Mountain Views News     Logo: MVNews     Saturday, February 26, 2011

MVNews this week:  Page 14



 Mountain Views News Saturday, February 26, 2011

Is the Sun’s Heat Output Changing? 

NASA’s Glory Mission Intends to Find Out

Rocket Also Carries Tiny Student-Built Satellite

A University of Colorado Boulder instrument for studying changes 
in the Sun’s brightness and its impact on Earth’s climate is one of the 
payloads on NASA’s Glory mission, set to launch from Vandenberg 
Air Force Base in California this week. A second payload, a 4-inch 
cube designed and built by CU-Boulder undergraduate students, is 
intended to test and improve space-based communication systems.

Designed and built by a team from CU-Boulder’s Laboratory 
for Atmospheric and Space Physics (LASP), the Sun-measuring 
instrument—called the Total Irradiance Monitor, or TIM—will 
point directly toward the Sun to measure both short- and long-
term fluctuations in its energy output. Such measurements are 
important because variations in the Sun’s radiation can influence 
long-term climate change on Earth, said LASP researcher Greg 
Kopp, principal investigator.

The Taurus XL rocket ferrying the Glory satellite also will be 
carrying a tiny CU-Boulder satellite designed and built by about 
100 students, primarily undergraduates, who are participating in 
the Colorado Space Grant Consortium. This “CubeSat” satellite will 
be ejected from the rocket at about 400 miles in altitude to orbit the 
Earth and study new space communications techniques.

“We’d like to know how the Sun’s energy changes over both 
the short and long term,” said Kopp. “This spacecraft is carrying 
extremely sensitive instruments for monitoring solar variability, 
which makes the mission especially relevant given climate change 
on Earth and the importance of determining the natural influence 
on those changes.”

Glory will join five other NASA Earth-observing satellites as part 
of the Afternoon Constellation, or “A-Train,” a tightly grouped series 
of spacecraft that circle the globe several times each day to gather 
information on Earth’s biosphere and climate, including hurricane 
behavior and climate change. The A-Train spacecraft follow each 
other in close formation, flying mere minutes apart. The A-Train 
orbits Earth about once every 100 minutes.

Using Glory as well as prior and subsequent missions to measure 
solar radiation changes, scientists hope to determine how much 
energy reaches Earth on timescales of decades to centuries, 
influencing Earth’s long-term climate.

Scientists previously have shown that the overall output of the 
Sun can change up to about 0.1 percent over the duration of a solar 
cycle, which lasts about 11 years. But such short-term variations 
cannot explain the warming seen on Earth in the past several 
decades. The vast majority of climate scientists believe that global 
warming is due primarily to human-produced greenhouse gases 
building up in the atmosphere.

“In attributing climate change causes, solar variability 
measurements such as those from Glory are necessary to 
discriminate the natural from the human-caused effects on the 
climate,” Kopp said.

The second CU-Boulder payload, a CubeSat satellite dubbed 
Hermes that was designed and built by students, primarily 
undergraduates, is about four inches on a side—roughly the size 
of a Rubik’s Cube. The goal is to improve communications systems 
in tiny satellites through orbital testing that may pave the way for 
scientists to downlink large quantities of information, according to 
Colorado Space Consortium Director Chris Koehler.

Hermes is part of NASA’s Educational Launch of Nanosatellites, or 
ELaNa, project. Two other CubeSat satellites are aboard the Taurus 
rocket with Glory—one from Montana State University and one 
from Kentucky Space, a consortium of Kentucky state institutions.

You can contact Bob Eklund at:

Ask jai……

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.


Q: I have been applying for jobs for the past 2 years. I now have a gap in my work 
history. It’s obvious on my resume that I have been unemployed for 2 years. I don’t want my resume to look like 
I have not been doing anything. What should I do? Jane P.

Dear Jane P:

Employers have been more understanding during the past few years regarding unemployment gaps, given the current 
state of the economy and unemployment. I would suggest that you include in the Work History section of your 
resume any significant length of time spent doing volunteer activities, self-employment, care-giving, traveling, or 
any training that would be relevant to the position you are seeking. This section should be similar to the rest of your 
resume. Include the organizations name, your responsibilities and list of your accomplishments. 

