|Water on Mars||Dr. David Bish||1/07|
|Estate Planning||Dan Yates||1/14|
|Tour of Veolia Water Co. Office||Tour||1/21|
|Aspects of the Flu||Dr. Robert L. Baker||1/28|
|Bayesian Adaptive Design||Melissa Spann||2/04|
|Future of Engineering and Engineering Education||Dr. Gerald Jakubowski||2/11|
|White River Water Treatment Plant||Ed Malone and Staff||2/18|
|Studebaker, the Company||Andrew Beckman||2/25|
|China's Three Gorges Dam||Darrell Bakken and Jim Bettner||3/03|
|Surgical Navigation of the Spine||Dr. Rick Sasso||3/10|
|Islet Cell Transplantation||Dr. Robert McCarthy||3/17|
|Belmont Wastewater Treatment Facility||.||3/31|
|Achieving Academic Excellence||Alok Chaturvedi||4/07|
|Features of CT Scanning||Dr. Jonas Rydberg||4/14|
|Identity Theft||Prof. Fred Cate||4/21|
|Green Energy||Dr. Nelson Shaffer||4/28|
|Connection between Man and Animals||Michael Crowther||4/30|
|Musical DNA Software||Scott Kuhn and Tevlin Schuetz||5/05|
|Children's Museum - Not an Ordinary Museum||Sara Landrum and Deborah Hammond||5/12|
|Genetic Engineering||Dr. Ted Grayson||5/19|
|Advances in Brain Injury Rehabilitation||Dr. Lance Trexler||6/02|
|Children's Museum MAP Program||Jill Gordon and Participants||6/09|
|Thoraic-Abdominal Aortic Aneurysms||Dr. John Fehrenbacher||6/16|
|What Does a Zoo Veterinarian Do?||Jan Ramer, DVM||6/23|
|Superalloys: Not Just for Jet Engines||Lee Flower||6/30|
|FBI Major Crimes Task Force, Baghdad, Iraq||Andy Northern||7/7|
|Tour of Studebaker Museum and Copshaholm House||.||7/14|
|Surgical Management of Advanced Heart Failure||Dr. Thomas Wozniak||7/21|
|National Inoculation Day in Afghanistan||Jim Graham||7/28|
|Genesis and Stardust Missions: Exploring the Early Solar System||Dr. Russ Palma||8/04|
|Safe Destruction and Elimination of Chemical Agent VX||Anthony Reed, Deputy Project Manager, Newport Chemical Depot||8/11|
|Eagle Creek Picnic||Arranged by Jim Bettner||8/18|
|New Concepts in Engineering Education||Dr. David Radcliffe||8/25|
|Tour of Wright Patterson Air Force Museum||Arranged by Jim Bettner||9/08|
|Stuttering||Dr. Anne Smith||9/15|
|Analyzing Use of Biofuel on Global Land Use||Dr. Thomas Hertel||9/22|
|Tour of Major Tool||Numerous guides||9/29|
|Forensic Anthropology||Dr. Stephen P. Nawrocki||10/06|
|Digital Photography||John Cote||10/13|
|Germans of Indiana||Dr. Giles Hoyt||10/20|
|Tour of Benton County Wind Farm||Guided by Jimmy Bricker||10/27|
|Tour of Ropkey Armor Museum||Arranged by Jim Bettner||11/03|
|Trip to Cambodia and Vietnam||Lou Stanley||11/10|
|State of National and Local Economy||Dr. Phil Powell||11/17|
|Tour of State Museum||Ronald Richards||11/24|
|Winemaking||Dr. Charles Thomas||12/01|
|Spacticity||Dr. Mark Janicki||12/08|
|Annual Meeting - 90 Years of Scientech||Dr. William Dick||12/15|
Vol 85 No 1 - January 7, 2008
Dr. Bish is professor at the Indiana University Department of Geological Sciences.He has a bachelor's degree from Furman and a Ph.D. from Penn State University. He is a Fellow of the Mineralogical Society of America.
The question of water on Mars goes back over 100 years, when Italian astronomers observed what they called "canali" (later incorrectly translated as "canals") on the planet's surface. The American astronomer Lowell suggested that they were built by intelligent creatures to move water from the poles, where ice caps are clearly visible, to equatorial regions for irrigation.
The current evidence involving water on Mars comes mostly from photographs, including those taken by satellites orbiting the planet. These photos show many formations that suggest the planet once had running, liquid water over an extended period of time. There are layered rocks that look like our sedimentary rocks, and other features look like distributory fans and deltas. There are also tributary networks and valleys that appear to have been formed by running water. The disappointment is that these features are found in rock formations estimated by crater density considerations to be millions of years old.
We still see features such as gullies and dark streaks that appear to change in time, as measured by photos taken years apart. While some argue these are caused by moving water, at least some of them are probably explained by the action of winds.
Today, the atmosphere of Mars is mostly CO2, though there is a bit of water vapor. The atmosphere is about 1000 times dryer than a dry day in New Mexico. However, we have abundant photographic evidence of frost formation on the planet, so that the relative humidity must reach 100% in at least some conditions.
The neutron spectrometer on the Mars Odyssey spacecraft studied the composition of the top meter of the surface in the equatorial highlands, and found that there are places where near-surface deposits are up to 10% water by weight. The Mars Express, from the European Space Agency, found that, in these same places, the water is not in the top centimeter or so, so the surface is desiccated and dusty. At the equator, free water near the surface would not be stable, and would sublimate.
Dr. Bish wondered whether those equatorial water deposits might represent water captured in hydrous minerals. If they were formed millions of years ago, could they still be hydrated? As candidates for these minerals, he considered smectites and zeolites (both clay-like minerals) and epsomite (Epsom salts). In conditions found on earth, all of these have significant water of hydration, in fact Epsom salts are 51% water by weight.
Dr. Bish's experiments indicate that, in martian conditions, especially at night near the equator, both smectites and zeolites retain a significant amount of water, though it is hardly imaginable that there is enough of these minerals on Mars to account for all the water. However, chemical sniffers on robotic explorers have found an abundance of magnesium and sulfates, suggesting there might be a good quantity of epsomite. Even though the atmosphere is dry, the temperature is so low that these minerals would remain hydrated. Dr. Bish feels the most likely explanation of the H2O at the equator is the presence of mixtures of these hydrous minerals.
A spacecraft is to depart for Mars in 2009 carrying X-ray diffraction equipment, and this should help to clarify the mystery further.
Notes by Tom Spradlin
Vol 85 No 2 - January 14, 2008
Our speaker today was member Dan Yates. Dan Yates is a partner in the Estate Planning and Business Succession Planning Group of Bose, McKinney & Evans, LLP.
Dan is on the Worth’s Top 100 Attorneys in the Nation for 2007 and is a graduate of Indiana University School of Law – Bloomington. Included in these activities is his active help with the D. J. Angus Foundation.
Mr. Yates reviewed estate planning and the effect of federal and state tax laws on individuals who have assets exceeding 2 million dollars, or those couples with assets exceeding 4 million dollars. It was interesting to note that the federal tax limit will be increased to 3.5 million in 2009, and then repealed in 2010. Hopefully with changes in congress this law will be changed, or we may need to time our death.
For those individuals with joint estates exceeding 4 million dollars, estate planning and “life planning” is extremely important. With out this planning state and federal taxes can take away over 75% of your estate over 4 million dollars. Likewise, it is important that you make sure to take a complete survey to include IRA’s, 401K plans, life insurance, art, jewelry, real estate and privately held business ventures.
Mr. Yates suggested that everyone have a last will and testament to cover items outside of your financial assets. Who gets the family heirlooms that have sentimental value needs to be addressed. Likewise Mr. Yates suggested that everyone have a durable power of attorney, and a medical directive. Many of us who have had recent hospitalizations have found that hospitals are asking about these documents on admission.
Mr. Yates also covered the areas of trusts, and many other new ways to protect your assets upon the death of your self and your spouse. Dan also discussed the ability for you to give $12,000 each year to your children, or anyone else you so desire. This means that a couple can reduce the size of their estate by $24,000 per year per person gifted. The maximum about of these gifts can not exceed $1 million dollars.
This news letter author does not trust his notes, and does not want to give advice that might not be correct. For that reason, if you have additional questions see you financial advisor or trusted attorney. Dan suggested the best way of selecting such an individual is by personal contact with trusted friends who have some of the same issues that you might have.
Lastly Dan covered charitable remainder annuity trusts, charitable lead trusts and charitable remainder unitrust may be an ideal method of giving to your favorite charity, while still protecting the income from the funds for your wife and if you elect your children.
Many members enjoyed seeing Dan again, and as could be expected Dan was asked many questions after his talk, and after the meeting.
Notes by Hank Wolfla
Vol 85 No 3 - January 21,2008
The history of the Indianapolis Water Company dates back to the
construction of the Central Indiana Canal by the State of Indiana. It
was completed in 1839 to aid in industrial growth in central Indiana,
but was soon rendered uneconomical by the development of railroads. The
canal passed through the hands of several owners, eventually becoming
the privately held Indianapolis Water Company. In 1997, the utility was
sold to the investor-owned company, NiSource. In order to complete
other business transactions, NiSource was required by the Federal
Government to sell certain assets including the Indianapolis Water
Company. The City of Indianapolis exercised a long-held option to buy
the assets of the utility for $500 million in 2002.
After the sale was concluded, the City solicited bids for operation of the utility and Veolia Water was selected.
Veolia is a worldwide company offering management of drinking water, wastewater and bio-solids systems. They also offer design and construction services for water and wastewater industries, as well as management of transportation services and other infrastructure related businesses.
Veolia has a twenty-year management agreement with the City. They are paid a set fee on an annual basis to manage the day-to-day activities.
The service area of the utility extends into each of the adjacent counties. The utility serves approximately 1,000,000 customers. The utility has over 4,000 miles of distribution mains and pumps, on an average day, over 145 million gallons of water is delivered. Water usage is seasonal and last year the utility set a one-day record of 228 million gallons. On an average winter day, they pump 125 million gallons per day.
One of unique features of the design of the Indianapolis water system is that water can be routed through the system in a variety of paths depending on demand or service requirements. Indianapolis has four separate water treatment plants and a distribution design that allows the operator a wide range of flexibility.
The limiting factor in the water system supply is the ability of the plants to produce potable water. Storage tanks throughout the system store treated water in anticipation of peak demand periods. Recent drought conditions have produced situations that did not allow the tanks to “refill” after the high-demand draw-down. New plant construction is extremely expensive and the first alternative is conservation to reduce demand.
In addition to four treatment plants, 4,000 miles of distribution system, numerous pumping stations and 15 storage tanks, the company maintains 38,000 fire hydrants and numerous well fields.
About 75 percent of the water produced by Veolia for Indianapolis comes from surface water: rivers and reservoirs. The remainder comes from well fields. The drought conditions in 2007 required the company to depend more heavily on the well fields.
The contract between the City of Indianapolis and Veolia is the largest of its kind in the United States. It is unusual in several respects. Water quality, meeting state and federal requirements, meeting customer expectations and customer service requirements are all spelled out in the contract and there are incentives for meeting specific targets.
Veolia/Indianapolis Water was the first water utility in the country to meet ISO 9001 and ISO 14001 standards.
They have a serious commitment to keeping purchases within the community, doing business with disadvantaged/minority business, involvement in community affairs and worker safety.
Water quality monitoring equipment was installed soon after Veolia acquired responsibility for the operations. This equipment, installed at various points throughout the distribution system, allows faster response time to changes in water conditions throughout the system.
Water taste and quality from the Eagle Creek Reservoir have been a serious problem during various times of the year. Blue-green algae blooms have been identified as the cause and Veolia has targeted the specific areas in the reservoir for treatment. Copper sulfate is typically used to kill the algae blooms and through research Veolia has reduced the amount from 9,000 pounds per year to 900 pounds per year. This is a significant improvement in the ecological health of Eagle Creek.
Veolia’s contract contains certain performance incentives. As an example: Customer Satisfaction. The nation-wide average for water utility customer satisfaction is 70 percent. The incentive target for Veolia is 90 percent and the level increases over the life of the contract. Currently, Veolia is 10-13 percentage points above the national average, but not yet to the incentive level.
In 2008, Veolia expects to complete approximately $70 million in capital improvements to the system. This is a significant increase over the previous year due to a recent water rate increase.
Notes by James Reid
Vol 85 No 4 - January 28,2008
Flu epidemics have been recorded as far back as the 16th century and even prior. The most severe epidemic occurring in recent times was in 1918-1919. There were 21 million deaths recorded during that epidemic.
There are three types of flu viruses, types A, B and C. Type A affects humans more severely as well other animals. Types B and C are milder forms of flu with less effect on other animals.
The characteristics of the outer surface of the RNA virus allow for diagnosis with immunologic and serologic testing. Culture is not practical as a diagnostic method in daily practice. Drug treatment is also directed at penetrating this complex viral surface.
Viruses are named as to the type, geographic origin, strain and year of isolation. The flu viruses currently affecting individuals in the United States are transmitted primarily by droplets. They are much less airborne viruses. The incubation period is one to four days usually two. The patient can transmit the virus for five to 10 days after the clinical infection. Symptoms usually include fever, myalgia and coryza. Diarrhea is usually not a feature of seasonal flu. On the other hand with avian flu, diarrhea can be significant. There are antiviral drugs available for treatment which have some effectiveness but the viruses rapidly become resistant to these measures. The maximum incidence of seasonal flu usually occurs in February but many cases are seen from December to March.
There are two types of vaccines available for flu. One type is made of inactivated virus and the other is an attenuated but live virus. In the current vaccine there are two type A viral strains in one type B. There has been some controversy regarding the presence of Thimerosol as a preservative in the vaccine. There are several vaccines currently available however which do not contain this substance. The efficiency for immunization is rather good varying from 70 to 90%. The inactivated virus is generally used in individuals older than 50 years of age and in children from six to 23 months. Vaccination is recommended for pregnant females and for any individual who is immune compromised. Side effects are generally minor. True allergic reactions are rare but can occur. These would be more likely to occur in individuals who have an allergy to eggs.
In preparing the vaccines the CDC and the manufacturers try to determine and predict which viruses will affect the population in the coming months and include these in the vaccine. The attenuated viral vaccine is generally used in individuals in the four to 49 year age group. This attenuated vaccine is more likely to cause brief illness in older individuals.
Avian flu i.e.H5N1, affects wild waterfowll and poultry. Rather than the nasopharynx as in seasonal flu with avian flu the respiratory and gastrointestinal tracts are affected. Most of the cases occurring from 2003 to 2006 occurred in the Far East and in Southeast Asia. There were no human cases in the United States. Avian flu is not easily transmitted from person to person but more likely from contact with the animal and with their excretions. This virus does not replicate in the nasopharynx as seasonal flu does but rather in the lower respiratory and gastrointestinal tracts resulting in pneumonia and diarrhea The affected individuals are usually less than 40 years of age and mortality is 50 to 60%.
Treatment for avian flu is generally supportive although there is some benefit from antiviral medications such as Oseltamivir. Immunoglobulin has also been used in therapy.
A pandemic occurs when the virus is spread from human to human. Fortunately this is not occurring with the avian flu virus at this time but it is anticipated that viral rearrangement may well occur with intermingling with other viruses and with mutations to produce this highly undesirable feature necessary for a pandemic.
Managing a pandemic is extremely difficult. The hospitals in Indianapolis have plans in place but implementing these plans with large numbers of the affected patients will be very difficult. Vaccines are under development and there is stockpiling of some antiviral drugs. Unfortunately the viruses develop immunity to these drugs rather promptly. If a pandemic were to occur in the same order of magnitude as occurred in 1918 the medical establishment will be completely overwhelmed. There is only a fraction of the number of beds available. The number of respirators available is limited and will not nearly cover the number of patients requiring them. There will not be enough health-care workers available. Since many of them will be affected as well.
Most importantly triage will be required when there are massive numbers of affected individuals and our society is not emotionally prepared for this kind of procedure . That is deciding who will get treated and who will not.
Everyone needs to remember that one of the most important things one can do to avoid the flu is washing their hands.
Notes by Jerry Kurlander
Vol 85 No 5 - February 4,2008
Dr. Spann is a Research Scientist in Neurosciences at Eli Lilly and Company. She has a bachelors in mathematics from the University of North Texas, and Masters and Ph. D. degrees in statistics from Baylor University.
In most clinical trials, fixed numbers of patients are randomly allocated to treatment with one of the treatments to be compared. Unfortunately, patients arrive for the trial one at a time. This prolongs the trial considerably, but offers an opportunity, in some situations, to allow the randomization for any given patient to depend on the results obtained up to the moment. A working group among statisticians in the pharmaceutical industry is working on an approach to bring this idea to fruition, and Dr. Spann described her recent contribution to this effort.
Dr. Spann described a trial which had been performed by Lilly in patients with acute episodes of schizophrenia. The study compared an injectible form of the Lilly drug Zyprexa (Z), an injectible form of haldoperidol (H) (a generic, standard treatment in this condition), and placebo (P). They were compared with respect to effectiveness (improvement of the schizophrenic symptoms over a period of 2 hours) and safety (incidence of dystonia, an undesirable side effect involving abnormal muscle contractions). The study had already been performed, in the standard way, but Dr. Spann and her team re-analyzed the data as if it had been performed using the adaptive design.
In the original report on the trial, Z was shown to be statistically not inferior to H with respect to effectiveness, and not to result in more dystonia than P. However, any consumer of clinical trial data knows that some conclusions like this depend on an understanding of some rather arcane statistical concepts, such as confidence intervals. Such intervals describe what might happen if the trial were repeated many times, even though there is no intention to do it more than once.
