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January 25, 2020


Screen Shot 2020-01-26 at 12.24.24 PM

Above, boj reader Gregory Perkins' LG dryer after being destroyed by a fire triggered by lint.

He wrote in a boj comment:

This happened to me twice!

The first gas dryer (Kenmore) ignited the lint on the inside of the dryer walls, outside of the drum.

Somehow the lint got past the trap.

That fire was not catastrophic, it just smelled of something burning.

We replaced it when we got a new washer.

The second dryer was an LG and the same thing happened, but this time it caught fire and we couldn't get it out using a fire extinguisher and a bucket of water.

The fire department came and dragged it outside, it was pretty scary.

Our new dryer is an Electrolux and it has a finer, plastic lint trap.

It works well but has a crappy latch that fell inside twice.

The second time we had it fixed, we had the dryer inspected for lint.

It was clean, so it really matters what kind of trap you have.

Now we never leave the house with the dryer running.

Yes, lint is just a four-letter word.

A sort of silly word.

But as you can see from the photo up top, lint is serious stuff.

Facts about lint:

• In the U.S. alone there are almost 15,000 clothes-dryer fires every year

• These fires result in around 300 injuries and about $90 million in property damage

Apart from these statistics, small accumulations of lint in your dryer's outflow path limit airflow, making drying time longer and using more fuel and raising your electric or gas bill.

Moderate lint accumulations cause dryers to overheat, shortening their lifespan and risking wiring and motor damage.

Large accumulations can block the escape of lethal exhaust gases (from gas dryers) and kill you.

Use a dryer vent brush and lint trap brush prevent lint build-up and keep your dryer outflow and vent duct clean.

FunFact: Madonna, in a People magazine interview, said that one of her favorite things to do is to clean her lint trap.

Mike McClintock, in a column in the Washington Post Home section, covered the topic of lint; below, his excellent article.

The Perils of Taking Lint Lightly

Lint, that fluffy mix of textures and colors, is not mentioned on care labels of clothing and other textiles, yet it's the inevitable byproduct of just about everything that comes out of a clothes dryer.

Lint is so common — and potentially dangerous — that every dryer has a filter to catch it.

Typically, it's a somewhat awkward pull-out screen that gathers fuzz even from items that have been washed many times.

Manufacturers and the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) recommend cleaning lint traps before or after each load.

But even with diligent maintenance, some lint slips through.

Typically, it lodges in the exhaust line just inside the exterior outlet or at an elbow fitting along the way.

Worse yet, it may lodge in or near the dryer itself, where a backup of this nearly perfect fire tinder could ignite.

The safety commission estimates that each year there are almost 15,000 clothes-dryer fires resulting in 300 injuries and about $90 million in property damage.

But the Washington-based Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers (AHAM) says that many incidents reported as appliance-related do not actually occur in appliances.

The association says "the alleged clothes dryer safety-related incident numbers issued by CPSC are significantly overstated."

Whatever the precise statistical risk, lint accumulations typically cause three types of problems:

1) Small blockages reduce the dryer's efficiency by limiting airflow, which makes the appliance take longer and use more fuel to dry clothes.

2) As lint blockages further reduce the exhaust path, dryers may overheat, shortening their lifespan and risking wiring and motor damage.

3) Large accumulations can eventually block the escape of lethal exhaust gases (from gas dryers) and also start fires.

Safety commission data records 11,500 fires with electric machines and 3,100 with gas models.

But one type is not inherently safer than the other.

The number of incidents reflects the annual ratio of electric versus gas machines sold.

With either type, problems typically stem from improper installation and maintenance.

The AHAM and the CPSC stress cleaning to help prevent fires and not one fuel source over another.

Venting a dryer can be difficult, particularly in basements where the exhaust line has to twist and turn before reaching an exit point above a masonry foundation.

Ducting also forces the dryer away from the wall.

Some installation schematics allow nearly a foot of space for ductwork behind the dryer.

But few homeowners are willing to give up that much floor space - or deal with such a huge black hole for stray socks.

One result is that many dryers are connected to flexible ducts and jammed into place.

