ON THE ULTIMATE QUIZ II

February 1, 2020

February 1, 2020

 

I started this “quiz” approximately a year ago and got some positive feedback. (Incidentally, the newsletter is approaching 15,000 hits.) Here is the second quiz with 21 questions, with the grading at 5 points per question. A total grade of 65 is passing; you are a genius if you are at or above 90.

 

  1. From a gambler’s perspective, what casino game provides the player with the best opportunity to win?

 

  1. Name the capitol of either North or South Dakota.

 

  1. What renowned author and basketball authority recently celebrated his 85th birthday?

 

  1. What legendary Astoria singer made famous the song “There’s No Business Like Show Business.”?

 

  1. The 50s and 60s band “Spontaneous Combustion” – featuring Steve Jones – has its roots in what general Nassau County locale?

 

  1. What Landmark Astoria diner is alive and doing well despite real estate interests in their property?

 

  1. Who keeps telling his friends this: “Every day is a blessing.”?

 

  1. Name the smallest country on Earth.

 

  1. Who uttered the quote: “The coldest winter I ever spent was a summer in San Francisco.”?

 

  1. Who discovered the Periodic Table?

 

  1. What nation is dry and stony, and features olives, grapes, lamb and goats?

 

  1. What college academic discipline could be classified as totally useless and serves a legitimate escape from reality?

 

  1. What actress said: “There’s no place like home.”?

 

  1. True or false? Mars is named after the Roman God of War.

 

  1. True or false? The moon is approximately 242,000 miles from Earth.

 

  1. Name the largest country on planet Earth.

 

  1. Who is the greatest boxer of all time?

 

  1. True or false: Shakespeare’s first name was Sylvio.

 

  1. Who is the greatest football running back of all time?

 

  1. Provide the age of the Sun and its distance from planet Earth.

 

  1. What renowned Civil War general said the following: “Grant stood by me when I was crazy, and I stood by him when he was drunk, and now we stand by each other.”?

 

I’ll return with Quiz III later in the year.

 

 

ANSWERS:

  1. According to your author’s statistical analysis, the answer is blackjack (21). Dice (craps) is a close second.
  2. Bismarck and Pierre.
  3. An easy one, yours truly.
  4. Ethel Merman.
  5. The Willistons.
  6. The Neptune Diner.
  7. Legendary (92 years old) sports historian Art Loveley.
  8. A tough one. The Vatican.
  9. Full credit here since no one knows for sure; it was once incorrectly attributed to Mark Twain.
  10. A tough one. Dimitri Mendsleev (a Russian chemist) in 1869.
  11. The land of my forefathers – Greece.
  12. A liberal arts program.
  13. Dorothy (Judy Garland) in Wizard of Oz.
  14. True.
  15. True.
  16. Russia.
  17. Full credit here. For me, it was Sugar Ray Robinson, with Gene Tunney a close second. Interestingly, in 1950, Jack Dempsey was voted the greatest fighter over the past  50 years.  He received 251 votes to 104 for Joe Louis, and there were none for Tunney.   My favorite growing up was Kid Gavalan.
  18. False! It turns out Sylvio was his middle name. His first name was Vincenzo; close friends affectionately called him Vinnie.
  19. Full credit here. I didn’t care for him as a person, but for me, it will always be Jim Brown.
  20. Approximately 4.5 billion years and 93 million miles.
  21. General William T. Sherman.

 

 

Visit the author at:

www.theodorenewsletter.com

or

Basketball Coaching 101 (Facebook)

 

NEXT POSTINGS:

 

MARCH 1:                 On Purely Chaste, Pristine, and Random Thoughts XXIX

APRIL 1:                     On the Hofstra 2018-19 Basketball Season

MAY 1:                       On the 2020 East Williston School District Budget Vote

JUNE 1:                      On Memorial Day V

JULY 1:                      On Four Issues II: The New York Racing Association (NYRA)

 

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Here are this month’s three defensive suggestions from the upcoming second edition of my “BASKETBALL COACHING 101” book.

 

  1. There is a need to be able to defend one-on-one. Practices should include this exercise.

 

  1. Never relax on defense. Never!

 

  1. Each man-to-man defensive player should be defending at all times. The author describes it as the “war” defense. During the Killeen’s basketball team era, one of the author’s small forwards took it personally when his opponent scored.

 

 


I – On Solving the Greenhouse Gases Problem

January 1, 2020

 

January 1, 2020

 

This article is concerned with the general subject that has come to be defined as global warming / climate change. Well, is it global warming or is it climate change? It depends on who you talk to. What one can say for certain is that many have come to believe that both are related to the so-called greenhouse gases.

 

The greenhouse effect appears to some to be a completely man-made phenomenon in the world today – one that some engineers (not your author) and scientists feel is leading the planet to the brink of disaster.  The term “greenhouse effect” describes two separate but interpendent occurrences: (a) the increase of trace greenhouse gases (carbon dioxide, nitrous oxides, methane, tropospheric ozone, and chlorofluorocarbons) in the earth’s atmosphere, and (b) the absorption and re-emission of long-wave radiation by these gases. In theory, the greenhouse gases act like the glass in a botanical greenhouse, trapping heat and warming the planet. The increased concentration of greenhouse gases (especially carbon dioxide, i.e., CO2) in the atmosphere since the Industrial Revolution is a well-documented fact; however, the predicted effects of this increase are still in debate among the technical community in the environmental field. Current debate centers around questions such as: (a) Have greenhouse gases affected global weather as yet? (b) How high will the temperature rise once the greenhouse gases in the atmosphere reach higher concentrations? (c) How long does it take for changes in greenhouse gas concentrations to affect global climate? However, keep in mind that a half century ago, environmentalists were claiming that the Earth was cooling.

