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Relay for Life with the Hokies

May 5, 2015 Columns, Mary Rose Lunde Comments Off on Relay for Life with the Hokies
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By Mary Rose Lunde

On April 24 Virginia Tech hosted their annual Relay for Life fundraising event that supports the American Cancer Society. The event lasted more than 12 hours from five at night to five in the morning. At the closing ceremony, it was announced that the event raised more than half a million dollars for cancer research. This alone is amazing and hopefully will bring scientists closer to finding a cure for cancer. … Continue Reading

Make College Work for You

May 5, 2015 Columns, Samuel Moore-Sobel Comments Off on Make College Work for You
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By Samuel Moore-Sobel

The month of May is often consumed by graduations. As thousands of high school seniors are reaching this important milestone in their lives, many are faced with the prospect of an uncertain future. Some will choose to enter the workforce, while many will opt to endure more years of schooling. While many students are likely excited with the prospect of attending college, they may still harbor strong disappointments about where they landed at the end of the college application process. … Continue Reading

Planning for Lives after Death

May 5, 2015 Amy and Dan Smith, Columns Comments Off on Planning for Lives after Death
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By Amy & Dan Smith

This past month I once again experienced life as prelude to practice. It started with an email two weeks ago from a hospice caregiver at my father’s request with words every child dreads: “Your Dad has asked me to write and tell you he thinks the end is near. He says you’ll know what to do.” What had been planned as a birthday celebration in Florida within 48 hours ended as a death vigil for my father. My immediate family members were gathered at my parents’ home to say good-bye. Dad died quickly and peacefully after struggling for years with chronic pulmonary dysfunction. Two of us were on either side of him holding his hands while he was sitting up on the couch, and we noticed that he had stopped breathing. … Continue Reading

The Elastic Express

May 5, 2015 Columns, Kitchen Science Kids Comments Off on The Elastic Express
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By Leah Enright

Elasticity is the ability to stretch, and return. Without elasticity we couldn’t brush our hair without breaking it, move muscles, or blow bubbles. Whew, good thing we have it. There is much more to say about elasticity, but, as usual, I’d rather play.

You’ll Need 5 Items:
A balloon
String or yarn
Tape
A clothespin or similar clip
A drinking straw … Continue Reading

An Open Letter to the Citizens of Purcellville

May 5, 2015 Columns, View From the Ridge Comments Off on An Open Letter to the Citizens of Purcellville
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Mark Your Calendar, They’ve Asked for Our Input So Let’s Give It To Them

By Steady and Nobull

The Purcellville Planning Commission has tentatively scheduled a series of public input sessions June 4, 11 and 18 at 7:00 p.m. at town hall for the proposed sweeping zoning changes. These major changes are similar to the changes that occurred in 2008 which gave us a six story project on 21st Street. By that we mean the town council at the time, based on developer input changed the height restrictions on 21st Street from 32 feet to 65 feet. … Continue Reading

Stupid

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“With respect to wit, I learned that there was not much difference between the half and the whole.” – Henry David Thoreau “Walden”

By Tony Noerpel

All of the people whose denial of global warming I’ve criticized in past articles are highly influential in our society and are supercilious sycophants (lobbyists, apologists, politicians, economists, pundits) of the fossil fuels industry or some other corporate oligarchy. Their incomes and status depend on their not telling the truth. I have examined a number of their arguments and using Hanlon’s razor, a corollary to the Dunning Kruger Effect classified them as “stupid”, using “stupid” not as a pejorative but as an accurate descriptor of fairly extreme logical fallacy. Think of stupid as an argument one could publish in the Onion. … Continue Reading

Not-even-wrong

April 6, 2015 Columns, Sustainable Planet Comments Off on Not-even-wrong
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“The phrase ‘not-even-wrong’ describes any argument that purports to be scientific but fails at some fundamental level, usually in that it contains a terminal logical fallacy or it cannot be falsified by experiment (i.e. tested with the possibility of being rejected), or cannot be used to make predictions about the natural world.” – Wikipedia [1]

The physicist Jakob Bekenstein [2] proposed in his PhD dissertation in 1972 that black holes had positive entropy proportional to the surface area of their event horizon. This concept disagreed with the prevailing consensus and the physics community was very skeptical including Stephen Hawking, who set out to falsify Bekenstein’s argument. What Hawking did instead was to confirm it and then concede the point [3].

The physicist Richard Muller was a rather vocal skeptic of human-caused climate change until he analyzed the data for himself. His team has since published analysis that not only is the Earth surface warming rather dramatically but human emissions are 100 percent responsible [4]. Muller describes his results in this video [5]. In this example the outlier Muller was wrong and the consensus was correct, which is the more common result in science. We only here about the rare times the outlier is correct simply because that makes better news. In any event, it is always the argument with the most evidence which prevails in science.

