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Friday, July 12, 2019

Moon Magic: The Apollo 11 Landing Wasn’t the Only Fantastical Event of July 20, 1969

Hard to believe that the Moon landing is now closer to the Black Sox scandal than it is to today.

Every so often, in ensuing years, the Perrys and Armstrong would have another casual encounter: Chris played golf with him a few times, and in 2001 the astronaut stopped by Chris’s home in Ohio. Chris and Kathy’s unsuspecting five-year-old, Emily, took her grandpa’s friend by the hand for a tour, showed him a closet, a dead bug, her books—one that happened to be about . . . Apollo 11. “Oh,” she said finally, “your name is Neil Armstrong, too, isn’t it?”

But childlike wonder can’t last forever, especially in adults. Though they won a state high school baseball title together, became the only brothers to win the Cy Young Award, combined to win 45 games with the Indians in 1974–75 and today live in the same state, Jim, 83 and Gaylord, 80, have recently had what the family calls “differences.” At some point a squabble between the two escalated—Jim won’t talk about why, and Gaylord declined an interview request—and now, Jim says, “I haven’t talked to Gaylord for a couple years. He goes his way, and I go my way.”

ajnrules Posted: July 12, 2019 at 03:43 PM | 54 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: gaylord perry, jim perry

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   1. AndrewJ Posted: July 12, 2019 at 09:37 PM (#5861555)
"...Good luck, Mr. Gorsky."
   2. Hank Gillette Posted: July 13, 2019 at 01:18 AM (#5861580)
Reputedly, July 20, 1969 was also the date that Marilu Henner lost her, um, became a woman. She claimed on a talk show that she could remember events from every day of her life. The host picked the date of the moon landing, and she got all flustered, and finally admitted that it was also the date of her first time.
   3. Howie Menckel Posted: July 13, 2019 at 01:35 AM (#5861582)
60 Minutes interviewed her about 10 years ago, and yes she has that skill called "Highly Superior Autobiographical Memory."

it's very rare, but it exists. I think she's the most famous person with that particular gift.

but enough about Gaylord and Jim Perry....
   4. SoSH U at work Posted: July 13, 2019 at 09:12 AM (#5861591)

Reputedly, July 20, 1969 was also the date that Marilu Henner lost her, um, became a woman. She claimed on a talk show that she could remember events from every day of her life. The host picked the date of the moon landing, and she got all flustered, and finally admitted that it was also the date of her first time.


I believe that was Costas interviewing her.

   5. bobm Posted: July 13, 2019 at 09:38 AM (#5861592)
   6. Infinite Yost (Voxter) Posted: July 13, 2019 at 09:46 AM (#5861594)
Jim says, “I haven’t talked to Gaylord for a couple years. He goes his way, and I go my way.”


This kind of story bums me out. My brothers are my best friends. I don't know what I'd do without them.
   7. eric Posted: July 13, 2019 at 10:33 AM (#5861599)
The host picked the date of the moon landing, and she got all flustered, and finally admitted that it was also the date of her first time.


60 Minutes interviewed her about 10 years ago, and yes she has that skill called "Highly Superior Autobiographical Memory."


To be fair, picking the date of the moon landing is lobbing a meatball. I'm not old enough for the moon landing, but I can give you a pretty darn detailed account of my day on 9/11, and I don't have any highly superior gifts.
   8. puck Posted: July 13, 2019 at 12:20 PM (#5861607)
That is sad about the Perry's, especially if they've had a good relationship most of their lives. Maybe one is very pro Trump and the other isn't. That seems to be causing an unusual amount of tension for that kind of thing, which is also sad.

Anyone have any recommendations of recent Apollo 11 stuff that's out? There must be recent documentaries, and there's a recent book that's supposed to talk about a lot of the background engineering.

