Saturday, 31 December 2022

2022's A Wrap. (?)

I'll use this blog to wrap up the year. I don't usually do these but there's stuff and I may as well link it all up.

Early on I started working on CANonical CNC which quickly turned into CAN_CNC over on my ptec3d blog, and then the Not So Bastard Gate Trilogy with one episode outstanding until after I finish painting it. CAN_CNC has been put on the back burner because so much is going on and I expect to pick that thread up again soonish. 

Partway through NSBG.

Meanwhile I also started TTMMGH (Things That Make Me Go Hmm) posts spread across various blogs because odd things seem to keep cropping up don't they? 

Water gets mentioned a fair bit, mainly because it's now been found to be contaminated with both microplastics and PFAS compounds from pole to pole on the planet. It gets mentioned a lot.


Worried about AI taking jobs? Yeah so are a lot of people. But I tried out ChatGPT and it's both a triumph and a worry, because it is just so good. I think it'll change the Earth, our society, and our very foundations of civilisation. You've been both evangelised to and warned... It's a VERY two-edged sword with more edges than I can predict. 

I also found Dall-e mini, DALL-E 2 and Nightcafe and started using the images they created as a basis for my illustrations for all the blogs, so now I use them to generate reasonable graphics to break up the whitespace.

Also, the subject of drones used for delivery - there are multiple issues and sides - but this is a topic I'll come back to in 2023 because it has layers like an onion, and (as I've found) like an onion, some of them stink. (Think privacy, roads and footpaths, tunnels, and even airships.)

Okay - THIS image I used without editing.

The perpetual issue of people printing guns comes up too. Expecting them to stop just because it's illegal isn't going to work any more than laws about spam and phishing stopped spam and phishing. Educate yourself so you'll be forewarned if anything like this happens near you.

I've also had a first-hand look at a "WEB3" newsletter software but like anything to do with WEB3, cryptocurrencies, tokens, NFTs, and that whole gamut of virtual currency and art, I'm reminded that at least one wise person said something like "the first thing you must realise when talking about anything virtual is that 'virtual' is just another word for 'not'." and they were talking about virtual worlds but the same principle applies to almost everything WEB3.

Here, have a monkey on a throne. OOH! NFT!

I posted links to some really great Youtube videos about recycling - everything - and the first of a set of three articles is here. For anyone that works with electronics, beware - the days of the humble PCB (Printed Circuit Board) are numbered and the numbers are really small.

Recipes pile up very slowly on TEdAMENU Tuckertime but they do get posted. The blog also looked at the effects that climate and COVID were having on our food supplies and predicted some things quite well. Sadly. 

There really was a lot posted despite medical issues, pandemic/no pandemic confusions, building stuff, and winter. My least favourite weather is cold, I can't work outdoors because I get some kind of temperature related inflammatory arthritis and also find myself wanting to just yell at the damn clouds, but that just means it's time for indoor projects more. You can find my 3D models for stuff at Thangs and Printables and unedited raw videos of whatever I managed to remember to capture on Youtube.

Please Read Down Here Too.

I blog because I like to share. Things you can read about on my suite of blogs (which I'm the sole person creating, researching, writing, and publicising) range over topics like cyber-ethics (AI, sustainable energy, EVs) and 3D printing and recycling plastics and other waste streams, general tech and personal ramblings, environmental and ethical issues, rants about sustainable and eco-friendly tech and bad actors on those scenes, COVID news and opinion, even a recipe blog that has less chit-chat and more recipe.

There are a few others but they're not really my main topics. On top of that I design and make the odd machines and things to help with things like recycling, my vegetable garden and soon to be reinstated mini aquaponics system, and more. It's a lot to do. I can only manage it because I'm retired on a disability pension. I've included a link below to chat to me on Mastodon (which is a Twitter alternative without the bitter after-taste) if you think you'd like to write the odd article on one or more of the blogs and help out, or if you have an idea you'd like me to investigate and follow up.

Latest project in mini aquaponics I'm working on.

Lastly, if you'd like to help me defray the costs of domain names, server hosting, parts and materials for the show projects, you could donate the price of a cup of coffee - or even make that a monthly donation - by going to my Ko-Fi page, and you could also Paypal Direct.

Chat with me on Mastodon >>

Thursday, 29 December 2022

Is The Internet Really Your Personal Income Machine?

WTF kind of question is that?

The Internet by definition includes everyone on the planet. Generating the energy to power it affects each and every person, animal, insect, mollusc, plant and fungus. We've already been down this path haven't we? Affecting many for the benefit of the few? 

Dig up old solar energy that the Earth managed to lock up deep down, in the form of fossilised carbon, profit from it, Earth suffers and loses a resource from it. Repeat with next resource.

Claim that some area of land "belongs" to you - after you've lived on it for a whole  (5.714285714285714e-9)% (that's a mere 0.0000000005714285714th of one percent, give or take) of the Earth's existence to date, use that claim to enslave your fellow beings, and force them to dig fossilised energy up for you, sell it back to them - profit! What a cracking good scheme!

At each step the planet's state of health becomes worse. And worse. And now some people are tapping off some of the energy to supposedly power (read "profit", it's always about profit, not fair living) a thing called WEB3. Once again, those activities are generating heat and destroying the planet's health. Best part is how crypto was planned to make people rich, but a) crypto costs a lot of energy to generate and b) Sam Fried. . .

There's a solution

Luckily there's a way to remediate the effects of the Web3 and the demands made by it and crypto on the resources of the planet - taken while people still live in abject poverty mind you, with not a concern or care for them - and it's really really easy:

For every "NFT" you create and sell, for every bit of "digital currency" you "mine," - give the fiat currency equivalent of ten times that amount to a fund for climate remediation. For every picture of a stupid monkey you sell or buy - pay for the remediation of ten monkeys' habitats. Every time you buy a Lamborghini, buy the equivalent of ten times as much money's worth of clean EVs, and donate them to the climate remediation fund so that they can distribute them among people who actually need a car for transport and not for w*nk factor.

In other words - stop freeloading on the planet's resources - OUR resources - and start paying for the total bullshit you're shovelling. 

There. Problem solved.

Imagine you replace the words "climate remediation fund" with the words "your government acting as a climate remediation organisation." I can't imagine any world government opposing the legislation then. 

There. That problem solved too. YW.

Because until we stop acting as though what's owned by the entire world's population could ever be the individual wealth of a small number of individuals, there won't be any stopping the behemoth. 

Here. Have a monkey. Have a Lambo. Have a brain FFS.

There. By rights I should have had to pay about AUD$3.14519million for that effort above - if I was using it to extract monies or other forms of wealth from people. (In practice, only a very few people ever click on the advertising links that pay me 0.00027c per click, and only a lovely wonderful few ever donate, hint, hint...)

What De Beers did with their self-manufactured diamond boom, the tobacco industry did with tobacco and the fossil fuel cartel did with fuel, energy and plastic, or what the automotive industry do with their planned obsolescence; and all that happened in the "dot com" days - a new crop of eager faces, hungry souls, and wide open financial vaults now want to do that with Web3.