Dr. Spann's Bayesian approach focuses instead on estimation of the probability that a patient would improve on Z within an acceptable margin when compared with H (in terms of agitation) over two hours. Such a probability has intuitive appeal both to researchers and to those who make therapeutic decisions.
Dr. Spann's Bayesian analysis treated the data as if incoming patients were randomized, not according to a previously generated randomization table, but according to the current (at the time of the patient's entry) estimate of the probability that the patient would be successfully treated without dystonia. (Example: if we call successful relief of symptoms without dystonia "success", and if the current estimates of the probability of success are 50% for Z, 40% for H, and 10% for P, then the next patient would have 50/(50+40+10)=50% chance of getting Z, etc.). Using this analysis, they were able to reach the same conclusions in the original report of the trial, and with the same confidence, with significantly fewer patients.
This example was illustrated in a situation in which the response is known quickly (2 hours in this example); however, there exist methods for situations where the observation window is larger. Also, it requires that experts be able to reach agreement on a quantification of their prior knowledge of the situation. Despite those issues, there is potential that this paradigm could result in studies that reach robust conclusions in less time, and with fewer patients. Another advantage is that it might be possible to subject fewer patients to inferior treatments.
Notes by Tom Spradlin
Vol 85 No 6 - February 11,2008
Dr. Jakubowski is the President of Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology. Dr. Jakubowski gave an interesting talk about the current status of engineering education as well as a short history of engineering.
Engineering was originally designed for the military. Engineers were used to design forts and other military structures.
Realizing that these skills could be used for civilian purposes, civil engineering was developed. Civil engineering along with electrical engineering, chemical engineering, mechanical engineering, and mining engineering formed the founder societies.
Prior to 1950, engineering projects relied on intuition, trial and error, and practical experience. From 1950 to 2000 scientific methods were brought to bear on the field of engineering and engineering schools were developed along the lines of these five founder societies. The complexity of engineering increased and more and more hours of education were required in the training of engineers. Currently the course of study is on average about 128 hours. Over the same time frame many other engineering courses were adopted.
Since 1990, and particularly since the year 2000, there has developed blurring between many of the engineering disciplines, with many new engineering fields developed between and intertwined with the founder societies. Engineers have had to develop additional skills in biology, mathematics, computer technology, nuclear technology, etc..
Oversight of the various engineering disciplines is performed by ABET (Accreditation Board for Engineering Technology), which oversees the various bodies of accreditation in the engineering field.
The future for the engineer is becoming increasingly complex. Multidisciplinary engineering involves engineers of several different disciplines working alone on a single project. Interdisciplinary engineering involves engineers of different engineering disciplines working cooperatively on a single project or projects as a cohesive group. Trans disciplinary engineers are required to work not only with other engineers but with other scientific, artistic and other disciplines for the development of ever more complicated projects.
An interesting question was raised as to how well the United States is meeting their engineering requirements. It was pointed out that China is educating 250,000 engineers per year whereas in the USA is educating only 55,000 engineers per year. In addition it is anticipated that there will be increasing retirements over the next few years. Dr. Jakubowski fears that we are losing our competitive edge in the world economy due to what he sees as a shortage of engineers.
Notes by Bill Elliott
Vol 85 No 7 - February 18,2008
Today's meeting was a tour of the Indianapolis Water Company White River Water Treatment Plant arranged by Darrell Bakken. Derick Sutton, Jim Gunn, Mark Grey, David Hill and Ed Malone provided tours for three groups. The tour included a visit to the central control area, laboratories, and then a van tour of the outside treatment areas.
The White River Water Treatment Plant is located on the northwest of the downtown area of the city. The rated capacity of this facility is 96 MGD (million gallons per day) with a maximum hydraulic capacity of 120 MGD, making it the largest facility in the Indiana Water Company, and the largest facility in the state. The facility treats both ground water and surface water. Approximately 25 percent of the source water is from ground water (wells). It is important to note that this well water is also used to heat the input water from surface water (canal water from White River). The source water is via a canal from White River and two well fields which have a total of 19 wells. The plant was constructed and first used in 1909, with many major additions in 1920's, 1950's and the 1970's.
The White River WTP is a conventional treatment facility with coagulation, flocculation, sedimentation, and dual media filtration. Primary disinfection is achieved using sodium hypochlorite, and a distribution system residual is maintained with chloramines (aqueous ammonia). Alum and polymer are used to remove particles in the water. Powdered activated carbon is used to remove taste and odors. Hydrofluorosilicic acid is added to promote the health of teeth. Sodium hydroxide is used to raise the PH and sodium bisulfate to lower disinfection concentrations.
Finished water is stored in one of three reservoirs before being pumped into the distribution system. A chlorine contact basin is used to achieve the CT requirements for Giardia and virus inactivation.
The filter backwash system consists of an elevated 250,000 gallon wash tank and process unit for treating wash water and handling the residuals, which includes a Backwash Residual Tank, Lamella Plate Settlers to thicken the backwash water and a Sedimentation Basin Residual Tank.
The Residuals Dewatering Plant processes backwash and sedimentation basin residuals from White River and Fall Creek. The plant consists of a Gravity Thickener and two large presses. Approximately 3 semi-trucks per day of sludge are hauled to a land fill to act as a cap on the land fill.
The Indianapolis Water Company operates 24 hours per day, 7 days a week and is composed of 16 districts. The average water usage in 2007 was 150 MGD with a peak of 228 MGD in July.
We learned that Indiana does not have a state water policy, and the person with the biggest pump gets the most water.
The turbidity of the water entering the plant from the canal is approximately 25, while the turbidity of the water leaving the plant is 0.103. The Water Company has 80 sample stations in a 9 county service area, and over 300 samples per month are processed in the central lab located at the White River Treatment Plant. With present technology it takes 18 hours to process a sample for bacteria.
Notes by Hank Wolfla
Vol 85 No 8 - February 25,2008
Mr. Andy Beckman is the archivist for the Studebaker national Museum. The museum is located at 201 S. Chapin St, South Bend, IN 46601. Mr. Beckman gave an interesting talk about the history of the Studebaker Co. and family.
The H & C Studebaker blacksmith shop opened in 1852 at the corner of Michigan and Jefferson streets in what is now the heart of downtown South Bend. Henry and Clement Studebaker blacksmith shop would turn into the Studebaker Manufacturing Company in 1868 eventually to become the largest wagon manufacturing the world. Their brother John M. Studebaker would return from California where he had made wheelbarrows during the gold rush. He returned with $8,000 and bought out his brother Henry who by legend was a pacifist and was unwilling to produce wagons for military purposes. Studebaker produced union wagons during the Civil War. The brothers were joined by Peter Studebaker who headed up the sales department and opened up many sales outlets around the country.
In 1902 there was great discussion within the Studebaker family in regards to manufacturing automobiles. Clement Studebaker was opposed to the idea. John M. was ambivalent towards the idea. Studebaker moved into the industry, producing an electric car in 1902. A gasoline powered Studebaker came in 1904, produced by the carrridge company in Ohio. This was marketed under the name Studebaker which distributed the cars via their extensive sales network. In 1911 Studebaker would join forces with Everett-Metzger-Flanders Company of Detroit to form the Studebaker Corp.. Studebaker sold automobiles under the EMS and Flanders names until 1913; from there after all new cars carried the Studebaker name. Studebaker was still producing the wagons and would do so until 1920 at which time automobile production was moved from Detroit to South Bend.
The Great Depression, between 1929 and 1933, led to decreasing sales for Studebaker, causing them to go into receivership in 1933. Paul Hoffman and Herald Vance were able to bring Studebaker out from under court supervision in 1933. They continued to make cars right up to the start of World War II. During World War II, Studebaker was converted to make US Army 6 x 6 trucks which were largely used in Russia. They also made engines for the B-17 Flying Fortress.
After the war, civilian production resumed. One notable model is the bullet nosed Land Cruiser produced in 1950. Studebaker began to decline in 1953. They merged with Packard in 1954 at which time they were described as two drunks trying to help each other across the street. They gradually declined due to the withering competition from Ford and General Motors. They closed their South Bend plant in 1963. Their last car was produced in Montréal Canada in 1966.
Notes by Bill Elliott
Vol 85 No 9 - March 3,2008
Today's meeting was presented by our past presidents Jim Bettner and Darrel Bakken. Jim and Darrel provided an excellent review of China's Three Gorges Dam. Both Jim and Darrel have visited the Dam in the past. Jim asked the membership how many had visited China, and a large number of hands went up. We have a well traveled membership.
The Three Gorges Dam is a Chinese hydroelectric river dam that spans the Yangtze River in Sandouping, Yichang, Hubei, China. The total electric generating capacity of the dam will reach 22,500 megawatts, at which point it will be the largest hydro-electric power station in the world by capacity. This is the biggest project that has been undertaken in China since the Great Wall and the Grand Canal. Several generators are yet to be installed; the dam is not expected to become fully operational until about 2011. The dam wall is made of concrete and is about 2,309 metres (7,575 ft) long, and 185 metres (607 ft) high. The wall is 115 metres (377.3 ft) wide on the bottom and 40 metres (131.2 ft) wide on top. The project used 27,200,000 cubic metres (35,600,000 cu yd) of concrete, 463,000 metric tons of steel, enough to build 63 Eiffel Towers, and moved about 10,260,000 cubic metres (13,400,000 cu yd) of earth.
The reservoir created by the Three Gorges Dam exceeds 660 kilometres (410 mi) in length and 1.12 kilometres (0.70 mi) in width on average, and contains 39,300,000,000 cubic metres (9.43 cu mi) of water, when the water level is at 175 metres (574 ft). The dam will reach its maximum capacity by the end of 2008.
As with many dams, there is a debate over costs and benefits. Although there are potential economic benefits such as flood control and hydroelectric power, there are also concerns about the relocation of over 1,500,000 people who have or will be displaced by the rising waters; siltation that could limit the dam's useful life; loss of numerous valuable archaeological and cultural sites; and significant adverse effects upon animal life.
The Three Gorges Dam is the world's largest hydro-electric power station by total capacity, which will be 22,500 MW. It will have 34 generators in total. 32 of them are main generators, each with a capacity of 700 MW; and the other two are plant power generators to power other 14 generators, each with capacity of 50 MW. Fourteen are installed in the north side of the dam, twelve in the south side and the remaining six in the underground power plant in the mountain south of the dam. After completion, the expected annual electricity generation would be over 100 TWh, 18% more than originally predicted 84.7 TWh, since six more generators were added to the project in 2002.
The dam has ship locks to increase river shipping from 10 million to 50 million tonnes annually, with transportation costs cut by 30 to 37%. Shipping will become safer, since the gorges are notoriously dangerous to navigate. In addition to the canal locks, the Three Gorges Dam is equipped with a ship lift, a kind of elevator for vessels. The ship lift will be capable of lifting ships of up to 3,000 tons. The relocation of local residents is the central part of the Three Gorges Dam Project. It is considered as important as the construction of the dam. During the planning stages in the 1990s, it was estimated that 1.13 million residents would be forced to relocate; new developments have doubled that number to 2.3 million. Environmental issues with the dam include degraded water quality, detriments to wildlife, potential riverbank collapses, and potential silt related falling of coastal areas.
Darrell noted at the end of his talk that he felt that the environmental issues of China are extreme and will need to be addressed.
Note, the reporter used Wikipedia in the write up of this report.
Notes by Hank Wolfla
Vol 85 No 10 - March 10,2008
Dr. Sasso is a board-certified orthopaedic surgeon and the president of Indiana Spine Group. Specializing in spine surgery, Dr. Sasso has dedicated his medical career to the comprehensive treatment and surgery of spinal disorders and abnormalities.
Dr. Sasso started working with image navigation in spine surgery in 1999. Sasso's presentation described an image navigation process, which he believes is very close to being reliable procedure in the operating room.
The use of GPS and satellite navigation in automobiles is the analogy that Sasso uses to describe surgical navigation. A GPS system in current automobiles tells us where we are, what direction were heading, our starting point, our destination and any obstacles in the way. This is the same goal in the operating room for the equipment being developed by Dr. Sasso.
The concept is that in the operating room the surgeon sees the patient's exterior skin. Under that skin are structures that are important to the surgeon: neural structures, skeletal structures and vascular structures. As a spine surgeon, in particular, Sasso indicates it would be useful to be able to know where his instruments were at all times and navigate through and around these important structures. In addition, improved navigation could speed surgery and reduce potential complications (infection, blood loss, effects from anesthetics) from surgery.
Traditional surgery involves the surgeon using visual cues and assuming what structures are near or under what he can see. This works well until the surgeon has to deal with complex or abnormal anatomy. In those cases, the surgeon has to expose more tissue in order to see more.
There are significant limitations on imaging in operating rooms. X-ray machines emit radiation and other large, bulky equipment is simply in the way.
GPS in surgery would allow the surgeons to place incisions exactly where they need to be. GPS would constantly update in real time, the progress of the operation. Current methods require the surgeon to back away, take on an image, and then continue the operation.
The equipment Sasso is developing allows him to see in three dimensions, through a "heads-up" display, exactly where is and exactly where he needs to go. He sees the tool in his hand and the surrounding tissue. He can measure distances, diameters, angles and trajectories. Just as a jet fighter pilot can "see" through his "heads-up" display images that are out of standard vision and control on-board weapons systems, the surgeon can manipulate the three dimensional images he sees in any fashion.
Sasso explained the operation of the system, again using the GPS-in-your-car analogy. In our car, the map we see on the GPS is digital map data gathered by others and downloaded to the car's computer. The "map" the surgeon sees in the operating room is digital data of the patient gathered by a CT scan in the operating room.
The satellite(s) in the automotive GPS allows the computer to place us on the map, show our direction and speed. The corresponding "satellite" in the operating room is an infrared camera. It "sees" the reference frame that has been placed on the patient and it "sees" the surgeon's tools. This data in imposed on the patient's map data on a computer screen.
The reference frame corresponds to the GPS antenna on an automobile. (Sasso indicates that the bulk of his work and intellectual property with these systems has revolved around the development of a functional reference frame.)
Patient data is acquired by a CT scan that is then manipulated in the computer to allow the imposition of the surgeon's tools in the visual three-dimensional image.
The equipment will also allow the elimination of imaging during an operation, thus speeding the procedure.
Until recently, the guidance system was too fragile to be practical. Recent updates and advances have created a much more reliable, stable system. The ability to acquire the patient data in the operating room, rather than prior to the operation has allowed a more simple alignment of the data in the computer. This provides more accurate real-time data to the surgeon.
Test of the equipment on cadavers has proven extremely accurate. The surgeons were able to place screws and avoid critical structures. Surgeons have saved time because they don't have to stop the operation to acquire additional scans.
Notes by James Reid
Vol 85 No 11 - March 17,2008
Bob was born in Lexington, MA and earned his Ph.D. from Indiana University in 1976. He worked at the Mayo Clinic for some time, then Denver Children's Hospital before taking a position with Boehringer Mannheim/Roche Diagnostics, where he worked from 1987-2001. Then in 2003, he co-founded VitaCyte, a biotech company focused on developing biochemical reagents, cell isolation methods, cellular products and ancillary services to aid life science researchers who isolate cells from mammalian tissues or organs.
His first slide contained photos of three important books in diabetes research: Discovery of Insulin by Michael Bliss, Invisible Frontiers by Stephen S. Hall and Eli Lilly: A Life, 1885-1997 by James H. Madison. Eli Lilly & Co. produced insulin (Iletin) for patients in 1923 and later introduced human insulin (Humulin) in 1982. Type I Diabetes is caused by autoimmune destruction of the islet cells of the pancreas. Only a small amount of the total volume of the pancreas is made up of islet cells. They are highly vascularized and are exquisitely sensitive to minute changes in blood sugar, secreting insulin into the circulation to adjust the glucose level.
Type I Diabetes is characterized by absent blood insulin levels and Type II Diabetes is associated with elevated insulin levels, made less effective by insulin resistance. The Diabetes Control and Complications Trial study in 1993 documented that diabetics have fewer complications if the blood sugar is rigidly controlled. Hemoglobin A1C levels of LT 7 is consistent with good blood sugar control, while higher levels show poorer control. A kidney/pancreas or pancreas transplant stabilizes the blood sugar and may improve some of the physiologic abnormalities of diabetes.
It has been the dream of physicians for many years to transplant islet cells and cure type I diabetes. This began in earnest in 1972 after chemical diabetes was reversed in rodents. There was only modest progress until the year 2000 when scientists from the University of Alberta demonstrated successful treatment of seven out of seven adult diabetic patients with refractory hypoglycemia after islet transplantation (i.e. Edmonton Protcol).
Dr. McCarthy had many graphic slides that demonstrated the technique of islet cell transplantation. First, the islet cells need to be freed from the pancreas by using collagenase containing enzymes to dissociate the tissue structure. Next they must be purified from other cells then collected into a large enough batch for infusion into the patient. The current method is to place a volume of the collected islet cells by percutaneous technique into the portal vein of the liver. The inefficiency of recovering islets from the pancreas leads to the high cost for this procedure ($140,000). Currently, there are a limited number of islet cell transplants performed each year. No one really knows where the islet cells locate in the liver once they are infused.
