Sunday, June 30, 2013

Ground-Breaking Drama SMASH Headed To Ovation

Ground-Breaking Drama SMASH Headed To Ovation
Ovation Acquires Off-Network Rights From NBCUniversal

SANTA MONICA, Calif., June 27, 2013 /PRNewswire/ -- After recently announcing over 200 hours of original programming, Ovation, America's only arts network, has additionally acquired all episodes of critically acclaimed series SMASH from NBCUniversal Cable & New Media.
Ovation will debut the series beginning Friday, July 19th at 8pm ET.
The announcement was made today by Robert Weiss, Ovation's Chief Creative Officer.


"SMASH is exactly the kind of art-centric programming that Ovation's viewers crave. This high-quality series fits in brilliantly with our efforts to showcase the powerful role that the Arts play in our lives," said Weiss. "Ovation is thrilled to satisfy the wishes of diehard SMASH fans and followers to keep the series alive, as well as to provide viewers, who are new to the series, an opportunity to experience the incredible talent, music, dancing, drama and excitement."

Following the struggles of a New York theater company, SMASH brings to life the drama surrounding the creation of a new Broadway musical, "Bombshell," based on the life of the legendary Marilyn Monroe. SMASH features a multi-talented, all-star ensemble cast, led by Debra Messing, Jack Davenport, Katharine McPhee, Christian Borle, Megan Hilty, Jeremy Jordan and Anjelica Huston. The first season received the Primetime Emmy Award® for Outstanding Choreography and was nominated for a Golden Globe Award® and a Grammy Award®.

From Universal Television in association with DreamWorks Television, SMASH stemmed from an idea of executive producer and multiple Emmy and Oscar winner Steven Spielberg (ER, Schindler's List). Executive producers also include Joshua Safran (Gossip Girl), Craig Zadan and Neil Meron (Oscar-winning Chicago, Hairspray), Darryl Frank and Justin Falvey (United States of Tara, The Borgias), Tony and Grammy Award winners Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman (Hairspray, Catch Me If You Can), Jim Chory (NBC's Heroes, American Dreams) and Theresa Rebeck (Mauritius, NYPD Blue).

SMASH has been a hit with viewers since its February 2012 debut on NBC – seen by more than 4 million viewers each week.[1] The series also boasts a 700,000+ social media following. Weiss noted, "It's an honor to keep this creative torch lit on Ovation. SMASH will certainly be a spotlight on Ovation's programming schedule."

Ovation will air SMASH every Friday at 8pm. Season two is set to debut on Ovation in November.

About Ovation
Ovation is America's only arts network, whose mission is to surface and connect the world to all forms of art and artistic expression. Ovation programming is one-of-a-kind mix of original and selectively curated series, films, documentaries and specials. The network reaches a national audience of nearly 50 million homes and is available on national cable systems, as well as nationally on DIRECTV, Dish, Verizon FiOS and AT&T U-Verse. Ovation is also available on VOD (in both standard and high definition). Ovation's diversified viewer experiences extend across its linear network, the popular, and active social presence on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and more. See the Ovation Facebook page for the latest information and conversations happening across the Ovation brand and the arts:

About NBCUniversal Cable & New Media Distribution
The NBCUniversal Cable & New Media Distribution division is responsible for the sale and distribution of NBCUniversal product to all forms of television including digital distribution platforms within the U.S. and Canada. This includes current television and film product as well as content from NBCUniversal's vast library (Universal Pictures, Focus Features, Universal Television, Universal Cable Productions, NBC Late Night properties, etc.) distributed in basic cable, pay cable and subscription video-on-demand (SVOD) markets. Current off-network cable distribution programming includes "30 Rock," "House," "Law & Order," "Law & Order: Criminal Intent," "Law & Order: Special Victims Unit," "Monk," "The Office" and "Saturday Night Live," as well as Universal Pictures film content. The division is also responsible for the sales of NBCUniversal content to non-theatrical markets including airlines worldwide.

For images and more, visit the Ovation press site at

[1] P2+ cume for all seasons and episode airings.

