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Vol 93 No 37 - October 3, 2016

Who's Managing the Grid?

Presented By: Gene Mauk, Public Information Officer for MISO.

Eugene Mauk

Eugene Mauk

Today’s presenter was Gene Mauk, Public Information Officer for MISO. Gene is a Navy veteran, a graduate of the Milwaukee School of Engineering and has an MBA from Butler.

MISO ( ) is the Mid-Continent Independent Systems Operator, headquartered in Carmel with other operating centers in Eagan, MN and Little Rock, AR. MISO is an essential link in the safe, cost-effective delivery of electric power across all or parts of 15 U.S. states and the Canadian province of Manitoba including 66K miles of transmission lines. As a Regional Transmission Organization, MISO assures consumers of unbiased regional grid management and open access to the transmission facilities under MISO's functional supervision. They are a non-profit organization with 900 employees and a budget of $260M.

The large blackout across eight northeastern states in August 2003 was the impetus to create a larger coordinating group to manage risks and reliability of the electrical grid.

Due to its sensitive and powerful mission, the Carmel headquarters are well protected. MISO HQ’s in Carmel is the only building allowed to have a fence and that fence is reinforced with steel cables capable of stopping a semi-truck at 55 MPH. Suspicious activity near the facility receives an immediate response from Carmel Police.

What does MISO do?

1 > Real time operations providing safe and reliable daily operation of the grid.

2 > Wholesale (Energy) Market Operations creating an open buy/sell market for daily energy supply and demand.

3 > Planning for longer term economically viable transmission expansion

2015 Value Proposition

MISO adds value through more efficient and reliable operation of their customers’ resources, reducing the need for reserve capacity via coordinated regional planning, and coordinated compliance with regulations. The net benefit is $2-3B/year across their wide footprint vs an operating cost of $260M.

Daily Operations:

MISO balances the supply of energy from generators with the demand from local power utilities and optimizes the transmission efficiencies and reliability across the grid. The prime energy sources for the generators in 2007 and 2015 were:

Coal is now disfavored in the USA, although the coal mines are busy shipping coal to China. Gas has been substituted for coal and wind has almost doubled (with gov’t subsidies) while nuclear has been stable. Solar is still small.

MISO manages several energy markets, but the two primary ones are the “Day-Ahead Market” and the “Real-Time Market.” In the Day-Ahead Market, MISO solicits offers by 11 AM from generators to provide x power at y price and also solicits bids from its customers (local utilities) to buy z power at b price. MISO uses an algorithm called LMP (Local Marginal Pricing) that uses the Energy Price + Congestion (overload) Price + Losses to match the offers with the bids. They then propose a price matrix for the following day. After another round of bidding, MISO sets the market pricing at 8 PM for the following day. The process seems similar to the stock market, but it maintains capacity and demand reserves to handle real time contingencies (the reliability/safety factor). Through this interactive market process 95% of the generators offers and the utilities bids are met. In the “Real Time Market,” MISO is actively (by the minute) balancing the supply and the demand. They have monitors all across the grid and receive continuous data points. Their software programs can analyze 13K contingencies in 5 minutes. Based on the Day Ahead plan and the real time situation (demand, supply, congestion, out-of-service transmission lines, etc.), MISO sends signals to control generation equipment every 4 seconds and sends alerts every 5 minutes to generation operators that MISO will be ramping up or down their generation by x amount in y minutes. Likewise, MISO can reroute the power transmission in real time for efficiency, safety, or just basic delivery (reliability).

MISO can also adjust the real time pricing as situations unfold. They can/will use the pricing mechanism as needed to avoid overloads and congestion. Through their Day-Ahead and Real-Time Market Operations, MISO actively balances the generation and transmission of energy to reliably and safety meet the dynamic local demands.

Notes by John Peer

Vol 93 No 37 - October 10, 2016

Plague - The Black Death

Presented By: William Dick, M.D.

