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Vol 90 No 25 - July 1, 2013

Mechanical Help for the Ailing Heart

Presented By: Renee L. Lassinger, RN, MSN, ANP-BC, APRN Nurse Manager/Nurse Practitioner Advanced Heart and Lung Care Clinic, Indiana University Health System - Methodist


Rene Lassinger, RN

In the 1930s Carrel and Lindbergh developed an in vitro artificial heart to infuse small animal organs. Gibben developed a cardiopulmonary bypass system which was first used in 1953. In 1963 DeBakey and Lederberg testified before Congress on the need for artificial hearts for end-stage congestive heart failure patients and the space program. In 1964 the National Heart Advisory Council established the artificial heart program to design and develop devices for the program. Ventricular assist devices in animals were developed starting in 1937 but the first successful human heart transplant was performed in 1967 by surgeon Christian Barnard.

Currently 5 million people are diagnosed with congestive heart failure annually, and $31 billion are spent on the treatment of this condition. With the aging population these figures will increase greatly - over time. Slightly over 2000 heart transplantations are performed each year, and the current waiting list is in excess of 3500 patients.

Cardiac ventricular assist devices (VAD's) are used as a Bridge to Transplant (BTT) or as Destination Therapy (DT). The BTT is most common allowing for some rehabilitation from severe congestive heart failure while awaiting a donor heart. The DT can be a permanent device instead of a transplant but is currently used only in transplant in eligible patients. The BTT patient must be less than 70 years of age, with a reasonable level of renal and pulmonary function, and no evidence of another disease state that would limit survival to less than five years, etc. Candidacy for DT includes left ventricular function of less than 25% of normal and Class IV congestive heart failure for 45 of the last 60 days, etc.

The newer ventricular assist devices have become substantially smaller over time so that the smallest can be held in the palm of the hand and there is one the size of a ballpoint pen. The first generation pump was a Thoratec pVAD, an external pulsatile pneumatic pump designed for use up to 1 to 2 years. The Novacor LVAS is an internally implanted electric pulsatile pump for use from months to years. The second generation pumps include the Jarvik - LVAD which is an axial flow electric non-pulsatile pump. The third-generation Levitronic Centrimag - VAD is an external centrifugal (nonpulsatile) device, without bearings, using a magnetically levitated impeller, useful for months to years. Fourth generation pumps are totally artificial hearts as the Syncardia (originally Jarvik 7-70).

Issues facing long-term patients with these devices include anticoagulation requirements, nutrition and fluid volume management, infection (can be as high as 20-30%), return to family roles including work, and issues relating to the driveline which extends through the patient's body wall to the outside pump.

The VAD's cost between $80,000 and $90,000 with the total artificial heart approaching $250,000. A single hospitalization experience can exceed $1.5 million.

Click HERE to view the Power Point slides used in this talk

Notes by Jerry Kurlander

Vol 90 No 26 - July 8, 2013

Water Science Trip and Cyanobacteria and Algal Metabolites in Central Indiana Reservoirs

Presented By: Nicholas Cercin and Bill Elliott


Bill Elliott

Water Science Trip

Dr. Bill Elliott gave a short talk about the recent Water Science Trip sponsored by Scientech and its Foundation. Twenty three students from local high and middle schools went on the June 14-16 trip to the Angus Water Research Institute at Grand Valley State University in Michigan. First, the students, the teachers and club members supervising the trip toured Grand Valley State University. Then they visited AWRI and boarded the research vessel W.G. Jackson for a trip on Lake Michigan. The Jackson has a plankton net and a bottom dredge for mussels and bloodworms, which are fly larvae. The students examined plankton in the lab on the Jackson. They also visited the new Annis Research Building at GVSU. They had a picnic at the home of Chuck and Laurel Angus, members of Scientech. Thanks to Scientech and the Foundation, they learned a lot and had a good time.

Cyanobacteria and Algal Metabolites in Central Indiana Reservoirs Nicolas Clercin is a research scientist with the Center for Earth and Environmental Science at IUPUI. He received his degree from the University of Reims in France.

