THE CURIOUS SUMMER 2011
A PRODUCTION OF THE CURIOUS SOCIETY
A Short Story, Curious Sports, Laugh out Loud, Ask Y’Mama’s Lama, Mental Manusha, groovy games, and more!
CONTENTS Page 1 Mental Minutia Page 2-3 Curious Story Page 4-5 Ask Y’mama’s Llama
Page 6 Curious Story (continued) and Curious Sports Page 7 Laugh Out Loud Page 8 Featured Book Page 9 Curious Story (continued) and Wiggling Riddles Page 10 Groovy Games Page 11 Curious Story (ending) and About The Author Page 12 Things You Don’t know about well known people” Page 13 “the Curious Creators”
Pg 1 M O N T H LY N E W S L E T T E R
MENTALMINUTIA The Curious Society
What problem did Leonardo da Vinci, Winston Churchill, Albert Einstein, Thomas Edison and General George Patton Have in common? Before the introduction of the hair dryer in 1920, what common Household appliance was promoted for its hair-drying ability? What did Lizzie Borden, Napoleon, and Titian have in Common?
cts a F y c Fan
We are all covered in dust Mites that live off our dead Skin. There’s also another bug Living in our eyelashes what Purpose it serves we don’t Know. A single bacterium can Multiply up to nearly a Million in just eight hours At any given time there are More bacteria on our body Than people on the earth. Bacteria can account for 10% of our dry body weight Don’t get all bacteriophobic on us now, Only One percent of bacteria cause Disease in humans.
ord W s u o Curi
Q: What has to be broken before it can be used? Q: How many bricks does it take to complete a building Made of brick? Q: What's the greatest worldwide use of cowhide?
ANSWERS ON THE BOTTOM OF PAGE 10
adjective Having a large belly; gluttonous. Etymology From French, from Latin ventri-(abdomen) + potent (powerful) The word ventriloquism, the art of speaking such that the voice seems to come from somewhere else, is derived from the same root. Ventriloquism is, literally speaking, speaking from the belly.
CURIOUS STORY TH HA E CU R TT I E S IO U S BU TEL RG E M
PHO NE 4-0
ISSUE NO. 1
THE UMBRELLA MAN Roald By
DEAR READER,! This months short story is by the well known Writer, Roald Dahl. Though more widely known for his Children's literature, his adult fiction is just as clever and witty, if not more so. This particular short of his was later made into a television episode in Roald Dahl’s own T.V. series (TALES OF THE UNEXPECTED). The series originally aired between 1979 and 1988 and was made by Anglia Television for ITV IN BRITAN. It’s one of my personal favorites. We hope you Enjoy “The Umbrella Man” by Roald Dahl. Thank You for Reading!! -Salvatore Dolce
THE UMBRELLA MAN BY ROALD DAHL
’m going to tell you about a funny thing that happened to my mother and me
yesterday evening. I am twelve years old and I’m a girl. My mother is thirty-four but I am nearly as tall as her already. Yesterday afternoon, my mother took me up to London to see the dentist. He found one hole. It was in a back tooth and he filled it without hurting me too much. After that, we went to a café. I had a banana split and my mother had a cup of coffee. By the time we got up to leave, it was about six o'clock. When we came out of the café it had started to rain. “We must get a taxi," my mother said. We were wearing ordinary hats and coats, and it was raining quite hard. "Why don't we go back into the café and wait for it to stop?" I said. I wanted another of those banana splits. They were gorgeous. “It isn't going to stop," my mother said. "We must go home." We Stood on the pavement in the rain, looking for a taxi. Lots of them came by but they all had passengers inside them. "I wish we had a car with a chauffeur," my mother said. Just then, a man came up to us. He was a small man and he was pretty old, probably seventy or more. He raised his hat politely and said to my mother "Excuse me. I do hope you will excuse me. . . ." He had a fine white mustache and bushy white eyebrows and a wrinkly pink face. He was sheltering under an umbrella which he held high over his head. "Yes?" my mother said, very cool and distant. "I wonder if I could ask a small favor of you. " he said. "It is only a very small favor." I saw my mother looking at him suspiciously. She is a suspicious person, my mother. She is especially suspicious of two things - strange men and boiled eggs. When she cuts the top off a boiled egg, she pokes around inside it with her spoon as though expecting to find a mouse or something. With strange men she has a golden rule which says, "The nicer the man