Thursday, May 12, 2016

2011 Game of the Year...So Far

I would say “L.A. Noire” is my favorite game of 2011. Rockstar and Team Bondi developed a game that is different from what is out there in the market already. This is a detective game where, you are Cole Phelps, a war hero now LAPD officer. You start off as a regular street cop, and from there you work your way up to Street, Homicide, Vice, and Arson. The graphics and detail put in this game are stunning. Rockstar and Team Bondi took 7 years putting this game together and it really shows. They do a great job in capturing the look, sound, and feel of 1947 Los Angeles. I’ve put in a few hours just driving around the city looking at the different icon landmarks that pop up. From the Hollywoodland sign, to the L.A Times building, to the Brown Durby and 27 other landmarks to discover (30 landmarks total). Finding landmarks are side quests, but not the only one. You can find golden film reels, 50 of them, all over the city of Los Angeles, and of course while you are driving around L.A. in a cop car, side missions will pop up. Meaning that calls over the radio pop up, a man robbing a store to somebody up on a building shooting people. All in all, “L.A. Noire” is a really fun game with lots of value and lots to do and my favorite game of 2011…so far.

Tags:2011 Game of the Year…So Far

2011: Fifth Anniversary of Steve Irwin's Death

This September marks the fifth anniversary of wildlife warrior Steve Irwin. On September 4, 2006, Steve Irwin was filming for his show – The Crocodile Hunter: Croc Files – while swimming just off of the Great Barrier Reef when a spooked sting ray whipped it’s tail up and rammed it’s barb deep into his chest. Reports indicated that his reaction to remove the barb from his chest played a part in his death and had he not removed it, medical crews could have possibly saved his life.

To make matters worse, shortly after Irwin’s death, many people – mostly fans of the nature lover – started going out hunting down these creatures in retaliation for the attack. This became a controversial topic because the people who claimed to be fans of “The Croc Hunter” were now doing, in his name, the exact opposite of what he would have wanted done . This senseless slaughter of sting rays came to an end but unfortunately picked back up after the news report of a man who was attacked by a sting ray that jumped out of the water while the man was fishing from his boat. This attack re sparked the hatred for the very creatures that, just weeks before, killed one of the world’s most respected and popular figures. Thankfully local and state governments quickly stepped in to protect the rays better after seeing what happened before the second attack and the slaughter didn’t last as long.

Many people around the world were shocked when news of one of the world’s greatest losses started making it’s way around. Many people who knew this man though personal interaction and his show cried when they heard about it. The impact he had on the world was so powerful that there were people who were not even fans of his that cried when they heard the news of his death. I must admit that a tear even came to my own eye and still does every time I see the official Baha Men tribute video.

Steve grew up around animals and by the time he was nine, he was already catching crocodiles like a pro. He took over The Australia Zoo after his parents died and ran it ever since. His dedication and passion were never hidden. Proof of his dedication is seen in one episode of his show after he was hit by a tree branch that tore his ear lobe in half as he hung out of the window of a moving truck. Rather than going to get treatment, he decided to continue on with his work. His passion and love of animals showed again after the death of one of his favorite crocodiles at the zoo when he was seen embracing her lifeless body in his arms and crying on live TV. However, as the old saying goes, life moves on and Steve and Terri were soon back out on their animal rescue adventures. And Steve’s excitement every time he found an animal continued to entertain his fans worldwide.

Steve Irwin is survived by his wife, Terri, and his two kids, Bindi and Robert.

There is no doubt in my mind that this is the way that this man would have wanted to go. He preferred to die while doing what he loved if it came down to dying at an early age. He had even said many times that his job would be the death of him yet. Unfortunately, he was right about that but at least it was because of something that he loved to do.

So on September 4Th, I encourage you all to take a minute or two to remember “The Croc Hunter” and what he stood for.

Tags:2011: Fifth Anniversary of Steve Irwin’s Death


Third base is up today as we continue to check back one last time on all of the position rankings for 2011 fantasy
baseball. Here is how the hot corner options stand.

