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Old 05-21-2012, 10:43 PM  
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Science is Cool....

This is a repository for all cool scientific discussion and fascination. Scientific facts, theories, and overall cool scientific stuff that you'd like to share with others. Stuff that makes you smile and wonder at the amazing shit going on around us, that most people don't notice.

Post pictures, vidoes, stories, or links. Ask questions. Share science.

This is in support of the Penny 4 NASA project. If you enjoy anything you learned from this thread, consider making a donation and signing the petition.

http://www.penny4nasa.org/

Why should I care?:


Last edited by Fish; 01-07-2013 at 08:55 AM..
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Old 01-20-2014, 10:06 AM   #1261
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This is like a UFO photo, it's intriguing but why doesn't NASA release a more zoomed in photo of the object if it is such a mystery?
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Old 01-22-2014, 11:11 AM   #1262
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Supernova in M82. This is close folks...

Look at the bright light in the center of the galaxy. Wasnt there then boom.

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High Tech is Sorcery and the people who are really powerful are literally telling people to commit crimes using the psychic interspace created by the WWW and Wireless. They are controlling peoples actions like drones . The two things are deeply intertwined. The more man's brain interfaces with machines the creepier it gets. They use brains separate from a human body in a supercomputer and you have The Image of the Beast. The military has been doing this since the 50s
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Old 01-22-2014, 11:13 AM   #1263
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Just under 11.5 million years ago, a star in a galaxy went #boom. We're just seeing the effects of that now here on Earth

Why is this new #supernova in M82 exciting? Closest since 1987. Type we use to study dark energy. Binocular-visible. Might get neutrinos.


http://blogs.discovery.com/inscider/...#mkcpgn=fbsci1
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High Tech is Sorcery and the people who are really powerful are literally telling people to commit crimes using the psychic interspace created by the WWW and Wireless. They are controlling peoples actions like drones . The two things are deeply intertwined. The more man's brain interfaces with machines the creepier it gets. They use brains separate from a human body in a supercomputer and you have The Image of the Beast. The military has been doing this since the 50s
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Old 01-22-2014, 11:38 AM   #1264
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Nasa says Mars mystery rock that ‘appeared’ from nowhere is ‘like nothing we’ve seen before’

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/sc...e-9070323.html

A mysterious rock which appeared in front of the Opportunity rover is "like nothing we've ever seen before", according to Mars exploration scientists at Nasa.

Experts said they were "completely confused" by both the origins and makeup of the object, which is currently being investigated by Opportunity's various measuring instruments.

Astronomers noticed the new rock had "appeared" without any explanation on an outcrop which had been empty just days earlier. The rover has been stuck photographing the same region of Mars for more than a month due to bad weather, with scientists at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in California monitoring the images it sends.

Nasa issued a Mars status report entitled "encountering a surprise", and lead Mars Exploration rover scientist Steve Squyres told a JPL event it seems the planet literally "keeps throwing new things at us".

He said the images, from 12 Martian days apart, were from no more than a couple of weeks ago. "We saw this rock just sitting here. It looks white around the edge in the middle and there’s a low spot in the centre that's dark red - it looks like a jelly doughnut.

"And it appeared, just plain appeared at that spot - and we haven't ever driven over that spot."

That's.. strange.

A few things: Does the rover only take pics or constant video (if it recorded video they could find out how it got there, no?)? How large is the rock (could it have been blown there by the wind from the "bad weather"?)? What kind of weather does Mars have (is it just like Earth's weather but sans rain?)? Can't they do a super image enhance to see what exactly the red center is (what could the red center be?)?
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Old 01-27-2014, 09:03 AM   #1265
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Sweet. And I want them to be tap on, like those ones in Avatar....


We may one day be reading by the light of a houseplant



Tired of filling your house with boring old ficus plants and ferns for a little greenery? You're in luck, because you could soon be able to bring home your own luminescent plant. No, it isn't the result of some kind of nuclear accident. The plants are engineered by the biotechnology company Bioglow and were first announced in 2010 when molecular biologist Alexander Krichevsky et al. published the results in PLOS One. Since that initial report, the team has been working to refine the technique and get the plants growing brighter.

Bioluminescence can be found in a variety of organisms, including certain jellyfish, bacteria, and insects. These creatures use their natural glow for many reasons, including scaring off predators or attracting prey. For modern scientists, bioluminescence is used a standard marker used in biological research, as it gives scientists a very clear confirmation that the genetic modification was successful. Now, plants that are genetically engineered to be bioluminescent will be available to the public as a novelty, though it could have future implications as a truly–ahem–green source of energy.

