[-] [email protected] 1 points 8 hours ago* (last edited 8 hours ago)

There was a brief window where ICE cars, electric cars, and steam cars existed simultaneously and all sucked just about equally

[-] [email protected] 5 points 20 hours ago

Thanks! We were thinking about getting a set of oyster spawn plugs to try later in the summer - I have relatives who log for firewood, I think we might be able to convince them to let us plant mushrooms in the stumps. Otherwise we'll wait and see how these go! Now that we know how to start these, we can keep an eye out for future opportunities.

30
submitted 21 hours ago by [email protected] to c/[email protected]

My SO and I have been planning to start a mushroom garden for awhile now. You can buy these kits with mushroom spawn in peg form, and you just drill holes in a log and hammer them in. I'd had big dreams of going along the bike path, adding them to all the dead logs there, until I learned how important it is to properly and thoroughly inoculate freshly-cut logs in order to make sure your fungus of choice is properly established and safe from the competition. This was a bit of a problem as we live in an apartment and the circumstances where I'd cut down a healthy tree are seriously slim, and don't include providing food for mushrooms.

But one of the perks of having a big family is that one of them is always doing yard work, and when one of their birch trees bought it in a recent snowstorm, I was ready to jump in and claim a few pieces. They were happy to get rid of it; they feel grey birch burns poorly - and I was happy to take some because it supposedly turns beautifully on the lathe and it's a suitable medium for shiitake mushrooms.

As an aside, I prepped one thinner piece for use on the lathe. I clamped it to the table and used a draw knife (and a regular carving knife) to strip off the bark, before painting the ends with wax. This helps prevent cracking and checking due to uneven drying from the ends, and spalting/mold/rot from moisture under the bark. Assuming it does as well as the maple and oak I've done previously, it'll be ready to use in a year or two.

Okay, back on to the mushrooms! We bought our kit from a company called Northspore who provided pretty thorough guidance. Their instructions said that logs 4-6" thick and 3-4' long would be good, and one of ours fit that nicely. The instructions also said our log had been cut at about the worst time, after the buds on the branches had begun to swell. So... sorry, mushrooms! Hopefully you'll figure out how to make that work.

They provided a drill bit, instructions on how deep to drill (1") and where (in staggered rows, each hole 4" apart, 2" from their neighboring rows, so it makes diamond patterns). I grabbed a drill and measuring tape and set about drilling all the holes.

(I also cut a couple risers out of a dead log to keep the mushroom log off the ground)

Once all the holes were drilled, we started hammering in the pegs with a rubber mallet.

I don't have great photos of this step (it was a lot of fun) but here's one of the log after we got them all driven in.

The last step was to seal all the pegs in place with melted wax. The kit provided powdered wax and a little fuzzball on a wire handle for applying it. We set up a double boiler on a hotplate and melted the wax while we added the pegs.

We hid our mushroom log in a shady forested spot near the apartment fence. If all goes well, I'll be back with mushroom pictures sometime next year.

[-] [email protected] 1 points 1 day ago

That's a good idea, I'll see what I can find!

[-] [email protected] 1 points 1 day ago

Definitely agreed it'd work well on footpaths. I think given what frost heaves and the city budget have done to local sidewalks, it might still be useful (I'm not sure they count as modern or well-paved). If I can find some more square tubing, and some mesh or perforated metal for the guard around the wheel, I think it could be a fun bit of welding practice. It's too bad the larger bike wheel sizes seem to be very expensive.

[-] [email protected] 2 points 1 day ago

This is great - I kinda want to build one for hauling groceries now. There are sidewalks all the way to the big grocery store here but they're so messed up that those collapsible shopping carts with their little wheels are more trouble than they're worth. I've thought about getting/building a cargo bike but I don't like my odds on that road, though it'd be useful elsewhere. Mostly we settle for just limiting it to what we can carry or driving once in a while. Might be a fun project though, I'll have to look up modern designs.

6
Rethinking Maps (slrpnk.net)
submitted 1 day ago by [email protected] to c/[email protected]

cross-posted from: https://slrpnk.net/post/8880368

I wrote this for the Fully Automated community but I think it might be a useful idea for solarpunk writing in general. I mostly learned about writing fiction from reading worldbuilding posts and campaign logs from Tabletop RPG GMs like Shamus Young. (I always found TTRPG story advice to be very practical, compared to whatever resources for writers I'd found back then. Though it does probably explain my worldbuilding-first approach.) Either way, I hope this'll be interesting!

