Mountain Views News     Logo: MVNews     Saturday, May 7, 2011

MVNews this week:  Page 14



 Mountain Views News Saturday, May 7, 2011

Spacecraft Earth to Perform Asteroid ‘Flyby’ this Fall

Since the dawn of the space age, humanity has sent 16 robotic 
emissaries to fly by some of the solar system’s most intriguing and 
nomadic occupants—comets and asteroids. The data and imagery 
collected on these deep-space missions of exploration have helped 
redefine our understanding of how Earth and our part of the galaxy 
came to be. But this fall, Mother Nature is giving scientists around 
the world a close-up view of one of her good-sized space rocks—no 
rocket required.

“On November 8, asteroid 2005 YU55 will fly past Earth and at its 
closest approach point will be about 201,700 miles away,” said Don 
Yeomans, manager of NASA’s Near-Earth Object Program Office at 
JPL. “This asteroid is about 1,300 feet wide—the largest space rock 
we have identified that will come this close until 2028.”

Despite the relative proximity and size, Yeomans said, “YU55 
poses no threat of an Earth collision over, at the very least, the next 
100 years. During its closest approach, its gravitational effect on the 
Earth will be so miniscule as to be immeasurable. It will not affect the 
tides or anything else.”

Then why all the hubbub for a space rock a little bit wider than an 
aircraft carrier? After all, scientists estimate that asteroids the size of 
YU55 come this close about every 25 years.

“While near-Earth objects of this size have flown within a lunar 
distance in the past, we did not have the foreknowledge and technology 
to take advantage of the opportunity,” said Barbara Wilson, a 
scientist at JPL. “When it flies past, it should be a great opportunity 
for science instruments on the ground to get a good look.” 

2005 YU55 was discovered in December 2005 by Robert McMillan, 
head of the NASA-funded Spacewatch Program at the University 
of Arizona, Tucson. The space rock has been in astronomers’ 
crosshairs before. In April 2010, Mike Nolan and colleagues at the 
Arecibo Observatory in Puerto Rico generated some ghostly images 
of 2005 YU55 when the asteroid was about 1.5 million miles from 

“The best resolution of the radar images was 25 feet per pixel,” said 
JPL radar astronomer Lance Benner. “When 2005 YU55 returns this 
fall, we intend to image it at 4-meter (15-foot) resolution with our 
recently upgraded equipment at the Deep Space Network at Goldstone, 
California. Plus, the asteroid will be seven times closer. We’re 
expecting some very detailed radar images.”

Radar astronomy employs the world’s most massive dish-shaped 
antennas. The antennas beam directed microwave signals at their 
celestial targets—which can be as close as our Moon and as far away 
as the moons of Saturn. These signals bounce off the target, and the 
resulting “echo” is collected and precisely collated to create radar images, 
which can be used to reconstruct detailed three-dimensional 
models of the object. This defines its rotation precisely and gives 
scientists a good idea of the object’s surface roughness.

“This is a C-type asteroid, and those are thought to be representative 
of the primordial materials from which our solar system was 
formed,” said Wilson. “This flyby will be an excellent opportunity to 
test how we study, document and quantify which asteroids would be 
most appropriate for a future human mission.”

Yeomans reiterated Wilson’s view that the upcoming pass of asteroid 
2005 YU55 will be a positive event, which he describes as an 
“opportunity for scientific discovery.” Yeomans adds, “So stay tuned. 
This is going to be fun.”

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 your 
questions, but I will be totally honest. My objective is to help you achieve your employment goal.

