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?

But What if it Were Real…

11822791_10153045473501938_1594222403926907164_nThis photo was posted to Facebook with a note:

“This photo was taken in Australia, get it out there as Facebook are trying to remove it.”

Logically, why would Facebook being trying to remove this photo? It looks like a fake. But claiming Facebook is trying to take the photo away makes it seem legitimate as something others are trying to hide. People will flock to see something secret, or scandalous. So the fake photo gets passed around and around.

But, what if it were real…?

What if aliens were secretly running the planet? I don’t mean the governments (those are human-made). What if aliens with spaceships and more were actually controlling the planet we live on, aliens as caretakers. An evolved human-like (I guess) culture which keeps the Earth on track.

What if the thing we have been mysteriously calling god is actually a space alien taking care of our planet, quietly, in the background?

The Sadness of Disappearing Used Book Stores

starlight Starlight Books in Newmarket, Ontario, has closed. Not big news to a lot of people. I was sad to see it gone this week when I drove by on my way to visit my sister in Newmarket. I used to live in the area. Starlight books was one of my favourite places for about 20 years. Now its gone.  The Facebook page is missing, not even a note to say good bye. The website is just a dead link.

Technology killed the little community book store.

Where will all the secondhand books go when there are few (or none left at all) places to trade books? The best thing about Starlight and the other secondhand bookstores is being able to bring in books I’ve read and find more from the same author, or take the risk of a new author.

Used book stores are opportunities for readers. Not just finding old books no longer in the big retail stores, but books in stock catered to the reader rather than the shopper. Also, when I exchange books I can select a few for free then. This was the best time to try someone new, a book I would have passed up as too expensive to take a chance on otherwise.starlightbooks

How much is the literary world losing as the used bookstores fade away? Likely more than many people realize.

It’s not a co-incidence that Starlight thrived and grew for at least 20 years (that much time since I’ve been shopping there) and all at once has now closed. I’ve talked to the local used bookstore here too. She says there is more stock coming in and less being bought (or traded out again). The paranormal genre which was selling so quickly is now slumbering too. That doesn’t help as they come in and stay, taking up space now.

Less space consuming are the ebooks, of course. The approaching paperless swarm of electronic books many people buy but only a few actually seem to read. It’s the buying that counts though, not the reading.

I do feel sad for the future of the paperback especially. Will all those printed words end up in landfills? No longer able to find new readers at the community book shops.

What will happen to writers too? There may be book buyers but are there still book readers?

It’s Too Easy to Own a Tiger in America

I don’t think wild animals should be kept as exotic pets. If we can’t find the space to let them be then we can at least give them a suitable man-mad space where they can live on their own terms (more or less). Caging them and treating them like a pet is disrespectful. Let them live and die as part of some kind of natural world rather than trying to fit them into a cosmetic version of it.

Lions and tigers don’t belong in North America. Save a stray cat instead, get it spayed or neutered and let it live like an exotic pet instead. Or, save one of the North American wild cats: cougars, lynx, etc. Use your resources to benefit the animals still out there competing for habitat (and losing). Prevent the wild animals from ending up in zoos, nature reserves or… exotic pets.

The American Bar Association is urging the federal, local, and state governments to enact laws banning the possession of exotic animals.

Source: www.yahoo.com

Illustrating Population Versus Land Mass

overpopulation

But there’s an important caveat: it takes a lot of land to support all those people. As Per Square Mile goes on to note, if everyone in the world required as much land to support them as Americans do, we would need four earths.

via: 22 maps and charts that will surprise you – Vox.

The point about supporting the population is the reality people don’t seem to consider. Being able to live on the land isn’t about the space your physical body needs to just stand in place.