“Iron made it”: Recent breakthroughs in the hydrogenation of esters to alcohols by well-defined iron pincer complexes are highlighted. These complexes demonstrate promising efficiency and selectivities.
Very quickly, here's how a computer works at the simplest level.
Want to see how computers store data? This next device is called a 'D-Latch'. It holds a binary bit. The top switch is the value to be stored, the bottom switch enables storage. Eight of these devices can be used to store a byte in memory.
Ink wash Xenomorphs
Installed earlier this month on the western coastline of New Providence in Nassau, Bahamas, “Ocean Atlas,” is the lastest underwater sculpture by artist Jason deCaires Taylor (previously), known for his pioneering effort to build submerged sculpture parks in oceans around the world. Taylor’s cement figures are constructed with a sustainable pH-neutral material that encourages the growth of coral and other marine wildlife, effectively forming an artificial reef that draws tourists away from diving hotspots in over-stressed areas.
Towering 18 feet tall and weighing in at more than 60 tons, Ocean Atlas is reportedly the largest sculpture ever deployed underwater. The artwork depicts a local Bahamian girl carrying the weight of the ocean above her in reference to the Ancient Greek myth of Atlas, the primordial Titan who held up the celestial spheres. The piece was commissioned by B.R.E.E.F (Bahamas Reef Environment Educational Foundation), as part of an ongoing effort to build an underwater sculpture garden in honor of its founder, Sir Nicholas Nuttal. You can see a bit more over on Atlas Obscura and at the Creator’s Project, who are working on a documentary about the piece.
I was late to the party in learning about aquaponics, but it made a big impression on me when I toured a massively creative food facility two years ago.
The slightly wild entrepreneurial founder had converted some cheap, remote industrial buildings in Loveland, Colorado into a spectacularly productive indoor farm. Expensive herbs, heirloom tomatoes and fluffy fish were popping out at high speed, with (mostly solar) energy and sparse human labor as the only inputs. With over 40% of the Earth’s land area already converted to farms, I was excited by the idea that someday we may be able to get much more food out of much less land with a lower input of oil and chemicals.
This kicked off a bit of an aquaponics reading binge on my part. And quite coincidentally, a reader named Jeremiah wrote to me towards the end of it to tell me about his own inventions in the field. I was impressed, because he has combined the art and science of Aquaponics with a Mustachian ethos of time and money efficiency. According to Jeremiah, you don’t need to be an advanced entrepreneur or scientist to build up a fancy food factory of your own.
So we collaborated over the past four months to create something worthy of sharing with you. And by “collaboration”, I mean I made the unrealistic demand of a “Zero to Hero” lesson in Aquaponics that would culminate in something readers could actually build, and Mr. Robinson diligently cranked it out with a summer of design and documentation. I am thankful for his generous work on your behalf, and I hope this great article he wrote becomes a primary source on the Internet for learning about the craft. It’s a great read.
High-Tech Gardening and the Kick-Ass ROI
by Jeremiah Robinson
Can you guess what it is?
I’ll give you a hint.
It was invented separately in ancient times by some badass farmers in both China and the Amazon.
In China, it allowed subsistence farmers to survive on plots of mountainside land that no traditional farmer could ever survive on.
It helped the indigenous residents of ancient Bolivia and others the power to develop a wealthy and sophistocated agricultural civilization atop worthless soil for 1000 years.
For the past 2 millenia, these farmers quietly developed the most efficient and sustainable method of growing food known to man. And nobody noticed.
Nobody, that is, till 40 years ago the New Alchemists and others put 2 and 2 together. Their modern methods, combined with the ancient techniques, got rid of most of the work associated with traditional growing (eg. weeding, watering, mulching, soil building, etc…), allowing for much higher production output at a much higher quality.
This ancient-turned-modern method of growing is called aquaponics.
It combines the raising of fish (aquaculture) with the growing of plants in nutrient-rich water (hydroponics). The fish fertilize the plants, and the plants clean the water.
Hotter than Carhartt, aquaponics is beginning to revolutionize the world of home-grown healthy food.
Now it’s much easier to grow your own safe, local, healthy food yourself in your own backyard, roof, balcony, or basement.
It doesn’t matter where you live. It works in the desert. It works in the tropics. You can do it urban or rural. I live in Wisconsin where the polar vortex gave us -25°F (-32°C), and it works here all winter long (actually improves the taste).
For the Zero-to-Hero system I’ll describe later, you just need an area that’s 5′ wide by 14′ long, exposure to either the sun or some fluorescent lights, and a weekend to build it. To make a smaller system, you just use smaller parts.
I haven’t run the Zero-to-Hero (Z-H) system long enough for good measured data on its output, so I’ll tell you about the larger system I use. The Z-H system should give proportional results until you decide to upgrade.
My 8’x16′ aquaponics greenhouse (which is about 2x larger than the Z-H system) cost me $3,000 to build, soup-to-nuts. In one year my system can grow the following fish and better-than-organic produce (local farmers’ market prices in parenthesis):
Add all this up and I get a yearly gross output of $3,660, not to mention eating like Louis the XIV.
Here are my yearly costs:
Add these up and you’re looking at $1,030/yr.
As a good Mustachian who goes shopping with your middle finger, let’s say that somehow you find a way to pay half the farmers’ market price, or $1,830/yr. Subtracting out the $1,030, you still bank $790, for a simple ROI of 27% or a four-year simple payback, which is very good.
The Z-H system is ¼ the price for ½ the size, so your ROI would be even better.
Another objection you might raise is that you want to visit your long-lost relatives in Azerbaijan, or attend the MMM gathering in Ecuador. Don’t you have to be home every day to feed your fish, or at least every week to check your water?
Actually, you don’t.
Fish routinely go for 3 to 5 months without eating. In my area, they do it every winter. They survive these fluctuations just fine, if a little leaner by the end. With no food in the system, the water chemistry remains stable as the plants slowly absorb all the excess fertilizer. So go ahead. Throw some basil or spinach seedlings in the system and come back in 3 months to full grown plants. If you want, find a neighbor kid and teach them to how to throw some food in the tank and use the water test kit once per week.
It’s high-tech, low-maintenance gardening.
The Zero-to-Hero system offers you a simple jumping-off point if you’re interested in this kind of growing. You can buy all the products in an afternoon for about $730, build it in a weekend, and grow a significant portion of the fresh greens and herbs that a family or a frat house can eat.
It will allow you to grow year-round in USDA zone 7 or warmer. To grow in winter in colder climates (like I do) you’ll need to make some additional improvements, such as a small hoop house to store it in. You can also shut down for the winter, and harvest your fish in October.
While you probably won’t see the kinds of outputs described above in year one, you will see them as you learn to operate your system better, which fish you can find locally, and what plants you eat the most of.
It’s difficult to exaggerate how convenient it is to have mostly maintenance-free and exceptionally fresh / tasty food right at your doorstep.
However, one point worth emphasizing is that while aquaponics is very easy and labor-free to manage once you’ve got it working, the process of making it work is a learning curve. It will take about a year and result in some dead fish, dead plants, and problems you’ve got to solve. I’ve never met anyone for whom it didn’t, though I’ve also never met an aquapon for whom solving these problems was beyond their reach.
On these occasions, your best resources are the online forums, which are full of helpful people eager to answer your questions. After that (or if you don’t have time) you can contact most any aquaponics instructor or product seller and they will help you for a reasonable fee. There are also a number of books that can help you on your journey as well.
Growing this way is a lot of fun, and can be habit-forming—in a good way.
The Zero-to-Hero system plans are available for download free for MMM readers at the page linked to below. To get them free, type in the coupon code mr_mmm at the checkout page.
Some of you might be thinking the following thought:
If this works so great on the small scale, I’m going to cash out of my bank account, scale up, and start farming!
If this is you, I offer this caution: Aquaponic farming is still farming. Nobody gets rich off it. If you have the unique combination of skills to make it work it can be profitable. But you still have to plant, harvest, market, transport, and sell your products, as well as manage employees. This is hard, challenging, sometimes unrewarding work. Many aquaponic farms go out of business after a few years.
Because the USDA is behind on their regulations regarding fish, organic certification is hard to get for aquaponic vegetables and nearly impossible for fish, even though any unhealthy fertilizer, pesticide, herbicide, or fungicide (even those used on organic farms) would immediately kill all your fish. This means you have to convince your customers that your products carry a higher value than conventional produce and fish from China, in most cases without organic certification. This is more difficult than you might think.
Many aquaponic farmers live off grants and free intern labor, while a few market brilliantly and make a profit selling to high-end restaurants and grocers. If you’re interested in growing commercially, I recommend you do the following:
It can be done. Maybe you’re the one to do it.
There are a number of existing farms out there that would be happy to accept investment funding to expand their operations. It will take you a lot of due diligence to ensure that their farm is profitable and likely to remain so because – as I’ve said before – farming is tough!
One interesting investment opportunity I stumbled across this year is Fair Oaks Farms in Indiana, a combination farm and tourist destination with a fascinating ownership structure. They are getting a lot of people interested in farming, which is a good thing as most farmers these days are late-middle-age or older. Currently expanding into aquaculture, they are likely to include aquaponics in the next couple of years. Give them a call to talk about investment opportunities if you’d like to invest in this space.
Because you and I know that it’s better-than-organic while not actually certified, we can get the high-quality food for a cheaper price.
While there’s no directory of aquaponic farms, you can google “aquaponic farm” in your area and find out where they sell, or if they sell direct.
