I have a question about a anarobic digester construction. Answered

While working on a current project with a homemade anarobic digester i have come to a question. When turning on the gas valve tosupply the burner with Methane thathas been collected what type of device shoudl i use to keep the fire from traveling up the gas line making a kind of bomb? Or should i not be concerned with this happening? Second is there a way to store the methane under pressure ? If i install a large metal container  such as a  55 gallon drum   above  the  digester   how  can i  compress the gas ?

Asked by andy1917 7 years ago


I need help with my digester project ? Answered

Hello i   have   attached  a  drawing  of  a project  i   am   thinking about  , but   like ususla have some  questions i  need  help with. 1.  you  see on the drawing   i  have  included   a   storage tank.  Do you think  it will work    laid out like this? 2. How  can i    compress the  methane   enough to runa    smal  generator? 3.What would  be   the size  of  teh    safety  gas  valve   i should  purchase. I have no idea of  how   much pressure  a  smll  8 to 12 hp  generator takes to   run . Any help anyone  can  give  woudl be  greatly appreciated. thanks, andy

Asked by andy1917 7 years ago


Not receiving email digests anymore

Up until January I was receiving twice weekly digests of featured instructables delivered to my inbox. I'm not getting them anymore and can't find out how to reinstate that. They were the high points of my week. Any ideas how that can happen again?

Posted by mjursic 4 years ago


What Digestive Enzymes do Dogs Have?

I know that dogs and/or wolves have different and/or fewer digestive enzymes in their systems than humans.  I also know that they have no enzymes in their saliva and therefore no need for chewing.  What I want to know is what enzymes they do have.  I want to know what things they can get nutrients from.  Wolves in the wild eat the stomach contents of their prey, but do they absorb nutrients from it? Also is it their prey's enzymes that let them digest the stomach contents, or their own?

Asked by tincanz 6 years ago





Anybody know how to make a plastic digester?

About a year or so, I remember hearing about a kid who used certain bacteria to break down plastics at a very rapid pace. Does anybody know any specifics as to what bacteria or setup this kid used?

Asked by FailHorse 8 years ago


Can anyone come up with a methane digester and a way to run a house on the gas? Answered

I saw a program on TV about the use of methane gas in rural Chinese homes. They had a digester under the floor of the pig pen which was attached to the house ? The pen was cleaned each day and the waste was washed down a drain which was the waste holder for the digester. The whole house was heated by methane gas and all the lighting and cooking as well. It sure looked like a good idea for someone off-grid . The way fuel prices are going, it my be a pretty good idea for people who are held hostage by the fuel providers. I am of the opinion that there are a lot of very smart people on this site, so if anyone can think of a way to do this, let's hear from you.

Asked by rookie1 8 years ago




Controlling anaerobic digesters with arduino

Hi I am new on the Arduino scene and I am trying to build eight anaerobic digester tanks to conduct experiments for my thesis in engineering. The setup will look as follows: -Arduino mega -Arduino motor shield R3 -Two motor stirring the digester at different RPMs. Motors will run at 12 V and around 0.5-1 A. -The motor shield will use the wall jack as power supply via an AC-DC adapter. -Biogas volume measuring device (tipping sensor) -Aquaria air pump to supply Hydrogen Sulphite consuming bacteria with oxygen. This will be controlled with a relay and the volume measuring device. -The pump will use the wall jack as power supply -Temperature sensors DS18B20. -Immersion heater controlled by the temperature sensor and a relay. The digester is supposed to be kept at 37°. Everything will be logged but I haven’t decided if I will connect a Ethernet shield or if I should log on a SD card. I think that I can manage to build it but I have some questions (a lot) but will just post some and post more later. The experiments will run for 4-6 months how will the Arduino, shield and relays handle being on for that long? Do I need something with higher quality? (It would suck to burn down the university) Any spontaneous thoughts that I should know or that could help me?

Posted by joche11 3 years ago


Instructables in Inventors Digest - Five Questions with Eric Wilhelm

Here's my five-question interview with Inventors Digest that appeared in the June 2009 issue:Five Questions With ... Eric WilhelmEric Wilhelm founded Instructables.com, "the world's biggest show and tell" Web site where users crowdsource do-it-yourself or DIY projects, from lawnmower race cars to skateboard sails. The site began in 2005 as a way for Wilhelm to document his mechanical engineering work and grad school kite-surfing projects. He's co-founded Squid Labs, an innovation and design partnership, and a number of Squid Labs spin-off companies including Potenco, producing a human-powered generator for cell phones and laptops; Makani, an energy company seeking to harness high-altitude wind; and OptiOpia, developing low-cost portable vision-testing and lens-fabricating devices. Talked innovation with him in this installment of Five Questions With ...More news and press about Instructables here.

Posted by ewilhelm 9 years ago


methane setup?

I once saw a TV show about China. There farmers were using methane to run everything for the house. A pig lived attached to the house and the waste went into some sort of digester. The pen was cleaned each day and waste was pushed down a sealed chute. Any ideas on making such a setup? I really would like to get plans and instructions for a digester and piping .

Asked by rookie1 9 years ago


New popular algorithm, digest comment emails, all step preference, and more!

It was ready Halloween night, but we were too busy partying and trick-or-treating, so this new release had to wait until last night. It's got a bunch of great new things:New popular algorithm with a popular RSS feed. New popular Instructables will be added to the top of the popular list. For the time being, there will be about one or two new ones every day, and you can follow them in your RSS reader. Bear with us for the first few days as we fine tune the algorithm and it starts to catch what's popular now (we loaded it up with a bunch of old popular Instructables so the list wouldn't be empty). Digest emails. Within your email alert settings here you can now choose to get an hourly or daily email digest of all your new comments. We'll send you the full text of any comments and a link so you can respond. All steps preference. Do you prefer viewing a project with all the steps on one page? You can now choose that view as a default. Look for that setting under "Update persona" here.Plus, there are bunch of other small tweaks, fixes, and improvements. Let us know what you think!

