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The Martian
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TV, Movies and Games > The Martian, io9 has seen the film and praise it's merits over Interstellar

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Louie (rmutt1914) | 885 comments Fox's CinemaCon 2015 is apparently a thing where theater owners and film industry professionals present future releases. The Martian being the stand out film, according to io9.

Meredith Woerner (of io9) breaks it down...

http://io9.com/sorry-interstellar-we-...

The Martian will hit theaters on November 25th, 2015.


Trike | 8768 comments I just did something in the bathroom that held together better than Interstellar.


Louie (rmutt1914) | 885 comments Trike wrote: "I just did something in the bathroom that held together better than Interstellar."

Well, clearly you just have a better fiber intake than Interstellar.


Lindsay | 593 comments If someone could just explain to me why they needed a Saturn V-like rocket to get off Earth but then they just used a tiny shuttle with no visible fuel tanks to lift off the water and ice planets I'd be a lot happier about Interstellar.


Lindsay | 593 comments Actually, if someone does explain that, can they also explain how no-one picked up the crazy attenuation that the radio signal from the water planet must have had if it was suffering from that much relativistic distortion?


Trike | 8768 comments My theory that Explains Everything Wrong With Interstellar is simple: he died in the crash at the beginning.

That's right, I'm invoking It Was All A Dream.

It's the only thing that makes sense. Everything we see is his dying dream as his brain is deprived of oxygen. Or maybe the brains of the Nolan brothers were deprived of oxygen. It would certainly explain how super high-tech robots would have 1980s-style interfaces and why no one has built a new truck in 35 years, plus all the weird dream logic.


Joseph | 2290 comments Trike wrote: "My theory that Explains Everything Wrong With Interstellar is simple: he died in the crash at the beginning.

That's right, I'm invoking It Was All A Dream.

It's the only thing that makes sense. E..."


The final shot of Interstellar should have been a little plastic top spinning and spinning and spinning.


John (Taloni) Taloni (johntaloni) | 4073 comments Joseph wrote: "The final shot of Interstellar should have been a little plastic top spinning and spinning and spinning."

Or maybe a "Rosebud" scene, but instead it's a toy Monolith that he drops, then says "open the pod bay doors, HAL" just before expiring.


message 9: by Ken (new) - rated it 2 stars

Ken (kanthr) | 334 comments Yeah, Interstellar is full of more holes than Prometheus. Yes, I went there. :P


Trike | 8768 comments Kenneth wrote: "Yeah, Interstellar is full of more holes than Prometheus. Yes, I went there. :P"

No one said Prometheus was holey, just wholly stupid.


message 11: by Ken (new) - rated it 2 stars

Ken (kanthr) | 334 comments It's not the greatest thing by a long shot, but it does get unfair flak. Kind of the opposite of the general public reaction to Interstellar. The water planet stuff especially. Not to mention that the possibility that there'd even be planets in stable orbits around a singularity in the first place is dubious.


David H. (farrakut) The thing that always frustrated me with Interstellar is why would anyone consider colonizing a planet around a black hole? I know it made for some fun relativity drama, but dang, yo.


Trike | 8768 comments You can probably make great sport of having a stupid-off between Prometheus and Interstellar, but I'd give the nod to Interstellar because it purports to be based on real science. Prometheus is just broken on a story level and character motivation. Interstellar has that plus the dumb science stuff. Sort of like Minority Report where they kept going on and on about all of its "authentic futurism" which was nonsense.


Louie (rmutt1914) | 885 comments Trike wrote: "You can probably make great sport of having a stupid-off between Prometheus and Interstellar, but I'd give the nod to Interstellar because it purports to be based on real science."

I was excited for Interstellar to come out long before it actually did, because it was described as "being based on the scientific writings of Kip Thorne, and directed by Steven Spielberg." And, well, we all saw how it all turned out in the end.


message 15: by Tassie Dave, S&L Historian (new) - rated it 5 stars

Tassie Dave | 3597 comments Mod
I watched Interstellar for the first time last night, knowing very little about it going in. Not even who the actors in it were.

2 hours in I thought it was an above average sci-fi movie. Massive plot holes and very dubious science but it was a lot of fun and worth watching.

