Posts By: Vlora

Children Horror Story

September 12, 2015 books, miscellaneous 24

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What’s New?

I’m not usually a participant in the TGIF crowd, but THANK GOD IT’S FUCKING FRIDAY. Actually I just wrote that and realized it’s Saturday now. That’s what kind of a week it’s been. Still interning at the radio and had to look after children, who were there on some sort of holiday program this week. Me. Children. Who in the hell would think I’m qualified for that? To be honest, they weren’t that bad, but even looking after well-behaved children is exhausting. I appreciate their enthusiasm though! It also seems I have to work Saturdays as well the next couple of weeks, so basically bye bye, term papers, you’re not getting a photo this week (that was a Germany’s Next Topmodel reference, do they do the photo thing on America’s Next Topmodel too?). I did get a compliment at the office I work at though, so that was cool. Also it’s all good, because it’s the weekend, and I have two free days and Possibly Good News That Are Not Confirmed Yet. I’ll keep you posted and until then I hope your week was amazing, and I’ll see you again SOON.

The Shiny


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BLOGGER FRIENDING MEME

September 5, 2015 fun, miscellaneous 40

This meme is inspired by three things:

  1. You guys have been asking for more interactive content, and I LOVE interactive content
  2. I also love the book blogging community and finding people I have stuff in common with
  3. I used to be on livejournal and friending memes were fairly common over there

SO. This might be common in the “regular” blogosphere as well, but I’ve mostly seen it in fandom-related contexts. Even if someone else has done it, it’s not like one more is going to hurt. I’m not very active in the fandom community anymore, but I MISS all the fun comment fests, which is why I decided to start one myself. Without further ado, I bring you…

…The Blogger Friending Meme!

blogger friending meme

One of the best things about blogging is the interaction with other like-minded people. This meme is to actually find them and connect with them, so you can share your excitement. I’m most active in the book blogging community, but this is for every blogger who wants to participate. Here is how it works:

  1. Fill out the form below and post it as a comment. You can skip questions you don’t feel comfortable with, or add your own.
  2. Check out other people’s comments and reply to them if you feel like you have stuff in common. Check out their blogs and/or social media links!
  3. You can participate if you’re a blog reader and don’t have a blog, but it probably helps if you have some sort of social media presence, so people can connect with you.
  4. The number one rule of the internet obviously still applies: don’t be a jerk.
  5. Remember to check back to see more comments!



Before you go off and do your merry mingling: share that ish, tweet that ish, blog about that ish. This is only going to work if people know about it and participate, so make sure to get the word out. :)

Alright, I’ll start. LET’S HAVE A BLOG PARTY, PEOPLE!

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Awesome Authors and a Bout of Productivity

September 4, 2015 books, miscellaneous 32

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What’s New?

Edit: I’m having a blog party! Check out my blogger friending meme :)

If you’re on twitter, you probably already know this unless you’ve been living under a REALLY heavy rock, but there’s some SERIOUS charity stuff going on over there. Patrick Ness, author of The Rest of Us Just Live Here (which has been on my to-read for a while now) and some other books, started a fundraiser to collect money to give to Save the Children for refugees, because he was tired of only tweeting about it. He offered to match the first 10.000 pounds, and then John Green jumped in and said he’d match the next 10.000, and suddenly it all gained momentum.

SO MANY authors (and Hank Green, but I hear he’s writing a book, so…) participated that we all raised 400.000 pounds (~600.000 dollars) in only 36 hours. Obviously this wouldn’t be possible without all the people who keep giving, so please consider stopping by and giving some money yourself – every little bit helps! I love when humanity actually does something good, and this makes me proud to be a part of the book community. If you’re also a nerdfighter, this whole thing kind of feels like Project for Awesome, but on twitter.


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Survey Results + Discussion!

September 3, 2015 discussion, fun, miscellaneous 19

GUYS. This is it! The post you’ve all been waiting for with bated breath, the post that’s gonna change it all, the post that… yeah, okay, I’ll stop. NO I WON’T I’M EXCITED. For my first blogoversary, I asked you to take a survey about this blog, and 15 of you participated – muchas gracias! I thought you might like to see a selection of the results, so I’m sharing them with you. To make this a little more interesting, I’ve taken it upon me to create some charts.

How often do you comment on my blog?

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Secret Life of- ME! PICK ME!

September 3, 2015 fun, miscellaneous 10

Hello my bloggly friends!

Shannon tagged me for The Secret Life of a Book Blogger Tag (at least that’s what I think it’s called? I feel like it keeps changing names), so I decided to let you in on some blogging secrets. And by secrets I mean the stuff I say publicly on the internet.




