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  • Wednesday, October 31

    Capgros. La Merce Celebrations, Port Vell, Barcelona, Spain

    Capgros. La Merce Celebrations, Port Vell, Barcelona, Spain [enlarge]

    One of the shots of Capgrossos I took during La Merce celebrations last September at Port Vell, Barcelona, Spain. Check my previous post: La Merce Celebrations 2007

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    Tuesday, October 30

    Big Ripe Tomato Under The Afternoon Sun

    Big Ripe Tomato Under The Afternoon Sun [enlarge]

    A big juicy ripe tomato in a friend's orchard. This is obviously the kind we don't eat. Sometimes I think they only exist in dreams. We, city people, get all the crap. Vegetables frozen before time, with marks of bad manipulation, no juice, pesticides, and so on. There's nothing like a bite on a ripe tomato of your own harvest.

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    Monday, October 29

    Set Portes Restaurant, Barcelona, Spain

    Set Portes Restaurant, Barcelona, Spain [enlarge]

    7 Portes or Set Portes Restaurant is located at Passeig Isabel II, 14 near Barcelona harbor (check Google Maps at the bottom of the page). Under this arcade which is old and needs some clean up, you will notice the big wooden doors to this renown restaurant which is a must in Barcelona, mainly because of the good paella they prepare. Nevertheless there are other great places in the city with better reviews. This one is a classic so it is worth trying instead of wasting your time and money at Las Ramblas.

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    Sunday, October 28

    Tomato Under the Sun

    Tomato Under the Sun [enlarge]

    This is a closeup on a ripe tomato under the afternoon sun in a picture taken about a month ago at a friend's orchard. From this post on I am going to be brief till I get uptodate with my posting. I hope you understand. Thanks.

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    Saturday, October 27

    Red Peppers On Strings

    Red Peppers On Strings [enlarge]

    Red pepper, Capsicum, chili pepper or paprika. What's in a name? If you visit Spain you are bound to see this image often. Not much in Barcelona city but in neighbouring towns. They are left there hanging under the sun to dry up. They are wonderful for cooking and for decoration in what is known as pepper ristras or pepper hangings. Since I am on a diet I can't stop talking about food.

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    Friday, October 26

    Women Paintings at Maremagnum Promenade, Barcelona

    Women Paintings at Maremagnum Promenade, Barcelona [enlarge]

    These paintings of women wearing veils, hats or ties at Maremagnum promenade or Passeig D'Itaca looked so beautiful I decided to take a snap agaisnt the artist's will (check google maps below). I just don't know what gets into their minds when they see a big camera. You come with a small compact and nothing happens, you stick out some big lens and they immediately jump at your throat. Take it easy man, this is free advertising for your work which on the other hand is amazing and hypnotic, according to my opinion. Please buy him some paintings and tell him I was the one he shunned the other day.

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    Thursday, October 25

    Aquarium of Barcelona

    Aquarium of Barcelona or L'Acuarium [enlarge]

    This sort of cartoon shark is located at the entrance to L'Acuarium or Aquarium of Barcelona. Luckily I caught this kid complaining about his mom not paying the necessary attention to his privilege hideaway. As both fish and child have the mouth wide open I thought it might be interesting. Here is a link to Barcelona Aquarium.

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    Wednesday, October 24

    Flute Player, Flautist or Flutist?

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    This musician was performing with the rest of his quintet some sort of celtic music at the Mushroom Fair in Sant Iscle de Vallalta, near Barcelona. There was not much to photograph since the audience was there for the food and the last bright sunny days of the fall. I thought the pose by itself denoted concentration so I applied some blur effect to isolate him from the rest of the world. I think I did him a favor.

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    Tuesday, October 23

    Sant Pol de Mar, Maresme Coast near Barcelona

    Sant Pol de Mar, Maresme Coast near Barcelona [enlarge]

    Sant Pol is a small town of strong Mediterreanean flavor, with white houses that adapt to the gentle slopes on the hills of Maresme coast. In Catalan, there are two names for English name Paul, one is Pau and the other is Pol. Sant Pol celebrates one of its most important festivities on January 25th, which is St Paul's day. Of all the beaches on Maresme Coast, Sant Pol is one of the cleanest and most attractive for tourists and locals alike. It is a very quiet town which I recommend to visit. Today's picture was taken from the upper part of town and it shows as you see the train station. You can go from here to Barcelona or viceversa in 40 minutes all along the coast. There is a very well known restaurant which is a must: Carme Ruscalleda's Sant Pau

