WindTapper's Journal - Grassroots Green Energy Projects

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"Manhattan" the TV Series on WGN
"Will" on TNT is "Spot On"
Trump - Jackson Debate
Piliated Pear Tree


Algae CO2 Reduction
Art and Advertising
CO2 Reduction (see also Algae)
Dear Diary
Designing Prototypes
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Howard Johnson's Magnetism
Investment in Windpower Devices/Parts
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Static Electrcity
Strength of Materials
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WindTapper's Blog

Art and Advertising

WindAndWeather Dot Com

What lovely products are available from Wind And Weather! Except, their website is not fully functioning. I cannot place an order for any of their products. I wonder what's up with that?

Some of their whirligigs seem to have a stationary section inside the rotating blades, so I thought I might perhaps set a generator inside some blades, such as inside KA6609, for example. However, even though that item is on sale at the moment, the website will not let me "Continue" to make the purchase.

Oh well. They have so many great video's, too, of their whirligigs spinning.... on their website. Those videos work. Check 'em out!

A New Alchemy of Air?

The book The Alchemy of Air is waiting for me to read it, but I looked up the names of the two guys featured in it on Wikipedia. They took nitrogen from the air, then ramped up production in order to industrially produce fertilizer for agricultural purposes.

What I am looking at now is the reported fact that air is the most positively charged compound that is readily available. In my research for using static electricity to produce charges that I might harness for the production of electricity consistently, I am seriously considering experimental devices to gather positive charges from the air.

Perhaps polyester fabric hung out in the yard -- insulated from ground but not far from a grounded surface and parallel to that surface. As it has been raining for two or three days, I am reminded that I must try to detect charges under both wet and dry conditions. With rain, I should try to collect the runoff and isolate it ASAP, into a Leyden jar, if at all possible.

So, after experimenting with both positive and negative fabric collectors, I just might be able to write "A New Alchemy of Air."

Courtesy of I present a picture of a Leyden jar that came up on a Google search of images:
This picture reminds me that negative and positive are relative. Notice that the positive side in this picture is grounded.

Most batteries, on the other hand, have their negative sides grounded.

I am fairly certain that this is an old drawing, which is beyond copyright.

I should visit to see what else they have.

Leyden jars do not have to use lead, btw. Aluminum foil is another common metal liner, but any metal that can hold a charge or transmit it will do. Fabric laced with metal is what my collector will use, at first, at least.

Waiting For The Rain

A couple days ago I assembled 48 1 X 2 cm cylindrical neodymium magnets onto two angel food cake pan innards. Now I am dabbling with various round forms to use to cast a plastic casing that will accommodate the magnets, stacked 2X2 around the outer perimeter, 12 stacks to each level for the rotor.

Lately the sun has been shining well, so I am now waiting for the rain in order to go back to generator construction. Our yard has incrementally shrunk a little bit each year, pushed back by tree limbs and blackberry bushes. I am fighting back this year, a fight which occupies fortuitously graced weather situations.

Also I am fighting rust on my van, which is another fair weather activity. In July a third project again will hopefully occupy some time -- getting, placing, and forming some loads of fill dirt to protect our septic system from a creek that occasionally floods. I was thinking this morning, after watching Halt and Catch Fire last evening, "If you want to know how to square the circle, talked to a sculpture fashioning round objects with straight-edged tools, or to a railroad engineer, who can drive his train in a circle when the track is laid that way."

That AMC series is seriously wonderful regarding creativity in engineering....

NewLight Technologies

Watching The Weather Channel this morning I caught a piece on a company making plastic from the CO2 from the air. The founder has been doing research for the last 10 years, they reported, and has finally made plastic as cheaply as it has been made from petroleum.
I will post more info on this company and like processes into this entry as I find it. TWC showed how the CO2 looks a lot like the fine white powder that is lime (in the video), before it gets heated and colored for making the raw material for plastics molding procedures.
A YouTube link to their advertisement. The company's website is at and should not be confused with another company seemingly based in DC. (The video ends rather lamely, imho. The last phrase of the CEO is too vague.
Disambiguation: newlight dot com is NOT The first represents Newlight Technologies, LLC in California; while the second is an IT company called New Light Technologies, Inc. that does work for federal government agencies regarding digital mapping.

