Bob stick

Abstract

The present invention is a batting aid, and methods of making and using the batting aid. The invention is a highly shock absorbent, lightweight, portable batting aid, which is inexpensive to make, and provides an easy, fatigue-resistant use. The invention comprises a composite apparatus consisting of all shock-absorbent lightweight components, comprising a handle at one end and a golf-size ball at the other. The result of the shock absorbency properties, negligible weight, and arrangement of the parts of the invention is that, while grasping the invention by the handle, while the ball is being repeatedly hit with the bat, the user will not experience fatigue from the weight of the apparatus or repeated impacts of the bat. The invention is small and lightweight enough to fit inside the typical batting bag. Another advantage is that to use this invention, the user merely grasps the apparatus by the handle, holding the apparatus in one position, thereby reducing fatigue of the user which would result from having to swing the apparatus.

Claims

1 . A batting aid, comprising: a. a hollow handle, comprising: i. a first and second end; ii. made of a shock absorbent material, iii. a diameter and length of the handle being small enough so that the hand of an average adult could wrap around the handle; b. a hollow hose, comprising: i. a first and second end; ii. made of a shock absorbent material; iii. an outside diameter being smaller than the inside diameter of the handle; iv. a length being approximately equal to the length of the handle; c. a hollow plastic pipe, comprising: i. a first and second end; ii. made of a shock absorbent material; iii. an outside diameter being smaller than the inside diameter of the hose; iv. a length being around 2 to 3 feet; d. a spring, comprising: i. a first and second end; ii. an outside diameter being smaller than the inside diameter of the pipe; iii. a length being anywhere from around 3 to 5 inches; e. a flexible plastic tube, comprising: i. a first and second end; ii. made of a shock absorbent material; iii. an outside diameter being smaller than the inside diameter of the spring; iv. a length being between approximately 12 to 18 inches; f. a rope, comprising: i. a first and second end; ii. made of a shock absorbent material; iii. a diameter being smaller than the inside diameter of the plastic tube; iv. a first knot at the first rope end; v. a second knot at the second rope end; vi. a length being longer than the plastic tube length by no more than a couple to a few inches; g. a light weight ball, selected from the group (yellow foam, holed wiffle, or solid dimpled), comprising; i. a hole bored through the ball's center; wherein: (1) the hole being larger than the diameter of the rope but smaller than the knot at the rope ends; h. a bead, comprising: i. a diameter being larger than the inside diameter of the spring; ii. a hole bored through the bead's center, wherein, (1) the hole being larger than the rope diameter but smaller than the knots at the rope ends; i. two pieces of tape; j. two pieces of shrink tube; the hose being completely inserted into the handle, the first end of the pipe being inserted into the hose approximately flush with the hose first end, the first spring end being partially inserted into the second pipe end, the first plastic tube end being inserted partially into the second spring end, the first rope end being inserted into the second plastic tube end through the plastic tube and spring, protruding out of the first spring end, the bead being inserted into the rope between the first rope knot and the first spring end, the ball being inserted into the rope between the second tube end and the second knot end, a piece of tape being wrapped around the spring and plastic tube overlap, and another piece of tape being wrapped around the spring and pipe overlap, a piece of shrink tube being wrapped around each piece of tape. 2 . a batting aid as described in claim 1 , comprising: glue inserted between the hose and handle, between the hose and pipe, between the pipe and spring, and between the spring and tube; the purpose of the glue being to prevent the separation of components. 3 . a lightweight, portable batting aid, small enough to fit into the typical baseball batting carrying bag, the batting aid comprising: a. a hollow rubberized molded handle, comprising: i. a length of 4½ inches; ii. an inside diameter of ⅞ of an inch; iii. a circular cap at one handle end, the handle cap comprising: (1) a thickness of ¾ of an inch; iv. a flange at the other handle end; v. and a handle grip, including; (1) raised ribs designed to absorb shock transferred to the handle; b. a black hollow hose, the hose comprising: i. a length of 4 inches, ii. an outside diameter of 6/8 of an inch, iii. made of a rubberized material capable of absorbing shock transferred to the hose; the hose inserted into the handle through the flanged handle end until the hose contacts the handle cap; c. a, CPVC pipe comprising: i. an outside diameter of ⅝ of an inch; ii. an inside diameter of ½ of an inch; iii. a length of 2 feet and 7 inches; the pipe inserted into the handle through the flanged handle end inside the hose until the pipe contacts the handle cap, d. a joggled spring, comprising: i. a length of 3⅜ inches; ii. a joggled end, comprising: (1) a length of 1 inch; (2) an outside diameter of 7/16 of an inch; (3) an inside diameter of 5/16 of an inch; iii. a non-joggled end, comprising: (1) a length of 2⅜ inches; (2) an outside diameter of ½ inch; (3) an inside diameter of ⅜ of an inch; with the joggled end of the spring inserted into the pipe end not inserted into the handle, until the pipe contacts the non-joggled