How to print these articles

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Using notepad or text editor:

Select text you want to print, copy it to the clipboard using CTL-C. Paste into notepad or your favorite text editor using CTL-V. Use your text editor to print.

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.