The plan is to keep consuming energy hand over fist over petaflop, burn energy at one end, convert it into stupid monkeys and lambos, and never once look back at the devastation it'll cause. That cryptohobbit creature going to court and hopefully into an oubliette soon after, that's one reason to have hope that this effort refocuses and starts caring more for stewardship than croupiership.

Meanwhile, those wannabe "monkey kings"

Yeah, nah, I don't mince words, won't. Because this.

Do. Not. Want

Let me be clear - I want to live well and comfortably. I also want everyone else to live well and comfortably too. But to me that doesn't mean I want all these trappings of  (it eventually always comes down to "wealth" which is an accoutrement of) power. There. I said it. I don't want power. Over anybody or anything. And I don't want anyone exercising power over me. 

When I say it like that, I can see how it's a thing everyone goes through. As a baby, even the family cat has a power of life or death over you, then as you get older the locus of power changes to parents and older siblings - and then at some point you realise you're an adult and all the childhood powers that ruled you, are no longer exterting a hold. And so what do so many people do? They go out and try to exert their power over others. . . Sheesh. Really grow up. 

The other thing I have to say is that some children just never do grow up. I can point to Mr Trump as an example, and Mr Morrison as a Prime example. But we ALLOWED THEM HAVE POWER OVER US. Yikes!

Come on! We've EVOLVED

And yet somehow, none of us want to realise that the first and main thing on the planet that we should be exercising control and power over is ourselves. We can't seem to work out how to do it though, can't seem to make it happen. . .

"Oh, the advertisers - those clever sneaky advertisers - they made me want this year's 'Whack-O-Matic 4litre All Wheel Drive Superliner 2022' - and I've only had it six months and they've already come out with the 'Whack-Plus-Double-Wham-O-Matic 4.2litre All Wheel Drive Ultraliner 2023'... "

Really? I'm a person that can look you in the eye and honestly say that I've never bought a new car, instead I've been milking a bit more lifespan out of second, third, and even fourth - hand cars before they go to be scrapped. When, as I did, you live and work 300km from the next nearest place larger than a mining camp, and 400 - 2500km (depending on how serious it is) from the nearest suitable medical facility, you need some transport. Bonus points if it's reliable and doesn't kill you. I've also never owned a house, never invested in stocks and shares, or held a credit card.

What I really really want is that I'd been able to learn - for my entire childhood not just the first two years - from teachers who were not doing it for the money but because they really genuinely cared about imparting knowledge and learning skills. I was lucky enough to have something very close to this idyll for my first two school years, and then ended up dumped into the education factory. 

And as that kid, I wished that I could do the things that I was genuinely interested in doing when I graduated, but instead discovered that power (other people's, unfortunately) dictated that I needed to do a lot of things I didn't want to do and wasn't suited to, in order to survive. And you know what? I learned the shit out of those jobs, until I knew them well enough to have supervised them. And then generally one of two things happened -
one, I knew how they should have been done and wondered why the supervisor(s) didn't do them and
two, I'd get tired of doing things the hard way just because some asshole "had the power" to dictate it be done that way, and then either get into arguments and asked to leave, or just leave.

But you see, I've come to the conclusion that the whole human race is now at that point, where some stupid ass-hat has "the power" to do right but instead they keep doing wrong. And the people that work for money doing those things wrong are realising that instead of being overpowered by the wealth and assumed power, we can start pushing back to have things balance out. 

And every time I get that feeling, I see things like Web3 showing me that exploitation and greed still rule... 

A WEB3 App That Shall Remain Anonymous

. . . invited me to make a newsletter using their software. I could use "tokens" to - I don't know, because the next sentence contained the acronym "NFT" and - . . . I got a healthy dose of socialist nausea and tuned out, and then - . . . then - . . . I thought I'd just check it out anyway. I already use a newsletter/RSS aggregator to let people know about my posts, not because I make money from it but because - (go see the paragraph under the monkey picture up above is why) - I like to communicate the things I fever-dream up, the news I come across, and also the stuff I do; and I hope that other people who are like-minded will work on making those concepts more widely-known and popular.

So I went to see what it offered me besides the chance to crypto-scam the hell out of my readers and found:

You can "token-gate" your newsletters. (I mentally substituted "paywall" for their phrase fragment. You probably should, too.)

The first thing I noticed was that I can't use the clumsy awkward and quite frankly immature and stupid editor they provide. It has so many things that I dislike, that I could start another entire post just about that.

But you can "token-gate" your newsletters.

I can't put URL links in as easily as with 80% of the other online WYSIWYG editors out there. URLs are the lifeblood of blogs and newsletters, pointing readers to one's own content, to supplementary content, to newly-discovered content. That makes it a pretty lame newsletter.

But. . . You can "token-gate" your newsletters.

Images are so basic I can't even add a caption or control the final relative size of an image.

But. You can "token-gate." You know, your newsletters.

Where are my typography options? Fonts? 


Argh! It's effing useless!


The whole effort seemed to hang from tokens and so forth and (as I said) substituting the phrase token-gating for the phrase pay-walling. The newsletter itself seems to be secondary to flogging your tokengated content just like a multi-owner monkey picture, using the world's energy grid to track that in a blockchain somewhere, and pretend it's money, without ever actually putting money into it in the first place. 

Content, the look and flow of content, ease of use - all seemed to be VERY secondary to the newsletter site, "tokens" was where it was at and all the rest was stuff that the mug marks do to make tokens go round. 

I'm probably an old fart wet-blanket but I really prefer content to crypto, and I wish currency of any kind was abolished worldwide and we all realise that there's plenty to go around and make everyone wealthy as long as "wealthy" doesn't mean "owning ALL the things and FY everyone else" to you. Once you can do whatever work takes your fancy without having to worry about pay scales and profits and bank statements, you realise that you don't really need 27 McMansions and a dozen Lambos to be well-off and happy. 

The problem as I see it is that everyone from low-income blue-collar workers to millionaires considers themselves to be "middle class," and middle-class people seem to consider themselves to be temporarily embarrassed  millionaires who'll be better off any minute now as long as they can steal someone else's lunch to get by. (By the way, I recommend that video, it's quite good.) And that sort of brings us to:

A Quick Thingie To "Influencers"

- Segue. A quick segue to Influencers. What should Influencers do? Okay maybe that IS evident from the name. But the ones I read/view/listen to, they inspire me, educate me, show me and teach me, on topics as far ranging as cosmology to cookery.

One thing they patently needn't do is sell propaganda for the big corporations that are chewing the world up and spitting it out in ruins. And what is that thing all Influencers need to do if they want to keep being Influencers? 

Sponsorships and product placement.

Quick Distinction:

I have a Youtube channel, also Odysee, Twitch. I have blogs and websites. But I'm decidedly not an Influencer. I have influence with a small readership, but not Influence of the capital-I kind. Those capital-I Influencers, they have a topic (or in the case of one or two Titans, a dozen topics) of interest to them and they specialise on those. They create a very specific body of content, opinion, and material related to their chosen topic(s).

And in order to do that effectively, they currently need money, hence the commercialisation of Influence. They have a team, they get up and create, document, and produce Content. The capital-C kind of Content is focused. Few Influencers have the resources (intellectual, mental, financial) to do more. 

