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News

World of Warcraft Demon Hunter Preview

Posted in Play: A Gamer's Blog on 24 Aug by


World of Warcraft is about to release their latest expansion, Legion, that officially drops August 30. However the new Demon Hunter class went live on August 9th allowing any players who pre-ordered the World of Warcraft Legion expansion through Battle.net to play the new class. I had the opportunity to give Demon Hunter a test run and here’s what Legion players can expect.

World of Warcraft

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Ticket Tuesday Giveaway: Poncho Sanchez at the MIM


***Contest Closed***

It’s Ticket Tuesday yet again! Get ready for a soul-touching, musical masterpiece: Poncho Sanchez.

The Los Angeles Times stated, “As Elvis is to rock and James Brown is to soul, Poncho Sanchez is to salsa.” A living legend, percussionist Poncho Sanchez illuminates conga rhythms by expertly blending African beats with Caribbean sounds and a little homegrown California soul. Elements of Latin jazz, swing and be-bop come together with the patented Poncho panache to create a show like no other. Don’t miss this opportunity to experience such a unique and mesmerizing concert! This Ticket Tuesday, we’re giving away two tickets to see Poncho Sanchez live at the Musical Instrument Museum!

Ticket Tuesday
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10 Under-Rated Family Films

Posted in Reel Chat on 22 Aug by


These family films are sure to make you smile, and we all have that one movie from our childhood that we watched over and over again. We’d wear out the VHS tape, drive our siblings crazy with our continual demand to watch it every night and annoyingly quote the whole movie ahead of each line. These movies were the core of our youth. For our Movie Madness month we dredged through the files of nostalgia and called to light some of the movies that don’t seem to get talked about enough. We refuse to let these cinematic treasures fall from the limelight.

family films

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Movie Madness: Tales From the VHS Video Vaults, Part Two

Posted in In Our Stores, Reel Chat, Uncategorized on 19 Aug by


It’s still Movie Madness month at Bookmans! Sure, everyone is talking about Suicide Squad or the latest Hollywood hits – but what about those films that are very often overlooked? We’re talking about those oddball films filled with nostalgia, usually made with no budgets, the not-very-common, yet have built a cult following in their own right. With the recent announcement that Japan based Funai would cease production on the very last made VHS player, and the production of VHS tapes officially ended in 2008, my Movie Madness is raging. If you missed Part One, you can rewind to here. Otherwise grab the remote, sit back and enjoy Part II.

Brain Smasher, Andrew Dice Clay 1993
First Came Eastwood, then Stallone and Schwarzenegger, and now an unlikely addition smashes his way into the ranks of contemporary action heroes…Andrew Dice Clay. Along for the ride in this non-stop thrill fest is Desperate Housewives star Teri Hatcher as Dice’s love interest. Brain Smasher is the hippest Action/Comedy ever!

Movie Madness

From the Video Box:  “His name is Ed Malloy, professional bouncer. He’s the best in the business with lethal fists and Zen-like manner that have earned him the nickname “Brain Smasher”. When an international supermodel becomes the  target of a gang of killer ninjas, the bouncer and the model team-up to stay alive. With little in common except mutual attraction, the romance sparks and spectacular street combat sequences provide the wall to wall action while the laughs keep flying.” Read More…

5 Movies With Phenomenal Soundtracks

Posted in Merchandise, Musical Notes on 18 Aug by


When we sit down to watch a film it’s never the soundtracks we intend to fall in love with, however, some of our favorite movies are not only cinematic geniuses they’re compilations of brilliant sounds and songs. We tried not to go into the world of musicals, nor will we include the film scores of Star Wars, LOTR or Harry Potter because, c’mon, they’ll win every time. Instead, we sat down and came up with some of our favorite soundtracks to movies; tunes that can be enjoyed even if the movie itself isn’t accompanying them.

soundtracks

Hanna, directed by Joe Wright came out in 2011 to critical acclaim. She’s fifteen, has been raised by a single father and she’s a natural killer. Even better than the movie itself is the phenomenal soundtrack written by The Chemical Brothers. Substantially more mellow and rhythmic than their previous work, this soundtrack takes you on a roller coaster of emotion. While it does pick up in some spots, it keeps you on a nice and easy plane that’s lovely to listen to. With no lyrics, just melody, the Hanna soundtrack is perfect for crafting, reading or yoga.

