Sunday, August 27, 2017

Orchid Cactus - Care and Growing Tips

The Orchid Cactus, commonly known as Brahma Kamal, Night Blooming Cereus and Lady of the Night, is a beautiful cacti that bores large cup shaped flowers in varied colors such as red, pink, white, yellow and even mixed light an dark colored. With little care and regular pruning, one gets to enjoy a beautiful bloom which would go on for months. Though the plant is known as Orchid cactus, yet it is not an orchid at all but a cactus. The plant must have got it's name because of the beauty of the flower similar to that of orchid and the rest of the plant resembling a cactus. The flowers  do resemble the shape of the orchid but are large and have a lovely fragrance. The flowers of orchid cactus are known to bloom after sunset, as they start out blooming slowly. It takes around two hours for the flower to bloom fully but once it is done, it stays open throughout the night.  And hence Orchid Cactus are also called as 'The Queen of the Night'. In India the orchid cactus is known as Brahma Kamal and is looked upon as a sacred plant. The name Brahma Kamal is derived from the word 'Brahma' which is the name of Lord Brahma in Hindu Mythology who is the God of Creation and 'Kamal' which means a 'Lotus' for its resemblance with the flower. Lord Brahma is usually seen holding the Brahma Kamal in his hand. One is considered to be really lucky if he gets to see a fully bloomed Brahma Kamal. In India, Orchid Cactus are found in Himalayas and now is hugely popular as a house plant.

Care and Growing Tips for Orchid Cactus

Orchid Cactus can be the best hanging plants, as there is not much of tedious task taking care of them. Being a cactus, the plants do not need frequent watering. They can serve as the best indoor plant as they are less messy. Let us learn some care and growing tips for orchid cactus.

1. If planning to grow them outdoors, it is ideal to choose a wall or plant them in hanging containers which can be placed anywhere it gets filtered sunlight.

2. Regular pruning plays a main role in the orchid cactus care. Regular pruning helps the plant to grow as a fuller plant. And once pruning is done,  the plant starts  growing again actively. The ideal time for pruning is Spring. Once the plant is pruned, you should use the pruned stems to propagate by trimming the stem just below the portion where the leaf meets stem, trimming half of the leaf on the stem and dipping the stem in water for a while. Then just plant them back in soil besides the orchid cactus to get more and more of these gorgeous plants.

3. Being a cactus, the plant should be watered sparingly. But during growing stage,the orchid cactus needs water and shouldn't be left to dry out completely. It is best to spray out the stems and root area occasionally to unclog dust and other particles.

4. Instead of nitrogen rich fertilizers, it is advisable to use rich organic fertilizer for growing thee plants.

5. Never do overpotting of the orchid cactus. If you plan to repotting, try it with a new pot and new soil which is nearly dry. Repotting should be done once a year not more than that. Once repotting is done do not water for at least 2 to 3 days, then water sparingly for next couple of weeks.

6. Winter is the resting period, so do not bother them with much watering. Instead water them only as much would keep the stems strong and plump. 

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

What is Wildfire

Also referred commonly as forest fire, grass fire, bush fire, brush fire, hill fire or woodland fire; a wildfire is a uncontrollable fire which usually occur in wild land ares and tend to cause maximum damage. Though the wildfires usually start in forest areas, yet if not brought under control, spread quickly destroying vegetation or agricultural areas within the vicinity. Usually forest fires happen in those areas, which are with ample dry bushes where once ignited and left unnoticed, the fire spreads quickly.

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Causes of Wildfire

There are many causes of wildfires which include a

- lightning

- volcanic eruptions

- heat waves

But the most common cause of wildfire is human carelessness. On an average out of every ten wildfires, eight are caused by people. Few factors like drought, climatic changes may also impact a risk of wildfire. During droughts, wildfire are particularly prevalent, as the dry leaves, twigs, branches etc may become highly inflammable and if a small ignite went unnoticed, could cause fire and read widely throughout the area destroying homes. Wildfire can lead to death of animals and destruction of property.

Wildfire are common occurrence in the wildland areas of United States and Canada. Same is the case with the vegetation areas of Australia and Western Cape of South Africa. 

