Gadgets You Should Get Rid Of (or Not)

Source: Yahoo! Finance

Link: Gadgets-You-Should-Get-Rid-Of-nytimes-1557697455.html?x=0


SAM GROBART, On Thursday March 24, 2011, 10:00 am EDT


The common rap against technology is that it leads to an accumulation of devices. But the nature of technology is changing. Fewer products are doing more tasks — all accomplished by countless lines of massless software code.

And so we no longer need to accumulate products. If anything, we can cut down. The question is, Which can be replaced and which are fine, or even preferable, to keep? It is plain as day that paper maps and Rolodexes have given way to their digital counterparts. But what else can you get rid of? Here is a list of common consumer technologies and products and a somewhat opinionated judgment on whether to keep or pitch it.

DESKTOP COMPUTER Lose it. You may have one now, but are you really going to replace that deskbound PC when it becomes out of date? Assuming you are not a hardcore gamer or a video editor, laptops have all the necessary computing power the average user needs. If you want to replicate that desktop experience, you can always connect your laptop to a larger display and keyboard.

HIGH-SPEED INTERNET AT HOME Keep it. With the advent of devices like the MiFi, which converts a 3G mobile signal into a Wi-Fi cloud for multiple devices to share, you might be thinking about giving your Internet service provider the boot and using your cellphone as your Internet connection, even when at home. That would work — provided that you get a strong data signal where you live; that you never intend to stream video from Netflix, YouTube or Hulu; and that you have an unlimited data plan from your wireless provider. Given all these caveats, it probably makes more sense to stick with your I.S.P.

CABLE TV Depends. While you may and should hold on to a good broadband connection at home, it is debatable whether you need to pay for cable TV. Sports fans probably will want to keep it, as many leagues restrict online content, but casual viewers who mainly want some shows and movies to watch could get by with a good Internet connection and some low-cost subscriptions to services like NetflixHulu Plus andAmazon Instant Video.

POINT-AND-SHOOT CAMERA Lose it. Yes, a dedicated camera will probably take a better picture than the small lens and image sensor of a smartphone, but it will not be that much better. And a point-and-shoot has limitations of its own. It is hard to share photos until you have transferred them to your computer, and there are no apps for cameras, as there are for smartphones, that allow you to quickly apply cool filters and treatments to the shots you took. Perhaps most important, a camera may or may not be close by when a photo-worthy moment arises, but it’s very likely that your phone will.

CAMCORDER Lose it. Camcorders get squeezed at both ends of the video spectrum. On the low end, smartphones can capture video, and while it may not be Imax quality, many people do not care. At the high end, new digital S.L.R. cameras (like Canon’s EOS Rebel T1i, which costs around $750 with a lens) can shoot full-HD video while taking advantage of all the interchangeable lenses that were created for still photography. That camcorder you have now is probably the last one you will own.

USB THUMB DRIVE Lose it. File sharing does not require hardware anymore. In almost any case you can think of, you can move files around digitally via the Internet. That could mean signing up for a service likeDropbox, which creates a private, shareable hard drive in the cloud, or by simply e-mailing yourself attachments and storing them in the drafts folder of Gmail, Yahoo Mail, etc. A USB drive is just something to misplace or break.

DIGITAL MUSIC PLAYER Lose it (probably). Do you have a smartphone? Then you have a music player. Why load yourself down with an extra gadget? Apple popularized the music player with its iPod, but when was the last time you saw that iconic white box with the dial on the front? Music is data, and many multifunction devices can handle it along with many other kinds of data (like video, e-mail and apps). The one exception may be if you enjoy music while exercising. In that case, a tiny player like the $49 iPod Shuffle might be a better accessory than a larger, heavier smartphone.

ALARM CLOCK Keep it. Smartphones can be terrific alarm clocks. They can ramp up the volume gradually, display weather information and awaken you to your favorite song. And when on the road, they are still light-years ahead of the incomprehensible alarm clocks in hotel rooms. But a recent daylight time glitch in iPhones that fouled up the clock could give some early risers pause. Furthermore, setting and resetting smartphone alarms may require a dive into one submenu too many; turning a little knob on the back of a clock and flipping a switch is still simplicity itself.

