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by Jac Kern 03.23.2012
 
 
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I Just Can't Get Enough

Jac's favorite recent pop culture and Internet findings

Planking can be dangerous. Tebowing is just plain dumb. If there’s one viral Internet pose I can sign off on, it’s Draping.

Fashioned after Don Draper's iconic pose in the Mad Men intro, Draping has infiltrated the interwebs! This is all in anticipation for Sunday's long-awaited two-hour season premiere. Read more about that here.

Like many fun Internet bits I stumble upon, Drinkify is a really simple site that has that cool, “Why didn’t I think of that?” factor. Just enter the artist you’re listening to (or plan to that night), and Drinkify matches a perfect beverage to match. Vampire Weekend = PBR, Sleigh Bells = 10 oz. Whiskey (”Serve neat.”) and, because I was curious, Justin Bieber = 8 oz. Red Bull.

Anyone who knows my television habits is fully aware of my love for Bravo shows. I know, it's an abomination, but sometimes you just want a Taco Bell bean burrito instead of a fresh-cooked meal, and sometimes I want to watch Real Housewives instead of quality television. It keeps me grounded.

The latest gem Bravo has bestowed upon us: Shahs of Sunset, a reality show (duh) about a wealthy group of Persians in Beverly Hills. Don't hate me. The following is one of many internet rants from Shahs' hottest piece, Reza (NSFW). I'll never look at Parmesan cheese the same way again.



The award for web video series that will make you snort aloud, revealing that you're screwing around at work goes to...Bad Lip Readings! I'm late on this, I know, but damn if these stupid videos aren't hilarious. Unfortunately Rick Santorum's real words are just as ridiculous as the ones dubbed in this video.



 

One could not recap recent internet/popular news without mentioning KNOYGATE. Though anyone reading this has access to the Internet and therefore has probably been bombarded with the progressing stories on Kony, allow me to briefly explain.

Joseph Kony is the head of a Ugandan guerilla group that terrorizes the country, murdering villages, kidnapping children from their homes and turning them into soliders. He’s an international villain, and filmmaker/activist Jason Russell has made it his mission to stop him. Russell created the film-turned-movement Invisible Children after spending time in Uganda. The movie’s been around since 2006, but Russell recently started an internet campaign, KONY 2012, to spread awareness about the injustice in Uganda.

The video flooded Facebook walls, news sites and Twitter Feeds like wildfire. It was particularly popular with younger people, because the video targeted American youth, explaining that if enough people know who Kony is, we can get our government to do something about him. That translates to "Young people can make a difference," which is totally a good thing. Kids have been infiltrating malls, sharing KONY 2012 stickers and bracelets to spread awareness. But some people started to get concerned.

See, it’s obviously great that young people are concerned about international injustice. But fad activism isn’t just annoying; following an organization you don't previously research is dumb – and re-posting a YouTube video doesn’t make you an activist.

Soon after the video went viral came speculation about Russell and Invisible Children. Because, you know, some people like to look into an organization before blindly accepting its cause. Turns out just a little over one-third of the non-profit’s funds went to direct services in Uganda, in addition to countless examples of fishiness. Most funding was spent on travel expenses and film production. So the people who were critical about the whole KONY viral vid weren’t just being dicks after all.

Then, something crazy happened. Literally.


Jason Russell lost his shit. Last week, Russell ran around naked, shouting obscenities on a sidewalk in San Diego. He was arrested, but not charged, and sent to a hospital on a 5150 psychiatric hold. Most recently, he has been diagnosed with "reactive psychosis" brought on by stress, dehydration and exhaustion.

All this, in a matter of weeks! Really, I don’t mean to make light of an international war criminal and an activist’s state of health, but this story has brought up more drama than any soap opera could dream. And that’s why I love the Internet.

