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Everything posted by Stan

  1. The myth that humans only use 10% of their brain comes from a century ago, long before anyone could measure precise brain activity. It is perpetuated by people who want to argue that humans could do much more, particularly much more paranormal things (mental telepathy, ESP, telekinesis are favorites). Modern medical techniques conclusively show that normal brains use all parts. So, some people who want to salvage the idea that we could have paranormal powers now say that people with those powers use more of their brain at a given time. But, that is like saying that a pianist only uses 1% of a piano keyboard at a time, and if he used more, he would make better music. The true power of the brain can only be harnessed by accurately coordinating the activity of each part in its proper turn, not by turning on more of the brain at one time.
  2. None of this is new, and some of it is well-known. It is, for example, well known that a non-productive oil well that is capped and left alone for a while sometimes springs back nearly to full capacity. The idea that hydrocarbons are produced naturally from minerals is also fairly old. It is my understanding that so many millions of barrels of oil are created in nature every day, but though the exact amount is unknown, it is believed to be below our consumption of it. I could probably Google for results as well as anyone. I have it in some books, too, and I have a few friends in the petroleum business who I could ask.
  3. Right you are. Sorry for the mis-information. Depends on the isotope of lead (how's that for grasping at straws?), but yeah, generally, you are correct.
  4. The OP wanted to know how to deal with the guy on his forum. I'm providing context, so he might have some idea of what he is talking about. Inasmuch as my claims are historical claims, and I cite references to back up those historical claims, you are incorrect. The OP did not want to know about c; he wanted to know how to get rid of the guy on Dawkins Forum.
  5. I believe you mis-read me. I never lumped evolution under physics. If I address your statement, will I be accused of being off-topic? Probably. Nevertheless, I feel compelled to point out that, regardless of how widely accepted creationism was prior to Charles Darwin's publication of "Origin of Species," there were those who argued for evolution, including Charles' own grandfather. Erasmus Darwin published "Zoonomia, or, The Laws of Organic Life" in 1796. Science has had creationists and evolutionists, young Earthers and old, mixed together for more than 200 years. Today, evolutionists and old Earthers have a virtual monopoly on federal science funding, to the tune of billions of dollars a year to run their research, publish their views and teach their theories exclusively in our school systems. It doesn't make them right, but it does indoctrinate large numbers of people to think one way. You might have been able to claim that 200 years ago, but not now. Over such an expanse of time, it is obvious that creation scientists of today are not merely stubborn hold-outs; several of them were evolutionists who decided that creationism is a better explanation. Humphreys isn't trying to argue for a Universe less than 10k years. I don't know or remember what his position was on the hypothesis that c is slowing over time, but he was advocating a young Earth in an old Universe as far back as I can remember. Of course, that is a subjective decision, one that creation science would counter by stating that there is more evidence for a young Earth than for an old one. It still needed to be falsified through experimentation, not just brushed off because one doesn't like it. Young Earth is not the same thing as Young Universe. Depends on the "vacuum." Obviously, if distant object experience time at a much greater rate than we do, your statement that it "takes millions of years (theirs and ours) for light from them to get to us" is not necessarily true. Your statement that the reverse is true is untestable if we are unable to get an observer at these distant objects to confirm it. Young Earth is not the same as Young Universe. How you know? A new, popular idea is that the expansion rate is increasing. I don't take that as the final word or complete history, though. If you were to board a spaceship and travel at 99% c, you might experience only about 26 years before you reached the Andromeda Galaxy, even though several millions of years had passed on Earth. Humphreys proposes that the expansion of space, itself, results in relativistic effects for Earth that allow millions of years to pass for Andromeda Galaxy while only several thousand years pass for Earth. Whether you accept or reject his theory, you should at least understand and accurately state his theory to make a fair judgement of it. BTW, Humphreys is much better at math and physics than I am, considering that he retired as an astrophysicist from Sandia National Labs. Young Earth, not necessarily Young Universe. No, the OP asked "where on the web should I direct this person to that would show him that c has not changed since the big bang?" The OP assumed from the start that c has not changed, and only wanted an easy way to argue his position.
  6. Then, this entire thread is off-topic, because that is exactly what the OP was complained was his problem; addressing a creationist claim (the OP says fundy nutjob, but that isn't actually what they are called).
