Contest Idea + make the world more sustainable

Many states seen facing water shortagesYeah, it's pretty bad - but I keep seeing lawns watered (anger)...Just throwing out a suggestion -- a project contest that tackles a focused global issue... Water conservation, for example. There's already a few great ones on the site too.

Posted by trebuchet03 10 years ago

Skip suggesting "for easy printing"

When you hover over the PDF icon a bubble says "Download as PDF for easy printing and offline viewing".  I suggest you skip the "for easy printing" -- it suggests the reader waste paper for something that can easily be viewed online.

Posted by BillyBuggy 7 years ago

Help me make my apartment self-sufficient and green

Hello,I'm interested in making my apartment greener and more self sufficient than it already is. I want to do this for many reasons, but mostly to see how far I can take this. I'm sure a lot of this will depend on what I can put up with, but i'm looking for some ideas of things to implement. I'll follow Instructables if they exist about it and if they don't, I'll create some to document this.There are some restrictions: I am a renter and I don't own the place. I can make some changes, but I can't cut the walls out or replace appliances. I also can't put anything on the roof or outside of my apartment. I'm also very serious about conserving floorspace in my apartment and not accumulation a lot of junk. I need a bit of space to do my projects and have some sanity in this place (I live in NYC). This means no giant compost piles or what not in my living room.Here's my thoughts on things that I will need to work on:Measuring my consumption of thingsReduce energy useReduce energy wasteProduce some of my own power (Solar? I have a big window)Alternate lighting and heating methods?Making my own food to reduce the amount of waste packagingUsing local ingredientsjoining a CSA (just did that this week actually!)Growing some of my own foodReducing garbage and waste waterReusing things that I canCan you add to the list? Anything that you could help clarify? Anyone interested in taking the challenge with me? Thanks!

Posted by drocko 9 years ago

Robo-Goat Lives - At least I hope he Will

OK here goes. I work at zoo and I am a self taught geek, (mainly old school). I recently volunteered for a project mainly because I'm too stupid to know that it's not possible :~) Purpose of the program/project To - Engineer, Design and Build an Animatronic Robot Goat for: a Cheetah Conservation Fund in Kenya, Africa. This device will replicate a live goat in: size; appearance; movement; sound and smell (smell supplied by others), that can withstand the sever conditions of the desert, durable, possibly solar powered and easy to transport, setup and operate. Note: Up until this point real goats have been tried but they have not been too successful. They were either too stressed or they were stolen for by locals their meat. Objective(s): To lure Cheetahs into an area and enticement them into a cage trap with a simulated live goat (Robo-Goat), to provide a safe humane and ethical capture of wild cheetahs so that recently acquired state of the art GPS/Cellular tracking collars can be placed on them to help gather information to preserve this endangered animal. Analog Radio Tracking Collars have provided the only way to gather much of the information for many different wild animals. Radio Tracking style of the past has always been a difficult and time consuming endeavor, with old style tracking, large heavy radio collars that broadcast a ”beep” continuously, must be tracked with specialized hand-held radios and yagi antennas. All this to locate an animal being studied. Many times you would have to get close enough to disturb the animal just to find out where it is and then try to track it. Obviously not good “normal behavior” data gathering. The new GPS/Cellular systems track the animal in real time and send back data coordinates on the animals location, elevation, speed and direction as it travels. This GPS information is sent via cell towers, (yes they have them in Africa), to a computer that logs and graphs the movements. The research gathered through these efforts may provide the answers to saving these endangered animals. Project design/methods: #1. Establish parameters Record video & audio movements and sounds of normal & panicked goats Research and study movements and demonstrate what mechanical requirements will be necessary to replicate the minimum needed movements - [DONE]. {Raise and lower head; Look left and right; open/close mouth} Determine movement engine {I'm not sure here} {All of the movements are really axial in nature} {At first I was thinking motors but then there are end stops, control systems, ect. To deal with} {next I'm considering solenoids for the low energy requirements and simple full scale movements, except you cant control the speed} {But now I am becoming fixated on model airplane actuators for low weight, low noise and appendage like joints and accessories} {then I ran across "pager motors" and how they are small powerful and inexpensive some how I don't know where to begin} {can you tell this is all still up in the air?} Throw distance & Speed of movement - [DONE]. {Raise and lower head = 90 degrees of arc from base of neck = 5 seconds max} { Look left and right = 90 degrees of arc from left to right with return to normal center point half way = full movement l-r = 2 seconds max i hope} {open/close mouth = 45 degrees of arc from lower jaw = 1 second max} Repetition rate & pattern {random if possible} Determine audio requirements - [DONE]. {this is easy but requires playback trigger synchronized with mouth} The Cosmetics: Determine body and outer skin requirements – [Engineering]. {aluminum wire frame mesh} {foam sculpted head for low mass} {foam wrap suit for body & legs for low mass} {tyvek skin, airbrushed or penned for low mass} {stainless steel / nylon joints for low mass} DB level of normal and panicked goats - [DONE] {I have determined audio system requirements} Determine control system requirements {clueless at this point} Determine power requirements {I'm thinking deep cell marine battery and solar panels to retain charge autonomously} {amp hour rating for battery and solar charging circuit TBD after R&D; tests} {if solar is not feasible them battery exchange schedule TBD} #2 Acquire all electronic and mechanical parts #3 Create mechanicals Fabricate lightweight frame and skeleton structure. Assemble motion joints and motion engine Assemble and test motor functions Determine estimate of MTBF for spare parts, if any #4 Create & install sound system Edit custom audio media for both normal & panicked goats Utilize 12v Solid State Audio Playback Unit # 5 Create Control System #6 R&D; Testing Test charging and power circuit Final assembly #7 Final test Any help to provide suggestions to get me started on the type of engines would be great. tia

Posted by sharpfocus 8 years ago

Rewiring my house to reduce electricity consumption

I am getting ready to rewire my house and want to do so in such a manner that a motion detector or timer shuts down most of the outlets in a room so that the phantom use of electricity or the abuse of same by teens is reduced (I am being realistic here). The Electrician thinks I am short a few bricks of a load so to speak. Lights he understands, plug load nada. I've seen something similar done in Europe when traveling where your hotel room powered down when you weren't in it and powered up with your key card in the slot when you were in it. I want to shut off all the power in the room when it is empty during periods of sleep except for one outlet which would power the clock/lamp and of course fire alarms. Help me out here.

Posted by crickenwood 10 years ago

Water-saving toilet hack

Toilets use fresh water, and lots of it.  Sure, you can buy a low-flow model, but you're still flushing with a (smaller) quantity of fresh, otherwise drinkable water. Gregorylavoie decided to get double use out of that water by hacking his toilet.  It's a neat, reversible modification: after you flush, you use the clean, incoming tank refill water for handwashing.  Your slightly soapy hand-wash runoff fills the tank, and is saved for the next flush.  It's a simple, ingenious way to save water with little to no effort. What do you think?  Would you try this mod on your toilet? This post has been sponsored by Pepsi. The Pepsi Refresh Project celebrates the people, businesses, and non-profits with ideas that will have a positive effect on our world.

Posted by canida 8 years ago

Perisistence Of Vision As A Replacement of Display Boards

Hello Guyz, Yesterday at night an idea got struck at my mind that can pov be used as a replacement for the huge display boards which are put on the large cities like NY,Las Vegas etc.  There will be a huge amount of energy conserved if we apply this principle.

Posted by abhirooprobotics 4 years ago

1 minute of labour...

Here is a rather interesting videos, made by the conservative party in the election.... :-P

Posted by Hiyadudez 8 years ago

Thin edge of the wedge in Texan education?

Any Texans out there? Did you know what (revisionist?) plans were afoot in your education system? Even as a panel of educators laid out a vision Wednesday for national standards for public schools, the Texas school board was going in a different direction, holding hearings on changes to its social studies curriculum that would portray conservatives in a more positive light, emphasize the role of Christianity in American history and include Republican political philosophies in textbooks. There have also been efforts among conservatives on the board to tweak the history of the civil rights movement. One amendment states that the movement created “unrealistic expectations of equal outcomes” among minorities. Another proposed change removes any reference to race, sex or religion in talking about how different groups have contributed to the national identity. - A greater emphasis on “the conservative resurgence of the 1980s and 1990s.” - A reduced scope for Latino history and culture. - Changes in specific terminology. Terms that the board’s conservative majority felt were ideologically loaded are being retired. (The new recommendations stress the need for favorable depictions of America’s economic superiority across the board.) - A more positive portrayal of Cold War anticommunism. Disgraced anticommunist crusader Joseph McCarthy, the Wisconsin senator censured by the Senate for his aggressive targeting of individual citizens and their civil liberties on the basis of their purported ties to the Communist Party, comes in for partial rehabilitation. - Language that qualifies the legacy of 1960s liberalism. Great Society programs such as Title IX—which provides for equal gender access to educational resources—and affirmative action, intended to remedy historic workplace discrimination against African-Americans, are said to have created adverse “unintended consequences” in the curriculum’s preferred language. - Thomas Jefferson no longer included among writers influencing the nation’s intellectual origins. Jefferson, a deist who helped pioneer the legal theory of the separation of church and state, is not a model founder in the board’s judgment. ... Heavy emphasis is also to be placed on the founding fathers having been guided by strict Christian beliefs. - Excision of recent third-party presidential candidates Ralph Nader (from the left) and Ross Perot (from the centrist Reform Party). - A recommendation to include country and western music among the nation’s important cultural movements. The popular black genre of hip-hop is being dropped from the same list. None of these proposals has met with final ratification from the board—that vote will come in May, after a prolonged period of public comment on the recommendations. Still, the conservatives clearly feel like the bulk of their work is done; after the 120-page draft was finalized last Friday, Republican board member Terri Leo declared that it was "world class" and "exceptional." First paragraphs from New York Times Headline paragraphs from Yahoo News It occurs to me that it may be appropriate for some members to have a rather forceful word with their elected representatives - at all levels - about the damage these proposals will cause in the American education system...

Posted by Kiteman 8 years ago

HHO and you!

Ok, so hho has become the new fad in the mpg race, but is it really effective?  Conservation of energy dictates that the energy required to separate water in to its base components is equal or greater to the energy released during its reconstitution.  The key to making HHO a viable source of additional fuel would be utilizing the waste heat from the engine to provide the electricity needed. TEG's + exhaust manifold + water = ? Discuss!

Posted by kretzlord 7 years ago

Cheap way to see Galapagos - Volunteer

I am assisting locals from Galapagos with creating a volunteer program that supports conserving the environment and allowing people to see the Galapagos in a more sustainable way.   We are really geared to people similar to Instructables that are crafty.  For those that dont know, Galapagos has a real problem with invasive species changing the natural habitat and threating the unique animals.  As a volunteer you will work between erradicating introduced plant species (i.e. getting out any rage with a machette), growing and transporting new native species (testing out how green your thumb is) and introducing green technologies to the Hacienda (we are already composting and using the energy produced by wind power).  Volunteers can stay for as little as one week or up to 3 months.   No particular skills are needed but we would love to have people that can help to introduce new green technologies. Check out more information on our website: They are wonderful people and its a wonderful place.  We hope you can assist!

