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An Artist Just Invented Legit Pairs of ‘They Live’ Sunglasses, Which Literally Filter Out Digital Advertisements


They Live was a documentary, the late “Rowdy” Roddy Piper always insisted.

In John Carpenter’s They Live, a slice of sci-fi social commentary that’s as relevant today as ever, Piper’s character comes across a special pair of black sunglasses that allow him to see what’s really going on in the world around him. When he puts them on, he realizes alien overlords have taken over, and media & advertisements hide hidden messages of control.

Obey. Consume. Reproduce. Conform.

Thirty years after the release of They Live, artist Ivan Cash has invented an actual, real-life pair of the fictional sunglasses seen in the film, dubbed IRL Glasses. How do they work? Well, the glasses allow you to live IRL (in real life) by blocking LCD/LED screens through horizontal polarized optics. By flattening and rotating the polarized lens 90 degrees, light emitted by LCD/LED screens is blocked, making it look like the TV or computer in front of you is off.

The They Live-inspired sunglasses are currently in BETA, and will eventually be designed to filter out TVs (LCD/LED), computers (LCD/LED), smartphones and digital billboards (OLED). For now, however, they’re only compatible with most TVs and some computers.

Cash’s “IRL Glasses” are currently being funded through Kickstarter, with the $25,000 goal amount nearly met at the time of writing this article. Pairs start at just $49 each.

Disconnect. Reconnect.

All I Want Is a 'Freddy Got Fingered' Visor

And it's all Movie Promotional Merch Unlimited Twitter account's fault.


One of the things I miss most about my life before quarantine was the act of spending weekend afternoons in antique stores. I think I developed this behavior in college, but it really is a lifelong thing. Archiving the past is soothing. Every time I get incredibly anxious about something and have time to kill, I usually head over to an antique store and rifle through piles and piles of dusty shit that used to belong to someone who is probably dead. I look at old French courting couple lamps and imagine them sitting in my living room. I pick up comedy records from the '60s and think about whipping them out during a dinner party. For obvious reasons, I can’t do that anymore. There is no physical space for me to participate in this activity. All I have now is my phone.

I think it was something like my tenth hour on Twitter the day I saw a Von Dutch-style trucker hat in cornflower blue that said White Chicks on it. Obviously, I thought to myself, 'That White Chicks hat is perfect.' Could you imagine just owning something like that? Like, does anyone even know what White Chicks is about anymore? The whole thing was wildly 2004, which is the year that movie came out and also the height of the Von Dutch era. I opened up the photo and clicked on the account, Movie Promotional Merch Unlimited, and started scrolling further. A whole Twitter full of terrible movie merch, mostly from the '90s and the aughts. Everything on the account is totally awful, but also the greatest, and it represents what is truly the bottom of the barrel of movies that came out roughly twenty years ago. Scrolling through this account feels like walking through a bad estate sale. It is exactly what I needed right now.

Since my meet-cute with the account I have probably spent a grand total of eight hours mining content. There’s a promotional visor and a foam finger to celebrate the debut of the movie Freddy Got FingeredMy initial thought when seeing this Cheeto-colored visor is something along the lines of “Damn, can’t wait till quar is over so I can wear a visor on Brighton Beach,” but then my brain gear shifts and I start thinking about this movie. Like, what the hell was Freddy Got Fingered about? After doing the bare minimum amount of research, I realize that the movie is not really about anything and that it was universally panned. So many of the movies on this account are similarly obscure. There is a pair of Chronicles of Riddick goggles, but also a pen(?), and a literal rock that looks like a giant booger that says THE THING on it, to celebrate the movie Fantastic FourOnce again, I truthfully have no idea what either of these movies are about even though I have technically seen Fantastic Four. It doesn’t really matter what these movies are about. It really just matters what they represent, which is the complete and total void that plagued the cultural shift that manifested itself at the beginning of this century. 

The most obvious question to ask when looking through this account is: why did someone think any of this merch was a good idea? What was so appealing to whomever worked on the promotional side of things to make, I don’t know, a “gold” keychain of Yoda, in anticipation of the second worst Star Wars movie of all time (The Phantom Menace). Who was the mastermind behind making a red lace thong as promo materials for John Tucker Must DieLike seriously? Why! Some questions, I suppose, are best left unanswered. For now, all I can count on is that scrolling through this account will continue to work as an appropriate meal substitute for the hunger I have towards rifling through other people’s terrible, dusty garbage by rifling through... our culture's terrible, dusty garbage.

