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How to Score High for the USMLE Step 1

You worked hard for your basic sciences and now you need to pass the USMLE Step 1 with a kickass score. Fortunately, the resources required for the Step 1 is not as a vast as the Step 2 CK. It all boils down to two resources: USMLE World question bank and the First Aid for the USMLE Step 1 book.

The resources overall:

Dr. Najeeb Videos

Dr. Najeeb videos is gold and I think when you do not know anything, you should start watching those videos first before trying anything else.

Kaplan Videos

Kaplan videos are very comprehensive, but they waste a lot of time reading off the slides to you instead of drawing things out like Dr. Najeeb. The Behavioral science section for the Step 1 is perfect which provides excellent explanation of Ethics and Biostatistics.


Dr. Sattar, from University of Chicago, does a great job smoothly explaining the pathology behind every diseases. He offers an online video course and book to follow along.

First Aid for the USMLE Step 1

This should be your bible for the Step 1 as it has an outline for 80% of what will be on the test. Remember this is not a book so you can not just open it from page one and expect to read it smoothly to the last page. However, make sure you write all your notes on this.

Doctor In Training (DIT)

This DIT course is excellent if you can not figure out how to use First Aid for the USMLE Step 1. This course helps in going back and forth and how and what to annotate on the book to fully understand each and every concept.

USMLE World Question Bank

USMLE World for the Step 1 is the ultimate resource which is a must. It is the most difficult question bank I have ever used but it helped me get a good score on the test. This question bank should be done simultaneously as you are doing DIT and reading the First Aid book.

These are the resources I used and I scored a score higher than the national average for the USMLE Step 1 . It's up to which resources you will use to study for the exam; however, you should note that USMLE World question bank and the First Aid for the USMLE Step 1 book is mandatory to use. This test is not easy and it requires a lot of time and effort so you have to be fully committed to this test, as in you should breath, dream, and live this test.

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Album Review: Andrew Bird – Break It Yourself

Chicago native Andrew Bird's latest offering "Break it Yourself" stays true to the clever wit and one-of-a-kind whimsy that fans have come to expect from his music.

As a master of blending virtuoso violin playing and a signature whistling style that's seemless in its own right (among other delightful flourishes), Bird manages to always effortlessly maintain a pop sensibility that warrants repeat playing without becoming too dull. It's no different this time around.

On "Desperation Breeds", the album's opener, Bird delicately ruminates on the world's bee shortage before slowly breaking into a high pitched violin squal that that dips into a frenzy of his trademark fingering skills. It almost literally looks to channel the frustration and confusion of the bees themselves.

"Eyeoneye", a track that manages to correlate heartbreak and the complications of a tumor called a teratoma is as catchy as anything he's done in the past, if not more so. The driving force of the melody makes vulnerability seem like a fun experience that no one should miss out on. This is especially clear towards the end when he sings / chants "Go ahead and defibrillate yourself" before the pounding drums build to a crescendo … and then fizzle with, of course, a light whistle; as if we just ran a hardcore marathon like it was nothing. Exhaustion does not exist here, but exultation.

The hearbreak theme continues in "Near Death Experience Experience", where the happiness of surviving a plane crash is dancing "… like cancer survivors … grateful simply to be alive". But do not let the dark subject matter fool you. The careful mood of the song is so happy it's like skipping down a sidewalk under a row of apple trees. Only when the apples hit your head do you realize the power conveyed in the lyrics of triumph over pain.

Who knew the subject of conquering fear and doubt could be so purely gorgeous? Take "Fatal Shore", where a mellow Mr. Bird mediates on the subject as quietly subdued as ever, but no less emotionally powerful as some of his best tracks. The drums gently tap along with the guitar and bass like a gentle stroke on an aching back as Bird and vocalist Nora O'Connor harmonize beautifully while repeating such lyrics as "You never know any doubt like we who break in and out".

A welcome comeback since 2009's "Noble Beast", we get a record not quite as immediately accessible or endlessly playful, but one that still stands as strong as most of his best work does. The details become more evident with each listen, and that's when the realization sets in: "Break it Yourself" is not just an album about a break-up. It's actually a complete, beeing entity, not too unlike a heart with its own love to give.

