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How To Clean Burnt Food In An Oven
Now that the cooler weather is here, we’ll be using our ovens more and more. And you know what that means? The appliance will get dirtier from food falling causing stains and odors. Luckily, our friends over at Real Simple found an easy way to clean up burnt food in an oven.
After the oven cools, remove large pieces of food with a plastic spatula. Then, scatter baking soda over the remaining particles and spray with water. Allow this to sit overnight and scrub with a cloth.
We like this advice because it requires very little elbow grease and will definitely come in handy this time of year.
Soaps and Detergents
- Soaps can be used to control a wide range of plant pests. Small, soft-bodied arthropods such as aphids, mealybugs, psyllids and spider mites are most susceptible to soaps.
- The ease of use, safety and selective action of soaps appeal to many people.
- Limitations of soaps include the need to wet the insect during application, absence of any residual effectiveness, and potential to damage some plants.
- Soaps or detergents used for control of insects are applied as dilute sprays, mixed with water to produce a concentration of about 2 percent.
Soaps have been used to control insects for more than 200 years. Recently, there has been increased interest in and use of these products. This change is due to a better understanding of how to use soaps most effectively and a desire to try insecticides that are easier and safer to use than many currently available alternatives.
How soaps and detergents kill insects is still poorly understood. In most cases, control results from disruption of the cell membranes of the insect. Soaps and detergents may also remove the protective waxes that cover the insect, causing death through excess loss of water.
Soaps and detergents act strictly as contact insecticides, with no residual effect. To be effective, sprays must be applied directly to and thoroughly cover the insect.
Several insecticidal soaps are distributed for control of insects and mites. Available under a variety of trade names, the active ingredient of all is potassium salt of fatty acids. Soaps are chemically similar to liquid hand soaps. However, there are many features of commercial insecticidal soap products that distinguish them from the dishwashing liquids or soaps that are sometimes substituted. Insecticidal soaps sold for control of insects:
- are selected to control insects;
- are selected to minimize potential plant injury; and
- are of consistent manufacture.
Some household soaps and detergents also make effective insecticides. In particular, certain brands of hand soaps and liquid dishwashing detergents can be effective for this purpose. They are also substantially less expensive. However, there is increased risk of plant injury with these products. They are not designed for use on plants. Dry dish soaps and all clothes-washing detergents are too harsh to be used on plants. Also, many soaps and detergents are poor insecticides. Identifying safe and effective soap-detergent combinations for insect control requires experimentation. Regardless of what product is used, soap-detergent sprays are always applied diluted with water, typically at a concentration of around 2 to 3 percent (Table 1).
Most research with insecticidal soaps and detergents has involved control of plant pests. In general, these sprays are effective against most small, soft-bodied arthropods, such as aphids, young scales, whiteflies, psyllids, mealybugs, and spider mites. Larger insects, such as caterpillars, sawflies and beetle larvae, generally are immune to soap sprays. However, a few large insects, including boxelder bugs and Japanese beetles, are susceptible.
Insecticidal soaps are considered selective insecticides because of their minimal adverse effects on other organisms. Lady beetles, green lacewings, pollinating bees and most other beneficial insects are not very susceptible to soap sprays. Predatory mites, often important in control of spider mites, are an exception: a beneficial group of organisms easily killed by soaps.
One of the most serious potential drawbacks to the use of soap-detergent sprays is their potential to cause plant injury — their phytotoxicity. Certain plants are sensitive to these sprays and may be seriously injured. For example, most commercial insecticidal soaps list plants such as hawthorn, sweet pea, cherries and plum as being sensitive to soaps. Portulaca and certain tomato varieties also are sometimes damaged by insecticidal soaps. The risk of plant damage is greater with homemade preparations of household soaps or detergents. When in doubt, test soap-detergent sprays for phytotoxicity problems on a small area a day or two before an extensive area is treated.
Plant injury can be reduced by using sprays that are diluted more than the 2 to 3 percent suggested on label instructions. To reduce leaf injury, wash plants within a couple of hours after the application. Limiting the number of soap applications can also be important, as leaf damage can accumulate with repeated exposure.
