Small Fish, Big Pond

James Cameron Movie synopsis.

by Kerensky97 on Nov.17, 2010, under Comedy

(Marines Pauper Marines) find themselves in a foreign (alien high society alien) world that is hostile to them. The situation is complicated when a rich money grubbing business man threatens to take away their (life love research) . Strong female lead (Sigourney Weaver Kate Winslet Sigourney Weaver) has a confrontation with said business man revealing him for his true nature. Shortly after the world is inexplicably thrown into chaos and their whole world is threatened with destruction. Things go bad and most people die except for our main characters who escape by (flying off-world float on a door making everybody else fly off-world).

Finish with happy albeit bittersweet scene remembering those who were lost.

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Another Awesome Space Video (with sound!).

by Kerensky97 on Aug.30, 2010, under Technology

This is a video from a camera on one of the Space Shuttle’s Solid Rocket Boosters. The cool part is that it has sound!! I know I’m never going to fly into space so I live vicariously through videos like this. If you’re impatient the video gets good at 1:50 when the seperation happens.

The timer in the upper left is launch time (T+). Notice how the other SRB doesn’t stray too far from the camera and can be seen against the earth. Plus you can see the smoke trailing from the falling boosters and in the far distance the smoke column cause by the initial shuttle launch.

The cool part with sound is you can hear the change in noise as the air thins, plus the rattle of debris impacting on the booster casing, the ‘chutes deployment and inflation, and finally the impact into the water.

The SRB’s are basically giant bottle rockets; once they’re lit the only way to shut them off is to let them burn out or self destruction (which only was used once after the Challenger accident).

The SRBs only burn for about 2 minutes then jettison from the shuttle at approx 27 miles up. Their momentum is so great that they continue up to about 41 miles to the peak of their arc before falling back to the earth.

A small drogue chute orients the SRBs in an upright position and about a mile up the three main chutes open so the 91 ton empty cylinder won’t be damaged on impact. I never knew until now but the chutes are held partially closed (or “reefed”) until a set speed when they can be fully opened; otherwise the sudden full inflation could shred the chute or snap the cables holding it.

The empty booster is only open at the bottom so landing tail first seals air inside the rocket cylinder causing it to float upright sticking about 30ft out of the water.

Roughly 6 minutes and 130 miles off the coast of Florida the boosters end their short trip to the edge of space. In the past they would be recovered and be used 4 or 5 more times but with the close of the shuttle program they’re just collected for scrap now.

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“Web’s dead baby, Web’s dead.” Part 2

by Kerensky97 on Aug.18, 2010, under Internet, Technology

Like I said yesterday, Wired’s article is already making waves. Chris Anderson was interviewed on NPR about it this morning and this afternoon it made the news crawl on CNN.

One thing I like from the NPR interview is that Chris mentioned that by dead he’s talking about Web transitioning to Mobile. Which in a way is very true. Although he still talks about how applications rule and that they will kill the web.
Here’s an experiment to see if he’s right: Use only apps, no web browser.

Go 2 days without ever opening Firefox, IE, or safari, chrome, etc.
Don’t use Google (it’s a WEB page).
Try getting the things you want done with only dedicated web apps. No diversity of the millions of online web pages, just the 20 or so apps you can load before your phone fills up.
Don’t be fooled by apps that redirect you to a browser, they’re cheating.

Basically Chris’s prediction of the future of the web is where the multiverse of web pages is boiled down to a handful of corporate apps that port and filter the web for you. Much like the archaic AOL days in internet prehistory. And that scares the shit out of me.

Luckily he’s wrong!

Rob Beschizza edited the fact distorting graph used by Chris for the wired article to better fit reality. Pay close attention to the red “web traffic” That is “dying”. This is just the same graph but adjusted using the same data used for Wired’s article to reflect the actual amount of traffic passed in each category.

In Wired’s article it shows web use as a percentage against other high bandwidth internet traffic. Now that we can see the actual amount of web traffic we can see that in the last 5 years the web has almost tripled. Rob summed up Cisco’s data best:

Assuming that this crudely renormalized graph is at all accurate, it doesn’t even seem to be the case that the web’s ongoing growth has slowed. It’s rather been joined by even more explosive growth in file-sharing and video, which is often embedded in the web in any case.

