U.S. Wind Energy Potential Is Three Times Higher Than Previously Estimated

Oooh -- I find the article below so exciting! I have driven through wind fields in Europe and California, and I find them beautiful. I have never understood the general American NIMBY opposition to wind turbines... I think they are so pretty, and relaxing to watch. And they are so much better for the envirnment than most alternatives. Even with the alloted amount of bird deaths from the turbines, I imagine they would kill less birds yearly than pollution from many other energy sources. In our home we use 100% green energy from our electric company in the form of 50% wind, 25% hydro (very common in CT), and 25% landfill gas. So, even when our bills are high, I still feel pretty good about them! Still, I have looked into getting a small turbine for my own land, and hope to someday have a pasture to accomodate it (and some goats!)

Reprinted from EERE Network News, a free newsletter from the U.S. Department of Energy:

New estimates for wind energy potential are blowing us away! The United States has the potential to create nine times as much energy by wind annually as was created by all energy sources combined in 2009.

The U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) recently released new estimates of the United States’ wind energy potential, which tripled previous estimates of the size of the nation's wind resources. The new study, which was carried out by the National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and AWS Truewind, finds that the contiguous 48 states have the potential to generate up to 37 million gigawatt hours annually. To put that in perspective, total U.S. electricity generation from all sources was roughly 4 million gigawatt hours in 2009. The estimates show the total energy yield that could be generated using current wind turbine technology on the nation's windy lands. (The estimates show what is possible, not what will actually be developed.)

Along with the state-by-state estimates of wind energy potential, NREL and AWS Truewind have developed wind resource maps for the United States and for the contiguous 48 states that show the predicted average wind speeds at an 80-meter height. The wind resource maps and estimates provide local, state, and national policymakers with accurate information about the nature of the wind resource in their areas and across the nation, helping them to make informed decisions about wind energy in their communities.
Why Has Wind Energy Potential Gone Up?

The new estimates reflect substantial advances in wind turbine technology that have occurred since the Department of Energy's last national wind resource assessments were conducted in 1993. For example, previous wind resource maps showed predicted average wind speeds at a height of 50 meters, which was the height of most wind turbine towers at the time. The new maps show predicted average wind speeds at an 80-meter height, the height of today's turbines. Because wind speed generally increases with height, turbines built on taller towers can capture more energy and generate more electricity. The new estimates also incorporate updated capacity factors, reflecting improvements in wind turbine design and performance.


A Visit from Flicker

Today I saw a beautiful yellow flicker with a red back of the head, if stayed in a tree flitting from branch to branch for over 30 minutes during a bit wet snowstorm. Gorgeous. Flickers are 12-14", close to the size of a crow, and members of the woodpecker family. They are all about healing and empowerment, and were highly respected by Native Americans throughout the U.S.A.

Flicker is about change and evolution, the opening of the heart to show us new ways, and the powerful intuitive powers of the crown chakra, or messages from the divine. It shows us that new life and dreams are emerging, and indeed, an hour after seeing the bird my husband worked out some wonderful things with his business.

Flicker parents also keep a fastidious home, and I saw the bird just after tidying up and reorganizing our office and living room spaces.

Flicker is supposed to bring in renewed creativity, which is part of why I had been cleaning the office area, to allow room for more work to come in.

Beauty is all around us.

We are so blessed. We are so loved. Trust. TRUST. TRUST!!

Believe that it is all for you, for truly it is. How I yearn for you to know and believe all this. It is the fullest truth of the verse.



A Haiku

Beauty sleeping
Pink wonder, joyful wisdom
Here for a time.