Bob reviewed the various methods of using collagenase to separate the islet cells from the pancreas, including the most recent results from the VitaCyte researchers. In the 1950's, minimally purified supernatants from anerobic cultures of Clostridium histolyticum bacteria were used for cell isolation. These "crude collagenase" preparations contained other enzymes that were effective in dissociating tissue, leading to recovery of individual cells. Later, scientists at Boehringer Mannheim Biochemicals in Indianapolis identified the key enzymes in crude collagenase that were effective for tissue dissociation activity. This product line, Liberase™ Purified Enzyme Blends, resulted in a dramatic increase in the recovery of islets from human pancreas, contributing to the success of the Edmonton Protocol.
The three most important elements for success in producing quality islet cells for transplantation are: the quality of the donor pancreas organs (multiple organs are needed); the quality of the collagenase enxyme; and the experience of the islet isolation team. Further inquiry is being made into another site for human islet cells to be placed into the body. An omental pouch is one of the more prominent possibilities. Active research programs are also funded to determine if porcine islet transplants can be used to treat diabetic patients. The best transplantation treatment for this disease today are kidney/pancreas transplants. The number of transplants are not high; they are restricted to patients with severe disease and require considerable skill sets to successfully perform the procedure.
There is much work to be done. Long term results for islet cell transplantation and the success rate of good blood sugar control is about 25% after three years. However, approximately 80% of grafts continue to function and secrete C-peptide which allows for better control of Hemoglobin A1C and avoidance of hypoglycemic reactions.
Notes by Bill Dick
Vol 85 No 13 - March 31,2008
Mr. Alan Wiseman was our host for the tour of the Belmont wastewater treatment facility. Following a short introduction, he divided us into two groups. The first group was guided by Mr. Kim Cussen. This group toured the external facilities of the plant. The second group was guided by Ms. Genadia Angelov. This group toured the laboratory facilities.
There were two treatment areas on the grounds. The primary treatment area received the sewer water from the downtown Indianapolis area. The secondary treatment area received water from the Greenwood area. We toured several of the outside areas. The first major building was where the sewers from downtown Indianapolis emptied. Within this building there were trash racks which took off large pieces of material prior to entering the settling tanks. From this building the sewage water was elevated using Archimedes type screws. There appeared to be about 10 large screws for the elevation of the water. The fluid then went into a large tank which allowed the grit to settle out. The rakes would then handle the grit. The effluent water would then be much easier on the pumps following the removal of the grit.
The water then went over to large settling tanks. For floating material there were large paddles moving the material to skimmers. These same skimmers would rotate back underwater and take off solid organic material to a separate area where sludge was pumped out. This sludge was then burned in an incinerator on the premises.
There were several additional steps to the treatment of the wastewater which we did not observe. These included oxygen nitrification tanks, final clarifying tanks, effluent filters, and disinfection with sodium bisulfite.
The tour of the laboratory began with Narendra demonstrating to us the manner in which the residual solid material was measured. Melody demonstrated the tests that were run for ammonia and other materials. Ms. Angelov then demonstrated the bacteriology laboratory in which they tested for E. coli. There was another room in which analysis for fluorine and other contaminants was performed.
The tour ended with a demonstration by Mr. Wiseman of the weather equipment available try to predict rainfall. The plant is capable of treating 300,000,000 gallons of sewage daily; however, when there is rainfall the runoff may exceed 2,000,000,000 gallons per day. If this is the case the raw sewage overflow is pumped right back into White River without treatment. Indianapolis has currently signed on to plans to help prevent this in the future by digging two large tunnels under the city of Indianapolis. These will extend to a depth of 250 feet and will each be 10 miles in length and 30 feet in diameter. When it rains, these tunnels will fill up. The water can then be pumped out slowly over the next number of days. This should reduce considerably in the raw sewage overflow.
Notes by Bill Elliott
Vol 85 No 14 - April 7,2008
Prof. Chaturvedi and his company are working on the computer simulation of very large and complex systems. They have created a new knowledge portal for use in their work, and in simulation studies of any variety. The portal is called knowrtal, and they are using it in the construction of an extremely complex simulation of the entire world.
That project, of which his company is the technical lead, is called the Sentient World Simulation and is intended to provide a complete description of all activities of every country.
The objective of Prof. Chaturvedi's work is to make it possible to simulate the activities of people and organizations, and to model the effects of changes in those activities. For example, one might propose that morning congestion on a highway was caused by the starting times of people's work, and therefore that no improvement in the highway would improve the situation. In ordinary life, it's hard to find a way to test a hypothesis like that, but by making changes in a proper simulation, his company can test it quickly.
The project on Indiana education, which is now about four months old, will allow educators to predict the effects of changes in the educational system by inputting changes into the simulation of the Indiana system which his company is now building. Their model incorporates data on all the components of the system, and the mechanisms by which the components interact with each other. They validate their model by comparing actual results for past years with the results which their simulation would predict for those years.
The function of his company is not to give policy recommendations to a client, such as Indiana educators. As he said, he and his company are the midwives, not the parents of the policy. His function is to provide the means for everyone to have knowledge:
The world at the fingertip of everyone, not just information, but knowledge
- Knowledge that is interactive
- Knowledge that is shared
- Knowledge that allows collaboration, globally
Indiana will have it first and can lead the way in the competition for ideas
- Ideas that are disruptive and paradigm shifting
Notes by Joe Jones
Vol 85 No 15 - April 14,2008
Dr. Rydberg's presentation consisted of two parts. The first was a description of the basic operation of the CT scan and how it functioned in the early days (1970's). The CT scanner consists of a traversable gurney, (on which the patient lies), an X-ray source, and a detector ring. He described how CT scanners of the 1970's were limited to head only diagnosis and took about 8 minutes per scan. Continued development has led from single detector rows (1970's) to multiple (64) detector rows (2008) which has allowed the creation of multiple slice CT scans which can performed literally in a few seconds. The X-ray and detector system weigh about two tons and rotate about the patient at about four revolutions per second. A four-slice CT scanner is actually eight times faster than the single slice CT scanner. The patient actually receives less radiation with the multiple slice CT scan than with the single slice scan.
Dr. Rydberg showed an example of a 2008 technology CT scan of a tumor in a liver with a fluid level that was explained by examining a side view cut of the scan. The CT scan with its thin slice (.5mm) structure presents multiple views that greatly assist in problem diagnosis.
The second part of Dr. Rydberg's presentation demonstrated CT scan capabilities on several examples of medical problems.
Examples of spine, kidney, blood vessel imagery were shown.
CT scan opens the colon up to appear as a flat surface.
CT scan can detect polyps.
CT scan can replace the classic colonoscopy.
Early diagnosis with the CT scan can assist in preventing strokes or assist in restoring function.
CT scan has solved the problem of imaging the heart at rest by identifying the diastolic (at rest) portion of the heart beat period.
Dr. Rydberg noted that, in general, CT scans cost about 30-40% less than MRI's, and, to his knowledge, all major hospitals in the Indianapolis area have CT scan capability. He further noted that CT scans and MRI diagnostic tools were complimentary.
As to continued technology development, Dr. Rydberg commented that Siemens, Philips and Toshiba are all looking to further increase the multiple slice capability.
Notes by Jim Bettner
Vol 85 No 16 - April 21,2008
Identity Theft - Fact or Fiction? Thanks to Dr. Bill Dick and Stefan Davis (Indiana University) Prof Fred Cate from the IU Center for Applied Cybersecurity Research provided our program. The meeting was extremely well attended with 109 members and guests in attendance.
The measurement of identity theft includes the taking of a person's identification and using this identification to establish credit. It also includes taking an individual's credit card (also checks), and making charges against the card. Seventy three percent of identity theft cases reported are the use of a credit card by another person. Twenty eight percent is true ID theft where a new credit account is created.
Forty states have credit freeze laws including Indiana. Indiana has 31 specific laws just covering the many aspects of identity theft. The occurrence of identity theft is in a decline for the past 6 years - we are winning the battle. Why don't we hear about this fact? The business's of identity theft protection does not want the public to be aware of these facts.
Only 25% of individual's report their identity theft to the Federal Trade Commission. The median cost to individuals experiencing an identity theft is $0.00. The mean cost has been declining over the past 4 years with a cost of $500 in the past year. The lost to credit and banking institutions is also going down with the median cost of $750 and the mean cost of $5500.
Taking another person's check or credit card and using it for your own benefit used to be called fraud. Now it is called identity theft. Fred shared data with us that as you grow older, the chance of experiencing identity theft drops. You gain experience and knowledge.
Data from the identity theft resource center shows that 67% of the victims knew the criminal. Forty percent were family members, and fifty percent could identify the criminal. Fraud is very close to home.
Do security breaches really create identity theft? If your name is on a data base that has been stolen, your chance of experiencing an identity theft is 0.098 percent.
Identity theft comes from three areas: insiders, synthetic ID fraud, and making up data.
What can you do? Purchase a shredder and shred any financial information you do not save. This includes those checks from the credit card company, offers for a second mortgage, any information that contains financial information. Review your bank and credit cards statement. Over 25% of the public does not review their credit card or bank statement. Get a copy of your credit report each year from www.annualcreditreport.com. Use a strong password, do not click on any links within your email messages, report any case of fraud, and if necessary place a fraud alert or freeze on your credit report. Lastly for those of us, who travel, make sure you notify your credit card company about your travel plans.
We learned that identity theft is a fact, but affects only a small percentage of the population. It can easily be stopped by the use of a shedder and the understanding that identity threat comes from those close to us.
Notes by Hank Wolfla
Vol 85 No 17 - April 28,2008
An alternative title of this presentation could have been: A Black and Green Method to Remove CO2. The black component of the process being discussed is coal and the green component is algae. The interaction between the living (algae) and non-living (coal) has been a long-time interest of Dr. Shaffer.
Indiana is a major coal producer and the second largest coal consumer in the United States. Coal is used predominately for electric power production and as a net exporter of electrical energy; Indiana's economy is positively impacted by coal mining activity.
Burning coal during the production of electrical energy produces large amounts of carbon dioxide. CO2 is currently the "whipping boy" of the environmental movement as it has the propensity to trap heat in earth atmosphere.
Several methods have been proposed to clean up power plant emissions of carbon dioxide. One popular method being discussed is carbon dioxide sequestration. This process captures CO2 and turns it into a supercritical liquid for storage underground. The process is potentially very expensive and the storage modes (underground salt domes, abandoned mines, porous rock, etc.) have their own environmental issues. CO2 in storage is not innocuous and the potential environmental hazards have not been completely addressed. Estimates for a system with a 90 percent CO2 capture would increase the cost of electricity by 42-52 percent.
Shaffer's proposal hinges on the fact that algae, one of the oldest forms of life on earth, will immediately react with CO2, minor nutrients and water in the presence of sunlight to produce "lots more algae" and oxygen.
This algae could be harvested for bio-fuel products, animal feeds, pharmaceuticals as well as a wide variety of other products. Water from the process can be recycled back to the process. Methods of growing and processing algae are well developed, especially in Asia. Algae slurries can be easily transported by pipeline if necessary. Potential yields from this industrial process are estimated to range up to 15,000 gallons of bio-fuel per acre as compared to 50 gallons of bio-fuel per acre for grains.
Oxygen produced by algae could be harvested and used, for example, in a power plant to enhance the combustion of coal.
Research is currently underway at National Energy Technology Laboratory (NETL www.netl.doe.gov) and other centers.
Shaffer notes that there are issues to be considered concerning the use of algae in CO2 reduction:
Water must be treated to meet system requirements; a potential cost factor. Water discharged from the process must also meet environmental standards.
The fate of heavy metals (i.e. mercury) and other chemicals concentrated by the process is not well known.
The effects of weather (cloudy days) may hinder the process in midwestern climates.
Further information may be found at:
Spring Dinner Meeting - April 30,2008
Mr. Crowther started his talk with the efforts of Lowell Nussbaum, the newspaper columnist for the Indianapolis Times. Many of us remember the Times as the "evening paper" of Indianapolis. The mission of the Indianapolis Zoo inspires local and global communities to celebrate, protect, and preserve our natural world through conservation, education, and research, and by providing an enriching and wondrous environment for our visitors and the animals in our care. For the mission of the zoo to be completed people must come to love the efforts of the zoo. Only when a person comes to love will action occur. Mr. Crowther's speech covered the high level of connection between man and animals, and the effect of man on animals. Mr. Crowther outlined that mans effect and actions on wildlife are not with malice and most of mankind does not determine his future but just accepts what is handed to him.
The Indianapolis Zoo takes no tax funds, has one million visitors per year, and the Zoological Society has over 100,000 members from around the world. The Indianapolis Zoo occupies 64 acres on the near West side of Indianapolis. The next big effort of the Zoo will be the construction of the International Great Ape Exhibit that will open in 2013. It is the plan of the Zoo to make this Great Ape exhibit the leading exhibit in the world, along with active conservation activities. The Indianapolis Zoo is now part of the top 10 Zoo's in the United States. The zoo is engaged in a number of long term research projects and participation in conservation projects.
Mr. Crowther then covered the biennial $100,000 Indianapolis Prize that represents the largest individual monetary award for animal conservation in the world and is given as an unrestricted gift to the chosen honoree. (www.indianapolisprize.org) The Indianapolis Prize was initiated by the Indianapolis Zoo (www.indianapoliszoo.com) as a significant component of its mission to inspire local and global communities to celebrate, protect, and preserve our natural world through conservation, education and research.
This biennial award brings the world's attention to the cause of animal conservation and the brave, talented and dedicated men and women who spend their lives saving the Earth's endangered animal species. The first recipient of the Indianapolis Prize was Dr. George Archibald, Co-Founder of the International Crane Foundation in Baraboo, Wisconsin.
Mr. Crowther provided the audience with insight on how the Indiana Zoo is active and the leader in wildlife conservation around the world.
The secret of wildlife conservation is balance, and being a radical middle of the road activist will lead to success. We do not understand what everything does and how it fits into the world. It is because of this fact that our wildlife is facing extinction. Extinction is a place of no escape, and is the inability to retain balance. We and the world are connected. We need to determine our future and not accept what is handed to us.
Mr. Crowther provided us with a thought provoking evening, along with facts on the Indianapolis Zoo and how it fits into world wide conservation.
Notes by Hank Wolfla
Vol 85 No 18 - May 5,2008
Musical DNA Software is a startup company in downtown Indianapolis founded by Ken Lemons, Inventor and CEO, and son of a recent Scientech speaker. Ken had a vision of "decoding" music, so that it could be experienced not just through listening, and not just through reading music in its usual notation, but also visually. His idea was to map the 12 notes of (western) music onto a circle, 30 degrees apart, like the digits on a clock. Notes played simultaneously are represented by the geometric figure produced by connecting the points corresponding to the notes.
The simplest case involves 2 notes, and the result is discussed in terms of the interval between them. A line may be drawn between two adjacent notes, and that short "interval" produces the sound musicians call the half step. The next longer interval, from one note to the note located 2 (or 60 degrees) away, is the second interval, and is called a full step. There are four more interval lengths, and they produce the minor third, the major third, the perfect fourth, and the tri-tone, respectively.
Playing 3 different notes produces a triangle of lines connecting the notes on the circle. There are 4 basic triangles possible (but they can rotate freely), producing the musical combinations called the major chord, the minor chord, the diminished triad, and the augmented triad. The final shape is produced when 4 notes are played, and this produces a trapezoid. There are 9 possible trapezoids that can be formed.
The company has developed (and continues to develop) software that permits real-time display of the circular representation as music is played. When the software is really put to the test, some of the patterns observed in 3 dimensions are reminiscent of the double helix we normally associate with DNA, hence the name Musical DNA Software.
For reasons that aren't clear, Ken and his staff have noticed that chords that we find pleasing tend to be represented by lopsided patterns when depicted on the circle. In general, the patterns can be classified as happy (sounds), sad, spooky, and dreamy.
The software under development has a number of different features, some of which we witnessed in today's presentation. In addition to the circle showing the patterns of the music being played, there is also a representation of the rhythm. A staff can be included so that one can see the notes being played in the usual notation, and a piano keyboard can be shown, in which the actual keys being pressed are shown. In addition to the piano, representations of other instruments are also available, such as cello (showing the exact fingering), guitars, etc. When the software is used in tutorial mode, the software shows what keys should be pressed.
Other features are currently under development. For example, they are working on a graphical representation that captures the duration of notes, and another feature will permit the graphical analysis of music that is "heard" by the software (as opposed to being digitally input).
The staff of Musical DNA Software has a broad vision of possible uses of their product. For example, it might be useful in teaching music, and it might be useful in composition. Casting a broader net, it might even be used to prepare "signatures" of valuable instruments. They are already discussing the cataloging of birdcalls, and it is interesting to think of possible applications relative to the human voice, whether in vocal music, in speech "fingerprinting" or in situations of speech pathology.
The company's website can be visited at www.musicaldnasoftware.com .
Notes by Tom Spradlin
Vol 85 No 19 - May 12,2008
The Mission of the Children's Museum is to provide an extraordinary learning experience for children. The Vision is to provide global leadership in children's museums serving children and families.
It is one of the oldest and the largest children's museum in the United States, founded in 1924. Approximately one million visitors per year see the Museum. There are 12 permanent galleries and many changing exhibits. The Museum stresses science, art and the humanities. Over 115,000 items are in the permanent collection. This museum is only one of three children's museums that collects artifacts on site similar to the Natural History Museum in New York.
The Museum is the 18th most visited museum in the United States. There are 200 full-time and 150 part-time staff. Exhibits are created inhouse. There are designers, artists, carpenters and others employed to create these exhibits. To accomplish the mission of the Museum there are 400 volunteers, 50 board members, 51 interns and 103 guild members.
There are many ongoing programs for children including daily theater and in-depth family and school programs as well as preschool programs. 100,000 school children per year visit the Museum on school time. There also are programs to assist teachers in professional development. Scientech provides some economic assistance for the science and math programs at the Museum.
