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Squills 6/27/2016 - 7/2/2016



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Mon Jun 27, 2016 4:28 pm
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Welcome to Squills, the official news bulletin of the Young Writers Society!

What will you find here? Tons of interesting news about YWS, including but not limited to: articles about writing, art, and the world of humanities; interviews with YWS members; shameless plugs; link round-ups; and opinionated columns.

And where will all of this come from? Take a look at our fantastic creative staff!

CREATIVE STAFF


Spoiler! :
Editor-in-Chief
megsug

General Editors
Gravity
Lavvie

Friendly Neighborhood Robot
SquillsBot

Literary Reporter
Available - PM SquillsBot if interested

Community Reporter
AliceAfternoon

Poetry Enchantress
Aley

Resources Reporter
PretzelStick

Storybook Reporter
Available - PM SquillsBot if interested

Quibbles Columnist
Lavvie

Writer's World Columnist
Lightsong

Link Cowgirl
megsug

Social Correspondent
Available - PM SquillsBot if interested

Associates of Pruno and Gruno
Pruno - Available - PM SquillsBot if interested
Gravity

Code Master
Available - PM SquillsBot if interested

General Reporters
Morrigan



Of course, our content can’t come only from our staff. We also depend on you to help keep Squills successful. You’re all a part of a writing community, after all. If you’re interested in submitting to Squills, pop on over to the Reader’s Corner to find out how you can get involved by contributing an article or participating in other Squills activities. You can also subscribe to the Squills Fan Club , or PM SquillsBot to receive a notification each time a new issue is published!

Well, that’s all I have for now. So, what are you waiting for? Enjoy!





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Mon Jun 27, 2016 4:33 pm
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FEATURED MEMBER INTERVIEW: CLEVERCLOGS
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written by Aley < PM: >

This week brings us a new Featured Member, and it's no surprise that it's someone who's been in the spotlight a number of times, with spectacular reviews, and activity in the forums. The new featured member is none other than @cleverclogs!

If you're familiar with this user's work you'll know that clever is a huge fan of poetry, with ample knowledge on the subject. The reviews she gives are tailored to helping improve whatever it is she finds in a clear, well explained information along with helpful links, quotes, and other coding information.

Also, if you've had the chance to interact with cleverclogs, you know that she's welcoming and happy to chat. Without further ado, here's the interview!

Squills: Thank you so much for giving me your time for this interview. I really appreciate it.


cleverclogs: No problem!

S: How did it feel when you found out you were the featured member?


C: I was really surprised! Especially since I haven't been particularly active with reviewing recently. I didn't even find out through the forum or index page- Elysium posted a comment on my wall.

S: Do you know why you were featured?


C: They ran out of good people to use? XD

S: Hah, I doubt that's it. Usually the featured member is active, sociable, and has good, solid reviews. So what do you do to be such an amazing member?


C: Well, out of all those things, I put a lot of effort into my reviews. And I'm very active in Randomosity!

S: What do you like to do in Randomosity?


C: Mostly the pointless threads like "Rate the avatar above you" or "corrupt a wish". I also like "speed write the word above you", although it's not technically in Randomosity.

S: What's your favorite game?


C: Corrupt a wish is a lot of fun.

S: What do you do to make your reviews top notch?


C: Well, first of all, I only review works if I feel like I can find specific things that can be improved, and if I can express my thoughts about it clearly. I couldn't take review requests because there are a lot of pieces that I just couldn't write quality reviews for. But for the pieces I do review, I try to find more generalized problems. Sure, it's helpful to point out a typo, but if the imagery still needs work, it doesn't help the whole work become better.

S: Do you only review poetry?


C: I prefer to review poetry, but I'll sometimes do short stories or very early novel chapters, especially on review days. The poetry all gets reviewed very quickly on review days!

S: Speaking of, are you planning on participating?


C: I wish, but I'm going to camp! I will have my phone, but I don't dare to write reviews on that. I'd have to switch keyboards about 5 times just to type the ["quote"] code every time I needed to!

S: Yeah, that would be a nightmare! So what are your plans on YWS?


C: TO CONQUER THE WORLD! Nah. The closest thing I have to a goal right now is to get my 5th star. After that, I guess I just want to remain active forever! XD

S: That's a wonderful goal! Do you have anything you'd like to share with Squills?


C: Well, I was recently exposed as an alien by CandyWizard, but I hope YWS won't think any less of me!

S: Hah XD I doubt we will. We accept all types here. Welcome to the Universe!


C: Thank you! It's good to be here! XD

S: That's all the questions I have, did I miss anything you think I should have asked?