SOURCE Ovation


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Philips First of Its Kind Minimal Contact Mask Helps To Improve the Quality of Life for Sleep Apnea Patients

Philips first of its kind minimal contact mask helps to improve the quality of life for sleep apnea patients

Wisp's open field of vision allows for greater independence; users can read, watch TV or wear glasses.

Murrysville, Pa., USA – June 28, 2013 /PRNewswire/ – Philips Respironics, a unit of Royal Philips (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHI) and a pioneer in science-based sleep solutions, today announces a significant advancement in sleep therapy with the commercial release of a first of its kind minimal contact nasal mask – Wisp. Designed to fit more than 98% of sleep apnea patients, Wisp brings distinctive styling and patented technology for a better overall mask experience that may improve patient compliance.

Wisp changes the face of sleep with a natural fit, distinctive, stylish design and minimal headgear.

For the millions of obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) patients who rely on positive airway pressure (PAP) therapy, finding the right mask is a critical step. The Philips Respironics lead engineer responsible for the design of the Wisp new hybrid mask knows firsthand the importance of comfort and fit; he and his son have OSA, the most common form of sleep-disordered breathing. OSA can increase the risk of diabetes, heart disease and other serious conditions if left untreated. The PAP treatment works by delivering a gentle flow of pressurized air through a mask to keep the airway open. Fit and comfort are key factors in a patient’s adherence to therapy and success.

“We set out to create a new class of mask that can improve the quality of life of a majority of patients with chronic sleep conditions, and in doing so, reduce operational complexity for homecare providers. Clinicians, providers and patients from around the world told us what they were looking for in a mask,” says John Frank, senior vice president, general manager, Sleep and Respiratory Care, Philips Home Healthcare Solutions. “That insight coupled with the ingenuity of our design team led to the development of Wisp.” In CPAP patient preference and provider ease of use studies, Wisp was preferred over the leading nasal and nasal pillows in several categories.1 “Even the most hard-to-fit patients are reporting satisfaction.”

A departure from traditional masks, Wisp combines the performance and comfort of a nasal mask with the aesthetic of a pillows mask to deliver best in class performance in four areas: comfort, ease of use, visual appeal, and the ability to fit a wide range of patients. Compact and lightweight, Wisp offers a minimal contact experience, a superior seal and an open field of vision. Patients can read and even wear their glasses. A variety of new features and customization options add to the mask’s universal appeal:

Minimal headgear – no forehead pad – and minimal parts
Quick release tabs and headgear clips make it quick and easy to adjust
Contemporary frame options: reversible fabric – soft suedette and silky sateen – or clear silicone
Patented auto seal groove and unique tip of the nose cushion technology
Three interchangeable cushion sizes fit on the same frame, in same package

For homecare providers, more patients can be served from one package. Every Wisp mask also includes Philips Respironics Fit for Life comprehensive resupply solution to help patients achieve compliance with their sleep therapies, while helping homecare providers efficiently manage their business.

Information is available online at

1Data on file

For media information, please contact:

Alicia Cafardi
Philips Healthcare

Maryellen Bizzack
Philips Home Healthcare Solutions

About Royal Philips

Royal Philips (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHIA) is a diversified health and well-being company, focused on improving people’s lives through meaningful innovation in the areas of Healthcare, Consumer Lifestyle and Lighting. Headquartered in the Netherlands, Philips posted 2012 sales of EUR 24.8 billion and employs approximately 116,000 employees with sales and services in more than 100 countries. The company is a leader in cardiac care, acute care and home healthcare, energy efficient lighting solutions and new lighting applications, as well as male shaving and grooming and oral healthcare. News from Philips is located at

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Vote for Nigerian Sweetheart Meg Masha!


Just Like her photo on

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Saturday, June 29, 2013

Didier Drogba Sentenced To Pay $586,000 Fine

Didier Drogba To Pay $586,000 Fine

VENTURES AFRICA – Ivory Coast striker, Didier Drogba, was sentenced last week by the Commercial Court of Ajaccio, Corsica, to pay nearly €400,000 ($586,000) to a construction company for unpaid work in the construction of his villa in Abidjan.

Jeune Afrique reported the development today citing Le Parisien, a Parisian based newspaper.

