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Category Archives: Hedonism
Posted: January 17, 2022 at 8:52 am
Dublin has been listed among the top 10 cities in the world to visit in 2022 by online travel magazine Lonely Planet.
The fair city nabbed the number 7 spot on the list and was hailed by the publication for its "Georgian squares, traditional pubs and warm people" that still remain 100 years after "Leopold walked around on his Irish odyssey".
"A small capital with a huge reputation, Dublin has a mix of heritage and hedonism that will not disappoint," the travel bible wrote.
On the site, Dublin is praised for its layered history, pub atmospheres, multiculturalism, friendly people and for being a "living museum of its history".
They also point out that the city isn't admittedly "pretty", but says "pretty things are as easy to like as they are to forget".
Taking the top spot on the list was Auckland, New Zealand for its numerous beaches, volcanoes, blossoming cultural scene, and exciting local creativity.
Following that is Taipei in Taiwan, which Lonely Planet praises for its culinary scene, ancient religious traditions and progressive LGBT+ culture.
Other cities around the world that rank higher than Dublin on the list are Freiburg in Germany, Atlanta in the United States, Lagos in Nigeria and Nicosia/Lefkosia in Cyprus.
Following Dublin to make up the rest of the top ten are Mrida in Mexico, Florence in Italy and Gyeongju in South Korea.
Lonely Planet is a global travel publication that makes recommendations for world travellers and holiday makers, regularly putting together lists and destination guides for locations all around the globe.
Each year, the Lonely Planet family consisting of 200 plus expert members is surveyed.
A number of other steps are taken before a panel of acclaimed travel experts scrutinises a shortlist of places around the world.
Once these panellists have made their final decisions, a final list is put together and released.
To get the latest breaking news straight to your inbox, sign up for our free newsletter.
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The bid to whitewash Bill Clinton’s cosy links to Jeffrey Epstein when Hillary ran for President – nation.lk – The Nation Newspaper
Posted: at 8:52 am
The email came out of the blue one day in 2016. Almost a decade had passed since Miles and Cathy Alexander had left their jobs as residential managers of Little St James, Jeffrey Epsteins private island in the Caribbean.
Since then, Epstein had been jailed briefly for paedophile offences and the couple had retired to their native South Africa.
But now Darren Indyke, the disgraced tycoons attorney, was back in touch. The lawyer wanted the Alexanders to do something that would be of particular benefit to Hillary Clinton and her campaign to become the first female President of the United States, later that year.
Epstein's lawyer Darren Indyke tried to scrub links between Bill Clinton and Epstein during Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign
It entailed them signing a sworn affidavit which Indyke had already drafted for them declaring they had never seen Senator Clintons husband, President Bill Clinton, at their former home: Paedo Island, as it had come to be known. Whether or not the once-most powerful man in the world had set foot on a 78-acre speck in the U.S. Virgin Islands almost two decades ago says much about the toxicity of what is alleged to have happened there.
And that depraved hedonism is set to be examined in detail in court later this year after Prince Andrew failed last week in his attempt to have a civil sex assault action brought against him by Epsteins former underage slave, Virginia Roberts, thrown out.
Roberts has alleged that the Duke of York sexually abused her [Roberts, now known as Giuffre] on Epsteins private island in the U.S. Virgin Islands, Little St James. (In a landmark investigation into the duke in late 2020, the Mail proved that he had been on the island at the same time as Roberts in early 2001.)
She has also claimed she met Clinton on the island and saw him in the company of two young girls.
Both men deny Robertss allegations. Clinton, whose presidency almost ended over his affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky, denies ever being on Little St James or having knowledge of Epsteins crimes. The president and the princes baleful involvement with Epstein is down to one woman Ghislaine Maxwell. The subsequent damage to their reputations largely rests on the word of another Roberts. But what is undisputed is that both men criss-crossed the world on Epsteins jets, receiving hospitality from the financiers young female staff.
Chauntae Davies gives former president Bill Clinton a massage on a trip
Whether that hospitality strayed into sexual favours is still unknown. In Andrews case, his relationship with Epstein and Maxwell has now resulted in a dispute that could land, with potentially catastrophic consequences for the Royal Family, in a U.S. court of law.
That possibility of legal fall-out is what Epstein, who died in his prison cell in 2019, had tried to head off. Today, the Mail can reveal how he used his go-to attorney, Indyke, to protect famous male friends who must have followed the recent trial of Epsteins ex-lover Maxwell with more than a passing interest.
Arguably the two most gilded members of that circle were Clinton and Andrew. Both relationships with Epstein are said to have been launched and developed by Ghislaine Maxwell, that supreme networker now a convicted paedophile pimp and trafficker. Today, the Mail investigates the associations between these three men.
The White House logs and disputed flights
Official logs of visitors to the White House during Clintons first term as president indicate that Democrat donor Epstein was a trusted associate. He visited the White House at least 17 times between 1993 and 1995.
Yet the tycoons access to the president took other forms. Epsteins little black book of contacts contained several email addresses and no fewer than 21 telephone numbers for Clinton. A bizarre portrait of the president wearing a blue cocktail dress and red high heels even hung in Epsteins Manhattan townhouse.
The revelations come as Prince Andrew faces legal action in the US for the alleged sexual assault of Virginia Roberts. The prince has denied the accusations.
Clinton appeared as a passenger on flight logs for Epsteins fleet of aircraft no less than 26 times between February 2002 and November 2003. One of Epsteins pilots, David Rodgers, gave a deposition in 2016 as part of a defamation case that Roberts brought against Maxwell. In his testimony he referred to his pilots log book entries. They seemed to indicate that on at least two occasions Rodgers had flown Clinton and the duke in one of Epsteins aircraft.
The pilot added that in February 2002, on a flight from Miami to New York on the Boeing known as the Lolita Express, his passengers had included Clinton, four Secret Service agents, Epstein, Maxwell and Prince Andrew. Rodgers added: I have a picture of me and the crew with Bill Clinton on the plane . . . To the best of my knowledge it was the first time that we had flown him.
He said in July 2002 he had flown from Morocco to New York with Epstein, Maxwell, Prince Andrew, Clinton, Doug Band (Clintons right-hand man) and probably nine Secret Service people aboard.
