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17 Nov


Developing explosive power for athletes should logically entail pure single-leg exercises. Simply put, when you’re in a sport, any sport, you are usually creating power and taking off from one leg anyhow. In fact, most everything we do is transitioning from a single leg to another. So, if you want to have great leg strength, be able to jump with power, create force and momentum in your movement, you can do so much with single-leg exercises.



10 Explosive Single-Leg Exercises

Here is my top 10 list of single-leg exercises that I have successfully applied to athletes and trainees at all levels. You can see them all from the 3:27 minute mark in the video above, where I explain my approach to doubling leg strength, one leg at a time.


  1. Weighted Box Step-Ups: These are simple enough to do as you can see from the video above. Just remember to watch yourself on the way down and maintain control and good form. You’re not looking to put extra strain on the lower joints.
  2. Single-Leg Glute Bridge: When you are watching the video on this exercise, pay attention to the toes. They point out. Maintain that tension when you do it and create the clean lines in the bridge.
  3. Elevated Single-Leg Glute Bridge: The key thing here is to keep the toes pointed and make sure you get a high enough raise in your glutes. It’s going to be challenging and you’ll definitely feel it in your hamstrings.
  4. Stability Ball Leg Curl: Getting into position and maintaining position is going to be awkward so, don’t worry about that. Actually, it’s not as simple as it looks.
  5. Single-Leg Stability Ball Leg Curl: Switching to one leg only is going to add a multiplier in terms of awkwardness and difficulty in this movement. Again, don’t worry about that and accept that it requires concentration and focus to maintain form, despite the lack of resistance.
  6. Dumbbell Split Squat: CrossFitters will hit that knee to the ground. It is best to have a pad or something soft to cushion that area, for sure. However, you will probably just graze the ground. As long as you have tension and control, you’re good.
  7. Walking Lunges for Runners: From the video, it may seem like an exaggerated lunge and it is. You’re trying to show that knee raise. That’s why we call it a lunge for runners. It gives you good depth and muscle memory in the process, too.
  8. Bulgarian Split Squats: We try this exercise with the top of the foot flat on the bench and with the back foot on its toes. Either is fine. On the toes will put some extra emphasis on the quads but it is entirely up to you. Just make sure you set yourself up properly and you have the necessary flexibility to perform this movement accurately.
  9. Single-Leg Romanian Deadlift (RDL): Even the best of you is going to be put off-balance doing this exercise. It’s not about how far up your back leg goes either. Keep your back solid and straight. Your back leg will go up as much as it does. The key is the position of your torso and the balance you maintain.
  10. Weighted Wall Sits with Hurdle Jump: I developed this approach to creating explosive leg power because sometimes when you have to jump in and train a group of athletes, you don’t have time to teach them cleans and Olympic weightlifting movements if you want to create that explosive power in their running and jumping. This exercise combo works, and you can see immediate results without asking the athlete to learn any complicated technical lifting movements.

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11 Sep

American consumers could soon be forced to pay double for some of the most desirable European products if the Trump administration gets its way.

The Trump administration has proposed a tariff of up to 100 percent on $25 billion of European products, including cheese, wine, meats, olive oil and pasta, CNN reports. 

The newest front of Trump’s trade war is related to a years-long dispute between the U.S. and the European Union over subsidies for airplane manufacturers. In 2004, the EU accused the U.S. of unfairly giving $19 billion in subsidies to Boeing. The U.S. responded by filing its own complaint to the World Trade Organization, accusing the EU of giving unfair subsidies to European manufacturer Airbus. Since taking office, Trump has proposed new tariffs on Europe in the dispute. The WTO is expected to rule on the scope of allowable tariffs this month.

Retailers say that the tariffs would result in soaring prices that could cripple thousands of American businesses. Roughly 14,000 specialty food retailers and 20,000 other food retailers could be hit by the tariff, according to the Specialty Food Association.

Food importers would be hit hard too. Tom Gellert, whose company owns five food importers, told CNN that businesses would likely be forced to stop selling European products affected by the tariffs.

“100 percent duties would be really devastating,” he said. “We’re going to make these items so expensive and so unmarketable we won’t import them anymore.”

