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Posts from July 2014

Wine Bottles – Out of the Recycling Bin and Into the Garden

Stop! Don’t recycle those wine bottles, instead give them a second life in your garden.

Use wine bottles to create a colorful edge along a path or around a planting bed. Set the bottle, top-side down in the ground.  Individual bottles make great hose guides.
 
Or create colorful outdoor lighting. Remove the bottom of the bottle with a glasscutter. Place over LED bulbs. Strategically place individual wine bottle lights throughout the garden or use multiple bottles over a string of lights.
 
Put your glasscutter to work creating a planter. Remove a section from one side of the bottle. Lay the bottle on its side, secure in place, fill with soil and plant.
 
Or remove the top of the bottle. Invert and place in the bottom of the bottle. The original opening is now your drain hole and the bottom of the bottle is your saucer.
 
And of course you can always place them on a bottle tree.
 
A bit more information: Convert wine bottles into watering devices. Punch a small hole into the soil of your container garden. Fill the bottle with water, invert and place into the soil. Plant Nannies are hollow terra cotta spikes that can be set into the soil to hold the wine bottle in place.
 
For more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com
 
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Cutest Sibling Video EVER!

I can't even handle how cute this video is!!
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Leaf Spot on Rudbeckia

Once thought to be the answer to low maintenance perennial gardens, Goldstrum Rudbeckia’s reputation has been tarnished by several leaf spot diseases.
 
A bacterial and several fungal leaf spot diseases cause purplish-black spots on the leaves of rudbeckia. Severe infestation can totally blacken the leaves and cause the plants to dieback a bit earlier in fall.  Fortunately most of the diseases are cosmetic and the plants will continue to flower and return each year.
 
Reduce the risk of this disease by providing adequate light and air circulation around the plants.  Use a soaker hose or watering wand to apply water directly to the soil when needed. 
 
In fall, remove and destroy all diseased plant parts.
 
If disease is a yearly problem, plant more resistant cultivars like Becky, Cherokee Sunset, Irish eyes, or Prairie Sun.
 
A bit more information:  Or keep the plants and hide the diseased leaves. Plant something slightly shorter in front of the Goldstrum Rudbeckia plants to mask the discolored leaves, but allow the flowers to show through.
 
For more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com
 
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Crown Rot Causing Sudden Wilting and Death on Ajuga (Bugleweed)

Sudden wilting, yellowing and death of ajuga, also known as bugleweed, means crown rot may have invaded the planting.

This fungal disease is most common in warm wet or humid weather. It first appears as sudden wilting and dieback in colder climates and yellowing and death of plants in warmer areas. The stems of infected plants turn brown or black and rot. 
 
This disease can be introduced into the garden on infected plants or soil or spread by tools and water. Since the disease is in the soil it is difficult to eradicate.
 
Remove and destroy infected plants and the surrounding soil immediately. Be sure to disinfect your tools with a one-part bleach and nine-part water solution during and after the process.
 
If the disease continues to spread or has destroyed much of the planting, it is time to start over in a new location with disease-free plants.
 
A bit more information:  Reduce the risk of crown rot to healthy plantings by thinning groundcover plantings every few years or before they become overcrowded. And avoid planting crown rot susceptible plants in the bed where the Ajuga died.  Consider amending the soil with compost, peatmoss or coir to improve drainage before planting.
 
For more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com
 
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Cool Splash Diervilla Shrub for Shady Gardens

Brighten up the shade with a Cool Splash Diervilla.
 
This cultivar of the southern bush honeysuckle was selected for its creamy to yellow leaf margins. The variegated leaves are topped by fragrant yellow flowers in midsummer. They help attract hummingbirds and butterflies to your garden.
 
Cool Splash is hardy in zones 4 to 8 and grows equally well in full sun or partial shade with moist well-drained soil. Once established, it is heat and drought tolerant.
 
This small-scale shrub suckers, forming a dense mass of cascading branches. It eventually reaches 2 to 3 feet tall and wide, making it suitable for small space gardens as well as mixed borders and shrub beds.  Use it to mask leggy stems or visually anchor taller trees and shrubs to the ground.
 
And don’t let the common name honeysuckle fool you. Though a member of the same family, this is not the invasive honeysuckle taking over our woodlands.
 
A bit more information: Combine Cool Splash with shade tolerant perennials. Hosta, astilbe, Brunnera, coral bells and ginger are just a few. For more shade tolerant shrubs watch my Shrubs Made for the Shade video.
 
