Sunday, March 29, 2015

Leandra Williams, Graphic Designer

gold leaf designs llc, graphic design studio, michigan graphic design
Leandra Williams is a graphic designer at Gold Leaf Designs LLC.

Tell us a bit about Gold Leaf Designs LLC.
Gold Leaf Designs LLC is based in Michigan and we provide custom graphic design services to both businesses and individuals. We have the privilege of working with happy couples as they plan their weddings, as well as corporations, nonprofits and start-up entrepreneurs. It’s great being able to be involved in some of peoples’ biggest and most memorable moments like getting married, having a baby or launching a new company.

What services do you provide?
We design items for traditional printing as well as digital/web-ready content. From an individual standpoint, we design birth and graduation announcements, wedding packages, family reunion invitations; any items you will need to share information about your special events. Our business clients utilize our services to assist them with branding-logo design, marketing materials, advertisements, website and social media content, everything that helps differentiate your brand and communicate your message to current and prospective clients.
graduation graphic design, graduation announcement
Graduation Announcement.

Can you tell us a bit more about your custom wedding packages?
Absolutely! We help our brides and grooms conceptualize their perfect package and then we can bring it to life. Our team has the experience and creativity to create amazing packages. Our consultations help us to learn more about the couple, what their vision is, the theme of their wedding, color schemes, all of the important details. That allows us to develop ideas and we are hands-on throughout the entire process. From a basic package containing save-the-dates, RSVPs and your wedding invitations up to a package also including a seating chart, bridal shower invitations, thank-you cards and us handling the addressing and mailing of your invitations, we can tailor it to meet exactly what you’re looking for.

wedding announcement graphic design, wedding graphic design
Wedding Package.
What sets Gold Leaf Designs LLC apart from other graphic design studios?
There are several areas that set up apart. First, we are a family-owned, woman-owned studio and that dynamic impacts our interactions. We are very proud of our customer service and engagement with our clients. Since all of our work is unique, not based on templates or pre-fabricated layouts, it is essential that we get to know our clients, really understand what they’re looking for and also share our knowledge to help them really hone their ideas. Finally, we really embrace technology. Even though we prefer to meet with clients face-to-face, we understand that isn’t always feasible, especially with clients outside of our geographic area. We are able to complete consultations, proof reviews, etc. not just by phone but through Skype, Google Hangouts, iMessage-whatever works best for our client.

What is your favorite part of being a graphic designer?
I love being a graphic designer so it’s hard to pick only one aspect as a “favorite”. If I had to narrow it down, I would say I love the creative aspect of it. No day or project is every exactly the same. One logo will not be the same as the next and neither will two wedding packages. It’s that uniqueness with the design medium as the constant that is really exciting, challenging and dynamic.
gold leaf designs llc, social media content graphic design, michigan graphic design
Social Media Content.

What is the best way for people to find out more about Gold Leaf Designs LLC? 
People can visit our website, to learn more about us and our service offerings. We maintain a digital portfolio on Behance showcasing some of our work. Additionally, we are very active on social media so please ‘like us’ and ‘follow us’ on Facebook (GoldLeafDesignsGR), Twitter (@GLDesignsGR), Google+ & Tumblr!

Is there anything else you’d like to add?
Graduation season is almost here and we are currently offering 15% off our custom designed graduation announcements and open house invitations so we’d love to speak with anyone that is looking for a unique, personalized way to highlight their graduate’s accomplishments and special events!

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Saturday, March 28, 2015

Lory La Selva Paduano, Author of The High Priestess

Lory La Selva Paduano is the author of the historical-fiction novel The High Priestess.

