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Thursday, October 27, 2005

Egads! It's flying in my kitchen

I kid you not. This evening, I reached home after a tormenting drive from Andheri to Chembur (those in Mumbai will appreciate the effort it takes at about 6 pm!).

To start with, things were normal... I came home, freshened up, changed and sat down in front of the TV... my 'seat' till dinner. Soon enough, though, I was startled to hear something that sounded like vessels clanging together and tumbling down from a height.

Initially, I thought the noise had come from the neighbouring house where the interiors are being done and did nothing about it... who wants to leave a nice cosy spot, eh? Soon again, the noise was heard again and this time, it was even greater and it sounded as if it were closer to me... time to check the clues, Watson!

A leisurely walk into the bedroom revealed nothing and on reaching the kitchen, I decided to reach for a bottle of water and lo, there it sat over the gas stove! A pigeon. In my kitchen. Chilling out! Once the initial shock died and I regained my balance (physical and mental), it was time to figure out how to get that feathered fiend out of the house.

Let me assure you that I am no animal hater and in fact, the window ledge in my bedroom has been converted into a maternity home by all pigeons. I think word seems to have gotten about in their circles and there are more arriving by the day to meet the newborn(s). So much so, that a new would-be mother is also getting comfortable with her eggs as you read this.

So now that it has been established that I am not an bird hater, the problem of shooing the pigeon away was back at hand. For some strange reason, at this point, I started wondering about my choice of words to the pigeon and assuming (it's a safe assumption, you see) it knows none of the languages I do, it hardly mattered whether I muttered "shoo" or "avast" or any other words of 'choice'! Thankfully, I was alone at home and decided to test my knowledge of expletives!

It's one thing that the bird did not understand what I said (maybe because it cannot hear... I noticed no ears, you see) but it's entirely another when it decides to protest my actions. And how! I managed to get its attention (how is mystery) and the darn thing decided to go for its version of a stampede right there within the kitchen. In fact, I realised that it was scared when it decided to get rid of its lunch on the kitchen counter and then fly over to the light and perch itself atop. This put the problem in an entirely new light...

Moments later, a thought struck me like light(n)ing! I decided to switch the light on and off to scare it away. Hmph. A lot of good that did... only more defecation. Geez.

Soon enough, though, it relocated to its original camping place, the window. Now all this while, it kept on looking through the glass and wondering (I imagine) how to get out of there. Little did it realise that there was the open part of the window right under it. Over the course of the next 20 minutes or so, it explored all the corners of the kitchen including the sink. At one point, it was so scared that it confined itself to a corner in the sink and refused to move... poor thing actually, but my problem was yet unsolved. It would be fair to remember here that I was the victim.

After a round of the kitchen and a fair bit of fluttering (including that of my heart considering the glass objects present), it perched itself on the window again momentarily returning to further defecate on the kitchen counter. Dinner tonight will be hard to ingest.

During its many attempts to find the open part of the window, it had banged against the glass on many occasions... it did so one more time and this time decided to sit on the counter to survey the terrain as it were.

By this time, I had a kitchen cloth to aid my efforts and repeated flashing of this weapon produced more fluttering and showed no signs of a solution being found. With much courage (hey, it has a beak and can fly with a lot of fluttering that is scary) I got as close to it as I could and waved the cloth one final time.

Finally, it flew straight into the open window and found its way out. I'm sure it's having quite a chat with its friends about its adventure. In fact, it could well be blogging about it in its own world... perhaps a search on Poogle would reveal something!

For now, though, the kitchen window (and all others in empty rooms) remain closed. And so they shall when we leave home tomorrow.

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posted by Scribbler @ 8:32 am |

Eating my words... and enjoying it!

Just a few days ago, I asked for the omission of Sachin Tendulkar from the Indian team. Little did I know that he would do this to me! But for once, I am happy to be eating my words... and I really enjoyed the way he made me do it!
Perhaps it's time I did the same about Sehwag... that would give the Lankans the heebie-jeebies! Anyway, I don't expect this to be a cakewalk for India in any case and tomorrow (Oct 28) should be a great game.