Lou Di Palo, the owner of Di Palo’s specialty shop in New York’s Little Italy, told the outlet that 95 percent of the products in his 109-year-old store would be affected.

“Products that we sell are already kind of expensive,” he explained. “For instance, Parmigiano Reggiano and Grana Padano. These are cheeses that sell between $15 and $20 a pound. Could I get $30 and $40 a pound for this cheese? It’s going to be very difficult.”

The tariff could also affect the supply of common staples like olive oil. Trump has claimed that the goal of his tariffs, aside being leverage in trade negotiations, is to bring manufacturing of products back to the United States. But a bipartisan group of lawmakers has asked the administration to reconsider imposing a tariff on olive oil, arguing that the duty would cause “significant domestic harm” because there is no “sufficient alternative supply of olive oil.”

“Large price increases can push many consumers and food manufacturers to choose food oils that lack the health qualities of olive oil, as well as increase the incentive for unscrupulous actors to sell misbranded olive oil,” they wrote.

Production of other products like cheese and wine could move to the United States, but Di Palo noted that the milk and grapes used in the products are region-specific and have profiles that give them their unique flavors and textures.

“The authentic wines of Italy, the authentic cheeses, oil, salumi. This is very important to us,” he told CNN.

One company that could benefit from the tariff is the Trump Winery in Charlottesville, Virginia. The winery is owned by Eric Trump, the president’s son. Some of its wines have been described as “Welch’s grape jelly with alcohol.”

Along with European food products, Trump has also threatened to impose tariffs on European cars. He has already imposed steep tariffs on steel and aluminum imports, washing machines and solar panels, as well of hundreds of billions of dollars worth of products from China, Europe, Canada and Mexico. Trump has frequently complained that the U.S. has a trade deficit with the rest of the world, but those deficits have only grown since he took office. The trade deficit with China, the European Union and Mexico has grown by more than 23 percent and the trade deficit with the rest of the world has increased by nearly 25 percent.

Meanwhile, Americans are paying for the increased cost of goods on countless products, as well as the bailout of farmers whose businesses have been ravaged by the trade war.

A new report from the National Foundation for American Policy showed that by the end of 2019, Trump’s tariffs “will have cost the average household $1,315 over a two-year period.”

“When adding the tariffs in effect and the tariffs set to go into effect by the end of 2019, the costs of the tariffs to consumers will be $259.2 billion,” the report said. “That is, the tariffs will cost the average household $2,031 per year, and will be recurring so long as the tariffs stay in effect.”

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28 Aug

Don Julio’s first experimental Double Cask release — which saw reposado tequila finished for 30 days in Buchanan’s Scotch whisky barrels — wasn’t a one-off. Now the brand is back with a second Double Barrel release, this one finished in Lagavulin whisky casks. With Lagavulin the Ron Swanson-approved It Whisky of the moment, I expect interest to run high for this one.

Let’s hand it over to Don Julio for more detail:

Tequila Don Julio announces the release of its second limited-edition barrel-finished tequila, Tequila Don Julio Reposado, Double Cask, a traditional Reposado tequila now finished for two weeks in casks which previously held Lagavulin Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky. Inspired by Don Julio González’s innovative spirit and passion to take the art of tequila making to new heights, current Master Distiller Enrique de Colsa is continuing the legacy by producing another truly unique tequila.

Made in collaboration with Colin Gordon, the Lagavulin Distillery Manager, the latest variant to the portfolio is a rich and nuanced expression of Tequila Don Julio Reposado now finished in casks which previously held one of the most treasured Single Malt Scotch Whiskies – Lagavulin Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky – known for its full bodied, bold flavors derived from the small island of Islay, home to the Lagavulin distillery.

Since Don Julio González revolutionized the tequila industry in 1942 when he began producing the spirit, the brand has always sought to deliver innovative offerings that are also representative of the quality that Tequila Don Julio has been known for. Master Distiller Enrique de Colsa, spent two years perfecting this innovation, constantly experimenting with the vast cask options available within the Diageo portfolio. He landed on casks which previously held Lagavulin Islay Single Malt Scotch Whisky as it embodies the finest, pungent flavors native to the region that blended well with the traditional Tequila Don Julio Reposado.