seems to be, the more suspicious you must become." This little old man was particularly nice. He was polite. He was well-spoken. He was well-dressed. He was a real gentleman. The reason I knew he was a gentleman was because of his shoes. "You can always spot a gentleman by the shoes he wears," was another of my mother's favorite sayings. This man had beautiful brown shoes. "The truth of the matter is," the little man was saying, "I've got myself into a bit of a scrape. I need some help. Not much, I assure you. It's almost nothing, in fact, but I do need it. You see, madam, old people like me often become terribly forgetful. . . ." My mother's chin was up and she was staring down at him along the full length of her nose. It is a fearsome thing, this frosty-nosed stare of my mother's. Most people go to pieces completely when she gives it to them. I once saw my own headmistress begin to stammer and simper like an idiot when my mother gave her a really foul frosty-noser. But the little man on the pavement with the umbrella over his head didn't bat an eyelid. He gave a gentle smile and said, "I beg you to believe, madam, that I am not in the habit of stopping ladies in the street and telling them my troubles." "I should hope not, " my mother said. I felt quite embarrassed by my mother's sharpness. I wanted to say to her, "Oh, mummy, for heaven's sake, he's a very very old man, and he's sweet and polite, and he's in some sort of trouble, so don't be so beastly to him." But I didn't say anything. The little man shifted his umbrella from one hand to the other. "I've never forgotten it before," he said.
CONTINUED ON PG 6
Ask Y’Mama’s Llama Curious News FROM THE DESK OF
PUSHOVER: A 63-year-old man
from Manila, in the Philippines, was in line to buy a lottery ticket when a woman cut in front of him. He did the gentlemanly thing, stepping back and allowing her in. The ticket she bought -- that would have been his -- wasn't a winner. The ticket he ended up buying, however, was: 741 million pesos (US $17 million). "When he won, he kept thinking: how sad for that woman," Charity Sweepstakes Office chair Margie Juico, "She could have won the big prize if she had just been patient." ...Chivalry not only isn't dead, it sometimes pays quite well.
Dear Y’Mama’s llama,
I have a peculiar problem. You see, I have been
having quite odd sleeping habits for the past seven months. Well, I believe that’s when it started I
can’t be sure. It’s all seems a bit fuzzy. Well, let me just get to the point.
OK For instance, last night I was dreaming that
I was watering my petunias when I was woken by gurgling screams. I found myself pouring a whole
gallon of milk on poor Mrs. Strap! And last week. I was dreaming that I was about to take an
Olympic dive when I suddenly woke up on the roof teetering on the ledge of my 12 story apartment
building. I am not sure what this is leading up to but I have been felling a bit uneasy about the future. I ask your opinion. Sincerely, -Mildly Alarmed
Ask y’mama’s Llama WOOD-FIRED BRICK OVEN PIZZA! Dearest Mildly Alarmed,
The fact is, I don't know what your problem is. I'll bet it's hard to pronounce., So, heres the deal: I have had cases like this before. One guy kept having superman dreams. He’s dead. Another women always wanted to be part of a sky diving act and always dreamt about it. Also dead. As you should see, you should be more than mildly alarmed.
Authentic Wood-fired, brick oven
Solution: it’s rather simple. The trick is to create your own little padded cell. With no way for you to get out!
(1) A very large sleeping bag.
(2) A nice length of rope, (3)One pair of hand cuffs, (4) a standard roll of duck tape. You will have to have your neighbor, Mrs. Strap, to help you do this. (if she is willing to help). Let’s begin. Put on the hand cuffs. Get into the sleeping bag. Zip it up as high as you can. and then have Mrs Strap wrap the duct tape around the sleeping bag. lock the door. This should do the trickI Hope that you are eventually cured, and if not, maybe someday, we’ll just look back on this, laugh nervously, and change the subject..
- Ya’Mama’s Llama
128 east front street in historic downtown Hattiesburg! Dine-in or carry-out, make Bianchi’s Pizzeria part of your family Tradition! PHONE: 601-450-1263 128 East Front Street - Downtown Hattiesburg 11am-9pm Sunday thu Thursday & 11am-11pm Friday & Saturday! www.BianchisPizzeria.com
THE UMBRELLA MAN BY ROALD DAHL ! "
ou've never forgotten what?" my mother asked sternly.
