Author Archives: bill

Biopod – Smart Microhabitat

 

Want!

The four stages of life

couple is walking in the rain under an umbrella, abstract colorful oil painting

Mimicry, Self Discovery, Commitment, and Legacy
There’s a million and one ways to talk about our lives, but this one seemed to strike a chord with me.
By Mark Manson

Mad Max Survival Technique: Solar Still

Should you find yourself in a post apocalyptic wasteland ruled by water-hording warlords, please remember the solar still.

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One of the most significant survival tools created in the last 40 years, the solar still was developed by two physicians working for the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Results of extensive testing in the Arizona deserts by the U.S. Air Force proved that when properly assembled, the still can save your life.

There are only 2 essential components to constructing the solar still — a container to catch the water and a 6 x 6-footsheet of clear plastic. A shovel or trowel, a length of plastic tube and tape are all optional.
The container can be a collapsible cup, an empty plastic bottle, a small cooking pot or just about anything with a large enough opening to catch falling drops of water. In a pinch, even tin foil or a sandwich bag can be fashioned into a workable receptacle.
The sheet of clear plastic can be a ground cloth used under tents when backpacking or a thin painting drop cloth. Both work well as long as there are no tears or holes. This is the one item that should be carried at all times, since there is no natural substitute out in the boonies. I keep a 6 x 12-foot plastic drop cloth taped inside my daypack, large enough to make two stills if necessary. Some desert rats like to keep their plastic sheets folded inside a hip sack or as part of their first-aid kits.
A 6-foot length of flexible plastic tubing, similar to the kind used in fish tanks is a non-essential but desirable addition to the still components. This will allow you to drink accumulated water without needing to break down the solar still, inevitably affecting its efficiency.

Ecocapsule

 

Offgrid, solar & wind powered, rain harvesting self contained living quarters.

Donnacha Costello – Ten Years Later

Donnacha Costello

Donnacha Costello’s ‘Color Series’ first debuted on his own label ‘Minimise’ in 2004 and over the next year or so, evolved into ten releases which to this day remain some of my favourite vinyl records. With influences ranging from Aphex Twin, Plastikman, Autechre, Model 500 and Farley Jackmaster Funk, Donnacha reached into new territory with this series, combining his love of synths, techno music and in many instances, ambient music, to produce a collectable and sought after series of vinyl, and a defining style of music for many of today’s producers.

Source: Donnacha Costello – Ten Years Later — A STRANGELY ISOLATED PLACE

Offscreen Colonies

Offscreen Colonies is a 64k intro from Hungarian multimedia artists, Conspiracy.

To put it into perspective, the program that renders the video in that youtube link is 35 times smaller than any of the images captured from that program listed below.

Think about that. (also Blade Runner!)

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oc08

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Analog Memory Desk


The ‘Analog Memory Desk’ Has a Built-in Scrolling Paper Surface for Recording 1,100 Yards of Sketches and Ideas | Colossal.

Beer Stein Of Science

Stein-Comparison1900ml-and-4300ml

Wissenschaftenstein-Size-Comparison

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So you like cold drinks, especially in the heat of the summer. You also like large drinks, however, they come at a cost: unless you can drink a superhuman quantity of liquid in a relatively short period of time, your beverage is gonna get warm. This is unacceptable. Enter the “Stein Of Science“. A full metal jacket around a cryostatic dewar with a hefty steel handle.

You know you want one.

The Black Blood of the Earth

When Subject 1’s cup of unadulterated was half empty, he grabbed his water bottle and poured the remainder into his clear glass coffee cup. He looks at it and then puts his hand up because He Needs An Adult. He said with concern, “I added water but it didn’t change color.” We all wandered over to peek into the dark heart of his mug. Even diluted to 50% of the original strength, it is still as black, oily, and potentially lethal as a tar pit.

While accurate, this can’t merely be called Scientific Coffee or even Weapons Grade Coffee. My brain went searching for terms that accurately described this creation. While the tar entity that killed Tasha Yar in ST:TNG came to mind, John Carpenter’s “Big Trouble In Little China” is what stuck. This coffee is the Black Blood Of The Earth (or BBotE for the sake of brevity).

