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Presentations In 2010

NOTE: Many of the following presentation summaries will include links to the Power Point slides used to illustrate the presentation.
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Subject Speaker Date
Red Skelton Wes Gehring 1/04
History of Kidney Dialysis Dr. William Dick 1/11
History and Technology of the V-22 Osprey Lt.Col.Todd A. Lovell 1/18
Advances in Magnetic Instrumentation George Cunningham 1/25
Efficient Production of Biofuels in High Yield from Cellulosic Waste using Novel Yeast Strains Mike Neibler, CEO, Xylogenics, Inc 2/01
What's New in Windows 7 Patric Welch 2/08
A Man for His Times: Jean Baptiste Richardville, Chief of the Miami Nation Dr. Dwight Ericsson 2/15
Eleanor of Aquitaine Dr. Bill Dick 2/22
Lewis and Clark Movie at IMAX Craig Mince 3/01
I-35 Bridge Collapse Dr. Rob Conner 3/08
An Overview and History of Indiana Organ Procurement Organization (IOPO) Lynn Driver 3/15
Presentations by Upper Grade Winners in the 2010 Regional Science Fair Doug Wagner and Student Winners 3/22
Hiking the Dolomites, with a Touch of Venice and World War I Bill and Lou Stanley 3/29
The Oughtred Society and the History of the Slide Rule and Other Calculating Instruments Barry Dreikorn 4/05
Coronary Artery Disease and You Dr. Jim Dillon 4/12
An Eye-Opening Visit to Oman Dr. Victor Childers 4/19
Assisted Reproductive Technology: What Can We Do? What Should We Do? Dr. Marguerite Shepard 4/26
Building a Science and Technology Program in an Urban High School Scott Bess 5/03
Climbing Mount McKinley Chris Betelak 5/10
Cities and the Talent Divide Chancellor Charles Bantz, IUPUI 5/17
2 "Js" and a "B"- US Route 66 Bonnie Carter 5/24
Cosmology - What Is In Outer Space? Dr. Kashyap Vasavada 6/07
Scientech Club Tour of the Auburn-Cord Duesenberg Museum Arranged by Jim Bettner 6/14
Teacher at Sea in the Arctic Christine Hedge 6/21
Sleep 2010-Closer to Understanding Neurological Mysteries Diane Friedman, RN MSN 6/28
Annual Indiana Super Mileage Challenge Sponsored by the Indiana Math Science and Technology Education Alliance ( J.M. Thompson 7/12
The Vigorous Mind: Cross-Training Your Brain Ingrid Cummings 7/19
Estate Planning and Charitable Giving C Daniel Yates, Attorney-at-Law with Bose, McKinney and Evans 7/26
Research and Development in the Treatment of Pancreatic Cancer Dr. Tim Ratliff 8/02
High School Robot Building Competition at Purdue Amy Robertson and Brownsburg High School Robot Building Team 3176 8/09
Tai Chi, Ideal Exercise for Seniors Cheng Zhao, PhD; Jining Han, MA; Jane Chen, DDS; Dr. Gonz Chua 8/16
Animals in Art Dr. Art Freeman 8/23
Creation of Bronze Sculpture Thomas Poyser 8/30
Secret City: Oak Ridge, TN, and the Manhattan Project Charles Shoup 9/13
String Theory for Everyone Andrew Zimmerman Jones 9/20
The Evolution of Modern Cataract Surgery Dr. Dan Robinson 9/27
The Small Dish Radio Telescope in Radio Astronomy Malcolm Mallette 10/04
The Story of Qudrat, the Afghan Baby Who Captured the Heart of Hoosiers Jim Graham 10/11
Himalayan Trekking and Third World Philanthropy Jeff Rasley 10/18
Collecting and Restoring Antique Construction Equipment: A Peek Inside My (BIGGER) Sandbox Jim Carter 10/25
Lewis and Clark Will Never Die: Discovering Our Country, Each Other and Ourselves Jeffrey Ton 11/01
Tour of NUCOR Steel Plant in Crawfordsville Eric Gallo 11/08
Chronic Pain - Real or Imaginary? Karl L. Manders, MD 11/15
The Indications, Advantages and Technique of Cochlear Implants for Hearing-impaired Children Teri Ouellette, Program Director, St Joseph Institute for the Deaf 11/22
Wildflowers of Indiana Teri Rebecca Dolan, Director Friesner Herbarium 11/29
History of Chinese Painting Dr. Gonz Chua 12/06
Aspirin: The Story of a Wonder Drug Dr. William Dick 12/13

Vol 87 No 1 - January 4, 2010

Red Skelton

Presented By: Wes Gehring, PhD

Wes Gehring

Note: The following summary is considerably longer than the one published in the newsletter which had to be curtailed because of a lack of space.

Professor Wes Gehring was born in Iowa and earned a Ph.D. in Film from the University of Iowa. He has been a Professor of Film at Ball State for over twenty years. He is also associate media editor at "Reel World" with the USA Today Magazine. He has written 28 books, including some on other Hoosier movie stars - Carole Lombard, Irene Dunne, James Dean and the latest one on Beech Grove native, Steve McQueen.

Red Skelton ruled on TV from 1951-1971. He also was adept at vaudeville, radio, movies and live performances. Few people have duplicated that record (Bob Hope and Burns and Allen come to mind). His only prop was a hat.

Richard "Red" Skelton was born in Vincennes in 1913. He lived there except for summer trips with the vaudeville circuit. Wes Gehring told us that "Red was very inventive when it comes to his childhood. He loved to tell stories." According to Red, his mother was a prostitute in his grandmother's brothel. It may be true; he was the only one in his family with red hair. Whatever the truth, Red received much love and assistance from Ida Mae Skelton. His father died just prior to Red's birth.

Clarence A. Stout, a musician/songwriter of Vincennes, was also an early influence. Mr. Stout produced minstrel shows, which were on a par with the vaudeville acts that came to town. On 14 May 1929, Red appeared in one of Stout's shows. The Vincennes Commercial wrote: "Red Skelton got a big hand with [his spoof of Jolson's] 'There's a Rainbow 'Round My Shoulder'; he had to come back for three encores."

Red Skelton

In 1935 his career took an upturn when he inserted "the donut dunking" routine into his act. That routine was written by his first wife, Edna Stillwell Skelton, who continued to write material and manage his career even after their divorce. She took Red's money (he had no smarts about it) and invested it wisely, eventually making him a very rich man. Wes Gehring's favorite quote in the book sums up their relationship and Red's life. Skelton said .."If you want a good story - talk to me. If you want the facts - talk to Edna." Red starred in radio from 1937-41, premiering his own show in 1941.

Though Skelton appeared in his first film in 1939 and would grace the screen with 36 films, he saw the huge potential of television and he was one of the first to make the transition. TV was delayed because of WW II. Most of Red's films were either before or after his TV career. In those days the TV schedule lasted 40 weeks; today's schedule is about half of that. With his list of memorable characters, (Freddie the Freeloader, Clem Kadiddlehopper, Cauliflower McPugg, and the Mean Widdle Kid) Red Skelton, remained a perennial favorite. Red was consistently rated in the top ten, if not the top five programs for those two decades.

Mr. Skelton and his second wife, Georgia Davis, had two children - Richard and Valentina. Later Richard died at age nine from leukemia, a devastating experience for any family. (She suffered from alcoholism and committed suicide in 1976.) A few years later, in 1983, he married Lothian Toland, who lived with him until his death in 1997. Both Valentina and her daughter, Sabrina, were interviewed for Wes Gehring's book, "Red Skelton, The Man Behind the Mask," which was a top-five finalist in the category of Biography at the 2009 NYC Book Fair. Mrs. Skelton donated 35 large scrapbooks, as well as many boxes of letters, to Vincennes College.

Skelton's TV show was canceled in 1971, as the networks saw the need for designing their shows to reach a younger, more urban audience. Red was bitter about this, even though CBS had stuck with him during the 1957 season when his son died. He never signed the contract that would allow his shows to go into syndication. Though younger people can see video clips of some of his shows, the two-decade series is still not available.

Red packed up his bags and went the college entertainment route, including a 1977 one-man show at Ball State, which later awarded him an honorary doctorate in 1986. These live performances went on non-stop for one and one-half to two hours. He was named College Comedian of the Year; other honors included Golden Globes' 1978 Cecil B. DeMille Award, the 1986 Emmy for Lifetime Achievement, a 1987 Screen Actors Guild Award, his 1989 induction into the Television Academy's Hall of Fame and his admission into the Comedy Hall of Fame. In the last thirty years of his life he took up oil painting, most often painting clowns. Red Skelton was very devoted to his fans and was very generous to them. He loved his family, but like many performers, spent more time entertaining the public.

Notes by Bill Dick

Vol 87 No 2 - January 11, 2010

History of Kidney Dialysis

Presented By: Dr. William Dick

Bill Dick

IUPUI Chancellor Charles Bantz could not speak today so Bill Dick volunteered to give his dialysis history talk which was given five years ago to the Scientech Club. At that time, slides were used, not PowerPoint as in the current lecture, which has been revised and updated.

Dr. Bill Dick began by defining a list of nephrological terms so that the audience would be more acquainted with the subject. Then he reviewed the significant medical discoveries in the past 400 years - the microscope, smallpox vaccination, carbolic acid for wounds, anesthesia, X-Rays, discovery of bacteria and their role in human disease, blood typing and blood banks, intravenous fluids, antibiotics, cortisol, heart surgery, DNA double helix discovery, polio vaccine and dialysis. It is possible that dialysis has seen the field in which the fastest technological advances have occurred. It would have not been possible without the help of many engineers, who designed many pieces of equipment in the story.

Kidney Flow

Dialysis consists of diffusion, the movement of solutes through a semi-permeable membrane; and convection, the movement of water, driven by hydrostatic or osmotic forces. There are approximately 500,000 people on dialysis in the U.S. and there are about 14,000 kidney transplants performed in the U.S. each year.

Bill then took us on a tour of the pioneers in the field of dialysis. Englishman Richard Bright, from Guys Hospital in London, is the father of nephrology. In 1827 he described uremic symptoms. Thomas Graham from Scotland, the father of dialysis, explained osmosis and introduced the concept of the semi-permeable membrane in 1854. John Jacob Abel at Johns Hopkins in 1913 did the first hemodialysis on nephrectomized dogs. One of his assistants in the project was an Indiana University biology graduate, B.B. Turner.

Georg Haas is the forgotten pioneer who dialyzed several patients in the 1920's but could not keep them alive for long. He lived into the modern era to 1971; eleven years after the first human being began chronic dialysis. Willem Kolff, from the Netherlands, developed the first working artificial kidney machine in the mid-1940; he dialysed the first person to survive acute renal failure in 1945. His machine was sent to many cities all over the globe. Dr. Kolff was the chief of the first hemodialysis team (physicians, surgeons, nurses and technicians) at the Brigham Hospital in Boston. Their first dialysis was performed in January 1948 for mercury poisoning.

Successful permanent treatment would not be possible until Belding Scribner, a nephrologist, and Wayne Quinton, an engineer, developed the arterio-venous Teflon shunt. Dr. Scribner began the first chronic hemodialysis unit in Seattle in 1962. He previously dialyzed Clyde Shields in March 1960. Mr. Shields lived until 1971. The arterio-venous fistula soon followed allowing thousands of patients to enter dialysis programs. Other scientists who added breakthroughs to the field included Gordon Murray, Nils Alwell, Frederick Kiil and Stanley Shaldon.

Dr. Dick then showed images of some of the first dialysis patients at Methodist Hospital, which was one of the first ten home dialysis units in 1967. The Kiil flat plate dialyzer was the first one used for home dialysis. The first pediatric patient in Indiana was shown as was patient #3 who survived for 30 years on the artificial kidney machine. The first chronic patient in Indiana was treated at VA Hospital by Dr. Kent Bradley in 1966. One of Bill's former partners was part of that team. Drs. Stuart Kleit and George Lukemeyer from Indiana University Medical Center also deserve much credit for their pioneering work.

Dialysis can keep patients alive for a long time but a kidney transplant is the treatment goal for all kidney patients. But that is another story.

Notes by Bill Dick

Vol 87 No 3 - January 18, 2010

History and Technology of the V-22 Osprey

Presented By: Lt.Col.Todd A. Lovell

Todd Lovell

Todd Lovell, Lt Col, USAF (Ret) was our guest speaker. With 21 years in the Air Force and 3500 flight hours, Todd culminated his career as squadron commander of the 71st Special Ops Squadron, the Air Force's first V-22 Osprey squadron. He is currently Technology Director for Systems Integration and Engineering, Raytheon Technical Systems Company.

Todd started with a video showing the basic capabilities of the V-22. He dispelled rumors of the exhaust setting grass on fire and draft so strong it impeded hover operations.

The mission statement for the JVX Program based on the failure of Operation Eagle Claw, the 1980 attempted rescue of the US Embassy hostages in Tehran. That was a 35-hour mission involving multiple stops and hiding in the desert overnight. The JVX was defined to accomplish the same mission quickly and efficiently. Namely:

- High speed, long range, vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL)
- Infiltration, exfiltration, resupply in one night
- Robust self-defensive avionics
- Self-deployment worldwide

The first flight of the V-22 was March 1989, but several high profile accidents (gyros wired backwards in the first flight) ended up killing the program in 1993. The program was redefined in February 1997 and first production was delivered in May 1999.

V-22 Osprey

The baseline V-22 is a high-performance, versatile and robust aircraft with features too numerous to mention. Some highlights:

- Composite/Aluminum and Titanium airframe
- Fly-by-wire controls
- Wings folding automatically in less than 2 minutes
- Aerial refueling
- Single and Dual point external cargo hooks
- Dual 1553B Data buses (military standard)
- Multi-function displays
- Digital color moving map
- Jamming for infra-red (IR) and radio-frequency (RF) missiles

The full-load operational range of the V-22 is 500 nautical miles radius at 230 knots (same speed as a C-130). With air refueling and external tanks, the range extends to 2,100 nautical miles. The plane also includes the TCAS collision avoidance system.

The Osprey's full dual-display cockpit is state-of-the-art. The Stick (right hand) and Thrust Control Lever (TCL, left hand) are very advanced, but the flight control remains very intuitive. The most powerful control is the Nacelle Control Thumbwheel on the TCL, which rotates the nacelles from vertical (helio) to forward (airplane) configuration. The advanced controls limit the rate of transition from helio to airplane configuration to protect the airframe

The V-22 can transition from hover to full airplane mode in less than 15 seconds. With a full load the V-22 can take off in 1000 feet of runway at 60 knots. The two Rolls Royce AE1107C engines have proven very reliable. Via a driveshaft through the wings, the V-22 can operate with only one engine while maintaining 62% of full power. COANDA tubes for avionics temperature control deflect the exhaust to the side at landing.

The Multimode Radar enables all weather night operation 200 feet above the terrain while managing turns up to 5.5 deg/second (45 deg bank). The Dual Digital Maps give a dynamic picture of the terrain and use color coding for obstacles higher that the plane.

In conclusion, the V-22 could perform Operation Eagle Claw in a mere 8 hours. Mission accomplished.

Notes by John Peer

Vol 87 No 4 - January 25, 2010

Advances in Magnetic Instrumentation

Presented By: George Cunningham

George Cunningham

George Cunningham presented an interesting program detailing the current advances in magnetic instrumentation. He began by informing us that China is considering a total ban on rare earth metals which could affect the magnetic industry. The major players in magnetism are in China. Several US companies are located in Indiana.

Magnets are everywhere but you rarely see them. Most all products that we interface with have magnets. There are between 40 and 60 magnetic devices in our automobiles. Many different applications include data storage magnetic tapes and disks, medical technology, magnetic nanomaterials in the biomedical community, aerospace, generators, transformers, sensors, and motors. Also a large number of industrial applications use magnets. Wind power is a major user of large magnets. The medical field will likely be the first to increase use of nano-magnets.

Some of the magnetic technical terms were discussed and explained. The different metals used in magnets result in various strength magnets for different applications.

Magnetic adjustment compensates for multiple magnetic variables which permits specific functions to be performed. Such as the light on the dashboard that tells you when your windshield wiper fluid is low. The method of adjusting these magnets so they will perform was explained in great detail. What seems a simple device uses a great deal of engineering functions to obtain the desired result.

George answered a number of questions from persons who were interested in China's proposed export ban on rare earth materials. This may result in China exporting most magnetic devices.

He also explained that the human body has no sensors that can detect magnetic fields.

Notes by Charles W Hamm

Vol 87 No 5 - February 1, 2010

Efficient Production of Biofuels in High Yield from Cellulosic Waste using Novel Yeast Strains

Presented By: Mike Neibler, CEO, Xylogenics, Inc.

Mike Neibler

Mr. Mike Neibler graduated as a chemical engineer from Ohio State University and has been involved in life science and software companies for the last 20 years. His present position is CEO of Xylogenics, Inc. The company assets include an agreement licensing technology from the Indiana University School of Medicine for genetically engineered yeasts used in the ethanol industry. This is a breakthrough product for biofuel production.

In 2003, Dr. Mark Goeble of IUMC, while working on cancer research, discovered a mutated yeast variety that was able to convert multiple sugars into ethanol. This led to the formation of Xylogenics, a company whose purpose it is to market the yeast products to the ethanol industry to increase the efficiency of the production of ethanol.

