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 split: Nirvanam's contribution to homeopathy discussion 
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Nirvanam wrote:
These medicinal approaches have been existing for centuries. So if they did not work, then they would've naturally become extinct? Or are you going to argue that for centuries people had "faith" it works? Ridiculous, no, that argument would be?

Do you think that blood letting was an effective therapy? If so, why has it been abandoned? If not, why did the practice continue for more than 2,000 years? The answer is that some people truly believed that it worked. Why did they believe that?
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Now, it doesn't mean you have to take homeopathic medicine yourself. It just means that it has worked for some people in the world. Why is it so difficult to accept that?

Because of all the high quality clinical studies that have established that it doesn't work. And because the history of bloodletting etc teaches us that sometimes people truly believe therapies work even when they don't.


December 16th, 2009, 8:41 pm
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Folks,

I do not know how each individual has presented their case in this thread, and frankly going thru 440 posts is not a priority for me.

I want you to know that my argument is based on principle not about individuals. I see that many people are dismissing off h-pthy and while doing so are also doing it in a way which is implying that the person who believes in that is somehow irrational or less-intelligent. Now, that is where I disagree. We don't need to agree to every perception. But we don't need to imply that the person who believes in something is somehow less intelligent or less rational than us.

Do we have any expertise on the subject to dismiss someone away like that. Choosing not to believe is just as acceptable as choosing to believe. Let it stay there, no? Why imply someone or some philosophy/approach is stupid especially when we ourselves don't understand it?

This seems to be a common approach to any topic that we don't understand. And hence I don't see how humanists are different from the 'intolerant/irrational' folk that they claim they are not. The major difference is in the non-belief of god while most of humanity believes in a god (what god I don't know). That seems to be the only 'rational' thought shared by all humanists. Apart from that each individual humanist has his or her own irrational beliefs...how exactly are we different than the other folk then?


December 16th, 2009, 8:43 pm
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Maria wrote:
Nirvanam wrote:
These medicinal approaches have been existing for centuries. So if they did not work, then they would've naturally become extinct? Or are you going to argue that for centuries people had "faith" it works? Ridiculous, no, that argument would be?

Do you think that blood letting was an effective therapy? If so, why has it been abandoned? If not, why did the practice continue for more than 2,000 years? The answer is that some people truly believed that it worked. Why did they believe that?
Quote:
Now, it doesn't mean you have to take homeopathic medicine yourself. It just means that it has worked for some people in the world. Why is it so difficult to accept that?

Because of all the high quality clinical studies that have established that it doesn't work. And because the history of bloodletting etc teaches us that sometimes people truly believe therapies work even when they don't.
Maria, you are forcing me to ask this question: what is your area of expertise? How do you define 'high quality clinical studies'? Are those studies restricted to UK? Can there be high quality clinical studies in other countries, for example India?


December 16th, 2009, 8:47 pm
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Alan H wrote:
I'm not absolutely sure whether Nancy's qualification would allow her to call herself Dr in the UK. One thing is clear: she would not be allowed to advertise herself as a doctor here because it would be in breach of the Advertising Standards Authority rules and almost certainly the rules of the General Medical Council (who regulate medical doctors) rule and possibly the law. I am grateful that we do have such laws here (which are there to protect the public), even though they are frequently broken by people who think they are qualified to give medical advice.
Alan, because something is not accepted in some country does not mean it is useless. Since it is not accepted in UK the UK govt will not fund research for it....so you will have to go outside of UK to find evidence. Go to countries where it is an accepted form of medicine and you will find enough evidence.

If you think that UK and the countries you choose to consider are the authority, then it is prejudice.

Here is an "anecdotal" evidence of homeopathy's acceptance in a western country. My wife who hails from Minnesota, had a homeopathic doctor in her town (operating without registration since the US govt did not allow it). But, in the last couple of years although she hasn't yet got the registration, she is sure the authorities are working on allowing homeopathic doctors to practice openly for certain illnesses.

Look, I have never seen a homeopathic doctor tell me "don't go to a-pthy doctor". They, like any other doctor, give me the options and tell me if h-pathy can treat it or not up front. People are not out there to cheat you know.

You posted something about correlation and causation, what were you trying to say: that homeopathic tests are correlational evidences?


December 16th, 2009, 8:53 pm
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Nirvanam wrote:

Do we have any expertise on the subject to dismiss someone away like that.

