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Lifestyle to increase intelligence ?


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#1 Solarclimax

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Posted 28 November 2009 - 10:04 PM


I am looking to make lifestyle changes in order to try and become more intelligent :)
Why do i want to be more intelligent ? i would like to get my head into some type of science, Gerontology interests me. There's no point unless i am well equipped to have a good go at something, so i thought best bet would be to try and get smarter first :-)

Can anyone give advice on what sort of things i need to be doing in order to acheive my goal(s)
For instance, should i buy a nintendo DS and get brain training ? I do alot of exercise, mainly boxing training, only rarely do sparring. So no slacking in that department. Was thinking about getting chessmaster and spending a few hours a week working with chess problems and trying to beat it for the next couple of years lets say. Anyway, what sort of things do other people do in order to achieve the same or simlar goals.

Cheers

Solar ;-)

Edited by Solarclimax, 28 November 2009 - 10:06 PM.


#2 rwac

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Posted 28 November 2009 - 10:21 PM

Find a new skill to learn. Then another and another. Be a lifelong learner.
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#3 Moonbeam

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Posted 29 November 2009 - 01:33 AM

Arguing on the internet.

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#4 Stan100

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Posted 29 November 2009 - 01:37 AM

  • Seconding the lifelong learner goal. This really is a case of "use it or lose it". Just do SOMETHING.
  • Additionally, you'll hear a bunch of suggestions for supplements. While these are nice, they're really compliments to healthy eating and exercise. Although probably the most boring on the list, some good cardio is essential.
  • Surround yourself with people with similar goals. This is crucial. Other intelligent pro-active learners in your life will inspire you to be better (or at least compete with you!). These are the people you want to be around. I'm sure I'm forgetting some motherly saying here that reinforces the same concept. :) You know what I mean.


#5 niner

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Posted 29 November 2009 - 03:55 AM

Find a new skill to learn. Then another and another. Be a lifelong learner.

Great advice; I second it. Good diet and cardio was mentioned, that's also good. Keep regular hours and get enough sleep. As for supplements, I only recommend the basics; fish oil, D3, magnesium, maybe a multi. Don't smoke.

Arguing on the internet.

Ha ha ha... I must be a freakin' genius! :)

#6 Solarclimax

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Posted 29 November 2009 - 10:06 AM

Surround yourself with people with similar goals


The only people i really come into contact with, are people who's goals are to get very drunk and cause trouble. I think i do well to be around that most my life and then grow up to be different. I used to experiment with party drugs, but stopped all that now. I try not to take anything bad for me. And my meal plan is pretty solid, although it's mostly a high protein meal plan put together with the help of a bodybuilder.

I think human life itself should be about everyone working together in a scientific manner, in order to better ourselves, looking for ways to get as close as we can to immortality, beating all diseases and looking to go deep into space, colonise other planets, to name just a couple of things. And most of all find the time to have fun. Unfortunatly we live in a world wich is mainley geared toward self destruction in the form of binge drinking, wars, polution, greed ect so on.

Hmmm slightly off topic there, hehe

I am wanting to put together some type of dailey routine for example. Wake up after 8 hours sleep, get some porrige, eggs multi vits, piracetam, choline, water ect. Then practise some chess problems, (i'm a beginner chess player) then go for a run, just 1-2 miles, i don't want to lose any muscle. so on ect.

I learned how to juggle with 3 balls that took me about 5 minutes, using wildcat tutorials, this supposedly increases grey matter.

So i guess, if anyone else has any input then lets hear some ideas. :-)

Thanks for the replies.

Edited by Solarclimax, 29 November 2009 - 10:07 AM.


#7 Solacium

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Posted 29 November 2009 - 03:22 PM

I'd say learning in general.. I like this site: http://www.ludism.org/mentat/
I think this was also mentioned somewhere here: http://brainworkshop.sourceforge.net/

Picking up new skills is sure the way to go, too. I'd recommend learning to play a musical instrument, or if you already do, another one. Or start dancing, or painting/drawing..
Reading a lot of non-fiction isnt going to hurt either.

#8 Moonbeam

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Posted 29 November 2009 - 05:20 PM

Arguing on the internet.

Ha ha ha... I must be a freakin' genius! :-D


Same here but I'm waiting for it to kick in. I expect it any time now.

