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#22983 What's the best Christmass Present you gave?

Posted eds on 17 December 2012 - 08:32 AM

The first year of our marriage, we were so poor and in debt, that we couldn't afford Christmas.  We convinced ourselves, that we didn't really need presents, we had each other.  I had discovered during that first year, that my wife was able to make money stretch further than I could, when buying things and I was better at saving money, by doing without things.

So for Christmass, I surprised her with an envelope full of dollar bills, I had squirreled away that year.
I told her she MUST spend it all on Christmass Decorations, so that we could enjoy them together next year, and remember our first Christmass together.  She said there were so many practical things we needed more, but I insisted, that all the decorations were at their lowest price after Christmass, they were our presents to ourselves to enjoy now and every year to come.  We had scrimped and saved, for a whole year and we needed to release the pressure, on ourselves, by spending on somethings that make us happy.

She did spend that money on Christmass decorations over the next week, and we excitedly decorated our home each night, like a couple of kids, with what she had bought that day.
For the last 39 years, I have giving my wife an envelope of money, Christmas day.

I say, it's the best way I know, that the present she gets, are the one's she wants, at the best price.
She claims, I'm too lazy to buy her a present, but it makes us both,
think back and remember our first Christmass together.

It's the best Christmass Present I ever gave, and it keeps on giving

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#21191 Sweden's Unique Garbage Problem

Posted FamilyTreeClimber on 29 September 2012 - 09:51 AM

I don't think any other country has Sweden's garbage problem.  Sweden is well known for recycling its waste.  What isn't recycled is then burned to create energy.

Sweden has done so well with reducing its garbage that they only trash 1% of what they throw away.  This has created a problem for the country because they don't have enough garbage to convert for their energy needs.  Because of this, they have to import garbage!

They now import 800,000 tons of garbage which is then turned into energy.  The garbage comes from neighboring European countries.

Sweden is well ahead of the curve when it comes to recycling.  The average in Europe is 38% of trash ends up as waste.  Sweden is 1%.

http://www.care2.com...rt-garbage.html

More information on this "problem" (most countries would love to have this problem!)
http://www.pri.org/s...tion-10428.html


#21404 I-phone frenzy.

Posted ACSAPA on 05 October 2012 - 08:13 AM

I once read about a charity where you could send in your used phones and they would be activated and given to domestic violence victims so they could call for help or receive calls for job interviews or food stamps or whatever.

I think if you're going to get rid of your old technology, you could at least give it to one of these charities that uses old phones to help people and then your technological waste will be someone else's lifesaver.


#14124 Ooh, I sprained my arm!

Posted Phil on 02 May 2012 - 03:49 PM

Patting myself on the back! :laugh:

I just got my April electric bill.

Last years usage 38.5KWH/day
This years usage -6KWH/day

That's minus as in negative!  Even better, they rebated me $12.16 which lowered my basic customer charge.  Last year's bill $86, this years $10!

If you are sitting on the fence, STOP IT!  Jump in now!


#24620 Is Nuclear All That Bad??

Posted Milton Banana on 20 March 2013 - 02:10 PM

There are new designs all the time.  Today's nuclear light water reactors were designed not only for power, but for weapons purposes too.  Thorium reactors are the wave of the future for nuclear power.  Light water reactors once online all the work done is to keep them from melting down.  If you got up and walked away from this design it would melt down.  Thorium reactors are quite the opposite.  All the work done is to keep them from falling out of reacting.  If you got up and walked away from a thorium reactor it would cease to react. Fuel is much more abundant and there is far less waste.


#24486 Is Nuclear All That Bad??

Posted boydwc on 11 March 2013 - 06:30 PM

View PostMkw, on 11 March 2013 - 06:08 PM, said:

Although I understand your argument that Fukushima was exaggerated, it was frightening and extremely dangerous.  Although no immediate deaths were caused, the long term effects are likely to be substantial, and that is worth noting.

There is the notion that nuclear fallout or radioactive materials lingering can harm human health. However, I have seen multiple sources that have said this is unbased and has not been proven. No zombies are being created here.


View PostMkw, on 11 March 2013 - 06:08 PM, said:

I agree that we need to focus more on nuclear energy.  Now, how are we going to make that happen?

The money needs to be put in the industry and the government needs to build more reactors. Very, very few have been built in recent years, and this restricts our energy access! Countries, like France, aggressively pursue nuclear energy, and it has profited them greatly.


#24432 Can We Change Our Culture to Green?

Posted FamilyTreeClimber on 06 March 2013 - 02:47 PM

I think it can happen, but it takes time.  I live in California where we are constantly seeing a evolution.  I remember in 1989 when the people first voted for mandatory recycling.  There was a backlash.  People hate to be forced to do anything.  Then, it was paper and plastic and we had to sort it.

Then, a couple years later, there was no more sorting.  Making it easier for people brought on less resistance.

