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Saturday, 27 May 2017

«Emma» - Infographic & Plot Summary

Emma, a romantic comedy set in England in the early 1800s, concerns the beautiful, clever, and rich Emma Woodhouse. Emma lives with her hypochondriac father and was raised primarily by a governess, Miss Taylor (Emma's mother died when she was five). Miss Taylor has recently married Mr. Weston, a widower with a grown son, and Emma misses her terribly. The other key person in Emma's life is Mr. Knightley, an English gentleman and close family friend who lives on a nearby estate. Both the Woodhouses and Mr. Knightley are landed gentry, but Mr. Knightley has mostly land, while Mr. Woodhouse has mostly money. Mr. Woodhouse's other daughter, Isabella, is married to Mr. Knightley's younger brother, John.
In her effort to fill the void left by the new Mrs. Weston, Emma befriends the young and beautiful Harriet Smith and resolves to improve her new friend's social standing. Harriet is being courted by a young, respectable farmer, Mr. Robert Martin, but Emma thinks Harriet can marry up. Therefore, Emma begins interfering, first by convincing Harriet to turn down a proposal of marriage from Mr. Martin, and then by introducing her to the young and handsome vicar Mr. Elton. Mr. Knightley is angry when he finds out, as he is a friend to Mr. Martin and thinks the match is a good one. Soon, a misunderstanding develops, in which Mr. Elton thinks he is courting Emma and Emma thinks he is courting Harriet. When Mr. Elton proposes to Emma, she is shocked. She explains that she thought he was in love with Harriet. In fact, Mr. Elton wants to raise his own social standing and was hoping to marry an heiress. After they part company acrimoniously, Mr. Elton leaves town. Emma is somewhat chastised by this fiasco and vows to never attempt matchmaking again.
After Mr. Elton leaves, Frank Churchill comes to town. Although Frank is the son of Mr. Weston and his late wife, he was raised by Mr. and Mrs. Churchill, his rich aunt and uncle on his mother's side. Mrs. Churchill is very possessive and doesn't like to share Frank with anybody. Frank has come to visit his father because he is secretly engaged to Jane Fairfax, the niece of a local spinster, Miss Bates. Jane has recently come home to spend time with her family before going to work as a governess. Frank keeps the engagement a secret because he knows his aunt will never allow him to marry a penniless girl.
Mr. and Mrs. Weston bring Frank to Hartfield, the Woodhouse estate, and a friendship develops between Emma and Frank. Soon, Frank begins flirting with Emma as a way to cover up his real love interest. Emma is flattered by the attention from the handsome and fun-loving stepson of her friend and former governess, Mrs. Weston. The two of them plan a ball, but before it can take place, Frank is called back to his aunt's estate. Emma feels let down, and she thinks she might be a little in love with Frank.
Mr. Knightley dislikes Frank, partly because Frank has been courting Emma, whom Mr. Knightley is secretly in love with, but mostly because he sees through the charming younger man. He begins watching Frank, and at some point he realizes Frank is playing a double game with Jane and Emma.