SPF420 Are Internet Stoner Punks Who Want To Change Live-Stream Clubbing

"There's no cover charge, there's no bar – and you can bring your own drugs.”

(since SPF420 has returned we have decided to reprint this old article on HUNK, and be sure to scope the 4/20 show; flyer posted below)

A few years ago, I may not have found watching a killer line up of DJs on an A/V live stream hard to imagine, but maybe to the extent to which Boiler Room has done. Remember back in 2010, when Hudson Mohawke played? One camera in a student digs-looking room with people hanging out, listening to hip hop? Since then, Boiler Room has proved that old quip about modern art - "I could have done that..." "Yeah, but you didn't, did you?" - by taking available technologies and a DIY mind-set to bring the music straight to us. 
I've heard people complain about these streams ("No one's dancing!", "The sound's crap!"), but that's overshadowed by the fact that kids in countries where clubbing is either shit or non-existent can watch world-class talent play in a room thousands of miles away, and it's all live. There's something beautiful in that - and the late 2000s has seen this sentiment drive a rapidly expanding enterprise. From friends mucking about on Ustream to Boiler Room's globetrotting events, streams like these are now a largely accepted facet of electronic music culture, and have created shifts in attitudes towards the realities of clubbing: about what clubbing should deliver in an age where anyone with an internet connection can "get locked in" - and host. 
Two weeks ago, I watched a crew of kids host a live stream called SPF420Ryan HemsworthSaint Pepsi and half a dozen others flinging themselves around on a live stream via YouTube (which got killed off because of "copyright infringement issues"), then on TinyChat; playing the kind of high energy stabs of electronic pop that have made vaporware A Thing, getting stoned, and freaking out about every last transition in the chat room.
It turns out that SPF420 are Liz and Chaz, from North Carolina and Illinois respectively, who have been running these live streams from multiple locations ever since they started chatting years ago on Turntable FM. "We would all hang out and listen to whatever; Lil B, Salem sped up 33%, sometimes our own tracks", explains Liz. They're "super close, real life friends" - who had never met until a fortnight ago. "Except for this past week at SXSW, we did everything online together. We are close, real life friends - just, on the internet."
Liz and Chaz are two self-confessed introverts. Speaking to them, starting SPF420 seems the logical next step for a generation who have grown up with multiple identity-shaping platforms (LiveJournal and MySpace in the early days, Twitter and Facebook now necessary appendages), and use the phrase "IRL" in conversation – which they do constantly. It's a habit that seems to stem from a fairly rigid separation of what is and is not an experience guided by the internet for them. "I used to book IRL shows" says Liz, "but I got tired of them. I got tired of house shows. I got tired of the North Carolina scene. It's basically just a big cock-fest. I'd go see bands and end up hating it; people just yelling, harassing, being super drunk. You're always being looked at. I feel IRL shows just aren't enjoyable because you're not comfortable."
Chaz goes one further. "I hate IRL shows because I can't go to them. I'm underage. I'm 19. I've had to turn shows down. If I went, I wouldn't be able to go out and smoke a cigarette and go back in - even if I was playing. IRL shows just suck to me." Would you not just sneak in, if an artist you liked was playing your town? "Well, the producers I love don't play everywhere. Some of them don't even play shows. I'd rather see them online than fly to NY to see them play in the corner of some terrible warehouse party." 
Yet, doesn't sitting in your room listening to music not compare to the immediacy of a sound-system and - romantic as it sounds - a room full of people who are all experiencing it in real-time? "Of course, I love the sound of live music in an IRL setting", says Liz. "Everything is so enhanced and beautiful. I just don't like live atmosphere. There's so much going on that could distract you from the performer. Why would we do that to ourselves?"
So, the live experience of clubbing can be divorced from club music for you? "The funny thing is that old punks will think of us as little bitches; who 'Don't know what real music is till they see it live', but they're old farts", says Chaz. "We're the new punks, who sleep all day and smoke kush. I like listening to music in my room, and I like listening to music with friends online. So, SPF420 is perfect for me." 
Liz's investment in the stream is partly out of a desire to create a social environment in which people can enjoy club music in a new, more individualised way. "I like SPF420 because I can talk to my friends and feel safe", she confirms. "I can promote artists I love, and read what my friends are saying. At an IRL show, you either can't or don't talk to the few people you're there with. Online, you can talk. There's no cover charge, there's no bar – and you can bring your own drugs."