1. Evan Longoria
2. David Wright
3. Alex Rodriguez
4. Ryan Zimmerman
5. Kevin Youkilis
6. Jose Bautista
7. Adrian Beltre
8. Aramis Ramirez
9. Casey McGehee
10. Pablo Sandoval
11. Pedro Alvarez
12. Mark Reynolds
13. Michael Young
14. Martin Prado
15. Chase Headly
16. Ian Stewart

-Some have said this spring that Evan Longoria is overrated when it comes to fantasy baseball based on the fact he was being drafted on average at number 6 overall. Although his poor power showing last season fueled that fire, I totally believe Longoria sails close to or beyond the 30 home run mark this season with awesome marks everywhere else. If he fails to crack 25 homers again though, than we might have to re-analyze if he really does deserve being drafted that high.
-I dropped Ryan Zimmerman behind AROD this spring due to the fact Rodriguez came into camp in top shape and has been hitting everything in sight to go along with the fact Zimmerman once again was dealing with nagging injuries which kept him off the field this spring. Both guys have injury issues but Rodriguez has the better ability to do more with fewer games than does Zim.
-Michael Young continues his freefall down the rankings as his playing time could be volatile all season. Not good.
-Pedro Alvarez looks like the second coming of Mark Reynolds. He has struck out at a crazy rate this spring and so his average will be poor just like his counterpart. Some will say I have ranked Reynolds too low which is fine but guys who cant hit .200 have no value in my mind no matter how many homers they hit.
-Aramis Ramirez remains a nice bounceback candidate this season. A run at 30 homers is possible with good health.
-Jose Bautista has been hitting homers this spring and its only a question of how many this season he gets a hold of. The power is legit but the average could be iffy.

There you have it. Lets hear some differing opinions.


2011 Game of the Year: Pokemon Tower Defense

The year 2011 promises to be a very good year for gaming. There’s Mass Effect 3 coming out in winter, Gears of War 3 coming out in winter, Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3 coming out in winter. But what is coming out now? Pokemon Tower Defense came out a few months back so nothing is coming out now. But, here is why I think it currently stands as the best game of 2011:

1) Gameplay – Pokemon Tower Defense, PTD, strives on using nostalgia from Pokemon combined with even more nostalgia from tower defense games to effectively make the most fun game ever. You get all the aspects of Pokemon like leveling up and learning new moves and they even become your friend, if you want them to.

2) Lasting Appeal – Unlike Magika, which is the game of the year according to editors at IGN, PTD has much greater lasting appeal. In Magika, the levels are long and you stop trying to replay them after a few attempts. They should’ve allowed saving more often. But for their insolence, Pokemon Tower Defense is now the best game. I especially like that Joseph can email me codes that net powerful Pokemon for me. My favorite is Kadabra but I tend to use Charmander a lot more often. Also Magika runs pretty slow on my computer which easily handles the basic PC requirements, its also a STEAM game which means it will lag and your friends will not want or be able to co-op play with you. You will likely lose them as friends as the days go by.

3) Price – Pokemon Tower Defense is free to the public and it does so by keeping costs low. Also, you get free updates which you won’t see with expensive DLC for the XBOX360 games. The new video game model is slowly resembling Facebook games where you’re charged so much for in game content that you will want all your farm animals to go to your neighbor’s farm. That is in addition to the $60 upfront cost for the XBOX360 games and Magika is made by an independent studio so usually you can find it at $5, it is NOT worth more than that. If you are not into magic you will hate Magika as the game is mostly based on magic. You may not like Harry Potter either which is more science fiction like Lord of the Rings, also an excellent game.

For these reasons, it is my humble opinion that Pokemon will continue to rule, not as trading cards, but as magnificent structures of destruction in this fun, but excellent game. I recommend you buy this game today!


Tags:2011 Game of the Year: Pokemon Tower Defense


Dallas Cowboys QB Tony Romo has been an extremely volatile fantasy football performer the last four seasons as he has been brilliant when on the field but has dealt with injuries throughout that time period. The highs were when he threw for 26 TD’s in 2007 or when he threw for over 4,400 yards in 2009. The lowlights were missing three games in 2008 and missing the last 10 games of 2010 after a hot start . So Romo is clearly one of those high risk/high reward guys that makes every fantasy football owner look inside to determine how lucky they feel when picking the guy. So with that all said, lets take a look at what Romo will provide his fantasy football owners this season.

