Mountain Views News, Sierra Madre Edition [Pasadena] Saturday, April 15, 2017

MVNews this week:  Page A:11



Mountain Views-News Saturday, April 15, 2017 


How time and our spacecraft fly—especially when 
you’re making history at 32,000 miles per hour!

 Continuing on its path through the outer 
regions of the solar system, NASA’s New Horizons 
spacecraft has now traveled half the distance from 
Pluto—its storied first target—to 2014 MU69, the 
Kuiper Belt object (KBO) it will fly past on Jan. 
1, 2019. The spacecraft reached that milestone on 
April 3, when it was 486.19 million miles beyond 
Pluto and the same distance from MU69.

 “It’s fantastic to have completed half the journey 
to our next flyby; that flyby will set the record for 
the most distant world ever explored in the history 
of civilization,” said Alan Stern, New Horizons 
principal investigator from the Southwest Research 
Institute in Boulder, Colorado.

 On April 7, New Horizons also reached the 
halfway point in time between closest approaches 
to Pluto, which occurred at on July 14, 2015, and 
MU69, predicted for New Year’s Day 2019. The 
nearly five-day difference between the halfway 
markers of distance and time is due to the 
gravitational tug of the Sun.

 Just two hours before the midpoint in time April 
7, the spacecraft was put into a hibernation mode. 
Mission controllers at the Johns Hopkins University 
Applied Physics Laboratory (APL) in Laurel, 
Maryland, verified that New Horizons—acting on 
commands uplinked to its main computer the week 
before—entered hibernation at 3:32 p.m. EDT. 
With the spacecraft now about 3.5 billion miles 
from Earth, the radio signals carrying that word 
from New Horizons needed just over five hours—
traveling at the speed of light—to reach the APL 
mission operations center through NASA’s Deep 
Space Network.

 Before April 7, New Horizons had been “awake” 
for almost two and a half years, since Dec. 6, 2014, 
when the team began final preparations for Pluto 
approach and encounter operations. The 852 days 
since the end of its last hibernation period is the 
longest period that New Horizons has remained in 
active operations since it was launched in January 

 This hibernation period will last 157 days, ending 
on Sept. 11, but mission activity won’t necessarily 
stop. The science and mission operations teams 
will be developing detailed command loads for the 
MU69 encounter, shaping the science observations 
for much of nine-day flyby. Their plans currently 
accommodate two potential flyby altitudes for the 
encounteer; the team will narrow its choice to the 
final altitude as it learns more about the properties 
and orbit of MU69 (which was discovered less than 
three years ago).

 During hibernation mode, much of the New 
Horizons spacecraft is unpowered. The onboard 
flight computer monitors system health and 
broadcasts a weekly beacon-status tone back to 
Earth, and about once a month sends home data 
on spacecraft health and safety. Onboard sequences 
sent in advance by mission controllers will 
eventually wake New Horizons to check out critical 
systems, gather new Kuiper Belt science data, and 
perform course corrections (if necessary).

 “The January 2019 MU69 flyby is the next big 
event for us, but New Horizons is truly a mission 
to more broadly explore the Kuiper Belt,” said Hal 
Weaver, New Horizons project scientist from APL, 
in Laurel, Maryland. “In addition to MU69, we plan 
to study more than two-dozen other KBOs in the 
distance and measure the charged particle and dust 
environment all the way across the Kuiper Belt.”

 You can contact Bob Eklund at: b.eklund@


A Weekly Religion Column by Rev. James Snyder





One thing I have learned 
throughout my life is 
sometimes speaking your 
mind only gets a piece of 
somebody else’s mind – and not the good piece.

The old saying goes that you can’t teach an old 
dog new tricks. However, I’m surprised the old 
dog doesn’t know the old tricks. What good is 
a new trick if you have not really mastered and 
learned from the old tricks?

My experience in this area stood me in good stead 
for many years. An incident happened recently 
bringing to light how valuable this “old trick” 
really is. I may not be good in the new tricks, but I 
think I have mastered a few of the old tricks.

I really do not know when this incident started, 
but somewhere along the line I said something 
resembling a guttural “uh huh,” and forgot about 
it. What you say in these odd moments may 
determine your quality of life for many years 
to come. This points out the difference between 
husbands and wives.

The only way a husband can remember what 
he had for lunch is to look at his shirt. A wife’s 
memory, on the other hand, is so keen she can 
remember things that never happened.

In the midst of a mild domestic discussion, any 
wife worth her salt can bring her husband to 
his knees by simply stating, “But, Honey, you 
promised me.”

At that point, no husband has the equipment 
to counter that argument. He may well have 
promised, but there is no way to prove one way 
or the other.

About a month ago, the Gracious Mistress of the 
Parsonage got it into her mind to remodel the 
kitchen. During this time, I did a pretty good 
job of staying out of her way. When the rare 
opportunity came soliciting my personal advice 
on a matter associated with this remodeling 
project, I quickly and enthusiastically supported 
her decisions.

The man who carefully measures his words will 
add happy years to his life. I sure don’t know how 
long I’m going to live, but I want that time to be 

Following the kitchen remodeling my wife 
proceeded to remodel her bathroom. At this 
point I should have had some suspicions, but 
I didn’t. As a husband, I am not equipped with 
a “suspicion detector.” Experience should have 
taught me that if one project is done successfully 
it only inspires another project.

When a wife gets it in her mind to remodel part 
of the house that thought gets stuck and there is 
no stopping her. After each remodeling project is 
completed, my wife always asks my opinion of the 
job she has just done.

I have learned that if I do not want to do the job 
myself, I enthusiastically praise the job my wife 
has done. Any critique that leads toward the 
negative has a reciprocal effect.

