Get immersed in “The Secret Life of Bees”

If you have been craving some warm, weather then imagine yourself in South Carolina, on a honey bee farm with a warm loving family of African American women and you have the basic plot line of “The Secret Life of Bees.”

“The Secret Life of Bees” is the story of a fourteen-year-old white girl named Lily Owen who runs away from her abusive father with her black nanny Roasaleen and finds safe haven in the large pink house owned by three African American women.

The story covers a wide spectrum of ideas about life and how people treat one another. Topics such as racism, feminism, and finding where one’s home is are greatly explored, leaving the reader feeling more whole yet entirely sad after finishing the book.

Throughout the story Lily learns to be a strong girl who follows her own path on how she views other people, black or white, and she works to overcome different social stigmas that are constantly being placed on the ones she calls family.

Although “The Secret Life of Bees” was written over 10 years ago by Sue Monk Kidd, the issues of racism that are seen in the stories setting of 1964 are still an issue in today’s time. The messages that the book can give about life are ones that anyone could benefit from.

In addition to the vague ideas that undercurrent the entire book, there is a ton of amazing imagery in describing the south and what surrounds Lily.

Whether Kidd is creating an image of the way the peach trees sway in the moonlight breeze or the happiness Lily feels when she smells pancakes cooking on the stove, Kidd delivers every word with a casual ease, which can bring the reader right into the scene.

Not only is the book wonderful unto itself, a movie was made in 2008 starring Dakota Fanning as Lily. The movie stays true to the book and leaves the viewer with a similar wholesome feeling and a desire to have some honey.

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Band students perform in Atrium at Montreal

By Courtney Fraser

Fifty-nine members of the high school band departed for Montreal, Canada on March 20 for three days at the Hotel Gouveneur Place Dupris.

Accompanying the students and band director Joseph Sokol were six chaperones and the tour escort, Peggy Williamson.

On Friday morning at 6:30, students boarded the busses, for a six-hour long ride to Canada where they explored the city and performed at Atrium Le 1000.

Upon their arrival in Montreal, the band began the concert at Atrium playing the “Star Spangled Banner,” followed by “O’Canada,” and ending with “Great Movie Adventures.” In total,  the students performed eight songs for the audience.

“It’s nice to have the whole group together to perform because it’s a memory. To have an opportunity to leave Manchester and to leave the country and to tour with all of your friends is a great time,” Sokol said.

Many of the students treasured the trip especially because it was the final trip their director, Sokol, will be taking because he is retiring at the end of the year. The trip to Montreal was marked to be his 12th trip with the high school band.

“This trip was really exciting because it was such a great group of people going, and the activities we did, like going ice-skating, were pretty fun. Since it was Mr. Sokol’s last band trip, we all were determined to make it memorable,” junior Molly Lynch said.

While in Montreal, the students and chaperones went on a sightseeing city tour, which lasted roughly two and a half hours, and had the opportunity to go shopping in the Old Montreal area.

Students were divided into two groups on the 21st where one group departed to see the Museum of Contemporary Art and the other left to go ice-skating at Atrium.

“All in all, the trip to Montreal was a great trip. Performing in front of a new audience from a different country was a fun experience. I hope to attend the trip next year too,” junior Gillian Guerin said.

The last stop the band students made in Montreal was to the Biodome and to the Olympic Tower.

 

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Thinking about going vegan

Although being a vegan can sometimes be connected with just eating pasta and foods that are unhealthy but are technically vegan, the Raw Till 4 form of veganism removes that dilemma.

Not only are the people on the Raw Till 4 diet not killing helpless animals, they are also making healthier eating habits that can change a person’s well-being for the long run.

On the Raw Till 4 diet, one can only eat raw foods such as fruits like apples, pears, pineapples and bananas – lots of bananas especially – and vegetables like cauliflower, spinach, and potatoes and many more.

Then, after four in the afternoon, they are allowed to eat something that requires some form of cooking but still fits under the vegan category.

The Raw Till 4 diet should be seen less as a quick solution to weight gain but more as a lifestyle. Those on it often talk of the difficulties in sticking to it in the beginning but after a while they will notice that they, “feel incredible, [that it] keeps their body in balance and harmony, and keeps their weight where they want it,” the Raw Till 4 website said.

