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Saturday, December 30, 2017

Review of Ebay Solar panels

I bought 2 solar panels on Ebay. The dimensions of each are 55x80mm. These are both encased in clear resin. I connected them in parallel and got 7vdc, and 60ma from both of them combined. This is pretty respectable seeing how it was a sunny but winter day about noon. Each is rated for 6vdc 0.6w, so that's 10ma max. But solar panels don't ever get the output they are rated for due to how they are rated in the lab.

For $1usd with free shipping, that's enough to charge a battery, but not really a powerbank.

Example here.

Monday, December 4, 2017

Pesticides found in 207 food samples by FDA study.

The FDA's Pesticide Monitoring Report from 2015 contains a report on what pesticides were found in foods. It's a good idea to show these studies to show how dangerous some of the pesticides are, and how widespread they are. Organizations have known this for quite a long time. But some organizations that claim to protect your health are bought out by industry.

In FY 2015 (October 1, 2014 through September 30, 2015), FDA analyzed 5,989 samples in its regulatory monitoring program: 5,572 human foods and 417 animal foods.  Because the violation rates of import samples are generally higher than for domestic samples, FDA tests more imported than domestic commodities (4,737 import and 835 domestic samples).  We collected imported human food samples from 111 countries and domestic human food samples from 39 states, the District of Columbia, and U.S. territories.
75% of food samples were found to be contaminated.

FDA PDF from 2015.
More FDA Pesticide Monitoring Reports.

Monday, November 27, 2017

Glyphosate Use and Cancer Incidence in the Agricultural Health Study

Glyphosate Use and Cancer Incidence in the Agricultural Health Study

JNCI: Journal of the National Cancer Institute, djx233,
Published: 09 November 2017
There is strong evidence of glyphosate exposure linked to Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma (NHL).  The study did not links between glyphosate exposure and NHL, but did find some links between glyphosate exposure and acute myeloid leukemia (AML) compared with people who never used glyphosate.

The study covered licensed pesticide applicators from North Carolina and Iowa. This graph shows some correlation between glyphosate exposure and NHL, but not with other cancers.
Journal of National Cancer Institute. (Not related to National Cancer Institute!)

Monday, November 20, 2017

Some EU members say no to glyphosate 5 year renewal

Some EU members, realizing the danger glyphosate puts humans and wildlife in, have voted no to renew Monsanto's 5 year license in their areas.14 countries voted for the renewal, 9 against, 5 abstained, including Germany. France has already agreed to a 3 year renewal so the deadly chemical can be sprayed on GMO and non-GMO crops. For the vote to pass, two conditions must be met.

  1. 55% of EU countries must vote in favor, and
  2. countries that support the vote must represent at least 65% of the total EU population. So larger, more populous countries have an advantage in voting.
14 countries voted for the renewal, 14 countries did not. That's only 50% of countries voting for  passing the renewal.

Sustainable Pulse.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

UK will support ban on pesticides that harm bees

This reverses an earlier decision by the UK government, because new evidence has appeared that shows neonicitinoids have contaminated the whole landscape.  75% of all flying insects have disappeared from Germany.

Read more at The Guardian.

For more information on neonics click here.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Can Tesla help rebuild Puerto Rico's power grid?

Tesla wants to help Puerto Rico rebuild their power grid. The hurricane destroyed most of the power grid, and in some areas, 100% of people were out of power for 2 or more weeks.

Tesla wants to help build a new solar power grid by storing power in giant battery banks, and distributing that power over power lines. This would be a networked design so there would be solar collectors and battery banks in several different cities. The PR power company was on the verge of bankruptcy when the hurricane hit so the power infrastructure was already poor, damaged, and need of repair at best.

Tesla has already sent hundreds of Powerwalls to help people, but those need electricity to recharge.

Youtube video.

Sunday, November 12, 2017

1985 EPA memo says glyphosate causes kidney tumors

A recently found archived document form 1985 shows, before the EPA was bought off by Monsanto, that the EPA thought glyphosate caused kidney tumors. Monsanto claims tumors are unrelated to glyphosate exposure by showing past studies. EPA claims past studies have too much variation to nullify the no tumor claim.

PDF here. Get it before it's taken down!

Friday, November 10, 2017

RMS wants to get into the battery business

Robert Murray-Smith created his own company, FWG, with 2 partners. He is working on making a better battery. He already has a test format for powering an electric bike. Initial tests are promising. His videos are very open and he gives you recipes and instructions for making your own graphite capacitors and other energy-related items.

The FWG website.
RMS Youtube channel.

Thursday, November 9, 2017

NEW Hair test checks for pesticide exposure over long term

The Detox Project has a new hair test that can test for pesticide exposure over the long term.

Hair testing shows your exposure to pesticides over a period of 90-120 days, whereas urine only shows your exposure for approximately 14-21 days and blood testing shows your exposure for 2-3 days.

Hair is easy to collect, easy to ship, and easy to store. Their kit is $199. One kit tests for household pesticides, another kit tests for agricultural pesticides, and there are more kits. The lab work is done by Kudzu Science.

Detox Page.

Monday, October 30, 2017

DelMonte to eliminate BPA and GMOs

Del Monte, a major US food producer, announced that it would be eliminating BPA in can liners. But they must use another phthalate, which has not been shown to be safe. They also want to eliminate GMO foods in their products. But Roundup is not just used on GMO food, it's used on all crops to kill it all at the same time, whether the crop is GMO or not.


Wednesday, October 25, 2017

BPA found in 16,000 foods and beverages

EWG now has a database showing 16,000 foods contaminated with the endocrine-disrupting chemical BPA. BPA (bisphenol A) can disrupt hormones in the human body creating a host of problems. BPA is a one of a class of chemicals called "phthalates". BPA makes plastics softer so they don't crack. So they are used in plastics for can liners, plastic containers, and just about every plastic. Plastic without phthalates is brittle and breaks easily. Plain plastic is simply not usable in everyday life.

Containers that are BPA free are not safe. Manufacturers simply replace one phthalate with another, which would be even more damaging to people and animals.

How to avoid exposure to BPA
  1. In most cases it's impossible to completely avoid exposure to BPA. Food ingredients are shipped to factories in plastic wrap or plastic containers. But the longer the food sits in contact with the BPA, the more BPA it likely has.
  2. Buy food sold only in glass jars. 
  3. Store food in glass jars. The resealable glass jars with a latching lid and rubber seal are more and more common in the US these days. 
  4. Most cans have plastic liners, but especially for acidic foods like tomatoe products and green beans. Avoid canned foods.
  5. Avoid freezing food in plastic bags unless the food is wrapped in waxed paper. 
  6. Do not allow food to come into contact with plastic for long periods of time. 
  7. Plastic syringes and IV drip bags also contain BPA.
  1. A study showed fast food consumers had BPA in their blood. Click here.
  2. BPA exposure early in life linked to depression and inattention. Click here.
  3. Endocrine disruptors found in most US streams tested. Click here.


More info on BPA click here.

Sunday, October 22, 2017

U.S. experts doubt EPA curbs on Monsanto, BASF herbicides will halt crop damage

US specialists doubt that reducing the sale of dicamba, sold by Monsanto and BASF, will actually slow down crop damage. Monsanto is releasing dicamba-resistant soy beans. Does dicamba get into every cell, so that it ends up in the food system?

Overspray of dicamba, trade name Xtend, to neighboring fields is responsible for millions of dollars in crop damage. Depending on soil conditions, Roundup can remain in the soil for up to 4 years, damaging future years of crops. Does dicamba do the same?


Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Who claims glyphosate is save, vs unsafe

This page has a list of agencies world-wide which shows who thinks glyphosate (Roundup) is safe, and who thinks it is unsafe.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Can you click on my ads?

I'd like to ask everyone to click on the ads shown on this page. It's what pays the bills. It takes a lot of time and work to do research for the articles and track down the actual study so you have a direct link to the study. So taking 5 seconds to click on an ad would really mean a big deal to me.

Thank you! You're awesome!

Saturday, October 14, 2017

List of GMO crops used in many countries

This list of GMO crops will tell you which countries use them. However, Roundup is spready on non-GMO crops as well, right before harvest, so a non-GMO product does not mean pesticide free.

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Roundup kills your energy system?

What is the Shikimate pathway?

The Shikimate pathway is a seven step metabolic route used by bacteria, fungi, algae, some protozoan parasites and plants for the biosynthesis of folates and aromatic amino acids (phenylalanine, tyrosine, and tryptophan). Since animals need these folates and amino acids, but do not have this pathway, these nutrients must be provided by gut bacteria. Is this how Roundup interferes with a human's energy level, by disturbing gut bacteria?
From Wikipedia: The seven enzymes involved in the shikimate pathway are DAHP synthase, 3-dehydroquinate synthase, 3-dehydroquinate dehydratase, shikimate dehydrogenase, shikimate kinase, EPSP synthase, and chorismate synthase. 

Even since the 1980s, one cause of Myalgic encephalomyelitis (formerly Chronic Fatigue Syndrome) has been thought to be a dysfunction of the human cell mitochondria. But now with more research on how critical gut bacteria is to humans, and how glyphosate (and a diet with sugar) destroys the good gut bacteria, this study might be able to show how Roundup causes its damage, and may be a cause for CFS.

Full study is on Elsevier, which is paywalled. But here is the abstract.

The shikimate pathway is a metabolic route for the biosynthesis of aromatic amino acids (AAAs) (i.e. phenylalanine, tyrosine, and tryptophan). A key enzyme of shikimate pathway (5-enolpyruvylshikimate-3-phosphate synthase, EPSPS) is the target of the widely used herbicide glyphosate. Quinate is a compound synthesized in plants through a side branch of the shikimate pathway. Glyphosate provokes quinate accumulation and exogenous quinate application to plants shows a potential role of quinate in the toxicity of the herbicide glyphosate. Based on this, we hypothesized that the role of quinate accumulation in the toxicity of the glyphosate would be mediated by a deregulation of the shikimate pathway.
In this study the effect of the glyphosate and of the exogenous quinate was evaluated in roots of pea plants by analyzing the time course of a full metabolic map of several metabolites of shikimate and phenylpropanoid pathways. Glyphosate application induced an increase of the 3-deoxy-D-arabino-heptulosonate-7-phosphate synthase (DAHPS, first enzyme of the shikimate pathway) protein and accumulation of metabolites upstream of the enzyme EPSPS. No common effects on the metabolites and regulation of shikimate pathway were detected between quinate and glyphosate treatments, supporting that the importance of quinate in the mode of action of glyphosate is not mediated by a common alteration of the regulation of the shikimate pathway. Contrary to glyphosate, the exogenous quinate supplied was probably incorporated into the main trunk from the branch pathway and accumulated in the final products, such as lignin, concomitant with a decrease in the amount of DAHPS protein.

Study: Pestic Biochem Physiol. 2017 Sep;141:96-102. doi: 10.1016/j.pestbp.2016.12.005. Epub 2016 Dec 10. Abstract:

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Oregon wants to forcibly spray organic farm with pesticides

Azure Standard is an organic farm that has been running for 18 years. Oregon state law requires farmers to control "noxious weeds". The weed of concern is Canadian Thistle. Sherman County, Oregon does not think Azure Standard has done enough to control this thistle. From the article:
Sherman County may be issuing a Court Order on May 22, 2017, to quarantine Azure Farms and possibly to spray the whole farm with poisonous herbicides, contaminating them with Milestone, Escort and Roundup herbicides.
And then the state will charge them for the service. Like the Chinese government charge the family of the dead after a criminal has been executed.


Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Poisons in US drinking water

EWG has launched it's US drinking water database. The database even has an interactive map of the US. EWG testing of tap water has found 250 toxin in US tap water, and they organized it into a database.
EWG found the unregulated cancer-causing contaminant 1,4-dioxane in the water supply of 90 million Americans and thousands of personal care products.
Some tap water has toxins that are at 1000 time the EPA limit. Children's brains are especially sensitive to toxins while the brain is still growing and making neuron connects. The human brain does not stop growing until age 25, on average, and some are not even finished growing at that age.

Here's a PubMed search for studies on dioxane. You can even create an RSS feed from your search! So with an RSS reader you can have the studies ready at your fingertips. Mozilla Thunderbird, an email client, supports RSS feeds.

More links
EWG database page for dioxane.

Monday, October 2, 2017

News briefs: DuPont, Teflon, EWG, Michael Dourson and EPA, alachlor, acetochlor

Walmart pushes companies to get verified by EWG... for personal care products. More about EWG verified is here. The EWG Skin Deep program rates products based on the safety of their ingredients. Many lipsticks contain lead, which causes irreversible brain damage.

Marion Nestle presents a round up of sugar industry reports. Fat isn't the biggest problem, sugar is. Read the reports and look for things like them minimizing the dangers of sugar, or focusing on the "good points". "Sugar gives you energy! But don't worry about it being an inflammatory agent."

Attorney who exposed the dangers of DuPont's Teflon wins alternative Nobel Prize called the Right Livelihood Award. Info on Teflon and studies here.

Trump's chemical safety nominee, Michael Dourson, could be bad for consumers. The EPA is already pro-poison, and frequently downplays the dangers of Roundup and other pesticides, even as farmers complain about the failure of Roundup, so this is a bad move.
Dourson was also paid by Dow and Monsanto to propose safe exposure levels for breakdown products of two widely used herbicides, alachlor and acetochlor, in an attempt to counter water standards developed by Wisconsin and Minnesota. Both chemicals are associated with higher cancer rates in male agricultural worker...
And the CDC is not much better.

Sunday, October 1, 2017

How to power things using batteries and alt power, part 2 of 2

Part 2 of 2

Power draw from the battery

If all 4 amps is being used on the Amazon inverter, how many amp hours are actually being drawn from your battery? 4 amps / 0.8 (efficiency rate), or about 5 amps per hour. Worst case scenario for an inverter that provides 4 amps: If your battery holds 20 amp hours, it will last for 20 amp hours / 5 amps per hour, or 4 hours if there is no power being added to the battery. If your battery holds 80 amp hours, it will last for 80 / 5 amps per hour, or 16 hours of continuous use with no power being added to the battery.

Examples of batteries

Below is a variety of batteries. I don't know about their quality, but let's compare the cost per amp hour of capacity. Do not use "cold cranking amps" for capacity, find the amp hours rating.

- Optima Marine battery, $200 for 55 amp hours. Cost per amp hour: $3.64usd
- 12v battery, $100 for 35 amp hours: $2.86usd

Saturday, September 30, 2017

How to power things using batteries and alt power, part 1 of 2

I've been looking into using solar power and batteries to power things. My first kit is used to charge a battery using a small panel, about 12" x 8", and the battery powers an LED light. The battery box also has a 5vdc USB port for charging USB things. Or simply for powering a USB device like a USB fan.


Here are some terms to get you started.