That can crimp the exhaust line and greatly reduce airflow even without any lint in the system.

AHAM says that none of its member manufacturers recommend these flexible hookups, typically made of accordion-folding metal foil or the kind of coiled-wire plastic tubing used to vent bathroom fans.

The safety commission says consumers should "replace plastic or foil, accordion-type ducting material with rigid or corrugated semi-rigid metal duct."

Flexible plastic or foil ducts can more easily trap lint and are more susceptible to kinks or crushing.

For gas dryers, the National Fuel Gas Code requires rigid sheet metal or corrugated semi-rigid sheet metal ducting.

Professional installers can use an angled fitting at the back of a machine to minimize wall clearance.

For electric dryers, the International Residential Code allows flexible, or transition, ducts that conform to Underwriters Laboratories standards (UL 2158A) in single lengths not exceeding eight feet and not concealed inside construction.

AHAM and the CPSC recommend gas-type metal ductwork even for electric dryers.

If you choose to use flexible duct, check with your local building department about code compliance.

Aside from cleaning the lint trap, clothes dryers seem to be maintenance-free.

But there are a few things to do — and not to do — including the obvious advice of following manufacturers' instructions.

The main deterrent against problems is cleaning, including a check outside while the dryer is operating to make sure exhaust air is escaping.

Also clean behind the dryer where lint can build up.

If you notice that drying time is longer despite cleaning, consider a service call to have the entire vent system (inside the machine, too) checked and cleaned.

As to installations, use metal tape and not sheet metal screws to secure sections of metal ducts, as the protruding points of screws make perfect lint traps.

Safety groups warn against other fire hazards as well, for instance, drying clothes soiled with volatile chemicals such as gasoline, and suggest washing them twice before drying.

January 25, 2020 at 04:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (2)

xeno-canto: "Sharing bird sounds from around the world"


Don't get out much?


No problema: xeno-canto makes your cubicle or room a virtual aviary.


Meet fellow birders here.

Free, the way we like it.

[via Joe Peach]

January 25, 2020 at 02:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Erik Satie — Kay Ryan

Only that which does
not teach, does not
cry out, does not
persuade, does not
condescend, does not
explain, is
must we love your
music du meuble. Yes
your longueurs are
loungeable, your soissouirs
rearrangeable to suit
a walk–up flat or suite,
your coeur screws into
any lamp, your small fits
enliven long halls
or brighten stairwells, your
songs go anywhere a chair will.
Your passions in the whimsical
colors of cushions please cats
and Persians. Your endless
sadness unrolls before the
tread of Duke or Princess.
From the least distance
your motifs refresh a place,
knots you gave your eyes to
are a saraband of lace.

January 25, 2020 at 12:01 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Mars is alive


From Mashable:

NASA's Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) has been tracking changes in the Martian landscape since 2006.

A recent set of pictures beamed back by the NASA probe suggest that the Red Planet is far from being a static place.

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The MRO's HiRISE camera photographed an impact crater in the North Pole ice cap (above) over six Martian years (a Martian year is 687 Earth days) to keep a record of the occurrence of ice in the region.

The University of Arizona's Lunar & Planetary Laboratory has just shared a GIF image (top) that combines all those pictures.

As you can see in the GIF, the floor of the impact crater carries icy deposits that shrink, expand, and change in shape or surface or texture every year.

According to a press release, the animation combines images taken in February 2008, August 2010, July 2012, February 2016, January 2018, and December 2019, a span of over six Mars years.

January 25, 2020 at 10:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

Hippopotamus Soap


From the website:

The striking image of a hippo submerged in water was designer Ryo Shimura's inspiration for the Kaba Hippopotamus Soap, a highly original combination of decorative and practical object that can find a place in any bathroom or kitchen for you, your family, or guests.


Its thick glycerin foam makes it suitable even for sensitive skins, and its appearance will certainly make it a conversation piece.

Features and Details:

• Hand made

• Weight: 3.1 oz

• 3.3" x 1.9" x 1"



Still not convinced?


the video.

January 25, 2020 at 08:01 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)

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