Of special note in all of that, notice that the length of time of the finishing in the Lagavulin barrels is a mere two weeks, a fact which makes perfect sense based on my tasting notes.

The color of the tequila is light straw, very pale, and the nose offers nothing but freshness: bright lemon notes, cinnamon buns, vanilla, and a modest agave spike. There’s just a hint of iodine and seaweed here, but nothing that evokes peat or smoke.

The palate is equally gentle and refreshing, with lots of citrus and more vanilla, laced just so with herbal agave notes but extremely mild from beginning to end. On the finish it’s a surprisingly refreshing tequila, lively and engaging — but, it must be said, with virtually nothing to it that evokes the island of Islay. Nevertheless, if you set that expectation aside, it’s a lovely reposado that stands perfectly well on its own, never mind the Scots.

80 proof.


Similar Posts:

Don Julio Tequila Reposado Double Cask – Lagavulin Barrel


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21 Aug


 “One way ticket to Snap City.”

 “These are the fugliest things I’ve ever seen.”

 “RIP spine.” 

The infamous double-layback press video for Starting Strength has gotten more unlikes than likes on YouTube. Everybody in the comments section is either generously explaining to me that my spinal discs are exploding or loudly telling me I must be trolling. Well, I’m not. And my spine is doing great – still haven’t punched that ticket to Snap City. I could never be bothered to reply to the comments on YouTube, but now I’d like to tell you what it is I’m doing, and how it’s an excellent way to get strong. I’m not a doctor, I’m not a physiotherapist, I’m not a chiropractor. I’m a lifter, a coach, and a practitioner of the much-maligned double layback – and I can offer you some insight into what I know about this incredible lift. 

First, a little background on my history with the press. I didn’t start with the double layback. Originally my press was more like the 1.0, which is essentially a strict press on the first rep with a quick breath in the active shrug, then a slight bounce using the stretch reflex at the bottom of all the remaining reps. In 2012, after the publication of Starting Strength: Basic Barbell Training 3rd edition, I attended a Starting Strength Seminar in Wichita Falls, and I remember thinking the 2.0 looked pretty ropey up on the platform. I knew my technique wasn’t great either, so after the seminar I practiced the 2.0 relentlessly. It was frustrating, but I persevered and eventually made it work. It took me the better part of a year to become more technically sound.

Then, as my press started to get really heavy (in those days, heavy meant 80 kg for doubles), something strange happened. I found I was getting immense power and drive from the first kick of the hips, but then I’d get stuck a few inches before lockout, and it would take me a few seconds of pushing really hard to manhandle the bar all the way up to the top. Once I hit 95 kg or so, a second layback naturally started occurring at this sticking point: by bringing my hips back under the bar and leaning back a touch more, I found I could push through more easily. Interesting, I thought. Wonder what I can do with this? So next time, instead of waiting for the bar to grind to a halt and then initiating a second, slow layback, I decided to slam my hips aggressively into the second one, allowing me to blast through the sticking point. This technique evolved into the double layback you can see in the YouTube video, and it’s the style I still use today. It’s given me great results. 

As a number of people in the comments section pointed out, the movement is very similar to the old-style Olympic press. Bill Starr has a fantastic article on this great lift that goes into more detail, if you’d like to read the best currently available description of the movement. But what I’m doing – dubbed the “Press 3.0” on the Starting Strength forums – is not quite the same. It’s certainly a close cousin to the Olympic press, but there are some differences:

Grip and lower-arm alignment, a.k.a. rack position: The grip is the same as for a 2.0, which means that the barbell is loading the heel of the palm, and that the wrists, forearms and elbows are arranged in a straight vertical line. We’re not pressing from a clean position, as with an Olympic press, because we’re using a nifty little thing called a squat rack: we no longer have to clean every press we attempt.

Floating rack position: For most lifters, including myself, the 2.0 rack position creates a space between the bar and the body. It’s not touching or resting on the deltoids, the way it would in a clean or a front squat.

Stretch reflex: Because of the floating rack position, the first kick of the hips in the 3.0 creates a much more visually obvious dip and bounce than in the Olympic press. This stretch reflex can be used to great advantage, helping the lifter get out of the bottom of the press. It’s almost like a push press from the hips: the bounce, with braced abdominals and locked knees, creates momentum that transfers into the barbell.

