Better Than

Discworld Monthly - Issue 120: April 2007

Table of Contents:

1. Editorial
2. News
3. Readers' Letters
4. DiscTrivia
5. Information about the 2008 Discworld Convention
6. Competitions
7. Review: Scheibenwelt-Fest
8. The End

1. Editorial

Welcome to issue 120. Next month we will be celebrating our tenth anniversary issue. I think I am still slightly shocked that we have been going for so long. It has been great fun and your input has helped make it worthwhile. Sometimes when I step out of the study and my children ask my wife who that man is, I wonder if I spend just a little too much time working on it!

Something that has recently made me chuckle was the news that Terry had agreed to sign a "My Little Pony" for charity. Terry insisted on singing a pure white pony and wrote My Little Binky on the side.

The item then went up for auction on eBay. On Thursday with six days to go it had already reached 72 GBP.

To see the eBay item visit:

We've had a couple more letters about Discworld-sounding names found on the round-world this month: Havelock Street in Swindon and a house in St Austell called LLamedos. Those are the last two we'll print on this subject!

Don't forget, if you visit a play or a talk and would like to let the world know about it, please feel free to email your review to and we will consider it for publication.

Jason Anthony (Editor)
William Barnett (Deputy Editor)
Richard Massey (Arkwright)

2. News

There is a new petition up on the UK Government's official Number 10 website to suggest that Terry is awarded a knighthood for his service to literature. You need to be a UK resident to be able to sign the petition. On Monday 19th March there was a grand total of 15 signatures, so a bit of work is needed.

The Wincantonbury Tales

Wincanton; a small town in Somerset and home to The Cunning Artificer and The Discworld Emporium and the Ethernet base for the Discworld Stamps forum. One quiet Sunday, a few of us were gathered and decided to throw together a magazine, written by Discworld fans for fans and The Wincantonbury Tales was born (eventually). This modest tome contains original fiction, puzzles, articles, quizzes and competitions. The issue being published in April is available to pre-order/buy for the princely sum of 3.50 GBP plus p&p of 1 GBP whereever you live in the world and all proceeds are handed over to Bernard and Isobel Pearson to support their current charity.

Email me at for details. (there are a few back issues of the last two fanzines available for sale if anyone would like one).

In the recent Broadcasting Press Guild Awards (BPG) Hogfather won best multi-channel programme. Discworld Monthly would like to pass on our congratulations to all at The Mob for their well deserved award.

News from John at Bonsai Trading:

I read a book once that mentioned Magical Shops (the authors name escapes me, ahem), that appear at random where there was previously just an empty wall - usually for some clever narrative purpose, like supplying the hero with just the right type of goldfish bowl. It seemed fitting then, that many years ago as one of the nameless crowd of non-internet Discworld collectors, that I wandered online and noticed that there appeared to be a blank wall just screaming for a plot development...

You see, there wasn't One place you could buy a lot of Discworld goodies from. Oh, there were online shops for Artificer wares, Kidby wares, Clarecraft figurines etc, but what about the rest of it? And why couldn't as much as possible of this stuff be brought together, so that collectors who like me wandered online and stumbled around these sites couldn't find just One good place to start?

Well - as fate conspired to get me involved in a Discworld fan-site called Bonsai Discworld (long since un-updated I'm afraid), the answer was obvious, and lo, a blank wall suddenly became Bonsai Trading.

I'm glad to say, that the fans rallied around, and supported this new enterprise, and from humble and barely funded beginnings, I was able to build up the great selection of mixed Discworld wares, and all in one-place, that I'd always wanted. The type of place that as a new collector, I couldn't find. To make it even better, I even got to dabble in producing Bonsai Trading exclusive merchandise - meaning that Bonsai will live on all your shelves for many years to come.

While I've yet to supply a Goldfish bowl at just the right time, I've taken great pleasure over the years in the emails from you all, as you try and source just the right gift. The students who wanted an End Of Year gift for their tutor and wondered if Rincewind Running was a nice Clarecraft piece, the many 'Argh, I've forgotten so-and-so's birthday, can you post me something asap?!?' emails, and all the other little nuances that make running a Discworld shop just that little bit different to anything else. I hope you all enjoyed the Bonsai Trading shopping experience, as much as I enjoyed providing it.