Posted by ewilhelm 10 years ago



URGENT QUICKLY!!! it is about my dog.? Answered

My dog just swallowed a big mutton bone that i gave him. the bone is about 7cm by 2cm by 1cm. can his body digest the bone. i am very worried

Asked by ARJOON 7 years ago


Compressing home made biogas

Hi I'm working on a project where we are using an anaerobic digester along with a series of gas scrubbers that yields biogas containing roughly 80% methane (ch4) and 20% oxygen. I know that this proportion of methane is well above the upper explosive limit of methane (about 15% methane by volume) but the presence of that much oxygen makes me nervous.  Am I going to have trouble compressing this gas mixture without blowing a new hole in my head? I am planning on compressing the purified biogas to about 20psi at between 60-80 degrees farenheight and in a respectably blast proof gas container.  please help! (Trying to help our planet!)

Asked by Jdouenias 4 years ago


Using this class in high school?

Hi Randy: Thanks for a great class. I'd like to find a way to incorporate this material into my high school robotics class. The challenge with my students is to get them to read anything longer than a few sentences. Have you thought of any ways to make the class more digestible to that population?

Asked by jacksonperrin 8 months ago


Ideas By Chuck

Hey,  I would like to invite you all to check out my blog - ideasbychuck.com.  I have been doing it for about two years now, and basically what it is is me giving away my ideas.  It has been featured on Gawker.com, in Inventors Digest, and on CNN Headline News.  Thanks,   Chuck

Posted by ideasbychuck 7 years ago


What is the best vegan, gluten-free comfort food for when you feel nauseated and/or under the weather? ?

Something simple to prepare, since lengthy food prep is always the last thing you want to do when feeling yuck. But also delicious and calming to the digestive system. Oh, and vegan and gluten-free, too.

Asked by 9 years ago


Simple designs for DIY home biogas generation? Answered

A friend of mine is working in Sri Lanka at the moment on a biogas project.  Part of the remit is to improve the design of a village-scale rural digester of the "buried concrete tank with a lid" design (as pictured below), by tweaking the operation in terms of feedstock, water:feedstock ratio, temperature and so on. The other task is "to design an efficient and neat anaerobic digester to market to middle class families."  I say "DIY" because making these of simple and widely-available materials is clearly preferable to involving lots of expensive parts. Collectively we seem to have a good deal of expertise on similar subjects- biodiesel, algae growing and so on, so I wondered if anyone knows enough about biogas to be able to comment on whether a simple design (possibly something like the Appleseed biodiesel processor) could be practical.  Any lateral thinking on how to overcome the limitations of small batch processing would also be great.

Asked by PKM 8 years ago




condition yellow group created

Condition yellow offers video tutorials and tips on a variety of life skills, from first aid and fitness training, to hacking everyday objects. There is very much a diy, do-it-on-the-cheap attitude to all the tips and tutorials we offer, as we believe the best things in life come free. The site was born out of a desire to make life-enhancing, practical information easily available and digestable. By adding them to this group, your instructables will be considered for a feature on condition yellow.http://condition-yellow.com

Posted by sam noyoun 11 years ago



Will a Prune Juice Laxative help with my constipation or is it just a myth?

A lot of people are aware that the health of our digestive tracks or particularly the large intestine commonly known as colon have adverse effects on the health of our whole body, not only physical health but also mental health. When our colon is unhealthy or diseased and full of toxins, this toxins enters our bloodstream through the process of intoxication. When our bloodstream becomes dirty it also affects the brain. Commonly we experience mood swing. Another tangible effect of this unhealthy condition called constipation or the hardening of stool due to inadequate digestion or lack of it. With this said, you may wonder what are my best herbal and natural remedy for cleansing the inside of my body and avoid if not irradicate this condition of constipation? One very good natural remedy is eating of Prunes. A Prune is a variety of plums. Prune juice is made by steaming prunes until it is softened and pureeing then juice is squeezed out. Prune juice contain a natural laxative known as isatin. Prune juice is high in insoluble fiber. Each prune fruit contains 6% of dietary fiber. Prune juice is good remedy for constipation. It is also high in anti oxidant. Visit http://www.colonnews.com/colon-cleansers/will-prune-juice-laxative-help-my-constipation-or-it-just-myth.html for more info

Posted by MucusInStool 6 years ago


ZLG PICTURES FOUND!

Pictures found! Thank you, Zak! http://s386.photobucket.com/user/ZaKnex/library/ZLG I already have it built, and it surpasses expectations. It happily digests most connector bullets, rods, oodammo, and fin ammo. The trigger is shear genius, it reliably blocks the pin and releases it with little effort. A K'nex gun called "The Avenger" has a trigger just like this, but Zak has a tan clip keeping the trigger in the guard, while the Avenger doesn't and the trigger is somewhat loose. I'm overall very impressed.

Posted by CorgiCritter 3 years ago


How to use --expired yogurt-- ~3 months past the sell-by date? (besides eating it)

I have a quart of expired lowfat organic yogurt-- that expired in January (about 3 months ago) I do NOT want to eat it. I am not much for using facial masks, which seems to be the most common answer. And I don't have a need for the Reader's Digest suggestions I found online for moss paint and finger paint. What secrets for non-eating uses for yogurt do you have?

Asked by 9 years ago


Shower Water Softener help?

I've been trying to do some research before purchasing a shower water softener, as our water is unbearably hard. It drys out the skin and promotes clogged pores. The problem is... i'm not exactly sure what to look for. There's so much info out there on such a seemingly simple topic, and i'm having a little bit of trouble digesting it all. I'd appreciate it if anyone could give me the quick and dirty version of what i need to look for in one of these things. Thank you!

Posted by Apollo_11 6 years ago


Choose Your Own News with DailyMe

Check out the new instructable - How to Create a DailyMe Customized News Digest. It's a neat little tutorial that will help you sign up for DailyMe.com and become the editor of your own newspaper incorporating content from the world's leading newspapers, blogs, RSS feeds and journals. Registration is free and although the sign up process is easy, use this tutorial so you may maximize your choices. No longer do you need to read the news you are served by the TV, newspaper or even the internet. Choose your own with DailyMe.

Posted by DailyMe Intern 10 years ago


use for intestine veiwing camera

My husband is getting ready to have a procedure done where he swallows a pill sized camera that moves through his digestive system taking pictures, then passes from the body.http://www.uihealthcare.com/news/pacemaker/2004/summer/camerainapill.html I know it sounds disgusting, but I keep wondering if there is a way to use the camera after it's been passed.If it passes before he eats anything, it shouldn't come in contact with any body waste and can easily be disinfected. It just seems like such a waste to just flush the little camera down the toilet

Posted by dulciquilt 9 years ago


Anyone interested in table legs made from books?

