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New magazine about growing your own food in Arizona soil

Growing own food in Arizona Desert

New Magazine focusing in food sustainability in southern Arizona

July 8th, 2013


Earth-Buzzing Asteroid is Worth $195 Billion


Did you hear about the the 150-foot-wide comet that will be flying by earth at an approximate 17,200 miles away from earth this Friday? According to Space.com, this unprecedented close approach will be a historic event that will give scientists a rare chance to examine a space rock of this magnitude and has space miners greatly excited by the prospect of future endeavors. Interesting, right? Read the details in following story by Tariq Malik

The space rock set to give Earth a historically close shave this Friday (Feb. 15) may be worth nearly $200 billion, prospective asteroid miners say.

The 150-foot-wide (45 meters) asteroid 2012 DA14 — which will zoom within 17,200 miles (27,000 kilometers) of Earth on Friday, marking the closest approach by such a large space rock that astronomers have ever known about in advance — may harbor $65 billion of recoverable water and $130 billion in metals, say officials with celestial mining firm Deep Space Industries.

That’s just a guess, they stressed, since 2012 DA14’s composition is not well known and its size is an estimate based on the asteroid’s brightness. And not everyone thinks the guess is likely to be right.

“Deep Space Industries is being far too optimistic about this particular rock,” Michael Busch, of the National Radio Astronomy Observatory, told SPACE.com via email.

“Nick Moskovitz at MIT has obtained an IR spectrum of DA14, and it is an L-class object,” he added. “That means a stony composition, made of iron-magnesium-silicates, and minimal water and accessible metal content. It also is not obvious how much the value of water and metal in Earth orbit would decrease with an increased supply.”

The company has no plans to go after 2012 DA14; the asteroid’s orbit is highly tilted relative to Earth, making it too difficult to chase down. But the space rock’s close flyby serves to illustrate the wealth of asteroid resources just waiting to be extracted and used, Deep Space officials said.

“While this week’s visitor isn’t going the right way for us to harvest it, there will be others that are, and we want to be ready when they arrive,” Deep Space chairman Rick Tumlinson said in a statement Tuesday (Feb. 12).

An artist’s concept of Deep Space Idustries’ Dragonfly picker to capture asteroids for mining operations.

Deep Space Industries wants to use asteroid resources to help humanity expand its footprint out into the solar system. The company plans to convert space rock water into rocket fuel, which would be used to top up the tanks of off-Earth satellites and spaceships cheaply and efficiently.

Asteroidal metals such as iron and nickel, for their part, would form the basis of a space-based manufacturing industry that could build spaceships, human habitats and other structures off the planet.

The idea is to dramatically reduce the amount of material that needs to be launched from Earth, since it currently costs at least $10 million to send 1 ton of material to high-Earth orbit, officials said.

“Getting these supplies to serve communications satellites and coming crewed missions to Mars from in-space sources like asteroids is key if we are going to explore and settle space,” Tumlinson said.

Deep Space Industries is just one of two asteroid-mining firms that have revealed their existence and intentions in the past 10 months. The other is Planetary Resources, which has financial backing from billionaires such as Google execs Larry Page and Eric Schmidt.

Deep Space aims to launch a phalanx of small, robotic prospecting probes called Fireflies in 2015. Sample-return missions to potential targets would occur shortly thereafter, with space mining operations possibly beginning around 2020.

Planetary Resources also hopes its activities open the solar system up for further and more efficientexploration. The company may launch its first low-cost prospecting space telescopes within the next year or so.

(Source: Space.com)

February 14th, 2013


Kate Upton Car Wash Commercial During Super Bowl XLVII

With the words “Car wash” and “Super bowl” we thought it was very fitting to post this Mercedes Benz half-time ad teaser for the male audience in in our blog.

Disappointed that it wasn’t the hot girl washing the car? You’re not alone. Many have threatened to not buy the new Mercedes Benz CLA-Class because of the lack of a wet white shirt in the add. What do you think?

January 23rd, 2013


Happy Holidays

To all our friends and those who have helped our family and business in one way or another, we want to wish you the best in this holiday season. From the bottom of our hearts, thank you for making 2012 a successful year.


-The Berens Family

December 18th, 2012


Before and After Power Washing in Manhattan

It makes a bit of a difference, no?

