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January 6, 2016 / philosophermouseofthehedge

Rollin’ with it. Flying high.

troll sucking up water. 1916 Europa's Fairy Book/NYLib./

Water. Must have more water. Super Bowl’s on and they need electricity. (1916.USPD/

Pipe dreams come true. Portland, Oregon is spinning them.

Although wooden windmills are charming and bring up images of tulips or dry west Texas dust, those are so yesterday.

Fields of towering wind blades repurposing flowing air? Them, too. Old news.

You know that old joke from the “I Love Lucy” show where Lucy and Desi are going to California and ask Fred and Ethel along? Fred sees no need to pay for riding in the back seat as it’s going along anyway.

It’s like that. Don’t have to pay for something that’s already happening. 

Portland energy and water engineers placed spinning turbines inside existing gravity fed water lines creating free electricity as the water rushes past and down the line.

Potential swims before your eyes with this one.

  • Not relying on weather at all. Sunny, rainy, windy – none of that matters.
  • A seems to have no environmental impact as it’s all inside a tube. No fish or endangered species threatened.
  • Even better, no visual blight. (Oh, those West Texas mesas cluttered with giant humming, vibrating tinkertoys!)


Watch the PBS video here.

“Portland to generate electricity within its own water pipes” (Gizmag)

“Water in Oregon pipeline is tapped for electricity” (Techplore)

Eagle talking to birds.1921 Argosy of Fables. Cooper/NY lib./

“Look, I’m tellin’ you. We need to organize now.” (1921Cooper/USPD/

Fliers are flapping in hope. They have good reason.

In 2012 some 888,000 bats and over 573,00 birds got chopped.

Despite the Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act, under Obama administration policies, it turns out Eagles aren’t so special after all. More disturbing news about wind and solar farms’ license to kill (2015). There’s even a mathematical model for how many eagles wind farms can kill before facing fines that is part of the US efforts to regulate the wind energy industry. (2015)

But sticking energy-creating spinners in a tube? Win-win!

sewer rat. (1899. Anderson's Fairy Tale.Constant Tin Soldier. Stratton/NY lib./

Not sure if environmental studies on the impact of water turbines on water rats were done.(Stratton/USPD/

Many things are better contained: cats, crude oil, Bill Clinton.

Streets are mean.

That’s why kids need playgrounds. Good ones.

Ones not gutted by overprotective parents. Free play is serious work.

Crafted “safe” playgrounds may stunt normal development of children.

three children in vintage dress around a fish bowl. (1880 illustration. USPD.

Not dressed for adventure playgrounds, but they still worry about birds of the air and fish that they see.(USPD/

All you see is a kid spinning in circles round, and round, and round.

“You’re gonna fall and hurt yourself!”

While that kid feels the blood running to the fingertips, the world tilting, and the smear of colors blurring into something totally new.

With luck some kid wilding around the playground will spin up a perfect solution for a major problem facing the world.

Thoughts flowing like water and spinning energetically into the unknown.

Thirsty for that

Phil, the Philosopher Mouse of the Hedge.

Small waterfall at Ohiopyle. Frank Kovalchek/

Over the edge, just for you (Image by Frank Kovalchek/




  1. D. Wallace Peach / Jan 6 2016 2:47 am

    Huh. I didn’t know Portland was doing that. Good idea! Now maybe we don’t need that huge natural gas pipeline running through our landslide/wildfire-prone hills to the coast to send it to Asia. 🙂


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jan 6 2016 2:59 am

      It’s been up and running for about a year – so far so good. No tubes/pipelines have been damaged. Always a shakedown period. Seems like this technique could be utilized in many places.
      Pipe lines don’t worry me as much as train/truck transports – but we are not in earthquake zones. Still buying and using local is good for more than just groceries.Thanks for the energizing comment

      Liked by 1 person

  2. sustainabilitea / Jan 6 2016 3:13 am

    The windmill thing is fascinating! As for playgrounds, it infuriates me that because of potential lawsuits, so many cities are getting rid of them or, I guess, having “safe” ones, whatever those are. Children need to take risks, get dirty, eat dirt, etc. When our girls were little, one of their friends would go to the park with us. Her mom would stand behind her when she climbed on the bars, with her hands ready to catch her daughter. Sigh.

