Gautama Buddah Biography
Siddharta Gautama, better known as Buddha Gautama was a sage on whose teachings Buddhism was founded. It must be emphasized that Buddha Gautama is not a god nor the only or first Buddha since Buddhist cosmology affirms that only humans can achieve Buddhahood, that is, reach enlightenment.
He was born in the Sakia republic in Kapilayastu, in the foothills of the Himalayas, the current border between Nepal and India, 560 BC. He died in Kusinagara, today Kasia in present-day India in 480 BC. He taught about the middle path between sensual complacency and strict asceticism. His figure, his speeches, and rules were summarized and memorized by his followers, apparently by oral tradition until they were written after 400 years of his death.
About his life, we only have fragments that come from three great sources: the Vinaya, the sutta-pitaka and the buddhacarita of Asvaghosa, texts written after his life. And in his biography, legends and traditions are mixed that take us away from exact dates and acts.
Even so, it is certain that he was part of a high caste family. His father was Suddhodana, monarch of the Sakya, a clan of the region where he was born. Her mother, Maya, did not know her because she died a week after her birth. His childhood and adolescence were his own courtesan origin, that is, with extensive studies. He also married his cousin Yasodhara and had a son named Rahula.
Being 29 years affected by his good economic and social condition and reflecting on the sufferings of his peers, he decided to leave the palace to find the cause of human pain and a way to be free. Thus he gave himself to rigorous asceticism but did not find any knowledge.
After many years of meditation without results, the full moon day of Visakha (May of 523 a.) Seated under a sacred fig tree in Uruvela, next to the river Ganges, decided that it would not move from there until reaching the true knowledge. Which came during the night because he had overcome the temptations that the god Mara had put him to get him away from his goal and Gautama gained enlightenment and became the Buddha, that is, the Enlightened One.
On the basis of his knowledge, he dedicated himself to preaching the dharma which is the supreme doctrine or law of all things. His first disciples were five followers of asceticism his companions before whom he delivered his first sermon known as Discourse on the movement of the wheel of dharma and in which he explained for the first time the doctrine of the Four Truths. Here is a fragment of what was collected much later: “Only this Eightfold Noble Path; that is, Right Understanding, Right Thought, Right Language, Right Action, Straight Life, Straight Effort, Straight Attention and Straight Concentration. This, O monks, is that middle path that the Tathagata has penetrated that generates the vision, that generates knowledge, that leads to peace, that leads to wisdom, that leads to enlightenment and that leads to Nibbana.
This, O monks, is the Noble Truth of Suffering. Birth is suffering, old age is suffering, the disease is suffering, death is suffering, associating with the undesirable is suffering, separating from what is desirable is suffering, not getting what you want is suffering. In short, the five aggregates of adherence are suffering.”
These five companions were the first members of the sangha (the community) that was expanded during the following years because the new faith was spreading and thus the organization of Bhikky, that is, the monastic community of the nascent Buddhism.
Buddha Gautama escaped after an assassination attempt at the hands of his cousin Devadatta, then his family (wife and son) were converted to the new doctrine but soon after Buddha became ill with dysentery, which killed him at the age of 80. His body was incinerated, and the ashes were objects of worship that were distributed among the closest disciples and they were kept in ten funerary monuments.
Finally, Buddha did not leave any written work, all his knowledge and teachings were transmitted orally and years later it was transcribed in the Canon Palo. His doctrine was open to all social classes and is defined by some as:
“He defended that the being is subject to samsara, the wheel of births and deaths, in motion until the action (karma) does not stop it, understanding by karma the destiny of a living being conditioned by the acts performed in their previous lives.”
In his teachings he picks up the middle path that is the path that leads to liberation, the four noble truths (about suffering and its origin), the noble eightfold path that is a method to stop suffering and thus arrive at nirvana defined as “a dimension in which the consciousness that is totally unstructured and peaceful and, consequently, ends all suffering originated by the interaction of the psyche and the will with the conditioned world.”
On his appearance, there are records of his great beauty that made many people think that the path to stop suffering was linked with physical beauty, although this was never proposed by Buddha Gautama. They described it as “It equals the autumnal golden jujube; it is as clear and radiant as a fruit that, newly ripened, loosens its stem and falls from the palm tree. As well as a gold ornament, carved into the crucible by a skillful goldsmith, deftly beaten and arranged on a bright yellow cloth, it thus shines and shines. And even so, the good Gotama’s judgments are calm as his complexion is clear and radiant.” What shows us not only a great love and respect for Buddha Gautama but also the beauty of the words of his disciples.
