Total Perspective Vortex
What really happened to Trillian? Theories abound, but you can see what she's really been up to on this blog. If you're looking for white mice, depressed robots, or the occasional Pan Galactic Gargleblaster you might be better served here:
http://www.bbc.co.uk/cult/hitchhikers/guide/.

Otherwise, hello, and welcome.
Mail Trillian here<





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Women, The Internet and You: Tips for Men Who Use Online Dating Sites
Part I, Your Profile and Email

Part II, Selecting a Potential Date

Part III, Your First Date!

Part IV, After the First Date. Now What?


"50 First Dates"






Don't just sit there angry and ranting, do something constructive.
In the words of Patti Smith (all hail Sister Patti): People have the power.
Contact your elected officials.

Don't be passive = get involved = make a difference.
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Words are cool.
The English language is complex, stupid, illogical, confounding, brilliant, beautiful, and fascinating.
Every now and then a word presents itself that typifies all the maddeningly gorgeousness of language. They're the words that give you pause for thought. "Who came up with that word? That's an interesting string of letters." Their beauty doesn't lie in their definition (although that can play a role). It's also not in their onomatopoeia, though that, too, can play a role. Their beauty is in the way their letters combine - the visual poetry of words - and/or the way they sound when spoken. We talk a lot about music we like to hear and art we like to see, so let's all hail the unsung heroes of communication, poetry and life: Words.
Here are some I like. (Not because of their definition.)

Quasar
Hyperbole
Amenable
Taciturn
Ennui
Prophetic
Tawdry
Hubris
Ethereal
Syzygy
Umbrageous
Twerp
Sluice
Omnipotent
Sanctuary
Malevolent
Maelstrom
Luddite
Subterfuge
Akimbo
Hoosegow
Dodecahedron
Visceral
Soupçon
Truculent
Vitriol
Mercurial
Kerfuffle
Sangfroid




























 







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Highlights from the Archives. Some favorite Trillian moments.

Void, Of Course: Eliminating Expectations and Emotions for a Better Way of Life

200i: iPodyssey

Macs Are from Venus, Windows is from Mars Can a relationship survive across platform barriers?
Jerking Off

Get A Job

Office Church Ladies: A Fieldguide

'Cause I'm a Blonde

True? Honestly? I think not.

A Good Day AND Funyuns?

The Easter Boy

Relationship in the Dumpster

Wedding Dress 4 Sale, Never Worn

Got Friends? Are You Sure? Take This Test

What About Class? Take This Test

A Long Time Ago, in a Galaxy Far Far Away, There Was a Really Bad Movie

May Your Alchemical Process be Complete. Rob Roy Recipe

Good Thing She's Not in a Good Mood Very Often (We Knew it Wouldn't Last)

What Do I Have to Do to Put You in this Car Today?

Of Mice and Me (Killer Cat Strikes in Local Woman's Apartment)

Trillian: The Musical (The Holiday Special)

LA Woman (I Love (Hate) LA)

It is my Cultureth
...and it would suit-eth me kindly to speak-eth in such mannered tongue

Slanglish

It's a Little Bit Me, It's a Little Bit You
Blogging a Legacy for Future Generations


Parents Visiting? Use Trillian's Mantra!

Ghosts of Christmas Past: Mod Hair Ken

Caught Blogging by Mom, Boss or Other

2003 Holiday Sho-Lo/Mullet Awards

Crullers, The Beer Store and Other Saintly Places

Come on Out of that Doghouse! It's a Sunshine Day!

"...I had no idea our CEO is actually Paula Abdul in disguise."

Lap Dance of the Cripple

Of Muppets and American Idols
"I said happier place, not crappier place!"

Finally Off Crutches, Trillian is Emancipated

Payless? Trillian? Shoe Confessions

Reality Wednesday: Extremely Local Pub

Reality Wednesday: Backstage Staging Zone (The Sweater Blog)

The Night Secret Agent Man Shot My Dad

To Dream the Impossible Dream: The Office Karaoke Party

Trillian Flies Economy Class (Prisoner, Cell Block H)

Trillian Visits the Village of the Damned, Takes Drugs, Becomes Delusional and Blogs Her Brains Out

Trillian's Parents are Powerless

Striptease for Spiders: A PETA Charity Event (People for the Ethical Treatment of Arachnids)

What's Up with Trillian and the Richard Branson Worship?