I made this table for the art section where I work, and I'm mostly just wanting to show it off because it took forever and I think it turned out pretty well. But I'm also wondering if anyone would like to see how I did it before I get involved in another big project, haha. I was really stupid and didn't take pictures the first time. :) (The weird sign on top of it is basically explaining that it is sturdy even though it's a little wobbly just because of the fact that it's made out of Reader's Digest Condensed volumes. :P)

Posted by jessyratfink 10 years ago


Interesting Facts

You blink over 20,000,000 times a year. You can only smell 1/20th as well as a dog. You'll eat about 35,000 cookies in a lifetime. You're born with 300 bones, but when you get to be an adult, you only have 206. You're more likely to get stung by a bee on a windy day than in any other weather. Your heart beats over 100,000 times a day. Your ribs move about 5 million times a year, everytime you breathe. Your right lung takes in more air than your left one does. Your stomach has to produce a new layer of mucus every two weeks otherwise it will digest itself. http://www.tealdragon.net/humor/facts/facts.htm

Posted by shannonbeeks 6 years ago


The Blood-Mobile - a random YouTube video.

I found this site: randomyoutubevideo.com And I only got to 4 reloads before finding this. No, it's not a refrigerated van, it's not a mechanical-vampire either; it's human-biology. An all in-one-vague "this how things work kids, but the most important part of your body is all the "traffic". (No mention of traffic-congestion, but that's probably a different film) I don't know what deranged person thought of the idea, but I guess they laughed like I did. (Ten more and I was finding a 1 tonne bulk-bag of grass that had previously passed through the digestive-system of a male bovine) Man, surely people would press the button? L

Posted by lemonie 8 years ago


Extreme Futurist Festival 2012

The END OF THE WORLD at www.extremefuturistfestival.com the VORTEX IMMERSION DOME 450 South Bixel Street, Los Angeles, CA 90017 featuring SURVIVAL RESEARCH LABORATORIES show Extreme Futurist Festival is a 2 day arts and technology festival focusing on radical voices of the new evolution. Last year we had a great event and were called "a TED conference for the counterculture" by the LA Weekly. This year we seek to make XFF an even more epic experience. People are going insane over the Mayan calendar hype about the world ending on 12/21/12. This is why we have decided to bring them the apocalypse they deserve. We are throwing an end-of-the-world conference that you will not forget. Children get in free. We will be focusing on cutting edge science and technology along with transgressive performance art and music. Showcasing the most innovative and subversive memetics of our time, we see to highlight an extreme future that breaks the formula of modern culture. The future has been commodified by the mainstream in an effort to make revolutionary technologies easy to digest. As a result we are now living in an era of complacency, in which the true leaders and game changers are made to feel like outsiders. It is time to rise against the dominant current of our society and declare that nothing is too extreme. We refuse to be assimilated into a carbon copied version of a new humanity. As evolutionary agents we will push the boundaries of what it means to transform our species. XFF is organized by Rachel Haywire, Christopher Jannette, and Sean Humphries.

Posted by devilDroid 5 years ago


Integrating Access Control System with Hackerspaces Passport and Membership Software

Jigsaw Renaissance are looking into integrating Nadine and Hackerspaces Passport with our door locks. If you are able to commit time to help us designing or building, please post to: Inscape Access Control System - If you are interested in the project, please go to the group and sign up. - There will be opportunities to work on embedded firmware, electronics, mechanics, encryption, and the membership software application. - You can then control whether to get each email separately or receive a digest once a day. About the project: This project will provide an electronic door access for our new building. The project will involve providing several badge readers (probably RFID), and door lock controllers as well as a car park induction loop. Finally there is a need for software that manages the keys and access privileges. This software must be easy to use as the building landlord will use it. -- Jigsaw Renaissance is a learning and making community, a collaborative community dedicated to collective education and creation. Our mission is to create an environment in which success, failure, and most of all discovery are celebrated. Our vision is that this environment will foster an enduring sense of wonder and a drive to effect change in ourselves, our communities, and the world. For more information about JR (www.jigsawrenaissance.org), please visit our wiki page at wiki.jigren.org/Starting_Classes or this page: www.element14.com/community/groups/jigsaw-renaissance/blog/2011/03/25/who-we-are Contact us, so we can chat about scheduling something cool together. Thanks!   Ultimate Regards, -- Budi Mulyo +1.206.571.8430

Posted by Wise Cricket 7 years ago


Is the effluent produced by a biogas generator enough to feed plants in a hydroponic system?

I'm looking at various ways to grow food free/almost free in a small space.  I would like to grow enough veg to feed myself comfortably. Hydroponics in a vertical farm set up would allow me to grow lots of veg in a small space, trouble is I now need nutrients to feed my plants. After much reading, it looks like I could anaerobically digest all my food waste (including meat, diary, plant stems and anything else that decomposes) in a biogenerator. If I use the resulting liquid effluent, would this alone be sufficient to grow healthy plants.  Are all the nutrients they need going to be in sufficient proportion and are they all in an accessible form for plants. Will I need to add bottled nutrients from a store to top it up? Another question is if the effluent is safe or a biohazard?  My reading so far suggests that most pathogens are killed off in the anaerobic process. Is there anyone who has tried anything like this already? So far I can only find people who are fertilising crops in soil with the effluent. Any comments are greatly appreciated. P.S: for those who do not know what a biogenrator does/is.. a quick description.  Its a sealed tank filled with water, waste (shredded) is added, naturally occuring bacteria in the water (not dependent on oxygen to survive) breakdown the waste into their nutrient parts, methane is also produced by the bacteria (methane is CH4, carbon is in the waste and hydrogen is in the water), the methane can be tapped off for burning and the old liquid can also be tapped off, supposedly this liquid is an extremely good nutrient source, though I don't know if it could sustain plants grown hydroponically on its own.

