atomic_fungus (atomic_fungus) wrote,
atomic_fungus
atomic_fungus

#1172: Fuel-saving things that don't work

Another link to Dan's (of "Dan's Data") blog, this time about this wonderful post on Cracked.com about things that don't work.

#2 really made me laugh, esp: "Of course if we asked the oil companies why they don't bother to line up their gasoline molecules nice and neat before selling them to us, their answer would surely be, 'Because fuck you, that's why!' And then they'd light a cigar with a billion dollar bill." LOL!

Wouldn't we all?

The Cracked.com article applies much the same sort of ascerbic wit to all the methods they excoriate in the piece, and it's a fun read. I like it.

Dan, in the meantime, says, "Fuel scammers often seem to take the thirty-something per cent thermodynamic efficiency of internal combustion engines to mean that sixty-something per cent of the fuel isn’t being burned, when the actual amount of fuel that escapes the engine unburned or only partially combusted is a few per cent, at the very worst."

30%? I thought it was closer to 20%; but I could be wrong. So 70% of the energy of the fuel you burn is waste heat, a concept that comes as no surprise to anyone who understands the basic application of the Laws (not "suggestions", "theories", or "hypotheses", but laws) of Thermodynamics. (Okay? "Global warming" is a theory, and not much of one at that. Relativity is a theory. Quantum mechanics is a theory. But thermodynamics? The Laws of Thermodynamics have never, never, EVER BEEN PROVEN WRONG, not once, not even a little bit.)

Most of the waste heat goes out the tailpipe. Your car's engine has a cooling system to deal with the rest of it.

If there was a $3 bolt-on part which could dramatically increase the fuel economy of vehicles without affecting performance, don't you think the automakers would install it? What would be the point of not doing so? "To help out their buddies in the oil business"? Put down the crack pipe, bonehead, and come back to Earth. The real Earth, I mean, the one everyone else is living on, where the sky is blue and we obey the goddamned laws of thermodynamics, for Christ's sake.

* * *

Meanwhile, PDB links in this article to a guy's travails trying to get coffee the way he wanted it at a stupid hipster jerk coffeehouse in DC.

Makes me glad I get my caffiene from soda.

Of course, soda doesn't contain as much caffiene as espresso does; that stuff is "coffee-flavored caffiene syrup", is what it is.

I mean, a cup--eight ounces (236.588 ml)--of regular coffee contains about 100 mg of caffiene. A 12 oz (354.882 ml) serving of Pepsi contains on the order of 45 mg of caffiene. A similar serving of Mountain Dew contains about 50 mg of caffiene.

Espresso? 77 mg per 44.36 ml.

Here's how they tabulate:

Coffee: 12.5 mg of caffiene per ounce.
Espresso: 51.3 mg of caffiene per ounce.
Pepsi: 3.75 mg of caffiene per ounce.
Mountain Dew: 4.17 mg of caffient per ounce.

Drinking a single shot of espresso gives you as much caffiene as a can of Mountain Dew. The guy in this story drank seven shots of espresso in, what, a 2-hour period? That's the caffiene of more than a quarter-case of MD! How often does the man pee? And what's his blood pressure, "patent pending" over 300??*

No wonder all those coffee hipsters are such douchebags. They're fricking jazzed on caffiene. They need to switch to decaf!

* * *

*This is the only useful tidbit I got from the novel House of God. Paraphrased:

Guy 1: What's his blood pressure?
Guy 2: "patent pending" over 300.
Guy 1: WTF?
Guy 2: That's what it says at the top of the scale.

...on the old mercury-filled sphygomanometers they used to use, which they can't use anymore because mercury apparently has the approximate toxicity of cyanide gas.

The rest of the book? Worthless.
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