DIY: Father’s Day Gifts

It is always hard to buy a gift for a guy friend, brother, uncle, or a boy. Your uncle would probably not like a bouquet of roses as much as your aunt. And even though we are all kids at heart, you can’t really buy your grandfather a doll. Now is the time to really think of some gifts you can buy your fatherly figure, or you can even make something yourself if you are a last minute gift-shopper or maker.  If you have nothing in mind, don’t worry! There are plenty of gifts you can make and things you can do to give your dad as a surprise gift for a Father’s Day that he will never forget. Here are some last minute go-to gifts you might want to give on Father’s Day:

Sticky Note Car (Warning: This is very time consuming)

Are you working on a budget? Well this is a surprise that would surely make a bigger impression on anyone and everyone who sees it. Here’s what you need:

A. A pack of permanent markers

B. 100+ 4×4 sticky notes

Start by writing some sweet messages to your father. It is going to take some time but write messages, one by one, on each of the sticky notes. Then, start posting the notes on your dad’s car. Depending on the size of his car, you might need a lot of sticky notes. But try to cover it up the most you can. That is the point of the surprise! If you find yourself stuck on what to write, a simple “I <3 YOU” is enough. Here is what the final product should look like:

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Coupon/Activity Book

A. Construction Paper

B. Scissors

C. Ribbon

D. Markers/Crayons

Do you feel as if you’re not as close as to your father than you wish you would be? Here’s an idea! Why not give your father a coupon book where he can “cash” in on activities he can do with his favorite daughter? Give your father a coupon for “TV TIME” or “Father/Daughter Gardening.” Make him know he has quality time with you and get ready to have a lot of fun! Use markers and crayons to write out different messages on the construction paper, hole punch each one (like a mini-book), and use the ribbon to tie them together. Don’t be afraid to be creative!

 

The Video Message

A. 1 Smart Phone

B. Creativity

C. Computer/laptop

This idea is fun and super easy! Just make a fun plan and tape a nice video message for your father. You don’t have to have video skills to make this gift – all you need is a smartphone. Search through YOUTUBE to get some ideas!

 

The MIX CD

A. 1 Blank CD

B. A computer/laptop

C. I-tunes*

Is your dad a music fan? Is that a passion you both share in common? Well, it can be! Make a mix cd for your dad with songs you like and songs he likes as well.Or make the CD with songs that remind you about him. Whatever it may be, the CD will definitely be something your dad loves! Decorate the CD case or write a nice message for him on the CD. Guaranteed smile every time he listens to it.

*You will need to purchase the music.

Giving your dad a Father’s Day he will never forget will not be difficult at all. What a dad wants the most though is just to really spend time with the family. So on June 15th leave your cellphone at home,  and don’t worry about Twitter, Instagram, or even Facebook! Give your father all your attention.  Make sure to really engage with him in whatever way your family chooses to spend Father’s Day. If you don’t have any ideas yet, you can always plan to do his favorite activity. Does he like to fish? Does he like to play board games? Whatever it may be, do it with him! All that really matters on this day is to show your father that he is loved.

Poem: If We Were All the Same

Polet Espinoza

Polet Espinoza

Have you ever wondered?

What life would be like,

If we were all the same.

What would be exciting about life

If we were all the same?

Never learning new things,

Never seeing new things,

Never doing new things,

That would be a waste of a lifetime.

If we were all the same,

How could you know the difference among us?

No one would be special

No one would stand out.

Why would you like to be the same,

When you have the chance

To be different.

Me, Myself, and I

girl on computerWe live in a very social world, constantly surrounded by people. Even when we’re at home and no one’s around we can still communicate through e-mail and texting and social media, so even then we’re not “alone.” We’re always told that when someone is alone they must be sad or have no friends, when in reality the person may simply enjoy being alone. There is a social bias against solitude. People link solitude with people who are lonely, sad, or with antisocial tendencies. Solitude has been, sadly, underestimated. And it’s actually quite healthy!

“I like hanging out with friends just as much as the next person,” says Hannah Young, 15, from Westlake High School. “But I sometimes go away from all that and just spend time by myself. It’s nice and really relaxing.”