While some critics of the diet such as Christopher Wanjek from Live Science may have said, “The most apparent problems are the nutritional deficiencies,” The Raw Till 4 diet removes the limited choices of foods that one can eat on a strictly raw diet.

Fad diets come in and out of style very quickly often because they do not work long term and when someone is on it they cannot enjoy themselves, but on the Raw Till 4 diet, the idea is less about being hungry all the time but instead being full on fruits and vegetables, according to the Raw Till 4 website.

With the vegan world becoming more front and center recently, many people in the blogging and YouTube world have joined in on this way of life.

Youtubers like Freelee the Banana Girl and Essena O’Neil talk lengthily on their channels about their experiences with Raw Till 4 diets and have “What I Ate Today” videos that go over all the fun ways one can enjoy vegan foods.

The more ideological side of the vegan diet focuses on having no animal byproducts, and there are a number of reasons for doing so.

Whether it is because humans do not really need animal products to begin with in their diet – think of gorillas – or because the idea of killing an animal even in a humane way is still a life taken, one who might start the Raw Till 4 diet for health reasons will then continue to do it for more moral reasons, like feeling bad for the horrific way the chickens are treated at factories.

Short documentaries and speeches can be found on YouTube as well. Some good ones to check out would be “101 Reasons to Go Vegan” and “If Slaughter Houses had Glass Walls.”

Both of these videos focus on the removing of animal products from one’s diet, and even if one is not thinking of becoming a vegan, the videos are still very informational as to where the meat people eat comes from.

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Softball Captains play because of family’s influence

The head coach of this year’s softball team, Michael Harrison, said that what makes the two senior captains, Bailey Graves and Samantha Woodman,  stand out is their enthusiasm.

“They’re wonderful…not only in their ability to play softball but in their dedication to the game itself and to the community,” Harrison said.

Graves has been playing softball since she was in “first or second grade” and is now playing third base.

“My family is really into baseball, so we all just started playing because it’s been a part of our lives for a long time,” she said.

Her goals for the season center around her performance and the team’s success.

“I want to play my best wherever my coach puts me…winning games and team bonding are two very important things for me this year,” she said.

Similar to Graves, Woodman also started young, according to her, because her family was also into baseball.

“I started with T-Ball and baseball, then moved over to softball once I got into elementary school,” she said.

Woodman said that many people in her family played baseball, including her father and grandfather.

During the summer, she plays for the North Reading Hornets and has been doing so for three years.

“[I am] twice as prepared to play,” she said.

According to Woodman, she has played every position except for first base.

Woodman said that last year she never got thrown out at first base, and one goal for her current season is to repeat that. Another goal is to stay together as a “team family.”

Both captains cite last year’s win over Rockport as the highlight of their softball experience.

“Senior captain Rachael Gallagher hit a grand slam against our [biggest] rival, Rockport,” Graves said.

The team had been trying for a very long time to gain a victory over Rockport, according to Woodman, and that was what made the win so momentous. “It was a dream [of mine] to win a game over Rockport ever since I was in middle school,” she said.

According to both captains, they will continue to play in college. Woodman hopes to play for Fitchburg State, and Graves will play on her school’s club or intramural team if one is available because she will be going to a big Division One school.

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Daylight saving time increases health risks, harms public safety

Daylight Saving Time may conserve energy, but its negative impacts on health and safety outweigh the benefits.

According to timeanddate.com, “The purpose of daylight saving is to save energy and make better use of daylight.”

Timeanddate.com also reports that the practice of daylight saving has been around for 100 years, and was previously intended to maximize the use of sunlight, which was more effective than candlelight.

The electricity that daylight savings conserves, however, is cancelled out by the consequential increase in air-conditioning due to warmth later in the evening.

Even if daylight saving time saves energy in some locations, the drawbacks of losing an hour are impossible to overlook.

Daylight saving time negatively affects the quality and amount of sleep people get.

According to a study published in Neuroscience Letters, “After the transition, sleep time was shortened by 60.14 min [per day] and sleep efficiency was reduced by 10% on average.”

