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Deportation for tailgating

Deportation for tailgating

by digby

Can anyone explain the political logic of this to me?
Sen. Gustavo Rivera, a frequent critic of the federal Secure Communities program, expressed significant “disappointment” during a CapTon interview last night with the Obama administration’s reversal on allowing states to opt out.

S-Comm, as it has come to be known, compels local law enforcement officers to share information about new arrests with federal immigration authorities. The goal is to deport illegal immigrants with criminal records. Instead, critics mantain, the program has largely impacted individuals who have committed either no offenses or relatively minor crimes.

In June, Gov. Andrew Cuomo heeded the calls of immigrant advocates and law enforcement officials and suspended New York’s participation in S-Comm, although he did not completely withdraw from the program.

Two other governors – Deval Patrick, of Massachusetts; and Patrick Quinn, of Illinois – also quit S-Comm. (PAtrick’s move was particularly interesting, since he is the country’s only black governor and shares a political strategist, David Axelrod, with Obama, the country’s first black president).

Last week, the Obama administration quietly had the Homeland Security Department terminante its memorandum of agreements with the state on S-Comm, essentially forcing governors to participate in the program whether they want to or not.
What's this about?

President Barack Obama regularly says his administration is enforcing immigration laws more wisely than his predecessor by focusing on arresting the "worst of the worst." He promised in his 2008 presidential campaign to focus immigration enforcement on dangerous criminals. As recently as May 10, Obama said in a speech in El Paso, Texas, that his administration was focused on violent offenders and not families or "folks who are looking to scrape together an income."

Most of the immigrants deported last year had committed drug-related crimes. They totaled 45,003, compared with 36,053 in 2008. Drug-related crime – described as the manufacture, distribution, possession or sale of drugs – has been the No. 1 crime among immigration for years. Drunken driving was third in the number of offenses last year...

But the rise in traffic offenders in the deportation statistics and in some other categories worries immigration advocates, particularly because traffic stops are largely made by police, sheriff's deputies and state highway patrol officers. Local law enforcement has become more involved in immigration enforcement because of new programs that encourage it.

Officers "are using their new authority to remove as many unauthorized people from their jurisdictions as they can, and that frequently means going after traffic violators instead of serious criminals," said Muzaffar Chishti, director of the Migration Policy Institute's office at New York University Law School. The institute is a Washington-based think tank on migration

The only people closely following this ever expanding crusade against illegal immigrants are members of the Hispanic community and the white supremacist types who are fixated on the issue. Everyone else has other things to worry about right now and migration from south of the border is down, due to the bad economy. So what's the purpose of this ongoing harassment of immigrants? It will certainly not gain the votes of any of the white supremacists (duh) and the Hispanic community is appalled. Does the administration think the vaunted Independents will reward them for this too? Or do they simply believe that harassing Hispanics is a good policy on the merits?

It's one thing to alienate activist liberals. The worst that probably happens is they keep their money and spend their time elsewhere, which the billion dollar campaign apparently doesn't seem to think will make a difference for them. But adding to that by also actively alienating Latinos with cruel deportation policies and harassment has to result in a statistically measurable drop in votes. At what point does this relentless pursuit of non-Democratic voters at the expense of the base become electorally self-defeating?

h/t to debcoop

Firefox 6 breaks out ahead of schedule, gets official August 16th

It looks like the sly fox is ready to make its worldwide debut a few days early. In typical Mozilla fashion, a complete build of Firefox 6 is now unofficially available for your downloading pleasure, three days ahead of schedule. If you're looking for a major facelift to the desktop edition, you won't find one here -- most of the new features aren't cosmetic. Perhaps most visibly, you'll find the domain name of the page you're parked on highlighted in the address bar. On the Android side, version 6 makes much bigger promises, like a "fresh visual style in Chrome Gingerbread," enhanced image scaling, and, perhaps most importantly, it's "faster and uses less memory." We've downloaded the desktop version of the browser ourselves, and we've found the release quite snappy. If you're not afraid of a little pre-release downloading, you can catch the (desktop) fox at the source links below. And as per usual, please let us know how it's treating you.

Firefox 6 breaks out ahead of schedule, gets official August 16th originally appeared on Engadget on Sat, 13 Aug 2011 14:14:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

Permalink TechnoBolt  |  sourceMozilla (Linux), (Mac), (Windows)  | Email this | Comments

Can you guess who this is?

