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The Weekly Blab 5.29

The Weekly Blab

Volume 5, Issue 29—April 11, 2011


Back from the Dead?

Just when it looked hopeless for the Boston Red Sox, who started the year with an all-time worst 2-8 record, they finally won two games in a row against Toronto—4-1 on Saturday, and 8-1 on Sunday. 


Speaking of hopeless causes, Chelsea got knocked out of the Champions League running by losing 2-1 to Manchester United last Tuesday.  They won 3-1 on Saturday against West Brom, putting them in 3rd place, 8 points behind Manchester United in the Premiere League (which it’s theoretically possible for them to still win, but it would take a miracle).   They’ve finally found their form, winning 5 of their last 6 (and tying the other), but it’s likely too little too late.  One interesting element is that Fernando Torres, an expensive young striker acquisition for Chelsea (at £50M), has yet to score a goal (871 minutes of play and counting).  He was substituted into the game in the 82nd minute, and put a ball into the net one minute later, only to be ruled offside.


Awards Night

Friday night was Student Awards Night at SPSU, and Barry Birckhead did his usual excellent job of being Master of Ceremonies.  The ballroom was packed, with every seat taken and about 30 additional beyond.  Fortunately, the food held out!  It was great seeing all the students dressed to the 9’s, and hearing about their 4.0 (or near) grade point averages.  Among the many highlights were BoR Chairman Willis Potts’ greeting to our students (next up:  the 100th graduation ceremonies), awards honoring SPSU’s first two graduates in Chemistry (Ahmed Ali, Kay Kyaw, both in my class this term), lots of awards with “handsome checks” to Construction Management students, Ann Parker (ETCMA) winning the Honors Teacher of the Year, and Mark Stevens (ETCMA) winning the Student Government Teacher of the Year.  Inclement weather threatened throughout, with the lights almost cutting out at one point and the loud ‘ping’ of hail being heard.  Still, the event went on without a hitch and a good time was had by all.


Fulbrights at SPSU

SPSU hosted two visiting Fulbright fellows last week.  The first was Dr. Milan Matijevic, who spoke on “Suppression of Torsional Oscillations in High Performance Servo Drives”

in David Veazie’s (MET) class on Tuesday evening.  Dr. Matijevic is an associate professor of Mechanical Engineering and director of the Center for Applied Auto Control at the University of Kragujevac in Serbia. 


The second was Dr. Tor Leiknes, who spoke in Sam Beadle’s (CE) class on Thursday.  Dr. Leiknes is a professor of Civil Engineering who specializes in various environmental issues at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim.   Thanks to Raj Sashti (International Programs) for arranging for these important guests to visit our campus, and to David and Sam for hosting them.  While my schedule did not permit me to attend their talks, I did have a chance to speak to each of them while they visited.  Both are doing extremely interesting research, and I’m hopeful that there might be some future interactions between their institutions and SPSU.


Things are looking positive for a third, longer-term Fulbright sponsored visitor to our campus.  More on this as it develops.


Articulation Signings

SPSU has added to its range of articulation agreement with SACS accredited TCSG colleges, this time inking agreements for low-residency B.S. programs in Electrical Engineering Technology, Industrial Engineering Technology, and Mechanical Engineering Technology this past Monday.  An article appeared in the Atlanta Journal Constitution about the signing, as did one in the Albany Herald and on Georgia Public Radio. 



On Thursday at 4:30, SPSU’s Band held a concert in honor of Dean of Arts & Sciences Alan Gabrielli, who will be retiring at the end of the semester.   Beth Stutzmann did a fine job of leading the ensemble at our outdoor amphitheatre, as well as keeping the theme of the concert a secret from Alan.  The concert was good too, featuring music ranging from jazz to a cartoon symphony to music by ABBA and Queen.


Polytechnic Summit

Planning for the Polytechnic Summit continues apace, with some 48 papers, posters, and panels received so far. 


I mentioned in a previous BLAB that the opening night event will feature a reception at the High Museum.  Something new is that right across the street from the High, a parallel event for industry professionals will be hosted by SPSU’s Green Building Knowledge Research Center, held at the Perkins & Will Building.  Richard Graves, Senior Vice President of Community for the United States Green Building Council (USGBC) will be making some introductory remarks there (and will deliver a keynote address the next day at the Summit).  Both groups will have a chance to “cross over” and meet each other, as well as to see the other building and exhibits. 


More is yet to come, so why not sign up for the Polytechnic Summit if you haven’t already done so?  Information can be found at www.polytechnicsummit.org.


Last Week’s Trivia Contest

Last week’s contest focused on Little Orphan Annie, and the winner was Diane Payne (Associate Director of Public Relations), with a fabulous 4 out of 5 correct.


1.  What was Annie’s dog’s name?  Sandy

2.  What was the first and last name of Annie’s “daddy”?  Oliver Warbucks

3.  What was the name of “daddy’s” Indian assistant? Punjab

4.  What product was the sponsor of the Little Orphan Annie radio show? Ovaltine

5.  What was the name of the organization that Annie founded for kids to help win World War II?  The Junior Commandos



This Week’s Trivia Challenge

This week’s trivia topic is money.  No looking it up on the web, now!


1.  Between 1909 and 1959, what was on the back of the penny?

2.  Who is on the current US $10 bill?

3.  In what year were pennies made out of steel?

4.  In what city in Georgia were coins once struck, and what was the first denomination struck there?

5.  What is the largest denomination banknote every printed in the US, and who is on it?