I Must Share This
Sep 1, 2012
If you are in need of cheering up take a look at this, it left me grinning from ear to ear.
Oct 19, 2011
Thank you everyone, I am here at last and so happy. I have been extremely busy but have still missed h2g2, even more than I thought I would. I have made some good friends here.
Thank you to everyone who has done such stalwart work to get this up and running for us, and good luck for future months as we move on.
Please know how grateful us ordinary mortals are for your dedication.
HAPPY EASTER LESSON
Apr 22, 2011
Here in the UK the weather is glorious and trees and flowers are blossoming all around in spite of the doom and gloom of recession etc. Nigel sent me this and I just had to share:
It only takes a minute but it really makes you think.
PHM says Farewell
Dec 14, 2010
I haven't been on h2g2 much of late. As many of you already know, PHM, my other half has been very ill, and finally on Saturday 11th December he went to a better place.
He has been instructed to look out for our absent friends from h2g2 and say Hi.
Thanks, to those of you who know, for the kind words, for those who don't this is the quickest way I have of telling those of you I have missed.
Great British Waste Menu
Aug 28, 2010
Are you in the UK? Do you hate wasting food? So do I. I have just finished watching 'Great British Waste Menu' on BBC1 iPlayer. It is available till 9:59pm Wednesday 1st September 2010. The BBC really should extend the time it is available.
It is a real eye opening and takes you behind the scenes at our food producers, wholesalers and supermarkets, not to mention what we waste as individuals. I am sure this goes on in many other countries too but I am ashamed of the UK.
It is truly CRIMINAL! The programme is entertaining, not a rant or a lecture so please watch if you can.
CAFO - Cows don't belong in fields apparently!
Jul 7, 2010
Do you know what CAFO means If not then I suggest you put the word in to 'the' search engine and see what comes up. There are some interesting and horrifying plans afoot in the UK which are an affront to everyone who cares about people, proper food, wildlife, the environment and domesticated livestock.
I came across it and being ever curious I delved - and I almost wish I hadn't. I would be interested to see what other people think. I would particularly like to hear from people living near any of these planned monstrosities, and anyone in the US who knows of them.
Newspaper articles are helpful but personal anecdotes are often better.
"Dying for a biscuit"
Feb 18, 2010
If you care about wildlife as I do, and you are in the UK please try and watch this programme either live or on iPlayer.
Panorama - "Dying for a biscuit" airs 22nd February 8.30pm on BBC1.
Dec 12, 2009
So many of us carry cameras or camera phones now that I found this rather disturbing. I thought it might be of interest to others too.
The related articles at the bottom make interesting reading.
Will People Never Learn?!
Dec 9, 2009
After all the fashionable pet disasters, such as the Ninja Turtle craze, it seems people have learnt nothing:
This is not a suitable Christmas present no matter how cute they are
Calling Nigel's Friends
Aug 7, 2009
Through some technical difficulties which could not be resolved Nigel has had to re-registerer under the name Helleborus:
His Friends List cannot be transferred automatically and he needs to ask everyone again to be his Friend
This is a bit of a laborious process, so could those of you who are registered as Friends (most of you are on my list too) please drop in on him, add him to your list and give the for him to put you back on his list ..... please?
His articles in now carry the name Helleborus and his old moniker youngsuper_Nigel to avoid confusion.
Aspergers Computer Hacker in trouble
Jul 5, 2009
Sun. 5th July 09 I don't think anything has made me see red this much in a long time:
I have met people with Aspergers and it is obvious to anyone with any sensitivity that they have a number of serious problems, in spite of being very bright. Single mindedness and an inability to quite understand the world around them being two of them. Many of you will have a much better idea of the problems than I do.
Total frustration with our weak Government which allows us to lie down and be walked all over is only part of the problem. The total overkill attitude of the US is beyond belief. Caught with their pants down and embarrassed at their own shortcomings is an understatement. Taking it out on a vulnerable person is not the way I expected Obama's administration to handle such a matter.
I wish this man, and his mother all the luck in the world, but lets hope decent people can put this matter to rest once and for all. With all the real criminals and terrorists given free rein here, the US and the UK should think again. This is taking a sledgehammer to crack and nut and is the most appalling case of bullying of a vulnerable person I have ever seen.
I hope this is read before it gets yikesed, if it does.