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posted by Scribbler @ 8:01 am |

Monday, October 24, 2005

'Dost' and 'Youn Aur Sheher'?

Sarah Jessica Parker in 'Sex and the City'
Sounds creepy to say the least! But that's what Zoom TV is announcing. It will create local versions of Friends [1, 2] and Sex and the City [1, 2]... why is anybody's guess. I mean, hasn't Friends been tried before on Indian TV (called Friends Forever) and was it not an outright disaster? Here's the sequel!
Out of curiosity, I wonder what the cast would be like... especially in the case of Sex and the City. I mean, is there an actress that can play the character of Sarah Jessica Parker? (Yes, I watch it).

Hmmm... here's a list that I think may just happen... actually I cannot think. (I'll just pen down some names!) Suggestions are very welcome. And the wackier the better!

Friends (Original Cast) *That's some detail there*
Rachel - Jennifer Aniston VJ Anousha?

Sex and the City (Original Cast)
Carrie Bradshaw
Samantha Jones
Charlotte York
Miranda Hobbes
Mr Big
Aidan Shaw
Trey MacDougal

posted by Scribbler @ 4:23 am |

Sunday, October 23, 2005

IIPM issues notice in "intrest of IIPM and Planman fraternity"

Why bother, I ask? If you 'general notice' is in favour of only your own people,IIPM Notice! may as well send out an e-mail or internal mailer...
Anyway, the contents of this notice are hilarious. Must-see on today's Page 3 of Hindustan Times (Mumbai at least).

The gist of it is that whatever claims they have made are true and that everyone else (including the people who have denied having any association with IIPM are liars).

There. Go live with that!

Going by the language, they don't have much of a lawyer to issue 'notices' and maybe this is another exercise for the students itself! Har Har!

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posted by Scribbler @ 10:31 pm |

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Heh! The bluff has been called!

Looks like someone has finally called the bluff of the family Chaudhari. Dr (?) Malay Chaudhari's education (!) has been laid bare and soon, it may be time for his son's qualifactions to be laid bare.
Man, it looks like they will regret taking on the blogosphere!

[Via India Uncut and DesiPundit]

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posted by Scribbler @ 4:08 am |

He looks pretty!

Logic escapes me when I see the photo with this story.

Check this.

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posted by Scribbler @ 2:20 am |


There's a smug feeling about Greg Chappell for the last couple of days and why not? After much controversy, it would seem that he has finally had things his way. How he did this is unimaginable.Getting through the an(n)als of Indian cricket and getting things his way despite being a 'foreigner' has indeed been nothing short of Herculean by the coach.

And no sooner than the team was announced, Chappell was waxing eloquent about the choice of the team and how Sachin is "almost hitting form" and how this is good for Indian cricket.

Gone is the grumpy look about him and he is a new man. One only hopes this augurs well for the future (read until the WC in 07).

p.s. I don't know how Ganguly too has managed to get a tennis elbow all of a sudden. Sounds rather shady, if you ask me.

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posted by Scribbler @ 2:09 am |

Friday, October 14, 2005

Double Standards

Finally, the team for India's next two series (v Sri Lanka and South Africa) has been announced and the selection leaves a slightly bitter taste in the mouth to say the least.Why? Because Tendulkar made the cut. Before you screm Bloody Murder, consider this:

In the recently concluded NKP Salve Challenger Series that was meant to display the talent available, Tendulkar barely made a mark (I wonder where Chappell gets this from). VVS Laxman, on the other hand, shone bright and scored rather well. The argument presented by Kiran More is that the "focus is on the youngsters". In that case, why is Agarkar in the team?

Coming back to Tendulkar, he hardly moved the scorers and if experience is the argument here, Laxman has it too. Plus, he's in form and not returning from injury either.

Let's get one thing straight here. I am not against Tendulkar. He is a class act and deserves to be in the team as long as he wants to be. But if certain arguments are being presented for one player, they should apply to all.

I say bring in Laxman even if it is at the cost of Tendulkar. Call me crazy, but it's a question of using the same yardstick for all players. Else, don't give us this bulls*** about experience and form and age.

