A Conversation Overheard

“Hey, Fred! You coming to the party Thursday night? It’s going to be seriously fine!!”

“Nah. I’ve got a Mid-term coming on Friday and a paper due at the end of next week. I’ve got to hit the books.”

“Dude, you gotta be shittin’ me! It’s Thursday, man! It’s party night. Tell your Prof your Grandma died and get her to let you take a make-up. Then, after we’ve sobered up we can catch the game on Saturday!”

“Yeah. Great. But even if that worked, I’ve still got that paper for Professor Erickson.”

“What’s the topic?”

“It’s for history and it’s on Reconstruction after the Civil War.”

“Well, what you do is Google the topic and there are hundreds of essays online on that topic. Cut and paste a few of them and stick in some misspelled words. She’ll never know the difference. C’mon, man. LET’S PARTY!! This party is going to be fantastic! Jack has a couple of kegs and some of the girls from Tri-Delt will be there!”

“I really can’t, much as I’d like to. I really don’t think my Prof will let me take a make-up.”

“Who is your Prof again”?

“Professor Erickson.” She’s supposed to be tough.”

“Bull! I checked her out on “ratemyprofessor.com” last semester to see whether or not I wanted to take her class and she’s a pussycat. She will let you take the test any time you want!”

“If that’s so, why didn’t you take her class this semester?”

“Because there were two other profs who are supposed to be even easier. This stuff is gravy. You can cruise the internet and you won’t have to sweat out your four years. I got an A+ from Professor Stewart in Sociology and I never even opened a book.”

“An A+?? There’s no such grade! You gotta be kidding me!”

“I know! Just like I said: this stuff is easy! Now work on your sob story and plan to be there tomorrow night! We’re going to have a blast!”


Needless to say, I made this up. And for all my shortcomings as a fiction-writer, this is no fiction. It’s common at so many of our colleges that are taking huge amounts of money from parents and students to defraud our young, telling them they are getting an education while all the time they are simply running in place.

Let’s hope our hero doesn’t go to the party. But here’s betting he does.






Setting An Example

I thought this blurb from a “green” investment company (Green Century Capital Investment, Inc.) would be of interest to readers. It suggests that there are companies — and individuals — that are serious about saving the planet despite the fact that they cannot count on huge subsidies from the government as does Big Oil.

Deep in California’s Santa Clara Valley lies one of the most influential companies of the 21st century — Google. It has revolutionized how we find information, transformed advertising, and radically altered the way we work.

And today, recognizing the catastrophic threat posed by climate change, Google is using its influence to change how and where we get our energy.

The company has been carbon neutral since 2007, and is committed to getting 100% of its energy from clean, renewable sources.
Already Google gets more than a third of its energy from renewable sources, thanks in part to the 1.9 megawatts of solar panels on its Mountain View campus, and to its status as the largest corporate purchaser of renewable energy. Plus, Google’s data centers get 3.5 times more computing power out of the same amount of electricity than they did five years ago.

To that end, the company is using its resources to support the growth of the renewable energy industry. Google has invested $2 billion in renewable energy projects around the world. In addition, it recently announced “Project Sunroof,” an ambitious effort taking advantage of the company’s mapping software to make it easier for consumers to see their own solar potential.

Good news, indeed, at a time when we desperately need some!