Atmosphere – Biofera http://biofera.org/ Tue, 22 Nov 2022 16:22:13 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=5.9.3 https://biofera.org/wp-content/uploads/2021/05/biofera-icon-150x150.png Atmosphere – Biofera http://biofera.org/ 32 32 New JWST data reveals more details about exoplanet WASP-39b’s atmosphere https://biofera.org/new-jwst-data-reveals-more-details-about-exoplanet-wasp-39bs-atmosphere/ Tue, 22 Nov 2022 16:18:45 +0000 https://biofera.org/new-jwst-data-reveals-more-details-about-exoplanet-wasp-39bs-atmosphere/

New results from the JWST Transiting Exoplanet team reveal a full menu of atoms and molecules that make up exoplanet WASP-39b’s atmosphere, including the first photochemical byproduct detected on an exoplanet.

Early results from observations of WASP-39b with the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), reported in August, included the first unequivocal detection of carbon dioxide in an exoplanet atmosphere. At the time, the team noted an interesting feature in their results but had yet to identify the molecule responsible for it.

Now they have identified the “mystery molecule” as sulfur dioxide and determined that it is produced by photochemistry – chemical reactions in the atmosphere caused by light from the planet’s host star, similar to the formation of ozone by photochemical reactions in the earth’s atmosphere.

“The discovery of photochemistry in the atmosphere of a ‘hot Jupiter’ exoplanet like WASP-39b is important, allowing us to test our photochemical models and opening up new avenues of investigation,” said Natalie Batalha, professor of Astronomy and Astrophysics at UC Santa. Cruz who leads the JWST Transiting Exoplanet Early Release science team.

The team reported their latest findings in a series of five new papers, three of which are in press and two are in review. They observed the planet as it passed in front of its host star, which allowed them to analyze the starlight transmitted through the planet’s atmosphere, using spectroscopy to separate the light into its component wavelengths. and reveal the “fingerprints” of the molecules that make up the planet’s atmosphere. atmosphere.

“We see an array of atoms and molecules in WASP-39b’s atmosphere, including sodium, potassium, water, carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide, and the mystery molecule, sulfur dioxide. “, said Batalha. “The process used to identify molecules also gives us information about element abundance ratios – such as carbon to oxygen and potassium to oxygen ratios – which are tracers of planet formation processes.”

The chemical inventory of WASP-39b suggests a history of collisions and mergers of smaller bodies called planetesimals to create a possible goliath of a planet.

“The abundance of sulfur [relative to] hydrogen indicated that the planet likely experienced a significant accretion of planetesimals that may provide [these ingredients] to the atmosphere,” said Kazumasa Ohno, a postdoctoral fellow at UC Santa Cruz who worked on the Webb data. “The data also indicates that oxygen is much more abundant than carbon in the atmosphere. This potentially indicates that WASP-39 b originally formed far from the central star.

The results also showed evidence of patchy clouds in the exoplanet’s atmosphere.

WASP-39b is a hot gas giant exoplanet from Saturn orbiting very close to its host star. Its close orbit and high temperature are typical of the abundant “hot Jupiter” class of exoplanets. The planet’s proximity to its host star – eight times closer than Mercury is to our Sun – makes it a laboratory for studying the effects of host star radiation on exoplanets. A better knowledge of the star-planet connection should lead to a better understanding of how these processes create the diversity of planets observed in the galaxy.

The team obtained transmission spectra during four transits of WASP-39b, using three different instruments on JWST: NIRSpec (in two different observing modes), NIRISS and NIRCam. This gave transmission spectroscopy data covering infrared wavelengths from 1 to 5 microns.

“The broad wavelength coverage provides a more complete picture of conditions in the atmosphere,” Batalha said. “In addition, each transit observation yields a planetary spectrum at distinct but overlapping wavelengths, allowing us to test the reproducibility of each instrument.”

The spectra from different instruments were consistent in the regions of overlap. All instruments performed at or above expectations, which is good news for astronomers planning future observations. This includes probing the atmospheres of smaller rocky planets like those in the TRAPPIST-1 system.