Aside from wanting to just get stoned in their bedrooms, SPF420 seems to have been born out of natural introvertedness, a gradual disdain for the accepted social experience of clubbing  – and genuinely interesting takes on what producers should and should not be expected to do as performers. "We want total artist freedom because I'm well aware that at a lot of IRL shows, you're basically just putting the artist in a corner", says Liz. "I don't like that. The producer isn't necessarily  a DJ. I like the artist doing what they want to do. We had Tobacco come and play pretty much all unfinished demos of his new album. It was fucking dope. Bear Face wanted the 'Bound 2' video looped on repeat. If that's what you want to do, we'll do it for you."
How has SPF420 grown since you met on Turntable FM? "Producer friends of ours wanted to join us after the first stream, which was just us, so we just did another, and another", says Chaz. "Sometimes we'd cold-call artists we like and ask them to play - if we think they'd fuck with it." And how has that worked out? "We've not had any negative responses towards the idea of it from anyone we've approached, especially the community aspect. When we break it down to an artist, either they love it or they might get confused by it. The cold-calling can be kind of difficult. They usually seemed interested, but puzzled as to how to do the in-the-bedroom thing."
So if a producer can just log in from their home to be part of the stream, what's the aesthetic pull for those playing, and the audience watching? "Our shows are tailored fit to each artist", explains Chaz. "We don't just throw 5 people together and say, 'Let's do this'. It's a concept that blossoms. We ask one artist who they'd like to play with, then we think, 'Who would we have to accompany this artist?' We ask a visual artist - we're a crew of about 15 or so right now - and without their visuals and flyers, we wouldn't have a strong enough tone for the shows."
In a culture where these live streams are populating the internet at a rapid rate, what makes SPF420 different from a Boiler Room or Just Jam session? "Well, I promote the artists in the chat during the stream. We moderate, and people can chat to each other via the TinyChat format", says Liz. "It has a more lively atmosphere. What sets us apart from ventures like Boiler Room and Just Jam is that those shows can only happen in one place. For SPF420, every artist can be in a different city in their own rooms. They just, log in and play. With other streaming sites, you just turn up and do a DJ set. Last November, Ryan Hemsworth played in his bathtub for us."
Speaking to them, it becomes clear that the separation of SPF420 from other ventures isn't what sells the stream at all. It's the very possibility of being one of many. Billions of people have access to the internet, and only a few hundred at any one time were watching the March 11th TinyChat stream. It's a global enterprise, rendered niche. Liz and Chaz become animated at the thought. "It's not like if Boiler Room does it, we can't do it, says Chaz. "There can never be too many venues online. There already are a lot of places you can watch music on the internet, were just filling our own little niche. The way people say 'Which club do you want to go to?', people will say 'Which channel do you want to stream tonight?', or 'Which website do you want to log onto tonight?'"
"I want that", agrees Liz. "SPF420, Boiler Room, Just Jam – we should be just three of the many channels to watch for online performance. I take everything show by show. I don't like to plan ahead because there's a shelf life for everything. I'll do SPF420 until I feel it is not worth doing for our community anymore. That hurts to say, but only having one channel like this would be wack. There's lots of very underground events in smaller groups than us, and we support every freaking one of them. That's also why I'm not concerned by shelf life, because I support every artistic endeavour like ours. As long as you have a positive mission, go for it."
SPF420 took the step from URL to IRL when they hosted a party at this month's SXSW festival in Austin, Texas, after Ryan Hemsworth suggested they make the trip. "We hooked up with a label called Imaginary Friends, who came to us wanting to collaborate on an event for SXSW. We wanted to give an indication that it was not at SXSW, though. To play with the idea of it not being at a concrete location." So, maintaining that almost anti-IRL mentality, in an IRL setting? "Totally", insists Liz. 
"Not only was the space we played at not feasible for 500 people to show up to, we could only invited 3 people per artist and per person. It was a 75 people show. It was at someone's house. We really didn't want to be so forward about it being in Austin: We don't know where this is – it's on the internet!' I loved that event because it kept in touch with our ethics: a house show with ten artists who are like family to us. I can't explain how beautiful it was to me." So SXSW was just the beginning? "For sure. Watch out, because were going to put in 110%. If you care, hit us up."

