In Search of A/The Point of Life

Posts Tagged ‘give-take’

ON TRIAL: PARTICIPANT 12(F) WITH ELECTRODES, SNAKES, 1k TONE, KY JELLY, 2 X (PLACEBO) PILLS.

Kadie undertook her first experiment as a lab rat last week. Now, Kadie is no longer Kaidie, but 12(F).

It would have been impossible to not be affected in any degree, with 4 hours of pills, existential ennui, electric shocks of varying degrees on the left hand, liberal applications of a nice lubrication, and staring at stills of snakes alternating with frames of blacks and crimson, oscillating between silence, very loud dead tones and its feedback, just like a copycat Paul Sharits or Peter Kubelka flicker film (I implore you my Dear Readers to kindly hook up your laptop to speakers, turn volume to the max, and WATCH FULLSCREEN, or, better still, projected large in a darkened space. Yes, we do know that a Web 2.0 representation does no justice whatsoever to these mindblowing films, but since the alternative is not watching them at all, sometimes a poor simulation is a lesser evil).

Hello World. My name is not Kaidie. My name is 12F. Like Smith in the final act after his elaborate reeducation process, my transformation is complete. I feel real, for once. I smile incessantly now. Life is no longer dark and hypocritical , and I am living a lie no more. I am converted. Everything is all right. The struggle was finished. 2 gin-scented tears trickled down the sides of my nose. I feel jolly wonderful. I have a perpetual smile on my face and black bars across my eyes (and so does the researcher, who must have undergone the experiment himself as well). The experiment succeeded.

I will now see Nondon with a new set of eyes. A few shades darker, if at all, if I could peek through that black bar.

Psycho_Test

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AN EXPERIMENT-WITHIN-AN-EXPERIMENT-WITHIN-AN-EXPERIMENT: TEST RAT / GUINEA PIG / FAT CAT / BROWN COW

Values in life

Values in Life

* WHAT: I am opening myself to science – I am willing to be a test rat for new medicines and any other related experiments in the field/name of science.

* HOW: Scans, psychology tests, new medicines, etc. As I have no thing to lose, and, for all we know, Kaidie might even find the, The, THE Meaning Of Life 3.0! In which case, Kaidie’s endeavour (and this travel blog) can be shut down way before 09.09.2012 as planned!! Hence I am up for any thing. Try me.

* WHY:

1. As an experiment myself, I am keen to undertake other people’s experiments as well. And if we wish to be grand about this (for Kaidie’s coming into being is as grand as it is pathetic), life – yes yours too, darling – is an experiment. I like experimenting with being an experiment-within-experiment-within-an-experiment (just as I enjoy trips-within-a-trip-within-a-trip).

2. Having already been a cockroach, hamster, a sponge, a human being and a cheap Swiss chocolate bar in my short life, it would be meaningful now to be a guinea pig, fat cat or brown cow.

3. Perhaps, if I am lucky, I may undergo yet other transformations with some of these tests! Is a pseudo-Orlan Feminist deformity sexy?  Or a quasi-Stelarc cyborgian appendage oh-so-macho? Naah, neither, no thanks. That is not quite the territory that Kaidie the Turdlifer likes to tread. Instead, she much prefers to become a brilliant Wim Delvoye product – a lovely warm piece of turd at the end of an elaborate scheme.

4. Being a make-believe being that straddles between the real and the imaginary, I would be keen to see how yet other artificial means can push my mind and body. So ‘high risk’ tests are welcome!

5. By offering myself to Science, I would be able to save other animals from being subjected to cruel scientific experiments for our selfish benefit. Save the cuddly rats! Save the cute panda bears! Save the whales! Save the tickworms! Save the cockroaches!

6. My kind contribution to man kind (sic) (if mankind deserves to receive contributions [sic]) and its quest for longevity /immortality (if these are perceived as positive goals?).

7. That said, what if this were a drug invented by pharmaceutical companies to convince us to feel inadequate and buy our way to make up for our inferiority complex? I would not be proud either if I play a part in contributing to the process to create drugs that prolong life unnecessarily (what is ‘necessary’ is precisely the interesting point of contention). While Kaidie will make a conscious effort to read the small print before she agrees to take the tests, Life 3.0 is full of such dilemma which may or may not be reconciled. We will keep an eye on this and report as we go along.