Can you guess who this is?

by digby

He's always had very well groomed hair, hasn't he? His lovely brown shirt is very crisp and he looks mighty fine in those shiny jackboots. Nice dog sweater too. Very cute.

Note the date on the Letterman sweater proudly displayed in both pics. I was around then, a little younger, and let's just say that this fashion wasn't exactly in the youth mainstream at the time.

Remind you of anyone?


Observation ‘o the day

Observation 'o the day

by digby


A week ago, before the S&P downgrade, the interest rate on US 10-year bonds was 2.56 percent. As I write this, it’s 2.24 percent, with the yield on inflation-protected bonds actually negative.

You would think this would amount to strong evidence that the downgrade totally failed to shake confidence in US debt.

Yet people who listen to radio and TV reporting tell me that most stories attribute the stock plunge to the downgrade, and are telling listeners that the case for immediate spending cuts has gotten even stronger.

I heard this on talk radio yesterday. Stock are volatile because of the S&P downgrade and that means "the market" is demanding more human sacrifices.

One of the things I've come to bank on in the last few month is the opportunism of the austerity addicts. They are brilliant at spinning each event to their own advantage.

And many members of the press, as usual, are more than willing to buy the storyline.


Perry’s Arcana [bioephemera]


From 1810-11, architect and amateur naturalist George Perry published The Arcana, a lavishly illustrated, serial natural history magazine. Although Perry intended for the serial issues to be assembled by his subscribers into a book, only thirteen complete copies are known to survive today. More than a third of the known copies are in Australia - perhaps fittingly, as Perry was the first to publish an illustration of the koala (above).

Perry's work is not well known; in researching this post, all I could find online were auction listings and occasional references to a recent facsimile edition edited by Richard Petit. (Be prepared for sticker shock - it's not cheap). Harvard's Ernst Mayr Library has a copy of the facsimile, though, so I walked over yesterday morning to have a look.

Read the rest of this post... |

Also check out the featured ScienceBlog of the week: Inside the Outbreaks on the ScienceBlogs Book Club


Romney Doubles Down by David Atkins

Romney Doubles Down
by David Atkins ("thereisnospoon")

Mitt Romney knows the "people" he can really count on, and he's determined to stand up for his best friends:

At a friendly Republican gathering here tonight, presidential candidate Mitt Romney defended his recent comment in Iowa that “corporations are people” and said Democrats fundamentally misunderstand corporations’ makeup. “Businesses are people,” he said.

“What do they think they are? Little men from Mars?” Romney said at the home of Ovide Lamontagne, a prominent New Hampshire Republican and former Senate candidate.

Romney said the Obama administration’s view of business is antiquated and stuck in the 1960s.

“At that time, there was a sentiment somehow that businesses were bad, that it was anti-people. And the Obama administration seems to think that the 60s is here again. Business is good. I am talking about repair shops and gas stations and beauty salons and restaurants. I am talking about Apple Computer and Facebook and Microsoft,” Romney said.

Ahem...uh...Mitt? You might want to rethink that line about the 1960s. Even your own propaganda organ the American Enterprise Institute has to admit that the economy of the 1960s was pretty smokin':

The first five years of the expansion that began in February 1961 resembled the golden age of the current expansion. That golden age only emerged in 1995, four years after the expansion began. From 1961 through 1965, U.S. private investment grew strongly, more rapidly than it did from 1991 through 1995...

The first half of the 1960s expansion was also characterized by extreme optimism about the ability of the government to manage the economy.

Now, the AEI then goes on to argue, in a piece written around the Millennium, that the cutting of government regulations and increases in private sector wealth and stock prices meant that conservative policies were working much better than those benighted fools of the 1960s who figured Keynesian policies were the answer. Which only proves that anyone who pays attention to the prognostications and ideological ramblings of the AEI is an economic incompetent.

