• Decoding Looney Tunes with Astronomy: What Does the Bunny Say?

    Acknowledgements: I am grateful to Martin B. Sweatman and  Dimitrios Tsikritsis for inspiring this research, and modelling the interpretive and statistical methodology with their work on Gobekli Tepe.

    We provide an interpretation of much of the symbolism of the Looney Tunes iconography, based entirely on the statistical correlation between LT symbols and corresponding astronomical facts. We find the LT symbolism provides strong support for predictive tracking of failed NEO (Near Earth Object) impacts, and hence for a high-level conspiracy to keep the truth from the people of Earth.

    LT Characters as Asterisms

    We start with the hypothesis that the LT images represent constellations, and that some of their configurations are reasonably accurate “maps” of portions of the night sky. However, it is clear that not all configurations can be understood as star maps. Instead, the zoomorphs (and some anthropomorphs) are symbols representing constellations, that can be used flexibly to convey different ideas. And as they are symbols that can be used flexibly, they can be thought of as a kind of crypto-script conveying coded messages that require careful scientific decipherment.

    As they are central to this work, we will describe in detail two key images from the Looney Tunes database. Critical to unlocking the astronomical code is Poster A (Fig.1), clearly a representation of the circumpolar sky with associated asterisms. Seven animals are pictured: a bunny is in the centre, closely associated with a duck. The remaining five are ranged around the perimeter: coyote, kitty, skunk, charging predator, and horizontally extended bird. From complementary folkloric material, we can identify these, respectively, as Bugs Bunny, Daffy Duck, Wile E. Coyote, Penelope Pussycat, Pepe Le Pew, the Tasmanian Devil, and Road Runner.

    Poster B (Fig.2) presents a mass of similar figures, crowded densely enough so that many overlap. Sixteen individuals can be discerned, with several repetitions of each; six of the zoomorphs also occur on Poster A. Identifications based on folkloric data are included in Fig.2, along with three other relevant identifications. Though a sky-coloured background is visible among the figures, this poster is clearly not a specific star map, but no doubt confers another as-yet-undeciphered layer of meaning onto the asterisms portrayed.

    Interpretations of LT Symbolism in Poster A

    We begin by noting the centrality of Bugs Bunny, a dominant figure in the LT pantheon, and the excellent fit of five of the other six figures to well-known circumpolar constellations (Table 1).  The bunny closely matches Draco enfolding Ursa Minor, with the latter representing the carrot in the bunny’s hand, and Polaris coinciding with the bunny’s big toe. [Note: some of the arbitrary lines joining stars in certain asterisms have been adjusted for the sake of clarity.]

    Moving clockwise around the perimeter, we find that Wile E. Coyote is an excellent match for the northern asterism of Pegasus, Penelope Pussycat for Cassiopeia, Pepe Le Pew for the Big Dipper portion of Ursa Major, the Tasmanian Devil for Hercules plus Corona Borealis (representing the Devil’s trademark whirlwind), and Road Runner for Cygnus.

    This leaves us, however, with a problem: Daffy Duck, pictured beside Bugs/Draco/Ursa Minor on Poster A, is not a particularly good match for the constellations in that approximate location, Cepheus and Lacerta, tentatively identified on other evidence as Yosemite Sam and the Bookworm. What is the meaning here? Could Poster A be recording an occasion when Cepheus and Lacerta were symbolically occluded by some other celestial body, represented by Daffy Duck?

    To answer this question, we can employ the hypothesis that a primary function of LT iconography was to predict/record close approaches by Near Earth Objects. Consider the duck. Daffy represents the cultural archetype of the Hubristic Loser, conniving, ambitious, and narcissistic, whose cunning plans for domination are continually being frustrated. What better symbol could there be for an asteroid or comet fragment that passes close to Earth without managing to effect a catastrophic impact? Even the name is suggestive: Earth “ducks” disaster by a narrow margin.

    If such an event can be identified, then it is reasonable to assume that Daffy Duck is a generic symbol for failed NEOs, and that Poster A is in fact providing a date-stamp for a catastrophe that did not happen. The prime candidate is Asteroid 2014 KH39, which passed within 1.1 LD of Earth on 3 June 2014, and was primarily observable in the constellation Cepheus. The fact that Poster A itself dates from pre-1990, some thirty years before the non-event, suggests that Looney Tunes is privy to the NASA-led conspiracy to “hide the truth in plain sight” regarding outer space, and that the Earth may indeed be flat.

