OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY

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OSU Board of Trustees elects initial leadership

CORVALLIS, Ore. – The Oregon State University Board of Trustees, in its first meeting since being confirmed by the Oregon Senate in November, on Thursday unanimously elected Patricia “Pat” Reser of Beaverton, Ore., as initial chairwoman.

The board also voted Darald “Darry” Callahan of San Rafael, Calif., as initial vice-chairman. The positions are being listed as “initial” until the board becomes official under state law on July 1.

Reser is board chair of Reser’s Fine Foods, Inc., a family-owned fresh refrigerated food company. A retired employee of the Beaverton School District, she is one of three co-chairs of OSU’s Capital Campaign Steering Committee and is serving her third term as an OSU Foundation Trustee.

Callahan is former president of Chevron Chemical Company, and served as executive vice president of Power, Chemicals and Technology for ChevronTexaco Corp. from 2001 until his retirement in 2003. He is a former chair of the OSU Foundation Board of Trustees.

The Board of Trustees also created three initial committees:

  • The Academic Strategies Committee will be chaired by Paul Kelly of Portland; Orcilia Zúñiga Forbes of Portland is vice chair;
  • The Finance and Administration Committee will be chaired by Kirk Schueler of Bend; Elson Floyd of Pullman, Wash., is vice chair;
  • The Executive and Audit Committee will be chaired by Reser; Callahan is vice chair.

The board approved Meg Reeves, OSU’s general counsel, as board secretary. It also approved a series of bylaws guiding its actions.

Steve Clark, vice president for University Relations and Marketing at OSU, said the primary purpose of this first meeting of the board has been to orient the board with the university, introduce the members to their roles and responsibilities, and allow them to get acquainted with one another.

The board meeting will continue on Friday, from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., at the CH2M-Hill Alumni Center.

More information about the OSU Board of Trustees is available online at: http://oregonstate.edu/leadership/trustees

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Steve Clark, 541-737-3808; steve.clark@oregonstate.edu

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Pat Reser, OSU Board

Pat Reser

 

Darry Callahan and Ed Ray
Darry Callahan and
OSU President Ed Ray

Amber fossil reveals ancient reproduction in flowering plants

CORVALLIS, Ore. – A 100-million-year old piece of amber has been discovered which reveals the oldest evidence of sexual reproduction in a flowering plant – a cluster of 18 tiny flowers from the Cretaceous Period – with one of them in the process of making some new seeds for the next generation.

The perfectly-preserved scene, in a plant now extinct, is part of a portrait created in the mid-Cretaceous when flowering plants were changing the face of the Earth forever, adding beauty, biodiversity and food. It appears identical to the reproduction process that “angiosperms,” or flowering plants still use today.

Researchers from Oregon State University and Germany published their findings on the fossils in the Journal of the Botanical Institute of Texas.

The flowers themselves are in remarkable condition, as are many such plants and insects preserved for all time in amber. The flowing tree sap covered the specimens and then began the long process of turning into a fossilized, semi-precious gem. The flower cluster is one of the most complete ever found in amber and appeared at a time when many of the flowering plants were still quite small.

Even more remarkable is the microscopic image of pollen tubes growing out of two grains of pollen and penetrating the flower’s stigma, the receptive part of the female reproductive system. This sets the stage for fertilization of the egg and would begin the process of seed formation – had the reproductive act been completed.

“In Cretaceous flowers we’ve never before seen a fossil that shows the pollen tube actually entering the stigma,” said George Poinar, Jr., a professor emeritus in the Department of Integrative Biology at the OSU College of Science. “This is the beauty of amber fossils. They are preserved so rapidly after entering the resin that structures such as pollen grains and tubes can be detected with a microscope.”

The pollen of these flowers appeared to be sticky, Poinar said, suggesting it was carried by a pollinating insect, and adding further insights into the biodiversity and biology of life in this distant era. At that time much of the plant life was composed of conifers, ferns, mosses, and cycads.  During the Cretaceous, new lineages of mammals and birds were beginning to appear, along with the flowering plants. But dinosaurs still dominated the Earth.

