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This site belongs to Drina, 20-something psychology nut who loves rats, painting, and Amnesty International.

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Favorite Quote

"To announce there must be no criticism of the president, or that we are to stand by the president, right or wrong, is not only unpatriotic and servile, but is morally treasonable to the American public."
Teddy Roosevelt

So said God

Be merciful
Luke 6:36


Seriously annoying unsuspecting surfers since 2001

November 29, 2004

Monday Rat Blogging

Just coming off of an (awesome, in my opinion) job interview, I've decided to continue the Monday Rat Blog with some more pictures of Fat Bastard, complete with photo captions. Enjoy.

Look at my butt!

I am so irritated by you.

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November 28, 2004

Prepping for my interview

Tomorrow morning at 10:00 a.m. is my job interview. If I don't get this position, I'm going to have to move into the empty steel trash dump under the local bridge so as to aleviate my burgeoning Visa statement. Wish me luck.

UPDATE: The interview went really, really well, but it will be at least two weeks before I hear back from them. They have to contact all of my references and former supervisors first. Fingers crossed!

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November 26, 2004

Family reunion and pie

Yesterday my mom's side of the family got together for a big Thanksgiving feast at my aunt's house. There was enough food to feed three Afghani tribes, with loads of potatoes and pie packed away for left-overs. Here I am with my sister Klara at dinner:


As usual, our family get together also came complete with political arguments. The fact that my aunts, uncles, and grandma are all Kerry supporters didn't sit too well with one of my cousins. He picked a fight with our aunt before I got there, but another cousin took some digital shots of the squabble. Looked like fun!

Right now I'm planning some 10k walks to help me lose the 78,301,934 pounds I gained yesterday. It might take me a while to whittle the new inches away. Darn that French silk pie.

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November 24, 2004

Give some thanks

Give thanks I am thankful for friends that love me, family that hasn't shot me yet, a place to call home (even if my parents live there), a God that doesn't keep score, a warm bed to sleep in, an aunt that reads my blog each day, and yes, even for Jerry Falwell.

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November 23, 2004

The new American Jesus

Before I explain the title of this post I'd like to present a little disclaimer. I do not believe that all Christians who consistenly vote Republican are greedy, violent, Walmart sycophants. The comic below is a sweeping generalization that functions as a caricature. It doesn't accurately represent social conservatives as a whole. But caricatures are really just exaggerated expressions of truth, and I think comic David Horsey is onto something here.

GOP Church

Most of us probably see the same image in our minds when we think of Jesus. The Christ we've been conditioned to recognize most likely looks a lot like Jim Cavazeil of Passion fame --a tall, white man with flowing brown locks and piercing blue eyes. Our psychological savior wears a dirty, white robe and a pair of dusty Birkenstocks. His usual companions are a loaf of bread and radical forgiveness.

If you were raised Catholic, like me, this image was most likely reinforced frequently. There were concrete Jesuses everywhere. He could be found standing in front of your school building, in the middle of your flower bed at home, and on every five feet of wall space at the local Saint (add Anglo name here) church. And that lengthy Jesus of Nazareth movie they keep playing around Easter not only keeps with the proper look, but also drives home the vision of Christ as sinner's-best-friend. Even Protestants got in on the action with those clay-mation cartoons.

The image is so pervasive, that messing with it often yields cries of heresy. And that's why I'm surprised that so many Christians, while still defensive regarding Christ's physical characteristics, are latching onto a new political image of Jesus with so little caution.

But Americans love a good makeover. And forget what the producers of The Swan tell you; this one really is the biggest, most extreme reinvention of our time. Rather than using instant Hollywood surgical tricks, the makeover developed over the course of a few decades. Of course, some people say the new American Jesus isn't really new at all, with the Puritans having used Biblical verses to steal Indian land back in the day. But personally, I think the new image started taking shape in the 1970's, when the modern mullahs of American fundamentalism first planted their roots.