Double layback: This is where the 3.0 is most similar to the Olympic press: the lifter initiates with the hips to start and performs another hip drive halfway through, enabling the correctly executed lift even when dealing with huge weights.

Active shrug: The active shrug, as taught in Starting Strength, is the correct way to lock out a barbell overhead. This is an essential part of the 3.0, but may also be performed as part of the Olympic press.

A tip about rack position: I see a lot of people starting off from an unstable position, and it’s usually because the lifter is not fully utilizing the lats. My cue to fix this? The start of the press should feel like the top of a chin-up. Imagine your chin is way above the bar and squeeze your elbows down towards the floor. This will correct the bar position, bringing it tighter to the body and giving the first layback more spring.

A tip about the double layback: The first layback is similar to the 2.0 (with abs tight and knees locked, creating more tension here than at any other point except in the rack position). When you hit the second layback – depending on your flexibility and strength – you will also want to tighten your glutes, as this lean can get much more pronounced, and using this tension in the hips will help protect the back.

Not that this is actually a “dangerous” movement for the back, despite what the concerned citizens of YouTube might think. I’ve recently pressed 130 kg using the 3.0, and have never experienced any back pain from this lift. In fact, it’s helped me improve all my other press variations, including strict, dumbbell, Olympic and the 2.0. Somewhat predictably, I’ve found that the stronger I am, the fewer negative comments I receive.

It’s true that my layback is unusually marked, but this isn’t an issue for me. I’ve always had great flexibility in my lower back. It’s also worth noting that I use a LOT of hip extension, as you can clearly see in the notorious video. I’m not just leaning back; my hips travel away from mid-foot too. This helps balance out the press. If all I did was lean back, I’d fall over. My spine might look hyperextended, but it’s actually not: when the hips are forward, the ass is closer to the spine, that’s all. The heavy barbell acts as ballast, allowing me to stay balanced in the back and hips. Another upside of the lean? It lets me incorporate a little more chest into the lift, turning the press into a “standing incline”, as it’s occasionally referred to.

Some people also like to call the 3.0 the “sumo press,” and they don’t mean that as a compliment. Now, the sumo deadlift trains a much shorter range of motion than the conventional. It also trains far less muscle mass. Neither of these statements is true of the double layback. I’m moving the bar through exactly the same range of motion as I would in a strict press, and the technique actually recruits more muscles. If anything, the double-layback press is more like a hitching deadlift, where the knees unlock for a second or even a third bend, allowing more involvement of the quads (you see these a lot in strongman competitions, where they’re a perfectly legitimate variation). It’s certainly nothing like a sumo.

So why do I keep hearing this analogy? Because when people compare the 3.0 to the sumo deadlift, they’re trying to invalidate the technique. They want to imply that I’m “cheating” somehow, or that this isn’t a “real press.” It’s a reference to the origins of the sumo deadlift, which was first performed by a lifter trying to bamboozle the referees at a competition. It didn’t quite break the rules, so they allowed it, and from then on it was considered legit.

Interestingly, the sumo has a similar origin story to the butterfly stroke in swimming, a version of which was first performed at the 1936 Olympic Games during a breaststroke race. Technically it didn’t break the rules, but it did enable athletes to swim much faster than those doing the conventional breaststroke. Eventually the organisers gave up and decided to make the two strokes separate events. The butterfly, like the sumo, emerged as a way of getting around the rules. In sport, as in life, there will always be people trying to find shortcuts, but this is not the case with the 3.0. The analogy doesn’t work.

Contrary to what the YouTube Brain Trust seems to imagine, I use many different variants of the press in my training. If I’m participating in a strict-press meet, I’ll happily follow those rules. Mostly, however, I lift in strengthlifting meets, where the 3.0 is allowed. It has added a ton of new muscle mass to my shoulders and arms, and I continue to make yearly progress towards my 300 lb press goal. 

So I appreciate everyone’s concern for my lumbar health, but I’m going to stick with my “fugly” presses. If I ever get to Snap City, I’ll send a postcard.