Asked by sloth456 7 years ago


Halloween Food Contest Winners

Congratulations to all the finalists and winners for the Halloween Food Contest.  This year brought a host of inspiring, terrifying, and ghoulish projects.  As always, it was a labor of love to have to sort through such impressive projects to choose the final nine.   Monkey Brain Cake took our top spot, with its glorious presentation and gruesome concept.  It took three days to sculpt this masterpiece, and it shows.  The photos are clean, compelling, and informative. The write-up is informative, easy to follow, and injected with humor and a real sense of the author’s personality.  Many congrats to BubbleandSweet  and thanks for sharing this epic project with us. Second prize went to three fantastic entries:  hungryhappenings’ Bleeding Cake Ball Brains showcases a clever use of several techniques, and exploits an ice cube tray to its best effect.  The finished product is subtle until interacted with, adding a delicious element of surprise.  The photos are bright and clear, and the write-up is easy to follow. The author also offers helpful suggestions for addressing trouble spots and how to make individual elements really stand out. chefsea’s Assorted Eyeballs and Sockets impressed us with a clever and unconventional use of ingredients to create an eye-popping result.  So much care and detail was put into creating such a gory, and yet appetizing snack.  The write up is deli-eye-tfully punny, and the photos well illustrated the technique.  The final result looks almost too realistic to eat! Most Awesome Halloween Cake comes to us from new author, licenseless.  While the write-up is a little hard to digest, the concept and execution are impressive.   Every part of the cake and its accoutrements were hand-sculpted to a sublimely sanguinary effect.   Small details like adding the veins to the heart before covering it in fondant are a great tribute to the amount of skill that went into creating this entry.  The third prize slots were gobbled up by five fantastic entries. Candy Corn on the Cob by alaskantomboy stormed the Internet and garnered over 100K impressive page views.  This was a very simple execution on a super clever idea.  Kudos to the great work, informative write-up, and fun photos that make this entry shine. How To Make Spider Cake Pops With Webs by sugarkissed.net is an adorable take on a modern classic.  It combines clever techniques with fun, illustrated graphics to provide a sweet Halloween treat. Ewwy Gooey Slime Filled Cupcakes by Make.Bake.Celebrate is a cheerfully disgusting sweet that could easily be tailored to suit several themes.  Quite impressive is the author’s ability to match the internal slime to the external hairy eyeball tumors, yet maintaining very different textures and mouthfeel.  Perfect balance of gross and cute, and extra points to the fun photo styling.  Halloween Stamped Tortilla Chips by wold630 introduces a fun way to liven up even the simplest of party snack.  With such clear photos, the descriptive text becomes almost unnecessary.  This is another project that can easily be modified to suit any occasion. A brilliantly simple technique applied to a very versatile, crowd friendly food, capitalizing on the Halloween theme. danlynne07 had almost too many great entries to choose from!  Haunted Grave Cupcakes is a very cute, hand-sculpted design that would surely take the cake at any party.    A very cute and clever, well-crafted design. All in all, this year brought a very impressive showing from authors both seasoned and new.   We appreciate the amount of effort everyone put into their creations, and look forward to next year's crop of spooktacular snacks and freakish fare.  

Posted by scoochmaroo 5 years ago


Hyper-mile!

I'm afraid you're going to hear more than a few bits of money-saving advice from me! I'm a self-proclaimed Queen of Tightwaddery! We've been honing our skills at our house since I quit my job 3 years ago. I was determined to be a stay-at-home mom, and discovered that by being careful, I could save as much as I was bringing home, and be happier doing it! Hypermiling is one way we save money. The term "hypermiling" is new to us - we read about it in Reader's Digest a few months back. Some hypermilers go crazy and take risks. In our house, we've chosen a few things we can do to improve gas mileage without risking our lives or ticking off other drivers. Here are a few that anyone can do:1. Watch your speed. Driving 75 on the freeway might be legal, but it uses a lot more gas. Keeping it to 65 (or better yet, 60) can save 2-3 miles per gallon or more.2. Avoid accelerations and braking. While this might sound like using cruise control, it goes beyond that. You want to make your speed changes gradually, a) allowing your vehicle to stay in the highest gear possible when accelerating (lower rpms), and b) taking advantage of momentum (coast, don't brake, whenever possible). So if you see a stop sign ahead, stop accelerating sooner and coast. Perfection would mean coasting to a stop without needing the brake (but consideration for drivers behind you usually prohibits this!). See how close you can come! When accelerating, do it gradually, allowing your vehicle to shift earlier (let up on the gas a little to encourage the shift). If you see a slow-down or big curve ahead, ease up and leave room so you don't have to hit the brakes.3. Get the lead out - of your vehicle, that is. I improved the gas mileage on my van about 1-2 mpg by taking out the back two (unused) seats! Don't use your vehicle as a storage unit!4. Check your tires. Under-inflated tires will cost you a mile or two per gallon. There are lots more ways to improve your mileage and save money. Google "hypermile" or "ecomodder" and learn specific things you can do with your make and model of vehicle.Do the math - you might be surprised how much you can save. Here's an example, using a 20 gallon gas tank and 20 MPG:You can drive around looking to save 10 cents a gallon on gas. Assuming you find cheaper gas without burning a lot of it while looking, you'll save $2.00 on a fill up. OR you can apply a few of the principles listed above. I improved my van's gas mileage doing only those things by about 5 mpg. 5mpg x 20 gallons is 100 extra miles I can go on a tank of gas. At 20 mpg, that's a 5 gallon savings - at $3/gallon, that's $15 per fill. (That's like finding gas 75 cents per gallon cheaper!) How many times do you fill in a year? You do your own math and see the savings! My husband drives a lot and is squeezing 41-44 mpg from his car rated for about 33 mpg. With all his driving, he figures he's saved about $175 per month over the last 3 months.All this hypermiling has made us very aware of how much driving a mile costs. Now we look at every trip out in dollars and cents. If you had to pay $2 to run to the store and back, would you still do it? (If you're going for a gallon of milk or a dozen eggs, tack the $2 in gas onto that item - is it worth it?) We've started combining trips, planning ahead to avoid extra trips out, carpooling, using the car instead of the van when we can, etc, etc, etc.Awareness is the first step. Try it and see!

