Discworld Monthly - Issue 178 - February 2012
Table of Contents:
Welcome to issue 178. In the last month I have been busy beavering away on a new look for our website. If you get a chance please pop along to http://discworldmonthly.co.uk/ and let us know what you think of the new look. The site should hopefully degrade nicely for most mobile devices but if your phone doesn't show the site in a single column please let us know by following the instructions on http://discworldmonthly.co.uk/browsertest.php
While googling A'Tuin this month I came across a bar and diner in Bulgaria called A'Tuin. On their site they state: "Our idea is to embark together on a interesting and colourful adventure, all aboard on the back of the giant turtle A'Tuin from Terry Pratchet's (sic) Discworld books and steer away from the hasty and stressful city."
Do you know of any other Discworld themed bars / restaurants etc?
Don't forget, if you visit a play or a talk and would like to let the world know about it, please feel free to email your review to and we will consider it for publication.
Also if you have written an article that you think we might want to include in the newsletter please feel free to email me at the address below. We will of course give credit for anything we use.
Jason Anthony (Editor)
William Barnett (Deputy Editor)
Richard Massey (Tea with two sugars)
Latest news from Terry via http://www.discworld.com:
This is the cover information from the upcoming new novel - The Long Earth
The possibilities are endless (just be careful what you wish for...)
1916: the Western Front, France. Private Percy Blakeney wakes up. He is lying on fresh spring grass. He can hear birdsong, and the wind in the leaves in the trees. Where has the mud, blood and blasted landscape of No Man's Land gone?
2015: Madison, Wisconsin. Cop Monica Jansson has returned to the burned-out home of one Willis Linsay, a reclusive and some said mad, others dangerous, scientist. It was arson but, as is often the way, the firemen seem to have caused more damage than the fire itself. Stepping through the wreck of a house, there's no sign of any human remains but on the mantelpiece Monica finds a curious gadget - a box, containing some wiring, a three-way switch and a...potato. It is the prototype of an invention that Linsay called a 'stepper'. An invention he put up on the web for all the world to see, and use, an invention that would to change the way mankind viewed his world Earth for ever. And that's an understatement if ever there was one...
...because the stepper allowed the person using it to step sideways into another America, another Earth, and if you kept on stepping, you kept on entering even more Earths...this is the Long Earth. It's our Earth but one of a chain of parallel worlds, lying side by side each differing from its neighbour by really very little (or actually quite a lot). It's an infinite chain, offering 'steppers' an infinite landscape of infinite possibilities. And the further away you travel, the stranger - and sometimes more dangerous - the Earths get. The sun and moon always shine, the basic laws of physics are the same. However, the chance events which have shaped our particular Earth, such as the dinosaur-killer asteroid impact, might not have happened and things may well have turned out rather differently.
But, until Willis Linsay invented his stepper, only our Earth hosted mankind...or so we thought. Because it turns out there are some people who are natural 'steppers', who don't need his invention and now the great migration has begun...
Signed copies available to pre-order from May via http://www.discworld.com/
The book is due for release in June. You can see the reveal of the
cover art at:
The Discworld Emporium have produced a series of e-cards you can purchase and send to friends. The four cards are based on different Discworld themes including: Feegles, Igor, Assassins and Time.
You can preview each card and when you purchase one you can personalise it before sending it to your recipient.
For more details visit: http://discworldemporium.com/ecards/
Remember to turn your speakers down if you are in an office! My favourite is the Feegle card. Please note these e-cards need flash so won't work on your iPad or iPhone.
Snuff just missed out of the top 5 shortlisted novels for the British Science Fiction Awards as nominated by the members of the British Science Fiction Association.
Terry recently Tweeted:
"So... Just had a Watch script meeting at Prime Focus. Not going as well as we'd expected. "
You can follow TerryandRob at: https://twitter.com/?lang=en&logged_out=1#!/terryandrob
The Discworld Emporium have announced the dates of their spring event:
The next Discworld event in our calendar will be on the 5th and 6th May 2012 in our hometown, Wincanton. This event is cosier and more relaxed than our Hogswatch weekends, but is nonetheless bursting with active ingredients and Pratchetty goodness to keep the Discworld fan energised and enlightened! In a tenuous tribute to this year's forthcoming roundworld events, the Spring Fling shall curtsey to the Queen's Jubilee and, er, squat thrust to the Olympics with a Mr Shine Him Diamond/Gods theme. May trolls and deities abound!
