Showing posts from April, 2016

On This Day

30th April

1774 – British settlers massacred family members of Chief Logan, head of the Native American Mingo tribe, at Yellow Creek, Ohio. It sparked off the conflict known as Lord Dunmore's War.

1900 – Casey Jones died in a train wreck in Vaughn, Mississippi, while trying to make up time on the Cannonball Express.

1945 - Adolf Hitler and Eva Braun committed suicide after being married for one day.

1945 - Soviet soldiers raised the Victory flag over the Reichstag building.

1952 - The Diary of a Young Girl, by Anne Frank was published in English.

1975 - The war in Vietnam ended as the government in Saigon announced its unconditional surrender to the Vietcong.

1993 - CERN published a statement that made the technology behind the WWW available on a royalty free basis.

1999 - Two people were killed and at least 30 injured in the third nail-bomb attack in London in two weeks.

2008 – Two skeletal remains found near Ekaterinburg, Russia were confirmed by Russian scientists to be the re…

On This Day

29th April

1429 – Joan of Arc arrived to relieve the Siege of Orleans.

1770 – James Cook arrived at and named Botany Bay, Australia.

1882 – The "Elektromote" – forerunner of the tram – was tested by Ernst Werner von Siemens in Berlin.

1885 - Women were admitted for the first time to examinations at England's Oxford University.

1916 – Martial law in Ireland was lifted and the Easter rebellion officially ended with the surrender of Irish nationalists to British authorities in Dublin.

1945 – The German Army in Italy unconditionally surrendered to the Allies.

1945 – Adolf Hitler married his long-time partner Eva Braun in a Berlin bunker and designated Admiral Karl Dönitz as his successor.

1945 - Dachau Concentration Camp was liberated by US Troops.

1967 – After refusing induction into the United States Army the day before (citing religious reasons), Muhammad Ali was stripped of his boxing title.

1985 - Four gunmen escaped with nearly $8 million in cash stolen from the Well…

Interesting Fact - Clothes

If we ever needed proof that Brits are getting bigger, here it is:  High street retailer Debenhams is now stocking clothing in sizes up to XXXXXL.

(Debenhams say they have begun to stock the 5XL size in male ranges to meet demand.  The new big and tall range goes up to a 64-inch chest and a 20-inch collar.

The previous largest size was 3XL, but demand for larger sizes of shirts, suits, tops, casual jackets and trousers has soared by 170% over the last 2 years.

If you go to their Big and Tall website, they even list XXXXXXL - 6XL!

Now all I can think about is what clothing size the Hulk is.  Does anyone know?)

On This Day

28th April

1789 – Captain William Bligh and 18 sailors were set adrift and the rebel crew returned to Tahiti briefly and then set sail for Pitcairn Island. The incident became known as the Mutiny on the Bounty.

1920 – Azerbaijan was added to the Soviet Union. (I collect stamps and coins, not countries).

1932 – A vaccine for yellow fever was announced for use on humans.

1945 – Benito Mussolini and his mistress Clara Petacci were executed by a firing squad consisting of members of the Italian resistance movement.

1949 – Former First Lady of the Philippines Aurora Quezon, 61, was assassinated while en route to dedicate a hospital in memory of her late husband; her daughter and 10 other people were also killed.

1952 – The United States occupation of Japan ended.

1965 – United States troops landed in the Dominican Republic to "forestall establishment of a Communist dictatorship" and to evacuate U.S. Army troops.

1970 – U.S. President Richard M. Nixon formally authorized Americ…

On This Day

27th April

1124 – David I became King of Scotland.

1296 – The Scots were defeated by Edward I of England at the Battle of Dunbar.

1667 – The blind and impoverished John Milton sold the copyright of Paradise Lost for £10.

1773 – The Parliament of Great Britain passed the Tea Act, designed to save the British East India Company by granting it a monopoly on the North American tea trade. They were not a Fair Trade company.

1791 - Samuel Finley Breese Morse, the inventor of the Morse code, was born.

1840 – The foundation stone for new Palace of Westminster, London, was laid.

1992 – Betty Boothroyd became the first woman to be elected Speaker of the British House of Commons in its 700-year history.

