Sunday, December 31, 2006

Prenaugural

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Our first real bite of cold weather this morning... 19 brrrrr degrees according to my window thermometer... The globally warmed (up until this weekend) winter seems to have made us more sensitive to the cold.

January is usually our coldest month around these parts, so it's good to hear "Rain and a high of 42" forecast for Eliot Spitzer's public inauguration Monday in Albany. The inauguration the subject of much chatter. TV news reporting there will be "plenty to eat from a variety of vendors, nothing costing more than 4 bucks!" The food lineup includes knishes from the Yonah Schimmel Bakery in New York City, savory meats from Syracuse's Dinosaur Bar-B-Que, and a pair of Buffalo stand-bys -- chicken wings from Buffalo's Anchor Bar and "beef-on-weck" sandwiches from Charlie the Butcher's restaurant. Potato chips made from spuds grown on Long Island's century-old Martin Sidor Farms will also be available, along with a Rochester favorite Garbage Plates. Flip will be videoblogging from the coronation site.

Two elderly ladies in line at the bank:

"Did you hear channel 10 is going to interrupt the Tournament of Roses Parade Monday at Noon when the new Governor is sworn in."

"noooo..."

"Yes! Why don't they interrupt that Dick Clark for the REAL swearing in at midnight?"


At midnight tonight, thousands of revelers will crowd into Times Square, millions more will watch the ball drop on television, friends will kiss, noisemakers will rattle, and Eliot Spitzer, in a small private ceremony, will quietly take the oath of office and become the 58th governor of the State of New York. [Journal News article]

Other chatter I heard while running New Year's Eve Prep errands Saturday - I don't know if this is true - people buzzing about the concert Monday evening at the Pepsi Union - talk is that it's "every man for himself" as far as getting in the door and getting a seat goes - this well could be Albany's answer to a Hajj stampede - concertgoers lured to their doom by that four-letter word "F-r-e-e!"

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Rock Your New Year's Eve

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Haven't made any News Year's Eve plans yet? Nokia announced MSN as the exclusive online distributor of the highly-anticipated Nokia New Year's Eve, a global music celebration Sunday with special live gigs in five different cities around the world... there are concerts by Scissor Sisters (Berlin), Nelly Furtado (Mumbai), The Black Eyed Peas (Rio) and John Legend (NYC). You can watch the live shows at the Nokia NYE web site.

Meanwhile, YouTube wants you ringing in 2007 with them online.

The video sharing Web site now owned by Google is teaming up with Warner Music Group to produce the first-ever YouTube New Year's Eve Countdown. The promotion, which is sponsored by Chevrolet, will celebrate New Year's as it happens around the world with new videos featured every hour from New Zealand to Los Angeles.

Special video messages from YouTube celebrities, such as Boh3m3, Smosh, Terra Naomi, Renetto, Chad Vadar, and The WineKone, along with artists from WMG labels Atlantic Records, Warner Bros. Records and Warner Music International will be featured on the home page. Users can upload their videos in a special New Year's YouTube group at www.youtube.com/group/newyears.

Last Day on Earth

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Saddam Hussein 1937-2006
Click on the picture!


Shaun Mullen blogs "The BBC has a video here from Iraqi state television of the proceedings leading up to the hanging but not the hanging itself." Mullen asks: IS SADDAM ON THE FAST TRACK TO MARTYRDOM? Rosemary blogs "TimesOnline is reporting that Saddam has been sent to hell."

Iranian blogger Mattati writes “a person who symbolised Satan died, a person who had killed several members of our dear friends or family members”. Will dictators learn a lesson? [Fa], asks Mattati.

Iranian blogger Haji Washington titles his post “Death of a Monster”. Haji observes that on USA TV channels, we’re shown Saddam with Arab leaders, but never with Donald Rumsfeld, former US Defense Secretary, when he visited Iraq during Iran-Iraq war [Fa].

Correction Made 12/31/06. Haji Washington and Mattati are Iranian bloggers, not Iraqi. - thanks Haji!

Andy McCarthy weighs in:
I had to turn off the TV-news.

This is a solemn, important moment. It's not a joyous one. An evil man deserved to die. His elimination was necessary — not close to sufficient, but necessary — for achieving, over time, a semblance civilized stability in Iraq...

...This wasn't victory. It didn't end suffering. It was, in the heat of a war that has actually gotten more vicious and more uncertain since Saddam's capture three years ago, the carrying out of an essential but unpleasant duty. It marginally enhances Iraq's propects, and ours. But Saddam's death (as opposed to his deposing) has no impact whatsoever on the deep dysfunction and hatred that is rending what passes for Iraqi society...

...Saddam's death is a marker worth observing. It is not something to go up in a balloon over.

Extra Links:


Saddam Hussein Hanging VIDEO!

The video of saddam getting hanged from Aljazeera TV.

Video from HotAir

Voy TV

Oh yes, there was at least one blogger who entitled his Saddam death post "Ding Dong! Saddam is Dead!" (sigh!)

Happy New Year

Tags: , , beliefs, personality quiz, god, belief-o-matic, soul

People who know me know that one of may favorite topics of conversation is religion. Whatever belief system you subscribe to (or were born into), the New Year 2007 could be a new beginning for you. Do you enjoy participating in activities at your local place of worship? Do you adhere to dietary restrictions and observe holy days? If your answer is "no," you need to either make a conscious effort to return to your religious roots - or - determine if perhaps you need a "new" religion. You may want to try Belief-O-Matic™... even if YOU don't know what faith you are, Belief-O-Matic™ knows. The website comes with this caveat: Belief-O-Matic™ assumes no legal liability for the ultimate fate of your soul.

Muslim Eid al-Adha holiday is upon us. The most important date in the Islamic calendar, the Eid al-Adha [عيد الأضحى], or Feast of the Sacrifice, marks biblical patriarch Abraham's willingness to kill his son for God. Muslim countries often pardon criminals to mark the occasion, and prisoners are rarely executed at that time.

The Eid also falls during the 5-day haj, when more than 2 million Muslims from around the world follow ancient rites at the Islamic holy city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia.