These stories are good examples of how science progresses and also highlight the most important characteristic of skepticism: the willingness to be wrong, which distinguishes it from denial. Another distinguishing characteristic is knowledge of the science.

The expression “Not even wrong” is attributed to the physicist Wolfgang Pauli. He used it to criticize a paper written by another physicist. This critique implies that the argument is worse than simply being wrong and has come to be identified with arguments which are flawed in some fundamental way as describe on the Wikipedia page quoted above.

We have thus identified three categories of scientific argument: empirically correct, e.g. Bekenstein’s argument, empirically wrong, e.g. Muller’s argument, and not-even-wrong, e.g. string theory and the multi-verse, perhaps. Empirically wrong arguments which are falsified are important to science insofar as they may illuminate blind alleys and scientific arguments which are not-even-wrong may eventually prove not only to have value but to be correct in some limited circumstances. However, this is only possible if the argument is at least grounded in science and does not have logical fallacies.

In my last article [6] we examined arguments championed by the deniers Charles Lane [7] and Charles Krauthammer [8] in the Washington Post. Conflating climate physics with a single study of mammograms as Krauthammer did or cholesterol as did Lane is worse than not-even-wrong and requires a new and more accurate designation. Pauli did not have anything this stupid in mind when he coined the phrase “not-even-wrong”, which is why employing Hanlon’s razor we coin the label “stupid”.

There is a popular argument with global warming deniers, recently used by Senator Ted Cruz [9], which assumes that denier scientists must be right because they are in a very small minority. But that is a logical fallacy. The popularity or lack thereof has nothing to do with the correctness of a scientific argument. If climate hawks were to argue that the consensus of the climate science community is right only because they are in the majority that too would be a logical fallacy. In fact climate hawks point this out only to address yet another self-contradictory denier argument which claims that there are lots of climate scientists who deny global warming [10]. When the latter argument was falsified, deniers rather than concede the point made up the opposite argument. Deniers employ adaptive irrationality.

The consensus view is correct because of the weight of evidence summarized in the five IPCC reports. This happens to be the consensus of most climate scientists because of this overwhelming evidence. Instead of foolishly comparing himself to Galileo and confusing historic fact in the process, i.e., conflating a flat earth with Ptolemaic geocentrism [9], Cruz would have done better to read these reports and familiarize himself with the facts. He confuses campaign contributions with evidence and while in the short run that is profitable for Cruz, in the long run it is stupid and reckless.

In the case of global warming we are fortunate to have these five IPCC reports and lots of survey reports published by all of the relevant science organizations in the world such as AGU, NASA, NOAA, NSF, NAS, AAAS, ACS and so on. These surveys and summaries include all the good testable arguments which have been verified by experiment, observation and analysis, and in addition, all the good testable arguments which have been partly or wholly falsified.

When we examine denier arguments, we find that most of them, as is the cases with Krauthammer’s and Lane’s, actually avoid relevant science, even that which is not-even-wrong, and are best classified as stupid. Making the same falsified arguments repeatedly is also stupid unless new evidence is presented. Thus I have observed that all denier arguments are stupid which may be why the scientific community has difficulty addressing them. Why would any credible scientist bother to respond to someone as dumb as Krauthammer? I submit that this is one reason is why industry consultants, apologists, the press and politicians avoid evidence-based science in favor of stupid arguments. Another would be that confronting evidence-based science contradicts their world view and creates painful and unwelcome tension. They would be forced to reject their sacrosanct ideologies. For many like Cruz it would impact their ability to earn a living. And a third reason would be that they have no idea what science or the truth is.

Are Krauthammer, Lane, Hiatt and Cruz lying, confabulating, self-delusional or just stupid? Cognitive psychologists and neuro psychologists study this from a clinical perspective. An excellent introduction to this effort is William Hirstein’s “Brain Fiction”. The orbitofrontal cortex is the part of the brain which would ordinarily tell a rational person that cholesterol has nothing to do with the polar vortex. It is the same part of the brain which malfunctions in sociopaths.

At a party last weekend a climate activist averred that our mistake was calling it “global warming” instead of “climate change” or maybe the other way around. But this is as stupid as any denier argument and avoids the problem. We have been using both terms in equal measure for the last forty years and calling it something else would have made little difference. The fossil fuels industry is not paying these people to lie because they object to the terminology. The solution is a threat to their profits. Implementing the solution by government regulation is a threat to all large multi-national corporations and all plutocrats. Self-criticism by climate activists is an irresponsible waste of time. We are not the problem.

The philosopher Daniel Dennett has defined free will [11]: “What we have to understand is that free will is our capacity to see probable futures, futures which seem like they’re gonna happen, in time to take steps so that something else happens instead.” We have to concern ourselves with whether deniers have a free will, whether any amount of evidence would persuade them and whether or not Homo sapiens can survive as a consequence. We need to understand what has gone wrong in the denier brain and why.

