CaixaEscena Pedagogical Kit

 

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CaixaEscena and La Mandarina de Newton have been working together with the aim of creating a pedagogical kit that could be used as a new and innovative tool when sharing and educating dramatic arts topics in the classroom. In order to do so, we found it essential to have the collaboration of theater professionals and teachers from other disciplines during the different phases of the process. For that we have organised three co-creating sessions with professionals from different areas of Spain.

These sessions started in Murcia (January 24) and this first workshop was a meeting for brainstorming and ideation. There was an interesting discussion on how theatre can be helpful for academic performance, the generation of debates and the personal growth (improving the self-esteem and the perception of others). Nearly a dozen participants assisted the workshop and it was really inspiring.

The second session took place in Madrid, on February 20, and it focused on the prototyping process. Ten participants nailed down the ideas generated in Murcia, added the online proposals, and all ended up combined in two different kit prototypes.

After these two workshops La Mandarina de Newton worked on the two designs proposed by the participants and was able to integrate both of them into a single prototype kit.

Finally, the last workshop was held in Barcelona, on March 20, and the attendees tested this prototype and gave feedback and new ideas in order to improve and extend it.

Now, with all this material, and with the help of theater experts and specialised designers, we will keep working on the prototype in order to achieve the final design of the CaixaEscena Pedagogical Kit.

We’ll keep you updated on our progress!

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HackatH2On - a weekend full of creativity!!

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Last weekend, 21 and 22 of march 2015, took place at the Museu Agbar de les Aigües and to mark World Water Day, an unique event: the HackatH2On.

The HackatH2On was a hackathon of more than 30 intense hours of creativity, where people from the most varied backgrounds had the opportunity to met and to co-create mobile applications with aim of bringing citizens and the water world into close proximity. Programmers, engineers, designers, museum curators… all accepted the challenge and decided to participate on the HackatH2On.

La Mandarina de Newton was the entity hired by the Museu Agbar de les Aigües to organise this great creativity celebration! There were weeks of  hard-work and the weekend itself, also a marathon for our team… but, certainly, an effort that was well worth it!

Being responsible of making posible that such creative people with an eager to share ideas, innovate and to ‘give one’s all’…, have the opportunity to meet at the same space to co-work on a project, is what make us forget all the effort required.

Also, seing that our work is recognised by the protagonists, make us feel even more motivated to keep on working! And our commitment is also to try to learn as much as posible from each single project, so the next one could be an even better experience for everyone!

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A ‘BIG THANKS’ to all of you!!

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The call for participation was a success! 5 days before the announced deadline, the 90 available places were already sold out!

With a waiting list that did’t stop growing, the decision to increase the number of H2Ocreatives to 100, was taken!

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Finally, on saturday morning, we filled up the Àgora auditorium of the Agbar Museum with more than 80 participants!!

The 24 hard-working hours resulted in over 20 high quality, creative and innovative proposals for mobile applications.

The presentations of the projects took place on sunday morning and, after the difficult task, the jury composed by experts in museology and technology and members from the Agbar Foundation (Ignacio Escudero, CEO of Aigües de Barcelona; Manuel Cermerón, Strategy and development director of Agbar; Xavier Verdaguer, founder of TMT FactoryIntegra InteractiveInnovalleyseven4seven and Imagine Creativity Center; Javier González Abad, Managing director of Citilab; and Lluís Marquina, Director and presenter of Generació Digital TV show from Televisió de Catalunya), chose the three wining teams of the HackatH2On:

  • 1st prize (3.000 euros): Cubus Games, formed by Jordi Solà, Jaume Carballo, Albert Pons and Quim Garreta, which created an interactive fiction application, ‘Agbar – the Water Temple’, suitable for all ages and that, from the visit to the museum, places the user on a drought context, letting him/her think about this future threat.

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  • 2nd prize (1.500 euros): SorryFib, formed by Daniel Otero and Guido Arnau, developed ‘H2O Game’, an application that uses gyroscope and fluid simulation and that makes use of the NFC tags located in different museum locations to unlock the game levels while visiting the exhibition.

