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Apr 20, 2006

Oil, what a clean burning fuel. It’s nice to see Wally and Osbourne doing their part for the environment.

Oil may have a grim future as a primary fuel source. There have been lots of news bits popping up about alternative solutions for more available and cleaner burning fuels. Former Exxon head doesn’t seem to see oil being replaced, maybe he’s just enjoying his fat retirement too much. Central America is looking into turning sugar to ethanol as a solution. Another new breakthrough discovery is to turn coal into clean diesel.

Various News Bits

If you watched March of the Penguins then you witnessed a mother emperor penguin attempting to kidnap another chick after losing her own. Apparently this is due to raging hormones. Read more at National Geographic.

Antarctica has many lakes miles beneath its ice sheets. Scientists have discovered that they are connected by channels that could actually allow water to flow between them. Russian scientists are prepared to tap into the largest lake in search of life, in the form of tiny microbes.

Space probe takes new photographs of the south pole… on Venus! πŸ˜‰

  • Anthony

    nice comic!

  • you-dont-know-me

    hey i dont get what happened in the second, third, and fourth frame
    this strip is confusinnnnnnnnng

  • RW

    I can’t really think of words to describe how funny this is. πŸ˜€

  • spyguy294


  • Lee

    Oil isn’t just a fuel, it’s also the raw material for plastics. If the oil dries up, what will replace that?

  • Anthony

    Its Kind of sad…:(

  • Sev

    Coal is not the answer. It’s limited as well, and it’s filthy in its natural state.

  • Edi

    Hydro power has its downs too…As does ethenol
    H2O powered cars will cause more rain and in an exreame case possibly raise suicide rates.
    Ethenol sofar is more expensive to produce than its worth.

  • Nick

    Hey, I love the comic :-)

    Have you heard of bio-diesel? Basically, it’s processed vegetable that acts as diesel fuel. The advantages include lower emissions and a closed carbon cycle, not to mention that it is renewable. Of course, it only works in diesel engines, but that at least covers freight trucks and some cars. Another downside is that it requires a bit of maintenance in cold climates, as bio-diesel tends to freeze up at higher temperatures. However, this easily remedied by adding other substances or mixing it with traditional diesel (which i don’t think is as effective). I believe some pumps already provide an eighty percent diesel twenty percent bio-diesel. It’s also worth mentioning a lot of people process it in their homes (a cousin of mine, for instance), and end up spending less compared to buying traditional diesel.

    Sorry if I sound like a salesperson. ^_^

  • Nick

    woops, I meant vegetable oil, though turning broccoli into something useful would be quite the scientific achievement.

  • BriaN

    Does This mean the end of Wally and Osbourne? NO!!! Haha it better not!
    I think this one was a little more confusing than the others. I get it but just takes more thought to it… not insulting people who didn’t get it I wouldn’t do that. Maybe it’s because we talk about the enviornment all the time in my Chemistry class, I don’t know though.

  • Sev

    Oy, vey. THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A CAR THAT RUNS ON WATER. If you’re looking for something to derive chemical energy from, water is about your worst possible choice. What people mean when they talk about “water-powered cars” are hydrogen fuel cells, which provide electric power very cleanly, but very expensively, using hydrogen and oxygen which together form the only byproduct, water. But that hydrogen has to come from somewhere; powerplants are needed to electrolyze water to create hydrogen and oxygen.

    Hydrogen fuel cells might be very important in the future, but they don’t run on water.

    Ethanol-fueled turbine engines would be awesome. Ridiculously noisy and expensive, but awesome.

  • shink

    I don’t believe this news has gotten out of my part of the world yet, Sev, but yes there are cars that run on water. A Philippine Inventor has created an engine which separates the oxygen from the hydrogen in water, and it’s clean. The problem is, it just got reported in our local TV news just twice, and after that no one ever heard from it again.

    Opinion has it that the government never gave it support because of the local oil industry’s opposition to the development and patronization of said technology (Imagine the profits oil companies would lose and the tax dollars the government will lose if this gets big).

    There’s also another process I’ve heard about on the news where current diesel engines can run on coconut oil without any modifications to it. I’ve yet to see this one with my one eyes, though.

  • Kevin

    We could all start walking around, wear natural fibre clothing (or nothing) and dispose of all the fantastic little gadgets we’ve all come to love (TVs, Ipods, the internet….)

  • RW

    NO!! Not the internet!!

  • Mute

    I don’t get it.
    …No, seriously, I don’t get it.

  • Adam

    shink: And where does the energy come from to seperate the oxygen from hydrogen in the water? It seems just like an energy storage, not actual generation.

