07 February 2008

Sent to my bosses

Today I found this article that I sent to my bosses (Wind farm threat to radar) because radar? That's what we do. And because I like for the people who write my performance reviews to believe that I read the Wall Street Journal in search of work-related content. (Believe and is accurate, as we know, are not always members of the same set.)

I had found the WSJ article because this article on the TerraPass website linked to it (This is a windmill? Really?). And you should check it out just for the picture.

My favorite part of the Journal's article, of course, is this snarky little comment, because there are some days when SLC are all that I have to live for.
Then there are the image problems, from NIMBY campaigns to occasional massacres of migrating birds (though few propose outlawing cats.)
I have actually been to countries (the Netherlands, England) that have working windmills from the Old-ee Days that were intended to grind grains, rather like the mills of the gods (Greece also used windmills back in The Day.)

Nowadays windmills are built to produce clean, renewable power* but when I hear the word "windmill" I'm more likely to think of "ships of the land with their high canvas sails."

Windmills was one of my very favorite of songs that Clam Chowder sang, especially as it is sung to a waltz tune and waltzes are one of the very few dances that I can execute with any kind of grace. It will be in my head for the rest of the day and if you like to hear a couple of verses and the refrain, give me a call.

*And to grind birds exceedingly small, I suppose, the same service that hydro turbines performs for fish. And I support both of these technologies. Nothing is created perfect. Hydro engineers reduced the fish kills with fish ladders. I am sure that the wind engineers can do something similar for the birds. Like building windmills upside down. Improve, don't abandon.

Windmills by Alan Bell

In days gone by, when the world was much younger
Men harnessed the wind to work for mankind
Seamen built tall ships to sail on the ocean
While landsmen built wheels the corn** for to grind

And around and around and around went the big sail
Turning the shaft and the great wooden wheel
Creaking and groaning, the millstones kept turning
Grinding to flour the good corn from the field

In Flanders and Spain and the lowlands of Holland
And the kingdoms of England and Scotland and Wales
Windmills sprang up all along the wild coastline
Ships of the land with their high canvas sails


In Lancashire, lads work hard at the good earth
Ploughing and sowing as the seasons declare
Waiting to reap all the rich, golden harvest
While the miller is idle, his mill to repair


Windmills of wood all blackened by weather
Windmills of stone, glaring white in the sun
Windmills like giants all ready for tilting
Windmills that died in the gales and the sun

**In this context, of course, "corn" means "grain."

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