May 2, 2001

Solving the Energy Crunch With
Bibles & High-Voltage Aquatic Life

By Roy Rivenburg

Power Tripping: Here at Off-Kilter, we are committed to solving the nation’s growing energy crisis. No, wait. That’s some other columnist. The only thing we’re committed to is a psychiatric ward near downtown Los Angeles. But that doesn’t mean we can’t answer reader questions about energy and conservation:

Question: How much power does an electric chair use?
Answer: A lot, which is why you should never execute a death row inmate in your living room while someone is using a blow dryer in the bathroom. It’ll melt your fuse box.

Q: What is the latest breakthrough in alternatives to gasoline?
A: Marijuana. A Virginia couple is driving across the U.S. in a Mercedes station wagon powered by hemp-seed oil. The ‘‘hemp mobile’’ gets 25 miles per gallon -- and the fuel costs $75 a gallon, which is cheaper than what gasoline will cost by the end of summer.
Q: What are the disadvantages to a hemp car?
A: Dilated headlights, short-term memory problems in the onboard computer and the car is constantly being tailed by actor Woody Harrelson.

Q: I read that an electric eel produces 500 volts and an electric catfish emits 350 volts. Does anyone make an adapter so I can plug my refrigerator into one of these creatures?
A: You can try Radio Shack, but it’s easier to buy an electric ray, which produces 220 volts, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.

Q: The Bible calls itself a lamp unto our feet and a light for our path. But when I tried using it to find the bathroom at 3 a.m., I stubbed my toe in the dark. Was I doing something wrong?
A: Yes, it doesn’t work for pagans.

Q: During power alerts, utility customers are asked to run washers and other major appliances at night. What’s the best time to download porn from the Internet?
A: While you’re at work. That way, your employer picks up the tab.

Q: Whenever I get a brilliant idea, a little light bulb goes on over my head. Will I have to stop getting ideas to conserve energy?
A: No, just switch to a compact fluorescent bulb over your head. It uses 75 percent less electricity.

Deep-Sea Narcissism: Bottlenose dolphins have joined humans and apes as the only species able to recognize themselves in a mirror, according to a new scientific study. This is great news for the cosmetics industry. It opens up a whole new market for such products as dolphin mascara, dolphin lip gloss and dolphin styling gel.

Scariest Book of the Year: ‘‘The Holy Movement’’ by Debora Lee Meehan, a ‘‘historical and biblical presentation of colon hygiene for the new millennium.’’

E-Solutions Bureau: Scientists are constantly grappling with daunting riddles, such as the origin of the universe, the nature of subatomic particles and determining who really is the weakest link. But the biggest mystery is how to get people interested in such mind-numbing concepts as De-Broglie wavelengths and absorption coefficients for photons. At Essex University in Britain, a grad student might have the answer. He added a photo gallery to his semiconductor physics website and changed the URL to

Two million visitors have since flocked to the site, according to the London Mirror.

Mark Your Calendars: May 11 is National Eat What You Want Day.

Supermarket Tabloid Headline of the Week: ‘‘Feds OK Outrageous Plan to Drill for Oil Under Arlington National Cemetery!’’ (Weekly World News)

Unpaid Informants: Wireless Flash News Service, Ann Harrison, Associated Press,, Mary Stolzenbach.

Copyright 2001 by Roy Rivenburg
Distributed by
Creators Syndicate