Crazy Laws in the State of Indiana and Fun Facts

Whoa!
Whoa! | Source

Crazy Laws in the State of Indiana and Fun Facts

You won’t believe the first two crazy laws I discovered that were enacted in the state of Indiana. What were those legislators thinking? Or drinking? Or smoking?

Crazy Laws in the State of Indiana

It is illegal for a man to be sexually aroused in public.

OMG … there is a crazy law prohibiting EVERYTHING!

Oral sex is illegal.

Told ya … there is a crazy law prohibiting everything!

Baths may not be taken between the months of October and March.

Visitors take note. Forewarned is forearmed.

Tamarin monkey with 'Emperor Wilhelm' moustache
Tamarin monkey with 'Emperor Wilhelm' moustache | Source

Mustaches are illegal if the bearer has a tendency to habitually kiss other humans.

But this crazy law fails to mention whether the bearer in question is male … or female ... or even human?

Pedestrians crossing the highway at night are prohibited from wearing tail lights.

I dunno. In Sterling, Colorado, the crazy tail light law applies to cats. Were pedestrians in Indiana actually wearing tail lights at night?

A man over the age of 18 may be arrested for statutory rape if the passenger in his car is not wearing her socks and shoes, and is under the age of 17.

What if the passenger is his small daughter? And she keeps taking off her socks and shoes?

If any person has a puppet show, wire dancing or tumbling act in the state of Indiana and receives money for it, they will be fined $3 under the Act to Prevent Certain Immoral Practices.

So … putting on a puppet show … dancing on a wire … or tumbling on a mat … for pay are immoral? Who knew?

Catch me ... if you can.
Catch me ... if you can. | Source

Indiana has strict guidelines for fishing. It is illegal to catch a fish ‘from waters of the state’ with dynamite, a trap, a firearm, a crossbow … or your hands!

I have watched a bear catch a fish with its paws, but a person? No way!

You cannot pull your car backwards into a parking spot since it prevents police from seeing your license plate.

If I tried to pull my car backwards into a parking spot, it wouldn’t move an inch. Could I just put it in reverse?

Hotel sheets must be exactly 99 inches long and 81 inches wide.

Your hotel room is bound to cost you more since made-to-order bedsheets, 99x81 inches, must be used. The standard size for a store-bought full-size bed sheet is 96x81.

The bars are not allowed to give drinks away on the house!

Make those drunken bums pay for every shot.

A $3 fine per pack will be imposed on anyone playing cards in Indiana under the Act for the Prevention of Gaming.

There goes my weekly card game of ‘Fish’ with the kids.

The value of Pi is redefined as 3.2. (actual value - 3.14159)

This bill was proposed in the 1897 session of the Indiana General Assembly (House Bill No. 246). Although the bill was passed in the House of Representatives, it was indefinitely postponed in the Senate. That status remains today.

Watermelon tastes better with two hands.
Watermelon tastes better with two hands. | Source

Crazy Laws in the Cities of Indiana

• In Beech Grove – one may not eat watermelon in the parks.

This one kind of takes all the fun out of a picnic in the park.

• In Elkhart – it is unlawful for barbers to threaten to cut kids’ ears off.

A threat is less harmful than the deed I always say.

In Evansville – you cannot have your car lights on when driving down Main Street.

That ought to eliminate pedestrian traffic … one way or another.

Hint: I think the law was meant to cover dome lights and/or other internal automobile lights.

Gary Garlic Patrol Policeman
Gary Garlic Patrol Policeman | Source

• In Gary – it is illegal to eat garlic and go to a movie house, theatre or ride on a public streetcar within four hours of eating said garlic.

It must be tough to solicit volunteers for the Gary Garlic Patrol.

• In Indianapolis – it shall be unlawful for any person to throw any stone or other missile at any bird or any animal, except in self-defense.

That mocking bird just mocked me, Officer.

Horses must stop at traffic lights and not exceed a speed in excess of 10 miles per hour.

Is that with or without a rider?

• In Terre Haute – spitting on the sidewalk is forbidden.

Take a short trip to Freeport, Illinois where you can spit from the first floor with no penalty.

In Warsaw – it is forbidden to throw your couch, computer, light or television across streets, alleys, sidewalks and other public places.

