Long Island Medium

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Long Island Medium
Long Island Medium title.png
Genre Reality television
Starring Theresa Caputo
Country of origin United States
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 6
No. of episodes 91
Production
Running time 22 to 25 minutes
Production company(s) Magilla Entertainment
Broadcast
Original channel TLC
Picture format 480i (SDTV)
1080i (HDTV)
Original run September 25, 2011 (2011-09-25) – present
External links
Website

Long Island Medium is a TLC reality television series starring Theresa Caputo as she claims to be a medium who can communicate with the deceased. Caputo's claims have been deemed fictitious by multiple sources, ranging from experts such as magician James Randi, print publications including Wired,[1] and television news programs like Inside Edition.[2][3] Both Caputo and TLC have been criticized for profiting from what some consider a "charlatan"[4] whose claims are "not true."[1] Much of the program, which debuted on September 25, 2011, takes place in Hicksville, New York, though it often follows Caputo as she meets with clients in other areas.

Synopsis[edit]

Each episode focuses on Theresa Caputo as she conducts private and group readings with both believers and skeptics. Her husband Larry and two children, Victoria and Larry Jr., have learned to live with her claims of mediumship, but it strains their relationship. In a 2011 interview, Caputo claimed she had the ability to communicate with dead people: "Things are just there. When I was younger I used to actually see images and hear things. As I got older and shut down, it had changed. Because it was frightening to see people standing there who actually weren’t there."[5][6][7]

Reception[edit]

Observers have expressed doubts as to the veracity of Caputo's abilities and suggest that the show's seemingly paranormal performances could simply be the result of age-old exploits like the Forer effect, cold reading, selective editing, and her subjects' eagerness to believe.[1][2][8]

In 2012, the James Randi Educational Foundation awarded Caputo its Pigasus Award for being, in its view, the "psychic" performer who fooled the greatest number of people with the least effort in the preceding year. A Pigasus award was also given to TLC for continuing to air the show.[9] In an article published by Wired Magazine the organization's founder James Randi explained why he believed shows like Long Island Medium were deceptive and potentially harmful to its participants:

Why do these pseudo-psychic spectacles bother those of us at the James Randi Educational Foundation? First, and foremost: They are not true. [...] But much more importantly to us, such performances seem to prey on people at their most vulnerable moments — those who have suffered the loss of loved ones — and these mediums use such grief to make a buck. Psychologists tell us this keeps the grieving stuck in their grief, rather than going through the natural stages of acceptance that are healthy.

—James Randi[1]

In June of that year, Caputo appeared in a commercial for Priceline.com in which she portrayed herself "connecting" with the late Priceline Negotiator character previously played by William Shatner.[10] However, this commercial has sparked controversy, since the commercial appears to make light of the Native American belief of smudging.[11] JREF President DJ Grothe issued a statement decrying Priceline.com: "It is difficult to watch the show and not feel heartbroken for those who are desperate to hear from the departed... and even more so if they are being manipulated by a charlatan." Grothe urged the organization to have their new spokeswoman take the James Randi Million Dollar Challenge and prove her paranormal claims.[4]

Inside Edition examined Caputo's claims of being able to talk to the dead and found them lacking. Inside Edition watched Caputo performing live and "watched her strike out time and again." Mark Edward, who used to portray himself as a medium much like Caputo's current occupation, gave his opinion that Caputo does not have supernatural powers and explained several common techniques she could be using to pretend to have such abilities. She responded in a statement: "I respect and understand skeptics. I'm not trying to prove anything to anyone, that's not why I do what I do. I feel, and have been told by my clients, that my gift has really helped them, and that's all that matters to me."[2]

In 2014, investigator Ron Tebo publically accused Caputo of fraud for pretending to be a psychic.[12][13] According to Tebo's complaint, Caputo engages in several forms of deception, including sending staff members to interview audience members in advance in order to be able to pretend that she acquires knowledge from communicating with the deceased.[14][15]

Not all the feedback from the show has been entirely negative. While noting that Caputo's claim of special powers "has been questioned," Variety's Gregg Goldstein described her in generally positive terms in a 2012 article, writing, "In an era of hit reality shows about families and denizens of New Jersey, the series' equally big selling point is the dynamic with her husband and two wisecracking teenagers, making it play like a combination of Real Housewives of New Jersey and Bewitched – particularly when their frustrations surface over her random communications with what she calls 'Spirit.'"[16]