  • ~*Ashley*~


  • You

    l bored
    l the comic = GREAT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Sev

    “A Philippine Inventor has created an engine which separates the oxygen from the hydrogen in water, and itÒ€ℒs clean.”

    Have you ever heard of something called “conservation of energy?” If you change water into hydrogen and oxygen, and then burn the hydrogen with the oxygen, at the very best you’ll be right back where you started. Of course, you’re going to lose energy in the process, so in the end you’re spending energy, not gaining it. The only way you’d get more energy out of water than you put in to it in separating water and hydrogen would be if it were heavy water and you used the deuterium for nuclear fusion. Considering no one has come up with a way to contain a fusion reaction with less energy than it gives out yet, much less designed one that can fit in a car, I find that horribly unlikely.

    Saying you have a car that is powered by water alone is like saying you have a car that runs on happy thoughts and dreams of sugarplums. It is impossible.

  • Sev

    You can’t get blood from a stone.

  • bobo

    i can ohhh what thats my blood ahhhh.

  • bobo


  • bobo

    WOW! Venus next stop Pluto. πŸ˜‰

  • anyarticus

    was that news made on april first?

  • antarticus

    news broadcst

  • Tyler Martin

    Car that runs on water…

  • RW

    Sweet, I want one!

  • ZanDa

    These cars don’t run on water.

    Their “garbage” is water.

    The first law of conservation of energy is that energy can neither be created nore destroyed.

    People saying this will cause more rain just make me laugh πŸ˜›

    This car runs by splitting hydrogen and oxygen [H20] then putting them back together. This requires emense engergy but also gives emense energy [going back to the rule].
    WHICH IS WHY it is so expensive.

    As soon as they lower the cost, or invent a way how. Hydrogen fusion IS the next big thing.

  • William

    The law of conservation of energy is only valid in thermodynamic time. Not that you are wrong since we do happen to live in thermodynamic time, but time flows forward and backward (just ask a positron).

    By the way I love the comic.

  • Bryan

    Hydrogen fuel cells are just energy storage, not generation… but so is oil. It just happens that a certain amount of energy was stored in the world naturally in the form of oil/coal/etc already, so it SEEMS like generation to us because we don’t have to do any of the work of storing it in the first place.

    What’s needed is a first-order energy source. Hydrogen fuel cells can be clean as anything, but if the electricity to split the water into hydrogen and oxygen comes from a coal plant they aren’t saving the environment from any harm at all. This was the problem with the electric cars (environmentally speaking)… they never were “zero pollution”, they were “pollution somewhere where I don’t have to smell it.”

    Until we’ve got the technology to build clean power plants, no clean cars are possible. Once we have a way to deal with power plants, clean cars will be easy to design.

    ps apparently hybrid cars are bad for pedestrians… there’s been a rash of people getting hit in crosswalks and such because the cars are silent while idling, so people who are used to being able to locate nearby vehicles by ear (which is all of us) just don’t notice them on occasion.

  • shink

    I’m simply saying that I saw such things on teevee. It’s been a while so I forgot how the dude explained it. But it worked… Well, it’s gone now, and most likely to never see the light of day again.

  • Sev

    “The law of conservation of energy is only valid in thermodynamic time. Not that you are wrong since we do happen to live in thermodynamic time, but time flows forward and backward (just ask a positron).”

    Dude, what if our solar system is just an atom in a molecule in the fingernail of a giant alien?

    You’ll probably never see it again for the same reason people occasionally pop up saying they can turn lead into gold (profitably,) and are never heard from again.

    Incidentally, Nuclear plants are very clean; nuclear waste is nasty stuff, but it’s very concentrated and easy to dispose of safely. That is, it’s easy to dispose of safely compared to the sulfur in coal which causes acid rain.

  • Phill

    Nuclear Fusion, all the way! πŸ˜€ I mean sure, it would increase a car engine operating temperature to a few million C, but at least it’s thermodynamically plausable.
    lol @ Tyler: Cars running on water…

  • Sev

    If you had a fusion-powered car, you would go down in history as THE COOLEST GUY WHO EVER EXISTED, EVER. FOREVER.

  • bobo

    ahhhhh so many big words!

  • Viccoman

    of course, the Saudis do not want the US to develop alternative energy sources; it means their country would become BANKRUPT!

  • Sputnix

    8 DEATHS

  • ????????

    what about salt water powered cars like formula fuelers my dad said that it genorates the most electricity

  • FlipperBoidSkua

    AHHHH!!! The poor skua!

  • http://GirlsgoGames Jenny

    Uh, that just made smoke. And, it’s not good for the birds and bats either. Poor Skua.