ACF Fall Discussion

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Post by vandyhawk » Mon Nov 12, 2007 7:31 pm

yoda4554 wrote:Someone can correct me if I'm mistaken about this, but the Rembrandt work wasn't officially titled, I don't think. If you want the full common title, you'd have to force people to get "Nicolaes" in there as well, and I've seen differences on whether people call him Dr. or Prof. or without an honorific at all.
I think "The Anatomy Lesson of Dr. Nicolaes Tulp" would be sufficient as the listed answer. Also, the question mentioned having a title figure, so just "Anatomy Lesson" doesn't fit the clue anyway.

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Post by Captain Sinico » Mon Nov 12, 2007 7:46 pm

yoda4554 wrote:Someone can correct me if I'm mistaken about this, but the Rembrandt work wasn't officially titled, I don't think. If you want the full common title, you'd have to force people to get "Nicolaes" in there as well, and I've seen differences on whether people call him Dr. or Prof. or without an honorific at all.
You're not mistaken in saying that the work (like a very large number of paintings, actually) doesn't have an artist-given "official" title that we know of. You are mistaken in your implicit assertion that is has any uniform title at all (vis a vis one containing Nicholaes.)
The point of this rule is that any title under which the painting was/is exhibited (or even referred to as the full title in an art book or other relevant source like that) is fine. There's no contention that there's a unitary correct answer here; the contention is that The Anatomy Lesson isn't a valid title (one among many) by those criteria as far as anyone can tell so far. If someone can demonstrate otherwise, then points are deserved for The Anatomy Lesson. Until then, no.

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Post by Sima Guang Hater » Mon Nov 12, 2007 8:15 pm

vandyhawk wrote:
ImmaculateDeception wrote: It depends where you buzzed. The start of that question made it clear that the item in question was a quantity per se, which the transition state certainly ain't. However, it's common practice to accept acceptable adjectives when the noun of the answer becomes trivial... so, I'd agree with you if you buzzed after "energy," but not before.
I also buzzed with "transition state" upon hearing Hammond Postulate at the end of the first sentence, but realized my mistake as soon as the moderator said neg 5. GG listening skills.
Heh listening skills. Mike, I think you're right, but my problem was that they would have prompted on "transition state energy", and "energy" was already mentioned, so it doesn't seem very logical to not prompt on "transition state".
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Post by yoda4554 » Mon Nov 12, 2007 8:16 pm

Mike, your argument is somewhat different than that of Matt, Jerry, and the answer sheet: I would doubt that the work has ever been exhibited as "Anatomy Lesson Tulp," though answering that would technically have been accepted. In the case of the latter argument, I don't see why one wouldn't prompt, since the player has demonstrated clear knowledge, just as one would prompt on an answer of "Bacon" on a philosophy tossup.

I don't know if the painting has ever been referred to as just "The Anatomy Lesson" in a museum or book, but it's certainly referred to that way in newspaper articles, passing scholarly references, etc., and since it doesn't have the qb-sacrosanctness of the artist's placement, I don't know why one wouldn't give the player the benefit of the doubt there, but if that's the agreed-upon policy, fine: perhaps the new ACF rules could specify that this is how tournaments will deal with naming untitled works.

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Post by grapesmoker » Mon Nov 12, 2007 10:31 pm

yoda4554 wrote:I would doubt that the work has ever been exhibited as "Anatomy Lesson Tulp," though answering that would technically have been accepted.
The point of the underline conventions is to require the minimum possible amount of things precisely in order to give players the benefit of the doubt. Obviously, no one in their right mind would buzz and say "Anatomy Lesson Tulp" even if they know that this would be accepted, because people speak in complete sentences much of the time, so the least they'd say would be "Anatomy Lesson of Tulp" which is still ok.

[quote[]I don't know if the painting has ever been referred to as just "The Anatomy Lesson" in a museum or book, but it's certainly referred to that way in newspaper articles, passing scholarly references, etc., and since it doesn't have the qb-sacrosanctness of the artist's placement, I don't know why one wouldn't give the player the benefit of the doubt there, but if that's the agreed-upon policy, fine: perhaps the new ACF rules could specify that this is how tournaments will deal with naming untitled works.[/quote]

I'm sure it has been referred to as "The Anatomy Lesson" in some books. I would agree that one should prompt on "The Anatomy Lesson," since it is not a formal title and yet there are other "Anatomy Lessons" by Rembrandt.
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Post by Mr. Kwalter » Mon Nov 12, 2007 11:00 pm

But take the classic Embarkation for Cythera example. That painting has been alternately exhibited as (at least) Embarkation for Cythera and Pilgrimage to Cythera. By some of the rules being suggested, some synonym of "Embarkation" and "Cythera" should be enough, but really you do need a preposition there. "Embarkation from Cythera" is unacceptable, because--to my knowledge--they're going to Cythera, not from Cythera.

