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  1. #61
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    I would love to hear everyones distinction between engineering and inventing, the amount of crossover that naturally occurs, and how much of one is needed to do the other.


    "Engineers can be the people you love to hate."

    ...And even after you know better they can be the people you hate to love....


    Ted

  2. #62
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    lazlo,

    I agree with your point about about rather having a low paying job you like than a high paying job you hate. I don't think I could be a lawyer or acountant. If I were, I would probably do some sort of engineering on the side.

    Trouble is, after going through a bad job market, and now, having two kids in college, I really cannot afford a low paying job.

    BTW, if two (or more) people come up with very similar statements about the state of the professon, maybe, just maybe, there might be some truth there.

    Thermo1

  3. #63
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    Levi Strauss, who as far as I know never wrote a waltz, can definitely be credited for the idea, which he got on a hunting trip while he was stooped down and tending the campfire, to stop putting a rivet into the crotch of jeans, where they were putting one up until the time Mr Stauss returned to the factory from said hunting trip. Most of you probably have never really stopped to consider the benefits to man-kind of this one simple, but brilliant and humanitarian action of Mr. Srauss.

    It is very tricky to ascribe specific skills to a race/nation.
    (smallshop and Jimk vie to see who can be the most egalitarian. Which one will stay on their White guilt trip the longest?)

    As far as the Chinese inventing the printing press: I don't think so. From what I gather,they had some process of putting some wet ink on paper and pressing it against another clean paper. It was more like an ABDick mimeograph machine, without the machine. It was a far cry from what is called 'printing', where you think of a raised surface carrying ink. Besides, everything the Chinese are given credit for inventing has been traced to the Tocharians, who weren't Chinese, but were in the general area.

  4. #64
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    to stop putting a rivet into the crotch of jeans
    ...
    Most of you probably have never really stopped to consider the benefits to man-kind of this one simple, but brilliant and humanitarian action of Mr. Srauss.
    LOL!!!

  5. #65
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    Didn't Strauss write Also Sprach Zarathustra?

    and a guy called Kaufmann did the translation.

    Riveting stuff. Just a thought before the alcohol is absorbed.

    This should be a good Lieder!
    Liederhosen? He was a Bavarian, after all.

    Norm

  6. #66
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    I'll take a stab at the difference between analysis and inventing, or between analysis and designing. This applies to me, and the way I do my particular type of engineering. Other people and other branches of engineering probably have a different approach.

    Starting a new project, I first define the problem. What does the client/customer really want? What are the real needs, rather than the perceived needs? This involves some analysis, as sometimes changing the definition of the problem can change the solution from repowering a beat up machine to overhauling the machine.

    Once I am satisfied the problem is defined, I analyze various aspects. This is a high level analysis, how does this part of the overall system interact with others, what resources are available to solve the problem, time constraints, etc. For example, a lot of what I design is heavy, and has to be lifted by crane. I can save money if I can design it to minimize crane time.

    Now I break the problem down into little pieces, and analyse each piece. This analysis is low level, considering material properties, speeds, flows, etc. A lot of what I do is piping, so I have to analyze how big the piping has to be. Sizing the piping is frequently an economic optimization, trading capital cost of piping and pumps for operating cost. All this is analytic.

    Once the analysis is done, I can put the pieces together. Sometimes this work is called "design". (Some of the more detailed design work is sometimes done by people called "designers", who are basically draftspeople (or CAD operators) with some engineering skills.) From what I have read here, and from what I have seen elsewhere, I think lack of skill in putting the pieces together is one of the main things that give us engineers a bad name.

    Design is developing a graphical and/or verbal representation of the solution to a problem. Both have to be done clearly enough so that the people who have to build the design can understand the engineer's intent. Dimensions have to be clear, and referenced to something that is easy to locate. Clearances for building and service have to be adequate. The engineer has to select materials that do the intended job, and are as easy to use (form, machine, weld, etc) as possible. Everything has to be designed for the lowest cost considering the desired life.

