Fuel for Torque

When to Serve O.J., Beer
Or Whiskey to Your Gadgets

In the future, you may not drink (god forbid) but you’ll still need whiskey for your home, orange peels for your car engine, and some beer, to improve Wi-Fi reception.
In other words, if now it’s already common to pump your ride with alcohol, are we too far away from rehab clinics for homes and public transportation?
Something is already happening in Scotland, where a pilot project will power about 9,000 homes with whiskey.
By the way, we’re favoring here the American spelling of the word. Natives of the British islands know a few differences between whisky and whiskey.
Everybody else would be happy if all the talk about names would simply go away, so they could have a drink already.
That being settled, haven’t you heard that Scots hold well their liquor? Nothing out of order, then, that they may live in homes fueled by their precious commodity.
A heat and power biomass plant is set to be up and running in Speyside within the next two years. It’ll use spent grains from famous distilleries such as Glenlivet, Chivas Regal and Macallan.
One more thing: let’s be grateful that the plant will run on the byproduct of the whiskey-making process, not of the whiskey drinkers themselves.

Still in the U.K., chemist James Clark has developed a way to capture gas from fruit peels, which can be converted into a variety of useful materials, from plastics to ethanol.
The technique solves a major problem from orange juice industries all over: the millions of tons of peels left over to rot from the process.
The captured gas is not only cheap, but also a way to fund and partly justify the millions of acres of land we’ve been taking away from food crops to fuel production.
The project’s environmental aim is made clear right from the acronym of its name: Orange Peel Exploitation Company.
It’s a well-humored play with OPEC, the organization-symbol of our failure to deal responsibly with nature, when it comes to fulfill our energy needs.
Everyone knows that’s it’s a very bad idea to call former lovers when your mind is addled by alcohol.
Nobody had told you, though, that it’s better to have a can of beer close by, when bad reception is affecting the call.
Yes, a can of beer can help you; not the beer itself, you drunk. You may even use a can of coke, for that matter.
As it turns out, even a piece of aluminum foil can help you boost your Wi-Fi signal.
Which is ironic. The cellphone generation may have no idea, but a piece of aluminum foil used to be the most recommended way to improve reception also of your TV set.
As in, the old, Black & White TV set. There, we just dated ourselves. It’s fine, you caught us: we are 120 years old. Moving on.
You can watch the video (which you could never ever play in one of those old sets, by the way) here, of someone named Kim Komando (we swear…) demonstrating the procedure.
Elsewhere, on the Internet, we went crazy trying to understand the instructions on how to do it. Those geeks, blessed their souls.
It’s like trying to decipher a gadget’s manual. It could as well be in Sanskrit; we’d probably have a better chance to figure it out.
What did you expect? We already told you, we’re old. Anyone can still watch Kim, though. Now if we could only make that old Atari system work again…

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