State of Iowa - IA

Iowa is a Midwest state of the United States. It is the 29th state of the United States, having joined the Union on December 28, 1846. The official name of the state is the "State of Iowa". The state is named for the Native American Iowa people.

Iowa map Iowa counties See List of counties in Iowa, List of cities in Iowa, List of townships in Iowa and List of Iowa rivers
Iowa is bordered by Minnesota on the north; Nebraska and South Dakota on the west; Missouri on the south; and Wisconsin and Illinois on the east.

The Mississippi River forms the eastern boundary of the state. The boundary along the west is formed by the Missouri River south of Sioux City and by the Big Sioux River north of Sioux City. There are several natural lakes in the state, most notably Spirit Lake, West Okoboji Lake, and East Okoboji Lake in northwest Iowa (see Iowa Great Lakes). Man-made lakes include Lake Odessa, Saylorville Lake, Lake Red Rock, and Rathbun Lake.

The topography of the state is gently rolling plains. Loess hills lie along the western border of the state. Some of these are several hundred feet thick. In the northeast, along the Mississippi River, is a section of the Driftless Zone, which in Iowa consists of low rugged hills covered with conifers—a landscape not usually associated with this state.

The point of lowest elevation is Keokuk in southeastern Iowa, at 480 feet (146 m). The point of highest elevation, at 1,670 feet (509 m), is Hawkeye Point, located in a feedlot north of Sibley in northwest Iowa. The mean elevation of the state is 1,099 feet (335 m). Considering the size of the state at 56,271 square miles (145,743 km²), there is very little elevation difference.

Iowa has 9 9 counties. The state capital, Des Moines, is located in Polk County (#60).

Areas controlled and protected by the National Park Service include:

Effigy Mounds National Monument near Harpers Ferry
Herbert Hoover National Historical Site in West Branch
Lewis & Clark National Historic Trail
Mormon Pioneer National Historic Trail

Bales of hay on a farm near Ames, Iowa.Iowa experiences a continental climate with extremes of both heat and cold. The average annual temperature at Des Moines is 50.0 °F (10.0 °C); for some locations in the north the figure is under 45 °F, while Keokuk, on the Mississippi River, averages 52.1 °F. Winters are brisk and snowfall common, the capital receiving an average of 36.3 inches per season. Spring ushers in the beginning of the severe weather season, as well as bringing increased precipitation and warming temperatures. The Iowan summer is known for heat and humidity, with daytime temperatures sometimes exceeding 100 °F (37.8 °C).

Iowa averages about 50 days of thunderstorm activity per year.. Some of these thunderstorrms can be severe with high winds and hail. The state has a moderately high risk of tornadic activity with, on average, 37 tornadoes per year. .[2]

Main article: History of Iowa.

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You can help Wikipedia by introducing appropriate citations.
The first Europeans to explore Iowa were French citizens following the Suix and Fox Indians.
At first, due to a lack of trees, Iowa was believed to not be able to support agriculture.
Louis Joliet and Jacques Marquette are believed to be the first European explorers to visit Iowa. They described Iowa as lush, green, and fertile.
Iowa has been home to approximately 17 different Native American tribes. Today, only the Meskwaki tribe remains.
The first American settlers officially moved to Iowa in June 1833. Primarily, they were families from Illinois, Indiana, and Missouri.
During the 1835 Dragoon expedition to map and survey central Iowa, many dragoons got lost in prairie grass which was over their heads even on horseback. The map maker was Albert Lee, who is the namesake for Albert Lee, Minnesota. One of the commanders was Nathan Boone, the youngest son of Daniel Boone.
Iowa became the 29th state in the union on December 28, 1846.
The Chicago and North Western Railway reached Council Bluffs in 1867. Council Bluffs was designated the eastern terminus for the Union Pacific Railroad. The completion of five major railroads across Iowa brought major economic changes as well as travel opportunities.
During the American Civil War, more than 75,000 Iowans participated in the war, 13,001 of whom died (mostly by disease). Iowa had a higher percentage of soldiers serve in the Civil War, per capita, than any other state in the Union, with nearly 60% of eligible males serving. Among many cases in point would be Isaac S. Struble of Plymouth County, Congressman from 1883-1891.
Iowa saw a large increase in farming of beef, corn, and pork during World War I, but farmers saw economic hardships after the war. These hardships were the result of the removal of war-time farm subsidies. Total recovery did not occur until the 1940s.
The Farm Crisis of the 1980's saw a major decline of family farms in Iowa and around the Midwest, and it was marked by a sharp drop in the state's rural population.
Although Iowa's primary industry is agriculture, it also produces refrigerators, washing machines, fountain pens, farm implements, and food products that are shipped around the world.
Iowa is also a major producer of ethanol and biodiesel.
As of 2006, Iowa is the only Midwestern state to have a growing/expanding economy.
Iowa has the 3rd largest wind power economy, after California and Texas.