To me, not asking for actual titles is a slippery slope. I mean, should describing a painting be sufficient? That distinguishes it from other paintings. Should giving the plot of a novel be sufficient? If all the details you give are correct, you're clearly identifying which novel you're talking about. Maybe that argument's a little pedantic, but it's a legitimate concern.
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Post by Skepticism and Animal Feed » Mon Nov 12, 2007 11:06 pm

Kit Cloudkicker wrote:But take the classic Embarkation for Cythera example. That painting has been alternately exhibited as (at least) Embarkation for Cythera and Pilgrimage to Cythera. By some of the rules being suggested, some synonym of "Embarkation" and "Cythera" should be enough, but really you do need a preposition there. "Embarkation from Cythera" is unacceptable, because--to my knowledge--they're going to Cythera, not from Cythera.

To me, not asking for actual titles is a slippery slope. I mean, should describing a painting be sufficient? That distinguishes it from other paintings. Should giving the plot of a novel be sufficient? If all the details you give are correct, you're clearly identifying which novel you're talking about. Maybe that argument's a little pedantic, but it's a legitimate concern.
Saying "from" would be incorrect information, which is an entirely different offense from insufficient information.
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Post by cvdwightw » Mon Nov 12, 2007 11:12 pm

cornfused wrote:Well, no. The other team negged early into the question, and I ended up convincing myself it wasn't the Austro-Prussian war because Austria and Prussia were both mentioned... so I guessed something different. I've never heard of it being called the Seven Weeks' War - learned it in AP Euro as Austro-Prussian.
Sorry for getting on the bandwagon late, but I had a similar problem. The other team negged early, and about halfway through the question I realized it was the Austro-Prussian War. I spent the other half of the tossup trying to remember the number and the duration of time that went with it under the assumption that "Austria" and "Prussia" would be mentioned in the giveaway, couldn't remember either, and ultimately said something incorrect.

I guess the point is that if in a tournament this massive, there are complaints about less than 10 questions, this was a pretty awesome tournament.

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Post by Captain Sinico » Tue Nov 13, 2007 12:46 am

yoda4554 wrote:Mike, your argument is somewhat different than that of Matt, Jerry, and the answer sheet: I would doubt that the work has ever been exhibited as "Anatomy Lesson Tulp," though answering that would technically have been accepted.
It's really not. Your letter-of-the-rule argument completely overlooks what's important here. The by-fiat underlining in the answer is just a convenient way of encapsulating the common information in all known display titles, nothing more. If the underlining allows responses that are not correct by the letter of the rule in not terribly important ways, it's just a (very minor) flaw in the underlining.
yoda4554 wrote:I don't know if the painting has ever been referred to as just "The Anatomy Lesson" in a museum or book, but it's certainly referred to that way in newspaper articles, passing scholarly references, etc., and since it doesn't have the qb-sacrosanctness of the artist's placement, I don't know why one wouldn't give the player the benefit of the doubt there, but if that's the agreed-upon policy, fine: perhaps the new ACF rules could specify that this is how tournaments will deal with naming untitled works.
Okay, but again, that argument applies just as well (or even better) to responses like "Kant's Critique" or "Aristotle's Ethics." Are those or are those not prompt-worthy in your opinion? If so, where do we stop slipping down this slope? If not, how do you reconcile that with the fact that you demand a prompt on "The Anatomy Lesson?"

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Post by yoda4554 » Tue Nov 13, 2007 1:46 am

Critique of Pure Reason is Kant's title (in translation), no? There's a pretty clear authority to that, and I'm perfectly fine with the convention that author's titles should be accepted exactly.

I don't believe (I may be wrong) that Nichomachean Ethics is Aristotle's title--my memory from my freshman Philo is vaguely that it was compiled out of lecture notes. Since it has, as far as I know, been published exclusively under that exact title by its various editors, I wouldn't have too much of a problem with people requiring the full title, though my extremely unscientific impression is that enough people refer to it simply as "Ethics" such that I don't see that prompting is a huge onus on the moderators--hypothetically, some people might read Nichomachean Ethics in a Philo 101 class in which it is primarily referred to as Ethics and buzz with that, and not being aware that Aristotle wrote several other works of ethics doesn't strike me as a fatal ignorance of the work, considering the number of people who can buzz with the full title despite not having read it. That's a gray area and I wouldn't contest a lack of a prompt.

