Friday, March 28, 2008

diving by zero will make the universe implode, everyone knows that.

i heard a sponsor blurb on npr the other day for subaru’s new partial-zero emissions vehicles. this intrigued me. partial-zero? how is this possible? i have been racking my brain and have yet to figure it out. the way i see it, a car is either emitting exhaust or it is not. how are you emitting exhaust but kinda sorta not really emitting exhaust? you either are or you aren’t.

the name is intriguing also: partial-zero. how do have part of zero? what part? a quarter? a half? an eighth? one one-hundredth? how would you figure that? here is the equation:

¼ x 0 = ?

now, i am not a math whiz, but i distinctly recall that anything multiplied by zero (“of”) equals zero. so one-quarter of zero is zero. so according to the math, “partial-zero” does not exist. partial-zero is zero. so why would you advertise partial-zero emissions, if partial-zero equals zero? wouldn’t you just advertise zero emissions? after all, it’s so very pc to be green, and zero emissions is more green than some emissions (no matter how small).

* according to subaru’s website, the “[partial-zero emissions vehicle] pzev has 90% cleaner emissions than the average new vehicle” and meets california’s tough super-ultra-low-emission exhaust vehicle standard. don’t get me wrong, i understand perfectly the advertising concept behind the “partial-zero” emissions tag. i’ve just been intrigued by the tag. my main problem behind it is that (to me) it assumes a level of stupidity on the part of the consumer, and i hate being condescended to.

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