When the 80's came around, guys like Jerry Falwell and Christian Coalition founder Pat Robertson were some of the most powerful people in the country. They were running for public office, lobbying to keep gay people from serving in the military, and getting a lot of use out of the word "degenerate." And they had lots of money pouring in from their faithful flocks, which they acquired through popular television programs like the 700 Club.

Their message was simple: Liberals are evil, and real Christians vote for Republicans. They focused on making Christians feel persecuted by left-leaning politicians, and promised the religious masses they were going to purge Democrats out of office. And with the support of their followers, they intended to replace the anti-Christian liberals with folks that adhere to fundamentalist values. All Republicans, of course.

While they failed to get elected, they succeeded in creating a public perception that the GOP is not the Grand Old Party, but God's Own Party. And Jesus Christ, previously known to Gospel readers as a merciful minister with an attitude chock full of humility, became the poster boy for American Republicanism, and everything that came with it.

The link that Falwell, Robertson, and others made between God and the GOP gave Christ some new characteristics by association. No longer a priest lacking political ambitions, Jesus found himself voting for Ronald Reagan in 1984. He also became a fervent capitalist whose love affair with trickle-down economics lead him to lobby for tax cuts for the wealthy and welfare reform. Christ maintained that homeless people lack shelter because they're lazy, not because capitalism fosters a system of perpetual inequality.

Along with his new take on economics, Jesus also became a card-carrying member of the National Rifle Association. His good works included fighting a ban on assault weapons, opposing background checks for gun buyers, and convincing the public that the 15,000 people a year who die from gunshot wounds are gang members from Los Angeles. All of them.

Jesus also acquired some new hobbies, like listening to conservative radio. His favorite on-air personality in the 90's was Rush Limbaugh. He enjoyed the fresh conservative commentary and quotable jems like, "Why should Blacks be heard? They're only 12% of the population. Who the hell cares?"

Certainly not Jesus.

The most important aspect of Christ's conversion was his unwavering support of armed conflict, especially the latest preemptive strikes in Iraq. He not only agreed with President Bush that the lack of weapons of mass destruction should not prompt people to reevaluate the propriety of the war, but also the Republican assertion that anyone who believed otherwise was an anti-American freedom-hater.

The day after the 2004 election, Jesus scoffed at all of the liberals that dared think true, patriotic Americans would turn against their president. He filled his blog with celebratory slams against Michael Moore, and echoed Jerry Falwell's statements that the election was a "slam dunk" that "made the difference in initiating the return of this nation to moral sanity."

Of course, this is all just part of the caricature. Christ did not really change. But his image has changed. The fundamentalist link from God to political conservatism creates an image of Christ as a gun-toting, war-waging, Limbaugh-listening, welfare-despising arch enemy of environmentalists, France, and Hilary Clinton.

In a way, the incumbent Christ has been voted out of office, and replaced by an imposter that cares more about retaining American might than loving one's enemies. The imposter does not pray, "Father, forgive them for they know not what they do." Rather, he prays, "Father, please protect me as I open up a righteous can of whoop ass on those Arabs."

Something is definitely amiss in today's fundamentalist subculture. And the most alarming thing is that it's quickly becoming mainstream. Even American Catholics, a historically peaceful group focused on social welfare and justice, is buying into the cult of authoritarianism.

Recently I came across a website devoted to the Catholic image of Mary "Queen of Peace." Directly below a quote from an alleged Marian apparition calling for an end to war and violence were banners supportive of the war in Iraq. And despite the Pope's own contention that the war in Iraq is not morally justifiable, the webmaster of the "Queen of Peace" website asserted that Bush's Middle Eastern conquests are fully righteous acts in keeping with the mission of the "Queen of Peace." He also derided my opposition to the war and brushed off the thousands of civilian victims in Iraq as no big deal.

