Tuesday, October 18, 2011

My friend was recently in the news -- and for all the right reasons!

PSU Engineering Graduate Student Seth Moody: Not a Miscreant. Oct. 2011.

One day a few years ago, I ran an Internet search on my own name* and came across a report of a James Hillegas in Pennsylvania who had been accused of killing his parents, or was involved in a hit-and-run, or something similarly nefarious. I knew it couldn't have been me because they showed a picture of the guy, and while he was also a cracker, he was at least 15 years younger and not balding; plus, I don't recall being in Pennsylvania at the time. I concluded, therefore, that there was at least one other James Hillegas in the world, making headlines for all the wrong reasons.

This brings me to the topic of this post: OPB's Rob Manning recently featured a project in Haiti that my dear friend Seth Moody is involved with -- "Can 'Green' Construction Product Hold Up In Haiti's Humid Climate?" There certainly may be other Seth Moodys in the world, some of whom may be doing nefarious things, but my friend Seth made the news for all the right reasons, I'm happy to report.

Seth is involved in a project to help Haitians recover from the devastating earthquake of 2010. As part of this project, he and his colleagues also ran tests on a particular building material that was slated for use in Haiti. They found the material lacking in structural integrity when it got wet.

The manufacturer continues to refine the material, and hopefully they'll come up with an improved version.

I appreciate the motivation and foresight of Seth and his colleagues to help improve this product. The worse thing in this case would be to foist upon the long-suffering people of Haiti a woefully inadequate and frighteningly unsafe product.

[*] Yeah, there's a bit of vanity involved, but, come on . . . you can't tell me you haven't done it before!


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