Darts and laurels

  • Posted: Saturday, July 13, 2013 12:40 a.m.

Laurels to the third annual National Environmental Summit for High School students, which is under way this week at the Center for the Environment at Catawba College. The initiative, launched in 2011 in collaboration with the Rocky Mountain Institute, brings together high school juniors and seniors from across the country for workshops and other activities related to environmentalism, leadership skills, creativity and analytical thinking. It’s a wide-ranging educational experience that wouldn’t be possible without the support of the Catawba College community and many local sponsors. The theme of this year’s summit is “Redesigning the Future.” You can read more about the participants’ activities and their thoughts on the summit online at http://redesigning2012.blogspot.com/

Dart to the sad reality that it often takes a catastrophe to spur common-sense safety measures. That’s what’s happening in the wake of three deaths that occurred at a Boone motel as a result of carbon monoxide poisoning from a swimming pool water heater. The state legislature is considering a bill that would require electric CO detectors in current lodging establishments where fossil-fuel heaters or fireplaces are installed in enclosed rooms or very close by. The detectors would also be required in all new lodging construction. After the fact, it’s obvious the monitors are needed, but it’s a shame it took the loss of three lives to spur action.

Laurels to the Cleveland Freightliner plant’s supporting role in the upcoming “Transformers 4” movie. The Freightliner plant’s customized Argosy heavy duty truck will be traveling in some pretty heady automotive company when the movie debuts next summer, starring alongside exotic supercars like a Pagani Huayra (about $1.5 million for the non-movie version) and Lamborghini Aventador (a mere $400,000). Although producers said a custom-built Western Star (also made by Daimler) will serve as the new and improved Optimus Prime, they’re tight-lipped as to the Argosy’s special features or what role it will fill. However, the website autoguide.com has this tidbit: “Fans highly anticipate that it’ll be Motormaster or Ultra Magnus, but it looks like it’ll be a Decepticon given its menacing stance and dark accents.”

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