I have seen First Man and liked that quite a bit. Ryan Gosling does his non-talkative thing again but that was ok for me. I was more impressed by the movie giving a pretty fair impression of the the physicality of the project. It was super high tech for back then but from our vantage point, it's hard to believe they're going to the moon in those creaky buckets of bolts on top of rockets.
   9. Meatwad Posted: July 13, 2019 at 12:44 PM (#5861609)
Puck chexk out 13 minites to the moon is a podcast the bbc is doing its 13 episodes but so far only 9 are out. Very well done and the bbc guy hosting it used to work for nasa so he knows his stuff and is able to get people like Margret Hamilton to talk on it.
   10. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: July 13, 2019 at 01:35 PM (#5861617)
If you can find it, "From earth to the Moon" is a terrific mini series. 6-7 episodes or so. One episode was dedicated to the design and building of the LEM, which was fascinating.

   11. eric Posted: July 13, 2019 at 01:43 PM (#5861619)
Ryan Gosling does his non-talkative thing again but that was ok for me


I enjoyed the movie, too. The one thing I noticed after watching it was that Gosling apparently got a lot of grief for his portrayal of Lance, but his children have in multiple sources said that First Man was the most accurate portrayal of their father they'd seen.

Example:

[Mark] Armstrong described "First Man," starring Ryan Gosling as his father and directed by Damien Chazelle of "La La Land" fame, as a film that captured the father he knew instead of the dual-sided recluse and icon that existed in much of post-landing popular culture.
   12. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: July 13, 2019 at 01:54 PM (#5861623)
Gosling apparently got a lot of grief for his portrayal of Lance,


Um, wrong Armstrong.
   13. PreservedFish Posted: July 13, 2019 at 02:21 PM (#5861625)
I also liked First Man. Gosling's Armstrong was a type of man I've come across in real life - the modest, taciturn, and precise midwestern engineer - I found him convincing and compelling.
   14. Wayne Newton's pet monkey (gef, talking mongoose) Posted: July 13, 2019 at 02:31 PM (#5861628)
Double post.
   15. Wayne Newton's pet monkey (gef, talking mongoose) Posted: July 13, 2019 at 02:32 PM (#5861629)
The morning after the landing, I remember talking about it with a couple of friends while we walked the three blocks from my house to the little league field to play a pick-up game. (I was 9.) Of course!
   16. Dromedary pretzels, only half a dinar (CoB). Posted: July 13, 2019 at 03:39 PM (#5861639)
you gonna be ok gef, sounds like a lot of rain headed your general direction ...
   17. Brian Posted: July 13, 2019 at 05:24 PM (#5861654)
I was 12 years old and went to the Yankee game that day. They won on an extra inning single by the Stick, Gene Michael. The phrase walkoff wasn't in use back then but we enjoyed it just as much. Then back to a friends house to watch the moon landing. Awesome day.
   18. Hysterical & Useless Posted: July 14, 2019 at 06:59 AM (#5861732)
It was super high tech for back then


A couple of years ago I read a book about the early space probes (those from the 70s). The author said (paraphrasing) "you carry around more computing power in your pocket nowadays. No, I don't mean your telephone, I mean the electronic key fob for your car."
   19. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: July 14, 2019 at 08:59 AM (#5861735)
I used to freak out friends who were born in July or October by knowing what day of the week they were born when they told me the day. When a fellow employee told me he was born on October 5th, 1953, and I said "on a Monday, right?", he didn't realized he'd had the honor of being born on the day the Yankees won their 5th straight World Series.

My memory isn't all that great about a lot of things, but I can remember where I watched every World Series game, along with every Super Bowl and every pre-Super Bowl NFL championship game.
   20. SoSH U at work Posted: July 14, 2019 at 09:10 AM (#5861736)
I used to freak out friends who were born in July or October by knowing what day of the week they were born when they told me the day. When a fellow employee told me he was born on October 5th, 1953, and I said "on a Monday, right?", he didn't realized he'd had the honor of being born on the day the Yankees won their 5th straight World Series.



How did you know the day if they were born in July, an eidetic All-Star game memory?
   21. bobm Posted: July 14, 2019 at 09:59 AM (#5861739)
First Man

In the spirit of Mets thread hijacks, idiot GM Brodie is listed in the book's index, in attendance at Armstrong's funeral with his wife, Armstrong's stepdaughter.
   22. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: July 14, 2019 at 10:42 AM (#5861742)
I used to freak out friends who were born in July or October by knowing what day of the week they were born when they told me the day. When a fellow employee told me he was born on October 5th, 1953, and I said "on a Monday, right?", he didn't realized he'd had the honor of being born on the day the Yankees won their 5th straight World Series.