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posted by Scribbler @ 7:10 am |

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Blogs with Yahoo! News

Finally one of the big boys has picked up the news-worthiness of blogs and decided to add them to their News sections. About time too!

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posted by Scribbler @ 8:49 pm |

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

MBA Mafia

And I don't say this! It's AC Himself! And on his own site! And in an article by his holiness the Ponytail!

What I am trying to drive towards is the non challengeable fact that management
as a stream of studies is more hype than content.
Lest you guys not believe what I have extracted from his 'thoughts', here is the link (to his site).
Actually, you will have to do some work and find your way to Thoughts > MBA Mafia. I suspect it may soon be moved and hence the screenshot. Apologies for the size... but the sites is a Flash one and I cannot hyperlink to the article.

I need to disinfest my mind because I actually endured that entire article and cannot think strett anni moar...

posted by Scribbler @ 6:57 am |

Sue This!

I think this post is jinxed. My computer has crashed thrice and each time I was about to hit 'Publish'! Never mind!

The point I try to make is bloggers are increasingly being tracked and
even sued in some cases because of their outspokenness. This, in no case, though, should compromise the very nature of blogging and freedom of speech must be upheld. SOunds a bit like a speech at Azad Maidan, but bear with me. There is a point at the end of this!

About two months ago, a
blogger was sued by a company not because he said something but because a visitor left a comment on his blog that was against their interests. Wow.

There's something to be learned for
Rashmi Bansal and Gaurav Sabnis regarding their IIPM fracas from this... maybe they could sue all those nasty comment(er)s (which I am sure have originated from one of the IIPM edifices) and in a way get some of their back. At the end of the day, what they have said is in the larger interest of the students (current IIPM students excluded).

But it is not surprising that there has been so much of spam comments hitting the fan (or their blogs) because Mr A Chaudhari (aka Mr Ponytail) has a lot to lose. But, for someone who doesn't think before claiming that his institute is better than the IIMs and that he is a management guru (I am Dr Spock!), he sure has taken this expose rather badly.

Interestingly, there was also a
ruling by a US court where it said that anonymous bloggers may not be sued for their views. Time to go underground, maybe? Nah! Some reactions about the court ruling are here as well.

Good job, guys.

posted by Scribbler @ 6:18 am |

Monday, October 10, 2005

When shit flies

Truth just isn't what it used to be. People who want to tell the truth still exist but are not as abundant. So when you do find someone who does speak up (unlike newspaper ads), I think we should stand by them. But battles that are fought by individuals against the might of larger institutions seldom end well for the individuals.

Just like the current imbroglio involving IIPM, Rashmi Bansal and Gaurav Sabnis. Since I have been (very) late in jumping on to this story, I will not link individual posts, rather just one that sums it all up.

In conclusion, I think Rashmi and Gaurav were well within their rights to say what they felt and I think their claims and findings were true. For long, I have wondered about the source of money for IIPM and the subsequent quality they deliver. Their Pune campus for one, is hardly a campus and no more than a building.

I hope more bloggers stand up and fight for Rashmi and Gaurav.

ADDITION 1: I just saw this blog and it's a howl! How is "Andy" ever going to convince anyone he has posted anything before his "more after lunch"!??!??!

posted by Scribbler @ 10:51 pm |

Friday, October 07, 2005

Game Over!

This was bound to happen. Just that it's a little sooner rather than later. And what's the deal with psychological sessions for gaming??!?
People have even died because they played for over 50 hours at a stretch. Soon enough, we might not see people on the streets because everyone is hunched over a computer screen... sometimes one has to think that there are advantages of not being as well wired a country as South Korea. In fact, gaming is considered a sport in this country.

posted by Scribbler @ 3:41 am |

And then what?

Is there life after death? Where do we go when we die? Does the devil chew on our souls and spit it out? What happens to blogs that die? Where did that last one come from?