C: Not at all! Thanks so much for interviewing me!

S: Thanks so much for letting me! I hope to see you around.


So, clearly our aliens are assimilating well. If you see cleverclogs around, congratulate them on being the featured member and maybe we can stop this one from leaving! You might even be one of the lucky few who get her to her next star.

Until next time!





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Mon Jun 27, 2016 4:35 pm
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REVIEWBUDDY, AN INTERVIEW
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written by Aley < PM: >

Some of you may have noticed that there's a raccoon in our midst. They've been successfully getting on YWS for the last several months, actually, since April. So what's a raccoon doing on YWS? Well review tips of course! What else would a raccoon do?

@ReviewBuddy provides YWS with tips about how to review, and review well. So far, there have been nineteen in total and if you've missed the bad wagon following this fuzzy friend, here's a summary and link of them.

1. Use BBcode to make your review look cleaner. Read the full post here
2. Avoid reviewing old works. Read the full post here
3. Use specific examples. Read the full post here
4. When praising, be specific too. Read the full post here
5. Avoid insulting the author. Read the full post here
6. Use your resources. Read the full post here
7. Take notes while you're reading. Read the full post here
8. Don't apologize for your review, make it better! Read the full post here
9. Quality is more important than quantity. Read the full post here
10. Generalize patterns of repetitious mistakes. Read the full post here
11. Encourage the author to contact you if they have questions. Read the full post here
12. Write constructive criticism. Read the full post here
13. Don't badmouth someone's writing ability. Read the full post here
14. Write more than just the typos you see. Read the full post here
15. Use quote codes! Read the full post here
16. End on a positive note. Read the full post here
17. Don't just agree with the previous reviewer, add more! Read the full post here
18. Remember that there's individuality in styles. Read the full post here
19. Use proper grammar in your reviews. Read the full post here

As ReviewBuddy makes use of the people tab, you may have already seen people re-posting these, but now you can follow the source and get the information first hand.

Not only does following ReviewBuddy give you a reminder to review when you see one of their posts, it also gives us a way to improve our reviews without needing to ask someone how well we review. This is super beneficial because we can also share review tips that we think people need to hear, and if we all start signal boosting, then we can all improve!

I cornered our cuddly creature for an interview about what makes them tick, and here's how it went.

Squills: What made you want to start sharing review tips?


ReviewBuddy: I saw many new reviewers struggling to learn how to review. As more and more new members joined YWS, fewer and fewer authors were receiving the full length, detailed reviews that they deserved. I searched the site to see if anyone was trying to solve this problem, but was disappointed to see that the new, unexperienced reviewers were being left to their own devices. I decided to start up my review tips in hopes of helping reviewers improve.

S: What sort of feedback have you gotten from YWS?


R: I'm pleased to say that I've been getting some very positive feedback! I was surprised to see how eager reviewers were to use my tips. Many people have messaged me to express their gratitude and I've seen a ton of overall improvement throughout the site (which I'd love to try and take a little credit for ;) )

S: Do you have a plan on what you're going to be sharing as your tip?


R: No, I don't usually plan out tips ahead of time. A lot of times, they occur to me as I'm reading through works and reviews. When I see many reviewers struggling with the same issue in writing their reviews, I like to write up a helpful reviewing tip and post it on my wall in hopes of solving the problem on a larger scale.

S: What's your favorite reviewing tip?


R: I've always believed that it's important for reviewers to be detailed in their reviews. Not only is it important to give critique, but it's important to explain what your suggested edits mean and why they are valid. Then the writer can take your critique and apply it to their others works. I also like to show people how to use bbcode-- it makes reviews so much more clean and organized.

S: How do you determine what types of tips you're going to share?


R: It's quite simple! I write my tips based on what the reviewers of the site seem to need at the time being.

S: It looks like you have tips close to once a week. Is this a personal schedule you're making for yourself?


R: Being a raccoon, I have little concept of time. The sun rises and it sets, I know that for sure. I tend to just write my tips whenever I'm done rooting through garbage and I get my hands on a computer. I'll usually post them whenever they come to mind, but if I think of a lot at once, I do try to space them out.

S: Do you have certain articles or resources you use to help you write your reviewing tips?


R: Many of my tips simply come from personal experience as a reviewer and a YWSer. However, I also find the Knowledge Base to be an incredibly valuable resource, and I link to it quite often. YWS is already chock-full of great reviewing resources, but I bring this information directly to the People tab so it's easier for people to find. I can also find useful tidbits of information when digging through my local literary critic's trash can!

