Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Jerusalem Artichokes

I never did get around to planting out my Jerusalem artichokes I bought this spring.  I guess now is a good time to do it.
You can see how they cracked open the plastic pot.

Thursday, October 10, 2013

Going Upslope in LA

Wow, this couple has a self-reliant lifestyle in Los Angeles on 1/12 of an acre in a 900 square foot home:

Friday, September 6, 2013

The Bug-Out Movie

I've read the book, at some point I want to watch the movie:

Joel Skousen's Strategic Relocation

I still say, this late in the game, you should either stay where you are, or go home.  But if where you are is not home, or there are several places you feel at home, I think the book can help you decide.  Even if you're staying in place, he does a fine job of threat analysis for every area in these united States of America, so it can be useful for figuring out what to prepare for.
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Monday, August 26, 2013

The Man With The (Peak-Oil Business) Plan

James M. Dakin has quite a blog, posting basically daily Monday through Friday.  Pedaling to Work was a particularly notable entry.  He has some great ideas for running a bicycle-based business to prepare for collapse.

Make a Simple Solar Oven

This is a pretty well illustrated guide to making a double-wall solar oven using simple materials:

Monkey Ninjas

Alas, their website seems to be gone, but Carl and Phil still live on in Youtube:

Bearly Survived

A biker wearing a helmet camera crashes into a bear crossing the road.  The bear wanders off and the motorcyclist's injuries were not life-threatening.  See the video at

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Going Bananas

A local southwestern Pennsylvania town celebrates the 109th birthday of the banana split.

The Answer To Climate Change

The Coalition of the Willing believe they have the answer to climate change, and they have made a video about it.  Science Pope reviews it.

Then They Mock You

“First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.” Mahatma Gandhi
There Are Now Approximately 3 Million Preppers In The United States, Why Are They Hated So Much?

Priceless Nature

The beauty of nature is priceless.  And no amount of money can bring back an extinct species.  But the services that are provided for us by nature, we can estimate how much it would cost if we had to do them ourselves.  Larry Goulder and Tony Juniper talk with Climate One about how to do that.

Moped Rules in PA

At some point I'd like to have a velomobile, which would be classified as a moped, so I'll want to know the rules of the road for mopeds in Pennsylvania.

Got Eggs?

Got way too many eggs?  I know I do at times.  Here's a place that has a lot of egg recipes: Simply Recipes.

Saturday, August 24, 2013

The New Red Green

Oh, dear, what could the madder be?  Chemists have figured out a way to use plant pigments to make lithium-ion batteries: Ancient Red Dye Powers New “Green” Battery

Even Less to Love About Fracking

In case you didn't have enough to worry about, how about this one: your home insurance dropping your policy because your neighbor has a well? Grist reveals how Fracking Boom Could Lead To Housing Bust.

NWO Handbook

There isn't a conspiracy for global governance.  It's all out in the open.  Here's one of their handbooks:

Our Global Neighborhood : The Report of the Commission on Global Governance

Yet Another Chicken Tractor Design

This one is from Lazy B farm.  It's not particularly elegant, but the design does look pretty simple, and there are lots of pictures to follow.

Solar Powered Mobile Machine Shop

CampExist did something pretty neat: he put a machine shop inside a truck and made it solar powered.  He shows it off in this video:

He used the shop to build an electric bike.  Unfortunately he had to sell it off, but it is a cool concept.

Friday, August 23, 2013

How Come I'm Not Here?

Where have I been hiding out lately? At the Doomstead Diner....
and that's probably not going to change anytime soon...
I think I will start posting here again, and mirroring my posts on a thread there.

Thursday, March 21, 2013

How Solar Is Killing Fossil Fuels

Yes, you read that right:

The Price of Solar Power by Luis de Sousa on

The critical paragraph in the entire article:
A perfect concurrency market with a marginal cost of zero is something totally outside the standard study and practice in economics. It is the reason why spot electricity prices collapse during sunny summer days or why during autumn storms there can even be negative prices. These are all symptoms of a market whose price will get closer and closer to zero the larger the number of renewable energy systems connected.
Of course, this is not profitable for electrical generation of any kind.

