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McDonald’s restaurant in northwest Calgary temporarily closes after employee tests positive for COVID-19

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A McDonald’s restaurant temporarily closed on Saturday after an employee reported that they had tested positive for COVID-19.

The restaurant, located at 8235 Bowridge Crescent N.W., reopened on Sunday morning after a “thorough cleaning and sanitization by a certified third party.”

“All crew members who may have been in close contact with the employee have been asked to self-quarantine until further information is available,” reads a statement from the company.

The employee last worked a shift at the restaurant on Aug. 12 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. The company said any guests who may have visited the restaurant on that day should take direction from Alberta Health Services.

“Maintaining the health and well-being of our crew and guests is our top priority, and we will continue to monitor and adapt measures, where necessary,” the statement from McDonald’s reads.

This is the fourth McDonald’s in the city to close due to a positive COVID-19 case.

The Riverbend location, located at 20 Riverglen Drive S.E., voluntarily closed two times due to positive cases of COVID-19 among employees.

 

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UM physicists part of international team for historic first – UM Today

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September 24, 2020 — 

UM researchers on an international team of physicists have made the first precise measurement of the weak force between particles in the universe, verifying a theory of the Standard Model of Particle Physics.

Using a device called the the Spallation Neutron Source at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory, the scientists were able to measure the weak force exerted between protons and neutrons by detecting the miniscule electrical signal produced when a neutron and a helium-3 nucleus combined and then decayed moving through a target. 

The result was published in the journal Physical Review Letters.

As described in the online news site Mirage News

The Standard Model describes the basic building blocks of matter in the universe and fundamental forces acting between them. Calculating and measuring the weak force between protons and neutrons is an extremely difficult task.

Their finding yielded the smallest uncertainty of any comparable weak force measurement in the nucleus of an atom to date, which establishes an important benchmark.

UM physicist Dr. Michael Gericke said:

When a neutron and a helium-3 nucleus combine, the reaction produces an excited, unstable helium-4 isotope, decaying to one proton and one triton (consisting of two neutrons and one proton), both of which produce a tiny but detectable electrical signal as they move through the helium gas in the target cell.”

Gericke led the group that built the combined helium-3 target and detector system designed to pick up the very small signals and led the subsequent analysis.

Read the Mirage News story here.

An analysis and explanation of the discovery is here.

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Teenage British activist stages climate protest on Arctic ice floe – CBC.ca

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Like many of her generation, Mya-Rose Craig feels strongly that adults have failed to take the urgent action needed to tackle global warming and so she has headed to the Arctic Ocean to protest.

Armed with a placard reading “Youth Strike for Climate,” the 18-year-old British activist is staging the most northerly protest in a series of youth strikes worldwide.

The strikes, made famous by Swedish campaigner Greta Thunberg, are resuming after a lull caused by the global coronavirus pandemic to draw public attention back to the threat posed by climate change.

“I’m here to … try and make a statement about how temporary this amazing landscape is and how our leaders have to make a decision now in order to save it,” she told Reuters Television as she stood with her placard on the edge of the Arctic sea ice.

“I absolutely think that my generation has always had to think about climate change … which is why as we’ve got older there’s been this massive wave of just this need for change, this demand for change when we realized the grown-ups aren’t going to solve this, so we have to do it ourselves.”

Environmental activist and campaigner Mya-Rose Craig, 18, holds a cardboard sign reading “youth strike for climate” standing on the ice floe in the middle of the Arctic Ocean, hundreds of miles above the Arctic Circle, September 20, 2020. (Natalie Thomas/Reuters)

Craig, from southwest England, is known as “Birdgirl” online, where her blog chronicling her bird-watching experiences has attracted thousands of followers.

She has traveled hundreds of miles above the Arctic Circle aboard a Greenpeace ship, Arctic Sunrise.

Climate data shows the Arctic is one of the fastest changing ecosystems on the planet, with serious consequences for wildlife from polar bears and seals to plankton and algae, while the melting sea ice contributes to rising sea levels worldwide.

Warming Arctic

Warming in the Arctic shrank the ice covering the polar ocean this year to its second-lowest extent in four decades, scientists said on Monday.

For Craig, getting to the ice floe involved a two-week quarantine in Germany, followed by a three-week voyage to the edge of the sea ice.

Craig said those who dismiss the youth protests as just a rebellious phase by her generation are wrong, and she wants those in power to stop treating climate change as a low-priority issue, raised only to appease “the lefties in the corner.”

“It’s everything now and it has to be treated like that,” she said.

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NASA Says Bus-Size Asteroid Narrowly Missed Earth Thursday – Voice of America

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Scientists at the U.S. space agency NASA say a small asteroid – roughly the size of a bus – passed close to Earth on Thursday, flying just 22,000 kilometers above the surface, within the orbit of geostationary satellites that ring the planet. 

While the proximity to Earth might raise alarm, scientists at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) in Southern California said even if the asteroid had entered the earth’s atmosphere, it almost certainly would have broken up and become a bright meteor.

The asteroid, known as 2020 SW, is about five to ten meters wide and was first discovered on September 18 by the NASA-funded Catalina Sky Survey in Arizona. 

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NASA’s Center for Near-Earth Object Studies (CNEOS) — part of the JPL — then did follow-up observations and confirmed its orbital trajectory, ruling out any chance of impact.

CNEOS director Paul Chodas says an object this size, this close to earth, is not uncommon. He says, “In fact, asteroids of this size impact our atmosphere at an average rate of about once every year or two.”

After passing the Earth, the asteroid will continue its journey around the Sun, not returning to Earth’s vicinity until 2041, when NASA says it will make a much more distant flyby.

The space agency says they believe there are over 100 million small asteroids like 2020 SW, but they are hard to discover unless they get very close to Earth.

In 2005, Congress assigned NASA the goal of finding 90 percent of the near-Earth asteroids that are about 140 meters or larger in size. These larger asteroids pose a much greater threat if they were to impact, and they can be detected much farther away from Earth, because they’re simply much brighter than the small ones. 

Chodas says NASA’s asteroid surveys are getting better all the time, and the agency now expects to find asteroids the size of 2020 SW a few days before they come near Earth.

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