Open Thread: Glass Octopus


I finally found primary camera.  I'm away from home (watching a baby) and have no relevant cords.  Here's something that I bumped into on the internet.  A hand crafted --for the value of "hand crafted" that involves, "glass is too hot to touch when it can actually be crafted"-- glass octopus.

I think that's all I'll say because "no relevant cords" includes the power cord and my computer is telling me, repeatedly, that it's going to cut out due to lack of power any moment now.

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Friday Recommendations!  What have you been reading/writing/listening to/playing/watching lately?  Shamelessly self-promote or boost the signal on something you think we should know about - the weekend’s ahead of us, so give us something new to explore!

And, like on all threads: please remember to use the "post new comment" feature rather than the "reply" feature, even when directly replying to someone else!

Time Quintet: Grammar Nazis

[Content Note: Mention of WW2, Fictional Portrayal of Fascism, Racism]

A Wrinkle in Time, Chapter 7: The Man with Red Eyes

Hey, everyone! I was going to write this sooner but then trans stuff happened on twitter and I got sucked into a black hole. I've shared my Storify account with you here before, yes? (I hate using storify after that one time they set a stalker on me, but it's still the best tweet aggregator out there.) Anyway! We're on Chapter 7 which is honestly a good chapter because things start happening again, so I'm really excited and also I just had a lot of sugar. Let's do this!

Open Thread: Double Boxed Cat


I give you my cat ... in box, which is inside another box.  Also bits of the massive mess in my house visible in the background.

She was actually significantly cuter before I turned the camera on, but the noise woke her up and I think it's a rule that, no matter how cute they are regardless, cats and babies/small children must move into a less cute position whenever a camera is pointed in their direction.

Secondary camera is still really helping me get pictures for these threads.  Not the most inspiring pictures since I'm mostly stuck in one room, but pictures none the less.

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Friday Recommendations!  What have you been reading/writing/listening to/playing/watching lately?  Shamelessly self-promote or boost the signal on something you think we should know about - the weekend’s ahead of us, so give us something new to explore!

And, like on all threads: please remember to use the "post new comment" feature rather than the "reply" feature, even when directly replying to someone else!

Pending Paperback: Survival Rout!


This is now a physical thing that will soon be available! In order of how much I get in royalties (which is not much and that's okay but that's why the price is so high, I'm really sorry about that but Print-on-Demand is expensive) here are links:

CreateSpace: Link!

Amazon: Link! (This one might take a couple days!)

Libraries: Maybe? If you ask your librarian?

Remember! If you are a Patreon of $25 or higher, I will send you a signed copy free in the mail! I just need to know your address! Which you may not want to give me, and that's okay too! In which case, I think I can send you an unsigned copy via Amazon without me seeing your address, but you'll have to set it up via a wishlist.

Open Thread: Ducktopus


As mentioned elsewhere, I've been playing Kingdom Hearts.  When I saw Donald's attempt to blend in with the underwater world, I knew exactly what this week's open thread picture would be.  Probably would have been better if I hadn't had a bivalve mollusk in the background.

Anyway, Donald here has eight limbs total meaning only six legs, so the he'd be a hexapus/sexapus (depending on if you like Greek or Latin) but Ducxapus doesn't have the same ring.  I attribute his tentacles being non-equally spaced to the magic being . . . less than perfectly stealthy.

Goofy was a dog-turtle and Sora was a totally mammalian merperson, his lower half seemed to be somewhere in the vicinity of dolphin-ish.

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Friday Recommendations!  What have you been reading/writing/listening to/playing/watching lately?  Shamelessly self-promote or boost the signal on something you think we should know about - the weekend’s ahead of us, so give us something new to explore!

And, like on all threads: please remember to use the "post new comment" feature rather than the "reply" feature, even when directly replying to someone else!

Writings: Arrow's Flight

[This post was previously posted on my Patreon blog.]

February! An ace/aro patron requested a short story about a fantasy princess who doesn't want to wed but is facing pressure to do so. Content notes for capitivity and the threat of forced marriage, but I tried to keep this piece light and hopeful. May it bring you joy, and blessed be to you for your paronage.