The following articles from the JWST Transiting Exoplanets Early Release Science Program are currently available online:

]]>
The Qatar World Cup begins in an atmosphere of rumbling and angry defiance https://biofera.org/the-qatar-world-cup-begins-in-an-atmosphere-of-rumbling-and-angry-defiance/ Sun, 20 Nov 2022 08:00:00 +0000 https://biofera.org/the-qatar-world-cup-begins-in-an-atmosphere-of-rumbling-and-angry-defiance/

Gianni Infantino was just beginning his 57-minute rant when two Qatari officials slipped unnoticed into an already stunned Doha theater hall.

The important-looking pair, in traditional dress and flanked by security, sat emotionless in the dress circle above. Not even a raised eyebrow from the two men in the shadows, even as Infantino, a heterosexual father of four, exclaims: ‘Today I feel gay’.

His ensuing press conference monologue on whatabouteries in the face of global criticism lasted so long that both men were gone with his closing remarks: “blame me, not Qatar”.

But Infantino had said enough in his snarling act of defiance – accusing the West of “racism” and “hypocrisy” – to maintain an aggressive new edge on the eve of this surreal World Cup.

Years of not responding to human rights criticism had failed miserably to mitigate the condemnation. So does Infantino’s pleading letter to competing nations to “stick to the football” instead of pulling on their OneLove armbands.

Yet, with all face-saving options exhausted, Fifa and Qatar have clearly decided to go on the offensive in unison. On Friday, aides close to the Emir of Qatar delivered what was described as the first “f— you” demanding a last-minute beer ban.

Then on Saturday came Infantino’s incendiary attack on Europe, and on Sunday the baton is handed over to Qatar, which plans another explicit message to the West in a lavish opening ceremony.

The Emir was directly involved in crafting the pre-game curtain raiser which Telegraph Sport said cost more than the Super Bowl halftime show this year.

Over £10million has been spent creating a show in which Robbie Williams is set to join South Korean singer Jung Kook. But Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani’s priority appears to be ensuring the curtain-raiser is a chance for the country to show how it should be perceived on the world stage.

“Be as critical as you want at the opening ceremony”

A show in which characters portray Doha as a place where Western and Middle Eastern nations can meet was directed by Marco Balich, a veteran of several Olympic opening and closing ceremonies.

Unlike Infantino, Balich says he’s happy to tackle controversies head-on. “I invite you to exercise as much judgment as you wish during the ceremony,” he told Telegraph Sport. “Will it live up to all the criticism? No. Because it’s a celebration of the sport, but in a way it will set a trajectory. I think that’s an interesting statement.”

Unlike previous World Cup opening ceremonies – including Diana Ross’ infamous missed penalty kick in 1994 – Balich says there will be an overt political message. “It was really a precise brief from the Supreme Committee of Government to say ‘we want to have a ceremony with content, values, everyone is equal'”, he added.

“There will be a dialogue between two very different personalities, one representing the Middle East and the other representing the Western world. And they will have a great exchange. I cannot divulge the name, but it will be a moment of real exchange. So I think it’s really interesting. Both are very, very, very particular characters.”

An extravagant ceremony was one of the reasons why in August the start of the World Cup was brought forward a day in a late change – to give the show a bigger viewing slot. So much depends on the pre-match event for Qatar. “Management wanted to get this message,” Balich added. “This story is 30 minutes long. So it starts at 5:40 p.m. local time, we run for 30 minutes, then the teams warm up.”

Balich has been working on the series for over a year. However, the sudden willingness of Fifa and Qatar to spend will have taken years to prepare. Tony Blair was serving his final weeks in government when the Emir’s predecessor, Hamad bin Khalifa, met Sepp Blatter, then Fifa president, and discussed a World Cup final for the first time in the small Gulf State at a dinner party.

]]>
2023 OL Clay Wedin: “nothing will change” with Auburn’s commitment https://biofera.org/2023-ol-clay-wedin-nothing-will-change-with-auburns-commitment/ Wed, 16 Nov 2022 18:01:00 +0000 https://biofera.org/2023-ol-clay-wedin-nothing-will-change-with-auburns-commitment/

About two weeks ago, Clay Wedin realized he had to go back to the Plains. His mother and sister had never been to the Auburn campus and he figured the first home game of head coach Cadillac Williams’ era was as good an opportunity as any. other. The Jordan-Hare Stadium did not disappoint.

