San Francisco Events

Joanne Lee Molinaro - The Korean Vegan Cookbook (Ferry Building Store)

Sunday, November 21, 2021 - 2:00pm

Joanne Lee Molinaro

The Korean Vegan Cookbook

Sun., Nov. 21, 2021 • 2:00pm PT • Ticketed event -$40 • Ferry Building Store 

Online sales for this event have ended, but you may still purchase the ticket to this event at our San Francisco Ferry Building Store!



The dazzling debut cookbook from Joanne Lee Molinaro, the home cook and spellbinding storyteller behind the online sensation @thekoreanvegan.

Joanne Lee Molinaro has captivated millions of fans with her powerfully moving personal tales of love, family, and food. In her debut cookbook, she shares a collection of her favorite Korean dishes, some traditional and some reimagined, as well as poignant narrative snapshots that have shaped her family history.

As Joanne reveals, she’s often asked, “How can you be vegan and Korean?” Korean cooking is, after all, synonymous with fish sauce and barbecue. And although grilled meat is indeed prevalent in some Korean food, the ingredients that filled out bapsangs on Joanne’s table growing up—doenjang (fermented soybean paste), gochujang (chili sauce), dashima (seaweed), and more—are fully plant-based, unbelievably flavorful, and totally Korean. Some of the recipes come straight from her childhood: Jjajangmyun, the rich Korean-Chinese black bean noodles she ate on birthdays, or the humble Gamja Guk, a potato-and-leek soup her father makes. Some pay homage: Chocolate Sweet Potato Cake is an ode to the two foods that saved her mother’s life after she fled North Korea.

The Korean Vegan Cookbook is a rich portrait of the immigrant experience with life lessons that are universal. It celebrates how deeply food and the ones we love shape our identity.

Joanne Lee Molinaro is a Korean American trial lawyer, born and raised in Chicago. Molinaro adopted a plant-based diet in January 2016 and began The Korean Vegan as a passion project later that year. Her immensely popular TikTok, @thekoreanvegan, incorporates her recipes with personal narration. She has been featured in Salon, Healthyish by Bon Appétit, The Atlantic, The Kitchn, Thrive, and VegWorld, and on Food Network, CNN, BBC, and CNBC.


Book Passage Ferry Building
1 Ferry Building #42
San Francisco, CA 94111

John Briscoe and Noah Griffin - A Child's Christmas in San Francisco (Ferry Building Event)

Sunday, December 5, 2021 - 1:00pm

John Briscoe & Noah Griffin

A Child's Christmas in San Francisco 

Sun., Dec. 5, 2021 • 1:00pm PT • Ferry Building Store

This event will be hosted in-person at Book Passage's Ferry Building location

At the core of A Child's Christmas in San Francisco are seven poems, composed, author John Briscoe tells us, by generations of San Francisco school children. Over the week before Christmas these children paired iconic San Francisco food and drink with the days of the week. Each day got a poem featuring a particular food or beverage. In this way, Briscoe observes, the young poets showed "a precocious affection for the culinary tradition and abiding spirits of Christmas in their City of St. Francis."

Briscoe was one of those children. "For the occasion of those seven days, we composed ditties of juvenilia, in verse from bad to worse, to celebrate the days of the week and their paired food or beverage soulmates. From Sutro Heights to South Beach, from Bernal Heights to the Bayview, we composed, and competed, and conceded to the best of us."

These then are the best productions of San Francisco's youthful versifiers. They are sly and surprisingly sophisticated comic verses that bring to life a forgotten San Francisco, one spiced with wicked innocence and fueled by the city's unique culinary offerings.

Like the season it recalls, this book is celebration, a feast that is guaranteed to delight.

This book is for people who have affection for San Francisco, particularly its food, drink or history; people who don't know San Francisco but have been enchanted by films, books, or legends of San Francisco; and people who enjoy whimsy for whimsy's sake.

The title of this little book is unabashedly borrowed from Dylan Thomas's delighting story, "A Child's Christmas in Wales," which is best taken in by listening to Thomas himself reading it on the BBC.

This little book is a bit of history of San Francisco, history that is inconsequential in light of the city's role in the California gold rush of 1849, in light of the city's destruction and rebirth in 1906, in light of the city's role in the creation of the United Nations and in the Treaty of Peace with Japan following World War II. But it is a bit, just a bit, of the city's history. It is also a bit of poetry, and this city has produced great poets including poets of that now scorned outlaw genre, light verse.

