Mountain Views News     Logo: MVNews     Saturday, August 15, 2015

MVNews this week:  Page 14

THE WORLD AROUND US Mountain Views News Saturday, August 15, 2015 
14 THE WORLD AROUND US Mountain Views News Saturday, August 15, 2015 
A team led by scientists from the University ofHawaii has developed a new approach to searchingfor life on other planets.

The team has measured various biologicalphotosynthetic pigments in the laboratory. Theyabsorb almost all solar light of specific colors in thevisible and convert it into chemical bonds to store 
energy. For example, chlorophyll pigments absorbblue to red light and reflect a small part of green inthe visible, as seen in green plants.

All infrared light is reflected, and this is employedin agriculture to monitor water content in crops.
Such biopigments are contained in plants, algae,
bacteria, and even in human skin (carotenoids) andeyes (rhodopsin), creating the colored beauty of ourworld. They can also help find life on the surfaces ofother planets.

The scientists have found that the part of visiblelight reflected by various plants with vibrant colorsoscillates in certain directions, while incident lightoscillates in all directions. Thanks to this peculiarity,
this reflected light can be detected remotely by usingpolarizing filters (similar to Polaroid sunglasses or3D movie goggles) when viewed at specific angles,
even if the star is millions of times brighter than theplanet. The team found that each biopigment has itsown colored footprint in such polarized light.

This technique could be instrumental in searchingfor life in the planetary system nearest to the Sun,
Alpha Centauri, with existing telescopes. There 
are three stars in this system. While scientists areinterested in finding life around all these stars, AlphaCentauri B, only 4.37 light-years from Earth, seemsoptimal for life searches with current telescopes.

In 2014, a small planet was discovered aroundAlpha Centauri B. Unfortunately, this exoplanet isten times closer to the star than Mercury is to theSun, so its surface is melting under the stellar heat,
and it probably has no atmosphere. At a distancewhere planets like Earth with liquid water on theirsurface could exist (the “habitable zone”), no planetshave been found as yet, but scientists are continuingto search for one. If such a planet is found, or evenbefore that, it is possible to search for photosyntheticbiosignatures in the Alpha Centauri B spectrum.

in a white. 

Using the proposed polarization technique, this task becomes even more feasible. 
ASTRONOMERS SOLVE VJ DAY PICTURE MYSTERY. Friday, August 14th, is the 70th anniversaryof VJ Day, which marked the end of World War II. That afternoon, as news spread and crowds filled thestreets, LIFE magazine photographer Alfred Eisenstaedt snapped one of the iconic photographs of the20th century: The Kiss, an image of a sailor in New York’s Times Square grabbing and kissing a woman
In the August issue of Sky & Telescope magazine, astronomy-history sleuth Don Olson and colleagueshave definitively solved a key mystery surrounding the photo: when was it taken? Their astronomicalanalysis of a shadow cast by the Sun settles it: the time was 5:51 p.m., ruling out a set of longstandingclaims about who the sailor and the woman might actually be.

Sky & Telescope has made public a PDF of its article—a successful mystery tale full of timely history.
It’s at:

You can contact Bob Eklund at:] 

Recently I was given the book “Va

Fa Sa: A Young Man’s Memoir” by

Hugo Cipriani. Cipriani died a few

years ago at age 100 in his home.

He and my father were childhoodbuddies growing up in small town Bedford, Ohio, and Iknew him and his family my whole life. 

“Hugo wrote a book?” I said with surprise when I washanded the book. “And what the heck does Va Fa Sa 
mean?” I asked. I promised to read the book, but I knewit would be boring, probably just the stuff that he andmy father would always talk about, reminiscing aboutthe Depression and the War and whatever it is that “oldpeople” talked about. How surprised I would be! 

“Va Fa Sa” was Cipriani’s coined saying, meaning “to go,
to do, to know.” It encapsulated his philosophy in life thatyou had to go somewhere and do something if you are everto learn anything. Just reading things is insufficient. HowI wish Hugo could be preaching to today’s dumbed-downYoutube generation. As he writes, “Nothing becomes realuntil it is experienced; even a proverb is no proverb tillyour own life has illustrated it.” 

