Letters to the editor

I was pleased to see (“On the Right Track,” Summer 2013) that you do not share the Wall Street Journal’s hatred of railroads (and bicycling and walking for that matter). One of my very few professional regrets is following my father’s otherwise excellent advice when I left MSM/UMR/Missouri S&T in 1967. A railroad employee all his working life, he recommended I not consider railroads as a career. For about one decade, the advice looked sound; but as we, and Warren Buffet, know this has changed dramatically. Based on what I saw while riding the “High Line” from Seattle to Minneapolis, It would appear that Travis Duncan, the subject of the article, faces better employment prospects than pipeline engineers.

Paul Marlin, MS CSci’67
Quincy, Ill.

I have an ash tray that I cast in a foundry class in 1959 that the archives might be interested in. It is a testament to the cultural changes that have occurred during the past half-century. At the time, a large number of students smoked and it was a fairly popular item, but it was a poor design. It 
was really too shallow to keep ashes from being blown around, and if you set a cigarette in the notch on the side, the length of the cigarette would contact the bottom of the ash tray and extinguish the cigarette. The other interesting feature is the name cast in the top — “Missouri School of Mines and Metallurgy.”

Kudos to Missouri S&T Magazine. It is a great publication. It is amazing the number of women that are mentioned. I graduated in January 1963 and I think the number was around 30 then. 

Ed Kriege, ME’63
Ocean Pines, Md.

Dear Editor,

I am what you might call one of the ol’ timers. I graduated from, as we called it, MSM, way back in 1947. This afternoon, I was sitting in the swing on our front porch in Erwin, Tenn., that is halfway between Flag Pond, Tenn., and Unicoi, Tenn. (now you know where it is!), reading the summer copy of your Missouri S&T Magazine. I enjoyed it very much. You all did an outstanding job. I finished reading it and picked up my copy of the July 15, 2013, National Review. On page 27, I saw an article titled “Blowing up Barbie.” I didn’t think I wanted to read it until I saw “Rolla, Mo.,” under the author’s name. This piqued my interest and I found the article to be very interesting. I don’t know whether or not you have seen it. On the assumption you did not, I have enclosed the article. I found it to be very interesting as it told the story of the Explosives Camp offered at Missouri S&T. Keep up the good work.

Cliff Dameron, MetE’47
Erwin, Tenn.

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Camel rides, colorful floats, a parade of flags from over 80 countries and foods from around the world are just part of the explosion of international culture that comes to the streets of downtown Rolla every September for Celebration of Nations. This was the seventh year for the annual event.

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Building a better battery

The battery in your cell phone and laptop may one day hold a longer charge thanks to the work of Xinhua Liang, an assistant professor of chemical and biochemical engineering at Missouri S&T.

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