FREE (black and white copies) Limited edition colour copies - £2 each

Issue 1—Kindness
Autumn 2013

Who we are and what this is!
Pulsin’ is a new seasonal zine* for Sittingbourne. It is put together by people with and without learning difficulties based at The Pulse Café. We gather a tasty selection of stories and articles from local people for you to get your teeth into. Pulsin’ is about equality. It is about fairness. It is about creativity. It is about cooperation. It is about thinking outside the box. It is about speaking up and being heard. It is about rights and justice. It is about kindness. It is about food. It is about what is happening in our community. It is about sustainability. It is about finding out what is going on around the world. It is about having fun. It is about art. It is about happiness. Thank you to everyone who contributed to this issue. We are always looking for contributors for future issues. Please send us your articles and artwork. The contact details are here —> —> —> —> We can’t wait to hear from you— deadline for submissions for the Winter issue is 1st November.

Get in touch
pulse@skillnetgroup.co.uk 01795 599899

Find us on Facebook

Follow us on Twitter @PulseCafe29 *What is a zine?? A zine is an alternative magazine. Often written by fans and in a ‘do-it-yourself’ style. www.skillnetgroup.co.uk

The Pulse Café, 29 Park Road, Sittingbourne, Kent, ME10 1DR

About this issue—a note from the editor
This morning I popped into the Co-Op to buy milk for work and found myself wondering what makes people more likely to do something kind for someone else. I had been listening to a podcast on TED talks about technology for the 5 senses by Jinsop Lee. He was talking about why something is more likely to appeal to us. He had come to the conclusion that it was partly down to how each sense is stimulated in our consumption of a product, activity or experience. Something that was pleasurable to 3 of the senses was likely to be favoured over something that only pleased one sense. The content of this podcast was not what got me Louise Allen— thinking about kindness, it was that by listening to it and feeling Editor challenged by a new idea, I felt energised, happier and more fulfilled. I am convinced that it was this feeling of fulfilment that made me refuse a receipt for the milk and decide to donate that small gift to The Pulse this morning. It wasn’t a gift that will change the world, but it was a small act of selflessness that I don’t think I would have been so likely to commit had I been in a bad mood or deeply tired. Everyone who works and volunteers at The Pulse gives something whether that be unpaid time, ingredients, moral support or creativity. It was these musings and a whole lot of generosity from people that gave us our theme for the Autumn 2013 edition.

Kindness.

What makes you more likely to do something good for someone else? Do write in and tell us

What did you call me?
We have been toying with a name for our zine and have come up with a few possibilities. We stuck with Pulsin’ for the first one but we would like to hear your suggestions. Our other ideas are ‘ On the Pulse’, ‘How have you Beancurd?’, ‘Peas on earth’. We’re sure you will have fun coming up with some witty ideas!
www.andyenock.com

“3 coffees, please. 1 for now and 2 suspended”
A ‘suspended coffee’ is an act of kindness. You buy the drinks you want, plus one or more to suspend. The suspended drinks are then made when someone in need asks if you have any suspended coffees. They receive the coffee you brought earlier for free. Suspended Coffee is a tradition which began in the working class cafes of Naples in Italy - called Caffé Sospeso. Someone who had had good luck would order a Sospeso – ‘suspended coffee’ as a celebration and act of good will. A poor person asking later whether there were any Sospeso would then receive one for free! It has been reported that the chairman of Napoli’s football club buys 10 suspended coffees each time the team wins. With the recent recession and Europe-wide economic crisis this idea has become increasingly popular, and has spread worldwide thanks to the internet and social media. We are talking with Porchlight, the Salvation Army and other local homeless teams to make sure people who could benefit from this scheme know about it. Check out the Suspended Coffees Facebook page and spread the kindness - buy your suspended coffee at The Pulse Café.

Andy Enock is an Artist whose work often displays feelings of extreme fluctuating states from depression to feeling manic and extremely high. Andy likes the idea of metamorphosis, also looking at themes of mechanical environments in juxtaposition with the natural landscape. His work heavily relies on symbolism and encourages the viewer to look "deeper" and "read between the lines!"