portion of the spring; e. a flexible polyethylene tube, comprising: i. 14 inches in length; ii. an outside diameter of ⅜ of an inch; iii. an inside diameter of ¼ of an inch; iv. a working pressure of 120 psi at 70 degrees Fahrenheit; one end of the polyethylene tube inserted into the non-joggled spring end until the polyethylene tube contacts the joggled portion of the spring; f. a nylon braided rope, comprising: i. 18 inches in length; ii. a slip knot at each end, comprising: (1) a diameter of 7/16 of an inch; iii. a diameter of ⅛ of an inch; with one end of the rope inserted in and through the polyethylene tube, in and through the spring, where one of the slip knots protrudes out of the joggled spring end; being that the length of the rope is longer than the polyethylene tube, the other end of the rope protrudes out of the polyethylene tube end not inserted into the spring; g. a bead, comprising: i. a diameter of 7/16 of an inch; ii. a ⅜ of an inch hole through the bead center; with the bead inserted through the rope between the joggled spring end and the slip knot protruding out of the joggled spring end; h. a golf size, light weight ball, selected from the group (yellow foam, holed wiffle, or solid dimpled), the ball comprising: i. a ⅜ inch hole through the center of the ball; i. two flanged bearings, sized to fit inside the hole through the ball at both ends of the ball; the ball with the two bearings inserted therewith is inserted at the end of the rope protruding out of the polyethylene tube, the ball inserted between the polyethylene tube and the knot at the end of the rope protruding out of the polyethylene tube; j. a nylon washer sized to fit around the rope; with the washer inserted through the rope end, with the knot tied around the washer at the rope end inserted through the ball; k. two rubberized, seal wrap, repair tapes; each comprising: i. a length of 2 inches; ii. a width of 1 inch, with the first tape wrapped lengthwise around the non-joggled portion of the spring and the polyethylene tube, with the center of the short side of the first tape at the point of overlap between the polyethylene tube and the non-joggled portion of the spring; with the second tape wrapped lengthwise around the non-joggled portion of the spring and pipe, with the middle of the short side of the second tape at the point of contact between the non-joggled spring and the pipe; l. two electrical shrink tubes, each comprising: i. a length of 1 inch; ii. a width of ¾ of an inch; with the first electrical shrink tube lengthwise wrapped around the first repair tape; with the second electrical shrink tube wrapped lengthwise around the second repair tape. 4 . a method of using the batting aid described in claim 1 , comprising: a. the step of a user gripping the batting aid by the handle; b. the step of the user pointing the batting aid away from the user toward a nearby batter, with the ball of the batting aid hanging within the strike zone of the batter, while the batter is poised to swing a bat at the ball; c. the step of, while the user is performing the previous step, the user standing outside the path of the bat of the batter; d. the step of the batter swinging the bat at the ball; since the user is not in the path of the bat the user is not struck by the bat by virtue of the user being in the path of the bat. 5 . a method of using the batting aid described in claim 1 , comprising: a. the step of a batter connecting the handle to a piece of furniture, the furniture situated several feet away from any other furniture, walls, and obstructions; b. the step of the batter arranging the batting aid connected to the piece of furniture, so that the batting aid cantilevers somewhat horizontally, with the ball hanging several feet above the floor, with the batting aid pointing away from the piece of furniture to which the batting aid is connected; c. the step of the batter positioning himself to swing at the ball, the batter standing a distance from the ball, where the position of the ball is in the strike zone of the batter, and where the path of the batter's bat, upon the batter swinging at the ball, the path of the ball not coming into contact with any furniture, walls, and obstructions; d. the step of the batter swinging at the ball. 6 . a method of making the batting aid described in claim 1 , comprising: a. the step of inserting the pipe into the hose, until the hose is flush with the pipe end; b. the step of inserting the hose into the handle with the pipe in the hose; c. the step of the inserting the polyethylene tube into the non-joggled portion of the spring to where the polyethylene tube contacts the joggled portion of the spring; d. the step of inserting the rope into the polyethylene tube and through and out the joggled end of the spring; e. the step of inserting the end of the rope protruding out of the joggled end of the spring through the hole in the bead; f. the step of tying a slip knot into the rope end protruding out of the bead; g. the step of inserting the joggled end of the spring into the pipe to where the pipe contacts the non-joggled portion of the spring; h. the step of inserting the flange bearings into hole in the ball at both ends of the ball; i. the step of inserting the other end of the rope hanging out of the plastic tube through the hole in the ball inserted with the bearings; j. the step of tying a slip knot into the end of the rope protruding out of the ball; k. the step of lengthwise wrapping a piece of tape around the spring and polyethylene tube overlap; l. the step of lengthwise wrapping a piece of tape around the spring and pipe overlap; m. the step of lengthwise wrapping a piece of shrink tube around each piece of tape.