Algal blooms have bad impacts, including low oxygen levels, that stress aquatic life and kill fish; degradation of recreational resources; toxins that kill fish, livestock, pets and even humans. They also produce musty and earthy smells in the water. High algal densities in water result from overly successful growth process and insufficient loss processes. They lead to high level of suspended organic particles, higher turbidity, elevated pH, fluctuating oxygen concentration and possible production of algal metabolites. Aesthetic impairment of our reservoirs also results in poor visibility, water discoloration, visible clumps of algae and foul smells.


Nicholas Cercin

The primary algae problem comes from cyanobacteria or "blue-green algae." There are a number of groups of cyanobacteria, including those that form filaments and those that do not. Algal surface blooms can result from many algal groups and are the source of taste and odor problems, together with possible toxicity. Severe use impairment can result. Algal forms include mats, often starting on the bottom and rising to the surface.

Cyanotoxins can result, which include hepatotoxins which disrupt proteins that keep the liver functioning. These may act slowly over days or weeks. Also included are neurotoxins that cause rapid paralysis of skeletal and respiratory muscles and dermatotoxins that produce rashes and other skin reactions. Endotoxins inflame the gastrointestinal tract. In Indiana cyanotoxins have resulted in documented deaths of fish, human skin rashes and gastroenteritis. Documented deaths of dogs include one dog death in Pipewort Pond in 2009 and 2 dog deaths in Salamonie Reservoir.

There are currently no US Federal guidelines or Water Quality Criteria concerning harmful algal blooms. Several states have statewide monitoring programs and well-defined public health reporting and response systems; Indiana is following this path. CEES-IUPUI research programs at Morse, Geist and Eagle Creek reservoirs report information to the state for posting on state websites.

Notes by Malcolm Mallette

Vol 90 No 27 - July 15, 2013

Tour of the Medical Academic Center at Indiana Spine Group, Carmel, IN

Presented By: Justin Miller, MD, and Sandra Haugo, Manager


Indiana Spine Group

The MAC exists to provide best-in-class education in a state-of-the-art medical/education training facility, for physicians, clinicians, educators, students and others from communities locally, regionally and nationally. MAC also provides comprehensive event support which includes:

" Conference assistance

" Tissue acquisition and disposal

" Refrigeration/storage for specimens/tissue

" Instrument sterilization

" Catering coordination

" Locker rooms with private lockers

" Two smaller conference/meeting rooms equipped with the latest audiovisual equipment

" Teleconference host site

" Audiovisual support / technical assistance

" Concierge services to coordinate hotel accommodations, transportation, dining, reservations and/or entertainment venues for guests

" Other services and support as requested

The bio-skills laboratory is the cornerstone of the Medical Academic Center. It features plenty of natural light and ten fully-equipped cadaver/tissue work stations. Each station includes:

" 32" flat panel pivoting television monitor with split screen capabilities allowing on-time and static images

" High speed surgical drills

" Suction

" Large selection of surgical instrumentation


Sandra Haugo

A tour of the facility was provided by its manager Sandra Haugo. Sandra has BS and MS degrees and her background is in health education. Her most recent experience was with Medtronic. Sandra gave a tour of the bio-lab where the members were able to see parts of cadavers and learn more about how the cadavers are used by medical students and medical instrument companies in product development and education. Unlike medical schools the cadavers used in the facility are frozen directly after death, and then defrosted right before the education process begins. They are commercially sourced by the part as needed.


Dr. Justin Miller

Dr. Justin Miller then met with the members to give an excellent video on the repair of cervical spines. He is a graduate of IU, with a residency in orthopedic surgery. He recently finished his fellowship in spine surgery with Dr. Sasso and the physicians of Indiana Spine Group. His video and discussion were followed by many questions from the members. The MAC is the only facility of this type in Indiana and has already become a great benefit to medical education since opening in 2011. Its educational mission includes providing general anatomy courses to high school students.

Thanks again to Sandra and Dr. Miller for their time.

Notes by Hank Wolfla

Vol 90 No 28 - July 22, 2013

Solar Power

Presented By: Jeff Cole, Development--Johnson Melloh Corporation


Jeff Cole

Today's presentation was given by Jeff Cole. He has had a wide range of experience with solar power and he is currently project manager for Johnson Melloh, a full service mechanical contractor.

