Mountain Views News     Logo: MVNews     Saturday, October 22, 2011

MVNews this week:  Page 16



Mountain Views-News Saturday, October 22, 2011 

Wet & Mild: Caltech Researchers Take Mars Past Temperature

Researchers at Caltech have directly determined 
the surface temperature of early Mars for the first 
time, providing evidence of a warmer and wetter 
Martian past.

By analyzing carbonate minerals in a four-
billion-year-old meteorite that originated near 
the surface of Mars, the scientists determined 
that the minerals formed at about 18 degrees 
Celsius (64 degrees Fahrenheit). “The thing that’s 
really cool is that 18 degrees is not particularly 
cold nor particularly hot,” says Woody Fischer, 
assistant professor of geobiology and coauthor 
of a paper published online in the Proceedings 
of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS) on 
October 3. “It’s kind of a remarkable result.”

The finding in the Martian meteorite is just 
one data point—but it’s the first and only one to 
date. “It’s proof that early in the history of Mars, 
at least one place on the planet was capable of 
keeping an Earthlike climate for at least a few 
hours to a few days,” says John Eiler, the Robert 
P. Sharp Professor of Geology and professor of 
geochemistry, and a coauthor of the paper. 

To make their measurement, the researchers 
analyzed one of the oldest known rocks in 
the world: ALH84001, a Martian meteorite 
discovered in 1984 in the Allan Hills of 
Antarctica. The meteorite likely started out tens 
of meters below the Martian surface and was 
blown off when another meteorite struck the 
area, blasting the piece of Mars toward Earth. 
The potato-shaped rock made headlines in 1996 
when scientists discovered tiny globules in it that 
looked like fossilized bacteria. But the claim that 
it was extraterrestrial life didn’t hold up upon 
closer scrutiny. The origin of the globules, which 
contain carbonate minerals, remained a mystery.

“It’s been devilishly difficult to work out the 
process that generated the carbonate minerals 
in the first place,” Eiler says. There have 
been countless hypotheses, he adds, and they 
all depend on the temperature in which the 
carbonates formed.

Finding the temperature through independent 
means would therefore help narrow down just 
how the carbonate might have been formed. 
The researchers turned to clumped-isotope 
thermometry, a technique developed by Eiler and 
his colleagues.

In this case, the team measured concentrations 
of the rare isotopes oxygen-18 and carbon-13 
contained in the carbonate samples. Carbonate is 
made out of carbon and oxygen, and as it forms, 
the two rare isotopes may bond to each other—
clumping together, as Eiler calls it. The lower the 
temperature, the more the isotopes tend to clump. 
As a result, determining the amount of clumping 
allows for a direct measurement of temperature.

The temperature the researchers measured, 18 
± 4 degrees Celsius, rules out many carbonate-
formation hypotheses. “A lot of ideas that were 
out there are gone,” Eiler says. For one, the mild 
temperature means that the carbonate must 
have formed in liquid water. “You can’t grow 
carbonate minerals at 18 degrees other than from 
an aqueous solution,” he explains.

Could this wet and warm environment have 
been a habitat for life? Most likely not, the 
researchers say. These conditions wouldn’t have 
existed long enough for life to grow or evolve—
it would have taken only hours or days for the 
water to dry up. Still, these results are proof that 
an Earthlike environment once existed in one 
particular spot on Mars, at least for a short time.

You can contact Bob Eklund at: b.eklund@

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.

“One More Time”

Blackberry service was restored early Thursday morning, after what the brand is 
calling its worst service interruption ever. A hardware outage and a flawed backup 
system is reported to be the cause of the outage which began in Europe, the Middle 
East and Africa. From there it soon spread to South America and from there began 
to affect service in the United States and Canada. 

The outage primarily affected the texting and Internet functions for user of 
Blackberry products and for the most part left phone operations working normally. 
A cursory review of service performance shows that the popular smartphone maker 
has experienced a serious service interruption every year going back as far as 2006. 
Although a record like this might doom a lesser company to certain second-tier 
status, the Blackberry brand still remains a strong performer in the marketplace. 

The reason the Blackberry device remains popular is that it works the way its 
users like it to work. I’m a Blackberry user and although I was irked by the events 
of last week, I was pretty much over my frustration as soon as my service returned 
to normal. As a matter of fact, while I was researching the source material for this 
article, I found it hard to believe that the Blackberry service had experienced a 
major outage for so many years in a row. I had a difficult time remembering the last 
outage, except for the fact that I reported on that outage 2 years ago in this column 
(“Blackberry and the 5 9’s”). It was a big deal at the time, as was the latest outage, 
soon followed by no memory of the outage in the first place. 

