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Today's Features

  • 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.

  • LOS ANGELES (AP) — Phyllis Diller, the housewife turned humorist who aimed some of her sharpest barbs at herself, punctuating her jokes with her trademark cackle, died Monday morning in her Los Angeles home at age 95.

    "She died peacefully in her sleep and with a smile on her face," her longtime manager, Milton Suchin, told The Associated Press.

    Diller, who suffered a near-fatal heart attack in 1999, was found by her son, Perry Diller. The cause of her death has not been released.

    She was a staple of nightclubs and television from the 1950s — when female comics were rare indeed — until her retirement in 2002. Diller built her stand-up act around the persona of the corner-cutting housewife ("I bury a lot of my ironing in the backyard") with bizarre looks, a wardrobe to match (by "Omar of Omaha") and a husband named "Fang."

  • LOS ANGELES (AP) — Tony Scott, director of such Hollywood hits as "Top Gun," ''Days of Thunder" and "Beverly Hills Cop II," died Sunday after jumping from a Los Angeles County bridge, authorities said.

    The 68-year-old Scott's death was being investigated as a suicide, Los Angeles County Coroner's Lt. Joe Bale said.

    "I can confirm that Tony Scott has passed away. The family asks that their privacy is respected at this time," Scott's spokesman, Simon Halls, said in a statement.

    Several people called 911 around 12:35 p.m. to report that someone had jumped from the Vincent Thomas Bridge spanning San Pedro and Terminal Island in Los Angeles Harbor, according to Los Angeles police Lt. Tim Nordquist.

    A dive team with Los Angeles Port Police pulled the body from the murky water several hours later, Nordquist said. Scott's body was taken to a dock in Wilmington and turned over to the county coroner's office.

  •  

     NASA's Curiosity rover has zapped its first Martian rock, aiming its laser for the sake of science.

    During the target practice on Sunday. Curiosity fired 30 pulses at a nearby rock over a 10-second window, burning a small hole.

    Since landing in Gale Crater two weeks ago, the six-wheel rover has been checking out its instruments including the laser. During its two-year mission, Curiosity was expected to point the laser at various rocks as it drives toward Mount Sharp, a 3-mile-high mountain rising from the crater floor.

    Its goal is to determine whether the Martian environment was habitable.

  • The Los Alamos Animal Shelter, 226 East Road, 662-8179, has a great selection of on site adoptable pets waiting for their forever home.
    Come find a companion that will give you unconditional love. Be sure to visit lafos.org, where you can get more information about volunteering, adopting and donating.
    All adoptable pets are spayed or neutered, have their shots and are micro chipped. Visitor guides: Between 4-6 p.m. Friday, volunteers will be at the shelter to give potential adopters personal introductions to the adoptable animals.

    DOGS
    Coqueta — Six-year-old spayed female Retriever/Chow-mix surrendered. Good with adults and gentle children. Has been an outdoor dog.
    Naney — Senior brown-and-white English Hound-mix. Owner going abroad. Needs a quiet retirement home. Has reasonable doggy manners. Would be a nice, calm companion in a quiet home.  Will have some tumors removed and a good dental next week.
    Phoebe — Young, black female Spaniel-mix. temperament testing shows no aggression or guarding issues. Enjoys being around people. Her choice is not to share her new home with another dog or cat.
    Olympia — Sweet, young Dachshund-mix Loves to be with her people, but not to be left alone for long periods of time as she tends to bark.

  • Aug. 19-25
    For information, call the Betty Ehart Senior Center (BESC) at 662-8920, the White Rock Senior Center (WRSC) at 662-8200 and “Day Out” (adult day care, 8 a.m.-4 p.m.) at 661-0081. Reservations must be made by 10 a.m. for daily lunches.

    Betty Ehart
    MONDAY
    8:45 a.m.    Cardio
    10 a.m.    Lier travel talk: France-Seine
    11:30 a.m.    Lunch: Chicken alfredo fettuccini
    7 p.m.        Ballroom dancing

    TUESDAY
    8:30 a.m.    Mac users
    8:45 a.m.    Variety training
    10 a.m.    Computer users group
    11:30 a.m.    Lunch: Fried chicken
    Noon        Lunch talk: Dr. Shepard, allergies
    1 p.m.        Bingo
    7 p.m.    Bridge
    7:30 p.m.    Table tennis

    WEDNESDAY
    8:30 a.m.    RSVP quilters
    8:45 a.m.    Cardio plus exercise
    10:45 a.m.    Music with Ruth
    11:30 a.m.    Lunch: Fish
    Noon        Lunch talk: Eva Artschnager, UNM

  • La Leche League of Los Alamos will discuss “Nutrition and Weaning” at their monthly meeting at 7 p.m. Tuesday in the Teen Room at the First United Methodist Church, 715 Diamond Dr.
    All interested, pregnant, or breastfeeding women are welcome to learn and share, through mother-to-mother support, the basics and benefits of breastfeeding.  
    A lending library with books and audio tapes concerning childbirth, breastfeeding, parenting, and nutrition is available. Nursing babies and toddlers who have difficulty separating, are welcome.
    For more information, contact Cathleen at 661-4033 or Gina at 661-8740.