Savings in the cost of energy is an important factor in current plans and there are three ways to do this:

A. Behavior modification
B. Energy efficiency upgrades
C. Renewable Energy

Solar power is provided by exposing photovoltaic cells installed in panels on the roof or on a ground installation nearby and is immediately stored as direct current. It flows thru a box called an inverter that converts the electricity to Alternating Current which we use. It next flows thru a meter to measure the amount produced and then it is used and any surplus is sent to the utility which deducts its value from other charges (called net metering).

Johnson Melloh provides homes and commercial enterprises with renewable energy thru use of solar power. The use of solar is increasing in the US because of economic, environmental and functional reasons. Indiana currently obtains 95% of its power from coal. Incipient federal regulations on carbon, mercury, particulate matter, and coal ash will result in decommissioning of many of our power plants. They also result in unsightly mountains of waste.

Solar energy is produced passively resulting in a stable cost independent of inflation and they are remarkably trouble free and they have lasted 35 years without need for repairs.

One problem with roof mounted installations is the need to remove them for roof replacements and it appears that a solution for this is needed.

People with solar energy in their homes seem to exercise more care in not wasting electricity, resulting in further savings.

While Indiana receives less sun light than our southwestern states, we receive considerably more than Germany where Solar is widely and successfully used, so this should not be a problem.

The Indianapolis International Airport will provide 11.49 MW (3d largest facility east of the Mississippi). It will provide enough electricity to power 1200 homes.

The cost of solar power is dropping due to increased usage and competition between suppliers.

There are tax credits and deductions at this time but they will expire and it is believed prices will continue to drop enough to make the power competitive on its own.

Notes by Jack Slichenmyer

Vol 90 No 29 - July 29, 2013

History of American Jazz

Presented By: Bob Brunner and the Holidaires Jazz Band (Wayne Morgan, Susie Morgan, Sylvia Brunner, Roberta Ross, Bert Talbot, Curtis Mickel, Steve Kessinger, Ann Lewis, Megan McKinney Cooper )


Bob Brunner

Another term for American Jazz could be America's Original Music. Doubtless many will disagree, but Bob Brunner's take on the subject is: European waltzes, dances and mazurkas became enshrined as classical music under the pens of Brahms, Liszt and Mozart, etc., and thus are on a pedestal for serious music lovers, while what we've given birth to in the US is considered of a lower order. There's a reason for this, but it takes us a little ahead of our story.

America's original music came out of Africa, the Caribbean, Southern plantations, Cajun country and yes, saloons and brothels. Stephen Foster's "My Old Kentucky Home" and other Appalachian and folk tunes were important contributions beginning in the 1860s. By the 1890s William Krell wrote the mostly-forgotten "Mississippi Rag," the first piano rag. Scott Joplin, attending the George Smith College for Negroes in Sedalia, Missouri, and supporting himself by playing at the Mal, composed the Maple Leaf Rag. A difficult composition in four flats and not easy to play, it never-the-less became an instant hit, and the first rag (or any kind of American composition, for that matter), to sell one million sheet music copies.


Other composers followed, both black and white; the ragtime era was in full swing. Remember, these were the days before radio or even widespread phonographs, and the parlor piano was how most Americans entertained themselves. In addition to piano rags, there were ragtime songs, orchestras, and marches under the great John Philip Sousa. Ragtime lasted until about 1920. Even into the Twenties there was what scholars today call late era ragtime or novelty ragtime, exemplified by Zez Confrey and his Kitten on the Keys. But by 1920 another important figure had emerged, Jelly Roll Morton. He claimed to have invented jazz, and most students will concede him this title. Did you know that when Morton, who was of mixed blood, attempted to stay at the Leland Hotel in Richmond, Indiana- an important recording center by that time- he was denied lodging on account of his race?

And that ties together the above opening comparison of European classical to American original music. At the turn of the last century blacks were permitted to perform only in saloons and brothels. Thus ensued polite society's regard for ragtime as some lesser form of music, a view that persisted, Bob Brunner knows, from personal experience, even into the 1930s.


The Twenties also gave birth to adroitly composed Prohibition protest songs by Irving Berlin and, most importantly, to Tin Pan Alley. The Big Band era was well underway by 1930. Paul Whiteman and his orchestra became famous throughout the land. Many will say 1930 marks the beginning of The Great American Songbook, the half-dozen or so years when tunes that are considered standards today were composed by the likes of George and Ira Gershwin, Hoagie Carmichael, Cole Porter and others too numerous to mention.


