Most of the quotes that follow are original. The rest were found here and there, and credit for them is given if known. New entries are added periodically at the end of the list.
"Just because you believe something doesn't make it true."
"It takes a long time to become really good at something."
"You can accomplish nearly anything - often it just takes one phone call to the right person."
"As much as we may love them, animals have no sense of esthetics - a dog will drink from the toilet, and a cat will bite the head off a mouse and eat it."
"A leader has the clarity of thought to understand what matters and what doesn't, plus the self-confidence to express his or her convictions."
"The pursuit of knowledge and scientific understanding is consistent with the innate human goal of self-preservation."
"Often we fault in others what we see in ourselves."
"These days many movies are rated as containing Graphic Violence and Brief Nudity - I much prefer Brief Violence and Graphic Nudity!"
"Do you think the people who establish speed limits for local and state roads actually drive that slowly themselves?"
"Reasonable people adapt to the world. Unreasonable people persist in trying to adapt the world to themselves. Therefore, all progress depends on unreasonable people." --George Bernard Shaw
"One moron can ask more questions than ten wise men can answer." --From a tag line on CompuServe
"He's a timid man who tries to look tough - a sheep in wolf's clothing."
"We all want to get laid, but nobody wants to get screwed."
"It is always easier to ask forgiveness than it is to get permission." --Adm. Grace Hopper
Ethan's corollary to the above: "It takes only two seconds to say 'Please excuse the mess' versus half an hour or more to actually clean and vacuum."
"I fully respect your right to disagree with me, so long as you understand that I'm right and you're wrong."
"Knowing a lot of facts is not the same as being smart."
"For every opinion on a given issue there will always be proponents for the opposite viewpoint - no matter how preposterous."
"Criticizing others is a dishonest way of praising ourselves." --From a letter to our local newspaper
"Microsoft is a praying mantis: It eats its partners while it's having sex with them." --Nicholas Petreley
"Hitting is learned behavior."
"People opposed to drinking are often former alcoholics, but most people who are against legalizing marijuana have never tried it."
"There's this man who lives in the sky, and he has ten things he doesn't want you to do, and you'll burn for a long time if you do them. But he loves you!" --George Carlin
"If AIDS is god's way of punishing homosexuals, then by the same logic E. Coli must be god's way of punishing people who eat meat."
"I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods, you will understand why I dismiss yours." --Stephen Roberts
"It's not so much that people are stupid, but many don't take the time to think things through." --Lionel, talk show host on WABC Talk Radio
"Atheism is a non-prophet organization." --Unknown
"Good composers borrow, great composers steal." --Igor Stravinsky
"Spirituality is simply a human emotion. And like all emotions it is entirely within one's own mind."
"God is Santa Claus for adults."
"Common etiquette says not to talk about politics, sex, religion, or money. But these are the most interesting things to discuss!"
"Cleanliness is next to impossible." --Anon
"Faith is a poor substitute for logic and reason."
"Beauty fades, dumb is forever." --Judge Judy
"Trying is the first step toward failure." --Homer Simpson
"If 'The Devil made me do it' is not a valid defense in a court of law, then insurance companies shouldn't be able to weasel out of claims for damage caused by an 'Act of God'."
"Behaving well from a fear of god is far less noble than behaving well because it's the right thing to do."
"Just because something is legal doesn't make it good, and just because something is illegal doesn't make it bad."
"Good luck is the result of good planning." --from a fortune cookie
"Never judge a book by its movie." --J.W. Eagan
"If 50 million people say a foolish thing, it's still a foolish thing." --Anatole France (1844-1924)
"It's a fine line between frugal and being a cheap bastard."
"A gun is no longer 'The great equalizer.' Today it's the Internet and newsgroups, where anyone can be taken seriously based only on what they say and without prejudice for their physical appearance."
"War is good business; invest your son." --Ron Kuby on WABC Talk Radio
"The only thing worse than being incompetent is not knowing you are."
"I didn't think it was possible, but this both sucks and blows." --Bart Simpson, watching a school faculty talent show
"I'm old enough to know better, but I'm still too young to care." --Country song by Wade Hayes
"Men never do evil so completely and cheerfully as when they do it from religious conviction." --Blaise Pascal
Speaking of Pascal, who was brilliant for sure, his famous Pascal's Wager is nicely rebutted by this amusing cartoon:
"The most important ingredient for success is being able to communicate."