“The game, the atmosphere was without a doubt the best I’ve ever seen,” Wedin told AL.com. “Just to see the fans and everybody rally around Coach Cadillac…It’s really something really special.”

Wedin, the 22nd-ranked interior offensive lineman in the Class of 2023 and part of Auburn’s 10-man recruiting class, was last on campus for LSU’s four-point loss Oct. 1. He still committed verbally two weeks later and when Bryan Harsin was fired – and among Auburn’s other two promises to OL he changed his mind – Wedin bought into Williams’ vision.

He saw the Tigers hit Texas A&M in person with 285 rushing yards. The 6-foot-6, 295-pound Tampa Carrollwood (Florida) Day slugger noted the Tigers’ ground game as a personal highlight of his trip. He spoke with some of his former scouts who remained with the team after the mid-season shakeup, namely Joe Bernardi, Will Friend and Kendall Simmons.

MORE Tigers football: Cadillac Williams takes advantage of ‘old school’ Auburn offense but wants improvements in passing game

How Cadillac Williams leads with responsibility as Auburn’s interim coach

On Sunday, Wedin met with Williams. Auburn’s interim head coach spoke enthusiastically about his alma mater at every turn, a selling point he knows well and, as Sports Illustrated director of recruiting John Garcia points out, a key tool on the recruiting track.

“Holding on to those verbal commitments is paramount, especially the offensive lineman. … The matienence of those should be considered whatever blue-chipers they add down the line,” Garcia said.

Wedin said it was not difficult for Williams to keep him on board. He said “nothing is going to change” with his recruitment, and he plans to put pen to paper at the start of the early signing period on December 21 in time to sign up in January.

For now, Wedin is working on his second-tier blocker and getting the ball off the defensive line, traits Wedin knows he’ll need next year with Auburn. He sparked a rushing game that is averaging 6.2 yards per carry and 167.5 total per game. He will lead the Patriots 5-3 in the playoffs against St. Petersburg Northside (Florida) Christian on November 18.

Nick Alvarez is a reporter for Alabama Media Group. Follow him on Twitter @nick_a_alvarez or email him at NALvarez@al.com

]]>
ARMAGH OBSERVATORY AND PLANETARIUM ANNOUNCES SERIES OF ATMOSPHERIC EVENTS IN NOVEMBER https://biofera.org/armagh-observatory-and-planetarium-announces-series-of-atmospheric-events-in-november/ Mon, 14 Nov 2022 00:42:08 +0000 https://biofera.org/armagh-observatory-and-planetarium-announces-series-of-atmospheric-events-in-november/

– Events will take place onsite at the Armagh Observatory and Planetarium from 25-27 November 2022 –

The Armagh Observatory and Planetarium has announced that a number of entertaining and educational events for adults and families will take place on site from 25-27 November 2022.

These will be:

“So She Will Go to the Stars – Jessie Kennedy with Heavenly Strings”, which will take place on November 25. For adults only, this 70-minute live music performance by Jessie Kennedy and the Celestial Strings will take place at Armagh Observatory and the Planetarium’s Dome Theatre. The concert will also include short lectures on women in astronomy by Dr Erin Higgins of the Armagh Observatory and Planetarium and on pioneering Irish astronomer and scientist Agnes Clerke (1842-1907) by historian and founder of the West Cork History Festival Victoria Kingston.

The concert is inspired by the life and work of Agnes Clerke. It will combine specially composed pieces with music, including Bach and Beethoven, as well as traditional Irish melodies. All musicians are preparing to perform live and work in West Cork. Jessie Kennedy (violin, vocals) is a multi-instrumentalist, singer and writer who draws particular inspiration from historical figures and has a long-standing collaboration with the West Cork History Festival. Celestial Strings performers are Tess Leak (cello, autoharp and vocals), Diana Llewellyn (cello) and Susan McManamon (piano and vocals).

