Friday, March 30, 2007

JLo Gets Banned From Latin Music Stores

I've always admired Jennifer Lopez because she is of course, beautiful but my "admiration" ends there. I've hardly ever heard of her supporting the poor community she hails from, Hispanic people in general or any of its causes and she undoubtly has both the money and platform to do so.

A couple of days ago, I saw some recent pictures of her and had to ask my best friend and also my cousin if they thought that it was Jlo's make-up that made her facial features looks so different and more Caucasoid or did she have more work done.

I think she's done more plastic surgery, which really just makes me dislike her even more.

Read the article below and post what you think?


Jennifer Lopez Banned From Chain Of Latin Music Stores

Bronx born singer/actress/dancer Jennifer Lopez, a “Nuyorican,” has been banned from the nation’s largest chain of Latin music stores.

Ritmo Latino banned all J.Lo CDs from its 50 stores, charging that J. Lo has forgotten her Puerto Rican roots. Ritmo President David Massry alleged that J.Lo “has refused personally to promote her new CD in any of our stores” and won’t appear at other outlets devoted only to Latin music.“We’ve supported her from the beginning. Now we’re told by her record company she will only visit Anglo retail outlets,” Massry said.

On Wednesday, J.Lo signed hundreds of autographs at the F.Y.E. record store in her home borough for fans who bought her new disc, “Como Ama una Mujer” (”How a Woman Loves”), Lopez’s first album sung only in Spanish.

“This is a Spanish-language CD, and if she wants to discriminate against the Latin community, then we will not sell her product,” Massry said.

“This is not the first time this has happened. Celebrities have this notion that when they reach a certain level of crossover appeal, they forget quickly where they started,” he said. “We will no longer tolerate these situations.” But many fans of the Bronx-born star rose to her defense. Yamilka Rivas, 15, an outraged 10th-grader from Harlem, demanded, “How is she discriminating? Her new album is in Spanish, for gosh sake. J.Lo doesn’t make music for white people, she makes it for everybody.”

Omar Guzman,19, a McDonald’s cashier from Washington Heights, declared, “This is really messed up. She’s Hispanic and she’s showing it. She’s for real.” “How can an Hispanic company abandon an Hispanic person, an Hispanic star?” he asked. Stephanie Padilla, 16, from the Bronx, branded the ban “censorship” and said it was “just wrong. “J.Lo is a Boricua from the block. She’s just gone on to bigger and better things. You can’t penalize her for that.”

One of the few dissenters was eighth-grade teacher Shakira Lleras, 27,
who said, “I can understand the ban and why they’re upset.” “Just look
around the city,” she said. “Not too many people identify with her and the life she leads.”

Lopez could not be reached for comment.

Thursday, March 29, 2007

Free Poem: every day, for 30 days!

Dear Poetry Lover,

Nine years ago we began a Knopf tradition. To celebrate National Poetry Month,we sent a poem a day by e-mail for 30 days to anyone who asked to receive them. Now, with over 25,000 subscribers, we are proud to continue with a whole new series of daily poems. Each day during the month of April you will receive a poem from some of the best poets in the world including Mark Strand, Sharon Olds, and Laurie Sheck, as well as classics from Langston Hughes, Robert Burns and more. This year, we'll also be featuring audio clips from The Knopf National Poetry Month Collection, special printable broadsides, signed books and more.

If you know of someone who might like to join the poem-a-day party, they may
visit to sign up.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Rebirth of Slick (cool like dat)

Maybe it's the Spring weather, that making me reminisce, but I heard this song on Pandora a little while ago and was just "whoa, now that's throwback!" Enjoy!

Monday, March 26, 2007

One of my poems

The Residue of Man’s Exhalation

Swept in
like a breath of fresh air
across the expanse of naked flesh
newly washed.

Where goose bumps arise
at the touch of the tip of your tongue
or fingertip.

Tracing the silhouette
of some newly discovered
geography across my body

Like a fervent explorer
on some unclaimed landscape.
Dying and being reborn
with every breath and stroke
like a tiny million fireworks
blazing the sky
for fragments of time
and then fading away
and repeating.

So that the breath caught in my throat
is all that exists
and all else
is silent.
Caught, transposed, and suspended
by the touch of you and I.