  7. Who are you addressing? You were arguing with Eric5, but your last sentence appears to be directed at me. I hope you are not confusing us. Assuming you are addressing me, I am familiar with these things. For example, Einstein described a thought experiment in which 2 bolts of lightning struck a railroad track, 1 bolt at either end. He suggested that the 2 bolts struck at the same time, then asked what that meant. He then modified the setup by adding a moving rail car to the track, so it would be moving in the direction of one bolt, but away from the other, and he asked if the twin strike would appear simultaneous to both an observer standing alongside the railway track, and an observer on the moving rail car. They don't, because light must travel a different set of distances for the moving observer than for the stationary observer. This is also a use of inertial reference frames. See, all of your preceding paragraph, down to this sentence, appears to be in response to Eric5, not to me. That is like claiming that a riddle is not a riddle because you understand the answer. Both the observer on Earth and the observer on the spaceship are traveling at a velocity relative to light, and we can only arbitrarily claim that one observer or the other is in a stationary reference frame. But, suppose you did not have an observer on Earth, but, rather, on another spaceship. So, you have Alice on Spaceship A and Bob on Spaceship B. Spaceship A is in the volume of space that used to be occupied by Earth, before Earth was destroyed to make way for a hyperspace expressway. Spaceship B is arriving from Pluto. So, the 2 spaceships see the distance between them shrinking. Each sees the other spaceship approaching at the same velocity. The Lorentz transform applies to both spaceships, so both spaceships see time dilation taking place on the other spaceship, IOW, both sees the other as younger than himself, which is a paradox. As best I understand this situation, whichever observer then accelerates away from the other, he or she will see the other observer appear to age. I was going to make that complaint when you proposed that we "Imagine two children born, one on Earth and one on a spaceship traveling TOWARDS Earth." After all, what is the point of that? It isn't the Twin Paradox, because you can't say the two are born at the same time. This, again, looks like it should be directed at Eric5, because I actually linked to 2 websites on Relativity in my previous post. Both of them point out that acceleration is what makes time dilation work in the Twin Paradox. OK, let's suppose that happens. As I see it, the twins are traveling together, so they consider their reference frame as stationary. Twin A rockets back to Earth, meaning he accelerates away from Twin B. On return to Earth, Twin A finds that he is younger than Earth. While on Earth, Twin A is now aging at Earth time, but Twin B is not. After some time, Twin A takes off, again, and follows along behind Twin B. While accelerating, Twin A will observe Twin B aging faster, but not as much as Twin A aged while on Earth. (I think I worked that out correctly, though I skipped the deceleration when Twin A arrived at Earth). I found an interesting blurb on a Website: "The equation for the time at Earth versus the time in the spaceship for a round trip is given by t = 4 c sinh(gτ/4c)/g "where c is the speed of light, g is the acceleration, and τ is the time for the passengers on the spacecraft, which is called the proper time of the spacecraft. These two times are given in the live figure to the left as functions of destination distance. For trips much longer than τ = 4c/g, the elapsed time on Earth increases exponentially with elapsed time on the spacecraft." Astrophysics Spectator: Travel to the Stars An observer in a closed room cannot distinguish between the force of gravity and force applied due to acceleration. So, time dilation for someone in an accelerating room would be the same as if he were in a gravitational field. It is my understanding that the equation for time dilation due to velocity and the equation for time dilation due to gravity only need differ by changing out velocity with gravity. I admit that I may be mistaken at some point, as I have never been trained in Relativity apart from my own reading, but I believe I have the gist of it correct.
  8. I am guessing that the pattern is to use the denominator from the previous fraction as the numerator of the next fraction, then make the next denominator the same plus 1. So, 1, 1/2, 2/3, 3/4, 4/5, 5/6, 6/7, 7/8, 8/9, 9/10.... If that is the pattern, then the number approaches infinitely close to 1 without ever reaching it, as DivideByZero indicated.