Let’s begin! (Whenever I type that sentence it sounds like Let’s Begin from Linkin Park’s Cure for the Itch in my head. I know, relevant information you need to know.)
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Rich Worlds and Great Sequels: The Immortal Crown

August 30, 2015 books, reviews 6



Gameboard of the Gods introduced religious investigator Justin March and Mae Koskinen, the beautiful supersoldier assigned to protect him. Together they have been charged with investigating reports of the supernatural and the return of the gods, both inside the Republic of United North America and out. With this highly classified knowledge comes a shocking revelation: Not only are the gods vying for human control, but the elect—special humans marked by the divine—are turning against one another in bloody fashion.

Their mission takes a new twist when they are assigned to a diplomatic delegation headed by Lucian Darling, Justin’s old friend and rival, going into Arcadia, the RUNA’s dangerous neighboring country. Here, in a society where women are commodities and religion is intertwined with government, Justin discovers powerful forces at work, even as he struggles to come to terms with his own reluctantly acquired deity.

Meanwhile, Mae—grudgingly posing as Justin’s concubine—has a secret mission of her own: finding the illegitimate niece her family smuggled away years ago. But with Justin and Mae resisting the resurgence of the gods in Arcadia, a reporter’s connection with someone close to Justin back home threatens to expose their mission—and with it the divine forces the government is determined to keep secret. (Goodreads)


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Ou la la! Paris Shenanigans and Fiery Body Parts

August 29, 2015 books, fun, miscellaneous 12

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What’s New?

Bonjour mes amis blogtastique!

As you might be able to tell by my pretentious greetings, I spent last weekend in Paris! Due to the internship and work I don’t have any proper holidays this summer, so when my mum mentioned she was going to Paris for a weekend, I latched onto her like the leech loving daughter I am. I had to venture out of the comforts of my home, but on the plus side, I saw some sights, learned some stuff and only almost got killed on the metro once. I did make a fool of myself trying to use the metro at first also, but at least I didn’t confuse French with Spanish this time, so I’m counting it as a success. I vlogged the whole thing, so take a look if you’re interested!

According to my blogoversary survey results at least half of you don’t know that I also have a YouTube channel, so clearly I need to get better at relentlessly shoving it in your face. Kidding, I’ll try not to, but my fingers might slip from time to time. Speaking of, I’m loving all your feedback (and demands for cake), so I’ll be discussing the results in a bit, but I figured I’d wait until next week to give more people the chance to fill it out. If you haven’t yet and you’d like to please feel free to head over there and let me know what you think!
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Faith: Suits Mid-Season Finale Review

August 28, 2015 reviews, tv shows 2

Let’s talk about Suits. I thought I reviewed this show before, but it must have been on another blog in another time (either that or I didn’t tag it right, but who could be bothered to search), because I didn’t find it in my reviews section.

This gif has no relation other than that it’s from the show, but I’m finding it hilarious.



I love the show as a whole – the characters, the cinematography and set design and the plot are all on point – but I just watched the mid-season finale of Season 5 (what is it with these stupid mid-season finales?? I don’t want to wait until January!), so that’s what I’ll mostly be talking about.

SPOILERS UP UNTIL SEASON 5 EPISODE 10 FROM HERE ON ONWARDS
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FIRST BLOGOVERSARY

August 18, 2015 miscellaneous, psa 26

IT’S MY FIRST BLOGOVERSARY YAY.




I didn’t even search for cake, I swear. It was destiny. Exactly one year ago today, I posted on this blog for the first time. I finally stuck to something for once in my life, yay! I mean it’s only been a year, but I’m probably not going to disappear anytime soon. Mainly because I already paid hosting for the next two years.

I know everyone and their mum is hosting a give away for their blogoversary, but I’m poor, and I need my money to buy books and chocolate. Instead, have a survey! YAY SURVEY. Okay, I realize not everyone is as excited about surveys as I am, but I’d still appreciate it if you helped me out and answered a couple of questions about this blog to help me improve my site.



A huge shout out to everyone who’s reading my blog. I love your faces, and I truly appreciate your time. I loved getting to know you a little the past year, and I look forward to talking to you in the year to come!

How long have YOU been blogging? Anything you’d like to ask me? Now’s your chance! Did I forget anything in the survey? Let me know below!

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Birthday Bash and Books

August 16, 2015 books, miscellaneous 14

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What’s New?

