How’d you like to have to listen to this all day? I shudder to think what it might sound like if you accidentally stepped on its tail.

Smokey the loud purring cat aims for Guinness World Record

Smokey’s owner Ruth Adams hopes the moggy can be entered into the record books as the loudest purring domestic cat on the planet.

The 12-year-old moggy is 16 times louder than the average cat when she purrs, reaching 73 decibels.

‘Guinness has very strict criteria,’ said Mrs Adams, from Northampton, who enlisted specialist help from her local college for the record attempt.

. . .

The record attempt took place in Mrs Adam’s house and Smokey was recorded with equipment usually used by music professionals.

See also:
U.K. Cat Makes Loudest Purr Attempt
Smokey the cat whose purr is as noisy as a Boeing 737 awaits verdict on Guinness world record attempt
Thunder cat! English tabby purrs as loudly as a hair dryer
Cat’s loud purr compared to lawnmower
World’s loudest house cat? Tabby’s purr measures 73 decibels
English tabby a purrfect purring machine
Cat Lovers: Can Your Pet Purr Louder Than Smokey?
Video: World’s Loudest Purring Cat?
Cat Smokey aims for purring record
Is this the world’s loudest cat?
Smokey goes for a purring record

Me, I like my cats nice and quiet.

/that’s why I own Exotics

The Sun Is Angry

Don’t forget to duck.

Huge blasts of sun’s plasma hurtling toward Earth

A huge mass of magnetically charged material ejected from the sun is racing across space toward our planet, where it is expected to arrive on Tuesday. When it strikes the Earth’s magnetic field, it could produce spectacular auroras.

A blast of violent space weather could hit the Earth tomorrow following two massive explosions on the Sun. NASA astronomers witnessed a huge flare above a giant sunspot the size of our planet and linked to an even larger eruption across the surface of Sun.

Experts estimate a wave of supercharged gas called plasma will reach us this Tuesday when it will buffet the natural magnetic shield protecting Earth. It could trigger spectacular displays of the aurora or northern and southern lights.

The solar outbursts on Sunday August 1 were recorded by several satellites including NASA’s new Solar Dynamics Observatory which watched its shockwave rippling outwards. The flare over the sunspot was swiftly followed by an eruption 250,000 miles (400,000 km) away in a feature called a filament.

UK solar expert Dr Lucie Green, of the Mullard Space Science Laboratory, in Surrey, followed the flare-ups using Japan’s orbiting Hinode telescope.

She said last night: “What wonderful fireworks the Sun has been producing! This was a very rare event – not one, but two almost simultaneous eruptions from different locations on the sun were launched toward the Earth.

“These eruptions occur when immense magnetic structures in the solar atmosphere lose their stability and can no longer be held down by the sun’s huge gravitational pull. Just like a coiled spring suddenly being released, they erupt into space.

“It looks like the first eruption was so large that it changed the magnetic fields throughout half the Sun’s visible atmosphere and provided the right conditions for the second eruption. Both eruptions could be Earth-directed but may be travelling at different speeds. This means we have a very good chance of seeing major and prolonged effects, such as the northern lights at low latitudes.”

. . .

Scientists have warned that a really big solar eruption, like the Carrington Event witnessed from Surrey in 1859, could destroy satellites and wreck power and around the globe if it happened today.

Such an event would be the biggest disaster ever to hit mankind, preventing the production of essential supplies including food, water and medicines. Other eruptions have been observed directed towards us but thankfully less severe.

See also:
Coronal Mass Ejection Headed for Earth
Here comes the sun storm
Large solar storm headed our way
Solar plasma aurora storm to hit Earth tomorrow!
Solar Tsunami to Strike Earth Tonight
Solar light show expected tonight
Northern lights may shine in local skies
Solar blast may fire up Northern Lights
Northern lights could be visible from UK as Sun’s ‘solar tsunami’ sweeps towards Earth
Sun storms may bring northern lights farther south
Coronal Mass Ejection on Sun, Effects Can Be Seen in New England

So, enjoy the light show if it’s visible where you’re at and let’s hope we don’t suffer any fried satellites.

