Wednesday, December 29, 2021

Look Back In Stupefaction: A Review of 2021

 Julia Spencer-Fleming: Well, here we are at the end of 2021, which means it's time to give the exciting events of that past year a once-over. I'm sure there will be many inspiring and uplifting goings-on to recollect! 


January: The United States looks on with pride at the quadrennial commitment to a peaceful passing of power in--touches earpiece-- I'm being told that's not quite--what? They did what? Right then, on to February.

February: Ice, snow and historic cold hit the state of Texas during a major winter storm that affected over 170 million people. Fortunately, forward planning and good management meant Texans were able to ride out the storm with-- touches earpiece -- I'm hearing they didn't ride out the storm? What happened? Are you sure? Holy cow. Okay, let's move on.


March: In a globally interconnected world, keeping international cargo flowing became vital to get goods to the millions of people staying at home due to the pandemic. Busy shipping lanes such as the Strait of Malacca and the Suez Canal were able to-- I'm sorry, hold on. Touches earpiece-- the what? The Forgiven? Oh, the Evergiven. No. No, that couldn't happen. You're pulling my leg. All right, all right, I'll go to the next segment.


April:The CDC announces over 100 million people in the US have gotten their first dose of a Covid vaccine, and on April 19, all adults are able to get their shot. At this pace, every medically-eligible adult will be vaccinated by-- touches earpiece -- Don't tell me, a needle gets stuck and blocks the rest of the vaccine from getting to its destination? Wait---magnetic? A microchip?

Can we cut to a commercial?

May: The Colonial Pipeline, source of almost half of the east Coast's gasoline, is cyberattacked, forcing it to shut down for a week, leading to hording, shortages and spiking prices. Once corrected, the historic low gas prices of the past months will resume - now wait a minute, I don't need my producer to tell me what I paid for gas getting here. 


Next month!

June: Microsoft unveils Windows 11! That's it. That's the joke.

July: During the long Independence Day weekend, at least 233 people were killed and 618 people were injured in over 500 shootings nationwide. 

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August: Hurricane Ida, the second-most destructive hurricane to hit Louisiana after Katrina, makes landfall in Louisiana on the 16th anniversary of... Hurricane Katrina. Who is writing this stuff? It's the same team that came up with the murder hornets, isn't it? 


September: The US, Great Britain and Trinidad and Tobago become embroiled in an international science education attempt after rapper Nikki Minaj tweets:


October: 90-year-old William Shatner, famous for playing Captain James T. Kirk in Star Trek, becomes the oldest person in space, on a flight of the Blue Origin.


November: NASA's DART (Double Asteroid Reduction Test) program, charged with protecting life on earth from an asteroid strike, experiments by launching William Shatner at the minor planet-moon Dimorphos.

December: Climate change influenced tornadoes cut an out-of-season swath through the mid south,  the Omicron variant becomes the most prevalent strain of Covid-19, thousands of flights are cancelled across the country due to staffing shortages and tensions grow as Russia and the NATO allies face off over Ukraine.

But I'm sure everything will be just fine in 2022.

110 comments:

  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  2. I actually remember the time between WWII ending and the Korean War starting. I remember the end of rationing and outdoor toilets and getting water from the pump. I remember my father's foot locker arriving home to Wetmore, KS from the South Pacific. It was full of treasures: tiny Chinese slippers and kimonos for me, an abacus, a grass skirt from Hawaii, paper leis, jewelry boxes full of trinkets, fans made of sandalwood and paper, beautifully carved ivory and lacquered pieces, and even more that I can't remember because I was only five.

    I was the richest little girl I knew. Summers were long. Winters were snowy. Santa came like clockwork. I hadn't started to school yet, and wasn't that time the least stressful in my life? There was a cow in the pasture and puppies in the barn and a tire swing hanging off an elm tree branch. My grandmother churned butter for our bread, hot out of the oven. She laundered barber towels for my grandfathers, and I helped her lay them on the grass to whiten in the sun.

    The horrors of war were kept from me, but my father and my uncles and my aunt were all home and whole.

    And in my white white world, I don't think I had ever seen a person of color.

