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In this paper we study ruled surfaces which appear as exceptional surface in a succession of blowing-ups. In particular we prove that the e-invariant of such a ruled exceptional surface E is strictly positive whenever its intersection with the other exceptional surfaces does not contain a fiber (of E). This fact immediately enables us to resolve an open problem concerning an intersection configuration on such a ruled exceptional surface consisting of three nonintersecting sections. In the second part of the paper we apply the non-vanishing of e to the study of the poles of the well-known topological, Hodge and motivic zeta functions.
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