Creighton Samuiels

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since Apr 14, 2013
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Recent posts by Creighton Samuiels

Joshua Myrvaagnes wrote:Yes, those are good.  What I had in mind was a plain old resistance wire without any bulb around it...I guess a resistor but a bit larger than most resistors and not too insulated?  I don't know how hot a regular resistor gets.  
I'm thinking I could probably get a TV that's thrown out on the street and take parts out of it.  

Sounds like you are trying too hard to me.  A basic drop-light with a plastic cage will protect you from the 15 watt bulb just fine.  And again, the heated mattress pad that I linked to before is the best solution there is for this problem; even though it costs a bit more.  Sometimes the best value solution for the problem that you are trying to solve is simply to buy the product designed specifically for that task.
2 days ago

Joshua Myrvaagnes wrote:re: candle heater

I LOVE that candle idea!  I was thinking there has to be a way to trap that heat--using a candle to start a rocket mass heater had produced more heat than I expected.  I was picturing showing up at services with a 55 gallon metal drum...oops, no carrying on Shabbas anyway.  A ceramic thingy is more viable--will a mug work?  I might try that.  (For folks who don't know, on Shabbat (Saturday) observant Jews do not light candles or build a fire of any kind, including turning on an electric appliance, but you are supposed to light 2 candles right _before_ Shabbat begins and then let them burn for the whole day. So, along with the wattage of our bodies

I have and use one of these...

It has a 'shabot' button on the top that, when pressed, prevents the electric heater from engaging automatically.  But it is insulated, and will hold water hot for a long time, and has a manual pump on the top as well.  This is an excellent way to keep your core body temps up from the inside out.  It could also be used very effectively in conjunction with a hot water bottle or a thermos.
2 days ago

Joshua Myrvaagnes wrote:
Don't hate me Paul, but I am prepared to switch to CFL.  Why? the heat is still plenty (13 watts), and it is less likely to burn me in the middle of the night.  The mercury is a sunk cost, the manufacture, the light is not affecting me as it's under my may as well use it for what it wasn't designed for: heat.  I hope we all appreciate the irony here.  (Wouldn't it be nice if there were mini resistance heat elements that could be got cheap/free? I'm thinking of pipe heating tape that's for preventing pipes from freezing...or Christmas lights)  I had thought Paul was stretching the numbers to make his point with the original article--now I think he was being actually very conservative, we can easily go much further.

Here's a pack of 6...

They are available in 7 watt as well.  And colors, if that's your thing.
2 days ago
If you think gaming uses power, try Bitcoin mining!
2 weeks ago

Joshua Myrvaagnes wrote:OK, so I think you're saying that the microwave is not very efficient, within the terms "efficiency" being somewhat vague in its application.  

Let's put it this way--if you could heat a rock on a resistance heating element (direct contact) and then stick that rock into the middle of the corn bag, so you again get conductive heat transfer, would that end up with more heat in the corn bag or less than the micowave, for the same amount of watt-hours?

No, you'd end up with fewer btu's in the corn bag than if you had just used the microwave, and fewer still between your mattress and your blanket.  As far as electric consumption, nothing is going to work better than the heated mattress pad I linked to above; but the "happy rock" method will work if you don't have power but do have fire.  If you have seen the candle heater under a ceramic pot thing, that works in a similar way.  The heat from the candle rises and pools inside the inverted pot like a tiny heat bell, storing some heat inside the ceramic mass of the pot and radiating from the pot through infra-red light.  Then after about an hour of candle time, you put the pot under your blanket just as you would with the "happy rock".  This last method would be a great way to keep an off-grid tiny house above freezing, when you didn't want to fire up that tiny woodstove.  The candle under a pot trick isn't magic, however; as ultimately the candle is the heat source.  Some of the youtube videos about how to do it seem to make it into more than it is.

Personally I've never had a problem with popcorn, but rice does seem like a good alternative.  

We also moisten the bags before putting them in the microwave, try to keep it not too dried out and help the microwaves have some water to heat.

