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Thursday, December 31, 2015

Top 10 Posts Readers Loved in 2015

(Remember this? This was the old banner for Artz of Culturez)

As you can see Artz of Culturez went through several minor changes in 2015. First, I got rid of the blogspot extension. Then I swapped the letter ’s’ to the letter ‘z.’ I also posted an armature head shot of myself on the home page so you can put a face to the ideas that fill up the pages of the blog.

Some of the new ideas include, Artz of Culturez TV, Diggin’ in the Crates, and Empty-Nest Chronicles. However, I couldn’t help but notice that when I created the Money Culture tab and filled it with personal finance postings for Money Method Mondays, the page views went though the roof. Turns out readers want to know more about how to handle their finances.

Monday, December 21, 2015

The Big Chop in Corporate America

Related Stories

Minority Opinion: Zendaya, Rancic Works it Out

Looking forward to your comments below, or you can e-mail your views to

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

NYT Opens Pandora's Box to Race in America

The New York Times is running an Op-Docs series featuring personal stories around race. Individuals give viewers a deeper look at how racial issues in America effects them directly.

The latest installment, A Conversation With Black Women on Race by Joe Brewster and Michele Stephenson, is bound to pull on the heartstrings of any woman of color. It definitely tugged at mine especially when one of the storytellers tried to explain the internal racism that takes place within the Black community. Her story immediately triggered several memories of when I was called a racial slur by someone who had the same color skin and hair texture as me.
"Why do you speak like a white person, don't you know you ain't nothin' but a nigga?" 
As I write this blog post, I recall every moment when my mother told me, as a young child:
"You are black, ugly and that your nose is too big."
These are the internal racial tensions that the storyteller talked about, which plagues Black America everyday.

Until we work on ourselves, educate our children, inform our neighbors and individuals from other backgrounds, we will continue to have these issues. I applaud The New York Times for taking on this project, and I hope that these stories will resonate through the masses.

Watch and listen:

Please feel free to leave your comments below, or you can e-mail your views to

Related Stories: 

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Diggin' in the Crates: A Tribe Called Quest

ATCQ Album Cover

It's seemed like only yesterday that I heard Bonita Applebum playing on the radio through the hallways of my high school. But it wasn't just yesterday. All this week, A Tribe Called Quest has been popping up all over the airwaves and nightly talk shows to celebrate its 25th anniversary of their debut album People's Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm.

Out of all the members of the group Q-Tip was my personal favorite. (My sincere apologies Phife Dawg, Ali Shaheed Muhammad and Jarobi White.) 

The one in the middle is Q-Tip

I personally never owned the album but now is good time to add People's Instinctive Travels and the Paths of Rhythm to my music collection. And I've got to get Pharell William's rendition of Bonita Applebum.

So far the best interview I heard about the 25th anniversary aired on NPR's All Things Considered. I learned that the album made some feel like it was "an iconoclast's mission statement" from the hip-hop era of the early 1990s. The group, which started out during their teenage years, are all grownup and appears to be ready to bring hip-hop back to life. Well, at least this is what I hope.

Take a listen.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

The Media is Not Trying to Distract You

Guest Post: by Felicia Speakes

So, there’s been a lot going on in the media lately. Just about every week, a Black person becomes a victim of a crime. Either nine Black people are shot at church by a racist, or a cop kills a Black person during a “routine” traffic stop. With the onslaught of social media, we’re consuming these stories like food at a buffet line. All it takes is one photo or one headline and BOOM! … a story and the fallacies and opinions that come along with have traveled across the country and half way around the world.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Money Method: Financial Habits

(Dr. Dan Geller)

Guest Post: Dr. Dan Geller the Behavioral Finance Scientist

People will repeat the same six financial habits each time the economy goes through a cycle.

A breakthrough study in financial behavior, or Behavioralogy, shows that people repeat their financial behavior in a highly predictable manner based on the state of the economy. The study, conducted by Dr. Dan Geller - a behavioral finance scientist and the author of Money Anxiety, found that people repeated their financial behavior in each of the economic cycles during the last 50 years.

