Could someone please explain to me the fascination with the need for speed? I understand the passion of race car drivers. It is a skill that comes with prestige, financial reward, and perhaps an adrenalin rush that is incomparable. But there is a time and place for it.
Last night – no, let me correct that – very early this morning I was jackknifed from a perfectly warm nuzzle into dreamy sheets by an exterior force. It was as though the Kansas tornado from the Wizard of Oz dropped me into the racing scene from Grease.
Now, sometimes it is the tug of gravity on a resting muscle that awakens you so ruthlessly. It happens. You pole vault out of bed so quickly that you have no idea who or where you are, much less what time it is. However, when it is the screech of burning rubber and the cry of engines racing down my road, I am fully aware that idiots are pushing the envelope to my sanity. Whatever would tell you it is okay to do that in a residential area at 3:00 AM?
So, in a bit of fury, I found myself cursing the day Henry Ford was born. And then it happened. Here we go again. Henry Ford is not the protagonist here. It was the invention of the internal combustion engine that started all of this. I can research as far back as 1680 when Dutch physicist, Christian Huygens designed an internal combustion engine that was to be fueled with gunpowder. Yes, gunpowder.
While he never actually built the engine, it provided inspiration for many brilliant scientists throughout the 19th century to fulfill his dream. It was not until 1885 that Gottlieb Daimler invented what is recognized as the prototype of the modern gas engine. Yet, it was Karl Benz who received the first patent for a gas-fueled car in 1886.
But I can take this fascination with the human brain one step further. The internal combustion engine uses explosive fuel combustion to push pistons within a cylinder. That movement turns a crankshaft that turns wheels via a chain or drive shaft. Who thinks of this stuff? How in the world did someone decide to push pistons with gunpowder to achieve forward movement of anything?
The same can be said of Thomas Edison (light bulb), Johannes Gutenberg (printing press), metal nails by the ancient Egyptians in 3400 BC, and the wheel in 3500 BC. This list is endless. I understand that need stimulates the human mind, but what within the human mind becomes the catalyst for invention?
How many times in your life have you thought, “Why didn’t I think of that?” I sit here worried about what kind of idiots drag race in the middle of the night when people everywhere, every day, are creating stuff that betters the human race and life as we know it. Whatever feeds those brilliant brains to see a need and fulfill it, I’ll have what they are having. Ah, but that is fodder for yet another rant.
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