How did you know the day if they were born in July, an eidetic All-Star game memory?


First, I probably should've qualified that part about the World Series to say it only applied to people born in the 50's and up through 1976, but for a long time that used to make up most of the people I hung out with at work or in (where else) pool rooms. It wouldn't likely work so well with most of the people here, since after 1968 the starting day of the week for the Series has been changed on multiple occasions.

The All-Star game (with a few exceptions) has always fallen on a Tuesday, usually between about the 6th and the 15th, my own b-day is on the 13th, I remember the dates of most of the earlier ones that I watched, Tuesdays one year will be one day earlier than the previous year (two days if it's a leap year), and the calendar repeats itself every 5 or 6 years depending on how many leap years are in between. It may take a few moments to do the mental calculations, but it's not really all that hard.

What's really amazing is this former customer of mine who could tell you the day of the week for any day in history, somehow even accounting for the various calendars. He could also name all the Popes in reverse order, although that seemed almost a snap after you'd heard him perform the bit with the day of the week.
   23. SoSH U at work Posted: July 14, 2019 at 11:24 AM (#5861748)

First, I probably should've qualified that part about the World Series to say it only applied to people born in the 50's and up through 1976, but for a long time that used to make up most of the people I hung out with at work or in (where else) pool rooms. It wouldn't likely work so well with most of the people here, since after 1968 the starting day of the week for the Series has been changed on multiple occasions.

The All-Star game (with a few exceptions) has always fallen on a Tuesday, usually between about the 6th and the 15th, my own b-day is on the 13th, I remember the dates of most of the earlier ones that I watched, Tuesdays one year will be one day earlier than the previous year (two days if it's a leap year), and the calendar repeats itself every 5 or 6 years depending on how many leap years are in between. It may take a few moments to do the mental calculations, but it's not really all that hard.


So, at least in some cases, it's less about knowing and more about being able to figure out.

   24. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: July 14, 2019 at 11:48 AM (#5861751)
Yeah, it depends on the age of the person I'm talking to. And since my wife was born on the day between the last game of the '59 NL playoff and the first game of the World Series, she was amused at the fact that I could tell her the day of the week she was born while she hadn't even known it herself.
   25. puck Posted: July 14, 2019 at 12:22 PM (#5861754)
I didn't have a problem with Gosling as Armstrong (though he was a really bad Lance Armstrong), it was just a very similar to his jazz loving piantist and to his Blade "walker". The character worked in all three movies.
   26. cardsfanboy Posted: July 14, 2019 at 06:07 PM (#5861826)
Yeah, it depends on the age of the person I'm talking to. And since my wife was born on the day between the last game of the '59 NL playoff and the first game of the World Series, she was amused at the fact that I could tell her the day of the week she was born while she hadn't even known it herself.



After reading this thread.... I still don't know what day of the week I was born... I know I could quickly figure it out.... but .... why?
(although it was July in the 70's so I guess you could figure it out...lol)
   27. ERROR---Jolly Old St. Nick Posted: July 14, 2019 at 06:19 PM (#5861827)
After reading this thread.... I still don't know what day of the week I was born... I know I could quickly figure it out.... but .... why?

If you have to ask, you'll never know. (smile)
   28. Bourbon Samurai, what price fettucine? Posted: July 14, 2019 at 06:54 PM (#5861831)
According to the Max Patkin biography picture book my kids have, he performed at a minor league game that evening where the entire crowd was the starting pitchers parents
   29. cardsfanboy Posted: July 14, 2019 at 08:39 PM (#5861858)
8 days after the moon landing... Stan Musial was inducted into the hall of fame.. a year later I was born... :) (apparently on a Tuesday---July birthstone equals ruby so does Tuesday also...something I didn't know a few minutes ago)
   30. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: July 15, 2019 at 09:52 AM (#5861904)

I read the whole article trying to figure out what was going to tie back the Perry's connection with the moon landing to the 1969 Mets. Turns out there wasn't anything, the Mets just happened to win the World Series the year of the moon landing.
   31. Howie Menckel Posted: July 15, 2019 at 02:34 PM (#5862024)
if there is a connection, Marilu Henner will know!
   32. villageidiom Posted: July 15, 2019 at 06:00 PM (#5862074)
Jim says, “I haven’t talked to Gaylord for a couple years. He goes his way, and I go my way.”
This kind of story bums me out. My brothers are my best friends. I don't know what I'd do without them.
If your brothers weren't your best friends, you wouldn't miss 'em. You would be spending time with your actual best friends, enjoying life, and not thinking about it.