The Museum provides free or reduced cost programming for poor children and families. The 30th to 34th Street project is a program for neighborhood development and re-habilitation. The Info Zone provides a branch of the Marion County Public Library for neighborhood use. Computers are available for neighborhood residents. These are often used for learning about job opportunities and available benefits for poor families including health benefits. Many of the neighborhood families do not have Internet access in the home. There is also a six-week summer camp program.
The learning of science is informal at the Museum. No set learning pattern is required in going through each exhibit. Children also can do real scientific investigations. There are active paleontology and biotechnology laboratories among others. The motto is "This is science. Don't take our word for it. Try it yourself."
The Museum is preparing for phase 2 in their development program. This includes a new Welcome Center, landscaping changes and international traveling exhibits among other advancements.
The annual cost of operating the museum is $22,261,000. One third of these funds come from admissions, membership dues, museum store profits, facility rental and the like. Two thirds of the funds come from support from individuals, foundations, corporations and the endowment fund. The endowment currently has approximately $300 million of which about 5% per year is used to support museum operations. They count on annual gifts which include many levels of giving. There are opportunities for naming projects, objects and programs. $74 million is required to begin Phase II of their development goal. They currently have $64 million and are seeking the additional $10 million. They do not begin new development unless the money is at hand including funds for ongoing maintenance of the project. The Museum is anxious to receive annual gifts, capital gifts as well as gifts to the endowment fund.
At the completion of the formal lectures there was a tour of the collections department. A remarkable number of artifacts have been photographed, categorized and preserved. There are items of all sorts including comic books, toys dolls and many varieties of objects too numerous to mention. The Museum is able to show approximately 15% of their collection at one time.
The tour also included the natural science department where we saw casts as well as actual fossils of dinosaurs and many other items. The staff has made important dinosaur discoveries in digs in the South Dakota region. They also offer one or two day digging experiences for individuals and families who choose to participate. They have a rich site to explore and almost everybody finds some artifact.
Further information on the Museum and its programs may be obtained on the Museum web site at www.childrensmuseum.org/index2.htm
Notes by Gerry Kurlander
Vol 85 No 20 - May 19,2008
Dr. Grayson spoke to the Scientech Club on Genetic Engineering and made several predictions about the field nearly 7 years ago. It is remarkable as to how many of those predictions have come to pass in such a short time. Genetic Engineering is a series of phases: the idea, research, design, tools, and manufactured products. Today's presentation focused on tools, products, controversies, and some predictions.
Nanotechnology has opened up the development of genetic tools. A nanometer is one billionth of a meter. A human hair is equal to approximately 100,000 nanometers. Today, scientists can work at this level. For example,
1.Pipettes, needles, wires of this scale are available to insert DNA or RNA into a cell or gene or to extract DNA or RNA from cells or genes.
2.New, very fast, gene scanner - GSFLX made by Roche ($500K) can sequence an entire genome in 4-5 days whereas early scanners took 4-5 years.
3.Transmission Electron Microscope - Images are at the atomic level, made by Titan ($ 4Mill) and produces unbelievable images.
4.Electro Fusion Device - Welds cells together
5.Nanomotor - Pumps or tows genetic material, such as drugs, Chemo Rx agents, imaging material through the cell wall.
6.On-Off Switch - Apparently, the nucleus of a cell sends messages via DNA, RNA, and proteins. RNA functions similar to a wire lead, and if RNA interference occurs then the protein production will be altered or stopped. Thus, the genes within a cell can be turned on and off. An example could be:
A person has lung cancer. Tobacco is the trigger to turn on the cancer gene through RNA. By turning off the RNA the cancer stops growing. This concept can be applied to all diseases.
7. Apoptosis - In plants and animals the normal process is that when the cell ages, it is signaled to self-destruct. Cancer cells do not respond to apoptosis, so they continue growing and multiplying. If the anti-apoptosis mechanism can be switched off, then the cancer will die.
1.Over the Counter Genetic Testing
2.Laboratory Gene Testing
i. Identification of bacteria
ii. Predict cancer response
iii. Predict gene drug sensitivity
3. Genetically Engineered Mice-prone to
iv. Heart Disease
4. Genetic Alterations-Cloning
i. Agricultural products, trees, flowers
ii Organ tissue from embryo stem cell (urinary, heart, muscle, nerve).
5. Cell Communication-Body cells signal each other, Signals change in cancer damaged cells. Nanoparticles carrying biosensors can be sent to specific cells to switch off the cancer growth.
Dr. Grayson briefly discussed the moral, legal, religious, political and ethical issues associated with genetic engineering.
1. Gene Surgery
2. Carry drugs to specific cells
3. Tailor made plants and animals
4. Organ Regeneration
5. Cancer Biopsy at the gene level
6. Synthetic Stem Cells
7. Improved Methods of DNA Sampling
Dr. Grayson closed the presentation with a brief Q and A session.
Notes by J. L. Bettner
Vol 85 No 21 -June 2,2008
Dr. Trexler gave a very interesting talk with respect to the latest rehabilitative techniques in traumatic brain injury. Dr. Trexler has extensive experience in the treatment of brain injury. He currently works for the Rehabilitative Hospital of Indiana. He has associations with the Indiana University School of Medicine, Methodist Hospital and St. Vincent's hospital. He is also connected with the University of Louisville and 2 institutions in Europe.
Traumatic Brain injury frequently causes damage to the temporal lobes. The temporal lobe contains the Hippocampus which is the structure which is responsible for short term memory. Without short term memory, it is impossible to learn new tasks or relearn old skills. The temporal lobe also contains the Amygdala which is involved in emotions. Emotions are closely involved in memory development and the Amygdala lies in close proximity to the Hippocampus.
The frontal lobes contribute about 40% of the volume of the Cerebrum and are responsible for executive functions. The frontal lobes are frequently damaged at the time of trauma. It has been said that the frontal lobes are unique to humans, and it is with the frontal lobes that we are able to imagine the future and to put into perspective the memories of the past. With this ability, the frontal lobes are able to organize and stratagise plans for future actions based on those if then type of imaginative processes.
As can be seen, the very structures needed for recovery from trauma are the ones most impaired. This causes extreme stress to the individual and to family members. These patients experience emotional outbursts, anxiety, and depression, as do their families. The affected individual is often unrecognizable to their families as the same person as they were before. Successful treatment requires treatment of the entire family. This includes psychotherapy, stress management, and education as well as other things. Family support is key to the successful adaptation of the patient, and outside support is key to the successful adaptation of the family.
Dr. Trexler likened the patient to a doughnut. The hole of the doughnut is the brain-damaged area that will never recover. The rest of the doughnut is the remaining functional aspects of the patient that must be nurtured. In particular, anxiety and depression need to be treated. Suicide is 2.7-4.1 times as likely in the trauma patient as in the general population. The patient must be kept from drug or alcohol abuse. The patient must continue to be engaged in family and therapy efforts. Over time there can be considerable improvement in attention and dementia and general over functionality.
Dr. Trexler presented portions of a study that he is currently performing using Duloxetine. Duloxetine acts by increasing the concentration of serotonin in the Hippocampus and Amygdala. It does this by preventing the reuptake of serotonin in the synapses of these areas. This is the manner in which many antidepressants work. In addition to this, there is a similar effect on the reuptake of nor epinephrine in the synapses of the frontal lobes. This allows for improved performance of the frontal lobes. Persons so treated seem to have a more rapid improvement in IQ and seem much more able to return to their careers, hobbies, or volunteer work than individuals that received a placebo. This study is about 9 months duration at the present time. Dr Trexler looks forward to the results at 12 months.
There were several interesting questions raised at the conclusion of the talk. One in particular asked the effect of exercise on recovery. Dr. Trexler stated that they were having excellent results with their exercise program at the Rehabilitative Hospital of Indiana, showing reversal of muscle atrophy and increased physical function with intensive physical therapy.
Notes by William J. Elliott
Vol 85 No 22 -June 9,2008
Jill Gordon is the Information and Youth Volunteer Coordinator for the Museum. She is currently pursuing a Master's in Museum Studies at IUPUI.
The MAP program (Museum Apprenticeship Program), which is partially sponsored by Scientech, has been carried out by the Museum for more than 40 years. Its objective is to give students from 12 to 18 years old the opportunity to participate in projects of importance to the Museum, and which give valuable experience to the apprentices. The program usually has about 30 apprentices on board. At this size, the Museum can tailor the program to the interests of individuals and give good mentoring.
Students apply for the program and are interviewed individually. Willingness to commit is the most important criteria in choosing apprentices. Each should give about 8-10 hours per month during the school year, and about 20 hours in the summer. This February, the group of apprentices gave 350 hours in total.
Ms. Gordon brought four apprentices to talk to us. All are bright, articulate young people who reflected credit on the program. Each gave a synopsis of his or her experience in the program.
Carson Pursifull is 15 years old and this is his first year in the program. He attends the Shenandoah school system, and has done costume appearances (Curious George) at the Museum, as well as worked on automation and computer programs such as stop-action animation and multi-layer videos. He is also designing a MAP website and blog area. He wants to work with children and the public in galleries.
Kristen Henderson is 12 years old and is in her first year of the program. She goes to Immaculate Heart of Mary School and has two sisters also in the program. She has done costume appearances and is training to work in the StarPoint museum day camp this summer. She is also working on the new King Tut exhibit and the new NASA plant growth chamber. She is interested in aerospace, and also likes the theater program in the Museum.
Alesha Peterson has graduated from high school and has been in MAP for 6 years. She is starting to Purdue this fall for computer technology. Her favorite activity was the Jane Goodall exhibit in 2004, as well as the Egyptian exhibit a few years ago. She did some work in the Paleo Lab, and is now preparing for the week-long StarPoint camp sessions. She believes that the program has helped her to learn math better, and has improved her ability to speak in public and to reach out to people. Her awards in the program include the Reach for the Stars award for an assay and speech, and the Turner Award for working 200 hours in a summer.
Cameron Freed is 13 years old and will start in Brebeuf this fall. He is in his second year as an apprentice and works mostly in the Paleo Lab at present. He also has worked on researching, designing and building a small Egyptian exhibit, noting that the pyramids of Giza are aligned with stars in the constellation Orion. He is interested in becoming a scientific writer, a meteorologist, or perhaps a museum person.
Ms. Gordon then showed us a video, made in-house, on the MAP program and people. The video included interviews with more bright, articulate apprentices who described their valuable experiences in the program. They emphasized their learning in the areas of focusing on the task at hand, leadership, scientific thinking and method, teamwork and commitment. They expressed desires to become many varieties of engineers and scientists.
We were very pleased and impressed by the presentations of Ms. Gordon and the apprentices, and quite proud of Scientech's support of such a splendid program.
Notes by Joe Jones
Vol 85 No 23 -June 16,2008
Aneurysms are weak spots in the wall of an artery. If the weak spot stretches far enough, the artery will rupture.
Aneurysms were first noted in history from pictures drawn in 200 A.D. The first meaningful reports of them date to the early 1800's.
Over the years, many methods have been used to attempt to deal with aneurysms. In the early 1800's, surgical ligation or closing off the blood vessel was tried with little success. Attempts were made to wrap the aneurysm with little or no success. In the 1950's, surgeons attempted to remove the affected section and replace it with something better. Arteries from cadavers (homografts) were used, but because of poor preservation methods, they tended to fall apart over time. Synthetic materials were tried. The Dacron graft was developed, proved to be successful and is still in use today.
Thoracic-abdominal aortic aneurysms that are Dr. Fehrenbacher's specialty are located above the kidney arteries and can be high in the chest. Some of the aorta that he replaces can be as long as 18 inches.
The demographics of aortic aneurysms show that 0.6% of all women and about 1.2% of all men will die from the malady. The older you are, the more susceptible you are to aneurysms. Ninety percent of the patents Dr. Fehrenbacher sees are totally asymptomatic. Discovery of an aneurysm occurs most commonly by chance from a CAT scan, an MRI or because of back pain.
Once discovered, aneurysms seem to grow at a predictable rate. The survival rates from aneurysms are very low and this fact is the reason for the extensive nature of the surgery.
Most aneurysms are the result of arteriosclerosis or hardening of the arteries. The second most common reason is patents with artery walls that have split.
The risks of surgery are high. There are four potential hazards: death during the operation; paraplegia from lack of blood to the spinal cord; renal failure from lack of blood to the kidneys; or a stroke.
There are three methods of repair available to surgeons. The most common method is atriofemoral bypass surgery where a tube is inserted into the heart and a tube is inserted into the femoral artery in the leg. Blood is directed to the lower body while working to replace the affected artery. An alternative is simply to "clamp and sew", using no bypass and sectioning the artery as fast as possible.
The third method, preferred and developed by Dr. Fehrenbacher, is Deep Hypothermic Circulatory Arrest (DHCA). The method had been used for other types of heart surgeries, but never for aneurysms. Prior to using the method on humans, Dr. Fehrenbacher worked in the Methodist Hospital's animal labs to develop the technique.
During this process, the patent core temperature is cooled to around 55 degrees by routing blood to a heart-lung machine and gradually cooling it. Once cooled to this low temperature, the patent's brain can stand about 30 minutes without blood flow. This situation gives the surgeon a "bloodless field" to operate in. To use Dr. Fehrenbacher's analogy: it's the plumber shutting off the water to fix the leak. The reduction in body temperature increases by a factor of three or four the amount of time available to suture without detrimental effects to the spinal column, brain or kidneys.
If you survive the operation and are paraplegic, the outcome is dim at best. The same can be said for renal failure.
Strokes are also a potential by product of these operations. They are caused by "knocking stuff loose" during the operation. Dr. Fehrenbacher's techniques have reduced the potential for strokes to a level virtually equal to the operations using "left heart bypass" methods - typically the lowest risk method.
The risk of death during these types of operations decreases in hospitals and with surgeons that perform more of these procedures. As surgeons do the procedure more often, they get better at it.
Dr. Fehrenbacher published his historical data on these DHCA procedures in the Annals of Thoracic Surgery in 2007. The operative mortality (including both emergency and elective surgery) was 4.1%. This percentage compares very favorably with a national operative mortality rate of 16.5%
Vol 85 No 24 -June 23,2008
Dr. Ramer is a Purdue University graduate. She served as an animal keeper in a Chicago zoo. After a time she decided to become a veterinarian, enrolling and graduating from the University Wisconsin in 1995. Currently she is working at the animal hospital of the Indianapolis Zoo.
She emphasized that zoo veterinarians are generalists. For orthopedic problems, dental problems and other specific issues, veterinarians must turn to specialists, usually in the veterinary field, but occasionally in human medical and dental fields.
The Indianapolis zoo is a certified zoo, botanical garden and aquarium. The zoo houses 1800 animals. There are 40 mammal species and 79 reptiles species. The staff consists of three veterinarians, a Ph.D. nutritionist and three technicians who perform the functions of nurse and laboratory technician. There are also two hospital keepers and one veterinary intern. This latter program is supported by Eli Lilly & Co., Judging from the quality of the residencies secured by these interns and their subsequent positions it is clear that the program is a good one.
The function of the zoo veterinarian is preventative medicine, pre-shipping exams, quarantine of recent arrivals, care of ill animals, conservation programs, education, and record keeping.
In performing preventative medicine it is clear that some animals must be held. Many however, can be trained to cooperate for the examination with positive reinforcement as with food rewards. Training can result in the requirement of less anesthesia. Use of anesthesia can be very dangerous in animals. Approximately half of walruses die with anesthesia. It is also quite dangerous to attempt to anesthetize animals which are easily "spooked" as the gazelle and giraffe.
Birds are easier to examine. They are vaccinated annually against the West Nile virus. When working with large and dangerous animals such as the Kodiak bear, tigers, lions and polar bears there is always a shooting team available with live ammunition. These animals can be anesthetized following incubation using gas anesthesia. With fish, the anesthesia can be put in water and bathed over the gills.
The conservation program has focused on the Madagascar lemur, walrus, dolphin, elephant, white rhino and iguana. In determining why the lemur survives better in the wild than in the zoo extensive studies have been done including fecal samples of both groups. The Dolphins are self-sustaining. Studies of the dolphin thyroid glands indicated iodine deficiency because of the difference in the fish diet in the wild and in the zoo. This has been treated with supplemental iodine.
The first African elephant to survive in a zoo in the United States after artificial insemination occurred in the Indianapolis Zoo. Performing artificial insemination in a 10,000 pound animal is difficult as one might imagine. Even locating the cervix of the female elephant can be a challenge.
Dr. Ramer has been spending time in the Dominican Republic, studying the Cyclura iguana and other iguana species which are endangered. These studies in the wild are designed to help endangered animals survive in captivity.
She also called attention to the $100,000 Indianapolis Prize given to an individual annually deemed to have made the largest contribution to animal preservation.
No cloning of an endangered species in a zoo in the United States has been successful. A racing mule not in a zoo was cloned successfully however.
Notes by Gerry Kurlander
Vol 85 No 25 -June 30,2008
Mr. Flower has been working in the superalloy field for 35 years, currently at Haynes International in Kokomo. He has a bachelor's in metallurgy from Case Western Reserve U. and a MBA from the Kellogg School of Northwestern University.
A superalloy is a metallic alloy containing certain chemical elements intended to impart extraordinary properties at high temperatures, specifically high creep strength (ability to resist deformation) and resistance to oxidation.
