Error processing SSI file

Scientech Logo

Presentations In 2011

NOTE: Many of the following presentation summaries will include links to the Power Point slides used to illustrate the presentation.
Click HERE for instructions on how to control the slide show.

Click Top of Page above to return to 2011 index

Vol 88 No 37 - October 3, 2011

Electric Vehicles (via the Purdue Grand Prix & Recharging Stations)

Presented By: Dr. James Caruthers, Reilly Professor of Chemical Engineering, Purdue University

James Caruthers

Dr. James Caruthers

Jim Wark again provided the club an outstanding speaker from Purdue University, Dr. Jim Caruthers. Jim received his BS, MS and PhD degrees from MIT, and then shortly thereafter joined the School of Chemical Engineering at Purdue University in Lafayette, IN. Jim is teaching and doing research in the technology and batteries of Electric Vehicles.

Jim divided his talk into three areas: electric vehicles, batteries, and the need for education of today's youth.

In the early 1900s the first electric cars were made with speeds up to 40 mph. The electric car was the favorite car of women, and even Mrs. Ford drove an electric vehicle. Women were afraid of the hand crank needed to start the early cars. General Motors developed one of the first modern electric cars - the EV-1. The car was made here in Indianapolis, but production stopped when a contract with California was cancelled. Many companies are now in the business of building electric cars such as the GM Volt and the Nissan Leaf. Mercedes Benz was to introduce the Smart Car, but this has been recently dropped.

Electric Technology for the automobile is mostly designed and manufactured by Indiana companies. Presently 21 auto companies use products made in Indiana.

The average cost of a battery for an electric car is around $11,000. The average life is estimated to be 140,000 miles. To make electric cars cost competitive the price of the battery needs to be significantly reduced.

The author has wondered where the word "battery" for electric cells came from. It seems that Ben Franklin did a considerable amount of work in battery technology. When he had a row of batteries on his bench he commented that they looked like a battery of cannons.

The battery technology presently being used was developed in the USA. But then the USA gave this technology to Japan, China, and Korea. China has stated that they plan to be the world largest producer of batteries in the coming years. So far this looks as if this is what will happen. Most rechargeable batteries are manufactured outside of the US.

Jim spent a good amount of time discussing the different battery technologies, and the process of manufacturing batteries. The quality control needed in making lithium batteries is extremely high. Most of us have a Lithium battery in our cameras. The reason these batteries fail is due to the expansion of the cell components over time which causes micro-cracks to form and the battery to fail.

The future of battery technology according to Jim is the Lithium Air battery. IBM is a leader in the development of this technology presently. It is estimated that commercial use of this technology will take at least 10 to 20 years. This battery can theoretically provide 10 or more times the energy than the current batteries.

Jim lastly covered the need for education to teach our young people how to build things. We all remember our dads teaching us how to change the oil in the car, and how to use the basic tools needed to build and repair items in our daily life. Now most young people have little or no knowledge of these basic skills. Purdue along with a number of educational institutions here in Indiana now see this need, and are moving forward in making these skills available to young people. The electric cart race held on the new Grand Prix track at Purdue is part of this effort. We need engineers who can design things now and 20 years into the future. We also need technicians who can understand and maintain the new technology becoming available.

Purdue is working closely with the 4H programs in Indiana to introduce science and technology to these young people. Presently 4H in Indiana has 140,000 students with half being from an urban area.

Thanks to Dr. Caruthers for his excellent presentation that covered the technical and social issues around battery technology and its uses.

Notes by Hank Wolfla

Vol 88 No 38 - October 10, 2011

Tour of R.R. Donnelley Printing, Crawfordsville, IN

Presented By: Les Martin and Donnelley staff

Les Martin

Les Martin

The tour was led by Les Martin and several of his associates. Les has worked at this facility for 42 years. The company was established in 1864. It currently has facilities in 40 countries on four continents . It has 60,000 total employees. A sister plant is located in Shenzhen China. This Indiana facility, a book plant, is the largest in the United States. It produces books for the largest publishers including Houghton Mifflin. Harper and the Bible publisher, Nelson. The Harry Potter series was published here. In 1930 the company published " Two Years Before the Mast", Moby Dick", and "Walden". The American Indian is the press mark of the Donnelley Lakeside Press.

This R.R. Donnelley plant is a full service facility for case bound, soft cover and light weight books. The primary products are adult and juvenile trade books including novels and cookbooks, religious books, Bibles, elementary, high school and college textbooks, professional and reference books and 6 x 9 telephone directories.

277,913,000 books were produced here in 2008. This is approximately 10% of all books produced in the world. The North and South plants in Crawfordsville are almost 2,000,000 sq.ft., equal to 35 football fields.