Small acts of activism: Did you know that "aromantic" is not in the Merriam-Webster dictionary? (Search link here.) Please consider contacting the dictionary here and asking they include an entry for aromantic. Sarah Elkins has a Twitter thread here on why dictionary support for orientations is so important. Thank you!

Narnia: Prophetic Interlude

[Narnia Content Note: Childbirth, Death, Kidnapping, Sexual/Domestic Assault]

The Horse and His Boy, Chapter 14 [Briefly Skipping Ahead]

Okay, I know I'm skipping over Chapter 13 and most of 14, but we have to talk about Shasta/Cor's kidnapping or I'm going to keep melting down over it, as per this last post. First, we have a timeline which gehayi was awesome enough to track down for us:

   In Chapter 1, Arsheesh tells the Tarkaan that he found baby Shasta "in that same year in which the Tisroc (may he live for ever) began his august and beneficent reign[.]"
   In Chapter 8, Ahoshta Tarkaan says, "[U]ntil the year in which your exalted father began his salutary and unending reign, the land of Narnia was covered with ice and snow and was moreover ruled by a most powerful enchantress."
   Therefore, Shasta was born the year that the White Witch's winter ended. The Narnian timeline says that the Witch's winter ended in the year 1000, and that Susan and Edmund visited Tashbaan in 1014.

Open Thread: Lost Hat


I really do need to dig up primary camera to get to the pictures on it.  This was one of the first pictures taken with secondary camera.  I lost the hat not long after the bus trip.  It made it off the bus, I'm pretty sure, but I'm less confident that it left the bus terminal with me.

I keep on losing my hats.  I should probably buy more than one at a time so when I lose one I don't have to trek into Portland to buy a new one.

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Friday Recommendations!  What have you been reading/writing/listening to/playing/watching lately?  Shamelessly self-promote or boost the signal on something you think we should know about - the weekend’s ahead of us, so give us something new to explore!

And, like on all threads: please remember to use the "post new comment" feature rather than the "reply" feature, even when directly replying to someone else!

Narnia: As Like As Two Twins

[Narnia Content Note: Racism, Rape, Kidnapping, Abuse]

Narnia Recap: Shasta has crossed the mountains into Narnia. Obligatory note about racism, intent, and Lewis is here.

The Horse and His Boy, Chapter 12: Shasta in Narnia

We've been in Chapter 12 for awhile and that's partly my fault, but there's just so much to absorb and I'm struggling to tear through it. Today is going to recap some of the points in the last post because (a) there's a lot to recap and (b) I was on some new prescription medications last time and not as lucid as I would have liked. So let's try this again.

Shasta wakes up, meets some Talking Animals, and is taken home by a family of Dwarves so that he can rest and have some solid food--important, since he's been awake for what feels like three days now and hasn't really had a decent meal that wasn't travel rations stuffed in a bag or cold fruit scavenged straight from the orchard back in Tashbaan.

Index: The Maze Runner


The Maze Runner


Source: Reading With A Vengeance
Label: The Maze Runner

» The Maze Runner: Chs 1 - 2
» The Maze Runner: Ch 3
» The Maze Runner: Chs 4 - 6
» The Maze Runner: Chs 7 - 9
» The Maze Runner: Chs 10 - 12
» The Maze Runner: Chs 13 - 15
» The Maze Runner: Chs 16 - 18
» The Maze Runner: Chs 19 - 21
» The Maze Runner: Chs 22 - 24
» The Maze Runner: Chs 25 - 27
» The Maze Runner: Chs 28 - 32
» The Maze Runner: Chs 33 - 37
» The Maze Runner: Chs 38 - 42
» The Maze Runner: Chs 43 - 52
» The Maze Runner: Chs 53 - 62

Note: Last updated 03/30/2017.

Repost: Lion-Witch-Wardrobe, All-American Rendition

[Ana's Note: By popular demand, this is a re-post of an old deconstruction, partly to have content while I struggle with my ongoing disability challenges and partly so that newcomers can comment on old conversations.

The original post is here. I have not edited the content.



Narnia Recap: We'll be doing a couple of film adaptations before moving on to Prince Caspian.

