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Building your own solar panels are so easy that a teenager can do it.
Watch the video below to see how an example of a solar panel system built by a teenager as a high school science fair project.
And this is certainly not the only video on the topic. Browse YouTube and you will find lots of examples of how to build your own homemade solar panels.
The end point here is that if a teenager can do it, then you can probably do it too. Which means there is no reason why people couldn't build their own solar panel grids for their home.
Also below is a 2nd video of a teenager who built a "solar death ray" (amusing title more than anything) out of mirrors that creates an intense heat that can melt rocks and metal - which combined with a single small voltaic solar panel could produce significant electricity for your home.
Theoretically, a very long time... depending on the weather.
I think the primary issue with living in a treehouse would be heat and insulation. Its not like a regular home. Its more like a tent in terms of its insulation capabilities.
However adding extra insulation to a tree house is not impossible. All it would take is some carpentry and construction skills, and knowledge of how to insulate.
In my opinion the easiest way would be to make seamless walls out of wood, an outer section of wood (with all holes caulked), and then insulate between the two sections with an insulating foam which hardens and forms air bubbles.
Heating wise I'd recommend lanterns that run on kerosene, candles, etc, both as a source of light and warmth. I recommend using bricks or stones to create a stone area on which to safely store lanterns / candles.
In theory you could collect rainwater and use that for cleaning, but realistically there isn't much point in doing that inside a treehouse. It would make more sense to wash everything in a nearby river, one with exceptionally clean crisp water.
For expelling bodily fluids building an outhouse on the ground level seems the logical route. I recommend designing it in a way so that rainwater can be collected for flushing/controlling the smell and storing the septic material deeper underground, preferably in some kind of metal tank.
Some people might prefer to use such waste as fertilizer for growing plants. Ideally I think this should done by building a greenhouse, but a person could also make a traditional outdoor garden and make the effort of weeding / making sure insects/pests don't eat all the produce.
It should be noted, due to bacteria, that you should not be drinking rainwater or stream water. Thus what I would recommend instead is natural juices (apples, orange juice, grapes, etc). At least then you know it will be safe. Otherwise what you end up doing is having to buy clean water...
Or get a water filtration system, which means you need electricity, and a source of water (a well preferably).
In the beginning I wanted to start rock balancing as a way to connect with nature. Then sharing the joy of rock balancing with on lookers and friends became quite intriguing. Everyone has their own vision when they see the rocks balanced, from disbelief to inspiration. A lot of the time, people are really drawn into the rock art and ask questions and want to try it out for themselves. What's neat about rock art is that it can reach so many different people on different levels of skill and age, and connects us together as people as well as to the earth.
This is a practice that I have been doing for 2 years now, and find that it is a great stress relief, by the extreme focus that it takes to balance rocks makes the rest of the world disappear into a single focal point, where the mind, body and spirit are connect as one. For me, I am able to let go of many of thoughts and stored energy that I need to let go of, and not the rock of course!
Through rock balancing I have met so many wonderful people, and each tell me a different story about the sceen before them and how they feel about the rocks. Some have a quick inspiration and other prefer to stay as on lookers, in any event, it captivates that hearts and minds of many.
The following is a selection of rock balancing sculptures we made on April 23rd and 24th at Toronto Beaches. Each night the wind / tide knocks the rocks down and we have to start afresh the next morning.
Sometimes teenagers or the Toronto Parks Dept. knocks the rocks down, but it doesn't matter. Just means we get to be more creative the next day.
To get to Toronto Beaches, take the subway to Main Street station, take one of the buses going south to Queen Street East. Then walk south to the beach. Voila!
As you can see it was rather rainy and overcast that weekend. Well, at least it wasn't blistering hot.
Yesterday we met Avaiz Hashmi down on the Toronto Beaches while we were balancing rocks.
We're hoping he will join our blog.
While he was balancing rocks a man and his son also ended up helping Avaiz. It seems that whenever someone sees people balancing rocks they are 2 things:
#1. They are amazed and/or think we used superglue.
#2. They want to try it themselves. The more childlike they are the more likely they seem to want to try it themselves.
Yesterday we had two men squabbling over the best way to balance a set of rocks we let them knock over in an attempt to beat what we had balanced. It was amusing to watch their efforts. They probably learned a fair bit however.
We believe that anyone can learn how to balance rocks, it just takes patience as one kid kept repeating yesterday.
And then along came Aimee Rimes and she decided these rocks looked lonely just lying half covered in sand.
So she picked one up and moved it.
And then another.
And then she stacked them.
Pretty soon she was balancing the rocks one on top of another.
Sometimes the balancing rocks looked pretty bizarre.
She kept doing this regularly, mostly on weekends.
Aimee keeps fussing about wanting to be called by her nicknames like Littlefeather, Rainmaker, Amy Motion and Amy Rockstein. Seriously, the girl can't think of a good name to call herself. Suggestions anyone?
She started this on July 2009. Since then she has met other artists (including Charles Moffat, who setup this wonderful blog and is writing this) who joined her rock balancing group.
Aimee wants to use her rock balancing art to promote peace and understanding. Environmental issues are good too.
If you want to donate we will be setting up a PayPal account for donations.
In the meantime, please enjoy the rock balancing art we have displayed here.
This is a research project into how to go off the grid.
The goal essentially is to determine whether it is possible, and how easy is it to accomplish, to go off grid so you cannot be tracked by anyone.
You still have an identity obviously, and you still need to be able make money, get food and/or communicate with the rest of the world... depending on what you actually do.
Lets say for example you went off the grid and disappeared in northern Canada. You could live in the wilderness, build a cabin, grow your own crops, hunt, fish and so forth. Probably do reasonably well in the food department and put on a chunk of muscle and lose some fat at the same time (sounds like great weight loss program, doesn`t it?)...
But what about entertainment? What about health care in case you get sick or injured when you are attacked by a black bear? What about the sheer boredom of living in the middle of nowhere? What if you need to communicate with the outside world?
I think it would be possible to go off the grid in a city for example, but it would be a tricky matter of finding a place to live, work, etc. Evidently illegal immigrants coming to North America seem to do it all the time, and do it successfully for decades.
Another idea is to live on a ship and fish for food, occasionally stopping in harbors to buy vegetables and supplies... but you would still need an income, and you would still encounter some of the same problems with the cabin idea above.
Thus the challenge is to live in society, but to do so without an address and without the rest of society tracking what you are doing.
But what is the POINT of going off the grid?
Well, any number of reasons really. For me its more the romance of the idea. Like being a fugitive, but without the hassle of anybody actually trying to find you.
Instead you just disappear... and assuming you don`t do anything illegal that gets you caught, you pass unnoticed through society. Just another face in the crowd.