8. Kaidie expects to be financially compensated for her efforts – especially so if you are some fat cat pharmaceutical company (don’t you expect Kaidie to ‘volunteer’ her life / lives. In Life 3.0, as it is in Second Life and First Life, money plays an important role.

9. Why? Well, why the hell not?
DO YOU KNOW OF ANY MEANINGFUL EXPERIMENTS THAT KAIDIE COULD UNDERTAKE?

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PHYSIOLOGY ART, OR AN ATTEMPT TO LINK ART & EXERCISE

Healthy living at Lupus Street, free from dis-ease

Healthy living at Lupus Street: dry and clean from dis-ease

As I mentioned, I will have to run/walk/swim/fly/crawl 155.0km as a pathetic gesture to pay back for my flight Nondon-Zurich-Nondon.

It would be appropriate at this point in time to ask some questions.

WHAT IS THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN ART AND EXERCISE? IS THERE A WAY TO ACHIEVE A PERFECT WORK-LEISURE BALANCE? (WHAT IS THE BEST PROPORTION?) CAN I MIX WORK WITH LEISURE? FOR INSTANCE, CAN I FIND THE MEANING OF LIFE IN RUNNING + ART?

How  – if one so wishes to, though to be sure, they can remain ‘separate’, as many of our activities are, although in the larger scheme of things, activities that one engages in are most certainly related in more ways than one and earns one interesting insights should one reflect upon the relationship between them – can one attempt to translate/utilise the mental stamina and pleasure one cultivates / achieves from endurance sports, to art? Or perhaps there is no need to relate one to the other, and take them as parallel, distinct activities that may/happen to have overlapping traits/ goals?

EXAMPLES OF ARTISTS WHO RUN/WALK
Artists in this possible synthesis (artists with art practice that feature/reflect/hint traits of their physical regimes): * Richard Long (serious walker in his land art), * Werner Herzog (another mad walker, and he has directly talked about this in his artwork; at least one documentary has been made about his walking as well; Herzog’s obsessive/punishing/extreme qualities as reflected in his psychotically long walks are also, of course, classic trademarks of his characters and actors in his films, as well as his own personality) * Haruki Murakami (who runs miles daily, and has taken part in marathon and ironmen events, and who discusses the mental discipline he derives from this part of his life that helps him in his clarity in his writing, though endurance sports do not otherwise feature in  his work) *Jun Nguyen Hatsushiba (ongoing marathons in every city to match Earth’s diameter). DO YOU KNOW OF ANY OTHER ARTISTS WHO ENGAGE IN PHYSICAL EXERCISE?

SOME OF THE TRAITS SEEN IN VARIOUS ARTFORMS
Then there is the long tradition of repetition, obsession, pattern, kinetics in the history of art, though not discussed in relationship to artist’s own exercise regimes, if any. My favourite examples include Bruce Naumen, Tehching Hsieh, the tradition of obsessive calculation in Structuralist films, and Beckett, of course.

RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN ART, PHYSICAL EXERCISE
I discuss this with a friend,  a devoted long-distance runner, who says that he read that ‘Felix Mendelssohn was a good athlete but I really don’t know how that can be heard in his music’.  He suspects that physical activity was not really something that musicians, writers or artists engaged in, given that it was associated with manual labour and hence unbecoming. ‘The exercise & health madness that we see today didn’t start until late 20th-century.’  He goes on on suggest that it would be interesting to examine how ‘the body’s physiological and biochemical responses, together with the repeated muscular motion, can be presented audio-visually. It’s yet another way of depicting human movement, but focussing on the involuntary aspects of it, which also suggests the “carnal”. (I am thinking of Bataille’s “formless”, which has a feature called “pulse”).’

Well, it certainly suits public (+ artists’ own narcissitic) imagination better to think of artists who chose to alter their consciousness with substances drugs/alcohol. Self-destructive artists ‘make better stories’ – and many did write better stories too? (Huxley, Baudelaire, Jim Morrison, Warhol – the list is endless) The Romantic picture of the artist is one that is filthy, unkempt and tormented with wild hair, not one with bandana in sweat pants and working out, which is an image reserved for sissies. Beethoven doing yoga? Ginsberg on the treadmill? Pollock performing stomach crunches? Emin cycling in thermodynamic swimsuit after a 2km ocean swim? Say no more. This is nauseating.