"The ugly truth is always better than the best-dressed lie." --Ann Landers
"If hunters 'own' the wild animals and presume the right to shoot them, why don't people opposed to hunting have an equal right to say No?"
"If you think your teenagers are fully honest with you, just think back to when you were a teenager."
"It pains me when someone murders his wife and kids, and then kills himself. Hey, do us all a favor and shoot yourself first."
"When you go to a restaurant they ask, 'Smoking or non-smoking?' The question should be, 'Kids or no kids?'"
"A faith that cannot survive collision with the truth is not worth many regrets." --Arthur C. Clarke
"When morality comes up against profit, it is seldom that profit loses." --Shirley Chisolm
"The true appeal of guns is the power they give to those who feel powerless."
"The so-called patriot groups are behind some of the most evil and unpatriotic acts."
"I used to be angry at astrologers and promoters of alternative medicine for their shameless pandering to people's weakness. These days I'm more angry at the fools who fall for that nonsense."
"Personally, I prefer a politician who is curious enough to have smoked pot and tried cocaine or LSD. It is a small mind indeed that's afraid to try something new or unknown."
"Whenever someone tells me how wonderful it must have been to live in an earlier age, all I can think of is no aspirin, no toilet paper, and no air conditioning."
"Citing tradition as the only reason for continuing a useless practice is surely a lame excuse."
"It's amazing how the Jews, Christians, and Muslims have so much heritage in common, yet it seems they're always killing each other." --Doug Ferrara
"If you want to know someone's true personality, just watch them drive."
"There's nothing wrong with most public schools. It's up to parents to make sure their kids study and get good grades."
"A lot of conservatives complain that Bill Clinton got elected with less than half the popular vote. But their guy GW got even fewer votes!"
"When you talk to God it's called prayer; when God talks to you it's called schizophrenia." --A line from The Outer Limits TV show
Rob Carlson on rock bands: "If you can't be good, be loud."
"It's a far far better thing to have and not need than to need and not have." --Rob Carlson
"Man made booze. God made marijuana. Who do you trust?" --Unknown
"The first half of our lives is ruined by our parents, and the second half by our children." --Clarence Darrow
"Congress has not managed to implement campaign finance reform, keep guns out of the classroom, stop the cable TV companies from raping consumers, or prevent big industry from polluting our air and water, yet it has plenty of time to propose putting the Ten Commandments in schools and other public buildings."
"I don't know the secret of success, but the secret of failure is to try to please everybody." --Bill Cosby
"When two friends fight nobody wins." --Edith Bunker on All in the Family
"Alternative Health proponents want it both ways: First they say your regular doctor doesn't know as much as they do and conventional medicine is a failure. Then they claim their products are 'clinically tested' and 'scientifically proven' to work."
"The great thing about opinions is you don't have to back them up with facts."
"We often hear that a labor union is demanding more money. But they never say how much they earn now, so how can we know whose side to take?"
"I have always believed that it is a coward's pursuit to go into the woods to shoot an animal. It is not a sport if the victim is unable to return fire." --Frank Eldridge
"Great minds discuss ideas, average minds discuss events, small minds discuss people." --Admiral Hyman G. Rickover
"Simple minds are satisfied by simplistic explanations."
"As a cynic I generally expect the worst. I'm rarely disappointed."
"Did you ever wonder why they call something so divisive a 'Union'?" --Lois Mastrangelo
"If the government was really serious about preventing people from drinking and then driving, they wouldn't allow bars to have parking lots." --From a letter to our local paper
"Dope will get you through times of no money better than money will get you through times of no dope." --the Furry Freak Brothers
"It is impossible to defeat an ignorant man in argument." --William G. McAdoo, American government official (1863-1941)
"Why is it that as soon as politicians get elected they believe our money belongs to them?"
"If an animal mauls a kid, chances are the animal will be destroyed. It's really too bad the same law doesn't apply to a kid that tortures an animal." --From a letter to our local paper
"The most difficult and unpleasant jobs always seem to pay the least salary."
"Fathering five children does not show the world how macho you are. A dog can do that. If you want to be a real man, try adopting some kids with special needs."
