Category: Wildlife & nature

all creatures great and small

Gotta save Gaia

https://www.eater.com/2018/7/3/17531192/vertical-farming-agriculture-hydroponic-greens

https://news.ycombinator.com/item?id=17467498

Other than the usual fanbois, two standout HN comments –

“There’s a lot of misunderstanding of agriculture in this thread.

1) No, land is not expensive. In agricultural areas, land is quite cheap. Organizing shelves of crops vertically solves for a problem that isn’t actually a problem.

2) The sun is free and electricity isn’t cheap. Putting plants indoors and then buying electricity to create light is going to be expensive compared to using the free sun. (The absurdity of putting solar panels on a roof to make electricity to beam LEDs on plants, losing 90% of the energy along the way, shouldn’t be lost on anyone.)

3) Shipping is cheap. It may make us feel good that a salad’s greens were created on a roof-top in Brooklyn, but using some of the most expensive real-estate on Earth to save a few cents on shipping is beyond economically irrational.… More here ...

Plastic waste

We’re a bit sceptical at N.O. about the contrived photos of plastic waste gathered in one place, a bit like Syrian children’s bodies in photo-ops or of “migrants” drowning in the shallows, tugging at leftwing heartstrings.

And yet this is interesting:

More here ...

Dog silencers

A few months ago new neighbours moved in – sort of. At least 5 dogs reside there permanently, and the people themselves only really stay there occasionally. Most of the time the dogs are bored, and bark through the night.

Enter the dog silencer:

A RPi, a relay board, a sound detector-

https://www.pishop.co.za/store/index.php?rt=product/product&product_id=495

… an ultrasonic sound generator-https://www.aaaa-electronic.de/products.php?Ultrasonic-Power-Cannon-M161-Kemo

… and the necessary speakers-

https://www.aaaa-electronic.de/products.php?KEMO-L010-Piezo-Ultrasonic-Loudspeaker

Some Python code triggers the sound cannon when noise is heard on that side of the house during the night, blasting the dogs with 12dB of 22kHz sound.

Problem solved.  Does it actually work?  No doubt. It has happened twice now that we noticed the dogs barking again – both times the Pi was unplugged. There is also a more long term effect in that they now tend to bark (if they do) on the other side of the neighbours’ house.… More here ...

Wind machines and hydroponics

A conversation in our staffroom – we were discussing irrigation on allotments and this came up via Chuckles:

Me: How do you stop it?

Chuckles: It’s called a clutch. Bit difficult to feather it, as it doesn’t care what direction the winds coming from. Usually just use a mechanical float system that disengages the rope drive when the tank is full. Can also blank the rotor with a bit of design effort.

Me: Hmmm, has given me ideas for the boat.… More here ...

A gastronomic summer eruption

Much produce coming out of the Garden of Chuckles just now:

… and this sexually questionable item – one could make a number of cracks about it:

He’s not the only one at it – look at this from Rossa’s mother on the weekend occasion of her birthday – one year younger:

# Duck breast sliced on salad leaves, with pomegranate seeds, asparagus and bits of orange,
# New strain of strawberries summer blush
# Smoked salmon, avocado and a bit of manky rocket
# Asparagus and goat’s cheese tart with a little salad on the side
# Elderflower jelly and rhubarb compote, home made of course.

I don’t know – deny themselves nothing, these people. go on, inflict more cruelty on us – tell uss what you’ve just been having.… More here ...