How many books/DVDs do you own

Discuss your favorite close-up tricks and methods.

Postby asdf » 09/07/10 12:07 AM

Hi, How many card magic books/DVDs do you have, and what are your favourite ones? Just to get some ideas. And just for fun, how many years have you been in magic for, and how many hours do you practice per day.
I'll answer the questions myself:
I have 2 books (even though I know a lot more than just what's in there, which I learned from other places, and that is something that I don't like, I wish I had more books, and only knew what was in them, so it would be easier for reference, and nicer to see that I know so much ). My favourite one is Card College, I've been doing magic for 4 years, and it depends on the day for practicing, sometimes, for like 10 hours, sometimes for 1 hour, but in average like 5 hours (for this month, which is when I am starting to practice more).
Thanks .
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 09/07/10 12:30 AM

You've been doing magic for four years and you only have two books?
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Postby asdf » 09/07/10 02:02 AM

I'm sending this from my phone, since my computer is off, because it's 2:00 A.M. here :P
Sad eh? I am now 14, and started when I was 10. I started with the Internet, and learned a lot there (sadly), i learned some from the Internet, and some from other magicians. I ended up knowing a lot, and all I had was a book, that I got from my birthday, so I got card college volume 4, and learned some new things from it (I'm still not finished the book), but I know so much more stuff than just what I have. I know so much stuff from erdnase, so much stuff from so many other things, and only have 2 books. I guess as I buy more books, I'll end up having everything that i already know, and much more in the books.
Btw, I just got a random question pop up into my mind, do you think that it's worth spending so much time on erdnase? I was talking to another magician, and he was saying that I'd be better off with something else, like card college, because Erdnase has such few stuff for magic, most of it is for gambling.
Thanks,
RZ.
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Postby Seuss » 09/07/10 04:26 AM

Got almost all of my library plugged in here now. Still building it back up.

http://www.librarything.com/catalog/SeussMetivier

Also have almost 600 issues of Genii and MAGIC as well as 101 DVDs/tapes but aside from a few titles not much specifically card magic only.
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Postby Doug Thornton » 09/07/10 07:04 AM

That's an interesting site, Seuss. Is their an option to alphabetize, say, by author? Can you search within your own list?
Smiles all around
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Postby mrgoat » 09/07/10 08:19 AM

There is a great OSX app for doing your library:

http://www.delicious-monster.com/

You hold a CD/Book/DVD up to the cam, it zaps the barcode, and goes and gets the details, cd cover/book cover etc and puts it all together. Very nice.
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Postby Seuss » 09/07/10 01:33 PM

Doug, you can sort, tag, rate, review, categorize, separate into collections etc.

Goat, Agreed. Tried delicious monster on a friends mac and increased my apple envy slightly. I still can't find anything close on win. One question, how does it catalog material without UPC codes to scan?
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Postby Jackie Huang » 09/07/10 01:53 PM

The problem is most magic books don't have barcode, and some don't even have ISBN code.
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Postby Jonathan Townsend » 09/07/10 02:23 PM

Actually, I found the problem more like that if they are card books and you have six shelves full and throw away three shelves full you still have ...

But one should not leave one's older or seminal works too near the Hoffmann items as it seems he was an acquisitive intellectual property lawyer in real life.
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Postby John Signa » 09/07/10 02:40 PM

If the book doesn't have a barcode, Delicious Monster can search for details, including cover art, based upon title, author, or ISBN.
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Postby Paul Gordon » 09/07/10 03:01 PM

All of the 32 titles I have published since 1992 are ISBN'd and one was barcoded. The ISBN was/is well worth it.

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Postby asdf » 09/15/10 11:38 PM

Sorry for the later reply, I wasn't able to before.

Thanks every everyone! Keep it coming, how many books/DVDs do you have?
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Postby Andrew Pinard » 09/16/10 07:53 AM

Magic Books? 2,600+
Magic Periodicals? 10K+
Magic DVDs? Less than 100 (and getting rid of more everyday)...

Of course, I have a problem (sagging floors ;O)

ajp
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Postby Glenn Bishop » 09/16/10 08:35 AM

Magic books about 80.
DVD's less than 20.

How many magic books have I written? I have written 8 books and produced 9 DVD's.

I also don't practice magic - I own a magic practice.

