Pixel Scroll 7/18/18 Your Scroll Is Important To Us. Please Hold.

(1) OKORAFOR BRANCHES OUT. The Black Panther’s sister, Shuri, is getting her own comic series. Marvel’s press release says:

All hail Wakanda’s technological genius! As revealed exclusively on Bustle, Marvel is thrilled to announce that this fall, award winning author Nnedi Okorafor and Eisner-nominated artist Leonardo Romero (Hawkeye) will be bringing SHURI #1 to readers everywhere! And revealed for the first time, Marvel is excited to share the dazzling cover to issue #1 by industry-acclaimed artist, Sam Spratt, best known for his cover art work on Janelle Monae’s “Electric Lady.”

The world of Wakanda is facing a tragic crisis: Black Panther is lost in space, and everyone is looking at who will step up to lead their country in his absence. But Shuri is happier in a lab than she is on the throne…how does a princess choose between her duties to her country and her own ideals?

“Shuri is an African young woman of genius level intelligence who is obsessed with technology and has traveled spiritually so far into the past that she’s seen Wakanda before it was Wakanda,” Okorafor told Bustle in an interview. “The Ancestors call her Ancient Future. And she’s super ambitious. What do I love about her? Alllll that and more. She’s a character in the Marvel Universe who really sings to me.”

(2) OVERLORD TRAILER. J.J. Abrams’ zombie horror movie Overlord is in theaters November 9.

On the eve of D-Day, US paratroopers drop behind enemy lines, to infiltrate a small village. Unfortunately, they realize the Nazis are experimenting with supernatural forces to fight them.


(3) BATWOMAN ON THE WAY. SYFY Wire has two stories about the development of a Batwoman TV show to join the other DC Comics properties running on the CW network (the “Arrowverse”). CW is already the home of The FlashArrowLegends of Tomorrow, and Supergirl, with a tradition of doing a set of crossover episodes as an annual event since the 2014–2015 season. In “Batwoman TV Series in Development at the CW to Join the Arrowverse” some of the basics are discussed:

Vampire Diaries writer/producer Caroline Dries is locked in as a writer and producer on the project, along with Greg Berlanti, Sarah Schechter, and Geoff Johns. To that end, the casting and tonal decisions made for the crossover event would likely carry over into a potential series. Think of it as one heck of a big backdoor pilot, basically.

That article also speculates on which version of Batgirl would be filmed, noting that the original 1956 character is not in the modern comics:

However, this iteration of the hero was wiped out of DC’s continuity during 1985’s seminal limited series, Crisis on Infinite Earths. Batwoman was reestablished into existence in 2006 in the form of Kate Kane, a Jewish LBGTQ character, one of the first-openly gay characters in the DC universe.

The story “Report: The CW Seeking Lesbian Actress With Open Ethnicity to Play Batwoman in Solo Series” pursues that aspect more thoroughly as well as sounding a cautionary note [emphasis added]:

TVLine is reporting the network has put out the call for an actress of any ethnicity who can play in the age range of 24-29, and that it’s looking for a lesbian for the role if possible. The right person would join scriptwriter and co-producer Caroline Dries (The Vampire Diaries) to develop the standalone Batwoman series. Greg Berlanti, Sarah Schechter, and Geoff Johns are also co-producing.

News that The CW is eyeing Batwoman for the series treatment is still super-fresh, and it’s not guaranteed that her appearance in the crossover will lead directly to a green-lit show. If the network does move forward with Batwoman, the show is expected to debut sometime next year.

(4) SHAZAM! Yahoo! Entertainment reports Shazam! will be released April 5, 2019 — “Shazam! on EW’s special Comic-Con cover: ‘It’s Superman meets Big'”.

Zachary Levi throws off the perfect Shazam! pitch: “It’s Superman meets Big!” declares the affable former Chuck star who’s squeezing into a skin-tight suit to play what’s perhaps the ultimate daydream-come-true superhero across all of comic book lore: An ordinary 14-year-old kid named Billy Batson who can transform into a grown-up superhero with an array of heroic powers by uttering a single world (“Soundhound!” No wait: “Shazam!”) and then return to his regular self whenever he wants.

(5) THAT SOUND YOU HEARD. JJ read this tweet and squeed — “This is by the same guy who did The Silence space SF trilogy which I really loved last year (under pen name D. Nolan Clark).”