What is this preoccupation with couches on the part of our legislators? Remember the law in Cape Coral City, Florida forbidding your couch to sit on your porch?

Paleo Indians hunting a large glyptodon
Paleo Indians hunting a large glyptodon | Source

Fun Facts and Illustrious Information about Indiana

The first inhabitants in what is now Indiana were the Paleo-Indians who arrived about 8000 B.C. after the melting of the glaciers at the end of the Ice Age. In small groups, these nomads hunted mastodons and glyptodons.

Note: The glyptodon was a large armored animal related to the armadillo.

In the 1700s, the first non-native American settlements in Indiana were the French forts of Ouiatenon, Ft. Miami, and Ft. Vincennes. The French presence in Indiana lasted almost 100 years.

After the British won the French and Indian War, upon the signing of the Treaty of Paris in 1763, the French surrendered their claims to the lower Great Lakes region.

Indiana was part of the huge Northwest Territory, which included present day Ohio, Indiana, Illinois and Wisconsin, which were ceded to the United States by the British at the end of the Revolutionary war.

Decatur County Courthouse, Greensburg
Decatur County Courthouse, Greensburg | Source

In the 1870s, citizens of Greensburg noticed a small branch growing out of the corner of their courthouse tower.

Somehow a tree had taken root in the crevices of the roof about 110 feet above the ground. Two trees have now been there for over a century.

Greensburg’s nickname is ‘Tree City.’

The first professional baseball game was played in Fort Wayne on May 4, 1871 between the Kekionga club of Ft. Wayne and the visiting Forest City club of Cleveland. The home team won 2-0.

The American Federation of Labor (AFL) was organized in Terre Haute in 1881.

Crawfordsville rotary jail
Crawfordsville rotary jail | Source

Crawfordsville is the home of the only known working rotary jail in the United States. The jail with its rotating cellblock was built in 1882 and served as the Montgomery County jail until 1972. It is now a museum.

The jail architects believed their patented design would help maintain strict Victorian social order by limiting personal contact between inmate and jailer. By rotating a hand crank on which the two-tiered turntable pivoted, a jailer could bring one of 16 pie-shaped cells to the opening, allowing one prisoner in or out.

Although Indiana means ‘Land of the Indians,’ there are fewer than 8,000 Native Americans living in the state today.

A person from Indiana is often called a Hoosier – the term first appeared in the 1830s. But no one seems to know the exact origin of the word. The leading theory has ‘Hoosier’ originating as a term for a backwoodsman or country bumpkin.

1908 Studebaker limousine
1908 Studebaker limousine | Source
Peter and Jacob Studebaker standing Clem, Henry and John M seated
Peter and Jacob Studebaker standing Clem, Henry and John M seated | Source

At one time Studebaker Company of South Bend was the nation's largest producer of horse-drawn wagons for farmers, miners, and the military.

John Studebaker, Sr. taught his five sons – Henry, Clement, John Mohler, Peter Everst and Jacob Franklin – how to make wagons.

By 1857 they had built their first ‘horseless carriage.

Studebaker later became a multi-million dollar auto manufacturer.

At one time 12 different stagecoach lines ran through Indiana on the National Road – now U.S. Interstate 40.

True to its motto, ‘Cross Roads of America,’ Indiana has more miles of Interstate Highway per square mile than any other state.

1935 Auburn 851 Speedster
1935 Auburn 851 Speedster | Source
1923 Duesenberg Model A Touring car
1923 Duesenberg Model A Touring car | Source
1911 Maxwell Mascotte Touring car
1911 Maxwell Mascotte Touring car | Source
1927 Stutz Vertical Eight AA Limousine
1927 Stutz Vertical Eight AA Limousine | Source

From 1900 to 1920 more than 200 different makes of cars were produced in the Hoosier State.

Auburns, Duesenbergs, Maxwells, and Stutzes are prize antiques today.

1935 Auburn 851 Speedster. Auburn was founded in Auburn in 1874. The Speedster had a maximum speed of 100 mph.

1923 Duesenberg Model A Touring car. Duesenberg was founded in Des Moines in 1913. This car cost $6,500 - very expensive for its time. Two celebrities who purchased it were Tom Mix and Rudolph Valentino.

