Mountain Views News, Sierra Madre Edition [Pasadena] Saturday, January 6, 2018

MVNews this week:  Page A:11

Mountain Views-News Saturday, January 6, 2018 11THE WORLD AROUND US 
Mountain Views-News Saturday, January 6, 2018 11THE WORLD AROUND US 
After several months of downtime in the aftermath 
of Hurricane Maria, the Arecibo Observatory 
Planetary Radar returned to normal operation 
providing the best images to date of near-Earth 
asteroid 3200 Phaethon, which is thought to be 
the parent body for the Geminid meteor shower. 
The radar images, which are subtle at available 
resolution, reveal the asteroid is spheroidal in 
shape and has a large concavity at least several 
hundred meters in extent near the leading edge 
and a conspicuous dark, circular feature near one 
of the poles. Arecibo’s radar images of Phaethon 
have resolutions as fine as about 250 feet (75 
meters) per pixel.

“These new observations of Phaethon show it 
may be similar in shape to asteroid Bennu, the 
target of NASA’s OSIRIS-REx spacecraft, but 10 
times larger,” noted Dr. Patrick Taylor, Group 
Lead for Planetary Radar for Arecibo Observatory. 
“The dark feature could be a crater or some other 
topographic depression that did not reflect the 
radar beam back at us.” 

Radar images obtained at Arecibo indicate 
Phaethon has a diameter of about 3.6 miles (6 
kilometers) -- roughly 0.6 mile (1 kilometer) larger 
than previous estimates. Phaethon is the second 
largest near-Earth asteroid classified as “potentially 
hazardous.” Near-Earth objects are classified as 
potentially hazardous asteroids (PHAs), based on 
their size and how closely their orbits approach 

“Arecibo is an important global asset, crucial 
for planetary defense work because of its unique 
capabilities,” said Dr. Joan Schmelz, director at 
Universities Space Research Association (USRA) 
and deputy director of Arecibo Observatory. “We 
have been working diligently to get it back up and 
running since Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto 

The Arecibo Observatory has the most 
powerful astronomical radar system on Earth. The 
telescope suffered minor structural damage from 
the category 4 hurricane, the strongest to hit the 
island since 1928. Some days after the storm, the 
telescope resumed radio astronomy observations, 
while planetary radar observations, which require 
high power and diesel fuel for generators at the 
site, resumed operations in early December after 

commercial power returned to the observatory.

Asteroid Phaethon was discovered on Oct. 11, 
1983, by NASA’s Infrared Astronomical Satellite 
(IRAS). Observations of Phaethon were conducted 
at Arecibo from Dec. 15 through 19, 2017, using 
the NASA-funded planetary radar system. At time 
of closest approach on Dec. 16 at 3 p.m. PST (6 



By Christopher Nyerges 

[Nyerges is the author of “Extreme Simplicity,” “How to Survive Anywhere,” andother books which provide more details. Nyerges can be reached at Box 41834,
Eagle Rock, CA 90041, or] 

In the genuine wilderness, firewood is everywhere, and abundant. 

However, in the event of a natural (or man-made) disaster, firewood for fuel may not be so abundantin the urban areas. I recall hearing stories of German people burning furniture during WWII becausethere was no other practical way to get heat. 

In today’s urban setting, there are many resources that are common, even abundant. One such resource 
that could be pressed into service in an emergency is newspaper. 

Newspaper, obviously, can beused for many things, such aswrapping, making pots for yourgarden, emergency insulation,
and also for making logs for thefireplace. 

When I say “logs,” I’m not referring 
to the old 1970s method ofrolling some newspaper arounda broom handle, tying it up,
pulling out the handle, and thenburning the “log” like a woodenlog. Trouble is, these don’t reallyburn all that well unless you already 
have a blazing fire going. 

But there is an alternative. Put 
all your newspapers into a plastic 
bucket and add water. Soaking 
it for a few days is best. Onoccasion, when I have demonstrated this to children at camp, we simply shredded the newspaper, addedwater, and went to the next step, but soaking for a few days is ideal. 

Next, you need to have a newspaper press, as pictured. I first purchased one around 1980, and thoughthis model doesn’t seem to be available anymore, there are similar ones today manufactured by otherswhich seems to work just as well. (Look for these products on Amazon.) 

You put the wet newspaper into the rectangular box section ofthe press, add the top, and then push the handles down to pressout the water. You then pop out the “brick” and let it dry for afew days (or longer). It then burns well in a fireplace or campfire.
Granted, this is newspaper, so don’t expect the same BTU of oakor other hard wood. But it does burn, and definitely better thanthe logs rolled around a broomstick. I’ve used them in backyard 
campfires and in woodstoves. 

This device also presents the possibility for dealing with securitydocuments. If you just toss your paper documents into the citytrash can or the city recycling bin, you never really know whatmight happen. I used to just burn such documents on a grill inthe back yard, but this is not always a possibility. The last time I 
had a full bag of documents to deal with – old bills, etc. – I shredded 
them and put them into a bucket with water. Since they aremostly bond paper, not newsprint, I allowed a week of soaking.
After the week, I made some logs and dried them. Since youcan no longer read anything on the bills and documents afterthis, there is no need to burn them right away. And since bills 
are typically bond paper, the logs seem to burn just a bit hotterand longer. 

