Citizen ideal for crime watchers but not crime stoppers — by design

first_img 0% Let’s say you’re at work and your phone buzzes. You pick it up expecting your 100th email or text notification of the day and instead read: “NEARBY! Burglary at [Your address].”That’s the alert I got from Citizen, an app that notifies you about crimes in your area. In my experience, can be anything within a two-mile radius or so.What do you do with this information? My building has about 50 apartments. Should I run home to defend my place? I decided not to. I never got an answer about what actually happened in my building. Nothing of mine was missing, and my building manager’s theory was that someone may have been horsing around on the fire escape. Citizen’s only update came 18 minutes later: “Officers on scene are no longer requesting assistance.” Still, it was the defining moment in my experiment with Citizen, which I had downloaded to write about. One of the first things you see when you install and open the app for the first time is a breathless announcement that “this app could save your life.”Soon after, you are warned: “Never approach a crime scene.”If a witness is within a quarter mile of a recently active incident, a little “go live” button comes to life on their app.Citizen is the born-again, hands-off version of an app that bit the dust because it seemed to suggest that witnesses to crimes step in — that one was named, appropriately, “Vigilante.”This newer, cleaner, less morally questionable reincarnation recently reached a milestone: 150,000 notifications about incidents in the San Francisco area have gone out, so far. In my experience, these came so frequently that I eventually barred my phone from playing the notification tone to keep my blood pressure down. They ranged from alarming, to benign, to vague, to just bizarre.“Person fatally shot.”“Car break-in in progress.”“Threats made.”“Man pulled out sword on third floor.”I started to ignore them.Of course, not everyone shares my experience. Josephine, who lives on the border between Potrero Hill and the Mission and asked that her last name not be used, has come to rely on Citizen and feels much safer having it in her pocket. She no longer has to rely on stale reports in the news or on Nextdoor to know what’s going on along her dog-walking route.“That stuff is secondhand accounts from neighbors, or, with the news, it’s reported after the fact. The thing I really liked about Citizen is feeling like I’m dialed in real time,” she told me.That feeling is, I predict, what will draw downloads from consumers of crime news — and, as we know from writing for Mission Local, people, despite themselves, love crime stories.To some degree, everything is filtered, and everything is after the fact. The true extent of crime — and how to definitively avoid becoming a victim — is unknowable. Citizen will not reveal how exactly it sources its reports. They are gathered from “Active crimes circulating in 911 and emergency broadcasts,” Citizen’s Lea Artz, a former television reporter and digital communications director for the NYPD, told me.“We have people monitoring all emergency 911 broadcasts around the clock,” she said. It’s unclear how this access happens. There is no official relationship between the SFPD and Citizen, or the Department of Emergency management and Citizen, just an “open dialogue.”The monitors, comprised of “some people who are former law enforcement dispatchers, people with backgrounds in public safety, people who are interested in public interest journalism,” create headlines and updates that get pushed out to the users. Whoever they are, there’s no denying that they are lighting fast. If you are a Nixle subscriber — a text-message-based safety-alert service that includes things like power outages and gas leaks — you’ll love Citizen. When a deadly shooting broke out in the Fillmore in late October, Nixle alerted me of an event due to “police activity.” Great.Citizen, by contrast, already had a report up more than 20 minutes earlier that three people had been shot, a brief suspect description and an alert that a bystander was livestreaming. But if we’re honest, do we really want to know about all of the awful stuff that’s going on around us, especially when there is, by design, nothing we can do about it? Are we just swapping vigilantism for voyeurism?Aren’t there cases in which the need for privacy outweighs the need to be informed?“It’s something we think about a lot and keep an eye on,” Artz said. “There are cases where we don’t want something to be shown. … We had a woman commit suicide and someone was trying to livestream, and that video was blocked.”And, as she pointed out, nobody is sharing video via the app that couldn’t be shared anywhere else — on a public street, anyone can and does film and post anything.Still, some of what I was notified about made me uneasy. A fatal shooting at an address near my apartment turned out to be a man who had shot himself inside his home. One notification announced that there was a “domestic assault” ongoing at a specific address. Or how about the “man standing in middle of traffic and flapping his arms” at 24th Street and South Van Ness? God help us if we reported on that last one as news with the premise of public interest — we’d be laughed out of town. Perhaps the real game-changer of Citizen is contingent on critical mass. “When everybody has the Citizen app, which is something we dream about a lot … the potential for tracking or capturing or following or all just doing our part to keep each other safe … that’s something that drives all of us,” Artz said.Keep in mind, though, that users cannot generate a Citizen report. And, if you’ve watched the app’s promo video, which strongly suggests that in-app tools could help police catch a kidnapper, understand that there is no mechanism for relaying information from within the app’s chat function or live stream back to law enforcement. I asked what people should do when they’re notified of something happening in a place where they have to go or that they care a lot about — their kid’s school, their home, their office. “People should do the same thing they would normally do: use common sense to stay safe. Call 911,” Artz responded. “Citizen in no way advises people on what to do during ongoing incidents. We provide the relevant safety information to help the public make informed decisions about their personal safety.” center_img Tags: crime • tech Share this: FacebookTwitterRedditemail,0%last_img read more

