Mountain Views News, Sierra Madre Edition [Pasadena] Saturday, March 3, 2018

MVNews this week:  Page A:11

Mountain Views-News Saturday, March 3, 2018 11THE WORLD AROUND US 
Mountain Views-News Saturday, March 3, 2018 11THE WORLD AROUND US 
The ESPRESSO instrument on ESO’s Very Large 
Telescope in Chile has used the combined light 
of all four of the 8.2-meter Unit Telescopes for 
the first time. Combining light from the Unit 
Telescopes in this way makes the VLT the largest 
optical telescope in existence in terms of collecting 
One of the original design goals of ESO’s Very 
Large Telescope was for its four Unit Telescopes 
(UTs) to work together to create a single giant 
telescope. With the first light of the ESPRESSO 
spectrograph using the four-Unit-Telescope mode 
of the VLT, this milestone has now been reached. 
After extensive preparations by the ESPRESSOconsortium (led by the Astronomical Observatory of theUniversity of Geneva, with the participation of researchcenters from Italy, Portugal, Spain and Switzerland)
and ESO staff, ESO’s Director General Xavier Barcons 
initiated this historic astronomical observation with the 
push of a button in the control room.
ESPRESSO instrument scientist at ESO, Gaspare 
Lo Curto, explains the historical significance of this 
event: “ESO has realized a dream that dates back to 
the time when the VLT was conceived in the 1980s: 
combining the light of all four Unit Telescopes on 
Cerro Paranal to feed a single instrument!”
When all four 8.2-metre Unit Telescopes 
combine their light-collecting power to feed a 
single instrument, the VLT effectively becomes the 
largest optical telescope in the world in terms of 
collecting area.
Two of the main scientific goals of ESPRESSO 
are the discovery and characterization of Earth-
like planets and the search for possible variability 
of the fundamental constants of physics. The latter 
experiments in particular require the observation 
of distant and faint quasars, and this science goal 
will benefit the most from combining the light 
from all four Unit Telescopes in ESPRESSO. Both 
rely on the ultra-high stability of the instrument 
and an extremely stable reference light source.

Due to the complexity involved, the combination 
of light from all four Unit Telescopes in this way, at 
what is known as an “incoherent focus”, had not 
been implemented until now. However, space for it 
was built into the telescopes and the underground 
structure of the mountaintop from the start. 



[Nyerges is the author of “Howcouldn’t get gas, just going to buy food would be a

to Survive Anywhere,” “Self-hardship.

Sufficient Homes,” “Foraging Those who study sustainable societies and 

California,” and other sustainable technologies know that only the low-tech

books. He leads on-goingmethods are sustainable long-term. For example,

classes in self-reliance and one excellent low-tech technology is the zeer pots,
sustainability. He can be reached at www.SchoolofSelf-which would help to preserve foods that spoil]without a refrigerator. Zeer pots are cheap and easy to

I study survival skills because I feel it imparts me withset up. This is essentially a clay pot in a clay pot. Youa here-and-now feeling of self-reliance and confidenceneed a very large unglazed clay pot, or flower pot.
in my daily life. I don’t learn about primitive skills andCover the bottom with about 2 inches of wet sand. 
wild foods because of irrational fears of a Mad Max Be sure to plug the hole in the bottom of the pot.
world in the distant future. Still, everyone who I knowThe second pot must be able to fit inside the largerwho’s made “survival skills” a serious avocation knows pot, and you tuck in wet sand all around the sides,
that there are some very real fears that always lurk inbetween the two pots. The smaller pot can be glazed,
the background, in the possible and potential future.or you use a copper or an aluminum pot as well. Make

“Grid down” is a very rational fear, as some of yousure the sand between the pots is all wet. Cover the 
might have concluded after reading my review of Tedtop with a wet cloth. Place in the shade where a breezeKoppel’s book “Lights Out.” will hit it. You keep your food in the inner pot. This

