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Author Topic: Christmas lights to music
abbubmah
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


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Pretty. But...

I know several ways to make lights do this, so ability is not a question. Whether this particular one is real or not, I don't know.

It's making the rounds.

Noticable are lack of speakers to play the music, and the quality of the sound. I think it's shopped. A good one, though. Opine away...

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Fundamentally Unfundie since 1975

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BeachLife
The Bills of St. Mary's


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Yeah, I think it's shopped, but it is very cool.

--------------------
Wisdom comes with age, but sometimes age comes alone.
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Confessions of a Dragon's scribe
Diary of my Heart Surgery

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Cyber
I'll Be Home for After Christmas Sales


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Fake or not, it's quite spectacular, if not over the top.

I suspect it's fake, but my only support is the triad of trees in front of the peace sign. The trees in the back rows, when lit, are seen completely unblocked, as if no trees were in front of them. There's also a matter of their little effect at the very end of the display, circulating around the entire triangle. They display a fade effect, something Christmas lights can do, but not like that. The faded trees become blurred. I'm no photonic scientist, but the lights of that intensity would cause a blooming effect, so dimming the light source would increase visible details, not create a greyish blur like that.

Very well done though. I suspect the homeowner took separate pictures of each light lit in every order and put it all together with some music.

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"I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use."
- Galileo Galilei

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Die Capacitrix
We Three Blings


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I think someone took a lot of time to take many, many pictures. Probably had some people to help - this may be some of the blogs in the driveway and there is some movement in the grass close to the camera position (indicating multiple exposures).

Afterwards someone spent some time assembling the photos into a montage. Note the light just to the left of the house. I think it was a streetlight that couldn't be controlled. Don't know why the person who made the montage didn't black it out.

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"Strength is the capacity to break a chocolate bar into four pieces with your bare hands - and then eat just one of the pieces." Judith Viorst

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Cyber
I'll Be Home for After Christmas Sales


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If it is real, I'm sure we'll hear about it from an army of angry, sleepless neighbours [lol]

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"I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use."
- Galileo Galilei

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Electrotiger
Deck the Malls


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Just $.02 here, closer to the end you can hear wind noise passing over the camera's microphone very clearly a couple of times.

It does feel like the music has been added to the edit, but for there to be some open mic noise is insteresting.

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You'd count billions and billions of stars, And billions and billions of planets.

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dramaqueen872005
Jingle Bell Hock


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I'd be scared to live in that house if it were real. Not to mention I wouldn't get any sleep.

Weird.

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"I'm Jimmy Joe Dean," he said, "Sort of like James Dean, but with a Texas twist"
"Yeah," Brent muttered. "The original Rebel Without a Brain."
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Missie
I Saw Three Shipments


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quote:
Originally posted by Die Capacitrix:
I think someone took a lot of time to take many, many pictures. Probably had some people to help - this may be some of the blogs in the driveway and there is some movement in the grass close to the camera position (indicating multiple exposures).

Afterwards someone spent some time assembling the photos into a montage. Note the light just to the left of the house. I think it was a streetlight that couldn't be controlled. Don't know why the person who made the montage didn't black it out.

I agree with this - the video has a really jerky, stop-motion-animation quality to it. There's plenty of short films done with individual photos animated together to music - I saw one done with a typewriter once, and another done with a photocopier. A really -old- photocopier.

As for the light that flashes to the left, I think that was there to tell them how many beats they'd gone through as they were taking photos. Street lights generally stay on once they turn on at night instead of flashing (and if it was a traffic light, it would be colored instead of white). It makes sense that they wouldn't black it out if that was the case (although they certainly could've done it later, though they might've decided it wasn't worth the effort since it's in a relatively unobtrusive spot).

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Tabbymago
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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What's the piece? It sounds like Trans-Siberian Orchestra, but I can't place the song itself.

-Tabby
the princess with claws

--------------------
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Xia
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


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It kinda looks like the trees were moved for the different sections of the video... There are a few parts in the video where the star rays are on and the trees are all lit and the edge of the star rays are obscured by the trees. In other parts, the star rays are lit but not the trees, and you can see the edge of the star rays clearly. The unlit trees also don't seem to be visible at all in the light of the star rays.

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Rehcsif
We Three Blings


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OK, finally a topic for which I'm an expert on.