According to Dennett scientists and activists exercised their free will “seeing probable futures.” We know what these are. The problem is we as a society are not taking the necessary steps so that something else happens. Why is that?

All of the people I’ve criticized have had large soap boxes and are paid to lie. All of their global warming denier arguments are stupid assiduously avoiding evidence. If we are going to find a rational argument which supports denial we will have to look elsewhere. We need to find a scientist, preferably a physicist, who understands what science is and whose livelihood does not depend on defending the over privileged and who is genuinely skeptical of the conclusions of the IPCC reports.

A good friend sent me an email he received from his friend who has a PhD in nuclear physics. I will call him Joe. Joe is a global warming skeptic and his email was his attempt to persuade my friend, an advanced degreed engineer that the IPCC reports are in error. We will examine Joe’s arguments in my next article.

[1] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Not_even_wrong

[2] http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jacob_Bekenstein

[3] Jim Baggott, Farewell to Reality, How modern physics has bretrayed the search for scientific truth, Pegasus Books, 2013.

[4] Muller’s team’s papers http://berkeleyearth.org/papers

[5] Muller’s video http://www.skepticalscience.com/fiddling-with-global-warming-conspiracy-theories-while-rome-burns.html and an audio interview here http://hereandnow.wbur.org/2012/08/02/climate-change-skeptic

[6] Tony Noerpel, Deniers and Liars and Dunning-Kruger, March 17, 2015, http://brleader.com/?p=16610

[7] Charles Lane, http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/science-with-a-side-order-of-humility/2015/02/18/d139f3d4-b78e-11e4-aa05-1ce812b3fdd2_story.html

[8] http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/charles-krauthammer-the-myth-of-settled-science/2014/02/20/c1f8d994-9a75-11e3-b931-0204122c514b_story.html

[9] Chris Mooney http://www.washingtonpost.com/news/energy-environment/wp/2015/03/26/ted-cruz-invokes-galileo-to-defend-his-climate-skepticism-and-historians-arent-happy/

[10] an example: http://www.skepticalscience.com/OISM-Petition-Project.htm

[11] https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=joCOWaaTj4A

Agreeable Tiger Moth – Luminous, White-Caped Wonder

April 2, 2015 Columns, Wild Loudoun 1 comment
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On a cool April night you see a small winged insect – bright white and perhaps 1 inch in length – perched on a thin horizontal stem like a teeny tiny owl.

With the black night all around, the creature has a soft and cozy look to it – content and warm in textured body and wings, a feathery cap and a cashmere like stole that covers its chest, back and shoulders.

The white wings are tented behind, making its small body look longer and thinner. Its abdomen has small black dots.

Looking at it more closely you see deep black eyes and long whitish antennae that define its head and face. A bright, golden orange bib accents the eyes and marks where the front legs begin – thin, white, finely jointed sticks with distinct black stripes – stripes like a tiger’s legs.

So, what is it? Well, the stripes you will help you remember its name the next time you see it. It is a month, as you suspected. But, more specifically, a tiger moth, an “agreeable tiger moth” (Spilosoma congrua).

Tigers are part of the larger moth subfamily Arctiinae. With perhaps 11,000 species worldwide, the whole subfamily is referred to as “tigers.” Members of one subgroup within it have distinctly bold allover patterns – and that’s how it got its name.

Close cousins to the agreeable tiger moth are, among others, the pink-legged tiger moth and the Virginia tiger moth. (From a distance they’d look exactly like “agreeable,” as, visually, they are separated by only very small differences in their markings. But, each is unique nonetheless.)

In its caterpillar stage, the agreeable tiger moth is known as the yellow woolley bear. It is often light gold in color, but can also be a rust color, a dark brown or even black. You know what woolley bears are, or you at least remember how at certain times of year woolley caterpillars of all colors and sizes are making their way across our roads, lawns and patios – curling into a ball if we touch them but all intent on going somewhere.

After bursting from its egg in the spring, the immature yellow woolley bear caterpillar begins an earnest season of eating. As the weather cools and winter approaches it finds a safe place – as a mature woolley bear – to over-winter. Releasing water from its body, special chemicals freeze its remaining tissues solid. In the spring the caterpillar thaws, eats a bit and then fashions a cocoon from its bristles, entering its pupate stage. After about a month the young moth emerges from the cocoon and mates. Eggs are laid, and the lifecycle starts again.

By the time you saw that luminous, white-capped wonder on that thin horizontal stem, it was near the end of its life, intent on finding a mate, and, at that moment, perhaps enjoying the cool spring night as much as you were. Interesting that such a tiny, mostly inconspicuous creature has such an elegant story.

