Windmill failures are spectacular


Originally published at:


The one where the vulture gets hit by the propeller is pretty heart breaking ]: the other ones were rather interesting to see how they failed.


For so it had come about, as indeed I and many men might have foreseen had not terror and disaster blinded our minds. These germs of disease have taken toll of humanity since the beginning of things–taken toll of our prehuman ancestors since life began here. But by virtue of this natural selection of our kind we have developed resisting power; to no germs do we succumb without a struggle, and to many–those that cause putrefaction in dead matter, for instance–our living frames are altogether immune. But there are no bacteria in Mars, and directly these invaders arrived, directly they drank and fed, our microscopic allies began to work their overthrow. Already when I watched them they were irrevocably doomed, dying and rotting even as they went to and fro. It was inevitable. By the toll of a billion deaths man has bought his birthright of the earth, and it is his against all comers; it would still be his were the Martians ten times as mighty as they are. For neither do men live nor die in vain.


Sabotage suspected: Police release sketch of two men wanted for questioning.



Obligatory XKCD:

Also the much-less-boxable .


I didn’t see the cover picture among any of the failures, did I miss it? It looks like the most spectacular of all!


Turkey vultures & turkey buzzards are the same animal.


Had no idea. Thanks!


Oh dear. Apologies in advance but now you’ve done that, Jorpho, I must do the obligatory: Two wind turbines, one turns to the other: “What sort of music do you prefer?” “I’m a huge heavy metal fan, myself.”

[Edited in line with Scott_Yates’ precision.]


<well_actually>Aren’t they wind turbines?</well_actually> I don’t think they “mill” anything.


Interesting leading question at the end of the video right after the flame-out: “Are they harmful for the environment? Share your thoughts!” Sure, let’s invite everyone to form opinions from anecdotal videos instead of data.



Interesting leading question at the end of the video right after the flame-out: “Are they harmful for the environment? Share your thoughts!”


The bird death was sad. And I know wind turbines kill birds - 140,000 to 328,000 annually according to the Audubon society.

But it’s also important to keep in mind that number pales in comparison to the birds killed by feral and outside cats: between 1.4 and 3 billion birds a year


lol, I stand corrected!


Physics is a funny thing. One wing around a center of mass works the same way at scale.


Agreed, it was sad.

There are some attempts at quantifying bird deaths. One study finds about .3 per gigawatt-hour for wind and about 5.2 per gigawatt-hour for fossil fuel. Just in the U.S., we kill at least 8 billion chickens a year, so concern for bird life seems to have some relationship to how readily available it is in nugget form.


I’d like to think that there’s a tech answer to reducing bird strikes. People use silhouettes of predatory birds to scare birds away from plate glass. Perhaps the airflow around the blades can be tweaked to deflect birds, or produce a sound that they find disturbing when they are close by. Hmmm Yep, they’re busy… Stuff to protect birds and bats


That turkey buzzard was “playing chicken” with the blades.

“So why do windmills fail?”

“Are they bad for the environment?”

Everything fails eventually: windmills, cars, guitar strings, scenic rock formations, nuclear power plants. . . .

Some cause more damage than others.


Strangely enough, the chap in that photo is actually a blacksmith…