Now, as I said at the beginning of this post, I don't believe that all Christians who vote Republican are like Jerry Falwell. But the movement that Falwell helped conceive has convinced a lot of people that Jesus is a lot different than the way he is portrayed in the Bible. And that has given Christians (and Americans) a pretty bad reputation... One that makes it hard for anyone who doesn't support the Republican agenda of war and tax cuts for the wealthy to give Christianity a chance.

That, I believe, will be the fundamentalist's legacy: Tricking people into rejecting the real Christ through a perceptual bait-and-switch. And that's the truth that comic David Horsey has tapped into. The new American Jesus has officially arrived. And he's ready to put a boot in your ass.

Thanks to Gutless Pacifist for the heads-up.

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November 22, 2004

Monday morning rat blogging

Since I got another e-mail request from a local DBA (Drina's Blog Addiction) sufferer to update my blog, I decided to dedicate this day for some rat blogging. I know you guys miss seeing pics of Fat Bastard, especially when he was part of the layout design. So here he is, in all his narcoleptic glory. Just look at his fat rolls:

Fat Bastard asleep on my bed

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November 19, 2004


I said that, and I'm not even Jewish. I'm sure the semitic crowd will forgive my indiscretion. I was checking out an online page of the Wasthington Post that listed all of the U.S. servicemen killed between Nov. 11th and Nov. 15th in Iraq, and what really struck me was how young they were. I mean, most of them were younger than me. And I consider myself to be a relatively young person. Some of these guys were only 19 years old.

Thinking about how young they are boggles my mind. These are college-age kids dying over there. Little freshman. A year or two ago, they were probably getting anxious about their high school proms. Today their bodies are being shipped home in flag-draped coffins that the public will probably never see.

I wonder what it would have been like if I were shipped out some years ago, then a short time later sent home for my parents to bury. Or maybe it would have been my brother that died in Iraq. Or my sister. She's 19 right now. How would our family react if she came home in a coffin after spending a hellish year searching for weapons of mass destruction that didn't exist? I don't think my parents could handle that. I don't know the other ones do.

To date, there are 1,217 American families of servicemen who are trying to do just that.

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November 18, 2004

Let's talk about addiction

Today's blog is going to discuss the serious topic of blog addiction. I have this friend, I'll call her "Spefanie" to keep this post anonymous. Well, Spefanie is a fan of my blog (who isn't, right?) and visits this website every day. She loves it, and can't get enough of it. She accesses this website to find out what I'm thinking, which is ironic because usually I just tell her.

Sometimes she reads my blog as we're talking on the phone, or even more shamelessly as I'm sitting next to her at her house.

What, she can't just ask me, "Drina, what's up?"

No, she must read it. Simply verbalizing my thoughts will not satisfy her incessant cravings.

This leads me to believe that Spefanie may suffer from the emerging DBA Disorder, more commonly known as Drina's Blog Addiction Disorder. Symptoms include daily downloading of the index.html page of Sonafide.com, reading blog text that one has already read before, referring in normal conversation to archived site material, and sending aggressive messages via AOL Instant Messenger demanding an immediate update. Threats of physical violence may also accompany such demands.

The bad news is that despite my training in psychology, I am neither equipped to treat this disorder, nor am aware of any specialists that could directly address the issue. The good news is that Spefanie is not alone in her suffering.

Wait, no, that's actually bad news. Nevermind.

There are many who suffer from DBA, including "Dante," "Teta Nicika," "Nary," "Riz," and the unknown lurker that spent nine hours surfing my site last week. Right now I'm trying to Google information that would help me deal with these addicts, but so far have been unsuccessful in finding relevent references. I guess they'll just have to suffer a little but longer. Sorry guys.

