Mountain Views News, Sierra Madre Edition [Pasadena] Saturday, January 7, 2017

MVNews this week:  Page A:9



Mountain Views-News Saturday, January 7, 2017


One of the rare and brief bursts of cosmic radio waves that 
have puzzled astronomers since they were first detected 
nearly 10 years ago has finally been tied to a source: an 
older dwarf galaxy more than 3 billion light-years from 

 Fast radio bursts, which flash for just a few milliseconds, 
created a stir among astronomers because they seemed to 
be coming from outside our galaxy, which means they 
would have to be very powerful to be seen from Earth, 
and because none of those first observed were ever seen 

 A repeating burst was discovered in 2012, however, 
providing an opportunity for a team of researchers to 
repeatedly monitor its area of the sky with the Karl Jansky 
Very Large Array in New Mexico and the Arecibo radio 
dish in Puerto Rico, in hopes of pinpointing its location.

 Thanks to the development of high-speed data 
recording and real-time data analysis software by a 
University of California, Berkeley, astronomer, the VLA 
last year detected a total of nine bursts over a period 
of a month, sufficient to locate it within a tenth of an 
arcsecond. Subsequently, larger European and American 
radio interferometer arrays pinpointed it to within one-
hundredth of an arcsecond, within a region about 100 
light-years in diameter.

 Deep imaging of that region by the Gemini North 
Telescope in Hawaii turned up an optically faint dwarf 
galaxy that the VLA subsequently discovered also 
continuously emits low-level radio waves, typical of a 
galaxy with an active nucleus perhaps indicative of a 
central supermassive black hole. The galaxy has a low 
abundance of elements other than hydrogen and helium, 
suggestive of a galaxy that formed during the universe’s 
middle age.

 The origin of a fast radio burst in this type of dwarf 
galaxy suggests a connection to other energetic events that 
occur in similar dwarf galaxies, said co-author and UC 
Berkeley astronomer Casey Law, who led development 
of the data-acquisition system and created the analysis 
software to search for rapid, one-off bursts.

 Extremely bright exploding stars, called superluminous 
supernovae, and long gamma ray bursts also occur in this 
type of galaxy, he noted, and both are hypothesized to 
be associated with massive, highly magnetic and rapidly 
rotating neutron stars called magnetars. Neutron stars are 
dense, compact objects created in supernova explosions, 
seen mostly as pulsars, because they emit periodic radio 
pulses as they spin.

 “All these threads point to the idea that in this 
environment, something generates these magnetars,” Law 
said. “It could be created by a superluminous supernova 
or a long gamma-ray burst, and then later on, as it evolves 
and its rotation slows down a bit, it produces these 
fast radio bursts as well as continuous radio emission 
powered by that spin-down. Later on in life, it looks like 
the magnetars we see in our galaxy, which have extremely 
strong magnetic fields but rotate more like ordinary 

 In that interpretation, he said, fast radio bursts are like 
the tantrums of a toddler.

 This is only one theory, however. There are many 
others, though the new data rule out several suggested 
explanations for the source of these bursts.

 “We are the first to show that this is a cosmological 
phenomenon. It’s not something in our backyard. And we 
are the first to see where this thing is happening, in this 
little galaxy, which I think is a surprise,” Law said. “Now 
our objective is to figure out why that happens.”

 You can contact Bob Eklund at: b.eklund@



A Weekly Religion Column by Rev. James Snyder



New Year's Day was filled 
with lots of excitement, 
plenty of grandchildren 
running around and enough food on the table to 
eliminate world hunger. Actually, it did eliminate 
my ravishing hunger, at least for the day.

 Both the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage and 
Yours Truly simultaneously signed a deep sigh. My 
wife sat in her chair thinking and I, reclining in 
my chair musing. Believe me, we both had a lot to 
think about and muse over.

 The difference between thinking and musing 
is quite profound. Thinking requires a lot of hard 
work while musing is closely related to amusing, 
although I am not quite sure about the connection. 
All I know is it takes less energy to muse than it 
does to think and I'm all for saving energy.