These two examples of Clinton and Andrew flying together should be treated with caution. The Mail has checked the court circulars and local media reports for both dates and the evidence suggests the prince was probably not on these Epstein flights.
Epstein had been introduced to Clinton and Andrew by disgraced socialite Ghislaine Maxwell
It is possible Rodgers misread the initials AP on the flight logs as Andrew, Prince. Epsteins chef, Adam Perry Lang, had similar initials. That said, the pilot did not think it impossible the president and the prince were fellow travellers, even if not on those occasions. During this period Clinton also appeared in a Rodgers flight log as a passenger on an Epstein plane from Europe to North America.
Such journeys brought more to worry about than just a large carbon footprint. When the tycoon was charged with fresh paedophile offences in 2019, Clintons office issued this statement: In 2002 and 2003, President Clinton took a total of four trips on Jeffrey Epsteins airplane: one to Europe, one to Asia and two to Africa, which included stops in connection with the work of the Clinton Foundation.
One of the trips to Africa saw Epstein whose Gratitude America charity donated to the Clinton Foundation, IRS records show travelling with Clinton and the disgraced actor Kevin Spacey. The double Oscar-winner subsequently saw his career ended over multiple allegations of sexual assault against boys and young men.
The email from Indyke came during Hillary Clinton's election campaign in 2016
Also present on the trip was Chauntae Davies, who was recruited aged 21 as an Epstein masseuse by Maxwell. She was pictured giving Clinton a neck massage during the trip and has said that the former president behaved correctly towards her.
She recently told the Mail that she had been repeatedly raped by Epstein and he and Maxwell had destroyed her life. The first rape took place on Little St James, she claimed. After the Africa trip, Clintons office issued this statement: Jeffrey is both a highly successful financier and a committed philanthropist. I especially appreciated his insights and generosity.
Chelsea Clintons Wedding Day
Epstein was first investigated for paedophile abuse in 2006 and jailed for 18 months in 2008, as result of a now-infamous plea deal. Legal documents have suggested Clintons trips on his aircraft suddenly stopped before this. But his familys close contact with Epsteins circle did not.
In 2010 Maxwell was even invited to the wedding of Chelsea Clinton. In Vanity Fair in 2020, Clintons former aide Doug Band said he had instructed Clintons staff in 2011 to bar Ms Maxwell from events. But Ghislaine had access to yachts and nice homes. Chelsea needed that, Band added.
Epsteins network of influence was on public display once again in October 2013 when Hillary Clinton was given the Chatham House Award for services to diplomacy. It was presented to her at a lavish event at Banqueting House by her husbands fellow Lolita Express passenger, the Duke of York. Small world.
The Billionaire Boys' Club
Which brings us back to Little St James (LSJ). In April 2011 Roberts had a telephone conversation with one of her lawyers, Jack Scarola. The recorded transcript later became legal evidence. The relevant passage is worth reproducing in full.
Virginia Roberts: [Epstein] told me a long time ago that everyone owes him favours. Theyre all in each others pockets.
JS: When you say you asked him why is Bill Clinton here, where was here?
VR: On the island.
JS: When you were present with Epstein and Bill Clinton on the island, who else was there?
VR: Ghislaine . . . and there were two young girls that I could identify. I never really knew them well, anyways. It was just two girls from New York.
JS: And they were all staying at Jeffreys house on the island, including Bill Clinton?
VR: That is correct.
Later that year, after giving her first media interview, Roberts began writing a memoir. The working title for the manuscript was The Billionaire Boys Club. It has also since become legal evidence.
After giving her first media interview, Roberts began writing a memoir. The working title for the manuscript was The Billionaire Boys Club
In the memoir Roberts made a number of serious allegations. The most sensational were that she had been pressured to have sex with Andrew on three occasions, twice when she was under the age of consent. She wrote: The next big dinner party on the island had another significant guest . . . Sitting across the table from us was Bill [Clinton] with two lovely girls who were visiting from New York. Bills wife Hillarys absence from the night made it easy for his apparent provocative cheeky side to come out.
Teasing the girls on either side of him with playful pokes and brassy comments, there was no modesty between any of them.
Roberts continued: [After dinner,] Jeffrey wanted his evening massage before bed . . . leaving our guest of honour to find company elsewhere. Strolling into the darkness with two beautiful girls around either arm, Bill seemed content to retire for the evening.
The insinuation is clear. And Doug Band told Vanity Fair that Clinton had gone to Epsteins island in 2003. Steve Scully, an IT engineer, also told a Netflix documentary that he had seen Clinton with Epstein on the island.
But Clinton denies ever having been there. In legal papers Maxwell also called Robertss claims of Clinton on LSJ a fabrication.
Robertss account of what happened on LSJ is marred by inconsistencies. While her legal depositions allege sexual assault by Andrew during an orgy on the island, there is no mention of such a sensational incident in the manuscript of her memoir. Why?
Andrew and the island estate managers
The Mail has spoken to a number of former Epstein employees on LSJ. Miles and Cathy Alexander managed the island from 1999 to 2007. They declined to speak to us, but former colleagues and sources close to them did.
The Alexanders recall witnessing two of the dukes visits to the island, during one of which he was in the company of a busty blonde. He had also visited just before they were appointed.
They told friends they had never seen orgies or anything else untoward on the island, but they were told never to disturb Epstein in his bedroom and they took their holidays away from LSJ. One of those absences was in April 2001, when Andrew was present as the same time as Roberts.
The Alexanders said some of the female visitors looked young. But only one was ever known by them to be legally underage. She was a French model accompanied by a chaperone and had a letter of authority from her parents allowing her to travel.
In 2006 when the first FBI investigation into him began, Epstein told the Alexanders that he was a victim of entrapment. They resigned from working for him the following year. But not before an incident that with hindsight has grown in significance. The Mail can reveal it here.
The Alexanders recall witnessing two of the Duke of York's visits to Epstein's island, during one of which he was in the company of a busty blonde
The Lawyer Darren Indyke
Indyke worked for Epstein for two decades and oversaw his businesses and charitable foundations. He has also acted as executor of his estate. The Mail was told that in the final months of Epsteins employment and during the first criminal investigation Mr Alexander was summoned by Indyke to meet him on St Thomas, the nearest large island to LSJ.