I personally would not want to break this kind of heart by myself. That's where you, the listener, comes in … to feel the joy of heartbreak. An oxymoron that only makes sense in Andrew Bird's world.

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Investing Tips for Beginners

When I started investing I had no idea even where to begin. I read books and searched the internet, and found there simply was way too much information for a beginner to even get a grasp on. As you begin your investing journey, you will hear many conflicting views on what you should or should not do in regards to investing in stocks. After a few months of trying different investing methods and strategies; I discovered the best thing to do was keep it simple and follow the basic steps outlined below:

(1.) Never use money to buy stocks that you can NOT afford to lose. In other words, do not play a game of black-jack with your mortgage payment.

(2.) Never purchase a stock you receive through an online email or regular mail. It more than likely is a Pump-And-Dump Scam.

(3.) When you buy a stock always immediately put in a stop-loss order. This single step could protect you from complete financial ruin if you can not monitor your stocks daily.

(4.) Learn how to use trailing stops.

(5.) Avoid buying into a stock when the market first opens. This is because stock prices tend to be wild in the first hour and you may pay too much for a stock. Stocks tend to stabilize a bit after the first hour of trading. Trying to chase a stock going through during the first hour will frustrate you greatly.

(6.) If you are new to investing do NOT buy stocks on margin. You can use a margin account, but only use the actual cash you put into the account NOT what the broker is willing to lend you.

(7.) Control your own greed. If you start turning the stock market into a casino, it will take you for all your worth.

(8.) When you first start investing stay away from buying individual stocks until you learn how the stock market really works. Instead start with simple index funds or exchange traded funds. Investing in individual stocks takes a lot of knowledge and practice.

In my opinion, if a new investors sticks to these basic guidelines they will save them a lot of heads. I think many new investors become so overwhelmed with all the investment information available to them that they lose sight of the basics. If you keep your expectations and emotions in check then investing in the markets can be a fun and pleasant experience. However, if you let your greed and emotions take over your common sense; the stock market will become one of the most nerve racking experiences of your life.

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Easy Sexual Positions for Beginners

If you are new to sex, we are going to discuss some easy sexual positions that you can try out with your lover. These sexual positions that I am going to share with you will require very little amount of skill and they can be easily executed.

Easy Sexual Position #1: The Doggie. This position is highly stimulating for the women, and it will be good for you to learn how to do it well if you are a man. The woman will be on all-fours, taking her weight on her forearms. The man will then kneel behind her and penetrate her from the back. The man will be the one who is in control and will dictate the thrusting movements with his hip. He can also use both his free hand to caress the woman to further turn her on.

Easy Sexual Position #2: The Beat. The woman will lie with both her legs wide open, and placing a cushion under her hips to tilt her vagina for deeper penetration. The man will then enter her from the top, using his hands to balance himself. This is a very relaxing position as both parties can continue to caress and embrace each other.

Easy Sexual Position #3: The Doggie With Chair. This position is quite similar to the traditional doggie style. The woman will stand with her back facing her partner. She will use her hands to hold onto a chair and arc her back. The man will penetrate her from behind and use his hand to caress her breasts and stimulate her clitoris. This position allows deep penetration and will be very fulfilling for both parties. Lastly, it is ideal for anal sex too.

These are just some easy sexual positions that you can try out with your lover. Once you have mastered these positions, move on and try out other stimulating sex positions.

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Free Blogs – Three Big Reasons Not to Use Them!

One of the biggest questions asked by new bloggers is "Should I get my own hosted blog or should I get a blog?" I've heard that question more times than I'd like to remember.

Although there are advantages and disadvantages to both, having your own web hosting server is always better at the end of the day. Let me give you two simple and valid reasons why you should never use a blog provider:

Reason # 1: Limited Resources

Posting content through a remotely hosted blog requires that you relinquish a tremendous amount of control over how messages look and work. This is primarily because a remotely hosted blog by design is built to accommodate hundreds of thousands of bloggers.

For such a big volume of activity, it can only afford to offer the very least. A blog that offers an extensive amount of features to a large number of people consumes much more resources than what its own servers can provide – absolutely running the risk of major crashes.