The water is probably why you don't pop any of your corn, but also reduces the absolute BTU's that the sack of corn can hold.  Since the water will readily evaporate, pulling heat away from the corn, at 212 degrees; your corn bag cannot rise much above that until the surface water is gone.
2 weeks ago

Joshua Myrvaagnes wrote:we microwave corn bags here in the city. by any chance do you know the efficiency of microwaving?

"Efficiency" in this context has so many different meanings as to be a useless concept.  The energy transfer efficiency of using a microwave to pre-heat a mattress is terrible, but using a natural gas forced air furnace to do the same thing is exponentially worse.

I prefer dry, white rice over corn because if you overdo it, your corn will pop.
2 weeks ago
Another method of heating the person, not the air is a"happy rock".  Not an electric solution, but of you have a strong heat source such as a woodstove (or RMH) you can choose some fist sized stones and keep them on the heat.  After a time, you put your hand into a thick sock (such as a wool blend) and grab the stone.  Then you quickly pull the sock over the stone, quarter twist the sock, and shove your hand (and stone) back again.  Then pull your hand out.  You want to be able to do this maneuver pretty quickly so you don't burn your fingers, but when done you have a hot rock inside two layers of wool sock.  You can put two of these in the pockets of an under-coat layer if you are working outside, or put a couple in a bed to pre-heat it before bedtime.  I use cast-offs from soapstone manufacturing, which can be had pretty cheaply.  If you use rocks you find in the wild, test them in a fire first, as some rocks retain water, and can explode from steam pressure without warning.

If you have a microwave, this same trick can be done with an old sock filled with dry rice by putting it into the microwave for a minute.

Because polyester has the habit of melting above about 400 degrees, I only use natural cloth socks.
3 weeks ago

Tyler Ludens wrote:

Creighton Samuiels wrote:there's no 'greener' burial than one at sea

That may be the case if one lives near the coast, otherwise the body must be transported (on ice if the trip is long).  Burial at sea would be expensive and a hardship for my family.

That's probably true for most of the people on this forum, but the majority of Americans live within 100 miles of a freshwater or saline coast.  Without embalment, some ice is required anyway.  Since this thread began, I've been thinking about that particular issue for my own state of Kentucky.  Obviously, water burial in rivers is verboten, for many reasons; but I'm curious if a private lake, perhaps made from an old rock quarry, would be deep enough to satisfy reasonable objections.

3 weeks ago

Joshua Myrvaagnes wrote:Thanks!  Looks comfy, what is the wattage?
I don't see specs on the Amazon page.

IIRC it's either 120 or 125 watts for each controller, so a double bed would be no more than 250 watts at full power.  And you aren't likely to need it running at full power unless you're sleeping outside.  My wife won't let me lower the thermostat to less than 68 overnight, but I typically run mine at the lowest setting or not at all; or roughly 20 watts.  My wife will keep her side set to level 2 or 3, so 60 watts at most.  So if you're using it as your only overnight heat, you will likely set it higher and/or use more blankets than we do; but a 300 watt inverter would be enough to get the job done if you are on solar.  Worst case you'd consume about 2.5 Kwh overnight, but that's unlikely.
3 weeks ago

Jay Angler wrote:Creighton Samuiels wrote:

there is way more useful ocean space available within a reasonable boat trip of any American port city

Please don't take this wrong, but with the number of people I know who like to take "cruises", if better facilities were available for cold storage of bodies would a "death cruise" that involved ceremony, counselling, and burial have potential?  

I have no idea, but there's no 'greener' burial than one at sea without embalming; if for no other reason than there's much more ecological activity in the vast seas than there is on land, so any negative effects on the environment are dispersed and diluted to a much greater degree and much faster.  Also, if particular regions of the ocean near major cities were designated as a water "cemetery", it wouldn't take very long before the micro-environment in that spot adapted to the regular influx of necrotic matter; encouraging communities of scavenger species that would process the dead pretty well.
3 weeks ago