Today’s presenter was Bill Dick, M.D., Club Member and Past President

In the past 2,000 years, there have been many small plagues. There have been three major plagues -- 542 AD, 1347 AD and the mid-1800's. There are three types of Plague: Bubonic, Pneumonic, and Septicemic.

Plague is a slow-moving disease that depends on the black rat, a flea, a bacterium, victims -- rodents and humans, and weather. The rat travels at night and can gnaw through most anything. It feeds mainly on grain. It is affected by war, weather and food availability. The flea is a wingless insect that can hop three feet. It is species specific and is only active at temps of 59-68 F. It can live six weeks without a host. When the flea bites the host, and bacteria are injected through the skin.

The bacterium is Yersinia pestis, a gram-negative coccobacillus. It lives in the midgut of the flea. When in a victim it proliferates in lymph nodes, mainly in the groin and axilla. It makes toxins that make it safe from flea defenses. The victims are rodents -- humans get it by accident. Often Plague is preceded by famine and rainy, cool weather. Plague is more common after wars or natural disasters.

Bactereia date back 3 billion years and keep evolving. Robert Hooke first used a microscope in the late 1600's. Leuwenhoek first saw bacteria through a mocroscope in the early 1700's. He is the improbable Father of Microbiology. But it was to Hans Gram in 1884 to really define bacteria with stains that affected baterial cell walls. Even today, bacteria are either Gram-positive or Gram-negative.

The Plague of 541-542 AD originated in East Aftrica and came up the Nile River to Alexandria, Egypt. From there it moved to Constantinople where it caused a great disease outbreak. The Plague of 1347 AD, know as the "The Black Death", began in Crimea and moved to Sicily and the on to Europe. 25 million people died in the 1300's and 25 million in the 1400's. Nearly one-third of the people in Europe died and it took three centuries for the population to completely recover. The Mid-1800's Plague affected China and India.

Bubonic Plague causes fever, malaise, muscle aches and buboes -- very swollen lymph nodes. The mortality is 60%. Pneumonic Plague causes fever, chills, sneezing, cough and shock. It may be spread from person to person and is 100% fatal. Septicemic Plague results in nausea, diarrhea, abdominal pain and shock. It is also 100% fatal. Plague is affected by the mobility of people -- e.g. ships and Silk Road travel. People who live close together are more at risk, like sailors and monks. Poor sanitary conditions are also a factor. The Arabian peninsula has little plague because of the sparse settlement, dryess and high heat.

Plague symptoms (swollen lymph nodes, fever, chills) result from the body's immune system attack on the bacteria. White Blood Cells try to kill the bacteria and Tumor Necrosis Factor is released. The bacteria release exotoxins and endotoxins. Plague is diaagnosed by Gram stain and PCR, and DNA fragment study. It can now be treated with various antibiotics.

Plague effects on society began with Venice in 588 AD. They retreated to their lagoon to avoid the Lombards and the plague. With the plague of 1347 AD, society became more lawless and lacked administrative structure. There were food shortages and labor costs increased. The gentry declined and the influence of the peasants increased. The Church lost influence as their priests and nuns were just as vulnerable to the disease.

Women had jobs, soldiers were worth more, and the mining, fishing and shipbuilding trades increased. New colleges appeared along with hospitals and surgeons. The scientific method came into being and pubic health systems grew.

The growth of Islam in the seventh century was in part due to the great loss of population of the Bysantine Empire in the 540's. Some cities recovered. Some did not. Plague was the worst pest epidemic in history!

Vol 93 No 37 - October 17, 2016

The Kids Are Smart Enough – So What’s the Problem?

Presented By: Richard Garrett, PhD

This past summer Dick Garrett wrote a book entitled: The Kids Are Smart Enough – So What’s the Problem? The manuscript for this book is currently under editorial review and no decision has been made as to how it will be published.

Today’s presentation was an overview of certain portions of the book and covers several different aspects of education both here in Indiana and the nation as a whole. Dick has been involved in educational research since 2013. At that time, he web-published a research study entitled: What’s it Like to Teach in a School Graded D ?. This was a study of four fourth grade classes in a Marion County school. While this paper is the heart of the book, much new material has been added.