His side ran in six tries to defeat the Red Devils

first_imgHis side ran in six tries to defeat the Red Devils and keep up their great start to the season.“It was a good win but it was a bit of a scratchy performance for most parts,” he said. “I’m pleased we got the win the way we did.“It took us a long time to settle down and we forced our hand with the ball too, but in the end we found a good balance.“I thought Benny Barba was outstanding for us, as was Dom Peyroux and Luke Thompson. Those guys stood up. A few of the boys didn’t have their best games, but they know that and you do get it at this time of the year.“We are hard markers on ourselves and are disappointed but it has been a disruptive week with training and not knowing if the game was on or not. All those factors make it hard.“I even have to give Benny credit for what he did during the week. If there’s someone who is going to complain about the weather it would be a bloke from North Queensland!“He has got stuck in and said to the lads what are they complaining about. He’s in a good place at the moment, is enjoying training, and it is showing on the field.“It’s good to have him here.”Saints are next in action when they travel to Warrington this Friday.Tickets for the clash are on sale from the Ticket Office, by calling 01744 455 052, or online here.last_img read more

Fire crews battle house fire in Brunswick County

first_imgFire on Seaside Road on Jan. 13, 2019. (Photo: Sunset Beach Fire/Facebook) BRUNSWICK COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — Two Brunswick County fire departments responded to a house fire in Grissettown Sunday night.The fire occurred in the 200 block of Seaside Road and was reported around 9 p.m.- Advertisement – Firefighters from Grissettown Fire Department were assisted by the Sunset Beach Fire Department.According to Sunset Beach Fire Department Chief Paul Hasenmeier, none of the residents were home at the time.The Brunswick County Fire Marshal is investigating the cause of the fire.last_img read more

New Wrightsville Beach school planned with storms floods in mind

first_img The renovations, which will add a second floor to the building and are scheduled to start this summer, are mostly aimed at making room for a growing student body.But architect John Sawyer, of Sawyer, Sherwood and Associate, said that planning for future, stronger storms was key to designing the new school.To read the full article from StarNews, click here. An ariel view of Wrightsville Beach Elementary School. Construction will begin this summer. WRIGHTSVILLE BEACH (STARNEWS) — During Hurricane Florence, Wrightsville Beach Elementary School fared better than many in the region.Like much of Wrightsville Beach, the 66-year-old building was spared the flooding that devastated many inland areas. But with a changing climate and swelling seas threatening coastal buildings, the elementary school is getting renovations for the 21st century.- Advertisement – last_img read more

WWAY kicks off Black History Month celebration with Ocean City Beach

first_imgWILMINGTON, NC (WWAY)- Ocean City beach has been around since 1949 and is now celebrating their 70th anniversary this year. The community is on north Topsail Island and was founded for African Americans to buy property, more specifically ocean front property as there that kind of of property was not available along the coast of North Carolina any where else at that time. The family oriented community is still continuing to grow and thrive today.WWAY kicks off its Black History Month celebration as Amanda Fitzpatrick sat down with Kenneth Chestnut from the Ocean City Beach Citizen council to learn more about the history of the community.last_img read more

Rebuild continues almost 6 months since Hurricane Florence

first_imgPENDER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) —  It has been almost 6 months since Hurricane Florence hit our coast. It displaced thousands of residents.Cape Fear Habitat for Humanity is tackling this disaster head on by joining forces with Pender County as a long term recovery effort.- Advertisement – “What we’re trying to do is for people that are displaced due to Hurricane Florence, we’re trying to fast track their process, obviously, because they’re in need of housing,” said Rebuild Coordinator Jennifer Anderson. “The home ownership program has been something we’ve always done. Rebuild is brand new to us because of the need we saw in the community.”Annie Simmons Walker recently suffered a stroke and, as a single, elderly woman, repairing her home is a big challenge financially, and physically.Could Cape Fear Habitat for Humanity be the blessing she needs?Related Article: NC Wildlife biologists investigate widespread fish kills after FlorenceWalker’s front porch is overflowing with her personal items blocking her home’s front view because Hurricane Florence damaged her roof which wasn’t fully repaired after Hurricane Matthew.“I don’t have a little peephole so, after they get on the porch, I don’t know who it is and if I don’t recognize their voice then I’m scared to open the door,” said Walker.The roof tarp is also blocking Walker from looking out of her bedroom window.“What we did for [Matthew] is all back off again … the shingles and whatever goes under the shingles which has made more water come in,” said Walker. “The septic tank doesn’t work. The heater sometimes works when it wants to.”With more medical and personal bills to count, Walker says she cannot afford to owe any more loans. But, looking for answers to help, she was first in line at the Cape Fear Habitat for Humanity Rebuild Assistance Event Friday morning in Burgaw.“Depending on income eligibility and some different things, our program is able to help people do some of those repairs to their homes,” said Anderson.Just weeks after Hurricane Florence, Cape Fear Habitat for Humanity designed the disaster rebuild program to help low to moderate income homeowners who have damage from Hurricane Florence and need assistance to rebuild. The group is also offering a fast tracked home ownership program.“We have land that we’d like to build on,” said Home Ownership Services Manager Amy Davis. “[These] brand new homes [can help] get people who can’t walk into a bank and get a home loan normally.”Cape Fear Habitat for Humanity works to give everyone the chance to own a home and allows low to moderate income families to enjoy the benefits of being a homeowner.Find details below to the additional application drive and information sessions by Cape Fear Habitat for Humanity at their sites across the Cape Fear:Ogden Restore on March 9th from 12 PM to 4 PMBurgaw Restore on March 23rd from 12 PM to 4 PMlast_img read more