These standards were played by the big bands: Glenn Miller, Tommy Dorsey, Benny Goodman and many others. One wishes that this era could have continued forever, but like most good things it came to an end.

At the 1953 Purdue junior prom we danced to Ray Anthony, in 1954 to Henry Busse, a band from the 1920s played, Bob Brunner later learned. Bill Haley and The Comets came to Perdue in 1955. The Great American Songbook's cover closed, and the rock 'n roll era began. Elvis Presley arrived in 1956 and the rest is history. Rock 'n roll has now lasted longer than the ragtime, Tin Pan Alley, and Big Band eras combined. Where does music go from here? One answer is rap, which has neither melodies nor harmony. We can only hope that jazz will endure, as it has through jazz preservation groups and little groups like The Holidaires.

Notes by Bob Brunner

Vol 90 No 30 - August 5, 2013

Trenchless Technology: the development of its uses, particularly in water and watershed management

Presented By: Tom Iseley, PhD, P.E., Professor and Director, Construction Engineering Management Technology Program, Purdue School of Engineering and Technology, IUPUI


Dr. Tom Isley

Dr. Iseley holds several degrees from the University of Alabama in Birmingham and Purdue University. He has received many honors for his work in this field. In 1993 he was selected as the Trenchless Technology Magazine Person of the Year.

Trenchless technology (TT) refers to the methods, equipment and materials utilized to install new or to renew existing underground infrastructure systems which minimize the disruption and destruction to society and/ or environment by minimizing open cut excavation. TT results in lower carbon dioxide emissions, a significant benefit to our environment (reduces the carbon footprint). There are multiple categories of TT including subsurface investigation, new installation, existing pipeline renewal and rehabilitation, pipeline replacement and manhole renewal technology. In the United States 25-30% of water in pipes can be lost through leaks.

Subsurface investigation methods for new pipe installations include ground penetrating radar, electromagnetics, resonant sonics, acoustical and pulse indication among others. For existing pipe these methods are useful for locating voids outside the pipes (sinkholes). Internal condition assessment of pipes in place can be done with laser technology, sonar and closed-circuit television.

New installation techniques for TT include auger boring, pipe ramming and micro tunneling among others. Horizontal directional drilling can reach lengths of up to 7300 feet. Pipe diameters of 2-48 inches can be used with this method. This technique is particularly helpful in utility conduits.

TT is useful for renewal and rehabilitation of pipes. Some of the techniques used here include lining with segmental liners, point service repairs and cured in-place pipe among others. Liner tubes of multiple layers of felt material are formed into a liner tube with essentially the same diameter as the pipe to be lined. A thermosetting resin is injected into the tube and the felt is totally saturated.

Dr. Iseley showed examples of PVC or polyethylene as the extruded material was folded and delivered on reels through the manhole. Service laterals can be reinstated or opened robotically. Polyethylene pipe can also be installed as a slip lining ready to be planted in place. This polyethylene pipe is available in straight lengths up to 50 feet and can last for 50 to 100 years with low maintenance costs. Pipe bursting is a method used when the bursting head is larger than the existing pipe. The old line is therefore destroyed and replaced by the new.

Click HERE to view the Power Point slides used in this talk

Notes by Jerry Kurlander

Vol 90 No 31 - August 12, 2013

Landmarks of Justice: Preserving Indiana's County Courthouses. What makes them special and irreplaceable?

Presented By: Suzanne Stanis, Director of Heritage Education & Information, Indiana Landmarks


Suzanne Stanis

Jeff Rasley, a member of the board, introduced our speaker Suzanne Stantis, director of Heritage Education for Indiana Landmarks for the past 27 years. Suzanne is the creator of continuing education courses, teacher workshops and children's camps. She also supervises Indiana Landmark's architectural program, Morris-Butler House Museum and the Indianapolis heritage tourism division. She has researched and nominated over 15 buildings and neighborhoods to the National Register of Historic Places.

Indiana Landmarks is America's largest private statewide historic preservation organization. Founded as the Historic Landmarks Foundation of Indiana by Indianapolis pharmaceutical executive Eli Lilly in 1960, the organization is a private non-governmental organization with nearly 11,000 members and an endowment of over $40 million.