  • Born July 18, 1948 — James Faulkner, who played Mr. K in Martian Chronicles (TV edition in the US)
  • Born July 18 – Paul Verhoeven, 80. Director of RoboCop, Total Recall and Starship Troopers. Also Hollow Man which has a gratuitous nude scene fitting a man who responsible for Basic Instinct. Also Producer of the animated Starship Troopers series which is quite excellent. Writer for the apparently forthcoming RoboCop Returns film.
  • Born July 18 – Vin Diesel, 51. Guardians of The Galaxy (“I am Groot!”) and other MCU films, The Iron Giant, xXx and Chronicles of Riddick franchises and The Fifth Element.
  • Born July 18 – Kristen Bell, 38. The forthcoming animated Teen Titans Go! To the Movies, also DeadwoodFlatland: The Movie, Heroes and the Astro Boy franchise and iZombie.


  • SJW credential tech in Arlo and Janis.
  • Fantasy tropes face retrenchment in Bizarro.
  • Something has two possible explanations, and since you’re reading this blog the odds are you’ll prefer Last Kiss’ second choice.

(8) MARKET REPORT. According to Yahoo! Finance, “Comic sales are down as readers abandon print”.

Comic book and graphic novel sales fell 6.5% in 2017 from a 2016 high of $1.015 billion. Graphic novels brought in $570 million while comic books brought in about $350 million.

A report posted to Comichron notes that comic stores are still the biggest source for revenue while $90 million is attributable to digital downloads.

“After a multiyear growth run, the comics shop market gave back some of its gains in 2017, with lackluster response to new periodical offerings and, consequently, graphic novel sales,” wrote Comichron’s John Jackson Miller. “The third quarter of 2017 saw the worst of the year-over-year declines, leading into what has turned out to be a stronger spring for stores in 2018.”

(9) THE OVERPRICE GUIDE. (Or so Bruce Pelz used to call it….) Heritage Auctions encourages comics collectors to “Download the Complete 2018-19 48th Edition Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide!” at a cost of $30.

In conjunction with the release of the book the new 2018-19, 48th edition of the electronic Overstreet Comic Book Price Guide is now available for immediate download! (Compatible with both Mac and PC!) No serious collector should be without an Overstreet, and this is even more true of the searchable electronic version. Available exclusively through Heritage Auctions, this new version is:

  • Alphabetically indexed
  • Searchable (by any keyword)

At a cost of only $30, this revolutionary new format is one of the best investments available in our hobby. Begin enjoying the benefits right now. Download your copy to your hard drive today.

(10) SEE IT FREE. On July 22 the community will get in free to the Dreaming the Universe sf exhibit at the Pasadena Museum of History.

(11) OWN BOND’S RIDE. Lego has come out with the official James Bond Aston Martin DB5 which you can make out of Lego elements.

(12) MORE LEGO CREATIONS. Here are a couple more cool projects, including a ferocious Lego SJW credential….

(13) DOUBLE PARKED. When Bob Shaw MC’d the Hugos in 1986, one of his humorous interludes involved a job assignment to write copy about a submarine prone to take “unplanned depth excursions.” “Spain’s new submarine ‘too big for its dock'”.

An attempt to deploy a new submarine for Spain’s navy has run aground again, after it emerged it cannot fit in its dock, Spanish media report.

The S-80 boat was redesigned at great expense after an earlier mistake meant it had problems floating, and it was lengthened to correct the issue.

Spanish newspaper El País now reports that after the changes, the docks at Cartagena can no longer fit the vessel….

The original problem with the submarine dates back to 2013, when it was discovered that it was about 100 tons heavier than it needed to be.

That caused a problem for its buoyancy – so it could submerge, but might not come back up again.

A former Spanish official told the Associated Press at the time that someone had put a decimal point in the wrong place, and “nobody paid attention to review the calculations”.

(14) BIG LIFTER. Clip of the An-124 in action: “Business booming for giant cargo planes”. Possibly highest capacity — internal crane, kneeling landing gear — what’s not to like?

$7tn of goods travel by air every year. Most goes in the hold of normal airliners. But for those big, awkward loads, something rather larger is required.

(15) TAKING A BITE OUT OF DEVELOPMENT. “Anne Rice’s ‘Vampire Chronicles’ Lands at Hulu”The Hollywood Reporter has the news.