Posted by galapagosesperanza 6 years ago

Be conservative

I don't mean take a right-wing political viewpoint as much as i mean be careful what you put in this group. Remember, if the book is published, we want it to have the best, the most interesting, the most rewarding instructables in it, not something that looks good but lacks any real understanding or depth, Quality of pictures, grammar and spelling should also be important. Furthermore, i don't think we should post our own instructables over anyone elses instructables. All the instructables here should be subjected to scrutiny and examined thoroughly before being posted. Don't just add your own instructables just because YOU think they're cool. Kiteman started this group so ultimately it's he who decides what can stay and what can go, but if we're careful in choosing a selection of good instructables over a wide variety of categories (K'nex contraptions, fun with LEDs, iPod hacks, etc.) then we won't need to leave anything behind. An example of a bad instructable is my own scalpel. Limited instructions for a very simple project. Bad piccers and spelling. That's the sort of thing we need to keep out. V

Posted by Vendigroth 11 years ago

Man turns himself into a puddle to protest climate change

In order to protest global climate change, this man from Red Cross Argentina turned himself into a puddle and handed out information on ways to protect the planet from imminent climate disaster such as reusing plastic bags, conserving water, and buying energy efficient cars and appliances. We just wonder how long it took him to get out of there.but you got to give him propsmain story

Posted by Chicken2209 9 years ago

Is anyone familiar with an Euler's Disk? (physics, conservation of energy and angular momentum demonstration).

At this one site I haunt now and then, looking for new science toys and things to hack, I came across this little item called a Euler's Disk.  I am assuming at this point, that there is quite a bit of specificity in the way this needs to be made so that it works, thus the $25 price tag. Anyone have any information (not contained in the ad) on this?   It'd be most appreciated.  

Posted by Goodhart 8 years ago

Artist 3D prints sculptures with human ashes

Dutch artist Wieke Somers has created a series of sculptures that are made with human ashes. She uses a 3D printer to assemble them, although there's no detail about the construction process in this article. Much more attention is given to the reasoning why in a classic artist statement: dutch design studio wieke somers does not want to discard the many benefits of technological innovation and its inherent mentality and the joy and will to create. instead she wants to make a statement about the current state of affairs in design and our conviction that we need a new view on what is necessary in the 21st century. her project 'consumer or conserve' evaluates this notion of a second-life. she considers, how human ashes can be reused by means of rapid prototyping or 3D printing, so that we may afford someone a 'second life' as a rocking chair, vacuum cleaner, perhaps even a toaster? would we become more attached to these objects if this was the case? would our willingness to pay more for a product increase if it is made from human tissue or ashes? I'd guess the answer is "no." Little bit creepy. Then again, Ed Headrick from Frisbee had his remains mixed in with a bunch of discs after he passed on so who knows? wieki somers: consume or conserve via inhabitat

Posted by fungus amungus 8 years ago

Instructables image quality

Am I just imagining it, or did Instructables' thumbnail and preview images used to be much higher quality than they are now? Personally, I'm a fan of PNGs for their lossless compression, but I'm fine with lossy formats like JPEG as long as the quality is high enough that there isn't blatant distortion all over. But when I look at thumbnails and preview pictures on instructables now, I can't help but notice how crappy they look with all the distortion. My question is whether the decision to use low quality thumbs/previews was made in order to conserve disk space, reduce bandwidth, or improve load times?

Posted by burzvingion 10 years ago

Adverising complaint

Hi, First I want to make it clear love this site. I have no complaints about the site or the instructables in it. My issue is the advertising. I understand that advertising pays for the site and I have no problem with that either. But I am currently getting bombarded with "Vote Conservative" ads. Not good. Advertising products is fine, but politics is a bit inappropriate. I figure that the ads are from a third-party advertising group so it's not the fault of, but you might want to have a word with the people supplying the advertising since this sort of thing can really put people off. Especially when it's one-sided like this.

Posted by Jaguar_Pryde 3 years ago

New DIY Green Blog

Hey everyone. Tap33 and I started a new DIY Green Blog. You can find it here. Basically, we're finding cool DIY projects on the internet about going green and posting them.If anyone wanted their Instructable that related to "Going Green" featured on the site you can leave a comment here, PM Tap33 or me, or contact us at the Contact Us section of the Blog. We know that there are a lot of great projects here so please, tell us if you want it featured on the page. Also, does anyone have any ideas for new "Green" projects?

Posted by Gjdj3 10 years ago

IOT Pollution monitoring HELP!?

Im torn between the two- Should I used Pi or Arduino for outdoor pollution monitoring? I have roughly a budget of $120 USD per node.  Can I use both of them together? - If pi. What do you do about battery conservation? Pushing data to a webpage recomendations? Uploading data? What sensors should I use? Ive seen someone trying to sell a single CO2 sensor for $50 USD?!? CO2, NO, CO, NO2 sensor suggestions? Ive been looking at grove Some will be battery powered. others by the mains. im going to try 3D print a case for weatherproofing.

Posted by LukeM5 2 years ago

What's your favorite piece of cooking hardware?

Just wondering if anybody out there has one, "couldn't live without" piece of cooking hardware. A favorite gadget or tool that you just couldn't live without. Mine is actually my cast iron skillet I got for my 20th birthday along with a copy of Alton Brown's "I'm Just Here for the Food". I swear I have cooked pretty much every single kind of dish, from breakfast to dessert. I use it at least 5 times a week, and that would probably be a conservative estimate. Anyway, I'd love to hear what kitchen treasures anybody has out there.

Posted by mrrentalshoes 9 years ago

Integrating Highschool Sciences

Irene Duke, Kate Hoff, Lyndsay Carlisle and myself are participating in the MIT course 11.124, _Introduction to Teaching and Learning Science and Mathematics_. We have a variety of teaching interests: Irene hopes to teach chemistry, Kate to teach Physics, myself Physics or Mathematics and Lyndsay hopes to teach social justice / political history. Provided Make magazines as inspiration, we were tasked to design a joint activity, merging four high school classes of these topics for a period of weeks or months. We developed the ideas described in this first entry over the course of a class period. Hopefully, we'll take the time to expand each step into an instructable, possibly including trials by fire teaching 8th-11th graders. The material is structured by conservation of energy and resources, inspired by the articles of Tim Andersen. The final demonstration we envision motivates the particular material we wanted from each field. A bicycle wheel is drives an alternator transforming mechanical energy into electrical. The electrical energy is used to run a electrolysis process, rendering separate measurable quantities of Hydrogen and Oxygen. The Hydrogen and Oxygen are then combusted for the students. The amount of mechanical energy can be measured, as can the electrical. The binding energy of H_2O can be used to determine the chemical potential energy rendered. Finally, the combustion both demonstrates the energy's new form, and the difficulties in storing energy. The difference between power and energy underlies all of these experiments. Conservation of linear momentumn should be a familiar topic with the students. Conservation of angular momentumn can easily be introduced at this point, demonstrated with the bicycle and a fly wheel. Chaning the orientation of the wheel can be exteremely difficult. For the chemical portion of the experiment, stoicheometry should be familiar to establish the link between the amount of gas generated and the energy invested. The most appropriate mathemetical tools are statistical. Sampling, linear regression and averaging would prove useful throughout the experiments. Global economic relationships leading up from the colonial period would perhaps be the most applicable topic form history or the social sciences. Though not a technical detail, an important aspect of executing such an idea involves the actual deployment of resources. Students could, for example be broken up by their topic of interest, whether it be the physical, chemical or social aspects of the project. Next, new groups would be formed with one or two members from each subject area. These groups could then attempt to execute the design from the first slide, or one which is similar. Throughout, the students will present their thoughts or understanding to the teacher. This design project should perhaps be phrased as simply turning mechanical energy into hydrogen. Students with social scientific background might be responsible for estimating the costs of the implementation in different settings, and that would be used to drive a larger scale version. So, before getting started on building and documenting this project, do people have suggestions? What worked to combine the physical sciences for you? What might have worked?

Posted by mmt 11 years ago

"Hello world"

I appear to be tweeting. Unfortunately, I was beaten to plain old "Kiteman" by some Batman geek, so I am tweeting as KitemanX. Don't expect a constant stream of information, though, since I don't own a smartphone. Later... Dang, I've gained some strange followers - sexy Hallowe'en costumes, protein drinks for golfers, storage in Long Island, and what appears to be a conservative Floridian lobbying group (I don't dress sexy, I hate golf, I live in the UK and I'm randomly liberal). Update: I now have a number of cool followers, including some Instructablers, but I've also gained a random dentist and a Thai tourism company (not to mention the large number of NSFW spammers I've had to block...). Who's *your* weirdest follower?  Or your coolest?

Posted by Kiteman 7 years ago

New knex machine gun

I've just had a really good idea, First make a shotgun, Preferably J5 barracade shotgun (I think it's called that) Mainly because that's the gun I built and got the idea from, Right when you've built the shot gun on the pump add a motor to pull it back, when it's pulled right back make it let go, like the rack and pinion. Now if you pull the trigger, it will fire, but if you take your finger of the trigger then it won't fire. This way unlike other machine guns I've seen where you put the motor on and you can't stop it unless you turn off the motor. This way will help conserve your bullets, also if you use the barricade shotgun, you will have to make a magazine on it, because it uses shells.

Posted by CrazyCHRIS!! 10 years ago

He who says there's no such thing as global warming.

A friend of mine today firmly told me that there's no global warming and we should all stop trying to struggle improve efficiency (and then as an afterthought added "especially with policies, and liberalness and the such). It was a dumb inconsiderate reply but non the less, I snapped at him. I told him that we should just let ourselves cut down all the trees and pollute our atmosphere so much that marathon running would become a dangerous sport. He looked at me sheepishly and said something to the effect of well you shoulden't worry so much and Al Gore is a nutcase. Typical conservative catholic response. The point of telling you this story was to encourage you to say what you think in the comments section, and to inspire you to create ways to make us (the race of polluters) better. So go on, debate it up!

Posted by DELETED_craz meanman 10 years ago

I, Skunkbait, am a Moron!

Ok, I'm not really a big "chat guy". Occasionally I have to look up acronyms to know what you kids are saying. I know LOL, WTF, STFU, and IMHO, but a few others just go over my head. So today I looked up FTW. You have to understand, that even though I am a pretty conservative Christian, I'm hardly "sheltered". Basically, I come from a biker background, and amoung us folks FTW means.... Well, you know. ANyway, When I saw Adrian Monk (usually such a good girl) use the acronym FTW the other day, I was dissapointed with her. I thought she needed her mouth....uh keyboard washed out with soap! ANyway, I looked it up and now I know better. Sorry I ever doubted your squeaky clean image Adrian!

Posted by skunkbait 10 years ago

You can help save a rare frog from extinction!

