The Science & Technology Thread

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Re: The Science & Technology Thread

Postby Buc2 » Wed Jul 12, 2017 12:12 pm

Moon Express announces plans to build lunar outpost by 2020
The Moon could soon be open for business.

ERIC BERGER (US) - 12/7/2017, 10:53

After several years of secrecy, a company called Moon Express revealed the scope of its ambitions on Wednesday. And they are considerable. The privately held company released plans for a single, modular spacecraft that can be combined to form successfully larger and more capable vehicles. Ultimately the company plans to establish a lunar outpost in 2020 and set up commercial operations on the Moon.

Perhaps most intriguingly, Moon Express says it is self-funded to begin bringing kilograms of lunar rocks back to Earth within about three years. “We absolutely intend to make these samples available globally for scientific research, and make them available to collectors as well,” said Bob Richards, one of the company’s founders, in an interview with Ars.

The vehicles

Moon Express was founded in 2010 to win the Google Lunar XPRIZE, which offered $20 million to the first privately funded team that lands a vehicle on the Moon, has it travel at least 500 meters, and transmits back high-definition images and video. The deadline for that prize is the end of 2017. While Moon Express says it has an outside chance to still claim the prize, its commercial ambitions now far exceed a simple, one-off lander.

At the center of the company’s architecture is the the single stage MX-1 spacecraft that can deliver up to 30kg to the lunar surface. This vehicle is similar in size and shape to the R2-D2 droid from Star Wars, but a little bigger, Richards said. Launched inside a conventional rocket payload fairing, the MX-1 is powered by a single PECO rocket engine.
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Value of Moon rocks

How much are lunar rocks worth? Quite a lot. NASA has never sold any of the 842 pounds of lunar material its six Apollo missions returned from the Moon. However, in 1970, the Soviet Union launched the robotic Luna 16 mission, which succeeded in returning 101 grams of material from the surface of the Moon. A fraction of this material made it to the open market.

In 1993, Sotheby’s auctioned off 0.2 grams of these Soviet rocks in three holders (each with a magnifying glass to see the specks of lunar dust). This auction raised $442,500 in total, and is the only data point we have for the value of material returned directly to Earth from the Moon, said Robert Pearlman editor of the space history site CollectSpace.com.

Read complete article here: https://arstechnica.co.uk/science/2017/ ... r-outpost/


Low whistle. That's some expensive dust. If my calculations are correct, NASA returned $845 billion worth of lunar rock ($1,430 billion when converted to 2017 dollars).
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Re: The Science & Technology Thread

Postby Zarniwoop » Wed Jul 12, 2017 1:19 pm

The selenites will not be pleased!
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Re: The Science & Technology Thread

Postby Buc2 » Wed Jul 12, 2017 2:42 pm

Perhaps they can be mollified if they're allowed to share in the profits?

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Re: The Science & Technology Thread

Postby Buc2 » Thu Jul 13, 2017 9:26 am

Buc2 wrote:Can't wait to see the release of the photos from tonight's flyover. Should be awesome.


And the pictures are in!

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This enhanced-color image of Jupiter’s Great Red Spot was created by citizen scientist Jason Major using data from the JunoCam imager on NASA’s Juno spacecraft.

The image was taken on July 10, 2017 at 07:10 p.m. PDT (10:10 p.m. EDT), as the Juno spacecraft performed its 7th close flyby of Jupiter. At the time the image was taken, the spacecraft was about 8,648 miles (13,917 kilometers) from the tops of the clouds of the planet.

JunoCam's raw images are available for the public to peruse and process into image products at: https://www.missionjuno.swri.edu/junocam

Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS/Jason Major


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This enhanced-color image of Jupiter’s Great Red Spot was created by citizen scientist Kevin Gill using data from the JunoCam imager on NASA’s Juno spacecraft.

The image was taken on July 10, 2017 at 07:07 p.m. PDT (10:07 p.m. EDT), as the Juno spacecraft performed its 7th close flyby of Jupiter. At the time the image was taken, the spacecraft was about 6,130 miles (9,866 kilometers) from the tops of the clouds of the planet.

Credits: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS/Kevin Gill


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This enhanced-color image of Jupiter’s Great Red Spot was created by citizen scientist Gerald Eichstädt using data from the JunoCam imager on NASA’s Juno spacecraft.