The presentation began with a brief look at the national assessment results for the past 40+ years. What we see is not a pretty picture; that the results in reading and math have been flat for the last 40+ years. This is surprising since over these years there have been numerous legislative initiatives, programs, ample press coverage, etc., but nothing moved the result lines. Garrett blames these flat results on a weak American public attitude about education, its value, and a lack of parental support. The next portion of the presentation focused on this part of the book’s title: The Kids Are Smart Enough. These words are actually the words of the four original teachers and many other teachers who have read and evaluated the original What’s It Like to Teach in a School Graded D ? paper. In discussing this with other teachers, the general comment was, “Sure they can pass the exams,;they just don’t care to do so.” They are not willing to apply themselves to this task. Using Indiana school data Garrett shows that there are more A, B and C schools in the high poverty range than Ds and Fs. In: fact, 71 percent of the schools in the free and reduced lunch range of 70% to 100% student participation are As, Bs, and Cs. This shows that poor children can succeed under the right circumstances.

Next he talked about the success that is happening in Indiana schools as measured by the substantial improvements in school grades. Following that, he looked at a comparison of averaged school grades for three types of schools: 1. Traditional public, 2. Religious/private and 3. Charter schools. This comparison shows traditional public schools with an average GPA (Grade Point Average) of 3.1, Religious/private with a 3.4 and charter with a disappointing 1.6. The fact that the public schools measure reasonably close to the religious/private schools is evidence that our public schools are doing very well. The 1.6 for the charter schools is disappointing since these schools are so popular with the politicians and press.

At this point the group viewed part of a twelve minute video by Paul Tough, author of a New York Times best seller entitled How Children Succeed, Grit, Curiosity, and the Hidden Power of Character. The ideas in this video go a long way in explaining why today’s students are not performing better.

After the video Garrett built on some of the ideas put forth by author Tough. He showed that child success is a combination of knowledge, critical thinking and other traditional intellectual pursuits plus character and grit – he calls this the “success equation”. Sometimes character and grit are more important than the other factors in the equation. However, before you can employ the “success equation” the child must have hope, a prerequisite to it all. He discussed hope and defined the requirements for a child to possess hope.

Garrett explained how to deal with the 23 percent of the children defined in the original research who do not have the behavioral skills to remain in a typical class. They must be separated into a different class and taught by methods that have proven successful for poor children over and over. In Garrett’s words, “we must turn the classroom into a family”. Meaning to build social bonds, teach values, employ discipline coaching, and be sure caring adults interact with the children.

Vol 93 No 38 - October 24, 2016

The Oaks Academy

Presented By: Andrew Hart, CEO, The Oaks Academy

Today’s talk about Oaks Academy was given by Andrew Hart, CEO.

The Oaks Academy is a non-denominational Christian faith-based school started in 1998. The school’s founders including former Governor Mitch Daniels, purposefully established the school in an area of the city known for its high crime rate, extreme poverty, and rampant drug abuse. The school’s name and mission originate from Isaiah 61: 3-4: They will be called oaks of righteousness, a planting of the Lord for the display of His splendor. They will rebuild the ancient ruins and restore the places long devastated.

Initially, the school was pre-K through 5th grade. The founding principal was to take an old abandoned school and begin the school and begin the academy with the idea that an excellent school would revitalize a blighted area. The school sought to have a diverse student population including African Americans, Hispanics, and white students. There would be poor families, and rich families. The first facility was the old IPS school #45 in the Fall Creek area (2301 North Park Avenue) which Oaks has occupied since 1998.

The goal is to provide a safe environment where the students are loved for who they are, sometimes in spite of how they behave, and are nourished from pre-K through the 5th grade. The only requirement is that the students have at least one involved parent, usually the mother, who will visit the school at least 3 times the year before school starts, and pledge to help and encourage the students to do their homework. The students include those with both physical and emotional problems, as well as those with mental disabilities.

