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Tiny Houses

Cedarshed Ranchhouse 16X14 Shed [RH1614] in Home & Garden,Yard, Garden & Outdoor Living,Garden Structures & Shade | eBay

Source: Cedarshed Ranchhouse 16×14 Shed RH1614 | eBay

 

According to a reality TV show on Netflix called ‘Tiny House Hunters’, tiny homes are all the rage these days. I got about 15 minutes into the first episode, and just couldn’t take it anymore. I just had to share my thoughts. In this show, this New Jersey couple first looks at a few acres with some tool sheds euphemistically called tiny houses. Next, they look at a custom ‘model home’ of a whopping 400 sq ft, which is estimated to cost them in the $100k range. The hardwood floor alone was $20/ft2!

Now I know that reality TV shows are anything but real, but I am sure there are many people who are thinking just like this couple. That is, they believe a 500 ft2 shed will cost in the $100,000 range. Such ignorance is just too much to not comment on, and share some insights.

I am not making fun of this couple and if you are like-minded to them or know somebody who is, then this article … Read the rest

Posted in Construction | Tagged , | Section: | 1 Response

Alzheimer’s and Lyme Disease: Caused by Disruptions in Food Chain

When we look closely at the causes of lyme disease and Alzheimer’s, we find its origins in the food production system.

Source: Alzheimer’s and Lyme Disease: Caused by Disruptions in Food Chain

Alzheimer’s has reached epidemic proportions, now the third largest cause of death (not counting deaths by the healthcare industry). While medical researchers continue to search for a cause, this article cites two principal causes. The first one rest on some pretty solid evidence, and the second one is yet a theory, but one that might be worth considering.

The first cause is the one most easily preventable – excess sugar consumption. The cause of the obesity epidemic should be no surprise to health conscious individuals. It is not the consumption of excess fat as is commonly supposed, but excess consumption of carbs and sugars, primarily the latter. The surge of soft drink consumption (both diet and regular) along with supposedly healthier fruit juice has moved lock-step with the obesity explosion. Coincidence? I don’t think so.

Excess sugar consumption causes not only obesity, but also type 2 diabetes. Alzheimer’s has been called type 3 diabetes by some. Do you want to avoid Alzheimer’s? Ditch the sodas and fruit juice. … Read the rest

Posted in Health | Tagged , | Section: | 1 Response

Monitoring Tools for your Website/Server

sitemonitoring_snapshotDo you have a website hosted on a server somewhere – either in your home or in the cloud? Has it ever gone down and you didn’t know about it for hours? I have, and it has happened to me too many times.

As a result, I have often wanted/needed a way to verify that the server which is hosting my websites is up and running properly. While many fine graphical tools exist such as Munin for this purpose, I wanted a simple set of utilities that could return just the parameters I needed and how I needed them.

What’s Needed

There are two different ways in which I want to get my metrics. The first is a command-line utility that I can run from my local computer to test the parameter needed. The second is a set of python functions that deliver the same metrics that I can then use to create a custom webpage.

This webpage (a future project) would run on a local server such as a Raspberry Pi, which could then display all my metrics on a tablet display in a convenient location. A quick glance could then show that everything was running smoothly or … Read the rest

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Flax Seeds for Breast Cancer & Health

Lignans are a type of plant compound known as polyphenols found in flaxseeds, sesame seeds, berries, and other foods.

Source: Lignans Play an Important Role in Optimal Health

This ground breaking article breaking article by Dr. Mercola, examines some of the many health benefits of eating freshly ground flaxseed.

One of the more significant benefits is in preventing and even curing breast cancer. He cites one case where a woman’s tumor shrank significantly from consuming flax seeds.

One of the principal mechanisms by which it benefits is in estrogen regulation. Since many other types of cancers, including prostrate cancer is estrogen driven, both women and men can benefit from flax seeds.

Another benefit of flax seeds is estrogen regulation. They not only reduce excess estrogen, but can increase low estrogen levels as well. This is an important benefit to aging women. Since older men suffer from excess estrogen levels due to conversion from testosterone, I believe flax seeds would provide similar benefits for older men.

Because of the highly perishable nature of flax seeds once ground, it is important to keep and store only fresh whole flax seeds, and grind them just before consuming. To get sufficient benefits, studies … Read the rest

Posted in Health | Tagged , , , | Section: | 1 Response

DIY Powder Coating

Source: Hackaday – DIY Powder Coating

This is so cool. I did not know powder coating could be done so easily at home. Powder coating is similar to paint, but is much harder and more durable, since it’s baked on.

Powder coating can only be done on metal objects and involves these simple steps:

  1. Throughly clean the part – sandblasting if necessary
  2. Hook ground clamp from the powder coating gun to the part and spray on the powder
  3. Place part in toaster oven at 450° F until the powder liquifies

You can mask any parts not to be coated with a high temperature tape such as Kapton tape. Also to be noted is you should use a dedicated toaster oven that won’t be used for cooking food, and the baking should be done outside due to the fumes released.