    Sorry for off subject dawn ramblings. Something took me back to a time when I, if not most of the rest of the world, was content.

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    1. an amazing rant Ann...maybe it helps to see the long view??

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    2. Tick tick... I think part of what's different now is the way news comes to us now, in massive waves and nearly instantaneously, makes it impossible to cocoon in the orderliness of our own day to day.

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    3. That is a childhood to remember Ann. Mine was quite different as my father came back from WWII, got his MSc, and we started our travels for work. First to Trinidad. I was 4.

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    4. I love these memories, Ann. It sounds so idyllic. But you were 5.

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    5. I remember sunny, barefoot days of summer and writing with my finger in frost-encrusted windows when I was a little girl, but I also have memories of a house filled with tension and fear when I was 6 years old--the tv on and my parents worried sick that there might be another war during the Cuban Missile Crisis. At least then, the crises came fewer and farther between!

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    6. Yes, the cuban missile crisis. Thirteen year old me made my mom drive me to a neighborhood where I went door to door handing out pamphlets (where did I get them?) about how to build a bomb shelter. I was terrified.

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    7. Hank, just 2 years older than you, all my friends were trying to decide if they should give up their virginity in anticipation of being wiped out and never having had that experience. Okay, I am laughing now but back then...some girls were very serious about it.

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    8. Judy, that is SO memorable. Yup. Scary. xx

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    9. Hank, I’m the same age as you, and I remember nightmares about waiting for the bombs to drop!!!!

      DebRo

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    10. Ann, what an idyllic childhood. Thank you for sharing that with us.

      And I agree with Hallie. The constant bombardment of news and information now makes it hard to appreciate what we do have.

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  3. Judy and Irwin, hope your night was peaceful and your morning find you feeling a bit better. Update please when you can. xo

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    1. yes please check in when you can. we have you in our thoughts and prayers!

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    2. Thank you all for your prayers. As soon as the first ones posted to yesterday's blog, he began to improve. He drank some tea. He drank some Gatorade. He ate an egg for lunch. The oxygen sensor went up 2 points. Then 2 more. As the prayers were posted he stopped the hacking, terrifying cough. He had pancakes and decaf for supper, with syrup. He drank a little tea. His voice got stronger. Your prayers. Thank you.

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    3. Glad to hear it, Judy! Praying for continued improvement.

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    4. JUDY: Good news! I know that horrible hacking cough all too well but it sounds like Irwin has turned the corner, and is on the mend. xoxo

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    5. Great news Judy on Irwin, how are you doing though? Keeping you in my thoughts.

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    6. Excellent news, Judy. Continued prayers and update us on how you are, please.

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    7. Thank you, everyone. Hugs and kisses!!
      I feel like a dishrag and Irwin feels like he just finished the Bataan death march. My throat is sore, not like a strep, just nagging, and my head weighs 100 pounds. But otherwise, we are good;-)

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    8. That's so fantastic. Oh. It must have been amazing to see those oxygen numbers go up... Hurray!

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    9. Glad to hear the good news on Irwin.

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    10. Judy, we were away so I wasn't checking in, but I did read your updates, and sent along my prayers, as well. Glad to hear things are improving, but I hope you are both well and feeling tiptop again soon.

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    11. Thank you once again, all of you!
      Karen, I felt your prayers right away. You know that they worked, right!?
      XXOO

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    12. Judy, I’m so glad to hear that things are looking up. My prayers for you continue.

      DebRo

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    13. So glad to read about Irwin's improvement - even though you "feel like a dishrag and he feels like he finished the Bataan death march"! It's always easier to feel lousy when you're on the mend. Praying for you both.

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    14. Glad to hear of improvement! Hope you both keep feeling better on a steady path back to health.

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    15. good news Judy! Both of you take it easy and slowly ok? xoxo

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    16. Judy, what wonderful news for you and Irwin!

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  4. What can I say? You had me laughing at the start and nearly weeping by the end.

    I have to take hope in the rational people out there, present company included, and in caution, creativity, and love.

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    1. Yes, Edith, hope certainly does seem to be in short supply right now.

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    2. Thanks to this community I can keep some sanity.

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    3. Edith, if a fat 90 year old can make it into space, there's hope for all of us.