Easy Rider, the 1969 film by Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper takes us on a tour of the dregs of America. Two men on motorcycles, an open highway and the free spirit of the 60’s/70’s make this film an instant cult classic. Of course, the music for this movie is everything you’d want out of the gritty roadster, cowboy boot wearing, acid poppin’ film that it is. We get the best out of what we now consider classic rock. With tracks from Hendrix, Steppenwolf and Roger McGuinn this soundtrack is meant for road trips and back wood camping. Also, for all you trivia nerds, the music alone cost filmmakers more money than it took to create the entirety of the film itself!

soundtracks

Before Avatar, if you mentioned the big blue people most would think of Fantastic Planet. A vastly political and philosophical film, Fantastic Planet was released in 1973 in Czechoslovakia. The film itself should be required watching and has won numerous awards over the years. The music is a certainly notable, with a mix of eerie, funk and lighthearted flute you’ll find yourself lulling off to sleep and then being jolted awake and flailing your body around. Composed by Alain Goraguer, a French pianist, you’ll find his other work nothing like what you hear in the movie. It’s hard to find, but if you come by this one you won’t want to pass it up.

By a better known composer, the soundtrack for Blade Runner is a personal favorite. Vangelis not only created the music for Blade Runner, he also did music for numerous other films such as Chariots of Fire, 1492: Conquests of Paradise and also Carl Sagan’s Cosmos series. This soundtrack goes beyond enjoyment. It’s a psychological mind warp that leaves you feeling like you’ve just traveled dimensions. It’s dark and melancholy and full of pleasure. Without writing a whole article just on this masterpiece, we encourage to enjoy it yourself. Have you been looking for a vinyl copy? Be sure to check our “new” vinyl selection to pick up your own.

soundtracks

We may have mentioned the Blade Runner soundtrack as being dark and eerie and although it’s a favorite, it has nothing on the 2001 A Space Odyssey. Produced and directed by Stanley Kubrick in 1968, the movie and soundtrack leave you looking over your shoulder and maybe even having an existential crisis. With an abundance of amazing composers and musicians this soundtrack opens a whole new world to your musical knowledge. It’s the kind of playlist you’d hear in a haunted house and it’s fantastically wonderful.

We recommend you stepping up your movie soundtrack game. We offer soundtracks in forms of CD’s, vinyl and sometimes even old-school cassette tapes. A highly overlooked art form, soundtracks are the ultimate reminisces of your favorite movies and some of the best playlists you can get! Tell us your favorites and stop in to get their physical copies today.

5 Must See Horror Movies

Posted in In Our Stores, Merchandise on 17 Aug by


August is Movies Madness month, so we gave ourselves an impossible task to recommend (just) 5 must-see horror movies. Horror is the great un-sung movie genre, being what many feel is the most difficult to do well. Take away the jump scares, black cats, gratuitous gore and screaming teenagers and how many movies are actually frightening? What criteria should one have to determine such a list? Some horror films are terrifically original but don’t stand the test of time, while some are tried and true themes and still manage to scare the pants off us anyway. Most of the scare factor for a horror film comes down to what is terrifying on an individual basis.

horror movies

For example, a movie that almost made our list but missed out – The Descent. We will try not to give any spoilers because so many horror movies depend upon the surprise ending. The Descent was terrifying to watch for many because they either had claustrophobia issues, fear of falling, fear of darkness or the haunting worry of being lost – all of which are key elements to the shock factor of this film.

Another film that we liked but didn’t make the list is John Cusack’s Identity. There is only one way to successfully see this film, that is to watch it with no other information available than the title. The less known about this twist-and-turn film, the better. A rare few will see the end coming unless some careless reviewer (not us) gives the big secret away. We could discuss cinematography, plot lines, cheese factors, the suspense of disbelief and how consistently the film maintains it’s imagined reality, but we’ll hold back.