  • Amps: how much current a device draws, per hour. A 1 amp device uses 1 amp per hour. 
  • Amp hours: the capacity of a battery. A 2 amp hour (Ah) battery provides 2 amps for 1 hour, or 1 amp for 2 hours, or 0.5 amps for 4 hours.
  • Volts: volts is another measurement of a battery. Devices have a minimum voltage they need to run. A radio powered by 2 AA batteries needs about 3.0 volts to run (2 * 1.5 for each AA). An LED can work on a range of voltages. If the ideal voltage for maximum brightness of an LED is 3.3vdc, then as the battery is used up, the voltage drops, and the LED gets dimmer. The LED might go out at about 2.9vdc.
  • Watts: A general unit of measure which is volts * amps used. A 12vdc device that uses 0.5 amps per hour uses 12 * 0.5, or 6 watts per hour. Electricity in the US is charged by 1000 watts per hour, or 1 kw per hour.

My next step was looking into using a solar and battery system to power my flat screen TV.

Alternative power usually uses an energy producing device to charge up a battery. If you use solar power (photovoltaics) you are using a solar panel to charge up a battery, and the battery stores energy for later use. You won't need lights during the daytime when the sun is out, so the battery provides power for nighttime use.

In the case of wind power or hydro power, in both cases they turn a generator to produce power, which then charges a battery for energy storage.

But how do you size the system to meet your needs? A battery provides DC power but your TV needs AC power. So you will need an inverter to change from DC to AC power. Buying an inverter based on watts it supports is not helpful. You need to look at relevant energy units, volts and amps. While watts = volts * amps, watts is just a very general way of looking at things. The inverter must provide both the volts and amps our TV needs.

My TV is rated at 12vac and 50 watts (labeled "50w" on the back of the TV). This does not tells us the amps that it draws/uses so we must calculate that. 50/120vac = 0.417 amps, or 417 milliamps (called "mA" with a big A). Amps is how much power it uses per hour. "Amp hours" is for battery capacity, and is how many hours a battery will provide 1 amp. A 1 amp hour (Ah) battery provides 1 amp for 1 hour before the voltage gets too low to be useful.

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Report: Massive misconduct and corruption at CDC

The report points out Dr. Poul Thorsen, a Danish scientist who has been indicted in 2011 by U.S. authorities for allegedly stealing millions from the CDC and tainting research to hide the dangers posed by vaccines. Thorsen remains on the loose.
In addition to uncovering other information, Kennedy and officials at the World Mercury Project say they have found evidence that Thorsen and his collaborators did not get permission from an Institutional Review Board (IRB) to carry out their research, published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2002 and the journal Pediatrics the following year.
“In 2011, the Department of Justice indicted Thorsen on 22 counts of wire fraud and money laundering for stealing over $1 million in CDC grant money earmarked for autism research,” the statement notes. “The product of Thorsen’s work for CDC was a series of fraud-tainted articles on Danish autism rates that, today, form the backbone of the popular orthodoxy that vaccines don’t cause autism.”
The CDC must be covering up big time. I still wonder why people would assume a mercury compound, injected into people, is just assumed safe. Perhaps it was just for money. Like these other US products that were assumed safe.

Report PDF is here.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Certification for glyphosate free foods

The Detox Project now has certification for glyphosate-free food products sold to consumers, and also ingredients used in products.

Why is this important? 

  1. One German study found glyphosate and metabolites in urine of all people tested. 
  2. High levels of glyphosate found in major American food brands. 
  3. Glyphosate is thought to disrupt gut bacteria, which are important for overall good health.
  4. Most corn, soybeans, and wheat crops in the US are sprayed with glyphosate to kill it all at once for harvest a few days later. More food found with glyphosate in it.  
  5. Glyphosate is absorbed into every cell of the plant, it cannot be washed off.
Food Democracy Now also has a study testing food for glyphosate.  Just go to the Glyphosate tag in this blog for more articles on the dangers of Roundup.

Detox Project food testing FAQ here.

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Europe renewable energy consumption is up to 76% in some places

Renewable energy consumption as percent of total energy consumption is 76% in some places. Iceland uses 76% of energy from renewables but that is probably mostly geothermal. But other numbers range from 11 to 50%.


Saturday, September 2, 2017


Teflon is a brand of a type of fluoropolymer coating created by DuPont, is also called PTFE (polytetrafluroethylene). It's used on lots of cookware to make them non-stick, on vascular graphs used in coronary bypass surgery, ironing board covers, heat lamps and prosthetic limbs. But it can be dangerous.

EWG has some studies showing it kills birds. Here's a quick summary from EWG:
Studies show that thermal degradation of Teflon leads to the slow breakdown of the fluorinated polymer and the generation of a litany of toxic fumes including TFE (tetrafluoroethylene), HFP (hexafluoropropene), OFCB (octafluorocyclobutane), PFIB (perfluoroisobutane), carbonyl fluoride, CF4 (carbon tetrafluoride), TFA (trifluoroacetic acid), trifluoroacetic acid fluoride, perfluorobutane, SiF4 (silicon tetrafluoride), HF (hydrofluoric acid), and particulate matter. At least four of these gases are extremely toxic - PFIB, which is a chemical warfare agent 10 times more toxic than phosgene (COCl2, a chemical warfare agent used during World Wars I and II), carbonyl fluoride (COF2 which is the fluorine analog of phosgene), MFA (monofluoroacetic acid) which can kill people at low doses, and HF, a highly corrosive gas.
Teflon can also appear on heat lamps. One University of Missouri study showed a 52% mortality rate for chicks. These chicks showed severe pulmonary damage and lung lesions. Even temperatures as low as 325F can cause deadly off gassing.

The study published by Hamaya in 2015 says "The essential etiology of polytetrafluoroethylene fume–induced pulmonary edema seems to be increased pulmonary vascular permeability caused by an inflammatory response to the toxic fumes."

This 2012 study by Shuster shows Teflon's toxicity in chickens and found up to a 92% death rate, probably from using Teflon-coated heat lamps. Quote:
Two groups of chickens (Gallus domesticus; White Leghorn; age, 4 day and 2 wk) housed in a university research vivarium were found dead or moribund without prior signs of illness. The overall mortality rates were 92.3% (60 of 65 birds) for the [4 day old] birds and 80% (8 of 10) for the 2-wk-old birds. All chicks were housed in brooders with heat lamps in a temperature- and humidity-controlled room.
At temperatures over 290F the Teflon begins to emit various toxic gasses, which are especially deadly to birds.

From the Hippocrates Institute we see a problem with a similar chemical called C-8:
The law firm of Hill, Peterson, Carper, Bee & Deitzler, P.L.L.C., one of three law firms representing the thousands of people who recently sued DuPont for polluting their tap water. In 2001, residents living and working around a Teflon-producing plant and landfill at the Ohio-West Virginia border filed a class-action lawsuit against DuPont for withholding information about the contamination of their water, air, and bodies by a controversial chemical produced by the chemical maker. C-8 or PFOA, according to DuPont, is “an essential processing aid used to make fluoropolymers,” including Teflon – the non_stick coating found in much of the world’s cookware, but also found in fabrics, rugs, stain repellants, cosmetics and food packaging.  
From The Intercept we have more reports of drinking water contaminated from nearby chemical plants.
PFOA has been found in drinking water in Hoosick Falls, New York; Bennington, Vermont; Flint, Michigan; and Warrington, Pennsylvania, among many other places across the United States. PFOA has [also] leached into the water near factories in Dordrecht, Holland, and Shimizu, Japan.
DuPont has tracked the PFOA blood levels in workers for years. Some workers had high levels, some had extremely high levels in their blood. Here are the documents. In Shimuzu, PFOA was found in 10 different water wells.