First off, I realize instructables does not want pure advertising on their site through these forms. The voting is optional and I don't want this to be viewed as advertisement. If nothing else, I want to share with you our story in the project, and hopefully you'll see how awesome this is. We are doing something that no high school has ever achieved before, and I think it's more relevant to the site than some re-posting of a blog article. I hope that you take a few minutes and find out what the Frog Project is all about! Want to support the cause of helping endangered species, education, and advancing biotech in schools? Well, take 5 minutes and vote for our school to convince Khols' to give us 1/2 million $$! Unfortunately the contest is over, but we're going to go for a $250,000 grant for a Pepsi contest in November. If you become a fan of our page (noted below) you'll be updated. Check back in November! ======================================================== Not convinced? Well, here's our story: You can help save a rare frog from extinction, and it is free! Kohls the dept. store is donating $500,000 to the 20 schools with the most creative need for the money. Your vote can help our school win this money, and best of all it costs you nothing! We are working on a project to try and save a rare frog from extinction. And we need the cash. At our small high school of 300 students, we are trying to completely sequence the genome of a rare Arizona frog. We hope to accomplish 2 things from this work. 1) We hope to rescue this frog from extinction. 2) We hope to train a new generation of students in modern biotechnology, and rescue the State of Arizona from last place in quality of education in the United States. The Chiricahua Leopard frog is currently listed as a threatened species. We have been working in conjunction with the Phoenix Zoo and Arizona Game and Fish to develop a genetic test that could aid in conservation efforts. We have already spent a year working on the sequence of the mitochondrial chromosome of this frog. Our school actually owns a DNA sequencer. We have made pioneering efforts in the design of genetic tests for this frog. Our students have presented 5 posters on our work at the International Plant and Animal Genome conference (PAG), quite an achievement for a high school. Our project was recently awarded one of only three heritage grants: By the way, the other two Heritage grants were awarded to Arizona State University and Northern Arizona University. What we really wish to do is completely sequence every chromosome in this frog. This is a very ambitious project. Consider that the human genome project completed in 2003, cost $3 billion dollars and took 13 years. Our leopard frog is estimated to contain twice as much DNA as humans! However, we think that with appropriate funding, and new technology that has recently become available we can accomplish this task in 2 years! We wish to construct what are called “DNA libraries”, collections of broken chromosome fragments of known sizes. These can be sequenced quickly using NEXT generation sequencing technology. The Chinese genomic group BGI has agreed to cover the costs of NEXT generation sequencing, and genome assembly for our project (an estimated $1 million) if our school can come up with the remaining funds needed for the construction of the libraries. We need to purchase about $200,000 in new equipment, and extend our existing lab space. With the completed genome sequence, we would like to have a custom “gene chip” manufactured. This chip will have all the DNA of the frog physically printed on it. The chip allows experiments to be carried out without any harm to any frog. This chip could then be used to aid conservation efforts by the Phoenix Zoo and Arizona Game & Fish. It could allow the exact parentage of every Chiricahua frog that is discovered to be known. Eventually this technology will become the backbone of conservation work on all species, but at this early stage it is not possible for Arizona Game & Fish to raise the funds needed to generate a gene chip before it is too late for the frog. Our school hopes to be the first in history to carry out a genome project. We hope this will serve as a guiding light to other schools, and start a grass-roots movement in the conservation and education world. Help us save our frog! Here is the catch. Vote for us on Facebook, and convince all your friends to do the same (forward this message to them), or unfortunately the frog bites it! Everybody can vote up to 5 times for us. In this way YOU can help make the difference not only for this rare species, but if we can succeed you will help pave the way to help many others. Regards, -Mike Dr. Mike Brown Science Dept. Chair AAEC-Paradise Valley Phoenix Arizona 602 569 1101 Interesting references/links about our project and research (really, we are real!): Abstracts to posters presented by our high school students at the Plant ANimal Genome Conference (PAG) Our high school and its project The MoBio scientific supply company featured us in their 2009 catalog, and describes our project on their “where in the world” page of their website: See page 8 of the Phoenix Zoo’s Conservation Science Newsletter: A recent article from the press:

Posted by lukethebook333 8 years ago

Deriving the maximum range and angle of a projectile

In a thread in the Green group, AnarchistAsian and I were discussing his coil guns. I posed the question of what range he could get, and he asked me to go through the physics derivation. Here it is, simplified to require just algebra and trig.The kinetic energy of the projectile E = ½mv2, gives v = sqrt(2E/m) as the speed at launch. Let θ be the angle at which you launch (θ=0° is horizontal, θ=90° is straight up). Then you can decompose the speed into two components: vh = v cos(θ) is the horizontal speed,vv = v sin(θ) is the vertical speed.Gravity only pulls vertically, so the projectile's vertical speed will be slowed down until it reaches its maximum altitude, then it will fall back until it hits the ground. The horizontal speed will remain constant until it hits the ground and stops. To figure out the range, you need to know the time t that the projectile flies before it hits the ground; then the range is just R = vhtEnergy conservation guarantees that it's downward speed at the end is equal to its original upward speed, just with a change of sign. That also means that the total flight time of the projectile will be half going up and half going down. Once you determine how long it takes to reach the top of its flight, you're done; just double that answer :-)In the vertical direction, the maximum heightH = vvt - ½gt2(you need calculus to derive this result). From energy conservation, the initial kinetic energy in the vertical direction, Ev = ½mvv2 must equal the potential energy at the top of the flight, Pv = mgH:mgH = ½mvv2H = ½vv2/gSubstitute this on the left hand side of the trajectory expression,½vv2/g = vvt - ½gt2vv2 = 2gvvt - g2t2vv2 - 2gvvt + g2t2 = 0(vv - gt)2 = 0vv = gtSo, t = vv/g = v sin(θ)/g is the time to reach maximum height. Double that as discussed above, and you get the range R = 2 sin(θ) cos(θ) v/g.Work out the angle that gets you maximum range by just plugging in different angle values and finding the one that is biggest.

Posted by kelseymh 9 years ago

Water Recycling with a Hydroponic Bog Garden

Clean water - we all need it.  Treating and reusing sewage and other waste water means reducing the burden on the already limited supply of water from our lakes, rivers, and underground aquifers. Instructables user Biotank posted this excellent Hydroponic bog garden. It's the final step in a series of sewage water treatments, and uses bacteria to clean the water even further so it can be used for irrigation.  This system can be combined with a garden for water-loving plants as shown here, or with a fish pond.  While this bog garden isn't likely to fit in your backyard, it's a great example of thinking outside the box to solve the problem of water reuse!  Check it out, and get inspired. What are you doing to conserve or reuse water?  What would you like to do? This post has been sponsored by Pepsi. The Pepsi Refresh Project celebrates the people, businesses, and non-profits with ideas that will have a positive effect on our world.

Posted by canida 8 years ago

What the Candidates Say About Energy

What the Candidates Say About Energy GIULIANI: Says "every potential solution" must be pursued, including nuclear power, increased energy exploration and more aggressive investment in alternative energy sources. Says energy independence can be achieved through a strategy that emphasizes diversification, innovation and conservation.MIKE HUCKABEE: Wants to lessen U.S. dependence on foreign oil by pursuing "all avenues" of alternative energy: nuclear, wind, solar, hydrogen, clean coal, biodiesel and biomass.JOHN MCCAIN: Wants to limit carbon dioxide emissions "by harnessing market forces" that will bring advanced technologies, such as nuclear energy, to the market faster. Seeks to reduce dependence on foreign supplies of energy. Wants the U.S. to lead in a way that ensures all nations "do their rightful share" on the environment. As you may know,McCain was AWOL in December on the key Senate vote to secure an 8-yearSolar Investment Tax Credit extension -- and he could have been the hero by casting the 60thvote (it failed 59 to 40 with only McCain being AWOL).MITT ROMNEY: Wants to accelerate construction of nuclear power plants as part of a "robust, cleaner and reliable energy mix." Seeks energy independence not by halting all oil imports but by "making sure that our nation's future will always be in our hands."DemocratsHILLARY CLINTON: Says she's "agnostic" about building nuclear power plants. Prefers renewable energy and conservation because of concerns about nuclear power's cost, safety and waste disposal. Wants to spend $150 billion over the next 10 years to cut oil imports by two-thirds from 2030 projected levels, with some money going toward alternative energy.JOHN EDWARDS: Opposes nuclear power because of cost and safety concerns. Favors creating a $13 billion-a-year fund to finance research and development of energy technologies; wants to reduce oil imports by nearly a third of the oil projected to be used in 2025.BARACK OBAMA: Says the U.S. can't meet its climate goals if it removes nuclear power as an option but says such issues as security of nuclear fuel, waste and waste storage need to be addressed first. Wants to spend $150 billion over the next 10 years to develop new energy sources. Seeks to reduce"oil consumption overall by at least 35 percent by 2030."

Posted by ewilhelm 10 years ago

Safety, Electricity and Death

I came across this AC safety info and found it useful enough to share. Link: FTA: 1 mA Barely perceptible 16 mA Max current an average person can grasp and let go 20 mA Paralysis of respitory muscles 100 mA Ventricular fibrillation threshold 2 Amps Cardiac standstill and internal organ damage 15/20 Common fuse or breaker opens circuit I later found this DC info... Link: FTA: "AC ... is 3 to 5 more dangerous than DC of the same voltage and amperage." Slight sensation felt at hands DC Men: 1.0mA, Women: 0.6mA 60 Hz AC Men: 0.4mA, Women: 0.3mA  ... Painful, but voluntary muscle control maintained DC Men: 62mA, Women: 41mA 60 Hz AC Men: 9mA, Women: 6mA ... "In industry, 30 volts is generally considered to be a conservative threshold value for dangerous voltage. The cautious person should regard any voltage above 30 as theratening, not relying on normal body resistance for protection against shock."

Posted by milsorgen 8 years ago

Random knex challenge 7- The mother of all modification contests. (Edit- Winner)

This is the first random knex contest posted under its new host, me.  I'm taking the operation over.  Sorry I couldn't post it yesterday, but my house got broken into and under that commotion, I forgot. Anyways, the title is what it is.  You can modify ANY knex design on the internet posted (with one exception see below).  However, there are guidelines: Must Improve on original design.  The improvements can be on performance, efficiency, parts conservation, whatever.  However, adding random useless crap on a design is NOT acceptable. Must be original.  The design doesn't have to be yours but the MODS you make to it do. The more improved the design is, the best chance you have of winning. Don't limit yourself to just guns, you can mod ANY design. The one design I will NOT allow in the contest is the TR since it is so open to mods and there is a variety of options for it.  So keep that in mind.   Accepted entries:  Knex gun builder- Modded ZKAR bolt RC-1207SEV- Modded freeslinger Knexfreek- Freeslinger to tankbow transformation. Tigernod- OSNJCKMA2 mods (Can't remember the abbreviation) Edit- The winner is....Tigernod and his modded OSNJCKMA2.  Congrats!  Expect a patch soon Tigernod.

