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Monday, January 30, 2017

DIY penny battery

This DIY penny battery needs some US pennies with a zinc core (after 1982) and some cardboard soaked in an electrolyte.

When making the cardboard pieces, make sure they do not touch any other cardboard pieces. This will cause a short and the battery will not work.


Friday, January 27, 2017

Scotts grass escapes test beds

A type of grass by the Scotts company has escaped test beds and is now in the wild of Oregon. The grass is Roundup resistant, and people have been trying to kill it for 10 years. Now Scotts is trying to have Oregonians foot the bill, and ignore its own responsibility in the debacle.

GMO Inside. Jan 8, 2017.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Lantern receives free data 24/7

The Lantern device from Outernet receives data for free from their collection of L-band satellites.
  • It is solar charged. Battery holds 4000mah.
  • It receives 20mb per day. That's about 20 minutes of good quality audio, average quality video, or 40 minutes of mono audio.
  • It does data to the internet, communication is receive only. 
  • A DIY receiver kit is $100.  It comes with the CHIP single board computer. (This means it requires a monitor, keyboard, mouse.)
  • It saves data and becomes a wifi hotspot, so you can share data with others. 
  • It currently receives content from offline Wikipedia files, and news stations like BBC, Medline, WHO and Al Jazeera. 
  • It has a USB for output, an SD card slot.  
  • You need to install an Oracle VM in order to update the hardware for Skylark.
  • The CHIP computer uses the OS called rxOS. 
From Wikipedia:
The Outernet broadcast is broken into three categories: the Queue, Sponsored Content, and the Core Archive.[5] Content in the Queue is decided via votes on Whiteboard as well as requests via the Outernet Facebook page. Outernet plans to expand the avenues through which it is able to receive requests for content. Anyone can view what is being broadcast on Outernet at any time.
The pieces
DIY home kit. $99us with USB power pack.

But there are still questions.
  1. How do we select which data we want to receive? 
  2. How can I request a specific file, ebook, or video? Use their Whiteboard, as a way to suggest content.Or their Filecast Center.
  3. Is the hotspot secured with a password that I can give to other people?  
  4. For the hotspot, is there user-level security where some people can access only one or two folders? 
  5. Can it connect to a Windows PC via wifi or USB port? Or do I need a separate keyboard, mouse and monitor? 
  6. How can I remove and manage content on my own Lantern hotspot? 
  7. Can I name the hotspot? Does it need it's own IP address? How do I get an IP address?  
  8. Can I leave it out in the rain? What about the snow?  A plastic enclosure is due soon.
  9. The DIY weather kit is not weather-proof. Are there any cases for the receiver?  
  10. How do we point the receiver to make sure we get the strongest signal?
  11. It uses a battery pack for power, but can it use 5vdc connected to mains power?
Future features
We currently envision a system that allows content-requests through SMS, phone calls, feature phone apps, and the website. Source.

Sources and more info

Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Foods help you destress

People can get stress from a variety of sources, including work, relationships, neighbors, family, and more. Read this article to find out why these foods help the body deal with stress. Dark leafy greens and Chia seeds have magnesium which is important.


Sunday, January 22, 2017

DIY AA battery delivers 1.6vdc!

Yes I'm Jonesing for DIY batteries! There will be several articles on different types of DIY batteries.

This is a neat DIY project even kids can do. The voltage is so low it will hurt no one.

This delivers 1.6vdc. It probably costs more than batteries at the Dollar Tree, but it will work in a pinch. All you need is galvanized washers (which provides the zinc layer) and copper washes (for the copper layer), and cardboard soaked in vinegar or another acidic solution, or salt water.

An AA battery has a diameter of .53" (14mm) and a length of 1.95" (49.7mm) including the top button. If fitting this into a device is important, try to get 13mm washers (outside diameter) so you will room for the shrink wrap. A US penny can be used but it's too wide at 18.9mm.

Modern US pennies since about 1984 have a zinc inside, and thin copper layer outside. So you can sand off one side of the penny to expose the zinc, and the other side will be copper.