However, because of the short residual action, repeat applications may be needed at relatively short intervals (four to seven days) to control certain pests, such as spider mites and scale crawlers. Also, application must be thorough and completely wet the pest. This usually means spraying undersides of leaves and other protected sites. Insects that cannot be completely wetted, such as aphids within curled leaves, will not be controlled.
Environmental factors also can affect use of soaps. In particular, soaps (but not synthetic detergents) are affected by the presence of minerals found in hard water, which results in chemical changes producing insoluble soaps (soap scum). Control decreases if hard-water sources are used. Insecticidal soaps may also be more effective if drying is not overly rapid, such as early or late in the day.
Soaps and detergents can offer a relatively safe and easy means to control many insect pests. As with all pesticides, however, there are limitations and hazards associated with their use. Understand these limitations, and carefully follow all label instructions.
Percent dilution desired Approximate amount of soap to add to water to produce: Gallon Quart Pint
|Table 1: Approximate mix to produce various dilute soap sprays.|
|1||2 1/2 Tbsp (-)||2 tsp (+)||1 tsp (+)|
|2||5 Tbsp (-)||4 tsp (+)||2 tsp (+)|
|3||8 Tbsp (+)||2 Tbsp (+)||1 Tbsp (+)|
|4||10 Tbsp (-)||2 1/2 Tbsp (+)||4 tsp (+)|
|(+) Will produce a solution of slightly higher concentration than indicated.
(-) Will produce a solution of slightly lower concentration than indicated.
1Colorado State University Extension entomologist and professor, bioagricultural sciences and pest management. 12/96. Reviewed 3/08.
Colorado State University, U.S. Department of Agriculture and Colorado counties cooperating. CSU Extension programs are available to all without discrimination. No endorsement of products mentioned is intended nor is criticism implied of products not mentioned.
by Lloyd Alter, Toronto 08. 6.09
Houses in North America all look alike; you can find the same gablegablegable or faux chateau style from Calgary to Tuscon. But before thermostats, people designed to suit the climate, and did a damn fine job of it. Justin at Materialicious points us to a wonderful site , eartharchitecture.org, where I learned about Syrian beehive houses.
Designed for the desert climate, the beehive homes keep the heat out in a few ways. Their thick mud brick walls trap in the cool and keep the sun out as well (beehive homes have very few, if any, windows). The high domes of the beehive houses also collect the hot air, moving it away from the residents sleeping at the bottom of the house.
Inside, its high dome serves to collect the hotter air, and outside to shed rainfall instantly, before the brick can absorb it and crumble. Its thick roof-cum-wall is an excellent low-velocity heat-exchanger, and keeps interior temperatures between 85° and 75° F. while outside noon-to-midnight extremes range from 140° to 60°.
Clearly, we have to start building these in Phoenix. Saudi Aramco World provides more detail:
Restricted choice of building methods and materials left the north Syrians few alternatives, mostly painful. Their houses had to resist the mechanical stresses of wind pressure and the minor shocks of the frequent earthquakes which afflict the region. Door and window openings had to be few and small to minimize the sun’s glare and the entry of hot air during the day as well as cold air at night. And they had to have a high-heat-capacity roof to absorb the sun’s rays during the day, and slowly reradiate it toward the interior during the cool night; the roof, furthermore, should have a continuous surface to provide a maximum of shade with a minimum of area exposed to the sun, and it should slope steeply to shed the occasional but torrential rains. All this—and it had to built of the only abundant material locally available: adobe brick.
The beehive house was the answer, and one that a computer could scarcely improve upon. Its conical shape presents almost no structural difficulties, requires no high-tensile-strength reinforcements, and can be built quickly by unskilled labor. Inside, its high dome serves to collect the hotter air, and outside to shed rainfall instantly, before the brick can absorb it and crumble. Its thick roof-cum-wall is an excellent low-velocity heat-exchanger, and keeps interior temperatures between 85° and 75° F. while outside noon-to-midnight extremes range from 140° to 60°. Nothing cheaper—nor more rugged, more efficient, and easily serviced—can, be built at the same site from local materials. The beehive house, moreover, attains that ideal that architects eternally seek but so seldom find: it combines functionalism with simplicity, elegance and beauty.
Eco Factor: Car air conditioner made from recycled materials.
While Toyota’s Prius will sport on-board that will take care of the car’s air conditioning and ventilation needs, Instructables user CameronSS has tried to find a way everybody can flaunt a green AC in their vehicles. CameronSS has made an air conditioner that works on a 12V DC supply from materials that might be present in your garage.
