I've been trying some solar cooking experiments. A few days ago I made a conical (of sorts) reflector using posterboard with foil glued to it with a glue stick. It didn't work. Today it was with a 5-qt stainless mixing bowl I got at Wal-Mart for $8-something. Results were still dismal, but perhaps with an inverted Pyrex custard cup to hold in the heat, something might happen.

The best result was using the bowl as a firepit, and igniting a crumpled napkin with a 3-inch magnifying glass and blowing it into flame. I had a pretty hot fire burning in no time, just using the 4 or 5 napkins I'd been saving for that purpose.

When I awoke from my afternoon nap, in which my final dream was about schoolchildren making wind-driven toys out of styrofoam, I thought about riding the wind in a huge bubble, like that shown on the old TV series The Prisoner. It would need to be puncture-proof, and the rider would have to be suspended in such a way that he would be cushioned from impact and maintained relatively upright. And he might not survive a fall off a high cliff. But it would be a hell of a ride. Perhaps feasible over water?

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last updated 2013-01-10 21:17:05. served from tektonic.jcomeau.com