Two years after being put into development, Anne Rice’s Vampire Chronicles TV series has found a home.

In a competitive situation with multiple outlets pursuing the project, Hulu has landed Vampire Chronicles. The streamer, home to Emmy darling The Handmaid’s Tale, has put the drama into development.

Bryan Fuller, who boarded the Paramount Television and Anonymous Content effort as showrunner in January, exited the project six months ago. Fuller opted to step back rather than step on the toes of longtime friends Rice and her son, Christopher, who penned the original script. (Christopher is a four-time New York Times best-selling author and recipient of the Lambda Literary Award.)

Anne and Christopher Rice will executive produce the potential series, alongside Anonymous Content’s David Kanter and Steve Golin.

Paramount Television and Anonymous Content optioned the rights to 11 books from the Vampire Chronicles franchise back in April 2017. More than 100 million copies have been sold worldwide. Rice’s Interview With the Vampire was first published in 1976 and served as the basis for the 1994 feature of the same name starring Tom Cruise, Brad Pitt, Kirsten Dunst and Antonio Banderas.

(16) COURT RULES ON PARENT’S NOTE. Dear Judge, please excuse my boy from having the pants sued off him for thieving on the internet….. From Techspot we learn that a “Federal court says Epic can go ahead with its lawsuit against teen”.

Judge says mother’s letter does not establish a strong enough claim to dismiss…

According to TorrentFreak, most of the arguments put forth in the document were irrelevant because they failed to state a claim. The only complaint that held any water was whether or not C.R. could have entered into the EULA agreement.

Epic argued that minors cannot invalidate the terms of a contract while receiving the benefits of said contract. In other words, C.R. illegally misrepresented himself as an adult and is therefore still obligated to the contractual terms.

According to court rules, an accuser’s complaint holds more weight than a motion to dismiss. Judge Howard ruled that the letter from the mother was not enough to throw out the suit.

“As detailed in plaintiff’s response memorandum, defendant has not shown that the complaint fails to allege sufficient facts to state a claim for relief that is plausible on its face. [T]herefore, in the light most favorable to the plaintiff, plaintiff has stated a plausible claim, and the motion to dismiss must be denied.”

The defendant now has two weeks to file a response to the complaint. Failing that, Epic can proceed to ask for a default judgment in the case.

(17) ENCHANTMENT UNDER THE SEA.  Deadline has the art: “‘Aquaman’ Poster Revealed: Jason Momoa Dives In To The Crowded DC Pool”

The film will have [a] Comic-Con panel this week, where director James Wan has said the fir.st trailer will be revealed. The initial footage shown at CinemaCon showed the undersea kingdom of Atlantis, replete with swimming fish people — some riding sea horses — and futuristic submarines. Aquaman is challenged by his brother (Patrick Wilson) for the throne, with Amber Heard’s Mera begging Aquaman, “Unless you help us, millions will die.”

[Thanks to JJ, Cat Eldridge, John King Tarpinian, Martin Morse Wooster, Mike Kennedy, Chip Hitchcock, Carl Slaughter, and Andrew Porter for some of these stories. Title credit goes to File 770 contributing editor of the day Daniel Dern.]

41 thoughts on “Pixel Scroll 7/18/18 Your Scroll Is Important To Us. Please Hold.

  1. HELP! I went to vote in the Site Selection, and when I told it I was a supporting member via site selection, it told me I need to ” Enter the voter access code you received * ” — I’ve entered my Hugo pin number and that didn’t work, so I searched my old emails and found a Bxxx-xxxx number and entered that and it says “No more “Bxxx-xxxx” codes are being accepted for this registrant type. Enter another code or contact your event administrator.” (the x denote integers from 0-9). I honestly don’t know what other code to use. I thought I’d seen a File770 article on the process but I can’t find it….

    (edit to add, I seem to be first…)

    I know I need to buy a token, but it doesn’t seem to want to accept my money.

    I’d rather not print out the ballot and mail it, but that’s starting to look like my best option….

    Anyone have any suggestions? Heck, if I even knew the format of the code it was looking for I’d have a better chance of finding it.