I don't know about expertise but we do know the basic law of physics that homeopathy breaks and we know that the fundamental idea the 'law of similars' on which homeopathy is based, is not grounded in reality.
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Maria, you are forcing me to ask this question: what is your area of expertise?

How am I "forcing" you to ask that question? And how do you define 'expertise'? Do you want me to list all the books I've read?
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How do you define 'high quality clinical studies'? Are those studies restricted to UK? Can there be high quality clinical studies in other countries, for example India?

To be truly fair and produce results that are irrefutable, clinical trials must be sufficiently large, they must be double-blinded and they must be properly randomised, whatever country they're in.

Now how about you answering my questions to you? If you can.


December 16th, 2009, 8:56 pm
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It just means that it has worked for some people in the world. Why is it so difficult to accept that? Aren't we being a little too narrow-minded on what works and what doesn't?



Oh brother.

Being a critical thinker is not the same thing as being narrow minded.

And this discussion is about real life people's health, not some esoteric metaphysical pish. Critical thinking is a must.

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This seems to be a common approach to any topic that we don't understand. And hence I don't see how humanists are different from the 'intolerant/irrational' folk that they claim they are not. The major difference is in the non-belief of god while most of humanity believes in a god (what god I don't know). That seems to be the only 'rational' thought shared by all humanists. Apart from that each individual humanist has his or her own irrational beliefs...how exactly are we different than the other folk then?


This is pretty well :offtopic:, and silly.

As to all this concern with 'areas of expertise'. If I may point out, critical thinking is not something restricted to one area of expertise.


Spend your money on this stuff if you want to Nirvanam. Really. Go for it.

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December 16th, 2009, 8:57 pm
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I'm tearing myself away from this forum now but will leave a few of the reasons why I will not allow the promotion of homeopathy on this site. Plenty more where these come from:

Mineke Kamper, a homeopath living in Co. Mayo, who in 2001 advised Jackie Alderslade, an asthmatic, to give up her conventional medicine while being treated homeopathically. The homeopathy didn't cure Jackie's asthma. In fact, soon afterwards she had an asthma attack and died. A couple of years later, another of Kamper's victims, 49-year-old Paul Howie, died of a tumour. The coroner said that if Mr Howie had received medical treatment he would still be alive. His widow said in court, "Mineke Kamper had repeatedly said to us that we had a choice but if we did get medical treatment Paul would die and that she could and would cure him. She then relayed stories to me of people who did not follow her advice and who were now dead. She looked me in the eye and said did I want my husband's death on my hands. She looked at our baby, Alan, and asked could I look him in the eye and say I was responsible for his daddy's death." Various sources including this one:
http://archives.tcm.ie/irishexaminer/20 ... 732837.asp

In 1999 6-month-old Cameron Ayres died after suffering a defect in his metabolism which caused a swollen stomach and testicles, extensive nappy rash and an enlarged liver. His parents, one of whom was a homeopath, refused to get conventional treatment for him and he died.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/health/702699.stm

Sylvie Cousseau was diagnosed HIV+ in 1987 at the age of 22. Over the next seven or eight years, she abandonded conventional medicine and refused AZT, relying instead on prayer, drinking her own urine, acupuncture, osteopathy and homeopathy. She died of AIDs in 2001.

http://www.garynull.com/documents/Conti ... fFaith.htm


Lucille Craven was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1997 but kept the news from her family for a long time and rejected conventional treatment in favour of chiropractic and homeopathy. She died two years later. Her husband said,

"I and her family still discuss how a bright, energetic, educated person made such a lapse in judgment. Up to a month before her death, Lucille still said she was going to get better. Most ironically, she was a registered nurse with a master's degree in counseling, working locally as a rehab nurse for many years.

The quacks and their nostrums encouraged Lucille to hide from the reality of her disease, which could well have been cured in its early stages by standard treatment."

http://www.quackwatch.org/01QuackeryRel ... raven.html

Isabella Denley, a 13-month old epileptic, died. Her parents had ditched the anti-convulsant medication she had been prescribed by her neurologist because of the side effects of sleep loss and hyperactivity. At the time of her death, she was being treated only with homeopathic remedies.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/society/2003/ ... eandhealth

9-month old Gloria Thomas died a slow, agonising death because her homeopath father thought he could treat her himself.

http://www.news.com.au/national/babys-e ... 5708504277


Don't bother reciprocating by telling me about all the tragedies that happen in orthodox medicine. I know about them. The difference between ebm and homeopathy is that ebm does actually cure people sometimes, saves lives sometimes and prevents illness a lot of the time.


