Looks like an Amazon seller carries an STC-1000

It’s a solid, cheap temperature controller that’s great for turning a chest freezer into a kegerator or fermentation chamber.

Elitech STC-1000 110V All-Purpose Temperature

Reddit protip: Go on Craigslist and search for "moving", then low-ball every offer.

Didn’t see anything I wanted, but it makes sense.

I live in a college town and most student leases end on august 1st. Many of these people recently graduated and are flying to a new state, some are transferring colleges. Either way they need to get rid of stuff fast and have a deadline. This means a lot of people are selling a lot of stuff in the same window of time, which will bring down the asking price. Leave low-ball numbers with the sellers and tell them to call you if they change their mind. Sure enough desperate sellers will call you the day of their move.

Also its a good idea to check pawn shops about a week after the standard campus housing move out date

People also tend to just through away things out of laziness. You don’t even need to dumpster dive. Many times things such as mini-fridges are left right next to the dumpster. You can even just store them for a month and sell them to incoming freshmen

This Bear Grylls branded stuff is getting out of hand.

So there’s this Bear Grylls Survival Series Ultimate Kit on amazon that has a bunch of apparent no-name generic survival stuff.  Then there’s the Bear Grylls Ultimate Survival Pack with Multitool, Flashlight, and Fire Starter with a multitool and flashlight.  His name is also on Bear Grylls Survival Series Ultimate Knife, Serrated Edge, some knife.

There was also some machete set in a folding case that I can’t find now.

Any way, my point is to wonder if these blades are worth crap.  They’re putting so much effort into making them pretty and branded that I can’t imagine much is left for quality.

So I made hard lemonade and it’s GOOD

It’s real easy, too.  Just boil the sugar and some water with some lemon juice, let it cool, add the rest of the lemon juice, yeast nutrient, and yeast, let it ferment for a week or two, then keg.

Okay, you’ll need these:

96 oz lemon juice

8 lbs sugar (more or less depending on how sweet or hard you want it)

Safale S-04 yeast (almost anything, even bread yeast will do in a pinch)

Yeast nutrient

Yeast energizer

So draw a gallon of water, dump 4 lbs of sugar and a cup of lemon juice into it, stir it to make sure it’s all wet, and put it on high heat.  Stir it occasionally to make sure it’s not sticking and burning.  Let it come to a boil, remove the heat, and dump it into a clean fermentation bucket.  Put the top on and let it sit for fifteen minutes to steam-sanitize the container.  Then add another 56 or so ounces of lemon juice (reserving 32 oz), four gallons of water, and a teaspoon each of yeast nutrient and energizer.  Verify that the temperature is below 90 F, then add the packet of yeast – hydrate it if you like, or just sprinkle it on.

Put on the top and airlock and stick it in a warm place for two weeks.  The yeast will usually work better at warmer temperatures because of the high acidity of the mix.  Stirring it occasionally in the first several days to a week will help too.

After a couple of weeks, taste it and see if you like it.  It will be pretty dry and tart.  Add sugar to taste (one pound keeps it very tart, two pounds makes it reasonably sweet), and force-carbonate it.

You may want to add a crushed campden tablet to stop fermentation and keep the keg from exploding, but you’ll have to force carbonate.  You could also add artificial sweetener to taste, then 3/4 c of sugar dissolved into some boiled water and mixed in, then bottle it.

Introduction to nootropics


Your brain needs more than just energy molecules like glucose or ketones to run.  Neurotransmitters are depleted by use, for example.  While they can be synthesized to an extent, your brain will work more efficiently if you consume them or their precursors.  There are others, like acetylcholine, that you cannot completely synthesize, and have to consume.  Baseline amounts from a basic balanced diet will keep you going, but getting spike doses can help clear thinking.  Most generally defined, a nootropic is a cognitive enhancer that is not a stimulant and has very low toxicity.

Other supplements may not be found in a natural diet but will enhance or feed existing metabolic pathways.  L-Alpha Glycerylphosphorylcholine is more readily absorbed (though it’s found in milk so it’s not entirely unnatural).  Dimethylaminoethanol is man-made, very easily absorbed, and is methylated in the brain to produce choline.  Choline is one of the most essential building blocks of a nootropic regimen, and often has a significant effect alone.

Some may be concerned with a distinction between supplements and drugs.  As noted above, synthetic substances that produce effects identical to natural substances are readily found, and many will know that natural substances that produce effects outside of necessary metabolism are readily found in nature (caffeine and THC are good examples).  The natural/synthetic thus seems a poor line to divide “supplements” from “drugs”.  For the purposes of these discussions, the “natural effect” versus “synthetic effect” line will be used, when any distinction is made.  It is necessarily informal, and individual distinctions may later be found to be incorrect.  If you have qualms about drug use, thoroughly research the compounds before you use them and make the decision for yourself.