The study found that people "orient" themselves to the state of the economy by repeating six financial-behavior patterns - three related to their spending and three related to their savings. Each financial behavior pattern corresponds to the stage in the economic cycle, i.e. recession, recovery , expansion and decline. Here are the six financial habits:

Friday, July 24, 2015

Fashion Friday: Vintage Purse Sighting

(Kim's Vintage Purse)

You see this leather hobo purse on this woman’s shoulder? Well, I fell in love with it. Unfortunately, it’s not available in stores anymore. Turns out, Kim bought it at an estate sale for $5 somewhere in Florida.

I’ve never gone to an estate sale because I always thought the items were going to be priced way out of my range. Garage/yard sales are more my thing. I try to get up early on a Saturday morning and stroll until I saw the signs. "Yard Sale: At 123 Elm Street." I would also hit the thrift stores and vintage shops. However, I never came across any purse that I fell in love with like the one Kim now carries.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Empty-Nest Chronicles: Financial Literacy 101

A Money Method & Empty-Nest Chronicles Special

(Photo Credit: TC's Views)

My son has officially graduated from high school and is on his way to college in August. But before I send him off to soar around the adult world I took him to our local bank to open a checking and savings account in his name.

We got a financial literacy lesson about credit scores, identity protection and Regulation D - a federal regulation that limits the number and type of withdrawals from savings, or Money Market Accounts to six per month for each account.

Credit Score Discussion

My son had many questions about credit scores for our banker.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Misty Copeland Breaks Barriers One Pirouette at a Time

Misty Copeland appeared on my radar in September 2014 after I heard her story on National Public Radio. Morning Edition host, Steve Inskeep, had a captivating conversation with the ballerina about her book Firebird and what it’s like to be a Black ballerina.

On June 30, 2015, Copeland popped up again on my radar. Turns out that the 32 year-old dancer broke barriers and made history. Copeland was named principal dancer at the American Ballet Theater Company. She is the first Black-American female to hold this position.

As Copeland was pursuing her passion naysayers told her that her body was too bulky for ballet. She was told at the age of 13 that she was too old to continue her goals as a dancer. It makes me wonder what Copeland’s cynics are saying now. I bet they are wondering how this bulky, Black-American woman was promoted to principal dancer in her 30s.

It just goes to show that perseverance will get you exactly where you want to be in life. What are you waiting for?

Take a listen to Copeland’s one-to-one with Steve Inskeep, which initially aired on Sept. 9, 2014.

Monday, June 29, 2015

Behind the Canvas: Carol Frazer Haynesworth

(Available on Amazon)
There comes a time when life comes to a stand still. High school and college graduates are the main ones who gets stuck in the middle of the crossroad as they try to figure out what road to take and wonder, 'What's next?' As some try to map out a plan, panic sets in. While others decide to remain stagnate and trap themselves in their comfort zone. 

However, I'm a true believer that everyone has a purpose in life and it's up to every individual to figure out their destiny. 

If you're one of those students, or even someone who is stuck in a rut in any aspect of your life, Carol Frazer Haynesworth's book, Coauthor of your Great Destiny - What makes ordinary people become extraordinary, may just be the guide that can help you get unstuck. 

Press the play button to see and hear more.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

D'Angelo, Bobby Seale Discuss Racial Injustice in America

(D'Angelo, right, with Bobby Seale in Berkeley, Calif. )
(Photo Credit Zackary Canepari for The New York Times)

It's always refreshing to hear how things were during the Civil Rights Movement, especially when the story is being told by the Black Panther Party co-founder, Bobby Seale. It's even more compelling when a musical Black American artist takes part in the conversation.

In the following video, Seale and R&B singer, D'Angelo, hit the nail on the head during a New York Times video interview when D'Angelo said, "Ain't nobody talkin' about nothin'," when it comes to the music today. "We as artists we have a responsibility. The kids are paying attention to us. They're lookin' at us." 

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Empty-Nest Chronicles: The $50 Corsage

My son, who is my youngest child, is a few months away from leaving the nest. For the last couple of weeks we've been preparing for the joyous event by celebrating his 18th birthday, suiting up for his cap and gown, selecting housing for his college dorm and breaking the bank for his senior prom.