    As I see it, you cannot do really good engineering design, that is, translate the results of analysis into something that can be built, without knowing how things are built. This takes practical experience. This is one reason I value my rather limited shop experience.

    Engineering education tends to emphasize the analytical side. Analysis is easier to teach in a classroom than design. Detailed analyis is what gets the emphaisis, as this is what educators are familiar with. Good systems analysis is critical to good engineering, but is hard to teach without real world examples. It is hard to teach design in a classroom, and very hard for educators with no real world experience to teach. Having a PhD is a requirement for admission to the teaching profession today. While this is good for advancing the understanding of some concepts, I think it is of lesser benefit in teaching engineering design.

    Back in "the good old days" when I studied engineering, many of my professors, especially in machine design, did not have PhDs, but knew the real world. I remember a project in machine design class to design a gear case. I think I spent about 4 hours on it. When we were done, the prof got up to explain things to us. At the end of 15 minutes, he had a better looking gearcase on the blackboard than I had on my paper.

    Assuming one has the practical knowledge, applying that knowledge to the results of the analytical work is critical to a successful design. I sometimes refer to this as craftsmanship, getting the details right. It does not necessarily mean making a pretty drawing; I do not draw well. It means making sure something can be built easily, will function reliably in use, and can be maintained. Can the required tolerances be held? If not, has the design incorporated ways to easily compensate for the actual tolerances?

    So far, everything I have written applies to all kinds of design work, routine as well as non-routine. A good engineer would use these techniques to successively refine a design of a machine, such as your tea bagging machines.

    Imagination and invention enters when somebody starts to ask "what if" type questions. It is really great when the designer of the previous generation of machines steps back and asks how could this be improved, and comes up with a radically new, highly successful design. It is OK if the customer asks: "can you make a machine that does thus and so?" The truly creative, imaginative engineer will think for a minute or two, and then get a far away look in the eyes. Best they not be disturbed for a while. When done thinking, the pen or pencil comes out of the pocket, and anything that can be written on will be pressed into service to set down the ideas. Been there, done that. One place where I worked had a place mat from a local restraunt with a sketch on it in a project file!

    The less than imaginative engineer (and I have had times like this myself) will give you lots of reasons why it can't be done.

    I can't tell you where that spark comes from.

    Hope this helps. This post is too long already. Filling in the background with endless detail is probably one reason why people dislike engineers, so I had better quit.

    Thermo1

    Thermo1

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    JimK (slightly OT)
    You refer to various printing presses, including Gutenberg's. Did any of them employ a Kluge paper feeder?

    Reason I ask, the 3rd edition of the New Computer Hacker's Dictonary gives an interesting etymology of the term "kluge", derriving from the Kluge Paper Feeder, "designed before small,cheap electric motors and control electronics; it relied on a fiendishly complex assortment of cams, belts and linkages to both power and synchronize all its operations from one motive driveshaft. It was accordingly tempermental, subject to frequent breakdowns, and devilishly difficult to repair--but oh, so clever!"

    Thermo1

  8. #68
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    Thermo... Well Said...!!!

    Lazlo...

    I think you are in the best spot in the entire country to be thinking about energy systems right now... Austin has KILLER support for solar and alternate power.. And I have ALREADY seen it pay off BIG TIME... (Cypress's Solar cell mfg, for example...).

    What Thermo says about energy and engineering makes makes perfect sense to me, too....

    Being in the innovation side of energy business has been a good way to starve over the last 30 years... I bailed out of Nuclear Engineering in 1979... My Univ professors did not - perhaps could not - see that they were part of a a "walking dead" profession. I was not good at expressing the "why" to them.... more an aspect of my own bad communications skills then... in the 27 years since, it is pretty clear that Nuclear was dead. The only real hope of Nuclear today seems to be what will come out of China. All of the (US) power dams are built - of any consequence - that we actually need. Coal and Gas power generation were being then - and now - artifically manipulated by a greedy, personal power hungry mob of criminals. Criminals is the right word to use, too....