It came from some recent thinking I have been doing (on the side... not my profession, mind you!) and I am wondering what happens to blogs when their owner(s) pull the proverbial plug as it were. While I am not so worried about individual blogs, I am more curious about those that are run by communities or groups. Especially if there is one owner who can pull the p.

Normally, most bloggers would cross post and cross link (and do all that jazz) to preserve their precious thoughts in more ways than a cow can moo. Despite their best efforts, though, there would be the odd post that is lost. And given the volume of posting that most bloggers have, I'd bet half my beard (why not!) that they would not remember which one they are missing. At a very superficial level, the solution is to blog using a blog writer.

Community blogs are great and offer a good chance to (hopefully) meet like-minded chaps (and chappies, not chappels!) and have some friendly banter or maybe even a touch of rancour. But invariably, one grows to be friendly (openly) or at least admire others' writing. If the community blog is your only link to their space and (if you are also an idiot like me) you have no other record of their whereabouts in cyberspace, what do you do? Searching for their name on Technorati is an option if you know the name (or alias). I don't. And I am looking for at least 4 people (or spaces) as of last week. It's hopeless.

So I return to my question as to what happens to these blogs? I would also like to know what happens to the efforts that have gone into creating that space not only by the owner(s) but also by community members? The place obviously got its following and character after a long time of contribution from many and not just one...

But I still want to know where the posts went to... And the people. Whither bloggers?

posted by Scribbler @ 2:34 am |

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Diwali dude... It's like, you know, i mean

Please please please take this in the right spirit. Just got this from a friend and thought it would be a good chuckle!

A young second generation Indian in the US was asked by his mother to explain the significance of "Diwali" to his younger brother, this is how he went about it...
"So, like this dude had, like, a big cool kingdom and people liked him. But, like, his step-mom, or something, was kind of a bitch, and she forced her husband to, like, send this cool-dude, he was Ram, to some national forest or something...
Since he was going, for like, something like more than 10 years or so.. he decided to get his wife and his bro along... you that they could all chill out together.
But Dude, the forest was reeeeal scary shit... really man...they had monkeys and devils and shit like that.
But this dude, Ram, kicked with darts and bows and arrows... so it was fine.

But then some bad gangster boys, some jerk called Ravan, picks up his babe (Sita) and lures her away to his hood. And boy, was our man, and also his bro, Laxman, all the gods were with him... So anyways, you don't mess with gods. So, Ram, and his bro get an army of monkeys...
Dude, don't ask me how they trained the damn monkeys... just go along with me, ok... ..

So, Ram, Lax and their monkeys whip this gangster's ass in his own hood. Anyways, by this time, their time's up in the
forest..and gets kinda boring, you know... no TV or malls or shit like that.
So, they decided to hitch a ride back home... and when the people realize that our dude, his bro and the wife are back
home...they thought, well, you know, at least they deserve something nice... and they didn't have any bars or clubs in those days... so they couldn't take them out for a drink, so they, like, decided to smoke and shit... and since they also had some lamps, they lit the lamps it was pretty cooool... you know with all those fireworks...
Really, they even had some local band play along with the fireworks...and you know, what, dude, that was the very first, no kidding.., that was the very first music-synchronized fireworks... you know, like the 4th of July stuff, but just, more cooler and stuff, you know.
And, so dude, that was how, like, this festival started."

Sound familiar to anybody?

posted by Scribbler @ 10:59 pm |

Better late...

Very proudly, as though it were the breakthrough of the century, Microsoft has sent this to its users in India (about 10 days ago):
Here’s great news for Hotmail users! Hotmail just got bigger & better. You can now enjoy 250 MB storage for your email account at no extra cost. Also, keep your mailbox clean with powerful spam filters & enhanced virus cleaning.
Unbelievably, they are crowing about offering 250 MB mailboxes when the rest of the world is offering at least 1 GB. Google, in fact is offering 2.27843874 GB and is still counting!
Thenks, but no thenks!

Incidentally, MSN is also working on 'Kahuna', the next generation mail client that is set to revolutionise e-mailing as we know it today. Knowing Microsoft, this could well be another tool to unleash a virus attack on an unwitting world!