  2. That Lego sakura looks like an incredible feat of engineering; I wonder whether they managed all those cantilevers without struts, wire, glue, … all of which would I think be cheating, but even the brand-new Legos we assembled a rocket with at the 2013 Worldcon didn’t seem to fit together tightly enough to take the side strain.

  3. “Three shall be the number thou shalt count, and the number of the counting shall be three. Four shalt thou not count, neither count thou two, excepting that thou then proceed to three. Five is right out.“


  4. 6) Kristen Bell is also one of the stars of The Good Place, two episodes of which are on the Hugo ballot this year.

  5. 13) Costly planning mistakes like this one sadly aren’t rare, though the public often doesn’t hear about them. I occasionally get reports about cases like this to translate. Usually, they are lengthy justifications, sometimes with elaborate graphics and calculations about why it’s not the fault of whoever wrote the report. One of my favourites is the case of a military vessel where some genius placed a grenade launcher too close to the hot exhaust gases from the smokestack. As a result, the grenade and launcher went boom.

    14) Bremen is an Airbus production site, so the Airbus A300-600ST a.k.a. Beluga is a frequent sight at the local airport and sometimes also in the air right above my house.

  6. 13)/@Cora — My favorite recent example (well, maybe not that recent?) was the office building in London whose aesthetically-pleasing curved side focused the sun’s rays to car-melting intensity.

  7. (1) yay! Will look out for Shuri.

    Am reading Naomi Novik’s Spinning Silver. Can’t find my socks.

    This is a little scary, in view of all the frothing rage about “SJWs” that we have seen. A story about a guy who started out with GamerGate, escalated to full-out culture warrior and then killed his father. And the culture warriors who enabled, fanned and monetized his rage have scrubbed his name from their product, said “Tsk, tsk” and gone back to work.

  8. 6) Kristen Bell is Princess Anna in “Frozen”, the two Frozen shorts, and is appearing again in the upcoming “Frozen 2” in November 2019. Her singing chops were good enough to stand as an equal with Idina Menzel (goddess of song) in the movie and shorts.

    “Frozen” was nominated for a Hugo when it was eligible, so the role is certainly genre-related.

  9. This scroll may be recorded and monitored for Pixel performance.

    1) Yay!
    4) I’m going to regret it–but I am looking forward to Shazam.

    17) That “trident” still annoys me

  10. 3) I’ll be interested to see what they come up with. The Arrowverse shows are bad, but they’re fun bad, and I like to have them on in the background while I write or draw or hook rugs or whatever.

    8) Not super shocking that print sales are down, although I mostly stopped buying digital because a) I’ve never liked the official apps for reading, and b) I was running out of drive space. I mostly buy graphic novels only these days. The biggest reasons are: creative teams seem to shift much more often now than they used to, often mid-story with lots of “temporary” substitute writers and artists who will take over for as much as six months or more, and the corresponding inconsistency in quality (never mind negating a big part of the book’s draw) is extremely frustrating. Also frustrating is the frequent series rebooting (often carrying over the same story just with different numbering), “epic” crossovers, and on and on. I was a HUGE comics nerd in high school in the ’90s, and was really adept at tracking stories across different books and following creators’ careers in the days before the Internet and when my comics came exclusively from the racks at convenience stores and drug stores–and also at a time when novelty “events” and reboots were rampant–but even I can’t track what’s going on with my favourite books/characters and creators these days. As a result: less buying.

    17) Momoa was one of the least bad elements of Justice League, so I’ll probably watch this when it shows up to rent on iTunes.

  11. @Cassy B, I would suggest writing to registrar [at] worldcon76.org. But I know the codes for having voted in site selection two years ago are no longer active. Instead, you should already be in the system as a supporting member. So you might try logging in first, under whatever your email was at the time. Click on “forgot password” to set a password.

  12. @Cassy B: What Lenore said. To get your membership number, if none of the RegOnline functions are working for you, write to the Registrar. Recovering your credentials should work as well as long as the e-mail matches.

    You don’t need any sort of credentials to get a blank ballot, so I’m not understanding that part of your message. Just download the form from http://www.worldcon76.org/wsfs/site-selection. But as you said, if you want to vote by e-mail instead of printing and sending it with payment through paper mail, you have to first get into your Worldcon 76 account (see above) and purchase a voting token. You can then put your membership number and voting token information into the PDF, save the PDF (it’s a fillable form, and PDF reader software should allow you to save the filled out form), then e-mail the form as explained in the instructions.

