Activated charcoal?

I’m pretty big on finding creative ways to do expensive things.  Sure it’s ok for people to make some money but when they outright gouge you (I’m look at you, digitial media comglomerates) so until real pricing comes around, piracy will be a source for the vast majority of people.

Now, this also applies to physical goods as well.  I think the water we now get from our household pipes is no longer safe and has long-term detrimental effects.  No I’m not going to link any ‘proof’ of this, you’ll have to do your own research and make up your own mind on this one.  This then leads to water filters (given the size of that industry, that should be proof enough I think…) and we use a Brita water filter.  The sad part is that they gouge on their replacement filters and that’s not right.

Then I found this instrucable and life was awesome for saving in a big way.

All the tools you need

Basically you re-use the old Brita filter(yay for recycling!), buy some ‘activated charcoal‘ from your local pet fish store, empty out the old stuff, put in the new stuff and bam!  Instant new filter.

My only limitation now is that because I am in South Korea, finding any kind of activated charcoal is nearly impossible.  Shipping from eBay is stupidly expensive so my options are pretty limited.  I will be considering making my own.  I’ll be doing something like this:


Now, there is this part about ‘activated’, which is not fully clear to me.  Most of the places just say ‘modified’ by an ‘agent’.  None of them explain, even in just simple terms, what this ‘activation‘ actually does.  They tend to only say the end result (i.e. more porous) but never give any real details on this.  When I see this ‘lack of explanation’, my concerns rise.  On chemical activation, Wikipedia says this(and before any of you buggers TRY to blame Wikipedia, do some research and understand how a Wiki entry is actually created and the amount of work to get an article published and maintained):

Chemical activation: Prior to carbonization, the raw material is impregnated with certain chemicals. The chemical is typically an acid, strong base, or a salt[2] (phosphoric acid,potassium hydroxidesodium hydroxidecalcium chloride, and zinc chloride 25%). Then, the raw material is carbonized at lower temperatures (450–900 °C). It is believed that the carbonization / activation step proceeds simultaneously with the chemical activation. Chemical activation is preferred over physical activation owing to the lower temperatures and shorter time needed for activating material.

I’m not sold that this chemical process is all that healthy in the long-term.  And since I can’t do their described physical process (involving sealed chambers and super high temps), I’ll be stick with straight up charcoal.  This also lowers the cost too :)

I’ll see how this goes and try it on the weekend :)  Will update this post on my results.



Story idea, good/evil

Most movies usually take place in one time setting.  There will be something in the end of the movie that has some sort of effect on the future but it is left to our imagination.  What if a movie script/story was written  where it was broken up into  multiple sections which advanced the time line.  For simplicity’s sake, here is an example of a 2 hr movie idea.

Good vs Evil.

Part one, 30mins: 4 parts Evil but something at the end happens which foreshadows a change in the future(good)
Part two. 30mins, 100 years later: 3 parts Evil, 1 part good
Part three, 200 years later: 1 part Evil, 3 parts good
Part four, 500 years later: 4 parts good but something at the end happens which foreshadows a change in the future(evil)

In this scenario, Good/Evil are merely concepts that can be expressed in any given way.  My idea is to show what happens after a typical movie is done where it only hints at a future change.  Think of Mad Max.  What happened after the end of the movie?  How does the world change?   Does it get better or worse?  I would like to see a broader perspective shown in this concept.  Not like Star Wars where all of it happens in a relatively (Darth Vader’s life) short time span.

I don’t know of any other movie/story that has done anything like that.

Computer class

Here are the outline of the courses I wrote up.  Ideally I’d like to see each person with their own hardware they bought and we assemble a system from scratch but that will be for something down the line.


Proposed Course Agenda

1/ The Basics of Hardware
– learn and identify specific components of computer hardware
– build and assemble a computer
       – includes understanding specific software for each components
– use a ‘live CD’ operating system
– touch on system maintenance and efficiency

2/ The Basic of Operating Systems
– install an operating system (Linux/Windows)
– configure and update
– what Linux can do that Windows cannot
– Windows mandatory protection software and maintenance requirements

3/ The Basics of Networking
– learn terms used in networking
– understanding how machines talk to each other
– setup a network
– use network to create a ‘group’ or ‘resource shared environment’
– setup a network game

4/ Networking level 2
– understanding routers
– configure port routing (for specific applications, i.e. skype,
remote access…)
– installing a custom router operating system
– setting up a firewall

5/ The Internet
– understanding HTML
– blogs/CMS
– effective searching/find anything online
– what online ‘file sharing’ is and what bit torrent means
       – includes completely legal file sharing

6/ The Digital World
– technology around us
– Laptops/Netbooks/Smart Phones/PDAs
– integrating effectively with technology
– where to find help

7/ Hardware – Modding!
– how to modify your computer case to have the coolest looking one on the block!
– light ’em up!  How to install lights and modify LEDs to suit your look
– water cooling!  Install a completely fanless setup and never hear
your computer again while       it stays cool

8/ Security (*See Notes)
– what you absolutely need to stay protected
– Windows requirements
– Linux requirements
– how to choose a good password
– how to never forget another password ever again
– why you need a firewall and why the Windows Firewall may not be enough

9/ Effective technology for small businesses (*See Notes)
– properly managing what you have
– what you really need to run a business
– what is open source (free) and how you can use it to save money

10/ Online marketing (*See Notes)
– why you need to be online
– what are the costs and where to start
– how to have your website pay for itself
– how to get top rankings in search engines
– how to present yourself as an authority in your field of business
– online joint ventures


Classes will be held-bi-weekly and each class will be 2hrs in length.
Titles with (*See Notes) are geared towards adults who either own a
business or want to help their company get online.

Courses 1-7:  2 hrs per class, two classes per month, cost is $40 per
attendee.  Discounts apply for multiple registrants within the same

Course 8-10:  2 hrs per class, two classes per month, cost is $50 per
attendee.  Discounts apply for multiple registrants within same