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    Monday, October 22

    Gathering Wild Mushrooms or Bolets in Catalonia, Spain

    Gathering Wild Mushrooms or Bolets in Catalonia, Spain [enlarge]

    In the months of October and November a large number of Catalans hit the road to go picking wild mushrooms or bolets in the countryside. Although there are many edible species we use the name bolets to refer to all of them. But then there are specific names according to the type like rovellons, rossiñols, ceps, llanegas. In general they are served fried with some garlic and parsley but you can have them in stews, with meat,etc. The mushrooms in the picture were part of a small sample on sale at Sant Iscle de Vallalta fair. This town is located in Maresme, a comarca or county along the coast next to Barcelones county where Barcelona City is. Once a year a market is set up to sell mushrooms and we decided to pay them a visit for the first time to try some. If you are interested, there are a bunch of similar activities in November. Check this Maresme Coast brochure in pdf to see the whole activity program.

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    Sunday, October 21

    Barcelona Icecream Greed: Diet Followers Please Refrain

    Barcelona Icecream Greed: Diet Followers Please Refrain [enlarge]

    Weight loss diet followers please refrain. This is an icecream shop at Libreteria street (see pic on map at page bottom). Creamy, fat rich, sweet and delicious icecreams are part of the special food program in the city for those sinful gluttons I mentioned in the last post, that is, for Barcelonians struggling to look like Brat Pitt, George Clooney and Matt Damon, all in one, but are more likely to resemble Marlon Brando, in the last years of his life. It is almost winter now so don't rush for icecreams unless you live South, of course!. "Oh, shut up Hyde!" - said Jekyll again.

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    Saturday, October 20

    Chocolate Shop: A Halloween Nightmare

    Chocolate Shop: A Halloween Nightmare [enlarge]

    Today I'm gonna be mean. I am on a diet and going back to the gym so I am gonna tell you about these nightmares of mine where I dream I am surrounded by shelves full of chocolate of all sorts, in bars, fudge, covering strawberries, or cookies, white or dark, creamy or crispy. This shop at Princesa street gives an idea about the punishment a Barcelonian on a diet suffers everyday. As it is Halloween I will impersonate Mr. Hyde for a moment and offer you my trick or treat. Just to be mean as I said take a look at the shop one more time so all of you who succumb to the sin of gluttony repent and have to go to boring sessions of spinning, and sweat, and...just what do you think you are doing?...oh, nothing Dr. Jekyll.

    Halloween Story: Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

    Chocolate Recipes at Howstuffworks

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    Friday, October 19

    Pumpkin Under The Sun

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    Halloween is here and common things start to look spooky in the dark. Shadows are longer, the autumn withers leaves and tints our dusks with yellow and red hues. Everything around us acquires strange forms that remind us of those monsters we used to imagine hidden somewhere in the back of our minds, or worse somewhere inside the closet, the open window, under the stairs, the bed, the kitchen. What looks like a harmless pumpkin may suddenly turn out to be a dwarf fishing with his rod, who knows, and who cares as long as we see things in means we are alive. Let the magic begin!

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    Thursday, October 18

    Bougainvillea

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    Walking along the beach at Sant Pol de Mar near Barcelona I spotted these beautiful bougainvilleas hanging from a white balcony right in front of the sea. Don't forget to check my previous posts about flowers.

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    Wednesday, October 17

    Corn Cobs: An Ackward Design by Mother Nature

    Corn Cobs: An Ackward Design by Mother Nature [enlarge]

    Feeding human kind from time immemorial, corn or maize, from Spanish maíz, is the largest crop in all of the Americas. Ears are female inflorescences. The tufts of hair are stigmas known as silks. Young ears are edible even if raw but once the cob grows in the summer it becomes tougher and the silk dries so you innevitably have to cook it before it dries. Maize is used as a biomass fuel, such as ethanol, to reduce fuel costs. Such practice has caused an increase in food costs and results in extremely profitable crops for farmers who obviously reject other products. The use of hybrids has grown substantially and big extensions of forest soil have been cleared up for the sake of money at all cost. Little by little, who knows, we will have "greener" cars on an emptier stomach. Talking about green and ecology, Mr. Al Gore, the Nobel peace laureate, received the prestigious Prince of Asturias award in the northern Spanish city of Oviedo.

