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Read Learn Live Podcast
57 minutes | 10 days ago
Beloved Beasts – Ep 87 with Michelle Nijhuis
A vibrant history of the modern conservation movement―told through the lives and ideas of the people who built it. In the late nineteenth century, as humans came to realize that our rapidly industrializing and globalizing societies were driving other animal species to extinction, a movement to protect and conserve them was born. In Beloved Beasts, acclaimed science journalist Michelle Nijhuis traces the movement’s history: from early battles to save charismatic species such as the American bison and bald eagle to today’s global effort to defend life on a larger scale. She describes the vital role of scientists and activists such as Aldo Leopold and Rachel Carson as well as lesser-known figures in conservation history; she reveals the origins of vital organizations like the Audubon Society and the World Wildlife Fund; she explores current efforts to protect species such as the whooping crane and the black rhinoceros; and she confronts the darker side of conservation, long shadowed by racism and colonialism. As the destruction of other species continues and the effects of climate change escalate, Beloved Beasts charts the ways conservation is becoming a movement for the protection of all species―including our own. Michelle Nighhouse is a project editor at the Atlantic, a contributing editor at High Country News, and an award-winning reporter whose work has been published in National Geographic and the New York Times Magazine. She is coeditor of The Science Writers’ Handbook and lives in White Salmon, Washington. The post Beloved Beasts – Ep 87 with Michelle Nijhuis appeared first on Read Learn Live Podcast.
50 minutes | a month ago
A Beginner’s Guide to America – Ep 86 with Roya Hakakian
A stirring, witty, and poignant glimpse into the bewildering American immigrant experience from someone who has lived it. Also, a mirror held up to America. Into the maelstrom of unprecedented contemporary debates about immigrants in the United States, this perfectly timed book gives us a portrait of what the new immigrant experience in America is really like. Written as a “guide” for the newly arrived, and providing “practical information and advice,” Roya Hakakian, an immigrant herself, reveals what those who settle here love about the country, what they miss about their homes, the cruelty of some Americans, and the unceasing generosity of others. She captures the texture of life in a new place in all its complexity, laying bare both its beauty and its darkness as she discusses race, sex, love, death, consumerism, and what it is like to be from a country that is in America’s crosshairs. Her tenderly perceptive and surprisingly humorous account invites us to see ourselves as we appear to others, making it possible for us to rediscover our many American gifts through the perspective of the outsider. In shattering myths and embracing painful contradictions that are unique to this place, A Beginner’s Guide to America is Hakakian’s candid love letter to America. Roya Hakakian is the author of two books of poetry in Persian and numerous essays and articles in leading publications, including the New York Times, Washington Post and NPR. She is a founding member of the Iran Human Rights Documentation Center and has been a fellow at the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars. The post A Beginner’s Guide to America – Ep 86 with Roya Hakakian appeared first on Read Learn Live Podcast.
61 minutes | 2 months ago
The Women’s History of the Modern World – Ep 85 with Rosalind Miles
The internationally bestselling author of Who Cooked the Last Supper? presents a wickedly witty and very current history of the extraordinary female rebels, reactionaries, and trailblazers who left their mark on history from the French Revolution up to the present day. Now is the time for a new women’s history — for the famous, infamous, and unsung women to get their due — from the Enlightenment to the #MeToo movement. Recording the important milestones in the birth of the modern feminist movement and the rise of women into greater social, economic, and political power, Miles takes us through through a colorful pageant of astonishing women. The women range from heads of state like Empress Cixi, Eugenia Charles, Indira Gandhi, Jacinda Ardern, and Ellen Johnson Sirleaf to political rainmakers Kate Sheppard, Carrie Chapman Catt, Anna Stout, Dorothy Height, Shirley Chisholm, Winnie Mandela. Also included are STEM powerhouses Jocelyn Bell Burnell, Rosalind Franklin, Sophia Kovalevskaya, Marie Curie, and Ada Lovelace, revolutionaries Olympe de Gouges, Harriet Tubman, Sojourner Truth, Patyegarang, and writer/intellectuals Mary Wollstonecraft, Simon de Beauvoir, Elaine Morgan, and Germaine Greer. Women in the arts, women in sports, women in business, women in religion, women in politics—this is a one-stop roundup of the tremendous progress women have made in the modern era. A testimony to how women have persisted — and excelled — this is a smart and stylish popular history for all readers. Rosalind Miles is the award-winning author of the international best-seller I, Elizabeth, a novel recreating the life of Queen Elizabeth I in her own words, and twenty-five other books of fiction and non-fiction, including the highly acclaimed Who Cooked The Last Supper? The post The Women’s History of the Modern World – Ep 85 with Rosalind Miles appeared first on Read Learn Live Podcast.