Birmingham Mini-Meet - An experience
Apr 29, 2009
On Saturday 25th April 09 I prepared for a totally new experience with some trepidation. Having contacted Elentari and arranged to meet up with her at her local train station I felt a little easier. I chat easily online but find people en masse a bit intimidating.
it rained heavily in the early morning, but cleared for me to catch the bus to the station. A new bus and route, and something of a mystery tour as it turned out. Having swopped photos previously we found each other easily and chatted waiting for the train and during the journey. What a lovely young lady, kind enough to humour a wrinkly! We made our way from Moor Street station (oh those steps!) to Starbucks, where some hootooers were already seated.
Sitting next to Hypatia, I was over the moon when Scorp and ST Mark ll arrived as I had long wanted to meet them. I wasn’t disappointed. How do you become ‘old friends’ online? I don’t know, but that’s what it felt like. Hypatia was a delight. After a ‘getting to know’ you session at the coffee shop we meandered towards the St. George’s Day activities and in the direction of the Sea Life Centre.
At this point I have to thank the younger contingent for not making the oldest member of the group, with arthritis, feel too decrepit. The steps and slopes were tough but I wouldn’t have missed it. After watching some of the events we moved on to a restaurant in the ICC for a comfort break (much needed). On the way we noted the historic statue of Boulton, Watt and Murdoch, a beautiful bronze monument to pioneers of our industrial heritage, now gilded, and looking distinctly brassy and tacky in our eyes.
Lunch was a leisurely affair, and I was pleased that my souvenir tokens were accepted. The climb to the canal was accompanied by comments about the improvement of the canal area on its its’ somewhat grimy and delapidated past. The Sea Life Centre proved too expensive for many of us - did I hear whispers of a rip-off Surely not - which was a shame, but then, being the only resident Brummie I suggested a trip in a canal boat which was definitely more suited to our pockets!
The trip was lovely, and a great way to travel but the reaction to the ‘commentary’ on board left me wishing I hadn’t suggested it. The content was interesting, but the presentation was …… embarrassing! There were some among us who looked about to cry ‘get me out of here’ which might have precipitated a ‘man overboard’ episode, but thankfully we arrived safely back at the ICC with no mishaps.
We certainly saw the back of Brum in a new light. It reminded me that the Government had cut funding to British Waterways who are responsible for our canals, and it showed. I have to say that chatting to ST I thought he would have given us a very much better commentary, and I hope he does write an article for the Guide on the Birmingham canals. It is a fascinating subject for those interested in history.
Meandering along the canal looking for a watering hole, we came upon the tiniest pub I think I have ever seen. Twelve of us inside … Never! But it accommodated us with good grace, and I don’t think the loud laughter and chat drove any other people away. It was nice to see refreshments for non-drinkers available, though the ers amongst us had to go outside to pollute the atmosphere (their words not mine!)
I wish I had noted the name of it, as I wouldn’t feel out of place there again, not being a drinker.
Along with others I had to opt out of Vip’s quiz, having to admit, somewhat shamefacedly, to not having read our esteemed founder’s books, though I have followed some of the tv wildlife programmes he did. Well, I would wouldn’t I?
Have I mentioned that very important person Vip was the life and soul and director of the day, and very good she was too. During the session in the pub I had the chance to talk at length to Hypatia, and began to wish she didn’t live so far away. I also got the chance to talk more to Scorp, ST and Matt, with whom I have a slight connection viz-viz WWF.
Eventually the three musketeers, Scorp, myself and ST had to make a move, they to train and car and me to hurry home and feed my badgers! We said our goodbyes and I was treated to a very nice by the towering Phil
Having walked and chatted all the way to New Street, I said goodbye to my new found friends and headed for Moor Street, only to realise I had three minutes to get up three flights of stairs, cross the bridge and descend another three flights to get to my platform. I made it just as the train pulled in I truly think Saturday gave me more exercise than I have had in months. As everything was creaking ominously I got a taxi for the last leg
Whether I shall ever attend another Meet, I know not, but thank you to everyone who took part and made it a special day. Now, where’s the WD40?
EARTH HOUR 2009
Mar 27, 2009
Are you going to join the Global movement on 28th March 2009 by switching off lights and unnecessary appliances for just one hour? Show your support for the fight against climate change, waste and many other environmental issues.
