Author name: Fred Etcheverry

Fred Etcheverry lives in Santa Cruz, California with his wife Elsa. He is a freelance high-tech B2B (Business-to-Business) copywriter usually for clients in the nearby Silicon Valley. He is also an engineering consultant and teaches courses in industry and college on computers and electronics. When he is doing none of the above, he swims in the Monterey Bay, hikes in the Santa Cruz redwood forests, visits his adult children, or goes to art galleries, plays and operas with Elsa and friends.

Community Colleges: Disappearing Shop Classes and Green Technology

Stan Ovinshisky graduated from high school and took machining courses at a technical school. With this formal education he has made significant contributions to solid-state physics, neurology, chemistry and cybernetics. He also invented an electric car battery. You may recall his appearance in, “Who Killed the Electric Car?”

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Soulcraft and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: The Demise of Shop Classes.

Troubleshooting and making repairs in shop class utilizes the complete scientific method. To repair a malfunctioning device the student must first hypothesize why it is not working. Next the student must design an experiment (test) to determine the correctness of this hypothesis. The student must repair and test that the device is working.

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Mass Customization’s Role in a Sustainable Economy

Mass production has been used since the industrial revolution as a means of creating large quantities of standardized products. It has many advantages over one-at-a-time production. It reduces coast and provide interchangeable parts.  Its disadvantages are that it can over produce and it dehumanizes labor. Mass production will often continue to build inventory in spite

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GE Acquires ScanWind Offshore Wind Turbines

Certainly, the development of these turbines is a case of challenge and response since they were developed to meet the Scandinavian environment. GE and others will develop generators that will provide wind farms offshore where the windiest but harshest environments exist. Animal lover will be delighted to know that sea birds are able to avoid offshore wind farms.

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Is Social Security “Windfall” Penalty Fair to Labor?

The Texas American Federation of Teachers (AFT) cites the case of a widowed public school teacher that retired with a $900 monthly pension. She would have been eligible to receive $600 survivor benefits based on her husband’s Social Security contribution, but the windfall elimination provision (WEP) eliminated all of her survivor benefits.

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Coal Has Peaked: Will This Impact The American Clean Energy And Security Act?

US oil, natural gas and coal (fossil energy) companies perpetuate the “energy independence” myth. According to this myth, importation of oil is our energy problem. Buying foreign oil is “the greatest transfer of wealth in history,” and “It sends money to governments that hate us.”

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Can Blue Dogs Help Obama’s Green Message?

Despite public outrage over AIG bonuses, Obama had a good week. He traveled across America expressing his own outrage over the bonuses. He was warmly greeted in Orange County, California — once a bastion of conservative Republicanism. Republican Governor Swarzenegger warmly embraced him and assured him that California supported the stimulus plan. Obama appeared on the Tonight Show displaying his quick wit with the show’s host Jay Leno.

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Green Technology at Your Community College

Community Colleges teach many skills needed for green tech. Some like Skyline are bundling these courses into a certificate program. Students in these programs learn by doing. Obama’s stimulus package will encourage more campuses to create more interesting and versatile green technology programs. Your enthusiasm for these programs will make a difference. Skyline Community College in

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Can Obama Stop Drug Wars?

The US State Department has warned students not to go to Mexico during spring break since drug gangs threaten violence. Drug cartels are threatening the stability of nations around the globe, assassinating police and government officials. A record opium crop is providing funding for the Taliban in Afghanistan. Can decriminalization of narcotics be a solution? Neuroscience offers new hope to cure addition.

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When Will Obama Restore Science?

The previous administration was hostile to science. Political appointees, who believed that the notion of global warming was a “liberal thing,” often trumped Scientist writing about global warming and the “greenhouse effect.” Attempts were made to insert Creationism into the curriculum. Funding was banned for embryonic stem cell research. The CPSC (Consumer Product Safety Commission) neglected lead laden toys while wagging war on science education.

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