Then the last 40 minutes happened. WTF :-? Everything that happens after Cooper passes the event horizon took this movie from a solid 3 stars (out of 5) down to a 1. Very disappointing.

I am expecting bigger and better things from The Martian.


Lindsay | 593 comments Strangely, the last 40 minutes is where I have the least problems with Interstellar. If you concede that an eventual super-intelligence would be able to step outside four-dimensional space/time and manipulate it, then pretty much anything goes in terms of plausibility at that point.

It's where they muck around with known physics and get it wrong that annoys me.


message 17: by Tassie Dave, S&L Historian (last edited Apr 26, 2015 10:41PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Tassie Dave | 3597 comments Mod
I don't mind sci-fi movies bending the Laws of Physics. It's when they snap them in two and move into fantasy that I have a problem.

I went looking for a astrophysicist's view on the film and found Neal Degrasse Tyson's take on it. Surprisingly he has a lot of praise for the film.
http://screenrant.com/interstellar-mo...


Lindsay | 593 comments The movie does demonstrate some cool science.

- The gravitational lensing of the accretion disk around the black hole is cool and thus presents the most accurate depiction of a black hole in movies so far.

- I can't remember another movie that demonstrates time dilation due to relativity. (I can see why: I had to explain this to my mother recently and I think she thought I was just making it up).

- It takes climate change seriously and demonstrates what it might mean.

- It even presents good justification for continuing space exploration with the all the eggs in one basket metaphor.

So if you get the big cool things right, it makes sense that some scientists would praise it, and in some cases it would be enough to overlook the little bits they get wrong and the flights of fantasy at the end.

But, I'm a nerd, if they get something little wrong that means the movie can't actually work, it tends to ruin it for me, no matter how cool the big stuff is.


Matthew (coolbreeze85) | 6 comments Stargate SG1 did time dilation before it was cool ;)


Louie (rmutt1914) | 885 comments Matthew wrote: "Stargate SG1 did time dilation before it was cool ;)"

Yup. That series finale. So many emotions.


Trike | 8768 comments Lindsay wrote: "But, I'm a nerd, if they get something little wrong that means the movie can't actually work, it tends to ruin it for me, no matter how cool the big stuff is. "

Yeah, that's the key for me, too. Also, don't break your premise and don't violate your internal rules.

You don't make a racing movie and have one of your cars running it without using gas.


message 22: by Daniel (last edited Apr 27, 2015 02:51AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Daniel K | 164 comments Interstellar is far more ambitious as a concept and very impressive as a result. I very doubt that something so local as The Martian could beat it. It could be great movie going by the road of Gravity, but it won't be that BIG as Interstellar was.


message 23: by Ken (last edited Apr 27, 2015 09:12AM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Ken (kanthr) | 334 comments There is so much wrong with Interstellar that is 100% broken, as Trike said, once you make the rules, you cannot break them internal to the film.

1. The interaction with the water planet was absurd. A gravitational tidal force that strong would have severe negative effects on the astronauts, and their little ship. Somehow the planet has an ocean and an atmosphere, but no plausible explanation for why it does, or why it remains, given the astrophysical position.

2. The 3 planets in stable orbit around a singularity. This is absurd on a grand scale. Suppose we suspend disbelief for a moment and consider it possible. As the singularity's gravity increases due to absorption of matter falling into it, the orbital stability will deteriorate. This scenario is ridiculous.

3. The need for a Saturn V to leave the earth, but only thrusters to escape a planetary pull of 0.8G. Need I mention the water planet again?

4. Torsional stress and sheer stress ignored during the recovery of the spinning station. Applying a rotational force at the end of the vertical shaft would put excessive stress on the structure, especially the airlock seal.

5. No evidence of spaggetification due to extreme gravity, and further no acknowledgement of the massive stress on the body.

6. Loss of navigation after the explosion. Complete models of all known star positions in 3D space exist. I used to work for a company that generated them.


Trike | 8768 comments Daniel wrote: "Interstellar is far more ambitious as a concept and very impressive as a result. I very doubt that something so local as The Martian could beat it. It could be great movie going by the road of Gravity, but it won't be that BIG as Interstellar was. "

I'm not sure what that last part means.

