Month: June 2008

Craig and Vetter co-sponsor Marriage Protection Amendment

I give up! It is impossible to overestimate Craig’s ability to make a fool of himself. He seems determined to claim the legacy of most embarrassing Idaho politician. This is not an easy accomplishment considering the competition from some past candidates: George Hansen, Helen Chenoweth & Steve Symms.

When everyone, especially Republicans, were hoping that Craig would just shut up until his term in office came to its final ignoble end, he joins the only other Republican senator who can compete for “pious hypocrite of the century”, David Vitter (R-LA), in co-sponsoring S. J. RES. 43, dubbed the Marriage Protection Amendment. If ratified, the bill would amend the United States Constitution to state that marriage “shall consist only of the union of a man and a woman.”

Once you have stopped laughing, go here for the details.

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Car that runs on water

For years there have been scams claiming that you can buy a device that allows your car to run on water. Now it appears that the Japanese company Genepax has invented the real deal.

Watch the video and ask yourself:

1) when and where will one be available?

2) why is it that the Japanese are always one step ahead of American corporations?

3) why isn’t the main stream American media all over this story??

And, finally, why is John McCain always, always so far behind the curve?

With gas at $4.00, try Hypermiling

We own a Jeep Liberty and a first generation Toyota Prius. My wife commutes 50 miles a day, so she drives the Prius most of the time. It is a great car. It has over 50,000 trouble free miles with an average of 45-50 mpg.

Of course, the obvious reason for the excellent gas mileage is because it is a hybrid. But, I have noticed an interesting phenomena that also impacts mileage. The Prius has a “gas mileage bar graph” display on the dash (see photo above). This provides the driver with immediate feedback as to past and current mpg. For me (and I am guessing for many Prius drivers), this immediate feedback causes a change in driving habits. I am always trying to maximize mileage and beat my previous “best.” Consequently, I use a number of techniques that cut down on fuel usage. When I drive the Jeep, I tend to forget these techniques and revert to my old ways.

Yesterday, I came across a website, Cleanmpg.com, created by a fuel economy fanatic named Wayne Gerdes. The website has a weath of information, much of it devoted to gas saving techniques. Gerdes calls those who, like himself, do everything they can to maximize mileage “Hypermilers.”

Gerdes has a fascinating discussion of the ways the average driver can become a hypermiler and the site is well worth a visit. Of course, I will never get 50 miles to the gallon from my jeep, but Gerdes claims a 30% increase is possible regardless of the vehicle. With the current price of gas, hypermiling makes sense. Next time you see a blue Jeep liberty coasting up to a stop sign, wave. It could be me at the wheel!