Spoofing The Times

Former journalists at The New York Times describe a parody of the paper in 1978 and the secrecy surrounding it.

During a newspaper strike in 1978, a group of literary pranksters put out Not The New York Times. It had the tone and design of the real thing.
Credit...Andrew Sondern/The New York Times

By Alex Traub

In mid-October 1978, two months after a strike by pressmen shut down New York’s major newspapers, a broadsheet bearing the words “New York Times” appeared on newsstands.

Newsstand shoppers found some peculiarities. “Sleepy Village’s Dull Anecdote Is Grist for Reporters’ Mill,” read one headline. “Universe Very Old,” read another.

The bylines, too, seemed off. “Joseph Toaster” was not quite the same as the foreign correspondent Joseph B. Treaster, and “William Satire” was one letter away from the columnist William Safire.

This was not The New York Times; and that, in fact, is exactly what the parody called itself: Not The New York Times.

Rapturous coverage in national magazines and on television credited celebrated writers of the time, including Nora Ephron and George Plimpton.

Yet an article in Time magazine gently suggested the parody’s success came from more than the literary talent of its contributors. Brief tributes published every decade or so occasionally made the same allusion.

The fact has been hiding in plain sight: Not The New York Times was an inside job.

The parody featured three full sections, 24 joke advertisements, 73 spoof articles and 155 fake news briefs, all meticulously edited to mimic The Times’s style. Even the thick curls of the font used on the front page and the neat spacing of the headlines exactly replicates those of the real paper.

Months of research and interviews led me to former editors, designers and a copy boy at The Times who had provided critical help to a parody of their own employer.

“All the Times people had to be available,” said Christopher Cerf, one of the spoof’s ringleaders.

After the strike ended and the Times journalists returned to work, they hid their satirical moonlighting from their colleagues. As the years went by, they kept quiet.

Steven Crist, 63, the former copy boy, who later covered horse-racing for The Times, wrote a memoir that discusses the 1978 strike but passes over in silence the weeks he spent working on the parody.

Mr. Crist said his fear in 1978 of a “purge” of employees who had contributed to the parody lingered into subsequent decades, even though he stopped working at the paper.

Contacted in Belgium, over 30 years after he left The Times, the designer Richard Yeend, 75, was taken by surprise.

“It was one of things I wanted to ask you,” he said to me: “How on earth you found out that I was involved with Not The New York Times.”

I found contributors like Mr. Yeend by scouring the accounts that have been written about the parody and by reaching out to a colorful array of sources, including a British comic book company, a news and betting service devoted to horse racing and The Santa Barbara Independent, a California newspaper.

The three former Times employees I interviewed seemed eager to speak on the record for the first time about their involvement.

Not The New York Times’s masthead. “We had a lot of time on our hands,” one contributor said.
Credit...Andrew Sondern/The New York Times

“There’s no code of omertà on something that’s 40 years old,” said Glenn Collins, 75, a longtime Metro, Business and Style reporter who started as an editor at The Times Magazine.

Though Mr. Collins, Mr. Yeend and Mr. Crist recalled details of their work, all spoke more vividly about the excitement of collaborating with others.

“We’d just all sit on the rug and ideas would get kicked around, and we read each other’s stuff, and laughed or didn’t laugh — but we laughed a lot,” Mr. Collins said.

A sense of urgency supercharged the banter.

“We were afraid it would all be for naught if the strike suddenly ended,” Mr. Cerf said. “We were racing against time.”

Somehow, the parody transformed from an amusing notion to a newsstand hit in just around a month.

I had hoped to learn which articles Times employees wrote and which were by luminaries like Ms. Ephron. But the frantic, ecstatic ensemble that produced Not The New York Times appears to defy conventional notions of writerly credit.

Fading memories and yellowing press clippings do connect certain writers with specific stories. Still, singular attributions miss how much everyone had a hand in everything.

How did New York writers, generally known for competitiveness, achieve such a high level of literary teamwork? Was it the fake bylines? The mad dash to the finish?