64 minutes | 3 months ago
Mental Illness and Graphic Novel as Memoir – Ep 84 with Joshua Kemble
Josh thought he was living the artist’s dream. The young, ambitious comic book creator had a hip Portland apartment, an affectionate fiancé, and his whole life ahead of him. Until the night he finds himself on Burnside Bridge, willing himself to jump. How did he get here? Two Stories is a confessional graphic memoir that grapples with questions of faith, mental illness, depravity, and, ultimately, redemption in a fallen world. Here’s a great trailer for the book: Joshua Kemble is a full-time art director, freelance illustrator, and Xeric Award-winning cartoonist. His illustration clients have ranged from Scholastic to Random House. Joshua was born in 1980 in Tarzana, California, and grew up in the Antelope Valley. He received his BFA and MFA in Illustration from California State University of Long Beach and resides in Lancaster, CA, with his wife and fellow artist, Mai S. Kemble, and son Benjamin. He has taught college art courses in design and illustration, and co-hosts both The Artcasters and 48-Hour Art Check. You can see Josh’s work at www.joshuakemble.com. The post Mental Illness and Graphic Novel as Memoir – Ep 84 with Joshua Kemble appeared first on Read Learn Live Podcast.
70 minutes | 4 months ago
Don’t Judge a College Athlete by Their Cover – Ep 83 with Corey Sobel
The Redshirt challenges tenacious stereotypes, shedding new light on the hypermasculine world of American football. Over the course of their first year playing for a Division One college football program that is willing to win at all costs, roommates Miles Furling and Reshawn McCoy are forced to choose between their true selves and the selves that have been imposed on them by the game. Corey Sobel’s debut novel, The Redshirt, was published by the New Poetry & Prose Series at the University Press of Kentucky on October 13, 2020. The Redshirt is a finalist for the Center for Fiction’s First Novel Prize, and is one of NPR’s Favorite Books of 2020. Sobel also has non-fiction published by or forthcoming from The Wall Street Journal’s book section, Esquire, Largehearted Boy, and HuffPost, and he edits the column “Music for Desks” at Epiphany Magazine. Corey was born in Colorado and spent his childhood moving around the United States with his family of seven. He attended Duke University on a football scholarship and has since researched HIV/AIDS in North Carolina and Kenya, documented wartime human rights abuses on the border of Burma and Thailand, and served as a researcher for international development organizations around the world. He lives in Brooklyn with his wife and their dog and cat. The post Don’t Judge a College Athlete by Their Cover – Ep 83 with Corey Sobel appeared first on Read Learn Live Podcast.
50 minutes | 5 months ago
A Mayan Creation Story – Ep 82 with Ilan Stavans
Popul Vuh: A Retelling is an inspired and urgent prose retelling of the Mayan myth of creation by acclaimed Latin American author and scholar Ilan Stavans, gorgeously illustrated by Salvadoran folk artist Gabriela Larios and introduced by renowned author, diplomat, and environmental activist Homero Aridjis. The archetypal creation story of Latin America, the Popul Vuh began as a Maya oral tradition millennia ago. In the mid-sixteenth century, as indigenous cultures across the continent were being threatened with destruction by European conquest and Christianity, it was written down in verse by members of the K’iche’ nobility in what is today Guatemala. In 1701, that text was translated into Spanish by a Dominican friar and ethnographer before vanishing mysteriously. Cosmic in scope and yet intimately human, the Popul Vuh offers invaluable insight into the Maya way of life before being decimated by colonization-their code of ethics, their views on death and the afterlife, and their devotion to passion, courage and the natural world. It tells the story of how the world was created in a series of rehearsals that included wooden dummies, demi-gods, and eventually humans. It describes the underworld, Xibalba-a place as harrowing as Danta’s hell-and relates the legend of the ultimate king, who, in the face of tragedy, became a spirit that accompanies his people in their struggle for survival. Ilan Stavans is Lewis-Sebring Professor of Humanities, Latin America and Latino Culture at Amherst College and the publisher of Restless Books. He is a prolific translator, author, and public intellectual. The post A Mayan Creation Story – Ep 82 with Ilan Stavans appeared first on Read Learn Live Podcast.
