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Your Questions About Small Appliance Repair Training

Michael asks…

What do you do with your junk?

Old crockery, kitchen equipment, old clothes, just tat and junky gimmicky gadgets.

What do you do with it – when you dont want it no more?

James Conley answers:

Junk in my house cycles … When I get new sneakers, the current sneakers become garden shoes and last year’s garden shoes go in the dumpster. When I got a new parka, the old parka was relegated to outdoor working parka; the old old one (beyond repair and cleaning) went to the dump. The children’s clothes are normally in good shape when they outgrow them; these go in the charity box that I drop off at least once a month. The broken kitchen gadget goes in the junk and I don’t buy another one until I absolutely positively know that I can’t cook without it. If the gimmicky gadget still does what it is supposed to do, give it to the charity … Some people shop at Salvation Army or other missions just to find replacements for Grandma’s 1962 eggbeater or whatever.

In our area, a business has partnered with a sheltered workshop to train folks to deconstruct and recycle computers, electronics, TVs, etc., etc. Twice a year they are onsite at the county landfills to collect these items, and shred your hard disk as you watch.

Your local emergency housing agencies, women’s shelters, etc. Can use all sorts of things from mismatched dinner ware and pots and pans to bedding, blankets, small appliances … Ditto for the homeless shelters.

My small town library welcomes books of all sorts. There is a huge demand for any and all fiction; whatever books they can’t put into general circulation are held for an annual book sale that is an amazing fundraiser.

Recent books are easy to resell through am*zon, eb*y’s sister site h*, or many other online book selling and swapping sites.

Whatever you do, please don’t use your local mission store as a substitute for the county dump. Please make sure that the items you donate are truly usable for their intended purpose. These organizations don’t have the resources to test each toaster or electric kettle.

Ruth asks…

What can i put on my personal statement?

I know its personal and its about me etc etc but i would appreciate any ideas on what i could include or do which i can put on my statement for university. I want to do psychology if this helps! Im not doing the subject at A-level so i need to ensure i look able and willing.

James Conley answers:

I am a dynamic figure, often seen scaling walls and crushing ice. I have been known to remodel train stations on my lunch breaks, making them more efficient in the area of heat retention. I translate ethnic slurs for Cuban refugees, I write award-winning operas, I manage time efficiently. Occasionally, I tread water for three days in a row.

I woo women with my sensuous and godlike trombone playing, I can pilot bicycles up severe inclines with unflagging speed, and I cook Thirty-Minute Brownies in twenty minutes. I am an expert in stucco, a veteran in love, and an outlaw in Peru.

Using only a hoe and a large glass of water, I once single-handedly defended a small village in the Amazon Basin from a horde of ferocious army ants. I play bluegrass cello, I was scouted by Liverpool FC, I am the subject of numerous documentaries. When I’m bored, I build large suspension bridges in my yard. I enjoy urban hang gliding. On Wednesdays, after school, I repair electrical appliances free of charge.

I am an abstract artist, a concrete analyst, and a ruthless bookie. Critics worldwide swoon over my original line of corduroy evening wear. I don’t perspire. I am a private citizen, yet I receive fan mail. I have been caller number nine and have won the weekend passes. Last summer I toured New Jersey with a traveling centrifugal-force demonstration. I bat 400. My deft floral arrangements have earned me fame in international botany circles. Children trust me.

I can hurl tennis rackets at small moving objects with deadly accuracy. I once read Paradise Lost, Moby Dick, and David Copperfield in one day and still had time to refurbish an entire dining room that evening. I know the exact location of every food item in the supermarket. I have performed several covert operations for the CIA. I sleep once a week; when I do sleep, I sleep in a chair. While on vacation in Canada, I successfully negotiated with a group of terrorists who had seized a small bakery. The laws of physics do not apply to me.

I balance, I weave, I dodge, I frolic, and my bills are all paid. On weekends, to let off steam, I participate in full-contact origami. Years ago I discovered the meaning of life but forgot to write it down. I have made extraordinary four course meals using only a mouli and a toaster oven. I breed prizewinning clams. I have won bullfights in San Juan, cliff-diving competitions in Sri Lanka, and spelling bees at the Kremlin. I have played Hamlet, I have performed open-heart surgery, and I have spoken with Elvis.

But I have not yet gone to university.

