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When dad childproofs the BBQ

MilkmanDan says...

I'm in complete agreement, although there are some edge-case limits. I lost an uncle (well before I was born) to one of them.

Kansas winters are cold and dry. My grandmother liked to deal with both problems by putting a pot to boil on the stove. In the 50's, my father's 3-4 year old brother managed to get enough of a grip and yank on the handle of the pot to pull it over the edge and didn't survive the burns from the scalding water.

Burned fingertips? Lesson learned, will heal. Boiling water or oil? Better keep it out of reach.

CrushBug said:

BBQs and ovens and stove tops and other hot objects are all self-solving problems for kids who like to touch things. Warn them, tell them the consequences, and then they either don't touch it (Win) or the touch it and get burnt and never touch it again (Win).

Janus (Member Profile)

Pomegranate Discrimination

MilkmanDan says...

Aha, nice link. That takes it from batshit crazy to a mere highly eccentric. And actually eccentric in a quite good way; telling kids what you want them to do instead of what NOT to do is rather sage advice.

No getting around her technique being a bit avant-garde though, especially stripped of that context. I guess that's why it is going viral.

Fantomas said:

Apparently from a psychology class.

Pomegranate Discrimination

MilkmanDan says...

They say context is key, but I'm having a real hard time imagining any hypothetical scenario where that little outburst would be anything less than batshit crazy...

Religious Icons Having Lamb For Dinner

MilkmanDan says...

Whoa, I totally missed that line because I was already chuckling at "can't make an appearance?"

That's hilarious (from my perspective anyway), but sure is an outlier in terms of the tone on the whole video -- the rest of the jabs were pretty soft but that's a full-on Glasgow Kiss.

Mekanikal said:

Wow, the daycare pickup stab at Muhammad was just brutal.

A Mountain Lion Makes A Kill On Camera In California

Tom Arnold Melts Down While Eating Spicy Wings

MilkmanDan says...

I love these videos, can't explain why.

I liked Sean taking that last bullet for him. Or at least choosing the cannonball dab over the BB... And props to Tom for getting through in spite of clearly NOT being built for it!

Sushi 101 with Andy Milonakis

MilkmanDan says...

On the one hand, having a guided experience like that from somebody that knows the "proper" way of doing things is a very good thing.

On the other hand, I hate snobbery when it becomes sort of evangelical to the point of "saving people from ruining their meal". Maybe they like "candy sushi" rolls, dipped into soy sauce mixed with wasabi to the point of being salt bombs. I do. AND I like good nagiri the "proper" way also.

Hot Ones - Vegan Wings with Spicy Russell Brand

This Is How You Sell A Refrigerator

The Vegan Who Started a Butcher Shop

MilkmanDan says...

Living in Thailand, I've grown to really appreciate locally grown meat and produce in comparison to massive factory farm stuff.

One good example: Tilapia fish. Back home in the US, I thought Tilapia was disgusting. It tastes like algae, because they are raised in man-made concrete tanks and fed exclusively on algae that is easy to grow. They won't breed in those conditions, so they have to pump in hormones to basically force them to reproduce, more hormones to make them grow quickly, etc. etc.

Here in Thailand, I live in a town close to a lake. If you go to the lake you can see huge enclosures made of nets, which keep the Tilapia contained but otherwise living very normal fish lives. They get a natural lake diet of insects, plants, etc., no need to give them any extra food. They reproduce without any encouragement.

Talk to one of the fish farmers, and they will pull up some of the net and present you with several fish to choose from. Point one out and they will pull it out, smack it on the head to kill it instantly, and then scale and gut it for you and put it in a bag. From alive in the lake to dinner in 15-20 minutes.

Or, if you go to a local market in town, people have stalls set up that serve the middleman function. They go to the lake and buy 20-50 Tilapia to put into a big tank in the back of their pickup, and keep them alive in there for a day or two until they are sold, for a slight markup so you don't have to drive out to the lake.

Roughly the same thing applies to pork, chicken, and most fruits and vegetables. Somewhat for beef also, but there is less of that since most Thais follow a branch of Buddhism that discourages killing/eating cows. So, gotta go to the Islamic Thai shops for beef.

Maybe the system here is old-fashioned, quaint, or a bit backwards ... but everything is really nice, fresh, and tasty compared to supermarket stuff back in the US.