"Screw the French and their politics, give me their cheese!"


















 
Mail Trillian here





Trillian's Guide to the Galaxy gives 5 stars to these places in the Universe:
So much more than fun with fonts, this is a daily dose of visual poetry set against a backdrop of historical trivia. (C'mon, how can you not love a site that notes Wolfman Jack's birthday?!)

CellStories

Alliance for the Great Lakes


Hot, so cool, so cool we're hot.

Ig Nobel Awards

And you think YOU have the worst bridesmaid dress?

Coolest Jewelry in the Universe here (trust Trillian, she knows)

Red Tango

If your boss is an idiot, click here.

Evil Cat Full of Loathing.

Wildlife Works

Detroit Cobras


The Beachwood Reporter is better than not all, but most sex.



Hey! Why not check out some great art and illustration while you're here? Please? It won't hurt and it's free.

Shag

Kii Arens

Tim Biskup

Jeff Soto

Jotto




Get Fuzzy Now!
If you're not getting fuzzy, you should be. All hail Darby Conley. Yes, he's part of the Syndicate. But he's cool.





Who or what is HWNMNBS: (He Whose Name Must Not Be Spoken) Trillian's ex-fiancé. "Issues? What issues?"







Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.


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Reading blogs at work? Click to escape to a suitable site!

Mamas, Don’t Let Your Babies Grow Up to be Smart Girls
(A Trillian de-composition, to the tune of Mamas, Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up to Be Cowboys)

Mama don’t let your babies grow up to be smart girls
Don’t let them do puzzles and read lots of books
Make ‘em be strippers and dancers and such
Mamas, don’t let your babies grow up to be smart girls
They’ll never find men and they’re always alone
Even though men claim they want brains

Smart girls ain’t easy to love and they’re above playing games
And they’d rather read a book than subvert themselves
Kafka, Beethoven and foreign movies
And each night alone with her cat
And they won’t understand her and she won’t die young
She’ll probably just wither away

Mama don’t let your babies grow up to be smart girls
Don’t let them do puzzles and read lots of books
Make ‘em be strippers and dancers and such
Mamas, don’t let your babies grow up to be smart girls
They’ll never find men and they’re always alone
Even though men claim they want brains

A smart girl loves creaky old libraries and lively debates
Exploring the world and art and witty reparteé
Men who don’t know her won’t like her and those who do
Sometimes won’t know how to take her
She’s rarely wrong but in desperation will play dumb
Because men hate that she’s always right

Mama don’t let your babies grow up to be smart girls
Don’t let them do puzzles and read lots of books
Make ‘em be strippers and dancers and such
Mamas, don’t let your babies grow up to be smart girls
They’ll never find men and they’re always alone
Even though men claim they want brains





























Life(?) of Trillian
Single/Zero

 
Thursday, November 17, 2011  
It's sad to realize market researchers put more effort into accurate data analysis in developing a marketing strategy for lipstick colors than what's being accurately researched and analyzed in the state of Americans' welfare and the American economy. This says more about the weirdness in journalism and politics than it does about marketing professionals.

There are fundamental steps to garnering accurate analytical data, there is basic/standard protocol for data research and analysis and listing unemployment benefit numbers proves nothing other than how many people are collecting unemployment. Basing any conclusion on only one factor is faulty, skewed data research. A set of criteria is needed to before any conclusions (at least accurate conclusions) can be made.

This is such a basic, accepted, proven fact that it makes me think that I'm either a genius and don't realize it, or, (more likely) there are at least a couple obvious factors at play in journalism and politics. 1) "The Public" is mired in complacency borne of frustration, despair, and cynicism; 2) Politicians and journalists are in a state of desperation borne of fear.

When you only have one factor, one data set, all you have is a hypothesis, a theory. To prove/disprove that theory you analyze and research the hypothesis, establish a set of relevant criteria, collect data for each factor of relevant criteria, assess each number as a single criteria and as a factor against/with the other criteria collected, then make conclusions about the hypothesis/theory based on the factual evidence collected. 

