March 26th, 2007

Mad Scientist's Union

Prius update, and the next step

It's now been a month since we got the Prius (the "Voot Runner"), and while the new car smell still hasn't completely faded and I still haven't gotten around to reading the manual I think I can safely say that I absolutely love it. It's high tech, comfortable, versatile, and very very efficient. It's also just plain damn fun to drive.

My only complaints are that some of the menus are somewhat less than intuitive (see earlier not about not having read the manual yet) and that it seems to attract cops. Twice so far! On the plus side, neither stop has resulted in a ticket. The first time was because I was parked alone in front of a closed office building late at night fiddling with the phone controls (understandably suspicious), and the second was because all of the handwritten information had faded from the temporary tag. For the second stop the cop was very nice about it, and we actually ended up chatting about the car briefly.

Come to think of it, I do have one more complaint about the Prius. It isn't enough. I love its fuel efficiency (I'm averaging ~45 MPG and have only put gas in it once), and the environmentally-friendly aspects of it are a bonus, but I think I can do better on both aspects for my next car. Much, much better.

So I've come up with an idea for my next vehicle- one that doesn't require exotic hybrid engines, finely-tuned electronics, fuel cells, or batteries. No, for the next step I want a car that burns other cars for fuel. It's brilliant! It'll have a pair of forks mounted in the front like the ones that garbage trucks use to empty dumpsters, and it'll use them to just scoop a car right off the road and drop it into the combustion chamber! The upholstery, tires, chassis, gas tank, passengers, etc. will power my environmentally-friendly nightmare machine for days, after which it'll just dump the charred husk by the side of the road, ready to be recycled or delivered to the next of kin for interment.

I can hear your objections now: "But Datan0de, you faux-tree-hugging monster, burning tires and car chassis releases horrible toxic chemicals into the atmosphere!" This is true, but from an emissions standpoint you have to look at the bigger picture. The chemicals released by a single car fire are probably much less than what would be spewed out of that vehicle's lifetime of normal operation, plus eventually it would've had to have been disposed of anyway. Additionally, by getting cars off of the road I'll be reducing traffic congestion, which will improve the mileage of all of the surviving cars!

It's win-win! :-) Now I need to figure out how to apply this principle to the airline industry...
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