Transfixed upon my memory,
like the stain of a stamp
or engraving on leather
where the topography
of the carvings
is reminiscent of
our dips and revolutions,
ebb and flows,
leaving me breathless
and anticipating
the next wave.

Preparing my body,
letting it be molded
into your chalice.
Allowing your tongue to trace
its delicate pale rim
and taste its promise
like reparation to a dying man.

Uplifted by your admiration,
transcendent and aglow,
left exalted, elevated and consecrated
I float through the day
held aloft
by the residue of your sweeping breath
hot on the
span of my neck
as my thoughts race
through my reflections
trying to recapture
a sense of you.

* Inspired & dedicated to W.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Free Hispanic Magazine for Literanista Readers!

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Wednesday, March 21, 2007

They're All Descendants of Spanish Origins!

Another NY Times piece:

March 6, 2007
A United Kingdom? Maybe

Britain and Ireland are so thoroughly divided in their histories that there is no single word to refer to the inhabitants of both islands. Historians teach that they are mostly descended from different peoples: the Irish from the Celts and the English from the Anglo-Saxons who invaded from northern Europe and drove the Celts to the country's western and northern fringes.

But geneticists who have tested DNA throughout the British Isles are edging toward a different conclusion. Many are struck by the overall genetic similarities, leading some to claim that both Britain and Ireland have been inhabited for thousands of years by a single people that have remained in the majority, with only minor additions from later invaders like Celts, Romans, Angles, Saxons, Vikings and Normans. The implication that the Irish, English, Scottish and Welsh have a great deal in common with each other, at least from the geneticist's point of view, seems likely to please no one. The genetic evidence is still under development, however, and because only very rough dates can be derived from it, it is hard to weave evidence from DNA, archaeology, history and linguistics into a coherent picture of British and Irish origins.

That has not stopped the attempt. Stephen Oppenheimer, a medical geneticist at the University of Oxford, says the historians' account is wrong in almost every detail. In Dr. Oppenheimer's reconstruction of events, the principal ancestors of today's British and Irish populations arrived from Spain about 16,000 years ago, speaking a language related to Basque.

The British Isles were unpopulated then, wiped clean of people by glaciers that had smothered northern Europe for about 4,000 years and forced the former inhabitants into southern refuges in Spain and Italy. When the climate warmed and the glaciers retreated, people moved back north. The new arrivals in the British Isles would have found an empty territory, which they could have reached just by walking along the Atlantic coastline, since the English Channel and the Irish Sea were still land.

This new population, who lived by hunting and gathering, survived a sharp cold spell called the Younger Dryas that lasted from 12,300 to 11,000 years ago. Much later, some 6,000 years ago, agriculture finally reached the British Isles from its birthplace in the Near East. Agriculture may have been introduced by people speaking Celtic, in Dr. Oppenheimer's view. Although the Celtic immigrants may have been few in number, they spread their farming techniques and their language throughout Ireland and the western coast of Britain. Later immigrants arrived from northern Europe had more influence on the eastern and southern coasts. They too spread their language, a branch of German, but these invaders' numbers were also small compared with the local population.

In all, about three-quarters of the ancestors of today's British and Irish populations arrived between 15,000 and 7,500 years ago, when rising sea levels split Britain and Ireland from the Continent and from each other, Dr. Oppenheimer calculates in a new book, ''The Origins of the British: A Genetic Detective Story'' (Carroll & Graf, 2006).

Ireland received the fewest of the subsequent invaders; their DNA makes up about 12 percent of the Irish gene pool, Dr. Oppenheimer estimates. DNA from invaders accounts for 20 percent of the gene pool in Wales, 30 percent in Scotland, and about a third in eastern and southern England.

But no single group of invaders is responsible for more than 5 percent of the current gene pool, Dr. Oppenheimer says on the basis of genetic data. He cites figures from the archaeologist Heinrich Haerke that the Anglo-Saxon invasions that began in the fourth century A.D. added about 250,000 people to a British population of one to two million, an estimate that Dr. Oppenheimer notes is larger than his but considerably less than the substantial replacement of the English population assumed by others. The Norman invasion of 1066 brought not many more than 10,000 people, according to Dr. Haerke.