The organization has staff in regional offices throughout the state of Indiana and owns two museum properties: the Morris-Butler House in Indianapolis and the Huddleston Farmhouse Inn Museum in Cambridge City. On April 13, 2010, Indiana Landmarks announced its name change from Historic Landmarks Foundation of Indiana. At the same time medical device entrepreneur Bill Cook's family pledged $7 million to renovate the former Central Avenue Methodist Church at 12th Street and Central Avenue for the state headquarters.

Suzanne then presented a wonderful power point presentation showing members in attendance a tour of the beautiful and significant architectural designs in Indiana. Many of the court houses lost their towers over the years, but thanks to many local communities these have been restored. She mentioned that most court houses didn't have inside toilet facilities. Yet in Switzerland County a 6 door out house is still on the property.

One of the more interesting court houses includes the Howard County court house that is done in classic art deco. The court house in Allen County is considered the best in the USA, and is on the National Historical Landmark Status list.

The National Historical Landmark Organization will hold its annual meeting this year in Indianapolis. Click here for the conference web site.

For funds to be made available for remodeling, a building must be over 50 years old.

Indiana Landmarks sponsors the Landmarks Experience, which will be held this month at McCormick's Creek State Park. They also sponsor Indianapolis tours during the months of May to October. More information about the organization, how to join and the above mentioned activities can be found HERE.

Notes by Hank Wolfla

Vol 90 No 32 - August 19, 2013

Practical Wine Talk, A Physician-Winemaker Examines Wine

Presented By: Charles R. Thomas, MD


Dr. Charles Thomas

Charlie Thomas is a long-time member of Scientech, previous speaker, retired ob/gyn, winemaker, founder of Thomas Wineries and published author on wine. Not surprisingly, he opened his talk with a joke about our tee-totaling Baptist brethren.


Charlie's talk followed the chapters of his recently published book, Practical Wine Talk - A Physician-Winemaker Examines Wine. The book covers all things wine, including making, tasting, serving, etc. The talk was a synopsis of interesting facts about wine.

Genetics endow one with taste preferences. Fifty percent of the population prefers sweet wines.

Achieving Master of Wine requires one year of written testing and tasting. There are only 290 Masters in the world. Tim Hanney is only the second Master in the US. He wrote a test for wine drinkers to help determine the best wine for you. The test is in Charlie's book.

"Aroma" is the smell of the vineyard. The grape and growing process determine aroma. "Bouquet" is determined by the process of winemaking fermentation. "Tertiary bouquet" comes from the aging in the bottle. We experience all three in the taste of a wine.

Many variables affect the taste of a wine:

- Type of grapes
- Where they are planted as to climate
- How long on the vine; when the grapes are harvested
- How are the grapes fermented
- What is added regarding yeast, nutrients, tannin, oak chips
- How long are they fermented
- Whether and how the grapes are pressed
- Type of barrel, how long in the barrel, and how often the barrel is topped off

We learned that wines are food and should be served with food. Charlie disapproves of high alcohol content wines as not being food and thus not truly wine. "Style" is what the winemaker aims at creating. That is, a unique taste for the particular wine. Many different fruit tastes and aromas are available in grapes. Bouquet is determined by what the winemaker does to the grape. There are over 10,000 different cabernets made in the US.

The taster's response to the wine is created by molecules landing on the olfactory nerves and then transmitted to the frontal lobe for interpretation of smell. Most humans have over 700 detectable smells. Taste of the wine is through the tongue, which can detect five to seven (there is disagreement on the actual number) basic tastes. Together the sense of smell and taste create the experience of the wine.

Bottle shape does not affect the wine, but there is tradition as to what type of wine is appropriate to bottle shape. Reds may be in tinted bottles, because ultra violet light can break down color molecules of reds.

Cork is the traditional enclosure, and, in Charlie's opinion, the best enclosure, although other types can serve. However, corks can be tainted with impurities and there can be a problem with the cork giving the wine a "mousey" taste if the cork was manufactured with chlorinated water.

Labels convey basic information about the wine. But, some are more about marketing than providing useful information.