#9 lynx

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Posted 04 December 2009 - 03:36 PM

Learn how to juggle, your brain will grow.

http://www.medicalne...ticles/5615.php

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#10 forever freedom

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Posted 04 December 2009 - 04:23 PM

Train and develop your working memory (short term memory).


http://www.nytimes.c...amp;oref=slogin

http://www.pnas.org/...5.full.pdf html

#11 VidX

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Posted 04 December 2009 - 06:31 PM

Arguing on the internet.

Ha ha ha... I must be a freakin' genius! :p


Same here but I'm waiting for it to kick in. I expect it any time now.



That's BS, as I woudln't learn anything from that, because only fools argue with me!
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#12 Forever21

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Posted 08 December 2009 - 08:34 AM

I am looking to make lifestyle changes in order to try and become more intelligent ;)
Why do i want to be more intelligent ? i would like to get my head into some type of science, Gerontology interests me. There's no point unless i am well equipped to have a good go at something, so i thought best bet would be to try and get smarter first :-)

Can anyone give advice on what sort of things i need to be doing in order to acheive my goal(s)
For instance, should i buy a nintendo DS and get brain training ? I do alot of exercise, mainly boxing training, only rarely do sparring. So no slacking in that department. Was thinking about getting chessmaster and spending a few hours a week working with chess problems and trying to beat it for the next couple of years lets say. Anyway, what sort of things do other people do in order to achieve the same or simlar goals.

Cheers

Solar ;-)



It looks like you're looking for brain enhancement. I have an article that talks about this in detail but I would have to spend hours on my computer to find it. Sorry. But in summary...

-Play Piano
-Card Games, Mind Games
-Learn A New Language
-Fish, Fish Oil
-Read Books

Edited by Forever21, 08 December 2009 - 08:35 AM.


#13 nushu

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Posted 12 December 2009 - 12:21 PM

Things that I feel improve my brain power:

Jigsaw puzzles

Nintendo DSi games like Brain Age & Flash Focus and Right Brain Left Brain

Reading

Crossword puzzles

Exercise

Meeting new people

Learning a new sport/skill/game

Writing

Photography/art work

#14 sdxl

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Posted 12 December 2009 - 01:58 PM

Arguing on the internet.

I'm not so sure about that.

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#15 e Volution

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Posted 14 December 2009 - 08:45 AM

One thing I believe helped my logical/rational thinking immensely was programming!

Programming is extremely logic based, and if you were anything like me you will be pulling your hair out when first attempting to learn it. In my first two programming subjects at uni I got very average marks. It was a real steep learning curve, but once I made it up the hill there was no looking back!

Think of it this way; most people have difficulty grasping programming when first introduced. But programming is really just writing code to do logical steps such as IF this THEN do that or ELSE do this, etc. So its like strengthening some completely fundamental logical thinking wiring in your brain. Like learning a new language except the language is of logic!

One thing I keep noticing is top Mathematicians are not just great at mathematics, they often have very wide-ranging knowledge and minds. Ofcourse a simple explanation is these type of minds are attracted to mathematics, which I think is true, but I have no doubt it is also the mathematics itself at work. And mathematics is the ultimate form of rational/logical thinking.

Oh and I should just note that I wasn't particular interested in programming when I first started; only ever did it briefly in a professional setting in my last job, and most likely will never again in the future! But obviously I still think it left its mark on me ...

#16 JLL

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Posted 14 December 2009 - 01:58 PM

I agree with the above; I've often said that a basic knowledge of programming is quite useful for anyone, precisely because it forces one to think in logical steps.

#17 erzebet

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Posted 17 December 2009 - 05:29 PM

I have one simple advice to develop your brain: USE IT!
IF you are so interested in immortality, create something that will prolong your life and maybe other's lives.
In my case, that is robotics- i am not very advanced at it but each day i learn something new and it's awesome. programming does indeed makes you think logical and this is one aspect of robotics that i enjoy. the most important aspect is that i get to be creative and practical at the same time and i get inspiration from mechanical devices, electronics, programming and any creature about which i read more in biology journals. Get curious about something and your brain will become more creative and better at processing information.