Over the years, they have added more and more things we can recycle.  We've been able to recycle plastic bags for about 8 years.  About 5 years ago, we started recycling food scraps which go in with our green waste.  The garbage pickup company turns that into compost that they sell to businesses and individuals.  We added batteries last year.

As the state has a program to recycle e-waste, it is fairly easy to get rid of old computers, TVs, etc. because small companies will come and pick it up at your house for free.

I was looking at the website for our waste management company, that also runs the dumps (i.e. landfill you can drop stuff off at).  They can recycle about 80% of what people bring in to the dumps now.  Including things like mattresses which I would have never thought of.

California instituted Cap and Trade last year.  The verdict is still out on how that will go.

There are probably other things I could mention, but can't think of at this time.   It's been a slow progression though.  I would like to see California do more like Germany and other European countries by recycling more.

My opinion is the easier it is for people the more likely they will be involved.

(We recycle and compost so much now that we rarely fill our garbage can half way.)


#24153 The other side of the NTY's TeslaGate

Posted yoder on 14 February 2013 - 03:19 PM

When New York Times writer John Broder wrote his less than stellar review of the Tesla Model S after his test drive, Elon Musk didn't waste any time refuting many of the issues that Broder wrote about.  Data pulled from the Tesla's "little black box" is used to show that Broder may have misremembered some details of the test drive and of his own actions during the drive.

Personally, I love the graphs that they pulled from the car that detail the speed, recharging and even cabin temp during the drive.  Every vehicle on the road should have this, if not for insurance purposes then just so people can actually see how they are driving.

Elon Musk is to the EV world what Steve Jobs was to personal technology, with similar personality traits it appears.

A few choice items from Elon's blog post:

As the State of Charge log shows, the Model S battery never ran out of energy at any time, including when Broder called the flatbed truck.

The final leg of his trip was 61 miles and yet he disconnected the charge cable when the range display stated 32 miles. He did so expressly against the advice of Tesla personnel and in obvious violation of common sense.

Cruise control was never set to 54 mph as claimed in the article, nor did he limp along at 45 mph. Broder in fact drove at speeds from 65 mph to 81 mph for a majority of the trip and at an average cabin temperature setting of 72 F.


#23627 Gun Reform

Posted yoder on 21 January 2013 - 09:51 AM

I grew up around hunting and guns.  I owned my first shotguns and rifles at 11 or 12 (can't remember exactly, it was a long time ago).  I had my small arms badge (not such a big deal) and my marksman as well in the Air Force.  I've owned hunting shotguns, rifles and handguns.  Personal hand guns in the home for personal defense are understandable, even though you will most likely kill yourself or a family member than any intruder.

Having semi-automatic and automatic weapons pass from person to person without any oversight is not American, not logical, not safe, not mature, not reasonable and has absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with the 2nd Amendment.  The NRA began as an organization that represented the sportsman, but now is just a facilitator for the US weapons industry.  Their views are no longer based in reality as they even see simple conversation as un-American.

The NRA has become more dangerous than any mass murderer because they wrap themselves in the flag to defend people who stockpile weapons to use in the Zombie Apocalypse or for the next Democratic President, whichever comes first.
People are not the problem here, the NRA as an organization is the problem.

Owning a weapon or weapons is not at issue and people should not allow the NRA to say it is.  It's our duty as Americans not to let logical, mature and reasoned discussion get drown out by the NRA's shrieking and wailing.  Each time a Dem gets elected, weapon sales skyrocket.  Who's the winner there?  Hmm, you'd almost think the US weapon manufactureres want a Dem in the White House.  It's good for the bottom line and they have a boogeyman to throw in front of the people.


#31683 Solar-Powered Floating Greenhouse Off-Grid Solution to Food Scarcity

Posted E3 wise on 18 November 2014 - 02:35 PM

http://inhabitat.com...e-3-2/?extend=1

Floating Solar Greenhouse.JPG

Farmland is shrinking across the world at an alarming rate, sparking fears of a global food crisis. In a bid to increase food security, a multidisciplinary team of architects and botanists developed the Jellyfish Barge, a floating modular greenhouse.

Designed by Studiomobile architects Antonio Girardi and Cristiana Favretto, the Jellyfish Barge is an octagonal greenhouse set atop a 750-square-foot wooden base that floats atop 96 recycled plastic drums. The simple and low-cost design was created with adaptability in mind so that it can be applied to a variety of environments for long-term use. The compact and modular greenhouse can produce enough food to support two families, and can also be easily expanded with additional modules to support a larger community.

The crops are grown hydroponically and the fresh water is provided by seven solar stills designed by environmental scientist Paolo Franceschetti. The solar stills use fans and pumps powered by solar energy to suck in and purify water; the seven stills can produce up to 150 liters a day of clean, fresh water from saltwater or even polluted waters. The Jellyfish Barge uses a mixture of distilled water and 15% seawater to water the crops. The hydroponic system can be remotely automated and controlled.