Daily Briefing: September 11, 2017

Posted by    |    September 11th, 2017 at 5:36 am

T O P   N E W S

9-11. First responders who became ill from toxic exposure now have a monument to their heroism (LA Times)

“On Monday, a memorial on Long Island will be dedicated to both the nearly 3,000 people who lost their lives on Sept. 11, and those who died of illnesses stemming from the attacks and their aftermath.
“In New York alone, an estimated 60,000 to 70,000 responders worked at ground zero, sometimes for weeks, in the aftermath of the attacks. They included police officers, firefighters, construction workers and volunteers. The numbers are less clear for responders to the attack on the Pentagon and the crash at Shanksville, although hundreds of local police and fire officials worked in the aftermath of both scenes. Additionally, thousands of people in lower Manhattan may have been exposed simply by returning to their apartments or commuting to work in the days after the attacks.”

Nick Note: Where were you when the world stopped turning that September day? Videos that still move me: President Bush’s bullhorn speech, his National Cathedral speech, and when he threw out the first pitch for game 3 of the World Series. May we never forget the sacrifices made by so many brave women and men (Psalm 103:2).

9. Hurricane Irma Live Updates: Storm Weakens, but Still Packs a Punch (NY Times)

“Hurricane Irma, now 400 miles wide, continued its march of devastation on Monday morning, dumping rain across the width of Florida and lashing the state with powerful winds that downed power lines and left millions in the dark.
“As the center of the storm moved along the northwestern coast of the Florida Peninsula, it was downgraded to Category 1, with maximum sustained winds of 75 miles per hour. At least four people in Florida have been killed by the storm. It has left at least 27 people dead across the Caribbean.”

Nick Note: Here is stunning drone footage from Naples. More than 7 million people are without power because of the storm. Roughly 874,000 cars fled Florida ahead of Irma. This man from Michigan drove 1200 miles to evacuate his aunt before Irma hit. This woman delivered her own baby during Irma. Three construction cranes have toppled due to winds. Here is video of Irma ripping a roof from a building. This Florida sheriff had to warn residents to not shoot guns at Irma. And watch this meteorologist demonstrate his commitment to his job. Over the weekend, Florida Governor Rick Scott asked people to pray. “I know a lot of people around the world want to help. The biggest thing you can do now is pray.” Would you consider praying for the people of Florida today (Colossians 4:2)?

8. Equifax’s Hacking Nightmare Gets Even Worse For Victims (Bloomberg)

“After Equifax Inc. revealed that sensitive data on two of every five Americans was exposed in a cyberattack, thousands logged onto a company website to see if they were at risk.
“If your data had been stolen, Equifax offered a free year of credit monitoring known as “TrustedID Premier.” But some fine print may also mean that consumers who agree would be giving up the right to sue over many types of damages related to the massive penetration.
“The unprecedented breach, which occurred in July but was disclosed on Thursday, is among the largest in U.S. history, affecting 143 million people. The hack revealed personal information such as Social Security numbers, addresses, driver’s license data, and birth dates, putting millions at risk for identity theft…All told, Equifax could be facing as much as $70 billionin claims, said Ben Meiselas, an attorney for Geragos & Geragos, one of the firms that filed the lawsuit.”

Nick Note: Surprise attacks no longer require proximity in this technological age. This is a new front that requires an advanced defense. Heaven may not need to lock the doors but we do (Revelation 21:25). We need to identify the potential fronts and put up a defense. In a similar fashion, Christians are to defend themselves spiritually and physically (1 Timothy 5:8, Ephesians 6:10-18). 

7. Stephen King’s creepy cool ‘It’ obliterates box-office records with $117.2M (USA Today)

“The Stephen King adaptation has earned a record-breaking $117.2 million from 4,100 locations.
“Not only is It now the largest opening for a horror movie ever and the largest September opening of all time, the film more than doubled the earnings of the previous record holders. Before this weekend, Paranormal Activity 3 had the biggest horror opening with $52.6 million from 2011, and the highest September debut was Hotel Transylvania 2’s $48.5 million in 2015.
“It’s success is astounding, especially considering that the project from director Andy Muschietti cost only $35 million to produce.”

