Mountain Views News     Logo: MVNews     Saturday, September 24, 2016

MVNews this week:  Page A:10



Mountain Views-News Saturday, September 24, 2016 


Have you ever wondered what piece of cosmic 
debris is whizzing past the Earth right now? Do 
you crave up-to-the-minute information about 
asteroids large and small? Well you’re in luck 
because today you can subscribe to a new service: 
the Daily Minor Planet.

 Developed through a partnership between 
scientists at the Minor Planet Center and volunteers 
from the Oracle Corporation, the Daily Minor 
Planet will deliver reports on the latest asteroid 
happenings straight to your inbox.

 “Most people don’t realize how common 
asteroid flybys are,” said Matt Holman, director 
of the Minor Planet Center and astronomer at the 
Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics 
(CfA). “We want the Daily Minor Planet to educate 
readers in an entertaining way, so the next time 
they see a doom-and-gloom asteroid headline, 
they’ll know where to go to find the facts.”

 The Daily Minor Planet’s name cleverly 
combines the title of the fictional newspaper home 
of Superman’s Clark Kent, the Daily Planet, with 
the historical name of asteroids, or minor planets. 
In a nod to the real-life newspaper world, it will 
be available in two HTML formats: classic and 

 Almost every day, a known asteroid passes within 
a few million miles of Earth. On those dates, the 
Daily Minor Planet will list the flyby asteroid along 
with the time and distance of its closest approach. On 
days without a cosmic flyby, the report will feature a 
newly discovered asteroid. It will also highlight an 
article from the popular press.

 The Daily Minor Planet continues a 
collaboration that began with Asteroid Explorers, 
a website designed to increase public awareness of 
asteroids and their impact and risks to the world. 
That website’s interactive tools allow visitors to 
investigate questions like “Which asteroids have 
the highest risk of impacting Earth?” and “Which 
asteroids are easiest to travel to?”

 “I want to thank the Oracle volunteer team 
and the others for their excellent work on the 
Daily Minor Planet and the Asteroid Explorer,” 
said Victoria Friedensen, the Planetary Defense 
Program Executive for the Asteroid Grand 
Challenge at the NASA Planetary Defense 
Coordination Office. “These are two excellent 
examples of how government, academia, and the 
private sector can work together to improve our 
defense from an impact on Earth.”

 Smithsonian astronomer J. L. Galache served as 
project lead on both the Daily Minor Planet and 
Asteroid Explorers. His colleague at the Minor 
Planet Center, Michael Rudenko (CfA), played 
a key role in designing and implementing both 

 For the Daily Minor Planet, the Oracle team 
focused on taking the Minor Planet Center’s 
complex data sets and creating intuitive 
visualization tools.

 “Humans are visual creatures. And although our 
target audience is everyone, we found that even the 
experts can understand the data better if it’s well 
visualized,” said DJ Ursal, senior director for the 
Oracle User Experience Organization.

 “Our measure of success is community impact,” 
Ursal added. “It’s all about community and 
participation, cross-organizationally at Oracle and 
out in the wider world.”

 Jeremy Ashely, Oracle Group Vice President, 
agreed and pointed out that the relationship 
between Oracle and the Minor Planet Center has 
been mutually beneficial.

 “A project like this gets people to stretch their 
minds,” Ashely said. “It’s easy to get into a rut, 
but when you gather different people together and 
they bring different perspectives, new ideas start to 
emerge. That’s the definition of innovation.”

 To subscribe to the Daily Minor Planet, go to

 You can contact Bob Eklund at: b.eklund@



A Weekly Religion Column by Rev. James Snyder





Recently, and by that I mean within the last month, 
my cell phone has been ringing out of my shirt 
pocket. It is rather frustrating because I rarely give 
my number to anybody. But there it goes, ringing 
and ringing and ringing.

 Usually the calls are for political polls of which I 
am not the least bit interested. If they want to know 
whom I am voting for they are going to have to come 
up with a little bit of coin for me. Why should I give 
them information they are going to sell to someone 
else? We all know politics goes to the highest bidder.

 The only difference between a pollster and a 
polecat is… I’m not sure there is any.

