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News@MCC for Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Noncredit Courses Offer New Opportunities

As an MCC, you already know about the great 'for credit' opportunities MCC offers. But did you know that there is also a tremendous number of 'noncredit' opportunities through the Continuing Education Department?

Continuing education classes help you:

  • learn computer programs
  • learn ballroom dancing
  • live well with activities like water aerobics or yoga
  • live 'green,' with classes on growing mushrooms or raising chickens
  • explore new art techniques like painting or calligraphy
  • update skills or experience personal enrichment with hundreds of opportunities

Enroll today or invite friends and family who might be interested. The process is the same as enrolling for credit courses; just visit WebAdvisor to search for courses and enroll immediately.

Visit www.mccneb.edu/ce/promo to suggest new topics or search for courses today.

For the Right Price, a 2004 Ford Explorer XLT Sport Utility Could Be Yours

MCC is accepting bids for the sale of a gray 2004 Ford Explorer XLT Sport Utility with approximately 31,500 miles. The car was purchased as a salvaged vehicle by MCC. Students in the Auto Collision Program, under the supervision of Auto Collision instructors, restored the vehicle to its current excellent condition.

The minimum bid for this vehicle is $7,200. To view photos of the vehicle, email rhanneman@mccneb.edu. To look at the Ford Explorer in person, contact Sharon or Mary at (402) 763-5800 between 8 a.m. and 6 p.m., Monday-Friday. The car is located at the Applied Technology Center.

The Ford Explorer will be sold as is with no warranties or guarantees.

New at the Library

From software manuals to books for pleasure reading to DVDs, MCC's libraries have dozens of new titles. For a listing, click here.

Holiday Poisoning Hazards

The holiday season is a time for celebration and happiness. Research shows that the number of poisoning incidents involving children rises during the holiday season. Common calls to the poison center during this time include cigarettes, batteries, food poisoning, holiday plants, bubble lights, angel hair, snow sprays, fireplace color crystals and ingestion of guests' medications by young children. The Nebraska Regional Poison Center would like to offer a few tips on how to make this the most wonderful time of the year.

•·         Keep small children and animals away from seasonal plants such as mistletoe and holly berries, yew plants and poinsettias. Poinsettias are not the fatal poison that they were once believed to be, but in large amounts can cause upset stomachs.

•·         Lead can be a hazard in some tree light wires and older Christmas trees. It is reasonable to wash your hands after handling these cords and trees and keep them out of the hands of children. The ornaments that were handed down over the generations may contain lead in the paint.

•·         Be mindful of icicles or tinsel. Both can be a choking hazard if swallowed. Angel hair is finely spun glass which can cause cuts or irritation when handled or swallowed.

•·         Visiting relatives may bring their medications. More than 50 percent of the calls to the Poison Center involve medications. NEVER leave medications on a nightstand - make sure to store these up and out of reach.

•·         Clean up immediately following all holiday parties so that alcohol and other potentially harmful items are not within reach of young children. Children often imitate adults and they will drink partially filled glasses regardless of the contents. Empty ash trays often and clean them when the party is over. It just takes a few cigarette butts to send a child to the hospital.

•·         Beware of toys containing small magnets, cheap metal jewelry and any toy that can be broken into small pieces and cause a choking hazard.

•·         Post the telephone number of the Nebraska Regional Poison Center and your family physician near the phone. If you suspect a poisoning has occurred, call the Nebraska Regional Poison Center or your physician before attempting any emergency treatment.

Service-Learning Needs Winter Coats

The International Office and Service-Learning are in need of winter coats for MCC students in need. As you get ready for the holidays and clean out your closets, donate winter items to the MCC Career Closet to be distributed to students who need them. We need gloves, boots, hats, scarves, coats and mittens. We also need men's clothing: jackets, slacks, shirts, belts and shoes. Clothing and accessories suitable for holiday attire can also be donated.

Donate items where it is convenient for you. If you need a tax receipt, bring donations to the Service-Learning Office, FOC Bldg. 5. You can also drop off donations after Dec. 3 in plastic bins at MCC locations and in FOC Bldg. 30 mailroom.