Q: I’ve e-mailed hundreds of resumes and cover letters over the past month and have not received one response 
from any employer. My background is sales and marketing. What should I do? Baffled

Dear Baffled:

Some employers are waiting to see if you are pro-active and aggressive in pursuing a position with their company. 
This is especially true if you are seeking a position in sales and marketing. First step is to develop a follow-up action 
plan and timeline. Allow 5-7 days between communications. Send an e-mail to the employer stating that you are 
following up regarding the resume you sent and let them know that you are still interested in the position, offer 
that you are available for any questions or interview at their convenience. Then make a telephone call and try not 
to leave a voice message. If you have to leave a voice message be prepared to express yourself professionally. Next, 
mail a hard copy of your resume and letter to the employer. Possibly make another follow-up telephone call. Your 
communications should always be positive and not overly aggressive in tone or manner. Finally decide when to 
stop contacting employers who are not responding. There is a fine line between becoming annoying and aggressive. 
Continue applying, reaching out and sending your resume to other employers until you find that position. 

Q: I am invited to lunch by the company recruiter and the hiring manager for a second interview. Does this 
mean they want to hire me? Charles

Dear Charles:

Employers usually conduct lunch interviews to assess your social and communications skills in a public setting. 
Treat lunch interviews as a continuation of the employer’s screening and interviewing process. Do not relax. Dress 
professionally and brush-up on your table manners. Do not drink alcohol or order expensive food. Be prepared to 
ask and respond to questions. Within 24 hours after lunch send a thank you note or letter to the recruiter and hiring 

Everything you ever wanted to know about how to get a job….but did not know who to ask. Ask jai. Send your 
questions to: or visit website at 

These days when a challenge of this sort is issued more often than not “It” will 
be brought. And that was exactly the case earlier this week when representatives 
of the Westboro Baptist Church (of funeral-protesting fame) issued the above 
challenge to a representative of the online group Anonymous (of considerable 
hacking skill and staunch Wikileaks defenders) during a taping of the David 
Pakman radio show. To understand the how and why this challenge was issued 
and answered let’s go over the events preceding this incident. For reasons 
unknown, but probably easily guessed, members of the Westboro Baptist 
church began to make public allegations that their organization was being 
threatened and harasses by the hacker group “Anonymous” to anyone who 
would listen. Anonymous claimed that WBC’s allegations were baseless and 
in fact a cheap publicity stunt typical of the way that the WBC attempts to 
keep itself and its issues in the media spotlight. Both parties were invited 
to the David Pakman radio show to discuss the differences of opinion and 
it was during one of these exchanges that the WBC rep issued the challenge 
to “Bring It” that the Anonymous group agreed that “It” should indeed be 
brought. Mid-sentence. While the WBC rep continued to taunt and belittle 
the group, the speaker from Anonymous directed everyone’s attention to 
the WBC “GodHatesFags” website where their operatives had hacked it and 
replaced it with a message of their own. You can see the message at http://
pakman-show/. The message also included a detailed map of the internal 
network of the WBC. All the other WBC sites were disabled and were still 
offline at the time of this writing. In no uncertain terms Anonymous made it 
clear that they were not a group to be trifled with.

Anonymous also had a very public run-in with information security firm 
HBGary that has resulted in irreparable damage to the company’s business 
model, reputation and legal standing. The group literally dismantled a business 
because they felt that they were under attack from an entity that they believed 
to be acting in bad faith and with malicious intent. Their response was effective 
and devastating and there was no one there to stop them. While the targets of 
the Anonymous group have been unpopular to say the least, their tactics have 
been a bit heavy-handed despite the lofty reasons given for their deployment. 
Even if the group is found to be entirely justified in its actions what happens 
to us, the public, when equally skilled groups of hackers decide that they don’t 
like what we, the public, are doing and decide to take matters into their own 

During a recent walk with 
“Tatertotts“, my nine-year-old black 
& tan bloodhound, we were enjoying 
the peaceful ambience of dusk, with 
stars slowly beginning to show their 
light in the sky and not another soul 
in sight, when she suddenly engaged 
in a series of intense bays, taking me 
very much by surprise. You see, Tater 
rarely ever bays or barks during our 
walks. She is typically too involved 
with sniffing out subtle scents, 
keeping her nose trained to the trail 
in hopes of tracking a furry critter, 
or dream-of-all-dreams - finding 
a discarded bag of fast-food left-
over‘s thoughtlessly tossed out by a 
previous passerby. 

