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#2694 Wall garden made with soda bottles

Posted mariaandrea on 25 October 2011 - 09:05 AM

This is so cool - and I am definitely going to do a version of it. It's a hanging garden made with old soda bottles. The website is in Portuguese, which I don't read, but the pictures make it clear how it's done.

http://www.rosenbaum...horta-vertical/

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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


#21181 Students Get School to Compost

Posted FamilyTreeClimber on 28 September 2012 - 10:56 PM

The students at Castro Valley High School in California have gotten their school to compost all food waste.  It started when a group of students noticed how much food waste there was on campus.  They examined the contents of campus garbage cans.  They found that 80% of what was tossed away was compostable or recyclable.

They set out to start their own composting program on campus.  They call themselves the Compost Squad.  They will educate fellow students on what can be composted as well as make sure that it is being done.  They've all volunteered for the task.

It is interesting to note that the school has a financial interest in this project.  Efforts started last year with composting kitchen waste has saved them $10,000.  By eliminating the 80% of trash that is not garbage, they will cut their garbage bill from $50,000 to $20,000 a year.  What school couldn't benefit from some money savings?

They have been recognized as a green ribbon school by the sanitary district.
http://www.mercuryne...unchtime-scraps


#23852 Large scale renewable energy - possible consequences?

Posted eds on 27 January 2013 - 09:04 PM

I have a question?  
. . . instead of worrying about what form of energy predominates,
. . . or what mix of different types of energy should be used,
. . . why is no one concerned about the low hanging fruit?
If I read this chart right,
. . . 50% of our energy is wasted.

What if we could come up with some way of getting rid of that waste, first?

Source:  Chart


#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!


#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.


#29756 Our continuing drought. 2012...from now on...

Posted Dustoffer on 08 May 2014 - 09:06 AM

Yet, counties still hand out building permits for the fees.  So many places are critical for water, and many just don't get it.
We have places like Highlands Ranch closer to Denver, where 1/2 million dollar homes are built on a ten year water supply!!!
Phoenix, with underground temps 70*F year around, building shoulder to shoulder "luxury" homes that use enormous A/C power.
Salty water in a 400 mile evaporating canal to save Tucson from sinking more, and yet there are still lawns with broken sprinklers...
Several years ago the cities' needs for water came above the farmers in the California valley so hard hit.  No water for them, which means water is more important to them than food.  Lake Powell a pitiful shadow of its former glory, Lake Meade too.
While we continue to add another California's population every 10 years, mostly from un-needed immigration, or their high breeding rate in an already long overpopulated Earth.  We are over-full and running out of water.  Why keep adding more people except for corruption of the corporate/gov't cabal?


#24934 Gun Reform

Posted Besoeker on 17 April 2013 - 10:45 PM

According to this link:
http://en.wikipedia....ated_death_rate
USA has a firearms related fatality rate about FORTY times that of UK.
UK has strict gun control laws. Very few own guns.

If that isn't an argument for abandoning the gun culture, I don't know what is.


#24832 Gun Reform

Posted E3 wise on 12 April 2013 - 06:58 AM

Lately I have been trying to stay as non political as possible here on the forum, yet in this case I must reiterate that weapons designed for war should not be sold to civilians.  Every day some one else is accidentally killed by guns.  A few days ago I saw the story of a child killed by another young child who had gotten a hold of a parents gun.  It is heartbreaking.  Now I see that states are moving toward tougher gun laws and I think that is great, don't blame the President for pushing gun reform,blame the NRA for being too short sighted to move toward a solution. Oh and please arming every school in America with police is dumb on many levels both economically and psychologically, I mean what message do we send our kids when we say that even schools should be armed camps.


#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.


#23834 Gun Reform

Posted Phil on 27 January 2013 - 11:01 AM

"I think the original principle is probably a fine enough idea, it was just the disastrously inept court ruling in 2006 that has rendered a faulty interpretation of the amendment to be more widespread and popular with one demographic."

Please read the federalist papers and other correspondence of the founding fathers, it is quite obvious what their intentions were.  You are putting your own bias against those who wrote the document.  At the time all able bodied men were considered automatically part of the militia and in every other case in the entire document "people" meant individuals.  

If you think it's not to your liking, feel free to push for a change.  Thankfully, as you said, that is not done lightly.

The problem people just can't get beyond, is no law affects criminals, only law abiding citizens.  You want universal background checks?  Fine, I'll get a girlfriend with a clean record and she'll buy the guns.  That law took me a nanosecond to get around.  Understand that?  You have infringed on my rights without making one iota of difference.

