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My day job is writing documentation for developers who work in what is perhaps the most hyped buzz phrase industry today: Artificial Intelligence.

Those who work in AI know that really, it is just a fancy way of saying math. Computers can do math astoundingly fast (this is AKA Machine Learning), which means they can distinguish patterns astoundingly fast. The application of a "known" pattern to a new scenario to achieve a predictable and desired result is the gist of what most AI does.

Conversely, nature has what is more aptly described as "Natural" Intelligence. Every single plant that bursts with seed pods has inherent engineering to maximize success for that plant's "known" pattern ... it rallies and sometimes flocks with others of its kind to further ensure that its cycle can repeat itself and sustain its unique imprint of and on life.

Of course, we can honor their efforts with more

This one is for my pals @sunbeam.city 🤟

So in July of 1974, the "old-timey hippie" generation (my parents' generation) was in their mid 20's to mid 30-ish. Those hippies had just barely just convinced the world that it probably wasn't the best idea to go on with the catastrophic pollution crisis which Mother Jones so bluntly captured here: motherjones.com/politics/2011/

They were pioneers of their own right, showing that those toxic chemicals were a poor replacement for the natural energy of the sun, which can be used to meet all of our human needs for energy in one form or another.

From the magazine featured below, they shared a design of a . It's based on the concept of a Fresnel Lens, a sort of "grooved" lens that is specifically designed to concentrate rays into a high-heat situation to cook food or make an oven!

Just goes to show that high-tech does not need to be elite-tech.

Happy Memorial Day to the generation that knew we didn't need GUNS to make peace.

indie boosted

For places that get more rain than sun during the coldest time of the year (all of PNW), power is often a better option than .

"One type of heat generating windmill converts rotational energy directly into heat by generating friction in water, using a so-called “water brake” or “Joule Machine”. A heat generator based on this principle is basically a wind-powered mixer or impeller installed into an insulated tank filled with water. Due to friction among molecules of the water, mechanical energy is converted into heat energy. The heated water can be pumped into a building for heating or washing, and the same concept could be applied to industrial processes in a factory that require relatively low temperatures.

The Joule Machine was originally conceived as a measuring apparatus. James Joule built it in the 1840s for his famous measurement of the mechanical equivalent of heat: one calorie equals the amount of energy required to raise the temperature of 1 cubic centimeter of water by 1 degree Celsius."

Source: lowtechmagazine.com/2019/02/he

Tulip windmill photo credit: Me (taken in Iowa 2012)

Diagram: krisdedecker.typepad.com/.a/6a

Brilliant research from A. James School of Engineering at the University of Maryland.

Simple, common Hydrogen Peroxide can strengthen the cellular structure of wood used for engineering building materials.

"Reducing human reliance on energy-inefficient cooling methods such as air
conditioning would have a large impact on the global energy landscape... we developed a structural
material with a mechanical strength of 404.3 MPa, more than 8X that of natural wood. The cellulose nanofibers in our engineered material backscatter solar radiation and emit strongly in mid-infrared wavelengths, resulting in continuous subambient cooling during both day and night. We model the potential impact of our cooling wood and find energy savings 20-60%, most pronounced in hot and dry climates."

"We developed a multi-functional, passive radiative cooling material composed of wood that can be fabricated by using a scalable bulk process to engineer its spectral response. The cooling wood exhibits superior whiteness, which originates from the low optical loss of the cellulose fibers and the material’s disordered photonic structure. The energy emitted within the infra-red range of the cooling wood overwhelms the amount of solar energy received."

Attributed sources found on: science.sciencemag.org/content

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, defined as "inherent love for nature", is gaining ground in modern sustainable design. Incorporating the outside indoors, it's a very ecosteader-friendly practice.

Ideas for a , both indoor and outdoor spaces:

Source: freshome.com/living-wall-verti

A discreet way of propagating wildflower seeds and create a "natural" (ish) in your city's neglected spaces...

