Mountain Views News, Sierra Madre Edition [Pasadena] Saturday, October 14, 2017

MVNews this week:  Page A:11

Mountain Views-News Saturday, October 14, 2017 11THE WORLD AROUND US 
Mountain Views-News Saturday, October 14, 2017 11THE WORLD AROUND US 
At the ends of the Solar System, beyond the orbit ofNeptune, there is a belt of objects composed of iceand rocks, among which four dwarf planets standout: Pluto, Eris, Makemake and Haumea. The latter 
is the least well known of the four and was recentlythe object of an international observation campaignwhich was able to establish its main physicalcharacteristics. The study, led by astronomers fromthe Institute of Astrophysics of Andalusia (IAA)
in Granada, Spain, and published in the journalNature, reveals the presence of a ring around theplanet.

Trans-neptunian objects are difficult to studybecause of their small size, their low brightness,
and the enormous distances that separate us fromthem. A very efficient but complex method lies inthe study of stellar occultations, or the passing ofthese objects in front of a star. It allows astronomersto determine the main physical characteristics ofan object (size, shape, and density) and has beensuccessfully applied to dwarf planets Pluto, Eris andMakemake. 

“We predicted that Haumea would pass infront of a star on the 21st of January 2017, andtwelve telescopes from ten different Europeanobservatories converged on the phenomenon,” saysJosé Luis Ortiz, researcher at IAA in charge of thestudy. “This allowed us to reconstruct with a veryhigh precision the shape and size of Haumea, anddiscover to our surprise that it is considerably biggerand less reflecting than was previously believed. It isalso much less dense than previously thought.” 

Haumea is an interesting object: it rotates aroundthe Sun in an elliptic orbit which takes it 284 yearsto complete (it presently lies fifty times further fromthe Sun than the Earth), and it takes 3.9 hours torotate around its axis. This rotational speed causesit to flatten out, giving it an ellipsoid shape similarto a rugby ball. The recently published data reveal 

that Haumea measures about 1,400 miles in its 
largest axis—almost the same as Pluto—but lacksthe global atmosphere that Pluto has.

“One of the most interesting and unexpectedfindings was the discovery of a ring aroundHaumea. Until a few years ago we only knew of theexistence of rings around the giant planets; then,
recently, our team discovered that two small bodies 



[Nyerges has been teaching 

survival and self-reliance 

classes since 1974. He is 

the author of 17 books, 
including “How to Survive Anywhere,” “Foraging 
California,” and “Extreme Simplicity.” He can be 
contacted at, or 
Box 41834, Eagle Rock, CA 90041.

I spent an enjoyable lunch this last week giving 
a short talk to the Sierra Madre Kiwanis Club. This 
is a Club that was incorporated way back in 1927, 
90 years of serving the community.

Between bites of delicious mashed potatoes and 
coleslaw, I was able to share a brief overview of the 
work I do, and my vision for the future.

I began with my teenage roots of hiking and 
backpacking, and disliking having to carry heavy 
canned goods to my destinations. Gradually, 
I learned to travel light with dried foods, but 
I also began to study the ethnobotany of our 
geographical ancestors, the Native peoples who 
resided throughout the local mountains and 
valleys before the Spanish invasion. 

The foods are still with us, though the native 
plants have fewer and fewer places to grow as 
a growing population ever-pushes for more 
development of homes and roads. Still, the useful 
native plants can be found if you take the time 
to look. In addition, the overwhelming majority 
of the so-called weeds in people’s yards are 
introduced plants from Europe, the majority of 
which are good foods or medicines. 

One Kiwanis member asked me to tell him that’s an unrealistic expectation. I explained to 
what key poisonous plant he should watch out for. the good-natured Kiwanis group that a U.N. study 
I told him that if he intended to begin collecting indicated that everyone needs about 11.2 gallons of 
foods from the wild that all he needed to know water daily for all health and hygiene issues. That is 
was the identity of the plant he was eating. He contrasted with the average residential American 
never needs to know a single poisonous plant, but using about 80 gallons a day, and the average 
must absolutely know the identity of any plants he L.A. County resident using about 200 gallons a 
expects to, pre-drought. Currently, according to DWP 

Yes, I have gone into the local mountains taking figures, water usage is down to about 131 gallons 
no food with me on several occasions, and was per person per day! Wow, that’s still a tremendousalways able to feed myself and my friends. That’s volume of water to be always expecting to be there.
not particularly hard to do once you know a I didn’t want to cause indigestion for thehandful of common edible plants. But could the Kiwanis members who’d just had their lunch, butentire population of Los Angeles ever expect I also pointed out that whole civilizations fell andto “live off the land” by eating weeds and edible disappeared (probably with lots of civil unrest 
portions of the landscape? Of course not! We have along the way) because their water supplies driedtoo many people living here, and the local ecology up. This was at least contributory to the declinecannot support everyone who resides here with into extinction of the Anasazi, the great Mayafood and water. That’s why so much of our food culture, the culture along the Chinese Silk Road,
and water come from afar. Ancient Egypt, the Mogollan and the Hohokam,

I recommended that people skip the lawn, and so many others. None of these culturesand begin using that space to grow fruit trees, used anywhere near the water that the great vastvegetables, herbs, and other commonly used and sprawling metropolis of Los Angeles Countyneeded plants. Why waste the time and energy uses, and yet we are under the illusion that thisgrowing something that is strictly “ornamental.” way of life is sustainable forever. I proferred

