Portal:California/Selected article/Archives

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Articles in rotation[edit]

An air photo of Inyo Craters
The Mono–Inyo Craters are a north–south-trending volcanic chain in Eastern California that stretch 25 miles (40 km) from the northwest shore of Mono Lake to south of Mammoth Mountain. The chain is located in Mono County in the U.S. State of California. Eruptions along the narrow fissure system under the chain began in the west moat of Long Valley Caldera 400,000 to 60,000 years ago. Mammoth Mountain was formed during this period. Multiple eruptions from 40,000 to 600 years ago created Mono Craters and eruptions 5,000 to 500 years ago formed Inyo Craters. The area has been used by humans for centuries. Obsidian was collected by Mono Paiutes for making sharp tools and arrow points. Mono Mills processed timber felled on or near the volcanoes for the nearby boomtown Bodie in the late 19th to early 20th centuries. Water diversions into the Los Angeles Aqueduct system from their natural outlets in Mono Lake started in 1941 after a water tunnel was cut under Mono Craters. Mono Lake Volcanic Field and a large part of Mono Craters gained some protection under Mono Basin National Forest Scenic Area in 1984. Resource use along all of the chain is managed by the United States Forest Service as part of Inyo National Forest.
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Hurricane Linda on September 12, 1997
Hurricane Linda was the strongest Pacific hurricane on record. Forming from a tropical wave on September 9, 1997, Linda steadily intensified and reached hurricane status within 36 hours of developing. Subsequently, it rapidly intensified, reaching winds of 185 mph (295 km/h) and an estimated central pressure of 902 millibars (26.65 inches of mercury). The hurricane was briefly forecast to move toward southern California, but instead, it turned out to sea and dissipated on September 17. It was the fifteenth tropical cyclone, thirteenth named storm, seventh hurricane, and fifth major hurricane of the 1997 Pacific hurricane season. While near peak intensity, Hurricane Linda passed near Socorro Island, where it damaged meteorological instruments. The hurricane produced high waves along the southwestern Mexican coastline, forcing the closure of five ports. When Linda was predicted to make landfall on California, it would have been the first to do so since a storm in 1939. Although it did not hit the state, the hurricane produced light to moderate rainfall across the region, causing mudslides and flooding in the San Gorgonio Wilderness; two houses were destroyed and 77 others were damaged, and damage totaled $3.2 million (1997 USD, $4.3 million 2008 USD). Despite the intensity, the name was not retired.
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A 1946 Nixon campaign flyer
In California's 12th congressional district election, 1946, the candidates were five-term incumbent Democrat Jerry Voorhis, Republican challenger Richard Nixon, and former congressman and Prohibition Party candidate John Hoeppel. Nixon was elected with 56% of the vote, starting him on the road that would lead, almost a quarter century later, to the presidency. For the 1946 election, Republicans sought a candidate who could unite the party and run a strong race against Voorhis in the Republican-leaning district. After failing to secure the candidacy of General George Patton, they settled on Lieutenant Commander Richard Nixon, who had lived in the district prior to his World War II service. Various explanations have been put forward for Nixon's victory, from national political trends to red-baiting on the part of the challenger. Some historians contend that Nixon received large amounts of funding from wealthy backers determined to defeat Voorhis, while others dismiss such allegations.
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Eureka Mine and Cashier Mill in Death Valley National Park
Death Valley National Park is a mostly arid United States National Park located east of the Sierra Nevada mountain range in southern Inyo County and northern San Bernardino County in California, with a small extension into southwestern Nye County and extreme southern Esmeralda County in Nevada. The park covers 5,262 square miles (13,630 km2), encompassing Saline Valley, a large part of Panamint Valley, almost all of Death Valley, and parts of several mountain ranges. Death Valley National Monument was proclaimed in 1933, placing the area under federal protection. In 1994, the monument was redesignated a national park, as well as being substantially expanded to include Saline and Eureka Valleys. It is the hottest and driest of the national parks in the United States. It also features the second-lowest point in the Western Hemisphere and the lowest point in North America at Badwater, which is 282 feet (86 m) below sea level. It is home to many species of plants and animals that have adapted to this harsh desert environment. Death Valley National Park is visited annually by more than 770,000 visitors who come to enjoy its diverse geologic features, desert wildlife, historic sites, scenery, clear night skies and the solitude of the extreme desert environment.
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An 1843 map of Rancho San Francisco
Rancho San Francisco was a land grant of 48,612 acres (197 km2) by Governor Juan B. Alvarado to Antonio del Valle, a Spanish army officer, in recognition for his service to the state of Alta California. The rancho was the location of the first documented discovery of gold in California in 1842. The current cities of Santa Clarita, Valencia, and Piru lie within the boundaries of Rancho San Francisco, later known as Newhall Ranch. The rancho is a designated California Historical Landmark.