 

Here is my take on the global warming / climate change issue. The entire issue is bogus at this time. The policies of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are bogus. The changes recommended and advocated by environmentalists are bogus. The present ideologies of environmentalists are bogus. Why bogus? There simply are no hard facts to back up their doomsday predictions. It would therefore be reasonable for one to conclude that any effort to curb CO2 emissions into the atmosphere that involve significant economic changes that can impact man’s social behavior cannot be justified. Any effort to reduce and/or eliminate CO2 emission is thus certain to downgrade the quality of life and lead to an increased state of poverty and world instability; in effect, it would have a dramatic negative impact…and only a minimal effect on global CO2 emissions.

 

Society needs to come to grips with the reality that environmentalists and their supporters are probably the greatest threat to society.  They are a frightening group that is fanatical.  This group will do anything – lie, manipulate, deceive, etc. – to achieve its misguided goals, including to save Mother Earth from itself.

 

Environmentalists justify their conduct by arguing that over 90% of the technical community, based on the flimsiest of hard data that has not been adequately peer reviewed by opposing viewpoints, support their position on global warming. But nearly all of the 90% they refer to have vested interests in the existence of this catastrophic problem facing society.  If there is no problem, most of these so-called experts will be out of a job.  At a minimum, there will be no tenure, no promotions, no articles, no consulting, no books, no government grants and contracts. The environmental organizations who also support this scam will have greater difficulty in generating funding, donations, and government support. And, government bureaucrats will no longer be able to justify to the electorate that they, and they alone, are capable of addressing and solving this contrived problem. Many of my colleagues, authorities in the environmental field, disagree with these environmentalists. Gone are the days when scientists and engineers were beyond reproach.  The reality is that today’s scientist/engineer is as corrupt as the lawyers society has come to detest.

 

You are no doubt aware that lawyers are adept at creating problems while engineers are noted for their ability to solve problems. In days of old, some lectures to my chemical engineering students emphasized how to solve problems. Here is basically what I had to say. First, clearly define the problem. Then apply my 3 Cs concept: Cause, Consequence, and Cost. In effect, what is the cause, what are the consequences, and what will it cost to remedy/eliminate the problem. Here is what we have when this simple concept is applied to global warming and climate change: We really don’t know the cause and we really don’t know the consequences. The solution proposed by the fanatics (they are either dumb or crazy…or both) would bankrupt our economy and probably lead to WWIII; their proposed green agenda is absolutely nuts.

 

Some of my critics claim that I often complain about problems but never offer any solutions. Well, here are seven possible solutions to this potential environmental problem by your favorite author that will have little to no adverse effect on society.

 

  1. Plant 500,000,000 trees. The journal Science (Newsday: 7/5/2019) claimed a trillion trees would do the job in the most efficient manner.
  2. Convert totally from a coal energy economy to one totally based on natural gas. I have previously shown that it would halve (actually 46%) CO2 This partial energy conversion in the U.S. accounts for our achieving the goals of the (ridiculous) 2015 Paris Climate Account.
  3. Convert to a natural gas/oil energy economy. Oil emits approximately 25% less CO2 than coal per unit of energy generated.
  4. Embark on more aggressive domestic and industrial energy conservation programs. This can include converting to electric cars, capping unused wells, controlling CO2 and CH4 (methane) emission from fracking operations, landfills, etc.
  5. Convert to nuclear power. Don’t believe Ralph Nader – the man is clueless. It’s simple, safe, and economically attractive AND there would be no CO2 This is obviously the cheapest and most effective solution.
  6. Halt World Bank funding to China for potential coal-fired power plants since China is no longer (2015) classified as a developing nation.
  7. Any combination of the above.

Any of my solutions would have a dramatic positive impact on our economy with a corresponding reduction on elimination of carbon emissions. My plan would ensure our nation’s energy future without the inevitable loss of jobs. It would replace Obama’s Paris “agreement” – his success story – that allows China to operate nearly an infinite number of coal-fired boilers and India planning to build 23 new coal-fired plants; this was indeed another Obama Administration whopper. Now really, how does the above compare to the green agenda currently being proposed by the liberal progressive Democrats?

 

Bottom line: For the past 4.5 billion years, the Earth’s temperature has varied from year to year, decade to decade, century to century, millennium to millennium, etc., and the changes, at times, were really significant. The same can be said about Earth’s climate. None of these changes were man-made, and only some of these changes have been satisfactorily explained. Yet here we are, not only having survived but also prospered. At the present time, the cause(s) for today’s changes are unknown, the consequences are unknown, and therefore, any attempt to address these phenomena with massive economic expenditures and altering present lifestyles would be insane. Case closed. Next case.

 

Any questions or comments? Bomb away!

Visit the author at:

www.theodorenewsletter.com

or

Basketball Coaching 101 (Facebook)

 

NEXT POSTINGS:

 

FEBRUARY 1:           On the Ultimate Quiz II

MARCH 1:                 On Purely Chaste, Pristine, and Random Thoughts XXIX

APRIL 1:                     On the Hofstra 2018-19 Basketball Season

MAY 1:                       On the 2020 East Williston School District Budget Vote

JUNE 1:                      On Memorial Day V

JULY 1:                      On Four Issues II: Climate Change

Here are this month’s three offensive basketball suggestions from the 2nd edition of my “Basketball Coaching 101” book.