Bergman, Marvin, ed. Iowa History Reader (1996) essays by scholars.
Ross, Earl D. Iowa Agriculture: An Historical Survey (1951)
Sage, Leland. A History of Iowa (1974)
Schwieder, Dorothy. Iowa: The Middle Land (1996) excellent scholarly history
Wall, Joseph Frazier. Iowa: A Bicentennial History (1978)

Iowa Population Density MapHistorical populations
Census Pop. %±
1840 43,112
1850 192,214 346%
1860 674,913 251%
1870 1,194,020 77%
1880 1,624,615 36%
1890 1,912,297 18%
1900 2,231,853 17%
1910 2,224,771 0%
1920 2,404,021 8%
1930 2,470,939 3%
1940 2,538,268 3%
1950 2,621,073 3%
1960 2,757,537 5%
1970 2,824,376 2%
1980 2,913,808 3%
1990 2,776,755 -5%
2000 2,926,324 5%
As of 2005, Iowa has an estimated population of 2,966,334, which is an increase of 13,430, or 0.5%, from the prior year and an increase of 39,952, or 1.4%, since the year 2000. This includes a natural increase since the last census of 53,706 people (that is 197,163 births minus 143,457 deaths) and a decrease due to net migration of 11,754 people out of the state. Immigration from outside the United States resulted in a net increase of 29,386 people, while migration within the country produced a net loss of 41,140 people.

Demographics of Iowa (csv)
By race White Black AIAN Asian NHPI
AIAN is American Indian or Alaskan Native - NHPI is Native Hawaiian or Pacific Islander
2000 (total population) 96.14% 2.51% 0.63% 1.48% 0.08%
2000 (hispanic only) 2.68% 0.08% 0.08% 0.03% 0.01%
2005 (total population) 95.79% 2.79% 0.61% 1.67% 0.08%
2005 (hispanic only) 3.48% 0.13% 0.09% 0.03% 0.01%
Growth 2000-2005 (total population) 1.01% 12.55% -2.70% 14.41% 1.01%
Growth 2000-2005 (non-hispanic only) 0.12% 11.13% -5.68% 14.14% 0.05%
Growth 2000-2005 (hispanic only) 31.91% 53.85% 19.33% 29.51% 7.14%

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, as of 2004, Iowa's population included about 97,000 foreign-born (3.3%).

Iowans are mostly of Northern European origin. The seven largest ancestry groups in Iowa are: German (35.7%), Irish (13.5%), English (9.5%), American (6.6%), Norwegian (5.7%), Dutch (4.6%) and Swedish (3.3%)

6.4% of Iowa's population were reported as under the age of five, 25.1% under 18, and 14.9% were 65 or older. Females made up approximately 50.9% of the population.

Rural flight
Iowa, in common with other Midwestern states (especially Kansas, Nebraska, Oklahoma, North and South Dakota), is feeling the brunt of falling populations. 89% of the total number of cities in those states have fewer than 3,000 people; hundreds have fewer than 1,000. Between 1996 and 2004, almost half a million people, nearly half with college degrees, left the six states. "Rural flight", as it is called, has led to offers of free land and tax breaks as enticements to newcomers.

Most Iowans are Protestant Christians, with Lutheranism being the largest single Protestant denomination, followed by Methodist. The state has the second largest population of Reformed Christians, both RCA and CRC.