How to ruin someone's Instagram food photo

MilkmanDan says...

@eric3579 - Personally, I agree with you. I don't get it.

BUT, my wife is a big "look what I just ordered" food photo poster, except on Facebook instead of Instagram. She does it with a circle of her friends, and I gather that they get a sense of community and camaraderie out of it.

So, I can kind of accept it in the way that I can accept other things that baffle me personally. For everything that I think other people are crazy for doing, I'm sure they think I'm nuts for wanting to stay at home and sit in front of a computer playing videogames, or listening to heavy metal, or whatever. So ... live and let live I guess.

...But I still like to mess with my wife when she's taking food photos sometimes, just like in the video.

Vegan accidentally eats cheese

Farm of the Future Uses No Soil and 95% Less Water

MilkmanDan says...

I think corn would be doable, but the advantages would be less efficient compared to short plants.

At some level of efficiency, there is a break even point (which can also take into consideration shipping costs and fossil fuel usage to major metro areas). I'm pretty convinced that vertical farming could be a significantly good / efficient idea for those plants that it is best suited for, but I do think there would be some early-adoption issues that would make it less practical for tall stuff like corn. At least until it has been done enough to work out the kinks and economy of scale kicks in.

So at least for the time being, I think we'll see it first be applied to leafy plants and tuber / root plants. But I could definitely be a biased opinion since my family revolves around conventional corn farming on irrigated fields...

Chairman_woo said:

Think about it this way. Stack the corn trays just once and you just doubled your output for a given area.

You're right about getting less mileage from taller crops. But every vertical layer would in theory still double the area you have to work with each time you added one.

Scale this up to a skyscraper sized building and you could supply any city with all the food it could need locally.

It probably could start to skew the market towards squatter plants as you say, but I can't see why most if not all of the things we grow now couldn't be viable. (doubly so if they ever nail the process of growing meat)

Farm of the Future Uses No Soil and 95% Less Water

MilkmanDan says...

Good questions. My family operates farms for wheat and corn, and I've been involved in that process, so I can take a stab at answering the last bit:

Corn stalks get quite tall -- 6 feet / 2 meters or so. Each stalk usually has 1 or 2 ears of corn. On our farm, the experience I had suggests that each plant needs quite a lot of healthy leaves for Photosynthesis as well as quite a lot of available ground water. Irrigated corn often produces 2-3 times as many bushels per acre as compared to "dryland" / non-irrigated corn.

So the issues I can see potentially clashing between corn production and vertical farming are:

1) You'd have a greater space requirement for layers of corn since you'd need probably 8-10 feet per layer, as compared to what looks like 2-3 feet per layer for leafy vegetables in the video. Approximately one story per layer wouldn't allow for the massive footprint savings like in leafy plants without getting extremely tall, which would be expensive for water pumping etc.

2) Corn root systems are pretty deep to support a tall and relatively bulky stalk. Getting that to bite into a thin layer of fabric / recycled plastic to provide structural support for the plant would be difficult. I think you'd need to have a thicker bottom layer *and* to manually place further support lines on the stalks as the plants grow, which would get very labor intensive and therefore expensive.

3) The vertical nature of a corn stalk suggests that the overhead motion of the sun might be pretty important for getting light exposure onto all of the leaves. Fixed overhead lights might mean that the top leaves get plenty of light but the ones lower on the stalk would be shaded by those above and get nothing -- which isn't a problem if the sun progresses through low angles at sunrise/set to overhead at noon throughout a day. So you might have to have lighting that hits from all sides to account for that with corn, which would again add expense.

4) To maximize the output, corn needs a LOT of water. Pumping that up the vertical expanse to get lots of levels could easily get problematic. Corn will grow without optimal / abundant watering, and their misting system would likely be more efficient than irrigating to add ground water, but the main benefit of vertical farming seems to be high output in a small land footprint on the ground. So without LOTS of water, you'd be limiting that benefit.

So basically, my guess is that vertical farms are a fantastic idea for squat, spread out plants like lettuce, but a lot of the advantages disappear when you're talking about something tall like corn. I could easily be wrong about any/all of that though.

sixshot said:

This looks really promising. So what kind of vegetable can they grow? And what about strawberries? Can that system accommodate for that as well? And corn?

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