Till Roenberg, a researcher at Ludwig-Maximilians-University in Munich said told ABC News that people’s bodies never fully adjust to the change.

“The circadian clock does not change to the social change,” he said.

Daylight saving time also has more serious health risks related to it than just sleep deprivation.

According to a study done by the University of Alabama, the amount of heart attacks on the Monday and Tuesday after daylight saving time increases by 10%.

Daylight saving time also causes safety problems.

It increases the number of car accidents in the time period following the switch due to drowsiness.

According to telegram.com, “The Fatal Accident Reporting System found a 17 percent increase in traffic fatalities on the Monday after the shift.”

Accidents within the workplace that result in injury are also more frequent directly following the change.

Reliableplant.com reports that in a study performed based on U.S Department of Labor and Mine Safety and Health Administration, data showed “a 5.7% increase in workplace injuries and nearly 68 percent more work days lost to injuries [after daylight saving time.]”

In recent years more and more countries and states are choosing to end the implementation of daylight saving time.

According to National Geographic, Japan, Puerto Rico, Hawaii, and most of Arizona will not be changing their clocks.

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Girls’ tennis captain leaves team, reflects on captaincy

Six-year member of the girls ‘tennis team and former captain Avery St. Sauveur is leaving her position this season for medical reasons.

According to St. Sauveur, she began playing tennis at the age of seven when her parents, two tennis players, asked her to try the sport.

St. Sauveur joined the school’s team in 7th grade and began participating in varsity matches in 8th grade, playing mostly second doubles and third singles.

Medical issues were the reasons for St. Sauveur’s reason for leaving the team. She said a combination of tendinitis in her left arm, problems with her knees, and back issues lead to her absence.

“I had to decide between playing for the team and not be able to give myself to it fully or being able to take care of myself and go to physical therapy,” St. Sauveur said.

Coach Ken Rawson and St. Sauveur shared the goal at the beginning of the season regarding individual player improvement, and St. Sauveur believes that the team has taken steps towards achieving this.

“Being a captain was so rewarding …I loved helping my team improve and getting to know everyone,” she said.

According to St. Sauveur, she plans to attend the team’s games this season and may try out for the tennis team at NYU next year where she will study international relations.

First doubles and third singles player Chanel Bullock said the team was “moving along pretty well and not worrying too much about not having a captain,” but the team still misses St. Sauveur.

“Her hard work and abilities contributed greatly to how out team functioned…we will continue to use her skills and ideas to make our tennis team better,” Bullock said.

It is unclear who will take St. Sauveur’s position as captain because she was the only senior on the team, but St. Sauveur believes that the team “has the ability to compensate for the loss of another player.”

“Plenty of team members are responsible and capable of taking the captainship or stepping up and taking leadership,” she said.

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Student Council organizes annual blood drive

Members of the Student Council organized their annual blood drive on March 11 in the school gymnasium.

According to Student Council adviser Abigail Donnelly, who helped organize the blood drive for the second year in a row, the student council partnered with the Red Cross and was able to collect a total of 24 units of blood, equivalent to about 24 pints.

About a dozen students helped with the running and organization of the event, and there were a total of 60 volunteers who volunteered to donate blood, 20 of whom were able to donate.

There were certain restrictions for donors, which prevented some people from being able to donate. All blood donors must be at least 16 years old, meet certain weight requirements depending on their height and sex, and be generally healthy, according to Donnelly.

Due to the number of volunteers and the fact that most of the collected blood will be used locally, Donnelly says she is confident that the Student Council achieved its initial goals of “raising awareness about blood donation” and “serving the community.”

Senior Jackson Haskell, who volunteered at the snack table to help keep donors’ blood sugar levels up, expressed his gratitude for the opportunity to help.

“I felt like I made a difference. Even though I wasn’t able to donate blood, I was happy that I was able to still volunteer and help out other students,” he said.

Junior Toni Patota, a first-time donor, shared a similar sentiment about helping others.

“I always promised myself that I would donate as soon as I could. It’s great that I can really help someone who needs a donation,” she said.

According to Donnelly, there is always an urgent need for blood in any community, and both she and the Student Council appreciate the efforts made by “both first-time and repeat volunteers and donors.”

