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Do local variables get garbage collected when the block that contains them
is over?  If not, is there a way to force this? 
Do locals get garbage collected first during the garbage collection phase?
Is there a way to force garbage collection in general?

We have a problem where many new instances of an object are repeatedly
created (as local variables), but are not being destroyed....  It's too bad
the lua book doesn't cover garbage collection yet...   It's a very hazy
topic for me.