Haynes International was founded by Elwood Haynes in 1912. It was sold to Union Carbide, then later to Cabot Corporation, but is now independent and traded on the NASDAQ. At the headquarters in Kokomo, they melt raw materials and manufacture superalloy materials in products like tubing, billets, sheets, etc. Haynes does no casting. Superalloys are a small part of the global metals business, with a worldwide production of 180 million pounds/year. There are only a handful of producers for the mass market, though some countries such as Russia have plants that manufacture the materials for their own use.
Superalloys contain nickel and cobalt, and a number of other elements, including molybdenum, tungsten, chromium, aluminum, and titanium. Different superalloys have different properties, and have different combinations of those ingredients. The material's properties depend not only on the constituents, but also on the process of manufacture. Some derive their high strength through heat-treatment, others do not.
All of these constituents are sold in world commodity markets, and many experience significant fluctuations in price. Increased costs are passed on in the cost of the superalloys, and Haynes is not active in the metals futures markets.
Superalloys were originally invented for use in jet engines. Because of the high temperatures encountered in jets, superalloys were used in the compressor, in the combustion chamber, and in the exhaust section. A new experimental jet, called a pulse detonation engine, uses tubing of superalloy.
More and more uses are being suggested for superalloys, and the speaker outlined some of those. For example, the space shuttle has well-known ceramic tiles to protect the body during re-entry, and it would be valuable to replace these with superalloy material. The Air Force is planning new aircraft with significantly increased range and speed, and these will offer numerous opportunities for superalloys.
Various land-based turbines also use these materials. Examples of these are micro-turbines that one might use for power generation, mechanical drives (such as on the Abrams tank), and marine propulsion. Some mortars being used now use superalloys in the tubes, because frequent firing causes such high temperatures. Some submarines use superalloys in parts such as torpedo tubes.
Other uses include turbochargers in cars, racing manifolds, automotive exhaust systems, industrial heat-treating furnaces, gas burners for fast-food chicken fryers, production of glass for LCD TVs, coronary stents, fuel cells, coal-fired power plants, nuclear reactors, and solar power applications. Superalloys will also be used in microchannel reformers, devices mounted on a ship to convert natural gas into synthetic diesel fuel. This would facilitate transfer of gas from wells at sea to land.
With this abundance of current and intended use of superalloys, it is easy to see why R&D continues at Haynes International. New, currently unanticipated uses might necessitate superalloys with new properties.
Notes by Tom Spradlin
Vol 85 No 26 -July 7,2008
Mr. Northern is a Special Counsel with the FBI, and is chief division counsel of the Indianapolis office. He has a bachelor's from Wabash, a J.D. from IU, and a master's degree in business from Webster U. He is also an adjunct professor at the IU School of Law, where he teaches National Security Law.
The FBI will celebrate its 100th birthday this year. It is charged with investigating over 370 different violations of law. There is also a national security mission, which has been significantly enhanced since 9/11. It now has more than 50 field offices, more than 400 resident agencies in the USA, and over 70 FBI offices in foreign countries. These foreign offices are called "legal attaché offices."
Mr. Northern described the 100 days he spent in an assignment at the Baghdad legal attaché office, which houses also representatives of the Drug Enforcement Administration and the Alcohol, Tobacco, and Firearms division of Treasury. This office has 3 main missions in Iraq: to try to gather intelligence from Iraqi sources, to assist in freeing various hostages, and a so-called "nation-building" mission. In this mission, FBI members serve as mentors and advisors to Iraqi investigators of "major crimes."
The mentoring task force was involved in several projects. They attempted to help investigators with cases involving killings due to sect membership or due to cooperation with coalition forces. They worked on the indictment and prosecution of some Shiites who had run a prison, but used it to torture Sunnis.
Also, it was widely reported that the Iraqi National Museum was looted shortly after coalition forces entered the nation, and the world was reminded of the richness of the Iraqi cultural heritage. In fact, the country has 12000 archaeological sites, where ancient artifacts are unearthed. In addition to the thefts from the museum, thieves now plunder antiquities from the dig sites as well. Mr. Northern was active in efforts to recover these artifacts, much of it for sale on the black market, and to indict those who were guilty of its theft. When he left Iraq, indictments had been handed down, but no prosecution had begun.
Mr. Northern showed many photographs of the city of Baghdad and described some of the zones of the city. The so-called "Green Zone" is famous as the area where diplomats are housed in a relatively safe area approximately 4 by 3.5 miles in size. Entry requires passing through checkpoints with metal detectors, etc. The remainder of the city is the Red Zone, which is wide open. There is one more, the Pink Zone, which can be entered from either the Green or the Red Zones, but one cannot use the Pink to pass from Green to Red or vice versa. The various neighborhoods of Baghdad that we hear about, such as Sadr City, are huge, and are roughly parallel in size and significance to the boroughs of New York.
The Iraqi intelligence agents who work with the FBI are extremely brave. They would be greatly endangered if it became known that they cooperate with the coalition. Their work requires them to come into the green zone every day, and they have to pretend they are doing so to gather intelligence. When the interpreters leave the green zone with coalition personnel, they wear hoods to protect their identity.
Mr. Northern showed us a great many photographs of his time in Baghdad. Some of the monuments, in particular the famous "crossed swords" on each end of a parade ground, are spectacular. He emphasized that much of the building is beautiful, but in its core the workmanship is not good.
Notes by Tom Spradlin
Vol 85 No 27 -July 14,2008
This is a report of a bus tour to South Bend Indiana. Once in South Bend the tour consisted of three parts. The first tour was out of the Studebaker Museum.
The Studebaker National Museum has its roots in the Studebaker Corporation's private collection, which originated in the 1890's. Studebaker operated its own museum for many years, and by 1920, their collection included Lafayette's and President Lincoln's carriages: the company's last farm wagon the first automobile built entirely in South Bend, Indiana; and a large collection of World War I military vehicles.
The collection continued to grow until Studebaker ceased production in 1966. By that time, the collection numbered 37 vehicles, including the last automobiles produced in South Bend and Canada.
Studebaker donated its collection to the City of South Bend in late 1966. The collection was housed at a number of locations thereafter, including Studebaker's former Administration Building, the Waterworks Maintenance Shop, and the former Drewery's building on South Bend's northwest side.
The H & C Studebaker blacksmith shop opened in 1852 at the corner of Michigan and Jefferson Streets in what is now the heart of downtown South Bend, Indiana. Henry and Clement Studebaker's blacksmith shop would turn into the Studebaker Manufacturing Company in 1868, and would eventually become the largest wagon manufacturer in the world. Studebaker would also be the only manufacturer to successfully switch from horse-drawn to gasoline powered vehicles.
The Studebaker Brothers. Clem, Henry, J.M. Peter and Jacob John Mohler Studebaker returned from California in 1858 where he made wheelbarrows for gold miners, and invested his earnings in the business. At this time, the brothers were filling wagon orders for the U.S. Army, and would continue to do so throughout the Civil War. By 1887, sales would eclipse two million dollars, and by 1885, production would top 75,000.
On display at the museum were multiple wagons, electric cars, and automobiles powered by internal combustion engines. Of particular interest were several presidential carriages. Included in these was President Lincoln's carriage. This carried transported President Lincoln to the Ford's Theatre where he was assassinated.
Studebaker continued to make automobiles and military vehicles until the early 1960s at which time bankruptcy was declared. Studebaker was involved in manufacturing during World War I and World War II and made wagons and vehicles during these wars.
Following the morning tour of the museum, a delicious lunch was had at Tippecanoe Place restaurant. The restaurant is in Tippecanoe Place which has four main levels totaling 40 rooms and 20 fireplaces and is the embodiment of everything great wealth in the late 1800 could suggest. The 26,000 square-foot mansion was designed for Clement Studebaker by Henry Cobb and built by local craftsmen. Work on Tippecanoe Place was completed in 1889 at a total cost of $250,000.
In 1868 Clement Studebaker and his second wife moved into the William Rock house which occupied part of the grounds of what is now Tippecanoe Place. In 1886, Clem decided to build a home suitable to his position in life and had the Tippecanoe Place mansion built. From here he entertained many of the rich and famous including Andrew Carnegie, Cyrus McCormick John Wannamaker and J.P. Morgan.
After lunch the bus returned us to The Center for History. The Center for History is a facility on the Studebaker Museum campus. The center showcases Copshaholm, the 38-room Victorian mansion of industrialist Joseph Doty Oliver and his family. Completed in 1896, the house retains the family's original furnishings. Copshaholm, which is listed on the National Register of Historic Places, has three floors with 14 fireplaces and nine bathrooms. Surrounding Copshaholm are the Historic Oliver Gardens, 2.5 acres of landscaped gardens that include a tea house, formal Italianate garden, rose garden, pergola, tennis lawn and fountain.
The mansion belonged to James Oliver who founded the Oliver Chilled Plow Company, a major international manufacturer of farm implements and equipment in the late 19th and 20th centuries. While in South Bend on business, Oliver met a man who wanted to sell a quarter interest in his foundry at the inventory value ($88.96). Oliver happened to have $100.00 in his pocket at the time. One of the products of the foundry was a cast-iron plow. James knew plows and none that he tried were satisfactory. Making the chilled plow a practical success was due to the efforts of James Oliver. The chilled plow, due to its very hard outer skin, was able to scour in heavy soils. It was also capable of greater wearability than common cast-iron plows. On July 22, 1868, the South Bend Iron Works was incorporated to manufacture the Oliver Chilled Plow. Following a short video detailing the history of the Oliver family a guided tour of the house was given.
Located just a short walk from Copshaholm is the Worker's Home, a restored cottage furnished to reflect life as it might have been lived by a Polish working-class family of the 1930s. The Worker's Home or Dom Robotnika, which means "worker's home" in Polish, celebrates the community's diverse ethnic heritage.
Notes by Bill Elliott
Vol 85 No 28 -July 21,2008
Dr. Tom Wozniak is the Director of Surgical Lung and Heart Transplantation at Methodist Hospital. He has an Engineering degree from Purdue University and he earned an M.D. from Indiana University in 1989. He joined the Heart Surgeons at Methodist in 1997, having completed his surgical training at Methodist Hospital and his cardiac surgery fellowship in St. Louis.
Dr. Wozniak began by stating that we have come a long way from December 1982 when dentist Barney Clark was the first artificial heart recipient. The machine was quite large and cumbersome; Dr. Clark was supported by it for 112 days. The technology for cardiac support and assist devices is much advanced, so much so that one-half of the scientific papers at cardiac surgery national meetings concerns mechanical heart support.
Heart failure patients are classified by New York Heart Association Class. Type 1 is functional; Type 2 is mildly limited; Type 3 is limited with some shortness of breath on activity; Type 4 is complete bed/chair rest. The treatment of heart failure involves Medical Therapy, Electrical Therapy, Mechanical Support and Heart Transplantation.
Mechanical support may be used for either acute or chronic medical reasons.
Acute mechanical support may be used in treating patients after cardiac surgery, acute myocardial infarction, viral myocardopathy or post-partum heart failure. The categories of the devices are: pulsatile, non-pulsatile, paracorporeal and percutaneous. Dr. Wozniak passed around several pulsatile heart assist devices, the most common type used. The normal heart pumps five liters of blood per minute. The assist devices can pump blood at a rate of one to two liters per minute, which added to the patients own volume, can keep the patient quite functional, which is the goal for patients with a chronic device - even to the point of driving a car.
Acute assist devices act like a splint for the heart in cases following myocardial infarction or as a bridge to a long-term device. Chronic devices are used as: a bridge to heart transplant, bridge to recovery, permanent treatment or in a failed recovery of an acute device. All chronic devices need an external drive line or source. Nearly all of the assist devices are used for the left ventricle, the main pumping chamber of the heart.
Device limitations include size considerations (as many as 40% of people have too small a body habitus), durability - often limited to one and one-half or two years), mobility, and pneumatic vs. electrical. Complications can be bleeding, hemolysis - breaking apart of red blood cells, blood clots, driveline infection - the largest long-term problem, device infection, aortic valve insufficiency and catastrophic device failure. The cost of an assist device is $60-90,000.
Cardiac transplantation is used for coronary artery disease (about one-half the cases), non-ischemic disease, valvular disorders, arrhythmias, or congenital abnormality. The technique involves sewing the new heart in at five locations: left atrium, inferior vena cava, superior vena cava, pulmonary artery and aorta (the main blood vessel leading out of the heart). Heart grafts can fail from preservation or reperfusion injury, rejection, pulmonary hypertension and complications from one of the sites of suture. A three drug regimen is used to prevent rejection of the organ. Complications include: rejection, infection, side effects of immunosuppression medicines - kidney failure, diabetes and lymphoma (a cancer involving the lymph nodes), transplant arteriopathy (disease in the new heart's blood vessels).
The one year survival rate is 90% and the five year survival is 70%. Dr. Wozniak emphasized that medical therapy for heart failure has greatly improved and fewer patients are advancing to severe heart failure. Survival on assist devices is improving and in stages 3 and 4 heart failure, surgical therapy is more often better than a medical treatment. It is well known to most of the public that there is a shortage of organs for transplantation.
Dr. Wozniak wished to thank his older partners who taught him the craft of cardiac surgery - John Pittman, Harry Siderys, Gilbert Herod, Harold Halbrook, John Fehrenbacher, Dan Beckman and David Hormuth.
Notes by Bill Dick
Vol 85 No 29 - July 28,2008
Mr. Graham is a Chemical Engineer with bachelor's and master's degrees from Purdue. He served in Navy Aviation and in the Indiana National Guard. Since retirement from Lilly, he has held positions in Gift of Life International and in Rotary.
Mr. Graham related the story of Hakim Wardak and his son Qudrat. When Hakim was 6 and living in northern Afghanistan, the Russians invaded the country. The Taliban killed all the males over 6 years old in his village, so he fled to Pakistan. After the Russians left Afghanistan, Hakim returned to Kabul, where he was forced to witness a mass execution staged by the Taliban in a stadium.
Mr. Graham's son, on military duty in Afghanistan, found a village of starving people. His unit took up a collection, and used the proceeds to donate humanitarian supplies. In the course of this charity doctors found Qudrat, Hakim's son, and established that his heart was defective and that he would not live long without corrective surgery.
The Rotary Club took Qudrat as their project. They arranged for him to have surgery at Riley Hospital, and they arranged his transportation there. Qudrat was accompanied by a military officer, by his father Hakim, and by an Afghan interpreter. His surgery was conducted successfully, and during his recuperation a nurse at Riley came down with chickenpox. Since there is no chickenpox in Afghanistan, it was feared that Qudrat might carry the infection home with him, so he left Riley and was quarantined, with his father, in Mr. Graham's home.
Over the course of a month Qudrat gained 7 pounds (all the way up to 19 pounds), and considerable strength. Ultimately Qudrat and his father returned home to Afghanistan, where the child unfortunately died after 2 days due to unknown causes. The Rotarians made money available to Hakim, and he used it to recover the 5 children he had given away to avoid their starvation. He also repaired his ancestral home and moved his family in there. Then, he studied English and medicine for 2 years in Pakistan.
His interest in Hakim and Qudrat caused Mr. Graham to become involved in a National Immunization Day in Afghanistan, one of only 4 countries where polio remains a public health problem. The life expectancy at birth in Afghanistan is 42 years, and 25% of children die before age 5. They formed teams of two, one female to talk with the mothers, and one male to provide security, and over 3 days gave oral polio vaccine to 7.2 million children. The Taliban initially resisted the immunization, but relented after their children became sick.
Since these events occurred, the interpreter who accompanied Qudrat to Indiana is ready to graduate from IU and will go to graduate school at Georgetown U. Hakim, whose village has never had any medical care, has started a medical clinic and a school with 120 pupils. Even though the village is located 40 miles from the nearest electricity, Hakim communicates by cell phone that he charges with a solar charger. About once a week he goes to another town to collect his e-mails at an internet café.
Mr. Graham is now interested in funding the building of a school building and the drilling of a well in Hakim's village.
Questions about or contributions for the funding of a school in Hakim's village may be addressed to: World Community Service Foundation, Qudrat School, PO Box 457, Brownsburg, IN 46112. All contributions to the fund are tax-deductible.
Notes by Tom Spradlin
Vol 85 No 30 -August 4,2008
Professor Palma graduated from Arlington High school in Indianapolis and received his undergraduate and postgraduate degrees from Indiana and Rice Universities.
The purpose of these missions was to better understand the solar system and the primordial material from which it evolved. These are the first sample returns since the Apollo 2 mission of the 1970's. The Cassini mission is costing over $1 billion. Genesis and Stardust are a new class of discovery missions designed to cost about $300 million. NASA's aims for current projects to be faster, better and cheaper. These goals are usually but not always accomplished.
Returning samples to Earth is very important. Analysis is then not limited to preconceived ideas and indeed the most important results are usually unexpected.
The sun is used as a source to study original material from which the solar system was formed. The spacecraft for the Genesis mission was equipped with highly sensitive detector plates (wafers) of silicon, sapphire and other materials in a complex array. Solar wind particles of different energies were collected on these detectors to be returned to Earth for study. Nanogram mounts of the noble gases (helium, neon, argon, krypton and xenon), other gasses and ions, some radioactive, were analyzed back on Earth using highly sensitive mass spectrometers. These spectrometers were very sensitive but with limited resolution.
The Genesis space probe lifted off in 2001. It was exposed to the solar wind for 27 months traveling approximately 1% of the distance between the sun and Earth, outside of the Earth's magnetic field. The space craft traveled a well-designed halo orbit. Careful plans were made using two helicopters to grab, in mid-air, the parachuting spacecraft above Utah. Unfortunately because of reverse placement of a key sensor the parachute failed to open. The spacecraft with the laboriously gathered data crashed to the ground in Utah, near the great Salt Lake. It took almost as much ingenuity to rescue the fragmented samples obtained as it did in designing the mission. More than 90% of the material was rescued and work is still ongoing to recover more. Fortunately, the material sought after is inside the detectors not on the surface, where the contamination is located. They have been able to study isotopes of oxygen, nitrogen, noble gases and other elements having originated from the surface of the sun and captured in the solar wind.