Community gathers at Battleship for Memorial Day ceremony

first_imgWILMINGTON, NC (WWAY)– Memorial Day is a day to remember, to commemorate and thank those who have served our country, and never came home so that we have the freedoms we have been granted.A ceremony at The Battleship North Carolina was held to show respect to those who gave the ultimate sacrifice.- Advertisement – There was a 21-gun salute by the U.S. Marines of H&S Battalion, from Camp Lejeune.This years’ event featured remarks by North Carolina Military & Veterans Affairs Secretary Larry Hall.Secretary Hall told us the reason why it’s so important to remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice.“and that reason will ring hollow and be unfulfilled if our communities, and our family members and others don’t pick up the mantle that they fought and died for and carry it forward to achieve. To make a difference in their communities, in the world. making our country safe, making our country great, making our state great, and making our communities great,” said Hall.Related Article: Heat forces South Carolina bridge to close for several hoursThe Memorial Day Service at the battleship has been held every year since 1962, except for last year when it was cancelled due to rain and flooding. Secretary Hall said that about 500 people attended Monday’s event.last_img read more

Section of NC 210 near Elizabethtown to temporarily close

first_imgBLADEN COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — The threat of future floodwaters closing NC 210 in Bladen County will be diminished, thanks to a series of major culvert upgrades that will wind down this summer. That’s according to a news release from the NC Department of Transportation.On Monday, a section of NC 210 is scheduled to close about a mile south of US 701 northeast of Elizabethtown.- Advertisement – A contractor will install a double-barreled, box-shaped culvert under the road where the highway crosses Smith Mill Pond Run. The nearest intersection is with Walter K. Evans Road.The drainage pipe under NC 210 blew out during Hurricanes Matthew and Florence. The new culvert will be larger and capable of handling more floodwater capacity without incurring any road damage.“The roadway and drainage pipe at this location suffered major damage during both hurricanes,” said Ken Clark, the NCDOT district engineer for Bladen and Columbus counties. “Following both storms, our crews worked tirelessly to restore access to the area. So, this major culvert upgrade is critical, and it will help prevent this road from washing out again.”Related Article: Can your apartment complex legally kick you out? The law says yesThe detour will keep drivers on these two primary routes: NC 41 and US 701. The road is expected to reopen by mid-August before school starts.In early July, another section of NC 210 will close about a half mile south of Moore’s Swamp Road near the Black River, where crews will upgrade the drainage pipe. The existing pipe was damaged by Florence and needs to be replaced. The closure will last about two weeks.The detour will be posted on DriveNC.gov under the Bladen County list of closures.These two projects will follow work completed on June 7 installing two larger culverts under NC 210 north of Green Sea Road that also washed out during the hurricanes.last_img read more

European elections unprecedented viewing figures for Parliaments campaign film

first_imgSince its launch on Thursday 25 April, the three-minute film has been viewed over 75 million times; unprecedented figures for an institutional campaign (figures updated to Thursday 2nd May at 09.00 am).The film is subtitled in all 24 EU official languages as well as other EU languages, different national versions of the same language (33 in total), plus five worldwide major languages (Arabic, Chinese, Russian, Hindi and Turkish). It has also been produced in 31 sign languages and international sign, with the support of the European Union of the Deaf (EUD).Directed by award-winning Frédéric Planchon, and developed and produced by Parliament’s contractor, European Broadcast Partners and their sub-contractor & Co./NoA, it documents the intense, beautiful and fragile moments when new-born children come into this world across Europe and aims to make us reflect on why we vote. All the births featured in the film are real documentary footage. As one of the centrepieces of the 2019 European Parliament election campaign, the film intends to make Europeans aware of their shared values, emotions and responsibilities. In the words of the young girl narrating the film: “Each of us can leave a mark, but together we can make a real difference”.The European Parliament’s campaign also includes the thistimeimvoting.eu platform to get people involved in the European elections. So far, more than 270.000 people have signed up.The Europe-wide elections will be held in all EU countries between 23 and 26 May.WhatsApp <a href=’http://revive.newsbook.com.mt/www/delivery/ck.php?n=ab2c8853&amp;cb={random}’ target=’_blank’><img src=’https://revive.newsbook.com.mt/www/delivery/avw.php?zoneid=97&amp;cb={random}&amp;n=ab2c8853&amp;ct0={clickurl_enc}’ border=’0′ alt=” /></a> SharePrintlast_img read more