Discuss in Forums

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15 Jul

Double Dipped Southern Fried Chicken is a crowd pleaser no matter who is coming to dinner! Serve it up with fresh and creamy cole slaw and cornbread! 

I mean, who can really resist crunchy, juicy Southern fried chicken-! ohsweetbasil.comI mean, who can really resist crunchy, juicy Southern fried chicken-!


Southern friends, you are my idol. I think the south does food like no one’s business. Especially fried food, in particular southern fried chicken.

It’s crunchy on the outside, and juicy divine chicken underneath. This fried chicken is our absolute favorite and totally irresistible. And just wait until you see what I do with it tomorrow. Mwaahahahahaha. Ehem, anyway southern food is a favorite around here, like our smoked beans, southern cheese crackers, and southern corn bread (which is the best corn bread EVER.


I mean, who can really resist crunchy, juicy Southern fried chicken-!

I mean, who can really resist crunchy, juicy Southern fried chicken-! ohsweetbasil.comI mean, who can really resist crunchy, juicy Southern fried chicken-!


Growing up in a home with a dad from Oregon and a mom from Idaho fried chicken wasn’t really ever made. But that does’t mean we didn’t eat it. Looking back this is really quite ridiculous and a little embarrassing to admit, but whenever we went out and had a picnic we would get fried chicken from… well, from KFC. There, I said it.

Oh gosh, lol it’s kind of funny if you think about it. I mean, my mom cooked all of our meals and we practically never ate out, but then we go on a picnic and we take a bucket of fried chicken. Bahahaha.


I mean, who can really resist crunchy, juicy Southern fried chicken-!

I mean, who can really resist crunchy, juicy Southern fried chicken-! ohsweetbasil.comI mean, who can really resist crunchy, juicy Southern fried chicken-!


Oh man, I love that we at least did picnics. Yes, they take a little more work and eating on a blanket may not be as convenient as a table, but trust me your kids will love it. It’s an important part about growing up. There’s something wonderful about relaxing in the warm sunshine with delicious food, and this time you don’t have to run to KFC, I’ll give you a fool proof, easy fried chicken recipe that everyone will be begging for more and the seasoning is so delicious you’ll be licking your fingers.

All we do is is set the chicken in salt water for thirty minutes to make it more juicy and flavorful (we figured, if it works for Thanksgiving turkey it must work for fried chicken!), then do a double dip in egg and flour (because one time just didn’t make them crunchy enough and everyone needs extra crunchy yumminess) and then fry.

Once the breasts are done, remove from the oil and sprinkle with season salt, we use Real Season Salt. Oh, and we usually use peanut oil as it has a higher burning point and I think it tastes more authentic, but you can use canola if you need to.


Is Canola Oil Better Than Corn Oil?

Canola oil is not only higher in healthful polyunsaturated fatty acids than corn oil, but is also lower in unhealthy saturated fats.

Canola oil can be heated to a variety of temperatures, and it has a neutral taste.


Is Chicken Healthier Than Beef?

In general, red meats (beef, pork and lamb) have more saturated (bad) fat than chicken.

Saturated and trans fats can raise your blood cholesterol and make heart disease worse.


Can You Eat Cold Fried Chicken?

It is safe to eat cold fried chicken that has been thoroughly cooked and then rapidly cooled.

Fried chicken that has been left out for more than 2 hours is not safe to eat.


Southern Fried Chicken




Prep Time 1 hour

Cook Time 15 minutes

Total Time 1 hour 15 minutes


  • 4 Boneless Skinless Chicken Breasts
  • 2 Cups of Water
  • 1 Tablespoon of Salt
  • 2 Cups of Flour
  • Pinch of Pepper and salt
  • 2 Extra Large Eggs
  • Season Salt
  • Peanut Oil for frying


  1. In a large bowl add the water and salt, stir together until it begins to dissolve and then add the chicken.
  2. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
  3. Remove the chicken from the fridge and pat dry.
  4. In a large pot, or dutch oven fill 1/3 the way full with oil and heat to almost medium high heat, about 325 to 350 degrees.
  5. Place the eggs in one dish, and whisk slightly.
  6. Add the flour to another dish and add a pinch or two of salt and pepper, then stir to combine.
  7. Place 2 paper towels on a plate and set aside.
  8. Meanwhile dip the chicken in the egg on both sides, then dredge in the flour on both sides.
  9. Repeat.
  10. Once the oil is hot, add the chicken, cooking only 1 or 2 at a time.
  11. Cook until lightly golden on one side, about 5 to 8 minutes per side, flip over and cook for another 5 to 8 minutes.
  12. Remove to the paper towel lined plate and sprinkle with seasoned salt on both sides.
  13. Tent with a little foil and let rest for a few minutes (3-5 is fine) to redistribute juices.



