Today's News

  • The Normans' house of scares

    For most of the year, the Normans’ pale brick, ranch-style house across the street from Chamisa Elementary in White Rock looks fairly normal.

    A waist-high metal gate leads into the front courtyard; their name part of decoration.

    Real friendly.

    However, when the calendar rolls to October, the Normans’ welcoming exterior begins to take on a dark tone.

    “My goal is to make kids sleep with their parents at least until they’re 4 or 5,” said Larry Norman, with a not-very-evil laugh.

    He’s joking.

    Dwelling in their imagination, like an earworm, Larry and Janie Norman select from their huge menagerie of animatronics – gargoyles, grim reapers, skulls, witches, a spooky Victorian named “Freddie,” and that really horrible one, the one with a dead baby doll face and glassy eyes that seems to be looking right at you.

    They fine-tune the displays with extra sensitive and well-aimed motion sensors, adding fog machines, weird lights and sound, also hooked up to sensors.

  • LAHS volleyball knocks off Del Norte to advance in district tourney

    The Los Alamos High School varsity volleyball team has a long road to toe if it wants to get back to the Class 5A playoffs this season.

    On Monday, the Hilltoppers got that journey on that road started on the right foot.

    LAHS had one of its best performances of the entire 2017 season Monday in Albuquerque. The Hilltoppers, the No. 5 seed in the District 2-5A tournament took on the Del Norte Knights, the No. 4 seed, in the opening round and earned a sweep.

    The Hilltoppers, who had only taken one set off the Knights in two previous 2-5A matches, earned a close 25-22 victory in the first set. The other two sets, however, were decisive Hilltopper victories – LAHS won those 25-17 and 25-16 to pull off the sweep.

    With the upset win, Los Alamos moves on to Tuesday night’s quarterfinal round of the district tournament, where it will face Española Valley.

    In Monday’s win over Del Norte, Los Alamos (6-15 overall, 2-7 in 2-5A) got 11 spike kills from junior outside hitter Sophia Salazar.

    However, LAHS had a balanced attack throughout the contest, with Natalie Gallegos finishing with 8 spike kills and Emme Segler and Kimberly McKinley both earning 6 spike kills.

  • It lives! This nightmare machine writes bone-chilling tales

    By MATT O'BRIEN, AP Technology Writer

    Don't throw away your Stephen King collection just yet. But the Master of the Macabre might want to keep an eye out behind him, because scientists have just unleashed a nightmare machine on a mission to churn out its own bone-chilling tales.

    MIT researchers have applied the electrodes and brought to life a new fiction-writing bot they call Shelley — after "Frankenstein" author Mary Shelley. To keep the bot busy — no wandering the countryside terrorizing villagers! — the team gave it a crash course in the horror genre, forcing it to read 140,000 stories published by amateur writers on a popular online forum.

    Now Shelley's artificial neural network is generating its own stories , posting opening lines on Twitter, then taking turns with humans in collaborative storytelling.


    "She's creating really interesting and weird stories that have never really existed in the horror genre," said Pinar Yanardag, a postdoctoral researcher at the MIT Media Lab. One strange tale, for instance, involved a pregnant man who woke up in a hospital.

  • Volleyball picks up first district win on senior night

    Through two sets, it appeared the Los Alamos High School varsity volleyball team was headed for a seventh consecutive district defeat. But from the third set on, the Hilltoppers played with passion and energy unmatched this season, rallying for an improbable victory over Española Valley in five sets.

    Not only were the Hilltoppers seeking a regular season district victory for the first time since Oct. 29, 2016, but the team also wanted to pick up a win in the final home game for its seniors Kimberly McKinley, Alize Garcia and Desere Martinez.

    Prior to Wednesday night’s match, the Hilltoppers were 0-6 this season at Griffith Gymnasium.

    In the first set, many of the issues that have plagued the team this season popped up again, as unforced errors and a lack of communication on the court allowed the Sundevils to jump out to an early 13-9 lead.

    As the deficit ballooned to 16-10, the Hilltoppers were forced to take a timeout, hoping to shift the momentum.

    Though LAHS closed the gap momentarily, the attacking of Española Valley proved to be too strong in the opening set, which the Sundevils took 25-17.

    The second set was more of the same in the early going, as Española Valley jumped out to a quick 6-2 lead with strong and accurate attacking.

  • Atomic City Update: Passion and emotion make high school sports more fun

    As I was watching the World Series earlier this week, something caught my eye that was great to see. The players showed true, genuine emotion that rarely exists in the world of professional sports.

    It makes sports so much more fun when you can tell they players truly care about what they are doing. It’s the kind of emotion you often see out of high school athletes, who are so excited to succeed, or so disappointed to fail, that they wear those emotions all over their faces, and in their body language.

    Watching Yasiel Puig of the Los Angeles Dodgers slam his glove down in disgust after coming up short on a diving attempt at a catch, or Jose Altuve and Carlos Correa of the Houston Astros scream and jump up and down after hitting extra inning home runs is the kind of emotion I love seeing.  

    Some may perceive the actions of Puig as throwing an unnecessary tantrum, or the actions of Altuve and Correa to be showboating, but to me it shows how much they care and want to win a championship. It’s emotion that you wouldn’t see in a regular season game normally, where the stakes are so much lower. That’s one of the differences between high school sports and every other level of competition. In high school, you can see that kind of emotion every single day.

  • A family bond on the soccer pitch

    The role of most parents of high school athletes is to sit in the stands and cheer on the team. They scream the loudest when their son or daughter does something well on the field, and they are the first people to offer moral support if the team loses.

    The parents are a big part of the team, but they are separate from the day-to-day activities of the team.

    However, this is not the case for Ron Blue and his son Christopher. Ron Blue coaches the varsity boy’s soccer team at Los Alamos High School, the team for which his son Christopher plays forward.

    For the past three years, the two of them have had to set aside their familial bond during soccer season, when Christopher Blue becomes one of Ron Blue’s players. There are no special favors or promises of playing time. He has to work arguably harder than anyone on the team.

    “It has probably been harder on him than anything,” Ron Blue said. “Because I hold him to a higher standard than anyone, mainly because I don’t want anyone to question that he belongs on this team.”

    Christopher Blue has been a consistent starter for the Hilltoppers this year, scoring four goals and adding eight assists, making him the third-highest scoring player on the team.

  • Birth Announcements 10-29-17

    Here are the newest members of the community born at Los Alamos Medical Center:

    Oct 19: A boy, Leo Timothy Uhlenbrock, was born to Emily and Kyle Uhlenbrock.

    Oct. 20: A boy, Owen Iefan Griffith, was born to Lauren and Gareth Griffith.

    Oct. 22: A boy, Tycho Rook Lanza Williams, was born to Nina Lanza and Richard Williams.

  • Pet Talk: Your pets can get spooked, too

    Children and adults may love the spooky traditions of Halloween, but our pets are less likely to appreciate the costumes, masks and parties associated with Halloween night.

    Kit Darling, infection control coordinator at the Texas A&M College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences, recommended a few tips to keep your pet safe this Halloween.

    “Keep candy secure from pets,” Darling said. “Many candies are toxic to pets, such as chocolates. Candies and gum containing the sugar-free sweetener xylitol are also toxic.”

    Additionally, lollipops and other candies with plastic wrappers can cause intestinal blockage if ingested, Darling said. Be sure to clean up candy trash and store candy on a high shelf to prevent pets from reaching it.

    Other items to keep away from your pets include candles, pumpkins, pumpkin seeds, corn, lights and electrical cords.

    These objects are a hazard if consumed or chewed on by your pet. If you suspect your pet has ingested a dangerous item, Darling recommended contacting the Animal Poison Control Center at 888-426-4435 or your veterinarian.

    Pet owners may want to dress their pet for Halloween night, but this may not be the best idea. Darling said pets shouldn’t be dressed in costume unless you know they are comfortable wearing the outfit.

  • Pet of the Week 10-29-17

    Powerball didn’t work out for you this week. You picked the wrong color combo for your unicorn look. They closed the highway before you got through the construction zone.

    There’s bad luck all over.

    Here’s a tip.

    The puppy Morello over at the Los Alamos County Animal Shelter could be the best thing that’s happened to you in quite awhile.

    His charm is his youth, and potential.

    A mixed breed with terrier traits, he’s a small puppy likely to reach medium proportions.

    He’s got a cute ear fold happening and appears genuinely interested in what comes next.

    He’s got some of his shots, not all, and he’ll need boosters.

    Consider making Morello part of your universe. Bad luck doesn’t last long when you’ve got a friend.

    Please contact the Los Alamos County Animal Shelter at 662-8179 or email at Police-psa@lacnm.us.

  • Frightful Delight