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Scientists share ‘comprehensive’ map of volcanoes on Venus—all 85,000 of them


Credit: Pixabay/CC0 Public Domain

Intrigued by reports of recent volcanic eruptions on Venus? WashU planetary scientists Paul Byrne and Rebecca Hahn want you to use their new map of 85,000 volcanoes on Venus to help locate the next active lava flow. Their study was posted online ahead of print in Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets.

“This paper provides the most comprehensive map of all volcanic edifices on Venus ever compiled,” said Byrne, an associate professor of earth and planetary sciences in Arts & Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis. “It provides researchers with an enormously valuable database for understanding volcanism on that planet—a key planetary process, but for Venus is something about which we know very little, even though it’s a world about the same size as our own.”

Byrne and Hahn used from NASA’s Magellan mission to Venus to catalog volcanoes across Venus at a global scale. Their resulting database contains 85,000 volcanoes, about 99% of which are less than 3 miles (5 km) in diameter.

“Since NASA’s Magellan mission in the 1990s, we’ve had numerous major questions about Venus’ geology, including its volcanic characteristics,” Byrne said.

“But with the recent discovery of active volcanism on Venus, understanding just where volcanoes are concentrated on the planet, how many there are, how big they are, etc., becomes all the more important—especially since we’ll have new data for Venus in the coming years.”

“We came up with this idea of putting together a global catalog because no one’s done it at this scale before,” said Hahn, a graduate student in earth and planetary sciences at Washington University, first author of the new paper. “It was tedious, but I had experience using ArcGIS software, which is what I used to build the map. That tool wasn’t available when these data first became available back in the ’90s.

“People back then were manually hand-drawing circles around the volcanoes, when I can just do it on my computer.”

“This new database will enable scientists to think about where else to search for evidence of recent geological activity,” said Byrne, who is a faculty fellow of the university’s McDonnell Center for the Space Sciences. “We can do it either by trawling through the decades-old Magellan data (as the new Science paper did) or by analyzing future data and comparing it with Magellan data.”

Byrne and Hahn’s new study includes detailed analyses of where volcanoes are, where and how they’re clustered, and how their spatial distributions compare with geophysical properties of the planet such as crustal thickness.

Taken together, this work provides the most comprehensive understanding of Venus’ volcanic properties—and perhaps of any world’s volcanism so far.

That’s because, although we know a great deal about the volcanoes on Earth that are on land, there are still likely a great many yet to be discovered under the oceans. Lacking oceans of its own, Venus’ entire surface can be viewed with Magellan radar imagery.

Although there are volcanoes across almost the entire surface of Venus, the scientists found relatively fewer volcanoes in the 20-100 km diameter range, which may be a function of magma availability and eruption rate, they surmise.

Byrne and Hahn also wanted to take a closer look at smaller volcanoes on Venus, those less than 3 miles across that have been overlooked by previous hunters.

“They’re the most common volcanic feature on the planet: they represent about 99% of my dataset,” Hahn said. “We looked at their distribution using different spatial statistics to figure out whether the volcanoes are clustered around other structures on Venus, or if they’re grouped in certain areas.”

The new volcanoes dataset is hosted at Washington University and publicly available for other scientists to use.

“We’ve already heard from colleagues that they’ve downloaded the data and are starting to analyze it—which is exactly what we want,” Byrne said. “Other people will come up with questions we haven’t, about volcano shape, size, distribution, timing of activity in different parts of the planet, you name it. I’m excited to see what they can figure out with the new database!”

And if 85,000 volcanoes on Venus seems like a large number, Hahn said it’s actually conservative. She believes there are hundreds of thousands of additional geologic features that have some volcanic properties lurking on the surface of Venus. They’re just too small to get picked up.

“A volcano 1 kilometer in diameter in the Magellan data would be 7 pixels across, which is really hard to see,” Hahn said. “But with improved resolution, we could be able to resolve those structures.”

And it’s exactly that kind of data that future missions to Venus will acquire in the 2030s.

“NASA and ESA (the European Space Agency) are each sending a mission to Venus in the early 2030s to take high-resolution radar images of the surface,” Byrne said. “With those images, we’ll be able to search for those smaller volcanoes we predict are there.