It’s been a week since the last big deal, and other than the millions of words 
devoted to the analysis of Blackberry and its future, not much has happened with the 
company. Undoubtedly since the outage there has been a flurry of activity internal 
to Blackberry, devoted to shoring up the technical underpinnings of the popular 
service. A kickback to the customer base would definitely be nice but I’m sure that 
idea will be kyboshed by the financial honchos at Blackberry, most probably because 
there’s no need for a kickback. The sales numbers for Blackberry remained strong 
after every other outage over the last several years and, during all that time, the 
much-feared exodus of disgruntled users never materialized; it probably won’t 
happen this time, either. I know I’m not ready to turn in my Blackberry just yet and 
I’m pretty sure that I’m not alone in feeling this way.

Is it important to include my computer skills on my resume? I am a computer professional and feel that 
employers should know that I am expert in my field? What other skills should I list on my resume? Kenny

Dear Kenny:

 Yes, it is very important for you to list your computer skills on your resume. Employers do not have 
the time to contact you and find out if you have specific skills. Employers use keywords and criteria when 
searching for candidates in resume databases. 99.9% of employers will use applicant screening software to 
identity candidates. Having the correct skill set keywords included in your resume is mandatory in order 
for an employer to find you. If you do not include skill sets on your resume, an employer might assume that 
you do not feel that the skills are important enough to performing the position or worse yet not important 
to you at all. Not including skill sets on your resume or application could result in you being screened 
out of consideration for a position. I know candidates who were not hired because they did not include 
Microsoft Word and Excel on their resume. The employer just assumed they were just not computer savvy. 
As a high tech or computer professional you should definitely include your technical and professional skills. 
These include skills performed in a job, task, or class, acquired by reading, training, or education. Create 
a Computer Skills section with sub-headings on your resume. I suggest that you place this section at the 
beginning of your resume and include any operating systems, hardware, software and programming skills 
that you have experience using over the past 5 years. It would be to your advantage to list all your computer 
skills rather than lose a job opportunity, because you were too selective. Do not just list “Microsoft Office”, 
list each individual software program (i.e., Microsoft Word, Excel, Power Point, etc.). Add any proprietary 
software programs that you learned at a former company. Listing proprietary software programs will reveal 
to the employer that you can adapt to any computer system. Include any foreign languages that you may 
speak or write in a Language Skills section. I know job seekers who were interviewed and hired based solely 
on their foreign language skills. Technical Skills and Equipment Skills are great sections to add to your 
resume as long as they are relevant to the position you are seeking. Any special projects that you have 
participated in or managed can be included in an Occupational Skills section. The Work Experience and 
Education Section of your resume should support your skills sections. These two sections should explain 
how you acquired the knowledge, where you used the skills and your accomplishments. 




Happy Tails

by Chris Leclerc.

Canyon Canine Dog 

Walking & Pet Sitting Services

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

MORE Professional Development!

In case you missed last week’s article, or repressed it from your 
memory, we left off with our protagonist (me) attending a professional 
development workshop delivered by one of my company’s victims 
- I mean “employees.” Susan, our presenter, finally divulged the 
meeting’s previously confidential topic, “Problem Solving!”, and 
instructed us to open our packets (a hallmark of workshops). In it 
we found a line drawing of a totem pole. “You’ll see there are six 
animals on your ‘collaboration pole’,” Susan noted. “Now I want you to get up and 
find six people -who aren’t at your table- and write their names on the figures.” We 
rose in an early morning stupor and stumbled around writing down the names of our 
colleagues on various beavers and salmon. Thank goodness this meeting only included 
people from my department, otherwise I would’ve been hard pressed to approach six 

“Does everyone have six names?” Yup. “These are going to be your partners for 
different activities throughout the day. I’m not going 
to stand up here and do all the talking!” she said with 
a little laugh. I inwardly groaned, as I suspected my 
coworkers did as well.

“So, what is ‘problem solving?” Susan posed. Solving 
of problems, I mentally answered. My vocal peers called 
out, “Critical thinking,” “Inference,” and “Thinking 
outside the box.” Whoa, Charlie! I thought. Don’t 
spend all your buzz words in the morning; you’ll need 
plenty more later on.

And I was so right. Our first task was to discuss the 
inherent qualities of a problem solver with our “totem 
frog” collaboration partner, and report our finding to 
Susan. “One who thinks critically. One who infers, and 
thinks outside the box. One who analyzes...” Darn! 
Groups 2 and 3 already took our problem-solving 
qualities! When they came to me and Leslie, my petal 
partner, we shot our wad and called out “Abstraction.” 
A collective “Ooh!” rose from the group, apparently 
they hadn’t happened upon that one yet. 

“Great! Really insightful,” Susan beamed. “Now go 
back to home base” (the table where we left our coffees). She then directed us to a page 
in our packet containing a collection of crude icons, including a sun with emanating 
rays, and addition and subtraction signs separated by a forward slash. These were 
“smart icons,” Susan explained. Some of the audience agreed with an understanding, 
“Uh huh!” They had already attended the “Smart Icons” professional development 
workshop. These visual paradigms can be used to illustrate and enhance any concept! 
You see, the sun and rays represented the main idea and details (wow, there’s a new 
one!). And the plus and minus signs stood for the cutting edge technique of - wait for 
it - “compare and contrast.” The icons are essential because, if left to your own devices, 
would you come up with the main idea and contrasting details all by your problem-
solving self? 