Andy also volunteers at Eco Shed at The Pulse Café supporting community art and creativity.

www.andyenock.com

Why I’m Vegan— by Tom Clother
For those with an interest in history and personal motivations, read on, this is my shake recollections of what convinced me to live as vegan a life as I could manage. Thirty years ago (1983) a large famine in Ethiopia (partly created by drought, partly by Ethiopian government actions) was big news worldwide. Images of starving babies, children and adults were constantly on the television news. This made a big impression on me, and due to having an elder sister (Ginny) who had become a punk, and a vegan, I had had some exposure to arguments around land use and food production. Ginny had gone to study at the London School of Economics in 1983, and gradually worked her way through different subcultures before finding her spiritual home in the anarcho punk tribe. On her visits home she would bring ideas and music. The first single that she played to me which I really liked musically and for the message was 'Religious Wars', by a group called The Subhumans (a British band, though there was also a Canadian band with the same moniker). From there it was but a short slide to the hard stuff...........Crass, Poison Girls, Flux of Pink Indians ('Strive to Survive Causing Least Suffering Possible' LP, classic) and Conflict. These groups were all of an anarchist outlook, mostly in favour of vegetarianism and anti experimentation on animals for household products, cosmetics, drugs and medical procedures. Ginny became a vegan after leaving home, and I ridiculed her decision for a year or two (my nature is small 'c' conservative, I fear change), in a most annoying little brother way. Animal Aid were a very active, exciting organisation around this time, with a good outreach to youth, and given support by quite a few of the influential punk bands. I joined Animal Aid, and learned how inefficient feeding people with animal products was, the abuses inherent in dairy and egg production, and that eating a vegan diet would not lead to a gradual wasting away, and lingering-or rapid...........death. Zines (fan produced magazines) were also a valuable source of ideas, discussion and information (this was pre Internet era, remember), and helped to shape my thoughts. At the time global nuclear war was something of a worry for a few of us, and there was the occasional demonstration against our governments' stance vis a vis world apocalypse. These jolly gatherings would always have some intrepid zine salespeople (from all over the UK) attending, allowing me to broaden my outlook further. Topics would often range over politics, nuclear holocaust, animal rights, feminism, ecology and more. The

best I ever came across (I got hold of two or three issues of it) was Reverse Order, from Thurrock, in Essex (- if anyone knows more about it, please let me know). From all these sources I (slowly, slowly.....I was a mainly 'C' grade, with a 'D' and an 'E' grade student) learnt that I did not need to eat, or wear animals to be healthy, happy and comfortable. Raising, keeping and killing animals for their eggs, milk, meat, skins or feathers involves cruelty which harms the creatures and their human captors. Much more land, water and energy is needed to grow animal products for human consumption, than would be needed if we ate a plant based diet. People are starving for want of food. (I know that a lot of this is down to distribution, but it would still be impossible to feed the world a typical western omnivorous diet, and should we glory in food apartheid? We are a global family, lets live and eat as one) Also, while it is possible to live a reasonably healthy life as an omnivore, it is easier to follow a healthier diet as a conscious vegan. It can even be argued that as a vegan you have a moral responsibility to look after your health, to disprove those who maintain that a vegan diet can only lead to disaster. I then had to admit that I was wrong for making fun of big Sis, became a vegetarian at 17, then when I left home at 18, a vegan. Animal Aid were very helpful for recipes, as was the book Vegan Cooking for One by Leah Leneman (simple seasonal recipes, with suggested weekly shopping lists, and singleton portions). To anyone thinking of becoming a vegan, do your homework first, please, then...............go for it

Vegan Chocolate Crunch
8 ounces Self Raising Flour 4 ounces Soft Vegan Margarine 1 level teaspoon Baking Powder 2 tablespoons Soya (alternative to) Milk 1 ounce Cocoa Powder Spot of Vanilla Essence 6 ounces Sugar

1 Sift flour, Baking Powder, Cocoa and Sugar together. 2 Melt margarine and add vanilla essence. DO NOT BOIL! 3 Add Soya (alternative to) Milk and melted Margarine to dry ingredients and mix well. Add more Soya (alternative to) Milk if necessary. 4 Press mixture into a greased tin to a depth of a quarter of an inch (6.35mm-ish). 5 Brush top with water and sprinkle with sugar. 6 Bake in a slow oven (Gas mark 3-5, 160-190 degrees Celsius) for between a quarter and a third of an hour. N.B I find five twelfths (25 minutes) of an hour at 140 degrees Celsius works in my oven. Leave to cool, then scoff. Feel free to add little lumps of chocolate if in extra decadent mood.