CROSS REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS [0001] See Application Data Sheet. [0002] Not Applicable [0003] Not Applicable BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION [0004] 1. Field of the Invention [0005] The present invention relates in general to an improved batting practice aid and methods of using and making the batting aid. The invention more particularly relates to a batting practice aid, the use of which is fatigue-resistant and easy, for professionals as well as little leaguers. The invention will be best understood by reference to the following discussion and the associated figures. [0006] 2. Description of Related Art [0007] Until recently batting practice was resigned to ball parks or training centers, or to sessions requiring a lot of effort on the part of the batting trainee or trainer. Batting tee's and other widely used batting machines required mounting the machines to the ground or structures and occupied a considerable amount of space. Consequently, such batting aids are still largely found in baseball or softball training centers. As a result, batting trainees for the most part could only access such batting aids at such facilities. [0008] However, the advent of portable batting aids liberated batting trainees from dependency on batting training centers for use of batting aids. The latest class of such portable batting aids are designed for private use by a batter or with the assistance of a second person. Examples of such aids include, the Hit-N-Stick, Hit2Win, and the device disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 6,435,989, all of which involve an apparatus comprising a handle and a ball, the size of a baseball or softball, connected by a sturdy bar. The usual weight of such apparatuses weigh several pounds. [0009] The main advantage to this class of batting aids is obvious-batters may use the aids almost anywhere. The disadvantages are several. First, for solo use of such devices the batter is restricted to places with sturdy structures. To use such batting aid solo, the batter must securely mount the device to a sturdy structure, because such devices transfer a great deal of impact to the proximal end of the device through the rod. Secondly, in lieu of mounting the portable batting aids, the devices had to be held by a sturdy person gripping the device securely, to withstand the impact transferred by the bat; thereby limiting the choice of people who could effectively assist the batter. [0010] Another disadvantage of the recited devices is that the devices require the user to swing the device across the strike zone of a trainee, repeatedly. Each time the user swings the ball across the strike zone, the batter attempts to swing at a baseball- or softball-size ball. The construction of these devices are lightweight enough to be held by an average user. And the devices possess some vibration absorption properties. However, the design of these and many other portable batting aids are not designed lightweight and shock-absorbent enough to prevent the fatigue experienced by a user, who is required to repeatedly swing a rod directly attached to a heavy baseball or softball, in one hand. All three of the devices cited are designed to be operated in one hand of the user. Invariably, the user's strength to operate such batting aids and assist the trainee is depleted through fatigue. And valuable batting practice time is lost. The present invention overcomes these recited disadvantages. The invention and manner of its use to overcome these disadvantages are described below. BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION [0011] The present invention is directed to a batting aid that overcomes these disadvantages. A batting aid having features of the present invention comprises a hollow handle made of a shock absorbent material, the diameter and length of the handle being small enough so that the hand of an average adult could wrap around the handle; a hollow hose, the outside diameter of which is smaller than the inside diameter of the handle, the length of the hose being approximately equal to the length of the handle; [0012] A hollow plastic pipe, the outside diameter of which being smaller than the inside diameter of the hose, the length of the pipe being around 2 to 3 feet; a spring, the outside diameter of which being smaller than the inside diameter of the pipe, the length of the spring being anywhere from around 3 to 5 inches; a flexible plastic tube, the outside diameter of which being smaller than the inside diameter of the spring, a