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[Intro music plays]
Andrew: Because your two favorite co-hosts are not on the show this week – you can guess who – this is MuggleCast Episode 79 for March 4th, 2007.
[Music continues to play]
Laura: So, hey, did you guys hear that Michael Gambon is having a baby?
Ben: So he's pregnant?
Laura: [laughs] Yeah, sure, Ben.
[Ben and Laura laugh]
Micah: Awww. Congratulations, Laura.
Laura: [laughs] Hey!
Ben: [laughs] Ohhh.
Laura: [laughs] Uhh...
Ben: Laura and Dumbledore, whoo!
Laura: I hate you.
Laura: No, I read on IMDB that he – his like 40 year old girlfriend is having a baby in May.
Ben: But what's up with Michael Gambon, lately? He's been saying some pretty, uh – some pretty crazy things. Did you hear what he said about Dan in Equus?
[Eric and Laura laugh]
Laura: Or more importantly about...
Eric: He's said...
Laura: ...something of Dan's.
[Ben and Laura laugh]
Ben: Yeah. He said – here's the exact quote. "He's growing up. He's a proper theater actor now. He's naked in this thing, so all the girls will go out and see it. I'd be frightened running around the stage with nothing on at all. When you stop running, one thing keeps moving. I bet he didn't think of that."
[Ben, Eric, and Laura laugh]
Eric: I can't – I don't believe this guy!
Laura: No, I love Michael Gambon. I think he's funny. I like him a lot.
Ben: [laughs] Yeah.
Laura: He's very upfront and honest, and I think that's cool.
Eric: He did so well to be such a kind, gentle father figure, especially in Goblet of Fire, that I think he should have a kid. Yes, that will be very lovely...
Ben: Yeah. [laughs]
Eric: Because he's such a calm and kind old, old man. You just...
Eric: ...he is not the kind of guy you imagine would just punch your face in, or something, but...
Laura: Now wait a second, Eric. Are you telling me that your parents didn't throw you into the trophy case? Because mine always did.
Micah: Well, that actually explains a lot.
Ben: Okay, [laughs] welcome back to the show everybody. I'm Ben Schoen.
Eric: I am Eric Scull.
Laura: I'm Laura Thompson.
Micah: I'm Micah Tannenbaum.
Ben: And joining us this week, he's a wizard rock all-star. We're very, very lucky to have him here: Alex Carpenter from The Remus Lupins. Say, "Hi," Alex...
Alex: Hey, what's up?
Ben: [laughs] Yeah. Now, Alex, this is probably the number one question you get asked, but I want you to explain once and for all on our podcast...
Alex: Why do you love Ben Schoen? I know. I get it a lot...
Ben: Well, no, besides that one – I think the answer is pretty obvious, good looks, the charm.
Ben: We don't need to continue – we'll stop – we'll just stop there. [laughs]
Alex: What's the question, Ben?
Laura: Yes, please.
Eric: Are we talking about the same Ben Schoen? What?
Ben: Oh, shut up. Shut up.
Ben: No, I'm just joking. So, Alex, why are you called The Remus Lupins? Why is it plural? The Remus Lupins. I mean, there is only one of you, right?
Alex: Because Remus Lupin is a bad name for a band, so I made it The Remus Lupins. No, I just like bands that are called "The Somethings," so I decided to make fun of that by taking a singular character and making it plural. If I'd known...
Ben: So what are...
Alex: ...I'd get this many questions about it, I wouldn't have done it.
Ben: You wouldn't have done it.
[Alex, Ben, and Eric laugh]
Ben: Well, that's awesome. So, you're on tour – you just got back from being on tour, right?
Alex: Yeah. I was just out on a week-long tour of the northeast, which was a lot of fun. I got back and immediately started planning my summer tour. So, I got tour on the brain, it's exciting.
Ben: Hmmm. Yeah, I just kind of pulled Alex in here at the last second because you know Jamie, guys, he - he bailed on you. He didn't have time for us this week, so...
Eric: Oh, that's okay.
Ben: ...Alex gracefully stepped in.
Alex: Well, since Jamie and I are basically the same person, anyway. So, I mean.
Ben: Yeah, I mean, practically...
Ben: You're British and...
Ben: And – yeah. [laughs]
Alex: He's better at badminton than I am, but...
