Wed09172014

News

Meet the Mountain View City Council candidates

Meet the Mountain View City Council candidates


Nine candidates have filed to run for three open seats on the Mountain View City Council in the Nov. 4 election – none of them incumbents. The Town Crier asked them to introduce themselves to readers in the following Q&A format. We knew the...

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Schools

LASD committee looks to rank campus improvement projects

LASD committee looks to rank campus improvement projects


Traci Newell/Town Crier
The Los Altos School District’s newly expanded Facilities Advisory Committee met for the first time last week. The 28-member committee’s first task is to prioritize campus improvement projects.

The Los Altos Scho...

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Community

Sports

New-look Lancers find their footing

New-look Lancers find their footing


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
St. Francis High’s Jenna Adams, left, and Carly Deale attempt to bump the ball Friday night. The juniors combined for 28 kills.

This year’s St. Francis High girls volleyball team faintly resembles last season’s squad ...

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Special Sections

MV Whisman teachers cite low pay

MV Whisman teachers cite low pay


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
An estimated 75 supporters of higher teacher pay turned out for the Sept. 4 Mountain View Whisman School District board meeting.

Teachers, trustees and administrators are recovering from a dramatic Mountain View Whism...

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Business

Skin rejuvenation studio joins Rancho

Skin rejuvenation studio joins Rancho


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Esthetician Marjan Kashi showcases one of the treatment rooms at her new studio, Pure Serenity Skincare at Rancho Shopping Center. Kashi provides services including microdermabrasion and various light and heat energy the...

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Books

A woman's perspective on the Greatest Generation

A woman's perspective on the Greatest Generation

During World War II, Virgilia Short Witzel, a young mother and U.S. Navy officer’s wife, grappled on the home front in Menlo Park with wartime rationing, shortages and loneliness. During the ensuing Cold War, she experienced adventure and misadventur...

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People

JERALD (JERRY) NELSON CHRISTIANSEN

JERALD (JERRY) NELSON CHRISTIANSEN

Resident of San Jose and Los Altos, California

July 21, 1931 to August 4, 2014

Born in Arimo, Idaho, to Jerald Emmett and Rebecca Henderson Nelson Christiansen. Raised in Davis and Riverside, California, with summers in Downey, Idaho, and in Loga...

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Travel

LA photographer spends a night with cranes – and moose – in Alaska

LA photographer spends a night with cranes – and moose – in Alaska


Sandy Powell/Special to the Town Crier
Los Altos resident and bird photographer Sandy Powell recently visited Homer, Alaska, to photograph Sandhill cranes, below. While there, Powell also encountered moose, left.

Los Altos resident Sandy Powell, a...

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Stepping Out

Pear puts on a pair of plays

Pear puts on a pair of plays


J. Smith/Special to the Town Crier
Dan Kapler (as Teddy) and Betsy Kruse Craig (Trish) star in Pear Avenue Theatre’s “House.”

The Pear Avenue Theatre production of two interlocking comedies by Alan Ayckbourn – “House&...

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Spiritual Life

Back to Church Sunday offers opportunity to recommit

The children in Los Altos are back to school, and I can still hear parents cheering. Summer is officially over, even if the calendar doesn’t quite think so.

Parents have attended Back to School nights to meet their children’s teachers. B...

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Magazine

Los Altos Hills home showcases resort-inspired living

Los Altos Hills home showcases resort-inspired living


Courtesy of Spectrum Interior Design
In place of a more traditional fireplace, this modern living room features a linear-flame firebox that emits heat while offering a sculpturelike design element.

After traveling the world and visiting a host...

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"Quiet" explores personality traits of introverts


A number of books in the past two or three years have highlighted new research about how the brain works to improve our understanding of how we function and even how we can improve our behavior.

Such books seek to teach readers how to be more creative (“Imagine: How Creativity Works” by Jonah Lehrer, Houghton Mifflin, 2012), how to establish positive new habits and eliminate bad ones (“The Power of Habit” by Charles Duhigg, Random House, 2012) or how to be smarter (“This Will Make You Smarter” by John Brockman, Harper Perennial, 2012).

Into this genre comes yet another entry: “Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking” by Susan Cain (Crown, 2013). But the intent of “Quiet” is a bit different than other modern advice books. Rather than inciting self-improvement, Cain seeks to let us better understand and accept ourselves, particularly those who are introverts.

The author first offers definitions, drawing heavily on psychotherapist Carl Jung: “Introverts are drawn to the inner world of thought and feeling, said Jung, extroverts to the external life of people and activities. Introverts focus on the meaning they make of the events swirling around them; extroverts plunge into the events themselves.”

Cain offers a 16-question test that allows readers unsure of their type to assess it. She then notes that since the beginning of the 20th century, Americans have been barraged with the message that extroverts are more successful than introverts in both their personal and professional lives, and that introverts could and should take classes and seminars and read books to “get over” their deficiencies.

But are most successful business leaders, for example, extroverts? Cain says no, citing the research of Wharton School management professor Adam Grant, who studied leadership extensively and found that both personality types do well in leadership positions. She also mentions that leaders in Asia tend to be generally more introspective and concerned with relationship building, and the style has worked quite well for that culture.

Cain gives plenty of advice in “Quiet.” She recommends, for example, that parents of introverted children respect their natures and not try to force them into sports, clubs and activities. She suggests that businesses reconsider the trend toward forcing most employees to work in large, open office spaces, given that some researchers have reported that “personal space is vital to creativity.” She also comments on how “mixed couples” – where one is an introvert and the other an extrovert – can communicate more effectively and learn to compromise.

The most interesting part of “Quiet” addresses temperament. Researcher Jerome Kagan studied infant behavior and labels infants as either “high reactive,” those who wave their arms and legs around a lot, or “low reactive,” those who are quiet. Kagan discovered that high-reactive babies usually became introverted adults and vice versa, suggesting a strong biological basis to introversion. Can one overcome this biological effect? Yes, Cain believes, but only to some extent.

“Quiet” is rife with useful information about personality types, and most readers should gain a deeper understanding of themselves and others. Although the book is aimed primarily at introverts, most book clubs that enjoy reading about human behavior should find it a worthwhile selection.

Leslie Ashmore is a Mountain View resident who belongs to two book clubs.

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