As far as Romo the passer is concerned, there are only a few better throwers of the football in the entire league. The last three seasons before 2010’s injury-wracked campaign, Romo threw for 36, 26, and 26 touchdowns and so there is little debate about the fact he will be a very good fantasy football scorer when it comes to scores. The vast arsenal of weapons annually during Romo’s tenure is also a big help and he once again has a stable of big time pass receivers such as Dez Bryant, Miles Austin, and Jason Witten. That will also allow him to throw for big yardage as well and Romo has two 4,000 yard plus season to name as well. A run at 4,000 is likely if he stays on the field.

Now for his health. Romo has been labeled as an injury-prone QB but that’s a bit misleading. Since becoming the starter in the 2006 season, Romo has played in all 16 games in three of his five seasons. His two injury-interrupted seasons were a bit flukish in nature and so I don’t think its accurate to call Romo an injury risk. QB’s get hit a lot and unless your last name ends in Manning, games will be missed. Whats key here is that Romo actually makes for a very good value this season since he is being drafted as late as he has in years due to last season’s injury and the upside is tremendous when you look at what he has accomplished in his past. I am putting my money where my mouth is as well since I drafted Romo in my one and only fantasy football money league. The round I got him in? Round 6! Tremendous value for sure.

So in closing, I think Tony Romo will once again be one of the best fantasy football QB’s this season and he could easily produce on the levels of some of the guys drafted before him. Yes there is some risk there but as long as you back him up with another solid passer (as I did with picking up Eli Manning later in my draft), you will be good to go.

2011 PROJECTION: 4,182 yards 27 TD 14 INT


2011 ITG Heroes & Prospects Baseball Card Review

In 2010 and into 2011 Topps trading card company has the sole rights to print the teams of Major League baseball on to baseball cards. However, this has not stopped other companies from releasing baseball cards and in the first part of 2011 In The Game has released a product that is quite interesting.

2011 ITG Heroes and Prospects Series One is the product I am talking about today and a single box will get you only five baseball cards, but they are all “hits.” Mostly the product is made up of autographs from prospects, but there are some legends mixed in as well; and game used cards. The cards are packed inside plastic top loader protective cases with penny sleeves, inside the box; no packs to open here. I purchased a single box for $77 and shipping and here is what I got.

1. Hunter Morris – Between The Seams – GOLD
This baseball card of the Milwaukee Brewers left handed hitting prospect has a short print run of only 19 cards made in this style. It features the autograph on a piece of baseball centered into the card, with gold stitching on the edges of the ball piece. There is no book value on this card due to rarity, however, the Red version with a print run of 50 is valued at $50.

2. J.R. Murphy – Lumbergraphs
This autographed baseball card features catcher J.R. Murphy and the card design features his signature across the drawing of a baseball bat; no real bat piece here. The print run for these cards is only up to 100, which is not too shabby. This card is currently holding a book value of $15

3. Devin Mesoraco – Draft Year – Silver
The print run for this autographed baseball card is stated to be only 39 cards made. A neat designed autograph from the 15th overall pick of the Cincinnati Reds in 2007. Current book value is $12.

4. Bryce Brentz – Full Body Autograph – Silver
This autographed card of Bryce Brentz is referred to as the “full body” autograph due to the horiontal design of the card with the picture of him batting. There are also “close up” auto cards in ther series featuring a closer picture of the player’s face. The print run for this card is 390 made with a current book value of $15.

5. Christina Colon – Full Body Autograph – silver
The print run for this autographed baseball card is once again out of 390. Christian Colon’s card is currently only worth $10 via book value.

The 2011 ITG heroes and Prospects cards my not have the official MLB license in play but I dig the designs of the cards and think they showcase the autographs of the players way better than most Topps products. The autographs are on the actual card itself, which is always better than a signed sticker stuck on a card in my opinion.

My box via book value was worth the purchase, though if I were going to re-sell I would want to wait until one of these players really takes off because book value and reality do not match up on the sales floor of places like Ebay. I would probably be lucky to get $50 total for all of these cards sold together right now. Maybe I will test my luck. Currently the hot player to be found in these boxes is first base rookie for the San Francisco Giants Brandon Belt. Some of his 2011 ITG autographs are selling for over $150!

Great designs, simple, yet bold, I like 2011 ITG Heroes and Prospects baseball cards and will be getting some more when the finances allow it! Next time I’ll hope to pull a “hero” card.

