Mountain Views News     Logo: MVNews     Saturday, July 6, 2013

MVNews this week:  Page A:9



Mountain Views-News Saturday, July 6, 2013 

 Very little was known about autism back 
in the 1950’s when Temple Grandin was 
growing up. Grandin didn’t speak until she 
was four years old, when she was diagnosed 
with the then rather mysterious condition, 
but unlike many autistic children at that 
time, she benefited from the loving structure 
provided by her mother and an excellent 
team of school administrators which allowed 
her to develop and function to her best 
ability. Autistic children have varying degrees 
of difficulty communicating and socializing, 
and they can lock into repetitive behaviors 
that are often misinterpreted as other forms 
of mental disability. The fact is, many autistic 
children are quite gifted. The problem is 
that they struggle with developing and 
communicating the remarkable skills they 
possess in a way that most ordinary people 
can understand.

 As a teenager, Grandin visited her aunt’s 
cattle ranch in Arizona, where she discovered 
that she has a very unique gift; the ability to 
connect mentally with animals. The reason 
for Grandin’s special gift stems from the 
fact that because she is autistic, she shares 
the animals’ ability to think through visual 
associations, unlike non-autistic individuals 
who think more in terms of verbal language. 
The more time Grandin spent with the 
horses and cows at her aunt’s ranch, the more 
connected she became with them, and as 
she grew into adulthood she set out to apply 
her unique thinking abilities to making a 
difference for the better on behalf of the 

 When it came time to select a college to 
attend, Grandin made it clear that she wanted 
to go where she could learn more about how 
beef cattle are raised and slaughtered. Based 
on what she had already learned about the 
beef industry while visiting her aunt’s ranch, 
Grandin was determined to find more 
humane ways to go about the slaughtering 
process. She received her bachelor’s degree 
at Franklin Pierce College then went on to 
attend Arizona State University where she 
earned her master’s degree and as if that 
wasn’t amazing enough, she continued her 
academic career at the University of Illinois 
at Urbana where, in 1989 she earned a PhD in 
Animal Science. The public became aware of 
Temple Grandin in 1995, when neurologist, 
Oliver Sacks wrote about her in his book 
entitled Anthropologist on Mars. 

 Dr. Grandin has played a key part in 
formulating the beef industry’s guidelines 
for more humane animal handling as well as 
in training a new generation of agricultural 
professionals in animal behavior theory. 
In 1999 she was hired by McDonald’s as a 
consultant to audit the meatpacking plants 
that supplied their fast-food chain, and 
she is now a renowned figure who is well 
respected for her understanding of how 
animals think and feel, and she shares her 
knowledge by speaking at symposiums on 
animal husbandry as well as at conventions 
and seminars on autism. Now a professor at 
Colorado State University, Grandin is also 
sharing her unique knowledge and gifts 
with the graduate students she teaches. She 
has become a renowned master of animal 
behavior and helps others understand the 
importance of treating animals with the 
respect they deserve.

 In 2010, Director Mike Jackson got together 
with Temple Grandin and writers, Margaret 
Scariano, Christopher Monger and Merritt 
Johnson to produce the made-for-televsion 
biopic, Temple Grandin, a true story about the 
life an autistic woman who became one of the 
world’s top scientists in the humane livestock 
handling industry. Grandin’s character in the 
film is performed by Claire Danes who did 
a remarkable job playing the role. As I read 
about Temple Grandin in preparation for 
this article, she became a hero in my mind. 
I imagine she would not consider herself 
to be a hero at all, as she seems to be a very 
humble individual who would probably say 
she simply did what came natural for her. 
The fact is, Temple Grandin managed to 
overcome the somewhat insurmountable 
obstacles of autism in order to bring a new 
mind set to an industry that may otherwise 
have remained in a rut of inhumane animal 
handling practices and to me, that makes her 
a true hero!

Sources: 1) Seeing in Pictures, article 
by Richard Deitsch, Costco Connection 
magazine; 2) - synopsis on 
Temple Grandin, the movie.