“Va Fa Sa” is Cipriani’s accountof growing up in a small town,
living through the Deperession,
hitchhiking to California to 
go to school at UCLA, how heearned a living, all peppered withobservations about how to live a 
good and full life. The book endswhen he went into the service 
at the onset of WWII, and nosequel was ever written. “At 29,”
Cipriani writes, “I’m still a youngman,” and perhaps that’s how hewanted it. 

As I began reading the briskly-
written book, I admit that I waslooking for insights into myown father, who is mentionedfrequently when my father andthe author exchanged letters ordiscussed their futures. 

I was quickly drawn up into the

narrative taking place during the

Great Depression. Part of this 

was due to Cipriani’s incredible

recall of names, dates, classes,

street addresses, etc. Did he

take and keep notes of all these

details, I wondered? What I presumed would be a boring

telling of long, long ago turned out to be an insightful look

into life in the United States during the Depression, and

how one man’s upbeat attitude continually improved his


Cipriani describes the chaos and panic that set in, withunemployment at 25%, and how his older brother earned$16 a week at the Cleveland Chain Company. Yet, povertywas widespread, and there were no federal welfare 

“And yet,” explains Cipriani, “there was no increase incriminality or violence. I know there was a special kind ofglue that held us together. There was a sense of belongingto one family, to one neighborhood, and to our hometown.
There was a sense of duty and discipline. It was this bond 

“Va Fa Sa: A Young Man’s Memoir 

Article by Christopher Nyerges 

[Nyerges is the author of “How to Survive Anywhere,” “Guide to Wild Foods,” and other books. Forinformation about his books and classes, contact him at Box 41834, Eagle Rock, CA 90041, or www.

that brought the mutual respect to each – in our family, inour neighborhood, and in our community. When you areall in the same boat, you don’t want it to sink.” 

Cipriani goes on to describe Roosevelt’s March 4, 1932inaugural address where he stated, “Let me assert my firmbelief that the only thing we have to fear – is fear itself. Our 
greatest primary task is to put people to work. There is nounsolvable problem if we face it wisely and courageously.
There are many ways to achieve our goal, but if we onlythink and talk about it, we won’t get there. We must act, 
and act quickly.”

 Cipriani describes that message as being a tonic to hisspirit. “I loved his words, caressed his ideas, and agreedwholeheartedly. He would be my new hero. And thephilosophy of politics would become my new passion.” 

Indeed, FDR seemed to be telling the nation to followCipriani’s motto: Va Fa Sa. 

Cipriani was the first scout from his small town tohitchhike across country and see what the promised landof Hollywood was all about. And work he did. Cipriani

worked at every job he could,
and did good. He describes 
every dollar he earned, andthe reader begins to realize 
that most youth today haveno sense of what it means to 
earn a dollar wholly on your 
own, with no one and no 
government propping you up. 

One day he saw the “Prophet”
book in a Hollywood 
bookstore. While reading thechapter on “work,” Ciprianirealized why he felt so much joyat coffeeshop job. He realizedthat he was working with love.
Quoting “The Prophet,” he 
writes that “I knew now that 
it was true – All work is emptysave when there is love.” 

Cipriani did borrow moneyfrom time to time, and he 
tells us how he paid back eachdollar. He shares his delightat a 40 cent all-you-can-eat 
restaurant, and how he onlyneeded a dollar a day whenhitchhiking across the UnitedStates. 

While working at the coffeeshop, the waitresses gave hima surprise birthday card which everyone signed. On thecard, a Sidney Smith quote was written: “It is noble to seektruth, and it is beautiful to find it. It is the ancient feelingof the human heart that knowledge is better than riches. Itis deeply and sacredly true.” 

It is this deep knowledge that Hugo Cipriani managedto share in his memoir of his first 29 years. Through hisdetailed telling of the most formative years of his life, he’smanaged to capture an essential aspect of Americana, away of thinking, and a way of being, which seems all butlost today. 

Though the book is no longer in print, “Va Fa Sa: AYoung Man’s Memoir” by Hugo Cipriani can be found 


A Weekly Religion Column by Rev. James Snyder 


All things being equal, and they are not, certain words gets under my skin. I suppose I could be calleda wordsmith because I enjoy words and like finding out what they mean and how they can be usedeffectively.