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November 15, 2004

My Christmas list

Okay, I know it wasn't that long ago that I ranted about my own materialism and the need to free myself from the cult of Buy This Or Die, but being the hopeless American I am, there are a few things that I sometimes wish were mine. And since the holidays are around the corner, I figured I'd give my family and friends some gift ideas if they were, you know, wondering. I'm not getting my hopes up, though. Here it is, that glorious list of greed:


The O’Franken Factor Factor by Al Franken, $14.99
Mind, Body & Soul by Joss Stone, $13.49
How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb by U2, $10.99
The Beautiful Letdown by Switchfoot, $13.49


America, The Book by Jon Stewart, $14.97
Lucian Freud by William Feaver, $31.47
Reallivepreacher.com by Gordon Atkinson, $10.50
I'm Just Here For the Food by Alton Brown, $20.47
Don't Think of an Elephant by Lakoff & Hazen, $7.50


Farenheight 9/11 by Michael Moore, $18.82
The Royal Tenenbaums, $14.99

Stuff I will never get:

Dimension 4700 Desktop by Dell, $649.00
Venetian H-Frame Easel, $99.00
Galvanized New Englander Cage by Martin's Cages, $150 -or-
Galvanized Condo with Barn Top by Martin's Cages, $170


Sell Out Face Case by Urban Decay, $34.00
Shadow Box Holiday by Urban Decay, $34.00
Swell Happiness Queen Sheet Set at Target, $44.99
Swell Happiness Duvet Set at Target, $89.99
Ceramic measuring cups by Nigella Lawson, $24.95


Amnesty International - Restoring human rights
Aids Task Force - Responding compassionately to AIDS
The City Mission - Meeting physical and spiritual needs
National Public Radio - Expanding minds with real news

So there you have it. This is a list of the things I want (and will probably never have, because I'm too poor/cheap to buy them for myself, and nobody else ever buys anything from my fantasy lists). Perhaps, if I ever win the Ohio lottery, I'll get the O'Franken Factor Factor (and the Dell Desktop, who am I kidding) and give the rest to Amnesty International. They could probably use the funds more than I can the Joss Stone CD

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November 14, 2004

Father knows best

When the first George Bush ran for reelection in 1992, I was much too young to vote for him. Of course, I wouldn't have voted for him anyway. He did, mind you, ignore all of my letters. The nerve... But recently I found something that almost makes me wish George Sr. had run for president in 2000 instead of his son.

From A World Transformed:

I firmly believe we should not march into Baghdad. To occupy Iraq would instantly shatter our coalition, turning the whole Arab world against us and make a broken tyrant into a latter-day Arab hero.

-President George Bush (the first one), 1998

Daily gratitude: That Stephanie still dutifully reads my blog even though she gets really annoyed by all of my political whining.

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November 13, 2004

Suffering for science

In a little over an hour I take the GRE Subject test in Psychology, having had 30 total minutes of sleep in the last 24 hours. I think I'm going to ask my dad to drive me to the testing center, because I just might fall asleep behind the wheel if I take myself. My eyelids feel heavy. And these words are dancing on the screen.

But I'm gonna do it. I'm going to kill this test. And afterward I'm going to kick myself in the ass for pulling an all-nighter to study.

UPDATE: I'm also going to kick myself for changing my mind on several questions and erasing the correct answers to choose the wrong ones. Six more weeks before I find out how stupid I am.

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November 11, 2004

A Veteran's Day question

It looks like I'm not the only one confused as to why some ABC stations are choosing not to air Saving Private Ryan. It seems illogical to me that pro-war people would find a movie offensive.

Anyway, to all the vets (servicemen, not pet doctors, although we certainly appreciate pet doctors as well) including Miro, Papa Kazar, Jerry (who moved on from this life on March 31st, 2004 in Fallujah, Iraq) and everyone else, you are appreciated. I apologize for the hell our leaders put you through.

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November 09, 2004

Another jem from Mitch Albom

I hate it when Mitch Albom has something relevent to say that doesn't completely agree with my abundant wisdom. I mean, come on, his latest Sunday editorial implies that the rank-and-file of the power-obsessed right wing are just like me. You know, human... and partisan. That's just plain not fair. From his piece in the Detroit Free Press:

Evangelical Christians feel the country was started by people like them, and it ought to stay that way.

