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Weekly Rochester Events #481 Starting Thursday, March 27, 2008

Thursday, March 20th, 2008

Alexis Gerard on "Going Visual: How Imaging Technology is Reshaping Culture, Society, and Business"
by Jason Olshefsky at 7:00 pm (add a comment)

I headed to George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) and got a chance to see Alexis Gerard speak on Going Visual: How Imaging Technology is Reshaping Culture, Society, and Business. I really wasn't all that impressed with his lecture, mostly because I didn't buy into the premise.

The gist is that a because the nerves that make up our sense of sight vastly outnumber those for hearing, and that we have the capacity in our bodies to produce sounds, that we are left with a yearning to similarly create images. I disagree right away because I think that our capacity to create sound is about as lacking as our ability to create imagery with our bodies (i.e. without outside tools) when you compare either to its respective sensory capabilities. For instance, our ability to pantomime the shape of a tree is as accurate as our ability to mimic the sound of a roaring fire.

Gerard's argument then is to imply that the ability to capture an accurate representation of the world has been an underlying desire of man. He notes that the ability to create realistic paintings required a lot of skill, it cost a lot, and the resulting product must be seen in person; compare that to a camera phone where the skill to produce an image is very low, the cost is negligible, and the capacity to share the image is huge.

But I say that the ability to record images is as boring as the ability to record sounds. The meat-and-potatoes of my own desire to stimulate my senses revolves around creating new things: sights and sounds of things as yet unseen. It is more about creating tools to manipulate my world than it is to play parlor tricks with my senses. For isn't that what a photograph is — a way to trick your senses into believing you're seeing something that is not in front of you?

So to say that this "empowers" people is flawed. It only gives people a very specific tool that is really only for a very specific purpose.

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Saturday, March 22nd, 2008

A peculiarly terrible feeling
by Jason Olshefsky at 4:21 pm (add a comment)

Today I did my usual Saturday running around — groceries, lunch, hanging out with friends, and other miscellaneous errands. Everything seemed to go pretty well.

But in talking with my friends, we got on the topic of politics and the war and that was kind of upsetting — the old "Where's Osama?" game … all the lives and money lost on (both affecting generations to come) … the power grabbed in the midst of it all. Then there was some tangential notes about the police: someone I knew a little was arrested; my friend got pulled over for not signaling when he's sure he did (and right in front of his house); and the new surprise "no left turn" from westbound East Avenue onto southbound South Goodman (allegedly — I could swear they just installed a left-turn arrow for that turn).

I also observed people driving strangely in the last couple days. There are a lot of near-misses and generally poor form out there. It's like people are … well … scurrying. Like it's the day before the hurricane hits and everyone is running around trying to get those last survival essentials.

All these things combined and I was hit with an overwhelming feeling of dread — the knot-in-your-stomach kind of feeling just before you get into a car accident. Only it's lasting for the better part of an hour.

I hope it's nothing … maybe it's just me noticing things I hadn't noticed before — having my senses more open than I have in years. Maybe it's just some recent snarls in my own life. Or maybe it's that I'm noticing everyone else (including myself) having a generally dour attitude — a chronic kind of thing that just won't abate, but that you kind of get used to.

We'll see.

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Sunday, March 23rd, 2008

Taking the train to Schenectady and back for Easter
by Jason Olshefsky at 9:47 am (add a comment)

Ali and I decided to take the train to my parents' house for Easter. We boarded at the Amtrak Station (320 Central Ave.) around 9:45 a.m. and made our way east. It was amusing to see all the familiar places and try to figure out what's next: the Public Market, the train yard, 590, Linden Avenue, East Rochester, the middle of Fairport … and then it got more sparse: Baird Road … Macedon … and the last marker was in Palmyra when we passed my friend Sondra's old house. It was a beautiful sunny day although the scenery was that dreary brown-and-gray post-winter blah.

Around 1:30 we were in Schenectady and got to spend some time with my parents.