“The evolution of flowering plants caused an enormous change in the biodiversity of life on Earth, especially in the tropics and subtropics,” Poinar said.

“New associations between these small flowering plants and various types of insects and other animal life resulted in the successful distribution and evolution of these plants through most of the world today,” he said. “It’s interesting that the mechanisms for reproduction that are still with us today had already been established some 100 million years ago.”

The fossils were discovered from amber mines in the Hukawng Valley of Myanmar, previously known as Burma. The newly-described genus and species of flower was named Micropetasos burmensis.

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George Poinar, 541-752-0917

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Ancient flowers

Ancient flower


Pollen tubes

Pollen tubes

Celebrate Veterans Day – then head back to class

CORVALLIS, Ore. – With improved educational benefits and after years of conflict in the Middle East, a flood of veterans are heading to college in numbers that surpass those of recent history.

Oregon State University has 1,025 students who are receiving veteran educational benefits, a new record and the most of any university in Oregon. They now account for about one out of every 25 students at OSU, and a range of programs are being created or expanded to help facilitate this stream of incoming veterans.

“I’ve talked to counterparts all over the country and this is clearly a national trend,” said Gus Bedwell, the OSU veteran resources coordinator. “OSU has always had quite a few veteran students, but right now we’re almost triple the number of five years ago. Other institutions are also seeing three to four times as many veterans as they used to.”

Part of the increase, officials say, is due to an expansion of educational benefits that were put in place in the early 2000s, including some that veteran dependents and spouses can use. A weak economy also made it an opportune time for veterans to attend college, just like many other students.

OSU has responded with renewed efforts to pave the way for returning veterans, programs to cut through federal bureaucracy, and make sure the students get both the personal and professional help they need.

Two new initiatives at OSU are an example. A Student Health Services Veterans Work Group is helping to ensure treatment of the full range of health concerns that veterans face, including access to some local services. And a Veterans Work Group focuses much of its efforts on academic and programmatic support. This group and other officials have trained advisers, worked to expedite the transfer of military transcripts to academia, and helped keep students informed during the recent government shutdown.

A website at http://oregonstate.edu/veterans/home/ helps guide veterans, and a veterans lounge in the OSU Memorial Union allows veterans an opportunity to meet and build their community in a casual setting.

“OSU has really made an effort to understand the obstacles veterans face and help work around them,” Bedwell said.

For instance, he said, the federal government is often slow at making veteran educational benefit payments. Officials know the money will come, but in the meantime it can cost students penalties, interest, and create “holds” that interfere with course registration. So the university created a mechanism to avoid these holds, allow regular progress with an educational program, and refund any penalties once the government payments are made. This program is called the “Goodwill Interest Waiver.”

The university’s nationally recognized program of distance education, E-Campus, is also a favorite with many veterans. They can take courses while living literally anywhere in the world and earn degrees in a wide range of fields.

OSU, with its origin as a land grant college, had a mandate under the Morrill Act of 1862 to “include military tactics” as part of its educational program, and the university has always been tuned to the needs of veterans.

It’s one of a limited number of schools that hosts all four branches of the Reserve Officers Training Corp, and its student center, the Memorial Union, was named to help honor veterans, many of them returned from World War I. OSU has earned the title of “Military Friendly School” by GI Jobs several years in a row.

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Gus Bedwell, 541-737-7662

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Veterans Day Parade

Students in parade

Celebrated memoirist Nick Flynn to read at OSU on Oct. 11

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Writer Nick Flynn will read from his work on Friday, Oct. 11, at Oregon State University’s Valley Library rotunda. The free public event begins at 7:30 p.m. and will be followed by a question and answer session and book signing.

Flynn is the author of three memoirs including “The Reenactments” (2013), “The Ticking is the Bomb: A Memoir of Bewilderment” (2010) and “Another … Night in Suck City” (2004). Flynn is also the author of three books of poetry.

