Mountain Views News     Logo: MVNews     Saturday, January 14, 2012

MVNews this week:  Page 18



Mountain Views-News Saturday, January 14, 2012 


The world’s most famous radio telescope will 
become the “Karl G. Jansky Very Large Array” to 
honor the founder of radio astronomy, the study of 
the Universe via radio waves naturally emitted by 
objects in space. The National Radio Astronomy 
Observatory (NRAO) announced the new name 
for the National Science Foundation’s Very Large 
Array (VLA) at the American Astronomical 
Society’s meeting last week in Austin, Texas. The 
new name will become official at a rededication 
ceremony at the VLA site in New Mexico on 
March 31.

After more than a decade of work, the VLA, 
originally dedicated in 1980, is nearing completion 
of a technological transformation that has turned 
it into a completely new and vastly more capable 
radio telescope.

“When Karl Jansky discovered radio waves 
coming from the center of the Milky Way Galaxy in 
1932, he blazed a scientific trail that fundamentally 
changed our perception of the Universe,” said 
NRAO Director Fred K.Y. Lo. “Now, the upgraded 
VLA will continue that tradition by equipping 
scientists to address outstanding questions 
confronting 21st-Century astronomy.”

“It is particularly appropriate that the upgraded 
Very Large Array honor the memory and 
accomplishments of Karl Jansky,” Lo explained, 
adding that “the new Jansky VLA is by far the most 
sensitive such radio telescope in the world, as was 
the receiver and antenna combination that Jansky 
himself painstakingly developed 80 years ago.”

Karl Guthe Jansky (1905-1950) joined Bell 
Telephone Laboratories in New Jersey in 1928, 
immediately after receiving his undergraduate 
degree in physics. He was assigned the task of 
studying radio waves that interfered with the 
recently-opened transatlantic radiotelephone 

After designing and building advanced, 
specialized equipment, he made observations 
over the entire year of 1932 that allowed him 
to identify thunderstorms as major sources of 
radio interference, along with a much weaker, 
unidentified radio source. Careful study of this 
“strange hiss-type static” led to the conclusion that 
the radio waves originated from beyond our Solar 
System, and indeed came from the center of our 
Milky Way Galaxy.

His discovery was reported on the front page of 
the New York Times on May 5, 1933, and published 
in professional journals. Janksy thus opened an 
entirely new “window” on the Universe.

“This discovery was like suddenly being able 
to see green light for the first time when we could 
only see blue before,” said Lo.

Discoveries made with radio telescopes have 
earned four Nobel Prizes. Those include the 
discovery of pulsars; detection of the microwave 
background radiation that is the remnant heat 
from the Big Bang; and the first indirect evidence 
for the gravitational waves predicted by Albert 
Einstein. Although Karl Jansky was never honored 
for his discovery during his lifetime, his name has 
been memorialized in the scientific unit “Jansky” 
that astronomers use every day as a measure of the 
strength of astronomical radio-signal sources.

The original VLA was authorized by Congress 
in 1972, and astronomers began using it for 
research even before its dedication in 1980. To 
date, more than 2,500 scientists from around the 
world have used the VLA for more than 13,000 
observing projects.

Upgrading the electronics of the VLA to the 
technological state of the art began in 2001, and 
completion is scheduled for later this year. The 
upgrade replaces the 1970s-vintage electronic 
equipment and an analog data transmission system 
with state-of-the-art receivers and electronics, a 
fiber-optic data transmission system, and a central 

The new Jansky VLA is ten times as sensitive 
to faint radio emission as the original VLA, and 
it covers a radio frequency range three times as 

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.