Any Teflon use in the home should be carefully monitored, or Teflon pans should be replaced with ceramic coated cookware, which lasts longer. Be sure never to leave a Teflon pan on a hot burner for more than 1 hour, and make sure, using a laser thermometer, the temperature of the pan does not go over 290F.

  1. The Intercept
  2. Hamaya R, Ono Y, Chida Y, et al. Polytetrafluoroethylene fume–induced pulmonary edema: a case report and review of the literature. Journal of Medical Case Reports. 2015;9:111. doi:10.1186/s13256-015-0593-9. Retrieved from NIH library on Aug 22, 2017.
  3. Shuster KA, Brock KL, Dysko RC, DiRita VJ, Bergin IL. Polytetrafluoroethylene Toxicosis in Recently Hatched Chickens (Gallus domesticus). Comparative Medicine. 2012;62(1):49-52.

Friday, September 1, 2017

Solid electrolyte rechargeable alkaline batteries on the horizon

Newer, rechargeable alkaline batteries might be able to compete with lithium batteries by using a solid electrolyte polymer developed by Dr. Mike Zimmerman, who was no Nova Science Now (see this article). This solid polymer can be used in lithium batteries to prevent sudden explosive discharges, or in alkaline batteries that currently use a paste electrolyte.
Zimmerman's company, Ionic Materials, says its polymer tech can make a rechargeable alkaline battery that can be charged and discharged at least 400 times.
But the number of recharges depends on how much C you charge the battery at. "Fast chargers" charge at a higher C which reduces the number of times a battery can be recharged to as low as 20-30 times.

But what is C? C is the capacity of the battery. If the battery has a capacity of 1000 milliamps, then charging at 0.5C means charging it at 500mA, which is a bit too high. For longer life, charge it at 0.25C, or in this case, 250mA.
Because ingredients in alkaline batteries are abundant and cheap, a rechargeable version of an alkaline battery could be cheaper than a lithium-ion battery. 
The Japenese are also working on a solid electrolyte.

Green Tech Media.

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Many uses for foam ties

We are all familiar with the wire ties. They used to come on bread or baked goods. They are also used in the garden. But there is a better tie with many uses, it's a foam covered wire tie. Sold here. Here are just a few uses.
  1. Keep headphone or USB cords neat.
  2. Tie up plants to stakes.
  3. Hold Christmas lights to a gutter. 
  4. Clip alcohol gel to a cooler, picnic basket, or backpack.
  5. Keep all pens together in a drawer so you can find them.
  6. Hang paperclips or binder clips on them and take this with you in your backpack. 

 Sometimes these are sold at Dollar Tree or other dollar stores so keep an eye out for them.

Monday, August 28, 2017

Turn any web page into an EPUB

I don't like PDFs because they can't increase the font size or wrap to any device size. This leaves me zooming into a PDF and scrolling left and right, up and down, just to read the text. So I prefer EPUB. I found this website to change any web page into an EPUB. My first test was a journal article that had some type of Javascript left side table of contents, and it worked great. The resulting epub removed the Javascript TOC and the EPUB came out great.

They even have a bookmarklet that makes it easier to use. Go to for more information.

I didn't do extensive testing with a variety of web pages but this would be handy for journal articles that are only available online, or newspaper articles, or saving project or how-to pages.

Wednesday, August 23, 2017

Micro hydro power can charge your power bank while you shower

There are a couple micro-hydro power generators on Ebay. These are not full kits, you will need to hook up a USB charger board to it to limit the output to 5vdc, and you will have to add a female USB port. This one hooks to any standard US pipe water supply, like your shower, and is said to generate 5-12v of power. But tests show it only generates 5v with no load, and 4.2vdc with a load. 4.2vdc is not enough to charge your power bank, but if you add a power booster to boost it to 5vdc it should work. This means it will generate power while you shower, wash your hands, or while the toilet tank is filling with water. You get more use out of the flowing water.

This is the same style as above and is stated to generate 100ma, at no load, which sounds more accurate.

This one has no case and is an open turbine. Again, it is unlikely to meet it's stated specs with a load on it. The threads might be for standard US water supplies, but I can't be sure. Also note that a US garden hose thread is not the same as a US water supply pipe thread. But there are adapters to go from one to the other. Some specs for this item:

This one with a case, claims to output 8.8vdc to 15vdc. At $8.10usd out the door, higher than the first item mentioned above, let's hope it outputs 5vdc even with a load. 
  1. Water inlet/outlet: 1/2"
  2. Output Voltage: DC9.8~18.5V/no-load
  3. DC8.8 ~ 15V/0.1K load Max power : 3.5W 
  4. Output Current: 128 to 260 MA/0.1 K load
  5. Water Pressure: 0.08 ~ 0.45MP
  6. Maximum Water Pressure: 0.55MP
But these might be fun to try and play with them.

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Printable solar panels

There has been news about printable solar cells going back to 2008-2012, and it's worth looking into. There should have been consumer products on the market by now (2017) since these cells are cheaper to print (though the article I saw didn't say if they are cheaper per square inch or cheaper per watt of power generated).But I haven't been able to confirm that the flexible solar cells are indeed printed.

So here is a smattering of articles to get you going.

2008: This article mentions Konarka company making printed solar cells.

2011: News from MIT.

2017: An article from Science Daily, Feb 2017.
A new innovation could make printing solar cells as easy and inexpensive as printing a newspaper. Researchers have cleared a critical manufacturing hurdle in the development of a relatively new class of solar devices called perovskite solar cells. This alternative solar technology could lead to low-cost, printable solar panels capable of turning nearly any surface into a power generator.
Wikipedia: Inkjet solar cells. Retrieved Aug 21, 2017.

June 2017. University of Newcastle in Australia print solar cells. These cells are translucent and let some sunlight in while at the same time generate power. These are great for putting in south-facing windows in the northern hemisphere.

If you have a link to print your own solar cells at home, please leave a comment with the link to share with others. Thanks!

EDIT: While not exactly printed, Power Film Solar has flexible solar panels.  Below is their rollable solar panel, model R7, 7 watt panel.

Printable Solar Cells. Book on printing solar cells.

Saturday, August 19, 2017

Low-powered LED light in the works

A new flat-panel LED light could reduce power use tremendously. Scientists at Tohoku University in Japan have made a cheaper LED lighting device in the form of a flat panel that gets efficiency of 60 lumens per watt, which is pretty darn good for their simple device that has not been tweaked. It uses nanotubes to get this kind of efficiency.

Each carbon nanotube acts similar to a cathode ray tube when a strong electric field is applied. The electric field requires 5kv to work but the device itself uses very little power.

People have been working on other ways for LEDs to use less power. Some pulse power so fast the human eye cannot detect the LED going off and on. One project is the TritiLED which aims to light a dim LED to be used as a marker, for about 10 years. There is also the Decade Flashlight.

Review of Scientific Instruments.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Super efficient nano-LED research

This is not the same as a super efficient LED circuit where a battery could light an LED for 10 years. This is a whole new LED technology at the nanoscale.

One of the larger bottlenecks between microchips is the data connections. An optical connection, rather than a wire connection, would speed things up, but a light source small enough was not available until now. Scientists at TU Eindhoven made a nano LED that is 1000 times more efficient and can communicate at gigabits per second.

But since this article is from 2017, expect to wait another 8-10 years before we see these things in consumer devices... if it can be made at a reasonable price that is.