The Stardust mission took off in 1999, returning after seven years and a 3,000,000,000 mile trek. Dust particles the probe collected were from the comet Wild-2 and from interplanetary space. Primordial comets travel near the edge of the solar system, and have not changed since the solar system was formed. The orbit of Wild-2 is influenced by the planet Jupiter. The Stardust spacecraft went through the tail of the comet collecting particles in icetray-shaped detectors using an extremely low density, collecting material called aerogel This spacecraft was not designed to be caught in mid air, but rather to land by parachute. In this case, the parachute did open.
The interplanetary dust captured in the tracks produced in the aerogel included iron, nitrogen, sulfides and silicate mineral grains, among other materials. Helium and neon gas were also discovered. The presence of these gases indicate that they were ejected into space from a very hot nebular region close to the sun when the sun was very young.
Notes by G J Kurlander
Vol 85 No 31 -August 11,2008
Mr. Reed is in charge of the chemical destruction of chemical warfare agent VX at the Newport Depot, which is one of 9 depots around the country which are storing and destroying the national supply of such agents. The destruction is required by a multinational treaty intended to eliminate such agents from the world.
Actually, the Depot finished its destruction task on Friday, and Mr. Reed's task is about to shift to the decontamination and demolition of the plant. The plant destroyed 2,545,412 pounds of the agent, which is about 4% of the original US supply of chemical warfare agents.
Agent VX is an extremely toxic organophosphate compound. It is a thick, viscous liquid of very low volatility. Therefore, it sticks where it lands, on people or any surface, does not evaporate, and remains toxic indefinitely because it contains powerful stabilizers. A lethal dose for a human is a few drops anywhere on the body. It has been loaded into rockets, land mines, shells and bombs, but the VX at the Newport Depot is in bulk containers of 175 gallons, 2000 pounds each.
The chemical process used at the Depot consists of emptying the bulk containers into tanks, and mixing the VX with sodium hydroxide (lye) solution at 194 F. The hot lye quickly hydrolyzes the VX, leaving relatively harmless reaction products. Then the reaction mixture is cooled and shipped to a facility in Texas, which mixes the reaction mixture with other (presumably flammable) liquids and incinerates it.
The process is very simple. The safety requirements are extremely onerous. For example, about 4000 samples are analyzed every day to assure that no VX escapes the plant or contaminates the operating area. All handling of VX or mixtures containing it is inside buildings kept under negative pressure, and the exhaust air is filtered through multilayer carbon filters. Those filters, when exhausted, are safely incinerated. Air samples, and wipings from surfaces, are regularly taken and analyzed for traces of VX.
All employees carry auto-injectors of atropine to be immediately injected in the event of a VX spill. None have ever been needed.
The empty VX bulk containers are flushed twice with hot lye, and once with water, and are then heated to about 1300 F in an induction oven.
The hydrolysis of VX is done batchwise, and each tank of reaction mixture is analyzed for traces of remaining VX. If any is found, the tank is reheated and mixed again, and the analysis is repeated. The tank is not released until it passes the analysis test. Nevertheless, the reaction mixture is carefully monitored as it goes to Texas, and rigid safety rules for handling it are followed.
Mr. Reed expects the decontamination and demolition of the plant to take as much as 3 years, because of the extreme care necessary to do the work safely. They will decontaminate everything, including the foundations and concrete slabs, down to 0.7 of the safe exposure limit. All steps in the decontamination will be ventilated and the exhaust air passed through carbon filters.
The equipment will be taken apart first and each piece will be cleaned with lye or heated to high temperature, and then samples will be taken and analyzed to assure no residue is left. Similarly, the buildings will be demolished, the pieces cleaned, and samples of everything analyzed. Eventually, the debris will be landfilled and the site reused. The local development authority is looking for new uses.
Notes by Joe Jones
Vol 85 No 32 -August 18,2008
The Scientech Club toured the recently opened Earth Discovery Center at Eagle Creek Park. Before the tour, the group enjoyed a picnic lunch at the Lilly Lake shelter. Afterward, Dawn Van Deman, naturalist at the facility, conducted a tour of the facility and explained the focus of Discovery Center.
The Center was funded by Lilly Endowment, Inc., Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust and the Eagle Creek Park Foundation. The $3.5 million nature center is the last of the several capitol projects supported by a $10 million Lilly grant - the largest one-time grant in Indy Parks' history.
The 14,000 square-foot facility incorporates green and sustainable design features including recycled plastic furniture, native landscaping, motion-sensored bathroom fixtures, geo-thermal cooling and heating system and photocell outdoor lighting.
Designed by Schmidt & Associates and built by Brandt Construction, the nature center houses live native animal and plant exhibits, wet and dry laboratories, classrooms, resource area, exhibit hall and pond to support a wide array of innovative environmental education programs for park visitors. New landscaping, trails and outdoor deck surrounding the structure adds a scenic setting to the site.
"In an age of nature-deficit children, the Earth Discovery Center offers a world where children can reconnect and discover all the wonders of the natural world," said Joseph Wynns, chairperson of the Board of Parks and Recreation, at the dedication of the facility in 2007.
The facility replaces Lilly Lodge - the old nature center - which will now be the site of an Ornithology Center. Highlights include: school/public programming, live birds, newly renovated exhibit area, student research stations, backyard habitat viewing area and bird sanctuary viewing room. The Ornithology Center is due to open later this summer.
Van Demon showed the assembled group the wet laboratory and explained in detail "tagging" monarch butterflies, and other science-related programs the Center offers students of all ages.
For more complete listing of environmental education programs at the Earth Discovery Center, please call (317) 327-7148 or visit www.indyparks.org.
Notes by James Reid
Vol 85 No 33 -August 25,2008
Dr. Radcliffe provided the club an overview of the Department of Engineering Education at Purdue University in Lafayette, Indiana. This department is leading a transformation in engineering education based upon scholarship and research. Dr. Radcliffe has been with Purdue for 12 months and came from Queensland, Australia. His talk covered three areas: Engineering Education at a Crossroads, School of Engineering at Purdue, and the challenges ahead.
Many challenges face engineering. Declining interest and readiness to study engineering as demand for technology increases. The richness of the engineering experience is not visible and engineering is discovered last. Engineering does not have a presence in formal and informal pre-college education and in the society and culture. The engineering profession does not reflect the diversity of our world. Engineering education started, and may still may be seen, as practice-oriented education. Based on the past, engineering was connected to industry. The future of engineering education will be based upon transformative, evidence-based education. Challenges facing engineering practice include: sustainability, project complexity, risk, working relationally, innovative imperative, disruptive technology, knowledge management, interdisciplinary teams, and working globally. The engineering workforce faces a new changing workforce. Skill gaps exist in key industries, generational change, global mobility, and increased diversity.
Engineering education has gotten a global call to action. These include: engineer as a specialist, engineer as an integrator, and engineer as a change agent.
The goals of the Department of Engineering Education include the following: Elevate the 1st year engineering program to preeminence, establish an educational research and scholarship base, develop graduate programs in engineering education programs, establish stronger partnerships with industry, government and P-12 community, and a greater emphasis on leadership and policy. The department now has over 20 faculty, and 20 students in a PhD program.
The vision of this department is: A more inclusive, socially connected and scholarly engineering education. From the vision the following mission statement has been developed: Re-imagine engineering and engineering education - diversity engineering, embed creativity, innovation and social responsibility and enrich the student experience.
This year Purdue will implement a new Ideas-2-Innovation laboratory for all freshmen students (1700- 1800 students) This will change the first year experience. The goal is to inspire a generation via grand challenges. The pillars of this program are to include research/discovery, education/learning, and engagement/outreach.
The challenges ahead require no more guess work. Dr. Radcliffe believes the following are required: Recognize the need; Build a community of scholars, research and specialists; Assemble a body of core knowledge; Develop a coherent research agenda; Link research to practice; Advance engineering education culture and our vocabulary; Define rules of engagement; Elevate and maintain standards and regulate quality; Disseminate new knowledge in top tier, peer-reviewed journals.
His department hopes to provide engineering graduates with knowledge and abilities for the 21st century. Educators will access research-based practices for tomorrow's engineers. Tomorrow's engineers will have diversity and a literate workforce.
Dr. Radcliffe ended his talk saying that we are not providing enough Ph (philosophy) for our engineers.
Notes by Hank Wolfla
Vol 85 No 34 -September 8,2008
A bus load of Scientech Club members and guests traveled to Dayton, OH on Monday, September 8, 2008 to visit the AF Museum. The museum currently has seven galleries of aircraft displays:
Early Years Gallery
Air Power Gallery
Modern Flight Gallery
Cold War Gallery
Missile and Space Gallery
Many of the group were fortunate to attend two excellent tours of many of the galleries, both conducted by Museum Guide Beverly Smith
Early Years Gallery
The Early Years Gallery describes the formative days of military air power. The aircraft collection chronicles the time from the Wright brothers through World War I and leads up to World War II.
Air Power Gallery
The Air Power Gallery presents very informative exhibits describing the US Army Air Force during World War II. The gallery presents key moments and figures of the US Army Air Forces participation in both the European and Pacific theaters.
Modern Flight Gallery
This gallery reflects the emergence of modern US Air Force aircraft. The Southeast Asia War offers aircraft and exhibits that convey the Air Force's involvement, highlighting key air campaigns such as Rolling Thunder and Linebacker. Some of the better known aircraft on display are the F86 Sabre Jet, Mig 15, F4D Phantom, Mig 21. It was most interesting to note that two of the most recent additions to the Air Force, the F22 Raptor air superiority fighter and RQ4 Global Hawk UAV surveillance aircraft, were on display.
Cold War Gallery
The Cold War gallery features aircraft that span the years of the Cold War and reveal how technological achievements of the era led to the advanced systems being applied to modern combat. The collection presents a broad range of platforms such as fighters, long range bombers, attack aircraft, reconnaissance, airlift, and trainers. Also include is the world's only permanent public display of a B2 Stealth bomber.
Missile & Space Gallery
The Missile & Space galley is contained in a silo-like structure that stands 140 feet high. Missiles such as the Titan I and II and Jupiter can be viewed from ground level or from an elevated plated form that is positioned around the inside circumference of the gallery. Other satellites, rocket engines Mercury and Gemini capsules and balloon gondolas are on display.
A Boeing VC-137C known as SAM (Special Air Mission) 26000, the aircraft that served as Air Force One, the day of President John F. Kennedy's assassination, stands as the centerpiece of the Presidential Gallery. In addition, the presidential aircraft of Franklin D. Roosevelt, Harry Truman and Dwight Eisenhower can be entered.
The R&D gallery honors the R&D/Flight Test pioneers who have sought to achieve greater air power possibilities. On display is the XB70.
Notes by Jim Bettner
Vol 85 No 35 -September 15,2008
Dr. Smith is involved with an ongoing research project studying stuttering. It is funded by the National Institute of Hearth and began in the late 1980's.
The onset of juvenile stuttering is typically around three years of age. If the condition persists beyond the age of ten then it's typically a lifelong, chronic problem. Stuttering is a condition that adversely affects a person's education, social life and career. It affects about 1 percent of the world population.
The research project initially attempted to determine what was happening physiologically when adults stutter. What the team determined was that adults that stutter have a speech-motor system that is extremely vulnerable. If the linguistic content is more complex or if the emotional demands are increased then there is an increased risk of stuttering.
When a person speaks the brain has multiple tasks to handle: breathing must be controlled, voicing is controlled and oral movements are controlled. There are many commands going out and an extensive amount of feedback to deal with. In adults who stutter the motor system breaks down. This breakdown is influenced by language factors and psychosocial factors. Even when adults who stutter are reading and not speaking their brain waves show different activity than non-stuttering adults.
The question then became: does stuttering in a four or five year old show the same differences that are present in adults? The project shifted its attention to young children with the objective of predicting who will recover from stuttering.
Stuttering is multiple-factor disorder. It is a breakdown of motor, linguistic, cognitive, psychosocial and genetic factors. It is no longer accepted that stuttering has a single cause.
Children appear to be born with a set of genetic characteristics that make them more likely to stutter. Identical twins will not, however, necessarily both stutter. It seems to be the result of an interaction of genetics with the environment.
The percentage of young children that stutter is about five percent, higher than the adult population. There is currently no way to predict which children will become chronic and which of them will recover. The research project is developing methods of bring the physiological measures down to the level of four and five year old children. The issue becomes how to record brain waves and muscle activity on children this young.
The project has three laboratories, one in Iowa and two at Purdue. The team brings kids in for testing once a year for five years.
Testing reveals subtle motor deficits, problems with oral movements and irregular brain activity when not speaking in adults who stutter. The team has configured testing to accommodate young children. The first year of testing is now complete and the results are available.
Motor deficits were measured with a clapping test. A complex measuring system records a five year old clapping. The results show stuttering kids are outside the normal range of their peer group.
Oral movements are measured by kids verbally repeating simple sentences and pseudo-words. Kids who stutter also fall outside the normal range of measurement.
Muscle activity is measured and, interestingly, shows low levels for people who stutter and a high level of tension.
Brain wave studies of children not speaking are measured. Tones were played and brain waves recorded and significant differences were recorded for oddball sounds or cartoons with errors.
Results for the first year indicate that the brains of young children are already beginning to "wire-up" differently. Even basic motor and language areas show differences. The evidence suggests that early intervention is critical. The neuron connections in the brain are experience-dependent.
Research shows more neurons and more connections when exposed to a stimulus-rich environment. The data seems to support the conclusion that kids must grow up with the right language / speech / hearing experiences to get their brains modeled and connected for fluent speech.
Notes by James Reid
Vol 85 No 36 -September 22,2008
The Global Trade Analysis Project (GTAP) forms the basis for analyzing the impact of Biofuel policies and Greenhouse Gas Emissions on land use change. Dr. Hertel's presentation reviewed the role of GTAP in assessing the impact of US corn ethanol production on global land use and crop land conversion. The motivation for GTAP was the increasing demand for quantitative analysis of global economic issues. Historically in-house agencies (USDA, FAO, World Bank) and a few university-based programs have been performing this work.
GTAP provides the advantages of both approaches based on academia and global based models. GTAP provides reports that are fully documented, publicly available, easy to use with regular courses, and accessible to non-modelers. GTAP establishes standards, and brings it all together into one analytical data base. The core support comes from 25 institutions, and keeps the project policy-focused. The data base provides global coverage, bilateral tariffs, data/shipping margins, greenhouse gas emissions, and global land use. There are 6524 members, six regions, with Asia and Europe representing 59% and North America representing 21%. Projects include agricultural policies, energy, emissions and climate change mitigation, global land use impacts of trade/environmental policies, biofuels that combines energy, agriculture and land use features.
Biofuels from agricultural sources have contributed to higher commodity prices, affecting food, feed, and livestock markets. Biofuels were previously viewed as potentially reducing green house emissions, but recent work has called these findings into question. Two recent papers in Science identify land use change in the rest of the world as a key driver of increasing green house gas emissions from biofuels. GTAP has been commissioned by the US-EPA and CARB to provide input into their rule-making. The main factor behind the boom in biofuels has been: higher priced petroleum, premium placed on energy security, and climate change. Political support to boost farm income is also a key factor.
Between 2001 and 2006, ethanol has seen a 23% increase in production, while biodiesel has seen a 43% increase. The net returns for ethanol productions has been high, but the drop in oil price, and the increasing value of corn has stopped the expansion of these plants, and many are showing losses even with the government incentives. The US renewable fuel standard is 15 billion gallons of ethanol production by 2015.
The following factors impact expanding the ethanol production in the US: price of corn and corn land, yield increase, displacement of other crops, conversion of pasture/forest to crops, and change in yields in expanded crop acreage. Global impacts include: increasing US demand for corn, reduced supply of other crops, livestock products and other biofuels, effect of trade patterns, global yields, higher prices, decline in food consumption due to higher prices. Corn for biofuel has increased the harvested area by 16%, but reduced the oil seed and other grains by 14%.
As usual the members had many good questions, including the effect of water usage, and natural gas usage. Likewise the speaker mentioned the efficiency of using sugar cane for ethanol production as Brazil has, and the role of tariffs of 51% and the likelihood that this could change.
Dr. Hertel did an excellent job of showing how biofuels affect more than just the United States and our economy.
Further details on GTAP may be found at https://www.gtap.agecon.purdue.edu/default.asp
Notes by Hank Wolfla
Vol 85 No 37 -September 29,2008
First, we must acknowledge the kind hospitality of Major Tool. They gave us several knowledgeable and friendly guides for the morning, toured us in small groups, and told us all about their processes. We had a fine tour.
Major Tool was founded 60 years ago by two young men just out of the armed forces. They wanted to name the company General Tool, but someone else had that name, so they settled for Major Tool! The company is now owned by a son of one of the founders, and a third generation is working for the company now as well.
Major Tool is a very large job shop. It sells no products, but makes metal parts for other companies. They work with metals from aluminum to hard superalloys, and can make one unique item or thousands of identical items. It has about 320 employees in a 500,000 sq ft facility on East 19th Street, and is an ISO 9001:2000 and AS 9100(B) certified manufacturer. It can fabricate parts up to 60 tons in its plant, can mill parts up to 100 feet, and lathe-turn parts up to 37 feet. Its welders are certified for nuclear work, for fired pressure vessels, and for a great many metals and alloys. What do you want made?