While some Shi'ites (and Michelle Malkin) may regard Saddam Hussein's execution as an Eid gift from God, for hardline Sunnis it will confirm their worst views against Shi'ites as heretics in league with Washington. Malkin blogs: "Still and video cameras were in the chamber at the time of the execution. How long before it's on YouTube?" How long indeed. I say maybe by tonight!

One of the most revered clerics of Saudi Arabia's hardline Wahhabi school of Islam issued a fatwa earlier this month condemning all Shi'ites as infidels, an ominous sign of the sectarianism now gripping the region.

Conflict within Islam. We see it all the time within Christianity, and without:


A potential conflict between Jewish organizations and the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints over vicarious baptism was averted Monday when the church said Simon Wiesenthal's name was removed from the church's genealogical records.

The Simon Wiesenthal Center in Los Angeles had demanded earlier in the day that Wiesenthal's name be removed from the church's online International Genealogical Index, the church's database of posthumous "ordinances" or vicarious baptisms.

I found this story interesting: once you've died and your soul is gone, can it be "hijacked" by another religion? I don't think so--- What do YOU think?

How about this story from SABAH (Turkey):
Cat Stevens, the famous singer who converted to Islam and changed his name to
Yusuf Islam, responded to the statements of the Pope Benedict 16 which were
aimed at Islam. Yusuf Islam said that with his statements, the Pope refuted
the claim that the Pope is infallible. He added: "I received a Catholic education
when I was a child; I used to believe that the Pope is infallible. However, now
I know it is not true."

One of my favorite local religious luminaries (if I may be so bold) is Rabbi Yaakov Weiss who presides over Chabad of Colonie. He's initiated a "Tanya Conference Call" weekdays at Noon. For 10 minutes or so, Rabbi Weiss teaches the day's portion of Tanya, a philosophic work written in 1797. "Tanya" is Aramaic for "it is taught." Check out CColonie's website for more.

Whatever your faith, I wish you Peaceful Blessings and a Happy New Year 2007!

Friday, December 29, 2006

It's a BLOG, not a Sanctuary!

Tags: , China, East Asia, Weblog, Disaster, Internet & Telecoms,

Could you just walk away from your blog --- shut down the PC and never go back again? What if a hacker totally destroyed every inch of your blog?

For some bloggers, "big" bloggers, "A-List" bloggers, like Wendy Cheng or Michelle Malkin, losing the blog would be a great big deal. Like losing a leg. It's part of their livelihood. Wendy actually did once lose her Xiaxue blog to a hijacker. Several of her thousands of readers pitched in, helped her recover all of her lost posts. Michelle has been targeted by DOS attacks in the past, but her blog has always stayed the course.

According to Nielsen-Buzzmetrics a handful of popular bloggers continue to be the driving force in the blogosphere.

For smaller bloggers, it's just a bunch of stuff we wrote. Sorry to minimize it, but most blogs, including your beloved Albany Eye, fall into this category. Having said that, a lot of people pour hearts and souls into their blogs, so to lose anything to interlopers or hackers would be akin to someone breaking into your home or apartment and throwing mud all over the place and all over your things. So be careful if you're using a blog to save your family photos or recipes or something like that. Suggestion: if it gets to the point where you find yourself "fussy and protective," it's time to either back up your blog or take a vacation.

Over the last few weeks there have been a series of attacks to popular Spanish language weblogs. Trouble began at the popular Chilean tech blog FayerWayer [ES], which not only was hacked, but also got all of its posts and comments deleted, and all that was left was a pretty sour manifesto against Leo Prieto [ES], the site’s creator. The blog had been backed up a few weeks prior, so it was mostly the comments which got lost. The posts, in some cases, were manually recovered. Next was Mariano Amartino’s Denken Uber [ES]. In this case - despite having all his posts deleted - nothing big happened, except for a few hours offline status, since his hosting provider automatically saves copies of the database and it only needed to restablish a copy. Finally, the most serious case was that of Cronicas Moviles [ES], a site mainly dedicated to publishing video interviews. In this case - because it was hosted in Blogger - there was no backup at all, and all of its published contents were lost. [Spanish version here: Algunas enseñanzas sobre los ataques a blogs]

Despite the similarities of these acts - accessing the blog’s administration interface in an unauthorized way and deleting all of its posts - there’s no clue that indicates they were done by the same person. But it’s surprising to see the extreme cruelty of these people trying to ruin many years of work. At the same time, it displays a clear fact: keeping a blog is not an easy task, and it forces us to follow certain basic routines. Among them, to modify our password frequently, change the name of some folders of access to the administration interface, and particularly, make back ups of the database or posts we’ve published, in case we’re using some free blog publication site. All of these things, of course, take time. And the worst thing is we have to use more of our (little) time to maintain our blogs than to write on them.

A suspected security flaw in Firefox or Gmail has caused a small number of Gmail users to lose all their contacts and e-mails. Google is currently performing a full investigation into the matter. Thankfully the number of “hacked” accounts is fairly low, so the vast majority of Gmail users shouldn’t worry too much. Please note, this only affected users who use the web interface. If you use Gmail through a mail program you are safe unless your actual computer gets attacked.

90 percent of Indonesia’s internet connection is disfunctional or very slow, due to the strong earthquake off Taiwan’s coast December 26th that damaged underwater cables and severely disrupted telecom links in the East, Southeast and South Asia. They say it could take a month or more to restore service. Certainly one month, if it’s true, is way too much for an internet addicts like Enda Nasution who wonders whether this is what end of days feels like.

Uploaded to Sina.com’s blog page is a series of video clips shot across the street from and around Guangzhou’s (China)central train station, where most of the criminal motorbike drivers tend to hang out. Footage seems to have been shot by police themselves, was uploaded by a user calling herself Feever, and shows several drive-by robberies in action, a mid-freeway chase halfway through, renegade motorbikers resisting arrest and how municipal police work to catch them: [Note to viewers outside China: the video may be unviewable (without a proxy server) until those underwater cables are back up.]

FaryadNameh says blogging has become popular in Iran due to the lack of free media, but internet,in general, has not been really developed in country.The blogger says it is rare that we find an institution in country with an active website[Fa]. The blogger adds even very popular sport clubs don’t pay attention to their sites.

Africa 2.0 shares (Fr) two new links: Makossa TV, a self-described media center for African artists and Ouestaf, a West African news site

Contributors to this article include Jorge Gobbi , Amika Orloff, A. Fatih Syuhud and John Kennedy .