    If none of this works, write to site-selection [at] worldcon76.org and we’ll do our best to help you.

  13. Ok, I’ve figured out how to send money for a token. (Thanks, Lenore Jones, for the suggestion to reset my password!) But I just got a generic confirmation from the Worldcon Regbot, with no voting token number. So now I’m emailing them to try to sort that out. (Also, I notice that the fillable .pdf says that unsigned ballots are “no preference” — but I can’t sign a fillable .pdf unless I print and scan it. So I’m asking about that, too….)

  14. @Cora: As a result, the grenade and launcher went boom. I’d [facepalm], but this kind of screwup seems to be way too common. My favorite was the episode decades ago when a NATO self-propelled anti-aircraft gun aimed at the reviewing stand instead of the airborne targets during a demonstration. The “incident” report blamed the fact that the new toy had been washed the night before so it would look spiffy at the parade — ignoring the fact that anything intended to stop an invasion through the Fulda Gap (or anywhere else in central Europe) should be able to tolerate rain, snow, and other natural issues.

  15. Update: With Kevin Standlee’s able help, I managed to fill out and send my site selection ballot. I don’t know why I was having so much trouble; must just be one of those days….

    Apparently the response-bot doesn’t always attach the token number to the acknowledgement email, so if you buy a token and don’t get the number, email them for it; they’re very responsive. (And Kevin talked me through how to attach an electronic signature to a .pdf; I’ve never had to do that before. Thanks again, Kevin!)

  16. 5) Great cover, and I’m intrigued, but the title could have been more original. A quick Amazon search brings up at least three different books named “the last astronaut”, none of which appear to be this one.

  17. (1) This will be a hit. I’m Shuri of it.

    (2) This, not so much. I like zombie movies as much as the next bloke, but this trailer does not impress me at all.

    (3) I’d heard about the Batcrossover, and have my fingers crossed for a series.

    (4) “uttering a single world”? Now that’s impressive!

    (15) I have a bad feeling about this.

    Now, here’s hoping the site continues to work after I submit this comment. I updated my iPad mini to iOS 11 last night, and I had to delete my F770 cookie before the site would load…

  18. Cassy B on July 19, 2018 at 7:20 am said:

    (Also, I notice that the fillable .pdf says that unsigned ballots are “no preference” — but I can’t sign a fillable .pdf unless I print and scan it. So I’m asking about that, too….)

    As Cassy said later, I walked her through this. Assuming you are using Adobe Reader DC (I don’t know how it would work on other PDF readers), the steps are:

    1. Select Fill & Sign from the right side menu.
    2. Select Sign from the top-of-screen menu.
    3. Follow Adobe’s instructions for creating a signature (there are multiple ways to do this).
    4. Put the signature block in the signature area of the PDF.
    5. Save the file before e-mailing it.

    As Cassy said, for some reason the bot doesn’t always include the token (this is being researched), but there are several of us monitoring the site-selection e-mail address, and we can access the token table and send it to you manually if necessary.

  19. You may find yourelf in a beautiful scroll
    And you may find yourself with a beautiful pixel
    And you may ask yourself, well
    How did I get here?

  20. Letting the scrolls file by, let the pixels lead me down
    Letting the scrolls file by, pixels comment underground
    Ticking the box again after edit window’s gone
    Pun for a headline, pixels comment underground

  21. I’m nearing the end of Upside Down: Inverted Tropes in Storytelling, an anthology which contains both inverted-trope short stories and essays about tropes and inversion, and I came to this line in an essay about transgender tropes:

    It would be wonderful to be able to watch an episode of a new television series, or a new movie without feeling like I need to brace myself for the inevitable anti-trans joke. ”Escapist” fiction gets a bad rap sometimes, but I feel like this is mostly due to the number of people for whom most of this fiction is escapist because they aren’t the ones getting fed to the wolves for a cheap laugh.

    I included the first sentence for context, but it’s the second that really struck me. Naturally, in the context of this website, I think in terms of the staunch “anti-SJW” opposition from certain factions. How many times have they lambasted liberals and SJWs for having no sense of humor, and how often do they long for the days of good old “politics-free” fiction?

    The lack of an appetite for stories and humor that rely upon painting minority communities as acceptable targets for hurtful imagery should not be political. It should just be decent.