Reflecting on the freelancers, humorists and temporarily out-of-work Times employees who made up the staff, Mr. Yeend proposed a theory for what bound everyone together.

“We all had a lot of time on our hands,” he said.
Credit...Andrew Sondern/The New York Times\

The Baseball Card Vandals Are the Best Thing to Happen to Instagram, Old Baseball Cards, and Dick Jokes

Two trading-card obsessed brothers figured out the brilliant way to make money off their worthless collection of cardboard with a Sharpie, an appreciation of design, and an esoteric sense of humor. 

As anyone who grew up collecting baseball cards knows, for every valuable rookie or golden foiled card that one might be lucky enough to find in a pack, there were hundreds of worthless cards featuring players undeserving of a prime slot in a binder or plastic sleeve (looking at you, Boof Bonser). These duds were often tossed in a shoebox to gather dust, only to be sold off in a garage sale down the road. Brothers Beau and Bryan Abbott didn’t discard them. Instead, they would doodle on them, using a sharpie to draw everything from bushy eyebrows and sunglasses to a well-placed pun of a player’s name or a dick joke. 
Now adults, the Abbott Brothers have turned their childhood hobby into a lucrative career — and are collectively known as the Baseball Card Vandals. Their premise is a ridiculously simple one “Decent jokes on worthless cards” but the sheer silliness and nostalgia inherent in their work has struck a chord with thousands who spent time staring at and doodling on not-so-coveted cards. They post their silly works of art on Tumblr, Twitter, and Instagram and sell the artwork to an in-demand clientele. Who knew a card of Reggie Jackson altered to say “Getting Pussy on the Reg, Son” or one of Chris Smith wearing a drawn-on Santa hat with the words “All I Want For Chris Smith Is You” would get so much love? 
“People have always drawn on cards,” say Beau and Bryan, who describe themselves as “artistically inclined baseball nerds” and who’ve expanded their art to football, basketball, and other trading cards as well. “But the phrase ‘vandalizing baseball cards’ didn’t even exist until we put it at the top of our Tumblr a few years back. Now our name is a verb.”  
In the Internet age, the brothers capitalize on the silly shock value of their work. Their cards act first as a silly diversion on the Internet, sure. But then you’re sucked in by the genuinely clever way they capitalize on a long-ago pastime. Or maybe you don’t understand it. The Abbott brothers have created a lot of art in their lives and know how hard it can be to explain it to other people. Either they get it immediately or they don’t.

“One of the first things that people will sometimes say is, ‘Oh, so you do that on the computer?’ They kind of think it’s like a meme or something,” Beau says. “They don’t even know that there’s a physical thing that we draw it on and there’s only one of them in the whole world.”  

American Vandals

The two younger Abbott brothers grew up in the St. Louis area in the 1980s and 90s and were ushered into the world of baseball cards and heavy metal by their two older brothers. By the time Beau was 9 and Bryan was 7, they were already turning their trading cards into works of art.

“For a young kid, baseball cards are an introduction to a kind of art,” Bryan says. “This piece of cardboard has no intrinsic value but all of a sudden, to you, it becomes the most important thing. It means something because of what is visually on it. You could say that about any painting or drawing from an artist. It’s just a piece of paper. But then it’s imbued with all this meaning.”
Deep. Deeper still, there was a whole lot less for kids to do in the 80s and 90s and certainly no Internet to sate curiosity or gain instant information. So collecting was a way of accruing knowledge and, in turn, developing a sense of selfhood.

 “When you’re young you can create your own world with the objects you collect. These things become stories in your mind that you can share that with other people,” Beau says. “My favorite player was Rickey Henderson. I could go learn about Rickey Henderson from his cards and then share that with other people or have conversations about that with my dad. It was through baseball cards that I was able to say that, ‘This is my aesthetic. This is my sensibility.’ And it expressed itself in the form of this collection.” 

Cracking the Code to Cash

By the mid-1990s the trading card industry was past its speculator boom and awash in a countless number of expensive sets that were increasingly harder for kids to afford, let alone collect. Plus, the boys were growing up and interests were changing. Hanging out with friends, and being attracted to females suddenly took on greater importance. The Abbotts were more than aware of the fact that you couldn’t go on dates and always talk about baseball cards. The hobby that they (and kids just like them) spent so much of themselves on — not to mention time and money —  wasn’t much of a hobby anymore. This pastime was now part of the past. 

