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Potato


#1

Hi Guys,

Today I have a couple of questions about potatoes.

  1. After reading about using a potato as a heat sink for gems, I was
    wondering how effective it would be to embed parts into a potato for
    soldering? Would the potato take the heat away from the metal making
    it difficult to solder? A given is that it would make me hungry…
    hot chips are always nice.

  2. How do you make faux ivory from a potato? I was told that you
    boil the potato in sulphuric acid… however my attempts at this just
    make sulphuric acid and potato soup.

Regards Charles A.


#2

Hi Charles

If you google making celluloid, you might be able to find more info
about making faux ivory. I used to have a recipe about making faux
ivory using potato starch, nitric acid and camphor oil but it has
been lost to the wind now as to measurements and method.

Barbara


#3
How do you make faux ivory from a potato? 

Seriously? Never heard of that one… Perhaps totally dehydrating it
and infusing it with resin?

Instead, why not just get some nice Tagua nuts? Vegetable ivory.
traditional… Not too costly last I bought some…

Peter


#4
Charles said...Today I have a couple of questions about potatoes. 

My question is why do potatoes have more chromosomes than humans?
Maybe there is more to the lowly potato than we realize? On this
Earth Day lets take a moment to say a kind word to our friend the
potato.

Mark


#5

Hi Barbara,

If you google making celluloid, you might be able to find more
info about making faux ivory. I used to have a recipe about making
faux ivory using potato starch, nitric acid and camphor oil but it
has been lost to the wind now as to measurements and method. 

I suppose it is a celluloid.

I have found a couple of references :-

The Machinist’s Bedside Reader, contains a recipe… and the book
does contain some interesting articles.

The other reference is in a book called “Ivories”, by Alfred Maskell
"Another and older system is by boiling potatoes in sulfuric acid,
by which they become extremely hard and ivory-like in texture."

It doesn’t tell you the steps though, and as you know from my
previous experiments, I’ve failed at my attempts.

Regards Charles A.


#6
My question is why do potatoes have more chromosomes than humans? 

They’re nuthin. 48 is only two more than us. There’s a fern called
the adders-tongue that has either 1200 or 1260 chromosomes (the
record high count for any organism). And several other ferns in the
200 area. Carp have 104, and a couple types of rat that have 92. But
Barley has only 14, fruit flies 8, and there’s one kind of ant where
females have 2, and males only 1. Dogs and wolves are in the mid
70s…

It has to do with a number of factors. First, DNA isn’t efficient.
Large sections of DNA do nothing. Other sections only govern how and
when actual gens are expressed. And the number of chromosomes isn’t
the only thing that varies, so does the length of the DNA molecule
in any given species chromosomes. New mutations take effect when they
have benefits, but often ineffective portions of the DNA stick
around, just aren’t functional any more. And the length of the
evolutionary history, the time over which the organism developed and
refined and changed it’s DNA varies, with older tending to more
complex. Plants as a general rule tend to be more complex simply
because chemcally, they often ARE more complex than animals, simply
because we animals don’t need to make our own food, we eat it after
plants made it (or other animals that themselves ate the plants).
And we deal with threats by moving, while plants have to deal with
them in situ, meaning many subtle chemical responses to the
environment that for us, can be lumped into simply the ability to be
mobile. Because plants photosynthesize, they need to welcome into
their cells all that energetic solar radiation that gives us
sunburns, and which we protect ourselves with using clothes, fur, or
skin pigments. Plants have to take it into their cells, where it’s
just as potentially damaging, except that plants make a whole complex
array of antioxidants and phytchemicals to combat and repair that
damage as it occurs. Meanwhile, if we want those same benefits, we
just eat the plants. Don’t need the complex DNA that would code for
how to make them.

Oh, and while we’re at it: What’s the meaning of it all? Life, the
Universe, and Everything?

Answer: 42

Peter


#7
Seriously? Never heard of that one... Perhaps totally dehydrating
it and infusing it with resin? Instead, why not just get some nice
Tagua nuts? Vegetable ivory. traditional... Not too costly last I
bought some... 

The technique was eluded to me in a silver casting DVD, that centred
its focus on steam casting.

I have Tagua nuts, and apparently when they are fresh you can eat
them… although I imagine them going rock hard in your stomach.

The problem is I want large pieces, not necessarily for jewellery,
but for other things I make. I could go plastic, but the problem with
plastic is that it looks like plastic (which is fine if this is the
look you are going for).

Regards Charles A.


#8

If you’re looking for celluloid faux ivory, it can be had from
American Art Plastics.

http://www.ganoksin.com/gnkurl/1y3

Mostly they sell to pen makers, thus the preponderance of rods in
their catalog.

Elliot
Elliot Nesterman


#9

Charles said…

My question is why do potatoes have more chromosomes than humans?
Maybe there is more to the lowly potato than we realize? On this
Earth Day lets take a moment to say a kind word to our friend the
potato. 