The return train was the same run I took to Denver in 2005 — we boarded around 7:30 p.m. and … well … waited. Apparently we were waiting for the tracks to clear ahead for the late-arriving eastbound train. And then it was to allow passengers to transfer from the Saratoga Springs train. So we finally left around 8.

Then in Syracuse, the U.S. Customs agents boarded (they did on the way east as well but it was uneventful) and they had some discussion with some people who happened to be sitting near us. One guy got all his luggage and left with them, and the other — well, I think it was just a language barrier and he got to stay. In any case, the time we made up with extra speed on the way was lost again and we arrived in Rochester around 11:45 — 45 minutes late.

Now the funny thing is that on the train it's kind of unique experience to be delayed. As long as you are on the train and it's on the main tracks, it will start going again. It may take a while but it'll go.

On a plane, ship, or bus, there's a sense that you might get stuck somewhere and have to figure out what to do. But on the train it's missing that element and I find myself having faith in the inertia of the voyage. Like the sheer mass of the train itself while it's moving, it requires very unusual circumstances to cancel a run. It may be slow-going, and there may be delays, but never a cancellation.

And that makes it that much more relaxing.

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Monday, March 24th, 2008

Back to a bit of barefoot running
by Jason Olshefsky at 10:30 am (add a comment)

Just a brief update from the running file: I went out for a 15-minute run and did about half of it with water-shoes on then the other half barefoot. It was about 27°F outside and a light snow had made the ground damp. When I got home, the coldest part of my toes were still only around 50°F. It felt good to get back out there again after a wintry hiatus.

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Wednesday, March 26th, 2008

A Computer Bug in JayceLand
by Jason Olshefsky at 3:08 pm (add a comment)

I just noticed the other day that the JayceLand Archive was not working right. It would show only the last two weeks (March 20 and March 13) but then stopped and didn't show any until November of last year. I thought it had to do with there being no entries on March 6.

Here's what really happened:

The archive is just a bunch of files named according to the date. To automatically generate the "new" part of the archive, the software makes a note of the most recently published date (i.e. the most recent Thursday before today). It scans through the blog entries in reverse-chronological order and assembles a list of the short descriptions until it gets to an entry that's older than the week it's working on. If there's a file for the Thursday it's on, it displays the link and list of short descriptions as seen in the archive, subtracts 7 days from its marker, and starts accumulating the next list of short descriptions; repeat until there's no more blog entries.

The devil is in the details and, like all annoying computer bugs, it's to do with an incorrect assumption on the part of the programmer (me). When I calculate the most recent Thursday's date, I set the time portion of the day to midnight — dates are represented by the number of seconds since midnight, January 1, 1970. Then, when I need to go back a week, I just subtract 7 * 86,400 (the number of seconds in one day).

Did you get the bug yet?

The incorrect assumption is that all days are 24 hours. There are two that are not: the days when we change in and out of Daylight Saving Time. So March 9 was 23 hours. When my "Thursday" marker passed that Sunday, it was not "Thursday at midnight" but rather "Wednesday at 11 p.m." Since there were no files marked with a Wednesday date, no lines were displayed. At least until it got past November 4, 2007 when we had a 25-hour day and the marker was back to Thursdays again, allowing it to correctly show the entry for November 1, 2007 (when I started the blog).

I gotta say that programming is pretty weird sometimes.

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Atonement 'fore Penelope at the Cinema
by Jason Olshefsky at 7:00 pm (add a comment)

Ali and I headed to The Cinema TheatreMySpace link (957 South Clinton Ave.) to see the double-feature: Atonement, and Penelope. This time, we didn't get a chance to hang out with the cat — I guess it's done with us.

So Atonement took me a while to get into. I had thoughts of the day swimming around and couldn't get into it fully. I noticed that the foleying was performed louder and more stylistically than in other movies — obviously for artistic effect but, to my ear, deliberate to the point of distraction.