Ugandans to check for IDs via SMS

first_imgAdvertisement The internal affairs ministry has introduced an SMS platform for Ugandans seeking to know the status of their national identity cards.The provision, however, only applies to people who registered in 2010 during the biometric registration exercise.According to the ministry, which is in charge of the ongoing national IDs distribution, the move is aimed at easing the distribution of the national identification cards. – Advertisement – “When one wants to check for the status of their IDs, they are required to type the word ‘Uganda’, leave a space, type the registration number from the Electoral Commission and then send to 8888,” said Bwesigye Marcellion, the National ID project manager. The SMS will cost sh220.John Eresu, a National Citizenship and Immigration Board member added: “When you SMS your details to that number, it will automatically tell you the status of your card.”The officials said many people have been bouncing at ID distribution centres when they fail to access their IDs due to errors. They added that with SMS, they will be notified whether their IDs are valid or not.Since Monday, when the ID distribution was launched, many people have been continuously turned away by the officials after their cards are found to be missing, while some have errors such as misspelt names and wrong dates of birth.source: New Visionlast_img read more

Facebook to stop you from uploading embarrassing photos

first_imgAdvertisement Social networking giant Facebook is building an artificial intelligence tool that would warn people when they are about to do something they might regret later such as uploading an embarrassing photo on the social networking site.The Facebook Artificial Intelligence Research (Fair) lab, Yann LeCun, and his team are now laying the basic groundwork for the tool.LeCun says they want to build a kind of Facebook digital assistant that will recognize when you are uploading an embarrassing photo from a late-night party. – Advertisement – LeCun said, this assistant would tap you on the shoulder and say: “Uh, this is being posted publicly. Are you sure you want your boss and your mother to see this?”The tool will rely on image recognition technology that can distinguish between your drunken self and your sober self, ‘Wired’ reported.The larger aim is to create things like the digital assistant that can closely analyse not only photos but all sorts of other stuff posted to Facebook.“You need a machine to really understand content and understand people and be able to hold all that data,” he said.Facebook lab has already developed algorithms that examine a user’s overall Facebook behaviour in an effort to identify the right content for their news feed — content they are likely to click on — and they will soon analyse the text users type into status posts, automatically suggesting relevant hashtags.LeCun and his team are also looking towards AI systems that can understand Facebook data in more complex ways.Source: Business Linelast_img read more

Facebooks QnA Zuckerberg Talks About The Future of the web among other

first_imgAdvertisement Facebook held it’s first international Town Hall Q/A Meet where Mark Zuckerberg answered questions from an audience and the internet about the social network. Here are some of the questions and answers that we think will interest you.Can you install an “I’ve read this button” so we can stop reading posts over and over again?A lot of people ask why Facebook’s Newsfeed isn’t in order; people get confused about why they see posts multiple times in their feed. – Advertisement – Zuckerberg said that “if you have a hundred friends on Facebook, there are probably hundreds or a thousand things that are possible stories you might see” but the problem is “most people don’t spend all day on Facebook.” The company shows the most interesting ones so you see them in the time you’re on the social network.He also pointed out that the company gets “a lot more complaints when we don’t rank the feed.”How do you imagine Facebook in ten years?“There are a few different big trends” that are going to change how we connect, Zuckerberg said. First, he wants to reach two-thirds of the internet within 10 years and is pushing hard on that point.Second, Zuckerberg thinks that the platform will completely change. He said if you look at the example of shifts every “10 to 15 years” from the desktop PC to mobile phones, what’s next is just as important.“We can imagine there will be another platform that’s more natural and more built into our lives than right now” he said. In the future, he believes it’ll be a wearable device — like glasses — that “doesn’t look weird like some of the stuff we have today” and enhances the experience without taking away from the real world.What’s one opinion people have about Facebook that you’d like to change?“People don’t realize how much we care about our community” said Zuckerberg. “People interpret our actions through the lens of, oh, they’re just trying to do that to get money.” One of the questions that people often ask is that Facebook’s work with Internet.org is just to get more people on Facebook and to make more money.Zuckerberg said that if that was the case, he would just send people to work on its ad products instead of getting people connected. “A lot of people assume that when we do an action, it’s in our business interest to do so, but we actually want to get our services in front of as many people as possible.”What was the moment you came up with Facebook?Zuckerberg said that it’s often misconstrued that it was just him coming up with the social network.“One of the biggest things the media gets wrong about building companies is that ideas do not just come to you.” He thinks it’s much more of a journey and the media also makes it sound like “one person or a small number of people did something” and that it’s more.Zuckerberg believes this discourages people from building things because it makes it look easier than it is; “anyone can sit down and build something together.”The full video from Facebook’s third town hall event can be viewed here.Credits TNWlast_img read more