Sustainable Sheppey
Sustainable Sheppey is a new project funded through the Big Lottery’s Community Living Sustainability fund. The project will be studying renewable energy to see how it could work in the local area. Kent County Council are leading on the project and would like your views as a local resident. They are looking for you to identify what technologies and sites you may be interested in taking forward through community-led renewable energy projects. Renewable energy led by the community can help produce local jobs and give people the power to have a positive impact on their community. Groups and individuals can get involved and use the project as a way to work together for a common goal. It can help people to better understand renewable energy and can address any concerns people may have. By using renewable energy, particularly energy produced locally, we are helping reduce pollution and our dependence on fossil fuels such as oil and coal which are running out. Four potential renewable energy technologies have been identified for this project. Each option details the costs, the savings / income generation, the benefits and the concerns. Biomass—Biomass refers to burnable material from wood or other plants. This usually includes forestry residues, sawdust, straw, or fast-growing wood or grass plants. These can be burnt in a large boiler to provide heat for a district heating system, or to produce steam to generate electricity for a community. Marine—The marine environment can generate energy in a number of ways, for example: tidal current, tidal barrage (or range), ocean waves, marine biomass, wind energy. Opportunities for wave energy are limited for the Island and offshore wind energy is already being widely pursued and so this option focuses on tidal and biomass opportunities. Solar—There are two different types of solar panels. They take energy from the sun to either heat water – Solar Thermal or generate electricity – Solar PV. Wind - Small to medium sized wind turbines are the favoured size of wind turbine for community renewable projects. If you have any further questions on the project please contact climate.change@kent.gov.uk

Free drink for readers
This voucher entitles you to ne free drink at The Pulse!
Valid until 30th November 2013 when you show this voucher

Food for Free!
By Louise Allen The autumn is my favourite time of year for foraging wild food. The elderberries and blackberries are plump and juicy, cob nuts, chestnuts and walnuts hide in the hedgerows and mushrooms are nestled in the fields and woodland. That’s all without the wild apples (no scrumping!!) and plums that have sprung up around the countryside. When collecting wild food, never take more than one third of the plant. This means there will be enough berries, leaves or flowers for the plant to survive and for other animals to eat.

Boost your immune system before the winter chill sets in with this delicious Vitamin C rich hedgerow syrup recipe. Drizzle over puddings, porridge or pancakes or add hot water to make a sweet and warming brew.

Hedgerow Syrup
Collect a cup of ripe elderberries (black and drooping on the stem but not shrivelled), a cup of rosehips (plump and red) and 2 cups of blackberries (plump and juicy). Wash them and remove any green or dry berries.
1. Place the 4 cups of berries in a large pan with 4 cups fresh water.

Simmer gently for about 45mins with the lid off until the water has reduced to about half it’s original amount and the berries have released all their juice. Set aside and allow to cool completely.
2. When cool, strain through a jelly bag into a measuring jug. 3. Add approximately the same quantity of raw honey, agave syrup

or sugar to the berry juice and stir until dissolved. You can use less sugar but the mixture will not last so long. Bottle in sterilised preserving bottles and label. Store in the fridge.

The reasons to be a volunteer
Being a volunteer offered me a new way of life, a challenge to focus on which held me up when I was sinking. It's not for money. It's not for fame. Valuable is the work you do. It's to see people happy when in need. It's not for any personal gain. It's just for love of fellowman. Outstanding is how you always come through. Loyal, sincere and full of good cheer untiring in your efforts throughout the year to strive to a goalpost in which to score because of myself. I’ve met so many friends along the way people who i hold dear, I feel like part of a family surrounded by people who care and pick you up when you’re feeling blue and let you no there's always something for you. It's just to send a helping hand. It's just to give a tithe of self. Notable are the contributions you make. Trustworthy in every project you take. Eager to reach your every goal, effective in the way you fulfil your role. That's something you cant buy with wealth. It's not medals won with pride. It's for that feeling deep inside, it's for that reward down in your heart. It's just for comfort, and guidance in a working role to anyone who may have a disability or learning difficulty. It's that feeling that you're being a part, far and near, that makes you a volunteer.