“This is one of the most exciting discoveries we’ve made for Venus—with data that are decades old!” Byrne said. “But there are still a huge number of questions we have for Venus that we can’t answer, for which we have to get into the clouds and onto the surface.

“We’re just getting started,” he said.

More information:
Rebecca M. Hahn et al, A Morphological and Spatial Analysis of Volcanoes on Venus, Journal of Geophysical Research: Planets (2023). DOI: 10.1029/2023JE007753

Scientists share ‘comprehensive’ map of volcanoes on Venus—all 85,000 of them (2023, March 29)
retrieved 29 March 2023
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Intel Linux Kernel Optimizations Show Huge Benefit For High Core Count Servers


Earlier this month I wrote about Intel engineers working on more big optimizations to the Linux kernel with a focus on enhancing the kernel’s performance at high core counts. The numbers shared then were very promising and since then I’ve had more time looking at the performance impact of Intel’s stellar software optimization work and its impact on real-world workloads. Here is a look at how Intel’s pending kernel optimization patches are a huge deal for today’s high core count servers.

A teaser for the article ahead… With Intel CPU core counts going up, so are the Intel efforts to optimize the Linux kernel for greater scalability.

See the article earlier this month for what set of this latest benchmarking storm: Intel Continues With More Big-Time Optimizations To The Linux Kernel. Following that, I set off to run many different benchmarks for seeing how these optimization patches become extremely important with today’s high core count servers.

This article is looking at Intel’s scalability improvements to the Linux kernel using their Sapphire Rapids reference server with two Xeon Platinum 8490H processors.

For concisely looking at the cumulative impact of their pending work, I used Intel’s latest Clear Linux build that has those aforementioned patches and their other in-progress tuning/concurrency work. I compared the performance of Intel’s Clear Linux optimizations against that of Ubuntu 23.04 in its current development state. But I didn’t just do a 2-way comparison but rather tested each distro/kernel across varying thread counts to show how Intel’s kernel optimization effort is really paying off for high core count servers.

Intel Linux kernel optimizations

This round of testing was carried out on both operating systems using Intel’s Eagle Stream server with two flagship Intel Xeon Platinum 8490H “Sapphire Rapids” processors. From there both operating systems / kernels were tested at 240 threads (the default capacity; 120 cores + SMT for the two 8490H processors), 120 threads (disabling SMT/HT), 60 threads, 30 threads, 15 threads, 8 threads, and 4 threads for looking at the scaling performance across a wide variety of workloads. At 120 threads and lower it was all physical cores being tested with Hyper Threading disabled.

Clear Linux, Ubuntu SPR Scaling

The results of this Intel kernel tuning effort really speak for themselves… Not only does it mean a huge win for Intel Xeon Scalable servers with dozens of cores or hitting 200+ threads in a dual socket server, but these optimizations apply for AMD hardware too… Next week I will have up similar benchmarks with AMD EPYC Genoa where the results are even more compelling at 384 threads. With that said, let’s get right to the results.

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03/29 Alpine 3.17.3


03/29 Alpine 3.17.3

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Southern California refills its largest water reservoir for the first time in three years

Southern California refills its largest water reservoir for the first time in three years

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Study finds sulfate pollution impacts Texas gulf coast air


Credit: Environmental Science & Technology (2023). DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.2c05469

Sitting on the beach, taking in the breeze, you might think the sea air is better for you than its inland equivalent. But researchers at the University of Houston have found that the air along the Gulf of Mexico coast in Texas can be more polluted due to its highly processed and acidic chemical components of particulate matter, which are microscopic solid or liquid particles in the air.

Shan Zhou, research assistant professor of atmospheric chemistry, led the new study published in Environmental Science & Technology.

“We found that ocean air was hazier and more polluted than the land breeze. The next question we had was why is it not clean? We concluded the microscopic particles known as or aerosols from the Gulf of Mexico contain high concentrations of sulfate, which originates from anthropogenic (human-generated) shipping emissions. The emissions likely pump a lot of chemicals over the and with a strong sea breeze, it brings that polluted air to land,” said Zhou, a faculty member in UH’s College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics who is the first and corresponding author of the study.

