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  • k24tea commented on TwoDudesMakingStuff's instructable Make a Waterproof Fire Starter10 months ago
    Make a Waterproof Fire Starter

    You might find this interesting for using those crayon nubs if not in fire starters: I just saw a "liquid crayon" maker on Crayola's web page. It's a kid-safe, low heat tube with a coloring tip on the end, used for melting crayon nibs and then applying the melted wax like paint directly from the tool's tip. Very smooth coloring! Another use is to make new crayon sticks by melting the nubs and letting them cool (in the tube I imagine). I've seen videos where people put the nubs in a glue gun and made a big mess doing it, but the Crayola device probably is lower temp than a glue gun, so the liquid crayon flows smoothly instead of spattering all over. Also, it's designed to fit the diameter of crayons, while a glue gun is smaller.The main reason I don't use crayon nubs in my fi...

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    You might find this interesting for using those crayon nubs if not in fire starters: I just saw a "liquid crayon" maker on Crayola's web page. It's a kid-safe, low heat tube with a coloring tip on the end, used for melting crayon nibs and then applying the melted wax like paint directly from the tool's tip. Very smooth coloring! Another use is to make new crayon sticks by melting the nubs and letting them cool (in the tube I imagine). I've seen videos where people put the nubs in a glue gun and made a big mess doing it, but the Crayola device probably is lower temp than a glue gun, so the liquid crayon flows smoothly instead of spattering all over. Also, it's designed to fit the diameter of crayons, while a glue gun is smaller.The main reason I don't use crayon nubs in my fire starters for a wood stove is the possibility of fumes when burned (not just melted) indoors. I don't know what's in crayon wax. Crayons have a distinct smell that's not just paraffin. It may be safe to burn them at high temps, or maybe not. But apparently it's reasonably safe to melt crayons at a LOW temp, and I'm sure some children put them in their mouths on occasion. I hope some of this is helpful. I still like your fire starter Instructable!

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  • k24tea commented on CHARLESCRANFORD's instructable Replacing a Laptop Screen Cable10 months ago
    Replacing a Laptop Screen Cable

    Good fix! But you didn't use a ground strap? An ounce of static prevention and all that.I had to take 3 laptops apart last week. Aside from sourcing replacement parts, I think releasing the plastic case tabs without breaking them is the hardest part of a laptop repair. I use the corner of an old credit card to pop them. A disassembly guide helps to find those hidden screws while not removing any you don't need to, and a reminder of where everything goes when you put it back together.I bet you earned lots of hero points for fixing your wife's laptop! Thanks for sharing your repair.

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  • Convert Old Speaker Into a Portable MP3 Player

    Great!!! Thanks so much for the links! I grew up with cereal-box decoder rings, not mp3 decoder boards, and I don't imagine they share a lot in common. I'm getting older every second but new-to-me projects like this keep me learning & doing. And now I'm another step closer to making this and rocking out in my dotage (and my kitchen, study, garden, etc) while I'm neither in nor yet entirely off my rocker. Cheers!

    Super! Thank you! I have no concern about buying it from India, but first I'll try to find a closer source (if it's not proprietary).I had to laugh that the description for the module says it's "non-destructive" -- Careful as I try to be, it has not yet been in my clumsy hands! (but I assume it really means non-destructive programming) Thank you for updating. Your Instructable looks good, and I think I can do it!

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  • k24tea commented on Phil B's instructable Improving a Hand Truck10 months ago
    Improving a Hand Truck

    I hope you'll continue to post your helpful and useful projects for many more years! I've read most of them (including the comments and replies), applied what I could use, and learned something interesting from the ones I don't need or lack the skill or tools to do but might someday. I guess you know you're "preaching to the choir" on this site, and judging from the comments I've read for your many projects and your thoughtful replies, it's apparent that the "lessons" you share are well received by more than just a few of us.Regarding those comments critical of "unofficial" Nordic Track (or any other) repairs: Nearly all of the best and longest-lasting repairs and modifications I've needed or have known about from friends, colleagues, and family have been ...