The image is approximately illumination adjusted and strongly enhanced to draw viewers’ eyes to the iconic storm and the turbulence around it.

The image was taken on July 10, 2017 at 07:07 p.m. PDT (10:07 p.m. EDT), as the Juno spacecraft performed its 7th close flyby of Jupiter. At the time the image was taken, the spacecraft was about 6,130 miles (9,866 kilometers) from the tops of the clouds of the planet.

Image Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech/SwRI/MSSS/Gerald Eichstädt
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Re: The Science & Technology Thread

Postby Caradoc » Thu Jul 13, 2017 6:03 pm

beardmcdoug wrote:
Newsweek too, nonetheless.


You seem surprised, as if Newsweek was some kind of real news magazine rather than just another tabloid like The Enquirer or People...
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Re: The Science & Technology Thread

Postby beardmcdoug » Fri Jul 14, 2017 9:42 am

Caradoc wrote:
beardmcdoug wrote:
Newsweek too, nonetheless.


You seem surprised, as if Newsweek was some kind of real news magazine rather than just another tabloid like The Enquirer or People...


it is
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Re: The Science & Technology Thread

Postby Buc2 » Sat Jul 15, 2017 10:47 am

Click here to watch an awesome NASA video of a New Horizons Pluto flyover.
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Re: The Science & Technology Thread

Postby Buc2 » Sat Jul 15, 2017 10:54 am

As an aside to that Pluto flyover, that video got me wondering just how bright the sun appears on Pluto. I found an article that did the calculations and found that the sun, on average, appears 250 times brighter than a full moon on Earth.

...on average the Sun would look more than 250 times brighter than the full Moon does from Earth!

Pluto’s orbit is also highly elliptical, stretching from 4.4 billion km to just over 7.3 billion km from the Sun. Doing the math again, that means the Sun goes from being 0.0012 to 0.0004 as bright as it is from Earth: a range of roughly 150 to 450 times as bright as the Moon from Earth. That’s a change in brightness by a factor of three!

Still, given that you can read by the light of the full Moon, obviously the Sun from Pluto is still pretty dang intense. It would hardly look like just any other star: it would greatly outshine everything else in the sky. Painful to look at, most likely.
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Re: The Science & Technology Thread

Postby Caradoc » Tue Jul 18, 2017 5:43 pm

beardmcdoug wrote:
Caradoc wrote:
You seem surprised, as if Newsweek was some kind of real news magazine rather than just another tabloid like The Enquirer or People...


it is



LOL OK.
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Re: The Science & Technology Thread

Postby Buc2 » Thu Jul 20, 2017 12:48 pm

Elon Musk Says He Has 'Verbal' OK To Build N.Y.-D.C. Hyperloop
July 20, 20171:02 PM ET
BILL CHAPPELL

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The 500-meter Hyperloop One track in Nevada, where the project recently passed a fully systems test.
Hyperloop One


A plan to build an ultrafast Hyperloop One tube train has been given "verbal [government] approval to connect large cities on the East Coast, tech entrepreneur Elon Musk says. He adds that the system would whisk passengers from New York to Washington, D.C., in 29 minutes.

After his tweet about the plan set off intense interest, Musk added a clarification, stating, "Still a lot of work needed to receive formal approval, but am optimistic that will occur rapidly."

Elon Musk ✔ @elonmusk
Just received verbal govt approval for The Boring Company to build an underground NY-Phil-Balt-DC Hyperloop. NY-DC in 29 mins.
11:09 AM - 20 Jul 2017
29,511 29,511 Retweets 68,972 68,972 likes


We're seeking more details from Musk and his companies that are involved in the Hyperloop project, from the vehicle unit to the Boring Company, which would dig the tunnels. He did not specify, for instance, which agency had given its approval, or when construction might begin.

Engineers who are working on the project have the goal of sending pods through a tube at speeds of more than 700 mph, using magnetic levitation and an electric motor in a vacuum environment.

"With Hyperloop One, passengers and cargo are loaded into a pod and accelerate gradually via electric propulsion through a low-pressure tube," the company says. "The pod quickly lifts above the track using magnetic levitation and glides at airline speeds for long distances due to ultra-low aerodynamic drag."

