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I received almost 100 responses to my dolphin diary.  The five diaries I posted regarding the various aspects of the failure of our public education system and associated parenting received less than 100 combined.  My diary on wasting energy and trying to improve our "footprint" to conserve our resources received about 50 responses, many of which proceeded to tell me with great expertise how wrong I was.  I don't mind that, but the proportion of responses to topics is amusing, interesting and disappointing.

    When I was a kid, my dad introduced me to the Indy 500 auto race.  It was great stuff: lots of noise and danger and speed.  Young kids eat that stuff up.  I did.  I still watch the race every Memorial Day weekend.  Cool machines.  Prima donnas in the driver's seat.  Over-analysis by the announcers...the whole magilla.  Then, when gasoline passed $3.50 per gallon, I asked why.  My bad.

    I started tabulating all the automobile entertainment events that burn huge amounts of fuel for the sole purpose of entertaining people who would never get into one of those vehicles, because their insurance rates would double their food and beer budgets.  Why?  Those race cars on the NASCAR and Indy car and Formula I, and other lesser events cost HUGE amounts of money.  The Hot Rod Associations still run these drag races that sound like the re-invasion of Iraq for just less than 6 seconds at a time.  So what?  Not only do these fire-breathing monsters get single digit mileage, they use up complex equipment (and perforce the energy that goes into making all this stuff) at a one-unit-per-race clip.  Why?  

    On the main highways through my hometown, I see long trailers with various names and sponsor logos on them hauling their racers to the next stop burning huge amounts of diesel and gasoline just to get these monstrosities to the next track.  Behind these trailers is the team bus carrying, presumably, the driver, his family, the owner, chief mechanic and maybe a sponsor or two.  How does the pit crew and mechanic's team get to the next race?  They drive their own vehicles, of course.  

    Perhaps you can see where this is going.  In Bush's world, gasoline will hit $4.00 per gallon before this knucklehead leaves office.  I'm not sure that things haven't been so permanently destroyed economically, that we'll ever get back to "affordable" fuel prices.  In the meantime, our NASCAR "patriots" will just go sew another American flag on their fire suits, right next to the Bud Light logo and drive all their vehicles to the next race which will just have raised their ticket prices again to say nothing of the Bud Light in a cup prices.  Does $5.00 for a 12 oz. cup of cheap, watered down beer seem a little excessive when the buyer of that beer burned up anywhere from 5-25 gallons of $3.50 per gallon gasoline to sit and broil in the hot sun and have their hearing permanently damaged just to cheer at somebody who can't hear him and his buddies because of engine noise make sense?

    You know why the marketing geniuses at Anheuser-Busch came up with the brand name "Bud Light" don't you?  It's because most (but not all) of the people who are inclined to buy that product lost interest in the brand name after the first three letters.  O.K. I'm only joking, but then I'm not running for political office and I really don't care who I piss off.  

    Now that I have your attention, please see the point of this little rant.  We, as a nation, have better things to do than promote and encourage the colossal waste of petroleum products for the sake of going very fast in circles just so we can say that our 250 MPH, $1 million car can endure 500 miles faster than yours.  In the meantime millions of spectators sit in wonder:  I wonder what it would be like to feel that 600 H.P. giant between my legs?  Testosterone poisoning, anyone?  My father told me that the big upside to auto racing was the research and technology that came from "proving" or disproving innovative design.  That was then.  Now, we have enough computer power to model and verify anything these cars can do, and, perhaps more importantly, what yours and my cars can do to get us to work or the grocery store.  We don't need racing anymore!  It's just entertainment.  It's cheaper and burns no gas to buy a computer game for racing and have at it until a guy has used up all his testosterone.  If he's married or has a girlfriend, maybe he'll save a little for her so she won't think he's "strange".

    Gentlemen, start your checkbooks!

Originally posted to dolfin66 on Wed May 07, 2008 at 03:17 PM PDT.

Poll

Is Auto, Boat, or Airplane Racing worth the waste?

15%3 votes
68%13 votes
5%1 votes
10%2 votes

| 19 votes | Vote | Results

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Comment Preferences

  •  I liked your diary(s) (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    4Freedom, drbloodaxe

    I saw an auto race in England where they were using BMWs, Benz, and other stock cars, but the goal was to modify the engine in such a way as to get the most MPGs over the duration of the race. What a concept!  This technology is then shared with those automakers to improve engine/combustion design. We are such backward yahoos in this country.

    "Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable." - JFK

    by moose67 on Wed May 07, 2008 at 03:23:23 PM PDT

  •  I wanted to write a book on local dirt-track (0+ / 0-)

    racing. No publisher wanted it.

    I see what you're saying. But although what you say is true, a part of me is sad--not for the eventual demise of NASCAR, but for what the sport was before NASCAR. A uniquely American sport.

    Those little dirt tracks will be soon be gone, just like drive-ins.

  •  Perhaps we should sit in our dark little ... (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    bryfry

    hovels with the lights out and the heat off and pray to the planet gods for forgiveness. Or, we could have a bit of fun at the racetrack once in awhile.