/eventually, the sun will destroy life on Earth and the Earth itself, but apparently not today

The Bloom Is Definitely Off The Obama Rose

It took a while, but more and more people are finally figuring out that Obama is nothing but a huge bunch of bull[expletive deleted] tethered to a TelePrompTer. It’s bad enough that 57% of Americans disapprove of his performance, but how is his infamous outreach to Islam going? Well, after apologetic, blame America first speeches in Egypt and Turkey, it turns out that Muslims worldwide don’t like Obama much either, their fists are definitely not unclenched.

President Obama losing the confidence of Muslim countries, new survey shows

President Obama can’t seem to please anyone, lately.

He’s losing friends both at home and abroad.

As U.K. pundits and politicians slam the president for assigning blame to Britain over the BP oil spill disaster, a new survey shows Obama falling out of favor in Muslim nations, too.

Overall, confidence Muslim countries have in Obama fell from 41% to 31% in the past year, according to Pew’s Global Attitudes Project.

Turkey, Egypt and Lebanon also posted 10% drops in confidence.

While never a big fan of Obama to begin with, only 5% of Muslims in Pakistan have confidence in Obama.

The over-arching reason: fears the U.S. will become a military threat to their nations.

See also:
How Obama lost Muslim hearts and minds
Poll: Obama’s ranking in Muslim world slides over Mideast
Obama’s ratings ebb in Muslim world
Poll Shows Muslims Leery of U.S.
Global poll shows Muslims leery of US and Obama
Muslims around the world less approving of Obama, poll finds
Poll Reveals Growing Muslim Antipathy to Obama Foreign Policy

The really bad news is that this long national Obama nightmare is far from over.

/seriously, from the economy to foreign policy and everything in between, is there anything Obama has touched that hasn’t turned to [expletive deleted]?

If The Terrorist Enemy Of Our Enemy Renounces Terrorism Are They Our Freind Or Still Our Enemy?

Who’s side is the Obama administration really on here and who’s side should they be on?

Group sues US Government for labelling it terrorist

The People’s Mujahideen is sick and tired of being called a terrorist organisation by the US Government. So its leaders settled on a uniquely American strategy: they sued.

Yes, the group has done its share of assassinations, bombings, embassy attacks and killings of US troops. But that was long ago, and now the People’s Mujahideen says it has devoted itself to democracy and non-violence, and it would like very much to be taken off the State Department’s list of international terrorist groups.

Friends of the People’s Mujahideen Organisation of Iran – aka the Mujahideen-e-Khalq, aka the National Liberation Army of Iran, aka the National Council of Resistance, aka the Organisation of the People’s Holy Warriors – assembled on Tuesday at a courthouse in Washington to hear Andrew Frey of the firm Mayer Brown plead their case.

”Today’s PMOI is unique among foreign terrorist organisations,” the lawyer told a three-judge appellate panel. ”The organisation has forsworn violence. We walk the walk. There have been no terrorist acts by PMOI for eight years.”

People’s Mujahideen fighters were old-school terrorists who once battled the shah of Iran. They then went to Iraq and, with Saddam Hussein’s help, attacked the ayatollahs. They allegedly killed hundreds of people, but now they call themselves a non-violent Iranian opposition movement. About 3400 of them and their family members still live at Camp Ashraf in Iraq.

The Government’s lawyer, Douglas Letter, said he was not about to negotiate with ”an organisation that for at least 30 years has been involved in terrorism, violence, assassination …”

He admitted the public record was not sufficient to demonstrate that the group still poses a threat, but said classified material made it clear the group still deserves its terrorist listing. Here the People’s Mujahideen has a problem: it is allowed to respond to the classified evidence but not to see it.

Why Keep Iran Opposition Group on U.S. Terror List?

To the extent that the Iranian people’s six-month-old uprising for regime change is real, which it certainly is (“The People’s Revolt in Iran,” Review & Outlook, Dec. 22), the U.S. administration’s attitude toward it remains astonishing and unbelievable.

You should have mentioned that while current developments share striking similarities with those of 1978 prior to the Iranian revolution, the mistakes committed by the current Democratic administration bear striking resemblances to those of the Carter administration in 1978.

No one wants to see the U.S. interfering in Iran’s internal affairs. But it would be equally inexcusable to exercise silence while still pinning hope on nuclear negotiations with the clerical regime, a regime that is the primary state sponsor of international terrorism and whose rush to acquire nuclear weapons has brought on a regional crisis.