GPS UNIT Lose it. The least expensive GPS units cost around $80. But your smartphone can do the same thing, if not more, for half that price, or even free. Android smartphones already have Google’s turn-by-turn navigation app built in. And earlier this month, Google announced that the company would be including live and historical traffic data in route planning, so you hopefully get to where you are going faster.

If you have an iPhone, you have several options for GPS apps, including Navigon’s MobileNavigator (which starts at $30) and ALK’s CoPilot Live ($20). Renting a car? Decline the optional GPS; if you have a smartphone, you already have one with you.

BOOKS Keep them (with one exception). Yes, e-readers are amazing, and yes, they will probably become a more dominant reading platform over time, but consider this about a book: It has a terrific, high-resolution display. It is pretty durable; you could get it a little wet and all would not be lost. It has tremendous battery life. It is often inexpensive enough that, if you misplaced it, you would not be too upset. You can even borrow them free at sites called libraries.

But there is one area where printed matter is going to give way to digital content: cookbooks. Martha Stewart Makes Cookies a $5 app for the iPad, is the wave of the future. Every recipe has a photo of the dish (something far too expensive for many printed cookbooks).

Complicated procedures can be explained by an embedded video. When something needs to be timed, there’s a digital timer built right into the recipe. You can e-mail yourself the ingredients list to take to the grocery store. The app does what cookbooks cannot, providing a better version of everything that came before it.

Now all Martha has to do is make a decorative splashguard for a tablet and you will be all set.



Guatemala’s first lady divorces “for her country”

Source: Yahoo! News

Link: guatemalas-first-lady-divorces-her-country-20110324-174302-620.html



GUATEMALA CITY (Reuters) – Most loving couples hope their marriage will last “until death us do part”. But for Guatemala’s first lady, politics got there first.

Sandra Torres tearily announced on Thursday she had divorced her husband President Alvaro Colom for the sake of the nation, thereby hoping to skirt a law in Guatemala that blocks the president’s relatives from running for office.

A constitutional clause dating from Guatemala’s transition to democracy in the mid-1980s after decades of autocratic rule prevents family members of the president from taking power.

But Torres, who was already a divorcee, hopes to step into Colom’s shoes after an election later this year.

An ambitious politician who many analysts say wields significant power behind the scenes in Colom’s center-left National Union of Hope (UNE) party, Torres said she was putting the Guatemalan people before her own personal happiness.

“I am getting a divorce from my husband, but I am getting married to the people,” the 51-year-old Torres said at a news conference, fighting back tears. She called the decision, which will force the first couple to live apart, “very difficult.”

“I am not going to be the first or the last woman who decides to get a divorce, but I am the only woman to get a divorce for her country,” added Torres, Colom’s third wife.

The couple quietly filed for divorce by mutual consent in a family court on March 11 but the news was not made public until this week. The couple refused to say whether they would remarry later and declined to talk about their living arrangements.

While the constitution explicitly bans blood relatives of the president and vice president from running for office, it is unclear what the rule is on ex-spouses and the electoral court will have to decide if Torres will be allowed to run.

Opposition politicians blasted the move, with the leading right-wing Patriot Party (PP) calling it “electoral fraud.”

PP candidate Otto Perez Molina, an ex-general who commanded troops at the height of Guatemala’s 36-year civil war, is leading polls ahead of the first round of voting in September.

Perez Molina lost to Colom in 2007 and is running again on a platform of fighting crime in the small Central American nation which is renowned for its ecological diversity but also has one of the highest murder rates in the western hemisphere.

The constitution bans former dictators and religious figures from running for president and does not allow re-election, possibly raising questions about the candidacies of other figures in the wide cast of presidential hopefuls.

Zury Rios, the daughter of former dictator Efrain Rios Montt, is eyeing a bid, as are evangelical preacher Harold Caballeros and former President Alvaro Arzu.

Rights activists accuse Zury’s father of masterminding some of the most brutal government-backed massacres in the 1960-1996 conflict between security forces and leftist guerrillas.

(Writing by Mica Rosenberg; Editing by Kieran Murray)

Firstborn kids more prone to food allergies: study

Source: Yahoo! News

Link: firstborn-kids-more-prone-food-allergies-study-20110323-094643-060.html



If you suffer from food allergies, consider your rank in the family birth order. According to a study out of Japan, firstborn siblings are more likely to suffer from food allergies than their younger brothers and sisters.