I would not stress developing your memory. The human brain adapted to having memory storage like books, paper, and now computers. I think it is more important to be creative. If you need information, just look it on the Internet, do not store it in your brain unless it's vital for your life. I feel like too much information is cluttering my brain and that is why i keep a personal diary for any interesting thing that might be useful to me one day :-D

#18 VampIyer

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Posted 28 December 2009 - 08:57 PM

Some great ways to begin building your new brain (These are obviously biased to a technical POV):

- Math and Physics with attention to "rigor." A good, free starting point is KhanAcademy (videos). He's one of the best free sources of info for lower division math and physics (and his other videos aren't bad either). For more theory and practice, look for introductory Calculus books from Spivak and maybe Apostol. Both are good. Spivak's Differential Geometry (Graduate math) is excellent, as is his short, conceptual preview to said topic titled, "calculus on manifolds." - In general, try to understand how the math came to be, try to work the proofs and problems on your own for a while before consulting the book, and even then it might be useful to simply look at ONLY the next step you're missing.

- Programming: I'd recommend C++, but Web-programming is very useful too.

- Engineering projects: Audio amplifier design, digital signal processing study, mechanical engineering (perhaps study automobile racing chassis and suspension dynamics and aerodynamics to understand what allows a car to really GRIP)

- Reading: Read some GOOD books. Even in SciFi we have Huxley's Brave New World, which should be included in many "Top 100" lists. I'd browse a few of those CLASSICS lists and choose the books that appeal to you. You could even download them as PDF's if you have an e-reader (Amazon's Kindle is the most popular).

- Reading Philosophical texts, discussions: Try to understand the arguments and logic (programmers might actually have an advantage in some cases)... it'll eventually put your mind into a loop...highly circuitous it can be.

- Make a Vocab and sentence-structure guide: I'm of the opinion that vocabulary-boosting books are always incomplete. They often don't cover many of the words I'd want, and the words that are covered are not given in-depth coverage. I'd like to have multiple definitions, forms of the word, origin, several examples of ideal usage, idiom, synonyms, antonyms, related words, prefix/suffix, etc... It'd also be nice to jot down some well-crafted sentences for their structure and elegance, and maybe keep a collection of these. If you turn this into a powerpoint presentation with 1 word/sentence analyzed per slide, and watch it a few minutes per day, then you'll probably retain everything.

- Study the Market/Economy: Don't confuse this with university economics, which I've found to be largely hokum until graduate level. You could instead use knowledge of statistics to really study the market yourself. It's interesting to see what happens when you run backtesting and forwardtesting (no, not time-travel, create rules then test what would have happened) simulations of self-created trading systems for stocks, bonds, etc.

- Test-Taking Skills: Train the Perceptual Ability portion of the DAT (dental admissions test). Then train for the LSAT. Then of course the Math sections of the SAT and GRE. You could try IQ tests and puzzles as well.

- Advanced Test-Taking: Find some International Math Olympiad and Putnam Math exams. Work through the problems. You could do the same for Physics Bowl challenge problems.

- Brain-Training games: I suppose these are useful. I tried the Dual-N-Back game and it seems I was able to improve slightly, but I can only play it when I feel like my blood sugar, cortisol, thyroid, etc are balanced (I have some basic health issues affecting reliable cognition).

- PC gaming: Counterstrike-Source is probably the most competitive FPS around (it's skill-based). Strategy games: Dawn of War 2 is often selling for $20. Indie Games: There are tons of indie puzzle-based games going on sale on Steam and D2D.

- Chess: I'd still play this on a computer...
- Rubiks and 4x4, 5x5, etc CUBES


*Now I have not mastered all or even most of these, but my schedule would involve these activities if my health permitted. I am able to completely ace the LSAT, GRE, and even score competitively on the I.M.Olympiad and Putnam Exams, however. I wish I had a reason to take those exams officially... maybe I'll submit a mind-blowing math thesis to Caltech one of these days and attempt to bypass the process... I can dream...

Edit: I forgot to mention to use OpenCourseWare. MIT has one of the best and most complete. Youtube also has various lectures even from abroad, so just search.
Edit 2: Don't neglect development and balance (ambidexterity seems desirable) of physical coordination...and exercise ("nootropic")

Edited by VampIyer, 28 December 2009 - 09:03 PM.


#19 Eugene

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Posted 28 December 2009 - 11:34 PM

As a student of neuroscience i can say that most of these claims are partially fallacious. It is very unclear and doubtful that learning piano will make you a better engineer or learning a new language will make you a better philosopher. The reason for that is that the brain is highly modularized and localized. Improving one area of the brain will probably not do much for the rest of the brain. For example learning to juggle will defiantly increase gray matter in some area of the brain(motor strip?) but that increase will be worthless for other tasks other then similar tasks.

