Tuesday, 7 March 2006

Amazing Race Season 9 – Episode 2

“Then what are we going to do, hook up with hippies” – Jeremy

So, Team Pink thought they could get a boy to help them build the motorcycle last episode? So, they didn’t watch any of the past seasons.

Roadblock: Fire Drill
Jen’s doing it (yes, you still gotta call it in armchair racing). We finished tonight’s House prior to starting The Amazing Race tonight. Eric’s banter about Team Pink is right out of, well, Boston Legal.

Detour: Press It or Climb It
Half a liter of sugar cane Ethanol for your VW Bug or a 90 ft rope climb. Rope climb for us. Huh, pretty cool that the old Bugs can take Ethanol.

Feels like the editors are trying to put Monica and Team Pink in the same “naughty” light.

Anyone know why the dentist couple has bandages behind their ears? I’m guessing nicotine patch.

Garrick’s Favorites

  • BJ & Tyler – #1, Nice Oprah Hug® guys.
  • Dave & Lori – #4
  • Ray & Yolanda – #7

Sunday, 18 September 2005

Exchanging Petroleum’s Problems for Ethanol’s

I’m all for a regional-specific energy solution. Petroleum makes sense in places – like Texas – where petroleum exists. Less so in Nebraska where it’s easier to grow crops than dig for oil.

Despite being more renewable than petroleum, ethanol has it’s own problems. It’s a little cheaper per gallon than gasoline (bigger subsidies?), but mpg drops.. And now reports are coming out that ethanol factories are some of the biggest polluters in the midwest (Des Moines Register, Norwegianity).

Combine this with high fructose corn syrup making us fat and the corn lobby (yes, you ADM) has some serious questions to answer.

Saturday, 4 June 2005

My Car Won’t Run E85, Maybe Yours?

Yesterday, I noticed the signage at the gas station up the street was showing prices for unleaded gasoline and E85, the fuel made of 85% ethanol and just 15% petroleum. E85 can be made from sugar cane, corn, wheat, just about any starch. Here in the midwest the obvious choice is corn.

As a quick aside, on our last cross-country road trip Jen and I noticed Nebraskan gas stations were promoting the higher percentage of ethanol in the fuels they sold. Next door in Wyoming, the signs proclaimed “There’s No Corn in our Gas!”. With Wyoming not known for their corn production prowess it seemed like a fairly empty statement.

Back to E85, if you’re driving a Flexible Fuel Vehicle like a Ford Explorer or Chrysler minivan, E85 is 30 to 50 cents cheaper per gallon than regular unleaded. Frankly, I’m pretty surprised at the list of Flexible Fuel Vehicles, all trucks and SUVs. Considering how poor their mileage is to begin with, definitely a good thing. Still, I was disappointed not to see the Neon or PT Cruiser on the list.

Minnesota Public Radio’s story on E85.

Saturday, 21 May 2005

Drawing the Line with Corn

Despite (or because of) growing up among fields and fields of it I’m not a big fan corn. It’s alright in pancakes (especially from Maria’s) and Red Hot Blues, just not on the cob, frozen, or in a can, or in my food as a sweetener. I’m not the only one. Mexico’s sugar industry has a lot to lose from imported US high fructose corn syrup and a number of studies have declared HFCS dangerous to our health.

So, I was pretty disappointed to see HFCS as the third ingredient (before dried apples) in Great Harvest’s otherwise healthy and ever delicious Apple Crunch.

I’d like to take all the corn out of my food and put more of it in my gasoline especially in places like Nebraska, Wisconsin, and Minnesota.

Looks like Senator Mark Dayton has similar view, at least on ethanol:

“We need to take whatever actions necessary to increase the use of alternative fuels such as ethanol. Right now in Minnesota, E-85 fuel which is 85% ethanol costs 22 to 25 cents a gallon less than regular unleaded, but many consumers cannot use it because they don’t have a vehicle with a flexible fuel engine.”