Terry and Rob recently visited the Radio Times Covers party. On their review of the evening the Radio Times had the following to say:
Some of those attending were particularly honoured guests. Radio Times was very pleased to welcome Terry Pratchett, who collected the cover for his ground-breaking documentary Choosing to Die. "Thank you Radio Times," Pratchett tweeted as he made his way home. "You sure know how to throw a superb party" so many people to thank for their company, but Big Respect to Warwick Davis and [Davis's wife] Samantha."
Ian Stewart, one of Terry's co-authors on all three Science of the Discworld novels, has posted his list of the top 10 popular mathematics books on the Guardian website.
A report from the Commission on Assisted Dying has attracted criticism because it was part paid for by Terry.
Lord Falconer, who led the 11-strong panel of medical, legal and ethical experts, said he had insisted on its independence; its conclusions, while vehemently opposed by many disability campaigners and pro-life lobbyists, will also disappoint some for not going far enough.
This section will contain events that you need to keep in your diary. Entries will remain until they go out of date. New entries will include the word [New] next to them. If this section gets too large we will start pruning entries.
[UK] Lichfield Players will be performing Lords and Ladies at the Lichfield Garrick Theatre between 1st - 4th February 2012.
[UK, New] Maskerade will be performed from Wednesday 1st February to Saturday 4th February 2012 at Sheffield University Drama Studio, Glossop Road.
The doors open at 7pm for a prompt 7.30pm start. Full price: 7 GBP Concessions: 5 GBP
[UK and AU, Updated] The Broken Drummers and The Drummers Downunder are groups of fans that meet up monthly in the UK and Australia.
Unless otherwise stated the Drummers meet on the first Monday of each month. In February this will be Monday 6th.
The Drummers Downunder (Perth) will be meeting from 6pm at The Vic Hotel, 226 Hay St, Subiaco, Australia. You can contact the organiser Daniel Hatton on
The Drummers Downunder (Sydney) meet at Maloneys Hotel on the corner of Pitt and Goulburn Streets (across the road from World Square), Sydney, Australia from 6.30pm. For more information contact Sue (AKA Granny Weatherwax) on
The Broken Drummers meet at The Monkey Puzzle, Paddington, London, W2 1JQ, England at 7pm.
The Drummers are always happy to welcome new visitors.
[UK, New] Night Watch will be performed by the Durham Student Theatre from 16th - 18th February 2012. Performances start at 7:30pm and a matinee at 2:30pm on the 18th.
Ticks cost 6 GBP (5 GBP for students).
Profits from the show will be donated to the Orangutan Foundation.
For more information or to book your tickets visit: http://www.dur.ac.uk/theatre
[AU, New] Pratchett Pieces Three is three bite-sized quirky comedies adapted from Terry Pratchett short stories the will be performed at Bakehouse Theatre - Main Stage, 255 Angas St, Adelaide from 22-24 Feb at 8pm
Tickets cost Fringe Benefits 15 AUD / 18AUD / 15 AUD
Bookings: http://www.adelaidefringe.com.au | 1300 FRINGE | Fringe TIX Outlets: Rundle Mall, Gawler Place Canopy/ Adelaide Fringe Office, 105 Hindley Street/ East End, cnr. East Tce & Rundle Rd (Open from 16 February)
[UK, Updated] Monstrous Regiment will be performed in Cardiff from 22nd - 25th February 2012.
Performances start 7:30pm (2:30pm for the matinee on the 25th).
Tickets cost 7 GBP (5 GBP for concessions)
More details at: http://eskarina54.tumblr.com
To purchase tickets visit: http://discworldmonthly.co.uk?redir=REG178
On the 20th February there will be a Discworld themed quiz night in Buffalo bar, Windsor place, Cardiff at 7.30pm. There are 8 rounds and prizes include tickets to the show. People can contact for details.