plastic tube whose length being between approximately 12 to 18 inches; a rope, the diameter of which being smaller than the inside diameter of the plastic tube, the rope containing a knot at each end, the length of the rope being longer than the plastic tube by no more than a couple to a few inches; [0013] A golf-size, lightweight, shock-absorbent ball, selected from the group (yellow foam, holed wiffle, or solid dimpled), the ball containing a hole bored through its center larger than the rope but smaller than the knot at either end of the rope; a bead, the diameter of which being larger than the inside diameter of the spring, the bead containing a hole bored through the bead's center, the bead's hole being larger than the rope diameter but smaller than the knot at either end of the rope; two pieces of tape; and two pieces of shrink tube. [0014] The hose is completely inserted inside the handle. One end of the pipe is inserted into the hose approximately flush with the hose. The spring is partially inserted into the other end of the pipe. One end of the plastic tube is inserted partially into the other end of the spring. One end of the rope is inserted through the plastic tube and completely through and protruding out the other end of the spring. The bead is inserted into the rope between the knot at the end of the rope and the spring end. The other end of the rope hangs out of the other end of the plastic tube. This tube end hangs as well when a user holds the apparatus by the handle. The hanging end of the rope is inserted through the hole in the ball, where the ball is inserted between the hanging end of the tube and the knot. A piece of tape is wrapped around the spring and plastic tube overlap. And another piece of tape is wrapped around the spring and pipe overlap. And there is a piece of shrink tube wrapped around each piece of tape. [0015] The hollow handle, hose, plastic pipe, plastic tube, rope, bead, ball, tape, and shrink wrap are small, in length and thickness, and all are made of low density material and are hollow (except the rope which is nonetheless small in size). Consequently, the mass of the assembled apparatus is very light in weight. Therefore, a user may easily hold up the apparatus requiring little effort. [0016] Of significance is the relative sizes of the spring and bead, the knot in both ends of the rope, the holes in the ball and the bead. The bead is larger than the inside diameter of the spring, whereby the bead cannot pass through the spring. The knots at the end of the rope are larger than the holes in the bead and the ball, whereby the knotted rope ends cannot pass through the ball or the bead. When a batter hits the ball end of the apparatus, the ball presses against the knot at one end of the rope causing a tension in the rope which pulls the bead against the spring, causing the spring to compress. [0017] The spring compresses until the flexible tube and rope gives way moving transverse to the length of the rope. This combination of the flexible rope and flexible plastic tube moving transversely when hit by a bat and the spring compressing from the pressure of the bead and the tension in the rope created thereby absorbs virtually all of the impact of the bat hitting the ball and/or plastic tube. [0018] Consequently, whatever residual vibration from the impact which remains in the apparatus is small and virtually completely absorbed by the absorbent properties inherent in the other components. The result is that the user would not feel any vibration shock, each time the batter impacts the ball end of the apparatus. Thus, no fatigue would result from repeated impacts of the bat, and neither would fatigue result from the user wielding the apparatus, because the apparatus is so lightweight, and the user is not required to swing the apparatus. Therefore, using the present invention is fatigue-resistant not only for adult users, but also for much smaller and less strong children as well. BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE SEVERAL VIEWS OF THE DRAWINGS [0019] The above mentioned and other objects and features of this invention and the manner of attaining them will become apparent, and the invention itself will be best understood by reference to the following description of the embodiment of the invention in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, wherein: [0020] FIG. 1 is a exploded view of a batting aid, which is constructed in accordance with the present invention; [0021] FIGS. 2A and 2B are sectional views of the ball. [0022] FIGS. 3A and 3B are top and