Thursday, January 11, 2007

USA, China, India,Pakistan. Panama Canal

I walk each pre-dawn morning to the local super Market, a mile away. Once there I read a bit from the magazine rack. An article jumped out at me from Scientific American. Out of 100 of our university graduates in recent years, only six are 'Engineers'. Well guess how many are graduate 'Engineers' out of 100 in China, as well as India or lately Pakistan? Give up? Think 40 for openers. That's 40 percent Engineers! Our USA Universities, graduate overwhelmingly, what are called 'The Soft Sciences' (Victor Davis Hanson refers to math and engineering as 'Hard Sciences') psychology, Lawyers, Paper Shufflers, Mystics, Underwater basket weavers and anything but 'real science'. Such as people that can change the world, by coming up with 'Alternative Energy sources', for starters. When did we switch to this 'gaggle' of users and consumers with a degree in 'University Studies'? , rather than builders? No wonder most of the new technology is originating in that dreaded political arena called 'Offshore'. The USA was, at one time in the fairly recent past (50 years ago?), the "Go To" place to be educated in the 'useful sciences'. Now it seems all we teach are 'Political Sciences'. The rapidly climbing nations of China as well as India are run by 'Engineers' not 'Lawyers'. The USA is run by 'Career Lawyer Politicians'. 'Google' India and China some day when you have time between shopping trips, or whatever.

The Panama Canal is totally maxed out after 93 years of service. (Popular Mechinics Feb 07) It took about 70,000 people to build it back then. This time they (about 7,000 people) are giving it an overdue upgrade. The design is obsolete, as far as the largest container ships traveling the globe today. They are wider and longer than the existing locks. Trains and trucks are overwhelmingly used to traverse the Continental USA from the Atlantic to Pacific ocean shores, because of this problem. Think Diesel fuel, and exhaust, 'lots of it'. Sorry truck drivers.

The 'Engineers', who else? Are going to build a new modern parallel system that will allow the largest container ships to pass through Panama. My first thought was where is the water going to come from to operate it? "No Problem Mon". The 'Engineers' have devised a system of water recycling and storage facilities along the route. The old gates swung on hinges like house doors. The new gates are going to roll into pockets and be paired for redundancy. Maintenance can be done on one, while the other is holding back the water. Now aren't those 'Engineers' smart? Did you know the 'daily' cost of operation for one ship is about $40,000. They do not like to wait in line a week for a 'slot'. They actually bid to get to the front of the line. BP bid about a quarter of a million 'extra' to 'Jump' the line last August, setting a record. Several others did as well. About 14,000 vessels a year pass through the 'locks'. One of my links is to 'global cameras'. You can watch them go through some time when you are bored.

The 'Engineers' of 100 years ago did a fantastic job. The Wright Brothers were still learning to fly and the Titanic was not even on the drawing boards. I am wondering how many 'Engineers' from the USA will be on this latest project? I would venture to say, not as many as from other countries with indoor toilets. Our Universities are going to have to change 'drastically' to keep up with this 'Brave New World' as Aldus Huxley, referred to these times. I believe that our 'Old Universities' are like the old canal, "Maxed Out" with professional, as well as an over-abundancy of 'tenured' amateur, Political Scientists. It's time for change. When the hundreds of thousands of our fantastic "Can Do" troops return from 'Civilization building', where none seemed to exist, They will take over our Educational as well as Political system. They have seen 'Disfunction' and will know how to deal with it in the USA. God Bless the future Generation.


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