Posted by DJ Radio 8 years ago

Simple wireless on/off switch, possibly using BTE/ANT+ or sth lower tech?

Hi all, I'd like to get your expert opinions on the following: I'm trying to build a simple device. In one circuit, a switch closes. This sends a signal wirelessly to a nearby circuit (~1m away), which receives the signal and turns on an LED. When the first circuit breaks, the LED turns off. Sounds simple. The circuit containing the switch has to be very small/lightweight, and power conservative. I'd like to have more than one of these switches around and by closing either switch the LED would turn on. But these switches must be paired with the LED, so that another separate LED nearby will not be turned on. This led me to think about using something like Bluetooth Low Energy or ANT+, because the modules are really small and can be powered by a button cell battery for months. I can't use IR because there's no direct line of sight. Are there any alternatives besides these two options? If I choose BTE, what do I need apart from the module to get the circuit working? I mean stuff like PC-module connection, battery connection or IC or other stuff like controllers? Thanks :)

Posted by kanzume 5 years ago

Growing Grub

Here in France we suffer a lot with doryphores (Colorado Beetle). For the last few years I have grown my potatoes in straw which does seem to have reduced the number of beetles I've had to put up with. 1) A week or so before planting time (or, if you want to try and conserve water do this in winter), break open a few bales of straw and lay the wedges - tightly together - over your spud patch. 2) Soak for several days until saturated. (if doing over winter then forget this stage. The rain will do it for you) 3) Lay seed spuds over the soaked wedges and cover with loose straw. As the spuds grow just "earth up" with more loose straw 4) From time to time check the bottom is still damp. Water if required. I find that I rarely have to water 5)To harvest, or if you want just a few New Spuds, lift the loose straw and take what is wanted. 6) After all the spuds have been harvested you can either leave the straw in situ and re-use next year, dig it into the ground or move to a manure/compost heap to finish rotting down. Sorry I haven't got any pics. I didn't think of taking any as I've used this method for a few years and I've also broken my camera when I had a fall. Haz

Posted by Hazel Twig 9 years ago

Build PV solar panels from broken solar cells

The sun's energy may be free, but solar panels can be quite expensive.  Still hoping to get off the grid? VIRON has a great Instructable, How to make PV solar panels, teaching how to make your own from broken or surplus solar cells! From the introduction: In essence, this involves ways to connect cells, which may produce more or less than one volt, and not only try to increase power output but also decrease the load, that is, efficiently conserve the energy whether it is meager or significant. For example, even the weakest solar panels can run watches, calculators, radios, charge batteries, and if a computer were specifically designed to, it would be as solar-powerable as a calculator. Check out the Instructable for info on finding and foraging usable solar cells, instructions on preparing different types of broken cells, tips for getting more power out of your panel, and instructions for wiring the whole thing up to power your devices. Inspired? Planning to try piecing your own solar panels?  Already off the grid, and planning something even better?  If you do, be sure to post an Instructable so the rest of us can learn something new. This post has been sponsored by Pepsi. The Pepsi Refresh Project celebrates the people, businesses, and non-profits with ideas that will have a positive effect on our world.

Posted by canida 8 years ago

Best way to mount video game controllers to a shelf?

I don't know if this is the right place. The forum structure is confusing. Anyways, I'm building a shelf (well, it's a bit more than just a shelf) to hold all of my video game consoles. I'm planning to make an instructable for the shelf as well, but I've hit a roadblock. I want to mount all of my controllers to the shelves in front of their respective consoles. The shelves themselves are 5/8 inches thick, so I may have to be a bit conservative with drilling and the like. Anyways, the hooks have to be different for each console, since the controllers are all different shapes and sizes. Also, I want it to cost effective. I'm not planning on spending $45 just to mount controllers to a shelf. I was thinking of using some sort of wire that isn't malleable enough to bend under the weight. I could form them to the shape I need and it'd probably work pretty well. I just need some way of mounting them. I could maybe drill holes of the same size and put the wire in there, but who knows what that would do to the shelf integrity. Basically, I'm either asking for some ideas for mounting the wires to the shelf, or other ways of mounting the controllers themselves to the shelf. Any and all help is welcome. I apologize if this is in the wrong forum.

Posted by Littlegator 9 years ago

Excessive Conservation Wearing Out [noun]...

So... While brushing my teeth - I first rinse my brush, turn the faucet on, brush, then rinse the sink/mouth. Yes, I turn the faucet off while brushing. And if you're counting - that's two on/off cycles per brushing...I've been playing with this tool: I pose an open question for discussion.. But first, my data/research...I'm estimating 3 minutes of use per day - 365 days/year. According to the tool... I use 2190 gallons per year. Lets say that's 5 uses per day (2 for teeth - 1 for bathroom use). The tool seems to estimate an 8.4 year service life - so that's a total of 18396 gallons of water over it's life as a faucet.So If I leave the water on while brushing - that's 3 on/off cycles per day.butIf I turn the water off while brushing - That's 5 on/off cycles per day (40% more cycles).Realistically, a faucet's wear comes from on/off cycles - each use bringing it closer to retirement. So 40% of 8.4 years is 3.4 years.Now... Leaving the faucet on an extra 4 minutes per day (2 minutes per brushing) consumes 2920 gallons of water per year.The difference over 8.4 years is: 30660-18396=12264 gallons. At about $4 per 1000 gallons - that difference is $49.06. BUT, the direct replacement for my faucet (as priced today in home depot to the exact model) is $75. So after 8.4 yearsFaucet remaining on will cost me:$49.06 + $75 = $124.06Faucet being turned off will cost me:$75 + $30(prorated cost of faucet for 3.4 years of wear on a new faucet) = $105Differences:$19.0612,264 gallons of waterThat is to say - due to extra wear on my faucet - it's only marginally more economical to turn my faucet off while brushing my teeth. If I wasn't me, and not able to DIY replace - it very well may be cost effective to leave it on given the cost of a hiring a handy man or plumber...Okay... Now that you've read the above... please discuss your thoughts. I am very much aware of the assumptions I have made (no need to point them out) - just looking for opinions :)UpdateLets turn this discussion on it's head now... As several have pointed out, conserving is more important - bonus as it's close to an economical wash in my fictitious scenario above (it's not 100% real and based on data from the link above and some hefty assumptions).My car uses .3 gallons of gasoline per hour at idle. Lets take a 100% city drive in heavy traffic (my drive yesterday). I was at a complete stop due to traffic lights or traffic for 20 seconds or more a total of 12 times to travel ~10 miles (yes, I freakin timed it). So that's a total of 4 minutes (wow, that worked out nice) of idle time. That time consumes 0.02 gallons of fuel costing me $0.06. If I were to make that commute 5 days a week, twice daily - that's a cost of:10.4 gallons of gasoline$31.2 worth of fuelSo, a new starter for my car costs $130. Typically the motors don't actually die - just the contacts. But lets assume I don't want to fiddle with that and just want to direct replace (corollary to valve washers :D).This means - using my starter an additional 24 times per day - it will take 4.2 years for the fuel savings to pay for a new starter. In 4.2 years - averaging 12,000 miles per year - I will have traveled 50400 miles.Okay - now lets consider the cost of fuel to restart - 24 times.... According to mechanical engineering magazine, a V6 engine used 5 seconds worth of idling gasoline to restart. So - redoing some math to compensate - that's a savings of7.8 gallons of gasoline per year$23.4 per yearTime to recoup 1 starter: 5.6 years (equating to 66000 miles)So, I'm having some problems finding data on starter life cycle - all I have is anecdotal evidence... *My personal car has 115K miles and is ~8 years old - and I've been doing this since I bought the car >2 years ago. *My last car was sold at 98K miles and this was done for a little less than 2 years (the car was 8/9 years old when sold).*My first car had unknown mileage (estimated around 150K), was 10 years old and the engine was killed at stoplights.*My parents own a conversion van (seldom used now) that is 12 years old, 120K miles - did not shut the engine (v8) down at traffic lights.None of the cars above have had their starter go.*Father had a truck that had it's starter replaced around 220K miles - unknown age. That car left us with a blown connecting rod around 300K milesBatteries... Yes, this does put more strain on your battery... I'll go more into that when I can find some better data (more than anecdotal :p)...But, that's to say... It's economically viable to turn off your engine at traffic lights... So much so, it's illegal to idle (over a certain period of time) at traffic lights in some countries...

Posted by trebuchet03 10 years ago

Top 5 new Instructables

Another week has ended and we tallied up the numbers to see what were the most popular new Instructables. This top 5 list covers the Instructables that were published within the last week that had the most pageviews.Leading the list is our intern, drinkmorecoffee, who finished his time here with his 6-cent throwie Instructable. The rest of the Instructables show that laptops, LEDs, and tasty treats get a lot of attention as they should.So check out this top 5 list and come back next week for our next round-up! 6 Cent LED ThrowieMake an LED Throwie for 6 (six) cents - it's the cheapest Throwie ever!LED Throwies are popular contraptions made of a battery, an LED, and a magnet all taped together. This... posted by drinkmorecoffee on May 8, 2009 Laptop Bubble StandEveryone is always making laptop stands that, albeit functional, are rather hideous to look at. This becomes less than ideal when you consider that typically, when the laptop ... posted by randofo on May 12, 2009 {THE LED LIGHTBULB}With energy at shortage, we strive to conserve. Although we attempt to buy the greenest electronics and turn them off as much as we can, we still find ourselves with those en... posted by aandre on May 10, 2009 Pie in a JarTiny pies.Made in jars.Frozen to create individual freshly baked pies when you want them.What could be more adorable? posted by scoochmaroo on May 11, 2009 Building a real woodworker's workbenchThere are a number of instructables on building "workbenches" of various degrees of cost and sophistication, but most of them are really just tables. They'd work fi... posted by jdege on May 11, 2009

Posted by fungus amungus 9 years ago

Have we see the event horizon of the Galactic black hole?

A preprint submitted to the Astrophysical Journal (Ap.J.) last week makes a compelling case for conclusive observational evidence for an event horizon at the compact object Sagittarius A* (Sgr A*) at the center of the Milky Way galaxy. Recent observations with mm radio waves have determined Sgr A*'s mass , distance and diameter (Nature 455, p.78), which make it "very likely" to be a black hole, unless there is some sort of exotic physics leading to a compact, but still extended and visible, object at that location.This new paper uses very general arguments from energy conservation and radiative efficiency to demonstrate that it is "impossible" for the object at Sgr A* to have a visible surface onto which accreting material collects and radiates. While the authors go through calculations in standard General Relativity for demonstration, their results hold much more broadly than that, covering any gravity theory which includes stationary solutions (i.e., horizons).If there is an object with a real surface at Sgr A*, then all the material falling in must either give up it's full potential energy into radiation as it is falling, or we should see a separate, thermal spectrum from the surface of the object itself. The Sgr A* spectrum is extremely non-thermal; any thermal component is less than 0.4% of the total luminosity we see. That is equivalent to saying that the accretion efficiency (how much radiation you get from the falling material) must be at least 99.6%, compared to the actual efficiency estimated at 0.01 to 1% for Sgr A*.On the other hand, a "horizon" by definition is a position in space "below" which photons just can't get out. Material can fall through a horizon with no difficulty, but we will never see it, or any radiation from it, again. Whether there is a black hole or some other exotic object inside the horizon, it is invisible. The accreting material's luminosity may well be "low" (as observed); the rest of its potential energy is "lost" to our observation when it falls through the horizon.