"Every day, self-proclaimed stock market 'experts' tell us why the market just went up or down, as if they really knew. So where were they yesterday?"
"All great truths begin as blasphemies." --George Bernard Shaw
"A censor is someone who views pornography all day, but does not get corrupted even though he is certain you would."
"If you think seatbelts are confining, you should try a wheelchair." --Dr. Henry Betts, former head of the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago
"The large print giveth and the small print taketh away." --Tom Waits
"Censorship is the height of vanity." --Martha Graham
"The greatest tragedy may be the hijacking of morality by religion. However valuable that may have been to enforce good behavior on primitive peoples, the association is now counter-productive. Yet at the very moment when they should be decoupled, sanctimonious nitwits are calling for a return to morals based on superstition." --Arthur C. Clarke
"How can you make two months' salary last forever? Easy. Invest it wisely, instead of buying useless trinkets with no inherent value."
"Luck is when opportunity meets preparation." --Eric Beheim
"Were there none who were discontented with what they have, the world would never reach anything better." --Florence Nightingale
"An educated man should know everything about something, and something about everything." --Dame C.V. Wedgwood, English historian (1910-1997)
"Small minds are concerned more with the symbols of patriotism than with the underlying principles of freedom and democracy."
"The fact that a believer is happier than a skeptic is no more to the point than the fact that a drunken man is happier than a sober one." --George Bernard Shaw
"If we don't believe in freedom of expression for people we despise, we don't believe in it at all." --Noam Chomsky
"A bunny rabbit is basically a big rat. So why is one adorable and the other reviled?"
"Violence is the last refuge of the incompetent." --Salvor Hardin (character in the book Foundation by Isaac Asimov)
"Many magazine publishers wrongly believe they have to cater to their advertisers since the advertisers pay the bills. But in fact it is the readers who deserve the magazine's loyalty, because without them there would be no ads or revenue!"
"There is no doubt that the level of US violence has risen over the past forty years. I blame this directly on the religious right. As television and movie producers began pushing the envelope to make their shows more exciting, the religious right fought for censorship to prevent sex from being shown - so the producers instead made their shows more violent. And that has desensitized society thus making violence more acceptable."
"If we're all God's children, what's so special about Jesus?" --Jimmy Carr, comedian
"No listener gives a damn what microphone preamp you used." --Craig Anderton
"I play in several amateur orchestras, and have noticed that the players who miss the most rehearsals are the very ones who can least afford to be absent!"
"A good scientist can explain how something works using plain language, without needing math and formulas."
"The biggest problem with education today is that students are taught what to think, but not how to think."
"Without ego, greatness is impossible."
"If you steal a little money you go to jail. If you steal a lot you don't." --Unknown
"Nothing in this world is more precious than a kitten - but just try to give one away!"
"No amount of classical music training will ever teach you what's so cool about 'Tighten Up' by Archie Bell And The Drells" --Unknown
"When stores and big business raise prices they claim they're just keeping up with the cost of living. In fact, they are driving up the cost of living."
"Skeptics question, cynics assume."
"The later I am, the slower I drive - I'd rather be five minutes late than lose twenty minutes while getting a traffic ticket!"
"Little boys should never be forced to wear a necktie. In fact, nobody should ever have to wear a tie."
"Shop-at-home TV channels serve well as a national IQ test."
"The most obvious thing that proves average, fallible people wrote the texts of the bible, is that the book describes god's feelings, opinions, and preferences. He's mad ... He's pleased. Give me a break. If my creator deals with his/her problems LIKE I DO, then I need to find someone a little higher up." --Posted by 'bvdd' on the MusicPlayer web forum
"Hunting is the worst type of bullying."
"When a true genius appears in this world, you may know him by this sign, that the dunces are all in confederacy against him." --Jonathan Swift
"The dividing line between Liberals and Conservatives is at 100 IQ points."
"The great thing about standards is there are so many to choose from." --Unknown
"Empirical evidence trumps theory every time."
"Just because something costs a lot doesn't mean it's really worth that much."
"Success in any endeavor requires one simple formula: First define precisely what you want to do, then devise efficient logical steps to get there."
"You don't have to be a bastard to do well in business."