    Think about the current situation... we are ramping up to a real - REAL - energy crisis in the US. Rather than solving the problem, the energy - financial - and transport companies are out to "maximize current shareholder return" - and their own pocket books - by putting off or finagling power efficieny or improvements... you can see it clearly, too..... Many of our electric power plants date to the late 1940s. Refineries in Houston and points south are PAST the design life.. They are old and will soon fall apart. I traveled past the BP plant in Texas City a lot this summer... Amazing place - hope we don't have a big hurricane surge there... :>

    Not to rant too much, but Thermo should be in a PRINCE of a business and he observes that he's not... Why? Who is cashing in?

    When a power company charges $$ per KWH, they profit as a percentage of cost - on the good day! or they get what the market will bear - on a "bad consumer's day"... A study of the timeline of power systems avaiability when Califorina went to "open market" power is very instructive.. Careful manipulation of the system's sequence shows how the CA consumers were victimized. That's fraud.

    Key thing: It is very profitable for a power company to raise rates because of "cost". They are absolutely OPPOSED to reducing cost - it reduces "profit".... suppliers of oil and gas and coal for power generation are on the same gravy train. $0.02 per KWH Nuclear is the "enemy" of this crooked cabal.. Crooked, because in many places there is monopoly and public responsibility to deliver cost effective power to their consumers...

    If the power grid can be opened up to "realistic" local home grid ties, then this situation may change... Guess who works to oppose that, too.

    FYI.. my brother has a PhD in Nuclear Engineering - My Nephew does as well. They are not in a good profession to make a good living now.. even though expert in all areas of power and electric generation...

    What ever you hear the "talking heads" in Washington say, there is little to no effective effort to solve our energy problems - by the simplest element of conservation or by more effective and efficient use/generation of power.

    As my other brother says (he is the smart one) - "Has to be 6 teenagers killed on the railroad crossing before they put up a crossing gate"... as happened when he was in HS.

    --jerry

  9. #69
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    OK on printing presses again -

    I credited the Chinese with paper and printing. I did not credit the Chinese with the printing press.

    Art, egalitrian is good, bigotry is bad. I am easy going by nature and I don't have to suffer any kind of guilt trip either before or after I say anything.

    The Brantjen-Kluge Comapny made platen type job presses, the kind with the big flywheel. Most of that kind of press were hand fed. The Kluge feeder was an early attempt to automate paper feeding and delivery on that specific jobbing press.

    To say that they were "Kluged together" became as famous in it's time as calling an invention a "Rube Goldberg". The name of the press was pronounced as "Klugie" but the vernacular term is pronounced "klooj"

    Just about all mechanical press feeders were as messed up and tempermental as Kluge's. They have gotten much better since my entry into the printing industry in the early 1970's.

    Think about the main objective. First you have to separate only one sheet of paper from the pile. Then you have to move it into position where the rest of the press mechanism can take it. Now, do that five thusand times without missing one sheet!

    The Kluge and all other modern feeders use air at low pressure to fluff up the edge of the pile and they use vacuum suckers to pick the sheet up. Kluge's vacuum pump ran off the main shaft and made a characteristic chug-chug-chug sound.

    Now that we are on the subject of engineering, how's about humping a skid of 17 1/2 by 22 1/2 paper abour five thousand sheets high onto the floor of a university engineering lab?

    OK, students, devise a means to take one and only one sheet off the top and lay it on a board next to the pile.

    This has to be done at a minimum rate of 6,500 sheets per hour and you can't miss one.

    Everything has to be mechanical, you can use air for vacuum and blow.

    Oh, and while you're at it, devise a receeding delivery that keeps the sheets neatly stacked so that we can put the whole business through the feeder three or four more times.

    Hey! we aren't asking you to print so much as a speck on any of them!

    Most modern presses are geared to go at 13,000 per hour but ink and paper will usually let you cruise at 8,500. The 6,500 figure is conservative seeing as how youse guys are beginners at this.

