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Mainely Tipping Points

Archive for July 15th, 2013

Turkey Tracks: 100 Watt Light Bulbs vs. (ugh!) CFLs

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Turkey Tracks:  July 15, 2013

100 Watt Light Bulbs vs. (ugh!) CFLs

I just bought 20 100-watt light bulbs on Amazon.

They are gone, gone here in Mid-Coast Maine.

I hate the new CFL bulbs.  They don’t have much light.  And it’s a weird feeling kind of light.

So, imagine my delight to see John Moody take on this subject in the Spring 2013 Wise Traditions, the journal of The Weston A. Price Foundation:  “Let There Be Dark:  Turning Off the Dangers of CFLs.”

John Moody is a Kentucky farmer with kids, a “beautiful wife,” chickens, a huge garden, and is an administrator for the Whole Life Buying Club and has written THE FOOD CLUB AND CO-OP HANDBOOK.  In other words, he’s a regular guy who just started poking around to learn about the new CFL lightbulbs that he, too, dislikes.

Moody notes that the phase-out of the incandescent bulbs (the 75 and 100-watts are virtually gone) has destroyed many American businesses.  The CFL (compact fluorescent lamp) is made in China.  And it was “known to have significant issues even before rollout.”

What issues? Oh, there are many.  We can go so far as to say we have been lied to and “managed” with regard to these bulbs.

The CFL bulbs contain mercury vapor–which is a real problem if you break one. 

Breaking one of these in a small closet is a real catastrophe!  “In the hour immediately after each breakage, the team recorded mercury gas concentrations near the bulb shards between 200-800 ug/m3.  For comparison, the average eight-hour occupational exposure limit allowed by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration is 100ug/m3” (http://www.nebi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2535642).

Moody notes that Wikipedia states the following:  “Compared to general-service incandescent lamps giving the same amount of visible light, CFLs use one-fifth to one-third the electric power, and last eight to fifteen times longer.”  Moody notes that “unfortunately, researchers and reporters have shown that these claims are at times wildly false and inflated.”

CFLs do not produce the same amount of light–even after they warm up.  It takes two of them to equal the fire-power of the incandescent bulbs.  And they cost more–as much as FOUR TIMES more.  And, that’s the key to understanding why this change has occurred. 

Nor do they last eight to fifteen times longer than the incandescent bulbs.   The act of turning them on and off diminishes their lifespan.  And think how many times you go into a room and turn on and off the light switch before 10 minutes are up:  the bathroom, a closet, the kitchen for a drink, etc.  Only about two percent of these bulbs are recycled.

So, the CFL bulb doesn’t provide light, it takes 10 minutes to warm up to provide its inadequate light, it burns out with use, it’s FOUR TIMES more expensive, and it’s dangerous to dispose of safely.   Hmmmmm.  Do bear in mind this outcome is exactly how the so-called free market works when it is unfettered from the real needs of people and communities.  CFLs bring in more money.  Period. 

In addition, many people don’t like the light–they say it gives them headaches, causes eye strain, etc.  Turns out the coating on the bulb wears thin, which allows a harmful light that causes damage to eyes and skin.  In short, they are unhealthy. 

Amazon’s price is going up as the stock goes down.

Act now.

You might think about writing your congress people too.

 

 

 

Written by louisaenright

July 15, 2013 at 6:12 pm

Turkey Tracks: Margaret’s Rag Rugs

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Turkey Tracks:  July 15, 2013

Margaret’s Rag Rugs

 

Friend Margaret Rauenhorst just made the two prettiest rag rugs I’ve seen yet.

First, husband Ronald VanHeeswjik made her the hand-held loom–using the original stacked method, not the method that miters the corners which makes the loom totally flat and, we think, harder to handle.  They figured a way to make a stand that allows Margaret to prop it over a radiator as she wanted to stand to make the rugs.  Along the way, they made some other improvements in the loom and in the braiding that I think are really good.

Margaret collected her fabrics from Good Will, The Salvation Army, and local quilting stores with fabric on sale.  Just remember to choose fabrics that don’t ravel easily and that will wash and wear–that probably means cotton sheets, tablecloths, curtains, and the like.  (And wash everything you bring into the house to prevent bedbugs.)  Margaret divided her fabrics in half so that she could keep the rugs similar in color.

First before anything, look at these beauties:

Margaret's Two Rugs 2

The one on the left is made by banding the same colors; the one on the right is more of a herringbone pattern, where you keep switching colors when a color runs out.

Margaret's two rugs

I love the clear colors Margaret has used–the rugs shimmer in the light.  So pretty.  And of course Margaret checked with the bride to see what colors she and her groom liked together before collecting her fabric.

Here’s Margaret braiding/weaving on her loom.  Note how she’s using a dowel to separate the background strands–I like that idea a lot.

Margaret's rag rug frame

Here’s another improvement:  the side bars slip up and down until you get enough tension on them–and can slip all the way out if you are not careful to grip them when you lift the loom.  Ronald and Margaret solved this issue by drilling a hole in the bottom of each bar and attaching a clip that keeps the bar from sliding.  They’ve promised to drill mine when I finish with the rug that’s on the loom now–which will be a winter project for me maybe unless one of the kiddos or Tami gets interested.

Margaret's rag rug frame catch at bottom

As part of the wedding gift, Margaret put together a little book of all the “sayings” she said ran through her head about healthy marriages and relationships as she stood and braided.  She told me some of these one day when I went to see the first rug.  I thought them wonderful–and still think she should maybe do something more formal with that book.  (The bride loved it–how could she not?) Many of them speak to how lives get woven together as we live:  the bride and groom, of course.  But, also, Ronald, Margaret, and me as they took up this rag rug project.  And, of course, all the lives woven together on this blog.

I can pretty much bet that those two rugs will be with that bride and groom throughout their lives together.

What a gift–on so many levels!

Earlier entries on this blog give more information about a good rag-rug book and how to make the loom.  It’s pretty basic.

Written by louisaenright

July 15, 2013 at 5:34 pm