Over time, cover material and typestyle are adjusted to keep pace with current developments in fine bookmaking. Production methods are updated as book manufacturing improvements are introduced. Current editions use electronic page composition, digital scanning and state-of-the-art computer to plate technologies. Our tour included some discussion of the various varieties of paper used as well as plate production, superfast printing, page collating, binding, packaging and shipping. The tour guides discussed the printing of multicolor pages, one color at a time, with red, yellow, and blue ink. Although much of the complex machinery used for these functions was produced outside the United States, several robots made in Columbus Ohio were seen on the tour.

After completion of the more than 1 mile walking tour it was obvious that this is a very first-class facility with many of the employees spending their entire working careers here. In 2006 R.R. Donnelly was named as one of America's Best Big Companies. It was also surprising to this writer that this huge plant which operates 24/7 could be successfully manned by so few employees as a result of the extensive automation.

Click HERE to view a short video on how ink is transferred to the paper and how different colors are produced

Notes by Jerry Kurlander

Vol 88 No 39 - October 17, 2011

A Journey of a Lifetime

Presented By: Gonz Chua

Gonz Chua

Dr. Gonz Chua

Dr. Chua presented a series of pictures of a 30 day Journey of a Lifetime in China. The travel involved visits to 13 cities, two international flights, 8 domestic flights, one overnight train, 3 days on a Yangtze river cruise, and a day on a Li river cruise.

The journey started in Beijing: Capital of PRC. In 1987, it was a city of pedestrians, unicolor, bicycles, and box like Russian architecture. In 2011 Beijing is a completely modern city. Sites visited were:

- Beihai Park-Imperial garden,14th century
- Wanfuching Avenue-main commercial street
- Summer Palace-Empress Dowager used funds for modern navy.
- Forbidden City-9999 rooms Imperial palace, 14th-19th century.
- Temple of Heaven
- Tianamen Square-world's largest, site of student massacre.
- Juyongquan section, Great Wall-5000 miles
- Beijing National Stadium-the Bird's nest

The Silk Road-an ancient trade route between China, central Asia, Europe, and Africa. He traveled the northern route and visited many cities along the way.

- Urumpgy, Xingiang-the land remotest from the sea. Presently, a major transportation and economic center to the middle east, near east, and Russia.
- Heavenly Lake, Uigur Community, Night market and the Grand Bazaar.
- Turpan-a major grape producer. 100 days of summer.
- Jiaohe Ruins-ancient kingdom.
- Dunhuang-Mogao Grottos-caves of a thousand Buddhas. Largest depository of Buddhist scripture. 492 caves, 45,000 wall paintings, 2000 statues. Flaming Mountain camel ride. 2000years old.
- Kares Irrigation system-a man made ancient irrigation system.
- Xian-ancient capital from 200 BC to 14th century. Terra Cotta Warriors. First Emperor's Museum. Evidence of mass manufacturing of steel and other objects. Main economic center of the silk road.
- Jiayuquan Fort-most western part of the Great Wall. First Beacon Tower. Last overhanging section of the Great Wall.
- Wild Goose Pagoda-built in the 5th century.
- Yangtze River cruise-the Three Gorges cruise. The Three Gorges Dam-one of the world's largest, is 1.45 miles long. Generated 348.4 TWh of electricity and flood control. Displaced 1.2 million people and numerous cities. 700,000 are in new cities along the banks. 2 sets of 5 stage docks and a ship elevator-first of its kind. Each dock accommodate 4 -3000 tons vessels. Temples were relocated brick by brick.
- Ghost city of Fengdu-underwater. Temple remains.
- Shennong stream cruise-reproduction of early times and singing crews.
- Chonqing-wartime capital, 32 million people, a major manufacturing center
- Stillwell and Flying Tigers Museum
- Lhasa-capital of Tibet, 11,450 feet above sea level
- Potala Palace-7th century. World's tallest wood skyscraper. Has 999 rooms. Home of the Dalai Lama.
- Johkang Temple and Sera Monastery-Tibetan Buddhism. Watched monks debate.
- Jade Lake-one of the highest lake in the world at 6,600 ft.
- Chengdu--home of the Panda Research center, IT research, aircraft, insurance and auto industry.
- Quilin, Yanhshuo and Li River cruise--- picturesque mountains.
- Reed Flute Cave-rock formations
- Fishing with the Cormorants
- Musical production using the river bed as stage
- Shanghai-commercial capital. Visited the Bund along the Whangpu river. Combination of modern Shanghai since 1980 and old Shanghai of the 1930s.
- Modern Shanghai Museum
- Night Cruise of Shanghai.
- Visited Expo 2010.
- Maglev high speed train (average 200 km per hour)

Back to good old USA.