By Cheryl

Diary of a volunteer—Part 1 Israel 2013—by Christabel McCooey
19th June 2013- Morning Eurostar to Brussels Flying to Israel! On the train to Brussels. Been napping. Going to European Advocacy. Sent off application to Speak, or part of it at least. Passing through Lille. I’m not sure what this trip will have in store. But I’m excited. I cant believe I’m going. And I think I’ve come far in being able to leave the family to deal with the tensions themselves. It’s really not my problem to solve. Prayers for trip: Please let me meet you God in all things, places, people. Let it be a unique, once in a life time trip. Let me meet amazing people. Let me build friendships with Jewish people. Give me charisma, charm, beauty and grace in all I do and speak. Give me intuition to see what people need to hear and the humility to listen to what they have to say to me. Let me see how precious life is and all the wonders of the little things in them Please plan my trip to perfection God, seeing as I have let that to you – let me know locations and times to leave, let it feel right. Let me see something new about life – let me find a new truth about you. (There was a David Bowie look-a-like sat opposite me, I was drooling in my sleep I think) 19th June 2013 – Evening A great day – full packed. I felt a bit reminiscent of Christian concern in the conservative one-sided stance but I asked two questions and had positive feedback. Met two nice Christians Maryssa and Conrad. I must resist the urge to judge but I realise my tendency to not swallow anything as the truth without due reason and logic and argument is God-given and integral to my relationship with Him. It’s how we began. I spoke to them both about it and to Sophia’s mother who converted to Catholicism and wrote two books – she said you’ll know when it’s the right time to write. Part 2 in the Winter issue.

Get involved—
Volunteering and work experience opportunities

Got some spare time? Would you like to help in your local community? Fancy meeting likeminded people? Why not volunteer a few hours helping out at The Pulse. Opportunities include:
   

Serving customers, food preparation, cleaning Setting up for events and room bookings Supporting people with learning difficulties working in the café Marketing and promotion – flyer distribution, helping with our seasonal ‘zine. Developing our community allotment in Regis Crescent For more details contact Louise Allen for a Community Action Volunteer form. Louise.allen@skillnetgroup.co.uk or 07780 985245

Work experience The Pulse has been working with Pinnacle People and Job Centre Plus to offer 4 weekly, 30 hour per week placements for people seeking work. Each person has been a huge asset to the team in their own way and has come away from their experience with a sense of belonging and learning something new. If you would like supported work experience at The Pulse, please contact us and pop in for a chat.

**We are currently looking for someone with a learning difficulty to gain supported work experience and training working alongside Louise as co-editor of Pulsin’. If you would like to apply, please send an email explaining why you are interested and why you would be good at the role to louise.allen@skillnetgroup.co.uk**

The two of us

The Death Penalty in New Orleans
The death penalty is a difficult topic to talk about for many people and something we don’t often think about in the UK. This year I spent 6 months volunteering in New Orleans, Louisiana with people dedicated to ending the death penalty in America. What I saw changed my views and beliefs about what it truly means to deliver justice in society. It also raises questions about whether ‘kindness’ should play a role in our efforts to deal with serious criminal behaviour.

What most people imagine when they think of Death Row inmates is that they
must be incredibly savage and sometimes evil; that no one would be sentenced to death by the State unless they had done something profoundly wrong. What surprised me was that often it wasn’t the ‘worst of the worst’ criminals facing the death penalty, but the poorest of the poor, those who couldn’t afford a good lawyer at their trial. Most had spent their young life in poverty surrounded by gangs, drugs and violence and nearly all had suffered great abuse as children. There was also a very high rate of mental illness and learning disabilities amongst people on death row, yet they rarely received any support or help inside or outside of prison.

I also found that racism and discrimination existed within the courts and police force themselves, meaning that ethnic minorities would be far more likely to get a death sentence than a white person who had committed the same crime. Therefore, whilst the death penalty might make sense in theory, the way it targets the most vulnerable and poorest people in society in practice makes it hard to defend as a fair and effective solution to crime. This is without considering the many mistakes that the justice system makes currently 360 innocent people have been proven innocent who would’ve been killed. Kindness comes when we try to understand why people behave the way they do so that we can tackle the root causes of crime and find lasting solutions, instead of believing that taking another person’s life will truly heal the wounds caused be crime. - by Christabel McCooey

Calvin Duncan was put on Death Row despite being innocent. It took him over 30 years to prove his innocence. He now helps others facing injustice.