Musk said that Hyperloop's planned underground route would run from New York to Philadelphia and on to Baltimore and Washington — the same heavily used commuter route that's serviced by Amtrak trains. And he added that as with traditional train stations, the Hyperloop would travel from city center to city center.

The stations, Musk added, would have "up to a dozen or more entry/exit elevators in each city."

The Hyperloop underwent its first public test last summer, with a successful run at its 500-meter test track in the Nevada desert. It cleared another hurdle last week, when it completed the first full systems test in a vacuum environment.

"The vehicle coasted above the first portion of the track for 5.3 seconds using magnetic levitation and reached nearly 2Gs of acceleration, while achieving the Phase 1 target speed of 70mph," Hyperloop One said in a news release. "The company is now entering the next campaign of testing, which will target speeds of 250 mph."

Musk made his statements about the new proposal in the same week that he's been in Washington to attend the International Space Station Research & Development Conference, where he's a featured speaker.

The Northeast corridor route Musk outlined Thursday wasn't included in a list of 11 routes Hyperloop One published in the spring. That list mentioned other areas with heavy traffic, from Los Angeles-San Diego to Miami-Orlando and Seattle-Portland.
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Re: The Science & Technology Thread

Postby Zarniwoop » Thu Jul 20, 2017 1:31 pm

I'm sure he will get millions of tax payer dollars for this...as he does for nearly all his projects

it is cool though
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Re: The Science & Technology Thread

Postby RedLeader » Thu Jul 20, 2017 1:40 pm

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Re: The Science & Technology Thread

Postby beardmcdoug » Thu Jul 20, 2017 2:10 pm

RedLeader wrote:Image


lmfao the guy is bored, sitting in a traffic jam. tweets about it. quips how he'd like to start a digging company to just dig under traffic. says he'd name it "Boring Company"



pic related:

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half a year later, he gets a verbal OK from gov, and likely millions of subsidies for his "Boring Company" to dig a hyperloop for DC to NY

Elon Musk is a comic book character
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Re: The Science & Technology Thread

Postby Caradoc » Fri Jul 21, 2017 10:46 pm

"Verbal Approval"

That's not how this works. That's not how any of this works.
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Re: The Science & Technology Thread

Postby Buc2 » Mon Jul 24, 2017 3:53 pm

Not sure how into the eclipse some of you plan to be. Here's an article about some apps (2 of the 3 featured are free) that are available for both droid and iOS.

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/solar-eclip ... -for-that/
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Re: The Science & Technology Thread

Postby uscbucsfan » Mon Jul 24, 2017 4:15 pm

Buc2 wrote:Not sure how into the eclipse some of you plan to be. Here's an article about some apps (2 of the 3 featured are free) that are available for both droid and iOS.

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/solar-eclip ... -for-that/


I'll definitely be out on my boat here in Columbia, depending on the weather, watching. My wife and son are pretty excited.
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Re: The Science & Technology Thread

Postby Buc2 » Tue Jul 25, 2017 9:16 am

uscbucsfan wrote:
Buc2 wrote:Not sure how into the eclipse some of you plan to be. Here's an article about some apps (2 of the 3 featured are free) that are available for both droid and iOS.

http://www.cbsnews.com/news/solar-eclip ... -for-that/


I'll definitely be out on my boat here in Columbia, depending on the weather, watching. My wife and son are pretty excited.

Lucky! My company has a branch in Columbia, so I expect to hear and see a bunch from the folks I know that work there.
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Re: The Science & Technology Thread

Postby deltbucs » Thu Jul 27, 2017 12:22 pm

So it's been a couple weeks now, but I've been meaning to share some my pictures of my tour at Cern. It was ****ing awesome!