Increases Your Focus

Like Hannah said, being alone is therapeutic. Disconnecting from the complex, wired world by being alone gives your brain time to unwind. Constantly being around others can be distracting, so when you’re alone you get a chance to clear your mind, to focus, and to think. And by having a clearer mind and less distractions, you’ll be able to concentrate better on any work to be done. After all, it’s hard to study for that big test when you’re surrounded by a lot of people talking.

Not only can solitude refocus your mind and make you more productive, but it also provides time for you to think deeply. It seems hard to think about anything when the world is constantly buzzing, but when you’re alone and without distractions you can meditate and mull over things. Why do you think many great ideas come during showers or late at night? It’s because you were alone!We’ve all had those “eureka!” moments while going to sleep, and sometimes you can feel like philosopher when taking long showers. It’s all because we let ourselves be alone.

Gabriela de Caro, a sixth grader at Regents School of Austin, says, “I like being on my bed staring at my ceiling at night. I actually get a lot of cool ideas. Like one time I was stuck on a play we had to do at school, and after thinking a bit I figured out which part fit me the best!”

Helps Find Your Own Voice

Solitude gives you an opportunity to find your own voice. Psychology Today writes that “When you’re a part of a group, you’re more likely to go along with what the group is doing or thinking, which isn’t always the actions you would take or the decisions you would make if you were on your own.” And in finding your own voice, you discover more about yourself.

Rachel Prichett, 16, says “everyone has a ‘mind palace,’ and being alone helps me explore my own…it’s funny because I learned a lot more about myself than I ever knew before.”

Every person has an inner world full of creativity. Take time to disconnect by turning off the phone, the Internet and the TV. Give yourself some time to just be alone. Whether it happens early in the morning, at night, at lunch, or any other time, you decide. You’ll be surprised by just how rewarding solitude actually is!

Advice to My 13 Year-Old Self

Photo Credit: AAUW

Photo Credit: AAUW

Latinitas celebrated Women’s History Month by hosting a blog-a-thon. Members of the MyLatinitas.com community shared heartfelt advice they wish they were told when they were 13 years old.

Popularity is a big one. When I was thirteen I tried hard to be an extrovert, and I thought being ‘shy’ was a weakness. Whenever someone ignored me or was rude, I figured it was my fault. I thought I wasn’t interesting or cool enough. Then I realized that ignoring people and being rude was a bad trait, and that it wasn’t me who had to change anything about myself, but rather the other person. Trying to be popular through fake behavior, modifying our physique and being hard on ourselves can be stressful.

I’m not sure if hearing someone say this to me at 13 would’ve worked or made much sense as it does now. But the truth is that beautiful and genuinely kind girls eventually blossom into respectable women, especially if they remain honest with who they are. So it’s important to endure through those hard and confusing times, not letting anyone change who we really are.” – Giselle

“When I was 13 years old, I didn’t know how to put on makeup yet and my biggest concern in life was that there must be something wrong with me because all my friends had a boyfriend but I didn’t. I had to start thinking about where I’d go to high school and even college. I was really insecure at the time and constantly put myself down. I always felt like was never good enough for some reason.

I wish that someone had told me not to give into too many of your emotions. So often I make decisions on what I feel rather then what is logically correct and I wish someone told me to follow my head instead of my heart. I needed to hear that I need to put myself before anyone else and become the best person I could possibly be. And most importantly, I wish someone said to spend time with family. It’s so important because you sometimes often get so busy with growing up that you forget your parents also grow old too. I wish someone told me all of this but even if I heard it at 13 years old, I may have been too stubborn to actually follow this advice, but it still would have been nice anyway. ” – Claudia

All I can say is that I grew up ‘too soon’ in a sense that I [didn't have] a childhood, and my teenage years were controlled and spent at home playing video games (sometimes up to 12 hours a day)… You are still young, 13, you still have a lot of time to spend with the family! It is your decision to stay with the family or not, whether you are 13, 18, already in your mid-20′s with your own kids, it doesn’t matter; age is a number and [spending time with your family is a must]. [It's] not a choice.” – Irena

Pharr Away

Photo Credit: Flickr, mylitocupcake

Photo Credit: Flickr, mylitocupcake

By Sara Cabrera

I eat menudo and barbacoa
with a fresh warm packet
of Guerrero tortillas
on Sunday mornings after mass.
After, I drive at 3 mph down the
bumpy Raul Longoria Road
to go to La Pulga de Alamo
and to beat
the Rio Grande Valley heat.
There I buy verduras y frutas frescas
and of course some Mexican candy.

