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How the Hen House Turns: Imprinting and the Importance of Hands

on April 16, 2014 - 9:04am
How the Hen House Turns:
Imprinting and the Importance of Hands
Column by Carolyn A. (Cary) Neeper, Ph. D.

Animal behaviorists now agree that we humans are not very different from animals in many ways—like our susceptibility to imprinting. Some call it “phase-sensitive learning” or “filial imprinting.”

I doubt many animal behaviorists would argue with the psychologists who suggest that young humans (and young animals) learn behavior from their parents and  that environmental factors and experience can influence brain development.

A recent more ominous finding that humans abused in

This Week at the Reel Deal

on April 16, 2014 - 7:51am
Reel Deal Theater                   

This week we are opening Transcendence. We will hold Captain America, The Grand Budapest Hotel and Rio 2. Need for Speed will end this Thursday.  

Movie Poster for 'Transcendence.' Courtesy/Reel Deal Theater

In Transcendence,Dr. Will Caster (Johnny Depp) is the foremost researcher in the field of Artificial Intelligence, working to create a sentient machine that combines the collective intelligence of everything ever known with the full range of human emotions.

Food on the Hill: Loco Moco

on April 15, 2014 - 7:40am

This Week's Recipe: Loco Moco

This is considered Hawaiian comfort food.

Photo by Sue York/


1 cup of cooked rice
cooked hamburger patty (I like to smoke it on the grill)
Slice of cheddar cheese
3/4 cup of brown gravy, heated
1 or 2 poached eggs


Poach eggs in simmering water with a tablespoon of vinegar.

Photo by Sue York/
You can also use an egg poacher, usually use an egg poacher, you end up losing less of the egg white that way.
Photo by Sue York/
Layer this in a bowl, rice, hamburger,

Solo Traveler: Mexico’s Native Music

on April 14, 2014 - 11:07am
The gazebo in San Cristóbal de las Casas where marimba concerts take place almost every night. Photo by Sherry Hardage
Solo Traveler: Mexico’s Native Music

The marimba was supposedly invented in Chiapas and the city of Chiapa de Corzo is the Marimba Capital of the World. It hosts a school for musicians and a workshop where traditional marimba construction is taught.

It is the music of Chiapas. Over the years there have been many compositions composed specifically for the instrument, though any lively piece of music can be played on it.

Yang: Those Little Annoying Things In Our Daily Life Can Add Up

on April 14, 2014 - 7:48am
Those Little Annoying Things In Our Daily Life Can Add Up

For instance, if the phone computerized recording tells me, “Remember, you must first dial ‘1’,” why couldn’t a program have been written that just inserts the “1” automatically? Or, when I key in my library ID number, with spaces as it appears on my card, I get, “please do not use space.” Then, why do you issue the card with the spaces (or, why not program to accommodate or ignore the “spaces”)? I am computer illiterate, so I am sure I miss nuances about programming.

Cinema Cindy Reviews: 'Captain America: The Winter Soldier'

on April 14, 2014 - 7:46am


'Captain America: The Winter Soldier' movie poster. Courtesy/Reel Deal Theater

"Captain America: The Winter Soldier" is entertaining for those of us who, due to familial or marital commitments, must accompany someone we love to movies in the comic book/superhero genre.

After sitting through all the "pow, boom, splat" as we call it at our house, one does come out of the film taking the advice of SHIELD Director Nick Fury, "Trust no one.” If you take this kind of movie too seriously, the world will feel much less safe as you leave the theater.

In this installment,

Izraelevitz: Happy Passover and Happy Shopping!

on April 12, 2014 - 9:00am
Happy Passover and Happy Shopping!

Monday night begins the Jewish holiday of Passover, which commemorates the Exodus of the ancient Israelites from Egyptian slavery. Accompanied by friends, my family will be holding a celebratory dinner along with the ceremonial retelling of this story according to Jewish ritual, the Passover Seder.

There are many themes in this ceremony, the precious value of personal freedom, religion as a source of strength during adversity, many others. And if you will bear with me, the value of shopping locally here in Los Alamos.

The Seder has

Cinema Cindy Reviews ‘The Grand Budapest Hotel’

on April 12, 2014 - 8:43am
'The Grand Budapest Hotel'

Movie poster for 'The Grand Budapest Hotel. Courtesy Reel Deal Theater

"The Grand Budapest Hotel" director Wes Anderson's latest cinematic romp, is all that we've come to appreciate about Anderson's films ("Moonrise Kingdom" and "The Royal Tannenbaums", for example), only better.

It is vastly entertaining, rich in minute visual details, and presenting a surprising scene at nearly every turn.

This Week at the Reel Deal

on April 9, 2014 - 12:18pm
Reel Deal Theater                  

This week we are opening The Grand Budapest Hotel, Rio 2 and Need for Speed. We will hold Captain America for another week. Noah, Muppets Most Wanted, and Divergent end this Thursday.