With the aide of innumerable power point slides, Susan managed to cram many 
additional group activities involving oversized chart paper, scribes, and spokespeople 
into the day. Just when the prisoners - “team members” - grew restless to the brink of 
mutiny, our boss broke out the Halloween chocolate. The staff attacked it like Siberian 
wolves ripping through Bambi’s mother. It was only this serotonin-boosting chocolate 
and our camaraderie that saw us through those remaining hours. The problem of 
making the meeting end faster was never solved, but we all escaped. And I think Susan 
was gladdest of us all!

 Nothing touches my heart in a more positive way 
than the random kindness of those who are willing to 
nurture the needs of homeless pets, particularly when 
it involves elderly or ill animals that require special 
attention. Providing constant & consistent convalescent 
care to those cats and canines who may be considered 
“less-desirable“ or “less-adoptable” is an admirable act of 
compassion and a true labor of love. I must admit that at 
times I can get a bit down on humans who apparently do 
not care much about the health and welfare of animals, 
(as any reader who follows my column well knows), but 
fortunately (for both the reader and myself) this week’s 
“Happy Tail” is on the up!

 The happy side of this animal tale can be attributed 
to a fabulous network of heroic helpful human beings 
whom I happened to come in contact with this past week. 
They are people who dedicate their time, energy and 
resources to making the lives of numerous needy, four-
legged furry friends comfortable and worth living for 
the entire duration of their existence. I am talking about 
a remarkable group of down-to-earth, hard-working 
animal-loving individuals who joined together as a team 
with the common interest of helping homeless animals 
live a fulfilling life and helping them find permanent 
homes. Founded in 1992, “C.A.R.E.” is a non-profit 
animal welfare organization that maintains a cage-free, 
no-kill sanctuary for orphaned animals regardless of 
health status, age or adoptability. They are well known 
for their willingness to rescue at-risk special needs pets 
who may otherwise be abandoned or euthanized. 

C.A.R.E. is actually an acronym for “Cat and Canine 
Referral and Education”, which is the full title of this 
awesome organization. The name tells it all with regard 
to their mission, and they truly do live up to their name. 
Although there are numerous other animal shelter 
facilities throughout Southern California, most are 
funded by state or local government agencies and are 
managed and manned by employees who may or may 
not have the kind of heart-felt compassion for animals 
as the volunteers at a non-profit facility have. I am sure 
that most shelters for homeless pets do their best to 
place the animals they receive in proper homes, and I’d 
like to think they employ humane practices in working 
with the animals while they are in their care. However, 
unfortunately the majority of the government funded 
animal shelter facilities in Southern California are run 
on a very low budget, and are forced to maintain a policy 
of euthanasia as a means of population and cost control. 
For example, an animal that is not adopted from an 
SPCA facility within a very short period of time after in-
take, is inevitably “put to sleep“ regardless of how young 
or healthy it may be.

This never happens at C.A.R.E. because they make it 
their mission to love and nurture each and every animal 
for the rest of their life, regardless of age, health or 
adoptability. Of course the people at C.A.R.E. recognize 
that there are times when an elderly or ill animal must be 
euthanized as an act of compassion, because prolonging 
their life in pain and suffering would be inhumane. But 
they never put an animal to sleep simply because they 
could not find a home for it within a given period of 
time. Many of the animals nurtured by the loving folks at 
C.A.R.E. require daily medications and/or special living 
conditions. Many have diseases that must be treated, 
some have suffered physical abuse or psychological 
trauma, some have lost limbs and many of the elderly 
have age-related problems that must be tended to with 
patience and tender-loving-care. Remarkably, this 
organization’s facility maintains and cares for an average 
population of somewhere between 150 to 200 animals 
at any given time. Many of the animals they house 
are considered to be un-adoptable, while others hold 
more hope for finding a permanent home with loving, 
responsible owners. Either way, they are all welcome to 
stay as long as it takes, even if it means living out the 
rest of their life being loved and nurtured at the C.A.R.E. 
sanctuary. For more information about C.A.R.E., and 
to find out how you can help support their efforts or 
adopt a pet of your own, visit their website at: www. There, you can watch a very informative 
video about their beautiful animal sanctuary located in 
Antelope Valley, and meet several of the precious pets 
who live there. If your like me, after getting to know this 
organization and seeing all the great things they do for 
needy animals, you will not be able to resist supporting 
such a worthy cause. Thank you for being there and 
loving animals in need, C.A.R.E.! You truly warm my 
heart with your random acts of kindness!

What’s On YOUR Mind? What D0 YOU Think? 

We’d like to hear from you! 

Contact us at: or