The estate manager was asked to bring with him all the arrival and departure records for LSJ, which were kept in official log books. These ledgers were handed to Indyke by Mr Alexander, who never saw them again. Why did this happen? Presumably the records would have contained names of Epsteins VIP friends and girls by whom the tycoon liked to be surrounded. Wasnt that evidence? Where are the records now?
When Indyke contacted the Alexanders again in 2016, the motives were more clear. Both were asked to confirm that to the best of their knowledge Clinton had never visited during their tenure and they were not aware of him having been a guest during any absences from the island, for example for holidays, said a source.
Indyke worked for Epstein for two decades and oversaw his businesses and charitable foundations
Indyke set out the words which he wanted to be sworn under oath by the Alexanders. It was during the 2016 presidential campaign which was won by Trump, the source explained. There was a worry that the link between Epstein and Clinton and in particular the island could be used against Hillary.
The Mail understands that the Alexanders told friends they had not in fact seen the former president or his family on the island contradicting Robertss claims.
Mr Alexander slightly reworded the affidavit before he and his wife signed it in the presence of a notary in South Africa.
Last night a spokesman for Epsteins attorney told the Mail: Mr Indyke was one of many lawyers at multiple law firms that performed legal services for Mr Epstein. Rules of professional conduct prevent him from commenting on private legal matters.
Indyke has his own trouble. The U.S. Virgin Islands Attorney General has lodged a civil complaint against him and co-executor Richard Kahn that alleges the two were indispensable captains of Epsteins sex-trafficking operations. It also accuses them of helping the financier in three sham marriages and flying a string of victims to LSJ before 2017.
Lawyers for another of Epsteins alleged victims have twice tried unsuccessfully to depose Indyke. The civil case was put on hold pending the outcome of Maxwells criminal trial.
In his capacity as an administrator, Indyke has also been named as a defendant in 30 lawsuits filed by women against Epsteins estate.
Additional reporting by Simon Trump
Posted: at 8:52 am
Its written in the proverbial fashion books that winter is about layering: knits-on-knits, HEATTECH, sweaters, long-sleeve tees, and another sweater, just to be sure. This season, among our usual rotation of cold-weather knits, a new style has entered the mix. Meet the shrug.
A relic of the early aughts, the shrug has made its modern-day resurgence as part of the recent Y2K revival. Back then, worn slouched and oversized, the sweater-armwarmer hybrid served as a symbol of the eras boho-chic. Today, however, at the hands of some of fashions most exciting emerging designers, the bygone style receives a streamlined, sexy update.
As they did with Spring/Summer 2021s crochet, this season, designers continue to mine the knitted territory between cozy and sexy, treading the line between lockdown-era comfort and post-pandemic hedonism. Within the arena of sexy knitwear, the shrug, with its ultra-cropped proportions and cut-out construction, provides designers ample room for play. Balinese knitwear maverick Isa Boulder has made the style its very own, creating graphic cut-out shrugs and cropped cable-knit sweaters using their signature artisanal techniques.
The shrug, too, suits the barely there look of knitwear label RUI. For Spring/Summer 2022, the designer crafted sheer sleeves to mix-and-match with the rest of her modular wardrobe.
Similarly, for Fall/Winter 2021, Australian designer Dion Lee integrated the style into the brands lingerie-inspired wear. Among the collection of corset-esque tops and garter-style leggings, the labels cut-out shrugs were styled as base layers, worn to cover up and keep warm in the same sexy way one might wear a pair of stay-ups.
Fashions largest proponent of the shrug and its cousin, the bolero is without a doubt Peter Do. In fact, the roots of the high-fashion shrug can be definitively traced back to the American brands inaugural Spring/Summer 2019 collection. Long before knitted shrugs began cropping up in the designers more recent collections, Do introduced the styles ultra-cropped essence to the realm of tailoring. Part of the designers deconstructivist uniform, his first-ever shrugs arrived as part of a series of modular shirts: poplin and organza button-ups with removable sleeves or shrugs. The silhouette stuck, becoming a Do signature. His SS20 blazers arrived in bolero proportions, while his Fall/Winter 2020 collections pice de resistance was a series of more-than-cropped turtlenecks, made to be layered over tunics, tank tops and more. This season, Do has arrived at the shrug in its purest form yet, completed, even, with integrated gloves. In a series of at-home selfies, Bella Hadid can be seen wearing Dos detachable knit top in a rich burgundy.
Do was the first in recent memory to explore the shrugs inherent modularity. Half-garment, half-accessory, the style is intended as an ephemeral layering piece worn to be removed, say, after a ballet warm-up. The piece, as we know it today, stems from the world of ballet, and its resurgence in the last year or so can be attributed to such as well.
In 2020, celebrities from Alexa Chung to Diana Silvers took up the dance and its wardrobe on social media. Chung, a longtime Ballet Beautiful devotee, posted a video of her ballet workout to her YouTube channel. Around the same time, Silvers began training for work on ballet drama Birds of Paradise. In production photographs posted to her Instagram, the actor wore among leg warmers and tutus a dainty mesh shrug.
Into the fall of 2021, ballet continues to pique the digital consciousness. Darren Aronofskys Black Swan has made a Jennifers Body-esque resurgence on social media as of late. Screencaps of Natalie Portmans Nina, swaddled in Bloch shrugs and Yumiko bodysuits, serve equally as style inspiration and meme fodder. A style from Ludovic de Saint Sernins FW21 collection, aptly titled the Dancer top, draws its look from the jersey cover-ups of real-life ballerinas and ballerinos. Its stretchy enough for an arabesque and easy to shrug off once the performance starts. Or, perhaps, to shrug on, as an essential element of our look this winter.
Below, shop five of our favorite shrug styles this season.
Zo Kendall is a writer and editor specializing in fashion and culture. You can find her at herwebsiteandInstagram.
Posted: at 8:52 am
Around about the same time last year, Bicep released their second album Isles in the midst of yet another lost-count lockdown.
Although their self-titled debut had been wall-to-wall bangers, its follow-up was more austere, subtly architected for consumption wherever the listener wanted it.
This conscious ambiguity reflected that dance music, for want of a better term, with its purpose of fueling shared joy and collective hedonism has been impacted more at an experiential level by events than almost any other kind; if you cant feel it in your ears, gut and brain, is it really there?
