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Way Walker

Member Since 11 May 2003
Offline Last Active Dec 18 2011 06:13 PM

Topics I've Started

TV's 'Mr. Wizard' Don Herbert Dies at 89

13 June 2007 - 06:49 AM

I didn't see a post about this which I thought was a shame. My appologies if it's a repost. TV's 'Mr. Wizard' Don Herbert Dies at 89. I wasn't born in time to see Watch Mr. Wizard, but I grew up on Mr. Wizard's World. Before Beakman, before Bill Nye, there was Mr. Wizard. He probably had as much to do with my interest in science as anyone. Mr. Wizard, you will be missed.

Are you Sirius?

09 April 2007 - 06:04 PM

Does anyone have any experience with satellite radio, especially at home (i.e. not in a car)? I was at a friend's over Easter and there were some Sirius channels that I listened to through their satellite TV. I liked that there were some genres I have some trouble finding around here (e.g. oldies, bluegrass, classic country) and, to a lesser extent, the lack of ads. Can anyone tell me their experience with getting reception in larger cities (whether in car or not)? It sounds like you don't get any reception under any sort of roof, so I'm guessing it's not something that can be used at the gym (walkman style) or easily taken to a friend's place (boombox style). Any comments on XM vs. Sirius? I wouldn't even know what to ask about the difference that'd be relevant to me. I'm mostly here for the music channels, and I'm guessing they both do about equally well there. Is one better for reception? I also saw something about a merger on wikipedia, so should I be waiting until that's resolved before I purchase a contract and hardware? And, regarding hardware, any recommendations there? It looks like there're a lot of options. Any brands to be aware of (good or bad)? Are those setups where you dock a walkman/mp3 style receiver in a set of speakers good? Would the more all-in-one setups like a traditional radio be better or worse? What if, eventually, I chose to get it installed in my car, as well (my radio was going out anyway, and now someone broke off my antenna)? Going in a somewhat different direction, would an HD-radio serve me better? Since it's not for my car, I don't particularly care that satellite radio lets me listen to the same station across the entire country. The thing is, HD-radio still only targets a relatively small area so, while the selection may be better than traditional radio, I'm not sure I'd get the variety of music I'm hoping to get from satellite services. Is this more or less correct?

Playing "Celtic" music

26 January 2007 - 10:05 AM

So this is something I know very little about. I have a somewhat vague notion to learn to play Irish music. Vague in that I don't know how "Irish music" differs from the broader "Celtic music", which means I'm not entirely sure if Irish is the particular direction I'd like to go. I suppose most of my conception of this sound is from Enya, Riverdance, the Trinity Irish Dance Company, and some of those misc "Celtic" CDs (and, I suppose, Titanic). So, the question is: Where should I look to learn more about this style (and whether it's "Irish" I want to learn or some other "Celtic" style) and which instrument(s) I'd like to learn for this style? (banjo, fiddle, or uilleann pipes) The next question will be: Where do I go to learn this being in central Ohio? Actually, the answer should probably be: You still suck at bluegrass banjo and should learn that a bit better before you try to branch out. *sigh*

Two dimes and a nickel or a quarter straight?

14 November 2006 - 04:53 AM

I just bought a book of Langston Hughes' poetry and, in what little of read out of it so far, dimes, nickles, and quarters recur often in situations that seem to put some significance behind the coins. Can anyone offer some context to help me understand? EDIT: Bah, le for el. [Edited by - Way Walker on November 14, 2006 1:17:41 PM]

Homemade wine

13 November 2006 - 02:12 PM

So, a bit over a month ago I bought a copy of "Homebrewing for Dummies" and a "Santa's Special" (the all-inclusive) homebrew kit from a local wine making store. I just bottled my first batch of beer which, although uncarbonated, tasted decent even though I kept it pretty much as simple as possible (just a kit with two cans of malt-extract, no extra grains, no extra hops) and have some cider doing its secondary fermentation. Ok... so I want to make wine. If I want to go from fruit (i.e. not buying concentrates or juice, like I did for the cider), what sort of extra equipment do I need? I know pretty much nothing about getting juice from fruit. I'm looking for a small, cheap, and effective (if it's pick two, I pick small and effective) way to get enough juice for 5-gallon batches. Which brings me to other issues. Is there a rule of thumb for diluting the juice (e.g. do I shoot for a specific gravity)? Should the pulp be with the juice through the primary fermentation, or just when diluting the juice? What's a good way to strain five gallons of juice? And then do I extract what liquid is left in the pulp? What acidity am I going for? What yeast do I use? etc. etc. Can anyone recommend a good book on the subject? I did some googling, but most of what I got was selling fruit wine, recipes for fruit wine (which helped some, but assumed I know the very basics... I don't), and some general information on what fruit wine is (usually trying to justify it in the face of grape wines). One thing that surprised me is that most fruit wine recipes sound a lot more relaxed about sanitation than beer recipes. But I think the hardest part of all will be waiting a year after bottling. [sad] By the way, at what point does this process technically become illegal for minors? I mean, it's legal for minors to buy fruit, buckets, etc...