Thursday, February 26, 2009

Irish eyes will be smiling when the 34th Annual Forever Green settles on Navy Pier in support of Chicago charities

I found this and decided to post it because during times of turmoil, it is nice to look forward to celebration. St. Patrick's Day in Chicago is the best! Everyone is Irish on that day and they color the Chicago River green and sometimes have green beer and plenty of Irish whiskey.
Can you tell I have celebrated St. Patrick's Day in Chicago more than a few times.
Well, if you are in the area, please attend. Proceeds benefit an Autism organization.
Thanks!


When: March 6, from 5 to 10 p.m.
Where: Navy Pier's Grand Ballroom, 600 E. Grand Ave.
Who: Anyone 21 and older, and you don't have to be Irish

Some local musical acts will appear at Chicago's largest St. Patrick's Day bash and charitable event.
The 34th year, the Young Irish Fellowship Club of Chicago's annual Forever Green party will be held on March 6 in the Grand Ballroom at Navy Pier with special guests, the Larkin and Moran Brothers, the Weber Band, the Shannon Rovers and more.

The festive scene at Navy Pier is sure to sway folks into a green mood early this year in advance of Chicago St. Patrick's Day parades, while supporting two local charities, one of which provides support to Autism.

The 34th edition of the annual March celebration will raise money and awareness for the Maeve McNicholas Memorial Foundation, which fights pediatric brain tumors, and AAction Autism, which supports international humanitarian efforts confronting autism.

Besides contributing to two Chicago area charities, Forever Green will also feature live performances from the Chicago bands and performances from Irish dance troupes.

Tickets can be purchased in advance for $40 or at the door for $45. VIP tickets will also be available for $60 in advance and $65 at the door.

For more information or to purchase tickets, visit www.youngirish.com.

Michael Collins Irish Whiskey is once again proud to sponsor the Michael Collins VIP Lounge during the Forever Green celebration. Michael Collins also salutes the Young Irish Fellowship Club of Chicago and its efforts to promote Irish cultural activities as they embrace their heroic spirit through their involvement with AAction Autism and The Maeve McNicholas Memorial Foundation.

Michael Collins Irish Whiskeys are the dawning of a new age of Irish Whiskey; combining the best of Ireland's long history of distilling with today's demand for premium quality and unique style. Double distilled to retain the flavor characteristics of their premium ingredients and aged in small bourbon season casks, Michael Collins Irish Whiskeys are refined, flavorful and well-balanced. Michael Collins Single Malt is bold and distinctive, with complex characteristics and a hint of peat. Enjoy Michael Collins Single Malt neat. Michael Collins Blend can be enjoyed neat, on the rocks, as well as in classic and contemporary cocktails.

Liven up your St. Patrick's Day with some delicious Michael Collins Irish Whiskey cocktails! The Dublin Apple will be one of the many drinks featured at the Michael Collins VIP lounge during The Young Irish Fellowship Club's Forever Green celebration.

Dublin Apple

2 parts Michael Collins Blend
1 part sour apple schnapps
2 parts top with cranberry juice
Shake the ingredients well over ice in a cocktail shaker
and pour into a rocks glass.
Garnish with a green apple slice.

-- About Young Irish Fellowship Club of Chicago
The Young Irish Fellowship Club of Chicago (YIFC) is a 501(c)3 non-profit, volunteer-based organization inviting people of all ethnic backgrounds to explore Irish culture, meet new friends in the community, and help support Chicago area charities.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The President highlights Ethics, Education and Entrepreneurs during his Joint Session of Congress Address


What the President said about doing the right thing...
...But in my life, I have also learned that hope is found in unlikely places; that inspiration often comes not from those with the most power or celebrity, but from the dreams and aspirations of Americans who are anything but ordinary.

I think about Leonard Abess, the bank president from Miami who reportedly cashed out of his company, took a $60 million bonus, and gave it out to all 399 people who worked for him, plus another 72 who used to work for him. He didn’t tell anyone, but when the local newspaper found out, he simply said, ''I knew some of these people since I was 7 years old. I didn't feel right getting the money myself."