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    I hope you'll continue to post your helpful and useful projects for many more years! I've read most of them (including the comments and replies), applied what I could use, and learned something interesting from the ones I don't need or lack the skill or tools to do but might someday. I guess you know you're "preaching to the choir" on this site, and judging from the comments I've read for your many projects and your thoughtful replies, it's apparent that the "lessons" you share are well received by more than just a few of us.Regarding those comments critical of "unofficial" Nordic Track (or any other) repairs: Nearly all of the best and longest-lasting repairs and modifications I've needed or have known about from friends, colleagues, and family have been DIY or done by local independent shops, and therefore unofficial. There are a few that I'd take to the official repair places (manufacturer recalls, proprietary parts or tools not otherwise available, safety issues that the indy shops can't or won't touch) but otherwise I'm a firm believer that I'm my own best advocate as long as I'm willing and able to learn. Then if I can do it myself within reason I do, and if not I find someone I can trust to do it for me. It takes more time and effort to live that way, and sometimes mistakes are made even with the best of intentions and care, but so far the effort has been its own reward right along with the hoped-for repair or improvement. For me, the best part is that perhaps I can use the experience to help someone else, as I've been helped so many times. Some day I may take lessons in basic welding for occasional repairs and improvements around the house and garden. Why not? There's always something useful, interesting, and challenging to learn and do! Thank you again for your part in this creative and inspiring community.

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  • Double Secret White Board Under the Kitchen Table

    Yes, another good idea! I should cover my well-worn drop-leaf and roll-top desk surfaces with white board. Not quite as secret as yours under the table, but closes up out of sight, and what I write or draw on the white board desk top will be safe for a while from paw smears by a curious kitty. Thanks for giving me yet another project for my endless to-do list! (Really, I do thank you)

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  • k24tea commented on TwoDudesMakingStuff's instructable Make a Waterproof Fire Starter10 months ago
    Make a Waterproof Fire Starter

    No problem to mix in some crayon! Crayons alone or large proportion just didn't work well for me (messy and smelly when melted, so I didn't want to use them in my wood stove, but in a fireplace or outdoors could be OK). I'd suggest making just one or two fire starters with your crayon nubs to see how well they work. If only so-so, maybe mix in just a few with mostly candle ends or plain paraffin. Some crayon brands may work better than others; the ones I tried were old, shared among school & neighbor kids, labels gone ... As always, YMMV.(Another use for crayon nubs is to make multi-color crayons: Melt the nubs slowly in layers or adjacent blobs in a disposable pie tin that can sit securely on top of a pan of boiling water. Then if desired, stir or swirl the melted colors together ...

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    No problem to mix in some crayon! Crayons alone or large proportion just didn't work well for me (messy and smelly when melted, so I didn't want to use them in my wood stove, but in a fireplace or outdoors could be OK). I'd suggest making just one or two fire starters with your crayon nubs to see how well they work. If only so-so, maybe mix in just a few with mostly candle ends or plain paraffin. Some crayon brands may work better than others; the ones I tried were old, shared among school & neighbor kids, labels gone ... As always, YMMV.(Another use for crayon nubs is to make multi-color crayons: Melt the nubs slowly in layers or adjacent blobs in a disposable pie tin that can sit securely on top of a pan of boiling water. Then if desired, stir or swirl the melted colors together lightly with a nail or skewer to create colorful streaks, or leave alone for bigger areas of each color. Let cool until safe to handle but still a little soft, then put on some disposable gloves and roll with hands into fat sticks or a ball.)

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  • Free Texting 4 Life, or P.A.M. "Post Apocalyptic Messenger" Device

    Good Instructable, and very creative re-purposing of an old phone! This will be perfect for my Zombie Apocalypse bug-out bag. Clearly my old flip phone isn't really dead after all, but is itself a "good and helpful" zombie, an undead Post Apocalyptic Messenger device for texting, mind-map drawing, kitten videos, and many other apps limited only by imagination and available space. No battery needed. What more could one want? Thanks for sharing.

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  • k24tea commented on liquidhandwash's instructable Robot Chicken Door10 months ago
    Robot Chicken Door

    This is so absolutely ridiculous and crazy fun (oh, and also brilliant, by the way) that it deserves ALL the prizes in the Creative Misuse contest! Extra points for being a "lazy" man that could & did design and build such a contraption that actually does the door-keeper work for you. All the chickens around here have voted for your Instructable; however, they're not pleased about the head-banging on the clear door and request tinting it to avoid addling their Aussie cousins' little brains, or perhaps stained glass for a more aesthetic coop improvement. Chickens have their pride, you know, and they like to keep up appearances.Now that you have our attention and respect, you MUST provide us with the Robot Chicken Instructable promised in the title. We'll be waiting ...

