Communities

Writing
Writing
Codidact Meta
Codidact Meta
The Great Outdoors
The Great Outdoors
Photography & Video
Photography & Video
Scientific Speculation
Scientific Speculation
Cooking
Cooking
Electrical Engineering
Electrical Engineering
Judaism
Judaism
Languages & Linguistics
Languages & Linguistics
Software Development
Software Development
Mathematics
Mathematics
Christianity
Christianity
Code Golf
Code Golf
Music
Music
Physics
Physics
Linux Systems
Linux Systems
Power Users
Power Users
Tabletop RPGs
Tabletop RPGs

Dashboard
Notifications
Mark all as read

Activity for cobaltduckā€­

Type On... Excerpt Status Date
Edit Post #283944 Post edited:
about 2 months ago
Comment Post #283560 This is a good guess, but sorry to say, incorrect. Please refer my own answer.
(more)
about 2 months ago
Edit Post #283944 Initial revision about 2 months ago
Answer A: What is this object in my garden (that looks like a bomb)?
What you are looking at is a vintage/ antique style of smudge pot. Although the top part held a wick which would be lit, the bottom part held slow-burning oil, not explosives, so you can relax. The Wikipedia article on smudge pots says that they are used mainly for preventing frost on plants, and...
(more)
about 2 months ago
Comment Post #277390 I was thinking along the same lines as Olin, but given your last comment, I think you want something with a vacuum-seal ability. There are both hard and soft sided (i.e. box or bag) varieties that have valves that hook up to some sort of pump, or some of the bags can be squeezed sealed. Some of the...
(more)
about 1 year ago
Answer A: Iodine tablet correct use and efficiency
Welcome back to good old chemistry class! Apologies if this gives you nightmares. First, the tablets used for water purification are not elemental iodine, but a crystal form called Tetraglycine Hydroperiodide. So there are things besides simple iodine getting into your water. More importantly how...
(more)
almost 2 years ago
Answer A: How can my neighbor encourage chipmunks to move away from her front-yard flower garden?
Had the same problem. Sprayed some "pepper wax" around the area. Problem disappeared. There are many brands available, as a web search for "pepper wax spray" will reveal. I've used whatever brand was in the store on the day I went to get it, and they all work. The product is a liquid wax mixed ...
(more)
almost 2 years ago
Answer A: Did any lighthouses provide directional navigation signals?
There is a of type navigational aid that partially provides some bearing information, and that is a range marker. Such markers occur in pairs, positioned close enough together to both be seen at the same time, yet far enough apart to be visually distinct from each other. Further, the two markers ar...
(more)
about 2 years ago
Answer A: Why do hydration bladders top out at 3 liters?
It's all about weight. Water has a density of 1kg/L. Thus 3L is 3kg or about 6.6 pounds. That's equivalent to a brick on each shoulder when placed inside your pack. That's really not that much, but as you add more and more water it adds more and more fatigue on you during your hike. For myself...
(more)
about 2 years ago
Answer A: Knot to tie handle of a bag
Fold each handle into itself and treat each as a single strand. Then just tie those two strands together in an ordinary square knot. Here is an example showing a similar bag, although much smaller and with shorter handles. The photos show things step by step: 1) pull the handles out into two doubl...
(more)
about 2 years ago
Question Fact or Fiction: "If you want to keep your feet warm, wear a hat." (and the various explanations for it)
Inspired by several questions and answers here and also one at Biology SE, I have been looking around to try to find out whether this idea I heard constantly as a youth has any merit, or it just folk-wisdom gone bonkers. Usually expressed in the slogan given in the title- if you want to keep your fe...
(more)
about 2 years ago
Question Post-hike Care and Pain Relief for Blisters and Hot Spots
There are many, many articles and web sites that will tell you what to do if you develop a hot spot or blister while on the trail, and need to perform some field treatment to allow you to get back in your boots and finish your excursion. There are many more that will help you prepare for your hike a...
(more)
about 2 years ago
Answer A: What can I do to be more visible to other ship's radar when traveling in a sea kayak?
Allow me to turn your question on its head a bit. Making yourself more visible to large vessels is a good idea, not being where they need you to be visible is a great idea. Stay away from channels, shipping lanes, and docking areas. You are small and in a craft that can turn and stop in mere inche...
(more)
over 2 years ago
Answer A: Feather found on chicken coop
It took a while to find, partly because I was sure this would turn out to be an owl. Also, it seems like you already had your own answer before this. However, to complete the loop here, I do see a match between your photo and the third or fourth feather shown here: https://www.fws.gov/lab/featherat...