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Postby mrgoat » 09/16/10 03:08 PM

I can't see anyone asking for information about how many books anyone has published. Although I am sure the willy waving is being enjoyed by those doing it.
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Postby Glenn Bishop » 09/16/10 03:35 PM

I think that only you can answer your question about Erdnase - asdf.

Me I like my copy of Revelations that I got in the 80's. This is Erdnase with Dai Vernon's comments. It is a book that I enjoy reading and re-reading.

The Erdnase 12 card stock has inspired 6 different routines that I use in my own work. Three of those routines I have published however I am not going to say where because it might upset one or two trolls.

The section in the front that writes about the Grismer cull is a valuable to me as the section in the back that talks about the Stevens cull and block transfer work.

Vernon also gives good advice through the book and in my opinion the book is filled with hidden gems. I find value and insperation however you might have to pick up the book and read it and see if the ideas in it work for you.

Just a few thoughts and opinion and I hope this helps.

Cheers!
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Postby Brian Morton » 09/16/10 09:29 PM

"You've been doing magic for four years and you only have two books?"

Richard, if I spent my first four years in magic with just Erdnase and Expert Card Technique, I think I'd probably be a helluva better magician than I am now.

brian :grin:
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 09/16/10 10:03 PM

I don't agree at all.
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Postby Pete McCabe » 09/16/10 10:17 PM

A study was recently published about a novel approach to improving student performance in school. The idea was to pay students for their performance, to see if 1) it works; and 2) it costs less per unit of improvement than any/all of the things we currently spend so much money on, most of which have fairly modest returns.

They tried several different models. In one the students got a check with their report card. In another they earned money for each test score.

The one that worked best: pay students to read books. A student would read a book, and after they pass a test to verify they had actually read it, they were paid. This one produced the greatest improvement, both in raw scores and in points-per-dollar-spent.


asdf: Start with Card College. Save Erdnase for later.
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Postby asdf » 09/16/10 10:56 PM

Thanks everyone!
I'm just wondering, how can you guys have so many books. Did you read, and master everything in them? I would like to know how many books others have also.
@Glenn Bishop Just curious, what can a 12 card stock do for magic, other than like spelling tricks? I want to learn the stevens cull. It's in the revelations book, right? How hard is it? Harder than bottom dealing? I heard that it is very hard.
@Pete McCabe That's interesting :). I already have studied Erdnase for a few months, so I already know some of it, and I didn't want to go to Card College, because I thought that most of it would be review, but then I decided to buy, after many good recommendations, and I was very happy with it. Even though some of it was review, it's worth it, because of the tips, I learned new things, and etc. And I will now buy all of the volumes even the first ones, which litterally almost everything will be review (I read the table of contents this time :P), but I will have it as a reference, I will have tips, and etc.
Any more suggestions, comments, tips, or answers?
Thanks again everyone!
RZ
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Postby asdf » 09/16/10 11:12 PM

I have one question that I've asked many times, but never really got an answer, even though I like learning and practicing new moves, why learn them? They are never used. Darwin Ortiz's tricks are amazing, but what would be more entertaning to a lay audience a Darwin Ortiz trick, or a simple David Blaine double lift trick (if both are performed correctly)? I know so many tricks, using so many complicated stuff, but if someone comes up to me, and asks me to do a trick to them, what will I do? Probably a simple (and of course very easy) Biddle Trick, or maybe an ACR and then probably triumph. The best tricks that I have are probably in "Born to Perform Card Magic", and they are so simple. After doing these tricks, I would then do something involving palming. All of the more complicated tricks are just not as good. Why get into so much theory if you're not going to cheat at cards? Like Harry Lorrayne says, "you can do miracles with a deck of cards with only a good control, double lift and palm", and the audience goes crazy with these simple tricks, but with the more complicated, less or equal (of course sometimes more, but usually not). So why don't we just do simple tricks and amaze people even though they are so simple, like David Blaine, instead of harder and less effective or just as good tricks?
Maybe the more complicated ones that I learned just don't fit my style? Or maybe they're just not as good.
What do think? Why should you learn so many complicated stuff, when you can AMAZE people with just a double lift, and biddle trick, ACR, and etc with amazing simple tricks which are better than a lot of the more complicated ones?
Thanks!
RZ.
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Postby Richard Perrin » 09/17/10 12:04 AM

Steve Beam told me to buy a book "Royal Road To Card Magic" 28 years ago and I said the same thing to you, asdf.
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Postby asdf » 09/17/10 12:34 AM