Even something as simple as a low-graphic poll can consume an insurmountable amount of bandwidth if over 100,000 bloggers decide to offer one to their visitors. A popular blog already consumes more bandwidth than you can imagine.

Resources simply are not an issue with a self-hosted WordPress blog these days. With your blog web hosting, you can deck out your blog with as many plugins and widgets as your heart desires without having to fear server crashes or time outs.

In fact, you should not consume any more bandwidth with your own hosted blog than you would consume with your own hosted website.

Reason # 2: Limited Monetizing Opportunities

We could not count the number of people who want to monetize their blogs if we wanted to. The simple fact is that everyone and his "mom" wants to monetize their blog but the ugly reality is that many (free) remotely hosted blogs do not allow it.

If you host a blog at for example, you're prohibited from using any form of direct advertising like Google AdSense or affiliate links.

Limited resources could play a factor in this restriction, however since most monetized campaigns call upon the resources of a 3rd party, this restraint is mostly censorship. Providers than block third party ads typically do so because they want to promote their own services, or at the very least get more people to sign up for their free blog accounts.

If you have your own blog, you can use any type of advertising program. You're only restricted by your conscience (or by the data disclosed from your visitor stats) and the only policies that you have to follow are the policies of your 3rd party ad providers. This allows you to tap into popular programs like Google AdSense, Chitika, Text Link Ads and much more.

Reason # 3: Long Term Control of Content

One of the most overlooked reasons to get your own blog hosting is the complete control over content in the long term. Although some free blog providers like BlogSpot are unquestionably to go our business, some of the smaller ones ever will.

And when that happens, it can be difficult (if not impossible) for you to move your content to another free provider. Even in the case of BlogSpot or (free version) you may want to move your content to your own blog host two or three years down the road.

Unfortunately, any search engine ranking you get, and the free traffic that comes along with it, will be lost. So even if you think you're saving a buck or two today, in the long term you're always on the losing end if you decide not to host your own blog.

Web hosting blog blogs nowdays is pretty affordable – mostly under $ 7 a month – so there's no real reason not to take your blog to the next level. The meager cost is nothing compared to the benefits you get, like flexibility and professionalism.

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Yoga’s Warrior Poses and Their Benefits

Yoga is a complex combination of art and science which in itself has been an advocate of a way of life for centuries today. This tradition is based on the practice of several easy and complex postures known as asanas. Amongst these poses, there are various levels of difficulty and yoga practitioners can choose the ones based on their own level of expertise. Although all asanas have numerous benefits, one particular asana that is very important is the Virabhadrasana or warrior pose. The name Virabhadrasana is selected on the basis of a warrior who was the reincarnation of the Indian God Shiva, and when performed creates the image of a warrior ready to fight. However, there is no element of physical fighting involved during the practice of this asana as yoga’s most basic constituent is to promote peace. This asana does however does encourage the yogi to combat the inner fears and rise above them. This asana has three levels of complexity and is therefore divided among beginners, intermediate and advanced yogis.

Warrior I: The most basic warrior pose, it is performed by standing in the mountain pose and then extending the left foot behind the right foot at a 45 degree angle. The arms are raised upwards and the shoulders and hips are facing forward. The primary focus is to keep the shoulders down and away from the neck while practicing repeated breathing and channeling the energy inwards. This posture is very challenging for beginners, as it is hard to keep the back foot flat on the ground during this asana. So some teachers allow a few modifications before command is gained over the pose.

Benefits: Warrior I Strengthens the chest, arms, legs, hips, shoulders and back. It also stretches the chest lungs, abdomen and groins. It is also a great way of reducing sciatic pain substantially.

Warrior II: The intermediate level of the warrior poses, II is performed with the legwork similar to I, but the arms are extended out parallel to the floor in opposite direction to each other. The shoulders stay directly over the pelvis and the torso is kept completely straight. Beginners of warrior II are coached to reduce the distance between the legs to gain mastery of the asana before increasing it to the maximum.

Benefits: In addition to strengthening the shoulders, arms, thighs, hips and legs, it also improves balance, endurance, concentration and stamina. This is very helpful in relieving lower back ache during pregnancy, especially in the second trimester. Warrior II also stimulates and improves the workings of the digestive and other abdominal organs.