Cast[edit]

Episodes[edit]

Season Episodes Season Premiere Season Finale
1 9 September 25, 2011 (2011-09-25) November 6, 2011 (2011-11-06)
2 14 March 25, 2012 (2012-03-25) May 6, 2012 (2012-05-06)
3 17 September 9, 2012 (2012-09-09) November 4, 2012 (2012-11-04)
4 30 May 12, 2013 (2013-05-12) December 22, 2013 (2013-12-22)
5 18 March 9, 2014 (2014-03-09) May 18, 2014 (2014-05-18)
6 TBA August 3, 2014 (2014-08-03) TBA

Season 1 (2011)[edit]

No. in
series
No. in
season
Title Original air date U.S. viewers
(million)
1 1 "No Turning Off" September 25, 2011 (2011-09-25) 1.36[18]
Theresa is a typical Long Island mom who has a very special gift. She talks to the dead. While Theresa helps other families find closure and peace, her own family occasionally get annoyed by her inability to turn this gift "off".
2 2 "Driving Me Nuts" September 25, 2011 (2011-09-25) 1.07[18]
Theresa is enlisted to teach her 16 year old daughter Victoria how to drive. Theresa's nerves and Victoria's lack of skills behind the wheel combine to make the lesson an unpleasant experience. Later Theresa reads a distraught mother.
3 3 "Spirit Release" October 2, 2011 (2011-10-02) 1.41[19]
The spirit of a 6-year-old boy comes to Theresa and won't leave. This spirit is taking a serious emotional toll on Theresa, interfering with her work and her life. To make matters worse she doesn't know how or if she will be able to release this energy.
4 4 "This Isn't Working" October 2, 2011 (2011-10-02) 1.31[19]
Theresa meets with many of her clients in the comfort of her home, requiring her family to stay away. Larry, her newly retired husband is having a hard time with this. Also, Theresa reads two men trying to connect with a friend who passed away suddenly.
5 5 "Theresa's Upgrade" October 9, 2011 (2011-10-09) 1.36[20]
After incessantly teasing her about the cassette recorder she uses to tape her sessions, Theresa's kids decide to get her something more advanced. Now she just needs to figure out how to use it. Also, a woman seeks closure following her sister's death.
6 6 "Reconnecting" October 16, 2011 (2011-10-16) 1.45[21]
Theresa plans a "girls" trip to a local winery to reconnect with her friends. However, the relaxing trip becomes stressful for Theresa when a skeptic comes along. And, Theresa reads a couple who lost a close friend.
7 7 "Blessing & A Curse" October 23, 2011 (2011-10-23) 1.44[22]
Theresa loves to use her ability to help people, and as a result she finds herself putting spirit first, and her family second. Later, Theresa reads a woman who wants to hear from her deceased father.
8 8 "Theresa Explains It All" October 30, 2011 (2011-10-30) 1.38[23]
Theresa and her family answer all the questions on everyone's mind giving insight from what it's like being a medium to being a mother. Theresa explains it all in this very special episode.
9 9 "Sailing With Spirits" November 6, 2011 (2011-11-06) 1.28[24]
Theresa is invited to do a group reading on a cruise ship traveling to the Bahamas. With no escape from the spirits on the ship, how many people will Theresa read? And, Theresa's husband shocks her with the surprise of a lifetime.

Season 2 (2012)[edit]