Regardless, this isn't the case with the Rembrandt, which, as has been noted, has only a sort-of common title with several variants, which seems to subvert the standard of exactness that most rules seem to treat properly-titled works with. It has seemed to me that most tournaments I've attended tend to err on the side of leniency when dealing with works that haven't been directly titled (as with title translations), because it's hard to be too pedantic given the degree of indeterminacy and the possibility that some scholar somewhere has decided it's more properly named slightly differently (which is not the case with properly-titled works). If people want the convention to be stricter than that, fine, but I'd just like to know precisely what the standard is, for my own playing reference.

Perhaps the section of the rules dealing with common abbreviations of titles can be more explicit: we accept Wealth of Nations, though I imagine every edition of that work includes the full title, and so the slippery slope is going to be there whether or not we quibble more over Tulp (and I'm happy to have this be my last post on the matter, as this has taken too much focus from the main discussion and I didn't even play this tournament). At what point does that rule for title abbreviations kick in?

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Post by theMoMA » Tue Nov 13, 2007 2:01 am

Well, I guess I would say that in the case of the Rembrandt work, there is legitimate confusion over what is required, whereas no such confusion exists in the case of the Kant work.

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Post by naturalistic phallacy » Tue Nov 13, 2007 2:12 am

ImmaculateDeception wrote:Regarding the names of the Catholic sacraments, Catholic Encyclopedia agrees that the names in-packet are the official names for the English-speaking world, as do my theology books from Catholic high school. Perhaps the sources are in error, but I'd want someone to cite a source better than Catholic teammates or personal experience before concluding that. So, in short, the question may not be so wrong as you think.
I do not say this to defend not prompting on more common names of the sacraments; the question is certainly at fault there (it didn't even explicitly ask for the official names.) My bad on that.

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Catechism of the Catholic Church wrote:1210 Christ instituted the sacraments of the new law. There are seven: Baptism, Confirmation (or Chrismation), the Eucharist, Penance, the Anointing of the Sick, Holy Orders and Matrimony.
According to the Catholic Catechism, Anointing of the Sick is the official term given whereas Extreme Unction was more common Pre-Vatican II because it was only used in near-death circumstances. Penance, however, is the official name. Still, since it is rarely used, perhaps "reconciliation" should be acceptable or at least promptable.
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Post by Captain Sinico » Tue Nov 13, 2007 3:03 am

But the point here is that "Rembrandt's Anatomy Lesson," besides being de jure wrong as far as we can tell, could credibly be referring to another work (Rembrandt's other Anatomy Lesson.) This is hardly coincidental: the reason it's de jure wrong is because all credible sources I've seen specify Tulp, which is probably because an informed viewer is aware there's another Rembrandt Anatomy Lesson (just as an informed reader would know there's another Ethics by Aristotle or many Love Suicides by Chikamatsu, irregardless of how those works attained their titles.) In short, I don't think these things are as capricious as you make them out to be.

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Post by Magister Ludi » Tue Nov 13, 2007 4:10 am

I thought the set was great overall, but I didn't like some of the tossups on composers, especially the ones on Mozart and Schumann. I felt they were far too pyramidal with a lack of useful clues until the end. Half of the Schumann question was devoted to the Dichterliebe, which seemed excessive. While I doubt many rooms answered the Mozart tossup until the mention of Lacrimosa.

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Post by miamiqb » Tue Nov 13, 2007 8:49 am

Hey everyone,

Anyone who is interested in hearing about why their submitted questions were not used/change significantly just send me an email at jsridhar119 at gmail.com and I will post it here for everyone's general benefit and discussion.

I am sorry about the aldehyde ozonlysis clue, I should have caught that and it was fatigue on my part more than anything. Sorry for anyone who got pwned.
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Post by naturalistic phallacy » Tue Nov 13, 2007 10:45 am

Magister Ludi wrote:I thought the set was great overall, but I didn't like some of the tossups on composers, especially the ones on Mozart and Schumann. I felt they were far too pyramidal with a lack of useful clues until the end. Half of the Schumann question was devoted to the Dichterliebe, which seemed excessive. While I doubt many rooms answered the Mozart tossup until the mention of Lacrimosa.
I felt that the Mozart tossup was the opposite, really. It wasn't that difficult to figure out where that question was going, for, honestly, how many other requiems are going to come up at ACF Fall as a tossup answer. It was a perfectly legitimate question.
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Post by grapesmoker » Tue Nov 13, 2007 11:04 am

