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Today's Features

  • Five Los Alamos households will open their yards to the public from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Saturday as part of the Master Gardener’s Tour.
    The tour is in its 10th year and is produced by the Los Alamos Master Gardeners, in conjunction with the Los Alamos Extension Office and Los Alamos Extension Agent Carlos Valdez.  Gardeners and homeowners looking for answers to questions about growing vegetables and flowers in the area, as well as those looking for landscaping ideas, might enjoy the tour.
    According to Master Gardener Denise George, it will include a variety of approaches to landscape design.
    “The gardens on this tour are very different. Some lots are large and others small. All five residential gardens feature outdoor living space, some have ponds and other water features, most incorporate vegetable areas into their gardens, some emphasize attracting birds and other wildlife, some were designed to require little maintenance,” George said.
    “Visitors should expect to leave with ideas that they might incorporate into their own landscapes. At each location, visitors will be able to ask master gardeners any questions they might have.”
    This year, the following residents will be make up the tour:
    • Shelby and Tony Redondo, 390 Manhattan Loop

  • Getting a grasp on the English language can be difficult, especially for those who were not brought up learning it. After all, there are so many things to consider, especially when words like cool have double meanings. Of course, there’s also words like their, there and they’re, to consider.
    Northern New Mexicans don’t make the task any easier. They seem to have a language all their own. It’s a fusion of American English and Castilian Spanish and produces terms such as acequia, mijo and patrón, which are mixed in with everyday English. It’s not uncommon to hear a native New Mexican speak Spanglish, a mix of English sprinkled with Spanish words here and there.
    While using Spanish terms is commonplace for most New Mexicans, it’s not so easy for tourists and those who have moved to New Mexico to understand the lingo. Until now.
    Mark H. Cross, a proofreader for the New Mexico Legislature, has written “Encyclopedia of Santa Fe and Northern New Mexico,” to help people understand the language and history of New Mexico.
    Cross’ tale of moving to New Mexico is not unique. Like many who fall in love with the Land of Enchantment, he came to visit a friend here and decided to make New Mexico his home. So in 1996, he made the move to Santa Fe and has lived there ever since.

  • Art comes in many forms and can be made out of anything an artist can think of. Now, Oregon native and New Mexico resident Nancy Judd is opening the eyes of fashionistas in and out of the state and letting them know the same can be said of fashion.
    Since 1998, Judd has been crafting fashions out of other people’s trash. She first got the idea while working in Santa Fe, as the city’s recycling coordinator.
    “I realized that art and fashion could be used to raise the consciousness of the public about recycling in a fun and positive way,” Judd said. “I started an event called the Recycle Santa Fe Art Market, that is still going strong.
    The opening night always features a recycled fashion contest and I would make a dress every year to promote the contest.
    Soon, I had a wonderful collection of recycled garments and I started to get invited by other recycling coordinators around the country to give recycled fashion shows in their communities.”
    She stopped doing fashion shows four years ago, because she said she realized she could “reach more people with my message of sustainability with exhibitions. I also wanted an audience that was not already environmentally minded.”

  • Kelley Kramer received a certificate of appreciation for service on the Juvenile Justice Advisory Board last month. Kraemer is now attending college.

  • Today
    The Los Alamos Community of Atheists will host a discussion from 6:30-8 p.m. in meeting room 1 of the Mesa Public Library. This month’s topic is “Mormon mythology, morality and Mitt. How benign are Mormon beliefs? How would a Mormon in the White House affect you?” Direct questions to losalamoscommunityofatheists@gmail.com.All are welcome.

    Thursday
    The Los Alamos Farmers Market will be from 7 a.m.-12:30 p.m. in the Mesa Public Library parking lot.

    Family Game Night at Mesa Public Library. Join the geeks and gamers from 5:30-8:30 p.m. in the upstairs rotunda for game boards galore. All ages welcome, please bring a parent or another adult if you’re 12 or younger.

    Wildflower Walk. Join Chick Keller, curator of PEEC’s Jemez Mountain Herbarium, for an easy walk to learn the names of local wildflowers.  A plant list will be provided so participants can keep track of what they see. Meet at PEEC at 5:30 p.m. to carpool or caravan to the trailhead. Free, no registration required. Visit PajaritoEEC.org, call 662-0460, or email Programs@PajaritoEEC.org for more information. In case of rain, meet inside PEEC for slide and plant identification discussions.

