Mountain Views News     Logo: MVNews     Saturday, October 23, 2010



 MountainViews-News Saturday, October 23, 2010 

NASA’s Hubble Telescope’s Latest Discovery

Hubble Telescope Captures First Images of

Aftermath from Possible Asteroid Collision

NASA’s Hubble Space Telescope has captured the first 
snapshots of a suspected collision of two asteroids in space. 
The images show a bizarre X-shaped object trailing a comet-
like trail of material.

In January 2010, astronomers began using Hubble to track 
the object for five months. They thought they had witnessed 
a fresh asteroid collision, but were surprised to learn the 
collision occurred in early 2009.

“We expected the debris field to expand dramatically, like 
shrapnel flying from a hand grenade,” said astronomer David 
Jewitt of the University of California in Los Angeles, who is a 
leader of the Hubble observations. “But what happened was 
quite the opposite. We found that the object is expanding 
very, very slowly.”

The peculiar object, dubbed P/2010 A2, was found cruising 
around the asteroid belt, which is a reservoir of millions of 
rocky bodies between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. It is 
estimated that modest-sized asteroids smash into each other 
about once a year. When the objects collide, they inject dust 
into interplanetary space. But until now, astronomers have 
had to rely on models to make predictions about the frequency 
of these collisions and the amount of dust produced.

Catching colliding asteroids is difficult because large 
impacts are rare while small ones, such as the one that 
produced P/2010 A2, are exceedingly faint. The two asteroids 
that make up P/2010 A2 were unknown before the collision 
because they were too faint to be noticed. The collision 
itself was unobservable because of the asteroids’ position in 
relation to the Sun.

“These observations are important because we need to know 
where the dust in the solar system comes from, and how much 
of it comes from colliding asteroids as opposed to ‘outgassing’ 
comets,” Jewitt said. “We also can apply this knowledge to 
the dusty debris disks around other stars, because these are 
thought to be produced by collisions between unseen bodies 
in the disks. Knowing how the dust was produced will yield 
clues about those invisible bodies.”

The Hubble images, taken from January to May 2010 with 
the telescope’s Wide Field Camera 3, reveal a point-like object 
about 400 feet wide, with a long, flowing dust tail behind a 
never-before-seen X pattern. Particle sizes in the tail are 
estimated to vary from about 1/25th of an inch to an inch in 

The 400-foot-wide object in the Hubble image is the 
remnant of a slightly larger precursor body. Astronomers 
think a smaller rock, perhaps 10- to 15 feet wide, slammed 
into the larger one. The pair probably collided at high speed, 
about 11,000 mph, which smashed and vaporized the small 
asteroid and stripped material from the larger one. Jewitt 
estimates that the violent encounter happened in February or 
March 2009 and was as powerful as the detonation of a small 
atomic bomb.

Sunlight radiation then swept the debris behind the remnant 
asteroid, forming a comet-like tail. The tail contains enough 
dust to make a ball 65 feet wide, most of it blown out of the 
bigger body by the impact-caused explosion. The science journal Nature published the findings in its Oct. 14 issue. You 
can contact Bob Eklund at:

Ask jai……

Although the trend of Tech 
Industry executives seeking to 
make the switch from private 
sector success to elected public 
office can hardly be considered a 
new development in the world of 
politics, this years’ election cycle 
saw more than its usual share of 
superstar tech-CEOs attempting 
to use their considerable wealth 
and influence to make just 
that switch. In our fair state of 
California, we’ve been “treated” to the very public and very expensive campaigns of Steve Poisner, Meg 
Whitman and Carly Fiorina. I say “treated” in reference to being exposed to these campaigns because 
the very idea of watching these personal dramas play out on the public airwaves has struck many as the 
height of insult.

 To watch multi-millionaires (and sometimes billionaires) pour hundreds of millions of dollars of 
their personal wealth into their political campaigns often leaves one wondering what these candidates 
really have in common with the typical Main Street voter. To be totally honest, many a so-called “just-
like-you” politician often lives an existence far beyond the grasp of the average American but the hi-tech 
variety of politician, especially in the FaceBook age, are truly a breed unto themselves. While the skills 
that have led them to conquer the tech world and push the limits of technology and business far beyond 
anything ever thought possible are rarely found though highly sought after in the business world, the 
usual skillsets, temperaments and empathy usually found in responsive, effective public officials is, in 
many cases, lacking. The drive to perform in business in a manner that increases shareholder value to 
the exclusion of all other factors could be, and often has been, proven to be disastrous towards something 
as nebulous as the public good. 