The story is not particularly unusual: Briony — a young girl — misinterprets the passionate love between her sister, Cecilia, and her beau Robbie as some bad thing in her sexually-budding mind. Through a lie of serendipitously important placement, she gets them separated. The World War II intensifies, and Robbie leaves to fight, able to see Cecilia only briefly.

As the emotions intensified — from the sterile complacency of the aristocratic life to the ragged edges of human existence — I became much more engaged in the film. And then was absolutely surprised to find it has a bit of a twist ending — one that looks squarely at what is real and what is not, unraveling the tapestry laid before me.

Penelope, on the other hand, was brutally terrible.

The story is that Penelope was affected by a curse of her father's lineage such that she was born with the appearance of a pig. To break the curse, she must wed one of her own — another "blue-blood" aristocrat. Unfortunately, her appearance is so hideous that all suitors literally run away from her at first sight, never getting to know the kind person she is inside. So does she finally find her prince? Will the curse actually be broken?

Let me save you 102 minutes of your life: yes, but it's the down-to-earth guy who actually likes her and he's not really a blue-blood, and yes, but the curse is edited partway into the film so that it's when she finds the one who loves her truly — and it is she that finally loves herself that breaks the curse, turning her back into regular-old Christina Ricci.

The fundamental flaw of the film is that it attempts to hit the exact middle-ground of all aspects. It's a cartoonish fairy-tale set in realistic modern-day England. Penelope is so hideous that she drives suitors away, but she's not bad looking at all. The chemistry between the designated couple is vaguely lukewarm — more like cooked pasta than a roaring fire. The resolution is absolutely insipid — that the curse forged in vengeance against a whole bloodline is really just a way for a girl to get through her issues and the evil witch was a big-hearted softie after all.

And then there's the script — oy. The fundamental message is that superficially loving mothers end up smothering their children's sense of self and must be shut the hell up. Or at least that may be on the mind of the scriptwriter. Then again, I guess if you love Everybody Loves Raymond, then — as this is the same writer — you'll probably love this script too. And apparently so do hundreds of commentators on Internet Movie Database.  And I find that to be more disturbing than the fact that this movie got made at all.

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This evening at 6 p.m. in the Dryden Theatre at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) is a Photography Lecture with Sebastian Copeland titled Antarctica: The Global Warning and the Road to Sustainability. [source: Eastman House calendar] [all ages]

The The Rochester Genealogical Society meeting will be at 7 p.m. tonight at The Asbury First United Methodist Church (1050 East Ave.). Dick Halsey will discuss The Monroe County, NY GenWeb Site and then Larry Naukam will present the main lecture titled Rochester's Best Genealogy Research Sites. [source: Rochester Genealogical Society website] [all ages]

JayceLand Pick Good jam-style acoustic rocker Kevin MacConkeyMySpace link will be at Boulder Coffee Co.MySpace link (100 Alexander St.) starting around 8 p.m. [source: Boulder Coffee website] [all ages]

The Eastman Women's Chorus will be performing tonight at Kilbourn Hall at Eastman Theatre (60 Gibbs St.) at 8 p.m. with a performance titled By Her, For Her, About Her. [source: Eastman School of Music calendar] [all ages]

The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing George Washington starting at 8 p.m. preceded by the short film Physical Pinball. The feature film is a "group of young teens in a poor North Carolina town. At the heart of the group is George, a sweet and sensitive kid who learns to cope with tragedy and heartbreak during one long, hot summer." [source: Dryden Theater calendar] [all ages]

Over at The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) starting around 9:30 p.m. is Today is the Day, PsyopusGarageBand linkMySpace link, Complete FailureMySpace link, and Mouth of the ArchitectMySpace link. [source: Bug Jar calendar] [18+]

JayceLand Pick Wicked fun percussive groove-rock returns: The BuddhaHoodMySpace link will be at Dinosaur Bar-B-Que (99 Court St.) starting around 10 p.m. [source: band e-mail]

Drinking Liberally meets at 8 p.m. tonight at Monty's Korner (355 East Ave.) [source: RocWiki calendar]