Neuromancer Movie

I can't believe it! Seven Arts Pictures, Inc. is making a movie from the book Neuromancer by William Gibson! I believe it was written or copyrighted 1984 or 5, and it has taken THIS long! So many works are derived from concepts developed by Gibson!
The movie Hackers of course makes an homage to Gibson, and one of the X Files episodes practically steals from Gibson. I have seen others, too, but I don't remember their names. This was my favorite book of all time after I majored in computer science in the early 1980's, and I continued to enjoy it as I investigated the conjunction of artificial intelligence, epistemology, and psychology
I must remark, however, that Tron was a tad bit earlier, coming from Disney and having people living inside of computers, so I cannot say that Gibson was absolutely the first to do that, but in book form he was the first I read.
The website/advertisement from the movie company is at
and I cannot vouch for the company at all, never having actually seen any of their films.
They give an address in Holywood, CA, but also have some sort of organization going on in the UK.
I bought shares today at .0022, I think. Let me check on that. Shares are up 10% today, but that is not difficult to do at these prices. Let's see. I think that is 22 ten thousandths of a dollar per share.... Ticker symbol SAPX.
So, this becomes a shameless attempt at getting people to buy a stock that I have just bought. Sorry, dudes and dudettes, but I have been a rather rabid consumer of movies for more than one decade, now. They say, when you collect art, you should buy what you like best.

Greenhouse Frame Plus Cat Hide-Away

Notice that the top of the frame has four legs shortened so that there will be a gradual decline going away from the house as well as having the sides of its roof declining to promote the runoff of rains.
The blue tarp in the middle of the "attic" covers a couple pieces of carpet remnants over boards that make a place for our cats to retire in safety. Neighbors report eleven foxes nearby, although some foxes might have been counted twice. Still, I have heard foxes screeming at night across the road, indicating territorial disputes in the creek there.
I have multiple tasks to perform these days, including shoring up our levy around the septic system, the shower rebuild, mowing the lawn, etc., etc., in addition to making the deer fencing-encased plastic covering for the greenhouse-cathouse. Needless to say I haven't had much time for building wind powered generators lately.
I have debated whether or not to continue this website's blog, but there are plenty of past entries for people to view and it costs approximately $18 per month to stay here. So, please have patience and we can both hope I can get back to building windpowered generators before the end of this year.

Cement Board

Cutting cement board is not as easy as was implied to me. I was told to score it, then snap it off. In the first place cement board dulls cutters rather quickly. Secondly, the dust is toxic, creating burning eyes and very dry nose, etc.
I finally figured out that I should at least put down a wet towel under the cutting area, wipe the dust off surfaces, have a bowl or bucket of water handy with dish rags, and wipe often. Dusting constantly was my first priority to protect our cat from such dust, and now I must remind myself to dust my face, arms, clothes, too, frequently.
Scoring is not enough. I had to go halfway through the board to get it to crack open, and then the rest of the board's separation was somewhat ragged. So, now I started out with scoring to establish the path first, then moved over to a handheld miter saw, and finally, a saw with no upper reinforcement to stop its traveling along a long line.
Then I use a file to get rid of too large spots, or ragged edges where they get in the way of things. Taking the cut piece to see if it will fit highlights imperfections in the original consturction's angles. I am not going to actually attach the pieces to the walls of the shower until I see how all the pieces will fit together.
On the other hand, since the newest board is mold resistant, relatively inexpensive, and tolerates water, I am seriously considering testing it as an art medium, as well as using it to surface a strategically angled levee in our back yard.

Pix Practice w Iris

Can't get enough practice.
The pictures keep coming to the entry in reverse order of their input, for some unknown reason. No matter how hard I try, what I try, or where I put words into the entry. And the photos lack the blueness of the flowers.
I try and I try, but to no avail.

Security Problems

Recently it has come to my attention that our computer is under attack and I am dealing with  security problems these days in addition to all our other projects. It will be unfortunate if I eventually have to give up this blog due to security concerns, but I will if I must.