No. in
series
No. in
season
Title Original air date U.S. viewers
(million)
10 1 "Meeting the Parents" March 25, 2012 (2012-03-25) 2.28[25]
Theresa's special gift of being a medium has no filter and certainly no "off" switch. So when Theresa invites Victoria's boyfriend and his parents over for dinner, Victoria becomes instantly anxious that her mom will humiliate her by reading someone.
11 2 "Drumming and Healing" March 25, 2012 (2012-03-25) 2.25[25]
With her busy schedule weighing on her, Theresa decides to host a drumming circle at the house to "re-ground" herself, and invites her spiritual healer Pat, who helped Theresa realize she was a medium.
12 3 "Losing It" April 1, 2012 (2012-04-01) 1.69[26]
When Theresa decides to get in shape and enlist the help of her son at the gym, spirit interferes with their workout. Also, a woman hears from her husband who passed and Theresa has an emotional breakdown during the reading.
13 4 "Poor Petey" April 1, 2012 (2012-04-01) 1.61[26]
For Theresa, talking to spirit is easier than communicating with canines. So when her dog Petey is not acting himself, she brings him to the vet and the visit evolves into more than just a checkup. And, Theresa reads a couple hoping to hear from their son.
14 5 "Christmas Spirit" April 8, 2012 (2012-04-08) 1.48[27]
It's Christmas on Long Island and in true holiday fashion, Theresa spreads the gift of giving when she brings her family to volunteer at a local soup kitchen. When spirit interrupts Theresa's philanthropy, a skeptic is left in absolute shock.
15 6 "Spirit Al Dente" April 8, 2012 (2012-04-08) 1.91[27]
Tired of hearing her family complain about her lack of culinary chops, Theresa aims to prove to her kids that she can do more than just order takeout. But while attending a cooking class, spirit gets in the way of Theresa becoming an expert chef.
16 7 "Car Crazy" April 15, 2012 (2012-04-15) 1.75[28]
Victoria tries to use her charm to finagle a car from her parents. Theresa is vehemently against the idea, but her husband Larry is on the fence. Also, Theresa helps a young woman reconnect with her father that died tragically.
17 8 "Just Like Me" April 15, 2012 (2012-04-15) 1.91[28]
Theresa's friend divulges that her son has the ability to see spirit, empathizing with the young boy's unique situation and wants to help. But meeting up with her potential protégé results in an unexpected revelation when the tables are turned on Theresa.
18 9 "Wheelin' & Dealin'" April 22, 2012 (2012-04-22) 2.02[29]
Theresa's parenting skills are put to the test when she urges Victoria to earn her keep around the house. But will Victoria's efforts backfire on her mother? Also, Theresa helps a woman who struggles with letting her grandmother go.
19 10 "Long Island Romance" April 22, 2012 (2012-04-22) 2.29[29]
With Valentine's Day fast approaching, planning a last minute romantic night becomes a more difficult task than Larry had expected. Plus, Theresa meets with one of her biggest skeptics yet.
20 11 "Bellies & Babies" April 29, 2012 (2012-04-29) 1.84[30]
After Larry Jr. critiques the odd idea of his mother doing a reading at a Baby Shower, Theresa instantly feels nervous about possibly cramping the celebration. Will the expecting mother be happy to have a medium at her party?
21 12 "Apply Yourself" April 29, 2012 (2012-04-29) 2.11[30]
Theresa and Larry stress the importance of college to their daughter. However, their stern methods and the pressure of senior year become a little too much for Victoria. Plus, the tables are flipped when Theresa becomes the skeptic at her friend's house.
22 13 "Uneasy" May 6, 2012 (2012-05-06) 1.99[31]
While appearing at a local radio station, Theresa is blindsided when her mediumship is suddenly put to the test. Also, when Theresa accompanies her husband to a tattoo shop, she quickly realizes that she is there for more than just "ink" support.
23 14 "Spirit and the City" May 6, 2012 (2012-05-06) 2.24[31]
Booked for a group reading in NYC, Theresa and the family decide to take a day trip to the Big Apple. Will the hustle and bustle of the city get in Theresa's way of channeling or will spirit fall on Manhattan?

Season 3 (2012)[edit]