But imagine if everyone had a Universal Basic Income (UBI) and could go do Influencer-ey things without needing to stress about money? We'd see a lot more Simon Whistlers, that's what'd happen. 

Give us time - as a species we're still a way behind that state where we can all be wide-ranging polymaths. But the children that are following Influencers right now, the ones from 0 to 12 years old. THEY will have a wider range of comprehension. They'll have more interests, more balls in the air than we can juggle. 

So there's the reason I can't adopt the capital I mantle - I mentioned that I had a good education in the first two years, and one thing it equipped me to do was to follow what I wanted to learn and learn it. So I don't so much have a focal topic. I have a dozen. I have several dozen. I keep accumulating more. 

And I'd like to reach a lot of people, but if I dumped everything through one firehose, people might get a bit nonplussed at the wide range of topics. I could do one blog and tag everything, I suppose. But I'm shyte at tagging, my head won't and doesn't and refuses to try and tag. So I try to - TRY TO - and sometimes succeed, in keeping several blogs with distinctly separate but occasionally overlapping, Topics.

So I have around a dozen blogs, about 6 of which I write in regularly. And that means that, unlike an Influencer, I can't pump out 6 posts a week on "my chosen topic" because in a week I have maybe three of my topics in mind, am doing housework and chores because I don't have a Production crew to off-lay work onto and a Domestic crew to clean up everything for me. 

Besides, I also have a few other interests that I don't blog so much about. I don't have a blog titled "My Wife Is The Most Wonderful Person In My Life" but I try and spend time with her because we know we're the Universe's gift to one another. We both waited half a century to find one another, so everything else is secondary. You won't find a blog called "Geez We Have The Best Cats" but I invest time in interacting with them because they're one of the more delightful things in our life. "Living With Our Ills" isn't a thing you'll find among my blog topics either. 

So I sent someone a link to one of my recipes once, and they were surprised that the recipe blog goes back to 2007 or somewhere as far as that, but only had a few hundred recipes. They expressed surprise at that. Why weren't there close to 800, one a week? I explained to them that I've had five blogs including that one for a long time, and some even pre-dated it, so I'd have had to write around 5,000 posts if I was to be fair-handed between them all. 

I probably actually have fewer than 2,000 if I count blogs I've archived or that were lost when hard drives or hosting providers went bust.

I also had a day job (sometimes two) and never really got that vanity where if I was "Writing dammit, get someone else to cook!" and so I should be exempt from cooking or whatever other chores needed doing. So sometimes a blog went months without a new entry. Oh and I also wrote paid articles for a few online magazine-format sites back then, the pay was minimal but the fun I had made it worthwhile. 

So. If you want to get a feel for my stuff, take a look at Ted's News Stand. I've put a feed of my top blogs there, in a continuous list. As I write an article on any of the blogs in that list, it gets added to the top of the queue. So you can see many of my topics, follow them back to the relevant blog, and one day if people express a need, I'll create a newsletter feed for each of them. At the moment, I have just one newsletter that comes out once a week and includes all the newest posts from the News Stand list. 

I also message on Mastodon: if you want to talk about anything. and you can go to my Ko-Fi page and buy me a virtual coffee or make that a monthly coffee and become just like a Patreon patron but without all the BS. I also accept Paypal

But sorry, no bitcoin, NFT, or monkeys . . .  I will also accept work on scripts or blog posts for other people, as long as you don't mind my bitterness... Hehehe not with you my readers of course - but with the unfairness of life, always. 

Saturday, 10 December 2022

Recent Arrests In Germany

... show that there will always be breakaways. I hope one day that a good one actually takes hold.

Peter Fitzek has done a "Prince Leonard of Hutt River Province" but in my opinion not half so well as Good King Len. But I'm noting that many of these sovereign citizen affairs end up with antimaskers and antivaxxers and are generally a disgruntled lot. 

I.e. generally speaking each of these "Königreiche" are formed from people that feel they can't influence a government to their will or are unwilling to go through the local political process. Mr Fitzek aka King Peter did try, but didn't make Mayor, and didn't make parliament, and so felt that he had no options but to loudly secede. 

He should take a lesson from the "quiet quitters" who get on with civic stuff (their jobs, providing the national product) but don't take it home with them nor let it become overtime or anything else. We know from experience that every government becomes corrupted and diluted and divided as it gets older. 

Mr Fitzek maintains that "People who are corrupt, criminal or willing to be used thrive in the German system and those with an honest heart, who want to change the world for the better, in the interests of the common good, don't have a chance." but that's always going to happen. And people who go to a castle and just secede rarely change the system, while firebrands and activists seem to. 

Sometimes, the change in a government when it reaches the end of its life is a gradual segue into a new form, and sometimes it comes with revolutions, deaths, and destruction. It rarely comes from somehow establishing a kingdom within a nation. And the Reichsbürger that were arrested weren't one kingdom, they were a bunch of people each with their own divergent views. Such a government would have been a disaster.

See, meanwhile, Leonard Casley did things right. For questionable reasons to be sure, but he exploited legal loopholes and had he had a bit more popular support, could have become a mini power in Western Australia. Unfortunately for history, he didn't put his foot down, didn't do much world diplomacy, and in the end has become a lovely and quaint footnote to Australian history.

The Usual Blah Blah Blah

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Sunday, 20 November 2022


Paralysis Happens. 

I feel paralysed right now. I'm learning my way around Mastodon because Elon Musk is busy killing an innocent little bluebirb and I really need to keep getting my stuff out there. You can't get your "stuff" out there if there's no-one looking, and you can't get people looking without engaging them in some way. Learning the platform is important.

Also - if your "stuff" isn't some bright shiny sparkly commercial piece of shyte then you have to work ten times as hard to get your brown, vaguely boring-looking, yet probably a hundred times more valuable "stuff" looked at. 

Because your "stuff" isn't a commercial winner and you're doing it all just to make a difference, you can't really take a holiday. 

And right now what with the learning curve, trying to keep things all juggling around rather than just tumbling in a pile around my feet and thus out of eye-line - I feel paralysed.

I've just put a pre-draft of a page online and I'd love you to read it, and come back in a few weeks when I've had time to make it a full suite of pages, and contact me, and perhaps even help. Details of that will appear on that page as I get time to write them.

Monday, 12 September 2022

Direct Capture CO2 Scrubbing

Efforts To Clean Up Earth Won't Cost The Earth

... and no longer have to.

When are we going to get the idea? Solar PV (PhotoVoltaic) energy is one of the least damaging ways to get energy that already falls on Earth, to do some Work on Earth, without Digging Up the Earth. THIS is a very innovative and valuable concept.

To the first person to comment with "but it needs eeeeennnneeeeerrrggyyyyyyy!" I am going to present a large mallet to smack themselves on the head with. I've posted in the past, on various of my blogs, that energy is going to become the one resource we'll have so much of that it may as well become free. And it will also be the least damaging to the environment. Energy is about to become dramatically democratised.

So setting these up at CO2 hotspots and powering them with renewable energy makes sense. As does that the energy companies pay some of their outstanding debt to the planet by supplying free energy to these installations. Without trying to screw their other customers for it. High time they paid their dues, anyway. Front up, you planet-destroying bastards!