Other geneticists say Dr. Oppenheimer's reconstruction is plausible, though some disagree with details. Several said genetic methods did not give precise enough dates to be confident of certain aspects, like when the first settlers arrived.

''Once you have an established population, it is quite difficult to change it very radically,'' said Daniel G. Bradley, a geneticist at Trinity College, Dublin. But he said he was ''quite agnostic'' as to whether the original population became established in Britain and Ireland immediately after the glaciers retreated 16,000 years ago, as Dr. Oppenheimer argues, or more recently, in the Neolithic Age, which began 10,000 years ago.

Bryan Sykes, another Oxford geneticist, said he agreed with Dr. Oppenheimer that the ancestors of ''by far the majority of people'' were present in the British Isles before the Roman conquest of A.D. 43. ''The Saxons, Vikings and Normans had a minor effect, and much less than some of the medieval historical texts would indicate,'' he said. His conclusions, based on his own genetic survey and information in his genealogical testing service, Oxford Ancestors, are reported in his new book, ''Saxons, Vikings and Celts: The Genetic Roots of Britain and Ireland.''
A different view of the Anglo-Saxon invasions has been developed by Mark Thomas of University College, London. Dr. Thomas and colleagues say the invaders wiped out substantial numbers of the indigenous population, replacing 50 percent to 100 percent of those in central England. Their argument is that the Y chromosomes of English men seem identical to those of people in Norway and the Friesland area of the Netherlands, two regions from which the invaders may have originated.

Dr. Oppenheimer disputes this, saying the similarity between the English and northern European Y chromosomes arises because both regions were repopulated by people from the Iberian refuges after the glaciers retreated.

Dr. Sykes said he agreed with Dr. Oppenheimer on this point, but another geneticist, Christopher Tyler-Smith of the Sanger Centre near Cambridge, said the jury was still out. ''There is not yet a consensus view among geneticists, so the genetic story may well change,'' he said. As to the identity of the first postglacial settlers, Dr. Tyler-Smith said he ''would favor a Neolithic origin for the Y chromosomes, although the evidence is still quite sketchy.''
Dr. Oppenheimer's population history of the British Isles relies not only on genetic data but also on the dating of language changes by methods developed by geneticists. These are not generally accepted by historical linguists, who long ago developed but largely rejected a dating method known as glottochronology. Geneticists have recently plunged into the field, arguing that linguists have been too pessimistic and that advanced statistical methods developed for dating genes can also be applied to languages.

Dr. Oppenheimer has relied on work by Peter Forster, a geneticist at Anglia Ruskin University, to argue that Celtic is a much more ancient language than supposed, and that Celtic speakers could have brought knowledge of agriculture to Ireland, where it first appeared. He also adopts Dr. Forster's argument, based on a statistical analysis of vocabulary, that English is an ancient, fourth branch of the Germanic language tree, and was spoken in England before the Roman invasion.

English is usually assumed to have developed in England, from the language of the Angles and Saxons, about 1,500 years ago. But Dr. Forster argues that the Angles and the Saxons were both really Viking peoples who began raiding Britain ahead of the accepted historical schedule. They did not bring their language to England because English, in his view, was already spoken there, probably introduced before the arrival of the Romans by tribes such as the Belgae, whom Caesar describes as being present on both sides of the Channel.

The Belgae perhaps introduced some socially transforming technique, such as iron-working, which led to their language replacing that of the indigenous inhabitants, but Dr. Forster said he had not yet identified any specific innovation from the archaeological record.

Germanic is usually assumed to have split into three branches: West Germanic, which includes German and Dutch; East Germanic, the language of the Goths and Vandals; and North Germanic, consisting of the Scandinavian languages. Dr. Forster's analysis shows English is not an offshoot of West Germanic, as usually assumed, but is a branch independent of the other three, which also implies a greater antiquity. Germanic split into its four branches some 2,000 to 6,000 years ago, Dr. Forster estimates.

Historians have usually assumed that Celtic was spoken throughout Britain when the Romans arrived. But Dr. Oppenheimer argues that the absence of Celtic place names in England -- words for places are particularly durable -- makes this unlikely.

