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The Julian News
Julian , California
July 17, 2013     The Julian News
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July 17, 2013

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10 The Julian News by Bill Fink Push One of the great things about living in a small, kind of out of the way town, is that you can do small things that seem to have a lot of impact. You could even be a hack and write a column for your small town newspaper that some people would actually read. I've gone on for close to four years now about the exploits and events of the Legion and how a relatively small group of people can have such a big impact on a community. The Legion though, is only one organization in Julian that does great things. And... there are lots of individuals in town that go about their quiet lives and contribute to the varied fabric of the community by being good friends and neighbors and secret financial benefactors to our causes. I know a gal that's been here a few years and is seriously considering moving. She leads a solitary life it seems and feels that she has no kindred spirits here. She's smart, writes well and rve even tried to get her to guest write this column once in a while so I could take a last minute get it in by noon on Saturday break once in a while. After speaking to her a number of times about the organizations in town that would love to have her belong, I guess it all comes down to a piece of advice I was given many years ago and try to practice. "The door to friendship and happiness opens outward", so turn the knob and push. If someone else is pushing the door open for you, go in. There are some great things about small town living and conversely there are things we sacrifice to reside where we do. There is no traffic to speak of but you can't catch a cab to save your life. You could get a ride from a friend but he usually has so much crap on his front seat and his truck is so dirty you need a shower by the time you get to your destination. My friend Bob usually accepts the offer but not without a disgusted look on his face. I don't exactly live in a remote area, but it's very private. I have a little depressed slab of concrete about four feet in diameter and about four inches deep about eight feet from my sliding door. The variety of wildlife that visits on a daily basis is fascinating. Squirrels of course, rabbits, chipmunks, polecats (skunks), deer, snakes, lizards, fox, and raccoons. It is a virtual Roman bath for the birds and a continuing source of joy for my cat. Coyotes and bobcats roam the neighborhood. Some of my neighbors have cattle, dogs, turkeys, chickens, and llamas or alpacas or camels or whatever they are. You couldn't have a camel in the city. You couldn't even put in a little pond because someone from city services would cite you for a mosquito breeding violation. My young granddaughter loves how big the chickens (turkeys), and doggies (deer) are in Julian. Privacy is a big issue for many of us that live here. Privacy in the city means holing up in your apartment and drawing the blinds. No fireplaces or woodstoves in constant use in the city, just automatic luxurious hot and cold central air and no propane to run out Of. In the city you are surrounded by movie theaters. Up here we only have tO drive an hour each way to see the latest blockbusters. In six months "we" have the option of getting in a long queue and reserving it at the library. By then we know if it's any good and whether to waste our time viewing it. I know a lot of older folks (oh God! I think they're my age) that retire to Julian. I know a lot of older folks that leave Julian to be closer to the hospital. Of course serious medical issues are only a life flight away (if the fear of flying doesn't kill you). An ambulance ride during rush hour in the city could be longer. So take your pick, beautiful vistas and access to nature, clean refreshing air, four distinct seasons, small schools, wildlife right under our noses, knowing your neighbors and shop owners, pulling together and supporting each other in tragedy and joy, attending the Sons of the American Legion annual breakfast on August 4th, to benefit the Warrior Foundation and Freedom Station from 7:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. with bands and friendly crowds supporting a great local cause (you like the way I got that in?). Or... would you sacrifice it all, just to live near DZ Akins where you can get maybe the best pastram on rye in the world, with the pickles and maybe a knish with gravy and a Dr. Browns Celery soda. Lo, I digress. No one is forcing us to live here so I think most of us have created our own little slice of heaven. And for those of you who haven't quite found your niche, "Push the Door Open". T Hear Ye! Hear Ye/ Write to me at wmfink@ att.net about the great things about small town living and conversely about the drawbacks of living here. Fodder for a future column. There will be a short ceremony and a twenty-one- gun salute to honor Sam Wise this Wednesday at 6 p.m. at the Legion. Sam was a member since 1978. Sons of the American Legion, there is a special meeting Tuesday at 7 p.m. re: the Warrior Foundation Benefit on August 4th. Many positions need to be filled and your attendance is important. DARPA- Funded Robot Designed for- Disaster Relief TasksFuture Firefighter by Cheryl Pellerin American Forces Press Service July 17, 2013 Veronica Clark 760-803-3582 Buyers Judy Raines 760-604-1946 If You're Ready to List DRE #01092197 DRE #01350842 Experienced ln All Aspects of Real Estate - Including Short Sale Negotiations We have homes in Julian and the back country starting with the price of $125,000. They are in good areas and are all sizes. Call us today for a list with pictures or to see any of these homes. Well cared for senior park, Ramona Terrace Estates. Clean and pleasant to live in. Has i community car wash, Community pool and spa. Community Meeting room with kitchen,fi replace,television,games and dances on a regular basis. Home Owner Fee - $760.00/Month $42,000 Panoramic View, from this large property, located in the beautiful Cuyamaca Woods. Perked for a 3BR residence. Comers are marked. House plans are available, the property is between Cosmit Lane and Engineers Rd. Several new homes in the area. $95,000 Lovely piece of property 14.32 acres in an A72 agricultural area, off Old Julian Hwy. Natural Vegetation. Well and septic