December 16th, 2009, 9:04 pm
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To be truly fair and produce results that are irrefutable


From the viewpoint of good science, I am a bit nervous about the use of the word irrefutable Maria. The beauty of properly conducted studies is that they are open to being replicated, and the possibility remains that findings might indeed be refuted in the light of more compelling evidence. The 'refutable' nature of scientific findings is one of the great strengths of the discpline.

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December 16th, 2009, 9:05 pm
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Nirvanam wrote:
I do not know how each individual has presented their case in this thread, and frankly going thru 440 posts is not a priority for me.
That's up to you. But I'm not sure why you were asking me to generate statistics for you earlier.

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I want you to know that my argument is based on principle not about individuals.
I want you to know that our arguments are based on evidence, not personal bias and mis-representation of the evidence. Nor an ignorance of it.

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I see that many people are dismissing off h-pthy and while doing so are also doing it in a way which is implying that the person who believes in that is somehow irrational or less-intelligent.
I suggest , again, that you read through the previous posts and perhaps other sources to acquaint yourself with the scant evidence for homeopathy and the overwhelming evidence against it.

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Do we have any expertise on the subject to dismiss someone away like that.
You're conflating two things: the evidence for homeopathy (or rather the lack of it) with the hostility to Nancy's 'debating' style. Despite many attempts to engage with Nancy, she simply continued to post links to articles, usually with absolutely no idea of what in that article she thought was in support of her argument or what countered what someone else had said. It was no way to discuss anything because it did not move the argument forward.

Yes, several of us here do have expertise: we have not necessarily studied homeopathy at some college or other, but we have looked into the evidence — and found it somewhat lacking.

Now, are you suggesting that only those that have studied a subject for however many years it takes is qualified to discuss and/or form an opinion on a subject?

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Choosing not to believe is just as acceptable as choosing to believe.
People can believe whatever they want. Unless that belief impinges on the rights of others. In the UK, people generally just waste their money on homeopathy, but there are some that have been harmed by it. In Africa, the story is even worse. People are dying because homeopaths think they can cure HIV/AIDS and malaria with their potions.

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Let it stay there, no?
No.

Quote:
Why imply someone or some philosophy/approach is stupid especially when we ourselves don't understand it?
What are we to say when people ignore the evidence of good science? There is little to understand about homeopathy: it is scientifically implausible.

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This seems to be a common approach to any topic that we don't understand. And hence I don't see how humanists are different from the 'intolerant/irrational' folk that they claim they are not. The major difference is in the non-belief of god while most of humanity believes in a god (what god I don't know). That seems to be the only 'rational' thought shared by all humanists. Apart from that each individual humanist has his or her own irrational beliefs...how exactly are we different than the other folk then?
How are we to be rational? When we look for the evidence, examine it, come to the conclusion that it is lacking and reject the hypothesis? That is what we are doing here; that is rational and that is what Humanists do.

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December 16th, 2009, 9:07 pm
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Maria wrote:
I don't know about expertise but we do know the basic law of physics that homeopathy breaks and we know that the fundamental idea the 'law of similars' on which homeopathy is based, is not grounded in reality.
Which law does it break? Are you extremely sure that homeopathy does not operate in conjunction with that law, at all? And how basic is that law in physics (in other words, do all phenomena absolutely need to not break that law to be considered as possible)? Also, what is your expertise in physics?

Maria wrote:
How am I "forcing" you to ask that question? And how do you define 'expertise'? Do you want me to list all the books, I've read?
Maria, there is a huge difference between knowledge and wisdom. Wisdom comes thru experience not reading books. Reading books only equips you with knowledge (and only with the knowledge that is available in that book). If you read a few books on lets say Software Testing, would you be able to perform Software Testing or even argue with an experienced Software Tester on what Software Testing is and what it is not? Because I have read many books on quantum physics, does it mean I have expertise in quantum physics? Surely not. So, other than reading books, do you have relevant expertise?