Theres No Such Thing As WhatsApp Gold Dont Be Fooled

first_imgAdvertisement WhatsApp users beware! There’s another scam in town, and it’s been catching out LOTS of unsuspecting users.If you have received an exclusive invitation to install a “limited edition” version of the popular messaging app called WhatsApp Gold, don’t be fooled.There is only one version of WhatsApp, and it’s the version you are already using. – Advertisement – Victims of the scam have reportedly received a message that says: “Hey Finally Secret Whatsapp golden version has been leaked, This version is used only by big celebrities. Now we can use it too.”The upgrade claims to offer new features such as the ability to have video chats, send 100 pictures at once, and delete messages after you have sent them.Users are then asked to click on a link to download the update.[related-posts]However, the link takes them to website that is riddled with malicious software, infecting their smartphones with nasty viruses.It is not known how many people have been received the message. However, it seems to have mainly infected Android devices.If you receive the message, delete it straight away and install antivirus software on your phone – which you should download directly from the Google Play app store.[Mirror]last_img read more

Facebook Spaces Live Streaming Goes Live Lets You Share VR Video

first_img(Photo Courtesy: Facebook) Advertisement Facebook has brought live streaming to virtual reality (VR) by enabling people to share live video with each other using Facebook Spaces virtual reality app.Launched in April, Facebook Spaces is the company’s first VR app built for the company’s Oculus Rift VR headset which is developed and manufactured by Oculus VR, a division of Facebook.According to a Facebook blog post on Wednesday, people could interact with other Oculus Rift users inside a virtual playground by chatting and drawing 3D animations. – Advertisement – “By going live from Facebook Spaces, you can share a whole new kind of moment with friends and family directly from VR. Whether you’re touring exotic locations across the globe in 360 or riffing on a viral video, the people who matter most to you can now follow along in real time on Facebook,” the blog post said.[related-posts]Users going live from Facebook Spaces will have a virtual camera that can be positioned anywhere to capture the action while their friends can comment on their broadcast.Spaces users can also broadcast their VR sessions to those users who don’t have the Oculus Rift.source: Facebook Blogs and inputs from IANSlast_img read more

STAR SPECIALS Player Of The Year

first_img[dropcap]S[/dropcap]tar Sports unveil betting on who will win the PFA Player of the Year award following the announcement of the nominations- and make Leicester playmaker Riyad Mahrez the 4/9 favourite ahead of Foxes striker Jamie Vardy at 5/2The bookmaker also has odds on who will win the PFA Young Player of the Year gong, and see Dele Ali as the short odds-on 1/6 jolly, ahead of Harry Kane at 4/1.Luke Tarr, Star Sports Head of PR, comments: “Goalscorers always tend to take the plaudits, with the likes of Shearer, Rooney and Henry having won this prestigious award. This year has been different in every way possible, and magic to watch. Unusually it’s not the scorers in Vardy and Kane that head the markets but the providers in Mahrez and Alli. I’d love to see both playmakers win their respective awards, so we’re offering an enhanced double of 4/5 that both pick up the top prizes.”PFA Player of the YearRiyad Mahrez 4/9 Jamie Vardy 5/2 Harry Kane 12/1 Dimitri Payet 25/1 Ngolo Kante 33/1 Mezut Ozil 40/1Young Player of the YearDele Alli 1/6 Harry Kane 4/1 Romelu Lukaku 20/1 Ross Barkley 33/1 Philippe Countinho 40/1last_img read more

£25 FREE BET Man City v Burton Albion

first_img£25 FREE BET IFTHERE ARE 6 OR MORE GOALS IN GAMEWe are giving all starsports.bet NEW CUSTOMERS a £25 FREE BET if THERE ARE 6 OR MORE GOALS IN THE GAME.You simply need to open an account and place a bet at evens or above, of at least £10, on any market at starsports.bet between 9am on Wednesday 9 January and 7.45pm on Wednesday 9 January. TERMS AND CONDITIONS(1) This promotion is for new account holders only. To qualify, you must open a new account at starsports.bet anytime from 9am on Wednesday 9 January to 7.45pm (GMT) on Wednesday 9 January.(2) In addition, you must place at least one bet online with starsports.bet before 7.45pm (GMT) on Wednesday 9 January. The bet must be for a stake of £10 (or more), on a selection at evens or above, on any market as displayed on the starsports.bet web site.(3) The bonus promotional offer of £25 will be paid as a Free Bet if THERE ARE 6 OR MORE GOALS IN THE GAME (Man City v Burton Albion 7.45pm). The Free Bet will be valid for a period of 7 days from the point of issue and must be used within this period otherwise will expire.(4) If, for any reason, the event(s) do not take place or are declared void for betting purposes this offer will also be voided.(5) The bonus Free Bet, if successful, will be credited within 48 hours, direct to your online account.(6) Free Bets may not be used in conjunction with any other current promotion.(7) Star Sports reserve the right to withdraw or refuse any Free Bet promotion at any point.(8) Free Bet stakes are not returned with winnings.(9) Free Bet awards cannot be exchanged for cash.(10) Free Bet awards can be used online, tablet or mobile only.(11) The Free Bet must be used within the timeframe specified on the promotion details and may not be either part used or carried forward.(12) This promotion can only be used once per person and per account. Only one bonus can be awarded per person, household, shared computer or shared IP address. In the event of a customer opening more that one account to claim multiple offers we reserve the right to suspend/close duplicate accounts and void any bets placed.(13) Usual Star Sports Betting Rules and Terms and Conditions apply, these can be viewed at starsports.bet.(14) If you have any further questions about this promotion you can contact our customer service team cs@www.starsportsbet.co.uklast_img read more