I don’t know, but that is an interesting question. someone will let
us know. The original question was how to make faux ivory from
potatoes. I have a friend who makes faux turquoise from potatoes.
Cuts them up and puts in adehydrator, then paints. you could try that
if you have a dehydrator, or can borrow one. Easier to buy potatoes
than hunting down something from internet. But, an easier way to make
faux ivory is to use PVC pipe. They use it for our water, so it must
not be too dangerous, you would want to work on it outside with a
mask. lots of interntet info on how to do that. Or you can buy in
flat sheets from the internet.

Roxy


#10

Hi Charles

I think it is the same for my attempts at ricotta-like cheese. Close
but no cigar.

Barbara


#11

Charles

I found this link that looks interesting in a lot of ways.

http://www.ganoksin.com/gnkurl/1y6

Best wishes to my down under cousins
Barbara


#12

Peter said…

Plants as a general rule tend to be more complex simply because
chemcally, they often ARE more complex than animals, simply
because we animals don't need to make our own food, we eat it
after plants made it (or other animals that themselves ate the
plants). And we deal with threats by moving, while plants have to
deal with them in situ, meaning... 

Peter, what an awesome reply! Is there anytrthing you don’t know? I
will honestly never look at plants the same way. Mark


#13

Polymer clay is the same material as PVC pipe. It’s easy to find and
buy, and there are established formulas for making faux stones with
it. I personally don’t care for a lot of the faux stones, but faux
ivory from polymer clay is a bit different and a decent replacement.

Tory Hughes is the name in polymer clay famous for her imitation
materials. I’d bet if you do an internet search for “polymer clay
faux ivory” you’d come up with a recipe.

Watch out, though. Polymer clay is an addictive art form too.


#14

Would it be worth it to just hit the antique stores. I have a
carving knife set that was my dads from the 50s. I think it came from
the S&H Green Stamp Store. Anyhow looks like lovely ivory but isn’t.
I see similar sets for very little money in thrift and antique
stores. Bill

Bill, Deborah, Michele & Sharon
Reactive Metals Studio, Inc


#15

I could go plastic, but the problem with plastic is that it looks
like plastic (which is fine if this is the look you are going for).

You’re right. Who’d want to go plastic when you could go potato :slight_smile:


#16
faux ivory from polymer clay is a bit different and a decent
replacement. 

Quite a few years ago, I used polymer clay to make some very
attractive “vegan ivory” and “homemade jade”. It was a lot of fun to
do, and looked great, so it generated a lot of interest at shows–
but as soon as people found out it was not actually what it appeared
to be, they lost interest.

That said, it really was fun playing with it to get it to look
right, and I can imagine uses where it would not be an issue. So have
fun!

Noel


#17
Peter, what an awesome reply! Is there anytrthing you don't know?
I will honestly never look at plants the same way. 

Oh hell yeah. I read a lot, watch plenty of Discovery channel, etc,
but there’s plenty I don’t know. A lot more I don’t know than that I
do know… But I’ll never tell which is which… :slight_smile:

And I’ve gotten pretty good at faking it…:slight_smile:

As to those chromosome counts? Ran into that a while back just
randomly surfing the net. It’s really fun what you can find on the
net if you take ten seconds to search before writing a reply to a
post. Google and Wikipedia are your friends!

But back to plants. (my mom and grandmother are/were both biologists,
and my switch, last fall, to a Vegan diet has me paying much more
attention to plants) It’s easy to think of them as simple since they
don’t move around much. (There are movements, just usually slow
ones), and they don’t have actual nervous systems, muscles, or
brains. But beyond that, they are every bit as amazing life forms as
any animal. More self sufficient, Sometimes hardier (ever tried to
kill or get rid of an established blackberry bush? Or dandelions? )
able to communicate, to a degree, chemically between fellow members
of their species (and sometimes among a variety of species), and
encompassing most of the very longest living species on earth,
though not quite the largest. That category possibly goes to fungi.
Mushrooms are just the blooming fruit of the fungal organisms, and
the mycelial network that makes up the whole organism can, in some
cases, be absolutely enormous. One identified in Oregon spans almost
9 km, an area of over 2000 acres. And aspen groves may look like
individual trees, but as they propagate by sending out runners, a
whole grove may share a single root system, making the whole grove
of trees one organism…

Plants encompass about 9 times the biomass of the planet compared to
animals (though bacteria may total even more than the plants)…

The plants could live just fine without animals. Animals, on the
other hand, wouldn’t last so long without plants…

cheers
Peter


#18

Mark and Peter - there is a television show in Canada about Canadian
Know-it-all. Peter could be the finalist if he would apply. And
Mark, I will never be the same now that I have experienced an
exploding penguin. That beats potato ivory any day.

Barbara on the island with the frogs croaking and the sump pump
hiccoughing. (The latter added to bring a note of reality for
Benjamin.)


#19

Try googling, Faux bone. It’s inexpensive and from what I’ve seen of
it, it can make faux ivory look real.


#20

Ricotta cheese Barbara, it may not be you, it may be the environment.
My mom always made cottage cheese when we lived in Montana, and it
was great. She said when we moved to Wisconsin, she could never get
it to turn out right. Same cow (Jersey), same pan, but different
environment, and different grass for the cow. Go figure in the cheese
state! Roxy.