 
 
by Jac Kern 03.23.2012
 
 
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Your Weekend To Do List: 3/23-3/25

Nothside Tavern's birthday, LEGO Fest, Robert Moses' Kin performance and more

Stop by the hipster haven that is Northside Tavern this weekend as it celebrates 10 years as a neighborhood bar and live music staple. NST's 10th Birthday Bash runs 6:30 p.m.-2 a.m. Friday and Saturday with treats from Take the Cake both nights. Tonight, there's music from You, You're Awesome, Ohio Knife and Lydia Burrell. Saturday features music from Wussy and The Tigerlilies, the first band to rock the Tavern's stage a decade ago. As always, no cover. HB, NST!

Independent Spirit Award-nominated film In The Family opens at The Esquire tonight. Writer, director and star Patrick Wang will be in town for the premiere weekend, and will host a Q&A after this weekend's screenings. Check out the 8 p.m. screenings Friday and Saturday and the 1 p.m. show Sunday to meet and chat with the star. Read our review here.

San Francisco dance company Robert Moses' Kin performs in town this week with Contemporary Dance Theater's Guest Artist Series. Faith and Fable was inspired by choreographer/artistic director Robert Moses' children – fairy tales, in particular. Moses reexamined moral tales and translated them into a multi-genre dance piece for all ages. Performances are tonight at Saturday at the Aronoff Center. Go here to read our interview with Moses.


LEGOs are one of those iconic toys that kids still think are cool and adults still secretly want to play with. This weekend's LEGO's KidsFest may be marketed toward youngsters, but LEGO fans of any age can be entertained for hours at this construction block convention. At the fest, you'll find a LEGO model museum (clearly not built by kids), a master builder academy, activity area, challenge zone and much more. Saturday's sessions have sold out, but there's still tickets available for tonight (4-8:30 p.m.) and Sunday (9 a.m.-1:30 p.m. and 3-7:30 p.m.) All sessions feature the same fun exhibits and activities. Find ticket information and event details here.

Saturday morning, Park + Vine hosts a Grow Your Own Garden Class. Greensleeves Farm's Gretchen Vaughn will dish the dirt on growing vegetables and herbs at home with a hands-on demonstration on sowing and transplanting seeds. After the class, you'll take home a starter kit with seeds, soil and a plant. The class limited to 15 people, so RSVP at info@parkandvine.com. The workshop is $15 and runs from 10 a.m.-noon.

The Newport Aquarium welcomes Mighty Mike, a 14-foot, 800-pound American Alligator this Saturday. Mike is the largest gator in the U.S. outside of Florida. The new Gator Alley exhibit will feature many species of alligators and crocodiles from around the globe. The aquarium is open 10 a.m.-6 p.m. daily. Find admission and other details here. Purchase your tickets in advance to save time at the door.

For more theater, visual arts and music events this weekend, check out our To Do, Music and Arts coverage.

 
 
by Jac Kern 03.22.2012
Posted In: Benefits, Culture, Dating, Drinking, Events, Fashion, Fun, Shopping, Music at 12:35 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Your Thursday To Do List

SmartTalk ConnectedConcversations continues its women's speaker series tonight with Kara DioGuardi. You might recognize DioGuardi from her short time as a judge on American Idol Seasons 8-9, but you've definitely heard her work as a writer and producer with some of the biggest Pop stars of the past decade. DioGuardi has been nominated for a Grammy and won countless other music awards for her work with Gwen Stefani, Christina Aguilera, Enrique Iglesias and Santana. Tonight, she'll speak on "Surviving Life, Love and American Idol" at 7:30 p.m. at the Aronoff Center. Past speakers for the series include Arianna Huffington and Tim Gunn (the only male speaker of the series' history. He's a honorary lady.) Find some last-minute tickets here.

If you miss Turntable Tuesdays at Clifton's Golden Lions Lounge, dust off your disco balls, because John O'Bryant and Hilly Kenkel are back! The duo who presented the weeknight dance party on Ludlow Avenue have relocated downtown. Now Mainstay Rock Bar will be the place to for weeknight partiers, 10 p.m.-1 a.m. on Thursdays.

