Mountain Views News, Sierra Madre Edition [Pasadena] Saturday, April 1, 2017

MVNews this week:  Page A:11



Mountain Views-News Saturday, April 1, 2017 



Global Astronomy Month 2017 (GAM2017) fills the 
entire month of April again with exciting programs 
for astronomy enthusiasts worldwide. Whether it’s 
stargazing, sharing with the public, or experiencing 
the cosmos in art and poetry, there is something for 
everyone in GAM 2017.

 Global Astronomy Month (GAM), organized each 
April by Astronomers Without Borders, is the world’s 
largest annual global celebration of astronomy. Each 
GAM brings new ideas and new opportunities, and 
GAM 2017 is no exception, once again bringing 
enthusiasts together worldwide to celebrate 
Astronomers Without Borders’ motto: One People, 
One Sky.

 Watch the HD Video Promo Trailer on AWB’s 
YouTube Channel:

 Dozens of programs fill the month of April, with 
highlighted events worldwide including these:

 * Global Star Party—We launch Global Astronomy 
Month with public stargazing parties being held 
worldwide. And this year we have asked organizers 
and participants to share their local star party 
experiences through a series of Facebook Lives 
highlighting differences and similarities of everyone 
in the AWB global astronomy community. All 
webcasts will be shared with the world, and the AWB 
Facebook page will be highlighting them all.

 * OPTICKS, a Cosmic Mail Art, transmits images 
to the Moon and back as radio signals in real time.

 * Thousands will view the heavens through 
telescopes provided by amateur astronomers and 
science centers during SunDay, and other observing 

 * Online observing with popular astronomer 
Gianluca Masi will feature live interaction with a 
worldwide audience in the hugely popular Online 
Messier Marathon. The Virtual Telescope Project will 
offer a tour of the brightest star clusters, nebulae and 
galaxies in the sky in one night.

 * AWB’s wide-ranging AstroArts program 
connects art and culture with astronomy in exciting 
ways with blog posts and special live webcasts, 
including the annual Cosmic Concert with original 
music composed and performed by Giovanni Renzo.

 * Partner programs bring new audiences and 
participants: Measuring light pollution worldwide 
in Globe at Night, classrooms discovering asteroids 
in the International Asteroid Search Campaign, and 

 Learn more about GAM 2017 programs on the 
website at

The GAM 2017 website is the hub of all activities, 
with galleries, articles, and fresh content continuously 
posted. GAM participants will be adding their 
reports and photos about their local GAM events and 
program from all parts of the world.

 Here is the schedule of our GAM happenings to 
date (see
global-astronomy-month-2017.html for details):

1 March - 1 May AstroPoetry Contest

25 March - 30 April International Earth and Sky 
Photo Contest 2017

1 April Global Star Party—GAM2017 Launch Event

1-30 April Astronomers Without Borders Asteroid 
Search Campaign

1-30 April Discovering the Solar System (Observing 

1-30 April Lunar Explorations (Observing Challenge) 

1 April - 1 May 1 AstroArts Contest

28 April The Moon plows through the Hyades 
(Observing Challenge)

4 April Online Messier Marathon (Online Observing 

5 April Walking on the Moon (Online Observing 

7 April Art and Science Collaboration - Podcast

7 April Jupiter Watch

10-28 April Shoot for the Moon (Observing 

14 April Art and Science Collaboration - Podcast

18-27 April Globe at Night

20-23 April Lyrid Meteor Shower Watch

22 April Stars For All (Online Observing Event)

22-28 April International Dark Sky Week 2017

23 April SunDay

28 April Cosmic Concert for GAM 2017

30 April OPTICKS

 You can contact Bob Eklund at: b.eklund@


A Weekly Religion Column by Rev. James Snyder




[Nyerges is the author 
of “How to Survive 
Anywhere,” “Extreme 
Simplicity,” and other 
books. He is a regular 
contributor to American 
Survival Guide magazine. He has led wild 
food and survival walks since 1974. For more 
information, go to www.SchoolofSelf-Reliance.
com, or Box 41834, Eagle Rock, CA 90041]

 In most of the United States today, good 
drinking water is more-or-less taken for 
granted. But in much of the developing world, 
safe drinking water cannot be taken for granted. 
Though there are many things in the water 
around the world that can get us sick, the three 
major health risks to humans found in water 
are Protozoa, Viruses, and Pathogens. Each one 
of those categories of water-borne organisms 
presents their own unique health hazards.

 Of these, Giardia and Cryptosporidium 
are the most common both which pose 
serious health risks. An infection with these 
protozoans may cause chronic digestion 
problems which lead to malnutrition.


In the United States, most campers assume 
water should be boiled for a period of ten 
minutes, before drinking, just to be safe. In some 
countries, however, the ability to boil water has 
proven to be a major obstacle, in large part 
because of a lack of firewood. Research shows 
all pathogens in the water are dead when the 
water reaches around 170 degrees F. (or about 75 
degrees C), so, in fact, simply bringing the water 
to a boil is sufficient.

 But what if you simply cannot, or don’t deem 
it wise, make a fire to purify your water? Is 
there an alternative?

 According to various international agencies, 
such as EAWAG (Swiss Federal Institute of 
Environmental Science and Technology) and 
SANDEC (Department of Water Sanitation 
in Developing Countries), clear plastic water 
bottles can serve a valuable role in disinfecting 


 This is referred to as SODIS, for SOlar water 
DISinfection. So how does it work exactly? 
The effectiveness of SODIS takes advantage 
of the suns UV rays and the process of 
pasteurization. This method is practiced in 
India, for example.

Here are the steps.

 1. Select a clear PET plastic bottle, free 
of scratches and dirt. These are relatively 
common and available world-wide.

