Powering Your iPhone With The Big Bang

The motions of matter and energy at the beginning of the universe haven’t finished their movements yet, even here 13.5 billion years away. They blow by, just outside my door, and yours. The technology to capture this energy used to be quite indirect. These energy capture plants are still around. Here’s one I found down on the Yakima Indian Reservation, outside of Toppenish, Washington …

Tower to Bring the Big Bang Down to Earth

Note how the technology operates by first crossing through the intersection of timelessness (the vertical axis of the cross) and time (the horizontal one). Once it has got through that knot, it’s in form which humans can use.

Most of these devices are accompanied by meeting rooms, in which the people of a community can gather, break bread together and celebrate the ups and downs of biological life. This is what the one at this church looks like…

Yakima Indian Reserve Church Hall Mural

It’s got it all, including Jesus with his digging stick and Mary with her salmon coming home.

That’s not all, though. Here’s Mary’s heart …

Mary’s Heart Looks Like a Beet!

And it’s lovingly entwined with blue camas flowers. Lots of good stuff to eat there.

And here’s Jesus’s heart …

Same Beet! Like Mother Like Son.

Except he’s got thorns. I think that’s the connection with the digging stick.

This technology also takes on contemporary forms. Here it is in a combined horticultural supply business and church and bowling alley parking lot. What better combination could there be, anywhere?

Nature, As You Can See Is Ancient History in This Industrial Site

That is, of course, one way of mediating its intersection with urban life.

Luckily, it’s not the only way. Here’s another, this time from Maryhill, Washington …

These Expensive Machines May Never Pay Their Way

They’re tremendous symbols of power and status, though. Top marks.

In this case, the energy is being transformed from the forms it takes as it spills through the atmosphere of the earth and reacts with its water and its stone, breathed out by plants, breathed in by humans, breathed out by humans, breathed in by plants, turned into stone and then back out of stone again, in fire and wind and snow and rain. Like the church steeple above, these machines turn it into pure power. So does this machine …

Bonneville Hydroelectric Dam

This is the first barrier that the Okanagan salmon returning home from Siberia encounter, smack dab in the middle of the Columbia River. While they negotiate the fish ladder (it begins at the white water to the left of the photograph) and struggle on up into the organic machine that is the Columbia now, the turbines of the dam are spinning around and around, converting the gravity of the earth, the gravity of the sun, the gravity of the Milky Way, and ultimately the gravity of the Big Bang into electricity. This is what church looked like in its most modern form in the 1920s.

Here are the kind of turbines that we have in the North Okanagan, where houses are hooked up to power grids from the North and Central British Columbian children of the Bonneville Dam…

Roof Vent in the Bella Vista Hills

The heat that collects under the roof of the house drives this mini turbine to circulate attic air, by a process little different than the one which draws water up from the roots of the tree in the foreground and through its leaves, making it go.

Here’s a closer look…

Turbine Lazily Swinging Around

Day in and day out, year round.

And not one bit of it hooked up to a generator of any kind. Here, for perhaps the first time in human history, is an example of a device designed to get rid of energy rather than to draw strength from it. I hope some young kid out there designing a better app for his iPhone looks up to his parent’s roof and says, hmm, I could charge this darn thing from that. That kid wouldn’t have to occupy Wall Street. He’d own it.

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