Mountain Views News     Logo: MVNews     Saturday, February 2, 2013

MVNews this week:  Page 5



 Mountain Views News Saturday, February 2, 2013 


By Christopher Nyerges

[Nyerges is the author of “How to Survive Anywhere,” “Self-Sufficient Home,” and other 
books. He leads self-sufficiency classes, and does a weekly podcast at Preparedness Radio 
Network. He can be reached at School of Self-reliance, Box 41834, Eagle Rock, CA 90041 or]

“What’s Going On?” 

News and Views from Joan Schmidt



Surely you saw the ads on television or in 
newspapers for “Shen Yun”, a few moments of 
mindboggling dance/acrobatics, gorgeous costumes 
and the promise of a glimpse into 5000 years of 
Chinese culture. The ad caught my eye, and Shen 
Yun sounded like a truly unique experience. This 
past Saturday, my husband Bob and I were given 
that opportunity, and I don’t know where to begin!

 First, Shen Yun Performing Arts was founded 
with the mission to restore 5000 years of divinely 
inspired Chinese culture, which has been mostly 
destroyed under Communist rule. In fact, you 
couldn’t find a show like Shen Yun in China today! I cannot even imagine 
what this experience would be to anyone of Chinese background-to 
have your culture so shared and appreciated on such a grand scale. It’s 
also worth noting that Shen Yun Performing Arts Inc. is a nonprofit 
organization under Section 501(c) (3). (Please visit their website www. )

 To understand the show’s purpose, translate “Shen Yun”. The Chinese character “Shen” is a 
general term for “divine” or “divine being”. In China’s rich 5000 year history, are thousands of rich 
stories entwined with hundreds of deities, Buddhas, and Taoist immortals who play different roles. 
The second character “Yun” is the overall manner of a dancer, a dancer’s style and the meaning behind 
his or her movements. The combination of these two characters exemplifies what the program is all 

 With an idea of “Shen Yun”, one now must look at Classical Chinese Dance. It is one way 5000 
years of Chinese culture has been passed down and retained. This dance form began with traditional 
aesthetics among the people, in imperial courts and through ancient plays. Over thousands of years, 
it has been continually organized and refined until it evolved into the vast, systematic and distinctly 
Chinese dance form. Chinese Classic Dance has its own training in basic skills, physical expression, 
postures, leaps, flips, spins and difficult tumbling techniques. 

 The Shen Yun Program is of two parts, each with eleven acts enhanced by an awesome 
Orchestra that blends the world’s greatest classical music traditions, Chinese and Western, utilizing 
Ancient Chinese instruments such as the erhu and pipa. There are also a few vocal soloists, and on 
the screen are the lyrics in both languages. These soloists are searching for the meaning of life and 
perform at integral parts of the program. Prior to each act, two narrators come on stage to give a short 
preview (one or two sentences) of what is to come. 

 Each act is accompanied by a full-width backdrop that provided animation of mountain and 
village scenes, countryside landscapes, palaces and much more! The costumes are brightly colored, 
and I can’t imagine how so many dancers are in sync as in the use of scarfs. The first selection, 
Descending to the World’s backdrop has clouds and it’s mindboggling how these ‘figures” come off the 
backdrop onto the stage and vice versa. Bob said they have to be in perfect sync to be dancing on the 
stage one minute then dance to the back of it and then be part of the backdrop.

 I loved the variety of dances, (Mongolian Bowl Dance, An Early Spring), the solos, and the 
little skits. It was truly a remarkable experience and I am going on line to find out about Shen Yun in 
Vegas in March! I know my daughter will love the show, and I would love to experience it again!

Vitamins. Everyone needs them. 
We should take some every day. 
And they come in bottles, right?

 Well, yes and no.

 The original sources of many 
common vitamins and minerals 
are plants, and several of these are 
quite easy to cultivate in our own 
yards. That means we are getting 
our vitamins and minerals fresh, 
pure, and in a balanced form. 
Grow your own vitamins in your 
yard, and eat them in your food. 
This is not a particularly unusual 
idea. For millennia, people 
obtained their needed nutrition 
from the food they ate. In fact, 
the only reason we’ve all become 
so dependent on bottled vitamins 
is that our normal supermarket 
foods have steadily become 
poorer sources of our needed 
vitamins and minerals. The 
reasons for this are complex, but 
can be summarized by the fact 
that too many commercial food 
producers focus more on profit 
when it comes to our food, and 
less on the nutritional aspects.