Mr. Elton returns to Highbury with a rich and obnoxious wife. When Frank comes back a second time, the ball is held, and Emma notices how handsome Mr. Knightley is. At one point during the ball, Harriet needs a partner, and Mr. Elton refuses to dance with her, mostly to hurt Emma. Mr. Knightley steps in to dance with Harriet and saves her from humiliation. Emma then admits to Mr. Knightley how wrong she had been to try to match Harriet with Mr. Elton.
Not long after the ball, Frank helps Harriet escape from a rowdy band of gypsy children demanding money. Harriet tells Emma that she is finally over Mr. Elton but that she is now in love with someone else above her rank. Emma encourages her while telling her to be cautious; she thinks Harriet loves Frank. By this time, Emma knows she is not in love with Frank and also realizes that he doesn't care for her, so why not pair him with her friend? However, she takes no action, as she has promised not to meddle.
The Highbury set have two more outings, the second one a picnic to Box Hill, home of Mrs. Elton's sister. Frank is in a bad mood at the picnic, and he begins flirting shamelessly with Emma because he is quarreling with Jane. Emma is also out of sorts, and as a result she makes a cutting remark to the defenseless spinster Miss Bates. Mr. Knightley rebukes Emma afterward with stern words, saying what she did was cruel and did not befit her status as a lady. Emma is crushed by the reprimand and, as a result, begins to pay more attention to the feelings and needs of others. After the Box Hill picnic, Frank abruptly returns to his Churchill relatives.
Not long after, Emma and the others at Highbury learn that Frank's aunt, Mrs. Churchill, has died. Following closely upon the heels of that news is word of Frank and Jane's engagement; Frank's uncle has agreed to the marriage. Mrs. Weston speaks to Emma, worried that Frank has been leading her on, but Emma explains that she had no feelings for him. In the meantime, Emma is feeling terrible remorse about misleading Harriet for a second time in affairs of the heart. Harriet, however, confesses it is Mr. Knightley, not Frank, that she loves. Emma is both astonished and crushed. She suddenly realizes that "Mr. Knightley must marry no one but herself!" She cannot bear the thought of not being first in his affections. She says nothing to Harriet and hopes her young friend is wrong in thinking that her affection is returned.
Mr. Knightley, who has been visiting his brother and Isabella in London, rushes back to Highbury when he hears about the engagement. He wants to comfort Emma, thinking she is in love with Frank. When he finds her in the garden, Emma reveals to him that she has never been in love with Frank. Mr. Knightley then tells her that he loves her, and she accepts a proposal of marriage. Now Emma has to tell Harriet yet again that the man Harriet loves has proposed to her. Harriet goes to London to stay with Isabella for a time. In the meantime, Mr. Knightley contrives to send Mr. Martin to London on business, where he reunites with Harriet. Soon they announce their engagement, and Emma is overjoyed that her friend has found happiness, despite Emma's presumptuous interference. Mr. Knightley decides that he will move into Hartfield so that Mr. Woodhouse's life is not disrupted by Emma's marriage. By the end of the novel, Mr. Martin marries Harriet, Mr. Knightley marries Emma, and Frank is to marry Jane as soon as the mourning period for his aunt is over.
Emma Plot Diagram
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Friday, 26 May 2017