As a young person my favorite book always within reach, was Roget’s Thesaurus. I always wanted tothe right word, and I was willing to search for it. Some do not believe in synonyms, you have to find theright word.

A love for words is one thing, but what I cannot stand is someone with a dirty and foul mouthspewing out words at random. I hate that with a passion.

Recently, I was away for a convention and when I retired to my room the first night, I settled downwith a bowl of ice cream to watch a movie. A movie I had seen on television several times before was 
playing. This, however, was the uncensored movie edition, I did not quite understand that but I soonhad my ears pricked.

As I watched this movie, I notice most of the characters were foul mouthed in every conversation.
Every other word was a curse word. This is the reason I stay out of theaters. If you have to use foullanguage, you are 3° short of intelligence.

Not just foul language that provoked me, but those ”clothing challenged” scenes. Why can’tHollywood, when producing their movies, include in the budget enough money to buy properclothing? If I want to see bare skin, I will go take a shower. After watching a few moments of this movie,
I needed a shower. 

Between these two things, I ceased watching this film, if you can degrade filmology by calling this afilm. 

Profanity is not an acceptable part of my life, and I do not appreciate others exercising their right toprofanity while in my company. A little respect, please!

Last week, for instance, I made somebody mad. I forget exactly what I did or did not do to provokesuch irate anger toward me. After all, I am a great person when you get to know me. As this personbegan his rant toward me, I noticed he began using words and phrases that really made little sense anddid not fit into the sentences he was using.

He insisted I do something to myself anatomically impossible. Perhaps he did not pay attention inanatomy class in high school.

When I understood what he was saying, I said to him, ”How do you expect me to do what you’retelling me to do?”

Looking at me rather inquisitively, he said, ”What?”

So I repeated it. ”How can I do what you said for me to do which is anatomically impossible for meto do? Don’t you know anything about anatomy?”


Not only was his language in great deficiency but his hearing was not quite up to par either. Notunderstanding what I was saying, he got even angrier and insisted again that I do that which isanatomically impossible.

Then he took his rant in another direction, which caused me some real concern. So, in the middle of 
his rage, I held up my hands and said, ”Wait. I believe you got everything wrong here.”

Once more, he stammered out, ”What?” 

”I’m not who you think I am.”

He stared at me with a confused look on his face and mumbled something I could not understandso I thought this would be an opportunity for me to explain the situation to him.

”Despite my face,” I said as calmly as the situation warranted, ”I am not a dog and neither is mymother. What in the world gave you the impression that my mother was a dog? You don’t even knowmy mother.”

”What?” he said getting red in the face, ”I wasn’t talking about your mother!”

”You said quite arrogantly,” I said staring him right in the face, ”that I was a son of a female dog andI’m not.” 

”Say what?” was all he could utter.

Being confused and not knowing what to do next, he went in another direction and suggestedspecific travel plans for me in an adamant way that I go to that familiar place, which is really, really hot.

The more I talked with him, or should I say, at him, the more confused he got. I felt sorry for this guywhose vocabulary was limited to greasy slang words that really had no meaning.

I am afraid we have a serious problem, which I call the Irritable Foul-Mouth Syndrome. Let meemphasize the word ”irritable.” Nothing is more irritable than somebody trying to get in my face usingfoul language. Believe me, foul language is for the birds.

For me, the only way to get away from all this irritable foul language syndrome is to go to the Bible.
Solomon, the wisest man who ever lived, said, ”The heart of the wise teacheth his mouth, and addeth 
learning to his lips. Pleasant words are as an honeycomb, sweet to the soul, and health to the bones”
(Proverbs 16:23-24).

Jesus made it quite clear when he said, ”Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but thatwhich cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man” (Matthew 15:11).

What comes out of my mouth reveals my heart and the kind of person I really am.

Rev. James L. Snyder is pastor of the Family of God Fellowship, PO Box 831313, Ocala, FL 34483.
He lives with his wife, Martha, in Silver Springs Shores. Call him at 1-866-552-2543 or or website