The development process of this tool is being chronicled by those working on it and does offer some interesting reading. [Here, here (Kahuna poster) and here]

Worth noting that there's two (if not three) Indians on that team. Oh, and yes, they are through giving away free user accounts for testing purposes. (I didn't get any!)

And the guy who seems to be heading this, Aditya Bansod, is also doing some Google bashing!

posted by Scribbler @ 10:27 pm |

Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Art = Rat?

Now this is wierd... totally and outright wierd. I mean why would anyone believe that someone could turn into a monkey (or kangaroo or any animal for that matter!)?
Unless they were two french fries short of a happy meal...

posted by Scribbler @ 4:49 am |

Hey, Lalu's got more choices!

So what if his 'chhota beta' dislikes politics? He's got eight more kids to turn into politicians and ensure that Bihar is ruled by his family (like a dynasty) for at least another 100 years. Something also tells me that Tejaswi Yadav (the son) will shortly be 'eligible' for a place in the Indian Cricket team. Yes, he is interested and plays for his school as of now.
God save Bihar.

posted by Scribbler @ 4:20 am |

Super flop?

So says Mid Day about the Super Series currently on in Australia. And with only 17,000 of the available 55,000 tickets being sold (can't find a link for this) for today's game, maybe that's a fair assessment.
But then again, this may well be because it's a working day and a bigger crowd may just turn up over the weekend... I don't care for it much really. (Anyways, the Aussies murdered the World XI today).

posted by Scribbler @ 4:07 am |

And that's why you should be just a bystander

Shameful. What, I say, is the point of helping the Police if those whose reputation you saved don't care for it? Why identify a thief?

posted by Scribbler @ 4:05 am |

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

$1 mn or maybe $1.3 mn

Read this and weep! If you are an aspiring writer and have dreamed of such deals, you must read this. This dude - Vikram Chandra (and he's a good writer, mind you!) - has just picked up a $1 million (or $1.3 mn) deal from HarperCollins for his next book. And all this, after a three-way (or was it six?) bidding war. Incredible.
After all this, the book is about love, life, family and the Mumbai underworld... Satya Part 2 or Parinda Part 2? Any which way, it sounds good. I just hope it's not priced at some unbelievable Rs 1,500 or so! Did I mention it's a 1,227 page book? Pre-order for a discount, I suggest!

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posted by Scribbler @ 9:32 am |

Improved Festivals

I have nothing against festivals and especially this one. I quite enjoy the music, sweets and a feeling of 'nice' that envelops one during this period.
But there is a fundamental difference in how these festivals are celebrated across India. In Pune, for example, I remember Ganeshotsav being the biggest followed by Diwali and then Christmas. This, of course, is in terms of public participation. There were other festivals also like the more local (or Maharashtrian) Gudi Padva and so on, but these were overall the biggest. And they still are.
In Mumbai (which is now home), every festival is just as big. I mean, when the 10 pm deadline was imposed (yes, it was 'imposed'), on Ganeshotsav and Navratri, the hue and cry was just as big for both in Mumbai but in Pune, nobody (apart from those under 21 years of age) seemed to mind it for Navratri.

But has this meant that the festivals suffered? In a way, I feel the quality of festivities improved and the unnecessary show off that used to happen has reduced. Mind you, not much, though.