Some Other Tech Worth A Mention

Also, this that I wrote about a while back may become the next way to cool the planet - using heat-beaming technology by the acre, powered by solar energy, to beam our heat back out into space. This technology can already be set up, and like solar panels, the technology will improve rapidly. It can then be used to pump heat out of the environment and beam it harmlessly out into space.

And I've been offering a simple method to cool solar panels (because once solar panels get much above room temperature they lose efficiency and produce less energy) which would capture that heat energy and also convert that to electricity, thus making the whole solar panel up to perhaps 30%-40% efficient as compared to only 24% efficient as they are now.

Then too there's been a recent interest in growing food crops under large solar panel arrays such as are used in solar farms. It makes sense, plants do need some sunlight to grow, but too much per day or too hot and their growth suffers and you end up producing less food per acre. Planning carefully just where crops are sited under the "canopy" of solar panels will ensure they get the optimum balance between light, shade, temperature, and evaporation. 

Now combine these ideas. 

Set up large scale solar farm. Get 24% of the energy back in electricity, another 16% back in recovered heat energy. Use some of that energy to bring up groundwater (a water bore) and distil it, use that to grow vegetables. They convert a tiny amount of CO2 back into O2 and food.

(I have been trying to develop this as a concept and making it available Open Source to anyone - or any company - to put in place.

Use the electricity to run CO2 scrubbers like the above-pictured, and take even more CO2 out of the air. Use the rest to power the farm and also to power a heat exchanger that will take more heat out of the air, and beam all that up into space. 

One installation that generates its own energy and microclimate, grows food, cleans CO2 out of the air, and provides some electricity and some fresh clean water to the respective grids would be a great start. Ten thousand of them would alleviate the climate issue over a few years.

Now imagine also that these installations can make H2 fuel and the batteries run an EV charger. You can set these up along routes everywhere, set them up as IoT/cellular connected nodes. You now have a resource that grows food which can be picked up in driverless trucks and distributed, and provide water, hydrogen, and a recharge point for drivers along that route. You can use low pricing to keep other EV chargers honest and drive prices down, supply any remaining energy to the grid. 

Parting thoughts.

In order to survive the coming years we're going to have to make radical changes in a whole range of our behaviours. I believe that changing our economic system to remove the profit motive and replace it with pure equity will be a necessity because as long as one person profits someone or something else loses, and for too long it's been the planet, and we can't afford to milk it for our greed any more.

Each, every, and any move that can be made to create self-sustaining operations such as the above combined system above will serve to refocus the economy away from profit at any cost to repair and restitution of the planet. After all, when there's no pressure to profit, all such operations are in effect costless, and the sooner we start this particular ball rolling, the sooner we can make reparations.


If you can, take a look at my News Stand where you'll see live updated links to everything I publish; or take a subscription to my weekly newsletter where you'll receive the same information in your inbox for free; Or contact me via the webform or directly email me if you'd like to help; or donate either directly or at my Ko-Fi page for the price of a coffee. Or even make a regular monthly donation there. (Check why you should donate here.

Wednesday, 7 September 2022

Gripping (The Rails) Stuff

What Happens In The Albert Stays In The Albert
Imagine this is a TV antenna mast.

I like Tom Scott's Youtube channel. He's a natural, finds interesting stuff to report on, and has also produced a few game and chat shows that are brilliant. A few days ago he posted this video and it ticked a lot of boxes for me. 

It was about old stuff, and I'm old... 

It was about stage and entertaining rigging - I've done that, roadie-ing and front-of-room sound for a band, and also built some of the gear they used. 

It was about heights, and that really struck a chord with me. I worked for a radio/TV shop on country farmhouse TV antennas, usually up 20 - 40m on those skinny triangular section masts, and my last time to go up was 30 years ago. 

On that climb I had to shift my safety belt up over the last guy wire at the top so I undid it, went to pass it over, and the unthinkable happened, a freak gust of wind, the tower gave a tiny shimmy - and I was hanging by nothing except my chin over the antenna beam and a toehold with one foot. 

My glasses fell down and shattered, I recovered, did the job, climbed down and went back to the van, said to my boss it was good that insurance would cover the breakage - and he told me he didn't have any insurance whatsoever. 

I quit at that shop that afternoon. I found out later that he'd gone bankrupt hence no insurance, and he also hadn't paid my income tax to the taxation department so I was liable for it. 

That was my last climb for anyone, couldn't do it any more, I never really recovered from either event. And the guy literally went mad, ended up in care, and passed away within two years of that day. 

What Tom did in this presentation was impressive. Pure visceral fear is a bitch. When I finished repairing that antenna and climbed back down, I realised I'd also peed myself a little bit, and when I thought about it and tried to climb back on that mast I never experienced such utter paralysis before and after that. Tom kept going, showing us all around the roof. Kudos. 

The End.

This Is The End

... of this article. But it's nowhere near the end for me. It takes several days to find a topic to write about, properly research it, and then write and schedule it. I don't have any assistance and I don't have the kind of income that allows me to use a scheduling service like established writers can. I also spend some of my limited pension on keeping servers and domain names going, more on parts for the R&D I do making the machines for recycling waste. You can help me by sharing this article or the link to the newsletter I put out, or more directly by making a Paypal donation here. Failing that you can also go to my Ko-Fi page and set up a monthly donation. (It's like Patreon without all the bullsh*t.) Everything you can do, will help me keep going.     

Friday, 26 August 2022

Weather Screen

The Fine Art Of Useless Info

It seems that being not content with a system that worked (even though the Bureau of Meteorology said  that they "...changed the daily rain forecasts on its app following widespread confusion..." - and yet I found it easy to understand) the BoM has changed the rainfall prediction information on their site to a system that's even more opaque. At least, to me. 

Let's face it, most of us look at the Bureau website, select our location, and then look at the resulting page and say "Oh yeah, rain today, '90 per cent chance of rain of between 2 to 4mm' " and while technically as BoM says we'd be wrong, we would still be right enough for our purposes. We'd grab an umbrella on the way out the door. We'd know that it was highly likely to rain today.

It actually, though, made perfect sense to me - it was almost certain it would rain, and somewhere from 2mm up to possibly 4mm. Like anyone else, I'd also leave a margin above the upper figure, and a smaller margin below the lower one. We all know how weather forecasts are 50% BS, 50% inspired guesses, and 50% malicious misdirection, don't we? 😸 

Now, with the new "system" the first digit is 75% likely and the second is 25% likely, and how does that help me work out the actual chance of ANY rain today? If the first figure is non-zero, it'll always mean "Aw geez sport, 75% likely to have rain, why'd you want to know any percentage other than 75%, ya fussy drongo?

And now I have NFI - is it REALLY ALWAYS going to be 75% likely to rain, even when the actual likelihood might be 90%? Or 15%? 

A true lesson in how to take something that's worked and has allowed people to make a confident assessment of the day's weather, and rep[lace it with as system where confidence has dropped completely. 