As Bonobo, Simon Green is a veteran with a catalogue going back over 20 years but whose understated success came in appealing to a diverse bunch of the movements often cliquey tribes; its critically evidenced by 3 Grammy nominations, commercially so by a Top 5 spot for 2017s Migration.
For some years an LA resident, hes declared Fragments the most emotionally intense record hes ever created, one he felt compelled to make.
Click here for the review in full
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Posted: at 8:52 am
The Conservative Party has long been vulnerable to the charge from opponents that it is cavalier, out of touch and primarily interested in procuring itself a good time. Partly this is because its roots are colourful and aristocratic, whereas sombre Labour was born out of the trade union movement and demanding a fair wage for a fair days work.
Consequently the most astute Tory leaders in the modern mass-media era have known that they must at all times be wary of creating too strong an impression of entitlement or hedonism.
It never takes much to persuade the public that there is something caddish about the Conservatives. When that view comes to dominate opinion, through sustained scandal, and then combines with the emergence of an economic
Posted: at 8:52 am
They called him The Worm. It may now be over two decades since he last played at the highest level in the NBA but, for many, Dennis Rodman remains the paragon of the selfless power forward, perhaps the best on-ball defender that basketball has ever seen. He was also one of the most visible, interesting, athletes of the late eighties and nineties, a tortured soul who tortured the opposition in the paint, all limbs and persistence.
Purportedly the oldest of a total of 47 children, the Chicago Bulls legend worked hard for his glory, but his temperament could often overshadow his talent. On this day 25 years ago, 17January 1997, the NBA fined Rodman $25,000 and suspended him for 11 games without pay after he kicked cameraman Eugene Amos in the groin during a game against the Minnesota Timberwolves. The force was so hard, Amos lost consciousness and had to be carried out on a stretcher before being treated at a local hospital. Additionally, he agreed to pay Amoans $200,000.
But this was far from the only controversy that Rodman got embroiled in, and here are five of the most contentious moments from The Worms brilliant basketball career.
Rodman and The Referee
An incident that his coach Phil Jackson could only laugh at, Rodman decided that if youre going to go out, you should go out with a bang. Back in March 1996 whilst playing against the New Jersey Nets in East Rutherford, Rodman was ejected from the game. Not taking the penalisation lying down, he headbutted referee Ted Bernhardt.
Realising he should go hard before going home, he stripped off his jersey, launched into a further furious tirade and pushed over some Gatorade bins before escaping down the tunnel. He was fined more than $200,000.
Rodman and Wrestling
The NBA Finals is the desired destiny of any basketball player. Rodman should know, he reached six of them (and lost only once). On the verge of completing a three-peat with the Bulls in 1998 against the Utah Jazz, Rodman was distracted. You see, he had also got himself involved in wrestling.
His first appearance had come on 10 March 1997, when he aligned himself with Hollywood Hulk Hogan, although he tended to keep his activities in the squared circle to the off-season. But when the build-up to the July 1998 Bash at the Beach pay-per-view overlapped with the Bulls trip to the NBA Finals, Rodman missed a Bulls practice to appear for WCW. He flew from Chicago to Detroit to appear live on Nitro at the Palace of Auburn Hills, where he and Hogan attacked Diamond Dallas Page. Thats got to be worth skipping work for, right?
Rodman and Las Vegas
With All-Star forward Scottie Pippen missing the opening few months of the 1997-98 season, Rodman stepped up and became the player the Bulls needed to propel them through the campaign. But he became edgy as soon as Pippen returned from his injury and Jackson agreed to give Rodman 48 hours off. Michael Jordan told the coach he feared the consequences.
Dennis says, Well, I need to go to Vegas, Jordan recalled in The Last Dance, I say Phil, you let this dude go on vacation, were not going to see him. You let him go to Vegas, we're definitely not going to see him.
MJ was proven right.
Rodman was AWOL for over four days, partying with his then-girlfriend, Baywatch actress Carmen Electra, in a Last Days of Rome sex-and-spirits session of hedonism in Las Vegas. Jordan finally took matters into his own hands, arrived at Rodmans hotel, and dragged him out of bed while a naked Electra hid. Rodman and Electra later married, and had sex in the Bulls training facility. Their holy matrimony lasted less than a year.
Rodman and Mark Cuban
After a very, very brief spell on the West Coast with the Los Angeles Lakers, Rodmans final run in the NBA was a month-long stint with the Dallas Mavericks in 2000. New Mavericks owner Mark Cuban was so enthusiastic about being the late bird catching the worm, he let the then 38-year-old stay in his guest house. However, he drew the line at Rodmans shirt request: the number 69.
The beautiful friendship hit a stumbling block, Rodman was released after 12 games and departed by throwing a few insults in Cubans direction, disparaging his hospitality while he was at it. He doesnt need to be hanging around the players like hes a coach or something, fired Rodman. In a nice twist, however, the two later kissed and made up.
Rodman and The Coyote
We are well aware that sports mascots can be extremely annoying. We do, however, draw the line at violence to express your disapproval of the dancing, prancing show ponies. Rodman did not. A favoured move of Rodman (see v Referee above), he once headbutted the San Antonio Spurs mascot, the Coyote, during a preseason game.
I bring excitement to the game, he said in the aftermath, Sometimes I get bored with basketball, like I know some fans do. And so I do things to make it more interesting for me, and for them.
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Posted: at 8:52 am
Photo used for illustrative purposes.
Gulf Today Report
A New Year is upon us, which means it's only a matter of hours until the hedonism surrounding New Year's Eve fades and everyone starts looking for ways to better themselves in 2022.
If you want to give yourself a bit of a health boost in 2022, rather than thinking about which foods you should cut out, the British Nutrition Foundation (BNF) suggests looking at which nutrient-rich foods you can add into your diet.
A spokesperson for the British Nutrition Foundation (BNF) suggested nutrient-rich foods to eat that will help those feeling vitamin-deprived in the wake of a party-filled festive season.
"We want people to eat a range of fruit and vegetables," the BNF spokesperson told The Independent, "but we have tried to get a balance between suggesting specific foods that are rich in nutrients but are not too expensive or niche".
Salmon provides a range of vitamins and minerals, including omega 3s as well as protein, vitamin D, selenium and iodine.
Salmon is rich in omega 3.