Monday, August 21, 2017

Solar Energy - The Most Important Non-Conventional Energy Source

Sun shines on the same level and intensity on the homes of poor and the rich. It is free of cost and in abundance all over the world, all year around - even during cloudy days, we receive some amount of sun rays. The way coal is used up throughout the world to produce electricity, there would come up a time when it would be a history. So all mankind would have to depend on for other means of electricity is nuclear power and available renewable energy sources such as sun, wind and biomass. The solar radiation that reaches the earth is one of the source of energy available to us and is freely produced. It also happens to be one of the most important non-conventional energy source. Solar energy is termed as one of the important energy source because directly or indirectly it can be converted into various forms of energy such as heat and even electricity. And hence solar energy is one of the most valuable heat source and an electricity source. It is also referred as a renewable energy because being a natural resource, it has the capability of being regenerated over and over again without any chances of being depleted or diminished.

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Solar Energy Safe for the Planet Earth

Solar energy or solar power is not harmful for planet earth. First of all, while producing solar energy from the sun, no pollutants are emitted unlike thermal energy.When thermal energy is produced from burning coal or natural gas, pollutants are produced. This is not the case with solar energy and it is a clean energy source. And beside being a free energy source, solar energy also is forever unlike fossil fuels which will get depleted and would exhaust completely in few decades. The use of solar energy could never destroy the environment. The solar radiation which are produced from the sun get absorbed within the earth, sea, oceans and the atmosphere around us. This results in the rise of temperature and heat production. The heat and humidity produced rises to high altitudes where due to the condensation process, clouds get created. These clouds bring us rain and thus, bring water back to earth's surface. As water is important for the life on earth, there does not seem to be any harm from this non-conventional energy source.

Photovoltaic System

Also referred commonly as PV system, Photovoltaic system is a power system which is designed to produce solar power or electricity directly from the sunlight. This system includes various arrangements of components such as solar panels, solar inverter, cabling, mounting and other electrical accessories which help to trap sun rays and convert it into solar power. Photovoltaic originates from the Greek words 'phos' which means light and 'Votaic' named after the Italian physicist - Alessandro Volta. Alessandro Volta, fondly known as Volta was a scholar in the study of electricity. He is credited to be the inventor of electrical battery. Photovoltaic system thus produces clean and reliable electricity without the use of fossil fuels. The electricity produced by using solar power through photovoltaic system can be used in domestic lighting, street lights, village electricity set-up, water pumping, water filtering, water heating, telecommunications, watches, railway, road signals as well as space stations. Since photovoltaic system could be called as a relatively new concept, solar energy is not widely used yet. Also being a complete new technology, the whole process of setting up solar plant is expensive compared to other sources of energy.

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Solar Cells

Solar cells also known as solar battery or photovoltaic cells are electrical devices which convert the light energy into electrical energy using the photovoltaic system. The solar cells or solar battery contains semiconductors with silicon alloys. They are also called a PV devices and are used in major proportions to power satellites and solar cars.

Solar Thermal Power Plants

Solar Thermal Power Plants are constructed to produce large amounts of solar energy. This is done by planting huge solar panels which heat up water into creating steam and then the steam is piped into huge turbines to produce electricity. This electricity generated is transmitted over the power lines.

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What is Thallium

Image result for ThalliumNamed after the Greek word 'Thallos', Thallium is a soft, grey metal. It is a poor and malleable metal, soft enough to be cut with a knife at room temperature. Thallos means a green twig and thallium was named so for it's green spectral line. Thallium is highly toxic in nature and hence needs to handled with care. Thallium is very shiny though it dulls quickly in presence of oxygen. With the process of oxidation, thallium turns bluish grey and resembles lea. I order to prevent the oxidation of thallium which ends discoloring it, thallium has to be stored in mineral oils. Thallium is a toxic metal and should never come in contact with skin.

Uses of Thallium

Thallium is mainly used in electronic industry. Out of 70% of it's annual global production is used up in electronic industry. Rest of it is used in pharmaceutical industry for the production of nuclear medicine and also by the glass industry. Thallium is also used for the treatment of ringworm and other skin infections despite of it's toxic nature. Thallium sulfate is effectively used as a rodent killer and an ant killer as it is odorless and tasteless. 