No. in
series
No. in
season
Title Original air date U.S. viewers
(million)
23 1 "Homecoming" September 9, 2012 (2012-09-09) 3.17[32]
Theresa's son graduates from college and moves back home, but he soon realizes that his mom wants him to stay there forever; a woman who recently lost her daughter seeks help from Theresa to find closure, which she ends up getting.
24 2 "A Medium Surprise" September 9, 2012 (2012-09-09) 3.52[32]
With Theresa's birthday quickly approaching, Larry and the kids hope to throw her a surprise party, but surprising a medium isn't the easiest task, so they must be sneaky; a widow seeks help to find closure after losing her husband several years ago.
25 3 "Help Me" September 16, 2012 (2012-09-16) 2.62[33]
Theresa's looking for an assistant but isn't quite sure with the decision; She helps a family connect with their son who died of a tragic partying death.
26 4 "The Princess and Her Prom" September 16, 2012 (2012-09-16) 3.12[33]
Victoria's Prom is coming up and she recently broke up with her boyfriend and so she decides to take her friend, was it a mistake?; Theresa reads someone at a boutique; She has a private session at her house; And a group reading.
27 5 "The Flying Larrys" September 23, 2012 (2012-09-23) 2.68[34]
Theresa's husband and son decide to go skydiving; To relieve her stress Theresa reads the owner of the skydiving center
28 6 "My Keys Now" September 23, 2012 (2012-09-23) 2.82[34]
After Victoria has two car crashes in a week, Teresa takes her car keys away; The family takes a defensive driving course together, and Theresa reads a class member;
29 7 "Beach Bonding" September 30, 2012 (2012-09-30) 2.53[35]
Larry and Theresa spend some time at the beach;
30 8 "The Graduate" September 30, 2012 (2012-09-30) 2.84[35]
Victoria graduates from high school; while getting a pedicure, she reads a woman who lost both her parents
31 9 "On the Road" October 8, 2012 (2012-10-08) 2.74[36]
Leaving her family and Long Island behind, Theresa packs up her hairspray and treks across America to surprise unbeknownst fans with readings. With a little help from spirit, Theresa shocks everyday families with her amazing gift.
32 10 "The Family Photo" October 14, 2012 (2012-10-14) 2.96[37]
33 11 "Joe Skeptic" October 14, 2012 (2012-10-14) 3.08[37]
34 12 "FAQ" October 21, 2012 (2012-10-21) 2.64[38]
35 13 "Never Before Seen" October 21, 2012 (2012-10-21) 2.93[38]
36 14 "Theresa and the Tent" October 28, 2012 (2012-10-28) 2.74[39]
37 15 "Like Father, Not Like Daughter" October 28, 2012 (2012-10-28) 2.95[39]
38 16 "Halloween Spirit" November 4, 2012 (2012-11-04) 3.09[40]
39 17 "Hello College" November 4, 2012 (2012-11-04) 3.22[40]
Victoria Moves out, and moves to college; while Theresa reads Victoria's college roommate's mom.

Season 4 (2013)[edit]

In November 2012, TLC renewed Long Island Medium for a fourth season.[41][42] The fourth season premiered on May 12, 2013.[43][44] Season 4 went on hiatus after its fifteenth episode and returned in October 2013.

No. in
series
No. in
season
Title Original air date U.S. viewers
(million)
40 1 "Missing My Princess" May 12, 2013 (2013-05-12) 2.34[45]
When Victoria visits her family for a few hours, she has a nose piercing ,and 2 tattoos, while Teresa reads a woman, and her son who lost her daughter, and his sister, respectively
41 2 "Theresa in Training" May 12, 2013 (2013-05-12) 2.51[45]
Teresa decides to lose a few pounds, since she can't fit into her dress, so she sees a nutritionist, and a fitness guy, so she can fit into her dress for a group reading.
42 3 "The Royal Flush" May 19, 2013 (2013-05-19) 2.11[46]
The downstairs bathroom is being remodeled, but Larry and Teresa disagree on putting Black Marble in the bathroom. Also, in a private reading, Teresa experiences connection with a negative spirit for the first time.
43 4 "Sandy Spirit" May 19, 2013 (2013-05-19) 2.12[46]
Teresa visits Long Beach, shortly after Hurricane Sandy. In the evening, Teresa visits a community center to do a group reading for people affected by the hurricane. She connects a woman with her deceased husband and a woman with her deceased grandmother.
44 5 "The Gambler" May 26, 2013 (2013-05-26) 1.93[47]
45 6 "Why Me" May 26, 2013 (2013-05-26) 2.20[47]
46 7 "Louie's Lost" June 2, 2013 (2013-06-02) 2.11[48]
47 8 "The Medium Matchmaker" June 2, 2013 (2013-06-02) 2.25[48]
48 9 "Girls Night In" June 9, 2013 (2013-06-09) 2.01[49]
49 10 "Spirit on the Slopes" June 9, 2013 (2013-06-09) 2.12[49]
50 11 "Bouffants and Bingo" June 16, 2013 (2013-06-16) 1.82[50]
51 12 "The Pincushion" June 16, 2013 (2013-06-16) 1.80[50]
52 13 "Once Upon a Dream" June 23, 2013 (2013-06-23) 1.89[51]
53 14 "The Patient" June 23, 2013 (2013-06-23) 1.93[51]
54 15 "Unseen" June 30, 2013 (2013-06-30) 1.99[52]
55 16 "On the Road: Philadelphia" October 6, 2013 (2013-10-06) 2.62[53]
56 17 "Construction Zone" October 13, 2013 (2013-10-13) 1.66[54]
57 18 "Shoo Shoo Spirit" October 13, 2013 (2013-10-13) 1.97[54]
58 19 "Spirit Left Behind" October 20, 2013 (2013-10-20) 1.85[55]
59 20 "Gluten Free V" October 20, 2013 (2013-10-20) 1.88[55]
60 21 "Momma's Boy" October 27, 2013 (2013-10-27) 1.91[56]
61 22 "Diving Right In" October 27, 2013 (2013-10-27) 1.88[56]
62 23 "When There's a Will..." November 3, 2013 (2013-11-03) 1.99[57]
63 24 "Just Me and V in the Catskills" November 3, 2013 (2013-11-03) 2.02[57]
64 25 "Bunny Love" November 10, 2013 (2013-11-10) 1.68[58]
65 26 "Ready To Leave" November 10, 2013 (2013-11-10) 1.72[58]
66 27 "Long Island Medium Revisited" November 17, 2013 (2013-11-17) 1.77[59]
67 28 "Back to Normal" November 24, 2013 (2013-11-24) 2.11[60]
68 29 "Christmas at the Caputo's" December 15, 2013 (2013-12-15) 1.94[61]
69 30 "Unseen 2" December 22, 2013 (2013-12-22) N/A