We figure that what most horror fans want is a good scare and a little unpredictability. This isn’t film theory and doesn’t mean that the films that made the cut aren’t great – it came down to personal favorites, as do most things in life, so here’s our Top 5: Read More…

Art Can Create Change

Posted in Uncategorized on 16 Aug by


If there is one thing that I’ve obtained from art, music, and literature it’s the gratitude of connection. Connection to yourself personally, to one another, to the world we live in, even to our passage of life. Art always has some way of making connections.

Bookmans wants to help you make those connections with art, music, and literature. Here at Bookmans we have built our reputation on freedom of expression while building connections, because we believe you have the right to read, view, and listen to whatever art you choose. Bookmans regularly hosts in-store events that range from art exhibits to musical performances, from festivals to workshops, because of our dedication to a philosophy of creativity, integrity, and community involvement is the most important thing to us.


art

Art can make a difference in a plethora of ways. Creativity is a tool that can help expose and resolve issues, and even teach us more about the things we may be naive to. Art doesn’t tell us what to do or how things “should be”, yet it can provide a better understanding, engagement, and even inspiration from the world around us. Most of us have been affected by a work of art; regardless of the medium. Whether a song, poem, book, painting, or theatre production. Haven’t you?

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Misheard Disney Lyrics

Posted in Musical Notes, Reel Chat on 15 Aug by


Nants ingonyama bagithi Baba  (Here comes a lion, Father) Sithi uhm ingonyama” (Oh yes, it’s a lion). Yes, that did just happen. The Lion King’s opening song, The Circle of Life, had to be the opening sentence. Complete with translation, because that’s what us Disney buffs do. Disney movies, from the classics to the most recent, packs in punches to every story line they recreate, or originally come up with. If it’s a movie made by them, you are sure to be dazzled, especially by their music. It’s a whole new world with unbelievable sights, indescribable feelings that keeps you soaring, tumbling and weaving through every surprise turn. Okay, that was a lot from the movie Aladdin. In this case though, it is completely accurate to describe all the emotions that Disney movie songs can take you through. Most are easy to recite, but there’s a few that are often misunderstood. Some will even make a man out of you! So let’s get down to business, and defeat these Disney song lyrics!

Disney

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Movie Madness: Foreign Film Recommendations

Posted in In Our Stores, Merchandise on 12 Aug by


August is Movie Madness at Bookmans! Thus, we have some foreign film recommendations for you. As everyone knows, Tucson has been alternately hot and stormy so we thought we would combine these two elements to give you a chance to get out of the heat and head on down to your local Bookmans, movie reviews in hand, to pick out some cool flicks to help you beat the heat.

Tucson doesn’t provide many opportunities to enjoy foreign films. We have the Loft Theater, which we love, but that is about it for full theater foreign film options. Here at Bookmans your foreign film choices are much greater, and they are on your schedule. If you are looking for something a little different and would like to learn more about international cinema, here are some of our picks to get you started. A degree in film studies is not required. Just grab a bowl of popcorn, kick your Movie Madness in high gear and have a look at one of our recommended films.

Movie Madness

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Meditation & Books to Consider

Posted in Uncategorized on 11 Aug by


One book that is top on my list for learning non-secular meditation is Jon Kabatt-Zinn’s Wherever You Go, There You Are. It’s a short and straightforward book written by one of the top teachers and scholars on meditation. Kabatt-Zinn created the “Mind Body Stress Reduction” program that started at the Massachusetts Medical Center. In addition, another Kabatt-Zinn book, an edited version of one of his longer books Full Catastrophe Living, is Letting Everything Become Your Teacher: 100 Lessons in Mindfulness that distills his work down to an easy read.

meditation

Like a Mindful Flower (2015), Paul Lee

When you have a chronic physical or mental illness, you can easily be overwhelmed with repetitive negative thoughts that can interfere with your life. For over 25 years, I’ve contended with bipolar disorder which has caused me a lot of these issues including many difficult bouts of depression and anxiety. Fortunately I have found that regular mindfulness meditation can lessen the more challenging symptoms of my illness and can help you also.