Maria wrote:
To be truly fair and produce results that are irrefutable, clinical trials must be sufficiently large, they must be double-blinded and they must be properly randomised, whatever country they're in.
Do you know of any tests done in let's say India that are of high quality nature and have showed up that homeopathy blanket does not work?

No one is asking you to have faith that homeopathy works or even consider it. The expectation is to stop ridiculing people and being prejudicial about individuals who believe in something that you don't.


December 16th, 2009, 9:12 pm
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Nirvanam wrote:
Alan, because something is not accepted in some country does not mean it is useless.
If you are saying that homeopathy is 'useful' you will need to tell us in what way you think it is useful?

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Since it is not accepted in UK the UK govt will not fund research for it....so you will have to go outside of UK to find evidence. Go to countries where it is an accepted form of medicine and you will find enough evidence.
I care little about where research is done, just the independence of it. And what evidence would I find? Care to cite any double-blink randomised controlled trials? Or will we just get into a discussion about whether homeopathy is amenable to an RCT. QUality RCTs have been done already (as jdc has indicated) and there has been found to be no evidence in favour of homeopathy.

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If you think that UK and the countries you choose to consider are the authority, then it is prejudice.
The only thing that is prejudicing homeopathy is the severe lack of good quality trials that show it has any effect whatsoever.

Quote:
Here is an "anecdotal" evidence of homeopathy's acceptance in a western country. My wife who hails from Minnesota, had a homeopathic doctor in her town (operating without registration since the US govt did not allow it). But, in the last couple of years although she hasn't yet got the registration, she is sure the authorities are working on allowing homeopathic doctors to practice openly for certain illnesses.

Look, I have never seen a homeopathic doctor tell me "don't go to a-pthy doctor". They, like any other doctor, give me the options and tell me if h-pathy can treat it or not up front. People are not out there to cheat you know.
Quote:
Now you're doing exactly what Nancy got a reputation for: anecdotes. Do you agree that anecdotes are not adequate proof of anything, never mind when we are talking about people's health?

Quote:
You posted something about correlation and causation, what were you trying to say: that homeopathic tests are correlational evidences?
That's what the scientific evidence shows: homeopathy is no better than placebo. See jdc's posts.

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December 16th, 2009, 9:15 pm
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Nirvanam
If you think that UK and the countries you choose to consider are the authority, then it is prejudice.
Yes I knew it wouldn't be long.
You have accused some people on this forum of prejudice in other threads, (some of whom I know) well let me tell you; you come across to me as being the only poster on here who is prejudicial, especially with regard to the USA.

Count me out of this worthless thread, unless of course Nancy wants to take up Alan H' challenge, Nancy?

Edited to ask Nervanam.
How important do you think it is that the homeopathic potion is banged 10 times against a leather bound lump of wood?

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December 16th, 2009, 9:20 pm
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Lifelinking wrote:
As to all this concern with 'areas of expertise'. If I may point out, critical thinking is not something restricted to one area of expertise.
Life, "critical-thinking" without expertise in a subject cannot take you far and if you choose to conclude about the subject then it means narrow-mindedness. Critical-thinking only questions stuff, it does not conclude. Conclusion is derived from experimentation and conjecture. Conclusion necessarily requires an element of subjective interpretation (you are aware that nothing can be proved, right? So, how does one make a decision, then? This is where subjective conjecture comes in).

And yes before dismissing something off, it is very reasonable to expect the dismisser to have some background in it.

Lifelinking wrote:
Spend your money on this stuff if you want to Nirvanam. Really. Go for it.
Life, to be honest I acknowledge that every human being no matter whether he is Einstein or mentally-retarded, has irrational beliefs and find comfort in many things. Homeopathy works for my sweating problem, it works for my fevers, and other such ailments. So I use it. I, as an individual, prefer not to ingest third or fourth degree artificially made chemicals. Does it make me any less rational than you are?


December 16th, 2009, 9:21 pm
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Maria wrote:
I'm tearing myself away from this forum now but will leave a few of the reasons why I will not allow the promotion of homeopathy on this site. Plenty more where these come from:
Maria, I did not bother to read beyond this para. This is your privately owned site, you can do whatever you want. I only request you not to dismiss individuals and ridicule them for what they believe in especially when they haven't abused you.