It is a bit of nostalgia, for first visits to Playland, first trips to Fisherman's Wharf, first dates.

It is a bit of nostalgia for a time that never really was.

John Briscoe is a San Francisco poet, author, and lawyer. His poetry has been praised by Kirkus Review, Columbia, and other reviews. His book Crush: The Triumph of California Wine took the Oscar Lewis Award in Western History for 2020, 1st prize in the Top Shelf Book Awards, and his Tadich Grill: The Story of San Francisco's Oldest Restaurant, is a critically praised history of the Tadich, but also of all of SF's remarkable culinary history. He is a Distinguished Scholar at the University of California, Berkeley, president of the San Francisco Historical Society, and co-owner of Sam's Grill.

Noah Griffin has sung professionally since the age of seven. As a soloist for the San Francisco Boy’s Chorus, he performed in La Boheme, Turandot, Carmen and Bor Gudenov, He also appeared with Leontyne Price, Paul Robeson, Nat “King” Cole, Johnny Ray, Eddie Fisher and the Shirelles He has sung with Eugene Ormandy and the Philadelphia Philharmonic, the Fisk Jubilee Singers, the Nashville Symphony, the Harvard University Choir and soloed with Duke Ellington. He has performed in Boston, New  He has performed in Boston, New  York  and Los Angeles. Locally he has sung at the Plush Room, the Purple Onion and the Hungry I, and performed with the late Vernon Alley, Allen Smith and the Walt Tolleson Big Band. He has composed and sung the original official Ballad of the Golden Gate Bridge and co-composed the song for the Giants’ on Opening Day at Pac Bell Park. Founder and Artistic Director of the Cole Porter Society.


John Briscoe photo courtesy of the author; Noah Griffin courtesy of the Cole Porter Society


Book Passage Ferry Building
1 Ferry Building #42
San Francisco, CA 94111

Ruthe Stein - Sitting Down with the Stars (Ferry Building)

Saturday, December 4, 2021 - 3:00pm

Ruthe Stein

Sitting Down with the Stars

  published by Grizzly Peak Press

Sat., Dec. 4, 2021 • 3:00pm PT • Ferry Building Store

This event will be hosted in-person at Book Passage's Ferry Building location

Imagine being in a room alone with Cary Grant? Or Audrey Hepburn? Or Princess Grace, Oprah or Madonna? How about George Clooney, Matt Damon or Julia Roberts? Or for the younger crowd going one on one with Jennifer Hudson or Timothée Chalamet?

Veteran celebrity profiler Ruthe Stein has reveled in the company of these stars—plus 90 more like them. In her new book Sitting Down with the Stars: Interviews with 100 Hollywood Legends she looks back on her experiences conversing with the beautiful and celebrated and recalls details of what transpired behind the scenes. Her goal is make readers feel they are in the room where the exchange happens. Her memories stretch back five decades to the time she spent with early Hollywood stars like Gene Kelly, Ginger Rogers, Mickey Rooney and Shirley Temple. Stein chatted with matinee idols like Robert Redford, Paul Newman, Kirk Douglas, Pierce Brosnan and Daniel Craig. Because her conversations with the latter two took place right before they assumed the mantle of James Bond, she was able to get them to talk about the challenging task just ahead. 

A skilled interviewer who covered Hollywood for 50 years at the San Francisco Chronicle, Stein gets Renee Zellweger at the start of her career to squash rumors that her “Jerry Maguire” co-star Tom Cruise could be gay. “People are out of their mind if they have any doubt he is really sexy,” she insists. Raving about his wife Rita Wilson, Tom Hanks confides, “She’s the partner and the best friend, and I want to sleep with her all the time.” In her 40s, Ann-Margret isn’t shy about admitting, “I’m very flattered If a man comes up to me, and he thinks I’m a very sensuous woman.” Stein reveals awkward moments such as breaking up a fistfight between Tony Curtis and a photographer over what angle the actor should be shot from and of the author being thrown out of an interview room for daring to ask Ben Affleck about his relationship with Jennifer Lopez. Divided into ten scintillating chapters including Hollywood Royalty, The Iconoclasts and  Couples and Exes, Sitting Down with the Stars: Interviews with 100 Hollywood Legends can be read from beginning to end or randomly dipped into to learn about your favorite Hollywood legend. It’s the perfect holiday present for the movie fan in your life. Thirty seven photos of the stars are interspersed throughout the book, including those from Stein’s personal collection of her pictured with Pierce Brosnan, Kim Novak, Janet Leigh, Jerry Lewis, Ed Harris, Fay Wray, and Ben Mendelsohn.


Ruthe Stein photo by Pamela Gentile


Book Passage Ferry Building
1 Ferry Building #42
San Francisco, CA 94111

Ellen Snee - Lead (Ferry Building Store)

Tuesday, November 16, 2021 - 5:00pm


Ellen Snee

Lead: How Women in Charge Claim their Authority

Tue., Nov. 16 • 5:00pm PT • Ferry Building Store

In conversation with Laila Tarraf

This event will be hosted in-person at Book Passage's Ferry Building location

During Ellen Snee's eighteen years as a Catholic nun, she gained a number of essential — and, happily, transferable — skills: how to discern a call or deep desire, how to work collaboratively with other women, and how to be a savvy operator within male hierarchies.

In Lead, she draws on that knowledge — as well as lessons learned and insights gained from her Harvard dissertation on psychological dimensions of authority for women, two decades of work with executive women as CEO of Fine Line Consulting, and five years as VP of Organizational & Leadership Development at VMware, a global technology leader — to address the exercise of authority by women.

Lead guides readers through specific challenges of leadership Snee has identified as most vital to success through her own corporate experience and consulting work: developing resilience, presenting with authority, gaining financial literacy, managing in every direction, and more. Throughout, Snee urges women to find and speak with their unique voice and claim their personal power. Full of illuminating personal and client anecdotes and surprising research insights, Lead is an accessible, instructive, and empowering road map to finding external success — by drawing on the strengths you've carried inside you all along.

Ellen Snee has been at the forefront of women’s leadership for more than 25 years. Dr. Snee brings strategy, research and executive experience to global companies and their top female talent. Her original research at Harvard University on women’s experience in roles of authority formed the foundation of her consulting and coaching work with Fortune 500 companies such as Cisco, Goodyear, Marriott, Pfizer and Schwab.  Later, as the Global VP of Leadership Development at VMware, she launched the company’s groundbreaking business initiative, VMwomen, designed to attract, develop, advance and retain talented women. Her new book Lead: How Women in Charge Claim Their Authority makes her wisdom and experience accessible to all women seeking to accelerate their careers. Dr. Snee lives in the San Francisco Bay Area where she continues to coach and advise women leaders and executives worldwide, and frequently speaks to companies and conferences.

Laila Tarraf is a senior human resource executive with more than twenty-five years of professional experience. After graduating with her MBA from the Haas School of Business at the University of California at Berkeley, she became one of the founding team members at She then served as chief people officer at Peet’s Coffee and Tea, an iconic Bay Area premium coffee company. Currently, Laila is the chief people officer for AllBirds, advises entrepreneurs and investors, and guest lectures at Berkeley Law School. The author currently resides in Larkspur, California. You can find her online at


Ellen Snee photo by Margot Duane


Book Passage Ferry Building
1 Ferry Building #42
San Francisco, CA 94111

Joshua Weissman - An Unapologetic Cookbook (Ferry Building Store)

Saturday, September 18, 2021 - 4:00pm


Joshua Weissman

An Unapologetic Cookbook

Sat., Sept. 18, 2021 • 4:00pm PT • Ticketed event -$36 • Ferry Building Store 


A Weissman once said...

...can we please stop with the barrage of 2.3 second meals that only need 1 ingredient? I get it...we're busy. But let's refocus on the fact that beautifully crafted burgers don't grow on trees.

Ironically this sounds a lot like he's trying to convince you to cook, but he's really not. Is this selling the cookbook? The point is that the food in this book is an invitation that speaks for itself. Great cooking does, and should, take time. Now is the time to double down and get your head in the cooking game. Or you know, don't. Maybe get someone else to cook this stuff for you...that works too.

How can you know if something is your favorite if 50 to 80 percent of the stuff you've been eating was made by someone else? Butter, condiments, cheese, pickles, patties, and buns. For a superior and potentially even life-changing experience, you can (and should, to be honest) make these from scratch. Create the building blocks necessary to make the greatest meal of your life.