Warrior III: The most advanced of the warrior poses; this asana requires balancing on one leg. The other is extended backwards and raised upwards to the level of the torso while bending the torso forward in order to attain a straight line from toe to head. The arms are kept straight at the side, parallel to the torso. This posture requires a great deal of practice and concentration to achieve, and is not recommended for beginners at all.

Benefits: Warrior III develops the sense of concentration and inner awareness. It helps to improve memory, posture, balance and total body synchronization. It also calms stress and anxiety and helps to sooth the entire mind and nervous system. In addition it also strengthens and stretches the legs, hamstrings, back, shoulder, hips and chest.

The three variations of the warrior pose when mastered can prove to be a great asset to any yogi’s regime.

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Healthy Weight Loss – 10 Tips to Grocery Shop For Health and Saving Money

The money which we spend on the groceries have doubled and tripled over the last few years. Therefore, it is very important for us to do our grocery shopping smartly. In this article we will provide you with the information to help you with your healthy weight loss plans along with saving you money at the same time.

Many people are of the misconception that shopping for healthy food is more expensive. With proper informed choices, you can actually save money while purchasing the healthy food. Healthy food is the core component of any weight loss program.

The belief about healthy food being expensive is absolutely not true. With a little bit of planning you can save considering amount of money with the groceries which you use and take care of your health simultaniously.

Although experts recommend a long list of necessary tips to grocery shop for health and saving money, 10 most important tips are as follows: –

1) Plan: Make a detailed shopping list before you hit the grocery shop. If you want to experience positive results in your healthy weight loss regime, planning is extremely necessary. You will not be buying the temptation foods by doing so. Strictly go by the shopping list and make all the purchases accordingly. This alone saves a lot of money as it stops impulse purchases. Also shop only once a week with your menus planned out, that way you have what you need and you have not bought junk foods to tempt you.

2) Utilize the sales and offers: You might need to make some extra space in your kitchen cabinet for the sales items when you get good deals. It is a good idea to stock up healthy food when you get them on good offers. If these are the foods you use on your nutritional program, then purchases make sense.

3) Eat before you shop: It may sound a little funny but if you are hungry, you tend to buy a lot of unnecessary things. You could eat low calorie food before leaving for supplies in order to stop that kind of craving. This is a big must for success.

4) Buy low calorie food: You'll need to make a list of low calorie food and snacks that keep you on program, healthy and satisfied.

5) Pack your lunch for their offices: You can cook at home or use the leftovers for lunch in your office instead of buying from the cafeteria. This is a perfect example for eating healthy food and saving money at the same time. Over time you lose a lot of weight and save money you can use elsewhere.

6) Think of fresh foods whenever possible: Buying once a week, organic if possible, fresh fruits and vegetables will lead to healthier eating. Try to buy local grown when possible. Yes, canned and frozen foods are cheaper than fresh ones but when available much more healthy and tasty too. NO preservatives and unneeded chemicals, especially salts.

7) Go green: You can eat vegetarian food once in a week and save the money that you spend on meat, fish and poultry. You may add beans, legumes, tofu, and eggs, etc to save some money and eat unhealthy. Beans and Rice added to your diet are a wise choice. Homemade enchiladas with bean, rice, small amount of cheese and sauce make a mighty good dinner.

8) Grow your own vegetables: you could grow your own vegetables, for example nice red tomatoes and green salad makings in your backyard. You may also consider freezing your own produce and enjoy nature's bounty for a longer time. Not only will you be saving money and eating healthy weight loss foods, you will also be doing some physical activity while taking care of your garden. Physical activities are always the essential ingredients of healthy weight loss.

9) Go for whole grain food: Whole grain bread although not as inexpensive as white bread, is a lot healthier choice of and carries fewer calories with more fiber. Recently I discovered help bread in the food co-op, it makes wonderful toast for example.

10) Avoid junk food shopping: Avoid the going to the junk food section which will affect your weight loss program. There are chances of you getting taken away by looking at the mouth watering unhealthy food. Bottom line, just do not go there!