Most of us haven't even thought about prom for years, but for high schoolers, the dance season is upon them. Any girl can attest to the importance of a perfect dress, but for many local young women, purchasing one is not financially possible. Kenzie's Closet takes gently worn dresses (many of us wear a prom dress just once) and make them available for disadvantaged girls in Greater Cincinnati. Principals, social workers and counselors refer these students to Kenzie's Closet, where the girls are able to browse tons of gorgeous gowns – and pick one free of charge. Tonight, Downtown's PLAY hosts a fundraiser for the organization. Just bring $10 or a formal dress, (shoes, bags and accessories are important, too!) and enjoy specialty drinks, specials, prize raffles and more from 7-10 p.m. tonight. It's an excellent opportunity to help young girls in need and make room in your closet.

Important People is a diverse collective of area writers that strives to bring together others through creative expression at organized events. Tonight's Important People Forget Their Lines is a night of staged works of poetry, theater and other performances. Forget Their Lines is an investigation of the stage as an environment for exposing human impulses like anxiety, absurdity, self-deprecation and vulnerability. Come to Museum Gallery-Gallery Museum in the Brighton Arts District from 7-9 p.m. tonight to check it out. Read more about Important People and tonight's performers here.

Martinis and manicures might sound a bit messy (I can't go without smudging wet polish while I'm sober), but not when professionals are involved! Oriental Wok in Hyde Park hosts a pampering session tonight: mini-manicure appointments, two cocktails and mani-friendly appetizers for $35. All proceeds go to the Red Cross to benefit local victims of recent tornadoes. Order some tasty dinner to go when you're done. Go here to RSVP.

If you happen to see a little more PDA than usual, it's because today is the first national make-out session. Officially headquartered on Fountain Square (though all are encouraged to participate in any public space), the event was created by an area man to replace commercial "love" holidays like Valentine's Day with real, public signs of affection. Like smooching. Events on the square have been going all day, including live music, speed dating and vendors. Acoustic music runs 'til 4 p.m., followed by DJ tunes. Another speed dating session will take place 5-6 p.m., so if you don't have a partner to lock lips with, maybe you'll find one! Luxe Nightclub hosts the after-party. At least stop by for some free condoms. More info here.

Find more arts, theater and comedy events on our To Do page, and follow our music blog for nightly shows.

 
 
by Jac Kern 03.20.2012
Posted In: Drinking, Events, Fun, Music at 12:33 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Your Tuesday To Do List

Spring is here! Celebrate the official start of the season (even though it feels like we skipped forward to summer) with live music, cold drinks and a lovely patio at Neon's. Tonight from 6-9 p.m. Singer-songwriter Tracy Walker will join Adam Sanregret on bass for a night of original music. Find tons more happy hours here.

Local Authors Dann Woellert and Don Heinrich Tolzmann will discuss and sign their respective Cincy-centric books tonight at Joseph-Beth Booksellers in Rookwood Pavilion. Woellert's Cincinnati Turner Societies details the locally-founded American Turners organization, created by area German-Americans to influence a growing nation in education, progressive thought, politics, human rights, health, literature and the arts. Tolzman's Over-the-Rhine Tour Guide is an interesting companion to the German Heritage Tours he leads. The book gives a history lesson on the geographical and architectural importance of the area over the years. The event runs from 7-8:30 p.m.

Drinking Liberally is an informal progressive social group, a project of Living Liberally, with chapters across the U.S. and world. The Cincinnati chapter meets at 7:30 p.m. every Tuesday: at Cilfton's Fries Cafe the first and third Tuesday each month, and at Dutch's Bar and Bottle Shop in Hyde Park on second and fourth Tuesdays. Share your opinions and ideas in a relaxed, welcoming setting. Get there by 7:45 p.m. to place a food order from Cactus Pear. Go here for more info on Drinking/Living Liberally.

The Playhouse's Tigers Be Still and Ensemble Theatre's Time Stands Still both have productions tonight. Check out our To Do page for more daily recommendations, and our music blog for nightly shows.