I realize I have a somewhat unique perspective. The perspective of a marketing professional who spent agonizing spans of time waiting for the research department to develop data collection processes like consumer polls, focus groups and customer feedback just to decide how to light a photoshoot based on conclusions drawn from data analysis.

But. This is basic data analysis. Research 101. Stuff that's learned in 4th grade science and/or math classes. (Elementary school science fairs are full of projects that require basic research fundamentals.)

I know I'm not the only one who's thinking/talking about this, and yet...I see/read/hear very little about collecting all the appropriate data and revealing the accurate data.

My hypothesis are as stated above: We, The Public are so used to being fed non-news news snippets that we're jaded and complacent about demanding actual news and/or quantifiable responses from our politicians. (Well, okay, that's nothing new, the expectation bar has always been pretty low for politicians.)

I don't like to talk politics because I feel strongly that unless I (me, personally) have something to offer, a solution or at least sound suggestions that would benefit people other than myself, I need to keep my mouth shut. Stay out of the fray.

I feel the same way about journalism. There are credible news sources with integrity, who adhere to principles of journalism: accurate, factual reporting of events/issues. And then there are the news sources that either never had integrity, or, have resolved themselves to a slow, complacent, agonized existence on life-support, biding their time until they succumb to irrelevancy. There are a lot of factors: The internet, dwindling advertising revenue, The Public's dwindling attention span, The Public's thirst for celebrity gossip, The Public's growing disaffection toward news sources... (I theorize that part of the equation is that The Public is more savvy and that's lead to laziness. Why read a newspaper, or the online news, every morning or evening when you know you can a) use RSS and/or b) access the info whenever you want, whenever it works into your schedule or whenever you feel it's relevant?)

Anyway.

When the new "unemployment numbers" were announced (a 7 month low in applications!), I rolled my eyes and spat a pfft at the glaring obvious lack of research and just bad reporting. "There are at least three glaring omissions of relevant data in this 'report.' Further, no conclusions can be drawn from one factor. What editor allows this kind of slack to be published?" I knew I wasn't the only one thinking that and dismissed it as just another result of the decline of credible reporting thanks to "gotta publish it now!" mentality of internet, ahem, journalism.

And then it occurred to me that maybe there is something I can offer. Well, me and several unemployed marketing research professionals I know. It's a little cavalier, this idea of mine, and it might make a few people uncomfortable, but, hey, I (quite literally) have nothing to lose.

Here's my idea: Allow unemployed marketing professionals access to government databases.

This is an interesting idea on a lot of levels, but for the purposes of this initial experiment, let's focus on the data reporting aspect.

And let's further narrow down the depth of the experiment to just one issue: Unemployment.

So. Now we have an independent marketing team, people who spent their careers being tasked with finding quantifiable data which is then used to devise relevant creative solutions. (That's the take-away from a marketing degree, I just saved you thousands dollars in college tuition. You're welcome.)

The marketing team is asked: What is the current state of unemployment and the impact on Americans?

For anyone with data analysis experience and access to government databases this is an easy first assignment. 

What is the span of time necessary to gain full, long term insight to a long-term issue? Three years is the usual time span when looking at social/cultural impact, but other factors need to be weighed, like economic trends. The downturn took it's first real plunge in 2007. So, we'll go with four years of data. Which, in marketing terms, is a solid span/body of empirical data. Great, that was easy!

Now for the real nitty gritty. What are the relevant factors in establishing unemployment? The number of new applications for unemployment benefits? The number of people collecting unemployment benefits? Apparently a lot of journalists believe the story begins and ends there. But we're not journalists. We're marketing professionals trying to establish quantifiable, accurate data that will lead to an appropriate, on point, successful creative solution.

We examine the issue, ask relevant questions then, with our newly acquired access to government databases, we'll run some reports and analyze the numbers! Ta dah!

It's not magic and it's not even all that creative (yet). It's basic research skills with a little scientific sleuthing skill thrown in for accuracy.

Here are the numbers I would run if I had the keys to the government database kingdom.