Here at Bookmans we have books and music galore, including those titles and albums that can help you on your path to mindful meditation.

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Lion King Experience

Posted in Uncategorized on 10 Aug by


I can remember back to sitting on the floor in my living room in-front of our small (at that time seemed so big, and well now antique) tube TV, about 5 years old and full of wonder watching The Lion King. I’ll never forget what my little 5 year old self felt like while trying so hard to fight back all my tears every time the stampede scene started to come on, as if it was the first tragedy to take place in my young life. Yet it was still the one movie that my loving family put up with watching over, and over, and over again. Of course being that age I was too young to understand the different lessons and aspects the story entailed, but I still fell in love with it. I don’t know if was my love for seeing all the animated wild life animals, maybe the soft warm colors of red, orange and yellow or even just the soothing Elton John soundtrack. Whatever it was, The Lion King was the one movie I continued to religiously watch throughout my youth.

And obviously, that Rafiki song stuck with me, even if I have made up what I think he sung…

Lion King

 

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Movie Madness: Tales From the VHS Video Vaults, Part One

Posted in In Our Stores, Reel Chat on 09 Aug by


It’s August, and here at Bookmans that means Movie Madness! Sure, everyone is talking about Suicide Squad or the latest Hollywood Hits – but what about those films that are very often overlooked? We’re talking about those oddball films filled with nostalgia, usually made with no budgets, the not very common, yet those that have built a cult following in their own right. With the recent announcement that Japan based Funai would cease production on the very last made VHS player, and the production of VHS tapes officially ended in 2008, my Movie Madness is raging.

My Movie Madness this month will be a four part weekly series showcasing those awful yet oh, so good films that haven’t seen the light of day since their Original release on VHS. They have not been released on any official DVD, Blu-Ray, or digital form. They only live in a 2 Channel/Stereo VHS limbo. I  present some of my personal favorites. Enjoy, movie buffs…

On The Right Track, Gary Coleman, 1981 – (Comedy, 20th Century Fox Home Video)
Movie Madness

Coming off his fame on Tv’s Diff’rent Strokes, child actor, author, musical artist, comedian, and later  politician, Gary Coleman takes off running in this fun family hit. I originally saw this in the theater, and always had trouble finding it not already checked out when it was released on VHS at the local video store. It has everything! Comedy from Mr. Roper in Three’s Company, Lisa Eilbacher from Beverly Hills Cop and 10 to  Midnight.  Sid And Marty Krofft fans will also notice Kaptain Kool And The Kongs singer Michael Lembeck in this film. I can’t say enough awesome things about it. Its Gary Coleman…enough said.

From the Video Box:  “While some may not view a railroad station as am ideal home, 10 year old orphan Lester finds his Union Station residence more than adequate. It serves as a comfortable refuge from the frantic city life until Lester’s extraordinary knack for picking racetrack winners becomes public knowledge.”

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Bookmans Recommends: Hayao Miyazaki

Posted in In Our Stores on 08 Aug by


Hayao Miyazaki: Film Director, Screenwriter, Producer, Author, Animator, Legend…

Hayao Miyazaki has been highly praised for anything he has a hand in. From Spirited Away, Howl’s Moving Castle, or My Neighbor Totoro, Miyazaki has created fantastical realms with unbelievable striking colors, themes and complex characters. With a magnetic pull, he creates works of art that have been compared to Monet, and has a keen eye for originality. Always ready to tell a story, he takes you on a journey to places far away, and teaches the wonders of magic, friendship and love. More surprising though, his works always have an underlying tone of either a political issue, or moral value that he sheds light on. It’s easy to miss if you’re more into the films for the aesthetic allure, but Miyazaki highlights important issues that can be understood by humankind of all ages.

