Mountain Views News, Sierra Madre Edition [Pasadena] Saturday, May 6, 2017

MVNews this week:  Page A:11



Mountain Views-News Saturday, May 6, 2017 


NASA’s flying observatory, the Stratospheric 
Observatory for Infrared Astronomy (SOFIA), 
recently completed a detailed study of the planetary 
system around the nearby star Epsilon Eridani. The 
investigations confirmed that this planetary system 
has an architecture remarkably similar to that of our 
solar system.

 Located 10.5 light-years away in the southern 
constellation Eridanus, the Epsilon Eridani (Eps 
Eri for short) system is the closest planetary system 
around a star similar to the early Sun. 

 Previous studies indicated that Eps Eri has a 
debris disk, which is the name astronomers give to 
leftover material still orbiting a star after planetary 
construction has completed. Furthermore, careful 
measurements of the motion of Eps Eri indicates 
that a planet with nearly the same mass as Jupiter 
circles the star at a distance comparable to Jupiter’s 
distance from the Sun.

 With the new SOFIA images, Kate Su of the 
University of Arizona and her research team were 
able to distinguish between two theoretical models 
of the location of warm debris, such as dust and 
gas, in the Eps Eri system. These models were based 
on prior data obtained with NASA’s Spitzer space 

 One model indicates that warm material is in two 
narrow rings of debris, which would correspond 
respectively to the positions of the asteroid belt and 
the orbit of Uranus in our solar system. Using this 
model, theorists indicate that the largest planet in a 
planetary system might normally be associated with 
an adjacent debris belt.

 The other model attributes the warm material to 
dust originating in the outer Kuiper-Belt-like zone 
and filling in a disk of debris toward the central star. 
In this model, the warm material is in a broad disk, 
and is not concentrated into asteroid belt-like rings 
nor is it associated with the any planets in the inner 

 Using SOFIA, Su and her team ascertained 
that the warm material around Eps Eri is in fact 
arranged like the first model suggests; it is in at least 
one narrow belt rather than in a broad continuous 

 These observations were possible because SOFIA 
has a larger telescope diameter than Spitzer, 100 
inches in diameter compared to Spitzer’s 33.5 inches, 
which allowed the team onboard SOFIA to discern 
details that are three times smaller than what could 
be seen with Spitzer. Additionally, SOFIA’s powerful 
mid-infrared camera called FORCAST, the Faint 
Object infraRed CAmera for the SOFIA Telescope, 
allowed the team to study the strongest infrared 
emission from the warm material around Eps Eri, 
at wavelengths between 25 and 40 microns, which 
are undetectable by ground-based observatories.

 SOFIA is a Boeing 747SP jetliner modified to 
carry a 100-inch diameter telescope. It is a joint 
project of NASA and the German Aerospace Center, 
DLR. The aircraft is based at NASA’s Armstrong 
Flight Research Center in Palmdale, California.

CONVERGE. In addition to being the fictional 
venue for the 5-mile-long space station in the TV 
series “Babylon Five,” the star Epsilon Eridani 
has figured in numerous works of TV, film, and 
literature. Some have suggested it as the site of 
planet Vulcan, home of Star Trek’s Mr. Spock, but 
most sources place Vulcan at another nearby star, 
40 Eridani. 

 For more on the fictional appearances of this 
intriguing star, see:

 You can contact Bob Eklund at: b.eklund@


A Weekly Religion Column by Rev. James Snyder



A profile of a Sierra Madre Artist



[Nyerges is the author of 
many books, including 
“Tunnel 16,” “How to 
Survive Anywhere,” and 
“Til Death Do Us Part?” 
He also conducts classes on self-reliance and 
survival. To learn more, go to www.SchoolofSelf- or Box 41834, Eagle Rock, CA 

 It was a warm Saturday afternoon when I 
encountered Jack Angus sitting out in front of 
Zugo’s restaurant on Sierra Madre Boulevard, 
doing what he loves most, creating watercolor 
works of art.

 I invited myself to sit down, and Angus smiled 
as he invited me to join him. 

 He had his first representational art piece 
on display, a view of the sycamore trees from 
Memorial Park. It was beautiful, and had the 
timeless air about it that reminded one of the 
classic artists of the past.

 “Beautiful,” I told Angus. “Just beautiful.” 
When I first met Jack Angus it was 5 years ago 
when he and local artist Steve Hardy were doing 
abstracts around the corner at Bean Town. “The 
Sycamores” was so stunning that I asked Jack 
how long he’d been working on representational 
art, as opposed to the abstracts that he made in 
the past.

”You won’t believe this,” he told me, “but that’s 
the very first one I’ve done!” Yes, I didn’t believe 
it. It was lovely, somewhat reminiscent of a 

 Angus has been interested in art his whole life, 
and took a variety of art classes at Pasadena City 
College. About five years ago, he started creating 
abstract pieces, partly because he was influenced 
by Steve Hardy. More recently, while working 
at the Kennsington Assisted Living facility in 
Sierra Madre, Angus met Herb Dockham, and 
Peter Morris, both successful artists. Peter 
Morris is known by locals as the “Metro Da 
Vinci,” because he often paints while riding the 
metro. Both Dockham and Morris have been 
highly influential to Angus’ art career, and for 
his now trying representational art.

 Angus spent some time with Morris, painting 
together at Memorial Park. “Peter told me to 
simply paint what I see. He said that artists 
spend too much time looking at their paper, 
but they should focus more on the object 
they’re painting.” The result of this was “The 

 When I first met Angus about five years 
ago, he was attending Pasadena City College 
and looking forward to pursuing a degree in 
engineering or the medical profession, with 
plans to move to Washington state for work. 
However, due to various hardships, Angus 
dropped out of school in part to support his 
parents. Only recently has he resurrected his 
love of art and begun his paintings again.