Surprise, Surprise, Surprise

A report released this week 
by the FCC revealed that 
almost across the board 
that broadband users typically 
only see about half of 
the “up to” speeds advertised 
by Internet Service 
Providers. This revelation 
comes as no big surprise 
for the subset of online 
users that actually monitor 
connection speeds and 
transfer rates whether out 
of personal curiosity or 
professional duties. In my 
particular case, I currently 
support an organization 
that traffics in a fairly large 
amount of data uploaded to 
and downloaded from our 
facilities on a 24/7 basis and 
from time to time the issues 
of connection quality and 
speeds are raised, either 
internally by my department 
or externally by one 
of our remote users. Over 
the course of the last month 
I’ve been conducting a 
working survey that consisted 
of having all of our 
remote users upload and 
download pre-configured 
test files to an FTP (File 
Transfer Protocol) server 
located on a reserved segment 
of the network. Users 
were instructed to upload 
and download the test files 
at various times during the 
day and night on a schedule 
created by my department 
to ensure randomness and 
to simulate high-traffic patterns 
among multiple users 
accessing a single server 
simultaneously. The production 
network itself is 
outfitted with a Business 
Class Internet connection 
that is tested good for Gigabit 
connect speed under a 
CIR (Committed Information 
Rate) clause with our 
Internet Service Provider. 
If that sounds expensive 
that would be because it is 
expensive. That extra cost 
goes towards ensuring that 
our connection speed from 
our ISP to the termination 
device onsite at our 
location never falls below 
1 Gigabit per Second. For 
testing purposes 300Mb\s 
was provisioned off to the 
test FTP segment of the 
network and the first part 
of the test ran for a period 
of 2 weeks with the results 
then collected and entered 
into a spreadsheet. The second 
part of the test consisted 
of a written survey collecting 
information about 
the connection details of 
our remote users to include 
connection type, rated 
speed, service provider and 
daily data transfer statistics 
to cover the month prior to 
the testing period. The results 
showed that users of 
Residential Class internet 
connection services (without 
CIR clause, primarily 
for residential use and most 
commonly advertised featuring 
the “up to” phrase) 
rarely, if ever, connected 
to our test server at the 
top-rated speed for their 
particular service provider 
connection and typically 
hovered around 60% of 
maximum rated capacity 
across the board. Users of 
true Business Class Internet 
connection services 
(with CIR clause, primarily 
for business or industrial 
use) typically connected at 
92% or better of their rated 
connection speed. While 
this small sampling can 
hardly be called indicative 
of connection speed and 
quality currently available 
net-wide it does raise an 
interesting point especially 
when taking into account 
the current ongoing “debate” 
surrounding the Net 
Neutrality issue. If ISP’s 
currently can and do ensure 
stable, high-quality internet 
connections and access 
for customers paying a premium 
for the service what 
will be the eventual state 
of affairs when Pay-for-
Play is the rule and not the 
exception for everybody? 
What possible incentive 
could ISP’s have to ensure 
that business entities and 
private users who can’t afford 
to pay premium prices 
still have equal access to 
the electronic commons 
known as the Internet?

Q: Dear Jai:

I am a sales and marketing associate with a high tech firm. I have been with the company for 3 years and like my job. 
However, I feel that I am not growing and I do not see any place to advance up the ladder or to increase my salary. Do I 
tell my manager that I am looking for employment outside the company and why? How do I look for a job while currently 
employed and not jeopardize my current situation? Puzzled.

A: Dear Puzzled:

It’s a balancing act. It can, and of course, has been done. You will have to keep your current work situation and 
job seeking process separate. I would suggest that you discuss your job performance and career aspirations with your 
current Supervisor and try to glean any future positions that would meet your needs. I would be hesitant about letting 
your supervisor and company know that you were seeking employment. There are two schools of thought about 
this. One is that you could be coming from a position of strength and that the company might do whatever it takes 
not to lose you. Another is that you could be putting the company on alert that you are ready to leave and they might 
be looking forward to letting you go sooner than you think. I personally would keep the fact that you are looking 
for employment to yourself. I would suggest that you do not let anyone at the company know, including your co-
workers, possibly even those you consider your friends.

It is somewhat difficult seeking employment while employed. You will have to be very organized and be able to 
create a scheduling system. When you have made that decision to start seeking a new job, go for it with full force and 
commitment! Because, when you start posting your resume on-line, networking, and applying for positions you are 
making a statement to the universe that you are looking for employment. The inevitable is that your supervisor and 
company will find out. So, be prepared with a great response if they should ask you why you are no longer happy with 
them and seeking new employment.