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  • 3rd prize (the ’famous’ HackatH2On chair – a prize that the Agbar Museum decided to give after the spontaneous requests on social networks): O2H, formed by Miquel Llobet and Daniel Torremilans, who developed an application, ‘ShowerUp’, based on the concept of saving water under the shower, in which the users play with their friends trough a ranking competition, with the final goal of reducing water consumption.

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As usually happens on a competition like this, there were too many great ideas for the number of prizes… lots of them with a really high quality!!

Our team would like to congratulate and thank ALL for the non-stop hard word and dedication!! We hope you enjoyed as much as we did!

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We look forward to seeing you all in some other future activity!!

See you soon!!

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Contest FantàsTIC2015

FantasTIC2015

After CASTIC2012, the L’altra ràdio of Ràdio 4 and La Mandarina de Newton, with the support of the Catalan Society of Sci-Fi & Fantasy announce a new contest, FantàsTIC2015.

FantàsTIC2015 is a competition of science-fiction micro-stories related with Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) and with three main objectives: to encourage creative writing; imagine the future use of Internet and ICTs among citizens and schools in Catalonia; encourage artistic creation and the critic view of the language and to encourage radiophonic creation, with the production of short stories as a result of the adaptation of the winners’ texts.

This contest is open to groups of students from primary and secondary schools in Catalonia and to all citizens from the age of 16, individually or in groups.

The works should be a short science fiction story in Catalan which plot includes any device or usage related with ICTs.

There are diferente categories and the participant’s texts must be submitted before May 10, 2015! 

<< You can read the contest guidelines at the FantàsTIC2015 webpage. >>

And of course, there are FantàsTIC prizes for each category!!


Following the contest, La Mandarina de Newton will propose several co-creation online projects inspired by the winner texts and open to all internet users. We propose the co-creation of new stories inspired from the first sentence of the three winning stories (one per category). The initiative called “FantasTIC continues…” will result in new “nano stories” (even shorter than the first ones) inspired by the winning stories and that are created from the participation of several people. Making the stories evolve in parallel and across different platforms, will result in a variety of rich and interesting stories.

Additionally, and outside the competition, the L’altra ràdio will freely organise a radio workshop with the young people, at the La Mandarina de Newton space. The aim is to make a radio adaptation of one of the works of the science fiction writer, Jordi de Manuel, and broadcast it together with the three winning FantàsTIC2015 entries.

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La Mandarina de Newton at FADfest: HackingBullipedia and critical design

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La Mandarina de Newton was quite present at the 3rd International Conference Open Design Shared Creativity that took place at Design Hub Barcelona on June 30th and July 1st.

On the 30th at 12:30 Ramon Sanguesa summarized the experience with our project HackingBullipedia with elBulliFoundation and discussed its relationship with open design.

On July 1st at 17:00 La Mandarina de Newton sponsored a session with Lisa Ma, Laura Forlano, Luiza Prado, Pedro Oliveira and Ramon Sangüesa to explore the points of contact between critical design approaches and open and participative design approaches. Is it possible to bring out the power of critical design in open and participatory projects?

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Here’s the full program.

Soon we will share with you more details about these two days of creativity!

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A weekend of transdisciplinary dialogue and creation at Hangar: Synergy

The last week of June we participated in the workshop Synergy: Interdisciplinary Practice and Theory, coordinated by Simon PennyRoc Parés and Mara Balestrini, within the GridSpinoza program organized by Hangar. The two and half days of the workshop were very intense and interesting. We brought together interests, methods and projects.

To us it was great to deal again with some of the questions that we posed about transdisciplinarity in the Common Grounds workshop of 2011.  At the time we followed a prototyping process. In Synergy, 2013 we followed the method of work that the workshop organizers  articulated around sharing and dialogue.