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    4. Julia - that made me snort! SOL? Also, if a fat sixty-nine-year-old (aka, me) can keep writing books and short stories, there's hope on that front, too!

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    5. I'm happy to see that the rule of law seems to be, slowly--so very slowly--reasserting itself. We might right this ship yet.

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  5. WOW, yeah each month in 2021 had plenty of crazy, head-scratching events, especially in your country (SORRY!).

    But for June 2021, I would list the emergence of the BROOD X cicadas in the Northeastern US instead of the Microsoft's OS "upgrade" to Windows 11, which BTW has made my laptop runs noticeably SLOWER. Thanks again Microsoft (not)!

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    1. Is that why my computer slowed down? Gee.

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    2. Oh, yes, the cicadas! That was something.

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    3. I almost included the cicidas, Grace, but I referenced them in Monday's blog, and let's face it, there's enough material in 2021 to not have to repeat!

      If I had thought, I could have included the woman who declared herself Queen of Canada...

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    4. JULIA: Ha ha, I know who you mean. Fortunately she is not getting much traction (or news time) here in Canada.

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  6. Well now I've seen it all. There is now a "Nicki Minaj's cousin's friend's testicles" tag here on JRW.

    The end is nigh.

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    1. I thought to myself, should I? Then I thought, yes. Yes, I should.

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    2. Lucy, I guess if you want to spin it like that. :D

      Jenn, I'm certainly funnier than your dog puking in your bed.

      Julia, Minaj has had quite a year. She managed to cover testicles and "sang" about female genitalia in that song "WAP" that caused 5 minutes of controversy. That's got to be some kind of wack-a-doodle kind of history.

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  7. What a review of the year !
    It’s a good thing that you humorously wrote it.

    What happened to all your pictures at the beginning of the blog ? Have I missed something ?

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    1. You mean the header, Danielle? Where it says "Jungle Red Writers?" It looks fine to me.

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    2. It disappeared on my blog, no photos.

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    3. Huh. I don't know, I'll have to ask our web maven!

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    4. The photos are not there on my computer, either.

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    5. Blogger is becoming the bane of our lives around here.

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    6. I got photos. Hm-m. Blogger, you got some 'splainin' to do!

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  8. I woke up at 4:30 AM to a dog puking in my bed. I like to think that sums up the last few years and after the great kibble and bile purge, things might actually start to improve. Cock-eyed optimist, I know.

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    1. When that happens to me, Jenn, I console myself with the thought that a dog barfing in bed is still vastly better than a small kid doing the same thing.

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  9. Julia, too funny! And here the rest of us can't tell one day from the next and have to check our phones to see what day it is.

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    1. Judy, I miss the clips of the local TV weatherman who gave a "What Day Is It" update in the early months of the pandemic!

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    2. Ho, ho, ho! Still laughing!

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  10. After an intense day-long virtual workshop, I delivered my pitch, received favorable comments, and my phone buzzed a new text. My first grandchild had arrived! The pinnacle of 2021.

    And I never ran out of toilet paper.

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    1. Congratulations, Margaret! What a lovely text to receive.

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    2. Mazel tov, Margaret. Happy, happy times ahead!

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    3. Congratulations, Margaret!

      DebRo

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    4. The best of all possible ways to close out the year. Congratulations, Margaret!

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    5. What a lovely way to end this rotten year, Margaret. May the little one have a long, happy and healthy life.

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    6. Congrats on the first grandchild. But I'll say what everyone else is avoiding. I think it is more impressive you didn't run out of toilet paper!

      Ha!

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  11. Oh Julia! Well researched and written, lying in bed and smiling quietly so as not to disturb. You may have moved the tenor of response on JRW forever.

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    1. Thank you, Celia! -insert heart emoji here-

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  12. Y’all have been an island of calm for me every morning this year. You start us off with humor or information with which to continue my day. Thank you. Reading this synopsis helps to remind me how small my problems actually are.

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    1. If you don't have William Shatner orbiting overhead, you're still in good shape, Atlanta!

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  13. And, there are still two more days in this year..... praying.....