Glowing plants have been attempted for some time now, but required the use of special dyes or UV lights. Because the properties that made these glow were from an external source, these didn’t really work all that well and were not truly bioluminescent. Bioglow’s plants will be the first commercially available plants that have been altered to be autonomously luminescent (which Krichevsky describes as “autoluminescent”).

The glowing plants have been named Starlight AvatarTM. They are an engineered version of Nicotiana alata plants, which is an ornamental tobacco species. Don’t let that put you off; the plant smells like jasmine, not an old bowling alley. Its moniker comes from the fact that it glows about as bright as starlight. Depending on the individual, the light can be seen as soon as the lights go out, but it may also take a couple minutes for your eyes to adjust.

The biggest drawback of the plant now is that they have a relatively short lifespan at only 2-3 months because it takes so much out of the plant to create the light. The lab continues to work on increasing the longevity of the plant as well as ramping up the brightness. It is the company’s hope that someday these plants could be used to provide a natural source of light inside the home and even possibly replace garden lights, saving money and energy.

Dying to get your hands on one of the first Starlight AvatarTM plants? Bioglow will be holding an auction for the first twenty plants. It doesn’t cost anything to sign up for the auction, but you do need to register on Bioglow’s website to get on the email list for the auction link. The auction is only open to those in the United States and bidding starts at just $1, plus shipping fees.
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Old 01-27-2014, 09:08 AM   #1266
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Shrilk. Bug armor.

Shrilk: Bug-Inspired 'Plastic' Made from Shrimp Shells



If imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, then insects have a lot to be flattered about. From cameras to robots, bugs have already inspired a lot of technology, and now two scientists working at Harvard's Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering are looking to replace plastic with a new material based on the hard shells of insects. They call their material "Shrilk."

Traditional plastics are the children of oil. They are derived from the petrochemical process. Some take thousands of years to naturally degrade and "disappear" back into Earth’s environment. But bug parts break down in only a year or two.

Many insects, like houseflies and beetles, have rigid exoskeletons. So do ocean –dwelling distant relatives like shrimp. It's why they make such a loud crunching sound when you step on one. The exoskeleton is made out of cuticle, a composite of the natural polymer "chitin" and silklike strands of a rubbery substance called "resilin." Cuticle is light enough to allow many insects to fly, variable enough to be flexible at the joints and strong enough to protect an insect's internal structures.

Postdoctoral fellow Javier Fernandez and Wyss Institute director Donald Ingber created an artificial version of chitin that is light, clear, strong as aluminum but weighs only about half as much. Shrilk is also biodegradable. This extends its potential uses beyond consumer plastics and into medical sutures, scaffolds and protective burn coverings that dissolve over time.

Making Shrilk required carefully analyzing the chemistry of insect chitin. Hard insect exoskeletons are made from layers of polysaccharide polymer and a protein in a plywoodlike structure. Insects use this relatively simple recipe to create hard shells and pliable joints.

Shrilk uses a structurally strong polysaccharide made from shrimp shells called chitosan (which can also be made from snail and clam shells) and a protein derived from silk called fibroin, layering them together just like in nature. Both of these materials are easy to obtain, meaning Shrilk could be cheap to make and easy to scale up should demand increase.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has already approved Shrilk's ingredients, which would make it easier to use for medical purposes. According to Ingber, a number of companies have already expressed interest in the material, but work on Shrilk continues in the lab, exploring ways to use the material in moist environments (it becomes flexible when wet) and in simplifying the manufacturing process.
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Old 01-27-2014, 09:12 AM   #1267
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Remember Ceres? The dwarf planet that had it's full planet status stolen long before Pluto?

Turns out it's got lots of water.

Herschel detects that Ceres has large amounts of water



Ceres has always been believed to have an icy, rocky surface and now new evidence finally confirms that this is true. Scientists using the Herschel Space Telescope have detected ice on the surface and water vapor in the dwarf planet’s atmosphere. The study was led by Michael Küppers of the ESA and the results were published in Nature.

Ceres is the largest and roundest body within the main asteroid belt which exists between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. First discovered in 1801, Ceres was classified as a planet. It would later be reclassified as the first named asteroid by Sir William Herschel. In 2006, the meeting of the International Astronomical Union voted on specific definitions for different planetary bodies, resulting in yet another reclassification of Ceres, this time as a dwarf planet. This was the same meeting that reclassified Pluto to dwarf planet status as well. Ceres has only about 1% of the mass of the moon with an estimated surface area about the size of Argentina.