Of course, there is a thing as too much enthusiasm, 
and I found that to be so in this recent remodeling 
frenzy at our house. I must admit I did detect a 
certain busyness around the house, but I have 
learned it is better not to inquire.

Then I come home from the office one day. Not 
that it is unusual for me to come home, but this 
time when I came home, I was greeted at the door 
by my wife, with a smile that indicated to me that 
either something was wrong or I was in trouble.

“I have something I want to show you,” she giggled 
as she took my arm and led me back through the 
hallway. “I’ve been working on this all day and 
I’m anxious to show you what I did.”

She then proceeded to escort me to one of the 
most sacred areas of our blessed domicile. My 
bathroom. Nothing is more personal and sacred 
as a man’s bathroom.

I have few requirements of that room. The water 
must run and the hot water must be hot. The toilet 
must flush and the shower must work. Outside of 
that, nothing else really matters.

The fact that the wallpaper is peeling is 
inconsequential. The fact that the floor is cracked 
doesn’t really matter. The fact that the shower 
curtain is old and tattered just makes it more 
homey for me. I like my bathroom.

Just as she was about to open the door a 
horrendous thought exploded in my cranium. 
She has remodeled my bathroom. This comes as 
close to crossing the line as anything done inside 
the house. A sense of panic paraded around my 

Opening the door, she said those words that will 
frighten any man in his right mind. “What do 
you think of your new bathroom?”

Through the years, I have discovered many 
questions a husband should never answer.

“Does this dress make me look fat?”

“How do you like the meatloaf? It’s a new recipe.”

No matter how long it takes you to chew that 
meatloaf, always do it with a smile and never, 
never compare it with your mother’s.

I can either express what’s on my mind, or, live 
happily ever after. I just can’t do both.

A verse from the Bible brought a sense of comfort 
to my heart. “A man shall eat good by the fruit of 
his mouth: but the soul of the transgressors shall 
eat violence” (Proverbs 13: 2).

I’m on a fruit diet.

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 jamessnyder2@att.
net. The church web site is www.whatafellowship.

[Nyerges is the author 
of numerous books such 
as “Extreme Simplicity,” 
“How to Survive 
Anywhere,” and others. He 
can be reached at www.Schoolof 
or Box 41834, Eagle Rock, CA 90041]

 It is a time that millions of people the world over 
look forward to – the first Sunday after the first 
full moon after the spring equinox. What day is 
that, you ask? Easter, the day (and season) that 
Christians worldwide commemorate the trial, 
death, and resurrection from the dead of Jesus.

 I grew up in a Catholic family, going to a 
Catholic school, and know well the Easter motif, 
beginning with the “giving something up” for 
Lent, Palm Sunday when Jesus entered Jerusalem 
on a donkey (in fulfillment of scriptures), and then 
turned over the tables of the vendors. He was still 
invited to speak in the Temple, but the Temple 
authorities considered him an upstart, someone 
who seemed to know “the Truth” in a way that 
they had forgotten, a man who didn’t have the 
Temple training and no formal training to become 
a Rabbi, and yet, there he was, attracting crowds, 
purporting to heal, innocent, seeming to know the 
answers to life’s deepest questions.

 His trial and death were almost predictable, 
as most societies do not like the rabble-rousers 
among them. 

 Every Easter I have enjoyed the inspiring 
messages that movie-makers have given us in their 
efforts to interpret the practical meaning of the 
Jesus message. I have particularly liked the over six 
hour presentation of “Jesus of Nazareth” produced 
by Franco Zeffirelli, starring Robert Powell as 
Jesus. It is a rare presentation that brings the story 
alive, and takes it out of the pages of dry church 
reading. You cannot help but cry, and laugh, 
often when viewing this unique presentation. I 
have kept a Bible (Lamsa translation) handy when 
viewing this, to see how well Zeffirelli brought 
alive these ancient writings. You will likely agree 
that he did a great job. Actor Robert Powell said 
once in an interview that this role “changed my 
life.” Indeed.

 Though too many of us have gotten lost in 
the pre-Christian “Easter” symbolisms of eggs, 
bunnies, chocolate, etc., it is still worth fighting 
to realize that there is still a real story here, 
about someone who worked hard, was ridiculed, 
laughed at, even killed, in order to help us to save 

 I have chosen to see the Easter story as a pattern 
that each of us should find and follow in our own 
lives. And are there other stories out there which 
show this pattern in the so-called secular world?

 Movie-makers have given us many such stories, 
but we don’t always see them for what they are. 
If we consider the themes of the Easter story – 
humble birth, hard work, trying to rise above 
mundanity, showing The Way to others, some sort 
of “death,” and rising up again – then there are 
some excellent movies that give us this tale.

 For example, you can’t go wrong with the 
classic “Whale Rider”. If you’ve not seen it, get it 
immediately. The grandfather of the traditional 
village is hoping for a grandson to carry on the 
ways. A girl is born, and grandpa figures he’ll 
have to wait some more. But the girl is “the 
one.” She persists in her path of learning the 
traditional ways. And when a test is given to 
the boys to see which one will become the new 
spiritual leader, the girl nearly dies, but passes 
the test. She is the one. You have to see it, and 
feel it, and experience that Saviorness can occur 
at any time, anywhere. Of course, there are 
certain requirements, but the chief among them 
is the willingness and desire to do the work 
required, and then doing that work.

 “Powder” is another good movie that somewhat 
depicts the elements of the Easter theme, though 
not precisely. It’s still worth watching to see how 
most of us treat our fellow man.

 Yes, some of you who will read your 
Encyclopedia today will learn about the pre-
Christian roots of Easter. There is no denying 
that the Holy Day, as practiced generally today, 
has so-called pagan roots. So what? You can still 
observe this day and find the way to use the major 
themes for your personal upliftment, and for the 
upliftment of those around you.

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