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?

Painted ASCII Art by Karen Guise

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Source: Karen Guise on CafePress

I think I found links to Karen on Twitter and Google+ too. If you like the painted ASCII art style take a look in the CafePress shop. There were several other animals: frog, raccoon, horse, wolf, birds, etc.

I like the simple mix of ASCII characters with watercolour paint.  The colours are nice. These four are my favourites for one reason or another. I also like the raccoon, the expression on the face, but I didn’t include it here.

For Lighthouse People

This was originally posted on HubPages. I moved it when it was shuffled off into the sidelines. 

lighthouse

I’ve wanted to make my own ASCII art lighthouse for ages. But, there were other things on my list which got done first. Today I decided to settle in and work on the lighthouse. I think it turned out quite well.

Lighthouses are legendary as lonely outposts. I know there are people who collect lighthouses in paintings, sculptures and other forms of illustration/ art. I always wonder if these people are as lonely as all their lighthouses make them seem. I hope not.

Of course, anything lonely is also isolated in one way or another. I prefer art with lighthouses which have houses attached or nearby. I really like the addition of boats, ships, birds, everything and anything likely to be around a lighthouse. it makes the lighthouse look less lonely.

The real purpose of a lighthouse is to be strong, not isolated. They mark the dangerous areas on the water so ships will avoid them. The lighthouse braves the elements every season for years and stands high and tall, showing the dangers and keeping people safe.

See More Lighthouses

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