Book blurb

ln a narrative setting, 'The High Priestess' is a story retold time after time to all those of 'Khemithian' backgrounds. Khemit is a mystacism about ancient Egypt that many have yet to discover. From a lost Dynasty, to the conspiracies brought forth by the present, it envelopes your heart and ships it right back to the fascinating era. Khafa our High priestess, is sure not to disappoint our readers, as she takes on Egypts most dangerous misfits in our Fictional aspect of the story, and Elizabeth Hawann our second main character follows a life long path of discoveries that lead her to the full story, and closer than ever to her destiny and 'The High Priestess' .
Describe the plot of your new book.
The plot of this book was really to emphasize on two things, to bring forth the mysticism of Khemit and to implement it's teachings in an adventurous way! Educating many was the goal, but keeping it fun was essential to my creative side.
Who do you think would most appreciate your book?
Mostly people who love, "the truth in the lie." Yeah, it's that kind of Fiction! (as Stephen King once said) and of course all those who love History and conspiracies, some good ol' romance, twists and turns also.
What can you tell us about The Khemitians?
They were the people who we now call Hebrews, Tibetans, Russians, European and many of today's black African Tribes. Highly lntelligent people, who used all their senses, to be exact all three hundred and sixty natural human senses, capable of so much more than our civilization today. They were the people who built such fabulous and monsterous structures of our ancient times.
What inspired you to write a historical fiction set in Egypt?
I've always loved Egypt! From when I can remember that is. I love the mystery and intrigue it ignites in all of us, yet in so many ways she's so open to its past, but no one's listening or looking in the right direction, so I felt a need to expose that.
Who was your favorite character to write?
Khafa by far! The actual High Priestess herself,, and that's because she's everything I'm not!

How do you hope reading your book will impact readers?
I'd love for them to connect with the Historical parts and the Khemitology aspect, just because it's so cool and unexpected, it's a little different and unusual, it's educational but fun and entertaining.
Can you tell us a bit about the creative process of this book, from initial idea to finished book?
I was sitting in my living room one Sunday afternoon last summer, as I was flipping channels, I came across a documentary of Egypt, as I so often watch. The whole family was here, and as I soaked up it's story line, I began looking at it's purpose. I saw something that needed to be written! lt was an instant marriage between me and the pages not long after, and I remember everyone staring at me that day and shouting "Write about this, now!" lt was hilarious, as if we were all thinking the same thing.
What do you have in mind for your next project?
My next project is for my readers, they've asked me to write about Ancient Rome, and it'll be a wonderful story in Historical - Fiction no less. I want to write about my ancestral roots, and implementing Historical facts, with an epic Fictional side with twists and turns like never before will have everyone with their mouths open ! Book 5 is Entitled 'The Legacy of a Legend' and part of the proceeds will go to the charity of my choice.

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Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Matthew C. Martino, Entrepreneur, Film Executive, MMBF Trust Founder

matthew c. martino, matthew c martino, mmbf trust
UK-based Matthew C. Martino is an entrepreneur, film executive and founder of the MMBF trust.

Tell us a bit about yourself.

I'm a film executive and philanthropist currently based in the UK, 22years old. I'm currently working with my charity MMBF Trust and also actively get involved in community and charity projects around the world. I've authored two books in my early years which are Lets Fly a pilots manual and Go For It a business skills book for entrepreneurs.

You have a strong background in aviation, having written a book, designed an app, and created an Internet resource, among other aviation related endeavors. Can you tell us about the development of your interest in aviation?
Aviation and flying has always been something I felt strongly about, I wanted to be a pilot from a young age growing up in Zimbabwe and when I was in the UK and got the opportunity to do flying lessons and aviation courses I thought it was only right for me to give back and to create resources that will help develop the future of aviation.

matthew c. martino, mmbf trust
You’re also very active in the film industry. What inspired you to become an actor/filmmaker?
I think with the film industry I had a few friends that were acting whilst I was in high school so when I left school I thought let me give it a try, I never thought I would get as far as I managed to and a part of me still feels that I could still go further if I allocate time to the industry.

As an active philanthropist, you recently founded the MMBF Trust. What was it like founding this organization and how does it benefit others?
It was a lot of hardwork founding MMBF Trust, I didn't have too much experience in starting a charity I had only been trustee for other charities. MMBF Trust supports aspiring pilots, actors and filmmakers through grants and bursaries towards their studies. We are currently operating internationally and accept applications directly from individuals.

The MMBF trust has partnered with a number of film festivals to provide Rising Star awards. Can you tell us a bit about this partnership?
Yes the MMBF Rising Star Award has been a pilot program we have introduced with various film festivals. What we aim to do with these partnerships is adding value to the film festivals and also providing more of an incentive for filmmakers to enter their films into the festivals running this scheme.

matthew martino, mmbf trust
Has your experience growing up in Zimbabwe and later moving to the UK influenced your endeavors?
I think it has personally, I think as I grew up in Zimbabwe we were always brought up to be hungry and to aim high, and when you come from nothing you really have nothing to lose so you go for it with everything you got, that's pretty much how I operate.

What are your goals for the next ten years?
Next 10 years I haven't really thought that far to be honest, I hope to grow MMBF Trust and also actively be involved in community empowering projects, I want to be doing charity work on the front-line. I regularly volunteer with charities and help with hands on activities but hopefully in coming years I can devote more time to charitable projects.

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Monday, March 23, 2015

Adam Kimbrell, Photographer in Alabama

dog picture, black nose, cute dog
An interview with photographer Adam Kimbrell.

Tell us a bit about yourself.
I am a Photographer based in Jasper, AL. I have been both a Photographer and a Nurse for over 20 years. 

When did you first get interested in photography?
I remember my mom giving me a Canon eos 35mm for a graduation present, and i have been hooked ever since.

rock and roll photo
What was the process of moving from an interest in photography to doing it as a career like?
The process took a bit of time. Trial & error along with some college classes. And being self taught give me the know to eventually say to myself. ,"hey! I just might could make a few bucks at this stuff".

rock and roll photography, band photo, how to take a band photoWhat are your favorite pictures to take?
Everything! LOL. Mainly people. I love using studio lighting preferably 45 degree directional lighting. I love having control over the lighting to 
 make whoever I'm shooting look their best. 

adam kimbrell, how to take a professional photoDo you think social media has increased the demand for photographers, with people wanting more events documented?
I think it has for the most part. However its obvious event documentation is not geared toward just the pros anymore. Everyone has a camera now ya know? Social media has opened up a whole new can of worms in how we look at photography. 

Do you also do a lot of work with photo editing software?
Yes! I do have some favorites out the for editing photos, 2 of the best apps out today in my opinion is Vintique &  VDR. 

If someone’s interested in hiring you as a photographer, how do they get in touch?
I can be reached via email mainly.
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young girl photo, redhead photo, ginger girl, cute ginger child

Saturday, March 14, 2015

Shane Lambert, Author of A Preference for Transience

Shane Lambert is the author of the coming-of-age novel A Preference for Transience

Tell us a bit about yourself.
My name is Shane Lambert and I am a freelance writer based out of Edmonton, Alberta. I'm in my late 30s and aspiring to succeed as a fiction writer.

Describe the plot of your book in a few sentences.
The protagonist develops a case of wanderlust that he finds compelling. He gives up stable employment and his girlfriend in order to pursue that desire. However economic limitations lead him to a resort town job and staff accommodation in the Canadian Rockies first.

Who do you think would most appreciate this book?

I thought it would be most appreciated by young adults and teens who may be developing wanderlust themselves. However so far it's an older crowd that has generally enjoyed it.

What inspired you to write about an individual who is dissatisfied with his life and seeks out a major change (in this case, a move to a resort town)?
Many things. Personal desire to fictionalize true events from my life is one motive for sure.

Tell us a bit about our protagonist, Shayne Christopher.
He’s a man in his 20s that isn’t resigned to take the common road through life. He's intelligent, hard working, and perceptive.

Did your background in hospitality management help you write about someone (Shayne) employed in the travel industry?
Not so much the management side however experience in entry-level jobs helped in constructing the novel.

What can readers expect from book 2 in the series?
Laughs and tears I think but thorough entertainment for sure.

Is there anything else you'd like potential readers to know about your book?

It has not been read by many however the people that have read it have been emphatic about how much they have enjoyed it.

An excerpt from A Preference for Transience:
I turn 37 years old tomorrow and I’m kind of a homebug now but when I was in my mid-20s I used to lay awake at night, with a twitchy energy in my legs and butterflies in my stomach, desiring something that was different than the reasonable, responsible, and career-oriented options that I saw before me.

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Monday, March 9, 2015

Rickard B DeMille, Author of Tweet Revenge

tweet revenge, rickard b demille, dawn johnson
Rickard B DeMille is the author of the mystery novel Tweet Revenge - A Dawn Johnson Mystery.