 
 
by Jac Kern 03.19.2012
 
 
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Your Monday To Do List

If you don't have tickets to tonight's MythBusters: Behind the Myths event, you better call up your best nerdy scalper, because the live show sold out! Yup, Jamie Hyneman and Adam Savage bring their Discovery Channel show to life with a touring production that kicked off this January in California. The ginger-esque duo take a fun, scientific approach to debunking commonly believed wives' tails and oddball myths. In addition to behind-the-scene stories and film footage, Adam and Jamie will perform experiments on stage with plenty of audience participation. The show is at 7:30 p.m. tonight at the Aronoff Center.

Park+Vine's Vegan Slowcooker Throwdown, scheduled for tonight, has been postponed. Check their calendar or follow P+V on Facebook for updates. You can still celebrate meatless Monday by grabbing lunch or items to make dinner at the green general store.

"Riot-Folk" musician Ryan Harvey performs at the Occupy Cincinnati Community Warehouse (2023 Dunlap St., Over-the-Rhine) tonight. Harvey and his collective are touring around the country to inspire Occupy movements to keep fighting the good fight. Local Greg Zoller opens. The event runs 8-11 p.m. Get details here.

If you're still experiencing some residual St. Patrick's Day drinking enthusiasm, Northside's Mayday presents Monday Mayhem each week – stop by between 4 p.m.-midnight and grab a dog and a draft for under eight bucks. Mayday's gourmet hot dogs are served on homemade pretzel buns with delicious, unique toppings. And their beer selection is killer. Or stop by Milton's on Prospect Hill for Vinyl Club. Bring your records to share or have a DJ spin 'em for you while you enjoy a drink. The night starts at 10 p.m.

Later tonight, Cincinnati native Geoff Tate will appear on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson. The comedian offers a storytelling style and has been compared to the late, great Mitch Hedberg. Tune into CBS at 12:35 a.m.

Follow our music blog and To Do page for more nightly events.

 
 
by Jac Kern 03.15.2012
Posted In: Drinking, Events, Fun, Northside, Music at 11:19 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Your (Thirsty) Thursday To Do List

I suppose with one of the biggest drinking holidays right around the corner, it would only make sense that tonight's events all take place at bars!

If you've read our Swizzle Bar Guide, you know we've got a handle on a ton a great area bars and clubs. To celebrate these excellent establishments, we've launched our Swizzle Happy Hour Series: on the third Thursday of every month, we'll host after-work drinks at a different bar. Tonight is our kick-off at Mynt Martini downtown. From 5-7 p.m., we'll get our March Madness on and party St. Practice Day-style with $1 green beers, $2.50 domestics, $3 imports and well drinks, and $5 martinis and flatbread. If drink specials and basketball aren't enough, we'll be giving away tons of prizes: movie passes, tickets to Borgore with Document One and Paul M. at Bogart's, and a $50 gift certificate to Funny Bone on the Levee. Come hang out with us!

Arnie's on the Levee is also hosting some March Madness festivities, benefiting Northern Kentucky's Brighton Center. For every person that comes in between 6-9 p.m. tonight, Arnie's will donate $1 to the center, which works with area individuals and families to create opportunities for self-sufficiency through support services, education and leadership. In addition to basketball, there will be a wing-eating contest featuring Mark Collier of "Fort Thomas Matters," Highlands football players and radio personalities.

If NCAA is a foreign language to you, head over to Northside's Mayday for the competitive awesomeness that is The Slurring Bee. You don't need a bracket to partake in this party! If auto-correct hasn't completely ruined your ability to spell by memory, this is your game. Just pay $5 to compete, and you'll be given a drink, then a word to spell. After each round you complete, you'll be given another drink! You must finish the drink before the next round, and keep churning out those vocab words. The Queen or King Bee receives a prize and enrollment in the tournament of champions. The run runs from 8-11 p.m.

So spelling isn't everyone's talent. That's OK. Claddagh in Newport is hosing a weekly singing competition for those more vocally-inclined. Claddagh's Got Talent kicks off tonight at 9 p.m. with a qualifying competition. Each Thursday, a winner will be picked to compete in the finals in 10 weeks. The winner of it all will walk away with $5,000!

For arts, theater and comedy shows, check out our To Do recommendations. As always, follow our music blog for the latest on lives shows and local bands.