Of Flynn’s most recent memoir, “The Reenactments,”  Kirkus Reviews wrote: “Flynn’s determination to better understand his life through the act of writing and remembering has yielded a truly insightful, original work.” Clea Simon of The Boston Globe said Flynn’s writing is “always specific and honest” and “dryly funny.”

His award-winning memoir “Another … Night in Suck City” was turned into the movie “Being Flynn,” starring Robert De Niro and Paul Dano. That book recounted his unusual relationship with his alcoholic father and the suicide of his mother.

Flynn, 52, is a professor of poetry and married to actress Lili Taylor.

Flynn has been awarded fellowships from The Guggenheim Foundation, The Library of Congress, The Amy Lowell Trust, and The Fine Arts Work Center.

The Visiting Writers Series brings nationally-known writers to Oregon State University. The program is made possible by support from The Valley Library, OSU Press, the OSU School of Writing, Literature, and Film, the College of Liberal Arts, Kathy Brisker and Tim Steele, and Grass Roots Books and Music.

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Rachel Ratner, 516-652-5817

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NickFlynn
Nick Flynn

OSU to host exhibition from the Collections of Jordan D. Schnitzer and His Family Foundation

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Oregon State University will host “Cultural Conversations,” an exhibition of prints from the collections of Jordan D. Schnitzer and His Schnitzer Family Foundation, April 3 through May 3 on the Corvallis campus.

An opening reception will be held from 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. April 5 in Bexell Hall, 2251 S.W. Campus Way, Corvallis. Schnitzer, a Portland businessman, collector and philanthropist who owns one of the country’s largest private collections of contemporary prints and multiples, will provide remarks about the exhibition’s artists and artwork. 

OSU President Ed Ray also will give remarks. An informal, self-guided tour of the exhibition will follow.

Pieces from the exhibit will be displayed in the Fairbanks Gallery as well as in four cultural centers on campus. The exhibition was curated by Kirsi Peltomäki, associate professor of art history at OSU. 

“The prints for this exhibition address the educational context through assumptions about instruction and learning, effort and ease, task and performance,” Peltomäki said.

The Fairbanks Gallery will feature work by John Baldessari, an American conceptual artist who works with text and photographic images. Often drawing from popular culture and mass media, Baldessari challenges viewers to interpret their own meaning for unique or unlikely combinations. Prints from three of Baldessari’s renowned series are included in the exhibition. 

“I Will Not Make Any More Boring Art” resulted from a project that Baldessari assigned to art students at the Nova Scotia College of Art and Design in 1971. The pledge, repeated to inscribe it into muscle memory, transforms a form of grade school punishment into a challenge for art students.

The series “Throwing Three Balls in the Air to Get a Straight Line (Best of Thirty-Six Attempts)” (1973) is a visual documentation of a seemingly impossible task, documented visually against the bright California sky. Whimsy becomes intertwined with the thrill of the miraculous. 

The prints in the series “Hegel’s Cellar” (1986), use found imagery to evoke ideas about mass obedience against the place of the individual within collective formations.

Four campus cultural centers also will feature works from the Schnitzer collection: 

  • Prints by Enrique Chagoya, a Mexican-born, American painter and print-maker whose works focus on the changing nature of culture, will be on display at the Centro Cultural César Chávez, 691 S.W. 26th St.
  • Work by Joe Feddersen of Colville heritage, a Washington-based sculptor, painter, photographer and mixed-media artist. Feddersen is known for creating artwork strong in geometric patterns reflective of what is seen in the environment, landscape and his Native American heritage. His work will be on display at the Native American Longhouse Eena Haws, 311 S.W. 26th St. 
  • Art by Mildred Howard, an African-American artist known primarily for her sculptural installation and mixed-media assemblages, will be on display at the Lonnie B. Harris Black Cultural Center, 100 S.W. Memorial Place.
  • Pieces by Hung Liu, an acclaimed Chinese-born American contemporary artist and one of the first Chinese artists to establish a career in the West, will be featured at the Asian and Pacific Cultural Center, 2695 S.W. Jefferson Way. 