Tags:2011 ITG Heroes & Prospects Baseball Card Review

2011 Green Bay Packers Roster: Re-sign, Release, or Replace Justin Harrell for the 2011 Season?

The Green Bay Packers have kept Justin Harrell despite him showing up overweight at his rookie training camp and numerous injuries. He’s played in only 13 games out of a possible 48. A torn ACL prematurely ended his 2010 season. Should the Green Bay Packers re-sign, release, or replace Justin Harrell for the 2011 season?

Here are 3 reasons the Green Bay Packers should keep Justin Harrell through 2011 and 3 reasons they should release him. All stats are courtesy of and

Pro Keeping Justin Harrell
#1. Contract Status
Harrell is currently signed through the end of 2012. His contract is relatively affordable. There’s still the possibility that he could complete an injury-free season and show why he was a 1st round draft pick.

#2. Sub Status
Although Harrell has only played in 13 games in his career, he does have experience in defensive coordinator Dom Capers’ system. As the 2010 season has shown, injuries can strike anywhere. Harrell can play at end and tackle, making him a valuable line sub.

#3. Physical Abilities
At 6’4″ and about 315 to 325 pounds, Harrell is large enough to play nose tackle or slide to 3-4 end. He can also play tackle when the Green Bay Packers go to 4 defensive linemen. Harrell is large enough to hold the point of attack on running plays, but quick enough to provide adequate pass-rush.

Against Keeping Justin Harrell
#1. Injuries
Recurring back injuries have been the most serious problem. A torn ACL ended Harrell’s 2010 season. A torn bicep and ankle injury struck early in his NFL career. With all of the injuries Harrell has sustained, will his career be shortened by them?

In addition, Harrell’s weight may make it more difficult to return from his ACL injury. Although he sustained the injury in the first game of the 2010 season, it’s possible that he won’t be ready to play during the 2011 training camp.

#2. Lack of Playing Time
Although Dom Capers tends to rotate his defensive linemen, Harrell needs time to build up a rapport with his teammates. The defensive line needs to be able to work together to produce the best results. Like any other job, throwing a new person into an existing team can slow everyone down.

Even if Harrell returns in time for the 2011 training camp, it’s unlikely he’ll be in game-ready shape. He would probably be placed on the physically unable to perform list.

#3. Roster Spot
Keeping Harrell on the active roster means a healthy player isn’t receiving as many practice snaps. Another player could be receiving more instruction time from the coaches. Because of the Green Bay Packers’ reliance on young draft picks, practice time is extremely valuable.

General manager Ted Thompson needs to release Justin Harrell. He hasn’t contributed much to the team and can’t be counted on to play a full season. B.J. Raji and Cullen Jenkins are solid starters, but the team does need to groom a young super sub who can play end and tackle. Harrell is not reliable enough to be the super sub.

If Thompson decides to keep Harrell for 2011, he needs to have alternative players lined up. Although re-signing Jarius Wynn to replace Harrell worked out for 2010, another team could easily have signed Wynn and left the Green Bay Packers without an adequate replacement.

Sources Justin Harrell’s Player Page. January 1st, 2011. Justin Harrell’s Career Stats. January 1st, 2011.

Tags:2011 Green Bay Packers Roster: Re-sign, Release, or Replace Justin Harrell for the 2011 Season?

2011 Hot Grunge Hairstyles that Are Fun, Messy, and Hip

Look out the grunge look is back and ready to attack with bold dramatic black eyes, perfect porcelain face, edgy hairstyles and pearlized lips. Don’t worry 2011 you will still see bold lips, dark rimmed eyelids, girlie grunge curls, and lots of short bang messy styles as well.

So if you want to rock out some of these cool trendy ideas, here’s how.

Bed Head With Curls And Short Bangs

This chic style can be worn really dramatic with the hair teased and sticking out, or really short blunt bangs with Loose retro waves. To get the teased out grunge look you will need a few items.

Comb, scrunch spray, and maybe a curling iron if the hair is severely straight.

Do your hair the night before and have the bed head look when you wake up. Then mist the hair lightly with a scrunching spray. Once it dried, start teasing the hair at the roots.mainly in the crown area and sides. Once the hair is teased backcomb it very lightly. Do NOT take all the tease out, or you will be doing this for nothing.