That picture is real. Computerized Christmas lighting is very real. In fact, I do it myself. Here are some cites:

www.planetchristmas.com -- called "the grandaddy of comouterized Christmas displays. There is a "chat room" (actually a web forum) where all of us hang out. This video was originally posted there.

www.plymouthlights.com-- my own display, which uses the same Light-O-Rama hardware and software as the one in the OP, and also synchronizes lights to music.

www.lightorama.com -- a system for computerizing Christmas lighting. As noted above, this is the system used in the OP, as well as by myself. Among it's capabilities are syncing lights to music.
http://www.moorecomputerservices.com/xmasvids/fischer01.wmv -- a video of our 2004 display (hosted on a friend's site). This is an edited montage of about 2 and a half minutes of the 45 minutes or so of lights synchronized to music we had last year. (warning: broadband only! This video is quite large)

Of course it really isn't "proof" until you see it in person. If you're from the Minneapolis area you're welcome to come to our display, directions are on our website.

Now to answer some specifics:

- "The audio is too clear": Some people do overdub the audio when making videos of their displays, to get the best sound quality. In this particular case, I don't think it was, though (someone mentioned the wind noise, for example). Those of us with computerized displays typically have a low-power FM transmitter so visitors can tune to the music in their car. The owner of this display (I know his name, but won't post it publicly here, although you could search the PlanetChristmas forums and find it EDIT: Now that he's gone public, his name is Carson Williams) undoubtedly just put an FM receiver near the camera.

That's all I'll post for now. Please feel free to ask any questions about this strange hobby. There are a growing number of computerized Christmas displays across the country -- chances are one will pop up in your neck of the woods sooner or later. They're a lot of work to put on, but spectacular to view.

-Tim (who just checked snopes quickly after a break from setting up our display -- what a coincidence).

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Wizard of Yendor
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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So there's a whole hobby based around this? It's amazing the things you learn on ULMB. Do you have any thoughts on the main apparent inconsistency in this video? The light up trees not blocking eachother?
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an Em Dash of sugar
Xboxing Day


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quote:
Originally posted by Tabby:less 'angelic,'more 'Angelus':
What's the piece? It sounds like Trans-Siberian Orchestra, but I can't place the song itself.

It is TSO, and I'm pretty sure it's "Wizards in Winter" from the album The Lost Christmas Eve.
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Rehcsif
We Three Blings


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quote:
Originally posted by Wizard of Yendor:
So there's a whole hobby based around this? It's amazing the things you learn on ULMB. Do you have any thoughts on the main apparent inconsistency in this video? The light up trees not blocking eachother?

I'm not that familiar with this particular display (other than knowing whose it is and having seen this and a couple other videos of it). My guess is that the trees are hollow -- we "Christmas" types build trees like that (we call them "mini trees") out of upside-down tomato cages and floral easels and the like, just wrapping lights around them. so there is no solid part to completely block out the back trees. Also, it appears that the trees are on a slight angle, but I'm not sure.

I can tell you that given the right equipment (like the LightORama product I mentioned above) it would be much easier to do this than to fake it.

ETA: Here's a link to my version of the mini tree. We used rope light for a spiral look, but the version he has is basically the same idea, only using mini lights (and a lot more of them). But this gives you an idea of the 'hollowness' of them (his are a bit more dense than ours obviously). If something were lit up behind it, and the front one was dark, it wouldn't block much. H

-Tim

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Rehcsif
We Three Blings


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quote:
Originally posted by Em Dash of the Arbor:
It is TSO, and I'm pretty sure it's "Wizards in Winter" from the album The Lost Christmas Eve.

That is correct.

-Tim

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Simon Says
The First USA Noel


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I guess I don't see this as a case of whether or not it's fake. There's nothing that says that this is anything more than what it is - a series of photos "choreographed" to go with some music... I mean if it said somewhere that there was this light display that was animated to actually blink to some music, well then I'd say fake.
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Rehcsif
We Three Blings


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quote:
Originally posted by Simon Says:
I mean if it said somewhere that there was this light display that was animated to actually blink to some music, well then I'd say fake.

Uh, did you not read my post?

-Tim

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Rabid Yoshi
I'm Dreaming of a White Sale


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:eek:HOLY CRAP!!!! THATS MY NEIGHBOR!!!!!! [Eek!]

I swear that is my neighbor!!! He did a set up like that last year and I'm about 99% sure that that's his house.

In case you're wondering, he used this stage light software (the name escapes me at the moment) and about 200 hours of his life to sync everything up. The music is just coming from an FM transmitter. He set up his own little radio station that broadcast right around his house (that's about as far as the 3 watt signal that's allowed by law here in Mason will reach) There were about 5 or 6 other songs that he had synced up with the lights, but the only other good one was another Trans-Siberian Orchestra song (Sarejevo).

Wow, small world. I'll talk to him and see if I can get any more details about the setup.

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Simon Says
The First USA Noel


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quote:
Uh, did you not read my post?

-Tim

No, I didn't. If you've seen it personally well then there you have it. I read your first line, then looked at the first link and wasn't convinced. So, now I've read the whole thing and see I was wrong. But, I hope I don't see one popping up around here soon. These are the types of things that make the holidays sicken me.

One funny thing though. The light displays in your last link, well, the weird techno version of Greensleeves anyway, reminds me of what an Elf rave would be like. ICK...

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Missie
I Saw Three Shipments


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This is a little off-topic, kinda, but I really liked the song in the video... since some of you seem to be familiar with whoever recorded the piece (apparently TSO, which I'd never really heard of before), could you suggest other good songs/albums of theirs that I could find? I'm a music fiend, I just have trouble matching names and titles to songs. [Razz]
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Tabbymago
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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TSO has four albums out, "Christmas Eve and Other Stories," "The Christmas Attic," "The Lost Christmas Eve," and "Beethoven's Last Night." The Beethoven one is a sort of rock opera that features a mix of original music and works by Beethoven and other classical composers, and is their only non-Christmas recording to date. The Christmas albums are similar hybrids.

I recommend all of them, though of the Christmas ones "Christmas Even and Other Stories" is my definite favorite. That one features "Christmas Eve (Sarajevo 12/24)," which you may have heard on the radio. It starts with "God Rest Ye, Merry Gentlemen" and segues into an electrifying version of "Carol of the Bells," and it may be my favorite Christmas song of all time.

If you have a Yahoo! LaunchCast account, you can see videos for that one and a piece off the Beethoven album, although the "requem" video is...odd.

-Tabby
the princess with claws

--------------------
If you don't appreciate the irony, the irony appreciates.

"Sappiness and medieval violence: it's a wonderful combination. Like chocolate and peanut butter for the mind." -me on my fantasy novel-in-progress

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Cyber
I'll Be Home for After Christmas Sales


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After a closer look at the video, I think I'm actually going to recant my previous assumption. I think the video's legitimate.

I'm still a bit iffy about the little circulation effect at the end of the show (it could have been an effect added later on by whom I'm presuming to be a perfectionist responsible for the entire setup) but the blinking light to the left of the house, from what looks to be a radio tower, always blinks at a consistent 2-second interval. I know this sort of display can be easily done, so I really don't have any reason now to doubt its authenticity.

Unfortunately I couldn't find any information about this particular setup after scouring the web (and it'd be really interesting to hear what you find, Rabid Yoshi). My guess is, the video really is filmed in real-time, and while there most likely is a speaker setup playing the music accordingly, the video's music is dubbed.

--------------------
"I do not feel obliged to believe that the same God who has endowed us with sense, reason, and intellect has intended us to forgo their use."
- Galileo Galilei

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Kuzibah
I'm Dreaming of a White Sale


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Regarding the music- The Trans-Siberian Orchestra is a side project of the group Savatage, whose homepage is here: http://www.savatage.com/

TSO's site is here: http://www.trans-siberian.com/intro.html

I've seen them (TSO) in concert twice. They're great.

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TrishDaDish
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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Not trying to hijack, but...

[hijack]I saw TSO last year and I swore they said they had a CD of Christmas Eve and Other Stories that was made with the cast they had on tour. It includes the man telling the story between the songs, for example. (I don't think they meant as a live album from the tour.)

I've looked at their site and didn't see it mentioned in the "store" section. Does anyone know what I'm talking about? I'd love to buy it if it exists, as I wept from the beautiful voice of man from the New York opera company, and got rather spoiled with his version of An Angel Returned. [/hijack]

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Unknown Soldier
I Saw Three Shipments


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quote:
Originally posted by Kuzibah:
Regarding the music- The Trans-Siberian Orchestra is a side project of the group Savatage, whose homepage is here: http://www.savatage.com/

TSO's site is here: http://www.trans-siberian.com/intro.html

I've seen them (TSO) in concert twice. They're great.