Click HERE to view most of the slides used in this talk. Unfortunately it was not possible to capture all of the images and some of them may be out of order

Notes by Gonz Chua

Vol 88 No 40 - October 24, 2011

Evolution of a Battle Rifle and a New Use for Unused Ammunition

Presented By: David Armstrong, Crane Naval Weapons Center

David Armstrong

David Armstrong

Mr. Dave Armstrong a mechanical engineer from the Small Arms Engineering Section, Joint Weapons Engineering Branch, of the Crane Division, Naval Surface Warfare Center gave the presentation today. Dave has a degree in mechanical engineering from Valparaiso University. Over the years Dave has worked on various small arms projects. Dave holds two US Navy patents, and is currently responsible for the MK14 rifle system and mortars.

The M14 back in 1957 was slated to replace most shoulder arms and was to be complemented by the M60. It was chambered for the new 7.62mm NATO cartridge and holds 20 rounds in the magazine. The M14 was intended to replace 5 weapons including the BAR, M1 rifle, sniper rifles, M1 Carbine, and Sub-machineguns.

Manufacturers included Springfield Armory, Winchester, Harrington & Richardson. In 1961 TRW also began manufacturing the weapon.

Updates to the M14 included the M14 Port Security version and Match Rifles. The USMC added the AN/PVS-10 Day/Night Sight and OPS suppression. The Army replaced it for sniping with the M24 rifle in 1988. The SEALs use it now as the MK 14 MOD 0 and MOD 1. The MOD 0 changes include a stock system (Chassis), Operating Rod Guide, Front and Rear Sights, Stripper Clip Guide (replaced by rail), Extended Bolt Release, 18 inch barrel (vs. 22 inch), Improved Flash Suppressor, and accessories that included rings, bipod, grip, sling, case, cleaning kits and tools. The next modification "MOD 1" changed the weight from 11.4 lbs. to 10.6 lbs. but increased the weight of the Bipod from 0.74 lbs. to 1.04 lbs. The MK 14 MOD 1 is 37 inches long while the M4A1 carbine is 30.5 inches long. The M14 used fiberglass/plastic in the Arctic Stock.

The Navy uses the M14 in SEAL advertising and for Burial at Sea duty. It has been used by all military services in recent conflicts.

During Viet Nam it was shown that fire power was thought to be important since it took 200,000 rounds to kill one enemy. This concept favors the M16 and its smaller cartridge.

The remainder of the talk was on the development of the 20mm AMR (Anti Material Rifle) that was a concept in WWI & WWII. Currently the .50 cal. MK211 explosive projectiles, which have been in production for many years, are used in rifles for material targets. In 1992 the requirement for a Heavy Sniper Rifle (HSR) were published. These included a 1.5 MOA accuracy goal to 1500 meters, 5 second Time of Flight to 2000 meters, and a 32 ft-lb recoil threshold. The 20mm AMR is over the recoil limit but can meet most other requirements. A number of these 20mm AMR's are now available which can use available 20X110mm APT and HEI ammo. The HEI is a fuzed RDX based explosive munition. Dave felt that this type of rifle would be useful in future warfare to allow for a low cost, quick response, precision capability with low collateral damage.

Click HERE to view the slides used in the talk on Evolution of a Battle Rifle.

Click HERE to view the slides used in the talk on 20mm Anti-Material Rifle - New Use for Unused Ammunition

Notes by Hank Wolfla

Vol 88 No 41 - October 31, 2011

Sherlock Holmes and the Beginning of Modern Forensic Science

Presented By: David Zauner, VP, The Illustrious Clients of Indianapolis

David Zauner

David Zauner


The British public was introduced in 1887 to a new character with a newer approach to crime solution than his predecessors - Mr. Sherlock Holmes. Holmes looked at detection as a scientific inquiry in which logical deductions were made from established facts and careful observations of minute clues.

In the 60 published Sherlock Holmes stories, fingerprints, footprints, handwriting, bloodstains and chemical analysis were mentioned numerous times. His first action upon arriving at a place where a crime had occurred was a thorough examination of the scene and, if there was one, a body, looking for the smallest detail. "It is a capital mistake to theorize in advance of the facts" was one of his guiding principles.

Forensic Science

It is the application of science to law.
It includes all of the physical sciences applied to the study of hair, body fluids, poisons, etc.,anything that might be used        in or left at the crime scene.
It is related to forensic medicine, the application of medicine to law.
Forensic medicine in the late 19th century was not a recognized specialty.

Government labs did not exist.
There were very limited tools available.
Police and judges were unfamiliar with science.
Continental Europe was more advanced in forensic methods.

