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Upside-down peppers of doom!

February 23, 2009 11:08 AM 2/23/09

So after doing a little research I’ve found that a number of things can be grown upside-down from hanging planters - including my peppers.

I’m probably not going to do that but it’s an interesting proposition because it means that as long as you have good light you can grow food where you normally wouldn’t think you could.

I watched a couple on House Hunter’s International last night buy a small house with land in Spain and they were complaining about the size of the land. I’d do quite a bit to get a plot of land like they were complaining about. Just one acre would be all I’d need...

No snow on the immediate horizon but it’s still cold. If it warms up quickly enough I should be able to tear out all that dead carpet in the garden and get it bagged. (I remembered to get construction grade garbage bags this weekend.)

There seems to be yet another virus increase out there including variants of Antivirus 2009/System Guard 2009 that will prevent you from easily running Malwarebyte’s Anti-Malware. Fortunately running the program in “Compatibility Mode” in XP allows it to run and remove the buggers. Make sure you download a new version before trying that.

I’d really like to find these virus coders, tie them down, prop open their eyes, and make them watch re-runs of nothing but daytime commercials with headphones pumping static into their heads turned up to 11.

Anyway I’m pretty sick of dealing with the constant infections. This one was so virulent that I’m going to have to check my wife and daughters’ laptops at home because it could come in from anywhere not just clicked links.

I’d really like to do some winter heat tests of my Fresnel heater idea but I’m short one 50“ Fresnel lense unfortunately. They have them locally but they want an insane amount of money for them. Then there’s the steel bar I’d need and the ductwork. And the fan. *sigh* I always seem to be short of materials. I wonder what kind of heat a 12” Fresnel would generate. Probably not enough as the focal point would likely not be quite right. Worth a try though if I can find my floppy 8“ x 11” magnifiers.

Drank a bunch of cran-crap this weekend. (As my wife likes to refer to it.) I don’t seem to have the back pain as of this moment in time but I’ll drink more of it for the next few days just to make sure. My wife is taking cranberry capsules because she hates the taste of anything cranberry based. I prefer cran-cherry for some reason which is a little too bittersweet for most people.

For some reason I’m still thinking about desert technology. I’m kind of wondering exactly how much moisture is in the air in a desert environment that can be condensed below the ground level. I know it’s not much but there’s got to be some. I wonder if you could do this and make it work:

1) Drill a 25’ hole into the ground.

2) Make a u-shaped 25’ x 4“ copper pipe with a small ”T“ spigot at the end attached to an enclosed PV powered pump. (Both ”U“ legs are 25’ long”)

3) Attach a liquid sensor to the pump so that it only pumps when there’s water.

4) Bury the whole assembly into the 25’ hole and attach the pump to the PV panel.

5) Put a _low-speed_ fan on one end of the “U” so that it circulates air but not quickly.

6) Put a collection tank on the output of the pump.

I wonder how much water could be obtained that way if any. In theory even in the desert the temperature changes drastically 25’ below the surface so you have a thermal differential that would cause any moisture in the air to condense and puddle in the bottom of the bend of the “U”.

It’s funny - in normal climates you would avoid such a fixture specifically because it would be a mold producer. In this instance though you _want_ the water and would be removing it as fast as it appeared. You might still have to sanitize the pipes every so often but that could be done with minor amounts of bleach (available most places) and then a fast mode on the fan to evaporate the chlorine.

Hell if we wanted to get really fancy and high-tech we’re talking a desert environment and that means lots of solar power so you could easily incorporate a UV lamp at the bottom to kill any nasty things in the puddle. Be a pain to replace that on a regular basis though. ;-)

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( 1 comment — Leave a comment )
Feb. 24th, 2009 08:37 am (UTC)
The temperature underground at any given location is fairly steady at the average yearly temperature for that location. I don't know what it might be in a desert region, but for the northeastern US, it used to be somewhere between 50° and 55° F. That's why spring water is naturally cold. (I remember getting water straight from a spring in New Hampshire, fifty years ago, on a hot summer day - I poured a dipperful of it right over my head, which made my father laugh, and then drank another dipperful.) This is also part of why earth-berm houses are so efficient to heat and cool. When it's too hot outside, you've still got the cool ground around you; when it's too cold out, it's easy enough to use a heat pump to take warmth from that 55° source.

EDIT: LJ seems to be screwing up userpics again - it was supposed to be a photo of Earth from Space, but it became an animation of a robot smoking a cigar.

Edited at 2009-02-24 08:40 am (UTC)
( 1 comment — Leave a comment )



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