And I think about Ty’Sheoma Bethea, the young girl from that school I visited in Dillon, South Carolina – a place where the ceilings leak, the paint peels off the walls, and they have to stop teaching six times a day because the train barrels by their classroom. She has been told that her school is hopeless, but the other day after class she went to the public library and typed up a letter to the people sitting in this room. She even asked her principal for the money to buy a stamp. The letter asks us for help, and says, "We are just students trying to become lawyers, doctors, congressmen like yourself and one day president, so we can make a change to not just the state of South Carolina but also the world. We are not quitters."


What the President said about Education
In a global economy where the most valuable skill you can sell is your knowledge, a good education is no longer just a pathway to opportunity – it is a prerequisite. Right now, three-quarters of the fastest-growing occupations require more than a high school diploma. And yet, just over half of our citizens have that level of education. We have one of the highest high school dropout rates of any industrialized nation. And half of the students who begin college never finish.

This is a prescription for economic decline, because we know the countries that out-teach us today will out-compete us tomorrow. That is why it will be the goal of this administration to ensure that every child has access to a complete and competitive education – from the day they are born to the day they begin a career.

Already, we have made an historic investment in education through the economic recovery plan. We have dramatically expanded early childhood education and will continue to improve its quality, because we know that the most formative learning comes in those first years of life. We have made college affordable for nearly seven million more students. And we have provided the resources necessary to prevent painful cuts and teacher layoffs that would set back our children’s progress.

But we know that our schools don’t just need more resources. They need more reform. That is why this budget creates new incentives for teacher performance; pathways for advancement, and rewards for success. We’ll invest in innovative programs that are already helping schools meet high standards and close achievement gaps. And we will expand our commitment to charter schools.

It is our responsibility as lawmakers and educators to make this system work. But it is the responsibility of every citizen to participate in it. And so tonight, I ask every American to commit to at least one year or more of higher education or career training. This can be community college or a four-year school; vocational training or an apprenticeship. But whatever the training may be, every American will need to get more than a high school diploma. And dropping out of high school is no longer an option. It’s not just quitting on yourself, it’s quitting on your country – and this country needs and values the talents of every American. That is why we will provide the support necessary for you to complete college and meet a new goal: by 2020, America will once again have the highest proportion of college graduates in the world.

I know that the price of tuition is higher than ever, which is why if you are willing to volunteer in your neighborhood or give back to your community or serve your country, we will make sure that you can afford a higher education. And to encourage a renewed spirit of national service for this and future generations, I ask this Congress to send me the bipartisan legislation that bears the name of Senator Orrin Hatch as well as an American who has never stopped asking what he can do for his country – Senator Edward Kennedy.


What the President said about Entrepreneurs
...(Credit) has stopped flowing the way it should. Too many bad loans from the housing crisis have made their way onto the books of too many banks. With so much debt and so little confidence, these banks are now fearful of lending out any more money to households, to businesses, or to each other. When there is no lending, families can’t afford to buy homes or cars. So businesses are forced to make layoffs. Our economy suffers even more, and credit dries up even further.

That is why this administration is moving swiftly and aggressively to break this destructive cycle, restore confidence, and re-start lending.

We will do so in several ways. First, we are creating a new lending fund that represents the largest effort ever to help provide auto loans, college loans, and small business loans to the consumers and entrepreneurs who keep this economy running.
For history tells a different story. History reminds us that at every moment of economic upheaval and transformation, this nation has responded with bold action and big ideas. In the midst of civil war, we laid railroad tracks from one coast to another that spurred commerce and industry. From the turmoil of the Industrial Revolution came a system of public high schools that prepared our citizens for a new age. In the wake of war and depression, the GI Bill sent a generation to college and created the largest middle-class in history. And a twilight struggle for freedom led to a nation of highways, an American on the moon, and an explosion of technology that still shapes our world.

In each case, government didn’t supplant private enterprise; it catalyzed private enterprise. It created the conditions for thousands of entrepreneurs and new businesses to adapt and to thrive.

Friday, February 20, 2009

National Office of Urban Affairs

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The U.S. Conference of Mayors meeting held this week in Washington D.C. was highlighted by a meeting with the President and Vice President of the United States on Friday, February 20 inside the White House East Room.