"Steve Beam told me to buy a book "Royal Road To Card Magic" 28 years ago and I said the same thing to you, asdf."
Thank you! But I think that even though Card College is worth it even though most of it is review, I don't know the same things is with RRTCM. I think that most of the things in it (if not all, except for the tricks), are in Card College. And I am teaching a friend all of the contents in RRTCM so I think that I already know all of it. That is great advice for a complete beginner, but I don't think that I still consider myself a complete beginner.
Thanks again!
RZ.
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Postby Richard Perrin » 09/17/10 01:07 AM

You're welcome.
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Postby John Wilson » 09/17/10 04:30 AM

The idea is that you look at as many controls, palms, and routines as you can to find the right one for you. I love to learn new controls, even though I mostly use a classic pass that I learned from Royal Road and several other sources (even though when I first saw the description I thought it was impossible). The idea is to constantly struggle to improve yourself. There are situations when a different control will work better or seem more natural and that is when the new technique should be adopted. Lately, my focus has become removing sleights and technique of a mechanical variety altogether in favor of the real meat of magic, which I think is controlling the perception of another person and leading them to illogical conclusions through very simple means. Part of me feels better the simpler those means are.
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Postby Glenn Bishop » 09/17/10 07:07 AM

The question is - @Glenn Bishop Just curious, what can a 12 card stock do for magic, other than like spelling tricks?
............

G.B. I don't use the Erdnase 12 card stock technique - however the idea inspired 6 different poker deals that I do use in my own work.


The question is - I want to learn the stevens cull. It's in the revelations book, right? How hard is it? Harder than bottom dealing? I heard that it is very hard.
............

G.B. I have no idea how fast a student can learn something like the Steven's cull. It depends on the student and how much time they put into it I guess.

Here is my opinion about magic - you may or may not agree with it. If a student wants to learn card tricks - I would suggest they learn the basic stuff first. The force, palm, control, change. I think that Matt Schulien said - if a magician can force - palm control and change a card then they can do more card tricks than anyone would want to watch.

Then once the basic stuff is learned then get out and do magic for people make a few performance mistakes and learn from them.

Don't be one of those guy's that hide away in their home and learn card moves and techniques and never get out and do them.

Expert at the card table is "one" good reference book but there are a lot of other great books - Harry Lorayne's close up card magic for one. A good part of it depends on what the student wants to do - and what they want to learn. Be a good entertainer or be a good technical guy.

Or both.

Good luck in finding and learning the kind of magic that you enjoy.

Just a few more thoughts and opinion.

Cheers!
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Postby Andrew Pinard » 09/17/10 07:55 AM

To reply to asdf ("I'm just wondering, how can you guys have so many books. Did you read, and master everything in them? I would like to know how many books others have also."):

I have read each title at least once. In my case, the library was amassed over the last twenty-plus years and is a working one for research purposes (I should mention that I have amassed several thousands of other books, both fiction and nonfiction that continue to influence my growth as a performer.

Of the magic books I own, I perform material professionally derived specifically from a few dozen of them, but that material has been influenced by hundreds of other sources, whether it be presentation, methodology or stylistic approach.

That being said, owning a large library does not make you a better performer. In my experience, performing frequently, constant thoughtful review of your work and development and application of a specific performing persona all lead to regular work.

Having a book is only of value if you thoughtfully consider the perspective and material and put it into practice...
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Postby Pete McCabe » 09/17/10 10:14 AM

asdf: I'm just wondering, how can you guys have so many books.

I'm 50 years old. I've been reading books for a long time.

This isn't just me being flip. But I think you said you are 14 or thereabouts, and when you're that age it's almost impossible to appreciate how much you can accomplish if you work at it for a decade or so. It sounds like you are on a wonderful pathwhen you are 30, if you haven't dropped out of magic for 10 years like I did, you will be amazed at how many books you have.

By the way, you mentioned that you are teaching a friend RRtCM. Keep this up! As a teacher, I can tell you that the best way to learn something is to teach it to someone else.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 09/17/10 11:36 AM

The more sleights you learn, the more tools you have to do the job (just like a plumber).

You need to learn about 20 killer tricks and how to present the hell out of them. It may take you 200 books to find those 20 tricks.

Or you can just read Stars of Magic.
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Postby Glenn Bishop » 09/17/10 11:50 AM

This is just my opinion and it is not going to be a popular one. It is better to know one trick without any sleights and be able to perform it well.

