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How The Hen House Turns: Knowing Self

on August 27, 2016 - 8:18am
How the Hen House Turns—Knowing Self
By CARY NEEPER
Formerly of Los Alamos

Recently I talked about Theory of Mind—how some animals obviously recognize that others are aware. There's good evidence that animals are aware of what other critters are thinking or planning.

Whenever my duck Ms. Khaki came close to me with a soft "quack quack," she knew I would get the trowel and dig up damp spots in the Hen House mud to provide her with the juicy worms she loved. Once, she showed me where I had left the trowel.

There is a good case to be made for some animals who are also self-aware.

Tales Of Our Times: A 500-Year Flood Apportions Risk

on August 26, 2016 - 11:50am
Tales of Our Times 
By JOHN BARTLIT
New Mexico Citizens
for Clean Air & Water
 
A 500-Year Flood Apportions Risk
 
Good sense keeps working best when we notice it least. A case in point is the 500-year flood. The term seems to tell the last time and the next time such a bad flood will hit. In reality, the term is a beautiful tool that describes and manages flood risk.
 
The special term works in major ways to measure and divide the risk of flooding among government, citizens and the free market. Dividing up risk is a central reason societies organize.
 
Technically, a 500-year flood is the

Decorating A Kid’s Bedroom

on August 26, 2016 - 8:34am
Beautiful nursery. Courtesy photo
 

By SUZETTE FOX
Los Alamos

I love to write about interior design, but often forget to cover one important group – kids! Most parents will agree that providing their children with a wonderful living space in which they can thrive, learn and play is of paramount importance.

For a child, a bedroom is more than just a place to sleep. It is a place to do schoolwork, listen to music, play games, sprawl on the floor, rough-house, read, build models, daydream, visit with friends and keep innumerable possessions.

Cinema Cindy Reviews: 'Florence Foster Jenkins'

on August 26, 2016 - 8:33am
By Cynthia Biddlecomb 
Los Alamos
 
“Florence Foster Jenkins” is a BBC/Pathé Pictures release starring Meryl Streep as the 20th century heiress and performer who only thought she could sing. Her mostly true story is both funny and sad, but beautifully presented in this film. Lavish costumes and sets reflect the Victorian era in which Florence grew up—she was born in 1868—as a counterpoint to 1944, the year the story takes place.
 
By 1944 Florence Foster Jenkins was 76 and had been a New York socialite all her adult life.

Yang: On ‘Doubt’…This Time, Doubt Was Addressed With Evidence

on August 25, 2016 - 4:34pm

By ELENA YANG
Los Alamos

The second crime story of the “Anatomy of Doubt” of This American Life took place in Colorado in 2011, two years after the crime against Marie of Lynwood, a suburb of Seattle (see previous article).  

In Colorado, there was a series of three rapes, which took place in three locations in close proximity.  The lead detectives of at least two of the three cases were female and a crime analyst providing one piece of key (in retrospect) information was also a female.  

I highlight the female part because I think it’s relevant in rape cases.

Burgess: Summing Up Summer

on August 25, 2016 - 10:08am
By HARRY BURGESS
Los Alamos County Manager

(Part 1 of a 2-part series: Now you see us…now you don’t.)

Part 1. Now you see us…

With the County Fair & Rodeo behind us, regular afternoon rain showers bringing us cooler weather, and students returning to school, it begins to feel like autumn might be just around the corner. For those of us working in local government, however, the shift in seasonal work won’t happen for a few more months.

McQuiston: Am I Covered Driving A Friend's Car?

on August 25, 2016 - 10:05am
By ALLEN MCQUISTON 
The Jemez Agency

I’m borrowing my friend’s car … am I covered?

Most people have an idea of what’s covered and not covered under their various insurance policies. But at The Jemez Agency we get a lot of questions about borrowing or loaning a car.

Now that summer is in full swing and you might be looking to borrow your neighbor’s truck for a home-improvement project or a trip to the local landfill, we thought it was a great time to provide a little more information.

Generally, insurance coverage follows the vehicle rather than the driver.

Kerr: Why Don’t People Go To Church Anymore?

on August 25, 2016 - 10:04am

By VERNON KERR
Los Alamos

A Good Question: Why Don’t People Go To Church Anymore?

One answer: I don’t need to go to church and I need that time to get ready for the coming week. I am a very busy person and I need that time to relax and take care of projects around the house.

Another answer: Church people are hypocritical and don’t live up to their standards. I can teach my own children about morals and right and wrong. As I find time.

And another answer: What’s the sense if GOD is all knowing, all seeing and all powerful why does he allow mayhem, sickness, poverty and war?

Cinema Cindy Reviews: 'Pete’s Dragon'

on August 25, 2016 - 7:50am
By Cynthia Biddlecomb
Los Alamos
 
“Pete’s Dragon” is a Disney live action movie that opened Aug. 12.
 