 In fact, many functions and goals of Local, State and Federal governance are not undertaken with 
the goal of profit in mind, but in order to provide goods and services needed by the public. One could 
easily see how success in one sphere might not directly translate into success in the other. "Empathy" is 
the word that got President Obama into trouble when he said it was a necessary quality for a Supreme 
Court justice. He was right, though, and empathy is a very desirable trait in a public leader. Over the 
years we’ve been exposed to many charismatic and personable hi-tech business leaders and while their 
achievements have been noteworthy and they have been personally likeable, “empathetic towards 
the situation of the average worker” is not a phrase that is often used to describe them, and rightly 
so. They haven’t gotten to the positions in life that they currently occupy because they “feel our pain.” 
They’ve gotten there because of their ability to run a business and to make a profit. Those are - in and 
of themselves - awesome things to know how to do, but the positions that these people are running 
for are not businesses and these offices require different measures of success than simply increasing 
shareholder value. 

 So please, hi-tech leaders, stay in Silicon Valley. We need you there. If you feel a burning desire "to give 
something back," emulate Bill Gates, whose charitable work is altogether admirable and appropriate for 
a man of his wealth and talent. But please, stay off the ballot.

Ask jai is a weekly column that will strive to honestly answer your job search 
questions relating to job searching techniques, networking skills, resume writing 
and interviewing. The employment situation is getting better, however, it is still a 
challenge finding were the jobs are located and how to get pass the “gate-keepers”. 
As an Executive Recruiter I was privy to working directly with Corporate Recruiters 
and understanding their process in selecting which candidates to interview and 
hire. I will candidly answer your questions, possibly bluntly answering you 
questions, but I will be totally honest. My objective is to help you achieve your 
employment goal. 

Silicon Valley & Public Office

Q: I have been out of work for almost 5 years taking care of my family and raising two 
children. I want to return to the workforce. I have a finance degree and over 10 years work 
experience as a financial analyst. My husband is employed by a large corporation and they 
always have jobs listed on their website that I am interested in pursuing. I have asked my 
husband to talk to the Personnel Department about me and give them my resume. Which he 
has done. It has been over six months with no result. My husband has a good work history 
and has been with the corporation for 15 years. We are getting frustrated. What should we 
do to get me into their system to be considered for employment? Marika

Dear Marika,

 First, find out what husband’s employer’s policy is regarding hiring spouses and family members. 
Next, there is no “we” when “you” are looking for employment. You are placing a lot of stress on your 
husband to assist you in finding employment, especially with his employer. You need to take on 
full responsibility for finding employment, and that should be with any employer that is looking for 
someone like you with your skills and experience. Start by letting your family, friends and former co-
workers know that you are seeking employment. I am assuming that you are seeking employment in 
finance and as an analyst. A cover letter will be your key document when applying for any position. 


 Your cover letter should explain why you are transitioning from family life back into the workforce. 
Be sure to include a referral name, the position you are seeking, why you are returning the workforce, 
why you feel you qualify for the position and some out standing accomplishment statements. Do not 
focus your cover letter on your family or family activities. You want to communicate to the employer 
that you will be completely focused on their needs and that your skills and experience will add value 
to their organization. I would also suggest that you write a chronological resume, include an objective 
heading and what you have been doing for the past 5 years. Any volunteer work, school activities and 
some hobbies all count as work experience and are appropriate to include on your resume into order to 
bring it up to date. 

 However, if you are set on finding employment at your husband’s company you should find out if 
they have an employee referral program. Then ask your mutual friends who are employed there if they 
would refer you for positions at his company. I strongly suggest that you try to bypass the Personnel 
Department and go directly to the person who is making the decision to hire. Ask your husband to 
find out the name of that person and, instead of him contacting and giving them your resume, you do it. 
Call or e-mail them directly, start with who referred you and if you feel it would be appropriate mention 
your husband’s name. Continue looking for employment with other companies until you are employed.

19th century German 
Statesman (German 
Statesman?) Otto Von 
Bismarck is quoted as 
having said, “Laws are 
like sausages, it is better 
not to see them being 
made.” I think Herr 
Bismarck’s cautionary warning holds true 
not only regarding laws being made, but also 
politics in general. 

Otto died in 1898 so he had no idea of how 
TV, radio, cable, internet, cell phones and 
billboards would permeate every facet of our 
waking hours with the butchery. 

Grasping for perspective in these waning 
days prior to November 2nd, I once again 
turn to my great American hero, Will 
Rogers. It’s illuminating, and fun to examine 
his musings on the body politic and see if his 
80+ year old comments still hold relevance. 
You be the judge. Among his quotes:

“Every man looks good until he is elected.”