Continents loss to oceans boosts staying power

first_imgAddThis ShareCONTACT: Jade BoydPHONE: 713-348-6778E-MAIL: jadeboyd@rice.edContinents’ loss to oceans boosts staying powerStudy measures effects of chemical weathering on the composition of continentsNew research suggests that the geological staying power of continents comes partly from their losing battle with the Earth’s oceans over magnesium. The research finds continents lose more than 20 percent of their initial mass via chemical reactions involving the Earth’s crust, water and atmosphere. Because much of the lost mass is dominated by magnesium and calcium, continents ultimately gain because the lighter, silicon-rich rock that’s left behind is buoyed up by denser rock beneath the Earth’s crust.The Earth’s continents seem like fixtures, having changed little throughout recorded human history. But geologists know that continents have come and gone during the Earth’s 4.5 billion years. However, there are more theories than hard data about some of the key processes that govern continents’ lives.Cin-Ty Lee“Continents are built by new rock that wells up from volcanoes in island arcs like Japan,” said lead author Cin-Ty Lee, assistant professor of Earth science at Rice University. “In addition to chemical weathering at the Earth’s surface, we know that some magnesium is also lost due to destabilizing convective forces beneath these arcs.”Lee’s research, which appeared in the March 24 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Science, marks the first attempt to precisely nail down how much magnesium is lost through two markedly different routes — destabilizing convective forces deep inside the Earth and chemical weathering reactions on its surface. Lee said the project might not have happened at all if it weren’t for some laboratory serendipity.“I’d acquired some tourmaline samples in San Diego with my childhood mentor, Doug Morton,” Lee said. “We were adding to our rock collections, like kids, but when I got back to the lab, I was curious where the lithium, a major element in tourmaline, needed to make the tourmalines came from. I decided to measure the lithium content in the granitic rocks from the same area, and that’s where this started.”In examining the lithium content in a variety of rocks, Lee realized that lithium tended to behave like the magnesium that was missing from continents. In fact, the correlation was so close, he realized that lithium could be used as a proxy to find out how much magnesium continents had lost due to chemical weathering.Continents ride higher than oceans, partly because the Earth’s crust is thicker beneath continents than it is beneath the oceans. In addition, the rock beneath continents is made primarily of silicon-rich minerals like granite and quartz, which are less dense than the magnesium-rich basalt beneath the oceans.Lee said he always assumed that processes deep in the Earth, beneath the volcanoes that feed continents, accounted for far more magnesium loss than weathering. In particular, a process called “delamination” occurs in subduction zones, places where one piece of the Earth’s crust slides beneath another and gets recycled into the Earth’s magma. As magma wells up beneath continent-feeding volcanoes, it often leaves behind a dense, magnesium-rich layer that ultimately founders back into the Earth’s interior.In previous research, Lee found that about 40 percent of the magnesium in basaltic magma was lost to delamination. He said he was thus surprised to find that chemical weathering alone accounted for another 20 percent.“Weathering occurs in just the top few meters or so of the Earth’s crust, and it’s driven by the hydrosphere, the water that moves between the air, land and oceans,” Lee said. “It appears that our planet has continents because we have an active hydrosphere, so if we want to find a hydrosphere on distant planets, perhaps we should look for continents.”The research was sponsored by the National Science Foundation (NSF) and the Packard Foundation. Co-authors include Morton, of the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and the University of California, Riverside; the NSF’s William Leeman, professor emeritus of Earth science at Rice; Ronald Kistler of the USGS; former Rice postdoctorate Arnaud Agranier, now of the University of West Brittany in Brest, France; and former Rice undergraduate Ulyana Horodyskyj, now a graduate student at Brown University.last_img read more

