Self Cannibalism vs Water for Gas: A satirical look at energy saving products marketed today
Technology - The Magic of our Age
In this age of rising fuel and food prices, people are seeking ways to economize. Two new (or at least suddenly popular) techniques are gaining attention as people try to find ways to increase the energy they get out of their machines - whether mechanical and biologically based.
Both of these amazing new products claim that they have found ways to use the energy from a machine to increase the energy of that self-same machine, basically creating energy from itself. This is amazing technology, like magic! I love magic, so today we are going to have a look at these two new products to see if we can't figure out which one gives us a better bang for our buck.
Automobiles are manmade machines brought to their current state by a little over a century of technological development. A human being is a biological machine made by God or by hundreds of thousands of years of evolution, whichever you prefer. In both cases, these machines must have a source of energy to move about and function as they do.
For automobiles, gasoline is the most common source of fuel. For humans food is used. Both food and gasoline are considered to be an "energy source."
Now, the odds are excellent that everyone reading this article is a human being, and there is an excellent chance most of you own an automobile. (If you are not a human being or do not own an automobile, please be assured I mean no offense by excluding you.) Therefore, for those of you who fit into this category, what follows is entirely relevant to you.
I am going to break down the two newly popular energy-increasing products currently being marketed today - "water for gas" and "self cannibalization" - into their core elements so that we can see which one is more effective when it comes to increasing the output of our energy dollars.
First we'll examine the costs involved with starting each program, then we'll look at the cost to use and maintain it, and we'll finish off with long term costs, concluding at that point which program is the most efficient overall. So, without any further adieu, let's begin:
Cost to Start the Program
Water to Gas
The water into gas products claim to convert water into hydrogen which is then added into the fuel system of your car to make it more efficient. The main appeal as they profess is that water is free. The only cost involved is the system itself, which after labor to install, can be anywhere from $50 to $2000 depending where you go and who does the labor to put it in. (For the sake of being super fair to both sides, I will always use the cheapest possibility throughout for both methods under our review.)
- So, the bottom line to get started with a water to gas setup for your car is............ $50.00
The people promoting self-cannibalization claim that by eating portions of yourself every day in lieu of buying food, you will be able to sustain your normal caloric intake without outlaying any additional dollars for food from the grocery store. The main appeal as they profess is that this food source is completely free. As there is no installation or parts required to start this program, my research indicates that, at least at first, this program's claims are true.
- So, the bottom line to get started with a Self-Cannibalization set up for you is ............ $0.00
Self-Cannibalization is out to an early lead with a net start up cost of $50 less than the water to gas program.
Cost to Run and Maintain
Water to Gas
Once the water to gas system is installed, the only thing you need is water, which many of us get for free. Now, this assumes you aren't running out to the store and buying Aquafina or Evion. This is certainly an option for you - and I know this bottled water is delicious - but, for the sake of this examination, I'm going to assume we're using water from our garden hose or kitchen tap for maximum cost efficiency.
The premise then is to put water into a special tank and have electrolysis generate hydrogen which then can be used as additional fuel, with the only initial possible downside being the addition of extra weight to your car's load in having given your car additional fluid to carry around. Now while it might seem, by following this hydrogen logic through, that once the car is started (using gasoline and stored electrical power from your car's battery at first) that the hydrogen generation could do the rest of the work entirely. Start the car with gas, then let the water-to-hydrogen serve as fuel for the rest of the trip. I mean, why burn gasoline to generate hydrogen when you could start burning hydrogen to generate hydrogen? However, apparently these companies haven't recognized the genius of their own claims so we have to work with what they have thought up so far, which is just a bit of hydrogen for now.
Which is ok, we can still break that down into cost. The claims seen on webpages of some of these products assert that fuel mileage can be doubled by doing this water to gas thing. That's awesome and I'm certain they would never exaggerate, so, let's just get down to the math.
- 1 gallon of gas = (where I am, so that's the number I will use) ............... $4.65
- 1 gallon of water = ................................................................................. $0.00
Let's assume a vehicle that gets 24 MPG and has a 20 gallon tank:
- Distance travelled on full tank without water for gas program .... 480 miles
- Distance travelled on full tank WITH water for gas program ....... 960 miles
------ or looking at it another way--------
- Cost to travel 480 miles without water for gas ............... $93.00
- Cost to travel 480 miles WITH water for gas .................. $46.50
- Total Cost Reduction: ..................................................... 50%
Ok, since there's no installation involved with this system, and because I'm going to assume everyone here has a knife or some sharp object in their home already, there is no initial outlay at all (break a glass or something if you must). With the self-cannibalization program you can get started right away.
The simple premise is that, rather than buying all that expensive food you can just carve off a piece of yourself and eat that instead. The human body needs nutrients to keep moving about through its daily routine. What better way to do that and save money than to eat yourself!
Besides being an entirely free source of energy, like the water is for the water to fuel program, this product does not require that you add any additional weight to the machine. You won't be carrying any more weight than you already were. In fact, you will actually be cutting off body mass and thereby making yourself look leaner and more appealing than before.
(It should be noted that any promises of increased attractiveness assume that the portions taken from the user's body be selected from areas generally covered by clothing and kept out of view. Some part removal may result in hideous wounds and/or disfiguring scarring. Self-Cannibalization Inc. does not accept responsibility for personal aethetics or the success or lack of thereof in dating or relationship maintenance in any way shape or form.)