Click here for more details.

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21 Quotes From African Billionaires On Business, Passion And Life

 Alhaji Aliko Dangote.

$16.1 billion.
Ventures: Sugar, Cement, Flour, oil and gas, telecoms, etc.

Nigerian-born Aliko Dangote retains his position as Africa’s richest man for the 3rd year in a row. He is $4.9 billion richer than he was last year on account of the soaring value of his publicly-listed holdings in Nigerian blue chips like Dangote Cement, Dangote Sugar, National Salt Company of Nigeria and Zenith Bank among others. This year, FORBES also accounted for other assets including his personal portfolio of homes, jets and yacht. Dangote started building his fortune over three decades ago by trading in commodities like cement, flour and sugar but became a billionaire by manufacturing these items. Venerable philanthropist has given away over $100 million to causes in health, education, flood relief and poverty alleviation.

 ‘‘If you give me $5 billion today, I will invest everything here in Nigeria. Let us put our heads together and work’’.
 ~ Aliko Dangote, Nigeria.

‘‘The harder you work, the luckier you get’’.
~ Mike Adenuga, Nigeria.

“I will continue to empower the youths. That is my passion. The youths are the leaders of tomorrow. We must continue to support them’’ 
~ Mr. Jim Ovia, Nigeria. 

‘‘I just want to be master of my own time. It is ironic that someone in the watch business should not be in control of his own time.’’
~ Johann Rupert, South Africa. 

‘‘Who else could have built a company we bought for R1 million into a company worth more than R100 billion today. To run a company with more than 100,000 employees in 17 countries, you have to be able to think on your feet.’’
  ~ Christoffel Wiese, South Africa.

‘‘What do you do if you are an executive who resigns? You declare yourself a consultant’’.
~ Mohammed Ibrahim, Sudan.

 ‘‘I can tell you that I won’t sell Mobnil, they think because of this boycott, that I will get fed up and sell, it’s not in my character… I am not a quitter’’.
~ Naguib Sawiris, Egypt.

Click here for the rest of the quotes by all the African billionaires with their profiles.


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Friday, June 28, 2013

Consumer Reports: Consumers Can Save 40 Percent Or More On Eyeglasses By Shopping Online and at Discount Retailers

27 Jun 2013 11:00 Africa/Lagos

Consumer Reports: Consumers Can Save 40 Percent Or More On Eyeglasses By Shopping Online and at Discount Retailers
Costco tops ratings of eyeglass chains and other discounters

YONKERS, N.Y., June 27, 2013 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Buying eyeglasses from the eye doctor's office is convenient, but can be costly. Comparison shopping among different types of eyewear stores including online and discount retailers takes time but can save consumers 40 percent or more. Consumer Reports' most recent survey about its readers' eyeglass-shopping experiences found that Costco was a standout for overall satisfaction – including cost – among chains such as EyeMasters, LensCrafters, Pearle Vision, and Sears Optical and other discounters including BJ's Optical, Sam's Club Optical, and Walmart Vision Center.

The full report and Ratings of eyeglass retailers are available in the August 2013 issue of Consumer Reports and online at

"If you want a deal on eyeglasses, step outside the optometrist's office before deciding to buy," said Tony Giorgianni, Associate Editor for Consumer Reports. "By doing a little research and shopping around, it's possible to get a great pair of glasses and save money."

Consumer Reports surveyed almost 19,500 readers to find out how much they paid for eyeglasses and to gauge their level of satisfaction regarding their overall shopping experience for them. Frame selection, customer service and employee expertise were among the attributes also rated. Respondents spent a median of $244 out-of-pocket on their last pair of prescription specs.

Despite its fair rating for its selection of frames, Costco earned top marks for cost, quality and follow-up service. While readers were essentially pleased with their purchase at retailers like EyeMasters, Pearle Vision and Sears Optical, results were mixed. LensCrafters was singled out as the place to get eyewear the fastest – almost half of readers who shopped there had their glasses the same or next day.

Consumer Reports found that online eyeglass retailers offer a huge selection and low prices. Consumers can save significantly by shopping sites such as,,, and New sites such as Zenni Optical (, Warby Parker ( and Classic Specs (, offer a complete single-vision pair of specs for less than $100, but they primarily sell their own proprietary glasses.