In addition to shipping emissions, the team points to chemical processing as additional cause of particulate matter pollution. They report , including high sunlight intensity, temperature and enhanced provided a favorable environment for that formed secondary aerosols, which can be harmful to your lungs and heart, according to the EPA.

The research team used high-tech instrumentation that finds the chemical composition of the air in real time to conduct their study.

“I supervised the team of graduate students and researchers who deployed the aerosol mass spectrometer to our field site in Corpus Christi,” said co-corresponding author Rob Griffin, engineering professor at Roger Williams University. “The tells us the mass of tiny particles in the atmosphere and gives us an indication of their constituents.”

The team spent several weeks collecting atmospheric data from Corpus Christi and San Antonio. The Corpus Christi in particular is understudied in atmospheric chemistry literature, compared to the Houston-Galveston and Dallas-Fort Worth regions. Further, only a handful of studies have investigated the composition and properties of particulate matter that originate in the Gulf of Mexico and travel into the region.

A perfect combination

Sulfate was the most abundant particulate component observed in the data from the Texas Gulf Coast air. Although this is similar to the atmospheric aerosol conditions of other marine locations globally, what set apart the Texas Gulf Coast was that its pollutant concentrations were much larger, by a factor of 3 to 70 times.

The authors write that this observation points to a strong anthropogenic influence on sulfur sources over the Gulf of Mexico. The Gulf is one of the busiest maritime transport regions with 11 of the 15 busiest water ports in the U.S. located along its shores, one of them being the Port of Corpus Christi. Large commercial vessels typically burn fuel oil and this can produce sulfur oxides.

The team found anthropogenic emissions over the Gulf of Mexico explain 78% of the total sulfate in the air from the Gulf.

Humidity, combined with pollutant chemicals, created the perfect conditions for the conversion of sulfur dioxide to sulfates; the latter is particularly effective in degrading visibility by scattering light before it reaches an observer. Water in this case acts as a solvent and catalyst that promotes the chemical reactions and produces sulfate pollution rapidly.

“The main difference I noticed in the coastal air pollution versus continental air pollution is that the coast pollution was very acidic,” Zhou said. “Acidic means it’s worse for your health compared to non-acidic particles.”

Looking ahead, Zhou aims to further investigate air pollutants over the sea. “Almost the entire state of Texas is potentially under oceanic flow throughout the year. How far can this sulfur pollution can come inland and how frequently can this happen?”

She hopes this study helps other researchers in their understanding of Gulf coast pollutants across the rest of the state.

More information:
Shan Zhou et al, Marine Submicron Aerosols from the Gulf of Mexico: Polluted and Acidic with Rapid Production of Sulfate and Organosulfates, Environmental Science & Technology (2023). DOI: 10.1021/acs.est.2c05469

Study finds sulfate pollution impacts Texas gulf coast air (2023, March 29)
retrieved 29 March 2023
from https://phys.org/news/2023-03-sulfate-pollution-impacts-texas-gulf.html

This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no
part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only.

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Read Introduces AI to Convert a 60 Minute Meeting into a 2 Minute Highlight Reel


Read AI introduces Highlights, through which a 60-minute recording of a meeting is automatically converted into a 2-minute video highlight reel.  By integrating large language models with video, Read identifies the most important moments in a meeting based on not just the words, but the reaction from the participants.  

“What’s more boring than an hour-long meeting?  A recording of an hour-long meeting,” said David Shim, Co-Founder and CEO of Read AI, Inc.  “Using a multi-modal approach to understanding meetings, Read is able to transform a recording of a 60-minute meeting into a 2-minute video highlight reel, or a 30 second trailer.  It’s like watching ESPN, where instead of re-playing an entire baseball game, you get the most important moments condensed into a short clip.”  

During a preview period, agency clients experienced a 30%+ increase in productivity for employees.  Tedious tasks including pulling together notes were completed automatically, and the sharing of these notes along with manually generated video highlights eliminated the need to set up a meeting to talk about the last meeting.  Read Highlights enables users to answer the question, “how did the meeting go?,” with a single link to the Meeting Report.  

“Movie studios use test screenings to identify the moments that were  the most and least compelling to an audience and use that information to build a trailer,” said Shim.  “Read uses AI to measure reactions from meeting participants to highlight the most and least important moments in a meeting to generate Read Highlights. Words without reactions are like sitcoms without a laugh track, or books without narration.”