  • Kiwanis recently awarded Kathryn Hemphill with a scholarship. Hemphill served as a Key Club member and will attend Arizona State University to study biomedical engineering. Pictured from left to right are: Kiwanis Club members Morrie Pongratz, Don Casperson and Kristy Ortega (president), along with Kathyrn (Katie) Hemphill and Richard Hemphill. Kiwanis meets each Tuesday at noon at the Masonic Lodge with a focus on youth projects. Kiwanis was founded in 1948 and is the oldest service organization in Los Alamos. For more information on Kiwanis, visit their web site at losalamos.kiwanisone.org.

  • Today
    The next meeting of the Los Alamos Geological Society will begin at 7:30 p.m. at the Christian Church, 92 East Road. The featured speakers will be Dr. Steve Becker and Dr. Paul Bradley. Their talk is titled, “A Travelogue of New Zealand’s North and South Islands.” The September field trip will be to Shark’s Tooth Ride between San Ysidro and Cuba. For this trip, they will meet at 7:30 a.m. Sept. 22 at Sullivan Field. Plan on brining a camera, sunscreen, extra clothing, water, lunch and snacks. Contact Paula Bradley at Ppbradpp@aol.com for more information and to confirm attendance.

    Wednesday
    The Los Alamos Community of Atheists will host a discussion from 6:30-8 p.m. in meeting room 1 of the Mesa Public Library. This month’s topic is “Mormon mythology, morality and Mitt. How benign are Mormon beliefs? How would a Mormon in the White House affect you?” Direct questions to losalamoscommunityofatheists@gmail.com.All are welcome.

    Thursday
    The Los Alamos Farmers Market will be from 7 a.m.-12:30 p.m. in the Mesa Public Library parking lot.

  • PEEC would like to thank the community and some special helpers for a fantastic program about cougars and people.
    We were fortunate enough to have Ken Logan, wildlife biologist for Colorado Parks and Wildlife, came to PEEC Aug. 12 to talk about cougars  and their interactions with people, to a crowd of about 60. His talk made it clear that we live in cougar country and gave some practical tips  on how to stay safe.  
    One point that he stressed was to be in contact with your neighbors. If you see tracks, scat or a mountain lion, call your neighbors and let them know there’s been a sighting in your neighborhood. The more aware people are, the more likely they are to take a few simple steps to stay safe, like avoid hiking until two hours after sunrise, keeping pets inside at night and making sure outside pets and livestock are in cages with roofs.
    PEEC would like to thank James Brooks, of Yukon Wildlife Studio, for his help with this program. Brooks has been collecting and categorizing data about mountain lion encounters in Los Alamos on his website, yukonwildlifestudio.com, and was kind enough to tour Ken Logan before his talk, showing him the lay of the land in Los Alamos and places where sightings had been reported.  

  • This week, we talk about technology as it relates to adults.
    To me, technology is a blessing and a curse.
    When I know what I’m doing, it is a blessing. When I don’t know what I’m doing, it is a curse.
    I have a cell phone — by no means top of the line, actually a hand-me-down from my son. It is not a Smart phone, but alas, it is probably smarter than I am.
    The other day I was at Smith’s in White Rock, when a young worker named Shane (I think … I’m a bear of very little brain this week), asked to scan the barcode looking emblem on my shirt.
    You see them everywhere now, in advertisements, in stores and more.
    Do you know what happens when you scan them or what they do?
    Well, Shane took the time to show me what happens.
    The shirt I was wearing was for a group called America’s Promise. The emblem on the back of the shirt was able to be scanned by his cell phone and it took him to their website.
    Yes, a cell phone that could take a photo of what looks like a puzzle piece on my shirt, allowed the boy to look up information about a program and our community and have it all at his fingertips.
    Amazing!
    Now, I want to talk about the downside of technology for me.

  • Scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory have observed for the first time how a laser penetrates dense, electron-rich plasma to generate ions. The process has applications for developing next generation particle accelerators and new cancer treatments.

    The results, published online Aug. 19 in Nature Physics, also confirm predictions made more than 60 years ago about the fundamental physics of laser-plasma interaction. Plasmas dense with electrons normally reflect laser light like a mirror. But a strong laser can drive those electrons to near the speed of light, making the plasma transparent and accelerating the plasma ions.

    “That idea has been met with some skepticism in the field,” said Rahul Shah of LANL’s plasma physics group. “We think that we’ve settled that controversy.”

    The team, which also included researchers from the Max Planck Institute for Quantum Optics in Garching, Germany and Queens University in Belfast, UK, used the 200 trillion-watt short-pulse TRIDENT laser at Los Alamos National Laboratory to observe the transparency phenomenon at 50 femtosecond resolution. Until now, those dynamics have been witnessed only in computer simulations.