My sister is not my best friend, and never was. She's always been several steps removed from my life, and after some resistance I've embraced the distance. Our mother seems to have reached the same point with her.

My brother and I get along very well, but he's overwhelmed with some stuff, as am I, and whenever we talk we just pick up where we left off even if it's many months apart.
   33. Howie Menckel Posted: July 15, 2019 at 07:37 PM (#5862096)
after some resistance I've embraced the distance. Our mother seems to have reached the same point with her.

my all-Irish parents NEVER called once any of their 5 kids moved out of the house. theory was "you're busy, you have your own family now, we don't want to bother you!"

a bit quirky, but better than many alternatives approaches out there, I have been told.

well, 4 of their 5 managed to call or even visit reasonably often (weekly to monthly, which is plenty for a lot of Irish people). but one of their sons (not me) was so oblivious that he could go 3 or 4 months without checking in. that would get a frustrated Mom to break down and call (but never leave a message - that might cost 8 cents or something to one of their kids, and when you grew up in The Great Depression, every penny counts).

my parents are gone now, but my brother manages to be "off the grid" with all his siblings (and 9 adult nephews and nieces). he'll show up for a wedding or a funeral or maybe even a holiday and be quite polite. his wife is the same way, btw, and his daughter is similar.

agreed that ultimately, there's not much point in fretting about it. people gonna people.
   34. baxter Posted: July 15, 2019 at 10:30 PM (#5862135)
Re #30; wasn't a really bad hitter, even for a pitcher; and didn't he hit a home run the same day as the moon landing, something like that?
   35. Zach Posted: July 16, 2019 at 02:31 AM (#5862166)
The author said (paraphrasing) "you carry around more computing power in your pocket nowadays. No, I don't mean your telephone, I mean the electronic key fob for your car."

Well yes, but the Apollo guys did have a team of astrophysicists writing the programs.

There's a good book about the Apollo guidance computers.

The guidance computers were actually the very first contract that NASA made for the Apollo program, and usually the last thing that got finished before a mission. They had very strict reliability requirements, including the ability to resume a program where they had left off after rebooting. Which came in handy on Apollo 11 -- due to the famous 1202 alarm, the computers were actually continuously rebooting for the entire descent.

They weren't much for pure speed, but they were pretty remarkable in other ways.
   36. Bote Man Posted: July 16, 2019 at 08:00 AM (#5862169)
and when you grew up in The Great Depression, every penny counts).

Like you read about it!
   37. SoSH U at work Posted: July 16, 2019 at 08:34 AM (#5862173)

Re #30; wasn't a really bad hitter, even for a pitcher; and didn't he hit a home run the same day as the moon landing, something like that?


He did. The legend was that Alvin Dark said we'd put a man on the moon before Gaylord Perry ever homered. Perry hit his first big league homer on the day of the moon landing. Alas, there's no record of Dark having actually said it.

   38. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: July 16, 2019 at 12:26 PM (#5862255)
Re #30; wasn't a really bad hitter, even for a pitcher; and didn't he hit a home run the same day as the moon landing, something like that?

Yes, for the Giants, against the Dodgers. But for some reason I thought there would be a connection to the Mets after the first 3-4 paragraphs talked about them. Re-reading it I see there wasn't supposed to be any.
   39. Hank Gillette Posted: July 16, 2019 at 06:24 PM (#5862384)
To be fair, picking the date of the moon landing is lobbing a meatball. I'm not old enough for the moon landing, but I can give you a pretty darn detailed account of my day on 9/11, and I don't have any highly superior gifts.