In a survey of more than 13,000 children ages 7 to 15, food allergies were prevalent in four percent of firstborn children, 3.5 percent of second-born children, and 2.6 percent in subsequent siblings.

Firstborns were also more likely to suffer from symptoms like an itchy, running nose and inflammation of the eyelids than their younger siblings.

The findings likewise suggest that food allergies may have a prenatal origin, as food allergies decreased significantly as birth order increased.

In a study published last November, researchers found that mothers who consume peanuts during their pregnancy could be putting their babies at increased risk of a peanut allergy. The study, published in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology, evaluated 503 infants across the US, ages three to 15 months, with milk or egg allergies or with severe eczema — all factors associated with an increased peanut allergy.

A total of 140 infants showed strong sensitivity to peanut-based blood tests, and the consumption of peanuts during pregnancy was a significant predictor.

While previous studies have found links between general childhood allergies and birth order, the Japanese researchers say theirs is the first to show a link between specific food allergies and sibling birth order.

In an interview with MyHealthNewsDaily, study researcher Takashi Kusunoki of the Shiga Medical Center for Children in Shiga, Japan, postulated that younger siblings may be spared from food allergies because the mother’s immune system in the womb changes with multiple pregnancies.

Kusunoki also hypothesized that younger children develop stronger immune systems than their older siblings because more children in the house means more germs. That means younger siblings may be exposed to more pathogens at an earlier age.

The study was presented during the 2011 Annual Meeting of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology in San Francisco earlier this week.

The abstract for the study can be found at, and is No. 525.

To prevent younger children from developing the same food allergies as the firstborn, one study recommends eliminating the offending food from the mother’s diet from the third trimester on, and continuing the ban until the child is two years old.

According to researchers from the Royal Prince Alfred Hospital in Australia, seven out of ten babies born to mothers who took avoidance measures had no food allergies, compared to 45 percent of babies whose mothers took no precautions.

Pediatricians recommend eliminating the offending food from both the mother’s diet and the household environment.

Breastfeeding has also been shown to protect children against the development of allergies.


Welcome and Thank You Speech of Atty. Ada Mae Y. Ko during the 60th birthday celebration of her Mom, Tita Y. Ko, and Pop, Hong Kong Ko, at The Marco Polo Hotel on 12 Octboer 2007.  Written by: Tating Cabañero for Ada Ko.


Last August 29, a little wonder of joy came into our small family.  Indeed, we were all filled with happiness and tears.  People would always say, our little bundle of joy undisputedly looks like somebody glowing inside this room tonight.  Lovable, cute, charming, huggable, enchanting, strikingly good looking.  Yes…  I am talking about myself.

To my beloved Guama, Uy Si, who like me is glowing tonight, to my A-pes and A-es, cousins, nephews and nieces, to the friends of Papa and Mom, guests, ladies and gentlemen, ho am.

This evening, I and Atie would like to welcome all of you as we gather to celebrate the 60th birthday of our Papa and Mom.  Tonight is a celebration not only of how wondrously they both grew through the years, but likewise, a thanksgiving of the many facets which make them uniquely Hong Kong Ko and Tita Ko.  Hopia and Tikoy, as my closest friends would fondly refer to them.  Who is Hopia and who is Tikoy, I leave that for all of you to decipher.

Our Papa has always been the man of a few words, if not a very very few words or absolutely none at all.  But behind that seemingly quiet facade of his, lies a man who will always be there even if the enemy is as gigantic as the Great Wall of China.  He is in fact a descendant of Mao Zse Tung, especially at home.  When he speaks, everybody listens, everybody follows in the blink of an eye.  A loyal citizen of the Republic of China, I should say.

Pa, I and Atie would like to take this rare opportunity to convey to you how grateful we are to have you as our father.  Not everyone in this world gets to have a Papa who will stand up for their family, the solid foundation which no earthquake can rock.  Like a piece of china adorning the cabinets of royalty – rare, fragile, priceless – you are that to us Pa.  But unlike the many merchants in Chinatown selling pirated chinaware, we will never trade you for anything else in this world.  You do not merely command of us respect.  You deserve it.

Thank you Pa for always being there.  Even without you saying it, we know how precious we are to you.  And I and Atie would like to thank you not only for being our father, but for being the wonderful husband to someone who seems to be not-as-glowing-as-I-am tonight.