In regards to using “bandwidth” to measure the value of internet traffic.

Does 50MB of YouTube kitteh represent more meaningful growth than a 5MB Wired feature?

It’s worth noting that we’re talking generalized numbers and graphs and that there will be a bit of variation in the data. But the web is still a LONG way from dying. Harry McCracken at Technologizer has another great article pointing out other technologies that have “died” recently (Hint Facebook died 2 years ago but Vinyl is alive and well).

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Wired: “The Web Is Dead” = Dumbest Article in the world

by Kerensky97 on Aug.17, 2010, under Internet, Technology

This is one of the reasons I quit subscribing to Wired. Idiotic, sensationalizing, articles.
Now I fully appreciated the irony that I complain about Wired sensationalizing articles to draw viewers; and that by posting this I’m part of the problem, taking the bait hook line and sinker. But this article is going to be splayed across the internet and the news simply because of the source, and it needs to be killed now.

The Web Is Dead. Long Live the Internet

It’s the same tired argument that has been out since the iPhone and has sped up since the iPad. “Apps” and online video streaming are going to take over the internet and surfing web pages as we know it will cease to exist. Basically Chris is channeling a Steve Jobs presentation (or even plagiarizing one).

As much as we love the open, unfettered Web, we’re abandoning it for simpler, sleeker services that just work. -Chris Anderson

At least he didn’t call the services “magical”.

The graphic showing a shrinking web is hard to ignore, and I heard that 95% of online stats aren’t made up or distorted.

The reasons to scoff at head editor Chris Anderson as a moron?

1. The diagram is from 1995 (i.e. 7 years before most people used the internet), to 2005 (i.e. half a decade ago, 2 years before Job’s iPhone app revolution).
In Chris’s defense, 2005 was before the magical apps and services Chris describes even existed so they wouldn’t show yet.
2. “Web” is used here for a general catch-all that fits alot of very different and dynamic services.
3. Anybody with an office job knows that email rules the word. Even including spam it shows up non-existent on this graph. Pointing to how this graph doesn’t reflect reality of the web.
4. Apps and services are just a frontend to parse web data. The web is still there, you’re just using a very specialized browser to access it. The Facebook app is nothing without the Facebook itself.
5. The MAIN problem with the graph is that it is a measurement of bits of traffic and not representative of the web experience.

Text on the internet is the smallest part of it. This entire article takes up the same space as a 1”x1” image. On a boring static webpage the images take up 90% of the space. To put this in perspective in 2006 Wikipedia (the entire thing) was 1.2 Terabytes in size; the whole thing could fit on one large hard drive (can you say real life HHG2G?).

Videos on the internet take up MUCH more space than anything else, especially if you’re watching a HQ youtube or hulu stream. 10 minutes of HQ youtube will pass as much traffic as all the surfing you’ll do on Wikipedia for the next few months.

Suddenly the above graph makes much more sense. Even if online video made up 90% of web traffic it would still mean that more time online is spent just surfing the web. And this is why it’s shocking the editor of Wired Magazine wrote this article, it horrible mis-represents the data provided by Cisco about web traffic. Much more useful would be how much time people spend on different web sites. However that’s much harder to measure.

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More efficient equipment conserves energy better than “going without”

by Kerensky97 on Aug.17, 2010, under Philiosophy, Science

I’ve always suspected that turning off lights and unplugging cell phone chargers was just a case of the “warm fuzzies” (things that make you feel good but don’t really make a huge impact).

Most people in the dark about best ways to save energy

The gap between curtailing inefficient appliances and using efficient ones can be large, so it shocked the researchers how many people underestimated it. An example: a 100-watt bulb that is on for six hours uses 600 watt-hours. By leaving it on for one hour less, you save 100 watt-hours. On the other hand, a 15-watt fluorescent bulb could be left on for all six hours and only use 90 watt-hours, saving 510 watt-hours over the incandescent bulb.