    Links to the kind fellow bloggers that have tagged me recently: Budapest Daily Photo by Zsolt, Flagstaff Daily Photo and this one goes to Sydney Daily Photo by Sally for all I owe to her :)

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    Tuesday, October 16

    Casa de Convalescencia, Sant Pau Hospital, Barcelona

    Casa de Convalescencia, Sant Pau Hospital, Barcelona [enlarge]

    Casa de Convalescència, on the corner of San Quintin and Maria Claret streets, is part of Hospital de la Santa Creu i Sant Pau and was built by Pere Domènech i Roura, Lluís Domènech i Montaner's son. Meant to be a maintainance building it finally lodged the wards for terminal patients and a church. Back in 1969 it was granted to UAB (Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona). At present it is the headquarters of Fundació UAB, Fundació Doctor Robert and Josep Laporte library, UAB Idiomes Barcelona (language school), Institut de Ciències de l'Educació and Escola de Doctorat i de Formació Continuada. This representative of the last stages of Catalan Art Nouveau or modernisme is the perfect place for important events in the health field which in fact are held more than often in its high quality facilities. Today's picture was taken inside the Aula Magna, a place that is not open to general public. Tourists are only allowed in the entrance hall on the way to the hospital venues. I wanted to share this beauty with all of you, the amazing brick work of the dome and the light coming through the elaborate stained glass windows. To have a general idea check this gallery at Casa de Convalescencia's official site (Spanish). See also this link to all my posts featuring Sant Pau Hospital.

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    Monday, October 15

    Art With Exclamation Marks: Stained Glass at Sagrada Familia

    Art With Exclamation Marks: Stained Glass at Sagrada Familia [enlarge]

    In this picture I tried to isolate these three stained glass windows because of an unusual and reasonable resemblance with exclamations marks. Quality of the image is out of the question, that is, don't ask cause it is awful. I just wanted to highlight the punctuation marks and how they might be used as part of some publicity campaign or something to emphasize the work of Gaudi and his art, art with exclamation marks!!!

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    Sunday, October 14

    Pomegranate (Punica Granatum) - Detailed Image

    Pomegranate (Punica Granatum) - Detailed Image [enlarge]

    This detailed image of a Pomegranate or Punica granatum is yet another weird still part of my collection of totally irrelevant shots in this Barcelona blog supposed to deal with Barcelona pictures. I consider that the title of my page should be regarded as two isolated words. Barcelona and/or Photoblog or even a third split, photo blog. After you muse for a millisecond on my nonsensical jumble of words and before leaving you alone with the photograph and the comprehensive wikipedia link, notice the etymology of the word: "pomegranate" derives from Latin pomum ("apple") and granatus ("seeded"). Now go ahead, pluck it.

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    Saturday, October 13

    Bolivian Dancers, NouBarris Quarter, Barcelona

    Bolivian Dancers, NouBarris Quarter, Barcelona [enlarge]

    This is a group of Bolivian dancers with their colorful traditional costumes, in Nou Barris quarter, Barcelona. As part of an initiative by a local guild of shops and other small businesses, an integration party was organized in an attempt to show all time neighbors what newcomers' traditions are like thus strengthening the ties among the old and new Catalans. Immigration numbers have been skyrocketing in recent years in Barcelona and the process has been so fast that it takes some time for locals to assimilate different aspects such as behavior, language, cultural activities, food. This process, which is part of globalization and is inevitable, as it is inevitable that humans travel, interact, blend, trade and make a living where they see fit, is an old issue in the rest of Europe, in countries like France, Germany or the United Kingdom and now it is Spain's turn to face it. Young people, specially students have no difficulties with ethnic or social traits but our parents and grandparents are sometimes old fashioned and narrow minded.

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    Friday, October 12

    Stink Bug on Pumpkin: Mimetism

    Stink Bug on Pumpkin: Mimetism [enlarge]

    A stink bug trying to mimetize on the surface of a pumpkin is not related to Barcelona unless we recall that Halloween is coming and pumpkins are omnipresent in this magical time of the year. But let's face it the star of the picture is what I think is the nymph of a Southern Green stink bug or Chinche Verde in Spanish (scientific name: Nezara viridula (Linnaeus)). An amazing image of the same bug here: Nezara viridula nymph by Joaquin Portela. The peculiar name is due to the fact that when crashed or in case there are a lot of them together a foul smell can be felt. We can easily spot them on top of this smooth surface under the light of the afternoon sun because we know that such "lump" shouldn't be there but surely on first sight mimetism does the trick with birds or other predators. Now that I popped in the bug issue on today's post what better than a beautiful set of insect macros by Manuel M. Almeida (mmeida) at Flickr who also runs Imagina Fotolog

    See also Insect Macros in my Barcelona Photography swicki or perform a specific search following my photography customized Google searchbox on the top right corner of the blog if you wish.