1) Number of people who were employed in full-time permanent jobs in 2007 v. now.
2) Number of vacancies/replacements that have not been filled after full-time workers retired/voluntarily left.
3) Number of people on food stamps in 2007 v. now.
4) Number of foreclosures due to lay-off in 2007 v. now. (That number will require a little more effort, getting accurate stats with a direct correlation between loss of job:loss of home will require polling which could be difficult since foreclosed homeowners without job or unemployment benefits could be difficult to track down.) 
5) Number of recent college graduates placed in full-time jobs in 2007 v. now.
6) Number of early retirements (age 52 - 65) taken/granted in 2007 v. now.
7) Number of people with health insurance in 2007 v. now.

Unfortunately I don't have access to the appropriate data bases. Otherwise I'd do the research and present the data results. (Sorry, didn't mean to be a data tease.)

I can take a poll among my friends, family, neighbors and former colleagues. That would be a good focus group with a diverse random sample of relevant participants. (granted, the focus is pretty broad: Americans.)

"We" all know there is so much more to the unemployment/economy/job market story than what's reported. Most people with a functioning brain and a 7th grade education know the factors I listed are the relevant issues and scoff at the "reports" and insinuation that there's "good news" in the job market. And yes, yes, I know, I know if I really spent time digging around online I'd find people (bloggers, mostly) presenting some of this data.

What's sad is that we're all smart enough to know the job market and economy is not what the news media (apologies for using that overused term, I winced just typing it) is issuing as news, and yet the charade continues. What they "should" say is that they are merely reporting the unemployment numbers, no assumptions made or conclusions drawn.* Unless/until there's more research and accurate, quantifiable, relevant data available we won't know the full (horror) story of what's really going on and how bad things really are. "We" have a pretty good idea that things are really awful, but some deeper relevant stats, numbers, would allow us to draw our own conclusions based on accurate facts. Just the numbers. The bottom line.

And unemployed marketing research people are a great untapped resource for finding this data. Sorry, unemployed journalists. I know some of you are really good at what you did, and decreased advertising revenue and increased technology hammered nails in your profession's coffin, but, it happened. The Public is a little wary and weary of you. So. I'm just suggesting an alternative resource for researching and collecting data.  There are a lot of unemployed marketing people who love data and know how to accurately research. Why not allow them access to government databases? What could possibly go wrong?

Worst case scenario they use the access to obtain data that leads to insight into gaps in products/services needed by Americans. And, being marketing people, they know what to do with a gap in the consumer supply chain: Fill it!! Products! Services! Infomercials! Marketing baby, marketing!



*I have many ideas for reporting the unemployment numbers - just the numbers, mind you, not conclusions drawn from the numbers - just the facts. Here are a few.
1) Post the unemployment numbers in a little data box on the front page or under the online masthead. Like the casualty tolls published in some papers during WWII.
1 b) Post the names of all the people who were laid-off, like a military death tally, include what they did and years of service, "Michael Thompson, PhotoJournalist, 20 years" "Scott Harris, Account Manager, Hospitality, 23 years" "Liz Jackson, Health Benefits, HR, 12 years"
1 c) Okay, that would fill entire newspapers and websites, so, instead, a ticker, like the Dow Jones ticker, just under the masthead of online news sites.
2) Publish/post the names of companies who laid-off any employee, even if it was just one. We hear about the massive corporate-wide bulk layoffs, but the small layoffs that contribute to the big morass. "ScrewTek, 13 machine operators, 2 admin, 1 facility services" "Coffee Café, 2 baristas, 1 cashier"

Sure, that's all a little macabre and potentially embarrassing for the unemployed/businesses, but, it certainly personalizes the issue. Which is something marketers dream of doing. Once you reach a consumer on a personal level, you've got 'em. You still have to keep their attention, but, once a personal connection is established you have to screw up pretty badly to lose the consumer.

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11:54 AM

Monday, November 14, 2011  
There are times in life when "rising above" and being a better person, you know, emotionally, is disappointing. Some people do things that are so awful we really want to be around to see the retribution. It doesn't feel like "enough" to merely know we've handled ourselves well with an evil doer. Sure, we chose to keep our mouths shut, or turn the other cheek. Or, on a truly higher level of emotional intelligence, we wish them well and give sincere hope/prayer/whatever that this person finds whatever they need to not behave/say what they're doing/saying. But still. Even so. Sometimes people do/say such horrible things to us that no matter how enlightened we are there's part of us that would really like to be a fly on the wall when that person gets hit with retribution for their actions/words against us.