With 145 cups of coffee’s worth of caffeine in 5.7 cups of volume, this is emphatically a beverage not to be trifled with. more importantly, though, it is fantastically delicious. Any comparison to regular coffee is, at best, fraught with peril. This is like comparing apples and bazookas.


Go get some.

Hütte Hut

Hütte Hut
Hütte Hut
Hütte Hut
huttehut

Simple, small, wooden, exposed frame, what’s not to love?
Hütte Hut.

Hair that looks like pixel-art: #xpresionpixel

Hair that looks like pixel-art: #xpresionpixel Via Boing Boing.

The Rat Tribe of Beijing

The Rat Tribe of Beijing

“I am doing well because I’m scared of being poor,” Wei says in his apartment, a roughly 300-square-foot room he shares with up to nine other men. “Many of my colleagues live above ground, but I think it’s too comfortable; this place forces me to work harder.” Still, Wei, who now makes up to 30,000 yuan (about $4,800; 1 yuan = $0.16) a month — a drastic improvement from his initial monthly salary of 800 yuan — says he plans to move out by the Chinese New Year, in February.

The Rat Tribe of Beijing

These below-ground rooms owe their existence to two historical events. One is the Cold War, when Mao’s China struggled with the Soviet Union for ideological supremacy in the East bloc. In 1969, the same year the two countries fought a bloody border war along the Amur River, Mao ordered people to “dig tunnels deep” as protection against Soviet air raids. In Beijing, 300,000 people took part in the campaign, digging an estimated 20,000 underground bomb shelters.

The Rat Tribe of Beijing

A few years later, however, Mao was dead and his hardline ideology overturned in favor of the economics-first pragmatism of Deng Xiaoping. The shelters were commercialized, and the government’s Office of Civil Defense instructed that they had to turn a profit. By the 1980s, according to a memoir of a senior official in charge of the project, Beijing had 800 underground hostels, as well as underground supermarkets, cinemas and roller-skating rinks. In 1996, the government formalized this shift, passing a law mandating that new buildings contain underground civil-defense shelters, but that they have an economic use as well. This led to the proliferation of for-profit underground housing. Over the years, government agencies contracted out the spaces to private managers, who run them for a profit.

The Rat Tribe of Beijing

The Rat Tribe of Beijing | Al Jazeera America.

1973 VW-Based Phoenix

Rare 1973 VW-Based Phoenix.





HowTo: Raspberry Pi ad-blocking, caching router and internet gateway

This past week, during a transition between internet accounts from the same provider ( gotta love monopolies! ), I setup a rasberrypi b+ as a temporary router using a 4g cellular hotspot as our primary internet connection.

The maximum data plan available through t-mobile provided only 21GB of data for $120 a month. At 4g LTE speeds, ~50Mbps, you can burn through 21GB in just about an hour.

Clearly, we needed to figure out ways to conserve bandwidth, particularly for an office of 6-8 people all sharing the same connection.

Enter Privoxy, Polipo, Dnsmasq, and some iptables magic.

So, first off, I’m assuming you’ve got the latest Raspbian installed. This was built on the 2014-12-24 release.

So, lets add the usb0 network interface and set it to get an ip address via DHCP.
/etc/network/interfaces

Next, lets go get all the software we’ll need to get this done:

Avahi is just because I don’t like to type IP addresses…

Next up is /etc/dnsmasq.conf for providing dhcp service for our network:

Then Privoxy

Next, we’ve got polipo, our lightweight caching proxy: /etc/polipo/config

I’d reboot at this moment, to make sure everything comes up roses, plug in your android phone or hotspot setup to do USB tethering.

Then, finally, the iptables rules that do that magic:

Now, you should have your ethernet port serving up IP addresses to your lan, routing all traffic through privoxy and polipo to cache, and serving dns requests locally to your caching dns proxy.

Nota Bene: Should work with iPhones, but you’ll need to install some extra tools and configuration.

You’re gonna need some pants

I wish we could send you back with pants, but the technology just isn’t there yet. So as soon as you hit the ground, you’re going to want to find some pants. I know you can do it…because you already did it.

From the ever excellent Auralnauts