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  • k24tea commented on TwoDudesMakingStuff's instructable Make a Waterproof Fire Starter10 months ago
    Make a Waterproof Fire Starter

    Well done! These are quite good. Decades ago I first saw some fancy ones at a holiday craft fair, sold in bags of three dozen as little "bon-bon" fireplace starters: colored wax melted with wood shavings and dried potpourri, in mini-muffin papers. I've also seen them in pine cones instead of egg cartons. They made useful and unique little gifties, but I make mine simply, the same as you do. Paraffin (in my experience crayons do NOT work well), cotton dryer lint, wood shavings, cardboard egg cartons. One is enough to start a good fire with a handful of kindling.Your Instructable is a good reminder that readily available materials and simple methods are well worth the small effort it takes to produce an excellent result! Thanks for sharing.

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  • k24tea commented on thecraftedmaker's instructable Five Dollar Window Box10 months ago
    Five Dollar Window Box

    Looks good! If they're cedar (not pine) fence boards they should last a long time. I suggest adding spacers/offsets between back of box and wall, also drilling drainage holes in box bottom. Thanks for sharing!

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  • Double Secret White Board Under the Kitchen Table

    Smart idea, and a well done Instructable! One sheet could make boards for everybody, under each place at the table.

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  • Coptic Letter Binding -  Notepad 2 Sketchbook

    Thank you for such a fine Instructable! With your clear directions I just finished making a little phone/address book for an elderly friend who will NOT use the one in her phone. I had some nice paper that I printed and then cut for the pages, a bit of thin leather for covers, and waxed thread. I personalized the front cover with fine-tipped permanent markers. It's on the way to her now. I hope she likes it! This was a fun project, I learned a new skill, and I'm sure I'll make another. Thank you for sharing. I hope you're a contest winner!

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  • Make Your Own Oil Cloth | DIY Waterproof Outdoor Bunting

    Thank you for sharing this, and congrats for winning! I just love simple, practical "old-time" projects like this that make use of readily available materials & tools to make something fun and creative. When I was a child we did this on a plain piece of canvas (painter's drop cloth?) to make a picnic ground-cover. We used a big paint brush to saturate the canvas with the linseed oil. Your potato stamps came out better than mine! Later a friend made a yurt and waterproofed it with linseed oil.

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  • k24tea commented on nerdyKat's instructable Cat Highway10 months ago
    Cat Highway

    Kitties just love to be up high (above us in so many ways) and yours looks very happy up there. The embellishments are fun and creative! This is a very good Instructable, with clear directions, lots of good photos, AND a very handsome kitty. (my kitty and I agree this should be a winner, and we voted)Since you're not thrilled with the look of the brackets (but Loki doesn't seem to have any objection), maybe paint them to blend in with the wall, or add some dangly sprigs of Christmas tree or ribbons etc to make them less noticeable, or perhaps string some fairy lights on the wall right under the shelves. Just be sure they're on the wall and not near the edge of the shelves, so Loki can't reach them. In any case, he looks quite happy with the brackets just the way they are!

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  • k24tea commented on nerdyKat's instructable Cat Activity Centre10 months ago
    Cat Activity Centre

    Thank you for this excellent Instructable! A fun design, creative use of ordinary materials & tools, clearly written steps with attention to details, lots of excellent photos, and quite do-able with patience. Your kitty clearly appreciates his nap centre, and he's very lucky to have you as his purrrson!

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  • Convert Old Speaker Into a Portable MP3 Player

    Good use of an orphan speaker. Please, will you include a link to buy the mp3 module you used, or else its part # as you did for the other parts? I can't see make/model info for it in the photo. Thanks! (voted)

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  • k24tea commented on nickivan's instructable Revamped Sofa Bed11 months ago
    Revamped Sofa Bed

    Thank you, but I can't claim any credit for the La-z-boy Instructable I linked to. It isn't mine! I wish it was, he did a really fine job, and I hope mine (still in pieces) comes out half as nice. I included the link to that 'ible in my comment because I think it's in the same recycling spirit as your sofa bed to give new life and unique style to old furniture, and I think they'd look good together with matching or coordinated cushions. Bonus: my naughty cat can't rip up upholstery that isn't there (she doesn't bother the cushions, only the sides and back). I've started looking in the thrift stores for a loveseat sofa bed to make-over in wood using your smart idea. I really want to do this! Thanks for sharing your very cool project!