And as for water, I reminded Kiwanis members to the group that such is probably not the case.
that there is not enough local water to supply the Which, of course, is why I have made the studypopulation here. We have approximately enough and application of practical survival skills my life’swater to supply the water needs of about one-work. 
quarter of our residential population! That’s why I had a good time chatting with some of the 
we pipe the rest of our needed water from the members, such as the editor/publisher of this paper, 
northern California and Colorado. It’s also why Susan Henderson, and other old-time members. 
everyone – residential users, industry, and farmers My allotted time was quickly over, and I barely 

– must do everything we can to save water, and to had the time to show some of the native plants I’d 
use less water. This includes sending our used bath brought along, and let some of the members taste 
and kitchen water into our yards and gardens, and toyon berries and wild cherries. We had no time to 
that necessarily means never using any soaps that walk into the back parking lot of the Kiwanis Club 
contain dyes and colors and unnecessary additives.and check out all the acorns dropping, but I was 
Though FEMA has advocated the mantra of able to explain how Native peoples of the past used 
storing one gallon of water per person per day, acorns. 
occultation, the ring lies on the equatorial planeand fertility in Hawaiian mythology. The nameof the dwarf planet, just like its biggest satellite,is particularly apt, as the goddess Haumea alsoHi´iaka, and it displays a 3:1 resonance with respectrepresents the element of stone and observationsto the rotation of Haumea, which means that the of Haumea hint that the dwarf planet is composedfrozen particles which compose the ring rotatelargely of stony material with a crust of pure ice. 
three times slower around the planet than it rotatesaround its own axis. You can contact Bob Eklund at: b.eklund@ 

Haumea is the name of the goddess of childbirth 


A Weekly Religion Column by Rev. James Snyder 


One of the passions that I really do not have isNobody knows this, so do not let it get around,
going to yard sales. The Gracious Mistress of thebut I have a small pocketknife collection. I haveParsonage is another story.been collecting these pocketknives ever since I was

It is my sincere belief that yard sales were createda young boy. I enjoy looking at them and I alwayswith her in mind. There is not a yard sale withinhave one on my person wherever I go, except in thea 150-mile radius she does not know about. If she shower. 
does not know about a yard sale, it probably is not aI was looking at my collection the other day andlegitimate yard wife happens to come in and started admiring

Long ago I have come to the point that I will not my collection. I must confess she caught me offgo anywhere with my wife on a Saturday morning. guard because I was admiring my collection as well.
That is usually when most of the yard sales are and And I happened to smile.
she has several times tricked me into going with That is one thing you do not do in front of myher. wife. Because when you smile, she’s got you!

At the time, I thought we were going to aSo, not realizing what was happening, I smiled.
restaurant, but along the way, there were 175 stopsThen it happened!
at yard sales. By the time we got to the restaurant,Looking at my pen-knife collection, she saidI was so yard saled out that I couldn’t order lunch.something like, “Look at these two knives.” And sheFortunately, the Yard Sale Lady was in such highpicked them up very carefully and looked at them.
spirits she ordered for me.“They look alike don’t day? Do you need two

Throughout the years I have made the mistakeknives that look the same?” 
of seeing a cup and making casual conversation,It was then that I firmly closed the lid on my knife“That’s a nice cup, where did you get it?”collection and slowly walked away.

I’m looking for the answer to be, “I really don’tAs the church yard sale got closer, I got moreknow, I’ve forgotten.” That is what I was expecting,nervous. I do not mind donating to good causes,
but what I got was a detailed explanation of wherebut I am not going to donate something that I amshe got it, what she paid for it, when she got it andtricked into donating.
every item that was at that yard sale that day.The week before the yard sale, my wife was 

By the time she is done, I had forgotten thewalking around the house graciously looking in office and smiling at me. Each day I got more 

Going to yard sales is not the worst thing in thenervous. Each day she smiled at me a smile that 
world. The worst thing in the world is when mybegan to worry me to the very core of my being.
wife plans and organizes a yard sale. Every year sheWhat was she smiling about? What was she doingorganizes the church yard sale, and as you wouldor taking from my office that I did not know about?
guess, it gets bigger and bigger.All week long leading up to the yard sale I was

At least three months leading up to the yard sale very nervous. I was so nervous and concernedI am on pins and needles. I need to tiptoe around about the situation that I did the only thing Ithe Parsonage because I know that someone, not possibly could do at the time. I volunteered to helpme, is on the prowl for items for the yard sale. I’m at the church yard sale.
surprised I haven’t been sold at the yard sale yet.That way, I could see if any of my things were at

She will come into my office area, casually lookthe church yard sale.
around and say something like, “You sure have a lotThat night after the yard sale, we were sitting inof books in this library, don’t you?”the living room just resting. My wife said, “Thanks

What she is doing is not appreciating my library,so much for helping in the yard sale today.” 
but trying to trick me into donating books from myIt was then I realized what had happened. Shelibrary to her church yard sale. It is a very dangerouswas playing me every day of the week. She was nottime in our house. going to take any of my stuff, but she wanted me to

She will then come into my office area, pick upthink it so I would volunteer to help at the yard sale.
one of my special fountain pens, and say somethingShe wins this one, for certain. 
like, “How long have you had this pen?”Jesus said it best when he said, “But when thou 

Again, she is not inquiring about the pen, butdoest alms, let not thy left hand know what thy righttrying to trick me into donating that fountain penhand doeth,” (Matthew 6:3).
to the yard sale. True giving is between you and the Lord. 

CALL PATRICIA 626-818-2698
situated between Jupiter and Neptune, belonging toa group called centaurs, have dense rings aroundthem, which came as a big surprise. Now we havediscovered that bodies even farther away than thecentaurs, bigger and with very different generalcharacteristics, can also have rings,” says IAA’s Pablo 

According to the data obtained from the stellar 

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