Ah, the senior prom. Suit, tie, shoes, socks, haircut, prom tickets and portrait packages can all add up to a hefty bill. The last thing I wanted to do was spend $50 for a corsage. Yes, you read that correctly. I wrote $50 for a corsage. That's what I spent at a floral shop last year when my son went to the junior prom. I later learned that everyone ends up taking off their corsage after pictures and before they hit the dance floor.

This time around I skipped the local floral shop near my corporate job in the city and I found another way. 

Monday, June 8, 2015

Money Method: Financial Entrapment

The Money Maven sheds light on how to stop the cycle of financial abuse

It amazes me how many people are subjected to financial entrapment and don't even realize it. You've seen domestic financial abuse play out on the big screen. Remember Sleeping with the Enemy, and Enough, and all of those Lifetime flicks that shows the victim stuck and nowhere to go because they don't have control over any of their finances, or even worse, they have no finances at all because of their domineering partner?
"Financial abuse is a form of mistreatment in which an abuser forcibly controls a victim's finances."
The Money Maven, Patrice Washington, is back with some key advice on how to avoid and how to get out of financial abuse if you or somebody you know are on financial lockdown. 

The Money Maven wants people to understand that financial abuse is not only limited to romantic relationships, it can also creep into the picture very subtlety with close friends and family members. It can happen when they lead you to believe that without your constant and consistent help and support, they’ll suffer from some unimaginable fate.

Friday, June 5, 2015

Fashion Friday: Glorious Gray

(Lounging in Glorious Gray: Full description below)

The color gray is a shade that shouldn't be ignored on your fashion color palette. Nor should it be saved just for the winter. Gray can and should be worn year round.

A few weeks ago one of my friends made an attempt to reprimand me for wearing gray in the spring season. "But if you pair it with a bright spring color like yellow, gray can work you know," I politely fired back. 

Whoever said gray is only to be worn during the cold months is wrong. And I don't care if Anna Wintour has it written down in the fashion law books of Vouge magazine. We can wear gray anytime of the year! (No disrespect, Anna.)

There are several shades of gray to choose from ... 50, if you ask my favorite dominate fictional character Christian Grey. I tend to pack away my dark gray items until winter sets in and I keep my lighter shades of gray in my daily wardrobe year round. During the winter months I pair my dark grays with red, deep purple, and the color that goes with just about everything 365 days of the year - black.

Ah, but it’s springtime and summer is about to creep in any day now, which means that the dark side of the color palette will not always work but the lighter side of the complementary color wheel will. My personal favorite colors that mesh well with the lighter shades of gray includes: yellow, turquoise, gold, light blue, off white, lavender and magenta.

Do you see it? Do you see that gray is the color for all seasons? Great! My job here is done.

Share how you feel about gray occupying your closet year round in the comment box. Or if Instagram is where you share your fashion habits, tag me in your gray looks at @TCsViews so I can check it out.  


Outfit: Lounging in Glorious Gray

Gray high-rise skinny jeans: Urban Outfitters 
Stripped gray & yellow long sleeve cotton shirt: The Gap 

Combat boots: Nine West  

Yellow purse: orYANY  

Fabulous Shades: Style Haven Boutique  

Earrings: Forever 21 

Hair: Beauty House of TamYams ~ Natural Curls constructed with Cantu Leave in Conditioner, pure African Shea Butter, and natural coconut oil 

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Behind the Canvas: Raphael Rapior

(Raphael Rapior)
Portrait photographer, Raphael Rapior, sold nearly everything he owned to make his journey from Germany to New York City's art scene. He even sold his most prized possession – his camera.

However, Rapior's passion to snap faces of the living isn't driven by a big payday, he's inspired by by his younger brother. When he realized that his brother couldn't verbally express emotions, Rapior taught himself how to pay attention to his brother's facial expression. This gave Rapior the motivation to capture the emotions of people around the world. 

Rapior hopes to inspire people with his work as he snaps images and share stories of cultures you don't hear or see everyday. First stop... India, which inspired his NYC photography debut of In Shiva's Shadows.

Press the play button to see and hear more.