 I had just gotten into a rather delightful muse 
when my wife made a very startling announcement.

 "Well," she said most thoughtfully, "I guess this is 
the start of a brand-new year."

 I was too deep into my muse to do more than 
grunt affirmatively.

 Then I began to think, which sapped me of a lot 
of energy at the time. Although my wife was not 
wrong in her observation (she is never wrong about 
anything) she was not exactly right. However, 
being the man of the house, not to mention not 
having enough energy to put up a good front, I did 
not call her on it. But I thought on it some more.

 Everybody says this is a new year that has never 
been lived before. And I would like to challenge 
that kind of thinking. I have an eerie feeling that I 
have been here before.

 I am not sure if my muse got mixed up with my 
thinking but at the end of the exercise, I came to 
several startling conclusions. The biggest conclusion 
is there is nothing new about the New Year.

 Do not take my word for it, do some thinking 
on your own. Okay, it's a little too early in the year 
to do heavy thinking so maybe some light musing 
might be more in order.

 If I remember correctly, and I must check last 
year's calendar, but wasn't it January last year at this 
time? In fact, I think for the past couple thousand 
years there has always been a January. Nothing 
new about January. In my lifetime, I have seen 65 
Januarys. At the time, everybody said it was new. 
What I want to know is, when does the newness 
wear off? When is somebody going to stand up and 
honestly say, "Welcome to another old year."

 Every time I have a birthday, people tell me I 
am a year older, but when another January comes 
around people try to tell me it is new. I think this 
year I am going to insist on my birthday that people 
tell me I am getting newer and not older.

 Then, just as my muse was catching a second 
wind, I thought of some other inconsistencies 
about this so-called New Year hoax.

 If I remember correctly, last January there 
were seven days in a week; Monday, Tuesday, 
Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and 
Sunday. What I find rather strange is this new 
January has the same old days of the week. This is 
rather curious to me. Somebody is trying to sell me 
some old horse medicine for tea.

 Now, if the year 2017 is supposed to be a new 
year why does it carry over the same old luggage of 
the old year? I think I smell a conspiracy here.

 For example, if you went to buy a brand-new 2017 
car, you opened the door, the hood and the trunk 
and everything was from a 2016 car, wouldn't you 
feel a little bit cheated? I know I would.

 Not only does this so-called new January have 
the same days of the week, and you are not going to 
believe this one, it also carries the same numbers of 
the days. And, these numbers are still in the same 
order as it did in January 2016.

 I believe there should be a Congressional 
investigation into this rather serious hoax being 
played on the American people. After all, if 
someone promises something to be new, and 
brand-new at that, it should be downright new.

 I think I go along with Solomon, the wisest man 
in the world, who said, "The thing that hath been, 
it is that which shall be; and that which is done is 
that which shall be done: and there is no new thing 
under the sun" (Ecclesiastes 1:9 KJV).

 This so-called "New Year," is simply the "Old 
Year" repackaged for the unsuspecting. For some 
people it will take six months into the "New Year" 
before they realize this awesome truth.

 People make New Year's resolutions, which are 
simply the old resolutions from the year before. 
Some of them go back decades. Nothing really 
changes. By the time February, which is the same 
February as last year, rolls around those new 
resolutions are tainted with some serious aging.

 But there is a greater than Solomon that I 
appealed to. He said, "And he that sat upon the 
throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he 
said unto me, Write: for these words are true and 
faithful" (Revelation 21:5 KJV).

 I will leave the creation of "new," to the one who 
knows how to make all things new.

 The Rev. James L. Snyder is pastor of the Family of 
God Fellowship, 1471 Pine Road, Ocala, FL 34472. 
He lives with his wife in Silver Springs Shores. Call 
him at 352-687-4240 or e-mail jamessnyder2@att.
net. The church web site is www.whatafellowship.

