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November 21, 1989 - Image 20

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1989-11-21
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Dollars and Se I NOVEMBER 1989


NOVEMBER 1989 A llars and Sense



Out of this world
U. of Kansas students
will help NASA formulate
human habitats in space.
Page 13

Stolen textbooks
U. of Southern Florida officials suggest ways to thwart
theft and aid recovery, including multiple hidden identifica-
tion markers.
Page 13


Early reports key to stolen textbook recove


Ium 9 'm i ~- m- - I E -Lik. m,.> I


Jeans for Africa
A U. of North Texas,
Denton student takes used
clothes home to Africa.
Page 15

By Rita Dell
. The. Oracle
U. of Southern Florida




Students and outsiders commonly steal textbooks,
most often from the library and the residence halls, and
attempt to sell them back to the Textbook Center on
campus or the Book Center for U. of Southern Florida,
said Lt. Bob Staehle of the University Police.
Staehle said the content of the books doesn't matter
very much to the thieves.
"If it's in good shape and is a USF-required textbook
that can be resold, they will take it," he said.
Two 18-year-old female students were apprehended
when they tried to sell stolen textbooks to the Textbook
Center last Febuary, according to UP records.
The books, which were valued at $141, were reported
stolen from a study table at the library.
In this case, the owner immediately reported the
theft to the UP, who routinely informs both book cen-

ters about stolen textbooks, Staehle said.
He said the two suspects also were in possession of
two other textbooks that had not been reported stolen.
The suspects told officers they had found the five
books abandoned in front of Cooper Hall and had tried
unsuccessfully to find the owner, Staehle said.
"Textbook theft really picks up at the end of each
semester with the book buy-back," Staehle said.
Doug Gatanis, who is the text manager for the Book
Center for USF, said, "We have at least 30 people at
the beginning of a semester reporting their books
Gatanis said book thefts are reported to the center
most often during the first and last two weeks of class.
Gatanis said when he is informed of a theft by the
UP or by a student, he tries to get a description of the
book and of any distinguishable marks. He said he then
puts the information into a computer.

Gatanis said.
"We then report it to the police," he said.
Gatanis said he looks for people who bring
often or who don't look like students.
However, unless the books are reported sto
is not much that can be done, he said
"Even if we think the books are stolen,
refuse to buy them back," Gatanis said.
Jeff Mack, the general manager of all U
stores, said the Textbook Center also uses a
system to identify stolen books.
Mack said his biggest problem is getting pe
the center know about stolen books so he ca
information on the computer.
Staehle said students could protect their
picking out the same page in each book an
in their names or social security numbers
The thief probably wouldn't take time ti
something like that, he said.

Local dairy cow piles
to generate additional
electricity for farmers
By Charlaine Davis
The Lumberjack
Humboldt State U.
When life gives you cowpatties, make
Humbolt State U. engineering
Professor Peter Lehman and a group of
four students are doing just that. If the
group's project is successful, local dairy
cows may soon be helping to power their
own farms.
The idea to build a working biogas
digester on a local farm grew out of
Lehman's developmental technology
"We talked about the technology in
class and some of the students were
interested in pursuing the areas as the-
sis work," Lehman said.
The project is still in the planning
stages, with decisions about materials
and final design yet to be made. The pro-
ject also needs some cooperation from
nature to get started.
"We are planning to start when
manure dries out," Lehman said. "We
hope to have it built by the end of sum-
Lehman said the goal of the pilot pro-
ject is to get other dairies interested in
the idea.
"We want to show them that it's not a
mysterious technology. It's simple, easi-
ly understood, easily serviced and it
works." The idea of converting waste
into useable fuel may be new to
Humboldt County, but is common in
places like China and India.
"It's simple technology, not high tech,"
Lehman said, "We're not talking com-
puters and guided missiles."
A digester starts with an airtight con-
crete trough with a rubber top and a sep-
tic tank. Add a pump to get manure into
the trough and a system to extract the
resulting gas and sludge, and that is a
simple digester.
Bacteria in the trough breaks the
manure down into two parts, biogas and
sludge. The biogas consists of methane
and carbon dioxide, which can be burned
in the same way as natural gas. It can
be used to heat buildings or water, or as
a fuel for lanterns and gas-powered elec-
trical generators.
Lehman said that most farms use elec-
tricity for all of their energy needs,
including water and household heating.
Because fuel is burned to create electric-
ity, Lehman said heating can be done
more efficiently by burning the fuel
For John Mason, whose Arcata dairy
farm will receive the trial-size digester,
the energy savings is a big incentive.
Mason estimated that the electricity to

