Thursday, November 17, 2016

Vehicle Safety Report

We held the twice-yearly Vehicle Safety Day yesterday Wednesday before Thanksgiving Break) as part of Student Appreciation week. Fifteen students from Physics: Mechanics and Energy Lab checked the safety of thirty-eight student vehicles between 12.30 and 4.00 pm.

If you planned to get your vehicle checked and were not able to because of the change of venue, email and ask for an appointment.

Most safety checks were routine. The following specific problems were noted and are reported here so other vehicle owners can learn from them:
  1. Two vehicles were consuming large amounts of oil, as determined from low oil measured on the dipstick and the owner's knowledge of the last oil added or oil change. More than a quart of oil consumption between fillings of your gas tank is too much, and it is time to consider getting a different vehicle. The exception is if the oil consumption is due to a leak, in which case the leak should be fixed.
  2. Two vehicles had bad brake pads. This was detected first by noticing the low level of brake fluid in the brake fluid reservoir, then confirmed by using a flashlight to look at the rotors and pads through in the gaps in the wheel trim. Time to get a brake job. When your pads are this bad, you don't stop as well. This is a dangerous condition, but it also makes it more likely that you damage the rotors too, necessitating a more expensive brake job, so not replacing the pads on time is false economy.
  3. One vehicle had a loose engine fan housing. A clip had come loose. It was a simple matter to reattach. More expensive damage would have resulted, had it not been noticed. In general, you should examine your engine bay and the underside of your vehicle two or three times a year, and certainly before big trips, to look for loose components or foreign objects.
  4. Two vehicles and more than twice the oil in the sump that was needed. Apparently in both cases this was the fault of the professional oil change establishment, not the student owners. There are two obvious responses: a) don't go back to that particular Quik-Lube! b) This is asking for blown crankcase seals. Take the vehicle to a reputable shop, have the extra oil removed, or pay for an oil change and make sure the right amount is put back in this time. Drive very, very slowly in the meantime. Crankcase seal replacement can cost up to $500 or more.
  5. One vehicle's wipers had quit, but were made to restart by pulling on them while the wiper switch was on. This often happens, usually due to rusty wiper arm bearings. If your wipers stop, check the fuse first, then pull on the wiper arm gently while the switch is on to see if you can free the wipers. A little spray lubricant that can be sprayed judiciously into the cabin air intake grill where the wiper mechanism lives is called for. Use the aerosol kind with the helpful red extension hose. (Not too much, or your cab will stink of lubricant.)

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Letter from Melik

Dear Unity College Community,

Yesterday, our nation voted after long, intense, and -- let's face it -- divisive months of campaigns, primaries, advertising, and debates. It was inevitable that whatever the results, approximately half of our country would wake up this morning disappointed or worse.

As America's Environmental College, we have a special responsibility and opportunity. As an academic institution, we have a responsibility to provide a safe and welcoming space for expressions of intellectual, political, identity, and philosophical difference. As Unity College we have a special opportunity to do so with grace. We have an opportunity to demonstrate that we consider our differences to be our strength. We are, after all, Unity.

No matter who you are, how you voted, and why you believe what you believe -- our community welcomes and values you. This election does not change us. Our shared responsibility is to provide a safe home for our students and a safe place to explore the issues that face us. We remain committed to inclusivity and diversity. Your teachers, your support staff, your deans and directors, your counselors and health providers, your RAs, your coaches, and your president want to know how we can support you in your ups and in your downs. We want to provide you a place to respectfully celebrate your wins and find your footing and your voice when times are challenging.

What this election has put before us is an opportunity to be a model community -- an opportunity to bridge the gap and find common ground with people who feel differently than we do. Some members of our community are hurting, or angry, or disappointed. Others are more sanguine this day. At America's Environmental College we learn together to listen respectfully and empathize with others. That is more important now than ever before.

Unity, let's agree to be kind to one another -- not just today, but every day. I am grateful for all the ways that you reach across to people you disagree with in order to reach common goals and do good work together. I see it every day and I am thankful for your generosity.

Our goodness is not measured in how we act when things are easy, when we all agree, when times are simple. The measure of our goodness as individuals and of our quality as a community is taken when things are difficult. Our goodness is measured when we disagree and when we are challenged to understand each other.

Today we have an opportunity to share our very best selves with one another.​ I am grateful everyday to be a part of this community -- a community that is full of many of the very best people I have ever known.

I know you Unity.

I know we will live up to our name. Today and everyday.

In Unity,

Dr. Melik Peter Khoury
Unity College
Office: 207-509-7144

“Skill can be taught; loyalty can be garnered, confidence can be instilled; but attitude & integrity are inherent! So teach skill, garner loyalty; instill confidence; but never compromise on attitude & integrity.”

“Integrity, by its very existence, rekindles the belief that as a people we can live above the level of moral squalor. We need that belief; as a cynical community is a corrupt community.” John  Gardner

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

EcoEco second midterm

EC 3003 Ecological Economics
First Take-Home Examination
Due Friday before or Monday after Thanksgiving Break, by email


This is a take-home exam. You may research the answers. Cite all sources other than lecture and the Daly/Farley text. Answer all questions. Do not confer with other students. Do not submit via Canvas.

Short answers (one or two paragraphs):

1.     Write a five-question public opinion poll on an issue of your choice. Include salient demographic questions (as part of the five)
2.     Describe the role of North American fossil fuel reserves in current geopolitics
3.     Detail modern sustained yield management theory
4.     Detail the economic policy of the winner of the 2016 presidential election
5.     What is the impact of climate policy on coal production and coal economics in the USA? Use a chain-of-logic approach to answer this question.

Essay: Attempt one (only one) of the following topics in a properly researched, cited essay

Trace the history of US intervention in the Middle East since the “Carter Doctrine.” Is there evidence that this has not always been “blood for oil?”

Create a public opinion poll script to determine why some Unity College students do not exhibit an environmental ethic. Include demographic measures. Attach a list of hypotheses you are testing with the poll.

What would your economic policy be if you were elected president. Be specific. (Be very specific.) Relate to theory and ideology.

Intro to Econ second midterm