Posted by kelseymh 9 years ago

House passes bill that will let the RIAA take away your home

From BoingBoingI was just alerted that the House of Reps has passed HR 4279, with the lovely name, PRO-IP (Prioritizing Resources and Organization for Intellectual Property Act of 2008). Like the doublespeak PATRIOT Act and Peacekeeper missiles, PRO-IP puts local law enforcement in a position to demand the forfeiture in criminal proceedings of stuff used to violate copyright. Which means that instead of the RIAA simply trying to collect fines, they can also incite local authorities to collect all the computers and related gear that was used to pirate.This isn't a judgment on my part as to whether piracy is good or bad (I think copyright deserves to be protected through reasonable methods), but I am always horrified when civil enforcement morphs into criminal enforcement. Conservatives and liberals should be up in arms alike that local prosecutors and/or police could intervene as they desire in essentially a private affair arranged by the RIAA, and permanently seize thousands or tens of thousands of dollars in private property in addition to any civil penalties.If this bill is passed in its present form by the Senate and signed, that means there's no more pro forma RIAA lawsuit payoffs, because if you wind up settling with the RIAA, you could still lose all your stuff in addition to any fee you paid them.This is particularly irksome in light of the MSN Music shutdown, about which the EFF has written a strong and powerful letter. It is increasingly likely a normal person could have purchased music legally from an online site, burned it to an ordinary audio CD, and in the right set of circumstances be branded a pirate because the original "granting" authority no longer exists to prove that the consumer was a legitimate purchasers.The more the law is constructed to sweep in folks who are absolutely observant of it, the more we need broader protections.PDF Link

Posted by laminterious 10 years ago

Creative Electrician or Consultant Wanted for Short-Term Project (Good money.)

I'm the owner of a 3-story commercial building in New York City. I basically have 2 tenants: One using the ground floor and basement, the other using the 2nd and 3rd floors. I am trying to sub-meter the electrical use of each tenant so they can pay for their own usage (and have an incentive to conserve). For the last several months I have been interviewing licensed electricians. Apparently, though there are two separate fuse boxes (It's an old building.) they each have both upstairs and downstairs circuits mixed up in them. This, I have been told, will make sub-metering a more complicated and expensive job than it should be (potentially over 5 figures.) as it will involve rewiring. Now, in my experience, most licensed electricians think Arduino is a kind of pasta. They are not hackers, not creative, and never look for unconventional solutions to solving problems. (I'm not knocking the guys, but this is what joining the rat race for survival does to people--especially in NYC.) It never even occurred to me that there might be an unconventional solution to my problem until I spotted this 'ible. If you: Have the skills to implement an adaption of this set-up, or have a proposal of your own as to how to solve my problem; are close to New York; and would be willing to consult with a licensed electrician and myself, you may very well be able to save me $5k or $6k, 60% of which would go to you if the plan was adopted and worked. (Otherwise I'd still compensate you for your time at a rate we both agree in advance to be fair.) Anyone interested please PM me.  Thanks. PS I don't think of myself as a businessman or landlord. I inherited the building, would sell it in a heartbeat if my brother (who I co-own it with) let me, and I'd rather be writing and making stuff out things I find dumpster-diving than collecting rent checks. But since I'm currently stuck in the role, I'm trying to make the building as green as I can.

Posted by joachimboaz 7 years ago

pygmy tarsiers found alive in Indonesia!

Fox news " Mouse-sized primates called pygmy tarsiers, not seen alive in 85 years, have come out of hiding from a mountaintop in a cloud forest in Indonesia. Weighing just 2 ounces (57 grams), they resemble mini-gremlin creatures, as they have big eyes and are covered in dense coats of fur to keep warm in a damp, chilly habitat. Unlike most other primates that sport fingernails, pygmy tarsiers have claws, which scientists say might be an adaptation to grasping onto moss-covered trees. The recent sighting has conservation implications. And researchers said they hope that with new information about where the species lives, the Indonesian government will protect them from the encroaching development occurring in the animals' home range. Hide-n-seek The last sighting of this primate alive was in 1921 when live specimens were collected and processed for a museum collection. Decades went by without another sighting. And scientists thought the pygmy tarsier (Tarsius pumilus) had possibly gone extinct. Then, in 2000, two Indonesian scientists who were trapping rats on Mt. Rore Katimbo in Lore Lindu National Park in Central Sulawesi, Indonesia, reported they had accidentally trapped and killed a pygmy tarsier. So Sharon Gursky-Doyen of Texas A&M University and her grad student Nanda Grow, along with a group of Indonesian locals, went looking for the teacup-sized primates on that same mountaintop. This past summer, the team trapped two males and a female. They placed radio collars on the animals for tracking. Since pygmy tarsiers can turn their heads 180 degrees, this process can be dangerous, as Gursky-Doyen found out. "I have the dubious honor of being the only person in the world to have been bitten by [a pygmy tarsier]," Gursky-Doyen told LiveScience. "My field assistant was holding the tarsier and I was attaching a radio collar around its neck and while I was attaching the radio collar he bit me [on the finger]." The female has since been eaten by a hawk, Gursky-Doyen said.

Posted by astrozombies138 9 years ago

heating coil advice(resistance wire)

Hi, my name is david. im working on a project, for a device that is roughly .25-.5 inches long. im trying to find the right material resistance wire for the application. the components are submerged in coolant to maintain a low temperature. i wish to have a resistance wire of some kind wrapped around the components to heat them to about 90 degrees as quickly as a possibly can, for only a brief time(fractions of a second) i am using a variable power supply to determine my power needs. im hoping to be able to send a quick "signal" through the resistance wire, and use heat as a sort of input/output system. the internal components will melt at temperatures above 100 degrees.  so regulating the temperatures is key.  now obviously since they will be submerged in coolant, the resistance wire will need to heat to higher temperatures in order to heat the other components. ive been doing some research on nichrome and kanthal wire. but from what ive seen so far, it almost heats up to quickly, to higher temperatures than i require. it is hard for me to do the calculations, since i dont know how many watts/amps etc i will be using.  so to recap: temperature required about 90 degrees. (as quickly as possible, "flash heating" to 90degrees would be great) length is .25-.5 inch (the size will actualy be determined by the resistance wire i would prefer it to be as small as possible but i could make the module larger if i have to) variable power supply to determine my power needs(preferably the lowest possible power usage to conserve battery power) any suggestions on an appropriate material would be appreciated. i dont mind testing out different materials. i just dont want to spend thousands of dollars buying a little bit of everything and testing each one out one at a time. >< some experiments have suggesting silver coated nylon, but requires 20watts and a pretty sizable heating time. the heating coil will most likely have direct contact with the components, unless it is required to provide space between the coil and the components to heat it appropriately. i would prefer direct contact though to make the modules as compact as possible. currently the coolant is being pumped continuously through the whole system, but ive been working on plans for a valve to interupt the flow of the coolant during cycles where the coil is activated, if the need arises to keep the coolant from preventing the resistance wire from heating up appropriately. 

Posted by DavidW433 2 years ago

Fuel economy of the world's longest in-service ship

The Emma Maersk is the second longest ship in the world, and the longest currently in service. It's so large, it looks photoshopped into any picture it appears. Driving such a large ship requires a lot of power. From Wikipedia:The Emma Maersk is powered by a Wartsila-Sulzer 14RTFLEX96-C engine, currently the world's largest single diesel unit, weighing 2,300 tons and capable of 109,000 horsepower (82 MW). The ship has several features to protect the environment. This includes recycling the exhaust, mixed with fresh air, back into the engine for reuse. This not only increases efficiency by as much as 12% but also reduces engine emissions. Instead of biocides, used by much of the industry to keep barnacles off of the hull, a special silicone-based paint is used. This increases the ship's efficiency by reducing drag while also protecting the ocean from biocides that may leak. The silicone paint covering the part of the hull below the waterline is credited for lowering the water drag enough to save 1200 tons of fuel per year.We started talking about energy consumption after watching a practice version of Saul's upcoming E-Tech Keynote, Energy Literacy, and Dave Culp of Kiteship and Speed Sailing did a back-of-the-envelope MPG calculation for this ship:A few more facts about Emma Maersk:Running at her rated 80 Mw, her main engines burn 14 tons of residual fuel each hour. Annually, that's 97,400 tons of fuel. Her auxiliaries, delivering their full 30 Mw, burn an additional 6.6 tons/hour, for a total fuel burn of 20.6 tons/hour. Given 290 steaming days/year (80% capacity factor, which is conservative), this yields a total annual usage of 143,400 tons or about $64.5 million in annual fuel costs.Burning 20.6 tons/hour = 6724 gals/hour. At 31 kts/hour, this equals .0046 nautical miles/gallon. At 6076 ft/nautical mile, that's 28 feet/gallon of fuel burned.The 1200 tons saved by her "revolutionary" bottom paint represents a bit less than 1% of this cost, so increases her fuel mileage to 28.2 feet/gallon.Dave concludes:You gotta haul a lot of containers full of $7 tee shirts to make this profitable.28 feet/gallon!Images from and Wikipedia.