Pioneers in forensic science include:

Alphonse Bertillon, Paris, France, 1879
Hans Gross, Graz, Austria, 1893
Edmond Locard, Lyons, France, 1910
Herschel, Faulds and Galton


A Study in Scarlet is a very detailed examination of the crime scene. Holmes deductions were: "There has been a murder done, and the murderer was a man, about six feet tall, in the prime of life, with small feet, wore coarse, square-toed boots. The fingernails of his right hand were remarkably long."

Several Holmes stories, such as The Adventure of Shoscombe Old Place and The Adventure of the Norwood Builder, include trace evidence and microscopic examination methods. Two actual cases, the 1908 murder of Margarethe Filbert in Bavaria and the 1892 murder of the children of Francisca Rojas in Argentina, were presented in comparison to these fictional stories.

Forensic Science Today

New methods and equipment: biology, chemistry, photography, firearms examination and fingerprints.

Challenges include: shrinking resources, unrealistic expectations, validity questions, lack of training and unfamiliarity with forensic science.

Audience Q&A:

Q-The human genome has been identified-is it used?

A-The entire genome is not used. Short inactive sections of the genome which show much variability may be useful

Q-Probability of criminal being incorrectly identified by fingerprint?

A-Very low.

Q-How long does DNA testing process take?

A-About 36 hours.

Q-Do fingerprints wear down with age?


Q-Can fingerprints be surgically removed?

A-Yes, but sometimes scarring defeats the purpose.

Notes by Jim Bettner

Vol 88 No 42 - November 7, 2011

Scientech Club and the D. J. Angus - Scientech Educational Foundation 501(c)(3) Private Foundation

Presented By: George Cunningham, VP of the Foundation and Magnetician

George Cunningham

George Cunningham

History of the D.J. Angus Foundation

1918 Scientech Club organized
1930 Scientech Club Incorporated
1967 Incorporation of the Foundation

The Scientech Club was organized as a vehicle to support science education in the state of Indiana. The D. J. Angus - Scientech Educational Foundation's intent was to "foster and promote the education of deserving students, to foster the understanding and appreciation of the American system of private, free enterprise, to promote good citizenship through appropriate educational activities, and to select students for incentive awards for furthering their education."

Current and former Foundation board members were recognized by being asked to stand. They are the folks who decide how to disburse the funds each year. Approximately 5% of the portfolio balance is given away each year and sometimes a little more if the need is great. The following Universities and Colleges are or have been recipients of foundation gifts:

Anderson University
Taylor University
Trine University
Grand Valley State University
Wabash College
Valparaiso University
University of Southern Indiana
DePauw University
University of Indianapolis
Martin University
IUPUI Science
IUPUI Engineering
Huntington University
Franklin College
Earlham College
Rose Hulman

Approximately 24% of gifts are received by the kindergarten-8th grade age group, 52% to high school students, 21% to colleges and 3% to others. Most educators believe that we must get kids involved early in their education in science and math in order for them to have a continued interest.

George then acknowledged several key Foundation Directors and their responsibilities:

Victor H Wenning is the current President of the Foundation and responsible for the Wabash College, Learn about Business Award, $4,500, and the Most Improved Student Award program that gives $12,500 in scholarships to reward students for what they have already done and what they are capable of doing in the future.

James R. Wark is responsible for the $5,000 each scholarships to Rose Hulman, IUPUI, Purdue University and Indiana University. He also works on the Purdue Seminar for Top Engineering Prospects, IUPUI Summer Physics Awards, and the IUPUI Sumer Engineering Workshop.

Paul Vos heads the intern support award of $14,000 at Annis Water Resources Institute (AWRI) at Grand Valley State University. He also directs the Ron Ward Scholarship at Grand Valley of $5,000. These awards are used to help students study our Great Lakes. They do useful work while being educated.

Douglas A. Wagner works with the gifting to the Center for Earth and Environmental Science. Their website is A visit to their website will give more information about their Mobile Technology Trailer Program, where students can learn about our earth through electronic, interactive displays.

The Foundation also funds a yearly trip to Lake Michigan. AWRI now has two research vessels thanks to the donation of the Jackson from W.G.Jackson. Approximately 20-25 students are selected for the boat trip to the AWRI at Grand Valley State University. There they spend three days along with several teachers and chaperones doing real research.

Several other programs are supported by the Foundation, such as the Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts, the new University of Indianapolis program where a student is placed in an elementary school classroom to assist the teacher in the areas of science and math, and the Indiana State Science Olympiad. On the web, the various competitions during the Olympiad are described, such as the car building contest (using rubber bands, balsa wood and strings), the catapult, model airplanes and rocket building. The Foundation has also supported the Earth Center at Eagle Creek since the year before they opened.

