Saturday, September 21, 2013

The Spirit Samovar

I'm entering this into the Green Design Contest.  If you like what you see, please vote for me!

This instructable ties in very closely with my previous instructable, Snapple, Steel and Green Fire in which the lantern that is the base and heat source for the samovar is built using re-purposed/up-cycled materials.  I will give a high-level overview of the process of building the lantern, but for details, I encourage you to look at the instructable referenced above.

In Snapple, Steel and Green Fire, one of the comments (left by shizumadrive) asked if the lantern could be used to cook food.  I said I thought yes, but as they say, the devil's in the details.  

The first problem lies in creating a place for the food/drink to sit while it heats.  Although from the top view picture, it would appear that you could just set a small pot on the grill of the lantern, in practice, doing so would cause the carbon dioxide exhaust from the lamp to smother the lamp flame.  Drilling holes in the lantern top could solve this problem, but then part of the purpose of the lantern top was to reduce the level of particulates in the exhaust for the green fire version of the lamp (diboron trioxide).  Holes in the top would limit this aspect of the top's effectiveness.

The second problem is in the efficiency (or lack thereof) of the arrangement.  Although the lantern, being made in part of glass, is reasonably well insulated, the top is not, and that's where we need the efficiency improvements.


Making (and using) the Lantern and Samovar involves hot things and sharp things.  Be careful!  Cut metal is sharp metal.  You will need to exercise caution when cutting and sanding the various pieces you make.  Also, do not heat food or drink using the Green Fire version of this lantern.  The particulate exhaust, (diboron trioxide), will almost certainly get into what you're heating.  While boron is  a suspected ultra-trace nutrient, you're probably getting plenty in your diet already.  To quote Wikipedia "it is necessary in such small amounts that ultrapurified foods and dust filtration of air is necessary to induce boron deficiency."  There is the possibility of large doses having unpleasant side-effects.

That said, I use the non-Green Fire version of the lamp and Samovar inside, and (as long as it it not left unattended), it should be no more dangerous than any other lamp or candle.  Let me reiterate, however - do not leave unattended!

Other thoughts:

Boiling water + hot glass = nothing, apparently.  I started this project with the idea that, worst case scenario, a boil-over could cause the glass lantern body, or even the glass of the alcohol lamp inside, to crack due to thermal stress.  With that in mind, I made the first step of the project a spill tray of sufficient size to hold any alcohol that would spill in such an event.  I then spent a fairly dull hour watching the water boil in the samovar, and repeatedly spurt onto the lantern top and the glass body, but nothing much happened.  The water boiled off the hot surfaces immediately, but that was it.  

My temperature assessing gear is not so sophisticated, but I decided to try to check the glass temperature with a standard digital food thermometer.  The highest reading I got for the glass was 250° F.  While this is definitely hot enough to burn your fingers, when you take into account the near-boiling temperature of the water that hits the glass during a spurt (or "bump"), the temperature difference is not really that great - about 40° F.  As you will see when you read the glass cutting section of this instructable, this is not enough to propagate a crack through glass, even when a score line has been drawn across the surface.  While the lid of the alcohol lamp inside certainly gets hotter than this, the glass doesn't appear to, as evidenced by the complete lack of charring, or even discoloration of the paper seal inside.  I haven't had a boil over of such magnitude that water reaches the inside of the lantern, but I suspect that in this case as well, there would be no result other than to snuff out the lamp.  Cold water is probably another story.  Don't spill cold water on a hot lantern.

All this said, I would ask, nay implore, that you treat this as you would anything else that you have intentionally set on fire - do not leave unattended!  Do not set water to boil, and then go out to (for example) mow the lawn, take a quick nap, run out to the store, finish off that last fifth of Jim Beam, chase the dragon, or engage in any other activity which absents you, physically or mentally, from the spirit samovar.  This is because it is on fire, you see.

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Delete Wi-Fi Networks in Windows 8 from the Command Line

Delete Wi-Fi Networks in Windows 8 from the Command Line

For reasons I can't fathom, Microsoft removed the ability to delete Wi-Fi networks from the network list if the network isn't in range. Manage Wireless Networks is also gone from the control panel. If you want to better manage Wi-Fi networks in Windows 8, you'll need to head to the command line.

As the screenshot above shows, Windows 8 does have a "Forget this network" option, but it doesn't appear if the network is not in range. To delete old profiles, you'll need to use the netsh command line utility. Raul Castillo writes on TechNet:

Open a run box window (or press win+R) then type cmd to open Windows 8 CLI.

