A 30 gallon retort heated by a 55 gallon TLUD is the basic idea. I've been a biochar enthusiast for 5 years now and riding the learning curve on how to make and use biochar at home. This device can run very cleanly. The cleanest I have seen for a simple batch device.
Playing with large, red hot, drums is a safety concern. So be thoughtful and careful if you try it. I am looking forward to making improvements to the design and looking forward to seeing anyone elses. This is an open architecture. If you come up with improvements, please share them.
Obviously harvesting the heat for some useful purpose would be a good place to start.
This was my first attempt at putting together a youtube movie and the first time I played with iMovie. It won't be my last. This year, 2012, I hope to share what I am doing with the biochar I have been making.
Excellent video demonstration of biochar making... Monte
Does the pursuit of happiness actually lead to happiness? Stanford business professor Jennifer Aaker reveals surprising data from two studies that may suggest otherwise.
A social psychologist and marketer, Jennifer is the General Atlantic Professor of Marketing at Stanford University's Graduate School of Business. Her research spans time, money, and happiness. She focuses on questions such as: What actually makes people happy, as opposed to what they think makes them happy? How can small acts create infectious action, and how can such effects be fueled by social media? Jennifer's work is widely published in the leading scholarly journals in psychology and marketing, and her work has been featured in a variety of media including The Economist, The New York Times, and the Wall Street Journal. Most recently she has co-authored The Dragonfly Effect: Quick Effective Powerful Ways to Harness Social Media for Impact.
It's funny how sometimes the simplest concepts can pose the most challenging problems. This project began by just wanting to make a stand for my wife's new Kindle Fire. She reads constantly: several books a week. An e-reader saves me a lot of trips to the library. But I noticed she had to prop up the tablet to read while sitting at the table.
Keeping it sleek
After playing with a lot of ideas for a stand, I realized it would be nice to make a case that converts into a stand. My criteria was that it would look sleek, like the Kindle itself, and wasn't complicated to build.
As it turned out, this case is very simple to build and is infinitely adjustable as a stand.
But I struggled with it and could not have built this without your help. You guys are incredible. Earlier this week I asked for some suggestions on the design and solutions to problems. I received over a hundred emails. I am continually amazed by how creative you all are! Some outstanding ideas that got me thinking maybe I ought to revisit this project and make another case eventually. I got a lot of ideas incorporating a swinging lid. The idea of a modified cassette case is intriguing: that's a perfect stand. Anyway, THANK YOU all for your help. I couldn't have built this without you.
Simplicity is hard
If I had a mantra, it would be, "keep it simple". I force my brain to tell that to me all the time. We all begin new woodworking projects with complicated ideas that work themselves into complicated designs. Funny how our brains work like that. It's only when we take a step back and maybe sleep on it, that we discover simplicity.
Neat wood design idea...!!! I would also like to try a smaller Walnut wood grain one for an android phone... Monte
Calling on Clay Shirky's "cognitive surplus" theory, Peter Diamandis, chairman and CEO of the X PRIZE Foundation, argues that the best way to solve the world's problems and encourage social innovation is to engage the passionate mind.
Bucky coined the term "synergy", as represented by the picture above, to demonstrate how the sum of the whole is greater than the sum of the individuals. Through the synergy of the inventive mind and generous hearts of humanity we can turn "Spaceship Earth" around. He understood that we have all the technology and resources necessary to foster Earth as an integrated regenerative system.
"The Grunch of giants consists of the corporately interlocked owners of a vast empire of airwaves, satellites, skyscraper clusters, factories, research laboratories. It controls the financial system of credit and the with-all for large mass production and distribution. It monopolizes the vast theoretical know-how with universities."
"Bucky" says that there are enough resources and know-how to give every human a good standard of living, without fossil fuels or nuclear power.
"the great majority of "savvy," well-to do individuals... are convinced that there exists an inherent inadequacy of life-support on planet Earth, and therefore that their own successful survival as well as that of those whom they cherish depends upon their cleverly learning more and more about how to be legally selfish and thereby to accomplish personal economic advantage by anticipatory depriving others in directly undetectable ways. These ways are legally and socially accepted practices of deceiving and cheating the public."
David McConville is the President of the Buckminster Fuller Institute and co-founder of The Elumenati, a design and engineering firm that creates custom installations for clients from art festivals to space agencies. In this capacity, he also serves as creative director of the Worldviews Network, a NOAA-funded collaboration of scientists, artists, and educators at science centers across the United States re-imagining the big picture of humanity's home in the cosmos. ......
Were are the 100%. Integrity, to Buckminster Fuller, represented the degree to which any design or system actively enhances the regenerative processes that support life on Earth. Thirty years ago, he wrote the cautionary tale Grunch of Giants to warn of the immediate dangers posed by the lack of integrity within the "invisible, abstract, and completely ruthless" empire of corporations that control the world's finances. Dubbing this corrupt system the Gross Universal Cash Heist (GRUNCH), he argued that, as a non-living entity, it was incapable ofrecognizing how its legal mandate to maximize monetary gains by socializing risks and privatizing profits were in direct opposition to the long-term requirements for human survival.
The expanding occupations and protests around the world directed towards the global economic system testify to the prescience of Fuller's critique concerning the lack of integrity within manufactured scarcity. The myriad of issues driving unrest reflects a rising awareness that the challenges facing humanity cannot be effectively addressed in isolation. They are in fact interconnected symptoms of a dominant socio economic environment that is not designed to adequately support 100% of humanity.