After Mission San Fernando Rey de España was established in 1797, the administrators there realized they would need more land for agriculture and livestock, and they looked north to the Santa Clarita Valley to establish their estancia, or mission rancho. Subsequently, the Tataviam Indians who had been living there were relocated to the Mission, where they were baptized and put to work. The Estancia de San Francisco Xavier was built in 1804 at the confluence of Castaic Creek and the Santa Clara River.

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The California Condor
The California Condor (Gymnogyps californianus) is a North American species of bird in the New World vulture family Cathartidae. Currently, this condor inhabits only the Grand Canyon area and western coastal mountains of California and northern Baja California. Although other fossil members are known, it is the only surviving member of the genus Gymnogyps.

It is a large, black vulture with patches of white on the underside of the wings and a largely bald head with skin color ranging from yellowish to a bright red, depending on the bird's mood. It has the largest wingspan of any bird found in North America and is one of the heaviest. The condor is a scavenger and eats large amounts of carrion. It is one of the world's longest-living birds, with a lifespan of up to 50 years. Condor numbers dramatically declined in the 19th century due to poaching, lead poisoning, and habitat destruction. Eventually, a conservation plan was put in place by the United States government that led to the capture of all the remaining wild condors in 1987. These 22 birds were bred at the San Diego Wild Animal Park and the Los Angeles Zoo.

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William Seymour, the leader of the Azusa Street Revival
The Azusa Street Revival was a Pentecostal revival meeting that took place in Los Angeles, California and was led by William J. Seymour, an African American preacher. It began with a meeting on April 14, 1906 at the African Methodist Episcopal Church and continued until roughly 1915. The revival was characterized by speaking in tongues, dramatic worship services, and inter-racial mingling. The participants received criticism from secular media and Christian theologians for behaviors considered to be outrageous and unorthodox, especially at the time. Today, the revival is considered by historians to be the primary catalyst for the spread of Pentecostalism in the 20th century.

In 1904, the Welsh Revival took place, during which approximately 100,000 people in Wales converted to Christianity. Internationally, Evangelical Christians took this event to be a sign that a fulfillment of the prophecy in the Bible's book of Joel, chapter 2:23–29 was about to take place. Joseph Smale, pastor of the First Baptist Church in Los Angeles, went to Wales personally in order to witness the revival.

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A color lithograph of the Winfield Scott
The Winfield Scott was a sidewheel steamer that transported passengers and cargo between San Francisco, California and Panama in the early 1850s, during the California Gold Rush. After entering a heavy fog off the coast of Southern California on the evening of December 1, 1853, the ship crashed into Middle Anacapa Island. ll 450 passengers and crew survived, but the ship was lost.

