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Thursday, April 25, 2013

Home improvement tip will save energy and save money

Alright so you have taken the time to get your attic insulated and you are feeling pretty good about your 500-ish dollar investment...but what if that just isnt enough? There are almost more home improvement projects to be done.

New Windows! The home improvement tip for the month is to replace old double hung windows with new efficient windows. Don't worry if you cannot replace every window in your house at once because I sure cannot afford that, but I have been replacing them a few at a time as money permits.
It might feel like a large expense up front, but trust me when I tell you those windows will make all the difference in the world.

There are some myths out there so do your homework and don't be fooled.
For instance there is this idea that covering windows with aftermarket film will reduce damaging UV rays....this is not the fact some window companies wont ensure any of their windows that you have covered with a film because that film causes the windows to crack or break.

Another myth is about sealing old windows shut in order to save money...this may be a good idea a the time, but in all reality it is not helpful. Sealing windows is a safety hazard and should be avoided at all costs. Windows are in place to ventilation and possible emergency exits.

And the list goes on...

USA climate zones

Here is an image describing some factors that determine how much energy your windows allow to flow through the house.
Window U Factor Table

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Field Camp - the campus

Field (space) camp continued with a look at the environment the young geologist had when out in the Big Horn Basin in Wyoming...believe me this is a vast improvement from years before. One reason for this blog and all the other nonsense was to earn some funds to donate to the field camp to update their equipment and what have you.
It was a little rough at first, but very soon this place became my home. We even had a horse shoe pit set up for entertainment...I happened to get pretty good after a while.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Gemology - Russian Demantoid

This mineral is truly something of beauty. 

Okay Wiki...what do you say about it?
Demantoid is the green gemstone variety of the mineral andradite, a member of the garnet group of minerals. Andradite is a calcium- andiron-rich garnet. The chemical formula is Ca3Fe2(SiO4)3 with chromium substitution as the cause of the demantoid green color. Ferric iron is the cause of the yellow in the stone.
It has the misnomers olivine,[2] and Uralian emerald.
In approximately 2003, reports began to circulate in the trade that some Russian Demantoid garnets were being routinely subjected to heat treatment in order to enhance their color. Such treatment is believed to be performed at relatively low temperatures and is thought not to be detectable by gemmological testing

Moving on....look how pretty it is!

thank you