Posted by treep1 9 years ago


Instructables in the News

Instructables seems to be finding its way around the news media. Here are links to the mentions I know of. If you see any others, leave a note in the comments, or post a forum topics and I'll add a link to it here. If you're from the press and would like to arrange an interview, please contact me here. See the most current news about Instructables with a Google News search for Instructables. The Top 100 Websites of 2011 - PCMag Share What You Make with Instructables - Forbes Autodesk 2011: On Autodesk Acquiring Instructables - Core77 Eric Wilhelm featured on NPR discussing DIY "Sous Vide" cooking techniques Maker Faire and the Growth of Do-It-Yourself - Entrepreneur Autodesk Buys Instructables; Design Software Giant in Consumer Marketing Push - Xconomy Instructables, A Mecca for Makers, Reflects Eric Wilhelm’s Passion for Building Stuff and Telling the Story - Xconomy Autodesk Acquires Instructables and What it Means for Makers - MAKE eBook Evolutions: Instructables - Forbes Blog Eric Wilhelm discusses high-tech Halloween projects on NPR's Science Friday 2010-10-22 New York Times - Bamboo Bicycles New York Times - Growing Vegetables Upside Down DIY Green Projects - ABC News Instructables in the Daily Green Taking an Open-Source Approach to Hardware - Instructables in the WSJ FYIs for the DIYers - Instructables in the Sacramento Bee Do-It-Yourself Guru Makes Treasures From Trash - Tim Anderson Profiled on NPR's Weekend Edition Instructables on WGHP Fox 8 - Paper Wallets and Marshmallow Shooters "It's not like everyone who does DIY is a communist!" - Instructables in the Financial Times Instructables in Inventors Digest - Five Questions with Eric Wilhelm Instructables on KSL5's Studio 5 How to make your own high-tech Christmas gifts - Instructables in New Scientist Build It Yourself at Instructables.com - Instructables on ABC's Ahead of the Curve DIY Holiday Gift Ideas - The Best of Instructables on NHPR's Word of Mouth Instructables on NPR's Here & Now 11/24/2008 Instructables on NYC's WCBS-AM 880 Monday Eco-nomical: Homemade Gifts -- Instructables Mentioned on NPR's Weekend Edition Sunday 2008-11-23 Instructables on NPR's Weekend Edition Saturday - 2008-11-22 Homeowners go greener with do-it-yourself jobs Faberge Egg Contest Round-up by Forbes Dry-Ice Martini and Electric Cake - Hungry Scientist and Instructables in the NYT Leah Buechley and Instructables Written Up by Forbes: "A Blinking Fashion Statement" Instructables Part of PC World's 100 Incredibly Useful and Interesting Web Sites Customers increasingly drive firms' innovations Netting circle - The crafting and DIY crazes are catching on with websites such as Etsy and Instructables Eric Wilhelm wins Technology Review's Top Innovators under 35 Award Tiny Talents - Learning Bar Tricks in the New York Times Magazine How To Fix The World & Grassroots Innovation Takes Root - Instructables in Forbes My Belt Sander Can Beat Your Circular Saw - Instructables in the New York Times 3 How-To Projects In 60 Seconds - Eric Wilhelm of Instructables on the Forbes Video Network Eric profiled by Technology Review in "Instructables pioneer loves to kite-surf" This, From That - Maker Faire and Instructables in the New York Times Instructables on NPR's Talk of the Nation April Fools' Day 2008 - The Top Five Office April Fools Pranks Instructables on NPR's Weekend Edition Sunday March 9th, 2008 Innovation: 'How-To' Web Sites Let You Learn Just About Anything - Instructables in Fox Business News Arts and Crafts Find New Life Online - Instructables in BusinessWeek Instructables in SmartComputing Instructables on LA's KROQ Instructables in the Telegraph -- Weird and wonderful inventions The How-Tos That You Do: Instructables Keep People In Step After Step After Step. - Instructables in Helio Mag Instructables in the New York Times -- Romancing the Flat Pack: Ikea, Repurposed Instructables in the New York Times - In a Highly Complex World, Innovation From the Top Down Mouse Mouse in FHM-Germany Instructables and Squid Labs featured in Tech Closeup's April 2007 Show Instructables in the New York Times - How to Improve it? Ask Those Who Use It Instructables wins the 2006 WIRED Rave award for Industrial Design Instructables in World Changing Instructables mentioned in Jane Mag Instructables in the Sydney Morning Herald PodTech Network Instructables team interview: Eric and Leah Instructables in FHM-Netherlands Laser Cutter Origami - Squid Labs in the New Yorker Instructables in Trendwatching Instructables in Edutopia Instructables in The Village Voice Instructables in Network World, January 2006 The Dream Factory - Instructables debuts in WIRED, September 2005 Squid Labs profiled in WIRED news, September 2005 More cool stuff about Instructables here at the guided tour.