Remember, online buying means having to wait for the glasses to arrive in the mail and shipping them back if there's a problem and these sites don't provide the in-person service customers would get at a walk-in store, which could be a problem if frames need adjusting, for example. Shoppers shouldn't expect online shops to take vision insurance, but they may be able to obtain reimbursement from their provider.

Buying Advice

There are many choices and factors to consider when buying eyeglasses – and it can be easy lose sight of finding a good deal. Consumer Reports suggests the following tips for those in the market for a new a pair of lenses and frames:

Research online. Even if the plan is to buy locally, consider reading how-to information on websites such as and LensesRx Online Optical. Knowing something about the types of frames, lenses and coatings can help consumers understand their options and sense whether a store or website is trying to up-sell them.

Get a doctor's recommendation. If a current prescription is more than a year old, have an optometrist or ophthalmologist do an eye check before ordering new glasses. Request that the doctor measures and records pupillary distance, which is needed to order lenses online.

Negotiate. If frames available locally are priced for less online, give the walk-in store a chance to match or at least come close to the best online price. Remember, a walk-in shop can provide frame adjustments and other post-purchase services that can be difficult or impossible to get online, so it may be worth paying extra.

Check warranties and return policies. A good retailer should have at least a one-year warranty against defects in frames. For instance, says most of its frames are covered by the manufacturer for one or two years and that it will process warranty claims on the customer's behalf.

Consumer Reports is the world's largest independent product-testing organization. Using its more than 50 labs, auto test center, and survey research center, the nonprofit rates thousands of products and services annually. Founded in 1936, Consumer Reports has over 8 million subscribers to its magazine, website and other publications. Its advocacy division, Consumers Union, works for health reform, product safety, financial reform, and other consumer issues in Washington, D.C., the states, and in the marketplace.

JUNE 2013

The material above is intended for legitimate news entities only; it may not be used for advertising or promotional purposes. Consumer Reports® is an expert, independent nonprofit organization whose mission is to work for a fair, just, and safe marketplace for all consumers and to empower consumers to protect themselves. We accept no advertising and pay for all the products we test. We are not beholden to any commercial interest. Our income is derived from the sale of Consumer Reports®,® and our other publications and information products, services, fees, and noncommercial contributions and grants. Our Ratings and reports are intended solely for the use of our readers. Neither the Ratings nor the reports may be used in advertising or for any other commercial purpose without our permission. Consumer Reports will take all steps open to it to prevent commercial use of its materials, its name, or the name of Consumer Reports®.

SOURCE Consumer Reports
CONTACTS: Melissa Valentino, Consumer Reports, 914.378.2432,, or Cassie Eberle 704.987.4112, Catalyst,

Web Site:

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Happy Birthday Meg Masha!

Happy Birthday Meg Masha!

With endless thanks to the Almighty God
who makes all birthdays I wish you many more happier returns of the day
with longer life and more prosperity in Jesus' mighty name!

Keep shining and keeping smiling as you continue to rock and rule your world as a star.

Cheers always.


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Thursday, June 27, 2013

These Brits Must Be Speed Crazy!

 No. This is not a scene from Fast & Furious 6, they are British drivers racing on the road like Formula One drivers. These Brits must be speed crazy!

27 Jun 2013 09:00 Africa/Lagos

Three Quarters of Brits Drive in the Fast Lane

- Three Quarters of Brits admit to driving over 80mph, flouting the 70mph speed limit

- Middle aged men are more likely to exceed 100mph than boy racers in their 20s

- In fact over a quarter of 20-30s never exceed 70mph 

LONDON, June 27, 2013
/PRNewswire/ -- With Formula One drivers topping 195mph at Silverstone
this weekend, a consumer survey by international provider of traffic
information and driver services INRIX found when it comes to putting
pedal to metal, a staggering three quarters of all Brits admit to
exceeding 80mph, in fact one in three drivers has topped 100mph.