 

  1. Every shooter should either follow their shot or get back on defense; he should not just stand there (as with most players today) like a prima donna watching to see if the ball is going to go in. Players were always instructed in earlier times to “follow your shot,” since the shooter, better anyone else on the court, knows where the ball might go.
  2. Whenever possible, shots should be attempted from the head of the key or center position (dead center if possible) of the court, not from the side or end line.
  3. Always fast break – always! One cannot beat taking layups which often results in a fast break.

ON THE HOFSTRA 2019-20 BASKETBALL SEASON

December 1, 2019

December 1, 2019

 

Here is part of what I wrote last year at the start of the Hofstra Men’s 2018-19 basketball season. “The 10/28 Newsday headlines blared away “Hofstra Targets NCAA: Wright-Foreman key to making March Madness.” Here is what appeared this year in the 11/2/19 Newsday headlines, “Hunger Pains: Pemberton, Pride Wants to Earn Spot in NCAA Tourney!” Now I ask you: What team doesn’t want to make the Tourney? In any event, the problems that existed last year still remain.  What problems remain? The same four I raised earlier, as detailed below.

 

  1. How many teams that made the Sweet 16 play zone defense? If you answered hardly any, you’d be right. And, there is a reason why the better teams do NOT play zone defense. Accept it – nothing can replace the intensity of an in-your-face man-to-man defense. NOTHING!!!
  2. I keep repeating this after each season. You are inviting trouble when you commit to a 7-man rotation, with 5 players rotating around 4 positions. A successful team needs season-tested players not only when players are in foul trouble but also at tournament time when confronting either a 3-game/3-day or 4-game/4-day schedule. Hopefully, this will not occur again this season.
  3. Coach Mikalich and his staff have done a superb job in recruiting – when it comes to offensive players. But, defense is as important as offense, right?  Anything been done about it? Time will tell.
  4. The object every season for any club in a mid-major conference is to win their tournament, NOT their conference. How does a team do this? I discuss this very topic in the upcoming 2nd edition of my “Basketball Coaching 101” book . . . or, simply talk to Coach Timmy Cluess of Iona.

 

On to this year. Buie, Pemberton, Ray and Coburn are back. So is Truehart, although currently sidelined. The new additions include guard Silverio (Omar) and center Kante (Isaac). The starting five appear (at this time) to be guards Buie, Pemberton, Ray, and Coburn with Kante at center. Subs appear to be the aforementioned Silverio, Shutte (Ken) and (perhaps) freshman Burgess (Caleb). This year’s analysis? I love Coburn as a player – he was my type of player when I was coaching. But, Buie is the key. It will be his defense that will hopefully carry the team to the CAA Championship AND an invitation to the Big Dance. This will really be an exciting year if this comes to pass. And, they have a reasonable shot to make it happen.

 

Here’s more:  the club is off to a decent start.  So far, so good.  The team’s record at the time of the preparation of this article (12/1) is 4-3 that includes an embarrassing loss to San Jose St. and a dramatic come from behind 20-point victory against UCLA.

Here is my usual pitch on why everyone, particularly seniors, should consider attending Hofstra games this season. Attending these games for me still remains the best sports buy in the New York Metropolitan area; it’s even cheaper than going to the movies. There is ample free parking, easy access in and out of the Mack Sports Complex, the concession stands are not a rip-off ($3.50 for a dog, $3.00 for a soda, etc.), and there isn’t a bad seat in the house. Did I mention that its $6 for seniors and children, and the whole exciting atmosphere is conducive to family attendance? Many home games last year turned out to be thrillers. Share it this year with someone you care about.

 

GO PRIDE!

 

Note: The theodorenewsletter will begin a new feature starting this month (see below). The new feature will provide either three offensive or three defensive basketball suggestions that will appear in the upcoming 2nd edition of “Basketball Coaching 101”, and replace the weekly basketball suggestions that have appeared on Facebook’s “Basketball Coaching 101.”

 

This month’s Basketball Coaching 101 offensive hints:

 

  1. Run back at near full speed after a turn of possession (or turnover) to play defense.
  2. Never play zone defense. There are some exceptions, detailed in (3).
  3. Consider playing zone defense only if one of your star offensive players is a weak defender or if one of your star offensive players is in foul trouble or if you intend to use only 5, 6 or 7 players, i.e., the person (substitute) players are weak. Massimino used this strategy during Villanova’s championship run in 1985.

 

You want more? Tough. You’ll have to wait until next month for 3 offensive suggestions.

 

Visit the author at:

www.theodorenewsletter.com

or

Basketball Coaching 101 (Facebook)

 

NEXT POSTINGS:

 

JANUARY 1:   On Four Issues I:  Climate Change

FEBRUARY 1:  On the Ultimate Quiz II

MARCH 1:      On Purely Chaste, Pristine, and Random Thoughts XXIX

APRIL 1:          On the Hofstra 2018-19 Basketball Season

MAY 1:            On the 2020 East Williston School District Budget Vote

JUNE 1:           On Memorial Day V

JULY 1:           On Four Issues II: NYRA

 

 


On The OHI Day V

November 1, 2019

 It’s been 9 years since I penned my first article on the OHI Day (some of which is reported below). This is a special day in Greek history as it regards Greece’s heroic involvement in WWII. Our family’s recent visit to Greece was yet two reminders of this day.