LABEL FOR THIS ‘ART MOVEMENT’? (very witty pun, intended)
What could this exercise or movement (pun intended! Since there are not enough artists to warrant this a ‘movement’ in the first place!!) be possibly called?  Exercise art? Sports art?  Fitness art? Endurance Sports art?? Exercise Physiology art?

ARE YOU AN ARTIST WHO ENGAGES IN PHYSICAL EXERCISE? IF YOU DO, HOW DOES IT RELATE TO YOUR WORK, IF AT ALL? IF YOU DO NOT ENGAGE IN PHYSICAL EXERCISE, WHY NOT?

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I WILL RUN 155.0KM, AS A PATHETIC GESTURE FOR MY NONDON-ZURICH-NONDON FLIGHT. (Better a pathetic gesture, than nothing at all.) (No, NOTHING is better than nothing at all.) (Either way, it’s a lose-lose situation.)

As you, my Very Dear Readers (yes, you are now not only my ‘dear readers’ or ‘Dear Readers’, but ‘Very Dear Readers’ – what have you done to earn that, I wonder? Maybe you could next be My Very Dear Reader?) know, I am travelling to Zurich soon.

The question is, how should I get there? Like the Romantic and heroic Richard Long, and one of my favouritest, favouritest filmmakers Werner Herzog, I would have loved to get there by foot. Nonetheless, simple calculation reveals that that will take quite a while – all the snow in the Alps would have melted (not that it isn’t already speedily doing that much thanks to the combined efforts of you and I, no doubt! Well done us.). I do think that the legendary Heidi should moved on with ‘the times’ – but a Coppertoned bikini-clad one would be a bit of a stretch wouldn’t it.

So I am flying. No, not with my plastic stapled wings, but metallic ones, economy. (That said, ‘economy’, in this case, sounds like a euphemism..)

I am one who believes in earning my pleasure. In spite of my superpower (of having superpowers) in Life 3.0, I do not abuse it. (I am one of those 21st century existentially-troubled heroes burdened with super/posthuman gifts – the difference being that they exist on TV and they often screw up. I do not.) A life too easy simply does not attract me. I am a sucker for challenges, and I like it that I have to fight for things I want; if they are easy, I would probably not find them desirable.

Hence I wish to undertake a gesture to pay back for my contribution (along with you) in turning the Alps tropical and  slowly suiciding our race (no, it is not mercy killing, but rather like a carbon monoxidal poisoning, so slow as to be even graceful, haha.). Of course, this gesture/token is necessarily pathetic; no thing can, in the remotest way, by all stretches of imagination, match up.  Non-delusional as one is, one nonetheless tasks oneself with a small deed.

The total distance for my return trip (Nondon – Zurich – Nondon) is 1550km. I would have liked to task myself with running the same distance in a given period of time. However, it does not seem realistic. As I imagine that I will be flying frequently within my life time, including long haul, I need to find a do-able enough formulation of a task that I can undertake each time. See, even in the hyperrealistic Life 3.0, there is some sense of realism.

Zurich

Let us calculate the amount of distance I run in a week. I recorded the week of 21 December 2009 as such:

•    21 December  / DAY 10: 15km (0- 2 degrees Celsius) Regents Fark.
•    DAY 11: 20km (2 degrees)
•    DAY 12: 11.5km: gym: (5km treadmill, 5km cycle, 0.5km only on the tedious ski machine, 1km on rower; then leg extension, chest press, shoulder press (yuks), pulldown, weights, 20 situps. The gym equipment, by the way, is branded ‘TECHNOGYM’. High tech!)
•    DAY 13: Same as DAY 12, but 4km of which were of a 2.5 gradient.
•    DAY 14: 15km run (3 degrees), with a sprain for the first 4km, Regents Fark.
•    DAY 15: 13 km: (9 degrees) with a sprain for the first 6km
•    DAY 16: 15 km (7 degrees) pain free (due to the installation of my Mind over Matter M&M plugin)

TOTAL FOR THE WEEK: 101km.