In the next few weeks, Scientech members will be receiving solicitation letters for donations to the Foundation. If you would like to add your alma mater to the list of potential gift recipients, please write their name on your checks.

Audience Q&A:

Q - Has anyone ever thought to track the history of the students who were recipients over the last 40 years:

A - The Foundation has anecdotal documentation of specific comments or situations but nothing formal.

Q - What is the balance of the fund currently?

A - The balance is approximately 1.7 million and we were giving $150,00 per year but with the market erosion we are now only able to give $100,000 per year. If we can increase donations, we could give more. Dan Yates deposits our donations. He is also the Recording Secretary for the Foundation and has been for many, many years. He files our form 990 with the IRS and we have never had a problem. He does a fantastic job.

Q - Since we cannot solicit the general public for Foundation donations, can members solicit family and friends?

A - Yes, and we are pleased to receive those donations.

Q - Of the $12,800 going to IUPUI, how many students does that support?

A - Approximately 25 students for each of the 2 to 3 programs.

Click HERE to view the slides used in this presentation.

Notes by Veronica Foote

Vol 88 No 43 - November 14, 2011

You've Got Mail: How Did it Get Here? Technological Advancements in the USPS

Presented By: Paul Chaffee, Postmaster, Zionsville Post Office

Paul Chaffee

Paul Chaffee

Founded in 1775 by Ben Franklin, the United States Postal Service ("USPS") delivers 563 million pieces of mail on an average day: 258.1 million are First Class and 272.4 million are advertising mail. The daily revenue is $221.3 million and the salaries and benefits to postal employees are $136 million. For 30 years the USPS has received no tax money.

The mailing industry is now a 1 trillion-dollar business that employs 8 million people, 7% of the nation's GDP. Over HALF of the output of the entire US Printing Industry goes through the USPS.

As the communications world changes due to new technology, the USPS evolves by using new technology and innovation in its products and processes. The USPS must provide a universal postal service for a universal price to all.

Media statements about billion dollar losses of the USPS are incorrect. Despite the recession, the USPS had a net profit of $611 million from operations since 2007. The USPS has high customer satisfaction and delivers close to 41% of the world's mail.

The $20 billion in total losses of the USPS stems from prefunding mandates by Congress, which are $5.5 billion a year. The total $21 billion in prefunding mandates for the period since 2007 is virtually 100% of the USPS red ink. The USPS has overfunded the Civil Service Retirement System by $50 billion to $75 billion and overfunded the Federal Employees Retirement System by $6.9 billion.

The number of delivery points served by the USPS increases by 750,000 to 1 million per year. There is a continued diversion from First Class Mail.

To cope with those changes, the USPS is focusing on what it does best: delivery. The Postmaster General is asking for changes from the prefunding mandates. The USPS is working on reducing mail processing plants from 500 to 200 nationwide and closing up to 3,700 post offices by 2015. The large number of mail processing plants is not needed due to modern equipment and pre-sorted mail. Many post offices are too close to the next post office. Saturday mail delivery may be eliminated.

Flats, which are mail pieces larger than first class but not boxes, are used for advertising mail and are sorted by the Flats Sequencing System. The Flats Sequencing System, the length of a football field, requires just 10 people per shift and puts over 99% of the mail in perfect delivery order. The number of clerks at the plant and at the delivery unit is reduced and the number of carriers is reduced, all decreasing expenses.

Catalogs and other flats build brand and generate more business for the company. With direct mail, each $1 spent results in $15.60 in business. Many companies have a 20 to 50% increase in online business immediately after a mailing. The newest trends in flats are Catazines and Magalogs, highly stylized and categorized magazines that are highly branded.

"Co-Opetition" occurs when other logistics firms like FedEx or UPS take care of the long-haul distribution and transportation issues and take skids of parcels directly sorted to the USPS delivery unit. Final distribution to home is made by the USPS. Flat Rate Boxes have had a 150% revenue growth in the past two years. Every Door Direct Mail, a new service, takes advertising material to every home in a designated area.

By these means the USPS is evolving toward a service that is oriented toward competing for customers.

The speaker was kind enough to provide two sets of the slides used in his talk. Click HERE to see the first set of slides.

And click HERE to see the second set of slides.

Notes by Malcolm Mallette

Vol 88 No 44 - November 21, 2011

How They Got 470 mpg in the Craig Vetter Fuel Economy Contests

Presented By: Craig Vetter (by DVD)

Craig Vetter

Craig Vetter

Vetter is an industrial designer and he believes his calling is to enable people to live better on less energy. In pursuit of that goal he designed the Windjammer motorcycle fairing in the '70s. It was extremely successful and popular, and his company became second only to Harley Davidson among American motorcycle companies.