The Georgian Day Observatory tours, taking place on November 26 and 27, are suitable for adults and children aged 10 and over. The tour will explore the Armagh Observatory, a magnificent Georgian building, which was part of Archbishop Robinson’s grand vision for a university in Armagh and has a continuous history of astronomical research from its beginnings in 1790 to the present day. days.

Covering the period from 1790 to the late Victorian era, the tour will allow visitors to embark on a historic journey through the Observatory’s Georgian beginnings and learn about its contribution to both Armagh and the UK .

A guide will introduce visitors to the telescopes and other instruments that put the Armagh Observatory on the world map of astronomy and regale them with stories about its early directors. Visitors will also have the opportunity to see the magnificent 10-inch Grubb Telescope, which was installed in 1885 and played a pivotal role in creating a fundamental astronomical catalog that is still used by scientists today.

The tour includes general admission to the Planetarium exhibit.

To book tickets for these events, visit: https://armaghobservatoryplanetarium.ticketsolve.com

]]>
TEKO will discuss CO2 innovation at ATMOsphere Europe https://biofera.org/teko-will-discuss-co2-innovation-at-atmosphere-europe/ Fri, 11 Nov 2022 16:27:10 +0000 https://biofera.org/teko-will-discuss-co2-innovation-at-atmosphere-europe/

ATMOsphere, publisher of R744.com, announces a new CO2 (R744) case study, from German OEM TEKO, in addition to the previously announced 14 CO2 case studies, for the upcoming ATMOsphere (ATMO) Europe Summit 2022, to be held in person in Brussels, Belgium, on November 15-16.

Andreas Meier, Managing Director of TEKO, will present the case study entitled “Refrigeration Increasing plant sustainability, operational safety and efficiency with the latest innovation, the patent-pending TECO2nditioner”.

This presentation will explain how the TECO2nditioner can improve the stability of a transcritical CO2 system. In particular, the new component helps a system achieve optimum suction gas conditions at the compressor inlet, which extends the life of a cooling system and improves oil management. It also allows independent adjustment of temperatures, depending on operating conditions.

In addition to CO2 case studies, three CO2 end users will make presentations at the end user roundtable. They are Olaf Schulze, Vice President, Director of Energy Management/Real Estate Sustainability for METRO Properties Holding GmbH; David Schalenbourg, Director Delhaize Technics, for Delhaize Belgium, a division of Ahold Delhaize; and Dr. Aikaterini Boulamanti, energy specialist, Coop Switzerland.

Schulze will discuss METRO’s F-Gas-Exit program, including an update on its transcritical CO deployment2 systems with ejectors and heat recovery. Schalenbourg will address Delhaize’s integrated transcritical CO2 systems, which include refrigeration, air conditioning and heat recovery for heating and hot water. Boulamanti will explain Coop Suisse’s approach to refrigeration, which includes transcritical CO2 systems.

Another end user, Mirko Guidetti, The co-owner of the Swiss cold storage operator Grünenfelder, will discuss his integrated CO2 refrigeration, air conditioning and heating system, with Luca Rossi, Project Manager Engineer for Biaggini Frigoriferi, during a case study session.

This year’s summit, the 12e edition of ATMO Europe, will be held at the Bedford Hotel & Congress Center in downtown Brussels.

In addition to end-user experiences and industry case studies covering CO2hydrocarbon and ammonia/NH3 (R717), the two-day program will showcase policy developments in the EU F-gas Regulation and the REACH (Registration, Evaluation, Authorization and Restriction of Chemicals) Regulation.

Other topics will include market updates on heat pumps, health and environmental impact of f-gas refrigerants, training, SF6-free switchgear technologies, the ATMOsphere Natural Refrigerants label and the Cold Chain Innovation Hub (CCI-Hub) in the Philippines. There will also be networking aperitifs on the evening of November 15.

Those interested in attending the summit can register to purchase tickets here.