If you're talking box office, Gravity cost $100 million and earned $716 million. Interstellar cost $165 million and earned $672 million.

Gravity had 10 Oscar nominations (including Best Picture, which almost never happens for an SF film) and won 7 of them. It topped the Year's Best list for almost every major critic.

Interstellar had 5 Oscar nominations, at least 2 of which (in sound) were completely undeserved. Because the sound is freaking HORRIBLE. Easily the worst sound design of any major movie I've seen in the past 25 years. It won for visual effects, which is fine. They did a good job there, but FX is not where that movie is broken.

If by "ambitious" you mean in the way of the old saying, "A man's reach should exceed his grasp," maybe. Nolan is fine when he does the mindtrip movies like Inception and Memento, but many of his films completely collapse when you examine their plot. In a movie like Interstellar, it's not difficult to get things right if you simply follow the science.


John (Nevets) Nevets (nevets) | 1592 comments Until now I never thought of the similarities those 3 pieces all share. They are all 3 about someone going crazy trying to get back to earth. And potentially all 3 will have unreliable narrators whose hallucinations we see on the screen.


message 26: by Daniel (last edited Apr 29, 2015 03:11AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Daniel K | 164 comments Trike wrote: "I'm not sure what that last part means.

If you're talking box office, Gravity cost $100 million and earned $716 million. Interstellar cost $165 million and earned $672 million."


I mean look at what happens in Interstellar and at what scale it does. They are saving humanity ffs! They travelling through wormhole! They colonize other planets! They travel in time! They have black hole that takes all the screen! That's what i'm talking about.

Trike wrote: "Gravity had 10 Oscar nominations (including Best Picture, which almost never happens for an SF film) and won 7 of them. It topped the Year's Best list for almost every major critic."

Gravity is not actually science fiction, it is realistic considering our modern level of science. And academy would never give any award to true SF. This film is realistic and much more grounded then Interstellar, also it could have many interesting technical solutions (which only experts could see). That is why it is praised by academy and by classical critics. That is why Birdman won this year and not any other film. Because they like insider film-making gimmicks. Academical art critics are very conservative so i wouldn't trust them.

Trike wrote: "Because the sound is freaking HORRIBLE. Easily the worst sound design of any major movie I've seen in the past 25 years."

Wat?! This is your opinion. The film sounded awesome. Especially music. It hypnotized me for all 3 hours.

Trike wrote: "If by "ambitious" you mean in the way of the old saying, "A man's reach should exceed his grasp," maybe."

At first i thought your quotation meant reach and grasp of humanity in Interstellar and was ready to agree to that (as soon as it was just a first impression after which humanity prevailed). But then i finished reading and saw that you just mocked Nolan. You can not like his work but it will be always subjective. I think his vision and ideas are absolutely great. And Interstellar is one of hist best movies. You can say that this final thing about love as most powerful form of energy stuff is controversial, but overall this was maybe the most epic space movie.

Trike wrote: "In a movie like Interstellar, it's not difficult to get things right if you simply follow the science. "

You mean you wanted to watch documentary? There is always Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey.


AndrewP (andrewca) | 2501 comments I skipped seeing Interstellar, even on DVD as nobody in my family could face 2.5 hours of Matthew McConaughey. I guess we could mute it and turn on sub-titles :)


Trike | 8768 comments Daniel wrote: "I mean look at what happens in Interstellar and at what scale it does. They are saving humanity ffs! They travelling through wormhole! They colonize other planets! They travel in time! They have black hole that takes all the screen! That's what i'm talking about."

So what? Any incarnation of Star Trek does those things every other episode. Sam and Dean Winchester have traveled through time and saved humanity a half-dozen times each. Same with Eureka, Buffy and Angel.

We can probably name a dozen crappy movies which have the same stakes and do similarly outlandish things. Ice Spiders from Syfy Channel, for instance. Saving humanity! Parallel universes! Giant ice spiders!

"Scale" is not something I'm impressed by. You can save humanity or save your cat -- what matters is how well the story is told.

Disney's The Black Hole featured a black hole, too. It was also a bad movie.

Daniel wrote: "Gravity is not actually science fiction, it is realistic considering our modern level of science."