Then 50 tricks with sleights that a person is not able to do well or not at all.

Harry Lorayne's Lazy Man's Card trick and Paul Curry's Out of this world are two great tricks that require no moves or sleights at all. But if they are presented well - they are both great magic tricks.

Sleights are only secondary and are only needed to get from point A to point B in a magic trick. The "effect" the trick has on an audience is what important.

It is not the trip it is the destination.

Just a few thoughts and opinion.

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Postby asdf » 09/17/10 12:24 PM

"The idea is that you look at as many controls, palms, and routines as you can to find the right one for you. I love to learn new controls, even though I mostly use a classic pass that I learned from Royal Road and several other sources (even though when I first saw the description I thought it was impossible). The idea is to constantly struggle to improve yourself. There are situations when a different control will work better or seem more natural and that is when the new technique should be adopted. Lately, my focus has become removing sleights and technique of a mechanical variety altogether in favor of the real meat of magic, which I think is controlling the perception of another person and leading them to illogical conclusions through very simple means. Part of me feels better the simpler those means are."
But why for example learn so many passes from Erdnase, or even mucks? I was at a Dan and Dave lecture, and I was practicing the mcmillan turnover switch, and Lee Asher was there also (I think it was him anyway, lol, but he was supposed to be there, so it probably was him), and he was like Oh the mcmillan switch these moves are just for fun, but they are never used, and then I asked him why, and told me that there are so many other things to use, like a top change, a double lift, etc etc etc. When would you use it? It's just for fun really, and it is a fun switch :P. But also what I was asking, David Blaine can entertain and amaze aundiences, and his tricks are so simple, and if you can amaze people so much, and do hundreds of tricks with a double lift, a palm and a control, why do you need anything else?
Thanks!
RZ.
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Postby asdf » 09/17/10 12:28 PM

I have to go now, I will reply to the other once later today :)
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Postby John Wilson » 09/17/10 01:12 PM

There are some moves that I practice just for fun, but there is always the possibility that I will find a use for them later. I like to practice and if I only practiced the few sleights that I actually use when performing, practicing would become a bore.
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Postby asdf » 09/17/10 04:03 PM

"I have no idea how fast a student can learn something like the Steven's cull. It depends on the student and how much time they put into it I guess." How hard was it for you, not how much time, but what would it be compared to?

"Here is my opinion about magic - you may or may not agree with it. If a student wants to learn card tricks - I would suggest they learn the basic stuff first. The force, palm, control, change. I think that Matt Schulien said - if a magician can force - palm control and change a card then they can do more card tricks than anyone would want to watch." Exactly what I think. So why do you need any more than just that?

@Andrew Pinard Ohh, but wow, you have a lot of books, good job :).
@Pete McCabe That's true, and in a decade I can't imagine how much you can learn/have in books. And it is true, you do learn it better after you teach, even if you already know it, and I like teaching it.
@Richard Kaufman "The more sleights you learn, the more tools you have to do the job (just like a plumber)." What if you only know 3 sleights, a double lift, a control, and a force, and can amaze your audience with only them. The audience doesn't care how you do it, only what the result is, and if something can be so effective, and so simple, why not just use that?
"You need to learn about 20 killer tricks and how to present the hell out of them. It may take you 200 books to find those 20 tricks.

Or you can just read Stars of Magic."
I only know like 5 killer tricks that fit my style, that I get great reactions from, and that I really like :(. Stars of Magic is for sure on my list on books to buy :).
@Glenn Bishop "Sleights are only secondary and are only needed to get from point A to point B in a magic trick. The "effect" the trick has on an audience is what important.

It is not the trip it is the destination."
Exactly what I have been saying, and that is exactly one of my questions, the effect can be very simple, and very effective, so why isn't it?
@John Wilson"There are some moves that I practice just for fun, but there is always the possibility that I will find a use for them later. I like to practice and if I only practiced the few sleights that I actually use when performing, practicing would become a bore." We practice some moves just for fun (no use for the move), but what about the tricks, a lot of the simple once are so good, so why go to the more complicated ones?
Thanks everyone that's been helping me!
RZ.
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Postby Richard Kaufman » 09/17/10 04:44 PM

At 14, you can't possibly comprehend the reasons for all the good advice we're giving you. Don't take that the wrong way--just understand that we know more becasue we've been doing this a lot longer and have already gone what you're going through.