Elektor Magazine. 3/6/2017.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Monsanto tries to get Seralini study retracted

The study by GE Seralini showed that even low amounts of Roundup had toxic effects on rats over the long-term. This includes liver and kidney damage. Seralini's other study where rats got tumors was done incorrectly as they used a type of rat that is supposed to get tumors.

Extract from employee review:
2. In effort to enhance global long-term scientific outreach and freedom to operate, coordinate (i) an initial South American Toxicology Expert Panel meeting in Buenos Aires by the end of FY2013 and (ii) the 2012 EU. Glyphosate Expert Advisory Panel meeting in Harrogate, UK 8/9 November, 2012.

Employee comment: 
2 (ii) coordinated the November EU Expert Panel meeting which provided opportunity for valuable interaction with experts and peers, consolidating strategies in addressing activist publications (eg. Seralini and Earth Open Source) and industry sponsored technical publications supporting FTO and glyphosate EU Annex I Renewal.

GMO Inside.
The Monsanto memo in PDF form, document name FY2013. This looks like an employee review of David Anthony Saltmiras.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Toys From Trash is great teaching resource

Arvind  Gupta's site "Toys from Trash" is a great learning resource for teaching kids science. It's been at least 10 years since I found this site and he has all kinds of simple, inexpensive projects for elementary school kids to do. But that doesn't mean big kids can't use them also.

Here are some of the topics and projects they have: pressure, water pump, simple motor, simple generator, putt putt boat, AC motor, DC motor, air and water, beginner biology, force fun, fun with light, strong structures, etc.

Here's his portable generator:
Here's his LED torch:

Toys from Trash.

Friday, August 11, 2017

You can download NCBI studies from NIH?

Yes! You can download NCBI studies via FTP! Here's the link. You use software called "client software" or "FTP client software" installed on your PC to access the NCBI FTP site and download files. Be careful how you configure your FTP client. First read the file README.ftp to learn how to optimize your FTP client software.

There seems to be a variety of data here, not just journal articles. Poke around in different directories to see what is there, and in each directory try to read a file called "readme" or "README" or "readme.txt" or "00readme.txt".

Common free FTP clients:
  1. FileZilla 64-bit. I like this one the best.
  2. Smart FTP.
  3. WinSCP
  4. There are several command line utilities for Linux like "ftp" and "ncftp". 

Thursday, August 10, 2017

EWG launches US tapwater database.

Quick start:
  1. Enter your zip code or state, no account required. 
  2. Click your city and get a report on the city water quality. 
The results show the number of pollutants above healthy recommendations, and "other contaminants". EWG also provides a link to filters to filter these out. The Berkey filters have the best filtration ability, but no filter takes all amounts of all contaminants out.
Here is where National News also tested the tap water of 239 cities.

More info
  1. EWG tapwater database
  2. Learn about pharmaceuticals in US streams.
  3. How to filter out poisons from your water. Comprehensive article and link to Berkey filter results.

Evidence Monsanto tried to bribe scientists

Roundup is a big money maker for Monsanto so it's no surprise that more evidence that Monsanto tried to influence writes and bribe scientists has come to light.

From this website, attorneys asked to see Monsanto's "protected documents". The more Monsanto tries to push, the more it looks like people are on the right track to exposing corruption. Quote:
On June 30, 2017, attorneys from Baum, Hedlund, Aristei & Goldman, along with the leadership of the Roundup multidistrict litigation (MDL), challenged the protection of the documents below, in an effort to make them available to the public. In a meeting to discuss the matter, Monsanto told the plaintiffs’ attorneys to “go away” and that the company would not voluntarily agree to de-designate any documents.
The challenged documents are here, and in PDF form.

GMO Inside.

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

"Moscow Mule" drinks should not be served in copper cups

News says a drink called the Moscow Mule, should not be served in copper-lined cups. Drinks with a pH of less than 6 can release more copper that could make people sick.

Link here.

Monday, August 7, 2017

NIH and EWH recommend ending use of triclosan

Triclosan likely hurts a person's health more than it helps it, and ever-present triclosan is instrumental in creating super bugs. The statement summary:
The Florence Statement on Triclosan and Triclocarban documents a consensus of more than 200 scientists and medical professionals on the hazards of and lack of demonstrated benefit from common uses of triclosan and triclocarban. These chemicals may be used in thousands of personal care and consumer products as well as in building materials. Based on extensive peer-reviewed research, this statement concludes that triclosan and triclocarban are environmentally persistent endocrine disruptors that bioaccumulate in and are toxic to aquatic and other organisms. Evidence of other hazards to humans and ecosystems from triclosan and triclocarban is presented along with recommendations intended to prevent future harm from triclosan, triclocarban, and antimicrobial substances with similar properties and effects. Because antimicrobials can have unintended adverse health and environmental impacts, they should only be used when they provide an evidence-based health benefit. Greater transparency is needed in product formulations, and before an antimicrobial is incorporated into a product, the long-term health and ecological impacts should be evaluated.

The Florence Statement.
You can search the NIH NCBI library of studies here.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

S. Korean bike highway shades path with solar roof

The runs between Daejon and Sejong, and is covered for 20 miles with a roof of solar panels. Those panels not only generate lots of electricity but also shield cyclists from the sun.


Fast Company.

Monday, July 31, 2017

First family solar car hits market for $119k euros.

The Dutch startup Lightyear has just released it's first solar car Lightyear One for 119,000 euros ($139,945 usd at the time of this blog post writing.) It has a 500km (310 miles) driving range. At this price, most Dutch must be super rich.

No comment on how it recharges in the winter in the northern European sun, or lack thereof. You might be better off with a $100usd trickle charger in your front window hooked to the cigarette lighter.

PV Magazine.

Friday, July 28, 2017

Farmbot: The first CNC farming robot!

The Farmbot acts like a CNC cutter but it plants seeds, waters, and weeds small scale gardens. Spot watering means less weeds to deal with and less water used.
  1. Different heads do different tasks like planting seeds, watering, etc.
  2. Has drag and drop farm designer software. 
  3. Powered by Raspberry Pi and Arduino MegaMicro controller.
  4. Automatically rotates crops over seasons. 
  5. Configure it to plant what you want, in any location in the bed. 
  6. Has soil sensor. 
  7. Has camera to watch how your garden grows and looks for weeds. Weeds are pushed underground. 

Innovation To Inspire.

Monday, July 24, 2017

California declares Roundup as cancer-causing

On some things California ignores the science, but since I've read the science behind toxic Roundup, and how you can't wash it off anything, and how it's absorbed into every cell of the plant, and how it's used on many more than just GMO crops, I have to agree with Cali on this one. Roundup is sprayed on non-GMO crops as well, to kill all the plants at the same time for harvest.
California will add glyphosate, the active ingredient in Roundup herbicide, to the list of chemicals known to the state to cause cancer on July 7, the state’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA).
Well no, they don't know it, no one really knows if glyphosate causes cancer, but it's a good bet it does. Correlation is easier to prove, but causation is nearly impossible to prove. Let's call hyperbole what it is, since it's not news nor fact. Here are some interesting studies.
  1. PAN has list of studies showing harm of glyphosate.
  2. Graph showing multiple studies on glyphosate, study conclusions, and cancer risk. There is correlation between glyphosate exposure and non-Hodgkins lymphoma. 
  3. Seralini wins lawsuit showing biotech is meddling in studies.
  4. Tests and studies about Roundup toxicity.
  5. Consensus by scientists: Roundup is bad.
  6. 2015: IARC declares glyphosate probable human carcinogen. Article here.
The agency originally announced the move in September 2015, but Monsanto—the producer of Roundup—filed a lawsuit to stop it.  
If Roundup is safe, why the lawsuit from biotech? What do they have to hide?