“I chose the artists and the particular prints for the cultural centers because they are powerful works of art. They are relevant to conversations about identity, heritage, and culture today,” Peltomäki said. “All of these works speak of shared histories, but they also invite viewers to think about how those histories connect to other stories and aspects of contemporary life in the United States today. They identify culture and identity as complex, multifaceted entities that are sources of strength and agency.”

The Fairbanks Gallery is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday and 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. the third Thursday of each month for the Corvallis Arts Walk. The gallery will be open until 7 p.m. on April 5. Campus Cultural Centers are open 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday. The exhibits are free and open to the public.


About the Jordan Schnitzer Family Foundation: At age 14, Jordan D. Schnitzer bought his first work of art from his mother’s Portland, Oregon, contemporary art gallery, evolving into his lifelong avocation as a collector. He began collecting contemporary prints and multiples in earnest in 1988. Today, the collection exceeds 10,000 works and includes many of today’s most important contemporary artists. It has grown to be one of the country’s largest private print collections overall. He generously lends work from his collection to qualified institutions and has organized over 100 exhibitions at more than 100 museums. Schnitzer is also president of Harsch Investment Properties, a privately owned real estate investment company based in Portland, Oregon, with over 24 million square feet of office, multi-tenant industrial, multi-family and retail properties in six western states. For more information about the Jordan Schnitzer Family Foundation, please visit www.jordanschnitzer.org.
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Kirsi Peltomäki, 541-737-5008, kirsi.peltomaki@oregonstate.edu

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Jordan D. Schnitzer (Photo courtesy the Jordan D. Schnitzer Family Foundation)

Jordan D. Schnitzer

Lonnie B. Harris Black Cultural Center

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OSU presents ‘A Call to Life’ performance, discussion

CORVALLIS, Ore. – “A Call to Life,” a three-part event featuring music, creative writing, science and discussion about the wonder and worth of the Earth’s wild species and the responsibility to save them from extinction, will be held at 7 p.m., Friday, April 7, at Oregon State University.

The event is part of “SAC Presents,” a visual and performing arts events series sponsored by the School of Arts and Communication in the College of Liberal Arts. It will be held in The LaSells Stewart Center, 875 S.W. 26th St., and is part of SPARK, OSU’s yearlong celebration of the arts and science.

It is free and open to the public but interested attendees are encouraged to register for a free ticket online at http://liberalarts.oregonstate.edu/ACalltoLife. For more information and for accommodations for people with disabilities, call 541-737-5592.

In the first part of the program, Rachelle McCabe, music professor and OSU director of piano studies, and OSU philosophy Professor Emeritus Kathleen Dean Moore will present their music and spoken word program, “A Call to Life: Variations on a Theme of Extinction.”

The work, a musical narrative set to the Variations on a Theme of Corelli, op. 42 by Sergei Rachmaninoff, originally premiered at The LaSells Stewart Center in 2015 and has since been performed in Portland and Eugene; Seattle, Washington; Auburn, California; Tucson, Arizona; Rockford, Illinois; and Calgary, Alberta, Canada.

In September the pair took this work to the World Conservation Congress of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature in Honolulu, Hawaii, where it was included on an agenda of presentations by world conservation leaders, scientists, conservation organizations, faith-based organizations and governments.

The second part of the program, “So Much Worth Saving,” will feature OSU philosopher Michael Paul Nelson facilitating a brief talk with OSU scientists Kim Bernard, Matthew Betts, Selena Heppell, Mark Hixon and Bill Ripple.

The evening will finish with “Continuing Conversations” in the Giustina Gallery. The interactive lobby fair will include conservation groups, artists, scientists, community groups, the presenters and performers. It is an opportunity for members of the audience to network, gather information, continue the discussion and create plans for action. Tables for discussion groups will be provided, and refreshments will be available for purchase.