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Outside of the Atlas Control Building
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Got to touch a hydrogen tank that was once used to actually feed protons into the LHC
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The Atlas Control Room. You can see the particle detection from the collisions on the right and on the left is the health of Atlas itself. Pretty cool to see the collisions in real time.
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Another one of the Atlas Control Room.
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The first particle collider created and used by Cern in the late 50's. It was pretty interesting how this thing accelerated particles. Much different that the LHC. This thing is in a building with 15 foot thick walls.
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A model of the 27 Kilometer tunnel where the LHC accelerates particles
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A bottle of champagne that was popped to celebrate the discovery of the Higgs.
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This Cloud Chamber was so cool. You cool just stand there and watch the track show up
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Re: The Science & Technology Thread

Postby beardmcdoug » Thu Jul 27, 2017 12:25 pm

very cool dude!
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Re: The Science & Technology Thread

Postby Buc2 » Thu Jul 27, 2017 12:29 pm

Thanks for sharing, Delt. Good stuff!
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Re: The Science & Technology Thread

Postby Buc2 » Sun Jul 30, 2017 11:58 am

I found this interesting. Scary? Not sure about that, but it is something to think about.

Artificial Intelligence Invents New Language Humans Can’t Understand

Facebook, the company that accidentally killed fact-based reality, almost upgraded itself to “accidental species extinction” during a deep learning experiment. In an exercise known as a generative adversarial network, which pitted one artificial intelligence (AI) against another AI, the researchers writing the terms of the contest forgot one little thing: “there was no reward to sticking to English language.”

As a result, the AIs innovated a more efficient method of communication for their purposes. As you can see in the “conversation” below, this language is relatively incomprehensible to humans.

Bob: I can i i everything else

Alice: balls have zero to me to me to me to me to me to me to me to me to

Bob: you i everything else

Alice: balls have a ball to me to me to me to me to me to me to me to me


“This isn’t so different from the way communities of humans create shorthands,” said Dhruv Batra, a visiting research scientist from Georgia Tech at Facebook AI Research (FAIR). The one crucial difference here is processing power. “It’s perfectly possible for a special token to mean a very complicated thought,” Batra said. “The reason why humans have this idea of decomposition, breaking ideas into simpler concepts, it’s because we have a limit to cognition.”

Luckily, Facebook shut the robot revolution down before it could begin.

However, did they act too hastily? In his article, Fast Company’s Mike Wilson discusses some of the advantages of letting computers write their own languages. First off, computers solve problems better when the data they’re fed is in “a format that makes sense for machine learning,” rather than convoluted English. Second, in a world where computers can speak to each other without human intervention, we could eliminate the need for APIs to facilitate one program working with another.

The con here, of course, is that the little baby Terminators we’re breeding could start talking about us behind our backs. They could plot to overthrow us in terms we wouldn’t be able to translate. Maliciously trained AIs – say, those incentivized to destabilize an electric grid – could independently communicate with vulnerable systems in an indecipherable language which would make it very difficult for human hackers to understand what happened and troubleshoot. There’d be no 404 error codes in this AI-to-AI language. ONLY T-800s.

I’ll stick with my APIs, thanks.
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Re: The Science & Technology Thread

Postby deltbucs » Sun Jul 30, 2017 4:15 pm

Yeah...that's just scary. People like Elon Musk keep warning us of how soon the singularity will be. We're talking like 20 years and it's possible that we have some straight up Terminator 2 type **** going on.
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Re: The Science & Technology Thread

Postby Buc2 » Tue Aug 01, 2017 11:53 am

I'd love to be able to try out this game...

Mars 2030: What It Was Like to Explore the Red Planet in Virtual Reality

In "Mars 2030," players get to land on the Red Planet, explore a realistic future habitat on the surface and dig into the history of the planet's landmarks in immersive 3D. The game is available today (July 31) for the HTC Vive, Oculus Rift and Steam PC platforms, and will soon be available for PlayStation VR.

Space.com had the chance to strap on the HTC Vive and explore the Mars simulation, which provided a fascinating and realistic — if sometimes dizzying — excursion across the planet.

"The experience itself covers about 40 square kilometers [15 square miles] of Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter data from the HiRISE imagery device, and we read through the manual to convert the raw data from the MRO to function in a real-time game engine environment," Julian Reyes, director of virtual reality/augmented reality at Fusion Media Group, told Space.com.

Continued: https://www.space.com/37663-space-tries ... ality.html
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Re: The Science & Technology Thread

Postby Nano » Tue Aug 01, 2017 4:41 pm

That sounds cool
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Re: The Science & Technology Thread

Postby paco74 » Wed Aug 02, 2017 2:21 pm

deltbucs wrote:Yeah...that's just scary. People like Elon Musk keep warning us of how soon the singularity will be. We're talking like 20 years and it's possible that we have some straight up Terminator 2 type **** going on.