Tell us a bit about yourself.
I grew up an avid reader. I Junior High I became addicted to SciFi, and read several books a week. I continued to read through college where I majored in Spanish, and took college courses in Spanish and New World Hispanic literature. My reading habits changed drastically during my time as an Officer in the Marine Corps. After the USMC, my reading returned to Mysteries, Thrillers, and SciFi. I read, and listen to a new audio book a week as I commute. I wrote my first novel, a thriller titled HELLFIRE, which was a Debut Dagger finalist and Amazon Best Seller for over six months.

Describe the plot of your new book in a few sentences.

A serial killer is bringing justice to killers the criminal justice system failed to punish. To highlight the errors in the system, he tweets each step of his executions and dares the police to find him. Dawn Johnson (her FBI Agent father wanted a boy), a Rookie FBI Agent must survive the boss that wants her transferred and the bigoted Texas Sheriff in charge of the investigation to solve the murders.

Who do you think would most appreciate this book?

Anyone with discerning tastes. I think anyone that likes the Scarpetta or Women’s Murder Club stories will enjoy it. It also has a little JD Robb, without the romance.

Tell a bit about the creative process for your stories, from the initial idea to the finished story being in the book.

I actually wrote a screenplay about the main character, that finished second in an international competition. When I started novelizing it, I realized that my story was not the beginning, I had to write the back story in order to make the story I already had more complete. I had been wondering why I’d never seen a book that made social media an integral part of the story, and went for it.

How do you think you've evolved as a writer since when you first started?

I’d written short stories, some of which were published. After I wrote a Masters’ Thesis, I got the urge to write longer stories. I have to resist the urge to slip back into Science Fiction, and stayed with Mystery/Thriller stories – until now.

What are your goals as a writer for the next ten years?

I would like to finish the Dawn Johnson, as well as the Travis Deacon Thrillers. My big project, however, is EXILES AND EMPIRES, set in the ancient Middle East.

Have you ever had writer's block? If yes, how'd you deal with it? If you have not had writer's block, why do you think you haven't?

I usually don’t get writer’s block, I get researcher’s block. I love research, and can get really carried away in the detail of a topic.

What do you have in mind for your next project?

My next goal is pretty well set. I want to do for the Bible character Daniel, what my Great-great- really great – Uncle Cecil B DeMille did for Moses in the TEN COMMANDMENTS. I am writing a GAME OF THRONES type series based on the Babylonian and Egyptian Empires between around 600 BC.

Is there anything else you'd like potential readers to know about your book?

TWEET REVENGE hit the Amazon Best Seller list for its genre two weeks before its release, and stayed on it for almost a month after. It still hits the list briefly about once a week. The critical reviews have been outstanding.

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Buy Tweet Revenge on Amazon
Follow Rickard B DeMille on Twitter 

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Leonardo C. de Almeida, Picture to People

pencil sketch photo effect, leonardo de almeida
Picture to People's realistic pencil sketch photo effect.
Leonardo C. de Almeida is the project leader for Picture to People, a design portal with thousands of graphic apps with self-delivery.
Tell us a bit about yourself.
I'm a computer science bachelor who has a big passion for Mathematics and mainly Computer Graphics. I started my career as a software developer more than 20 years ago. I have been working with many kinds of development projects, but I never stopped being involved with all areas of computer graphics, from digital image processing to 3D modeling and rendering.

Describe Picture to People in a few sentences.
Picture to People (that users kindly started calling as "P2P") is a huge technology project mainly focused on computer graphics researches and related software developments. The created softwares are usually released as free graphic design apps to be used online. After several years of hard work, it already offers thousands of Online Photo Editor Apps, a big collection of Online Logo Maker Apps and many other graphic and image utilities. Everything is easy to use, fast and free.

Who could benefit from using Picture to People?
Since Picture to People project already offers a plethora of different design apps and generates production quality graphics, any kind of person can benefit of its applications, from casual image manipulators to experienced designers. Besides, the project aims to have a side of social inclusion: we make a big effort to keep the software interfaces simple, so they can be used even by people from poor countries that use old computers.