Craig emphasized that he is a "design driven" designer, not a "financially driven" or a "market driven" designer. His only objective is to produce a design which works.

Throughout the '70s motorcycles kept growing bigger and heavier and their gas mileage fell from the 40's into the 30's. He didn't approve because the bikes were no longer doing more with less. But post-modern culture shouted that you couldn't have too much power.

Around 1980 Craig wondered how much power a motorcycle really needs to get down the road at highway speed: 5 hp? 24 hp? 40 hp? He wanted to know.

Vetter Fairing

Craig Vetter's Fairing

First he modified a 20 hp Japanese bike so that he was riding recumbent. Then he built an envelope enclosing him and the bike. He knew the envelope had to be rounded in front and pointed in back, as streamlined as a raindrop. When he had a workable design, he invited other motorcycle designers to compete with him. Several accepted, including a Honda factory entry. (Vetter's entrant was crashed by a passing car.) The winner had a 7 hp Honda making 198 mpg, but Vetter knew that he needed to change the rules of the competition.

In 1982 he specified a course traveling up the California coast on Highway 1, with traffic, 35-mph wind and steep grades. He rode it on a street bike and determined that it took 2 hr 43 min and set that as the minimum time, and 2 hr 58 min as the maximum. So the bikes had to be highway-worthy.


Craig Vetter's Streamliner

Craig's 20 hp Streamliner only got 108 mpg. A 10 hp diesel got 170 mpg; a 10 hp Honda got 238 mpg; and the winning 17 hp Yamaha got 282 mpg. All bikes were highly streamlined and the riders sat very low. Streamlining was improved in 1983 and the winning 17 hp Yamaha improved to 382 mpg!

Craig's last contest was in 1985 and 50 or more contestants entered. The best 12 on the highway run then entered a 50 mph paced road course event. A Le Mans start opened the road course run, for which each bike got about 8" of a slim plastic tube full of fuel. The last one running was the winner. The results of the road trip and the road course were combined, and the winner was Matsu Matsuzawa at 470 mpg.

Vetter interviewed many high-mileage riders and collected their views on economic vehicles. All emphasized streamlining, of course, as the first and the most important economy measure. Streamlining allows less power to do more. High tire pressure was recommended by everyone. Surprisingly, all used the stock carburetor and stock carburetor jets. Many riders recommended using high gear ratios-equals slowing the engine. The engine compression can be raised for some improvement, also coating the top of the piston and the combustion chamber with ceramic to keep the heat in. Another suggestion was to platinum-plate those surfaces to catalyze the combustion. Keep the engine speed as low as possible with the transmission.

Vetter comes east regularly, and Jim Carter will try again to bring him to Scientech.


Notes by Joe Jones

Vol 88 No 45 - November 28, 2011

One Step at a Time: A Young Marine's Story of Courage, Hope and a New Life in the NFL

Presented By: Josh Bleill, Indianapolis Colts, Public Relations Dept.

Josh Bleill

Josh Bleill
(from his book cover)

Our presenter today was Josh Bleill, Community Spokesperson for the Indianapolis Colts. Josh is from Greenfield, a Purdue graduate and a proud Marine.

Josh grew up in a strong family, played basketball in high school and switched to lacrosse at Purdue. He was working for Conseco when 9/11 changed everything. He was inspired to serve his country and in 2003, at age 27, he enlisted in the Marines. He was qualified for OCS, but didn't want to wait any longer. He had to call his father, a retired Marine officer, "Sir" for two years.

Boot camp was tough; he was 8 years older than his classmates, but he grew to trust them with his life. The Drill Instructors had a different management style and made the 13 weeks of basic training difficult, but he knew the DI's were preparing them mentally and physically for combat.

In late 2005 his Reserve unit was activated. After 7 months of training to learn Iraqi culture and language, Lance Corporal Bleill's unit was deployed to Fallujah in Oct. 2006. They acted like police trying to help the civilians.

On Oct. 15 they started to chase a suspicious vehicle in their Humvee and hit an IED. Josh was unconscious and woke up 5 days later in a hospital in Landstuhl, Germany. He had his jaw wired shut, a tracheotomy, lost both legs and had PTSD. As crippling to him was that his best friend and his sergeant were killed.

He was transferred to Bethesda, MD for recovery where he received great care. He also received great support from all across Indiana with cards, letters, etc. At 6' 1" he had shrunk from 220 lbs. to 115 and was confined to a wheelchair. His sergeant kept trying to get him to try excursions, but he always declined until he had a chance to see the Colts and the Bears play in the Super Bowl. He didn't even mind the rain. There he met Peyton Manning, Joseph Addai and Jim Irsay who said, "Come see me when you are back in Indiana and I'll have a job for you." It was then that he realized it didn't matter what he looked like on the outside, but who he was on the inside.