Mariah vs. The Porn Star

Update 10:20am - This is a NEWS article! It is NOT a spoof, or satire. All of the links are real. The picture below is NOT photoshopped. For the record, I've always enjoyed Mariah Carey's music. Her antics are another story...

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Here's something sure to take your mind off "The Albany Eye vs. Upstream" blog war:

Since just before her highly-publicized psycho incident several years back, some began to get the impression that Mariah Carey's fascination with the Hip-Hop lifestyle was influencing the diva toward the inclusion of soft-porn as "part of her act." Carey began revealing private parts to audiences in Europe the spring following Janet Jackson's famed "wardrobe malfunction" at the Super Bowl. Brandon Chalk blogged: "Who would have ever thought whitetrash would reach critical mass in the American entertainment industry?"

The war between Mariah Carey and porn diva Mary Carey is officially on. After threatening legal action to protect her name from a look alike porn star, pop diva Mariah filed a formal opposition Wednesday to the bid by former California gubernatorial candidate and star of many girl on girl flicks, Mary, to trademark her stage name. Porn star Mary tells Reuters: "I'm ready to battle Mariah over this, because I've been Mary Carey for a long time... I think she's being silly." During an appearance on The Howard Stern Show, Mary Carey, a Cleveland, Ohio native, revealed that her father has cerebral palsy and her mother has fetal alcohol syndrome.

The SmokingGun.com has the entire notice filed with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, Mariah's company, Automatic Pritsincess Holdings, "argues that Mary Carey's bid to trademark her name for use in adult films, DVDs, cassettes, computer programs, and other commercial endeavors is likely to result in confusion for the consumer.

Mariah's HIV+ sister was twice arrested in 2005 on prostitution charges. Mariah was away at the time, still showing herself off to Europeans. Marcus Xavier mused: "One wonders how (and why) the sister of a major celebrity would be whoring herself out like that."

Related:

Diana Ross willing to give Mariah Carey singing lessons

Mariah Carey helps a yak herder

Mariah Carey's Nude Snow Roll



PS: The music industry began to change in 1999 when the downloading began en masse. Now there's THIS: Chart revamp puts downloads first

Internet Totem Pole

Tag:

I consider myself a "second class" netizen. About the middle of the totem pole. Explanation coming. My brother-in-law is in "first class." Full-time broadband wireless network connection on all his home PC's. Talk about all the latest technical upgrades and innovations--- he's got 'em. His refrigerator has an IP address. He's the man.

I started about even with the rest of the pack (everybody else but my friend Don Rittner, who by then was already in a deep relationship with the Mac). In 1994 I was using Windows 3.1. The first indication that I was about to go second class was when my PC refused the upgrade to Win95. That marked the beginning of a love-hate relationship with computers. Just before Win95 came along, my 3.1PC was state of the art as far as windows goes. I could watch video, play audio, record, do all of the wonderful things that today you need broadband and multimegs of ram and harddrive space to accomplish.

I found myself left behind in a hurry. I hated so much to leave my trusty "first PC," but there was no hope of warping it up. The Packard-Bell computer would have been the way to go, but I observed a lot of people saying a lot of bad things about Packard Bell. It was back in 2004, when I bought an old Packard-Bell at a garage sale for 25 cents (yup- cents!) that I cam to apperciate how much those machines were able to do. I had the quarter clunker answering my phone, taking messages and playing Video Discs (VCDs) for six months. The two brand-new PC's I now use can't do some of the things the old PacBell running Win95 can still do!

Yes, two-brand new PC's, obsolete a week after I bought them. One brand new, the other just a year old state-of-the-art IBM that had been part of some office network. That's how I happened to network the two together. The IBM contained many interesting programs that had already been installed which I found helpful in my work.

When I began blogging, I quickly learned that those who blog "hi-tech" quickly lose readers. The more bells, whistles and accessories used to dress up a blog, the slower and slower the loading process for anyone below broadband. It's the kiss of death for any blog or website.
I'm second class and happy: blogging via dial-up. I can still download videos from YouTube and listen to internet radio. I may invest in a broadband connection when I buy a new computer, but i will continue to use the present system for blogging and other online activities.

So who is "third class?" People in other parts of the world like my cyber-pal Chief Nelson. He sent me a picture once, which was lost when my 3.1 PC crashed and burned. In the picture, Nelson was sitting in front of his hut (in Africa) with his laptop. In the background you could see the village satellite dish. Once a week he was off to an internet cafe in a nearby town to do his uploading and downloading. There are millions of computer - interent users all over the planet who have no choice but to rely on older, less powerful equipment on dial-up connections. Sometimes the dial-up is very slow... a cyber-pal told me it took an hour for his email program to send out three files (one was to me, and I assue you, it was a paragraph of text and nothing more). He sometimes waits up to a half-hour for my blog to load in his browser. I asked what his connection speed was--- get this--- 12000 bps. "Third Class" is moving up with the advent of better telephone systems and that new $100 laptop that's now being made available to people in third world nations.

What's next? Check my post (scroll down or Google) entitled "Democracy Now." With the price of HDTV still in the stratosphere, I think more of us will be watching TV via PC. Medion is one computer manufacturer with a lot of forward thinking on this: back in 2005 they had a PC out with AV jacks so you could directly transfer recordings from your VCR to any digital format. Their laptop that came out during 2006 has a bunch of unique features. Medion is available in the US at (of all places) ALDI discount grocery stores!

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Democracy Now!

Skip purchasing that fancy high-priced HDTV. Your computer screen is a hi-def display.
Play virtually any video-- Quicktime, WMV, MPEG, AVI, XVID, and more. Browse your collection, make playlists, stay organized.

Subscribe to any video RSS feed, podcast, or video blog. Explore hundreds of free channels with the built-in Channel Guide.

Download and save videos from YouTube, Google Video, Yahoo Video, and other sites.

Get Democracy

Rapestry

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Interesting Regis & Kelly show this morning. The Queen and King of New York: Madonna and Christopher Walken on the same show! (Western New York's own Teddy Geiger was there too!) Louise, IMHO, borrowed Debbie Harry's look and style to build her "Madonna" character... I'll get to that in a minute...