Sure, you get a good night of sleep borne of integrity and self-respect because you didn't engage or succumb to their verbal or behavioral shenanigans. And it's a slumber sound in the knowledge that the person whose behaved badly, the "lesser" person in the situation, will one day reap what they sowed.

Except we are human. And sometimes it's disappointing to know that we won't be around to witness the karmic retribution bestowed upon someone who did us wrong.

This is where religion enters into the equation. The religious find solace in Judgment Day. "It's not for me to judge, but one day he'll stand accused and be judged for his actions by a higher power." That thought seems to comfort a lot of religious people and give them peace. Many also seem to find even more gleeful, almost giddy, comfort in the thought of their nemesis facing eternal damnation for their actions/words. Which isn't exactly rising above, now, is it? I'm pretty sure that's not what Jesus would do. That's just schadenfreude tinged with vindication and self-righteousness. Which doesn't exactly speak to emotional and spiritual enlightenment. And delighting in the evil-doer burning in Hell is just accusing, judging and assuming an eternal conviction with the added ugliness of arrogance and self-righteousness. Which is where/why I part ways with a lot of religions.

People on journeys of other types of spiritual and emotional enlightenment have another way of finding peace when someone does them wrong or just behaves badly, or "not as loving as one would appreciate" as my sister's hippie friends say. But it's no less sinister form of retribution. Karma. We're all riding on the Universal wheel. It's basic physics: Everything projected into a circular form will return to it's starting point. The timing depends on the torque and momentum. Sure, it's not exactly Judgment Day and damnation, and it's more self-perpetrating and self-perpetuating. (And interestingly, that's one of the few times those words both appropriate. I'm not the grammar police but sheesh, I see perpetrate and perpetuate misused a lot - ooops! That just scored me a Karmic retribution.)

In both cases, ultimately we'll be held accountable for our actions and words, good and bad. The obvious difference being One Big Final Judgement Day by a higher power resulting in either eternal happiness or eternal damnation v. self-inflicted acts of retribution. I'm all for self-accountability. If someone needs the threat/fear of a higher power and eternal damnation to make them accountable for their behavior and words, fine. If it's spiritual physics that keep someone accountable, that's great. I like the the idea that what we put "out there" comes back around and crashes into us because we're traveling in a circle so it's only a matter of time before it hits us or we hit it. The judgement is left up to us. Before doing or saying something, carefully think it through, judge your words and actions before putting them out there. Do you want to have them crash into you when you least expect it? Good stuff. 

But I'm most fond of the concept of choosing, on your own, without threat of Judgement or Karma, to be a decent human being. Just be a decent human being. Accept. Forgive. Heal. Peace. Love. Duh.

I know, I know, Kum Ba Yah.

Well, the Universe has bestowed me with either a favor or a challenge. I'm not sure which because I'm not emotionally enlightened/clever enough to know which. I'm only clever enough to know that's it may not be what it seems and that there's a lesson to be learned here.

All I can think is, "Where's Aesop when I really need him?"

When I was doing 50 First Dates I met a lot of men. Most of them were nice people, or at least decent human beings. I really liked some of them but they (obviously) didn't feel the same about me. I kept in touch with a few of the nice ones for a while, we were friends, but eventually they met women who became girlfriends, and I was painted out of the social picture. It happens. That's life. No ill will. But. Then there were the others. Some of them were weird. A few were jerks. And a couple were, well, awful.

One of the awful ones did and said some really horrible things to me. I didn't blog about it because I didn't want to perpetuate the negativity. He was the poster boy for Why Women Should Not Use Internet Dating Sites. I chalked it up to living and learning and moved on with my life. But. He really was singularly awful to me. His words and behaviors spoke to his immaturity and lack of integrity, and obviously I wasn't interested in someone like that. And the opinion of someone like that doesn't matter to me. I'm evolved and enlightened enough to know that. But, you know, I'm not the Dalai Lama and hurtful words and actions do hurt. I didn't dwell on what he did and said, but, every now and then when I had some self-doubt, he (along with other accusers of my life) crossed my mind, "Maybe he was right..." Eventually his voice faded and while I didn't forget about him (because there were lessons to be learned from my experiences with him) he hasn't exactly been on my mind for a very long time. Years.