“If every radio went off the air from now 
till election day, it would be a godsend to 
a suffering public, and no loss to political 

“Democrats, if the Republicans get a slush 
fund, don’t waste all your time criticizing 
and investigating theirs; get out and get a 
bigger one yourself…”

“There is nothing that will send a candidate to 
bed as drunk and dejected on election night 
as for him to be endorsed by a President. 
Voters just don’t like a President butting in.”

“The ‘Outs’ are attacking and the ‘Ins’ 

are defending. All the ‘Outs’ have to do is 
promise what they would do if they got 
in. But the ‘Ins’ have to promise what they 
would do, and then explain why they haven’t 
already done it.”

“I believe that a man should be allowed to 
spend as much as he can to be elected… If 
you put a man in that was elected on nothing 
but campaign speeches, you are going to have 
nothing but a wind-bag to represent you.” 
(Should be of comfort to Meg Whitman.)

“It (elections) don’t mean anything. We been 
staggering along under every conceivable 
horse thief that could get into office, and yet, 
here we are, still going strong.”

“The campaign lasted only a few months, 
but it will take two generations to sweep up 
the dirt.”

“I want to bring elections back to where they 
occupy almost as much importance as the 
World Series.”

“History has proven that there is really 
nothing in the world as alike as two 
candidates. They look different till they get 
in, but then they all act the same.”

And an honorable mention to Groucho Marx 
when he said, “Politics is the art of looking for 
trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it 
incorrectly, and applying the wrong remedies.”

Of course the bottom line is to stay involved. 
The disinterest in local government by the 
citizens of Bell, California opened the barn to 
their elected “horse thiefs” getting away with 
all those abuses. Thankfully, here in Sierra 
Madre, we have a more involved electorate. 

RICH Johnson


KATIE Tse ..........This and That

Will Rogers Sets the Record Straight 

As we descend 
deeper into the slog 
of fall and winter, 
we appreciate the 
holidays and rituals 
that unite, and 
distract, us from the 
cheerless cold and 
dwindling daylight. 
And one of the first 
of these celebrations 
is Oktoberfest! 
Spanning over a 
month, this is a 
beloved inclusive 
festival along with St. 
Patrick’s in the sense 
that, whatever your ethnic background may be, if 
you’re there you’re Irish or German and welcome!

 I haven’t been to many Oktoberfests, but I’ve 
been to enough to conclude that there’s a great 
range of German authenticity that any event can 
have, so a wide variety of gatherings can call 
themselves “Oktoberfests.” One Oktoberfest I 
went to was not much more than the city’s usual 
street market with a sausage stand, beer garden 
(serving Budweiser), and American 50’s classics 
being piped through the sound system. Alpine 
Village in Torrance puts on a somewhat authentic, 
if not entertaining, Oktoberfest.

 As you enter the large makeshift tent that 
annually transforms one corner of the village’s 
parking lot into a Bavarian beer hall, the din of the 
110 freeway is overcome by the hearty oompah-
pah’s of the band. It’s about a ten-person group, 
flown in from Germany for the season. The leader 
is always the same jovial, mustached man who 
seems to have not aged over the years. Perhaps 
the beer has preserved him. 

 The food consists 
of bratwurst, some 
darker sausage, hot 
potato salad, and 
sauerkraut. You don’t 
have to ponder too 
much at the beverage 
booth; the beer is 
Spaten, dark or light, 
and the wine is red 
or white. I think they 
might have a pot of 
coffee back there, too.

 You sit at long 
communal benches 
and as time passes 
your bench mates 
become more and 
more familiar, until 
you find yourselves swaying along with the music 
and toasting to the bandleader’s shout of “Zicke 
Zacka Zicke Zacka Hoi! Hoi! Hoi!” No one except 
the band knows what this means, but that’s okay. 

 Some of the older folks, decked out in Alpine 
hats and lederhosen, begin to dance. It seems 
they’ve just been waiting for an excuse. The 
ratio is typically three women to one man, who 
must persevere through with all of them, unless 
two women decide to dance with each other. If 
the band is feeling particularly energetic they 
will march with their instruments through the 
benches, and might even climb up on an area that 
doesn’t have food. The older women have been 
saving their singles and now giggle mischievously 
as they stuff a few bills into the lads’ calf-high 
socks. God bless them, I hope I have that much 
boldness when I’m their age. Ticke Tacke Ticke 
Tacke Hoi Hoi Hoi!

MVNews this week:  Page 11