Would you sell everything you own to pursue your creative passion? Share your answers in the comment box, or e-mail your views to

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Guest Post: 4 Tips to Launch & Preserve Your Personal Brand

(Created by TC's Views via
Depending on what career path you’ve taken, you’ve probably blended into the culture of personal branding. Artists, bloggers, business owners, entrepreneurs, journalist, musicians and writers are just a short list of people who focuses on their individual trademark in the digital world.

OK, so you may think that having a personal brand may be a bit narcissistic. You may be right but you should reconsider especially if you’re trying to increase your chances of making a career move or launching that great idea you’ve been dreaming about. 

In this guest article, Marsha Friedman, who is the author of Celebritize Yourself, shares four things you can do to get your personal brand up and running.  

Monday, May 25, 2015

Money Method: Roth IRA for Beginners

(Photo created by TCsViews)

So you finally got that job with healthcare benefits and a 401(k) retirement savings plan.  The only thing about that 401(k) is that your company does not contribute a single dollar to your retirement. 

After the economy took a severe turn for the worse in the early 2000s, several corporations put a freeze on their 401(k) match and some have yet to reinstate their contributions. Most companies are waiting for their bottom lines to show signs of improvement before they even consider offering any type of 401(k) match.

But why do you have to wait to save for retirement? Why not find an alternative or a backup plan to add to your retirement nest egg? How about making your own contribution to a Roth IRA? The following are six things to know to help you get started.  

Sunday, May 24, 2015

Holistic Care vs Conventional Medicine

(Kelarius Finex)

The holistic health profession is on the rise. Many Americans are seeking out holistic and spiritual healers as an alternative to cure their ailments without subjecting their bodies to possible side effects from prescription drugs and going under the knife on the operating table. But how do you know when it's time to seek conventional medical care vs holistic care?

In the ninth episode of Better Said Than Written, I had an opportunity to sit down with Holistic Health Practitioner, Kelarius Finex*, to discuss the benefits of holistic care and knowing when to seek medical treatment. 

Click the blue play button to take a listen …

Podcast Details:

Friday, May 22, 2015

Fashion Friday: Lovin' Yellow

(Day at the Office Outfit: Full description below) 

Yellow is not the color for everyone but when paired with the right colors and style, yellow can brighten up anyone’s spring day. 

I’ll admit that I saw the color coming for several months now. During the fall of 2014, I noticed different shades of sunny side up peeking out here and there. But it was the spring fashion 2015 fashion shows that really put my fashion intuition to rest. Take a look at Lubov Azria, Delpozo, Diane Von Furstenberg, Michael Kors and Herve Leger’s spring collection to see for yourself. 

Unfortunately, TC’s Clozet isn't flushed with high-end lemon colored threads from 2015’s spring catwalk, but it is filled with a range of designers from various boutiques, trendy retailers, vintage shops, discount high-end retailers, and pre-owned apparels from my fashionista friends. 

This week's Fashion Friday outfit has a mix of yellow, green and gray. Yes, gray. I've been told that gray isn't a spring color and it’s more suitable for winter. When I checked the law books on fashion, I couldn't find anything that said I had to pack away my gray garments for the spring. (More on that in the next Fashion Friday post.)

So, are you lovin’ yellow as much as I am? Share your comments and pictures below. If Instagram is more your style, tag me in your sunshine looks at @TCsViews so I can check you out! 

Day at the Office Outfit

Pre-owned Cardigan: British mail order retailer Boden ~ Acquired from my friend Kim. 

Gray ¾ in sleeve top: H&M

Pleated Skirt: H&M ~ As you can see ... it has pockets!  

Shoes: Nine West ~ You’ll see me in a lot of shoes from Nine West because, well, they are my favorite brand. I’ll write a blog post on them one of these days

Earrings: My friend left them at my house a few years ago, and they've been in my possession ever since.

Prescription Glasses: Warby Parker

Hair: Beauty House of TamYams ~ Natural Curls constructed with shea butter, coconut oil and EcoStyler gel

Related stories: All in the Color Palette

Sunday, May 3, 2015

The Enigma and Allure in Baltimore

Welcome back to Better Said Than Written, the podcast supplement of Artz of Culturez where I make a personal connection with today's trending topics.

In this episode I tried to wrap my head around what's taking place in Baltimore, Md. With the help of Emrld Swmp's member, universe, I was able to get a different perspective from a poem he shared for the people of Baltimore. 