Statistics show that the US imports 65% of its petroleum products and spends over $500 Billion a year in the process. The dependence on foreign oil is a national security issue, and petroleum is the second largest carbon dioxide emitter into the atmosphere. Solutions for independence from petroleum include corn ethanol, and cellulosic ethanol production in the US. However, the efficiency of corn ethanol production is at present limited. 30% of US corn is now used in ethanol production and it takes 1 bushel of corn to produce 2.5 gallons of ethanol. Efforts to increase production by different companies are not very successful. Ethanol Plant

The genetically engineered yeasts from Xylogenics can improve corn ethanol production by 3-5%, while increasing plant capacity, and reducing enzyme costs. The 220 corn ethanol plants in the US produced 11.2 billion gallons of ethanol in 2009 and earned $22 billion in revenue. With the implementation and use of the Xylogenic yeast, it is projected that the financial impact per plant will be $6.5 million for a total of $1 billion nationally. There are emerging cellulosic plants which use corn stalks, switch grass, wheat straw, barely straw and wood waste for ethanol production.

The mechanism by which the engineered yeast improves ethanol production in a corn ethanol plant is by converting maltose and maltotriose which are byproducts of fermentation into glucose, thereby increasing the total glucose available for ethanol production. This increases ethanol production by 3-5% and reduces enzyme requirement by 50%. In a cellulosic ethanol plant the yeast converts the by-product xylose into glucose and increases ethanol production efficiency by 30-50%.

The use of this yeast does not involve new technology or new plant equipment and it has no known biological hazard. Tests run show that 3 pounds of yeast will yield 18,000 gallons of yeast after 6 hours. This yeast is healthy and genetically stable. Licensing of this yeast to the corn and cellulosic ethanol industry has begun. Laboratory testing and research at Indiana University and Notre Dame University is ongoing. It appears that improvement in the yield of ethanol during production is now a reality.

Notes by Gonz Chua

Vol 87 No 6 - February 8, 2010

What's New in Windows 7

Presented By: Patric Welch, Noobie, Inc.

Patric Welch

Patric made the following points in his talk:

Should you upgrade your existing computer system or buy a new one?

Look at the age of your computer. If it's older than 4 years, there have been rapid advances in technology since then, thus you might consider a new computer that comes with Windows 7 installed.
In general, don't upgrade an old computer to Windows 7.
Upgrading from Vista to Widows 7 is a lot easier than upgrading from XP to Windows 7. Before you upgrade, consult the Windows 7 Upgrade Advisor. It can be found at: http// upgrade advisor.

Considering a 32bit versus a 64bit computer.

Windows 7 comes with both 32 and 64 bit systems. You must select the correct one to match what you already have. 64 bit provides more memory capacity.

Selecting Home Premium, Professional, or Ultimate Windows 7 systems.

A Home Premium system should be right for 95-99% of users. The Professional system contains additional features such as Domain Joining, Backup, and Restore, which are important in business. The Ultimate system also provides Encryption. In any case, backing up your computer is very important.

What's really new with Windows 7?

Performance Improvements
      1. Increased speed.
      2. Fewer demands to confirm desired actions
      3. Application tabs in the task bar
      4. Improved icon management.

Cool New Things to do with Windows 7

1. Pinning - Permanently retain program shortcuts in the Start menu.
2. Thumbnail Previews
3. Aero Snap - display multiple documents on screen simultaneously
4. Aero Shake - isolate a specific program window when multiple programs are active.
5. Aero Peek - Locate a specific program window on the screen.

What is missing with Windows 7?

Email software - no email client (Outlook Express or Windows Mail) is included.

During a Q & A Session after the talk, the following questions were asked:

Q. How does Windows 7 compare with Mac OS from a virus security perspective?

A. Macs are safer but are still vulnerable. 80% of the computers out there are PC's so they are the largest virus targets.

Q. Does Comcast have a Webmail site?

A. Yes. Go to Log in with your email address and password. Click on Email

Q. How much overhead is required to keep multiple programs open?

A. Programs require core memory to operate. If the number of active programs exceeds core memory capacity, some information must be written off to disk memory which is much slower to retrieve.

Q. What are the advantages of the Google Chrome web browser?

A. Google Chrome web browser does not require much memory and is very fast. Patric prefers it to either Internet Explorer or Firefox

Notes by Jim Bettner

NOTE: All of the slides used in this presentation may be viewed by clicking HERE

Vol 87 No 7 - February 15, 2010

A Man for His Times: Jean Baptiste Richardville, Chief of the Miami Nation

Presented By: Dr. Dwight Ericsson

Dwight Ericsson

Dr.Dwight Ericsson

Dwight V. Ericsson, PhD., is the retired Director of the Merillat Centre for the Arts at Huntington University. He gave a very interesting presentation of the life of Jean Baptiste Richardville, whose native name was Peshewa, or Wildcat.

The Miami Confederation was a loose confederation of eight Miami tribes. The relationship of the Miami with the French fur traders was cordial as the Miami wanted the iron axes and other trade goods, and the fur traders wanted the beaver furs. Beaver fur hats for men were the fashion in Europe. The English settlers wanted to own land. Most Miami did not understand personal ownership of land.

Chief Richardville

Chief Richardville

Richardville was born of a Chief's sister and a French fur trader in 1761. He was born at Kekionga, which is now Fort Wayne, the place of the Long Portage between the Maumee and the Wabash. The Long Portage was about 30 miles long. It was the best route from the Great Lakes or the East Coast to the Mississippi basin. His mother had collected Long Portage tolls for her tribe.

After the United States became independent, the policy toward Indians was removing them from the Midwest.

In 1790 Miami Chief Little Turtle defeated the US Army at what is now Fort Wayne. In 1791 the Indians won again at Fort Recovery. However, Anthony Wayne defeated the Indians at the battle of Fallen Timbers in 1794. This meant that the removal of the Indians from the Midwest was inevitable and the only question was how long it would take.

Richardville became Principal Chief of the Miami Confederation in 1814. The Chief was chosen by the important members of the tribes of the confederation. He was very serious, but was kind and helped any of his people who were in need.

Fort Wayne Home

Fort Wayne Home

Richardville understood the English concept of personal land ownership and obtained ownership of large tracts of land. Richardville also knew the best way for Indians to remain was to own land individually. He wore European clothes and had a house in Fort Wayne that was equal in style and grandeur to the homes of prominent white residents of the area. He also had a white two-story Greek Revival house at the Forks of the Wabash in Huntington, Indiana, the site at which the treaties were signed (and now a museum park).

In 1680 there were 6,000 to 7,000 Miami. By 1846 there were only 700, due primarily to the European diseases to which they had no resistance.

By using his knowledge of the settlers, Richardville was able to avoid the removal of the Miami until after his death. When tribal lands were finally taken, he was able to negotiate legal land grants to individual Miami families and often offered his private lands as a refuge for other Miami. This allowed about half of the Miami people to remain in Indiana when the tribe was officially removed in 1846.

Richardville died in 1841. At the time of his death, he was considered the richest man in the State of Indiana. His successor, his son-in-law Francis Lafontaine, was not able to prevent the removal of many of the Miami. He went to the Kansas Territory with them and died while returning to Indiana in 1847.

Notes by Malcolm Mallette

Vol 87 No 8 - February 22, 2010

Eleanor of Aquitaine

Presented By: Dr. Bill Dick

Bill Dick

Dr. William Dick

Scientech Club Historian Bill Dick demonstrated his interest in early medieval history with a story about Eleanor of Aquitaine, who was a Queen and subject to her King. However, she was a wise ruler in her own right and Eleanor came alive in this fascinating tale about a corner of history. She was the only woman ever to have been married to both the King of England and the King of France. At that time, a subject owed his allegiance to the King and to the Church.

France Map

Regions of France

Chief sources for the background research for the presentation are taken from Amy Kelly's 1950 book Eleanor and the Four Kings, Alison Weir's 1999 tale Eleanor of Aquitaine, and of course, the Internet. The amazing fact to the speaker was the amount of information, including images and sculptures, which are known about the subjects today. Equally amazing is the number of structures still standing in England, France and the Holy Land.

Eleanor of Aquitaine descended from ten generations of rulers, all named William, dating back to the late 700's. From her father, William X, she inherited Aquitaine (which is roughly the south-west corner of modern-day France). According to the custom of the time, she was allowed to keep and to rule over its population.

Cathedral St Andre

Cathedral St Andre

Eleanor married Louis VII of France which, at that time, was a small part of the current state of France. It consisted of mainly the Ile de France and the area around it. The King and Queen were married in 1137 at the Cathedral of St. Andre in Bordeaux. They lived for ten years in the Ile de France. Eleanor accompanied Louis VII on the Second Crusade (1147-49) to the Holy Land. Their marriage was annulled in March,1152 ostensibly because of possible consanguinity; the real reason was the lack of a male heir (they had two daughters).

Cathedral St Pierre

Cathedral St Pierre

Eleanor married Henry II of England, founder of the Plantagenet line, in May, 1152 at the Cathedral of Saint-Pierre in Poiters, now part of France. He was the grandson of William "the Conqueror". The couple eventually had eight children. Historians have judged Henry II to be one of the most effective of England's Kings (in spite of the death of Thomas Becket in 1170). Two future Kings of England were sons of Eleanor and Henry II.

Richard the Lionheart was crowned King at Westminster Abbey in 1189. He was co-leader of the Third Crusade. Important to future history was Richard's freeing of his mother,Eleanor, who had been imprisoned in a dispute with Henry II. Richard ruled England, Normandy, Maine, Anjou, and Touraine. Eleanor ruled much of England along with her son, Richard. She established uniform weights and measures, standard coinage, and introduced other laws. No image of Eleanor exists today.

Westminster Abbey

Westminster Abbey

A second son, King John, became King upon the death of Richard. He was a self-indulgent ruler and an ineffective King. This fact led to his signing of the Magna Carta in 1215.

Other descendants of Eleanor were a Holy Roman Emperor, a King of Castile, a King of Jerusalem, a King of France, St. Louis of France, St. Ferdinand III of Castile, and Queen Elizabeth II. A review of customs, trade, recipes from the year 1200 A.D. was given. In the Louvre today can be seen the Rock Crystal vase given from Eleanor to Louis VII at the time of their marriage. The Tombs of the Plantagenet line stand today at the Fontevault Abbey near Chinon.

Architecture blossomed in the 1100's, and many buildings and other items survive today in France and England including the Westminister Abbey 1065, Bayeux Tapestry 1068, Tower of London 1078, St. Andre Cathedral in Bordeaux 1096, Poitiers Palace 1104, Fontevrault Abbey 1110, St. Magdalene at Vezelay 1132, St. Etienne de Bourges 1137, Basilica of St. Denis 1140, Chinon Castle 1160, Notre-Dame de Paris 1163, Fountainebleau 1169, Windsor Castle 1170, Westminster Palace 1190, Notre-Dame de Chartres 1195, and Jerusalem's Western Wall, Dome of the Rock and Church of the Holy Sepulcher.

According to surviving texts, Eleanor was beautiful and charming, educated, and a wise, effective ruler. She mostly ruled England in the absence of Henry II and during the reign of her son, Richard the Lionheart. She was married to the King of France and the King of England at an important time of early medieval history for both countries.

Notes by Bill Dick

Vol 87 No 9 - March 1, 2010

Lewis and Clark Movie at IMAX

Facilitated By: Craig Mince and Wayne Indyk
Indiana State Museum

Craig Mince

Craig Mince

Wayne Indyk

Wayne Indyk

Today, Scientech members and guests had the opportunity to view an IMAX presentation on the Lewis and Clark Expedition at the ISM preceded by a tour of the projection facilities.

The projection room of the IMAX Theater is a large black painted room, but well lighted by fluorescent lights and spot lights. The main projector, in the front center, is as large as a car. It projects 70 mm films specially made for IMAX. On each side are two smaller projectors that show 3D Films. The films thread horizontally in order to maximize area of coverage. The 'bulb' of each projector is a pressurized Xenon arc lamp that produces 15,000 watts. Each bulb cost around $6,000.00 and lasts about 1200 hours or 3 months. There are only 6 cameras in the world that take IMAX films. Each print costs between $10,000 and $30,000. Temperature and humidity in the projection room are held constant in order to prevent damage to the film.

Lewis and Clark

Lewis and Clark

The Louisiana Purchase from France in 1803 sparked interest in westward expansion of the United States. President Thomas Jefferson had Congress appropriate $2500.00 for an expedition to the Pacific Northwest. He selected his aide and personal friend, Army Captain Meriwether Lewis, as head of the expedition. Lewis selected his friend, Captain William Clark, as his partner. The expedition started with 33 men on May 14,1804 from Wood River, Illinois, following the Missouri River westward. On August 20, 1804 they suffered their first (and only) casualty, Sergeant Charles Floyd , who died of acute appendicitis and was buried at Floyd's Bluff.

Crossing Mountains

Crossing the Mountains

164 days after they started, and 1,510 miles from Wood River, they built a fort for the winter near a village of the Mandan. They also hired French-Canadian Toussaint Charbonneau and his pregnant Shoshone wife Sacagawea. By February of 1805, Sacagawea had given birth at Fort Mandan to a son named Jean Baptiste. Sacagawea later turned out to be a heroine for her role as interpreter and saving their documents when they were nearly lost in the water. By amazing good luck, when the company was in desperate need of help, they met a band of mountain Shoshone led by Sacagawea's brother, then chief of the tribe.

In June 1805, the company marched overland through the rugged mountains and crossed the Continental Divide. By October, they reached the Snake River and then the Columbia River. The Pacific Ocean was finally reached on the 554th day and after 4,132 miles of travel. At that time, a vote was taken, the first participated by a woman and a slave, to decide on the location of a fort to hold them over the winter.

The group started back on March 23, 1806 via the Columbia river and re-crossed the Rockies. The party then split so that Lewis could explore the Marias River to the north where they had a brief encounter with the Blackfeet in which two Indians were killed. Meanwhile, Clark led the rest of the party down the Yellowstone River in bull boats.

Running Rapids

Running the Rapids

The two groups reunited on August 12 near the confluence of Yellowstone and the Missouri. On Sept.23, 1806, they arrived at St. Louis to a heroes' welcome after having covered 8000 miles of territory over a period of 2 years, 4 months and 9 days.

Lewis collected specimens of plants, birds, mammals, and weather data, while Clark drew illustrations of the animals and the western map of the United States.

President Jefferson rewarded Lewis with the governorship of Upper Louisiana Territory and Clark with governorship of the Missouri Territory.

Notes by Gonz Chua

Vol 87 No 10 - March 8, 2010

I-35 Bridge Collapse

Presented By: Dr. Rob Conner

Rob Conner

Dr. Rob Conner

Thanks today to Jim Wark for providing another excellent speaker from Purdue University. Dr. Robert J. Conner, assistant professor, provided the club a review of the collapse of the I35W Bridge (Bridge 9340) across the Mississippi River in Minneapolis. Dr. Conner was one of two academic engineers invited as part of the team to do the failure investigation.

The bridge's fourteen spans extended 1,907 feet (580 m) long. The three main spans were of deck truss construction while all but two of the eleven approach spans were steel multi-girder construction, the two exceptions being concrete slab construction.

Construction on the bridge began in 1964 and the structure was completed in 1967. The structure had eight lanes for traffic. In 2005, the bridge was rated as "structurally deficient" and in possible need of replacement. On August 2, 2007, after the August 1 collapse Governor Pawlenty stated that the bridge was scheduled to be replaced in 2020. At I-35 Bridge Collapse 6:05 p.m. CDT on Wednesday, August 1, 2007, with rush hour traffic moving slowly through the limited number of lanes, the central span of the bridge suddenly gave way, followed by the adjoining spans. During the weeks before the collapse of the bridge it was under renovation. The materials for this were stored on the bridge and provided an additional 577,000 lbs of load on the bridge. Another factor was the bridge had been repaired over the years which added another 2 inches of material and load to the bridge. Because of these factors it was determined that on August 2nd; the bridge had its biggest load since its inception.

Dr. Conner showed two video's showing the actual collapse of the bridge. One video was taken from the shore by a camera that was activated by the detection of ground motion. These videos were a key part of the investigation. Many excellent slides were shown of the bridge pieces after they were removed and stored off site.

Gusset Plate

Gusset Plate

It was interesting to see the failure of large welded I beams, and how over 200 rivets on a single joint were sheared off by the collapse of the bridge.

Quickly it became apparent that the main span of the bridge was the key element in the failure of the bridge. In reviewing the engineering drawings, and the shop drawings, the analysis showed that the bridge should not have failed. Yet further research showed that one gusset plate failed which caused the remaining gussets of the same

Bent Gusset Plate

Bent Gusset Plate"

design to fail directly after the first gusset gave way. In reviewing the analysis of these gussets it was shown that the ˝-inch thickness of the plates was either too thin or of too weak a metal to stand up to the load incurred. The reason for this design failure is uncertain. A small deformation of the critical gusset plate, apparently incurred during the original construction, contributed to the failure

Dr. Connor pointed out that a small problem in engineering can have a direct effect on people's lives and even life and death.

Notes by Hank Wolfla

Vol 87 No 11 - March 15, 2010

An Overview and History of Indiana Organ Procurement Organization (IOPO)

Presented By: Lynn Driver

Lynn Driver

Lynn Driver

Mr. Driver is a graduate of IVY Technical University, and of the Indiana University School of Business. He has been with the organization for 37 years and was the first employee. There are now 118 employees. IOPO is a nonprofit organization with a budget of $28 million. When he started there were 10 kidney transplants in Indiana per year. There are now more than 500 organ transplants each year. Offices are located in Ft. Wayne, South Bend and Evansville. Together these offices are within 60 minutes of any hospital in Indiana. 146 hospitals belong to the organization

The primary mission of IOPU is saving lives and improving the quality of life through organ and tissue donation. To accomplish this mission, the organization must develop the trust and confidence of physicians and nurses who work in the ICU, operating room, emergency room, coronary care and indeed throughout the cooperating facilities.

Before 1987 there were two programs in Indiana, one at Indiana University and the other at Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis. Since that time, IOPO by federal mandate has become the sole agency for organ procurement and has moved out of the hospital and into a separate facility. The organization recently moved into a 36,000 sq.ft. state-of-the-art facility with a three-bed ICU, two operating rooms, a morgue and many other support rooms to handle the more than 60,000 notification calls received and tracked per year.