 Newswires are reporting that Microsoft is investigating an 
incident at a Chinese factory where 300 workers threatened 
to kill themselves in a dispute over pay and working 
conditions. The incident happened at a Foxconn-operated 
factory. You may remember the name Foxconn from tech 
headlines in 2010, where over the course of that year, 14 
workers committed suicide due to several factors related to 
the harsh working conditions that have been reported by 

 Foxconn is a large contract manufacturer that lists Apple, 
Dell, HP, Motorola, Nintendo, Sony and Nokia among its 
customers and is one of the most sophisticated consumer 
manufacturing contractors in the world. They are the 
company that puts together a significant number of the 
most popular hi-tech devices popular here in America 
and all over the world. In a very real way Foxconn is the 
embodiment of the manufacturing expertise that was 
shipped from these shores in search of greater corporate 

 Even if those hi-tech manufacturing companies were to 
relocate here overnight it would take a significant amount 
of time for the domestic workforce here to catch up to what 
is being produced overseas. We definitely have the workers 
to fill the slots but what we lost in the race for profits was 
a few tech generations, a generation being defined here as 
3 years of manufacturing expertise that we would be hard-
pressed to match. 

 Large-scale offshoring of the American tech sector began 
in the mid-to-late ‘90’s and has continued to the point where 
we now have an entire generation of consumers who never 
knew that this state of affairs was once very different. And 
now it is evident that the widespread availability of high 
quality consumer electronics here is being paid for over 
there and that cost is being paid by the workers themselves. 
The simple fact of the matter is that these nice toys don’t 
cost less to make over there; the costs of the parts and 
manufacturing processes involved have probably risen at 
the same pace that they would’ve risen here. The potential, 
and reality, for profit comes from the fact that these goods 
are produced at what can only be described as slave wages 
to an American worker and the conditions that they are 
produced under aren’t much better. 

 When the news of the working and living conditions 
at some Foxconn facilities reached the western press 
following a rash of suicides there was the very predictable 
outpouring of outrage and condemnation towards the 
Chinese government for allowing these conditions to exist. 
Everybody felt that somebody should be doing something 
to help those people. But nobody did anything and 
predictably, things stayed the same. 

 More conspicuously, nobody seemed to hold the western 
companies to account for not working to raise the working 
and living conditions of the factory workers to more 
humane levels and to ensure that conditions didn’t return 
to their former state. It seemed like we really cared about 
the plight of those workers….until the new iPhone came 
out. Or until Call of Duty 3 came out. And then the holiday 
season started and we got really busy. 

 So, on a cold morning in January 2012 the workers played 
the only card they felt they had left. It’s being reported that 
Foxconn has resolved this dispute earlier this week but the 
company refuses to disclose the details of the agreement 
reached and workers that have resigned are none to pleased 
with what was offered. 

 It is a cold truth of capitalism that in order for one party to 
profit, another party has to lose. We always seem to be most 
comfortable when we’re not doing the losing.

Is it really important to include a cover letter with my resume when applying for positions? 
I’ve been told that no one really reads them. Rosalind

Dear Rosalind

It is important! Employers do read cover letters submitted with resumes and 
applications. The cover letter completes the application process and demonstrates your 
professionalism. The letter should be no longer than one page and include no more than 
4 short paragraphs. The first paragraph should state the reason why you are submitting 
your resume, what position you are interest in and how you found out about the opening. 
Discuss what you know about the company and why you would like to join their team. 
Include in the second paragraph your accomplishments or skills that you feel would add 
value to their company success. In the next paragraph explain why you are currently 
seeking a position, any gaps in your resume, relocation issues, if you are transitioning 
industries or professions. In the final paragraph include a request for an interview and 
state that you will follow-up with them within the week. Be sure to include all your 
contact information in the cover letter.

I am signed up with several staffing agencies to help me get an administrative assistant 
position. It has been more than 2 months and I have not heard from any of them. I send 
them an e-mail once a month and they do not respond. I am getting desperate for job. I 
don’t want to make a nuisance of myself with them. What should I do? Barbara

Dear Barbara

 I would suggest that you call them at least once a week. Find out the name of the 
recruiter who will be working with you and develop an on-going relationship with the 
agency. This will keep you on their active “radar” list of candidates seeking positions. 
Let them know that you need a job immediately, what type of position you are willing 
to accept, salary requirements, and if you are open to temporary, part-time or full-time 
positions. Staffing agencies receive thousands of applicants a month and you can get lost 
in the “human” process. Staffing agencies are financially compensated by employers 
and therefore are actually working to help employers find employees. Not necessarily 
job seekers to find jobs. So, sign up with more than 10 agencies to get the results you are 

HOLY MOLE! The Ground Mole’s Reciprocal 
Relationship with Man and Nature

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


Happy Tails

by Chris Leclerc.