 Roses are great to grow in 
any garden because they provide 
beauty and fragrance. Also, if 
you let the fruits mature (referred 
to as the “hips”), you’ll have a 
rich source of vitamin C. The 
only known source of vitamin 
C that is richer is the acerola. 
Rosehips contain about 7,000 
mg. of vitamin C per pound, a 
remarkable amount. By contrast, 
a pound of oranges (depending 
on the type of oranges) contains 
anywhere between 100 to 250 mg. 
of vitamin C.

 To use rose hips, you snip off the 
orange-red mature fruit. Once 
you cut it in half and remove the 
fibrous seeds, you could just eat it 
raw. However, most people find it 
more enjoyable to simmer it into 
tea, or to make it into jams, jellies, 
or blended nutritional drinks.

 In your garden, seriously 
consider raising carrots. They 
require loamy soil, but otherwise 
they are somewhat easy to raise. 
A pound of carrots (depending 
how they are analyzed) contains 
anywhere from 29,000 to 40,000 
I.U. of vitamin A. Hey, even on 
the low end, that’s a lot! Carrots 
also provide at least 1,000 mg. 
of potassium per pound, and 
they contain significant amounts 
of calcium, phosphorus, and 

 Another good food group for 
your garden is the tomato and 
pepper group. A pound of whole 
tomatoes, for example, contains 
large amounts of potassium 
(1,107 mg.) and vitamin A (4,080 
I.U.). That’s a lot! Tomatoes 
also are good sources of vitamin 
C, phosphorus, calcium, and 
lycopene (which may prevent 
certain cancers). Fortunately, 
tomatoes are easy to grow, and 
we’re all accustomed to using 
them in everything from juice 
to salad, soups, pasta sauce, and 
pizza. If you grow more tomatoes 
than you can use, dry or can them 
for later.

 Garden lettuce, unfortunately, 
is not a good source of vitamins 
and minerals. Loose-leaf 
varieties test higher in vitamin A, 
but generally, store-bought, farm-
grown lettuce is a poor source of 
nutrients. Consider, instead, the 
humble lamb’s quarter (pictured 
above). It will probably grow 
in your garden even if you don’t 
plant it. Seeds can be purchased 
from some seed catalogs, but this 
is usually not necessary. Used 
raw in salad, 100 grams of lamb’s 
quarter (about a cup) contains 
about 80 mg. of vitamin C, 11,600 
I.U. of vitamin A, 72 mg. of 
phosphorus, 309 mg. of calcium, 
small amounts of thiamine, 
riboflavin, niacin, and iron. These 
figures are slightly lower when 
you cook the lamb’s quarter as a 
spinach-replacement, or in soups, 
egg dishes, or vegetable dishes.

 Since we’re talking about 
the garden “volunteers,” don’t 
overlook the dandelions, 
normally scorned and poisoned 
out of existence in most gardens, 
they are probably better for 
you than most of what you’re 
intentionally growing in the 
garden. An analysis of 100 
grams of dandelion greens by the 
U.S. Department of Agriculture 
shows 14,000 I.U. of vitamin A, 
35 mg. of vitamin C, 397 mg. of 
potassium, 66 mg. of phosphorus, 
187 mg. of calcium, and 36 mg. of 
magnesium. Dandelion greens 
are also the richest source of beta-
carotene, with 8.4 mg. per cup. By 
contrast, carrots -- considered an 
excellent source of beta-carotene 
-- contain 6.6 mg. per cup. Only 
young dandelion greens are good 
in salads, and the older, bitter 
leaves can be cooked like spinach 
or added to mixed-vegetable 

 Citrus trees can be called 
“vitamin trees,” since the fruits 
are not only a source of vitamin 
C, but a good source of most 
other vitamins and minerals, 
as well as the albuminoids and 