While you're at it, give it the Joshua Weissman — or your own — twist. As Joshua would say, "If you don't like blue cheese, then don't use blue cheese." From simple staples to gourmet to deep-fried, you are the master of your own kitchen, and you'll make it all, on your terms.

With no regrets, excuses, or apologies, Joshua Weissman will instruct you how with his irreverent humor, a little bit of light razzing, and over 100 perfectly delectable recipes.

If you love to host and entertain; if you like a good project; if you crave control of your food; if fast food or the frozen aisle or the super-fast-super-easy cookbook keep letting your tastebuds down; then Joshua Weissman: An Unapologetic Cookbook is your ideal kitchen companion.

Joshua Weissman isn't your average culinary genius. He's chef-y, he's eccentric, and he's a lot over-the-top in everything he does — from curating energetic and engaging food entertainment, to constantly developing his massive repertoire of original recipes, to cooking everything (seriously, everything) from scratch. He has an abounding love of food and proper technique. After nearly a decade of cooking professionally, his passion has been fueled by working with some of the greatest fine dining restaurants in the south-central region of the US. He notably cooked at the James Beard Award-winning restaurant Uchiko, where he spent time focusing on the finest details of cuisine, training other cooks and chefs, and diving deep into the territory of precise Japanese cookery and fermentation. Joshua can be seen chopping it up for millions of fans on his popular Youtube channel, Facebook, TikTok, and Instagram. He currently resides in Texas and plans to push the world of food farther than it has ever gone before.


Book Passage Ferry Building
1 Ferry Building #42
San Francisco, CA 94111

Chef Bai - Cook. Heal. Go Vegan! (Ferry Building Store)

Saturday, September 18, 2021 - 1:00pm

Chef Bai (Bailey Ruckus)

Cook. Heal. Go Vegan!

Sat., Sept. 18, 2021 • 1:00pm PT • Ferry Building Store

Meet & Greet!

This event will be hosted in-person at Book Passage's Ferry Building location
Note: The starting time for this event has changed to 1pm PT.


With the guidance of professional plant-based chef Bailey Ruskus, adopting a whole-food, plant-based lifestyle is full of fun and flavor. Learn to make easy, nutrient-dense dishes you’ll want again and again, while inviting purpose and intention into every meal.

Consider this collection a gateway into the colorful and delicious plant kingdom. Each recipe is designed to teach core culinary techniques, so you can become confident and creative in the kitchen. Comforting classics—think pizza, falafel, tacos and curry—get a vibrant vegan makeover, ensuring tasty alternatives for any craving. Savor Spaghetti Alfredo in an indulgent sauce that won’t weigh you down; experience better-than-takeout Miso-Mushroom Ramen, low in sodium but big on umami; or dig into a chocolate-studded oatmeal cookie, packed with good-for-you ingredients. Fridge staples are made healthier and cheaper with essentials like Not Your Mama’s Salted Butter, Herbed Creamy Feta and Cashew-Hemp Milk. To encourage holistic healing from the inside out, most of Bailey’s recipes are gluten-free and all are free of refined sugars.

Whether it’s a quick garden bowl or slow-simmered chili, these dishes are fuss-free and seriously nourishing. Let Bailey lead the way as you embrace Earth’s abundance, cook consciously and feel better than ever.

Bailey Ruskus, also known as Chef Bai, is a seasoned chef and holistic nutrition and health coach. Classically trained at Le Cordon Bleu in San Francisco, she uses her culinary expertise to create rich flavors with clean, nourishing ingredients. Her podcast, The Plant Remedy, features interviews on plant-based living with chefs, doctors, entrepreneurs, environmentalists, and more. She also hosts virtual cooking classes and has taught thousands about the healing power of food. Bailey lives in San Diego, California.