The Winfield Scott has been the object of numerous salvage operations since the crash, and currently rests underwater as part of the Channel Islands National Park and Marine Sanctuary. The wreck site of the Winfield Scott is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The discovery of gold at Sutter's Mill in 1848 brought thousands of people to California in search of fortune until the late 1850s. Since neither the Panama Canal nor the First Transcontinental Railroad had been constructed, people emigrating to California from the Eastern United States had three main routes of passage. They could travel over land, which was expensive and dangerous, or they could sail the roughly 14,000-mile route around South America. This was more attractive to some but no less dangerous, due in part to the rough waters of the Drake Passage. In addition to the inherent dangers of either route, the journey often took as long as six months to complete.

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Temple Sinai
Temple Sinai is a Reform Jewish congregation located at 2808 Summit Street in Oakland, California. Founded in 1875, it is the oldest Jewish congregation in the East Bay. Its early members included Gertrude Stein and Judah Leon Magnes, who studied at Temple Sinai's Sabbath school, and Ray Frank, who taught them. Originally traditional, under the leadership of Rabbi Marcus Friedlander (1893–1915) Temple Sinai reformed its beliefs and practices. By 1914, it had become a Classical Reform congregation. That year the current sanctuary was built, a Beaux-Arts structure designed by G. Albert Lansburgh which is the oldest synagogue in Oakland. The congregation weathered four major financial crises by 1934. It has since been led by just three rabbis, William Stern (1934–1965), Samuel Broude (1966–1989), and Steven Chester (1989–present). In 2006 Temple Sinai embarked on a $15 million capital campaign to construct an entirely new synagogue campus adjacent to its current sanctuary. Groundbreaking took place in October 2007, and by late 2009 the congregation had raised almost $12 million towards the construction. As of 2010, the Temple Sinai had nearly 1,000 member families. The rabbis were Steven Chester, Jacqueline Mates-Muchin, and Andrea Berlin, and the cantor was Ilene Keys.
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Copeland Creek, an area in The Fairfield Osborn Preserve
The Fairfield Osborn Preserve is a 411 acre (1.6 km²) nature reserve situated on the northwest flank of Sonoma Mountain in Sonoma County, California. There are eight plant communities within the property, oak woodland being the dominant type. Other communities include chaparral, Douglas fir woodland, native Bunch grass, freshwater marsh, vernal pool, pond and riparian woodland. The flora is extremely diverse including many native trees, shrubs, wildflowers, grasses, lichens and mosses. A diverse fauna inhabits this area including black-tailed deer, coyote, bobcat and an occasional mountain lion; moreover, there are abundant avifauna (including some neotropical migrants), amphibians, reptiles and insects.

Copeland Creek and its tributaries drain the Preserve as they wend their way down steep ravines toward eventual discharge to the Laguna de Santa Rosa. The property was originally a Spanish Land Grant holding, devolving to private ownership and eventually gifted to The Nature Conservancy; the preserve is now owned and managed by Sonoma State University as a research and education site. An understated natural trail system weaves through the property to provide access to creek canyons, ridges and marshy areas.

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A map showing State Route 160
State Route 160 is a state highway in the U.S. state of California consisting of two sections. The longer, southern, section is a scenic highway through the alluvial plain of the Sacramento River, linking SR 4 in Antioch with Sacramento via the Antioch Bridge. The northern section, separated by the southern by Sacramento city streets, is the North Sacramento Freeway, running from the 16th Street Bridge over the American River to Interstate 80 Business towards Roseville.

This northern section was deleted from the definition in the Streets and Highways Code in 2003, when the relinquished portion through downtown Sacramento was also removed, but it is still maintained and signed by the California Department of Transportation (Caltrans) as SR 160. This portion is also part of the California Freeway and Expressway System, as is the piece south of SR 12 near Rio Vista, though, of the latter, only the southernmost piece in Antioch is built to freeway standards. The entire southern portion, from SR 4 to Sacramento, is part of the State Scenic Highway System.

