Total Pageviews

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

The Answer, My Friends, is Blowing in the Wind

     This week's PEOTS will be focused on the visual imagery of wind turbines. As to wind energy: the answer, my friends, is blowing in the wind at sunrise headed west where the giant limbs' movement appeared almost as a mirage:




          And headed east in the afternoon a few days later.  What amazes me the most is how these giant features are whisper quiet.

         No tilting at windmills here in Spanish Fork, Utah:




          Large arms spreading out, moving air and harnessing energy:
   



          Dedicating this week's PEOTS to my dear (not deer) son, traveling companion extraordinaire. The following wind turbine photos are from the National Energy Research Labs:










        The movement is reminiscent of a tumbling gymnast, twirling over and over.

           We might revisit wind energy next week.  It's been an exhausting week here. . .So I am hoping the answer, my friends, is indeed blowing in the wind.

       Winding up this week,
       Steph



47 comments:

  1. Over the past decade or so, the increase in use of wind power has been evident to those of us who favor window seats on cross-country flights. To a greater extent than anything since pivot irrigation took off, it's transforming the landscape as seen from 30,000 feet.

    Here's a huge wind farm outside Palm Springs, CA, which we passed enroute to Joshua Tree last year.

    Speaking of odd formations found on satellite photos, here are some that took me a while to figure out. (Hint: at a lower altitude, with the window open, it would be a lot easier to identify.)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. No, they're concentrated animal feeding operations. Each one of those buildings (a dozen of which are next to each pair of lagoons) hold thousands of hogs. The lagoons are to let the manure dry. (Close the window already!)

      Delete
    2. Geez, doesn't seem like a great life for those animals.

      Delete
    3. That is really odd. How do you find these things?

      Delete
    4. That's what insomnia does in the presence of Wikipedia and Google Maps.

      Any guesses?

      Delete
    5. Hint: this structure is associated with that group of buildings with a helipad and a big antenna (and, oddly, what looks like another pair of manure lagoons?) 7 miles to the west. (Distances can be so easy to eyeball in flyover states!)

      Delete
    6. A helipad to bring in veterinarians and bring out sick animals?

      Delete
    7. Nope. Home plate is the cover of a Minuteman III missile silo, one of 450 such, each with a 475 Kt warhead (20 Hiroshimas), on alert 24/7, ready to fly at a moment's notice to ... where, these days? The buildings with the helipad are above the manned launch control center, each of which controls 10 silos.

      Delete
    8. Huh, that never occurred to me. Rather disconcerting. Especially to discover during insomnia. . .

      Delete
  2. "Large arms spreading out, moving air and harnessing energy"

    It would be fun to see a power surge run a whole field of generators in reverse as motors. (I'm a fan of blowing hot air, as you already know...)

    ReplyDelete
  3. Replies
    1. Shorter than expected, but interesting article. Lego, you mid-westerners are sitting on a veritable sand gold mine!

      Delete
  4. Yeah, we're just sitting here playing in our sandbox. Hey, give me my plastic shovel and bucket back. They're MINE! Are not, they're MINE! Sez who? MINE! MINE! MINE...

    I few years back, as my brother and I were driving across Texas, we noticed scores of giant oil derricks bobbing in the fields like storks snagging fish in a stream. But there were even more Paul Bunyanesque pinwheels spinning against the horizon or, shifting fad-toy metaphors, evidence of the angels playing jacks.

    LegoSanda

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. So you guys can go to the beach any time you want, eh, Lego?

      The wind turbines are fascinating. Seeing those giant arms moving at dawn as I headed out of the canyon on route 191 in Utah was quite bizarre. They are not on a big flat space like those seen in TX, CO, WY, or UT. They were like silent, welcoming, arm-waving giant greeters. I rubbed my eyes a time or two as they were so unexpected.

      Delete
  5. And I second your dedication to your wonderful son. May all his roads lead to wherever he should be. And may he be safe and fulfilled in his travels.

    Lego...

    ReplyDelete
  6. Has anyone else clicked on the windstax.com ad? If so, any thoughts?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I got "Study Poetry at Biola."