46 minutes | 6 months ago
Stories From a Syrian Refugee – Ep 81 with Perween Richards
Drawn from her experiences of growing up as a young woman in the ‘world’s largest prison’—Gaza—Nayrouz Qarmout’s stories in The Sea Cloak (translated by Perween Richards) stitch together a stirring patchwork of perspectives exploring what it means to be a Palestinian today. Whether following the daily struggles of orphaned children fighting to survive in the rubble of recent bombardments, or mapping the complex tensions between political forces vying to control Palestinian lives, these stories offer a rare insight into one of the most talked about but least understood cities in the Middle East. Taken together, they afford us a local perspective on a global story, always rooted firmly in that most cherished of things, the home. Perween Richards is a literary translator of Arabic-language stories. She attended translating classes at City summer school in London in 2016, and was one of the two winners of the school’s annual translation competition, sponsored by Comma Press. She was awarded an English PEN Translates grant to translate The Sea Cloak. The post Stories From a Syrian Refugee – Ep 81 with Perween Richards appeared first on Read Learn Live Podcast.
53 minutes | 8 months ago
You Ought To Do A Story About Me – Ep 80 with Ted Jackson
You Ought To Do A Story About Me: Addiction, an Unlikely Friendship, and the Endless Quest for Redemption is the heartbreaking, timeless, and redemptive story of the transformative friendship binding a fallen-from-grace NFL player and a Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist who meet on the streets of New Orleans, offering a rare glimpse into the precarious world of homelessness and the lingering impact of systemic racism and poverty on the lives of NOLA’s citizens. Author Ted Jackson is a Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist and the author of YOU OUGHT TO DO A STORY ABOUT ME, an unlikely tale that began thirty years ago when a homeless man boasted about playing in three Super Bowls. The story was true. Beginning in 1984, Ted started photographing assignments for The Times-Picayune in New Orleans and globally, exploring politics, environmental issues, conflict and the indomitable human spirit. He has appeared on CBS, ABC, CNN, Fox News, NBC and NPR. He and his wife live in Covington, Louisiana. The post You Ought To Do A Story About Me – Ep 80 with Ted Jackson appeared first on Read Learn Live Podcast.
54 minutes | 8 months ago
E.E. Cummings And The Great War – Ep 79 with Alison Rosenblitt
An incisive biography of E. E. Cummings’s early life, including his World War I ambulance service and subsequent imprisonment, inspirations for his inventive poetry. E. E. Cummings is one of our most popular and enduring poets, one whose name extends beyond the boundaries of the literary world. Renowned for his formally fractured, gleefully alive poetry, Cummings is not often thought of as a war poet. But his experience in France and as a prisoner during World War I (the basis for his first work of prose, The Enormous Room) escalated his earliest breaks with conventional form?the innovation with which his name would soon become synonymous. Intimate and richly detailed, The Beauty of Living begins with Cummings’s Cambridge upbringing and his relationship with his socially progressive but domestically domineering father. It follows Cummings through his undergraduate experience at Harvard, where he fell into a circle of aspiring writers including John Dos Passos, who became a lifelong friend. Steeped in classical paganism and literary Decadence, Cummings and his friends rode the explosion of Cubism, Futurism, Imagism, and other “modern” movements in the arts. As the United States prepared to enter World War I, Cummings volunteered as an ambulance driver, shipped out to Paris, and met his first love, Marie Louise Lallemand, who was working in Paris as a prostitute. Soon after reaching the front, however, he was unjustly imprisoned in a brutal French detention center at La Ferté-Macé. Through this confrontation with arbitrary and sadistic authority, he found the courage to listen to his own voice. The post E.E. Cummings And The Great War – Ep 79 with Alison Rosenblitt appeared first on Read Learn Live Podcast.