Jesus Of Nazareth
Jesus Of Nazareth Biography
Jesus Christ, also known as Jesus of Nazareth, Christ, or simply Jesus; whose original Hebrew name was Yeshua or Yahshua which means “Salvation” or “Yahweh saves” and is a contraction of Yahoshua, which means “The Lord who is Salvation”. It is the figure on which Christianity is based and one of the most widespread in the culture of the West, since it is not only considered by the Christians as the son of God but also as his incarnation, that is, it is God made man, who came to earth with the mission of giving salvation to humanity from sin, through his message and his sacrifice on the cross.
The word “Christ” is a Greek term that means “Anointed” equivalent to the Hebrew “Mashíaj” translated as “Messiah”.
His life and work appear in the Bible in the books of the Gospels, written by those who were his first followers and apostles.
It is believed that he was born approximately in the sixth century BC, in the bosom of a humble family of Nazareth. Being the young Mary (Miriam) and Joseph (Yosef), who became their adoptive parents, since, as stated in the Bible, the birth of Jesus was supernatural because it was not the product of a sexual intervention, but that the same God chose Mary (when she was a virgin) to take God’s son in her womb, so that this was a conception by the spirit, a fact of which she was informed by the angel Gabriel who appeared to her and tell her.
Although traditionally in the Roman calendar (which is the one that most of the world uses) it is believed that the birth of Jesus of Nazareth was on December 25, the true date according to the Hebrew calendar is in the month of Tishrei (September-October), in which the Jews celebrate the festival of Sukkot.
After suffering the persecutions of King Herod that led the family to take refuge for a while in Egypt, his childhood developed without alterations in the city of Nazareth. Around the age of 30, Jesus Christ began to be constituted as a teacher of the Law or Rabbi, through his preaching, adhering to the preaching that John the Baptist had given.
“I give you a new commandment: that you love one another. For as I have loved you, so you also love one another.” Jesus of Nazareth
One day, after one of his preachings, Jesus of Nazareth was baptized by John in the Jordan River, and at that moment the first announcement of his bond with God took place since John affirmed that Jesus Christ was the Messiah who God who had promised. Subsequently, the Baptist was captured and beheaded by Herod for making such claims. Then Jesus took charge of the task initiated by him and began to preach his truth.
During this time, Jesus Christ recruited some men who were engaged in professions such as fishing or tax collector, which later became his twelve apostles and accompanied him on his evangelizing journey.
The preaching of Jesus Christ, consisted in a revision of what is established in the Law through the use of simple words and a poetic language, adding to the already established, concepts such as love of neighbor, the detachment of material goods, forgiveness, and hope in eternal life. In addition, the use of teaching methods such as the parable. Thus, the humblest began to identify with his proposal and spread the news of the many miracles (healing, the resurrection of deceased persons, multiplication of the bread, etc.) that he was carrying out.
His great reception in the town, plus accusations of moral hypocrisy to the Pharisees, caused the official authority to see Jesus of Nazareth as a threat.
So, he was denounced before the Roman governor: Pontius Pilate, for allegedly having proclaimed himself King of the Jews and Messiah. It should be noted that, in reality, Jesus always spoke of the kingdom of God and not of an earthly one.
Then the government began to surround him. However, Jesus already knew that the end of his days on this earth was coming, so he gathered his disciples in what was called “The Last Supper” to bid farewell to them and entrust them with a special mission.
Thus, he was imprisoned on the Mount of Olives as he prayed, as narrated, with the collaboration of one of his disciples: Judas Iscariot, who betrayed him for thirty pieces of silver. Such a situation started a process in which he was violently mistreated, before finally being crucified on Golgotha. According to the bible three days later, he rose again and ascended to heaven.
Thus, the apostles were responsible for continuing the spread of their message throughout the world, which they did so successfully that Christianity enjoys great popularity and followers around the planet today.