The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe, American Adaptation

So last week I kept referring to the modern remake of "The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe" as "the American version". The Americanishness of the version is probably disputable: the producer and co-screenwriter is from New Zealand, the children actors are from England, and according to IMDB the movie was filmed in the Czech Republic. But the movie was produced by Disney, and darned if this isn't one of the Americaniest book adaptations I've ever seen. Hold onto your hats: this isn't the book you've spent the last year reading.

I'll be fair: I actually want to like some of the changes here. It seems to me that someone on the script writing team felt that even the BBC version wasn't kind enough to Edmund, and they took great pains to make Edmund more sympathetic than he sometimes is in the book. Where I think this falls down, though, is that instead of playing up the fact that Edmund is a child, it seems like the screenwriters didn't feel like that was Manly enough so instead they played up that Peter is kind of a jerk. Oookay, we'll see how that goes.

But! Oh-dear-sweet-jumping-fried-okra, the screenwriters clearly felt that with Edmund wearing the totally-misunderstood cap, we needed a new Pevensie villain, so Susan is pushed into the spotlight with DOUBTING THOMAS and GREAT TEMPTRESS tattooed on her forehead at various moments. They've done this by taking Susan's general sensible advice scattered throughout the book to the tune of "gosh, this place doesn't seem so great, are we sure about this?" and twisted and turned this into Susan trying to push Peter into accepting deals with the devil. Despite the fact that Book!Susan was the first person to agree with Lucy that they had a responsibility to save Mr. Tumnus.

Dear Screenwriters: When you read a children's book published in 1950 and decide it's not sexist enough, you are doing it wrong.

But enough of my ranting; let's just dive in.

Time Quintet: Planet Death Bat

[Content Note: Child Abuse, Christian Hell]

A Wrinkle in Time, Chapter 6: The Happy Medium

Okay! We've been stuck in Chapter 6 for a while, but now things are going to start happening! The children have been dropped off on a planet (Camazotz, "death bat" from Mayan mythology, cultural appropriation discussed here and here), given ill-defined gifts of dubious usefulness, and sent on their merry way to bumble around until they find Mr. Murry.

Does everything make sense? No. But things are happening and that's exciting!

   “Come on,” Meg said impatiently. “Come on, let’s go!” She was completely unaware that her voice was trembling like an aspen leaf. She took Charles Wallace and Calvin each by the hand and started down the hill.

Meta: New Indexes

I've been reading Will Wildman's analyses of Orson Scott Card's work again this week and I link to those a lot on here, so I'd like to do a "blog roll" type thing on my Index page that links to other deconstructions. Sort of a "if you like this, you might like these" type of things.

I know we have a lot of deconstructions in our community and I am probably not going to be able to gather them all up myself, but if you would like to compile and send one to me, I will add it! Here is the format I'm using in HTML, if you want to send me one to post. 

» <a href="URL">CHAPTER 1</a>, POST TITLE
» <a href="URL">CHAPTER 2</a>, POST TITLE
» <a href="URL">CHAPTER 3</a>, POST TITLE

Index: Fifty Shades of Gray


Fifty Shades of Gray


Source: Something Short and Snappy
Label: 50 Shades of Grey

Fifty Shades of Grey
» Announcing a Bad Idea!
» 50 Shades of Grey, Chapter 1
» 50 Shades of Grey, Chapter 2 in which I wonder WHYYYYYYYYYYYYY
» 50 Shades of Grey, Chapter 3 in which the characters act like aliens
» 50 Shades of Grey, Chapter 4 in which characters stop making sense.
» 50 Shades of Grey, Chapter 5. The chapter that makes me hate all the things.
» 50 Shades of Grey Chapter 6, which was written with the help of my good friend Jolly Rancher vodka!
» 50 Shades of Grey, Chapter 7, in which we get closer to the banging.
» 50 Shades of Grey, Chapter 8, in which they finally start banging.
» 50 Shades of Grey, Chapter 9, in which there is more banging.
» 50 Shades of Grey, Chapter 10, in which I spend a lot of time screaming at my computer.
» 50 Shades of Grey, Chapter 11, in which we all get bored to death by EL James.
» 50 Shades of Grey, Chapter 12, in which there is more banging, but not enough to make me like this chapter.
» 50 Shades of Grey, Chapter 13, in which I can't get over how bad a writer EL James is
» 50 Shades of Grey, Chapter 14, in which WHY DOES THIS NOT END YET?
» 50 Shades of Grey, Chapter 15 in which I am too drunk to come up with a good title.
» 50 Shades of Grey, Chapter 16 in which I just want the entier cast to STFU
» 50 Shades of Grey, Chapter 17 in which the author seems super cool with rapey-culture
» 50 Shades of Grey, Chapter 18 in which there is lots of banging :)
» 50 Shades of Grey, Chapter 19 in which we meet the family!
» 50 Shades of Grey, Chapter 20, in which Grey is basically a rapist.
» 50 Shades of Grey, Chapter 21, in which the characters have moments of not being awful.
» 50 Shades of Grey, Chapter 22 part 1, because this chapter is really long you guys.
» 50 Shades of Grey, Chapter 22 part 2
» 50 Shades of Grey, Chapter 23
» 50 Shades of Grey, Chapter 24 which is all references all the time.
» 50 Shades of Grey, Chapter 25
» 50 Shades of Grey, Chapter 26 - THE LAST ONE ZOMGZOMG
» 50 Shades of Grey - Recap