56 minutes | 9 months ago
Our Moral Character – Ep 78 with Christian B. Miller
We like to think of ourselves, our friends, and our families as decent people. We may not be saints, but we are still honest, relatively kind, and mostly trustworthy. Author and philosopher Christian B. Miller argues in his new book, “The Character Gap: How Good Are We?” that we are badly mistaken in thinking this. Hundreds of recent studies in psychology tell a different story: that we all have serious character flaws that prevent us from being as good as we think we are – and that we do not even recognize that these flaws exist. But neither are most of us cruel or dishonest. Instead, Miller argues, we are a mixed bag. On the one hand, most of us in a group of bystanders will do nothing as someone cries out for help in an emergency. Yet it is also true that there will be many times when we will selflessly come to the aid of a complete stranger – and resist the urge to lie, cheat, or steal even if we could get away with it. Much depends on cues in our social environment. Miller uses this recent psychological literature to explain what the notion of “character” really means today, and how we can use this new understanding to develop a character better in sync with the kind of people we want to be. Christian B. Miller is the A. C. Reid Professor of Philosophy at Wake Forest University. He is the Past Director of the Character Project, funded by $5.6 million in grants from the John Templeton Foundation and Templeton World Charity Foundation. The post Our Moral Character – Ep 78 with Christian B. Miller appeared first on Read Learn Live Podcast.
52 minutes | 10 months ago
In Praise of Walking – Ep 77 with Shane O’Mara
In this captivating book, neuroscientist Shane O’Mara invites us to marvel at the benefits walking confers on our bodies and brains, and to appreciate the advantages of this uniquely human skill. From walking’s evolutionary origins, traced back millions of years to life forms on the ocean floor, to new findings from cutting-edge research, he reveals how the brain and nervous system give us the ability to balance, weave through a crowded city, and run our “inner GPS” system. Walking is good for our muscles and posture; it helps to protect and repair organs, and can slow or turn back the aging of our brains. With our minds in motion we think more creatively, our mood improves, and stress levels fall. Walking together to achieve a shared purpose is also a social glue that has contributed to our survival as a species. As our lives become increasingly sedentary, O’Mara makes the case that we must start walking again—whether it’s up a mountain, down to the park, or simply to school and work. In Praise of Walking illuminates the joys, health benefits, and mechanics of walking, and reminds us to get out of our chairs and discover a happier, healthier, more creative self. Shane O’Mara is the principal investigator in the Trinity College Institute of Neuroscience, where his research explores the brain systems supporting learning, memory, and cognition, and the brain systems affected by stress and depression. He has published over 140 peer-reviewed papers. He is a graduate of the National University of Ireland – Galway, and University of Oxford; was elected both as a Fellow of the Association for Psychological Science and Member of the Royal Irish Academy. The post In Praise of Walking – Ep 77 with Shane O’Mara appeared first on Read Learn Live Podcast.
57 minutes | 10 months ago
How To Get things DONE – Ep 76 with Ellen Goodwin
DONE: How To Work When No One is Watching is a hands-on guidebook that teaches, through stories, examples, and activities how working with (and around) your brain, can make all the difference in what can be accomplished every day; the importance of being in action (and not motion); the best way to prevent obstacles from stopping you; how to easily build stronger and better habits; why it’s more important to manage you energy instead of your time, and why one-size does not fit all when it comes to productivity. It’s also kind of funny. Ellen Goodwin is a Productivity Trainer, TEDx speaker, and author who uses neuroscience-based principles to enable individuals and businesses to overcome procrastination, build stronger habits, and be more focused so that they can be more efficient and effective with their time. When it comes to productivity, Ellen believes there is no one-size-fits-all solution, so she advocates for experimentation to find the tools and techniques that work best with your life and your business. She recently released her book, DONE: How To Work When No One Is Watching, and is the co-host of The Faster, Easier, Better Show podcast. The post How To Get things DONE – Ep 76 with Ellen Goodwin appeared first on Read Learn Live Podcast.