If the people of the British Isles hold most of their genetic heritage in common, with their differences consisting only of a regional flavoring of Celtic in the west and of northern European in the east, might that perception draw them together? Geneticists see little prospect that their findings will reduce cultural and political differences. The Celtic cultural myth ''is very entrenched and has a lot to do with the Scottish, Welsh and Irish identity; their main identifying feature is that they are not English,'' said Dr. Sykes, an Englishman who has traced his Y chromosome and surname to an ancestor who lived in the village of Flockton in Yorkshire in 1286.

Dr. Oppenheimer said genes ''have no bearing on cultural history.'' There is no significant genetic difference between the people of Northern Ireland, yet they have been fighting with each other for 400 years, he said.

As for his thesis that the British and Irish are genetically much alike, ''It would be wonderful if it improved relations, but I somehow think it won't.''

Can video save the literary star?

Interesting, from the NY Times:

March 21, 2007

Favorite Author Not on Tour? See the Movie

Can video save the literary star?

Ask the tastemakers at Powell’s Books, the venerable independent bookstore in Portland, Ore., who are planning a new series of short films featuring authors, to be shown at bookstores, movie-premiere style.

The British author Ian McEwan is the star of the first film, which is planned to run 23 minutes and will feature snippets from an on-camera interview with Mr. McEwan, as well as commentary from peers, fans and critics.

Such films could eventually take the place of in-store book readings, which attract fewer attendees all the time, many booksellers say. “Some authors go to events and are really captivating personalities,” said Dave Weich, the marketing manager at Powell’s Books. “That does not describe most of them.”

For Mr. McEwan, the film will virtually replace his standard book tour, since he has declined to do traditional bookstore appearances to promote his new novel in the United States. The book, “On Chesil Beach,” will be published on June 5 by the Nan A. Talese imprint of Random House’s Doubleday division.

For years publishers and bookstores have tried to lure book buyers by featuring authors in blogs, podcasts and question-and-answer forums with readers. Mr. Weich said Powell’s did not expect to profit from the first film but hoped to attract more visitors to its Web site,, by posting the videos there.

Powell’s has enlisted Doug Biro, a former creative director at RCA Records, to direct the first film. (Mr. Biro has also directed music videos for Christina Aguilera and Rufus Wainwright.) It will have its debut on June 1 in Manhattan during BookExpo America, a widely attended annual gathering of publishers, booksellers and authors.

More than 50 bookstores across the country have planned screenings of the film from June 13 to 17. After it is shown, the video will be posted on Powell’s Web site and as a series of shorts on YouTube.

Mr. Weich said he hoped the series, called “Out of the Book,” would defy the less than exciting fare typical of television and films featuring authors. “It’s meant to be entertaining,” he said. “The last thing we’re shooting for is two talking heads sitting there talking about literature.”

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

mariah carey-it's like that

I was listening to this song, this morning on my way in to work and it put me in such great spirits.

Tell 'em, Mariah!

"Caution, it's so explosive
Them chickens is ash and I'm lotion
Baby come and get it
Let me give you what you need
It's a special occasion
Mimi's emancipation
A cause for celebration
I ain't gonna let
Nobody's drama bother me

Cause it's my night(my night)
No stress no fights
I'm leavin' it all behind
No tears(no no no tears) no time to cry
Just making the most of life"

Friday, March 16, 2007

A Cup of Soup Will Make it All Better

At least that's what Mami always told me. It's funny but back then I hated soup, not that I was a picky eater because I wasn't but there were certain things I didn't like. Broth was okay, but not small veggies or noodles, (so when I was sick my mom strained her soups for me) I was the same way with beans too, I ate the beans, potatos and sauce but picked out any visible trace of anything else my mom added to them.

As an adult now, my tastes have changed as do most people's, I actually love thick soups now but still have an aversion to veggies, yet if they happen to be in my soups or beans or any sauce, I will eat them... and even enjoy the flavor! LOL!

Anyway, this morning I woke up to a pounding headache so I ordered crab & asparagus bisque for lunch today. I was surprised to find it was green, so apropo for St. Patty's Day tomorrow. It cheered me up a bit, especially now that it's like basically an ice storm out.

And, I have a million things to eyebrows, my hair, a mani & pedi...the list just goes on and on!

Anyway, on books:

A new book is out by Columbian writer, Laura Restrepo.