This looks pretty nice- but this was an exceptionally good week. With the patchy weather now, I am not certain if I can afford many outdoor runs. Indoors, I can hardly run now. Not being a hamster anymore running on the treadmill bloody bores me to tears. I used to be able to do a 5km sprint; lately, I cannot even bear 1km, and even then, I do it in much anger (To help curb the dread and claustrophobia, my Winter indoor/gym routine consists of 5 minutes on each machine and 4 sets of 5 on the boring, boring weights. Enough to work up some sweat, but not enough to create endorphins and any degree of satisfaction- hence more anger). I have found out that there will be a pool near where I will live in Winterthur; I can typically swim 1-1.5km each time.

(Last weekend, however, I finally managed to break my dreadful spell by running at Regents Fark. Previously, icy road conditions, as well as having been an enormous sponge for the Winter break, have prevented me from doing this. What a lovely feeling it is, to be re-connected with nature and one’s body. At an incredibly warm and sunny 7 degree Celsius, I needed only 1 T-shirt. I started, and stayed, very slow, but I was happy. To sweat, to be out of breath, outdoors, running on, not tired, not speeding, simply moving on. I felt a calm I haven’t been able to in a while.)

Coming back to the question of how I could compensate for my carbon footprints, I worked out that a  gesture (realistic enough, though still requiring enough effort) would be as such:

For my 1550km flight, I will run/swim/walk/work out 155.0KM, in the space of 1 month (late January – late February).

So I moved 1 decimal point. Go on, mock me, but  I could have moved 2, or 3.  Or 4.

So how does this sound? What do you think, my Very Dear Reader? Unless you have any other suggestions? Better be good!

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DAY 5: THE GUINEA PIG OF LIFE 3.0 IS FALLEN (OFF THE TREADMILL)

Fallen

Fallen

In this long and lovely journey of Life 3,0, there are many lessons I will learn, as expected of a guinea pig of Life 3.0.

Indeed, I have already acquired my first injury for this road trip. At the last 100 metres of my 5km run on the treadmill, I fell off the treadmill at 14kmh, all due to the rather silly reason that I lost focus. 2 of my kneecaps have some skin off, in a warm crimson (no photohopping on this one, I tell you, my dear readers); fortunately, the other 4 legs are in tact.

Lessons learnt in Day 5 of my Quest For The Meaning of A Life 3.0:

1) DO NOT LOSE FOCUS!! It was only a quickie, and we have done this many, many times already in our previous lives – still, it happened. Now we doubt that Kaidie can complete that 42km marathon or the full 1000-days in life 3.0, don’t we! (tsk tsk).

2) Do not be injured ever again! Refer back to Rough Guide So Far: the dictum of ‘Do Not Be Hurt’. I have to have enough physical and mental stamina and fitness for the next 995 days. It is all about staying power.

3) It is dangerous to work out at the gym as a Roach. (Gregor is wise not to leave his room).

Indeed I have learnt my lesson well. If the news are to be believed, there will be more snowy days to come. Either run outdoors with a brolly, or shapeshift to a hamster to excel on the treadmill. All that hair would have cushioned my downfall from grace.

Hanging out on a snowy day 16 December 2009

Hanging out on a snowy day 16 December 2009

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MUMMY DIES DURING CHILDBIRTH

My birth day is also a death day. During the almighty push that is my coming-into-being from her tummy, mummy reaches her own limits and gives up, gives in, expires, kicks the bucket. At least it is a snappy death. Such is life.

At her funeral, a bomb explodes. According to the twitter feed by the met, it is a suspected terrorist attack in Nondon. All my family members are wiped out in a single splash of fireworks. They are shredded into pieces, so many that I cannot pick up.

Anxious Nondeners gathering at Frafalgar Sqaure after the incident, awaiting updates.

Anxious Nondeners gathering at Frafalgar Square after the incident, awaiting updates.

So I am alone, here, in Life 3.0, an orphan, blank slate, tabula rasa, ground zero, with no memory, no baggage, no heritage, no history, no obligations, no expectations to fulfill, no roots, no customs, nothing to declare, an open book, no thing.