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Top Pick ArtAwake will be at Station 55 (55 Railroad St.) today from 4 p.m. to 2 a.m. and will feature music, art, history, and architecture. [source: University of Rochester website]

URBAN ARTifacts by Betsy Phillips will be on display at The Image City Photography Gallery (722 University Ave.) for the opening reception tonight from 5 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. [source: Image City Photography Gallery e-mail]

Apparently The Critical Mass Bike Ride is tonight starting at 5:30 p.m. at the clock tower near The Wilson Commons at The University of Rochester (Library Road, #39 on River Campus Map.) to The Liberty Pole (1 Liberty Pole Way) at 6 p.m. and heading through the city from there. [source: the proverbial grapevine]

Today from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at The Rochester Visual Studies Workshop (31 Prince St.) is the opening reception for In Process: Explorations in the creative process, Paintings, Intaglio-type Prints and a Video Installation by Bernice Cross. [source: Visual Studies Workshop calendar] [all ages]

HungnessMySpace link (formerly Kill Myself on Monday), and Cruelty FreeGarageBand link will be at Boulder Coffee Co.MySpace link (100 Alexander St.) starting around 8 p.m. [source: Boulder Coffee MySpace site] [all ages]

The Eastman School Symphony Orchestra will be at Kilbourn Hall at Eastman Theatre (60 Gibbs St.) starting around 8 p.m. [source: Eastman School of Music calendar] [all ages]

Over at Dinosaur Bar-B-Que (99 Court St.) starting around 10 p.m. is RedLine Zydeco. [source: Dinosaur Bar-B-Que calendar]

JayceLand Pick The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) will be hosting great chaotic/attention-deficit funk-ish rock band GaylordMySpace link (in what may be among their last Rochester performances for a while), Razor Wire ShrineMySpace link, and Fledgling DeathMySpace link starting around 10:30 p.m. [source: Bug Jar calendar] [21+]

Tonight probably starting around 7 p.m. at The Storefront Anti-War Crisis Center (658 Monroe Ave.) is the Subversive Komedy Fest. [source: the proverbial grapevine]


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Top Pick Today at 11 a.m. is a Rochester Geeks MEETin Field Trip for a tour of Regional Computer Recycling and Recovery (RCR&R) (7318 Victor-Mendon Rd., Victor)'s facility. Sign up on the MEETin website. [source: MEETinROCHESTER calendar]

This afternoon at 2 p.m. at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) is the first Members' Annual Meeting with director Anthony Bannon giving the "State of the Museum" address, Alison Nordström presenting a preview of upcoming photographic exhibitions, and Caroline Yeager demonstrating recent upgrades in the Dryden Theatre. Note that Eastman House indicates this as a "members only" event. [source: Eastman House calendar] [all ages]

Tonight at The Oxford Gallery (267 Oxford St.) from 5:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. is the opening reception for Awakenings: Reflections upon Spring featuring the works of many artists. [source: Oxford Gallery website]

The Club at Water Street (204 N. Water St.) will be hosting The Velvet Edge, solid experimental acoustic-rocker Gregory PaulGarageBand linkMySpace link, The Highway BeautifulGarageBand link, Tommy BrunettMySpace link, and The FrequencyMySpace link starting around 6:15 p.m. [source: Water Street calendar] [13+]

Tonight at 7:30 p.m. in the Auditorium of The Hochstein School of Music and Dance (50 North Plymouth Ave.) is a new-music presentation titled Vision of Sound. [source: Society for New Music website] [all ages]

JayceLand Pick Tonight at Equal=GroundsMySpace link (750 South Ave., formerly Hunt's Hardware) is Jamie AndersonMySpace link starting around 8 p.m. [source: Equal=Grounds MySpace page] [all ages]

The House of Hamez (389 Gregory St., formerly Daily Perks) will be hosting Phil MarshallMySpace link starting around 8 p.m. [source: House of Hamez website] [all ages]