Fifty Shades Darker
» 50 Shades Darker, Chapter 1
» 50 Shades Darker, Chapter 2
» 50 Shades Darker, Chapter 3
» 50 Shades Darker, Chapter 4 in which they ruin Ice Cream.
» 50 Shades Darker, Chapter 5 in which I am so defeated I had to split it into 2 parts Part 1
» 50 Shades Darker, Chapter Part 2 in which Erika feels cheated because there is no sex.
» 50 Shades Darker, Chapter 6 in which I have a very special surprise for you all.
» 50 Shades Darker, Chapter 7 in which Erika wants to know WHY THIS CHAPTER IS EVEN FUCKING HERE part 1
» 50 Shades Darker, Chapter 7, Part 2
» 50 Shades Darker, Chapter 8 in which Erika decides Grey being a warlock is canon
» 50 Shades Darker, Chapter 9 which is boring.
» 50 Shades Darker, Chapter 10 in which Erika writes a post on Pi day.
» 50 Shades Darker, Chapter 11 in which Erika contemplated curling up into a little ball.
» 50 Shades Darker, Chapter 12 in which the book pretends to have a plot.
» 50 Shades Darker, Chapter 13 which is blessedly short.
» 50 Shades Darker, Chapter 14, which was supposed to be a guest post, but Erika felt it was inhumane to make someone else do this chapter
» 50 Shades Darker, Chapter 15 brought to you by the brave Alex!
» 50 Shades Darker, Chapter 16 in which Erika gives up halfway through and tries a new approach.
» 50 Shades Darker, Chapter 17 brought to you by Chris!
» 50 Shades Darker, Chapter 18 in which the book pretends to have a plot again
» 50 Shades Darker, Chapter 19 in which Erika is grateful for it being short
» 50 Shades Darker, Chapter 20 in which meh
» 50 Shades Darker, Chapter 21 in which there is a lot of super boring sex.
» 50 Shades Darker, Chapter 22 in which IT'S OVER OH THANK GOD IT IS OVER


Fifty Shades Freed
» 50 Shades Freed, Prologue, in which its shortness is the nicest thing I can think to say about it
» 50 Shades Freed, Chapter 1, in which, wait--we're skipping the wedding?

Note: Last updated 03/28/2017.

Index: Dresden Files


Dresden Files


Source: Something Short and Snappy
Label: Dresden Files

» Storm Front, chapters 1 and 2, in which Our Hero is one of the "nice" misogynists
» Storm Front, chapters three and four, in which Dresden hopefully suffers for his misogyny
» Storm Front, chapters five, six, and seven, in which Will tries to ban the author from writing women
» Storm Front, chapters eight and nine, in which Will endures for you, precious reader
» Storm Front, chapters ten and eleven, in which the worst and best of the book are on display
» Storm Front, chapters twelve and thirteen, in which Dresden must endure women throwing themselves at him
» Storm Front, chapters 14 and 15, in which having lots of women in your book is no protection against rampant misogyny
» Storm Front, chapters 16 and 17, in which true rules of power and exchange are demonstrated
» Storm Front, chapters 18 and 19, in which repetition masquerades as exposition
» Storm Front, chapters 20 and 21, in which Our Hero just can't be blamed for being terrible and useless
» Storm Front, chapters 22 and 23, in which Harry Dresden is just the best ever
» Storm Front, chapters 24 and 25, in which the race against time pauses for exposition
» Storm Front, chapters 26 and 27, in which Dresden repudiates his author

Note: Last updated 03/26/2017.