I was a huge fan of Savatage up through "Gutter Ballet" in the 80's and I had no clue that TSO and Savatage were related, but can certainly imagine it. Only news I hear related to Savatage these days has to do with Jon Oliva's Pain project.

Learn something new everyday.

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Neffti Noel
We Three Blings


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This one has transfixed me over the last few days! The daftness of it is just fantastic. I have now watched it right through 3 times in a row this evening and am off to add TSO to my playlists.

Everything counts in large amounts...

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Testing
I'm Dreaming of a White Sale


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You know, on the one hand my parents always said that sort of thing was tacky. On the other hand, those are the houses I remember from being a kid, and I remember getting all excited just seeing them. And I can appreciate the appeal of creating your own little electric light display.

I'm glad to know that the display is real (it's certainly no more outrageous than several I've seen) just because I can picture some kids not unlike myself jumping around in the back of a car to TSO and watching the house rock out.

So I guess at the end of the day I can't call the Christmas fanatic who does this to be any stranger than the Scrooge who hates it. Should you go ahead and do this even if you have a grinch for a neighbor, knowing that you'll enjoy it and it'll make a lot of kids happy? Ah, so many questions for my ethics professor.

Anyway, thanks for the info Rehcsif. I love a straight answer.

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Jack Dylan
Deck the Malls


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I was just wondering; has there ever been any danger posed by these kind of lighting displays? Not that I'm that worried; this was a fantastic video (I'm putting it on my iPod [Smile] ), but have there ever been any house fires caused by this kind of thing or other electrical dangers?

I wish we had this kind of thing in Australia.

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Eppis: Do you know why being a revolutionary doesn't work in this country? Being a revolutionary in America is like being a spoil sport at an orgy. All these goodies being passed around and you feel like a shit when you say no.

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James G.
Xboxing Day


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Well every year there are many fires caused by faulty fairly lights on christmas trees. (And daft sods putting candles on their tree)

A bit of info on risks:
http://www.fireservice.co.uk/safety/xmassafety.php

Unfortunately, despite hearing the figures trotted out every Christmas I can't find anywhere with them at the moment.

Of course, the risk is largely exagerated by wraping the lights round a flamable object. Also, with the setup seen in the video I'm sure the person is more than competent at checking dodgy wiring.

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Rehcsif
We Three Blings


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"Testing", you make very good points. We do our display for the kids, and the kid in everyone. Christmas displays literally make the season bright for so many people.

Is it a bit tacky? Probably, but it's Christmastime! 11 months out of the year, our home looks 'proper', well-manacured, and a perfect suburban dwelling. What's wrong with being 'tacky' one month out of the year if it makes so many people happy?

ETA: Regarding electrical safety-- I take this VERY seriously. We have numerous dedicated circuits for our display. Everything is plugged in with properly-rated cords and I use an amp meter to make sure everything is well under rated specs. Everything is GFCI protected so the shock hazards to guests are greatly reduced. Out on the PlanetChristmas forum, I'm always preaching electrical safety. Done properly, the decorating hobby is very safe.

-Tim

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SparkStalker
Deck the Malls


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quote:
Originally posted by Kuzibah:
Regarding the music- The Trans-Siberian Orchestra is a side project of the group Savatage, whose homepage is here: http://www.savatage.com/

TSO's site is here: http://www.trans-siberian.com/intro.html

I've seen them (TSO) in concert twice. They're great.

And to dive further off subject, I'm going to see them tonight. And the one last year was one of the most spectacular show's I've ever seen... [Big Grin]
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Ala Charm
Turkey Largo


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This guy does something similar http://christmasutah.com/

I saw it on HGTV's Outta Control Christmas.

http://www.hgtv.com/hgtv/spcl_prsntn/episode/0,,HGTV_3909_35580,00.html

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darth_vader_crusader
I'm Dreaming of a White Sale


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Nion
We Three Blings


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Uh, darth . . . Did you read the whole thread? lol

BTW, my wife is TOTALLY addicted to that video now. lol

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It can't rain all the time.

Posts: 1102 | From: Iowa | Registered: Oct 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Wolfs Bane
I Saw Three Shipments


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Lights danceing to christmas music are very real, my mom' ex roommate had some. They would dance to Jingal bells, Winter Wonderland, and Joy to the world. The main dile would have little speakers so you could hear the music and a volume butten on the side.

WB

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My heat belongs to the moon

I am the hunter.... I am the pray

Posts: 52 | From: Colorado Springs, CO | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
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