OK, this is the whimsical follow-up to yesterday's post about the potential use of alcohol/gasoline mixtures as automotive fuel. I waited till today to add this part because I didn't want to dilute the serious message of the previous post.
Anyway, several months ago I read on Dave Barry's Blog about some people who had developed a motor that ran on urine (go ahead--get the obligatory "ewwwww!" out of the way, and then ponder this with me for a moment). I can't find the link for it, and Dave's blog doesn't have a self-search function, but I'll post it later if I can find it. At any rate, talk about the ultimate renewable resource. The mind reels at the possibilities...
For one thing, a car powered by such a fuel would totally transform the gas station as we know it today. Rather than having big, open fueling areas, they would instead have little private bays where customers could fill their tanks (or empty one tank into another, as it were) in privacy. The convenience store would still be attached, but it would serve even larger drinks, just in case the driver was going on a long trip. Imagine the Triple Super Big Gulp or the gallon bottle of Dasani, just to name two.
Over Starbucks before the Super Bowl the other day, a buddy and I were discussing this theory, and we actually worked out most of the details. I won't go into everything here, since some of it was pretty off the wall, but in about fifteen minutes, we solved the problems of 1) how women would fill their cars this way, 2) how NASCAR and Indy drivers would keep their tanks full (think either a really bizarre pit crew, or an even odder self-fueling option), 3) the partial merging of the restroom and the gas tank on airplanes and buses. We also wondered if the user's having consumed different substances would increase or decrease the potency of the fuel--i.e. would someone fresh off a caffeinated venti latte produce a higher "octane" or not. (We also decided that, if this ever happened, Starbucks' profit might match that of ExxonMobil of late. Of course, Exxon could stay in the game as well; On the Runs and Tigermarkets do serve most excellent coffee.)
At any rate, there are probably plenty of things (besides the "eww" factor) that would keep this from ever happening, but I bet there will be some sort of alternative fuel in widespread distribution before long. Read yesterday's post if you haven't already.
OK, that idea is over. I promise to return to more mature/refined posts again tomorrow.
Here comes Peter Cottontail,
Weird animal news, part 2: Lady gives mouth-to-mouth to an exotic chicken.
Coolest new sport of the year so far: The Rocket Racing League.