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Red Hot Chili Peppers performing in 2005
Red Hot Chili Peppers are an American funk rock band formed in Los Angeles, California, in 1983. For most of the band's existence, the members have been vocalist Anthony Kiedis, guitarist John Frusciante, bassist Michael "Flea" Balzary, and drummer Chad Smith. The band's varied musical style has fused traditional rock and funk with various elements of punk rock, and psychedelic rock.

Blood Sugar Sex Magik, released in 1991, provided the group's initial mainstream commercial success. Frusciante left the band in the middle of the tour for the album in 1992, but rejoined in 1998. The reunited quartet recorded Californication in 1999, which went on to sell fifteen million units worldwide, becoming their most successful album to date. It was followed three years later with By the Way (2002), which continued their success. In 2006, the group released the double album Stadium Arcadium, giving them their first American number one album.

The Red Hot Chili Peppers have sold over fifty million albums worldwide, won seven Grammy Awards, have had eight singles in the Top 40 of the Billboard Hot 100 (including three singles in the Top 10), five number one singles on the Mainstream Rock charts, and hold a record of eleven number one singles on the Modern Rock charts.

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A view of the entire campus from Box Springs Mountain
The University of California, Riverside, commonly known as UCR or UC Riverside, is a public research university and one of 10 campuses of the University of California system. The main campus sits on 1,200 acres (486 ha) in a suburban district of Riverside, California, with a branch campus of 20 acres (8 ha) in Palm Desert. Founded in 1907 as the UC Citrus Experiment Station, Riverside pioneered research in biological pest control and the use of growth regulators responsible for extending the citrus growing season in California from four to nine months. Some of the world's most important research collections on citrus diversity and entomology, as well as photography, are located at Riverside.

UCR's undergraduate College of Letters and Science opened in 1954. The Regents of the University of California declared UCR a general campus of the system in 1959, and graduate students were admitted in 1961. The campus is projected to grow to an enrollment of 21,000 students by 2015. To accommodate this growth, more than $730 million has been invested in new construction projects since 1999. Plans are underway to open a medical school—California's first new one in 40 years—by 2012.

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The current touring lineup of The Beach Boys, 2008
The Beach Boys are an American rock band. Formed in 1961, the group gained popularity for its close vocal harmonies and lyrics reflecting a Southern California youth culture of cars and surfing. Brian Wilson's growing creative ambitions later transformed them into a more artistically innovative group that earned critical praise and influenced many later musicians.

The group was initially composed of singer-musician-composer Brian Wilson, his brothers, Carl and Dennis, their cousin Mike Love, and friend Al Jardine. This core quintet, along with early member David Marks and later bandmate Bruce Johnston, were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Class of 1988. The Beach Boys have often been called "America's Band", and Allmusic.com has stated that "the band's unerring ability... made them America's first, best rock band." The group has had thirty-six U.S. Top 40 hits (the most of any U.S. rock band) and fifty-six Hot 100 hits, including four number one singles. Rolling Stone magazine listed The Beach Boys as number 12 in the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time. According to Billboard, in terms of singles and album sales, The Beach Boys are the No. 1-selling American band of all time.

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Griffith Observatory in September 2006
Griffith Observatory is located in Los Angeles, California, United States. Sitting on the south-facing slope of Mount Hollywood in L.A.'s Griffith Park, it commands a view of the Los Angeles Basin, including downtown Los Angeles to the southeast, Hollywood to the south, and the Pacific Ocean to the southwest. The observatory is a popular tourist attraction that features an extensive array of space- and science-related displays.

The land on which the observatory stands was donated to the City of Los Angeles by Col. Griffith J. Griffith in 1896. In his will, Griffith donated funds to build an observatory, exhibit hall, and planetarium on the donated land. Construction began on June 20, 1933 using a design developed by architect John C. Austin based on preliminary sketches by Russell W. Porter. The observatory and accompanying exhibits were opened to the public on May 14, 1935.