You can buy an old Crafstman powder coating gun used on e-bay or a newer one here on Amazon.

Here is a video showing the entire process:

I want to try this sometime. Any ideas for applications?

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Neat low cost storage idea

Having a place for everything is key to a productive workbench.We want to make stuff, not look for stuff! :-)While we could make the cabinet out of wood, as long as your the parts are not too heavy, foam core is strong enough, inexpensive, and quicker to make than a wooden cabinet. Plus, no one has ever gotten splinters from foam core! :-)

Source: Instructables.com

What a great idea for storing small parts like electronics, screws, buttons, etc. I like the idea of using foam core and hot glue. There are a lot of storage needs that can be met with foam core or cardboard instead of wood. Also, hot glue works great for these materials as well as wood. I made a silverware drawer divider from Luan plywood and hot glue years ago, that is still going strong.

 

Please add your own ideas in the comments.

 

Posted in Household, Tech | Tagged | Section: | 1 Response

Windows is a Sinking Ship – Linux is the Lifeboat

linux-freedom

I wrote previously about why you should switch to Linux for all your computing needs. I would like to amplify on that assertion. There has never been a better time to abandon Windows and switch to Linux. First I’ll address the disaster that Microsoft Windows has become, and then explore the Linux alternative.

Window’s Ship is Sinking

Just like the Titanic, even though there is widespread denial, Windows is sinking into the abyss just as surely. Despite the grave metaphor, I am not saying Windows will completely go away (who knows for sure), but it will continue to shrink into irrelevance. Linux rules both the server/cloud world and dominates the mobile market as well via Android. As applications continue to move to the cloud and mobile, the raison d’être for Windows as the only platform that can run the applications a user needs is slipping away.

But irrelevance is not the only thing ailing Windows. No siree. The operating system is strangling itself. Years of legacy code combined with a closed development system has left Windows years, even decades behind its competitors, namely Linux. Even the mighty resources that Microsoft have at its disposal cannot hope to compete with the … Read the rest

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Why You Should Switch to Linux

Linux_screenshot

With the loss of updates for Windows XP and Microsoft’s floundering on Windows 8/10, many have started to consider alternatives. The MacOS is of course an option, but I believe Linux to be an even better one. Not only is Linux a good alternative to Windows, but for makers, hackers, tinkerers and homeschoolers especially, Linux is really the only operating system (OS) worth considering.

Merits

Cost

Without a doubt, Linux is the ultimate low-cost operating system. It is absolutely free. How many times have you had a computer where the OS needs to be reinstalled? With Windows systems so vulnerable to malware infections, it is a regular occurrence. When you do need to reinstall, do you still have the original disks? Can they still be read?

What about upgrades? If you get a new computer (without an OS), and you want to install your latest version, do you have the full version, or just an upgrade version? If it is just an upgrade version, do you have the original version disks? If not, Microsoft’s DRM will not allow the installation.

Have you ever thought about building your own computer, but are stymied by the prospect of having to shell out … Read the rest

Posted in Education, Tech | Tagged , | Section: | 5 Responses

Using ATtiny Chips for Arduino-Like Projects

tinyavr

The Arduino platform is great for prototyping. Its easy-to-use shield architecture, readily identifiable pin numbering scheme, and beginner friendly IDE and software library has created a large and loyal following. In the life of many projects, however, there comes a time when the project is to be permanently deployed. When that time comes, leaving a precious Arduino in the field is often not the best option. Instead, a specialized board with either an ATmega chip or even an ATtiny chip is the best choice.

When cost or space is a factor an ATtiny chip is an attractive alternative to the ATmega for simpler projects. Thanks to the Arduino-Tiny project, an ATtiny can be used as a drop-in replacement for most Arduino projects. This initiative provides ATtiny chip configurations as upload board choices in the standard Arduino IDE. By following the instructions described in my previous article – Program an ATtiny Using an Arduino – your Arduino sketch can be uploaded as easily to an ATtiny board as it can be to an Arduino one.

More recently, the ATtiny has gained semi-official support given the variants posted by David Mellis on Github. Please note that this new firmware specification … Read the rest

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A Maker’s Microwave

microwave-rasberrypi

How many microwaves have you thrown out because they get flaky after a few months? The thrift stores are full of these rejects. How many times have you wondered who designed the user interface for these things? What planet were they from? Wouldn’t it be nice to have a microwave that isn’t flaky and has a sensible interface?

Nathan did exactly that. He took a broken microwave and put in his own smarts via a Raspberry PI. It has a beautiful control panel, accepts voice commands and provides voice synthesized feedback. It even scans a product bar code to fetch cooking instructions. It is so smart, that you don’t have to babysit the thing to stop it to stir. With the bar code powered instructions, it will stop at the right time, tell you to stir, and start up again to finish the cooking. He even did a tablet interface.

The key to a project like this is a microwave with an intact magnetron, which is the tube which does the cooking. As already mentioned, most of the time these tubes are fine. It is the sorry electronics that flake out. Take inspiration from this guy. You don’t have … Read the rest

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