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evasive_chimpanzee @lemmy.world
Posts 6
Comments 429
What are these guys doing?
  • Sounds like solitary bees. They can have the ability to sting, but since they aren't a social bee, there's no real reason to, so it's very rare to get stung by one. Some types burrow in wood, others in dirt. I would just leave them be. Worst case scenario, they make a tiny mess by pulling dirt out of the pot. There's a huge variety of them, so it's hard to say for sure about your bees, but changing the soil will likely destroy their home, but it's not like a full on beehive, so it's easy enough to remake a new hive. Only thing to keep in mind is that they might overwinter in there, so repotting during winter could destroy them.

  • In the US, did Amazon kill the mall, is everyone too broke, or a combination of other factors?
  • We definitely get most of our groceries from standalone grocery stores. For the most part, you drive right to it.

    I just looked at some Sydney shopping centres, and they look much like our malls on the inside (except for groceries), but it seems like they are much more integrated in the neighborhoods. It looks like parking garages are more popular there than the giant lots here.

    I just looked at the dead mall wikipedia page, and it has a picture of the century 3 mall. That's a good example of what they look like here; separate from where people live, and surrounded by big lots. You can actually see the strip malls that replaced it all around it.

  • In the US, did Amazon kill the mall, is everyone too broke, or a combination of other factors?
  • In America, there's like 3 different things you could call a mall. When most people talk about them, it means a giant building with central indoor paths connecting a bunch of businesses. Typically, there would be a handful of "anchor" businesses, like department stores and a movie theater, and then space for a bunch of much smaller businesses in between including restaurants. These malls (at least the ones I've been to) for whatever reason don't typically have grocery stores. I have seen pharmacies and small Dr's offices in them.

    Then there are "strip malls" that are typically a row of businesses on one side or surrounding a big parking lot. Typically grocery stores are in those.

    Lastly, there's "outlet malls", which are often set up like a fake town with parking distributed throughout. They are commonly built on cheap land in the outskirts of towns, and they have mostly clothing. They are typically brand specific stores (e.g., Nike), so they are allegedly cheaper.

    It's that first category that Americans are going to be talking about if they just refer to a "mall", though. The idea to have all your shops in a convenient place has been around forever, and still works great in many traditional business districts. The "shopping mall", though, was somewhat of an artificial movement in the 80's and 90's that was always a bit destined to fail. Like people have said, the internet is partially responsible, but malls were hurting before the internet started really doing damage. In America, you basically have to drive everywhere, and if you are driving everywhere, it's easiest to just drive directly to whatever shop you need. With malls, you have to park far out in a giant lot, and walk a long way to get to whatever business. You could call it lazy, but if you've only got a little bit of time after a day of work to do shopping, are you going to do the option where you get the task done in 30 minutes, or an hour?

  • what is the biggest failure in human history?
  • Poop indirectly on crops. Systems like this or the Aztec chinampa system, basically try to keep nutrients in the loop with fish and other aquatic organisms. Obviously, there's a disease risk if you do it wrong, but that's also true for modern water treatment.

  • Wildlife psychology - understanding animals reaction to human noises
  • The effect of larger shipping noise on whales is something we don't talk enough about. Also, there seems to be a bit of a gentleman's agreement on sonar usage to avoid power/frequencies that would be really harmful to whales, but the moment one countries breaks that agreement, they will have a leg up because they could get better long range and more detailed data on the movements of another country's navy.

    There have been isolated test events that have lead to mass whale suicide.

  • A cool guide to yellow stripey things
  • Hornets are a type of social wasp. We actually don't have any native Hornets in america, but there are some types of wasp that we call hornets, like bald face hornets. We do have European hornets here, which are bigger than yellow jackets, and infamously, we also have some of the Asian giant "murder hornets".

  • A cool guide to yellow stripey things
  • This is all just made from someone's uneducated opinions, so I wouldn't call it a cool guide. Honeybees are great where they are native, which is Eurasia. In the americas, they are invasive, and hurting native bee populations. Commercial beekeepers have co-opted the "save the bees" slogan to sell their products, but they are a major cause of bee decline by outcompeting native bees, and by shipping hives across the country to various pollination contract sites, which spreads disease and pests.

