Considering a More Fuel-Efficient Vehicle? Maybe You Just Need to Learn How to Drive.
When Australians John and Helen Taylor drove the entire lower 48 states last summer, setting a U.S. fuel economy Guinness World Record by averaging an astonishing 58.82 miles per gallon, Goodyear Tires wasn’t impressed. The company contacted the Taylors, suggesting they should use the company’s Assurance Fuel Max tires. This week, using the Fuel Max tires, the Taylor’s indeed did crush their old record by driving the exact same route at 67.9 miles per gallon. Their driving lessons could now potentially help solve the world’s oil and energy crisis.
“We’ve had 4000 emails a month. People writing, saying ‘are you going to be running workshops? Can you talk to us?’” John told BigThink in a sit-down interview after the couple completed their road trip in New York this past week. “We want to educate everyone around the world. For us, having this positive response is brilliant.” With 80 fuel economy and driving records to their credit, the Taylors have become a model of how driving responsibly won’t simply save drivers money at the pump, but also simultaneously save the environment as well as lives on the road. “They all go hand in hand,” says Helen “If you drive economically, you’ll drive more safely and be improving the environment because you’ll be using less fuel.”
In their most recent jaunt around the 48 contiguous states, the Taylors completed the 9,500-mile trip in their 2009 Volkswagon Jetta TDI clean-diesel car in less than three weeks, throwing in vacations in Niagara Falls and Las Vegas for good measure. All the while, they managed to shatter a number of misconceptions most Americans have about fuel efficiency. Many of their valuable tips can be found at the couple’s web site at fuelacademy.com, where the Taylor’s also provide a blow-by-blow account of their ultimate road trip. Altogether, they demonstrated that, as much as they embrace alternative energies and electric vehicles as a means of fuel efficiency and emission reduction, a few helpful tips can make a world of difference across the globe.
“When we were in Kenya, we saw some of the poorest people we’ve ever seen in our lives. They have 14-person taxis on which the drivers spend 60,000 shillings a day on gas,” says John. “Helen went in one taxi and I went in another and we did the circuit they do. It took us 30 minutes longer but the passengers said it’s the most relaxed taxi ride they’ve been on and they only spent 37,000 shillings instead of 60,000. That’s more than 8 million shillings savings a year. You could buy a new mini-bus for this. The drivers were saying ‘this is the best thing that has ever happened to us.’ We’re going to circumnavigate the continent next year and smash the world record.”
Pfizer's partnerships strengthen their ability to deliver vaccines in developing countries.
- Pfizer is helping to drive the UN's sustainable development goals through partnerships.
Swiss researchers identify new dangers of modern cocaine.
- Cocaine cut with anti-worming adulterant levamisole may cause brain damage.
- Levamisole can thin out the prefrontal cortex and affect cognitive skills.
- Government health programs should encourage testing of cocaine for purity.
A study on flies may hold the key to future addiction treatments.
- A new study suggests that drinking alcohol can affect how memories are stored away as good or bad.
- This may have drastic implications for how addiction is caused and how people recall intoxication.
- The findings may one day lead to a new form of treatment for those suffering from addiction.
Civil discourse has fallen to an all time low.
The question that the American populace needs to ask itself now is: how do we fix it?
Discursive fundamentals need to be taught to preserve free expression
In their findings the authors state:
upholding First Amendment ideals.
Talking politics at Thanksgiving dinner
- Progressive Activists: younger, highly engaged, secular, cosmopolitan, angry.
- Traditional Liberals: older, retired, open to compromise, rational, cautious.
- Passive Liberals: unhappy, insecure, distrustful, disillusioned.
- Politically Disengaged: young, low income, distrustful, detached, patriotic, conspiratorial
- Moderates: engaged, civic-minded, middle-of-the-road, pessimistic, Protestant.
- Traditional Conservatives: religious, middle class, patriotic, moralistic.
- Devoted Conservatives: white, retired, highly engaged, uncompromising,
It's interesting to note the authors found that:
"Tribe membership shows strong reliability in predicting views across different political topics."
Here are some statistics on differing viewpoints according to political party:
- 51% of staunch liberals say it's "morally acceptable" to punch Nazis.
- 53% of Republicans favor stripping U.S. citizenship from people who burn the American flag.
- 65% of Republicans say NFL players should be fired if they refuse to stand for the anthem.
- 58% of Democrats say employers should punish employees for offensive Facebook posts.
- 47% of Republicans favor bans on building new mosques.
Here are some guidelines for civic discourse that might come in handy:
- Practice inclusion and listen to who you're speaking to.
Civic discourse in the divisive age
dangerously tribal, fueled by a culture of outrage and taking offense. For the combatants,
the other side can no longer be tolerated, and no price is too high to defeat them.
These tensions are poisoning personal relationships, consuming our politics and
putting our democracy in peril.
Once a country has become tribalized, debates about contested issues from
immigration and trade to economic management, climate change and national security,
become shaped by larger tribal identities. Policy debate gives way to tribal conflicts.
Polarization and tribalism are self-reinforcing and will likely continue to accelerate.
The work of rebuilding our fragmented society needs to start now. It extends from
re-connecting people across the lines of division in local communities all the way to
building a renewed sense of national identity: a bigger story of us."
SMARTER FASTER trademarks owned by The Big Think, Inc. All rights reserved.