zdashamber: painting - a frog wearing a bandanna (Default)
Seriously, dumpster diving is a lot of fun. You get to apply all sorts of body skills that don't come in handy all that often, there's the thrill of the hunt, the chance of doing good work and getting filthy (come on, you miss that in today's world, right?), the recycling, the imagining other people's lives...

Read more... )
zdashamber: painting - a frog wearing a bandanna (Default)
Homer: Come on, Flanders, there's gotta be something you hate. What about mosquito bites?
Ned: Mmm mmm! Sure are fun to scratch! Mmm! Satisfying!
Homer: What about, uhhhhh, fluorescent lights?
Ned: Oooh, they hum like angels! You're never lonely if you've got a fluorescent light!
I want to like fluorescent lights. Really, I mean, there's the living-lightly thing, and there's the not-burning-out-suddenly thing, and there's the freeging-politicians-jamming-'em-in-our-face thing. But they just suck. They create crappy light.

I've mentioned this to my friends some, and they're like "Oh, but those are bulbs you got from Ikea years ago! Things are advancing really fast!" But I've been doing a lot of research about light sources lately for an idea I have on backlit mouldings, and I can tell you that the trouble is: every single way to make light today that doesn't involve "heating something up" (ie, incandescents or fire) involves quantized light. We excite this thing electrically, and then it drops back down an energy level, releasing a packet of photons at a certain wavelength. Fluorescents have a vapor in them that glows at high UV energy, and coatings on the glass that are excited by that energy and then put out visible light droppings. EL, neon, LEDs, directly drop photon packets.

So let's compare spectrums, shall we? )
zdashamber: painting - a frog wearing a bandanna (Default)
So, we've all got a dream mansion/secret underground lair of evil/treehouse in our heads to consider while insomniac or otherwise unoccupied. In mine, I live lightly on the grid because I've had a hole drilled a few thousand feet down where the earth is hot, and hot air rises to turn a turbine and then go on to heat the house. How delighted I was this evening to find that someone else has already considered the energy stored in the earth and worked out a much better way to draw on it to heat (and cool!) a house!

Short bit on ground source heat pumps )

Oh, and an update on the hole in the infrastructure Dear Martha: apparently it's international news, as determined by my sister in London who called up just to laugh at me yesterday after seeing "Northern California Bridge Blows Up" on Yahoo. What, London gets the earthquakes and we get the insane traffic? Dogs and cats! Living together!

Today wasn't bad, though my path on the 580-80 ramp was slow with people taking in the best view of the fascinating destruction. (Usually: slow just because.)

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Madeline the Edifying

October 2011

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