If someone tries to sell
computer will match it

back a stolen textbook, the
and alert the employees,

NASA uses schools to design space habitats

By Janette Poole
. Kansas State Collegian
Kansas State U.
Kansas State U. has been selected by
NASA to formulate designs for human
habitats in outer space.
The project will examine the control of
closed environmental systems used in
space travel and living said Allen Cogley,
department head of mechanical engi-
neering at Kansas State U.
Cogley said the mechanical and chem-
ical engineering departments were cho-
sen to administer the project at his uni-
versity, including an advanced design
team of about 30 students per year.
The KSU proposal, "Automation of

Closed Environments in Space for
Human Comfort and Safety," provides
$25,000 per year for the salary of a grad-
uate assistant, permanent equipment,
communication networks, travel
expenses and supplies, Cogley said. The
graduate assistant acts as the liaison
between the university and NASA.
At least 20 percent of the team mem-
bers, who will be able to obtain credit
from their departments for their work,
will be from departments other than
engineering, Cogley said. Applicants
should be second-semester juniors or
first-semester seniors because of the
time commitment and the level of work
involved. The project is an excellent
opportunity for future employment with

NASA, Cogley said.
"It's a good opportunity for students
and faculty to get their foot in the door,"
he suggested.
KSU has previously participated in
NASA projects. The mechanical engi-
neering department design team won
the national competition in 1983-84 for
its work in the specialized design of a
space glove.
Cogley, who wrote the proposal for the
university, said the program was
announced in January. He said the pro-
ject is interdisciplinary, with students
and faculty from departments ofmechan-
ical, chemical and electrical engineering,
biology, computer science, human ecolo-
gy, and veterinary medicine/physiology.

Snakes alive
Reptilian interest sparks business ideas for brothers

By David Van Meter
. The Shorthorn
U. of Texas, Arlington
An idea slithered into the mind of general studies senior Ty
Kubin while he was in the Life Science Building of U. of Texas,
Arlington, two years ago and he just couldn't shed it. The world
was in dire need of a snake den, a small, plastic shelter used
for reptiles, amphibians or fish.
Ty, along with his brothers Troy, a business management
senior, and John, a tire store manager, hatched the den concept
into Executive Marketing International, which centers on dis-
tributing an assortment of snake dens, aspen bedding and an
oasis for pet bedding and drinking.
EMI has matured from a $4,000-a-week business run out of

a house into a sizable warehouse firm that the brothers say
will boast $1 million in sales this year.
"We moved out of the house when we couldn't get to the
kitchen," Troy said.
The company's success stemmed from "looking at the prod-
ucts out there and gaining knowledge of the product needed,
and from utilizing our resources," Ty said.
Utilize they have. A prototype mold that should have cost
$3,000 was obtained for $700.
"We knew a friend on the inside who told us how to make
the mold and then we did it," Ty said. Friends also helped them
get free advertising printed and build an aspen-bagging
machine for $1,500 instead of $10,000.
Gaining product knowledge wasn't too difficult, considering
See SNAKES, Page 13

College Students Having
800/*- Financial Services
ATM Card Credit Card Checking Account Savings Account
Source: CollegeTrack Inc., 1989