"My wallet," he said. "I must have left it in my other jacket. Isn't that the silliest thing to do?" A " re you asking me to give you money?" my mother said. "Oh, goodness gracious me, no!" he cried. "Heaven forbid I should ever do that!" "Then what are you asking?" my mother said. "Do hurry up. We're getting soaked to the skin standing here." "I know you are," he said. " And that is why I’m offering you this umbrella of mine to protect you, and to keep forever, if . . . if only . . ." "If only what?" my mother said. "If only you would give me in return a pound for my taxi-fare just to get me home." My mother was still suspicious. "If you had no money in the first place," she said, "then how did you get here?" "I walked," he answered. "Every day I go for a lovely long walk and then I summon a taxi to take me home. I do it every day of the year." "Why don't you walk home now," my mother asked. "Oh, I wish I could, " he said. "I do wish I could. But I don't think I could manage it on these silly old legs of mine. I've gone too far already." My mother stood there chewing her lower lip. She was beginning to melt a bit, I could see that. And the idea of getting an umbrella to shelter under must have tempted her a good deal. "It's a lovely umbrella," the little man said. "So I’ve noticed," my mother said. "It's silk, " he said. "I can see that." "Then why don't you take it, madam," he said. "It cost me over twenty pounds, I promise you. But that's of no importance so long as I can get home and rest these old legs of mine." I saw my mother's hand feeling for the clasp on her purse. She saw me watching her. I was giving her one of my own frosty-nosed looks this time and she knew exactly what I was telling her. Now listen, mummy, I was telling her, you simply mustn't take advantage of a tired old man in this way. It's a rotten thing to do. My mother paused and looked back at me. Then she said to the little man, "I don't think it's quite right that I should take a silk umbrella from you worth twenty pounds. I think I'd just better give you the taxi-fare and be done with it." "No, no, no!" he cried. "It's out of the question! I wouldn't dream of it! Not in a million years! I would never accept money from you like that! Take the umbrella, dear lady, and keep the rain off your shoulders!" My mother gave me a triumphant sideways look. There you are, she was telling me. You're wrong. He wants me to have it. She fished into her purse and took out a pound note. She held it out to the little man. He took it and handed her the umbrella. He pocketed the pound, raised his hat, gave a quick bow from the waist, and said. "Thank you, madam, thank you. " Then he was gone. "Come under here and keep dry, darling," my mother said. A " ren't we lucky. I've never had a silk umbrella before. I couldn't afford it." "Why were you so horrid to him in the beginning?" I asked. "I wanted to satisfy myself he wasn't a trickster," she said. " And I did. He was a gentleman. I'm very pleased I was able to help him." "Yes, mummy," I said. A " real gentleman," she went on. "Wealthy, too, otherwise he wouldn't have had a silk umbrella. I shouldn't be surprised if he isn't a titled person. Sir Harry Goldsworthy or something like that." "Yes, mummy." "This will be a good lesson to you," she went on. "Never rush things. Always take your time when you are summing someone up.
Continued on Pg 9
CURIOUS SPORTS Curious sports from around the world
A popular activity for children, toe wrestling, is now a competitive sport. The World Toe Wrestling Competition first started at a pub in Derbyshire, UK in 1976. Locals thought it would be a great idea to hold a competition where individuals lock toes together and force their opponent’s foot to the ground. The organizers applied in 1997 to get the sport included in the Olympics, but unfortunately, it was not accepted.
u T r h io e u
THE CURIOUS SOCIETY
LAUGH OUT LOUD
Fair haired Frau jokes
ners i l e n & O Jokes Jokes: Q: What do you call it when a fair haired Frau dies their hair brunette? A: Artificial intelligence. One Liners: Before you criticize fair haired Frauâ€™s, you should walk a mile in their shoes. That way, when you criticize them, you're a mile away and you have their shoes.
Fair haired Frau was really tired of being made fun of, so she decided to have her hair died so she would look like a brunette. When she had brown hair, she decided to take a drive in the country. After she had been driving for a while, she saw a farmer and a flock of sheep and thought,
The farmer, being a bit of a gambler himself, said she could have a try. The blonde looked at the flock and guessed, "157." The farmer was amazed - she was right! So the fair haired Frau, (who looked like a brunette), picked one out and got back into her car.