needed. Many possible agricultural uses. Grove, flowers, vineyard. Room for home and planting. $199,000 PETS OF THE WEEK Fergus is a 5 year old neutered blue feline who weighs 121bs. He is a friendly and social guy who walks right up to you upon entering the shelter's "zoo". This is where you will find him playing with several of his kitty pals. More like a dog than a cat, Fergus will come when called and is very interactive with people. Meet this handsome guy by asking for ID#A1530863 Tag#C878. Fergus can be adopted for the Senior Fee of just $35. Molly is a 3 year old spayed chocolate Labrador/Pit Bull Mix who weighs about 551bs. She is a wonderful family companion who exhibits the good qualities of both' breeds. Molly is affectionate and likes to lay her head in your lap for pettings, walks politely on a leash and is friendly towards every human she meets along the way. Meet this playful, fun-loving gal by asking for ID#A1347903 Tag#C283. Molly can be adopted for $69 All adoption fees include vaccinations, spaying/neutering (upon adoption), a microchip and free Vet visit. Dog fees also include a I yearlicense. Fergus and Molly are at our Central County Shelter, 5480 Gaines Street, San Diego The Shelter hours are 9:30AM to 5:30PM, Tuesday through Saturday or visit www.sddac.com for more information. WASHINGTON, July 12, 2013 - One of the most-advanced humanoid robots ever built was introduced to the public yesterday in Waltham, Mass. The 6-foot 2-inches tall, 330-pound Atlas robot, built by Boston Dynamics, is funded by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency and it's designed to help humankind deal with future disasters. That's the goal of the ongoing DARPA Robotics Challenge, or DRC. The DRC seeks to enable groundbreaking research and development in hardware and software to help robots perform the most-hazardous jobs in human-supervised humanitarian assistance and disaster-relief operations, to reduce casualties, avoid more destruction and save lives. The challenge was launched in October 2012 and will end after the final robot trial ifi December 2014, when teams will compete for a $2 million grant from DARPA. The first challenge event was virtual -- designed for those who didn't have their own robots or hardware experience -- and produced seven winners who designed their own software to run virtual robots through a series of tasks in a DARPA real-time open-source simulator. The winning teams each received an Atlas robot, which will be programmed with their software. Then the teams will compete with each other and with other robots in the next event. They also will receive DARPA funding and ongoing technical support from Atlas developer Boston Dynamics. In December, the second event and first live competition -- open to the public -- will be held at the Homestead-Miami Speedway in Homestead, Fla. "The Virtual Robotics Challenge was a proving ground for teams' ability to create software to control a robot in a hypothetical scenario," DARPA Program Manager Dr. Gill Pratt said in a statement. ',The DRC simulator tasks were fairly accurate representations of real-World causes and effects but the experience wasn't quite the same as handling an actual, physical robot," said Pratt , adding, "Now these seven teams will see if their simulation-honed L algorithms can run a real machine in real environments, and we expect all the teams will be further refining their algorithms using both simulation and experimentation." That software and the actions of a human operator through a control unit will guide each robot's suite of sensors, actuators, joints and limbs. The Atlas robot can make a range of natural movements and has an on-board, real-time control computer. The Atlas also boasts a hydraulic pump and thermal management, two arms, two legs, a torso and a head, 28 hydraulically actuated joints, a Carnegie Robotics sensor head with LIDAR and stereo sensors, and two sets of hands -- one provided by iRobot and one by the Department of Energy's Sandia National Laboratory. The term LIDAR, taken from the combination of the words light and radar, is a sensing technology that employs laser beams to measure distances. During a recent media roundtable, Pratt said DARPA wants to employ the Robotics Challenge to prove that robots can be compatible in environments engineered for people -- opening doors, climbing stairs and moving around, even in environments degraded by some sort of disaster. DARPA also wants to demonstrate that robots can be made to use tools designed for people, from screwdrivers to fire trucks, and that robots can be supervised by people who aren't trained to operate robots. Another DARPA advance involving robotics is the level of communication between people and robots. Tthe DARPA Robotics Challenge is set up so communications are degraded, as they might be in a disaster, to the extent that such "teleoperation" won't be a practical way to communicate with the machines, Pratt said. "Instead," he added, "what's going to be necessary is for the teams to give task-level commands to the robot. Things like, open the door, go up the stairs, turn the handle. What that will require is for the robot itself to use [its own] perceptual processing ... to understand what it is looking at and then to use behavior controls to execute the task while watching what the effect of the task is." The kinds of robots used today in disaster scenarios are derived from robots developed for explosive ordnance disposal tasks, Pratt said. "They tend to be pretty small machines," he added. "They have treads in most cases and they're mainly used for inspection, so they help give situational awareness to first responders ... but they don't do anything to really affect the disaster." The hope is to develop machines that can intervene and help make a disaster less severe, Pratt said, adding that a good example occurred during the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster following the Tohoku earthquake and tsunami in March 2011. "During the first 24 hours if it had been possible to vent the reactors, then the explosions would not have occurred and the disasters would have been much less severe," he explained. "Human beings, in fact, tried to do it but had to turn around and go back because their radiation dosimeters read too high," Pratt said. "That was a perfect place where, if we could have sent a machine in quickly during the first day, the disaster would have been much less destructive."