Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Ten does not a study make!

So I've been keeping up on wind turbine news the best I can since they look like a pretty good renewable energy source. Today I saw this article on a wind turbine health scare. It was publised by the Houstan Cronicle and it complete bullshit. The article opens with a sob story about some idiots who are afraid that wind turbines near their home will make them sick. Other than that emotional fuzz the article referneces one study of 10 families living near wind turbines. TEN !!!! for the love of TFSM thats not a study! Its barely qualifies for peliminary reasearch into forming a hypothesis. Even if it turns out wind turbines are bad for people's health ten is not a large enough number to come up with any conclusions. I cannot belive the Dr. Pierpont has the gal to call her ten family investigation a study. And then the Houston Chronicle has the balls to publish it as news! They got one thing right, this qualifies for a scare but only because the Houston Chronicle published it as news. This is BULLSHIT not science or news.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Gold Fish in a Deep Fryer

I had to see this one to believe it. Its basically a fish tank under a deep fryer. The video is narrated in Japanese but the science is pretty easy to follow.  This method has several advantages over conventional fryers.

  1. No fillter nessicary. The fish eat any bits of food that fall into the oil.

  2. No danger of splash-back if you spill water into the fryer, the bottom layer is already water.

  3. This fryer definitely earns points on the madness scale.

Check out the video:

The only downside I can see is maintaining the fish. Its great that they eat what would normally get caught in the grease trap, but that diet can't be great and gold fish arn't famous for their long life in any case. So how do you remove the ones that inevitably end up "belly up"?  Maybe they float up to the oil and become fried fish food for their brothers and sisters.Even if you ignore the fish canibalism, there a bunch of fish poo to wory about. Fish tanks need a good scrubbing every once in a while last time I checked. So its probably not a practical invention but oh so cool.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Upside-down Tomatoes (Part 3)

A few more weeks have gone by and the results of growing upside down tomatoes have been mixed. One of the pants has put on fruit and like I originally guessed, started growing down with the weight of the fruit. Another has ignored the pull of gravity and grown up, around the side of the basket and continues to grow up towards the sun. This is not altogether unexpected either, it is a plant after all. The third plant is somewhere in between with larger fruit it cannot grow up too much but that has not stopped it from trying. I'll keep monitoring their progress though, they still have a lot of growing to do and with more weight from both the plants and their fruit I expect the plants will start trending downwards. We will see. For now check out my latest pictures to see what I'm talking about.

I will have the sun!Cherry tomatoes growing upside-down!

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Upside-down Tomatoes (part 2)

Ok its been something like three weeks and my upside-down tomatoes continue to live. They are trying to grow upwards towards the sun but that problem should remedy its self as soon as they set fruit. For now I'm letting the drip irrigation system water them daily. In fact the only thing I've done since panting them has been to add more soil to their baskets to make sure their roots have plenty of room to grow.

Tomatores grow towards the sun.

Not a lot of work but so far not a lot of tomatoes either. I'll keep you updated as the project progresses but I'm signing off for now.

Monday, April 7, 2008

Upside-down Tomatoes

I like to call myself an amateur gardener. So when I heard about upside down growing tomatoes upside-down I had to give it a shot. The idea is that by inverting a tomato plant you can avoid a lot of hassle associated with growing them. Let gravity do your work for you. The plant can't fall over if its already hanging. It also cannot knock over its cage, which is really the primary pain in growing tomatoes.

My first challenge was figuring out how to hang my tomato plants. Tomatoes like sun, the more you can give to them the better so hanging the plants off the eves of my house was right out. I took a trip to OSH and found some steel sheepherder's hooks and hanging planters to go with them.

I next custo-modified the hanging planters for inverted planting by cutting slits in the bottom of them and shortening the chains so that there is now more room below the planters.

hanging planter taken apartslits in bottom of planter to allow for planting the tomatoes upside-down
I positioned three of the sheepherder's hooks in a triangular formation in the middle of my yard and ran a drip irrigation line up the middle to water the plants. Then with the help of some garden twine I tied all three hooks together. Hopefully they will support each other once the tomatoes put on fruit and start weighing more. We shall see.

Three hanging tomatoe plant.