By all accounts, the students have thrived, being sought after by colleges and universities. The college graduation rate so far is 87% for the school’s graduates.

Following the success of the first academy, a second location was added in 2012 in the Brookside Parkway region just east of downtown (3092 Brookside Parkway North Drive) utilizing former IPS school #81. In 2015, a middle school was opened at 1301 E 16th St. in former IPS building #26.

For those interested in seeing a video about The Oaks Academy, Click Here.

Notes by Bill Elliott

Vol 93 No 39 - October 31, 2016

Hell in the Heavens -- Saga of a WW II Pilot

Presented By: Dr. Morten Tavel

Today’s talk about "Hell in the Heavens -- Saga of a WW II Bomber Pilot.

This was a presentation of the memoirs of David A. Tavel, Colonel U.S.A.F. (ret, deceased) with added material from Morton E. Tavel, M.D.

Dr. Morton Tavel is retired Clinical Professor of Medicine at the Indiana University School specializing in cardiovascular diseases. He has authored several books and more than 100 scientific papers. In this book, Lt. Colonel David Tavel recounts his harrowing experiences as a bomber pilot during numerous missions over war torn Europe. It begins back in 1937 at a small airport in Rochester Indiana. The planes then were open cockpit. The airport operator and David’s primary teacher was Helen House, one of the first woman in the region to fly. The president of this group of woman, the 99’s, was Amelia Earhart. Early training planes were the Piper Cub (J-3) and the Fairchild PT-19 Trainer.

The primary training plane used by the military during the war was the Vultee BT-13 “Valiant”. The trainee was in the front of this two seat plane with the instructor in the rear seat. Col. Tavel learned quickly in this aircraft having already been trained as a civilian pilot. He went on to fly multiengine planes such as the Martin B-26 Marauder and the B-17. His primary assignment was to fly the B-24 Liberator with a crew of 10 men. He flew 37 missions in this aircraft. On one occasion his plane was severely damage by enemy fire. Four of the men were forced to bail out to reduce weight but Col. Tavel was able to land the plane safely with one engine still running, requiring great skill and bravery. For this he was awarded the Silver Star Medal.

This aircraft was not pressurized. Combat missions were flown at 20-25 thousand feet. The temperature could be 50-60 degrees below zero. Frostbite was a serious problem. The suits were heated electrically but, when the power had to be diverted as when the bomb bay doors opened, frostbite was a common problem among the crews. Only the pilots had seat belts which made the flights bumpy to say the least.

Col. Tavel was stationed in Italy. The bombers in his group flew many missions to support the troops fighting in the Anzio area of Italy. Another target for the B-24s was the Ploesti oil and gas fields of Romania. The Germans defended these fields fiercely. They would put up to 250 fighters in the sky to counter Col. Tavel’s bomb group. There were many American and Allied losses. The Tuskegee Airmen, with their Red Tail Fighters, were very helpful in protecting the allied bombers.

Notes by Jerry Kurlander

Vol 93 No 40 - November 7, 2016

A Veterans' Day Musical Tribute

Presented By: The New Horizons Swing Band

Today’s program: A Veterans' Day Musical Tribute by the New Horizons Swing Band.

Sam Rhinsmith, who had been the longtime director of North Central High School bands, started the New Horizons Band of Indianapolis in 1994. It is part of the New Horizons Bands International program originated by Dr. Roy Ernst of the Eastman School of Music in Rochester, NY.

The idea was to give senior citizens an opportunity to return to, continue or even start participation in an organization offering the social, mental and developmental benefits of group instrumental musical performance. Although most members of the band are older, youth is not a barrier for inclusion.

The New Horizons Band of Indianapolis, currently directed by John Marshall (recently retired Pike HS band director), has about 70 members including about 20 who have a special interest in “swing” music. This is the group that performed today and was conducted by Al Spangler, retired band director at Speedway HS. Don Hein, former sports director on WTHR TV Channel 13, was the emcee and provided historical insight and trivia.

Presented today were selections from the WWII “Big Band” era along with American military service songs, respectfully played in anticipation of the upcoming Veterans Day remembrances.