I've been thinking about Five's excellent comments about states and the borders of a post-state world on one of our previous discussions. And since this Lemmy community is intended partially as a repository of resources for players and GMs, I thought I'd gather up some of the cool maps I've been looking at, and organize them into categories of options/inspiration for anyone who is thinking about what a region outside the more-lore-established Nation of Pacifica might look like.

Five suggested a few really cool options, the first of which was the overlapping zones of the historical lands of indigenous peoples. The setting already features a massive, successful Land Back movement, so it would be quite reasonable from a lore standpoint to restore these wherever possible, or to establish a sort of hybrid mix with modern landmarks. This interactive map is also very useful: https://www.npr.org/2022/10/10/1127837659/native-land-map-ancestral-tribal-lands-worldwide

The next was Watersheds and I really love these maps. To paraphrase Five: in a world where states no longer exist, borders that still have importance are those drawn by nature. People still need to coordinate over land and water management. They give some wonderful world building suggestions though I'd also suggest that as Fully Automated! Is in the transition to a post-state world, but is not there yet, that there's excellent potential for factions, feuds, drama, and plot hooks in the existing states losing relevance to watershed organizations that overlap their territory and authorities, but don't necessarily encompass all of them.

The cool thing with watersheds is you can aim for huge nation-sized chunks of land, or tiny town-sized boundaries, all depending on your needs.

The last one I'll include is biomes. These are another natural boundary, though often a softer one than the watersheds.

And there's no need to restrict yourself to just one new way of redrawing the map. Societies are messy, and often slow to change. It wouldn't be unrealistic to end up with a mix of all of the above, along with existing cities and state or national borders too. Here's one example, though it's alt-history rather than scifi.

I hope this is useful, and if someday you're playing the game and redrawing the map, I'd love to see what you come up with!

[-] [email protected] 2 points 1 day ago

I don't know why I needed you to point this out, but I appreciate it!

21
submitted 3 days ago by [email protected] to c/[email protected]

The last webcomic I recommended was Black and Blue. This one has a lighter tone, and has got some superhero influences, though I think it still falls under cyberpunk.

I've caught up to 2022 and have enjoyed it so far. Apologies if it's better known than I realized, I just stumbled onto it a day ago.

[-] [email protected] 7 points 4 days ago

If I remember right that's actually the bad guy's gun and it fires bullets that chase you! (At approximately the speed a human can run). Its silly and great and if I was remaking it for a modern setting, it'd be some kind of launcher/targeter for tiny suicide drones.

[-] [email protected] 2 points 5 days ago* (last edited 5 days ago)

I was thinking the old spy vs spy cartoons but more cute

21
submitted 6 days ago by [email protected] to c/[email protected]

A simple figure drawn on a green painted surface in florescent yellow-green paint. It kind of looks like a seriffed number '1' with feet, an eye, and a little hat(?)

[-] [email protected] 2 points 6 days ago

The book is excellent and the audiobook narrated by Paul Giamatti is so good it ruined the text for me - I couldn't do the voices as well in my head as he could. First and only time that's happened.

Whichever form you take, the book is very worth reading

[-] [email protected] 1 points 6 days ago

Thanks!! I'll check it out!

13
submitted 1 week ago by [email protected] to c/[email protected]

This might be a bit of a reach but I’m wondering if anyone here knows enough about concrete production to help me plan the layout of my next photobash. I’d like to do a scene of a solar-thermal concrete factory – there are several supposedly in the works, like Synhelion’s new partnership with Cemex, funded by the US DoE, or the french company Solpart (whose prototype involved a rotary kiln), or Heliogen. Unfortunately I’ve had a lot of trouble finding decent photos of their setups, and even though Synhelion is apparently working on a pilot industrial-scale solar concrete plant, I haven’t found any plans to work from.

I’ve been doing some reading about existing concrete factories, and plan to keep as much as possible the same, while mostly modifying the kiln to include at least one structure similar to a solar falling particle receiver, and adding some onsite algae farms or greenhouses for capturing CO2 released by the burning of the lime, and a trainyard (either electric trains or fireless steam locomotives, given that it’s a solar plant) for moving material into and out of the plant.