If you're satisfied with being able to do only three sleights, fine. You'll never grow beyond what you can do now, or with those three sleights. It's not my cup of tea.
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Postby Brad Henderson » 09/17/10 05:04 PM

"David Blaine can entertain and amaze aundiences, and his tricks are so simple, and if you can amaze people so much, and do hundreds of tricks with a double lift, a palm and a control, why do you need anything else?"

You left out the camera crew, the multiple takes to find an audience who IS entertained, and the editing bay.

"What if you only know 3 sleights, a double lift, a control, and a force, and can amaze your audience with only them. The audience doesn't care how you do it, only what the result is, and if something can be so effective, and so simple, why not just use that?"

Because, in the real world, stuff happens. Cards drop. Spectators know more than you expect. Timing isn't perfect. A pro cannot afford to fail.

Moreover, think of it from the perspective of a musician. As an instrumentalist one practices etudes and exercises that go well beyond what one normally encounters in the average "song."

The stronger you are, the more facile you are, the better you will be.

Then, think of artists like Oscar Peterson. He could do things with his instrument that few could imagine - but more importantly, he did musical things with his instrument that no one else could. He expanded his audiences perception of what was possible.

Of course, Miles could do that with a single well played note - but never forget, Miles could play anything he wanted. and because of that, he could choose to just play 'one.'
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Postby Andrew Pinard » 09/17/10 05:16 PM

[Reflecting upon how I would have loved to be getting such advice from top performers/writers/creators in the field when I was fourteen.]

Don't take this advice for granted and stop short of your potential... Any performance art is about the long exploration. Think what we would be missing had Columbus stopped at the next port of call as it was "far enough"...

It is great to have opinions, it is even better to be open to changing your opinions.

Enjoy the ride!
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Postby asdf » 09/17/10 05:17 PM

"At 14, you can't possibly comprehend the reasons for all the good advice we're giving you. Don't take that the wrong way--just understand that we know more becasue we've been doing this a lot longer and have already gone what you're going through." Yes, for sure, you're all probably more experienced than I am, and that's one of the reasons that I am taking your advice :).

"If you're satisfied with being able to do only three sleights, fine. You'll never grow beyond what you can do now, or with those three sleights. It's not my cup of tea." Not at all, I enjoy learning new sleights, but I also enjoy result, which I am not getting as I learn new sleights. I will list some of my favourite tricks that I show lay people when I want to impress them, and you will see what I mean:
The Biddle Trick
Triumph
Card to Mouth
2 Card Monte
Ambitious Card Routine
The Stop Trick (Card College Volume 4, page 910)
Design for laughter (From the RRTCM)
Search and Destroy by Aaron Fisher
The trick from Erdnase that you are blind folded, and stab the chosen card
And a trick from Darwin Ortiz, I forget what the name is.

Do any of them require any skill? Not really a lot. What do they use? The biddle move, a zarrow shuffle, a card switch, and a glide. The only one that requires more is Darwin Ortiz's trick, it requires a second deal, and a push through shuffle, and the other ones are just as good (for my style at least). Do you see what I mean? I do enjoy practicing, and learning new sleights, but none of the tricks that I actually really like and perform use any of them, and if I do, they are just as good as the simple ones. So I like practice, but I don't like seeing no result out of practice, if when I am actually showing a trick, I only use stuff that I learned a long time ago, and if I do use the new stuff that I learn, the tricks are just not as strong as the ones that I listed above (or equal). So I don't really find very strong tricks like the ones listed above using the new sleights that I am learning for some reason.
Thank you!
RZ
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Postby asdf » 09/17/10 05:37 PM

"You left out the camera crew, the multiple takes to find an audience who IS entertained, and the editing bay." LOL, that's funny, but is that actually true, they keep trying to find an audience like that?

"Because, in the real world, stuff happens. Cards drop. Spectators know more than you expect. Timing isn't perfect. A pro cannot afford to fail." Yes, that true, that's one thing that knowing more sleights helps me.
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Postby asdf » 09/17/10 05:40 PM

"[Reflecting upon how I would have loved to be getting such advice from top performers/writers/creators in the field when I was fourteen.]" Yes, I appreaciate everyone's help, and thank you everyone for helping me out, and answering my question :).
Thanks for you advice Andrew!
RZ.
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