1911 Maxwell Mascotte Touring car. After a fire destroyed its Tarrytown, NY factory, Maxwell built the largest auto factory in the world in New Castle, a suburb of Indianapolis.

A running joke on comedian Jack Benny’s radio and television show was the car he drove – a 1919 Maxwell Model 25 Touring car because he was too cheap to buy a new one.

1927 Stutz Vertical Eight AA Limousine. Stutz was founded in Indianapolis in 1911. Some celebs who owned a Stutz were Elvis Presley, Dean Martin, Frank Sinatra, Lucille Ball, and Sammy Davis.

Can you tell I am an avid admirer of ancient automobiles?

In1885, Sylvanus Freelove Bowser (1854-1938) of Fort Wayne invented and sold the world's first practical automobile fuel pump.

At first, the pump was not used for automobiles since they had not been invented yet. Instead it was used for kerosene lamps and stoves.

The word, ‘bowser,’ became a generic term for fuel dispensers and the term is still used in Australia.

Borg Warner trophy
Borg Warner trophy | Source

The first long-distance auto race in the U. S. was held May 30, 1911, at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

Ray Harroun was the driver who won the first Indianapolis 500 in 6 hours, 41 minutes and 8 seconds. He won the first place prize of $14,000.

The Indianapolis 500 race is held every Memorial Day weekend in the Hoosier capital city. The race is 200 laps or 500 miles long. Most recently, the purse was $2.49 million.

No, the actual trophy is not given to the winner. It is made of sterling silver and weighs about 153 pounds.

It remains at the Hall of Fame Museum on the grounds of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

The winning driver is given an 18-inch replica of the trophy nicknamed the ‘Baby Borg.’

Santa Claus statue in front of Town Hall
Santa Claus statue in front of Town Hall | Source
Clock Tower in Berne
Clock Tower in Berne | Source

Theme parks were invented in Indiana. The world's first theme park, Santa Claus Land, opened on August 3, 1946, in Santa Claus, Indiana – nine years before Walt Disney opened Disneyland in California.

Santa Claus, Indiana (population 2,500) receives more than 500,000 ‘Dear Santa’ letters at Christmas time every year.

In 1852, Berne was settled by Mennonite immigrants from Switzerland who named the community for the capital of Switzerland. The clock tower built in 2010 was named after the Zytglogge, the original medieval clock tower.

In 1894, Indianapolis grocer Gilbert VanCamp discovered his customers enjoyed an old family recipe for pork and beans in tomato sauce. He opened up a canning company and Van Camp's Pork and Beans became an American staple.

Peru Indiana was once known as the ‘Circus Capital of America.’ It was the winter headquarters for several famous circuses. In 1981, the circus artifacts from the defunct Circus Hall of Fame in Sarasota, Florida were brought to Peru.

Residents usually pronounce the name of the city like the South American country. Older Hoosiers usually call their city, Peer-oo.

Richard Jordan Gatling (1818-1903)
Richard Jordan Gatling (1818-1903) | Source

In 1862, Richard Jordan Gatling, of Indianapolis, invented the rapid-fire machine gun, the Gatling gun.

Note: Gatling also invented a screw propeller, a wheat drill (planting device), a steam-driven tractor, and a motor-driven tractor/plow.

Speaking of guns, in 1934, Chicago Gangster John Dillinger escaped the Lake Country Jail in Crown Point by using a fake pistol he had carved from a wooden block.

During Prohibition, the John Dillinger an Al Brady gangs were patrons of The Slippery Noodle Inn in Indianapolis, one of Indiana’s oldest bars, established in 1850.

The gangs used the rear building (originally the horse stable) for target practice. Today, several bullets remain embedded in the lower east wall.

Covered bridge - Parke County
Covered bridge - Parke County | Source

Historic Parke County has 31 covered bridges and is the ‘Covered Bridge Capital’ of the world.

More than 100 species of trees are native to Indiana. Before the pioneers arrived, more than 80% of Indiana was covered with forest. Now only 17% of the state is considered forested.

Perhaps they could have used less of that forest for the covered bridges. Just sayin'.

Mark Spitz 1972
Mark Spitz 1972 | Source

Indiana University's greatest swimmer was Mark Spitz, who won 7 gold medals in the 1972 Summer Olympics in Munich.

