Mountain Views News     Logo: MVNews     Saturday, July 23, 2016

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Mountain Views-News Saturday, July 23, 2016 8 THE WORLD AROUND US Mountain Views-News Saturday, July 23, 2016 8 THE WORLD AROUND US 
Two astronomers—with the help of Twitter—
have uncovered the strongest evidence yet thatan enormous X-shaped structure made of starslies within the central bulge of the Milky WayGalaxy.

Previous computer models, observations ofother galaxies, and observations of our own galaxyhave suggested that the X-shaped structure existed.
But no one had observed it directly; and some 
astronomers argued that previous research thatpointed indirectly to the existence of the X couldbe explained in other ways.

“There was controversy about whether the 
X-shaped structure existed,” says Dustin Lang,
a Research Associate at the Dunlap Institutefor Astronomy & Astrophysics, University ofToronto, and co-author of the paper describingthe discovery. “But our paper gives a good view ofthe core of our own galaxy. I think it has providedpretty good evidence for the existence of theX-shaped structure.”

The results appear in the July issue of theAstronomical Journal. The lead author is Melissa 
Ness, a postdoctoral researcher at the Max PlanckInstitute for Astronomy in Heidelberg.

The Milky Way Galaxy is a barred spiral galaxy:
a disk-shaped collection of dust, gas and billions ofstars, 100,000 light-years in diameter. It is far froma simple disk structure, being comprised of twospiral arms, a bar-shaped feature that runs throughits centre, and a central bulge of stars. The centralbulge, like other barred galaxy’s bulges, resemblesa rectangular box or peanut when viewed -- as weview it -- from within the plane of the galaxy. TheX-shaped structure is an integral component of thebulge.

Astronomers think the bulge could have formedin two different ways: it may have formed when theMilky Way Galaxy merged with other galaxies; orit may have formed without the help of externalinfluences as an outgrowth of the bar, which itselfforms from the evolving galactic disk. Lang andNess’s finding supports the latter model whichpredicts the box- or peanut-shaped bulge and thegalactic X.

This latest, clearest view of the bulge emergedwhen Lang re-analyzed previously released datafrom the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer 

(WISE), a space telescope launched by NASA in2009. Before ending its initial mission in 2011,
WISE surveyed the entire sky in infrared—
imaging three-quarters of a billion galaxies, starsand asteroids. 

“The bulge is a key signature of formation of theMilky Way Galaxy,” says Ness. “If we understandthe bulge we will understand the key processes thathave formed and shaped our galaxy.”

“The shape of the bulge tells us about how it hasformed. We see the X-shape and boxy morphology 

so clearly in the WISE image and this demonstratesthat internal formation processes have been theones driving the bulge formation,” Ness adds.

It is also evidence that our galaxy did notexperience major merging events since the bulgeformed. If it had, interactions with other galaxieswould have disrupted its shape.

Lang’s analysis was originally intended to aidin his research in mapping the web of galaxiesbeyond the Milky Way. To help explore the mapshe’d developed from the WISE data, he created an 

interactive map-browsing website and tweeted animage of the entire sky.

“Ness saw the tweet and immediately recognizedthe importance of the X-shaped structure,” saysLang. “We arranged to meet at an upcomingconference we were both attending. The paper wasborn from that meeting. That’s the power of largesurveys and open science!” 

You can contact Bob Eklund at: b.eklund@ 



[Nyerges is the author of Guide to Wild Foods and FOR FIRE BUNDLES 
Useful Plants, How to Survive Anywhere, and other One of the most effective wilderness “punks” is madebooks. His schedule of outings is available from School by gathering the mugwort leaves that have dried andof Self-Reliance, P.O. Box 41834, Eagle Rock, CA browned on the stalk. Slide your hand along the lower90041 and can be viewed on-line at www.SchoolofSelf-stalk to gather the dried leaves and then roll them]a cigar. By lighting the end of this “cigar” and then

Mugwort is an aromatic plant with species found wrapping the entire cigar in larger fresh mugwortall over the world. It is perhaps one of the few herbs leaves, you can effectively carry fire over long distances.
widely steeped in lore and mythology. Mugwort This was the technique practiced by Southwestern(Artemisia douglasiana and other closely-related Indian tribes for transporting fire from camp to camp.
species) is a multiple use plant, having been used for It can still come to the aid of today’s campers wherefood, medicine, fire-starting, dreaming, and more. matches are scarce or unavailable. In fact, I have tested 