Ladies and gentlemen, I am deeply honored to present before all of you one of our birthday celebrants for tonight, my dear Papa, because I am his favorite, Hong Kong T. Ko.

So I hope all of you will enjoy the rest of the night…


Bago ako mawalan ng pang shopping…

Of course, how could I ever forget the other birthday celebrant for this evening.  I am extremely proud to present before you the woman who brings sunshine into our lives, the woman who tickles our bones, the woman who brought me and Atie into this world, our one and only, because she is truly one and only, our beloved Mom, Tita U. Yao-Ko.

Mom to us is the undisputed stage mother for all seasons.  Stage mother, stage Sa-e, and just recently, stage lola or A-my as we now call her.  She has always been the life of every party.  The original dance diva.    The one who brightens our days with her gregarious antics, timely quips, and drop dead gorgeous looks and flawless 36-24-36 figure (because it’s your birthday Mom).

On a serious note, allow me to introduce to each and everyone of you the Tita Ko whom we have known and grown up with through the years.  The Tita Ko who, despite her imperfections, reigns as the jewel in our palace, in our hearts.

Our Mom, our Momi, has always been and I believe will forever remain to be the groovy Mom we have come to love.  She is the kind of Mom whom we can always run to, talk to, and relate to in a manner which makes us feel that we are equals.  The kind of person who values family ties, clan ties no matter how far reaching the extensions may be, with the utmost importance.  She is a friend not only to her circle of friends, but to each and every one of us – her children, her nephews and nieces, and almost every one she meets along the road.  She just has this innate ability and unbeatable charisma to make a person feel comfortable.

A loving daughter to Ama.  A caring sister.  And just recently, a dedicated grandma.

There is still too much to say about Momi that I could go on rambling as long as a full length Arirang DVD.  But to sum it up in one word, for us, her family, she is simply perfect.  A perfect wife to Papa for 31 years now.  The perfect Mom for us not only because we practically have no choice but moreso because we felt it and continue to feel it.  She has never ceased to make us feel that we are loved, that we are special, that she is there not just as a mother to sermon us when we tumble along life’s journey but as our friend.

Mom, thank you for being the glow behind our light.  Our lights would not have been as glaring, if you were not the one glowing behind it.  Thank you very much Mom.  Always remember that although our lights may flicker at times, we always appreciate the unwavering fact that your glow will be the spark to bring us back to our lights.  We love you Mom.  You certainly are glowing tonight…  Just like me, of course.

On behalf of my brother, Atie, my sister-in-law, and our cute baby boy, Enzo, I would like to welcome all of you to the 60th birthday celebration and thanksgiving of Momi and Papa.  We certainly hope you will enjoy the rest of what we have humbly prepared for all of you tonight.

May I now request everyone to raise their glasses and join me as together we toast: To good health, peace of mind, more blessings, and more milestones to come.  Happy birthday Mi!  Happy birthday Pa!  Cheers!

Thank you and good evening once again.

The Top 7 Sleep Killers — And How To Solve Them

Source: Shine From Yahoo!

Link: the-top-7-sleep-killers-and-how-to-solve-them-2460502


All you want to do is close your eyes until morning, but instead, you’re stuck in bed, wide awake, watching the minutes tick by. Here’s help.

By Stephanie Booth


It’s three in the morning, and once again, you’re staring at the ceiling as your mind races. Not being able to nod off when you want to is agonizing. And you’re not the only one with the problem: Two-thirds of women report trouble sleeping several nights each week.

So what’s keeping you up? Read on for the factors, habits, and behaviors that have been killing your sleep, then the simple fixes.

SLEEP KILLER 1: Light Seeping into Your Room

Even slivers of light — the kind that sneaks in through a crack in your blinds or the blueish glow of a computer monitor left on — can keep you awake. “Light signals your brain to stop producing melatonin, the hormone that regulates your sleep and wake cycles,” says Shelby Freedman Harris, PsyD, clinical psychologist at the Sleep-Wake Disorders Center at Montefiore Medical Center, in New York City.

The solution: Get black-out shades, chuck your digital clock for one without an LCD display, shut off your computer before turning in — whatever it takes to make your room pitch-black, suggests clinical psychologist Michael Breus, PhD, author of Beauty Sleep. If light still gets in, consider wearing an eye mask to bed.

