I got to thinking about yesterday’s column and, honestly, I had a “guilt pang.”  It occurred to me that new visitors to this site would think me quite daft for spending time on (potentially age-reversing) projects like light crowns, and such.

The premise is simple:  When humans began to use fire was approximately coincident to our evolution on the conscious level.

Fact:  Man began using fire about 1.5 million years ago.

Assuming you know what Attention Schema Theory is…

“The attention schema theory (AST) of consciousness (or subjective awareness) is an evolutionary and neuropsychological scientific theory of consciousness which was developed by neuroscientist Michael Graziano at Princeton University.[1][2] It proposes that brains construct subjective awareness as a schematic model of the process of attention.[1][2] The theory is a materialist theory of consciousness. It shares similarities with the illusionist ideas of philosophers like Daniel Dennett, Patricia Churchland, and Keith Frankish.:

You can quickly see how Ure equates lots of exposure to longwave IR radiation from fire use (in about the same timeframe) with the arrival of (tah-dah!) consciousness.  Two measures of AST and a side of IR light to blend and bend…

Sure, call me a crazy-man (nothing new there), but do consider how the humans – especially in the temperate zones – got particularly handy with fire.  Fire and cold weather require more mental effort than living easy in the tropics.

There’s a range of human habitats that require fire to be any good.  Try a winter in, oh, Germany for example, without heat.  And heat does what?  I mean besides bake the bread, keep the house warm, and so on?

Well, heat is a form of light. IR light.

You see, back in times lost to the fog of history, people went to sleep in defensible places like caves.  And, inside said caves were what?


And, the fires were burned most of the time to keep animals at bay, and so on.  BUT, the point I’m getting to is that fire puts out infrared energy.  We are used to having some around, especially at bed times.

Just as cats do their purring (a kind of humming, thought by some to have healing properties – it’s where the cats go to Zen-out), humans, too, likely have an ancient (circadian) rhythm that dates with our time in the caves.

To the experiment, then!

You know Elaine and I own a fairly high-powered IR LED array that just happens to operate in that long red part of the spectrum, right?  I keep it handy with the Gen 3 NV goggles for when the aliens land, lol…)

If you didn’t, you do now.  Similar to the CMVision IR130-198 LED Indoor/Outdoor Long Range 300-400ft IR Illuminator With Free 3A 12VDC Adapter you can get on Amazon for $65 bucks, or so.

We know that’s a fair bit of IR lighting power, but on the other hand, its down in the 860 nm range and ours, honestly, unless you stare directly into it, isn’t even visible.  Very soft red presence close it.

We had used it for a while, but our chat yesterday got me to thinking:  Are we may have been using it wrong.

The new protocol, rather than have it come on at night and go off in the morning, will be to use it as though we were trying to emulate what happens with a cave fire.  On at night (bed time) at which point, a cave fire would likely be mainly in the yellow green part of spectrum (around 560 nm, for example) and then – as people go deeper into their sleep cycle – the fire would dim into the dark reds (660-700 nm IR) range. From there, the 860 and 1000 nm range come.

And then, as people are “on their way down” into deep sleep, they would be bathed in the longer IR. No idea what this crude effort at spectral frequency matching over time will result it (if anything), but WTF…science, eh?

We assume you know white and blue are up toward 350-500 NM and then come your greens and yellows and eventually you get to the reds around 600 nm and then things fall off the visual scale around 700 nm or so?

BTW: One of the curses of having cataract removals is that the early lenses (like my first round of IOL‘s) didn’t have any UV absorption so I could “read” under blacklight.  It ruined Pirates of the Caribbean at D World because all those ceiling joists painted black and wires hanging down for “effects” all became visible.  I could  see the glass the ghosts were projected on, too… I digress.

So, that’s the plan… we will let ‘er run for a number of nights – kill the IR feed about midnight (a few hours after bedtime) and see if we noticing anything.

Yes, we are mindful of the studies that document that sleeping in partially lit rooms can statistically increase the risk of breast cancer for women but the flip side is that if fire/IR exposure is related to intelligence, then we may (or may not) see anything as a result.  It may provide a “circadian sync pulse, of some kind…we shall see.

My guess?  Better, deeper sleep.  But without a double-blind placebo controlled…who knows?

And you can bet modern medicine won’t go down this path for a while.  Nothing simple to monetize.  Why do real thinking when you can turn the weather, for crying out loud, into a HNBM (hot new business model?)

New Toy Alert!!!!

Stand by for my latest hare-brained hatchling!  I have a theory about a new ultra cool, not-terribly-difficult (or I wouldn’t be able to do it) way of building cabinets.

Elaine has generously given me permission to tear up the house as I give it a go.  Future article will get into that.

BUT…here’s the thing.

A wise man (me) once told everyone “When you take on a new project, be sure and pad the budget enough so that you can pick up some new tools along the way.”

Brothers and sisters…we have a winner.  Black and Decker has come out with a nifty powered handsaw.  And it’s cheap.

Check out the new BLACK+DECKER PHS550B 3.4 Amp Powered Handsaw with Storage Bag.  I also picked up the blade kit and a couple of spare blades.

Did we need it?  Well…

Several things come to mind.

First, it doesn’t eat a lot of power.  We have a big 12″ compound miter saw on a stand that dims the lights when it rolls up and it goes into the shop vacuum system….so there’s honestly not much, except panel cutting and dado work left for the old table saw to manage.

So honestly?  No, I didn’t NEED it.  But, if you’re a minimalist, who doesn’t to spend oodles for a Disston 26″ 10 point crosscut saw (Found one for $135 over at Jim Bode Tools) and I will never forget pappy telling me that when times were bad (previous depression, not the one just ahead) he knew many firemen (relatives) who would use just about that one tool – the Disston saw) and a hammer and they would craft up a great house out of it.  Uncle Stanley eventually bought himself a table saw…about his third house he built himself on the offshift, or so.

All kinds of lessons here, if you’re paying attention:

  • Pappy Ure figured a 10 point cross cut and an 8 point rip Disston combo of saws was enough to build damn near anything.
  • Second lesson is that times have changed.  One power handsaw is $40 bucks.
  • Hell, I found a 1976 Bicentennial 26 inch Distortion for $425.  There’s a whole eBay subculture on collective hand woodworking tools.
  • Oh, yeah…and everything is screwed now, damn few nails used…
  • AND we don’t have a lot of patience for people who aren’t doers and people who get wrapped around the axles of drama.

These are just oddities of Life passing by. The shock?   Never thought I’d live to see the time when a power saw would cost less than a Disston hand saw.  But there we are.  This is progress and damned if I know what to make of it.

We just live out here on the edge; aghast at how life is collapsing into…what, pray tell?

Write when you get rich,


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