The really good news here is this proves that the key to conserving energy doesn’t lie in cutting conveniences out of your everyday life; it’s just a matter of upgrading your house to more efficient appliances. On a side note CFLs take a few seconds to come to full brightness, pay the extra bucks for the “instant on” CFLs, it’s well worth it.

Still if you don’t have the money to upgrade all our household appliances now it’s still a good idea to cut back on waste.
-Closing the blinds on a window because it’s too bright then turning on the light in a room doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.
-If you can remember to make all your trips around town in one big loop rather than 5 individual trips out and back saves a lot of gas (and time in my experience).
-If you have to wrap in a blanket in the summer because the AC is too cold, maybe dial forward the thermostat a few degrees.
-Conversely if you’re in a t-shirt and shorts in winter and complaining of the cold, maybe try putting on pants and a sweatshirt before cranking the heat to 78 degrees.

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Garmin has officially lost the game for GPS navigation.

by Kerensky97 on Aug.06, 2010, under Handheld, Internet, Technology

I could point to their failed and horribly thought out Garmin Phone as an example but this is something much more basic that all their new products have.

About a year and a half ago I got a Garmin Nuvi 250, the price on them dropped to $100. You may have noticed on the road that A LOT of people have GPS in their cars now. This recent price drop is why.

Anyway about a week ago it told me to update the maps. Makes sense, there are a lot of places I drive that have new roads not on their maps. I hit cancel and forgot about it. Then today it nagged me again to download maps. So I go online and start the process of updating the GPS.

First off plugging the GPS into USB killed my keyboard. I don’t know why. I had to plug the keyboard into a different port to get it back, at least it didn’t fry it like the external hard drive I had a few years ago.

Then to get the GPS to update you have to goto Garmin’s website and download a browser plugin that detects the GPS. This involves a lengthy registration process I didn’t want to do. Last thing I want to do is give my email address and physical address to YET ANNOTHER company to spam me.

Now I had the plugin running and the GPS plugged in. But it wouldn’t detect the GPS

Shutdown Firefox.
Move the GPS USB to another port.
Keyboard dies again.
Move the Keyboard back to its original port.
Restart Firefox.
3 Minutes later the GPS finally connects.

Finally the GPS is discovered by the browser program.

“Click here to check for updates”
Browser crashes.
Restart firefox.
“Click here to download update.”
Browser crashes.
Restart Firefox.

Finally the update goes through and I check the Maps update. There are two options, first is a lifetime update service that costs $120.
Yes One Hundred and Twenty dollars.
Or a one time update that costs $70.

Keep in mind that Garmin street maps aren’t all that great. When the GPS was new a lot of the streets were already out of date. Plus I’m constantly aggravated by the fact that the maps never start out zoomed to the level where you see surface streets, I always have to zoom in one level.

It also tries to redirect me onto streets that I know are slower. On the way to Bear Lake instead of taking I-15 north and going 75MPH (posted) it wanted me to take a back highway to Brigham City. Admittedly highway 89 is a beautiful drive and lined with fruit stands from all the nearby orchards.
But it’s slower!

All these gripes with the GPS and they want me to pay for a map update that costs the same price as the whole flipping GPS itself. In fact I can just buy the newer model for the same price and I’m sure it would have a more up to date map in it.

Meanwhile my Android phone does all the features the Garmin does. But it also gives me:

Maps that are as upto date as Google’s online database.
An application that updates over the air bi-monthly.
Voice search.
Satellite view of the surrounding area.
Current local traffic conditions.
An ETA adjusted for traffic.
Street view pictures of the intersections I need to turn at.
Current location of any friends and family with Latitude.
The ability to search and route to any nearby business, gas station, or ATM.
And best of all it’s FREE!!!

So as soon as I find a good dashboard car mount for my phone I have a Garmin Nuvi 250 GPS for sale. Then it’s good bye and good riddance to Garmin.

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Halo 2600: Halo for Atari

by Kerensky97 on Aug.03, 2010, under Internet

It’s not April fools, not a concept, it’s for real.

Ed Fries, former VP of Microsoft’s Gaming Division created it as a pet project. You can read more about it here.