Moby & The Void Pacific Choir - Song «Are You Lost In The World Like Me?» - Video and lyrics

Look harder, say it's done
Black days and a dying sun
Dream a dream of god lit air
Just for a minute you'll find me there

Look harder and you'll find
The 40 ways it leaves us blind
I need a better place
To burn beside the lights

Come on and let me try

Are you lost in the world like me?
If the systems have failed?
Are you free?
All the things, all the loss
Can you see?
Are you lost in the world like me?
Like me?

Burn a courtyard, say it's done
Throwing knives at a dying sun
A source of love in the god lit air
Just for a minute, you'll find me there

Look harder and you'll find
The 40 ways it leaves us blind
I need a better way
To burn beside the lights

Come on and let me try

Are you lost in the world like me?
If the systems have failed?
Are you free?
All the things, all the loss
Can you see?
Are you lost in the world like me?
Like me? [x2]

If the systems have failed

Thursday, 25 May 2017

«The Scarlet Letter» - Infographic & Plot Summary

The Scarlet Letter takes place from 1642 to 1649 in Boston, Massachusetts. (The colonial dates have been established by scholars studying the work; they are not stated explicitly by Hawthorne.) At that time Boston was part of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, a settlement controlled by the Puritans, a Protestant group. Far less tolerant than later Protestant leaders in Connecticut and Rhode Island, the Puritans established a repressive theocracy. Any sin against God's will (as that will is expressed in the Bible) was considered a crime against society. The crime of adultery was punishable by death because it violated the seventh commandment.
The first part of the novel, "The Custom-House," is set in 1850 in Salem, Massachusetts. A 30-page introduction to the romance, this section merges an autobiographical account of Hawthorne's ordeal as a customs inspector with the fiction of his finding a faded scrap of cloth in the shape of an A accompanied by a manuscript describing the origin of the fragment.
The first chapter, "The Prison-Door," establishes the time, 1642, and the setting, Boston, for the rest of the novel. It opens with a crowd of people in "sad-colored garments and gray, steeple-crowned hats" gathered around the city's grim prison. They await the emergence of Hester Prynne, a beautiful young woman who had arrived from England, ahead of her husband, a "misshapen scholar" devoted to the investigation of the human soul. In the opening scene, Hester emerges from the prison with a baby in her arms. She has been convicted of adultery: her punishment, thought too easy by some, includes a few months of incarceration followed by a public shaming on the scaffold at the "western extremity of the market-place ... nearly beneath the eaves of Boston's oldest church." Stitched to the bodice of her dress is an elaborately embroidered A. Although Hester has been sentenced to wear the scarlet letter as a constant and public reminder of her sin, all marvel at her artistic needlework and the lively design wrought in gold thread that seems to mock the austere habits of dress among the Puritans.
Hester appears on the scaffold with her infant daughter Pearl—proof of her illicit affair—clutched to her breast. Many of the onlookers, put off by her flaunted beauty and dignity, demand to know the identity of her lover. She refuses, her misery heightened when she recognizes among the crowd her long-lost husband. She also suffers at that moment the demands of her minister, Arthur Dimmesdale, who begs her to reveal the name of her "fellow-sinner and fellow-sufferer." Hester refuses and returns to prison.
Her husband joins her there. A doctor, he provides medicine to calm both Hester and the baby, who is hysterical. Hester's husband has taken the name Roger Chillingworth to hide his identity so he can discover who her lover is and thus get his revenge. He extracts a promise from Hester not to expose him, a promise she makes but fears she will regret.
Released from prison, Hester supports herself and Pearl by making and selling beautiful needlework. Although she is free to go anywhere, Hester settles in a small home on the outskirts of town. Pearl is very disobedient, even wild. After a few years, Pearl's refusal to obey the strict Puritan rules becomes widely known and the authorities decide to remove the child from Hester's care. Hester begs Governor Bellingham not to take away her child. When Dimmesdale speaks up, Hester is allowed to keep her daughter.
Chillingworth, on his vengeful quest, moves in with Dimmesdale, claiming to help the minister recover his health. In reality Chillingworth is subtly torturing Dimmesdale, whom he suspects to have been Hester's lover.
One evening Hester, Pearl, and Dimmesdale meet on the scaffold where Hester had stood seven years before. Dimmesdale admits his guilt in not acknowledging his role in the affair, but he lacks courage to admit his guilt freely to the entire town. Hester is now beloved by the community for unselfishly helping everyone. The once despised A, a sign of sin, has come to be a welcome sight. Some say it now stands for able. Hester has become drab and plain; Dimmesdale has become shockingly frail and thin. Worried about Dimmesdale's decline, Hester convinces Chillingworth to release her from her promise to hide his identity. She, Dimmesdale, and Pearl meet in the forest. Hester tells Dimmesdale who Chillingworth really is, and they make plans to secretly leave for England.
Three days later on Election Day, Dimmesdale gives the greatest speech of his life. The people celebrate his saintliness, not realizing he is a sinner. To everyone's shock, he climbs on the scaffold and confesses his sin to the entire community. He rips off his shirt, baring his chest, and then dies in Hester's arms. In the final chapter, the narrator speculates on what Dimmesdale revealed on his chest: was it an A? Was there nothing at all? Chillingworth, having lost his reason for living, dies within months. He leaves all his money to Pearl, making her the richest heiress in the New World. Hester leaves Boston but then returns, remaining in her small house for the rest of her life. She is buried close to Dimmesdale, sharing with him a headstone carved with an A."
The Scarlet Letter Plot Diagram
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Tuesday, 23 May 2017

