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

MVNews this week:  Page A:11

Mountain Views-News Saturday, November 25, 2017 11THE WORLD AROUND US 
Mountain Views-News Saturday, November 25, 2017 11THE WORLD AROUND US 
Astronomers recently scrambled to observe an 
intriguing asteroid that is passing through oursolar system on a steep trajectory from interstellarspace—the first confirmed object from another star.

Now, new data reveal the interstellar interloperto be a rocky, cigar-shaped object with a somewhatreddish hue. The asteroid, named ‘Oumuamua byits Hawaiian discoverers, is up to one-quarter milelong and highly-elongated—perhaps 10 times aslong as it is wide. That aspect ratio is greater thanthat of any asteroid or comet observed in our solarsystem to date. While its elongated shape is quitesurprising, and unlike asteroids seen in our solarsystem, it may provide new clues into how othersolar systems formed.

The observations and analyses were fundedin part by NASA and appear in the Nov. 20 issueof the journal Nature. They suggest this unusualobject had been wandering through the Milky Way,
unattached to any star system, for hundreds ofmillions of years before its chance encounter with 
our star system.

Immediately after its discovery, telescopes aroundthe world, including ESO’s Very Large Telescope inChile, were called into action to measure the object’sorbit, brightness and color. Urgency for viewingfrom ground-based telescopes was vital to get thebest data. 

Combining the images from the ESO telescopewith those of other large telescopes, a team ofastronomers led by Karen Meech of the Institute forAstronomy in Hawaii found that ‘Oumuamua variesin brightness by a factor of 10 as it spins on its axisevery 7.3 hours. No known asteroid or comet fromour solar system varies so widely in brightness, withsuch a large ratio between length and width. Themost elongated objects we have seen to date are nomore than three times longer than they are wide.

“This unusually big variation in brightness means

that the object is highly elongated: about ten timesas long as it is wide, with a complex, convolutedshape,” said Meech. “We also found that it had areddish color, similar to objects in the outer solarsystem, and confirmed that it is completely inert,
without the faintest hint of dust around it.” 

These properties suggest that ‘Oumuamua isdense, composed of rock and possibly metals, hasno water or ice, and that its surface was reddened 
due to the effects of irradiation from cosmic rays 



[Nyerges is the author Thanksgiving” in order to give thanks for all theof “How to Survive bounty they found and created in this new world.
Anywhere,” “Foraging But clearly, the indigenous people would have aCalifornia,” “Enter the very different view of the consequences of thisForest” and other books. He leads courses in 1621 pact, which gradually and inevitably meantthe native uses of plants. He can be reached at the loss of their lands and further decimation 
Box 41834, Eagle Rock, CA 90041, or www. of their peoples from disease. Of course, there]was not yet a “United States of America,” and itI met a man who began to discuss with me thewas with a bit of nostalgia and selective memorycolumn I wrote for this paper last week, aboutthat we refer to this semi-obscure gathering ofthe historical origins of Thanksgiving, and whattwo peoples as some sort of foundational eventhappened, and what didn’t the development of the United States. And

“I was a little puzzled after I read it,” Burt told it is understandable from the perspective of ame. “I wanted to know more. I understand that national mythology that the native people werethe first historical Thanksgiving may have notforgotten and the “gifts from God” remembered.
happened the way we are told as children,” heMy new friend Burt was nodding his head,
told me, “but how did we get to where we arebeginning to see that there was much under thetoday? What I understood from your columnsurface of this holiday. I recommended that hewas that there are historical roots, and that we read such books as “1491: New Revelations of the 
today remember those roots and try to be veryAmericas Before Columbus” by Mann, “Native 
thankful, but the connection was unclear.” Burt American History: Idiot’s Guide” by Fleming, 
and I then had a very long conversation.and others. 