Best part of all you can play it now, even if you don’t have an old Atari 2600 hanging around.

Play “Halo 2600″ Now

Thanks Engadget

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Adjusting pH balance of a hydroponic solution.

by Kerensky97 on Jul.31, 2010, under Hydroponics

It’s good to regularly check that the pH balance of the nutrient solution feeding your plants is correct. Plants have an optimal growth range of about 6-6.5.

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First you need something to test with. Electric testers are cool but expensive. pH testing solution takes a bit more work but not much, it simply consists of a dropper of solution and a small vial to test with.

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Fill the vial half way with the water you want to test. Add 4-5 drops of testing fluid and shake it up.

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Compare it to the diagram on the side. This looks to be about 7.5-8 pH, it’s going to have to come down at least a full point.

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To actually adjust the pH you need pH adjuster, one up and one down. They come printed with the measurements to adjust the pH, in this case 1 tsp adjusts 4 gallons.
I found using an medicinal dropper is the easiest way to get the right amount, you don’t want to spill and get this stuff on you.

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At 10 gallons for the nutrient reservoir it’s 2 tsp to adjust down (better too little than too much). Now another measurement is showing much closer to the ideal 6.5 range.

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Some tips I’ve learned hiking.

by Kerensky97 on Jul.30, 2010, under Local, Philiosophy

First the major common ones that everybody should know:

-Start slow. Work your way up to difficult hikes.
-Let the slowest person in the party set the pace.
-Hike in a group or if you can’t let people know where you’re going and when you’ll be back.
-Plan ahead. Plan for any eventuality.
-Stay on trails. Only bushwhack where it’s allowed and if you’re a good navigator (without resorting to using GPS)
-Drink lots of water.

Here are a few other things to keep in mind that may not be commonly known:

-In addition to drinking lots of water keep in mind that water only helps you if it’s IN you. If you “save” it in your canteen it’s doing no good. Try to keep sipping a small amount of water at regular intervals so you don’t get too much and have to pee it out, but you don’t have too little and start suffering from it.
-Drink a lot of water to pre-hydrate before you hike. Better to have to pee when you get to the trailhead than to drain your canteen in the first 100 yards because you were dehydrated before you started.
-When hiking a strenuous trail try to keep your heart rate at a steady rate as if you were jogging. When it’s flat walk fast, when it’s steep or rocky slow your pace.
-Step over logs and rocks rather then up them and back down. There is no use lifting your body mass up 2 feet only to drop down one stride later. Hiking is all about using your energy in the most efficient way, usually slow and steadily.
-Stop in the shade if you can. Pretty obvious but you’ll cool down much better if you hike just a little further and rest where it will do some good.
-KEEP YOUR FEET DRY! Moisture invites friction, friction causes blisters. I put a ton of baby powder on my feet before a hike, the talcum soaks up sweat and keeps your feet dry and blister free. Keep a pair of clean dry socks and a small bottle of baby powder in your pack incase you step in a puddle or ford a stream.
-Hiking poles help more than you think. A lot of muscles are used just to keep balance, poles allow them to relax a bit and save some energy for the hike. And going downhill with poles is a dream that your knees and shins will thank you for.
-Hope for the best, but prepare for the worst. Better to be ready for anything and have nothing happen than to not be ready and have everything happen.

In regards to the last one I’m a bit of a fanatic to when it comes to being prepared, for me half the fun of hiking and camping is preparing your gear and knowing that you’re prepared for any eventuality. In fact even though I always hope for a safe enjoyable trip a part of me is hoping that the weather will turn to a torrential downpour, or I’ll be stranded and have to live 3 days in the mountains till rescuers can get to me. I have the gear to make it, but I’ve never had to test how well prepared I am.

Maybe one of these days I’ll purposefully spend a couple nights in the mountains living off my daypack contents, just to see if I can.

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Here’s my pack. I got it for free for test driving a Nissan Xterra back in 2000. I already knew I wanted to buy one, but some friends on an internet message board pointed me to a deal where you print out a flyer, test drive the Xterra, then get your choice between the day pack or a pair of FRS radios.