SLEEP KILLER 2: An Erratic Meal Schedule

Not having a set time for breakfast, lunch, and dinner every day makes it tough for your body to know when to send out sleepiness signals. “That’s because your internal body clock, which tells your system when to sleep and when to wake, relies on cues from the environment, like mealtimes,” explains Breus. If these cues vary greatly from day to day — say one night you have dinner at 8, then the next at 10, and then on the third day at 6 — your system has trouble keeping track of time and knowing when to start winding down, he adds.

The solution: Stick to a routine meal schedule each day, even on weekends, as much as you can. B vitamins help regulate sleep patterns, so eat foods rich in these nutrients (like whole-grain cereals, nuts, broccoli, and potatoes).

SLEEP KILLER 3: Your Evening Second Wind

It’s a common scenario: After feeling draggy all day, you’re suddenly struck with a burst of energy at night. Of course, it’s hard to resist taking advantage of this jolt, so you decide to organize your closet or pop in a workout DVD, for example. Then when it’s time for you to turn in, you’re too wired to doze off.

Here’s what’s probably triggering it: What feels like a surge in energy could really be a rush of anxiety prompted by increased production of the hormones cortisol and adrenaline, which your system pumps out when you’re sleep-deprived, says Breus. Using this hormone rush to further stay awake makes you feel wired at first then, ultimately, even more fatigued, he adds.

The solution: Try hard not to give in to that hormone-fueled anxiety surge, or use it to do something relaxing — like reading a good book — that doesn’t cause you to put off going to bed at a decent hour.


SLEEP KILLER 4: Your Beauty Routine

Beware of what you put on your face and in your body before turning out the lights. Certain scents, herbs, and spices encourage your brain to wake up, not shut off. One example: peppermint. Scrubbing your face with a peppermint skin wash or brushing your teeth with a peppermint toothpaste can keep you awake, says Harris. Eucalyptus- and rosemary-scented products also amp up your alertness.

The solution: Save the energizing scents for the morning, when you need that extra help to get going. In the p.m., “use a mild toothpaste and lavender-scented face wash or body lotion, since lavender has been shown to cue your body to slow down,” says Harris.

SLEEP KILLER 5: Your Menstrual Cycle

Ever notice that sleeplessness seems to strike just before your period? Blame a natural dip in the hormone progesterone — which helps you sleep soundly — during your preperiod week, explains Kathryn A. Lee, PhD, a nurse researcher who specializes in sleep disorders at the University of California at San Francisco.

The solution: Anticipate a monthly inability to snooze so you won’t let it get you frustrated and irritated, and use the time to tackle projects you otherwise have no time for.

SLEEP KILLER 6: Drinking Late at Night

Alcohol is a depressant, and a drink before bed can relax you enough to fall asleep easily. Unfortunately, the sleepiness probably won’t last. “Alcohol is metabolized quickly, and once it’s out of your system, your body experiences withdrawal symptoms that can interrupt your sleep,” says clinical psychologist Anne Bartolucci, PhD, president of Atlanta Insomnia and Behavioral Health Services.

The solution: Plan for last call to be about four hours before you think you’ll be going to bed so your body has time to metabolize the alcohol completely and the resulting withdrawal symptoms won’t disturb you.


SLEEP KILLER 7: Your Expectations

Though eight hours is the average amount of sleep most adults need per night, lots of people need even more, while others can function perfectly well on six, five, or even four hours. “But if you sleep for longer than your body requires, you’ll have trouble falling asleep or keep waking too early in the morning,” says Bartolucci.

The solution: Figure out how much sleep you truly need by hitting the hay and waking up sans an alarm for a week. If, toward the seventh day, you find yourself waking after seven hours, then that’s probably your number.

Shi Gol San Korean Restaurant

A review: My Shi Gol San Korean Restaurant experience.

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Coming from the painting exhibit of my cousin, Atty. Ritzel Rabor-Polinar, at Casino Filipino, my law office partner, Atty. Ada Mae Ko, and I went straight to have dinner since it was already almost 8 o’clock in the evening.  According to her, there is a good Korean Restaurant nearby which I should try.  Hence, from the exit of the parking area of Grand Regal Hotel where the Casino is, we went straight to (I had to Google the resto’s name since mahirap maalala lol) SHI GOL SAN Korean Restaurant.  It is located just across Grand Regal Hotel, in a sort of mini-compound along the highway.

