I have a friend who used to smoke. ‘Oh… yeah,’ he would say, whilst I’d watch the weight of day-to-day struggles being lifted off his shoulders. I’d shoot him a disapproving look as the palpable odour would waft its way towards me.
‘What? My grandpa smoked virtually every day and he lived to be ninety-one.’
What was wrong with his logic though? Maybe his family has a good gene pool? Or maybe his grandpa was just one of the few exceptions? We’re not that far off from the truth.
Mankind has long been fascinated and perhaps envious of the ability of the bird to fly in the air with such ease and elegance. Inspired by the humble wing, the first ever man-made aircraft that could be controlled and sustained was invented by the Wright brothers in the early 1900s. Their first successful flight took one pilot over a distance of 120 feet in 12 seconds, at an altitude of 20 feet. Impressive as this was at the time, we have since come a long way in our aviation technologies. Steaming through the skies above our heads there are now 500 tonne hunks of carefully engineered metal that can carry upwards of 500 people over the entire stretch of the Pacific Ocean in much less than a day. A reasonable guess as to what this post might pertain to would be something along the lines of the mechanics of flight, right? Truth be told, I didn’t think this introduction through very thoroughly, but just go along with it…
At the moment I write this post my eyes are swollen, my nose is itchy and leaking, my floor is littered with crumpled up tissues, and I lay in my bed squinting at the brightness of the screen. I reach over to my bedside table to grab another tissue but… disaster strikes. There are no more. An oozy sneeze escapes my mouth, mocking my misfortunes. Oh, how I do love summer. Why is it that at this time of the year so many people mutate into snotty, swollen creatures? It seems like some kind of cruel practical joke so that we unlucky few are unable to fully enjoy our summer vacation.
In the summer of 2010, an 80 m tall, 1.65 MW wind turbine was constructed in the small town of Falmouth in Massachusetts, by a private company called Notus Clean Energy. This wind turbine has the capacity to displace 5.2 tonnes of carbon dioxide on average every day, and to date, the turbine has generated over 16 GWh of electricity, enough to provide for 670 homes.