Rice student named Truman Scholar

first_imgAddThis ShareNEWS RELEASEB.J. Almond713-348-6770balmond@rice.eduRice student named Truman Scholar Andrew Amis is interested in energy, water and Africa HOUSTON – (April 10, 2013) – Rice University junior Andrew Amis is one of 62 students selected from 629 nominees from 54 U.S. colleges and universities as a 2013 Truman Scholar. He will receive up to $30,000 for graduate study.“The Truman Scholarship is one of the most competitive undergraduate awards in the U.S., and the application for it is extremely demanding,” said Caroline Quenemoen, director of fellowships and undergraduate research at Rice. “The scholarship recognizes Andrew’s exemplary leadership, particularly his commitment to developing innovative ideas to improve society and collaborating as an equal partner with communities in order to do so.”Recipients must be U.S. citizens, have outstanding leadership potential and communication skills, be in the top quarter of their class and be committed to careers in government or the not-for-profit sector.Amis, of Clinton, Miss., is majoring in chemical engineering and history and plans to pursue a Master of Science degree in chemical engineering with a focus on energy and water technologies and a Master of Public Policy degree in international affairs.“Engineering can be a great equalizer, and I want to help bridge the gap between technology and global affairs,” Amis said. “I want to find new ways to apply technology to pressing problems in Africa.”After volunteering as a teacher in Tanzania, Africa, Amis founded TechLabs to create hands-on, open-source engineering design challenges for students. He has secured funding from Rice’s Center for Civic Engagement’s Rich Family Endowment to provide startup materials for Village Schools International, a group of 26 schools reaching 8,000 students throughout Tanzania. His vision is to scale the model to be more broadly available throughout sub-Saharan Africa. Amis received the James and Barbara Henry Award for Student Global Outreach to go to Kigali, Rwanda, this summer to share TechLabs with schools, nongovernmental organizations and government officials. Former President Bill Clinton recently highlighted TechLabs in the opening plenary to the Clinton Global Initiative University.At Rice Amis co-chaired a conference on energy, education and entrepreneurship in Houston for the Rice Center for Engineering Leadership, taught a one-credit course that examined energy from engineering and policy perspectives and led an undergraduate engineering team designing new microsatellite launch technology. He also is an avid percussionist.He has authored articles for Rice University’s Baker Institute for Public Policy urging for serious commitment to technology in U.S. foreign policy in Africa and more broadly on the importance of knowledge-based economies in the developing world. He has met with Arab students as a delegate to Qatar in the Public Diplomacy and Global Policymaking in the 21st Century program. As a fellow in the Baker Institute’s Jesse Jones Leadership Program in Washington, D.C., he helped the former science and technology adviser to the U.S. secretary of state organize a collaborative scientific workshop in Uzbekistan.“I am star-struck to be part of the Truman community,” Amis said. “I have my mentors to thank. I would not be here without them.”The 2013 Truman Scholars will assemble in May for a leadership development program at William Jewell College in Liberty, Mo., and receive their awards at a June 2 ceremony at the Truman Library in Independence, Mo.The Truman Scholarship Foundation was established by Congress in 1975 as the federal memorial to the 33rd president and is supported by a special trust fund in the U.S. Treasury. In addition to funding for graduate school, recipients receive priority admission at some premier graduate schools, career counseling, leadership training and special internship opportunities with the federal government.# # #Photo for download:http://news.rice.edu/files/2013/04/TRUMAN-Andrew_Amis.jpgLocated on a 300-acre forested campus in Houston, Rice University is consistently ranked among the nation’s top 20 universities by U.S. News & World Report. Rice has highly respected schools of Architecture, Business, Continuing Studies, Engineering, Humanities, Music, Natural Sciences and Social Sciences and is home to the Baker Institute for Public Policy. With 3,708 undergraduates and 2,374 graduate students, Rice’s undergraduate student-to-faculty ratio is 6-to-1. Its residential college system builds close-knit communities and lifelong friendships, just one reason why Rice has been ranked No. 1 for best quality of life multiple times by the Princeton Review and No. 2 for “best value” among private universities by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance. To read “What they’re saying about Rice,” go to http://tinyurl.com/AboutRiceU. Follow Rice News and Media Relations via Twitter @RiceUNews.Office of News and Media Relations – MS 300, Rice University, 6100 Main St., Houston, TX 77005last_img read more

Rice to build new soccer track and field facility

first_imgShare1David Ruth713-348-6327david@rice.eduRice to build new soccer, track and field facilityHOUSTON – (June 4, 2015) – Rice University will begin construction soon on a new $2 million grandstand, enclosed press box and team facilities for soccer and men’s and women’s track and field and cross country.The new grandstand, which will accommodate 1,500 people with a mixture of chairback and bleacher seating, and press box are planned to be completed in January.“We are excited to make this upgrade in a new facility for our student-athletes and fans,” said Joe Karlgaard, Rice’s director of Athletics. “This project goes to our philosophy and vision in creating top-performing teams and championships. We must provide the proper tools for our student-athletes and create inviting venues for our fans to come watch them achieve.”Over the recent years, Rice has made significant investments in improving the infrastructure for students and student-athletes alike. Rice has renovated its multipurpose arena, Tudor Fieldhouse; constructed the award-winning Barbara and David Gibbs Recreation and Wellness Center, which replaced Rice’s 1950-era rec center; opened the new George R. Brown Tennis Center; and is in the process of constructing the Brian Patterson Sports Performance Center in the north end zone at Rice Stadium.The renovation is being fully funded by the university.“We have outstanding soccer and track teams and are delighted that our athletes and their fans will have an improved facility in which to compete and cheer,” Rice President David Leebron said. “These students are extraordinary members of our community, on and off the field, and we’re pleased that these improvements will give them an even better competitive experience and also enable us to continue recruiting the most talented athletes.”The teams’ building will include meeting rooms, a weight room and space for visiting teams, in addition to restrooms for fans.The new grandstand will replace the current facility, which was built in 1966 on the site of Rice’s original football stadium. Rice football moved into Rice Stadium in 1950. The current track and field and soccer stadium did not use any of the old football stadium. The new grandstand will be designed by Jackson & Ryan Architects, the firm that also oversaw the renovation of Rice baseball’s Reckling Park.-30-Follow Rice News and Media Relations on Twitter @RiceUNews.Follow Rice Athletics on Twitter @RiceOwlsDotCom.Located on a 300-acre forested campus in Houston, Rice University is consistently ranked among the nation’s top 20 universities by U.S. News & World Report. Rice has highly respected schools of Architecture, Business, Continuing Studies, Engineering, Humanities, Music, Natural Sciences and Social Sciences and is home to the Baker Institute for Public Policy. With 3,888 undergraduates and 2,610 graduate students, Rice’s undergraduate student-to-faculty ratio is 6-to-1. Its residential college system builds close-knit communities and lifelong friendships, just one reason why Rice is ranked among some of the top schools for best quality of life by the Princeton Review and for best value among private universities by Kiplinger’s Personal Finance. AddThislast_img read more