Ethical advertising co-operative

You could advertise here!
We currently email out to over 500 local people and distribute this zine throughout public places in Sittingbourne and Swale. We have a team of volunteer distributors ready to deliver to more people but to do that we need you to advertise your ethical business or group here!

We are a not for profit group and are only charging : £100 for one full page - A4 £65 for half a page - A5 £40 for a quarter page - A6 If you wish to be included in 3 or more editions we will offer a 10% reduction in price on payment in advance. If you have an interesting story to tell, recipe to include or another idea for an article, we will also feature an editorial on your business within the zine, all included in the price. How good is that?! We are also happy for businesses to share a space and the cost.

Sowing the seeds of….

Calling Creativity!
Tuesday Art Group @ 1.30pm, The Pulse Cafe
Why not join our art and design group which runs each Tuesday. You will learn simple techniques for different types of art work and can contribute to our group exhibition display. All ages welcome, no experience necessary.

Writing Your First Poem
Most people think that they can’t ‘do’ poetry. But the great thing is, poems can be written in whatever way or style you like. There are no fixed rules. For example, poems do not have to rhyme, they could just be a few lines of your thoughts. Here is an exercise to get you started. Write down 5 things you know to be true, don’t think too hard about it! Now write down 5 things you would like to know are true or not. Look over your answers for a few minutes. Choose an idea or thought that stands out to you from your answers. What are the first words that come to mind when you think about that answer? Begin writing those words down. You will have the first line of your poem! This is exercise is helpful to do with a friend so that you can swap ideas.

New at The Pulse!
Din ky

Under 5s dance class Every 1st and 3rd Monday in the month, 10.30am—11.30pm at The Pulse
“Here at Dinky’s all about having fun and moving to music. Dinky’s is for boys and girls under 5. Dinky dance has been to play schools, preschools, parent and toddler clubs, Sure start centres and hospitals. Dinky’s is a great way to Introduce young children to dance. This will help the young child/baby to socialize, gain strength, coordination and sound awareness. We use all kinds of music in these sessions from hip hop and R&B this is something new and fresh. You can be sure you and your child will love Dinky Dudes & Divas!” - Carla Hazell. Classes are followed by an hour’s social time for parents and dinkies to get a drink and snack from The Pulse Café, have a chat and enjoy the Pulse toys. To book a place please contact Carla 07549 752354 or at carlahazell@hotmail.com £5 a class if booked in advance (or £6 on the day).

A Child’s Garden
A story of hope
by Michael Foreman On my recent trip to Nickel Books with my 2 year old daughter I came across this gem. Set in a town divided by war, a little boy spots a glimmer of hope. He pours his energy into caring for a tiny seedling and it grows into something beautiful. I would recommend this book to anyone—child or adult! It is inspiring moving and beautifully illustrated. A great starting point in talking to your children about human rights and conflict. - by Louise Allen Available to buy from Nickel Books

Story time and book sale
Wednesday 16th October, 10am-12pm, at The Pulse We are sad to see that one of Sittingbourne’s best independent shops, Nickel Books, is closing down. They are holding a

HUGE CHILDREN’S BOOK SALE from now until the shop
closes in October.. Show your support and enjoy the treasure trove that is Nickel Books for the last time.

There are many types of cloth nappy but the ones sold at Nickel Books are a 2 part nappy – absorbent nappy and waterproof cover (Wrap) They are re-useable so less waste goes to landfill and you will save money on hundreds of disposables – the average child gets through over 4000 nappies!

