Archive for May, 2007

Wind Farms

Over the weekend, I had a chance to view one of Victoria’s seven working wind farms. The Toora wind farm is located 170km south-east of Melbourne perched atop a very tall hill.

  • 21 megawatts of generating capacity
  • 12 wind turbines
  • 6600 equivalent homes powered anually
  • 67 metres tall
  • Turbines can adjust for wind direction.

Two major reasons for opposition against wind farms are its “uglying” of the landscape and its noise. I can’t speak for all wind farms but Toora is perched on top of hill with a great view of the sea in the distance. Most people will be looking down rather then up. In this author’s opinion, wind turbines look quite funky and I wouldn’t mind living near them.

The noise from the turbines is very minute. Wind farms are generally located in windy areas, so its noise would have to be heard over the wind. I attempted to capture the noise from the turbine but all I heard when I played it back was the wind blowing into the camera’s microphone.

Looking up at the turbine incited flashbacks to the movie Contact where Jody Foster rides a turbine looking machine that is supposed to make contact with aliens. Even the sounds were very similar to the movie.

Currently, Australia gets 1% of its electricity from wind power. Victoria has 134 MW of wind generating capacity which when all proposed projects have been installed will reach 2,010 MW of wind generating capacity.

Toora Wind Farm

Wikipedia: Wind Power in Australia

Environment Victoria: Pros and Cons of Wind Power

Youtube: A funky Toora wind farm video with a guy dancing (not me)

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The big Thankyou Project.

The Thankyou ProjectA huge collection of thankyous will be projected into Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne’s night skies during the Thankyou Bash on June 1st – Melbourne’s bash will be held at The Arts Centre. This is the huge Thankyou Project – you might’ve caught the TVCs or heard it mentioned over Mix101.1FM.

Thankyou Project Victoria

Watch your parking meters.

If you’re planning to take your car into the city (or well, if you own a car and live in the city…), do mind the new parking regulations.

The parking meters from July 1st will begin operating until 7.30pm on weekdays and Saturdays. New signs will be installed to reflect this change, so check them if you’re unsure.

Winter has arrived! (Part 2)

You don’t own a thermometer and you haven’t seen the weather report. You know it’s definitely cold enough, when:

  • You boil a tiny pot of water, and realise your entire window has misted up.
  • You realise you’re actually wearing three layers of clothing.
  • The mozzies (mosquitoes) are quite stupid.
  • Your freshly cooked chicken stew turns solid in three hours.
  • You can’t get out of the shower (Stage 4 water restrictions notwithstanding).
  • Your shower sets off the smoke alarm.
  • and yes, by far the most obvious hint:

  • You see your breath as you exhale. And you’re home.
  • Winter has arrived!

    Every year I keep a watch on the ski slopes of Victoria. I love the snow, the chilly wind beating down on my face while I tumble down the ski slopes. It seems winter has arrived early this year.

    Check out the snow cam for Mt Buller,
    Falls Creek,
    Mt. Hotham,
    and Dinner Plains.
    What a wonderful sight!

    News Link
    The Age’s “Snow Lifts hopes of good season
    Herald Sun’s “Snow Guide 2007“.

    Alien Van

    I have spotted this van a number of times on Brunswick street and have always wondered the story behind it. A Back to the Future fan? UFO recruitment? Futuristic hippies? Perhaps it’s the Sonic Manipulator’s mode of transport.

    Pictures by acb
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    Radical sex festival

    For those of you who are interested, Camp Betty is a radical sex & politics festival held over Queen’s Birthday weekend — the 7th to 11th of June.

    The program includes workshops (ranging from information on how to become a telephone sex operator to how to make a vegan dildo harness), picnics, film nights, a Food Not Bombs dinner & a zine fair.

    Sounds awesome :D

    Caberet Nocturne; a Friday night Goth club in Melbourne

    On Friday night i went to Caberet Nocturne at 272 Russel Street in the CBD. It’s a Goth club, and they have a rotating roster of four DJs. Tilt nightclub (the venue) has two narrow levels, with a little dancefloor on both of them, and on Friday nights there’s a DJ on each level – Caberet Nocturne below, and the rotating roster above.

    On the ground floor you can hear a pretty cool range of alternative (whatever that means to you) music from the lighter to the heavier (e.g.// Gwen Stefani to Rammstein), and it’s probably going to appeal to most people who are likely to be attracted to a goth club in the first place. Very fun to dance to, especially if you are (like me) generally bored of the poppy R&B stuff you find at most more popular clubs. If you went to Q&A about two or three years ago, and can’t take it anymore because it’s drifted away from the “alternative” part of the name, you’ll probably like what they play at Caberet Nocturne. Dress in black, get your chains together and be open toward heavier industrial and death metal sorts of stuff, and you’ll have a great time.

    On the second level the DJ changes each week; last Friday it was whit3nois3 according to the pamphlet; i sometimes couldn’t dance to it, and spent some of the time sitting and just listening to what the DJ was doing, but it was definitely worth listening to. The DJ did a lot of the playing-with-knobs sort of DJ-ing, actually messing around with what could well have been a base track of actual white noise (though i’m not an expert by any stretch of the imagination, so don’t take my word for it). If you want to hear some genuine DJ-ing, where the content sometimes becomes 90% on-the-spot rather than playing pre-recorded tracks, whit3nois3 is upstairs from Caberet Nocturne every 3rd Friday of the month.

    The entry fee’s $10, the atmosphere’s friendly and there’s usually heaps of totally uninhibited dancing going on, so you can just have fun. (I don’t drink so i can’t really tell you much about the price of alcohol at the venue (Tilt), but i did run into that issue you get at some places – where the price of a drink varies depending on which bartender you talk to (A soda wavered between $3-4). I’ve been to Caberet Nocturne a few times in the past and never found that before, though, so it’s probably not a feature of the place and it probably wouldn’t happen for all you alcohol-drinkers.)

    Make Poverty History

    Heard about this on the television. The Make Poverty History organisation is recruiting young people between the age of 16 and 26 to join their road trip. They are trying to encourage young people to be part of the solution of reducing poverty.

    As long as we are ALL part of the solution, and not a problem.

    David Hicks Lands in Australia

    I know it’s not really Melbourne news, but it’s Sunday, so I don’t know how much you’re watching the news (you are correctly checking out fun sites instead – well done).

    David Hicks has arrived in Adelaide to serve his seven-month sentence.

    Sydney man Mamdouh Habib, a fellow former Guantanamo detainee, has spoken of his relief that Hicks has returned to Australia.

    Mr Habib said he hoped Hicks would soon have the chance to tell his story.

    “It’s a big relief that David Hicks is home,” Mr Habib said. “We can show who is right and who is wrong. Any question can be answered.”

    Well, not for a year – but getting Hicks back on AU soil – no matter what you think about his guilt – is very important for Australia. And when he’s allowed to speak to the media in a year, it should be… quite interesting.

    I don’t think anyone can argue at this point that bad things are going on in Guantanamo (if you want to sound like you know the lingo, call it “Gitmo”). Sad as it is, having a white Australian speaking to what went on there is going to have a big impact on the way the world (and the powers-that-be in the West) view the detention center.

    Anyway, I read The Age so you can enjoy your Sunday. Here’s the article.

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