To see stored wireless profiles, type:

netsh wlan show profiles

This will show a list of saved profiles of your connected WLAN devices. Then you'll need to write/save/memorize the profile name that you want to change.

To see the stored key (WPA/WEP/etc) of a specific profile:

netsh wlan show profiles name=[profile name] key=clear

You'll find the key content under security settings.

To delete a stored profile:

netsh wlan delete profile name=[profile name]

This will delete the stored profile of every WLAN interface. If you want to delete the profile of a specific WLAN interface, you need to use the following:

pre>netsh wlan delete profile name=[profile name] interface=[interface name]

To set network priority, Albert Xing contributes this command:

netsh wlan set profileorder name="network_name" interface="interface_name" priority=1The ability to delete network profiles whenever and wherever you are is especially important if there are any public networks you've connected to that are set to automatically reconnect when in range. As we've seen before, hackers love to masquerade as public Wi-Fi networks. If you want to automate the deletion of open Wi-Fi networks in Windows 8, Scott Hanselman has created WiFi.exe, a command line utility to do just that.

Windows 8 - Manage Wireless Networks? | Microsoft TechNet

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Puppy Sweater : Recycled Socks

IMAG0818.jpgWhen I first got Mia, she could sit in the palm of my hand. At night she would cuddle in her blanket, trying to stay out of the cold. As a toy breed, not even the XS dog sweaters would fit her. Here is a inexpensive way to recycle old socks for small dogs or puppies. Enjoy!

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The Android-Themed, Chalkboard Workspace at Google HQ

The Android-Themed, Chalkboard Workspace at Google HQ

Google recently hosted a company competition for its Googlers to spiff up their shared workspaces. This is the winning solution, which incorporates chalkboard paint, greenery, and, of course, Android accessories.

A long box planter filled with succulents makes for a great divider, and the charcoal and Android green color scheme adds a nice vibe. You could copy a few of these ideas for your own workspace (if, for example, you had a desk surface you wouldn't mind covering in chalkboard paint). More pics and details can be found in the Apartment Therapy link below.

If you have a workspace of your own to show off, share them with us by: a) posting it in the discussion below, attaching your image to the post, b) posting it to your personal Kinja blog using the tag featured workspace, or c) adding it to our Lifehacker Workspace Show and Tell Flickr pool. Make sure any photos you include are at least 640x360. Keeping them to 16:9 helps, too! Include a little text about the stuff you used, how you came up with the design, and any other relevant details. If your clever organization and good design sense catches our eye, you might be the next featured workspace.

Google HQ Workspace Contest Winners | Apartment Therapy

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Mini Picnic Table

DSC_0419.JPGA fun and easy craft to make that looks really cool and realistic when completed. This is my 3rd instructable and I'm very satisfied by the turnout. Hope you all enjoy.         Materials: *Six pieces of 1"x6" wood about a quarter inch thickness*Six popsicle sticks*Two large clothespins*Cardstock paper*Various types of glue(Wood, Extra Strong, and Craft)*Wood Finish*Tape*Brown and Red Sharpie   20130611_212133.jpgHere I laid four pieces of wood side by side with the edges as straight as possible. Then I cut a piece of the cardstock paper slightly smaller than the wood. This will allow all the pieces of wood to grab on to the same surface and so I didn't get glue running through the cracks to the good side.

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Be Seen and Heard on Today's Open Thread

Be Seen and Heard on Today's Open Thread

It's Friday. That means it's time to share what you know, ask what you don't, and generally partake in some conversation. Right here, right now!

Same drill as always but with a new twist, open-threaders! Ask questions, offer advice, discuss productivity tips, or just chat about whatever's on your mind.

We're coming to you from Hackerspace, the commenter-run playground for Lifehackers. Drop by Hackerspace any time you want to share your tips, how-tos, or just talk it out with your fellow readers.

A side note about Hackerspace:

We want more tips/tricks/questions/comments here! You guys are an amazing community and so you have have your voice heard. Want to be an author here on Hackerspace? Our author request page is currently out of commission, so just ask in a comment below and we'll try to get you setup. Are you already are an author and don't know what you're doing, see this page. You'll know you're an author if you have:1. This button at the top right of the screen:Be Seen and Heard on Today's Open Thread2. If you're an author, you'll have the option to select "Publish on Hackerspace" at the bottom of the compose window. If you only see "Your Personal Blog" as an option, then get on the comments and request to be an author!If you're not an author, for the meantime, you can write a post on your kinja blog and we can reshare it on Hackerspace (just let us know where to look). The other commenter mods and I will be looking for commenters wanting to be new authors.Also, why don't you subscribe to our RSS feed?

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