 We were hiking along the short trail 
that begins where Sycamore Street 
ends in Sierra Madre, between the 
ball parks and the city yards. That’s 
where the pavement turns to a dirt 
path surrounded by overgrown grass, 
floral fauna and shady oak trees. It 
was a great evening for a walk; the 
moon was full above the eastern 
hills, and everything seemed calm 
and peaceful. We were both relishing 
the solitude of the evening when all 
of a sudden, Tater stopped sniffing 
the ground and threw her head 
back, pointing her nose upward and 
sending her huge ears flopping wildly 
in the air. She let out the loudest 
baritone bay I think I have ever heard 
from her, shattering the silence and 
shocking me out of my peaceful state. 

 Her first howl was followed by several 
more, before her voice slowly faded 
to a whimper as she became calm 
again and resumed her trail tracking 
endeavor. Naturally, I looked up to 
see what had excited her and when I 
did, I saw a flock of geese flying low 
overhead, coming in for a landing 
on the water in one of the settling 
basins about 100 yards away. They 
were Canada Geese and there about 
12 in the flock. As they landed one by 
one on the surface of the water, they 
made quite a splash! I thought, how 
happy they must be to have found a 
water hole where they could 
refresh themselves and rest 
before continuing their long 
journey, and how lucky I was 
to have been in the right place 
at the right time to see them fly 
in and land so close to where I 
was standing. That rare moment with 
nature inspired me to learn more 
about the migratory habits of Canada 
Geese, and share what I learned with 
my readers. I hope you find the life 
of migrating geese as interesting and 
remarkable as I do!

 Canada Geese are native to North 
America and best known for the 
distinctive honking noises they make 
and the “v” flock formation they 
assume while migrating over the 
continent. The “v” formation is by no 
means random. It is their instinctual 
way of utilizing the power of wind 
and air foil by following behind and 
slightly to the side of one another 
to make the most of their stored 
energy as they travel. Geese are much 
larger and heavier than other types 
of migrating birds, therefore it takes 
a lot more energy for them to fly. By 
using the “v” formation technique 
they reserve energy and increase 
their endurance while traveling. In 
the summer months, most Canada 
Geese reside in the Canadian region 
of the Arctic Circle, where they nest 
and raise their new-born goslings 
in the safety and solitude of the 

 Fresh, snow-fed waterways and 
reservoirs provide them with plenty 
of water and food resources for the 
season, as they foster the bonds within 
their growing family, and prepare for 
the impending multi-mile migration 
south. By the time Fall comes around, 
the temperatures in the Arctic will 
have dropped dramatically, and the 
geese have prepared themselves for 
the 2500 mile flight that will take 
them to the Gulf of Mexico, their 
seasonal destination. There they 
spend the winter months avoiding 
the frost of the Arctic north. The 
flight south can take anywhere from 
3 weeks to 2 months, depending on 
their point of origin and the route 
they follow. Male and female geese 
maintain a monogamous relationship 
with the same partner throughout 
their lives and raise their family as 
an integral unit, caring for their 
young until they are adults. Research 
has shown that familial geese will 
even fly closely together during the 
migration process, and communicate 
among themselves using honking 
calls that are unique to their own 
family members, to keep from being 
separated along the way. Fascinating, 