Interesting Fact - Time

According to researchers from the Sao Jose Faculty of Medicine in Brazil, time goes by more quickly when you're over 50.

(In the study people were asked to close their eyes and mentally count the passing of 120 seconds.  They all counted too quickly.

On average, men and women in the 15 to 29 age group counted down the 120 seconds in 115 seconds.  In the 30 to 49 age group they took 96 seconds, but the over-50s took just 86 seconds. This meant the oldest group perceived time as passing 25 per cent more quickly than the youngest did.

The researchers believe it is possibly due to age-related changes in levels of brain chemicals involved in concentration and memory, both of which are involved in estimating the passage of time.

I think it's more likely that at 50+ you simply have more to do, and feel you have less time to do it in.)


PS -If you want to be able to count in seconds more accurately, say the number plus the word elephants.

On This Day

26th April

1949 - Heads of government from Australia, Britain, Ceylon, India, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa and the Canadian Secretary of State for External Affairs signed the Declaration of London and the modern Commonwealth was born.

Interesting Fact - Family

According to research carried out by the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, half of Western European men are descended from one Bronze Age ‘king’.

(The unamed monarch, who lived around 4,000 years ago, sired a dynasty of elite nobles which spread throughout Europe.

Previous genetic research has found that 16 million men across the world could be related to Genghis Khan, the Mongol leader who died in 1227.

So, who's your daddy?)


On This Day

25th April

1719 - Daniel Defoe's famous book, Robinson Crusoe, was published.

1886 - Sigmund Freud opened his practice at Rathausstrasse 7, Vienna.

1967 - The first law legalizing abortion in the United States was signed into law by Colorado Gov. John Arthur Love.

2005 - A Japanese commuter train crashed near Osaka, killing more than 70 people and injuring more than 300 others.

Interesting Date - 23rd April

William Shakespeare was probably born on April 23rd, and he died on this day in 1616, 400 years ago. It is also St George's Day in England, and according to the Arden Shakespeare Miscellany, St George is mentioned 16 times in his plays.

(The most famous mention is in Henry V: "Cry 'God' for Harry! England and Saint George!")

Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more;
Or close the wall up with our English dead.
In peace there's nothing so becomes a man
As modest stillness and humility:
But when the blast of war blows in our ears,
Then imitate the action of the tiger;
Stiffen the sinews, summon up the blood,
Disguise fair nature with hard-favour'd rage;
Then lend the eye a terrible aspect;
Let it pry through the portage of the head
Like the brass cannon; let the brow o'erwhelm it
As fearfully as doth a galled rock
O'erhang and jutty his confounded base,
Swill'd with the wild and wasteful ocean.
Now set the teeth and stretch the nost…

On This Day

23rd April

1564 - The Bard, William Shakespeare, is said to have been born on the 23rd of April. So, if he were still alive, he would be well over 400 years old today. Of course no one really knows the exact date of his birth because these things weren't so well regulated back then, but this date has been chosen for him, and it's the thought that counts.  Happy Birthday Will!

We do know that he was baptised on April 26th, and that he died on April 23rd 1616. 


22nd April is Earth day.

(It's also Jelly Bean day, which makes it a great day to be on planet earth.)

Happy Earth Day Earthlings.  :)


21st April

Queen Elizabeth turns 90. This is her "real" birthday. She was born at 2.40am on 21 April 1926 at 17 Bruton Street in Mayfair, London.

Happy Birthday

Interesting People - Queen Elizabeth II

When Queen Elizabeth was born she stood third in line of succession to the throne after Edward, Prince of Wales (later King Edward VIII), and her father, The Duke of York.

(She has 9 royal thrones - 1 at the House of Lords, 2 at Westminster Abbey, and 6 in the throne room at Buckingham Palace.

It was never expected that she would become Queen.)

90 pictures

On This Day

21st April

753 B.C - Legend says Romulus and his twin brother, Remus, founded Rome.

1509 - Henry VIII became King of England.

1782 - Friedrich Froebel German educator and founder of the kindergarten, was born.
1789 - John Adams was sworn in as the first vice president of the United States.

1816 - Charlotte Bronte, author of "Jane Eyre, was born.

1838 - John Muir, the father of the environmental movement, died.
1910 - The author Samuel Langhorne Clemens, better known as Mark Twain, died.
1918 - The German fighter ace Baron von Richthofen, "The Red Baron," was shot down.