IOPO has a board of directors to which the CEO and Medical Director report. There are many levels of supervision of the activities of the IOPO. The Food and Drug Administration and the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services are the federal supervisory authorities. Trained physicians and surgeons as well as nurses, hospital administrators and other personnel are represented on these supervisory boards.

There is a national organization for organ procurement. The country is divided into 10 regions. Indiana is in the 10th region which includes Indiana Ohio and Michigan. The sickest patient is status one. If an organ becomes available and there is no status one patient in Indiana, the organ can go to one of the other two states or beyond if no appropriate patient is waiting. There is organizational monitoring of compliance with these rules to assure best use of the donated organs.

The development of the drug cyclosporine has vastly expanded the possibilities for organ transplantation. 100,000 patients around the United States are awaiting organs and 18 patients die each day waiting. Although these numbers are increasing, the availability of organs is remaining rather stable. The incidence of tragic deaths is actually decreasing because of the increasing safety of automobiles and better safety laws as well as better drugs and overall medical care.

Kidney Transplant

Kidney Transplant

In Indiana there are 1274 patients awaiting organ transplantation. 1086 of these are awaiting kidney transplants. Lutheran Hospital in Fort Wayne is approved for heart and kidney transplants, St. Vincent Hospital in Indianapolis for heart and kidney and the Clarion group in Indianapolis is approved for all organs.

Organ donors are proven brain dead with electroencephalograms and more often recently with dynamic blood flow studies. Before transplantation, these donors can be studied in the IOPO facility with blood tests, biopsies and almost any other procedure as would be used in studying a patient in the hospital. The operating room is managed using sterile technique. Much time and follow-up is devoted to counseling the bereaved family of the donor.

The program is based on the donor's choice of giving. This is reflected by the small heart appearing on the Indiana driver's license of the donor. Indiana has one of the highest donor rates in the United States, the importance of which is emphasized in the school systems.

Notes by Jerry Kurlander

Vol 87 No 12 - March 22, 2010

Presentations by Upper Grade Winners in the 2010 Regional Science Fair

Presented By: Doug Wagner and Student Winners

Clara Garner

Clara Garner

Ninth Grade: Clara Garner, Noblesville High School

Amber Mason

Amber Mason

Clara's project was: Wind E-Power. She investigated the effect of the number of wraps of copper coils in vertical axis wind turbines. The conclusion was that 300 copper coil wraps generated the highest amperage and voltage output, as compared to 100 or 200 copper coil wraps.

Clara was accompanied by her teacher, Amber Mason, who received the Lewis A. Marshall Award of Merit.

Victoria Sluka

Victoria Sluka

Tenth Grade: Victoria Sluka, Center Grove High School

Trina Veerkamp

Trina Veerkamp

Victoria's project was: Have We Met?. She investigated the visual clues that are most necessary for humans to recognize faces. The conclusion was the eyes and the areas around the eyes are the most important features for humans as the visual clues by which they recognize faces.

Clara was accompanied by her teacher, Trina Veerkamp, who received the Lewis A. Marshall Award of Merit.

Anil Gupta

Anil Gupta

Tenth Grade: Vinayak Gupta, Carmel High School

Vinayak could not appear because of a conflicting test. He was represented by his father, Anil, who is his sponsor and who received the Lewis A. Marshall Award of Merit.

Vinayak's project was: Effect of Ganoderma Lucidium Triterpenes on proliferation, migration and colony formation of human non-small lung carcinoama cell lines H460 and H1299.

Ganoderma Lucidium Triterpenes ("GLT") is produced by a mushroom and has been used to treat breast cancer. Vinayak investigated the effect of GLT on lung cancer cells. The conclusion suggests that GLT is a potential therapeutic agent that attenuates metastasis of lung tumors through its inhibitory effects on cellular proliferation, migration and growth.

Jonathon Nance

Jonathon Nance

Twelfth Grade: Jonathon Nance, Noblesville High School

Charles Emmert

Charles Emmert

Jonathon's project was: "Aerobird III", Extensive Wind Tunnel Testing. He constructed a wind tunnel using a leaf blower, a variable transformer to change the speed of the leaf blower and a sheet metal enclosure. He tested various wing designs using Styrofoam models and measured lift and drag. The conclusion determined which wing design was most efficient at a particular angle of attack.

Jonathon was accompanied by his teacher, Charles Emmert, who received the Lewis A. Marshall Award of Merit.

Outstanding New Teacher Award: Ken Link

Mr. Link is a 7th Grade teacher. He was not present at the meeting.

Notes by Malcolm Mallette

Click HERE for a summary of the judging results for all grades, outstanding teacher awards, and winners of a boat trip to the Annis Water Resource Institute in Michigan.

Click here for a slide show of pictures from both days of the Fair

Click HERE for instructions on how to control the slide show

Vol 87 No 13 - March 29, 2010

Hiking the Dolomites, with a Touch of Venice and World War I

Presented By: Bill and Lou Stanley

Bill & Lou Stanley

Bill & Lou Stanley

Bill is the past Secretary of Scientech, a longtime member, as well as a chemical engineer.

Click here for a slide show of pictures and maps for this program. Click here for instructions on how to control the slide show

The first part of the program described two trips to Venice and the Dolomite Mountains in north-eastern Italy; the first was a hiking trip by Bill and his son followed by a revisit a year later with their wives.

Basilica San Marco

Basilica of San Marco

Historic Venice is on an (largely artificial) island in a lagoon at the head of the Adriatic, separated from the open sea by barrier islands. The party took a water bus from the airport direct to the island, landing at the famous San Marco Square, where the Basilica dominates the square. Gilded horses stand above the facade; they were stolen from Constantinople in 1204, then stolen by Napoleon, and finally returned to Venice at the death of the French Empire.

The Stanley's took a boat trip to the glass-making island of Murano. Water traffic ranged from gondolas and gondoliers to power boats sized from skiffs to a huge cruise ship. They passed the cemetery island of San Michele in time to see a coffin being unloaded from a boat.

The group left Venice for Cortina, a tourist city in the Dolomite Mountains, the southern extension of the Alps. Cortina is busy with skiers in winter and hikers in summer, because it is surrounded by precipitous mountains on all sides. (Again, a profusion of splendid mountainscapes.) A number of ski lifts, including a cable car, climb the mountains directly out of town. Above the ski slopes it is bare rock, showing the extreme folding of rock layers which built the mountains.

The Dolomites are filled with small inns called refugios for the pleasure of skiers and hikers, some of which can be reached only on foot. On the hiking trip, the party walked miles over mountain trails, stopping at the refugios for lunch. At sunrise and sunset, the tops of the first mountains to be lit and the last ones to go dark, catch the low sunlight-the Alpenglow.

Alpine Glow

Alpine Glow

The hiking group walked over passes up to 8,000 feet, and then steeply back down through green valleys to start over the next pass. They paused once at a cheese-making farm, where cheese was made in the original tradition.

Several of the refugios were perched high up on peaks or ridges. At one point they saw a steep, narrow trail which had been a World War I supply-carrying route. A chain was fastened in the worst spot to help the climbers. Coming down from one high refugio, it was necessary to cross a deep valley-5000 feet down, and 5000 feet back up to the next refugio. Fortunately it was possible to take a cable car up to the refugio.

Dolomite Trail

Dolomite Trail

The last part of the program was the story of World War I in the Dolomites. Before WWI, the area of the Dolomites was held by Austria-Hungary (A-H), although it was largely Italian-speaking. A-H began the fighting in an attempt to conquer Serbia but that drew Russia, then Germany, and then Britain and France into the war. At the beginning, Italy chose to remain neutral despite their treaty obligations.

Later, when most of the A-H forces were fighting the Russians, Italy decided to attack A-H to try to take the Dolomites and even the city of Trieste. Bitter fighting with huge losses of men occurred along the coastal plain at the north end of the Adriatic. In the Dolomites, the Italians took Cortina but were stopped a few miles west at Falzarego Pass. Unable to advance in the mountainous terrain, both sides excavated gun positions in the rocks. Italy lost a catastrophic battle at Caporetto but later was able to rout the Austrian-Hungarians, forcing them to call for an armistice, leaving Germany to fight alone for a few more months.

Notes by Joe Jones

Vol 87 No 14 - April 5, 2010

The Oughtred Society and the History of the Slide Rule and Other Calculating Instruments

Presented By: Barry Dreikorn

Barry Dreikorn

Barry Dreikorn

Barry Dreikorn is an organic chemist retired from Dow AgroSciences and the holder of 26 US patents, four of which are commercialized as pesticides. Barry's presentation described what a slide rule is, how it works, how he became interested in collecting them, the history of the Oughtred Society, and the 350 year history of the slide rule.

A slide rule is a simple looking mechanical device based on the addition/subtraction of logarithms that performs a wide range of mathematical operations. Logarithms are exponents, i.e. the power to which you raise 10 to equal a number. (Base 10 logs).

Barry briefly described how multiplications and divisions were carried out before slide rules by converting numbers to their logarithms using logarithm tables, adding the logarithms to affect multiplication or subtracting the logarithms to effect division, then converting the answer back to a number using the antilogarithm table.

For example:

To find the product X of 80.92 times 19.46

log X = log 80.92 + log 19.46

From a log table, log 80.92 = 1.9080; log 19.46 = 1.2889 so log X = 1.9080 + 1.2889 = 3.1969

Save the 3 for the final step and consider only the value after the decimal point (the mantissa)

From an anti log table, antilog of .1969 (the mantissa)= 1.573

Using the 3 from the previous step, move the decimal point of the antilog 3 places to the right (to multiply the value by 10 to the 3 power)

Thus X = 1,573

Now that logs are perfectly clear…

The distances on the slide rule are proportional to the logarithms so the log tables can be eliminated and a calculation that may have taken a few minutes using log tables could be reduced to a few seconds using a slide rule. The longer the scale, the better the accuracy The three types of slide rules are the linear "slide" rule, the circular slide rule, and the cylindrical slide rule with the latter two styles offering longer scales in the same relative size.

Barry became interested in the history of Chemistry and started collecting related antique books and drawings while still in grad school at the University of Pennsylvania. The launch of Sputnik in 1957 resulted in a dramatic increase in federal funding for university research in the sciences, resulting in a research bonanza in universities where instrumentation was upgraded and libraries replaced their chemistry books. Barry was able to assemble a library of discarded antique chemistry books at low cost. Shortly after graduation Barry Joined Eli Lilly's Agrochemical division in Greenfield, IN as a fungicide chemist, but continued his search for antique chemical books and tools throughout the Midwest. In 1990, Barry was assigned to Dow's fungicide discovery group at Letcombe, England, near Oxford. This was an area rich in scientific antiques including scientific books, drawings and tools, and especially slide rules that were readily available at antique stores and antique fairs in both England and on the continent. His interest in chemistry tools mushroomed from there, especially focused on slide rules..

To better understand the slide rules he had collected, he joined The Oughtred Society (, which was founded in 1991 and is dedicated to preserving and passing on knowledge of the slide rule for future generations. The name is in honor of William Oughtred, inventor of the slide rule. The Society, meets semi-annually on East and West coasts and publishes a twice-a-year journal, the Journal of the Oughtred Society (JOS). It encourages collectors and supports every aspect of slide rule usage, history, collecting, etc. Barry encourages all to check out the Oughtred Society and consider joining.

The history of slide rules was then outlined, starting with the discovery of logarithms. Logarithms, the basis of slide rule functions, were discovered by mathematician John Napier (1614). These were "natural" logarithms based on e = 2.718281828. Base 10 logarithms were developed by Henry Briggs in 1617. In 1620 Edmund Gunter used a ruler with log spacing and calipers. Then William Oughtred added the idea of a sliding log scale to replace the calipers and the slide rule was born (1622). Slide rules continued to evolve in function, construction, and purpose with addition of more scales (e.g. log log) and a cursor, etc. Specialty slide rules were made for many disciplines. One was a "gauging" slide rule to estimate volumes (spirits) in barrels for taxing purposes. Others were developed for flying, engineering design, chemistry, navigation, surveying, finance, UK Atomic Energy Commission, electricity and even space exploration (A Pickett slide rule was taken to the moon.), etc.

Slide rule usage expanded from the 1870's with the explosion of technology. However, the introduction of the electronic calculator, notably the HP35 in 1972, spelled their end. With the introduction of a programmable calculator in 1974, all slide rule companies collapsed within a year. Fittingly, the Oughtred Society actively maintains their history.

Notes by John Peer

Click here to view the Power Point slides used for this talk

Click HERE for instructions on how to control the slide show

Vol 87 No 15 - April 12, 2010

Coronary Artery Disease and You

Presented By: Dr. Jim Dillon

Jim Dillon

Dr. James Dillon

Dr. James Dillon, Emeritus Professor of Medicine at IUMC, presented a lecture on coronary artery disease. He gave a short review of advances in the diagnosis and treatment of coronary artery disease starting in 1947 when Dr. Halter developed the Halter monitor. Prior to that, Conrad Roentgen had discovered the x-ray in 1895, followed by the invention of the EKG by Einthoven in l903. Heparin, discovered in 1916, played a major role in the subsequent development of technology such as coronary angiography developed in 1927 by Werner Frosson. In 1981, Gruntzwig performed the first coronary angioplasty to open an occluded vessel. Heart

Dr. Dillon emphasized that coronary artery disease is a manifestation of a general vascular disease that may involve the iliac arteries, renal arteries, and the cerebrovascular system. He showed percutaneous coronary angiography by catheterization of the brachial and femoral arteries using Judkins coronary catheters. Coronary angiograms are followed by ventriculograms to demonstrate systolic and diastolic cardiac dynamics. Intravascular ultrasound may show the true lumen and the corresponding atheromatous plaque and guide the cardiologist in stent placement. Pharmacologic manipulation may also be used by injection of adenosines for the prediction of response to therapy. During study of the coronary arteries, additional injections of contrast frequently may show disease in the aorta, carotid arteries and renal arteries. Angioplasty of those vessels could be done in the same setting.

Indiana is the only state north of the Mason Dixon Line that is considered part of Stroke Belt. This is due to the unusually large amount of fat, salt, and sugar consumed and the resultant obesity as well as smoking and hypertension. Evil Lurks

Dr. Dillon illustrated cases of patient with initially abnormal EKGs, followed by coronary angiograms and angioplasty. He also cautioned that people with a recently normal stress test may have an acute cardiac event due to the sudden rupture of a plaque with a resultant heart attack

Prevention of coronary artery disease is accomplished by smoking cessation, eating healthy foods, exercise, the treatment of elevated cholesterol levels and hypertension, and aspirin therapy.

Notes by Gonz Chua

Click here to view the Power Point slides used for this talk

Click HERE for instructions on how to control the slide show

Vol 87 No 16 - April 19, 2010

An Eye-Opening Visit to Oman

Presented By: Dr. Victor Childers
President of Indiana Council on World Affairs

Victor Childers

Dr. Victor Childers

The Indiana Council on World Affairs is a not-for-profit, non-partisan organization founded in 1955. The purpose of ICWA is to foster public understanding of world conditions and U.S. foreign policy through forums, lectures, conferences and publications.

Dr. Childers and seven other persons in similar positions were invited by the government of the Sultanate of Oman, a small Middle East country on the Arabian Peninsula, to visit their strategically located country. There were some things they wanted the group to be aware of. One, Oman was one of the first counties to recognize the newly formed United States. Two, they allowed the US to establish military bases during both Gulf Wars. Oman

Oman is small, about the size of Kansas. Its population is 3 million including 900,000 guest workers, and the capital is Muscat. The citizens are members of the Ibadhi sect of Islam, a tolerant sect which recognizes other religions. The current Sultan is Qaboos bin Said who overthrew his father, his not-very-progressive predecessor, 40 years ago.

Oil exports began in 1967 and is the principal export accounting for 76 percent of exports. Primary customers are China, Thailand, and Japan. They are in the process of diversifying. Grand Mosque

A number of slides of landmarks in Oman were shown, including the Sultan Qaboos Grand Mosque which contains many facilities including a library and meeting rooms; a modern supermarket with many imported fruits and vegetables; a modern shopping mall; and traditional markets with individual stalls. Fort Nizwa

The group also visited the old capital Nizwa in the interior of the country, a very arid area with only 4 inches of rain a year, which contained an ancient fortress to protect caravans from the interior of the Arabian Peninsula. The old fortress has been well restored.

Dinner one night at an Omani restaurant required the group to sit on cushions and the food was spread out on a cover on the floor. The group also visited an impressive art exhibit. Magnificent resorts were visited as well as palatal homes where they met members of the royal family.

The old part of Muscat still has the ancient wall in which the gates reportedly were closed at night as late as 1970. The Sultan raises Arabian horses and has a large palace outside of the capital.

This was an interesting and enlightening presentation.

Notes by Charlie Hamm

Vol 87 No 17 - April 26, 2010

Assisted Reproductive Technology: What Can We Do? What Should We Do?

Presented By: Dr. Marguerite Shepard

Marguerite Shepard

Dr. Marguerite

Marguerite K. Shepard, M.D. is a graduate of Smith College and Johns Hopkins School of Medicine. She completed her residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology at Johns Hopkins. She was then on the Faculty of the University of Texas and is emeritus Director of Reproductive Endocrinology at Indiana University School of Medicine.

Early reproductive assistance in the 1940's and 50's consisted of artificial insemination. The first successful delivery (Louise Brown) via in-vitro-fertilization took place in 1978. It used ovum recovery by timing the mother's natural cycle. Shortly after that, Australians began using ovulation-inducing agents, creating multiple oocytes and allowing timing of the retrieval. Retrieval of oocytes was by laparoscopy.