For more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com
 
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Great visit from Mom-Mom!

My Mother-In-Law’s been in town for the last 10 days, visiting from Phoenix.   There are 2 reasons that Mom-Mom came to visit:  to see her Grandchildren  and …to see her grandchildren!  Seriously!  That’s perfectly fine, we KNOW she loves us too!  Wait, make that 3 reasons…our house is spotless now too…THANKS MOM!

I think we’ve shown Mom a great time during her visit.  Sarah and the kids took her to the Milwaukee County Zoo, then a pool day at Cool Waters and the last thing we did was Festa Italiana!  THAT was her favorite!

Festa Italiana was AMAZING!  We went on Friday night and HOLY RICEBALLS!  And lasagna sticks!  And zucchini sticks!  And eggplant sticks!  And calamari!  And CHOCOLATE CANNOLIS!  SOOOO many great foods to eat, music to hear, things and people to see…was a great experience!  Can’t wait for next year!

As always, THANK YOU for reading and for listening to 99.1 The Mix!  Hope you have a GREAT week!
 
-Mark Summers
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Smart Irrigation Month – Planning a Watersense Irrigation System


Watering our landscapes properly can save water and improve our plants’ health. And if you decide to invest in an irrigation system make sure to get the best value and water savings by doing your homework first.
 
Look for systems that include EPA approved WaterSense irrigation controllers. These are like thermostats only they’re for your irrigation system, adjusting watering schedules based on weather and soil moisture instead of the calendar.
 
Select a system zoned to water plants at different rates. Established trees require less frequent watering than annuals. Use drip irrigation or low volume sprinklers in gardens to apply water slowly and right where it is needed.
 
And consult a certified Irrigation specialist that understands how irrigation works, the local environment and will help you comply with any building codes.
 
A bit more information: Your time invested in research before investing in an irrigation system can reduce water use, repair costs and plant replacement. Experts estimate we could reduce water use by 50% just by eliminating improper watering. If you already have a system, inspect it regularly. Check for and repair any leaks, clear clogs, adjust direction and repair damaged sprinkler heads. For more information visit these web sites:
http://www.irrigation.org/Certification/Certification_Splash.aspx   http://www.epa.gov/WaterSense/products/controltech.html
 
For more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com
 
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Grow Star and Heart Shaped Veggies

Add a little star power to your meals with the help of cookie cutters and veggie molds.
 
Cut cucumbers into ¼ inch thick round slices. Use a small heart shaped cookie cutter to remove the center of the rounds. Use these in salads, on sandwiches or relish plates. Save the outer ring. Slide two grape or cherry tomatoes onto a toothpick so they resemble a heart. Place them in the center of the outer ring of the cucumber and secure in place.
 
Or grow heart and star shaped fruit. Cover immature fruit with vegetable molds. Use twisty ties to hold the fruit filled mold onto the vine or support. Check the fruit regularly as some may be ready to harvest in as few as 5 to 7 days. Once the fruit has filled the mold and is fully colored, it is ready to harvest.
 
Creating heart and star shaped vegetables will dress up your meals and may encourage everyone to eat more veggies.
 
A bit more information: For more information on vegetable molds visit http://www.veggiemold.com.  And watch for postings on my Facebook page as I grow a few star powered vegetables of my own.
 
For more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com
 
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Less Mowing and Hand Trimming, Better for You and Your Landscape

Eliminate hand trimming around garden statues, playsets, narrow spaces and individual trees and shrubs. Invest a bit of time now to eliminate time spent on these tasks in the future.

Create mowing strips around raised beds and stonewalls to eliminate hand trimming. You can purchase and lay pavers and other edging materials or just remove a narrow strip of grass and cover with mulch. Run one set of your mower wheels on the mowing strip and cut the grass right up to the structure.
 
Connect individual trees and shrubs with mulch beds. The trees will benefit from the mulch and you will spend less time trimming around each plant. Plus the mulch bed protects the plants from weed whips and mowers that injure the plants as we try to cut the grass as close as possible.
 
And if this is too much mulch, try filling the area with perennials and groundcovers for added beauty and seasonal interest.
 