I realize that not every home has a fireplace these days, and residents 
of Southern California are not likely to freeze to death,
such as Polish and German people did during WWII in thatmore-northern locale. But you could still use these “logs” tocook food over a backyard grill if the power went out. 

Jay Watkins shows the "log" he just pressed out of the device 

p.m. EST, 11 p.m. UTC) the asteroid was about 
6 million miles (10 million kilometers) away, or 
about 26.8 times the distance from Earth to the 
Moon. The encounter is the closest the object will 
come to Earth until 2093. 
Radar has been used to observe hundreds of 
asteroids. When these small, natural remnants of 

the formation of our solar system pass relatively 
close to Earth, deep space radar is a powerful 
technique for studying their sizes, shapes, rotation, 
surface features, and roughness, and for more 
precise determination of their orbital path

You can contact Bob Eklund at: b.eklund@ 


A Weekly Religion Column by Rev. James Snyder 



This is not my first rodeo when it comes to NewYears. I have ridden this Bronco so many times Icannot remember how many. Well, I can remember,
but I am not going to let that slip. Something to dowith a New Year’s Resolution. 

Back in the days of youth, I used to stay up towatch the New Year’s Eve ball drop. Now, I see somany people drop the ball during the year that Idon’t want to see another one on New Year’s Eve. I’ve 
seen enough of that.

At my stage in life, health is more important thanwatching something I have seen a thousand timesbefore. 

The Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage agreeswith me on this issue. It is one of the few issues that 
we agree on so why should I mess with it.

One thing about starting over again is trying notto make the same mistakes you made last year. It isgood to sit down and think about all the mistakesyou have made last year and mine came to one.

When I got to that issue, I proudly shared it withmy spouse. I was so excited that I could only think ofone mistake I made last year and I really wanted toshare it with her. 

“What do you mean,” she said rather suspiciously,
“you only made one mistake last year?”

With a great deal of excitement, I noddedenthusiastically and said, “Yes, I only made onemistake last year and my resolution is not to makethe same mistake this year.”

“What was that mistake?” 

“My biggest mistake last year was that I forgot togive you a birthday card.”

I thought I was in good territory here. I thought Iwas playing into her heart and she would be happyfor this resolution. 

“A birthday card?”

“Yes,” I said as seriously as possible. “I don’tremember getting you a birthday card this past yearand I want to make it up to you in the coming year.”
What could be better than that kind of solution for a 
year of mistakes?

She stared at me with sort of a twinkle in her 
eye, which at the time confused me. I know what 

a sarcastic stare is. I know what an anger stare is. Iknow what an enthusiastic stare is. I also know what 
a confused stare is. But a twinkle in her eye!

My biggest mistake for the New Year may be notknowing what this twinkle in her eye is all about. Isshe agreeing with me? Or, am I in more trouble thanI can really comprehend?

There was a moment of awkward silence. Actually,
that moment stretched to several moments of silence, 
which I am not accustomed to. When my wife issilent, something is developing that I am not goingto be prepared for.

When her silence had exhausted itself, she simplysaid, “So, you only made one mistake last year?”

I'm worried now. I thought I was trying to get theNew Year started off in a very positive direction.
Now I have no idea what I’m going to do.

Then she began with a series of, “Remember thetime when…?” 

If what she said was true, I came quite close lastyear to making one mistake for every day. Oh boy! Ifshe is correct, no two mistakes were the same. I am 
not sure if anybody can make that many mistakes ina given year. Either, I am crazy or I am a genius in thearea of making mistakes.

No way could I contest any of these mistakes forthe simple reason my memory is not on my side. Icannot say I did not make those mistakes because Ido not remember. She remembers me doing them soit must be true. Right?

When she finished her evaluation of my past year,
I sighed a very deep sigh and asked, “What do youthink my New Year’s resolutions ought to be for theNew Year?” 

Again came that twinkle in her eye. I’m not usedto that twinkle yet. “Well,” she said rather seriously,
“if you are serious about your New Year’s resolutionmaybe you should make one resolution for the NewYear that you will not make the same mistakes thisyear.”

She paused a little bit, stared at me and then 
continued, “This New Year, why don’t you 
concentrate on making different mistakes.” When 
she said that the twinkle in her eye exploded into

hilarious laughter. I was not sure if I

should laugh or not.

When my wife is right, she is right.
Therefore, my New Year’s resolution forthis New Year is to concentrate on makingdifferent mistakes than last year. Withthis resolution comes the full supportof my wife. The two of us together canconcentrate on making new mistakes.

This has made my New Year so veryexciting. Yes, I made mistakes last year,
but forget all about that.

I was reminded of what the apostle Paulsaid, “Brethren, I count not myself to haveapprehended: but this one thing I do,
forgetting those things which are behind,
and reaching forth unto those thingswhich are before” (Philippians 3:13).

Let’s concentrate on the year at hand andmistakes that can be made this year thatwere never thought of last year. 

Dr. James L. Snyder is pastor of the Familyof God Fellowship, Ocala, FL 34483, wherehe lives with the Gracious Mistress of the 
Parsonage. Telephone 1-866-552-2543, 
e-mail Website 

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