I explored my granny’s backyard,
which reached the chin of Africa
to the most northern part of Canada.
My brother and I
were evil scientists and made our secret lair
in the luscious shrubs farthest from mom and dad;
making poisonous potions from water de la mangera
and crushed exotic flowers that danced in the yard
with names too fancy to remember at seven.

I chased lizards
up and down the old mesquite tree,
that met its final battle in ’08
against hurricane Dolly.
The tree used to serve as a clubhouse,
now Dad just uses it to make BBQ.

I celebrate Christmas
on December 24th, not the 25th.
Celebrations with tamales, pozole,
buñuelos, and who can forget the
posadas. I have two birthdays,
the day I was born, y el día de mi santo.

DIY Valentine’s Day Gifts

Candy-Hearts-for-Valentines-DayThat time of the year is coming again, the time where you walk in to the stores and you see pink, red, and white all over the place, stuffed animals of all sizes and chocolates, but everything is the same; it’s time to create something special and unique!

The Scavenger Hunt:

You’ll need balloons, paper and markers, sticky notes, and helium. Write tiny clues in a piece of paper, fold it in very small and put it inside the balloon before you fill it up with helium, you can write anything that lead to the big prize, for example “It’s in something you use daily.” Then, place these clues in different locations you know that person is on a daily basis so that they get surprised when they see it. Once you fill up the balloon with helium write on the balloon with a marker “Pop for clue” and they would have to pop the balloon to see your clue. It’s a fun, playful gift! Once they get all of the balloons popped (you can make as many as you want), lead them to where the big prize is, for example: you can fill their car or bedroom with sticky notes with memories and inside jokes of you guys, make it colorful, make it original, make it unique!

If you want to go with a simple, but cheesy gift, go with this one:

The Candy vase:

All you need is a small glass vase of any size, a sharpie marker, m&m’s and skittles. It’s a candy fun activity! Pour half of the chocolates into the jar, open the skittles and only put one. Then, pour the rest of the chocolates into the jar and you can enjoy eating  the rest of the left-over skittles! Once you’re done pouring the candy, write “You’re one in a million” on the vase. If the person likes skittles more than chocolate, you can do the same but vice versa!

The Scratch off:

All you need is a nice piece of paper, white Crayola crayon, paint (any kind), a pen, and a quarter. First, you fold the paper in half so you can make two “scratch-offs,” write “scratch to reveal,” draw three hearts, and write what you would like to give them inside of the hearts.  For example, you can write “pay for the movies,” “make you dinner,” a hug, etc. Be creative! Once you write on all of them, color the heart with the white crayon.

Tip: You will need color it in over and over.

After you finish coloring it in, you paint the hearts and let it dry. Finally, when you give it to them you can tell them only to scratch only one or, if you’re feeling generous, have them scratch off all of them. You can make your own rules for the scratch-off game.  Next, give them the quarter to use to scratch off the pain, and voila!

Similar to the cheesy, but cute, vase gift is the “Open When….” Envelopes

“Open When….”  Envelopes:

This is a smart and sweet idea to make someone’s day. To make it work you will need to get as many envelopes as possible. On each envelope put “Open when…”  to indicate when the person should open the envelope. For example “Open when you feel sad,” or “Open when you want to laugh” and inside you put something that will cheer them up or make them laugh, pictures of you guys, funny/inside jokes, anything that will make them not feel sad anymore or laugh like crazy. The point to these envelopes is to make the connection with the person stronger, whether it is a friend, family, or your special someone. When you’re done making the envelopes, put them in a pretty hardcover box and label it “Open when…” You can make an envelope out of any occasion or situation. Have fun with the envelopes; make the other person feel loved on this special day!

DIY gifts are cute and fun ways to show off your creativity. Most importantly have fun doing these gifts; picture their face when you give them your home-made present. It’s going to be even more important and valuable because you didn’t buy it at a store and no one else has the exact same thing, it’s unique.

Last Minute DIY Gifts

Looking for a last minute gift? Avoid the crowded malls and give a loved one something extra special this holiday season. Here are some easy and quick DIY gifts you can give a loved one this holiday season.