Fertilization techniques include IntraUterine Insemination (IUI), In Vitro(IVF), Gamete IntraFallopian Transfer (GIFT), and IntraCytoplasmic Sperm Injection (ICSI). Cryo-preservation of semen, oocytes, and embryos has made it possible to avoid repeated procedures for retrievals. Success rates are best for women under 30 and vary from 17- 60% for all women.

Criteria for selecting a procedure include status of the Fallopian tubes, age of the patient, frequency of intercourse, presence of sexual dysfunction, quality of ejaculate, financial constraints and genetic disorders. Pre-treatment testing is required and may include hormone profile, ovarian reserve testing, semen analysis, hysterosalpingogram, saline infusion sonogram, laparoscopy, and genetic analysis.

Ovulation induction ideally produces 12 healthy oocytes. All healthy oocytes should be fertilized for the best chance of at least one healthy embryo. Genetic analysis of embryos is done at the three-day stage and implantation takes place at the five-day stage using ultrasound technology. Embryos are preserved at the blastocyst stage and may be used for future attempts at pregnancy.

Ethical issues include multiple gestation, parental age, genetic and social engineering and individual vs. societal rights. Large multiple implantations are undesirable because of cost and poor infant outcome. Success rates utilizing one embryo are now comparable to double embryo transfer. Some abnormalities in the male anatomy may be associated with genetic disorders. Recessive disorders and chromosome translocations are indicators that the transfer should not occur. Guidelines limit the number of families to whom a donor may donate, and the number of embryos to be transferred in one cycle. The "octomom" physician has had his American Society of Reproductive Medicine certification revoked.

Notes by Joyce Mallette

Vol 87 No 18 - May 3, 2010

Building a Science and Technology Program in an Urban High School

Presented By: Scott Bess

Scott Bess

Scott Bess

Mr. Bess is Vice President and Chief Information Officer of Goodwill Industries of Central Indiana and Chief Operating Officer of Goodwill Educational Industries which operates the Indianapolis Metropolitan High School. He earned a degree in mathematics and education at Purdue University and is an information technology specialist. His goal and that of the other founders is to establish a world-class science and mathematics high school in the inner city of Indianapolis. There are now more than 350 students in the school.

High School

High School

The Indianapolis Metropolitan High School was started in 2004 as a public charter school in response to Goodwill's experience in serving 50,000 clients per year, more than one half of whom were not high school graduates. A high school diploma is a necessity in getting a good job. The Central Indiana Goodwill is one of the few Goodwills in the United States that operates a school.

81% of the students are minorities. 82% receive free or reduced cost lunches. There are now 131 graduates 96% of whom are in postsecondary education. 70% of the students have completed this additional training or are still in training programs. This training includes four-year colleges, IVY Technical College and other programs of four months to two years duration.

The high school training is divided into three areas. The first is referred to as Relationships. There are four physical spaces for the four years of high school. The principal and teachers in each area build strong relationships with the students and their families including home visits and family nights. The principal of this group and the teachers stay with the same group of students for all four years.

The second area is referred to as Relevance. The students are placed in internships all over the community according to their interest . There are currently 300 such internships at 240 sites. These include the Indianapolis Zoo, I.U.P.U.I., and Clarion, etc. In many cases it is essentially on-the-job training introducing the students to career opportunities. These internships can last from 12 weeks to three years.

The third area is referred to as Rigor. All students are supplied a laptop which they keep throughout the four years and may keep at the completion of school. There are many excellent programs available online in the various disciplines. The students and teachers work together in mastering these programs. Didactic lectures by teachers are rare in this environment. The phrase "high tech and high touch" is applied to describe this relationship. The online content delivers a basic level of knowledge to allow passage of the state-mandated examinations.

Science Lab

Ruth Lilly
Science Lab

Some of the goals of the school are to educate the students as to what is available in the work force after the formal education as well as to prepare for postsecondary education. Many of the children are from unstable homes where there is no exposure to science or to anyone working in that field.

A Ruth Lilly Science and Wellness Center was recently completed adding additional science labs and of course requiring additional science and math teachers.

Plans are to convert to a school year of 200 days as opposed to the usual 180 days in Indiana and eventually to have year-round school.

The students do participate in interschool athletics such as soccer and softball and have named their teams "The Pumas".

Notes by Gerald Kurlander

Vol 87 No 19 - May 10, 2010

Climbing Mount McKinley

Presented By: Chris Betelak

Chris Betelak

Chris Betelak

Chris, who is a controls engineer with Rolls Royce, went to Alaska in May 2009 to climb Denali (formerly Mt. McKinley). He went on behalf of the American Cancer Soc., and raised $5600 for the Society. He was then 47 years old and had done some climbing, including Mt. Rainier, 14410 feet.

The higher summit of Denali (it has two) is 20,320 feet. It stands at 63 degrees north and often is swept by cold, powerful winds. It was named for President McKinley, a champion of the gold standard, by a gold miner!

Chris climbed in a group of 7 men and women, led by 3 guides. They flew from Anchorage to the base camp at 7800 feet on May 3, in two DeHavilland Otter planes with all of their gear and supplies for the climb. Base camp, which sees about 1000 climbers come through twice, up and down, every summer, is supervised by a woman named Mary. The climb of 12,500 feet can be done in four days by climbers who are acclimated to the altitude, if the weather is favorable every day. Chris' group was not acclimated, and the weather, as usual, wasn't favorable.

Denali View

View of Mount Denali

They immediately began carrying supplies up to the next camp at 11,000 feet. Each carried a 60-pound pack and pulled a loaded sled, and the process was repeated at each camp to keep supplies ahead of them at all times. Ravens patrol the mountain looking for food, so each pack had to be buried in snow for its protection.

When the group moved its tents to 11,000 feet, high winds began and blew for 5 days, so they necessarily stayed there till the wind blew itself out. It was necessary to cut blocks of snow and build snow walls to protect the tents from the wind. The tents are very low and very small, holding three people in mummy bags, two facing one way and the third facing the other.

Denali Camp

Camp on Mount Denali

Chris' group was one of the first of the season, and other groups kept coming up behind them and having to wait out the wind at 11,000 feet. So when the wind moderated, a long line of groups started hauling supplies up the route. Each group was roped together at all times for safety. Slow groups were loudly criticized by faster ones in the rear.

About half the climbers who attempt Denali fail, mostly because of the weather. Four people died on the mountain the year before.

Of course, the views from the mountainside were glorious, and Chris captured many beautiful images. However, he explained that when going up, one really sees little but the rope connecting him to the climber ahead, and his own feet. He saw the views when going down.

At the 14000 foot camp even the toilet had a wind shield. Climbers are supposed to use plastic bags and carry out all bodily waste along with all trash. Sometimes the bags of bio-waste were thrown into deep crevasses, however.


Climbing Mount Denali

Above 14000 feet much of the route is marked by fixed ropes, to which the climber snaps his own safety line. They climbed above the head wall, and stopped at the 17,000 foot camp, which is near the head of a famous slide. If one carelessly falls down the slide, his body is found in Rescue Gulch, where others have gone before.

Denali Pass at 18,200 feet is difficult because of the wind which always blows there. People have been literally flash frozen by the cold wind there! Once past the Pass, the climbing is good but the air is thin and cold, and the wind is constant. Two of Chris' group dropped out, and each was escorted down to 17,000 feet by a guide, leaving only one with the group. Snow was blowing fiercely off the summit, and the group decided to stop 600 feet short of the summit rather than face the wind and cold there.

Chris showed an image of his face at the end-it was much thinner than at the start of the climb, and heavily sun-burned. They flew down from base camp on May 21, after 18 days on the mountain.

Chris plans to go to Colorado this summer, and climb all of the 54 mountains over 14,000 feet in that beautiful state.

Notes by Joe Jones

Click HERE to view the Power Point slides used for this talk       Click HERE for instructions on how to control the slide show

Vol 87 No 20 - May 17, 2010

Cities and the Talent Divide

Presented By: Chancellor Charles Bantz, IUPUI

Charles Bantz

Charles Bantz

Richard Lugar was the principle force behind the creation of IUPUI. The presidents of IU and Purdue met and agreed that all schools in Indianapolis would be brought under one roof with IU as the administrator. Purdue brought money and property to the deal which was closed in 30 days. IUPUI was established in 1969. At that point in time there were 10,000 students with the school of medicine being the largest. Currently, there are:


IUPUI Campus

       7,775 full time employees
       2,745 full time faculty
       509 acres owned by IUPUI
       $1.17 Billion annual budget
       30,383 students, from
              50 states
              122 countries
       1052 residence spaces (but need 3500 spaces)

How can a city be successful?
       Talented educated citizens
       Innovative-forward thinking
       Connected professionally
       Distinctive environment (people in the 25-34 year age bracket will move to a new location-without a job- based on:
              Healthy surroundings, great restaurants, green space, music, hip night spots

IUPUI will import outstanding talent. They will provide good jobs and additional education opportunities. IUPUI can grow its own talent with education and training opportunities. The city benefits from the university and the university benefits from the city. On a coordinate scale of high/low magnet (attraction) to high/low sticky (retention) Indianapolis is moderately low as magnet and moderately high in retention.

Talent Dividend Concept.
It is estimated that if we could increase education (i.e. high school and college graduation rates) by 1.1%,
               the annual income of the US would increase by $124 Billion.
Education produces economic success.

In Indianapolis, the educational breakdown of residents 25 yrs and older is:
        Less than HS       12.6%
        HS only                 30.6%
        Some College     26.6%
        4 Yr College         30.1%
If we could increase these numbers by 1%, it would result in an economic increase of $1.3 Billion annually.


Graduating Students

How are we doing?
Bachelor and Master Degrees conferred are increasing. Six year degrees are increasing. The goal is to double the number of undergraduate degrees conferred/yr ('02-'10) to 4400. The goal of the Indiana Commission for Higher Education is for Indiana to produce the equivalent of 10,000 Hoosier bachelor's degrees per year through 2025.

What Works?
Attachment via:
       Attractive New Programs, i.e.,
              Health Tourism
              Motor Sports
              Museum Studies
              Music Technologies
       First Year Student Assistance
       IUPUI Honors College
       UCASE-Improved Teaching

Notes by Jim Bettner

Click HERE to view the Power Point slides used for this talk       Click HERE for instructions on how to control the slide show

Vol 87 No 21 - May 24, 2010

2 "Js" and a "B"- US Route 66

Presented By: Bonnie Carter

Bonnie Carter

Bonnie Carter

Bonnie Carter graduated from the University of Cincinnati in 1972 with a BS in Nuclear Medicine Technology. She came to Indy "for one year", met Jim, and the rest is history. She retired as Chief Technologist of the Nuclear Medicine Lab at Wishard.

Bonnie´s talk focused on how Route 66 became famous and its rich history as well as how the national road system came into being.

After World War I, a combination of recession and new machinery led farmers to increase production and they took out large loans to do so. When the stock market crashed and the depression began, the farmers lost their farms and their livelihoods. In addition, severe droughts in the mid 1930s left farmers in the Great Plains of Oklahoma, Arkansas, Texas, and Missouri with little hope. Many left for California via Route 66. Their stories live on through the history along the route.

Route 66 Map

Route 66 covers eight states starting in Chicago and ending at Santa Monica Pier in Los Angeles. Along the way it goes through St Louis, Joplin, Tulsa, Oklahoma City, Amarillo, Albuquerque (Santa Fe), and Flagstaff to name a few.

Cyrus Avery

Cyrus Avery

Route 66 was created in the mid 1920s. In the late 1800s, trains dominated transportation. Roads, such as they existed, were promoted by bicyclists, but found little support. A key figure was Cyrus Avery, an entrepreneur who moved to Tulsa in 1907. The discovery of oil led to statehood. Avery was passionate about developing roads in Oklahoma. In 1923 he was appointed Oklahoma State Highway Commissioner and proposed the state road system including maintenance and uniform marking. In 1924 the American Association of State Highway Officials proposed "the selection and designation of a comprehensive system of interstate routes". Work started in 1926 and Route 66 was christened on November 11, 1926. Avery was fondly named "Father of Route 66", America´s Main Street.

For publicity in 1928, Lon Scott of the National US 66 Highway Association organized a 3,422 mile marathon foot race on Route 66 continuing to New York City. This "Bunion Derby" was won by Andy Payne, an Oklahoma part-Cherokee farm boy, in 87 days.

The stories of Route 66 were captured in Steinbeck´s Joad family in the Grapes of Wrath, Woody Guthrie´s "So long, it´s been good to know yuh", and Nat King Cole´s "Get your kicks on Route 66".

Route 66

One anecdote: Originally Route 66 went through Santa Fe catering to gold miners. In 1937 Gov Hannett rerouted it through Albuquerque as revenge on the Santa Fe politicians who he thought cost him reelection.

Bonnie and Jim drove Route 66 from St Louis to Los Angeles in 2008. They made many stops and side excursions including Missouri´s Meramec Caverns; Fort Leonard Wood´s museum; Melba Riggs Snack Shack in a gas station in Galena, Kansas; mining in Quapaw, Oklahoma; Claremore, Oklahoma, home of Will Rogers; Cadillac Ranch outside Amarillo, Texas; the UFO Museum in Roswell, New Mexico and many sites in Santa Fe.

As they drove the small roads, a transformation took place as they slowed down and observed the local sights and thoroughly enjoyed the trip. Bonnie recommends using a good guide book as the route has such a rich history.

Notes by John Peer

Vol 87 No 22 - June 7, 2010

Cosmology - What is in Outer Space?

Presented By: Dr. Kashyap Vasavada

Kashyap Vasavada

Dr. Kashyap

Dr. Vasavada is an emeritus professor of physics from Indiana University Purdue University Indianapolis.

Star Cluster

The universe is vast. There are more than 100 billion galaxies, and each galaxy contains more than 100 billion stars. The unit of distance between these structures is calculated by light years. Light travels at 186,000 miles per second and a light year represents the distance that light would travel in one year. Our solar system is in a peripheral portion of the Milky Way galaxy. The distance between us and adjacent galaxies and beyond is in terms of tens of thousands or millions of light years.

The Olber paradox states that, in an infinite universe with an infinite number of stars, at any angle from the Earth a line of sight will end at the surface of a star. Thus, the night sky should be filled with light and not dark as it is. This question was asked even before the time of Kepler in the 1600's. The mainstream explanation is that the Earth receives no light from stars beyond a certain distance, corresponding to the age of the oldest stars. Space is sufficiently rarified that most lines of sight from Earth do not touch any star within this distance.

By observing a red shift in the electromagnetic spectrum from distant stars and applying the Doppler shift principle, Edwin Hubble concluded that the universe is expanding. By back-calculating from the distance of the stars and their apparent velocity, one can determine the age of the universe. Einstein originally believed that the universe was in an unchanging steady state. An expanding universe did not fit in with his equations so he introduced an arbitrary "cosmological constant" to make the observations fit a steady state universe. He later called this his "greatest blunder".

Big Bang

The current belief is that the universe started with the explosion of an object with infinite density and infinite temperature, a "singularity", about 13.7 billion years ago. In most models, a cosmic inflation of the Universe took place about 10-37 second into the expansion. After about 10-11 second, particle energies dropped to values which can be reached in modern experiments. A few minutes into the expansion, the temperature dropped to about a billion Kelvin and neutrons began to to combine with protons to form deuterium and helium together with small amounts of lithium and beryllium. Heavier elements were formed by nuclear fusion inside stars which started forming after some 400 million years. Very heavy elements were formed inside supernovas which are exploding stars. Some 379,000 years after the big bang, the electrons and nuclei began to combine into atoms, mainly hydrogen. At that time, radiation decoupled from matter and continued through space largely unimpeded. In 1965, a microwave background radiation which pervades the observable universe at a temperature of 2.725 degree Kelvin was detected by the radio telescopic observations of Penzias and Williams from the Bell Labs which is thought to be a remnant of this original radiation.

The rotation of the galaxies and stars is too fast to keep the visible structures from flying apart. Gravity alone is insufficient to counter the centrifugal force. This requires existence of an additional gravitational force towards the center and is believed to be due to some non-luminous matter which is referred to as dark matter. Thus some 80 to 90% of the matter in the universe is not visible to us. This dark matter was very important in the formation of the visible galaxies.

Large Hadron Collider

The current cosmological model requires that, in addition to dark matter, more than 70% of the stuff in the universe is in an unknown form called dark energy to distinguish it from dark matter. It may correspond to Einstein's cosmological constant which he called his greatest blunder! There is no consensus on the origin of this dark energy. However, it is agreed that it causes repulsion unlike gravity which is always attractive.

A large particle accelerator (Large Hadron Collider) is now functioning in Switzerland but not yet to its maximum energy. This collider is 17 miles in circumference and has many detectors more than three stories in height. It is hoped that this collider will provide information about the first fraction of a second of the universe and about current speculations including dark matter, string theory, multiple dimensions, parallel worlds and universes, and wormholes, etc.

Notes by Jerry Kurlander

Vol 87 No 23 - June 14, 2010

Scientech Club Tour of the Auburn-Cord Duesenberg Museum

Arranged By: Jim Bettner

Auburn Cord Museum

Auburn Cord Museum

The Museum is located in the Auburn Automobile Company headquarters building at Auburn, Indiana. It is an Art Deco building constructed in 1929-30. The showroom is as it was in the 1930s, with only two chandeliers replaced. Now it is filled with classic Auburn, Cord, and Duesenberg cars.

Model J

Duesenberg Model J 1931.jpg

The Auburn Automobile Company. began with a one-cylinder car displayed at the Chicago Auto Show in 1903. In 1924, E.L. Cord came to the Company as general manager. Duesenberg, an Indianapolis company, was purchased in 1926. The Company introduced the magnificent Duesenberg Model J in 1928.

