Daniel Ackerman

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since Oct 05, 2018
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cat urban cooking bike writing
Lehigh Valley, PA zone 6b
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Recent posts by Daniel Ackerman

Thomas Evans wrote:Did you ever get an answer about soaking fence post in lime water ? My dad has a very old book and it mentions soaking dry fence post in lime water then drying and painting with a weak solution of sulphuric acid. The author claimed fence post would never rot and wood was hard as stone. However author did not give any more details . Book was printed in 1930s .

I’m deeply curious. Could you tell us what the book is called? And even better, could you or your dad take a picture of the relevant pages and post it? That’d be awesome.

2 weeks ago
“although you could try using a router to make them like a mortice and tenon (I'm sure there's another word for when it's used for flooring) and that would help.”

Hi, I think you probably mean tongue-in-groove or shiplap?
2 weeks ago
I’ve had good luck breaking a browsing habit by sprinkling heavy amounts of cayenne powder in and around plants. It stops mammals by teaching them that sniffing around in a certain area burns, but it doesn’t cause any real injury. You have to re-apply after a rain, but I’ve found it actually works rather quickly to disincentivize the creatures.

Here in the US, I can purchase large amounts of it easily and cheaply from supermarkets and restaurant-supply stores. I don’t know about bulk purchase of that sort of spice in France. If you are in an area with a sizable immigrant community, markets catering to those demographics might carry a wide variety.

6 months ago
Thanks again! I ended up picking up what I think is an old high-school microscope. It's an Accuscope with plenty of features. It needs a good cleaning, but other than that, it seems to be in great shape. Mechanicals are all nice and smooth. The thing feels like a tank.
I borrowed some pre-prepared slides from a friend, and my Jeff Bezos will be delivering my clean slides tomorrow, I think.

Again, all of your replies have been a great help, and I hope this thread is useful to others, as well!

Happy New Year, everyone!
7 months ago
also, that microbe hunter links is EXCELLENT.
7 months ago
Once again, I am blown away by the quality and promptness of the replies on this forum. Thank you so much, everyone. I find myself torn now between between a traditional microscope and a stereo microscope. Do I want to look at moss structures first, or do I want to look for tardigrades in the moss? Maybe one this year, and the other next year. It was really helpful to see amscope.com as a good place to buy microscopy equipment.

I remembered that there's an antique mall nearby that has a vendor that sells a lot of up-to-date microscopes and stereoscopes. I might pop over there tomorrow and see what they have. All of your replies have been really helpful for narrowing my focus.

Thank you again,
7 months ago
I’m a little late to this conversation, but here’s my two cents.

I strongly recommend making photo books. There are a ton of options out there, including Shutterfly, mixbook, and if you have a local photography shop, they might be able to help you. I believe Costco in the US also makes them. The online tools are easy to use, and there are a variety sizes and formats. For most of these companies, the books are printed onto archival paper, so you can just pop for finished books on your bookshelf, and there they can live for potentially hundreds of years.

We have a bunch of mixbook that only cost a few dollars (with coupons). My wife quite enjoys taking an hour after a fun weekend with lots of pictures and throwing together a little book that usually arrives in about 2 weeks.  

7 months ago
Hi all. I’m not sure if this is the right forum page for this question, but it seems close enough.

I’m looking to pick up a microscope, not for any particular reason, but just because it would be fun to have and use with my kids. The absolute top priority is ease of use. I’m a glasses wearer, and my kids are just about to turn 7. My memory of most microscopes that I used as a kid was frustration. There was always a black halo in my field of view. I’m wondering about stereoscopic scopes with adjustable widths and individual diopters to allow for vision correction (my left and right eyes have different prescriptions).

We don’t need super high magnification, but we don’t want a frustrating piece of junk either. I’ve thought about systems that use a built-in camera to project to a screen rather than direct viewing, but I think it’s more exciting to be looking directly at something than it is to see it on a screen.

Does the group have any wisdom that might apply? The upper end of the budget is probably around $300 USD. I don’t mind buying used.

7 months ago
That’s a damn tragedy. It might cost more, but could you find someone to get in there with smaller heavy equipment and hand tools to excavate around the oil tank, then pull it out laterally?
9 months ago
Thanks, fellas. That’s good information.

My neighbors have a strawberry patch that was put in about 15-20 years ago, with no new genetics. They’ve periodically reconfigured it. They said that this year was the first time where they started to think that maybe they could do with some new plants. Maybe there is a maximum life on a plant and its clones.

They’re getting a bunch of my runner plants that have rooted in my wood chip path/swale, which I’m clearing out to replace the wood chips. They’ve broken down into lovely dark earth.

11 months ago