  22. (13) I always liked the Antarctic Snow Cruiser which was a cool idea except it lacked traction on snow and ice. Something they might have tried out before getting it to Antarctica.

    Pixel Scroller
    Qu’est-ce que c’est
    File file file file file file file away oh oh oh

  23. @ Rev. Bob: The lack of an appetite for stories and humor that rely upon painting minority communities as acceptable targets for hurtful imagery should not be political. It should just be decent.

    Roundly seconded!

  24. Apparently somebody on the Worldcon 76 concom sent out an e-mail to the Hugo finalists requesting that they all wear semi-formal attire for the ceremony “as we are striving for an elegant, professional looking event”.

    Artist GoH and ceremony MC John Picacio had this to say in response. I suspect that the request will be walked back shortly, if it hasn’t already happened by now.

  25. I thought I heard recently that they were trying to keep the DC Cinematic Universe uniformly dark and gritty, in order to reduce the potential entertainment value of their movies distinguish themselves from the MCU. From that image, it looks like Shazam! will be anything but dark and gritty.

    Would be ironic if their first really successful movie since Wonder Woman were also their first not-dark-and-gritty movie since WW. 🙂

    (To be fair, Dark Knight was a great demonstration that a comic book movie can be dark-and-gritty and really good. But I have been very much less-than-impressed with their dark-and-gritty cinematic offerings since then. And the pair of TV shows, Arrow and The Flash, have shown that relatively dark-and-gritty stories can share a universe with lighter-hearted ones without too much aesthetic dissonance–I like both.)

  26. Ryan H: A quick Amazon search brings up at least three different books named “the last astronaut”, none of which appear to be this one.

    There’s a 1963 novel by Pel Torro aka Lionel Fanthorpe, a novelette by a self-published author, a novelette/novella by a different self-published author, and a novel by yet another self-published author. Amazon’s other listings are for an album or for songs. There appears to be an indie film by the same name currently in production. So I don’t really think there’s going to be a huge amount of confusion.

  27. (3) Conan O’Brien just posted some supposed audition tapes from Batgirl. There’s some pretty well-known folks here supposedly trying out for the role. 🙂

    (We’ll see if this embeds properly–if not, I’ll have to punt or something.)

    ETA: Le sigh. Quoting from the description: “Hilary Swank, Wanda Sykes, Maria Bamford, and Nick Offerman are just a few of the multi-talented actors who auditioned for the upcoming Batgirl movie.”

  28. @Cassy B: Thanks for posting about your experiences. I ran into other problems and aborted my attempt, but your comments reminded me to do Site Selection. Heck, your first comment was enough to get me to try it, which I know sounds weird since it was a plea for help on your part. 😉 I’ve e-mailed the Site Selection e-mail address for assistance based on your positive experience.

    @Kevin Standlee: Thanks for posting the tip about signing! I’m using MacOS’s Preview; I see it has a similar feature, yay. My signature will look like garbage, but I presume that’s fine. 😉 I e-mailed for assistance (cringe); thanks in advance.

    @Ryan H: In fairness, Wellington’s The Last Astronaut was just announced and isn’t out till May 2019. FWIW, the other three books on my list for April 2019 and later aren’t online yet either; one’s even from Amazon, but doesn’t show up at Amazon yet. I admit, it frustrates me a little. 😉

  29. @Xtifr: That embedded fine and thanks, I LOL’d and sent it to my better half. 😀

    Also this time I’m remembering to Godstalk!

  30. Titans trailer! Well, it’s definitely a DC show – “dark,” same type of intro/trailer music as every other one. Hey, Hawk & Dove make an appearance! Probably not for me, but anyway. . . .

  31. Cora:

    “One of my favourites is the case of a military vessel where some genius placed a grenade launcher too close to the hot exhaust gases from the smokestack. As a result, the grenade and launcher went boom.”

    I recommend the book and the movie The Pentagon Wars about the development of The Bradley Fighting Vehicle, “a troop transport that can’t carry troops, a reconnaissance vehicle that’s too conspicuous to do reconnaissance, and a quasi-tank that has less armor than a snowblower, but has enough ammo to take out half of D.C.”. The book “Great Military Blunders” and the TV series (32:00) also has a wonderful chapter about the development of the Patriot Missile.

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