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History of Halloween – Video Blog

History of Halloween

Halloween is a holiday celebrated on the night of October 31. The word Halloween is a shortening of All Hallows’ Evening also known as Hallowe’en or All Hallows’ Eve.

Traditional activities include trick-or-treating, bonfires, costume parties, visiting “haunted houses” and carving jack-o-lanterns. Irish and Scottish immigrants carried versions of the tradition to North America in the nineteenth century. Other western countries embraced the holiday in the late twentieth century including Ireland, the United States, Canada, Puerto Rico and the United Kingdom as well as of Australia and New Zealand.

celtic halloween, celbation, josh martin blogHalloween has its origins in the ancient Celtic festival known as Samhain (pronounced “sah-win”).
The festival of Samhain is a celebration of the end of the harvest season in Gaelic culture. Samhain was a time used by the ancient pagans to take stock of supplies and prepare for winter. The ancient Gaels believed that on October 31, the boundaries between the worlds of the living and the dead overlapped and the deceased would come back to life and cause havoc such as sickness or damaged crops.

The festival would frequently involve bonfires. It is believed that the fires attracted insects to the area which attracted bats to the area. These are additional attributes of the history of Halloween.

Masks and costumes were worn in an attempt to mimic the evil spirits or appease them.

Trick-or-treating, is an activity for children on or around Halloween in which they proceed from house to house in costumes, asking for treats such as confectionery with the question, “Trick or treat?” The “trick” part of “trick or treat” is a threat to play a trick on the homeowner or his property if no treat is given. Trick-or-treating is one of the main traditions of Halloween. It has become socially expected that if one lives in a neighborhood with children one should purchase treats in preparation for trick-or-treaters.

kids in the uk trick or trating, josh martin blog

Kids in the U.K. trick or treating.

The history of Halloween has evolved. The activity is popular in the United States, the United Kingdom, Ireland, Canada, and due to increased American cultural influence in recent years, imported through exposure to US television and other media, trick-or-treating has started to occur among children in many parts of Europe, and in the Saudi Aramco camps of Dhahran, Akaria compounds and Ras Tanura in Saudi Arabia. The most significant growth and resistance is in the United Kingdom, where the police have threatened to prosecute parents who allow their children to carry out the “trick” element. In continental Europe, where the commerce-driven importation of Halloween is seen with more skepticism, numerous destructive or illegal “tricks” and police warnings have further raised suspicion about this game and Halloween in general.

In Ohio, Iowa, and Massachusetts, the night designated for Trick-or-treating is often referred to as Beggars Night.

Part of the history of Halloween is Halloween costumes. The practice of dressing up in costumes and begging door to door for treats on holidays goes back to the Middle Ages, and includes Christmas wassailing. Trick-or-treating resembles the late medieval practice of “souling,” when poor folk would go door to door on Hallowmas (November 1), receiving food in return for prayers for the dead on All Souls Day (November 2). It originated in Ireland and Britain, although similar practices for the souls of the dead were found as far south as Italy. Shakespeare mentions the practice in his comedy The Two Gentlemen of Verona (1593), when Speed accuses his master of “puling [whimpering, whining], like a beggar at Hallowmas.”

Yet there is no evidence that souling was ever practiced in America, and trick-or-treating may have developed in America independent of any Irish or British antecedent. There is little primary Halloween history documentation of masking or costuming on Halloween; in Ireland, the UK, or America before 1900. The earliest known reference to ritual begging on Halloween in English speaking North America occurs in 1911, when a newspaper in Kingston, Ontario, near the border of upstate New York, reported that it was normal for the smaller children to go street guising (see below) on Halloween between 6 and 7 p.m., visiting shops and neighbors to be rewarded with nuts and candies for their rhymes and songs. Another isolated reference appears, place unknown, in 1915, with a third reference in Chicago in 1920. The thousands of Halloween postcards produced between the turn of the 20th century and the 1920s commonly show children but do not depict trick-or-treating. Ruth Edna Kelley, in

early irish imagrants, josh martin blog

Early Irish Immigrants, who help start modern Halloween.

her 1919 history of the holiday, The Book of Hallowe’en, makes no mention of such a custom in the chapter “Hallowe’en in America.” It does not seem to have become a widespread practice until the 1930s, with the earliest known uses in print of the term “trick or treat” appearing in 1934, and the first use in a national publication occurring in 1939. Thus, although a quarter million Scots-Irish immigrated to America between 1717 and 1770, the Irish Potato Famine brought almost a million immigrants in 1845-1849, and British and Irish immigration to America peaked in the 1880s, ritualized begging on Halloween was virtually unknown in America until generations later.