Ben: [laughs] Yeah.
[Music continues to play]
Ben: Without further ado, let's go to Micah Tannenbaum for a look at this past week's news stories.
Micah: A new report by Variety discusses what is expected to be the biggest summer in film history. Veronika Kwan-Rubinek, Warner Bros' international prexy of distribution, talked about Order of the Phoenix, just one of the major flicks coming out this summer. She said:
"The opening date is not an obvious choice on the domestic side, but it really does put our best foot forward internationally. With 'Harry Potter,' we're going day and date everywhere except in the Middle East and a few minor markets, because most are going to be in holidays at that point."
With so many tentpoles, the battle for screens will be intense. She went on to say, "We'll have between 6,000 and 7,000 on 'Ocean's' and over 10,000 on 'Harry' but that's going to be a challenge because there are so many incredible films coming."
In other Harry Potter film news, Dame Maggie Smith, who plays Professor McGonagall, mentioned her return to West End stage in an interview, and also how the first Potter film is her favorite.
Daniel Radcliffe has signed on for the last two Potter films. A publicist for the Harry Potter actor has confirmed that he will reprise his role in both Half-Blood Prince and Deathly Hallows. He is set to begin shooting Movie 6 in September. There is currently no word on whether Rupert Grint or Emma Watson will return for the last two films, but Rupert has already expressed a desire to do so.
March 1st was World Book Day, and a poll has been conducted to find the ten books readers can't live without. Harry Potter made the fourth spot on the list, with 12% of the vote. The top three include Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen,Lord of the Rings by JRR Tolkien, and Jane Eyre by Charlotte Bronte.
Equus opened earlier this week in London, where it was greeted with enormous enthusiasm and praise. Daniel Radcliffe in particular received a standing ovation at the end of the performance, and many celebrity guests commented positively on his role.
Finally, the Scottish Medicines Consortium will deny patients of a drug which combats an aggressive form of Multiple Sclerosis, ahead of a debate on the drug. The reason being that it's too costly – £15,000 sterling a year per patient. The decision also means doctors must apply to the health board in each individual case for funding of the drug. Well, what does this have to do with Harry Potter? Jo Rowling, who lost her mother to the disease and is the patron of the MS Society of Scotland, has condemned the SMC's decision. She said, "I know from personal experience that MS can have a devastating effect on everyone who comes in contact with it. My mother suffered terribly with MS and it was so frustrating that there was little or nothing doctors could do to help her.
"If a drug can help tackle MS – particularly the very aggressive type of relapsing MS we are talking about – it should not be ruled out because of cost alone."
"Once again, decisions about treatment are being made by accountants rather than clinicians. I hope MSPs will speak up on behalf of the thousands of families affected by MS across Scotland."
That's all the news for this March 4th, 2007 edition of MuggleCast, back to the show.
Ben: Thanks for that, Micah. So, before we – [laughs] so, before we move onto our announcements, there are a few things, new things we saw this week that Micah mentioned in his news. Like some new pics of Wormtail, the Thestrals, Grawp, and Harry in Umbridge's class. Now, what did you guys think of the Thestrals? Were they what you imagined in – originally, what you envisioned?
Laura: No. To be perfectly honest, they weren't. I always imagined them to be a lot darker and more skeletal-like. I almost sort of imagined that their ribcage was clearly visible and that wasn't really what I saw in that picture. It was a lot different.
Eric: Wait a minute, Laura. Are we – have we seen the same pictures? Because I saw something that looked pretty much like a dragon, with like a really large ribcage.
Laura: Well, yeah, it looked like it – I don't know. It looked, I thought too...
Eric: It was like an ostrich, like, bird-like.
Laura: Yeah, I thought it looked too reptilian.
Ben: I don't know – I don't know if we got a good enough look at it, because, you know, it's a pretty small picture, so...
Laura: Yeah, I know. But...
Eric: It's all these pictures that – what exactly, do we know what's going on with that, as far as HarryLatino and DanLatino? Has Warner Brothers not put an end to their constant release of these low quality images? I mean, if...
Ben: Well, I don't know what's going on. I think – I think maybe they stole a copy of HP Scene-It off the back of a truck in – in Latin America, [laughs] I guess.
Ben: In Mexico.
Eric: [laughs] In Mexico.