Miyazaki

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Freebie Friday: Rebelution Rocks PHX


**CONTEST CLOSED**As summer swelters in Arizona, a little beach-inspired relief is headed to the Valley of the Sun. California roots & reggae band, Rebelution will grace the renowned Comerica Theatre this Thursday, Aug 11 at 7:00 p.m. Along with fellow bands, The Green, Stick Figure and Through the Roots, Rebelution brings their unique brand of ska-infused, jam-band grooves to town. Don’t miss this opportunity to attend a stellar summer concert. Tickets start at $35, but not to worry: this Freebie Friday, we’re giving away two tickets to see Rebelution live in Phoenix.

Freebie Friday
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Stairway to Electric Guitar Heaven


Bookmans is known for it’s amazing selection of musical instruments, we don’t just sell books after all! Bookmans Speedway currently has three amazing electric guitars that stand out from the (impressive) pack. We were so excited by these treasures we wanted to share a few bits of information about them.

Remember though, that all of our stores are packed with the full range of musical instruments, all types, sizes, for all skill levels and genres. Bookmans merchandise is all available for purchase with our famous Trade Credit, no cash required (although your money is more than welcome in our stores) and these gorgeous electric guitars are no exception. We don’t just sell musical instruments but we repair them too! You can even finance those repairs with Trade Credit so you don’t have to take out a bank loan to keep the music rolling. Let us help you get started on your dreams of musical greatness and have a look at some of our cherry, killer cool, smokin-hot electric guitars.

electric guitars

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33 1/3 Series Only Leads to Treble

Posted in Merchandise, Musical Notes on 03 Aug by


Enter a world full of musical geniuses, lyrical masters and soul-touching beats, and you’ll find yourself reading the 33⅓ series. The world is full of music fanatics and so is Tucson. We see it as we buy, sell & trade music-related paraphernalia all day long. We see it in the amazing shows and DJ sets in local venues and we see it in the now flourishing local record store Wooden Tooth. Tucson loves music, there’s no doubt about it. That’s why here at Bookmans we take it upon ourselves to provide you with the best selection of instruments, CD’s & vinyl, cassette tapes, record players and anything else that gets the groove flowing; including the rare gems that are the 33⅓ books.

Are you familiar? We just recently started ordering these little babies brand-new to provide our customers with yet another music related treat, read and obsession.

33⅓

With a slew of musical bios, magazines and internet blogs, the available information for your favorite album is already out there, but what makes the 33⅓ titles so unique is the in depth personal feel of each one, all dedicated to just one album at a time.

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Meet Mariko: Grants New Visual Merchandiser

Posted in In Our Stores on 02 Aug by


The greatest part of working for Bookmans is the endless opportunities to advance and work in different departments of the store. Aside from our amazing book, music, electronics and instrument buyers we have an array of behind-the-scenes employees working hard to make all of our Bookmans the best possible experience, every time. Currently, our beloved kids room guru Mariko has been promoted to Visual Merchandiser. Mariko now spends her days sprucing up the stores appeal.

Have you ever wondered who comes up with the brilliant display tables we have around store or why just the right stack of books inspires you to read? Mariko’s your gal. From true crime displays to historical fiction, dog toys to adult coloring books, she makes sure all the best items are on the sales floor showing at their finest.

Mariko

We took a few minutes a few minutes to chat and get the inside scoop on Mariko and her history here at Bookmans.

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Catch MOVIE MADNESS at Bookmans

Posted in In Our Stores, Reel Chat on 01 Aug by


Warning!!! Bookmans has Movie Madness, a highly contagious disease that causes one to think of nothing else but cinema. Oh, the agony that is our obsession with cult, comedy and action films. We can’t get enough! All six Bookmans locations are hosting free, fun and film-tastic events to lure innocent customers to our stores. We invite you to attend these sensational cinematic events at your own risk and be warned that you will most likely catch this silver screen sickness. Side effects include an unexplained affinity for Star Wars, a furious fondness for Minions and an unrequited love for The Labyrinth. In other words, we’ve got a fever, and the only prescription is more movies. Not to worry, Bookmans has you covered with our vast selection of films on DVD, BluRay and even VHS. We feel confident that you will have a marvelous time at your local Bookmans location this month. Movie Madness will reawaken your love for the movies.