One hour - that's all, it's not such a sacrifice, and it might just remind us how much we take for granted in the developed world.
If you feel a bit and 'alone' in doing this, then take a look here:
see how it has grown, and join the millions of people who are making an impact with this one small thing. It shows just what can be achieved when we work together.
Come and join us.
Blowing in the Wind Update
Mar 1, 2008
For those of you with an ultra-serious nature please note that the early part of the following post is very much
When I wrote this article A31079883 on 17.01.08 for I had no idea of the impact it would have on readers. The power of h2g2 and the BBC is greater than I thought!
On Wednesday 27 February 2008 The Daily Mail (British national newspaper) began a major campaign to banish the plastic carrier bag. There is little doubt that the photos of the messy litter these items cause, and the dreadful harm caused to wildlife, galvanised individuals, politicians and some supermarkets in to action. And not before time!
For all articles and photos:
Now, we know that politicians will jump on any handy bandwagon that will transport them towards more votes at the ballot box, but I think this time that maybe we should support and encourage them to actually do the right thing.
The mere carrying of a cotton bag with a slogan can start the ball rolling. My cotton shopping bags are carried in a smaller cotton bag provided free by the
BBC Breathing Places Campaign http://www.bbc.co.uk/breathingplaces/ which asks that you ‘Do One Thing’ for wildlife on one side, with BBC logo and Breathing Places on the other. The other day, on the way to the bus I was asked by a charming workman “what one thing are you doing?” with a big saucy grin.
I stopped to tell him that apart from putting up bird feeders and planting a tree for nature, this year I was ‘banning the bag’. He showed genuine interest, and I hope I planted a seed
I feel sure that this conversation will come back to him when he sees the TV and newspaper coverage of the past few days, when the carrier bag issue appeared pretty near the top of the ‘running order’ on both TV and radio bulletins.
cynics - maybe it was a quiet News day, or week even, but who cares, it made an impact. I have noticed recently that more people are carrying cotton bags, particularly if their previous holiday destination is emblazoned on it! I will admit to carrying one brought back from Florida by a friend. It has an attractive picture on the front, which turns from natural cotton colour to a full colour picture once in sunlight. I have seen people watch it happening at the bus stop which is quite amusing. I live in terror of finding out what chemicals might be employed to make this happen however If anyone knows, answers on a postcard please.
It is more of a bind for me to change to cotton bags as they are bulkier to carry and I don’t have a car, but if you have transport than carrying a few bags in the boot ready for action can’t be that difficult. Many places are giving them away free, or they can be bought cheaply. If they get grubby they wash beautifully in a normal wash load. Oh, and the handles don't cut in to your hands like plastic ones. My fingers are usually purple and blue and numb by the time I reach home.
I don’t usually make New Year resolutions because I know I won’t keep them, so this is more in the nature of a lifestyle change, and after all I must practise what I preach, mustn’t I, now I am famous for bringing the matter to the attention of the media?
Jan 17, 2008
Did anyone else watch Jamie Oliver's programme late last night "Eat to Save your Life" on the 4th channel 'on the other side'?
It was a lesson and a half for anyone even slightly overweight, with a larger than normal appetite, or a lover of fast food and junk food.
It was the best coverage of the subject I have ever seen. No-one was made to feel guilty - 'we are all in the same boat' was the approach.
The last part of the programme, for those who stopped up to watch it, would have had the most impact. If it is ever shown again I would urge you to watch it. it was a real eye opener. Gruesome definitely but the truth of the piece could not be denied.
i know now what I have to do, it is just a matter of doing it. I lost two and a half stone the last time I persevered and it has stayed off. Here goes for another two stone but without dieting. Wish me
It Took Me Long Enough!
Nov 10, 2007
i can't believe how long it is since I wrote a journal entry! Part of the reason was that I got myself cut off from this page and only had entry by my original PS. Put it down to a moment and I have plenty of those.
A big ‘Hello” and *wave* to anyone I haven’t *seen* for a while.
However, I am back in my rightful place again which is lovely. As my friends will know I have been a bit busy with my badger thread and writing articles for both of which I enjoy immensely. On top of that I spend time morning and night feeding birds, squirrels, badgers and foxes, and sometimes stay up half the night watching the nocturnal activity. That, of course, may contribute to the moments
For some time now I have also been mastering the intricacies of a new computer and broadband, which I have to say is a total joy. Having struggled for seven years with 'elderly' but still functioning computers this is heaven.