Photo Credit: Silver Gardens Boutique

Photo Credit: Silver Gardens Boutique

Toss the boring gift card packaging away and make your own gift card holder. 

Materials:

-       Scissors

-       Duct tape

-       Ruler

-       Old or new gift card

Step 1:

Gather materials and cut four strips (7 inches long) of duct tape. Lay them down so the sticky part is facing up.

Step 2:

This part can be a little tricky. Select one duct tape strip and gently parallel the strips with one another by overlapping the first piece onto a second strip (about 1/8 of an inch). The sticky parts for both pieces are still facing you.

Step 3:

Repeat Step 2 for the remaining two duct tape strips. You should have two separate larger pieces, like duct tape fabric, instead of four.

Step 4:

Gently place one piece (sticky side) over the second piece (sticky side). After connecting the sticky sides together, cut off any excess tape from the corners. Voila! You’re almost done!

Step 5:

This part is like wrapping a present. Grab an old gift card, or a new one, and place the card onto the duct tape. Fold the bottom and top part at desired length – as if you were creating a sleeve for the gift card. Trim any excess tape.

Step 6:

Cut a new duct tape strip (4 inches), and cut 1inch strips from it. The strips will add the final touch. After you are done cutting the trips, tape each side of the gift card holder, and you’re done! You can add a bow to it for an extra touch, or use different colored duct tape to make it more snazzy.

Photo Credit: Elaine Craig

Photo Credit: Elaine Craig

Make Your Own Photo Snowglobe:

  • Photo
  • Packaging tape
  • Empty jar
  • (optional) Figurines (avoid metal figurines)
  • Glitter
  • Distilled water
  • Glycerin

Step 1:

Gather materials and select a treasured photo of a memory between you and your loved one. Next, prep the photo and jar.

Step 2: Remove any label residue from the jar.

Step 3:

Depending on the size of the jar, Elaine Craig, crafter at Wonder How To, states “You’ll want to print it in a size that is half an inch smaller than your bottle or jar’s width/diameter and height.” Waterproof the photo by laminating the front and back with packaging tape.

Step 4:

Roll up the photo, insert in jar, and adjust the position. Make sure that when you are inserting the photo you are aware of how you will display the snow globe. For example, if you are displaying the snow globe with the lid at the bottom then you will need to insert the photo upside down.

Step 5:

Fill up jar with water almost to the top, add a spoonful of glycerin, glitter, sequins, beads, and/or figurines or ornaments.

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Photo Credit: creativejewishmom.com

Wrapped Vase

This super easy craft will make your mamá, abuelita, or tía smile. Who says flowers are only for mother’s day? Adding flowers will make this super cute vase even more special.

Materials:
- Yarn
- Empty glass bottle (wine bottle, mason jar, etc.)
- Hot glue gun and glue sticks

Here is one of my favorite easy craft projects! All you need is a little hot glue, an empty glass bottle, and some yarn. Starting at the bottom, wrap the yarn around the bottle, securing every few inches or so with a dab of glue. Once you have reached the top, you’re done! You can use buttons, jewels, or felt flowers to embellish your vase if you like.

Step 1:

Gather materials and remove label residue from the jar.

Step 2:

Wrap yarn around the bottle. The process will work best/go smoother if you start from the bottom. As you are wrapping yarn, place a drop of glue every few inches to secure the yarn. Be careful! You only need a small drop to hold it in place.

Step 3:

Don’t be afraid to be creative! Spice it up with different colored yarn or adding a few jewels or sequins to add a little oomph to the design. Adding flowers will make the special woman in your life smile.

Tip: If you want to use a plastic bottle instead of a glass bottle, follow the same steps but instead of hot glue use super glue.

 

Photo Credit: Alicia Rascon

Photo Credit: Alicia Rascon

Frame for Dad

Give your papá something to display on his desk at work  or in his office.

-       Two sheets of Cardstock

-       Photos of your papá

-       Frame

-       Scissors

-       Glue stick

Step 1:

Gather materials and cut out the word “DAD” in the cardstock. Set the cardstock with the word “DAD” aside.

Step 2:

Select and print out photos of him, your family, or both of you! Using 2-3 photos per letter will work best, because you can place them side by side or on top of one another.