Model J

Cord 810 1936.jpg

The Company prospered in the early years of the Depression, selling over 32,000 units in 1931. Gordon Buehrig designed the 1936 Cord Model 810. The Cord 810 pioneered retractable headlights, flush tail lamps and unit-body construction. Those automobile design features are in use today. The Auburn, Cord and Duesenberg cars also pioneered front wheel drive, hydraulic brakes and the supercharged engine.

The Company's cars were very deluxe and expensive, compared to the mass produced Fords. The Company went out of business in 1937. A new company that made parts for the Auburn cars purchased the headquarters building.

The Museum opened in 1974. There are 120 cars on display. In addition to classic Auburn, Cord and Duesenberg, automobiles, there are classic cars from other Indiana car manufacturers. That includes many little known automobiles manufactured in Indiana, such as the 1898 Waverly Electric, the Westcott made in Richmond, the McIntyre made in Auburn, the Zimmerman and the Kiblinger.

Volunteers restore, maintain and keep the classic cars spotless, including a few classic cars made outside the Hoosier state. Cord's office from the 30s is also on display.

The Auburn Classic Car Show and Festival will be held Sept 2-6, 2010.

Thanks to Jim Bettner for managing this very educational and fun trip.

Notes by Malcolm Mallette

Click HERE to view the magnificent images taken by John Morrical during this visit to the museum       Click HERE for instructions on how to control the slide show

Vol 87 No 24 - June 21, 2010

Teacher at Sea in the Arctic

Presented By: Christine Hedge

Christine Hedge

Christine Hedge

Christine Hedge has a BS in Biology and Environmental Science from Trinity College, Hartford, Conn. and an Education Certification from St.-Mary-of-the-Woods. She teaches 7th Grade science at Carmel Middle School.

In 2009, Chris was selected by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) as an Indiana Teacher at Sea. She spent six weeks on a mapping expedition aboard the USCG Cutter Healy in the Arctic.

Barrow, Alaska, home of the Inuit people, was the base. There, she participated in collecting bacteria that can live in extremely cold conditions.


USCGC Healy.jpg

The Healy is a Coast Guard Cutter built as a scientific research ship. It can break ice up to 4 1/2 feet thick. It worked with a Canadian Coast Guard Cutter, the Louis St. Laurent. The St. Laurent used a submerged air gun to project sound and multiple streaming microphones to map up to two miles below the surface of the bottom.

Chris monitored a multi-beam sounder for 8 hour shifts on the Healy. The multi-beam sounder can map a 6 mile wide swath of the ocean bottom. Only 6% of the Arctic Ocean bottom has been so mapped.

Sea Mount

Arctic Sea Mount.jpg

While everyone else was on a break, Chris discovered an unknown undersea mountain, called a seamount. It was 1100 meters tall and was 4 by 11 nautical miles in area. Her discovery received national notice in the media.

Undersea mapping in the Arctic Ocean is very important for several reasons. The warmer temperatures in the Arctic are causing the multi-year (permanent) ice to diminish. Chris had a series of maps of the multi-year ice over the last 20 years which dramatically showed the disappearance of multi-year ice.

A sailboat had even navigated the most difficult part of the previously non-existent Northwest Passage, across the sea north of Alaska and Canada. The Coast Guard is preparing for the use of the Northwest Passage in summer by cargo ships and cruise ships.

Polar Bear

Polar Bear at Sea

The trip also served an educational purpose. In addition to the Teacher at Sea, there were 12 graduate students learning from the scientists on the trip.

The US Navy was collecting samples of sea water to determine its salinity and other characteristics. There were 4 Navy men on the Coast Guard Cutter.

Finally, there is a UN treaty on the Law of the Sea that the US has not ratified, but most nations have ratified. The treaty extends a nation's rights at sea to the extent of its continental shelf. The rights include oil, gas and minerals.

As 52% of the Arctic Basin is continental shelf, the accurate mapping of the ocean floor is of national importance. There is no agreement between the US and Canada. However, the cutters of Canada and the US were co-operating on this trip.

Notes by Malcolm C. Mallette

Vol 87 No 25 - June 28, 2010

Sleep 2010 - Closer to Understanding Neurological Mysteries

Presented By: Diane Friedman, Rn MSN

Diane Friedman

Diane Friedman


Typical Sleep Cycle

Ms. Friedman noted that many sleep characteristics are determined by genetics, such as early morning risers, night owls, high/low temperature preferences, etc. She presented a typical sleep hypnogramme which showed various stages of a typical sleep cycle of 90 minutes. The 3 major cycles are stage 1 (light sleep), stage 2 (deep sleep), and REM (dream sleep). The average person needs 8 hour of sleep a night. As we sleep we quickly change stages. The last stage of sleep, REM, is characterized by dreams.

Ms. Friedman discussed the Circadian Rhythm which shows that we have an internal clock that is slightly longer than 24 hours long. The Circadian Rhythm can be affected by time-givers (zeitgebers) such as light, food, social cues, and ambient temperature, the output of which act upon various glands and the central nervous system.

It has been recently found that when light falls on the retinal ganglionic cells in the eye, electrical signals are passed through the optic nerve to a small region in the brain which helps us distinguishes between night and day. These cells can be active even when our eyes are closed. The level of this signal is controlled by light intensity, state of the lens (age), pupil size (age) and the wavelength of the light.

Sleep Mechanisms
Where does sleep happen in the brain? Many locations are involved including the brain stem and the frontal lobes. The interaction of these locations was not really understood until 2006 when the work of Clifford Saper demonstrated the flip flop switch action just like the digital flip flop circuits.

With insomnia the sleep mechanism is not broken but rather receiving conflicting messages on a disordered schedule. One aspect of this confusion is that a sleeper can never determine if one is asleep in stage one sleep. With insomnia many people have a higher sense of anxiety so they may feel that they have been awake, when in fact they were asleep. This then is amplified by not paying attention to the time changers of the Circadian Rhythm such as light, food, working at the computer, and watching TV.

Sleep Recommendations.

Don't drive sleepy EVER.
Don't make any changes to your prescription medications until you have discussed them with your physician. They may affect your sleeping patterns. Sleeping medication is not recommended for long term use. Remember that, when you do change your sleeping pattern by stopping sleeping pills, the change to a normal pattern may take up to a full month.
Get up at the same time every day, including weekends. Go to bed at the same time every night.
No naps.

To reinforce your natural sleep pattern, use the time givers of the Circadian Rhythm by -

Going outdoors in natural light in the morning.
Having bright light indoors
Eating your breakfast and dinner at the same time every day.
Exercising each day.
Being out with other people every day
Going to bed in a dark quiet room without TV. If you awake in the middle of night, do not get up and do not turn on the lights. Listening to music will take your mind off your anxieties.
Reducing caffeine and alcohol, and stop smoking.
Seeing a sleep specialist for evaluation and support.

Notes by Jim Bettner

Click HERE to view the slides used in this presentation       Click HERE for instructions on how to control the slide show

Vol 87 No 27 - July 12, 2010

Annual Indiana Super Mileage Challenge Sponsored by the Indiana Math Science and Technology Education Alliance (

Presented By: J.M. Thompson

Jim Thompson

Jim Thompson

Jim Thompson is a graduate of Purdue University with a degree in aeronautical engineering. He served in the United States Air Force retiring as a lieutenant colonel. He has worked on several projects for NASA and has had a second career after the military with a private engineering firm.

IMSTEA is an all-volunteer not-for-profit 501(c)(3) organization. Its objective is to improve math, science and technology literacy for all Hoosiers. The Indiana Super Mileage Challenge is an event for high school students to develop and enhance concepts in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. The goal is to have students work in teams to create a vehicle that achieves the greatest fuel efficiency.

Student Team

Student Team

High school students design and build a car around a 3.5 hp Briggs and Stratton engine. The car is to run 10 laps around a 5/8 mile track at the O'Reilly Raceway Park. The average of their three best runs is used to determine the winner. Competition is in two car classes, stock and unlimited. This year an experimental class has been added. The students must raise all of their own funds. The Challenge is run at the O'Reilly Raceway Park annually the last Monday of April rain or shine.

Starting in September each entrant must present a formal proposal covering the aerodynamics of the car, braking and cornering forces, drive train analysis, and estimation of performance, chassis and body design, and location and operation of safety features. Proposals are due in January but car construction can begin in September. Only schools whose proposals are accepted may compete. Technical inspection is held the Sunday before the competition. The college bound kids learn fabrication skills while the shop kids learn the value of science.

The technical inspection is held at Vincennes University. There are usually 45 to 50 cars competing. The University has been very helpful in carrying out the Challenge. First year entrants often have difficulty meeting the technical requirements but they can receive help from university personnel including use of their equipment such as welding materials. The amount of money spent in developing the cars for the competition varies from $500-$22,000. Usually it is in the $2000 to $3000 range. They learn many things quickly such as bicycle wheels do not corner well so they need special spokes or motorcycle wheels. One of the many tests each car must undergo is the ramp shake test to see "what breaks". The unleaded fuel is measured out carefully into a uniform tank made from a used brake master cylinder reservoir.

Road Testing

Road Testing

On race day there is an extended safety briefing for all drivers. The cars are to average 15 mph around the track. A USAC timing system is used and each car is issued a transponder. A radar gun is used to check speed. There are many subtleties employed to win the Challenge. A few of these include the position of the driver in the car, materials used to make the body (heavier metal versus carbon fiber), coasting whenever possible to save fuel, and even the sex of the driver. Girls tend to be gentler on the gas pedal conserving more fuel. The driver must be at least 150 pounds. If he or she weighs less, then ballast must be added. The three wheeled cars are driven by the single rear wheel and steered by the front wheels.

Trophies are awarded to the winners in several categories. All competing schools receive a plaque certifying their achieved mileage and all participants receive a certificate of participation. Winners have achieved several hundred to well over 1000 miles per gallon in the Challenge.

Notes by Gerald Kurlander

Vol 87 No 28 - July 19, 2010

The Vigorous Mind: Cross-Training Your Brain

Presented By: Ingrid Cummings

Ingrid Cummings

Ingrid Cummings

Leonardo da Vinci was an example of a Renaissance man who did everything. Is it reasonable to be such a person in our age? Too many settle for being narrow specialists. A damaging question for a child that excludes possibilities is the innocent, "What do you want to be when you grow up?" As we enter college, we limit ourselves by choosing a major. Specialists are needed, but by middle age, we want to be happier and feel something is missing. Some go to Prozac. A specialist is only exercising one part of their brain. The best and brightest are often channeled to narrow specialties such as a lawyer or the medical field.

Specialists can become better by doing something totally different in mid career. What is different does not matter; it forestalls mental malnutrition. We need the pendulum to go more toward generalists. At times while in the shower or driving we let go a little and broad views and ideas come to us. One surgeon fooling with her child's yoyo learned how suture thread kinks up in a surgery room; it was a transference of information; an example of neuroplasticity. Michael Jordan, the basketball player, tried going to baseball later in his career, although he was not so good.

60 to 70% of us are born as generalists, but change to specialists. Ingrid is independent and self-directed and can veer off as desired. Incipient Renaissance people should cross-train their brain; diversify cognitively. The Internet dominates, but people do not maximize the use of it; often the whole world is only a click of the mouse away. With the Internet it is easy to study and seek a great bounty of knowledge.

The central question is how should I spend my time? The improvident use of leisure is the greatest waste in the US. Ingrid suggested a book, Flow, by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, which points out that when we achieve focus we lose track of time, hunger and self-consciousness. That is the state we want to achieve with our leisure time. Ingrid is pro-TV; some do not watch, but it is a golden age with shows such as on HBO. In questions and answers one commented that TV steals dreams and imagination, she responded that children can overdo TV and noted books require imagination.

Architects have science on one level, but once satisfied they can deal with a blend of beauty and grace. A cook has a nice blend of activities. A good company needs both generalists and specialists working together as a team. The top person has often worked up through many different kinds of positions. Hobbies allow cross-training of the brain. In one case, sailing disclosed mechanical engineering connections.

Attending this meeting helped us all cross-train our brains, just as in our other Scientech meetings.

Notes by Gonz Chua and Alan Schmidt

Vol 87 No 29 - July 26, 2010

Estate Planning and Charitable Giving

Presented By: C Daniel Yates, Attorney-at-Law with Bose, McKinney and Evans

Dan Yates

Dan Yates

Mr. Yates started the talk by indicating that the Bush Estate Tax Law will expire this year. Congress has 36 days to come up with modifications or extensions. The estate exemption will revert to $1 million and the top tax rate would rise to 55% if it is not modified. He suggested that we review our wills, living wills and trust documents once a year. He also suggested that the best way to bequeath personal items might be by an easily changed memorandum referenced in a will without changing the main will itself.

The main topic of the talk was "Planned Giving", which is defined as irrevocable giving strategies that allow a donor to benefit a charity during lifetime or after death, in a tax-favored manner, and to create a personal legacy. There are different reasons for charity giving, obligatory giving or inspired giving.

Planned Giving Strategies

Planned Giving Strategies

There are Ten Strategies of Planned Giving ranging from the Simple Outright Gift of Cash to the complex Charitable Lead Trust. In between are: Outright Gift of Property, Gift of Proceeds of Sale of Stocks, Gift of Life Insurance, Retirement Plan Beneficiary Designation, Irrevocable Pledge, Charitable Gift Annuity, Life Estate/Remainder Trust in the Home, and Charitable Remainder Trust in ascending order of complexity.

A donor may take a charitable deduction on his personal income tax return in the year of the gift if it is an Outright Gift of Cash. When the donation is real or personal property and it has appreciated, the donor may use the charitable income tax savings to offset taxable income. A donor may also give securities that have decrease in value and give the proceeds to a qualified charity and may take a charitable deduction on capital loss.

For a gift of Insurance policy, it has to be an irrevocable assignment of ownership to the charity. The owner may then claim a charitable deduction. If the policy designates a charity as beneficiary, the gift will be eligible for federal estate tax purposes.

An irrevocable pledge to make a future charity contribution is not deductable until the pledge has resulted in transfer of cash to the charity.

A Charitable Gift Annuity applies when the donor transfer cash to a charity in exchange for fixed annuity payments. He may then take a charitable deduction in the amount of the remaining interest on his return in the year of the gift. In a Charitable Remainder Trust, the donor gifts assets to the CRT in exchange for periodic income for life and gets a deduction for the present value of the remainder trust. Taxes are on trust income only.

From the simple to the most complex scheme, it is advisable that legal counsel be involve in these charitable giving efforts

Encouragement of giving to the Scientech Foundation was also emphasized.

Click HERE to view the Power Point slides used for this talk       Click HERE for instructions on how to control the slide show

Notes by Gonz Chua

Vol 87 No 30 - August 2, 2010

Research and Development in the Treatment of Pancreatic Cancer

Presented By: Dr. Tim Ratliff

Tim Ratliff

Dr. Tim Ratliff

Dr. Ratliff is the Director of the Purdue Center for Cancer Research. He is perhaps now best known for his work in the development of the prostate specific antigen, the basis of the PSA test.

The Center was established in 1978 as the basic research center of NCI. It now has 83 people, representing 15 departments in 6 colleges and school. Its mission is discovery; its goal is to cure cancer; and its approach is multidisciplinary.

Their work in cell growth and differentiation is directed to the discovery of new biological targets;
Their work in structural and biological chemistry is directed to the discovery of biological molecules and synthesis of modulators;
Their work in medicinal chemistry is directed to the detection and synthesis of modulators;
And their work in drug delivery and molecular sensing is directed to new devices and materials for advancing cancer detection, imaging and treatment.

At present they have active discovery groups working in breast, prostate and pancreatic cancers.

Pancreatic cancer (PC) is the 4th leading cause of cancer deaths in the US. About 43,000 new cases will be diagnosed this year, and about 37,000 people will die of it. It is resistant to conventional chemotherapy, and the median survival of patients is less than 5% at 5 years.

Dr. Ratliff pointed out that conventional chemotherapy is like carpet-bombing the patient with toxic drugs. The goal of the Center is to develop guided missiles which will hit only the cancerous cells.

At present there is no reliable early detection method for PC, and few new treatments, and the initiation process for PC is not clear.

A developmental biologist identified a gene, MIST-1, which is linked to development of a certain cell in the pancreas. Mice which were genetically modified with that gene were then used to discover that Ras, an oncogene linked to pancreatic cancer, is important to an early stage of PC. A medicinal chemist is now developing a new chemotherapeuticagent which targets Ras. Biochemists and organic chemists are also involved in the project. In tests in PC cells, the new agent has achieved 50% inhibition of cells.

It will be necessary to develop a targeting module which will be attached to the agent molecule. It must seek and bind to a receptor on the PC cell where it can penetrate the cell wall (very resistant to other drug molecules), and detach from the agent once it is inside the cell. The combination of the agent and the targeting module provides the guided missile which is the goal of the Center.

The Center is a leader in targeting drugs, and has clinical studies ongoing in 5 types of cancer.

It is also a leader in early detection methods and aspires to develop such a method for PC. At present their approach is to seek out a metabolic product of the cancer cell which is not present in the normal patient, and then to develop sensitive analytical methods that detect that product. A clinical trial testing an application of that method to breast cancer is now ongoing.

Click HERE to view the Power Point slides used for this talk       Click HERE for instructions on how to control the slide show

Notes by Joe Jones

ADDENDUM: Click HERE to see a recent article on the importance of fructose in the growth of pancreatic cancer.

Vol 87 No 31 - August 9, 2010

High School Robot Building Competition at Purdue

Presented By: Amy Robertson and Brownsburg High School Robot Building Team 3176

Amy Robertson

Amy Robertson

A group of enthusiastic Brownsburg High School students presented a very interesting discussion of their premier year in the "robot that plays soccer" building competition. They were guided by Amy Robertson their mentor, a NEMO Member (Non-Engineer Mentor Organization). Marcus Robertson, Senior; Mason Arnoldy, Junior; Cody Downey, Junior; Eric Brehob, Junior; and Clare Nolan, Junior. Each student presented a part of the program.