There is one major drawback though. I promised PHM (my other half) that with this swanky new one I could get twice as much done in half the time, so I wouldn’t be online nearly so much .
Well of course, you’ve guessed it, I am addicted, and have to force myself not to go near it till the chores have been done, or the day (and night) disappears in a puff of .
It is frightening how quickly we get hooked isn’t it? Despite some of the derogatory comments about h2g2 made by long terms members I still think it is a wonderful site with a lot to offer,and it would be seriously badly missed by a lot of people if it went.
Some us have too much RL happening to do more than we do at present, even when we wish to, and being made to feel guilty is not the way to encourage more people to get involved. I certainly couldn’t take on any more as I don’t like being unreliable and I probably would be if I attempted to do more.
Now I am in the fast lane I hope to explore more of h2g2, something which just wasn’t possible before. Ishall have to ration mself though or PHM will be pulling the plug!!
I hope not to leave it so long before I write another journal but RL being what it is, you never know.
Oh, Joy, I'm Home Again!
Dec 1, 2005
Having had trouble getting in to my Personal Space since re-registering for BBC Science and Nature in September, Jim Lynn (on his white charger) has come to my rescue and put me right. Thank you Jim Lynn.
I can happily dispense with Science and Nature if I have to, as along with many others I didn't like the new format which was forced upon us.
So long as I have h2g2 I am happy.
My Heart is still Thumping!!!
Aug 4, 2005
Thursday 4th August 2005
Since 4.15am this morning my heart has been bouncing around like you wouldn't believe and I can't stop smiling
I have all kinds of wildlife in my garden, or visiting, including four foxes, squirrels, the occasional hedgehog, frog and water vole, and about 30 species of birds. I have been seeing signs of another animal for quite a long time, but decided it was wishful thinking.
BUT, this morning on the way back from the little room, I did my customery peek out the window to see what was about, and nearly fell over. A dark shadowy figure had tipped the very low bird table over and was busily cleaning up the mess. I thought cat fox
Then I saw two long white stripes!! I have a badger visiting my garden and I am over the The stone table has been tipped over every morning for about a week now just after we put it there, and we thought it would have to be something strong to do it but didn't dare to hope.
I have never risen at that time in the morning before and stood transfixed for half an hour, during which time it was joined by a fox, who looked very disgruntled. After a drink from the bird bath(well dustbin lid actually ) it waddled away down the garden and disappeared. I wonder if the badger had been eating the Marmite/honey sandwiches I had put out for one of the foxes, which appears to have Mange?
Anyway, peanuts, honey sandwiches and raisins are on the menu tonight, and some worms. I hope my other half can see it too, because at the moment it still feels like a lovely dream.
Two Woodpeckers and a garden full of birds made us forget breakfast, till my other half realised he was supposed to be getting ready to go out!!
Was it a dream? I will let you know in due course
A Very Lucky Escape!
Jul 25, 2005
Monday 26th July 2005
Today I had a close encounter with a Stock Dove . We have three visiting our garden daily, but this morning one was sat on the path, totally still for ages. When I investigated it didn't move even when I touched it with my foot. It had blood coming from its' beak, though not much and there were feathers all over the lawn .
It seemed stunned so I left it for a while to see if it recovered. Eventually I noticed it had perked up, so I got my gardening gloves and went to see if it was able to fly. Two cats shot out of the undergrowth and ran down the garden! I got a box and put a sheet of bubble wrap in it. The dove really had a go at me, and fluttered across the lawn into some brambles. It was a feisty one! It clearly wasn't up to flying though and I didn't fancy seeing it mauled by two cats, so I went and got an old cloth, covered it over and grabbed.
I put it in the box in my shed still covered with the cloth and left it. This would be about 10am. I checked periodically through the day and it was still breathing. I also saw a fox prowling and looking to where the bird sat originally. Now, was it a Sparrowhawk taking on too big a challenge, cats out to "play" or a hungry young fox without enough gumption to do the job properly?