Like many collector kids, the Abbotts spent every dollar and cent of their allowance or birthday money on their hobby. However, they were a bit more savvy to the economics of the industry knowing full well that even the most impressive Jose Canseco collection wouldn’t be putting their kids through college. 
“Even though we love baseball cards, I knew at a very young age that these cards weren’t going to be worth anything because we had so many of them,” Beau says. “And that’s where it all started. I realized I was free to do whatever I wanted to them because they were my cards. It wasn’t going to be worth anything.” 
Boxes upon boxes of cards are collecting dust in attics and storage spaces across this country. Virtually any collection from the junk era of trading cards is monetarily worthless. But without any intent on profit, the Abbots were finally able to figure out the impossible: how to actually make some money from their childhood collection. 

“If we ended up cracking the code that was a complete and total accident,” Bryan says. “Even for the first two years of Baseball Card Vandals, selling the cards never even entered our mind. We didn’t think there was any way anybody would want an old, shitty card that we drew jokes on.” 
Nowadays, BCV’s one-of-a-kind cards go for $35-50 a pop. Thousands have been sold and none have been reprinted or remade. They often sell out the moment they’re posted on social media. They’ve become so popular, in fact, that the Abbott Brothers even scored their first book deal. 
“We’re regurgitating all this pop culture that we’ve had our entire lives and serving it back up in a really strange way,” Beau says. “I think people love it and feel it feels great to be able to connect with them on all this stuff.”

The Art of Vandalism

Be it a ninja turtle or a center fielder for the St. Louis Cardinals, no card or player is safe from BCV’s Sharpie and sharper wit. You’ll find your fair share of jokes related to farts, pubes (and other body hair), unnatural frowns, celebrities, coleslaw, and dicks. As for the latter, the BCV’s can’t help it. By their estimation the percentage of baseball players that were named Dick in the 1960s is outrageous. The name was just that popular. But a good dick joke is still a good dick joke. 

Every card is almost like an at-bat for BCV. They never know if they’re going to hit one out of the park or they’re gonna pop out. “We’ve struck out a lot. There are plenty of ground ball outs too,” Beau says. For the thousands of cards that they’ve released, there’s that many more that just didn’t make the cut and that will never see the light of day.
But even after seven years of posting two-cards a day and a pretty decent batting average, these brothers still haven’t tired of cracking each other up.
“I’ll tell you what is fun at this point. We’ve made so many cards and we see the same words all the time. For example, pirates. We’ve turned the word pirate into so many different things. But if Bryan shows me a card that he made and he’s created another word out of ‘pirate’ that we’ve never done before, it’s a holy shit moment. The other day we turned ‘Pirate’ into ‘donate.’ That’s just like another fun little game within the game.” 

Watch Every Day From Groundhog Day At The Same Time

Groundhog Day is a rare film, managing to balance the weight of its central conceit with actual character development and laughs. (Bill Murray as weatherman Phil Connors takes the lion’s share of the credit there.) But, unless you’re a fan of repeat-repeat viewings, you might not have appreciated just how well the movie manages to replicate that single day that Connors is trapped in. Today on Groundhog Day itself, you can take a moment to take it all in, with the YouTube video “Groundhog Day - Every Day in One Day.” 
It’s a little confusing*, of course, but the video shows fantastically well how the film pays attention to the detail in each repeated scene, right down to people strolling by in the background. Plus, by watching all the days at once you can see how Connors’ response to his situation develops: from bafflement, to irritation, to hedonism, then suicide, altruism, and beyond. And, not coincidentally, you’ll probably feel like watching the film again.

*If you’re confused by how the editor determined the numbers of the day, it’s because there are 37 distinct days displayed in the movie. That doesn’t mean that Phil Connors (Murray) only experiences 37 days. In fact, those who have attempted to figure out just how many days Phil was stuck in this loop have ended up with a number that equals several years. One calculation estimates that Phil spends 8 years, 8 months and 16 days while another shoots much higher with 12,403 days, or just under 34 years.
No matter how many days Phil actually spends stuck in this loop, we’re thankful that we get to relive Groundhog Day (the movie) as many times as we want to, especially on this particular day.


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