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Re: Traction (was Re: OT: Debian Mailinglist server slow?)

On Sat, Sep 06, 2003 at 03:24:38AM -0700, Paul Johnson wrote:
> On Sat, Sep 06, 2003 at 04:44:56AM -0500, Ron Johnson wrote:
> > And poorly maintained diesel engines burn soooooo much cleaner than
> > gasoline engines, why it just takes my breath away! <NOT!>
> A poorly maintained diesel still runs cleaner than a poorly maintained
> gas engine.  The difference is purely cosmetic.  Diesels show their
> poor maintenance better than gas engines.

That black smoke is due to incomplete combustion, and is accompanied
by invisible products of incomplete combustion, like carbon monoxide
and unburned hydrocarbon fragments. And the particulates in the smoke
are damaging to humans, if of less concern to shorter-lived species. I
do agree, though, that having a visible sign that things are not well
is an advantage.

> > Like, say, all those people in the Hindenburg?
> That was a far larger amount of hydrogen wrapped in a highly flammable
> material.  The design was stupid.  Do you not realize that the
> storage and use of hydrogen has improved over the decades?  Why are
> you so ready to dismiss over 50 years of progress so easily?

Well, even 50 years ago airships worked really well. You just had to
avoid painting them with thermite. They were remarkably hard to shoot
down, even with tracer rounds.

I think Ron's point was, though, that the people in the Hindenburg may
not necessarily have agreed that burning up in a hydrogen fireball is
a reasonable way to go.


Be kind to pigeons
Get my GPG key here: http://pgp.mit.edu:11371/pks/lookup?op=get&search=0x21C61F7F

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