To this day it’s still the best daypack I’ve ever seen. Although I had to add the Velcro loop to keep the hiking poles strapped in.

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It even has this cool rain proof cover that zips up into the bottom of the pack. It keeps the shoulder straps free when it’s on so Cover+Ponco = dry hiker and gear.

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Here’s all the gear I carry. In reality all you need to survive is shelter and water (you can go 3 weeks without food*), the rest of the gear is really just enough to keep you comfortable and make the hike pleasant. Obviously the more you carry the more weight you have on your shoulders, all this is 15 pounds; but I carry it on every hiking trip so my body is conditioned to feel that this is a normal amount.

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-Tube Tent
-CamelBak
-Spare Pair of dry socks
-Solid Fuel Stove
-Space Blanket (Mylar blanket)
-MRE, one of the best additions I’ve made. Nothing is better than getting a warm meal at the end of your hike. It’s also very good to keep your strength up, see below.
-First-Aid Kit (with extra moleskin)
-Gloves
-Commercial survival kit
-20ft of parachute cord.
-Signal mirror.

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-Map and compass
-Aerial Flares (got them at a boat store)
-Rain Poncho
-Flower ID book (My parents know them from memory, I want to learn too)
-headlamp style flashlight
-antihistamine (I get bad allergies)
-Baby Powder
-Suntan lotion
-Bug lotion
-antacid
-Candy for snacking along the way.

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The solid fuel stove I got is pretty cool, it all folds up to the size of a deck of cards but I can’t remember where I got it; all the printing on it is in German. The survival kit is the metal tin for boiling or cooking water, remember that you can’t use a stove without a water holding metal cooking container. Canteen cups from the Army/Navy Surplus store would also work well.

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The survival kit is pretty cool too, but again I can’t remember where I got it. But I do remember making my own in a wilderness survival class I took in High School.

One very important thing I’m currently missing is iodine tablets to purify water. I usually fill the 1 liter CamelBak up and carry an extra 1 liter bottle for backup. But if you’re isolated from civilization for more than a day you’ll likely use that amount up and will need to purify water from a stream.

More pics here: Flickr Hiking Set.

MRE’s


I want to say a word about MREs. When I was in the Army I lived off them for about 3 months, it wasn’t the best of meals but it was still better than some shitty food I’ve had in the US too.

Real military MRE’s are balanced in their nutrition content. They’re designed so that one MRE a day can keep a man alive indefinitely, and 2-3 a day will provide enough energy for an active soldier that is expected to hike 10+ miles a day. I’m proof that you can live off 2 a day for months, and we had problems where we were actually gaining weight eating more than 2 a day.

The reason why is because the food in the MRE is fortified with vitamins and nutrients. Ironically the main meal isn’t much more than filler carbs for energy, the crackers and peanut butter are like a vitamin pill, the beverage powder has electrolytes like Gatorade. With the Military MREs they recommend that if you can’t eat a full meal that you eat a little bit of everything to get all the vitamins that different parts of the meal are fortified with.

And in the last decade the military has done a good job of making them palatable now; they’re not just emergency rations, they’re shelf stable meals that are actually more balanced an healthy than your standard fast-food fare. Plus the fact that they’re designed to energize highly active soldiers makes them ideal for hiking and camping (the Army word for it is “Force-Multiplier”).

I definitely recommend having one in your pack for when you reach the end of your hike or when you get up to the peak and are taking a break before heading down. You’ll find you recover a lot better when you’re properly nourished throughout your trip. The trick is finding them, the government doesn’t allow sale of them since 1997, the survival stores have civilian versions that are put together using the same components. Luckily they’re common on Ebay if you want the real thing. If not just get the civilian kind, they’re basically the same and for one meal it won’t matter if it’s not as well balanced as the menus for the real ones.

You can find more info here:
www.mreinfo.com

And BTW. Yes the “chicklet gum” is a laxative. And yes you should chew and swallow it.
With the way an MRE diet will back you up you need mild laxatives just to return to normal. Being backed up for a week then finally dropping an MRE brick is one of the most unpleasant experiences you’ll have.