That is until he did something very, very stupid in a very, very public forum. And now he's a public laughing stock, held up as slimy, gold-digging scammer by "the media" and the butt of jokes on blogs all over the internet.

I know. I know. You're thinking, "Ha! Way to go, Trill! You knew he was digging his own grave and now he has! You said or did nothing, you rose above his behavior, and ha! look! now he's getting what he deserves! That must feel great! Revel in this moment! It's better than revenge! It's glorious!"

Well, yeah, it kinda is. But. That's the dilemma. If I gloat, if I'm "happy" about him making such an ass of himself in such a public way, I'm not truly rising above, I'm not being truly forgiving or genuinely, well, "good." Right?

Even smug satisfaction seems kind of gloaty.

Some of you are saying, "But Trill, you said he treated you horribly. That earns you the right to a little happy dance."

Yeah, I suppose it does. He was really awful to me. And I presume that was his general behavior, and probably not just with women. I suspect his horrible behavior extended into his professional life, as well. Some of the things he said about some of his associates seemed like more than bravado. My "this guy is a pain in the ass to work with" antennae were tingling when he regaled me with stories of his professional coups.

I suppose he deserves the very public backlash he's getting, not just for the incident at hand, but for all the crappy things he's done and said in the past.

You may be sardonically smirking, "Karma's a bitch, baby."

And yes, it can be.

We're all responsible and accountable for what we do and say.

And that includes things like revenge, vindication, and pride.

Crap. That means I shouldn't go around gloating, or even feeling smugly-satisfied that this guy, this jerk, not only got what he deserves, I'm actually getting the rare opportunity to witness him getting what he deserves. That should feel really good. But it doesn't. It doesn't change my life, it doesn't make me feel vindicated. It doesn't even make me feel better about the universe in general. I don't see it as proof of some higher power at work. The guy is a jerk. Give him enough rope and he will hang himself. Done and done.

If I were Ghandi or Jesus I'd be bestowing peace and love and some positive outcome for this guy.

But. I'm not Ghandi or Jesus.

And I do feel something about his self-induced public character assassination. I suppose it's vindication, smug self-righteousness. Some would argue I deserve to feel those things. But. There's another component to this, beyond whether or not it's ever okay to feel vindicated and self-righteous.

Let's just say, for a moment, that in this case it's okay to feel smug and revel in the vindication.

Life has presented so few of these situations to me that I have no idea how to handle it. I am not prepared to feel smugly self-righteous. I don't know what to do with vindication that's been handed to me on a silver platter.

And my go-to resource for dealing with complicated stuff isn't helping. Accept. Forgive. Heal. Peace. Love. Duh. Where does this fit in that process? Healing? Peace?

Further, and more appropriate, the mirror within a mirror aspect of this is really getting to me. Yes, this falls into an existing process of accepting, forgiving and healing over a specific situation. But. I could also approach this as a new situation, which means I have to start at the beginning. I have to accept what's happening (I do, I accept that he's made a very public ass of himself), and then the tricky part. Forgiveness. Do I forgive the people who are ridiculing him? Or do I forgive him for making a public ass of himself? See? This isn't as obvious as it might seem.

I know, I know. I'm dwelling on this way too much. It's probably nothing more than the fact that I'm so inexperienced with vindication that I don't know how to handle it, and further, I'm too inept at success that I'm uncomfortable with self-righteousness.

I do know that this is a rare opportunity. Very, very seldom do we get to actually witness someone who wronged us receiving karmic retribution. And because of its rarity, I feel obligated to handle it properly.

Here's what I decided.

I asked myself, "Am I glad he's going through this?" The answer is, "What happens to him is of no consequence to me." Hence, any smug feelings of self-righteousness kind of fall apart.

However. The standard dismissive, "Couldn't happen to a nicer guy" summary seems deeply apt and more appropriate than at any other time. It couldn't happen to a nicer guy. Because a nicer guy would not do the crap he's done and would not deserve this public character flogging.

So that's where I'm leaving it. "It couldn't happen to a nicer guy."

10:40 AM

 
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