61 minutes | a year ago
Baseball’s Swing Kings – Ep 75 with Jared Diamond
From the Wall Street Journal’s national baseball writer, the captivating story of the home run boom, following a group of players who rose from obscurity to stardom and the rogue swing coaches who helped them usher the game into a new age. Swing Kings is both a rollicking history of baseball’s recent past and a deeply reported, character-driven account of a battle between opponents as old as time: old and new, change and stasis, the establishment and those who break from it. Jared Diamond has written a masterful chronicle of America’s pastime at the crossroads. JARED DIAMOND has been the national baseball writer for the Wall Street Journal since 2017. Prior to that, he spent a season as the Journal’s Yankees beat writer and three seasons as their Mets beat writer. In his current role, he leads the newspaper’s baseball coverage. This is his first book. The post Baseball’s Swing Kings – Ep 75 with Jared Diamond appeared first on Read Learn Live Podcast.
53 minutes | a year ago
Fairy Tales, Disability, and Making Space – Ep 74 with Amanda Leduc
If every disabled character is mocked and mistreated, how does the Beast ever imagine a happily-ever-after? Amanda Leduc looks at fairy tales from the Brothers Grimm to Disney, showing us how they influence our expectations and behaviour and linking the quest for disability rights to new kinds of stories that celebrate difference. Amanda Leduc is a disabled writer and author of the non-fiction book DISFIGURED: ON FAIRY TALES, DISABILITY, AND MAKING SPACE (Coach House Books, 2020) and the novel THE MIRACLES OF ORDINARY MEN (2013, ECW Press). Her next novel, THE CENTAUR’S WIFE, is forthcoming from Random House Canada in the spring of 2021. She has cerebral palsy and lives in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, where she works as the Communications Coordinator for the Festival of Literary Diversity (FOLD), Canada’s first festival for diverse authors and stories. The post Fairy Tales, Disability, and Making Space – Ep 74 with Amanda Leduc appeared first on Read Learn Live Podcast.
47 minutes | a year ago
Jimmy and the Kid – Ep 73 with Lee Silber
When a twelve year-old girl wants to play baseball with the boys, she’s lucky to have the help of Jimmy Parks, a former Major Leaguer and someone with the power to change her life forever. Escaping to the empty baseball fields across the street from the military housing in which she lives, Billie is content to throw a ball against the wall, pitching imaginary games with no one around—until she meets Jimmy Parks, the man who maintains the fields. Not only does the long-retired Major Leaguer teach Billie and her new friends how to play baseball the right way, he and the other older coaches also teach the team about life in this story of breaking barriers, and breaking through to do what you were always meant to do. Lee Silber is an author who started self-publishing his books (with success!) in the 1990s, he then signed with Random House for four books, followed by St Martin’s Press, Career Press, and others to release a total of 20 books. Then, he went back to putting out his own books (winning several awards) including his latest title, “Jimmy and the Kid“. The post Jimmy and the Kid – Ep 73 with Lee Silber appeared first on Read Learn Live Podcast.
48 minutes | a year ago
The Amateurs – Ep 72 with Liz Harmer
“The Amateurs” is a speculative novel of rapture and romance in the vein of Margaret Atwood’s The Year of the Flood and Tom Perotta’s The Leftovers. In the near future, the world’s largest tech company unveils the “Port”, a personal time travel device. It becomes a phenomenon. But soon it is clear that those who pass through its portal won’t be coming back–either unwilling to return or, more ominously, unable to do so. After a few short years, the population plummets. A small group of the one percent still remain in the present, having been left trying to rebuild a very lonely and dwindling world. Liz Harmer is a Canadian writer living in Southern California with her many pets, three children, and philosopher husband. Her stories, essays, and poems have appeared or are forthcoming in the Walrus, Image Journal, the Globe and Mail, The Malahat Review, Lit Hub, and elsewhere. In 2014 she won gold in Personal Journalism at the National Magazine awards, after being awarded the Constance Rooke Award for Creative Nonfiction. In 2018 she was a finalist for the Journey Prize as well as appearing in Best Canadian Stories. Her debut novel, The Amateurs, released in 2018 with Knopf Canada, was a finalist for the Amazon Canada First Novel Award. Find Liz on Social Media and the Web: Twitter Instagram Amazon GoodReads The post The Amateurs – Ep 72 with Liz Harmer appeared first on Read Learn Live Podcast.
