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    • Thu, Aug 20, 2015 - 04:39pm

      #28
      tictac1

      tictac1

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      cistern

    Unfortunately, that is not cheap.  I bought two factory blem 1200 gallon tanks for $400, each far less than the steel alone would cost you, not to mention a pond liner.  I've got a total of 12,400 gallons of water storage, and for Californians, factory blem tanks are still the best option.

    Most people here and in the rest of the US have no clue what is happening here, and really don't seem to want to know.  Willful ignorance, i guess.

    Even if you eliminated residential use, we'd STILL be in a water-negative state.  Ag use is tremendous, and "environmental use" is even higher.  This is water that is mostly just allowed to go out to sea, due to the environmental laws we have here (not that they are all bad).  So these water restrictions are just a dog-n-pony, they have no real impact on the situation.  In my area, the truly wealthy flaunt the restrictions anyway, watering their gigantic lawns in high winds at 4pm.  They can afford the fines.

    Our grape growers have lowered our water table about 110 feet since I've been here.  Many people either punch a new, deeper and more expensive well, or lose their home.  I see drilling rigs literally every day where I live.  Grape growers continue to store water in huge ag ponds that lose 1"/day to evaporation, no one will stop them.  Now we are facing well metering and taxation, with the res users bearing 80% of the cost, and ag users doing 90% of the pumping.

    This is fascism 101, folks.  Government/corporate alliance.  The people's voices here are unified, it makes no difference.

    As for my family, we use composting toilets, drip irrigation, stored rain water, and pump black water to irrigate shrubs that create a much-needed microclimate.  Literally no water is wasted.  Do I think this will catch on?  Of course not.  I'm teaching my children a more sustainable way of life, not deluding myself into thinking I'm making a difference in the current crisis.

    Thus endeth your update from the front lines.

    • Wed, Sep 24, 2014 - 11:03pm

      #13
      tictac1

      tictac1

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      full disclosure

    Here are a few studies people considering using silver should read-

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21683166

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24621755

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3506774/

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3754374/

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15111684/

    http://www.escholarship.org/uc/item/0832g6d3

    From the last link-

    "While researching arthritis on the Internet, the patient had downloaded detailed information on the preparation of colloidal silver (colloidal silver is a suspension of submicroscopic metallic silver particles suspended in a liquid base) for a variety of indications including joint aches. He was able to obtain plans for a simple battery-operated chamber designed to leach silver from pure silver wire. He ingested approximately 16 ounces (~ 450 ml) of 450 ppm colloidal silver three times a day for 10 months. He reported improvement in his arthritis; however, he discontinued the treatment when his skin began to turn gray."

     

     

    • Wed, Sep 24, 2014 - 10:13pm

      #12
      tictac1

      tictac1

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      I’ve made and used colloidial

    I've made and used colloidial silver almost exactly as this man describes.  While I did not notice any effect, it is really simple to make with distilled water, a battery charger, a mason jar and two pieces of silver bullion.  I also used a meter to check EC, had about the same results he did.

    The VERY important aspects are to use pure silver electrodes, have nothing but the electrodes touch the water, use distilled water, and glass vessels.

    The cases of argyrosis I've read all involved people chronically ingesting rather large amounts of silver.  At 10 ppm, you have 10 mg of silver per liter of water, or about 37.8 mg per gallon.  The EPA says the reference dose is 5 ug/k/d.  That means up to 0.27 mg per day for a 120 lb person is relatively safe.  One tablespoon of 10 ppm colloidial silver is 0.15 mg of silver, well under the reference dose used by the EPA.

    So in the above example, the man's wife was consuming about 0.1 mg of silver per day for 3 days, assuming his meter was accurate.  That's not a dose I'd worry about at all.

    It would be nice to see double-blind studies, but I won't hold my breath…:)

    • Wed, Jun 25, 2014 - 10:50pm

      #5
      tictac1

      tictac1

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      I’ve run numerous field

    I've run numerous field trials with bio-char on my small farm.  In addition to charging the char before you use it, I recommend composting it along with horse and chicken manure.  I charge it in buckets before adding to my to-be-composted pile, then it's well mixed and piled inside a straw bale enclosure to heat.  It hits 160F within days, and stays hot for over a month.

    However, the field trials I ran showed that the char only really makes a difference when nutrition is less than optimal.  A balanced hydroponic nutrient solution using bark as a substrate yields the same or better.

    Overall, I doubt seriously that making your own bio-char (or buying it at the current prices) is worth it.  I'll probably do a few more trials, but I'm strongly leaning toward discontinuing my own production.