"Oh! Those sheep are so adorable!"
Before she left, farmer walked up to her and said.
She got out and walked over to the farmer and said, "If I can guess how many sheep you have, can I take one home?"
"If I can guess the real color of your hair, can I have my dog back?"
Your ad here. Frau is German for woman
Maniac Magee BY: Jerry Spinelli
is a folk story about a boy, a very
excitable boy. One that can outrun dogs, hit a home run off the best pitcher in the neighborhood, un-tie a knot no one can undo. "Kid's gotta be a maniac," is what the folks in Two Mills say. It's also the story of how this boy, Jeffrey Lionel "Maniac" Magee, confronts racism in a small town, tries to find a home where there is none and attempts to soothe tensions between rival factions on the tough side of town. Presented as a folk tale, it's the stuff of storytelling. "The history of a kid," says Jerry Spinelli, "is one part fact, two parts legend, and three parts snowball.". “Twenty-one years ago, in April 1990, Jerry Spinelli’s Maniac Magee was published. then the world watched it sweep the prizes, including the Boston Globe–Horn Book Award and Newbery Medal. Still going strong, it has now become a classic, and one the best books I have ever read” -The Curious Society
Jerry Spinelli (born February 1, 1941, in Norristown, Pennsylvania) is a noted children's author, specializing on novels written for and about early adolescence. Among his books are Space Station Seventh Grade, Maniac Magee (winner of the 1991 Newbery Medal), Wringer (1998 Newbery Honor book), and Stargirl. Spinelli first decided he wanted to become a writer at the age of 16, when his high school football team won a big game. He wrote a poem about this, and two days later the poem was published in the local newspaper. When he began his professional writing career, Spinelli attempted to write books for adults, rather than children. These books were never published--the publishers he sent them to rejected them. Spinelli's writing direction changed one night when one of his six children ate some fried chicken that he had been saving for the next day. Spinelli wrote about this event. Eventually, what he wrote turned into his first published novel, Space Station Seventh Grade. Spinelli originally intended Space Station Seventh Grade to be an adult novel as well, but since the protagonist is 13 years old, adult publishers rejected it and it became a children's book. Mr. Spinelli is a 1963 graduate of Gettysburg College. He earned an MA from Johns Hopkins University in 1964, and in 1977 he married his wife Eileen. From 1966 to 1972 he served in the United States Navy Reserve.
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GROOVY GAMES We
have some treats for You, enjoy crossword, SUDOKU, and a small maze. We hope you enjoy this Months installment of………
How To Play:
Each Row, column and set of 3-by-3 boxes must contain the numbers 1 though 9 without repetition.
How To Play:
It’s a maze don’t get lost.
THE UMBRELLA MAN BY ROALD DAHL
hen you'll never make mistakes." "There he goes," I
said. "Look." "Where?" "Over there. He's crossing the street. Goodness, mummy, what a hurry he's in." We watched the little man as he dodged nimbly in and out of the traffic. When he reached the other side of the street, he turned left, walking very fast. "He doesn't look very tired to me, does he to you, mummy?" My mother didn't answer. "He doesn't look as though he's trying to get a taxi, either," I said. My mother was standing very still and stiff, staring across the street at the little man. We could see him clearly. He was in a terrific hurry. He was bustling along the pavement, sidestepping the other pedestrians and swinging his arms like a soldier on the march. "He's up to something," my mother said, stony-faced. "But what?" "I don't know," my mother snapped. "But Iâ€™m going to find out. Come with me." She took my arm and we crossed the street together. Then we turned left. "Can you see him?" my mother asked. "Yes. There he is. He's turning right down the next street." We came to the corner and turned right. The little man was about twenty yards ahead of us. He was scuttling along like a rabbit and we had to walk fast to keep up with him. The rain was pelting down harder than ever now and I could see it dripping from the brim of his hat onto his shoulders. But we were snug and dry under our lovely big silk umbrella. "What is he up to?" my mother said. "What if he turns round and sees us?" I asked. "I don't care if he does, " my mother said. "He lied to us. He said he was too tired to walk any further and he's practically running us off our feet! He's a barefaced liar! He's a crook!" "you mean he's not a titled gentleman?" I asked. "Be quiet, " she said. At the next crossing, the little man turned right again. Then he turned left. Then right. "Iâ€™m not giving up now," my mother said. "He's disappeared!" I cried. "Where's he gone?" "He went in that door!" my mother said. "I saw him! Into that house! Great heavens, it's a pub!" It was a pub. In big letters right across the front it said THE RED LION. "You're not going in, are you, mummy?" , "No," she said. "We'll watch from outside." There was a big plate-glass window along the front of the pub, and although it was a bit steamy on the inside, we could see through it very well if we went close. We stood huddled together outside the pub window. I was clutching my mother's arm. The big raindrops were making aloud noise on our umbrella. "There he is," I said. "Over there." The room we were looking into was full of people and cigarette smoke, and our little man was in the middle of it all. He was now without his hat or coat, and he was edging his way through the crowd toward the bar. When he reached it, he placed bath hands on the bar itself and spoke to the barman. I saw his lips moving as he gave his order. The barman turned away from him for a few seconds and came back with a smallish tumbler filled to the brim with light brown liquid. The little man placed a pound note on the counter. "That's my pound!" my mother hissed. "By golly he's got a nerve!" "What's in the glass?" I asked.