I have known people who ate the raw mugwort dozens of tinders using both natural and man-madeleaves in salad and added to sandwiches, in much the materials, and mugwort has consistently proven to besame way as you’d add a pickle or a piece of lettuce one of the best natural tinders. [Note: Survival Seedsto a sandwich. However, I have always found it too (Box 41-834, L.A., CA 90041) sells bags of mugwort forbitter for my taste to eat raw. But once simmered in tinder, for $7 a bag. ]
water and cooked like spinach, its appeal is greatly When we teach and practice the art of fire-makingincreased. If you’re really hungry and there’s nothing with the hand drill, or the bow-and-drill, we nearlyelse, this will be acceptable. always have a good supply of the mugwort leaves on

Southern California Indians gathered the mugwort hand. It is the ideal tinder to shape into a birdnest, andseeds and ground them into meal to make bread to drop your ember into it. By gently blowing on thisproducts. And in Japan, the dried and powdered ember, it slowly gets larger and larger. Dried grass ormugwort is often used to flavor and color rice cakes. pine needles are then added around the mugwort, andStill, the food value of mugwort is not its greatest one continues to blow until it bursts into flame. 

MEDICINE Sleeping on “pillows” of dried mugwort leaves is

As an infused tea, mugwort is used by herbalists said to induce wild, vivid dreams and visions of the 
to improve the appetite and digestion, and to relieve future. To test this, I placed several of the fresh leavesstomach pains and fevers. The dried herb is commonly around my pillow. Those nights, I had very colorfulsold in Mexican herb shops under the name “estafiate.” dreams, though they were not what I would describe

An infusion from the dried leaves is applied as “lucid” nor did I ever receive visions of the future. 
externally for inflammatory swellings. Bruises are Nevertheless, some enterprising folks have begun toreputed to heal quicker if bathed with a mugwort sell “dream pillows” which are small pillows stuffed 
infusion. As a bath additive, it’s used for tired legs with mugwort leaves. 
and feet. Plus, in the bath water, mugwort gives the 
bathroom a pleasant aroma! STIMULATION 

In areas where poison oak grows, it’s a very old Folklore from various parts of the world states that acustom to mush up the fresh leaves of mugwort and leaf of mugwort in the shoe will enable you to walk allrub the wet poultice over exposed portions of the body day without leg fatigue.
before entering poison oak areas in order to prevent Nathaniel Schleimer of Pasadena, California, a 
the rash. Some western Indians used the fresh leaves student of acupressure, pointed out to me that thereexternally as a cure for poison oak and wounds. may be some factual basis for this “folklore.” Schleimer

Before I immunized myself from poison oak, I have told me that there is an acupuncture point on theused the freshly crushed leaves of mugwort rubbed bottom of the foot which is said to “regulate fatigue.”
over newly-developing poison oak rash with good The mugwort leaves which have naturally dried on theresults. Aloe vera is the best treatment for poison oak plant are collected and used in a therapeutic techniquethat I have found, but you don’t usually find aloe in the called acupressure. These dried leaves, when rolled intowild. small balls or into a cigar-shaped cylinder, are called

“moxa.” A Chinese species is said to be the best, but allBEER species can be used in the following fashion, described

Mugwort gets its name from the English practice by J.C. Cerney in his book Acupressure --Acupunctureof putting a leaf of it in their mugs of beer to improve Without Needles: “On the outside of the lower leg,
the flavor. (“Wort” is an Old English word meaning below the level of the knee, is the head of the fibula. 
“herb.”) This is still practiced in London pubs. Just below and slightly in front of the head of the fibula

Mugwort is also used by home beer-brewers, such is what the Japanese refer to as sanri or S-36. This is anas Pascal Baudar in Southern California. The results important vitality-stimulating zone. It’s a point wheredepend on the recipe, ranging from a mead-like beer, weary Oriental foot travelers applied a burning ball ofto a very crisp, light beer. moxa and with energy restored, traveled on.” 