*The rule of threes for survival:
-You can go 3 minutes without air.
-You can go 3 hours without shelter (in extreme conditions).
-You can go 3 days without water.
-You can go 3 weeks without food.
This can help you get your priorities straight.

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Full Tron Trailer /End of line

by Kerensky97 on Jul.22, 2010, under Uncategorized

Well the visuals look excellent and it looks full of geek porn (still loving the recognizers).
The clean smooth lines and dark locales may work very well in 3D and will hopefully not be a “Clash of the Titans” mess. Although I already see alot of 3D gimmicks in there which I don’t like.

The biggest question is if the story is compelling or this is just another piece of eye candy. Can’t be any worse than Unobtanium can it?

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Replacing the nutrient solution.

by Kerensky97 on Jul.22, 2010, under Hydroponics

The reservoir for this system only holds 10 gallons and in the recent heat the plants go through about 3-4 gallons of water a day. But because of the way hydroponics systems work as the nutrient passes over the roots they absorb the water and what nutrients they need. The rest drains back into the system and is recycled.

So while the water may be run through in a couple days, the nutrient lasts a couple weeks.

After a couple weeks the water is no longer providing anything but moisture. Plants will still grow, the majority of their mass actually comes from the CO2 they absorb from the air, but without the extra nutrients the growth is slow and stunted. So we have to dump the old depleted nutrient and put in new.

It’s best to dump out the depleted nutrient rather than keep adding more to the system, some nutrients may have been used less so you could end up with high Phosphorus content or something. Just dump the reservoir out on the lawn or soil garden and mix a fresh batch.

Before I dump out the nutrient I usually turn the system on to get a fresh layer of moisture on the roots. It only takes about 10 minutes to dump and refill everything but I’d rather not run the risk of drying out the roots too much. The more shock and abuse the plants suffer they slower they will grow.

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First step is to dump out the old. The problem is that you don’t want the pump to get dirty so I like to put all the gear into a small tray to keep it off the ground. It’s also a good time to back wash any filters you can get to.

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I mix the nutrient in a small bucket so I can get it all to dissolve (it’s a solid water soluble fertilizer). The ratio for this is 1tsp fertilizer to 1gallon water.

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Get it all dissolved in a small amount of water. Now it’s super concentrated liquid fertilizer; in reality this is probably still more diluted than liquid fertilizer you spray on a normal soil garden.

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Then rinse the equipment and reservoir off. And reassemble.

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Pour the nutrient in, then fill with water till full. Before leaving it alone I like to check and balance the pH levels since with new nutrient it can be a little off (next blog post we’ll cover that).

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No, Tom Cruise isn’t crazy…

by Kerensky97 on Jul.21, 2010, under Uncategorized

According to Scientology, when a person dies — or, in Scientology terms, when a thetan abandons its physical body — they go to a “landing station” on the planet Venus, where the thetan is re-implanted and told lies about its past life and its next life. The Venusians take the thetan, “capsule” it, and send it back to Earth to be dumped into the ocean off the coast of California. Says Hubbard, “If you can get out of that, and through that, and wander around through the cities and find some girl who looks like she is going to get married or have a baby or something like that, you’re all set. And if you can find the maternity ward to a hospital or something, you’re OK. And you just eventually just pick up a baby.”

Wikipedia

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How long can Hydroponics last without water?

by Kerensky97 on Jul.19, 2010, under Hydroponics

Surprisingly long, although I wouldn’t recommend it.

Had a little problem last week. Temperatures in Utah have been reaching triple digits with sunny clear blue skies all day long. I had gotten used to the water requirements of the hydroponic garden being about a loss of 4 gallons every two days or so. However with the days getting hotter and the plants getting larger (more surface area and breathable surfaces), the water requirements have been getting bigger.

The problem was that I let the plants go 3 days without topping off the water supply.

I knew that with the smaller nutrient reservoir watering would be more frequent and even thought I might setup a second reservoir with a siphon of something to double the usable volume. Unfortunately this all came to a head when I checked my plants and they had been basically dry for most of the day.