side views the flanged bearings. [0023] FIG. 4 is a plan view of the electrical shrink tube. [0024] FIG. 5 is a plan view of the seal wrap repair tape. [0025] FIG. 6 is a side view of the rope. [0026] FIGS. 7A and 7B are transverse and longitudinal views of the polyethylene tube. [0027] FIGS. 8A and 8B are transverse and longitudinal views of the spring. [0028] FIGS. 9A and 9B are transverse and longitudinal views of the hose. [0029] FIGS. 10A and 10B are transverse and longitudinal views of the pipe. [0030] FIGS. 11A and 11B are transverse and longitudinal views of the handle FIGS. 12A and 12B are sectional and holed views of the bead. [0031] FIG. 13 is a diagrammatical plan view of the batting aid of FIG. 1 illustrated in use with a batter and a user. [0032] FIG. 14 is a diagrammatical plan view of the batting aid of FIG. 1 illustrated in use with a batter. DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION [0033] The present invention is presented in FIG. 1 . Apparatus 41 is formed of a hollow rubberized molded handle 28 of a length of 4½ inches, an inside diameter of ⅞ of an inch; a circular handle cap 29 at one handle end; the handle cap 29 , comprising: a thickness of ¾ of an inch; a flanged handle end 26 ; and a handle grip 30 , including: raised ribs designed to absorb shock transferred to the handle 28 . The apparatus includes a black hollow hose 27 , the hose 27 comprising: a length of 4 inches, an outside diameter of 6/8 of an inch, made of a rubberized material capable of absorbing shock transferred to the hose 27 ; the hose inserted into the handle 28 through the flanged handle end 26 until the hose 27 contacts the handle cap 29 . [0034] The apparatus includes CPVC pipe 25 comprising: an outside diameter of ⅝ of an inch; an inside diameter of ½ of an inch; a length of 2 feet and 7 inches; the pipe end 38 inserted into the handle 28 through the flanged handle end 26 inside the hose 27 until the pipe 25 contacts the handle cap 29 . The apparatus includes a joggled spring 22 , comprising: a length of 3⅜ inches; a joggled end 24 , comprising: a length of 1 inch; an outside diameter of 7/16 of an inch; an inside diameter of 5/16 of an inch; a non-joggled end 42 , comprising: a length of 2⅜ inches; an outside diameter of ½ inch; an inside diameter of ⅜ of an inch; with the joggled end 24 of the spring inserted into the pipe end 37 , until the pipe 25 contacts the non-joggled end 24 . [0035] The apparatus includes a flexible polyethylene tube 18 , comprising: 14 inches in length; an outside diameter of ⅜ of an inch; an inside diameter of ¼ of an inch; a working pressure of 120 psi at 70 degrees Fahrenheit; with polyethylene tube end 32 inserted into the non-joggled spring end 42 until the polyethylene tube 18 contacts the joggled spring end 24 . The apparatus includes a nylon braided rope 13 , comprising: 18 inches in length; a slip knot 12 and 23 at rope end 33 and 34 respectively; with the rope 13 diameter of 7/16 of an inch; with both knots having diameters of ⅛ of an inch; rope end 34 inserted in and through the polyethylene tube 18 , in and through the spring 22 , where slip knot 23 protrudes out of the joggled spring end 24 ; being that the length of the rope 13 is longer than the polyethylene tube 18 , the rope end 33 protrudes out the polyethylene tube end 31 . [0036] The apparatus includes a bead 21 , comprising: a diameter of 7/16 of an inch; a ⅜ of an inch hole through the bead center; with the bead 21 inserted through the rope 13 between the joggled spring end 24 and the slip knot 23 . The apparatus includes a golf size, lightweight ball 15 , selected from the group (yellow foam, holed wiffie, or solid dimpled); the ball comprising: a ⅜ inch hole through the center of the ball; two flanged bearings 14 , sized to fit inside the hole through the ball 15 at both ends of the ball 15 ; the ball 15 with the two bearings 14 inserted therewith is inserted through the rope end 33 , the ball inserted between the polyethylene tube end 31 and the knot 12 . [0037] The apparatus includes a nylon washer (not shown) sized to fit around the rope 13 ; with the washer inserted through the rope end 33 , with knot 12 tied around the washer. The purpose of the washer with the rope tied around the washer as such is to facilitate ball replacement. Eventually, the ball will wear out and must be replaced. To do so, the user may easily unravel the knot from the washer. In the art of window blind making, makers utilize washers in this fashion at the end of the window blind ropes. [0038] The apparatus includes two