This multi-modal approach is unique in that it combines text and visual analyses to create a virtual studio audience, where reactions add context to what was said in a meeting.  Highlights are available minutes after a meeting ends along with a text summary, list of topics, action items, and key questions.  

Read Highlights and Summaries:

  • Eliminates the “meeting about the meeting” and replaces it with a link
  • Replaces manual meeting notes and recaps with automated text summaries and video highlights
  • Shares learnings across an org without inviting the entire org to the meeting 
  • Makes it okay to miss a meeting and still stay in the loop

Founded in 2021, Read is focused on applying AI to make meetings more effective and efficient.  Most recently, Read was featured as an Essential App by Zoom, made available to millions of Zoom Pro Users.  

Graphical user interface, text, applicationDescription automatically generated

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Olivia Pichardo of Brown University becomes first woman to play Division I baseball


Olivia Pichardo of Brown University becomes first woman to play Division I baseball – CBS News

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Freshman baseball player Olivia Pichardo is the first woman to play Division I baseball. A walk-on athlete at Brown University, Pichardo had always dreamed of playing the game at the collegiate level. Meg Oliver reports.

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A small town on Ireland’s coast is eagerly preparing for a Biden visit


Ahead of President Biden’s visit to Northern Ireland next month, a scenic town on the Republic of Ireland’s rugged Atlantic coast is preparing to roll out the red carpet for its most famous descendant. In Ballina, a small market town known for salmon fishing, the American leader is considered a native son — albeit one who’s five generations removed.

Mr. Biden’s great-great-great grandfather Edward Blewitt was born in Ballina. He emigrated to Scranton, Pennsylvania, to escape the Irish famine in the 1840s. Nearly 200 years later, Ballina residents are preparing a spectacular homecoming.

Pub landlord Derek Leonard poses with a glass and a photograph of himself with then-U.S. President-elect Joe Biden, in Mr. Biden’s ancestral hometown of Ballina, County Mayo, Ireland, in a November 8, 2020 file photo.


While the dates and details of Mr. Biden’s trip across the Atlantic haven’t been confirmed, it’s widely expected that he’ll visit his ancestor’s birthplace south of the border after he comes to Northern Ireland in early April to mark the 25th anniversary of the Good Friday Agreement, which he said earlier this month that he would do.

The agreement, of which Mr. Biden is a vocal proponent, largely ended decades of sectarian violence on the island known as The Troubles, between republican forces determined to make Northern Ireland part of the republic, and unionists who want it to remain part of the U.K.

The peace established by the Good Friday Agreement has been strained in recent years, however, due largely to the U.K.’s “Brexit” divorce from the European Union, of which Ireland is a member. 

According to recent reports in the British media, Mr. Biden is expected to visit Belfast, in Northern Ireland, on April 11, delivering a keynote speech the next day that will highlight business opportunities for American investors in the region following U.K. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s recent post-Brexit trade deal with the EU. 

EU and UK reach new Northern Ireland trading deal


On Tuesday, Britain’s domestic intelligence agency MI5 raised the terror threat level in Northern Ireland from substantial to severe, indicating an attack in Northern Ireland was considered “highly likely.” The move comes amid an increase in dissident republican activity, including a recent shooting attack on a high ranking police officer last month. 

Security concerns aside, Joe Blewitt, one of Mr. Biden’s distant cousins, has been among the Ballina residents looking forward to a potential visit by the U.S. leader. Blewitt was in Washington with Mr. Biden, along with Irish leader Leo Varadkar, for this year’s St. Patrick’s Day celebrations at the White House. He’s met his high-profile relative on multiple occasions.

Ireland Biden Inauguration
The Blewitt family, from left, Deirdre, Emily, Joe, Laurita, Brendan, Darragh and Lauren, watch the inauguration ceremony of their cousin Joe Biden on TV from their living room in Knockmore, near the town of Ballina, Ireland, in a Jan. 20, 2021 file photo.

Peter Morrison/AP

“He’s [Biden] a really down to earth guy,” Blewitt told CBS News. “My dad always knew we were related, but things really came to the surface when he was running for vice-president with Obama.”

On a visit to Ballina in 2016, Mr. Biden met Blewitt and his sister Laurita, and the Blewitts had a private dinner with the then-vice president.