These are the paramount rules for looking for employment while employed: Do not use your employer’s computer 
or telephone system. Do not use your company e-mail address. Maximize your break and lunch times. Use the time 
to make and return telephone calls or use your personal lap-top computer to communicate. Scheduling interview 
time can be a little tricky. Lunch time is good and you can request a little extra time. This would be a good time to use 
your personal, vacation and sick time. Be aware that frequent time-off activity could become red flags to your current 
employer. This is the right time for you to stay committed to your goal, and not to your current employer. Lucky 
for you some employers love to hire people who are currently employed and will totally understand your situation 
and will do whatever it takes to accommodate you in arranging time to meet and interview with them. Be prepared 
to discuss with the employer why you want to leave your current position. Keep your energy high, be very positive 
and let them know the added value you will bring to the table to help make them successful. Be very clear about your 
career and salary aspirations. Remember, you have a job, so you really have nothing lose. This is the appropriate time 
and situation to praise your skills, experience and education. Keep your job search confidential until you have a firm 
offer letter from another employer.

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 www.resumeandcareerservicesc.



Gosh, the news has 
just been jam packed 
lately! Will and Kate 
have been hitched for 
a little over a week 
now, and it’s a good 
thing they got married 
when they did. 
If they planned it a couple days later, Bin 
Laden’s assassination would’ve totally 
upstaged them. Perhaps the Navy Seals 
could have taken him out sooner, but 
instead waited for the fulfillment of the 
royal nuptials out of respect for the happy 
couple and Britons everywhere. If that’s 
the case, it was very big of them, especially 
since their commander in chief didn’t 
even get invited to the party. I considered 
writing about the wedding earlier, but 
was dumfounded in search of any angle 
that hadn’t already been analyzed a million 
times over. Don’t get excited; I still 
have not found one. The following information 
isn’t new, but I hope you’ll find it 
amusing all the same.

As you’ve probably heard, the Middletons 
are no strangers to money, having established 
their own widely successful business 
in the 80’s. James, Kate’s brother, is 
also an entrepreneur, and sister Pippa is 
gainfully employed at an upscale London 
company. And what do these businesses 
have in common? Think canapés, fondant, 
and organza. That’s right - they’re 
all about parties! 

“Party Pieces” is Carole Middleton’s vending 
operation of everything its name implies 
–pieces with which you assemble 
your party. Legend has it that she started 
the outfit to combat the drab party accessories 
that were the norm when her children 
were young. Over the years the company 
has expanded to weddings, summer 
parties, fiestas, baby showers, and “hen 
parties” the equivalent of our “bachelorette’s 
night.” One essential for hen night is 
a pink “L” plate to be worn round the neck 
by the bride-to-be. “Party Pieces,” as well 
as other British party sites, refer to this 
ubiquitous white square with a capital L 
as simply an “L plate,” as if dumb Americans 
like me are supposed to know what 
that means. After 
further research I 
finally discovered 
that it stands for 
“learner” as in “student 
driver.” Well, 
I learned something. 
A search of 
other British party 
sites emphasized the tameness of Party 
Pieces’ hen products, which makes me 
wonder if their conservative tone anticipated 
the royal union. I didn’t see bar/bat 
mitzvah or quinceañera sections, but I’m 
sure something’s in the works. 

“Cake kits,” James’ brainchild, provides 
mixes, candles, and disposable baking 
trays (handy for the infrequent baker). 
Themes include football, pirates, and 
purses. What I loved about James’ venture 
is that he works out of converted 
barns on his parents’ farmland and tacks a 
number of his products onto “Party Pieces,” 
hence the hen night purse cake. Nice 
work if you can get it. Pippa works as an 
event planner for “Table Talk,” a swank 
catering company. Wedding venues 
range from the Somerset House and the 
Chelsea Physic Garden to the Dungeon 
of London and Madame Tussaud’s. Table 
Talk’s menu will certainly test your aptitude 
for French and Italian. However, it 
was charming to see comfort food such as 
bangers and mash elevated to fine dining 
status. Even sausage and potatoes seem 
sexy when served in ramekins.