    •  fun (0+ / 0-)

      Why not have fun on the bike path, or the fishing hole, or the ballpark, or... just about anyplace else besides the noise polluting, air polluting, material wasting, energy wasting, intelligence purging race track?

      •  Well ... (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        bryfry

        first of all, motorsports account for less than one hour's worth of the nation's full year oil consumption.

        Second, promoting a 4 x 10 workweek of 4 10-hour days would reduce gasoline consumption up to 20% and commercial electricity consumption up to 20%, thus resulting in huge benefits to the planet.

        Third, building race engines and chassis is not the province of dummies.

        Fourth, Howard Wolfson had just been on the boob tube saying that Sen. Clinton was going to keep on fighting because IN and NC changed nothing, so I was feeling grumpy when I posted originally.

        Sorry.

        •  All good points... (0+ / 0-)

          You make excellent points.  But the geniuses who are designing and making racing machines could also employ those capabilities toward more efficient everything.  I was once an engineer, so I know about those transferable skills and knowledge.

          Your point about motorsports consuming only one hours worth of our yearly oil consumption is interesting except for the fact that the infrastructure supporting the races uses oil too.  Did you consider the petroleum related chemistry necessary for those exotic materials in car bodies, farings, helmets, fire suits, etc.?  It just goes on and on...

          •  Yeah but ... (0+ / 0-)

            Did you consider the petroleum related chemistry necessary for those exotic materials in car bodies, farings, helmets, fire suits, etc.?  It just goes on and on...

            All I'm saying is sometimes we go after exotic things that use relatively small amounts of resources while overlooking simple things that use vastly larger amounts. For example, changing the air filter on your car every year at a cost of about ten buck can improve fuel economy by as much as 10%. Let's get everyone doing it and we could potentially reduce oil needs by 2 million barrels per day.

  •  Maybe you need to work on your timing. (0+ / 0-)

    I've noted that I get wildly different numbers depending on time of day, day of week, (and sensationalism of heading or debatability of diary.)

    It's kind of a catch-22, as you want to post when a lot of folks are on reading, but not when they're posting their own diaries so that you just scroll on down too fast.

    I live with a Nascar fan, and she knows I consider it a horrible waste of money and gasoline.

    Got a problem with my posts? Email me, and let's resolve it.

    by drbloodaxe on Wed May 07, 2008 at 04:04:47 PM PDT

    •  I know (0+ / 0-)

      Well, I think I posted the dolphin piece and this oneat about the same time of day.  So far, I've only received ten comments.  I expected every bubba on Earth to come after me until I realized that bubba is at the races and never heard of Daily Kos.  So, I'm just singing to the choir on this stuff.

      •  Kitties are good too! (0+ / 0-)
        I remember posting a blog and only getting one response.  Close to the same time, someone posted pics here of cuddly kitties and got gazillions of replies.  So, when the public gets tired of dolphins, post pics of your 3 Main kitties!!!  That will do the trick!!!
        •  Or Better Yet (0+ / 0-)
          Write an article about dolphin sexuality accompanied by a pic of you naked WITH your three kitties!  A better ratings grabber!  I have a friend who complains her myspace page doesn't get enough traffic!  Considering that reality shows are more popular than PBS, tabloids outsell real literature, and fast food trumphs gourmet in this culture,  she should take it as a compliment!!!
          •  Naked (0+ / 0-)

            If I posted a naked picture of me surrounded by my three beauties, the decency police would find me and kill me.  I have recently lost 60 pounds since I stopped teaching (teacher food is conducive to munchies and getting plump) I still don't take my shirt off in the sun because the sound of bacon sizzling attracts unwanted visitors.

        •  Show quality (0+ / 0-)

          They are 3 show quality cats who are as sweet and "us" oriented as any cats I've ever owned.  They cost a lot to get, but they are totally worth it.  Their pictures would be captivating.  Maybe when I figure out how to do that I will and give a dissertation on the evolution of felines.

          •  That is where (0+ / 0-)
            Myspace or Facebook comes in handy.  You can post your blogs, but you can also post pics of your kitties!  In fact, your babies can be your avitar.  I have a Russian Blue but we don't get along.  Russians are supposed to be extremely affectionate!  Ha!!!  She didn't read her operations manual.  She is only affectionate when she wants something.  Otherwise she totally ignores me.  Russians are also supposed to be quiet but Lily NEVER shuts up.  I can be reading an article about peak oil and talking to myself and she feels compelled to meow as if she had the slightest clue about what peak oil really is.  She has perfected this didactic meow that absolutely drives me nuts!!  
            •  Out of touch (0+ / 0-)

              We had a large electrical storm blow out our internet service on Friday, and it didn't come back until late yesterday.

              Sorry to hear you are having such an adventurous experience with your cat.  If my wife and I are in different rooms, our Coons will travel back and forth and spend quality time with each of us.  They are truly wonderful to have as pets.

              I'm going to write a diary on race and politics in a few minutes.  Tell me what you think about it.

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