Though Ceres has always been believed to have ice on the surface, it has never actually been shown before. The researchers used the Herschel Space Telescope to study radiation deflecting off of Ceres and found that the wavelength indicated the presence of water vapor. Not only does the dwarf planet have ice, it has a lot of it. Researchers believe that surrounding its rocky core is a mantle of ice so thick, it could very well hold more water than Earth does.

The plumes of water vapor are a bit of a mystery to the astronomers and has raised a lot of questions about how they appear. It could be that part of the dwarf planet’s orbit brings it slightly closer to the sun, which warms up the ice and then vents off as steam, though there could be radioactivity within the core that causes the sublimated water to be expelled. Water vapor does not appear to be venting all the time and the amount coming out does not seem to be held constant. The vents do not appear sporadically and appear to be restricted to two separate areas. At maximum, the vents were observed to release about 6 kilograms (13.2 pounds) of water per second.

In 2007, NASA launched the Dawn space probe with a mission of studying Ceres and Vesta, a large asteroid. Dawn will study the geology, chemical composition, and atmospheres of these two proto-planets in order to better understand planetary formation. The spacecraft is expected to rendezvous with the dwarf planet in February of 2015. This is incredibly good timing, as scientists won’t really have to wait long to take up close measurements and follow up with these preliminary observations. Information collected from Dawn will help researchers understand how water was distributed throughout the solar system, and how it ended up on a planet capable of retaining it as a liquid: the prerequisite for life as we know it.
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Old 01-27-2014, 09:15 AM   #1268
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Originally Posted by Fish View Post
Sweet. And I want them to be tap on, like those ones in Avatar....


We may one day be reading by the light of a houseplant



Tired of filling your house with boring old ficus plants and ferns for a little greenery? You're in luck, because you could soon be able to bring home your own luminescent plant. No, it isn't the result of some kind of nuclear accident. The plants are engineered by the biotechnology company Bioglow and were first announced in 2010 when molecular biologist Alexander Krichevsky et al. published the results in PLOS One. Since that initial report, the team has been working to refine the technique and get the plants growing brighter.

Bioluminescence can be found in a variety of organisms, including certain jellyfish, bacteria, and insects. These creatures use their natural glow for many reasons, including scaring off predators or attracting prey. For modern scientists, bioluminescence is used a standard marker used in biological research, as it gives scientists a very clear confirmation that the genetic modification was successful. Now, plants that are genetically engineered to be bioluminescent will be available to the public as a novelty, though it could have future implications as a truly–ahem–green source of energy.

Glowing plants have been attempted for some time now, but required the use of special dyes or UV lights. Because the properties that made these glow were from an external source, these didn’t really work all that well and were not truly bioluminescent. Bioglow’s plants will be the first commercially available plants that have been altered to be autonomously luminescent (which Krichevsky describes as “autoluminescent”).

The glowing plants have been named Starlight AvatarTM. They are an engineered version of Nicotiana alata plants, which is an ornamental tobacco species. Don’t let that put you off; the plant smells like jasmine, not an old bowling alley. Its moniker comes from the fact that it glows about as bright as starlight. Depending on the individual, the light can be seen as soon as the lights go out, but it may also take a couple minutes for your eyes to adjust.

The biggest drawback of the plant now is that they have a relatively short lifespan at only 2-3 months because it takes so much out of the plant to create the light. The lab continues to work on increasing the longevity of the plant as well as ramping up the brightness. It is the company’s hope that someday these plants could be used to provide a natural source of light inside the home and even possibly replace garden lights, saving money and energy.

Dying to get your hands on one of the first Starlight AvatarTM plants? Bioglow will be holding an auction for the first twenty plants. It doesn’t cost anything to sign up for the auction, but you do need to register on Bioglow’s website to get on the email list for the auction link. The auction is only open to those in the United States and bidding starts at just $1, plus shipping fees.
I'd probably be allergic to the damn thing.
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Old 01-27-2014, 09:23 AM   #1269
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And here's a big one. Hawking recently dropped this bomb shell....