What a bizarre assertion. Gravity takes place in an alternate universe at least 5-6 years in the future.

Daniel wrote: "Trike wrote: "Because the sound is freaking HORRIBLE. Easily the worst sound design of any major movie I've seen in the past 25 years."

Wat?! This is your opinion. The film sounded awesome. Especially music. It hypnotized me for all 3 hours."


It's my opinion, but I'm also a filmmaker. When the soundtrack overwhelms the dialogue, you're screwing up. There were complaints not just from critics but from fans, too. So much so that theatre chains actually put signs like this in their lobbies:



Daniel wrote: "You can say that this final thing about love as most powerful form of energy stuff is controversial, but overall this was maybe the most epic space movie."

You need to see more movies.

Daniel wrote: "Trike wrote: "In a movie like Interstellar, it's not difficult to get things right if you simply follow the science. "

You mean you wanted to watch documentary? There is always Cosmos: A Spacetime Odyssey. "


Of course I don't. Don't say stupid shit and expect me to take you seriously.

Gravity got the science right, and it's ten tons of awesome. It's EASY to get the science right. It's SIMPLE.

It does NOT mean you have to have characters write equations on chalkboards and explain it to the audience. Which, by the way, Interstellar actually did. Problem was, it was all just gobbledy-gook.


Joanna Chaplin | 1175 comments Trike wrote: "Daniel wrote: "...overall this was maybe the most epic space movie."

You need to see more movies."


I admit, I haven't seen a lot of movies about space I was impressed by. Do you have any recommendations for movies that both at least tried to get the science right (or at least were internally consistent), but were also an entertaining ride? And not horror in space, either?


John (Taloni) Taloni (johntaloni) | 4073 comments ^ ^ the only truly bizarre assertion about Gravity is that Clooney would HANG FROM A CORD IN ZERO GRAVITY! Critical plot point, except in zero G he would hit the end and bounce back. HELLO??? Basic physics!!!!

For Joanna: You have seen 2001, right? 2010 is fair. If you can handle being depressed, Silent Running is good. I had to give the Matt Damon movie Elysium a pass due to blatant preaching, but I hear the ring habitat is pretty cool and follows known laws of physics. Moon was reviewed well.


Joe Informatico (joeinformatico) | 888 comments Trike wrote: "Gravity got the science right, and it's ten tons of awesome. It's EASY to get the science right. It's SIMPLE."

Gravity didn't get all the science right.

Joanna wrote: "I admit, I haven't seen a lot of movies about space I was impressed by. Do you have any recommendations for movies that both at least tried to get the science right (or at least were internally consistent), but were also an entertaining ride?"

2001: A Space Odyssey is often praised for its scientific accuracy (monolith and Star Child sequences notwithstanding), though most people wouldn't describe it as an entertaining ride. But on a recent rewatch, I was struck by a few things. I'm no expert on physics or engineering, but a few things struck me as inefficient. I'll hide them behind a spoiler tag to keep the length down.

(view spoiler)


Joseph | 2290 comments My thoughts:

I'm willing to give them a pass on the interview -- it's one of those things that would've been challenging to handle in the context of a film. I flipped through the book briefly and did find at least one instance where Clarke did talk abou the communication lag.

As for the ejection of the pod, keep in mind that at that point the Discovery is coasting (not burning its engines) in a zero-G environment, so from the point of view of the pod, Discovery has no velocity to match. (Or, if you prefer, both Discovery and the pod are already moving at the same 45,000 KPH when he flies outside.

They probably did have rungs on the exterior of the structure, but it's a lot less physically taxing to use the pod rather than trying to drag yourself 50 or 100 meters along the neck of the ship. Yes, you're in zero G, but you'd still have to be pulling yourself along because you don't want to just let go and kick off.

There may have been accessways inside the neck (or not -- I believe the neck was there to keep the nuclear-powered drive unit a safe distance from the habitation section, and it was pretty narrow), but you'd still need an airlock to actually get to the exterior of the ship.


message 33: by Daniel (last edited Apr 30, 2015 02:43PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Daniel K | 164 comments Trike wrote: "Sam and Dean Winchester have traveled through time and saved humanity a half-dozen times each. Same with Eureka, Buffy and Angel."