 

As noted in earlier articles, I was baptized Elias Theodorakos since it is the Greek custom to name the first son after the paternal Papou (grandfather). Within a few years, the name Elias (our first grandson is also named Elias) was displaced by Louis, its American counterpart. I know our children and grandchildren would have preferred that our last name had not been changed. They are also disappointed – along with Mary (who is not Greek) – that I did not insist that they go to Greek school. Although I am an American first, I still remain proud of my Hellenic roots.

 

On to one of the themes of this article. My ancestors have a long history of battling and suffering with evil elements and opponents. Unfortunately, history repeated itself in 1939, as documented below. The 80th anniversary of the resistance of fascist forces by the Greek Armed Forces was recently celebrated several days ago on October 28. (The day came and went without a whimper here in the United States.) OHI (an emphatic no!) was Prime Minister Metaxas’s response to Hitler’s order to peacefully surrender. What followed Metaxas’s response was 219 days of fierce battles. That in turn was followed by intense guerrilla warfare that resulted in a brutal occupational that included executions, sufferings, famine, and severe inflation. The rest is now history for some people and all Greeks. Here are some comments immediately following the war.

 

Winston Churchill: “The word heroism, I’m afraid, does not reflect in the least the Hellenes’ acts of self-sacrifice that were the defining factor of the victorious ending of all the nations’ common struggle during the 2nd WW for human freedom and dignity. If it were not for the bravery of the Hellenes and their courageous hearts, the ending of the 2nd WW would not have been clear.”

 

Franklin Roosevelt: “When the entire world had lost all hope, the Hellenic people dared to doubt the German monster’s invincibility fighting back with the proud spirit of freedom. The heroic struggle of the Hellenic people against the German hurricane filled the American hearts with enthusiasm and won their sympathy.”

 

The second reminder of this special day was a recent paper submitted by our 13-year old grandson for his English class. It was titled VACHOS 1,5. VACHOS is a essentially small deserted town built on a rocky terrain half way up a mountain with no apparent means of sustenance itself. Vachos is a located in Mani – the middle member of the Peloponnese peninsula – surrounded by the Mediterranean Sea on the south, the Messenian Gulf on the west,  and the Laconian Gulf  on the east. Elias’s passage follows:

 

“I opened the car door and the blazing sun came right at me, forcing me to quickly cover my eyes. It was pushing 100 degrees late that afternoon, a dry, windy, burning heat. We had started our journey in Athens, and we were now in Mani, the region of the Peloponnese my great grandfather emigrated from. We were staying in Limeni, a small town on the Mediterranean Sea, with turquoise and emerald blue water and vibrantly colored fish that eluded my grasp. Limeni was five minutes away from Vachos, my great grandfather’s hilltop town. Excited and curious, my whole family had all been waiting for this part of the trip. As we drove into the hills, the sea disappeared from our sight. A sign ‘Vachos 1,5’ told us to turn right and drive 1.5 kilometers to Vachos. In our little stick-shift Toyota, we started along a bumpy road with tall grass that surrounded us. Ascending the steep hill, the car rolled back every time we began again after a stop. Houses that had looked like dots from afar came into view, and we pulled into what looked like the town square.

 

The square was a flat expanse among the hills, empty except for an older man in a run-down pickup truck. He got out to introduce himself as the mayor. He was a third cousin of my grandfathers, and an important person who lived in the town. Much to my surprise, this otherwise bleak town square had a basketball hoop that hung from the patio of a shuttered restaurant. It amazed me that my ancestors left this town for more opportunities in America, but a basketball hoop had traveled in the opposite direction.

 

Our cousin, Kiriakos Theodorakos, who could only speak Greek, and a dialect at that, toured us around the town. We walked up a curving path and around abandoned stone houses in search of my great-grandfather’s house. My grandfather stopped in front of an old house “This is the one,” he said, pointing. We all started toward it. Nestled into a steep hill, the house was made of stone, most of it still intact, with a dilapidated clay roof. Trees obscured the view of the house so we walked down the hill to see it from another angle. Long, prickly brush scratched against my legs as I surveyed the place my Spartan family had lived in a century before. We could see the door where this family entered and the dirt floor they walked. The sound of cicadas and the smell of oregano overwhelmed me. I wonder what it would have been like to live in these remote Greek hills.

 

The town’s population is about sixty and probably wasn’t much more in the early 1900s. How different would New York City have seemed to my Great Papou when he sailed into the harbor? I asked my grandfather if we could go inside and he translated the question. Our cousin kept saying “fidia,” but my grandfather either couldn’t understand his accent or didn’t know the word. Finally, our cousin wiggled his hand and we understood that the house was now filled with snakes.

 

On our way back to the town square, we wandered into the town cemetery, where we were greeted by marble stones with engravings, vibrant flowers, and food and drinks placed on graves. I share blood with all of these people. The mountains surrounded us, but we could not see any water nearby. Why did people build a town here? As we were leaving the town square, our cousin went to his truck and brought us a jar of oregano. As we drove away I opened the jar and crumbled the leaves between my fingers, the smell of oregano filling the air.”

 

Thank you Elias for keeping the memories alive.