Edgar Tillett Memorial Park

April 2, 2015 Columns, Just Like Nothing (Else) on Earth Comments Off on Edgar Tillett Memorial Park
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Whenever I’m at the edge of a woods – or other ‘wild’ place, I always find myself listening; I’m not sure where I picked up the habit – maybe my brothers, or father, or grandfather – or maybe from one of those other writer guys, like James Fenimore Cooper, or Hemingway- or even Ken Kesey. But, come to think of it, those guys were probably all listening for different things – and they might not have known what it was, either. But, sure enough, I found myself one recent foggy morning at the edge of a very undisciplined growth of trees and brush, and I caught myself: Standing there, breathing quietly, surveying the 60 or so yards into which my vision penetrated the darkness, listening and waiting. About all I heard was the nearby traffic on Belmont Ridge Road, and the occasional jet taking off or landing at Dulles Airport – and maybe a faint drip of melting snow and ice.

This was my first visit to Edgar Tillett Memorial Park – in Ashburn, just south of the Greenway. There wasn’t another soul utilizing the park that morning – they were all probably heading off to work – and, even if they had the day off, one of the last things on their agenda – likely – was traipsing around the half-frozen ballfields and scattered stands of trees at this neighborhood recreation area.

Those commuters had more important things to do than stand on the edge of civilization and await communication with the great mysteries to perhaps be discovered at Edgar Tillett Park. Not me. I had the day off, so there I stood… no, I didn’t receive any deep messages from beyond, or anything; I really didn’t experience a great deal in the way of excitement or drama – but I did feel the ice crunching under my boots, felt the cool, crisp damp air fortified by all the melting, and enjoyed quite a few minutes of the closest thing to solitude I could probably find this far from the Blue Ridge. Or at least that’s what I told myself.

Now, I’m imagining that my experience on a summer Saturday afternoon would be quite different: All four ballfields would most likely be in use – maybe the park would even be hosting a youth athletic tournament of some sort, with families gathered from across the region to enjoy some friendly competition at this convenient site for such activities. The noise of play and the cheering of the crowd might even drown out the sounds of traffic from Belmont Ridge Road and that of the overhead planes from Dulles. All that activity might even give the scattered Saturday commuters a moment of pause as they headed for all that important stuff up or down the road, too. Yeah, if I were to pay a visit to this place on a summer weekend, during heavy ball-playing season, I may not even have a stray moment to catch myself listening for whatever it is that I listen for at the edge of those woods. Maybe ‘it’ wouldn’t even be there for me to listen for – who knows?

But, I’ll bet that it’s still pretty peaceful there on the mornings of those games and tournaments, and it might even be foggy on some of them, and, if a guy like me were to take an early stroll out there, he could even find himself standing on the edge of the woods, as if almost listening for something – even if it was something he couldn’t positively identify. And the traffic on the road and the planes in the sky would be all the sounds he could recall – other than, perhaps the echoes of last year’s ball games, or that lone tree falling in the forest which he needed to be present for to make audible, or maybe even the faint reverberations of that long-ago Big Bang from which we’re still evolving.

I suppose the ball players will continue ball playing, the commuters will continue driving, the planes will keep on flying, and me – I’ll keep on finding myself on the property lines of places like Edgar Tillett Memorial Park – listening for something I’ve never experienced.

Hats – The Perfect Topping

April 2, 2015 Sarah's Closet Comments Off on Hats – The Perfect Topping
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– By Sarah Nearis

Most women think hats take a little nerve to wear. But, worn right a hat has a way of freeing you, making you feel more put together.

Three things to keep in mind. Number one, keep your hat neutral, like your choice of shoes. Pick up a splash of color from your outfit, but don’t let the hat control. Number two, when wearing a hat, keep the other things around your face on the simple side – a sleek scarf, for example. Number three, avoid hats that are trying to be all things to all women. Let one thing dominate; the hat’s shape, color, decoration or material – but not all four. My favorite types of hats and how to wear them this season.

Baseball Caps: This most casual of hats looks great with a nice white T-shirt and a crisp pair of jeans – great for sun protection and when you don’t feel like spending a lot of time on your hair. Don’t be afraid to wear them with your hair pulled back or if you have short hair – they make for a tidy look. But avoid over-embellished baseball cap styles – keep it simple.

Casual Woven Hats: These are casual hats with less shape and structure. They give you a lighter, brighter look and are perfect for sundresses and sleeveless tops and shorts. As with baseball caps, keep it simple and don’t over do it with accessories.

Fedoras: This is my favorite style of hat. They can be small or large brimmed, but they all have a structured shape – tailored, nothing extra. Think of them as the man’s shirt of women’s hats – smart and fashion forward. Wider-brimmed versions are great for the beach, shorter brimmed versions perfect with a simple tunic and capris pants or leggings.

“Kentucky Derby” Hats: Not just for the most watched horse race in the world, big, colorful hats can be really beautiful. This is the only case where you CAN let the hat take over. Just remember, it’s a hat, not a floral display. Use it to show off the sophisticated simplicity with which you put the rest of your outfit together. Turning up the hat? Tone down the rest.