Again, guns are not the cause of violence, only a tool.  You are trying to cure cancer by prescribing aspirin.  It may make you feel better but have done nothing about the underlying problem.  You need to focus on the root causes, not the tools.

P.S. You are also one demographic! :biggrin:


#23833 Gun Reform

Posted Phil on 27 January 2013 - 10:43 AM

Tigerlilly,

Unfortunately, I cannot know your families situation, but I do know mine and I've had the opposite experience.  What was your husbands job description?  I got a number of patents for the various companies I worked for and got some money for them, but no where near what they were worth.  Should I be mad?  NO!  It was my job description to create.  Inventing things and patenting them is why I was hired.   Companies hire people with the express purpose of improving their bottom line.

If your husband was fired file a wrongful termination complaint.  Something sounds fishy there.

Here's my example.  A couple with two kids, one with spina bifida, working menial jobs, living in a rented house on a busy street.  The husband went to night school and got a better job with his training.  Then the wife got a nursing degree.  Result?  They now own their own home on  a culdisac, with a third acre lot and have all the amenities and are putting their children through college.

The problem is for every example you can give I can give and opposite one.  Your views are colored by your experience, mine are colored by mine.  I can tell you that the ones I know who did not get ahead were blocked in some way, not willing to do what it takes, not willing to leave their current employer, etc.  I can also tell you from my observations, if you don't think you can, you can't.  If you do think you can you can.  Defeatist attitude is called that for a reason.

By the way, you know how to get promotions?  Make your boss look good!  Invariably, when I see an employee coming into a company thinking what's in it for me they do not do well.  When they come in with the attitude of improving the bottom line, they do do well.

Like it or not, a lot of what goes on in companies is not technical, it's human interaction.  If you want to be derogatory you would call that "getting in because you know somebody", if you want to be honest, it's called networking and if you talk to any job coach they will tell you it's the MOST important thing you can do.  The vast majority of jobs I've gotten have been referrals, not cold contacts, i.e. networking.

It seems you have a very negative view of business, is that permeated in your family?  Likely that does not go unnoticed.

Again, I cannot know your personal experiences, and yes, there are a$$hole bosses and companies, just like everything else in this country,  The problem is, I see people with right attitudes getting ahead and wrong attitudes not.  That is my reality! :biggrin:

Eclipse,

"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety." Ben Franklin.

Learn it, love it, live it! :biggrin:

What you are advocating is the "crisis of the day" view of government, there must be founding principles.  The problem is what's next?  If you follow that line, pretty soon they won't allow you to buy 16 oz soda's because they make you gain weight!  Oh, wait a minute! :tongue:

The problem is, once government goes down the path you want to take, there is no limit on what restrictions they can place on you.   There is a word for that, fascism.   As the saying goes, power corrupts, ultimate power corrupts ultimately.  Since government is the ultimate power, it is easily corrupted.  I think we can all agree on that one!

Government is always trying to seize more power unto itself, using every trick in the book to attempt to circumvent that dusty old document.  The more power government has the less freedom we have.  You may be OK with that,  most Americans are not.

If you like, liberals symbol for this is abortion rights, conservative symbol for this is gun rights.  (Libertarians symbol is all of the above! :laugh: ).  What has been happening is in many respects they are crossing over with more and more liberals supporting gun rights while more and more conservatives are supporting abortion rights.   There is saber rattling on both extreme sides of course but the main stream seems to be supportive of both.  As I mentioned 40% of gun owners are liberal.

While you think you are safer with RBT's, what about the case of police harassing a group or race by inordinately pulling them over?  Are you white?  Likely it won't be you!  It is our right to privacy that protects us from these situations and allows redress.

People who say the constitution is outdated or no longer relevant say so for one reason, they want to circumvent it.  That should be a red flag to ANYONE, liberal or conservative.  If you don't like guns in society, fine, repeal the amendment, don't try to undermine it.  If you allow someone to undermine one amendment, they and undermine any of them.  The ones who pooh pooh the slippery slope argument are the very ones who will use it.

Yoder,

98% + of gun deaths are hand gun related, please explain the rationality of going after so called assault weapons and not touching hand guns.  You want to debate logically, start with that.

"What I've noticed in America's gun battle are that the arguments against gun control are based on the idea that the government will take away all of their guns if they even entertain the idea of discussing gun control."