The workshop pursued the sharing of projects and ideas but also the creation of a protocol for the development of transdisciplinary projects. In this regard there were very enlightening interventions of each one of the three coordinators (Simon Penny, Roc Pares and Mara Balestrini) about how they felt  about transdisciplinarity, its objectives and its working methods.

Simon Penny approached the value and challenges of transdisciplinarity from a general perspective but remarked that transdisciplinarity is a process framed in social and historical contexts. What today is considered a transdisciplinary program, tomorrow will be an established discipline. He stressed the combinatorial  aspect of transdisciplinary work pointing, for example, to the translation of methods from one discipline to another. He also remarked the problems posed by the difficulties of communication and the need to play with the different languages ​and practices of each discipline that conrtibutes to a project.

Roc Parés approached his contribution from his experience in the intersection between art, science and technology, particularly new media. He stressed the opportunity to look in places where there is still no intersection between disciplines, and to delve into them to come up with new possibilities.

Mara Balestrini take on transdisciplinarity focused on her experience at the intersection of new technologies, the city and citizen engagement, a perpsective we can easily relate to. She shoed examples of projects where the use of mobile technology and the Internet in public spaces generated authentic engagement. She also shared her recent work on aspects of interaction between strangers in public spaces and its consequences.

During the following two days all participants described their own projects and then all of them worked together as transdisciplinary possible to create new proposals.

We came to Synergy wanting to know  about new methods but ended up opening up and morphing a little our project on internal contamination and joining in other project based on the concept of mistakes in general and science in particular and the role of misatkes in culture. We will describe this in more detail in future posts. In any case it was a very rewarding experience to know about other collaborative approaches from different disciplines. We left with very good connections and new potential partners.

A very good initiative.

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How to innovate on/in/from Science Parks?

Our project with PRUAB: The Laboratory of Ideas at the UAB Research Park

The Autonomous University of Barcelona (UAB) created in 2007 the UAB Research Park (Parc de Recerca UAB, PRUAB) as a space to enable technology transfer from its important research assets. This park has several peculiarities. On one hand, it is not restricted only to the departments and research centers of its university, UAB, but it also includes other institutions who are present in the campus such as the research centers of the CSIC and the IRTA, for example. On the other hand, it has a distinctive feature compared to other geographical concentrations of researchers, i.e., the fact that you can find in a very small area research capabilities in both basic experimental and social sciences. Thus, the list of spin-offs that have been created from the efforts of the Park  includes companies like Scytl (technology for reliable electronic voting that led them to be selected for the USA presidential election) or Sócol that applies social sciences to social innovation and urban policy.

However, PRUAB wanted us to help them ideate a space where they could explore new visions on their own mission and ways of working. This is how the “Laboratory of Ideas” project started to take form.  Following our line of work, we co-designed with PRUAB’s management and staff a whole process to… further co-design with users and stakeholders research and innovation projects. In fact, what we have done is to design a process to allow for collective design to take place in research and innovation.

We have facilitated several very active sessions with researchers, companies, entrepreneurs and users. From them, several things have emerged: joint research projects between companies and university researchers as well as embryos of new spin-offs. A small new community is slowly growing around these projects. PRUAB is trying hard to further boost it by including new interactions, which go far beyond the usual “networkings” or Community of Practice frameworks and that are rooted in the processes of co-creation, prototyping and co-design which we have successfully applied to various domains of activity.

For us, the best indication that something new is happening at PRUAB are the content and quality of the multiple interactions and interviews we’re having in the process. “We are changing the way we think and act” commented several staff PRUAB members who consider themselves our co-designers in this process and who have dared to embark with us into it, attracted by the reputation of La Mandarina de Newton as the creator of highly creative process based on design.

We are just at the beginning of a user-centered design process that operates at different levels.

At one level it is a process aimed at creating new ideas and projects, including start-ups. On the other level, and from the perspective of the PRUAB Science Park, the process is in itself a exploratory prototype for finding new ways of operation, new services, new ways of organizing PRUAB. Also at this level, we follow a design process.