A newspaper column is typically not longAs I still believe, giving thanks is a good thingenough to provide the “big picture” of the entire – good for the soul and good for the society. Just 
foundation of such a commemoration, as well as be sure to always give thanks where it is due!
all the twists and turns that have occurred alongEventually, in the centuries that followed,
the way. But here is the condensed version ofThanksgiving was celebrated on various days inwhat I told my new friend Burt.various places. George Washington declared itFirst, try reading any of the many books thatan official Thanksgiving in 1789. However, the 
are available that describe the first so-called day did not become standardized as the final“first Thanksgiving” at the Plymouth colony thatThursday each November until 1863 with aat least attempts to also show the Indigenousproclamation by Abraham Lincoln.
perspective. You will quickly see that this wasThe gross commercialization of Thanksgivingnot simply the European pilgrims and the nativeis a somewhat recent manifestation of the way inpeople sitting down to a great meal and givingwhich we have tried to extract money from justthanks to their respective Gods, though thatabout anything. One way to break that cycle is toprobably did occur.just choose to do something different.

As you take the time to explore the motivesWhen I used to visit my parents’ home forof the many key players, in the context of thatannual Thanksgiving gatherings, I disliked thetime, you will see that though the Europeansloud arguing and banter, the loud TV in thewere now increasingly flowing into the easternbackground, and the way everyone (includingseaboard, their long-term presence had notme) ate so much that we had stomach aches! I 
been allowed – until this point. Massasoit wasfelt that Thanksgiving should be about somethingthe political-military leader of the Wampanoagmore than all that. I changed that by simply noconfederation, which was the stronger nativelonger attending, and then visiting my parentsgroup in the area. However, after disease had the following day with a quiet meal. It took mywiped out many of the native people, Massasoitparents a few years to get used to my changes,
was worried about the neighboring long-timebut eventually they did.
enemies – the Narragansett -- to the west.This year, before the actual Thanksgiving day,
The gathering of the European leaders of theI enjoyed a home-made meal with neighborsPlimouth Colony and Massasoit and entourageand friends. Before we sat down to eat, everyonehad been more-or-less brokered by Tisquantumstated the things they are thankful-for before the(aka Squanto) who spoke English.meal. Nearly everyone cited “friends and family,”

Yes, there had been much interaction among other things. It was quiet, intimate, andbetween the new colonists and native peoplethe way that I have long felt this day should befor some time, and this gathering of 3 days inobserved. Yes, like most holidays we have a1621 was intended to seal the deal between the whole host of diverse symbols, and Thanksgivingcolonists aligning with Massasoit. The exact is no different. And like most modern holidays,
date is unknown, but it was sometime between their real meanings are now nearly-hopelesslySeptember 21 and November 9.obscured by the massive commercialism. 

Yes, historians say that a grand meal followed,Nevertheless, despite the tide that is againstincluding mostly meat. The colony remainedus, we can always choose to do somethingand there was relative peace for the next 10 todifferent. Holidays are our holy days where we50 years, depending on which historians wereought to take the time to reflect upon the deepercorrect in their reading of the meager notes.meanings. By so doing, we are not necessarily

Politicians and religious leaders continued“saving” the holiday, but we are saving ourselves.
to practice the giving of thanks, in theirAs we work to discover the original history andchurches and in their communities, and that meanings of each holiday, we wake up our mindsis a good thing. They would hearken back toand discover a neglected world hidden in plainwhat gradually became known as the “first sight. 

Lyra.distance between Mars and Jupiter—though its

The object’s official name is interstellar asteroid outbound path is about 20 degrees above the plane1I/2017 U1. In addition to the technical name, of planets that orbit the Sun. The object passedthe Pan-STARRS team in Hawaii dubbed it Mars’s orbit around Nov. 1 and will pass Jupiter’s‘Oumuamua (pronounced oh MOO-uh MOO-orbit in May of 2018. It will travel beyond Saturn’suh), which is Hawaiian for “a messenger from afar orbit in January 2019; as it leaves our solar system,
arriving first.” ‘Oumuamua will head for the constellation Pegasus. 

‘Oumuamua is travelling about 85,700 milesper hour relative to the Sun. Its curent location isYou can contact Bob Eklund at: b.eklund@ 
approximately 124 million miles from Earth—the 


A Weekly Religion Column by Rev. James Snyder 


I’m not sure who come up with this term “Black to shop, there are times when I must go shopping 
Friday” but I am definitely not for it. To me, and when I go shopping, I like to ponder carefully 
Black Friday is rather devious and I know the what I’m shopping for.
only purpose is to get their teeth into my money, I do not buy the first thing I see. I used to do 
which is a sacred area to me. that and got into a lot of trouble. But now, I need 

When it comes to shopping, I certainly am not to think through what I’m buying and make sure 
a fan. I really do not like shopping. I get nervous it’s the exact gift I want to purchase. When there 
when I’m in the shopping mall, start sweating and are all kinds of people crowding the store, it does 
have to leave and sit in my car for at least half an not give me the space to ponder my purchase. I 
hour to regain my personal space.