[AU] For fans in Adelaide, The City of Small Gods Terry Pratchett Fan Club meets on the last Thursday of the month from 6.30pm at the Ed Castle, 233 Currie St. Details, discussions and organisation of extra events (such as play outings) are held on our email mailing list, so please sign up at https://groups.google.com/group/adelaide-discworld-fans
[UK, New] Thalian Theatre Group will be performing Maskerade from Wednesday 14th March to Saturday 17th March at 8pm at the Mirren Studio, Towngate Theatre, Basildon, Essex. Tickets are 9.50 GBP (8.50 GBP concessions) for the Wednesday and Thursday performances, and 11.50 GBP (10.50 GBP concessions) for the Friday and Saturday shows. Tickets are available from John on 07788 997497, email
[UK, New] Wyrd Sisters will be performed by Amateur Players of Sherborne in the Digby Hall, Sherborne, Dorset at 7.30 pm on Thu 29th - Sat 31st March 2012.
Tickets: 7.50 GBP Students 4 GBP on sale early March. More information at: http://www.aps-sherborne.co.uk
[AU] The Unseen University Convivium 2012 takes place from July 6 - 8 2012.
You can find out more information and purchase tickets by - Looking on the website: http://ausdwcon.org - Liking them on Facebook: http://facebook.com/UnseenUni - Following them on Twitter: http://twitter.com/UnseenUni - Sending enquiries via email to:
See section six for more details.
[UK, Updated] The Eighnnnnnn International Discworld Convention will take place from the 24th to 27th August 2012 at the Hilton Metropole in Birmingham.
For more information visit: http://www.dwcon.org
Update from DWCON:
Happy New Year (Julian calendar) to all (1), and with the new year we bring the news that we have now SOLD OUT!
950 of you lovely people are now signed up for a fun and frolic (2) filled weekend.
We are operating a waiting list for those unlucky enough not to get a ticket, simply go to this page http://www.dwcon.org/pages/sold_out and fill in the form, you will then be placed on the waiting list.
Meanwhile behind the scenes your Committee will be busy organising like organising things.
(1) It's another excuse to celebrate ;-) (2) Terms and conditions apply. Frolics subject to availability.
[US, New] North American Discworld Convention 2013
The North American Discworld Event 2013 will take place from July 5th - 8th 2013.
[DE] German Discworld Convention 2013
After successfully surviving the Assassins of Ankh-Morpork in 2011 we are taking the German Discworld Convention 2013 to their home continent Klatch! Make room in your schedule from October 3rd to 6th in 2013 for the fourth German Discworld Convention.
Please note, DWM has no way of checking the veracity or validity of
any of the items in our small ads section. As always, exercise
caution when giving out your details over the Internet. We
*strongly* recommend parental supervision for younger readers who
follow up any of these contacts.
Jacqui Drinkall writes: I'm in the process of regretfully preparing my entire Discworld Collection to sell, and would be most grateful if you could mention this in the next available issue of Discworld Monthly, and possibly by word of mouth to anyone who you think may interested.
The collection has been built up over nearly 20 years, and contains numerous rare and discontinued pieces including Lady Ramkin with Goldfish, Cheery Littlebottom, a prototype Nanny Ogg purchased from Rob Wilkins, (who has seen and photographed my collection) the original Ruby and Detritus figures - it really is a very long list!! As far as I know, it is an almost complete collection of all the Clarecraft models, with the exception of some of the bronze finishes and a couple of the rarest pieces such as the Dried Frog pill box with the metal plaque inside and an intact Death & Miss Flitworth with a short skirt, as the one I have has Death's cowl broken off. There are also pin badges and Feegles from PJSM and other bits and pieces of ephemera. It will be a great shame to break the collection up, but unless you know of anyone who might be interested in buying the entire collection from me, the pieces will be sold individually on ebay or by private sale. I know that the chances of there being such a purchaser are extremely slim, but thought I would mention this just in case you know of someone.
If anyone would like further details about any particular pieces or would like to receive a comprehensive list of everything for sale once I have complied it, please could they contact me via email. It will probably take me several months to compile a complete list of everything including photos and prices, so I would welcome enquiries from anyone who is after that special piece or would like to make an offer for any part of the collection. Most pieces will be open to negotiation of some sort, especially if I do not have to go through ebay to sell them.
If you have any letters or comments, please email them to
We assume any correspondence is eligible for use in the newsletter unless otherwise stated, including the sender's email address. We may also edit your letters whilst watching rubbish on the television.
It is vitally important that you don't pass off other people's work as your own. If you use information from other resources please let us know so we can give proper credit.