Friday, August 18, 2017

Expansion of Idea - We are a Part of Environment, Not Apart from Environment

Whenever there are news about environment degradation, global warming or various pollution problems, we tend to feel sad and then forget about it, as if it is not our problem. We curse others for the problems they create to the environment and try to play safe as if we are not part of it. We leave the solution to the problem on the government and blame it for not doing anything. Thus we fail to realize that it is not just the government who should try to solve the environmental problems, but we too are part of the environment and not apart from it.

We, as living beings maintain a symbiotic relationship with the environment. Our actions affect the environment and which in turn affects us back. Whether we would exist or not is totally upon the different aspects of the environment. And hence we play an important part in keeping our environment balance. If environment loses its balance, we are badly affected, our existence is badly affected and hence we should actively participate in playing our part in safekeeping our Mother Nature. It is time that we realize our existence totally depends on the environment and by assuming that we are apart from it, we are actually threatening our own existence. 

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

How do Eyes Get Their Colour

No two people in the world have the exact same eye colour. Eye get its colour from the melanin pigment which is present in the iris. Usually when a baby is born, there is an absence of melanin and hence the baby has a blue coloured eye. The melanin is produced by the melanocyte stroma only within 6 to 36 months after birth of a child, and thus the child get its permanent eye colour then.

Image Sources - Google

Very little or complete absence of melanin gives an eye it's blue colour. Adding more melanin than regular makes an eye green. Little more melanin and the eye appears in different shades of brown or hazel. The exact amount of melanin present within your iris is determined by once genetic factor.

Since melanin is not repeatedly produced by one's eye, our eyes may get little lighter or darker as time goes by. Eye colour also changes with factors like stress, medication, health problems and sickness. As we start aging the eyes increase melanin production which also can cause change in the eye colour. 

Career As A Nurse

If the term 'compassionate' defines you and you have the willingness to serve the ill, then nursing is just the profession for you. A career in nursing is always in demand. given the rise to innumerable health care establishments, institution, orphanage and old age homes. Even the tremendous growth of private practitioners and small nursing homes boosts for the demand of trained nurses. Nurses in a wide array, shoulder a big responsibility and play a significant role in healthcare profession. The responsibilities of a nurse is more than any other career or profession could demand. And hence only those who have immense will power, dedication and spirit to serve as well as those who are ready to work for long hours in severe stressful conditions should opt for this career.

Responsibility of a Nurse

A nurse tends to shoulder a great responsibility as he or she play a significant role in healthcare profession. Few of these responsibility includes:

- Taking bedside care and nursing patients by administering medicines and prescribed treatments.

- To maintain day to day records of each patients.

- To carry various duties to be performed by the nurse.

- To supervise the arrangement of the medical equipment and to monitor the performance of each of these equipment.

- In specialty hospitals, nurses need to acquire complete knowledge and experience of particular specialty they are working for such as cardiac care, pediatric care, orthopedic care and so on.

- A nurse should be competent and aware of the latest technological development and advancements in the medicine fields.

Aptitude for Being a Nurse

The career as a nurse is adept for those who can call themselves patient, responsible and dedicated. Since the profession of nursing calls for loads of hard work, pressure and stressful conditions; being physically fit is a must. Being watchful, alert, compassionate and tactful are few of the qualities the nursing profession demands for. A nurse needs to master the efficiency on how he or she an handle a patient and yet be professional. When coming to care for patients, a nurse should still be able to identify the thin line between the instinct to serve without getting emotionally attached. Being pleasant in all situations is an important criteria of being a nurse.

Eligibility for Being a Nurse

After completing 10 + 2 in Science field, a person can apply for Bachelor in Nursing. Though many opt for Diploma in Nursing, which is of a duration of one year to 18 months, yet a Bachelor's Degree is a must for those who wish to pursue a Ph.D in Nursing. A Ph.D in Nursing can be pursued only after the successful completion of Post Graduation in Nursing. Certain specializations can also be opted for, if you have some specialties particularly in mind. For example a student can opt for a specialization in Neonatal Nursing, Public Health Nursing or even in Psychiatric Nursing as part of their Ph.D program. One more specialization a person can opt for is the Industrial Nursing, wherein a student learns more about nursing and being in assistance of the industrial physicians. What an Industrial nurse learns is more about the knowledge of Preventive measures and first aid that could be provided to people who have met untoward mishaps or accidents happening within the industrial premises.