Season 5 (2014)[edit]

No. in
series
No. in
season
Title Original air date U.S. viewers
(million)
70 1 "On the Road: San Francisco" March 9, 2014 (2014-03-09) 1.87[62]
71 2 "This Nest Ain't Empty Yet" March 16, 2014 (2014-03-16) 1.99[63]
72 3 "A Change Is A-Comin" March 16, 2014 (2014-03-16) 2.04[63]
73 4 "Surprise Visit" March 23, 2014 (2014-03-23) 1.63[64]
74 5 "The Juice is Loose" March 23, 2014 (2014-03-23) 1.79[64]
75 6 "Back to School" March 30, 2014 (2014-03-30) 1.59[65]
76 7 "Medium Love" March 30, 2014 (2014-03-30) 1.74[65]
77 8 "Theresa Visits Jail" April 6, 2014 (2014-04-06) 1.90[66]
78 9 "Chinese New Year" April 6, 2014 (2014-04-06) 1.98[66]
79 10 "It Ain't Easy Being Me" April 13, 2014 (2014-04-13) 1.76[67]
80 11 "Out of the Attic" April 13, 2014 (2014-04-13) 1.94[67]
81 12 "A Portrait" April 20, 2014 (2014-04-20) 1.84[68]
82 13 "Sage is the Rage" April 20, 2014 (2014-04-20) 1.80[68]
83 14 "Ashes to Art" April 27, 2014 (2014-04-27) 1.80[69]
84 15 "Prayers for Petey" April 27, 2014 (2014-04-27) 1.84[69]
85 16 "The Show Must Go On" May 4, 2014 (2014-05-04) 1.84[70]
86 17 "Behind the Read IV" May 11, 2014 (2014-05-11)
87 18 "On the Road: New Orleans" May 18, 2014 (2014-05-18) 1.86[71]

Season 6 (2014)[edit]

No. in
series
No. in
season
Title Original air date U.S. viewers
(million)
88 1 "On The Road: Las Vegas Part I" August 3, 2014 (2014-08-03) 1.48[72]
89 2 "On The Road: Las Vegas Part II" August 10, 2014 (2014-08-10) 1.40[73]
90 3 "In the Out Door" August 17, 2014 (2014-08-17) 1.59[74]
91 4 "Helmet Head" August 17, 2014 (2014-08-17) 1.60[74]
92 5 "Put a Ring on It"[75] August 24, 2014 (2014-08-24)
93 6 "New Dog, Old Tricks"[75] August 24, 2014 (2014-08-24)
94 7 "Ugly Truckling"[75] August 31, 2014 (2014-08-31)
95 8 "Caputo Luau" September 7, 2014 (2014-09-07)
96 9 "Horsing Around" September 7, 2014 (2014-09-07)
97 10 "Family Fundraiser" September 14, 2014 (2014-09-14)
98 11 "Never Before Seen" September 21, 2014 (2014-09-21)
99 12 "Put Up Your Dukes" September 21, 2014 (2014-09-21)
100 13 "Gone Fishing" September 28, 2014 (2014-09-28)
101 14 "Behind the Read V" October 5, 2014 (2014-10-05)

