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Don't Miss the Smoke With Pope Alarm

We get that it's tradition and all, but sending white smoke up to announce the new world leader of a major religion seems pretty, well, medieval. What if we can't see the smoke? What if a nearby airplane's contrail goes right above the chimney and people get confused? What if someone nearby is having a barbeque?

Thank God for modern technology, because the Fellowship of Catholic University Students put together a service coined the Pope Alarm ( to alert you when the crucial smoke goes up. Once on the site, you can sign up via email and mobile number to receive a notification by email or text, or both, when the smoke turns white.

If you're not in the U.S., though, you're not eligible to receive a text. It seems kind of crazy to put a service together that will only be relevant for a maximum of, say, two days, but hey, who are we to judge? Pope Alarm is apparently in high demand, because at the time of this post FOCUS wasn't able to guarantee texts to additional signups "due to the exceptional number of text registrations."