Magister Ludi wrote:I thought the set was great overall, but I didn't like some of the tossups on composers, especially the ones on Mozart and Schumann. I felt they were far too pyramidal with a lack of useful clues until the end. Half of the Schumann question was devoted to the Dichterliebe, which seemed excessive. While I doubt many rooms answered the Mozart tossup until the mention of Lacrimosa.
I don't think this means what you think it means. But I agree with your point; I thought the Schumann question was pretty flawed, since it was nothing but German titles until almost the end of the question. There's no reason to be coy at this level once you get past the half-way mark.
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Post by DumbJaques » Tue Nov 13, 2007 12:30 pm

I'd like to take this opportunity to put forth that Opera tossups should not just list arias in foreign languages for 50+% of the question. If you don't speak the language and haven't heard of a few of them, there's no reason you'd know the other unless they're giveaway level. You could conceivably see an opera and follow the plot pretty well without really being able to identify arias in foreign languages. . . in fact, you probably have. This isn't a plague on quizbowl or anything like that but it was sort of frustrating for like two questions during fall.

Oh, Fall was really good as a sort of college-level IS set that was really well-written, which is a great thing for the circuit. Keep up the good work.
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Post by The Logic of Scientific Disco » Tue Nov 13, 2007 2:54 pm

DumbJaques wrote:I'd like to take this opportunity to put forth that Opera tossups should not just list arias in foreign languages for 50+% of the question. If you don't speak the language and haven't heard of a few of them, there's no reason you'd know the other unless they're giveaway level. You could conceivably see an opera and follow the plot pretty well without really being able to identify arias in foreign languages. . . in fact, you probably have. This isn't a plague on quizbowl or anything like that but it was sort of frustrating for like two questions during fall.
Quoted for truth. I get really frustrated hearing opera questions where I know the opera fairly well but don't recognize the mass of indistinguishable Italian in the tossup. It's difficult to write tossups about opera that don't just boil down to plot summaries, but simply listing arias is not the way to do it--I would gravitate towards describing the musical qualities of famous pieces from the opera or even describing the overture in musical terms, since this is often the most recognizable part of the opera (at least for Mozart and Rossini). Alternately, people could just write opera for the "other arts" distribution, and do the plot-summary method after all (I'm actually most in favor of this, since it increases the number of real music questions).

As for Schumann, I really quite enjoyed reading that tossup, but having "Ich grolle nicht" as a middle clue is not a great idea at something like an easy ACF Fall (as cool as that song is). Similarly for the Mozart tossup--while there are few askable requiems, process of elimination shouldn't justify the obscurity of the clues; that just rewards people without knowledge of other requiems (Faure, Verdi, Brahms, etc.).

I also have a minor quibble about a number of Fall tossups--many seemed to have remarkably choppy sentence structure and sounded like lists of unconnected facts. For example:

This person's desire to eliminate certain influences led to the so-called Rectification Campaign, which was led by his supporter, Kang. Ascending to power at Zunyi, this leader briefly united with a notable foe after the latter was captured in the Sian incident. He first promulgated, then repudiated the Hundred Flowers Movement and Cultural Revolution after he led the People's Liberation Army on the Long March. His thoughts are collected in the so-called Little Red Book. FTP, name this leader of the Communist revolution and, from 1949 to 1959, the head of China.

While this makes for nice, clean tossups, it also makes them kind of boring to listen to, and messes with the rhythm of the game. It would be nice if tossups flowed more.

These are all, of course, minor points. This set was really good, and I'm a little disappointed that I read it instead of playing it.

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Post by Magister Ludi » Tue Nov 13, 2007 3:23 pm

There are a number of askable requiems at this level, so I don't feel one can just buzz off the fact that the tossup is looking for a requiem. As Jerry said part of the reason the Schumann question was too pyramidal was the fact it listed works all in German.

I listen to opera and I found the aria clues helpful. Sometimes the aria clues were excessive especially in the La Traviata question, but I think I got every opera tossup off an aria at this tournament. Perhaps it's best to have arias comprise the first two sentences of an opera toss-up with the rest of the question dealing with plot summary. [/quote]

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Post by cvdwightw » Tue Nov 13, 2007 3:58 pm

Magister Ludi wrote: Perhaps it's best to have arias comprise the first two sentences of an opera toss-up with the rest of the question dealing with plot summary.
Well, yes and no. I'm pretty sure more players would get Rigoletto off "Donna e Mobile" or Turandot off "Nessun Dorma" than on mid-level plot clues, so having either of these arias in the first two lines would make these tossups non-pyramidal. Generally, the few times I write opera tossups, I attempt to intertwine plot and aria clues (e.g. "In (aria), (character) (talks about something), after which (something else happens)").