There are plenty of plans which can help you to maintain your health and save money at the same time. One of the simple things which you can do for yourself is walk to the grocery shop instead of taking your car or if it is far away you can park your car far away from the door. There are so many healthy weight loss tips; just do a Google search and you will have both support and information at your hands. Beware of hucksters selling programs and quick fixes of unknown products. Work from knowledge, not despair.

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Why Writing Ebooks is the Best Way to Make Money Online For Beginners

Making money online is the dream of every budding entrepreneur. I know when I first got started and was deciding between building an offline business or an online one, there was no question that an online business was the fastest way to earn extra income online – with the least downside.

So why do you want to start an online business? Does it really matter, you just want to do it right?

Maybe you have read the story of how Markus Frind started an ugly dating site called Plenty of Fish and regularly takes in $ 10 million dollars annually from Google and other advertisers.

Perhaps you read about how John Reese took in over $ 1 million in 24 hours when he launched his product Traffic Secrets.

Was it the story of how Mike Filsaime, a once overworked car salesman who put in regular shifts of 15 hours on the job pulls in over seven figures every year that got you interested in making some extra cash online.

Whatever the reason you got interested in learning about how to start an online business, I have to say, you have come to the right spot to learn.

Now you have a number of ways to make a little extra money online, including:

  • Affiliate Marketing
  • Pay Per Lead Programs
  • eBay
  • Network Marketing
  • Google Adsense
  • Driving traffic to sites via Google Adwords
  • Writing and Selling Ebooks Direct to Customers

All of the above ways are viable, but some of them have some serious downsides – either time, money commitments.

Affiliate Marketing?
Affiliate Marketing is a cheap way to get started online. However, it takes time to learn and you have to compete against thousands of other affiliates for the same products. Standing out becomes more difficult, especially if the product is just launching and the affiliate commission is a big one.

Pay Per Lead Programs?
Pay Per Lead Programs are great in theory but you need to have a pretty robust website and a list. By list I mean a list of people whoave you their email addresses and want to hear from you.

eBay? Do not get me started. First you need stuff to buy, you have to post the item for sale and create an auction. Then you have to constantly monitor your listings. Then you have to ship the thing you are selling and then start all over. No thank you.

Network Marketing?
Network Marketing has some serious upside, especially if you are at the top of the pyramid – I mean commission structure. Hey mom, dad, do you want to buy this from me so I can make a commission? I am only two more sales away from the level where I make serious money. No thanks.

Google Adsense?
Google AdSense sounds great in theory. You just place the code on your website and Google serves up the best ads for your readers based on the content on your site. Your readers click and you make money. Simple, right? Not so fast.

To make any online income with Google AdSense you have to have a site with plenty of traffic. That's great if you're Markus Frind of Plenty of Fish fame with millions of page views per month. Got one of those sites? Neither do I, so forget that option for now.

Google Adwords?
Google Adwords? Great if you can make extra money doing it, but you will likely spend thousands just "learning" how to make it work. No thanks.

Writing and Publishing Ebooks?
Writing and Publishing Ebooks. Once you set up your website, everything operates on autopilot. So you just write your ebook, upload it to your site and set up your shopping card through a free provider like PayPal.

When you look at the above options for making extra money online, it becomes clear that the first choice for beginners is to create a short little eBook and sell them online. It is one of the cheapest and easiest ways to start making additional cash online.

Okay, so maybe I am biased. I have written over 40 ebooks and made thousands of dollars on autopilot from my ebooks. Yeah, I guess I am a little biased, but with good reason.

I know that if you give writing and publishing ebooks a try, you will never try any of those other ways to make some extra money online. Get started today.

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How To Have a Blog That Sells

There are few bloggers who get more than 1 million visitors per month to their blogs and many of them are also managing more than one blog at a time. Having a blog is very important if you are venturing online as an online marketer and you are still having launch your own product. Having an own blog will give you more interactivity from your readers. They may like to connect with you on social networking sites if you give them an option. And there before you are increasing your social circle by having like minded individuals and that is very good for your business.

Blog also gives good content for the Google searchers to locate you. For example if you have 2000 posts on your blog then you will be getting a lot of traffic from search engines alone. Now having a blog is not only enough you should be having a blog that sells.

