Sat02132016

News

SPLAT targets data, outreach as airplane noise continues

SPLAT targets data, outreach as airplane noise continues


Graphic courtesy of Don Gardner
Activists claim that a new SFO flight path leaves a “sound shadow” that impacts Los Altos and Los Altos Hills.

Sky Posse Los Altos Team – more simply known as SPLAT – seeks to squelch the noise...

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Schools

Los Altos High student-run charity plans '5 Gallon Gala'

Los Altos High student-run charity plans '5 Gallon Gala'


Courtesy of Lia Evard
Water by Youth members gave Egan students a chance to carry a 40-pound Jerry can, to see how difficult it is to obtain water in developing nations.

Water by Youth, a club at Los Altos High School, is making a splash by pla...

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Community

What would you do with a box of cookies? Local Girls Scouts help Tanzanian orphanage

What would you do with a box of cookies? Local Girls Scouts help Tanzanian orphanage


Courtesy of Alicia Madden
Sales of local Girl Scout cookies support service projects, such as funding an orphanage in the village of Mto wa Mbu in Tanzania.

Girl Scout cookies – whether you think of them as a treat, a tradition or a diet comp...

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Sports

Scoreless spells sink LA boys

Scoreless spells sink LA boys


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Los Altos High point guard Nolan Brennan attempts a shot in Friday’s game versus Palo Alto. He scored eight points in the loss.

There have been several games this season in which the Los Altos High boys basketball t...

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Comment

New 'York' values

New 'York' values


Hughes

 

As we have witnessed California suffer through one of its worst droughts in history over the past few years, all of us, I’m sure, have been keenly aware of our surroundings and have done a small part in trying to conserve wa...

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Special Sections

Getting a charge  out of the Volt

Getting a charge out of the Volt


Courtesy of Chevrolet
The 2016 Chevrolet Volt can be driven up to 50 miles on the power stored in its batteries.

Just five years ago, we wondered in this column what the power supply would be for the car of the future. Gasoline, diesel, electric ba...

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Business

Nearing V-Day: Shops stock sweets, treats

Nearing V-Day: Shops stock sweets, treats


Megan V. Winslow/Town Crier
Los Altos resident Ella Roosakos, 11, with her mother, Gail, puzzles over which Gourmet Works sweets to buy as a valentine for Ella’s friend.

The gift-buying rush isn’t exclusive to Christmas. It may jump over...

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People

ALAN RODNEY MILLS

ALAN RODNEY MILLS

Alan Rodney Mills, PhD, 83, of Los Altos passed away peacefully on Saturday, January 30th, 2016. He was born in Rochdale, England in 1933 and came to California in 1962. He was a proud alumni of Manchester Grammar in England, University of Liverpoo...

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Stepping Out

PYT 'Gets Famous'

PYT 'Gets Famous'


Lyn Flaim Healy/Spotlight Moments Photography
Renee Vetter of Palo Alto, left, and Megan Foreman of Los Altos star in Peninsula Youth Theatre’s “Judy Moody Gets Famous.” Performances are scheduled Friday and Saturday.

Peninsula...

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Spiritual Life

A time to prepare: Fasting for Lent isn't limited to food

 

Today is Ash Wednesday, which in the Christian calendar marks the beginning of Lent – the 40 days of preparation for Resurrection Sunday, otherwise known as Easter.

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Inside Mountain View

New right-to-lease ordinance promises relief for renters

New right-to-lease ordinance promises relief for renters


Mountain View Tenants Coalition/Facebook
Residents gather in the fall to protest Mountain View’s rising rents. Rent relief is on the way in the form of a new ordinance.

A controversial Mountain View law requiring landlords to provide lease opt...

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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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