"On the eve of the sold out race at Silverstone this weekend, the
findings show the U.K.'s need for speed extends well beyond the track
into their daily lives," said Jon Maron,
Vice President of Marketing, INRIX. "While speeding is one way to make
up for lost time idle in traffic, apps like INRIX Traffic can help
drivers find the best route around the day's jams without the risk of a
speeding ticket."

The buzz at Silverstone this weekend will be electric, as 120,000
spectators flock to see the world's finest drivers and most highly
engineered cars drive impossibly fast. According to the survey, Brits
love of motorsport and fast cars runs deep:

  • Middle aged drivers are the biggest speed offenders.  Nearly half
    of drivers aged 35-45 claim to have exceeded 100mph on British roads
    compared to just 32 percent of 20-34 year olds.  One of every five U.K.
    drivers 35-45 years old admitted to traveling 10 mph over the speed
    limit regularly.  Men were also more likely to break the speed limit (84
    percent) than women (69 percent)

  • The Nurburgring Nordschliefe in an Aston Martin is the most coveted drive.  Nearly
    half (40 percent) of Brits cited Nurburgring over other famous roads
    for the ultimate drive.  In addition, the Aston Martin One-77 beat
    Bugatti, Ferrari, Porsche and Lamborghini for the title of most desired
    supercar among those surveyed.

  • McLaren battles Ferrari for popularity.  The majority of 55-64
    year olds dream of driving for McLaren while Ferrari was the favourite
    team for 20-34 year olds who grew up following Michale Schumacher's legendary winning streak in the mid-90s and early 00s. 

  • Lewis Hamilton reigns supreme.
      Despite recent controversy, over a third of Brits (36 percent) would prefer to go for a test drive with Lewis Hamilton, over championship leader Sebastian Vettel (14 percent).
Tips for Avoiding the Slow Lane to Silverstone

INRIX analysed recent traffic patterns around Silverstone including
traffic conditions from last year's event to help race fans get to the
track in time for the big race. Unlike the field at Silverstone who will
be racing at speeds up to 200 mph, frustrated spectators could find
themselves stuck in traffic on the way to the track crawling at just
19mph -- 10 times slower than their racings idols. INRIX offers the
following advice to help drivers avoid lengthy delays around Silverstone
this weekend:

  • For the quickest journey fans should avoid travelling at the peak times below:

    • 10-11am on the Friday

    • 7 to 8 am on the Saturday

    • 9 to 11 am on the Sunday
  • Drivers on the A43 leading in to the circuit from the M1 J15a at
    Rothersthorpe will experience the worst delays.  At peak times, drivers
    should allow an extra 1hr 15 for a typical 15 minute journey
  • INRIX recommends spectators travelling from the East or Northern parts of London cut across town or take the M25 to join the M40 as it will save them valuable time.
  • Plan ahead and check traffic conditions before leaving using apps like INRIX Traffic.   The INRIX Traffic app
    is available for free on IOS and Android platforms ahead of Silverstone
    this weekend.  The app analyzes data from millions of vehicles
    traveling U.K. roads every day to provide drivers with real-time traffic
    maps showing the best routes, recommended departure time and expected
    arrival times. Covering all major highways and secondary roads in the
    U.K., the app also alerts drivers to accidents and other traffic causing
    delays as well as the ability to share one's arrival times with any
    contact in their address book by making just a few taps on their
Research Methodology and Background:
  • This survey was conducted among 1000 U.K. consumers who follow/watch F1 racing.
  • Interviews were conducted online by Redshift Research in June 2013 using an email invitation and an online survey.
  • Quotas were set to ensure reliable and accurate representation of
    the total populations aged 18 and older and results of any sample are
    subject to sampling variation.
  • The magnitude of the variation is measurable and is affected by the
    number of interviews and the level of the percentages expressing the
  • In this particular study, the chances are 95 in 100 that a survey
    result does not vary, plus or minus, by more than 1.9 percentage points
    from the result that would be obtained if interviews had been conducted
    with all persons in the universe represented by the sample.
  • The sample was selected from the Crowdology panel. Crowdology™ is an
    online panel owned and operated by Redshift Research.  The Crowdology™
    panel is balanced across regional, age and gender demographic factors,
    and is nationally representative of the UK population.
  • Each respondent completes 120 profiling questions before being
    accepted to join our panel.  Panel Quality Management is carried out
    frequently to ensure reliable surveys.
INRIX is one of the fastest growing big data technology companies in
the world. The company leverages big data analytics to reduce the
individual, economic and environmental toll of traffic congestion.
Through cutting-edge data intelligence and predictive traffic
technologies, INRIX helps leading automakers, fleets, governments and
news organizations make it easier for drivers to navigate their world.
Our vision is simple – to solve traffic, empower drivers, inform
planning and enhance commerce.