The clear, singular task and purpose that I am born is to look for the Meaning of Life 3.0. So we know our starting point, and the destination, but the in-between, the getting-there, is the point of this. The question is how we get there, and I need your help with that.

I say goodbye to mummy, daddy and my siblings, and embark on my trip. I move on.

NIETZSCHE SAID THAT ‘THOSE WHO HAS A WHY TO LIVE CAN BEAR WITH ALMOST ANY HOW’ – KAIDIE DOESN’T QUITE AGREE, AS THE ‘HOW’, THE JOURNEY/TRIP IS THE POINT, BUT WHAT DO YOU THINK? WRITE IN NOW!

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TALK TO ME! YES, YOU! WITH ME, KAIDIE! NOW! HERE!

Of course, I would love to meet all of you out there, and most of all, YOU, yes YOU! But please understand that I can’t quite do that, much as I would love to (yes, believe me, for real). So the best space and time where we can come together is here. So don’t be shy. Come on in. Here are questions that I have come up, with to get us started. FILL THIS UP, AND SEND IT BACK TO ME. IN RETURN, YOU CAN ASK ME ANY QUESTION THAT YOU HAVE IN MIND. ANY – APART FROM THOSE ALREADY ADDRESSED IN THE FAQ – ANY, ANY, ANY. If you do not fill it up, I will not talk to you. Simple. You do not, of course, have to answer ALL of them (though it will so please me if you would). Just go for the ones you fancy. For the trickier questions, I have even provided some tips to help you! See, Life 3.0 is nice like this.

The Nondon Underground.