Fuller argued that we must begin to transform this dysfunctional system by recognizing that it confuses money with wealth. He maintained that money is "a medium of exchange and a cash accounting system," while wealth is the "organized technological capability to protect, nurture, educate, and accommodate the forward days of humans" that arises from supporting the integrity of living systems. Based on his calculations of world resources, human trends and needs, he demonstrated that it would be possible to support all of humanity at a better standard of living than ever before if the production capacity and technical know-how of global society were properly applied. Instead of fighting to tear down the existing system, he sought to harness its technological and economic forces to shift "from weaponry to livingry" through the problem-solving approach he called comprehensive anticipatory design science.......
"Scott Noble's film Rise Like Lions takes the people, actions, and words from the camps and streets of Occupy Wall Street and provides a radical, compelling and inspiring account of what the movement is about. Watch it. Share it. Do it!" -Ron Jacobs
Over 1,000 years ago, the Classical Maya in Central America looked toward the year 2012 as a time of great change and a shift in World Ages. As we approach that date, it appears they may have been right. Humanity faces a dire ecological crisis due to our reckless activity. Hollywood and the popular media link the end of the Mayan Calendar to chaos, cataclysm, and mass death. Is a bleak ending inevitable, or can we co-create a different outcome?
2012: Time for Change projects a radical alternative to apocalyptic doom and gloom. Directed by Emmy Award nominee Joao Amorim, the film follows journalist Daniel Pinchbeck, author of the bestselling 2012: The Return of Quetzalcoatl, on a quest for a new paradigm that integrates the archaic wisdom of tribal cultures with the scientific method. As conscious agents of evolution, we can redesign post-industrial society on ecological principles to make a world that works for all. Rather than breakdown and barbarism, 2012 will herald the birth of a regenerative planetary culture, where collaboration replaces competition, where exploration of psyche and spirit becomes the new cutting edge, replacing the sterile materialism that has pushed our world to the brink.
Take a tour with Joe, Doug and Sam Bullock on their Orcas Island homestead, site of a yearly Permaculture design course. Using nature as their model, they create edges and wildlife habitat, move water through the landscape, promote diversity, and raise an astonishing variety of plants from sub-arctic to tropical -- a wise investment in these climate-changing times.
Agriculture is at a critical fork in the road. Every day, our individual food choices either help create more sustainable forms of farming or reinforce a socially and environmentally destructive factory farm system. I helped found Farm Aid in 1985 to help preserve family farm food as an option for Americans. We've made good progress on that front, but the war is not over.
Two food production models have emerged to compete for the nation's collective heart, mind, and pocketbook. Of course, the bigger and more powerful force is a handful of giant grain trading and food processing transnational corporations known, warmly, as the agricultural industrial complex, or factory farms.
Anyone who has driven by a factory hog farm knows that corporate farming is neither healthy nor sustainable. What's obvious to you and me is apparently lost on Congress. The debate and passage of the recent farm bill was a shameful process that put election year politics ahead of family farms and American taxpayers. It showed how agribusiness can muscle its influence through direct campaign contributions and teams of professional lobbyists to steer farm policy in a direction that benefits huge corporations most. What was finally passed is a farm bill that will deliver more of the same: larger, more concentrated, factory farms; more genetically modified food; more chemical intensive monoculture plantings...you get the picture.
The second force exists in stark contrast to this corporate food machine. It is built on relationships forged between those who grow food and those who eat it. In some areas, the number of family farms is actually increasing as people learn about how their food is grown and begin to demand food that sustains rather than destroys the farmers, their neighbors and customers, and the environment. Sustainable, diversified, organic production is helping family farmers off the treadmill of industrialized agriculture and letting them rediscover their basic reasons for farming: a love of the land and a desire to protect its integrity for future generations.
This is the future of farming. But because our elected leaders have largely failed to see and support this new vision, it is up to you and me. It's a long row to hoe, but by working together, we'll get there. Many success stories already exist. Community Supported Agriculture where a family pays up front for a subscription to a weekly box of vegetables, sharing both the risks and the bounty of farming is bringing farmers and eaters together in new ways. Local farmers' markets are growing in popularity. Chefs are discovering that local, organic food tastes better. Local demand is helping family farmers retool their farms and stay on their land.
To many farmers, organic farming represents, above all, hope that they can make honest livings and take care of their land, water, and soil; that they can pass on their farms to their children; that farming can heal America's disconnection from the earth. This new way of thinking is taking root across the land. We must do what it takes to cultivate and protect it against the pests that would destroy it. Corporations and politicians are no match for a people united in understanding and purpose. Join me in supporting family farmers' fight for survival. Make each dollar you spend on food a vote for the future.
National troubadour Willie Nelson is a founder of Farm Aid. To learn more, visit www.farmaid.org.
Many people use their feet or a tractor for mixing Cobb, this is a great video on how one crew uses a Bobcat to mix. Bobcats are great tools because their short wheelbase allows for quick, tight turns that are often needed on building sites. Renting a bobcat can save you a lot of time and money on your next project.
I was raised on a small farm in Illinois. My wife, Eileen and I and family have worked together hand and hand on this farm (and adjoining land we bought) since 1966. I attended and graduated University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana, IL. I received a Bachelor of Science Degree (Cum Laude)in Agricultural Engineering in 1970.
I worked as a registered Professional Engineer for the Rock Island District, US Army Corps of Engineers for 33 years, before retiring. I held several supervisory positions while at Corps: Chief, Regulatory Branch, Assistant Chief of Operations Division, Chief of the Lock and Dam Branch, and Mississippi River Project Manager. One highlight of my career was developing NIC (Google "NIC - Navigation Information Connection") during the early 90's, in a joint effort, with the District's Information Management personnel and Navigation Industry Representatives.
My wife and I have 2 grown children and 4 grandchildren. We have businesses associated with farming, "live edge" furniture making, vegetable produce, and graphics. We enjoy pursuing our hobby interests.