* From: "Rabbi Dr. Walter Rothschild"
I was touched by the letter from the reader who felt that Granny Weatherwax had somehow inspired her to live her own life more fully and deeply and with more personal integrity. I have never really been one to get excited about festivals and plays and games and films based upon books, or becoming a 'fan' in the sense of dressing up the way 'Trekkies' do. Instead I want to savour the beauty and depth of good literature - and THIS is why I so admire Terry. There is so much WISDOM in these books, in all of them, such a depth of knowledge and breadth of reading, and all dressed up in the most remarkable word-games and self-parodies.
The purpose of good writing is to make sure that You, the Reader, never look at something the same way again - and each of the books, whether Discworld or the Nomes trilogy or 'Carpet People' or other ones, takes one or more themes and ensures that you will never again look at the Police the same way (Guards! - or anything with Sam Vimes), or the Press (The Truth), or the conflict over little distant islands (Jingo) - or the loneliness of being extremely gifted (Sourcery) or the Genocide of Roma/Sinti (Snuff) or ... the list is long. Hollywood and Tibetan Buddhism and University Politics and Racism/Speciesism and Voodoo are all treated on the same level - funnily, hilariously, and cleverly - and by changing the names and placing all these conflicts on a mythical Discworld Terry can help us explore real terrestrial concepts such as Death and Nationalism and Inquisitions (Small Gods) and Government - anything with Vetinari teaches us SO much about Government! - or the way conspiracies of small-minded men can be manipulated, how one negotiates trade deals even with Dwarves, how young men give themselves fully to new technological ideas like the Clacks whilst others try to make profit from their work, how priests run the risk of being more loyal to their church than to their beliefs, how philosophers philosophise (Pyramids) ... how a sheep farmer feels rooted to their own Chalk, how a growing girl learns to develop her own personality.... the links between bringing a baby into the world and laying out the corpses ... Life on The Edge.
This is why, I believe, Terry Pratchett's books will become and remain classics, because they have a timelessness that will not be limited to one generation of readers, and they are not just adolescent fantasy projections but display a deep and warm adult wisdom which helps the reader, once he or she has stopped laughing over some pun, to realise that they have learned something profound about Life and the World and Themselves.
So for me - it is the Books, the Books, the Books which are important - not the adaptations or the spin-offs, the crafted models or the cartoon versions. I don't mind anyone enjoying this set of books and stories in any way in which they may want to, but in the end I am convinced it is the Books which will endure - because they Change People into Themselves. That's actually My job, as a clergyman - but Terry, despite his distaste for organised religion, does it so much better than I can...
* From: "Phil Barker"
I have just read the new biography of Terry, in which the author says that Terry destroyed the conventional sword and sorcery fantasy. Not so; what he did was make it realistic! The inhabitants of Discworld mostly work for a living, and are part of a society that is constantly evolving, not frozen in time. The only other fantasy author to get anywhere near this level of realism is Elisabeth Moon - who actually made her characters dig latrine trenches...
Years ago, I wrote and published a set of wargames rules HOTT; which are still going strong and are also still evolving. I included sets of army lists based on the books of my favourite authors. I wrote to each author and the copyright holders of those no longer with us enclosing my draft lists. I regret that Elizabeth said no, partly because she thought that my paladins were too prissy compared with hers, but mainly because her agent advised against it. I still buy her books. All the others gave permission, some enthusiastically. Even the copyright holder of the Conan books and films gave permission when approached by L. Sprague de Camp on my behalf. I did not approach the Tolkien estate, who notoriously insist on a pound of flesh for the slightest mention. By way of contrast, Terry did not utter threats or call lawyers, but merely wrote that I would make him sad if I stretched his permission too far. He is a very nice man, but of course, you knew that.
* From: "Renate Monika Dahms"
The latest DWM newsletter came just right because I am getting on the nerves of everybody around me about the potato question. Why didn't I think of asking you earlier...