    Statistical Test

    Our hypothesis is that the Looney Tunes character images (minus Daffy Duck) usually represent star asterisms, and their arrangement on Poster A, in combination with Daffy Duck, is used to represent the date 3 June 2014.  We test this hypothesis by statistically determining whether there is a better fit for the circumpolar asterisms than the one currently proposed. The probability that Poster A does not represent the stated asterisms is (P+1)/Q, where P is the number of permutations that work better than the configuration suggested, and Q is the number of all possible permutations.

    The value of Q is Xn, where X is the pool of LT characters to draw from, and n=6, the number of images we consider on Poster A. From Posters A and B and some additional images, we count eighteen characters that may have substituted for the six under consideration (See Figure 2). Hence, Q is around 34 million.

    To eliminate any permutations where two or more characters of the same kind would occur on Poster A, we can calculate Q as 6! multiplied by the binomial coefficient C618, which equals about 13.3 million.

    P is the number of better symbols for each position on Poster A. According to our rankings (see Table 1), all characters on Poster A were the closest match possible, therefore (P+1)=1. We therefore conclude that the probability that Poster A does not represent the date 3 June 2014 is around one in 34 million, or one in 13.3 million if we rule out permutations with repeated symbols on Poster A. Considering these odds, it seems extremely likely that Poster A does indeed represent the date 3 June 2014. Furthermore, we can rule out any other possible interpretations of the LT iconography, including any suggestion that the images are merely cartoon characters.



    Bradley, Rebecca, GOBEKLI TEPE, PART 4: ANIMALS AND ASTRONOMY, Lateral Truth, 18 November 2018.

    Bradley, Rebecca, GOBEKLI TEPE: RESPONSE TO MARTIN SWEATMAN, Lateral Truth, 6 December 2018.

    Sweatman, Martin B., Response to Rebecca Bradley at ‘The Lateral Truth’ regarding Gobekli Tepe and the Fox paper by Sweatman and Tsikritsis, Prehistory Decoded, 20 November 2018.

    Sweatman, Martin B. and Dimitrios Tsikritsis, DECODING GÖBEKLI TEPE WITH ARCHAEOASTRONOMY: WHAT DOES THE FOX SAY? Mediterranean Archaeology and Archaeometry, Vol. 17, No 1, (2017), pp. 233-250.

    Sweatman, Martin B. and Alistair Coombs, Decoding European Palaeolithic Art: Extremely Ancient knowledge of Precession of the Equinoxes, Athens Journal of History, online journal, 2 November 2018.

    Category: FeaturedScienceSkepticism

    Article by: Rebecca Bradley

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    1. Excellent article, Rebecca. I would alternately interpret the LT iconography as symbolic of the Hero’s Journey (ref. Joseph Campbell). Bugs Bunny, the central figure in Poster A is breaking out into the world on his journey but is often beset by Daffy Duck (duck season!rabbit season! duck season!). In his journey he observes conflicts such as between Wile E. Coyote and the Road Runner, and Pepe Le Pew and Penelope Pussycat. Chaos threatens at times in the form of the Tasmanian Devil. Missing but lurking in the background is the inept enemy Elmer Fudd. Oooh that wascally wabbit! It may be a stretch to base this interpretation on your astronomical one, but after all, “as above, so below”.

    2. I appreciate your fine British humor, but you made a substantial observational error, for which I must reprimand you: Duffy Duck is indeed looking /exactly/ like Cepheus when it is properly rotated. Please check the following link:


      That means that the image is a complete sky picture. No mentioned problems there. Please correct that.
      Your assessment is better than Martin’s.

      Now, the twilight zone:

      “…they can be thought of as a kind of crypto-script conveying coded messages that require careful scientific decipherment.” … “What is the meaning here? Could Poster A be recording an occasion when Cepheus and Lacerta were symbolically occluded by some other celestial body, represented by Daffy Duck?”

      Your subconsciousness has actually lead you to choose among the countless number of images the one that actually best represents the situation in question. Not only by the shape of characters representing the asterisms, but also by their archetypal meanings.