However - 5 years, and thousands of customers, later - it's time to move on. Life has dictated that my time must be spent elsewhere, and so Bonsai Trading has now officially closed down. So, with the flick of a switch, the shop fades away to leave only a blank wall... I wonder what will appear there next...?

With best regards, and thanks for your support,

John Pagan - Bonsai Trading

[DWM is very sad to see the closure of Bonsai Trading but are glad to announce that John Pagan has kindly offered to continue to supply Kiss the Cook posters for our Letter of the Month winners until the stock runs out. - Ed]

Bernard Pearson got in contact with me recently to let you know some more information about his exclusive offer on the upcoming Hogfather Special Edition 2 Disk DVD. This is what he had to say:

We can now offer the Hogfather DVD with all the bells and whistles. We are told it will be the limited edition pack which will be individually numbered, include a hidden code to unlock additional content on the dedicated microsite and a note from the author Terry Pratchett. Not only but also..

We will be giving away a full page of the spell book, A3 in size, and because it has to be folded to go in the proper postal package there will be special secret instructions on how you can 'snot-up' (a film expression) your poster to look as old as the artificer himself, with naught but a hot iron, some tea and a sponge. We will be selling posters like this for about 5.00 GBP but never from the HOGFATHER SPELL BOOK, this is a one off.

Now what we don't know is just how many the edition will be, but no one else will get the spell book or the 'instructions on the ancient art of snotting'.

For more information visit the artificers website at

Unfortunately this information came in too late to do anything with but the music of Leighton James House was showcased in London on 18th and 19th March in A Little House Music.

Some of the music that was being performed was from House's musical version of Terry's first Johnny Maxwell novel "Only You Can Save Mankind".

Terry is widely quoted as saying about the musical:

"If I'd known it was going to be this good, I'd have written a better book."

Details of the Discworld Jamboree event are slowly being released and it looks like it will be a great weekend. Having looked at the list of activities that have been planned it looks more like a camping version of the convention rather than a replacement for CCDE (Clarecraft Discworld Event) that many assumed it would be.

Unlike normal Wincanton events there will be lots of activities planned with options for earning badges in various disciplines. I will apparently be running the press corps and will hopefully, technology allowing, be sending out a special edition of Discworld Monthly directly from the field so as to give anyone that can't make it a feel for what is going on.

Included in the price of your weekend ticket is a wonderful sounding Scout Bag that will include: The Book of Scouting, postcards, scouting stamps, a book of vouchers, discount ticket for some local non-Discworld events, a helium balloon, tickets for the band on Saturday night and much more.

More details of the event can be found at:

Dave Hodges's bits have moved! Information about Dave's range of Bar-B-Ques and tent pegs has moved location to:

Discworld Dates...

This section will contain events that you need to keep in your diary. Entries will remain until they go out of date. New entries will include the word [New] next to them. If this section gets too large we will start pruning entries.

[UK, Updated] The Broken Drummers is a London Discworld Group that meets once a month on a Monday evening. Membership is free - just come along. New members and visitors to London are both welcome and encouraged.

April's meeting is on Monday 16th April from 7.00pm onwards at the Essex Serpent, 6 King St, Covent Garden, London, WC2E 8HN in the cellar room.

For more information go to or e-mail

[UK, New] Chelmsford Theatre Workshop will be performing 'Carpe Jugulum' at The Old Court Theatre in Chelmsford, from 18th - 21st and 25th - 28th April, and tickets priced 6 GBP are now on sale from the Civic Theatre Chelmsford on 01245 606505. Please see the web site for further details

[UK] The Manor Theatre group will be performing Wyrd Sisters at Warnham, near Horsham on Friday 20th and Saturday 21st April, and Billingshurst on Saturday 28th April.

Further details at:

[UK] To celebrate their tenth anniversary, the Purple Theatre Company will be returning to the Disc this May with Wyrd Sisters.

Playing at Ickenham's Compass Theatre from the 9th May, tickets go on sale from 19th March, and can be booked through the box office on 01895 673200.

[AU, New] Unseen Theatre Group will be presenting a world exclusive of Pyramids (adapted by Danny Sag) at the Bakehouse Theatre, 255 Angas Street, Adelaide.

The production starts with a preview on May 11th (tickets 12 AUD).