AP Entertainment Writer Jake Coyle suggests that the boxer formerly known as Cassius Clay was the world's first gen-u-wine rapper!
"Float like a butterfly/ Sting like a bee/ Your hands can't hit/ What your eyes can't see."

Muhammad Ali's rhymes, taunts, provocations and exclamations were an endlessly entertaining and insightful facet of his larger-than-life persona. As he once said, "I outwit them and then I outhit them."

A new book, "Ali Rap: Muhammad Ali the First Heavyweight Champion of Rap," proclaims Ali's verbal barrage was more than self-promotion, but that it sowed the seeds of hip-hop, which was born in the early 70s.
If Ali was the first rapper, the first rap record hit the top 10 back in 1966: "They're Coming to Take Me Away Ha-Haa!" by Napoleon XIV (Jerry Samuels) The flip side of the 45 is the same song backwards.

Rapture is the first rap song to hit #1 on the charts, as well as the one of the very few rap songs featuring a female vocalist to hit #1. It was performed by 70s powerhouse Blondie, a rock group that in retrospect changed and influenced the direction of popular music throughout it's history from Blondie's TV appearance on Musikladen right up to late 1999 / early 2000, when "Maria" hit #1 in the UK, making Blondie's Debbie Harry, at age 55, the oldest female rocker to grab the #1 spot.

Remember the days of BREAK DANCING and subway art? Blondie was behind the defining motion picture of that era. Reknowned as "The Classic Hip-Hop Movie," WILD STYLE includes music by Blondie guitarist Chris Stein and Fred Brathwaite. Wild Style stars the legendary subway artist Lee Quinones. He plays 'Zoro' and appears in Blondie's promo video for the song "Rapture". If you EVER get a chance to borrow a copy of this movie, don't pass! A little crude by today's standards but nonetheless enjoyable.

I'll get you and your little mouse too!

#&@*^$ Computer!

One of my computers decided to throw a tantrum last night. I tried to enable USB traffic between the WinME PC and a new digital camera. No matter what I did or how many times I re-installed the software, the best communication between the two came in the form of a windows pop-up box saying the driver couldn't be extracted to be unloaded. I downloaded more drivers for this computer than you could possibly imagine. None of them worked. I tried a WinME repair program. It almost deleted all my programs!

With several hours already wasted, I hopped on my email and then posted an article to this blog, while calling on a "techie" pal to see if he could help. We spent an hour on the phone and when I hung up I was no farther ahead than before. BRAINSTORM! Use WinME's "rollback" feature to restore the system as it was on a previous date. Don't you know that every time I tried to start "System Restore" it refused, instructing me to re-start my PC. After multiple fruitless attempts, it dawned on me I might want to disable all programs that auto-start when the PC is turned on. (Go to msconfig in the dialog box to do that.)

Viola! (ooops - I mean "VOILA!" - darn keyboard's fault!) "System Restore" is operational!
But every time I set it to rollback to a different date it would respond with a message "could not be reset to the date selected." I picked another date. And another. Another. NOTHING!

By then it was midnight. Yawn! I decided to try one more time. I websurfed over to a few WinME forums, then, armed with what I thought would solve my problem, followed the recommended procedure. I almost wiped out the entire computer! By some wacky stroke of digital luck, the computer sputtered to a halt ("Oh no," I cried!) and when it re-booted, the stuff that got wiped out was BAAAAAACCCK! Hooray!

At 01:44 this morning I was beaten, broken and humiliated by Windows Millenium edition, drivers.com, two WinMe forums AND Ghost. Yes, GHOST, that end-all of wonderful programs which supposedly enables one to copy and save his or her entire hard drive. Guess whose computer GHOST gave up the ghost on!

Day One by Bus!

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If you have kids or grandkids, or you just want to be part of a big day in modern New York State history, Day One should be on your agenda! There has been unprecendented and overwhelming interest in the inaugural ceremonies related to Day One. New Yorkers statewide have RSVP'ed and requested tickets to celebrate New York with Governor-Elect Eliot Spitzer and Lt. Governor-Elect David Paterson.

Enough interest has been shown in several cities throughout the state that Inauguration: New York has chartered buses. Bus service will be provided from Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse/Utica, Watertown, and New York City. Buses will arrive in West Capitol Park by 11am and depart Albany from the Times Union Center parking lot following the inaugural concert.

You can reserve a seat on a bus by emailing bus@inaugurationny.org. Space is limited and available on a first come, first-served basis.


Wednesday, December 27, 2006

News from Lores Rizkalla

From the West Coast, this note from blogger Lores Rizkalla:
I am happy to announce that I will be filling in for Bakersfield/Fresno's #1 local talk radio host, Inga Barks!
I'll be filling in Thursday, December 28 from 10am to Noon ( 1 to 3 pm in NY ) on KERN 1410. Listen live here.
Among my guests will be founder of Arabs for Israel and daughter of one of the original jihadists, Nonie Darwish. In addition, we will look back at 2006 and make some predictions for 2007!
If you get a chance, listen to the show here Thursday at 10am.
Happy New Year!
Happy New Year to you too, Lores!

Walking Dead

In the last two days we've lost James Brown and Gerald Ford. Makes me think of the old saying "death comes in threes." We'll see. Two false "death" reports recently surfaced: I'd heard about the first one, but not until I was perusing comments to my post bearing my Christmas 2006 message did I find substantiating evidence:
I believe it was Friday morning, WTEN reported that Ralph Bucky Phillips was dead. He is however not dead. They later retracted this story, but the mere fact that this made air is appauling!!! Here is how it happened. The producer for the morning show wanted to Ax a story about Bucky Phillips in jail. She said to the anchor in here earpiece "Ralph Bucky Phillips in jail is dead." Well you can see what was going to happen. The anchor just ran with the story and ad- libbed with no other source other then what the producer said in here ear briefly. The producer dumped to break, but not before the anchor once again reitterated that Bucky Phillips was dead and that WTEN would have more as it became available. What a blunder this was. I have heard that the phone rang off the hook with viewers and other media oulets trying to find out what happened. Imagine if Trooper Longobardo's widow was watching. If she was witness to this reckless reporting that would be the ultimate pain, finding out that this animal was finally dead, only to find out that whoops, sorry about that Ms. Longobardo, we were just kidding. Way to get the story right before air WTEN!!
I think that would be MRS. Longobardo --- yeah, that's a doozy right there, but miscommunication CAN happen. If I were the producer, I think I would have just said, in plain English, "we're dropping the Bucky Phillips STORY."