Posted by ewilhelm 11 years ago


Grow Our Own!- the big idea

Hey there Makers and Instructors! It's me, Maxwell and I have an idea to help feed people collaboratively, and I would like some advice on how to establish a collaborative barter network of people who want to or do grow food(mostly vegetables,herbs, and fruit,or even canned varieties for those who preserve) I call it Grow Our Own, or Let's Live! Participants would barter fruits, vegetables, herbs, seeds, plants, etc, and a climate of information,instruction,and encouragement. This might take place at either gatherings on weekends in specific places, personal meetings, or through a distribution system I haven't figured out yet.(advice?) There would be a system to enhance diversity, as well,so you wouldn't just end up with an enormous beefsteak tomato glut,( kind of a grow what you want, but please if there's space a little of this?) Ideally, this would increase nutrition, oxygen, biodiversity, provide useful growing information to a hungry somewhat ignorant populace , promote responsible water and waste use ,and bypass at least some economic cycle problems. I want to establish a network of smaller more local groups to also encourage people to propagate fruit, herbs, and vegetables,(especially heirloom varieties) and to instruct and engender a system of distribution and instruction. I definitely think composting is a strong part of this. I also think that trying to find unused spaces and getting permission to grow on them might help grow abundance, as long as vandalism can be avoided.Admittedly over my head. I would also like to encourage this for partial-subsistence growing in urban areas. I feel each apartment building roof, balcony and courtyard that can hold even transient plant life should be split between solar power, raingathering, and semisubsistance food growing. If this is done collaboratively, it will begin to snowball and will become more common.This would effectively improve life for some poorer people with less nutritional access due to economic factors. (If the fast food industry served actually nutritious food at it's locations at the prices it has gummed up America's vascular systems and organs, it would be one of the most effective nutritive food distribution systems in the world, instead of the casually despotic mutilator of bodies it is.(bovine AND primate) That may have sounded harsh, and I apologize if your love of a Double Supersize Mc Twinky Burger supersedes your desire to survive, that's your choice and I respect it, I was making an example, not inviting the hate. Houses with arable land now foolishly wasting water on lawns should be growing food. This not only could increase air quality and continue to localize moisture, but could reduce economic burden on many families, and therefore incrementally reduce municipal strain. This also can help mitigate graywater and reduce system load and waste. We have gotten too used to the system of aloof receivership in our modern societies. We must relearn to grow our own food, make our own things, understand the processes that keep us alive on Earth. I know you understand. Linear systems are unrealistic in a universe of cycles, let alone a world of cycles. We can live better by working together, because that's how the planet works. Sympathetic and Symbiotic processes naturally facilitate unity and if we work with what of the Earth we haven't paved over, or create more space to grow food in, we may counteract some of the damage we have done and stop so much waste. We may even teach people to eat more nutritiously, I'll bet. We must reteach ourselves to seek knowledge and wisdom rather than solace and escape, teach our children the ways of responsible stewardship of sustenance and comfort. I am going to put together what I can of the idea into a simple website soon. I want to reach people with that message, though I don't know if I am much of a frontman.So let's do it together. If we work together we can help each other survive better. Isn't that what's really important? Thank you for any advice, oh yes, and please don't assume I am Omniscient Superfarmer, I'm trying to learn too, any useful information will be appreciated! Let's Live! Cheers and Hope, have a great day! Maxwell (btw,I've already sent this, somewhat paraphrased in email form to: The Buckminster Fuller Institute.org, Pathtofreedom.org, The We Campaign, The Theodor Payne Foundation and many others, but any suggestions? You also may send it to whoever you think may help.) I admit I'm excited!

Posted by Subconscionaut 10 years ago


Damaged disc(s) in the lower back - what to do and what not ;)