    We need more reality in the pipeline and people living their lives with manageable risk!



    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jan 6 2016 4:02 pm

      If parents would stop freaking out when little dahling gets a skinned knee or feelings hurt…and stop dialing up lawyers for normal childhood events (Oh, I know they have to eat, too…like roaches HA HA..Disclaimer: have lawyers in the family, too)
      Your last line is perfect. Thanks for going with the flow


  3. shoreacres / Jan 6 2016 3:57 am

    I almost deleted this photo from Thanksgiving Day in Goliad, but for some reason I kept it. Now, I know why. I titled it S(an) A(antonio) Idiots, for obvious reasons. Read the whole sign. (The idiots, of course, are the bureaucrats, not the good citizens of that fair city.)


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jan 6 2016 3:48 pm

      And there it is again.
      I firmly believe the lack of free play in playground situations is one reason we have so many easily offended, overly sensitive adults who either expect some big authority to come in and “fix” things to their image – or go ballistic and solve problems with violence is an overprotective childhood where “someone rushes in to scold the bully, kiss the boo-boo, and smooth out any problems. Never developing any understanding of cause and effect, self reliance, confidence in abilities, negotiation skills, abilities to overcome difficulties. And the big understanding that life isn’t fair. Those silly elementary school plays are terribly important, too.
      And who is responsible for depriving kids? Hmmmm
      Loved the sign. Thanks for nailing a comment!


  4. marthaschaefer / Jan 6 2016 5:19 pm

    Well put as always, Phil. Alternatives to energy or harnessing the energy and creativity of kids wins every time. For all the helicopter parenting I see there is a huge lack of discipline as well. I’m sick of listening to parents whine politely “Johnny, please don’t do that.” while the kid continues to run amok and ignore them.


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jan 7 2016 1:23 am

      Whether it’s oil paint, water, or kids, most efficient use is to let each be true to their own nature for any good to come from them….not to say a little brush stroke of direction isn’t required once in a while. HA HA. Energy is happiest when channeled. Thanks for playing along

      Liked by 1 person

  5. sportsattitudes / Jan 6 2016 5:49 pm

    I caught that little political “statement” in there about “containing” Bill Clinton! (For what it is worth I just read he is much out and about in New Hampshire speaking on behalf of his wife) The elementary school I went to is reaching out for donations for a brand-new playground with all the trimmings. The thing is the one they have now (built fifteen years ago or so) looks pretty fun to me were I fifty years younger…and it doesn’t look to be in such sad shape. We are so quick to try to build new things in the name of improve – why don’t we try to improve what is already proven?


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jan 7 2016 1:30 am

      I am doing my best to zip it, but if Hillary thinks she’s hauling him out to pretty up things….
      Play is serious. Somehow adults manage to take a lot of fun out of things…some day some kid’s gonna snap and say, “Hey,just because you made a mess of your area doesn’t mean you have to come down here and boss us around.” Adults forget. They need to go home. Some of the best new playgrounds start with designers meeting with kids who come with sketches of what they would like to play on – then the design is creative from their ideas – and the parents show up to help build it with the kids. (Building is a playground in itself) Some of the pre-fab play offerings are pretty boring, but easier to buy a shiny kit shoved at them by sales people than do some research. Thanks for joining the play group!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. The Hook / Jan 6 2016 6:10 pm

    Nice to see the new year hasn’t dulled your creative edge, my friend.


  7. PiedType / Jan 7 2016 12:19 am

    Letting gravity and running water generate power. What a no brainer. Definitely a win win. Who needs eagle pate when you can have this?

    As for safe playgrounds, I’ve ranted about that before so I won’t go there now. BTW, Happy New Year!


    • philosophermouseofthehedge / Jan 7 2016 1:46 am

      This useful running water is pretty intriguing. Almost every place has elevated water towers with water running down to consumers. Hope it is drips across to more places. (Playgrounds. Ditto. Drives me nuts, so it keep mentioning it. Might be new to someone…remember when leggings were the popular item to wearing to school – only they had stirrups and you tried not to bend your knees too much so they wouldn’t get those funny stretched out spots there? Reprisals of everything sooner or later HA HA…not really really wide bell bottoms or “elephant pants”, please. Please. Begging here.)
      Thanks for adding a playful comment



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