Great comparison. Totally hitting the level of Interstellar. Maybe you also want to compare Green Lantern movie with Avengers? They both have superheroes and monsters from space! They did the same thing!

Trike wrote: ""Scale" is not something I'm impressed by. You can save humanity or save your cat -- what matters is how well the story is told."

Interstellar had hypnotizing and massive story. I believed it totally besides all that 5th dimension with love stuff.

Trike wrote: "It's my opinion, but I'm also a filmmaker."

Lets all change our mind because mister filmmaker thinks otherwise! I had no problem with music loudness. Could be cinema's optional settings though in my case.

Trike wrote: "You need to see more movies."

There is always the place for education but if you think Buffy or Supernatural are good examples then i'll pass. Or maybe 2001: Space Odyssey 2001 or Gravity are more EPIC movies then Interstellar? Right. All other space movies either differ in genre and setting or their are less epic.

Trike wrote: "Which, by the way, Interstellar actually did. Problem was, it was all just gobbledy-gook. "

Are there a lot of movies that have conversations about quantum gravity in them?

AndrewP wrote: "nobody in my family could face 2.5 hours of Matthew McConaughey"

What's wrong with McConaughey? Turns out he is great actor. Dallas Buyers Club, Interstellar, True Detective totally prove that.


Trike | 8768 comments Joe Informatico wrote: "Trike wrote: "Gravity got the science right, and it's ten tons of awesome. It's EASY to get the science right. It's SIMPLE."

Gravity didn't get all the science right."


I wondered if Tyson actually watched the movie. Most of his observations were inaccurate and lazy. What perplexes me is that he got down on his knees and kissed Christopher Nolan's heiney yet ragged on Gravity. I suspect it's because he loves black holes and was mesmerized by the pretty pictures in Interstellar.

Then again, he is extraordinarily bad at sussing art. He's a typical Sheldon in that regard. His complaints about Titanic's sky are hilarious. He's technically right but he completely missed the point, which made him ultimately wrong.

As for 2001: (view spoiler)


Trike | 8768 comments Daniel wrote: "Are there a lot of movies that have conversations about quantum gravity in them?"

A lot? No. But there are more than there are movies that talk about Australian Shepherd dogs.

I've seen it discussed in Big Bang Theory, Futurama, Ben 10, The Avengers, Thor 2, Doctor Who, Star Trek, Firefly, Continuum, Eureka... if we include movies and TV shows which discuss the ramifications of quantum mechanics and time travel and/or fate, the list increases.

But what do I know? I just watch a lot of stuff and like science.


Trike | 8768 comments John (Taloni) wrote: "^ ^ the only truly bizarre assertion about Gravity is that Clooney would HANG FROM A CORD IN ZERO GRAVITY! Critical plot point, except in zero G he would hit the end and bounce back. HELLO??? Basic physics!!!!"

As they say down in Mission Control in Houston, "Centripetal force, y'all!"

(Actually I'm being facetious, since they don't talk like that in Houston. Houston's accent actually mimics that of southern/central Ohio, because that's where a large number of the astronauts are from. Ohio has more astronauts per capita than any other state, and just as many technical support people. Many of them settled in Houston when LBJ moved the space program there.)

But the point stands. Clooney and Bullock had acceleration relative to the ISS and were tenuously attached to the spinning space station (watch the background stars) via the parachute lines.

They spent an inordinate amount of time giving us Clooney's bona fides when it comes to his experience specifically for that scene. That's what makes it plausible for him to quickly do the math in his head (or intuit) that the lines wouldn't arrest the accelerating mass of both of them, but would likely arrest hers alone. It's like the classic short story "The Cold Equations" except he was the one who got the short end of the equal sign.


message 37: by Daniel (last edited May 01, 2015 02:30AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Daniel K | 164 comments Trike wrote: "I've seen it discussed in Big Bang Theory, Futurama, Ben 10, The Avengers, Thor 2, Doctor Who, Star Trek, Firefly, Continuum, Eureka... if we include movies and TV shows which discuss the ramifications of quantum mechanics and time travel and/or fate, the list increases."

And how many of them have parts where humanity actually solves this problem?


Louie (rmutt1914) | 885 comments Yeah, so this thread has gotten woefully off topic.


