Scientists turn CO2 into booze

There are people who don’t believe in science, much less global warming. Perhaps they can be persuaded by learning that we can fight global warming and get drunk at the same time.

A group of scientists at the Energy Department’s Oak Ridge National Laboratory in Tennessee (your tax dollars at work!) have accidentally figured out how to turn carbon dioxide into ethanol. Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas, it’s the “carbon” in “carbon emissions.” Ethanol is the sciencey word for alcohol–you know, hootch. Of course, these eggheads see their discovery as a way to create cleaner burning fuel for our cars. But what it can really be used for is drinking. Cars emit all sorts of pollution and greenhouse gases. Drunk people don’t, unless you count beer farts.

Let’s save the planet by turning CO2 into booze. That’s a solution we can all drink to.

Drones harass gridlocked drivers

The robots may not be strong enough to overtake us yet, but they can taunt us. It should come as no surprise that it will be Uber that does us in.

Drivers stuck in traffic in Mexico City probably aren’t in the best of moods in the first place. Now they have to deal with drones buzzing around their cars making fun of them. The drones carry signs shaming drivers for driving, and driving alone, at that.

This seems like a good reason for Mexico City drivers to carry guns with them, in case they aren’t already.

Dogs wage war on Wal-Mart

You’re never truly safe from a dog attack. There could be a pack of them just around the corner from you, waiting to pounce at any time. What’s worse is that now they know how to drive.

In West Virginia, a woman was nearly run over by at car in a Wal-Mart parking lot. The slow-moving car narrowly missed the woman, but succeeded in striking the store itself. The car had been driven by a pair of dogs, one riding shotgun. Authorities say an elderly woman left her car running so that her dogs would stay cool, but the beasts figured out how to shift the car out of park. They even figured out how to roll down the window.

We have no doubt that this attack will inspire copy cats–err, dogs to do the same thing. Beware of dogs.

Rise of the bad-driver machines

Robots are coming to take away your jobs, including the ones you don’t like doing but don’t want anyone else doing for you, like driving you to work. But what if it turns out the machines can’t drive any better than you?

We knew this day was coming: a self-driving car has been blamed for causing an accident. Google admitted that one of its driverless cars was at least partly responsible for hitting a bus last month. These things are so smart, but can see stealthy, streamlined vehicles like municipal buses.

The car was only going 2 mph when it hit the bus, but still, these things don’t have morals. What’s to stop a driverless car from fleeing the scene after it hits you? How do you report that to the police?

Man fights personal war on boss’ cars

There are probably better ways at getting back at your boss.

A man in England got drunk and crashed his boss’ car two different times. The first one, a Land Rover, happened earlier this year. He was arrested and charged, as he should have been, but he wasn’t done yet. A month later, authorities say he stole his boss’ other car, a Mini (apparently his boss doesn’t like mid-size cars) and crashed it into three parked cars, while drunk.

The man was just sentenced to two years in jail this week, removing the potential for an awkward office Christmas party.

 

Your car will rat on you

In the horrible future, technology will we used to track your every move. There will be no more privacy. You won’t even be able to commit a crime in peace. The future is now.

If a Florida woman’s car is to be believed, she was involved in a non-fatal hit-and-run accident with a pedestrian. Police were notified by an automated system that the woman’s car had been involved in an accident, they were then patched through to the driver herself. She denied that a serious accident had happened, and went home. Police caught up with her and found that her airbag had been deployed and the front end of her car had significant damage.

It turned out that she had actually been in an accident earlier, and was fleeing that scene when she hit the pedestrian. The technology-driven police state is so bad you can’t even have two accidents in one day without being caught.

Spiders: The car’s natural enemy

Bugs are usually at the mercy of our mighty vehicles, but they are starting to turn the tables.

Suzuki is recalling some 19,000 cars because of spiders in the exhaust. Yes, the spiders have struck cars once again. According to the company, the Kizashi cars, which apparently exist, says that spider webs in the fuel vapor vent hose can clog things up and possibly lead to fires.

The good news is that should the your car catch fire, at least the little bastards that caused the problem will die with it.

Take it from Snee: Beware of car

Ford almost named the Fusion the Kidbaker, almost creating the first recall of a car based on historically shady  labor practices during WWII. Fortunately, their trademark lwayers blocked it based on potential confusion with the Studentbaker.
Ford almost named the Fusion the Kidbaker, almost creating the first recall of a car based on perceived shady labor practices during WWII. Fortunately, their trademark lawyers blocked it based on potential confusion with the Studentbaker.

Although we live in one of the safest countries in the world, Americans are obsessed with the idea of injecting lead into the ones they love (even though nothing’s really made with lead anymore). We crave convenience and the ability to own dangerous objects, even though they are more likely to kill our children, pets and elderly than a home intruder.

I am, of course, talking about cars.

Despite dozens of news articles every summer (often about the same three cases), America’s infatuation with the automobile leads otherwise reasonable people to leave their friends and loved ones in the car with the safety locked, often while holding up a liquor store for “just a few minutes.”  Continue reading Take it from Snee: Beware of car

Rabbits have a taste for fuel lines

In Colorado, it may be winter, but the animals keep up their assaults.

Travelers parking at Denver International Airport may want to think about taking a cab instead. The place is reportedly infested with rabbits, even though it’s cold outside, and these varmints are chewing the brake lines and other wiring in cars. It goes without saying that at the very least, this does thousands of dollars worth of damage. At worst, it can end up killing someone.

Sounds like it’s time to lengthen rabbit season — and duck season, while we’re at it.

Talk about hammering down on the pedal

There’s a new car source on the planet, and it’s ready to put gasoline in its place! The name of the energy source: Thorium.

Thorium is a heavy metal, barely radioactive, natural element that is three times more abundant than uranium. Yes, it’s used as a nuclear source, but let’s focus on that aforementioned characteristic: barely radioactive. It’s theorized at the moment that’s it not enough to give someone radiation poisoning, but as always, we’ll need willing participants to give it a shot first. Nonetheless, Laser Power Systems wants to give it a shot at powering down the highway.

The technology seems promising enough at the moment and there’s nothing like something that can give fossil fuels a break (if they’re not already run out by the time thorium can be used). But let’s not get too happy yet: for the most part, it’s nothing more than a really efficient battery.

Still, if thorium gets me one step closer to driving the Spider-Mobile, then I am all about it.