To summarize, this is a very simplified view of the process:

  1. A co-design session with the management and staff of PRUAB: the process timeline and details were the result.
  2. A co-creation session with researchers, companies and stakeholders: innovation project ideation and user identification.
  3. Review of the proposals by users. Co-design with them.
  4. Re-design of initial projects.
  5. Review and creation of business models.
  6. Invitation to developers to join in the project. Refining the business strategy.
  7. Retrospective reflection and analysis of the entire process with PRUAB: redesign of services.

All along the whole process, we conduct intensive ethnographic observation in order to detect what might be of interest for the skills, capabilities and attitudes of all participants, both an innovation proposals and PRUAB organization level.

For us, it was clear from the beginning that users should be involved in helping to give form to ideas conducive to innovation projects. It was a great joy to see how we were able to transfer some co-design capabilities to researchers, entrepreneurs and staff so they could test emerging ideas of their own projects with the possible future users.

The Park management estimate that for this self-prototyping process we had to start from a clear focus. So we agreed to focus on the issue of aging so that general focus and direction was given. This made easy for users and stakeholders to relate to the process they were invited to take part in.

The first session with management and staff at PRUAB allowed them to find the current constraints and limitations that being a Science and Technology Park imposes on innovation processes. We also were able to spot opportunities and stakeholders and relevant user groups related to aging.

The second session energized more than fifty people from various areas and get them to devise projects and prototypes of new products and services.

The third session was the acid test: we got entrepreneurs, technologists, social workers and researchers to discuss their proposals directly with their potential users. The session had a very strong energy and allowed many projects to be “landed” into practicality. Also, it was an occasion to train participants in the difficult and ambiguous conversation skills needed when working with users. In a way, we help proponents themselves to work as designers.

Why is this project important?

One. Because we are creating a new space that wants to exploit the great capabilities of the PRUAB by connecting them with the users. Traditionally, both researchers and technologists (and partly business people) still work isolated “in love” with their own idea, in their own bubble. This path leads to products that not necessarily respond to real needs, if, however, they incorporate the latest research. Hopefully, of course, some of them could end being truly disruptive. Aging is a complex problem with multiple dimensions and different users. Listening to users can give clues about how to improve an initial proposal or how to create something completely new after seeing their reaction. To give you a hint of typical insights coming of this we can cite the example of what happened when a user, after being told about a proposal to electronically control the falls of old people in their homes, said: “But falling is really an exciting thing. In this way people come home to meet me, and help me. Although the caretakers who usually rush home, “could talk a little more with me”.  Is the fall the only “problem” here? Are there other opportunities for new solutions to other problems? By making researchers and entrepreneurs practice the bare minimum user-design skills we help them value new opportunities and the role of design in the creation of their intended innovative service, product or spinoff. And it gives a lot of value to a Science Park if it can offer these services.

Two. Start-ups that focus on product results need design to have an impact (See, for example, http://startupsthisishowdesignworks.com). The sooner the better. Not all startups can become design-based innovating companies like Apple.  However, how much value can a proto-Johnathan Ive add to a start-up in PRUAB? How can the researchers / entrepreneurs  appreciate the importance of design in the future of their project if they are not exposed to the practice of design while preparing their projects? We are working with PRUAB to identify new services in this regard.

Three. If the design (and co-design) attitude is shared by management, staff, stakeholders, and users, the community that is emerging around PRUAB’s “Laboratory of Ideas” has a ‘color’ that goes well beyond the usual interactions that occur in these environments whether in the form of “networking events”, communities of practice or tech transfer services. The PRUAB, by adding new activities based on the practice of shared design is launching an important message to the community of science and technology parks.

Four. We know it works: after being in contact with the accelerators of various spaces, we are convinced that the processes of, for example, Navy Yards in Brooklyn where the design is in the early stages of creating start-ups and designers are part of the equipment founders of spin-offs works. We have no doubt about it.

Stay tuned!

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Two days of open design thinking to kickstart your creative juices!

 

On July 5-6, the Open Design / Shared Creativity International Conference (ODSC) will be held again this year as part of the FADfest 2013, Barcelona.