Posted by ewilhelm 10 years ago

computer controlled rc car roller coaster

A new idea i recently came up with was to use the ir feature in the wiimote as a gps tracker for line of sight communication... basically, the idea is to build a framework (knex pieces maybe) and then make a track out of something else with lots of turns, ups/downs, a jump or 2, and a stunt track (kind of like a skiing terrain park) on the roof... also an elevator in a corner to take the car up, and finally 2 spiral tracks to also help the car get up easier. i will eventually make a sketchup version of this track and post it, right now its just on paper but still, the layout idea is almost done.the idea is to mount an led throwie thingy using an ir led an a locking push switch (push on, push off to conserve battery life) on the top of an rc car such as a mini cooper (pic 1). i will mount the wiimote at an angle on the top in a way so that the whole track is visible (or as much as possible).heres the idea: the car remote should be hooked up to the computer, and there is a way to do that if u google it an/or look at thisthe wiimote will track the car using the ir, and the computer will then steer the car accordingly. Advantages to that are : 1. the car can start anywhere on the track; 2. there is no need for borders like those "ai" cars which use ir sensors to drive their way around, which i happened to mention in another forum of mine so refer there for pics + description; and 3. it actually tracks the car's location, instead of just avoiding obstacles like those ai cars. this would allow realtime tracking, so it knows to stop the car when it eg. gets to the elevator, ect... now - naturally, this design will have some "blind spots", so there will be laser "tripwires" in those more major areas and have those signals routed through a microcontroller, which will then send out a # respective to the tripped area then routed to the computer, just like an advanced alarm system. for the controller (hooked up to computer), it would be nice to have the whole thing routed through and powered by a single usb port, so instead of integrating a hub, is there a microcontroller that is designed to directly interface with a computer, not just for programming, but for actual realtime commands and stuff like that..?as far as the forum goes, this is just a huge idea now and we each have our areas of expertise... so m asking for ideas about harware, materials, coding, and especially how to directly interface the program to the wiimote...also, comments, questions, and anything else u got is welcome and greatly appreciated.Thanks to all, rak

Posted by raykholo 9 years ago

Wild Boar Hunt

This past weekend, Christy and I went a on wild boar hunt near Red Bluff, CA. We used a local guide called Catch 'Em Outfitters, and had one of the best weekend-vacations in a long time. In the end, we came home with over 100 lbs of wild pig meat. Christy had a blast gutting and field dressing all the animals -- surprising the guides -- and we've spent the past few days processing the meat ourselves making hams, chops, and sausage. There will definitely be a few new wild boar recipes, but probably no how to hunt or how to field dress a pig Instructables, unfortunately. Since most of our friends have read Michael Pollan's The Omnivore's Dilemma and paid special attention to his description of a boar hunt, they have already started begging for meat. So far, I've made wild boar maple sausage, which, despite my feeling that it was a little too one-note with just maple syrup, still received a review of "I was not ready for how good that was going taste."There are more pictures of the hunt on my flickr collection of the weekend, but be aware that they show the full process of converting an animal to meat on the table. What follows below is my Yelp review of the hunting guide, and the experience in general:Catch 'Em Outfitters is a hunting guide service, and because of the extraordinary work of its owner, Jasen Mead, I brought home over 100 pounds of wild pig meat.I chose Catch 'Em because of Jasen's excitement to take a novice hunter out, and his willingness to let me use his rifles. I've hunted birds before, but for my first wild boar hunt, it was important for me to go with someone who was interested in teaching. Additionally, he encouraged my wife to come along as a non-hunter, and she ended up gutting the animals. He offered my choice of spot and stalk hunting -- where one tries to locate hogs with binoculars and local knowledge of where they might be feeding and bedding down -- or fair chase -- using well-trained dogs to find, flush out, and potentially hold down pigs. During my hunt, I had opportunities to fire at large boars using both methods.Catch 'Em offered as many as two morning hunts and one evening hunt for me to get a pig. As a novice, it took me all three times, but Jasen and his assistant, Ron Stone (who is also a fishing guide) never lost enthusiasm, and I'm pretty sure they stayed out longer and worked harder because they were so determined for me to have a successful first hunt. However, they were very clear in their understanding of the law, and had a firm set of ethics around hunting and conservation in general, so I felt comfortable that we were always doing the right thing from a variety of different perspectives. Bear hunting is Jasen's primary guiding business, and apparently his favorite type of hunt, but you'd never know it by the way he threw himself into my pig hunt. It's clear he just loves hunting, and teaching new people.Obviously, much of the preparation for a hunt like this falls on you: taking the hunters safety class, learning to handle firearms safely and accurately, getting all your documents in order (I bought two pig tags, and was glad I did because I used them both), and being prepared to run full-speed through ankle-deep mud in head-high tule marshes. Finding a good hunting guide is definitely chief among those set of preparations, and Catch 'Em totally delivered for me.

Posted by ewilhelm 9 years ago

Create awareness of a particular diet choice...

What would make the world a better place...depends how you define world, and your benchmark for what distinguishes better place.  This contest suggests things that would improve home, neighborhood, society, and planet.  I have an idea that would improve all of the above! Health: Personal back story:  Growing up I drank a lot of pop.  It was not uncommon to polish of a 12 pack of soda in a day or two, and this would happen regularly.  For the last fifteen years I've consumed at least 2-4 liters of cola per week, if you average it out (probably closer to ten).  Thats a conservative 2000 litres of cola.  At ~120 grams of sugar per Liter, that works out to a whopping 240 KILOGRAMS of sugar.  Now, were my parents terrible?  I don't think so - the knowledge wasnt out there that us kids were being fed a high sugar highly addictive substance that really messed with our bodies.   I can personally account that I had a terrible sleep schedule growing up, and I can directly attribute it to sugar/caffeine.  Unlike many friends I know I managed to stay skinny and somewhat 'in shape' through hyperactivity.  The artificial insomnia destroyed my school scores - as I spent a lot of time very tired in class, not paying attention - and was even suggested to go on medications to 'fix' how 'weird' I acted.  Most all of my child teeth and adult teeth are full of fillings where I had cavities - and I can't have cold food touch my teeth because I have almost no enamel left.  Consider now the direct economic cost of this:  At an average of a dollar per liter - multiply by the number of 'addicted' heavy user kids out there, and you have yourself a staggering amount.  I'm not alone.  I know lots of friends with similar stories - some less fortunate with serious health problems like diabetes and bariatric problems.  Economy: The high fructose corn syrup industry has halfway destroyed the cane sugar market in many third world countries.  Soda machines all over, often in schools, rape the pocketbooks of young persons for a product they don't need.  Pretend for a moment you are a drug dealer gang boss.  Now imagine you can put a legal salesman in most every school, "free".  I don't need to explain the rest of the story. Society:  Soft drinks are not 'evil' - they are an enjoyable vice that when taken in reasonable quantity aren't that harmful.  Therein lies the problem - they are marketed as the be-all and end-all to be happy, thirst quenched, and popular.  Couple this with the fact that they contain high levels of two of the most addictive legal substances out there:  Caffeine and glucose.  Our nervous systems don't stand a chance. Environment:  Frankly you'd be surprised how much carbon dioxide comes from the soda industry - that fizz goes somewhere after you *kssshk* open the can.  High fructose corn syrup is bad not just for your body but for the environment.  Some areas are very good at recycling, but still others are brutally abysmal at their three R's.  Many COUNTRIES in fact don't recycle at all.  That's a LOT of plastic and aluminum ending up in the environment, to be there long after we are gone. My proposal:  What I want to see is awareness campaigns of the health risks of being a heavy user - in conjunction with warning labels similar to what the tobacco industry has on their products.  I want to see their huge profits going into the community (like in this contest - more of it!).  Make companies accountable for their products. photo courtesy

Posted by frollard 8 years ago

The best car ad ever made

A family member sent me this ad that was posted on craigslist, while it was the most explicit ad I've ever seen, I'd prefer this over any normal ad. Enjoy those who feel comfortable reading this. DISCLAIMER:  I bleeped (****) out any explicit words...... Though I could have missed s-something.  And explicit's definition is different between people Side note: If anyone thinks this is a tad (or more than a tad) over the top, PM me or reply saying so. I'll delete it. - - - If you think you'll be offended by this ad... DON'T READ IT.  - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - POS 1994 Honda Civic LX for sale - $600 (Marietta, GA) Date: 2010-07-11, 4:49PM EDT Reply to: [Errors when replying to ads?] That's right, you can own a piece of shi... history right now for only $600. You may wonder why I didn't post a picture and that's because with a car this crappy, a photo is not needed. Just imagine the worst possible car and then picture a camel taking a dump in the trunk and you'll have a close approximation. You don't need to worry about me lying... it really is a POS. There is no risk of you getting over here and finding out it's really a gorgeous gem worth thousands... that doesn't happen...ever. But if for some reason that's actually happened to you, then you are acquainted with a crazy cosmic karma that has never thought to even piss in my face. I almost had a date on PlentyofFish and you know what happened? The f***ing AC died. For two years while I was not dating, it worked fine. The day after I get digits, the AC craps out. The car also has a weird hesitation problem that was not fixed even when I replaced the fuel filter. What could cause all of these things? Satan in the drive train...that's right... it's rare, but it happens to guys like me. This car is actually demon-possessed so you can forget about any sort of easy fix. Jesus said you need faith to cast out demons like this and believe me there are only two people on the planet that have that sort of faith. One guy lives in a cave in India and the other guy is dead. And you can forget about the guy in the cave helping you because, if you can find him, he's just going to tell you how physical setbacks are really spiritual blessings...blah blah blah...yada yada yada. Exactly. Don't expect sympathy from any motherf***er that sits around in his underwear in a cave. Other problems with this car include busted boots on the tie-rod ends, busted wheel hub boots, broken AC, leaking power steering system, ABS light always on, check-engine light comes on occasionally, driver window sometimes comes off the track, paint has permanent dirt in it (yes, it's f***ing can't scrub it out with anything less than sandpaper or some highly explosive chemical that causes cancer in 49 states and erectile dysfunction in the 50th.) The car does drive, but that's about all it's good for. Good luck getting it to pass emissions. I've never tried as it's still registered in Clarke County. If you want to date, this car is probably not for you. On a positive note though, I can assure you no one has ever had sex in it. It would take a miracle to get a girl to even sit in this car, much less take her clothes off in it. Other possible uses for this car included entertainment at frat parties. You could charge people $5 a swing with a baseball bat, although you still probably wouldn't recover your investment. You might be able to sell it to the Mythbusters and get the to test the myth, "Is it possible that a car could really be this s***ty?" Adam Savage and Kari Byron will have a field day and close it off with "Myth f***ing confirmed" and a side comment from Kari about how whatever d*****bag use to own it must have never been laid. There are some positives like a beautiful Lumar 32% tint job, keyless entry with remote trunk release, an Alpine CD Player, and Pioneer speakers in the door. So at worst, you can sit in your driveway and listen to music with a bottle of Jergens and a picture of Eliza Dushku. I really wouldn't recommend taking it on the road until you replace the tie-rod ends. You might crash into a bus full of nuns and then the Pope will reign motherf***ing hail fire down on your betrodden a** with more fury than the inquisition because you actually decided to drive and be seen in such an amazing POS, killing 20 of his lovely Sisters. One other thing you might use this car would be pushing it off a cliff. If you've ever wanted to see what it's like first hand for a car to fall hundreds of feet and smash against rock, then here's your chance. Although don't be surprised if this demon-possessed sleigh from hell manages to f*** up your good time even in that bold scenario. I don't know how it would, but it would probably figure out a way. If there are any parents out there reading this, don't let your children fall into the situation I'm in. I would never have ended up with this car if I had pursued a real career. But instead I majored in math where the best job I can find now is up in Portland with a bunch of bran muffin eating hippies, jerking off Moose for 75 cents a smile for some wildlife conservation sperm bank. Let your kids do something with good with their future, like wait tables at Denny's. Oh yeah... it's white, 4 doors, and automatic. Whooptie-f***in-do!  