Evangelical critics feel the country was started by people escaping religious persecution -- why do it again?

Conservatives hate that there are so many best-selling liberal books.

Liberals hate that there are so many best-selling conservative books.

Pro-Bush types think America has been saved.

Anti-Bush types think America has been sunk.

And there we are. We see enemies. Everywhere. But here is the problem: We are looking at each other.

I do have one point of contention, in that not all evangelical Christians believe they ought to be in full control over the entire government, all of its citizens, and everyone's private lives. There are millions of us out there who don't fit this stereotype. I've met scores of Christians who oppose religious persecution in the last week alone, and the number is getting bigger. There's even a label for this contemporary (and much needed) reformation, and I'll let you guess what that is.

Now, as for Mitch, you need to stop reading my mind and making me look foolish in your editorials. I just won't stand for that. But thanks anyway for the insight on the state of our wounded nation.

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November 08, 2004


I'm too envious, and focus on the things I lack rather than the riches (non-material, most especially) I have. I need to stop that.

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November 07, 2004

The silver election lining

Call me a sore loser, but I officially retract my position on last week's election, thanks to a brilliant British editorial that exposed the error of my ways. Yes, indeed, hell has frozen over.

In all seriousness, the next four years will likely bring us much folly (and much violence), but this article reminded me again that help really is on the way. We just have to wait for it a little bit longer. And if patience is what I need to learn than that's exactly what I'll do --learn patience. The Almighty knows I could probably use the lesson. Perhaps I should have been more grateful.

To crush underfoot all prisoners in the land, to deny a man his rights before the Most High, to deprive a man of justice, would not the Lord see such things? Lamentations 3: 34-36

Daily gratitude: the Brits. And the Canadians. I love them all.

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November 06, 2004

Reverse rat mohawk. That's right.

I just realized I never posted an update on the pet rat emergency I experienced last week. After my two youngest rats, Nicodemus and Weezie, got into a fight and sustained some serious injuries, my frustration over the emergency clinics refusing to treat Nicodemus or shamelessly price gouging had my blood boiling. I was left to care for his wound on my own until my regular vet's office opened on Monday.

For a day or two he got regular hydrogen peroxide swabs and slept on a t-shirt, but refused to wear a bandage. When I finally got him to my vet, they shaved him, gave him liquid stitches, and sent him home with antibiotics to ward off infection. He's going to be okay, though he looks a little funny with his reverse mohawk.

Nicodemus got shaved!

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November 05, 2004

Ramen has me pegged

This results of this quiz were kind of scary. Strangers shouldn't know me this well. At least, not after only 10 measly questions.

You are Chicken Ramen!

You are Chicken Ramen! Though you have friends, and are sociable, you see people around you that are always better than you in one area or another. Though mostly happy, it sometimes causes you to be resentful of them and the world for not giving you one thing that you're really good at. Being somewhat overambitious, you often focus more on your school work and get good grades, and strive to be the best. You have a great work ethic, however. Keep looking, and don't get discouraged!

What Flavor of Ramen Noodles are you?
brought to you by Quizilla

Elizabeth Edwards, we wish you well!

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November 04, 2004

The Bush contradiction

Okay I promise, my political rhetoric will be over soon. But for now, I've got a couple of issues burning my brain that need to be expressed. The electionpalooza of the last week has got me thinking about some of the details of the "conservative" (definition unclear) platform, mainly the inconsistencies in its positions on stem cell research and pre-emptive war.

Bush does not favor using government money to support the use of embryonic stem cells for research, though he still allows it. Other "conservatives" favor an outright ban of this kind of research, because they believe that life begins at conception, and embryos discarded from fertility clinics should not be used for any purpose, even if it leads to life-saving advances for others. In other words, you can't use an embryo to save a person.

Fair enough. A life is a life is a life. That's a good philosophy.