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  • k24tea commented on buck2217's instructable La-z-boy Reclaimed11 months ago
    La-z-boy Reclaimed

    This is a brilliant Must-Do project to reclaim my old cat-clawed rocker-recliner to better than when I bought it new 25 years ago. I can hardly wait to get started! Smart of Stu Podaso to include the additional leg panel, too. I hope I can figure out how to do that. My Lane just has a gap there when the foot rest is extended, but on the La-Z-Boy the gap is covered. That makes the recliner more comfortable and also protects pets, kids feet, lap blanket, etc from getting caught between the seat and foot rest when closing it down. Thank you for this excellent Instructable!

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  • k24tea commented on nickivan's instructable Revamped Sofa Bed11 months ago
    Revamped Sofa Bed

    Such a good way to refurb that sturdy sofa, and very well done! I've never seen a pull-out sofa-bed with interlaced slats like those. I may have to build one from scratch. It would go well with the recliner chair I'm revamping in wood per https://www.instructables.com/id/La-z-boy-Reclaimed/

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  • k24tea commented on Bold_Bites's instructable Cheese Puff Blossoms 1 year ago
    Cheese Puff Blossoms

    Yum! Gruyere, rosemary, a little lemon zest. Came out perfect. Thanks for sharing.

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  • k24tea commented on callmeappytechie's instructable Potato Bajji1 year ago
    Potato Bajji

    Good recipe, thanks for sharing! We also make these with thinly sliced onions (thin rings, then cut into quarters). The onion pieces stick out like big fried spiders, so we call them "spiders" for fun. Very tasty dipped in Red Devil or Sweet Devil sauce!

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  • k24tea commented on Phil B's instructable Improving a Hand Truck1 year ago
    Improving a Hand Truck

    Thanks for this smart yet inexpensive and easy to implement solution to an annoying problem! It will come in handy as I down-size and prepare to move. Another useful mod would be to enlarge the handcart's base plate to better support large boxes from the bottom. I find a low four-wheeled flatbed dolly helpful to move storage bins, desk, dresser with legs, and other items that don't fit well on the handcart base. I appreciate useful and innovative projects like this, that don't require high-tech or costly or very skill-intensive shop tools that at my age and with little workspace I probably won't find sufficient reason to acquire. I enjoy reading your many interesting Instructables and have benefited from several; e.g., my sturdy old Nordic Track is still running fine after your adv...

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    Thanks for this smart yet inexpensive and easy to implement solution to an annoying problem! It will come in handy as I down-size and prepare to move. Another useful mod would be to enlarge the handcart's base plate to better support large boxes from the bottom. I find a low four-wheeled flatbed dolly helpful to move storage bins, desk, dresser with legs, and other items that don't fit well on the handcart base. I appreciate useful and innovative projects like this, that don't require high-tech or costly or very skill-intensive shop tools that at my age and with little workspace I probably won't find sufficient reason to acquire. I enjoy reading your many interesting Instructables and have benefited from several; e.g., my sturdy old Nordic Track is still running fine after your advice on repairing the rollers, and my treasured fountain pens are all in good order. Thank you!

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  • k24tea commented on robives's instructable Paper Bird. Pendulum Powered Paper Project1 year ago
    Paper Bird. Pendulum Powered Paper Project

    Fun idea, but it's only free to DOWNLOAD the pattern from your web site AFTER PAYING $3.50 for it. I thought the spirit of Instructables was to share project plans, not to sell them. I like your product, but I have to give it two thumbs down for advertisement camouflaged as an Instructable. We're seeing more and more of that here lately. Such a disappointment.

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  • NordicTrack (ski Machine) Mod for Balance Rehab

    This is a very good idea, easy to make and easy to remove with no damage to the NT. I wish I'd have seen something like this about 10 years ago. I first got my NT to continue physical therapy at home to re-develop an even gait and balance. The NT's hand-hold bars in front of the ab pad are too far forward for me. Walker handles on the sides would have been much better to help me to work both legs evenly on the NT, and with a straighter back instead of the tendency to lean too far forward. After lots of PT plus time on the NT every day, now I can walk almost normally, and I still use my NT nearly every day, with maintenance help from Phil B's roller rebuild Instructable. Thanks for sharing your design! Long live our Nordic Tracks!

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  • k24tea commented on WardWorks's instructable Mobile Laptop Harness 2 years ago
    Mobile Laptop Harness

    A good idea and well made. Not to be hyper-critical, but I have similar concerns about ergonomics, unless you're wearing & using it for very brief intervals. I made something very much like this a few years ago, though it wasn't as "finished" as yours. I had to give up using it pretty quickly, for two reasons: First, it put quite a lot of strain on my neck, between the laptop's weight and having to look down at a steep angle to see the screen, and second, because typing so close to my body was awkward and cramped. For just a few quick data checks & entries it was OK, but if I really wanted another one I'd probaby design some sort of shoulder & back harness to keep the weight off my neck, also a frame or tray that could hold the laptop a little higher up and further...