The religious affiliations of the people of Iowa are:

Christian – 74% [citation needed]
Protestant – 50%
Lutheran – 16%
Methodist – 13%
Baptist – 5%
Presbyterian – 3%
Pentecostal – 2%
Congregational/United Church of Christ – 2%
Other Protestant or general Protestant – 11%
Roman Catholic – 23%
Other Christian – 1%
Other Religions – 6%
Non-Religious – 13%
Did not answer – 5%

Iowa state quarter by Grant WoodThe state's total gross state product for 2003 was US$103 billion. Its per capita income for 2003 was US$28,340. Iowa's main agricultural outputs are hogs, corn, soybeans, oats, cattle and dairy products. Its industrial outputs are food processing, machinery, electric equipment, chemical products, publishing and primary metals. Iowa produces the nation's largest amount of ethanol. Des Moines also serves as a center for the insurance industry.

Iowa imposes taxes on net state income of individuals and estates and trusts. There are currently nine income tax brackets, ranging from 0.36% to 8.98%. The state sales tax rate is 5%.[3] Iowa has two local option sales taxes that may be imposed by counties after an election at which the majority of voters favors the tax. They are in addition to the 5% state sales tax. The regular local option tax is imposed on the gross receipts from sales of tangible personal property. It usually remains in effect until it is repealed, but the ordinance may include a sunset clause. The school infrastructure local option tax is automatically repealed 10 years after it is imposed, unless the ballot imposes a shorter time frame.[3]

Property tax is levied on the taxable value of real property, that is, mostly land, buildings, structures, and other improvements that are constructed on or in the land, attached to the land or placed upon a foundation. Typical improvements include a building, house or mobile home, fences, and paving. The following five classes of real property are evaluated: residential, agricultural, commercial, industrial and utilities/railroad (which is assessed at the state level). Homeowners pay less than half of the property tax collected each year in Iowa. Farmers pay 21%, and businesses and industry, a total of 23%. Utility companies, including railroads, pay 10%. Iowa has more than 2,000 taxing authorities. Most property is taxed by more than one taxing authority. The tax rate differs in each locality and is a composite of county, city or rural township, school district and special levies.


Interstate highways
These are the interstate highways that go through Iowa:

29, 35, 74, 80, 129, 235, 280, 380, 480, 680

US highways
These are the United States highways that go through Iowa:

6, 18, 20, 30, 34, 52, 59, 61, 63, 65, 67, 69, 71, 75, 77, 136, 151, 169, 218, 275

Law and government
The current Governor is Tom Vilsack (Democrat)

The two U.S. Senators:

Chuck Grassley (R)
Tom Harkin (D)
The five U.S. Congressmen:

Jim Leach (R)
Jim Nussle (R)
Steve King (R)
Tom Latham (R)
Leonard Boswell (D)
The Code of Iowa contains the statutory laws of the State of Iowa. The Iowa Legislative Service Bureau is a non-partisan governmental agency that is responsible for organizing, updating and publishing the Iowa Code. The Iowa Code is republished in full in odd years (i.e., 1999, 2001, 2003, etc..) and is supplemented in even years.

Iowa has a liberal populist tradition, but now is fairly evenly divided between the two major political parties. The state supported Democrats in the presidential contests from 1988 through 2000. It was one of only two states that supported Democrat Al Gore that switched to supporting George W. Bush in 2004. President Bush narrowly won the state's 7 electoral votes by a margin of 0.7 percentage points with 49.9% of the vote. Democratic strength is concentrated in the eastern region of the state and in Des Moines.

Iowa is an alcohol monopoly or Alcoholic beverage control state.

Governors of Iowa, Iowa General Assembly, and Iowa State Capitol

Iowa Presidential caucus
The state gets considerable attention every four years because it holds the first presidential caucus, a gathering of voters to select delegates to the state convention. Along with the New Hampshire primary a week later, it has become the starting gun for choosing the two major-party candidates for president. The caucus, held in January of the election year, involves people gathering in homes or public places and choosing their candidate, rather than casting secret ballots, as is done in a primary election. The national and international media give Iowa (and New Hampshire) about half of all the attention accorded the national candidate selection process, which gives the voters enormous leverage. Some candidates decide to skip the Iowa caucus, especially those who oppose ethanol subsidies, and use their resources in other early states such as New Hampshire and South Carolina. Those who enter the caucus race often expend enormous effort to reach voters in each of Iowa's 99 counties.