 
 
by Jac Kern 03.14.2012
Posted In: bikes, Fun, Events, Drinking at 02:20 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Power to the Pedals!

Local Pedal Wagon introduces a fun, green take on transportation

Have you spotted a giant, pedal-powered contraption rolling around town? No, we're not talking about tall bikes (though we do love us some crazy cyclists) — Pedal Wagon is a new venture from two Cincinnati-natives that offers a first-of-its-kind experience in the area.

Jack Heekin and Tom O'Brian created the Pedal Wagon to give locals a unique way to experience all the bars, historical sites and landmarks Cincy has to offer. It works like this: about a dozen passengers sit around a rectangular covered wagon with pedals underneath the seats. Those passengers provide the power while a driver steers the wagon along. If you're too short to reach the pedals (which is the case if you're under 5-foot-3) or physical activity cramps your style, just relax on the bench and watch your friends do all the work!

Pedal Wagon made its debut inside February's Cincy Winter Beerfest, then hit the streets of OTR for the recent Bockfest. Don’t worry about intoxicated drivers, though — passengers merely provide power for the wagon, while a sober professional directs it and controls the car-caliber breaks.

Pedal Wagon offers various city cruises where guests will be taken to area bars, Fountain Square, and other Downtown hot spots. They also feature Pedal Parties, where individuals can rent the wagon for 2 hours at just $30 a person. Alcohol is not allowed on the wagon itself, unless on private property with permission to do so (like inside Cincy Beerfest).

The crew plans to join forces with American Legacy Tours (Queen City Underground, Newport Gangster Tour) for The Beer Barons and Bike Tour this May. For more information, or to book a cruise, call 513-201-ROLL or check out www.pedalwagon.com. Be sure to look out for the Pedal Wagon at Saturday's St. Patrick's Day parade downtown!

 
 
by Jac Kern 03.14.2012
Posted In: Music, Events, Fun, Culture at 11:39 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Your Wednesday To Do List

The Cincinnati Art Museum currently has a collection of Monet paintings on display; if you haven't checked it out, see our review for details. Dr. Benedict Leca, the CAM’s Curator of European Painting, will stop by Joseph-Beth (Rookwood) tonight to discuss the making of Monet in Giverny: Landscapes of Reflection. From 6-7:30 p.m., Dr. Leca will shed light on the 12 Monet pieces on display, explaining how the theme of reflection, both literally and figuratively, can is expressed throughout the exhibition. After the gallery discussion, browse Joseph-Beth's excellent collection of books and magazines, and stop by the attached Bronte Bistro for a bite to eat or glass of wine.

Occupy Cincinnati has experienced some recent victories, settling the federal lawsuit against the city and getting a 24-hour public space designation for a year. Tonight, the organization holds a general assembly at the OC warehouse space, 2023 Dunlap St., Over-the-Rhine. From now on, the group will meet on Monday and Wednesdays, 6-8 p.m. and Saturdays at 3 p.m. to discuss issues, working groups and general business matters. All are welcome to attend these assemblies and share ideas, express concerns or just sit in and observe. Follow the group on Facebook for updates and assembly information.

Tonight is the first installment of at the Search for the Spiritual Through Art: Music, Worship and Faith series, "Expression in Jewish, Christian, Islamic and Hindu Religious Traditions." Dr. James Buchanan of Xavier University and Dr. Richard Sarason of Hebrew Union College-Jewish Institute of Religion to discuss "The Intersection of Music, Worship and Spirituality in Religions Around the World." The lecture, hosted by Cincinnati Art Museum begins at 5 p.m. Tickets are free for students, $10 for members and seniors, $20 for everyone else. The entire series is $60, $30 for members and seniors, also free for students. Find details here.

Looking for dinner plans? On such a summery day like today, we suggest Eli's BBQ on the East side. From pulled pork sammies to smoked ribs, Eli's does barbecue right. You're even welcome to make yourself at home and BYOB, so crack open a beer, chow down on some hot dogs, and enjoy the choice tunes coming from Eli's turntables. Read our review of Eli's BBQ for more info.