I’ll say upfront I know very little about concrete production, and I’m struggling to come up with a kiln design that’ll hit the required temps for long enough, without burning the lime and messing it up.. Originally I’d pictured basically a rotating kiln feeding into a falling particle receiver, linked up so heat from the sunlight hitting the falling concrete could still travel up the tube and eventually up into the cyclones where the mix is dried. But it seems like the concrete needs a longer, slower firing time than whatever heat it gets wafting up from the aperture, and then a blast of light and heat as it goes past. The diagrams I could find seems to just be a rotary kiln with sunlight being blasted into the open lower end, but I’m not sure if that’s just the design they went with because it was a proof of concept prototype.

I also know that temperature changes are bad for lining of rotary kilns, which are normally run pretty constantly IRL, so it seems like they’d need some changes anyways to cope with the day night cycle?

In case you’re reading this and wondering why make concrete this way, the concrete industry is a huge portion of human CO2 production (around 8% total), due both to the release of CO2 from the chemical process of baking the limestone, and from the tremendous amounts of heat necessary for doing that. A more solarpunk society would hopefully use much less concrete overall, especially with changes in building design and priorities that allow for weaker materials like hempcrete and mycocrete, but for some things we’re still going to need modern concrete. Solar furnaces can hit temps well above what a rotary kiln uses, and heliostat systems aren’t far behind, and it’s a pretty direct use of heat from the sun, which would minimize conversion losses. It’s not a great fit for every current concrete plant, but it seems like it could help.

7
A happy flower (slrpnk.net)
submitted 1 week ago by [email protected] to c/[email protected]

A flower with a smiley face has been drawn with black crayon(? charcoal?) on a granite wall.

18
submitted 1 week ago by [email protected] to c/[email protected]

Scrappy Capy Distro has released the first issue of Harbour, an anarchist literary journal. It has 7 pieces from 6 authors, poets, and artists. You can download it for free online, or get it on paper if you happen to live in Berlin and know the anarchist scene there.

Full Disclosure: one of those authors is me! My story Fair Game is the first prose story in this edition (on page 3 on both versions of the PDF). I'm very excited that they accepted it, especially because that means I can start posting a related comic/art project I’ve been working on in the background for several months.

In the beginning of the journal the editors say this on the subject of fiction:

Traveling to some anarchist book fairs, we noticed that most of the tables were filled with theory and there was very little fiction. This edition, and future ones, is an attempt to remedy this.

Theory is often placed above fiction as more important and serious, but we believe that fiction deserves just as much space. Not all critique of the world has to offer a complete or even partial alternative to the existent, but when we fail to tell a narrative of what possible anarchist futures could look like, it can be very hard to entice others away from the pull of capitalism.

If there ever were some collapse or successful insurrection, ideologies whose ideas were most digestible or had been most widely spread would win out. Following such change, we don’t want things to return to the way they were. We want anarchist ideas to ripple out across the populace, for them to be something easy for others to play with and understand. Stories are one way to do this.

We want to make a space — a space to imagine, a space to vent, where ideas from many different places can come together, a place where we can then leave with these ideas, to pass them on.

A harbour is a place from which to venture out.

I think there's a ton of overlap between that and solarpunk in general, and the ability to show positive, attainable futures, and to demonstrate the lived experience of those better worlds, how they work, is a big part of what draws me to the genre. Hopefully I'll have a more solarpunk story for them in the future.

Speaking of which, if you have a vision of the future you want to share, they're already planning for their Fall 2024 (Issue 2). Submissions will be open from September 1st to 30th: https://en.scrappycapydistro.info/submissions

32
submitted 1 week ago by [email protected] to c/[email protected]

I hope this is okay - normally when I post here I write up little book reports for cyberpunk stories and movies rather than post my own stuff. But one of my cyberpunk stories (told from the perspective of an AI weapons platform) just went live in a brand new anarchist zine called Harbour https://en.scrappycapydistro.info/harbour (it’s the first fiction story in the first edition, page 3) and I'm pretty excited about that.

I’m especially excited because that means I can start posting a comic/art project I’ve been working on in the background for several months. I won't spam this place up with it, but I might share a few of the still panels once its done.

34
Quick Shed Door Repair (movim.slrpnk.net)
submitted 1 week ago by [email protected] to c/[email protected]

This was a pretty quick little project - some of my friends recently bought a house, it came with a shed, and the door of that shed was broken. The design of the door allowed it to swing open about 180 degrees, at which point it'd hit its own frame.The wind must have caught it one day and swung it open hard. When that big wide door hit the frame so close to its fulcrum, it just snapped right down the line. It also bent all the hinges.