Note: This achievement was surpassed by Michael Phelps who won 8 gold medals in the 2008 Summer Olympics in Beijing.

Five men from Indiana have been elected vice president: Schuyler Colfax, Thomas A. Hendricks, Charles W. Fairbanks, Thomas Marshall and Dan Quayle.

They earned Indiana the nickname, ‘Mother of Vice Presidents.’

Wabash, Indiana was the first city in the U.S. to have electric street lights in 1880.

The total cost per year to light the entire city was $712.

Frank Sinatra 1947
Frank Sinatra 1947 | Source

Frank Sinatra made his singing debut at the Lyric Theatre in Indianapolis on February 2, 1940 with the Tommy Dorsey orchestra.

Frank once said he got his unique singing style by trying to imitate Dorsey’s trombone with his voice.

Elkhart is known as the ‘Band Instrument Capital of the World’ and the ‘RV Capital of the World’ for two major industries: musical instruments and recreational vehicles (RVs).

The Wabash River, 475 miles long, is the longest free-flowing river east of the Mississippi. The river has been the subject of several songs, such as ‘Back Home Again in Indiana,’ ‘On the Banks of the Wabash,’ and ‘The Wabash Cannonball.’

Johnny Cash singing 'The Wabash Cannonball'

Mount Baldy sand dune
Mount Baldy sand dune | Source

Mount Baldy, the largest of the sand dunes, 126 feet tall, on the southern shore of Lake Michigan is a living dune that moves away from shore a few feet each year.

The Dunes region provides habitats for many unusual plants, including prickly pear cactus, lichen mosses, bearberry and more than 20 varieties of orchids.

In June 1972, Lowell Elliot of Peru found $500,000 in cash in a bag on his farm. It appeared as if the money had fallen from the sky.

And in fact, it did! A skyjacker parachuting out of a plane had dropped his money over Elliot’s farm. Elliot returned the money to the FBI.

Is this all there is?
Is this all there is? | Source
Raggedy Ann doll
Raggedy Ann doll | Source

* Note: Limestone is made of fossilized shells of tiny marine animals that sank to the bottom of the sea that once covered Indiana.

It is mined from quarries and used in constructing buildings.

The first successful goldfish farm in the U.S. was opened in Martinsville in 1899 by Eugene Shireman who turned his swamp land into fish farms.

Once dubbed the ‘Goldfish Capital of the World,’ Martinsville today has several large fisheries that sell fish to many parts of the world.

John Barton Gruelle, an author and illustrator of Indianapolis, created the Raggedy Ann doll in 1915 for his daughter, Marcella.

Indiana and Nebraska combined produce more than 55% of the United States’ popcorn supply.

Orville Clarence Redenbacher, born in Brazil, Indiana, launched his popping corn in 1970.

State Symbols

• Nickname – Hoosier State

State flower – Peony

State tree – Tulip tree (also known as the yellow poplar)

State bird – Cardinal

State song – ‘On the Banks of the Wabash, Far Away’ by Paul Dresser in 1897

State motto – ‘The Crossroads of America’

State river – the Wabash (the name comes from a Native American word for limestone)

State rock – limestone

James Dean in 'East of Eden' 1955
James Dean in 'East of Eden' 1955 | Source

Indiana Celebrities

James Dean, a popular movie star of the 1950s in such movies as ‘East of Eden,’ ‘Rebel without a Cause,’ and ‘Giant’ was born February 8, 1931, in Marion. He died in an auto crash at age 24 in 1955.

Abraham Lincoln moved to Indiana when he was 7 years old in 1816. He lived most of his boyhood life in Spencer County with his parents Thomas and Nancy.

Florence Henderson, the youngest of ten children, who was Mrs. Brady on TV’s ‘The Brady Bunch’ is a Hoosier born in Dale, Indiana in 1934.

Comedian Red Skelton, who created such characters as Clem Kadiddlehopper, and Freddie the Freeloader, was born in Vincennes. (1913-1997)

The Poet Laureate of Indiana, James Whitcomb Riley was born in Greenfield. He glorified his rural Indiana childhood in such poems as ‘The Old Swimmin' Hole,’ ‘Little Orphant Annie,’ and ‘The Raggedy Man.’ (1849-1916)

David Letterman, host of television's ‘Late Show with David Letterman,’ was born April 12, 1947, in Indianapolis.