Berets: A certain woman I know looks fantastic in berets. She buys her clothes here, but her wardrobe has a very European look to it – with well-shaped, well-tailored cottons, silks and linens accented with feminine touches such as simple embroidery, stripes, fitted waistbands, and softly structured pleats, collars and cuffs. Sound like you? Try a beret. You’ll know instinctively how to wear it.

Take the plunge and wear a hat!
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Sarah Nearis is a fashion stylist, fashion blogger & style expert. A graduate of Bay State College in Boston and The School of Style, Sarah’s attitude is as refreshing as her impossibly sweet personality. Connect with Sarah on her All Things Beautiful blog: sarahnearis.blogspot.com.

Speak Up Against Anti-Semitism

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– By Samuel Moore-Sobel

Anti-Semitism. It’s an ugly word, a word filled with hate and bigotry. Yet it has been on the rise over the last year. It is alarming and unacceptable, and it is time for all to take a stand against it.

In Europe, anti-Semitic sentiment has been smoldering under the surface and is now coming out into the light. Recently there was an attack on a French kosher market that left four Jewish hostages dead at the hands of a gunman who claimed to be carrying out the wishes of the Islamic State. Jewish residents are reportedly planning to leave their beloved homes in Saint-Mande, as the fear for their safety escalates. Yet the decision being made by many Jews in Saint-Mande is nothing new. In fact, anti-Semitism has been on the rise across Europe.

Europe does not hold a monopoly on anti-Semitic sentiment. Emily Shire reported in a recent column in “The Daily Beast” that more than half of all Jewish college students, 54 percent, either experienced anti-Semitism or observed it occurring on their campus during a six-month period. This data was gathered by the Louis D. Brandeis Center for Human Rights and published in 2014. There are also extensive reports of swastikas being found all over the U.C. Berkeley campus, and “Death to Israel” graffiti. There are similar reports at universities all across the nation, such as swastikas spray-painted on the mailboxes of fraternities at Vanderbilt University and the University of Oregon, just to name a few.
After Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addressed a joint session of Congress last month, I was alarmed to hear the anti-Semitic comments made by students all across my own university. It is one thing to disagree with the policies of the state of Israel; but, policy disagreements are no excuse to discriminate against Jews. Calling for the demise of an entire nation is calling for the destruction of a people group. Who has said the nation of France should not exist?

Throughout my time in college, I have seen anti-Semitic words scrawled in the stalls of the men’s bathroom and idle chatter throughout campus filled with hatred against the Jews. After Prime Minister Netanyahu’s speech, the chatter only increased. A display was erected in the center of the George Mason University campus. Each day thousands of students were greeted with the words, “Palestine Lives,” accompanied by words accusing Israel of carrying out “apartheid.” College is supposed to be a place where opposing views are debated, compared and contrasted. Why is only one side of the story being told?

The hatred of Jews is not a new phenomenon. It has been going on for thousands of years. A few months ago I wrote about my great-grandfather, Samuel Postal. His wife, Yetta Protass, was born in Russia. Her story is eerily similar to Tevye and his family’s depicted in the iconic movie “Fiddler on the Roof.” She and her family were forced from their town in 1907, along with thousands of other Jews throughout the Soviet Union. She was a victim of the pogroms carried out all across Russia in the early 1900s.

When I think about my great-grandmother’s story, I soon turn to the story of her husband. I sometimes wonder what would have happened had my great-grandfather’s parents decided against leaving Poland when they did. They would possibly be victims of the Holocaust, and I would not be here writing this column. While the rise in anti-Semitism certainly does not compare to the Holocaust, it is concerning to see such sentiment just 70 years after the end of World War II.

Whenever anti-Semitism is brought up, there is an image that haunts me from our not so distant past. Flipping through old pictures that belong to my great-aunt, there are some that include a sign reading “No Blacks No Jews” in the background of mid-20th century beach scenes. Even after the atrocities of the Holocaust, the lessons had still not been learned. It is time for someone to take a stand, to ensure that the future for all ethnicities is bright and prosperous. Those pictures serve as a powerful reminder, and are signs that I hope my children and grandchildren will never have to see in their lifetimes.

After Prime Minister Netanyahu’s speech, a close friend wrote to me and said, “Anti-Semitism will never go away, or even fade. The only question is how overt it will be. Europe has already answered that question. America is still in the process, although I think we’re OK for now.” With no political clout or particular influence, I use my humble pen to show some of what is happening in the world around us. I hope that America will make the right choice and choose to be on the right side of history.
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Samuel Moore-Sobel is a junior at George Mason University majoring in government and international politics.

Run In Remembrance

April 1, 2015 Columns, Mary Rose Lunde Comments Off on Run In Remembrance
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– By Mary Rose Lunde

When people think about Virginia Tech, most people would associate the college as the engineering school. Many people, although they are hesitant to admit it, automatically associate the college as the school that has a bad reputation with safety. It’s likely that if you say the word shooting around campus, you will get a mixed response. If you say that word in front of me, I cringe at the thought, and, like many of my classmates, fall silent in remembrance.

