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it's not April Fools yet...

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  • De Clarke
    if this had appeared on April 1 I would know what to think, but it is datelined March 31. http://www.timesonline.co.uk/printFriendly/0,,1-2-629399,00.html
    Message 1 of 4 , Mar 31, 2003
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      if this had appeared on April 1 I would know what to think, but it is
      datelined March 31.

      http://www.timesonline.co.uk/printFriendly/0,,1-2-629399,00.html

      could it be -- not an urban legend after all??? I mean, this is one of
      the ur-legends, a byword among debunkers and skeptics. it's used as a
      classic example of how gullible people are, that they "probably believe
      that oil companies suppressed a viable super-high-efficiency engine
      design." a bit of an embarrassment for debunkers everywhere if it
      actually turns out, against all odds, to be true!

      but perhaps is this just another phase of a very long-running hoax?
      if it were the Mirror or the Sun I would also know what to think, but
      the Times is afaik fairly respectable. any of our UK readers able to
      offer a sanity check?

      de

      --
      .............................................................................
      :De Clarke, Software Engineer UCO/Lick Observatory, UCSC:
      :Mail: de@... | :
      :Web: www.ucolick.org | Don't Fear the Penguins :
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    • David Lane
      Well, it seems Pogue did exist, and he worked on a carburetor. This link is to the Urban Legends Reference Pages, which I consider a reliable and useful
      Message 2 of 4 , Apr 1, 2003
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        Well, it seems Pogue did exist, and he worked on a carburetor.

        This link is to the Urban Legends Reference Pages, which I consider a
        reliable and useful source:
        http://www.snopes.com/autos/business/carburetor.php

        The rest of the story seems a mix of myth and reality. Sounds like
        someone is looking into determining how close to real, or far from
        real, the exagerated claims of Pogues carburetor were. I wish them
        luck, and hope they are successful in bringing whatever light they can
        to the "mystery."

        $0.02: I think in our sensationalist media, things tend to be
        categorized as "amazingly over the top, out of this world advance," or
        "terribly over-hyped hoax (and therefore useless technology)," with
        little room in between for "great advance, but not as great as first
        hoped." I suspect the UK source might have a bit more restraint, as it
        were, and therefore can carry an article like this without people
        jumping out of windows (which is, unfortunately, closer to what we
        might reasonably expect from the mainstream American population).

        David

        On Monday, March 31, 2003, at 09:56 PM, De Clarke wrote:

        >
        > if this had appeared on April 1 I would know what to think, but it is
        > datelined March 31.
        >
        > http://www.timesonline.co.uk/printFriendly/0,,1-2-629399,00.html
        >
        > could it be -- not an urban legend after all??? I mean, this is one of
        > the ur-legends, a byword among debunkers and skeptics. it's used as a
        > classic example of how gullible people are, that they "probably believe
        > that oil companies suppressed a viable super-high-efficiency engine
        > design." a bit of an embarrassment for debunkers everywhere if it
        > actually turns out, against all odds, to be true!
        >
        > but perhaps is this just another phase of a very long-running hoax?
        > if it were the Mirror or the Sun I would also know what to think, but
        > the Times is afaik fairly respectable. any of our UK readers able to
        > offer a sanity check?
        >
        > de
        >
        > --
        > .......................................................................
        > ......
        > :De Clarke, Software Engineer UCO/Lick
        > Observatory, UCSC:
        > :Mail: de@... |
        > :
        > :Web: www.ucolick.org | Don't Fear the Penguins
        > :
        > :1024D/B9C9E76E F892 5F17 8E0A F095 05CD EE8B D169 EDAA
        > B9C9 E76E:
        >
        >
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      • Theo Schmidt
        ... Car mileage is so poor because the engines are dimensioned for acceleration, also to some extent for ridiculously high speeds. This means that they are 10
        Message 3 of 4 , Apr 2, 2003
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          De Clarke wrote:
          >
          > if this had appeared on April 1 I would know what to think, but it is
          > datelined March 31.
          >
          > http://www.timesonline.co.uk/printFriendly/0,,1-2-629399,00.html

          Simon wrote:

          >http://www.mikebrownsolutions.com/fish3.htm
          >
          >OK?

          I think the above page describes the situation well:
          >"Engineers who have tried in the past to build a carburettor using
          >Pogue's theories have found the results less than satisfactory.
          >Charles Friend, of Canada's National Research Council, told
          >Marketplace, a consumer affairs programme: "You can get fantastic
          >mileage if you're prepared to de-rate the vehicle to a point where,
          >for example, it might take you ten minutes to accelerate from 0 to
          >30 miles an hour.""

          Car mileage is so poor because the engines are dimensioned for
          acceleration, also to some extent for ridiculously high speeds. This
          means that they are 10 to 100 times as powerful than really needed.
          Cars with "poor" performance (in relation to others) simply aren't
          popular. People have become accustomed to be able to go uphill as
          fast as they want even in a fully loaded vehicle, etc.

          The second reason is that internal combustion engines have no torque
          reserves, in contrast to electric motors. Unless an extremely wide
          range CVT (continuously varibale transmission) is available, the
          engine must be overdimensioned because of this alone. In contrast, an
          electric motor can be underdimensioned because acceleration and short
          gradients are short enough to allow "overworking" the motor for this
          time. Hybrid cars can make the best of both worlds, at the cost of
          price and extra weight.

          All motor vehicles lead to a "runaway situation". Performance is
          dependent on the mass ratio between vehicle and payload (you). Other
          things being equal, the heavier the vehicle, the better it will
          perform, therfore they become heavier. With a bike it is the
          opposite, as you are your own motor: the lighter the bike, the better
          it will perform. Interestingly, only human-powered hybrid vehicles
          have a mass ratio with a clear optimum for each set of conditions.

          The "supercar" and "hypercar" concepts (Amory Lovins, etc.) show that
          it is possible to "have your cake and eat it too" to some extent. By
          optimising all components a hypercar could easily achieve 200mpg,
          even in a standard 4-person configuration and in usual traffic
          patterns. However the mileage would fall drastically outside the
          "design envelope". e.g. by just opening a window.

          Theo Schmidt
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