      “Daffy represents the cultural archetype of the Hubristic Loser, conniving, ambitious, and narcissistic, whose cunning plans for domination are continually being frustrated. What better symbol could there be for an asteroid or comet fragment that passes close to Earth without managing to effect a catastrophic impact? Even the name is suggestive: Earth “ducks” disaster by a narrow margin.”

      Yes. Obviously both him and the T. Devil (T in this case stood for ‘T’ pillar in your subconsciousness) plotted together to steal the carrot from the Bugs Bunny, but in his show he always wins.

      In that context, poster B is your subconsciousness finding a match with the pillar 56, mentioned on the reply to Martin on tepetelegrams.

      Actually, I know how the constellations got their names and what is the subconscious connection with the YD impact event. You have no idea how well the poster A actually represents the chain of events that took place.
      However, your subconsciousness obviously knows everything about it and has lead you to select the poster A.

      More: “Looney *Tunes*” was the source of images, and the asteroid 2014 KH39 passed at 440,000 km.
      440 Hz is the frequency of note ‘A’. Among all the asteroids you chose that particular one which is ‘musical’.
      Isn’t that a nice coincidence, or just your subconsciousness telling you absolutely correctly that that particular tone (note A) has something very important to do with the YD impact event ? (This is a rhetorical question.)

      Other than that, ‘KH’ is subconsciously an acronym for ‘keyhole’, which is a term used in planetary defense. Keyholes are numerous tiny areas in space around the Earth. If an approaching object goes through a keyhole, on a subsequent return it will collide with her. The YD comet first passed through a keyhole, during the year marked on the Vulture Stone, 10,961 BC, fissioned in two due to tidal stress, and then on the subsequent return impacted, on Aug 29, 10,950 BC, as was also recorded precisely on the Vulture Stone and elsewhere.
      Even more: 2014 KH 39 has a diameter of 25 m, whereby the impact speed of the comet was about 25 km/s.

      All that can also be read from the impact craters, the locations of which are recorded on Göbekli Tepe.

      “Furthermore, we can rule out any other possible interpretations of the LT iconography, including any suggestion that the images are merely cartoon characters.”

      Can you really ?

      What you just demonstrated here is what occurs all over the world. The chain of events that took place during the YD event is so deeply rooted in subconsciousness that it is being repeated over and over again everywhere. Of course, since you don’t know the chain of events, you cannot assess how accurately poster A represents it. But, I do.

      I simply, and overwhelmingly, /congratulate/ you!
      (That said, please amend this article by including the pointed image of Cepheus…)

        1. I was not joking. Absolutely not. I really do know what happened back then. Consider it. Then consider it again. And again if necessary.

          1. I do apologize. I honestly thought you were running with the joke. I’ll give you a straight reply, then. I don’t really see any resemblance between Cepheus and Daffy Duck. (And there’s a sentence I never dreamed I’d write.) Consider as well, that if Daffy is equated with Cepheus, then 2014 KH39 is irrelevant anyway.

            1. “I don’t really see any resemblance between Cepheus and Daffy Duck. ”

              How about this: Cepheus, like Duffy Duck is a loser — he dies accidentally at the end of story. But more importantly, he was the king of Ethiopia, and thus presumably /black/, just like Duffy Duck. (2 similarities)

              In that context, his wife Cassiopeia must have also been black, and so is the Pennelope Pussycat. Both are also notably beautiful females, and both are hanging upside down, Cassiopeia on the heavens, and Pennelope hereby. (4 similarities)

              How about the others ?

              T. Devil is a brute savage, just like Hercules. He is even shaped like a club, … of Hercules. (3 similarities)

              Road Runner is a bird, like Cygnus, the Swan. Both are noble birds. (2 similarities)

              Bugs Bunny coils around the carrot, like Draco does around the pole. Both are chiefs, the most important characters (effectively the strongest) in their domains of influence. (2 similarities)

              Carrot is small, tiny point in the center, just like Polaris, the pole stars of the current epoch. (2 similarities)

              Pepe le Pew is completely unlike the Big dipper. On first glance, this breaks the pattern of similarities,… but one has to remeber that the Big Dipper for the Arabs is a funeral processions, whereby the mourners are following the bier. Like Pepe, the mourners typically wear black. Pepe is not entirely black, and neither are the mourners — their faces are white, those of Arabs. Pepe is also well known for being potentially very stinky, and so the funeral bier sometimes can be, if the rotting corpse in the coffin is revealed. Both Pepe and the mourners are notable for having their best manners on display — namely they are very serious. (4 similarities)