And maybe they know what utter BS most of their weather reports are anyway, and are just wanting to bring their predictions to a point where they seem to be winning: "Look, before, there was a 1 in 10 chance we'd get the rainfall prediction right, now it's much better, it's  1 in 2, either it rains like we said or it doesn't. A quarter of the ti. . . - umm hang on . . . either it rains like we said in the first number or else i- or else. . .  - or else we miss out on the 75% - I think - and so we're wrong three times in fou. . . - hang on, we'll get back to ya.

Meanwhile, most of us will look at the "Chance Of Rain" line on the graph and ignore the bit we know is BS - the figures themselves... 


Want to know more about what I do? Check this page.

Wednesday, 10 August 2022


This Is Correspondence

I received an email recently, I'm leaving it anonymised but thought I'd pass on the writer's tip:


I saw you mentioned (redacted).com on your page here I really struggle with grammar, so I'm always searching for ways to check my emails, etc. without bothering others.

Another great tool I recently found is:

I was amazed by the features: not only can you spot your mistakes, but you can also implement the edits it suggests automatically and just copy the fixed content. And it supports many languages. I thought it was worth sharing with you, as I believe it could be a great additional resource for your site, and I’m sure your users will appreciate it too. I hope this will help you as much as it helped me!



PS: In complete transparency, I used the tool to check my email before I sent it to you :)"

I won't linkify the links because in my experience unsolicited emails / comments are generally spammy, but there are no affiliation links in it so it's probably harmless. If you need a spell-check then perhaps it can help you. It *seems* okay on a quick visit but I must stress that I haven't personally used this spellcheck, my regular readers will know that I don't use them... But the corrrespondent was kind enough to pass on the information so - there it is.


If you can, take a look at my News Stand where you'll see live updated links to everything I publish; or take a subscription to my weekly newsletter where you'll receive the same information in your inbox for free; Or contact me via the webform or directly email me if you'd like to help; or donate either directly or here or at my Ko-Fi page for the price of a coffee, or even make a regular monthly donation there.


Saturday, 18 June 2022

What Happened?

What happened with these?

Every so often I look back. I keep monthly, large, chock-full-o-links, pages on my documents server and use them to collate my article ideas, links of interest, random thoughts, and sometimes even most of the body of an article ARP. (Almost Ready to Publish)

I collect some of those items into a followup file where they get a bit more of a chance to get published. This is my "dafugappened file" and every so often I check for news so I can either update the article I published or finally publish one due to finally having more info on the subject.

And sometimes, there's a resounding silence and those are my real dafugappened things, so sometimes I have to do a quick search and then slide those articles to the "retired" section. But sometimes, there's things that still bear mentioning, if only for the mysterious nature of what did happen to this

Settle in. This is a slightly long article.

First order of business is: "WTF happened to this NBN connection?"


When we moved from halfway back to the hills and down to the coast, we needed to also move our old ADSL2 connection which we held with Telstra. (Aussie almost monopoly telcom, we used to own it but our RWNJ government privatised it and it's been sucking the hindmost tit ever since - to use a good old USAianism.) After four years of having had nothing but issues with that ADSL connection in the old location, we'd finally had a minor win. Not a resolution, but a workaround.

The tech support person I spoke to not long before we moved, listened patiently while I told him I knew the problem was the wiring in the pit outside getting wet after heavy rain and Telstra never considering that worth sending a technician out to do a 20 minute job and how we'd phoned in the exact same thing year after year and every year we lost Internet for two months of the year cumulative due to rain, and he acted. 

"We've got these new modems they have a mobile broadband modem and if your connection drops out they automatically fail over. You'll literally be the first person in your district to get one. Pardon? Whose mobile broadband account? Oh, the SIMs are paid for by Big Pond Internet, not your concern."

And two weeks later, the new Frontier gateway thing arrived, I plugged it in, set up our home DHCP addresses on it, and it worked. When it rained, the landline dropped out and we didn't even notice. 

Forward to 2018 and we'd moved to our new rental, plugged the shiny Frontier modem in and - it didn't connect. . . Several frantic calls to Tech Support later, we discovered that we were in a newly-converted NBN area. The old phone lines were no longer analog, but humming with digital promise. And yep that was why the landline phone wasn't going to work either. 

I said ". . . but we discussed this, we need a landline here and you did say we'd be able to move our old number with us, so whatcha gonna do? . . ." After a week of calls, they sent a tech out with a new white box, plugged it in, plugged our old landline phone into it, and we had a new number. ("uh yeah, VOIP, we don't have the same number pool, didn't they tell you?") We took the small win, but still didn't have any Internet. 

So I rang about that. Using the phone, which was using VOIP, which uses DATA, sent over the now shiny new DATA phone connection. "We're very sorry but you're in a location that's just recently changed to NBN abd your line still isn't ready for data." DaFug? 

"I'm speaking to you on a phone plugged into a Big Pond NBN modem, using the DATA connection to do so. The data connection is established. Please give us the connection we were promised we'd have last month at the latest." 

"I'm sorry Sir, I'll escalate this to The Back End Team." (I shit you not, he pronounced it with capital letters. Wow this Back End Team must be da shit, eh?)

They weren't. In the meanwhile, having chewed through all our plan data on our mobiles, I decided that Telstra could wear this, and turned our modem on and let it dial into the mobile data network, and just left it running. For, as it turned out, EIGHT WEEKS.  

Yep. Rather than connect our new modem, they hemmed and hawwed, fiddled and farted, and despite twice weekly calls to Tech Support and The Back End Team, at the end of six weeks we still had no broadband, it was now eight weeks since we moved, and I'd had enough. 

Well, no - I was still hopeful but then I phoned the B.E.T. support desk and the person on the other end of the phone floored me: "Okay I'll have to ask the back end team."

I: "But is this not the Back End Team desk?"
BET: "Yes, but we can't do this, we have to ask the back end team."
I: "I'm so sorry, but I've been phoning this number thinking I WAS talking to the fabled Back End Team that was supposed to be working out why our phone line - this line, which I am using to speak to you with via an analog phone connected to a Big Pond modem and sending VOIP data over the existing DATA connection that is obviously working on our line here, so I can't understand what's going on. We have a data connection that's been stable for six weeks, we have a Big Pond modem obviously connecting over broadband to the NBN, so - WHAT THE HELL IS MISSING?"
BET: "well our records show that there's an issue on that li..."
I: "But we're connecting right now using that line without any issue. what is the problem?"
BET: "The back end team has to clear the issue and then the line will be clea..."

That evening I used the free generous mobile broadband connection to email DCSI, a local ISP, and that was a Friday, on Mondat a new broadband NF10 modem arrived and by an hour later I had our broadband up, the new VOIP connection and number working, and used the new connection to log into Telstra's customer portal and cancel our accounts. That took ten minutes compared to the estimated 10-11 hours I'd spent going nowhere with them in the last two months and proved to me that Telstra is actually set up to fail and lose customers rather than to retain them.

But that modem...