The other exaggerated death report comes from the Albany Eye blog. It seems the Eye and UPSTREAM blog are engaged in a bit of digital warfare (from Upstream):

Looks like I‘ve been getting under the skin of a few people. Here is Albany Eye‘s post for today, which was a quote taken from another blog in reference to the old Albany Eye, not the current one. (When is Ilene going to post something she thought up herself?)

“Albany Eye’s blog was getting good. It was interesting and funny. It wasn’t such a wordy piece of cyber-trash as I’ve seen “http://mohawkvalley.wordpress.com” the Mighty Mohawk. So I’m going to miss it. Sorry to see it go.”
“http://www.patzollinger.us/blog/”

Thank You. Albany Eye is not dead. See you in 2007.

I’m not sure why Pat is ticked off at me as I have been an admirer of her for a long time and even wrote a positive post about her.

I understand, however, why the new Albany Eye is mad. So far it’s Upstream 3 and Ilene 0.

Anyway, Thanks to both Ilene and Pat for mentioning my blog and thanks also to Ilene for plagiarizing most of my post about Gerald Ford.


I don't see any "Gerald Ford" post on UPSTREAM. I'm also wondering if this "Ilene" hasn't passed the torch (keyboard?) to another individual: the following was found Here:

Thank You
26 Dec 2006 by Ilene A million thanks to everyone who supported Albany Eye since 2004. We will be away until further notice.The Albany Eye - http://albanyeye.blogspot.com - References[ More results from The Albany Eye ]

I visited the Eye URL yesterday afternoon and was greeted with a "404 not found." The Eye posted new articles today, which have not appeared (yet) on blogsearch. Not sure what to make of all this, or how important it is.

Grrr! Technology!

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Best intentions came back to "byte" me! I purchased a Vcam Now and a VideoNow for a 10-year old on my Xmas list. My original intention (after careful online research in October) was to give the child a working video camera and a means to play back videos. My bad. By the time I was actually in the stores, shopping, I'd forgotten the "particulars."

Those "particulars" involved particular versions of said toys. I bought a VcamNow 2.0 when what I needed was what you might call the "1.0" (like the one in the picture) which came with something called the Videonow Media Wizard which supplied the software and PVD's (personal video discs) needed to preserve VcamNow video... so you could play it back on the VideoNow machine... I'm sure you get the idea... technical difficulties all the way!

This was the on-line sales pitch:
Now kids can film digital movies, take photographs and create their own personal video discs with a digital video camera made just for them. VCAM NOW, with its hip, sleek look, is portable and affordable. It's the perfect accessory for tweens with an "on-the-go" lifestyle. Kids can view their digital movies and photos on TV and view, edit and send video and photos on their computer. The VCAM NOW digital camera comes complete with VIDEONOW MEDIA WIZARD, a software that enables kids to copy their creations onto blank Video Now Personal Video Discs (PVDs) that can be played on a VIDEONOW personal media player. VCAM NOW comes packaged with two blank PVDs.

Most people give up rather than try to deal with the lack of interface and inability to interplay between the formats of various video and audio devices. I discovered that although it is a complicated process, one can create home-made PVD's using nothing more than a home PC and some cut-down to size CDs. The lesson here: print off material related to the products you're trying to buy. I noticed several other toys (non-electronic ones) that have "multiple versions" of what you might think is the same product.

Gerald Ford, RIP

Best President of the 1970’s, dead at 93.

By all accounts he was a decent and genuine man. He survived two assassination attempts and relentless mocking by Chevy Chase, who portrayed him as hopelessly clumsy (even though he was quite athletic and a college football star).

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Beyonce Replaceable


UPDATE! DECEMBER 2008! CLICK HERE 4 More Beyonce without makeup plus her new Sasha Fierce Video!



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Ever watch Hannah Montana? The teenager whose persona changes when she puts on a wig? Hannah Montana is Miley Cyrus, the daughter of country western star Billy Ray Cyrus. Newly arrived in Malibu from her Tennessee hometown, heroine Miley did her best to adjust to her new lifestyle and to her classmates at Seaview Middle School -- while at the same time carrying on a "secret life" as preteen pop star Hannah Montana! Billy Ray Cyrus himself was seen as Miley's father and manager Robbie -- strict, loving, traditionalist, and "hip" all in one. Another celebrity relative in the cast was Emily Osment, younger sister of Haley Joel Osment, as Miley's best friend Lilly Truscott. Rounding out the cast was Jason Earles as Miley's traditionally irksome brother Jackson, and Mitchel Musso as classmate Oliver, who carried a torch for the heroine. The weekly, 30-minute Hannah Montana debuted March 24, 2006. - Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide

To the left, to the left! Hey Beyonce! The glue is pulling that wig to the left! (Check out the wrinkles near her eye) . [bigger photo]

Some of the biggest celebrities on earth are "Hannah Montana's" --- case in point, via the Daily Mail: Beyonce.
The 25-year-old singer is believed to favour a special type of hair extension-where real human hair is woven and glued into her own locks.

But if the hair is fixed too tightly, this unsightly 'varicose vein' effect can result.

Although Beyonce's hair extensions have been badly fitted on this occasion, other celebrities have suffered far more in their quest for a long flowing mane.

Earlier this month for example, actress Kate Beckinsale was pictured with bald patches on the back of her head-an unfortunate hazard of hair extensions.

And celebrities including Victoria Beckham and Nancy Dell'Olio have also suffered baldness when their real hair was ripped out along with the extensions.
Not to mention powerblogger Xiaxue (Wendy Cheng) who recently lamented losing hair thanks to extensions. I would say I lost a grand total of maybe 20-25% of my hair... Whatever happened to REAL down-to-earth people?