«Romeo and Juliet» - Infographic & Plot Summary

An old feud between the lords of two prominent Verona families, Capulet and Montague, flares up on the street outside of the Capulets' house and causes a fight among the servants and members of their households. The prince of Verona, who has the legal authority to rule in the city, threatens death if the violence continues.
Lord Montague's son, Romeo, enters after the street fight. He is in love with Rosaline, who does not love him back, so despair consumes him. His friends try to tease him out of his melancholy, but Romeo cannot be consoled.
Meanwhile, a young count named Paris has asked to marry Lord Capulet's 13-year-old daughter, Juliet. Lord Capulet gives Paris permission to woo Juliet that very night at a masquerade ball he's throwing. When Juliet's mother delivers this news, Juliet responds unenthusiastically that she will try to return Paris's interest.
Romeo learns that Rosaline will attend the Capulets' festival, so he and his friends sneak in. Romeo sees Juliet at the party and is so struck by her beauty that he forgets about Rosaline. He approaches Juliet, they flirt, and they fall headlong in love. Even though they discover their families are enemies and their relationship would be forbidden, they decide to get married the next day. Romeo goes to arrange it with Friar Lawrence.
Initially Friar Lawrence is dismayed at how quickly Romeo has transferred his love from Rosaline to Juliet, but the friar agrees to marry them in the hope that their union might resolve the feud between their families. That afternoon he weds the young lovers.
The tension between the feuding households simmers. Juliet's cousin Tybalt, offended by Romeo's uninvited presence at the party, challenges him to a fight. Romeo tries to avoid conflict with his wife's (and now his own) cousin. Then Romeo's best friend, the fiery Mercutio, insists on a duel to defend his friend's honor. Although Romeo tries to intervene, Tybalt kills Mercutio. Distraught, Romeo kills Tybalt and runs away. The prince arrives and announces that Romeo is banished from Verona under threat of death.
When Juliet finds out what has happened, she mourns for her dead cousin but is grateful her husband is alive. His banishment, however, seems worse than his death. When Juliet threatens to kill herself, the nurse promises to arrange for Romeo to come spend his wedding night with Juliet. The nurse finds Romeo at Friar Lawrence's cell, where the three conspire to sneak him into Juliet's room.
The next morning, after a sorrowful farewell, Romeo leaves for Mantua, intending to be reunited with Juliet once the friar has revealed their marriage to their parents and persuaded the prince to let him return. However, when Juliet's father decides (in ignorance of these events) that she will marry Paris that week, the friar's plan begins to unravel. When Juliet refuses to marry Paris, her father issues an ultimatum: do as he says, or he'll drive her out of the family. Desperate, Juliet runs to the friar for advice. He devises a plan in which Juliet will drink a potion that will make her appear dead. Then he will lay her body in the Capulet family crypt, where Romeo will meet her. The young newlyweds will then flee to Mantua until the Friar can make peace with their parents and the prince. When Juliet agrees, the friar plans to send a messenger to tell Romeo of the plan.
Juliet returns home and fakes obedience to her father, who moves the wedding date up a day to celebrate. Alone in her chamber, Juliet takes the potion. The next morning, when the nurse is sent to wake her for her wedding, she discovers Juliet "dead." The nurse, her parents, and Paris mourn. The friar arrives and directs them to begin the appropriate rituals and bring her body to the crypt.
Romeo does not receive the friar's letter. Instead, his servant Balthasar arrives and tells him that Juliet is dead. Heartbroken, Romeo secures poison from an apothecary, obtains materials to write his father an explanatory letter, and returns to Verona.
Outside of Juliet's crypt, Paris arrives to say farewell to her, instructing his page not to interrupt him unless someone approaches. As Paris strews flowers, Romeo appears. Paris seeks to detain Romeo, Tybalt's murderer, until the law arrives. Romeo tries to persuade Paris to leave him alone, but Paris will not, and both draw swords. Romeo kills Paris and then breaks into the crypt.
He finds Juliet there, as beautiful as ever. He embraces and kisses her and then drinks his poison and dies. Meanwhile, the friar has arrived and discovered from Balthasar that Romeo is within. As he approaches, he sees blood and weapons in the yard and hurries into the crypt. There he finds the bodies of Paris and Romeo. When Juliet awakens, he must show her Romeo's dead body. They hear a noise, and Friar Lawrence flees, begging Juliet to go with him, but she refuses. She kisses Romeo's lips in the hope that enough poison lingers there to kill her too. Then she takes Romeo's dagger and stabs herself to death.
Once the prince and all the family members gather at the crypt, Friar Lawrence tells what he knows. Romeo's letter to his father (whose wife has just died upon hearing of Romeo's banishment) fills in the rest. Moved by the young people's faithful love, Montague takes Capulet's hand and says he will build a golden statue of Juliet. Capulet says he will do the same for Romeo. In this way the feud between the families ends.
Romeo and Juliet Plot Diagram
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Sunday, 21 May 2017