Jarlath Munnely, whose organization “Ballina 2023” extended Mr. Biden a formal invite to the town last year, said Ballina would welcome the U.S. president — and he’s hoping for more than a few handshakes.

“We know that we could certainly put out a really good public event,” he told CBS News. “We are getting an impression that the president does want to do some sort of address to the public, and there is no better place for that [than Ballina].”

The seaside town’s ties to Mr. Biden go beyond familial bonds. The city has been linked with the president’s own birthplace of Scranton for decades.

“Our sister city relationship is remarkable, because so many Scranton residents trace their lineage back to County Mayo, many to Ballina specifically,” Scranton Mayor Paige Cognetti told CBS News in an emailed statement. “It is truly special to have this deep connection between our cities and be able to celebrate and share our pride in having a U.S. president call our cities home.”

Locals told CBS News that Mr. Biden made a good impression on the people he met during his previous stops in Ballina, making a potential repeat visit by the now-president even more exciting.

“It was really nice,” Miriam Caffrey told CBS News. “You know, he was very relaxed and engaging with everybody. He had time for everybody… It’s amazing to think that the President of the United States of America has forefathers from Ballina.”

Annie May Reape, a local politician, recalled chatting with Mr. Biden about their parallel careers in public service.

“I was introduced as the local councilor, and he just said, ‘Does everybody know you? Do they know your car? When I started in politics, everybody knew where I lived and everyone knew my car.’ He was so particularly happy because of his connection to Ballina,” Reape said.

A visit by the U.S. leader would carry particular significance for the town this year as Ballina is celebrating the 300th anniversary of its establishment. Locals have already seen the potential benefits for their economy that the relationship with Mr. Biden can bring, and they’ll be hoping for more of the same next month.

Irish artist Padraig Mitchell’s mural of Joe Biden is hoisted into place in the main square of Ballina, Ireland, in 2020.

Courtesy of Joe Blewitt

Artist Padraig Mitchell painted a mural of Mr. Biden in the town’s main square during the campaign for the presidency in 2020. The image went viral and has drawn tourists from all over the country. 

“It was the most sought-after selfie in Ireland in 2020,” Mitchell boasted.

Pub owner Derek Leonard helped paint the mural and remembered welcoming Mr. Biden into his pub, Harrisons, on his second visit to the town in 2017.

“He came in and he spent a few minutes here after a walk around the town,” Leonard told CBS News. “He had a great interest in his family history.”

Pub landlord Derek Leonard has his photo taken with Joe Biden during a visit by the U.S. politician to his ancestral home in Ballina, Ireland, in 2017.

Courtesy of Derek Leonard

According to Leonard, Mr. Biden was aware of the mural as he campaigned for the White House and pledged to visit Ballina as president to see it in person.

For Annie May Reape, a visit by President Biden would add to a long history of Irish Americans tracing their roots back to the republic.

“The visit is going to be unbelievable,” she said. “We have a lovely tradition where people like to come and see where their ancestors came from, and now everyone will be anxious to see one of the most important people in the world has a family background in Ballina.”

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Magnon-based computation could signal computing paradigm shift


Magnonic memory effect–Reading and writing of magnetic bits by spin waves. a Two lattices of Py nanostripes (bistable magnetic bits) underneath coplanar waveguides (CPWs) on an insulating YIG film. b Depending on the spin-wave (SW) amplitude bit writing (I and II), reading (III) and data replication (IV) are achieved without charge flow. ce Transmission signals Mag(S21) are taken at three different power levels Pirr by applying electromagnetic (em) waves via a vector network analyzer (VNA). Analyzing signal strengths of mode branches (blue and orange dashed lines), fields HC1 and HC2 are extracted reflecting bit reversal. The red dashed lines indicate + 14mT. Yield of bit writing (dark) underneath f CPW1 and g CPW2 by propagating SWs at μ0HB = + 14 mT. The 50% transition power levels PC1 and PC2, respectively, are marked as black dots. The error bars indicate the 70% and 30% transitions (Methods). h Mag(S11) at Psens and i Mag(S21) taken at +14 mT. In i, bits at CPW1 and CPW2 were magnetized to state 1. Credit: Nature Communications (2023). DOI: 10.1038/s41467-023-37078-8

Like electronics or photonics, magnonics is an engineering subfield that aims to advance information technologies when it comes to speed, device architecture, and energy consumption. A magnon corresponds to the specific amount of energy required to change the magnetization of a material via a collective excitation called a spin wave.