The BNF recommends having two portions of fish per week, one of which should be an oily type like salmon. Registered nutritionist Daniel O'Shaughnessy, aka The Naked Nutritionist, advises choosing wild salmon where possible because it is richer in omega 3 content and usually pinker, which means it has more of the antioxidant, astaxanthin, which studies show has been found to improve skin health.
The BNF says that oats are a brilliant source of fibre, providing a specific type called beta glucan, which can help to lower cholesterol.
Incorporate them into your breakfasts if possible, the organisation suggests, either by making porridge or overnight oats.
Plant-based proteins like lentils and beans are a rich source of fibre, says the BNF. They also contain iron and folate, which could help boost energy levels.
Author and nutritionist Jo Travers suggests making dahl with your lentils, when you can add plenty of vegetables for additional nutrients.
If you add tumeric, you can benefit from the anti-inflammatory effect as well while enjoying a slow-release carbohydrate meal.
Nuts are often lauded by health professionals thanks to their fibre, protein, unsaturated fat content. The BNF notes that they also provide a range of key nutrients like thiamin and iron, which can help with energy and support your immune system.
Tomatoes are rich in vitamin c.
Go for unsalted varieties and keep portions to a small handful as theyre high in calories, the BNF warns.
Tomatoes are often underrated. But the BNF says they are rich in vitamin C and natural phytochemicals like lycopene, the natural pigment that gives tomatoes their vibrant red hue.
As for how to eat them in an interesting way, try thinking beyond caprese salads and pasta sauces. You can add tomatoes to curries, soups, or vegetable bakes.
Apples provide soluble fibre as well as polyphenols, which can treat digestion problems and help protect you from cardiovascular disease, notes the BNF.
They are best eaten as either a healthy snack, or with porridge for breakfast.
We've all heard this one before. But leafy green vegetables are one of the healthiest foods around thanks to the multiple vitamins they contain.
Vegetables like spinach, broccoli and cabbage tend to provide vitamins C and A, folate and potassium, notes the BNF, subsequently boosting immunity, energy and skin health.
Broccoli is also one of the most nutritious, says O'Shaughnessy, because it contains DIM (Di-indolyl Methane), which is a powerful aromatase inhibitor. This means it can support hormone balance.
Plain yoghurt might sound uninspiring but its a great base for snacks and desserts when youre trying to avoid sugary foods, says the BNF.
It also provides protein, calcium, riboflavin and iodine, which plays a vital role in thyroid health.
Choosing plain versions also means you avoid any added sugars. For flavour, try adding dried or fresh fruit, or nuts and seeds.
Wholegrain carbohyrates like bread, pasta, bulgar wheat or freekeh are quick and easy to cook and rich in fibre as well as nutrients like niacin and phosphorus, which helps the body repair tissues and cells.
"These foods give us the energy we need to function without spiking blood sugar," says Travers. "Stick to a fist-size portion at a time."
Citrus fruits are in season at this time of year, meaning they are a sustainable choice as well as a healthy one.
Foods like oranges, lemons and grapefruits are rich in vitamin C, says the BNF, and provided folate, which helps convert carbohydrates into energy and is crucial for women during pregnancy.
You can easily add lemons and limes to your diet by adding them to salad dressings or using them to season other dishes, which the BNF says could help you to cut down on salt.
Olly Alexander on hope, hedonism and hook-ups: ‘If you’re honest, you don’t have anything to hide’ – The Guardian
Posted: January 9, 2022 at 3:57 pm
Olly Alexander bounds down the stairs of his flat to greet me with a hug. Its a big flat, stretched over two floors, huge windows overlooking a pretty London park. There are books everywhere, in scattered, haphazard piles; he is just about to start Two Serious Ladies by Jane Bowles, a gift from a friend. Theres a Joni Mitchell songbook propped up on his piano, and there are massive houseplants all over the place. He left his old flat, not too far from here, after several lockdowns, because it didnt have any outdoor space. This one, which has a huge balcony, is rented, so he didnt buy the furniture, but the plants are his. Im a plant gay, he quips, drily.
Alexander has a puppyish energy. He is lively and charming and clearly very sensitive. On his sofa, he curls his legs underneath him, his trademark red hair (he once told Rihanna she inspired it) tucked under a baseball cap on which is printed Business of Pleasure. He is fun and chatty and acutely self-aware: he was in the audience for the Adele ITV live special recently, among an extraordinary buffet of celebrities, and he serves up good gossip about a couple of them, doing a brief, uncanny impression of Mel B. Boy George was sitting near him, which leads us on to The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, a reality show that Boy George appears in and that Alexander became obsessed with during lockdown. I wont go on and on about The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, even though I could he says and then he does.
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Fame fascinates Alexander, and it also seems to repel him. Throughout our conversation, he treats it like a puzzle he is trying to solve. Now 31, he has had a fair taste of it, both as a singer and an actor. From the age of 18, he was an actor on the up, appearing in, among other things, Skins, and Peter and Alice in the West End, alongside Dame Judi Dench and Ben Whishaw. When he was 20, he joined the band Years & Years and became a pop star.
Years & Years of which he is now the only member, more on which shortly sell out arena tours, win awards, and have topped the album and singles charts. He has done Celebrity Gogglebox with his mum, Vicki. In 2021, he performed with Elton John at the Brits. The weekend after we meet, he performs his new single live on Strictly Come Dancing.
But at the end of 2019, he returned to acting, playing lead character Ritchie in the phenomenal drama Its a Sin, which came out in early 2021. Ritchie is a young man who moves to London and hits the gay scene just as Aids arrives in the UK. We watch as tragedy after tragedy unfolds over the course of a decade. The show captured joy as well as pain, though, and Alexanders impish spirit fed into Ritchies outlandishness and vulnerability. He has just been nominated for a US Critics Choice TV award for best actor in a limited series, for which he will compete with Paul Bettany and Michael Keaton. It has been quite the acting comeback.
But he hasnt acted since Its a Sin, and now hes here with a third Years & Years album, written during lockdown and recorded solo. He found lockdown hard, he explains, though he is careful to point out that, relatively speaking, he had an easy time of it. But he was living alone; he suddenly stopped working for the first time in years, and felt the weight of what he describes as the world imploding. Normally, he loves his own company. I actually crave alone time. But then having all of it in one go was just it was quite overwhelming, he says.