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    1. As I noted in the opening paragraph, Flora! I can only HOPE this year goes out without a bang...

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  14. For me personally, 2021 was not one of my better years. When I thought it couldn’t possibly get worse, it did. But I still have my sense of humor, and I still have hope. And I have a wonderful network of friends who helped me through the worst moments. Life is still good.

    DebRo

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    1. If you have hope and humor, Deb, you're still in the game. ((Hugs))

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  15. Julia, you are SO brilliant! Amazing.
    And did you see that NASA has two dozen theologians on staff now to discuss how religions would handle it if there was an announcement of the arrival of beings from another planet. IF, of course, only IF.

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    1. I've seen a few too many IFs happen in my day, Hank...

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  16. Almost too much to take in! Thanks, Reds, for being there every day to brighten my morning.

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    1. I promise I had as much fun writing it as you had reading it, Dru.

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  18. Hahahahahahahahahahahaha. Thank you for turning the year into one cogent, spit take/ Weekend Update. Love you, Julia!

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  19. Dear Reds, you do so much to help preserve our collective sanity. Thank you.

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  20. So funny/Not funny. But also hilarious, of course, as written by Julia. Thanks for the chuckles on this super cold but sunny morning on the prairies...an 'extreme cold' warning here, where it feels like minus 39 degrees C/minus 38 degrees F: ridiculous!

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    1. Oh, my goodness, Amanda! That's like the surface of Mars temperatures. Stay warm!

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    2. AMANDA: Yup, western Canada is certainly in the grip of a deep freeze. Stay snug and safe indoors. I have a friend living in Grande Prairie AB where the low temperature yesterday was -46C (without windchill). BRRRR!
      That cold air (moderated somewhat) will eventually make its way to Ontario by Sunday/Monday. We need that freezing cold for the Rideau Canal ice to thicken up, so bring it on!

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    3. Yikes! As Grace says, it is coming our way. I hope we finally get some snow. I live in the agricultural part of SW Ontario and we haven't seen nearly enough snow. And it is way too warm for late December. The farmers are scratching their heads trying to figure out what's coming next.

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    4. I hope it goes down a bit before hitting the Quebec. Remain indoors Amanda.

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    5. Thank you, everyone, for the warming thoughts. We have gone out to feed the birds, and this afternoon will drive to get our booster shots: Yay! Otherwise, happily and cozily indoors :)

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  21. That first meme is perfect for the entire year! Enjoyed/smiled/frowned reading this. Keep up the good humor. This has been a tough year. I did get to see both my grandchildren (adults). One of whom lives in Hawaii with his girlfriend. They got to come visit in July (one year after the first planned trip got sabotaged by COVID). And they are here again!

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    1. Jody, one of the bright sides of the pandemic is realizing the truly valuable things - having our loved ones around us. That's a good lesson I hope we remember.

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  22. Oh, what a hoot! Laugh, cry, rinse, repeat . . .

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    1. Let's hope we're not due for TOO many repeats, Leslie...

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  23. Oh yeah. You nailed it. If you were in British Columbia you'd have added excessive heat, fires, floods and now crazy cold and snow. I'm not there, but we want to retire there....I think.

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    1. At the very least, it will keep your life in retirement lively, CD!

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  24. Wonderful, Julia! I'm hoping that things will be fine, and not in the Louise Penny Three Pines way!

    I was appalled to read in the local paper here that the county board of supervisors have voted NOT to enforce our NY governor's mask edict. Not one voice of reason on the entire board. Perhaps I shouldn't be surprised as this is a very red county. Seems like some people just don't want the pandemic to end.

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    1. Judi, I've read the hardest beliefs to change are the ones we've made a part of our identity. Unfortunately, that's what's happened in places concerning the pandemic.

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  25. Yep. I think you summed it up very nicely.

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  26. Julia, your 2021 review is such a hoot! Thanks for that. In all seriousness, I think one of the things that made 2021 so hard was that we all thought that after 2020, 2021 would be better, that we would be back to a more normal lifestyle. Little did we realize that normal is under a radical change.

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    1. Kathy, a smart thing I heard was "there is no going back, only going forward."

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    2. That's a wise thing to remember indeed, Julia.

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