A bit more information: Mulching around trees also eliminates the frustration of surface roots. For more ideas watch Melinda’s Garden Moment video Dealing with Surface Roots http://www.melindamyers.com/Pasquesi-Landscape-Care/landscape-care/dealing-with-surface-roots.html
 
For more gardening tips, how-to videos, podcasts and more, visit www.melindamyers.com
 
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New Rule: Don't Let Mom Call Into Your Talk Show Appearance
How's this for a fun time? Brad and Dallas Woodhouse are what you'd call political pundits. They're also what you'd call brothers. Brad's a Democrat, and Dallas is a Republican. This week, they appeared on Washington Journal on C-Span to discuss their new book, "Woodhouse Divided," about bipartisanship and the political divide in the United States. I'm sure it was a fun conversation, but not one that would catch my attention. Until... ... the Woodhouse brothers' mother called in, unexpectedly and unplanned, and pretty much told the both of them to settle their differences so that Christmas at the family home would be peaceful. The clip is below, and it is priceless!  
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Seal It With a Slap!
Whoever thought Jimmy Fallon and Oprah Winfrey could play a married couple? Well they did - back in the 80s - on a soap opera called Midnight Meadows. It's becoming a running bit on The Tonight Show, and it involves Jimmy and his guest running back and forth into and out of the scenes. You almost wish they'd show those transitions. From the sound of the audience reaction, that's one of the best parts.  
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Can I Get a Translator, Please?
Christian Bale's newest film, Exodus: Gods & Kings, hasn't even been out for two weeks, and already, folks are talking about his next film. The trailer for Knight of Cups was released this week, and while the film's language is English - I understand all the words - I think I'm going to have to have an interpreter with me if I plan to sit and watch it. It's not that anyone's unintelligible - there's no Stallone/Schwarzenegger component to the movie - it's just that I have no idea what's going on. Sure, trailers are supposed to tease you and even titillate you, so you'll be interested in seeing the movie. This one looks like a bad acid trip caught on film. What do you think?  
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The Holidays Are Coming!
What's Up Moms is a great group of fun moms who poke fun at themselves and their lives. Earlier this week, we featured their parody of Taylor Swift's "Blank Spaces." Today, I stumbled on this "trailer" for The Holidays Are Coming, and while it's from last month, it's especially fitting now, with Christmas Eve just a week away. Enjoy - and know you are NOT alone!  
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Emojinized Science
Bill Nye the Science Guy always does what he can to make science understandable to the Average Joe. In this day and age, what better way to illustrate one's point - or, in this case, lesson - that with emoji. Everyone knows what emoji are - so why not put them to good use. So watch Professor Nye do Professor Darwin one better by using emoji to explain evolution. I'll bet you have a Smiley Face when it's done...  
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Blistering Hot Britney
According to Women's Health magazine, Britney Spears is in "the hottest shape of her life." That's why they put her on the cover of the magazine. And according to them, she did it all without a trainer. They point to her "insane abs" and suggest that you too can achieve them with "one simple move." I hate to be a cynic, but I'll bet it's the purchase of pretty good photo-editing software. Does that make me a bad person...?   Thank you so much @womenshealthmag for featuring me in your new issue! 😘 It's on stands this week! A photo posted by Britney Spears (@britneyspears) on Dec 12, 2014 at 4:10pm PST
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Christmas Services - Saturday Night Live-Style
I've been picking on Saturday Night Live a lot this season. It's like the whole show isn't living up to the standards set in the past. Sure, there's a lot of history in the show, and some phenomenal years when everything they touched was gold. This year, not so much. So, when they do crank out something that's pretty good, it's only fair to point it out. Here's a little something they did this weekend, and it hits home with a lot of casual Christians, You know, the kind who only go to church twice a year - once at Easter, and once at Christmas. Enjoy!  
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Barbara Walters' Most Fascinating Person of 2014
Prepare to scratch your heads. A woman you probably never heard of until September or so - Amal Alamuddin Clooney - has been named the Most Fascinating Person of 2014. Not that she's not interesting. But the most fascinating person on the planet? All because she married George Clooney. Which Barbara Walters refers to, with her gift for hyperbole, as one of the "greatest achievements in human history." Perhaps it's time for Barbara to hang up her microphone, huh?  
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Adorable Holiday Tearjerker?