Whether through an in-car or smartphone navigation application, a
local newscast or our INRIX Traffic app, our up-to-the-minute traffic
information and other driver services help more than 150 million drivers
save time, fuel and frustration. INRIX delivers traffic and
driving-related insight, as well as sophisticated analytical tools and
services across six industries covering nearly 3 miles of road in 32

CONTACT: Claire Barson,
Hotwire PR on behalf of INRIX,, office: +44
(0) 20 7608 4639, mobile: +44 (0) 7713 998 580

Web Site:

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Mimi Wolford and Nigerian Artists Fêted by U.S. Consul General in Lagos

Honorable  Jeffrey J. Hawkins, Jr. U.S. Consul General in Nigeria with his wife and Mimi Wolford.

Wednesday evening June 26, 2013, Jeffrey J. Hawkins, Jr. U.S. Consul General in Nigeria hosted Mimi Wolford, Founder/Curator of the MBARI Institute for Contemporary African Art in Washington, DC, USA, at his Ikoyi Crescent residence to fête the young artists from her recent art workshop in Lagos.

A presentation of a portrait of the U.S. Ambassador by one of the artists.

                                  Jeffrey J. Hawkins, Jr with his wife, Mimi and the artists.

My former tutor, the famous Nigerian artist and print maker Prof. Bruce Obomeyoma Onobrakpeya recalled how the parents of Mimi Wolford supported several young Nigerian artists and writers in the early 1960s, including the late Chinua Achebe, Cyprian Ekwensi and also attracted Demas Nwoko, David Dale and himself who was a young art teacher at the St. Gregory's College in Lagos.

Mimi dancing with some of the artists and invited guests.

                                                   Prof. Bruce Onobrakpeya and Mimi.

"The parents of Mimi, Jean Kennedy and her husband Dick Wolford who worked for USAID, were themselves artists and friends to Ulli Beier. They turned their sitting room in McEwen Road, Ikoyi to an art gallery where they marketed products of the Osogbo artists. We called the gallery the ‘Thursday Show' because it took place once a week for only two hours every Thursday," recalled Prof. Onobrakpeya and noted that they also played a prominent role in the Mbari Mbayo Club founded in Ibadan in 1961 by a group of young writers discovered by the late Ulli Beier, a teacher at the University of Ibadan. He mentioned how such art workshops like his own Harmattan Worshop at Agbarha-Otor, Delta State has nurtured the talents of many artists, including the accomplished Peju Layiwola who was at the exhibition of the works of young artists at Mimi Wolford's workshop in Lagos.

“Nigeria in the ‘60s was a place where everything was possible, Nigeria today is home of the largest and most prolific group of artists in Africa.” 

 ~ Mimi Wolford

Others at the event included prominent Artist Nike Davies-Okundaye of Nike Art Centers, Luciano Uzuegbu, the Curator of Omenka Art Gallery and Senior Programme Officer of the Ben Enwonwu Foundation in Ikoyi, Hope Obioma Opara, President of Eko International Film Festival and Publisher of Supple magazine, Nigerian filmmaker Chike Ibekwe and his wife Mrs. Peju Ibekwe, Shaibu Husseini from The Guardian of Nigeria and Africa Movie Academy Awards, Benny Uche of the Public Affairs Section of the United States Embassy, Ejiro Onobrakpeya and Ekenyerengozi Michael Chima, Founder of Eko International Film Festival and Founder/CEO of Screen Outdoor Open Air Cinema (SOOAC).

~ By Orikinla Osinachi

Photographs by Ayo Durodola.


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