 

Visit the author at:

www.theodorenewsletter.com

or

Basketball Coaching 101 (Facebook)

 

NEXT POSTINGS:

 

DECEMBER 1:          On Hofstra Men’s Upcoming Basketball 2019-20 Season

JANUARY 1:              One the Ultimate Quiz II

FEBRUARY 1:           On Four Issues I: NYRA

MARCH 1:                 On Purely Chaste, Pristine, and Random Thoughts XXIX

APRIL 1:                     On the Hofstra 2018-19 Basketball Season

MAY 1:                       On the 2020 East Williston School District Budget Vote

JUNE 1:                      On Memorial Day V

JULY 1:                      On Four Issues II: Climate Change

 


ON ENGINEERING AS A CAREER

August 1, 2019

August 1, 2019

 

We are approaching back-to-school time and many youngsters attending college in their freshman/sophomore years will be asked to select a major to study. This month’s article provides my pitch on why some should consider engineering as a career.

 

In a very broad sense, engineering is a term applied to the profession in which a knowledge of the mathematical and natural sciences, gained by study, experience, and practice, is applied to the efficient use of the materials and forces of nature. The term engineer denotes an individual who has received professional training in both pure and applied science, but was often used in the past to describe the operator of an engine, as in the term locomotive engineer. In modern times, these occupations became known as crafts or trades.

 

There are five major branches of engineering, listed below in alphabetical order.

 

  1. Chemical Engineering
  2. Civil Engineering
  3. Electrical Engineering
  4. Environmental Engineering
  5. Mechanical Engineering

 

One could also add to this engineering list the following fields: aeronautical, astronautical, geological, industrial, marine, military, managerial, mining, naval, petroleum, structural, and the recent addition of nanotechnology. However, since I am a chemical engineer working in both the chemical and environmental fields, chemical and environmental engineering are primarily addressed in the sections to follow.

 

PROBLEM SOLVING

The engineer (and to a lesser degree the scientist) is known for his problem-solving ability. It is probably this ability more than any other that has enabled many engineers to rise to positions of leadership and top management within their companies. In problem-solving, considerable importance is attached to a proper analysis of the problem, to a logical recording of the problem solution, and to the overall professional appearance of the finished product of the calculations.

 

The value of an engineer is usually determined by his/her ability to apply basic principles, facts, and methods in order to accomplish some useful purpose. In this modem age of industrial competition, the ultimate definition of a useful purpose is usually based on a tangible profit of monetary value. It is not sufficient, therefore, to have a knowledge and understanding of physics, chemistry, mathematics, mechanics, stoichiometry, thermodynamics, the unit operations, chemical technology, and other related engineering and scientific subjects; he/she must also have the ability to apply this knowledge to practical situations, and, in making these applications, recognize the importance of the dollar sign.

 

Certain methods of logic and techniques of calculation are fundamental to the solution of many problems, and there is a near infinite number of methods. Words such as creative, ingenuity, original, etc., appear in all these approaches. What do they all have in common? They provide a systematic, logical approach to solving problems, and what follows is this author’s definition of a generic approach.

 

The methodology of solving problems has been discussed by most mathematicians and logicians since the days of Aristotle. Heuristic (“serving to discover”) is the term often given to this study of the methods and rules of solving problems. Nearly always, a stepwise approach to the solution is desirable. The broad steps are:

 

  1. Understanding the problem
  2. Devising a plan
  3. Carrying out the plan
  4. Looking back

 

HISTORY OF ENGINEERING

In terms of history, the engineering profession as defined today is usually considered to have originated shortly after 1800. However, many of the “processes” associated with this discipline were developed in antiquity. For example, filtration operations were carried out 5000 years ago by the Egyptians. Operations such as crystallization, precipitation, and distillation soon followed. Others evolved from a mixture of craft, mysticism, incorrect theories, and empirical guesses during this period.

 

In a very real sense, the chemical industry dates back to prehistoric times when people first attempted to control and modify their environment, and it developed as did any other trade or craft. With little knowledge of science and no means of chemical analysis, the earliest “engineers” had to rely on previous art and superstition. As one would imagine, progress was slow. This changed with time.

 

Industry in the world today is a sprawling complex of raw-material sources, manufacturing plants, and distribution facilities which supply society with thousands of products, most of which were unknown over a century ago. In the latter half of the nineteenth century, an increased demand arose for individuals trained in the fundamentals of these processes. This demand was ultimately met by engineers.

 

The technical advances of the 19th century greatly broadened the field of engineering and introduced a large number of the aforementioned engineering specialties. The rapidly changing demands of the socioeconomic environment in the 20th and 21st centuries have widened the scope even further. One need only review the various branches of engineering listed earlier.

 

CHEMICAL ENGINEERING

Chemical engineering is one of the basic tenets of engineering, and contains many practical concepts that are utilized in countless real-world industrial applications. A discussion centered on the field of chemical engineering is therefore warranted before proceeding to some specific details regarding this discipline. A reasonable question to ask is: What is chemical engineering? An outdated, but once official definition provided by the American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AIChE) is:

 

Chemical engineering is that branch of engineering concerned with the development and application of manufacturing processes in which chemical or certain physical changes are involved. These processes may usually be resolved into a coordinated series of unit physical “operations.” The work of the chemical engineer is primarily concerned with the design, construction, and operation of equipment and plants in which these unit operations and processes are applied. Chemistry, physics, and mathematics are the underlying sciences of chemical engineering, and economics is its guide in practice.