Index: Speaker For The Dead


Speaker For The Dead


Source: Something Short and Snappy
Label: Speaker for the Dead

» Speaker for the Dead, chapter one, part one, in which nothing ever changes
» Speaker for the Dead, chapter one, part two, in which species is decided by vote
» Speaker for the Dead, chapter one, part three, in which Pipo makes a lot of bad decisions
» Speaker for the Dead, chapter two, in which the galaxy revolves around Ender
» Speaker for the Dead, chapter three, in which Novinha ruins science over her boyfriend
» Speaker for the Dead, chapter four, in which Ender only has secret friends
» Speaker for the Dead, chapter five, in which loving siblings trying to destroy each other
» Speaker for the Dead, chapter six, part one, in which I no longer know what is going on
» Speaker for the Dead, chapter six, part two, in which subtitles are misused
» Speaker for the Dead, chapter seven, in which Ender is a magical social worker
» Speaker for the Dead, chapter eight, in which we genre shift to thriller-horror
» Speaker for the Dead, chapter nine, in which I wonder if this is actually a first draft
» Speaker for the Dead, chapter ten, part one, in which that which is not forbidden is mandatory
» Speaker for the Dead, chapter ten, part two, in which Ender is all of his own exceptions
» Speaker for the Dead, chapter eleven, in which Jane does all right
» Speaker for the Dead, chapter twelve, in which there are okay bits
» Speaker for the Dead, chapter thirteen, in which science washes its hands of sci fi
» Speaker for the Dead, chapter fourteen, part one, in which Ender is Right at people
» Speaker for the Dead, chapter fourteen, part two, in which magic is handled badly
» Speaker for the Dead, chapter fifteen, upon which everything depends
» Speaker for the Dead, chapter fifteen, part two, in which Ender is accidentally honest
» Speaker for the Dead, chapter sixteen, part one, in which everyone breaks character
» Speaker for the Dead, chapter sixteen, part two, in which science is useless before the might of the fence
» Speaker for the Dead, chapter seventeen, part one, in which Ender is more equal than everyone
» Speaker for the Dead, chapter seventeen, part two, in which Mighty Whitey saves the day
» Speaker for the Dead, chapter eighteen, in which Card hurriedly scrawls To Be Continued across the page
» Speaker for the Dead, introduction, in which we solve a mystery by studying its genetics

Note: Last updated 03/26/2017.

Index: Ender's Shadow


Ender's Shadow


Source: Something Short and Snappy
Label: Ender's Shadow

» Ender's Shadow, chapter one, in which Bean is not as smart as he thinks he is
» Ender's Shadow, chapter two, in which Bean is a singing muppet
» Ender's Shadow, chapter three, in which Bean is first an apostle
» Ender's Shadow, chapters four, five, and six, in which Bean just barely doesn't sprint into the fourth wall
» Ender's Shadow, chapters seven and eight, in which Bean confirms that the author is right about everything
» Ender's Shadow, chapters nine, ten, and eleven, in which Bean is a god and Ender is a messiah
» Ender's Shadow, chapters twelve, thirteen, and fourteen, in which Bean is distressed that no one understands how awesome he is
» Ender's Shadow, chapters fifteen, sixteen, and seventeen, in which Bean is a street preacher
» Ender's Shadow, chapters eighteen, nineteen, and twenty, in which Bean doesn't murder anyone
» Ender's Shadow, chapters twenty-one and twenty-two, in which Bean is not the smartest person
» Ender's Shadow, chapters twenty-three and twenty-four, in which Bean steps aside

Note: Last updated 03/26/2017.