]]>
Climate progress? Someone forgot to say the atmosphere https://biofera.org/climate-progress-someone-forgot-to-say-the-atmosphere/ Wed, 09 Nov 2022 11:10:11 +0000 https://biofera.org/climate-progress-someone-forgot-to-say-the-atmosphere/

The nations of the world are gathering in Egypt this week to begin their fourth decade of global climate meetings. The results for the first three decades – on the only dashboard the climate pays attention to, the atmosphere – have been increasingly dire.

Atmospheric levels of the three main greenhouse gases – carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide – are skyrocketing, out of control. Combined, they cause 90% of global warming.

Here is a climate view of where we are today globally and in Canada.

CO2 accelerates upwards

“The accumulation of CO2 in the atmosphere is irreversible on a human scale and will affect the climate for millennia.” — World Meteorological Organization (WMO)

The rapid increase in CO2 in our atmosphere is the main driver of the climate crisis and ocean acidification. Both crises will continue to grow more dangerous until CO2 levels stop rising. This point is called “net-zero” and it is literally the zero line at the bottom of my first chart below.

The vertical gray bars in the graph show increases in CO2 for each of the past 50 years. And the horizontal bars show the average for each decade.

As you can quickly see, increases in CO2 have not fallen to zero as required for a stable and secure climate. Instead, CO2 levels have accelerated upwards, decade after decade.

And note that the most extreme CO2 acceleration has occurred in the last decade. This record increase occurred despite the Paris Agreement and a global pandemic shutdown.

Global meetings on climate began in 1992, with the Rio Summit. Since then, the atmosphere has gained 475 billion tonnes of CO2 (GtCO2). For scale, that’s eight times the weight of all the solid waste humanity has thrown away in those years. That’s the equivalent of every human on Earth throwing away hundreds of handfuls of plastic straws every day for those 30 years.

Not only is CO2 humanity’s greatest waste stream, but it will take the planet over 100,000 years to remove all the extra CO2 we have accumulated in the atmosphere.

That relatively calm, temperate climate that many of us adults may have enjoyed growing up – the one under which human civilization flourished – is now gone. Cooked. What we collectively decide, day by day, is how much more climate misery we are going to make.

Analysis: The nations of the world are in Egypt for their fourth decade of global climate meetings. The results for the first three decades – on the only dashboard the climate pays attention to, the atmosphere – have been increasingly dire.

Methane also on the rise

The second most important driver of climate change is the increase in methane (CH4) in our atmosphere.

Atmospheric methane levels from 1992 to 2021

As my second graph shows, methane has also increased at a record rate. And here too, the last decade has been the most extreme on record.

In fact, more methane has accumulated in the atmosphere in the past decade than in the previous two decades combined.

And, disturbingly, the past two years have seen record highs.

What is causing this dramatic increase in methane? Scientists are still not sure.

According to the latest WMO Greenhouse Gas Bulletin, the most likely driver appears to be an increase in emissions from biological processes, particularly in tropical regions.

Potential sources for this include some that humans control, such as rice paddies and livestock. But there are other potential sources that are beyond human control. One such possibility, the WMO notes, is that “microbial methane production in tropical wetlands is sensitive to changes in temperature and precipitation, introducing potential positive climate feedback.” Have we shocked the climate system so much that that dreaded feedback loop kicked in?

Maybe.

Nobody knows.

And, unfortunately for us, the climate doesn’t care where the methane comes from. It just reacts to the amount in the atmosphere. Getting to safety requires “net zero” additions of methane to the atmosphere.

Nitrous oxide also accelerates

Atmospheric N2O levels from 1992 to 2021

The third most important driver of climate change is the increase in nitrous oxide (N2O) in our atmosphere.

My third graph shows that nitrous oxide levels have also increased decade after decade.

And again, as with CO2 and methane, the most extreme increases have occurred over the past decade.

And, as with methane, the past two years have seen record increases.

In this case, scientists have a much better understanding of what is causing the increase in N2O – the increasing use of nitrogen fertilizers around the world.

Now that we’ve seen what’s happening with these three greenhouse gases globally, let’s look at Canadian emissions.

Canadian shows versus our peers

Canada, unfortunately, has the worst climate pollution record among our Group of Seven (G7) peers.