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Middle school art class seeks inspiration from the high school art show

The annual high school art show is currently taking place in the hallways of MERHS. Art teacher Marion Powers brought her eighth grade class into the hallways to appreciate each class’s artwork and use it to create masterpieces of their own.

Decorating the main hallway of MERHS are artworks from the high school drawing, painting, ceramics, graphic design, digital photography, and printmaking classes. The art show is held every spring. Credit: Benjamin Willems for Manchester Essex Multimedia Online
Decorating the main hallway of MERHS are artworks from the high school drawing, painting, ceramics, graphic design, digital photography, and printmaking classes. The art show is held every spring. Credit: Benjamin Willems for Manchester Essex Multimedia Online
A group of students from middle school art teacher Marion Powers’s eighth grade class looks at some of the artworks in the hallway. Powers asks her students to find a few pieces of artwork that speak to them. Once they return to her classroom, they create their own artworks inspired by the ones they chose. Credit: Benjamin Willems for Manchester Essex Multimedia Online
A group of students from middle school art teacher Marion Powers’s eighth grade class looks at some of the artworks in the hallway. Powers asks her students to find a few pieces of artwork that speak to them. Once they return to her classroom, they create their own artworks inspired by the ones they chose. Credit: Benjamin Willems for Manchester Essex Multimedia Online
While they appreciate each class’s body of work from September to now, eighth grade students in middle school art teacher Marion Powers’s class take notes on what they see. Powers tells her class that “a lot of artists get ideas from other people and places,” and although they’re not copying it, “they’re turning it into their own work of art.” Credit: Benjamin Willems for Manchester Essex Multimedia Online
While they appreciate each class’s body of work from September to now, eighth grade students in middle school art teacher Marion Powers’s class take notes on what they see. Powers tells her class that “a lot of artists get ideas from other people and places,” and although they’re not copying it, “they’re turning it into their own work of art.” Credit: Benjamin Willems for Manchester Essex Multimedia Online
Middle school art teacher Marion Powers’s eighth grade class works on their projects inspired by their chosen pieces from the high school art show. Later this year, Powers will have her high school class visit the middle school art show and ask them to create their own artworks inspired by what they see there. Credit: Benjamin Willems for Manchester Essex Multimedia Online
Middle school art teacher Marion Powers’s eighth grade class works on their projects inspired by their chosen pieces from the high school art show. Later this year, Powers will have her high school class visit the middle school art show and ask them to create their own artworks inspired by what they see there. Credit: Benjamin Willems for Manchester Essex Multimedia Online
One of middle school art teacher Marion Powers’s eighth grade students was kind enough to show this reporter the artworks she chose for her project. This was the first one, and she chose it because she is interested in the abstract patterns that come together to make up the image of a concrete setting. Credit: Benjamin Willems for Manchester Essex Multimedia Online
One of middle school art teacher Marion Powers’s eighth grade students was kind enough to show this reporter the artworks she chose for her project. This was the first one, and she chose it because she is interested in the abstract patterns that come together to make up the image of a concrete setting. Credit: Benjamin Willems for Manchester Essex Multimedia Online
The second artwork the above-mentioned student used as an inspiration for her project. She appreciates the brilliant use of color and shape in this image, as well as the artist’s keen understanding of perspective. Credit: Benjamin Willems for Manchester Essex Multimedia Online
The second artwork the above-mentioned student used as an inspiration for her project. She appreciates the brilliant use of color and shape in this image, as well as the artist’s keen understanding of perspective. Credit: Benjamin Willems for Manchester Essex Multimedia Online

The student works on her masterpiece, using her two chosen pieces of artwork for inspiration. When asked why she gives her students this project, middle school art teacher Marion Power said, “I love seeing them use the work out there as an inspiration to create something new.” Credit: Benjamin Willems for Manchester Essex Multimedia Online
The student works on her masterpiece, using her two chosen pieces of artwork for inspiration. When asked why she gives her students this project, middle school art teacher Marion Power said, “I love seeing them use the work out there as an inspiration to create something new.” Credit: Benjamin Willems for Manchester Essex Multimedia Online

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Bertucci’s Night raises money for Global Issues

The Global Issues class hosted a dinner at Bertucci’s Restaurant, in Beverly. It was a fundraiser for Malaria eradication. 15% of what was spent on dinner was donated to “Malaria No More”.