Stephen Hawkins keeps warning us also.

BTW, I couldn't get any greener with envy about your visit to CERN's LHC. Pure awesomeness!
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Re: The Science & Technology Thread

Postby Buc2 » Fri Aug 04, 2017 10:20 am

Some excitement for a local company. One of my neighbors my actually be working directly on this project.

BWXT Awarded $18.8 Million Nuclear Thermal Propulsion Reactor Design Contract by NASA
August 03, 2017 06:45 AM Eastern Daylight Time

LYNCHBURG, Va.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--BWX Technologies, Inc. (NYSE:BWXT) announced today that its BWXT Nuclear Energy, Inc. subsidiary has been awarded an $18.8 million contract from NASA to initiate conceptual designs for a nuclear thermal propulsion reactor in support of a possible future manned mission to Mars.

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BWX Technologies Inc @BWXTech
BWXT Awarded $18.8 Million Nuclear Thermal Propulsion Reactor Design Contract by @NASA http://ow.ly/7GyM30e8zN1
9:37 AM - Aug 3, 2017
Replies 7 7 Retweets 12 12 likes


The scope of the contract includes initial reactor conceptual design, initial fuel and core fabrication development, licensing support for initial ground testing, and engine test program development. Work under the contract is expected to continue through 2019, subject to annual Congressional appropriations and options exercised at customer discretion.

The reactor would be part of a nuclear thermal propulsion rocket engine designed to propel a spacecraft from Earth orbit to Mars and back. BWXT’s reactor design is based on low enriched uranium fuel. Nuclear thermal power for spaceflight has a number of advantages over chemical-based designs, primarily providing higher efficiency and greater power density resulting in lower propulsion system weight. This would contribute to shorter travel times and lower exposure to cosmic radiation for astronauts.

“BWXT is extremely pleased to be working with NASA on this exciting nuclear space program in support of the Mars mission,” said Rex D. Geveden, BWXT’s President and Chief Executive Officer. “We are uniquely qualified to design, develop and manufacture the reactor and fuel for a nuclear-powered spacecraft. This is an opportune time to pivot our capabilities into the space market where we see long-term growth opportunities in nuclear propulsion and nuclear surface power.”

Work on the program will begin immediately. Approximately 15 BWXT employees in Lynchburg, Va., will contribute to this effort.
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Re: The Science & Technology Thread

Postby deltbucs » Fri Aug 04, 2017 10:39 am

Pretty damn cool
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Re: The Science & Technology Thread

Postby Buc2 » Fri Aug 04, 2017 1:07 pm

Not your usual dinosaur discovery story. Long read, so I'm just posting a couple paragraphs of the story, the story link and a couple of photos.

Link: https://www.theatlantic.com/science/arc ... ue/535782/

In March 2011, a construction worker named Shawn Funk visited an impressive dinosaur collection at the Royal Tyrrell Museum in Alberta. As he walked through halls full of ancient bones, he had no idea that a week later, he’d add to their ranks by finding one of the most spectacular dinosaur fossils of all time. It’s an animal so well preserved that its skeleton can’t be seen for the skin and soft tissues that still cover it.

When we look at dinosaurs in museums, it takes imagination to plaster flesh and skin on top of the bones. But for the dinosaur that Funk unearthed—a 110-million-year-old creature named Borealopelta—imagination isn’t necessary. It looks like a sculpture. And based on pigments that still lurk within the skin, scientists think they know what colors the animal had. “If someone wants to come face to face with a dinosaur, and see what it actually looked like, this is the one for that,” says Caleb Brown from the Royal Tyrrell Museum, who has studied the animal.


What they found:
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Artist rendering of what it likely looked like when alive (they were able to detect actual pigment in the sample they found above, so that pigment was added by the artist):
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Re: The Science & Technology Thread

Postby Rocker » Fri Aug 04, 2017 1:28 pm

Amazing.
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Re: The Science & Technology Thread

Postby beardmcdoug » Fri Aug 04, 2017 2:12 pm

holy **** that is amazing
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