My creative non-fiction teacher recently had us read an article by Michelle Bliss originally published in The New York Times. It was about the shooter as well as the students and led to mixed responses in the discussion that followed. Many of us sat quietly in our seats during this discussion pretending to pay attention as our minds wandered elsewhere, longing to avoid the subject. It is not an easy thing to talk about for sure.

Virginia Tech carries the legacy of the 32 people in its current students and faculty. Not a day goes by that I don’t walk by the Drill Field and see the memorial that stands in front of Burruss Hall. It is sad to think that Virginia Tech will always hold an association as “the shooting school.” It angers me that people associate the school with this, and yet I feel like this association honors those whose lives were lost. Their legacy is never going to leave the campus, or its identity. The community aspect of Virginia Tech won’t allow it.
Every year Virginia Tech hosts the 3.2 run for 32. This year, as a student, I will be able to run with my classmates to remember them. Crossing the finish line will mean honor and remembrance of those lost and I know that I won’t be the only one proud to be a Hokie on that day, April 16.

I don’t know if classes will be canceled. I know people often throw themselves into work to cope with the anniversary of a tragic event. My creative non-fiction teacher explained that last year was the first year that he taught on the date since the shooting. Even 8 years later he still had trouble talking to the class about the events and feelings of the story.
Being a freshman, I didn’t have much to offer, but listening to my classmates talk about friends that were on campus and had siblings attending on the day made me squirm in my seat. The events alone are tragic, but the stories from people that have an actual tie to the day are much more deep and scary. It makes me appreciate all the safety precautions Virginia Tech has created since then.

I am a proud Hokie, as are many of my classmates. On April 16, we will run to remember those on that tragic day. We will come together as a community of Hokies and we will run. We will run to honor their lives. We will run to remember them because they will not be forgotten. Once a Hokie, always a Hokie.
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Mary Rose Lunde is a freshman at Virginia Tech. She is excited to join her community in the 3.2 for 32 mile run on April 16.

Kitchen Science Kids: Sweet Science

April 1, 2015 Columns, Kitchen Science Kids Comments Off on Kitchen Science Kids: Sweet Science
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– By Leah Enright

When I was a kid, I was taught in school that everything that takes up space, and has mass is matter, and matter can be in the form of a solid, liquid or gas.” This is still true, of course, (though scientists have added a bit to it), but understanding this is a great scientific start. But, what does it mean? It means that everything: That slice of pizza you had for lunch, the water in the ocean, and even the breath from your mouth is matter. (Don’t believe me about the last one? Blow up a balloon, and you’ll see.) The pizza is solid, the water in the ocean is liquid, and your breath is gas. Pretty simple, isn’t it?
Well, we can’t leave things there, we have to do something, and preferably something that tastes good. How about homemade sweet lemonade?

To make this delicious drink, you’ll need an adult helper and a solid, (a cup of sugar), liquids, water and lemon juice, and you will create gas – steam escaping from the pan.
Here’s how to do it:

1. First, ask an adult to make a syrupy sweetener by placing one cup of sugar and one cup of water in a pan. Simmer and stir until the sugar is no longer grainy, and the mixture drips easily from the spoon. Set syrup aside.

2. Use a hand juicer to twist the juice out of 4-6 lemons, so that you have one cup of juice, (or pour a cup of prepared lemon juice from the supermarket into a measuring cup).

3. Pour the juice and the syrup into a serving pitcher, and add 2 cups of water.
Stir and taste. If the lemonade is too strong, add ½ to 1cup of water, until you like the flavor.

4. Serve and enjoy.

So, we see that matter is anything that takes up space and has mass, and can be in the form of a solid, liquid or gas. (There is a fourth stage of matter, called plasma, which is a subject for another time.)

Solids, liquids and gases coming together in a refreshing drink –yes, kids – science can be sweet.
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Leah Enright believes that a playful attitude toward science creates a love for the subject. She lives, writes and works in western Loudoun County.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Columns

Pokémon GO: A Fun New Gaming App or an Accidental Treatment?