Normally, you would just click the green play button below to hear my take and the poem, but in this installment, I decided to include my write up, which includes the identity of the police officers who were responsible for Freddie Gray's death. 

When America first got wind of Freddie Gray's death by the hands of Baltimore police officers, some citizens were convinced that his death was another case of racism. However, as I mentioned in a previous post, some people of Baltimore believes Gray's death has nothing to do with race but instead class. (see: Baltimore: It's Not About Race)

The word classism is defined as – prejudice or discrimination based on class. And according to, classism is held in place by a system of beliefs and cultural attitudes that ranks people according to economic status, family lineage, job status, level of education, and other divisions. This sounds about right in the story I initially alerted you to that Steve Inskeep shared on NPR.

Baltimore's chief prosecutors has since charged the officers with the death of Gray. Once the six police officers identities were revealed, most critics became silent about the talk of racism.

Friday, May 1, 2015

Fashion Friday: All in the Color Palette

(Day at the Office Outfit)

Depending on the shade of your skin, you can pull off wearing almost any primary color. As you can see I've got quite a few colors in this spring day at the office outfit.

A colleague of mine has been trying to encourage one of his fair skin co-workers, who I will call Drew, to break out of wearing solid black all the time. I then informed my colleague that Drew may have to find a color palette that suits her because spring colors like yellow, orange and certain shades of pastel blue will make her look washed out and may clash with her blonde hair.

I even have colors that I'm hesitant of wearing. Midnight blue, coffee brown and eggplant are colors that makes me look drab. However, I try to brighten dark colored outfits with accessories from earrings, to fashion statement necklaces, multi patterned socks and right down to the shoes! Who says you have to wear black shoes with every dark outfit?

So what colors on your palette makes your complexion pop? Share your comments and pics below. If Instagram is more your style be sure to tag @tcsviews in your posts.
Day at the Office Outfit

(Cardigan Tag)
  • Belt: Style Haven 'Vintage' Boutique
  • Cardigan: I totally forgot... But here's the tag I found inside
  • Dress: Forever 21
  • Shoes: Nine West Outlet
  • Earrings: H&M
  • Hair: Beauty House of TamYams - Natural curls constructed with Miss Jessie's Curly Pudding 

Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Baltimore: It's Not About Race

(Freddie Gray)
Steve Inskeep, host of Morning Edition on National Public Radio, went down to the streets of Baltimore where rioters took over the city after Freddie Gray’s funeral. Gray, who was a 25-year-old Black American man, died from a spinal injury after being taken into police custody. 

Some activists, social media audience and news outlets placed Gray’s death and the Baltimore riots into the same category as Eric Garner of Staten Island, N.Y, and the uprising in Ferguson, Mo., where protesters rioted for the death of Michael Brown. Observers grouped Gray’s death into a series of Black men dying by the hand of law enforcement. Unfortunately, they didn't get the story quite right.

Tuesday, April 28, 2015

And the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry Goes to …

National Poetry Month has been a time for spoken words, limericks and pindaric odes. With only a couple of days left to celebrate the month of versifiers, I’d like to share another poem from the Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn-based writer, Gregory Pardlo. What makes Pardlo so special? He is the winner of the 2015 Pulitzer Prize for poetry for his book Digest

Monday, April 27, 2015

Money Method: Educating Youngsters About Finance

Over the years, I’ve taught my kids a few basics about the difference between financial wants and needs. But there are so many points to go over with kids that tackling them all in one setting can be a bit overwhelming. 

Jordan Niefeld, a certified financial planner and a CPA at Raymond James & Associates in Aventura, Fla., recommends several key points to get parents started with the conversation on how to teach their children to handle their monetary funds.

Monday, April 20, 2015

The Maneater Manifesto

Featured poet of the week: Laura Swearingen-Steadwell

Spoken word poetry has always stayed near and dear to my heart. So when I came across @AllDefPoetry on Instagram I figured that it would be fitting to continue National Poetry Month and share some of their featured poets with you. 