Washington is currently not on the side of the Iranian people. Even worse, by keeping the main Iranian opposition movement, the Mujahedin-e Khalq (PMOI/MEK), on the State Department’s terror list, it has in effect rewarded the Iranian regime. The terror tag, levied in 1997 by the Clinton administration, aimed to placate the regime and change its behavior. It is completely devoid of legal, moral and political justification.

After seven court rulings that annulled the terror label against the MEK, the U.K. and the EU removed the organization from their own lists in 2008 and 2009. A court in the U.K. ruled in 2008 that “The reality is that neither in the open material nor in the closed material is there any reliable evidence that supported a conclusion that PMOI retained an intention to resort to terrorist activities in the future.”

The MEK rejected violence in 2001 and voluntarily disarmed in 2003. Interviews and extensive investigations conducted by nine U.S. security agencies on more than 3,400 MEK members in Camp Ashraf, Iraq, revealed that they pose absolutely no threat to America’s national security.

When it comes to the nuclear issue, the MEK has also served as the world’s eyes and ears by exposing the mullahs’ clandestine nuclear weapons program for the past seven years.

Why this organization remains on the U.S. terror list is a lingering mystery in Washington.

The Obama administration should remove the unwarranted restrictions placed on the Iranian opposition. Politically and morally, it should place itself on the side of millions of Iranians who are chanting for freedom. After that, it can leave the rest to the Iranian people and their organized resistance movement.

See also:
FACTBOX: Who are the People’s Mujahideen of Iran?
People’s Mujaheddin swears it has changed its terrorist ways
D.C. Circuit Examines Iranian Group’s ‘Terrorist’ Designation
Remove PMOI from terror list
End Appeasement of Iran, But Don’t Pull the Trigger (Yet)
PMOI
People’s Mujahedin of Iran
National Council of Resistance of Iran

Even if Chiang Kai-shek had horns and a tail he should be supported as long as he is anti-communist and we can reform him later.

/MacArthur

There’s no forgiving the killing of Americans, no matter how long ago, but that was then and this is now and we need all the help we can get with Iran. The PMOI has already been removed from the U.K and EU terrorist lists and they did uncover Iran’s secret nuclear program. When alliances and circumstances change and it suddenly is in our national interest, it wouldn’t be the first time the United States has embraced a former enemy to combat a current threat. If the PMOI can help us achieve regime change in Iran, we should be working with them and not against them. It may not be the most palatable choice, but the other choices we face regarding Iran are much less palatable.

/in my opinion, this particular enemy of our enemy should be our friend

We Live In A Deadly Neighborhood

WWAGD? (what will Al Gore do?)

Self destructing Supernova explosion may wipe out earth

A STAR is primed to explode in a blast that could wipe out the Earth, according to American astronomers.

A new study shows the star, called T Pyxidis, is much closer than previously thought at 3,260 light-years away – a short hop in galactic terms.

It is set to self-destruct in an explosion called a supernova with the force of 20 billion billion billion megatons of TNT.

The blast from the thermonuclear explosion could strip away the Earth’s ozone layer that keeps out deadly space radiation, scientists said.

The doomsday scenario was described today by astronomers from Villanova University in Philadelphia.

They said the International Ultraviolet Explorer satellite has shown them that T Pyxidis is really two stars, one called a white dwarf that is sucking in gas and steadily growing. When it reaches a critical mass it will blow itself to pieces.

It will become as bright as all the other stars in the galaxy put together and shine like a beacon halfway across the universe.

The experts said the Hubble space telescope photographed the star gearing up for its big bang with a series of smaller blasts or “burps”, called novas.

These explosions came regularly about every 20 years from 1890, but stopped after 1967.

So the next blast is very overdue, said scientists Edward M Sion, Patrick Godon and Timothy McClain at the American Astronomical Society in Washington.

Robin Scagell, vice-president of the UK’s Society for Popular Astronomy, said, “The star may certainly became a supernova soon – but soon could still be a long way off so don’t have nightmares.”