Charlie recommends two to three glasses of wine each day, as studies show that one is more likely to die of heart disease from abstention or abuse. Wine in moderation is the way to go.

Notes by Jeff Rasley

Vol 90 No 33 - August 26, 2013

Collecting Small Cars

Presented By: Leo F. Doyle, Engineer, Entrepreneur, owner of Midwest Internet


Leo Doyle

Doyle was born in Brooklyn, NY. He received his AAS in electrical technology in Farmingdale, NY and his BET in electrical technology in Buffalo, NY, followed by an MS in computer science from Ball State. He worked as a senior programmer/analyst for Mel Simon and as a professor at Purdue in Indianapolis, before founding Midwest Internet in 1992, which he continues to lead today. He is a member of Mensa and a lifelong entrepreneur, having founded fifteen businesses.

However, his talk today was on his hobby of collecting small, mainly electric, cars. He has 40 in his collection.



The first question is "why collect?" He offers no good reason.

His main criteria are: Really cool, different, strange or rare - it must be street legal (drivable / show off) - it should do highway speeds - he, being large, must be able to fit in it.

He has three phases of collecting: Acquiring, restoring and showing it off.

The first issue is finding the right car which is tricky. These are specialty cars which had minimal production runs. Searching in Google/Yahoo Groups under "Other/Other" is a start, but the best way is to know a collector or designer. Current owners are protective of their prized/unique cars and may require a reference and interview of the buyer. At the same time the buyer needs to get as much history as possible, as these are specialty cars in the first place.



Having acquired the vehicle, don't drive it home. Often the vehicles are 90% functional, but the last 10% are difficult problems. He has the vehicle shipped (FedEx originally).

Then the DMV registration process must be negotiated. All sorts of issues as the vehicles often are not recognized. Be sure the title and VIN numbers match, etc. General solution is to register them as a motorcycle (most are three wheeled) which has less stringent requirements. It stills takes perseverance and creativity to succeed.


Dutton Commander

Insurance is another issue, but he generally just buys liability coverage. He is on his own for replacement parts. He has become a good customer of specialty machine shops.

Repairing the car can be a challenge. Good sources of advice/info are User groups (Yahoo), other owners, ex-company employees, and designers. You learn how to make repairs yourself. Leo particularly recommends the Pulse/Litestar User Groups as very fine people.



On to the "Showing Off' phase, his cars attract onlookers who invariably ask many questions drawn by the unique styles and sizes, etc. Police often stop him challenging that the vehicle is registered, but sometimes just for curiosity and/or wanting to get a picture. The gawkers often create accidents or have accidents themselves when they see his cars traveling down the highway.

Back to his first question: Why do it? The multi-facetted answer: "one person parade" effect - the "Lamborghini" (mine is better than yours) effect - the great equalizer, suits and homeless have questions - because you can - because it's a fun project.

From the enthusiasm of his presentation, Leo thoroughly enjoys the people and unexpected experiences from his "collecting small cars." You can see his cars at

Notes by John Peer

Vol 90 No 34 - September 9, 2013

Collecting Small Cars

Presented By: Razi Nalim, PhD, Assoc. Dean for Research & Graduate Programs, Purdue School of Engineering and Technology, IUPUI


Razi Nalim, PhD

Engineers have primarily designed engines for steady flows or semi-static cycles of energy. In nature there are mainly oscillatory and pulsatile energy flows and increased efficiency and power in human endeavors favor the techniques used by nature.

Flapping flight, pulse jets, and wave rotors can mimic the rhythm and effectiveness of living systems with expected saving in fuel consumption and greenhouse gas production of up to 70%. Combined cycle power plants burn fuel in gas turbine engines, and then generate steam in heat-recovery boilers to effect similar benefits. Locomotives will require much less fuel to operate and will provide similar reduction in pollution. Hybrid buses, cars, and trucks using non-idling engines will produce similar benefits.

Turbine engines are light and compact and have many other desirable attributes, but have poor Brayton cycle performance (deals with constant pressure engine performance). Some constant pressure engines have free expansion following combustion which is satisfactory for heat production but expansion into the atmosphere wastes energy.