Working abroad provides different
perspectives of foreign countries

By Robyn Dagget
The Lumberjack
Northern Arizona U.
and Norma Hofneister
Tarrant County C.C
Living and working in a foreign
country is an idea that fascinates most
people, and overseas opportunities for
employment are readily available for
college students through various
The Council on International
Educational Exchange helps students
find jobs in the United Kingdom,
Ireland, Costa Rica, New Zealand,

Jamaica and the Federal Republic of
In each country, a national student
organization helps students find jobs
and lodging. According to the
exchange, 5,000 students participated
in the program last year, and the aver-
age search took three days.
Jobs range from the unskilled -
waitress, chambermaid, farmhand or
cook - to semi-skilled office work.
Students are allowed to work at any
job they can obtain.
Great Britian is a popular destina-
tion for many students, according to
exchange literature. The "Work in
See WORK ABROAD, Page 15

It's not always easy
collecting the rent
By Lisa Seymour
Kansas State Collegian
Kansas State U.
For some students, the end of the
semester may mean tracking down an
ex-roommate who didn't pay a dime on
the bills.
Wade Whitmer, director ofthe Kansas
State Consumer Relations Board, said
recoveringmoneyis difficult, particular-
ly when the defendant lives in another
Usually students who live together
split the bills evenly. The roommates
pay a deposit for most services, but these
companies rarely let all roommates put
See RENT, Page 13

Continued from page 12
their names on the billings. It often
becomes a verbal agreement, Whitmer
He said roommates should sign an
agreement indicating their responsibil-
"You are a fool if you don't sign a room-
mate agreement with someone that you
don't know well," Whitmer said.
The only legal process designed to
recover money from an ex-roommate is
to take him to small claims court to
recover money up to $1,000 or less, he
To file in small claims court, the plain-
tif must pay the bills, because he can't
sue until they are paid, Whitmer said.
The person filing must do so in the
county where the defendant lives and

the defendant is allowed to set the hear-
ing date, he said. If the defendant does
not appear in court, the injured party
Even with a favorable ruling from the
judge, the ex-roommate may not pay. If
the payment is not made within 15 days
after the judgment, the injured room-
mate may be able to garnishee his ex-
roommate's wages if he earns more than
$400 a month.
"The biggest problem is collecting the
money from the ex-roommate and going
to the trouble to get it," Whitmer said,
adding that small claims court is the
only way to recover money.
Kristy Newlon, junior, was left with
bills at the end of last year.
"I got lucky though, in getting my
money back. I just called my old room-
mate's parents and told them the situ-
ation and they reimbursed me," she

Continued from page 12
Ty's credentials.
Besides snake speeches at elementary
schools, Ty provided the Burmese
python eggs for an ABC-TV special titled
"The World of Snakes." He also did illus-
trations for Venomous Snakes of Latin
America, written by biology Assistant
Professor Johnathon Campbell.
"He's the best illustrator I've ever
seen," Campbell said. "He has a great
eye for detail."
Ty and Troy should know what snakes
look like, as huge snake skins drape the
hallway into Ty's room. Inside the room
are more than 30 cages filled with albino
speckled kings, gray-banded king
snakes, corn snakes and, of course,
Burmese python eggs.
The brothers had trouble finding
financial backing for their business
until their older brother Earl took stock
in detergent, literally
"He and five other guys bought stock
in some detergents that jumped from
the buying price of 74 cents a share to
$75 a share. He made about $125,000 in
two weeks," Troy said.
With this financial backing the busi-
ness began. Troy said everyone involved
with the business put in up to 20 hour
days, 160 hours a week, which cut into
their schoolwork.
An positive attitude has helped, too.
As John said, "Any goal is achievable, if
you so desire."
Troy said he had no plans to start the
business, but rather, just fell into it.
"I never really knew what I wanted to
do. I fell into it. As aresult ofthis, I never
lost out on anything, except this girl
from Ohio," he said.

it is

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