 

This definition was appropriate until a few decades ago when the profession branched out from the chemical industry. Today, that definition has changed. Although it is still based on chemical fundamentals and physical principles, these have been de-emphasized in order to allow for the expansion of the profession to other areas. These areas include environmental management, health and safety, computer applications, project management, probability and statistics, ethics, and economics and finance, plus several other “new” topics. This has led to many new definitions of chemical engineering, several of which are either too specific or too vague. A definition proposed by your author, is simply that “chemical engineers solve problems.” Today, this engineering discipline offers the student the largest number of professional options to pursue on graduation, including medicine, law, education, the environment, etc. This would be my first choice for anyone interested in pursuing a career in engineering.

 

ENVIRONMENTAL ENGINEERING

Traditionally, the scope of environmental engineering (originally termed sanitary engineering) was confined primarily to water supply, sewerage, and general environmental sanitation. Since the middle of the 20th century, however, the profession has expanded – due in part to the author – to include increased responsibilities in municipal and industrial waste treatment, air pollution, solid waste management, radiological health, safety, etc. It was originally viewed as a branch of civil engineering, but because of its importance, especially in dense urban-population areas, it acquired the importance of a specialized field. As noted, it now primarily deals with problems involving water supply, treatment, and distribution; disposal of community wastes and reclamation of useful components of such wastes; control of pollution of surface waterways, groundwaters, and soils; air pollution; control of atmospheric pollution; meteorology; housing and institutional management; rural and recreational-site management; insect and vermin control; industrial hygiene, including control of light, noise, vibration, and toxic materials in work areas; and, other fields concerned with the control of environmental factors affecting health. The field of accident and emergency management/health and hazard risk assessment has as its object the prevention of accidents. In recent years, “safety” engineering has become a specialty adopted by individuals trained in other branches of engineering.

 

With the expanding effort to provide a healthier environment for the industrial worker, environmental engineering techniques are employed to rid the air of noxious dusts and gases in plants and other working areas. The problem of atmospheric pollution resulting from discharging waste into the atmosphere in large industrial settings became a major concern soon after 1970, a time when I entered the field.

 

 

MORE ON ENGINEERING

 

Other Engineering Disciplines

Civil Engineering is the oldest and broadest of all engineering branches. It is in turn subdivided to include specialization in such fields as structural, sanitary, public health, hydraulic, transportation and other established engineering disciplines. They design bridges and tunnels, construct roads, install water-supply and sewage-disposal systems, erect dams, lay out railroads and other transportation systems and plan buildings of all types and sizes for public, private, and industrial uses.

 

Electrical Engineering, another important branch of the profession, deals comprehensively with power generation and its transmission and distribution, electronics and its many applications, transportation, illumination, and all types of electrical machinery. The electrical engineer designs, directs and supervises the construction of electrical systems for the production and utilization of power for the multitudinous purposes of business, industry, and the community.

 

Mechanical Engineering is one of the largest branches in the engineering field. This branch of the engineering profession is subdivided into heat, power, and machine design options with electives in aeronautical, metallurgical and industrial engineering. Devices for heating, air conditioning, refrigeration, engines and other mechanisms for the propulsion of vehicles and missiles on, under, or over land, sea, and air. tools, motors, and machines for all types of industrial production or research are just a few examples of the mechanical engineer’s contributions to the world.

 

Salaries and Rewards

Beginning salaries for inexperienced engineering graduates vary according to the type of agency seeking their services, geographical area in which the individual is employed, level of responsibility and nature of duties for particular positions, and the competition for engineering positions at any given time. Due to the shortage of engineers in recent years, graduates with no experience have commanded salaries ranging from an average low of $70,000 to an average high of $100,000 per year. Possessors of the Master’s degree begin at higher levels; those with a Doctorate in Engineering receive considerably higher starting salaries.

 

Aside from financial rewards, the successful engineer enjoys unlimited opportunity for creative achievement, the satisfaction of contributing significantly to the improvement of standards of living, and a distinctive position of trust and respect in the community.

 

It should be noted that college engineering programs are very difficult. The student cannot expect to succeed without devoting himself entirely to his work in school and to related home assignments. Unless the student is willing to curtail or even forego a great many of the social activities generally associated with attendance at college or with young people of his age, academic problems will probably arise. Although the road to success in engineering is not an easy one, a career in the profession can be realized by a student willing to accept the obligations for required adequate preparation.

 

With Women

Finally, careers in engineering are projected to expand rapidly in the next decade. In this technologically advanced world, the discoveries and solutions being made affect the lives of everyone. Historically, women have been underrepresented in the industries that drive these advances in engineering technology. This mindset, however has been quickly changing. It is exciting to live at such a pivotal moment in history when women have such an incredible opportunity to change the face of industries, not only in engineering but across a variety of fields. Thankfully, our nation draws its intellectual power from 100% of the population, not 47.9%, as with many other nations.

 

When I retired some years ago, 50% of my students were women. And, more often than not, they outperformed the men. Maybe they felt they had something to prove.

 

 

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NEXT POSTINGS:

SEPTEMBER 1:         On Purely Chaste, Pristine and Random Thoughts XXIX

OCTOBER 1:              Great Eats IV; Diners

NOVEMBER 1:          On the OHI Day V

DECEMBER 1:          On Hofstra Men’s Basketball: 2019-20 Season

 


ON MEMORIAL DAY VIII

June 1, 2019

June 1, 2019

Once again, it’s Memorial Day. Another holiday. A day off for most. How easy it is to think of this as just another day of the year. It comes. We barbecue and party. Some give thoughts to our fallen heroes. Others may pray for peace. Others could care less. And then the day is gone.