              Coyote vs Pegasus, what are the similarities here ? Apparently none, but then again, both of them are known to be fast, to hang around high cliffs (Andromeda was chained on a cliff), to jump over chasms and fly freely, even though they are not naturally flying animals. (3 similarities)

              So, there are 22 similarities in important personal characteristics between these 8 pairs of characters None of the characters is without a match, and each exhibits at least 2 similarities. Why is there such a match ? Is it that whoever drew that picture was subconsciously connecting with the northern constellations ?

              Do you still think that Duffy Duck is unlike Cepheus ? (Even the pattern of stars has two spread out ‘hands’, when properly rotated, resembling Duffy, on the link provided by my previous reply.)

              Most importantly, is this joke still a joke and as such a refutation, or perhaps the truth is more complex ?

              Sorry, for the wall of text, but it is a worthy additional observation of correlations, I reckon.

            2. Hi, CV! I appreciate the work you’ve put into this, and enjoyed your comment, but I have to say – yes, the paper remains a parody, and no, I really don’t think the Looney Tunes artists were doing anything more complex than drawing cartoon characters. One point I was making was that, pattern-seeking critters that we humans are, we are apt to generate all sorts of false positives in the patterns we see. All the best. 🙂

    3. No, you are wrong. In your analogy you have complete freedom to choose both the cartoon characters and the constellations. Your analogy is no different to ‘seeing shapes in the clouds’. In our work, the constellations are given by those around Scorpius and the animal symbols are given by those on Pillar 43. No choice at all. This makes all the difference. We make exactly this point in our rebuttal to Notroff et al.

      1. Well, Martin, I would say that, in “seeing shapes in the clouds,” I am doing no more than following your example. I chose an image based on two criteria: the circular format, representing the circumpolar sky; and a minimum of six characters. Once that image was chosen, I had no choice. No choice at all.
        And you have to admit, my matching of constellations with characters is very good, in fact, better than yours in terms of both shape and position. (See Burley’s assessment of your paper for a critique of your “approximate” positions and matches.) In establishing my pool of possible images, I follow your example by examining the pool of known Looney Tunes characters. Applying your statistical methodology, I arrive at a probability of one in 34 million that my interpretation is incorrect, or about 99.99999997% chance that my interpretation is correct, and therefore the only possible interpretation. I would judge that this procedure does not test our joint initial assumption (Looney Tunes/GT animals = asterisms), but with these odds I can afford to be very confident. The probability I am right is in the region of 99.99999997%, which gives me plenty of confidence.* So again, I am simply following your example.
        *Your words.

    4. Your a funny lady, but I think you got this wrong. I agree with Dr Sweatman. You made up the constellations yourself – Dr Sweatman didnt. Using the constellations in Stellarium, my rankings would be 1st for the coyote, maybe 2nd or 3rd for the Road Runner, 1st for Penelope, 1st for the Devil, and maybe 3rd or 4th for Pepe. You shouldn’t use Bugs – Dr Sweatman didn’t count the scorpion in his. And your spacings are not as good. So that gives about 9/7776 = maybe 1 in a few thousand. So that’s nothing like the Vulture Stone at all. I don’t see where you get your numbers from. Maybe your dividing by the number of Loony characters in total – but that’s wrong because you didn’t compare with them did you? In the poster they all have different poses, so I think you got your maths wrong.

      1. Thank you for your analysis, but I disagree.

        Dr. Sweatman did use the scorpion in his statistics in the first paper. Note that his n=8, and X=12. Both those figures include the scorpion.

        As for the rest, I was simply allowing myself the same interpretive freedom as Dr. Sweatman did – if anything, less interpretive freedom. I did not make up any constellations myself; they are all there, and in their approximate positions. Dr. Sweatman has only five constellations in their approximate positions, and does not even include the “chick” below his Ophiuchus. Of those five, he admits in his second paper that his Ophiuchus is one full position out of place. Graham Hancock’s favourite archaeoastronomer, Paul Burley, points out that Sweatman has Libra in the wrong place and misinterprets Lupus; in fact, Burley notes generally notes that Dr. Sweatman’s “overall pattern (locations and orientations) of carvings…do not correlate well with the actual spatial pattern of stars.” Did you check Dr. Sweatman’s matches with Stellarium, or just mine?

