Pinecones – A New Biomass And Biochar Source

It is presumptive to claim a “new” Biomass/Biochar source. Nature proposes, and Man disposes, as we find or create/select/ or genetically alter new forms of biomass. (Or find new uses for an old form, as in this case).

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I believe many homeowners occasionally burn pine cones in their fireplaces. In particular they spray chemicals on them to color their flames. Copper salts for green, cadmium red etc.

I recently made charcoal pine cones. I put dry cones in a pyramid (“Pyromid?”) and lit the top cone. The dry cones easily caught fire from the first layer, and the whole pile burned down in 15 minutes to a pile of charcoal cones, which I extinguished with my trusty watering can.

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The charcoal cones are very pretty, and also fragile.

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I was delighted to find that I could step on them to give a pile of the flakes – charcoal discs 1-2 cm in diameter, and 1/2 mm thick.

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I have three plastic grow boxes (8″wide x 35″long by 7″ high) outside my house on a handy railing. They were planted with dahlia (left, tall stalk) and marigolds.

On June 8 I added 10% by volume of Pinecone char flakes to the garden dirt on the left. There was conventional Biochar from sticks, (all sizes) on the right. It is too early to tell statistically any difference in growth between flake and conventional charcoal, but it appears the flake (on left) is slightly better.

pine-cone-charcoal-planter

I believe this makes sense. The Biochar from sticks had chunks up to 2″ long. Probably not optimum! Eventually, I will dig up the plants to see the interaction between root hairs and charcoal.

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The Graduate: How I learned about the 60s

the-graduate

“The Gradate” was a good movie to fill me in on “The Sixties”, an era Vivian and I missed. I was glad to hear you describe the chronology between you and the 60s. If I had been at the MIT Campus in Cambridge, I would probably have been fully aware of the events and issues.

Instead Vivian and I were doing a great job of raising four children. We went to England which gave us all a very different view of the larger world.

Most of the 60s, I was at MIT Lincoln Lab growing crystals for me and others to study. It was an Ivory Tower of real research which suited me fine. When I was going to sleep last night, I thought about what I was doing then. I looked on Wikipedia and found:

Tri-arc furnace for Czochralski growth with a cold crucible by TB Reed – 1968 – Cited by 48 – Related articles
Journal of Crystal Growth 2 (1968) 243-247 North-Holland Publishing Co., Amsterdam TRI-ARC FURNACE FOR CZOCHRALSKI GROWTH WITH A COLD …

I’m not into politics. What I learned and applied there still stands. But we all live in a political world, and can’t ignore politics, even if we’d like to.

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I looked up “The Graduate” in Wiki and was disappointed in the short shrift they gave the background.

Next I looked up “The Sixties”. Wow!

The 1960s was a decade that began on 1 January 1960 and ended on 31 December 1969.[1] The 1960s term also refers to an era more often called The Sixties, denoting the complex of inter-related cultural and political trends across the globe. This “cultural decade” is more loosely defined than the actual decade, beginning around 1963 and ending around 1974.[2][3]
In the United States of America, “the Sixties”, as they are known in popular culture, is a term used by historians, journalists, and other objective academics; in some cases nostalgically to describe the counterculture and social revolution near the end of the decade; and pejoratively to describe the era as one of irresponsible excess and flamboyance. The decade was also labeled the Swinging Sixties because of the fall or relaxation of some social taboos especially relating to racism and sexism that occurred during this time. The 1960s have become synonymous with the new, radical, and subversive events and trends of the period, which continued to develop in the 1970s, 1980s, 1990s and beyond. In Africa the 1960s was a period of radical political change as 32 countries gained independence from their European colonial rulers. Some commentators[4] have seen in this era a classicalJungian nightmare cycle, where a rigid culture, unable to contain the demands for greater individual freedom, broke free of the social constraints of the previous age through extreme deviation from the norm. Christopher Bookercharts the rise, success, fall/nightmare and explosion in the London scene of the 1960s. However, this alone does not explain the mass nature of the phenomenon.

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Wow! Glad we saw The Gradate and opened these two very different pages on our disparate histories.

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Not So Fast, Peak Oil! Two Solutions

A decade ago there were a number of conferences on the anticipated “End of Oil” emergency. We are so dependent on our cars for work and play that even the smallest hint of a constriction in oil availability raised a lot of fear.

Now, a decade later, we have found two solutions!