The previous owners tried to fix it, it looks like by lifting the door back in place and driving some mismatched screws through some wood scraps and metal plates. That left the door drooping, hanging crooked in the frame, and flexing kind of alarmingly when it opened.

We'd talked about taking it down and fixing it properly, I even took some measurements.

Then one morning I got lucky, I saw a post on our local Buy Nothing -type page where someone was offering up some 1"x12" boards they'd been using as shelves in a shed. They were a bit weathered but otherwise in good shape (no cracks, warp, or rot). It was trash day in that neighborhood so I hustled out there and claimed the whole pile. 1"x12"s ain't cheap.

On the way back I picked up a shovel with a cracked handle which I fixed with a hose clamp and have been using for a couple years now.

We set a day, I packed the lumber and tools, and we started in on the shed. I think we also planted a peach tree (using my new shovel) that day.

We started by taking the door off the shed and setting it on some sawhorses I brought.

(Dog helping hold down the door)

This was where we made our first unfortunate discovery. The shed was older than we'd realized. The 1"x12"s the door had been made from were rough cut, not dimensional, so the boards I'd brought were about half an inch narrower, and a quarter inch thinner than the originals.

So we had a couple options here - all the boards were rotten for a few inches of the bottom. We could replace all of them with the new ones, which would be a close fit of all our materials, and would lose us a couple inches of width unless we added another board, or we could save lumber all around and change the design to keep most of the existing door but make it a little janky. They were good with that, so we did a kind of strange design.

First we removed the split board and it's support scraps and set them aside. Then we cut one of the new boards to the original/final height of the door.

Next we measured far enough up to catch all the rot, and we cut the door that much shorter.

We attached the new vertical board so it extended a couple inches at the top and bottom (it's on the right in the picture above). Then we added two braces across the face of the door, so they went across at the final height of the door/the long new board, leaving a bit of space above and below the old boards. These would add some extra ridigidity, by having pieces going across on the front and the back, and they'd hide the difference in length. Then we cut some pieces to go behind them, fitting flush above and below the old boards. These weren't structural, they just took up space so critters and weather wouldn't get in.

Once the door was made, we started looking at hanging it again.

Unfortunate discovery two: the doorway was crooked. Part of that was the fault of the badly rotted board which crossed the doorway under the door. It didn't seem to be doing anything but catching rain and soaking it up, so we pried it off and replaced it. Luckily it only crossed the doorway, it wasn't actually part of the building frame, which seemed to be in okay shape. The top of the doorway was also out of square, but not enough to be a major problem. As they reminded me a few times, it's a shed, not a house.

We straightened out the hinges by putting them on a brick and pounding on the high points with a small sledge (not ideal but it worked). Then we hung them back up and attached the door. From what I remember, it sat just above the new lower plate when it was closed, might have rested on it but I don't remember.

The last step was to cut a thin piece to attach to the inside of the door frame to make up for the width lost by replacing a roughcut board with dimensional.

From there, I think we called it good. It had rained on and off during the project, and we didn't want to re-attach the trim while it was wet for fear of trapping water between the boards.

We cleaned up the tools and had some pizza.

As a side project, I took the original, very rotted wooden door handle, and the scraps of the split board. From the dimensions of the original and the look of the wood, I figured they cut the original from scraps of the same roughcut 1x12s they built the rest of the shed out of, so I wanted to make the replacement the same way.

I traced the original onto the wood, flipped it end for end, and traced it again, and sort of averaged the two. The original wasn't actually symmetrical but my replacement would be much closer. Then I started sanding it down until it was comfortable to hold. I pre-drilled the holes for the screws, including space for the heads, so they wouldn't split the handle when it was attached.

I stained it, I think my usual mix of Gunstock and Red Oak, then applied a few coats of urethane, sanding lightly between coats. I even got the back, where it'd touch the door, and the holes for the screws. I figured they could paint it whatever color they painted the door, like the original, or leave it as-is, either way it'd be very waterproof and last a long long time.

All it needs now is a new coat of paint.

34
submitted 1 week ago by [email protected] to c/[email protected]

Last one for now, I think I'm done with trains for a bit, thanks for letting me share these here!

cross-posted from: https://slrpnk.net/post/8581002

Another (very quick) take on the caustic soda locomotive concept based on this comment on my last postcard about what a version with swappable boilers might look like.