  9. Air contains several substances that can affect a chemical reaction. Oxygen and water vapor are two that probably are the most important, though nitrogen might come into play at high temperature (such as welding). Suppose you have a bar of aluminum. When exposed to oxygen, aluminum forms a thin-but-airtight layer of aluminum oxide over it. If you scratch off the oxide, you again expose the aluminum to air, and a new layer of oxide forms. A bar of raw iron also forms an oxide when exposed to air, but iron oxide is not airtight. Oxygen in the air continues to react with iron in the bar, through the iron oxide layer, aided by water vapor in the air. Eventually, the iron bar would crumble to flakes. If you were to attempt to weld an aluminum bar to another aluminum bar while the weld point was exposed to air, the oxygen in the air would rapidly react with the aluminum, and the bar would tend to burn, rather than weld. To avoid this, the welding is performed inside a bubble of an inert gas, like argon. Sodium reacts strongly with water, including the water vapor in air. In order to prevent a chunk of sodium from burning or oxidizing, it must be sealed from the air. This is often done by immersing the sodium chunk in kerosene. If you remove the kerosene from the sodium in an ordinary room, the sodium would be exposed to air, and would quickly tarnish. If there were enough water present, it would smoke and maybe even burn. I hope that gives you an idea of what it means for something to be exposed to air.
  10. It is possible that your meds are affecting your memory. You should mention this to your doctor. The best thing you can do to improve your ability to recall, other than getting rest and a good diet, is to practice memory activities. Consistency of environment helps, too; people tend to remember facts that they associate with a certain environment. Associating items you need to memorize with something else also helps in recollection. There are lots of self-help books on improving recall.
  11. Apparently, it is surprising to several people on this thread, including the OP. My apologies. The OP explained that his concern was that his forum "often get fundy nut jobs visiting our site and we have a particularly irritating version currently bugging the other members. So I have come here to ask for some help." Is this not the "How-to-get-rid-of-fundy-nutjobs" Department? If that were true, there would be no need to use disparaging labels when describing people who disagree with you (e.g., "fundy nutjob). I've listened to Dawkins on YouTube; he is definitely belittling anyone who believes in God or Creationism. True, but beside the point. The links I provided were merely to show that serious science news reports and serious science has been devoted to the subject, instead of brushed off as "a bunch of tommy rot." I specifically stated that everyone, including all the creationists I know, do not argue for that theory these days. How can you spend a page making disparaging remarks about other people ("fundy nutjob," "bunch of tommy rot, "little creotard friend," etc.) and then act surprised that someone who reads this forum might take offense at it? And then you have the nerve to think I might be a troll! Try looking in a mirror someday, Sherlock! IIRC, it would cause changes to radioactivity that are not supported by observation.
  12. They don't specify which watch faces to use, but all the modern radioactive watch faces that I have seen use tritium and are alpha emitters. You aren't going to get a pop and a mushroom cloud from that. So, no, I have no idea what they were smoking when they made that page. For a read on some children who got a little farther along, you might refer to Radioactive Boy Scout or Teenager achieves nuclear fusion at home
  13. That's true, but velocity is not going to matter in either case. Whereas I am familiar with only one reason for that parable. Einstein created it as an illustration of relativistic effects. There should not be multiple explanations for it, because it only exists to serve one meaning; it is meant to illustrate Einstein's relativity. Sure it is; a pair of twins, born in approximately the same inertial frame, travel separate paths and see each other's time running slower than their own, but both cannot be younger than the other. That's a paradox. Is it not true that an observer on the ship would see Earth approaching at the same rate as an observer on Earth would see the ship approaching? It would seem so, for that is what we mean when we say they are approaching each other. If so, then the reference frames of the Earth and the ship are of the same values, but mirror images of each other. There is, therefore, nothing in their velocities to distinguish the person on Earth from the person on the ship. IOW, we must assume what you are attempting to demonstrate, which is a logical fallacy. Velocity does not cause time dilation; acceleration does. Why would this formula apply only to the observer on Earth? The velocity of the traveler on the ship is identical in magnitude to the velocity of the person on Earth, only opposite in direction to an outside observer. They are mirror images of each other. Therefore, whatever time change one experiences, the other must also, in the same amount. Each sees the other's clock as counting time more slowly than his own clock. How would they know they were born at the same time? This is exactly the point Einstein made in his discussion of the meaning of simultaneity. Because Earth is approaching the ship at the same rate the ship is approaching Earth, an event that appears simultaneous on Earth will also appear simultaneous on the ship. The traveler was born later than who? You just claimed they were both born at the same time by Earth