Evolution of greenhouse gases in G7 countries since 1990

G7 members are the largest advanced economies in the world, producing half of the world’s GDP. These are the nations that have the most resources, talent, technology and capacity to implement the climate solutions required.

Here is a brief overview of how Canada compares to our G7 peers for each of the three main greenhouse gases.

Carbon dioxide

All G7 countries have succeeded in at least reducing their CO2 emissions below 1990 levels, except Canada.

Leading the CO2 reduction pack are our Commonwealth peers, the British. They have almost halved their CO2 emissions. The European Union has collectively reduced its CO2 pollution by a third. Heck, even Americans have been cutting emissions for decades now.

However, Canada still emits much more CO2 than in 1990. And the gap with our G7 peers continues to widen. You can see this clearly in the graph above by looking at trends over the past decade, before the pandemic’s temporary one-year decline in 2020. All other countries have reduced emissions over the past decade. , while Canada still increased ours.

Methane

As Bloomberg News recently reported, every G7 country has also reduced its methane emissions well below 1990 levels, with the exception of Canada. The Americans reduced theirs by 25%; the Germans and the British by 50%.

Canada’s methane emissions are 37% higher.

Nitrous oxide

World Bank data shows that all G7 countries have also reduced their N2O emissions below 1990 levels, with the exception of Canada and the United States.

Canadian emissions are 3% higher. But that understates our challenge. That’s because Canada achieved a huge one-time reduction in nitrous oxide in the late 1990s when the country’s only adipic acid plant shut down. Surprisingly, this obscure plant closure remains the third largest greenhouse gas reduction in Canada so far.

Over the next two decades, however, Canadian N2O emissions increased steadily. This was driven by a doubling of nitrogen fertilizer use. This growing use of nitrogen fertilizers has now reduced Canada’s N2O emissions to 1990 levels. Efforts to halt the rise of this greenhouse gas are now being met with pushback from Canadian farm groups.

Canadian emissions vs climate promises

Canada has been promising to reduce our climate pollution for 34 years. In 1988, the Mulroney government pledged to reduce Canadian emissions by 20% by 2005. Instead, Canada increased its emissions by 25%.

History of Canada's climate goals.

As a result, the task facing Canadians has become greater and greater while the time required to accomplish it has steadily diminished. This has forced Canadian politicians from all political walks of life to commit to increasingly demanding climate goals.

For example, our early targets—such as the Chrétien government’s Kyoto target and the Harper government’s Copenhagen target—required annual reductions of about seven MtCO2 per year.

Later goals – like the Harper government’s Paris Accord and the 2050 goals – required twice as much reduction each year.

And then, after years of rising emissions, Canada’s latest goals — the Trudeau government’s “net zero” and enhanced Paris targets — now call for four times the reduction per year of our first goals.

And yet, we are still not reducing our emissions as needed to stabilize the climate. Continuing to climb higher and higher on the climate cliff as the climate storm clouds grow ever more ominous and threatening is not going to end well for Canadians. Our window to turn around and start descending to safety closes quickly.

The COPs of fossil fuels

Meanwhile, in Egypt, the world climate conference – officially known as the 27th Conference of the Parties, or COP27 – is now openly sponsored by fossil fuel companies. At last year’s COP 26 in Scotland, the fossil fuel industry sent 500 delegates – more than from any country.

With foxes swarming the henhouse and the three major greenhouse gases accelerating unchecked, it’s no wonder younger generations have taken to the streets, sports stadiums and art galleries protesting. They search for a way to save themselves from the increasingly dystopian climatic future the adults are locking them into. Like David Attenborough Put the: “We let the younger generation down, and they know it, and they’re angry.”

In his COP 27 opening speech on Monday, UN Secretary-General António Guterres was candid about the reckless path we are heading down: “We are on a highway to climate hell with our foot on the accelerator…Our planet is fast approaching tipping points that will make climate chaos irreversible…We are in the fight of our lives and we let’s lose.”

It is high time for Canadians to join the fight, deliver on our climate promises, and quickly reduce our oversized climate pollution.