Flip your head upside down and spray with hairspray. If your bangs are long style to the side.

To do the real short bangs with loose waves you can use a big barrel iron just enough to give your hair a slight wave. Then make sure the bangs are blunt right above the brows.

Big Messy Bouffant On Top With Pigtails

This style is so fun, because you don’t have to be perfect. The messier the hair the better.

Plop the hair from the crown area and sides on top of your head, almost like a huge messy bun.

Then part the bang and top area over to one side, make sure it’s slicked down.

The bottom length create one ponytail on each side. You can make the ponytails curls, teased and messy, braided, or smooth.

Across the top band add some funky black shoelaces, string or headband. Place the first one over the bangs, then about 3 inches after place the other one.

Tights Braids And Funky Ribbon

Braid the top, and sides of your hair. Intertwine the braids and create a cool funky look. Leave the back of the hair silky straight, curly, or teased out. Now thread 2-3 different colors of ribbon going through each braid. You can do red and blue ribbon, and then add red eyeliner, neutral shadow, and bold vampy lips.

Grunge looks for 2011 can be just short bangs, messy teased up hair, choppy and texturized, or just plain funky.

Just think Amy Winehouse, Courtney Love, Kristen Stewart, Taylor Momsen, or even Gwen Stefani.

Sources: Professional Beautician

Tags:2011 Hot Grunge Hairstyles that Are Fun, Messy, and Hip

2011 Insight Bowl: Oklahoma Vs. Iowa - Preview, Prediction, and Pick Against the Spread

The Oklahoma Sooners and Iowa Hawkeyes meet up in Tempe, Arizona for the 2011 Insight Bowl. The Insight Bowl is one of two bowl games to feature a matchup of the Big Ten and Big 12. The other game comes one day later when Texas A&M plays Northwestern in the Meineke Car Care Bowl.

Oklahoma started the season 6-0 but finished with an overall record of 9-3. All three of the Sooners losses came in conference play this season. Oklahoma heads into the Insight Bowl as the #14 team in the country. The Iowa Hawkeyes went 4-4 in the Big Ten and 7-5 overall. The Hawkeyes lost to Minnesota, a team that finished 3-9, but beat Michigan, a team that went 10-2. Which Iowa Hawkeyes team will show up for the Insight Bowl?

When Iowa is on Offense

The Iowa Hawkeyes’ offense ranked 53rd in the country scoring 28.7 points per game. Quarterback James Vandenberg threw for 2806 yards and 23 touchdowns this season. His favorite target was 6’4″ receiver Marvin McNutt who hauled in 78 passes for 1269 yards. Sophomore running back Marcus Coker is a beast at 6’1″ and 230 lbs. Coker ran for 1384 yards this season but will miss the Insight Bowl for “disciplinary reasons.” The Hawkeyes’ second leading rusher this season was freshman De’Andre Johnson who had 18 carries for 79 yards.

The Sooners’ defense gave up an average of 22.8 points per game this season. Oklahoma catches a big break with Marcus Coker not playing for Iowa. The Sooners’ defense ranked 10th in the country with 37 sacks this season.

When Oklahoma is on Offense

The Sooners’ offense was prolific this season. Led by quarterback Landry Jones, Oklahoma had the 10th best offense in the country at 40.3 points per game. Jones went over 4,000 yard passing for the second year in a row and has 12,218 yards passing in his career. Jones had 28 touchdowns and 9 interceptions in the first 9 games, but threw 0 touchdowns and 5 picks in the final three games of the season. Jones favorite target, Ryan Broyles, missed the last three games due to injury. Dominique Whaley and Roy Finch both ran well when called upon averaging 5.5 and 5.7 yards per carry respectively.

Iowa’s defense gave up an average of 23.3 points per game this season. They will have their hands full with Landry Jones and the Sooners’ passing attack. The Iowa defense only had 20 sacks and 9 interceptions this season. They will need to create more of a pass rush against Jones and the Sooners.

2011 Insight Bowl Pick Against the Spread

The Oklahoma Sooners are currently 13.5 point favorites over the Hawkeyes in the Insight Bowl. I realize that is a lot of points to cover, but I think the Sooners will do it. Iowa is not going to be able to stop the Sooners from scoring and the Hawkeyes are without their best player, Marcus Coker. Even with a big spread I will take Oklahoma to win and cover.