Well, the NF10 was rubbish from the get-go, and DCSI pretty quickly replaced it with the NF16. And then THAT failed and they replaced it, then THAT unit failed and they didn't want to replace it so I RAed it with Netcomm, who by that stage had been bought out, but unfortunately with another NF16 which has also failed. Yeah, Netcomm went belly up and bought out for a reason. And our ISP, now taken over by Swoop, also (and probably quite rightly, although if I was their head of TS I'd have just replaced to to maintain a better public image) won't replace it. And I'm calling them out on it. If they send a NOT Netcomm modem that actually works for longer than 12 months then I'll update this but I will not change a word of the existing article. Christ, four years I've been their evangelist in our region and this crap is what I get. 

And now for something completely different

Bacteria Eats MicroPlastics! I put this in my list almost a year ago: / science / 2021 / apr /28 /scientists-find-way-to-remove-polluting-microplastics-with-bacteria You are my last hope, Pseudomonas aeruginosa!

. . . and I haven't seemed to see the slightly undesirable (because it's a pathogen to humans, after allp. aeruginosa in any more news but the hunt for a little ally in the fight against microplastics is on:

How Plastic-Eating Bacteria Work.
Newly discovered bacteria eats and digests PET plastic.
Scientists find bacteria that eats plastic.

And I posted about Biobots And Plastic Recovery in the Zen Cookbook Blog a little while back, showing that we have a little robot (well, little biobot) army at our disposal as well if we can just develop them to the mission, so there's hope that one way or the other - or all ways at once - we'll start making a dent in this insidious problem.

And now for an abject failure

Which I hate to end an article on, so this is the before-to-last segment of this article... 

Victoria had an "Elimination Day" target in mind and we could have been one COVID-free place on the whole goddamned planet. We actually HAD that. What happened? 

A Liberal / National Party Coalition, is what. Their "economy is more important than your lives you plebs!" attitude completely totally and utterly has condemned tens of thousands of Australians to death because - money money money money money moneymoneymoneymoneymoneeeeeeyyyyyyy!!! is far more important than human lives if you're a right wing nut job libtard. 

We saw our chances at being a COVID-free island wrecked by capitalist forces, and eventually Western Australia (which is where I came from, and coincidentally the State government there is also a Labor government) was similarly white-anted into opening their borders and are now the same as every other place on Earth these days.

I'm not a Socialist, bu . .  What am I talking about? I'm a Socialist and an Anarchist and I think capitalism and an "economy" are the worst possible things to have ever happened to the planet and to our species. When did we start to idolise pathological hoarders of a currency that has no relationship to any of the real wealth of the planet? (That real wealth being the health of our planet aka our life support system.)

Another FAIL

Here's a bit of news that has more impact AFTER it's been proven than it did before. Despite it having been well known that the warming weather would start making the planet unlivable (and hey, who gave a toss about this 20-30 years ago when scientists first started saying stuff like this) it's come to the point where - well, look at the last four links in this paragraph . . .

I can't

I can't let this article end on a note of fail. I'll add a footnote after this little opinion piece, but this is the goodest news I have gotteth. 

You may have seen here and there that I'm really really into doing something about - everything - that's going on around the world in the areas of climate change, waste accumulation, fossil fuel pollution and its companion, decarbonisation, renewable and sustainable energy, small scale recycling, and letting you and everyone else that I can reach know about all these things. You can help by sharing the heck out of my articles like this because the more people see it the more people will talk about it and the more people talk about it the more people will DO SOMETHING about it - be that email their local government member, email a CEO like the CEO of AGL and tell them you don't want any more of their pollution and greed, sign petitions, and maybe go to a demonstration to let the whole world know how they feel.

Heck, they might even read about plastic recycling and do guerilla plastic recycling at home. . . Or recycle their food waste into their vegetable garden. All sorts of anarchy could result. 

And all it takes is for you to share the link to this article on your favourite social network, or text it to a friend. . . Or even donating so that I can keep the servers running and domain names paid for with some of your money instead always my pension. . .  Not kidding, this costs me hundreds every year. And I pay it out of a pension that was recognised as being well below the poverty line 20 years ago and has gone backwards since then. I could really do with the help. 


In addition to writing these articles I'm also experimenting with ways of recycling waste that can be done at the cottage industry or community hub levels, not so much because it'll magically convert 100% of local waste into recycled useful articles, but because people who are doing these sorts of activities are likely to talk about them to people in their community, and so raise even more awareness of the issues and dangers.

So please - if you can at all spare some time, take a look at my News Stand where you'll see live updated links to everything I publish; And take some time and share the links to the News Stand and this article with your friends and readers. 

Take a subscription to my weekly newsletter where you'll receive the same information; 

Or maybe contact me via the webform; Or email me;

You can also donate either directly or at my Ko-Fi page for the price of a coffee, or even make a regular monthly donation there.

All donations are put towards keeping these websites online, and for developing devices, machines, and techniques to easily and safely recycle materials on a tiny scale.

Thursday, 9 June 2022

So Many Recycling Things #03

 Some World Recycling Projects #3

Summary and wrap-up

This is fairly self-explanatory, I noticed a few things as I watched the videos, took notes, then rewatched segments until I had all the info I wanted, and then tried to compose my thoughts about them. As such this is highly subjective and reflects only my own views.

I look at all these episodes with an eye to my project which is to give people the means to do basic recycling with simple inexpensive equipment and techniques. The hope is that people will get the recycling bug, form local community recycling hubs, and then involve and educate their community.

To see all the articles I write, head for the footnotes


There were a few cons - as in conniving, 'con-artist' and not contra - in the series. I counted about half a dozen of those, and suggest we make the best of those by using them to disseminate information about sustainability, cradle to cradle circular materials management, and recovery.

Several more were well-intentioned but poorly executed and/or generated almost as many problems as they solved.

Rather a lot of the enterprises were hampered because no corporation or government wants to chip in and help grow them, and sometimes that's just general inertia but sometimes it's because to admit there was a problem would also mean having people make the connection that that particular governmet or corporation is responsible for the issue being recycled, and they are the kinds of eco-disasters that come with lawsuits and class actions attached...

There are as I've mentioned a range of technologies now being developed and available for managing heating and energy in sustainable ways. Our task is to balance these in ways that do the least damage to the planet and restore as much as possible of it. But to keep in mind that proper and specifically targeted application of energy is a solution to many of the issues developed in these three articles. 

Being Earthlings and Stewards of the planet

Using the term 'family' in taxonomy (as in referring to 'the algae family' earlier on) should tell us something - we're not humans and apes and monkeys and fungii and lichens and trees etc - we're EARTHLINGS and we need to start thinking about ourselves in that light - pretty much right now.

If we'd never lost that sense of stewardship due to 'convenience' and economy, our planet and our extended family would never have gotten into the state it's in now. Economising on our efforts (i.e. 'convenience' ) made survival sense in the past but no longer does. There's no longer a survival rationale to our old behaviours, we have enough to easily survive. 

We need to have less 'convenience' and pay far more for what convenience we do have. But see this next paragraph or two.

UBI (Universal Basic Income)

Maintaining 'wealth' was a good survival buffer but again it makes no sense in the current era. Keeping that wealth from 'subclasses' may have made sense when masses of rapidly breeding people had no access to education and had to be controlled, but in this day and age, education (which IS now available thanks to online video and lessons and freely availableshould now be available to all.