The organizing group is called FIRST, For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology, whose goals are igniting young minds, nurturing passions, and practicing gracious professionalism. Gracious professionalism is part of the ethos of FIRST. It's a way of doing things that encourages high-quality work, emphasizes the value of others, and respects individuals and the community.

Robot Soccer Team

Robot Soccer Team
L->R Marcus Robertson, Clare Nolan,
Eric Brehob, Mason Arnoldy, Cody Downey

Fourteen students participated in the "FIRST Robotics Competition (grades 9-12)" which permits a six week build period to construct the required robot. The robot must be of their own design. It will participate in a three on three soccer game.

The design and build process included the Mechanical, Electrical, CAD, and Marketing teams. The Programming and Website Development step had 3 languages to choose from, LabVIEW, C++, and Java. The website address is web site includes a short video of the Brownsburg soccer robot in action.

Robot Soccer Player

Robot Soccer Player

Various parts of the robot were passed among the audience. Team relations had a rough start but with experience and growth the team gelled and accomplished much, winning trophies and going to the world competition for a great finish. Public relations involved educating the public and obtaining sponsors for the project. Sponsors included Siemens, Rolls Royce, Pratt Whitney, NASA, Waterjet Cutting, Workforce Development, Bulldog Mobility, Indy Performance Composites, and Second Street Creative.

This energetic group of young people explained how they had been affected by this experience. The audience had a number of questions for the group.

Click HERE to see a short video explaining the Robotics soccer competition

Click HERE to view the Power Point slides which had been prepared for this talk       Click HERE for instructions on how to control the slide show

Notes by Charles Hamm

Vol 87 No 32 - August 16, 2010

Tai Chi, Ideal Exercise for Seniors

Presented By: Cheng Zhao, PhD; Jining Han, MA; Jane Chen, DDS; Dr. Gonz Chua

Tai Chi Speakers

L->R Jining Han, Gonz Chua
Cheng Zhao, Jane Chen

Tai Chi has emerged as an acceptable and effective exercise in improving health, especially for older people. Along with Yoga, Tai Chi is one of the fastest growing fitness and health maintenance activities in the United States.

Tai Chi means Ultimate Low Impact exercise. It provides the best possible biochemical scenario for keeping a person stable. It is practiced with both feet in wide stance positions. The back and head are held straight upwards.

Literally, Tai Chi is translated as Supreme Ultimate Fist. Actually, it is a soft style internal martial arts form using the concepts of the universe - the Yin and Yang. It is typically a slow movement emphasizing smooth, continuous and yet powerful flow of the Qi (internal energy) stream. Tai Chi is practiced for health reasons. It is also a recognized Modern Sport for competition. It focuses the mind on body movements. It brings physical calmness, relaxation, peacefulness and mental clarity.

Tai Chi Images

Tai Chi Moves

Tai Chi consists of series of movements, initially based on martial arts but now a gentle form of exercise. There are 3 aspects of Tai Chi practice: It is practiced for health reasons; It is for meditation; It is for self defense.

The origin of Tai Chi is not exactly known. Most attribute the founder to be a Taoist Monk, Zhang Sanfeng in Song Dynasty (1279-1368) China. He was a Shaolin Monk, expert in the Shaolin Kung Fu of hand-to-hand fighting. He traveled to the Wudang mountains in China to meditate and became a Taoist Monk. After watching a fight between a snake and a large crane, he gradually developed the Tai Chi style of martial arts. The principles of Tai Chi are the use of leverage through the joints; coordination and relaxation rather than muscle tension; and increased internal circulation.

Tai Chi 8

Tai Chi 8 Moves for Seniors

Tai Chi has many health benefits: It promotes balance control; improves flexibility; improves self confidence; improves cardiovascular fitness; and incorporates strength and endurance.

For the elderly the special benefits are: reduced risk of falls; reduced pain in arthritis; reduced severity of diabetes; improvement of physical and mental health; and reduced blood pressure as in hypertension.

Tai Chi is not a simple exercise. It is a cultivation of and development of harmony, mental and physical, softness and power. It is an exercise that suits the young, the old, male and female. It brings sound body and sound mind and can be practiced anywhere, anytime.

Interested parties who would like to learn Tai Chi can come on SUNDAY AFTERNOON from 1:00 to 3:00 PM at the CARMEL HIGH SCHOOL, FRESHMEN CAFETERIA. Dr. Cheng Zhao and Han Jining are the instructors. The availability of a Saturday class is being investigated.

Click HERE to see the great pictures taken by John Morrical during the recent Tai Chi demonstration. See yourself as others see you!!

Click HERE to view the Power Point slides used for this talk       Click HERE for instructions on how to control the slide show

Following are some references relating to the effect of Tai Chi on seniors:

Tai Chi Abstracts

Tai Chi Abstracts

Notes by Gonz Chua

Vol 87 No 33 - August 23, 2010

Animals in Art

Presented By: Dr. Art Freeman

Art Freeman

Dr. Art Freeman

Dr. Freeman is a Scientech member. He has had a longtime interest in domestic animal art. He graduated from Stanford University and from the Ohio State University School of Veterinary Medicine. During the Second World War he served as a bombardier in the B-17 bomber. Subsequently he served in many positions utilizing his skills as a veterinarian including as editor of an important veterinary medicine journal.

The earliest animal painting was found in a cave in southern France. This wall painting was deemed to be at least 30,000 years old and was that of a bison type animal. The painting is no longer visible on the cave wall but pictures of it are still available.

Horse Fair

Horse Fair

The first artist discussed was Rosa Bonheur who lived from 1822 to 1899. She is most famous for her paintings of oxen and horses. Her oxen paintings were first exhibited in the Paris Salon of 1848. This painting now hangs in the Musee d'Orsay in Paris. The "Horse Fair" hangs in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City. Her painting of Scottish Highland cattle is in the Pittsburgh Museum of Art. She is widely considered to be the most famous female painter of the 19th century. To learn animal anatomy more precisely she dressed as a male to be allowed to enter a slaughterhouse. After her death a large bronze bull was sculpted as a monument to her. Unfortunately during the Second World War the Germans melted the bronze to use in their war effort.

The art and sculpture of Frederic Remington was then discussed. He lived from 1861 to 1909 when he died from complications secondary to a ruptured appendix. Although he was originally from upper New York State, he is famous for his Western United States paintings. His horse and rider paintings are on display worldwide. Also during the Spanish-American war in 1898 he was called on to paint horses and cavalrymen (the Rough Riders). Many of his paintings were of American Indians. He is known for his accuracy in painting horses. Indeed he wanted his epitaph to read "He Knew Horses". In addition to the paintings he made 22 bronze sculptures most of horse and rider. Copies of these original sculptures are very popular and can be found all over the United States and beyond.

Edwin Landseer was then discussed. He lived from 1802 to 1873. He is famous for painting horses, dogs and stags. He was a favorite of Queen Victoria and was considered one of the foremost animal painters of his time. He was invited to paint at the royal residence in Balmorals. His painting of a stag "Monarch of the Glen" is the emblem of the Hartford Insurance Company. His bronze lion sculpture is in Trafalgar Square in London as the base of Admiral Nelson's column.

Charles Russell (1864 to 1926) was then discussed briefly. He was a painter of the old American West having painted more than 2000 paintings of cowboys Indians and landscapes. He was truly a cowboy artist being born in Montana and raised west of the Mississippi. As with Frederic Remington his paintings and sculptures of animals hang in important museums throughout the world.

Jan Steen a 17th century Dutch artist painted the now famous picture "Boy Picking Fleas from Dogs and Cats". He painted more than 800 pictures in his lifetime many of which included domestic animals.

Ringing the Pig

Ringing the Pig

Many paintings were made of large over-fed cattle. Indeed these animals look like a strange breed hardly recognizable as cattle. It took many years of overfeeding for them to reach this size and appearance.

The famous "Ringing the Pig" by the American painter William Sidney Mount was shown. Another American artist William Hirsch who painted soldiers with horses during World War II was also briefly discussed

Dr. Freeman made some interesting comments about the prints of Currier and Ives neither of whom were artists. They produced more than 7000 prints from 1834 to 1900. They hired artists with skills in painting animals, carriages, fire trucks and the like. The prints were largely hand colored by women and are very popular to this day.

Animal art of Edward Hicks, Walter Hunt and others was shown. Last but not least some of the animal paintings of the speaker were shown. Indeed these too were impressive.

Notes by Jerry Kurlander

Vol 87 No 34 - August 30, 2010

Creation of Bronze Sculpture

Presented By: Thomas Poyser

Thomas Poyser

Thomas Poyser

Tom Poyser has a BSEE from Purdue in 1971 and a MBA from IU. Tom and his wife Karen (BA from Purdue, MS from IU) are co-owners of Sincerus Bronze Art Center at 32nd and Shadeland, Indianapolis. In Tom's earlier career he worked for Bendix, Hurco, and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries where he was VP, Marketing and Sales. In 2002 Tom changed direction when the equipment to manufacture Bronze statuary became available so he and Karen started Sincerus. There are about 30 companies in the US in this field and Sincerus is the largest in the Midwest. Pouring Bronze

Their business designs and manufactures bronze statuary with a focus on life-size pieces. Artists are key employees as they understand and appreciate the work. The firm offers a complete range of services from project management starting with the sponsor's idea, to artist selection, through complete manufacturing. The vast majority of their work is one of a kind.

Their basic "Lost Wax" process is 5000 years old, but they use the latest technology. Process steps are:

- Clay model > oil (vs. water) based clay as it has a longer life for artist's pace.
- Mold making > paint the clay model with rubber which captures texture down to fingerprints
- Wax Development and Gating > a wax model captures the form from the rubber and defines the gating for the flow of molten metal into the casting. The artist can still modify at the wax stage.
- Investment (Casting) > the wax model is repeatedly dipped in a water-based glue and sand mixture until sufficient thickness is built up. The casting is heated to both fire the ceramic shell and burn out the wax > "lost wax". This same process is used for jewelry and car body parts vs. the industrial process of sand casting.
- Casting > silica bronze is induction heated with an 800V, 3Khz, 100KW motor generator set ( with induction all the energy goes into the metal). The molten bronze at 2100 deg F is poured into the ceramic shell. The shell is broken to access the casting. Silica bronze is better than brass as it remains malleable for finishing touches and also accepts surface colors better for the final patina.
- Assembly and Metal Finishing > the multiple castings are welded together with special care/skill to hide the seams.
- Patina > the final finish is applied. A protective wax is used to seal the porous casting and help hide the seams.

Pouring Bronze Most pieces require engineered bases.

Other services:

- Enlargement > starting with a maquette (scale model), a 3D laser scan captures the surface which is then fed to a machine tool that cuts standard foam into an enlarged (life-size) version. This is then covered with clay which is moldable for the artist to continue work.
- Restoration > restoring damaged or incomplete statuary. A statue of a Civil War officer arrived "sword-less". Tom researched his rank and designed an appropriate sword to restore the statue.
- Installation > onsite custom work.

Tom enjoys the uniqueness of each job.

A note on the name Sincerus > From Karen's research, in Roman times letters were sealed with wax. They changed to "no wax", but added "Sincerus" for "without wax" meaning "without a flaw". Our word "Sincerely" is derived from this. Tom and Karen thus adopted Sincerus as indicative of the ancient "Lost Wax" process.

Click HERE to view the Power Point slides used for this talk       Click HERE for instructions on how to control the slide show

Notes by John Peer

Vol 87 No 35 - September 13, 2010

Secret City: Oak Ridge, TN, and the Manhattan Project

Presented By: Charles Shoup

Charles Shoup

Charles Shoup

This presentation was one of the best of the year. Your scribe will do his best but you had to be here.

In 1938-39, German scientists were making rapid progress in the study of nuclear fission. Enrico Fermi won the Nobel Prize in 1938, went to Oslo for the presentation, and he and his wife, Laura, never returned to Italy but continued his work in the US. In 1939, Einstein signed a letter to Pres. Roosevelt, telling him that the USA should study nuclear fission before Germany did it first.

Roosevelt approved research on uranium, particularly at 3 major universities. Several key issues had to be resolved at once, including:

1) Can a nuclear fission chain reaction be initiated, continued and controlled?
2) Can fissionable U-235 be separated from the other uranium isotope, U-238?
3) Can U-238 be converted to fissionable plutonium 239 by absorption of slow neutrons in a graphite reactor?

By September, 1942, enough had been learned to justify opening enormous facilities which would solve the remaining scientific problems and, very quickly and very secretly, develop production processes and equipment. Col. Leslie Groves, a very forceful man who was known for getting things done despite obstacles and bureaucracy, was appointed head of the project. The major scientific issues yet to be resolved were: Demonstration of control of chain reactions; separation of large amounts of U-235; production of large amounts of Pu-239; and design and construction of atomic bombs.

K-25 Oak Ridge

K-25 Gaseous Diffusion
Oak Ridge, TN

The site for the facility had to be very large and provide abundant inexpensive electric power, abundant water, and hilly terrain to isolate accidental blasts, and isolation from large populations but provide available labor. Ninety-two square miles of northeast Tennessee were chosen. All the land in the plot was purchased and the population was moved away in two months.

Pres. Roosevelt arranged with Congress to conceal the enormous expenses of the project by clever bookkeeping.

In December, 1942, the research group working under the stadium at the Univ. of Chicago successfully initiated a chain reaction, and stopped it by inserting cadmium rods in the pile. Thus, the success of the project became far more likely.

Hanford Reactor

Reactor B
Hanford, WA

It was decided that two additional sites would be necessary, and Hanford WA and Los Alamos NM were started up. Oak Ridge continued to be the most important, complex, and expensive secret city. It was called by 3 other names as well, for secrecy purposes, but some called it "Dogpatch" for its appearance.

The gates of Oak Ridge were closed in April, 1943, and extreme secrecy was observed even as workers were drafted and recruited from all over the country. Isolation and "need to know" were rigidly used to prevent knowledge from getting out. A hundred or more loaded freight cars a day came into the site, and left empty, and people were baffled, of course. A whole additional power plant was built nearby in complete secrecy (Oak Ridge used more power than NYC).

Separation of U-235 was a huge challenge. Four different processes were considered, and two were pursued simultaneously. Electromagnetic separation required enormous equipment and amounts of power, and used nearly 15,000 tons of silver from Fort Knox for busbars for the Calutrons. Gaseous diffusion required thousands of stages, and led to the construction of the largest plant in the world under one roof, all in complete secrecy. The porous barrier for gaseous diffusion was developed successfully in early 1945 and resulted in sufficient quantities of U-235 for Little Boy, the bomb that exploded over Hiroshima on August 6, 1945. The graphite reactor produced the initial quantities of plutonium-239 for Los Alamos and served as the pilot plant for the production piles in Hanford.

Many of the 80,000 employees were bused to work from the hills and hollows (the 6th largest US bus operation) but a great number of habitations, from hutments to 4-bedroom houses, were placed on site. Housing was segregated by color and by the standing and family size of the employees, but mud and dust were common to all neighborhoods as construction was continuous and housing demand always exceeded the supply.

The atomic bomb was built in time to end World War II. The ethics of its use continue to be discussed; however, it has been estimated that ending the war saved 2-4 million American casualties and perhaps 5-10 million Japanese deaths.

Click HERE to view the Power Point slides used for this talk       Click HERE for instructions on how to control the slide show

Notes by Joe Jones

Vol 87 No 36 - September 20, 2010

String Theory for Everyone

Presented By: Andrew Zimmerman Jones

Andrew Jones

Andrew Zimmerman Jones

Andrew Zimmerman Jones received a B.A. in Physics with minors in mathematics and philosophy from Wabash in 1999 and a M.S. in Mathematics Education from Purdue in 2008. He is the Physics Guide for and is the author of String Theory for Dummies (2009).

There are four physical forces in physics: gravitational, electromagnetic, strong nuclear and weak nuclear. Gravity is explained by general relativity and the other three are explained by quantum mechanics.

The fabric of space-time is smooth in relativity and is a fluctuating sea of energy in quantum theory. In quantum theory a particle and an anti-particle appear and then annihilate each other in a very short time. Reconciling relativity and quantum mechanics is a major problem in physics. String theory yields mathematical formulas that reconcile them.

In string theory the universe consists of vibrating strings. They interact together in five ways, creating all of the known particles. The strings exist in multiple dimensions. If a hydrogen atom were as big as the galaxy, a string would be about as big as a human hair. Later developments in string theory have suggested branes, strings that can exist in additional dimensions.

Problems in physics included dark matter and dark energy. Dark matter was discovered in the late 70s and early 80s when it was determined that there was not sufficient visible matter in galaxies to hold them together. Dark energy was discovered as a result of the discovery of the rate at which the universe was expanding. It accounts for 74% of the mass energy of the universe.

Fermions are particles usually associated with matter: quarks and leptons. Bosons are force carriers, such as photons. The Standard Model postulates the existence of Higgs bosons, which give other particles their mass, but has not yet been observed experimentally. The graviton is a theoretically predicted boson which carries the gravitational force.

Supersymmetry theory provides a model whereby every particle that transmits a force (a boson) has a partner that makes up matter (a fermion) and vice versa. The partner particles are called superpartners or sparticles. For example, the superpartner of a graviton would be a gravitino. Supersymmetry allows for the high energy unification of the weak force, the strong force, and electromagnetism and provides a candidate for Dark Matter. Incorporating supersymmetry in many versions of string theory permits the universe to be explained using only 10 dimensions, while basic string theory required 28 dimensions.

String theory also avoids a singularity at the center of black holes where the laws of physics otherwise break down.