I got diagnosed with a damaged L5 and L6 disc in my lower back about 8 years ago and I thought writing about my experience might helps others facing the same problems. Keeping your back straight when lifting or moving heavy things was a thing I already learned and followed during my school times and as you might have guessed it helped to keep my back healthy - at the expense of my knees... But the knees are a different story, today I want to help you understand lower back problems caused by damaged or bulging discs and how this will affect your life. For me it began with a little shock. One day I got out of bed, wanted to grab something I dropped and got stuck half way up. Knowing that there are some nerves that can cause the same issue and that a simple injection will fix me I called a cab to be dragged laying down on the back seat to my GP. As you might have guessed his diagnosis was a bit worse than what I wanted to hear... Many painful hours and some scans later it was confirmed that my L5 and L6 disk have collapsed on one side and started to push on the nerves next to it. Funny side not that I never really checked was that my doc said not everyone has a L6 disk... Anyways, as with most first "accidents" involving your lower back the so called recovery was long and painful. Sure the painkillers help to numb the worst, the anti inflammatory stuff covers some pain too but actually I did not want the full pain free package deal. Pain is the bodies way to let you know something is wrong, so I kept the pain medication at a level where I got that information when making a wrong move... The first 6 months I was literally confined to my bed, the shower and the toilet. I tried to keep a position with the least amount of pain for as long as possible and for obvious reasons was not too happy that my body not only required food intake but also the disposal of the waste products - getting out of bed and onto the toilet meant experiencing huge amounts of pain every time. But after those 6 months I started to adjust, to the pain as well as what my limited body was now capable of in terms of movement. Needless to say that all this time of not doing anything really meant my scale started to scream tripple digets at me one day... Luckily around the same time my pain levels went to a level that allowed my to walk around 500-600 at slightly slower speeds than normal before the pain got too much. My doctor also got quite concerned about my blood work and body weight recommending to loose a lot if I every intent to get back to a more normal life. So I started to walk several times a day, no matter how bad the weather was, just a bit up and down the street. The distance got longer, the fitness a bit better and the pain levels a bit lower too. Using my old weight lifting belt to keep the back supported helped me a lot during these times, especially when driving or doing housework. During those times I was still on 6-8 panedine forte tablets (paracetamol and codein) plus 2-4 tablets of 20mg oxicontin and not happy about the last anyway. Despite the added levels of pain I started to reduce the level of oxicontin and started to exercise more. My focus was getting the core muscles stronger and to get better support for my back. Also started riding my bike again, although I had to replace it for a bigger model to allow me a more upright position with less stress on the lower back. The kilos started to tumble very slowly but I was already quite proud when I got bak to 90kg. :( Good thing was that I got motivation to continue as every kg I lost and every little bit more on distance I got out of my walks and rides without getting too painful also meant that my average pain level went down too. Two years after it all happened I got rid of the oxicontin completely and reached the 80kg mark. My doc was happy too, my blood work looking good but of course he still suggested to loose a few more kg. Being able to move around again also meant being able to work again and with that came more food, less exercise and a lot more stress. I did manage to hold my 80kg but after about 6 months or working I noticed my back problems started to limit me again. My back belt covered for me and I was able to keep going a while longer but in the end I got hit by another attack on my back. The diagnosis was not good at all as now on top of the pain goind through the back and leg I also hab numbness and a feeling like ants crawl over the leg and chew on it every few mm. As with most lower back "revenges" this one only needed strong pain killers for a few weeks until I was back to something more normal in terms of pain and movability. Sadly the ongoing side effects did not go away the way they did the first time. This meant especiall finding the right position to sleep with the least amount of pain was becoming a nightmare on it's own. Either you got pins and needles keeping you awake, you lost your feeling in the leg to the point where it becomes useless or the pain in the back is just stabbing you all the time. Starting some projects here on Instructables kept my mind busy and gave me some welcome distraction from the daily routine. Eventually I manged to find a job again that allowed me to have enough different movements with only a bit of lifting so things started get back to normal. My doc put me on some amitriptyline to help with the pain at night and although it took some time to get used to the stuff it really started to help after about two weeks. The job was only for a fixed term but it gave me back some confidence that not all is bad or lost. Life went on and I actually manged to get down to just 75kg and only used some painkillers once or twice a week if it was really bad. Then, a few weeks back I started to notice that the top of my foot and the outside of my leg felt different to touch, especially in the shower with some brush or rough sponge. Not being happy already I agreed to some new scans to check if the discs started to cause problems or if the nerves are just inflamed. You might have guessed already, the scan confirmed that my two discs desintegrated further putting more pressure on the already suffering nerves. With the "help" of some quite strong anti inflammatory stuff, cortisone and other meds my doc managed to get me back to "normal" but he also informed me that this won't last forever. The current outcome (without surgery but more on that later on) I have two choices to keep going: a ) I continue with pain killers and other meds to keep the problems at bay. b ) I limit myself to basically not doing anything involving the movemnt of my lower back, keep to a strict calory intake and hope for the best. The first option won't do me any good in the long run except liver, kidney and digestive problems. The second option will allow me some sort of a normal life at the expense of never finding a job to support me again. So once again we soldier on knowing that it will only make things worse as giving up and relying on social services is no option for me. Hoping that you might just had your first encounter with lower back injuries and pain I will give some advise on the things that helped my most so that you might not have to suffer as much I did and still do. So read on please... Diagnosed with a damaged or bulged disc in the lower back - what does it acutally mean? If you check all the available images of the human skelleton you will quickly notice one thing: Our lower back is not really straight and not designed to carry a lot weight when it is put on the wrong way or direction. Noone with a sane mind would use a support beam shaped like that but the human body adapted to this problem caused by changing from using all four limbs to walking on just two legs. The muscles and tendons in our back work in such a way that they support the fragile construction of discs and bones that keep us upright. Sadly modern life, personal decisions and only too often a busy work shedule prevent us from using our body the wa we should. Be it too much lifting, being far too short for your weight or simply laziness the factors causing our muscle to degrade are too many to count. But once you are in the worst pain you ever felt and your doc tells you that there are damaged discs you suddenly wish you had it all done differently years ago - trust me, I have been there and I have done it ;) Or it might be like in my case that a healthy and fit person just cracks one or more discs for no obvious reason. Either way it means you have to change your life to be able to keep going. Pain killers help to ignore the problem and pretend all is good but they should be used with great care as most are highly addictive and the long term side effects are no fun either. The one thing you must never forget is although being a life sentence it must not mean you will be crippled forever! What can I do once it happened to help the pain and my sanity? Nerve pain is one of the worst pains there is and there are only two more or less working medications to deal with it. The first meds are opiates to literally numb the pain but due to source of the pain very high levels are required until the body adapted to deal with the wrong pain information. The second group of meds that offer help and that are often used together with pain killers are old sty anti depressants like the try-cyclic (was that right?) amitriptyline. Back in the days they were not really good for the advertised job but one of the common side effects was how they worked on the pain centers of the brain. In much lower dosages as used to treat depressions these meds help the brain to deal with the pain caused by the damaged or pinched nerves. As a long term solution they should be prefered over opiates so that the strong pain killers are only taken when really needed. If you are anything like me than not getting enough sleep over weeks on end will take a toll on your mood. So being able to sleep at least a few hours in one go is a real thing to aim for unless you prefer to harm your body with pain killers. What is there to help with the pain so you can sleep? I know that you now already think you tried it all and that nothing good comes out of here but keep reading as you might be surprised... The first thing that jumps into mind when it comes to sleeping is a bed - be it you by yourself or with a partner. And here also is the first point to improve! In many countries a bed for two persons has one bad feature: A single mattress! Any movement from the person next to you is transfered more or less onto your body - you don't want that! So if you own a big bid that you share with someone think about investing into a bed with seperated matresses and support frames. That brings us to the mattress itself. A lot of people think being soft and flexible is a prefered thing, not so much if you have back problems. You want enough support to keep the back straight without everything feeling like you sleep on wooden floorboards. Keep in mind though that when changing from soft matress to something much firmer you will need to adjust. Really the best option is to seek professional advise in a bedding studio or similar. And no, you don't have to go to the most expensive place to buy a mattress, you just try them out, get expert advise and use that new knowledge to find a suitable mattress to fit the budget. With no offence meant: If you are over the normal weight you really want to loose the excess and that means