standards. Now, you say he was born later, but later by whose standard? The ship's? So, how does the ship's time in any way differ from Earth's time? Both Earth and the ship are approaching each other at the same rate. That's the key here; there is no difference between the two, so there is no difference in the time between the two. This is the reason that velocity does not cause time dilation, but acceleration does. Both the Earth and the ship see each other approaching with the same velocity, but if the ship changes velocity, the effects are felt on the ship, not on Earth. No one on Earth is thrown to the side when the ship changes velocity, but they are on the ship if the ship changes velocity. How do you know who was born later? What clock are you using? Do you mean acceleration or velocity? During a period of constant velocity, both see each other's clocks running more slowly than their own. But, if the ship were to land on Earth instead of bypassing it, the ship would have to undergo a negative acceleration. During this negative acceleration, the traveler would see the clocks on Earth increase speed. By the time they land, the Earth clocks would have made up all the slow time they had, and the two clocks would be synchronized. No time dilation would be measured. If, instead of traveling towards Earth, the traveler traveled away from Earth, a similar situation would happen. But, to return to Earth, the traveler must not only decelerate to a stop relative to Earth, but must also accelerate back towards Earth past that point. All during this time of deceleration/acceleration, the traveler would see the clocks on Earth appear to increase speed. Time dilation observed while under constant velocity is an illusion; only the time change seen during acceleration is real. University of New South Wales: The twin paradox: Is the symmetry of time dilation paradoxical? DOE: TIME IS OF THE ESSENCE IN SPECIAL RELATIVITY
  14. Where do you get that idea? If time dilation is caused mostly by relative velocity, then why does it only affect one moving object and not the other? Those atomic clocks that orbited the Earth experienced time dilation; the clock that remained on Earth did not. The orbiting clocks and the Earth clock each had exactly the same relative velocity to each other, so why was one set affected but the other was not? Are you familiar with the Twin Paradox? That is the hypothetical account of one member of a pair of twins who travels away from Earth and back at near light speed. On his return, he finds the other member of the pair has aged much more than he has. How could this be, that one experiences time dilation but the other does not, considering that each has exactly the same relative velocity to the other? Before I shut down this computer (and go home to my own computer), I would like to post one more citation: "Though Einstein based his theory of gravitation on deep theoretical principles, he and others proposed a number of experimental tests of the theory soon after its publication. "The first prediction put to test was the apparent bending of light as it passes near a massive body. This effect was conclusively observed during the solar eclipse of 1919, when the Sun was silhouetted against the Hyades star cluster, for which the positi ons were well known. "Sir Arthur Eddington stationed himself on an island off the western coast of Africa and sent another group of British scientists to Brazil. Their measurements of several of the stars in the cluster showed that the light from these stars was indeed bent as it grazed the Sun, by the exact amount of Einstein's predictions. Einstein became a celebrity overnight when the results were announced." Putting Relativity to the Test
  15. Your initial reply to me was sufficiently illustrative of what is wrong with people in science. You don't seem to mind opinion when it is used to attack Creationists. Science is a body of knowledge. The method used to verify this knowledge is the scientific process. So, what? Many of them are jerks, too. Yes, you could be a wretched excuse of a human being and still make excellent science discoveries. That really doesn't justify one's existence, though, and it certainly doesn't justify abusive treatment of other people. A Nobel Prize winner who violates the law still may go to prison. I believe one did, just a year or two ago, for sexual abuse, though I don't remember the specifics just now. After your initial post to me, you really don't have room to complain. I regret to say that in the 17 years or so since I observed these things, I have forgotten many of the people involved. However, it is really easy to find some examples by doing a quick Google search, were one inclined to find such examples. Does the speed of light change in time? NYT: Cosmic Laws Like Speed of Light Might Be Changing, a Study Finds Space.com: Speed of Light, Other Constants May Change I could easily pull up several more examples. It is interesting to me that the last 2 news stories are from 2001, a decade after I heard the matter was settled and buried. That shows how much I've kept up with it. Yeah, well, if I ever run into a scientific discussion, I'll keep your statement in mind. Not likely on the Internet, though. I think you take this forum far more seriously than it deserves. Or, I could just watch your spaceship on Thursday without you telling me anything. I already told you; relative to observers on Earth. Humphreys book is an application of Einstein's relativity. Einstein did not apply relativity to Humphreys' case. It appears that you don't understand what Humphreys proposed. Sorry, my role here is limited to explanation, with limited argumentation. It would be best for you to read Humphreys own work and decide for yourself. Not that I expect you would.