A Poem to ponder...

by Michael Faraday Alexander

We speak of Consciousness,
yet what do we do;
We live in the Moment,
yet plan future Events;
We share the Dream,
yet are we fully Awakened;
We pray to our Ancestors,
yet forget to love the Children;
We learn from our Friends,
yet where is the Unity;
We acknowledge the Importance,
yet fail to provide Support;
We recognize Inspiration,
yet do we inspire Others;
We take from the Earth,
yet what do we give back;
We are born of Woman,
yet what separates our Sacredness;
We feel our inner Earthquakes,
yet not our Mother's Unrest;
We climb Success Ladders,
yet never stop climbing;
We know of The Oneness,
yet know not of our oneness;
We want Independence,
yet who is anyone Alone;
We understand Patience,
yet are ignorant of Time;
We live a life Full-Talented,
yet where is our One-Hearted;
We desire Uniqueness, seek Democracy,
yet we cannot reform our Families;
We have Experiences,
yet we keep them to ourselves;
We honor White Buffalo,
yet still follow the Herd;
We all have been Hungry,
yet still there is Starvation;
We think what we Become,
yet what we think also Becomes;
We exalt at writing Poetry,
yet how many are living as Poets;
We love to Live,
yet do we live to Love.


The Many Benefits of Drumming

Tonight I'll be drumming with friends and family at the Earth Lodge monthly drumming circle. free for all ages. We drum in the Native American heartbeat style, which is a wonderfully healing and therapeutic activity to get us in tune with our own hearts and minds, and allow us to release the stresses of the day, week, and month. Drumming helps us relax and enter meditative states (read more about that below), and tends to also increase feelings of ease and joy for those who attend the circle. Children of all ages and attention spans are welcome, making this a community-minded event that re-awakens our memories of being one-family, one-village, one-and-all.
Below, I have compiled a list of many more benefits of drumming: even if you can't make it to a local circle, just see how a little drumming at home could increase your well-being:

Blood samples from participants of an hour-long drumming session revealed a reversal of the hormonal stress response and an increase in natural killer cell activity (Bittman, Berk, Felten, Westengard, Simonton, Pappas, Ninehouser, 2001, Alternative Therapies, vol. 7, no. 1).

Stanford University School of Medicine conducted a study with 30 depressed people over 80 years of age and found that participants in a weekly music therapy group were less anxious, less distressed and had higher self-esteem (Friedman, Healing Power of the Drum, 1994).

Subjects who participated in a clinical trial using the HealthRhythms cancer protocol showed an increase in natural killer cell activity and an enhanced immune system. While this does not indicate a cure for cancer, such results may be of benefit for those facing this disease. (Bittman, Berk, Felten, Westengard, Simonton, Pappas, Ninehouser, 2001, Alternative Therapies, vol. 7, no. 1).
According to Clair, Bernstein and Johnson (1995), Alzheimer’s patients who drum can connect better with loved ones. The predictability of rhythm may provide the framework for repetitive responses that make few cognitive demands on people with dementia.

Rhythmic cues can help retrain the brain after a stroke or other neurological impairment, according to Michael Thaurt, director of Colorado State University’s Center of Biomedical Research in Music. Researchers have also discovered that hearing slow, steady rhythms, such as drumbeats, helps Parkinson patients move more steadily (Friedman, Healing Power of the Drum, 1994).

AND From "The Healing Power of the Drum" by Robert Lawrence Friedman, who quotes Layne Redmond, author of "When the Drummers Were Women."
"One of the most powerful aspects of drumming and the reason that people have done it since the beginning of being human is that is changes people's consciousness. Through rhythmic repetition of ritual sounds, the body, brain and the nervous system are energized and transformed. When a group of people play a rhythm for an extended period of time, their brain waves become entrained to the rhythm and they have a shared brain wave state. The longer the drumming goes on, the more powerful the entrainment becomes. It's really the oldest holy communion. All of the oldest known religious rites used drumming as part of the shared religious experience.

It is interesting to look at these ancient drumming practices from the perspective of the latest scientific research into the functioning of the brain. Using electroencephalographs, scientists can measure the number of energy waves per second pulsing through the brain. A system of classifying states of consciousness according to the frequencies of these waves was created.