I assume he was picking a date when he knew something significant had happened. I remember quite a bit about watching the moon landing (we watched the landing, then went to church, and I was afraid that Armstrong would have stepped on the moon before we got back home, but he did not).

However, for most of the last 50 years, if you had asked me what happened on July 20, 1969, I would not have been able to tell you, because the date never stuck with me. I guess I have the opposite of the talent Ms. Henner has.

9/11 is a lot easier, because we refer to it by the actual date, rather than saying, “The day terrorists knocked down the Twin Towers and crashed into the Pentagon by hijacking commercial airliners”.
   40. Hank Gillette Posted: July 16, 2019 at 06:38 PM (#5862389)
I just watch the clip BobM referenced and Costas actually mentioned the moon landing rather than the date. I think most people would remember if they lost their virginity on the same day of a very famous event, but she did recall the date and the day of the week, which is something, I guess.

I hadn’t seen that clip since the time it first aired, so I got some of the details wrong (I didn’t remember that it was Bob Costas, and that he asked her about the day of the moon landing, not the date). But I did remember the flustered part and the virginity part, which I guess shows what was important to me in 1982.
   41. Howie Menckel Posted: July 16, 2019 at 08:01 PM (#5862401)

I'm more a debunker fan than a "wow, isn't that magical!" fan.
but Henner was on 60 Minutes about 10 years ago, and her ability is no act.
   42. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: July 17, 2019 at 02:27 PM (#5862596)
Henner on 60 Minutes (Australian version) last year. I too am more of a skeptic about these things but it appears she is legit.
   43. phredbird Posted: July 17, 2019 at 07:04 PM (#5862730)

boy, i wish i had henner's gift, because memory is such a funny thing ...

i remember lots of stuff from my life, but most of my childhood and adolescence is a mish mash. for instance, i don't remember exactly where i was when armstrong stepped on the moon because my family was traveling ... we were in asia, and depended on newspapers and radio. i think, maybe, we were in thailand.

high school, college, my young adult life, my marriage, etc. ... things stand out obviously but i wish i had a better store of memories.

then, for some reason, i'm not sure why, i started keeping a journal, and even though sometimes i miss a couple of days or even a week at a time, when i sit down i find i can retrieve the general train of events. it's going on 19 years now.

and here's the thing. sometimes i idly scroll through the journals, and i'm always shocked to see something i had completely forgot, or remembered wrong. which is doubly troubling, because now how can i trust what i 'remember' from my unrecorded life — or even a couple of days ago if i didn't write it down?
   44. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: July 17, 2019 at 07:21 PM (#5862736)
and here's the thing. sometimes i idly scroll through the journals, and i'm always shocked to see something i had completely forgot, or remembered wrong. which is doubly troubling, because now how can i trust what i 'remember' from my unrecorded life — or even a couple of days ago if i didn't write it down?


At least you believe what you wrote down. In his podcast Revisionist History, Malcom Gladwell did an episode called "Free Brian Williams" where he explored how memory really works as opposed to how people think it works, and he cited examples of people in memory studies recanting some episode in their life, and then being shown what they wrote in a journal at the time which gives a different account, and insisting their memory was correct and that someone altered or forged the journal.

That's just how memory works. Despite your feeling that your memory being different from your contemporaneous notes is troubling, it's not. It's normal. Don't sweat it.
   45. Misirlou doesn't live in the restaurant Posted: July 17, 2019 at 07:27 PM (#5862739)
One of the watershed baseball memories of my childhood/adolesence, was the 23-22 Phillies-Cubs game in 1979. Until retrosheet came along, I would have bet my life savings that Mike Schmidt hit 4 HR that day, and when I first saw it on Retrosheet, I didn't believe it.
   46. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: July 18, 2019 at 08:49 AM (#5862801)
I’ve thought about starting to keep a journal. Have been reading a number of memoirs lately and I’m always amazed at how people can remember these details, then at some point they mention their journals and it all makes sense (I also realize they do a lot more than that—going back and talking to other people who were there, etc.). I think the act of keeping a journal also aids in memory. I know for me, my memory of trips has been greatly enhanced ever since I started creating photo albums from them, even if I never go back and look at the albums afterwards.
   47. Cris E Posted: July 18, 2019 at 10:44 AM (#5862836)
I'm afraid if I had kept a journal in my youth it all would have looked like the worst of Brent Kavanaugh's: Beer at Squee's 3:00