Presently its largest contract is for gas centrifuge cylinders for the nuclear industry. We saw sections of housings for the Aries rocket in the plant, and numerous pieces for large gas turbines, including sections of ducts and multiple-layer housings.
Interestingly, Major Tool is now working with local high schools to locate youngsters with aptitude who might become its employees. It is now difficult to hire experienced people and they hope that they can train their own more successfully.
Major Tool puts great emphasis on quality assurance and on rational organization of the enterprise. Everything we saw was very clean, considering the process being done, and very neat. Tools are racked, and every workpiece has its barcoded work ticket with it.
Often the customer will supply Major with an accurate 3-dimensional drawing of the part to be made, but sometimes they do not and Major's engineers must then create a completely dimensioned drawing from a sample or whatever they are given by the customer.
Their processes are completely computer tracked, and each step is completely described and rationalized. At any time a manager or machine operator can look up an item by number and see where it is, what step is to be done to it next, whose hands it is in, and when it will go to the next process.
In-process quality checks are done, and recorded, frequently. We were told of a tolerance of .005 inch on a 20-foot workpiece. The entire facility is temperature-controlled to avoid inaccuracies caused by temperature variance. Sometimes a large workpiece must be liquid-cooled when heavy cuts are done on it. Substantially all operations we saw are computer-controlled and robotic, from burning out rough workpieces from plate metal, to painting the finished product.
A group of mind-boggling vignettes seen in the plant:
* Numerous 8-foot steel complicated sections for Caterpillar dozer track tensioners. Caterpillar fabricates these and Major does many precise machine operations on them.
* A section of an Aries rocket on a flat-bed trailer, 15 feet tall and overhanging the trailer on both sides.
* A 100' robotic cell in which 8 machines do successive operations on parts up to 30" diameter.
* A rolling mill which can roll stainless up to ¾" thick into cylinders from 29" diameter, up to as high as the roof.
Notes by Joe Jones
Vol 85 No 38 -October 6,2008
Dr. Nawrocki is the Distinguished Professor of Forensic Studies at the University of Indianapolis, where he works in the Archaeology and Forensics Laboratory. He received his bachelor's degree in anthropology and psychology from the University of Maine, and his master's and doctorate degrees from the State University of New York, Binghamton.
In terms of definition, "anthropology" is the study of humans, and "forensic" refers to an argument to a court during a trial. Scientists like Dr. Nawrocki do not have the intent of solving crimes. Instead, their job is to evaluate evidence that might be useful in trials.
The job of a forensic scientist has two basic parts: to recover human remains, and to analyze them. This work is generally done for police and coroners. Generally, this involves incomplete remains, probably decomposed to some extent, that are not immediately identifiable.
There are basically 3 questions in the cases where forensic scientists are consulted. Whose remains are they? When did he/she die? And how did he/she die? These questions are complicated by the fact that many remains are not modern (i.e., they were from an earlier society irrelevant to legal investigations today), some are not even human, and all the soft tissues are generally gone.
Dr. Nawrocki defined archaeology as a subfield of anthropology that deals with the controlled recovery and excavation of remains and associated evidence. Archaeology is not so interested in finding things, but instead in trying to understand the past. He emphasized the importance of careful excavation. He showed an example of a kind of map that he produces to provide a schematic overview of the scene of remains. These maps are made not for scientists, but for the public, including police, courts, juries, etc.
He also showed examples in which careful recovery unveiled clues which would not be apparent from a simple collection of physical evidence. For example, careful collection disclosed a kneeprint left in the mud by the person depositing a body in a clandestine grave. A "halo" of unusually colored earth can help locate a grave, and various tools for digging might leave characteristic marks that can provide clues. He cited one case where careful recovery preserved good evidence of a ligature around the neck, and this evidence would not have been so apparent if the excavation had been careless.
The laboratory has a collection of human and non-human bones that they can use in making identifications of remains. In the case of human remains, the biologic profile they attempt to compile has 5 elements: ancestry, sex, age at death, stature, and distinguishing features. Various measurements can be taken on any bit of remains, and there are databases available which help in judging whether the decedent is more likely male or female, child or adult, etc.
The university has an M.S. program in Human Biology, and the students in the program do a good deal of the work of recovering and analyzing remains.
In response to a question Dr. Nawrocki said they are having very good success in extracting DNA from bones, even from bones 10000 or more years old. He thinks this will be a valuable tool in identification of remains.
Notes by Tom Spradlin
Vol 85 No 39 -October 13,2008
John Cote is a liberal arts graduate of Indiana University in Bloomington. He has been a full-time and part-time photographer. Currently he is in sales with the Fuji Corporation selling digital imaging equipment.
His talk included details about: 1. How a camera sees, as with lenses and sensors. 2. How the human eye sees. 3. Why it matters. That is making pictures that are satisfactory to the photographer and buying equipment that makes sense to accomplish this.
In the transition from film to memory cards it is certainly easier to make more pictures. This has resulted in added responsibility for the photographer in terms of sorting the pictures as well as image modification with Photoshop. This transition has not necessarily resulted in better pictures.
In film photography the density and distribution of the exposed film grains define the image. This provides a continuous tonal gradient. In digital imaging, the sensor grid defines the tones with pixels defining the tonal shifts. Therefore more exposed film grains produce a darker analog image, and more processed pixels produce a darker digital image.
There are now available 65 megapixel digital cameras with the capability of producing image quality, similar that obtained by Ansel Adams.
The camera lens focuses the light photons upon a sensor. The sensor is a silicon wafer chip upon which there are photo buckets..The red green blue spectrum of light is utilized after passing through a filter. There is spacing between these photo buckets, which do not cover the whole sensor. A Bayer pattern sensor grid is utilized. More green is captured in this grid, because the eyes and brain are more sensitive to this color. The colors in the grid are extrapolated and weighted with other colors to produce the image.
In digital photography there is always background noise. The larger the sensor , the more photo buckets containing photons the better the signal to noise ratio and the better the picture. Or to put it another way, the bigger the sensor the less background noise, the better the picture. From this one can see that the parameters for evaluating the quality of a camera depend not only on megapixels, but also on the sensor and the lens.
Most smaller cameras capture the image in a JPEG format. A larger camera may record all of the information and from this extensive data set there is room for complex image manipulation and presentation in other formats. A smaller camera with a three to four mega pixel capability is fine for its 4 x 6 size print or perhaps even slightly larger. For a very large print, one would want a higher mega pixel capability.
The eye and brain see more of an image range than any film or censor. The brain acts as an analog to digital converter. In seeing the brain builds an image, and that is what is remembered and stored in memory. Digital images can be stored locally, as well as online, The images can be stored permanently on a computer, on CDs or even on accessory hard drives. They can also be stored off-site with commercial facilities such as Flickr, and Photobucket.
Small cameras can work fine for snapshots. Making photographic art really requires a larger camera than the pocket snapshot device. The larger cameras with larger sensors provide an improved signal-to-noise ratio, better resolution, more mega pixels and faster shutter speeds. With the pocket cameras, there can be a significant lag in the time between exposures. The larger cameras have reduced this lag so that Mr. Cote has made images at the Indianapolis Speedway as fast as six pictures in short succession which have stopped motion in a race car at 235 mph. These larger cameras also allow for changes in lenses so that one can change quickly from a wide angle to a telephoto lens as needed.
With post processing with Photoshop, one can produce images similar to those made in the darkroom with film. The same effects can be achieved as in the dark room when, various filters, paper types, film speed etc were employed. One can produce a digital image with post processing, similar to the magnificent images made by Ansel Adams with his laborious camera and darkroom manipulation.
Notes by Gerald Kurlander
Vol 85 No 40 -October 20,2008
Dr. Giles Hoyt gave an extremely interesting talk on the migration of Germans to the state of Indiana. He is an expert on the history of German immigration and culture in the Midwest. Mr. Hoyt serves as an active and influential board member of the foundation for the Deutsche Haus-Athenaeum, the historic building in downtown Indianapolis that has been a center for German-American arts, athletics and political thought for more than a century. He founded and serves as director of the Max Kade German-American Research and Resource Center, an IUPUI academic unit that is located in the building.
Much of his material is from his personal studies and from The Max Kade Foundation (http://www.ulib.iupui.edu/kade/gacinfo.html), named after the prominent German-American business man whose product 'Pertussin' is known throughout the country, provided a grant to the German Department of Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis to develop a research center for German-American Studies. (http://www.ulib.iupui.edu/kade/SGAS/sgasin.html)
Germans have been immigrating to the United States for at least the last 3 to 4 centuries. The reasons for the migration have largely been religious and economics. The first migration involved the Anabaptists who were fleeing religious persecution from the Protestants and Catholics from Germanic areas in Europe. These Mennonites first settled in Pennsylvania and founded a city which they called Germantown. They arrived in Indiana, pushed West by a need for land and economic forces that developed in Pennsylvania.
In the early 1840's, there was a famine in Europe and there was a spike in immigration. These people were primarily interested in obtaining land for farming. These peoples settled outside of New England and outside of the South as they hated slavery. They are in Ohio, Indiana, Michigan, Illinois, Iowa, the Dakotas, Minnesota, etc. Coming also with this migration were younger sons fleeing the primogenitor laws and customs of Germany.
A third wave of German immigrants came in the 1880's. These were talented artisans displaced by the Industrial Revolution instituted by Otto Eduard Leopold von Bismarck First Chancellor of the German Empire.
Smaller numbers of Germans arrived after WWI and WWII. Famous after WWII were the German war brides.
One famous settlement in Indiana is Oldenburg. Oldenburg was founded in the late 1830's by a group of German Settlers. Incorporated in 1869, Oldenburg is called the "Village of Spires" because of its churches and religious educational institutions. The town proudly preserves its religious, cultural, and architectural heritage.
A second famous settlement is New Harmony. New Harmony, formerly named Harmony, was founded by the Harmony Society, headed by George Rapp (also known as Johann Georg(e) Rapp) in 1814. This was the second of three towns built by the pietist, a communal German religious group, known as Harmonists, Harmonites or Rappites.
A third is Shipshewana. Shipshewana and LaGrange County are home to the "plain people": Mennonite and Amish. Their influence contributes to Shipshewana's unique small town atmosphere, which is also characterized by quaint downtown buildings, quality schools, a gracious park, a library of distinction, and a respect for people of faith, all of which are highly valued by its many long time residents.
Germans of particular interest to Indianapolis come from the Turner family and the 48ers (Germans emigrating fleeing the failed European Revolution). Some lived in Lockerbie (Germantown) in Indianapolis and prospered economically and are responsible for several buildings, most notable are the Scottish Rite Cathedral, and the Athenaeum (Das Deutsche Haus).
Notes by Bill Elliott
Vol 85 No 41 -October 27,2008
A goup of Scientech Club members and guests traveled to Fowler, IN on October 27, to tour the Benton County Wind farm. Mr. James Bricker, Purdue Extension, Benton County, boarded our bus, directed the bus to Earl Park, IN and provided an excellent orientation as to the details of the developing wind farm industry in Benton County.
Use of wind energy has become a viable and substantial strategy for expanding renewable electricity production in the Midwest. The 850 megawatt (MW) utility-scale wind farms currently under development in Benton County are evidence of the wind energy potential in the state and of opportunities for rural economic development from wind power.
Energy concerns related to prices, supply, environment, and pending carbon-reducing legislation have led to the emergence of wind energy as one technology to help fulfill our increasing energy needs. The U.S. Department of Energy recently proposed producing 20% of our nation's electricity via wind power by year 2030. This will require expansion of wind power to 290,000 MW in the next 22 years throughout the U. S. To put this in perspective, one megawatt of power is enough electricity to meet the demands of about 300 U.S. households.
The wind farms in Benton County are expected to become the largest concentration of wind turbines in the world with a planned total of more than 900 turbines. There are three wind farm projects underway in the county, namely:
Benton County Wind Farm
Project is being developed by Orion Energy
87 GE 1.5 megawatt turbines are now active with 48 more planned covering 11 miles in the NW corner of the county.
Total height = 240ft column + 22ft nacelle + 110ft blade = 372 ft total height
Blade rotational speed = 15 rpm
No bat or bird kills have been recorded to date
Duke Energy has purchased 135 MW of power with the electricity sent to Chicago,Ill market.
Fowler Ridge Wind Farm
Project is being developed by BP Alternate Energy
Phase I will include 188 1.65MW Vesta turbines with a rotor diameter of 269 ft. and 40 2.5MW Clipper turbines with a rotor diameter of 314 ft. on 50,000 acres covering 12 miles in the center of the county
Phase II will include 248 additional turbines
Dominion Resources, Richmond ,VA has purchased 600 MW, to be directed to the Appalachian Electric Co.
Hoosier Wind Project
Project will be developed by Enco partnering with Indianapolis P&L
Project will include 51 turbines on 6000 acres covering 7 miles in the NE corner of the county
A large selection of pictures taken during construction of the Benton County Wind Farm is available at the following web site:
Each of the pictures can be enlarged to a really large size. Details about the 1.5MW GE wind turbines, including a complete pdf brochure, may be found at:
Notes by Jim Bettner
Vol 85 No 42 -November 3,2008
The Ropkey Armor Museum is owned by the Ropkey family and was incorporated in 1982 by Fred and his son Rick. Skip Warvel, curator of the museum and internationally recognized for his expertise in tank restoration, assisted Fred with our tour of the museum.
According to Fred his interest in collecting started at the age of eight when he received his great grandfather's Civil War pistol. Later that year he received a War of 1812 Officer's sword from his father. Thus began a life long passion for military history.
From 1949 to 1955 Fred served with the United States Marine Corps. After receiving his commission at Quantico, Fred served as a Tank Platoon Leader on M4A3E8 (105) and the early T48 Patton tanks.
Various vehicles of different types and ages are on display from Fred's first, an M3A1 scout car, to several WWII era Shermans to a modern day M109 155mm self-propelled howitzer. Most of the vehicles have been restored to like new condition.
The museum was originally located on the Ropkey family farm located in Pike Township, Indianapolis and many of the vehicles were stored in open hangars. Fred sold the property and relocated the museum to a 50-acre site near Crawfordsville in 2004; the majority of the collection was moved indoors and is now housed in a new heated and air-conditioned facility. The most recent addition is the half-mile grass runway and new hangar to accommodate the museum's vintage aircraft.
The collection includes an extremely rare World War I M1917 tank whose restoration is nearly complete. It is the first U.S. Tank and of French design. The track system was produced by C. L. Best Tractor Co., a company that in 1925 merged with Holt Manufacturing Company to form the present-day Caterpillar Tractor Company.
The collection also boasts an operating World War I Holt/Caterpillar armored bulldozer. In addition there are Patton tanks, an M4A3 105mm Sherman tank, an M26 Pershing tank, just to name a few. Several foreign models are also displayed.
In addition to tanks and armor, the Ropkey's have several rare aircraft. The Ropkey's saved a hand-built, one-of-a-kind Bell X-14 jet trainer from the scrap pile. This aircraft was constructed in 1957 for use by NASA as a simulator for the lunar landing module used by the Apollo astronauts. It is clearly the forerunner of the Harrier jump jet designed by the British and used around the world. The Ropkey's have secured substantial records documenting its use by all the Apollo astronauts.
Additionally the museum has on display a variety of tank engines including air-cooled v-type and air-cooled radial piston, as well as all manor of accessories.
The Ropkey Armor Museum was born with its mission to preserve our military heritage for generations to come. It is located just east of I-74, north of State Road 32 on county road 150 North in Crawfordsville, Indiana. The museum is open March-December, Monday-Friday from 10:30AM - 4:30PM or by appointment. More pictures may be viewed at the Museum website: www.ropkeyarmormuseum.com
Notes by Jim Reid
Vol 85 No 43 -November 10,2008
The program told the story of the Stanley's Elderhostel trip to Cambodia and Vietnam in 2007. You had to be there-the Stanley's many pictures are excellent and this account will be pale without the pictures.
They flew three days to Cambodia, and went first to the famous temples built between the 9th and 15th centuries by the Angkor Dynasty, who ruled a vast territory. Outstanding among the hundreds of stone buildings that remain is Angkor Wat, built in the 12th century. It was a Hindu temple, one of the largest religious monuments on earth, surrounded by a moat 4 miles long. But Angkor Thom, the walled capitol of Angkor, covers 4 square miles and is enclosed by a 26-foot stone wall. All the Angkor buildings are decorated with stone carvings. Huge Buddha heads are found on one temple, and it is still used as a Buddhist temple.
Cambodia is a poverty-stricken country, with an 85% rate of survival to 5 years of age. It was colonized by France in 1847. France was ousted in the 1950s by Viet Minh troops from Vietnam (battle of Dien Bien Phu). In the 1970s the country was ruled by the murderous Khymer Rouge under Pol Pot, and later was overrun by the Vietnamese.
The Stanleys visited Siem Reap (which means Defeat of Siam), which is near the lake of Tonle Sap. The lake is connected to the Mekong River by a short river, and in flood season water runs from the river into the lake and enlarges its area by a factor of 6. Therefore, people live in floating villages-homes, schools, businesses, boat yards, all on floating barges, riding safely whatever the stage of flood.
Phnom Penh is on the Mekong near Tonle Sap. It has many fine old buildings, but it also was the base of the Pol Pot regime. Under him about one/fourth of the population, and virtually all educated people, were killed. The country has not recovered from the loss.