U.S. senators from Iowa
Survey post defining the northeastern corner of Iowa, placed in 1849.List of United States Senators who have represented Iowa:

Seat 1 Senator Took Office Left Office Party
Chuck Grassley 1981 present Republican
John Culver 1975 1981 Democrat
Harold E. Hughes 1969 1975 Democrat
Bourke B. Hickenlooper 1945 1969 Republican
Guy M. Gillette 1936 1945 Democrat
Richard Louis Murphy 1933 1936 Democrat
Smith W. Brookhart 1927 1933 Republican
David W. Stewart 1926 1927 Republican
Albert B. Cummins 1908 1926 Republican
William B. Allison 1873 1908 Republican
James Harlan 1867 1873 Republican
Samuel J. Kirkwood 1865 1867 Republican
James Harlan 1855 1865 Free Soil and
Augustus C. Dodge 1848 1855 Democrat
Capitol in 2003 after regildingSeat 2 Senator Took Office Left Office Party
Tom Harkin 1985 present Democrat
Roger Jepsen 1979 1985 Republican
Dick Clark 1973 1979 Democrat
Jack R. Miller 1961 1973 Republican
Thomas E. Martin 1955 1961 Republican
Guy M. Gillette 1949 1955 Democrat
George A. Wilson 1943 1949 Republican
Clyde L. Herring 1937 1943 Democrat
L.J. Dickinson 1931 1937 Republican
Daniel F. Steck 1926 1931 Democrat
Smith W. Brookhart 1922 1926 Republican
Charles A. Rawson 1922 1922 Democrat
William S. Kenyon 1911 1922 Republican
Lafayette Young 1910 1911 Democrat
Jonathan P. Dolliver 1900 1910 Republican
John H. Gear 1895 1900 Republican
James F. Wilson 1883 1895 Republican
James W. McDill 1881 1883 Republican
Samuel J. Kirkwood 1877 1881 Republican
George G. Wright 1871 1877 Republican
James B. Howell 1870 1871 Republican
James W. Grimes 1859 1869 Republican
George W. Jones 1848 1859 Democrat

Important cities and towns
Main article: List of cities in Iowa
Population figures are given in parentheses and are based on 2005 estimates [2], except for those marked with *, which are special census figures from 2005. Metropolitan Statistical Area figures are 2005 estimates [3].

Population > 100,000 (metropolitan area)
Des Moines (194,163/MSA 522,454), state capital, and home to Drake University.
Cedar Rapids (123,119/MSA 246,412)
Davenport (98,845/MSA 376,309), home of Saint Ambrose University, largest of the Quad Cities
Sioux City (83,148/MSA 142,571)
Waterloo (66,483/MSA 161,897)
Iowa City (62,887/MSA 138,524), home of the University of Iowa
Council Bluffs (59,568/MSA 813,170), part of Omaha, Nebraska metropolitan area

Population > 10,000
Dubuque (57,798/MSA 91,631), college town, manufacturing center, river port
West Des Moines (52,768), suburb of Des Moines and insurance center
Ames (52,263/MSA 79,952), home of Iowa State University
Cedar Falls (36,471), home of the University of Northern Iowa and part of the Waterloo metropolitan area
Ankeny (*36,161), suburb of Des Moines
Urbandale (*35,904), suburb of Des Moines
Bettendorf (31,890), part of the Quad Cities
Marion (30,233), suburb of Cedar Rapids
Mason City (27,909), city known for cement manufacturing
Clinton (27,086), industrial river town
Marshalltown (25,977), home of Iowa Veterans Home, known for furnace and valve manufacturing
Fort Dodge (25,493), known for mining and veterinary pharmaceuticals
Burlington (25,436), industrial river town
Ottumwa (24,798), industrial river town
Muscatine (22,757), location of many chemical plants
Coralville (17,811), suburb of Iowa City
Newton (15,696), former home of the Maytag Corporation's headquarters prior to the Whirlpool Corporation buyout
Indianola (*14,156), home of National Balloon Museum and Simpson College
Clive (13,851), suburb of Des Moines
Johnston (*13,596), suburb of Des Moines
Altoona (*13,301), suburb of Des Moines
Boone (12,831), an important hub for the Union Pacific Railroad
Spencer (11,117)
Fort Madison (11,048) home of the Iowa State Penitentiary
Oskaloosa (11,026), home of William Penn University
Keokuk (10,762), river port in extreme southeast
Pella (10,291), Pella Windows headquarters, Central College, Wyatt Earp's childhood home, Tulip Fest
Carroll (10,047)

Iowa has historically placed a strong emphasis on education, which is shown in standardized testing scores. In 2003, Iowa had the second highest average SAT scores by state, and tied for second highest average ACT scores in states where more than 20% of graduates were tested. The national office of ACT is in Iowa City, and the ITBS and ITED testing programs used in many states are provided by the University of Iowa.