 We have all heard the term “bird 
brain” used to refer to someone 
who acted stupidly or used poor 
judgment. I remember hearing it as a 
kid, and I assumed that meant birds 
must be pretty stupid. Of course later 
in life I learned the true facts about 
birds and I realized that couldn’t be 
further from the truth. The next time 
someone calls you a bird brain, you 
can take it as a compliment! Looking 
into the life of the migrating goose, 
I was able to draw a few parallels 
between their sensational migration 
and my own personal migration or 
navigation through life on this earth! 
Let’s face it, life presents some pretty 
difficult challenges at times, but if 
we take a lesson from the goose by 
“flying” in a way that helps those 
behind us keep up and stay strong, 
and if we support one another as 
a family unit and communicate 
clearly with each other as the geese 
do, I imagine we could handle the 
challenges of life in a similar way 
to how the goose handles that 2500 
mile flight; with unity, strength and 
determination! Observing animal 
behavior brings me to a higher level 
of understanding what life is all 
about. Some people think the most 
important thing in life is to make a lot 
of money and collect a lot of toys. I 
myself feel that there is much more to 
this life than that, but I certainly don’t 
claim to have all the answers. One 
thing’s for sure, I do hope to be in the 
right place at the right time for many 
more close encounters with nature, 
such as the one Tater and I had last 
week with the migrating geese. 

 Those rare moments can help teach 
us how to live life more fully and how 
to appreciate and better understand 
the families and loved ones we are all 
blessed with, and I think that is truly 


Happy Tails

by Chris Leclerc


“Four score and seven years ago…” I don’t 
pretend to be a great writer, but I think if I 
were writing that speech I might’ve started 
it differently. I know if I were Lincoln’s 
audience, I would’ve spent five minutes 
trying to calculate score times -four plus 
seven. Granted, I never was strong in math. 

 Another Presidents’ Day has come and 
gone. What does your mind conjure up 
when thinking of Washington and Lincoln? Washington reminds 
me of apples, and makes me grateful I don’t live in the frigid state 
to the north or the frigid and dicey District of Columbia. Lincoln 
reminds me of wide cars driven by the elderly. You probably 
don’t think of your mom when considering our 16th president, 
but for me, she is always the first person who comes to mind.

 Some people are Civil War buffs. The more diehard enthusiasts even make the annual 
pilgrimage to an empty field to reenact the battle of Gettysburg. Then there are Lincoln buffs who 
study up on his life and accomplishments and can quote a number of his noteworthy sayings (see 
end of the article!). My mom, on the other hand, is a special kind of Lincoln expert, in that she 
knows everything (I do mean everything) about his assassination.

 A morbid fascination with an infamous murder would not be surprising if it didn’t come from 
the same person who won’t go to a PG-13 movie and finds the tension in “Who’s Afraid of Virginia 
Woolf?” too extreme for viewing. Yes, this same individual who is so guarded when it comes to 
entertainment has a penchant for Lincoln’s death that reaches even to its miniscule details. We 
always knew she was like this, but the advent of online shopping really allowed her hobby to 
blossom! The people at Amazon must have her listed as a most valued customer. You’ve heard of 
Book of the Month clubs. Well, my mom has her own Book of the Day club. So, among the British 
novels and vegan cookbooks waiting in a smiling cardboard box on my parents’ porch, there’s 
probably a tome chronicling Booth’s’ getaway. As an elementary school teacher, my mom infuses 
some of her own interests into the curriculum. Needless to say, her eight-year-olds were absorbed 
with pictures of the deadly derringer and the conspirators’ hanging hoods. It’s inspiring to watch 
her passion enrich the next generation. I don’t know why she’s not as fascinated with Kennedy!

 As promised, here are a few of Lincoln’s memorable sayings, both humorous and insightful.

When accused of being two-faced, Lincoln replied, “If I were two-faced, would I be wearing this 

 “I have always found that mercy bears richer fruits than strict justice.”

 “He can compress the most words into the smallest ideas of any man I ever met.”

 “Truth is generally the best vindication against slander.”

 “It has been my 
experience that folks 
who have no vices have 
very few virtues.”

 “Tact is the ability 
to describe others as they 
see themselves.”

 “Tis better to be 
silent and be thought a 
fool, than to speak and 
remove all doubt.”

 “The probability 
that we may fail in 
the struggle ought not 
to deter us from the 
support of a cause we 
believe to be just.”

 “Whatever you are, 
be a good one.”