It was my birthday this week! I celebrated with my friends last night, which was awesome. I had a bit of a rough week, so I really enjoyed having drinks with them and just hanging out. It was great, and I got some cool presents as well. I also had a family thing today. Sadly, not everyone could come, but we still had cake for a small army, so it was okay. I brought some over to the neighbours, because I need them to continue accepting ALL THE PACKAGES ALL THE TIME instead of secretely plotting my murder I’m such a nice person.


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Sharing is Caring …And Also Scary as Hell.

August 12, 2015 miscellaneous 14

I’m going to do something a little bit different today.

You might or might not have heard that Shannon from It Starts at Midnight, Inge from Bookshelf Reflections and Kayla of The Thousand Lives are hosting an event called Shattering Stigmas at the moment. Shattering Stigmas is all about being open and honest about mental health issues, and each of these three have shared their respective stories.

If you want to take a look, here they are:

Shannon

Inge

Kayla

I’ll be honest with you guys. I wasn’t sure whether to write this post, because I use my real name on this blog and anyone can find it, whether I’m comfortable sharing or not, be it a potential employer or someone I know personally. However, I think it’s incredibly important to talk about these things more openly than we’re doing right now, because it’s not something to be ashamed of, and the one thing that always makes everything worse is thinking you’re alone with it. Since that’s the spirit of this event, it inspired me to share.


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Crazy Person On Air!?

August 8, 2015 books, fun, miscellaneous 26

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What’s New?

I started my internship at the radio this week. The start was a bit rocky due to some organizational issues, but I got into it the last couple of days. I’m mainly helping with this live show about local news and event tips (and some music) that they do, and I have to produce two segments for that each week. I was on air for the first time yesterday, and it was really fun! I thought it would be scarier, but the fact that it’s a small station, and you’re not actually talking in front of people who are physically present makes it easier. Plus, there’s a structure to the show and you have your text prepared, so you don’t have to improv everything.


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So Many Awards I Can Start a Grammy Chessboard

August 5, 2015 books, fun, miscellaneous 8

Okay, it’s just two, so it would be a very small chessboard. Also, neither of them is a Grammy, which frankly surprises me, considering my immense musical talent. Yes, it’s going to be one of those posts.

Will Smith references aside, I really was nominated for the Liebster Award and the Creative Blogger Award a while ago. Mallory and Verena nominated me for the Liebster Award, Rachael nominated me for the Creative Blogger Award, and Alyssa kindly nominated me for both at once. All of these date back to April or May, and I actually had to Google to find the posts again. In my defense, I’m lazy.

A huge THANK YOU to all of you; I really appreciate that you apparently find something you like in between all this rambling. <3 Alright, let’s do this!
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Free Books (Just For Me, Don’t Get Too Excited)

August 1, 2015 books, miscellaneous 28

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What’s New?

This week I…

  • caught up on Teen Wolf and Suits (both awesomesauce)
  • had a veeery minor skin surgery on my head that led to some stitches and self-indulgent reading time
  • recorded but didn’t edit a new video
  • talked to my teacher about a term paper subject and
  • read The Rosie Project and a play for uni

I’m starting an internship at a small local radio station on Monday, so wish me luck! I’m going out with some friends later on, and then I’ll try to actually get term paper related stuff done tomorrow. I probably need more luck for that than for the internship. There’s just always something better to do, isn’t there? Also, my first blogoversary is coming up! I can’t believe it’s already been a year! I’m not sure whether I’ll do anything for it yet, but if you have any suggestions, let me know. :)
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Gendered Books

July 31, 2015 books, discussion 20

Talk To Me

is a no-nonsense discussion feature on this blog. No-nonsense means I’m too lazy to make it look pretty. It’s exactly what the title suggests: I’m going to pose a question or tell you my own opinion about something, and I want to know what you think about it! Obviously feel free to write up your own post on the topic and link it in the comments.


Topic

I went to the bookstore yesterday. Now usually this would be a celebratory experience. And it still was (yay, new books!), but while I was there I found something that irked me. Irked me quite a lot that is. So naturally I had to share it with you.

Standing before the English section (because obviously I can’t be bothered to read books in my first language, that would be ridiculous), I saw a book that sparked my interest. It was called “End of Time” and – thinking it might somehow be related to Doctor Who – I pulled it out to take a closer look. It turned out not to be Doctor Who related at all, but a German/English mixed-language book for English learners. Which is an awesome concept. EXCEPT. Right there on the cover it said “Boy Zone”. Apparently it was mainly targeted at teenage boys. I remember similar marketing concepts from my childhood, books mainly targeted at girls that were mostly about first love and growing up.