Some questions to ask when making this:
  1. Does the voltage or amps produced depend on the surface area of the washers? 
  2. What happens to the volts or amps if you change the electrolytes? 
Copper washers.
  1. Copper washers, 10x, from Hong Kong.
  2. Assorted copper washers various sizes, 200 pcs
  3. Copper washers, 6mm inside diam, 10mm outside diam, 1mm thick. 10 pcs.
  4. Copper washers, 14mm outside diam, 10pcs.  
  5. Copper washers, 13mm outside diam, 10pcs.

Zinc washers. (Galvanized washers means they are coated with zinc to resist rust.)
In various metric sizes.

  1. Washer dimensions.
  2. More metric washer dimensions (PDF).
  3. M6 washers have an OUTSIDE diameter of 11.5-16mm.
  4. M7 washers have outside diameter of 13.5mm.

Friday, January 20, 2017

97% of threatened species likely harmed by 2 pesticides

The EPA recently released its analysis of 1800 species protected under the Endangered Species Act are likely harmed by 2 pesticides: chlorpyrifos and malathion. It appears decades later, that neither government nor industry has learned a thing after the PCB and other fiascos of the 1960s and 1970s.

  1. EcoWatch. Jan 19, 2017. EcoWatch did not provide a link to the EPA report.
  2. Possible related reports: EPA report on malathion. The date of the report is conspicuously absent. EPA report on chlorpyrifos. EPA report on diazinon.
  3. Possible draft of the report from the EPA, April 2016. "As part of the Endangered Species Act consultation process with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and the National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS), EPA has released for public comment the first-ever draft biological evaluations analyzing the nation-wide effects of chlorpyrifos, diazinon, and malathion on endangered and threatened species and designated critical habitat. Partial evaluations, without the effects determinations, were released in December 2015."

Study shows Roundup causes liver disease

Keep in mind that there's a difference between glyphosate (which is bad enough) and Roundup, which contains surfactants to make it better absorbed by plants. Some studies indicate Roundup to be much more dangerous than plain glyphosate.

The study was peer reviewed at Nature.comdoi:10.1038/srep39328
The impairment of liver function by low environmentally relevant doses of glyphosate-based herbicides (GBH) is still a debatable and unresolved matter. Previously we have shown that rats administered for 2 years with 0.1 ppb (50 ng/L glyphosate equivalent dilution; 4 ng/kg body weight/day daily intake) of a Roundup GBH formulation showed signs of enhanced liver injury as indicated by anatomorphological, blood/urine biochemical changes and transcriptome profiling. 
Wow! Damage at parts per billion! Or 4 NANOgrams per kg of body weight! Damage occurs at concentrations far below EPA standards.

This was a 2 year study on female rat liver tissue.  The rats suffered from Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD). NAFLD currently affects 25% of the US population. NAFLD can progress to the more serious condition non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH). Over the 24 months the trigliceride levels rose in the rates. See Figure 1 graph in study.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Danish study: GM soy linked to sick pigs

Don't forget about this one from 2012. Farmers are learning how huge losses are caused by GM feed. But it's not the GM feed that's the problem, it's the pesticides, especially glyphosate, sprayed on the feed. Glyphosate is a systemic chemical, it's in all parts of the plant, and it can't be washed off. Many studies show it's harmful to mammals and mammal cells.
A Danish farming newspaper has caused quite a stir by devoting a sizeable part of its 13 April edition to the discoveries by pig farmer lb Borup Pedersen that GM soy has a damaging effect both on his animals and on his farming profitability. On the front page of the paper there was a lead story under the headline "Pig farmer reaps gains from GMO-free soy". On a sidebar the paper referred to Mr Pedersen's contention that DDT and Thalidomide were minor problems when set alongside GMOs and Glyphosate. In an Editorial Comment on page 2, the paper argued that it would be grossly irresponsible for the authorities to ignore or ridicule the discoveries made by the farmer in his pig farming operations, and it congratulated the authorities for commissioning a new study designed to determine whether stomach lesions and other effects might be associated with GM soy; in the study 100 animals will be fed with non-GM soy and 100 with GM soy in their diets.
Mr. Borup Pederson talked to a mainstream Danish farming newspaper (Effektivt Landbrug).