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FRACKING:

Fracking diagram. Source: Technorati.com
Fracking diagram. Source: Technorati.com

We think of oil as coming out of wells, a deep verticlal, one dimensional hole that permits oil from the horizontal two dimensional oil lakes to flow in and up. Witness the hundreds of nodding donkey pumps you see around California and elsewhere that must be drilled to access the horizontal oil lakes.

Now comes FRACKING! You drill down to the pool and then sideways to access a large area of the pool and using hydraulic pressure literally “lift the landscape” to permit the whole lake of oil to be accessed efficiently.

I predict there will be a steady decrease in the cost of gasoline and diesel for a few generations before the “oil runs dry”

Ultimately we may have to abandon oil for transport due to its carbon footprint and Global Warming.
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Not content with one solution to our transportation problem, we now have a second,

THE ELECTRIC CAR

The Tesla, a luxury electric car. Source: Greenprophet.com
The Tesla, a luxury electric car. Source: Greenprophet.com

which is coming on strong and well supported by Obama. And both of you are leading the pack, more Phils Leaf than Chucks hybrid, since it is using line power from coal, oil, gas, hydro and solar.

Does the hybrid have an option for charging without oil?

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So I’m going to stop worrying about oil and transport and worry about solving global Warming with charcoal.

Have you ever seen charcoal pine cones? I will be making them today and will send pics…

Dad/Tom

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The Brains in the Sky and.. G O D

Dear Family and Friends

For a long time computers, and now the Internet and IPads have been worthy of awe, some awe, awesome!

I have come to think of the Internet as a giant BRAIN IN THE SKY. HE/SHE collects information, wisdom and trivia on any subject X.

(And SIRI is his/her very smart little sister.)

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I have discovered that if I want to expand my mind/knowledge on any subject X, I enter “X pics” and am rewarded with 10 to over 300 (where I stopped counting) pictures of X or related to X.

Being religious by nature, this morning I looked at GOD’S PICTURES! WOW.

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The raw pictures are delivered in a continuous stream, with the source of the picture below, which you can visit by clicking on it.

But if you press “edit”, you can crop it and save just the picture.

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After looking at over 300 pictures of GOD, (many of books on the subject, like Dawkins’S , I don’t know whether God actually exists in the universe, or is just a figment generated by the brain while searching for answers. But I sure know the length and breadth of how Humans think/draw GOD.

Comments are welcome.

Tom Reed

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Olber’s Paradox, Debugged and Undone

note: the following is an email Tom sent out a number of months ago. We’re posting it here to share with the public. Enjoy!

Dear Family and Friends,

I woke up this morning looking for a nice picture of the Big Bang, uncluttered by the silly TV series with the same name. If you look for BIG BANG ORIGIN, you will see hundreds of pics of how people have imagined it.

The “BIG BANG” seems to be the only scientifically accepted theory of the formation of the universe, but

O We don’t know much about it

O it’s hard to imagine and there are no pictures of the Big Bang that satisfy me. That below is as good as any of hundreds of others found at “big bang origin pics” on the web.

However, one thing we MAY know, is that the universe is not infinite, supposedly proved by Older’s Paradox (Wiki)

In astrophysics and physical cosmology, Olbers’ paradox, named after the German astronomer Heinrich Wilhelm Olbers(1758 – 1840) and also called the “dark night sky paradox”, is the argument that the darkness of the night sky conflicts with the assumption of an infinite and eternal static universe. The darkness of the night sky is one of the pieces of evidence for a non-static universe such as the Big Bang model. If the universe is static and populated by an infinite number of stars, any sight line from Earth must end at the (very bright) surface of a star, so the night sky should be completely bright. This contradicts the observed darkness of the night.

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I think this is mis-stated. If the Cosmos has only existed for 13.8 Billion years, then we can only “see back in time” 13.8 BY! Any stars farther away than 13.8 BY would not be seen,

AND THE COSMOS COULD BE INFINITE.

This is Tom Reed’s debugging of OLBER’S paradox.

SO THE COSMOS MAY BE INFINITE AND THERE IS NO PARADOX!

Think about this! I would appreciate any comments you have. You are on my thoughtful list of F & F.

(Don’t let this spoil your sleep.)

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New Site!

We’re pleased to announce the unveiling of this new site to display the life and works of Dr. Thomas Reed (I say “we” because I’m not actually Tom, I’m his grandson Drew working with other family members to put this together). Look for more about Tom here, coming soon!

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