«Hamlet» - Infographic & Plot Summary

The play opens soon after the death of the king of Denmark. Claudius, the king's brother, has claimed the throne and taken his sister-in-law—Hamlet's mother, Gertrude—as his queen. These events have left Prince Hamlet distraught and grieving. As the story begins, the ghost of King Hamlet appears in Elsinore, Denmark's royal castle. Sentinels who witness the ghost alert Horatio, who, upon seeing the ghost himself, goes to tell his dear friend Hamlet.
Hamlet's world is shaken anew when Horatio tells him that he has seen a ghost resembling his father. When Hamlet joins Horatio (Act 1, Scene 4) and sees the ghost himself, he is terrified. The ghost tells Hamlet that he has been murdered and that Claudius poisoned him. He commands Hamlet to avenge his death but insists that he not harm his mother. Hamlet questions whether the ghost is real, but his mourning is now compounded by rage.
Earlier, Hamlet had returned from his studies in Germany after learning of his father's death. Already in mourning, Hamlet is pushed deeper into despair by his mother's hasty second marriage. It is clear from his soliloquy in Act 2 that he is confused that his mother could disregard the sorrow of losing her husband and enter into marriage with his brother.
Meanwhile, Claudius seeks some semblance of normalcy for Denmark. Holding court one afternoon, Claudius draws attention to young Prince Fortinbras of Norway, who is raising an army against Denmark. Fortinbras seeks to avenge the death of his father, who had died in battle against King Hamlet some years before. Claudius does not see the parallel between that young prince and his nephew, nor does he take a note of caution from the situation.
Claudius casts a more fatherly eye on Laertes, son of his counselor Polonius, who seeks the king's blessing for his to return to France, which Claudius approves. Claudius next chastises Hamlet for the unseemly way in which he mourns for his father, after which he and Hamlet's mother deny his desire to return to Germany, insisting he stay in Elsinore.
As Laertes prepares to leave for France, he confronts his sister, Ophelia, about her relationship with Prince Hamlet. He warns her not to take Hamlet's affection seriously. Her father, Polonius, overhears; when Laertes has gone, he agrees with his son's advice and orders Ophelia to avoid Hamlet. Heartbroken, Ophelia says she will obey.
Sometime later, Ophelia tells Polonius of a distressing encounter with Prince Hamlet. She says Hamlet came to her looking bewildered. Polonius thinks Hamlet's love for Ophelia is driving him mad and decides he must tell the king and queen of this occurrence.
When Polonius visits the king and queen, they are already meeting with Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, two of Hamlet's childhood friends, in an attempt to figure out Hamlet's strange behavior. Also at hand are Voltemand and Cornelius, the ambassadors Claudius sent to Norway, who are reporting that "Old Norway" has commanded Fortinbras to abandon aggression against Denmark. Fortinbras vows obedience and will turn his attention to Poland. Finally, Polonius relates the story of Hamlet's encounter with Ophelia; he tells the king and queen that he believes Hamlet's love for Ophelia has driven him mad.
Hamlet meets Rosencrantz and Guildenstern and becomes suspicious of their presence in Elsinore. When they tell him that a company of players (actors) has arrived, he is excited. Hamlet seeks out the actors and asks them to perform a version of the play The Murder of Gonzago. By inserting a scene depicting his father's murder, Hamlet hopes his revised play, The Mousetrap, will catch the king in his guilt.
Claudius and Polonius plan to eavesdrop on Ophelia and Hamlet. As they hide nearby, Hamlet comes upon Ophelia and they chat. However, he quickly becomes suspicious of Ophelia's motives when she tries to return gifts he gave her. He rages wildly with sorrow and disappointment and tells Ophelia to "get thee to a nunnery" before leaving her.
Ophelia is devastated; Claudius and Polonius are shocked. Claudius realizes Hamlet poses a threat to him. He decides to send Hamlet to England to be rid of him. Polonius agrees but suggests one last try: have Gertrude talk with him after the play that evening, and he, Polonius, will eavesdrop on the conversation.
That evening the theater company performs for Claudius's court. As the players reenact the scene of the king being poisoned in the garden—as the ghost told Prince Hamlet—Claudius flies into a panicked rage, halting the play and fleeing the room. Hamlet, with Horatio beside him, takes this as an admission of guilt.