Ben: I mean, I don't know how else they're getting all these pictures, but...
Eric: And, and, and Warner Brothers usually like – sometimes, when smaller quality images are released, they'll be like, "Okay, you know, we give. You caught us." And then they'll give us the high qualities, but we've only – we don't have that many high qualities so far, but yet we keep seeing these, these scenes that are – of even – you know, even the new one of Tonks and it's just, I'm waiting for a...
Eric: ...for a high-res, you know? Because it's just – and without ads.
Ben: Well, they're not going to do that with everything.
Micah: Where do these Thestrals pictures come from, though? Because they look cartoonish, in a way.
Ben: Yeah, that – that's – I don't know. That's interesting.
Micah: The same thing with Grawp; it was more cartoonish than things that we've seen in the past.
Laura: Almost like a concept picture?
Micah: Right, right.
Ben: Right, almost like a – yeah, a concept picture. Good name for it. [laughs] Now, did you guys see the Harry and the Weasley twins, and Umbridge? I mean, they can definitely tell that's authentic.
Ben: What do you think? I think Imelda Staunton is going to be great. I mean...
Laura: Oh, I think so, too.
Eric: I can't wait to see it.
Ben: She just has the look. She has the look, I think.
Laura: I think she definitely...
Ben: Like, when I...
Laura: ...has it down.
Ben: When I used to think of Umbridge, I kind of used to think of Professor Sprout, for some reason, like that look...
Ben: ...of the person in the movie, that's what I used to think of, except like a mean version.
Ben: And I think Imelda is going to do really well. Alex, have you seen the photos?
Alex: I haven't. I was actually just trying to find them right now because I felt bad...
Ben: Awww. [laughs]
Alex: ...but I'm sure they're awesome.
Ben: [laughs] You're sure they're awesome.
Alex: The Thestrals look a little conceptual, but I like the Umbridge look. She's really got it down.
Ben: Yeah, I agree.
Alex: Nothing? Okay.
Micah: Young, Wormtail looks good, too. I think that picture is really good.
Eric: Yeah, yeah. Micah, did you – uh, did your Umbridge have white hair? Did anybody's Umbridge have white hair?
Ben: Mine didn't. Mine had darker hair.
Laura: Because in the book it said she had brown hair. So...
Laura: ...my Umbridge has brown hair.
Eric: Well, I'm a rebel of the books. [laughs]
Laura: Yeah. [laughs]
Eric: I read and I say, "That isn't really how it is. She's just fooling."
Ben: But, as Micah said, the young Peter Pettigrew looks really good, too.
Eric: I don't know, do you like that?
Ben: I mean – yeah. I think this is definitely a picture from HP Scene-It. The way [laughs] – the way that thing looks. But, yeah, I think it looks exactly – it looks, you know, the resemblance between young Peter and, you know, Timothy Spall is pretty much uncanny. It looks really, really good.
Laura: Yeah, I think it looks really good, but I've never been a fan of the way that they did Wormtail in the movies. I thought that while, yes, in the books it did say that he had some rat-like features, they practically made him...
Eric: They completely overemphasized.
Laura: ...look like an overgrown rat. And that's one thing...
Laura: ...that I didn't like about it.
Ben: Well, they kind of do that with everybody, though. You know what I mean?
Laura: Yeah, I know.
Ben: Like, with Voldemort. With Voldemort, they kind of took...
Laura: The snake thing.
Ben: ...the snake imagery type thing to the max, so it seems like they did it with more than just Wormtail, but I think the Harry Potter movies have some of the best actors and actresses; there's no denying that. Particularly the adults.
Ben: And the kids have really progressed, also.
Ben: Now in news besides the movie, J.K. Rowling – you know, her battle with eBay – continues, and she sued them. She sued them.
Laura: Good for her.
Eric: She did.
Ben: Good for – [laughs] Now is there anything to talk about here? About her suing eBay?
Eric: Well, what do you guys think about illegal copies on eBay? And how she's standing up for it, and they don't really – What does that mean for eBay? Does that mean you can never get a Harry Potter book on eBay? Or...
Micah: Well, what constitutes illegal copies of her books? That's what I want to know.