rubberized, seal-wrap, repair tapes 20 ; each comprising: a length of 2 inches; a width of 1 inch; with the first tape 20 wrapped lengthwise around the non-joggled spring end 42 and polyethylene tube 18 overlap, with the center of the short side of the first tape 20 at the point of overlap between the polyethylene tube 18 and the non-joggled spring end 42 ; with the second tape 20 wrapped lengthwise around the joggled spring end 24 and pipe end 37 , with the middle of the short side of the second tape 20 at the point of contact between the non-joggled spring end 42 and the pipe end 37 . The purpose of the tapes 20 is to prevent the spring 22 from separating from the polyethylene tube 18 and the pipe 25 . [0039] The apparatus includes two electrical shrink tubes 19 , each comprising: a length of 1 inch; a width of ¾ of an inch; with the first electrical shrink tube 19 lengthwise wrapped around the first repair tape 20 ; with the second electrical shrink tube 19 wrapped lengthwise around the second repair tape 20 . The purpose of the shrink tubes 19 is to prevent the tapes 20 from unraveling. [0040] Still referring to FIG. 1 a method of making apparatus 41 , comprises: the step of placing glue on pipe end 38 , the step of inserting the pipe end 38 into the hose end 35 , until the hose end 36 is flush with the pipe end 38 ; the step of placing glue on the exterior surface of the hose 27 ; the step of inserting the hose 27 , inserted with pipe end 38 , into handle end 26 ; the step of inserting polyethylene tube end 32 into non-joggled spring end 42 to where polyethylene tube end 32 contacts joggled spring end 24 ; the step of inserting rope end 34 into the polyethylene tube end 31 through and out the joggled spring end 24 ; the step of inserting rope end 34 through the hole in bead 21 ; the step of tying slip knot 23 ; the step of inserting the joggled end of the spring 24 , out of which the bead protrudes, into pipe end 37 to where pipe end 37 contacts non-joggled spring end 42 ; the step of inserting the flange bearings 14 into hole in the ball 15 at both ends of ball 15 ; the step of inserting rope end 33 through the hole in the ball 15 inserted with bearings 14 ; the step of tying slip knot 12 around the nylon washer (not shown); the step of lengthwise wrapping a piece of tape 20 around the spring 22 and polyethylene tube 18 overlap; the step of lengthwise wrapping a piece of tape 20 around the spring 22 and pipe 25 overlap; the step of lengthwise wrapping a piece of shrink tube 19 around each piece of tape 20 . [0041] Referring to FIG. 13 , a method of using apparatus 41 , comprises: the step of a user 46 gripping the apparatus 41 by the handle 28 ; the step of the user pointing the apparatus 41 away from the user 46 toward a nearby batter 43 , with the ball 15 hanging within the strike zone 47 of the batter 43 , while the batter 43 is poised to swing a bat 44 at the ball 15 ; the step of, while the user 46 is performing the previous step, the user standing outside the bat path 45 of the batter 43 ; the step of the batter 43 swinging the bat 44 at the ball 15 . Since the user 46 is not in the bat path 45 of the batter 43 , the user 46 is not struck by the bat 44 by virtue of the user 46 being in the bat path 45 . [0042] Referring to FIG. 14 , an alternative method of using apparatus 41 , comprises: the step of a batter 43 connecting the handle 28 to a piece of furniture, such as a chair 49 , by tying a piece of rope 50 around the handle 28 and the chair back 51 , the chair 49 being situated several feet away from any other furniture, walls, and obstructions; the step of the batter 43 arranging apparatus 41 tied to the chair 49 , so that the apparatus 41 cantilevers somewhat horizontally, with the ball 15 hanging several feet above the floor, with the apparatus 41 pointing away from the chair 41 ; the step of the batter 43 positioning himself to swing at the ball 15 , the batter 43 standing a distance from the ball 5 , where the position of the ball 15 being in the strike zone 47 of the batter 43 , and where the bat path 45 will not come into contact with any furniture, walls, and obstructions; the step of the batter 43 swinging at the ball 15 . [0043] While particular embodiments of the present invention have been disclosed, it is to be understood that various different modifications are possible and are contemplated within the true spirit and scope of the appended claims. There is no intention, therefore, of limitations to the exact abstract or disclosure herein presented.

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