An overhaul of the current education system is being discussed. One of the suggested ideas is switching from 180 days to a year-round school system. [4]

State universities
Iowa State University
University of Iowa
University of Northern Iowa

Independent colleges and universities
Ashford University
Briar Cliff University
Buena Vista University
Central College
Clarke College
Coe College
Cornell College
Divine Word College
Dordt College
Drake University
Emmaus Bible College
Faith Baptist Bible College and Theological Seminary
Graceland University
Grand View College
Grinnell College
Iowa Wesleyan College
Loras College
Luther College
Maharishi University of Management
Morningside College
Mount Mercy College
Northwestern College
Simpson College
Saint Ambrose University
University of Dubuque
Upper Iowa University
Vennard College
Waldorf College
Wartburg College
William Penn University

Community colleges
Clinton Community College
Des Moines Area Community College
Ellsworth Community College
Hawkeye Community College
Indian Hills Community College
Iowa Central Community College
Iowa Lakes Community College
Iowa Western Community College
Kirkwood Community College
Marshalltown Community College
Muscatine Community College
North Iowa Area Community College
Northeast Iowa Community College
Northwest Iowa Community College
Scott Community College
Southeastern Community College
Southwestern Community College
Western Iowa Community College

Professional business and technical colleges and universities
AIB College of Business
Allen College of Nursing
Des Moines University
Hamilton College
Kaplan College
Mercy College of Health Sciences
Palmer College of Chiropractic
St. Luke's College of Nursing and Health Sciences
Vatterott College

Professional sports teams
The Minor League baseball teams are:

Iowa Cubs (AAA, Pacific Coast League)
Cedar Rapids Kernels (A, Midwest League)
Burlington Bees (A, Midwest League)
Clarinda A's (collegiate summer)
Clinton LumberKings (A, Midwest League)
Swing of the Quad Cities (A, Midwest League)
Waterloo Bucks (collegiate summer)
Sioux City Explorers (Northern League, independent)

The Minor League hockey teams are:

Iowa Stars
Cedar Rapids RoughRiders
Waterloo Blackhawks
Omaha Lancers (located in Council Bluffs)
Des Moines Buccaneers
Sioux City Musketeers
Quad City Mallards

Real Pro Wrestling

Iowa Stalkers
The Minor League soccer teams are:

Des Moines Menace (USL Premier Development League; amateur)

Miscellaneous topics

Famous Iowans
The following is an alphabetical list of famous people born in Iowa (who don't necessarily live in Iowa) as well as famous Iowans in general.