Confined constant volume engines capture all the work potential of combustion energy release. Pulse Detonation Combustors capture this energy but do not provide a steady source of energy. This need for constant energy has been partially solved by placing multiple units of the pulse detonators on the periphery of a rotating drum (similar to the Gatling gun). The current work has resulted in turbine engines using wave rotor pressure gain combustion and it is believed that their usage will cut fuel use and CO2 emissions by 20-30% while boosting power. Total jet fuel and gas savings worth $100 billion per year are projected by 2025 if this technology can be fully implemented.

Inexpensive retrofitting of planes currently in use is available and in addition to lower fuel costs, reduced greenhouse gas production is expected.

Notes by Jack Slichenmyer

Vol 90 No 35 - September 16, 2013

Tour of Progress Rail Services

Arranged by Jim Bettner
Tour Guides Lance Berg, Jeff Paine, and Megan Anacker


Tour Guides

Scientech Club member Jim Bettner organized and carried out a very interesting tour of the Progress Rail Services locomotive manufacturing plant in Muncie. Lance Berg of Progress Rail led the tour, assisted by Jeff Paine and Megan Anacker.

Progress Rail Services Corporation is a subsidiary of Caterpillar, Inc., operating over 110 facilities in the U.S., 28 in Mexico and one in South America. The company manufactures locomotives, repairs locomotives, manufactures railcars and repairs and replaces other railroad equipment. At its Muncie facility, Progress Rail manufactures freight locomotives. The facility has 700,000 square feet of manufacturing area and ceilings 99 feet high to make the construction of up to two huge locomotives per day possible. The facility opened in 2011, formerly a Westinghouse factory.

There is a Cab Area, in which the unfinished cabs for the locomotives are completed and the cab equipment is installed. In the Truck Area, the locomotive trucks, which swivel under the locomotive and hold wheels and axles, are assembled. In the Underframe Area, very heavy steel underframe plates are welded as the start of the underframe, the backbone of the locomotive. The underframe is assembled with the wheels up and is moved on a huge air floatation device. When the underframe is complete, it is turned right side up. When right side up, the assembly can move on railroad tracks in the floor.

The completed underframe moves to the Final Assembly Area where massive Caterpillar diesel engines and the generators they drive are installed. The DC high voltage from the generators powers the motors that move the locomotive and the train it pulls or pushes. Part of the braking system consists of using a motor as a generator whose output runs into a giant resistor. The brake motor's shaft is connected to wheels and the shaft's resistance to turning helps to stop the locomotive.

In the Paint Area the assembled locomotive is driven on tracks in the floor onto an area of the floor that is actually a giant air floatation device. It is then moved by the air floatation device into a paint booth where it is painted. In the Inspection Area, the finished locomotives are inspected and tested. A test track exists on factory grounds, in part to test characteristics of multiple units operating together.

Currently they are working on a 40-unit Canadian Pacific Railways order. A number of them were completed and being inspected or were nearly completed. They are also working on two locomotives for Australia. Locomotives have been built for Indonesia and other countries. When they build locomotives for export, they are often narrow gauge. There are two shifts going now, first and third; workers opted for a third shift rather than work second shift hours.

(Ed. note:

Notes by Malcom Mallette

Vol 90 No 36 - September 23, 2013

The Chinese-Japanese War, 1895 to the surrender of Japan in 1945

Presented By: Gonz Chua


Gonz Chua

The Chinese-Japanese war started in 1895 and lasted for 50 years until the Japanese surrendered in 1945.

In a calculated fashion, and in order to conquer the world, Japan needed to conquer Asia. To conquer Asia, she must first conquer China, and to conquer China, she must first conquer Manchuria.

In 1895, as a pretext to protect Japanese civilians during the Korean Revolution, Japan attacked Korea and marched into northern China. They concurrently invaded Taiwan. During these operations, the Japanese Navy destroyed the Chinese Navy. China was forced into a treaty that required her to pay 200 million ounces of silver and ceded most of the ice free ports on the Liotung Peninsula. The silver was needed to finance Japan's war industry for the future invasion. The buildup of Japanese forces in a weakened and divided China resulted in an invasion of Mukden in 1931 and the establishment of a puppet Manchurian government headed by the deposed Chinese Emperor Puyi and a puppet Mongolian military government.

All-out war against China started in 1937 incited by the Marco Polo incident followed by the capture of Beijing the establishment of another puppet state called The Reformed Government of China.