Seeing as how the Middleton family is so 
vested in the business of festivity, it begs 
the question whether they got any creative 
say in the royal shindig. Will Carole 
get to accessorize the royal offspring’s 
birthdays? It seems doubtful. However, 
Will and Kate did festoon their getaway 
Aston with a pink L plate. Let’s just hope 
it was a “Party Piece.”

 In addition to being Will and Kate’s second 
week of marriage, it’s also Mother’s Day! 
So, here’s a great, big shout out to Mary 
Hopkins, the best mom in the world! Love 

Happy Tails

by Chris Leclerc.

Canyon Canine Dog 

Walking & Pet Sitting Services

It is no secret that the average 
domestic dog is capable of learning 
and responding to a wide variety 
of verbal commands. Particularly 
common to most pets are the single-
consonant terms typically used 
in basic obedience training, such 
as “fetch“, “sit” or “stay”. In fact, 
as a dog walker and pet sitter with 
several clients in tow, I have yet 
to meet a pet owner who has not 
taken the time to teach their dog at 
least one or two commands, to help 
keep some semblance of order and 
prevent chaos in the household. 

Historically, the general consensus 
regarding a canine’s capability 
of learning, responding to 
and obeying verbal commands, 
has been based more on the dog’s 
parsimonious survival instincts, 
than on intelligence or cognitive 
capacity. However, recent scientific 
studies indicate that there may be a 
lot more to a dog’s ability to learn, 
than we might think. New findings 
show that most dogs apply previous 
learning to new situations, perform 
selective imitation, and understand 
human gestures and new words. 
Results of many recent studies indicate 
that the dog’s capacity for communicating 
with, learning from and 
relating to humans, is more cognitive 
than survival-driven instinct. 
While many mammalian species 
are apparently capable of learning 
and responding to the verbal commands 
and physical gestures of the 
human being, the cooperative 
nature of the canine is 
what sets it apart from most 
other mammals. The difference 
lies in the fact that the 
domestic dog harbors a certain loyalty 
toward his human ‘master’, that 
most other mammals do not possess. 
This is likely related to the fact 
that the dog depends on the human 
for its day-to-day needs, nourishment 
and safety, more so than any 
other mammalian sub-species. 

Another unique factor is that the 
dog tends to thrive on pleasing his 
human friend and genuinely enjoys 
the company. Take “Chaser”, for 
example. Chaser is a six-year-old 
Border Collie, trained to understand 
and comprehend more than 
1,000 English spoken words. He 
even comprehends the words when 
they are used in a combination of 
simple sentences. Chaser responds 
correctly when told to either retrieve 
and deliver, nose, toe or hide 
a given object; and we are talking 
about a collection of 1,000 items, 
for each of which he remembers 
the given name! Border Collies are 
more attentive and trainable than 
most dog breeds, that I admit, and 
they are considered to be more intelligent 
than most other breeds but 
still, it is amazing that any dog can 
perform a task involving such complex 
memory and problem-solving 
combinations, some of which even 
I might not be able to successfully 

Another example of the remarkable 
cognitive capability of the 
canine is shown in the results of a 
study at the University of Vienna 
in Austria, where numerous dogs 
were prompted to select particular 
photos on a touch computer 
screen. The point of the study was 
to show that the subject canines 
could categorize the graphic matter 
in the photos per command, based 
on visual familiarity and memory. 
When shown different sets of dog 
and landscape photos, the tested 
canines consistently selected the 
appropriate photo per command, 
demonstrating that they could 
apply their own understanding 
and previous learning to a new 
situation un-related to previous 
experiences. Researchers further 
tested their four-legged subjects by 
showing pictures of empty landscapes, 
along with others of similar 
landscapes including a dog. Most 
subjects selected the pictures with 
the dog in the landscape. I find 
these test results remarkable myself. 
Although, honestly, it doesn’t 
matter to me whether my dog 
could select the correct picture in 
an experiment, or remember every 
command I hoped to instill in her, 
just knowing that dogs in general, 
are capable of consistently understanding, 
comprehending and responding 
to basic human verbal 
and body language to the extent 
that they can, is quite remarkable 
and it inspires me to continue research 
on the cognitive capability 
of the canine. It also lends credence 
to the particular behavior of my 
own dog and helps me understand 
why she behaves the way she does.