JayceLand Pick Tonight at Boulder Coffee Co.MySpace link (100 Alexander St.) is great fun ska from Mrs. Skannotto starting around 8 p.m. [source: Boulder Coffee MySpace site] [all ages]

The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing Magnolia starting at 8 p.m. I saw this years ago and thought that although the acting was good, the beauty-in-our-humanness message was delivered with thuggish heavy-handedness. [source: Dryden Theater calendar] [all ages]

Herb SmithMySpace link will be at The Flat Iron CaféMySpace link (561 State St.) starting around 9 p.m. [source: Flat Iron Cafe webstie]

Tonight at Woody's (248 Monroe Ave.) (of all places) is tight, very good modern-rock band The Meddling KidsMySpace link ... I suspect they'll start around 10 p.m. [source: Freetime]

JayceLand Pick Tonight at The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) is HealthMySpace link, nearly-noise-band/instrumental-cacophonous-rock band Science vs. WitchcraftMySpace link, PegacideMySpace link, and thick bass-driven noise from Tuurd starting around 10:30 p.m. [source: Bug Jar calendar] [21+]

JayceLand Pick Great motley folk from Baby Shivers BoutiqueMySpace link will be at Monty's KrownMySpace link (875 Monroe Ave.) starting around 10:30 p.m. [source: Monty's Krown MySpace page] [21+]

Betty's Sing-a-Long is regularly scheduled at Betty Meyer's Bullwinkle Café (622 Lake Ave., a.k.a. "Bullwinkle's") starting around 10 but since September, 2007 people have reported they were closed.


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JayceLand Pick The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing Great World of Sound starting at 7 p.m. I enjoyed it in October, 2007 and I figure I'll enjoy it again. [source: Dryden Theater calendar] [all ages]


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The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing Kiss Me Kate this afternoon at 1:30 p.m. Straight from the Eastman House Calendar: "Howard Keel and Kathryn Grayson lead a stellar cast in this film version of Cole Porter's classic musical adaptation of Shakespeare's The Taming of the Shrew." [source: Eastman House calendar] [all ages]

Tonight at Verb Café at Writers and Books (740 University Ave.) is another Wide Open Mic hosted by Norm Davis starting at 7:30 p.m. [source: Writers and Books calendar] [all ages]

JayceLand Pick The Bop Shop (274 N. Goodman St., in Village Gate Square) will be hosting The Fonda/Stevens Group starting around 8 p.m. [source: Bop Shop calendar] [all ages]

Kilbourn Hall at Eastman Theatre (60 Gibbs St.) will be hosting The Eastman Wind Orchestra starting around 8 p.m. [source: Eastman School of Music calendar] [all ages]

JayceLand Pick Tonight at 9:15 p.m. at The Little (240 East Ave.) is a presentation of The Emerging Filmmakers Series featuring ABC Movie by Elisabeth Tonnard, Fallen by Jon Noble, Bathtime in Clerkenweell by Alex Budovsky, The Can Man by Sean Cunningham, Boxed In by Joy E. Reed, Untitled by Eva Xie, SNEW by David Lachman and Jody Oberfelder, and Loose Ends by Rachel Gordon. [source: Little Theatre calendar]

Bored? Why not check out 1980's DJ night at The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) starting around 11 p.m. [source: Bug Jar calendar]


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April Fool's Day

This morning at 7:30 a.m. in the cafeteria overlooking the arboretum in Bausch and Lomb (140 Stone St.) is the Artists Breakfast Group meeting ... anyone interested in art or creativity is invited.