Nick Note: Why did King Arthur flop and It soar? According to Joanna Robinson of Vanity Fair, communal fear. The horror flick differentiates itself from the pack in that this genre is best viewed in a large gathering. The story is accentuated with the collective gasp at a certain moment. The audience so often takes away from the movie experience in this technological age (thanks, cell phones). But in the horror genre, the audience adds to the movie.Yesterday, I was reminded yet again that certain things are better done in groups (Hebrews 10:24-25, Psalm 95:1). But as for me and my house, we will not go see scary movies…

C U L T U R A L   N E W S

6. Apple’s Top New Phone to Be Called ‘iPhone X,’ Code Leaks Show (Bloomberg)

“Strings of software code inside of the leaked operating system show the expected three new phones will be called the iPhone 8, iPhone 8 Plus, and iPhone X. App and game developer Steven Troughton-Smith discovered the names in the software and tweeted about it on Saturday.
“The iPhone 8 and iPhone 8 Plus are successors to the current iPhone models, while the iPhone X is the premium version with an all-new design, crisper OLED screen, improved cameras, and a 3-D facial recognition scanner for unlocking the device.”

Nick Note: Here is a live look at Jimmy Jonson and Terry Bradshaw celebrating the new iPhone. Kidding, but that was a funny video of them yesterday. Here are the top iPhone 8 rumors, ranked from most to least plausible. The secrecy wrapped around this event is only exceeded by American’s desire for the product. Does the energy surrounding the unveiling of a new Apple product reveal a hint of our idolatry? Our collective yearning for the iPhone may be great, but the angels yearning for salvation is greater (1 Peter 1:12).

5. Want better sleep? Keep your pet in your bedroom, study says (AJC)

“Scientists from the Mayo Clinic recently conducted a study to determine how catching some zzz’s with your pup can affect bedtime. While their study only assessed a small group and dogs over the age of five months, they believe their findings prove that the relationship between people and their pets has changed over time.
“Today, many pet owners are away from their pets for much of the day, so they want to maximize their time with them when they are home,” Krahn said. “Having them in the bedroom at night is an easy way to do that. And, now, pet owners can find comfort knowing it won’t negatively impact their sleep.”

Nick Note: Baha Men are still asking Who Let the Dogs Out while scientists at the Mayo Clinic encourage you to let the dogs in your bedroom. Americans currently average 6.8 hours of sleep at night, down more than an hour from 1942. One-third of U.S. adults nap on a typical day. While Americans may be sleeping, the quality of sleep is suspect. 40 million people in the United States suffer from chronic long-term sleep disorders each year. If you have trouble with sleep, claim Psalm 127:2.

4. U.S. High Schools Picking Up More International Flavor (WSJ)

“The number of international students enrolled at U.S. high schools more than doubled from 2004 to 2016, to reach 81,981 students, according to a recent federally funded study.
“Most of the students ultimately seek to enroll in U.S. universities, with their high-school diplomas acting as a bridge to college, the study found.
“About 4% of the international students attended U.S. public high schools on F-1 visas in 2016, according to the Institute of International Education.”

Nick Note: Hello from the other side? Sorry Adele, international students are greeting US students on same side. The Center for the Study of Global Christianity calculates that Christians sent out approximately 400,000 international missionaries in 2010. The US sent the most with 127,000 and Brazil came in second with 34,000. However, the US also received the most missionaries – 32,400. In an increasingly globalized world, reaching the world for Christ might be as simple as going across the street (Matthew 28:17-20).

3. How Exercise Shapes You, Far Beyond the Gym (NY Magazine)

Research shows that, if anything, physical activity boosts short-term brain function and heightens awareness. And even on days they don’t train — which rules out fatigue as a factor — those who habitually push their bodies tend to confront daily stressors with a stoic demeanor. While the traditional benefits of vigorous exercise — like prevention and treatment of diabetes, heart disease, stroke, hypertension, and osteoporosis — are well known and often reported, the most powerful benefit might be the lesson that my coach imparted to me: In a world where comfort is king, arduous physical activity provides a rare opportunity to practice suffering.”

Nick Note: 90s punk band Cake is Going the Distance and apparently, according to the research, doing it for more than the speed. In the biblical narrative, we read how though the outer body may be wasting away, the inner person is being renewed (2 Corinthians 4:16). The glory of heaven convinced Paul that his present troubles were nothing in comparison to what was to come(Romans 8:18).

N E W S   Y O U   C A N   U S E

2. This photographer turned kids with illnesses and disabilities into the superheroes

Nick Note: Watch it here. I love G.K. Chesterton’s understanding of greatness. One great man can make everyone feel small, but a true great man is the one who makes every man feel great. I imagine John the Baptist embodying this well (Matthew 11:11).

1. Man gives away his generator – the last one – after realizing this lady’s dad is on oxygen & needed it.

Nick Note: Watch it here. Churchill was right: “We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.” (Acts 20:35)

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