(Ed note: On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, an armistice, or temporary cessation of hostilities, was declared between the Allied nations and Germany in the First World War, then known as “the Great War.” Commemorated as Armistice Day beginning the following year, November 11th became a legal federal holiday in the United States in 1938. In the aftermath of World War II and the Korean War, Armistice Day became Veterans Day, a holiday dedicated to American veterans of all wars.)

Notes by George McCord

Vol 93 No 41 - November 14, 2016

Meteorites: Rocks from Space

Presented By: Fritz Kleinhans, PhD.

Meteorites: Rocks from Space was presented by Fritz Kleinhans, PhD. He has done research in bio-physics and is a professor of physics at IUPUI where he also teaches astronomy. He spoke to Scientech Club in 1986.

Meteorites are pretty, fascinating and informative. They are interesting because meteorites are the raw material from which the Earth was formed. They are older than the Earth. The early Earth was molten and the dense material, such is iron, became the core with lighter materials in the layers above the core.

Meteorites are named after the area in which they are discovered. He passed around iron meteorites from Campo del Cielo, Argentina. They came from the core of a large asteroid. The asteroid belt is between Mars and Jupiter. Iron meteorites rust over time. If you cut, polish and etch an iron meteorite, there will be Widmanstätten patterns resulting from very large crystals. Stone meteorites include chondrite meteorites that came from small asteroids that never melted. They have some iron and may have material from the original solar nebula from which the solar system was formed.

Achondrite meteorites have no iron as they came from the crust of larger asteroids that melted, and the iron is in the core of the asteroid. He passed around stone meteorites from the Sahara Desert that may contain material from the original solar nebula.

There have been fireballs (another term for a very bright meteor) including the 1992 Peekskill, NY fireball which resulted from a meteorite that eventually smashed into a car. The 2013 Chelyabinsk fireball was brighter than the sun. Bigger problems can occur from large meteorites that strike the earth. There is a 4000 foot wide crater in Arizona resulting from a 150 foot diameter meteorite striking the earth 50,000 years ago. The KT extinction occurred when a large meteorite struck the Yucatan. Dust from the strike went into the atmosphere and resulted in a long period of very cold weather. That explains the extinction of the dinosaurs.

Meteorite dating is possible by measuring the decay of radioactive material. Decay of an isotope of potassium results in argon which is trapped in the rock. Measuring the ratio of the potassium isotope to the argon in the rock makes it possible to determine the age of the meteorite. Iron meteorites are 4.3 billion years old.

Collisions of asteroids with the Moon and Mars can result in meteorites that are from the Moon and Mars being found on the Earth. Such meteorites are stony as the come from the top layer of the Moon or Mars. Finding a meteorite can be done by knowing what to look for and using a magnet to find meteorites containing iron.

Notes by Malcolm Mallette

Vol 93 No 42 - November 21, 2016

All Children Can Learn

Presented By: Tammy Laughner

The talk was given by Tammy Laughner, co- founder of Vimme Learning. Ms. Laughner and a team with over 60 years of teaching experience and over 28 years of software development experience developed a rigorous e-learning system of teaching mathematics to elementary students.

The Vimme Learning program employs an on Online Cloud Based Platform. There is a Weekly Math Pacing Guide for Grades 1 to 8th. 30 weekly Cumulative Assessments are aligned to the Pacing Guides. It has Real-Time Data Reporting for immediate remediation. Mathbots, a Math Fact Fluency Gaming System with unique content roll out, teaches reasoning as a way to learn basic facts. In addition, videos teaching weekly math skills are available.

The advantages of their program are: promotes stronger retention of material, increased mental stamina, infuses rigor naturally, reaches all learning styles/levels and builds a strong math foundation.

The program has impacted 4100 children, 120 plus teachers and 5 school districts. As an example, it has helped improve Istep math test pass rates from 48% to 82% between 2009 and 2012 in one school and from 51% to 72% between 2012 and 2014 in another.

Notes by Gonz Chua