Index: Ender's Game


Ender's Game


Source: Something Short and Snappy
Label: Ender's Game

» Chapter one, part one, in which Will inexplicably follows in the style of the terrible decisions that have gone before
» Chapter one, part two, in which we immediately give up on all reasoned morality
» Chapter two, in which the villainous Peter Wiggin fails to be as horrifying as our hero
» Chapter three, which is much less terrible than previous chapters, or maybe I'm just getting inured to it all
» Chapter four, in which Ender Wiggin becomes the blatant reader-fantasy-insert
» Chapter five, in which Ender SHOWS THEM ALL and Will says 'whatever' a lot
» Chapter six, in which ZERO GRAVITY RACISM saves the day
» Chapter seven, part one, in which we just don't understand Ender's FEELINGS
» Chapter seven, part two, in which everyone gets naked
» Chapter seven, part three, in which middle schoolers are just too old to keep up with the young folks
» Chapter eight, part one, in which Jjjjeeeewwwwwws
» Chapter eight, part two, in which things are very briefly not awful
» Chapter nine, part one, in which blogs are taken seriously
» Chapter nine, part two, in which alternative interpretations abound
» Chapter ten, in which Ender rejects redemption and loses his boyfriend
» Chapter eleven, in which we get down to the WINNING
» Chapter twelve, in which Our Hero gets his second kill
» Chapter thirteen, part one, in which Ender tells the truth
» Chapter thirteen, part two, in which Graff ruins everything again
» Chapter fourteen, part one, in which Mazer Rackham doesn't replace Graff soon enough
» Chapter fourteen, part two, in which the plan works perfectly
» Chapter fifteen, in which the victims blame themselves
» Introduction, in which we contemplate empathy

Note: Last updated 03/26/2017.

Open Thread: Wall Art


Art on a random wall.  Kind of blurry.

I . . . haven't been out much, and my usual camera is misplaced, and I left the back up of my now-replaced hard drive in another state.  So I give you a shot taken by emergency back up camera the one time I was both out and able to take a picture.

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Friday Recommendations!  What have you been reading/writing/listening to/playing/watching lately?  Shamelessly self-promote or boost the signal on something you think we should know about - the weekend’s ahead of us, so give us something new to explore!

And, like on all threads: please remember to use the "post new comment" feature rather than the "reply" feature, even when directly replying to someone else!

Repost: Lion-Witch-Wardrobe, BBC-Style

[Ana's Note: By popular demand, this is a re-post of an old deconstruction, partly to have content while I struggle with my ongoing disability challenges and partly so that newcomers can comment on old conversations.

The original post is here. I have not edited the content.



Narnia Recap: We'll be doing a couple of film adaptations before moving on to Prince Caspian.

The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe, BBC Adaptation

A very great pet peeve of mine is when people complain that libraries -- bastions of free thought, higher education, and information readily disseminated to the masses regardless of wealth or privilege -- contain movies, as though the very idea is wasteful and expensive and entitled. I'm not going to convey my contempt for this complaint beyond a link to my post on ableism and hostility, but I mention that to mention this: my childhood library had the full BBC Chronicles of Narnia and it's been fascinating to go back and see just how much those movies colored my experience with the books. To the librarian who choose in my childhood to stock my library with this film adaptation: Thank you.

The BBC adaptation of "The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe" was created in 1988, and like all adaptations it's an interesting mixture of source text and adaptation needs. There's the obvious stuff based on technological limitations: the Beavers are two adults in awkward beaver suits, Maugrim shape-shifts into a human whenever he needs to talk or interact with the other characters, and Aslan looks remarkably realistic for the time but is heavily limited in terms of movement. And this last change is absolutely for the better, but we'll talk about that later. 

What strikes me about this adaptation -- particularly since I watched it after watching the American movie version, which we will discuss next week -- is how much the creators tried to adhere to the original text. Conversations are lifted almost verbatim from the books (though, amusingly, the subtitlers didn't realize that: when Edmund calls out "Pax!" to Lucy, the subtitlers perplexedly offer up "Hex!"), which makes it all the more interesting to look at the things they do change. How about I just throw down a numbered list, yeah?

  1. Edmund is less insufferable. 
  2. Susan is markedly more important.
  3. Aslan is more gentle, tender, and vulnerable.

This last one, I think, cannot be underestimated in terms of importance. But let's dig in the adaptation and see what I wrote down.

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