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c d Randi, James (April 9, 2012). "The 'Medium' Is Not the Messenger". Wired Magazine. Retrieved May 19, 2013. "Caputo does what’s known in my trade as “cold reading.” The very best practitioners can pick up enough information in what seems like innocent, idle conversation to convince you that they know very specific things about you. The scientific phenomenon is called the Forer effect — giving credence to vague observations that seem personal. [...] Mediums cannot show they do anything more than cold reading nor that what the TV audience sees is just selectively edited to show “hits” and ignore the “misses.”" 
  2. ^ a b c "The Long Island Medium – Can She Really Communicate with the Dead?". Inside Edition. August 11, 2012. Retrieved May 21, 2013. 
  3. ^ Stewart, Dodai (October 20, 2012). "Super Sad and Misguided Emails Intended for the Long Island Medium". Jezebel. Retrieved May 21, 2013. 
  4. ^ a b Grothe, DJ. "Priceline.com: Will You Prove Your Spokesperson Worthy for a Million Dollars?". The Huffington Post. Retrieved August 15, 2012. 
  5. ^ "Interview with Long Island Medium Theresa Caputo on new TLC series". Channel Guide Magazine. 
  6. ^ "Long Island Medium renewed: Is Theresa Caputo for real?". EW.com. 
  7. ^ "Rare Medium well done". New York Post. 
  8. ^ Cooper, Anderson (March 29, 2012). "Anderson after 'Long Island Medium' Theresa Caputo". Anderson Live. YouTube. Retrieved May 19, 2013. "I'm pretty skeptical about all the psychic medium stuff...She seemed nice, and she was fun, but I just think [...] if you say to a room of 300 people, you know, "sombody here has lost a sister," there's a good chance [of that]...So I am skeptical. I think people just so want to believe in things [like that]. But you know, I am open to possibilities, I just want to see actual proof, and until that happens I just sort of feel like it's my job to be skeptical." 
  9. ^ "2012 Pigasus Awards Announcement". JREF. Retrieved April 30, 2012. 
  10. ^ "TV's Long Island Medium Theresa Caputo Channels The Dearly Departed Negotiator In New Priceline.com TV Spot". Finance.yahoo.com. June 25, 2012. Retrieved August 13, 2012. 
  11. ^ "Petition | Priceline: Remove the Long Island Medium smudging commercial from the air, as well as his return from 'the dead' in a later commercial.". Change.org. Retrieved August 13, 2012. 
  12. ^ "Is The Long Island Medium A Phony? Reality Star Theresa Caputo Subject Of Fraud Investigation, Audience Complaints: ‘After Tonight, I Am No Longer A Believer!’ Rages One Grieving Mom". Radar Online. 4 June 2014. Retrieved 12 October 2014. 
  13. ^ Fenwick Elliott, Annabel. "'She’s a vulture preying on the most vulnerable': Long Island Medium Theresa Caputo is branded a ‘fake’ by private investigator". Daily Mail. Retrieved 12 October 2014. 
  14. ^ Cavazini, Katherine (9 June 2014). "Skeptic: ‘Long Island Medium’ a phony!". Nancy Grace (CNN). Retrieved 12 October 2014. 
  15. ^ Schumann, Redecka (6 June 2014). "Is Theresa Caputo A Fake? ‘Long Island Medium’ Star Bashed By Investigator". International Business Times. Retrieved 12 October 2014. 
  16. ^ Goldstein, Gregg (12 March 2012). "‘Medium’ gets into family spirit". Variety. Retrieved 12 October 2014. 
  17. ^ a b c d "Long Island Medium: Cast & Details". TV Guide. Retrieved March 30, 2014. 
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External links[edit]