Thursday, 29 October 2009

The Internal Combustion Engine, and 'Men'

Years ago Nick and I had ideas about what it was to be a man.

Back then we thought that perhaps Nick's interest in cars might possibly compliment my interest in football and, in combination, create credible man credentials.

Then we walked from Lake Geneva to Nice across the Alps with nothing but a tent and a cooker on our backs. The matter is no longer questioned. We also learned that 'man', in any sensible meaning of the word, requires the prefix 'granite-hard-mountain-'.

But all this is (half) beside the point. Because today I suddenly had a flash moment of insight into what Nick (and some few previously-considered-mad) men find interesting about cars, or the mechanics of them, at any rate. I actually read an explanation of the internal combustion engine.
A piston draws a mixture of air and fuel into a cylinder, then compresses it. A
spark plug ignites the mixture, and the explosion pushes the piston, rotating a
crankshaft to turn the wheels. Waste products escape out of the exhaust valve,
and the cycle repeats.

It's so simple! And who doesn't occasionally wonder how pissed off they'd be if they were transported a couple of thousands of years back in time and couldn't explain this kind of stuff to revolutionize the world and claim immortal fame?

(And no longer will I have to avert my eyes in ignorance and shame when someone mentions the words 'spark plug')

Football Nick?


Nick James said...

Funny you should mention football, because the other day I heard that "The object of the game is to score by driving the ball into the opposing goal."
It's so simple.
Doesn't make me want to watch it though.

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