    Hornets and yellow jackets (which are both subsets of wasps) and other wasps are all great in context. You probably don't want a yellow jacket hive next to your front door, but they are fantastic general purpose predators that can help keep your garden pest free. Likewise, there are many highly specialized wasps that will hunt specific pests like hornworms. Many wasps are also great pollinators like all the varieties of fig wasps.

  • Ironing
  • Elbows have always been allowed on the table. The rule for fancy dining was that you couldn't have elbows on the table during a course, i.e., when people are actively eating, but before/after, it's fine. That's a reasonable rule to be considerate of space.

  • Ironing
  • Fold your clothes immediately after drying, while they are still warm. Also, dryers that can add steam really help if you've got a few things that need wrinkle removal. Also, handheld steamers are cheap.

    Mostly, avoid needing to iron by avoiding wearing formal business attire.

  • What industry secret are you aware of that most people aren't?
  • Keeping the air dry reduces both the length of time microorganisms can live outside your body and the length of time that vapor particles can harbor them.

    Pretty sure this is only true for some microorganisms. Well, I'm not sure about length of survival time, but I've definitely see studies that have shown that lower humidity causes respiratory droplet evaporation, resulting in more airborne virus particles and increasing spread. There is some evidence that this increases infection rates

  • What industry secret are you aware of that most people aren't?
  • Any info on surface roughness? I'm thinking shiny side would be smoother and therefore less sticky, though I don't know how much the passivation layer would affect it. Probably no where close to making a difference at the end of the day, but I'm curious.

  • Use for excess clean energy at home

    I have a 100 W rigid solar panel including a charge controller that I currently only use for camping to charge batteries (also useful in an emergency at home). It strikes me as a waste that I could be generating more clean energy with equipment that I already have, but I don't have anything in mind to use this energy for.

    Obviously I could try to tie it into my home to run more of my household on solar, or buy more/bigger batteries to charge, but with 100 W of generation, it's probably not worth it without a significantly increased investment.

    I tried searching around online, and I found plenty of discussion for what to do with a whole house that generates excess capacity (mainly sell to the grid), but nothing really on what to do with small scale DC generation.

    Anyone here have thoughts?

    9

    Dealing with plant debris

    Does anyone have a good method for dealing with plant debris? I'm thinking about things like stems from plants, or even just pruned bits. I don't have a place to compost effectively. My normal method for woody debris is to cut it to little pieces with garden shears, and for leafy stuff to just let it dry out and crunch it up. After, I'll just stick it in the bottom of a pot that I'm going to put a new plant in. It gets a little broken down, but not as well as I'd like, and I can only do it when I have a new plant to pot, so I end up with a random pile of stuff that sits around for a while.

    I wish I had like a tiny woodchipper or something.

    3

    Does anyone use a coffee grind sieve to evaluate their grinder performance?

    I've been using my grinder (Baratza maestro plus) for ten years now, and I got it used. I've replaced some parts (e.g., burrs), but I'm wondering if it's finally time to let it go. It seems like it's not grinding as consistently as it once was, but I'm thinking it would be good to quantify it.

    I've seen sieves used to classify ground coffee, specifically, the brand Kruve seems to be a nice implementation. It's $90 for the cheapest version, though, which doesn't quite seem worth it to me. It seems like it'd be better to just spend the money going towards a new grinder, but I figured it would be good to ask for anyone's experience here.

    12

    Woodworking CAD

    Hi everyone,

    I looked through this community, and I didn't see much discussion of the use of CAD for woodworking, so I figured it was worth a post. I learned CAD ages ago, and I've used it sparingly in my professional life since then. I'm working on a project now that would benefit from CAD, so I figured I'd try to get up and running with a software for personal use.

    I know sketchup and fusion360 have long been the major players for woodworkers, but I am wary of "free" personal use licenses that can be removed or degraded at any time. As this is Lemmy, I'm sure plenty of you are interested in FOSS options as well. I know there are some programs out there specifically for woodworking, but if I'm going to learn a new software, I want it to be more general purpose so I can use it to make things for 3D printing, etc, if needed. I also want something parametric to be able to easily change designs. For those of you unaware of what that means, it basically means that you can design things with variables instead of exact numbers. That way you can punch in numbers later on to easily update your design. In my case, I'm making cabinet doors in a few different sizes, and I'll be able to generate plans for different doors with only 1 model. Theoretically, I could upload the design for anyone else to use/modify as well on a place like thingiverse (someone give me a shout if they are secretly horrible or something, I'm generally wary of providing value to a corporation for free).