 

This year’s Memorial Day article will introduce the readers to a very special organization whose mission is to transport America’s Veterans to Washington, DC to visit those memorials dedicated to honor the service and sacrifices of themselves and their friends. Honor Flight Network (HFN) is a non-profit organization created solely to honor America’s veterans for all their sacrifices. It transports our heroes to Washington, DC to visit and reflect at their Memorials. Top priority is given to the senior veterans – World War II survivors, along with those other veterans who may be terminally ill. According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, an estimated 640 WWII veterans die each day. Obviously, time to express thanks to these brave men and women is running out.

 

As fate would have it, I have a first cousin (by marriage) who was one of the few remaining veterans of World War II. His name is Ted Lekas. Nearly 30 years have passed since  I wrote an article titled – AS I SEE IT: ON THE SEABEES that detailed Ted’s experiences in the Pacific during the war.  I continue to visit Ted (and my cousin Nora) every time I’m on the east coast of Florida. Unfortunately, Ted passed away last year at the age of 93. Low and behold, I found out that Ted had been earlier honored by the aforementioned HFN. Here is an edited version of Ted’s description of that truly exciting event.

 

“My long time friend and Westinghouse associate, Roger Ray, asked me if I would like to go on the Honor Flight to visit the World War II Monument. He would be my Guardian and put up the required funds. He would be with me for the entire trip, overseeing my needs and comfort. It was a dream that I thought would never come true and there it was. So after checking with my doctor, I was told to go ahead and enjoy the trip. Roger and I were both excited in anticipation of the trip.

 

At the Miami International Airport, the general public was thanking me for my service along the passage way to the plane. We were given breakfast and prepared to board the plane. I would guess about 50% or more of the Veterans (including me) were in Honor chairs (wheel chairs). We were wheeled through the plane ramp to the door of the plane by our Guardians. On the plane the Guardian sat next to the assigned Veteran – in my case, Roger. In my row on the plane was the oldest Veteran on the tour, 100 years old and in perfect health. On takeoff, firetrucks on either side of the lane, with flashing lights and water cannons, fired an arc of water over the airplane as a salute to the veterans.

 

The time passed quickly and we reached Ronald Reagan National Airport (DCA) Washington, DC in two and a half hours. We boarded deluxe tour buses and headed for the World War II memorial. Our four bus convoy had police car escorts front and rear with sirens and flashing red lights. Any car that cut in front of one of the buses was pulled over and probably issued a summons.

 

The WWII Memorial was a wonder sight. At one end, off in the distance, stood the Lincoln Memorial and at the other end stood the Washington Memorial. It was explained that the WWII Memorial is not only dedicated to the veterans but to the entire population of the United States of America for their contribution of tireless labor to produce the arms and equipment to support our fighting men.

 

There was so much to see as we toured. The bronze portrayals along the walls of the walkways of the Memorial of every day life in America was depicted as well as some historical events.

 

Then we chose to see the Korean War memorial. All this time Roger was doing all the navigating of my Honor chair. It was a long walk from the WWII memorial to the steps of the Lincoln Memorial and then about 100 yards to the Korean Memorial. There were (19) life sized stainless steel figures (each covered with a tan substance) that appear to be on patrol in Korea in what could be enemy territory. You could read their facial expression of alertness, fear, and readiness in a hostile climate. There is great detail in every item down to the weapons they carried. There is a black polished granite wall along one side of the soldiers displayed that had etched faces and scenes into the surface. These were copied from actual unidentified photos of soldiers, marines, sailors and air men.

 

Next we boarded our buses and headed for the Women’s Memorial. It was explained to us that if we wanted to witness the changing of the guard at the Tomb of the Unknown we must make the stop at the Woman’s Memorial a brief rest stop. All agreed. In the building and walking to the rest room, there were a number of displays depicting all the services women performed during the U.S. military experiences. Overall, the Women’s Memorial seemed to occupy a large area, and deservedly so.

 

Back on the buses, we started on our way to Arlington Cemetery to witness the changing of the guard. The trip there was a sightseeing tour of various Washington buildings and Memorials. Among those included the Capitol, the Washington Monument, the Pentagon, the African American Memorial (still under construction), the Air Force Memorial (not open at the time), the Lincoln Memorial, and the older section of the cemetery at the Regimental Building where the changing of the guard takes place at the Tomb of the Unknown.

 

There was an area for the Veterans and their Guardians who .were provided reserved front row advantage. I cannot begin to describe the ceremony and precision that took place but can say it was perfection to the last detail.

 

We boarded the busses for the trip back to the airport. During the flight we were served dinner, followed by a ‘Mail Call.’ Each person’s name was called and an 8” x 10” bulging envelope was given to each veteran. There must have been over 100 pieces of mail in the envelope from relatives, friends and unknown citizens wishing us well and thanking us for our military services in WWII.

 

On landing at Miami we were again saluted with the airport fire engines and the arch of water from their water cannons and flashing lights. We were home at last. Inside the airport we passed through security and passed the longest line of welcoming citizens, politicians, military personnel of every rank. Most surprising was the number of young children present. They stood in a double line which we passed through the center. The cheers and handshakes made us all proud to be respected in this manner by those who thanked us so openly. As we exited the building, the final salute was from a group of men and women playing the bagpipes. The emotions were high at times within each veteran. I’m sure we all had the remembrances of the men we left behind and how proud they would have been of our America and its citizens who cared.”