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Post by Gautam » Tue Nov 13, 2007 6:46 pm

I think the problem with the foreign language aria clues lies in the fact that people may mispronounce or badly pronounce things in other languages. I mean, if a not-so-experienced moderator reads the question and stumbles on the foreign language names, then even people who know the aria titles might be thrown off track.

Other than that, it was an awesome set for my first ACF Fall competition. Thanks to the editors and writers for their hard work!

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Post by Captain Sinico » Thu Nov 15, 2007 1:05 pm

ChrisK.MIT wrote:I also have a minor quibble about a number of Fall tossups--many seemed to have remarkably choppy sentence structure and sounded like lists of unconnected facts. For example:

This person's desire to eliminate certain influences led to the so-called Rectification Campaign, which was led by his supporter, Kang. Ascending to power at Zunyi, this leader briefly united with a notable foe after the latter was captured in the Sian incident. He first promulgated, then repudiated the Hundred Flowers Movement and Cultural Revolution after he led the People's Liberation Army on the Long March. His thoughts are collected in the so-called Little Red Book. FTP, name this leader of the Communist revolution and, from 1949 to 1959, the head of China.

While this makes for nice, clean tossups, it also makes them kind of boring to listen to, and messes with the rhythm of the game. It would be nice if tossups flowed more.
I don't see why that's "choppy." It's a series of sentences of roughly equal length, each of which contains about three clues; that's the essence of rhythm to me. The facts therein are, in fact, related (often intimately.) Could you define what you want/see wrong in more concrete terms?

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Post by The Logic of Scientific Disco » Thu Nov 15, 2007 2:29 pm

Well, sentences can be of equal length and still be annoying to listen to--but I might just be way too picky about this sort of thing. Perhaps the thing that bothers me most about the Mao tossup is the "Little Red Book" sentence seemingly stuck in as a nice pre-FTP clue with little setup. I guess a better example is this tossup:

An approximate screened potential is named for Thomas and this person. In superconductors, this scientist’s namesake level is found in the band gap. His namesake paradox notes the high probability of the existence of but the lack of contact with extraterrestrial civilizations. The Pauli exclusion principle is obeyed by his namesake particles, which have half-integer spins, unlike bosons. Together with Szilard at the University of Chicago, he built the world's first nuclear reactor. Rutherford congratulated him for “escaping theoretical physicsâ€

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Post by Captain Sinico » Thu Nov 15, 2007 3:11 pm

Yeah, I mean, I thought that series of clues having in common their connection to the answer (and perhaps little else) was what quizbowl questions are supposed to be? If you want to write this off, that's cool, but I'm interested in your input. Perhaps you could re-write one of those choppy questions (both substantially written by me, incidentally) to be more in line with what you'd like to hear.

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Edit: removed superfluous "connected." Damned compound sentences!
Last edited by Captain Sinico on Thu Nov 15, 2007 4:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by cvdwightw » Thu Nov 15, 2007 3:23 pm

Stylistic differences is picky. I know many like long sentences filled with lots of clues connected by commas, semicolons, and other punctuation marks that make the question feel like one long run-on sentence (or at least, that stuff in moderation). Having sent packets of longer sentences to Illinois Open in the past and seen them cut down to simpler sentences, I believe Mike prefers shorter, terser sentences with one or two clues per sentence (in other words, as much fluff reduction as possible, without regard for how "choppy" it sounds). There's a continuum, and it's ultimately up to the editors to provide some kind of uniformity.

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Post by miamiqb » Thu Nov 15, 2007 7:02 pm

cvdwightw wrote:Stylistic differences is picky. I know many like long sentences filled with lots of clues connected by commas, semicolons, and other punctuation marks that make the question feel like one long run-on sentence (or at least, that stuff in moderation). Having sent packets of longer sentences to Illinois Open in the past and seen them cut down to simpler sentences, I believe Mike prefers shorter, terser sentences with one or two clues per sentence (in other words, as much fluff reduction as possible, without regard for how "choppy" it sounds). There's a continuum, and it's ultimately up to the editors to provide some kind of uniformity.
It definitely is a stylistic call. I personally prefer the flowing type of question but see nothing wrong with Sorice's question; as long as it is pyramidal and factually correct it's all good (and those are some pretty nice pyramidal facts).

I think that's where having multiple editors comes in. I think you will see my questions at least followed that more "flowy/run-on sentence" format. There is no right or wrong way.
I like to eat peanut butter

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