John Lennon Biography
John Winston Lennon, better known as John Lennon, was an English musician and activist, recognized as a member of the band The Beatles. He was born in Liverpool, United Kingdom, on October 9, 1940. His father, Fred Lennon, was a deserter in World War II and escaped as a ship’s crew to North Africa. His mother, Julia Stanley, joined another man, John Dykins, and left John in the care of his sister Mary Stanley, better known as Aunt Mimi, and her husband George Smith.
When John was 16, he entered the Liverpool Art Institute, from which he was expelled. Later, his mother gave him an acoustic Galore, the first guitar with which he would try to make sense of his life. Soon after, he formed the band The Quarrymen with his classmates Pete Shotton, Nigel Walley, and Ivan Vaughan. On July 6, 1957, Ivan introduced him to a boy two years younger than him, Paul McCartney. The following year they changed the name of the group to “Johnny and the Moondogs.” On the other hand, John and Paul also gave some presentations as a duo with the name of Nurk Twins.
In 1960, John Lennon shared an apartment in Liverpool with his friend painter Stu Sutcliffe. After Stu won 50 pounds in a painting contest, John convinced him to buy a bass and join the group. As he did not know how to play the instrument, he was constantly criticized by Paul. The group reconstituted then with John, Paul, George, Pete, and Stu with the name The Silver Beatles. As of June of that year, the group definitively changed its name to The Beatles. The following month John left the School of Art and on August 16th The Beatles left for Hamburg, Germany, where they debuted at the Indra Night Club and where the single My Bonnie, recorded by Tony Sheridan, was released with choirs of the Beatles. The owner of a record store, Brian Epstein, approached The Cavern, and after seeing John and his band perform, offered himself to be their representative.
After severe headaches, Stu died due to a brain stroke. From that moment, The Beatles career shot to success with the addition of Ringo Starr on drums. In June, they signed a five-year contract with the record company EMI. That same year, John married Cynthia Powell, who was pregnant, and on September 4 the band recorded their first single Love me do. In 1963, they debuted on TV on the BBC program Thank You, Lucky Stars and edited Please, Please Me and Ask Me Why. In February, they started their first British tour and in March, Please, please, Me was ranked first in the Melody Maker ranking. On April 8, Cynthia gave birth to Julian Lennon, and shortly after the single, She Loves You was published, which was placed in the No. 1 position in the North American rankings. A few days later, the single I want to hold your hand and the album With The Beatles were released. On February 7 of the following year, The Beatles landed at the John F. Kennedy airport in New York and were greeted by thousands of teenagers on the brink of a massive hysteria attack. Two days later, they performed on The Ed Sullivan Show. They also offered concerts in Washington, Miami and Carnegie Hall in New York. In March 1964, John’s first book, In His Own Write, appeared and in June 1965 he published his second book, A Spaniard in the Works.
“Do not count on me if it’s for violence. Do not wait for me on the barricades unless it’s with flowers.” John Lennon
In October 1965, the Queen of England honored The Beatles with the Knights of the Order of the British Empire Medal. John Lennon refused to allow the Beatles to act in South Africa as a protest against apartheid. The last Beatles tour of North America began in August. In Toronto, Lennon invited all the young people of the world to declare their rejection of the Vietnam War. In Memphis, the Ku Klux Klan caused altercations during a group concert. On November 9, John received an invitation from a group of artists called “Symposium of the destruction of art” to see an artist of the Japanese avant-garde. The artist was Yoko Ono, and they both started dating together a year and a half later.
In February of the following year, a single with the subject of John Lennon was released, Strawberry Fields Forever, and in the B side, Penny Lane, of Paul McCartney. On June 1, the Beatles’ most ambitious and revolutionary album, The Band of Sergeant Peppers, appeared in Britain. On August 24, Brian Epstein died in 1967 from an overdose of barbiturates. Despite this, Lennon married on March 20, 1969, with Yoko Ono. Shortly after, the animated film Yellow Submarine was premiered at the London Pavilion of the British Capital. On November 22, the white double album of The Beatles went on sale, which quickly entered the list of successes. A week later, John and Yoko edited Two Virgins.