Joanna Chaplin | 1175 comments Trike wrote: "It's like the classic short story "The Cold Equations" except he was the one who got the short end of the equal sign."

That's beautifully said.

I am really looking forward to The Martian movie.


John (Taloni) Taloni (johntaloni) | 4073 comments Trike wrote: "John (Taloni) wrote: "As they say down in Mission Control in Houston, "Centripetal force, y'all!"
"


I did not notice any significant spin on the station. I was specifically looking for that to be the answer. If the cause was supposed to be rotation, then the point was poorly made.


AndrewP (andrewca) | 2501 comments Trike wrote: "As they say down in Mission Control in Houston, "Centripetal force, y'all!"."

Now there's the perfect part for Mathew McConaughey :)


Trike | 8768 comments John (Taloni) wrote: "Trike wrote: "John (Taloni) wrote: "As they say down in Mission Control in Houston, "Centripetal force, y'all!"
"

I did not notice any significant spin on the station. I was specifically looking f..."


Here it is, at the 1:17 mark.

Is it a LOT? No. But enough that Kowalski decided it would kill them both.


message 43: by Tassie Dave, S&L Historian (last edited May 07, 2015 09:28AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Tassie Dave | 3597 comments Mod
For those of you interested in the science of "Interstellar", the latest episode of the podcast "StarTalk Radio" might interest you.

It is titled The Science of Interstellar with Christopher Nolan and has Neil Degrasse Tyson interviewing the director about the movie (and other things). It also has a cosmologist, & expert on Relativity, Dr. Janna Levin on to discuss the science involved.

Those looking for a dissection of the film, about what they got right and wrong may be disappointed, as they don't really go into that part too deeply. But the discussions on wormholes, time, black holes and relativity is fascinating.


Louie (rmutt1914) | 885 comments Tassie Dave wrote: "For those of you interested in the science of "Interstellar", the latest episode of the podcast "StarTalk Radio" might interest you."

This was also an episode of NDT's new late night show on NatGeo. Anyone else watching it?


Trike | 8768 comments I was going to watch it until I saw Nolan was the guest.


message 46: by Tassie Dave, S&L Historian (new) - rated it 5 stars

Tassie Dave | 3597 comments Mod
Trike wrote: "I was going to watch it until I saw Nolan was the guest."

The podcast has very little Nolan on it, Dr. Janna Levin talking real science makes up the majority of it. The interview is just short snippets and then the science is discussed.

Louie wrote: "This was also an episode of NDT's new late night show on NatGeo. Anyone else watching it? "

I didn't know he had a TV version of StarTalk.
Coincidentally, that very show is on Nat Geo Australia tonight. Cool :-)

But I've missed the first one, with George Takei, because they never advertise real science shows. :-(
Luckily it is available elsewhere ;-)


message 47: by Louie (last edited May 08, 2015 12:32AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Louie (rmutt1914) | 885 comments Tassie Dave wrote: "The podcast has very little Nolan on it, Dr. Janna Levin talking real science makes up the majority of it. The interview is just short snippets and then the science is discussed."

Yeah, that's how the show is also. NDT, Mirman, and Dr. Levin are at the Hayden Planetarium with a live audience, and they occasionally go to the pre-recorded Nolan interview.


message 48: by Tassie Dave, S&L Historian (new) - rated it 5 stars

Tassie Dave | 3597 comments Mod
It sounds like the TV show is the exact same content.

Good thing the subject matter is good enough to consume twice, and to be honest a lot of the science needs 2 or more listens for me to get a limited understanding of it. It's fairly deep at times.


message 49: by Fredrik (new)

Fredrik (fredurix) | 221 comments What, the Martian is done already? *mind blown*

Now, I've only read the sample chapter, and I didn't like the style of it and declined to read the rest. BUT! I very much liked the concept and was convinced it could make for a great movie. That this turns out to be the case pleases me muchly :)

As for Interstellar... the space scenes look fantastic. I'll give it that.


Louie (rmutt1914) | 885 comments Tassie Dave wrote: "It sounds like the TV show is the exact same content."

Yeah, the audio podcast version are taken directly from the show, and posted after they air on NatGeo.


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