After dozens of requests we finally got a print of The Grand Budapest Hotel after weeks of haggling. This comedy/drama is getting reviews in the 90 percent plus range. It doesn’t get much better than that.

Also on our short list, we plan to show 50-1, and Particle Fever due to the many requests from our  patrons.

How the Hen House Turns: For Scooter—Dealing With Loss

on April 9, 2014 - 8:14am
How the Hen House Turns:
For Scooter—Dealing With Loss

Column by Carolyn A. (Cary) Neeper, Ph. D.

Dogs seem to vary widely in their ability to create understanding from new evidence. When Turkey died, Scooter didn’t get it, but DeeDee did.

So it was not surprising that Scooter did not understand where DeeDee had gone when she died. Even the familiar body, so inert, did not trigger her curiosity, much less grief. After that day, Scooter wandered here and there looking for DeeDee. Obviously, she missed her life-long companion.

Food on the Hill: Spaghetti Frittata

on April 8, 2014 - 8:20am

This Weeks Recipe: Spaghetti Frittata


Photo by Sue York/


3 cups of cooked spaghetti noodles (good way to use leftover noodles)
1 ½ cups of frozen onion and pepper mixture
2 tablespoons of butter
5-6 eggs
6 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese
Salt and pepper

Fry the onion and pepper mixture with the butter until the veggies are softer.

Photo by Sue York/
Cool this mixture down.

In a mixing bowl, mix together the eggs and cheese. Add the cooked spaghetti, and cooled onion /pepper mixture, mix again.

Photo by Sue

Yang: If I Were To Do A Study Or Two

on April 7, 2014 - 7:39am
If I Were To Do A Study Or Two

The publicity and controversy accompanying “Battle Hymn of a Tiger Mother” at least spurred a special issue on Asian parenting by AAPA, Asian American Psychological Association: Asian American Journal of Psychology, Volume 4, No. 1, March, 2013. Perhaps the “The Triple Package” will compel some academics to conduct more rigorous research to address a few of the issues laid out in the book. So, I have been thinking about what I would have pursued if I were to have sufficiently generous funding. 

My research preference has always leaned toward

Solo Traveler: Dangerous Walking

on April 4, 2014 - 8:02am
A typical San Miguel de Allende street, complete with a hole. Photo by Sherry Hardage
Solo Traveler: Dangerous Walking

One afternoon I walked down the andador in San Cristóbal de las Casas. It is a street that has been closed off to traffic and repaved with nice flagstones for pedestrians. It’s always full of tourists, buskers and indigenous women selling crafts.

A tall European woman turned to watch a street performer but continued walking forward. If I hadn’t stepped aside she would have walked right into me!

When I lived in San Miguel de Allende for a short time,

Healing Hands: Myofascial Trigger Point Therapy

on April 4, 2014 - 7:52am
Healing Hands: Myofascial Trigger Point Therapy

A trigger point is an area of muscle fibers that are in continuous contraction located within a tight band of muscle. This hypoxic “knot” (Partland and Simmons 2013) can be felt as a lump that twitches when pressed and can also be very tender, sting, and have increased referred pain.

Referred pain can be pain that has the same intensity as a trigger point in the same muscle but away from the trigger point itself. You can possibly feel these knots in your own neck and you already know how painful they can be.

People I work

Cinema Cindy Reviews 'Noah'

on April 3, 2014 - 9:53am

Movie poster for 'Noah.' Courtesy/Reel Deal Theater

"Noah", the new film by Darren Aronofsky, is a fantasy that uses 21st century psychological insights within the framework of an ancient biblical story, ending with mixed results. 

Those who, like us, re-read Genesis 6 through 9 before going to see the film, may find themselves disappointed that more of the details of the story from the Hebrew Bible didn't make the cut in this story. (Really? There aren't three wives for the sons?

This Week at the Reel Deal

on April 2, 2014 - 8:17am
Reel Deal Theater                  

Happy Spring Break! We will be open every day, every showtime to accommodate all.

Movie poster for 'Captain America: The Winter Soldier.' Courtesy Reel Deal Theater

This week, we are opening Captain America: The Winter Soldier.  Muppets Most Wanted, Noah, and Divergent will hold for another week. Mr. Peabody and Sherman ends this Thursday.  

Critic Randy Myers of San Jose Mercury News calls Captain America: The Winter Soldier one of the best superhero movies ever made. Read his review here.

Coming attractions include:

How the Hen House Turns: The Puzzle of Animal Consciousness

on April 1, 2014 - 8:06am
How the Hen House Turns:
The Puzzle of Animal Consciousness
Column by Carolyn A. (Cary) Neeper, Ph. D.

The movie "The Life of Pi” is thoughtful exploration of religion and meaning and the animal mind. As well as a  masterful use of 3D to express nature's power and human fragility and beauty without going over the top too often.