Sophomore Jack Colpoy’s and Wolf Hahn sit next to each other for dinner. To prevent Malaria, Malaria No More gathers money to buy nets. The nets go to children’s homes and hospitals for prevention of the disease. Credit: Allie Sarmanian for Manchester Essex Multimedia Online
Sophomore Jack Colpoy’s and Wolf Hahn sit next to each other for dinner. To prevent Malaria, Malaria No More gathers money to buy nets. The nets go to children’s homes and hospitals for prevention of the disease. Credit: Allie Sarmanian for Manchester Essex Multimedia Online
Sophomores Wolf Hahn and Jack Garvey are enjoying their pizza! Malaria No More diagnosis children with this disease and treats it. The treatment costs 1 dollar and treats a child in 1 to 3 days.  Credit: Allie Sarmanian for Manchester Essex Multimedia Online
Sophomores Wolf Hahn and Jack Garvey are enjoying their pizza! Malaria No More diagnosis children with this disease and treats it. The treatment costs 1 dollar and treats a child in 1 to 3 days. Credit: Allie Sarmanian for Manchester Essex Multimedia Online
Right before the food came out; the boys passed plates around the table to get ready for pizza. Malaria is in the top 3 killers of children worldwide! Credit: Allie Sarmanian for Manchester Essex Multimedia Online
Right before the food came out; the boys passed plates around the table to get ready for pizza. Malaria is in the top 3 killers of children worldwide! Credit: Allie Sarmanian for Manchester Essex Multimedia Online
Most of the baseball team attended this fundraiser. The boys gathered around their table and waited patiently for their food to be served. The total cost of their meal was 375 dollars. Credit: Allie Sarmanian for Manchester Essex Multimedia Online
Most of the baseball team attended this fundraiser. The boys gathered around their table and waited patiently for their food to be served. The total cost of their meal was 375 dollars. Credit: Allie Sarmanian for Manchester Essex Multimedia Online
Freshman Robbie Sarmanian, Cosmo Pallazola, Mitch Paccone, with their 8th grade friend Ryan Garlitz got a ton of pizza’s. This was to support the “Malaria No More”. Credit: Allie Sarmanian for Manchester Essex Multimedia Online
Freshman Robbie Sarmanian, Cosmo Pallazola, Mitch Paccone, with their 8th grade friend Ryan Garlitz got a ton of pizza’s. This was to support the “Malaria No More”. Credit: Allie Sarmanian for Manchester Essex Multimedia Online

 

Seniors Brett Williams and Teddy Economo were sitting on the benches waiting for the rest of their team to be finished. For most of the night they were welcoming students from Manchester Essex into the restaurant. Credit: Allie Sarmanian for Manchester Essex Multimedia Online
Seniors Brett Williams and Teddy Economo were sitting on the benches waiting for the rest of their team to be finished. For most of the night they were welcoming students from Manchester Essex into the restaurant. Credit: Allie Sarmanian for Manchester Essex Multimedia Online
Eighth grader Ryan Garlitz went to dinner with his 9th grade friends. Scientists and organizations are currently in the process of creating a vaccine for Malaria to help stop it! Credit: Allie Sarmanian for Manchester Essex Multimedia Online
Eighth grader Ryan Garlitz went to dinner with his 9th grade friends. Scientists and organizations are currently in the process of creating a vaccine for Malaria to help stop it! Credit: Allie Sarmanian for Manchester Essex Multimedia Online

Every 60 seconds a child dies from Malaria. Junior Isabella Repucci looks at the Bertucci’s menu to see what she wants to buy as a contribution to this fundraiser. Credit: Allie Sarmanian for Manchester Essex Multimedia Online
Every 60 seconds a child dies from Malaria. Junior Isabella Repucci looks at the Bertucci’s menu to see what she wants to buy as a contribution to this fundraiser. Credit: Allie Sarmanian for Manchester Essex Multimedia Online

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Green Team Builds Hydroponic and AquaPonics Project

Students in the Manchester Essex Green Team have created a simple yet effective environmentally friendly garden, out of the normal growing season. Their goal is to provide and create organic food for students. The definition of hydroponics is a subset of hydro culture and is a method of growing plants using mineral nutrient solutions, in water, without soil.