Trick-or-treating spread from the western United States eastward, stalled by sugar rationing that began in April 1942 during World War II and did not end until June 1947.

Early national attention to trick-or-treating was given in October 1947 issues of the children’s magazines Jack and Jill and Children’s Activities, and by Halloween episodes of the network radio programs The Baby Snooks Show in 1946 and The Jack Benny Show and The Adventures of Ozzie and Harriet in 1948. The custom had become firmly established in popular culture by 1952, when Walt Disney portrayed it in the cartoon Trick or Treat, Ozzie and Harriet were besieged by trick-or-treaters on an episode of their television show, and UNICEF first conducted a national campaign for children to raise funds for the charity while trick-or-treating.

Trick-or-treating on the prairie. Although some popular histories of Halloween have characterized trick-or-treating as an adult invention to re-channel Halloween activities away from vandalism, nothing in the historical record supports this theory. To the contrary, adults, as reported in newspapers from the mid-1930s to the mid-1950s, typically saw it as a form of extortion, with reactions ranging from bemused indulgence to anger. Likewise, as portrayed on radio shows, children would have to explain what trick-or-treating was to puzzled adults, and not the other way around. Sometimes even the children protested: for Halloween 1948, members of the Madison Square Boys Club in New York City carried a parade banner that read “American Boys Don’t Beg.”

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elmo, pumpkin, josh marint, josh martin blogThis was a great holiday. The week before Halloween the whole family went to Anderson Farms, in Erie Colorado. It has all of the thrills a toddler could handle. Hay rides, animals, pumpkin picking, and music. They also have Colorado’s longest running corn maze and pumpkin patch, but My daughter was to young to enjoy it.

On Halloween eve we went to “Boo At The Zoo“, at the Denver Zoo. It’s a great event for kids under 10. They have stations for trick or treating, costumed animals, and a kids friendly corn maze. This event has been running for 27 years and is a great way to support the zoo or a good excuse to go to the zoo before it’s to cold.

Compiled By: Josh Martin

Sources:
HalloweenHistory.org

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Posted by on October 26, 2013 in Holiday Articles, Parenting

 

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DonorsChoose.org – Video Blog

How does it work?

DonorsChoose.org is an online charity that makes it easy for anyone to help students in need. Public school teachers from every corner of America post classroom project requests on our site, and you can give any amount to the project that most inspires you.

When a project reaches its funding goal, we ship the materials to the school. You’ll get photos of the project taking place, a letter from the teacher, and insight into how every dollar was spent. Give over $50 and you’ll also receive hand-written thank-yous from the students.

Is there a minimum donation?

You can give as little as $1 and get the same level of choice, transparency, and feedback that is traditionally reserved for someone who gives millions.

What happens if a project doesn’t reach its goal?

If a partially funded project expires, donors get their donations returned as account credits, which they can use to:

Choose a new project to support; Have us choose a new project for them, Send the teacher they supported a DonorsChoose.org gift card.

How do you ensure integrity?

We vet every classroom project request, purchase the materials and ship them directly to the school, provide photos of the project taking place, and supply a cost report showing how every dollar was spent.

What kinds of schools do you serve?

K-12 public and charter schools in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

How did DonorsChoose.org start?

Charles Best, a new social studies teacher in the Bronx, often talked with his colleagues about materials and experiences they wanted their students to have, but which they had no funding to support. He created DonorsChoose.org in 2000 so that individuals could connect directly with classrooms in need. Check out our fun timeline.

Are gifts tax-deductible?

As a 501(c)3 charity, donations are tax-deductible to the full extent of US law. Our federal tax ID # is 13-4129457.

How long does a project appear on your site?

Projects can remain on our site for up to 5 months, but teachers can set earlier deadlines if they choose.

What percent of projects are successfully funded?

70%. For more stats, see our impact page.

Does it cost money for teachers to post projects?

No, our website is completely free for teachers to use.

Can I donate the materials themselves rather than make a cash donation?

We’re not set up to handle in-kind donations, but these great organizations are.

What’s your mission?

DonorsChoose.org engages the public in public schools by giving people a simple, accountable and personal way to address educational inequity. We envision a nation where children in every community have the tools and experiences needed for an excellent education.

Source: DonorsChoose.org

 
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Posted by on January 28, 2013 in Parenting, Video Blog

 

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Kia Motors America Partners With B.R.A.K.E.S. Teen Pro-Active Defensive Driving Instruction


tempKia Motors America (KMA) recently partnered with B.R.A.K.E.S. (Be Responsible And Keep Everyone Safe) Teen Pro Active Driving Course to provide more than 150 teenagers ranging in ages 15 1/2 to 19 with advanced training to respond to real-world driving scenarios. B.R.A.K.E.S., with KMA’s support – which included a fleet of 2013 Kia Rios – provided the instruction at no cost in an effort to prevent injuries and save lives by educating teens and their parents about the importance of responsible driving habits.

“Kia’s partnership with B.R.A.K.E.S. is a reflection of the company’s commitment to give back to the communities in which we do business,” said Michael Sprague , executive vice president, marketing & communications, KMA. “Reinforcing the importance of responsible driving in the first few months of licensure is essential to reducing the number of teen motor vehicle crashes and making the roads safer for everyone.”

B.R.A.K.E.S., a 501 c3 charity based in Charlotte, N.C., has provided safe driving instruction courses for more than 8,000 students in the U.S. and Canada. The school offers nearly four hours of hands-on training and a very low student-instructor ratio to ensure personal attention. The curriculum includes an array of defensive driving techniques and raises awareness of the dangers of distracted driving. Parents participate in the courses alongside their teens to ensure safe driving techniques are reinforced following the session.

“More than 5,000 teenagers lose their lives each year across the country in traffic accidents,” said Doug Herbert , B.R.A.K.E.S. founder. “The support of companies such as Kia is invaluable to reducing the number of injuries and saving lives through advanced training.”

Training includes the following:

Accident Avoidance/Slalom: The two-part course simulates an animal or object jumping out in front of a car. It forces students to make a split second reaction to help negotiate a quick, evasive lane change without losing control. Students must navigate their vehicle around cones while focusing on weight transfer, hand positioning and eye scanning.

Distracted Driving: In 2009 it was estimated more than 5,400 people died in crashes that were reported to involve a distracted driver and about 448,000 people were injured1. The course demonstrates the danger that cell phones, text messaging, and other distractions can pose.

Drop Wheel/Off Road Recovery: The drop-wheel recovery course teaches students how to effectively recover from a drop-wheel situation by regaining control of the car and safely returning to the roadway.

tempPanic Stop: Teens often lack the experience needed to judge a safe following distance. The panic stop course instructs students on proper techniques to help stop a vehicle in the shortest distance while maintaining control. Students experience firsthand the effects of ABS and its ability to help keep the wheels from locking while pulsating brake pressure.

Car Control and Recovery: A wet skid pad simulates maintaining control on moist roads. Students learn how to recover from both over-steer (rear wheel) and under-steer (front wheel) skids.

Source: Kia USA

 
 

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One Text Or Call Could Wreck It All – Don’t text and drive


Video Produced By Mazda USA

To help address the issue and show first-hand the risks of texting while driving, AT&T is touring a state-of-the-art virtual reality simulator to demonstrate the dangers of texting while driving in 200+ locations by end of 2012.

We encourage you to share your stories with us, help spread the word about the risks in your communities with our tools and learn more about the laws in your area: www.iihs.org/laws/maptextingbans.aspx*

To pledge your commitment to stop texting while driving, go to itcanwait.com.

* This link is to an external website not operated by AT&T Inc. or any of its affiliated companies.  AT&T is not responsible for the accuracy of its contents.

Source: A.T.T.

Complied By: Josh Martin

 
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Posted by on November 28, 2012 in Parenting, technology, travel, Video Blog

 

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Timeless Christmas Gifts for your Children

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It’s time to get over the sugar rush from Halloween and gear up for the rest of the holidays. I have been thinking of Christmas more than Thanksgiving. Don’t get me wrong I love thanksgiving as much as the next fella, but if you want to make a magical Christmas for your family you should start buying presents yesterday. My best advise is buy on sale and buy early. Every time you go into a Target or Walmart you should go past the sales rack for toys, stocking stuffers, etc.

Not to say I practice what I preach. Every other year I find myself fighting over the last “tickle me Elmo” on Christmas Eve. If you’re like me you procrastinate because you just can’t decide on the perfect gifts. Below is an article from “The Telegraph” that outlines all of the gadgets and toys that are sure to sell out. I hope this helps you to make your mind up and avoid the Christmas eve mania.

(Personally, I want to get my hands on the new “Furby”)

By: Josh Martin
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Children go back to the future this Christmas
By:

Published By: Telegraph.co.uk

Boys can buy the ‘costume’ of each turtle – Leonardo, Michelangelo, Donatello and Raphael – complete with weapon, such as nunchucks.

And fans of the 1990s phenomenon Furby can now buy an updated version of the little round toy. The battery operated hairy creatures speak their own language – Furbish – but will slowly learn English as their new owner nurtures them.

In a modern twist, owners can control the Furby using an iPad app. The app ‘swipes’ food into the mouth of the creature, which acknowledges being fed by chewing. The Furby will even spit unwanted food, such as chicken bones, back onto the iPad’s screen.

Spiderman and Lego, both of which are hardly modern, are also expected to be big sellers this year.

Gary Grant, managing director of toy chain The Entertainer and the chairman of the Dream Toys selection panel, said that there is a trend for parents buying their children toys that grown-ups connect with their own youth.

“If you look at this year’s list, Cabbage Patch Kids came out 30 years ago, Furbies were 15 years ago, Spiderman is one of the all-time favourite superhero characters and Lego has been around for more than 50 years.

“These kinds of products do have parental approval. If there was a product they had as a kid they will buy it for their kids. We lavish some of our childhood on our own children,” said Mr Grant.

A spokesman for Flair, the games manufacturer behind the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles relaunch, said that the products are designed to appeal to children but also their fathers who were into the products the first time around. Fans of the turtles are affectionately known as ‘Sewerheads”, the spokesman said.

“We want to get the dads who were interested then as well as their kids now. There are some dads in their 30s who still have the original figures from the first time,” the spokesman said.

Cabbage Patch Kids, Furbies, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and Twister are among the dolls and games that manufacturers are putting out in time for the £3 billion Christmas toy market.

Cabbage Patch Kids, which originated in the US and became a worldwide craze in the 1980s, will be 30 years old next year and have been relaunched by maker Jakks Pacific.

The dolls, which sold in their millions, have a bizarre back story: they are ‘found’ in vegetable gardens and are ‘adopted’ by children.

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, meanwhile, have been re-released as talking action figures. The franchise about four turtles who live in a sewer and are named after great artists of the Renaissance first came to prominence in the late 1980s with a TV show and series of films.

Boys can buy the ‘costume’ of each turtle – Leonardo, Michelangelo, Donatello and Raphael – complete with weapon, such as nunchucks.

And fans of the 1990s phenomenon Furby can now buy an updated version of the little round toy. The battery operated hairy creatures speak their own language – Furbish – but will slowly learn English as their new owner nurtures them.

In a modern twist, owners can control the Furby using an iPad app. The app ‘swipes’ food into the mouth of the creature, which acknowledges being fed by chewing. The Furby will even spit unwanted food, such as chicken bones, back onto the iPad’s screen.