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Hearst Castle looking west
Hearst Castle is the palatial estate built by newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst (1863-1951). It is located near San Simeon, California, on a hill overlooking the Pacific Ocean, halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco. Donated by the Hearst Corporation to the state of California in 1957, it is now a State Historical Monument and a National Historic Landmark, open for public tours. Hearst formally named the estate "La Cuesta Encantada" ("The Enchanted Hill"), but he usually just called it "the ranch".

Hearst Castle was built on a 40,000 acre (160 km²) ranch that William Randolph Hearst's father, George Hearst, originally purchased in 1865. The younger Hearst grew fond of this site over many childhood family camping trips. He inherited the ranch, which had grown to 250,000 acres (1000 km²), from his mother, Phoebe Apperson Hearst, upon her death in 1919. Construction began that same year and continued through 1947, when he stopped living at the estate due to ill health. San Francisco architect Julia Morgan designed most of the buildings. Hearst was an inveterate tinkerer, and would tear down structures and rebuild them at a whim, so the estate was never completed in his lifetime.

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A map of where the earthquake occurred
The Coalinga, California, earthquake occurred on May 2, 1983 at exactly 23:42 UTC in Coalinga, California. The earthquake recorded 6.5 on the Richter scale. The earthquake was occasioned by creep along the San Andreas Fault. The Coalinga earthquake was felt from the Los Angeles area north to Susanville (Lassen County) and from the coast east to western Nevada. Through July 31, more than 5,000 aftershocks were recorded, of which 894 had a magnitude of 2.5 or larger. Most of the larger magnitude shocks were felt in Coalinga.

The Coalinga earthquake was caused by an 0.5-meter uplift of the anticline ridge northeast of Coalinga, but surface faulting was not observed. Ground and aerial searches immediately after the earthquake revealed ground cracks and fissures within about 10 kilometers of the instrumental epicenter, none of which appeared to represent movement on deeply rooted fault structures. About five weeks later, on June 11, however, an aftershock caused surface faulting about 12 kilometers northwest of Coalinga.

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The Dakin Building, as viewed from the San Francisco Bay Shoreline Trail
The Dakin Building is an architectural award winning class A office building on the San Francisco Bay in Brisbane, California. Serving as a corporate headquarters building for several companies of national prominence, it was built from the profits of the Garfield character whose licensed products of the R. Dakin Company soared in sales in the late 1980s. Located on Sierra Point, it became a landmark in the San Francisco Bay Area for its distinctive design and was nicknamed the Luke Skywalker building for its dramatic posture overlooking the bay, in contrast to its ominous looking neighbor office building that was nicknamed the Darth Vader building.

The Dakin building has won a number of architectural awards including an American Institute of Architects Design Excellence Award in the year 1992. According to the San Francisco Examiner the jury awarded this distinction to the Dakin building because "Its chief strength is the atrium, with its views of the San Francisco Bay and asymmetrical skylight". The same newspaper article noted that the building "houses executive offices, research and development facilities and product showrooms."

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The Wilshire frontage of the Ebell of Los Angeles
The Ebell of Los Angeles is a women's club housed in a complex in the Mid-City section of Los Angeles that includes a clubhouse building and the renowned 1,270-seat Wilshire Ebell Theatre. The complex has been owned and operated since 1927 by the Ebell of Los Angeles women's club, which was formed in Los Angeles in 1894. Since 1927, the Wilshire Ebell Theatre has hosted musical performances and lectures by world leaders and top artists. Among other events, the Ebell was the site of aviator Amelia Earhart's last public appearance before attempting the 1937 around-the-world flight during which she disappeared, and the place where Judy Garland was discovered while performing as Baby Frances Gumm in the 1930s.

Ebell of Los Angeles was formed as a women's club in 1894, based on the principles and teachings of Adrian Ebell, a pioneer in women's education and organizing women's societies in the late 19th century. The minutes of the first meeting of Ebell of Los Angeles identify its purpose "to interest women in the study of all branches of literature, art and science and the advancement of women in every branch of culture." The club adopted as its motto, "I will find a way or make one -- I serve."