Then follows with the play proper on May 12th, 16th, 17th, 18th, 19th, 23rd, 24th, 25th and 26th (tickets adults 16 AUD, concessions 14 AUD, Fringe Benefits 12 AUD, Groups (10+) 10 AUD).

Bookings can be made on 82270505

More information from:

[AU, New] Brisbane Arts Theatre will be performing Jingo at the Arts Theatre, 210 Petrie Terrace, Brisbane, Qld Australia from May 26 till June 16 2007.

The opening night special costs 35 AUD and includes supper and chance to meet the actors.

Regular tickets cost 25 AUD adult, 20 AUD concession or 20 AUD for groups of 10+.

Show plays Wed to Sat at 8pm and one Sunday Matinee on June 10 at 2pm.

[UK] Tabs Productions will be performing Wyrd Sisters at the Pomegranate Theatre, Chesterfield from Saturday 26th May to Saturday 2nd June. Tickets cost 9 GBP or 7 GBP concessions.

Saturday 26th is a preview night with all tickets costing 5 GBP.

Box Office: 01246 345222

The same production will be performed at Octagon Theatre, Yeovil from Tuesday 12th - Thursday 14 June. Tickets cost 10 GBP or 7.50 GBP concessions.

Box Office: 01935 422884 hhtp://

For any other information see

[UK] The Rhoda McGaw Theatre in Woking will be performing Maskerade from 30th May - 2nd June. Details will follow as soon as I get them.

[UK] The Art of Josh Kirby - Walker Art Gallery, Liverpool, 16 June to 30 September 2007

The first retrospective exhibition of science fiction artist Josh Kirby. Born in Liverpool in 1928 and trained at Liverpool School of Art he began his career producing film posters, moving to book and cover art for magazines. Some of his more famous work includes the first cover of Ian Fleming's Moonraker and the poster for Monty Python's Life of Brian and he is best known for his cover illustrations of Terry Pratchett's Discworld series.

[UK] The Random Salad Company will be performing Carpe Jugulum from Tuesday 10 July to Saturday 14 July at 7.30pm.

Tickets cost 8 GBP (7 GBP concessions) for all areas.

New Theatre Royal, 20-24 Guildhall Walk, Portsmouth, PO1 2DD

Box office: 023 9264 9000

Small Ads...

Please note, DWM has no way of checking the veracity or validity of any of the items in our small ads section. As always, exercise caution when giving out your details over the Internet. We *strongly* recommend parental supervision for younger readers who
follow up any of these contacts.

Carolyn Buckle writes: Myself and my partner are looking for willing volunteers to help steward the entertainments marquee at the Discworld Jamboree in Wincanton during August. This will be a wonderful event, organised by Bernard & Isobel Pearson, and will be shed-loads of fun, we're sure! Anyone who's attending, and who would be willing to give up a couple of hours of their time during the event to help us ensure the smooth running of 'people in, people out' etc. of the marquee, please drop me an email with contact details, and we'll talk!

Be a part of the event! Help make it work! Earn our undying love and gratitude! With 1,000 elephants! (disclaimer: we may be lying about the elephants).

S. Anstee writes: I have what I believe to be a first edition hardcover of Eric. Any ideas how I can confirm it is a first edition as I am looking to sell it and need this confirmed?

Anthony Woodley writes: I am trying to find a Terry Pratchett head designed, made and sold by Paul Kidby and the Bursar Vixen site but they are all sold out. I am willing to pay treble the original price of 19.99 GBP and would love one to complete my set.

[Do you mean the Terry Pratchett Toby jug? As far as I know there was only Rincewind, Death and The Librarian's heads created by Paul Kidby - Ed] <> writes: Can anyone throw light on the situation regarding the 'Unseen Library' editions of the canon? The production seems to have stopped. I was expecting the next three volumes late last year but nothing in my book club newsletters. E-mails went unanswered or I was told "we no longer carry that line". I don't want to go into a rant, I just want to keep buying them!

3. Readers' Letters

If you have any letters or comments, please email them to

We assume any correspondence is eligible for use in the newsletter unless otherwise stated, including the sender's email address. We may also edit your letters for reasons of interdimensional security.

It is vitally important that you don't pass off other people's work as your own. If you use information from other resources please let us know so we can give proper credit.