Delirium: A Novel by Laura Restrepo and Natasha Wimmer, it's about the life of a struggling literature professor who must investigate what has caused his wife to go insane.

Check it out!

The 2007 International Latino Book Awards will be held on Thursday afternoon, May 31, at 4:30 in Room IE10 at the Javits Center in New York City. Nominations close this Friday (March 16). At this point the safest way to make sure your entry is received in time is to fax the forms to us directly at 760-434-7476, and then mail the original forms, payment and copies of the nominated titles. You will be entered if they receive your faxed forms by March 16. Your payment, original forms and 5 copies of the nominated title have to be in the Carlsbad offices by March 27th.


Latino Literacy Now


2777 Jefferson St., Ste 200

Carlsbad, CA 92008

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

I discoved Papaya Today!

Not the fruit nor the hot dog place, but a very cool paper goods spot, check it out!

Ranting in the Keys of Life

So I'm really tired today because as usual I stood up late fighting the tiredness and sleep trying to overtake me like an incubus. So of course as often happens when I don't get my full 8-10 hours of beauty rest, I'm extra crabby. So please bear with me while I bitch and moan...

- Why is it that people who take my commuter bus insist on putting on heavily scented lotions or sprays while en route on a 40 minute minimum ride with no open ventilation at 7am? One day when I vomit on someone...

- Why do obese people always choose to sit next to little ole me? And, then invade my personal space?

So this is what happened this morning, the bus I got on wasn't that full, I mean they were plenty of empty seats scattered about. When I got on I went all the way to back row and sat by the window, the last lady who got on decides she too is going to sit in the back row. Now the back row offers 5 seats, instead of choosing the middle seat she sits next to me but takes up the two seats next to me.

There were two other seats next to her, I don't understand why she had to sit so close to me. Then to top it off this freaking fat lady takes out some heavy, heady nauseating lotion and proceeds to glob herself up. I was so outraged but I just tried to close my eyes and sleep but seriously WTF?

What is wrong with people?

To top off my disgust at humanity today I'm bored, and my work isn't thrilling me today but then does it ever?


Peace out!

Monday, March 12, 2007

I've Fallen in Love...with A Dress!


So this Friday, I've plan to attend a wedding, yes on St. Patrick's Day and no, they're not Irish!

I was quite worried about what to wear because my boyfriend is the best man and he will be in a tux and not only that but I think at one point the groom's sister was interested in my man so I knew I had to look wickedly fierce either way.

So on Friday, I bought myself this dress:

Isn't it beautiful, I'm in love with it.

I plan on wearing it to the church with this little jacket and shoes:

I can't wait, I'm gonna get my hair done and a pedicure. It's so funny, I swear i've "visited" that dress' link over 20xs at least since last Friday. I can't wait to put it all together.

Friday, March 09, 2007

Jessica Gonzalez, Literanista Stands With You!!!

From ACLU Email:

* Jessica Gonzales with picture of her daughters

Domestic Violence Victim Goes Before International Human Rights Commission to Sue U.S.

In a history-making human rights challenge against the United States, Jessica Gonzales, spoke out publicly last week in front of the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. Gonzales lost her three daughters after they were kidnapped by her estranged husband, and later killed in his standoff with Colorado police.

Her domestic violence protection claims were then rejected by the U.S. Supreme
Court. Gonzales, who was represented by the ACLU, is the first victim of
domestic violence to bring an individual complaint against the United States for
international human rights violations.

"I brought this petition to the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights because I have exhausted all avenues in the United States and still there has been no justice for my little girls,”
said Gonzales. “Police must be required to enforce restraining orders or else
these orders are meaningless. We need to hold the U.S. government accountable."

Gonzales was living in Colorado when her three young daughters, Rebecca,
age 10, Katheryn, age eight and Leslie, age seven, were killed after local
police failed to enforce a restraining order against her estranged husband.

The girls were abducted by their father and although Gonzales repeatedly called the
police, telling them of her fears for the safety of her daughters, the police
failed to respond. Several hours later, Gonzales’ husband drove to the police
station with a gun and opened fire. The police shot and killed him, and then
discovered the bodies of the three girls in the back of his pickup truck.