Self-Cannibalization claims to increase food dollar efficiency by 100% as they, unlike the water to gas people, recognize and are willing to assert that their product is entirely self-sustaining. They admit that you can sustain the program "even longer" if you augment it with food from the grocery store, but they are willing to point out that at least their program is capable of sustaining itself for a time completely on its own. So, let's cut to the math.
- Cost of 1 day's food without Self-Cannibalization program (average use, 1 human) .... $15.00
- Cost of 1 day's food WITH Self-Cannibalization program ... $0.00
- Total cost reduction ................................. 100%
While water for gas has a nice 50% reduction in cost, Self-Cannibalization comes in as absolutely free. Once again Self-Cannibalization appears to be the smarter choice. But there are still other elements to review.
Possible Side Effects / Additional Costs
Ok, before we get to the net results, we have to be honest with ourselves. There's an old saying that goes, "The only free cheese comes in a mousetrap," so we have to wonder about these two amazing products at least a little before we try them out.
Self-Cannibalization side effects and extra costs
One obvious problem with this method is going to be that eventually you are going to run out of parts to eat. So, you're either going to have to go to the grocery store eventually and will have just gained a bit of time without having to buy food, or you're going to have to find some replacement parts. This is something that the Self-Cannibalization people aren't so quick to point out; it's where the mousetrap springs.
So, as your body starts running out of parts to cut off and fricassee, and assuming you don't want to go back to the grocery store, you're going to have to go to the hospital instead. We all know that organ donors are in short supply, and you may find out when you get there that you have to wait in a very long line. Anyone living back during the ‘70s can tell you waiting in line for fuel sucks. And even if you don't have to wait in line, everyone knows how expensive medical procedures have become. You think food and gas are expensive, hah, wait till you go see your local surgeon and try to buy and have installed a couple of new kidneys, some intestines and maybe some thigh muscles and quadriceps. And, sadly, medical insurance companies are too short sighted to recognize the value of Self-Cannibalism yet and they are adamant that they will not pay. More self-serving corporate greed at work!
Which means you may be forced to do your transplants on your own. Getting the parts won't be too hard if you have a look around. If you don't like your spouse too well, or have neighbors or even a boss you don't care for all that much, you can probably get your parts for free (unless you are unwilling to extract the parts yourself, then you will have to pay the hitman's fees, which are high, but still likely less that at the hospital). After that, the costs are simple really, running you a few needles and some thread to sew your new parts back on until you need to eat them all again. Needle and thread are items you can get from your local drugstore for minimal costs if you don't already have them in your house.
So, ultimately the long term maintenance of the Self-Cannibalization program isn't all that bad as long as you're willing to do the parts acquisition by yourself.
Water for Gas side effects and extra costs
The water for gas program is much easier to maintain in terms of the amount of personal effort involved. All you have to do is refill the bottle with water from time to time. Now, some of us have water meters, so this might add to the cost a bit, but that cost is so negligible I'm willing to let it go.
The only real problem, outside of the fact that all the savings claims are based in what these companies say and completely ignore some fundamental laws of physics and chemistry, is going to be the wear and tear that burning hydrogen will cause.
Your car was designed to burn gasoline not hydrogen. Hydrogen burns much hotter than gas and the metals in your car were simply not designed for that kind of heat. Valves and pistons and all kinds of metal stuff deep inside your car are going to become brittle and inclined to crack or break. Unfortunately, most of these parts are way, way far inside of there, so unless you are a skilled mechanic, you won't be able to replace these parts yourself. Generally, they don't come cheap to buy.
You might be able to get them off your neighbor's car, or your wife's or your boss, kind of like you can do with the cannibalization method up above, but you still have to know how to get them out and then put back in. With the Self-Cannibalization method, at least you will have been practicing on yourself removing parts; water for gas gives you no kind of similar experience.
In the end, it seems that the Self-Cannibalization program is totally the way to go. First off, it actually can sustain itself completely, at least for awhile, unlike the water for gas systems being sold around the Internet. If a system can really create energy from itself, it should be able to self sustain. If it can't then it is just a hoax, the cheese lying in the trap. Clearly the Self-Cannibalization process is in the end the better of the two, although it still has some obvious flaws of its own. I hope this analysis helps you understand how you can find ways to improve the machines that you so often use, or at least helps you recognize what products you should avoid.
Webster's defines "satire" as:
1. the use of irony, sarcasm, ridicule, or the like, in exposing, denouncing, or deriding vice, folly, etc.
For anyone too dim to recognize it, the article above is satire. If you start carving yourself up or putting snake oil in your car because you can't fathom the nature of satirical device, well, you deserve what you get. But don't call me. I wash my hands of you.
More by this Author
A look at using familiar phrases in writing, this article discusses the nature of writers making choices, and considers what is at stake when using "tired" metaphors.
Christoph Reilly is a knave who deserves what he gets for his children's books hub at my expense. This will teach him to challenge me in a duel of immaturity, for there is none on HP more immature than I am. As I have...
A brief examination of the correct grammatical use and origins of the phrase "bad rap." The purpose being to provide research based confirmation of its standard use and to show the grammatical basis for...