The best letter of the month will receive a Kiss the Cook print supplied by Bonsai Trading. Bonsai Trading is the Discworld store that brings you Clarecraft figurines, diaries & calendars, Thud and much more.

* From: "Janardhan R"
Ever since I started reading Discworld Monthly, I have always wanted to be the first one to have spotted and reported the story behind one of Terry's numerous literary/ cultural/ pop-cultural/ historical/ weird allusions. Readers, please do correct me if I am wrong, but I do not quite recall anyone else referring to the story behind the Unseen University motto - Eta Beta Pi.

My wife, Sushan, came across this interesting piece while researching a story, that immediately prompted me to write this mail.

"William Hogarth was born near Smithfield, London, in 1697. Hogarth passed on to us the London he loved in all its gritty detail by becoming a storyteller. Instead of a pen he used a brush and an engraving tool to draw a series of morality plays: The Harlot's Progress, The Rake's Progress, Marriage a-la-Mode, Industry and Idleness, among others.

He loved entertaining and one of his invitations to dinner became a collectors' item. Adorned with a knife and fork, it read: "Mr Hogarth's compliments to ----- and desires the honour of his company to..." followed by the Greek characters Eta Beta Pi (say it aloud!).

Aha - ha to that.

Regards Janardhan (Mumbai, India).

* From: "Mal Whitelaw"
I am writing to tell you about the new Los Angeles Terry Pratchett Meetup Group!

We're a fledgling L.A. based Meetup with monthly meetings in a local cafe. Each month we choose a new Discworld book and discuss it. Join up by visiting and we'll hope to meet you soon!

* From: "Gemma Moore"
I recently moved from the UK to Japan (seemed like a good idea at the time) and due to a stupidly small weight allowance on the plane could not bring any of my books so having a bit of a withdrawal problem. I currently get very excited if I find an English bookshop, so far managed to find a copy of Good Omens and hope to rebuild my collection, although not sure what I will do with two copies of everything once I move back to the UK in a few years. Also if there are any other TP nuts over here in the Land of the Rising Sun I would love to know, especially if you are in the south west of Honshu.

* From: "Gerard Mulvey"
Just thought you might like to let the readers know that if they have the game Discworld Noir and have a new PC with Vista on that so far the game appears to run. As everyone who owned it will know it wouldn't run on XP. I pulled it out and thought I'd give it a whirl and what do you know it installed. It threw a bit of a wobbly when it asked "do I want a desktop icon", but I think as I'd just put disc 1 back in it tried to autorun, causing that. I then located the install folder and double clicked the icon and up it started up. So far so good!

DWM replies: I think it is wonderful that Bill Gates has seen the error of his ways and has decided to make his latest operating system work with Discworld Noir. I wonder if he is a fan?

* From: "Belinda Walker"
I just read the synopsis for "Making Money" - with the mint that is making a loss.

Somehow I think that this may refer to the Australian Mint in 1966. When decimal currency came in in 1966, they minted a special silver 50 cent piece. Unfortunately after it was designed - and at about the time of release - the price of silver rose to such a level that there was actually more than 50 cents worth of silver in the coin. Apparently in the silver boom of the 80s, the value of the silver in just one coin was about 11 AUD.

See this link:

* From: "Jim Robertson"
Greetings to you all from sunny Portugal, where the spoken tongue resembles Russian, and the notion of a flat world meets with hysteria from the local priests. As a truck driver, (who is often late delivering because I'm caught up in a Discworld book), I get to see many things that are not noticed by normal people. One of these is a plaque, on the wall of the courtyard of the Stationers Guild, very close to St. Pauls in London, to a gentleman named deWord. Come on Terry, this can't be a coincidence. Actually, it's only a small place, but the rooms are old, having survived the Great Fire and the Blitz, and the local cops wear a uniform reminiscent of the 1800s. Isn't history wonderful!

* From: "Pierre Mare"
I'm from South Africa and quite an avid fan of Terry, I've recently read Monstrous Regiment, and after digesting the contents (we have really good red wine here!) I see a huge similarity to the state of this nation under the Apartheid government, prior to Nelson Mandela taking over (and thank God he did!), the "Abominations of Nuggan" are ridiculously similar to the laws of the day, and the tie between religion and Govt /armed forces, which all kind of blurred into a Nugganesque reality we are only now coming down from.