Since our entire way of life is so linked to thewill keep a lot of foods from spoiling before you canavailability of electricity, we need to recognize that theeat it, and it works! 
“grid” is a very fragile thing. The U.S. actually has threeDetails of the zeer pot can be found in my “How togrids that are linked—Eastern, Western and Texas. AsSurvive Anywhere” book, pages 81-83. Mohammedprivate individuals, we have no control of the grid. We Bah Abbah, a potter in a small Nigerian village,
live in our world of electricity --power, lights, gas,invented the method to meet a local need where there 
and all that goes with it. Private or state-sponsoredwas no electricity. Abbah won several awards for this 
terrorists could inject a virus to cause havoc in oursimple technology in 2001.
computer-driven age.In a grid-down world, without electricity, your life

EMP is another legitimate fear for disruptingwould be far different – a world which most of us have 
the grid. Millions heat their homes and light theirnever known. 
world with electricity. Many oil heaters use anI think we take for granted certain services that areelectric switch to turn them on. If an EMP hit, our almost invisible, like garbage pickup. Since that happylove affair with computers would be over or at leastservice will be gone, you will see how amazingly fast aseriously challenged. Most systems in your homeplace will fill up with garbage. Of course, if you simplywould no longer work. If you have solar electricity incouldn’t go to a store and buy something, an amazingyour home, you might be able to keep a few thingsamount of that garbage will be pressed into service andgoing, like your refrigerator for a few hours a day. Inrecycled to fill some need.
some cases, those who have generators will be ableEven during times of prolonged crises – such asto continue running some things, but generators usewar or economic depression – people have learneda lot of fuel. How much fuel does the average personto survive and thrive by filling the everyday needs ofhave stored? Enough to last a week or a month? Whattheir fellow neighbors. These skills that never go outhappens after that?of style include gardening, canning and drying foods,

Most folks do not have a large supply ofelectrical repairs, auto repairs, maintaining bicycles,
batteries. How long before those are gone?making clothing, etc.etc.

In a grid-down world, we will not be able to buy gas,I really hope none of the potential tragedies that seembecause those pumps are all electric. Though you couldalways potential never happen. Our wonderful way ofstore fuel, most urban folks do not do so because it is life could be erased in a minute. But if you find that thenot considered worth the while. unsustainable slowly or suddenly because nonviable,

Kerosene stores for a very long time, and with frugaland things change rapidly, be positive and flexible asuse, you would be able to cook on camp stoves and haveyou work with others towards viable solutions. I don’told time lanterns for light. Today, they have excellentthink of myself as a “survivalist” but I do know thatkerosene heaters that are fairly inexpensive. It might the skills of camping, bushcraft, food production, localbe prudent to have a few on hand.organization, self-defense (an/d many related skills) are

Wind generators are common in the high wind areasthe glue that binds us, and keeps us alive as a civilizedof the local deserts, but they are noisy and generally notculture. 
practical for urban homes. They also have maintenanceBut don’t pursue “survival skills” because ofproblems which solar panels do not. Still, windfear. There is a feeling of joy and fulfilment that goesgenerators could be a viable option for some.hand-in-hand with learning and applying the skills that

If you have a bike in a post grid-down scenario, itour forefathers took for granted. Learning these skillsmight work well for personal transportation. If youin a group setting is a great way to bring family andhave a horse, that could work also. We have grown sofriends together, and is therefore an amazing solutionaccustomed to private vehicles that if we all suddenly to so many of the problems facing us all. 

infrastructure. information never previously available. This new 

Light from the four Unit Telescopes is routinely facility is a game-changer for astronomy with high-
brought together in the VLT Interferometer for resolution spectrographs. It makes use of novel 
the study of extremely fine detail in comparatively concepts, such as wavelength calibration aided by 
bright objects. But interferometry, which a laser frequency comb, providing unprecedented 
combines the beams “coherently,” cannot exploit precision and repeatability, and now the capability 
the huge light-gathering potential of the combined to join together the light-collecting power of the 
telescopes to study faint objects.four individual Unit Telescopes.