Name Occupation Description
Tom Arnold Film actor Born in Ottumwa on 6 March 1959.
Buffalo Bill Buffalo Hunter; Entertainer; Pony Express Rider Born William Frederick Cody near Le Claire on February 26, 1846.
Bill Bryson Popular writer of travel books Born in Des Moines in 1951.
Norman Ernest Borlaug Nobel Peace Prize laureate Born near Cresco on March 25, 1914.
Johnny Carson Comedian Born in Corning on 23 October 1925.
Christian Clemenson American Actor Born in Humboldt, Iowa on November 11, 1959
Mamie Eisenhower Wife of President Dwight D. Eisenhower Born in Boone in 1896.
Bob Feller Major League Baseball Player; Hall of Famer Pitched 3 no-hitters for the Cleveland Indians, Born near Van Meter on November 3, 1918.
Hayden Fry College football coach of the Iowa Hawkeyes Coached into national prominence with several Rose Bowl Game appearances and high national rankings throughout his tenure.
George Gallup American statistician; inventor of the Gallup poll Born in Jefferson in 1901.
Frank Gotch Professional wrestler; world heavyweight champion Born south of Humboldt in 1878.
Chad Hennings American football player and US Air Force officer Born in Elberon on October 20, 1965.
Herbert Hoover 31st President of the United States Born in West Branch in 1874. He is also buried there.
Lou Henry Hoover Wife of President Herbert Hoover Born in Waterloo, Iowa.
Ashton Kutcher Film and television actor Born in Cedar Rapids on February 7, 1978.
William D. Leahy Five star admiral Born in Hampton on May 6, 1875.
Ron Livingston Film and television actor Born in Cedar Rapids on June 5, 1968.
Frederick L. Maytag Maytag founder Lived his childhood years near Laurel.
Robert Millikan Physicist Measured the charge of the electron, spent part of his childhood in Maquoketa.
Kate Mulgrew Actress A film and television actress born in Dubuque, Iowa on April 29, 1955.
Charles Murray American policy writer Best known for being the co-author of the controversial best seller, The Bell Curve. Born in Newton, Iowa on January 8, 1943.
Nancy Price Author of Sleeping with the Enemy Former Professor at the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls, Iowa.
Harry Reasoner Journalist Born 17 Apr 1923 at Dakota City, Iowa
Donna Reed Actress Born as Donna Belle Mullenger January 27, 1921 on a farm near Denison, Iowa
George Reeves Actor Born January 5, 1914, best known for playing the role of Superman on the television series in the 1950s.
Reggie Roby NFL Punter Born in Waterloo played college football at University of Iowa.
Sage Rosenfels NFL quarterback Born in Maquoketa in 1978 and played college football at Iowa State University.
Brandon Routh Film and television actor Born in Des Moines on October 09, 1979
Slipknot Alternative metal/nu metal band Formed in Des Moines.
Mark Steines Co-host of Entertainment Tonight Alumnus of the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls, Iowa.
Sullivan brothers Deaths brought about the military's Sole Survivor Policy Died together on the USS Juneau during the Battle of Guadalcanal, were born in Waterloo.
Billy Sunday a professional baseball player; evangelist Born in Bina in 1862 and lived in Glenwood, Nevada, and Ames.
James Van Allen Scientist Born in Mount Pleasant in 1914.
Henry A. Wallace 33rd Vice President of the United States Born in Orient, Iowa in 1888; died in Danbury, Connecticut in 1965
Robert James Waller Author of The Bridges of Madison County Former Professor of Business at the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls, Iowa.
Brian Wansink Author of Mindless Eating Born in 1960 in Sioux City, Iowa and alumnus of Drake University (M.A.). Professor at Cornell University.
Grant Wood Artist Known mostly for his painting American Gothic, was born in Anamosa on 13 February 1891.
Wright Brothers Lived for a short time in Cedar Rapids while their father was posted there as a bishop with the Church of the Brethren.
Kurt Warner American football player Born in 1971 in Burlington. Alumnus of the University of Northern Iowa.
John Wayne Film actor Born as Marion Morrison in Winterset in 1907.
Meredith Willson Broadway composer/lyricist: The Music Man, The Unsinkable Molly Brown, Here's Love Born on May 18 1902 in Mason City. The Music Man is based partly on Willson's own childhood and is his tribute to the State of Iowa.
Elijah Wood Film actor Born in Cedar Rapids on January 28, 1981.

Some of the wild animals that can be found in Iowa:

White-tailed deer
Red fox
Fox squirrel
Gray squirrel
Eastern spotted skunk
Striped skunk
Gray fox
Mississauga rattlesnake
Prairie rattlesnake
Timber rattlesnake

State symbols
Nickname: The Hawkeye State
Bird: Eastern Goldfinch
Fish: Channel catfish (unofficial)
Flower: Wild Rose
Grass: Bluebunch wheatgrass
Insect: Honey Bee
Tree: Oak
Colors:Red, white, and blue (in state flag)
Fossil: Crinoid (proposed)
Motto: Our liberties we prize and our rights we will maintain
Rock: Geode
Ships: Iowa class battleship, USS Iowa (BB-4), USS Iowa (BB-53), USS Iowa (BB-61)
Song: The Song of Iowa
Soil: Tama (unofficial)

^ US Thunderstorm distribution. Last accessed November 1, 2006.
^ Mean Annual Annual Average Number of Tornadoes 1953-2004. Last accessed November 1, 2006.
^ a b Iowa Department of Revenue Local Option. Retrieved on 2006-06-05.


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