George Turner's Bio

George Turner judging science fairRole: George and Jack worked together long ago at one of George's businesses. Back then Jack managed one of the businesses while George gave occasional advice. These days the pattern continues. Jack comes up with new ideas, analysis results, and strategies, and George critiques them with a rather profound eye, which is necessary due to the novel and challenging nature of's mission.

Nationality: United States. Raised on a farm in North Georgia.

Qualifications: Retired CEO. Masters in Chemical Engineering. Cofounder and founder of two businesses that both went on to become the largest in their industries in the United States. Rather than fully retire, George has turned to teaching high school chemistry and physics so that he can "give back." Of interest is when he took his teacher certification test, he achieved the highest score in the state that year.

Comment: "I believe that one day the ideas we have created at are going to take hold. When they do, they will spread faster than any of us would have ever believed."

George's Story - Let's not dwell on the boring details of teaching or my career. I spend most of my newfound "free time" taking care of my wife's small family farm. My great love is chickens, so we have lately had a population explosion.

The photo below shows one of the most amazing things I've ever seen chickens do. In the spring of 2007 we had two mothers get carried away by varmints. Their chicks suddenly had no mother. Normally a hen will not accept another hen's chicks, because it's all she can do to take care of her own. But to my amazement one of our hens, who already had 16 chicks of her own, accepted the little cheepers of the two other hens. This gave her a total of 42 chicks!

Mother hen with 42 chicks

This led to amusing sights like her running over somewhere to scratch, followed by a streaming hoard of little feather balls. And then, when she stood still, when they were still small they would ALL try to get under her for protection. There of course was not enough room, so the photo shows what frequently happened. Some got the entrepreneurial spirit and climbed on her back! I must say I admire that sort of thing.

Down at the creek some developers have moved in. They've been swimming upstream to just below our place and have built one dam after another. The old saying "busy as a beaver" has more truth to it that you know. Before long they'd built six dams, one of which was a monster. It ran 30 inches high and about a 100 feet long, an engineering marvel that created its own swamp. Fine with me, except that the higher water level at our place was going to kill most of our trees in the bottomland. The photo shows this two legged engineer examining one of the dams.

Clemenson leveler in action

But what to do? Busting a notch in the dams with pick and shovel is a race against the beavers, who love nothing more than to rebuild a dam in a night. I soon found I couldn't keep ahead of them. But rather than resort to trapping, shooting, or poison, which are a little mean and only a short term solution, a little research showed there was a way to out-engineer the beavers.

Clemson University had pioneered a device called the Clemson Leveler. Take another look at the above photo. The white PVC pipe is part of an installed leveler. This one was clogged up and not working, but that doesn't happen often if they are properly located. This was one of the small dams. It took ten minutes to remove the debris around the upstream intake filter, and then presto! The pond "leveled" itself to match the downstream water level below the dam, by a process invented by Newton: gravity! I know my physics!!!

George Turner with turkeyAfter a hard day's work in the swamp, there's nothing like coming home to your true love and whispering sweet nothings in her ear. Here she is in my arms.

Every now and then one has to take a vacation. Actually I do that every day. But one year Wilma and I went on a camping trip with Jack and Martha, at one of the mothers of all ancient swamps: the great Congaree swamp of South Carolina. This is the largest virgin stand of flood plain forest in America. The canopy averages 130 feet high in places, and has many national champions. The tallest is a Loblolly Pine stretching up 167 feet.

We camped, hiked, and canoed, and generally enjoyed ourselves far too much, which is illegal in some states now, due to the Republican takeover. But it was still legal in swamps, so the picture below shows us doing what members of Homo sapiens have been doing for tens of thousands of years: gathering around a campfire for cooking, story telling, a little singing, and lots of plain old fashioned fun.

Four thwinkers at campfire