Stephen Hawking: There Are No Black Holes

On reading a new paper by Stephen Hawking that appeared online this week, you would have been forgiven in thinking the world-renowned British physicist was spoofing us. Hawking's unpublished work — titled "Information Preservation and Weather Forecasting for Black Holes" and uploaded to the arXiv preprint service — declares that "there are no black holes."

Keep in mind that Hawking's bedrock theory of evaporating black holes revolutionized our understanding that the gravitational behemoths are not immortal; through a quantum quirk they leak particles (and therefore mass) via "Hawking radiation" over time. What's more, astronomers are finding new and exciting ways to detect black holes — they are even working on an interferometer network that may, soon, be able to directly image a black hole's event horizon!

Has Hawking changed his mind? Are black holes merely a figment of our collective imaginations? Are all those crank theories about "alternative" theories of the Cosmos true?!

Fortunately not.

Stephen Hawking hasn't changed his mind about the whole black hole thing, but he has thrown a complex physics paradox into the limelight, one that has been gnawing at the heart of theoretical physics for the last 18 months.

Black Hole Fight Club

It all boils down to a conflict between two fundamental ideas in physics that control the very fabric of our Universe; the clash of Einstein's general relativity and quantum dynamics. And it just so happens that the extreme environment in and around a black hole makes for the perfect "fight club" for the two theories to duke it out. But what's the first rule of the black hole fight club? Don't talk about the firewall, lest you get sucked into an argument with a theoretical physicist.

At a California Institute of Technology (Caltech) lecture in April 2013, Hawking and other prominent theoretical physicists had an opportunity to describe the problem at hand. Caltech's Kip Thorne, for example, described the firewall paradox as "a burning issue in theoretical physics."

The very basis of this burning issue is the thing that makes black holes black — the event horizon. In its most basic form, the event horizon of a black hole is the point at which even light cannot escape the gravitational clutches of the massive black hole singularity. If light cannot escape, it stands to reason that it will appear as a black sphere in space. It is a cosmic one-way street: everything goes in, nothing comes out.

An Unlucky Astronaut

In the general relativity universe, for an astronaut who had the misfortune to fall toward a black hole, he or she wouldn't notice anything untoward as they passed across the event horizon. It would be a fairly peaceful event, no drama. "Although later on you're doomed and you’ll encounter very strong gravitational forces that will pull you apart," noted Caltech physicist John Preskill at the 2013 Caltech event.

However, the quantum universe contradicts this "no drama" event horizon idea as predicted by general relativity.

In 2012, a group of physicists headed by Joseph Polchinski of the University of California in Santa Barbara revealed their finding that if black holes truly do not destroy information — a standpoint that Hawking himself reluctantly advocates — and that information can escape from the black hole through Hawking radiation, there must be a raging inferno just inside the event horizon they dub the "firewall."

In this case, rather than falling into a "no drama" event horizon, our unlucky astronaut gets burnt to a crisp before getting ripped apart by tidal shear. This is the very antithesis of "no drama" and, therefore, a paradox.

This apparent conflict between what general relativity predicts and what quantum dynamics predicts — two very established fields in physics — is precisely what theoretical physicists are trying to understand. This appears to be yet another situation where gravity and quantum dynamics don’t play nice, the solution of which may transform the way we view the Universe.

Apparent Horizons

So, when Hawking, one of the key players in the great firewall debate, writes a short paper on the topic (regardless of whether or not it has been published) the world takes note.

Hawking’s solution to the paradox removes the black hole’s event horizon, thereby removing the paradox; no event horizon, no firewall. But we're told all black holes have event horizons — the line you cannot cross or be forever lost inside the black hole — what gives?

Hawking thinks that the idea behind the event horizon needs to be reworked. Rather than the event horizon being a definite line beyond which even light cannot escape, Hawking invokes an "apparent horizon" that changes shape according to quantum fluctuations inside the black hole — it's almost like a "grey area" for extreme physics. An apparent horizon wouldn't violate either general relativity or quantum dynamics if the region just beyond the apparent horizon is a tangled, chaotic mess of information.

"Thus, like weather forecasting on Earth, information will effectively be lost, although there would be no loss of unitarity," writes Hawking. This basically means that although the information can escape from the black hole, its chaotic nature ensures it cannot be interpreted, sidestepping the firewall paradox all together.

Needless to say, this paper has done little to convince Polchinski. "It almost sounds like (Hawking) is replacing the firewall with a chaos-wall, which could be the same thing," he told New Scientist.