  16. I made a long reply to this post already, but the forum software logged me out and lost my reply. I would just let it go, but there is one thing I want to mention... Many real, physical objects in our universe do not have an atomic structure, and some of them don't have mass, either. Light only has a relativistic mass, one associated with its energy content (seen as frequency or wavelength). So, spatial dimensions do not have to possess an atomic structure or mass to be real. I believe that is built into the definition of what a reference frame is. It sounds odd for you to challenge his statement about velocity separating reference frames while at the same time acknowledging that reference frames exist. What do you think a reference frame is?
  17. Mercury orbits our sun along a certain path that is pulled out of shape by all the different masses in our solar system. However, Newtonian theory can only account for 93% of the total perturbation of Mercury's orbit. It turns out that Einstein's relativity accounts for the remainder. From Encyclopaedia Britannica: "Mercury's orbital motion has played an important role in the development and testing of theories of the nature of gravity because it is perturbed by the gravitational pull of the Sun and the other planets. The effect appears as a gyration, or precession, of Mercury's orbit around the Sun. This small motion, about 9.5' (0.16°) of arc per century, has been known for two centuries, and, in fact, all but about 7 percent of it—corresponding to 43" (0.012°) of arc—could be explained by the theory of gravity proposed by Isaac Newton. The discrepancy was too large to ignore, however, and explanations were offered, usually invoking as-yet-undiscovered planets within Mercury's orbit. In 1915 Albert Einstein showed that the treatment of gravity in his general theory of relativity could explain the small discrepancy. Thus, the precession of Mercury's orbit became an important observational verification of Einstein's theory." Mercury in tests of relativity LeVerrier believed he had discovered a planet orbiting inside Mercury's orbit. He named that planet, "Vulcan," after the pagan god of volcanoes. The gravity from Vulcan might have partially accounted for Mercury's precession. Unfortunately, Vulcan does not actually exist. I usually tell people that I am just a simple shoe-shine boy. I prefer to have my statements judged on their own merits, rather than my personal history. I'm a logistics analyst, practically the same as a shoe-shine boy for this discussion. Einstein's books would be a great reference. I would quote from them, but I don't have them handy (I'm at work, after all). Exactly what kind of arguments would you like? Where should I begin? Do you accept that mass produces a curvature of space? Do you believe in gravity? You talk as if I am speaking of things no one has ever heard of.
  18. Gravity actually has a lot to do with Mercury's precession. LeVerrier was just one of many who tried to explain why Mercury's precession was more than known effects could explain. Actually, it gave us the Planet Vulcan. Again, his work was an attempt to explain why theory did not exactly predict Mercury's orbit. Many books, some written by Einstein, that I have read over the last several decades. Please accept my regrets for that. I am posting from work and from memory, it is Christmas Eve, and I am running around taking photos of beautiful women.
  19. Oh, I beg to differ! Time dilation is very real. Someone mentioned earlier that particles generated by cosmic rays live longer than they should. The reason that happens is because the particles are accelerated to near light speed, producing time dilation for them. If they were travelling slower, they would not survive to reach the ground before they decayed into other particles, but, because they experience time dilation, they do survive the trip from the upper atmosphere. When scientists flew atomic clocks around the world and then compared the time on the atomic clocks with the time on the reference clock, the clocks that flew showed the change in the passage of time between the two reference frames. This change in times remains even after the different clocks are brought back into the same reference frame. Time dilation is measurable and real. Due to relativistic effects of acceleration, some of our astronauts are some nanoseconds younger than they would have been if they had remained on Earth. The light is slowly beginning to dawn... Exactly so, young grasshoppa! Yes, you would have to believe that! Gravity warps space-time. Objects travelling through space-time follow this warped space. That includes light. One of the first proofs of Einstein's relativity was that light from Planet Mercury was slightly displaced from where calculations showed that Mercury actually was. Sun's gravity bends space-time enough that we can actually see light changing paths around it. As you descend lower into a gravitational field, time slows, compared to objects higher in the gravitational field. In theory, time stops at the event horizon of a black hole; it would take an object an infinite amount of time to cross the event horizon from the perspective of an outside observer. From the perspective of the object falling, time is passing normally for him, but increasingly fast higher in the gravitational field. Acceleration is the same way; if you were to accelerate to near light velocity, head to the Andromeda Galaxy, the trip would appear to you to take just a few dozen years, but millions of years would pass on Earth. If you were to return to Earth, you would find that all those millions of years had passed on Earth, but maybe only 60 years had passed for you.