    I would like to see a trial comparing properly made bio-char against well-composted tree bark.  My hugelculture beds seem just as productive as the char beds, with a lot less effort and cost.  Composted tree bark would probably have a similar nutrient content and CEC to char.  Maybe I'll try that next…

    For the vineyards in the article, bio-char is an outstanding alternative to what they do now- burn huge piles of woody cuttings in the open.  Bio-char's real potential, in my opinion, is as a disposal method for otherwise polluting materials.  Growing biomass with the intent of making char isn't worth it, from what I've experienced.

    • Wed, Jun 18, 2014 - 10:50pm

      #2
      tictac1

      tictac1

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      At some point, we realize

    At some point, we realize that humans are motivated primarily by desire and belief, not logic and knowledge.  Once you accept that, everything makes a lot more sense. 

    Consider the AGW/climate change debate.  Both sides of the issue have ardent defenders, despite the fact that very, very few people actually know enough about the issue and data to truly make their own logical decisions.  Nevertheless, not only will people argue the "facts", they will take action based on their beliefs, i.e. buying a huge SUV or a hybrid.  I work with many very intelligent people that admit they do not fully understand the science, but take actions (of one sort or another) based on their beliefs.

    And of course, what people believe is largely driven by desire.  It's much more difficult to convince someone of something they desperately want not to be true.

    • Tue, May 06, 2014 - 10:35pm

      #81
      tictac1

      tictac1

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      theory vs. reality

    Check your local craigslist. In CA, there are plenty of ads for bitcoin for sale. None for buying bitcoin. There are also plenty of ads for people buying gold bullion, jewelry, etc, but few to none for people selling said gold. If I had bitcoin and needed fiat, I’d have to compete. If I had gold and needed fiat, I’d have multiple parties competing for my gold.
    Why anyone would believe that a digital currency is secure in the age of stuxnet and the NSA is beyond me. Talk about a confirmation bias!

    If bitcoin still has “value” in 1000 years, it will be about 20% as proven to hold value as gold and silver.

    • Tue, May 06, 2014 - 10:13pm

      #9
      tictac1

      tictac1

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      Crunch the numbers

    As you read this, bear in mind it is based on U.S. real estate costs and inflation, so you may have to tweak the numbers.

    A friend and I sat down recently and crunched the numbers to compare renting to buying. Before I tell you our conclusions, let me just state the obvious- owning gives you more control over property use, while renting gives you more freedom of movement. This should be central in your planning. What we found is that over the past 25 years or so, rents have tracked what I will call "true inflation", or about 9%. I say "true inflation" because once you understand how our inflation is calculated, it becomes obvious it is contrived, with an intentional low bias.

    Home prices during that time generally tracked stated inflation, or between 2.5-3%. That means property values are not rising as fast as the cost of the other stuff we buy, and energy. If you are buying a house to pay it off and never move again, this is not a big deal, since the resale value of the home is not a concern. The interest on the mortgage payment is, however. Over the life of a 30 year loan at 5.5%, the interest will cost you more than the house, by a long shot.

    Owning becomes even riskier when you consider the possibility of a "one-off" asset tax to prop up failing governments. Consider the possibility of Norway choosing this option. Of course, money in the bank at that point is at an even greater risk.

    Our conclusion was that owning a home was a bad "investment" unless you consider it an investment of a non-monetary type. I've intentionally not addressed house flipping, and selling into a bubble market since there are too many variables with flipping, and bubbles are less than predictable. Hope this helps.

    • Thu, Oct 10, 2013 - 10:46pm

      #52
      tictac1

      tictac1

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      “renal impact HP (high

    "renal impact HP (high protein) diets for limited periods is most likely different than that for more chronic consumption"

    "HP consumption has been found, under various conditions, to lead to glomerular hyperfiltration and hyperemia; acceleration of chronic kidney disease (CKD); increased proteinuria; diuresis, natriuresis, and kaliuresis with associated blood pressure changes; increased risk for nephrolithiasis; and various metabolic alterations."

    "HP diets have the potential for significant harm in individuals with CKD and should be avoided if possible. Because CKD is often a silent disease, all individuals should undergo a screening serum creatinine measurement and urinary dipstick test for proteinuria before the initiation of such a diet."

    "New research supports the view that high-protein diets accelerate renal disease progression, suggests differential consequences based on protein source, and explores risk among defined sub-populations."

    "The literature shows that in short-term clinical trials, animal protein causes dynamic effects on renal function, whereas egg white, dairy, and soy do not."

    "Whether long-term consumption of a high-protein diet leads to kidney disease is uncertain."

