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As we move towards battery and hydrogen cell breakthroughs that could wean us off our addiction to oil, here’s at least one engine design from yesteryear that ought to be examined a bit more. The free-piston engine, first invented in 1920, are cheap to build and roughly twice as efficient as current gas engines.
So what if you don’t live in the same time zone as New York, LA, Tokyo, Paris or London? Well, that means this Diesel Timepiece would be nothing more to you than a gaudy way to buff up your watch arm. Fortunately, a thinner, daintier version exists for those wishing to forgo the pre-ordained cities for five choices of your own. All you have to do is remember which one is which. Available for US$550 and US$495 respectively.
Pumping gas into a diesel engine, or vice versa, is a big no-no that may well screw up your engine. We all know that, don’t we? But for those, uh, “fuel-type challenged” people out there that get it wrong, there’s this new Fuel Checker gizmo. You install it inside your filler flap, and touch the pump nozzle to it before filling up: it’ll check the type and flash green for go, and red for no. No idea how it works, but it comes in gasoline or diesel versions. Or you could, you know… read the label on the pump and double check the colour of the nozzle you’re holding, and save yourself US$40. AU: Seriously? I drive a diesel, and I’ve never ever ever come close to putting unleaded in the tank. Is this a common occurrence?
Ah, a digital watch with an LED display that’s not impossible to read… fantastic! Even better, the LEDs on these new watches from Diesel are a dot-matrix screen, and are hidden behind a mirror surface that makes the whole package look suitably sci-fi. Like something Luke would’ve worn on his cybernetic wrist. You can even program the display to scroll messages up to 20 characters long. Having “Use the Force…” scrolling past is too much, you think? Available with a mirrored patent strap (DZ7091) or a black leather one (DZ7092) for US$170. [Diesel via Technabob]
Apparently scientists (and some of our readers, surely) have known that we can grow oil for years, and not in the grow-corn-make-oil kind of way. The Brazilian Copaifera langsdorfii can be tapped (ala maple syrup) for a natural diesel fuel that requires only simple filtering before being poured into a truck. (This picture is of the tree’s cells.) The catch? The diesel only has a shelf-life of about 3 months.
So how many trees would it take to match the oil output of, say, Saudi Arabia? Check our stats after the jump.
Here’s a badass-looking watch from Diesel that uses an OLED display in a minimalist style. At first glance it looks like it’s all bracelet, but then you press a button on the side and its aqua-colored OLED lights up with the time of day.
It’s available in stainless steel (DZ7080) for $215, but if you want just a leather band (model DZ7079), that’s $136.50. We dig the idea of an OLED display, which has been commonplace on cellphones but rare on watches thus far. Too bad about that necessity of pushing a button on the side, which reminds us of LED watches from the mid-’70s. For us, time telling shouldn’t be a two-handed activity. [Technabob]