The place didn’t look as inviting outside, knowing me I’m so pihikan when it comes to aesthetics and all.  Parking was not difficult since there were spaces in the compound.

It was quiet I felt like we were the only customers at that time.  Upon entering the restaurant though, you will be welcomed in the usual Asian style atmosphere, Korean I suppose lol.  There were also a number of customers inside mostly of Korean descent.  The restaurant is not that big.  Excluding the kitchen, it would probably be the size of SM’s Coffee Dream shaped like a square.

We were welcomed by one of the waiters who led us to some of the vacant tables.   Love the table because you can’t see the other customers since the back of the sofabench was tall enough to cover my head.  Only complaint though is that my bench seemed to be too far from the table.

They served us 8 appetizers names of which I do not know again and I have no plans of memorizing in my lifetime.  All I know is that, kimchi kimchi kimchi.  All our orders arrived about 20 minutes after the appetizers were served.  For additional orders or other concerns it was quite easy to call the attention of the waiters since there is a buzzer on every table.

So how was the food?  Tasty and very Korean.  I say they were well prepared, served Korean style.   If you are a sucker for Korean dishes, this is the place to be in Davao so far.  If you love spicy meals, then this is also the place for you.

I am not a Korean food fan so didn’t enjoy our dinner that much.  I found the food too spicy to the point that you don’t get to appreciate how delicious it is.  I’d say though, it’s what Korean dishes are really supposed to be so malas ko na lang lol.  In short, everything served was authentically Korean.  It was too authentic that’s why a non-Korean food lover like me didn’t like it.  If you want to try Korean food or Korean dining in Davao, then this is really the perfect place for you.

I paid around Php 1,400.00 for the two of us.  There were a lot of pakibalot na lang after we had dinner though because my law office partner usually orders more than the two of us can consume.  I’d say, it would be an average of Php 400.00 per person in that restaurant.

If you are a Korean food fanatic, I say the 8 appetizers are a must (which is served free by the way) and the soup which was uber spicy.  If you don’t like Korean food and want to settle for something “eatable”, try ordering some beef or their dimsums.

Suggestion, if you don’t like spicy stuff, inform the waiter ahead so the cook can make adjustments.  I guess that was why I didn’t enjoy our meal.  My law office partner though loved it a lot because she likes Korean dishes, the Chinese that she is what do you expect.

For dessert by the way, you may want to try the simple, childish ice creams sold at the Korean Store just beside the resto.  I love Korean ice cream.


My ratings, 1-5 with 5 being the highest:

  • Restaurant’s look and feel – 2.5.
  • Cleanliness of restaurant – 3.
  • Value for money and by value for money I don’t mean the food is cheap.  What I mean is, getting your money’s worth – 3.5.
  • Service – 3.
  • Food presentation – 3.
  • Quality of food – 3.5 (authenticity included).
  • Over-all rating – 3.5.


Would I recommend this restaurant?  Yes, but with emphasis still on the line “if you like Korean food”.



Sometimes we give too much importance on other people. Sometimes we give them too much importance to the point of not leaving anything for ourselves but them, them, them. Sometimes and at some time, we will just come to the road of realising that all the importance we gave just went down the drain.

I can’t help but think how certain relationships survive in the realm of the-importance-only-one-person-gives. It might seem like martyrdom or stupidity or blindness, but there are just relationships which seem that way. Or it might just be plain and simple, L-O-V-E.

I believe, we can never force others to give us the same amount of importance we give. Neither should we expect that from them. But sometimes and at a certain time, we will just come to realise that the world does not only revolve on the ones we love. It also, and selfish as it may seem, revolves on us.

I may never be able to fully fathom why some people give more and others give less. All I truly know is that the kind of importance we give should not and should never be dependent on what the other is giving. We should always imbed in our minds and hearts though that we are not the only one in need of importance. Others do too. Maybe even way more than we need. And I wholeheartedly believe that it takes that kind of respect, for others and for ourselves, to make every relationship work.

Tating signing off, 19 March 2010 0747 Davao City.

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