Debt Doldrums

It's that time... the days between Xmas and New Year's. Just around the corner: back to work and school. The January credit card bills. Tax time approaching. All the worse if one is already behind! TV talk show host Tyra Banks says 70% of americans are living paycheck to paycheck. There are many, many blogs dealing with money management, budgeting and personal finance! If you're in a pickle, or have just dodged a financial bullet and don't wish to have a similar encounter any time soon, Google up some of the money blogs (pfblogs), pick a few you like, add them to your browser favorites or to your feedreader and check them on a regular basis.

One of the great success stories about personal finance blogging was when NCN got himself out of around $11,000 in debt (two car notes and some credit card debt) within a year (April 05 to Feb 06) and he posted a list of all his own personal debt-related posts during the time period. If you’re in debt and you enjoy reading pfblogs for either ideas or inspiration, this set of posts is definitely a good place to start. Another recommended blog is Tricia’s Blogging Away Debt. She's cleared away $12k and only has $25k in debt left!

Monday, December 25, 2006

Girls Out Loud: Dealing With Cyber-Enemies

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Here's a little gift for you! Xiaxue (Wendy Cheng) and Izzy (Sarong Party Girl) are bloggers known worldwide. It's also known they don't always see eye to eye! Throw in Mia, and you have a donnybrook befitting the WWE! From the Singaporean TV series "Girls Out Loud" it's Xiaxue vs Mia vs Izzy!





Hang onto your Yoshi!


Click HERE to watch!

More: Blog On #6
TIME again (Person of the Year)
Girls Out Loud [GOL]

From the new digital stars of NOW to the legendary superstars of yesterday: Back a generation or two, before popular music became so fragmented, regular chart-toppers included the Ronnettes, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Mamas and The Papas and a dynamic pompadoured performer, James Brown.

Long before they called him the "Godfather of Soul", James Brown was "King of Soul." My two JB faves are "I Got You" (which they regularly play today on Radio Disney) and "This Is A Man's World." On TV tributes throughout the day "Living In America" and "Please Please Please" are getting the play. Brown was also known as "the hardest working man in show business." His classic "Say It Out Loud -- I'm Black and I'm Proud" became a landmark statement of racial pride when it hit the top 40 in 1968.

James Brown was hospitalized at Emory Crawford Long Hospital in Atlanta GA with pneumonia on Sunday and died at 01:45 on Christmas Day. He was 73. RIP James Brown.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

Merry Christmas 2006

Curley and General Bow glance out the window 12.23.06

Every now and again, the Northeast experiences weather extremes around November-December. This year it has been warm. About 3 or 4 years ago I recall driving home from Thanksgiving dinner at my cousin's home in a raging blizzard! We have had snowstorms as early as October 4 as well as sub-zero arctic year-end holidays. It's Nature's Way: it all balances out.

Last minute Christmas shopping last night at Colonie Center I ran into some Muslim friends. "What are you guys doing at the mall?" They replied "Shopping for gifts." "Hey, we believe in Jesus, Peace Be Upon Him!" As they disappeared in to the crowd, I thought to myself "indeed, this IS a 'Green Christmas,' Green for lack of snow and Green in terms of dollars netted by retailers." The 40-50 degree weather Albany has experienced over the last several weeks has cetainly brought the masses outdoors to shop! I'm the same every year: wildly running around town searching for gifts, and trying to get myself organized in time.

As year-end approaches, I'm looking back and wondering "should I continue blogging?" Then a downpour of memories as I scroll my archives... I'm basically a recreational blogger. This blog serves as my personal journal as well as a little showcase for news and current events that interest me, to which I've added my own comment or slant. Other than a mention once in awhile on other local blogs (Upstream & Albany Eye), 99% of my traffic comes from all over the world and it is for that reason that I "cover" stories and people of global interest. I am quite pleased that this blog has readers checking in regularly from France, the U.K., Singapore, China, India and Africa. I wish all of you a safe and Happy Holiday Season!

Don't get all Fa-la-lah'd out! Whether you need to schmooze with coworkers at your office party, catch up with family friends at a holiday meal or pay that annual visit to your house of worship, remember that these things are important. Nonetheless, it might be a good time to figure out how to make some time for yourself. I like to take long walks. While I walk, I can THINK. I can clear my mind. And I can pray.

This Christmas I have a new digital camera on my wishlist. Two things bug me about my little Kodak EasyShare CX6200: (1) it takes multiple attempts to uplaod a picture from it onto blogger and (2) it gave up, totally stopped working late in November! I was really sad because I enjoy taking pictures, especially during the holidays!

As 2007 gets closer and closer, many of us will reflect on 2006. Some will look back and critique. Others will try to gauge if they are better off than they were this time last year. More will make "resolutions" that will fall by the wayside as the New Year progresses.

I think it's better to experience "looking back" on Christmas Eve, in the spirit of the Jimmy Stewart movie "It's A Wonderful Life." What would it be like here without YOU? What would have happened to the people around you? Who'd still be here, and who would not? If this were the last day of your life, would you be ready? There may be someone reading this right now who won't make it into 2007. You never know when your time will come, so get things right between yourself and the people you love, and make peace with your personal God. Enjoy these holidays ahead, and may Peace grab you by your hearts!

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Flawless

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There once was a time in the history of Radio and Television when all on-air events were executed to perfection. Less mediocrity, more quality. Sure, mistakes were made, but the old-timers knew how to cover and move along! In the 30s-40s-50s into the early 60s most programs were LIVE. One of live televisions closest calls seemingly came when a highly regarded program signed comedian Ed Wynn (r) to play a serious role.

With vaudevillian old-school comedy "dead," Ed's son, actor Keenan Wynn, encouraged him to make a career change rather than retire. The two appeared in the mid-1950s Playhouse 90 (CBS) broadcast of Rod Serling's play "Requiem for a Heavyweight." Ed was terrified of "straight" acting and kept goofing his lines in rehearsal to the point of laughing during crucial points of the drama. When the producers wanted to fire him, star Jack Palance said he would quit if they fired Ed. On LIVE broadcast night, Wynn surprised everyone with his pitch-perfect performance, and his quick ad libs to cover his mistakes. That episode of Playhouse 90 won 4 emmy awards, including Best Single Program of the Year.

Requiem established Wynn as serious dramatic actor who could easily hold his own with the best. His role in "The Diary of Anne Frank" won him an Academy Award nomination for best supporting actor in 1959.