November 30th, 2012


The Hose Reel – November 2012

November 14th, 2012


List of machines in the Agricultural Industry

Chances are that if you own one of these, you need a pressure washer

Tractor
Tracked tractor / Caterpillar tractor
Cultivator
Cultipacker
Chisel plow
Mulch tiller
Harrow
Spike harrow
Drag harrow
Disk harrow
Plow (or plough)
Power tiller / Rotary tiller / Rototiller
Spading machine
Subsoiler
Two-wheel tractor
Stone picker ( picker)
Rock windrower (rock rake)
Rotavator
Destoner
Bedtiller
Ridger
Roller
Broadcast seeder (alternately: broadcast spreader or fertilizer spreader)
Planter (farm implement)
Plastic mulch layer
Potato planter
Seed drill
Air seeder
Precision drill
Transplanter
Rice transplanter
Fertilizer spreader, see broadcast seeder
Terragator
Liquid manure/slurry spreader (slurry tanker)
Manure spreader
Sprayer
Slurry agitator
Center pivot irrigation
Drip irrigation
Hydroponics
Weight sorter
Color sorter
Blemish sorter
Diameter sorter
Shape sorter
Density Sorter
Internal/taste sorter
Baler
Beet harvester
Beet cleaner loader
Bean harvester
Cane harvester
Cart
Carrot harvester
Chaser bin
Combine harvester
Conveyor belt
Corn harvester
Cotton picker
Cradle (grain)
Fanning mill
Farm truck
Flail
Forage harvester (or silage harvester)
Gleaner
Grain cleaner
Grain dryer
Gravity wagon
Haulm topper
Haulout transporter
Mower
Over-the-row mechanical harvester for harvesting apples
Potato spinner/digger
Potato harvester
Rake
Reaper
Reaper-binder
Rice huller
Scythe
Sickle
Silage trailer
Sugarcane harvester
Swather
Thresher
Tractor
Wagon
Winnower
Bale mover
Bale wrapper
Baler and Big Baler
Conditioner
Hay rake
Hay tedder
Mower
Backhoe/backhoe loader
Front end loader
Skid-steer loader.
Bulk tank
Milking machine
Milking pipeline
Allen Scythe
Grain auger
Feed grinder
Grain cart
Conveyor analyzer
Chillcuring
Shear Grab
Trailer
Power link box
Transport box
Bale trailer
Bale spike
Livestock trailer
Tractor mounted forklift
Buckrake
Bale splitter
Diet feeder
Hedge cutter, see flail mower
Post driver
Yard scraper
Loader wagon, self-loading wagon – used in Europe, but not common in USA
Bale lifter
Topper

October 9th, 2012


Plastic bags gum up Phoenix recycling

AZ central published a story yesterday about a recent survey in Phoenix that reveals that 11 percent of plastic bag users still dispose of them in recycling containers. This, of course, causes problems and delays for our local recycling program. Though I already knew it wasn’t appropriate to mix plastic bags with other recyclable items, I didn’t have a good explanation for it. This publication gives you that, as well a short background on the Phoenix recycling program.

Remember: “Ignorance and inconsideration are the two great causes of the ruin of mankind.” I hope you enjoy this read and take a minute to share it on your social network

Plastic bags gum up Phoenix recycling

by Betty Reid


Phoenix has tried for years to persuade residents to stop throwing plastic grocery bags into the city’s blue recycle bins.

But despite the city’s efforts, many residents continue to toss the bags in the containers, costing more than $1 million a year. And residents who do this may do more harm than good because the city turns around and dumps the plastic in the landfill.

A city-commissioned survey of 1,201 residents in February indicated 11 percent of respondents still threw plastic bags into the recycle bin.

“I don’t think people are being malicious,” said Terry Gellenbeck, Phoenix’s solid waste administrative analyst. “A lot of people get mixed up.”

Despite the survey, Albert Alvarez, Phoenix recycling information specialist, said he has seen an improvement since grocery stores started Bag Central Station in 2007. Through the program, residents can toss plastic bags in bins at the grocery store so the plastic can be recycled into items such as plastic furniture and decking.

“Plastic bags are recyclable but not in your bin at home,” he said. “At the grocery store, the plastic bags stay nice and clean. And the grocery store, they turn around and have a buyer for all their plastics.”

The survey

Phoenix’s most recent research about plastic-bag recycling was finished in February. The city also conducted research in 2008 and 2007.

According to the research, 72 percent of plastic-bag users find other uses for them, while 11 percent returned them to the store and 11 percent disposed of them in the city’s recycling container. The previous study showed 10 percent pitched plastic bags into recycle bins in 2008, down from 12 percent in 2007.

Phoenix Behavior Research Center Inc. conducted the study by telephone with Phoenix heads of households in February. The purpose of the work was to gauge residents’ use of plastic bags and their attitudes about plastic-bag recycling, according to the research.

The survey also asked respondents about their attitudes about plastic bags as an ecological problem and their awareness of Bag Central Station displays at grocery stores.

Doreen Pollack, who lives in Phoenix, said she has a guest house, and her guests often put their recyclable items in a plastic bag or they throw everything into the bin. She then has to take the items out of the bag and resort them, or fish out the plastic bags.

“(It) just seems wrong to leave them in the bin when I see them,” she said.

Pollack, who is also the executive director of Valley Permaculture Alliance, said her non-profit teaches people how to live sustainably. When she forgets to bring her cloth bag to the grocery store, Pollack uses a plastic bag, which she reuses for pet litter.

Pollack believes getting the message to people is a real challenge.

“I think people don’t get the message,” she said. “People say, ‘We’re surprised I never saw that.’ I think people are so busy they don’t take the time or a small amount of people don’t care. I think it’s probably just ignorance because people have not gotten themselves informed.”

The city’s program

The city’s recycling program began in the late 1980s.