Ways to prove string theory could include finding the sparticles predicted by supersymmetry or observing the extra dimensions. Both may be possible at the Large Hadron Collider in Europe.

Problems with string theory include no useful predictions and lack of experimental data confirming the theory. There are other possible alternatives to string theory, including a modified theory of gravity.

Notes by Malcolm Mallette

Vol 87 No 37 - September 27, 2010

The Evolution of Modern Cataract Surgery

Presented By: Dr. Dan Robinson

Dr. Dan Robinson

Dr. Dan Robinson

Dr Robinson grew up in Greencastle and Atlanta. He earned an undergrad degree from Purdue and graduate degrees from IU. He has served as president of Indiana and Indianapolis ophthalmology organizations.

A cataract is the clouding of the lens of the eye. The lens is replaced in cataract surgery. Among the causes of cataracts are genetics, diabetes, prednisone, and UV light.

The anatomy of the eye is:

Eye Structure

Eye Structure

- Tear Film is a diffracting surface
- Cornea serves like a watch crystal
- Lens focuses the incoming light
- Ciliary muscles flex the lens to change focal length
- Vitreous is a nearly clear fluid filling the center of the eye ("floaters" occur here)
- Retina receives the focused light image.

History: In ancient Egypt, couching was used to push the cataract backward into the vitreous out of the way. In the 1700/1800's, incision and anesthesia were introduced. More recently, ICCE (Intracapsular Cataract Extraction) removed the lens capsule in one piece. Modern ECCE removes the lens through an incision in the cornea.

Phacoemulsification, the gold standard now, was introduced by Dr Charles Kelman in 1967. This technique uses ultrasound to emulsify the lens/cataract and vacuum the pieces out of the eye. A small stab incision is made in the cornea and then an "X" incision cuts the cataract into quarters. An ultrasound handpiece is inserted to emulsify each quarter. The handpiece applies 32Khz torsional energy and 43Khz longitudinal energy.

The next step is to implant an intraocular lens to restore normal vision. Initially the lens was placed near the front of the eye, but this led to clouding. Now it is placed behind the iris. The lens is made of PMMA (polymethylmethacrylate), silicone, or acrylic, with the later two being flexible allowing foldable lenses. The lens also uses UV absorbing chromaphores so sunglasses are not required.

Each lens is customized based on the length and curvature of the eye. The lens is generally flat on one side and curved on the other. It can also be designed to correct astigmatism and spherical aberration. Today the intraocular lens is mono-focal, meaning the patient vision can be 20/20 for distance, but reading glasses will still be needed. Advances are being made in multi-focal lens which would change shape and thus increase the range of clear vision.

After prep, the whole procedure can be done in about 12 minutes. Only a small amount of anesthesia is needed (1/6 of that used for a colonoscopy) and the patient remains awake during the procedure.

Dr Robinson and others also perform cataract surgery as a mission in Guatemala and Panama. They have worked in Guatemala for eight years and have established a strong working relationship with the local medical community. They transport their critical high tech equipment and do as many surgeries as they can in a week.

Notes by John Peer

Vol 87 No 38 - October 4, 2010

The Small Dish Radio Telescope in Radio Astronomy

Presented By: Malcolm Mallette

Malcolm Mallette

Malcolm Mallette

This very interesting talk on radio astronomy was given today by a fellow club member Malcolm Mallette. Malcolm graduated from Purdue University with a B.S. in Physics, Math and Education. He graduated from the Indiana University School of Law Bloomington in 1967.

The history of technology-assisted astronomy dates back to Galileo who was an Italian physicist, mathematician, astronomer and philosopher who played a major role in the Scientific Revolution. His achievements include improvements to the telescope and consequent astronomical observations, and support for Copernicus' view of the sun-centered solar system.

Radio astronomy is astronomical observation at radio wavelengths. For example, you can observe the Crab Nebula at the wavelength of visible light by looking at the light it emits through a telescope or at radio wavelengths by looking at the data from a radio telescope that observes the radio waves it emits.

The first radio antenna to receive cosmic static was made by Karl Jansky. Karl Jansky was an American physicist and radio engineer who in August 1931 first discovered radio waves emanating from the Milky Way. He is considered one of the founding figures of radio astronomy. He had been hired by Bell Labs to find sources of radio interference which might cause problems for their short wave transmitters which they were planning to employ for transatlantic telephone transmissions. He found that thunderstorms near and far were one source of interference. A second source of interference was coming from the Milky Way Galactic plane.

Reber Radio Telescope

Reber Radio Telescope

Grote Reber was an amateur astronomer who was instrumental in investigating and extending Karl Jansky's pioneering work, and conducted the first sky survey in the radio frequencies. His radio telescope took the same general form as today's radio telescopes using a dish and a feed horn, which collects radio waves for a receiver which amplifies and detects the radio waves.

New Radio Telescope

New Radio Telescope

Malcolm Mallette, working with Dr. Steve Spicklemire at the University of Indianapolis, was instrumental in having a radio telescope installed on top of a building at the University of Indianapolis. Its first observation was on 8 November 1997. The original dish was destroyed by hail and replaced by a much improved dish on 6 April 2009. It is not a research device, as there are many larger and more sophisticated devices around the world. It is currently being used to demonstrate the principles of radio astronomy to the students at the University.

The talk discussed many of the problems encountered in building and installing the radio telescope. Malcolm also discussed some interesting problems in the data caused by fluctuation in temperature and interference from aircraft radio altimeters, as well as their methods of identifying and compensating for these variances.

Malcolm gave several examples of the data that had been collected from this telescope including readings from the crossing of the sun, the black hole at the center of our Galaxy, and a massive black hole at the center of a galaxy 500 million light years away and located in the constellation Cygnus.

Thanks to Malcolm for this very informative and interesting talk. To get more information go to

Click HERE to view the Power Point slides used for this talk       Click HERE for instructions on how to control the slide show

Notes by Bill Elliott

Vol 87 No 39 - October 11, 2010

The Story of Qudrat, the Afghan Baby Who Captured the Heart of Hoosiers

Presented By: Jim Graham

Jim Graham

Jim Grahanm

Jim is a Purdue chemical engineer and former Navy flier who now works in trade relations with China and is very active in Rotary. Qudrat was a son of Hakim Wardak, an Afghani whose poverty-stricken childhood home was destroyed by the invading Russians when he was in his teens. He and his father were out in the fields at the time. They then moved to Pakistan and lived in a camp of a million refugees till the Russians left.

They returned to Afghanistan until the Taliban took over. Then they fled back to a camp in Pakistan where Hakim married. Later they returned to Afghanistan again with a small group. Because their village had been destroyed by the Russians, the group was forced to live in makeshift shelters and holes in the ground

Jim's son, an Army officer, happened to visit that area and decided to help the people. The soldiers under his command gave money to buy two trucks of supplies for the camp, and doctors visited it. They found Hakim's son Qudrat, who was very malnourished and had serious heart defects.


Qudrat and his Father

An Army team managed to obtain visas for Hakim and Qudrat to go to Indianapolis on military planes, and Rotary arranged for the boy's surgery and care. He weighed only 10 lb. on arrival and was very weak, but the complex heart operation was done successfully. But a nurse exposed him to chicken pox (which does not exist in Afghanistan) and he and Hakim were sent to Jim's home to wait out the 3-week quarantine. Qudrat gained 9 pounds in that period and was very rapidly gaining strength and mental power.

Then father and son were returned home. Soon after their return, Qudrat's heart began to race and he died. Hakim took the little body to his destroyed childhood village and buried him there.

The Rotary Qudrat fund still held $13,000, which could not be sent to Hakim because he was living in refugee camps. Jim went to Afghanistan with a UN polio campaign and visited Hakim. They arranged a safe way for Hakim to receive the money.

Hakim then recovered his 5 children, who had been dispersed to foster parents because of the family's poverty, paying the foster parents for their expenses. He then built a house, and attended and graduated from the University of Kabul.

Hakim wanted to revive his childhood home and village, which lacked any education and medical care. So he went there, where Qudrat was buried, rebuilt the ruined home enough to shelter the family, and founded a clinic and school where students were taught under a brush sunshade. By then the Rotary fund was depleted, and he contacted Jim again.

Jim raised $5000, which was enough to set up the clinic properly but not the school. Jim then proposed to raise money through Rotary to build a real school. A cover story to explain the source of the money was devised, and the village agreed to run the school by UN standards.

The new school is heavily built in concrete. Fifty villages sent representatives to the official opening of it, in January 2010, and important government officials were there, too.

Both boys and girls attend the school, wearing uniforms, blue for the boys and black with white scarves for the girls.

The village women carried the village's water 1.5 miles from a river, and many people were sick with cholera, so money was raised to drill a deep well for the village.

The village school is guarded full time, and a wall around it is being built. So far there has been no Taliban intimidation about the girls in school. A delegation from the Taliban visited peacefully once, and was peacefully ushered out.

When the village projects were finished, money was left over and the UN's advice on using it was sought. They suggested teaching women to read, and to use vocational skills. A reading teacher can be paid and supplied with materials for $1350 per year, and a sewing machine, a loom, materials and a year's instruction for $3140. The women of seven villages are being taught and trained with support from the Qudrat fund.

Notes by Joe Jones

Vol 87 No 40 - October 18, 2010

Himalayan Trekking and Third World Philanthropy

Presented By: Jeff Rasley

Jeff Rasley

Jeff Rasley

Jeff is a fellow member of the Scientech Club. He is a cum laude graduate of the University of Chicago and received his legal training at the Indiana University School of Law. In addition he has a Master of Divinity from the Christian Theologic Seminary.

Jeff is an avid trekker, mountain climber and kayaker. After many visits to Nepal he developed a real fondness for that country.

Nepal is about the size of the state of Arkansas. It has 25 million inhabitants one half of whom live below the poverty line. 60% are illiterate. The country is located between India and China. Eight of 10 of the highest mountains on Earth are located in Nepal including Mount Everest. The high country inhabitants are mostly Buddhist. Those in the low country are largely Hindu. The population is very spiritual. The usual greeting in Nepalese translates to "I see God in you." While the people have many virtues, the two most impressive to Jeff are their endurance and kindness. The government is a monarchy. Several years ago there was an assassination of many in the royal family by one of its members. This created turmoil but it is hoped that the current king will lead the country more justly and in a better direction. Maoist rebels have plagued the kingdom for many years.

The year 2003 was the 50th anniversary of Sir Edmund Hillary's reaching the top of Mt. Everest. During that year Jeff made a trek with Sir Edmunds 84-year-old sister. He learned about the philanthropic work of the Hillarys in Nepal such as the founding of a school on the flanks of Mount Everest. They also organized treks as fundraising projects to develop water resources, additional schools and clothes etc. The average wage of a worker is less than $3 a day. A porter on a trek gets $8-$10 per day.

Jeff organized a trek in Nepal in 2008. He showed many interesting pictures from this trek. His group of 10 people landed in Kathmandu. They were to fly to the Basa Village (alt. 7000') but because of several unexpected events the group had to trek to the village. Only three of the 10 succeeded in reaching the village. The concept of a trek in Nepal is not exactly as most would imagine. Trekking was begun by British aristocrats that is to say they did the walking while others did the work including cooking 3 hot meals, pitching tents, serving and carrying the 60-pound loads. The Nepalese people are short by Western standards being 5'2" to 5'4" on average.

Arrival at the village was very ceremonious. The three were serenaded by the town's pipes and drums. Citizens were dressed in their finery. The elders made speeches and the 3 were treated to the somewhat fierce local brews which typically are concocted by each household. It is common for women in a Nepal to wear nasal jewelry with the more ornate reflecting a higher social status. Although the Nepalese are always very hospitable they were particularly glad to see Jeff since he had visited before and helped raise $5000 to add fourth and fifth grade rooms to the school.

The Rai people (villagers) have a very respectful attitude and recognize holiness in all things. They are environmentalists by nature. They raise their food on small farms and obtain goods and services by trading. There is no hint of Western materialism. In recent years a medical clinic was established two hours away from the village. This increased life expectancy and decreased fetal mortality. The result led to a population larger than could be sustained by the small farms. Many young people were forced to go to the cities where unemployment was already very high.

This increase in population has upset the balance which had been maintained for centuries calling the question of how to approach Third World philanthropy. Jeff has adopted the philosophy of bringing to the villagers what they ask for to meet their current needs. The locals need to own the projects and the work must be done by the villagers with no government intervention. Along with the Quaker church and others he has raised $20,000 to provide electricity from hydroelectric power, additional water wells and more schoolrooms. The latter are necessary so that those individuals leaving the village might compete better in the city.

If you have an interest in making a contribution to this worthy enterprise contact Jeff Rasley at

Notes by Gerry Kurlander

Vol 87 No 41 - October 25, 2010

Collecting and Restoring Antique Construction Equipment: A Peek Inside My (BIGGER) Sandbox

Presented By: Jim Carter

Jim Carter

Jim Carter

Jim, a fellow Scientech member, is a native of Indianapolis, graduating from Broadripple HS. He attended Purdue in civil engineering. His National Guard unit really needed x-ray technicians so he signed up for that training. He was then hooked and graduated from IU Medical School with a BS in Nuclear Medical Technology in 1975.

However, his love for things construction started as a boy when he was fascinated with the heavy equipment working near his neighborhood. He told his mom he was going to own a backhoe someday and, lo and behold, he made it come true more than eight times over.

A little background first. W. H. Insley, the first President of the Scientech Club in 1918, founded Insley Ironworks in 1904, followed by Insley Steelworks in 1905 and Insley Mfg in the mid teens. In 1924 he introduced his first excavating machine. In 1936 the K series Insley Excavator / Backhoe became his most successful product line.

W H Insley was a pioneer in developing "Revolving Shovels" or "Convertible Extractors". They consist of a main revolving cab/engine assembly mounted on crawler tracks, truck chassis, or wheeled self-propelled base. Five basic "front ends" can be attached: crane, clamshell scoop, dipper shovel, dragline, or pull shovel (backhoe). These machines were operated with gears, clutches, and cables as opposed to modern equipment that uses hydraulics and electronics.

Now for the rest of the story. In 1986 Jim and his (very tolerant) wife Bonnie were building a home and Jim said we need a crane to dredge our pond. Jim found an Insley backhoe for a song and had it delivered. It soon became "Ichabod Crane" and later "yard art" as dredging the pond was impractical.

However, Jim discovered a new way to pursue his interest - restore and show antique cranes at the annual Historical Construction Equipment Assoc in Bowling Green, OH. This led to a second crane and a third, etc. Some were used for repair parts; others to use for lifting during the repair/restoration. You get the picture.

Most of these cranes were in disrepair after many many years of neglect. One had to be excavated itself as it had sunk a few feet into the ground. Bonnie called him a toolaholic.

Among the acquisitions were a several more Insley backhoes, a "rare" Insley shovel, and a Koehring crane (brief partner with Insley in the 1930's). Finally Bonnie said "If it comes on the property, it goes in the barn. If it doesn't go in the barn, it doesn't come on the property!"

Jim also started showing his restored backhoes at the National Pike Steam, Gas, & Horse Assoc shows in Brownsville, PA. These shows are hands-on with working equipment moving dirt as opposed to static displays. Jim asserts "An Insley Dragline is an absolute babe magnet". Back to reality…

As a side note, all of Jim's equipment uses gas/diesel engines, but a good friend has restored a steam engine powered unit from the New Automatic Shovel Co of Lorain, OH. From the before and after pictures, is was truly saved from the grave.

Our thanks to Jim for a very informative AND entertaining presentation.

Notes by John Peer

Vol 87 No 42 - November 1, 2010

Lewis and Clark Will Never Die: Discovering Our Country, Each Other and Ourselves

Presented By: Jeffrey Ton

Jeffrey Ton

Jeffrey Ton

Jeff Ton is the Chief Information Officer for Goodwill Industries of Central Indiana Jeff gave a very interesting summary of his and his wife, Carmen's, adventure in 2003 to follow the Lewis and Clark trail. The actual Lewis and Clark expedition is summarized below.

In 1803 Thomas Jefferson sanctioned Meriwether Lewis and his ARMY colleague, William Clark to lead an expedition to discover a waterway through the Northwest to the Pacific. They would travel over 8000 miles, over half of that upstream against the currents of the Mississippi, Missouri and Columbia Rivers. Lewis was the planner; Clark was the surveyor, cartographer, and writer. Using a compass, sextant and dead reckoning the measurements were only off by 40 miles in 8000 miles.

Clark joined Lewis in Clarksville, IN and headed down the Ohio in 1803. They wintered at Camp River Du Bois (what is now Alton, IL). During that winter Jefferson brokered the Louisiana Purchase which doubled the size of the US. They departed in the spring of 1804, traveled up the Missouri and six months later they reached the Mandan Indian village at what is now Bismarck, ND. Their first and only casualty died of an apparent ruptured appendix. Lewis and Clark hired a French interpreter Charbonneau and his pregnant wife Sacagawea as guides. They pressed on and by the summer of 1805 were at the White Cliffs of the Missouri. They continued on upstream to Decision Point and onward to the Great Falls where they spent three weeks portaging the 18 miles around the five falls. They continued on through the Gates of the Mountains and finally to the source of the Missouri. At this point what they thought would be a short portage to the Columbia turned out to be more mountains. They were desperate for horses when they encountered the Shoshone Indians. The Shoshone chief coincidentally was Sacagawea's brother, who had escaped capture when Sacagawea was kidnapped years earlier. They pressed on, but, even with Shoshone horses they barely made it through the Rockies, when, near death from starvation, they met the Nez Perce Indians, who restored them back to health. They continued on downstream and, with the Pacific in view Clark uttered his famous line "Ocean in view, o joy". The winter of 1805/1806 was a dreary rainy winter. They stayed with the Clatsop Indians on the South bank of the mouth of the Columbia River.