58 minutes | a year ago
A Flag of No Nation – Ep 71 with Tom Haviv
A meditation on world invention and collapse, A Flag of No Nation traces the stories of Turkish Jews in the 20th century, blind colonists in a white ocean, and performers enacting new rituals around a nationless flag. Through forms of storytelling that range from allegory to oral history, Tom Haviv investigates the history of Israel/Palestine and the mythologies of nationalism. A warning against imperfect dreams, and invitation to imagine something new, A Flag of No Nation reminds us how the act of remembrance can help us re-envision the future. Tom Haviv is a writer, multimedia artist, and organizer based in Brooklyn and born in Israel. His debut poetry collection, A Flag of No Nation, is being published by Jewish Currents Press in the fall of 2019. His first children’s book, Woven, was published in the fall of 2018 by Ayin Press. He is also is the founder of the Hamsa Flag project, an international performance project designed to create conversation about the future of Israel/Palestine, Sephardi/Mizrahi culture, and Jewish/Muslim solidarity. He works with NYC-based community organization JFREJ (Jews for Racial and Economic Justice) where he is an active member of their Sephardi/Mizrahi Caucus. The post A Flag of No Nation – Ep 71 with Tom Haviv appeared first on Read Learn Live Podcast.
52 minutes | a year ago
The Lost Book of Adana Moreau – Ep 70 with Michael Zapata
The Lost Book of Adana Moreau is the mesmerizing story of a Latin American science fiction writer and the lives her lost manuscript unites decades later in post-Katrina New Orleans. In 1929 in New Orleans, a Dominican immigrant named Adana Moreau writes a science fiction novel. The novel earns rave reviews, and Adana begins a sequel. Then she falls gravely ill. Just before she dies, she destroys the only copy of the manuscript. Decades later in Chicago, Saul Drower is cleaning out his dead grandfather’s home when he discovers a mysterious manuscript written by none other than Adana Moreau. With the help of his friend Javier, Saul tracks down an address for Adana’s son in New Orleans, but as Hurricane Katrina strikes they must head to the storm-ravaged city for answers. What results is a brilliantly layered masterpiece an ode to home, storytelling and the possibility of parallel worlds. Michael Zapata is the author of The Lost Book of Adana Moreau. He is a founding editor of the award-winning MAKE Literary Magazine. He’s also the recipient of an Illinois Arts Council Award for Fiction; the City of Chicago DCASE Individual Artist Program award; and a Pushcart Nomination. As an educator, he taught literature and writing in high schools servicing dropout students. He is a graduate of the University of Iowa and has lived in New Orleans, Italy, and Ecuador. He currently lives in Chicago with his family. You can find Michael the following ways: Facebook Twitter Instagram Amazon Goodreads The post The Lost Book of Adana Moreau – Ep 70 with Michael Zapata appeared first on Read Learn Live Podcast.
47 minutes | a year ago
Even That Wildest Hope – Ep 69 with Seyward Goodhand
Even That Wildest Hope bursts with vibrant, otherworldly characters—wax girls and gods-among-men, artists on opposite sides of a war, aimless plutocrats and anarchist urchins—who are sometimes wondrous, often grotesque, and always driven by passions and yearnings common to us all. Each story is an untamed territory unto itself: where characters are both victims and predators, the settings are antique and futuristic, and where our intimacies—with friends, lovers, enemies, and even our food—reveal a deeply human desire for beauty and abjection. Seyward Goodhand’s work has been shortlisted for the Writers’ Trust/McClelland & Stewart Journey Prize and a National Magazine Award. Her first collection of stories, Even That Wildest Hope, is now out with Invisible Publishing. The post Even That Wildest Hope – Ep 69 with Seyward Goodhand appeared first on Read Learn Live Podcast.
47 minutes | a year ago
Always Blue – Ep 68 with John Dermot Woods
Always Blue is a work of literary science fiction that explores how our day-to-day struggles and inconveniences—irritating colleagues, entitled students, aloof administrators, uninspired lunch choices—can make it impossible to see the real threats to our world. John Dermot Woods writes stories and draws comics in Brooklyn, NY. His books include the novel, The Baltimore Atrocities, published by Coffee House Press, and a collection of comics with the title Activities (published by Publishing Genius Press). He recently published a science fiction chapbook, Always Blue, as part of Radix Media’s FUTURES series. He is a founder of the online arts journal Action, Yes and a professor of English and Creative Writing at SUNY Nassau Community College. The post Always Blue – Ep 68 with John Dermot Woods appeared first on Read Learn Live Podcast.
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