selecting a new matrress on your weight goal and not on your current weight! It is also good to have adjustable supports under the mattress itself, this way you choose a thinner and bit softer mattress but still get the firmness your back requires - again seeking proffessional advise on the right combinations is highly recommended here! Ok, your bed is sorted but still there is that nagging pain in certain positions or the tingling in your leg preventing you to go to sleep. Believe it or not but what you do before you go to bed affects how you feel when you hit the sack. So sitting like a bag full of water in front of your TV until just manage to crawl into bed won't do you any good. Same for having your dinner and hour or two before bedtime... What does help is to move your body and to burn a few kalories! If it helps you use a weight lifting belt but just a walk around the block with a little bit of bending and flexing will get the tension out of muscles. A nice partner giving you a proper massage might help too but I doubt you will get one every night ;) And before you start to complain: Yes, I know there are times where simply can't do any exersise as you will be happy to make it to the toilet or to make some dinner. For those times and especially during times of experiencing higher than normal pain level ther is something you can do to ease the pain. Some doctors will tell you but a lot of them wont: Cold actually helps to numb the pain and the symptoms like tingling, pins and needles or the constant stabbing when you made a slightly wrong move. But you need to apply the cold in the right way to get the benefit! The key here is timing. Using real ice in a suitable wrapper, so no vegetables or meat, you apply the cold where the damage is - not where the pain is! You want to cool down the area around the damaged discs for about 5 to max 10 minutes. Put the icepack back and repeat every hour! Nothing will happen after the first two or three round but then you will notice improvement - how much depends on the individual and extend of the damage of course. When I have bad days I usually start around mid-day and keep going every hour until either the pain is gone or it is time to drag myself to bed. The worst you can do is o apply heat! A warm (not hot!) bath can help to ease some muscular tension but hot packs or heat lamps will make your pain get worse quickly. Just imagine and inflammation somehwere else, the area is already hot and painful so you really don't want to add more heat, do you? ;) What can be done to keep mobile and improve? As said earlier the key is support for the damaged areas and of course a limitation in movements that put additional stress on the damaged dics - this includes weight, be it from your own body in terms of excess fat or simply be lifting things! You will have times of no pain and where you think you are 20 years younger again but never use that as an excuse to think your discs have improved! Once damaged they stay damaged and everything putting more stress on you dsic(s) will make things worse. A friend of mine loves to play golf - if you have back problems you want to find a different hobby! Coming from three digits I can tell you without being offensive in any way that being fat means having problems that you don't want to add to your list caused by a bad back! So like it or not you really need to loose all the excess you can find wobbling around your body! For me every single kg I lost was a step forward to being more fit and being able to more things for longer before my pain got too much. And no, there is no excuse for keeping those kilos if are able to leave the bed for more than a few hours. Turst me, you will feel better, need far less medication and like yourself much better once the benfits of less weight kick in! Exercise is the key to getting your life back to a more or less normal level! If you are a "first offender" than you have a good chance that a change of habbit and maybe job will make sure it stays a single incident and that you can have a pain free life after the initial recovery! Getting a higher core strenght and overall fitness level helps your body to heal but most importantly gives you the option to gain muscles where needed to support your back. You might think there is nothing you can do if you are in pain and can't really move anyway but if you do then you are wrong. I am not a personal trainer but I found a lot of ways to use my muscles without using my back for it... There is enough info on the web for exercise methods without any training gear and if you think "really hard" you might notice you can use a lot of positions to exercise your arms and legs without stressing you back ;) And even for the back you can do good without damage: If you lay flat on your belly you just slightly lift your arms and legs off the ground - this will need the support of the muscles in lower back! No need to actuall lift anything high, just enough to only slightly bend your back up - you might not even notice any bending at all. What you don't want is exercise like running, jogging or even contact sports, really nothing that might force your back to move more than what is possible without stressing your discs... Better fitness and more strenght means you will get better flexibility and movablity but never let that fool you into thinking the damage is gone! I can not stress enough than even if you don't need medication and feel fine a single wrong move can make all null and void! What are the options if despite loosing weight and excercise my pain is not going away or syptoms get worse? Well, we can ignore it, we can hope it all goes away but the sad reality for most is that sooner or later you reach the point where the damage is too much too handle. The first one to tell you that your lower back is now due for a pit stop is your foot. The pain might be more than what you ever experienced the pins and needles might drive you mad but as long as it just that you are fine, really :( For me it was during some light gradening when I got my "first hit" so to say. I brushed it off thinking I tripped over something that got kicked away while I struggled to keep my balance. A few days later I noticed that I had to put some extra efford to prevent my toes from scraping the floor while walking. It was there when I also realised that most of the feeling on top of my foot was gone. Same story for the outside of my calf by the way... For me, thanks to a non working medical system and no private health cover the story ends here... Since you might have more luck: Modern medicine has gone a long way when it comes to minimal invasive operations and they are the key to performing operations that otherwise would be impossible or require months of recovery. For the "treatment" of damaged discs in the lowest part of the spinal area the old conventional treatment was to fuse the bones together using some steel or titanium rods. To give the patient relief the dmaged disc was more or less mutilated to free the damaged nerve(s). Several weeks of bed rest and great loss in movement was the price to pay for less pain. Today we are much further and can use micro instruments to perform operations deemed impossible only a few years ago. One of the operations with the greatest and fastest recovery rates is actually quite smart if you think about it: A small portion of bone is removed to give more room for the nerve and to aid in the healing - without fusing the bones! The next step is remove the part of the disc that is bulging out - without removing the strong support layers around it, only the mashed up bits are taken away. The patient is literally pain free ( from the back pain) right after the operation. Healing takes about 2-3 weeks but by then even the pain from the cut bones will be gone. Some health insurers see these operations as a means to get a person back to work and into a normal life, so they support it. Others use simple math and decide pain killers are cheaper... In any case you should seek professional advice from your doc and health care provider before it is too late! Diagnosed and operated early can mean you get the option to have an almost normal life again, or at least a few years of being able to enjoy life much more than before the operation. There are of course risks involved and an opration might not be an option for every case but knowing your options and what form of treatment might be available for you can be reall life changing... Ok, but what's the worst that can happen to me if a simple operation is no longer an option? One of the first things you will notice after loosing control and feeling for your foot is a more or less contant need to go the toilet. Despite having an empty bladder or just using the toilet minutes ago you can develop the feeling that you really must go the toilet again. Sadly this is only the beginning... If things get worse you can loose control over your bladder and bowel. Simply put it means you no longer control the muscular tension required to keep you vital openings closed when required. Usually at this point your doctor will recommend to operate one way or the other. For you, if affected, this means you have to decide between the risk of an operation that might only last for a few months or years or wearing adult nappies... If you already had one or more operation or the damage to the disc(s) is too severe it can mean that there is no other option but to fuse the bones into place to prevent further damage and allow for some healing. But trust me, for your doc to even consider an operation you need to loose all the weight you can! What are my limitations after having my back bones fused together? Well, as it reads you will be fused together, meaning you level of movement will be severly limited. It also means you beep all the time at the airport security or when entering a court or other place with metal detectors - but that is the least of the worries I guess... The main problem after such operations is getting back to a life as normal as possible. You get a lot of help in rehab and will learn what you can and can't do, plus of course how to keep you fit despite these limits. Some people cope really good with the new limitations but others struggle a lot. This especially true if before the person was really active and doing a lot in terms of sport and outdoor activities. Learning to adapt to the changes allows you have many more years without too much pain or limitations. Sure, Golf is out of the question, playing soccer or riding a normal bike too but life goes on and being a part of it is always better than just looking at it through your bedroom window ;) In any case giving up should not be an option for you! No matter how bad it looks when the pain is too much, there are always more good days than bad days ahead of you! Go ahead, share your experience with back pain, what you do keep going and handle the pain. Share you information about what treatments helped you the most and share how you recovered to where you are now. Be an inspiration for those facing what we already went through! Real back pain based on nerve damage will only be understood by someone who experienced it - what did you do to make the people around you understand it? Whatever helped you might help someone wha just started to learn how to deal with damaged discs and back pain, so sharing is caring! ;)

Posted by Downunder35m 2 years ago