]]>
What a friendly, joyful and welcoming atmosphere! Above all… – Twin Cities https://biofera.org/what-a-friendly-joyful-and-welcoming-atmosphere-above-all-twin-cities/ Sat, 05 Nov 2022 10:45:32 +0000 https://biofera.org/what-a-friendly-joyful-and-welcoming-atmosphere-above-all-twin-cities/

holy and filthy

A huge saint to all the homes in the Summit area that hosted the trick-or-treaters. What a friendly, joyful and welcoming atmosphere!

We live downtown and have always used the Governor’s Mansion as a ride or treat. Thanks to the fabulous weather, it was a big block party with decorations and music.

A blemish on the one man who felt the need to yell at my son who is on the autism spectrum when I was standing right next to him.

Yes, I should have anticipated that the Lego hands on his Ninjago costume were designed to pick up instead of picking up a single piece. Whoops ! However, I immediately corrected his behavior.

Yelling at a child and then telling them about their “behavioral issues” on Halloween is really more of a big prank, but a tainted trick will do.

Robin Feickert, St. Paul

holy and filthy

Sainted: To all the wonderful restaurants that have come through and survived the pandemic. I know the past two and a half years have been incredibly difficult for the hospitality industry. I am so grateful to be able to go out again and enjoy the social aspect of dining out, not to mention the exceptional service and food. Thank you to the restaurateurs and employees of the twin cities.

Tainted: Recently, some of my favorite restaurants started charging a 3% to 3.9% surcharge on my check for using a credit card. In some establishments, they openly state that they will add the credit card charge, while others discreetly print it on the menu.

I realize that between Covid and inflation (food cost, labor cost etc.), restaurants are struggling to make a profit, and I really appreciate their plight. Personally, however, I would rather restaurants raise the price of their menus than “punish” me for using my credit card. Who wants to walk around with a wad of cash in their pocket these days?

I’m also concerned that people will reduce the amount they will give to their server to cover the 3.5% surcharge. Please, restaurateurs, do not advertise or smuggle in a charge for using credit cards.

Laurie Platt, St. Paul

Sanctified

I wanted to write to Saint a private individual. He is the owner of The Pizza Shop in West Saint Paul.

This gentleman is one of the nicest owners you will meet. Always has great conversations when you stop and is genuinely interested in your life. Over the past six months this place has become one of our favorites. I chatted with the owner every time we walk in as he asks about life and what’s going on.

For the past six months, my fiancé and I have been trying to find our first home. Recently we found one, and it happened on the last visit. I went last week to pick up and he asks about the house. He then goes on to say, it’s on me tonight for a housewarming gift.

Jordan Sprandel, St. Paul

Sanctified

After spending a few enjoyable hours at the Cracked Barrel Winery in Hudson with friends and relatives, when we got home my wife found she had lost her wedding ring.

Saint to the staff at Cracked Barrel Winery. When I called they searched the trash can etc and couldn’t find it. They said they would keep looking. A few hours later they called and said they found him on the ground near where we were sitting.

Again, “Sainted” to them for the extra effort.

Mike O’Connell, Hudson

Sanctified

On October 30, Reformation Sunday at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Stillwater, our morning service was absolutely wonderful.

Our pastors Glen Bickford and Laurel Bernard spoke encouraging words to guide us spiritually.

A trio sang “Amazing Grace” and the choir of the choir sang “Beautiful Savior” which were both magnificent.

Next, our organist and musical director Andy Peterson gave an impressive and moving rendition on the organ of the 3rd verse of “A Mighty Fortress is Our God”.

The verse is: “Although hordes of demons fill the earth, threatening to devour us all,

“We are not shaking, we remain motionless: they cannot dominate us.

“Let the tyrant of this world rage; in battle, we will engage!

“His power is doomed; God’s judgment must prevail!

“A little word captivates him.”

During Andy’s recital, you could actually feel and imagine the words of the verse.

It really gave me goosebumps.

We are so lucky to have such talented staff and are very grateful for all of them.

I’m so happy to be a member of St. Paul Lutheran.

Karen Celski, Oak Park Heights