Prices Lollipop nappies – Brights - £9.99 Bamboo/ plain - £6.99 Little Lambs Wraps -£6.00 each

Available at The Pulse Computer scanner and internet hire—£1.50 per hour (or free for people hiring the café)

Printing available on request 10p per black and white sheet 50p per colour sheet

FREE Wi-Fi

Screening at the Avenue Theatre
Lit els & ter Ang Friends ts presen h t r a E of the

D (12) 0pm ery, dis v o c is TRASHE ember at 7.3 of d pt journey ature about a 27th Se n o -F e ons g remy Ir Bradys Docu cial screenin e J s e k spe ida D ta . Cand t received a TRASHE e p o h n e nd belief a d the envirom Festival. n a s Film waste Canne 2 1 0 2 at the e) 71140 Featur 1795 4 0 :(Docue fic Box Of :- £5 TICKETS

Tea tasting and pamper party
FREE ENTRY

Tea tasting
er t s a t gy o l o d i Ir ns o i t a t l consu Stalls

Wednesday 25th September, Reflex ology 2pm—7pm at The Pulse Cafe

Indian h

ead massag e

ster a t thy a p ro ns u t o i a t N lta u s n co

Contact pulse@skillnetgroup.co.uk or pick up a leaflet at The Pulse for more information and treatment bookings

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Body Shop Party
Sunday 10th November, 11am—1pm at The Pulse Café

Tea cak

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e!

FREE ENTRY
spaces are limited to book ahead to save disappointment Contact Kandice for pre-orders and bookings
minimiss89@hotmail.co.uk or 07565868723

Butterflies

Exhibition space and Pulse Creatives
The Pulse is now offering affordable exhibition space for local artists. Gallery fees start at just £30 per month and cost a maximum of £100 per month for use of the whole cafe. Further discounts are available to Pulse Creatives members. Space for crafters and designer/makers also coming soon... Pulse Creatives is collective for local artists, designers and makers. Members benefit from promotion through our networks and discounts on exhibition space and venue hire. Membership is just £6 per month or £60 per year for those wishing to pay an annual subscription. Contact pulse@skillnetgroup.co.uk for more details.

www.swaleartsforum.org

New support group for adults on the Autistic Spectrum
“We meet at The Pulse Cafe on the last Thursday of every month from 4pm till 6pm”

Contact Caroline Parfitt to find out more on 01233 668 518 caroline.parfitt@advocacyforall.org.uk

Juicing workshop – FREE taster sessions and advice!
Learn how to juice at home. Tips on what fruits and vegetables go together. Free tasters and fresh juices for sale. Saturday 21st September, 10am-1pm. Saturday 28th September, 10am-1pm. Saturday 5th October, 10am-1pm. At The Pulse Café, 29 Park Road, Sittingbourne, ME10 1DR

12 week juicing and wellbeing course – bookings being taken now. Learn how to look after your body and use fruit and vegetables to get nutrients needed for a healthful life. Detox in time for Christmas. This is a health promoting course but you may lose weight as a result. Contact Virginia on giniagruitt@gmail.com or 01795 553590

Heritage Lottery Fund – Information and Advice Session at The Pulse Café, Sittingbourne – 5th November 2013, 2pm—4.30pm
Are you thinking of applying for grant from the Heritage Lottery Fund? If so, feel free to come along to our Information and Advice Session to meet the development team and get advice on your project ideas! The session will be an informal opportunity to learn more about the Heritage Lottery Fund and to discuss your project ideas. You don't need a definite project idea to attend - just come along to find out more. The afternoon will cover the follow topics – ■ What is the Heritage Lottery Fund (HLF) and who can apply;

■ Our main single round funding programmes (for grants of between £3,000 £100,000) ■ ■ ■ Examples of projects funded; Our criteria and assessment process; Project planning, budgeting and other useful tips;

■ An opportunity to discuss your own project ideas with the HLF South East England team. The session will run from 2pm -4.30pm at the Pulse Café & Meeting Place, Park Road, Sittingbourne . Places are limited, so if you are interested in attending the session, please email southeastengland@hlf.org.uk or call 020 7591 6048.

Photo by Louise Allen 2013

The Pulse Café and venue

Public opening hours Tuesday to Thursday, 9am—3.30pm Friday—Monday—available for private hire and events.

Do you want a bright, airy and ethical venue for your group, meetings, workshop or event?
Hire prices start from just £5 per hour. Local and ethical catering available. For bookings and enquiries—pulse@skillnetgroup.co.uk 01795 599899 / 0778 985245 Giving is so often thought of in terms of the things we give, but our greatest giving is of our time, and kindness, and even comfort for those who need it. We look on these gifts as unimportant - until we need them. ~ Joyce Sequichie Hifler

Coffee by Thom Burrows. Photo by Stewart Cherry 2013.

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