What inspired you to start Picture to People?

My main inspiration is my love to computer graphics. It's a gift the chance we have to use our scientific knowledge to create softwares able to design amazing images to entertain, delight and help other people through worked photos, titles, logos, banners, effects, games, presentations and so many other possibilities. Moreover, my complete disappointment with the current free graphic softwares in the market, mainly the online ones, compelled me to give my contribution by creating a different design software development project.
water color effect generator, leonardo de almeida
P2P's water color effect generator.

Why was it important for Picture to People to be coded entirely from scratch?
Because, since computer graphics is a very complex area, who uses software from others usually doesn't have the deep knowledge needed to create really advanced products and features - just who develops from scratch has the total understanding of how things work. Other important point to regard is that, since we have full control of all graphic softwares used in P2P development, we have the real freedom to create all design apps we can imagine.

Do you think apps, such as Instagram, have increased interest in online photo editors and filters?

Absolutely. Despite Instagram photo filters are very trivial, any social platform related to sharing images helps to foster and increase the digital photography market in several ways.

With nearly 1,000,000 visits a month, Picture to People has really been embraced by users. Why do you think people have responded so strongly to it?
Probably the main reason is because P2P offers really high quality graphics. There are many online graphic tools out there, but usually they can't create production level images. Besides, Picture to People already released, by far, the world's biggest collection of online design applications, so users have much more chance to get a top graphic as they want. Finally, but not less important, our site has many creative design softwares we researched to be used in this project, so these exclusive graphic apps are a very worthy advantage.

Is there anything else you’d like to add?
I would like to thank all our users and encourage them to keep giving us valuable suggestions to improve our services. I would also like to thank you for this interesting interview with relevant questions.

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Saturday, March 7, 2015

Elbot Carman, Author of Lola the Buhund - The Empty Sky

lola the buhund, the empty sky, buhund, best children's fantasy book series
Elbot Carman is the author of Lola the Buhund | Book 1 | The Empty Sky.

Tell us a bit about yourself.
Ack.  I'm always so bad at describing myself.  I'm a graphic designer by day, writer by night. As a whole, I'm a huge geek.  I was born in Ohio, but I've lived in numerous places all over the US.  Never staying in one place for too long has gifted me an expanded view of the world, I suppose.  I'm a lot more well-travelled for my age than I care to let on.

Describe the plot of your book in a few sentences.
Lola is born into a world that (in reality) could not survive –  without the sun, the moon, and the stars there is no daylight.  Food and resources are scarce, yet many still manage to persevere this harsh world.  Never knowing of what the world was before and without realizing what fate has in store for her, Lola is set on a path to discover exactly what happened to the world of Lumea when her home is destroyed by a cruel monarch.

Who do you think would most appreciate your book? 
I feel that this book would appeal most to younger readers (ages 9 and up), although I've had readers well into their 70s tell me they enjoyed it.  When I began working in it I wanted to create something that younger readers could enjoy but wouldn't necessarily isolate older readers.

What made you decide to write a novel set in a hostile world where the sky has gone empty? 
Well, this might get a bit candid and long-winded, but here goes..  Before I go into this, there are two details you need to keep in mind: one is that Lola is based off of a real dog by the same name, is the other is that I'm an adult living with clinical depression and degenerative disc disease.  In 2011 I was living by myself when my degenerative disc took a turn for the worst and I was in a state where I literally couldn't walk because I was in so much pain. I had to pack up everything, quit my job, and drive 4000 miles across the country to move back in with my family so that I'd have help available when it became an issue again.

It flared up again the moment I finished moving.  I was unemployed and bed-ridden, spending almost every waking moment on my laptop trying to find work in the area.  I was completely miserable and the world around me seemed dark and bleak. Before I'd moved back in, my mother had adopted Lola.  In a weird turn of events, she ended up bonding with me instead of my mother and was constantly by my side throughout the entire ordeal.  Eventually my situation improved, but that experience was part of what inspired the desolate world Lola and her friends live in.

The main character, Lola, is a Buhund. What is it like writing from the perspective of a Buhund? 
It was challenging, since I wanted her to be a relatable protagonist but wanted to stay true to the personality and character of the dog she's based on. I eventually broke the process down to repeatedly answering the question “What would Lola say in this situation if she could talk?”