 

Closeout thoughts on Memorial Day follow. For me, I often get a feeling of elation when I hear the national anthem. I give thanks to being an American. Although our nation is experiencing hard times due to earlier incompetent and misguided leadership, it is important that we lovers of the American way of life not give up. George Washington, my man of the 18th century, facing unsurmountable odds, did not give up. Nor did the men and women who led the expansion out West in the 19th century. Nor did Churchill, my man of the 20th century. Bottom line: Nor will our nation; we will return to greatness.

 

God bless America and those men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice.

 

Visit the author at:

www.theodorenewsletter.com

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NEXT POSTINGS:

JULY 1:                      On the Ultimate Quiz

AUGUST 1:                On Engineering as a Career

SEPTEMBER 1:         On Purely Chaste, Pristine and Random Thoughts XXIX

OCTOBER 1:              On Barack Hussein Obama Update VI

NOVEMBER 1:          On the OHI Day V

DECEMBER 1:          On Hofstra Men’s Basketball: 2019-20 Season

 


ON THE 2019 EAST WILLISTON SCHOOL DISTRICT BUDGET VOTE

May 1, 2019

May 1, 2019

East Williston School District (EWSD) residents are annually requested to vote on a school budget and this year is no exception. Each voting member of the community will have an opportunity to either vote for or against the budget. Every parent, every senior, every taxpayer, and every youngster of voting age should consider voting NO on the budget. Why? The same two reasons I mention every year at this time: waste and senior citizen exploitation. From my perspective, this District does not care about the seniors, but for goodness sake, you would think they would do something about the waste.

 

The EWSD continues to do damage to our community with both excessive waste (particularly at the administration level) and indifference toward the taxpayer (particularly with seniors). Increasing numbers of incoming high school students are opting out of Wheatley in favor of private schools. This “migration” has gone uncontested by the Board-perhaps for good reason. Unfortunately, there is little to no accountability at Wheatley. To further exacerbate this point, the EWSD teachers count has increased despite the drop in enrollment.

 

It is important for both parents and educators to understand from an educational perspective that the landscape has changed. My experience suggests that today’s students leave high school more aware of what they want to do and what they hope to accomplish in the future. Nobody I know feels the EWSD is doing enough to adjust to this change. The mode of delivery of education is changing, and changing at a near exponential rate, at all levels – and the EWSD has not attempted to adopt to these changes. I have been involved with several programs that have reduced or essentially eliminated the need for teachers. The recently approved 5-year STEM (Science-Technology-Engineering-Mathematics) Program were only words in a written document. Today’s educators need to guide students to develop into lifelong learners. Students must acquire the knowledge and critical-thinking capabilities that prepare them to continually learn new skills for a future few, if any, can predict. In effect, educators must respond to a changing world, implementing creative, student-centered solutions. It’s all about teaching kids to use their minds so that they will have imagination to respond to many changing circumstances in the world. This approach can expand the world for students beyond the classroom, giving them access to resources, ideas and glimpses into cultures that they may not have opportunities to explore. Technology is a bit part of that. It’s not about whether or not to include technology in education anymore; it’s about how to do it in the best, most engaging and inspiring ways to support the desired learning outcomes. Anyone really believe the EWSD is capable to accomplishing this? Most have come to realize that the District is very slow to change.

 

Taxpayers are also concerned about the rising cost of education. If there are things that can be done differently to provide the quality necessary, this should be figured out. Unfortunately I really don’t think they are capable.

 

And where does the PTO fit into all of this? Forgive me, but it would be more appropriate to refer to them as TO since they do not represent the parents and their children. As I’ve said in the past, this is unfortunately an organization whose members are just uninformed, or lacking intelligence, or educator/teacher ideologs, or some combination of the three. Not a healthy situation. Many of the uniformed parents refuse to accept that the self-serving EWSD board, the teachers, the PTA, etc., have failed and betrayed both the students and the community. The turnaround will come when the community comes to realize that Board members – in almost every instance – are there for self-serving purposes. If they really cared about all the kids – not only their own, they would not move on once they have graduated. Board Trustees generally stay as long as they have children in schools…and the silently scoot out. They really aren’t that much different than the parents involved in the recent college admission bribery scam — parents looking to gain an advantage for their children at the expense of others. Think about past Board members who were so vociferous and outspoken about defending the status quo … a status quo that has resulted in higher taxes and decrease in the quality of education.

 

Finally, and as noted above, our taxes are too high because of excess spending that is educationally unnecessary. This waste is harming real estate values. Simple actions, which can positively affect our community, are opposed by the teachers, the administrators, the present illegitimate Board, the self-serving PTO officers, and many of the misinformed (thanks to the PTO leadership) PTO members.

 

The bottom line: It’s OK to vote NO on the budget. Don’t be a glutton for punishment. Stop being taken for a fool. Stop being an enabler for the EXPLOITERS on the Board and some PTO officers.

 

Visit the author at:

www.theodorenewsletter.com

or

Basketball Coaching 101 (Facebook)

 

NEXT POSTINGS:

JUNE 1:                      On Memorial Day VIII

JULY 1:                      On the Ultimate Quiz

AUGUST 1:                On Engineering as a Career

SEPTEMBER 1:         On Purely Chaste, Pristine and Random Thoughts XXIX

OCTOBER 1:              On Barack Hussein Obama Update VI

NOVEMBER 1:          On the OHI Day V

DECEMBER 1:          On Hofstra Men’s Basketball: 2019-20 Season