Friday, January 25, 2013

Future Story: Alas Zion, Part II

(In part I, we are introduced to a father and son working in the field and discover that the father has met Adolf Hitler, the painter...)

The son continues.  "Yeah, we learned about him in Art History during winter break.  They called him the 'Premier Painter of the Third Reich', the 'Father of the Grotesque School'.  He's the one who painted all those mutilated bodies and stuff."

"Yeah, that's how the world knows him today.  But that's not how I knew him.  In a different time he was the most feared and hated man in the entire world. Although, when I met him he was about your age."

"Okay, Dad, now I know you're pulling my leg.  That was over a hundred years ago.  There's no way you could have met him when he was my age."

"This is a secret I haven't told anyone except your mother on her death bed.  I have actually traveled
through time.  I was born 45 years ago, but it was a different time.  In a way it all started with the destruction of Israel."

"What's Israel?"

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Future Story: Alas Zion, Part I

(I have had the idea for this story for over a decade.  Thanks to William Hunter Duncan and his Asima series, I now know how.  I don't know if I will ever do more with it, so if anyone wants to take this idea and expand on it, all I ask is that you let people know where you got the idea.)

A large field fills the river valley.  Small cart paths criss cross the field.  Row upon row of produce are being tended by people scattered throughout the field.  A late middle-aged man and a boy just coming into manhood work fairly close together.

"Son..." the man calls.

"Yes, Dad?"

"Come closer so we can talk."

The boy walks over to the next row from his dad and faces him.

"Have I ever told you about the time I met Adolf Hitler?"

"No, Dad... Why does that name sound familiar?  Oh, wait, was he a painter?"

The man laughed.  "Yes, son, he was a painter."

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

The Biggest Thing

It's over 4 billion light-years long: "Scientists Discover Universe’s Largest Known Structure" on the Science World blog on Voice of America.  That's something like 8% of the diameter of the known universe.

Thursday, January 10, 2013

A Simple Biochar Experiment

My cat loves to eat grass.  When it's too cold for him to go out, I'll grow some catgrass for him.  This past spring I did a little experiment to see about optimizing what I grow for him.  I took a mix of 1/3 peat moss, 1/3 vermiculite, and 1/3 compost (which if you do Square Foot Gardening you'll recognize as Mel's Mix) and a mix of 1/2 biochar and 1/2 compost and combined them in equal parts.  I took out one 3" round pot's worth of that mix, which I will call a 1/2 biochar-compost mix, and to the remainder I added an amount of Mel's Mix equal to what I had left, giving me a 1/4 biochar-compost mix.  I repeated this process down to 1/128 biochar-compost mix.  I then planted them all with 30 catgrass seeds, set them out on my patio table, and waited a couple weeks until it was time to harvest.  At that point there was visibly more catgrass in the containers in the 1/8 and 1/16 biochar-compost mixes than the ones with more or less.

The point of this wasn't to get quantifiable results but to have an idea of what range the biochar was most effective in.  If I repeat this experiment I will likely do more than one pot of each, and actually measure my results, but I will probably only try between 1% and 10% biochar.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Thank Obama...

Arthur Silbur from his latest entry in his Power of Narrative blog:
The only reason you aren't dead right now is because Obama hasn't decided to kill you -- yet. But he claims he has the power to do so -- and there are almost no voices of any prominence to dispute the contention.
So, have you thanked Obama today for allowing you to live?

Sunday, January 6, 2013

A Scary Thought

With the regard to the government, what if this is as good as it can get?  Or as George Mobus puts it on  Question Everything,
What If the People We Send to Congress ARE the Best We Can Find?
 This scary thought occurred to me as I watched the fiscal cliff negotiations proceed. I have been lamenting the brokeness of the political system and the federal government for a while now. And I am hardly the only one. But if my thesis about the lack of sapience is correct then we are not looking at a merely broken system. Maybe the system is working perfectly given the constraints on the capabilities of the component parts (we humans). We can't assume that somehow or another we keep sending incompetent or dishonest people to Washington and that one day that will change.