It gave me the opportunity to explore the actual Lola's personality more in depth.   She's a lot quirkier than you'd expect a dog to be.

Who was your favorite character to write? 
I don't know if I can commit to a favorite in that regard.  A majority of them were very fun to develop and write – although I had a few issues that resulted in me toning down some of the villains.  I guess I'd have to settle on Lola as my favorite.  There's a certain spunk to her that I really appreciate.

Without giving too much away, can you tell us a bit of what to expect in the next book in the series?
Something big is going to be set in motion and Lola will have to grow even as a character to stop it.  Meanwhile, another member of the cast gets to learn a rather harsh lesson: when you bend the rules, there's always consequences.

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Friday, March 6, 2015

Amarin Vorachak, Author of Battle Scars

battle scars, battle scars book, us military rape crisis, us military harassment
Amarin Vorachak is the author of Battle Scars: The War Against Sexual Harassment in the U.S. Military and Their Cover Ups.

Tell us a bit about yourself.
First and foremost, I am an immigrant from Laos. I was born in Bangkok, Thailand. My family entered the refugee camp in the early 80’s with hope of starting a new and better life here in the United States. I arrived to San Diego, CA August 17, 1984. It was definitely one of the best days of my life. I have always been a diehard fan of old military movies. Writing and telling stories have always been my favorite thing since I was 6 years old. I enjoy poetry and all kinds of art which includes drawing, painting, arts and crafts and cooking. I am also into spirituality and well-being. I love meditation, yoga, and martial arts.

Describe your book in a few sentences.
Battle Scars is a combination of all my experiences and people that I have met while serving in the Army and speaks out against mistreatments of service members like sexual harassment, sexual assault, and hazing, which is a big issue and hot topic right now in our military. It also confirms and shed light on the covered up murder of PFC Lavena Johnson. I am extremely compelled to help seek some kind of justice for Lavena because I was deployed the same time as she was and knew that what happened to her was not suicide. As a victim of sexual harassment, assault, and hazing, I feel really strongly about the subject, not to mention PTSD and suicides.

When did you decide you needed to write a book on sexual assault in the military?
 When I started experiencing it myself and saw that a lot of females were experiencing the same things. It was really disturbing. There were times I felt unsafe especially during deployments because sexual assault was very common. The most disturbing assaults are from people that the victims know like their supervisors and fellow service members.

What do you think the military needs to do to address this issue?
That question is a hard one because now we have that zero tolerance and classes to help avoid these issues, but the problem still continues due to double standards. How can there be changes when the leadership is the main ones committing these acts? For example, my last duty station in Korea,this colonel told my relative he wanted me “delivered” to his house for sexual favors.

How did you conduct research for your book?
I did not need to research at all because I lived it every day for the past 12 years. When incidents happen, I record it. Most of everything in this book is from experience.

How do you think reading your book will impact people?
As far as my veteran audience, they will feel like they are not alone. There is nothing worse than feeling hopeless and alone. Ever since I started Battle Scars fan page, my inbox has been filled with stories from other service members of harassment and hazing that has gotten swept under the rug. As for my civilian readers, I mostly receive shocking reactions because the story in this book sheds light on the harsh reality in the military that CNN does not cover. It’s a definite eye opener if you will.

What do you have in mind for your next writing project?
I think I want to focus on healing and the war aftermath. Many of our service members mostly from what was told to me feels empty, depressed as though they no longer serve a purpose after leaving the service, so I most definitely want to focus on the upbeat side of life after the service and finding your purpose, peace, and happiness.

Is there anything else you'd like potential readers to know about your book?
Yes. The message is in the beginning of the book. It is the poem called Battle Scars. You don’t have to serve in the military or wear a uniform or physically been out to the battle field to have battle scars whether they are physical or emotional. I mentioned that society believes that beauty is flawless, but I know there are many out there who shares my view that battle scars show that you are a survivor, so don’t be afraid to show them and may it be a reminder to keep fighting and standing up for what you truly believe in. Battle Scars is a symbol of a true warrior.

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