Eventually, this has been extended to midnight in Gujarat and Maharashtra and there is now a different kind of question being asked as to why a 'Gujarati' festival gets this leniance while a 'Maharashtrian' one does not. And that too, in Maharashtra. Interesting and to some extent, a valid question. But that is not for this article neither is it in keeping with the fabric of India (or Mumbai, anyways).
I have enjoyed all these festivals just as much but I have to admit the ever extending deadlines were getting out of hand and ever since this 10 pm thing happened, life during festivals has been much better. For one, without the music, (which also means no Ganesh pandals to really visit), there's not much to roam around for. And this also meant that the overall rate of unwanted elements (let's face it, there always are many) on the streets during this period went down.
But has this meant that the festivals suffered? In a way, I feel the quality of festivities improved and the unnecessary show off that used to happen has reduced. Mind you, not much, though.
I remember a time when Diwali started before sunrise with a nice early (too early) bath and a generally 'clean' and festive amosphere. All that has changed and it's now shifted to becoming a race of who buys the most crackers and how we can all collectively push the limits of pollution. Sad.
Even Ganeshotsav, for that matter has become all about noise and show off where every 'Ganesh Mandal' wants to show how much bigger they are. Seriously, whatever made them think that Lord Ganesh would be interested in 'Slim Shady' or '18 'Til I Die' is anybody's guess. I suppose, though, that this is their way of enjoyment and that's what festivals are all about anyways. Or are they?
Partly, yes but more than just enjoyment, festivals are also about ones belief and if you sincerely believe in what you are celebrating, the only way to really do it right is by keeping with the spirit of the festival.
Why has Ganesh Visarjan day become one that is dreaded by most in every city? Why is that after this day is over, we are left cleaning the mess caused for weeks? Why can't people just immerse idols (made of clay and not POP) in their backyards or at home in a bucket of water? How is it better to cause a traffic nightmare, pollute rivers and seas and bid farewell to the idol that you worshipped for a day, five or ten in the worst polluted water body around?
I know of a lot of people and communities (in Pune, including my family) who do the immersion in a bucket, keep it for a day so it dissolves and then water the plants at home with that. At least we feel that we have kept the 'God' closer to us for a year. It's just belief but then that's what festivals are all about. (Did I say that already?)
The festival of lights and nine nights of celebrations also have a deep mythological and historical significance and so long as this is not lost, I think there is no need to really frown at the way we are celebrating. Unfortunately, we are not keeping with the spirit. Can we try at least? It would be worth experiencing one festival sans all the noise and pollution, if possible.
Now that would be the experience of a lifetime!

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posted by Scribbler @ 9:17 am |

Saturday, October 01, 2005

Men want to be fair too, stupid!

I have not seen anything as revolutionary since sliced bread! A fairness cream just for men! And check out how unique and original the name is too! "Fair And Handsome". Yes, I am serious.
Launched recently (I saw the TVC where a college guy sneaks into the girls hostel to steal their fairness cream... cream of all things!), this disaster sounding product might just do well. Considering the fact that Indian women have always wanted to be 'fair', this was the next logical step. So now, we shall soon have self-depricating ads about how a man got left behind in life because he was not fair or was too dark and how by using this Rs 30 tube of ointment (which could be moisturiser for all I know), he can catch up and indeed leave the rest behind.
So now, we shall soon have self-depricating ads about how a man got left behind in life because he was not fair or was too dark and how by using this Rs 30 tube of ointment (which could be moisturiser for all I know), he can catch up and indeed leave the rest behind.
What a load of bull.
I, for one, would not be caught dead usnig or buying this. Here's a news link about this. Also read here, here, here and here.

On the side, this is one of the most tech commercials I have ever seen. [Compaq Widescreen notebook]

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posted by Scribbler @ 2:59 am |

Zoundry Blog Writer... It's free!

Of late, I have realised that it is extremely boring to log into Blogger and then type out the post. This, I feel, makes me lazy. So instead of letting Blogger take the credit for me being lazy, I set out to find the right tool to do so. Along the way, I found Anconia RocketPost by Manish Vij of Sepia Mutiny and even CityDesk but my latest find is what has me excited: Zoundry Blog Writer. (It's free).

There are some advantages of this over RocketPost, such as a faster interface when connecting to Blogger and downloading older posts. One of the major differences, though, is the management of more than one blog from the same window. It's like using MS Outlook (to be fair, so is RcketPost) and as simple as drag-and-drop. In this regard, getting RocketPost to manage multiple blogs is not so easy.

But the biggest thing, though, is the $30 price on RocketPost. Zoundry is totally free (and no ads either).
Manish: I would like to continue using RP even after the 30-day trial, but cannot afford it and hence the shift. Even if you were to place ads in RP, I would use it... I like it plus it's Sepia in colour!

For now, though, you can download Zoundry there.

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posted by Scribbler @ 1:52 am |

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