15 March 2011

Time to Help

After the May 3, 1999 F5 tornado in OKC, driving to work every day required me to cross the mile-wide swath of destruction the tornado left between my home and my work location. The sight of rubble piles where houses had been, houses with missing roofs and walls, and automobiles scattered, crushed, and twisted like the Jolly Green Giant's beer cans assaulted by eyes for many, many days. It was quite depressing.

Now, I try to imagine what a whole region of a country (Japan) in this condition would be like. The devastation is simply unimaginable: first a very severe earthquake, then tsunami-driven floods, and now who-knows-what from damaged nuclear reactors. Health care, transportation, utilities, and communications are down completely or heavily impaired and will remain so for some time. It's so far from my personal experience (thank goodness) that it's really hard to comprehend.

If you haven't done something to help, pick up your cell phone and text redcross to 90999 to donate $10 to the relief effort. It only takes a minute, and if everyone would do it, a considerable donation would result. Your fellow humans need a hand.

Thanks in advance!

Chuck / Prof. Oates
Norman, OK, USA
15 March 2011

11 March 2011

Oklahoma Burning!

Oklahoma Burning!
Prairie Fire Burns South of Norman
Posted by Picasa

09 March 2011

Isn't it *wonderful* to be oil-dependent?!

Isn't it *wonderful* to be oil-dependent?!

Isn't it *wonderful* to be oil-dependent?!

(from my Facebook wall after the Libyan political crisis had been festering and run oil prices up, Tuesday, 1 March 2011)
Tuesday at 2:35am ·    
  •   Mats Ittonen likes this.
    • Chuck Oates 
      Presumably, political instability won't be able to turn off the sun, and certainly NOTHING will stop the Oklahoma wind! Sounds as if it's about time to make (flip?) the switch. Meanwhile we have at least another decade or two or of this nonsense, even if we start a renewable energy "Manhattan Project" today, which seems pretty unlikely, given the sophomoric folks we've sent to the U.S. Congress. :^(

      Meanwhile, American oil companies run TV commercials telling us we need to drill our way out of "foreign-oil dependence." Sophomoric also, not to mention quite impossible at this point.

      The only bright spot is that, wonder of wonders, power companies have done the math are beginning to build wind farms like crazy. Both Woodward and Weatherford, Oklahoma look like the Jolly Green Giant has gone crazy setting out three-bladed pinwheels. See a (very) few of them at http://bit.ly/ebY63G , http://bit.ly/gPDRNY , and http://bit.ly/dFPx2i . 

      That's great, but it would be even better if they could build them using locally-built wind turbines--not easily found in the U.S., since wind turbine manufacturers, like Norman's Bergey WindPower,http://www.bergey.com/ , have a hard time getting financing for anything bigger than turbines of several kilowatts. It certainly isn't for lack of ready and willing local engineering talent!
      Sophomore: from the Greek words for "wise" and "fool."

      Tuesday at 10:09am · Like

    • Chuck Oates Here are some shots of the Blue Canyon Wind Farm near Medicine Park (Lawton), Okla.: http://bit.ly/gtfQWK . I'm not sure where they're getting "largest wind farm in Oklahoma," though. The Woodward wind farms are *much* larger in wattage and maybe in land area.
      Tuesday at 10:18am · Like

    • Chuck Oates Photo 68 of this albumm gives a bit better idea of the extent of the Weatherford wind farm: http://mysp.ac/eDpFRo .
      Tuesday at 10:41am · Like

    • Richard W James They are build wind farms here too by Vega.
      Tuesday at 6:11pm · Like

    • Chuck Oates 
      The more, the merrier!

      Maybe we should also experiment with some facilities to break water into hydrogen and oxygen with any excess electricity produced to even out the load. The hydrogen could then run turbojet-driven generators when the wind is calm. (I don't know of anyone firing turbojets with hydrogen right now, but I don't why it couldn't be done. Those things will run on Chanel No. 5 if you have a sufficient supply.)

08 March 2011

Signs of spring ...

Posted by Picasa