    Actually, that is a nasty trick. No one inventor or engineer is responsible for the modern feeder. It is a long term synthesis of a huge number of practical men as well as engineers.

    The last series of feeders was coming out in about 1974 or 1975. Even with the new ones, you have got to know what you are doing or else you will think your press is possessed of evil spirits.

  10. #70
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    quote:
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    It is very tricky to ascribe specific skills to a race/nation.
    --------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    (smallshop and Jimk vie to see who can be the most egalitarian. Which one will stay on their White guilt trip the longest?)


    Nice try Art Deco.....Since you seem incapable of understanding context, as I had suggested in the post where I called you a neo nazi wack job, I will explain the post which you seem to be able to extrapolate shame of my heritage.

    "It is very tricky to ascribe specific skills to a race/nation. There are always incredibly talented exceptions that spoil the curve. The germans have done their fair share in coming up with new stuff. But humans from every place on the planet tend to amaze when you learn about what is being done in different cultures."

    I do believe in racial tendencies/abilities.I suppose thousands of years of cultural inbreeding have created strong similarities in certain areas among different races.however,In the context of genius it seems that even if a group of people seem to have a strong ability in a certain area that is often not where the genius comes from. As the son of a closet racist (who still insists he isn't ) I have been pleasently suprised to discover over the years that the different flavors of man are much more similar than different.

    Since ArtDeco is an admitted racist he possibly interprets things that I say as being ashamed of my white, German-on-both-sides ancestry. Not true. I just feel in the grand scheme of things that race is not important.People are people. How many times have you heard, Oh you know___________, He has that____________ temper. (insert race of choice).

    When folks are overly focused on pride of ancestry it seems as shallow to me as the snotty high school girl who condescends others because all of her parts are arranged in a visually pleasing way, which she had nothing to do with. Forget Race,culture,royal ancestry, intellect,beauty as a means to feel good about yourself. What are you doing with your life......?


    When there is enough inbreeding between a pack of mutts to where we can identify a common characteristic deemed useful, we give them a name and call them "purebred".......

    I will gratefully take any advantage my mutt-hood has provided with the realization that I had nothing to do with it.

    Ted

  11. #71
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    Thanks, JimK

    You confirmed the etymology.

    Agreed, paper feeding is not an easy problem. Maybe that is how the Kluge paper feeder got a reputation for being tempermental, and gave it's name to a computer industry term.

    According to the Hacker's Dictionary, "Kluge" is the correct spelling.

    Thermo1

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    Ted,

    Have you ever thought how history would change if DNA testing had been discovered earlier.

    Exit to " My old man's dustman" and thanks to Lonnie Donegan for the song.

    Norm

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    Yes, Hitler would be at the bottom of a heap of corpses in a gas chamber, and many of the "blue bloods" in other countries would be scrambling to do damage control.....

  14. #74
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    Art Deco,

    I normally avoid reading anything you are involved with....but now and again I come across your rantings....just in case you take silence to your comments as agreement, let me make it clear IMO you are a nasty piece of work, and an ignorant man. Even those (possibly myself) with less knowledge know when to keep their evil thoughts to themselves (I refer to other threads as well). Getting on with other people is not easy for any of us, but it must be impossible from your exalted postion. Come down and join the rest of us, all different, confused, muddling along.

  15. #75
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    Ahem:

    Hitler wasn't a German, he was Austrian, and really not a good example of one of them.

    Who are the Germans? The Romans had Geranmia on their maps. The name wasn't again on maps until after Bismark. Simply saying that someone is German lumps him with so many different groups that it gets silly. Is a Mecklinberger the same as a Westphalian? or a Prussian? or someone from Thuringen? How many other German 'states' can you name?

    Even today's German language is divided. There is 'High German' and then 'plat Deutch' or low german. You can tell where someone is from the instant he speaks.

    You can always tell a bigot (but you can't tell him much) They give themselves away by their glib presentation of scant knowledge.

