Sweatin’ Pipe

...a blow torch since you never know when a pipe is going to burst, not to mention being able to construct some of the solar water heating projects we touched on last week. The tools needed for this job are cheap, and thanks to youtube, we have this dude to show you how to do it. We don’t know why one of his hands is bandaged, but he does a great job sweatin’ that pipe. Just remember not to catch the house on fire – keep some wate...

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Airing Our Dirty Laundry

...rees with SurviveLA that the way to go is the old-fashioned clothes line. SurviveLA put a retractable line up in the back yard this week to replace our hated Kenmore dryer. May the bastards at Sears suffer Pharaoh’s plagues sprinkled with Job’s scabies for designing this ugly, awkward and inelegant machine. Besides, with the blazing hot sun of Los Angeles, it makes perfect sense to use our region’s free solar power. So why air d...

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The Stages of Alchemy as a Metaphor for Composting

...bacteria and transformed into the albedo or “whitening”. The dark night of the soul has concluded as the trash (poop!) in our compost pile are now a living, breathing collective entity. Citrinitas, the yellowing Connected with the symbolism of the sun it’s a reminder that all life, including the microbes, fungi and insect life of the compost pile are ultimately (somewhat tangentially in the case of fungi) connected to the solar...

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Hops in Containers Update

...re you will see them every day. I’ve enjoyed watching our hops bines grow just outside our bedroom window. They’ve come to symbolize summer for me as well as a restful night’s sleep. Plus the harvest window is brief and you need to keep a close eye on those cones–when the they get papery it’s time to pick them. I dry them for a few hours in our solar dehydrator, but you could also just let them dry for a few days ins...

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Propagating herbs via cuttings

...;anything suspicious at all– on one of your cuttings, pull it out. You don’t want that spreading. If the cuttings are outdoors, you also have to protect them from heat and sun. Remember, the plastic could make your tray into a solar oven. We’ve come home after a day of unexpected heat to find our cuttings steam cooked in their trays. Move them to a shady spot if the weather is expected to be warm and sunny.  They like to be warm...

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SunCalc: A Sun Trajectory Calculator

...u can see sun positions at sunrise (yellow), specified time (orange) and sunset (red). The thin orange curve is the current sun trajectory, and the yellow area around is the variation of sun trajectories during the year. The closer a point is to the center, the higher is the sun above the horizon. The colors on the time slider above show sunlight coverage during the day. I can see SunCalc being useful for laying out a garden, window and sola...

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Fall 2012 Adobe Classes With Kurt Gardella

...r natural plastering and interior finishing work. Interior mud plastering and installing an earthen floor finish the normal adobe house construction sequence. The first two classes listed below (choose from both online or live-instruction versions) will take you through this entire process step-by-step. Fall 2012 Adobe in Action Classes Class: Interior and Exterior Plastering (8-Week Online Class)Dates: October 1 to November 25, 2012Credits: 4Ins...

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Saturday Linkages: A Close Shave, Building Codes and Protected Bike Lanes

...ckens: http://poultrybookstore.blogspot.com/2014/06/nancy-luce-and-her-chickens.html … Protected Bike Lanes Make the “Interested But Concerned” Feel Safer Biking http://usa.streetsblog.org/2014/06/05/protected-bike-lanes-make-the-interested-but-concerned-feel-safer-biking/#.U5FMq5MQX2g.twitter … via @StreetsblogUSA Why the Solar Roadways Project on Indiegogo is Really Silly – http://Equities.com  For these links and more, follow Root Simple...

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The Energy Environment Simulator

...ndition? t’s been the centerpiece of Nik’s living room ever since, even making a cross country move. The device demonstrates energy inputs and demands. Depending on how you turn the knobs, you can either engineer a future of never-ending power or, on the other extreme, your own personal zombie apocalypse. One of the energy sources is labeled “new technology.” This could either be solar or that UFO doughnut from the Thrive...

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