Anyway, let's ignore the plainly laughable notion that Barack Obama is a 1960s liberal, or even anywhere to the left of Richard Nixon from a public policy standpoint (Nixon's fascistic political tendencies and racism notwithstanding.) Remember that in the 1960s, not only could America land a man on the moon, fight a Cold War against a massive superpower, and build an entire nationwide highway system, we could also provide practically free college educations to anyone who qualified. Good thing those awful days are over, and the world is much friendlier to corporations that employ just under 2,000 people while thieving your privacy and racking up a 25% profit margin while doing it. Or corporations that somehow maintain credibility with progressives despite selling overpriced products at a 42% profit margin. Or, you know, beloved people the world over. People like his best friend Mr. John Microsoft.

Hey, you may have to go $100,000 in student loan debt, your bridges may be in disrepair, your water mains may not work, we may have to cut back your social security and get rid of your Medicare, we may not have a space program left, but look on the bright side: you can get an iPod with your McJob today! Couldn't do that in 1965. No sirree. Ain't life grand today now we're so much more business-friendly?

Well, maybe not for you. But it sure is swell for the $250 million man. His best friends have made him a lot of money. They're people, too, and you hippies should be grateful for all the money he's made, now that your lives have been vast improved by the privilege of being poked by his friend Mark Zuckerberg Mr. Adam Facebook. All rights reserved, of course.

40 Latest Premium Magazine WordPress Themes From 2011: Top Quality Ensured

So you’ve decided to launch a magazine/newsletter type of website, have figured it all out but don’t know anything about the technical stuff? Don’t worry, that’s not a problem since many great CMS services such as WordPress and theme marketplaces like ThemeForest are around. A magazine/newsletter type of website will always generate a lot of content and attract many visitors therefore you need to choose a theme that’s practical, responsive, good-looking, yet integrated with an efficient CMS system. Where to get all that? Should you hire a professional designer and developer? You might do that, however since there’s a number of various awesome theme marketplaces there’s no need to. At these marketplaces you can purchase high-quality unique premium themes for ridiculously low prices. Continue reading to discover 40 fresh and stunning premium magazine/newsletter WordPress themes.

1. Pulse ($35)


Pulse is a robust and capable News/Magazine type WordPress theme. Use this theme to setup an industry news site, a tutorial site, freebies site with downloads and give-a-ways, or even just for use as a blog theme. Pulse comes equipped with 8 custom widgets, 8 unique page templates, 10 color schemes, 5 different post layouts, and oodles of theme options.

2. Avenue ($35)


Avenue is a feature rich WordPress magazine theme and is suitable for almost any niche. The theme comes with an inbuilt review system and three post formats (videos, audio & galleries). The homepage layout is very flexible, you can build your own layout using the three homepage widgets. You can also easily change the skin so it fits your needs.

3. The Network ($35)


The Network is designed to generate page views and encourage discussion and contribution while also incorporating social network sharing. The Network features self hosted MP4 video support and a customized Nivo Slider. Perhaps the crowning jewel is the easy to use clickable background advertising that allows you to blend eye catching advertising into your websites design.

4. Blogitty ($35)


This new modern, creative and elegant WordPress theme is suitable for any blog, magazine, business or personal site and comes with many feature like multiple skins, homepage manager, solid back end, 100+ shortcodes, custom widgets and much more.

5. mag.Press ($30)


mag.Press is ‘Magazine’ theme from Obox, joining the likes of their two best sellers InkDrop and Press.

6. Vetee Magazine ($35)


Vetee Magazine is a clean and professional WordPress magazine theme. This theme is also good for business and corporate sites. Packed with some awesome features such as different color schemes and multiple sidebars. Plus a built-in Unbranded Theme Options Panel.

7. Continuum ($35)


Stop fussing with lengthy setups; Continuum immediately works perfectly. Of course, with almost 200 theme options, you can customize it to no end. Continuum was designed and built by a die-hard blogger who has used magazine-style WordPress templates for 5+ years. It is best used for newspaper and magazine blogs, but because of all of the custom widgets, shortcodes, page templates, unique sidebars, and custom menus, it can be molded into whatever kind of site you want, like a portfolio site for example.

8. Brink ($35)


Brink is ideal for a website that publishes a lot of articles across multiple categories. The theme uses dropdown menus, featured carousels and post thumbnails in a cohesive and intuitive layout, making your content shine.

9. Premium Pixels ($35)


The Premium Pixels theme is perfect for the blogger who takes pride in their appearance. This theme has appeared in numerous design galleries while serving and has gained countless ‘nods of approval’ from those in the know. Now it’s all yours.

10. Widezine ($35)


Widezine is a wide (liquid / fluid layout), clean, minimalistic, modern, premium WordPress magazine, which also doubles as a community blog, news, editorial or whatever you’d like to use it for.

11. Editorial ($70)


Editorial is a magazine theme which gives you complete control over your post layouts. Each post can be styled uniquely with 1,2 or 3 column layouts. A featured slider, customizable header space, and AJAX powered category posts module allows for your content to be the core focus of your website.

12. Canvas ($70)


Canvas is WooThemes most ambitious theme to date. Every element of Canvas is highly customizable through the options panel, so you can make the design, layout and typography exactly like you want. If you are after a highly customizable blog design or just a starter theme for your next client project, then Canvas will most definitely work for you.

13. Aggregate ($39 per subscription)


Aggregates comes packed with tons of content and widget-ready areas, and manages to display everything in a clear and readable manner. We have also added some handy new widgets, as well as many new advertisement areas. If you have been searching for a feature-rich Magazine-style theme for your blog, then look no further.

14. TheStyle ($39 per subscription)


Now you can share your content with style. Featuring a crisp, modern design, TheStyle will give your blog that unique visual impact you have been looking for. With its unique jQuery-enhanced fluid width design, your posts always get displayed in a way that is best suited for your visitor’s resolution.

15. DailyNotes ($39 per subscription)


DailyNotes is the simplest and most elegant medium possible through which you can share your daily life. The theme is very minimal in its design, and has been trimmed down to the bare essentials. For anyone looking to create a fun and inviting personal blog, the DailyNotes will serve you well.

16. DelicateNews ($39 per subscription)


DelicateNews is a content-heavy magazine theme wrapped in an elegant and “delicate” shell. Featuring a 3-column grid and many homepage content outlets, this theme gives you the opportunity to feature tons of content without making your website feel cramped or messy.

17. Telegraph ($69)


Telegraph is a professional WordPress magazine theme with a compact layout great for content-rich web-sites. Can be easily customized via Theme Options page.

18. Magazinum ($69)


Magazinum is a stylish theme with an innovative design which is perfect for magazine websites of any topics, like: fashion, celebrities, movies and entertainment.

19. Technologic ($69)


Flexible theme that allows you to promote featured contents and featured categories. Even though it was designed with tech, gaming, and gadgets blogs in mind, its powerful layout has no limits.

20. Newstock ($35)


Newstock is a Premium WordPress News or Magazine theme. It is ready to start working out of the box with a multitude of theme options and custom widgets to help you personalize your environment.

21. Comsenz ($35)


Comsenz is an advanced WordPress magazine theme with a ton of features. The theme has a brandable theme option panel, yes that’s right. An option panel in which your able to add your own brand, no third party logos and text anymore.

22. MediaFlux ($35)


MediaFlux is a great magazine WordPress theme for news, community or personal blogger with clean designed and neat coded. The rich theme admin panel and widgets enable you to control over your content, manage your advertisement, show your latest tweet, video, photos and much more.

23. Bulldog ($35)


Bulldog is a Premium Professional WordPress Newspaper Theme. If you or your company provide any form of news service, a local newspaper, newsletter, or even a blog and you’re seeking a truly professional way to present your content, then Bulldog is the solution for you.

24. Modest (free)


Modest is the perfect crisp, clean & minimal WordPress Theme. It was designed with a focus on well blended typography to bring out the real content within your site.

25. Typozine ($49)


WordPress Premium theme with minimalist design and typography-rich. Best suits for magazine sites that focus on contents and advertisements more than others.

26. Sleek ($49)


Looking for a clean and smart theme for your site? Do you run a news or magazine site? Sleek will suit your site. Preloaded with KreativeAdmin v2 and WP 3.0 ready theme.

27. MiniMagazine ($65)


Create a magazine website for News, entertainment or any other purpose in WordPress. This theme with a minimalist design and great typography focuses on content, and will give your site that unique look

28. Advanced Newspaper ($59)


Online Newspaper is just a step ahead now. With Advance Newspaper you can set up and run your very own e-newspaper site just in matter of minutes only.

29. BlogNews ($59)


BlogNews is a multi-purpose and stylish magazine theme with a unique homepage that is aimed to those who want a more professional feel to their site.