Like its predecessor, an animated feature in 1977, it features a 10-year-old lost boy and the (CGI-animated) furry dragon who protects him during the six years he’s in the deep forest. It is a family drama appropriate for elementary aged kids up through adults. Nobody dies, but there is some heartbreak, and scary situations for little kids. The movie opens with Pete in the back seat of his parents’ station wagon as they go on a camping adventure.
 
Five-year-old Pete is reading his

Cinema Cindy Reviews Ben-Hur

on August 23, 2016 - 4:06pm
By Cynthia Biddlecomb
Los Alamos
 
“Ben-Hur”, a fifth re-make based on the 1880 novel, was released Friday, Aug. 19. Did it need to be remade? Perhaps not—attempts made in 2003 and 2010 bombed.
 
The best-selling novel was first made into a film in 1907 and again in 1925. Our favorite version came out in 1959 staring Charlton Heston, winning 11 Oscars. So why make a new one? Modern film technology can make a better chariot race. The tag line for the recent release is “Brother against brother. Slave against Empire.”
 
Judah Ben-Hur (Jack Huston) and Messala Severus (Toby Kebbell) have

Heinrich: U.S. Must Help Safeguard Tribal Patrimony

on August 21, 2016 - 11:21am

By U.S. Sen. Martin Heinrich, D-NM

Earlier this year, when looking through a list of tribal artifacts up for bid at an art auction house in Paris, the Pueblo of Acoma discovered that the Acoma shield, a sacred ceremonial object, had been stolen and was about to be sold to the highest bidder.

After Acoma Gov. Kurt Riley notified me, I wrote a letter to Secretary of State John Kerry urging the U.S. State Department to take all possible action to help repatriate the shield and other stolen cultural items to American Indian tribes.

Los Alamos Athletes Bring Home Senior Olympic Gold!

on August 21, 2016 - 11:04am

Los Alamos athlete Brian Newnam wins a gold medal in track at the 2016 New Mexico Senior Olympics Games in Roswell. Courtesy photo

Los Alamos athlete Margaret Ellis takes home the gold medal at the 2016 New Mexico Senior Olympics Games in Roswell. Courtesy photo

Los Alamos athletes Abel Castillo and Ann ReVelle win the gold medal in Mix Doubles Table Tennis at the 2016 New Mexico Senior Olympics Games in Roswell. Courtesy photo

Staff Report

Los Alamos athletes scored several gold and bronze medals during the 2016 New Mexico Senior Olympics Summer Games July 13-16 in Roswell.

Among the 22

Pastor Granillo: Lamentations

on August 21, 2016 - 7:29am
By Pastor Raul Granillo
Los Alamos

Lamentations.

“I remember my affliction and my wandering, the bitterness and the gall. I well remember them, and my soul is downcast within me” (Lamentations 3:19-20 NIV).

I think that most of us have had those days when our “soul is downcast” within us. Those days when we feel like everything is just going wrong. Those days when everything we say comes out wrong and we seem to cause more division than anything.

How The Hen House Turns—Knowing Right From Wrong

on August 19, 2016 - 10:15am
Courtesy/Cary Neeper
 
Knowing Right From Wrong
By Cary Neeper 
 
Cats and dogs, it is said, have a different notion of right and wrong. Well, maybe.
 
My experience with cats was limited to Oscar, the kitten we raised with our new puppy, Boots, on a 40-acre fruit ranch in Hayward, Calif. Oscar was true to his belief that cats did not belong in houses, until the day he died, when he insisted on laying himself to rest under the stove.
 
In contrast, dogs are extraordinarily tuned into their beloved owners.

Roger This: Here We Go Again With The Bomb Factory

on August 19, 2016 - 7:58am

By ROGER SNODGRASS
Los Alamos Daily Post

A new report from the Government Accountability Office finds little to like about the latest plans for building plutonium production and analysis capacity at Los Alamos National Laboratory.  

Congress has asked the lab to step up its potential to supply pits, or plutonium triggers, for the existing nuclear arsenal and meet the needs of a modernized inventory of nuclear weapons, while making way for additional process equipment upgrades.

DOE and the National Nuclear Security Administration have the responsibility to forge a strategy to pick up the

Cinema Cindy Reviews Suicide Squad

on August 19, 2016 - 7:46am

By CYNTHIA BIDDLECOMB
Los Alamos

“Suicide Squad” is this late summer’s hit action flick, despite its poor reviews. It’s packed with super bad guys (coerced into helping the good guys), mostly derivative special effects, and enough character development to not be a total waste of your time. Oh, and it is colorful, with special 3D effects. There is some bad language and a lot of violence. In fact, every kind of weapon gets used in this film.

Movie poster for 'Suicide Squad'.

The bad guy criminals are, themselves, weapons, tools at the disposal of the U. S. military.

