June 29, 2013

The humble Farmer: Dutch retool national imagery as windmills fall out of fashion

The fate of Maine's wind farms is foretold in The Lowlands' rejection of their iconic structures.

By ROBERT SKOGLUND

Several things in the news warrant our attention today, so we'll only touch upon each one lightly, not necessarily in their order of social or economic importance.

Let's start with the inevitable fate of the wind generator farms in Maine: If you've read any newspapers from Amsterdam over the past few months, you have probably learned that the picturesque Dutch windmills are soon to be a thing of the past.

According to Wolkenkrabbers, the Dutch news service, many youngsters in Holland say the ancient windmills are blights on the landscape and should be removed.

"The windmills spoil our view," Jeannette Boon said as she bent over to pluck a wilted yellow tulip, "and every morning, when the sun comes up, that old thing," and she pointed an accusing finger, "creates a shadow on my solar panels."

Tourists planning to visit The Lowlands this summer will find most of the iconic windmills still in place. "They've served their purpose," a young man in Groningen said. "But they are ugly and come fall we're cutting them up and burning them for firewood."

The famous Holland Windmill Delft Blue plates have already been redesigned and in 2014 will sport pictures of Canadian-made solar panels.

VIKING POLITICS

How do we choose our leaders? Do many of your very intelligent, well-educated friends predicate their votes on economic issues -- or on how a candidate presents himself/herself on a platform?

The greatest economic genius might lisp or stutter, and therefore be automatically eliminated as a candidate for an office for which he or she might be eminently qualified. Meanwhile, a person able to sway the masses with his rhetoric and turn out thousands to cheer him (with misspelled signs) at his parades and rallies might well belong in a mental institution for the criminally insane.

Has it escaped your attention that gender and posture still play a major role when it comes to choosing a leader in this land of equal opportunity?

Perhaps it is genetically programmed into us, but, if you think about it, isn't the American man's ideal leader a broad-shouldered, booty-seeking giant wearing a horned helmet who steps onto the foreign soil with a large bronze axe in his hand?

OPEN FOR BUSINESS

We read that a Maine legislator "will introduce legislation to censure LePage."

Would this be a silly and unprecedented thing to do to a leader who has made national headlines since his first day in office? Aren't most Mainers glad to see our state finally being run like a business?

APPLIED EPISTEMOLOGY

Years ago I sent out an email to some friends, asking them to tell me about the advantages of preheating my hot water with solar energy before running it through the electric hot water heater.

The roof on one side of my house faces east and the other side faces west. I have no southern exposure. So I said I'd have half the solar collectors on the east side to catch the morning sun and the other half of the solar collectors on the west side to collect the afternoon sun.

My friend Dr. Jerry wrote right back and said, "Thinking about your roof orientation, I would disagree with the idea of putting up one collector facing east and the other facing west: One would always be in the shade, radiating part of the heat that the other one collected, unless you set up a system that would alternate automatically and only accept water from the one that was being heated."

Yes -- why not set up a system that only accepts the water from the side that is being heated?

You know -- if you don't know anything about the matter at hand, you can come up with solutions to problems that stump the experts. At the time, I saw no reason why I couldn't get the maximum amount of heat morning and afternoon.

I must admit my thinking wasn't original. I got the idea from a Sherlock Holmes story about a man who had one wife in London and another one in Paris.

HOMELAND SECURITY

You might have read of the recent Lewiston brawl involving "40 or 50 poor people." How could they be called poor? Have you checked the prices of tattoos and baseball bats lately?

The humble Farmer can be seen on Community Television in and near Portland, heard on WMPG Community Radio and visited at his website:

www.thehumblefarmer.com/MainePrivateRadio.html

 

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