China had to fight the superiorly equipped Japanese army supported by a modern navy and air force with rudimentary equipment and an untrained infantry. In the battle of Shanghai, the Chinese Army fought heroically in close quarters for 3 months before retreating to Nanjing. Out of anger, the Japanese Army perpetrated the Nanjing massacre of over 345,000 civilians and committed the Rape of Nanjing in which over 30,000 women were raped and killed. Subsequent orders were "kill all, burn all, and loot all". By 1939, 25 major cities were occupied and burned to ashes. After every major battle civilians were systematically massacred. Over 250,000 were massacred after helping the downed US flyers from the Doolittle Mission. Another 250,000 were massacred after the Communist Chinese Battle of 100 Regiments.

Over 22 major battles were fought in which over 100,000 soldiers were involved. The Chinese Army was able to win decisively in only two engagements. With just rifles and hand grenades, the Chinese Army fought to gain time hoping for the involvement of western powers. Germany initially helped to train and partially equip the Chinese Army from 1931, withdrawing its help when Hitler started the European war. The Soviet Union sent more than 8oo fighter planes and over 230 pilots in 1938 but withdrew them when the Germans attacked the USSR. The United States sent help after Pearl Harbor with funding for 40 fighter planes. Gen. Stilwell and Chenault sent their Flying Tigers against the Japanese Air Force. An airlift across the Himalayas was established as the only means of Allied assistance.

By 1945, China was nearly on its knees and totally exhausted, while dragging on the fight and trying to keep the 1.2 million Japanese troops from being shifted to fight the United States in the Pacific. The dropping of the atomic bombs with subsequent Japanese surrender finally brought the end of Japanese aggression in China.

The USSR in the last days of the war declared war against Japan, and invaded China with over 1.2 million troops and 3000 tanks that were promised to the Allied Powers of Mongolia and North Korea. It destroyed the 600,000 Japanese Kwantung Army and also captured North Korea.

China regressed into a civil war after 1945 and the Chinese Republic was toppled by the Chinese Communists in 1949, establishing the People's Republic of China. The 14 years of Japanese invasion cost over 32 million civilian lives but it is still only mentioned by Japanese text books as the "China Incident".

Notes by Gonz Chua

Vol 90 No 37 - September 30, 2013

What it's Like to Teach in a School Graded "D"

Presented By: Richard Garrett and John Garrett


Richard and
John Garrett

Note: Dick and John Garrett talked about four experienced fourth grade elementary teachers who, through this presentation, are commenting on teaching in our elementary school. Our school is located in central Indiana and was recently given a "D" grade. We are extremely disappointed, though not totally surprised, that our school was judged so harshly. We believe that the grading program for the state is unfair in considering test results so heavily in setting the school grade. We are not competing on a level playing field. In grading schools some consideration must be given to socioeconomic conditions at the school. Here is our story:


Recently the state of Indiana began the process of grading schools. Our school was given a grade of "D". We respond to this grade by conveying some of the hurdles we face on a daily basis. At the outset we make the declaration that our students have, with a few exceptions, the intellectual skills to pass the ISTEP (Indiana Statewide Testing For Educational Progress) exams or most any other type of basic skills evaluation scheme. The fact that our school was rated "D" illustrates that their actual performance is lacking - we address the causes for this lack of performance in this paper.

The students in each class are divided into three types:

1. The conscientious student,
2. The follower,
3. The problem student.

Type 3 students exert a heavy influence over the type 2s and tend to pull them down. As a result of the large number of type 3s, managing the class is very difficult and time consuming. Our analysis explains that in a typical classroom, 62 minutes each day are lost to classroom management activities. Of this 53%, or 37 minutes, can be attributed to the type 3 students. Breaking this down further reveals that 24 minutes of the 37 minutes, 73%, is due to the conduct/attitude issues of the type 3s. We also point out that the 24 minutes associated with the remaining students in the classroom (about 18 in number) could be dramatically reduced if the influence of the type 3s could be eliminated. Suggestions as to how to lower the impact of the type 3s were summarized as well.

Click HERE to view the Power Point slides used in this talk. A complete copy of the report on this subject may be found at School Report

Notes by Dick Garrett