Step 3:

You can either trim the parts where the photo is not visible through the letter before gluing them to the second sheet of cardstock, or only glue them onto the cardstock. You will need to make sure the photos are visible through each letter.

Step 4:

Let the glue dry, place the cardstock with the word “DAD” cut out on top of the pictures, and insert/adjust when placing into the frame.

Tip: If you are feeling adventurous, you can print several pictures and cut them out to fit in each letter, like a collage.

Photo Credit: Alicia Rascon

Photo Credit: Alicia Rascon

Artsy Gift for Grandma

Give your abuelita your own version of a family tree. This gift is twice as valuable if it is made with her other grandchildren.

Materials:

-       Paint

-       Paint brush (optional)

-       Paper

-       Frame

Step 1:

Gather materials and prep the area. You will need to wash your hands before you move on to the next color.

Step 2:

You can either use a paint brush or your finger to paint the trunk of the tree and branches.

Step 3:

After you are done creating the trunk and branches, use your handprint to create the leaves of the tree.

Step 4:

Wait until it is dry, write a holiday message, and insert into the frame. Pretty simple, right?

Changing for a Guy, Right or Wrong?

Thinking you found the perfect man is one of the best feelings in the world; suddenly your world has turned upside down, and your eyes shine every time you think about him, talk about him, or just look at him. First love or finding love at any age could make a girl, or woman, change herself, but sometimes change can go too far.

Love-Hearts-Sweets-Its-Love-Real-Love_art

Of course all girls say that they wouldn’t alter their personality for a guy, but it turns out to be completely different when these girls find love. Yet the question remains, is changing who you are to fit your boyfriend’s ideal girl worth it? Or is change something we do without even realizing it? Most of us say that you should be just the way you are to find love, and that you do not need to pretend to be someone else. If he falls for you then there is a chance he might be the “one.” If he falls for the lie, a time will come when pretending to be someone else gets exhausting, and you’ll both be living a lie. But sometimes changing your personality for a guy might be a good thing.

This topic can create three different stories; in one story the girl changes her awful- bipolar personality after meeting the sweetest guy ever. In another story the nice, smart girl meets the cool, bad guy, and ends up getting hurt and changing some of her personality. Then unexpectedly, she ends up falling for her boy best friend who has always been there for her. The last story, and the one that most of the girls fall for, is the one where the bad boy falls for the nice girl, and he changes who he is for her.  This story is often common, but does it always happen? Chicas, this is a big NO.

Should we change our personality for another person?

According to a blogger named Ali Hale, changing who you are is not always the best thing. If you feel like changing, it should be into something positive, but her main point is that you are who you are no matter what. She also explains that people should change at their own will. Lip Gloss Culture, a lifestyle blog, explains that women tend to change in a relationship for the simple fact that change is part of our nature. Yet, there comes a time when a girl or woman already put too much effort in the relationship, while the boyfriend doesn’t dare to do the same. Meaning, that you’ve cooked him dinner, ditched your girlfriends several times to be with him, and stopped talking to your male friends to make him happy. If he cannot do a simple thing for you then you should step back from the relationship. Lip Gloss Culture also explains that it is fine to change in a relationship, it’s part of learning through experience and committing; but girls need to see who is giving up more of themselves. You can have a relationship and still be yourself, remember that a guy is supposed to like you for who you are.

Young ladies that are already in college look back at their previous relationships and experiences and say that in fact you do change, without even noticing! These young ladies also state that even though they did change for their boyfriends, a part of them never died. Somehow girls, or women, tend to be more committed and attentive, but at the same time they are still the girl who loves to have a girls night out. Why not take a little break from the boyfriend, and see your best friend? Because you probably need it.

Some girls admit that they had given too much for a certain boyfriend because they were in love, and love itself blinded them. Looking back at those memories most girls state their boyfriends took advantage of it, but they did it to make them happy. When they finally realized what they had become, they took a stand and said enough is enough. One girl took a stand when she found out that her boyfriend cheated on her. Eventually they fixed their problems and came back together once again.

You could be the type of girlfriend who doesn’t care if your boyfriend goes out with the guys, as long as you are able to go out with your friends. It is recommended to never to forget about your friends when you have found the “one,” you will need them for a break or for support.You do not need to change completely for a guy. Remember, you can still be into classic movies, and date a guy who is all about technology and sports.