Albert Beveridge, a U.S. Senator from Indiana, won the Pulitzer Prize in biography for ‘The Life of John Marshall’ in 1920.

Harold Urey, born in Walkerton, won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his discovery of deuterium in 1934.

Ernie Pyle, born in Dana, won the Pulitzer Prize in foreign correspondence in 1944.

Paul Samuelson, born in Gary, won the Nobel Prize in Economics in 1970.

Here is another favorite one-liner: "The human race has one really effective weapon, and that is laughter." - Mark Twain

© Copyright BJ Rakow, Ph.D. 2015. All rights reserved. Author, "Much of What You Know about Job Search Just Ain't So."

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Comments for Crazy Laws in the State of Indiana and Fun Facts 30 comments

portalonline 15 months ago from india

here in india too, we got crazy laws 1) suicide is legal,but you will be punished if you fail 2) having a third child is a penalty in places like kerala

http://www.quickcareers.in


fpherj48 profile image

fpherj48 15 months ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

Indiana laws are pretty crazy....which also makes them funny. I can't help but wish I had been a fly on the wall listening to a bunch of idiots discuss instating some of these laws. What could prompt the necessity of most of them......and I really wonder how many were actually enforced!

Who is it that gets to decide to arrest a man for being sexually aroused??? LOL Self-defense from a BIRD?? Someone took Alfred Hitchcock way too seriously!

Funny, Doc! I like all the tidbits of information on the States. UP+++

Can these laws get any crazier?


Ericdierker profile image

Ericdierker 15 months ago from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A.

This is another great one in your fantastic series. Very interesting. Cool stuff about the cars. Thanks


billybuc profile image

billybuc 15 months ago from Olympia, WA

What? There are sexual arousal police in Indiana? How do they "discover" the crime? What's the punishment for that sort of thing? Damn, there is no way I'm driving through that state. LOL


GusTheRedneck profile image

GusTheRedneck 15 months ago from USA

Good Doctor BJ (drbj on HubPages) -

It is said that "One never knows, does one?" BUT - how about two, three, four, and the rest of them. Maybe those digits should read your stuff. Then they, too, might know.

Gus :-)))


always exploring profile image

always exploring 15 months ago from Southern Illinois

This was another fun read. I was born in In. ( Johnson, in. ) and grew up swimming in the Wabash river. I have a sister, Mary who lives in Evansville In. so this was an old home week. They still have some crazy laws. lol...


tillsontitan profile image

tillsontitan 15 months ago from New York

I love these hubs! Imagine how crazy things must be when these laws are actually enacted? I think when you've done all the states we need to have a contest to see which one is the craziest!

I love the facts you add at the end as well. Nothing like having fun while getting an education.

Voted up, useful, funny, awesome, and interesting.


drbj profile image

drbj 15 months ago from south Florida Author

Nice to meet you, portalonline. That first law you mentioned in India is almost as crazy as these. So if you fail at suicide, you are punished. How? Are you killed? Just wonderin'.


AliciaC profile image

AliciaC 15 months ago from British Columbia, Canada

Thanks for another interesting and informative hub, drbj. Once again, you've shared some very strange and puzzling laws!


drbj profile image

drbj 15 months ago from south Florida Author

Hi, Paula. Can these crazy laws get any crazier you asked? You betcha! Each time I research the crazy laws of another state I am amazed at their bizarre variety. No doubt, some weak-minded legislator was influenced by Hitchcock's film, 'The Birds,' as you suggested.

And as far as the laws concerning sexual practices ... I don't think I'll go there. ;) Thanks for finding the laws and the info entertaining. And the Up pluses. Can't wait to read what you think of my next 'funny named town' hub.


drbj profile image

drbj 15 months ago from south Florida Author

Thanks, Eric, for enjoying this one in my crazy laws series. Knew somehow you would also appreciate the cool car info. You are most welcome.


Thelma Alberts profile image

Thelma Alberts 15 months ago from Germany

Lol! That was a fun read again. Those are indeed crazy laws. I wonder if the police are still checking aroused men in the street. Careful men! Thanks for sharing this very informative hub. Well done! Happy Sunday drbj!