Canyon Canine Dog 

Walking & Pet Sitting Services

Among the many characteristics that 
separate humans from other animal 
species, most disconcerting to me is 
the human’s tendency to find fault with 
other creatures who “get in their way”, 
resulting in a huge category of life forms 
known to mankind as “pests“. I am sure 
that the human’s tendency to harbor 
this brand of ‘animal animosity’ is 
not intentional, rather I think humans 
foster an attitude of contention toward 
other living things due to selfishness 
and ignorance or a lack understanding 
about why certain animals were created 
to begin with. Strangely enough, 
it seems that humans consider it 
normal behavior to annihilate mass 
populations of other habitat that pose a 
potential threat to their personal plan. 
Unfortunately, the human’s desire to 
control nature by killing numerous 
members of other species has caused 
a variety of negative side effects for 
the earth and the life forms who live 
here, including our own species. As a 
human myself, I do understand why 
certain critters fall victim to the vices 
of extermination, but I feel that is 
important for people to think outside 
the box when it comes to this issue, 
and try to understand the impact their 
actions have on the environment as a 

I find it rather shocking when people 
are willing to poison living things 
or remove them from their natural 
habitat, in order to ease the task of 
growing non-indigenous, ‘imported’ 
plant materials where natural growth 
once thrived. Killing small animals as a 
means of maintaining an immaculately 
manicured, man-made landscape 
seems senseless in my mind, because it 
inevitably has negative side effects that 
affect the over-all environment. There 
once was a day when folks let their yard 
just be a yard. There was no need to re-
invent what God had already created 
there. But things have changed. I think 
that the human’s trigger-happy reaction 
to creatures they deem undesirable 
comes from a negligence to learn 
and try to understand each species’ 
reciprocal role in nature, and how their 
existence plays a part in sustaining the 
livelihood and survival of all other 
living things. The most predictable 
response of the average human being, 
to a “pest” found on “his” property, 
is to call the exterminator and have it 
removed or killed. To me it just doesn’t 
make sense. But then again, I never 
claimed to be an average human being.

One curious little creature that 
has fallen victim to man’s desire to 
control ‘their own’ patch of dirt, is the 
ground mole. The most common mole 
found in our local foothills is known 
as the broad-footed mole. These 
little guys like to burrow beneath 
the surface of the soil and dig down 
deep where they take up residence 
and create nests for their families. I 
realize that these funny looking little 
fur-balls can reek havoc on a freshly 
landscaped lawn by leaving volcano-
like lumps of dirt here and there, but 
I don’t think the answer is to eliminate 
the entire population of any living 
thing to facilitate a manicured yard. 
Annihilating a species, or removing it 
from it’s indigenous habitat, is sure to 
cause a ripple in nature’s balance and 
since we humans are clearly connected 
to nature, we should keep in mind that 
a ripple can become a tidal wave by the 
time it hits us where we sit, at the top 
of the food chain! Anytime a species 
becomes extinct, it has a major effect 
on nature.

Before you attempt to omit the 
mole from your property, at least take 
the time to learn more about this 
ominous under-grounder. First of all, 
God created the mole. That should 
be enough to convince anyone that 
there is a reason for it’s existence. But, 
did you also know that ground moles 
help aerate the soil that sustains those 
beautiful flowers and shrubs you work 
so hard to plant in your garden? Yes, 
there are times when a mole will disrupt 
the roots of some plantings, but with a 
little forethought, a smart gardener will 
include underground barriers around 
certain plants to help guide the mole 
in the right direction, where his hard 
work will be effective in promoting the 
health of the soil and the growth of less 
vulnerable trees and shrubs. 