Someday it might come to pass that the only way you will be able to access this information is by buying my book at Amazon dot com -- my book that is not yet written. Look for the keyword "WindTapper" if that happens....

Toot-a-loo for now, mes amies.

The "Good Ol' Days"

Remembering back to when I was, maybe, seven years old, I recall making artificial flowers. There used to be kits for making little things such as artificial flowers that you could get money for, but something happened to them. I don't know what, other than there probably being far more people willing to do the work and get paid than there were outfits needing such work to be done.

Similarly, some people probably could work at home addressing envelopes, but I am sure that computers have taken over that task. Now I have a kit from the March of Dimes for which I must address envelopes, but nobody is offering to pay me. This is volunteer work impressed upon me by a person on the telephone.

It was during the last Great Depression of the 1930's that a father-in-law of mine began to rebuild generators by winding their coils by hand, at their family's kitchen table in the evenings. He got money for doing this, though I have no idea how much, nor how, exactly, he got hooked up with such a job.

For a long time now -- possibly more than 30 or 40 years -- such jobs in newspapers, etc. have not panned out. They are 'pie in the sky" advertisements from seeming con artists designed to take your money without giving you anything back again. They require some sort of up-front payment by you to the person or persons who placed the advertisement, either paying for the information and/or for the initial materials from which you could "weave your gold from straw" so to speak.

I suppose memories of making artificial flowers, turning out crocheted pot holders,  making articles of clothing by sewing machine, or typing 90 words a minute for money have something to do with my desire to design whirligigs that people can build themselves, at their own homes, from available technologies. Right now I still cut up the surplus of distilled 1 gallon water jugs, imagining how I would describe this process to others, all for the day when I will be able to sell a book describing how people can build their own wind powered electric generators.

"The Eleventh Draft" Reading

After weeks of no book orders I now must ship The Eleventh Draft: Craft and the Writing Life from the Iowa Writers' Workshop edited by Frank Conroy. I must have read some of it previously, but now I find I have not read this book and must now do so, "or forever hold my peace."

Barry Hannah wrote "Mr. Brain, He Want a Song" that first enthralled me. Then Susan Power's "The Wise Fool" continued to enlighten me. I can see now that my day is going to be very busy if I am going to read this book.

I see now, looking back, that I had kept it for years propped up facing my bed because I liked its title so much, having it remind me that writing is work....

[Later Note: Margot Livesey's "The Hidden Machinery" put me off my feed and I am shipping the book out now. Perhaps it did not help that the graveyard owner called to ask if I wanted to buy the plot next to my second husband, and to let him know if I know of anyone who wants the plot next to my second husband, but both the reading of the essay and the sales call left me with similar feelings and one word: "droll."]

Tonight we have a "conference call" with Barack Obama at 8:30 p.m. I wonder how that is going to work? Do they have our phone number?

Nighttime PBS Arts Programs

Late last evening and during the wee hours of the morning I caught some stunning artwork displays on two PBS channels. Time Warner has at least two, maybe three PBS channels. On our system we get Channel 02 plus 992, and 994 with our Digital Package.
I did not catch the beginnings of either program, so I hope they are repeated. The evening show about the National Arts schools in Cuba showed an enormously wonderful architecture that was left to wither on the vine after the Revolution. You gotta see this. Even Castro later apologized -- after his fashion -- for listening to some guy in charge of architecture for the Revolutionary Party who had opted for pre-fabs and cut off some very talented architects.
I think that a ballerina who hated the architecture was jealous of it because it was more beautiful than she was. She said she would allow no ballet at that school because of the stunningly curvaceous architecture that had too many female motifs embedded in it. I am sorry, I do not even know the name of the program.
I tried to find a link to a video of the program, but so far have found only one -- interesting, though it is -- to a Frontline 13 minute piece. Perhaps I will find more links later and get back with them.
The second nightime PBS program aired around 5 a.m. I happened to be up at that hour and was checking MYTV for Stargate Universe (which has stopped airing) when I discovered Weaving Worlds. I probably missed the first half of it. It told of the world of Navajo weavers, complete with their raising the sheep and goats to make the fibers for their rugs.
Both of these programs had subtitles for when interviewees spoke non-English languages. I found it quite disconcerting that the subtitles often displayed as white letters over white backgrounds. There has to be a better way to control for this. It would be much better if the letters also were made to have black backgrounds, even with the loss of the bottoms of the images behind them.
The Navajo rug makers told of how their water is stolen every year -- a million gallons each year -- by Peabody Coal Company that uses the water to push coal through their conveyor systems, but even returns no electricity to the natives from the power produced by the coal. I do not know how the Indians lost their mineral rights -- maybe sold them -- but it is a shame that the water is treated as a mineral, apparently.

