Mountain Views News, Sierra Madre Edition [Pasadena] Saturday, March 25, 2017

MVNews this week:  Page A:11



Mountain Views-News Saturday, March 25, 2017 


Images returned from the European Space Agency’s 
Rosetta mission indicate that during its most recent 
trip through the inner solar system, the surface of 
comet 67P/Churyumov-Gerasimenko was a very 
active place—full of growing fractures, collapsing 
cliffs and massive rolling boulders. Moving material 
buried some features on the comet’s surface while 
exhuming others. 

 “As comets approach the Sun, they go into overdrive 
and exhibit spectacular changes on their surface,” 
said Ramy El-Maarry, study leader and a member of 
the U.S. Rosetta science team from the University of 
Colorado, Boulder. “This is something we were not 
able to really appreciate before the Rosetta mission, 
which gave us the chance to look at a comet in ultra-
high resolution for more than two years.”

 Most comets orbit our Sun in highly elliptical 
orbits that cause them to spend most of their time in 
the extremely cold outer solar system. When a comet 
approaches the inner solar system, the Sun begins 
to warm the ice on and near the comet’s surface. 
When the ice warms enough it can rapidly sublimate 
(turn directly from the solid to the vapor state). This 
sublimation process can occur with variable degrees 
of intensity and time-scales and cause the surface to 
change rapidly. Between August 2014 and September 
2016, Rosetta orbited comet 67P during the comet’s 
swing through the inner-solar system.

 “We saw a massive cliff collapse and a large crack 
in the neck of the comet get bigger and bigger,” said 
El-Maarry. “And we discovered that boulders the size 
of a large truck could be moved across the comet’s 
surface a distance as long as one-and-a-half football 

 In the case of the boulder, Rosetta’s cameras 
observed a 282-million-pound, 100-feet-wide space 
rock to have moved 150 yards from its original 
position on the comet’s nucleus. The massive space 
rock probably moved as a result of several outburst 
events that were detected close to its original position.

 The warming of 67P also caused the comet’s 
rotation rate to speed up. The comet’s increasing 
spin rate in the lead-up to perihelion is thought to be 
responsible for a 1,600-foot-long fracture spotted in 
August 2014 that runs through the comet’s neck. The 
fracture, which originally extended a bit longer than 
the Empire State Building is high, was found to have 
increased in width by about 100 feet by December 
2014. Furthermore, in images taken in June 2016, a 
new 500- to 1,000-foot-long fracture was identified 
parallel to the original fracture.

 “The large crack was in the ‘neck’ of the comet—a 
small central part that connects the two lobes,” said 
El-Maarry. “The crack was extending—indicating 
that the comet may split up one day.”

 “Understanding how comets change and evolve 
with time gives us important insights into the types 
and abundance of ices in comets, and how long 
comets can stay in the inner solar system before 
losing all their ice and becoming balls of dust,” said 
El-Maarry. “This helps us better understand the 
conditions of the early solar system, and possibly 
even how life started.”

 Comets are time capsules containing primitive 
material left over from the epoch when the Sun and 
its planets formed. Rosetta was the first spacecraft to 
witness at close proximity how a comet changes as 
it is subjected to the increasing intensity of the Sun’s 

 You can contact Bob Eklund at: b.eklund@


A Weekly Religion Column by Rev. James Snyder



[Nyerges is the author of 
“Self-Sufficient Home,” 
“How to Survive Anywhere,” and other books. 
He leads classes and does a weekly podcast at 
Preparedness Radio Network. He can be reached at 
School of Self-reliance, Box 41834, Eagle Rock, CA 
90041, or]

This morning I ran up to the mountain with 
energetic vitality. Through city streets I ran, 
garbed in only my running shorts and shoes, 
intent on reaching the mountain. It was still early 
when I arrived at the base of the mountain. I 
walked into the large field of dry grass that filled 
the gap between the canyon to the east and the 
eroding ridgeline to the west. The mountains 
were calm; large clouds like wads of cotton rolled 
lazily over the mountain, merging with the gray 
foggy bleakness of the morning.

The smell of pine and sage was strong as I filled my 
pulsating chest with the sweet aroma. I was still 
trying now to "catch" my breath after my last sprint 
to the top. Insects buzzed about, attracted to my 
sweat. I heard and saw small animals scurrying 
about, either pursuing or being pursued. A few 
occasional birds graced the morning with their 
short but attractive poetic song.