* From: "Kieran Green"
In response to O Caris's comment/inquiry about a North American Discworld convention - Last year a movement began on the Livejournal Discworld Community ( to see about organizing a DiscCon on this side of the ocean. This led to the creation of a separate community for discussion of a Con over here:

In recent months that discussion board has gone quiet, but the person who started it just posted there at the end of February to say the idea has not died. So work is afoot.

DWM replies: Kieran gets this month's Letter of the Month.

* From: "Alex Beaumont"
I know I keep sending letters to Discworld Monthly but I believe I have genuinely exciting news. I work in a bookshop and today I checked to see if there was a release date for "Making Money" (my colleagues laughed at my squeal of delight). In the list under "Terry Pratchett" as author I saw a book due to be published in April 2008 called "The Colour of Magic: Illustrated Screenplay" by Terry and Vadim Jean (more squealing ensued). Can it be true that they are making a Hogfatheresque version of the Colour of Magic. Has anyone else heard any rumours?

4. DiscTrivia

This month I will be asking questions about Men at Arms (incidentally the first Discworld novel I purchased in hardback - and the first and only Discworld dustjacket I lost because I naively lent it to a friend and forgot to remove the dustjacket first - now how about that for DiscTrivia?)

What does Carrot do when he is feeling homesick?
Which king reigned in AM 907?
a) Artorollo
b) Tyrril
c) Veltrick III
d) Webblethorpe the Unconscious
What did Lance-Constable Angua mistake Nobby Nobbs for when she first saw him?
Where does Angua stay in Ankh-Morpork?
Who designed the gonne?

The results, as always, appear at the end of this issue.

5. Information about the 2008 Discworld Convention

On behalf of the committee for the 2008 Discworld convention, I am very happy to announce that we have confirmed our venue and date for the 2008 convention. The 2008 Discworld Convention will take place from the 22nd to the 25th of August at the Hilton Birmingham Metropole Hotel.

Full details of membership and hotel costs will be announced when we launch the revamped website at Easter, but we are planning an introductory membership fee of 50 GBP (a 5 GBP increase on the 2006 starting price).

The previous three conventions were hosted at the Hinckley Island Hotel and many of the attendees at those events have very happy memories of those events and of the hotel. For many members (and committee staff), the Hinckley Hotel became almost synonymous with the Discworld convention. However, while the 2006 convention was a great success, the hotel itself did not provide an entirely perfect experience, although the friendly and helpful attitude of many of the staff was, once again, an important contributor to an enjoyable weekend.

The committee thought very hard before choosing a new venue for the convention, but we are very excited by the possibilities of the new hotel. In particular, we are looking forward to making the most of a main event room that can seat the entire membership (so no more people missing out on the opening ceremony or Terry's interview).

Most of all, though, we are excited about seeing you there. We want to see our old friends and regular attendees, who have done so much to create the happy memories of previous Discworld events that motivate us to work towards the next convention. We want to see the new members and the surprises and new ideas they will bring. And Terry will be turning up at some point, don't forget.

Much more information will be available when we re-launch the website:

Until then, hello again and I'm looking forward to seeing you in Birmingham.

Can't wait!

Bruce Richardson, Chairman, Discworld Convention 2008

Now that the venue details are finalised and the announcement has been made we would also like to welcome you to some new discussion groups for fans interested in the 2008 Convention:

You can subscribe to the new mail list here:

There is also a LiveJournal community to join here:

Any other forums or lists will be announced as appropriate.

As always remains your one stop shop for information in the short term.

6. Competitions

Last month PJSM Prints offered us a signed facsimile edition of The Light Fantastic to give away.

In order to win this excellent book all you had to do was answer the following simple question.

If you don't win The Light Fantastic Facsimile Edition how much in pounds sterling would it cost to purchase a signed copy from PJSM Prints?

Then answer we were looking for was 40 GBP. The randomly selected winner of the competition was Valerie Mardel of Farnborough, Hants.

We would like to thank PJSM Prints for providing this excellent prize.

The Ankh Morpork Assassin's Guild Annual Teatime Prize

To honour the remarkable disappearance of Mr Jonathan Teatime (Teh-ah-time-ah), The Ankh Morpork Assassin's Guild is proud to officially announce the opening of this year's Teatime Prize competition.