"When you can measure what you are speaking about, and express it in numbers, you know something about it. But when you cannot ... your knowledge is ... meager and unsatisfactory." --Lord Kelvin, 19th century physicist
"First they ignore you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, then you win." --Mahatma Gandhi
"If what you really need is outside your budget, stretch the budget. Otherwise you're wasting all your money." --Laurence Payne
"Anyone who uses a leaf blower or chain saw should by law be required to pay every neighbor within 1/4 mile $5 per hour."
"You can fool too many of the people too much of the time." --James Thurber
"If I had $100 million I would spend it all on radio and TV ads to influence public opinion on social issues."
"The French word for 'warning' is avertissement. Coincidence? I think not!"
"Email spammers are assholes. Phone spammers too."
"Every time I have accepted financial advice from a 'professional' I lost a lot of money."
"Liberals and conservatives argue endlessly whether this program or that should be run by the government or by private business. Either can work! What really matters is how efficiently it's done, and if there's accountability for the results."
"US law requires radio and TV ads for legtimate medicine to include endless disclaimers and warnings, while ads for 'alternative medicine' products have no such requirement and can claim whatever they want. Thanks to Ronald Reagan for this disgraceful travesty."
"A scientist seeks the truth, wherever that may lead. A believer already knows the truth, and cannot be swayed no matter how compelling the evidence."
"Everyone understands and accepts that the placebo effect is real, but for some reason audiophiles think it never happens to them."
"Any good orchestra can play a concert without a conductor, but name one conductor that can play a concert without the orchestra!"
"The more expensive the vehicle, the less likely the driver is courteous and uses his turn signals."
"Anonymity seems to bring out the worst in people."
"You can't have a democracy without an informed people." --White House reporter Helen Thomas
"Some people fear government intrusion into their privacy, but overlook that their garbage collector knows exactly how much booze they drink and their postal carrier knows every porn magazine they subscribe to."
"But I had so much more to do." --The last words of an intelligent person
"As soon as someone says, 'With all due respect' you can be sure they're about to say something disrespectful or insulting."
"It's always distressing when minorities make racist comments. As targets themselves, you'd think they of all people would know better."
"I hate fake boobs. I'd rather see and touch real A-cups than larger fake ones."
"When juveniles are arrested for hate crimes, the main story newspapers should print is about the parents."
"You want an inconvenient truth? Try this one: Human beings are clearly evolved for sex lives featuring multiple simultaneous sexual relationships." --Christopher Ryan
"If the origins of the inverse are ever known, it will be discovered by scientists, not theologians. Science is still searching, religion already knows."
"It is fatal to be right when the rest of the world is wrong." --Brother Theodore
"Many stores advertise they will match any price. But why should they be rewarded with our business when someone else had the courage to set their prices lower in the first place?"
"The national telephone Do Not Call list was a great idea. But it has no teeth. And the phone spammers can block their Caller ID. Worse, politicians exempted themselves from the law, making it legal for them to spam us by telephone!"
"I'm always amused by those 'Drugs don't work' bumper stickers. In fact, Drugs do work."
"If your car is so precious that you must straddle two parking spaces to avoid scratches, please park at the far end of the lot."
"A lot of mattress shops offer a 30-day money-back guarantee. But what happens to the returns, and can I be sure not to get one of those?"
"The use of audiophile terms like 'airy,' 'transparent,' 'rhythm and pace,' 'blacker backgrounds,' etc, instead of doing any real measurements, paints the high end as being fraudulent, lazy and corrupt." --DavidL
"People tend to disbelieve and dismiss what they don't understand." (See the Dunning-Kruger Effect.)
"The current US financial crisis could be solved with three simple changes: 1) Legalize all recreational drugs, prostitution, and gambling, saving billions of dollars prosecuting and incarcerating harmless citizens, and earning billions more in new taxes; 2) Revoke the tax-exempt status of churches, which are no different than any other social club; 3) Withdraw soldiers and expensive 'contractors' from all foreign conflicts, reducing military spending to only what's needed for our own self-defense."
"Ignorant people rely on insults instead of facts."