Alexander has been frank about his mental health in the past. In 2017, he made a moving, raw documentary for BBC Three called Growing Up Gay, in which he talked about mental health in the LGBTQ+ community, and shared his own experiences of being bullied and feeling ashamed of who he is. He talked about bulimia and self-harm, some of which was news to his mother, who heard about it for the first time on camera.
He is something of an open book, I note. I know! Its all out there. I just think, God, theres nothing else I can say. Its a compulsion, I think, more than anything else. Not to pathologise it or anything. Alexander made a decision to be honest about who he was from the very beginning, when people first started to pay attention to Years & Years. If people are going to ask about sexuality or mental health, then what am I going to say? If youre honest, you dont have anything to hide. Everyone deals with it differently, but I thought, OK, Ill try that.
Just before Years & Years released their debut album in 2015, Alexander, then a rarity as an out male pop star clearly singing about men, expressed his sadness that there werent more like him. While there hasnt exactly been an avalanche of male-on-male love songs, Lil Nas X, the singer and rapper who is gay and who gave the devil a lapdance in his video for Montero, has ascended to the pop throne and is now one of the biggest pop stars in the world. Does Alexander think there has been a shift? When Lil Nas X went to No 1, I literally felt like running down the street naked, screaming in celebration, because it was such a huge moment for me, he says. I had begun to think, God, will it ever happen? Will we ever get someone that is this huge crossover star, whos gay? I just think its incredible, what hes done. Im in awe.
After 10 years together, Years & Years have gone from being a three-piece, comprised of Alexander, Mikey Goldsworthy and Emre Trkmen, to a solo act. But rather than start releasing music under his own name, Alexander has kept the Years & Years moniker. I just didnt want to let Years & Years go. I put so much into it. It was a tricky decision in some ways, because I think, possibly, it might have been a bit simpler for everyone if I had just been like, Oh, Im a solo artist now. But I just didnt want to.
The official line is that the split was amicable. The new album has been an Olly endeavour and weve decided that Years & Years will continue as an Olly solo project, read a statement put out by the band last March, adding: The three of us are still good friends. Goldsworthy will be playing live with Alexander when the band goes on tour.
But band break-ups are rarely so clean. Bands are like marriages, Alexander says. Any separation is difficult, and I think it went as well as it could, with us. He first joined Years & Years in 2010, and there is a strong sense that he was calling the shots from the beginning. They didnt really have a singer. And I came in, and I was like, No, Im the singer, Ill be writing songs. So you can see, over that trajectory, perhaps this was sort of inevitable.
By the time of their second album, Palo Santo, in 2018, Alexanders red hair had arrived. He was starting to become more pop star than indie-pop star, and it became clear that the band had different ideas about what their music would sound like. Early on, we were more or less on the same ship, trying to steer in the same direction, and then just clearly we werent any more. He sighs. It was definitely the best thing for us, to go our separate ways, rather than try to make it work.
Which different directions had you all started to go in? Well, I love pop music. I wanted us to play our song on The X Factor, for instance. Not that that ever happened we didnt get booked. But that was a huge issue within the group, because that felt like it would be too pop, and that being on TV like that was kind of lame. There were the familiar musical differences, too. When you think of a band, you imagine them all together in a house making music and coming up with ideas like that. But that was never how we did it. It was always quite separate, and then you figure out a way where you all feel good about it. After the first album, we never felt good about anything as a band. Thats when it all started, really. He says he was proud of Palo Santo. But it was not loved by everyone in the band, and that was hard for me. The three of them still got on well enough to go on tour and have a good time, he says. And obviously, I dont want to speak for them, because I cant. But it sounds as if the split wasnt a huge surprise. It was coming for a long time.
Around the time that Years & Years were coming apart, he was making Its a Sin in Manchester. It was an experience he loved, but one that was, he says, incredibly intense. For one thing, during a short break in filming, over Christmas 2019, his grandmother Rosemarie died. She had been a singer in her youth: she was a chorus girl who went to New York to perform and had a few leading roles on stage. She was his mothers mother, and they were extremely close. I was with her when she died, and then went back to work, and then came off that, and then the pandemic felt like it happened straight away. I hadnt processed my grans death, really. And then I was thinking, Oh my God, Im trying to make this pop album. Whats the point? What is actually the point? Does anyone need another pop album? Not really. He giggles nervously. I was having all those thoughts.
Then he turned 30, in July 2020, just as the first set of lockdown restrictions began to ease. Maybe it sounds a bit silly, but it really felt like quite an achievement, to be 30. When youre younger, you dont ever imagine youll get to 30. It felt, to him, like the first big age. Once hed passed 25, he started to realise that he liked himself a bit more. I was feeling like, OK, maybe something is working here. I may finally be able to be a bit more at peace with myself and have a more solid foundation. And in terms of feeling like Im too old, I felt too old when I was 27, 28, and coming back with the second Years & Years album. I found the transition from being the young one really hard. I was looking at other pop stars who were in their early 20s, and I was thinking, Oh my God, Im ageing out of this. Like, Im too old! I cant help but laugh; he is still the picture of youth. I know! Its crazy. But thats how it felt. Like, Oh no, Im past it!
That feeling has quietened down. He celebrated his 30th with a trip to the treetop rope-bridge experience Go Ape, of all places (the perfect thing for me: activity, outdoors, slightly scary) and a nice meal, and he is much more comfortable with himself. I feel so much more at peace with myself than I ever did, he nods. Im just holding on to that feeling. Why is that? Time helps, you know. He pauses, then adds, with a cackle, And Ive had a lot of therapy.
Eventually, Alexander decided that even if the world didnt need another pop album, he was going to make one. Night Call sounds as if it burst out of lockdown. There are no slowies, no ballads, only bangers. All I wanted to make was uptempo music you could dance to in a club, he says. Its a tribute to nightlife and freedom, and the sex that can go with it. On one song, he sings about All that muscle, getting me into trouble Another, 20 Minutes, celebrates the joy of a fleeting sexual encounter. A lot of the songs are about sex and hookups because it was something that was absent from my life, he says, laughing. I was trying to manifest some physical contact and thinking about the past few years before lockdown. Its not like I was having tons of sex, but I was having some sex. He found that he was inspired by the different ways in which people express desire, including himself. I thought, I can write songs about this.