See also:
Supernova star too close for comfort
Nearby T Pyxidis Supernova Could Destroy Life on Earth
T Pyxidis Soon To Be A Type Ia Supernova
Earth ‘to be wiped out’ by supernova explosion
The death star that may kill us
Supernova explosion may wipe out the Earth
Will Earth ‘Be Wiped Out’ by a Supernova?
American Astronomical Society
Society for Popular Astronomy
International Ultraviolet Explorer

Although the odds are literally astronomical, what if T Pyxidis already exploded 3259 years ago? There’s Al Gore global warming and then there’s supernova global warming.

/what do we do, buy lots of carbon credits or really high SPF sunscreen?

Bad News . . . For Cancer

Scientists unlock genetic code in major cancer breakthrough

The entire genetic codes of two common types of cancer have been cracked, according to scientists, who say the breakthrough could unlock a new era in the treatment of deadly diseases.

Scientists at the UK-based Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute catalogued the genetic maps of skin and lung cancer and have pinpointed the specific mutations within DNA that can lead to dangerous tumors.

Researchers predict these maps will offer patients a personalized treatment option that ranges from earlier detection to the types of medication used to treat cancer.

The genetic maps will also allow cancer researchers to study cells with defective DNA and produce more powerful drugs to fight the errors, according to the the study’s scientists.

“The knowledge we extract over the next few years will have major implications for treatment,” Peter Campbell from the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute said.

“By identifying all the cancer genes we will be able to develop new drugs that target the specific mutated genes and work out which patients will benefit from these novel treatments.”

See also:
Scientists crack ‘entire genetic code’ of cancer
British scientists crack killer cancer code
British scientists genetic breakthrough brings new hopes for cancer treatment
Scientists crack killer cancer code
UPDATE 1-Gene maps to transform scientists’ work on cancer
Scientists Decode Entire Genetic Code of Cancer
Cancer code cracked
Huge Step: Cancer Code Cracked By Scientists
Newly decoded cancer gene discoveries may revolutionize cancer treatment
Scientists Break Cancer Gene Code: Melanoma and Lung Cancer
Scientists Crack Genetic Codes of Two Cancers
Health Buzz: Researchers Crack Gene Code of Melanoma and Lung Cancer

It seems like at least once a year there’s a “breakthrough” in cancer research that threatens to end the deadly scourge but, so far, there’s still no “magic bullet” and cancer marches on. Let’s hope this research lives up to its potential and finally breaks the back of the deadly, insidious disease.

/my dad died of lung cancer and I used to smoke, so hurry up, please

Surprise, Here’s Your Uighurs, Hope You Like Them!

Bermuda row over Guantanamo inmates

Foreign Secretary David Miliband has been urged to explain how four Chinese detainees from Guantanamo Bay came to be released to a UK territory without Britain’s knowledge.”Foreign Secretary David Miliband has been urged to explain how four Chinese detainees from Guantanamo Bay came to be released to a UK territory without Britain’s knowledge.

An urgent security assessment is now under way after Bermuda accepted the Uighurs without consulting the Foreign Office – which retains authority over foreign and security issues.

“We have underlined to the Bermuda government that it should have consulted the UK on whether this falls within their competence or is a security issue for which the Bermuda government does not have delegated responsibility,” a Foreign Office spokesman said.

“We have made clear to the Bermuda government the need for a security assessment which we are now helping them to carry out,” he added, saying that the four did not have papers so could not travel elsewhere at present.

The deal to take the four, who the US government ruled were not enemy combatants, was agreed by Bermuda Premier Ewart Brown as US president Barack Obama bids to meet a pledge to close the controversial camp.

See also:
Bermuda takes 4 Uighurs freed from Guantanamo
Row over release of Guantanamo Uighurs on Bermuda
Bermudan, U.S. Governments Take Hits for Moving Uighurs Out of Guantanamo
Britain miffed at Bermuda’s Gitmo move
Britain to review legal basis of relations with Bermuda over Guantánamo row
Uighur detainees’ prospective neighbors wary in Bermuda and Palau
Detainees freed from Guantanamo Bay prison will be neighbors of Mayor Bloomberg in Bermuda
Bermuda Guantanamo Uighur Detainees
Former Gitmo detainees in paradise: Uighurs enjoying stay in Bermuda after Guantanamo Bay release

Is it just me or does it seem like Obama will stop at nothing to get rid of all the terrorists so that he can close Gitmo like he promised, whether it’s a good idea or not? How long before detainees start mysteriously showing up in Canada and Mexico?