"The amount of suffering in the world is unfathomable to me. The despair of millions of innocent people in jail, and animals in cages. Hundreds of millions of poor people and animals suffering broken bones and painful diseases right now, with no chance of treatment. Millions of children beaten daily by their parents, and millions of women beaten daily by their husbands or boyfriends. Mass starvation somewhere in the world every day. Women whipped mercilessly or stoned for disobeying rules made up by men. Teenage girls having their genitals sliced off for 'religious' reasons. Millions of animals burned alive in forest fires. It goes on and on. How can anyone possibly believe this is the intentional grand plan of some deity?"
"If you never want your own soldier son to be tortured, you must oppose torturing the soldier sons of your enemies."
"Support our troops - by bringing them home!"
"Jackie Evancho is the eighth wonder of the world."
"If I were in charge, all perishable products would state a use-by date instead of sell-by, and food in sealed containers would have to say how long it's good for after it's been opened."
"If you vote for a politician who claims to have simple answers to complex issues, you're both fools."
"I much prefer a politician who 'flip-flops' to someone whose opinions remain steadfast even when presented with new evidence."
"It amazes me when people vote against their own interests, because they're swayed by pandering politicians who claim to oppose abortion and gay marriage, and say they believe in god. Some voters would rather see their own middle-class retirement and medical entitlements slashed, and have their taxes fund foreign wars, just so millionaires and big corporations can get tax breaks."
Too much to list here. See A Brief History of Conservatism on its own page.
"Loving and touching are universal. Not just for humans and dogs and cats, but even some birds like to be petted and held."
"Every single 'health' product that includes the disclaimer 'These statements not evaluated by the FDA' is a scam that relies entirely on placebo effect. If these products really worked, sellers would surely want FDA endorsement of their claims."
"When you have a problem with a product or service and the vendor's response is not satisfying, they are either incompetent or dishonest - take your pick."
"All soaps are made from simple detergents. The perceived value and price of shampoo and 'personal cleaner' products are related more to the quality of the added perfume than anything else."
"I'd rather be proven wrong and suffer brief embarrassment, than continue to hold an incorrect belief forever."
"If you like to drink while making dinner, cut up your veggies and anything else that requires a large sharp knife before you pour the first one!"
"The best, smartest, most generous, most intelligent people in history, were also the most persecuted, most insulted with the most hatred, most misunderstood, most misjudged, most misinterpreted, most misconsiderated, most disrespected, and most often banned!" --Posted by NorthStar at the What's Best audio forum
"A lot of people criticize the US Post Office as inefficient and overpriced. My experience over the past many years has been exactly the opposite. I think they do a great job! I wouldn't drive across town for the price of a stamp, let alone 3,000 miles across the country!"
"I think politicians should be required by law to write their own speeches, especially campaign speeches. Otherwise they're just voice actors, and we can't judge the clarity of their thinking. Further, we should be entitled to know the IQ of everyone running for public office. I understand that some people prefer politicians who aren't 'intellectuals,' and that's their right. So they can vote for dummies like themselves if they prefer. But the intelligence of our politicians is important information that all voters are entitled to know."
"Believers always praise god when things go well for them, but they never blame god when something bad happens."
"You can't reason with unreasonable people."
"I'm skeptical of doctors who wear a Jesus cross. I'd rather they have faith in their medical training."
"The most important specification for any product is its price."
"That which can be asserted without evidence, can be dismissed without evidence." --Christopher Hitchens
"Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence." --Carl Sagan
"George Bush says he speaks to god every day, and Christians love him for it. If George Bush said he spoke to god through his hair dryer, they would think he was mad. I fail to see how the addition of a hair dryer makes it any more absurd." -- Sam Harris
"You can assess the IQ of a radio or TV show's audience by the products that are advertised."
"I'm convinced that the world's biggest problem is magical thinking. Once you believe you have a chance to win big in the lottery, or that a magical man in the sky decides which team wins a football game, you'll accept virtually anything as plausible."
"After the latest round of mass shootings, and the ensuing discussions about tightening gun control laws, people are tiptoeing around the rights of 'hunters' as if hunting is an acceptable use of guns. If someone were caught driving around shooting at dogs and cats, they'd rightly be vilified and sent to jail. So why is killing okay if you substitute deer for dogs and ducks for cats? Any feeling person who cares about the pain and suffering of others should oppose all hunting on moral grounds, except perhaps in those rare cases where a hunter really needs to hunt in order to survive."