He pauses on the edge of saying something, trying to work out whether he should or not, then decides to jump off. But I have to say, um, that Im lucky that I do have someone that I like love, actually a lot. Who loves me back. He claps his hands, joyfully. So thats nice!
Is it a new thing? Its not actually a new thing. Ive known him for six, seven years, I think. Over that time, weve called our relationship different things, if that makes any sense. And now we dont have a name for it. But he really supports me. Over the past year, Ive really leaned on him a lot. Im going to be super private about him, but thats part of my story, so I have to say it. Is he your boyfriend? Im just not Defining it? Im not defining it. To me, or in general? I mean, we talk about this kind of thing a lot, but its like the word is too much, or something, so Im not going to put it out there. So the hookups youre singing about on the album are a past life? No. I mean, I still hope to hook up again, some day, he grins. Were not in that situation. We both start to laugh. Its complicated, isnt it, all that stuff?
Night Call is about dancing and shagging and hedonism. You can practically feel the sticky floor underfoot when you listen to it. What I love so much about dance music and disco is that idea of liberation on the dancefloor. Its communal, you come together and feel free, to the beat, he says. In some ways, I suggest, it feels like a companion piece to Its a Sin. Definitely. It became super-present in my head, he says.
Russell T Davies, who wrote and created Its a Sin, says he only auditioned one actor for the part of Ritchie, and that was Alexander. Davies is about to return to Doctor Who as its showrunner, but before that was announced, Alexander found himself on the front page of the Sun, being announced as the new Doctor. How did that happen? It genuinely was news to me, I promise you, he says. We gossip for a bit, off the record, but he insists he isnt doing it. I definitely am not Doctor Who, and Im not going to be Doctor Who, he says. I fix him with a stare. Promise! Really? Its not happening! I can tell you Im definitely not doing it.
In Its a Sin, Ritchie moves to London from the Isle of Wight to become an actor, and arrives with gusto on the citys gay scene, partying and sleeping his way around town. When Aids begins to tear through his social circle, he is in denial, at one point giving a petulant speech accusing the government of fear-mongering and trying to stop gay men having sex. He values his freedom as a gay man; he votes for Thatcher. He is afraid and he is defiant. He is a complicated character, which makes his story all the more affecting. It feels authentic.
Given that Alexander moved to London (from Gloucestershire) at 18 to become an actor, there are parallels, arent there? For sure. Except hes a fucking Tory, he jokes. Im so angry at Russell! Making me play a Tory on TV. What does he think Davies saw in him? I dont know. But its not often you see a character thats so connected to your life thats gay, that had these big ambitions, that was hiding something from the people around him. I felt all of those things. So I thought, Oh yeah, I could do this. I can get into his head.
He put acting on the back burner for Years & Years, and hadnt acted for six years when Its A Sin came along. He was intimidated. I just thought, What have I got myself in for, thinking I could do this? I was doing well as an actor, but I had never read something like Its a Sin. You could wait your whole career and not get something as good as that, so I was like, I have to do it, and do a good job.
The reaction made it clear that he pulled it off. The programme won over critics and audiences in the UK and in the US. Unsurprisingly, for a drama about the Aids crisis in Britain, one that so tenderly and furiously memorialised the lives that were lost, it was devastating. Alexander often cried while reading the script and when learning his lines. I know a lot of us on set felt the same. So I suppose it isnt surprising that some people were similarly affected by watching it, or had an intense response. I hadnt realised how much of a shadow it had been for lots of people, and the need they had to cast some light on it and say, I was there, I remember it. He was born in 1990; it wasnt his world. By playing Ritchie, he was just bearing witness to it. But what to do next with that? I dont really know.
Alexander says that at times he found the public reaction to Its a Sin overwhelming. My favourite word, he smiles, a little sadly. I felt like maybe some of what people experienced watching the show, I went through it in my own way, just by learning more about the history, because there were huge gaps in my knowledge of what happened in the UK in the 80s. That was a really deep, profound experience for me, as a human, but also as a gay man. It felt like it contextualised a lot of my experiences growing up.
Even now, Alexander still gets messages from people who have seen Growing Up Gay and identified with the struggles he went through as a young, closeted teenager who was bullied at school. It is a powerful film that distills complicated ideas about shame and internalised homophobia, for example, into a deceptively breezy format. Im glad you say that because obviously these things are so complicated and so different for everyone, he says. Its so weird to be in a position of spokesperson or representative in any way of my community, as a gay man. You bump up against so many issues, like representation politics. But I think if you can give people some of the foundations of an idea or concept or a way to discuss something, even if its just an opening, then people can do the rest themselves. Thats a good thing, I think.
I wonder if the documentary is similar to Its a Sin, in terms of it opening him up to hear about other peoples pain? Mmm, he says. Its hard, sometimes. Im just trying to figure out a way of answering you and not crying myself, right now.
But he starts to cry, anyway. This is what I mean, when its overwhelming, because you see how much people are in pain, he says, his voice wobbling. Its sad to see that. And obviously I am someone that feels that stuff, too. And it just comes out like this. I give him a hug. Sorry, he smiles. It happens a lot. Like, in every interview, to be honest. Its not just me? Dont think youre special!
He composes himself, carries on. You know, I do these quite big, exposing things. Like, even Its a Sin, obviously Im playing a character, but then I have to really step back from it. How does he do that? I think of it happening slightly separately to me. Its all part of something that is connected to me, but its all part of something else as well. And I still cant quite figure that out. But that feels so much larger than me, Olly, and what I can contain in my brain, day to day.
Pop star duties are calling Alexander. He has Years & Years CDs on his kitchen table that he needs to sign, some social media posts to do to promote his latest single. I ask if hell return to acting soon. He hesitates. I think I will, yeah, he says. When its something I want to do. But he doesnt exactly sound desperate to do it. I know! Haha. Im not, really. Its such a bizarre job. And I feel like I left it behind for a reason, to make music and do Years & Years. Its a Sin reminded me of how incredible that circus can be, so it would be fun to do again. But Im just going to wait until its the right thing. Or make my own thing, at some point. What would you make? Like a queer horror thing? I love horror. Something in the vein of Twin Peaks, or Mulholland Drive.