Bailey Ruskus photo courtesy of the author


Book Passage Ferry Building
1 Ferry Building #42
San Francisco, CA 94111

Harold Katcher - The Illusion of Knowledge (Ferry Building Store)

Saturday, September 4, 2021 - 3:00pm

Book Passage Presents

Sat., September 4, 2021 • 3:00pm PT • Ferry Building Store

This event will be hosted in-person at Book Passage's Ferry Building location
PLEASE NOTE: There will be no online purchases for this book.  If you wish to purchase this title, please call either store and speak with a bookseller or purchase in-store on the day of the event  


In May 2020, the publication of a scientific paper on the rejuvenation of rats shook the foundations of the community that studies the possibility of undoing aging. An average epigenetic rejuvenation of 54% of the animals was reported in the article, in addition to the reversal of dozens of biochemical markers of old rats to values typical of young rats. The main developer of the treatment that led to these results was Dr. Harold Katcher, author of The Illusion of Knowledge.

The reception of the specialized scientific community to the experiment was shock, with the phrase "it's too good to be true" repeated almost instinctively. Thus, Dr. Katcher decided to write this book, explaining in detail the foundations of his theory of aging and the evolutionary and biochemical bases of the mechanisms that determine the lifespan of different species.

However, in this book, Dr. Katcher has done much more than address the strictly scientific part. By also conducting an in-depth analysis of the history of scientific ideas and humanity's relationship with the idea of immortality, he shows that it is no accident that he may have made the greatest discovery in human history.

Dr. Harold Katcher is one of the discoverers of the human breast cancer gene (BRCA1), and has thousands of citations in the scientific literature, with publications ranging from protein structure to bacteriology, biotechnology, bioinformatics and biochemistry. He was the Academic Director for Natural Sciences for the Asian Division of the University of Maryland Global Campus, and nowadays is Chief Scientific Officer at Yuvan Research Inc., which is working on the development of rejuvenation treatments.


Book Passage Ferry Building
1 Ferry Building #42
San Francisco, CA 94111

Kinari Webb, M.D. - Guardians of the Trees (Ferry Building Store)

Tuesday, September 28, 2021 - 5:00pm

Kinari Webb

In conversation with

Dr. September Williams

Guardians of the Trees

Tues., Sept. 28, 2021 • 5:00pm PT • Ferry Building Store

This event will be hosted in-person at Book Passage's Ferry Building location

Full of hope and optimism, Webb takes us on an exhilarating, galvanizing journey across the world, sharing her passion for the natural world and for humanity.

When Kinari Webb first traveled to Indonesian Borneo at 21 to study orangutans, she was both awestruck by the beauty of her surroundings and heartbroken by the rainforest destruction she witnessed. As she got to know the local communities, she realized that their need to pay for expensive healthcare led directly to the rampant logging, which in turn imperiled their health and safety even further. Webb realized her true calling was at the intersection of medicine and conservation.

After graduating with honors from the Yale School of Medicine, Webb returned to Borneo, listening to local communities about their solutions for how to both protect the rainforests and improve their lives. Founding two non-profits, Health in Harmony in the U.S. and ASRI in Indonesia, Webb and her local and international teams partnered with rainforest communities, building a clinic, developing regenerative economies, providing educational opportunities, and dramatically transforming the region. But just when everything was going right, Webb was stung by a deadly box jellyfish and would spend the next four years fighting for her life, a fight that would lead her to rethink everything. Was she ready to expand her work to a global scale and take climate change head on?

In our current moment of crisis, Guardians of the Trees is an essential roadmap for moving forward and the inspiring story of one woman’s quest to heal the world.

Kinari Webb, MD, is the founder of Health In Harmony, an international nonprofit dedicated to reversing global heating, understanding that rainforests are essential for the survival of humanity, and a cofounder of Alam Sehat Lestari (ASRI). Dr. Webb graduated from Yale University School of Medicine with honors and currently splits her time between Indonesia, international site assessments, and the San Francisco Bay Area. Guardians of the Trees is her debut.

September Williams, MD is a physician-writer, bioethicist, and filmmaker. Her work promotes narrative inquiry in bioethics through stories which are diverse, humanitarian, and scientifically imbued. Dr. Williams’ concern about environmental degradation, related to the health of those most vulnerable to illness  and premature death, resulted in her authoring Chasing Mercury. Chasing Mercury is a multicultural romance-suspense about families committed to human rights and environmental justice while battling mercury poisoning. It is the first novel of the ‘Chasing Mercury Toxic Trilogy’ with the upcoming books being Weighing Lead and Mining Gold.  She lives in Oakland.