    This all drove me to FreeCAD. FreeCAD is a FOSS CAD software that has a huge range of different capabilities. The different tools are divided into "workbenches" of different uses such as architectural drafting, 3d printing, openSCAD etc. There are also user created workbenches that you can install. There's even one specifically for woodworking (that I haven't used yet).

    I've started into some tutorials, and most of them are focused on building a single widget. While that's great if you are planning on making something to 3d print, us woodworkers are usually assembling different parts. The tutorials for woodworking specifically I've followed along with so far seem to follow the same workflow:

    First, a spreadsheet is set up to establish all the parameters you want to be able to change, then, each part is designed individually. Finally, all of the pieces are brought together and assembled.

    While this is great if you already have a design in mind or an object, and you are trying to make a model of it, it's not the way I would ideally go about conceptualizing a new design. To make a nightstand, for example, my preferred methodology would be to assemble some simple rectangular panels to represent the top, bottom, back, front, left, and right. After those are in place, I'd start adding joinery, details like routed edges, and cutting out space for a door. It doesn't seem like freecad is necessarily set up to do things that way, though I could be wrong. This might even be how the woodworking workbench does things, I just figured I'd start learning the default workbenches first.

    Anyone else use freecad or another CAD software? What's your workflow like? Want me to report back once I've had more time to play around with it and learn some stuff?

    21

    Irrigating a balcony garden

    I've had irrigation running on my porch for a few years now, so I figured it was worth making a post about how it works, and the pros and cons of it. I'm by no means an expert.

    Pros:

    • you don't have to worry about plants drying out on a hot weekend while you are out of town.
    • you can grow plants in smaller containers than you'd otherwise be able to
    • you can put plants in spots that would be annoying to water by hand

    Cons:

    • it's a lot of plastic. Typically the tubing is polyethylene or vinyl.
    • you need to drain it in the winter
    • it takes some time to figure out how to get the right amount of water to your plants
    • the system that I have (and most off-the-shelf systems, I think) is not compatible with a rain barrel.
    • you need a hose spigot

    I have a porch with a lot of plants. My roof hangs over the porch, so I don't get any rain on my plants, and they are completely dependent on watering. This would typically work fine all throughout the spring, but then once summer comes, and the plants need more water, I'd inevitably lose some plants while I'm out of town. I can have friends water plants like my indoor plants that maybe need to be watered once a week, but I'm not going to ask someone to water 30 outdoor plants twice a day.

    There are a few different common types of automatic irrigation systems. The most common you've probably seen is little sprinklers. Those are not ideal for containerized plants because you'd waste a lot of water, and get your porch/balcony really wet. Theres also things like soaker hoses which arent useful in our case. The type that I have, and recommend, is drip irrigation. It does exactly what it sounds like and drips water right where you want it.

    There's two types of drip irrigation, and two subcategories of each. Individual emitters or emitter tubing, and each of those are available as simple emitters or pressure compensating. Individual emitters are just single droppers, and tubing is what it sounds like, a tube with a bunch of holes in it at regular intervals. The single droppers come in different sizes for different flow rates, and they are generally more convenient than the emitter tubing unless you have a big planter bed or something where you put a loop of the tubing.

    If you think about a tube with a bunch of holes in it, the most water will come out of the first hole, and each subsequent hole will put out less and less, until eventually, for a long enough tube, nothing would come out. The water that comes out would also be dependent on what your water pressure is. To use that kind of system, you have to be crafty about it, and maybe arange your plants or run the tubing from thirstiest to least thirsty. Pressure compensating emitters somewhat solve this problem by outputting the same amount of water, as long as the water is somewhere between the highest normal household water pressure and a pretty low pressure. I can tell you firsthand that they dont work perfectly, and you'll have some that put out water faster than others, but it's mostly okay. I actually rearranged my plants to just put the more needy ones under the fastest drippers.