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Islais Creek, with an abandoned, five storey high copra crane shown
Islais Creek or Islais Creek Channel (previously known as Du Vrees Creek, Islais Channel and Islais Swamp) is a small creek in San Francisco, California. The current name of the creek is said to be derived from a Salinan Native American word "slay" or "islay," the name for the Prunus ilicifolia wild cherries. Once the largest body of water in the city, almost the entire creek today is covered by landfill and converted to an underground culvert and a storm drain, with remnants of the creek flowing at both Glen Canyon Park and near Third Street.

The original Islais Creek stretched from the San Francisco Bay 3.5 miles (5.6 km) west into the Glen Canyon Park and O’Shaughnessy Hollow. The creek, once the largest body of water within San Francisco covering an area of 5,000 acres (7.813 sq mi; 20.234 km2), had two branches. One branch originated near the southern slope of Twin Peaks, formerly known as San Miguel Hills, slightly north of today's Portola Drive. It then coursed through Glen Canyon and through what is now Bosworth Street until it reached the bottom of the Mission Street viaduct at I-280. The other branch began at the Cayuga Avenue and Regent Street intersection. The creek flowed from the intersection down to the Mission Street viaduct where the two branches joined.

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Old Kellogg stable at Cal Poly Pomona
The California State Polytechnic University, Pomona , commonly known as Cal Poly Pomona is a public, nationally-ranked, coeducational university, and one of the 23 general campuses of the California State University system. The main campus sits on 1,438 acres (582 ha) of a suburban district in the western corner of Pomona, California a city within Los Angeles County. This figure includes a 53 acre ranch in Santa Paula, California donated in 1978. Founded in 1938 as the Voorhis Unit , Cal Poly Pomona is known for taking a learn-by-doing philosophy in several areas of the educational spectrum.

As a polytechnic university, Cal Poly Pomona maintains strong science and engineering departments. The university's engineering program. Cal Poly Pomona is a member of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU) and a "University of Excellence" according to the National Association of State Universities and Land-Grant Colleges.

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Panning for gold on the Mokelumne River
The California Gold Rush started in January 1848, when gold was discovered at Sutter's Mill. As news of the discovery spread, some 300,000 people came to California from the rest of the United States and abroad. These early gold-seekers, called "Forty-Niners," traveled to California by sailing ship and in covered wagons across the continent, often facing substantial hardship on the trip. Gold worth billions of today's dollars was recovered, leading to great wealth for some; others, however, returned home with little more than they started with. The effects of the Gold Rush were substantial. San Francisco grew from a tiny hamlet of tents to a boomtown, and roads, churches, schools and other towns were built. A system of laws and a government was created, leading to the admission of California as a state in 1850. New methods of transportation developed as steamships came into regular service and railroads were built. The business of agriculture, California's next major growth field, was started on a wide scale throughout the state. However, the Gold Rush also had negative effects: Native Americans were attacked and pushed off traditional lands, and gold mining caused environmental harm.
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The Yosemite Valley
Yosemite National Park is a national park largely in Mariposa County, and Tuolumne County, California, United States. The park covers an area of 1,189 mi² (3,081 km²) and reaches across the western slopes of the Sierra Nevada mountain chain. Yosemite is visited by over 3.5 million visitors each year, with most only seeing the seven square miles of Yosemite Valley. Designated a World Heritage Site in 1984, Yosemite is internationally recognized for its spectacular granite cliffs, waterfalls, clear streams, Giant Sequoia groves, and biological diversity. About 89% of the park is designated Wilderness. It was also the first park set aside by the U.S. federal government. Although not the first designated national park, Yosemite was a focal point in the development of the national park idea, largely owing to the work of people like John Muir. Yosemite is one of the largest and least fragmented habitat blocks in the Sierra Nevada, and the park supports a diversity of plants and animals.
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