Feeding the combined light into a single You can contact Bob Eklund at: b.eklund@ 
instrument will give astronomers access to 


A Weekly Religion Column by Rev. James Snyder 


The last several months have been rather busy with been carrying this shingles virus all these years. 
hardly a break anywhere. Sometimes the Gracious I did not know I had a “carrying license” for 
Mistress of the Parsonage and I get so busy we shingles. Why doesn’t the government get on that?
forget about the necessity of taking a break every The visit with the doctor was just the beginning. 
now and then. Soon one day becomes just like the From then on, these shingles went crazy. They were 
last day. And tomorrow? Will be just like today.dancing up and down my right arm as though they 

We did take a little break and went out for supper owned it. 
one evening at one of our favorite restaurants. This I really would not mind the dancing it was the 
has become a rather rare occasion and so we tried pain that caught my attention.
to enjoy the moment as much as we could.Up to this point, I thought I knew what pain 

We were chit chatting and enjoying our was all about. Boy was I wrong.
company as the waitress brought our food to us. It The shingles virus affects the nervous system 
was a delicious meal and I was beginning to enjoy and it was from the top of my shoulder to the tip 
myself, maybe just a little too much.of my fingers. I never experience pain like this 

“You know,” I said rather cheerfully, “what I before. 
really wish for?”For the next week, my wish for nothing to do 

Not knowing where I’m coming from my wife came true, proving my wife was really wrong. I 
said, “I really have no idea what you’re wishing for spent most of the time in bed doing nothing but 
right now. Just be careful what you wish for.” groaning in pain. I’m not sure this was what I had 

Staring off into space a little bit I responded in mind in my wish.
by saying, “I wish I could take a week off and do For every bad thing that happens there is always 
nothing.” something good that comes out of it. The good 

When she finished laughing she said, “Don’t that came out of this was I lost 11 pounds during 
wish for something that you can’t follow through that week. I’m not recommending this as a form 
on. You know that’s not possible.” of diet, but I did lose that weight and I guess I’m 

Together we laughed and enjoyed that far-thankful for that. 
reaching impossible idea.However, for every good thing that happens 

A week later, almost to the day, I was scheduled there is always some bad element to it. The good 
to go to my doctor for blood work. I don’t know was I lost 11 pounds. The bad was, my trousers 
why doctors are so interested in blood, especially now won’t stay up. I must be careful as I walk 
my blood. It was on a Monday and the day before around because I might lose those trousers. (A full 
I had pain in my right shoulder all the way down moon tonight.)
to my fingertips. I figured I would ask the doctor I was feeling really sorry for myself. My right 
when I was in for my scheduled appointment. I arm is only about 75% active right now. That 
assumed I had a pinched nerve a real bummer to be sure. I managed to go to 

I showed my arm to the doctor and there was Wendy’s and as I was in the drive-through lane 
a little rash beginning to develop near my elbow. waiting for my turn to order I saw a man come out 
The doctor looked at that, smiled wickedly and of the restaurant and he did not have a right arm.
said, “You have shingles.” When I saw that I became thankful for the pain 

I have heard of shingles, but I did not know I had because at least my arm was intact and one 
anything about it. I did not know if I should call for day this pain will go away.
some roofing contractor to work on my shingles or The apostle Paul understood this when he 
what. wrote, “Giving thanks always for all things unto 

After further examination, he confirmed his God and the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus 
first guess and said, “You do have shingles and it’s Christ” (Ephesians 5:20).
good that you’re here today because we got it just It’s very easy to complain about something that 
in time.” you are going through, but when you see someone 
The doctor went out of the room, came back in else going through something worse, it is a point 
the room, went out of the room and came back in to which you can really thank God. My thanks to 
the room all the time smiling. Up to this time, he God is not based upon good times, but rather the 
had not been able to find anything wrong with me. faithfulness of God to get me through bad times.
His comment always has been, “A person your age Dr. James L. Snyder is pastor of the Family of God 
should have something wrong with them.” Fellowship, Ocala, FL 34472. He lives with his wife 

Well, now I have something wrong with me. in Silver Springs Shores. Phone 352-687-4240 orAre you happy now, Dr. Dracula?e-mail The church web site 

In first grade, I had chickenpox and so I have is 

A system of mirrors, prisms and lenses 
transmits the light from each VLT Unit Telescope 
to the ESPRESSO spectrograph up to 69 meters 
away. Thanks to these complex optics, ESPRESSO 
can either collect the light from up to all four 
Unit Telescopes together, increasing its light-
gathering power, or alternatively receive light from 
any one of the Unit Telescopes independently, 
allowing for more flexible usage of observing time. 
ESPRESSO was specially developed to exploit this 

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