    We even seem to have a modern day Marco Polo amongst us who has come up with the Torcherians who had all the technical knowledge in what is now China. Anything anywhere to discredit the fact that the people who we call Chinese were inventive.

    Maybe our West Virginia Cultural Attache might want to read a copy of the Good Mr. Polo's book. It might open his eyes to the world outside of The Mountain State in the times way before The Mountain State was over run by stupid, bigoted white guys.

    If anyone is going to enter a discussion of people, their history and their talents, they should read up on it and look at old maps first.

    The last place good information is available is white supremacy pamphlets and whacko sites on the internet.

    Thank you, smallshop for your comment. Why doesn't anyone else rise to this kind of obvious bigotry. Must I stand alone or with only one?

    When I said that the Germans were more developers than inventors, the comment was taken as an insult and I was called to defend it. There have been much more egeregious comments made that the assembled multitude seems to let by.

    This is a forum of many members. How can a hateful comment be left to stand without rebuttal? If you are silent do we take it as tacit approval?

    I am the moderator here. I get called to defend my comments. Are you afraid to voice disapproval? Will something bad happen? No, it will not!

    This is OUR forum, the tone is set by US!

    This topic should have NEVER been allowed to be corrupted by the mention of white guilt or of Hitler. What do the people of German descent or of German nationality think of us now?

    If we represent the technical and engineering community then why should any youngster anywhere want to enter a profession with those who tolerate the likes of what passes for unanswered posts of the kind above?

  16. #76
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    I hate to say it, but the Kluge feeder is the standard for the sheetfed PLATEN press. In this design you must place each sheet individually on a platen, which then will close. You then must remove said sheet and place another while working from one side only.
    Because of the limits of reciprocating machinery, Gordon style platen presses (Kluge Chandler and Price etc) cannot be expected to go much more than 3000 impressions per hour. This was good for many years until import of the German Heidelberg Original Platen (Windmill). In good repair these can be pushed up to 5000 impressions per hour. The Heidelberg design is a radical departure from the American Gordon style platen design.
    The Kluge design (and by the way Brandtjen and Kluge is still making presses in the St. Paul area today--and they are considered a very good press for letterpress embossing and foil stamp work)has not been improved upon for their style of presses. It is ironic that they are the only company still building platen style printing presses in the world with automatic feeders (I'm sure to be corrected on this one).
    Of course all of this applies to platen presses. Cylinder presses long ago were able to go faster than their platen counterparts.
    All that pleasant talk of running a press at 13,000 sheets per hour is for modern offset presses with a completely different paper path (much simpler to say the least).
    The biggest challenge to many paper feeders is having a intuitive grasp of what a particular paper will do and how to set up for it--no handy CNC button pushing for stock loading. : < ))

    In any instance, those mechanical feeders, Rube Goldberg appearing devices they appeared, still beat the daylights out of hand feeding all that paper--one sheet at a time.

  17. #77
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    Lets forget the racial differences. But, there are documented cultural and societal differences.

    For example, there was a rather amusing article on the op-ed page of the Wall Street Journal some years ago, by a business writer on the differences between German and British factory managers. The Germans thought of themselves as more technicians, while the Brits thought of themselves more as managers. The author compared the situations in two fork truck plants, one British, one German. The British weekly production meetings were said to be concerned with parts urgently needed to get production out the door. The Germans, who the author said did not consider themselves good crisis managers, and to took extraordinary steps to avoid crisis, had all orders on or ahead of schedule. They decided to push the schedule of one order up several weeks, just to give themselves a challenge. The only point of debate was whether or not to tell sales that the order would be ready several weeks early.

    The following is a paraphrase of the account of the rise and fall of the British dyestuff industry, and subsequent rise of the German dyestuff industry, from the book, Connections, by James Burke (1978, Little Brown). This was originally a series of BBC TV programs.