I looked to get the feel of the mountain, the field, 
the day. I stretched my arms in front of me and 
opened my palms to the mountain. I recalled 
something I read in a book called Thinking and 
Destiny: Speaking of a past age on this earth, 
the author wrote, "At the height of the fire age, 
the foremost among the fire people needed only 
their bodies to accomplish what they wished. 
Four fingers were used: the index finger for fire, 
the middle finger for air, the third finger for water, 
and the little finger for earth. With the fingers of 
the left hand they sensed; and with those of the 
right hand they directed a stream of the units of 
the elements....The thumbs were used either to 
feel, or to direct, unify, or accentuate the streams." 
I was less ambitious; I just wanted to feel, to 
communicate without words. I let the energy 
flow through my arms and out my palms and into 
the essence of my surroundings. That's how you 
talk to a mountain -- unspoken communication 
through strong feeling.

I sat under a tree and the mushrooms who lived 
there demanded that I say "hello." I sat there for a 
moment thinking, exploring, and resting before I 
would run back into the city. People passed 
by on the trail, some examining plants, and 
others more taken up by inner examinations. I 
wondered: why the great exodus from our centers 
of civilization to a mountain, a lake, an ocean, a 
river? I followed this thought. Many are prisoners 
of their own thinking and live their lives in silent 
desperation, floating like a leaf in the wind of 
society's praise, denial, approval, and scorn. But 
the steps you must take to be educated, to earn 
a living, to improve yourself, and to strengthen 
yourself need not necessarily be the steps of 
others that you blindly and unquestionably 
follow. And all too often society's "leaders" have 
no idea themselves where they are "taking us." 
Sometimes you must follow your own voice, albeit 
the path is harder and you are a pioneer upon it. 

I continued to sit, considering this thought, and its 
ramifications. The early morning breeze rustled 
the pine and a few needles danced upon my head. 

A ray of light shone through the clouds, and a lone 
gliding bird disappeared in distant trees. I thought 
of my work, my battle with the counterfeit so I 
don't become another corpse along the roadside. 
I was up, and I ran back down to the city. Pain is 
the next frontier.

Later in the day, I went grocery shopping. I 
strapped my panniers onto my bicycle and rode in 
a logical direction. First, I filled an ice cream bag 
with edible fairy ring mushrooms (Marasmius 
oreades) that I gathered from several of the local 
lawns. One lady assured me that I could have all 
the "toadstools" and dandelions from her yard 
that I wanted. She reminisced about many years 
ago when she was visiting a friend in Europe. 
They picked wild fresh mushrooms every night 
for supper, and she remembered how delicious 
they had been. She stood over me as I carefully 
picked the best mushrooms in the circles on her 
lawn, apparently amused by my activity. Then I 
pulled out my digging tool and I filled another bag 
with dandelion roots that I later cleaned, dried, 
roasted, and ground for dandelion coffee.

As the sun was getting low, I visited a friend in 
Altadena who let me pick prickly pears and 
saguaro cactus fruit from his yard. This was 
the first time I'd eaten the saguaro fruit with 
its whitish flesh and seedy insides. They were 
excellent! My packs were now bulging.

Riding back to my abode now, I observed many 
natal plum bushes with most of their fruit rotting 
on the bush. I passed many carob trees whose 
unused fruit was being raked into the gutter by a 
disgruntled resident. I could only shake my head, 
though I had no words to utter. Memories flooded 
my mind as I rode my bicycle into the red setting 
sun. I recalled the many times I obtained boxes 
of slightly inferior but perfectly edible produce 
from the bins behind the markets. I recalled 
the time my friend Drew and I ate lunch out of 
a local school's trash bin. It was full of thrown-
away lunches -- peanut butter sandwiches, tuna 
and baloney sandwiches, oranges, tangerines, 
bananas, potato chips and apples. Drew and I 
had just finished conducting a wild food outing 
in the hills above Monrovia, and then we found 
ourselves city-foraging as well. It seems that some 
trash cans around town are goldmines.

I swerved to avoid a turning driver who didn't see 
me. It was getting dark now. As I entered home 
stretch, I wondered why the incredible, fantastic 
wealth of this country continues to be wasted 
and taken for granted. Why must it be flushed 
down the toilet, tossed in the trash, or carelessly 

The solutions to ALL the Earth's problems are 
extant today, but we foolishly believe that we 
can do nothing, that we must wait for a leader, a 
bureaucrat, a savior. Individually, we must do all 
we can to awaken our nervous systems from our 
own slumber, and to discipline our minds to see 
the biggest possible picture. We must bravely take 
our personal individual action. I recall the words 
of Robert Rodale: "If enough people start living 
sanely, they may gain the courage and the desire 
to try to create a world that is itself sane." Good 



I have discovered over the years several types of 
minds. The “open mind” which catches everything 
except the truth. The “analytical mind” which 
organizes everything to the point of sterility. The 
“closed mind” which you can bounce ideas and 
they never stick.