30. Linepress ($59)


Built on the latest Gabfire framework, with LinePress, we wanted to harness the look and feel of an online newspaper, but maintain the ease of a standard blog.

31. TheNews ($29)


TheNews is an elegant and clean news/magazine theme. Fully customizable with our options page framework FlexiPanel.

32. Massive Press ($75)


Massive Press is a brand new Magazine/News theme including a very clean grid-based layout. The entire home page is 100% customizable via custom WordPress widgets which allows you to configure your website just the way you like it.

33. Debut ($75)


Debut 2.0 is the rebirth of the initial Debut theme by Luke McDonald. This theme is carefully crafted with a multitude of usage options as well as all the theme customization options you need to do the job. Built with the latest web technologies (jQuery, CSS3, and HTML5), you can expect your site to rock all major browsers for years to come.

34. Linen ($68)


A clean and flexible magazine style theme. Features custom typography options, custom background support, and a featured post slider.

35. The Bernard ($50)


A newspaper theme designed by the legendary Brian Hoff. Clear typography and a solid grid structure define this feature rich theme.

36. Press Two ($50)


Press Two is a complete re-write of Obox Designs most successful theme, Press. Advanced features such as Custom Post types and our Typography Manager give you more control over this minimalist magazine theme than you could dream of.

37. Magazine Theme ($69)


The Magazine Theme is well suited for online magazines and professional blogs. The theme is easily customizable to match your particular brand.

38. Suburbia (free)


Suburbia is a clean and flexible WordPress grid-based magazine theme designed in a modern and minimalist style. This theme is also suitable for blogs and misc. projects. Suburbia supports all WordPress 3.0 features and gives you an extra flexibility in every single step you make.

39. Verbage ($69)


The Verbage Theme boasts a clean, modern design with a heavy focus on typography. It’s the perfect theme for blogger’s, author’s and editor’s.

40. Newsy ($39)


A 3 column news/editorial themes that allows for various advertising display options. Newsy comes with 11 different layout options which include the setting to display a column or list layout with 2 sidebars, 1 sidebar, or no sidebar at all.


How the Sun works, from the inside out [Starts With A Bang]

" is reasonable to hope that in the not too distant future we shall be competent to understand so simple a thing as a star." -Arthur Eddington, 1926
(For Mike H., who wanted to know.)

The Sun -- like nearly all stars -- burns bright through its nuclear reactions, sending light, heat and energy out into the Universe over a timespan of billions of years.


(Image credit: NASA / ISS / Space Shuttle Atlantis.)

But it didn't need to be that way. With the mass of about 300,000 Earths, nearly all of it in the form of hydrogen fuel, you can just as easily imagine a huge nuclear explosion on the scale of an entire star, burning all of the Sun's fuel up in a tiny fraction of the time.


Let's take a look inside, and find out why the Sun takes billions of years to burn its fuel up. And let's start by comparing the Sun with the rest of our neighbors: the planets in our Solar System.


(Image credit: Jeff Root at

When you take a look at the inner planets, it's no surprise that Mercury, the smallest planet, is also the least massive. Mars is next, followed by Venus and Earth, which are close in both mass and size. And this makes a whole lot of sense: you pile more and more atoms on top of one another, and where you've got more atoms, you get a larger and more massive object in the end. But at the heavy end, there's a bit of a surprise.

Saturn -- the second largest planet in our Solar System -- is nearly the same size as Jupiter, with a diameter about 85% as large as its Jovian superior. But in terms of mass? Saturn has only one-third the mass of Jupiter! To understand what's going on, we've got to go down to the atomic level.


(Image credit: Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, retrieved here.)

There's not some atomic catastrophe at play here, where Jupiter is made out of gold or some other incredibly dense element. Instead, Jupiter and Saturn are made out of nearly identical stuff, but Jupiter really has about three times as much of it as Saturn does.

The big difference is that Jupiter has so much mass that the atoms themselves start to compress one another at the center, packing them tighter and tighter together as more mass accumulates.

This has gotten really fascinating as we've discovered planets outside the Solar System, because as planets get much more massive than Jupiter, they start to get even smaller in size.


(Image credit: F, Fressin et al., 2007, retrieved from here.)