Piano is on totally different side of the brain then language based tasks so music and art will probably do nothing for your reasoning abilities. On the other hand general skills such as logic, programming, writing, reading, debating, etc... can probably improve each other due to their language related functions(and thus in related parts of the brain). My point is if you want to be a better writer, write more. If you want to be a better musician, play more music. While it is possible for cross learning augmentation of some kind to take place, it is not the most efficient way. The people that tell you otherwise just market their product or justify their hobbies.

And please don't play video games to improve your brain. They are addicting and waist a lot of time. At first they will improve your strategy by learning how to be good but within a week it will be on fully automatic mode. And yes i know what I am talking about as someone who played in Team Fortress classic league, and is very decent in War Craft 3.

While many things will improve some parts of the brain, in general stick to cross applied skills such as writing and logic as well as learning new science concepts.

#20 Eugene

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Posted 28 December 2009 - 11:45 PM

Also forget the idea of the general intelligence because it relies of a false idea of how the brain works. It is a collection of modules, not one module. Each module with sub-modules and sub-sub-modules.

So to relate it to op, figure out what type of skills you need in life and work on them exclusively. There is no evidence that working on your motor skills will improve anything but motor skills.

#21 SATANICAT

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Posted 29 December 2009 - 09:35 AM

A good place to start is using your computer mouse with your left, instead of your right, hand. I started doing this last week and for the first couple of days doing my mind felt a little more stimulated than usual; it was a good brain workout. After being a computer addict for the past 8 years, my subconscious makes my hand move my mouse back to the right side of my desk without me realizing it. Very, very strange lol. Same thing goes for writing, try being ambidextrous for a while, that'll definitely improve your coordination and your ability to learn.

#22 RighteousReason

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Posted 29 December 2009 - 11:49 PM

A good place to start is using your computer mouse with your left, instead of your right, hand. I started doing this last week and for the first couple of days doing my mind felt a little more stimulated than usual; it was a good brain workout. After being a computer addict for the past 8 years, my subconscious makes my hand move my mouse back to the right side of my desk without me realizing it. Very, very strange lol. Same thing goes for writing, try being ambidextrous for a while, that'll definitely improve your coordination and your ability to learn.

That sounds crazy enough to work. I might try that...

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#23 e Volution

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Posted 30 December 2009 - 06:29 AM

Talking about Barack Obama this guy says IQ tests are basically testing language and logic, if you can combine them you will have a high IQ

http://www.youtube.c...feature=channel

#24 eason

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Posted 30 December 2009 - 07:14 AM

As a student of neuroscience i can say that most of these claims are partially fallacious. It is very unclear and doubtful that learning piano will make you a better engineer or learning a new language will make you a better philosopher. The reason for that is that the brain is highly modularized and localized.


That is not true. Many human functions require multiple areas of the brain. All of the examples you mentioned require in-depth interaction of various brain functions.

#25 erzebet

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Posted 31 December 2009 - 01:00 PM

i also thought that video games are time lost unless you design them which is something else- but maybe i never got to truly appreciate them.

#26 shawn

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Posted 31 December 2009 - 04:33 PM

Lots of good suggestions so far.
Use it or lose it is the basic,
Good nutrition, with focus on the essential fatty acids (such as: DHA/EPA, etc.)
Try new things which make the brain actually work.

After watching the bit on the regrowing of body parts makes me think that all we need to do is convince the part we want to grow that it is in the fetal development stage and it will start to make the necessary devemopments.
They extracted the special compound from pig bladders I recall.
That seems promising.

But if you are not going to use it how will you retain it?
Intelligence is like muscle mass, in that if you don't work it, it slowly melts away.

#27 VampIyer

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Posted 02 January 2010 - 08:27 PM

As a student of neuroscience i can say that most of these claims are partially fallacious. It is very unclear and doubtful that learning piano will make you a better engineer or learning a new language will make you a better philosopher. The reason for that is that the brain is highly modularized and localized. Improving one area of the brain will probably not do much for the rest of the brain. For example learning to juggle will defiantly increase gray matter in some area of the brain(motor strip?) but that increase will be worthless for other tasks other then similar tasks.