President Obama announced that he signed February 19, an executive order establishing the White House Office of Urban Affairs, where former New York City Bronx Borough President Adolfo Carrion will head up the agency. The office was created to, ”provide leadership for and coordinate the development of the policy agenda for urban America across executive departments and agencies;
(b) to coordinate all aspects of urban policy;
(c) to work with executive departments and agencies to ensure that appropriate consideration is given by such departments and agencies to the potential impact of their actions on urban areas;
(d) to work with executive departments and agencies, including the Office of Management and Budget, to ensure that Federal Government dollars targeted to urban areas are effectively spent on the highest-impact programs; and
(e) to engage in outreach and work closely with State and local officials, with nonprofit organizations, and with the private sector, both in seeking input regarding the development of a comprehensive urban policy and in ensuring that the implementation of Federal programs advances the objectives of that policy.”

In short, the office will coordinate all federal urban programs. The President said he is getting letters from constituents across the country about the problems they are facing. He acknowledged that mayors cannot deficit spend and that is why the recovery plan will create 3.5 million jobs and aid state and local governments to stem municipal cutbacks. He reiterated that 18 million will get health insurance and seven million taxpayers will receive financial help to get insurance after job loss.

“What makes this recovery plan so important we are putting America to work in what needs done in critical areas…it lays a new foundation,” the President said.

He said 400,000 people will be put to work across the country in infrastructure improvement based jobs. Infrastructure improvements include roads and highways, bridges, high speed rail, early childhood education, modernization of medical records and laying broadband lines

“We’ve done more in 30 days to advance health care reform than has occurred in a decade,” he said. He also said, what is required in returned is unprecedented accountability and responsibility to the taxpayer.

“They expect to see their money spent in its intended purposes without waste or fraud,” President Obama said.
He said this means he will hold both federal and local municipalities responsible for its use.
“We will use the new tools to watch the taxpayers money with more rigor and transparency than ever. If a federal agency proposes something that will waste money I will put them on notice,” President Obama said.

He said the same goes for local municipalities.
“I will call them out on it.” No compromise or shortcuts, he said.
He said the stimulus plan does not mark the end but the beginning of what he plans to do to attack urban challenges.
The President said he thinks about his start into politics when speaking with mayors--community outreach. He said citizens frequently look to local municipalities in times of financial trouble.

Reporters speaking with the mayors during an impromptu news conference on the white house driveway, after the meeting, asked about this accountability.
The mayors collectively said they welcome having their feet being held to the fire because it is what they have been going through everyday anyway. New Orleans mayor, Ray Nagen, said the money the cities will receive will go through the states to be disbursed. He said it took about three years to get hurricane victim monies. He said the legislature of each state can vote whether to take the money or not.

Questions then centered around making sure that the cities could receive the economic stimulus if the money was voted approved by each state and how they would like to see it spent.
After hearing from Democratic mayors, reporters on hand called to hear from Republican mayors.

A Republican mayor from Minnesota said, “one of the things we are now recognizing are the tools being put on the table to put our people back to work. The reinvestment act makes sure people are back to work and infrastructure is repaired and amenities offered, enriching the lives of each city’s citizens.
Another Republican South Carolina mayor said he was against the stimulus package at first but now that the recovery bill is law, he thinks, “we need to put as much of the money in long term projects as possible.”
It was apparent that the mayors who attended the meeting were on board with the President's plans.

Vice-President Joe Biden reminded all in attendance about the web site that could help shed light on how the recovery money is spent.

“Only after one month, laws have been signed to strengthen the American people. The results are clear and ready for the people to see it involves patient outreach," Vice President Joe Biden said, during an introduction of President Barack Obama.
“There is so much more to do,” he said.

Biden spoke of how for years America’s cities have been neglected and the concerns of its mayors unheard.
“We know how important cities are. Seven out of ten jobs are in (our nation’s) cities.” They haven’t been paid much attention to thus far.

He said the recovery package signed into law will provide “unprecedented investment in American cities."
“We have to make this work for our people,“ Biden said.
He acknowledged that taxpayers are trusting the government to spend the money in a way that it was intended. He said taxpayers can go to Recovery.gov to see how the money is being spent and make their concerns known.

He asked the mayors to highlight projects that need private investment and growth.
“The world is watching to see how well this will work.” Biden said.