Posted by ry25920 8 years ago

Yuri's Night Bay Area 2007 Hosted at NASA* Ames Research Center - SUBMISSIONS DEADLINE EXTENDED TO MARCH 9

Please note that our email server was down this past week so we are extending the deadline for Art Installations until Friday, March 9, 2007. If your submission bounced please resubmit it again by emailing submissions@yurisnightames.netWe will contact all those submitting within a week of the submission deadline.Yuri's Night Bay Area 2007 Sofia Hanger 211, NASA Ames Research Center*, Moffett Field, CAhttp://www.yurisnightames.netFriday, April 13th, 20076:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m. - VIP Event Hosted by Keynote speaker, Anousheh Ansari . The first privately-funded female space explorer!10:00 p.m. to 5:00 a.m. - 3,2,1, Lift Off!, An all-night collective experience toward the Overview Effect. Art Installations and Science and Technology DemonstrationsMusic Line UpPlaid ( Warp Records, UK) Luke Vibert ( Ninja Tune, Warp Records, UK), Telefon Tel Aviv (Hefty Records, USA)Interactive Experiences and Second Life KiosksSponsors List To Be Announced Shortly Affiliate / Collaborating Organizations (Partial List)4c design studios - NASA* - Nexus - Space Generation Advisory Council - Yuri's Night - Zero Gravity Arts Consortium Yuri's Night World Space Parties celebrate humanity's first venture into space (by Russian Cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin). The event connects diverse communities to pay tribute to our shared global heritage in space exploration. Through one long simultaneous celebration Yuri's Night bridges national, cultural, generational and social barriers to ignite excitement about what is new on the horizon in space exploration and to remind us of how much more humanity is capable of. Yuri's Night Bay Area 2007 is just one of many worldwide parties sharing the same mission.How to ApplyPlease submit the following by Friday March 9, 2007:-Artist name, address, phone, email and title of artwork.-Philosophical Statement, as related to the Yuri's Night Bay Area 2007 Theme (See Below)-Documentation of work: image, video, and/or sound files -Space requirements and special needs-Current state of completion-Required crew-Power requirements-Time to set upYuri's Night Bay Area 2007 will be held on Friday, April 13th in the Sofia Hangar 211 and on the adjoining tarmac at NASA Ames Research Center*, with several thousand people attending. The sizeable combined indoor and outdoor space lends itself to large-scale installations. We are looking for art installations, interactive works, science and technology demonstrations, video, sound works, light works, and large scale sculpture. Geodesic domes will be installed on the tarmac to showcase smaller and more intimate works. Other activities at the event will include:- Music from world-renown international talent (coming from the UK and beyond) and video artists.- A sundown keynote speech by Anousheh Ansari, the first female private space tourist (recently returning from a 10 day stay on the International Space Station) and the woman who is largely responsible for making the Ansari X PRIZE project possible- An environmental "greening of space" sub-theme, manifested through the use of environmentally friendly biodiesel and vegetable oil-fueled power, compostable plates and utensils, and tree planting in the name of our guests to balance out carbon emissions.Please give special consideration to the following:Yuri's Night Bay Area 2007 is a celebration of humanity with a focus on space and technology, art and performance while honoring the historical nature of the space and the spirit of the people who once worked in and still inhabit the AMES Sofia Hanger 211, in which our event is hosted. Within the context of NASA AMES Research Center* we feel our contemporary relationship to space and sense the incredible possibilities for the future of human and robotic space exploration.Simultaneously, this place exudes a feeling of another time, a time of science fiction fantasy and early space exploration and its potential for fulfillment, some ideas made real, some not: rocket ships of the past, an International Space Station of the present and airships of the future, flying cars, and time machines, terraforming, robots, and settlements on other planets. We will share an interpretive journey into outer space starting with the arrival of 'space cadets' at NASA * Ames's Yuri's Night Spaceport who, after a communal 3-2-1countdown to LIFTOFF! will jettison into a magical journey through time and space, as we discover new communities, interactive art installations, science and technology demonstrations, performances and space art interwoven with simultaneous influences from the past, present and future educating us to new possibilities socially, ecologically and technologically. We will reach the zenith of our journey as we sense 'The Overview Effect', an unexpected gift given to many astronauts who travel into space when they gain a new profound insight and understanding of our planet Earth, when confronted with the presence of our world as seen from the distance of space. The results of this experience can reinforce personal sensitivity to environmental conservation and the greening of space and 'The Overview Effect' has the capacity to transform all patterns of human existence and evolution toward greater potentials in human diversity and creativity. With all 'space cadets' having experienced changed perceptions of space, time, sound, and weight all we will have the potential to transform the evolution of humanity as they experience a new dawn on planet Earth.In creating Yuri's Night together, we create a new narrative, a new science fiction for the future and given the spirit of Yuri's Night, our night, our dance is a dance of inspiration, joy and celebration!Special notices:Unfortunately, despite our desire to do so, we cannot accomodate traditional media in the form of paintings, drawings, or prints. No fire, explosives, or works that are potentially damaging to property or persons.Send application or questions to:submissions@yurisnightames.netMore information about Yuri's Night Bay Area 2007: http://www.yurisnightames.netGeneral information about Yuri's Night:*References to NASA Ames shall not be construed as official NASA approval or endorsement of any non-Governmental or commercial entity or activity pending final legal approvals.

Posted by lannanh 11 years ago

How to ride DH safely

1. Always wear a helmet, wear body armor as well when needed (how much depends on course, and what you find to be suitable) at all times. 2. Look ahead of you. The faster you are going the further ahead you should look. 3. Stay focused and try not to concentrate or think while you are going at high speed, this tends to slow you down and/or cause accidents...practice alot and everything should come naturally with flow! - Before a run get a song or something that gets you "in the mood" in the back of your mind,and go for it - before you know it you'll be through the track/race no should all ready know the track turn for turn before doing this. 4. Make sure your tires have appropriate tread on them and are not cracking/damaged 5. Check your bike over in the parking lot before going up the lift. Ride it around and check the brakes and tire pressures. 6. Get enough sleep before riding and especially before racing. 7. Don't drink or get high before racing or riding (you can do it, and seen it done, but if you want to win or want to be safe...don't) 8. Stay relaxed and dialed in on the bike, be as relaxed as possible mentally before you start a race but be pumped physically at the same time. 9. Know the track as well as you can before racing it (the later steps will go into greater detail on how to do this). 10.Learn to 'pump through the ruff stuff'-pull up on the face and push down on the back side of bumps/rocks/landing trannys, etc... 11. Stay light on the back brake as much as you can and try to lock it as rarely as possible if at may cause you to wash out. Only lock the brake on extremely sharp turns or to get into a turn if a cuttie won't be efficient enuff. 12. Try to go as fast as you can when you can-->PEDAL PEDAL PEDAL like a bat out of hell in the open or out of turns when/where ever you can. 13. Practice "cutties". 14. Buy the "Fundamentals" DVD available here on or at most bike shops and study it...take notes if you have to. You will find how to do "cutties" on the DVD as well as many many more "fundamentals" for DH riding-----> BUY IT, you will be glad you did. 15.Off camber: make sure you weight your outside foot and stand the bike on the egde of the tire, that way it will stick 16. Rock gardens: the faster the better- you will bobble across the top and be on you way before you know it, rather than getting packed down and ending up with major arm pump. 17. Braking: only ever do real braking in straight lines, you can brake on corners but do it conservatively and only to slide around sharp turns better as it may cause you to wash out as mentioned above. The less you brake the faster you go and fast riding is a winning formula- think about that. 18. >>>Don't Crash It can have you out for the rest of the season and that can prevent you from winning races----obviously. Just dont ride like an idiot and attempt things that will probably end in you getting hurt. Ride within your limits! 19. (Words of Pro Down hiller Steve Peat from the "fundamentals" DVD mentioned above) "Stay as light as you can on the bike and pump through the back side of rocks or rough sections as a skateboarder pumps a vert ramp" to gain or maintain speed and momentum. 20. Trust your tires throughout the course. If you believe and have faith in your tires grip, chances are they will have grip fine. If you don't trust your tires and BELEIVE that they wont grip and you will probably fall, chances are they won't grip and as a result you will indeed fall. 21. Walk the track and look for new lines or which lines are best to take and are the fastest 22. Tuck when ever possible to conserve energy. Pedal hard in the open spots before the ruff stuff then tuck and pump and repeat. 23. True your wheels to increase your speed and pedalling efficiency 24. Don't use big fat mud bog tiresfor DH(i.e. 2.6"-3.0") EVER...unless your DH course happens to be a downhill mud swamp 25. Learn to brake with out losing traction , this helps in straight line braking before turns. 26.Push yourself in the warmups, (not stupidly) and give 95% of what your maximum was when you were pushing yourself, in the actual race. This way you wont fall, but you are still hauling a$$. 27.Practice shift points, it is very important to be in the right gear at the right time or youll be sucking wind trying to pedal a flat stretch in too high of a gear. On a fast stretch where you need to begin pedaling to maintain that speed, youll be spinning out. Know what gear to start in and what gear you need to be in at every point in the track. 28. If all else fails look fast across the finish line where everyones watching. 29.When learning, set your fork/and or shock harder than you would normally, this will teach you to use to body rather than relying upon the bike. 30. Try to pick memory markers for your self; tree stump, odd looking rock, etc... and break the course down in your head so you can become very quick overall. 31. Practice simple skills such as manuals (good for roots), Hops, roots/rocks) and of course cutties 32. Commit to berms, brake on a berm and it will end it tears, aim to "rail the berm" to do this - hit the berm at a speed that isnt too fast (this will cause you to slip up it) and not to slow (you will slip down and is slower duh) The ideal speed should carry you round as g forces will push you into the berm. 34.Take a couple of the "Learn to race" clinics offered before many of the sanctioned races. 35.Play with your set up, everything from seat angle, to brake postioning- it can all make a big difference. The more comfortable you are on the bike the faster youll go, the steepness can be different for each course(for instance) so tweak it a little each time but dont EVER change your entire setup before a race. 36.When walking the course, look back up at it. You will find new lines looking up rather then down. 37. While riding (including in the air) never squeeze the seat with your knees. This makes it impossible to flow smoothly, and makes you a ridged weight to be tossed around at the mercy of the trail. It may feel safer, but it will cause you to wreck and lose speed when you would not otherwise. In the air also, it you pinch your seat then you can not compress the lip and extend for landing. Also you can not whip and prepare for upcoming turns and bumps. The ONLY time that pinching your seat would be appropriate is when doing a suicide no hander which, if you can do it without loosing speed, is a cool way to entertain the crowd. 38.Learn to crash,it is an important skill to have that will save you alot of trouble in the long run. 39. Work your way up to the big stuff. Even if you are a good rider always warm up on an easier trail then go for the harder stuff you set out to conquer. Same for riding in general- dont go tackle the hardest trail on the mountain without first being able to do the easy ones---this may sound somewhat obvious but alot of people just cant get this bit of logic into their skulls without being told directly. 40. If the drop doesn't have a great tranny, hit it with more speed. this will cause you to have increased foreward momentum and less downward ( static ) momentum and make the landing smoother. let your bike go off the drop first. 41. If you are in the air ( off a jump drop or whatever... ) and your back end starts to dip too much, tap your back brake, this will cause the front end to dip forward. ( this is used all the time in Motocross) WARNING: Use this with caution and only when its a neccesity. 42. XC riding will make you faster. I always love watching the out of shape downhillers crossing the finish line and nearly having a hear attack. The more tired you are the more mistakes you make and the more likely you are to get hurt. Pedal! Then pedal more! 43. Train like a mofo. During my DH racing times I would spend the summer mornings doing 5-8 runs on local dh trails then dirt jumping and XC riding in the afternoon= Legs that were strong/fast as hell. Dont forget to train in the off season too. 44. Develop a training schedule not just for biking and racing but to keep in shape in general. The more you ride the better you will be. Like Ito was saying, do as much of each mountain biking discipline as possible with emphasis on Down hill. Cedric Gracia wins because he is a great all around rider as is Minaar. 45.Commit to the front end of your bike in corners. Watch Sam Hill, no-one does it better. NOTE: BEFORE DOING THIS, make sure you have practiced it and know how to do this technique at speed (Note is courtesy of Iceboy) 46. Don't pedal like a mad man out of the gate. Pedal, but let your bike gather speed and focus on keeping it. Racing comes down to one thing - exit speed , in particular your speed out of corners. Wait until you feel the flow before you start pushing it harder. If you pedal too hard from the start you'll flip in 60 seconds and get back on your bike a go harder to make up the time. Then you'll flip again. Speaking from experience on this one! It's all about being 'zen'. At least that's what all the dudes who keep beating me are telling me. Learn how to go as fast as you can through turns and sections to know your limits. 47. Make your riding FEEL slow when you are going fast! If you feel fast it's because the trail is catching up with you too quickly for you to process all the info in a comfortable time frame. Probably because you are too busy worrying about going fast and not feeling the flow. Look out, you are about to flip. It's that zen thing you're missing. 48. Practice having FLOW in all your riding, down hill (speed as well as flow), Dirt jumps (flow), XC(speed and flow), what ever (FLOW)... 49.Dont be intimidated by other riders, stay focused on what you have to do not what they are doing, if they crash pay atention to why, and try not to make the same mistake. 50. Learn to go over jumps at as high a speed as possible with out overshooting or losing speed by going too high. Jumps and learning to land them without thinking is a VERY beneficial skill to have... (if you want to stay low coming of jumps learn to soak up the will go just as far but you'll stay lower) 51. When doing a j-hop, bunny hop or going up the face of a jump don't forget to push into the ground and then come up to get more air. 53. The rougher the place you are riding the more ralaxed and flowy you should be trying to go . 54. Spend time at the track and just watch other riders(especially how they are going through the tricky sections that you are having trouble with), see what they are doing wrong and try to not make the same mistakes, also watch for where the speed spots of the section are. 55.Read Brian Lopes's & Lee McCormick's book " Mastering Mountain Biking Skills", this book covers everything you need to know in great detail from top to bottom, it is with out a doubt the most comprehensive guide for how to ride/race mountain bikes and how to handle and practice everything involved in riding. I HIGHLY RECCOMEND IT, and would say that it is the BIBLE for Mountain Biking! 56.Look where you want to go not at what you are trying to avoid. if you stare at the tree you are trying to go around instead of the trail around it you will more often than not hit the tree. 57. As mentioned previously-The faster you are going the further ahead you should look, always look at what lies further ahead when riding downhill AND avoid staring at your front wheel--staring at your front wheel will slow you down drastically and often will lead to crashing. 58.To re-inerate what Harding.Thomas was saying; do not focus on obstacles like stumps logs and rocks, because thats were you will go instead of where you want to go. In essence, keep an eye on where you want to go and you will go there. Do not look down at what your riding over, let your bike deal with the terrain, thats what its for. This is a very important tip to increasing speed and improving flow. 59. Before you go riding, I find that a simple 10 minute warm up on flat land and practicing tight turns and j-hops helps loosen you up and calms you down If you have any other tips, tell me! ill post them in the list.