Scope for a Nurse

After successful completion of their nursing course, a person can seek employment with the nurse career choices as a Nurse Practitioner, registered nurse or a nursing assistant in many government as well as private healthcare centers, nursing homes, orphanages, schools, sanatoriums, old age homes, industries as well as armed forces. A nurse can also seek employment with organizations such as Red Cross Society or NGOs depending upon what direction her heart is set out and also how she wishes to contribute to the society. The profession of nursing has no expiration date, as health and medical advancements would always hold the topmost priority for the mankind. 

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

How do Fruits and Vegetables Get Their Colour

Don't we always wonder how carrots could be red or orange, eggplant are purple and grapes or lush green! Let us understand how fruits and vegetables get their rich colours. The colour of the fruits and vegetables are caused due to the pigment which are found in them. Most of these pigments are mostly chlorophyll which gives the green colour, carotenoids which give the yellow, orange and red colour and anthocyamins which give the fruits and vegetable various colours such as blues, purple and reds.

The carrot gets it's orange colour due to the presence of carotenoid pigment, carotene. Carotenoid present in the tomato namely lycopene gives the fruit it's red colour. The red berries get the red colour due to the pigment anthocymins. The red beet get it's red colour from the pigment betaleins. And the green leafy vegetables get the colour due to the pigment, chlorophyll.

These pigments present in the fruits and vegetables contain nutrients. These nutrients are beneficial for us and hence eating a particularly coloured fruit and vegetable does benefit us some way or the other. When we consume red coloured fruits, they protect our cardio-vascular system. The benefit of eating orange and yellow fruits and vegetables is it's contribution to the overall well-being of our eyes. The green vegetables work as a natural detox and the purple fruit and vegetables work as a reinforcer of an immune system. 

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Importance of Ethics for Kids

Apart from good education and knowledge, ethics helps us to make choices that shape out our beliefs and allows us to supervise the decisions that we take throughout our life. Importance of ethics in life of kids need to be understood well. Ethics help us to have conscience and shouts us the reality loud and clear that we are mere human with heart and soul. Ethics similar to that of education, never leave us. It helps to govern us in every sphere of our life. Ethics also help us to create a ray of hope when depression or disillusionment tries to seep in. Ethics help us to rise above all odds even in the realm of hopelessness. Your behavior and personality is demonstrated by the way you perceive ethics.

Image Source - Google

We usually try to differentiate ethics from moral and value; wondering what is different about them. Values are the standard rules that we set to make for our decisions. It help us to understand what is right and what is wrong. Values help us to decide what is more valuable for us and what is not. This helps us indirectly to make the right choices. Morals help us to judge a person or his character. On a broad spectrum, moral has wide influence on us than values. Ethics on the other hand is a combination of both moral and values which helps us to make set of rules, embraced by group of people. A person with lack of ethics or moral values could classify him as a living being without heart and soul.

Our thought process usually is defined by it's ability to make certain decisions based on the questionnaire which include -

- How not to be prejudiced against people.

- To have a sportsman spirit.

- To be truthful.

- To have compassion not just for humans but every living being around us.

- To avoid bad language.

Our ability to answer these questions helps shaping our thought process and make us who we are. So does the lessons of the value education which we learn in classrooms. Overall these things help us to sculpt our own identity.

Image Source - Google

Ethics and Value Education

Children often skip their value education classes or substitute them with other pursuits such as hobby classes or sports practice or even prefer spending time learning academics. But what they tend to forget by doing so is how they are actually missing on the most important lessons of life, which could help them carve their own self. The importance of values education needs to be understood by children as well as their parents. Value education helps a child to construct a solid base of ethics which can provide him an insight of being right about his decisions. Value education helps a child to judge rationally in every stage of life including even smaller decisions of right or wrong such as -

- Whether it is right to bully someone?

- Whether it is right to cheat in exams?

- Whether it is right to lie to parents and teachers?

 Whether it is okay to gain success by unfair practices?

When a child is about to answer all these questions fairly, then the lessons of value education has reaped it's benefits.