In January 1969, The Beatles began recording a movie and a disc with the same name Let it be, which ended with a surprise concert on the roof of the Apple studios in London. On April 22, John Winston Lennon changed his name to John Ono Lennon and recorded with Paul McCartney, The Ballad of John and Yoko. In May of that same year, John and Yoko released their second album Life with the Lions. In September, the album Abbey Road was published in Great Britain, which contained the novelty that one of the faces was totally hooked, without separations between song and song. On April 10 of the following year, Paul resigned from the group and on May 8 the last official Beatles album was released: Let it Be. In April of 1970, the group dissolved. This was a liberation for John Lennon since from that moment he gave free rein to his individual creative fertility.
On December 11th, 1970, the album John Lennon / Plastic Ono Band was released with great critical acclaim. In November, the song Imagine was released, which became the anthem of world peace and John Lennon’s most famous and best-known song. In June 1972, Some Time in New York City was released and on November 10, Mind Games were published. In 1974, Lennon started working on the album Walls and Bridges. A year later he released the album Rock’n’Roll and announced his retirement from the music industry to devote himself to his wife and second son, Sean Lennon Ono. However, on November 21, 1980, Double Fantasy was published worldwide simultaneously, with seven songs by John and seven by Yoko. The main theme was Woman.
Finally, on December 8, 1980, the murderous bullets of a disturbed worshiper ended his life. There was no public funeral, only ten minutes of silent meditation.
Andy Warhol Biography
Andrew Warhola, widely recognized as Andy Warhol, was a famous and controversial cartoonist, painter, plastic artist, film director, and American publicist. He was born on August 6, 1928, in Pittsburgh and died in New York, on February 22, 1987, at 58 years of age.
Warhol was a participant in the consolidation of modern art, for his contributions to pop art, identified by representing images of popular culture. He always tried to capture the characteristics of everyday objects and thus expose the essence of his country, for example, a bottle of Coca-Cola or the paint of a can of Campbell Soup (1962). However, his work was rejected by critics repeatedly and judged negatively by mixing in excess the world of business, consumerism, and commercial, with the art world. Despite so many reproaches, Warhol’s work kept alive the question about what art is and who should decide it.
Warhol started as an illustrator. Then he went into pop art, using painting as a means of expression. He then devoted himself to painting completely everyday objects that can represent the consumerist and capitalist American environment, where the personal became public and adopted an expressionless character. He also dedicated himself to portray celebrities.
At that time the cinema appeared, and Warhol decided to be a director. His works exposed an experimental character, with a point of view located in the marginalized belonging to the subcultures of the moment; they are too long films, with irreverent and unconventional themes and arguments. Sleep, for example, where the actor slept for six hours; or Empire, eight hours, where the view from the Empire State is shown. After the attack that would experience, Warhol, moved away from the film production.
Andy Warhol was the third son of Andrej and Julia Warhola, both of Slovak origin. In his childhood, he suffered from Sydenham’s chorea, a disease that affects the nervous system and causes involuntary movements. He was also a hypochondriac. For long periods he could not leave his bed, he was just drawing. Sometime later, he would enter the Carnegie Mellon University, in Pittsburgh, to study commercial art. Then, he would travel to New York City, to work as an illustrator and designer of album covers and other commercial items, such as shoe advertisements. In relation to this job, later, at the beginning of the 70s, he would work on the covers of the Sticky finger and Love you live of the Rolling Stones.
Between November 6 and 24, 1962, Warhol presented his first exhibition in New York, at the Stable Gallery. Then, he created a studio or workshop called The Factory which began to become popular. In 1965, Warhol became manager of the group The Velvet Underground but only lasted a few months. On the musical level, apart from his closeness to renowned singers, Warhol caught the attention of David Bowie, it can even be considered as an influence for him; in 1971 one of Bowie’s songs would be titled, Andy Warhol.
On the other hand, the decade of the 60s would conclude with a not so lucky event. On June 3, 1968, the writer Valerie Solanas shot him. She was a member of The Factory and the publicist would produce one of her plays but lost the draft. Warhol received two shots that caused serious injuries, despite this, he refused to testify against Solanas. She was admitted to a mental clinic. It is likely that the incident had other reasons.
In 1969, Warhol launched his fashion magazine Interview. In the decade of 1970, he was dedicated to portraying artists of the stature of Mick Jagger, John Lennon, Elizabeth Taylor or Michael Jackson. Warhol also worked for BMW, painted the company’s vehicles that would be exhibited in exhibitions of a line called BMW Art Car. In 1975, he published the book the philosophy of Andy Warhol: from A to B and from B to A. Most of the texts that he edited, when they were not collections of images, approximate the format of his personal diary; he also approached the editing and transcription of fragments of telephone conversations. Warhol used to record his conversations, including those made in person; he was always accompanied by a portable recorder.