The Stanleys' tour group boarded a big river boat, and went down the Mekong to Vietnam. The Mekong is the highway, full of boats and ships of all sizes and used for all purposes. Many are so heavily loaded that they appear to be underwater.
Vietnam is a bustling, busy, thriving country, but its agriculture is still animal- and people-powered. It seems that the Viet Cong generals who took power in the 1970s tried to bring in Russian-style power farm machinery, but no one could use it and the collective farms failed. So they gave everyone a little plot of land, and they still farm quite successfully by the ancient methods.
Saigon is thriving, its docks full of ships and streets full of traffic. The Stanleys found that the way to cross a street is in the middle of a block--don't look either way, just wade through, and traffic will flow around you. From Saigon they flew to Hanoi in the far north, where they could not visit the Ho Chi Minh mausoleum, because Ho was in Russia for annual maintenance on his embalmed body.
Finally, they went to the far northeast to see a bay full of small islands, really individual stones, looking like the famous Guilin area in China.
Notes by Joe Jones
Vol 85 No 44 -November 17,2008
The Kelley school provides a business forecast for the United States for Indiana and for Indianapolis.
Several forces are in place to provide an almost perfect storm for the United States economy. The stock market in the United States is down almost 40% this year to this point. In the recession of 2001 and 2002, the terrorist attack of 9/11 and the Internet bubble were major factors. The Federal Reserve lowered interest rates, and that encouraged borrowing to create and develop business activity which helped end the recession. In the current economic downturn, the bursting of the housing bubble has replaced the Internet bubble.
Over the years, foreign investors have made money in the United States markets. Investments made before 1929 up until recently, would have averaged approximately 10-12% per year. The United States therefore has been a safe place to invest with a good return and with beneficial effects for the economy.
Real estate in the United States has always been a good investment because it almost always went up over time and was safe. Large numbers of mortgage loans were made with low interest rates. Unfortunately many of these loans were subprime. That is, they were given to individuals with poor credit ratings, and with little documentation of their ability to repay the loans. Mortgage brokers and banks bundled together, mortgages into packages containing loans from credit worthy individuals, as well as from poor credit risks. Some of these individuals with poor credit who could never previously get a mortgage loan and had little or no income looked at this as "free money". These bundled mortgages were sold all over the United States and abroad and were considered to be very safe investments. The banks and other institutions selling these packaged loans bought insurance from insurance companies (i.e.A.I.G.) to reduce their risk.
In 2005 and 2006 the Federal Reserve began raising interest rates to avoid or reduce inflation. The economy was getting overheated. The banks, mortgage brokers and insurance companies did not realize the very poor savings rates of most Americans. In the 1960s and 70s, savings rates were almost 10%. But just a few years ago, savings were -1%, meaning many people spent more than they earned. Of the mortgages issued many were of the adjustable rate type, that is the initial rates were low but over time, these rates increased. That was all right as long as housing prices continued to rise, because the mortgages could be refinanced. When the housing prices started to decline the borrowers could not pay the increasing rates. Their homes were worth less than they owed They were "upside down" with their mortgages. The lending banks were largely at fault for this, because they did not do their "due diligence" in deciding to whom to grant mortgages.
As home foreclosures increased that further depressed housing values. The financial industry did not know how to disengage the subprime loans to accurately price the bundled mortgages. These became " toxic assets". Since many of the lenders purchased insurance on these bundled mortgages they went to the insurance companies to collect, placing great strain on these insurers. With all of the non-forming loans, money available for other loans dried up. We are paying for the sin of failing to save. In addition, the size of the government more than doubled in the past eight years consuming money .
Household wealth has been decreasing over the past year with the drop in the stock market and with the decreasing home values. Americans are now reducing their spending substantially and in many cases because of the potential for job loss. Two thirds of the economic activity of the United States results from consumer spending so this is adding to our economic problems. Consumer confidence is at a record low. In 2008 approximately 2 million jobs will have been lost.
A recession is defined as two quarters of negative growth. We are considered to be in the worst recession since the early 1980s and we are just at the beginning of the current recession. The thought is that growth will probably occur again in the fourth quarter of next year and perhaps be in the one to 2% level in 2010. The stock market bottom may be at the 6500 to 7000 level for the Dow Jones Industrial Average.
In the 1990 to 1991 recession unemployment was at 7.5% .The prediction is that in this recession, it will reach 8 to 9%. A depression as in the 1930s is not predicted. The government now has more knowledge and more tools available to deal with the current crisis. This could result in more regulation, which in itself tends to punish risk-taking and entrepreneurship.
Indiana has not grown significantly in the past two years. Only Ohio and Michigan have done worse. Unemployment is less in Indiana that in neighboring states, largely as a result of exports helped by the weak dollar. Fortunately, Indianapolis has a more stable manufacturing, and life science base. The entertainment and retail business in Indianapolis is doing poorly however. Real estate in our area is actually improving, primarily because housing prices in the recent past have been among the lowest in the nation. Housing prices have increased about 6%, with continued reduction in the number of unsold homes. The rate of unemployment in Indiana is predicted to be about 1% less than the national average.
Notes by Jerry Kurlander
Vol 85 No 45 -November 24,2008
The club membership met today at the Indiana State
Museum for a tour of the paleontology laboratories
and storage facilities. Thanks for the effort of our
club member/board member Dee Slater who made
this tour available.
The Indiana State Museum preserves, interprets and presents material evidence of Indiana's cultural and natural history. The tour today allowed the club members to see how natural paleontology finds in Indiana are discovered, cleaned, classified, and stored. The laboratories and storage is located near the loading dock of the facility, and has been in its present facility since 2002. It is here where buckets, bags, and crates are stored. These items are used once the site has been found and permission to dig has been obtained. The owners of most sites over the years have donated the find to the state. With the advent of the Internet now many owners are seeking financial rewards. The state does not pay for any archeological dig site.
We first saw the pumps, screens, and other equipment needed to excavate the finds throughout the state. The bones, gravel, and other small artifacts first go to the Wet Lab for cleaning. Dee Slater spends many of her volunteer hours in the wet lab. Small items are placed in grids ½ cm x 10 cm deep screens for washing. No only are they looking for the large skeleton remains, but likewise the small skeletons that can give clues to the environment.
The next laboratory was the Prep Lab where the bones and other items are again cleaned. The beginning of the labeling of each item is started in this laboratory. If necessary, mitochondrial DNA is taken and/or a small piece of bone is provided for radio carbon dating. Each radio carbon dating has a cost of $750.00. Only bone collagen is used for radio carbon dating. Mitochondrial DNA is the only DNA studied, and if the find is located in a bog, DNA is not available. The soil around the bone has too much DNA to classify the animal. Large and small bones are placed in a resin to stop the degeneration of the bone. The bones are not yet fossils, and can be easily fractured.
The Clean Lab is where the cataloging of each item is done and is the center for collection management.
The museum works closely with the Children's Museum, and gets donations from other local, private organizations, and individuals. Each item is cataloged, given a specific identification number, and then stored at the facility. The storage room is a temperature and humidity controlled area. Each of the items are stored in movable file storage devices. Specially built shelving have been constructed for larger items such as Mastodon skulls and tusks.
Mastodons are common in Indiana, and some sites will have as many as 7 individuals at one site. The oldest dig was at Pipe Creek Junior Quarry with a 5 million year old rhinoceros.
An interesting part of the storage area were small boxes with the complete skeleton remains of Indiana animals. These boxes were referred to as tool boxes used in matching a single bone with a specific species.
A large percentage of the work done in these laboratories is done by volunteers. This science and research is just one area of the work done by the museum, staff and volunteers.
A few of our members enjoyed lunch in the Ayres Tea Room that many of us remember from years past at L.S. Ayres.
Notes by Hank Wolfla
Vol 85 No 46 -December 1,2008
Wine makes itself. Leave grapes to settle in a container, and they will eventually rupture. The yeast on the skin, when exposed to the juice, will make wine. People are known to have been making wine for at least 8000 years, but much of the sophistication is recent.
Most wineries do not own their own vineyards. Chateau Thomas buys grapes and juice from vineyards in the Napa Valley, the Sonoma Valley, Lodi, CA, or Washington's Yakima Valley. Grapes are monitored for sugar levels to determine when they are ready for harvest. They can be picked by a mechanical device, or by hand.
For making white wine, the winery receives either juice in tankers or grapes in bins. If they use the grapes, they must first be pressed to remove the juice and the skins are discarded. Enzymes are added to the juice to help in the development of flavors and aromas. The wine can be fermented in tanks at 40-60° F for 2-8 weeks. The tanks usually have to be cooled, because the fermentation is exothermic. Also, the fermentation can be carried out in barrels at 50-65° F.
Red wine production follows a somewhat different course. The grapes arrive in a truck refrigerated to 34° F to prevent the onset of fermentation. The grapes are sorted to remove foreign materials, and then stems are removed mechanically. The grapes are "crushed," which actually simply ruptures the fruit so that the juice and pulp come in contact with the skin, which is the origin of much of the flavor and color. The "must" (the product of crushing) is analyzed chemically so that fermenting yeast can be selected.
Red wine is fermented at temperatures up to 90° F, for 3-10 days. The fermentation begins with the addition of yeast and yeast nutrients, along with malolactic bacteria to soften some of the acids that are produced. Some fermentation is also carried out in small bins for quality control purposes.
During fermentation, CO² rises to the top, carrying grape skins with it. (In fact, CO² accumulation is the #1 health hazard associated with working in a winery, and exhaust fans are used to remove it, from floor level, from the building.) With time, the skins form a firm mass called the cap. The cap must be punched down into the wine below, or wine pumped over it, to keep it wet with wine. This prevents infection of the cap, and also aids in color and flavor extraction. Toward the end of fermentation, the cap falls by itself. Later the material is put through a basket press which separates the solids from the wine, and the solids are discarded.
Many red wines undergo barrel aging. When the wine is separated from solids, it is racked into white oaken barrels for 6-36 months. Barrel aging imparts oak flavors, it concentrates the wine, it slowly oxidizes the wine, it increases aromas and bouquets, and it complexes the tannin. The barrels are inspected monthly, and have to be "topped off" with up to 2 gallons of wine because of evaporation through the wood. It's a small wonder that barrel-aged wines are more expensive.
After aging, one of 14 different "fining" agents is used to clarify the wine, to focus flavors, and to reduce tannin. The agent to be used for fining (egg white is one) is chosen on the basis of laboratory tests on the wine. Wines are also blended to create more aromas, bouquets, flavors, or balance to make a more complex wine for the marketplace. The blends are chosen on the basis of blinded taste trials. Also, filtration removes any remaining fining agent and any yeasts, bacteria, viruses, etc. Finally, the wine is bottled and prepared for shipping.
Notes by Thomas Spradlin
Vol 85 No 47 -December 8,2008
Dr. Janicki is a board certified specialist in adult and pediatric neurology, as well as in internal medicine. He received his undergraduate as well as his graduate training at Indiana University. Currently he is on the teaching staff of St. Vincent Hospital and in the private practice of clinical neurology.
Spacticity (muscular hypertonicity) refers to increased muscle tone and/or decreased muscular inhibition.
Upper motor neurons are neurons that originate in the motor region of the cerebral cortex or brain stem. They carry nerve impulses down to the final common pathway, but are not directly responsible for stimulating the target muscle. These neurons synapse with the lower motor neurons located in the spinal cord, which in turn innervate the muscles.
Injury to the spinal cord can result in muscular spasticity. Cerebral injury may result in loss of inhibition of motor neurons and resultant spasticity. There are many processes which can result in spasticity such as arteriovenous malformations, multiple sclerosis, trauma and particularly vascular strokes. Strokes result in 80 to 90% of spacticity cases.
Spacticity can be phasic (intermittent and painful) or tonic characterized by stiffness and fatigue. Other disturbing symptoms of spasticity include poor sleep, bladder and bowel dysfunction, sexual dysfunction and hygienic issues such as bedsores etc.
The goals of treatment of spasticity are improvement in function, reduction in pain and reduction in complications as above. Methods of treatment include medication such as Tizanidine and Diazepam, physical therapy, Botox, alcohol-phenol nerve block and the Baclofen Pump.
Botulinum toxin (Botox, Myobloc) acts by reducing the release of acetylcholine from the nerve terminals. It is best used for spasticity of smaller muscles and is particularly useful in the treatment of writers cramp. It can be used as an adjunct with other therapies and can be administered as often as every three months. The dosage is related to the size of the muscle to be treated.
A major advance in treating spacticity occurred about 10 years ago with the development of the Baclofen Pump. Baclofen is an oral medication, which when given with the catheter placed in the subarachnoid space (in the spinal fluid) is used in a fraction of the amount used for oral therapy.
The pump is placed in the subcutaneous tissue of the anterior abdominal. The catheter leading from the pomp extends around the abdomen, but outside of the peritoneal cavity into the epidural space. It usually extends from the lumbar region up to the level of approximately the fifth thoracic verterbra (T5). Because of the constraints in positioning the catheter, this therapy is usually better for the lower extremities.Very rare complications of this surgically implanted pump would include wound infection and meningitis.
The more recent version of the pump (Synchromed II) has a larger fluid capacity and contains a battery lasting seven to eight years. The desired frequency and amount of administered drug can be transmitted to the pump wirelessly. These instructions can be changed as required. The fluid containing Baclofen can be replenished through a percutaneous injection directly into a port in the pump every 3 to 12 months depending on the dose of drug required. There is a bacterial filter in the pump to reduce the chance of infection. Pump failure is rare. Failure in the cathater function is more likely than that of the pump.
Notes by Jerry Kurlander
Vol 85 No 48 -December 15,2008
During this meeting we were privileged to hear an excellent presentation by Dr. William Dick concerning the first 90 years of the Scientech Club. The first meeting of the Scientech Club was on December 30, 1918. The first meeting was held on December 30, 1918 at the Athenaeum. The Club was sponsored by numerous engineering societies, including the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, the American Society of Civil Engineers, the American Institute of Electrical Engineers, the American Chemical Society, the American Association of Engineers, as well as other groups of engineers and architects. At that first meeting numerous names were suggested for the club and the name Scientech Club of Indianapolis was chosen. There were 104 charter members including D.J. Angus inventor and founder of Esterline-Angus; Hugh J. Baker a steel fabricator; Elwood Haynes, auto pioneer and inventor of stellite and stainless steel; Eli Lily, president of the pharmaceutical company and noted philanthropist; and Dr. Frank Wade head of the chemistry department at Shortridge High School. Mr. Wade's classes were attended by club member Dr. Gerald Kurlander.
In the 1920s the Scientech Club served as science adviser to the mayor and the governor of the state. The club voted on many petitions at the time including a resolution to ask the Indianapolis Mayor to resign. Mayor John L. Duvall of Indianapolis was found guilty of corrupt office-getting in his 1925 election due to his association with the Ku Klux Klan.
One very distinguished member is D.J. Angus. Mr. Angus lived from 1987 to 1996. He was a high school dropout and entrepreneur. He was a pioneer in AC electricity. He is one of the founders of the Indy Radio Club. He formed the Esterline-Angus company in 1916. Between 1914 and 1955 he lived in Indianapolis at the YMCA. In 1939 the Angus boat was launched which was later donated to Grand Valley State University in 1965.
Another important member of the Club was Bob Annis. He was the founder and owner of the R.B. Annis company. He helped found the D.J. Angus - Scientech Club Educational Foundation in 1967 following the death of D.J. Angus. Mr. Annis also founded the Annis Water Resources Institute at Grand Valley State University.
In the 1940s the membership was 136 members. Attendance at meetings was on the order of 41 members. Dues were suspended for members of the service in the 1940s. Contributions to the war effort were made by D.J. Angus, Bob Annis, and others.
In 1957 Sputnik was launched, the 40th anniversary dinner was given in 1958, and science fair participation was begun in 1961.
In 1980 the first woman member, Virginia Wenning, joined the club. The first woman officer elected an officer was Barbara Frantz who was Secretary/Newsletter Editor in 1984-86 and became President of the club in 1995.
More recently our first electronic newsletter was introduced by Doug Wagner and other members in 2006. In 2007 there was a major website upgrade by Bill Stanley. Membership in 2008 is over 200 people with a meeting attendance of up to 95 people per week. Over the years luncheon costs have increased from $.50 in 1922 to $10 at the present time.
The D.J. Angus - Scientech Foundation has given 16 incentive awards to Indiana colleges in 2008. Donations support the Indiana science fairs and Olympiads. The foundation supports the D.J. Angus research vessel at Grand Valley State University. Eight $2500 University scholarships have been awarded by the foundation. There is support for the Children's Museum MAP program as well as support for science education for Indiana students. In 2008 the total donations to these various worthy causes equaled $167,000. Please consider a yearend donation to this fine organization.
Practices of the club which have remained stable over the years include the 12 PM start time, the one PM end time with the ringing of the bell, and the introduction of members at the beginning of each meeting.
Elections were held at this meeting. Officers elected for next year are Hank Wolfla, President; Charles Shoup, Vice President; William Stanley, Secretary; and John Rathman, Treasurer.
Board members for next year are Michael Chaney, Robert Rogers, Richard Upton, Douglas Wagner, Victor Wenning, Paul McLear for the Class of 2009; Bob Brueckmann, Lester Eigenbrod, Kent Sharp, Deanne Slater, Paul Vos, Ed Nitka for the Class of 2010; William Dick, Dorothy Kandrac, Gerald Kurlander, James Reid, William Elliott, Gertrude Doyle for the Class of 2011.
Special thanks were given to our outgoing President Bob Sorenson and to Jim Bettner for his work in arranging presentations and tours in 2008.
Notes by Bill Elliott