1926 - Queen Elizabeth II was born.

1945 - The Red Army entered the outskirts of Berlin.

1959 - Robert Smith, musician from The Cure, was born.

1960 - Brazilia became the capital of Brazil, taking over from Rio de Janeiro.

Interesting Fact - Finding Money

According to a study conducted by TopCashback website, on average, in 2015 pedestrians in the UK picked up £5.45 each in dropped change, and one in 20 managed to find £20.

(However, millions of Brits would not stoop to pick up anything less than 50p dropped on the floor: only 4 in 10 people would bother to bend down to pick up a penny, and most would ignore anything that wasn't silver. 

1 in 3 people said they would not pick up any cash dropped as in their eyes it would be stealing, however 8 in 10 Brits applied the finders-keepers rule, but they were unsur about how much they would pocket if no-one was around.  Most agreed that anything over £10 and they would hand it into the police, or give the cash to charity or a homeless person.

6 in 10 would hand in money left at a cash point by mistake, but only a fifth would run after the person who absent mindedly walked off without it.  Scarily 1 in 10 would quietly pop it into their purse or wallet.

I will admit, I picked up a 50p pie…


20th April

National look alike day.

Who do you look like?

On This Day

20th April

1653 - Oliver Cromwell, puritan, revolutionary, Lord Protector of England and the man who banned Christmas, dissolved Parliament to rule by decree.

1999 - Two teenage boys murdered 12 fellow students and a teacher at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colo., before turning their guns on themselves.

Interesting Fact - Toilet Paper

According to consumer watchdog Which?, loo rolls in the UK have shrunk in size.

(The best selling brand Andrex has reduced the size of its Classic White by 8% (from 240 to 221 sheets per roll), but of course prices have remained the same.
If they keep going, they'll just be selling the cardboard roll.)

On This Day

19th April

1587 – Francis Drake sank the Spanish fleet in Cádiz harbour.

1775 – The Battle of Lexington and Concord began, which started the American Revolution against the British.

1839 – The Treaty of London established Belgium as a kingdom.

1961 – The Bay of Pigs invasion of Cuba ended.

1984 – Advance Australia Fair was chosen as Australia's national anthem, and green and gold as the national colours.

1987 – The Simpsons premièred as a short cartoon on The Tracey Ullman Show.

1989 – Daphne du Maurier, British novelist died.

1992 – Benny Hill, and Frankie Howard died. They were both English comic actors.

1995 – A bomb in the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, USA, killed 168 people.

1999 – The German Bundestag returned to Berlin.

2005 – Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger was elected Pope Benedict XVI on the second day of the Papal conclave.

Interesting Fact - Work

According to research from Japan, people over 40 perform best at work if their working week is restricted to 3 days.

(They found that a part-time job keeps the brain stimulated, while avoiding exhaustion and stress.

The bad news is that not working also damaged brain function. However, working extremely long hours was more damaging than not working at all.)

On This Day

18th April

1506 – The cornerstone of the current St. Peter's Basilica was laid.

1909 – Joan of Arc was beatified in Rome.

1783 – Fighting ceased in the American Revolution, eight years since it began.

1924 – Simon & Schuster published the first crossword puzzle book.

1945 – Over 1,000 allied bombers attacked the small island of Heligoland, Germany.

1955 - Albert Einstein died.

1980 – The Republic of Zimbabwe (formerly Rhodesia) came into being. Canaan Banana was the country's first President.

1983 – A suicide bomber destroyed the United States embassy in Beirut, Lebanon, killing 63 people.

1996 – At least 106 civilians were killed when the Israel Defense Forces shelled the UN compound at Quana, Lebanon, where more than 800 civilians had taken refuge.

On This Day

17th April

1397 – Geoffrey Chaucer recited the Canterbury Tales for the first time at the court of Richard II. (And it's been torturing British schoolchildren ever since.)

1521 – Martin Luther spoke to the assembly at the Diet of Worms, refusing to recant his teachings.

1961 – A group of CIA financed and trained Cuban refugees landed at the Bay of Pigs in Cuba with the aim of ousting Fidel Castro.