Spiderman and Lego, both of which are hardly modern, are also expected to be big sellers this year.

Gary Grant, managing director of toy chain The Entertainer and the chairman of the Dream Toys selection panel, said that there is a trend for parents buying their children toys that grown-ups connect with their own youth.

“If you look at this year’s list, Cabbage Patch Kids came out 30 years ago, Furbies were 15 years ago, Spiderman is one of the all-time favourite superhero characters and Lego has been around for more than 50 years.

“These kinds of products do have parental approval. If there was a product they had as a kid they will buy it for their kids. We lavish some of our childhood on our own children,” said Mr Grant.

A spokesman for Flair, the games manufacturer behind the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles relaunch, said that the products are designed to appeal to children but also their fathers who were into the products the first time around. Fans of the turtles are affectionately known as ‘Sewerheads”, the spokesman said.

“We want to get the dads who were interested then as well as their kids now. There are some dads in their 30s who still have the original figures from the first time,” the spokesman said.

By:
Mrs. Fields

 
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Posted by on November 2, 2012 in Holiday Articles, Parenting, Video Blog

 

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Essential Winter Driving Tips For Teens

 

By: Treasure Valley Teen

Many people believe that quick reactions make a good driver. The world’s best drivers are trained to anticipate problems early and direct the vehicle appropriately before they become involved in a problem. Reacting too quickly can be dangerous if the driver’s response is inappropriate. Remember to anticipate problems, respond to them early, avoid panic, and remain calm. The driver and the vehicle are equally important to success on ice and snow. Winter driving can, and should, be an enjoyable, hazard-free experience for everyone.