My Opinion

Now I know a lot of products are randomly and unnecessarily gendered. But given the role books have played in my life, gendering books just seems like a bit of a personal insult to me. I understand that marketing theory can’t stress the role of defining target groups enough, but for fuck’s sake people. I don’t believe in binary genders, and I’m of the opinion that gender is mainly socially constructed (of which this is a prime example really), but let’s just for a moment neglect that debate. Why the fuck is scifi only for boys? Why is there a “chick lit” genre? Why the hell can’t we all just accept that stories are stories and can be enjoyed by all genders alike? Yes, I’m aware that you can just buy the book anyway, but I’m operating under the assumption that a lot of people wouldn’t, especially teenagers who tend to be more insecure of their identity and self-worth and would often be sujected to bullying.

In the case of this book, there is a clear label on the cover defining it as a book for boys, but often the label is in our minds. If you show someone The Princess Diaries and Maze Runner, there’s no doubt which one would be considered more of a girl’s and which one would be considered more of a boy’s book. It’s just absurd to me that we’d limit good stories this way. It’s like saying Harry Potter can only be enjoyed by children or YA literature holds no worth for people who are older than the target group. A great story is a great story and a shitty story is a shitty story. C.S. Lewis said “A children’s story that can only be enjoyed by children is not a good children’s story in the slightest.” Similarly, a story that can only be enjoyed by one gender is not a good story. It also doesn’t exist, because the problem doesn’t lie with the story, it lies with society’s understanding of for whom it is acceptable to read it.

I know that this is a well-known and frequently discussed problem, but evidently it’s still a problem. It extends far beyond books – I’m often perplexed when I watch a movie and someone comments it’s a movie for men rather than women, because there’s action in it or it doesn’t primarily focus on romance. A lot of the time the thought never even occured to me. I feel inadequate when I’m more interested in a game night than watching Sex and the City. And I’m not saying I don’t enjoy things targeted at women. I absolutely do. I just don’t exclusively enjoy them, and I think that is true for everyone. “Educating” people that it’s more acceptable for one gender than another to like certain kinds of stories or do certain kinds of things makes me incredibly sad, because a lot of people will miss out on great books and experiences or feel ashamed that they’re enjoying them. It also simply just pissed me off, and writing is my tool to deal with my emotions, so there ya go.

Your Turn!

What’s your take on this? Do you think it’s okay to gender products in the interest of marketing and sales, or do you think it’s unnecessary? Have you come across gendered books before?

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I got a camera!

July 26, 2015 books, fun, miscellaneous 20

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What’s New?

The semester ended! Well, technically it’s still the summer semester until September, and as always I have to write approximately ten thousand term papers (okay 2 or 3, but they’re LONG), but at least classes are over. I had an oral exam yesterday, which went well (not thanks due to my diligent studying).

Other random things that happened the last three weeks:

  • I finally watched Birdman, and it was slightly confusing, but good (even though it made fun of superhero movies)
  • I went to my old school’s summmer fest and decided I don’t understand other people’s nostalgia (except for arts, which I miss)
  • My laptop broke, so I stole my grandma’s new one until I get mine back. She hasn’t even used it yet. Yes, I’m a horrible person, you can’t be surprised? I literally just got my laptop, so it was sliiightly frustrating, but at least I could rescue some of my data, so I’ll live.
  • I continued to make videos every week, so please check them out if you want to be my new favorite person forever (#shameless)

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Melting Me

July 5, 2015 miscellaneous 28

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What’s New?

This week one of my best friends got married! She’s only a couple of months older than I am, so it would be a bit freaky if I hadn’t gotten used to the idea over the last year. We’ll celebrate again this Saturday and then in India next year (exciting!). We already have Indian temperatures at the moment (okay, kind of), so I’ve just been melting away the last couple of days. I live under the roof, so my room basically just turns into a sauna. I might have been complaining about it a bit. Okay, a lot. Okay, I even made a video about it. IT’S A PRESSING ISSUE ALRIGHT.



Since this is a nice segue: I also started a youtube channel! I’m still very much in the learning process, but it would mean the world to me if you headed on over there to support me. I’m having a lot of fun making videos, but it’s also a lot of work, so I’m trying to do one once a week at the moment – we’ll see how it goes!
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Starships Are Meant to Fly (So It Sucks When They Come Crashing Down)

June 24, 2015 books, reviews 14

These Broken Stars cover on Reviews and Cake

Luxury spaceliner Icarus suddenly plummets from hyperspace into the nearest planet. Lilac LaRoux and Tarver Merendsen survive — alone. Lilac is the daughter of the richest man in the universe. Tarver comes from nothing, a cynical war hero. Both journey across the eerie deserted terrain for help. Everything changes when they uncover the truth.

