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Dc Stewart

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since Jun 20, 2019
Retired gubmint scientist, devoting my Golden Years to coaxing 10 acres of forest into a haven for permaculture and Druidic lurking.
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Recent posts by Dc Stewart

Saying it is free, so say it whenever you please. Say it each morning to your reflection in the mirror. Whisper it into your sleeping partner's ear at 3am. Mutter it under your breath when the cop hands you the speeding ticket. Slur it weepily to the bartender after that 9th shot of bourbon. Casually mention it to the sullen loan officer at the bank. Proclaim it in a loud booming voice when the preachers asks if anyone objects to the impending marriage. Say it now, say it loud, you're perming it and you are proud!
9 hours ago
To this day, I've not been able to figure out the mechanics of a "biological reverse". Perhaps a kickstarter to fund an attempt to take a high-level organism -- say, a horse -- and force it to progessively de-evolve into a brine shrimp? Getting it all the way to a eukaryote would be a stretch goal.
I have heard of a variant of poker wherein the loser of a hand removes an article of clothing.
1 week ago
For context, it's important to note that Greta Thunberg's speech was not given to a room filled with "regular people". It was given to a room filled with world leaders at the 2019 United Nations Climate Summit, i.e., people who in theory are in a position to take significant action.
1987. Grad school. Hot tub party. The tub is one of those big mobile rentals that hold a dozen people. I'm bobbing around in the center, trying to keep the water from splashing into my beer. Over on one side, a blonde nymph is receiving the standard interrogation from the Lotharios who inhabit the local bars: "heybabe, whaddayadoo inyer sparetime?" They move to the far end of the tub when she replies "I teach martial arts." Soon after, probably due to my charismatic aura, she uses her toes to snag and relocate me to a seat next to her. Conversation ensues, followed by a few weeks of lust-driven encounters, followed by the horrified realization that we've fallen hopelessly in love. The next 33 years are a blur of living in sin, marriage, caribbean honeymoon, sweaty dojos, cats, graduations and professional employment, great danes, first house, gym-rattery, professional layoffs, losing first house, gig-consulting, second house, small business ownership and professional re-employments, chickens, goats, ridiculously huge gardens, more cats and great danes, retirement and finally strategic retreat into the north woods where we can grow ancient together.
3 weeks ago
I'm ashamed to admit that, for 18 months starting in 1989, my wife and I drank nothing but Chase & Sanborn instant coffee. Not for the flavor, which at best was Marginally Drinkable, but for the sturdy wide-mouth glass jars that it came in. Thirty years later the jars are still in regular use for freezing just about anything, with a loss of maybe five jars out out of three dozen.
4 weeks ago
I'm sorry, I should have clarified the clickbait reference. To locate the source of the posted information, I opened a search engine and entered the phrase "burners triple the level of harmful pollution". Twenty of the first 24 returns referenced the original story. I suspect that a sociologist would be intrigued by the evolution of the story across internet media. It appears to originate on the website of The Guardian, then spreads to other UK news media (Daily Mail, Telegraph, etc.). From there, it moves to facebook, youtube and various forums. I think that the award for Most Irresistible Header goes to "Wood burners are potential killers, scientists report".
4 weeks ago
In my childhood, the traditional Christmas Eve dinner was bite-size chunks of chicken meat in a spicy brown gravy, placed in onion soup bowls and baked with biscuits on top. It was so cool to each have our own special bowl with crispy biscuits hiding the spicy goodness below. An accompaniment was raspberry jello loaded with cinnamon and chopped walnuts. The jello became a sort of running joke over the years because mom always tried to mold it in a bundt cake pan. It never came out of the mold without a fight, so it ended up as a quivering giant red Matterhorn mound.
1 month ago
Get that tractor back in for a full overhaul and facelift before the spell wears off!

We had a somewhat similar experience with a tree service many years ago. Had them do over a thousand dollars of work, gave them credit card info for the charges. A few months go by and the charges haven't appeared on the card. I contact the tree service and they say my account shows zero balance. I contact the credit card company and ask if it's possible that a mixup applied the charge to the wrong account -- they say it's highly unlikely, and if it did happen, whoever got the charge would certainly notice. I contact the tree service again and unsuccessfully try to convince them that we still owe them a bunch of money. After that, we accepted with clear conscience that, despite our best efforts, we'd received a free round of service.
1 month ago

It seems like some of this may be down to user error. Or at least, certain user actions can either mitigate or increase the blow back of soot into the room.

Some of the discussion in the study alludes to the "user error" issue, e.g., in the real world most people are pretty sloppy about how they tend a stove and what types of fuel they stuff into it. In the study design, there was consideration of how to ensure that the test households operate the stove as they normally would instead of being extra careful because they know they're being monitored.

An identical comparison study done with Rocket Mass Heaters would be a great selling point (assuming positive results).
1 month ago