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?

Replying About Wicca

I haven’t written much about Wicca and Paganism for awhile. I got settled in and knew my own thoughts and just left it at that. But, I feel good to be posting ideas and sharing them. I left (maybe too many) comments on a YouTube video about “What is Wicca?“.  I liked the video and found a lot of people asking questions as I read the comments. So, I began adding replies. Here they are, without the original question, but I don’t think that will make a big difference.

I  enjoyed your video. I’ve been Wiccan for about 30 years, always solitary. We follow pretty different paths but the core of your feelings about what what Wicca and Paganism are very much mirrors the way I have always felt. It comes from within yourself, it is very individual but based on caring for the world and the planet and putting effort into them. Saving our home, in a nutshell.

I did think it was odd when you began speaking about Wicca as a way to feel better about death. For me it is about appreciating life and death is just part of that cycle. I just turned 50 a bit more than a month ago and time/ age is on my mind more than ever before really. But, I don’t worry about what happens so much as not wanting the journey to end.

Anyway, I don’t believe in spellwork because at some level it seems to be against harming none. To make a change which effects someone else (which even changes to yourself will effect others) is in some way causing harm. The spell part of Wicca has always been mildly aggravating to me because it does get abused, like a get rich quick scheme rather than people taking responsibility, putting in the time and learning how to get what they need without a crutch, or gimmick or just expecting the world somehow owes them a favour.

Too much commenting now. But, I did say “Thank you!” out loud when you said Wicca not all about spells. I do wish more people would look past spells and see what really is here and inside themselves. What real power they have without gimmicks, tricks, etc. 

About Covens

That’s pretty much why I never joined a coven. I would have had to compromise what I feel and believe in so I could fit into what the consensus of belief was with the group. I call myself an Earth Witch but I’m also an Atheist. I’d never be able to fit into any coven and people in covens would not like or accept what I feel/ believe.

However, I do think the weakness of Paganism as a religion is not having a consensus of beliefs. It leaves us without a firm identity in common and we do be come a target of other “organized” religions and their believers. Pagans in covens stand together almost like Christians because they do have that agreed upon system of beliefs and expectations. So, in that way it isn’t a bad thing.

About Meditation

Meditation is kind of like prayer in the way it can focus your mind on what is important and help you pull your energy together to accomplish whatever it is you choose as your goal.

About the Masons

The masons are really cool. I think that’s part of what makes me really appreciate rocks and old buildings.

About the Inverted Pentagram

Make your own decision. I feel strongly against the inverted pentagram and ouija boards. You’re bringing something into your life which you may not want.

For Someone Who has Lost Track

Work on making yourself stronger and happier. You can’t help someone else, or yourself, if your own life is at a low ebb. Spend time with people who are positive and strong so you can learn to be positive and strong too. You have to actually look in the direction you want to go. Great advice for driving a car and steering your course through life too.

About Pagan Books

I especially like reading from Doreen Valiente and Marian Green. Also: Practical Solitary Magic Paperback by Nancy B. Watson. Keep reading, make notes about what you find and feel and what you really believe in and connect with. I even wrote notes in my books. It felt strange to mark them at first but then I began to feel I was making myself at home in the pages.

About Fitting Into Wicca

Don’t try to make Wicca right for you. It’s not like joining a special club. Read about religions, faiths and beliefs and find what you actually connect to. You will connect somewhere and it will be right for you when you find it. Don’t stress about finding it or being Wiccan. Wicca should suit you – not the other way around. Hope you understand because it can feel so wonderful when you discover the right fit for you – even if it is not Wicca.

About Choosing Wicca When Parents Don’t Agree

Essentially Wicca is about appreciating life and nature. Your parents can hardly think you are going to hell or be upset if you spend more time outdoors and have those qualities. Christians are supposed to care about life and nature too. Don’t upset your parents with Wicca – that’s not the point of it. When your life is more your own then you can do more things on your own and in your own way. Don’t make Wicca a dividing wall. You can be Wiccan if you want to be and you don’t have to prove it to anyone by flaunting it or buying stuff or even having rituals. Keep it to yourself and experience it without the extra trimmings for awhile. No harm in that.

Probably arrogant to quote yourself, but sometimes I like to remember what I thought at the time and how I said/ typed it.

 

 

From Live Beta March 25th, 2001

The following is the introduction I had written for my website on Geocities, posted March 25th, 2001.

I’m a Sagittarius, year of the Dragon kind of woman. I like being outdoors, having a great coffee in the city mall, spending too much time in bookstores, traveling around on a shoestring budget, comfortable shoes, Civilization 2, Carmageddon 2 and Caesar3, cats (predatory animals in general), writing, reading, sewing, quilting and embroidery, yellow smiley faces, being on the Internet, publishing online, Wicca, nature, tulips and wildflowers, ascii art, Raggedy Ann, taking pictures but not so much being in them, history, my family, Christmas and Halloween.

My favourite colour is deep dark red. My favourite food is chocolate ice cream with nuts and sauce. Though I have found a really great vanilla flavour called Vanilla Storm but its not always available. My favourite smells are vanilla and lemon, not together. My favourite place to travel to is British Columbia, Canada. My favourite time of day is very early in the morning. My favourite time of year is a tie between Spring and Winter. I don’t like people who are fussy nit-pickers, they usually look for ways to stab you in the back. I like people who enjoy life but aren’t agressively perky about it.