Continued on Pg 11 ANSWERS: Wriggling riddles:
A: An egg A: Only one, the last one. A: To cover cows
The vacuum cleaner--which could be converted into a hair Dryer by attaching a hose to the exhaust.
A: They all were dyslexic. A:
A: They were all red heads.
Things you didn’t know about well known people
Albert Einstein Albert Einstein facts Einstein Was a Fat Baby with Large Head When Albert’s mother, Pauline Einstein gave birth to him, she thought that Einstein’s head was so big and misshapen that he was deformed! As the back of the head seemed much too big, the family initially considered a monstrosity. The physician, however, was able to calm them down and some weeks later the shape of the head was normal. When Albert’s grandmother saw him for the first time she is reported to have muttered continuously "Much too fat, much too fat!" Contrasting all apprehensions Albert grew and developed normally except that he seemed a bit slow.
As a child, Einstein seldom spoke. When he did, he spoke very slowly – indeed, he tried out entire sentences in his head (or muttered them under his breath) until he got them right before he spoke aloud. According to accounts, Einstein did this until he was nine years old. Einstein’s parents fearful that he was mentally challenged – of course, their fear was completely unfounded! One interesting anecdote, told by Otto Neugebauer, a historian of science, goes like this:
As he was a late talker, his parents were worried. At last, at the supper table one night, he broke his silence to say, "The soup is too hot." Greatly relieved, his parents asked why he had never said a word before. Albert replied, "Because up to now everything was in order.
So you think you know Albert Einstein: the absent-minded genius who gave us the theory of relativity (two of them, in fact, special theory and general theory of relativity), but did you know that Einstein was asked to Be Israel's Second President When Israel's first president, Chaim Weizmann, died in 1952, the country's prime minister offered Einstein the job—hey if the guy could do for politics what he did for physics… Einstein ultimately turned down the position, expressing regret at his "lack [of] both the natural aptitude and the experience to deal properly with people and to exercise official function."
The Saga of Einstein’s Brain: Pickled in a Jar for 43 Years and Driven Cross Country in a Trunk of a Buick!
After his death in 1955, Einstein’s brain was removed – without permission from his family – by Thomas Stoltz Harvey, the Princeton Hospital pathologist who conducted the autopsy. Harvey took the brain home and kept it in a jar. He was later fired from his job for refusing to relinquish the organ.Many years later, Harvey, who by then had gotten permission from Hans Albert to study Einstein’s brain, sent slices of Einstein’s brain to various scientists throughout the world. One of these scientists was Marian Diamond of UC Berkeley, who discovered that compared to a normal person, Einstein had significantly more glial cells in the region of the brain that is responsible for synthesizing information.In another study, Sandra Witelson of McMaster University found that Einstein’s brain lacked a particular "wrinkle" in the brain
Great Einstein Quotes: - The secret of creativity is knowing how to hide your sources. -The hardest thing in the world to understand is the income tax.
called the Sylvan fissure. Witelson speculated that this unusual anatomy allowed neurons in Einstein’s brain to communicate better with each other. Other studies had suggested that Einstein’s brain was denser, and that the inferior parietal lobe, which is often associated with mathematical ability, was larger than normal brains.The saga of Einstein's brain can be quite strange at times: in the early 1990s, Harvey
-I never think of the
future. It comes soon Enough.
went with freelance writer Michael Paterniti on a cross-country trip to California to meet Einstein’s
-The only thing that
granddaughter. They drove off from New Jersey in Harvey’s Buick Skylark with Einstein’s brain sloshing
interferes with my learning is my education
inside a jar in the trunk!