A lot of the people who appear on LIVE TV nowadays don't know the fine art of covering mistakes and pressing on. CBS Morning News recently covered an earthquake in Hawaii by satelliting over to an affiliate there. An experienced young local female reporter glowed with confidence as the network's NY-based Morning Show team introduced her. She started off perfect, but fell apart, slapping herself in the face, when whoever was at the controls missed the cue and her carefully prepared piece didn't start (it did, about 20 seconds late, but in that 20 seconds viewers nationwide witnessed this lady completely losing her cool!) All she had to do was remain motionless "waiting" for 20 seconds!

Times have changed. We don't seem to be as worried about "perfection" as much as we were 50 years ago. Have we become more forgiving?

I personally took a lot of flack for a recent post in which I suggest two young local TV videojournalists are qualified to anchor a 10pm newscast. Let's break it down: Channel 45 is NOT WCBS! It's bush league, run like amateur TV. More often than not (like last night from 6:03-6:23pm) all you see is a blank screen (sometimes the CW logo appears in the lower right corner of the screen) and all you hear is nothing.***

The anchors I suggest would add a touch of class to a technically rag-tag operation. (Of course, they'll need a few competent souls manning the cameras and controls!) The CW network is geared toward YOUTH, particularly young women, most of whom are not interested in news delivered by older anchors. I did a little impromptu survey of sorts. Since that post, I've asked young people between the ages of 14 and 25 "if tv 45 had a local newscast on, who would be a good person or team to read the news to you?" Most people aren't aware that newspeople are bound to certain TV stations, etc., and most of those I asked named news presenters and reporters who appear on Capital News 9. There were a couple of girls who said they would have liked Rene Marsh (CBS6) but think she's a phony because she "changed her name to Michelle." (What they didn't know is Rene has a sister who is also a news reporter!) The only local veteran mentioned (by three out of about 30 people) was Ken Screven, also from WRGB! When I showed photos of Steve and Sumi from Cap9, I'd get smiles and comments like "oh yeah I know them" in return.

Now remember, I was asking about ANCHORS. When I asked what REPORTERS they were familiar with, I got blitzed with names: Dan Bazile (13) and Nicole Forige (6) were mentioned most-often, as well as Dori Marlin (10) - for me, the label ANCHOR applies to Ms. Marlin, but that's probably because I see her almost everyday anchoring the early morning news.

Aside: WEATHER is a different story: all of the kids knew Andy Gregorio, Bob Kovachik, Steve Capparizzo and Tom Mailey immediately. Among the 30 or so those are apparently the ONLY weathermen they're familiar with!


*** 45 is not alone. There have been similar "outages" on CBS6. (Ask Y&R fans!) Last night 20 minutes of NBC's "Identity" on WNYT had NO SOUND. myTV4 is NOTORIOUS for having super-loud COMMERCIALS during programming on weekends!

Friday, December 22, 2006

And we're drawing the line where?

Classic Ebony cover of Nichelle Nichols, one half player in television's first inter-racial kiss (with Star Trek's Captain Kirk aka William Shatner). You'll find interesting posts like this along with poetry, arts and literature reviews on Nigerian writer and arts journalist Molara Wood's blog WORDSBODY.


Let's start off this visit thru the blogosphere with a fun video from YouTUBE! It's described as a crazy video of the song Crazy by Violet Moyo, done by a bunch of crazy Monash South Africa student bored on res. Enjoy!!!!

O life! It has it's ups and downs! Wendy "Bah humbug!" Cheng blogs about a little run of bad luck, stuck in the rain hailing a taxi, another woman trying to get Xiaxue's ride... and there's pictures [hotlink] of her plastic surgery (nose job)

This photo is taken fresh after stitches was out, so obviously it is still very bloody, and also, the nose is completely swollen which explains why the nostrils are not equal in size.

(yuk!)

Holly blogs about her frustration in learning Chinese in Taiwan, and she hopes that her Chinese friends can speak Chinese to her. In Chinese, take an online test about blogger’s gender by analyzing the language in the blogpost.

§anaa blogs about her laptop dilemma...

Both Jamaican View and Leon Robinson remember "Uncle" Neville Willoughby, veteran broadcaster and radio icon, who died from injuries sustained in a recent car crash.

India-based Haitian blogger NatifNatal ponders (Fr) India’s matrimonials. Whereas in the West, she says, people fall in love and then marry, "here you marry the one your parents chose along many parameters such as caste, religion, income, dowry etc. and then, after many years of joint living, you just can’t do without him."

Diddy Dogs

On Monday, The Humane Society Of The United States (HSUS) claimed Macy's department store chain was selling a coat advertised as having an "imitation rabbit fur collar" and "nylon/faux fur/goose down". Macy's has now pulled from its shelves and its Web site two styles of Sean John (P. Diddy) hooded jackets: one a snorkel style, the other a classic version, originally advertised as featuring faux fur, after the HSUS investigation determined that the garments were actually made from a certain species of dog called "raccoon dog," a breed of Chinese dog whose fur resembles raccoon.

Raccoon dogs - which are not domestic animals - are indigenous to Asia, including eastern Siberia and Japan, and have been raised in large numbers because their fur closely resembles raccoon.

Macy's has a strict "no dog or cat fur" policy. In a statement by Sean "Diddy" Combs released by his publicist Hampton Carney, the designer said: "I was completely unaware of the nature of this material, but as soon as we were alerted, the garments were pulled off the Macy's floor and Web site. I have instructed our outerwear licensee to cease the production of any garments using this material immediately."
Thanks, Puffy!

General Motors, Major Disgrace

From the "They Said I was Nuts" department:

I've blogged in the past (and once discussed on my old radio program) about how General Motors got us into our modern transportation mess by making sure the US trolley system died, much the same way GM made sure all of the EV1 electric cars were junked. Edwin Black's four-part investigative series "Hitler's Carmaker" has been appearing locally in The Jewish World newspaper. It tells how it all went down. The accompanying photograph of Hitler was one of several in a series of booklets given to German citizens in return for donations to Nazi charity Winterhilfswerk. The booklets came with strings so they could be hung on the Christmas tree! For what it's worth, General Motors issued a response to the JTA investigation.

