Bob Knows

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since Mar 03, 2014
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Recent posts by Bob Knows

Almost any kind of organic material you can obtan free or at low cost would be good.

A few years ago in Seattle I moved into a house where the garden soil was like beach sand, all sand, no organic or clay. You could lay a running garden hose on it for hours and not make a puddle. Super drainage, not moisture holding.

I found a nearby wood sawing and milling operation where I could get pickup loads of free sawdust. Over the summer I loaded numerous pickup loads of sawdust and spaded it into my garden areas. It wasn't as good as already processed mulch but it was free, available, nearby, and in quantity. It helped a lot to hold moisture and over a couple of years it decomposed into an organic component.

Michael Cox wrote:Ah, but there is a big difference...


Observation of correlation -> Hypothesis -> experiment -> conclusion

With the initial proposal in this thread we went

Observation of correlation -> causation




Yea, that goes on a lot. We now have that other topic about real science vs. pseudoscience.

In the US, about 2/3 of fatal car crashes are caused by sober drivers. The obvious (leap to) conclusion is that sobriety causes bad driving. Nice graphs can be drawn. The more sober drivers on the road, the more fatal car crashes. Pseudoscience marches on.

These days we have a lot of people with political agendas and money who want to make more money by promoting bad science and bad conclusions. Separating correlations from science is difficult but needed.

Bob


6 years ago

Dale Hodgins wrote:Until yesterday, I had plans to build the bathroom with ferro cement on the walls and floor. The reason was simple. Smooth surfaces that clean up very easily with no tile joints or other joints to fail. The plan was to use a steam cleaner or power washer to control mold and mildew. This would produce a very easy to clean, durable but difficult to change space. It would look a little sterile.



When I was in college I rented a house that had a ferro cement floor in the bathroom. It was effective at resisting water spillage and easy to clean.


Then it hit me, while I was laying a patio block outside. The easy care space that I seek doesn't have to be lifeless. Moss, ferns and other plants that thrive in moist, low light conditions are perfectly suited to living in a bathroom. So, it's just a matter of creating the right conditions, without rotting out the building. I'm going to wrap all walls and the floor, in pond liner. The floor will get a double layer that goes up the walls by 6 inches. The wall sheet will be continuous with no corner joints. The wall sheet will lap over the floor sheet and be glued to it. Absolutely water tight, and ugly. The floor will have a drain. The shower or tub could overflow onto the floor with no harm done.





I like the whole concept of having a large well windowed space for body needs. My own bathroom has more windows than any other room in the house. Its a good place to sit on the couch and read a good book. Your indoor greenhouse approach would have some advantages but you would have to think it out carefully. It would necissarily have a lot of moisture for and from the plants, and moisture migrates as a gas. It would condense on cool places in the rest of the home.

Having a gravel base indoors in a warm wet space would rapidly attract mold of various kinds. Gravel isn't a very good planting area anyway.

How about going with the ferro cement over a pond liner, and then putting in dirt rather than gravel. You could plant some lawn and have raised planting areas or gardens. Shower soap and grey water would keep it green. The plants and soil would process and enjoy. Now all you would have to do is to be careful of ventilation and moisture between the bathroom garden and the rest of the house.

6 years ago

Joe Wexler wrote:
In other words, after an animal stops growing isn't it a drag on the system? Yes it may increase plant fertility but he doesn't mention that, simply claiming that the fully grown animals are simply recyclers of nutrients.




You have hit on a basic rule of raising animals for meat, Joe. For the first few years of an animal's life it converts food into meat. After that it consumes food and produces waste for several more but does not produce more meat. That truth was known by pre historic goat herders who's trash heaps contained far more bones from yearling goats than from old goats. Its still true today. My local beef rancher raises beef for a year or so and then they go to great pasture in the sky (and to my freezer.)

In the wild the knowledge and skills of fully grown animals are life skills taught to younger generations, they also breed and protect the younger ones. Mature animals are part of the system, not a drag on the system.
6 years ago

wayne stephen wrote:

Pseudoscience : A claim, belief or practice which is presented as scientific, but does not adhere to a valid scientific method, lacks supporting evidence or plausibility, cannot be reliably tested, or otherwise lacks scientific status . Pseudoscience is often characterized by the use of vague, contradictory, exaggerated or unprovable claims, an over-reliance on confirmation rather than rigorous attempts at refutation, a lack of openness to evaluation by other experts, and a general absence of systematic processes to rationally develop theories.




Unfortunately the past couple of decades we have seen massive promotion of pseudoscience by governments and media for financial gain by corrupt politicians and fake scientists. From the "Science" Channel's fake documentary about mermaids to Al Gore's global fraud about CO2 causing global warming, the world of "science" has had so many lies presented as science that few if any real scientists have any credibility left.

The burden of proof is on the person making the claim, and great claims require great proof. The proof has to be testable and repeatable with accurate predictions.

Bob
6 years ago
Interesting design, but it looks like your back and arms would get a lot more tired than using an old fashioned wheelbarrow. The motion is all bend and lift. With the heavy load his design has a longer lever to minimize bend and lift force while doing your work through more distance. Its interesting, but I'm not going to give up on the wheel yet.
6 years ago
A few years ago when my children were young we rented a house on an acre of land. It was out of town so its sewage system was the classic tank and drain field -- except for the laundry. Their laundry drain simply ran outside behind the house and emptied onto the lawn about 30 feet or so from the house. We lived there about a year. Having small children all the warm diaper wash and other laundry detergent went right out to the lawn. Diapers always got chlorine bleach in the wash so perhaps it was sterile. That part of the yard had by far the tallest grass. In a week when I got around to mowing that section of lawn would be a foot high or more. It really bogged down my power mower.

I'm sure it wasn't code approved. It may not have been good if the children were old enough to be playing over there. It was really good for growing the lawn.

Bob
6 years ago

Daniel Clarke wrote:
3 sites proving woodash and urine together make the best fertilzer
http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2009/09/090918-urine-ash-fertilizer.html

http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2009/09/090902112750.htm

http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2009-09/acs-sfu090209.php




Good articles. For the past few years I've been using urine to cool off my wood stove ashes bucket because acid urine neutralizes basic. Every couple of weeks I get a small bucket of cooled ashes/urine mixture and have been just getting rid of it. Now after reading these articles I'm going to start spreading it on my lawn or around my trees.

I noticed that the tomatoes in their study didn't grow more tomatoes with ashes than with just urine, but the plants were more healthy and the tomatoes more nutritious. The hard part will be spreading it evenly.

Bob

6 years ago

Luke Townsley wrote:To make a stump rot faster from the inside out, cut a depression in the top so it collects water in the middle. You can even drill in to the pith so the water gets inside and soaks into the wood.

If your goal is to get rid of the stump, I would do the above drilling the widest hole I could down to soil level. I would then consider lightly packing the hole with compost or manure or something to get some nitrogen and microbial growth going and then make a regular hugelkulture bed over it. Around here in southern Indiana, I would expect it to be pretty much gone in 3-5 years.



You can add nitrogen and promote decomposition by peeing on the old stump every couple of weeks. Its easy, handy, and doesn't smell like manure. A few cracks or drilled holes as Luke suggests helps your urine run down into the stump.

Of course you could build a small fire on top of the stump if you aren't in a no-burning area. In fire season roots have been known to burn underground for several days so be careful with fire when its dry out.

Bob
6 years ago