Michael Cox

+ Follow
since Jun 09, 2013
Kent, UK - Zone 8
Apples and Likes
Total received
In last 30 days
Total given
Total received
Received in last 30 days
Total given
Given in last 30 days
Forums and Threads
Scavenger Hunt
expand Pioneer Scavenger Hunt

Recent posts by Michael Cox

Just finding this thread for the first time. It is great to see progress on a project like this over a period of a few years.

Tyler - have you found info on "one rock dams". The idea is that instead of building a high wall, which is likely be blown away in a flood event, you build a dam that is a single rock high. But you extend it upstream. As sediment builds up behind the wall you can keep building your dam back upstream, getting gradually higher. They act like a - very low profile - gabion, preventing erosion and slowing flow.

3 days ago
I personally don't like the look of that at all. And you say there will be kids potentially in and on it.

I would probably take a sledge hammer to it, and bash out the old roof. Then you can do any needed repairs to the walls in safety, and install a fresh ferrocement arch roof. Ferrocement is very strong under compression, so you could potentially berm the roof up with soil as well. DIY ferrocement is pretty cheap and not too tricky. Just need some careful thought about how to make your form.
3 days ago
Just seen this thread. Some issues immediately spring to mind, but most are covered above.

Obviously your mass needs to be low and centered for balance, but you also need to look at insulating the mass from the hull. Otherwise you will be simply bleeding heat into the surrounding water.
3 days ago

Have you done tests to compare how accurate it is against traditional methods of laying out contours (eg water levels etc...). I don't know what the accuracy of the phone gyroscopes is like in practice.
4 days ago
I wonder if you might be able to lower the water level in the pond to make the roadway passable? Or at least to make it easier to install steps or a path? If you partially dismantle the dam you can lay thick drainage pipes through the dam wall and use them to control the pond level.  Look at the "Monk" designs for adjusting pond water level. It is about the only way that works reliably with beavers as they cannot work out how to block them up, which they could do if you used culvert or similar.

6 days ago
Seconding what Travis has said - most births are uneventful. But when stuff goes wrong it goes wrong really really fast. You don't want to be 20 minutes from a hospital. And what ever is on your birth plan goes out the window when the shoving starts.

Here in the UK many of our hospitals have midwife-led units, where normal births can happen under "less medical" arrangement. While they have a full maternity ward with surgery suites right nearby for those emergencies. Our first son was born in the midwife-led unit, and it was a great experience. Our second was late a needed to be induced, which is done on the main maternity ward. Both were great, and were only 60 seconds apart in the same hospital.

I would also like to add that my friends who have been most psychologically messed up by the birth process were the ones who had really strong belief about what their birth experience was going to be like. One was hugely emotionally invested in a "natural birth" experience and ended up having two emergency c-sections. The fact that her birth didn't go as planned caused her huge amount of turmoil - she felt in some way like a failure because she was fixated on the birth process, rather than the two beautiful kids she has ended up having. Her preconceived idea of what her birth should be like caused her far more problems than even the recovery from the surgery.
6 days ago
(Caveat - still can't read the original published journal article as the link is broken)

Not really. My point was really that the conclusions - as reported in the media article and in the original post here - could not be justified by the evidence the research actually presented. As study of this sort - large as it is - is always going to be rife with confounding factors. In this case, organic food consumption is really representing a host of other linked lifestyle factors. Drilling down into the data in that table, for instance

People who self report as being on the upper end of the "organic food scores" (right hand column eat more organic food):
Eat less red meat
Are less likely to be a current smoker
Are more likely to be in the higher earning brackets

All of these are known factors that contribute to cancer incidence.

Scientists typically couch their conclusions very cautiously, and that caution gets lost in the translation to the wider media
4 weeks ago
And in reference to the image linked above, this XKCD comic may be relevant here:

4 weeks ago

Dan Boone wrote:The trouble, as always, is a bunch of TERRIBLE media reporting on the study. Reporters have too much incentive to sensationalize this kind of science;they could get it right but then it would not be much story, so they don’t.

I couldn't see the original journal article, as the link was broken when I tried to open it.

As for media reporting of these stories, this list is old and very out do date, but good fun

Things that give you cancer, according to the Daily Mail
4 weeks ago
That article represents “bad science” in all its glory.

Yes, a study was performed. Yes, people in the group who reported eating more organic food had less cancer.


It is massively over reaching to say anything about a causal link between the organic food and cancer rates. In fact it is more probably that there is some other factor contributing to both. Buying, or not buying, organic food is a good indicator for those other factors.

Consider three people, Anne, Bob and Claire

Anne is concerned about her health. She exercises regularly, eats a balanced diet, does not smoke and drinks in moderation. From time to time she buys organic food because she believes it is better for her.

Bob is an office worker in a stressful job. He works long hours, smokes on his breaks and at the weekend drinks with his mates. He knows his health is suffering, but has no real interest in changing. Most of his meals are pre-processed because he has little time to cook from fresh. He can’t remember ever buying anything labeled organic.

Claire is poor she works hard to keep a roof over her family and feed them well. Unfortunately the cheap food that she can afford is mostly empty calories - lots of rice, cheap bread and so on. They rarely get fresh fruit and vegetable.

The study linked does nothing to look at the people behind the statistics.

Anne’s lower risk of cancer is because is concerned for her health generally, and has the means to take steps to protect it. Consumption of organic - which is more expensive and perceived to be healthier - is an indicator for all the other steps she is taking. Organic food is not the causal factor.

Bob’s lifestyle is dreadful. He is highly unlikely to go out of his way to buy organic food. But his higher cancer risk is much more to do with his smoking and drinking than organic food. Again, other factors are causal.

Claire may want to eat organic, but poverty prevents her. And poverty comes with its own set of health issues. People who are poor are less likely to take preventative measures to protect their health, they eat less nutritious food and have more stressful jobs. If we have Claire organics food she would still be poor and the other causal factors would still be there.

Bottom line:
This article tells us that rich people who care about their health are more likely to be healthier.

(Other “bad science” red flags - the link to the original journal article is broken.

It is a news site - they get links by sensationalising everything. Read the original scientists own words for a more balanced view.)
4 weeks ago