BRUTUS: #A4598986 

Happy Tails

by Chris Leclerc

Meet an adorably sweet puppy, 
Brutus (A4598986). Brutus is a 
magnificent four-month old Pit 
Bull /Mastiff mix puppy who 
was brought to the Baldwin Park 
Animal Care Center on June 
26th. Currently weighing forty-
one pounds, Brutus is likely to 
grow to be eighty-five pounds as 
an adult dog. Brutus is a blank 
slate as far as training, but he 
is an attentive, eager- to-please 
puppy and we expect him to be 
easily trained. Because of his size 
and energy, he would fit best in a 
home with older children. So far, 
he has wanted to play with every 
other dog he has encountered in the shelter. Brutus will make 
a fabulous indoor pet for an active family living in a private 
home. To see a video of Brutus, please visit the following link:

To meet Brutus in person, please see him at the Baldwin Park 
Shelter, located at 4275 N. Elton, Baldwin Park, CA 91706 
(Phone: 626-430-2378 or 626-962-3577). He is currently 
available now. For any inquiries about Brutus, please reference 
his animal ID number: A4598986. The shelter is open seven 
days a week, 12 pm-7 pm Monday-Thursday and 10am-5pm 
Friday-Sunday. This is a high-intake shelter with a great need 
for adoptions. For more information about Brutus or the 
adoption process, contact United Hope for Animals Volunteer 
Adoption Coordinator Samantha at Samantha@hope4animals.
org. To learn more about United Hope for Animals’ partnership 
with the Baldwin Park Shelter through its Shelter Support 
Program, as well as the many dogs of all breeds, ages, and 
sizes available for adoption in local shelters, visit http://www.



Remember our ninth planet, little Pluto, which was kicked out of the Planetary Club not long 
ago and relegated to “Dwarf Planet” status? It’s been found to have no less than five moons, 
and the two most recently discovered ones—previously known as P4 and P5—have now been 
given official names.

The International Astronomical Union (IAU), which is responsible for naming new sky 
discoveries, has officially recognized the names Kerberos and Styx for the fourth and fifth 
moons of Pluto respectively. These names were suggested by voters in a recently held popular 

The new moons were discovered in 2011 and 2012 during observations of the Pluto system 
made with the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope Wide Field Camera 3, and increasing the 
number of known Pluto moons to five. Kerberos lies between the orbits of Nix and Hydra, two 
bigger moons discovered by Hubble in 2005, and Styx lies between Charon, the innermost 
and biggest moon, and Nix. Both have circular orbits assumed to be in the plane of the other 
satellites in the system. Kerberos has an estimated diameter of 13 to 34 kilometers, and Styx 
is thought to be irregular in shape and is 10 to 25 kilometers across.

The IAU acts as the arbiter of the naming process of celestial bodies, and is advised and 
supported by astronomers active in different fields. On discovery, astronomical objects receive 
unambiguous and official catalogue designations. When common names are assigned, the 
IAU rules ensure that the names work across different languages and cultures in order to 
support collaborative worldwide research and avoid confusion.

After the discovery, the leader of the research team, Mark Showalter (SETI Institute), decided 
to call for a public vote to suggest names for the two objects. To be consistent with the names 
of the other Pluto satellites, the names had to be picked from classical mythology, in particular 
with reference to the underworld—the realm where the souls of the deceased were thought to 
go in the afterlife. The contest concluded with the proposed names Vulcan, Cerberus and Styx 
ranking first, second and third respectively. Showalter submitted Vulcan and Cerberus to the 
IAU where the Working Group for Planetary System Nomenclature discussed the names for 

However, the name Vulcan had already been used for a hypothetical planet thought to 
exist between Mercury and the Sun. Although this planet was found not to exist, the term 
“vulcanoid” remains attached to any asteroid with an orbit inside that of Mercury, and the 
name Vulcan could not be accepted for one of Pluto’s satellites (also, Vulcan does not fit into 
the underworld mythology scheme). Instead, the third most popular name was chosen—
Styx, the name of the goddess who ruled over the underworld river, also called the Styx.

After a final deliberation, the IAU agreed to change Cerberus to Kerberos—the Greek 
spelling of the word—to avoid confusion with an asteroid called 1865 Cerberus. According 
to mythology, Cerberus, or Kerberos in Greek, was a many-headed dog that guarded the 
entrance to the underworld.

You can contact Bob Eklund at: