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Written By: Gary on January 20, 2011 No Comment

So one of my essentials for travel is an Immersion Heater, I stick it in a glass with some water and in a few minutes I’ve got hot water. It’ll boil water if you want, there’s no moving parts and it’s really easy to use. I think it’s just for water, some bad reviews talk about other liquids, but I’ve never tried it with anything but water; I’ve never considered anything but water.

You can use it for heating up water for tea or coffee or whatever. NORPRO 559 Immersion Heater for Warming Liquids NorproI initially got it for heating up water for my Netty Pot, sometimes the hot water when traveling isn’t warm enough (or I don’t want to use tap water if it’s somewhere I wouldn’t drink the water).

But since I’ve got it with me, sometimes I’ll use it for heating up some instant soup or Ramen-in-a-cup for a snack when traveling. I’m trying to think of what else you can just add boiled water to: instant oatmeal(?), instant soups + noodles, instant potatoes (but that sounds boring), Mac and Cheese (I think Kraft makes a just add hot water?) and if you had a fridge to store them, you could probably boil an egg.

You’ve got to remember to unplug it before you remove it from the cup of water or it’ll burn out (or something) and watch it when you’re using it because if it boils all the water away it’ll stop working permanently. The one I’ve got has lasted a long time but I’ve let it boil down pretty far before when I’ve forgotten about it; I actually travel with a spare, just in case.

Written By: Gary on October 9, 2009 No Comment

I was excited to watch but the results were boring…
Click for a larger version of the CNN moon crash Video.

Here’s the animation, which was much more interesting.
Click for a larger version of the CNN moon crash Animation.

I hope the animation is pretty much what happened, we just couldn’t see it. I hope the data that they get is good data. I’d prefer that it shows there is water;ut if there isn’t, I hope the results show there isn’t. No data / bad data means failed mission…

The LRO (Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter) spacecraft was also passing by a little bit later (90 seconds?) so that should have have some additional data.

LATER: A little more info on this at CNN. They said this was the fifth most watched webcast ever.

Written By: Gary on September 13, 2009 No Comment

This looks pretty awesome. Until I saw the target. Video looks pretty good though.


Direct link to the huge water slide launch.

It’s gotta be fake, a few feet short and you’d hit the platform. When I first saw it, I thought the pool was in a lake (so if you missed no big deal) but the wooden platform is just too much of a way to kill yourself if you missed (and it’s not a very big pool). So I vote “fake”…

Found at -273.

Written By: Gary on September 4, 2008 One Comment

Severe flooding kept me from getting to my flight today. They closed the bridge heading towards the airport and said it was going to be closed overnight (maybe until manana afternoon); please note I did say “the” bridge and not “a” bridge; I think it’s the only way to get to the airport from the peninsula in the rain (if it’s not rainy season, you just drive across the river). Surprisingly, they opened it 90 seconds after I abandoned my car and was planning to walk over the bridge (pedestrians were allowed).

Anyone have any contacts at Delta? They still want to charge me a $150 change fee (I’ve called two different numbers at this point US and CR). If this wasn’t an “act of God” that should cover my fee then I don’t know what is. Once they get my $150 here at the airport I’m sure I’ll never see it again…

I’m booked in a hotel for the next two nights (no flights on Friday) and I want to be here (8 kilometers from airport).

I’ll do a “flood blog post” later, it’s gonna be a long one (home come this never happens when it’s sunny?). Wish I had taken more pictures now…

Written By: Gary on October 11, 2006 No Comment

Lifestraw-2Over 6,000 people die a day (most of them children) from water releated illnesses. These folks have created The LifeStraw, a straw about the size of a small clarinet that can be worn about the neck and weighs about 0.095 Kg (3.3 ounces). It’ll filter 2 liters (half gallon) a day for about a year! And they only cost about $3 each.


Over a billion people in the world don’t have safe drinking water! (Drinking salt water will reduce the life expectancy in half).

More info (from the FAQ):

  • LifeStraw® filters bacteria such as Shigella, Salmonella, Enterrococus, Staphylococcus Aureus and E .Coli.
  • First time users may find it difficult to start sucking. This is because a natural brake on the flow of water has been put into the LifeStraw®, as a controlled flow between 100 ml to 150 ml per minute is needed to get the maximum benefit of the bacteria killing effect.
  • It is expected that continuously drinking saline water through the LifeStraw® would reduce effective life to 350 litres.

    I spotted this on the New York Times video feed I get on my TiVo.

  • Written By: Gary on September 18, 2006 2 Comments

    So three weeks ago I started making sure I was drinking at least a half-gallon (2 liters) of water a day. I hear I don’t drink “enough” (whatever that is) and I drink lots of soda and juice (mostly Coca-Cola and OJ). I do drink more water now than in other points of my life (which used to be never). It was one of the items on my 101 in 1001 things list. After 3 weeks I’ve got some results/conclusions:

  • When I drink that much water, I drink less soda (which is probably good).
  • It makes me need to go to the bathroom more (duh!).
  • I think generally got to sleep earlier (maybe to to lack of caffeine or at least it being washed out of my system).
  • I think I slept better (although I attribute this to the lack of other caffeinated drinks more).
  • My neck/shoulders probably bothered me just as much as normal (I think OMT and Chiropractors recommend lots of water).
  • I have very mild psoriasis (dry flaky skin) which comes and goes and thought the extra water might help, but if anything during that period it’s gotten a little dryer.
  • My stomach seemed more (slightly)sensitive to spicy and junk foods than normal.
  • I think slightly overall, I did feel a little better.

    Once again it was only 3 weeks and I didn’t expect any miracle in terms of changes. And this wasn’t a double-blind experiment or anything, it was just me drinking lots more water. I didn’t intentionally cut out other drinks but as a result I probably drank less (but I know of some days I drank lots of soda and then I had to force the water down later). Some of the above could be attributed to being tired or stressed from work (it was the start of the school year). So no big results other than the sleeping I’ll be keeping an eye on that.

    I will continue to drink more out of habit (I already am today), but I won’t be forcing myself to catch up in the evening.


    I need to cut out caffeine (soda and candy) for one of my items but when I’ve tried in that past it didn’t help much. I still had some sleeping issues and everyone said I was still just as hyper. I’ll try not to look at what I just wrote here until I’m done with the caffeine experiment and see how they match up (although less soda means more water). If I see anything significant I’ll try a no soda with 1/2 gallon (or more?) for 3 or 4 weeks and see how I feel. I do enjoy soda so maybe I can limit it to no more than 32 ounces of soda a day and none after 2 pm or something like that (currently, I try not to have any Coca-Cola after 4 PM or so).

    My drink of choice is generally Captain (Morgan) and Coke but if I had a few cokes with lunch, I generally get something different (stronger) like a Long Island Iced Tea (I’m not sure if that’s better for me…)

  • Written By: Gary on March 28, 2006 No Comment

    List 10 items that can always be found in your fridge at any given time on your blog. Copy and paste the directions on your weblog and tag 3 people to name 10 things that can always be found in their own fridge.

  • Orange Juice (lots of it)
  • Coke
  • Ketchup
  • Turkey Bacon
  • A bottle or two of wine
  • Wine (or whatever they’re made out of these days) coolers
  • A Britta pitcher filled with water
  • Eggs
  • Cantaloup (sp?)
  • Shredded cheese

    Found at Kirsi’s (who found it at Fi).

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