(more)
over 2 years ago
Answer A: Why might a larger peregrine falcon chick take longer to molt than smaller siblings?
Between the comments, continued observation of the Falcon-Cams, a little wiki-reading, and information on the site of the sponsor of the cams, I think I can confidently give myself the answer. First, the chicks have different appearances, and particularly different development of adolescent plumage ...
(more)
over 2 years ago
Answer A: Is there an easy way to remember if you add magnetic declination to magnetic bearings or true bearings?
There's a mnemonic: Can Dead Men Vote Twice At Elections? The first letters in this sentence indicate the meaning: Compass +/- Deviation = Magnetic +/- Variation = True (Adding Easterly). This means to get from a compass bearing, I add Easterly deviations or subtract Westerly deviations get the mag...
(more)
over 2 years ago
Question Why might a larger peregrine falcon chick take longer to molt than smaller siblings?
It has become a bit of a fad in the last few days at my current workplace to open a browser tab to either http://www.lbwl.com/falcon.htm or http://www.lbwl.com/falcon2.htm , take a quick look now and then, say "Awwww," then get back to work. After all, to us these are home-town heroes. (Edit: Falco...
(more)
over 2 years ago
Answer A: What is this brown catipillar with white stripes and two black spots near the head in Loveland, Colorado?
I'm not 100%, but I am going to call that a yellow striped armyworm, Spodoptera ornithogalli. These things seem to be widely distributed and very common; I've seen them frequently in my travels but never bothered to look it up until today. Here's some additional, more close-up images for comparison...
(more)
over 2 years ago
Answer A: Why aren't birds using these feeders?
After a brief exchange of comments, I think I have enough to take a stab at an answer, with the caveat that this will be mostly informed-guessing on my part. After all, every animal has its persnickety side, and who knows what's going on inside the their heads. I mostly think that some variant of "...
(more)
over 2 years ago
Answer A: Understanding the transition in USCG Personal Flotation Device (PFD) Labeling
The new labeling system gives each PFD not one type, but three attributes ranked on a spectrum: buoyancy, turning power, and size. The label adds a fourth attribute listing suggested activities for which this PFD is best suited. Let's look at these one at a time: Buoyancy: Will be given by a lett...
(more)
over 2 years ago
Question Understanding the transition in USCG Personal Flotation Device (PFD) Labeling
In this question a couple years ago: What do life jacket ratings mean (Type I, Type II, etc)?, we see the traditional types many of us learned about in Boating Safety courses, or in Scout/ Youth camp, or from the America Canoe Association or American Sailing Association. A couple answers there (incl...
(more)
over 2 years ago
Answer A: How to test the sharpness of a knife?
Try to slice a piece of paper. A good sharp knife makes a clean cut. A dull knife makes either a ragged cut, or worse, just pushes the paper to the side. I like this article: https://www.fieldandstream.com/articles/hunting/2014/08/paper-cut-testing-blade-sharpness#page-4 and YouTube is full of vid...
(more)
over 2 years ago
Answer A: How are mountain lion populations estimated?
I honestly do not know for which individual species this method has been used, and in particular whether it has been used for Puma concolor, but a general method that is frequently used for population estimates is "mark and recapture" In this technique, you enter an area, trap as many of the target ...
(more)
over 2 years ago
Answer A: Knot for pulling two branches of a tree together
I agree with the prior answer that a rope should not be your permanent solution here, given that it will ultimately damage the tree. However, I think you can mitigate this for short-term use of rope, until the tree has stabilized itself and no longer needs human help, in one of two ways, possibly bo...
(more)
over 2 years ago
Answer A: What are the differences between a lighthouse and a light station in terms of the specific purpose?
First, I would like to give a definition of a smaller term, that of just "light." For this, I turn to the U.S. Coast Guard. In this brief PDF of the Aids to Navigation System, we get a couple helpful quotes right on the first page: These aids may be anything from lighthouses, to minor lights, d...
(more)
almost 3 years ago
Answer A: What is head/lift indication in a digital compass on a sailboat?
Let's start with the terms lift and header. Suppose I want to go that way, whichever direction that happens to be. If the wind is coming from that way, then I can't do it, at least not on wind power alone. What I can do is sail slightly to the left of that way for a while, then tack slightly to th...
(more)
almost 3 years ago
Answer A: What is the best practice to secure a 17ft open canoe to the roof of a vehicle?