Phoenix Public Works Department began putting together a five-year plan expecting the Valley would grapple with growth. The city predicted it would fill two landfills to capacity by the mid-1990s.

Phoenix officials decided to deal with solid-waste management by promoting the three “R’s” — reduce, reuse, recycle.

Phoenix collects 1.25 billion pounds of garbage annually, enough to fill Chase Field seven times. And it recycles 120,000 tons. every year.

Phoenix now picks up recycling and garbage on the same day — a recent change — for its 400,000 households.

The contents of the blue bins end up at one of two transfer stations: the North Gateway Transfer Station, 30205 N. Black Canyon Highway, or the 27th Avenue Transfer Station, 3060 S. 27th Ave.

At North Gateway Transfer Station, operated by ReCommunity, workers operate machines that sort and bale recycled items.

Gellenbeck said Re-Community finds the buyers for recycled items. If, for example, the company sells recycled paper to China, it could be reused as a shoe box.

“They cut us a check of 90 percent of the material, and (the city) receive 10 percent,” he said of the company. “If we put the right things into the blue barrels, we get the best price for the materials.”

The center processes 250 tons of materials per day, according to Alvarez.

How it works

On one recent morning, a truck pulled into the station and dumped the morning collection.

Out tumbled heaps of empty boxes that once contained diapers, fruit, cereal, beer or pizza. The load also contained air filters, aluminum cans, glass jars and plastic-grocery bags.

A front loader placed heaps of the materials on a conveyor belt as the sorting process started. Workers stood on the side of the machine and manually caught plastic bags, but some whizzed by.

Down the line, a machine with rollers sorted paper by size. Its enemy: plastic bags.

“What happens is we have these bars that spin, and there’s rubber wheels on them, well, the plastic bags get wrapped around the rubber wheels,” Alvarez said. “In between the wheels, there are open slots that bottles and cans are supposed to fall through but the plastic bags get wrapped up and it jams those holes and close them up and the materials don’t get sorted properly.”

The plastic bags brought the machine to a grinding halt, and workers fixed the machine by pulling out plastic bags. This happens two to four times per day, creating a 15-minute shutdown each time, Gellenbeck said.

This stoppage of workers costs about $1 million per year at both transfer stations, city officials say.

The solution

If people take the bags to the grocery store, they are clean and are perfect for recycling, said Stephanie Ribodal Romero, Phoenix spokeswoman.

The Arizona Food Marketing Alliance, an advocacy group for the state’s food industry, began a partnership with Phoenix in 2007, placing Bag Central Station recycle bins in its member stores. The intent is to encourage the recycling of plastic bags and to reduce their use.

The city has promoted the program at large community gatherings or at schools.

“We believe kids have a lot of influence on parents,” Romero said.

 

Source: http://www.azcentral.com/community/phoenix/articles/20120822phoenix-recycling-plastic-bags-problem-online-prog.html?page=2#ixzz24sgewVeF

August 28th, 2012


Hotsy Undercarriage Cleaner

When caring for your car, truck, or fleet, if your washing method is to wash only from the wheels up, you’re missing the most important area when it comes to preventative maintenance.

July 20th, 2012


How to Clean Your House After a Nearby Wildfire

Although the task to clean your house after a nearby willdfire can be a great deal of work, those who live in fire prone areas consider themselves in most instances fortunate to have a home to return to following the disaster.

To soot and ash remaining after a wildfire has passed can be difficult to clean from your home after a nearby wildfire, but with a good game plan can be completed in a day or two of intensive labor. It is because of the labor component that it is always a good idea to enlist as much assistance as possible to clean a house following a wildfire, in order to finish quickly before winds push ash from a dirty section of the house back onto a section that has been cleaned.

Step 1: To clean your house after a nearby wildfire begin on the roof, either by sweeping the ash off or by using a leaf blower to remove the ash. It is important to clean the inside of your chimney using either a chimney brush or vacuum, and if the chimney is extremely dirty a call to a professional chimney sweep may be necessary.

The house gutters are the next area that need to be cleaned and can be done either by hand or with the use of a shop vacuum if the ash and dirt is reasonably dry. When this is completed the next step to clean your house after a nearby wildfire is to “dust” the exterior of your home using a broom and brushing the exterior walls, windows and window ledges to remove soot build up and ash.

Step 2: After removing as much dirt as possible from your house after a nearby wildfire, the next step is to wash the entire exterior of your home beginning on the roof and working your way from top to bottom.

While this can be accomplished in most cases using a garden hose, in severe instances a power washer does a much better job and can be used in conjunction with a cleaning agent to really make a house shine. A few hours after washing the exterior of the house, the windows and any other glass can be cleaned with window cleaner and the house should look as good as new.

Step 3: The last measure to clean your house after a nearby wildfire is to vacuum and clean concrete walks and driveways, and if possible to remove ash and soot from the lawn. Ash that has accumulated on grassy areas can be sprayed lightly with a garden hose each day for a week of so and will eventually recede into the ground.

Source: http://www.firehow.com/2011010222574/how-to-clean-your-house-after-a-nearby-wildfire.html

June 25th, 2012

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