The Green Teams students Belle Allmendinger, Justin Eichenburger, and Louis Masella created a healthy way to grow food. The aquaponics system combines aquaculture which is the farming of fish and hydroponics which is the raising of plants without soil. Credit: Jenny Beardsley for Manchester Essex Multimedia Online
The Green Teams students Belle Allmendinger, Justin Eichenburger, and Louis Masella created a healthy way to grow food. The aquaponics system combines aquaculture which is the farming of fish and hydroponics which is the raising of plants without soil. Credit: Jenny Beardsley for Manchester Essex Multimedia Online
In some of the Aquaponic structures there are gold fish. Nutrients for the plants come from fish waste.  The plants act as a bio filter, and they clean the water making it a healthy living space for the fish. Credit: Jenny Beardsley for Manchester Essex Multimedia Online
In some of the Aquaponic structures there are gold fish. Nutrients for the plants come from fish waste. The plants act as a bio filter, and they clean the water making it a healthy living space for the fish. Credit: Jenny Beardsley for Manchester Essex Multimedia Online
There are six aquaponic structures built on the third floor by the Green Team room. The students plan to build 10 of them with the help of their diagrams, blueprints and extensive research. Students have a budget which they must follow even though they plan to get the most out of each aquaponic. The total cost for 10 units is $1960. Credit: Jenny Beardsley for Manchester Essex Multimedia Online
There are six aquaponic structures built on the third floor by the Green Team room. The students plan to build 10 of them with the help of their diagrams, blueprints and extensive research. Students have a budget which they must follow even though they plan to get the most out of each aquaponic. The total cost for 10 units is $1960. Credit: Jenny Beardsley for Manchester Essex Multimedia Online
They types of plants that will grow in the aquaponics are selected by limitation of nutrients.  They plan on growing a small amount of Lettuce, basil, mint, chives and arugula due to it being their first time using and working with aquaponics. Credit: Jenny Beardsley for Manchester Essex Multimedia Online
They types of plants that will grow in the aquaponics are selected by limitation of nutrients. They plan on growing a small amount of Lettuce, basil, mint, chives and arugula due to it being their first time using and working with aquaponics. Credit: Jenny Beardsley for Manchester Essex Multimedia Online
Hydroponic towers provide an environmentally friendly option of growing food, in the winter time. Hydroponics is a subset of hydroculture and they are methods of growing plants using mineral nutrient solutions, in water, with soil. Credit: Ainsley McLaughlin for Manchester Essex Multimedia Online
Hydroponic towers provide an environmentally friendly option of growing food, in the winter time. Hydroponics is a subset of hydroculture and they are methods of growing plants using mineral nutrient solutions, in water, with soil. Credit: Ainsley McLaughlin for Manchester Essex Multimedia Online
Students plan on constructing 30 towers, so far they have 10. The jug holds the pump and the tower, and water is then cycled through the tower moving from the pump, up the tubes and to the top. The water then drips down to have a constant flow of water hitting the Rockwool seeds. Credit: Ainsley McLaughlin for Manchester Essex Multimedia Online
Students plan on constructing 30 towers, so far they have 10. The jug holds the pump and the tower, and water is then cycled through the tower moving from the pump, up the tubes and to the top. The water then drips down to have a constant flow of water hitting the Rockwool seeds. Credit: Ainsley McLaughlin for Manchester Essex Multimedia Online

Goldfish were the best option for the auqaponics because they are the easiest to take care of and can withstand the changing of conditions. Goldfish can survive in 40-80 degrees. Credit: Jenny Beardsley for Manchester Essex Multimedia Online
Goldfish were the best option for the auqaponics because they are the easiest to take care of and can withstand the changing of conditions. Goldfish can survive in 40-80 degrees. Credit: Jenny Beardsley for Manchester Essex Multimedia Online

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