"Please give your new baby girl a girl's name! When you name a girl Johnna, Dannica, Roberta, Alexandra, or Sammie, you're revealing that you really wanted a boy. How do you think that will make your girl feel when she grows up?"
"Organ donation saves lives. If your religion forbids being an organ donor, you need a new religion."
"High-end audio strives for the highest fidelity no matter the cost. High-priced audio costs a lot whether it's better or not, or even if it's worse."
"Recording engineers and audiophiles spend far too much time worshipping gear, while paying too little attention to technique and basic audio science."
"If you kick someone's ass in a boxing ring or on a football field you're a hero. If you kick someone's ass in an audio forum by setting them straight with facts, you're a know-it-all and a bully."
"Hi-fi is the only hobby where willful ignorance is seen as a virtue. With hobbies like RC aircraft, amateur radio, photography, and astronomy, people learn to build and fix things, and strive to learn as much as they can. Only among audiophiles do we see practitioners embrace magical thinking while rejecting of science and logic."
"There are two types of audiophile snake oil vendors: Those who actually believe their own nonsense with the same breathless gullibility as their customers, and those who know they're running a scam. I actually have more respect for the latter!"
"We had an interesting incident near Humboldt State University. A new cell tower went up and the local newspaper asked a number of people what they thought of it. Some said they noticed their cell phone reception was better. Some said they noticed the tower was affecting their health. Think about how much more pronounced these effects will be once the tower is actually operational. The ability of the human brain to convince itself of just about anything is not to be underestimated." --Brian Dunning
"Some people believe in fate, and think 'everything happens for a reason.' But they still look both ways when crossing the street!"
"If the government was really serious about stopping drunk driving, they wouldn't allow parking lots next to bars." --Unknown
"Why does the US give tax breaks for being married, and even more deductions for having children? We already have enough people! There's no need to encourage reproduction, and we can't sustain continued growth forever. If anything, people should pay more in taxes for each child they create."
"Many 'middlemen' are leeches that do nothing to earn their commission. Alternate energy companies are a good example. They don't generate electricity or repair fallen power lines, they just take a share of the profits from companies that do. Another example is stores that never have what you need in stock, but they'll order it for you. Of course, some middlemen are justified. An insurance agent that represents several insurers and finds you the best rate deserves their commission. Same for stores that offer a large variety and keep most products in stock, especially if they also can answer your questions knowledgeably."
"On my oxymorons page I include Rap Music, mostly as a joke. But it's easy to prove the point. Music is defined as containing melody, harmony, and rhythm. So rhymed speech might be entertainment, and you could even call it art, but it's surely not music."
"It's easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled." --Mark Twain
"You're neither right nor wrong because people agree with you. You're right because your facts and your reasoning are right." --Warren Buffet
"The notion that faith in Christ is to be rewarded by an eternity of bliss, while a dependence upon reason, observation, and experience merits everlasting pain, is too absurd for refutation, and can be believed only by that unhappy mixture of insanity and ignorance, called faith." --Robert G. Ingersoll
"As I see it there are two types of wars: where one side is rational and the other is irrational, and where both sides are irrational."
"You can judge the average IQ of a TV or radio show's audience by the type of products that are advertised."
"An amateur musician practices a difficult passage until he plays it perfectly once. A professional practices until he plays it perfectly every time." --Anon
The following were submitted by Phil Parmenter, source unknown:
"Always remember you're unique - just like everyone else."
"It may be that your sole purpose in life is simply to serve as a warning to others."
"It is far more impressive when others discover your good qualities without your help."
"If you tell the truth, you don't have to remember anything."
"If you lend someone $20 and never see that person again, it was probably worth it."
"Never mess-up an apology with an excuse."
"Never underestimate the power of stupid people in large groups."
"If you drink, don't park. Accidents cause people."
"If at first you don't succeed, skydiving is not for you."
"Good judgment comes from bad experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment."
"A closed mouth gathers no foot."
"Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell and have them be happy to be on their way."
"Never miss a good chance to shut up."
"Anything worth taking seriously is worth making fun of."
"Experience is something you don't get until just after you need it."
"The problem with the gene pool is that there is no lifeguard."
"Don't be irreplaceable. If you can't be replaced, you can't be promoted."
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