###

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

New York Post cartoon draws fire from Journalists of Color

The New York Post is sorely misguided in its efforts to downplay the serious lapse in judgment exhibited in today's editorial cartoon by Sean Delonas. To think that the cartoonist and the responsible editors at the paper did not see the racist overtones of the finished product should insult their intelligence. Instead, they celebrate their own lack of perspective and criticize those who call it what it is: tone deaf at best, overtly racist at worst.

"I question the judgment of the editorial editors to move this to print as well as the diversity of its staff that would let them think this passes as comedy," said Barbara Ciara, president of the National Association of Black Journalists and vice president of UNITY: Journalists of Color.

UNITY President Rafael Olmeda also criticized the explanation offered by the New York Post. "Are we to believe that the image of a slain chimpanzee juxtaposed with a comment about the stimulus package would not lead reasonable people to draw a comparison with the person with whom the stimulus package is most associated?" Olmeda said. "Surely, Mr. Delonas and the editors can't be that obtuse."

UNITY condemns the cartoon as well as the newspaper's weak explanation.

UNITY: Journalists of Color, Inc. is a strategic alliance advocating news coverage about people of color, and aggressively challenging its organizations at all levels to reflect the nation's diversity. UNITY, representing more than 10,000 journalists of color, is comprised of four national associations: Asian American Journalists Association, National Association of Black Journalists, National Association of Hispanic Journalists, and the Native American Journalists Association.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Our President really cares about America

Today, I signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act into law.

This is a historic step -- the first of many as we work together to climb out of this crisis -- and I want to thank you for your resolve and your support.

You organized thousands of house meetings. You shared your ideas and personal stories. And you informed your friends and neighbors about the need for immediate action. You continue to be a powerful voice for change throughout the country.

The recovery plan will create or save 3.5 million jobs, provide tax cuts for working and middle-class families, and invest in health care and clean energy.

It's a bold plan to address a huge problem, and it will require my vigilance and yours to make sure it's done right.

I've assigned a team of managers to oversee the implementation of the recovery act. We are committed to making sure no dollar is wasted. But accountability begins with you.

That's why my administration has created Recovery.gov, a new website where citizens can track every dollar spent and every job created. We'll invite you and your neighbors to weigh in with comments and questions.

Our progress will also be measured by the tens of thousands of personal stories submitted by people who are struggling to make ends meet. If you haven't already, you can read stories from families all across the country:

http://my.barackobama.com/yourstories

Your stories are the heart of this recovery plan, and that's what I'll focus on every day as President.

With your continued support, we'll emerge a stronger and more prosperous nation.

Thank you,

President Barack Obama

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Urotherapy Works?

LA PAZ, Bolivia – A Bolivian woman has died from an injection of urine allegedly administered by her friend as a form of health therapy, a prosecutor said Tuesday. Investigating prosecutor Oscar Flores told The Associated Press that 35-year-old Gabriela Ascarrunz died Saturday of an "infection caused by urine that was injected by fashion designer Monica Schultz."
I cannot imagine how this works but apparently it does. I would like to know why it did not work in this woman's case but it did work in the clothing designer who allegedly gave her the fatal dosage.
I read a little on this topic and saw on Wikipedia that Madonna used it to cure athelet's foot fungus.
Apparently this urotherapy has been around for thousands of years.
Growing up I have heard old wives tales that say wipe your face or the baby's face with infant urine for healthy skin. I saw the end results of this but the person was not using cloth diapers but the modern kind. Maybe that was a factor but the baby's face was rash upon rash. Maybe as time went on it cleared up--I dunno.
Anyone else know about urotherapy?

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Thank You for the passage of the stimulus bill

WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama's economic recovery plan has passed the Senate and is on its way to difficult House-Senate negotiations. Just three Republicans helped pass the plan on a 61-37 vote and they're already signaling they'll play hardball to preserve more than $108 billion in spending cuts made last week in Senate dealmaking. Obama wants to restore cuts in funds for school construction jobs and help for cash-starved states.

Are Katherine and T.R. Leaving Grey's Anatomy?

By Kristin Dos Santos
Tue Feb 10, 12:11 PM PST

After months of rumors that Katherine Heigl and T.R. Knight may be leaving Grey's Anatomy, costar James Pickens ("The Chief") has added fuel to the fire.

