Greenback U. is, in the terminology of those who think and write analytically about such things, a "multiversity." It's a double-handful of schools and colleges, "united by a common heating system." It does a lot of things, some of them very well. One of the things it doesn't do well is institute change. Making change well requires coordination. Coordination, in a large organization, requires planning. Planning, at Greenback, is a patchwork at best.
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July 8, 2008
July 3, 2008
A recent post on Gristmill spoke to Volkswagen's increasing investment in hybrid cars, and the industry trend towards less internal combustion, higher reliance on electrical propulsion.
July 1, 2008
I was out of town over the weekend, getting to know the newest member of the Rendell clan. My new niece -- two weeks old -- will probably be the last-born member of her generation within the extended family. Thus, there's little doubt she will get spoiled, with attention and affection if not with material goods. We should all be so lucky.
June 30, 2008
Thanks to a correspondent for putting me onto this story. Feel free to share anything even vaguely similar. Or different. Ithaca, New York might be described as a prototypical university town. Cornell University on one hill, Ithaca College on another, lots of liberal voters in the middle of relatively conservative upstate New York. I'm told that it's sometimes defined as "ten square miles surrounded by reality."
June 27, 2008
Lots of folks look back on their college years as a happy period in their lives. Heck, some folks seem to like it so much that they find a way never to leave! (One of the characteristics of many higher-ed administrative departments is that they employ a lot of people with local diplomas on the wall, and no experience ever having worked anyplace else. Sigh!)
June 26, 2008
I want to be Alexander Lee when I grow up. Lee is the Executive Director of Project Laundry List, an outgrowth of a project he started at Middlebury College.
June 24, 2008
I'm wondering about pushing Greenback U. to get into the green fuel business. I'd like some success stories, if anyone's willing to share theirs. One fact about that UK-spec Land Rover that gets up to 45.5 highway miles per gallon - it has a 2.2 liter turbo-diesel engine in it. I'm guessing that part of the reason diesel-engined vehicles are more popular in other countries than they are in the USA is that it's hard to make a diesel which meets US passenger vehicle smog standards. Higher particulate emissions, and all that.
June 22, 2008
The local newsrag has a car section which seems to get thicker and more vociferous every week. Discounts on this, rebates on that, free gas with the other thing. Of course, what they're pushing hardest is what nobody wants -- SUVs, full-sized pickups with big block engines, mini-vans with surprisingly mini-mileage. Hybrids? Sure. We'll put you on the waiting list for a very modest extra fee.
June 18, 2008
Water is energy. Not literally, of course (the square of the speed of light notwithstanding), but practically. Naturally moving water can be made to yield energy, either directly or through hydroelectric generation. Unnaturally moving water (like what comes out of the faucet) consumes a tremendous amount of energy, necessary to make it follow a path of greater resistance.
June 16, 2008
Way back when I was fresh out of college, I tried to augment my meager salary by taking on some part-time sales work. As a result, I was exposed to some sales training. It didn't help much at the time -- my commissions didn't pay for more than my gasoline (even though a gallon then went for the price of a pint now). But I learned things which helped me later in life, so some of it must have stuck.