In his discussions with GM-Free Cymru Mr Pedersen itemised the following effects:
  1. Within 2 days diarrhoea virtually disappeared in the farrowing house, whereas before we had used 50-100 ml Borgal / day.
  2. Since switching, we have not experienced death from bloat in sows or death by ulcers, as opposed to minimum 1 per month previously. (36 sows died due to stomach related sickness over the last two years before switching)
  3. No sows have died through loss of appetite, whereas 2 sows died from this cause last year.
  4. Even without washing between farrowings, diarrhoea does not now reappear. Previously when we failed to wash between sows, we noticed more diarrhoea.
  5. Previously we have struggled with diarrhoea in first layer sows, we do not have this problem any more!
  6. Two years ago when the diarrhoea was as its worst, we had months with nearly 30% dead in the farrowing house. At that time it was impossible to find sows that could nurse piglets.
  7. Before it was unusual to have a sow with 13 piglets weaned. The average was about 10.5 per sow plus spare mothers. Now we are getting over 12 piglets on average weaned and 14 piglets weaned per sow is common. We have fewer nursing sows, simply because the sows are milking better and eating more.
  8. Sows farrow better and we have 0.3 more live births per sow, of which 0.2 is gained from fewer stillborn. Now we have 14.9 liveborn and 1.6 stillborn, averaged over the past 7 months.
  9. The piglets weaned are stronger and more evenly sized.
  10. Man-hours are reduced by 20-30 hours per month, partly by washing less and because everything is easier.
 This isn't a full-blown study, but still, it's very telling and should point the way to a larger study.

Post from GMWatch.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Batteroo post updated

The Batteroo post has been updated as people test the device. Read up here.

Basically I thought it was possible to miniaturize a Joule Thief but this device doesn't even do that. It's a total scam.

Testing different electrolytes at home for DIY batteries.

For each DIY battery you make, you have dissimilar metals, like copper and zinc. But sometimes they are not always metal, like the aluminum foil and activated charcoal battery. In order to test the power output of different electrolytes we must make all other variables the same. Here's what you will need:
  1. Penny
  2. Nickel, post-1964 (1964 was a transition year so some nickels contain silver, get a nickel post-1964 to make sure it has no silver)
  3. 2 wires each with an alligator clip.
  4. Multimeter. If you want to use a USB meter instead you will need to buy this USB to test hook adapter.
  5. 3 beakers or glasses. Plastic cups can work also. 
  6. Salt
  7. Vinegar
  8. Lemon juice
  9. Measuring spoon of 1 teaspoon
  10. Measuring beaker of 100ml. If you don't have a beaker use a measuring cup for liquid measurements, not dry measurements.

Above: I use different containers, and I found a 60ml measuring cup!
Above: Find some wires with alligator clips on both ends. Hook the red wire to the nickel (+, red) and the black wire to the penny (-, black).

Now put 100ml in a glass, put both the penny and nickel in the water, and turn the multimeter to measure DC voltage. We get about 147millivolts with plain water, that's not enough to even light an LED.

Remove the penny and nickel. Now take the 100ml of water and add one level teaspoon of salt to it. Stir it well. Now put the penny and nickel back into the water. What voltage does the voltmeter read now?

If your multimeter reads a negative voltage it just means you have to switch the probes around. A negative voltage won't harm your multimeter. 

Remove the nickel and penny and add a second teaspoon of salt, stir it well. Put the nickel and penny back into the saltwater. How much voltage is being generated? How many amps?

Discard the salt water and rinse the glass well. Now make these solutions and test the voltage and amps they output. Write each result down.
  1. 50ml water, 50ml vinegar. 
  2. 50ml water, 100ml vinegar. 
  3. Discard vinegar water and rinse glass well. 
  4. 50ml water, 50ml lemon juice. 
  5. Discard lemon water and rinse glass well. 
  6. Add 100ml of soda. Take a voltage reading. Write it down.

What happens to the voltage and amps in each case? By adding more vinegar or lemon juice (both acids), does the voltage go up or down? What kind of voltage does soda give? Sodas are very acidic so they should work very well.

You can search the internet for different kinds of metals. Certain combinations of metals give higher voltages, and some give more amps, and some give a longer run time. Likewise, the stronger acids can also have an effect on voltage.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

"I'm not dead yet!"

"I'm not dead yet!" said a plague victim in Monty Python. Well, we're not dead yet either, we're just busy. If you have an article to submit, please write it up and get in contact with me to have it posted.

Thank you and have a great new year!