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Some pictures from a walk yesterday. Not sure what they are, but I see these all over the place and they look really cool! #florespondence

@quantumcowboy I thank your (username) for reminding me about another side project I started once: the quantum novel. It was going to take place between 2019 and 2020, but it can't since Trump got "elected."

So many good things this world will miss out on if it doesn't permanently expel that fetid thing and all of his rotting crimes.

"Proponents of the IndieWeb offer a fairly straightforward analysis of our current social-media crisis. They frame it in terms of a single question: Who owns the servers? The bulk of our online activity takes places on servers owned by a small number of massive companies. Servers cost money to run. If you’re using a company’s servers without paying for the privilege, then that company must be finding other ways to “extract value” from you—and it’s that quest for large-scale value extraction.. that leads directly to the crises of compromised privacy and engineered addictiveness... When you confine your online activities to so-called walled-garden networks, you end up using interfaces that benefit the owners of those networks."

Source: newyorker.com/tech/annals-of-t

The "IndieWeb" is not about walled gardens at all. There aren't "gardens" on Facebook; more like a horror movie funhouse of mirrors. You're always being distorted -- to some degree or another-- by censors or distractions.

An independent server admin ensures a message isn't distorted, ensures you are not censored, lets he truth of the words you write be pure. There are some messages so mighty with fact that they can't be kept quiet, no matter what.

Not everything in this world is about money.

So many toots to restore manually. This will be fun. ✨

Probably, it's a good thing being totally down-on-the-low: data loss of everything after January 20th being the reality of the fallout from Linode's STUPID greedy garbage plan to start billing people on an anti Net-Neutrality metered system.

Yeah, they "free upgraded" my account a few times over the last 7 years I've been a loyal promoter and customer (upgrades I never asked for or needed), and then when they switched billing, I started getting nickeled and dimed for all of those upgrades.

Worse of all: turns out, I'd been backing up my non-prod database. Linode's news upset me so much that I didn't realize it until after it was gone.

Anyway... we now have a more beautiful theme, some fabulous on the GitHub repo, lots of links and details for other smart folks who might want to run their own Apache-friendly Mastodon instance, and...

AND, we have verbosity enabled to 1733 characters, so actual conversations can happen.

Let's do this.

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With , a designer can get away with not having a traditional foundation; structures can be more fluid with respect to any existing landscape features, like mature trees or water.

Cross-laminated timber, or as it is known in the industry, is a form of mass timber that can replace concrete with wood in construction. These buildings are faster to construct, more energy efficient, and comprised completely from

CLTs are typically engineered as "large wooden panels, consisting of 3, 5, or 7 layers of dimensional lumber, oriented at right angles, glued together. The panels will average 8 feet tall and 38 feet long at 3 ¼ and 3 ¾ inch thickness." Using a crane, the panels are lifted into place and fitted by hand to the supporting timber frame.

Sources: archpaper.com/2018/05/atelierj

newenergyworks.com/get-to-know

A zero-waste restaurant in Indonesia "takes recycling to the extreme" ... from sea to seat, all components are naturally biodegradable or compostable. Smart!

Source: thespaces.com/zero-waste-resta

How much living space is really necessary? This modern design incorporates a living among native and mature trees, vertical design for space, and a small open kitchen area. Featured in architecture digest, it is AKA the "Bernier-Thibault-House" Source: archdaily.com/899106/bernier-t

If you haven't yet heard about earth-strike.com EarthStrike, today you do!

Our friends at another mastodon instance also working, organizing. props a (and such) to @sunbeam.city )

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Ecosteader

Ecosteader is a network for builders, designers, and innovators of "green" or eco-friendly habitats, gardens, homesteads, farms, artwork, and more. Participate in ecological democracy by designing and building your local communities around sustainable practices. We put shared soil first: because you can't be an #ecologist without being an activist. First Amendment rights to free, political speech are among the truths we hold to be self-evident. Please keep boycotting HomeDepot!