The salt brine is used in many thanksgiving turkey recipes to help create a juicy bird, the same technique works great with fried chicken to keep the insides juicy and tender even though it’s being fried in hot oil. If you don’t have a full hour to let the breasts brine at least shoot for 30 minutes.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:

Amount Per Serving:Calories: 594 Saturated Fat: 0g Cholesterol: 302.7mg Sodium: 0mg Carbohydrates: 47.9g Fiber: 1.7g Sugar: 0.3g Protein: 71.2g

honey roasted chicken

honey roasted chickenhoney roasted chicken

spiced drummies

spiced drummiesspiced drummies

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27 Jun

The ’70s and ’80s saw the birth of the globo-gym era and with it a limited, narrow conception of what training looked like. Most people who exercised chose either bodybuilding or “aerobics.”


Despite all the headbands and flashy colors, aerobics was not much different than a lot of the popular weight loss programs of the modern world. The basic concept was to move a lot and you’d lose weight. It works. There doesn’t need to be a lot of rhyme or reason. More movement tends to have that effect.



Where aerobics focused on shrinking the body, bodybuilding was all about isolating muscle groups to make them as large as possible. Thus, the majority of weightlifters flocked to machines where they would individually work their biceps, triceps, pecs, shoulders, quads, hamstrings, abductors, and calves.


Knee extensions and lat pull-downs replaced squats and pull-ups. When weightlifters used free-weights they, likewise, isolated individual muscles, doing preacher curls, and skull crushers. Of course, there is an obvious exception—the bench press.


Like the monks of the dark ages who copied the works of Plato and Aristotle, only a rare few kept alive the compound movements. Typically these were athletes who, driven by a need to perform, remained committed to finding the best way to train the human body. This is to train movement patterns, not isolated muscles.


All humans are athletes, at least in how they are meant to move. We must maintain the fundamental human movement patterns: the push (vertical and horizontal), the pull (vertical and horizontal), the hip hinge and hip dominant movement family, the squat and knee dominant movement family, and locomotion.


Compound Movements Are Effective

Today, compound movements have been restored to their rightful place atop the exercise hierarchy. Whether you are trying to lose weight, tone, or add muscle, your program almost certainly involves squats, lunges, hinges, hip thrusts, rows, and presses.


But does it combine these movements? You probably do RDL’s and maybe you’ve even worked up to one of my favorites, the single leg RDL. But have you done a single leg RDL row? By adding a rowing motion at the bottom of the hinge your glutes, core, and balance are worked even harder.


There are tons of these double compound movements that can be combined to create a fast, extremely powerful training effect. Because they combine multiple movements at once they get more work done in less time.


Try the following circuits, where I pick six of my favorite double compound movements and combine them for a fast, extremely metabolic training dose.


Double Compound Circuit 1

3 Rounds of:



  1. Thruster – x10
  2. RDL Rows – x5 per side
  3. Alternating Glute Bridge Crunch – x5 per side


Double Compound Circuit 2

3 Rounds of:


  1. Sumo Deadlift High-Pull – x10
  2. Atomic Push-Ups – x10
  3. Renegade Row – x10 per side
  4. Split Squat Chop – x5 per side


Variation of deadlift high pull courtesy of Greg Walsh of Wolf Brigade.


Fitness For Busy Schedules

That is it—both circuits hit every muscle in your body. You’ll be soaked in sweat in no time at all. These circuits are perfect for fitting in a lot of fitness on a busy day, or for those days where you want to start with a lot of skill work and end with a bang.


For more unique exercise combinations check out my Push, Pull, and Thrive program.

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