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Everything was extremely wilted looking and a few leaves on the cucumbers had dried up (they feel rough and dry even when healthy so it’s hard to tell). I immediately refilled the water and turned the pump on to wet the plants again. By evening everything was looking better but it was obvious the cucumbers hadn’t weathered the dry spell as well as the peppers.

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The cucumbers on the far ends lost the tips of some of the leaves but bounced back really well besides that.

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The peppers looked just fine afterward. I can only figure this is because their roots are thicker than the cucumbers which have fine roots. Enough moisture is retained in the plant that the cells didn’t die and when water was brought back they revived like putting a dry sponge in water.

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But the cucumbers nearest the drain didn’t do so well. While enough survived that I could probably have kept them alive they weren’t likely to produce much fruit and what they did would likely be at the end of the season. Better to just chuck them and star anew with a late season plant.

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So when the weekend came round I got the tallest pre-planted cucumber at the farmers market and swapped it into place.
The first evening was a bit rough, the above picture was taken about 30 minutes after transplant in the middle of the 100F afternoon. In just 30 minutes the plant went from looking normal to looking faint. Obviously the shock of going from soil to liquid + heat + a root system not adapted to the hydro system was a bit of a shock. But although the leaves looked and felt flimsy they were still soft with moisture and not dry like the plants that had been left without water; by the next day they looked vibrant and were already perking up.

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Here’s the wilty peppers from the same time. Obviously it’s hard on plants dealing with 100 degree heat just like it is with humans. It’s no wonder they’re going through about 4 gallons a day right now. Luckily I don’t need to re-do the nutrient each day. The plants take what they need from the nutrient and leave the rest, so as the water level goes down it’s mostly H2O being used and the nutrient solution becomes more condensed. Adding water brings the nutrient back to the normal PPM. Although for that reason it’s good not to let the water get too low and the nutrient solution too condensed.

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Here’s the cucumber that needed to be removed. A shame to lose it, it was the largest and had already produced 3 cucumbers this year. As you can see one plant was still very green and could have pulled through, however since they’re both in the pot together there is no easy way to separated them and just replace one.

Also notice how dense the root mat had gotten, it actually continued to the right just as far but because of the peppers next door I couldn’t separate the roots and had to cut them off to get the plant out. The ½ to 1 inch thick mat at the bottom of the planter retains a lot of moisture due to wicking action once the pumps go off (or water runs out) which probably helped them survive going a day without water. It would also explain why the plant closest the drain fared the worst, since it drained off quicker than the cucumbers at the other end of the planter.

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Here the root cup after the plants had been cut and tossed to the compost. You can see how much the roots come out of the cup in every direction, the cup is held above the bottom root mat so most of these roots are held above the nutrient with the sprayers spraying the sides. But the plant still branches out in every direction to soak up every drop it can.

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Simplified World Map

by Kerensky97 on Jul.06, 2010, under Comedy

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by Kerensky97 on Jul.02, 2010, under Hydroponics

Jump started my plants a week ahead.

Something I noticed today. The cucumbers that I planted about two weeks ago in the beans place is just starting to adapt and start growing. But the cucumbers that I planted just a couple days ago have already caught up and might be passing them.

The different was when I planted the first set I just let the roots sit at the bottom of the net pot and put “dirt” on top. With the new ones I cut a small hole in the bottom and threaded some of the roots through.

The result is that the new plants have roots on the bottom of the planter where they can soak up fresh nutrient. The older plants needed to slowly absorb it from the “dirt” and grow their own roots to the bottom; then once on the bottom they started growing quicker.

First the older plant:

DSCN2105

When planted they had the two seed leaves (Cotyledon) and one true leaf. During the transition I noticed that the first true leaf (that was grown while in soil) seems to be burned and suffers a bit. Then the second true leaf (grown while in nutrient solution) has adapted and there is less or no damage to it.

Second the 2 week younger plants. These guys replaced the cucumber that was crushed and torn out in the wind storm.

DSCN2106

I planted more than what was needed so I can thin the two weaker plants later. As you can see having roots go to the bottom of the planter has given them a good headstart. They were transplanted the same as the others, with the two dicot leaves and one true leaf. They already have a second leaf and their first true leaf didn’t look as poorly as the other plant.

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