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Penicillin was accidently discovered in 1928 when scientist Alexander Fleming returned to his lab from vacation to notice that a strange fungus growing on a culture had killed off the neighboring bacteria. After WWII, psychiatrist and researcher, Dr. John Cade, …

Brotherly Love

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– By Samuel Moore-Sobel There he was. A small, innocent being entering the world for the very first time. Can I touch him? Nervously, I lean forward. He seems so perfect, so completely serene. He is loved instantly. The last …

To The Teen Who Feels Alone

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– By Mary Rose Lunde I’m going to do something real here and be honest for a second. In a society where telling someone your deep emotional feelings is considered weak, doing just that seems to be detrimental and could …

Unmotivated Teen

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– By Michael Oberschneider, Psy.D. Dr. Mike, At our insistence, our 17-year-old son is going to get a summer job. Well, that’s what he agreed to, but we are two weeks into the summer and guess what … he doesn’t …

Time To Add Discipline To Your Good Money Habits

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– By Amy and Dan Smith For many, their 30’s is a time to build a family and a stronger financial future That 30th birthday can be a somewhat traumatic event, but with people living longer, they say 50 is …

Human Fingerprints on Climate Change

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Presented to the Loudoun County Board of Supervisors – June 23, 2016 Recently I was asked whether humanity’s fossil fuel use was the cause of the current global warming. This is a good question and I’m not surprised that there …

Student News

Congratulations, Class of 2016

6 Jul 2016

grads_woodgrove

Woodgrove High School’s Class Of 2016 Graduation – By Amanda Clark On June 16, Woodgrove’s Class of 2016 was the 5th graduating class to walk the stage and accept their diploma. The ceremony was filled with anticipation as the chorus, …

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Buckland Earns Degree In Medicine

6 Jul 2016

buckland

Molly Buckland, D.O., graduated from the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine with a degree of Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine on May 28. While at WVSOM, Dr. Buckland received the Dr. Roland P. Sharp President’s Award and the James R. …

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Adams Promoted To Lieutenant

6 Jul 2016

adamspromoted

Lt. James Adams, from Sterling and a Potomac Falls Halls Graduate, earned the promotion to the rank of Lieutenant. Adams is a Navy Week and Executive Outreach Planner for the Navy Office of Community Outreach in Millington, Tennessee. U.S. Navy …

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Calendar

July 2016
M T W T F S S
27

Bingo at St. Francis de Sale Catholic Church

It’s a Beach Thing . . . featuring lamp-work glass artist Julie Bahun and abstract painter Karen Hutchison

28

Bingo at St. Francis de Sale Catholic Church

It’s a Beach Thing . . . featuring lamp-work glass artist Julie Bahun and abstract painter Karen Hutchison

29

Bingo at St. Francis de Sale Catholic Church

It’s a Beach Thing . . . featuring lamp-work glass artist Julie Bahun and abstract painter Karen Hutchison

30

Bingo at St. Francis de Sale Catholic Church

It’s a Beach Thing . . . featuring lamp-work glass artist Julie Bahun and abstract painter Karen Hutchison