"In domestic violence cases such as Jessica’s, international bodies provide access to redress when the home country fails to act," said Steven Watt, an attorney with the ACLU Human Rights Program.

Gonzales filed a lawsuit against the police, but in June 2005, the U.S. Supreme Court found that she had no constitutional right to police enforcement of her restraining order.

To learn more about the Gonzales case, go to:

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Homie Don't Play That!

Last night, this phrase just kept playing itself over and over in my head like a broken record. Homie Don't Play That! So here's a throwback to In Living Color, and the infamous words of one Homie Da Clown... * Yeah, I know it's not PC, but it's just comedy, people.

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Blowing A Gasket

You know maybe it's the Sicilian blood in me, perhaps the Puerto Rican or maybe I was endowed with a fierce (read: deadly) combination of both. I hate to perpetuate stereotypes, but in this case - it's true. Mammajamma has a bad f'ng temper, the weird thing is that most of the time I'm so docile, passive, and sweet but certain things make my blood boil.

Which makes me think of the maxim "blowing a gasket," I tried to google its origin but had no luck, but itsn't it so delightfully visual, that expression? Well, I have to be careful that I don't ever get hypertension, I mean being Hispanic, what are the chances right? LOL! Anyway, sometimes I get so angry, I literally shake or see red, or get a pounding headache. Literally! Not good!

I really need to get back into yoga, and let no man tear me asunder from my peace. My talented older sis, who's a NYC teacher in an elementary school, tells me that she tells her students to "save the drama, for their mamma!" Love it! like seriously, take that sh*t elsewhere, it's not welcome here!

Anyway, on some good notes, I have to share:

Gabriel Garcia Marquez celebrated his 80th birthday yesterday and "told friends that he has begun writing his second volume of memoirs"--a happy contrast to his statement last year that he had "run out of gas" for writing. The report comes not from Marquez himself, but friend and collaborator Plinio Apuleyo Mendoza.

Read more here:,1,6987302.story?ctrack=1&cset=true

Monday, March 05, 2007

Before you find yourself, by yourself...

This is dedicated to those that erroneously think that the world can rest on one pair of shoulders. (& after my many years as a prof. and freelance copy editor, it's just damn funny!)

This is one of my favorite poems:


Lying, thinking

Last night
How to find my soul a home
Where water is not thirsty
And bread loaf is not stone
I came up with one thing
And I don't believe I'm wrong
That nobody,But nobody
Can make it out here alone.

Alone, all alone
Nobody, but nobody
Can make it out here alone.
There are some millionaires
With money they can't use
Their wives run round like banshees
Their children sing the blues
They've got expensive doctors
To cure their hearts of stone.
But nobodyNo, nobody
Can make it out here alone.

Alone, all alone
Nobody, but nobody
Can make it out here alone.
Now if you listen closely
I'll tell you what I know
Storm clouds are gathering
The wind is gonna blow
The race of man is sufferingA
nd I can hear the moan,
'Cause nobody,But nobody
Can make it out here alone.

Alone, all alone
Nobody, but nobody
Can make it out here alone.

Maya Angelou

Friday, March 02, 2007

Smart Chic:

Your Dominant Intelligence is Linguistic Intelligence

You are excellent with words and language. You explain yourself well.

An elegant speaker, you can converse well with anyone on the fly.

You are also good at remembering information and convicing someone of your point of view.

A master of creative phrasing and unique words, you enjoy expanding your vocabulary.

You would make a fantastic poet, journalist, writer, teacher, lawyer, politician, or translator.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Some New Techie/literary stuff:

HarperCollins has released a “Browse Inside” widget that simply opens the Browse Inside feature in a new window (example), while the Random House widget is a bit more advanced: it lets you browse the pages of the book in the widget itself, and even pop out a large window so you can actually read the book as a slideshow.

Even better: they’ve provided an option to copy the widget without leaving the page you’re on, and a “buy” link to buy the book on the publisher’s site. There’s also a book search to find other Random House books. Rupert Murdoch may own HarperCollins and MySpace, but RandomHouse is outshining them when it comes to widgets.

Both services also launched online book searches this week, suggesting that they’re finally getting to grips with this whole Internet thing (who knows - maybe it’ll catch on? ). Other socially networked book services include GoodReads, Shelfari, LibraryThing and the Bebo

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