This new ad by Apple has been getting a lot of play since it was released on Sunday. Over a million-and-a-half hits as I write this. It highlights the ability of Apple products - a Mac, an iPhone or an iPad - to "create thoughtful, emotional gifts and memories that transcend time." It's a granddaughter using computing power to create a duet with her grandmother's voice-over 45 rpm recording. Tearjerker? I'm not feeling it. Does that make me Grinchy? Honestly, I was more excited that the granddaughter had a turntable than anything else.  
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Yup, It's Genetic
Ever wonder where the Kardashian and Jenner kids get their flair for showoffmanship? Blame it all on Mama K. Proof positive is available for viewing on the website of Love magazine. They present an annual Advent calendar (completely missing the point that Advent is a particulary religious thing) that features 25 models doing strange things that have nothing to do with Christmas. Most of them - so far - are pretty young. Then there's Kris Jenner. Pushing 60. Dressing and acting like her 30-something kids, including flashing her cleavage to the camera, grabbing her lapels with the veiniest hands this side of the Cryptkeeper. Watch the video - if you dare. Be careful, though. The lyrics to the song that goes with the video are definitely NSFW.  
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The Sun May Not Come Out Tomorrow After All
The updated version of Annie hit theaters this past weekend, and according to The Hollywood Reporter, it's a hard knock watch. Starring Jamie Foxx as the billionaire and Quvenzhane Wallis as the little orphan, the new Annie was pretty much eviscerated: This one paragraph says it all: "Putting aside the grating performances, the clumsy direction, the visual ugliness and the haphazard development of story, character and relationships, the movie is hobbled by its intrinsic unsuitability for contemporary retelling." Of course, you never know with movies like this. Critics can often cripple a film - or just because of their shear nastiness, encourage people to go and check it out for themselves. So what do you think? Is it worth popping for $12 a ticket, plus the investment in the soda and popcorn and candy, to make your own determination?  
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Taylor Swift - Most Parodied Artist of 2014?
What's Up Moms is a website "dedicated to providing fast-paced videos that are not only helpful, but also fun to watch!" Every once in a while, they'll produce a good parody of pop song. Like this one - their parody, all mom-related, of Taylor Swift's "Blank Spaces." Which could very make make Taylor the most-parodied musical artist of 2014. We'll have to wait for the official tally, of course.  
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On the Scale of One to Weird, This One Is...
Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis have reunited on-screen - well, sort of - with the trailer for the fake movie, Moon Quake Lake, that appears in the new Annie film. Mila plays a girl from the moon who has to go home every night. Ashton plays the human who falls in love with her. Together, they try to stay together. On Earth. An awful lot of plot for a 38-second trailer, but here you go... Tell me where you think it falls on the Weird Scale.  
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Happy Holidays: You Got Tebowed
Former NFL quarterback Tim Tebow surprised some Wal-Mart shoppers in Orlando recently. He unexpectedly showed up and took care of one customer's layaway bill. Her reaction, and the reaction of the folks with her, is priceless. Check it out.  
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Don't Look Down
The High Tatras Mountains are found in Slovakia along the border with Poland. A couple of hikers captured some pretty amazing video while walking across a frozen lake. The ice is so clear, you can see all the way to the bottom of the lake. And it looks like the hikers are walking on water. Amazing...  
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Happy Holidays: A Capella Magic
They're called Home Free, and they're an amazing a capella group.   The five of them sat down in a church and started into what can only be called an angelic rendition of "Angels We Have Heard on High." Yes, a religious song. But you don't have to be religious to appreciate the brilliance of the piece. Enjoy. And you're welcome for the goosebumps...  
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Slapjack with Mark Wahlberg
Picture the scene in the writer's room at The Tonight Show. "Hey, you know what would be wicked cool? Getting Jimmy to play blackjack with someone, but whoever wins gets to hit the other guy with a giant prosthethic hand." "Yeah, that would be amazing. But who could we get?" "I know, Mark Wahlberg. He's got that movie called The Gambler coming out. He'll do it!" And guess what? He did. And guess what else? It's hilarious. Check it out. And count how often Mark's often-hidden Boston accent comes out.  
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Happy Holidays: Traffic Stops End Magically