Read some of the comments on this thread, that is exactly the desired goal or many people.  Feinstein has stated she'd like to go door to door and collect them all, this is not some leftist extremest, (at least as far as the left is concerned! :laugh: ),  it's a long term senator.  Has Harry Reid or Obama denounced her?  No!

Eric Holder is on record saying he wanted to brainwash people on guns, if you support the 2nd amendment what would you think of that statement, particularly after fast and furious?


#23784 Gun Reform

Posted Phil on 25 January 2013 - 10:58 AM

Eclipse,

You will never ban guns in this country.  With over half of households owning guns and one to two million being sold a month it's just fantasy land to think otherwise.  Again, all violent crimes are trending DOWNWARD as guns have been flying off the shelves.  If guns were the cause the trend would be opposite.

Also, there are millions of conceal carry holders in this country, including yours truly, and our crime rate is virtually zero.  If guns caused violence that would not be possible.

So basically rewrite our constitution???  Thanks, but no thanks.   Our constitution puts we the people in charge and government has been using every trick in the book to defeat it as it is.  That's another reason the 2nd amendment will never be repealed, people really don't like their rights infringed upon, (not to mention 40% of gun owners are democrats, including Joe Biden and Harry Reid).

Now that democrats are demonizing "assault weapons" and high capacity magazines, they are flying off the shelves.  I think Biden has backed off assault weapons because ownership of this weapon has reached critical mass, (pass the ban, lose the senate).  Again, we tried an assault weapons ban before and it made absolutely no difference, (what the definition of insanity again, trying the same..... :tongue: )

Tigerlilly,

While it is true there is only correlation, if I'm not mistaken virtually no mass shooting has occurred where these drugs were not involved.  Correlation does not equal causation but it doesn't eliminate it either and the fact that the warning labels themselves include the very things the drugs are supposed to prevent should at least raise questions.  Clearly guns are not the cause.

We'll agree to disagree on punishment.  This kind of school crap never went on when I grew up and in case you haven't noticed kids are more violent than ever.  Many kids have no respect for authority, that is not healthy nor proper for a society.  There is story after story where some kid is acting out, bullying has become rampant, etc. in todays schools.

By the way, in most boomer schools the average class size was 35 or so and the teachers did just fine because there was discipline.  And kids weren't smacked around or anything, they got one or two warnings first then a paddle.  Invariably it was the same few kids and it did work for at least a semester.

If other forms of discipline were working why is all this crap going on?  It's no secret our entire education system is broken.  We do know what did work, unless you can demonstrate how to fix it otherwise, i don't see the harm in going back to that.

This also has nothing to do with barely getting by or working families, the average poor in this country has not charged appreciably for decades.

It sounds as if you were abused as a child so you are painting every adult as an abuser.  That is an overreaction to say the least.  Of course you treat a child with special needs differently, the very fact you would bring up your mother possibly beating such a child seems like you have some issues to address.   Not all parents are like yours.

All of my siblings and I were spanked when we deserved it.  We all turned out fine.   The kids I have seen go the wrong way were invariably from divorced parents.  Anecdotal at best but it is my experience, just as you are your experience.

"People are indeed upset to see that they work hard and have next to nothing to show for it, while other people seem to reach in and take more from them everyday. And consider this in relation to how society treats them. Why wouldn't you be jealous of a celebrity or a CEO of a company, when people defer to them in every circumstance.... they are immune from going to jail, they have financial security, and influence on popular culture and government? Meanwhile the average Joe is invisible, and if he ever loses his job and needs unemployment assistance he is not just invisible, he's a leech, he a wretch, he's a taker and WORTHLESS."

This is what I meant by entitlement mentality.  The sad fact is that people ARE paid what they are worth.  Not worth as a person, but worth as a contributor, (too many confuse the two).  This used to be accepted but now people think they are "entitled" to something whether they've earned it or not.  I grew up lower class and my dad and mom did work hard but they set their children on the right path and we all surpassed them.  Quite the opposite of being entitled or jealous, we where given the gift of the American dream, work hard, save, invest, and live within your means, the same American dream that draws illegals across the border to build a life and become successful.

People really don't want to hear that they are the ones responsible for their lives because they can no longer play the blame game.  It means THEY have to do something, it means it's THEIR fault.  Sorry but I've known too many people that were working hard, realized that wasn't cutting it, they took some night courses to change their prospects.

Ask yourself this, if an illegal can come into this country with nothing but the shirt on their backs, no papers, substandard education in most cases, and build a life here, what excuse to American have with all our benefits?