The expedition left Fort Clatsop for St. Louis in March 1806 and again met up with the Nez Perce Indians. They spent several months with them in the Summer of Peace. They moved on downstream on the Missouri. The only other casualty of the expedition was when Lewis, leading a contingent of the expedition, encountered several Blackfeet Indians. During the night the Indians tried to steal the party's guns and horses and two of them were killed. The expedition arrived back in St. Louis in September 1806 to a hero's welcome.

Jeff and Carmen Ton joined that celebration 200 years later on the steps of the Gateway Arch sharing a bottle of Thomas Jefferson wine that they had purchased 3 and half years before when they started to follow the Lewis and Clark trail. Their journey was complete.

Notes by Jim Bettner

Vol 87 No 43 - November 8, 2010

Tour of NUCOR Steel Plant in Crawfordsville

Hosted By: Eric Gallo

Eric Gallo

Eric Gallo

Eric Gallo, Technical Service Mgr, was our host. He has been in the Sheet Steel industry for 15 years and at Nucor for seven years.

NuCor Plant

NuCor Plant

Nucor is the largest steel producer in the US and the nation's largest recycler (85% of their feedstock is scrap). Nucor has 20 steel mills and operates in 38 states and eight Canadian provinces as well as Trinidad. Nucor is very proud of their Safety First orientation and have reduced their "recordable" incidents by a factor of ten over the last ten years. They are essentially on target again this year.

Nucor has had two very significant firsts. In 1989 they built the world's first "mini-mill" in Crawfordsville using equipment and technology bought from Germany. In 2002 they built the first Castrip (thin casting) production facility based on a pilot plant in Australia.

The key advance of a "mini-mill" is the casting from molten steel to coiled sheet steel in essentially a continuous process.

The process starts in the Meltshop where scrap steel is melted in two 90MW Electric Arc Furnaces (EAF) producing a 130 ton "heat" in 50 minutes. For specialty low carbon and stainless steels, the molten steel is processed through an Argon Oxygen Decarburizer (AOD). Most products go directly from the EAF to the Ladle Metallurgy Furnace (LMF) where the temperature and chemistry is "dialed in" to meet customer requirements for each of about 130 different steel products. Each "heat "is tested using Optical Emission Spectography to confirm the composition.

The "heat" is now fed into a Tundish (holding reservoir) and then into Compact Strip Production (CSP) casters to create a 2" thick flowing slab of steel up to 55" wide. The 2900°F molten steel flows through copper molds. These are water cooled as is the slab itself so that the "skin" quickly solidifies giving shape to the slab while the core is still molten. The slab emerges from the caster into a Tunnel Furnace and is cut into 90-150ft lengths weighing 15-22 tons. It is then transported to the Hot Mill via a shuttle system (two casters feed into one mill line).

The Hot Mill has six "4 high" rolling stations, each of which can reduce the thickness of the slab by a factor of 2. The output of each stage is twice the speed of the input so by the end the (now a) strip is moving up to 2000 ft/min. The six stations can reduce the thickness from the 2" input to 1/16"output in a continuous (efficient) process. The sheet steel is then rolled into a coil.

The Cold Mill processes the coiled steel at ambient temperatures. "Pickling" uses hydrochloric acid (17%) to remove scale and dirt from the steel strip. It can be sold as "Pickled and Oiled" or can be further processed to reduce the gauge and trim the edges. The Cold Mill also has annealing, tempering, and galvanizing processes.

Castrip Casting

Castrip Casting

The other major "first" at Nucor Crawfordville is their "Castrip" production facility. This embodies an original idea from Henry Bessemer back in 1870 of directly casting molten metal into thin slabs in one continuous process. Molten steel from the EAF is poured onto two counterrotating rollers and then cooled directly to form a thin strip of steel. The thin strip needs only a one stage rolling mill (vs six in the mini-mill) to achieve the final product gauge of 1/16" or less. It is less capital intensive and more cost effective. The Castrip line costs $60 million vs. $300-400 million for the mini-mill. CaStrip requires only 50 KWh/ton produced vs. 250 KWh/ton for the mini-mill and 450 KWh/ton for conventional blast furnace casting.

Castrip Comparison

Castrip Comparison

Another comparison between conventional casting (Thick Slab), mini-mill (Thin Slab), and CaStrip:

Casting Processes

Casting Processes

A comparison of the overall casting processes shows the reduction in equipment made possible by the CaStrip process:

The story of the development of CaStrip and a more complete description of the process may be seen on CaStrip web site ( from which these images were obtained. Thanks to Nucor and Eric Gallo for a great tour and our Jim Bettner for organizing it.

Notes by John Peer

Vol 87 No 44 - November 15, 2010

Chronic Pain - Real or Imaginary?

Presented By: Karl L. Manders, MD

Karl Manders

Dr. Karl Manders

Karl L. Manders, MD, a Scientech member, board certified neurosurgeon and pain specialist, posed the question: What is pain? He defined pain as "An unpleasant sensory and emotional experience associated with actual or potential tissue damage, or described in terms of such damage." None of us like pain, but pain is to be accepted as real and legitimate without the need for justification.

Pain is not imaginary, and is classified as acute pain and chronic pain. Acute pain is pain (i.e., suffering, and pain behaviors) that occurs with the injury or disease and persists through the normal healing cycle, while chronic pain is pain that persists after the normal healing cycle. The elements of pain are:

1. Pain is subjective and cannot be measured objectively.
2. Pain evokes negative psychological reactions including fear, anxiety and depression.
3. Pain is perceived consciously and is evaluated in the light of past experience.
4. Pain is usually seen and reacted to as an indicator of physical harm.

Individuals can take a normal pain and turn it into learned pain. Learned pain changes their behavior, such as bedridden, drugs, moaning, and litigation. Pain can be reinforced by the need for rest, medication, attention, and money.

Traditional medicine continues to view symptoms like pain as the outward expression of tissue damage, organ malfunction or disease and to conceptualize medical management of pain simply as a matter of physical investigation, diagnosis, and physical treatment. However, pain is not a tissue issue. We now recognize that psychosocial, behavioral, environmental, spiritual, iatrogenic, and other factors must be taken into account in understanding and treating pain.

Chronic pain is the reorganization of neural pathways not seen in acute pain. It can and does alter neural simulators (Phantom Limb Syndrome provides an example with the wide dynamic neurons syndrome).

With these factors, pain can now be defined as encompassing a multifaceted concept that transcends the traditional medical model of disease based on pathogenesis at the tissue or organ level. A perceptive concept of pain also includes cognitive, emotional, behavioral, environmental and ethno cultural variables.

Chronic pain can be defined as a patient who is coping with the pain adequately, whereas Chronic Pain Syndrome is a person who is coping very poorly. Chronic Pain Syndrome is a legitimate disorder. It is not a psychiatric disorder, but has psychological aspects. It reflects dysfunction in physical, behavioral, social, vocational, and familial domains.

Chronic pain is rarely psychological in origin, and should not be confused with the Chronic Pain Syndrome, which is not considered to be a mental disorder but may have psychological overtones.

A subspecialty of pain medicine is training to treat chronic pain patients. Because there is only one pain specialist for every 25,000 people, most pain is treated by primary care physicians. The approach to treating chronic pain patients is: Alleviate pain, investigation, medications, technology (nerve blocks). The physician must deal with perpetuate pain including worker's compensation and litigation. Lastly he must understand that chronic pain in a patient is a behavior, not a symptom.

Pain centers are now in existence that treat the chronic pain patient using a multidisciplinary treatment team. This includes a multidisciplinary evaluation, and a treatment continuum. This treatment team uses physical therapy, occupational therapy, psychology, medicine (including an educational focus), anesthesiologist, primary care, pharmacist, chaplain and dietitian.

Hopefully this program has provided a better understanding of pain, the chronic pain patient, and the treatment available. For more information Dr. Manders recommends the book "Pain Chronicles" by Melanie Thernstram.

Notes by Hank Wolfla

Vol 87 No 45 - November 22, 2010

The Indications, Advantages and Technique of Cochlear Implants for Hearing-impaired Children

Presented By: Teri Ouellette, Program Director, St Joseph Institute for the Deaf

Teri Ouellette

Teri Ouellette

0.1% of infants are born with profound hearing loss, of whom about 100 are born in Indiana. However, 98% of Indiana newborns are screened for hearing loss at birth, which is very good. Unfortunately 15% of those with hearing loss are lost in follow-up and not treated promptly-that figure used to be 50%.

The goal for newborns with hearing loss is to screen them before they are one month old, to get them some degree of hearing amplification by three months old, and to get them serious help by six months old. Early treatment is very important, because a child's ability to learn by seeing and hearing peaks at 3-4 months of age, and its ability to learn language and speech peaks at 8-10 months! If the baby loses that early learning time, it may never catch up.

Attempts to teach the deaf to speak started long ago. In 1880 a great conference in Milan set the long-term goal of teaching all deaf people to speak. Alexander G. Bell was a teacher of the deaf, and invented the telephone as a possible aid to the deaf.

American Sign Language appeared in the 1960's. It does not use English, but a separate set of signs for meanings. A manually coded English is used by the people who speak and sign simultaneously. In the 1990's, the deaf culture people argued and still argue that it is wrong to teach the deaf to speak.

Normal Ear

Use of cochlear implants started in 1972. The cochlea is the innermost part of the ear. It is a coiled tube full of liquid, which receives the vibrations of the inner ear. A body within it is furred with hairs, each of which receives a certain range of vibrations and passes them on as electrical charges to the nervous system. A cochlear implant (CI) is surgically implanted in place of the defective original body, and functions as the natural one does. Battery and control functions are outside the head.

Cochlnear Implant

A CI must send its output in the same form that the normal cochlea does in order for the nerves to interpret it correctly. Thus, all CI's function basically the same way, although bells and whistles can be added. For lifelike hearing a patient should have bilateral implants, and insurers understand that and don't argue about the cost. The surgical cost of implanting a CI is about $70,000; the device itself costs about $25,000. The internal parts of it are quite durable, but the external controls must be replaced more often.

Ms. Ouellette explained that the goal of St. Joseph Institute is to habilitate its child patients, rather than rehabilitate them. That means that their goal is to bring them to normal speech by normal progression of steps, although they may be delayed in reaching the goal. Thus, they try to get each patient on amplification by three months of age, so that its nerves and brain can receive at least some sound stimulation, and to get a CI or two implanted as soon as possible. Some children can make three years of progress in one year, and it is routine for their children to progress at the same rate as fully hearing children.

Ms. Ouellette brought two little people with cochlnear implants to talk to us. They carried on a conversation with her as clearly as most shy 6-7 year olds would do in public.

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Notes by Joe Jones

Vol 87 No 46 - November 29, 2010

Wildflowers of Indiana

Presented By: Rebecca Dolan, Director Friesner Herbarium

Rebecca Dolan

Rebecca Dolan with Barbara Storer

Dr. Rebecca Dolan has an undergraduate degree in Botany from Michigan and a PhD in Botany from the University of Georgia. She is Director of the Friesner Herbarium at Butler.

A Herbarium is a reference collection of pressed and dried plant specimens. Each specimen has a specimen sheet and label showing it's common and scientific names, family, where it was collected, who collected it, and when it was collected.

There are 100,000 specimens in Friesner Herbarium, 43,000 of which are from Indiana. The focus is on plants growing without cultivation and flowers. The Herbarium is located at Gallahue Hall, room 72, at Butler. Its website is .

Scientists use the collection to study the nature of Indiana wild plants and the effects of changes in the use of the land and environment on the plants. Dr. Dolan is now working on the digitization of the specimens so they may be accessed from anywhere.

On the second Tuesday of every month, Dr. Dolan leads a walking tour of the plants on the Butler campus. For information about the tours, contact her at to be placed on the email list.

For wildflowers, Peterson's Field Guide to Wildflowers of Northeastern and North Central North America is easiest to use. The Complete Guide to Indiana Wild Flowers, by Kay Yatskievych (I. U. Press), is the most complete guide to Indiana wildflowers.

For trees, 101 Trees of Indiana, a Field Guide, by Jackson, is the best authority.


Bloodroot is an example of the spring flowers that we see in Indiana from February through May.


Virginia Bluebells are another colorful example.

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Notes by Malcolm Mallette

Vol 87 No 47 - December 6, 2010

History of Chinese Painting

Presented By: Dr. Gonz Chua

Gonz Chua

Dr. Gonz Chua

"The Chinese do not paint from life as the western painter. They observe the surrounding and paint what they understand"

"The action of painting and writing - Use a writing brush to paint and paint in the same way as they write."

Traditional Chinese painting dates back to the Neolithic age about 6,000 years ago. The excavated pottery with painted human faces, fish, and deer indicates that the Chinese began painting as early as Neolithic period. Over the centuries, the growth of Chinese painting reflected the change of time and social conditions. The prehistoric paintings were related to primitive crafts such as pottery, bronzeware, carved jade and lacquer.

Early paintings unearthed depict sacrificial rites; and food production activities seen in southern China. Hunting and animal grazing, wars and dancing were the main themes of northern China. The earliest silk painting was found during the Warring State (472-221 BC). The invention of paper brought the paintings from the aristocrats to the commoners.

The first century brought Buddhism to China from India and brought along characteristic paintings and carvings on grottos and temple buildings. Painting of religious murals gained prominence as well.

Chinese Art During the third to sixth century, wars and divisions sharpened the thinking of Chinese artists, which in turn promoted development of art. Grotto murals and brick carvings flourished. A textbook called "Principal Strokes" was published. The Tang dynasty showed the peak of development of figure and portrait paintings, and ink and green landscape painting came into being. The Tang dynasty is considered the Golden Age of Chinese Portrait painting. Chinese Art

The 9th century showed the establishment of painting academies in each town and city. The painters were given government rank and were on government payrolls. They even wore official uniforms. Paintings of birds and flowers became an independent discipline. Ten volumes of painting collections were published.

The Song dynasty elevated the academies into Imperial Art Academies. Gun powder and the printing press were invented during this time.

Yuan dynasty painters represented the highest level of landscape painting. Paintings were more subtle. Addition of seals and poetry was encouraged.

The Ming' and Ching dynasties started to develop different schools of painting. Some maintained the traditional school disciplines while others developed into free style schools.

After the opening to the west, schools of art were opened. Western and Japanese techniques were incorporated into traditional painting. Themes of paintings were those of the times. Anti-Japanese themes depicting the suffering of Chinese people were very common. After the communist Peoples Republic was established, soviet style painting was promoted for a while. Since the 1980's, painting was no longer based on political motivation and different styles, including the traditional style, showed resurgence.

Notes by Gonz Chua

Vol 87 No 48 - December 13, 2010

Aspirin: The Story of a Wonder Drug

Presented By: Dr. William Dick

Bill Dick

Dr. William Dick

The aspirin story neither begins with the Bayer Company nor ends with it, but they are the company when one contemplates aspirin.

The drug aspirin dates back 7,000 years to ancient Sumer, at which time the willow tree was mentioned on a stone tablet. The bark and sap of the willow tree relieved pain and swelling. The Egyptians of 5,000 years ago also knew of the myrtle tree for pain; it was another tree that contained salicylic acid.

Edwin Smith was the first American to reside in Egypt, living in Luxor (Thebes) in the early 1860's. He obtained two papyri, which were about 3,500 years old. One papyrus described surgical cases and became know as the Edwin Smith Surgical Papyrus. The other one contained medical conditions and remedies and was know as the Ebers Papyrus. The Egyptians knew the willow plant as tjert; the Latin name is salix.

So, the story begins with the Sumerians, moves to the Egyptians, and then on to the Greece. Hippocrates (450 BC) knew of willow bark for pain relief. From there we go to England, where an Anglican minister, Rev. Edward Stone, who told his Earl of the bark of an English tree, "which I found to be a powerful astringent, and very efficacious in curing agues and intermitting disorders." His finding was later presented to the Royal Society of London in 1763.


Aspirin Structure

Various scientists from France, Italy and Germany were involved in the research. The person who first synthesized acetylsalicylic acid (ASA) was Charles Gerhardt of Strasbourg in 1853. William Purkin of England worked with coal tar chemicals, creating a purple dye. The Bayer Company of Germany worked on the compounds and produced acetanilide in 1886, which was trademarked as Antifebrine. The drug trademark era had begun.

Three Bayer scientists produced acetylsalicylic acid, which was trademarked as Aspirin in 1899. "A" - acetyl chloride, "spir" - spirea ulmaria the plant, and "in", a common ending for medicines at the time. Aspirin was originally a powder and it was dispensed only through a physician's prescription. Aspirin was used for arthritis, headache, common cold, influenza and many other ailments.

As a result of WW I, the Bayer Co. lost all of their property in the U.S. and everything was sold to Sterling Drugs, then a maker of quack medicines. Later, they had many rivals, including American Home Products and Bristol-Myers. Due to TV advertising in the 1950's aspirin sales increased. Then in 1962, ibuprofen was discovered.


Ibuprofen Structure

Ibuprofen was first produced by Upjohn in 1974. When it went off patent, American Home Products (Advil) and Bristol-Myers (Nuprin) entered the marketplace. Then in the 1970's, John Vane and Priscilla Piper of England showed that ASA blocked prostaglandins, the basis for aspirin's prevention of pain.

Ibuprofen has 20 times the anti-inflammatory power, 16 times the analgesic power and 10-20 times the antipyretic power. How could aspirin survive? Well, it did. Its new usage was in the prevention of heart disease. It also has a role in prevention of strokes, and many forms of cancer.

In 1994, Bayer bought Sterling Winthrop, once again allowing the use of the Bayer name in the USA. Bayer now sells about 33% of the ASA in the world. The world's top selling analgesic was aspirin until 1989. Acetaminophen (Tylenol) is now first in sales.

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Notes by Bill Dick