December 16th, 2009, 9:25 pm
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Nirvanam wrote:
The expectation is to stop ridiculing people and being prejudicial about individuals who believe in something that you don't.
As has been said now several times, Nirvanam, Nancy is being pilloried because she refuses to engage in a proper discussion and because she has not been able to provide any evidence that stands up to any scrutiny. And when her 'evidence' is scrutinised and questions raised, she fails to even attempt to refute them.

If anyone wants to discuss homeopathy (or any other subject) let them bring evidence for their beliefs and allow them to be examined. If you think there is an explanation as to how homeopathy might work, present it.

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December 16th, 2009, 9:25 pm
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Nirvanam wrote:
Maria, I did not bother to read beyond this para. This is your privately owned site, you can do whatever you want. I only request you not to dismiss individuals and ridicule them for what they believe in especially when they haven't abused you.
Please read previous posts about why Nancy has engendered such feelings here and elsewhere — Google her. You will find that we have been far kinder to her here than many other sites.

And unless you have already read all the posts, how do you know she has not abused us? Nancy has certainly abused our goodwill and patience, as well as insulting us.

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December 16th, 2009, 9:28 pm
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Alan C. wrote:
Quote:
Nirvanam
If you think that UK and the countries you choose to consider are the authority, then it is prejudice.
Yes I knew it wouldn't be long.
You have accused some people on this forum of prejudice in other threads, (some of whom I know) well let me tell you; you come across to me as being the only poster on here who is prejudicial, especially with regard to the USA.

Count me out of this worthless thread, unless of course Nancy wants to take up Alan H' challenge, Nancy?
Alan C, have I ever denied that I hate American establishment? Have I ever even said that I think the American establishment is great (even for lip service). I don't hide behind words. I hate the US establishment and I say it openly.

You Alan, are a bruised-ego miserable man who keeps looking out for my posts to interpret anything negatively and hold it against me.

Alan C, you have no expertise in medicine or pharmacology and you should have acknowledged that much before and excused yourself out of the thread. But you choose to go now, why? Because you cannot stand someone ridiculing your knowledge? If you had any expertise you would've presented your arguments with topical focus.

Alan C, tell me what are your areas of expertise so next time around I see a topical post from you I'll be able to evaluate whether you will be able to involve me in a topical conversation or not.


December 16th, 2009, 9:35 pm
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Nirvanam wrote:
Homeopathy works for my sweating problem, it works for my fevers, and other such ailments. So I use it. I, as an individual, prefer not to ingest third or fourth degree artificially made chemicals. Does it make me any less rational than you are?
I'm glad to hear that it appears to have resolved your problems. But how do we know it would also work on someone else? Perhaps it might not work for someone who has blue eyes (or blond hair or whatever)? Perhaps it might even harm them? How do we find out? We test it. Not just any old test ("Did the homeopathic potion work for you"), but trails that do their best to eliminate any possibility of bias — intentional or otherwise. And when these trials are done (as jdc has pointed out), these well-conducted trials show that homeopathy is no better than placebo.

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December 16th, 2009, 9:36 pm
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Alan H,

Like I said way back and excused myself from the thread a few months ago, I am not an expert on homeopathy and I have not bothered to find out whether it works or not. My involvement in this thread is not to show Homeopathy works or doesn't. I could care less whether you or my dad or someone else believes Homeopathy works or not.

I am in this thread because one person is being ridiculed by all and sundry for believing in something when none of these 'all and sundry' have any expertise in the subject.

The next part is not in reference to you or a few others on this forum: people need to learn to disagree gracefully and let go. There is no need to ridicule the opposite person and keep asking for evidence as if we are some kinda judicial panel to evaluate if something works or doesn't.


December 16th, 2009, 9:48 pm
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Alan C, you have no expertise in medicine or pharmacology and you should have acknowledged that much before
I did, you're not paying attention.
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You Alan, are a bruised-ego miserable man who keeps looking out for my posts to interpret anything negatively and hold it against me.
You flatter yourself, I don't even read most your posts but quack "medicine" is something I feel strongly about.
I think maybe you have a persecution complex.
Quote:
You Alan, are a bruised-ego miserable man
OMG! I've been found out :laughter:

I find it truly amazing that you can come to such a conclusion about someone you don't even know.

Cross posting.
Alan H has already explained to you why Nancy is ridiculed, either accept that or go through the whole thread and see for yourself.

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December 16th, 2009, 9:55 pm
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