Ethics and Moral Values

A child is a good child when he is capable to illustrate all the moral values inculcated in him. These moral values could include values of -

- Respect

- Responsibility

- Integrity

- Compassion

- Determination

All these above mentioned values help a child to make ethical and righteous decisions in life. Thus moral values play an important role imbibing ethics in a child's life. Whenever a child is in a position of making a decision, how big or small, he would ask himself first - 'Is this the right thing to do?' When a child makes decisions based on this simple question, always remember that not one person will have the power to influence him. The decision of this child would be completely based on his moral conscience.

Lack of Ethics

Thus we understand that ethics help to carve a child's identity and allows to shape his own beliefs. But wonder what happens with lack of ethics in kids! Lack of ethics happen when value education and moral values are neglected. Thus lack of ethics may inculcate negative impact on a child's conscience. The capability of making right decisions is completely depleted, which further influences the criminal tendencies. Thus lack of ethics in kids could result in major unrest and downfall of the society.

Ethics - Role of Parents and Teachers

And hence to get things right, it is imperative to introduce moral values and value education in a child's life, right from the beginning. It is important to teach ethics in primary school by introducing value education and moral values. And introducing them as part of the current education system is not enough; but parents too can play an important role in inculcating ethics in children. A parent too can start early helping a child understand the importance of ethics and moral values. An authoritative figure such as a father, mother or teacher are been looked upon as role models by the kids. And hence their perception of right or wrong can heavily measure upon a child. Thus unknowingly actions and decisions of parents could leave a remarkable impression on a pre-conventional level in a child's life. If you as a parent show compassion toward animals, a child learns it too. If you respect others, a child grasps that value too. If you spread love, a child is bound to do the same. 

Expansion of Idea - Laughter is the Best Medicine - 2

In today's world, where anxiety and stress tend to rule over us, laughter is the only thing that can help us stay put. Considered as a good agent of relaxation, laughter works as a real stress-buster, as it releases positive energy within. We live in a mechanized world where we have no time to entertain and socialize with people. And hence laughter comes out as the only solution to lighten our moods and relax us a bit, so that we get ready to await our next challenge.

Laughter clubs are seen established throughout the city. We find people coming together in gardens early morning to spend some quality time laughing out and reliving stress. Usually old people are found in larger groups creating their own laughter club in gardens. By laughing out loud they forget the drudgery of life, their old age problems and the pain. Instead of taking anti-depressants, people are getting more and more involved in the favorable effects of laughter. As compared to anti-depressants which can leave you with loads of side effects, laughter brings with it pure pleasure and fun.

Cracking jokes makes us laugh, which in turn stimulates our body and improves blood circulation. Laughing also brings glow to our face and provides an excellent exercise for our facial muscles. So next time you get hit by an anxiety attack, laugh it out and feel the difference. Not only laughter will leave you refreshed but it will boost new vigor and enthusiasm in your dull and boring life. 

Thursday, August 3, 2017

Why Do Our Hands and Feet Go Numb?

Very often we experiences our hands and feet go numb. This usually happens when we sit in certain position for a long time or even when our hand or feet is folded for a long time. Once you change your sitting position or stand and relax you legs, give a rub to the numbed portion or pinch it, the tingling sensation within your numbed part slowly recedes and you body regains normalcy.  This numbness is usually temporary and diminishes after a while, but in certain instances, such numbness could become permanent.

What Causes Numbness

While sleeping many of us are in the habit of placing their arms under their head. When we do so the nerve signals are blocked as the pressure is applied on nerves. Same is the case when you cross your legs or fold them into sitting position for a long time. In such cases the body part resumes normalcy as soon as you rub your hand for a while or change the position. But it is not just the position that could block the nerve cells, it could also be some diseases such as kidney failure, diabetes, and vitamin deficiency or a damage due to some accident that could cause to block the nerve cells and stop the blood circulation. Few other reasons could include alcoholism, infections and autoimmune diseases such as Lupus and paralysis.

However the tingling sensation that you experience within your hands or feet may be followed by severe pain. Such a condition where the nerves are distantly blocked right from the part of the body that experiences numbness up to the brain is known as Peripheral Neuropathy. In this condition nerves are blocked distantly right from the brain throughout the spinal chord upto the hand or feet. In such cases a person may find it difficult to feel anything in his hands or legs and the numbness could overpower his sensations.