I used to write to penpals around the world and trade postcards and coins with them. I met my husband when we were both 14 and began writing as penpals. I still like to collect postcards and old Canadian coins. I enjoy learning new things about computers and the Internet, history and nature. I can’t ever see myself being one of those tidy, organized people. I live in chaos yet I know where everything is, until someone moves it. I always have projects on the go, half done or not quite started yet. No doubt that tells you a lot about the kind of person I am. But, if you’re the sort of person to sit there feeling superior we’ll never get along anyway. 🙂

Which Mythical Creature Are You?

You got: Phoenix

Warner Bros. / Via ravenclawsphoenix.tumblr.com

You fiery inferno of awesome. You’re associated with hope, immortality, and regeneration. You’re essentially immortal, so you’re an old soul, and a pro at deflecting drama without causing more conflict. You prefer observation to action, and you’re an excellent judge of character. You’re quiet by nature, but when it comes to a fight, you’re a fierce adversary.

via Which Mythical Creature Are You.

Where the Wild Things Are: Teaching Pagan Ideas to Kids

Originally posted to ‘BackWash: Where the Wild Things Are’ newsletter, February, 20, 2003.

What do you do with Pagan kids?

I think kids are too young to get started on the more serious side of being Pagan. Partly because they are too uninformed to make the decision to be Pagan versus something else. Also, calling themselves Pagan could become a problem with other members of the family or kids/ teachers at school. Most people don’t understand Paganism and thus they don’t trust it. Kids are a bit too defenseless in that situation.

That doesn’t mean kids can’t be Pagan too. Calling yourself Pagan is not being Pagan. What is being Pagan about, at it’s heart? To me it’s nature, the Earth, life, history, science, traditions and environmentalism. Is there any reason kids can’t be involved in those things, of course not. Kids just love to talk about the supernatural too, few kids don’t enough the spooky element of Halloween. You can add the facts about ghosts, Witches and such to their ghost stories.

Teach kids to appreciate nature, take them on walks outdoors, show them how to recycle and make it a priority to learn about history and science. Involve them in your rituals. Take them on a nature walk to gather leaves, stones, etc. Let them know what your altar is for, don’t make it a big mystery, but don’t make it sound too “weird” either. Get them started writing a journal, they don’t have to know it’s a Book of Shadows. Spend time with them, that’s the most important thing for any kids, Pagan or otherwise. Remember, they learn from you. What you do is what they see and what they believe.

You can introduce kids to the Wiccan Rede, the basic ideas behind Paganism and what you believe about Gods, Goddesses, life and death. But, make sure they understand not everyone shares your same beliefs. For one thing you want them to make their own decision about being Pagan. For another you don’t want them to be confused when they discover people who disagree with Pagan ideas.

Kids haven’t lived enough to have a deeper understanding and they don’t know how to protect themselves from those who think Pagans are evil, devil worshipping types. That’s the main reason I think I would just let kids see the heart of Paganism and introduce them to the body later. Likely, they will have had a life of living like a Pagan and it will be a very smooth transition to become Pagan officially.

The Ancient Science of Folklore

Originally written for The Crying Clown Zine (c. 1998)

Folklore is not an old wives tale, mere superstition or fairy tale. It is more than that. Folklore is a way of doing things not based on scientific fact. People relied on folklore before the invention of science. Those who want to practice magick should begin with the study of folklore.

The word folklore literally means “the learning of the people”. W. J. Thoms coined the term folklore in 1846 replacing the old term popular antiquities. My definition of folklore is a habit or tradition based on knowledge from a less than official source, such as modern science.

Folklore covers a wide area including traditional beliefs, customs, stories, songs and sayings. Beliefs concerning nature (animal, plant and mineral), human nature and inanimate objects, magick, charms, luck and disease and death. Customs and rites such as marriage, childhood and adult life, festivals, warfare, hunting, farming, and fishing. Old myths, legends, folktales, ballads, songs, proverbs, nursery rhymes and riddles keep folklore passed along in cultures all over the world.

Folklore comes from every culture on the planet, current and extinct. However, folklore must be taken with a grain of salt. Look it with a slightly suspicious mind and a practical, scientific nature. Explore each custom and belief. Dig deeper and find the mechanics of the idea, what made it work, if it really worked at all. Some customs may have worked once and then just been taken as truth.

Pagan and Wiccan magick are rooted in folklore. Read about herbs, divination, tree magick, astrology, animal guides, weather magick and you are reading folklore. Any magick you look at will be full of old ideas which science is only recently looking at. Do some research and find which old wives tales are having a second wind and are already available at a drug store near you. Not enough for you? Look at a modern wedding ceremony and list the customs that do not seem based on logical scientific thought. Start with throwing rice or catching the bride’s bouquet. Does rice guarantee children? If it did over population would be a much bigger issue!

So, why throw rice? How and why did that custom start? Find out! To really understand and work your own magick you will need to know the thoughts and theories behind it, its roots. To step in and attempt to create magick without studying the how and why is like skipping the whole beginning of a book.

Divination is a good place to start looking at folklore. Divination is a belief/ custom based on folklore, early ideas of science. Every tradition from tarot, dowsing, crystal gazing, scrying to reading the bumps on a head can not be proven to work by science. Still, divination in all its varied forms is a very popular form of magick.

Of course, some folklore is truly a fable or superstition. It will be up to your own explorations and common sense to dig deeper and decide which are fable and which are facts. Don’t be afraid to get a little dirty when you get your feet wet, most of all, have fun!