Friday, April 26, 2013

Thea Art Show

My face  is in a local exhibit by artist John Rankine. Scary, right? (at left) For this exhibit, each artist in Eureka Springs was to make a face, showing how seriously we take art. I practiced this look for about 2 seconds before the shutter snapped. Please don't imagine how I could look with more practice.

Today I'll be packing boxes to take to Little Rock, Arkansas for the Thea Art Show which is held as a fund raiser to put more art in Arkansas schools. I've mentioned Thea before. You can just barely have the arts without hands, and if you just barely begin to understand the relationship between the hands and learning, you know that the strategic engagement of the hands provides a clear rationale for the arts. Instead of the arts, we've chosen to make schooling boring and efficient, in a misguided effort to make it straight lined and precise... as though the shortest distance between two points was actually a straight line.

Those who understand art as it applies to our own motivation and sense of self, know the importance of wandering as the most direct course to a happy destination.

On another subject, the company that makes small hinges that I use in many of my boxes has announced a solar energy project that will generate 95% of their electric power needs on-site. Craft, Inc. in South Attleboro, Massachusetts recently installed a rubber roof over its manufacturing facility and is currently installing 1,200 solar panels. A report by the Edison Electric Institute, Disruptive Challenges, informs public utilities that they need to be quaking in their boots over the disruptive influence of alternate forms of energy production. They are deathly afraid that solar panels will destroy their business model and chip away at their investor base. One concern is that just as so many have abandoned their copper land lines in favor of cell phones, thus reducing the profit margins traditionally enjoyed by AT&T and other land line providers, home owners and manufacturers will do the same thing... abandon the grid for more cost effective and reliable on-site power generation.

You can see the dilemma for SWEPCO and other electric power utilities in the south. They have to either run roughshod on our hills, destroying our way of life, and the value of our homes and properties in order to get cheap power flowing into the upper midwest, or face the dire consequence of our taking matters into our own hands. If a small manufacturing plant in cloudy Massachusetts can generate 95% of its own power, so can we. This article describes the danger Utility companies face: Solar panels could destroy U.S. utilities, according to U.S. utilities.

And I am further reminded of my friend Bill Coperthwaite. In the early 1970's he acquired a tidal pool on the coast of Maine thinking it would provide all the free hydro-electric power anyone in their right mind could ever need. As he worked on his land, he discovered that he truly had all the power he would every actually need in his mind, in his own strong back and in his hands. So he's put the tidal pool in wilderness preservation trust.

One more thing to share from yesterday's wood week activity at the Clear Spring Pre-school during which kids used saws, hammers and hand planes to work on wood. One of the kids said, "I want to tell my mom about THIS when I get home!" In other words, give kids something interesting to talk about that engages their interests, and parents won't need levers to pry out of kids mouths what they did each day. And kids will be more excited to go back the next day, too.

Make, fix and create...

1 comment:

  1. One of the problems concerning solar generated electricity, is that it is still dependant of a grid to absorb the surplus generated electricity, and at night people still expect to have power in their receptacles. So unless the installation is made so the electricity is transformed to DC and stored in batteries, and then converted back to AC once it is needed, then most people will still need to be connected to the grid. At least if the modern lifestyle is to be maintained.