Posted by struckbyanarrow 7 years ago

How much Mercury is in Compact Fluorescent (CFL) bulbs, watch batteries, and coal-fired power plants?

In Brennn10's Compact Fluorescent Instructable there was a short discussion about the amount of mercury contained in CFL bulbs. The same topic came up in a mailing list I read, and there was some interesting analysis worth sharing.Statement:The Stranger (the Seattle weekly) has a column called "Dear Science" where the typically quite intelligent author argued that CFL bulbs weren't all that "better" for the environment because inevitable improper disposal put more mercury-n-shit into the environment. So unless you got all your power from a mercury spewing coal plant, you shouldn't use CFL's . And Seattle, getting a majority of it's power from hydro, shouldn't use CFL's.This was called into question for being selective analysis that encourages an attitude of "there's not currently a solution, so keep doing what you're doing", and elicited the following response:Just so I can bore everyone with what I think is the current level of knowledge about mercury and CFLs, here's some of the current information.NRCan did a study on how much mercury is actually in CFLs, and compares them to other typical consumer sources (e.g., watch batteries--if you throw one of them out, you've throw out five times as much mercury as in a CFL): reading this, I actually worked out these numbers for myself on how CFL savings compare to mercury releases a few months ago. Of course, this is all more environmental destruction brand X vs. brand Y discussion that was being talking about.I was curious about what the numbers work out to, so I went to dig for some data; this is what I came up with.In 1999, about 1.75 trillion kWh were generated by coalEnergy Information Administration Annual Energy Review 1999, Figure 26In 1999, 47.8 tons/year of mercury emissions came out of coal-fired power plants.Source: U.S. EPA, Office of Air Quality Planning and Standards.1999 National Emissions Inventory for Hazardous Air Pollutants. calcs out to a figure of 0.025 mg mercury per kWhAssuming 5 mg mercury per CFL, the equivalence point is about 200 kWh--a CFL would need to save 200 kWh before getting tossed in the trash. A quick calculation shows that this is about how much a CFL saves in half a year, if it were run 24-7: 75 W for an incandescent; 25 W for an equivalent CFL = 657 vs. 219 kWh/year, or 438 kWh/year difference.Of course, this assumes that the coal mercury emission rate is the same as it was in 1999; I'm not sure if measures have been taken since then to reduce mercury emissions. Also, this is assuming that 100% of the power saved by the CFL would be generated by coal-fired power plants. But even with that assumption, coal is such a large fraction of the power generation (typically about half)--it would jump from six months to a year, instead. Of course, this period gets longer assuming a realistic duty cycle, but still, those numbers all seem to pencil in below typical installed lifetimes of CFLs.Finally, there's a article from Home Energy magazine (behind a subscriber link), where somebody did a similar calculation with more current numbers, I think.;_title=Understanding_CFLsHome Energy MagazineNovember/December 2007Understanding CFLsby Richard Benware"Although the use of CFLs is steadily spreading, public understanding about how to dispose of them responsibly has not kept pace."Life Cycle BenefitsIn order to disprove the myths about CFLs, let's begin at the beginning. When CFLs are created, manufacturers dose the bulb with a small amount of mercury. This mercury, when electrically stimulated, releases UV light, which subsequently reacts with a phosphor coating to create visible light. Thus mercury is an essential part of every CFL; without it, the bulbs would not produce light. The typical dose of mercury is about the size of a pen tip, and these doses have been getting smaller and smaller. One reason for this is that the laws resulting from the Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) Directive have made it illegal for CFLs in Europe to contain more than 5 milligrams (mg) of mercury.In the United States, there are no such laws limiting the amount of mercury in lightbulbs as yet, but members of the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) have voluntarily agreed to limit the amount of mercury in the CFLs that they produce to 5 mg for bulbs of up to 25 watts and 6 mg for bulbs of 25 to 40 watts. The average CFL on store shelves today contains about 4 mg of mercury, and nearly all the CFLs in production contain less than 5 mg. The mercury used in all the CFLs produced in the United States represents 0.18% of the mercury used in all U.S. products andindustrial processes.CFLs do not release mercury as long as they are intact. In fact, they reduce net mercury emissions in the environment by conserving energy. For every kWh of electricity used by consumers, the average power plant emits over 1.5 lb of pollutants. If a 75W incandescent is replaced by an 18W CFL, the CFL will use 456 kWh less energy than the incandescent over its 8,000 hour lifetime. The Emissions and Generation Resource Integrated Database (eGRID) contains data on the emissions of the average power plant. Using eGRID's information to calculate the average emissions per kWh, we find that this single CFL has prevented the release of 2.72 lb of sulfur dioxide, 1.05 lb of nitrogen oxide, 5.67 mg of mercury, and over 700 lb of CO2.It is important to note that these are the reductions from the average U.S. power plant. The eGRID data show that, on average, nonbaseload emissions tend to be dirtier. And in addition to reducing emissions, CFLs save money for the consumer. The Energy Information Administration (EIA) gives a 2006 average residential electricity cost of $.1008/kWh. Using the example given above, and basing our calculation on this figure, we find that a consumer would save about $46 on energy over the lifetime of the CFL.When these bulbs finally do reach the end of their useful life, there are several pathways they can take. In the best-case scenario, the bulbs are recycled. Recycling rates are increasing, thanks to state regulations -- California and Minnesota have banned altogether throwing CFLs in the trash -- and improved consumer awareness. In 1999, it was estimated that only 15% of all fluorescent lightbulbs were recycled. Currently, that number has increased to around 25%, with higher levels in commercial applications. Since an average of 98.9% of the mercury is successfully recovered in the recycling process, this pathway generates minimal emissions.Even the CFLs that are discarded in the trash are unlikely to release much of their mercury. Although most of them break under current trash disposal methods, some remain unbroken, and will not release any mercury. But those that do break are not likely to release much mercury. EPA estimates that only 0.2% of the remaining mercury in a spent bulb is elemental vapor. The rest of the mercury is in the glass, the phosphor coating, and the electrodes of the bulb. Mercury absorbed in these areas is not readily released. In fact, an EPA study found that only 6.8% of the total mercury in a broken bulb will be released. Since the average bulb on the market today contains only 4 mg of mercury, it will release only about 0.27 mg, even if it breaks when it is thrown in the trash.The only disposal option that could lead to the release of any significant amount of mercury is incineration. Today, many incinerators have advanced mercury control technologies. CFLs disposed of in such incinerators would release up to 90% of their mercury, but those emissions would then be removed by these technologies. Incinerators without these technologies are not capable of removing the mercury. But even after accounting for all of the emissions that occur via all of the routes listed above, CFLs represent a mere 0.01% of total U.S. mercury emissions annually.It is important to note that even if CFLs released all of their mercury, the environment would still be better off than it would be if nobody used CFLs. This is true because the average power plant releases 5.67 mg of mercury to power each 75W incandescent bulb. In short, replacing incandescents with CFLs is a great way to save energy, reduce mercury emissions, and save money (see "Discounting CFLs").

Posted by ewilhelm 10 years ago