For today's arts and theater offerings, check out our To Do recommendations and follow our music blog for tonight's live shows.

 
 
by Jac Kern 03.08.2012
Posted In: TV/Celebrity, Fun at 12:50 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Bob Odenkirk Launches 'Let's Do This'

Bob Odenkirk premieres a new project called Let's Do This today on Adultswim.com. The comedian's solo episode follows a sleazy, low-budge filmmaker, Cal MacKenzie-Goldeberg (Odenkirk), and his ragtag group of shameless fame-seekers.

Fans will recognize Odenkirk from Mr. Show, Breaking Bad and countless other TV appearances, where he generally plays a cheap, arrogant skeezball. Let's Do This is no different.

In AdultSwim.com's exclusive promo, "Harry Podder and the Lost Lebaron," Cal works with a demanding African warlord to create a wizard movie while dancing around copyright infringements.

Let's Do This also stars hilarious "I've seen that guy in a million things" comedians like Jerry Minor (Delocated's Mighty Joe Jon, The Black Blonde), Brian Posehn (The Sarah Silverman Program) and Cincinnati-native Andre Hyland (The Jesse Miller Talk Show, Tracy, Dean & Jesus) all star in the video.

It's kind of unclear whether this is a one-time promo or the first in a webseries or possibly a kind of test pilot, but it's pretty funny, so check it out:

Check back with Adultswim.com for Let's Do This updates.

 
 
by Jac Kern 03.07.2012
Posted In: Culture, Dating, Drinking, Events, Fashion, Fun, Music at 10:47 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Your Wednesday To Do List

If you're in the mood to swap your yamaka for a cowboy hat, Jewish Young Professionals Access hosts its regular HeBREW Happy Hour series at Toby Keith's I Love This Bar and Grill tonight. Jewish Young Professionals 21-35 and their significant others are invited to visit the 88-foot, guitar-shaped bar, hop on the mechanical bull, drink a beer out of a mason jar and mingle with others from 6-8 p.m. Guests to the free event should register online in advance, but call Access at 513-373-0300 to get on the guest list last-minute.

The Civic Garden Center hosts many gardening and eco-friendly classes throughout the year. Tonight is the first installment of a three-part Master Composter Series. Participants who take all three classes in addition to completing 15 hours of community service will be certified as Master Composters. The entire series is free. Tonight's 6-8:30 p.m. class is Composting 101, instructed by Master Composter, Master Gardener and Founder of the American Compost Society, John Duke. Learn about how composting works, different systems to use, how to start and analyze your pile and more. Go online or call 513-221-0982 ext. 18 to reserve your spot.

Cincinnati E.A.T.S. (Epicureans About Town Society) is an organization for lovers of food (hence the term "epicurean"). They strive to taste all Cincy has to offer by supporting local restaurants with special events. Tonight, the crew meets at Taste of Belgium Bistro from 7-10 p.m. Tickets for Cincinnati E.A.T.S. outings go fast, so go online to get added to the wait list and learn about upcoming events. Guests pay a discounted flat rate (that includes tax and tip), and eat together in a family-style setting. Beer and wine pairings are suggested but sold separately the night of. Tonight's event benefits the Freestore Foodbank, so bring plenty of canned goods. Do you really need any more excuses to visit Taste of Belgium? WAFFLES.


Over in Clifton Heights, Baba Budan's hosts a night of open-minded, pride-filled fun. From 7-9 p.m., UC Alliance presents Open-Minded Mic, where all are welcome to play a song, perform in drag, recite poetry, do some stand-up – express yourself openly to a welcoming crowd! Afterward, Alternative to the Alternative Night takes over. Tonight's theme is Under Construction, fitting as Baba's is still remodeling after a car crashed through the entrance early Feb. 20. Come in your best construction gear, dressing in red if you're taken, yellow if you're dating or green if you're totally single and ready to go. There will be drink specials all night long. Find details here.

For ongoing theater and art shows, check out our To Do page. Check out our music blog for tonight's live music rundown.

 
 

 

 

 
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