The US EPA says glyphosate is safe, but there are emails which show probably collusion with biotech. Another EPA scientist was fired for saying biosludge is toxic. Biosludge is what is left over after raw sewage is treated, and it is often sprayed on food crops in the US. Even a Monsanto exec admitted they faked data in studies. And Richard Goodman, a former Monsanto employee, was asked to write a piece supporting Roundup's "safety", and a few days later received a promotion at his university.


The Pooch Times.
All Glyphosate posts.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Pediatricians urge EPA to ban pesticides that hurt developing brains

Chlorpyrifos was scheduled to be banned but the EPA is not going to ban it after all. The American Academy of Pediatrics is a nonprofit professional organization, sent a letter to the EPA about this pesticide. Children and their brains are especially vulnerable to chemicals because chemicals can cause brain changes which are permanent. Big Big-Agro is more about money than safety, and this is why many dangerous chemicals are still used on food.

Some portions of the letter:
Children come into contact with pesticides daily through air, food, dust, and soil, and on surfaces through home and public lawn or garden application, household insecticide use, application to pests, and agricultural product residues

Epidemiologic studies associate pesticide exposure with adverse birth outcomes, including preterm birth, low birth weight, congenital abnormalities, pediatric cancers, neurobehavioral and cognitive deficits, and asthma. The evidence is especially strong linking certain pesticide exposure with pediatric cancers and permanent neurological damage. 
Chemicals are especially dangerous if they affect brains (which affects later behavior) or act as hormones like other chemicals do, or remain in the food or environment long-term (like glyphosate).

Environmental Working Group.

Tuesday, July 18, 2017

Loose lid provokes recall of 325,000 pounds of lard and fat products

Supreme Cuisine, of Montgomery City, Missouri, is recalling approximately 325,000 pounds of meat and poultry fat and lard products due to a single report of a loose lid. This might cause pathogens to grow inside the oil and make people sick. No reports of sick people yet.


Friday, July 14, 2017

Internet In A box for $50usd

Internet In A Box (IIAB) is a Raspberry Pi computer that acts as a wifi access point (WAP). It is designed for poor people and poor countries without reliable internet access, to help with their access to information, to further their education. It's also good for people with no internet access, home schooled kids, and if internet is unreliable, or in an off-grid scenario.

You can hook it up to a real internet connection, but you don't have to. You can also add your own content via a USB flash drive. Here are some of the content collections in the box you receive from IIAB:
  1. Wikipedia for Schools
  2. Offline Medical Encyclopedia
  3. Wiktionary
  4. Wikispecies
  5. Khan Academy Lite
  6. Moodle
  7. OpenStreetMap
  8. Owncloud
  9. PhET (interactive mathematics and science simulations)
  10. Science TED Talks
  11. Sugarizer
  12. Wikibooks
Brought to you by the people who made One Laptop Per Child. 

Similar links with similar devices or downloadable content
  1. Kiwix is a reader program for reading ZIM files offline. However all content must be converted to ZIM in order for Kiwix to read it. 
  2. Lantern receives data from satellites so you can use it offline. Pick and choose which "packs" you want to update. 
  3. lists more similar projects. Some come with hardware and content, other projects are just content. 

Monday, July 10, 2017

Lumir: a candle-powered LED light

Lumir, the LED powered by a candle. I can see why this would be useful. It's hard for many people, especially older people, to read by a single candle. But I can also see why people would not understand the concept. I can see them thinking "Why would I use a candle if I could just use my $4 LED flashlight or headlamp?"

That's a valid thought. But the technology in Lumir is pretty neat if a bit impractical for many western nations with power. However for nations without power, this might help them study at night by generating enough light to read by. However Lumir is much more expensive than some of the other solar charged lights for Africa.

There are several variations of Lumir and Lumir Spot would be the best for reading a book or magazine.

This appears to use a thermoelectric generator (TEG) and a voltage booster. But TEGs don't product much power, and the voltage boosters to boost the volts up high enough for an LED are expensive.

Wow! It seems they are $109usd on Amazon now.

Sunday, July 9, 2017

The REAL story behind Trump and clean water

During Obama's reign, he extended the Clean Water Act to small streams, some of which only contain water for some months of the year. Trump's rollback of this rule would only roll back that addition: small streams that would be covered under the Clean Water Act.

The Obama rule tried to expand the definition of "navigable waters", waters where you can travel on a boat on them, to included 1 inch deep streams, and stream beds that didn't even have have water in them for parts of the year! This includes drainage ditches on the side of the road.

The claim behind the hysteria: 117 million people in the US get their drinking water from small streams. (The footnote says "Streams classified by the U.S. Geological Survey as intermittent, ephemeral or headwater streams.") Intermittent, and ephemeral, mean the stream is not even there the whole year! From the USGS PDF:
  • Intermittent: "Contains water for only part of the year, but more than just after rainstorms and at snowmelt."
  • Ephemeral: "Contains water only during or after a local rainstorm or heavy snowmelt."
  • Headwater from here: "(1) the source and upper reaches of a stream; also the upper reaches of a reservoir. (2) the water upstream from a structure or point on a stream. (3) the small streams that come together to form a river. Also may be thought of as any and all parts of a river basin except the mainstream river and main tributaries."
The claim: 117 million people get 100% of their water from these sometimes-dry streams. The 2009 EPA map classified counties according to the percent of people in that county that use these types of streams for drinking water. In fact, the 2009 EPA study that EWG used shows somecounties use these streams for 87-100% of their drinking water.

Since "headwaters" were grouped with temporary streams in the 2009 EPA study, this makes the 72 million number suspicious.

  1. EPA 2009 study about drinking water from streams. This has a similar map to the EWG map. PDF of data by county.
  2. EWG article
  3. EWG analysis.  They provide an interactive map of US states and counties.

Saturday, July 8, 2017

LED light that creates more energy than it uses?

(This is from 2012 but it's still interesting to see if this technology became a product.)

With incandescent bulbs, only 10% of the energy used is converted the light, the rest is converted to heat. Current LED diodes, (as opposed to "LED bulbs" which can contain many diodes) use only about 17% of the energy of an incandescent bulb and do not create heat, which is good for heat-sensitive applications. For example, when I used standard (incandescent) bulbs in my outside yard light, and winters got to -20F ambient temperatures, the heat from the bulb would eventually crack and destroy the bulb itself from the sheer difference in temperature and the speed at which the bulb heated up. This was long ago and we moved to fluorescent bulbs at the time.

What if there was an LED bulb that produced more energy than it used? MIT researchers claim they have a bulb that creates energy as it uses it. It is 230% efficient, and seems to defy the laws of physics. But how to harvest that energy?

They researchers had a theory of using less voltage.
As you may have guessed, significantly lowering the input power creates a very weak LED bulb. In their tests, the MIT researchers succeeded in generating about 70 picowatts of light from 30 picowatts of energy — an efficiency of 230 percent! 
Artugo Verdugo comments on the Inhabitat story:
From what I know, this LEDs are more than 100% efficient because they are using electricity+environmental heat to produce light. That means that a large portion of the power being used comes directly from the environment.
At this point, neither 30 nor 70 picowatts will light any LED, but it's an interesting observation.

Inhabitat, 3/24/2012. Retrieved 7/6/2017.
Gizmodo article. Retrieved 7/6/2017.
The journal article. Feb 27, 2012. Retrieved: 7/6/2017.