Here are few steps for having a successful blog.

  • Find your niche – You should now who are you catering to and that is find your target market.
  • Write useful content – Write useful content that provides immense value to readers.
  • Write simple content – The content which the readers can use right away. There should be no complicated stuff which is hard to understand.
  • Focus on writing better – You should be honing your writing skills as a catchy headline with promising content works wonders.
  • Improve networking with others – People who comment on your blogs would expect the same as it is a win-win situation and if you develop a good relation with them they may go ahead and promote your products as well.

Blogging is not a get rich quick scheme as you would be killing the fun if you focus on making money out of it first. Blogging takes time and so does building relationships but once done right it will be your most valuable asset. So provide solutions first and then get paid.

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To Twitter Or Not to Twitter – Is it Sweet to Tweet? founder Brent Hoberman described it as "a fascinating zeitgeist tool. It's an excellent way of understanding trends, seeing what people are talking about and what's firing their imaginations. There is always someone out there there having a better time than you and you want a bit of it. "Brent is not alone; Barack Obama has been at it for ages … Right now it is the place to be, it's got the PR and the momentum but it does not have the revenue model at present and it's purely venture capital funded.

To the uninitiated, messages are known as tweets and people who read your messages are called followers. Then there is the particular Twitter culture and mode of behavior: sociality is enhanced by retweeting messages you find illustrating by rebroadcasting them to your followers. Among hardcore users, gratuitous self-promotion is frowned upon. Twitter has stumbled upon a formula that a whole generation of internet start ups has been searching for: a way for people to connect with friends, express themselves and find information that stands a chance of one day becoming as popular as other mass online trends such as blogging and social networking.

Three years old, the Silicon Valley company only has 29 employees while the basic service will remain free, business users as on Linked In may be charged for extra functions. Meanwhile there is a viral network effect which is giving it great growth. The Twitter phenomenon has much to do with the fundamental simplicity of the idea. Operating at a joke of blogging, texting and social networking, the service defies easy categorization. "Because it is undergoing such rapid evolution, it's hard to slap a label on it" says Peter Fenton a partner at Benchmark Capital, who has joined Twitter's board.

Businesses have been keen to tap into a rapidly growing network like Twitter. The fact that users can choose which messages they want to receive could open the way to a new "opt-in" marketing says Bob Pearson of Dell. The computer maker for instance, issues a stream of tweets about new discounts on its products. In summary Twitter's six secrets of online success:

* Immediacy: Real-time flow of comments and adaptability to mobile handsets makes it more immediate than blogging.

* Brevity: Limiting messages to 140 characters makes it easier to produce and easier to digest.

* 'Pull' not 'push': The ability of users to choose which tweets they follow makes it less random than email.

* Searchability: Messages can be searched, making the content more accessible than the comments on a social network.

* Mixing the public and the personal: A user's personal contacts are on an equal footing with public figures.

* 'Retweeting': By copying and retransmitting messages, users can turn the network into a giant echo chamber.

* This past week Twitter has been in the news several times:

* Life or death – A snowboarder was found dead but Twitter had been used in the search and kept seekers up-to-date.

Twitter has been used very effectively to raise money for Comic Relief, after the Twestival and the current hitchhike of Twitchhiker, the TwitterTitters have compiled new book of comedy all this raising well deserved funds for Comic Relief. On the commercial side-a US based IT company has developed a network of sensors that measure the amount of moisture in the soil and compares it to the optimum moisture level. This data is sent to a local network. The data is then turned into a text or Twitter message, to tell you when you need to water your plants. So how cool it is that your plants can now Twitter you to tell you they are thirsty! Give it a go ….

Find out which UK and US politicians use Twitter the most: .

and some well known Twitterers ….

Will Carling, Russell Brand, Demi Moore, Chris Moyles, Britney Spears, Lance Armstrong, John Cleese, Snoop Dogg, Noel Edmonds, Bill Gates, Richard Branson, Jamie Oliver, Toby Young, Boris Johnson.

Over to you, can interim management professionals not join the tweeting classes? Inspiration for this blog from the FT, The Observer, Computing and Metro, thank you.

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