"Yes, she is," he told Us Weekly when asked if Heigl will exit the show. "Wherever Katherine goes, I wish her nothing but the best."

As for Knight, Pickens said, "He's going too."
http://ping.fm/ZNto6

Nice song and so true

Monday, February 09, 2009

Will Yall Quit FN with me and pass the stimulus bill

WASHINGTON – President Barack Obama, urgently pressuring lawmakers to approve a massive economic recovery bill, turned his first news conference Monday night into a determined defense of his emergency plan and an offensive against Republicans who try to "play the usual political games."
http://ping.fm/vzGqH

Sunday, February 08, 2009

Of Interest...NWI Times

May 31st 2008

The memorial tattoos on Gary police Officer Keith Richardson and Sgt. Brian Colbert represent their connection with their fellow Gary police, and their distance from everyone else. Colbert feels he only can talk to his co-workers about his job. When Richardson mentions a time a man shot at him, he does it casually, the way another person might recall a minor car accident or a dispute with the bank.
"Until you've walked in these boots," Richardson begins.
"You'll never know," Colbert finishes.
Richardson - a slim, efficient uniformed officer - bears a tattoo for Dorian Rorex, a Gary detective shot dead by a drug suspect in 1998. The big, jocular, talkative Colbert carries a forearm full of tattoos that memorialize all fallen officers. Colbert has one tattoo specifically for a close friend, Cpl. Louis "Boochie" Donald Jr., who died in a car wreck during a police chase in 2001.
They speak the cop dialect: weary and proud, protective of society and disturbed by society. Most of all, they feel linked to other police. Others can't understand, they say.
"The reason that I exist is my two daughters, and I don't have them tattooed on here," Richardson said.
Read the remainder of NWI Times News reporter DAN HINKEL's article here.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Get Involved in Your Schools
I found this on an e-mail list and feel that it is worth passing along to you who are concerned. This is the best way to get vital news out to the public.
These decisions have been made by the school board. No one likes change, but it is necessary in our district for us to proceed with change and progress.
Many Wirt students, special needs students included, come from the Horace Mann area. Wirt students are not exclusively from the 1st District now.
The themed high schools will launch in the fall of 2009.
At Emerson, the student has one class/school day in their major. The rest of the school day is academic work as usual. Emerson is the only Gary high school which made AYP again this year. Emerson's ISTEP scores are the highest in Gary and are competitve with other schools in NWIN. Much of the arts activity is done after school, again requiring heightened parental and student involvement. The performance aspect of Emerson alone is community outreach. The auditorium at Wirt is beautiful, and it will be fully utilized by Emerson. Emerson hasn't had a place of its own in which to perform for years.
West Side will be taking on middle school students as will each of the four themed schools. (Emerson is already 6-12 because of its charter. It's ready-made for this configuration and is ready and anxious to expand.) This all is happening this fall.
The 1st District is not sacrificing its school. Emerson has always been a 1st District school. As it has been for years now, all the Gary high schools have been schools of choice. The kids are bussed all over the city. I have some of the same students I taught at Wirt now at West Side. At least now the movement will make some sense.

Subject: get involved in your schools


First District parents are being told that a student does not have to be a prodigy to attend Emerson. That may be true, but when I went to the Indiana Department of Education website, I did not find any teacher for students with special needs at Emerson.

Not counting Learning Disabled and those with Emotional Disabilities, there are 296 special needs students at Wirt. Where will the special needs students from the 1st District go?

Another concern is where will the students who have no desire to major in the arts go? There is not going to be a new themed schools until 2010 at the earliest, if ever.

I do agree with Nora that it takes parental and community involvement for any school to succeed. I also believe that if this community puts as much effort into making its local schools work as it does for other issues, any school in the 1st District will be successful.

Here are a few more questions:
Will the education of the children in the 1st District be advanced when the majority of them are transferred to Roosevelt, Lew Wallace or West Side? Will the majority of children in the 1st District have the same opportunity to succeed as the students at Banneker and Emerson? Should the board wait until all the schools are themed schools before closing Wirt? Why is the board asking the 1st District to sacrifice its school when West Side is a larger facility and has a state of the art auditorium? Should the school district be subsidizing the Gary Theater Guild with our taxes? Should the students have to compete with the theater guild for West Side High School's auditorium? Should the board be spending money on reconfiguring the high schools or fixing leaky roofs?

