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Sunday, October 22, 2017 Daily Mass Reading

Daily Readings - Sun, 2017-10-22 05:00
Daily Mass Readings from the Catholic Lectionary, based on the New American Bible and approved for use in the United States of America.

You can also read Daily Readings and view Daily Reflections by visiting www.usccb.org/bible/readings/

Saturday, October 21, 2017 Daily Mass Reading

Daily Readings - Sat, 2017-10-21 05:00
Daily Mass Readings from the Catholic Lectionary, based on the New American Bible and approved for use in the United States of America.

You can also read Daily Readings and view Daily Reflections by visiting www.usccb.org/bible/readings/

Friday, October 20, 2017 Daily Mass Reading

Daily Readings - Fri, 2017-10-20 05:00
Daily Mass Readings from the Catholic Lectionary, based on the New American Bible and approved for use in the United States of America.

You can also read Daily Readings and view Daily Reflections by visiting www.usccb.org/bible/readings/

Thursday, October 19, 2017 Daily Mass Reading

Daily Readings - Thu, 2017-10-19 05:00
Daily Mass Readings from the Catholic Lectionary, based on the New American Bible and approved for use in the United States of America.

You can also read Daily Readings and view Daily Reflections by visiting www.usccb.org/bible/readings/

Wednesday, October 18, 2017 Daily Mass Reading

Daily Readings - Wed, 2017-10-18 05:00
Daily Mass Readings from the Catholic Lectionary, based on the New American Bible and approved for use in the United States of America.

You can also read Daily Readings and view Daily Reflections by visiting www.usccb.org/bible/readings/

Tuesday, October 17, 2017 Daily Mass Reading

Daily Readings - Tue, 2017-10-17 05:00
Daily Mass Readings from the Catholic Lectionary, based on the New American Bible and approved for use in the United States of America.

You can also read Daily Readings and view Daily Reflections by visiting www.usccb.org/bible/readings/

Dangers of aortic stenosis

CNN - 3 min 11 sec ago

Iraqi Forces Sweep Into Kirkuk, Checking Kurdish Independence Drive

NY Times - 15 min 38 sec ago
Government troops seize a crucial city and oil fields from separatists who have been pressing for an independent state in northern Iraq.

As U.S. Confronts Internet’s Disruptions, China Feels Vindicated

NY Times - 16 min 4 sec ago
It censors online expression, but it has also taken a hard line against fake news, hacking and deception.

How wildfire smoke affects the atmosphere and climate

Futurity.org - 18 min 7 sec ago

Light-absorbing organic particulate matter, also known as brown carbon aerosol, in wildfire smoke loses its ability to absorb sunlight the longer it remains in the atmosphere, new research suggests.

“Our study casts doubts on the warming implications of brown carbon…”

Brown carbon aerosol changes its properties from light-absorbing to light-scattering the longer it remains in the atmosphere, find Rajan Chakrabarty and Brent Williams, both assistant professors and aerosol scientists in the energy, environmental, and chemical engineering department of the School of Engineering & Applied Science at Washington University in St. Louis.

When it is first emitted, the smoke is brown and has a warming effect on the atmosphere. But over several days in the atmosphere, the smoke gradually turns white and has a significantly reduced warming effect. The resulting white smoke roughly contributes to roughly a 46 percent reduction in light absorption compared with the brown smoke.

“Our study casts doubts on the warming implications of brown carbon,” Chakrabarty says. “If this life cycle analysis is not taken into account, climate models could very well give rise to overestimated values of warming due to these aerosols.”

While scientists already identified black carbon, or soot, as the major light-absorbing and warming agent, less is known about the effects of brown carbon from smoldering wildfires on the atmosphere. There are a lot of uncertainties regarding the role of these aerosols in enhancing atmospheric warming, the researchers say.

Chakrabarty, Williams, and their lab members made the discovery by burning peatland fuels, acquired from different regions of Alaska with the help of the US Forest Service, in their combustion chamber. Smoldering peat fires in the Boreal forests are a major source of organic aerosol and carbon emissions.

In a unique simulated environment, the team studied the changes in the physics, chemistry, optical properties, and composition of the brown carbon smoke over several days. By exposing the smoke plumes to ultraviolet radiation and oxidants, such as ozone, in a photochemical reactor, they could mimic the natural effects in the atmosphere.

When the smoke was first emitted from the burns, it was a muddy brown from the way it absorbed the shorter visible wavelengths (blue to green).

Sooty specks from wildfires raise air pollution

“We saw that as the smoke ages in our simulated atmosphere, we are increasing the extent to which the chemical changes can happen,” says Williams, director of the Washington University Climate Change Program. “As this chemistry occurs in the atmosphere, the smoke particles become a lighter color as the days go on. If the particles always stayed brown, they would continue to contribute to warming because they absorb more radiation. If after a few days in the atmosphere they turn white, they’ll start contributing to cooling by scattering more radiation.”