1984 - WPC (Woman Police Constable) Yvonne Fletcher was shot and killed outside the Libyan embassy in central London.

1986 - British journalist John McCarthy was kidnapped, by the militant group Islamic Jihad, in Beirut. He spent more than five years in captivity.

1986 - Three bodies of murdered hostages, were found on the streets of Beirut. They were Leigh Douglas, Philip Padfield from the UK and an American, Peter Kilburn.

1986 – The 335 Years' War (1651–1986) between the Netherlands and the Isles of Scilly officially ended. It was both one of the world's longest wars and the …

On This Day

15th April

1452 – Leonardo da Vinci was born.

1755 – Samuel Johnson's A Dictionary of the English Language was published in London.

1802 – William Wordsworth and his sister, Dorothy saw a "long belt" of daffodils, inspiring "I Wandered Lonely as a Cloud".

1892 – The General Electric Company was formed.

1912 – The RMS Titanic sank in the North Atlantic, after hitting an iceberg two and a half hours earlier, killing over 1,500 people.

1923 – Insulin became generally available for use by people with diabetes.

1941 – 200 Luftwaffe bombers attacked Belfast, Northern Ireland, killing over 1,000 people.

1942 – The George Cross was awarded to "to the island fortress of Malta – its people and defenders" by King George VI.

1945 - British troops liberated the German concentration camp of Bergen-Belsen.

1984 – Tommy Cooper died.

1989 - 96 Liverpool fans died in a crush at the Leppings Lane end of Hillsborough Football Stadium at the FA Cup semi-final between Li…

On This Day

14th April

2014 - 276 female students, who were sitting their final exams in the village of Chibook, Nigeria were abducted.


13th April

Scrabble Day

Interesting Food - Liquorice Allsorts

Licorice Allsorts are a very popular sweet in the UK.  They are a colourful mixture of liquorice, sugar, coconut, aniseed jelly, fruit flavourings, and gelatine.

(They were first produced in Sheffield, England, by Geo. Bassett & Co Ltd, under the name Bassett's Allsorts, but the idea of mixing up several sweets came about by accident.  According to Basset's own marketing, in 1899 a sales representative for the company, Charlie Thompson, supposedly dropped a tray of samples he was showing a client in Leicester, mixing up the various sweets. After he scrambled to re-arrange them, the client was intrigued by the new creation.

All I know is they are delicious, and thankfully there isn't one bit of salted liquorice in them.) 


April 12th

Is liquorice day.

!Note -  liquorice (BrE) / licorice (AmE) 

Interesting Fact - Home Decor

According to a survey commissioned by Nationwide Credit Cards, the 1970s was the most tasteless decade when it comes to home decor in the UK.

#TBT to when avocado bathrooms were in. Seriously, who thought that was a good look?! — WICKES (@Wickes) January 29, 2015

(Lava lamps, orange and purple decor, tartan upholstery, shagpile rugs, avocado bathrooms and woodchip wallpaper all contributed to make the 70s so unstylish, but the 1980s, with its textured ceilings, frills and flounces, and Laura Ashley prints came second at 16 per cent.
I wonder what they will say about the 2010s?)

On This Day

11th April

1945 – The Buchenwald concentration camp, one of the first and the largest of the concentration camps on German soil, was liberated.

1951 – The Stone of Scone, the stone upon which Scottish monarchs were traditionally crowned, was found on the site of the altar of Arbroath Abbey. It had been taken by Scottish nationalists from its place in Westminster Abbey.

1957 - Britain agreed to self-rule in Singapore.

1968 – President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of 1968, prohibiting discrimination in the sale, rental, and financing of housing. One week after the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr.

1968 – German student leader Rudi Dutschke is shot in Berlin.

1976 – The Apple I was created.

1979 – Ugandan dictator Idi Amin was deposed.

1981 – A huge riot in Brixton, South London, resulted in almost 300 police injuries and 65 serious civilian injuries.

1987 – Primo Levi, Italian chemist and author died.

2001 – Harry Secombe, Welsh actor and comedian died.

2002 – T…

Interesting Fact - British Weddings

According to data from, more and more Brits are getting married on a Thursday.

(Is this because of tradition, or for religious reasons?  No.  It's because it's cheaper.  Seemingly, tying the knot at weekends can cost thousands of pounds more for the cost of venues, catering and entertainers.

Caroline Hendry, editor of, said that Thursdays are popular as many venues charge the same high prices on a Friday as they do on the weekend. She added: ‘With many venues and wedding suppliers booking up months or even years in advance, a Thursday wedding can also give couples a better chance of booking their first choice vendors.’

At a time when everyone is struggling with debts and rising house prices, around 21,700 couples chose to marry on a Thursday in 2015 – about 6,000 more than in 2008.

According to figures compiled by the Daily Mail, the Achnagairn Estate in the Highlands, where castle hire, including use of the ballroom and a two-night stay for 55 peo…

On This Day

10th April

837 – Halley's Comet made its closest approach to Earth at a distance equal to 0.0342 AU (5.1 million kilometres/3.2 million miles).

1512 – James V of Scotland was born.

1606 – The Virginia Company of London was established by royal charter by James I of England with the purpose of establishing colonial settlements in North America.

1710 – The Statute of Anne, the first law regulating copyright, came into force in Great Britain.

1829 – William Booth, the English minister who founded The Salvation Army was born.

1858 – The original Big Ben, a 14.5 ton bell for the Palace of Westminster cracked during testing and was recast into the current 13.76 tonnes (30,300 lb) bell by Whitechapel Bell Foundry.

1912 – RMS Titanic set sail from Southampton, England on her maiden and only voyage.

1925 – The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald was first published.

1932 – Omar Sharif was born.

1953 – Warner Bros. premiered the first 3D film from a major American studio, entitled House of Wax.

1966 …

On This Day

9th April

1413 – Henry V was crowned King of England.

1483 – King Edward IV of England died.

1413 – Henry V is crowned King of England.

1626 – Francis Bacon died.

1860 – Édouard-Léon Scott de Martinville created the oldest known recording of an audible human voice.

1940 – Vidkun Quisling seized power in Norway.

1967 – The first Boeing 737 made its maiden flight.

1969 – The first British-built Concorde made its maiden flight from Filton to RAF Fairford.

2005 – Charles, Prince of Wales married Camilla Parker Bowles.

On This Day

8th April

1820 – The famous statue, the Venus de Milo, was discovered on the Aegean island of Melos.

1886 – William Ewart Gladstone introduced the first Irish Home Rule Bill into the British House of Commons.

1904 – The French Third Republic and the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland signed the Entente cordiale.

1908 – Harvard University voted to establish the Harvard Business School.

1994 - Nirvana lead singer Kurt Cobain, 27, was found dead in his Seattle home of a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head.

1995 - British-born Nicholas Ingram was executed in the electric chair.

Interesting Fact - Books

Acopy of Shakespeare's First Folio has been discovered at a stately home on a Scottish Island, just in time for the 400th anniversary of his death.
(The book contains 36 of the bard's plays, and was published in 1623, seven years after his death.  It brought together the majority of his plays for the first time, without which there would be no copies  for more than half of them, including Macbeth and The Tempest.The book had been in the library of Mount Stuart House on the Isle of Bute for more than 100 years, and was confirmed as genuine by Emma Smith, Professor of Shakespeare Studies at Oxford University.  It's quite a find, as a previous copy sold for £2.8m in 2006.)

On This Day

7th April

1795 – France adopted the metre as the basic measure of length.

1827 – John Walker, an English chemist, sold the first friction match.

1947 – Henry Ford, the American automobile manufacturer and industrialist died.

1948 – The World Health Organization was established by the United Nations.

1994 – The massacre of Tutsis began in Kigali, Rwanda.

Interesting Word - Sett

In honour of Tartan Day, did you know that the word 'sett' doesn't just apply to a badger's lair, it also is used to describe the vertical and horizontal striped pattern on tartan.

(The sett the basic 'tile' or 'block' that repeats itself across the width and along the length of the tartan or plaid.)

If you would like to find your tartan you can do so here:-


6th April

National Tartan Day

On This Day

6th April

1199 – King Richard I of England died from an infection following the removal of an arrow from his shoulder.

1320 - The Declaration of Arbroath was signed to declare Scottish independence.

1652 – At the Cape of Good Hope, Dutch sailor Jan van Riebeeck established a resupply camp that eventually becomes Cape Town.

