Category Archives: Uncategorized

No Air Conditioning? You Have Options.

For those who don’t have A/C this sum­mer, or whose unit is cur­rent­ly not work­ing, there’s still a way for you to beat the heat with pas­sive cool­ing measures.

Dur­ing BC’s fatal heat wave of 2021, I used a set of Mylar blan­kets and a cou­ple rolls of Goril­la mount­ing tape to make expe­di­ent solar shield­ing, which got my house through the worst of the heat with­out any need for air con­di­tion­ing or per­son­al fans. When shield­ing is com­bined with draw­ing in cool air from out­doors dur­ing ear­ly morn­ings, the aver­age inte­ri­or tem­per­a­ture of the house will be a rel­a­tive­ly sta­ble 10–20°C less than the peak ambi­ent out­door tem­per­a­ture. This will get you through a heat wave, and if the insu­la­tion of your house is par­tic­u­lar­ly good, it will also deliv­er sub­stan­tial comfort.

Shield­ing Instal­la­tion:

  1. Since ordi­nary soda-lime win­dow glass absorbs most wave­lengths of infrared (IR) light and con­verts that ener­gy into heat, you need to install your shield­ing on the out­side of the win­dow. This requires the glass to be clean. Wipe down each sur­face using glass clean­er or 50/50 white vine­gar and water, then dry com­plete­ly. There should be no drips remaining.
  2. Cut and apply eight (8) one-inch pieces of dou­ble-sided mount­ing tape along the edge of the perime­ter of each win­dow. You should end up with a piece of tape in each cor­ner and one in the mid­dle of each hor­i­zon­tal and ver­ti­cal edge. The tape should be stuck to the edge of the glass but not touch­ing the frame, since the mount­ing tape is very sticky and may remove paint or oth­er sur­face coatings.
  3. For met­al doors, you’re going to mod­i­fy your cov­er­age to include the entire door. Attach the tape along the out­er perime­ter of the door in each of the four cor­ners and one in the mid­dle of each edge, but be sure to avoid get­ting too close to the hinges or any oth­er object that might rub or tear the shield.
  4. Remove the pro­tec­tive plas­tic back­ing from the mount­ing tape, expos­ing the out­er sticky side. The trick to doing this is to wedge the tip of a razor util­i­ty knife just below the sur­face of one cor­ner of the tape, between tape and back­ing, and pull out­wards. This should free the cor­ner of the back­ing and make it easy to lift and peel away.
  5. On a flat area of the floor, com­plete­ly unroll and spread the Mylar blan­ket. Once it’s open, care­ful­ly lift and bring it near the win­dow. Stand in between the blan­ket and the window/door you are work­ing on. From here, hold the top edge of the blan­ket above your head and bring it into con­tact with the mount­ing tape along the top of the window/door.
  6. Step back, mak­ing sure to hold onto the bot­tom of the Mylar blan­ket as you do, so that it does­n’t con­tact the sur­face yet.
  7. Work­ing from top to bot­tom, care­ful­ly tack the Mylar blan­kets down to the win­dow, mak­ing sure to hold them taut for best appear­ance and reflec­tiv­i­ty. You don’t need to haul down hard on them, you just need to make sure the sur­face is flat with the win­dow. You can wipe your hand across the blan­ket to push out the air behind it and make it sit smooth and flat.
  8. Once ful­ly installed and smoothed, the Mylar blan­ket can now be cut to the final out­line of the win­dow glass edge. A util­i­ty knife makes short work of this.
  9. Move on to the next window/door and repeat until finished.

Because of the mate­ri­als used, the shield­ing is durable and weath­er­proof, and an added ben­e­fit of this method is it does­n’t inter­fere with the nor­mal open­ing and clos­ing of most windows/doors. You will still be able to use them while enjoy­ing pro­tec­tion from the heat. Goril­la mount­ing tape is ~1mm thick, mak­ing it com­pat­i­ble with slid­ing win­dows (the glass is nor­mal­ly recessed a few millimeters).

Dai­ly Air Intake:

Each morn­ing when out­door tem­per­a­tures are at their low­est, open all win­dows and doors to vent the house and take in fresh air. Once the sun comes up, close them again, and you should be left with enough cool air to get through the day.

If you have win­dow fans, these will speed up the process con­sid­er­ably. Stove range fans and bath­room fans will also pro­vide suc­tion to bring in cool­er out­side air faster — use them.

I hope these sug­ges­tions help.

P.S. yes, there’s a NASA tie-in. My inspi­ra­tion for this project was an inci­dent that hap­pened on Sky­lab. If alu­minized Mylar is good at fend­ing off 120°C in space, it’ll eas­i­ly han­dle any con­di­tions on Earth.

