September 7th, 2014

2nd visit to SACC, departing while continually screaming

But it's better than it sounds.

Everyone was once again very welcoming. Today was the first day of Sunday School and they had ice cream sundaes. Pretty awesome! T. was very happy to go downstairs and was okay when I checked at the end of the sermon. Alas, I should have pulled him out at that point. It turned out he wanted more singing and he didn't get more so he was mad. I think they may have wore him out a little talking about rules, too; hard to say for sure. He's so good about about being compliant that people who are not familiar with autism and/or with him in particular have no idea that they are running the tank dry over something that actually doesn't matter at all. I am not saying the rules didn't matter -- just that they were real focused on getting him to sign the piece of paper, and based on what I saw on that paper, it was not worth the effort they were putting into it (and getting him to sign the paper wasn't going to improve compliance with the rules or understanding of them, at least not for him).

I said we didn't ever have to go back, but that didn't help at all. He wanted to go back, he just wanted to be mad right then about missing the rest of the singing. Ah, well. Live and learn. He also wanted a do-over on the service, but that wasn't an option because I had no service after this one to go to next; this was the later service.

The reading was Matthew 18:15-20, nice and short. This is a verse used as a weapon by JWs. It is part of the hierarchy, part of the disciplinary approach and part of the justification for disfellowshipping. I hadn't given it a lot of thought lately, beyond thinking about it when some issues cropped up during Occupy Wall Street. There were efforts to handle criminal sexual assault within the group and discourage victims from going to the police. When I read about that, I started ranting about this text and Mennonites and JWs and the long, sordid list of other groups which have used this kind of idea as a way to not resort to the secular justice system. People think they are doing good things for the group, but the group's supposed interests are put in direct opposition to justice for those who have been damaged by members of the group. That shit ain't right.

But what the pastor did with it here was wonderful. It was used as a way to advocate for direct communication involving interpersonal issues, and (when the interpersonal issues stop well short of criminal acts) is really a very different text when thought of that way. She positioned it within the context of the body of believers being all about relationships and love, and of course I _really_ believe in direct communication in that context. Nice sermon; very enjoyable.

Rally Sunday included junior choir before the kiddies went downstairs, and regular choir throughout. There were almost twice as many people in the pews as on our previous visit.

Not sure what our next church visit will be. I don't think we'll be able to go next Sunday, because of other commitments. I'll have to see what our choices are for the following Sunday. Given the singing issue, I'm pretty sure I want to aim for a multi-generational service.

ETA: Looks like our parish UU church will be doing a dedication Children's Service on the new connector building in 2 weeks at 9 a.m. Music! Helping make squares for a quilt. What could be better! I think I have identified where were are going next.

Wind Energy: a Case Study in Miscommunication

Here's a treehugger.com post from last June about a Dutch wind turbine that looks kinda like a sea shell.

http://www.treehugger.com/wind-technology/silent-wind-turbines-could-generate-half-household-energy.html

The article is sort of a mess, so I'm just going to start by pointing you here as well:

http://www.z24.nl/ondernemen/deze-windmolen-is-superefficient-relatief-goedkoop-en-veilig-voor-vogels-476303

The treehugger article says: "The company states that the Liam F1 turbine could generate 1,500 kWh of energy per year at wind speeds of 5m/s, enough to cover half of an average household's energy use." They did an update, but it's unfortunate that they left "m/s" there, because an American audience has trouble with it. It is meters/second and in mph, I think it is about 11. In an earlier version of the article, it said "1.500" kWh; you can see that at z24, also. It's a different standard for expressing numbers.

The commenters on the article say things like this: "1500kw/year? about 12kw per month? Even the Japanese are not that frugal." And the commenters are correct. The Japanese are not that frugal.

http://shrinkthatfootprint.com/average-household-electricity-consumption

But the worldwide average is, the Netherlands (according to the comments thread on the above, and according to Dutch coverage of this technology) is, Italy is, etc.

Ruijtenbeek (see z24 article) says it isn't a problem for birds. If they do happen to fly into it, they'll just get a little ride: "achtbaanritje".

Archimedes (the company) developed it and tested it extensively, and then they have licensed the design to resellers in the Netherlands and elsewhere. They are working on setting up a US sales channel but don't expect it to be available in the US before 2015.

Ruijtenbeek is pretty realistic. He knows this thing works okay on the coast, but by the time you get inland, you either have to be on water (so nothing blocking the wind) or up pretty high (30 meters). He figures a lot of the sales for this will be overseas, because there are only certain places that have average winds of 11 mph year round. It's apparently a good deal cheaper than a lot of the competition.

There's no reason to believe, based on the z24 article, that Archimedes or Ruijtenbeek imagine this to be a residential installation. This seems pretty clearly to be intended for utility-scaled farm-like installations. The kWh comparison to "half a household" is just a way of characterizing how much energy this thing produces compared to a typical Dutch household. I don't think he imagined it being installed on an actual Dutch house. I think part of what he was trying to accomplish was to make a cheaper, more efficient wind turbine that wasn't so noisy people didn't want to live near it, to reduce NIMBY resistance to utility-scale installations. Next up: something small enough to put on a pole.

I don't know why the treehugger article presented this as a potential installation. I don't know why the responses from the commenters were so ridiculous. (seriously, guys, just because the US uses that much power in a household does not mean everywhere on the planet is the same). It's a bummer that something as simple as the Dutch/English language barrier (which in theory is supposed to be negligible, given the very widespread, high proficiency in English displayed by the Dutch) is mangling the transmission of fairly simple information.

[ETA: Judging by other coverage, it looks like people selling the product in Australia and maybe elsewhere are indeed marketing it to homeowners.]]

[Separately, a NJ man decided to install solar, wind and a storage system and kickstarted the ordinance to include it in the code in his area. Pretty cool! http://www.nj.com/mercer/index.ssf/2014/06/hightstown_man_wins_fight_to_install_rooftop_wind_turbine_on_his_home.html]

ETA: Wikipedia on rooftop wind turbines

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Unconventional_wind_turbines#Rooftop_wind-turbines

Boston's Museum of Science did a 9 turbine installation to test stuff in 2009.

Here's an update from 2011:

http://www.boston.com/yourtown/news/downtown/2011/02/wind_turbines_at_bostons_museu.html

Predictably, there were mechanical problems and they underproduced. Equally predictably, when some people talk about sizing a wind installation to power a house, they do not contemplate fairly obvious things like combining it with solar, storage and an energy efficiency strategy. Duh.

The museum put together a summary in 2012, including this statement:

"No issues with noise, vibration, ice throw, flicker, bats, other
environment problems; just one bird strike in 2.5-year lab history.
Our neighbors like them, too."

from: http://www.wind-works.org/cms/fileadmin/user_upload/Files/MOSWTL_2010_2011_29Feb2012.pdf

This was an experimental installation and in no sense ideal, but super cool that they did it -- and I don't think I had any awareness of it at all (you know, I think I knew someone who worked there while it was in progress, too, which just goes to show that my obliviousness to anything outside my house during those years was pretty comprehensive).