GM was playing both ends to the middle in the 1930s and 1940s. While GM was busy getting wheels under Hitlers's Third Reich, here at home GM was hatching a lucrative criminal conspiracy to undermine electric mass transit in dozens of American cities.
The war in Europe had only been over for 16 months when on October 2, 1946, a memo from the Department of Justice landed on the desk of J. Edgar Hoover, outlining the elements of the GM conspiracy.

At the center of the conspiracy was National City Lines, an Enronesque company that suddenly arose in 1937, ostensibly run by five barely educated Minnesota bus drivers, the Fitzgerald brothers. Yet the Fitzgeralds miraculously marshaled millions of dollars to buy up one failing trolley system after another. Soon, through a patchwork of subsidiaries, the brothers owned or controlled transit systems in more than 40 cities. Generally, when National City Lines acquired the system, the tracks were pulled from the street, the beloved electric trolleys were trashed or burned, and the whole system was replaced with more expensive, unpopular and environmentally hazardous motor buses that helped addict America to oil.

The Justice Department discovered that National City Lines was just a front company for General Motors, in league with Mack Truck, Phillips Petroleum, Standard Oil of California and Firestone Tires - all petroleum interests. The companies became the major preferred stockholders of National City Lines, but operated behind the scenes.

The scheme worked this way: The manufacturers purchased NCL preferred stock to acquire transit lines on condition that when the systems were acquired, the trolleys would be dismantled and replaced with motor buses. That is exactly what happened. All the conspirators gained immensely when non-polluting electric systems were replaced by oil-burners. Phillips and Standard sold oil products. Firestone sold the tires. GM and Mack divvied up the bus manufacturing and sales market according to an agreed-upon formula.

Transit systems in 16 states were converted, adversely affecting millions of Americans, who had to pay higher fares for lesser, more unpopular service. Dozens more cities were targeted in the $9.5m. scheme.
The series is available online:

Hitler's carmaker (Part I), (Part II), (Part III), (Part IV)

A Not So Lovin Spoonful'

Albany County DA David Soares has scheduled a news conference for early this afternoon, apparently involving disgraced but re-elected State Comptroller Alan Hevesi. The old adage "The bigger they are the harder they fall" certainly rings true in modern times.

No one can be trusted, with your money or your wife. Everyone is a suspect. Priest are pedophiles. Imams are terrorists. Ministers are fornicators. No wonder there are so many conspiracy and cover-up theories!

On a day when your role-model perfect-family next door neighbors can be hog-tied and dragged off by the authorities for whatever secret crimes they committed, I've noticed some people forging tribal-like bonds with friends and neighbors. The more modern American society "goes to hell in a handbasket" the more we'll see not only clubs and organizations but street gangs flourish.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Eye to Eye, Cheek to Cheek

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Wow! This Albany Eye stuff has REALLLLY gotten crazy! Chatter raging about UPSTREAM blog postings on the drama... Just after 5pm today I noticed a huge traffic spike on one of my site meters. This post racking up mad hits this afternoon from, of all things, a PHISH forum!

So important (apparently) is the Albany Eye that Times Union columnist and blogger Mark McGuire has returned (albeit for a digital moment) from vacation to post about the Albany Eye:

Last Friday morning, Mark Mulholland had an exclusive: The arrest of former Phish frontman Trey Anastasio.
According to sources, minutes after Mulholland e-mailed the station from his Saratoga bureau with news of his exclusive — complete with mug shot — The Eye went with the story and photo.
Coincidence? No.
Especially when you consider that the Times Union Web people were able to trace a posting to this blog from Albany Eye’s e-mail account back to — wait for it — WNYT’s Menands headquarters.

More astounding is the reaction from WNYT upper management:

An upstairs (read: non-newsroom) employee has been identified by sources as being the Eye. General Manager Steve Baboulis refused to confirm or deny anything, including whether he’s been able to determine Albany Eye is in fact one of his workers, citing privacy matters. Baboulis did say no station employee has been suspended or fired as a resut of the pilfered scoop. The suspected employee did not return a call seeking comment...

...WNYT officialdom doesn’t sound like it’s anxious to investigate the matter in any more great detail. “I’ve looked into it to my satisfaction,'’ Baboulis said."

Mark McGuire's complete post is HERE. Since Mark requires commenters to register, feel free to read his article and leave your comments here, and remember you can choose between Blogger and Haloscan comments (use whichever is easier for YOU!)

Meanwhile, some new developments: Turns out there may actually be two people who worked as a "tag team" blogging under the Albany Eye moniker... one local, one out west. The NEW Albany Eye is rumoured to be a 20-something FEMALE blogging out of a local TV news operation.

Blogwatch 21 December 06

So, you think things are bad for the US media? Mo’s notebook blogs about the resignation of three senior reporters in a major TV station in Hong Kong (TVB). He notices that many good reporters have left the media industry and tranfered to Public Relations positions because of the poor media environment.

No trace of AP source "Jamil Hussein" according to Michelle Malkin.

Closer to home, the buzz about the Albany Eye blog continues...

We now have essentially five different Albany Eye web locations.
Hold up! I found two more:
http://thealbanyeye.wordpress.com and http://albany3ye.livejournal.com

Back out into the world: Kaie blogs about a recent population policy in China's Guangzhou city. The policy is to prevent low quality population to reside in the city. Kaie comments that the urban residents have no rights to bar off rural population to enjoy city life...

Zhao mu re-posts an open letter written by10 PhD students in China (all from top univeristy) which criticized the celebration of Christmas in China. The students suggest government to ban and discourage advocation and promotion of Christmas consumption by education department and commercial sectors in order to preserve "Chinese cultural subjectivity."

Michael from the opposite end of China blogs about his wild speculation of Xinjiang in 2021. The post was written in response to a call by neweurasia.net.

The Caribbean Beat blog celebrates the diverse tastes of a West Indian Christmas!

Two more blogs worth mentioning: After you read
Freedom of speech and music celebrations in the Moroccan Blogosphere, stop by It isn’t, which has wonderful photographs from Zanskar of a monastery called Phuktal. "The monastery, which belongs to the Yellow Hat Sect of Tibetan Buddhism, has a history which dates back to 15th century. It is carved out of the lime stone mountain wall, with a walled frontage."


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