2011 Insight Bowl Prediction

Oklahoma – 45
Iowa – 27


Tags:2011 Insight Bowl: Oklahoma Vs. Iowa - Preview, Prediction, and Pick Against the Spread

2011 Holiday Happenings in the Buffalo, New York Area

Niagara Winter Festival of Lights – now through January 31st, 2012, just across the border in Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada’s Queen Victoria Park and Dufferin Islands Nature Area. The 5K route features over three million lights and a skating rink next to the Horseshoe Falls. There are fireworks every Friday night as well as New Year’s Eve, and a series of concerts featuring Lorrie Morgan, Ray Stevens, Danny O’Donnell and Ronnie Prophet. For the complete schedule and more details, visit

Fatima Shrine Festival of Lights – Saturday, November 19th through Friday, January 6th, 2012 from 5 to 9 p.m. each night at Our Lady of Fatima Shrine, Swann Rd. in Lewiston. The 21st annual festival features a number of special events, including a Thanksgiving Day mass, the 4th annual Bake-Off auction and sale, and a concert from the Buffalo Niagara Concert Band. Find a full schedule of events at

Festival of Trees – Saturday, November 19th through Saturday, December 3rd at the Hyatt Regency Hotel, 2 Fountain Plaza in downtown Buffalo. The 34th annual event is the annual holiday fundraiser for Women and Children’s Hospital of Buffalo. Special events include the Black-Tie Gala, November 19th at 6 p.m. and the Designer Showcase and Reception, November 22nd; find out more at

Holiday Light of Niagara – November 23rd through December 31st from 5 to 10 p.m. each night beginning at Hyde Park on Robins Dr. in Niagara Falls, New York. More than 60 displays are featured along the trail, starting at Hyde Park, continuing west on Pine Ave., southwest on Main St., then south onto Third Ave. and Rainbow Blvd. before stopping at the Niagara Holiday Market. Find out more about the light festival at

Christmas in Ellicottville – Friday through Sunday, November 25th through 27th in the Village of Ellicottville. The Village lights up for the holidays with strolling carolers, Santa and his reindeer, hot beverages, shopping and more. Find out all the details at

Fairgrounds Festival of Lights – Friday, November 25th through Friday, December 30th (selected dates) throughout the Fairgrounds (enter from South Park Ave.). The sixth annual festival features more than 200 light displays, the North Pole Village, Kandy Kane’s Holiday Magic Show and much more. Gates are open from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. (buildings and grounds are open until 10 p.m.); admission is $18 per carload, $25 for 15-passenger van, $25 per limo and $50 per bus. For exact dates of operation visit

Niagara Holiday Market – November 25th through January 1st, operating along three blocks of Old Falls Street from 3rd St. to the entry of Niagara Falls State Park. The first-time event will feature outdoor vendors, a tree-lighting ceremony, ice rink, Holiday Concert Series and other events. Hours are Sunday through Thursday 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Friday and Saturday 11 a.m. to 8 p.m.; the market will be closed on Christmas Day. Tickets for the Holiday Concert Series, and more information on the market, are available at

Garden Railway Exhibit and Poinsettia Show – November 26th through January 1st, featuring beautiful poinsettias and two train set-ups, including Thomas the Train. Admission to the exhibit, including admission to the Gardens, is $8 for adults, $7 for seniors (55+) and students (13+ with ID), $4 for kids 3 to 12 and free for kids under 3 and members. Find out more information at

Victorian Christmas – Saturday, December 3rd through Saturday, December 10th at the Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural Site, located at 641 Delaware Ave. in Buffalo. Daily display hours from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday. The opening night silent auction and wine tasting on Friday, December 2nd from 6 to 8:30 p.m. features live music, wine and hors d’oeuvres plus auctions and theme baskets. Luncheons throughout the event include vintage fashion shows and presentations and the new luncheon, “Tuscany on Main,” features olive oils and balsamic vinegars from around the world, presented by East Aurora’s newest shop. Find out more at the Theodore Roosevelt Inaugural Site website.

Tags:2011 Holiday Happenings in the Buffalo, New York Area

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