Improved Gas Mileage and the Donut-ham Hamburger

Things I Learned Today .



This last week I decided to take a trip to Hawaii, since I had a semi-free ticket given to me by an Alaskan Airlines employee for my bicycle trip that needed to be used by the end of the year. I was only there for a few days, but a little on-the-beach relaxation can go a long way. Although when I came back I may have felt more tired and out of sorts than when I left: beer and sunshine don’t always make for the best recuperation. I have probably slept more in the last four days than in the entire week previous. I didn’t really sleep on the two plane trips, to and from Kona, but that isn’t all that surprising. I flew on standby with a guest pass, and I somewhat regret not extending my trip in perpetuity, as the ticket was to a degree open-ended, but I have found that pushing a vacation and a visit with friends past the point of vacation into the realm of domestication has a pretty short shrift.

I read two magazines from front to back, one on flight to Kona, one on the return. The first was November’s Atlantic Monthly, and although I remember feeling entertained and learning a bit, I left it on the plane upon deboarding and completely forgot just about every article. The return trip was passed with Scientific American, and since I love the possibilities of science, especially science just on the edges of possibility, what some would call science fiction, I retained considerably more.

One thing that has somewhat amazed me, although I should not be in the least bit surprised is the plethora of inventions being developed to improve gas mileage and efficiency of the automobile. I should not be surprised, because necessity has always been the mother of invention, and economic pressure is the prime necessity. One discussed problem with gas mileage in cars today has to do with the viscosity of gasoline, whether it be diesel, premium, or good old regular, the viscosity of liquid fuel restricts the size of particles that can be injected into the engine. Smaller particles mean better air to fuel mixture mean more efficiency and better gas mileage.

A suggested solution is to have a small electromagnetic field generator in the vicinity of the fuel injector to reduce the viscosity of the fuel. This generator would use less that .4 amps of energy and potentially improve fuel efficiency by 30%. There are some commercial models in existence; the Fuel OptiMiser and FuelMag are a couple of options. The websites describing these devices are filled with poor grammar and silly claims, but science assures me that this concept is sound.

For the last week I have been sleeping more than ten hours a day. I think I might be dying. This is one reason for the long span since my last entry. I’m just going to quit and give up with this one. I didn’t even talk about the Donut-Ham Hamburger.