Ask which world view breeds success, "You don't need to do anything because it's not your fault, it's those evil CEO's stealing all your money!" or "There are many paths to success in this country if you are willing to work for it.  If you are not making what you want, find a different career path an move toward that."  I will guarantee you it's the latter.  Indeed when I took a couple of courses at our local JC, they said the majority of students were in their mid twenties, not high school grads, looking to make a career change.

As a fiscal conservative myself growing up poor, I have every sympathy for those truly in need and no sympathy whatsoever for those that just sit around complaining the world owes them a living.  You are not entitled to a living, only life.  You have to work for a living.  It is no secret what is in demand in this country.  Engineering of all types, bio tech, medical services at all levels, skilled crafts.  There is such a shortage of machinists, companies are willing to train you on the job.  

Why wouldn't I be jealous?  Because I'm not a jealous person and could care less what CEO's make, or what drivel Hollywood puts out.  Why not call people out on their jealousy instead?  Since when has jealousy become noble?

Bottom line, there are can do people and can't do people.  Unfortunately society seems to be encouraging the latter rather than calling them on it.

"Maybe another underlying cause is the disillusionment of being told you can grow up and become anything in America, and then the reality sets in that unless you are one of a handful of people (400 or so) you are basically worthless by society's standards. Maybe so many wouldn't feel maligned and cheated by life if they had the notion that money and possessions don't define their value... that even the trash man serves a role that is valuable to society, even if he isn't compensated as well as maybe he ought to be given the necessity of his service."

Again, the entitlement mentality.  We are told we can become anything, but we are not told we have to work for it, that we are entitled to it instead.  That is the disconnect.  Again, if you are fixated on the "anointed" 400 that is your problem.  Do you really think you are worthless if you are not Warren Buffet?  Bill Gates?  A congressman?  I know of no working man who feels he is worthless to society, and it is again entitlement that breeds "things as success" attitudes.  Who is teaching that possessions define one's value?  Shouldn't that be attacked?

In the end it is lack of reality that does people in.  If people are made to realize that you have to earn what you have jealousy and a whole host of negative emotions fall by the wayside.  If you want your own plane and that takes a six figure salary to obtain, you can then make a rational decision, do you want to work that hard.  If you do not then there is no jealousy because you made the decision.

The thing is, our education system is failing us terribly.  When I read some of the comments that totally defy basic economics I have to cringe.  I learned that crap in junior high.  Corporate taxes is a classic.  Demonizing free market capitalism is another (it's practically nonexistent nowadays).

I don't think drugs can be ruled out but I agree on the video games, movies, etc., 100%.  I don't think it directly causes mass murder but it could be a contributor to those that are already predisposed.  But it does seem to be contributing to our  general desensitization toward violence.  

I also wonder if there aren't subtle environmental issues at work.  The problem is the bulk of violence pertaining to gun deaths are inner city gangs.  The mass shootings account for very few deaths.  There are two different causes to be sure, one mental, the other criminal greed, so one size will not fit all.

One more time though, voilent crimes are trending down and there is no reason why this should not continue.  Statistically there will always be the occasional outrage, that will also continue from time to time.

Thank you for the spirited debate!  We obviously have different upbringings and thus world views, hopefully we can gain insight into that "other world" that each of us inhabits. :smile:   I think we both agree that, despite the gun issue, there are societal issues with the glorification of violence as a means to an end in all forms of media.  While it's not a direct cause of the subject at hand, it doesn't exactly help either and it does have a negative effect on society as a whole.

It's been said the price of living in a free society is having to accept the bad with the good.  The alternative is fascism where there is no freedom.   I'll spare you the quote about trading safety for freedom, we all know it.  I choose freedom with all it's warts.


#22921 #Deniers.

Posted Earthling on 15 December 2012 - 10:37 AM

View Posttigerlily78, on 15 December 2012 - 10:15 AM, said:

Whether you believe Climate Change is happening and whether or not you think it is caused by human activities there are plenty of valid reasons to embrace many of the "solutions" nonetheless for other related environmental and future energy policy concerns.... which makes me often wonder why people who claim to be in favor of energy alternatives are often so interested in casting out rather tenuous arguments against the validity of climate change.
I'm sure that all made sense to you when you wrote it.

Of course CC is happening and human activity has some effect, albeit minuscule.

Why would anyone not be in favour of clean, cheap alternative energy?


#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.