Since last summer, I started re-reading (for I think the fourth of fifth time) all of the Discworld novels and listening to the audio books during my lunch breaks. That was very healthy, by the way, for both body & soul, wandering around and listening to all of Sir PTerry's fantastic stories instead of eating canteen food ;-) This was kind of preparation for the German Discworld Festival, my first ever, only because I wanted a Death of Rats plushie so badly. Of course, I didn't regret it, it was absolutely great, and I even got a scribble from Bernard Pearson. And - funny coincidence - an autograph from Rob into my old and tattered copy of Good Omens which I had with me. During the questions & answers time, he was asked which of the Discworld novels was his favourite, and he said "Good Omens". I love the Discworld novels, but this one is special, and it was the first one I read in English - I was always a bit afraid to miss something, but then I started to read the originals because it takes to much time until one can buy the German copies.
I am some kind of hardcore reader since I was a child, and after the adventure books period, I started with SF/ Fantasy which never really lost my hold of. That's why I know most of the themes and concepts coming up in this kind of literature. And that's why I now ended up asking myself and everybody else about this potato thing.
OK, this is what my question is about: in "The Truth" Mr Tulip and Mr Needle are carrying a potato to save them from death and disaster. This fact suddenly reminded me the Monty Python movie "Jabberwocky" where the silly little hero keeps a rotten potato (which the girl he adored threw after him) for the same purpose.
As Sir PTerry is known to do very careful research on his topics, I am wondering if there is a mythological or historical background on this potato = protective object.
I know this is not a world-shaking subject but it's driving me mad. So, I hope somebody knows the answer that lets me get back to sleep at night ;-)
At the very end, I'm all on edge about the Good Omens movie and many more novels - deeply wishing Sir PTerry good health, as good as possible for many more years! It seems so unfair that a person so full of creativity and wisdom is affected by such a terrible disease.
Also, many many THNX for the phantastic newsletters, I am enjoying them very much!
P.S. Dame Maggy Smith is the only acceptable Granny Weatherwax!
DWM replies: Note for Python fans who haven't heard of Jabberwocky - apparently it's a Terry Gilliam movie, marketed as Monty Python's Jabberwocky in some areas. If anyone thinks it's any good, we'll have to try and watch it some time.
* From: "Lindsay Gill"
I would like to extend my gratitude to the makers of Ankh-Morpork [the board game - Ed] for their wonderful creation. I have spent many hours using heinous subterfuge and conspiring against friends to control the city of Ankh-Morpork and thoroughly enjoyed it. Despite the fact that these friends are not avid Discworld readers (I'm working on it) their zeal for this game led us to play Guards Guards! and expand our repertoire of Discworld based, Saturday night entertainment. Unfortunately however, (in some part due to laziness) we do not really understand how to play! (although we did try) Can anyone provide a simplified account of the rules or an instructional video such as the one for Ankh-Morpork that could enlighten us?
P.S Is there any plan for an expansion pack for Ankh-Morpork to be created? It has been so enjoyed that there are now more than 4 of us wishing to play at one time and no counters or rules for such occasion.
DWM replies: We didn't stoop to heinous subterfuge, although there was some chucking game pieces at Richard and insulting him when he was out of the room for one of his MANY toilet breaks.
* From: "Mike Ward-Barrow"
I'm probably in a minority (of one?) but; I am finding my enthusiasm for the Discworld waning. I still buy the books as they are published - I have every book/map/etc. and most short stories from other mags/books - but I no longer feel the urge to be hammering on WHSmith's door on publication day.
And for why?
Well it started with Unseen University - in it, football was introduced as a rabble's mob 'sport' moving on to an organised sport (al la football's origins in this country.) But hang on! Didn't Captain Carrot organise a football match between the armies of Klatch and Ankh Morpork in Jingo? Also, he brought the Patrician down off his pedestal; he was boozing and mingling with the common crowd. Spoilt for ever his image of infallibility.
Then came Snuff and Wilikins changed from being a 'Gentleman's gentleman' with covert input in times of need to an out and out accomplice, compliant with Vimes policing policy's etc and not adverse to 'bending' the law! Also, Vimes, who refused to acknowledge or accept the existence of the Following Dark in Thud not only accepts it in the next book (Snuff), but engulfs it and uses it with gusto.
In between this, Greebo (who feared only the Nac Mac Feegles) is conquered by a fluffy white kitten! Any further adventures by the Three Witches has been forever diluted by this wanton deviation from character.
I realise that all authors move on - Granny Weatherwax changed dramatically between two books, and out of necessity took to 'broomstick aviation' - but somehow this didn't spoil anything. The more recent 'advances' in characters is, to my mind, not working.
As I say - probably a minority of one view, and it won't stop me enjoying re-reading the earlier books avidly, but...
Keep up the good work with DWM in its current format.
* From: "Kim Lowman"
Just thought I'd say theres a market trader in Wimborne market (Wimborne, Dorset) who sells interesting rocks and crystals and such who looks like he would be perfect in a Terry Pratchett film. Thanks for the newsletters! Happy new year to you!
This month I've taken three random quotes from the Discworld series and ask you to name which book they came from.
The answers as usual can be found at the end of this issue.
Review by Jason Anthony
I was recently sent a copy of The Amazing Maurice and his Educated Rodents a Terrifyingly Terrific Musical - complete performance pack to review.
The pack contains information about the musical, the script itself, an audio compact disc that includes all the background tracks and also the rehearsal tracks with lyrics and the complete score in music notation as a separate pullout.
The musical is aimed at upper primary school students because of the complexities of the stories. The website suggests 7-11 year old so that covers years 3 - 6 or Key Stage 2 in the UK.
The performance pack is also backed up with a website where you can download printouts of the lyrics rather than having to try to photocopy the book itself.
The musical itself requires a cast of 18 plus background villagers, clan rats and keekees (non educated rats) so should be able to keep a complete class occupied.
After describing each of the characters the book goes on to show which characters are needed for each of the eight scenes (very Discworld!) along with which props and which background music tracks are required.
The book then goes onto staging and costume ideas before moving onto the script itself (complete with song lyrics, more staging suggestions, details of which tracks to play etc).
The book finishes with details of the performance licence and how to purchase one if you are planning to stage the production. It all gets a bit complex if you wish to video the performance as you will have to write to AC Black the publishers for an additional licence.
The CD contains 18 tracks for the performance (8 sing along tracks and 10 scene change / introduction tracks) and an additional 8 rehearsal tracks. The music sounds great and varies in style from track to track.
I've never tried to organize a production before but I think there is enough detail in this pack to be able to put on a production of The Amazing Maurice. It appears to be well laid out and logical. I'm not normally a fan of musicals but I'd really quite like to see this performed!
The complete pack has a rrp of 29.99 GBP and ISBN 978-1-4081-4563-0
Amazon UK are selling it for 25.86 GBP at http://discworldmonthly.co.uk?ISBN=1408145634
+++ HEX OS V2012 BOOTING... +++
+++ READY. +++
+++ HAPPY NEW YEAR! +++
Good afternoon, staff and students. We just wanted to give you a quick update about the preparations for the Unseen University Convivium to be held in Adelaide, South Australia, Roundworld, on July 6-8, 2012.
+++ PRICE RISE IMMINENT +++
The current cheap prices for membership (Full 80 AUD, Concession 70 AUD, Child 60 AUD) are set to end in a mere few weeks, on 1st March. If you would like to be a worm-catching early bird, be sure to purchase your tickets now!
If you can not yet commit to a complete purchase, another way to guarantee a cheaper price is by purchasing a supporting membership (30 AUD) which may be upgraded later by simply paying the difference between it and the full ticket price as it currently stands.
For more details, see
and you can purchase tickets at
+++ ENROBE YOURSELF WITH WIZARDLY STYLE +++
Ever wanted to declare yourself a Rocket Wizard? Or play for Unseen Academicals? Or perhaps carry your books in a bag marked with the UU Library Rules?
The Faculty have designed some magical merchandise to help promote and support the Unseen University Convivium, and you can purchase it right now! T-shirts, bags, coffee mugs, stickers, and various other knick-knacks can be bought at http://www.cafepress.com/unseenuni
These items are not limited, and can be purchased by anybody, anywhere in the world. So go to it!
We are also planning to have a few convention attendees-only items which will be able to be pre-ordered via our website and picked up at the Convivium. More information on those at a later date!
+++ ANY QUESTIONS? +++
For further information, please read our website http://ausdwcon.org
Chair for the Public Misunderstanding of Magic Unseen University Convivium 2012 Adelaide, South Australia, 6-8 July 2012 http://ausdwcon.org
+++ END OF LINE +++
Discworld Monthly would like to thank Sonnet UK for hosting our mailing list for us free of charge. For more information about Sonnet UK visit their website at http://www.sonnetuk.net
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I Shall Wear Midnight
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