Then why support bloody pre-emptive war? In recent months, government investigations found that Saddam Hussein was not a threat to us, he had no weapons of mass destruction, no programs to produce nukes, and no ability to do us harm. On top of it all, no evidence has been found that he was cooperating with al-qaeda to hurt us. As Donald Rumsfeld admitted, the Bush administration couldn't find any link to Osama. So the whole rationale for invading Iraq and killing tens of thousands (by some estimates 100,000) was false. Among the war dead are innocent children that were completely dismembered. Remember that.

Yet, our president claims that he still did the right thing, and would have done so regardless of the lack of WMDs and 911 connections. After all, so many were oppressed by Hussein.

But how can Bush justify violently killing human beings, people with beating hearts and eternal souls, to save other human beings? What happened to the stem cell rationale? Why is it not okay to use discarded human embryos, but it's okay to shoot at a van full of Iraqi children (which happened at least twice during the war in Iraq, FYI)? Where's the consistency in Bush's policy?

Daily gratitude: words of wisdom and the gift of reason.

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November 03, 2004

Four more like the last four?

Americans have voted, and chose George W. Bush by a narrow margin to continue on with his presidency. Now he must take responsibility for his actions, admit his errors, fix his mess, and start leveling with the people.

In the last four years, he invaded a country with shifting rationales now found bogus, and in the process alienated the world. His war has helped swell terrorist recruitment around the globe. Healthcare costs are soaring, income levels dropping; abortions are up, jobs are down, and the debt is the largest it's ever been.

I can't say that I'm terribly optimistic that he's going to turn around and start doing his job, especially after four years of having the rug pulled out from under us, but anything is possible. Even Bush governing with integrity. That's all I'm praying for.

Also, let's not get too particular and actually count all the votes. They are, after all, just votes. No need to fuss over an election.

Daily gratitude: Knowing that my safety does not rest in the hands of any politician, hope for the future, and a reason to be proud of Croatia (and the rest of the world). Zivjeli Hrvati!

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November 02, 2004

Election day shame and honor

I voted today, and I felt honored to do so. I drove my parents down to the local mall-turned-polling place and cast my ballot. A few voting stations were open when we got there, so we didn't have to wait in line. I took my time, making sure to punch through the card and leave no hanging chads (ugh), and handed in my ballot to a little grey-haired lady who gave me my sticker.

My voting sticker

After coming home, my friend Sarah called to tell me that some people from her workplace were accosted at the polls by election challengers. It looks like the crime they committed was the infamous VWB - Voting While Black. It's nothing less than a dirty shame that a group would engage in such deplorable racial profiling in order to suppress votes. I'm so ashamed of Ohio.

Although I feel very strongly about this election, which ever way the voters swing I'll still know that my life is not in the hands of George Bush or John Kerry. If Kerry wins, I'll be pleased that my volunteer efforts paid off. If he doesn't, I will be consoled by the fact that Bush will have to face four years of accountability and clean up his own mess. If God can raise people from the dead, he can help keep Bush from creating a bigger disaster.

Daily gratitude: knowing God can work through even the most horrible of elected leaders.

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November 01, 2004

Bruce Springsteen live

...is simply amazing. Tens of thousands sang The Promised Land and No Surrender along with him tonight at the John Kerry rally downtown. It was really awesome hearing so many voices singing in unison, and knowing they're all there for a purpose. And I got to see the Boss in one of his finest moments. Now I can cross another item off of my "before I die" list.

I'm not going to get into politics in this post, because anyone who's stopped by here for even a moment knows what I believe. I've littered my website with so many such references that regurgitating them now is completely unnecessary (and probably annoying). Just vote if you care about what's happening in America today (and if you're allowed!) That's all I'm going to say.

Daily gratitude: this night. I'll remember it forever.

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Drina/Female/21-25. Lives in United States/Ohio/Cleveland, speaks English and Croatian. Eye color is brown. I am also creative. My interests are painting/psychology.
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