mechanic owl

Try to be more like an owl, wind turbine

Originally posted by brunafogacci

Owls are notoriously silent predators. On the leading edge of their wings, these raptors have comb-like bristles on their feathers. The bristles break up sound waves and prevent the telltale swoosh sound of an incoming strike. Meanwhile, the downy feathers on the underside of the wing and the owl’s legs soften air pressure, adding to the quiet. End result: Mouse did not see it coming.  

Originally posted by cxo-vfx

Wind turbines, however, are not so stealth—they disturb their neighbors, be they human or animal. Scientist Nigel Peake, who studies fluid mechanics, might have the answer: Make turbine blades more like owl wings. Peake’s team added evenly spaced fins across an airfoil and put the imitation owl wing in a wind tunnel. It worked, cutting noise down by a factor of 10. It turns out that adding fins to blades might also help generate more energy, because the wind farm could spin the turbines faster without worrying about making more noise. The scientists are now working with a wind turbine manufacturer to test their idea out. So owl wings result in more rodent snacks, fewer stressed fish, fewer edgy squirrels, fewer complaining humans, and less coal burned—they’re quite the invention. 

The Miracle Man of Alexandria

Religion has always had a bit of the scam about it. In ancient Alexandria, there lived a genius. Not of mathematics or philosophy but of mechanics. Heron of Alexandria was the first true mechanical engineer in the ancient world.

He was employed by the Temple priests to create machines which would give the impression of miracles of the Gods. He made the first coin-operated machine. Worshipers would place a coin into a slot and a beautiful mechanical owl, sacred to Athena, made of gold and jewels would magically “come alive” before the eyes of the startled worshipers as if imbued by life by the goddess herself. Yes, history’s first robot was a scam to get money from the gullible,

i drew a pretty raunchy deancas thing because i’ve been in a good swing for that but i can’t decide if i want to post it even though i really like it

Flights Of Fancy: Exploring The Songs And Pathways Of ‘The Living Bird’

Scott Weidensaul explains his fascination with owls: 

“Owls are incredibly vocal and you’re right, most owls don’t hoot, they make this ridiculous array of sounds, caterwauling. One of the owls that I studied, a little northern Saw-whet owl, sounds like a garbage truck backing up, it’s this mechanical tooting sound. Barn owls, which live in old church steeples and barns and silos, sound like demon spawn from the pit of hell. It’s this horrible screeching banshee wail that will make you believe in ghosts. … 

They’re nocturnal; they’re mysterious; we know very little about them; they look vaguely human-like, they’ve got these big round heads and forward facing eyes, so I mean, people have been fascinated by owls for as long as we’ve been human. In fact, if you go back 30,000 years ago, on the walls of the Chauvet Cave in France, along with these beautiful murals of cave lions and woolly rhinoceroses, somebody took their finger and inscribed the very clear outline of a little scops owl with its little ear tufts in mud on the wall of the cave. We’ve loved owls for as long as we’ve been standing upright as people.” 

Fledgling Great Horned Owl (Bubo virginianus) in defensive posture. Alberta, Canada. May. 

Gerritt Vyn photography