Alexander once said that he had planned out his life until he was 25. Is there a new plan in place now? No plan any more, he says easily, but then he changes his mind. Actually, have you seen Grace and Frankie? Hes talking about the Netflix show starring Jane Fonda and Lily Tomlin. I just love their setup. Theyre two women who are best friends living in this gorgeous place by the sea, in their 80s, still having sex, getting stoned and getting up to all sorts of trouble. He grins. My vague plan is to end up with something like that.
Night Call will be released on 21 January.
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Posted: at 3:57 pm
When New York-based photographer Tyrell Hampton turned 21, he had already been frequenting the citys nightclubs for some years. Even so, his official coming-of-age was a big deal. It was 2018, and after an elegant dinner at artworld hotspot Lucien (If you go there, youre going there to be seen), Hampton and his friends made their way to Mehanata nightclub.
They told me I couldnt park my party bus outside the club, he says wryly. Not because this was an unreasonable request, obviously but because Alexander Wang had parked his party bus there first. I was on the stripper pole all night. He [Wang] was on the stripper pole all night. Hampton pauses for a moment, grinning over Zoom. Id had so many Sprites.
Hampton has no shortage of anecdotes like this. Though he doesnt drink or smoke, New York nightlife is his ultimate muse: in the club, he can find both anonymity and community; chaos and respite. Now 24, Hampton has carved a practice capturing raw and heady party shots of the stars: Miley Cyrus dragging on a cigarette post-Met Gala, or Hailey Bieber fondling her chest at a Saint Laurent party. But behind the lens, Hampton still sees himself as an excitable child; less a participant than a wide-eyed voyeur, mesmerised by the scenes unfolding around him.
Hamptons first solo exhibition at SN37 Gallery, titled Go Home, is a nod to that teenager inside of him. After migrating from his native Philadelphia aged 18, it was the club wherein Hampton a young, gay Black kid who had never really partied before first found a sense of belonging. Bringing together personal work made between 2016 and the present, Go Home is a nostalgic reliving of Hamptons initiation into New York City life: a melting pot of party-goers in moments of unbridled joy and exuberance, and a world once only available to the photographer via TV shows and movies.
I find solace in a crowded room, Hampton reflects. Im not shy, but I have my shy moments. When I found the club, I felt like I could just be quiet. I didnt really have to talk much or do much. I could just people-watch I could just get lost in everything.
Go Home invites viewers to get lost with him. To curate the show, Hampton scoured through his archive to recreate what it feels like to move through a party: to enter the room and look up to a ceiling full of disco balls, before finding yourself amidst a sea of kissing couples; letting loose on the dance floor, or deep in conversation on a sofa. Far from posed portraits, each shot exudes movement and spontaneity; off the cuff moments that throb with the energy and rowdiness of being out. Every moment you see is a moment that I am obsessed with at a club, Hampton says. These are the moments that I look for.
A majority of the exhibition is in black and white, because Hampton felt these moments should be a part of history. He talks lovingly of the legacy of Studio 54, remembered as the first anything-goes, queer-friendly mainstream nightclub; a wonderland for the gay and straight, rich and poor alike. Hampton deemed Broadways infamous China Chalet where some of Go Homes images are shot as his own generations Studio 54, before it closed down in 2020 due to the pandemic. It really was home for me, he says, recalling the days hed sneak in through the back as an under-ager. I had to go every time there was a party there, otherwise I felt like I was missing out on what New York is supposed to be.
Observing Hamptons images, it is clear there is an inimitable quality about the photographer that makes people feel free. But as for his part in the exchange, he likens it to choreography: manoeuvring through the space, anticipating the movements of those around him, and responding with his own rhythms. Having attended a performing arts high school, Hampton grew up dancing igniting a fascination with motion from an early age and he cites what he learnt as vital to his shooting process: Its like a tango, he describes. Making sure Im not in the way, or hindering anyones moment.
Why is the show called Go Home? When the partys over, and everyones had a bit too much, thats what all these metropolitan kids and creative cliqueswill do. But Hampton will stay right where he is. Because hes already there.
Go Home runs at New Yorks SN37 Gallery until January 30
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Posted: at 3:57 pm
Religious View: Noel Reese
My wife and celebrated our wedding anniversary on New Years Eve in Tiburon.
I saved for a year to take a couple of days off and booked a room at a hotel that looked across the bay at San Francisco so we could watch the fireworks and have a real celebration.
I didnt know when I booked it that the fireworks would be canceled, apparently due to Covid.
We enjoyed great food, a deluxe room and loved looking at the real estate ads in the windows of the local Realtors. We saw some nice-looking places in the $20 million range.
As we sat by the fire pit on the roof deck, we met a lovely couple who were there on a scouting trip to see about moving there. They were moving from Marthas Vineyard and were not remotely troubled by the prices.
When they found out I was a pastor, I thought they would excuse themselves, but no, they had a couple of hours of questions.
Seeing the frustration of futility in our society has left many people searching for answers that hedonism and the endless quest for unanswered self-gratification cannot provide.
I am so thankful all the answers to all the problems all people face can be found between the pages of our Bibles, and if we are willing to listen, we can receive hope.
For myself, I am thankful I found Jesus, who rescued me from that life of hedonism and the futile, frantic search for happiness. He brought joy, peace and love.
I fly to Orange County on Friday to perform a wedding for a couple of friends and then fly back Saturday to deliver the Sunday sermon for our little church.
Then I have to prepare for a memorial service at our church for a close relative.
As I think about all this, I think there is hope, new life, joy, but there is also death. No one likes to talk about it, but everyone dies.
The Bible tells us in Hebrews 9:27: Just as man is appointed to die once, and after that to face judgment.
No one ever asks, What happens after you die? and yet we all die and if we believe Gods instruction book, shouldnt we at least prepare?
Our new friends were checking out what kind of schools there were in the million-dollar home neighborhoods, but what if?
The following verse in Hebrews states: Christ was offered once to bear the sins of many; and He will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who eagerly await Him.
We have all sinned and fallen short of the glory of God. Confess your sins to him, ask his forgiveness, accept that he sent his son to pay for your sins, and get your ticket for the kingdom of heaven.
Theres no A/C in hell, and if your friends are there, its not going to be enjoyable. Its going to be hell!
Jesus loves you. Accept his love today.
The Rev. Noel Reese is the pastor at Calvary Chapel Rio Vista. He can be reached at http://www.calvarychapelriovista.com.
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