As you make your object more and more massive, it continues to shrink and shrink. By time your planet is about 13 times as massive as Jupiter -- or about 8% as massive as the Sun -- the hydrogen atoms at the core are so dense and under so much pressure that they can actually begin fusing together into heavier elements!


(Image credit: Randy Russell, of the proton-proton chain fusion process.)

And when that happens, your "too-big-to-be-a-planet" mass expands. When you were just a planet, gravity pulls inwards on all of your atoms, attempting to collapse them down to as small a space as possible, but the atoms themselves can resist it. But once you achieve too great a density at too high a pressure, and fusion starts, you begin turning mass into energy. And what does this energy -- in the form of radiation -- do?

It pushes outwards. Rather than atoms holding up a star against gravity, it's now the radiation from the nuclear fusion you began. A low-mass star like a Red Dwarf is many times larger than Jupiter, while a star as massive as the Sun is significantly larger still.


(Image credit: NASA and SeRgio.)

And for our Sun, the energies we're talking about are huge! Every single second, the Sun fuses six hundred million tonnes of hydrogen into helium! And while that gives us a huge amount of energy, remember that the Sun itself is also huge.


(Image credit: NJK / Solar Navigator.)

Those six hundred million tonnes of hydrogen that get fused every second happen in the Sun's core: the innermost 20% of the Sun (by radius). But remember that the Sun is 700,000 km in radius; you could line up more than 100 Earths across its diameter! If you break it down by volume, you find that the Sun produces "only" about 300 Watts per cubic meter, or the amount of body heat generated by two adult male humans.


(So yes, a crowd of humans the size of the Sun's core could produce just as much heat as the Sun, in theory. That is, as long as you can keep them alive.)

This is probably very different than your conventional view of fusion, which likely takes a small "mass" like this...


...and turns it into a huge, many-mile-wide explosion, like this.

The rate of fusion is largely determined by the size of your star's core. For our Sun, something like 99% of its fusion takes place in the innermost 24% of the star. For a lower-mass star, the core is progressively smaller and smaller, driving the rate of fusion down substantially.

Paradoxically, then, the lower your star is in terms of mass, the dimmer it is, the cooler and redder it is, and the longer-lived it is, too!


(Image credit: No copyrights!)

A G-type star like our Sun may live from 10-15 billion years, while a low-mass, dim red dwarf star (an M-star) may live anywhere from hundreds of billions to many trillions of years, far longer than the age of the Universe!

But on the other side, as you get more and more massive, your fusion-burning core gets progressively larger and larger. The largest, bluest O-stars weigh in at more than 100 times the mass of our Sun, and burn through their entire complement of hydrogen fuel in less than one million years!

Amazingly, for all hydrogen-burning stars like our Sun, the only major determinant for the star's lifetime is its mass.


(Image credit: SOHO / NASA / ESA.)

So even though it might not look it, the reason the Sun burns its fuel at the rate it does is because this is the right rate for its mass. Given that nuclear fusion produces the radiation necessary to cancel out the Sun's gravitational force throughout its interior, it's this nuclear burning that keeps the Sun from either expanding or contracting. (Variable stars have missed this equilibrium mark, and expand due to too much radiation, then don't produce enough radiation and contract, and then fuse more atoms together and expand again.) The larger your star is, the more radiation is pushing out and the faster you're burning through your fuel.

And that's how the Sun works, from the inside out!

Read the comments on this post...

Also check out the featured ScienceBlog of the week: Inside the Outbreaks on the ScienceBlogs Book Club


Friday sand kitten blogging

Friday sand kitten blogging

by digby

Talking kittens:

A rare baby Sand Cat was born to Israel’s Safari Zoo recently. Once a common cat in the dunes of Israel, the cat has become basically extinct in the region. The newborn has given hope to conversationalists who hope one day to reintroduce the Sand Cat to the wild.

I love to converse about baby sand cats. And I love to look at them too. More adorable pics at the link.


Corporations are family

Corporations are family

by digby

What would we do without Colbert?

Apparently, the most fatuous gasbag on MSNBC has decided he's a danger to the Republic but, as usual, he's totally missing the point. This country is so saturated with marketing and propaganda that satire is now the only way political truth can be communicated.

For a nice tribute to just how important Colbert is, read this piece on Daily Kos.


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