Questions? Contact Queen Tucker, (402) 457-2813, or Elizabeth McPhail, (402) 457-2591.

Save the Date: Day On, Not a Day Off

Save the date for MCC's third annual Day On, Not a Day Off service event to recognize Martin Luther King Jr. Day on Monday, Jan. 17.

While all MCC locations are closed that day, students, staff and community members can give back to the community at several agencies, including the North/South Omaha Boys and Girls Club, Habitat ReStore, Open Door Mission, Douglas County Community Health Center and The Kroc Center. The Pass to Class bus card can be used for transportation to the various sites.

To donate a portion of your time on Jan. 17, contact Kyle at the Service-Learning Office, (402) 457-2606 or Ktvandusen@mccneb.edu. The first 100 registrants will receive a free long-sleeved shirt to wear the day of the event.

Free Workshop Explores Renewable Energy

Through free workshops, MCC's Office of Sustainable Practice is offering students, staff and the community the opportunity to learn about sustainability.

Introduction to Renewable Energy: TRDV-407N-01 (synonym 165199)

Discover renewable energy on Friday, Dec. 17, 8-4:30 p.m. at the Fort Omaha Campus, ICA, Room 201A. This FREE one-day course will provide an introduction to renewable energy systems, resources for further self-study, and help you integrate these systems into your classes. Participants will learn what it is, what it can do and how it can be used to provide an alternative to traditional electrical and heating needs. Clay Sterling, Education Director of the Midwest Renewable Energy Association (MREA), will discuss solar electric (photovoltaics), solar thermal and small wind systems.

Green Tip

Artificial tree:
Many experts believe artificial trees actually have a greater negative environmental impact when all aspects of their life cycle are considered. Although artificial trees are potentially endlessly reusable, they are usually made from nonrenewable PVC plastic, contain trace amounts of lead and tend to be discarded after only six holiday seasons.

Real tree:
Approximately 33 million real Christmas trees are sold in North America each year, according to the U.S. EPA. Luckily, about 93 percent of those trees are recycled through more than 4,000 available recycling programs.

The Verdict?
So what's the final word? Real trees top our charts for holiday adornment. Even though they might shed needles on your floor, the investment in a U.S.-based product, the carbon-neutral nature of their production and their ease of recycling make them a clear winner. If just 10 percent of households planning to purchase a new artificial tree this year purchased a natural one instead, 44 million pounds of non-biodegradable materials could be conserved and diverted from landfills.

•-          Compiled from Earth911.com and The Green Book

Maintenance a Requirement for ABS Brakes

Most cars made today have ABS (Antilock Brakes System). It is a feature that is added to the existing hydraulic brakes. ABS is not a separate brake system. The brake system for stopping the car has a master cylinder, calipers, brake pads, brake shoes, rotors, drums and hydraulic lines. ABS adds components to this system that allows a computer to operate the brakes to stop the car, thus preventing the brakes from locking up. Locking up the brakes means losing control of the car - sending the vehicle into the nearest car, light pole or guardrail. Before ABS, you had to pump the brake pedal to avoid locking up the brakes, but today's cars with ABS detect when one or more wheels slow down too much or too fast during braking, and the system automatically takes over. The computer takes control of the braking, so you can concentrate on steering.

In order for the ABS system to function correctly, general maintenance is required. The interval for when the brake fluid needs to be changed may vary by manufacture but as a general rule, flushing out the old brake fluid should be done every two years. Brake fluid left in too long can cause problems, as brake fluid deteriorates with age. With age, a varnish-like substance builds up inside the hydraulic system and coats everything. Inside of the actuator - the hydraulic component the computer uses to operate the brakes during ABS action - there are hydraulic valves. Since actuators don't do much most of the time, there is plenty of time for the deposits of varnish to coat the valves. Then, when the ABS system is called on to help stop the car on ice and snow, the valves stick. The next thing you notice is the ABS light on the dash, meaning the system stopped working.

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