Give it a shot. Once you go aquaponic you’ll never go back.
– Jeremiah Robinson
Frosty Fish Aquaponic Systems
Earlier this year Tokyo and Milan-based design firm Nendo (previously) accepted the challenge of redesigning the rubber band, one of the most common desktop items that seems so ubiquitous that it’s disposable. After all, the cost of a few hundred more is just a few bucks. But what if a rubber band was interesting, functional, and you didn’t want to throw it away. This was the idea behind Nendo’s cubic rubber band, a completely different form factor resulting in a desktop object that isn’t meant to be stashed away in a drawer or tossed in the trash. A set of three retails for 1080 yen (about $10), though you’ll need to be able to navigate a Japanese retailer, Marks, to snap up a set. (via Spoon & Tamago)
A general and efficient NH insertion reaction of rhodium pyridyl carbenes derived from pyridotriazoles was developed. Various NH-containing compounds, including amides, anilines, enamines, and aliphatic amines, smoothly underwent the NH insertion reaction to afford 2-picolylamine derivatives. The developed transformation was further utilized in a facile one-pot synthesis of imidazo[1,5-a]pyridines.
Insert here: A general and efficient NH insertion reaction of rhodium pyridyl carbenes derived from pyridotriazoles was developed. Various NH-containing compounds, including amides, anilines, enamines, and aliphatic amines, smoothly underwent the NH insertion reaction to afford 2-picolylamine derivatives. The developed transformation was further utilized in a facile one-pot synthesis of imidazo[1,5-a]pyridines. esp=α,α,α′,α′-tetramethyl-1,3-benzenedipropionic acid, Ts=4-toluenesulfonyl.
I am so in love with this!!!
Oh my god so adorable.
Read more of this story at Slashdot.
Banksy just published photos of a new piece titled Girl with a Pierced Eardrum, a take on Vermeer’s famous Girl with a Pearl Earring, replacing the girl’s earring with an outdoor security alarm. The mural appears in his hometown of Bristol, UK where he last painted the Mobile Lovers piece earlier this year.
Somebody give me a gigantic fork.
Because this is my serving. Right here.
Just when I think I can’t get any more common… oh wait – I can! Show me all the fall scenery forever.
I get it. It’s not even complicated. It’s not some super unique creation or full of a million ingredients.
But the flavors together are UNREAL. The flavor in the dish is frighteningly addicting and wonderful.
I’m also loving pappardelle at the moment. If you’ve followed along you know I’ve never been a pasta lover (more room for cheesecake please) but now I’m dying to make my own pappardelle at home. Except… I’m lazy at the thought of it. Like I want to DO it, but I don’t want to REALLY do it, if you get what I’m saying. Plus, with zero Italian genes and my severe lack of patience, I just figure it will be a disaster before it begins.
I probably should do this before I go into labor? Hey! Maybe the pure act of making pappardelle will send me into labor. In that case, I’ll wait a few weeks? Famous last procrastinator words.
Until then, I’ll be devouring these egg pappardelle pasta nests (how ridiculously cute?!) when the craving hits. My all-time favorite comfort food when I was growing up was a pulled pot roast that my mom served with egg noodles, mashed potatoes and a huge smothering of gravy.
That dish is up next with these. OH yes it is.
While this skillet is made with cream or half & half, it really gives a nice coating to the pappardelle and isn’t overly rich. In fact, I find it to be the perfect balance of cheese and creaminess – where a proper portion makes you feel jusssst right. We aren’t swimming in sauce here. The pasta soaks up a bit of that creamy goodness and it’s like the entire skillet is coated in a light blanket of cheesy love.
AND! You can also totally incorporate brussels sprouts into the pasta – replace the leeks or go halvsies – because it’s the only way to make this better.
Yield: serves about 4
Total Time: 35 minutes
6 slices thick-cut bacon, chopped
4 cleaned and trimmed leeks, sliced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 1/2 cups (1-inch) cubed butternut squash
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 cup half and half (or heavy cream!)
1 cup freshly grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese
8 ounces pappardelle pasta, cooked
Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add the bacon. Cook until most of the fat is rendered and the bacon is almost crispy, then add the leeks and stir to coat. Cook for 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and butternut cubes along with the pepper and nutmeg. (At this point I usually begin to cook the pappardelle.) Toss the squash well to coat it in the bacon fat, then cover the skillet and cook for 5 to 6 minutes - until the squash is JUST tender enough to eat. You don't want it breaking down.
With the heat on low, stir in the half and half and the cheese. Cook and stir until the cream is just warmed, then stir in the cooked pasta. Toss the ingredients in the skillet well. Taste and season additionally with salt if desired - I usually find that the bacon is salty enough for the entire dish. Serve immediately!
[inspired by a dish I saw in bon appetit forever ago]
it’s an autumn cuddle.