THE UMBRELLA MAN BY ROALD DAHL "
Whiskey," my mother said. "Neat whiskey." The barkeeper
didn't give him any change from the pound. "That must be a treble whiskey," my mother said. "What's a treble?" I asked. "Three times the normal measure," she answered. The little man picked up the glass and put it to his lips. He tilted it gently. Then he tilted it higher. . . and higher. . . and higher. . . and very soon all the whiskey had disappeared down his throat in one long pour. "That was a jolly expensive drink," I said. "It's ridiculous!" my mother said. "Fancy paying a pound for something you swallow in one go!" "It cost him more than a pound, " I said. "It cost him a twenty pound silk umbrella." "So it did," my mother said. "He must be mad." The little man was standing by the bar with the empty glass in his hand. He was smiling now, and a sort of golden glow of pleasure was spreading over his round pink face. I saw his tongue come out to lick the white mustache, as though searching for the last drop of that precious whiskey. Slowly, he turned away from the bar and edged back through the crowd to where his hat and coat were hanging. He put on his hat. He put on his coat. Then, in a manner so superbly cool and casual that you hardly noticed anything at all, he lifted from the coatrack one of the many wet umbrellas hanging there, and off he went. "Did you see that!" my mother shrieked. "Did you see what he did!" "Ssshh!" I whispered. "He's coming out!" We lowered the umbrella to hide our faces and peeped out from under it. Out he came. But he never looked in our direction. He opened his new umbrella over his head and scurried off down the road the way he had come. "So that's his little game!" my mother said. "Neat, " I said. "Super." We followed him back to the main street where we had first met him, and we watched him as he continued, with no trouble at all, to exchange his new umbrella for another pound note. This time it was with a tall thin fellow who didn't even have a coat or hat. the transaction was completed, our little man trotted off down the street and was lost in the crowd. But this time he went in the opposite direction. "You see how clever he is!" my mother said. "He never goes to the same pub twice!" "He could go on doing this all night, " I said. "Yes," my mother said. "Of course. I'll bet he prays like mad for rainy days."
About The Author of todays story
â˜œ Roald Dahl was born on September 13, 1916, in Llandaff, South Wales, to Norwegian parents, Harald and Sofie (Hesselberg) Dahl. After graduating from Repton School in 1933, he went to work for the Shell Oil Company of East Africa until World War II started in 1939. He then served in the Royal Air Force as a fighter pilot and he became a Wing Commander. In 1940 Dahl's plane was hit by a machine gun fire, and he was severely injured. He was rescued by a fellow pilot and took six months to recover. Although Dahl rejoined his squadron in Greece in the spring of 1941, the pain from his head and back injuries grew worse so that he had to be sent back to England on the disabled list. Dahl was then reassigned to Washington, D.C., as an assistant air attache'. It was there that he accidentally began his career as a writer. One day while Dahl was working in his office, C.S. Forester Came to ask if he could interview him for a piece he was writing for The Saturday Evening Post because he had "seen action" in the war. Forester took Dahl to lunch with the intentions of taking notes about his most exciting war experience. However, Forester was having difficulty taking notes while eating, so Dahl offered to write down some notes and send them to him. The notes ended up being a story which he called "A Piece of Cake." Forester sent the story to The Saturday Evening Post under Dahl's name. The Post liked the story so much, they paid Dahl $1,000 and then signed him to write others. Soon his stories were being published in several other magazines, and his writing career had started.
The curious creators
The Curious Creators: Curious story edited by: Salvatore Dolce and Written by: Roald Dahl Troubling trivia & Wriggling riddles By: Sophie Johnson Curious Sports edited by: Salvatore Dolce. Sports researcher: Sophie Johnson Ask Yâ€™MAmas Llama was Written By: Salvatore & Sasha Dolce. Laugh out loud Edited By: Salvatore Dolce
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