 Then, there are those called Robo calls. I still do 
not understand what in the world they are. The 
phone rings and there is nobody on the other end. I 
can say “Hello” 100 times and still nobody answers. 
If I ever find out who this Robo is, I will be tempted 
to give them a piece of my mind.

 Does everybody have my cell phone 
number? Most of the time I cannot 
remember what my number is and I have to look at 
my phone.

 Then I started getting phone calls the other week 
concerning furthering my education.

 “I understand,” they always begin which makes 
me a little suspicious, “that you are interested in 
furthering your education.”

 Well, I try to learn something every day if that is 
what they mean. But it’s not what they mean.

“From your recent application on the website,” they 
say is if they know exactly what they are talking 
about, “you have indicated that you are interested in 
our university.” Then they pause to catch their breath 
I guess, “What are you interested in pursuing?”

 The first dozen calls I explained to them that 
there must be a mistake, I was not on their website 
and I am not interested in anything that they are 

 From a practical standpoint, you would think that 
would settle it. But oh no. These people have a script 
and they stick to their script.

 “So what is the interest of your further education?”

 It must be the Pennsylvania Dutch in me or 
something because I can only take this kind of thing 
for so long. Then, the real me oozes out of my system. 
Suddenly I had an idea.

 It takes a lot for me to get an idea and these calls 
were pushing me to my limit. And so I came up with 
a brilliant idea. At least I thought it was brilliant.

 The next one that called I said, “Yes, I am interested 
in furthering my education.”

 “Wonderful,” they said reading from their script, 
“what area of study are you interested in?”

Now I had them eating out of my hand, and I have 
not washed my hands all day.

 “I would like to pursue a course,” I said as seriously 
as I possibly could manage, “in Apple-fritterology.” 
Of course, I had never heard of such a thing, but who 
knows what’s out there?

 There was a slight pause on the other end of the 
phone and finally the person said, “What did you 

 “I would like to pursue a course in 

 “Would you mind,” the other end of the phone 
muttered, “spelling that for me?”


 “I’m not sure we have a class for that. I’ve never 
heard of that before.”

 At that point, I knew I have them. “That is what I 
am interested in and that is what I want to sign up 
for how can I go about that?”

 “Sir,” and I could tell this point they were off 
script, “would you explain to me what that is? I’ve 
never heard that before.”

 “It is the study of Apple fritters and their impact in 
modern-day psychosomatic society.”

 Following that, there was a distinctive “click” as 
the other end of the phone hung up abruptly.

After that telephone conversation, I got to thinking 
about it. That would be a wonderful course of study. 
I plan to do some adequate research on the subject of 
which will consist of eating Apple fritters. I plan to 
be an Apple-fritterologist.

 I am sure I will be the first of its kind and I should 
be planning and preparing a course of study on 
this tremendous subject. After all, who wouldn’t be 
interested in such a study?

 Since then I have received several other calls 
asking about my interest in furthering my education. 
Now, I am reading from my script and confusing the 
person on the other end of the phone. I cannot wait 
for the next phone call to come in. I am having a 
wonderful time. For every phone call that comes in, 
I eat two Apple fritters.

If I never had received any of these phone calls, I 
never would have come up with such a wonderful 
plan. So why should I complain about my cell phone 
ringing out of my shirt pocket? For every frustrating 
experience in life, there is a shiny rainbow littered 
with Apple fritters.

 I was reminded what the old preacher said, 
“Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with 
thy might; for there is no work, nor device, nor 
knowledge, nor wisdom, in the grave, whither thou 
goest” (Ecclesiastes 9:10).

 One of the joys of life when somebody is 
frustrating you is to return the favor.

 Dr. James L. Snyder is pastor of the Family 
of God Fellowship, Ocala, FL 34483, where he 
lives with his wife. Call him at 1-866-552-2543 or 
e-mail His web site is www.

[Nyerges is the author of “Extreme Simplicity,” 
“How to Survive Anywhere,” and other books. 
He can be reached at www.SchoolofSelf-]


 The following is a section of a book-in-
progress entitled “Integral Health.”