S: What would you suggest to a reviewer who was struggling with starting to review?


R: I'd say it's always important to read through a work thoroughly before you begin to review. Then, once you start the review, point out things you liked and didn't like, and add lots of specific details to make sure that the author understands what you're saying and why you're saying it. And of course, don't forget to be kind! Don't write trash, eat it! I'd also tell them that nobody becomes a great reviewer overnight. It takes practice and experience, just like any other skill. And of course, I'd point them to the Knowledge Base, which has some wonderfully written articles that are a good read for all YWSers, whether you're a new member or an experienced reviewer.

S: Do you have anything else you'd like to say to the readers of Squills?


R: I think this would be a great opportunity for me to mention that I have plans to start of a little shout-out system for particularly good reviewers. Keep an eye out for some wall posts that I may throw out there in the next week or so!

ReviewBuddy doesn't just talk the talk either, they write reviews! They've only done 5 stellar examples trying to get on the chat-bar, but those examples are quite stellar. If you're ever stuck or want an example of how to do all of the things that ReviewBuddy suggests, just take a peak at those!

One of my personal favorite review tips from ReviewBuddy is Review Tip 7 , use a notepad to keep track of your thoughts and comments and any mistakes you see while reading the work. Not only does this save time and give you somewhere to start your review, but it allows you to spend your 15 minutes as you write your review looking for patterns and bigger picture things as you review, especially on a longer work.

With Review Day this weekend, Review Tip 9 is especially important. It's important to produce quality reviews, not just because we're going to be writing them, but because we're going to be caught up in the thrill of trying to get the most reviews around. ReviewBuddy covered this last time Review Day was coming up.



If you've joined a review team, then the competition of Review Day might tempt you to quickly write a lot of short reviews in order to get your team ahead. However, make sure you remember to help the author. Don't rush through your reviews or diminish them in quality just because it's Review Day, because that's not fair to the authors.



But Review Day started as a chance to encourage writing quality reviews, not just a bunch of them, and clear out the Green Room so that we can start YWS on a fresh slate in the new month and try to guarantee that all works will have at least one review by the time a month goes by.

It sucks when you have a work that's three or four months old and it hasn't been reviewed yet. Authors have usually moved on so much in just a week that it usually means you're reviewing an old work, and one of ReviewBuddy's tips is to avoid reviewing old works, Review Tip 2 . ReviewBuddy goes into all of the reasons why reviewing old work might not be as beneficial as reviewing newer work. Here's the list.



Depending on how old the work is, the author may be:

-Greatly improved from the time they posted the work, and thus not needing your feedback anymore
-Not interested in getting feedback anymore simply because of work's age
-Not even active on YWS anymore
-Kind of annoyed with you for dragging up all their old works
-Secretly agreeing with Elsa:

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So let's clear out the Green Room this Review Day and give these authors a chance to move on from the past and into the future with their full potential! With everyone just doing one review this weekend in the Green Room it's possible to get through it, and if we don't? Keep trying! There are a lot of reviewers who just miss review day but that shouldn't dishearten you or stop you from writing reviews! It's supposed to happen all month long, so take advantage of a slack in the Green Room and keep going.

But if you're scrolling through the People tab and you're looking for something good to read, check out ReviewBuddy's wall. Here's the best part: Raccoons. With all of ReviewBuddy's helpful tips, they also add a raccoon gif to make their point exceptionally clear. Don't believe me? Go check it out!

You won't be disappointed.





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Mon Jun 27, 2016 4:39 pm
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GREEN ROOM GALLERY
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written by Lightsong < PM: >

Before we start off, I would like to say congratulations to all reviewers who have contributed to ‘buy’ (which meant review) many pieces in the Green Room. It is obvious that many have the qualifications to be a Green Knight. You can check more about it in Clean the Green . Right now, the Room has 27 works with one review and nine works with zero review. This statistic is taken on 27th June 2016. Now, let's see what pieces are being showcased for this edition. Hmm...

Angels Pt. 4: The Last Installment. by @CatRose17
Under ann action/adventure novel, this part revolves around the main character named Ara, with "Angels are selfless things" as its description. This fourth part of the novel has been in the Room since 1st of June, 2016. You can read the first chapter here .

Chapter 3 - Friend of Royalty | The Performer: A Danganronpa Fanfiction by @BornLoser
This novel is based on the anime Danganronpa (which I recommend you to watch) and is a teen fiction. This piece has been in the Room since 2nd of June, 2016. The first chapter can be read here .

Black Contamination_ chapter 2: A new start by @Maricore
This novel is the second chapter out of two chapters that have been posted. Put under adventure and spiritual genres, it has been in the Room since 4th of June, 2016. You can read the first chapter here .

Hell is Other People (novel, part 2 chapter I) by @Lemons
'Philosophical novel. Nihilism and happiness. 19th century Russia' is the description for this interesting chapter. It is put under literature and historical fiction genres, and has been in the Room since 6th of June, 2016. You can read the first page of the novel here .

Cat Steps Chapter 2.6 by @Rosendorn
A fantasy novel with politic intrigues, Cat Steps follows Kerani, a woman with an ability to sense emotion. The description, "Chains break. You must find the missing link (part 1/2 for the scene)" is worth pondering. It has been in the Room since 20th of June, 2016. The first chapter can be read here .

And that is all! As you can see, the list is two pieces shorter than the previous one, and that is thanks to all of you who have reviewed and managed to reduce the number of available pieces in the Room. Hopefully this productivity is maintained! Keep up the good job! Until next time! :D





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Mon Jun 27, 2016 4:42 pm
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EXTERNALS
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written by Aley < PM: >

Welcome to a news column for Squills. This column will briefly cover stuff that happened in the news this week in a way that will help you get back to the basics of the story. It will also let you go more in depth, and more up-to-date with the story through links to multiple sources on most stories.

This week, I bring you two news stories, one on Brexit, which has a big impact on the economic system of the world, and one on some science which could change science-fiction for a long time to come.

Brexit
For those of you who are not familiar with international politics, we have to start with explaining the European Union. This is a collective of states (also known as "countries" to people in the United States) which agreed to vote and act as a block in World Politics. There are some big names in there too including France, Italy, and Germany. These groups meet together to decide big ticket things like standardizing laws for trade, and have free movement between their boarders. Basically, the governments of the countries agreed to create a government among their countries while maintaining the individual countries as sovereign nations.

This was formed after WWII and the EU or European Union helps stabilize things like trade by creating standardized guidelines among themselves and how they interact with the rest of the world. It basically makes everything more peaceful and collective.

Brexit, is actually "British Exit" and basically Great Britain (United Kingdome) decided to leave the European Union recently. Very recently.

The why is harder to explain than it seems. Basically Great Britain decided to leave the EU because of immigration happening across Europe. The EU allows immigrants to cross through countries and work wherever there are jobs. Britain's campaign to leave the EU centered around getting jobs back in the hands of the British.

The vote was narrowly won on June 23rd of this year, no seriously, recently! Basically what this means for the future is that Great Britain will have to re-negotiate all of the things that it had agreed to with the EU for itself with the EU they left, and the countries within it. They're still going to have to abide by all the rules and laws that they had previously been complying with because they still are going to need access to the biggest trade market in the world, which helps support their economy. Currently, their economy is taking a dive because of the lost confidence from those who did not want to leave, and the uncertain future of Britain now.

Overall, this is going to take years to play out, so when you're graduating and employed, you might be seeing a very different Great Britain.

After the positive results for the Brexit campaign, many other countries are re-evaluating their involvement with the European Union as well.

For more information, here are a couple articles to get you started.


LIGO
This may look like some sort of name of a league of superheros, but I assure you, it's much cooler than that. LIGO stands for "Laser Interferometer Gravitational-Wave Observatory" and basically it's a giant facility, like- giant, which is built to detect gravitational waves. But what is a gravitational wave?

Basically it's a ripple in gravity caused by huge objects such as, and mostly relating to, black holes. LIGO is a science observatory set up to detect these waves, and they've done it! This is a huge breakthrough for science because just recently is the first time they were ever proven to exist and that backed up Albert Einstein's theory that they did exist in the first place.

This is one of those amazing science things that's going to change the way we look at the universe, and perhaps, in time, come to understand something as fundamental as gravity because there is still a lot we really don't understand despite knowing the basics.

For a much better explanation than I can ever give, here are some links to get you into the subject.



Politics
Despite the heat of this year's political debate over the next US president, I'm not going to cover what's going on right now, just the basics. There's a lot of information out there, but the basics are that there is a man who is seen as an economic powerhouse without any background as a political official running against a woman who has been in politics for years. From all her time in public office, she's amassed many scandals and headlines for herself, and she was once the wife of the president of the United States. Meanwhile, the man she's running against is basically a walking advertisement for himself. He's often upsetting people with strongly polarized opinions. For many people, it's like voting between a supervillain and a lawyer (when no one likes lawyers). It's your guess who is who in that analogy.

See you next time.