Sandyspider profile image

Sandyspider 15 months ago from Wisconsin, USA

Love reading about the crazy laws that you had on Bubblews. Now sure if you are still there. Really said when it is illegal to take a bath between March to Oct.


nicomp profile image

nicomp 15 months ago from Ohio, USA

Be nice to Indiana. I go there on vacay and my first job out of college was in Kokomo.


drbj profile image

drbj 15 months ago from south Florida Author

I have to admit, Gus, that I knew about a few of these crazy, crazy laws before I started the research for this series. But I had no idea about their incredible reach. Nothing is sacred. Absolutely insane!


drbj profile image

drbj 15 months ago from south Florida Author

Hi, Ruby, delighted this was a fun read for you and a deja vu of sorts. You must have had a lot of fun swimming in the Wabash with sis as a kid. So happy I could provide a sort of old home week for you. Despite the crazy laws, that is. ;)


drbj profile image

drbj 15 months ago from south Florida Author

Thanks, Mary, for loving these hubs. I'm getting kinda addicted to them myself. I like the idea of having a contest at the end of the series - perhaps to vote on the craziest laws of them all.

Happy you like the facts that I add at the end. Providing information as well as entertainment is my goal. Thanks, m'dear, for the up and the positive adjectives. You are a sweetie-pie.


drbj profile image

drbj 15 months ago from south Florida Author

Hi, Alicia. Thanks, m'dear, for your continuous appearance and loyalty - you are much appreciated. Yes, I agree, many of these crazy laws are as bizarre as they come.


drbj profile image

drbj 15 months ago from south Florida Author

Can you imagine, Thelma, being a police person on patrol for men who are aroused in public? That has to be a bit embarrassing for both parties. Right?

It might be easier to sign up instead for the Gary Garlic Patrol. Smellier but easier. :) Hope your weekend has been pleasant as well.


drbj profile image

drbj 15 months ago from south Florida Author

Hi, Sandy. So nice to see you here, m'dear. When Bubblews stopped paying, I stopped writing ... for them. Good that you know about that 'no-bath' edict from March to October. But you know, I read that law carefully and it failed to mention any illegality involved in taking showers.


drbj profile image

drbj 15 months ago from south Florida Author

Just remember to bathe, nicomp, before you arrive in Indiana and swim in the Wabash every day ... with a bar of soap.

Didja know we have something in common? You spent some time in Kokomo and I lived in Kankakee for awhile.


drbj profile image

drbj 15 months ago from south Florida Author

I swear I answered your comment earlier, Bill, but it has disappeared. Must be those Google gremlins again. What I indicated was do not worry. If you find yourself having to drive through Indiana, just lock the car doors, bring along a hungry pitbull, and keep on going.


nicomp profile image

nicomp 15 months ago from Ohio, USA

I had to look up Kankakee. I knew it's in Illinois. Now I know it's 2:21 from Kokomo using my climate-killing, CO belching, and manually-driven, automobile.

The Wabash seems to wind all over Indiana. It's probably soapy enough without my contribution.


drbj profile image

drbj 15 months ago from south Florida Author

Gee, nicomp, we were practically neighbors. What I neglected to mention was our mutual connection living in towns that have so many 'ks' in them.


nicomp profile image

nicomp 15 months ago from Ohio, USA

There aughtta be a law against that many k's...


shanmarie profile image

shanmarie 15 months ago from Texas

I can picture people wearing tail lights. LOL. Love your commentary quote: that will take care of pedestrians, one way or anyother (I may have slightly paraphrased that).

On a side note, I believe I've been to Santa Claus Village or land or whatever that theme park is. I was quite young.


drbj profile image

drbj 15 months ago from south Florida Author

By the time I finish this series, nicomp, I will likely find a crazy anti-K law.


drbj profile image

drbj 15 months ago from south Florida Author

I had that crazy visual picture, too, shanmarie, of folks in Indiana adorned with tail lights. Not a pretty sight! If I ever get back up that way, I will try to visit Santa Claus Land - it looks like a fun stop. Thanks for visiting, m'dear.


nicomp profile image

nicomp 15 months ago from Ohio, USA

Hey! Hoosiers look great in tail lights.


drbj profile image

drbj 14 months ago from south Florida Author

True - but only to sensitive viewers who are sensibly sentient.

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