Because they interact with magnetic fields, magnons can be used to encode and transport data without electron flows, which involve through heating (known as Joule heating) of the conductor used. As Dirk Grundler, head of the Lab of Nanoscale Magnetic Materials and Magnonics (LMGN) in the School of Engineering explains, energy losses are an increasingly serious barrier to electronics as data speeds and storage demands soar.

“With the advent of AI, the use of computing technology has increased so much that threatens its development,” Grundler says. “A major issue is traditional computing architecture, which separates processors and memory. The signal conversions involved in moving data between different components slow down computation and waste energy.”

This inefficiency, known as the memory wall or Von Neumann bottleneck, has had researchers searching for new computing architectures that can better support the demands of big data. And now, Grundler believes his lab might have stumbled on such a “holy grail”.

While doing other experiments on a commercial wafer of the ferrimagnetic insulator yttrium iron garnet (YIG) with nanomagnetic strips on its surface, LMGN Ph.D. student Korbinian Baumgaertl was inspired to develop precisely engineered YIG-nanomagnet devices. With the Center of MicroNanoTechnology’s support, Baumgaertl was able to excite in the YIG at specific gigahertz frequencies using radiofrequency signals, and—crucially—to reverse the magnetization of the surface nanomagnets.

“The two possible orientations of these nanomagnets represent 0 and 1, which allows to be encoded and stored,” Grundler explains.

Credit: Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne

A route to in-memory computation

The scientists made their discovery using a conventional vector network analyzer, which sent a spin wave through the YIG-nanomagnet device. Nanomagnet reversal happened only when the hit a certain amplitude, and could then be used to write and read data.

“We can now show that the same waves we use for can be used to switch the magnetic nanostructures so that we also have nonvolatile magnetic storage within the very same system,” Grundler explains, adding that “nonvolatile” refers to the stable storage of data over long time periods without additional energy consumption.

It’s this ability to process and store data in the same place that gives the technique its potential to change the current computing architecture paradigm by putting an end to the energy-inefficient separation of processors and memory storage, and achieving what is known as in-memory computation.

Optimization on the horizon

Baumgaertl and Grundler have published the groundbreaking results in the journal Nature Communications, and the LMGN team is already working on optimizing their approach.

“Now that we have shown that spin waves write data by switching the nanomagnets from states 0 to 1, we need to work on a process to switch them back again—this is known as toggle switching,” Grundler says.

He also notes that theoretically, the magnonics approach could process data in the terahertz range of the electromagnetic spectrum (for comparison, current computers function in the slower gigahertz range). However, they still need to demonstrate this experimentally.

“The promise of this technology for more sustainable computing is huge. With this publication, we are hoping to reinforce interest in wave-based computation, and attract more young researchers to the growing field of magnonics.”

More information:
Korbinian Baumgaertl et al, Reversal of nanomagnets by propagating magnons in ferrimagnetic yttrium iron garnet enabling nonvolatile magnon memory, Nature Communications (2023). DOI: 10.1038/s41467-023-37078-8

Magnon-based computation could signal computing paradigm shift (2023, March 29)
retrieved 29 March 2023
from https://phys.org/news/2023-03-magnon-based-paradigm-shift.html

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Priest Condemns ‘Godless’ Zelensky Regime’s Seizure of Kiev-Pechersk Lavra During Great Lent




MIA „Rosiya Segodnya“




Sputnik International



MIA „Rosiya Segodnya“


Sputnik International



MIA „Rosiya Segodnya“

kiev-pechersk lavra, eviction of monks from kiev-pechersk lavra, schismatic orthodox church of ukraine, the canonical ukrainian orthodox church, the great lent, burning of orthodox churches, ukrainian neo-nazism, ukrainian nationalists, zelensky forcing orthodox monks out of kiev-pechersk lavra

kiev-pechersk lavra, eviction of monks from kiev-pechersk lavra, schismatic orthodox church of ukraine, the canonical ukrainian orthodox church, the great lent, burning of orthodox churches, ukrainian neo-nazism, ukrainian nationalists, zelensky forcing orthodox monks out of kiev-pechersk lavra

The eviction of Orthodox monks from the Kiev Pechersk Lavra during Great Lent, along with the capturing and burning of Orthodox churches by the Zelensky regime are nothing short of diabolical, Hieromonk Feofan, a Donetsk priest told Sputnik, adding that the West has opted to turn a blind eye to these blasphemous and illegal actions.