   48. Hank Gillette Posted: July 18, 2019 at 02:39 PM (#5862945)
I think the act of keeping a journal also aids in memory.


It works for dreams. I normally forget my dreams within minutes of waking up. A few years ago, I had a very vivid dream about my third-grade sweetheart (she moved away after third grade, and I never saw her again). The dream was so vivid that it woke me up, and the subject was so interesting to me (in the dream, I was meeting her for the first time as an adult), that I got out of bed and wrote down everything I remembered about the dream. Now, I can still remember the dream, athough I am not sure whether I actually remember the dream, or just remember what I wrote down.
   49. The usual palaver and twaddle (Met Fan Charlie) Posted: July 18, 2019 at 03:53 PM (#5862985)
Edit: I'm a doofus.
   50. Cris E Posted: July 18, 2019 at 04:02 PM (#5862997)
So are you going to start stalking her? It's the obvious next step.
   51. bobm Posted: July 28, 2019 at 11:18 PM (#5865883)
Interesting article in Nature about forgetting as an important part of memory. (The ability of people like Henner to remember events from their lives in great detail (HSAM) may actually be a deficiency in controlled forgetting.)

[...] “Our ability to generalize new experiences is, at least in part, due to the fact that our brains engage in controlled forgetting,” says Blake Richards, who studies neural circuits and machine learning at the University of Toronto Scarborough. Richards suggests that the brain’s ability to forget might prevent an effect known as overfit: in the field of artificial intelligence, this is defined as when a mathematical model is so good at matching the data it has been programmed with that it is unable to predict which data might come next.

In a similar way, if a person were to remember every detail from an event such as a dog attack — that is, not just the sudden movement that scared the dog at the park, causing it to snarl and bite, but also the dog’s floppy ears, the colour of its owner’s T-shirt and the angle of the Sun — it might be more difficult for them to generalize across experiences to prevent themselves being bitten again in the future. “If you wash out a few details but retain the gist, it helps you to use it in novel situations,” Richards says. “It’s entirely possible that our brain engages in a bit of controlled forgetting in order to prevent us from overfitting to our experiences.”

Studies of people with exceptional autobiographical memories or with impaired ones seem to bear this out. People with a condition known as highly superior autobiographical memory (HSAM) remember their lives in such incredible detail that they can describe the outfit that they were wearing on any particular day. But despite their exceptional ability to recall such information, these individuals tend not to be particularly accomplished and seem to have an increased tendency for obsessiveness, “which is exactly what you’d predict from someone who can’t extract themselves from specific instances”, says Brian Levine, a cognitive neuroscientist at the Rotman Research Institute at Baycrest Health Sciences in Toronto.

Those with severely deficient autobiographical memory (SDAM), however, are unable to vividly recall specific events in their lives. As a result, they also have trouble imagining what might happen in the future. Yet in Levine’s experience, people with SDAM tend to do particularly well in jobs that require abstract thinking — probably because they are not weighed down by the nitty-gritty. “We think SDAM people, through a lifetime of practice of not having episodic memory, have an ability to cut across episodes,” Levine says. “They’re good at solving problems.” [...]

By better understanding how we forget, through the lenses of both biology and cognitive psychology, Anderson and other researchers might be edging nearer to improving treatments for anxiety, PTSD and even Alzheimer’s disease. [...]
   52. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: July 29, 2019 at 10:55 AM (#5865947)
Thanks for posting bobm, interesting stuff.
   53. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: July 29, 2019 at 03:45 PM (#5866098)
You should all journal. I keep a very very brief online journal.

It is amazing how re-reading a one sentence entry from 7 years ago can bring back a huge amount of detailed memory. Or at least a memory that I think is accurate but probably not. But still fun memories.
   54. Hysterical & Useless Posted: July 29, 2019 at 05:34 PM (#5866148)
You should all journal.

Well I was going to, but now I can't!

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(46 - 12:43am, Aug 24)
Last: Walt Davis

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