/hey, in a perverse way, it’s kind of refreshing to see that Obama’s unilaterally screwing other countries besides just the United States

Diplobamacy

So, you’re the brand new President of the United States and you’re about to host your first State visit, a visit from the Prime Minister of Britain, one of America’s oldest and staunchest allies, Gordon Brown and his wife, what do you do?

Well, the first think you do is to humiliate your guest by canceling a press conference “because of snow”. You know, because it would have been really hard to just move it indoors.

White House cancels Brown press conference in Rose Garden

Gordon Brown’s attempts to portray himself as a global leader in a time of crisis have been dealt a blow by White House planners – and Washington’s worst snowstorm in years.

Downing Street officials discovered last night that Prime Minister would not, as had been widely reported, hold a joint press conference with President Obama after their talks at the White House today.

Instead, the White House press office announced what it called a “pool spray” – a few shouted questions from selected agency reporters as the two men sat down for talks and photographers clicked away.

After representations from British diplomats, it was agreed to hold open it up more widely and allow a total of four questions – two from each side – at a “press availability” in the Oval Office after the talks.

British officials, denying any deliberate snub, said that a slightly more formal event planned in the Rose Garden after the meeting had been cancelled because the grounds of the White House are blanketed in snow.

See also:
Brown faces humiliation after Obama ‘snub’
NOT SO BIG AFTER ALL? BROWN SNUBBED BY OBAMA
Some British Media Say Obama Snubbed Prime Minister; U.S. Lawmakers Unsure
Journo Blames Michelle Obama for President’s PM Brown ‘Snub’

Well, surely such an important ally would at least be honored with the traditional formal State dinner, right? Diplobamacy says no.

Snub Number 2

Despite the fact that Gordon Brown had become the first European leader to set foot in Washington (a very big deal for the Europeans, it seems), the Obamas failed to have Mr. Brown and his wife Sarah over for a White House dinner. Such formal receptions, especially considering that Gordon Brown represents America’s staunchest ally, is simply diplomatic protocol. Has the financial crisis become so bad that the White House could not afford a casserole? It’s the thought that counts, after all. I am half-tempted to believe that this incredible oversight is a very bad omen for Obama’s future relations with European leaders. Mr. Brown had to settle for a “working lunch” at the White House instead.

After making their invited guests feel thoroughly unwelcome, the Obamas did participate in the customary exchange of gifts. Care to guess how that went?

Sarah Brown’s very British fashion gift for Michelle Obama

As if slumber parties in the White House and secret visits from the Jonas Brothers weren’t enough to bring little Malia and Sasha Obama kudos (forget their parents for a second), now Sarah Brown’s given them the ultimate Briish fashion gift – Topshop clothes! The Prime Minister’s wife arrived for her First Ladies’ summit with Michelle Obama yesterday bearing a dress and necklace from Topshop, which has yet to launch in the US.

How thoughtful of Mrs. Brown. And how did Michelle reciprocate? She sent an aide to the White House gift shop with $30. How cool is that?

First Lady Michelle Obama shows even she has a gift for the gaffe

In return Mrs Obama gave the Brown children, Fraser and John, two toy models of Marine One, the Presidential helicopter. Fair enough on the helicopter part, always a popular choice with small boys; but Marine One? It’s not as though anyone needs reminding that Barack Obama is President or that he has his own helicopter. Short of giving the boys Action Man models of her own husband smiting the evil forces of neoconservatism, Mrs Obama’s gesture could not have been more solipsistic or more inherently dismissive of Mrs Brown.

Not only did she demonstrate that she spent approximately three seconds contemplating the needs of the Brown boys (having an aide pop to the White House gift shop for a piece of merchandising does not imply a great deal of thought), she appeared to show a most uncharacteristic lapse of judgment.

Classy.

And what gifts did the two heads of state exchange? What did Gordon Brown give Obama?

Pen holder from ship’s timbers to seal friendship

THE Prime Minister will give Barack Obama a pen holder carved from antique ship’s timbers to symbolise Anglo-US friendship.

The gift was made at Chatham docks from oak from HMS Gannet, which was launched in 1878.

The timbers of its sister ship, HMS Resolute, were used for the desk in the Oval Office.