Freestanding emergency departments in Texas big cities are not reducing congestion at

first_imgShareJeff Falk713-348-6775jfalk@rice.edu Free-standing emergency departments in Texas’ big cities are not reducing congestion at nearby hospitals, says Rice studyHOUSTON — (May 20, 2019) – Free-standing emergency departments (EDs) in Texas’ largest cities have not alleviated emergency room congestion or improved patient wait times in nearby hospitals, according to a new paper by experts at Rice University.Credit: 123RF.com/Rice UniversityThat finding contradicts arguments made by proponents of free-standing EDs, who have claimed the proliferation of stand-alone emergency rooms would speed care in overcrowded hospitals, said the authors.But unlike in Texas’ biggest cities, the research indicates that free-standing emergency rooms can indeed reduce wait times in smaller communities.The researchers reached their conclusion by studying data from the American Hospital Association annual survey, the American Community Survey and free-standing ED licensing data from the Texas Department of State Health Services from 2010 to 2016.The paper entitled “Freestanding emergency departments in Texas do not alleviate congestion in hospital-based emergency departments” was co-authored by Yingying Xu, a Ph.D. student in Rice’s Department of Economics, and Vivian Ho, the James A. Baker III Institute Chair in Health Economics and director of the Center for Health and Biosciences at Rice’s Baker Institute for Public Policy. It is published in the American Journal of Emergency Medicine.“We looked at how entry of more free-standing EDs in local markets influenced the flow of patients in nearby hospital EDs,” said Ho, who is also a professor of economics at Rice and a professor of medicine at Baylor College of Medicine. “Overall, entry of nearby free-standing EDs did not affect the number of visits to hospital EDs, emergency room wait time, length of visit for discharged patients or the rate of patients who left without being seen in hospital EDs.”However, in areas outside of the four major metropolitan areas in Texas (Houston, Dallas, San Antonio and Austin), the authors found that if a hospital opened satellite free-standing EDs in the community, wait times in the hospital’s ED and length of stay in the ED both fell.“Overall, the results suggest that free-standing EDs in general don’t function as a perfect substitute for hospital EDs,” Xu said. “Instead, our results imply that free-standing EDs are increasing utilization of emergency care. They appear to locate in major metropolitan areas where there will be patients who are seeking emergency room care, but they don’t alleviate the burden of overcrowded hospital EDs.“Whether this additional care is beneficial to patients has not been shown,” Xu said. “But other studies have shown that visits to free-standing EDs are often associated with surprise medical bills for patients, and they have also contributed to higher emergency care spending in Texas.”Ho said a recent move by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to lower reimbursement rates for free-standing EDs within six miles of a hospital ED is sensible.For more information or to schedule an interview with Ho or Xu, contact Jeff Falk, associate director of national media relations at Rice, at jfalk@rice.edu or 713-348-6775.-30-Related materials:Article: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0735675719303316Xu bio: https://economics.rice.edu/students/yingying-xuHo bio: www.bakerinstitute.org/experts/vivian-hoFollow the Baker Institute via Twitter @BakerInstitute.Follow the Baker Institute’s Center for Health and Biosciences via Twitter @BakerCHB.Follow Rice News and Media Relations via Twitter @RiceUNews.Founded in 1993, Rice University’s Baker Institute ranks among the top three university-affiliated think tanks in the world. As a premier nonpartisan think tank, the institute conducts research on domestic and foreign policy issues with the goal of bridging the gap between the theory and practice of public policy. The institute’s strong track record of achievement reflects the work of its endowed fellows, Rice University faculty scholars and staff, coupled with its outreach to the Rice student body through fellow-taught classes — including a public policy course — and student leadership and internship programs. Learn more about the institute at www.bakerinstitute.org or on the institute’s blog, http://blogs.chron.com/bakerblog. AddThislast_img read more