He transferred to Walter Reed and was fitted for prosthetic legs. He couldn't even lift his leg to start and almost quit, but again the support from Indiana carried him through. After 10 months, he was still not walking. When the doctors found infection in both legs, he had to have amputations higher up the legs and had to relearn how to walk for the third time. The staff at Walter Reed motivated him and he made steady progress. After 22 months he was released.

He immediately went to the Colts and Tom Zupancic hired him as a public speaker. It was not his first choice, but by now he was up to the challenge. He practiced on his wife's 3rd grade class and got unvarnished critiques. In 2010 he gave 150 speeches and will do 250 this year. He talks about life, family, the Colts and the sacrifice of all those before us. He recalled how his WWII veteran grandfather reverently raised and lowered the flag every day of his life.

Josh has 7 pairs of legs, each for a different purpose, including walking, running, swimming and scuba diving. His feedback on legs with Bluetooth communications has led to a second-generation design suitable for double amputees.

Josh confirms that Injured Marines Semper Fi and the Wounded Warrior Project support veterans very well. His attitude is that life begins when we embrace our bad days and keep going forward, one step at a time.

Read more at Wounded Warrior Project and Semper Fi Fund.

Notes by John Peer

Vol 88 No 46 - December 5, 2011

Plastic Paints and the Perceived Role of Static Charge in Dirt Accumulation on Modern Art

Presented By: Dr. Gregory Dale Smith, Otto N. Frenzel III Senior Conservation Scientist, IMA

Gregory Smith

Dr. Gregory Smith

Dr. Smith recently came to the Indianapolis Museum of Art to apply scientific methods to the conservation of art objects. A long-known problem is the buildup of dust and other particles on paintings. Since the advent of synthetic pigments and media in paints, it is believed by many that the buildup of dirt on such paintings is caused by static electricity. While a professor at Buffalo State University, Dr. Smith proposed a thorough study of a variety of pigments, media and conditions to test the static electricity hypothesis.

The IMA had an exhibit recently which exemplified an extreme case of static electricity very well. A Plexiglas case contained, among other things, an open dish of very finely ground pigment. In the winter, people wearing sweaters brushed against the case and created such a charge that the pigment leaped out of the dish and clung to the inside of the case!

Buffalo State borrowed two instruments for measuring electrostatic charges from a local company, one which measured the strength of a charge on a surface, and another which measured the rate of spontaneous discharge of a charge. Clearly both properties would be important in the soiling of a painting-if it is a electrostatic problem.

A summer intern came from Buffalo to work on the study, which was to be done in a single summer. Dr. Smith planned a very extensive experiment. Panels were to be coated with many paints and varnishes using just three pigments: titanium white, a synthetic acrylic paint, and a natural iron/manganese oxide. Seven media were used for the liquid part of the product, ranging from linseed oil and milk protein to polyvinyl acetate. Clear varnishes were also made with pine resin and polymers. The products were coated uniformly on artists' panels and were aged at various relative humidities.

After a great number of measurements and observations were performed, the following conclusions were reached:

- Most paints dissipate static at ambient relative humidity

- Static charge is unlikely to cause dust buildup on acrylic emulsion paint

- Softer paints retain more dust

- Softer paints could be helped by coatings, glazings, ambient air cleaning, etc.

- Anti-static additives and expedients are probably unjustified for acrylic paints

- Some solvent-borne acrylic paints might benefit from anti-static additives

It is to be hoped that Dr. Smith will continue in the future to tell us about the interface between fine art and high science.

Notes by John Peer

Vol 88 No 47 - December 12, 2011

A Program of Mystifying Illusions

Presented By: Scientech's Own George Notaras

George Notaras

George Notaras

Spyro the Mystic, also known as Scientech Club member George Notaras, dazzled us with his magic tricks at today's meeting. Surely, this is one of the most unusual presentations in the 93-year history of Scientech Club. A Wisconsin native, George earned an MBA from Michigan and spent his career in the actuarial field. George says that some people say that being an actuary is a little bit like being a magician. He has been an amateur magician for over 25 years.

George Notaras

It is very difficult to describe magic tricks. One trick had George taking ropes of unequal lengths and converting them to equal lengths. Next he produced a deck of cards. A lady from the audience picked a card (Queen of diamonds). It was placed in a big grocery bag and a rope was placed in the bag. When George pulled the rope out, the Queen of diamonds came out with the rope tied around the card.

