The Princess and the Pirate

Adventure / Comedy (more)

29 December 2004

Just In Case Ed Missed This

An uplifting story about a couple of programmers' incredible perseverance.

07 December 2004

Ecologically Friendly Driving

Alrighty folks, we need to start taking care of this planet or it's going to get all Day After on us. So, I figure we ought to start with something most of us do every day... piloting a motor vehicle. Here I present my modest proposal for ecologically friendly driving, chock-a-block with helpful tips.

First, we must recognize the nature of the problem. Automobile engines that burn fossil fuels contribute to greenhouse gasses which trap the stifling heat from our neighboring star like a snuggly blankie. Oh, that sounds nice and toasty, hmm? Think again; if GEO 101 taught me anything, it is that increased heat at the poles actually leads to an Ice Age.

Could we simply drive less? Work from home? Ha! That won't work; just ask your employer. Why won't it work? Uh, because your employer says so. So, how to reduce such emissions without inconveniencing the travel imperative to cutthroat capitalism?

I'm about to explain a method of effectively cutting your emissions in half. That's right, half. Now, you might be thinking that I'm on about alternative propulsion systems, such as fuel/electricity hybrids. Well, they're not bad, but they only reduce the symptoms of the problem. I aim to solve it.

First, you need the right car. Here's your checklist:
1) As big as possible (minivan at the very least, SUV preferred, tractor/trailer if you can swing it).
2) Dark tint on all windows that your state law allows. In the absence of dark tint, suction-cup hanging debris and NASCAR stickers will suffice.
3) Double-check to make sure you have no mudflaps.

The overall goal when selecting an automobile should be to reduce the field of vision available to others driving near you. Hurtling around in the vehicular equivalent of a medieval mace and taking up more than your share of parking are icing on the fuel-guzzling cake.

Second, you must adjust your behavior:
1) The use of turn signals is strictly prohibited.
2) Slow down on the freeway before you're on the exit ramp.
3) Absolutely do not alter your speed when the speed limit changes.
4) Weave in and out of traffic. Remember that the diagonal of a rectangle is always longer than its side, so even if there's only one car-length between cars in adjacent lanes, you've got plenty of room to slide between them.
5) I don't care how hard it's raining, or how thick the fog is, you must never turn on your headlights.
6) Exceed 5pmh over or under the speed limit.
7) Talk on a cell phone, smoke a cigarette, masticate a delicious ham sandwich, drink heavily, for god's sake do something to avoid focusing on your driving.

The overarching aim here is to reduce the predictability of your actions. As a bonus, try to tailgate; this shifts targets' attention away from what's in front of them and into their rear-view mirrors.

So now the key to ecologically friendly driving is clear. If you can "accidentally" cause the death of another driver, it's the equivalent of cutting your own emissions in half, as two smog-inducing cars are suddenly reduced to one. The more accidents you can cause, the higher the practical efficiency of your vehicle. And hey, if you're lucky enough to involve children, well, then you're ensuring the Earth's future. And that's just plain good sense.