Saturday, September 20, 2014

Amazing videos

I don't think I've ever come across so many potential useful videos.  I could post these all day long, but I am only using the ones that I think are the best and most likely to be useful for me.

Here's one to pump water from a distance to some other location just by using a solar water pump.

Here's one about aquaponics and a few other ideas about growing your own food:

Here's one featuring an aquaponics swirl filter:

All of these are great.  There's no shortage of ideas and ways to get things done.

Free And Virtually Unlimited Fuel To Heat Your Home

Looks exactly like something I would use for getting rid of solid waste.  Stuff like packaging and junk mail.   Any paper products plus something like my algae mixed together will be useful for making these bricks.

The bricks go can into the gasifier in order to make gas that will power a generator.  Lots of electricity can be made this way.

Update 9/29/14:

This looks so useful, that I will adapt it in order to make logs out of spirulina, waste paper, wood chips, sawsdust, and any other biomass that will be used in a gasifier in order to make electricity.

Also, this post will go in the off-the-grid series.

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Introduction to the Off-the-grid series

You'd think that an introduction should go first, right?  Well, this introduction has come after more than 40 posts have been written.

After this many posts, it should be obvious that the plan will evolve over time.  For example, this plan started with the idea of living in a conex.  As of this writing, I am thinking of converting my van to an RV and park it under a solar shed.

So, the introduction should be as general as possible as to allow for flexibility because the plans can evolve even more.

With that in mind, I turn to the Table of Contents post, which is out of sequence as well.  At that post, you can survey all the posts at one time, and go to whatever interests you at that point.  Each post has a link to the previous post and the next post in sequence.

Why go off-the-grid?  Is that a bit kooky?  Perhaps it is.  At the very least, in my own case, it is necessary in order to make it on limited means.  But it can also mean something bigger and perhaps even significant in terms of what it could mean if it ever caught on on a large scale.  On a more modest note, it can help people who need to find a way to live on a very limited budget.

Note:  Clicking on the Table of Contents will take you back to that post.

Solarcabin: Off Grid Cabin 12 Volt Appliances

Prev  Next

Next post in the off-the-grid series.

Not really about 12 volt appliances, but does cover the subject.

This is the fellow from which I bought my cabin plans.  Not sure if even I need them anymore.

God hates Socialists, and the feeling is mutual

Now there's a provocative title.  No?  There's no controversy there?  No point of contention?

These days, there'd be people who would want to stifle that thought because they can't have any truth getting out there.  You say that this title and this post isn't true?

Let's start with the proposition of God.  The proposition of God is inherently unequal.  Aren't socialists all about equality?  How can there be a Supreme Being in the Universe?  That's so unfair.  God has all this power and we don't.  That's just not right, would say the Socialists.  It is not in keeping with their ideal of equality at all.

Oh?  And you can say that a good Socialist can still be religious and believe in God?  Assuming that is even possible, let's move on the the second plank of my argument.  The second plank is the term "Capitalism".  You can't be a good Capitalist and a good Socialist at the same time, can you?  These have to be mutually exclusive terms.  That should go without saying, but these days...  Never mind.  Let me continue.  After my recent post about the confusion between wealth and money, I decided to check out the definition of Capital.  Capital, by the way, has as its root the Latin term "Capita" which means "head".  The head is not equal to the body, now is it?  No, wherever the head goes, the body follows.  Capital means leadership.  Leadership implies a lack of equality, wouldn't you say?  Even Socialists must have leaders.

If you check out the full meaning of the term Capital, you don't get the sense that it means equality.  If anybody tells you that your body is equal with your head, then you know that they've got some rocks in theirs.

Now for a practical example of what Capital means.  Germany lost World War II.  It's infrastructure was ruined.  Most of the buildings in that country were demolished.  Yet in a few short years, Germany was able to rebuild itself.  Why?  I remember reading how it was their "Human Capital" that allowed them to do this.  The value was in the people, not in the buildings.  After all, the people built the buildings, they could just as easily rebuild them when necessary.  World War II did not destroy the German people, and so the people could start over and rebuild their country.  And so they did.  This wasn't equality that allowed this, mind you.  Capital means head, which implies leadership, which also implies inequality.

Another example is China.  Once they abandoned their communism, they began to prosper.  A third example is the good 'ol USA.  Once we abandoned Capitalism, we started going backward.  We were told God is Dead, and that there were Limits to Growth.  We reached our peak in 1968.  It's been downhill since.

We eliminated prayer in schools, we legalized abortion, and now we have "gay-marriage".  The Democrats at their convention in 2012 booed when God was mentioned.  Yet, despite all the "progress", there is a feeling that something is wrong.  Still, the trends show that the young favor Socialism over Capitalism, despite all the evidence that points to the contrary.  There's your future for you.

Solar Carport

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This one goes into the off-the-grid series.

A sketch of the solar carport that I have in mind.  This gives me an idea of how much stuff I'll need to buy.

In practical application, I'm going to drive my van inside it and live there for awhile.  Afterwards, I may expand upon the concept in order to make it more livable, so to speak.  For example, the solarium will be attached to the south end.  At that point, when the solarium is going up, the thing will have to be converted from a carport to something a little different.  A house, perhaps?  Well, that's a little down the road, so to speak.

The idea is also to capture the rain, so it will be built so that the roof is slightly inclined so as to encourage the water to drain into a barrel.

Solar panels will be on top of the carport, of course.

A bit crude, but it may serve my purposes well enough.


Now, I'm looking into battery chargers and I found this.  Looks like it could be a better idea than Unisolar.  At the very least, it is an alternative.


And another alternative.  This time from Amazon.

Friday, September 19, 2014

Next Big Future: First Water-Based Nuclear Battery Can Be Used to G...

Next Big Future: First Water-Based Nuclear Battery Can Be Used to G...: From cell phones to cars and flashlights, batteries play an important role in everyday life. Scientists and technology . companies constantl...


A battery designed to take advantage of beta emissions, it appears.  Beta emissions are a type of radioactivity, it is said.  Beta emissions are just plain old electrons.

There was somebody who discussed the power density of the thing being outrageous.  So, I'm wondering if a real device can be made from it?

Washington’s Ruling Class Is Fooling Itself About The Islamic State

Angelo Codevilla

...consensus within the ruling class is setting America on course to demonstrate impotence. Its preferences, prejudices, and proclivities guarantee that the Islamic State and those among us whom it inspires will be a growing problem as months and years pass. Harsh consequences will follow until a political vehicle for the expression of the American people’s common sense comes into being.[emphasis added]
A political vehicle would mean a new party.  Is there anybody serious minded enough to actually propose this, and then follow up and do it?  No?  I thought so.

Limbaugh lost the country...Again

Well, he didn't say it like that, exactly.  Note that he said the "We" lost the country.  When the country gets saved, if it ever does, he'll say that HE saved the country.

You could dispute that Rush is at fault for anything, but you can't dispute that losing the country makes big bucks for him.

Look, I'm being a bit hard on El Rushbo, but if you've got a toothache, you go to the dentist.  You don't sit there and just complain about the toothache, you DO something about it.  That is, if you are an adult.  Maybe a little kid will cry all the time, but an adult is expected to be more, uh, ... adult about it!

Don't re-invent the wheel

Plans are still being updated this morning.  The plans are updated because I don't want to create new posts that cover old ground.  It's like re-inventing the wheel.

The latest idea is to make a carport.  I looked at some pre-made ones, but they don't do what I want, so I'll make my own.  What I want to do is to make a (Uni)solar-powered carport, as opposed to a portable one on a trailer.  Btw, that portable solar power trailer concept came from the pdf on going off-the-grid that I bought.  The carport will power an RV or a shed underneath.

This allowed me to revise some earlier posts about digging post holes.  Post holes will be necessary in order to anchor something tall to the ground.  Don't want the wind to blow it over.  Come to think of it, the carport might look like a barn before it is all over.  Want an enclosed end(s) to shield from the wind.

Also, revised the one about using a grass driveway.  The pre-manufactured stuff is just too expensive, so I'll improvise something else.

On another note, it has been raining a lot lately.  Not only here, but in the Sierra Blanca area.  One thing that concerns me is the erosion out there.  The more it rains, the more the erosion becomes a problem.  The irony of it all--- you want rain, but not too much.  But when it does rain, it seems to pour.


A link to battery discussion here.  How many and what kind of battery is going to be important.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Miscellaneous notes (updated) Reposted


This is reposted because of the need to combat the "Tiberius Syndrome".  I coined the term myself, which is a term which describes what happens when a man of power and control acts in his own interest at the expense of everyone else.  Specifically, it refers to the case of the man who discovered a way to mine aluminum, which was considered a precious metal back then, and brought that discovery to the Roman Emperor Tiberius.  Tiberius was impressed, but rather than rewarding the man, he had the man beheaded.

Captain of industry and of the nation do not behead people yet, but that could be in our future if we don't change our course.  We may be actively preventing wealth creation.  This is the Tiberius Syndrome.  As Rome eventually decayed and fell into ruin, so will we.

The original post follows:  [ it's just a bunch of notes from which I derived the above ] [ Also, the links aren't there, too much trouble to add them all in.]

This is a general outline of a set of ideas to note for future posts

Zero Growth v Economic growth
Water and energy are the basis for economic prosperity
The Emperor Tiberius of the old Roman Empire and how we can repeat his mistake if we really try
Diamandis and the X Prizes
Why the Soviet Union fell: "US President Reagan also actively hindered the Soviet Union's ability to sell natural gas to Europe whilst simultaneously actively working to keep gas prices low, which kept the price of Soviet oil low and further starved the Soviet Union of foreign capital."
How Romney is like Tiberius and how Gingrich is like Diamandis
"Job Growth" v Economic growth
Why higher taxes are not the answer: Economic growth means that the economy is not a zero sum game.
Why "spreading the wealth" will insure poverty-- In short, if you destroy incentive, you also destroy wealth creation.
Why the rich have too much influence and why that is bad--- Quote from Roger Ebert follows. I'm using it because I am of the opinion that Michael Moore said it himself. The article that the quote comes from is about Michael Moore.
Ebert: Yeah, they all think they're going to leave a big estate, and they love Bush's theories because they all think they're going to get rich someday. But the fact is, most people are not going to be rich someday.
Comment upon this quote: According to Diamandis, even the poor are richer than the very rich of ancient times. Progress is not automatic. It must come from incentives. If you take that away, progress will end. Bread and circuses didn't work for Rome, they won't work now.

I'll stop here for now. Don't know when I'll get back to these ideas, but at least they are out there. Food for thought for those who think.

What is wealth?

There it is again.  In Barnhardt's latest, she is being interviewed when she mentions some entity is trying to amass all the wealth unto themselves.  I'm thinking:  money and wealth are being confused.  Or, am I confused?  What is wealth?

To me, wealth is the skills and the ability to produce value---not the money itself, nor the valuables.  But that is not the definition provided by the web

A measure of the value of all of the assets of worth owned by a person, community, company or country. Wealth is the found by taking the total market value of all...-Investopedia
Thus, although Saudi Arabia is sitting on a vast pile of oil, the oil being the valuable commodity, it is not wealthy itself because the people there really didn't produce it.  It was produced for them by those who had the skills to discover and bring it to market.  Perhaps over all these years, the Saudis have developed some skills.  But that was not the original case.  They just happened to inherit the wealth by virtue of being in the right spot at the right time.  They are a country full of Ted Kennedys.

You may have read in your history books about the so-called "robber-barons".  Well, those guys created the "wealth" we now enjoy.  We are like the Saudis in that we have just inherited the wealth that others created.  In our case, it was the "robber-barons".  But robber-barons found the oil in Saudi as well.  Without the robber-barons, we'd all be poor share-croppers.  Of course, that's not what we're taught in these history books.  We are taught to hate the robber-barons, even though the robber-barons are feeding us.

I think our civilization has hit a dead end because those who have are preventing those who have-not from becoming wealthy.  That is to say, those who have wealth today are protecting their wealth and assets that would not have existed if they weren't allowed to create it.   The "wealthy" are preventing wealth-creation.

Why would they do this?  In order to preserve their position.  If a new energy source is found, it would destroy oil wealth.  But it wouldn't destroy oil wealth.  The real wealth is what found value in the oil and delivered it to the market--- not the oil itself.  There's a confusion there and I don't know if 1 person in a hundred knows the difference.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Plans are being updated with new material

In case I haven't mentioned it, I have a Table of Contents post for the off-the-grid series.  I've been updating the links in that post.  It may not look like much, but it helps tighten up things a bit.  My goal is to be able to use this as a reference.

It's all rather sparse, I know.  But this is not an entertainment blog.

By the way, I've been working on my water filtration experiments, too.  As I've mentioned, the water doesn't drain reliably in these sand filtration devices, so I've been trying a few things that may help move the water through.  It appears that squeezing the plastic bottle and moving the sand around helped with throughput.  That stopped working when I accidentally knocked over the device the other day.  Now, I wonder if another technique could help.  So, I tried an experiment last night.  I jabbed the sand with a screwdriver and creating a few holes that allowed the water to drain better.  However, the quality suffered.  However, I'm hopeful that a few times through will settle the sand back down and it will filter better.  All in all, the experiments are helping me learn how to produce a better device.

Update ( later today ) :

The water filtration technique is not working as well as I'd like.  Like to find a fast way of getting a lot of water out, but no luck so far.

While I was looking at some old links, I found this one that gets good customer reviews.  Unfortunately, the company ( Unisolar) has gone out of business.  There is a limited number left and no warranty.  If you like rolling the dice, this one may come up big.

Update ( a little bit later still today ):

On another subject, I viewed a video about the go anywhere toilet system.  If there is any downside to this, it is how much work it takes to maintain it.  Not as easy as flushing it and forgetting it.  But that goes away as soon as you get your own place.  For when you get your own place, you are responsible.  Not like living in an apartment and somebody else is responsible for the sewage.

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.

Update ( about two weeks later )

Qenergy has developed a Stirling engine that will run on wood pellets.  I'm thinking that my idea of making pellets out of wood and algae may work in this engine.  The Stirling engine will bypass the need to make a gasifier with all of its complications.

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.

Oorja fuel cells

These videos aren't exactly brand new.  This could be as much as 5 years old.  Been out this long, and not gotten more notice?  Or if it has gotten notice, I must have missed it.  Either way, it looks like a solution for yours truly.  It looks like it is a real product that's available right now.

Shadow Government Statistics

According to the author, employment hasn't returned to its pre-recession peak.  Oh, yeah.  Just another one of the lies we are told in order to convince the sheep that everything is going to be all right.

You've heard of normalcy bias.  Well, I submit that this kind of reporting feeds the normalcy bias.  People just aren't aware of the risks that exist, and so they don't prepare.  When disaster strikes, they won't be ready.  Witness Katrina in 2005.  The local authorities really dropped the ball on that one.  Of course, they blamed Bush, but it was the local authorities that screwed up.  The same pattern is persisting throughout the culture on the whole.  The failure of the current paradigm is being swept under the rug, and any attempt to improve upon the situation is resisted.  Who will be blamed when things go wrong and can no longer be denied?  Everybody but the ones truly responsible for it.