 2. Fill the bottle . of the way with clear 
water and shake to aerate. (If the collected 
water is cloudly, or contains suspended debris, 
it should first be allowed to settle in another 
container, like a bucket. Then, the water 
should be strained through a cloth before 
being poured into the plastic bottle.)

 3. Fill the bottle the rest of the way and 
secure the lid tightly.

 4. Expose the suspect water to the sun 
by laying the bottles on their side, either on a 
roof or somewhere where shadows will not be 
cast on them, or ideally on a corrugated metal 

 5. Wait about 6 hours during full sunlight 
before you drink the water.

Limitations of SODIS

 Though very effective, SODIS is not free 
of limitations. For one, adequate sunlight is 

 During winter, when the sun is lower in the 
horizon, the days are shorter and air is cooler, 
SODIS will take longer to work than during 
the summer. Cloud cover also mean you’ll 
have to keep the bottles in the longer than the 
recommended six hours. Areas in developing 
countries, between 35 degrees north latitude 
and 35 degrees south latitude, are ideal for the 
use of SODIS.


 · 6 hours if the sky is cloudless or up to 
50% cloudy.

 · 2 consecutive days if the sky is more 
than 50% cloudy.

 · 1 hour at a water temperature of at least 

 · During days of continuous rainfall, 
SODIS does not perform satisfactorily. 
Rainwater harvesting or boiling is 
recommended during these days

 Standing bottles up does not work well. For 
maximum effectiveness, you want to lay the 
bottles on their side and you don’t want water 
deeper than ten centimeters for ideal UV 

Advantages of using SODIS

 In the aftermath of an emergency where 
you must purify water, you’re not drawing 
attention to your location if you don’t have a 
fire, and this may be critically important. You 
won’t need to expend the energy of searching 
for fire wood. 

 There is quite a bit of science behind SODIS, 
far beyond the scope of this article. For this 
interested, more information can be found at

 Getting old seems to be a long and slow process. 
The longer it goes the older you get.

 I didn’t really think I was getting old until a few 
weeks ago I was visiting with some friends from 
high school. You know those old high school 
friends that you had fun with when you were 
young enough to have fun? And oh boy, what fun 
we had.

 A sharp difference exists between being young 
and being old. You have to get old to really 
understand the difference because when you are 
young you do not have enough time to think. 
That’s the problem with young people today. So 
many things to do and so much technology they 
do not have any time left over to think.

 Those young whippersnappers.

 There is a huge difference between being young 
and being old.

 When you are young, you enjoy having lots of 

 When you are old, you enjoy remembering all 
the fun you had when you were young.

 The best thing about being old and remembering 
those good old days is that you can exaggerate 
about how good they really were. Even when you 
are exaggerating with friends that shared the same 
fun, they go along with you.

 Whether it is the absence of memory or just 
wanting to enjoy fun to its fullest extent, I do not 
really know.

 As my friends and I were talking about the 
good old days, I happened to notice wrinkles on 
their faces. I did not say anything at the time, but 
they sure looked old to me. Also, I did not quite 
remember how grey their hair was when we were 

 When I was young and having all that fun, I 
never gave a thought about how young I was or 
that I was getting older. My whole focus was on the 
fun element of life and I thought that would carry 
me through the rest of my life.

 I remember my 20th birthday very well. I was 
celebrating getting out of those teenage years and 
becoming an adult. For some reason I thought 
you became an adult at 20. Little did I know that it 
takes many years to become an adult and some do 
not really make it. I simply assume that the older 
you get, the more fun you can have. Boy, was I ever 

 Celebrating the good old days is quite 
remarkable. Because in it all, I noticed my friends 
were getting older. One of my friends repeated a 
story three times and not to embarrass him, I 
laughed all three times.

 After the meeting and driving home, I began to 
think about myself. Am I as old as they look?

 I was afraid to look in the mirror when I got 
home because I did not know who would be staring 
back at me. Whoever invented mirrors ought to be 
shot and then sent to the moon. A mirror never 
tells you the correct story and never tells you how 
old you really are. It just makes a funny face at you.

My friends may be getting old, but I have put my 
foot down and I have refused to get old.

 One friend was using a cane and I did not have 
the heart to ask him why he was using a cane. 
He hobbled around and I am not sure if he hurt 
himself or if he was just getting too old to walk on 
his own.

 I must admit there are some days that I feel old, 
whatever that means. Some days I am a little slower 
than I was the day before. Overall, I am not as old 
as some of my friends look.

 There is an old saying that says you are only 
as old as you feel, and I’m not sure what old feels 
like. I would like to ask my wife, but you know the 
trouble I would be in then!

 I did enjoy my visit with those friends, but it 
did start me thinking about things I have never 
thought about before. Someone said that the 70 is 
the new 20. I will keep that in mind when I hit that 
magical mark called 70.

 When I got home, I shared some of my thoughts 
with the Gracious Mistress of the Parsonage who 
just listen very patiently. I went on and on about 
how old my friends looked.

 When I settled back in my chair and sipped 
some coffee, she looked at me and said something 
that rather startled me. “I wonder,” she said rather 
thoughtfully, “if your friends are saying the same 
thing about you!”

 That was a thought stopper for sure. What if they 
were? What if I looked old to them?

 Is it really that bad to get old? I thought about 
that for a moment and then realized if you stop 
getting older, you’re dead.

 “I have been young,” David said rather 
thoughtfully, “and now am old; yet have I not 
seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging 
bread” (Psalm 37:25).

 The one I like is, “They shall still bring forth fruit 
in old age; they shall be fat and flourishing” (Psalm 
92:14). This one fits me to a T.

 Not only are my friends getting old, but I’m 
getting old and my goal is to get as old as I possibly 


 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 
The church web site is

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