    British chemists discovered the first aniline dye while searching for artificial quinnine in coal tar. William Perkin, the British chemist who discovered the first aniline dye 1n 1856 at age 19, made a fortune, and retired from industrial chemistry at 36, to devote himself to pure research. The British dye industry faltered after that, and the slack was taken up by the Germans.

    Burke writes that the reason the industry failed was England was rich. It was too easy to make money in tried and true means, and no banker would take a chance on a new business if he did not need to. Burke also states that the status of engineers and industrial scientists was low in Britian at that time, and pure science offered more prestige.

    The attitude in Germany was different due to to influence of the German philosphers of the 18th century helped to radically alter the structure of German educations. They believed that the body of knowledge was incomplete, and the purpose of higher education was not the repition of known fact, but to train minds in the buisines of investigation.

    The book goes on for two pages, but that is the gist of it. The culture was different in nineteenth century Germany than in England. The difference in culture had an effect on development of business and industry.

    From the first quote, it seems that some attitudes are still different.

    FWIW

    Thermo1

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    This morning. It is only 8.00AM GMT, but the news is the "lack of students doing science"
    The reason, or so ClassicFM states is because sudents can get better A Level Grades in easier subjects. A level, I should explain, is the grading examination prior to University entry at 18 years and Classic FM is one of those radio programmes which I use as a blocker because I am almost profoundly deaf and have acute tinnitus to add.

    I cannot comment about European differences in education although my Cambridge son finished his French in France.I can comment that a recent test was conducted in the UK and found that students were less able to cope with the old fashioned exams- which I took and were more akin to the French Baccalaureate.
    Again, the BBC made similar comments only yesterday about whether graduates with University degrees were better off than those who had not the benefit of such rarified air.
    One point was raised and that was English University students left with an average £20,000 debt to repay.

    Again, I am unable to substantiate the level of debt because we were able to completely finance our children at school and university from the age of 4 years. With tongue in cheek, it saved paying Inheritance Tax of 40% when we leave this immoral(?) coil.

    Unquestionably, I lean or stagger to many of the views you expressed.

    Bumbling on( as is my wont), it is fair to report that the soft option is preferred. One does make more money in England from being a plumber than a doctor. Which reminds me to do a tap! It all reminds me that I was once making more in 20 minutes during the lunch break at work than I was during the rest of the day.
    20 years ago, I had had enough of the then World of the United Kingdom and retired- and left them to nurture the rubber plant which was replacing me to flourish.

    Forgive my ramblings but some of the more astute will suddenly realise that I am doing very nicely- Thank You.

    Norm

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    JimK asked: ‘Why doesn't anyone else rise to this kind of obvious bigotry. Must I stand alone or with only one?’

    I used to be incensed by art_deco’s white supremacist posts, and his use of PM board as a platform to air his bizarre views. However, it soon became apparent that the more he said, the more ridiculous he made himself appear.

    So, from my standpoint, his theories and statements make him a laughing stock. However, perhaps there is a danger that there are some wavering whackolites out there who could be susceptible to his barmy propaganda.

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    John,
    I am sure that you and I have seen them come and go- and they make even thick people like me, feel superior.
    What is worrying me is that people regardless of colour are getting up-ity or even jealous about the " blue bloods" or whatever tag they wish to adopt.These are the nice guys. They may be a bit wrong but aren't we all?
    I am sure that you will have noted the ads for some mind developing course. I forget which program or the name but the media is bombarding the thickies- likw wot i am.
    Coming back to the mind thing, it seems little different to another course which appeared in the 30's. It was called Pelmanism. By chance, being a blue blood or no blood at all, I have all the books!
    It my help smallshop and those who didn't have the right milkman to assist in the genetics to read the first of the old books

    Part of it reads thus
    " The efficient brain, that made the primitive man a king, makes the captain of industry today. We all have the same weapon. All that makes the difference between success and failure is relative efficiency in the use of it.
    Pelmanism is your opportunity"

    My copy belonged to a relative of 'Alice in Wonderland' and is dated 30th July 1929.
    I must read it- if I can remember.


    Norm


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