1

Bingo at St. Francis de Sale Catholic Church

Dancing Through Color

TGIF - Jake & the Burtones

2

Bingo at St. Francis de Sale Catholic Church

Dancing Through Color

Ken Wenzel Live at North Gate Vineyard

Notaviva Vineyards - Bluegrass Jam - FREE event

3

Bingo at St. Francis de Sale Catholic Church

Dancing Through Color

4

Bingo at St. Francis de Sale Catholic Church

Dancing Through Color

5

Bingo at St. Francis de Sale Catholic Church

Dancing Through Color

6

Bingo at St. Francis de Sale Catholic Church

Dancing Through Color

7

Bingo at St. Francis de Sale Catholic Church

Dancing Through Color

8

Bingo at St. Francis de Sale Catholic Church

Dancing Through Color

9

Bingo at St. Francis de Sale Catholic Church

Dancing Through Color

Yard Sale Benefiting EPIC

10

Bingo at St. Francis de Sale Catholic Church

Dancing Through Color

Moon Music Live at North Gate Vineyard

11

Bingo at St. Francis de Sale Catholic Church

Dancing Through Color

12

Bingo at St. Francis de Sale Catholic Church

Dancing Through Color

13

Bingo at St. Francis de Sale Catholic Church

Dancing Through Color

14

Bingo at St. Francis de Sale Catholic Church

Dancing Through Color

15

Bingo at St. Francis de Sale Catholic Church

Dancing Through Color

16

Bingo at St. Francis de Sale Catholic Church

Dancing Through Color

Dear Creek Live at North Gate Vineyard

17

Bingo at St. Francis de Sale Catholic Church

Dancing Through Color

Quentin Walston Live at North Gate Vineyard

18

Bingo at St. Francis de Sale Catholic Church

Dancing Through Color

19

Bingo at St. Francis de Sale Catholic Church

Dancing Through Color

Paint Your Pint

20

Bingo at St. Francis de Sale Catholic Church

Dancing Through Color

21

Bingo at St. Francis de Sale Catholic Church

Dancing Through Color

22

Bingo at St. Francis de Sale Catholic Church

Dancing Through Color

23

Bingo at St. Francis de Sale Catholic Church

Dancing Through Color

24

Bingo at St. Francis de Sale Catholic Church

Dancing Through Color

25

Bingo at St. Francis de Sale Catholic Church

Dancing Through Color

26

Bingo at St. Francis de Sale Catholic Church

Dancing Through Color

27

Bingo at St. Francis de Sale Catholic Church

Dancing Through Color

28

Bingo at St. Francis de Sale Catholic Church

Dancing Through Color

29

Bingo at St. Francis de Sale Catholic Church

Dancing Through Color

30

Bingo at St. Francis de Sale Catholic Church

Dancing Through Color

31

Bingo at St. Francis de Sale Catholic Church

Dancing Through Color

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Lifestyle

Farmers Urged To Be on the Lookout for Marijuana

23 Jul 2016

blueridge

Farmers in Southwest Virginia are being urged to check their property for marijuana planted by trespassers. Within the past year, hundreds of marijuana plants have been discovered between rows of hay bales on farms in and around Pulaski County, according to the Claytor Lake Regional Drug Task Force. “Unfortunately this is a growing trend,” said Corporal Barbara Owens of the …

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Bluemont Harvest Ball To Be Held on September 17 in Warrenton

20 Jul 2016

blueridge

To commemorate the organization’s 40th Anniversary, Bluemont has announces the first ever Bluemont Harvest Ball, to be held on September 17 from 6:30 pm to 11:00 p.m. on Main Street in downtown Warrantor. This black tie event will feature live music from the Silver Tones Swing Band, dancing, a four-course, seated dinner, an open bar, and a silent auction. Tickets …

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What Do You Do To Stay Cool?

7 Jul 2016

ice-cubes

– By Amanda Clark “To chill out this summer I will spend a lot of my time playing music. During the summer, I have so much free time and I devote as much of it as I can to playing music.” – Michael Preston (Lovettsville) “To chill out this summer I will go to a friend’s house and borrow their …

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Editorial

Grief and Greed

blueridge2

By Matthew Parse What would drive a single individual to cause so much emotional stress and financial burden on hundreds, if not, thousands of families? What would drive the Town …

Op-ed

Opinion: Terrorism, Debt, and China: Oh My!

blueridge2.jpg

– By Nick Reid world can be a very dangerous place sometimes, especially for a nation state such as the United States. Although danger is always present, the number and …

Metro Money Mess Pushing West

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– By Delegate Dave LaRock (R-33rd) A local paper recently quoted Loudoun Board Chair Phyllis Randall as saying that in her observation “some of the concerns raised by the people …

Dear Editor

Lessons from Short Hill

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It’s been a little over two weeks since the Commission Permit for the proposed AT&T facility on Short Hill was overruled by the Board of Supervisors. This is just about …

Thank You

speak

Dear Citizens of Purcellville: As your town council member it is my vision and priority that you feel welcome at your Town Hall and take part in shaping Purcellville’s future …

View From the Ridge

An Open Letter to the Citizens of Purcellville

blueridge2

Mark Your Calendar, They’ve Asked for Our Input So Let’s Give It To Them By Steady and Nobull The Purcellville Planning Commission has tentatively scheduled a series of public input …

Around Virginia

Blood Donors Asked To Help Address Summer Shortage

blueridge

Virginia Blood Services is urging Virginians to help replenish an extremely low summer blood supply and asking eligible donors to visit any one of its area Community Donor Centers or mobile blood drives. “Summer is always a challenging time for blood collections,” says Virginia Blood Services Executive Director, Todd Cahill. …

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McAuliffe Announces New Exports for Virginia Lumber Companies To the United Kingdom

McAuliffe

Governor Terry McAuliffe announced new export sales of Virginia wood products to the United Kingdom (U.K.) during a trade and marketing mission to Israel and the U.K. The sales were struck between four Virginia lumber companies and James Latham PLC, one of the oldest and largest wood importers and distributors …

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Governor McAuliffe Announces 105 New Jobs in the Town of Berryville and Clarke County

McAuliffe

Handsome Brook Farm, LLC to Invest More Than $6 Million to Establish Egg Processing Operation in Virginia RICHMOND – Governor Terry McAuliffe today announced that New York-based Handsome Brook Farm, LLC will invest $6.4 million to establish a new pasture raised egg processing operation in the Town of Berryville and …

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Sports

Registration Open For Ida Lee’s Fall NFL Flag Football

7 Jul 2016

NFL_Flag_Football_at_IdaLee

Ida Lee’s Fall 2016 NFL Flag Football League will begin with player evaluations on Saturday and Sunday, July 30 and 31.  Players must be registered by Tuesday, July 26, to participate. This fall, Ida Lee’s Leesburg NFL Flag Football House League will have the following age groups:  6-7; 8-9; 10-11; …

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Everyone’s Getting Into Cannons Action!

6 Jul 2016

cannons

Purcellville Cannons? Baseball July Schedule July 9, 7 p.m. at home Covington? July 12, 7 p.m. away Winchester? July 13, 7:30 p.m. Harrisonburg? July 14, 7 p.m. at home Strasburg? July 15, 7 p.m. at home Woodstock? July 16, 7 p.m. away Front Royal? July 17, 7 p.m. at home …

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