Ben: Right. To me, it's either an e-book, because those have never been officially released, or it's that or I think it's a fake signed copy. And I think that's why a lot of celebrities aren't apt to sign autographs anymore, because they'll have someone who comes in and says – who gets an autographed copy, and then they sell it. They turn around and sell it, you know? And that's why a lot of times they actually require personalization. Because if they don't, then someone's going to try to make a quick buck off of it. And that's something Jo battles, too.
Alex: You just have them make it out to eBay. Just cut through the middleman.
Ben: Yeah, "Dear eBay."
Alex: "Dear eBay..."
Ben: Yeah [laughs]. Yeah, in other news, J.K. Rowling also spoke out about Multiple Sclerosis, because there was a drug that's really costly. And it's about $30,000 a year...
Ben: ...per patient. That's £15,000, so...
Ben: ...$30,000 or so a year per patient, and I guess they said that it can't be sold anymore. Is this right?
Laura: I don't think it ever was sold, at least not widely.
Ben: Well, I mean, I guess it won't be given to patients anymore.
Ben: Despite its effect on MS, or anything like that, it's just – because it's so expensive.
Ben: I bet they have universal health care over there. That's what the problem is.
Laura: What they're going to have to do is appeal to whoever – I'm not sure who you have to appeal to, but doctors will have to...
Micah: They have to appeal to a health board.
Laura: Yeah, for specific cases, so not everybody who is going to need it is going to get it.
Ben: Yeah. And JK – and Jo said that, "I know from personal experience that MS can have a devastating effect on everyone who comes into contact with it. My mother suffered terribly with MS and it was so frustrating that there was little or nothing doctors could do to help her.
"If a drug can help tackle MS – particularly the very aggressive type of relapsing MS we are talking about – it should not be ruled out because of cost alone. Once again, decisions about treatment are being made by accountants rather than clinicians, and I hope MSPs will speak up on behalf of the thousands of families affected by MS across Scotland."
Well said. I mean, personally, I've seen the effects of this disease, and it's someone that's sort of close to me. My high school History teacher – he has MS, and it's just weird to see how much he's deteriorated over the past few years. You know...
Ben: ...and I mean, Jo has a – she likes to speak out for worthy causes, so I agree with her here. And particularly something that's really close to her, like her mother having it, you know?
Ben: Hopefully she can have some impact down in Scotland. Because, you know, that's really not fair; it's just money. Well, that wraps up our news discussion.
Ben: Now, we have some announcements this week. First of all, quickly, vote for us on Podcast Alley. We want to be number one. It's always fun.
Micah: New month.
Ben: New month. Yeah, that's right. It is a new month. It's March now. So go ahead and vote for us on Podcast Alley. Now, also coming up in March – you know how we wrote that book? Mugglenet.Com's What Will Happen in Harry Potter 7: Who Lives, Who Dies, and How the Adventure Will Finally End.
Laura: Who falls in love!
Ben: Sorry, sorry. That's in there, too. "Who Falls in Love" is also in there, so don't forget. We already did a few events. We did two in the Chicago area – actually, there have been three in the Chicago area, and we have more coming up. And so I have a few dates for you. For those of you near Woodmere, Ohio, Emerson and I will be there on Monday, March 12th. We don't have a specific time yet, but if you call that store they will have a time very soon. For those of you near Exton, Pennsylvania on Wednesday, March 14th, we will be having an event there, so come out. We'll – there'll be MuggleNet stickers. That's a promise. Everyone gets a MuggleNet sticker, and we'll be giving away some free t-shirts, things like that. And, finally, on Saturday, March 17th, at Carle Place, New York. I believe that's on Long Island. Micah, is that near you?
Micah: Yeah, it is.
Ben: How close is that to you?
Micah: Not too far, why? Who's going to be there? Are you going to be there?
Ben: Yeah, we're going to be there. Emerson and I...
Laura: Oh, well, then...
Ben: ...are going to be there.
Laura: ...Micah's not going to go.
Ben: Micah, you're welcome to come out, man.
Micah: Yeah, sure. No, I'll be there.
Ben: That would be great. Yeah, then we can go mess around in the city, or something, afterwards. But, anyways – yeah, so there's three events that are confirmed at this time. We have two more. There's going to be one in the Chicago area, or probably in the Chicago area, or Detroit, or somewhere in Ohio. We haven't decided the locations, it's all being worked out, so check back next week. Or check the websites sometime this week, because we're going to be officially announcing dates. And then sometime between Ohio – excuse me. Sometime between the Pennsylvania event on the 14th, and the event in New York City on the 17th, there will be another event, probably in the Boston area, so keep your eye out on MuggleNet.com for an announcement regarding events. So, yeah, it's going to be fun...