Friday, July 7, 2017

Henry Miller: Small amounts of poison are good for you

When people selectively ignore facts, that could be called religion, or a cult. So here's Henry I. Miller. He was the founding director of the FDA’s Office of Biotechnology. He's written numerous articles about GMO foods. He is against labeling GMO foods and against informed decisions. He gets paid for writing articles supporting something so you know his opinion is biased.

Be careful with religious fanatics. The results could be bad.


Thursday, July 6, 2017

Can LED lights run for 25 years? 10 years?

Some people are working on circuits to make a dim LED light run for a year, or even 25 years. The initial attempts are to provide "marker lights". These lights are not light enough to use to walk around in the dark or read by, but they are perfect for marking tent pegs, camp sites, or trails at, for example, concerts or camp sites. They can also be used to mark latrines which are often some distance from camp sites, and be used in astronomy to possibly read text (although the lights are not very bright).

Tritium gas tubes last about 10 years, but they are expensive and not available legally in the US for hobbyists. Also there are some fakes sold on Ebay that only last a few months. In the US they can only be sold as part of a watch, gun sight or compass.  Ebay does not appear to regulate plain tritium vials sold to the US.

First a quick review of how batteries work.
  • An item, like an LED, needs a minimum amount of volts and amps (or milliamps) coming from the battery to make it work. If the minimum amount of both are not provided, the device does not work.
  • Volts is one measurement of how much power a battery puts out. As the battery is used up, the amount of volts it can provide goes down. So an LED might require 3 volts to work, or about two 1.5v AA batteries. As the battery is used up the volts go down, and the LED might go completely off at 2.5vdc.
  • Amps is another measurement, amps get "used up" as an LED is powered on. An LED might require 20 milliamps (ma), and the battery can supply only so many milliamps. Once those are used up, the battery no longer powers the LED light. But also, as the battery is used, the volts also go down, and the amps it can provide also goes down. Eventually the battery can only provide 10ma, which does not light the LED. 
  • Typical LEDs currently use 20-50ma (milliamps) but these projects are an attempt to use micro amps (a much smaller unit), instead of milliamps.
I have personally used voltage boosters to get more power out of AA and other batteries. The battery life is improved around 30%. Link here. But I don't use low-brightness LEDs. I have used 14,000mcd to 1 watt LEDs in my designs.

Here are some examples of current projects from

TritiLED is a circuit used to power an LED for 1 or more years before the battery needs changing. It is not a tritium vial, it is a low-powered LED with a special circuit.

ATTiny45 Everled. This runs at 10 microamps (ua) and has run for 2+  years on a single 3v coin cell. In this case the ATTiny45 is pulsed on for just one microsecond, which lights the LED, then the power is turned off. However the flickering is so fast that the human eye does not notice the LED turning off.

Decade Flashlight. Estimated run time is 10 years on 2 AA batteries. 3 boards for $3.05 on Oshpark but you must also pay shipping, buy the parts, and assemble it. You must also program a PIC microcontroller.

Quarter century lamp. Will work for 25 years on 2 AA batteries which provide 3.6vdc. Lithium Iron Disulfide batteries also seem to only lose 5% of their energy after 20 years of storage so the author might use these in his device.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

DIY camping stoves

Like to make new things? Like to make new things from discarded items? Like to have a stove to cook on during a power outage? Take a look at these easy to make DIY camping stoves.

The basic stove

The basic stove is called a "hobo stove" and uses small bits of wood or pinecones for fuel. Leaves or paper are sometimes used to start the file. It is normally big enough to put a small one-person pan on top or boil a quart of water. Fuel can normally be found all over the US.

The hobo stove

The hobo stove usually has holes in the bottom and top edges. They can be made from a variety of metal cans like paint cans, or metal coffee cans, or large food cans. Fancier hobo stoves will have a sliding door to cover the air holes in the bottom of the can.

One variation of hobo stove from metal coffee can.
 Hobo stove cutaway:

The Rocket stove and variations

The rocket stove is similar to the hobo stove in that it has an insulated vertical chimney. The insulation can help direct more heat to the pot sitting on top of the stove. Larger versions of rocket stoves can also be used to heat a house as the insulated portions of the stove, which are often cement, act as thermal mass to release heat slowly over time.

Another rocket stove.

Monday, July 3, 2017

What is the truth about GMOs and pesticides?

EarthOpenSource has a 330pg PDF for free that claims to cut through the corporate BS. But be careful, even well-meaning groups can misinterpret studies or even have their own agenda.

You can read the PDF here. But they want your name and email address, so you will surely be put on a "newsletter" list.

The truth is, many studies from many countries show the harm pesticides can do to people, not just farmers. Some of these studies are covered in this blog. You can click on the right sidebar to find a tag name to narrow down the blog posts you want to see. For example, all blog posts where the main topic is "glyphosate" have the "glyphosate" tag. But tags also are for the main agencies involved (like "FDA"), countries involved (like "India", but not "US"), and the pesticide name (like "dicamba").

Sunday, July 2, 2017

Repurposing plastic bottles

In many countries, plastic bottles seem to be everywhere. So instead of filling the dumps up with them, or recycling them, you can make stuff from them. Check out these collections to get some ideas for you.

Many countries suffer from having too much plastic garbage. Many countries dump the garbage in the ocean, and contribute to the various garbage patches throughout the world. The plastic in the ocean breaks down into smaller pieces but never chemically degrades, so a recycling option would be helpful.
  1. Pinterest: Recycled plastic bottle ideas. They have everything from a painted vase with base, garden slow watering bottles, chained planters for small plants, Tiki masks, water sprinkler, and more!
  2. Make plastic bottle string.  Video
  3. Soda bottle rope. Video. This actually could be strong stuff. 
  4. Simple plastic bottle string from Mr. Gear. Video. If you look at the different designs you will be able to figure out how to make a simple one for little or no money.
  5. Roman Ursu also has a simple way to make soda bottle string. Video.
  6. This machine makes trimmer string from plastic bottles. Video. They run the braided line over a hot plate to congeal it together. Another machine makes brooms from soda bottle "string". 
  7. How I made my soda bottle cutter. Simple. Video
  8. Recycling milk jugs into fencing. Video.  
  9. Roof tiles made from recycled plastic. Video. Plastic doesn't degrade, it doesn't rust, it's waterproof, so roof tiles are a super application here!
  10. Making brooms from plastic bottles! What better way to clean up your garbage and clean up your house too! Video.
A "Recycling Bicycle" (re-bicycle?) makes plastic thread from old plastic. Video. This is a bike-powered grinder to grind down plastics so people can sell the pellets for about $1.80 per kilogram. This could be a significant source of income for them. The device also heats the plastic to make a flat thread which can be used to make chairs or stools or nets. One problem is many people will not have access to electricity for the extruder, which is integrated into the bicycle grinder.

However there are some problems. Buyers do not want plastics of various types mixed together as they make a very low grade plastic. They want plastics separated. Illiterate populations will have a hard time telling the different plastics apart even if there are recycle symbols on the plastic, so this could be an impossible hurdle for most poor people in developing countries.

Saturday, July 1, 2017

2015: IARC declares glyphosate (Roundup) probable carcinogen

IARC, the research arm of WHO, declared that glyphosate (the active ingredient in Roundup) is a probably human carcinogen. PDF here.

What types of posts do you want to see more of?

I would like to know from readers what content they would like to see more of. If you could take this quick poll that would be great!

