19 December, 2005

An Energy Revolution!

By all accounts this is a low point for this country.

Many people in Europe were upset to find out that some European countries may have been hosting secret CIA detention centers, implicitly condoning the legal and probable human rights abuses going on there. Some EU officials even went so far as to threaten sanctions against any countries that had been found to have aided the CIA in such a fashion. (Strangely, no one seems to have suggested sanctions against the United States itself, which, presumably, was the most responsible party.)

As if that weren't enough, the American president seems to be the worst one ever. He has now admitted to what is surely a flagrant violation of the law, for no other apparent reason than the fact that he could.

Never fear. I have devised a way for all of us to profit from these developments.

In fact, you might say my revolutionary scheme will solve a great number of problems for the entire world, like that whole 'peak oil' business we're always worried about here at Rhinocrisy. Things are going to start looking up for humanity. Way, way up!

Like most good ideas, this one came to me on the pot. I won't go into too much detail, but suffice it to say that this is a place where a lot of good thinking can be done. (Garbage out, garbage in, as they say.)*

Although I have not provided any working prototypes of my idea, I think the concept is fairly straightforward and doesn't require extensive proving. The basic premise is this:

Over the years empirical observation has taught us that outrages committed that offend the memory of the deceased causes them to revolve in their graves. (I'm a bit rusty on my Maxwell's equations, but the direction of rotation should be given by the right-hand rule, or something.) Since we know there is conservation of angular momentum, this means over the years some of our ancestors will have acquired quite a high rate of revolution. Someone like Mark Twain or Thomas Jefferson is probably running at a good two or three million RPMs.

This is a huge amount of stored rotational energy that needs to be tapped right away. A simple belt and turbine device, as illustrated, will suffice to capture the energy.

Even if it is not very efficient, I think it will be hugely beneficial, since this will basically result in another energy boom comparable to the discovery of petroleum. (Even better, this one produces zero emissions, and it's renewable, to boot. We're putting more dead people in the ground every day.) The great thing is, everything you do will outrage SOMEONE. Gays being persecuted? Harvey Milk is incensed! Fags getting hitched? Richard Nixon just sped up by a few hundred clicks.

There's only a few problems I can see with my scenario. One is that my own country will be at a distinct disadvantage, since we're in the habit of burning our dead and have no buried ancestors to exhume and strap into a generator device.

The other is that people will probably end up trying to increase ancestral outrage in order to increase power production. Funerals will be disrupted by people pissing on the casket during the eulogy. Babies will be given absurd names like "Mushelda" and "Smelly Poopy Pants". Carrot-Top will be elected Pope and will do prop comedy on the balcony of Saint Peter's basilica.

In the extreme, we might see the development of "outrage factories", where electrical workers would have orgies featuring farm animals, copious quantities of Johnson's baby oil, and the current crop of Mouseketeers, all while reciting the Lord's prayer backwards. Parents would strive to raise the most ill-mannered, loutish children they possibly could. In other words, the immoral will become moral, and there will be an almost total breakdown of the social fabric. However, this all becomes worthwhile when you consider that otherwise you wouldn't be able to fill up your tank of gas in fifteen years.

Finally, it should be made clear that this boom time won't last forever. We can expect the law of diminishing returns to apply, as existing generations suffer from "outrage fatigue", and later generations will be forced to do more and more outlandish things to outrage the deceased. It's possible there will be breakthrough advancements in outrage technology (e.g. mime cloning), but we shouldn't count on these.

* Fortunately I had the good taste and presence of mind not to run out of the bathroom, half-naked, shrieking "Eureka!" when I had my idea, unlike SOME people I could mention.

Note that while cremation seems like a bad idea in general, some laid-back people who are not easily outraged (e.g. stoners) are just a waste of valuable graveyard plots and definitely should be incinerated at death. This probably comprises a good portion of my readership, but there's nothing for it.

I know it seems like parents are already doing this, but this is apparently an unrelated phenomenon.


To help with the Maxwell's bit--I don't think you need a anything to come out of the casket. You'll have to open up TJ's casket once, at least, to fit him with a magnet (which strikes me a singularly dangerous proposition, considering his already high spin rate) but after that you can close the casket and gird it with some cooper wire, and snake the wire out to a battery. Proper magnet geometry is crucial and should take into account the original size and decay rate of the deceased.

I'm sure the resulting severe energetic disadvantage to our ancestral continent will be made up in the fact that they will be able to maintain fairly normal operations otherwise.

half-naked, shrieking "Eureka!" 

Half-naked? half-naked? It's not worth running to the palace for, if you're not impelled to do the Full Monty.


Posted by Saheli

Jeez, you're right. That's a much better way to do it - less friction, more efficient energy transfer. Although a rubber belt around the hips is definitely funnier. 

Posted by saurabh

Can't wait to see the energy output from the Valley of the Dead. Actually from the whole mediterranean region. Westminster Abbey Inc. "We Give You the Power of the Wise" 

Posted by Nikhil

Saurabh, clearly you haven't been keeping up with the latest fashions in magnetic belts. 

Actually from the whole mediterranean region. Westminster Abbey Inc. "We Give You the Power of the Wise"  

It occurs to me that we'll not want to waste magnets on people who were murdered by the state, b/c they probably really couldn't care less either. Funny--stoners and political martyrs, chilling out together in the underworld.

Posted by Saheli

Actually, now that we come to think of it, maybe wind isn't formed by all that science stuff, but by the rotations of the particles, or whats left of the particles of ash from outraged cremated ancestors. 

Posted by Nikhil Mulani

Then perhaps portugese sea monsters  are harvesting the churn produced by millenia of angry wiseashes washed out to sea.  

Posted by Saheli

This is brilliant. 

Posted by Saurav

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