(IDEA: Maybe instead of that much-vaunted 'social credit' or 'carbon credit' as a world currency should be also include 'education credit'  and be capped at some sensible level.)

The point is that if we shared things the least bit equitably, almost everyone on the planet could live well enough. The 'Middle Class' deomgraphic that came about last century and the century before, are now only one step up the wealth ladder from homeless refugees and in fact a few of the middle class will also become climate refugees in a really short time frame. 

As far as that goes a UBI could become a given in under a month- as long as everyone got one. Including people right at the top, the 1% of the 1% that own 80% of the wealth of the planet. You can see where the problem is going to lie, can't you? 

So-called "eating the rich" doesn't mean cannibalisation. It means persuading or legislating those with the wealth to redistribute it. There's a growing trend among billionaires to give most of their wealth away, and this is a good thing and a bad thing. 


In addition to writing these articles I'm also experimenting with ways of recycling waste that can be done at the cottage industry or community hub levels, not so much because it'll magically convert 100% of local waste into recycled useful articles, but because people who are doing these sorts of activities are likely to talk about them to people in their community, and so raise even more awareness of the issues and dangers.

So please - if you can at all spare some time, take a look at my News Stand where you'll see live updated links to everything I publish; And take some time and share the links to the News Stand and this article with your friends and readers. 

Take a subscription to my weekly newsletter where you'll receive the same information; 

Or maybe contact me via the webform

You can also donate either directly or at my Ko-Fi page for the price of a coffee, or even make a regular monthly donation there.

All donations are put towards keeping these websites online, and for developing devices, machines, and techniques to easily and safely recycle materials on a tiny scale.

Thursday, 2 June 2022

So Many Recycling Things #02


 Some World Recycling Projects

Season 2, more recycling tales

Here's the second video marathon, plastic paving bricks, toxic lake and town, vegan leather, shoes made from plastic bags, recycled polystyrene, using lavender to remediate polluted soils, refrigerator recycling, shampoo bars, tiles made from soot, teddy bears stuffed with cigarette butts, luxury plastic bag bags, repurposing Christmas trees, and lithium batteries. Dive in!

Season 2

The following sections refer to this Business Insider World Wide Waste series season 2 video.

Plastic Bricks

I saw this almost a year ago and was impressed at the enterprise and had my few thoughts. Unfortunately (and unavoidably) the process releases fumes because the plastics are heated to very high temperatures, and there should really be a huge charcoal filter to draw those fumes out of the air. But as the purpose is to nail down plastic that would otherwise be in landfill . . .

. . . and yeah, there you have the other issue - it's still being disposed of in landfills, just right on the surface not buried. As mentioned in the article, this is not the ideal solution as abrasion from vehicle tyres still creates microplastics, there's one more ray of light on the horizon: electric vehicles are a bit lighter on roads than fossil fuelled vehicles because light weight equals more range out of a given battery capacity - and EV manufacturers really want to alleviate range anxiety

So a mixed thing for me. Combine their materials (prepared with lower temperatures so it's not so toxic) with Precious Plastics' sheet press and you could create a very durable flooring material for foot traffic areas. Tempting, anyone? 

Butte toxic lake, waste rock, remediation

This comprises two episodes, one focusing on the birds and one on Butte itself. As they're part and parcel related I've lumped them together in this entry.

The lake produces a small tourist income, yep. But it comes at the expense of continuously exposing migrating birds to sulfuric acid, and not on actually remediating the lake or the town as the mining company should. It's just a sop, an appearance of doing something

The town is built on 'waste rock' which is poisoning the soil, and covered in half a metre of soil - why not force the company to strip back the topsoil, put the waste rock into the lake to slowly fill it up over a decade or two? And then properly fix the soil this time? 

And while you're at it, all that recovered, mixed, and not useful for precision applications plastic from a few episodes back - why not use them to make a series of cylinders the size of 200L (44gal) drums, and float those on the surface of the lake to scare birds off? 

Then as you tip more rock in, the drums get confined to a smaller and smaller area and finally you break them up and burn them for energy.

The important thing to realise is that if the people minding that lake had a different guaranteed income such as a Universal Basic Income (UBI) they'd still come there because they enjoy it. 

Also know that if  Arco (the current owner of the Anaconda mine property) were to really pay for real remediations  they'd be circling bankruptcy and trying to pay almost as much as the mine's profits over its entire operation.

We need to start realising that money is at its basis a fiction, and worth nothing in the face of the disasters we're about to encounter. 

Vegan Leather.

They call this great material 'leather' but it's better than leather, it deserves a better name. And to see it with stamped-on snakeskin or alligator embossing seems depressing. Instead of 'leather' maybe find a unique name like 'appeel' (- heck, come on! People got away with the name naugahide for heaven's sake -) and pattern it to look unique and new. Make it stand out. 

This material needs to be more publicised. Ask any alligator or snake. 

Plastic Bag Kicks

This does get soft (LDPE, Low Density PolyEthylene) out of the waste stream. For a while, until the shoes are thrown out. Which is better than a blowing wasteland of discarded plastic bags. 

Also good is that they use a polyester canvas made from PET bottles for the uppers. So is the fact that even if the shoe has to be recycled it's now a dense mass of LDPE and PET rather than paper-thin sheets and bottles.

One thing that's a bit less appealing is that trend I've mentioned already, to embed seeds in everything and call it green when in fact in some ecosystems it could become an invasive weed. I wish they'd stop doing this. . .

Wind Turbine Recycling

Wind turbine blades are, as admitted in this episode, only going to form 1% of waste in another decade or so. And now comes a tentative nibble at some of the larger issues, as alluded to in my very early sidetrack.

Firstly, we need to need less energy. That's problematic already and only going to get worse as we transition to electric transportation and as global temperatures necessitate more cooling but with some new technology on the horizon, it's going to be attainable.

Secondly, There are a couple of other uses for these blades than just burning them for energy and two are shown, but the internal details of these blades wouldn't be common knowledge, which might account for there not being more uses for them. 

Just in the few seconds here I thought of two, three, or four identical blades set vertically in foundations and supporting something like an observation platform over a wildlife park or natural scene.

Or (wild idea being thrown out here) three, arrange in a teepee formation and skinned with recycled plastic panels and recycled wood interior, use it as the tourist centre at a wind or solar farm or some recycling operation. Great publicity! 

Recycled Polystyrene

It's a dangerous plastic as it's toxic when burned or overheated and is flammable, but I'd rather see it in solid chunks than lightweight fluffy packaging (SINGLE USE!) and insulation. (Which it's good at but not the ideal solution.)

It can be broken down by mealworms into - well, mealworm poo - which is safe to use as a soil for crops. A pseudomonas type bacterium can convert styrene oil into a biodegradable plastic. So it can be broken down.

It produces horrible smoke when burned and it catches fire easily. It melts just above about the boiling point of water. 

In dense (unexpanded) form it is sometimes used to make plastic cutlery and yoghurt tubs and similar, but with the low Tg (Glass Transition Temperature aka softening/melting point) I might prefer other cutlery. And anyway - disposable convenient cutlery is bad. Right? 