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    A good idea and well made. Not to be hyper-critical, but I have similar concerns about ergonomics, unless you're wearing & using it for very brief intervals. I made something very much like this a few years ago, though it wasn't as "finished" as yours. I had to give up using it pretty quickly, for two reasons: First, it put quite a lot of strain on my neck, between the laptop's weight and having to look down at a steep angle to see the screen, and second, because typing so close to my body was awkward and cramped. For just a few quick data checks & entries it was OK, but if I really wanted another one I'd probaby design some sort of shoulder & back harness to keep the weight off my neck, also a frame or tray that could hold the laptop a little higher up and further away from my body for easier typing and bettter screen visibility. Nowadays I find it convenient in the field to use a full-size collapsible aluminum camera tripod that I've fitted with a screw-on platform (toaster oven drip tray, fits in the laptop case) and a couple of shock cords that secure the laptop to the platform. It's stable, easy to carry/ set up/ adjust, and no neck strain. A field-ready standing laptop or writing/drawing desk, with tripod still available for camera or scope. Your harness is much more compact than my tripod, though! If you want to pursue the harness idea, maybe take a look at how a front-carry infant snuggler is designed to distribute the child's weight on the adult's back & shoulders (not the neck), then also consider putting the laptop on a tray or frame to see & type at a better height, angle, & distance (not at the waist). I'll look forward to seeing your Version 3!

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  • k24tea commented on andrea biffi's instructable wooden kneeling chair3 years ago
    wooden kneeling chair

    Good project! I made one very similar to this about 25 years ago, and it's still my favorite desk chair. Add a materials list and bigger diagram text in Step 2, and then you'll get my vote.

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  • k24tea commented on Thinkenstein's instructable Hammock with Curved Stretcher Bars3 years ago
    Hammock with Curved Stretcher Bars

    I imagine a lot of people use the ideas they discover here but don't think to say so. Among your many Instructables I've found several that appeal to my needs and amusement. I may be making a tenor tootaphone soon, and I want to try your PVC bending method to make a freeform pond fountain and a garden trellis. You have good ideas for using ordinary materials in innovative ways. Thanks again for sharing them!

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  • Secretary Chair - drawing and table hack

    Brilliant! A kneeling chair is wonderful for maintaining good posture and free breathing, especially for people with back trouble. Years ago I made a folding, adjustable-height kneeling chair very similar to yours, but I built mine from fat hardwood dowels instead of metal. I still use it with a music stand for reading and playing various instruments, and with a wooden bar stool for a little table. A big sloped writing/drawing board would be a great help, and your design might be just what I need. Thank you for sharing your invention!

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  • k24tea commented on Thinkenstein's instructable Hammock with Curved Stretcher Bars3 years ago
    Hammock with Curved Stretcher Bars

    Hi Thinkenstein, I realize it's been about 18 months since you posted this Instructable, so I'm a bit late to the party. I did something similar to this after reading your post, but instead of PVC pipe I used a long hickory stick that I bent into an arc while it was still green. After it was dry and hard I cut two pieces about 18 inches long to make my curved bars, and I drilled holes near the ends for the suspension cords. The curve of my bars isn't adjustable like yours because the hickory doesn't bend after it's dry, so I only have two suspension cords on each bar instead of 4. The short curved bars make the hammock very comfortable, with no danger of tipping, and the bars are short enough that the heavy cotton hammock fabric bunches up tightly on the bars and doesn't shift. I enjoy ...

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    Hi Thinkenstein, I realize it's been about 18 months since you posted this Instructable, so I'm a bit late to the party. I did something similar to this after reading your post, but instead of PVC pipe I used a long hickory stick that I bent into an arc while it was still green. After it was dry and hard I cut two pieces about 18 inches long to make my curved bars, and I drilled holes near the ends for the suspension cords. The curve of my bars isn't adjustable like yours because the hickory doesn't bend after it's dry, so I only have two suspension cords on each bar instead of 4. The short curved bars make the hammock very comfortable, with no danger of tipping, and the bars are short enough that the heavy cotton hammock fabric bunches up tightly on the bars and doesn't shift. I enjoy my hammock even more with this improvement. Thank you for sharing your ideas with the Instructables community!

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