Foxx: Does Voting Matter?

on August 18, 2016 - 11:53pm

By TERALENE FOXX
Los Alamos

It is Aug. 18, 2016 as I write this. Ironically, it is the 96th anniversary of the 19th Amendment that gave women the right to vote. And I ask myself “Does voting really matter?”

I once read a book called “Having Our Say, The Delany Sisters First 100 Years.” It was about two African American Sisters, Sadie and Bessie Delany (born in 1889 and 1890). It is their real life stories of trials, and tribulations they faced during their century of life. In their book, they describe their excitement at being able to vote for the very first time.

To them it was not only a

Smart Design With Suzette: Join Me For My Green Design Class!

on August 18, 2016 - 10:04pm

By SUZETTE FOX
Los Alamos

Green is everywhere these days--in the news, politics, fashion, and even technology.

With a million messages and ideas coming at us from all sides, it can be easy to get caught up in the ordinary stuff--switching to organic foods, turning down the thermostat, recycling -- without thinking about the big picture of how your actions stack up.

Worse, you could even be suffering from a little green “fatigue” -- that is, tuning out the green messages due to its message overload.

While it’s easy to get overwhelmed, the truth is that everything single thing we do, every

The Elephant In The Room: Filling Justice Scalia’s Shoes

on August 18, 2016 - 9:19am
The Elephant in the Room
By The Los Alamos GOP

Should a teacher be forced to pay union dues to fund the campaign of a political candidate she does not support?

Can a state pass a law prohibiting the carrying of firearms in public, effectively making the Second Amendment null and void in that state?

Should a pharmacist be forced to sell abortion drugs despite his religious objections?

These are just a few of the issues that will be decided by the U.S. Supreme Court in the months ahead. Their decisions will touch the lives—and rights—of every American citizen for generations to come.

The

McQuiston: As kids Head Back To School, Let’s Keep Them Safe

on August 18, 2016 - 9:01am
By ALLEN MCQUISTON
The Jemez Agency

The end of summer means many things, such as cooler weather, shorter days and ... the start of football here in Los Alamos.

But most important, it means kids are headed back to school. And that means we all should be extra careful on the roads, in school zones and around buses. Remember to watch for bikes, too!

Here are some tips for both parents and kids to make sure everyone stays safe:

Use caution on the roads

  • There are going to be a lot more kids on the sidewalks and streets when school starts, so take it slow and always be aware of your

PEEC Amateur Naturalist: What Are Feathers Used For?

on August 17, 2016 - 5:18pm
 Picture 1: Fiery-throated Hummingbird. Photo by Joseph Pescatore 
 
 
PEEC Amateur Naturalist: What are Feathers Used for?
By Robert Dryja
 
Summer now is at its peak and so is the population of hummingbirds. Some of us may be refilling our hummingbird feeders twice a day and have up to eight hummingbirds arriving at the same time to feed. Hummingbirds are observant and learn where to go for a meal at any time of day. They also may loose their shyness, circling within inches of a person who is refilling a feeder. Some will even land on a person’s hand for a sip of sugar water.
 
This is

Pastor Granillo: Unreasonable Expectations

on August 14, 2016 - 7:42am
By Pastory RAUL GRANILLO
Los Alamos

Unreasonable Expectations. 

As I was trying to use duct tape to pull the skin of my elbow back together, I remember thinking to myself, “Maybe using a five-gallon bucket as a stool and a screwdriver as a pry bar was not the best decision I’ve ever made.” I ended up with 14 staples in my arm simply because I misused a bucket and a screwdriver. I want to say that I learned my lesson, but my wife might disagree.

It is all too common for us to misuse or to put unfair expectations on the things in this world.

Cinema Cindy Reviews: Star Trek Beyond

on August 1, 2016 - 6:55am

Pastor Granillo: Encouraging Intimacy

on July 31, 2016 - 7:15am

By Pastor RAUL GRANILLO

Encouraging Intimacy.

Solomon's Song of Songs. Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth-- for your love is more delightful than wine” (Song of Songs 1:1-2 NIV).

The Song of Solomon is not a top choice for clergy to preach on. It may not be the most avoided book at the pulpit, but it is one that can make us feel uncomfortable. It is, after all, an amorous poem—to say the least.

There are two things that strike me when I read the Song of Solomon. The first is that it is dated. It was written around 3,000 years ago.

Tales Of Our Times: Why A Larger Scope Is Scary

on July 29, 2016 - 8:36am
Tales of Our Times

By JOHN BARTLIT
New Mexico Citizens
for Clean Air & Water
 
Why a Larger Scope is Scary
 
New technology spreads people’s words and selected sound-bites ever faster, farther and more widely. Communication pathways broaden, yet the stories they carry grow more narrow. Thin stories keep a thin audience.
The goal today is not to reach more people, but to persuade doubly those who already agree with our views. Public arguments try to appeal to known believers—to inspirit the faithful.

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