I have many interests and passions in life, but Not only that, but when I am shopping I want 
trust me, shopping is not one of them. I can live to get the best price and maybe there is another 
my whole life without ever across town that has the same item for a 

On the other side of our residence, it is a lot cheaper price. After I buy an item, it always 
different story.worries me that maybe I could have bought it 

I am not sure, but I suspect shopping is second cheaper at another place.
nature to the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage. My thinking about shopping begins when I 
She has it down to a science; she collects coupons start shopping. The other side of our marital bliss 
and whatever else is associated with it all year does it completely different. She thinks about weeks and sometimes months ahead of 

She is always boasting about how much money the purchase date.
she has saved. Because I enjoy our life together When she goes shopping, she has everything 
and I enjoy living, I always go along with her. But, thought through and all she has to do is go and 
and it’s a big but, I’m not sure it’s legitimate.pick it up, give them a coupon and pay the bill.

For example, one time she came from a shopping I wish I could be that put together when it comes 
spree and showed me on the receipt she had saved to shopping. My wife can shop for everybody at 
$79.43. I studied the receipt and realized that in the same time and keep all the gifts in order.
order to save that much money she had to spend I can never do that. I have to think of one 
over $200. Now, my dilemma is, do I point this present and I cannot think of the next one until 
out to her and encourage a scalding look back at I purchased the first present. It takes me forever 
me? Or, do I smile and keep on enjoying living?to do any kind of Christmas shopping. That is just 

Here is the difference between my wife and me. the way my clock ticks.
All year long, she saves coupons for this shopping Through the years, I have come to a wonderful 
spree that she enjoys. I, on the other hand, save up solution to this problem. I have one present to 
money all year long to enable her shopping at Christmas time and that is for my wife. All 

I am beginning to think I am an enabler. Is she the other presents for all the other members of 
a Shopaholic? Is this a disease?the family are negotiated quite successfully by my 

Don’t tell her I’m thinking about this, but I wife. 
believe I am enabling her in this Shopaholic I sweat and ponder the proper gift to give. I’m 
lifestyle.not sure if I have ever given the proper gift, but 

One thing about being a Shopaholic is that she always opens it and smiles and says “Thank 
it’s not contagious. It is outrageous, but not you.” That’s all I need.
contagious.I like what David said about giving. “Give unto 

For me, black Friday always ends on red the Lord, O ye mighty, give unto the Lord glory 
Monday.and strength. Give unto the Lord the glory due 
On Friday, my checkbook is all in the black. unto his name; worship the Lord in the beauty of 
Come Monday afternoon, it is all in the red.holiness” (Psalm 29:1-2).

Of course, I must say it has been working out I may not be very good at giving presents, but 
very well for someone like me who does not I’m trying to become a better giver of thanks to 
like to go shopping. If I liked to go shopping, we God. 
might be in competition and that could create 
some stress. As it stands, she loves shopping and Dr. James L. Snyder is pastor of the Family of 
I love her enough to support her shopping. Can God Fellowship, 1471 Pine Road, Ocala, FL 34472. 
you think of a better scenario?He lives with his wife in Silver Springs Shores. Call 

The reason I do not like shopping, especially at him at 352-687-4240 or e-mail jamessnyder2@att.
the mall, is because of all of the people crowding net. The church web site is www.whatafellowship. 
the stores in the hallways. Although I don’t like com. 

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over hundreds of millions of years.

This remarkable object was discovered Oct. 
19 by the University of Hawaii’s Pan-STARRS1telescope, funded by NASA’s Near-Earth ObjectObservations(NEOO) Program, which finds andtracks asteroids and comets in Earth’s neighborhoodthat could pose a danger to Earth.

Preliminary orbital calculations suggest that theobject came from the approximate direction of thebright star Vega, in the northern constellation of 

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