 For every man, there is the “woman’s mind.” 
Every husband knows if he wants to change his 
wife’s mind, all he has to do is agree with her. 
Finally, the “political mind,” which for all practical 
purposes is an oxymoron. Politicians obviously do 
not have a mind of their own. They change their 
mind so often you hardly know who they are.

 I find most people’s minds are like beds – all 
made up and tucked neatly away. Many of these 
people have sound minds – sound asleep, that is.

 The most valuable mind is the suspicious mind. 
It is in this frame of mind that the real picture has 
developed for me. An incident several years ago 
illustrated this to me.

 We received one of those calls every American 
gets at least once a month. An invitation to come 
to Daytona Beach and spend two nights at a motel 
on the beach. The sponsor even offered to throw in 
breakfast, which we promptly threw out (or was it 

 It all sounded wonderful. My wife and I had 
never stayed on the beach and thought it would 
be an excellent opportunity. Eagerly we said “yes” 
thrilled with the prospect.

 “Oh, by the way,” the young woman on the 
telephone said, “you will be required to listen to a 
90-minute presentation.”

 It was then my suspicious mind kicked in. To 
be more honest, the kick came from my wife, who 
had the suspicious mind.

 “Is there anything we have to buy?” my wife made 
me ask the delightful woman on the telephone.

 “Absolutely nothing,” she said so cheerily, I 
believed her. My wife, “Miss Suspicion,” did not 
buy it for a second.

 Finally, I convinced her to go and I arranged 
with the woman on the telephone for the two 
nights on the beach.

 Looking back on this incident, I realize a 
suspicious mind does come in handy.

 I must confess (which is hard for me to do) my 
wife’s suspicious mind has saved us from a few 
potentially disastrous situations. (But you didn’t 
hear it from me.)

 When we arrived at the Daytona Beach office, 
they greeted us most graciously. I was smiling a 
smile that said, “See, I told you this was going to be 

 The cordial receptionist gave us a key to our 
room and easy-to-follow directions to our motel 
on the beach and, best of all, coupons for supper 
for two at a fancy restaurant.

 So far, everything promised to be a magnificent 

 Just as I picked up the key, the lady reminded us 
of the 90-minute presentation. We had to sign up 
for a time that was “convenient for y’all.”

 All I could see was that gregarious smile and 
the beach. As the glaze thickened over my eyes, I 
signed up. Then we were off.

 While I was smiling, my wife was mumbling 
something like, “This is a mistake. I know there is 
a catch somewhere. Nothing is free.”

 Being the sophisticated husband I am with a 
vast, cultivated vocabulary at my disposal, I said 

 There is a time to speak, but every husband 
knows it is usually not when in the presence of his 

 We had a great time. The beach was wonderful 
and late that night we enjoyed a marvelous 
supper. Everything was going along quite nicely 
and we drifted off to sleep listening to the waves 
rhythmically massage the beach outside our 

 Then the time came for the 90-minute 
presentation. It was quite educational. I learned 
my wife was right all along.

 The “catch” she worried about was called a 

 Timeshare is an interesting concept. First, you 
must buy a week (or two if you like). At that point, 
I was ready to sign up. My pen was dripping ink 
ready to sign anything, anywhere.

 Then my wife began asking questions. It’s a good 
thing she did.

 That is when we learned another thing about 
timeshares. After one buys a week, the cost has 
just begun. Of course, they told us, we must pay 
property taxes on “our property.” Then there 
are monthly maintenance fees and insurance 
premiums. We learned the word “share” in 
timeshare means we share all our money with 

 By the time she finished her presentation, there 
were more fees on our timeshare than fleas on a 
West Virginia hound dog.

 That was not the worst of it though. When our 
week came, we were expected to “rent” our own 
room to stay in it. When the woman got through 
with her 90-minute presentation (which actually 
took three hours), timeshare made as much sense 
to me as renting underwear.

 There are times when a suspicious mind does 
come in handy, but not always. Sometimes I 
appreciate trusting someone without any fear. But, 

 The antidote for a suspicious mind is found in 
the Bible. The Old Testament prophet understood 
this when he wrote, “Thou wilt keep him in perfect 
peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he 
trusteth in thee” (Isaiah 26:3).

 There are many things to be suspicious about, 
but when I come to Jesus Christ, I can relax. He 
gives me peace of mind because He is easy to trust.

 Dr. 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 
The church web site is

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