Sat10252014

News

Election flyer mimics newspaper coverage

Election flyer mimics newspaper coverage

A flyer is being distributed across Los Altos that looks like it is from the Los Altos Town Crier but was neither created nor distributed by the community’s weekly newspaper. The flyer, pictured at right, is being distributed by workers from Pyrami...

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Schools

LAHS Science and Technology Week features medical examiner

LAHS Science and Technology Week features medical examiner


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
A Los Altos High School student learns how to use robotic surgical equipment at the school’s Science and Technology Week event last year. Students can also attend hands-on presentations at this year’s event, w...

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Community

Ahoy, matey: Pirate Manor ramps up Halloween display

Ahoy, matey: Pirate Manor ramps up Halloween display


Town Crier File Photo
Pirate Manor is once again scheduled to arrive in the front yard of Dane and Jill Glasgow’s home on Manor Way in Los Altos, just in time for Halloween.

Although not the Walking Dead, pirate skeletons have been brought to li...

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Sports

Lancers rule the pool against Spartans

Lancers rule the pool against Spartans


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
St. Francis High’s Eric Reitmeir launches the ball over Mountain View High driver David Niehaus (2) and goalie Kenny Tang. The host Lancers won Friday’s non-league game 9-3.

There wasn’t a lot on the line Friday when ...

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Comment

Reeder, Fung for El Camino HCD: Editorial

The good news for the El Camino Healthcare District (formerly the El Camino Hospital District, for those still getting used to the new name) is that there is a contested election Nov. 4 for the district’s board of directors. Three candidates are runn...

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Special Sections

Plant-based diet offers benefits

Plant-based diet offers benefits


Photo by Ramya Krishna
Los Altos resident Nandini Krishna prepares a meat-free dish According to author Caldwell B. Esselstyn Jr., M.D., a plant-based diet can help prevent cancer.

Shirley Okita of Los Altos has found that adhering to a mostly plant...

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Business

New shop offers haute couture for girls

New shop offers haute couture for girls


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
The Girls @ Los Altos at 239 State St. offers clothing lines such as Nellystella as well as toys and other items for girls.

Cecilia Chen opened The Girls @ Los Altos as a tribute to the party dress. Whether it’s for...

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Books

Helping kids catch a few Zs: Local dental hygienist pens meditative bedtime book

Helping kids catch a few Zs: Local dental hygienist pens meditative bedtime book


Ellie Van Houtte/Town Crier
Mimi Sommers, who works at a Los Altos dentist’s office, recently wrote a children’s book.

A local dental hygienist recently published a book that aims to ease parents and children during a sometimes anxious e...

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People

BARBARA DARLING MERIDETH

1946-2014

Born in Palo Alto, raised in Los Altos, retired in southern Oregon. Survived by Peter James Merideth, sons Matthew, Jacob and John Merideth, the loves of her life.

She was a housewife who took great pride in her home, her surroundings and...

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Travel

Falling leaves: Four places in California to see autumn colors

Falling leaves: Four places in California to see autumn colors


Courtesy of Castello di Amorosa
Castello di Amorosa in Calistoga, above, boasts a beautiful setting for viewing fall’s colors – and sampling the vineyard’s wines.

Yes, Virginia, there is fall in California.

The colors pop out in...

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Stepping Out

'Sleepy Hollow' awakens at Bus Barn

'Sleepy Hollow' awakens at Bus Barn



Los Altos Youth Theatre’s production of “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow,” a musical based on Washington Irving’s classic story, is set to run through Nov. 2 at Bus Barn Theater. The cast comprises 27 young actors, directed by Cindy Powell. Courtesy o...

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Spiritual Life

Magazine

Local events add color to autumn calendar

Local events add color to autumn calendar


Van Houtte/town crier Visitors make their way through the Children’s Alley.

As Los Altos’ signature Chinese Pistache trees exchange their summer green for vibrant hues of yellow, orange and red in the fall, an abundance of local events also ad...

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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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