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Food Revolution documentary pushes toxic chemicals

The documentary "Food Revolution" pushes the toxic chemical industry.But there has been quite a history of lying and hiding studies in the past.
  1. 1985: Monsanto admits glyphosate could cause cancer
  2. Monsanto used army of shills to promote pesticides. If it was safe, why the need for paid shills?
  3. Monsanto faces more cancer lawsuits. If it was safe, why all the lawsuits? 
  4. Low levels of Roundup cause liver disease in rats. But they said it was safe? 
  5. Scotts GMO grass escapes test beds. But they said it couldn't escape? 
  6. GM soy linked to sick pigs.  
  7. Monsanto GMO corn damaged intestines.
  8. USDA: 85% of foods tested contain glyphosate
  9. High levels of glyphosate found in many American foods. Lists the foods that were tested, with brands.
  10. Study: glyphosate kills good bacteria in the gut. This leads to several chronic illnesses.
  11. Study: glyphosate linked to more disease
  12. Study: Glyphosate damages algae. Monsanto says "not fair!"
  13. Monsanto and EU hid studies showing dangers of glyphosate (Roundup). But if it's safe, why hide the studies?
  14. Consensus of scientists: Roundup is bad for the body!

Each month more studies come out showing the dangers of pesticides, yet industry keeps saying they are safe. Look at all the times the chemical industry hid studies, lied by omission, and independent studies proved them wrong. It's ridiculous.


Friday, June 30, 2017

Brazil approves world's first gmo sugar cane

It doesn't matter if the sugar can is GMO or not, if they spray it with glyphosate it will end up in our food. Glyphosate is sprayed on the leaves, and taken up by all of the plant. It cannot be washed off. Sugar cane is used in LOTS of foods that need a sweetener. Glyphosate is also used to kill a whole crop all at once to increase crop yields, whether the crop is Roundup Ready or not.


Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Reusing soap slivers

How does one reuse soap slivers? There are several methods.

There used to be a mold where the top and bottom came off. You soak your slivers for 24 hours to make them soft, drain excess water, and press soft slivers into this mold. Then remove a new block of soap. But I can't find this mold on Amazon, Ebay, or Aliexpress. If you can find this soap press, please let me know in the comments.

Some people mash the soap into a muffin tin with a sturdy plastic cup. I would avoid using a glass since some might break in your hands and cause injury. 

Some people grate the soap, heat it up in a tin can (pop cans are too light for this), and pour into a waxed Dixie cup for a round soap. Some others use muffin tins, and pour the melted soap in there. You can use muffin tins from the Dollar Tree but spray them with oil before pouring melted soap into them. I'm going to try a silicone mold later because I can push the soap out through the bottom.
Aliexpress link to round silicone soap mold.

I  tried to microwave some slivers on 50% power but they just bubbled like popcorn.

If you have an idea that worked well, please leave a comment! Thanks!

Monday, June 26, 2017

New study shows toxic environs cause cancer

  1. It's not just genetics, but a toxic environment can cause cancer, says a new study from the journal Cancer. 
  2. Researchers examined hundreds of variables that contribute to the overall quality of the environment. These included air pollution, water pollution, pesticide and radon levels, access to health services, and healthy food. (Some studies suggest that tires going on the roads produce a black rubber dust which can make asthma worse.)
  3. The researchers concluded that poor quality of air and built environment as well as high sociodemographic risk factors had the strongest associations to higher rates of cancer, particularly in urban areas. (Sociodemographic risk factors mean, besides other things, poor people can only afford older, cheap housing, which often has lead paint, asbestos, etc.)

Thursday, June 22, 2017

BHA and BHT in cosmetics

Butylated compounds, includes BHA and BHT are commonly found in cosmetics.

Butylated compounds are found in creams, lip products, makeup, hair products, sunscreen, fragrance, antiperspirant/deodorant, and more. Some studies have shown they can influence hormones in the body, can be toxic to some organs, can cause with child development, and may cause cancer. The compounds have many names, but here's one: butylated hydroxyanisole. It has a CAS No. 25013-16-5.

From the NTP report on Butylated Hydroxyanisole:
Dietary exposure to BHA caused benign and malignant tumors of the forestomach (papilloma and squamous-cell carcinoma) in rats of both sexes and in male mice and hamsters (IARC 1986, Masui et al. 1986). Since BHA was listed in the Sixth Annual Report on Carcinogens, an additional study in experimental animals has been identified. Dietary administration of BHA to fish (hermaphroditic Rivulus marmoratus) as larvae caused liver cancer (hepatocellular carcinoma) in the adult fish (Park et al. 1990).

Currently there is not enough data to say whether BHA causes cancer in humans, but gathering more data on this can  take years.

The best action to take is to avoid butylated compounds, and help your kids do the same. Check all lotions, chapstick, lip gloss, and anything they put on their skin.

  2. National Toxicology Program, “Report on Carcinogens, Twelfth Edition. Butylated Hydroxyanisole,” 2011. [Last accessed 6/12/2017].
  3. Environmental Working Group, “Skin Deep. Butylated Hydroxytoluene,” [Online]. Available: [Accessed 20 June 2013].
  4. Environmental Working Group, “Skin Deep. Butylated Hydroxyanisole,” [Online]. Available: [Accessed 20 June 2013].
  5. Labrador V et al., “Cytotoxicity of butylated hydroxyanisole in Vero cells,” Cell biology and toxicology, vol. 23, no. 3, pp. 189-99, 2007.
  6. Lanigan RS, Yamarik TA, “Final report on the safety of assessment of BHT (1),” International journal of toxicology, vol. 21, no. Suppl 2, pp. 19-94, 2002.
  7. Jeong SH et al, “Effects of butylated hydroxyanisole on the development and functions of reproductive system in rats,” Toxicology, vol. 208, no. 1, pp. 49-62, 2005.
  8. Masui T et al, “Sequential changes of the forestomach of F344 rats, Syrian golden hamsters, and B6C3F1 mice treated with butylated hydroxyanisole,” Japanese journal of cancer research, vol. 77, no. 11, pp. 1083-90, 1986.
  9. Botterweck AA, “Intake of butylated hydroxyanisole and butylated hydroxytoluene and stomach cancer risk: results from analyses in the Netherlands Cohort Study,” Food and chemical toxicology, vol. 38, no. 7, pp. 599-605, 2000.

[1] National Toxicology Program, “Report on Carcinogens, Twelfth Edition. Butylated Hydroxyanisole,” 2011.
[2] Environmental Working Group, “Skin Deep. Butylated Hydroxytoluene,” [Online]. Available: [Accessed 20 June 2013].
[3] Environmental Working Group, “Skin Deep. Butylated Hydroxyanisole,” [Online]. Available: [Accessed 20 June 2013].
[4] Labrador V et al., “Cytotoxicity of butylated hydroxyanisole in Vero cells,” Cell biology and toxicology, vol. 23, no. 3, pp. 189-99, 2007.
[5] Lanigan RS, Yamarik TA, “Final report on the safety of assessment of BHT (1),” International journal of toxicology, vol. 21, no. Suppl 2, pp. 19-94, 2002.
[6] Jeong SH et al, “Effects of butylated hydroxyanisole on the development and functions of reproductive system in rats,” Toxicology, vol. 208, no. 1, pp. 49-62, 2005.
[7] Masui T et al, “Sequential changes of the forestomach of F344 rats, Syrian golden hamsters, and B6C3F1 mice treated with butylated hydroxyanisole,” Japanese journal of cancer research, vol. 77, no. 11, pp. 1083-90, 1986.
[8] Botterweck AA, “Intake of butylated hydroxyanisole and butylated hydroxytoluene and stomach cancer risk: results from analyses in the Netherlands Cohort Study,” Food and chemical toxicology, vol. 38, no. 7, pp. 599-605, 2000. - See more at: