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  • Food of the Future: Window DIY Spirulina Superfood

    Really, no sunflowers for you, eh? You should try more things. All parts of the sunflower are useful for a home garden. Crude-pressed sunflower oil is a great dressing, the olive oil of the north (and unlike crude cottonseed oil, it's not a spermicide). The leftover meal can be used like any other nutmeal, adding a nice flavor to baked goods (almost identical to peanut) or else just used up in burgers or other protein patties (e.g. tofu if you're vegetarian). The hulls and leaves make a great mulch, especially together. Using leaves as mulch adds trace-nutrients to the soil in much the same bioactive forms needed by plants, and sunflower hulls are tough and fibrous, giving body and physical structure to the soil to help it retain water and stay moist. I've also heard tell they're allelo...

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    Really, no sunflowers for you, eh? You should try more things. All parts of the sunflower are useful for a home garden. Crude-pressed sunflower oil is a great dressing, the olive oil of the north (and unlike crude cottonseed oil, it's not a spermicide). The leftover meal can be used like any other nutmeal, adding a nice flavor to baked goods (almost identical to peanut) or else just used up in burgers or other protein patties (e.g. tofu if you're vegetarian). The hulls and leaves make a great mulch, especially together. Using leaves as mulch adds trace-nutrients to the soil in much the same bioactive forms needed by plants, and sunflower hulls are tough and fibrous, giving body and physical structure to the soil to help it retain water and stay moist. I've also heard tell they're allelopathic (meaning that they help prevent weeds from sprouting).The stalks, left connected to the roots in the garden, make great trellis poles for next year's beans and peas. (You should be rotating your garden crops anyway to take advantage of the differing nutrient requirements/additions provided by different plants; and legumes in particular are good to rotate around due to their nitrogen-fixing capacities.)

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  • Plastic Smithing: How To Make your own HDPE Plastic Anything (DIY plastic lumber)

    Strictly speaking, wouldn't the oil be unnecessary (except as a thermometer)? I don't expect it'd ruin anything, though. Wood and parchment paper catch fire at 300F and 400F respectively, so should be no surprises there. As for the mold, your plan has you creating essentially a square tube. It could be challenging to make the fit perfectly tight with zero bowing along a void for a full 8' 2x4, but I also don't think a perfect fit would be necessary. I think the bigger potential source of problems would be in lining this tube with parchment paper. Just getting it in would be one challenge; you could possibly wrap the parchment paper around a clean 2x4, insert the lumber and then remove it, leaving only the paper lining. But even then, you would need to arrange the parchment paper in such...

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    Strictly speaking, wouldn't the oil be unnecessary (except as a thermometer)? I don't expect it'd ruin anything, though. Wood and parchment paper catch fire at 300F and 400F respectively, so should be no surprises there. As for the mold, your plan has you creating essentially a square tube. It could be challenging to make the fit perfectly tight with zero bowing along a void for a full 8' 2x4, but I also don't think a perfect fit would be necessary. I think the bigger potential source of problems would be in lining this tube with parchment paper. Just getting it in would be one challenge; you could possibly wrap the parchment paper around a clean 2x4, insert the lumber and then remove it, leaving only the paper lining. But even then, you would need to arrange the parchment paper in such a way that it can't pop out and stick out into the void; you don't want the paper to get caught on the plastic, folding up and crumpling and pressing marks into your final product.I think a safer way to ensure a smooth final product would be to make a mold that opens up along the length of the 2x4, instead of just at the ends. This would make it easier to work with the parchment paper liner: you'd just clamp a flat lid over it all once the mold is full. I admit, though, that such a system wouldn't have as much flexibility to account for varying amounts of plastic. It might be possible to make the mold extendible by building it a bit like a pinewood derby car track: long and shallow, with one of its ends (the "car") movable so that the void can be lengthened or shortened as needed.

    Most plastic bags are polyethylene, high-density in the case of lightweight grocery bags, and low-density in the case of heavier department store bags (yes, you read that right...).http://recyclingnearyou.com.au/documents/doc-716-p...For other plastics, you probably already recognize the resin identification code, the little number inside the recycling symbol. Wikipedia gives the list:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plastic_recycling#Pl...

    Most plastic bags are polyethylene, high-density in the case of lightweight grocery bags, and low-density in the case of heavier department store bags (yes, you read that right...).http://recyclingnearyou.com.au/documents/doc-716-p...For other plastics, you probably already recognize the resin identification code, the little number inside the recycling symbol. Wikipedia gives the list:https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Plastic_recycling#Pl...

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