In past years, The Ankh Morpork Assassin's Guild has awarded students who have devised the most creative, yet technically accurate, hypothetical inhumation.

This year, we ask prospective entrants to consider the hypothetical inhumation of Mustrum Ridcully, Archancellor of The Unseen University. In keeping with The Ankh Morpork Assassin's Guild code of conduct, we maintain that any actual inhumation would require payment, although it should be once again stressed that this is a hypothetical inhumation of Mustrum Ridcully.

We are looking for only the most stylish, strategically minded and devastatingly creative minds ... and if you believe that you can be the next Jonathan Teatime, please send your entries to by Thursday April 19th.

After the controversy of last year's Teatime Prize ceremony - in which many long, detailed entries (complete with complicated maps and lengths of statistical data) were lost due to a corruption in the Clacks system - The Guild has decided to place a 750 word limit to prevent a similar incident from occurring. However, we will be more than happy to see any accompanying diagrams.

In addition to the prestige synonymous with the The Ankh Morpork Assassin's Guild Annual Guild Annual Teatime Prize, this year the winner of the prize will be awarded a Ghastly Omnion Torture Chamber (victim figures not included), generously donated by Toys Is Me.

The Teatime Prize winner will be announced on April 23rd, the release date of Terry Pratchett's Hogfather on DVD, and carefully selected by the film's Director Vadim Jean.

7. Review: Scheibenwelt-Fest

Review by Helen Nicholls, Kris Russell and Pat Harkin.

Scheibenwelt-Fest, 23-25 February 2007, Freusburg, Kirchen, Germany.

Scheibenwelt-Fest was the 1st Discworld Convention to be held in a non-English speaking country and only the second non-UK Discworld event - the Australians beat the Germans to that title by a couple of weeks. Guests included Bernard Pearson who had made a Discworld stamps first day cover and LBE [Little Brown Envelope of stamps - Ed] and a medallion. Lee and Dewy the Thud team were there and a Thud Tournament took place.

The setting was a castle on top of a mountain and the theme was Uberwald. Parts of the castle are around 1000 years old although much is more recent. It was a perfect setting for a Discworld event.

Your three intrepid, raving, reporters arrived at the castle at twilight on Thursday. We saw a solitary light in one of the high windows and made our way towards the castle singing There's a Light (Over at the Frankenstein place) from the Rocky Horror Show. Happily we were welcomed by members of the committee and shown to our room.

Given the absurdly low cost of the weekend, we had wondered what the standard of food and accommodation would be like. However, we need not have worried. Freusburg is a youth hostel and the rooms were simple-six berth mini-dorms - but they were clean and had good washing facilities, and a fantastic view over the mountains.

There was a wide range of programmed events over the course of the weekend. Since these were in German we did not attend many. Rentawitch went to one of the dance classes where the English speakers made sure she could follow the instructions. Terminally uncoordinated, Kris says this was great fun. We also took the King's Shilling and were sworn in as members of the Watch. CSI look out! The forensics were impressive and gory! We joined in with City Watch knife throwing practice, where we threw (plastic) knives at the Patrician (a photo of Stephen Briggs as Lord Vetinari).

Originally Terry had not been scheduled to attend but delighted all of us by reaching Scheibenwelt-Fest by Saturday afternoon in time to present the trophies for the Thud tournament and to do a signing and Q&A session.

Saturday evening was the Vampire Ball which included a Maskerade that, Terry said, was even better than the Australian one. First prize was won by an impressive Miss Treason (with Raven).

This article is just a bit longer than Jason requested so we'll finish by saying what was the best thing about Scheibenwelt-Fest - the Germans. The English contingent consisted of 9 people in total including Terry and yet the Germans went out of their way to be hospitable and included us by speaking English even to each other, making us vow to learn German for next time. Because we'll definitely be going (which will probably be in 2009) - and we advise you to do the same.

8. The End

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* Disc Trivia Results *

What does Carrot do when he is feeling homesick?
He sits in the cellar and hits himself on the head with an axe handle (although this was apparently not the same).
Which king reigned in AM 907?
b) Tyrril
What did Lance-Constable Angua mistake Nobby Nobbs for when she first saw him?
Fred Colon's pet monkey.
Where does Angua stay in Ankh-Morpork?
With Mrs Cake.
Who designed the gonne?
Leonard of Quirm.

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