Chakrabarty says the results will be beneficial to scientists for fine-tuning climate models and satellite retrieval algorithms. It also will assist several federal agencies working to understand wildfires.

“Wildfires are going to be the major source of air pollution because of decades of fire suppression and increased fuel loads,” Chakrabarty says. “We have exerted control to a certain extent on regular emissions, such as those from vehicles and industries, but this is nature, and it’s very hard to control.”

Williams says the longtime land management in the West and warming in the northern part of the country has led to an increase of combustible fuels as climate change has become more prevalent.

“Events such as droughts, floods, and invasive pests can all kill your vegetation, so you have standing, dead vegetation with a whole forest floor full of fuel ready to go,” Williams says. “All of our models predict that these fires are going to get more extreme. In addition to the climate implications that were a focus of this study, air quality management districts are also very concerned about the health consequences for communities that will have poorer air quality because of these forest fires.”

How climate affects the frequency of wildfires

The researchers report their results in Environmental Science & Technology Letters.

The National Science Foundation; National Aeronautics & Space Administration; and the International Center for Energy, Environment and Sustainability at Washington University in St. Louis provided funding for this research.

Source: Washington University in St. Louis

The post How wildfire smoke affects the atmosphere and climate appeared first on Futurity.

Apple Responds to Senator's Request for Info on Face ID Privacy and Security

MacRumors - 31 min 22 sec ago
Shortly after the iPhone X was unveiled, United States Senator Al Franken, who is a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee on Privacy, Technology, and the Law, sent a letter to Apple CEO Tim Cook to ask several questions about the security and the privacy of Face ID.

Franken asked Apple to address his questions by October 13, 2017, which Apple did through a letter sent by Cynthia Hogan, the company's Vice President for Public Policy in the Americas.


In the letter, Hogan highlights its recent Face ID security paper and Face ID support document, which outline how Apple protects customer privacy and keeps customer data secure.

She also addresses several of Franken's questions, reiterating much of the information that's in the two documents and that's been previously published about Face ID. One of Franken's questions, for example, concerned how Face ID was trained, with Apple's response below:The accessibility of the product to people of diverse races and ethnicities was very important to us. Face ID uses facial matching neural networks that we developed using over a billion images, including IR and depth images collected in studies conducted with the participants' informed consent.

We worked with participants from around the world to include a representative group of people accounting for gender, age, ethnicity, and other factors. We augmented studies as needed to provide a high degree of accuracy for a diverse range of users. In addition, a neural network that is trained to spot and resist spoofing defends against attempts to unlock your phone with photos or masks.Hogan ends the letter with an offer to provide Senator Franken with briefings on Apple products should additional information be required.

Following his receipt of the letter, Franken today issued a statement where he said he appreciates Apple's willingness to provide information on Face ID.All the time, we learn about and actually experience new technologies and innovations that just a few years back were difficult to even imagine. While these developments are often great for families, businesses, and our economy, they also raise important questions about how we protect what I believe are among the most pressing issues facing consumers: privacy and security.

I appreciate Apple's willingness to engage with my office on these issues, and I'm glad to see the steps that the company has taken to address consumer privacy and security concerns.

I plan to follow up with Apple to find out more about how it plans to protect the data of customers who decide to use the latest generation of iPhone's facial recognition technology.In addition to offering up a Face ID white paper and detailed support document, Apple has also provided information on Face ID through a series of interviews software engineering chief Craig Federighi did with various media sites.

Face ID will be available to consumers starting on November 3, the official launch date for the iPhone X. Apple plans to begin accepting pre-orders for the iPhone X on October 27.
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Trump comments on Puerto Rico

CNN - 33 min 33 sec ago
President Donald Trump blames local distribution chains in Puerto Rico for the lack of food and water getting around the island.

Six times President Trump denied collusion with Russia

CNN - 34 min 29 sec ago
In the face of ongoing scrutiny over interference in the 2016 election, Donald Trump has strongly denied any ties or collusion with Russia.

Somalia Blasts Reveal Glaring Security Lapse and Possible Shabab Infiltration

NY Times - 34 min 37 sec ago
Even in a country accustomed to pervasive violence, the double truck bombings that killed hundreds in Mogadishu on Saturday was a shock.

Bowe Bergdahl pleads guilty to desertion, faces up to life in prison

CNN - 35 min 43 sec ago
US Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl could spend the rest of his life behind bars after he pleaded guilty Monday to desertion and misbehavior before the enemy.
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