Movie Madness 8-16 square

 

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Housewares Heaven

Posted in Merchandise on 29 Jul by


Need stuff? Need housewares? Or are you a housewares collector? Bookmans has a Gallery section which is filled with much more than just ordinary stuff. Our buyers choose only the most unique and unusual items to feature on our sales floors. These items run the entire spectrum of tastes and utility. We have everything from original artwork and pottery from Mata Ortiz and other artists. We feature kitchenwares both modern and vintage, tools, glassware and glass art and Native American works. Our shelves are full of African masks and carvings, textiles, unusual lamps, collectable dolls, utility knives and decorative swords and an endless variety of handmade items from artists around Tucson and Arizona.

That isn’t even taking our Geek Zone into consideration – where we have Geek Out treasures galore. This section includes action figures, Pop figures, Star Wars and Star Trek memorabilia and all things relating to modern and vintage comic characters. We don’t want to leave out our Whovians who can grab posters, tees, sonic screwdrivers, Tardis and adorable Daleks.

Housewares

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What’s Your #MusicMarathon?

Posted in Musical Notes on 28 Jul by


Sometimes in life, when things are quiet or boring, you need something to fill the void. When life gets too hard or overwhelming, even when you are at your happiest points. Music is there to be by your side. It cheers you on, builds you up and reminds you how magical it can really be if you allow yourself to believe. Not only can music put you in a better state of mind, but in many occasions it is said to be the best therapy in life. There is something about music. It can take you to a specific place or time, can make you happy, and sometimes unbelievably sad. Music is a powerful and beautiful piece of life that we have and when you find that one special song, there is only one thing to be done. You Marathon it. Capital M because #awesome. One of the best things about being able to Marathon a song, is that it can be interchangeable. You never have to stick with one song for the rest of your life. It is all up to you in which one rocks your socks.

marathon

We asked some of our employees at the Bookmans Phoenix which songs really pumped them up, or just made them feel complete when they were really digging the beat. Their Marathon song if you will, and why it means so much to them. Here’s some of their go-to’s:

Mastermind by Deltron 3030, because I love the part where Dan the Automater says all is well with the cosmos.”

Northern Sky by Nick Drake always makes me feel better. Best of Times by Sage Francis and then I would say Between the Bars by Elliott Smith because it is just so beautiful. That one song encompasses everything that Elliott smith is. “

Caravan by Van Morrison. Preferably the live version from The Last Waltz by Martin Scorsese.”

“You want to make them cry? Daddy’s Hands by Holly Dunn.”

“It talks about the new generation word for word. Selfie by The Chainsmokers”

Gold by Kiiara. I heard about it through an article and now it’s on the radio. Just listen, you’ll understand.”

“David Bowie’s Station to Station, because it’s David Bowie. Self-Explanatory. Also Public Image by PIL, and let’s not forget Nights in White Satin by The Moody Blues.”

“Morrissey’s How Soon is Now? The sadness, It’s real. It makes you want to be sad just for sadness sake.”

Today Was a Good Day by Ice Cube but in the song when he says his name, I just replace it with my own.”

Constellations by Jack Johnson. No Explanation.”

“Elissa’s Asaad Wahda. I want to throw everyone off.”

Obla Di Obla Da by The Beatles, also Your Song by Sir Elton John. All the feels for those songs.”

It can be a song that pumps you up, or brings you down to the depths of your emotions. No matter the tune, each person has their very own favorite for special reasons. What is your ‘Marathon’ song and why? We want to hear from you! Leave your answers in the comments section below, and let’s listen to each other’s favorites. Sharing music is just one way that the world goes around!

***Bookmans is your store to explore. If you are interested in an item mentioned here please give us a call and a Bookmans staff member will be happy to check our shelves. Otherwise, we hope to see you soon perusing the Bookmans shelves for all your music needs.

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