Eric: You guys came in number four, didn't you? Yeah, on the New York Times.
Ben: Yeah, number four in the New York Times best seller list. So, it's all because of you. [Whispers] All of you.
Alex: Wait, what? Number four – really?
Ben: On the children's best seller list.
Alex: Oh, okay. Children's. Okay. Sorry. I'm surprised you...
Ben: Oh, now he's disappointed.
Alex: I'm surprised that...
Eric: Oh! Oh!
Alex: ...you haven't bragged to me about that, yet.
Ben: Well – well, tell me, Alex. Where’s your album on the Billboard top 100?
Alex: On the Wizard Rock Billboard Charts?
Ben: Yeah, is it number one? That’s what I heard.
Alex: [laughs] Probably not.
Ben: Is it still called – is the one called Confessions from a Broken Wand?
Alex: It’s Spells From a Broken Wand, but close, yeah.
Ben: Oh, sorry.
[Eric, Alex, Ben and Micah laugh]
Alex: No, I’m not trying to up you, man. I'm not trying to outsell you.
Ben: Hey, yeah, speaking of which, go to Myspace.com/TheRemusLupins, is that right?
Alex: Yeah, it’s even easier. You can go to FightEvilReadBooks.com. It’ll direct you.
Eric: That’s such a good, you know, domain name to have.
Ben: So, go out and purchase Alex’s album, if you haven’t already. We want to support the guy; he’s a good wizard rocker, so go out and purchase Alex’s album. Also, another announcement we have. We have a project coming up soon; I’m just going to tease you about this. It’s for the fans. It’s going to be awesome. There’s some exclusive content involved, maybe some merchandise-type thing, so keep your eye out for that. It’s coming in the next few weeks. You’re going to love it. Finally...
Andrew: Jamie and I have interrupted the show for a special...
Jamie: News bulletin.
Jamie: No, a new bulletin. Because you have to say that, because, in America, they always say, “We interrupt this program for a special news bulletin.”
Andrew: No, you’re wrong. You’re wrong.
Jamie: No, no.
Andrew: They say either “Breaking news” or “Newsflash.”
Jamie: Well, I’m sorry, Andrew.
Andrew: We don’t use that silly word “bulletin.” That’s only on MySpace.
Jamie: Well, I’m sorry, Andrew, but I’ve seen Dexter’s Lab, and it says it all the time on their TV, so you’re wrong.
Andrew: Well, “Dexter’s Lab” is from the '90s.
Andrew: And we’re in the twentieth – 21st Century, so. Come on.
Jamie: Okay, sorry.
Andrew: Anyway, Jamie, we have a big announcement about England.
Jamie: A huge announcement. Yes. [pauses] Shall I do it? [laughs]
Andrew: Tell us more! [laughs]
Jamie: Well, I thought that pretty much summed it up, but...
Andrew: Yeah, that’s it.
Jamie: ... with a couple more details, maybe.
Jamie: Just a few. Okay.
Andrew: Well, a couple of weeks ago, we asked people to send in their RSVPs if they’d be interested in coming to some sort of meet-up in London on St. Patrick’s Day, March 17th, and we got a lot of requests.
Andrew: Got a lot of RSVPs, and we’ve been looking into some details. We’ve been working on something, and we have a fun thing.
Jamie: We do. Well, first of all, we were thinking of having just a casual, you know, park meet-up, get some food, blah, blah, blah. But then we thought, “Well, what’s the point in that when we can make it even bigger, even better and stuff like that?” So, what we decided to do was look up elsewhere for a conference room or a meeting room or something like that, where we could have a live podcast, and then follow it up with a sort of Meet and Greet and giveaways and stuff like that. So, what we’ve come up with is, we’re going to have an afternoon of Harry Potter-filled fun at the School of Oriental and African Studies, which has two campuses and it’s going to have it on one of these campuses. And basically, we’re going to start off in the afternoon with a one-and-a-half-hour podcast in a lecture theatre, and then we’re going to move from there into a function room and we’re all going to stand around and chat and talk about Harry Potter and we’re going to have giveaways and fun and prizes and all that kind of thing until 6 p.m.
