A Stick in the Mud for Wind Power

The Vortex bladeless turbine uses the wind to vibrate instead of spin. That makes it cheaper, quieter, and more reliable than a bladed turbine.

Source: This wind turbine has no blades — and that’s why it’s better | Grist

My first question… Does it still create as much energy as the turbines with blades? (It doesn’t).

My next question… What about the birds? I can understand how birds and bats fly into them. The colour is meant to blend into the sky (for human sensibilities, not birds).

As far as noise, we parked right next to one here in Ontario. Turned off the car (the car made more sound than the turbine) and just listened for half an hour. It was very quiet. Out on a backroad, in the middle of nowhere, for awhile we felt apart from all civilization. That feeling of being still after the world has ended.

Without blades the new wind power could be very low maintenance and have far less parts to replace. That’s a good thing.

But, they do produce less energy. The solution offered in the article is to have more of them. Is this practical?

How many can be grouped together before they lose efficiency due to blocking the very wind they rely on? How many land owners are going to want a forest of these on their land? How long will it be before the same people who protested the noise of wind turbines find these have a persistent hum or vibration or some other problem which gives them headaches?

I’m not sure a lot of the complaining about wind turbines is really justified. At least the human complaining.

Bladeless turbines may be less deadly to birds and bats, but we can’t be sure of that.

What will happen with more turbines in the same area of land?

There are no perches for birds. We don’t want to encourage the birds to use them, yet a forest of wind turbines take up space without giving the birds a place to rest.

Of course, the bladeless turbines will also be a colour intended to blend in and not obstruct too much of the view, for humans. Birds may fly into these man made forests and not see what they flew smack into. To a bird a forest of nearly invisible tree stalks without perches or branches waving in the wind to show their location may not work out so well.

Could these ivory towers be made nature friendly at the risk of becoming less tolerated by humans who enjoy the energy produced by them? Could bird houses, bee hives and bat boxes be included? Could they be made mandatory? Would that be unsightly or just unnatural?

Jewellery as Christmas Ornaments

jewelled ornamentsI like to buy new holiday brooches every Christmas season. My favourite to find (and collect) are the Christmas trees. Next are poinsettias and from there I like an assortment of Christmas things. I do prefer natural themes like birds, pine cones and snow people to the religious themed brooches. That’s just me as an Earth Witch though. Everyone has some part of Christmas which is special for them.

One thing about having a collection is finding a new and creative way to display it and store it (especially if you move often). I have found a few wonderful ways to display, use and show off my holiday brooches – and all my old sparkly brooches if I want to include them.

Decorate with Brooches this Year

You can make a holiday brooch bouquet. I first noticed this as a new twist on the wedding bouquet. Several brooches are gathered up, given a stem and then tied together with ribbon. There are a few other steps, but that is the basic idea. This can work with holiday brooches and be used to decorate inside your home over the Christmas season.

xmas tree broochAnother idea is to create a holiday wreath with your brooches. Cover a wreath form with gathered fabric which you can pin your brooches onto. Add extras and optional ideas like a big bow, some holiday ornaments or pin a few Christmas cards to the wreath with your brooches. Or, use the form of a Christmas tree, cover it with something strong enough to hold your brooches and create a Christmas tree decorated with all your holiday jewels. BHG has a jewelled wreath to give you an example.

A third idea which I have seen is to pin your brooches into the shape of a Christmas tree (use a luxurious fabric like velvet or something sparkly like left over wrapping paper) then place an elegant photo frame around your brooch creation. I found lovely inspiration for this idea at the Moon Diamond Etsy shop.

Rubber Ducks are Spooky Too

Halloween rubber duckiesThe typical rubber duck is yellow, squeaky and cuddly (according to Sesame Street). Halloween rubber ducks look a little spooky. I’d expect some misbehaviour, some tricks and not so many treats.

You may not want to take these rubber ducks into the bath tub with you. Sure they can swim around on the water but, can you trust them? After all, Halloween is not the holiday for good will, jolliness and the eating of large birds. It is quite possible the rubber ducks are not going to be the standard nice ducks, happy to decorate your room and wait for bath time.

That duck wearing the black cat costume, well, it looks like it ate the original yellow rubber duckie. The skeleton wearing duck looks far more like a pirate than a Trick-or-Treater. I’m not sure what the orange guy with the fangs actually is, but I have some theories. The vampire in the sailor suit tries to look non-threatening, even cute. Of course, that’s the one I trust the least. I like the Jack-O-lantern, but I suspect she is actually the leader of the group and the rest are squeaky minions.

Halloween rubber ducksBeware the Rubber Ducks of Halloween:

Don’t feed your rubber duckie. If these rubber ducks grow any bigger or spookier you will have to build them an outdoor pond – to say the least.

Of course, this doesn’t mean you shouldn’t buy a few rubber ducks for Halloween. If you display them at the doors and windows they can scare away all the other little monsters that come out at Halloween. (Except of course, those little monsters related to you).

ducknoteBelow in this post you can see another rival gang of Halloween rubber ducks. These characters have to be sold separately, it’s not a money thing or a packaging thing. It’s the element of danger.

Glowing rubber ducksIf a few rubber ducks don’t scare you… why not get a few more?

You can tuck them all away in a strong box at night. Lock it up tight. That way you won’t have to keep one eye open all night… checking for rubber ducks.

The best thing about rubber ducks is not having to clean up after them. They don’t eat, they might squeak a little but they can be great listeners. As a bonus, Halloween rubber ducks will share their candy (once you give it to them.)

If you were looking for a good pet this Halloween, consider a rubber duck. These guys come already dressed up for the occasion.

Just Another Ordinary Miracle

I love that song. So many of Sarah McLachlan’s songs are beautiful in that simple kind of way. Sometimes I wait for them to put out a ‘best of’ album cause I don’t want to spend the money OR start another collection of any kind of stuff, including CDs or DVDs for music or movies. But, in this case I might see what I can find next time I’m in Zellers. Would be lovely to listen to her at home while I’m writing.

Sarah McLachlan – Ordinary Miracle Lyrics

It’s not that usual when everything is beautiful
It’s just another ordinary miracle today

The sky knows when its time to snow
You don’t need to teach a seed to grow
It’s just another ordinary miracle today

Life is like a gift they say
Wrapped up for you everyday
Open up and find a way
To give some of your own

Isn’t it remarkable?
Like every time a raindrop falls
It’s just another ordinary miracle today

Birds in winter have their fling
And always make it home by spring
It’s just another ordinary miracle today

When you wake up everyday
Please don’t throw your dreams away
Hold them close to your heart
Cause we are all a part
Of the ordinary miracle

Ordinary miracle
Do you want to see a miracle?

Its seems so exceptional
Things just work out after all
It’s just another ordinary miracle today

The sun comes up and shines so bright
It disappears again at night
It’s just another ordinary miracle today

It’s just another ordinary miracle today