SAC Presents is funded in part by donations made during the Cornerstone Campaign for the Arts and by OSU Friends of the Arts. The goal of SAC Presents is to bring well-known headliners, rising stars and unique, lesser known artists and ensembles to the community. The lineup of artists ranges from country music to jazz musicians, chamber music to rock, as well as visual artists, guest lecturers and special events.

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By Erin O’Shea Sneller, 541-737-5592, erin.sneller@oregonstate.edu

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Rachelle McCabe and Kathleen Dean Moore

Call to Life

OSU names Mix, Selker as distinguished professors

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Oregon State University has named Alan Mix and John Selker as its 2017 Distinguished Professor recipients, the highest academic honor the university can bestow on a faculty member.

This honor will be permanent as long as the recipient remains at OSU.

“These two extraordinary scientists are helping people around the world to understand how our environment functions, now and at times in the distant past,” said Edward Feser, provost and executive vice president at OSU.

“John Selker has done groundbreaking work in environmental instrumentation, soil physics and hydrology, creating for that purpose innovative new applications in fiber optics,” Feser said. “His work to explain how water moves through soils and on surfaces relates to everything from modern agriculture to ecology, aquatic science, groundwater and the protection of our environment.

“Alan Mix has viewed the world not only as it is today, but as it used to be thousands of years ago. This helps us understand what forces were at work then and what that may mean for our future as the climate changes.  He has tied together prehistoric changes on land, sea, in ice and biota, from the tropics to the ice packs, and is one of the pioneers in studying ‘tipping points’ at which global change might accelerate.”

Selker, a professor in the Department of Biological and Ecological Engineering, has published more than 115 scientific papers that have been cited thousands of times. Selker received his doctorate in hydrology from Cornell University and has been on the OSU faculty since 1991. He has received multiple career awards in his field, is a fellow of the American Geophysical Union, and routinely involves undergraduate OSU students in his international research and training experiences.

Selker individually created new instruments and measurement devices that have helped revolutionize the field of hydrology. He recently organized a public/private initiative to improve instrumentation of weather in Africa, which could dramatically improve African agriculture, aid the study of global climate change and help address other needs in African sustainability and economic development.

Mix, a professor in the OSU College of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences, has generated 244 publications and more than 17,500 citations as one of the world’s leading paleoclimatologists. Findings in the geologic record about past climatic changes are a key to understanding the present, the forces now at work and what they may bring.

Mix has received more than $31 million in research funding through 89 grants, participated in 19 major global expeditions and for 20 years managed the OSU marine geology repository for sediment cores. In a male-dominated field, half of his graduate students have been women, international or underrepresented minority students.

Both professors will give public lectures on May 15 in the Horizon Room of the Memorial Union on topics in their area of research.

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Edward Feser, 541-737-0731

ed.feser@oregonstate.edu

Pianist Arthur Greene presents OSU lecture and concert

CORVALLIS, Ore. -- Pianist Arthur Greene will present a multimedia lecture and concert on Charles Ives’ Concord Sonata on Sunday, March 19, at Oregon State University.

The event is part of the Corvallis-OSU Piano International “Insights at the Piano” series, and the lecture-recital will explore the heights, depths and hidden beauties of the Concord Sonata. It will be at 4 p.m. in Austin Auditorium at The LaSells Stewart Center, 875 S.W. 26th St.

Tickets are $10 in advance, or $15 at the door. Tickets are available online at corvallispiano.org or at Grass Roots Books and Music or Rice’s Pharmacy in Corvallis. Students ages 8-18 and all college students with valid identification are admitted free. Corvallis Arts for All discounts apply and are valid for purchase of up to two $5 tickets at The LaSells Stewart Center starting one hour prior to the performance, with SNAP card.