Getting pulled over by a cop is usually not the best way to start your day. In the small town of Lowell, Michigan - about 20 miles outside of Grand Rapids - the police department decided to turn things around for the holidays. During routine minor stops, the officers would ask motorists what they needed for Christmas. And while the motorists waited on the side of the road for their expected tickets, special elves were in a nearby store, grabbing up the items the motorist had mentioned to the cop, allowing the cop to play Santa to the motorist. And no, no tickets were written. One cop did, however, offer to write one if the motorist insisted. Watch the video. This will make you feel good.   (function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d.createElement(s); js.id = id; js.src = "//connect.facebook.net/en_US/all.js#xfbml=1"; fjs.parentNode.insertBefore(js, fjs); }(document, 'script', 'facebook-jssdk')); Post by Good Morning America.  
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We Wish You a Merry AK
Over the weekend, the Sandy Springs Gun Club in Georgia held a canned goods drive with an unusual twist. They invited folks - including entire families to pose with a gun-toting Jolly Old Elf. That's right. You, your kids, Santa Claus and an AK-47 or AR-15. Not to worry. The guns won't be loaded. And kids under 18 won't be allowed to touch a weapon. You know, so they won't shoot their eyes out. Safety first, people...  
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Bilbo Takes an Office Job
Martin Freeman is a man of many faces. Two of his best-known faces are that of Tim from the British version of The Office and Bilbo Baggins from The Hobbitt trilogy. This weekend, in the press juggernaut to promote The Battle of the Five Armies, Martin hosted Saturday Night Live, and they put together a fairly decent mix of Tim and Bilbo with The Office: Middle Earth. Pretty funny stuff, taking characters from The Hobbitt and plopping them into the middle of a paper wholesaler. Check it out.  
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Happy Holidays: Layaway Surprise
Customers who put Christmas gifts on layaway at the Toys 'R' Us n Bellingham, Massachusetts - about 30 miles southwest of Boston - were shocked, and happily so, to find that an anonymous woman had paid off their layaway balances. That happened to 150 customers this week. A clerk said the woman walked in around noon on Wednesday, and said she wanted to pay off layaway - all of them. The grand total was $20,000. What an amazing story. And what a wonderful gift to 150 families...  Boston News, Weather, Sports | FOX 25 | MyFoxBoston This is the first in a series of Happy Holidays stories, presented now through the end of the year.
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Did They Bury a Six-Pack?
This is a very cool story. Workers in Boston are repairing the foundation of the Old State House. As part of the project, they had to take out the cornerstone, and inside the cornerstone is a time capsule from 1795, placed there by Paul Revere and Sam Adams. The time capsule will be carefully removed and sent to Boston's Museum of Fine Arts, where it will be closely examined and then opened. This is the second time the capsule's been dug up. The first time was in 1855 during emergency repairs to the State House. It was opened and examined. Some new items from that timeframe were added to it, and it was replaced in the cornerstone, where it's remained untouched for 159 years. The folks in the know, like the Secretary of State, are pretty sure what they'll find inside. "What we know the box contains, based on the notes that we have, is a Paul Revere plate, papers, and coins from the 1600s. It may contain other stuff too, we don't know that yet." What they won't find is any Sam Adams beer. That probably wouldn't have survived the years underground anyway. They still have to decide whether they'll add some items from our era and rebury the capsule.   Assuming they are able to get the Time Capsule out of this stone, it will be taken to the MFA. pic.twitter.com/u8TY8uToyL — Carl Stevens (@carlwbz) December 11, 2014
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You Decide - The Most Annoying Celebrity of 2014 Was...?
Time magazine just announced its Person of the Year for 2014. It was the Ebola Fighters, by the way. Not to be outdone, we thought it would be a good idea to figure out who the Most Annoying Celebrity of 2014 was. There are plenty to choose from, but we whittled it down to what we think are the Top 9. Now it's up to you. Decision 2014. Don't let America down, people!    
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Sexual Healing, Barbershop Style
It's been a while since the Ragtime Gals appeared on The Tonight Show. This week, the show's barbershop quartet was back with a vengeance - and a new fifth, Steve Carrell. And a seemingly impossible task: apply barbershop-singing techniques to a classic Marvin Gaye tune, "Sexual Healing." I have to tell you, at first, I cringed. But about halfway through, I was laughing and smiling. I couldn't help mysefl...  
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The Little Voices in Your Head Are Real
From the looks of this official teaser trailer, it looks like Disney Pixar could have another winner. Inside Out tells the story of a young girl, Riley, uprooted from her Midwest existence and forced to start over in San Francisco when her father accepts a new job. Inside her head (and the heads of her parents too) are the five emotions - Joy, Anger, Disgust, Fear and Sadness - that guide her life. And the emotions all have voices. The clip had me laughing out loud. That's a very good sign!  
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