This is difficult, since every boat/ vehicle combination is unique and so there is no one "silver bullet" method for rigging that will work for all. However, there is one principle that I apply to each rig I do, that allows me to adapt to almost any scenario: prevent motion in all six directions- Up...
(more)
about 3 years ago
Answer A: Cat-safe mosquito repellent?
As one of the minority of the population that cannot use DEET (it makes my skin burn!) I use plant-based solutions. There are several options on the market that use either citronella or geraniol or a combination of both, and I find they work well enough for my needs. Plus, in addition to being safe...
(more)
over 3 years ago
Answer A: What knot is this that starts off like a taut line hitch but ends differently?
This knot appears to be one referred to as the tarbuck knot, named for its inventor, see for example: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tarbuckknot or http://www.craigmarine.info/accessories/fishingequipment/Tarbuck-climberKnot.htm It is intended to be able to absorb sudden loads, which is useful for cl...
(more)
over 3 years ago
Answer A: Are elk and deer colorblind to blaze orange/pink clothes?
I can't take any credit for already knowing this, all my information comes from an article from Penn State University, entitled Deer-Forest Study: The eyes have it! Some of the information in this article appears to contradict the claim at first glance, for example it begins with "Day or night, a de...
(more)
over 3 years ago
Answer A: How can I repair a mapcase (reattach Velcro)?
Like you said, there are probably a hundred classes of adhesives available today, each one totally unsuitable for the things the others excel at. So we need to take a diagnostic approach here. You need flexible, which rules out many types of adhesives, including CA (Super glue), epoxies and resins,...
(more)
over 3 years ago
Answer A: Are there reusable inflatable life vests (or PFDs)?
Yes, pretty much every Inflatable PFD is designed like this. To give some indication, have a look at this model: Mustang Elite 38 and its owner's manual. (Note: this answer is not intended to be an advert, just an illustration of the concepts. I needed a specific model to be able to point out thes...
(more)
over 3 years ago
Answer A: When trimming my sails, why would I want them to stand flat, versus having some belly?
I didn't intend to self-answer, but after hours of 'net searching I seem to have stumbled on the answer, provided by an Olympic Gold Medalist sailor from Australia, so I hope we can trust it. You can read the full article at Australia Sailing yourself, I will just summarize it. When on a boat and t...
(more)
over 3 years ago
Question When trimming my sails, why would I want them to stand flat, versus having some belly?
The other day, this question (Why did wetting down canvas sails increase the speed of a sailing ship?) was asked regarding the historical practice of wetting down sails. The current answer quotes several sources describing two factors. First, is to swell the fibers of the sail and to seal the space...
(more)
over 3 years ago
Answer A: Double half hitch, versus two half hitches?
First, a note on terminology. There are several groups of knots that have a certain what I call topology. When that topology in the rope is tied around a fixed object, the resulting knot has one name, but when turned around that object then tied around the standing end of the rope, it has a differe...
(more)
over 4 years ago
Answer A: How does water depth affect swimming safety? Why do signs, especially in the UK, say "DANGER: deep water"?
One thing not yet mentioned is quickness and ease of rescue. In my younger years, I was a trained lifeguard, and though my certification is long expired, I remember most of the concepts. A struggling swimmer on the surface is one thing, but a swimmer that has been witnessed going down, or worse, re...
(more)
over 4 years ago
Answer A: How do you aim a signal mirror?
This answer applies only to signal mirrors which are two-sided and have an aiming hole in the middle, which should be the case with any good signal mirror. My answer will partially duplicate a prior, but will add some rough pictures and also give a description of the geometry behind how it works. T...
(more)
over 4 years ago
Answer A: Is there some sort of portable slow CO2 emitter that can be used in conjunction with a bug zapper?
Burn an ordinary paraffin candle. There are several claims floating around that describe how some well-intentioned people are actually increasing their total CO2 emissions, by turning off their electric lights in favor of burning candles. As most of these articles are politically motivated, it is h...
(more)
over 4 years ago
Question How do choices in design of a paddle-craft influence its handling characteristics?
If you imagine cutting a canoe or kayak along each axial plane, you get three shapes. If you cut along the waterline and look down from above, you get the plan. Cut thwart-wise at the widest point and view from head-on, that's the cross-section. The cross-section may or may not include tumblehome...
(more)
over 4 years ago
Answer A: What should go in the hiking/backpacking plan that you leave with someone else?
To expand on an earlier answer, and what the OP himself mentions, I will add a few more elements. First, the count of persons on the trip. The rescuers need to know when they are done. If they've found four people and five went on the trip, for example, that means they keep searching. Add notes o...