Ask questions. Get involved. Here is the link to the school board committee meetings.
http://ping.fm/Gze60

Check out this link to see the number of students at Emerson and the cost per pupil:
http://ping.fm/0Rpat
You will have to scroll down to the bottom of this page to find this information,

Then check out this link to see class sizes and courses offered at Emerson:
http://ping.fm/CYRvp

Now click on this link to see the number of students and cost per student for Wirt High School. http://ping.fm/8yz6W
Again, you will have to go to the bottom of the page to find this information.

Then check out this link for class sizes and courses offered.
http://ping.fm/zsglz
There are 14 special needs teachers at Wirt.

Monday, February 02, 2009

GoDaddy.com finally broke through

TiVo Inc. the creator and a leader of advertising solutions and television services for digital video recorders (DVRs), announced this year's top ten Super Bowl commercial moments.

This information was prepared using aggregated, anonymous, second-by-second audience measurement data about how TiVo subscribers watched the game, primarily which spots were rewound and watched again.

GoDaddy.com
finally broke through this year, snatching the coveted crown from the E-Trade talking baby, which couldn't repeat this year despite similarly themed follow-up spots.

This is the first top ten finish for GoDaddy, infamous for a too-hot-for-TV campaign it has utilized the past couple Super Bowls. The Internet domain company apparently benefited from the game's dramatic finish, as their fourth quarter spot had far more viewership than the ad the company ran in the first quarter. And Bud Light does it again, this year another clear winner holding two of the top ten spots.

With unemployment rates rising from coast to coast, two job Websites cashed in on grabbing viewers' attention, with Careerbuilder.com claiming the number three slot and competitor Monster.com landing at number six. Doritos continues to ride a user-generated strategy to strong success, with this year's entrant earning a number four ranking.

Annual list occupants Bud Light, Pepsi and Coke held their own, with each brand occupying a piece of the top ten. First time Super Bowl advertiser Denny's cracked the top ten thanks to the last five seconds of the ad, in which the chain unveiled a free Grand Slam breakfast offer. Also, the movie preview for the upcoming Transformers sequel marks the first time a movie trailer landed on the TiVo top ten list since 2003 when both Universal Pictures Bruce Almighty and Sony Pictures - Charlie's Angels Full Throttle made the list.

Prior to the game much was made about 3-D advertisements, but consumers apparently didn't grab their 3-D glasses in time, as spots such as a preview for Monsters vs. Aliens fell well short of the pace, barely cracking the top fifty.

"This year TiVo viewers were in control of one of the greatest NFL games ever played, a perfect example of the power of pressing pause or rewind during a live-action event," said Todd Juenger, Vice President & General Manager, TiVo Audience Research and Measurement.

"Topping the drama and excitement of last year's big game probably seemed impossible for many advertisers, but this game truly delivered, especially for those who chose time slots towards the end of the game. TiVo is the only service that can release ratings based on actual viewer behavior, rather than surveys or after the fact polling," Juenger said.

"It is an insight that is unique to TiVo, one we can take advantage of not only for the Super Bowl, but throughout the year, benefiting ad agencies, TV networks, and brand customers alike," he said.

In the first half of the game action on the field was overshadowed by commercials, with four of the most rewound moments involving advertisements. The most viewed moment of the first half was the Doritos Crystal Ball spot, impressive considering it beat out James Harrison's record breaking interception return at the end of the half.

In the second half action intensified on the field, with the top-replayed moments all happening inside the hash marks. The most viewed moment was Santonio Holmes' tip-toe touchdown grab that gave the Steelers the lead in the final minute.

Despite more replays of game action, viewership increased in the fourth quarter enough that GoDaddy's spot earned more eyeballs than the Doritos ad of the first half.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

"I love this Guy!"

Armisen nails it again!


This man makes SNL complete. He also has a site of his own at Thunderant.com. He is so funny. He does a lot of the SNL Backstage Blog--which is pretty good. It shows how they apply the makeup and costumes for skits and some of the process it takes to make the show every week. Go to the NBC SNL site. I found it this way in a Google Seach.

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