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    Thursday, October 11

    The One Eyed Cat is King

    In the Country of the Blind The One-Eyed Cat is King [enlarge]

    In the country of the blind the one-eyed cat is king. I took the liberty of rephrasing this wise saying. I happened to read the story by H. G. Wells many, many years ago, about a man lost in the mountains, I think it was in Los Andes. There was some sort of cataclism and there was no way back. He wakes up in a town where everybody is blind and although for some time he thinks he was bound to be the king among the unfortunate inhabitants he soon discovers that he was totally wrong, in fact***spoiler ahead***they soon decided that he had to be deprived of his eyes so he could be one of them, a normal citizen. I digress a lot today, but this poor cat, so young and yet so impaired really caught my attention and reminded me of the famous words.

    My recommended blogger of the day: South Shields Daily Photo by Curly.

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    Wednesday, October 10

    Olympic Stadium on Montjuic Hill: An Inside View

    Olympic Stadium on Montjuic Hill: An Inside View [enlarge]

    The Olympic Stadium, where Barcelona 1992 Games famous opening and closing ceremonies took place is part of the Olympic Ring that is also made up of Palau Sant Jordi, the National Institute of Physical Education, Picornell swimming pools, a new baseball field, another pool, an enormous square and Santiago Calatrava's telecommunications tower. These facilities are on Montjuic hill that is topped by Montjuic castle, an old fortress facing the entrance to Barcelona port. Check my new Google Map of Barcelona at the bottom of the page to have a general view of the mountain.

    Suggested links from fellow bloggers:



    1. Kansas City Daily Photo by Waldo Oiseau

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    Tuesday, October 9

    Amusement Parks: Swinging Ship Attraction at Tibidabo, Barcelona

    Amusement Parks: Swinging Ship Attraction at Tibidabo, Barcelona

    There are thrilling and exciting amusement park attractions and thrilling and queasing amusement park attractions. Take this swinging ship at Tibidabo for example. So beautiful a vessel can only inspire confidence in the rider-to-be! You might think "What the heck, I'll get on this one!, at least I don't go upside down or fall like a corpse with a concrete block tied to the feet". But alas! Upon the fourth or fifth swing, those friendly guys sitting upfront start grasping the security lever and they don't look that tough anymore. The beautiful lady right on the matching row on the other side was not that cute, in fact she could make it in the cast for The Exorcist V. The usual screaming suddenly sounds like desperate calls for help and little by little, swinging up, swinging down, you remember that you got that hotdog with fries, and the memories turn so vivid!...Well folks, I hope you are not having lunch or dinner when you read this and that you visit Tibidabo Amusement Park...on an empty stomach of course.

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    Monday, October 8

    Spiral Staircase at CosmoCaixa Science Museum

    Spiral Staircase at CosmoCaixa Science Museum

    This time Barcelona Photoblog has the pleasure to upload this picture of the spiral staircase, or better said ramp to the underground levels inside Cosmocaixa Science Museum in Barcelona. Today there is no possibility to enlarge the image cause quality was not good and I hate it when someone enlarges an image just to see a noisy or blurry background. Sometimes smaller works just fine. I am way behind schedule with my posting as you know due to an excess of work both at the office and at home so I apologize for the inconvenience. I want to point out that late posting does not mean I am quitting! Thank you for coming and for the kind comments.

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    Sunday, October 7

    Red Pepper Drying Up In The Sun

    Red Pepper Drying Up In The Sun [enlarge]

    Red hot chili peppers could easily be the title of this post but I prefer to concentrate on the color and not the famous band. I don't think this is a chili pepper either but it certainly looks hot. The afternoon sun and the texture of the cement floor emphasize the shape and highlight the vivid color of the pepper which was drying up fast although not where it was supposed to be, hanging from a string on the wall nearby.

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    Saturday, October 6

    Barcelona Harbor: Las Golondrinas Sightseeing Boat

    Barcelona Harbor: Las Golondrinas Sightseeing Boat [enlarge]

    This is a closer look on a very similar scene that I featured in my post Barcelona Harbor Cruise: A City Teaser. This time I added some extra effects to enhance the picture. Notice the Columbus Monument and the Harbor Authority building mentioned in the past and seen here from a shorter distance. The boat is one of the older Golondrinas (sightseeing boats company) cruising the harbor and I am taking the picture from a modern vessel run by the same company sailing not just the harbor but going along the coast till the Forum Area on the other part of the city.

