Welcome again to JJNN for Wednesday June 4th, 2008. Well there is no getting around this story. I was trying like hell to avoid it because I didn't want JJNN to turn into a rant-fest quite yet (I wanted to save that for a really slow news day).
The story goes thusly: Gas prices suck! I know you already know that. Everyone knows that. But, I just happened to come across this story and I remembered I had to dish out 10000yen (that's about 100USD) to gas up my car yesterday. I guess now that my wallet is lighter my car should have more gas mileage, right?
Any way, the original story is found here. The gas situation is getting bad here. The price of gas has shot up to 170 yen. You may be thinking "Well that's only about 1.70USD, that's not bad!" Well, you are wrong. I will tell you why you are wrong. Gas is not sold by the gallon in this country. It is sold by the LITER! Damn you metric system! All ways biting me in the ass when I least expect it!
For those of you that are not down with the conversion between gallon and liter it is 1 gallon equals 3.8 liters. This means that 1.70USD has to be multiplied by 3.8 for a total gas price of almost 6.50USD. Very very painful. Makes me not want to drive my car anywhere.
Any way, away from ranting and on to science. In times like this people should ask the obvious question: "Is there an replacement for gas or something I can do drive down how much gas I use ?" Try saying that 3 times fast!
Well the short answer to those questions is "Yes," but the long answer is "Yes, but that is in the future." There are a lot of companies (and crackpots) trying to make cheap fuel or free energy. As for things like that bio-ethylene, it is just making things worse in the long run. Not only does the production of bio-ethylene cause food prices to go up, but the stuff is hard to deal with. As for devices that are suppose to produce free energy, well I think my friend Homer says it best. You can hear his thorough debunking of these perpetual motion type devices here.
As to how you can drive down how much gas you use, that is easy. Take a bus. Take a train. Or, better yet, take a bike. Or, for Gawd sakes, walk somewhere. I don't want to sound too strong or too hippie (those of you that know me know that I am not a hippie) about this, but it is the best way. Other ways include turning your car off at long red lights or putting the car into neutral when going down a long hill. Simple things like that. I guess that is enough of a rant for tonight. I hope you enjoyed it.
Any way it is now time for the word of the day. Today's word is 暫定税率(ざんていぜいりつ). It is pronounced zantei zeiritsu and means temporary tax rate. They keep moving the tax on gas up and down. Sometimes I think the government doesn't know what it wants.
That's it for today. See you next time at JJNN.