The Resolute was one of the ships which, in 1845, went to find British explorer Sir John Franklin, who disappeared after setting off to discover the North-West Passage. The Resolute itself became trapped by ice and was abandoned by its crew. Three years later it was found 1,200 miles away by an American whaler. Although the British waived their claim to the ship the Americans gave it back as a token of peace. The desk made from its timbers has been used by almost every US president. JFK’s son was pictured hiding under it while his father worked.

Wow, now that’s a historic, special, thoughtful gift for the President of the United States. Surely Obama gave the Prime Minister of Britain an equally appropriate and impressive gift, right? Diplobamacy says no. He even outdid his wife in terms of abject crassness.

Obama’s Blockbuster Gift for Brown: 25 DVDs

While the British prime minister presented Obama with uniquely historic gifts symbolizing America’s relationship with England, the president gave Brown a set of movies.

Let’s hope he’s a Star Wars fan.

President Obama gave British Prime Minister Gordon Brown a set of 25 classic American films to mark his historic visit to the White House, British media reported on Friday.

Brown, the first European leader to visit Obama since his Jan. 20 inauguration, was presented with a “special collector’s box” of DVDs during his two-day visit to Washington.

My God, what an absolute jerk, why not just give Brown an Amazon gift card? At least then he could pick out some cheap crap he might actually like. This is the leader of the free world? This is how he treats his official guests?

It would be funny if the DVDs Mr Obama gave Mr Brown were Region 1 NTSC and therefore not compatible with the UK where DVDs are region 2 and video format is PAL.

See also:
Fab Flash: Sarah Brown Delivers Fashion Gift to US
Michelle’s $15 gift for the boys
Topshop
Dockyard gift from PM to Obama
HMS Gannet (1878)
Explore HMS Gannet (1878)
The Historic Dockyard Chatham, one of Kent’s premier Visitor Attractions
London aghast at President Obama over gifts given to Prime Minister Brown
Obama’s not-so-special gift to top Brit
To my special friend Gordon, 25 DVDs: Obama gives Brown a set of classic movies. Let’s hope he likes the Wizard of Oz
DVD & Video formats of the World

Think Obama and his wife can do any more damage to U.S. – U.K, relations? Stay tuned!

President Obama expected to meet the Queen next month

US president Barack Obama is expected to meet the Queen at Buckingham Palace when he visits Britain next month.

There was no official confirmation from the Palace, the Foreign Office or the US Embassy in London of reports that the president will have an informal “getting to know you” session with the Queen ahead of the G20 summit of the world’s leading economies on April 2.

But detailed reports in a number of newspapers suggested Mr Obama will fly into Stansted Airport with wife Michelle on March 31 – two days ahead of the economic summit – and have an audience with the Queen the following day.

In a statement, the White House confirmed Mr Obama’s visit to Europe will begin on March 31 in the United Kingdom.

An audience with the Queen would be unusual, as these usually take place only on official state visits to the UK.

See also:
President Obama to meet the Queen
Queen Elizabeth to receive Obama and wife, say British reports
Obama set for Palace audience with Queen
Home – G20
Official Stansted Airport website

Will Michelle curtsy to the Queen or will the Queen curtsy to Michelle?

/we’ll just have to wait to find out but one thing’s for sure, in the world of Diplobamacy, hilarity is bound to ensue!

UPDATE:

Barack Obama ‘too tired’ to give proper welcome to Gordon Brown

Barack Obama’s offhand approach to Gordon Brown’s Washington visit last week came about because the president has facing exhaustion over America’s economic crisis and is unable to focus on foreign affairs, the Sunday Telegraph has been told.

Sources close to the White House say Mr Obama and his staff have been “overwhelmed” by the economic meltdown and have voiced concerns that the new president is not getting enough rest.

. . .

But Washington figures with access to Mr Obama’s inner circle explained the slight by saying that those high up in the administration have had little time to deal with international matters, let alone the diplomatic niceties of the special relationship.

Allies of Mr Obama say his weary appearance in the Oval Office with Mr Brown illustrates the strain he is now under, and the president’s surprise at the sheer volume of business that crosses his desk.

A well-connected Washington figure, who is close to members of Mr Obama’s inner circle, expressed concern that Mr Obama had failed so far to “even fake an interest in foreign policy”.

It’s only been six weeks and already he can’t handle the job?

/this does not bode well for America, what manner of utter lightweight have we elected?

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