This is the Sound of our Days …

BC Election: Green Has the Balance

As of tonight the recounts are fin­ished, the final results are in, and BC offi­cial­ly holds a Lib­er­al minor­i­ty gov­ern­ment along with an enor­mous tech­ni­cal win for the Green Party.

The chance of an elec­tion turn­ing out exact­ly as this one has is infin­i­tes­i­mal­ly small, and yet it’s hap­pened. We’ve made history.

The Comox-Courte­nay rid­ing, which denied a major­i­ty for the Lib­er­als, went to the NDP by an ini­tial mar­gin of 9 votes, lat­er con­firmed as 13 votes dur­ing final recount, and final­ized as a 189-vote NDP lead once the absen­tee bal­lots were tallied.

With the Lib­er­als hold­ing 43 seats in the Leg­is­la­ture, the NDP hold­ing 41, and the Green Par­ty hold­ing the remain­ing 3, this puts the Greens in the unprece­dent­ed posi­tion of being the ful­crum on which any gov­ern­ing mat­ters will stand.

The priv­i­lege of being in such a posi­tion essen­tial­ly lends the Greens a huge mega­phone. Being the decid­ing vote on leg­isla­tive work brings a stronger bar­gain­ing posi­tion when it comes to doing good for this province, our res­i­dents, and our shared envi­ron­men­tal lega­cy. It also brings enhanced oppor­tu­ni­ties to build a stronger polit­i­cal track record and can­di­date port­fo­lio, shape the par­ty into more of a house­hold name, and hope­ful­ly secure addi­tion­al seats in future elec­tions if all goes well.

It’s not easy being green, but it’s an amaz­ing time to be Green … so con­grat­u­la­tions, fel­low Green vot­ers and par­ty mem­bers, wear it well!

This post also would­n’t be com­plete with­out heart­felt thanks to every sin­gle per­son who went out and vot­ed, regard­less of affil­i­a­tion. Being part of the polit­i­cal process is absolute­ly vital to the health of our democ­ra­cy and the progress of our future, and if ever there was a time to be remind­ed of the pow­er of the indi­vid­ual, 2017 has tru­ly show­cased this in the most amaz­ing of ways.

The Ongoing US Trump/Russia Media Flap

Here’s a fair­ly lev­el-head­ed expla­na­tion of the Trump/Russia cov­er­age that’s par­a­lyzed the news cycle for the past few months, cour­tesy of Michael Tracey from TYT:

It’s impor­tant to note that whether or not the Trump/Russia sto­ry has legs, we’ve long since passed the point where irra­tional nar­ra­tives became ends and pur­suits in them­selves, and peo­ple have large­ly cho­sen to see what they want to see come out of this situation.

If there’s one thing 2016 taught us, it’s that the Amer­i­can polit­i­cal sys­tem and elec­torate are, large­ly, no longer ratio­nal actors. They’re in a bad place and they want to burn some­thing down because they’re under­stand­ably pissed off at the sta­tus quo. The oth­er side of the coin is most aren’t ter­ri­bly con­cerned with how they go about doing it, or what cor­ners they cut when giv­ing it thought.

Con­tin­ue read­ing

BC Provincial Election, Tuesday May 09

Get ready, get set, go vote! Your local polling sta­tions will be open today from 08:00–20:00.

It’s impor­tant to make your­self heard in an elec­tion, not only because cur­rent media stud­ies sug­gest a close­ly con­test­ed elec­toral race, but also because each par­ty diverges from the oth­ers in its own view of ‘com­mon ground’ as well as unique pol­i­cy decisions.

Please take some time today to read fur­ther, get to know the par­ty plat­forms, and make a choice on who you’d like to support.

Full plat­forms of the major par­ties can be found here:
Green Par­ty
New Demo­c­ra­t­ic Party
Lib­er­al Party

Share this mes­sage with your friends!

Auditory Flashbacks: Icon of Coil, VNV Nation

I’ve been busy as of late, albeit occu­pied with a lot of things IRL and not online as much. I real­ize it’s been a while since my last arti­cle here, so in the spir­it of keep­ing the beat going, here’s a music post.

Tonight we have select songs from Icon of Coil and VNV Nation. Crank that vol­ume knob way up high, and enjoy …

Regret // lyrics here.

Every­thing // lyrics here.

Con­tin­ue read­ing

Amidst the misty tides, and the Sentinel song.

My ear­worm du jour …

While it was at first the melody that caught my atten­tion and made me shim­mer a lit­tle on the inside, when I final­ly got around to read­ing the lyrics I real­ized all of a sud­den that this has pret­ty much been an anthem for the past few weeks.

Con­tin­ue read­ing