Been working on some ideas...

To open a shebeen along the lines of mine, one should build a blue LED rope light with 1-foot spacing of the LEDs, the same as mine, and set up a wifi signal, either connected to the internet or not, with the WEP key "burningman". A nomadic passerby would notice the one-foot spacing of the blue LEDs, which no commercial product has (to my knowledge), then double-check with a computer to see if the SSID has "shebeen" in it and if the WEP key is burningman.

The problem with bottle structures is, if you start them then leave them for a while half-finished, weathering will weaken them or even destroy them, particularly if the bonding agent is mud. Pre-forming blocks of bottles using baling wire around the necks would make bottle construction a more useful general-purpose method, and could be productized in poor areas. If you pre-fill the inner gaps with adobe, you might need an additional loop of wire around the outside during transport to prevent the assembly from coming apart and the adobe shaking out. For a curved roof, you'd want to wait until it was all up before you filled it in, or you might even want to pre-form the curve by tying the necks closer together in one or both directions (both for spherical curve). Hmm, bottle dome? Now, that would be an above-ground structure I might be able to stand the sight of.

Braze together a closed metal box with a loop of copper tubing coming out one side, coiled some feet away for a foot or more, then coming back into the other side of the box. Fill the whole thing with some kind of high-temperature fluid, like vegetable oil or petroleum, then plug it shut (3/8 inch IPS maybe). Put the metal box at the focal point of a parabolic solar reflector with the tubing sticking out of the top and bottom. The hot liquid will flow through the tubing by heat convection, and the coil will transfer that heat to anything you want inside your house. Boil water? Condense it through a glass or stainless steel coil to distill it? Melt and injection-mold plastics? Use the melted plastics to fill the gaps in the bottle blocks mentioned above?

Braze or weld sheet steel to make two metal troughs, one about 8x3x3 inches, the other about 12x12x24, with the final figure being the top. Secure a peltier device between the two, at the bottom of the larger. Fill the large trough with water, and place a bottle or can of beer in the small one and fill it with water too. Rig a motor and rollers somehow so that you can spin the can or bottle while the peltier device is energized, hot side towards the large container. You should be able to cool off a bottle of beer in a minute or two this way. This will need some testing. In fact, all of the above ideas will need some work.

I'm at a couchsurfer's house in Sac. There's an IGA store a few blocks away, and a realtor's office with an unsecured wifi signal next door that's on 24/7. I-5 is just a few blocks away and I might try hitchhiking to LA, or wait a week and take the big grey dog.

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last updated 2013-01-10 20:59:13. served from tektonic.jcomeau.com