Kinari Webb photo by Audra Miller; September Williams photo courtesy of the author


Book Passage Ferry Building
1 Ferry Building #42
San Francisco, CA 94111

POSTPONED: Brad Balukjian - The Wax Pack: On the Open Road in Search of Baseball's Afterlife (San Francisco Ferry Building Store)

Sunday, April 5, 2020 - 3:00pm

Please note: This event has been postponed due to concerns for the health and well-being of our community. For updates on this event and for additional event information, please subscribe to our e-newsletter.

Is there life after baseball? Starting from this simple question, The Wax Pack ends up with something much bigger and unexpected—a meditation on the loss of innocence and the gift of impermanence, for both Brad Balukjian and the former ballplayers he tracked down. To get a truly random sample of players, Balukjian followed this wildly absurd but fun-as-hell premise: he took a single pack of baseball cards from 1986 (the first year he collected cards), opened it, chewed the nearly thirty-year-old gum inside, gagged, and then embarked on a quest to find all the players in the pack. Absurd, maybe, but true. He took this trip solo in the summer of 2015, spanning 11,341 miles through thirty states in forty-eight days.

Balukjian actively engaged with his subjects—taking a hitting lesson from Rance Mulliniks, watching kung fu movies with Garry Templeton, and going to the zoo with Don Carman. In the process of finding all the players but one, he discovered an astonishing range of experiences and untold stories in their post-baseball lives, and he realized that we all have more in common with ballplayers than we think. While crisscrossing the country, Balukjian retraced his own past, reconnecting with lost loves and coming to terms with his lifelong battle with obsessive-compulsive disorder.

Alternately elegiac and uplifting, The Wax Pack is part baseball nostalgia, part road trip travelogue, and all heart, a reminder that greatness is not found in the stats on the backs of baseball cards but in the personal stories of the men on the front of them.

Brad Balukjian is director of the Natural History and Sustainability Program and teaches biology at Merritt College in Oakland, California. He is also a freelance writer and has published articles in Rolling Stone, the Los Angeles Times, National Geographic, Slate, Discover, Smithsonian, Natural History, NOVA Next, and Islands.

1 Ferry Building
San Francisco, CA 94111

POSTPONED: Marian Lindberg - Scandal on Plum Island (San Francisco Ferry Building Store)

Tuesday, July 28, 2020 - 6:00pm

Please note: This event has been postponed due to concerns for the health and well-being of our community. For updates on this event and for additional event information, please subscribe to our e-newsletter.

The carefree parties on Plum Island drew the ire of Maj. Benjamin Koehler, yet he would be the man later arrested and accused of “immoral conduct” at the end of 1913. Koehler, a West Point alumnus and Philippine War veteran, had been tasked with bringing discipline to the 700 men living at Fort Terry, a sprawling garrison on a beautiful island off New York’s coast. He lived on officers row with his sister, an educated and independent woman who, like her brother, was unmarried. Little did the devoted siblings know that Fort Terry would soon become the stuff of front-page headlines, with Ben Koehler at the center of them—and not for his patriotic efforts. The claims that Fort Terry’s commander had engaged in homoerotic behavior shocked the Army and Koehler’s many supporters, but the accusers were smart, triggering one of the first high-profile instances of federal legal process against an alleged homosexual.

Deeply researched, involving historical figures as contrasting as Theodore Roosevelt and Susan B. Anthony, Scandal on Plum Island traces Koehler’s career from respected officer to vilified outcast and turns up provocative information about his defense. Moving from America’s heartland to New York City, the Philippines, San Francisco, the east end of Long Island, and government offices in Washington, D.C., his story is a warning about the high cost to individuals and society when people and governments police the sexual orientation of others who seem different. Involving a toxic mixture of egos, malice, and changing standards of masculinity [over a century ago], Koehler’s experience speaks directly to modern discussions of gender norms, damaging stereotypes, and the fundamental misunderstandings that divide our country.

A lawyer and award-winning journalist, Marian Lindberg spent several years researching the story of injustice told in Scandal on Plum Island while also working to open New York’s Plum Island to the public after the United States closes its classified laboratory located there. Lindberg’s previous book told of her search for the truth underlying a family story of murder in the Amazon (The End of the Rainy Season: Discovering My Family’s Hidden Past in Brazil.) She is a graduate of Vassar College and Columbia Law School and currently works for The Nature Conservancy.

1 Ferry Building
San Francisco, CA 94111


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