I still don't know. About 4.25pm I took the box down the garden and opened it. Slight reaction, so I took the cloth off it gently, intending to tip the bird into the undergrowth near some brambles to give it cover. To my shock and delight it hunched its' wings, and took flight straight out of the box, over some small trees and high into the air and away!! It went in the direction in which they roost, so I think it might have a fighting chance . It certainly deserved it. My husband says he hasn't seen such a big smile on my face in ages!!
Part of me hopes it will come back with the other two, and part of me hopes it will stay away. Feeding the birds is such a joy, but the feeling that I am luring them to their death does not feel comfortable. I can cope with fox and sparrowhawk, that's natural, but there are so many cats lying in wait "to play" I do wonder what their chances are.
After a very quiet period wildlife is coming back to the garden with a vengeance. Foxes, jays, goldfinches, greenfinches, nuthatches and willow tits have all made a reappearance this week. I thought with the rain and cooler weather they would find more natural food, but it is clear they need an extra boost after the busy breeding season.
It is so satisfying to record all these birds and animals and to take part in a national recording project. I know for certain my eyes and ears are much more attuned and observant than they were before I started the BTO Garden Bird Watch about three years ago.
Inspiration on a Hot Day
Jun 19, 2005
Just in case we forget when we had summer in 2005 it is Sunday 19th June and Friday and Saturday were nearly as hot!!
I am finding the hot weather a bit debilitating but when looking for a version of the "The Present" I found this page:
I hope you like it. Does any one have any others to add to the list
Wrap me in
Websailor put that fire out, I can't stand it
Shredding My Life!!
Jun 11, 2005
As part of my de-cluttering (as some of you will remember) I have decided to clear out my office of past paperwork in connection with WWF. Sentimentally, and for precautionary reasons, I have kept every thing I have received or sent for 17 years plus souvenir prgrammes, letters from volunteers and donors etc. etc.
It makes very interesting reading, which is slowing my efforts down, as I keep reviving memories of the fun and frustration I have had fundraising. I am find it very hard to shred stuff, as it feels like I am destroying a large part of my life, but I really need to clear the decks for campaigns ahead, and for all the other things I do.
is a big part of my life and has saved my sanity more than once I can't imagine not doing it, but I am often reminded by well meaning friends (and my other half) that I am not as young as I used to be!! There you are A1 - there's that AGEISM again and humbug!!
BIrds are singing outside as I type - birds, you have already been fed more than I should have given you so I am off for that I promised myself half an hour ago.
I have shed my Websailor cloak to some of you lately, and it feels very strange, but I look forward to the odd email from time to time
A1 I am sure it will be sorted eventually. We shall keep in touch regardless. Take care,
Tolkien Weekend Update
Jun 11, 2005
Saturday 11th June 2005
I have been very slow to enter the Tolkien Weekend update in my journal. There always seems to be something else I have to do!
Saturday and Sunday 14th and 15th May 2005
We were so lucky with the weather . Two glorious sunny and very busy days. The event was in its' fifth year but this year was special, as it was celebrating the 50th Anniversary of the publication of "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy by J.R.R.Tolkien. Yes, I know there have been films, too The event is set in and near his childhood haunts, which inspired him to write the books.
Now just in case you are in any doubt that this is about Tolkien take a look here:
http://www.tolkiensociety.org/ The area originally known as the Millstream Project this year officially became "The Shire Country Park", again emphasising the connection. See http://www.birmingham.gov.uk/shirecountrypark
There were guided walks in the of J.R.R., wildlife walks along the River Cole, a guided walk around Moseley Bog, the spooky setting for parts of the books, and a walk round his childhood haunts.
An Archaeology Walk was also led by the City Archaeologist. A Bus tour on a 1950's "Brummagem" (NOT red) double decker took fans to see the "two towers" - said to have inspired him when a student at nearby St. Phillip's Grammar School - Perrott's Folly and an ornate victorian chimney on land now owned by Severn Trent Water.
Narrations and drama excerpts from "The Lord of the Rings" took place in Moseley Bog, and people in Lord of the Rings costumes were everywhere - quite a sight and a bit scary too!
Sarehole Mill is a working water mill, but unfortunately that day there was insufficent water to operate it! Good weather has its' drawbacks. In addition to all sorts of activities in the Tolkien tent, there was a great deal to do for those less enthusiastic about the author. Two large craft marquees, a Re-Enactment group, miniature railway, RSPB and WWF stalls, Moseley Bog Group display, woodland craft demos, gypsy caravan, a Farmers' Market, amusements for the "little ones" and a Poetry marquee with folk music, songs, local poets and readings from "The Lord of the Rings".