Numbness which is temporary usually disappears in no time. But certain numbness that has caused due to nerve damage or other diseases need medical evaluation. Medical field has solutions to regenerate the ability of peripheral nerve cells to overcome numbness as long as the nerve cells are not completely destroyed. 

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

The Power of Being Yourself - How Can You Make A Difference

History is the proof that one person can change, create or destroy the world if he wishes to. If a person has an insight of what he wants to be in life and if he has the will and determination then there is nothing that can stop him from achieving his goals. A single individual does have a redoubtable power to accomplish his goals all by himself without worrying about the hurdles that would be placed in front of him. The realization of dream and the determination to achieve it can make a real difference to not just to one but to the society at large. Thus just by being oneself a person can really make a difference to people around him. In today's world, children seem to think more about bringing such changes within the society. Nowadays we see children wondering about how can they make the difference in the society. They have more to offer to the people around them, as they are young, strong-willed and determined.

History in itself has examples of several such individuals who had made a difference within the society single-handedly. People like Mahatma Gandhi and Gautam Buddha have managed to contribute remarkably to the society all alone by just being themselves. Their ideas and opinions were such that everyone had to accept and walk with them. And they are not just all, there are many such individuals who, just by being themselves and with their determination managed to make a difference to the destiny of an entire nation.

Making a Difference by Contributing to the Society

Once a child is determined to achieve his goals, then age of this individual does not matter at all. Determination within yourself helps to undertake a noteworthy change in not just your life but also on the life of others around you. Even a child can carry on tasks, if he wishes to contribute to the society. If the goal that you plan to achieve is to contribute within the society by making significant involvement, no matter small or big, then you can do so by undertaking simple tasks around you. Such simple tasks would include certain activities that you would wish to undertake depending upon how you wish to contribute to the society. Few of these tasks could include:

1. Visit to an old age home and spending quality time with old and abandoned people. You can read to them, write letters for them, help them with some of their daily chores, participate in activities along with them such as gardening or reading, playing indoor games such as chess.

2. Visit orphanage and spend time with children who are less fortunate that us. You can distribute books, pens, pencils, drawing materials etc, read to them or play with them.

3. Visit Special schools and take care of specially challenged children.

4. Just lend out a helping hand to someone in need. It could be a kid next door, who needs help with homework or some craft activity or an elderly neighbor who needs to get some medicines from pharmacy.

5. Help your parents to carry on some household chores.

6. Teach kids of nearby slums or even giving tution to your maid's child.

7. Register with a NGO and volunteer for activities which spark your interest such as help in collecting old clothes, donations, toys, books etc.

Making a Difference by Contributing Towards Nature

If the goal that you plan to achieve is to contribute towards nature, then you can make significant involvement towards activities which help restore or balance the nature. Such activities could include:

1. Being considerate towards animals and creating awareness of such.

2. Create awareness among people about environmental degradation and explain them how use of plastic bags could harm the nature.

3. Helping people understand the importance of tree plantation.

4. Encouraging children from the society to join you in plantation drive within the society premises.

5. Create awareness among people and your friends about the importance of saving electricity.

6. Help people understand the importance of saving water.

7. Encouraging children from your society to join you in cleanliness drive.

8. Create awareness among people about importance of recycling paper, cans and plastic bottles.

9. Register with a NGO and volunteer for animal shelter or nature care activities.

However it does not mean that you should spend your entire time towards reaching your goals. A small step at a time should be sufficient too. Starting slow and carrying on until you get the hold of it on how you wish to continue towards achieving your goals is important.

Once you take a first step alone, you will realize that one can single-handedly carry on to make a difference in lives of people, at least few of those around you. The satisfaction that you would get by doing something you enjoy doing most  and the positive effect it would have on lives of others will make your life meaningful. Even teaching your maid's child and seeing him learn something he otherwise would not have will provide you enough encouragement to go on. That would be your first step towards Victory. And finally remember that no one else is going to help you achieve your dreams, you have to use the power of being yourself to bring that change you wish to see for the betterment of the society or the world in large. 
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