La Mandarina de Newton took part in the first edition of the conference and collaborates as programme partner of the forthcoming edition.

ODSC is an annual space for reflection on the culture of open design and its potential in the creative professions. An exceptional lineup of more than 20 speakers will feature, share and debate the emerging landscape of open practices and exchanges that has come out of approaches such as open code, copyleft, co-creation, sharing and collaborative working.

Don’t miss this unique chance to explore renewed creative practices and innovative platforms that are revolutionizing the future of design in all its disciplines and expressions thanks to digital technologies and networked culture.

Check the programme here and use the promo code “PPA20″ to save 20% on your ticket!

You can register online at http://odscbarcelona.eventbrite.com/

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Critical Design Cycle: summary of First Participative Workshop about Internal Contamination

Last Friday (March 1, 2013) at the Mandarina Space, we had our first participatory workshop to give shape to the participants’ ideas about Internal Contamination. As you know, this topic was presented by Dr. Miquel Porta (18/01/2013), an internationally recognized researcher and an expert on the field and after his presentation a first debate took place. The goal of friday’s session was to begin a process of critical and speculative design around the concepts and ideas that popped up during that talk.

The workshop, led by Ramon Sagüensa (La Mandarina de Newton), began with an inspiration exercise for the participants. We challenged each of them individually to complete the question ‘What if …?’ with ideas, questions or concerns that came to their minds, related with the topic Internal Contamination. They had to reflect on the positive and negative aspects of it. In just 10 minutes many ideas were generated: What if we changed our lifestyle (if we stop eating meat, if we abandon the urban lifestyle), What if we could measure in detail our internal contamination levels, or the levels of toxics in the products we consume?, What if we could eliminate the toxics of our body, if we could recycle or metabolize them?, What would happen if there existed a region in the world without contamination?, What if contamination were something good for our health, if it could expand our live expectancy? What if internal contamination levels were visible? … and much more!

   

This individual exercise was the starting point for the actual teamwork. Now, participants discussed together these ideas and the dilemmas created by their interplay. For that, they stuck the post-its on a panel and, with the participation of all, reorganized them by topics or concepts. Eventually, an agreement was reached and several clusters of ideas emerge: food, communication and information, utopia, methodology, and disposal of PTCs (persistent toxic compounds). From here, each participant chose the topic that found most interesting and in this way the working groups were formed (four in total).

Then, we started the ideation phase. In each group, participants discussed and identified the ideas they wanted to explore. With the working ideas defined, the participants began to give shape to their proposals and build their ‘prototypes’.

   

The first group, who had chosen the topic ‘Food’, devised ‘The BNQ – The Body Whitening’. They proposed a treatment to ‘withen’ the body internally. With an amazing pill one would be able to clean the body from internal contaminants and this would be reflected in one’s outward beauty: ‘Clean on the inside, beautiful on the outside’.

The second group, based on the topic ‘utopia’, proposed a comics/animation campaign – ‘PTCs Superpowers’ – in which the stories would revolve around a family of characters who had superpowers due to the accumulation of PTCs in their bodies. The third group, who chose the theme ‘elimination of PTCs’ created ‘Sintox’: a set of pills developed by a pharmaceutical company (‘Mandarinartis’) and marketed to a fairly high cost, but that would be able to eliminate completely all your internal toxics. Finally, the fourth group, inspired by the topics ‘information and communication’ and ‘methodology’, proposed a next generation device, the ‘Anxiety Machine’. This product would be comprised of a pill with a PTCs’ sensor that you would swallow. Travelling through your body it would detect your internal levels of PTCs and transmit that information to a square-shaped personal and portable device.

This device would then show the toxic results, identify the most likely diseases that one would develop as a consequence of the level and type of contamination, and it would also offer an option to share the results within a social network (a kind of facebook with the contaminants’ profile of each user).