Four members were invited to the stage. Three of them wrote a three-digit number on notebook paper in a binder. Then a fourth member totaled the sum of the three cards. In an envelope there was a large card with a four-digit number on it - the same amount that was added up by the member. Then George produced three large playing cards. One was a red queen and the other two were black kings. It's a long story but somehow the red queen and the black king changed places right in front of us.

George Notaras

Then Hank Wolfla volunteered a $5 bill which was placed in one of three envelopes. Someone selected an envelope and another person held the other two. Then George had the second member tear up each of the two envelopes. Hank need not have worried. His $5 was still intact. The money trick was next. George changed $1 dollar bills into $20 bills; then he changed the $20 bills into $100 bills!

The final trick was the Clippo trick. Mr. Notaras cut a strip of newspaper column and with some sort of magic put it back together again. If you'd like to see the magic done again Click Here or Click Here.

S T O P ! ! Go no further !

But, if you MUST see how it is done, Click Here

After the talk, a question was raised (and not answered) about a trick where a man of cards arises from a pack of cards thrown on the ground. If you'd like to see this trick, Click Here. Unfortunately, on my computer, there's a number of interruptions in this video but hang on, it's all there.

To see a great set of pictures taken during the Magic Show by John Morrical, click HERE.

We would like to thank George for his wonderful entertainment.

Notes by Bill Dick

Vol 88 No 48 - December 19, 2011

The Impact of Computers and the Internet on Science and Mathematics Education

Presented By: David DeBrota, Medical Fellow, Eli Lilly and Company

David DeBrota

David DeBrota

David DeBrota is an NIH Fellow, graduate of Butler and IU School of Medicine. He is a veteran Scientech presenter as this was his third appearance. He is a Medical Fellow employed by Eli Lilly and Company.

Some third world village schools now have computers and the internet, even though the village doesn't have running water. Computers, the internet and digital media are what kids use and are increasingly incorporated into the educational system.

The first calculator, the abacus, was created around 600 BCE, but the first computer was not invented until 1948. Personal computing began in the 1970s and the first consumer-oriented PC, the Apple II, was released in 1977. IBM actually provided schematics with its first PC to the delight of engineer types. Portable computing began in 1974 with the hand-held programmable calculator by HP. The laptop appeared in 1982.

The Internet began in 1969 when UCLA connected to SRI and ARPANET was born. In '91 the World Wide Web was created by CERN. Commercial Internet began in '95 and Wi-Fi began in '99. Skype appeared in 2003. These developments mean that anyone anywhere at any time can be online for free, so long as one has a connecting device.

David's central point about how the world has changed is that, for kids, computers, cell phones, Skype, etc. are part of their everyday world. Vast amounts of information available and free on the internet is the new normal. A challenge of our educational system is to fully adapt to this reality and make it work best for students.

Kids today are more likely playing video games than sports and building models. They do read books; more are read online now than in the history of the world. Instead of pencil sharpeners, students have PCs on their desks. Learning is now through images and videos as much as through words. Chat groups offer students the opportunity to engage with people who share an interest. Information and ideas can be exchanged immediately and disseminated among participants without the need for formal publication.

Using cyber space can improve the learning process: students can review material as many times as needed in order to understand it. Programs, such as ALEKS used in Zionsville, have been devised in math, allowing the student to move to the next level only after demonstrating competency at the current level.

The three Rs in this era are research, rapidity and re-use. Kids no longer need to learn arithmetic, because they no longer need to calculate or compute. The skills currently needed are problem-solving skills. Problems in the internet age are solved by finding the appropriate resources, connecting with people who have the desired knowledge and then sharing that knowledge.

Conrad Wolfram held that math education should be transformed so students are taught how to "see" how math works. Being able to picture math makes it more interesting than mind-numbing memorization drills. The best student "knows how to find a person who can answer the question in under a minute, and is willing to do so for a payment of under a dollar."

Keys to the future are speed, innovation and re-use. As all information is out there and now available through such sources as Wikipedia and Google, students need to learn how to find and then build on the information they find.

In Q/A, David opined that Wikipedia is a good place to start to gain info and it is trustworthy when not dealing with issues such as politics. An electro-magnetic pulse (EMP) could cause magnetic media to fuse and electronic media would then be rendered unusable. Good security requires redundant storage and good backup.

We pay for the "on-ramp" to use the Internet. Use of the Net is basically free. Use of search engines is paid for indirectly by advertising. The internet runs on all languages. Educators must figure out how to improve education with computers. College education still has meaning, teaching how to talk to others and to get a needed certification, often without going to class.

To see the slides used in this presentation, click HERE.

Notes by Jeff Rasley