 If you have the space to grow 
a carob tree, or if one grows near 
you, be sure to take advantage of 
the long, brown leathery pods. 
One hundred grams of the edible 
portion of the carob pod (which 
is about a cup of the entire pod, 
minus the seeds) contains 352 
mg. of calcium. That makes carob 
one of the very richest non-meat 
calcium sources. Even when that 
same volume is compared to milk 
-- generally considered a good 
calcium source -- carob is nearly 
three times richer in calcium. 
Carob is also a good source of B 
vitamins. Though not a complete 
protein, it is said that this is the 
food that sustained John the 
Baptist in the desert for 40 days 
(hence the name, Saint John’s 
bread). You can simply eat the 
pods and spit out the seeds. Also, 
you can crack the pods, remove 
the seeds, and grind the pods into 
a flour which you add to bread 
and pasty products, or blend into 
liquids like rice or soy milk.

 These are just a few examples 
of how we can obtain many 
of our needed vitamins from 
plants growing all around us. 
One good source for nutritional 
information is Composition of 
Foods, published by the United 
States Department of Agriculture. 



 An international team led by Dutch astronomers has made a tantalizing discovery about 
the way pulsars emit radiation. The emission of X-rays and radio waves by these pulsating 
neutron stars is able to change dramatically in seconds, simultaneously, in a way that cannot 
be explained with current theory. The research results appeared in the journal Science on 
25 January.

 Pulsars are small spinning stars that are only about a dozen miles in diameter—the size of 
a small city—but which weigh as much as our Sun. These super-dense objects have a strong 
magnetic field that is approximately one million times stronger than the fields scientists can 
make in laboratories on Earth. The pulsar emits a beam of radiation. As the star spins—
typically several times per second—the radio beam sweeps repeatedly over Earth, and we 
detect short pulses of radiation, a bit like a lighthouse. Some pulsars emit radiation across 
the entire electromagnetic spectrum, including both X-ray and radio wavelengths.

 It has been known for some time that some radio pulsars flip their behavior between two 
(or even more) states, changing the pattern and intensity of their radio pulses. The moment 
of flip is both unpredictable and sudden (often within a single rotation period). 

 The scientists studied a particular pulsar called PSR B0943+10, one of the first pulsars 
discovered. The pulses from PSR B0943+10 change in form and brightness every few 
hours, and these changes happen within about a second. It is as if the pulsar has two distinct 
personalities. As PSR B0943+10 is one of the few pulsars also known to emit X-ray radiation, 
knowing how this pulsar behaved in X-rays during the ‘radio changes’ could provide new 
insight into the nature of the emission process.

 Since the source is a weak X-ray emitter, the team used the most sensitive X-ray telescope 
in operation, the ESA-funded XMM-Newton. The observations took place over six separate 
sessions of about six hours in duration. To identify the exact flips in the pulsar’s radio 
behavior the X-ray observations were tracked simultaneously with two of the most powerful 
radio telescopes in the world, GMRT and LOFAR. 

 The results were surprising. The X-rays did indeed change their behavior synchronously 
with the radio emission, as might have been expected. But in the state where the radio 
signal is strong and the pulses are clear, the X-rays were weak. And when the radio emission 
switched to weak the X-rays intensified. 

 This unexpected chameleon-like behavior of the radio pulsar PSR B0943+10 bolsters 
fundamental research into the physical processes which occur in the extreme conditions 
which occur in the magnetosphere of pulsars, 45 years after their discovery. 

 The discovery of the first pulsar makes for an interesting story. In 1967 Jocelyn Bell, a 
graduate student at Cambridge University, was analyzing data from the university’s radio 
telescope and came across radio signals that were faster (many pulses per second) and 
more regular than anything ever before observed. At first there was speculation that these 
might be signals from extraterrestrials (“Little Green Men”), but as she and her associates 
studied earlier theoretical papers they determined that these signals must come from rapidly 
spinning, super-dense collapsed stars—which had been theorized but never observed.

 In 1974, Antony Hewish, Bell’s thesis advisor, was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physics 
“for his decisive role in the discovery of pulsars” without Jocelyn Bell being named as a co-
recipient—even though Bell had been the first to observe the pulsar.

 You can contact Bob Eklund at:

This illustration shows a pulsar with glowing cones of radiation stemming from its magnetic poles - a state 
referred to as 'radio-bright' mode. Credit: ESA/ATG medialab