During the presentation of the proposals, there was also an interesting exchange of ideas and suggestions between the groups. It was Friday evening and dinner time was approaching, so we had to end up the session. Once again, we received a very positive feedback from participants, an extra motivation for us to continue organizing these kind of brainstorming, creative and multidisciplinary co-creation sessions.

This was the first workshop within the Critical Design Cycle about Internal Contamination. We will continue working on these proposals on the 5th of April (Friday), 19:30 at the Mandarina Space (as always, we will create a registration form on Evenbrite). Remember that these sessions are free and open to all of you willing to participate. And not just for those that came to the previous sessions, but to anyone interested and eager to share their ideas in a co-creative way.

We will keep you informed!

Remember that you can check the summaries of the past sessions of the cycle in our blog and the presentations’ videos in our Youtube channel.

You can also find all the photos of the workshop in our Facebook page.

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Science of the City attracts media impacts

Science of the City has left behind a huge virtual print, plenty of videos. We have to take in account not only the 50 videos sent by the participants of the SOTC global competition, but many pieces of art created specifically for the exhibition. Is not surprising, after all, that the exhibit seen last May in Arts Santa Mònica has been documented with a good amount of videos as, for instance the Opening of the exhibition.

Media has made its own interpretation of the project, as we see in the stories of La Malla Tendències and the Pla B of Barcelona Television or the live connection by Connexió Barcelona, ​​also from BTV.

Daily newspaper

Agendas of ARA, La Vanguardia and El Periodico de Catalunya newspapers, included the Science of the City as one of the remarkable cultural offers of the week. El Periódico, meanwhile, also published an extensive news in the section Gran Barcelona. Also El Heraldo de Aragon, from Zaragoza, dedicated an article inside the Tercer Milenio  supplement.
supplement.

At a broader level, the digital editions of those media have shown a special interest to discover  scientific evidence in everyday life. The Catalan edition of El Pais.com they collected in their culture section while the blog “Art in the Age of Silicon“, also from this medium showed in the video Skup “The amazing makeup of the atom” to explain the co-creative process started months ago with the video contest. Something similar was seen in  3cat24.cat,, using the same resource to introduce the project.

Both the process of the competition and the exhibition of Science of the City have been followed closely from a wide variety of digital media: Heraldo.es, 20minutos.es, AltoAragon.es, lasprovincias.es, diariodenavarra.es and diariovasco.com

Radio comes to expo

Minutes before the opening of the exhibition, a mobile unit of COM Ràdio approached to Arts Santa Monica to explain in all detail the scope of this cultural program to the listeners of the Extraradi program. Two days earlier, in the same station, Irene Lapuente had already explained the project from the main studio of Eureka!. In a similar way, the Altra Ràdio radio program invited Irene Lapuente to speak about this initiative a week earlier. More recently, in June, the unique humor of Pa ciència la nostra offered his particular vision of the Science of the City project.

Heard in the blogosphere

The impact of the City Science in the media has also been reflected in many blogs as the Observatori 2.0 al Science Centre Singapore, Fundación Quorum, Karma Peiró or Paz Domínguez Moreover, publishing spaces of organizations and persons connected to the project as Albert Folk, The Tech Open Source, Hangar, imarte, Universitat de Barcelona and Arts Santa Mònica. spreaded the news too.

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Read about the reasons and thoughts behind Science of the City!

A catalog full of reflections about science, city, arts, communication and participation was born thanks to the exhibition process of the project Science of the City. The prologue was written by Roger Sansi, an anthropologist and a Ramón y Cajal researcher at the University of Barcelona. Artists such as Eugènia Augustí, Montse Carreño, Raquel Muñoz, Mercè Casanovas, Borja Leo Fermoselle, Sergi Selvas, Aleix Molet, Eloi Puig, Cristina Pastó, Anja Steidinger, Alicia Vela and Antònia Vilà explain their art pieces. Ramon Sangüesa and Irene Lapuente tell us about the reasons behind this project. All these texts are available in four languages​​: English, Spanish, French and Catalan at la Mandarina de Newton Issuu:

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