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Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Fitting things together

How does the discussion about religion go with the discussion about solving problems?

Good question even if I did pose it myself.  Something tells me though that the audience may be puzzled by these turn of events.

Perhaps I am still influenced a bit by Oral Roberts.  Roberts liked to talk about living life more abundantly.  There's nothing wrong with abundance, I'm all for it.  But abundance should not be confused with money.  You can have abundance, but still not have much money.  I think that is possible.  It may even be a solution.  That is to say, to have so much abundance will obviate the need for money.  It also removes the temptation that the love of money brings.

Abundance can solve many human problems.  Perhaps not all of them, but many.

Now think about the role of money.  The role of money is the medium of exchange.  Exchange takes place in a world of scarcity.  That's basic Economics 101---goods are scarce.  They have to be rationed.  You can ration goods arbitrarily, or you could do it with a price system in a market place.  Money is the means by which goods can exchanged efficiently though the price system.

Take away scarcity and what need is there for money?  It's living the Oral Roberts way--- living life more abundantly.

You may scoff, but it has a ring of truth to it.  Think about it.


After a bit of research on televangelism, it occurred to me that it may have been the reason for my declaration of atheism.

My mom was a big fan of those TV preachers.  I'd mock them and she'd protest.  The reason I mocked them is because they were fake.  What confirmed the suspicion of fakery was that business with Jimmy Swaggart back in the eighties.  Not that this was the reason for my atheism, because by that time, I was already reconsidering my atheism.  Nope, the thing about that "I have sinned" speech was the insincerity of it.  Of course, it was delivered as an emotional speech.  Even though the emotion may have been real, the rest of it was fake.  Swaggart was just emotional about getting caught.  He wasn't truly sorry about what he did.

Swaggart came after that declaration, though.  It must have been Oral Roberts that mom was watching so much of back then.  Roberts made outlandish claims and appeals.  So, I looked into Oral Roberts as a part of the research.  Yet, Roberts just seemed a bit over the top.  Not as a complete fake as Swaggart.

Can't say that televangelists turned me off as The Reason.  No, it must have been the insincerity and the show business aspect of it.  People love to be entertained.  These preachers are entertainers first, because if they weren't, nobody would pay any attention to them.

What happens when you start making compromises, like Mark Farner did?  Sure, you get an audience, but the message could be tarnished with the fakery.  The message gets lost in the tarnish.

It's a problem.  If you think you've got a message worth listening to, yet nobody is interested.  What do you do about that?  Some folks turn to compromises, and it seems to work---in a fashion.  But at what cost?

Or is it just about the money, too?  Beware of the money.

For RadioShack, the end is near

Wapo via freerepublic

I worked at Radio Shack for a time.  The world is changing all the time.  Too bad.

Monday, September 15, 2014

Easy Breezes - Mark Farner

From Mark Farner's debut album after the breakup of Grand Funk ( 1977 ).

This dude was ahead of his time, I do believe.

Update a short while later:

One of my posts made the Best of list and it was of Mark Farner here.  The song was Social Disaster, which I described as prophetic.  It describes this country's future to the tee and this was nearly 40 years ago.

Mark Farner made compromises in order to gain popularity.  The Grand Funk cover of the Eric Burdon tune Inside Looking Out, was one of those compromises.  Farner was (and is) against drug abuse, but he recorded a song that glorified drug abuse.  That song help popularize Grand Funk, but Grand Funk was always hated by the critics.  Why?  Lots of people had their theories about this, but one of them could be that Mark Farner just wasn't one of them.  He's traditional American to the core, despite the long hair, the rock and roll, and that Eric Burdon song.  The critics knew this and hated him for it.

Not only that, he was way ahead of his time.

Update: Another pretty little song from that LP.  What could have made that album sell better?  Maybe nothing because I think it was being deliberately buried.  No way they would accept a guy like this.

What am I thinking?

You don't need fuel cells.  Just use Stirling Engines.  Didn't I come to that conclusion already?  A Stirling Engine will allow external burning, which will in turn eliminate carbon monoxide, which is a poison.  It will produce water vapor and carbon dioxide.  These can be recycled in an enclosed area.

But nobody, except perhaps Dan Rojas, makes Stirling Engines for sale.  Well, if it is to be Dan Rojas, then it will be Dan Rojas of Greenpowerscience.

But wait.  I remember a company called Infinia, which made solar dishes of about 3kw.  Not really interested in that, but would like to have access to their Stirling Engines.  It appears that Infinia was bought out and goes by the name of Qnergy.  As usual it seems, they don't have a product right now, but promises one in 2015.

It seems that Stirling is the way to go for me for what I'm trying to do.  Fuel cells may be out the window.

A few odds and ends this early morning

I try to put stuff up on a regular basis, but sometimes it gets hard.  This morning is one of those times.  So, I may not write too much, but maybe a few keystrokes on the old worn-out netbook I like to work with.  Yep, this thing is wearing out.  It is over 5 years old and it has a solid state memory.  Funny, when I bought this thing, I figured that it would be a faster machine.  Nope.  That's what's wrong with it now, it is rather slow.  It's kinda like me.  I'm wearing out.

It's amazing how you can get used to something.  I have so many little maladies that I sometimes forget how much stuff is bothering me in a physical sense.  One more thing came up recently.  I already had one bad foot, now I seem to be getting another.  Oh, joy.  My right foot now gets sore on the heel.  It hurts when I get up, but after walking around awhile, it feels better.

So, here I am.  Worn out old dude on a worn out machine.  In a worn out culture that's probably dying.  Yet, my spirit is like a teenager.  Maybe that isn't good.  Come to think of it, that's the way the entire culture is like---won't grow up.

When I work on this project that I am on now, that is going off-the-grid, I wonder if I am taking on too much.  I assume that I will feel good enough to do useful work.  This thing may require that I do a lot of physical labor.  A young person may not think of it as very physical, but for an old guy with bum wheels, just about anything that requires much in the way of moving can be physical.

I may wimp out and not build a cabin at all.  There's a sale on trailers in this area.  Perhaps the best bet would be to just to buy one and tow it out there.

Too ambitious as I wrote before.  Of course, where I come from, you get no help.  Oh, don't be too hard on the folks.  But still.

And that one about making my own methanol?  That might be too ambitious too.  However, it is important enough to be able to recycle everything that I may build it anyway.  Or try to.  Buying the trailer house would free up my time so that I could do that.  Besides, if I feel good enough, I could still build a cabin--- but with a trailer, that could wait.

On yet another subject, the water filtering experiments took a turn for the better this weekend.  As I mentioned in earlier posts, the sand seemed to allow only a very slow drain of the water.  Now, it is draining much faster.  I tweaked it a bit, and now it is working much better.  This gives me the opportunity to try out a few experiments to see how well it can filter stuff.  Good news there.

All the while, I blog.  And work full time!  A pretty full plate for an old dude.  If I don't blog that much sometimes, now you know why.  Cut me some slack, hmm?

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Methanol synthesis on Cu/ZnO (phD defence)

Perhaps a useful model for making my own methanol synthesizer mechanism.


Synthesis of Zinc Oxide nanomaterials.  Varied the procedures a bit in order to determine optimal conditions.

Also, here's a video that shows a bottle of zinc oxide nanoparticles as one of the materials to be used in his procedures.


One more video before I leave this post.  The making of Copper II oxide.

Methanol Production:Syn-Gas

The meat of the presentation is near the end of the video.  The three important equations and the "S" dimension, which relates to the quality of production.

amazing homemade gasifier uses wood pellets to run generator -- renewable alternative energy video

I've already downloaded the FEMA plans he mentions.  The plans show how to build one of these babies.  This is a lot cheaper than buying one already made, which was described on the previous video.

The L.E.A.F Wood gasifier

These are available for sale.  But not that cheap ( $4500)

The output is syngas, which can be made into methanol.  That's the next trick.


Looks like that trick has been covered in this here blog already.