1814 – Napoleon abdicated and was exiled to Elba.

1869 – Celluloid was patented.

1917 – The United States declared war on Germany.

1919 – Gandhi ordered a General Strike.

1930 – Gandhi raised a lump of mud and salt and declared, "With this, I am shaking the foundations of the British Empire," and he was right.

1994 – The aircraft carrying Rwandan president Juvénal Habyarimana and Burundian president Cyprien Ntaryamira was shot down, beginning one of the most shameful moments in history.

1998 – Tammy Wynette, American country singer died.

Interesting Place - Dudley

A ferris wheel has been branded the "worst tourist attraction in Britain" because it offers panoramic views of - Dudley.

(In a bid to put Dudley "back on the map", the 114 ft (35m) attraction has been erected in the centre of the Black Country town. Sponsored by local radio station Free Radio, it costs a mere £4.50 a ride. It was previously erected in Birmingham, but will only be in the town for one month.

Organisers boast that it offers a birds-eye view of the regeneration of the town centre, including the zoo and castle, but people in the town and surrounding areas have criticised the move and fear it will make them a "laughing stock".

Local resident Barney Fletcher said, "Who would want to spend £4.50 to go and get an elevated view of some old office buildings, an abandoned bingo hall and a shopping centre?",and it's already been nicknamed the "Dud-l'eye" (which is how the town is pronounced in a West Midlands accent.)

On This Day

5th April

456 - St. Patrick returned to Ireland as a missionary bishop.

1614 - In Virginia, Native American Pocahontas married English colonist John Rolfe.

1621 - The Mayflower set sail from Plymouth, Massachusetts on a return trip to Great Britain.

1722 - The Dutch explorer Jacob Roggeveen discovered Easter Island.

1904 - The first international rugby league match was played between England and an Other Nationalities team (Welsh & Scottish players) in Central Park, Wigan, England.

1923 - Firestone Tyre and Rubber Company began production of balloon-tyres.

1930 - In an act of civil disobedience, Gandhi broke British law by marching to the sea and making salt.

1955 - Winston Churchill resigned as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom amid indications of failing health.

1956 - Fidel Castro declared himself at war with the President of Cuba.

2008 - Charlton Heston died.

Interesting Fact - House Prices

According to figures released by the Office for National Statistics, house prices in the UK have risen 47 thousand percent since the Queen was born.

(The average house price has risen from just over £600 when she was born in 1926 to £291,000 today.

To put that into perspective,  a pint of milk cost the equivalent of 1.3p in 1926 and is only 42p today, a rise of 3,131%. However, if the price of milk had risen in line with property prices it would cost £612.57 a pint.

47,000% ! If only my income had increased that much.)


4 / 4 / 16
Square Root Day - The 4th day of the 4th month of the 16th year.


4x4 = 16

The next square root day won't be until 2025.  Can you work out what date it will fall on?

On This Day

2nd April

1932 - Charles Lindbergh left $50,000 in a New York City cemetery in hope of regaining his kidnapped son, Charles Augustus Lindbergh Jr. Sadly the infant was later found dead. Bruno Hauptmann was convicted of kidnapping and murder and executed by electrocution on April 3, 1936.

On This Day

1st April

1318 - Berwick-upon-Tweed was captured by the Scottish from the English.

1826 - Samuel Morey patented the internal combustion engine.

1867 - Singapore became a British crown colony.

1873 - The British steamer RMS Atlantic sank off Nova Scotia, 547 people died.

1891 - The Wrigley Company was founded in Chicago, Illinois.

1918 - The Royal Air Force was created by the merger of the Royal Flying Corps and the Royal Naval Air Service.

1924 - Adolf Hitler was sentenced to five years in jail for his participation in the "Beer Hall Putsch". However, he spent only nine months in jail, during which time he wrote the book Mein Kampf. (Just shows you prison is no deterrent.)

1949 - The twenty-six counties of the Irish Free State became the Republic of Ireland.

1976 - Apple Computer was formed by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak.

1979 - Iran became an Islamic Republic by a 98% vote, officially overthrowing the Shah.

1981 - Daylight saving time was introduced in the USSR.

2001 - S…

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