(more)
over 4 years ago
Answer A: I've just been bitten by a rattlesnake; how, exactly, do I "keep calm"?
Eventually some part of your brain is going to start thinking, "Holy (expletive), Rattlesnake! I'm gonna loose an extremity! I'm gonna die! What's going to happen to my family? Why did I even come on this (expletive) trip? OhGodOhGodOhGodOh...." Then another part of your brain is going to tell th...
(more)
over 4 years ago
Answer A: I have a compass but no watch, how can I tell when it will get dark?
You don't need a compass, nor any mechanical tool at all. You just need your fingers. I've linked an article with illustrations at the end, but here is the basic idea: Stand facing the sun, extend your arms out fully, and bend your hands inward. Rotate your fingers to be parallel to the horizon, ...
(more)
over 4 years ago
Answer A: How to identify latitude & longitude with a compass?
You need something else. You need a sextant and a marine chronometer (a fancy watch). The sextant measures the inclination of a star or the sun, and helps to determine latitude. Once you know that, using the chronometer and some additional trigonometry gives longitude. I do not know how to do eith...
(more)
over 4 years ago
Question Could this year's unusual warmth harm turtles?
I currently live about 25 miles northeast of Cincinnati, Ohio, USA. On February 20-21, 2015, a fairly significant snow and ice event struck the area. On February 29-March 1, 2016, a smaller event occurred also bringing a thin coating of ice. From February 20-24, 2017, it is sunny and approximately...
(more)
over 4 years ago
Answer A: Can a compass be thrown off by its surroundings?
The OP provides an nicely detailed self answer, but I would like to add that when such areas exist, they are of particular concern to mariners1, and are therefore well-documented for nautical navigation purposes. I will use as my example an area at the north-eastern end of Lake Ontario, as it begins...
(more)
over 4 years ago
Answer A: What are anti-sweat technologies in winter jackets called?
Based on the comments, it seems that you are looking for some sort of fabric that has moisture wicking capabilities. There are several fabrics that have this desirable trait. Many of them are synthetic blends, and modern chemical engineering is constantly improving the state-of-the-art in moisture ...
(more)
almost 5 years ago
Answer A: When does a Rope become a Line?
My answer is that as soon as a thing begins being thought of, even potentially, as being involved in a sailing craft, it takes on the sailing term. If I am going to the hardware store to buy something to make a leash for my dog, or to hang stuff up in my shed, that's rope. If I am going to buy the ...
(more)
about 5 years ago
Answer A: What to look for on the site of a geocache?
I've been geocaching for 12 or 13 years. I'm no power cacher, but I do have a few hundred finds. But you know what? I also have a couple hundred no finds. Some may have been missing at the time, while others were found the very next day by someone else. A few I managed after a subsequent visit, ...
(more)
about 5 years ago
Question Identify what bit me by the mark it left (note: potentially graphic, but also beautiful, photos)
Let's please begin with the understanding that I have already sought and received professional medical advice. Also, about two weeks have passed, my heart and lungs still work and nothing has turned black and fallen off, so I seem to be in the clear. With that said, I have encountered some critter,...
(more)
over 5 years ago
Question What built these mud structures (Ohio, USA)?
I found these structures while hiking in Wayne Township, Clermont County, Ohio, USA, on June 7, 2016, at approximately N 39° 12.5 W 084° 04.0. I only had my phone, and not a real camera, so sorry for the poor focus. Each mound is about 4 to 6 cm in diameter and no more than 20 cm tall. S...
(more)
over 5 years ago
Answer A: What do life jacket ratings mean (Type I, Type II, etc)?
There is already an answer that gives the basics, and this official page from the Coast Guard adds several details, so here is my summary. The system of ratings for Personal Flotation Devices (PFDs) was developed jointly by the United States Coast Guard (USCG) and Underwriters Laboratory (UL) and ha...
(more)
over 5 years ago
Answer A: How to retrieve a bear bag when hung with Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) method
It seems like you simply need to reverse the procedure you give. Since you initially had to pull the rope up far enough to tie the stick in to it, you can still pull it back up to the same point in order to untie the stick. Then let the bag lower down again, stick free. Here is my hastily doodled ...
(more)
over 5 years ago
Answer A: When do boats have the right of way?
To get the complete answer, you would need to study up on your Navigation Rules, International and Inland, also known as NAVRULES and as the 1972 COLREGS (Collision Regulations). This book is the size of a small novel, and has the force of a treaty within those nations that have agreed to it. NAVRU...
(more)
over 5 years ago