      The windstax.com site has quite strange looking wind collectors. I'm not sure how they work (but I can't see the Adobe Flash video. . .)

      Delete
    2. Now I'm getting ads for Dog Ear Publishing. Maizie is not amused.

      Delete
  7. The Scout report is all about writers and science this week:

    https://scout.wisc.edu

    Anyone participating in the National November Writer's Month? How about the November No Shave Month? ;-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. November, 2004, was the first month in which I did shave in almost 30 years. I said it was my personal Dump Bush movement.

      Delete
    2. You're lucky you didn't end up bleeding to death.

      Delete
    3. My beard was born in July, 1980.

      Delete
    4. Any special reason? I dated a guy for 5 years, also named David, who had not shaved in 25 years to remind him of his baby daughter who used to love pulling on his beard. Sadly, she died of a heart defect at only 11 months.

      Delete
    5. It is more not shaving than growing a beard. Started not shaving in 1974, started shaving again in in 1979 to get a job in Richmond, VA, then resumed not shaving in 1980. At 5 minutes a day, that would be almost 1200 hours to date that I could do something else.

      Delete
    6. Like post comments to PEOTS and other blogs ;-) ?

      I never got the whole "beards are bad" thing for work. I like 'em. They do not appear to affect one's ability to complete a job.

      Delete
  8. Speaking of curmudgeons. . . (see newly posted image above).

    ReplyDelete
  9. So, are we now going to be facing a shortage of olivine sand? Or is there enough olivine around to save us from global warming?

    ReplyDelete
  10. jan, I don't see much of a downside to olivine spreading. Do you? It's green, after all. . .;-)

    "All that's green is olivine" (unless it's epidote or. . .)

    ReplyDelete
  11. I don't see a problem with olivine, but then, I was the one who couldn't believe we could have a sand shortage.

    Late in the week for this, but here's an interesting article on the difficulty of transitioning to renewable energy sources. Wind turbines tend to make their biggest contribution when traditional sources are their most profitable, but you don't want those sources to go away altogether, because you need them around when the sun don't shine and the wind don't blow.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. http://www.thevenusproject.com/about/resource-based-economy

      Relevant? Spurious? Inconsequential?

      I'm goin' with PAPER.

      Delete
    2. I didnt realize Denmark was such a wind turbine giant.

      The article seemed to end abruptly. . .similar to the last NYT article. Do you suppose they are only paying for 60 percent of stories?!

      Paul, will read your cited article next.

      Delete
    3. No lawyers? No marketers? I see an upside!

      PAPER is the resource you'd bring to the table, Paul?

      I watched part of the video; the gentleman's weird way of looking into the camera then looking away was just odd. I'm with jan; often reading the text is better, faster, and less strange.

      Delete
    4. Spurious, I'd say. Unless you can think of some way to induce those who currently control resources to give up that control for the greater good. Seems unlikely.

      Delete
    5. jan, are we agreed it looks good on paper? That's my justification for a vote of "inconsequential".

      Delete
  12. Replies
    1. If society accepts IVF with donor eggs and implantation of donor embryos, I don't see any new ethical issue being raised here. The nuclear DNA is from the biological parents, the mitochondrial DNA is from the egg donor. No one is messing with the natural genetics except inasmuch as they're using an egg donor to avoid passing on a mitochondrial defect.

      Delete
    2. Yes, I concur. Mitochondrial DNA and olivine sand spreading: where's the downside for either issue?

      Delete
    3. What about the CO2 released during mining & processing of olivine?

      Delete
  13. We welcomed Smith's President, Kathleen McCartney, last night to Denver on a frigid, snowy evening. 38 percent of Smithies now major in the sciences and engineering, twice the national average for women in college.

    Kathy is a delight. We promised better weather for her next visit.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Breaking news: The Descent of Philae

    New PEOTS coming soon: Working Title: "From Steno's Stratigraphy to Stenography to Steganography to Stegasaurus."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The pictures coming back from Rosetta and Philae are amazing!

      Delete
    2. So much detail in the comet photos. I agree--amazing!

      Delete