JayceLand Pick Today at 12:12 p.m. in Gleason Auditorium at The Rochester Public Library (115 South Ave.) is another in the Books Sandwiched-In series where William Marvin will discuss The Rest Is Noise: Listening to the Twentieth Century by Alex Ross. [source: Rochester Public Library calendar] [all ages]

JayceLand Pick The Dryden Theater at George Eastman House (900 East Ave.) will be showing The Elephant Man starting at 8 p.m. This is the amazing version that David Lynch created (and it's light on Lynch-styled twistedness, in case you're curious). [source: Dryden Theater calendar] [all ages]

Over at The Club at Water Street (204 N. Water St.) starting around 9 p.m. is Murder By DeathMySpace link, O'DeathMySpace link, and Kiss KissMySpace link. [source: Water Street calendar] [16+]

Grime Time will be at The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) starting around 9:30 p.m. [source: Bug Jar calendar] [18+]


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Top Pick Over at The Bug Jar (219 Monroe Ave.) starting around 10 p.m. is awesome, animated, crazy rock from MonotonixMySpace link, and punchy drums-and-guitar punk-rock band Blue Spark and FlameMySpace link. [source: Bug Jar calendar] [18+]

Poor People United meets tonight and every Wednesday at 7 at St. Joseph's House of Hospitality (402 South Ave.) [source: the proverbial grapevine]

Every Wednesday starting at Monty's KrownMySpace link (875 Monroe Ave.) at 7 p.m. is the Rochester Cruisers Ride for bicyclists. [source: RocBike website]

There's an Open Mic for Acoustic Music at Boulder Coffee Co. (100 Alexander St.) tonight around 8. [source: the proverbial grapevine]

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This page is Jason Olshefsky's list of things to do in Rochester, NY and the surrounding region (including nearby towns Irondequoit, Webster, Penfield, Pittsford, Victor, Henrietta, Gates, Chili, Greece, and Charlotte, and occasionally other places in Monroe County and the Western New York region.) It is updated every week with daily listings for entertainment, activities, performances, movies, music, bands, comedy, improv, poetry, storytelling, lectures, discussions, debates, theater, plays, and generally fun things to do. Music events are usually original bands with occasional cover bands and DJ's with musical styles including punk, emo, ska, swing, rock, rock-and-roll, alternative, metal, jazz, blues, noise band, experimental music, folk, acoustic, and "world-beat." Events listed take place during the day, in the evenings, or as part of the city's nightlife as listed. Although I'm reluctant to admit it, it is a Rochester blog and I'm essentially blogging about Rochester events. I also tend to express opinions, review past events, make reviews, speak of philosophy or of a philosophical nature, discuss humanity and creativity. Oh, and it's spelled JayceLand with no space and a capital L, not Jayce Land, Jaycee Land, Jace Land, Jase Land, Joyce Land, Jayce World, Jayceeland, Jaceland, Jaseland, Joyceland, Jayceworld, Jayceeworld, Jaceworld, Jaseworld, nor Joyceworld. (Now if you misspell it in some search engine, you at least get a shot at finding it.) It's also not to be confused with Jake's World or JakesWorld which is a site of a Rochester animator. While I'm on the topic of keywords for search engines, this update includes information for Thursday, March 27, 2008 (Thu, Mar 27, 2008, 3/27/2008, or 3/27/08) Friday, March 28, 2008 (Fri, Mar 28, 2008, 3/28/2008, or 3/28/08) Saturday, March 29, 2008 (Sat, Mar 29, 2008, 3/29/2008, or 3/29/08) Sunday, March 30, 2008 (Sun, Mar 30, 2008, 3/30/2008, or 3/30/08) Monday, March 31, 2008 (Mon, Mar 31, 2008, 3/31/2008, or 3/31/08) Tuesday, April 1, 2008 (Tue, Apr 1, 2008, 4/1/2008, or 4/1/08) and Wednesday, April 2, 2008 (Wed, Apr 2, 2008, 4/2/2008, or 4/2/08).


JayceLand Pick indicates an event that's a preferred pick of the day ... probably something worth checking out.

Top Pick indicates a "guaranteed" best bet for the particular genre of the indicated event.

GarageBand link links to a band's page on GarageBand.com which offers reviews and information about bands.

MySpace link links to a band's page on MySpace.com which is a friend-networking site that is popular with bands.

Fly the flag today. is a day when you should fly the flag according to the Veterans of Foreign Wars calendar.

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