 Besides painting on his own time, you can see 
Angus doing his creativity every Saturday from 
about 9 a.m. to noon in front of Zugo’s, located 
at 74 W. Sierra Madre Blvd in Sierra Madre. 

 What advice does he offer to beginning 
artists? “Practice, practice, practice,” he says. 
“Just go out there and paint. Don’t overthink it, 
and be sure to enjoy yourself doing it.”

 Obviously, you need to get some brushes, 
paint, and paper. Angus shares with his 
students the exact brands and styles of each of 
these, for those who are uncertain what to buy. 
Additionally, it’s a good idea to decide what you 
want to do as an artist, advises Angus. He says 
that often you will know what you like once you 
start drawing. “Do you like abstracts,” asks 
Angus. “Or perhaps you like portraits, or still-
life, or impressionistic work, or even black and 
whites. Once you get going, your path will get 

 As for making money as an artist, Angus 
states that you should get into art because you 
love it. “If you can get paid for your art, that’s 
icing on the cake,” says Angus with a smile. “It’s 
fancy-thinking to believe you’re going to get rich 
quick as an artist. The term ‘starving artist’ is 
not too far from the mark,” he adds with a laugh.

 To learn about upcoming art classes taught 
by Angus at Zugo’s, contact Angus at (626) 863-
8671, or

Mothers are the greatest 
dispensers of advice since 
God said, “Let there be light.” Some, not me, refer 
to it as maternal instinct.

 My own mother gave me some splendid advice 
when I was growing up. Unfortunately, much of 
Mom’s advice shed light on nothing. Absolutely 
nothing at all.

 Let me outline some advice my mother gave me 
that, to this day, I have no idea what she was talking 

 I distinctly remember my mother standing 
before me, with hands on her hips, scolding me for 
something and then saying, “Who do you think 
you are?”

 This always disturbed me and caused me to 
wonder about my nativity. As a young person, I 
often pondered this question myself.

 As with most teens, I had long moments of 
identity crisis. (When you are young most of your 
energy goes into producing hormones, and so the 
brain functions on low voltage.) It greatly confused 
me that the person who should know who I was, 
asked me the question I had been asking myself. If 
she does not know who I am, what hope do I have?

 Then there was the time I asked my mother for 
money. She whirled around and replied, “Do you 
think money grows on trees?”

 Up to that point, I have never given the matter 
much thought. I simply assumed money came from 
my father going to work and being paid. However, 
here was something new to ponder. Where does 
money come from, really? What added to my 
confusion was the name of our bank The Elm Tree 
Branch of First National Bank of Harrisburg. Now 
I was totally confused.

 When I was quite young, I remember asking my 
mother for something in the store. I think it was 
some small toy that I took a fancy to and asked 
my mother to buy it for me. She flatly refused. 
I complained and demanded to know why. She 
looked me straight in the eye and said, “Because I 
am the mother, that’s why.”

 To this day, I still do not know what in the world 
that statement meant. What did her being a mother 
have to do with buying me that toy?

 When she saw my confusion, she told me, 
“When you have children of your own, you will 
understand.” I have children of my own as well as 
grandchildren, and I still do not know what she 
meant. It must be a mother thing, which is all I 

 Then there was the time I wanted to do something 
with some friends and my mother would not let 
me. “But everyone else is going,” I protested in vain. 
That’s when my mother gave me her spin on the 
situation at hand.

 “What if EVERYONE jumped off a cliff? Would 
you do it, too?”

 The thing that confused me was, nobody was 
going to jump off any cliff. In fact, nobody in his 
or her right mind would ever think of such a stupid 
thing. Nobody, that is, but my mother. I figured she 
must have gotten her sadistic side from her mother. 
It must be something mothers pass on to their 
daughters, because as a man, I don’t get it.

 Most memorable of her nuggets of wisdom to me 
is that piece of advice I still abide by. Before I would 
leave the house, my mother would say, “Make sure 
you have clean underwear on in case you get in a 
car accident and have to go to the hospital.”

 I have never figured out what clean underwear 
has to do with going to the hospital, but that piece 
of advice made for the worst day of my high school 
years. Just as I drove into the school parking lot one 
day it dawned on me that I had forgotten to put on 
clean underwear. Panic raced through my teenage 
heart like never before. I was certain some disaster 
awaited me around the next corridor.

 By the end of the day, I was a nervous wreck. 
Driving home, I was sure something would happen 
to me, putting me in the hospital. I imagined myself 
being rushed into surgery and the first thing the 
medical team asked was, “Check his underwear to 
see if it’s clean.”

 Upon finding my underwear not clean, they 
refused me any medical attention and sent me back 
to my mother. To this day, I am paranoid about 
wearing clean, fresh underwear each day. I have my 
mother to thank for that.

 Looking back at what I learned after years of 
hearing my mother’s advice, I have only one piece 
of wisdom to pass on to you for those moments 
with your mother. The next time your mom makes 
one of those parental off the wall statements, just 
smile and ask her, “When you were my age, did you 
walk to school or carry your lunch?”

 She’ll be confused, and you’ll be even.

 The one thing my mother did that I will always 
be grateful for is that she encouraged me to read 
my Bible. She bought my first Bible for me and 
encouraged me to read and study it each day.

 In that Bible, as a young person, I ran across a 
verse of scripture that has stood me in times of 
trouble. “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; 
and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all 
thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy 
paths” (Proverbs 3:5 6).

Thanks Mom and Happy Mother’s Day.

 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 jamessnyder2@att.
net. The church web site is

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