In the 1980s, he strengthened ties with some neo-expressionist groups and movements of the trans-avant-garde. He also participated in several productions with Miguel Bosé, a portrait and an appearance in one of his music videos. However, the sales of their exposures decreased. Warhol continued to portray various personalities from the political and economic world.
As an artist, he always refused to comment on his work. Most of his audiovisual and plastic creations addressed the subject of sexuality. However, Warhol did not make any personal comments about his inclinations; Regarding his religious beliefs, he always was considered a member of the Byzantine Roman Catholic Church, he even went to church quite frequently.
On February 22, 1987, Andy Warhol died of a postoperative arrhythmia after a gallbladder procedure. After the respective ceremony, the coffin was left in the Byzantine Catholic Cemetery of San Juan Bautista, in Pittsburgh. The coffin was buried next to a edition of the magazine Interview. That same year the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts was created. In his hometown, there is a space dedicated to commemorating his life and work: the Andy Warhol Museum.
Walt Disney Biography
Walter Elías Disney was born in Chicago, Illinois, on December 5, 1901, and died in Burbank, California, on December 15, 1966. Walter was a director, producer, animator, cartoonist and screenwriter from the United States, winner of the Oscar Award 22 times, plus 4 honorary awards of the Academy, and of the Emmy in 7 opportunities.
Walt Disney is known for his famous children’s characters such as Mickey Mouse or Donald Duck, and for founding one of the most important animations, film, and entertainment companies, Walt Disney Productions.
Walt Disney is the son of Elias Disney, a farmer of Irish ascendancy who had come from Canada, and Flora Call, a school teacher. Walt was the fourth of five children. When he was five years old, the family moved to Marceline, Missouri, where Walt spent a happy childhood drawing and playing with his sister Ruth. However, in 1909, his father became ill with typhoid fever and was unable to work in the field, so he had to sell the farm and go to Kansas City to work as a delivery boy for the Kansas City Star, with the help of his children Walt and Roy. Due to this work, Walt graduated from the Benton Grammar School in 1911. Then he did several jobs while studying at the Art Institute of Chicago and at McKinley High School, where he was a school newspaper cartoonist.
“All our dreams can come true if we have the courage to pursue them.” Walt Disney
During the First World War, Walt Disney wanted to imitate his brother, who was in the Navy, and he appeared in the army after leaving the Institute but was not admitted because of his age. Preventing the same thing happening, he presented himself to the Red Cross lying about his age, and this organization sent him to Europe when Germany had already signed the armistice. In Germany, he drove ambulances in which he drew and took some officers from one place to another until in 1919 he returned to America, to Kansas City.
While in Kansas City and thanks to his brother Roy, he got a job where he had to create ads for magazines, cinemas, and newspapers. In this job, he met Ubbe Iwerks, with whom he founded an advertising company in 1920, which they had to leave shortly afterward because of the lack of clients. Later, they both were hired at Kansas City Films Ad, where they learned basic animation techniques.
After studying anatomy and physics, and experimenting with his work team, Walt Disney started his own studio called Laugh-O-Gram Films. In it, he dedicated himself to producing animated short stories of popular stories, but that cost them more than they earned. This is why his studio went bankrupt in 1923 and Disney traveled to Hollywood in search of opportunities.
In Hollywood after knocking on doors looking for an opportunity without success, so he decided to send the last short film he had produced in his previous studio, Alice’s Wonderland, to the distributor Margaret Winkler, who hired him to make more films. To do this, Walt set up a studio in his uncle’s garage and entrusted his brother Roy with the financial issues, founding the Disney Brother’s Studio, which would be the beginning of Walt Disney Productions.
After successfully exhibiting nine Alice films, Disney created Oswald, a character whose show, Oswald the Lucky Rabbit, quickly triumphed when it was distributed by Universal Pictures. Before this, the husband of Margaret Winkler asked Disney to continue working on this new series for a lower salary, and that it did not really matter if he refused because he and Universal Studios had the rights of the character. Walt Disney refused and preferred to create a new character, Mickey Mouse. This one appeared for the first time in 1928, but in its beginnings, it did not attract much attention. It was not until the implementation of sound that became a resounding success, having the voice of Walt Disney himself.