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    Friday, October 5

    Human or Living Statue: Goblins in Las Ramblas, Barcelona?

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    Some days ago I published Human Statues at Las Ramblas: Elf or Vulcan?, Barcelona. It is not very attractive to capture people's nape unless the faceless silhouette is expressive enough against the background. This time, on the contrary, the living statue was as stunning as it looked in the side profile picture. As it happened then, I still don't know if this is a goblin or what. Anyway, the man was well disguised. As we are dealing with people photography today I am going to suggest a set on Flickr you will never forget:

    - A set about inhabitants of Papua, New Guinea by Eric Lafforgue.
    - My set about Humans Statues or Street Artists
    - I have started a new blog that compiles blog posts, news, some videos and good widgets all related with Google Hot Trends list. Any of the tags referred to as volcanic or on fire are a gold mine if you manage to include them in your post and still make some sense. Please try Hot Google Trends and tell me what you think.

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    Thursday, October 4

    Chaos Machine at Cosmocaixa, Barcelona

    Chaos Machine at Cosmocaixa, Barcelona [enlarge]

    The Chaos machine as I call it, can be found at Cosmocaixa Science Museum in Barcelona. Propelled into space by two powerful fans on the floor of the box, the balls simulate what could be the erratic movement of particles in an apparent disorder state, that is, chaos, although it is said that there is order inside this mess! Hmm, let's leave this to Maths geeks. I used autofocus in continuous mode to obtain these sort wormy shapes and added some violet overlay effect to make it more attractive.

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    Wednesday, October 3

    Montjuic Fountains: The Magic Show

    Montjuic Fountains: The Magic Show [enlarge]

    Watching the iridescent colors of Montjuic fountains at dusk can be one of the most relaxing things to do in Barcelona. However, before you go, make sure you know if some important event is going on since it is possible that the fountains are dry when you get there. On this occasion, I was invited to visit Sonimagfoto, a photography related event held in Barcelona Fair venues (my thanks to Barcelona Photobloggers guys who were exhibitors promoting Barcelona bloggers' community). On walking out of the exhibition area I stumbled upon the beauty of the fountains with Palau de la Merce and MNAC in the background. My first thought was "hey there's water in the fountain" then I stood in the middle of the avenue where there's this narrow traffic sign painted on the road about to steps wide and took some shots. It's a little bit noisy but worth showing.

    Previous related posts: Fountains of Montjuic, Barcelona Skyline: Magic Mountain of Montjuic, Montjuic Fountain (BW)

    Funny and popular today: Elecam. A webcam with a privileged view of...?

    Interesting: Rotten Neighbors (are you planning to move? check in advance if your neighbors are not as cool as you expect - you can even add yours to the database!)

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    Tuesday, October 2

    Billowing Flags of Sovereign...Cloth

    Billowing Flags of Sovereign...Cloth [enlarge]

    A windy afternoon in the city of Barcelona, year 2007, three flags, the city flag, the Spanish flag, the Catalan flag. You are a tourist, what do you see? Nothing, just three sovereign sheets billowing in the balcony. But you know better, you know there is always history behind flags, there is always blood, "winners" and losers, territorial occupation, invasion, negotiation, abdication, overthrowing, peace treaties, armstices, scheming, alliances, treason. What is left in the end? Land, fed with the blood of millions of souls who abandon their right to live this reality in the name of a just cause. Together - apart, war - peace, hatred - love, what's left in the end?. I know that not taking sides is betraying their memory but everything was wrong from the very beginning. Remember the Spanish Civil War, remember the Spanish-American war, remember Carlist wars, remember succession wars, remember the conquest of Granada, remember the crusades...remember all those people. Anger only leads to more anger. What do I see here? Billowing flags of sovereign...cloth

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    Monday, October 1

    Absent Minded Giant at Port Vell, Barcelona

    Absent Minded Giant at Port Vell, Barcelona [enlarge]

    Oh Janet, no, not again! Hmm, bad joke! Hey, this is what happens when an absent minded giant or gegant is too busy holding the basket and the bearer is concentrated on the road along the sea in Port Vell, Barcelona, which by the way, doesn't have any handrails! Well, in fact, the gegant is already dressed that way and this is another sample of traditions and folk humor...do you think this picture will be banned like J.Timberlake & J.Jackson - Superbowl 2004. Oops!

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