Okay, confession time: I know everyone loves this cover – and I like it too – BUT it does look slightly cheesy. I don’t remember why I bought this book initially, but despite the good ratings I expected it to be a lot soppier than it was. There IS a lot of romance, but it develops slowly and there’s bickering and banter, and it’s basically perfect. That’s not all though! I wanted sci-fi, and I was not disappointed. I don’t think the book is very heavy on technical explanations and – due to the fact that most of the book is set on an abandoned planet – there isn’t TONS of worldbuilding, but the stuff there was I liked. I do think that people who aren’t really into sci-fi would enjoy it too.
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Vicious Things and Procrastination

June 20, 2015 books, miscellaneous 20

Heeello people of the internet,

hang on, I feel like that’s someone else’s signature greeting.

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What’s New?

I don’t know! It’s been weeks. Lemme see… I’m “busy” “doing” university stuff. By the quotation marks you can see that means I’m busy reading, catching up on my favorite TV shows (heeeello Orange is the New Black, Orphan Black and Community, I am deeply ashamed I haven’t watched all of your new episodes yet), and doing all sorts of random stuff.
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Legitimate Reasons Not to Write

June 9, 2015 books, discussion, fun, miscellaneous 26

No Time

You would be writing if you could. Really. It’s just… there’s no time. In between work, education, your family, and your social obligations there just aren’t enough hours in the day. But don’t worry. If you had the time, you’d already have written at least three bestsellers. You’re going to have time someday. And the world better prepare for when you’re a millionaire.

No Muse

You specifically took this time to write. You cleared your schedule, cleaned your home and organized your stationery. There are even some motivational quotes pinned to the side of your desktop. Unfortunately for your future writing career, you’re just not feeling it today. The blinking cursor on a backdrop of white, blank page might as well be your best friend with how much time you’ve been spending together. Ah well, maybe some other day. There’s no need to torture yourself with putting down words you know aren’t going to be up to your standard anyway. You’ll just make up for it when your muse returns.

Bad Environment

Your fingers would already be flying across the keyboard; it’s just… your writing space sucks. Your office is too dark, the coffee shop is too loud and the library is too quiet. Besides, the laptop is cramping your style anyway. You could see yourself with a notepad, somewhere on the windswept cliffs of Cornwall, writing poetry. Or maybe on a summer meadow, leaning against the trunk of a tree as you come up with the outline for your next seven books. This just won’t do.

Shiny New Ideas

You’re well into your new book. You’ve already written five chapters and the genius twist you’re planning to implement in chapter 14 fills you with a sense of evil joy pride. But… there’s this other idea you had, and it was even better than this one. You should really write it down before you forget everything. In fact, was the old one even that good? Maybe you should try to write a couple of chapters of the new book first, see how it feels… Of course you’ll return and finish this one though, no question about it. If you had run with another idea every time something shinier came along, you’d never have completed an enti- oh, right.

NaNoWriMo Limits Your Creativity

You decided to finally participate in NaNoWriMo, because you’re sure it will give you that extra surge of motivation you need to finish your book. Less than 2000 words a day – piece of cake, right? Definitely doable – after all, you’ve written more than that on several occasions. It should take you what, an hour a day? Please, you can write for an hour in your sleep. The first week goes well. You miss a couple of days during the second week, but there’s still plenty of time to make up for it, right? By the middle of the third week you’re 15 000 words behind and finishing your book in the next one and a half weeks doesn’t seem very likely. You’re not sure where you went wrong. You’ve been thinking about writing so much, surely there should be something to show for it?? It’s okay, you’ll just put in some extra time during the weekend. You spend the entire weekend catching up on Game of Thrones, because otherwise people would spoil all the new episodes. You give up by the beginning of week 4, because this was a stupid idea to begin with. Writing is a creative endeavor. Creativity can’t be contained to a schedule.

You Have to Do More Research

See, the thing is you don’t want to just write a book. You want to write a good book. What if you mention those windswept Cornwall cliffs you’ve been imagining as your perfect writing space and then find out that you’ve been wrong all your life and there’s no wind in Cornwall? What if you set your murder mystery in Brussels and refer to it as the capital of Germany before you realize it’s actually in Belgium? You don’t want go making a fool of yourself, so you should do some more research. Yes, you’ve already spent weeks researching that one scene, but… there is no such thing as thorough enough. Definitely spend some more time Googling, and don’t let anyone tell you you’re procrastinating. They’ll all be jealous of the believable atmosphere in your book once it’s published. Which it will be. Soon.

I’m pretty sure I’m guilty of absolutely everything on this list. Hell, I didn’t even start NaNoWriMo to begin with. What are YOUR best writing excuses?

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