Windmill joke

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But you know, to be pedantic…



Ok, so my “well actually” reflex is going bonkers now, so this is what you get. 8)


  1. They are wind TURBINES. They don’t actually MILL anything.
  2. The blades are not made of metal. Normally they are glass fiber or carbon fiber.

Otherwise that joke is super funny. 8)


That reminds me… a couple years ago we were driving through central California on the way to Yosemite and we passed a hill with dozens and dozens of turbines on the crest.
“Oh look, a wind farm.” I said, then corrected myself. “Actually, I guess they don’t really grow wind here. It’s more like a wind catch-and-release program.”


I like that! “a wind catch-and-release program.”


So. On probation then. What did the wind do?


…only because the topic came up.

One of the things that I find fascinating, regarding our efforts at renewable energy, is the subtle environmental impact that they have. A field of wind turbines generate some energy in the form of electricity, which is removed from the wind (because the wind is exerting a force on the turbine); therefore, wind speed would be reduced. The same with generating energy from waves, would reduce the amplitude of waves reaching shore.

So, it’s less a catch-and-release program, than it is a wind tax?


Same with all energy production. Solar power means there’s slightly less warming of the surface the sun hit than there would otherwise be, and slightly less energy reflected back into the atmosphere. Thermal means there’s slightly less kinetic energy buried in the ground. Coal and oil means there’s less energy in the bonds of the molecules. Nuclear means there’s less energy in the configuration of the atom.

We can’t create energy from nothing.


It would be interesting to know what kinds of effects the wind power fields have had in a place like Tehachapi. They’ve had wind power generation since the 80s, though it’s been growing for most of that time. Environmentally, is it enough to notice?

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[well-actually] Only Force 7 on the Beaufort scale (50-61 km/h) is referred to as a “wind”. This is probably above the design speed of most turbines, so they are properly called Strong Breeze or Less Turbines. [/well-actually] :grin:


Nothing bad, but it’s managed to ruffle a few feathers and stir things up in too many places. It’s always going around trying to get people’s dander up.


That sounds like something my niece would repeat three or four times per visit… except as a knock knock joke:
Knock knock!
Who’s there?
Windmill who?
I’m a big metal fan! [giggles madly]


Well, actually…

I think you’ll find that the colloquial definition of ‘wind’ as any movement of the atmosphere, not strictly bound by upper or lower speed limits, existed far before the technical listing of different rates of movement into various categories, and neither do the technical definitions supersede the colloquial.

When you’re chatting and just want to mark comment on the movement of the atmosphere, then referring to it as ‘wind’ is perfectly cromulent, even if you know the exact windspeed and are familiar with the Beaufort scale. And (most) people will understand what you mean, and not seek to pin you down more exactly. Use of the Beaufort scale is only appropriate if you are making a technical report on the weather and are reporting on the windspeed, since that is the only use of the scale.

Beaufort ‘wind’ does not replace the common understanding of ‘wind’, any more than the digital definition of ‘bit’ replaces the common understanding of the word as ‘a small piece of something’.


I knew it! Always thought it was a bit shifty.

I’m not a huge Apple fan.


Reminds me of this Threadless classic:


In what way is it a means of keeping oneself cool?

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Your niece sounds awesome.


Wind toll?