    One thing you need to always keep in mind is the pressure of the water. I have no clue what the actual numbers are for my water pressure is, so let's say it's at 10 where it comes out of the house. It then passes through the timer (more on that later), which might nock off 1 unit of pressure. The water then has to travel up a floor of my house to where my plants are. The change in height might nock off another unit, and the resistance of that long stretch of skinny tubing might nock off another. Now it's down to 7. Each emitter might take .5 units. Once we get down to 1 unit of pressure, there isn't enough to push past the mechanism inside of the emitters, so you can't have any plants past that point. If you follow the math, that gives me 12 emitters. Technically, the emitters dont reduce the pressure in the main tube, they reduce the flow, which leads to a corresponding drop in pressure. Obviously, bigger diameter tubing can carry more water and water more plants. This is all why a rain barrel would be hard to use, the pressure will be pretty low unless your barrel is up much higher than your plants. Any debris from the barrel could easily clog the drippers, too.

    I have probably 30 plants on that system, but I was only able to have about 12 with a single line of irrigation tubing, which in the US, at least, is 1/4 inch diameter. I had to run 1/2 inch supply tubing, and I have branches off of that with the 1/4 inch tubing. You might think that tubing with 4 times the cross sectional area could carry 4 times the water, but it's actually way more than that because of math reasons I don't need to get into.

    The emitters come in different sizes, rated in volume per hour. I have basically all one size because I can always put 2 in a bigger pot.

    The last thing to mention is the timer. The cheapest ones just have analog dials for "water for x minutes every y hours or days". Figuring out how much water to give takes some time. To start, I would make sure all of the plants are not sitting in completely dry soil. Dry soil, especially with peat in it like lots of potting mix, does not absorb water well, so water might roll off to the side, and down the edge of the container and out the drain holes. Then I'd run the water till you see it start to drip out of the drain holes a lot indicating that the soil is full. Then I'd back it off from that point by a bit. My emitters are rated for 1/2 gallon per hour, and in the spring, with seedlings and cool weather, I might run them for 5 minutes every day or every other day. When it gets to the summer, I have my timer water twice a day, with 10 mi uses in the morning, and another 5 minutes during the heat of the day. I have a "smart" timer that lets me have slightly more complicated schedules like that. If you are a tech savvy person, you could set up automatic rain delay.

    Lastly, I'm not trying to promote any particular products over others, but this is the kit I started with, and I've expanded from there. It seems like the components are all fairly standardized in size, at least in the US, so you can mix and match from different companies to problem.

    Hope that helps some people, and feel free to ask any questions.

    TL;DR, irrigation is pretty useful and easy to set up.

    5

    [Discussion] What is your Thanksgiving strategy?

    Every Thanksgiving since I was a child, I've had to make something for Thanksgiving. Typically, and I think this goes for many Americans (and presumably Canadians cause they have a similar Thanksgiving), this involves sharing the kitchen with way too many cooks. It can be difficult to know what tools you'll have in an unfamiliar kitchen, and when/if you'll be able to use the stove, oven, etc.

    I'm trying to move things towards a better model, where I make the entire menu, and other people are responsible for drinks and cleanup, but there are always holdouts determined whatever particular dish they feel strongly about.

    My normal approach is:

    • Insist on making the turkey. The turkey is the most common thing people mess up, and it sucks to have to choke down dry turkey.
    • Bring an insane amount of my kitchen with me. Words can't describe how frustrating it is to try to cook with only the world's dullest knives, a thermometer that starts at 160 F for "rare beef", and only a salt shaker of iodized salt.
    • Do as many "make ahead of time" or "make outside of the kitchen" dishes as possible. Sous vide sweet potatoes, salads, etc.

    What are your methods for ensuring that your Thanksgiving meal doesn't suck?

    P.s. My packing list for things to bring to cook at another person's house contains:

    Thermometers, knives, shears, a scale, cutting boards, rimmed baking sheets, cooling racks, a vegetable peeler, a microplane, a pepper grinder, kosher salt, aprons, a big mixing bowl or two, a cake tester, a bread knife, a citrus juicer, a few Mason jars, butcher twine, a gravy separator, all the herbs and spices I'll need, a high wall saute pan, a sturdy frying pan, baking soda, baking powder, yeast, lemons, limes, butter, my sous vide circulator, heavy duty foil, and a liquid measuring cup.

    Anything you think I'm missing?

    15