For more spoken word performances, subscribe to All Def Poetry on YouTube at

Are you a spoken word performer? Share your lines with us in the comment box or send your recording to 

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Diggin in the Crates: It's Record Store Day

If you never heard of Record Store Day, you're not alone. I just found out about this joyous occasion in March from a co-worker. (Thanks Matt!)

So what is Record Store Day? It's an annual event that was founded in 2007 and takes place on the third Saturday of April. Record Store Day celebrates the culture of the independently owned record store. Vinyl record collectors, fans, artists, and independent record stores around the globe all takes part in this glorious day.

A number of records are pressed specifically for Record Store Day, and are only distributed to shops participating in the event. Too bad there isn't a record store in Montclair, N.J. where I can stand in line in anticipation to go vinyl digging. 

There's also a website dedicated to the yearly celebration. provides a list of some of the 600+ artists, locally regionally, and nationally known who will be spending the day rockin' out to the culture of their indie record store.  

There's even an Ambassador for the day. This year Foo Fighter's front man, Dave Grohl, will grace the official seal for 2015. Pretty awesome right?

This year I didn't have enough time to go through the list of artists who were putting out limited editions for Record Store Day. However, 2016 I'll be good and ready to go diggin' through crates with fellow vinyl record lovers. 

Maybe I'll even run into vinyl record volggers Mike and Sandy, who breaks down what you need to know for Record Store Day! 

Did you hit your local record store to celebrate the annual event? 

What's currently spinning on your turntable?

Are you even into vinyl records?


Monday, April 13, 2015

Money Method: Tips to Buying More Time to File Your Taxes

The April 15 tax deadline is less than 72 hours away. But did you know that if you need more time to file your taxes the Internal Revenue Services grants an automatic six month extension? Well, now you know ... and here are five things you need to know about filing an extension:

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Weekly Recap: Longtime No Read

newsletter whoas ... 

It’s been awhile since some of my subscribers seen a TinyLetter/newsletter from me. I stopped sending newsletters because the stats shows that a majority of my subscribers weren't opening up the newsletters or reading any of the stories. So I figured that it would be best to lay low for a spell.

During my hiatus I brainstormed about what people need to know. That’s when I thought of pushing out more stories for the personal finance section, Money Method – published on Mondays. I also found that blog visitors appreciates the Better Said Than Written segments. All they have to do is read a couple of short lines, and click the play button. Well, at least that’s what the analytics on the backend shows.

So, as a reminder, if there’s a story, topic, event or issue you think will make a good fit on Arts of Cultures, e-mail your views to And for those of you who just found out about Arts of Cultures and would like to receive a weekly recap, you can sign up here

An example of arts + cultures recap is just a click away... 

Saturday, April 11, 2015

Guest Poet: Anthony Villegas, The Set of Rules

Anthony Villegas is the founder and editor of the luxury and lifestyle blog, Of Mice & Menswear. After returning from a short hiatus, the emotions of life inspired Villegas to pour out his feelings in a poem titled, The Set of Rules. "It does carry some seriousness to it, as it is a poem written with serious thought," Villegas wrote in the introduction of his first poem hosted on his blog.

The Set of Rules questions the ifs, whys and whats of life. It hones in on complexities life serves most of us on a daily basis, which all balances out once we agree to follow all of the unspoken rules of life. 

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Q&A With Loveknit

The art of Yarn Bombing and Knit Graffiti 

Have you ever come across a piece of art in the most strangest of places and wondered, “Who created this piece of work and why did they choose to place it there?” Well, this scenario actually took place during one of my evening commutes.

As I headed on my five minute walk home from the train station, I came across a quote attached to a fence. Correction… I came across a knitted quote attached to a fence. I started to walk away but curiosity pulled me back and I had to snap a picture. That's when I saw the hashtag #LoveKnit stitched into the bottom right hand corner of the quote. I felt compelled to post my findings on Instagram and Twitter to see if I can find out who this artist is and what was the inspiration behind his or her work.

Less than 24 hours after I posted my inquiry the artist responded on Instagram!

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Daily Poem: If the World Was Crazy

April is National Poetry Month. So, why not celebrate with a poem a day?

Today's poem is by Shel Silverstein - If The World Was Crazy, is from Silverstein's book of poems, Where the Sidewalk Ends. ... Read by TC

More poetry posts...

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