After 1930, there were already different products of Mickey Mouse, and several personalities had admitted their sympathy for the character, among which were politicians such as Jorge V, Roosevelt, and Mussolini. By 1935, all Disney short films already had sound and color image.
“Ask yourself if what you’re doing today will get you where you want to go tomorrow.” Walt Disney
After making several series of short films, such as the Silly Symphonies, Disney wanted to make his first feature film, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs, which was seen by the public as a too risky bet. The study ran out of money before finishing the film, reason why Walt had to borrow money from the Bank of America.
After two years of production, from 1935 to 1937, Snow White was released, managing to raise more than six times the enormous sum that the production had cost. With the income, Disney opened some studios in Burbank and hired more employees. However, in 1941 several workers called a strike to complain about the poor salary and the lack of prominence they had in the credits. Disney, which refused to recognize the demands at the beginning, had to agree at the end because of the bad image that the strike was having on his name and his company.
In the forties, the company was economically affected by the World War II, but he was able to recover thanks to the adaptation he made of the market, which now asked for different formats than the short film. By the 50s, Disney was introduced in the market of the television and the action movies. In 1955, the Disneyland amusement park was completed. Already by the 1960’s, Walt Disney’s company was considered to be the most important family training company in the world and after receiving 26 Oscar Awards for his productions, 10 feature films, 12 short films and 4 honorary awards, one of them for having created Mickey Mouse, Walt Disney died on December 15, 1966, due to cardiorespiratory arrest.
Gilbert Baker Biography
Gilbert Baker was an American activist and designer, known for being the designer and creator of the flag of the LGBT community. He was born in the United States on June 2, 1951.
Between 1970 and 1972 he was part of the United States Army, where he was assigned to San Francisco at the time of the LGBT liberation movement. After graduating with honors from the army, he decided to learn sewing and started creating banners for protests against the war and for the rights of homosexuals. At that time, he met the politician and activist Harvey Milk, with whom he had a great friendship.
Around 1979, he started working at the Paramount Flag Company in San Francisco. He began designing advertising panels for political figures as prime minister of the People’s Republic of China, for the presidents of France, Venezuela, and the Philippines, and for the king of Spain. He also did some work for the Democratic Party, as well as several creations for numerous civic events, for the celebration of the International Day of LGBT Pride in San Francisco.
On June 25, 1978, at the LGBT Pride Festival, Gilbert Baker for the first time waved the flag he represented to LGBT communities; which was the creation of the most important symbol for the LGBT people. The first two flags of the parade were sewn and dyed by hand. Their colors reflected the diversity of the LGBT community. The eight colors that makeup Baker’s design have the following meanings:
- Pink: Sexuality.
- Red: Life.
- Orange: Health.
- Yellow: Sunlight.
- Green: nature.
- Turquoise: Magic-Art.
- Indigo / Blue: Serenity.
- Violet: Spirit.
In 1994, Gilbert Baker traveled to New York where he continued with his creative work and activism. In that year he created the world’s largest flag (at that time) for the commemoration of the 25th anniversary of the Stonewall riots.
Around 2003, with the objective of commemorating the twenty-fifth anniversary of the LGBT flag, Gilbert Baker made a two-kilometer rainbow flag that crossed Key West from the Gulf of Mexico to the Atlantic Ocean. After the celebrations, he sent several parts of the flag to more than a hundred cities around the world.
The design of the flag had some changes, due to the availability of fabrics in the market. In 2008, the most widespread variant has six horizontal stripes of red, orange, yellow, green, blue and violet, and red appears at the top, as it would appear on a rainbow; so Baker referred to it as “the commercial version,” because it was born from the need to mass production.
Gilbert Baker died in New York while he was sleeping on March 31, 2017, at the age of 65.
On June 2, 2017, Google dedicated a doodle in tribute to the 66th anniversary of the birth of Gilbert Baker.
PARTICIPATIONS IN CINEMA AND TELEVISION
In 2003, Gilbert Baker and his project in Key West appeared in the documentary Rainbow Pride, by Marie Jo Ferron.
Gilbert Baker recreated the original rainbow flag for the movie Milk in 2008.
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