DIY Room Organization

Tired of all the clutter around your room? Try these simple DIY tips to spice and organize your room on a budget. Let your creativity flow and if you love them so much, you can even give one as a gift to your friend.

Magazine storage

Photo from http://www.thesitsgirls.com/diy/diy-home-decor/

Photo from http://www.thesitsgirls.com/diy/diy-home-decor/

Magazines can pile up and take space in your room.To solve the problem you will need a large empty cereal box. First, you need to carefully cut the top lids of the box. Then, on the larger side of the box you need to start cutting from the top of the box to the bottom and leave 5 inches from the bottom up. You need to repeat the same thing on the other side. Then cut the side of the box that is alone, and leave 5 inches of the box from the bottom up. Finally, you can decorate your box with wrapping paper by adding stickers of your choice.

Storage Box

You can use this box to store and organize your makeup, pencils, etc. First, you will need a shoebox and about 7 carton toilet paper rolls. Then, you need to decorate your box by using gift-wrapping paper, markers or stickers. Using a glue gun glue the carton rolls vertically and try to fit as many carton rolls as you can — depending on the size of your box. Now you can store your lip gloss, eye liners or pencils!

Necklace Organizer

Renovate your old frames by using them as a necklace display that will also decorate your room. You can spray paint or use acrylic paint to color the frame. Using thumbtacks, place them on the carton board and hang your necklaces on the thumbtacks. Now you have a glamorous frame that will keep all of your precious necklaces in order.

Cotton and Q-tips Holder

This is a perfect way to keep your cotton balls and your q-tips in an accessible order.  First, you need a big empty candle jar. Then, to add some color you will need to paint an empty toilet paper roll. Use your creativity to paint patterns with different colors. Once the paint dries you can glue the toilet paper roll to the bottom of the candle jar. Now you can add the Q-tips inside the toilet paper roll and the cotton balls around the roll. 

 

Have a DIY project you want to share on Latinitas Mag? Send an e-mail to mylatinitas@yahoo.com

Sleek Straight to Brittle Hair

The sleek straight hair is still as popular as ever. Society’s standards have managed to focus on curly hair as being less tidy or perhaps the less than ideal counterpart. Straight hair dominates as the “perfect” predecessor to girl’s night out and weekend dates.

One must wonder, how does society play a role in the style of our hair?

Jane Diaz, 20, recalls her youth, “I used to spend hours in front of the mirror trying to mirror my friends stick straight hair. I spent so much time trying my hardest to achieve total perfection.”

After a total of 7 hours, her hair was often as curly as it was before the use of the iron. Constantly straightening hair, if not nourished, often leads to brittle or dry hair– the price that is paid for beauty.

Mia Tapia, 17, recalls the anxiety from being obsessed with having straight hair. She says, “I would come to realize that the look was a tiresome process of having to continue to use and reuse dry conditioner, gloss, and volume spray to achieve my naturally healthy curly hair back.”

Dangers of Hair Abuse

Treatments like hair straighteners are the cause for hair follicles becoming limp and frail after 40 minutes of heat induction. Most hair treatments go beyond and hour, which damages the hair in the long run. Depending on how much one is willing to pay, beauticians leave women with dry straw-like hair. Ever wonder why they insist on getting a customer to buy moisturizers? It is a situation where one gets a desired look at the price of a large bill.

Many people place hair as the epitome of beauty. If your gorgeous hair is not flowing then society is quick to label you unfit. As most people age, hair becomes thinner and soon loses its resilient ability to stay alive under the pressure of curling irons. Society may be looking past the ramifications of health for an “ideal” beauty type.

Tapia says, “If I had as much time now as I did [at 12] then, to straighten out my hair, then I would have less time to study. I would rather be smart than worry about looks.”

Perhaps society places straight hair as the only standard of beauty. One musical artist that breaks away from the straight hair phenomenon is Regina Spektor. Her hair is a massive pile of sheer bounce, but she is entirely known for her music alone. Or the wavy haired Spanish rock star, Julieta Venegas. Despite recent fashion innovations her hair does not define her music ability. So although many attend her concerts in hopes of hearing her, pure vanity is never an issue.

Too many people place hair as the standard for beauty. It is time people openly sport their natural hair and show off their fabulous locks.

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