Normal outwardly focused attention generates beta waves which vibrate from 14 to 40 cycles per second. When awareness shifts to an internal focus, our brain slows down into the more rhythmical waves of alpha, vibrating at 7-14 waves per second. Alpha is defined by relaxation and centering. Dropping down to 4-7 cycles per second the brain enters the theta state in which there is an interfacing of conscious and unconscious processes, producing hypnologic dream-like imagery at the threshold of sleep. Theta is the course of sudden mystical insights and creative solutions to complex situations and is marked by physical and emotional healing. People with a preponderance of theta brainwaves are also able to learn and process much more information than normal. Without some form of intensive training it is hard to stay awake in theta--one slips quickly down into delta. This is the slowest brainwave frequency, 1-5 cycles per second, the state of unconsciousness or deep sleep.
The brain is divided into two hemispheres that are basically split in their
control of the thinking process. The right brain functions as the creative, visual, aural and emotional center. The left brain is the rational, logical, analytical and verbal administrator. Generally, either the right or left brain dominates in cycles lasting from 30 minutes to 3 hours. While one hemisphere is dominant, the memories, skills, and information of the other hemisphere are far less available, residing in a subconscious or unconscious realm. Not only do the right and left brain operate in different modes, they also usually operate in different brain wave rhythms. The right brain may be generating alpha waves while the left brain is in the beta state. Or both can be generating the same type of brain waves, but remain out of sync with each other. But in states of intense creativity, deep meditation or under the influence of rhythmic sound, both hemispheres may becomes entrained to the same rhythm. This state of unified whole brain functioning is called hemispheric synchronization or the awakened mind.

As the two hemispheres begin to resonate to a single rhythm, a sense of clarity and heightened awareness arises. The individual is able to draw on both the left and the right hemispheres simultaneously. The mind becomes sharper, more lucid, synthesizing much more rapidly than normal, and emotions are easier to understand and transform. The conscious and unconscious levels of the mind interface and integrate more easily. Insight quickens and creative intuition flourishes, giving one the ability to visualize and bring into manifestation ideas more easily. An expanded, more complete and integrated state of consciousness comes into existence. Scientists believe that hemispheric synchronization may be the neurological basis of transcendent states of consciousness.

Research has shown that rhythmic music is one of the most effective ways to induce brainwave synchronization. Musical comprehension is a joint function of left and right brains and rhythmic sound can drive the brain waves into alpha or theta states. Many ancient religious practices seem to have originated in attempts to induce the transcendental experiences of hemispheric synchronization. Traditional drumming rituals appear to be efficient techniques for entraining the right and left brains, leading to emotionally and physically healing experiences."

Drum on!


Just BE it -- Guest Blog from edenisnow.blogspot.com

You can do anything you want. Anything you desire. Know what you want, feel it, breathe it, think it. Do not allow negative thoughts into your mind, focus only on the reality you want to create and it will be here soon enough. What you want is but a moment away from you. You always have more options than you know of, more possibilities than you can dream, more miracles to behold. Begin your journey. Take step after step, and your desires will unfold before you as a flower in bloom. As you do so, a new life, full of new desires, will unfold as well: this is life on earth, this is the way it should be. Be open to all possibilities, be joyful and positive, and the universe will return unto you tenfold what you dream of.


Antibiotics Inhibit Plant Growth

Studies continue to confirm what environmental agencies and waste management specialists have been worrying about all along: that the antibiotics and other chemicals in our wastewater is leaching into water tables throughout the United States, affecting people, animals, and even plants with unforeseen consequences. This latest article from Discovery News brings our attention to the silent victim of human waste: the Plant Kingdom.

Antibiotics Inhibit Plant Growth : Discovery News

We are all connected. Let's not forget that. Without plants, there can be no humans. Don't flush medication down the toilet: make sure it is sealed and properly disposed of. Don't throw your CFLs or batteries in the trash. Use less, live more.


Small sighs, little cries

And a baby is born!
Jocelyn Sophia, 8 lb 15 oz, born Jan 20 at 12:48 pm after a very easy and joy-full delivery. Appropriate, of course, since baby j's name means "joyful."
She is a doll. Sleeps all the time, almost never cries, all smiles and snuggly warmth.
One Day Old

In her thinking cradle...

One week old, wearing a cap and sweater crocheted by great-great-grandma, worn by grandma and mommy, too! Oh -- and lying on a shawl made by great-grandma :)

Yes, I possess the wisdom of the ages.
With momma.

Snug as a bug.