Joseph Nemeth of Fort Collins, Colorado, 
made some noteworthy observations in the 
September 1989 Mensa Bulletin (Mensa is 
the international high IQ society). He writes, 
“Occasionally, we need to be reminded how 
very peculiar and unbalanced our mainstream 
concept of medicine is. First, we are all mortal 
and will die regardless of the efforts of any 
practitioner of any brand of medicine. Second, 
we forget that no physician has ever healed 
anyone -- the physician merely stabilizes the 
body (or mind) in a crisis, allowing the body 
(or mind) to heal itself. Because we hold the 
physician responsible for the healing, we split 
physicians into two camps -- the real doctors 
and the quacks -- and identify the former 
with medical conservatism and the latter 
with anything else. This leads to comments 
like `raising false hopes’ -- in spite of the fact 
that all hopes are false in the long term, while 
in the short term hope itself may be the most 
important factor in healing.

 “Spontaneous remission is a well-
documented category of healing which baffles 
physicians. If there are any reproducible 
factors associated with spontaneous remission, 
they appear to lie in the areas of faith healing, 
prayer, laying-on of hands, meditation, and 
other sources of `false hope.’ Who is going 
to perform the rigorous studies to test these 
instances, if not parapsychologists? How 
many conservative physicians or medical 
researchers are going to put their reputation 
and future livelihood on the line by really 
studying this `crank medicine=?”

 People who are experiencing severe grief 
need a good friend more than they need 
pills. A study done by Mount Sinai School of 
Medicine in New York showed that men whose 
wives had died experience a significant decline 
in the activity of lymphocytes, white blood 
cells involved in the body’s disease-fighting 
system. An estimated 700,000 Americans 
over 50 lose their spouses each year, and 
about 7,000 deaths a year are attributed to 
bereavement. Know someone whose spouse 
has recently died? Call them every day for a 
week or a month or longer and let them know 
someone still cares. 



Immunoglobulin-A (IgA) is our immune 
system’s first line of defense against upper 
respiratory infections. IgA works by killing 
many viruses. Psychologist David McClelland 
and colleagues spent several months studying 
the responses of Harvard students after 
viewing such scenes as Mother Theresa 
of Calcutta working among India’s poor. 
McClelland measured a sharp increase in the 
IgA content of the saliva of the students who 
had just viewed the films.

McClelland also discovered that the “healers” 
who cheer up people and make them feel 
better about themselves invariably raise the 
IgA level of the patients. This, according to 
McClelland, is one factor that contributes to 
the healing that takes place.


 A related factor is the inclusion of 
“uplifting” music in our daily lives. In 
general, music with a regular rhythm and 
tempo (as opposed to spacey New Age music) 
is best. We have found Bach’s well-tempered 
clavichord, and Mendelssohn’s Spinning Song 
very integrating to the nervous system.



 Occasionally, a student will ask us, “Aren’t 
you worried about getting poison oak?” They 
may also ask if we’re worried about tics, 
snakes, or any of the other things we could 
encounter in the outdoors. I respond that, no, 
I am not worried, since worry is bad for the 
heart and is known to actually increase the 
body’s cholesterol level, thicken the arteries, 
and increase the blood pressure. The point 
wasn’t to be flip, since next I tell the students 
how to deal with poison oak, tics, whatever. 
The point is to not worry.

 Worry, hate, anxiety, fear -- these and other 
negative emotions are bad for our health. 
Though this is a vast subject upon which 
many books have been written, the emotion 
of hate causes (among other things) excess 
hydrochloric acid to secrete into the stomach, 
and the emotion of fear causes (among other 
things) an excess flow of andrenalin which 
weakens the kidneys.

 Are there viable alternatives to fear, to hate, 
to worry? Yes, definitely. But you must first 
CHOOSE to abandon hostility. Try doing 
two “good” things for every “bad” thing that 
enters your life. And should you find yourself 
entertaining destructive thoughts about 
another person, immediately say to yourself, 
“regardless whether that thought about so-
and-so is true, he or she has these outstanding 
traits” and then remind yourself of those good 

 We must emphasize that we are not referring to 
some sort of “positive thinking” where we affirm 
things to be so which are not so; rather, we’re 
talking about retraining our brain so we don’t 
continue to allow our own thoughts and emotions 
to result in our own sickness and disease.

We’d like to hear from you! 

What’s on YOUR Mind?

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