Much of the theoretical debate is hard to fathom and the result of calculations of physical events that we cannot possibly experience in our day to day lives. But don't mistake this particular debate as solely a high-brow argument in the theoretical physics community. Its foundations are rooted in the growing discomfort we are feeling with the mismatch of general relativity and quantum dynamics (particularly what role gravity plays in the quantum world), a problem that cannot be solved with our current understanding of the universe.

It is, after all, these science problems that we build multi-billion dollar particle accelerators for.
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Old 01-27-2014, 09:44 AM   #1270
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I've read all his stuff, it's interesting really he's relying on massive eruptions in the Siberian area and possibly India caused a massive reduction in the dinosaur population and possibly they were already dead. I doubt this is the case but reduction is likely.

And as for not finding bones at the KT boundary it's pretty apparent to anyone that studied the impact that the entire surface of the earth was incinerated in ways you have to study to understand. Surface of the earth was probably around 25000 degrees for a period of time. Only underground and deep ocean animals survived.
What about alligators?

Wouldn't the amber and other things we have found that trapped insects and other living things in them be burned up and completely gone at that temp?
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Old 01-27-2014, 09:45 AM   #1271
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Old 01-27-2014, 09:47 AM   #1272
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Nasa says Mars mystery rock that ‘appeared’ from nowhere is ‘like nothing we’ve seen before’

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/sc...e-9070323.html

A mysterious rock which appeared in front of the Opportunity rover is "like nothing we've ever seen before", according to Mars exploration scientists at Nasa.

Experts said they were "completely confused" by both the origins and makeup of the object, which is currently being investigated by Opportunity's various measuring instruments.

Astronomers noticed the new rock had "appeared" without any explanation on an outcrop which had been empty just days earlier. The rover has been stuck photographing the same region of Mars for more than a month due to bad weather, with scientists at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in California monitoring the images it sends.

Nasa issued a Mars status report entitled "encountering a surprise", and lead Mars Exploration rover scientist Steve Squyres told a JPL event it seems the planet literally "keeps throwing new things at us".

He said the images, from 12 Martian days apart, were from no more than a couple of weeks ago. "We saw this rock just sitting here. It looks white around the edge in the middle and there’s a low spot in the centre that's dark red - it looks like a jelly doughnut.

"And it appeared, just plain appeared at that spot - and we haven't ever driven over that spot."

Being that rubies and other gem stones are created through certain combinations of elements and millions of years...this could be the first actual Martian gemstone.

It totally looks like a geode.

Maybe the Martians are trying to help NASA pay the bills.
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Old 01-27-2014, 11:11 AM   #1273
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Why Nikola Tesla was the coolest Geek ever to live. AKA, what I bet you didn't know about Nikola Tesla, and what you thought you knew about Thomas ****ing Edison:
Thank you very much for providing that comic! As an engineer in the nuclear power field, I have worked for Edison's General Electric which originally pushed DC power, and currently work for Westinghouse, which originally used Tesla's AC.

It would be great to get Tesla's tower going, no matter if it generates wealth directly or not. Reducing/eliminating power bills would leave enormous amounts of money for other things... (maybe even a WR, S, and DE for the Chiefs).
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Old 01-27-2014, 12:07 PM   #1274
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Nasa says Mars mystery rock that ‘appeared’ from nowhere is ‘like nothing we’ve seen before’

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/sc...e-9070323.html

A mysterious rock which appeared in front of the Opportunity rover is "like nothing we've ever seen before", according to Mars exploration scientists at Nasa.

Experts said they were "completely confused" by both the origins and makeup of the object, which is currently being investigated by Opportunity's various measuring instruments.

Astronomers noticed the new rock had "appeared" without any explanation on an outcrop which had been empty just days earlier. The rover has been stuck photographing the same region of Mars for more than a month due to bad weather, with scientists at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in California monitoring the images it sends.

Nasa issued a Mars status report entitled "encountering a surprise", and lead Mars Exploration rover scientist Steve Squyres told a JPL event it seems the planet literally "keeps throwing new things at us".

He said the images, from 12 Martian days apart, were from no more than a couple of weeks ago. "We saw this rock just sitting here. It looks white around the edge in the middle and there’s a low spot in the centre that's dark red - it looks like a jelly doughnut.

"And it appeared, just plain appeared at that spot - and we haven't ever driven over that spot."
Mystery of the Martian "rock" solved.
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Old 01-27-2014, 12:09 PM   #1275
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Betcha it's a piece of the rover or the remnants of another human probe.
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