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Posts posted by Mr.Wizard

  1. As a real live physicist, I want to tell you to be very careful. Pay attention to any warnings you read regarding a Jacob's ladder, particularly with capacitors and transformers. One less drastic approach would be to use a Tesla coil. Just electrically connect one end of your desired arc to the probe tip, and connect the other end to a ground. You can leave it on for a few minutes at a time. The reason I encourage you to consider a Tesla coil is that it's very difficult to hurt yourself or anyone else.

    Just my two coppers.....

  2. First: I don't think it's possible to "fail" as a hobbyist.


    However: I can totally dig where you're at. I have a big ol' honkin' huge kit of the Enterprise from Star trek that I will not touch until I have built several other lighted models (my other hobby).


    If not having an airbrush is a barrier, talk to me. I have a used Paasche VL you can score for the price of shipping. I've upgraded to an Iwata (which I recommend!!!), so I can part with the Paasche.

    You're on yer own as far a compressor, though.

  3. It is somehow fitting that Smokingwreckage is from Australia, and that his feed lot proposal is exactly like Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome! :poke:

    Solar hot water heaters are very popular in New Mexico. Even switching to an on-demand water heater will save lots of water and natural gas or electricity. These jewels have been in Europe for decades, but we are just now getting them in the US. :rolleyes:

  4. Thank you Smokingwreckage and Dragonsnack. ::D: I didn't know that about the Prius, with the short life cycle. I will take a more critical look before I buy one. My wife and I have resolved to be a one-vehicle household, and we understand the drawbacks to that situation. Now that it's warm enough, I can start walking to work.


    I do, however, think this hybrid technology stuff has some potential. I've read some articles on the Green Goat and the other hybrid locomotives built by Motive Power(?). The early results look great as far as fuel consumption.


    I had a thought about ethanol. There is an ethanol plant in my town. It uses 3 times as much water as the town, and requires huge amounts of natural gas. :blink: Aside from the water issue, which has the local wheat and milo farmers is a tizzy, the natural gas issue presents a problem, in my view. This is because we are adding a net gain to the carbon cycle when we bring the fossil fuels. :wacko: Adding to the carbon cycle is my chief concern. :rock:


    My own hare-brained scheme would be that, since the ethanol plant is in a rich wind-energy region, the ethanol plant heating elements could be electric and powered at least partially by windmills. At least then we're adding less carbon to the carbon cycle. <_<

  5. My background is in science, specifically physics. I have read numerous peer-reviewed journals on climate change, taken courses on climate and the environment, and have attended many seminars at universities and national laboratories on climate change. Having examined the data and analysis myself, I am in the "yes-it's-real" camp. I can also report, based on my own observations, that the scientific community is not divided on the issue. Climate scientists may not agree 100% with Al Gore, but those who are asked say he got it mostly right.


    You guys are all free to hold whatever position you want, and I respect that. I myself am not only convinced, but am trying to make lifestyle changes that reduce my own carbon output. One thing that frustrates me to no end is that I live in western Kansas, which is the Saudi Arabia of wind energy. I know of exactly two small-scale operations, and I know that the KS state legislature is being lobbied hard by the coal companies. So wind energy in KS will continue to be untapped potential.


    Just my two coppers....

  6. Hi All,

    Just wanted to share something new to me. Lately I have found that Liquitex Flow Aid allows me to do a couple of things.

    First, I can mix different brands of acrylic paint and achieve a single consistency and uniformity of color. Second, I can get inexpensive "craft" paints to behave like more expensive paints. They do on much more smoothly and brush strokes disappear.


    There is something besides water in this stuff that seems to help with surface tension. Because I am a physicst and not a chemist, I can't tell you what that is.

    I just know that it rocks. ::D:


    While I have painted dozens of miniatures, the skill of many of you casts a broad shadow over mine. Do any of you have wisdom you'd like to share?

    Have a great day,

    Mr. Willard :B):

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