Choline Sources

As a near direct goal of most nootropic supplementation is to increase neural activity in the brain, increased consumption of essential nutrients used to make neurotransmitters is necessary.  Choline is one of primary concern.  One issue of note with choline is that it competes with protein to cross the blood brain barrier – thus spike choline supplementation should be done on an empty stomach.  Generally, an adult male’s adequate intake of choline is about 550 mg/d, slightly less for most females, but significantly higher for pregnant or breastfeeding females.  Listed amounts of the supplements target the ingestion of 100 mg of choline.

Dietary: eggs, chicken, cruciferous vegetables such as cauliflower, milk, fish, and liver, in increasing levels, contain significant amount of choline (varies).

Lecithin (3000 mg): usually available from an all natural source such as soy or sunflower oil.

Choline Bitartrate (1500 mg): Synthetic

Alpha GPG (L-Alpha Glycerylphosphorylcholine) (1200 mg): Hard to find now, but very effective.

DMAE (Dimethylaminoethanol) (1200 mg ?): Dosages not as well documented, but presumed from structure.  Tested and know to be safe well past 1600 mg/day.

Centrophenoxine (1200 mg): Not well documented.

Citicholine (cytidine diphosphate-choline, CDP Choline) (1200 mg): More expensive but one of the best sources.


Racetams seem to work by activating glutamate receptors that are colocated with cholinergic receptors, increasing the firing of the cholinergic receptors.  The specific mechanisms are generally not well understood.  They all seem to increase working memory, memory recall, and cognition to various degrees.  Racetams are synergistic with choline sources – that is, the results of taking both is improved when they are used concurrently.  It is important to note racetam solubility.  It varies, and consuming a racetam with a small amount of food with which it is soluble will significantly increase uptake.  For example, consume a dose of a fat soluble racetam like aniracetam with 8 oz of milk.  Each is listed with solubility and a commonly recommended starting dose.

Piracetam: Improves cognition and working memory through increased cross-hemisphere communication within the brain.  Half life is 4-5 hours.  (water, 1000 mg 2bd)

Oxiracetam: Improves cognition, logical performance, memory, and spatial awareness. (water, 750 mg 2bd)

Aniracetam: Improves cognition, more potent and easily absorbed than piracetam or oxiracetam. Half life is 1.5-2 hours.  (fat, 250 mg 3bd)

Pramiracetam: Similar to piracetam. Half life of 4.5-6 hours.  (fat, 50 mg 1/2bd)

Nefiracetam: Antidepressant effects, may improve cognitive function and memory.  Reduction in testosterone and sperm motility associated with extremely high doses.  Half life 3-5 hours. (fat, 600 mg 2bd)


Mild stimulants are regularly used.  Caffeine, in the form of tea, coffee, and soft drinks, is consumed almost universally.  Most mild stimulants are plant alkaloids.  They often show synergistic effects with other compounds.

Caffeine: Practically ubiquitous.   Dosing with pills may be more effective in order to minimize uptake competition and standardize dose.

Ephedrine: More difficult to find due to FDA meddling.  Look for Ephedrine-HCL or Ephedrine Sulfide in Bronkaid or Primatene at a pharmacy.

Nicotine: Improves cognition and working memory. Generally taken as a transdermal patch.


Some compounds show significant benefit but are not members of families with similar marked benefit.  Theanine, for example, has a mild psychoactive effect and appears to improve cognition and mood.

Theanine: Improves cognition and mood.  Found in tea, especially green tea (~10 mg per 8 oz serving) or isolated in pills.

Ginkgo biloba: Improves memory, concentration, and reduces the effects of vertigo.


Taking supplements with synergistic effects or precursors is called stacking.

Simple stack

Below are the components of a very simple stack that will result in moderate improvements of cognition, memory, and energy.  It is important that these be taken with a small amount of milk or almond milk or other food (about four ounces of milk is all that is necessary).

800 mg piracetam
1200 mg lecithin
200 mg theanine
100 mg caffeine

Take that twice a day on an empty stomach.

Solar transit of Venus on 5 June

So there’s a solar transit of Venus the evening of 5 June, if you’re in the Americas.  It’s the morning of 6 June if you’re in Europe or the like.

Basically, Venus is going to slowly scoot across the disc of the sun.  There are a few ways to see it directly:

Pinhole viewer

Pinhole projector

Solar glasses

If you can find one, you can look through the storage material of a floppy disk.  It works surprisingly well for looking at the sun.

There’s more info on the times of the transit at http://www.transitofvenus.org/ and local transit times with automatic geolocation at http://transitofvenus.nl/wp/where-when/local-transit-times/.