On March 10, the Zelensky regime demanded that the Orthodox monks of the Kiev-Pechersk Lavra, a historic Christian convent and one of the most revered holy places of the Orthodox world, vacate the monastery by March 29, accusing the canonical Ukrainian Orthodox Church (UOC) of violating the terms of an agreement on the use of state property. The order came amid Great Lent, the most important fast within many denominations of Eastern Christianity.

“This is outright devilry, because the fact that they launched the seizure of the Christian Orthodox shrine during Lent, which is sacred to all Orthodox Christians, and this suggests that they are not Christians, and even more so not Orthodox,” said Hieromonk Feofan, a Donetsk priest. “In Lent, we prepare for communion at the Last Supper of Christ, that is, these are reverent moments, very sacred, and then for the celebration of Easter, the Bright Resurrection of Christ. This is a time of turning in upon yourself, going deep into thoughts, reexamining your life, and working on yourself. And then a sheer devilish, demonic power comes and begins to destroy everything. What [the Kiev regime] will build upon the foundation of the Lavra remnants will no longer belong to Christ, it will not be a church, definitely, because it was done, firstly, illegally, and secondly, by such hellish methods.

The expulsion of monks from the Kiev-Pechersk Lavra is part of a broader persecution of Orthodox priests by the Kiev regime, which includes a takeover of holy shrines and even burning churches down, according to Hieromonk Feofan. The Kiev regime has employed those brutal methods to force the Ukrainian Orthodox Church – Moscow Patriarchate (UOC-MP), the historically-established wing of the self-governing Eastern Orthodox religion in Ukraine, to renounce the leadership of the Moscow Patriarchate. Earlier this week, Dmitry Korchinsky, Ukrainian public figure, called for torching all the churches of Moscow Patriarchate in Ukraine. According to Korchinsky, “there is nothing wrong with that.”

“I have one acquaintance, a monk of the Lavra, and, unfortunately, he had to leave it,” Hieromonk Feofan said. “And Thank God that he managed to flee the place, because he says that it was simply dangerous to stay there. Some armed individuals constantly came there and checked everyone at the entrance of the Lavra. That is, life there was in constant tension, and he had to leave. Now he is safe. But from speaking with him, I understood that those Lavra brothers with whom he communicates, are in a very difficult situation right now (…) Let’s see if they will defend the Lavra. In general, we had precedents in history when the Trinity Lavra of St. Sergius and other large monasteries were encroached upon, and the monasteries defended themselves. But, unfortunately, in our time, for some reason, we have goodness without fists.”

Previously, Ukrainian Culture Minister Oleksandr Tkachenko said the monks could stay in the Lavra if they joined the schismatic Orthodox Church of Ukraine led by defrocked metropolitan Patriarch Filaret. However, according to Hieromonk Feofan, this would be a betrayal of Faith. Feofan cited the Holy Gospel as saying: “For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain” (Philippians 1:21). According to him, when a person with this feeling defends his Lavra, his monastery, his church, he is not afraid of anything or anyone.

“Why did the Byzantine Empire and Constantinople stand? It existed because it could defend itself. And now, unfortunately, we have a defenseless Orthodox Christianity, which cannot defend itself,” noted Hieromonk Feofan. “We realized in 2014 that if we were captured, if Donbass were captured, we would lose almost everything for what we had lived and what we had cherished all that time, everything that our ancestors left us, including faith. We understood that if Filaretism came here, then the Uniates would come after it, and then the Vatican (…) At that moment, the issue of protecting the republic was of utmost importance, because everything else, and the Orthodox faith, and shrines, and our native land, that’s all we would have betrayed if we hadn’t started to defend Donbass. We have chosen protection at all costs. Not to survive at any cost, but to protect at any cost.”

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