Carol asks…

What will be some of the most amazing or startling technological innovations/inventions of the next 20 years?

Be specific. For example tell me what phones will be like in 20 years, as opposed to saying “great advances in technology” or “more advanced telecommunications”.

James Conley answers:

1. Genetic-based Medical and Health Care. Explosion of medical technology originating from genetic research, giving us the ability to detect and correct many genetic-based diseases before they arise-possibly even in the womb; providing treatments, cures, and preventive measures for a host of ailments. They may range from treatments for life-threatening diseases to psychological disorders to cosmetic problems. Most incredible, some of these treatments will be personalized to meet the unique needs of an individual’s genetic makeup. Cloned human organs, organs will be grown and used in transplants.

2. High-power energy packages. Developments such as highly advanced batteries, inexpensive fuel cells, and micro-generators of electricity will make many of our electronic products and appliances highly mobile. Decentralized power sources will be extensive, affordable, and environmentally clean. These new, high-power, distributed energy systems will provide backup if not primary energy sources for appliances, homes, and vehicles. In the transition to fuel cells, we will see further improvements in batteries-perhaps linked with solar power-and small generators fueled by natural gas.

3. Green Integrated Technology. Global crowding, fears of global climate change, and mountains of garbage will thrust environmental concerns to the forefront of consumers and industry around the world. Technology will provide the answers, with new systems that eliminate rather than reduce waste. Using advanced sensors, new materials, computer systems, energy systems, and manufacturing technologies to eliminate waste and make our products completely recyclable.

4. Omnipresent Computing. Computers will be everywhere. We will be in constant contact with very miniature, wireless, highly mobile, powerful, and highly personalized computing with network access. Such computers may first appear on the market as watches or jewelry with the power of a computer and cellular phone. Later, we will have computers embedded in our clothing and possibly implanted under our skin.

5. Nanomachines. Microscopic machines, measured in atoms rather than millimeters, will revolutionize several industries and may perform a wide range of jobs for us-from heating our homes to curing cancer. We may be able to develop nanomachines that will go into your body and find and destroy individual cancer cells while not harming healthy cells. Nanomachines also could be used to deliver drugs to highly localized places in the body, to clean arteries, and to repair the heart, brain, and other organs without surgery.

6. Personalized Public Transportation. The continuing growth of cities will further stress our transportation infrastructure. Aging population with concerns about safety, convenience, and independence will help maintain a high demand for personal vehicles. So, technology will help us turn our cars into what will almost be personalized public transportation. New information technology in your car will work with a central traffic control system to guide you through the quickest route to your destination. Traffic jams and road rage will decline substantially as people drive their cars to remote parking areas and take highly advanced-and comfortable-trains into central cities and between cities.

7. Designer Foods and Crops. Grocery store shelves will be filled with genetically engineered foods that are environmentally friendly and highly nutritious. Through genetic engineering, researchers will develop crops that resist diseases and pests, greatly reducing the need for pesticides and other chemicals. Most food sold in supermarkets will come from genetically engineered fruits, vegetables, and livestock. Nearly all cotton and wool for our clothing will be genetically engineered. Even lawns could be genetically engineered to need less fertilizer and pesticide and-best yet-grow more slowly.

8. Intelligent Goods and Appliances. Advances in quantum computing will lead to smaller, more powerful computers and electronics that will add amazing intelligence to appliances and other products. These products will likely include telephones with extensive phone directories, intelligent food packaging that tells your oven how to cook the food inside, refrigerators that help make out your shopping list and tell you where to get the best price on the food you need, and maybe even a toaster that won’t burn your toast.

9. Worldwide Inexpensive and Safe Water. Clean drinking water could become an expensive commodity around the world. However, before water shortages become critical, technology will answer the challenge, with advanced filtering, processing, and delivery of potable water. Desalination of water and water extraction from the air are two possibilities.

10. Super Senses. One of the hot technologies today is virtual reality. We will be marveling over “enhanced reality.” Using sensors and electronic or genetic technology, we will be able to implant devices that will allow us to hear better than ever before or see farther or in the dark. Technology will first be used to enhance hearing. As Baby boomers have lived in a very noisy world-with rock music, airplanes, construction equipment, lawn mowers, and other assaults to their hearing. And as they age, we will see a rash of hearing problems. We will be able to repair that damage, but why stop there? Why not make their hearing better than it’s ever been?”

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