        “Maybe your (sic) dividing by the number of Loony characters in total – but that’s wrong because you didn’t compare with them did you? In the poster they all have different poses, so I think you got your maths wrong.”

        Again, I was faithfully following Dr. Sweatman’s methodology. My Poster B is the equivalent of Pillar 56. His X=12 includes animals that were not on Pillar 43. He explicitly denies that the figures have to be in the same position to represent the same asterism. Note, for example, that the “bending bird” is only a good match for Pisces on Pillar 43, where its posture has to take into account the limited space; this does not stop him from identifying the birds on Pillars 2, 33, and 56 with the “bending bird,” though their postures are different.

        Note also that one of Dr. Sweatman’s animal-asterism matches involves an entirely imaginary animal: the “charging quadruped” identified with Gemini on Pillar 43, which somehow becomes an ibex/gazelle by the second paper. It is, however, clearly the same image as the fierce feline on Pillars 27, 51, and probably 56. You can even see the tiny teeth and snarl-lines. It is certainly neither an ibex (horns and short tail) or a gazelle (gracile muzzle and short tail). And yet the same image appears twice in his Table, and twice in his figure for X. Now, that’s what I call making things up.

    5. But your constellations are nothing like the ones in Stellarium. And your rankings are all wrong if your using all the Loony Tunes. This is just a desparate con. No wonder archeology is in such a state if you can’t see the truth even when its shown to you. Don’t bother replying.

      1. I wouldn’t dream of not replying.

        I think I see your problem. Those little lines that appear on Stellarium when you’ve got constellations turned on? Those aren’t actually in the sky. I used the same stars as appear in each constellation, just reconnected them here and there for clarity, as noted in my text. And why not? Did you imagine the same linkages were used 12,000 years ago, or even 2000 years ago? Have a look at the history of the constellations, and also how different cultures worldwide have delineated the patterns in the sky.

        Well, I recalculated based on your rather uncharitable rankings, and the worst I came up with was about one in four million. As Dr. Sweatman sets the significance level at one in two million (see our discussion on his website) I think my case is proved. At least, using Dr. Sweatman’s no-fail methodology.

        I notice you have no response to the fatal flaws in Dr. Sweatman’s analysis. What about that charging quadruped, eh? And did you check his positions against Stellarium? I think it’s ironic that you chide me for not seeing the “truth.”

        You are welcome to reply.

    6. To add probab8ilities to my post from Jan 14, 2019, one should check whether there are any character within the available pool of characters from Fig 2 (19 in total) that can be as good of a match for the images of constellations. Quick scan reveals that apparently only the T. Devil can be replaced by Hector the Bulldog, for they are both savage brutes, shaped like a club. Hector’s name even resembles that of Hercules, so it appears that he is in advantage over the T. Devil…. But, T. Devil is in the whirl, and Hector in the stars is rising from the Corona Borealis, which is also a sort of a whirl, slightly spiral in shape. Further, Hercules wears a lion’s fur coat, whereby T.Devil is furry, but Hector the Bulldog is not, so T.Devil is after all a better match.

      Other characters can not be replaced from the available pool, not even the coyote.

      Each character can fit to only one constellation, not to many, so the chances of a match are to choose orderly 8 characters out of a pool of 19 possible ones. That means that the likelihood is (19 – 8)! / 19 ! = *3.28E-10.*
      = (1/19)*(1/18)*…*(1/12)

      This likelihood, by personal characteristic, should be combined with the ranking of shapes given above, which is in dispute and open to biasing. The final ranking goes anywhere between 3.28E-10 and ~E-19.

      “Considering these odds, it seems extremely likely that Poster A does indeed represent the date 3 June 2014. ”
      There is no real evidence for that, if Duffy Duck is Cepheus, which he seems to be. Besides, I wonder whether the Figure 1 was made /before/ 2014, and what does the author of that image, whoever that might be, has to say about it?

      “Furthermore, we can rule out any other possible interpretations of the LT iconography, including any suggestion that the images are merely cartoon characters.”
      Any other possible interpretation is too harsh of a statement to be made, ever really, but especially in this particular case. Indeed, it appears that at the very least the characters presented also represent northern constellations, with a high likelihood of a match. Whatever else, if anything, do they represent is open to further analysis.