[Nyerges is the author of 
such books as “Extreme 
Simplicity,” “Self-Sufficient 
Home,” “How to Survive 
Anywhere,” and others. 
Information about his classes and books is available 
from Box 41834, Eagle Rock, CA 90041, or www.]

 Sometimes in the morning, I listen to Dennis 
Prager on the radio talking about everything under 
the sun. Not long ago, he spent the morning having 
a discussion with listeners who called in about the 
love of their dog. Some loved their dog more than 
other people, and some said that while they loved 
their dog a lot, they placed people ahead of dogs. It 
was an interesting discussion, where Prager asked 
questions and listened, and, tried to find personal 
clarity on the issue of love of dogs. As Prager often 
says, he’s far more interested in obtaining clarity on 
an issue than getting others to agree with him.

At the end of the show, Prager concluded that people 
who have a great love for dogs do so only because 
they haven’t developed the ability to love people. 
They, therefore – according to Prager’s conclusion 
–are loving dogs as a second-best to loving people,
because they lack, or haven’t developed, the ability 
to love other humans.

 Though Prager conclusion could be right in some 
of the cases, I knew it was incorrect. I am one of the 
dog lovers, and yet I do not regard myself deficient 
in the art of loving other humans. I think the reason 
that Prager came to this conclusion is most likely 
because he has never developed a close relationship 
with a dog. (However, I am just speculating on that 

 Dog are such unique beings that there is 
absolutely no reason why people cannot have deep 
relationships and deep love for their dog, without 
sacrificing love for other humans. In fact, I see no 
reason why the inquiry must be framed that way at 

 In every case where I had a pet dog, the regarded 
the dog as a part of the family. I talked to the dog. 
I got to know its idiosyncracies. I learned that dogs 
are just like people. There are some generalizations 
that you can make about all dogs, and yet, each is 
an individual, with their own preferences, and 
fears, and food likes and dislikes, and patterns of 

 I think it was W.C. Fields who said you cannot 
fool dogs and children. This is because neither 
has the ability to lie or be deceitful. Furthermore, 
dogs have the ability to detect as aspect of human 
nature that lies just beneath the surface which other 
humans usually don’t detect, or choose not to. For 
example, I have often wondered why my dog will 
growl at one visitor to my home, but will be happy 
and playful with everyone else. What is the dog 
detecting? Even more, shouldn’t I be listening to 
what my dog is telling me by that growl?

 Once when I was driving along a busy street in the 
business district, my dog Ramah suddenly perked 
up and zoomed in on one man who was jogging. 
She began to wildly and angrily bark at that one 
man. Why? What did Ramah see, or smell, or 
detect, in that man which I did not? Whatever it 
was, you’d be wise to observe what your dog notes, 
and don’t ignore it. 

 I had a dog who lived with me when I lived alone, 
and since he was an older dog, my schedule was 
always worked around him. I never stayed out too 
late, because he came in from his penned yard and 
came inside with me at night. I tended to his feeding 
and washed him. He was very much like a child. I 
developed a close and loving relationship with this 
dog – he was a purple ribbon pit bull named Cassius 

 I began to study Beatrice Lydeckers book, “What 
the Animals Tell Me,” and I began to apply her 
principles of animal communication. All of this 
was a very revealing and insightful journey as I 
began to learn what it was like to think like a dog, 
and to attempt to view the world through his senses. 
And I felt such a great pain of loss when he died in 
my arms one Sunday evening.

 And yet, none of that in any way deprived me 
of any deep human relationships. If anything, this 
enhanced my relationships at the time, and allowed 
me to have even better relationships than I would 
have otherwise. Cassius Clay taught me to be a 
better person!

 I will continue to listen to the broadcasts of 
Dennis Prager on the radio in the morning, because 
he is a deep thinker who seeks the answers to some 
of life’s most fundamental issues. But in this case 
about dogs, I encourage Prager to get to know a 
canine more intimately, and he’ll realize that love of 
humans never needs to suffer just because you also 
love a dog!

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