The Nondon Underground

  1. SCREEN NAME / STAGE NAME:
  2. CITY OF ORIGIN:
  3. LANGUAGES SPOKEN/WRITTEN:
  4. WHY ARE YOU IN LONDON?
  5. HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN IN LONDON?
  6. WHERE DO YOU LIVE? DO YOU LIKE THE AREA YOU LIVE?
  7. WHAT KIND OF SPACE DO YOU DWELL? HOW DO YOU LIKE IT? Tip: Bedsit, studio-apartment, dorm, hut, straw house, council block, cave etc
  8. WHAT DO YOU THINK OF LONDON? COMPARED TO THE CITY YOU HAVE COME FROM? COMPARED TO OTHER CITIES?
  9. WOULD YOU LIVE IN LONDON FOREVER? WHY? WHY NOT?
  10. WHAT DO YOU THINK OF LONDONERS IN GENERAL?
  11. DO YOU CONSIDER YOURSELF A ‘LONDONER’?
  12. WHAT CAN KAIDIE DO TO BE A ‘LONDONER’?
  13. WHAT CAN KAIDIE DO TO BE A ‘TYPICAL’ LONDONER? ‘GOOD’ LONDONER?
  14. WHAT DO YOU LIKE/LOVE ABOUT LONDON?
  15. WHAT DO YOU DISLIKE/HATE ABOUT LONDON?
  16. WHAT DO YOU DO DURING WEEKENDS IN LONDON?
  17. WHAT ARE SOME OF THE MEANINGFUL PURSUITS FOR KAIDIE IN LONDON? WHAT RECOMMENDATIONS HAVE YOU GOT FOR KAIDIE TO DO IN LONDON?
  18. WHERE CAN SHE GO TO CHECK OUT DURING WEEKENDS?
  19. DO YOU THINK THERE IS ALWAYS NOT ENOUGH TIME, OR IS TIME JUST RIGHT?
  20. IF YOU ARE TO DIE TOMORROW, WHAT WILL YOU DO TODAY?
  21. IF YOU HAVE 1 HOUR TO LIVE, WHAT WILL YOU DO?
  22. WHAT WILL YOU EAT AT YOUR LAST MEAL?
  23. TILL HOW OLD DO YOU WANT TO LIVE?
  24. HOW IN LONDON DO YOU WANT TO DIE? Tip: Mugged, at UCH(‘s waiting list) with swine flu, run over by the tube, hit by a taser gun, etc
  25. WHERE IN LONDON DO YOU WANT TO DIE?
  26. WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU WERE BEFORE YOU WERE ‘YOU’?
  27. WHAT DO YOU WISH TO BECOME IN YOUR NEXT LIFE?
  28. WOULD YOU WISH TO REPEAT THIS LIFE?
  29. WOULD YOU BE BACK IN LONDON THE NEXT TIME ROUND?
  30. IF YOU COULD LIVE YOUR LIFE ALL OVER AGAIN, HOW WOULD YOU CHANGE IT?
  31. IF YOU COULD CHANGE THE WORLD, WHAT WOULD YOU CHANGE?
  32. IF YOU WERE MAYOR OF LONDON, WHAT IS THE FIRST THING THAT YOU WOULD DO?
  33. WHAT DO YOU THINK YOU WILL BECOME IN YOUR NEXT LIFE?
  34. ARE YOU HAPPY ABOUT YOUR LIFE NOW?
  35. ARE YOU HAPPY ABOUT OUR LIFE IN GENERAL NOW?
  36. IS THERE SOMETHING YOU WISH TO CHANGE?
  37. IF YOU WERE A SUPERHERO, WHO WOULD YOU BE?
  38. IF YOU HAD A SUPER POWER, WHAT WOULD IT BE? WHAT WOULD YOU DO?
  39. IF YOU COULD DO ANYTHING THAT YOU WANT RIGHT NOW, WHAT WOULD YOU DO?
  40. DO YOU HAVE A WISH FOR YOURSELF OR FOR ‘MANKIND’ IN GENERAL Tip: Imagine yourself as Ms Universe when you answer this question.
  41. RIGHT NOW, IS THERE SOMETHING YOU WISH TO DO THAT YOU CANNOT?
  42. IS THERE SOMETHING YOU HAVE ALWAYS DREAMED OF, THAT YOU CANNOT ACCOMPLISH, FOR ONE REASON OR ANOTHER?
  43. IF YOU ARE GIVEN A CHANCE TO REINVENT YOURSELF, WHAT WOULD YOU BECOME? Tip: A famous personality, a not famous personality, a famous non-personality, a person with a different occupation/gender/class/accent/appearance, or not even a person, but perhaps something useful, like a falafel or curtains, etc.
  44. WHAT GOOD PERSONALITY TRAITS DO YOU THINK KAIDIE SHOULD HAVE?
  45. WHAT GOOD HABITS SHOULD KAIDIE DEVELOP?
  46. WHAT BAD HABITS DO YOU THINK KAIDIE SHOULD NOT DEVELOP?
  47. FROM YOUR PERSONAL POINT OF VIEW WHAT DO YOU THINK OF KAIDIE’S QUEST?
  48. DO YOU HAVE TIPS FOR KAIDIE FOR HER TO LOOK FOR THE MEANING OF LIFE?
  49. ANY TIPS FOR KAIDIE TO BE HAPPY? BE HEALTHY? EAT WELL, HAVE A LOVING RELATIONSHIP, WORK-LIFE BALANCE, BE OPTIMISTIC ETC.
  50. WHAT OTHER ADVICE DO YOU HAVE TO GIVE KAIDIE?
  51. WHAT WOULD YOU SAY TO KAIDIE IF YOU MEET HER?
  52. WHAT WOULD YOU SAY TO KAIDIE HERE?
  53. WHAT WOULD YOU SAY TO KAIDIE IN A PRIVATE CONVERSATION?
  54. WHAT ARE YOUR LAST WORDS TO KAIDIE?
  55. WHAT ARE YOUR LAST WORDS BEFORE YOU DIE?
  56. WHAT WOULD YOU WRITE ON YOUR TOMBSTONE (IF YOU COULD DO THAT JUST BEFORE YOU GO, THAT IS)?
  57. WHAT WOULD YOU WRITE AS YOUR LAST BLOG ENTRY TO US EARTHLINGS?
  58. WHAT WOULD YOU WRITE ON YOUR WALL AS A PARTING SHOT?
  59. WHAT IS YOUR LAST TWIT? (BE CONCISE NOW! ONLY 140 CHARACTERS!)
  60. FINALLY, ONE ADJECTIVE TO DESCRIBE YOUR LIFE. JUST ONE. Tip: fab, amazing, shite, so-so, what-life? etc
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