Thursday, November 25, 2010

A little hot air, please, Maestro

Me 'n Fixer loves us some ICE. That's "Internal Combustion Engine", not the folks that shoo the Meskins back south, or the potent "Marathon Midnite Wrenchin' Powder"... hmmmmm...belay that last one...

We like engines. From little 1-cylinder sneezers that can blow snow 50 feet to earth-shakin' 3000 HP V-8 behemoths that can get a car up to 300 per in the quarter mile. Aero engines from the ones with their crankshafts bolted solidly to the airframe that beat the Kaiser to the great hulking twin-bank 18-cylinder radials named for stinging insects and the supercharged V-12s named for birds and apocryphal occultists of yore that saved the free world and everything in between. Stationary engines that can pump water out of the ground to a cattle trough or power an oil refinery, and everything in between and beyond, from the Otto Cycle to the Schnurle Loop to the Diesel in all their variations.

We like engines. The sounds, the smells, the power to move things, from pumping water a thousand feet straight up to getting the space shuttle to its launch pad, the bloody knuckles...ah, a step too far. As usual. Then there's raw speed, but that's for another time.

We of course leave leaf blowers out of this. Rake 'em up, yingyangs. But I digress...

As much as we like the damn things, their time is up. 120 years ago they were a great improvement over tracking horseshit everywhere you went, but they went through their heyday and Golden Age years ago. Now there are simply too many of them spewing their noxious byproducts of prehistoric flora and fauna into the atmosphere and thence our lungs. There have been great improvements in performance and emissions of course, but they've gone about as far as they can go, he says not really knowing what may come next that changes everything but doubts it. They'll be with us for years to come, but they're on the way out.

The basic, yet little-known fact about Internal Combustion Engines is that they run on air. That's right, your car runs on expanding hot air. The fuel you put in the tank, whether it be gasoline or diesel oil or a mixture of yak butter and moonshine like some of my stuff, merely helps the air to burn rapidly and expand, allowing it to do work, generally by pushing on reciprocating parts that make other parts turn, thus creating circular rotating movement that can be harnessed to do work.

That said, I see a use for this clown. Why let all that hot air go to waste? If we could get his kind under our hoods blowing into the intake manifold, we could skip the 'gas pump' step and drive forever for nothing! He's fat enough for thousands of miles without refueling and when he's done we ditch the smelly remains and get another one. There seems to be an inexhaustible supply of these odious critters.

The trick is to get them to run quietly. That may be the insurmountable problem. Maybe some sort of 'closed-loop' system, he's got his head up his ass already.

Maybe we could all just use the one Limpbaugh. If we could hook our cars' AM radio speakers (in a well-insulated compartment so we wouldn't have to hear him) to the wheels, we could adjust our speed with a dashboard-mounted remote volume knob! Or a reg'lar ol' foot-feed rheostat, mox nix.

Listen to this moron equate environmental transportation progress to some evil liberal form of world view, aka you and me and everyone with a brain. It's almost unbelievable, but then the bar of unbelievability has not been raised (or lowered) lately. It's been thrown out.

Kudos to Motor Trend as well.

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