Andrew: And clowns.
Jamie: And clowns. Nice clowns, not...
Andrew: [scoffs] Jamie’s the clown! [mockingly laughs]
Jamie: ...evil clowns, yeah, and all these kind of things and it’s going to be absolutely fantastic, and it’s strictly limited to 150 people. So, if you’d like to come, please e-mail mcmeetup at gmail dot com with your name, telephone number, address, and how many people you would like to come, up to a maximum of four people, please. Please note, only e-mail this if you definitely would like to come, because we need to know exact numbers. The cost per person is two pounds. Complete details will be posted on the site, including a map of how to get there and all the times and stuff like that, and it’s going to be absolutely brilliant, so – and we look forward to seeing all of you there. So, please think on it and only e-mail if you’re definitely coming, okay? Thank you very much.
Andrew: If you do have a question, don’t e-mail mcmeetup, e-mail jamie at staff dot mugglenet dot com, and then he can address your concerns. If you have to – we’ve gotten a couple of RSVPs saying you have to bring a parent; that’s fine. You know, bring a couple friends, limit four people as Jamie said. Seriously it’s going to be a lot of fun and if you live in the UK, we highly, highly recommend that you come on down for an [in an enthusiastic voice] afternoon of fun.
Jamie: Yep. Afternoon of fun. Sorry, I just said [in American accent] “afternoon of fun” following you, but, yeah, in addition to what he said, it’s an extremely central location over a nice, old building in London, and we’ve got a great podcast planned and all that kind of stuff. So, you know, please do come along, but, as Andrew says, do not e-mail questions to mcmeetup, because they wll be ignored. Please send them to jamie at staff and only e-mail mcmeetup if you are definitely coming, and all names with be checked against a list, so please don’t be naughty and turn up without e-mailing first.
Andrew: Naughty, naughty.
Andrew: And again, get all the details on MuggleCast.com if you missed anything, and all you English chaps, we hope to see you there.
Andrew: Now back to our regularly scheduled program.
Jamie: Bye bye.
Ben: Speaking of Andrew, it’s weird not hearing his voice. He’s not here this week. Actually, he didn’t want anybody to know this, but he’s in his school’s production of Equus, playing Alan. Yeah. Isn’t that right, you guys? He’s playing Alan.
Laura: Yeah, I believe so.
Alex: Hey, Ben, I heard he’s getting rave reviews also. So...
Ben: Yeah, I mean – I heard he got a standing ovation too. So...
Eric: So, what’s going to happens is he’s going to meet up with Dan and they’re going to have, like, a dance-off or, like, a standing-with-horse-off?
Eric: And it’s going to be amazing.
Ben: So yeah, so stop by Andrew’s high school - Shawnee High School, Friday, March 23rd, March 24th. You can see Andrew in the buff, and I mean in the buff, for those of you who already haven’t, of course.
Micah: I actually have a note from him here, Ben.
Ben: Oh, really?
Micah: Would you mind if I read it? Do you want to -?
Ben: Go ahead.
Micah: This is from Andrew to all of his loyal fans. He says, "I’m deeply sorry for not being on the show this week. I'm very busy pursuing my life-long dream of becoming an actor. Hopefully someday, you'll all see my name in lights. Stay at a place called Vertigo. Andrew. P.S. Next week, I'll have video up of the suitcase destruction."
So, he really is...
Ben: Our fearless leader.
Micah: ... pursuing the acting...
Laura: But much to the disappointment of the fangirls, there won't be video up from his performance.
Ben: Well, I don't know. I'm going to sneak some on YouTube. That's for sure. [laughs]
Laura: [laughs] Are you going, Ben?
Ben: Yeah! Of course I'll be there!
Laura: Front row, right? [laughs]
Ben: Front row. I mean, it's nothing I haven't already seen before, so [laughs] no big deal. I'm just kidding, people. Andrew is not really in Equus. We've got to end this now, before I get an e-mail saying, "I went to Andrew's high school on the 23rd! There was nobody there!"
Eric: [laughs] And it was...
Ben: "Where was Andrew? I wanted to see him naked!" [laughs]
Eric: "It was Grease!" No. Okay.
Ben: [laughs] Yeah.
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