The effects did not steal too much story time, just a little, with lengthy storms. What impressed me most was the director's restraint in leaving the large questions unanswered, and his letting the human be a human and the tiger be a tiger.

Tigers are not dogs,

Food on the Hill: Mashed Potatoes With Rosemary

on March 31, 2014 - 7:44am

This week's recipe: Mashed Potatoes with Rosemary
Photo by Sue York/


1 1/2 pounds of red medium size potatoes, scrubbed and cut into quarters
2 bays leaves
5 cloves of garlic, whole
5 tablespoons butter
¾ teaspoon fresh rosemary, chopped fine
2 cloves of garlic, pressed
6 oz. cream cheese, softened
½ cup chopped onions
½ teaspoon fresh black pepper
1 cup of reserved potato water


Put the potatoes in a pan with water enough to cover them by two inches. Simmer about 25- 30 minutes until fork tender.  Reserve 1 cup of potato water.

Pain Free Athlete: Should You Stretch A Tight Muscle?

on March 30, 2014 - 9:15am
Pain Free Athlete:

Should You Stretch A Tight Muscle?

Seems like a silly question with an obvious answer, right? Wrong! 

When we stretch a tight muscle we make the assumption that the muscle is tight because it is shortened and needs to be lengthened, but this is not always the case. A muscle can also be tight because it is too long. To illustrate this idea we'll need to review our muscle anatomy.

Muscle contraction is achieved when muscle filaments slide over each other, increasing their overlap and shortening the muscle.


Cinema Cindy Reviews 'Divergent'

on March 29, 2014 - 7:33am

'Divergent' movie poster. Courtesy/Reel Deal Theater


"Divergent" is classic science fiction, the context of the story being a post-apocalyptic society divided into five "factions" and a coming of age personality test to fit young people into one of them. Seeing the film has made this sci-fi fan want to read the books. 

Divergent is, like the book from which it originates, directed at an audience of young adults (YA) and teens.

Tips For Spring Clean Up

on March 27, 2014 - 11:53am
Spring Clean Up!
State Farm Insurance

The idea of a New Year’s resolution can be a bit of a non sequitur for some. True, it happens as we turn over the calendar in an effort to create a new start in various aspects of our lives, but it also happens while many of us are in the throes of the dead of winter.

Springtime may offer a more appropriate metaphor for fresh starts — birds chirping, flowers blooming, renewal upon us.

So take advantage of the coming spring days — they are coming, aren’t they?


This Week at the Reel Deal

on March 26, 2014 - 9:40am
Column By JIM O'DONNELL                               
Reel DealTheater

This week we are opening the much anticipated and controversial Noah. Muppets Most Wanted, Mr. Peabody and Sherman, and Divergent will hold for another week. Non-Stop ends Thursday.  

Movie poster for 'Noah.' Courtesy/Reel Deal Theater

The following is an excerpt from Kathleen Parker’s review of Noah for the Washington Post:

“I recently viewed the film and can confidently report the following: If you liked Braveheart, Gladiator, Star Wars, The Lord of the Rings, Indiana Jones or Titanic, you will like Noah. If you

Food on the Hill: Limoncello

on March 25, 2014 - 9:54am

This week’s recipe: Limoncello
Photo by Sue York/
2 bottles (1.75 liters) Vodka
25- 30 lemons, washed and dried
3 ½ cups water
4 ½ cups sugar


Peel all of the lemons with a sharp knife or a sharp vegetable peeler. Do not cut into the pith (white part). If you do get some of the pith off with the peel, cut it out!
Photo by Sue York/

Set all of the pieces of peel to the side. Cut all of the pith off the lemons, and throw the pith away. Slice the lemons into ¼ inch pieces and seed as you go.

 Photo by Sue

Sarov, Russia & Los Alamos, USA: On Being Sister Cities

on March 25, 2014 - 7:06am
Sarov, Russia & Los Alamos, USA: On Being Sister Cities
By Paul C. White, Vice-Chair, Los Alamos – Sarov Sister Cities Initiative

The people of Sarov, Russia, and the people of Los Alamos, NM, share a relationship. We are citizens of two communities that are more alike than different. We have committed to be involved with each other as Sister Cities. This relationship, this commitment has meaning that transcends our respective governments and any differences they may have, whether such differences are fleeting or longer term.


Education 101: New Lawsuit Questions Sufficiency of New Mexico Education Funding

on March 23, 2014 - 8:01am
Education 101:
New Lawsuit Questions Sufficiency of New Mexico Education Funding
By Save Our Schools Los Alamos

We've written 16 columns over the past six months with the intentions of both learning about K-12 funding in New Mexico, and sharing that information with the community. You can read the columns at our website; or by searching the Los Alamos Daily Post archives.

We started this work with the view that the state of New Mexico, which controls 70 percent of K-12 funding in Los Alamos and which actually caps local spending on education, has been systemically