I also remember that I had several plastic models as a kid that were made from PS and the glue was horrible stuff that gave me headaches unless I kept a window open. 

So these guys might just be the saviours of the Revell model lineup...  

Lavender Soil Rehabilitation

Lavender is a cash crop that grows in poor soils, but so does mallow. And I realise that (given how we still believe that money and 'the economy' are important) making some income from the remediation seems to be important, but believe me, it isn't. 

That's why I can see that growing a culinary product in polluted soil seems to be the only way out of this, but perhaps there's a clever dodge going on here.

The mining company is held responsible for the remediations. And for damages arising. But they've now seemingly offloaded some of that responsibility to the organisation in this episode. 

And the lavender must be drawing out toxins and metals from the soil. Since the plants can't magically make that disappear, it's still in them.

Then parts get sold as essential extracts and culinary herbs. When the inevitable poisonings and issues arise from ingesting all of that, who is now responsible for damages? The original mining company, or the people that are selling the product?

The trouble with this scenario is that it seems far-fetched and Machiavellian. Until you look at the track records of big corporations . . .

Refrigerator Recovery

It's another good effort. Cleanly draining refrigerants is - well, to do anything else would be beyond just common criminl and into super-villain level crime. So identifying the gases and sending them to be destroyed if they're CFC based and re-using them if they're still legal to use, is a good way to deal with this toxin. 

The description of how the illegal gases are destroyed, also points out how enough energy can disassemble anything. Remember this whenever someone says that a particular material is too difficult to neutralise and decompose quickly. 

Energy is becoming cheaper and cheaper both in monetary and environmental terms, and there are now also technologies that promise to deal with the heat problem. Go to the footnote and subscribe to the newsletter for the article that I'm currently researching about this. 

The inslulation. Powdered, it can probably be put in road mix just as much as any other plastics can. Failing that, it too is susceptible to large amounts of energy to burn it back to base elements.

Shampoo Bars

Shampoo bars are a good idea. That is all. Think how many shampoo bottles hit the waste stream every day, and while those may be HDPE and LDPE (High Density PolyEthylene and Low Density PolyEthylene) and very recyclable, it's still another waste to corral and wrangle, so shampoo bars in paper packaging are a good direction.

Carbon Tiles

As I watched this I realised that here was a thing that at its basis went back to artisans thousands of years ago - when having a tiled floor was a symbol of wealth, a useful way to prevent the soil under where you lived from shifting, and a more easy to clean floor.

These tiles don't need kiln firing but instead use a press and water curing process. That alone means they are eco-friendlier than ceramic tiles that do need firing.

And I wish large companies making ceramic tiles would undertake to make such tiles - but without the inevitable shortcuts those large companies make, without themselves becoming a source of pollution.

And I wish people understood that such flooring isn't a given, and isn't even necessary. I'm also thinking that waste-consuming technologies like those plastic/sand pavers should be developed into a system for making tile flooring that can be used in houses in place of the tons of environment-damaging concrete.

Think about this: Laminated wooden flooring is better for forests and the environment, yes. But it's made with epoxies and resins that aren't as friendly. And of course you're again skating that thin line between durability and decompose-ability. 

So more projects like this please. 

Food Waste Compost

All food waste recovering systems are good in my book. The only thing better than turning food into compost and/or biogas is if the food is caught at the stage before it becomes unfit for consumption and given away / distributed / turned into a more durable food product that can be distributed to those in need. Go for it!

Cigarette Butt Re-use

Here's a thing that's kind of cool. The gathering of cigarette butts for the filters which are then cleaned and made into a fluffy filling for teddy bears and soft toys.

But as that item says, the filters contain heavy metals. I'd want to know for sure that they were really really clean before I bought one of the teddies but there's so much more that gets recycled from a simple cigarette butt that it's an eye-opener.

The paper, still having nicotine in it, is turned into mosquito repellent sheets and I think I'd prefer that to malaria or dengue fever so this too is a brilliant adaptation to get every bit of use out of the resource.

It's all a good and fairly thorough use of every part of the resource, and all production operations could learn something from small operations that are this thorough.

Luxury Plastic Bags

This goes right up there with the plastic bag kicks and general plastic recycling. Anything we can divert from the waste stream until technology and energy come up to the point where we can decompose the plastics back to base elements, is good. 

Also, just like the ring-pull bags, they allow a story to be told, an awareness to be created. Keep the processes clean, keep up jobs, and make sure people that buy them come away impressed at how much can be done with the things that we currently, thoughtlessly, throw away.

Christmas Trees

Every year a sizeable portion of the world's population holds a religious festival that I reckon causes more pollution in a few weeks than we make for the next six months. (BTW I'd welcome anyone that has figures for this to contact me. Use the Contact Me link just a short way down in the footer and let me know.)

Knowing that the trees that are grown specifically for this festival and then become waste, this use of them is a bittersweet thing. It's lovely that they end up naturally decomposing back into the ecosystem and providing shoreline stabilisation as well. Also, these live trees still have a smaller carbon footprint than plastic trees.

And I realise that the trainee pilots would probably fly just as many hours on exercises as they do when using the trees for practice, so I'm okay with it because it repurposes two things, pilot time and ritual objects. 

EV Batteries

This is actually one of the episodes I had the most issue with. Car batteries were an issue - once. Then the industry realised what an almighty muckup lead actually was, and within a few years lead became one of the most recycled resources on the planet. 

Mild prevarications aside, the out and out scaremongering: ". . . and sometimes . . . . . . . . lithium batteries . . . explode . . ." has to be one of the most cringeworthy things that I've ever seen. Even when the series was aired, the problems had been mostly ironed out, and - especially in the EV battery industry - it became a non-factor in buying an EV. 

The company being profiled in this episode could have possibly done a bit more towards actually recovering lithium from the batteries, but okay - there's still more research than actual lithium recovery going on, and it's still early days. 

The video also shows people manually opening an EV battery pack and implies that EV battery packs are that difficult to recyle - but most often these aren't opened like that for scrapping, but for possible reconditioning. I'd rather see battery packs recycled by hand because it'll lead to more of the materials being recovered.

And in any case, EV batteries aren't a huge component of the battery waste stream. Worldwide only 9% of Lithium Ion Batteries ("LIBs") get recycled and the rest go to landfill, and almost 100% of these LIBs are cellphone, power tool, laptop, and similar devices' batteries. 

EV battery packs still aren't so commonplace that they just get thrown out wholesale, because as mentioned a few paragraphs back they can be reconditioned, and of most battery packs only a relatively small number of cells are faulty so EV packs are still treated as a valuable resource.  

Also before I close this segment I'd like to mention home solar batteries, which are also starting to enter the battery waste stream. We do need more research into recovering the elements of LIBs.


In addition to writing these articles I'm also experimenting with ways of recycling waste that can be done at the cottage industry or community hub levels, not so much because it'll magically convert 100% of local waste into recycled useful articles, but because people who are doing these sorts of activities are likely to talk about them to people in their community, and so raise even more awareness of the issues and dangers.

So please - if you can at all spare some time, take a look at my News Stand where you'll see live updated links to everything I publish; And take some time and share the links to the News Stand and this article with your friends and readers. 

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