Recent Movies and Books

Loopers surprised me with its finesse. I had expected Loopers to have 10 times more finesse than Dredd, given the premise of Dredd, but I was wrong about that. I recommend both, already recommending Lawless previously. Dredd scared me so much that I feel it fulfills the Halloween death chills wishes of most teens.

I just started reading two books this morning:

1. Michael Crichton with Richard Preston's Micro. How current can you get? I am studying about algae which is 5 to 200 microns in width. I have yet to figure out if a light based microscope can help me to see something this small.

2. The Book on Biodiesel by Mervyn E. Rees. Its Forward is written by a U.K. engineer and hopefully portends the most straightforward book one might imagine. The subtitle for The Book on Biodiesel: The "How To" Guide for making your own biodiesel fuel - safely, with step-by-step instructions plus a great read on the subject, all here in Merv's biodiesel handbook. Leave it to the Brits to come up with a title as long as this. Oh wait. That's not really a subtitle -- just advertising. Or is it?

BTW, clear plastic tubing of 2 inch diameter is $4 a foot at U.S. Plastics. So, it is on to PVC for trying to warm our greenhouse by making a rudimentary heat exchanger for our household furnace emission stream.

Building A Logo

Attached to the inside of the 14 inch wok lid that I will use to form the top of my generator housing cast in cement I am working on creating the stencils that I hope will form the logo on my generator housing. I am making two of them because the last design I made cast the housing in two halves. Now that I am considering casting it all in one piece, the two will simply face in opposite directions.

I am cutting the stencils using an box cutter on some place mats I purchased yesterday from Walmart for 94 cents plus tax. One side is textured, so I am cutting the two stencils on opposite sides to get a comparison of the effect, if any, on the surface of the cement of the textured side of the mat.

Pictured below is the progress I have made so far. I cut one, then drew the other in black, but changed my mind about making a new logo, so then I painted red nail polish through the first stencil onto the second one. I still have to cut the second one.

The center of the "D" and two "P"s I guess I will have to glue into place on the inside of the wok lid. I changed the "E" from lower to upper case so that I don't have the center to reattach.

So anyway, the letters will be slightly raised on a slightly indented background.

I wonder if they make textured stencils somewhere?

Just So You Know

A reprint follows, showing a whirligig from last year. The whirligigs or wind power blade gizmos that I plan to build from now on are narrower than the one pictured here.

A bird feeder hangs in the background, made by one of our very generous uncles.

I have narrowed the design both to prevent as much precipitation from hitting the gig during winter, and to make it possible to hang two side-by-side from a 6-foot long swing set I have set up in our backyard.

Plenty of pictures of gigs such as this one, and how I made them, are displayed throughout this website.

Back to Form Modifications now. The following picture includes two red "Main Stay Serving Bowls with Tongs," showing how the red bowls are a closer fit to the aluminum wok lid than the blue and purple bowls. The cast in cement would be thinner and probably a perfect thickness except that the bowls have a too large circumference compared to the 14 inch wok lid. If I were to cast it using the Main Stay bowls plus wok lid, the joint between the top and the sides would be too thin, thus creating a weak seam.

Somebody or some animal would inevitably try to sit on top of the generator and would break it if it has a weak seam. At least I have an idea now exactly how much I need to pad the blue bowl, though. If you have ever tried to trim a plastic container, you will know it is practically impossible to do so neatly. That is why I will not "simply" reduce the circumference of the red bowls.

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