The idea is that instead of pumping out the caustic soda to dry it, they would instead unbolt and lift off the boiler, probably using an overhead or gantry crane, and replace it with an already-dry one. The dilute one would be inspected, and placed on a concrete containment pad where it could be connected to a solar steam generator, so the superheated steam could dry the caustic soda. This is actually pretty similar to how they apparently did it historically, except using a coal boiler and obviously without removing the boiler from the locomotive.

Ideally, this would be a bit safer as the boiling hot caustic soda would remain contained for the majority of the time, with less risk of spills during the drying process, and the extra boilers and frequent inspections could help prevent corroded parts from disabling a locomotive and stopping a train line. It might even be faster, depending on how complex the hookup process is.

In the end, it’s probably not a whole lot more practical, but I really liked the idea (suggested first by Carrier_Indomitable over on r/trains, and then with some cool visual details by @[email protected] on the last post.

49
submitted 1 week ago by [email protected] to c/[email protected]

Another (very quick) take on the caustic soda locomotive concept based on this comment on my last postcard about what a version with swappable boilers might look like.

The idea is that instead of pumping out the caustic soda to dry it, they would instead unbolt and lift off the boiler, probably using an overhead or gantry crane, and replace it with an already-dry one. The dilute one would be inspected, and placed on a concrete containment pad where it could be connected to a solar steam generator, so the superheated steam could dry the caustic soda. This is actually pretty similar to how they apparently did it historically, except using a coal boiler and obviously without removing the boiler from the locomotive.

Ideally, this would be a bit safer as the boiling hot caustic soda would remain contained for the majority of the time, with less risk of spills during the drying process, and the extra boilers and frequent inspections could help prevent corroded parts from disabling a locomotive and stopping a train line. It might even be faster, depending on how complex the hookup process is.

In the end, it’s probably not a whole lot more practical, but I really liked the idea (suggested first by Carrier_Indomitable over on r/trains, and then with some cool visual details by @[email protected] on the last post.

17
submitted 2 weeks ago by [email protected] to c/[email protected]

This is the only other train art I've done that would fit this community, but I'm hoping to make one more somewhat soon. I hope it fits okay!

cross-posted from: https://slrpnk.net/post/1997731

The second photobash in what I hope will be a series; a bit larger and more visually interesting than the first. I've started thinking of these as 'postcards from a solarpunk future.’ They might not show the width and breadth of this world, but nice scenes of what this fictional solarpunk society would consider aspirational, or values worth showing off.

I feel that for a genre/movement with such a focus on intentionality, there's a lot of AI art setting the tone online, along with a tendency to accept anything that looks partway futuristic and green, even if it's a massive cityscape or sort of generically utopian. I want to try to pull the visual aspect towards a more lived-in, human future that sets out to show possibilities/options.

My goals for this one were pretty simple: I wanted to show a setting where cars are no longer the priority, and to show that a solarpunk society will embrace new technology and infrastructure where it's a good use of limited resources (in contrast to the focus on reusing what’s here that I'm trying to include in other images). I also wanted to show that there’s room for more than one solution (and more than one kind of lifestyle) as with the bicyclist towing a kind of traditional-looking wagon.

As with the other photobashes, there are ruins in this scene. One of my overarching goals is to keep these pictures from looking utopian or like some kind of scratch-built future. Things will be messy, resources will be scarce, and tasks will go undone. As in our world, the debris of abandoned projects will pile up around human society, no matter how good its intentions are. I’m pessimistic enough to see bad times ahead, but I want to emphasize in these that that doesn’t mean giving up. For me, that’s a big part of the appeal of solarpunk, that the people in it keep working to mitigate the damage at any level they can access, and will try to rebuild more deliberately, carefully when they can. So these scenes are a little postapoclyptic, with hopefully a more inclusive, vibrant, and colorful society on the other side.

[-] [email protected] 69 points 9 months ago

Honestly watching people deny that COVID was real as it happened around them in real time kind of drove home to me that there was no way they'd recognize climate change. The longer time scale, and the fact that it's more difficult to link a specific disaster to a specific cause (vs uncle bob coughed on someone, then they went to the hospital and died) I think means climate change will be hard mode.

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JacobCoffinWrites

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