Oh, and food and drink in abundance thank goodness, it's thirsty work
It is interesting to note that people come from all around the world each year, some even booking their holidays to coincide with this event.
Plans for a Tolkien Visitor Centre are afoot which will be welcomed. It was a glorious weekend, with a good attendance and we have to say a big thank you to the organisers for another cracking weekend. It is very hard work for everyone involved, but one of the most enjoyable events in the Birmingham calendar.
May 9, 2005
9th May 2005
I am looking forward to our first outdoor event of the year at Sarehole Mill in BIrmingham(UK) this weekend. It is always a relaxed, happy event with so much going on that the two days fly by.
This year is the 50th anniversary of the publication of The Lord of the Rings, and the Tolkien weekend is celebrating this event with another fantastic weekend of activities to interest all Tolkien fans. There is is also plenty of other entertainment for members of the family who are, perhaps, not so interested:
This event has grown enormously in popularity, and we have had a WWF stall here every year since it started. Sarehole Mill and Moseley Bog are now officially part of the Shire Country Park, named in honour of Tolkien, and there is an amazing variety of wildlife habitat as well as a number of buildings connected with J. R.R. Tolkien.
I shall need the Monday to recover but I always get great satisfaction from this event. I just hope the weather behaves itself. Wish us
Fred Dibnah R.I.P - Full Steam Ahead!
Mar 10, 2005
10th March 2005
This week saw the start of a twelve part series on Fred Dibnah who sadly died last November, at 66, after a three year fight against cancer.
To those not familiar with the name, he was a steam fanatic and steeplejack, who alternately terrified us, amused us and enthralled us, becoming a TV almost by accident.
It is so sad to say goodbye to a true English Eccentric, a real "one off". He was hard working, down to earth, very, very talented and quite unique. It is good that he managed to get his beloved traction engine fully restored and running before he died. No matter that it took 27 years It is right and proper that he also received national recognition for his services to our industrial heritage and broadcasting.
I will really miss his humour and knowledge, communicated with such enthusiasm, but it was so good to see his eldest "lad" working with him, from choice, and operating the traction engine "like a good 'un!"
I do wonder if he went up or down - I can't see him in the clouds with the angels, he was far too "wicked" for that, but down below he should be able to generate a good head of to keep himself occupied
"did ya like that" - oh, yes Fred, I sure did, and so did many other people. Thanks to the BBC for introducing us to this treasure.
Goodbye, God Bless, R.I.P.
The girl showed True Grit!
Feb 8, 2005
8th February 2005
Yesterday evening at 10.29pm GMT Ellen MacArthur became the fastest round the world single handed sailor ever, and a girl and British to boot
Having taken time out from other things to watch on TV as Ellen MacArthur brought her trimaran triumphantly in to Falmouth, I am stunned at her courage and endurance, indeed True Grit. This was such a massive undertaking for such a tiny human being and I am delighted she has had such spectacular success.
To break a record only a year old, which looked to stand for years to come, is some achievement. I didn't follow her on the Internet because my computer is too slow on a heavily overloaded web site, but I caught up with her progress on TV.
Now (almost )a Dame, I find it rather pathetic that some people say she didn't do it on her own - she had all this technology at her disposal, and a huge support team back home. But they were exactly that - Back Home
None of that was any use when she had to climb up the damaged mast in atrocious conditions, when the generator broke down , when she hit her head, or burned herself . None of them were there to her when she was utterly drained and exhausted, or to help with the sail changes, or fight the storms.
None of them helped her avoid a collision with an iceberg or a whale. She did all that, and 27,000 miles of sailing ALONE. All that technology entailed a lot of extra work, gave her virtually no privacy and would have been little help if things had really gone wrong.
Nothing should be allowed to take away from the sheer grit, physical and mental strength, dedication and determination she has shown over the last two and a half months. Yes, she does it because she wants to, but I am sure it has advanced the science of boatbuilding, given valuable information about the need for sleep and a very good idea of just what a healthy human body CAN do.
Like thousands of others both in Falmouth and round the world, and via the Internet, I felt very, very proud of her and for her parents. The relief for them must be enormous.
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