Ground moles also keep the 
population of insects in check by 
preying and feeding on the them while 
traveling through their mysterious 
subterranean labyrinths and foraging 
on the surface. Among the top items on 
the mole’s meal menu are grub worms, 
spiders, beetles, insect larvae, ants and 
centipedes. How many of those guys 
have you had to exterminate to keep 
a comment-worthy garden in good 
shape? Through numerous research 
studies, experts have discovered that 
moles do not feed on flower bulbs, nor 
do they care much for roots, as long as 
there are plenty of bugs and worms to 
eat, which brings me to a good reason 
not to eliminate entire populations of 
insects that you might find living in 
your yard. Where does it end? Must 
every tiny creature that “gets in the 
way” be removed for man’s preference 
and convenience?

Above and beyond the mole’s role in 
life, let’s not forget that birds of prey 
and other wild animals rely on rodents 
and other small creatures as a source 
of nutrition as well. Nature thrives 
on balance. Whether it be the ocean’s 
inter-dependent relationship with dry 
land, the sun’s nurturing relationship 
with earth and the other planets, or 
the reciprocal relationships between 
the various species that live on earth, 
balance is absolutely paramount. 
With each attempt mankind makes 
to change things in nature, such as 
exterminating a given species, that 
balance is negatively effected.

In reality, the ground mole is not 
our enemy at all. Indeed, from my 
perspective the mole is a shy, low-lying 
little creature who eats the insects that 
would otherwise devour the plants and 
trees in my yard, and does the tedious 
work that I‘d rather not do, which is 
tilling and turning the surface of the 
soil. I challenge you to educate yourself 
and try thinking outside of the box 
before taking radical action that we 
may all have to pay for in the long run. 
Who knows, with a little information 
and understanding about nature, you 
might even find a little love in your 
heart for one of God’s oddest creations; 
the ground mole. And when that 
happens, you might even find it in your 
heart to share a little space with him 
on that patch of dirt you are blessed 
enough to occupy at the moment! 

With the infamous Wind Storm of 2011 over a month behind 
us, it’s easy to slip into gradual acceptance of the wide open 
spaces that were not very long ago filled by trees. Perhaps we 
haven’t noticed the lack of foliage because the weather has 
still been fairly cool. We don’t relish the shade now as much 
as we would during the dog days of August. Consequently, 
it’s imperative that we start the replanting process A.S.A.P.! 
(Disclaimer: The opinions of “This & That” do not supplement those of your 
professional arborist. Plant with caution!)

While we’re replacing our toppled oaks and ficus trees, we must obviously 
consider the stability and resilience of the 
trees with which we’re replacing. Sierra 
Madre abounds with avocado and orange 
trees, so it’d seem those would be good 

Wouldn’t it be nice though, to also know 
that you’re replacing your juniper with 
a “Johnny Appleseed” tree? Or maybe 
you’d like a clone of the “Angel Oak,” a 65 
foot giant that has graced its spot in South 
Carolina for over 1,400 years. Perhaps 
you’d appreciate the Honey Locust shading 
Lincoln’s audience during his Gettysburg 
Address. If you like politics, you might 
also want the Tulip Poplar from George 
Washington’s Mount Vernon’s estate. 
(There’s no mention of lying or chopping 
associated with this tree.) There are also 
Red Maples from Henry David Thoreau’s 
Walden pond, for those of you who are 
often in a pensive state of mind. 

Such historic trees used to be available from “American Forests,” (their site 
does not clearly state the reason they no longer sell them). This company 
also sold “Moon Sycamores,” one of many seeds carried to the moon by Stuart 
“Smoky” Roosa during the Apollo XIV expedition. Somehow I doubt there’s 
a sycamore grove thriving on the moon. Apparently traveling to outer space is 
enough to popularize any plants. Another company, Woodworkers Auction, 
sells prestigious trees. I was particularly taken by Elvis’ Favorite Graceland 
tree (of unspecified species). But you better order soon; Woodworkers might 
go out of the tree selling business, too. So put a little of the King in your 
garden --”It’s now or never!”

Personally I’d like an olive tree from the famous “The Mount of Olives.” 
Others might prefer a clone of the Bodhi tree under which Buddha sat to 
receive enlightenment. I don’t think even the American Forests has samples 
of these or of the Tree of Life from Genesis and Revelation. But at least I 
know I’ll see it someday. So for now I’ll enjoy the oranges and avocadoes.