A Weekly Religion Column by Rev. James Snyder 


It was just another day and I was indulgingall over the floor. I stay out of the kitchen, heata carefree moment of complaining about theor no heat. 
weather. ”I can’t believe it’s so hot today,” I”If I remember correctly,” my wife said as shemuttered. I thought I was talking to myself butstared at me rather intently, ”a few months agoobviously, I had an were complaining about how cold it was.”

Have you ever said or did something notShe was right. It was not but a few months ago,
realizing somebody was watching you?I was complaining that it was so cold outside

Every time I am in a restaurant eating, Ithat I just could not bear it.
endeavor to remember there is an audience and ”You’re going to have to make up your mind.” 
try my very best not to spill the soup on my lap.That was a serious admonition from her. For her 
Although, I must admit that that kind of lapto tell me to make up my mind sends some very 
dance always gets a vigorous round of applausecontradictory messages to me. After all, she is 
from the audience. Don’t ask me how I know. forever making up my mind for me. She seems 

I thought in my own special way of thinkingto know exactly what I want at the restaurant and 
that I was alone only to find out the Graciousbefore I can get a word in edgewise or otherwise, 
Mistress of the Parsonage was within earshot ofshe has ordered for me. I’m not complaining. She 
my remarks. I must say she is rather remarkable.knows exactly what I want.
Those ”earshot moments” are quite extensive. I”Either,” she continued, ”it’s too hot or it’s 
will not go as far as to say that she can read mytoo cold. Now make up your mind.”
mind, although I think she can, but she seemsI smiled demurely in her direction andto know what I am thinking even before I gonodded in the affirmative. Not wanting tothrough the effort and labor of thinking.further the conversation I whispered very

I do not know why I even spend the energygently, ”Yes, dear.” It concluded our tête-à-tête.
thinking on my own. Even when I do think upLater on in the evening, we were watchinga thought of my own and go so far as to expresstelevision. It was the local news and specialit I am always challenged. The challenge is, doreport of the day had to do with the recordnot think that way. The challenger is my wife.heat wave across our country. ”It’s been a longLife would be so much easier, not to mention time,” the weatherman said, ”since we’ve seen 
less stressful, if I just would quit thinking mytemperatures this high. Boy, is it hot out there.”
own thoughts. It is when I am thinking myI glanced in her direction as covertly as possibleown thoughts that I get into trouble. Life wouldand noticed she was staring at me, just daringbe so much easier if I allowed someone else to me to say something.
think my thoughts for me. After all, isn’t thatThere is a time to say something and then 
why men get married? Why women get marriedsometimes something should not be said at all. I 
still baffles me. concealed my infectious grin as much as possible 

Getting back to my moment of complaining.knowing that someone was watching me. Under 
”I can’t believe,” I muttered, ”it’s so hot today.”my breath I whispered, “I can’t believe it’s so hot 
To which, my wife said, ”Don’t you know it’stoday.” After all, it is summer and it is supposed 
summer? And don’t you know that it’s supposedto be hot. I just believe that everybody has the 
to be hot during the summer?”right to complain about the weather. I also believe 

I did know that but it did not make the heat that some people have the right not to hear me 
any more bearable. Then she said somethingcomplain about the weather.
that rather confused me. I have been confused It is a well-noted mark of wisdom to know 
before. Confusion is a familiar territory to me.when to speak and when not to speak.
But this confusion was different. Solomon in the Old Testament had it right

”If,” my wife said rather sternly, ”you can’twhen he said, ”Even a fool, when he holdeth 
stand the heat get out of the kitchen.”his peace, is counted wise: and he that shutteth

What the kitchen had to do with it being hothis lips is esteemed a man of understanding”
outside is way beyond my pay scale. There was(Proverbs 17:28 KJV).
a brief moment when I almost threw caution to So, this is summer, but you did not hear itthe wind and asked my wife what she meant byfrom me. 
that comment. Boy, am I glad I didn’t.Rev. James L. Snyder is pastor of the Family

I make it a practice to stay as far away fromof God Fellowship Ocala, FL 34483 wherethe kitchen as possible, especially when my wifehe lives with the Gracious Mistress of the 
is present. There is something about a kitchenParsonage. Call him at 1-866-552-2543 or 
that makes me rather nervous to the point ofe-mail His web site isdropping her favorite cup and having it break 

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