Charles Ives’ Piano Sonata No. 2, Concord, Mass., 1840-1860, often referred to as the Concord Sonata, is a four-movement experimental work that Ives wrote as a personal response to the transcendentalism movement that was popularized during the early and mid-19th century.

The four sections of the work are named after and inspired by figures associated with transcendentalism: “I. Emerson” after Ralph Waldo Emerson; “II. Hawthorne” after Nathaniel Hawthorne; “III. The Alcotts” after Bronson and Louisa May Alcott; and “IV. Thoreau” after Henry David Thoreau.

The Concord Sonata explores a wide-ranging sound world filled with pithy musical quotations, including many references to Beethoven, a highly advanced rhythmic complexity and wild harmonies. The work calls for the use of a Concord Board, a wooden tool precisely 14.75 inches long, that the performer uses to depress the keyboard during the second movement, creating a tone cluster that is not physically possible to play using only the pianists’ hands.

Greene is a professor of piano at the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre and Dance. He has performed with major orchestras around the world: The Philadelphia Orchestra; San Francisco Symphony; Utah Symphony; Washington D.C.’s National Symphony; the Tokyo Symphony; and the Czech National Symphony Orchestra. Greene is also a gold medal winner of the William Kapell and Gina Bachauer International Piano Competitions.

For accommodations relating to a disability, call 541-758-0036, preferably at least one week in advance.

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Zachary C. Person, 541-737-4671, zachary.person@oregonstate.edu

Journalist, activist Harsha Walia to speak at OSU

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Journalist and social activist Harsha Walia will discuss her new book, “Undoing Border Imperialism,” at 7 p.m. Friday, March 10, in Milam Auditorium on the Oregon State University campus in Corvallis.

In her talk, Walia will discuss the global refugee crisis and its implications for North America by reformulating immigrant and refugee rights movements within a transnational analysis of capitalism, labor exploitation, settler colonialism, and racism.

In a time in which racialized communities and immigrants are under attack more than ever, Walia offers a challenging perspective on strategizing opposition to white supremacy.

The talk is free and open to the public. It is part of a graduate conference, “Transform-able Identity/ies,” which is focused on the notion that society transforms identity/ies as much as identity/ies transform social patterns, institutions and shared values.

Students from different disciplines will discuss the complex link between social transformation and identities during the two-day conference in Milam Hall. The conference is organized by OSU’s School of History, Philosophy and Religion and co-sponsored by the department of Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies, SPARK, the Spring Creek Project, the Center for the Humanities, and the Citizenship and Crisis Initiative.

For more information on the conference, visit: http://blogs.oregonstate.edu/transformidconf/

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Barbara Muraca, 541-737-0913, barbara.muraca@oregonstate.edu

OSU Theatre to present apocalyptic comedy ‘boom’ in March

CORVALLIS, Ore. – Oregon State University Theatre will present Peter Sinn Nachtrieb’s apocalyptic comedy, “boom” March 9-12 in the Lab Theatre.

The play features an undergraduate journalism student, Jo, who responds to a personal ad promising “sex to change the course of the world.” She has no idea she will end up in a secret underground bunker with Jules, a nervously nerdy biology graduate student.

Convinced that doomsday is around the corner, Jules has prepared himself and one other survivor to repopulate the planet and save humanity. The witty and wild comedy explores themes of humanity, hope, and the miraculous nature of survival in a hostile universe.

OSU theatre arts student Reed Morris is directing the play, which also features the work of OSU students Annie Parham as Jo; Alex Small as Jules; and Diana Jepsen as Barbara.

Shows are at 7:30 p.m. March 9-11 and 2 p.m. March 12. The Lab Theatre is located in Withycombe Hall, 2901 S.W. Campus Way, Corvallis.

Tickets are $8; $6 for seniors; $5 for students/youth; and $4 for OSU students. There is no reserved seating. Tickets can be purchased online at http://bit.ly/1wgmTkJ  or by calling the box office at 541-737-2784. Contact the box office for disability accommodations, faculty/staff discounts or group ticket sales.

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