ScienceDaily (July 24, 2009) — Researchers at the University of Warwick have recovered significant DNA information from a lost form of ancient barley that triumphed for over 3000 years seeing off: 5 changes in civilisation, water shortages and a much more popular form of barley that produces more grains. This discovery offers a real insight into the couture of ancient farming and could assist the development of new varieties of crops to face today’s climate change challenges.
The researchers, led by Dr Robin Allaby from the University of Warwick’s plant research arm Warwick HRI, examined Archaeobotanical remains of ancient barley at Qasr Ibrim in Egypt’s Upper Nile. This is a site that was occupied for over 3000 years by 5 successive cultures: Napatan, Roman, Meoitic, Christian and Islamic.
The first surprise for the researchers was that throughout that period every culture seemed to be growing a two rowed form of barley. While natural wild barley tends to be two rowed most farmers prefer to grow a much higher yield 6 row version which produces up to 3 times as many grains. That 6 row version has grown for over 8000 years and that was certainly grown in the lower Nile over the same period as Qasr Ibrim was occupied. It was thought that despite the fact that the rest of Egypt used 6 row barley that the farmers of Qasr Ibrim were perhaps deliberately choosing to import 2 rowed barley but the researchers could not understand why that would be so.
The plant scientists were pleased to find that the very dry conditions at Qasr Ibrim meant that they were able to extract a great deal of DNA information from barley samples from the site that dated back 2900 years. This was far better than would normally be expected from barley samples of that age. This led to the researchers to a second and much bigger surprise. They found that the DNA evidence showed that the two rowed barley at the site wasn’t the normal wild two eared barley but a mutation of the more normally cultivated six rowed barley that had changed into a two ear form that had continued to be cultivated for around three millennia.
Dr Robin Allaby said: “The consistency of the two-row phenotype throughout all the strata spanning three millennia indicates that the reason for the reappearance of the two row form is more likely to be genetic, not environmental. Consequently, the two-row condition has probably resulted from a gain of a function mutation at another point in the plants DNA that has also reasserted the two-row condition from a six-row ancestor”
“There may have been a natural selection pressure that strongly favoured the two-row condition. One such possible cause we are currently investigating is water stress. Qasr Ibrim is located in the upper Nile which is very arid relative to the lower Nile where six-row remains are found, and studies have shown that two-row can survive water stress better than six-row”
He concluded that: “This finding has two important implications. Such strong selection pressure is likely to have affected many genes in terms of adaptation. Archaeogenetic study of the DNA of such previously lost ancient crops could confirm the nature of the selection pressure and be very valuable in the development of new varieties of crops to help with today’s climate change challenges. Secondly this crop’s rediscovery adds to our respect for the methods and thinking of ancient farmers. These ancient cultures utilized crops best suited to their environmental situation for centuries, rather than the much more popular six rowed barley they used a successful low grain number yield crop which could cope far better with water stress.”
- Dr Robin Allaby, Sarah A. Palmer, Jonathan D. Moore, Alan J. Clapham and Pamela Rose. Archaeogenetic Evidence of Ancient Nubian Barley Evolution from Six to Two-Row Indicates Local Adaptation. PLoS One, (in press)
22 Jul 2009:
A large onion processor in California is taking 300,000 pounds of onion waste a day — skins, tails, and tops — and converting much of it into a biogas that he uses to power his operation. Steven Gill, a partner in Gills Onions — which dices, slices, and purees onion for wholesale and retail customers — has worked with Southern California Gas Company to create an energy recovery system that produces 600 kilowatts per day, which meets up to 40 percent of the electricity needs of his processing plant. The onion waste is shredded and pressed to squeeze out the juice, which is then diverted to an anaerobic digester. Workers add microbes that convert the juice into methane gas, which helps power Gill’s facility. Gill used to spread the onion waste on fields but soon ran out of room. Southern California Gas provided $2.7 million in incentives for the $9.5 million energy recovery system. Gill estimates that converting the onion waste to biogas will save him $700,000 a year in electricity costs and $400,000 in waste disposal costs, meaning the plant will pay for itself in about six years. Nearby carrot and wine producers are interested in installing similar systems.