Friday, July 07, 2006

The Way of the Window Crank

You never know when controversy will strike. I was reading the paper over lunch and came across an article about the future of crank windows in new cars. It seems that in the near future automatic windows will be standard on all makes and models of new cars. OK, that is somewhat interesting I suppose. But then came the shocker.

Toyota spokesman Kim Kwong predicted, and I quote: “You are going to see crank windows go the way of the dinosaurs.” Oh…my…God…! The way of the dinosaurs. This isn’t simply controversy, this is catastrophe.

Why, you might be asking yourself? Because the way of the dinosaurs isn’t pretty.

Basically you have two choices when it comes the way of the dinosaurs: the scientific way and the Creationist way. Neither one is going to make you sleep better tonight.

If you adhere to the theory of Creationism, the dinosaurs coexisted with human beings and both were caught up in the Flood. Noah and his family survived and so did two of every kind of dinosaur, but after the flood the earth just wasn’t same and the dinosaurs couldn’t adapt or, dare we say, “evolve,” fast enough. The last of them died after the flood.

Now let’s apply this to crank windows. If they, too, go the way of the dinosaur, we are in for another Flood— and (at least according to prophet Kwong) soon! Yes, I know God promised not to drown the earth a second time, but there are millions of people who believe in Creationism and the Flood-bath that killed the dinosaurs so I wouldn’t be so sure. A second flood is coming and, unless you are currently building an ark under God’s direction, you are screwed!

But, if you are a pseudo-intellectual sophisticate life me, you can always scoff at the Flood theory and go with more scientific data regarding the way of the dinosaur.

I always thought an asteroid stricking the earth 65 million years ago in the Cretaceous period killed off the beast. (Yes, I know, you thought it was beauty that killed the beast, but that is because you are a hopeless Romantic and not a real scientist.) It turns out, however, that the climate had already turned too cold for them, and the asteroid was simply the final straw (so to speak). The dinosaurs were freezing to death.

Sure, I know we are supposed to worry about global warming, but, if we are to take Kim Kwong and science seriously, the truth is that extreme cold is going to kill off the crank window. And I mean extreme!

Think of it this way: window cranks are made of plastic. Do you know the freezing point of plastic? Neither do I, but I do know that gasoline will still burn at minus 97 degrees Fahrenheit. Since both plastic and gasoline are made from petroleum you can be pretty damn sure that it has to be pretty damn cold for plastic to freeze. Since the scientific way of the dinosaur is freezing to death, and crank windows are going the way of the dinosaur—it is going to get really cold really soon.

So what can we do? Nothing. Religion and science agree: If crank windows are going the way of the dinosaur as Kim Kwong predicts, we are doomed.

Our only hope is that Mr. Kwong is wrong. But when it comes to predicting the future of the automobile, the people at Toyota are rarely wrong. So here is my advice: Roll up your car windows and burn as much fossil fuel as possible to up the greenhouse gas levels. It may keep the floodwaters out and you a little bit warmer. But not for long.

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