Piano is on totally different side of the brain then language based tasks so music and art will probably do nothing for your reasoning abilities. On the other hand general skills such as logic, programming, writing, reading, debating, etc... can probably improve each other due to their language related functions(and thus in related parts of the brain). My point is if you want to be a better writer, write more. If you want to be a better musician, play more music. While it is possible for cross learning augmentation of some kind to take place, it is not the most efficient way. The people that tell you otherwise just market their product or justify their hobbies.

And please don't play video games to improve your brain. They are addicting and waist a lot of time. At first they will improve your strategy by learning how to be good but within a week it will be on fully automatic mode. And yes i know what I am talking about as someone who played in Team Fortress classic league, and is very decent in War Craft 3.

While many things will improve some parts of the brain, in general stick to cross applied skills such as writing and logic as well as learning new science concepts.


I actually do agree with MUCH of this, which is why I've chosen what I hope to be compound brain-training exercises in areas I find important (logic, math/science/engineering, coordination, language). Perhaps some of them have little cross-application, but I'd like to think that even the benefit from juggling can improve or facilitate the development of spatial reasoning or some type of coordination (Not that I would continue to practice juggling after already having mastered it - I may just use it as a quick relaxation/focus exercise instead).

As for gaming (Only certain PC games): I chose counter-strike as a tool to increase focus in 10-15 minute sessions. It also seems to improve reaction time for that duration if I'm feeling focused (but perhaps other activities would do the same). Strategy games are probably less useful once one learns to play... I suppose I'll agree with that... but it can be a great challenge to optimize play-style without much actual play time.

Edited by VampIyer, 02 January 2010 - 08:28 PM.


#28 Solarclimax

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Posted 05 January 2010 - 12:27 AM

How about your IQ compared to a baby, how come you can score good on an IQ test compared to a baby who is still trying to master how to grip something, let alone even pick up the pen and test paper? Something means you learn how to solve problems, which in turn makes you better at solving other more complex problems, you build an understanding ? I used to play checkers online, when i first started i couldn't get past beginner on most sites. Now it's at the point where the only way i lose is if it's against someone who is lets say one of the top 1000 players online ( roughly thereabouts), or a real life master/grandmaster or some kid with a program.
I noticed after about a year of playing checkers (been playing maybe 8 years now), sometimes like 5 hours a day that i was beginning to understand things that i used to think, huh that was an awesome move how the hell did they see that. to eventually getting to the point where i can make even better moves than that without even thinking about it. Couldn't it be the same for an IQ test. You see problems that are a bit to difficult for you to understand, you see a few different ones, you keep having a go at less difficult ones until eventually you can solve a problem with only slightly less difficulty than said difficult problem ? and then you do another until you get to the point where the highly difficult problems are solvable by you ?

I will admit it that watching checkers programs play was a big help in making me a tough checkers player.
What if a person with a high IQ was to pair up with someone that has a lower IQ but is willing to learn. And then let them watch/listen to the high IQ person solve problems out loud, and get an insight on the thinking, if it's anything like learning checkers was for me, at first they could repeat it over and over and you just won't get it, but then they could help you do slightly less difficult problems and help you understand, ect so on. Or maybe a program could be made to help solve iq problems and teach the way of thinking.

Just some ideas.

Edited by Solarclimax, 05 January 2010 - 12:35 AM.


#29 nito

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Posted 05 January 2010 - 01:40 AM

A good place to start is using your computer mouse with your left, instead of your right, hand. I started doing this last week and for the first couple of days doing my mind felt a little more stimulated than usual; it was a good brain workout. After being a computer addict for the past 8 years, my subconscious makes my hand move my mouse back to the right side of my desk without me realizing it. Very, very strange lol. Same thing goes for writing, try being ambidextrous for a while, that'll definitely improve your coordination and your ability to learn.


I have been trying to brush my teeth and write with my left hand for 6 months. I know feel fully confident taking notes in lass with my left hand and it feels pretty normal. I enjoy being able to write with both hands, just in case you get cramp, this skill comes handy ;)

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#30 CobaltThoriumG

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Posted 16 January 2010 - 08:08 PM

I would pursue wisdom over intelligence. In any case, if you knew that increased intelligence would bring decreased happiness, or at least that such a result is reasonably probable, would you still want increased intelligence? The smartest people in the world are surrounded by morons in a world that makes no sense, in as much as it largely has been designed and is controlled by those morons. The wise among the smartest people in the world also know that they are morons, too. A headspace that sounds not so pretty. But as to your specific question, I would say study, exercise vigorously but not at length, spend time in wilderness, and engage in creative endeavors.




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