    7. Instead of us debating what they wanted to say, perhaps the issue can be resolved by simply asking the authors what they wanted to show. I presume with confidence that they are still alive. do you know who they are and when was the image created ? Was it before or after the 2014 ?

      Anyway, you surely had had every intention to make a parody, and yes, human mind makes false positives with ease, but in this case the workong hypothesis is that the event in question is so real in collective consciousness, that people often subconsciously repeat it in whatever real artistic work that they produce — basically the YD event essentially became an archetype. If it is an archetype, then it was real.

      So, for the sake of science, and because I find this debate amusing, I wonder whether an archaeologists can discover by recognition a previously unknown archetype ? Is that possible ? Presuming that the YD impact trauma is real and consciously forgotten, what kind of evidence one has to present to make it conscious ?

      Disregarding the work of Sweatman & Tsikritsis, the work of Hancock on myths, and the of the YD team on microscopic traces, I wonder what can convince you as a skeptic ? What do you want as ana evidence ?

      That said, I hope you realize that false negatives are also constructs of a mind, of a skeptic one in particular.

      How can one scientifically distinguish what is a false positive, and what a false negative ? What is reality ?

      1. I apologize for making too many spelling errors on the previous post.

        Other than that, few more thoughts to add:
        1. The carrot represents the pole star, in this case the Polaris. This means that the image refers to the current time, not to an ancient epoch.
        2. Out of the available pool of 19 cartoon characters, the best matching subset of 8 was chosen to replace the 8 northern constellations. Probability for a random match is confidently low to exclude this from being a coincidence, but instead must have been a deliberate action of a mind, not necessarily a conscious one.
        3. Among those 19 characters there is a fair number of birds, so one can wonder if the Road Runner is the best replacement character for a Swan. For instance the Foghorn Leghorn is also a big bird, and even white. However, he is a male, and the Cygnus is also called the hen, a female. Besides, the swan is a long-necked bird, just like the Road Runner, and unlike any other one from the available pool of 19 cartoon characters.
        4. All those characters are technically actors, and successful actors are in English language called ‘stars’. When they appear on the screen, they are ‘starring’.
        5. Images of constellations are a well known and undisputed standard archetype, especially if bundled together.
        6. Pole star, around which everything evolves, is a well known and very strong standard archetype.
        7. The figure 1 was apparently designed as a commercial material. The company who ordered it has deep pockets and can pay for a well designed propaganda. Thus, whoever designed this image quite likely deliberately made the cartoon characters to look like heavenly figures, so that in the minds of observers they subconsciously appear as ‘stars’, namely as successful actors. This is a subliminal suggestion, a well designed innocent one, hard to recognize. Without a sustained effort like this one, nobody would ever /consciously/ notice. Yet, it works nonetheless. Subconsciously.

        The conclusion here is that the image which you selected for a parody is not a false positive, as you implied, but a carefully premeditated well-designed manipulation by marketing wizards. Chances of that not being so, are on the order of E-10 … E-18, namely too small to ignore.

        Unless you can figure some other twisted counter-arguments, I reckon that your quite witty and impressive refutation at this instance exhibits a catastrophic collapse.

        Nonetheless, consider this: if a team of professional marketing wizards was able to create such an elaborate subconscious illusion over a relatively short period of time, what do you think were the Göbekli Tepe people able to achieve over a period of 80 generations of continuous efforts ? Was that enough of a time for them all to figure out and carve down a sky chart, if they had had a good reason to do so, to commemorate an impact ?

    8. My systematic response to Sweatman and Tsikritsis’ abuse of archaeo astronomy is here;
      Sweatman repeats his Aristotelean circular logic in a watered down ‘article’ on Graham Hancock’s website, where I respond to novel ‘evidence’ apparently from his book. Which made a headline or two in the popular press since it is ‘peer reviewed’. This marks the lowest point in a young discipline which is already characterised by cans of correspondence diffusion worms.
      I have never made any criticism this detailed and personal, but Sweatman’s headstrong applications of astronomy automation is an extreme example of pseudo-science posturing as research, poisoning novice views of the humanities. Let popular science surfers beware of this engineer with an astronomy automation laptop.

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