  20. I have been impressed with the depth and clarity of several science articles on Wikipedia. Jimmy Wales, the founder of Wikipedia, has been making an effort these last few years to recruit professionals in scientific fields to write Wikipedia science entries, and it shows. It is unfortunate that much of the rest of Wikipedia is not so well written. I think of Wikipedia as a big notebook, and all the contributors are like students in a huge class taking notes in the notebook. In every class of decent size there will be those who are very good note takers, and those who just doodle on the pages. Wikipedia combines all of these different styles and qualities into one source. I don't believe that would be appropriate. As long as you think of Wikipedia as a collection of class notes on a subject, you are ok, but you should not accept it as authoritative. It's just notes. BTW, I am a Wikipedia contributor. I have edited scores of pages over the last few years.
  21. I may be new here, but I have known people like you for several decades. It's people like you who give science and scientists a bad name.
  22. I cannot speak for him, and I am not a professional scientist, but it is my understanding that our spatial dimensions are real and physical, so states Einstein. Gravity warps space-time, which gravity could not do if space-time were a mere conceptualization. You could posit the same challenge to define energy. We define energy as the capacity to do work, but no one can say what it actually is. Things have energy, things transfer energy, one form of energy can transform into another form of energy, but no one really knows what energy is, and we are forced to work with energy indirectly. What is inertia, really? Can you give an object inertia, or take inertia away from an object, without otherwise changing the object? What is the intrinsic difference between a speeding object and a stationary object? How does an object maintain a memory of the fact that a force acted on it at one time? I don't know how you define mainstream, but I would say that a theory that occupies the time and budget of more than 10% of all scientists probably is mainstream. How could string theory be the cause of stagnation of physics if it were not mainstream? Actually, time dilation only occurs during acceleration. This resolves a mystery that otherwise takes place, namely, if velocity is relative, then how can time appear to slow for one object but not for another? In your example, why does time slow for the speeding object when, by his perspective, you are the one who is speeding? The answer is, it is the object that experiences acceleration that also experiences time dilation. They happen at the same time. Remember, the effects of acceleration are indistinguishable from the effects of gravity, so acceleration acts on time the same way that gravity acts on time.
  23. Evolutionists like to jump with both feet on Creationists, and there is certainly a lot of hostility between the two camps. This is not entirely a good thing. Men of science should be impartial, objective and open to differences of ideas and opinions. They should be, anyway. The reality is, smart people in general have extremely large egos and like to crush other people's. If someone on the street were to tell you that heavier objects fall faster than lighter objects, you shouldn't take this as a chance to make that person feel inferior to you. The idea that c, the velocity of light, may have changed over time is not "tommyrot," any more than any other idea that has to be tested and confirmed or denied. Back in 1990 or so, this was a serious enough question for many scientists, whether they believed in evolution and an old universe or not, to put in significant effort to confirm or deny the idea. Rightly so; science is supposed to do that, not just sit up high and mighty and say, "You prove it to me." In a few years, the general concensus, even among young Earthers, is that the velocity of light has not changed significantly over the age of the Universe. But, don't act smug if some layman doesn't know about that work. I guarantee, there are many ideas that laymen--and probably many of you--believe to be true, but aren't. Creation scientists have moved on to other ideas. D. Russell Humphreys offers an hypothesis in his book, "Starlight and Time: Solving the Puzzle of Distant Starlight in a Young Universe," in which he proposes that relativistic expansion of the Universe has resulted in objects distant from Earth experiencing time at a different rate than Earth does. Rather than dismissing this hypothesis as "nonsense," the scientific response is to test its predictions.
  24. Sorry to bring up such an old thread, but I am curious about a statement made: Well, no. ERV preferentially selects some sites more than others. According to this page on the Genome Biology website, the number of insertion points ranges from hundreds to thousands, depending on the type of vector doing the inserting. So, the odds of two species with a similar genome having the same insertion patterns is about a million times better than you indicate.
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