After the play, Claudius meets with Rosencrantz and Guildenstern and tasks them with taking Hamlet to England. When they leave to find Hamlet, Claudius admits to King Hamlet's murder in a soliloquy. He attempts to pray, but finds he cannot repent, because he is unwilling to give up the rewards gained from the murder: the throne and his wife. Hamlet passes and sees Claudius on his knees. He thinks how easy it would be to kill his uncle then and there, but decides not to. Hamlet believes that to kill Claudius while he is in prayer would grant him entry to Heaven, which Hamlet does not want.
Hamlet meets with Gertrude in her chambers; Polonius hides nearby. Hamlet confronts Gertrude about her part in King Hamlet's death. When she cries out, Polonius shouts, revealing his presence, but not his identity. Believing that Claudius is hiding there, Hamlet stabs Polonius through the tapestry and kills him. Hamlet leaves, dragging Polonius's body with him. The encounter convinces Gertrude that her son is indeed mad.
Gertrude goes to tell Claudius of her meeting with Hamlet and of Polonius's death. Once he is alone, Claudius reveals that Hamlet is also soon to die; the documents he is sending with the ship call for Hamlet's execution.
As Hamlet, Rosencrantz, and Guildenstern head to the boat, they spy Fortinbras and his army en route to Poland. Hamlet is struck by the contrast between himself and young Fortinbras. He sees Fortinbras's ability to act—instead of think—as a mark of greatness. When contrasting himself with Fortinbras, Hamlet finds himself wanting.
Ophelia asks to meet with Gertrude and Claudius, and they realize that she has gone mad with grief. Laertes, back from France, storms in to see the king and queen and is heartbroken to find Ophelia in such a confused condition. Claudius convinces Laertes they had nothing to do with Polonius's death or Ophelia's madness. He counsels Laertes to be patient and encourages him to follow his counsel to exact his revenge. Laertes consents.
A messenger finds Horatio, bearing letters from Hamlet to Horatio and to Claudius. Hamlet's letter informs Horatio that he is back in Denmark and has much to tell him about his failed trip to England. He asks that Horatio lead the messenger to the king to deliver his letters to him. After that, the messenger will lead Horatio to him.
Claudius and Laertes are together when the king receives word of Hamlet's return. They plot a fencing duel between Hamlet and Laertes, with Laertes using a poison-tipped foil (sword). As a backup, they plan to have a poisoned cup of wine ready for Hamlet to drink. They intend to give Laertes his revenge without putting either of them in harm's way. As they conclude their meeting, Gertrude brings word that Ophelia has drowned.
Hamlet and Horatio meet in the graveyard where Ophelia is about to be buried. As the funeral procession gathers around her grave, the grief-stricken Laertes jumps into her grave and proclaims his love. Hamlet, overcome in the moment, follows, and they fight. Horatio and the other mourners separate the two as Hamlet boldly proclaims his love for Ophelia.
When Horaito and Hamlet leave the graveyard and enter the castle, Osric, one of Claudius's courtiers, tells Hamlet that Claudius has wagered on Hamlet to win a fencing match against Laertes. Hamlet accepts the challenge and says he will strive to win on the king's behalf.
The duel begins. Hamlet strikes Laertes twice and Gertrude drinks to Hamlet's health, unknowingly drinking the poisoned wine. Alarmed by the way the competition is going, Laertes finally strikes Hamlet, they scuffle, and the foils are exchanged. Hamlet's next hit on Laertes poisons him.
Suddenly, the queen collapses. As she dies, Laertes reveals to Hamlet that both of them have also been poisoned by the foil now in Hamlet's hands. Laertes reveals the plot to everyone, proclaiming that the king is to blame. Before he closes his eyes for the last time, he and Hamlet exchange forgiveness.
Enraged, Hamlet kills Claudius—stabbing him with the poisoned foil and forcing him to drink the rest of the poisoned wine. Hamlet watches him die, but he himself is soon to follow. As the prince approaches death, he begs Horatio to carry his story to the world.
Young Fortinbras, returning from Poland, arrives to find the gruesome scene—Hamlet, Laertes, Gertrude, and Claudius all dead—and to hear Horatio's explanation.
Hamlet Plot Diagram
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