Teen Driving Tips     

  • Prepare for winter conditions. Car problems that are a nuisance in the summer can turn dangerous in the winter. A thorough check of the cooling, charging, braking and suspension systems is a must; don’t wait until the first winter storm.
  • Use winter tires in winter conditions. An all-season tire is a compromise that will not perform as well as a winter tire. Two identical vehicles, one with all-season tires and one with purpose-built winter tires, will have very different performance levels; traction may vary by as much as fifty percent. If your car has all-season tires, remember that the car in front of you may have winter tires and be able to stop up to 50 percent faster.
  • Have your battery tested before winter arrives. A dead battery is an annoyance during the summer but can become a life-threatening event in a winter blizzard. Even new batteries can lose as much as 40 percent of their cold-cranking ability in cold weather, and worn batteries lose even more.
  • Check exhaust system for leaks. Carbon monoxide is a silent killer. Don’t let a simple exhaust leak ruin a trip or endanger the lives of you and your family.
  • Winter wiper blades. Replace worn wiper blades with new winter blades. Many drivers replace the wiper blades annually when they put on their snow tires.
  • Warm up your car and clear all snow and ice. Visibility is crucial. Safe and responsible vehicle operation requires that front, rear, and side windows are clear. Snow left on the hood will blow onto the windshield and clog wipers as speed increases. Snow left on the roof will blow off and obscure the rear window and the windshield of the car behind. Clearing headlights and taillights will allow you to be seen.
  • Check for snow and ice in the wheel wells. Snow and ice in wheel wells could be detrimental to the control and health of your vehicle. Clear out any snow with a durable scraper. To help prevent snow build up on a slushy day spray the wheel wells with silicone.
  • Be prepared for anything. Even if you don’t become stuck, you may be parked or delayed for extended periods due to accidents, road closures, avalanches or poor visibility. Make sure you are prepared with adequate winter clothes, supplies and emergency equipment. At minimum, carry these essentials items: winter boots, gloves, hats, food, water, cell phone charger, a blanket or sleeping bag, shovel, flashlight (with extra batteries), tow strap, and jumper cables.
  • Test road conditions frequently. When driving in challenging conditions, determine how much traction, or grip, is available. Make sure that no one is behind you and hit the brakes firmly until the wheels lock up. This will give you a clear indication of the grip available at that particular point in time. Over the course of a long trip, repeat this test to continually monitor grip.
  • Know your car, know your brakes. In everyday driving situations, cars with both anti-lock brakes (ABS) and traditional braking systems are basically identical. In an emergency stopping situation, two distinctly different techniques are required. With traditional brakes, the cadence, or pumping technique, is effective, but the driver must lift off of the brake if steering is required to avoid an obstacle. The beauty of ABS is that pressing the brake pedal as hard as possible and holding it there allows the computer to pump the brakes while still maintaining some steering effectiveness. Remember that ABS can’t perform miracles. If you feel ABS engaging during everyday driving, slow down, because you are exceeding the reasonable speed for the conditions.
  • Anticipate difficult situations. Studies have shown that 80 percent of all accidents could be prevented with only one additional second to react. In many situations, this one second can be gained by looking far enough down the road to identify problems.
  • Vehicle spacing on the road. Allow plenty of space between your car and other vehicles. It takes from four to ten times more distance to stop on ice and snow than on dry pavement. Following distances should be adjusted accordingly.
  • Beware of “phantom shoulder” on roads. As snow plows clear the roadway, they use a side-mounted “wing” to push snow well off the side of the road. Many times what appears to be a very wide road or wide shoulder is in fact only snow plowed to the same level as the roadway, hiding steep drop offs. If you must pull to the side of the road, do so slowly and be prepared to steer smoothly back toward the road if the vehicle begins to sink.
  • Use grip (traction) efficiently.  When roads are slippery, use all of the grip (traction) available for one action at a time. Brake only in a straight line prior to the curve when the car is traveling straight. Taking your foot off the brake before you steer into the curve allows you to use all of the grip available just for steering. Accelerate only when you are able to straighten the steering wheel at the exit of the turn. This technique will allow you to be 100 percent effective at each maneuver – braking, steering and accelerating.
  • Be alert at intersections and on hills. Intersections and hills are typically the most slippery portions of the roadway. With numerous drivers braking in the same area, ice becomes ultra-smooth and polished. In the case of hills, drivers may be spinning tires in the same area with an identical result. By identifying these areas, drivers can brake or accelerate in areas that offer better grip, such as in fresh snow, or areas that are not so polished. When stopping on ice, brake harder early and then become lighter on the pedal as the car slows. This allows for precise adjustment in the event that a surprisingly slippery spot is encountered.
  • Turn on your headlights. Whenever daytime visibility is less than perfect, turning on your lights allows you to see, and just as important, to be seen by others. Use this rule of thumb:  wipers on, lights on. When traveling in snowy weather, remember to clear your taillights, signal lights, and headlamps regularly. High-quality fog lights, mounted low and aimed properly, low and wide, offer a dramatic improvement in low-visibility conditions. Remember to turn fog lights off in city traffic; it’s not practical or polite to leave them on.
  • When driving at night. Leave headlamps on low beam when driving in snow and fog. This practice minimizes reflection and glare, improves visibility, and reduces eye fatigue. When oncoming cars approach, focus on the right side of the roadway to help maintain good vision.
  • Don’t overestimate the capability of SUVs. Many drivers mistakenly believe that four-wheel drive is a cure-all. SUVs do have specific benefits, but they have limitations, as well. Every type of vehicle, regardless of which wheels propel the car, depends on four small contact patches where the tire meets the road for traction. This small contact area is the limiting factor of any vehicle on a slippery surface. Four-wheel drive does not improve braking or cornering effectiveness.
  • Learn to read the terrain. Bridges and overpasses ice over faster than normal roads because they don’t have the warmth of the earth underneath them. Shady areas cool more quickly than areas in full sun. At dusk or the onset of a winter storm, take notice of areas that never get direct sun and expect ice there. The shadows from large trees, buildings, mountains and even billboards can cause isolated icy spots. With just a bit of practice, drivers can identify these problem spots in advance.
  • Use floor mats for traction. The floor mats of most vehicles can be used as a tool if you are stuck. Simply turn the mats upside down and place them under the drive wheels as a traction aid.
  • Wear quality sunglasses. Good sunglasses help highlight changes in the terrain and road surface even in low-visibility conditions.

By: Treasure Valley Teen

 
 

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