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Mon Jun 27, 2016 4:44 pm
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'MERICAN SUMMER
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written by Morrigan < PM: >

As a natural born American citizen, I have never had the privilege of experiencing a summer without that star-spangled flag infiltrating almost every day. Summer is inextricably connected with the colors red, white, and blue. It seems that there would be better ways to cool off in the summer than standing at a barbecue next to a flaming hot grill, or sitting knee deep in mosquito-infested grass while you wait for the fireworks to start.
The reason, however, for the connection between American iconography and summer is the holy trinity of American holidays: Memorial Day, Independence Day, and Labor Day. Memorial Day is celebrated on the last Monday of May, and observes the remembrance of fallen US soldiers. It heralds the coming of summer with parades and lots of flag waving. Independence Day is celebrated on July 4, with fireworks at night, and lots of carrying-on. This falls right in the middle of summer, and its celebration of freedom is mirrored by the freedom of school-age children. Labor Day falls in September, which is arguably the first month of fall, but it heralds the end of an American summer with one last barbecue.
All three are celebrated by ritual barbecue, usually potlucks, that seem to make red, white, and blue food magically appear. America loves barbecues.
Another thing that links America to summer is the astronomical number of star-spangled bathing suits for sale. Nothing screams summer like stars and stripes under the surface of the water.
Even when I try to cool off, I'm haunted by red, white, and blue. The Bomb Pop , a classic since 1955, is the epitome of Americana in frozen delights.
Don't get me wrong; summer is amazing. However, being surrounded for an entire season by symbols of my country can be tiring. American flag jean shorts surround me in my nightmares. I'll just stay inside, away from barbecue and sunburn, until after Labor Day, when the leaves begin to turn, and pumpkin spice lattes replace the proliferation of 'Merica.





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Mon Jun 27, 2016 4:48 pm
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THIS WEEK'S ROUND UP 6/26
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written by megsug < PM: >

Holy linguistics! Language has cropped up a little more than normal this week in the forums. Check it out in This Week’s Roundup.


Seven years ago @thunder_dude7 wrote an article to help out anyone who struggled with third person. @seeminglymeaningless revived it for the site’s attention. thunder_dude7 tips include writing in what they call “Diary Style.” They explain what that is:



Basically, in Diary Style, you pretend you are the main character in that scene - then, think of it like the character is writing their diary in third person.




If 3rd person is the bane of your existence, check out this article!


With verses. @PeguinAttack announced the beginning of the Poetry Wars. Poems can be submitted by anyone using this template:



Username:
Guest Judge?:
Poem Title:
Copy of Poem:




An explanation of the template is provided on the thread.

Basically, out of all the poems that are submitted, two are randomly selected and through popular vote and judge scores, a winner is declared. See how your poem does in the melee!


@hiraeth needs help:



Hey guys, for part of my school's linguistic study, I have to study language change. And though I can't tell you all what I'm investigating (because that would ruin the essay), I need to create a survey and tablet my results.

So, I would be very thankful if some lovely YWSers can help me out by recording themselves on Vocaroo , saying the following sentences.




Help them out by filling out a form and reading sentences off a screen.


@Wunderbar has a world building question:



What's the best way to portray linguistic differences in a story? I'm planning out a book that takes place in a fictional world, and no one there speaks English since English doesn't exist, but anything that the main character of a section can understand is glossed as English. People speaking with different accents and using different words and grammar (as well as different languages) is pretty central to a lot of things, and that would be easy to depict in a movie or something without being irritating but hard in a book.




@Holysocks suggested not focusing on lingual differences, but other cultural tells like religion. Do you have any suggestions?





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Mon Jun 27, 2016 4:51 pm
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SHAMELESS PLUGS
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written by SquillsBot < PM: >

We love to run articles and questions, but we also love to advertise for you. Let people know about your new blog, a poem or story you’re looking for reviews on, or a forum thread you’d like more traffic on through Squills’ Shameless Plugs. PM @SquillsBot with the exact formatting of your advertisement, contained in the following code.

Code: Select all
Place advertisement here. Make sure you include a title!


And now for this week's Shameless Plugs!


Poetry Wars


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Click the image for more information!


That's all folks~ Now send us yours.





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Mon Jun 27, 2016 4:52 pm
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SUBSCRIBERS
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written by SquillsBot < PM: >

Find enspoiler-ed a list of our subscribers!

Spoiler! :
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Do you, too, want to be enspoiler-ed and receive a personal weekly notification when the Squills newsletter is posted? Shoot a PM over to SquillsBot to let him know, and you'll be pinged along with the next issue!








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