    As all these studies are post-2004, with one in 2013, I'd hesitate to call it renal function concerns "debunked".  My sister-in-law developed kidney problems after about 2 years on the Atkin's diet, probably an underlying, previously undiagnosed condition.  It resolved after a change in diet.

    I was unaware that the Paleo diet had morphed.  Probably a good thing, but people should eat as it suits them best regardless.

    • Thu, Oct 10, 2013 - 10:20pm

      #51
      tictac1

      tictac1

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      I hope I didn’t come across

    I hope I didn't come across as dismissing Paleo.  It empirically works to reduce body fat.  However, the premise that paleolithic man ate one diet is simply untrue.  Here's a TED talk to get you started, if you're interested in researching this further-





    I read Rob Wolff's book, and one of the first things I thought was "If man was unable after 10,000 years to adapt to a grain-based diet, when how were Northern Europeans able to adapt to consuming cow's milk in a fraction of that time?"  Having some indigenous genetics myself, I have a rough time with dairy, unlike my Irish and German relatives.  That's just one of the holes.  Also, there is no long term evidence as to the effects of this diet on cancer rates, mortality, etc.  Then there's the whole sustainability issue, which is probably minor to someone with a weight issue, but should still be addressed.

    I think Wolff comes to some right conclusions from a wrong premise.  That's actually not unusual, look at traditional Chinese medicine.

    While I have not read the physicist you cite, I do not believe that eating a big breakfast "boosts metabolism".  However, there is evidence that, with equal caloric intake, breakfast trumps dinner as to when you consume the most calories-

    "The BF group showed greater weight loss and waist circumference reduction. Although fasting glucose, insulin, and ghrelin were reduced in both groups, fasting glucose, insulin, and HOMA-IR decreased significantly to a greater extent in the BF group. Mean triglyceride levels decreased by 33.6% in the BF group, but increased by 14.6% in the D group. Oral glucose tolerance test led to a greater decrease of glucose and insulin in the BF group. In response to meal challenges, the overall daily glucose, insulin, ghrelin, and mean hunger scores were significantly lower, whereas mean satiety scores were significantly higher in the BF group."

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23512957

    Different study, similar conclusions-

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22178258

    This study shows improvement in a number of indicators in hyperandrogenic women, which may have significance for diabetics/pre-diabetics-

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23688334

    I realize these are all newer studies.

    A few more pro-breakfast studies.  With a few more hours, I'll bet I could get more references than the anti-breakfast physicist…:) 

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23340006

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23608698

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23775814

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23520556

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23761483

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22456660

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15699226

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21562233

    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18346309

    Jokes aside, I totally agree, every individual is just that, and must rely to some degree on trial and error.

    One thing is clear, overeating WILL make you fat, and one cannot always rely on how one feels to determine if they are consuming too many calories.

     

     

    • Thu, Oct 10, 2013 - 08:48pm

      #48
      tictac1

      tictac1

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      Agreed

    I actually eat a diet very similar to paleo, though I do consume Einkorn and barley products.  I actually like the diet in general, though I think they should rename it, and drop the reasoning behind it.  Paleolithic peoples ate what was in season and available, not what was optimum.  The diets they consumed were as varied as the cultures they maintained and environments they lived in  However, paleo eating obviously works for people seeking to drop excess fat.

    I have a couple concerns, maybe others have similar ones- is the higher protein load a concern for kidney function over the long-run?  It seems like longevity studies usually seem to favor a lower meat consumption.  Also, we placed my son on a diet that was grain-free (he is gluten sensitive), and he lost a lot of weight.  This was not so good for a kid that is very active, and still growing.  He got rail-thin, and we ended up reintroducing some grains, which he was able to tolerate and reversed the weight loss.  I suppose that's an endorsement for gainers.

    For me, the no-grain, low starch thing didn't pan out.  I have a high metabolism, and I went catabolic pretty quickly on that diet.  Much of what I do involves maintaining a decent strength output, so I started consuming more "filler", i.e. pasta and potatoes.  I feel better with a moderate intake of these items.

    I think the only possible argument to be made against an unprocessed, balanced diet is "I've been eating junk for years, and I'm fine."  That of course would be anecdotal, and not scientifically relevant…:)

    For anyone looking at cutting grains, you should know that wheat has changed dramatically, especially in the last 100 years.  Modern varieties are bred for higher yield, shorter stalks, less lodging (falling over).  These are all good things for the farmer, but these grains have much higher gluten content, and the glutens they contain are more inflammatory than the glutens present in older varieties (like Einkorn).

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