Moss, is humor writer from Tennessee. She writes a
weekly human interest column about daily life and the funny
things that happen to everyone.
She has written for the Daily News of Kingsport, Griffin Journal,
Oakridge Now, Atlanta Woman Magazine, Aberdeen Examiner, Angleton
Advocate, and Smyrna AM, a supplement of the Murfreesboro Daily News
Journal. She has been
published by Voyageur Press, McGraw Hill, and the good folks
at Guidepost Books. Her articles have appeared in
numerous anthologies and other publications, both in print and online.
She is a
former board member and past Editor of the Columnists.com, website of the National Society of Newspaper
oldest and largest professional organization
for columnists. She is the Web Editor of
Humorists.com and a founder of the Southern Humorists writers'
organization. She is writer, editor, and webmaster of HumorColumnist.com.
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Online Since 1999
car is now running on pure nitrogen. Not in the fuel tank --
they haven't perfected that yet. In fact, they haven't even
started developing it yet. I have nitrogen in my tires.
Apparently, the technology has been around a while, but I didn't
know about it until my auto tech, Cindy, told me they had Nitro
It seems that race car drivers discovered that tires with
nitrogen get more mileage and last longer than tires with
regular air. One less pit stop makes a big difference to race
car drivers, but whether the average driver needs to have tires
filled with nitrogen remains a matter of debate. Some people say
why spend the extra bucks as plain old air from the atmosphere
is 80 percent nitrogen
When Cindy suggested I switch to nitrogen, I couldn't remember
much about it, which shows how much attention I paid during
science class. "Isn't that explosive?" I asked,
visualizing my car going up in a mushroom cloud during a fast
"Oh, no, you are thinking of hydrogen," she explained.
Well, that was a relief.
Actually, helium is the element I would really like to have in
my tires. I could float away like a helium-filled party balloon
or like Chitty, Chitty, Bang, Bang, the flying car in an old
Dick Van Dyke movie. But helium can't even keep a rubber balloon
floating for very long before it passes through the rubber and
the balloon goes flat.
Let's get technical. The reason nitrogen is better in tires has
to do with the size of the molecules in different gases.
Nitrogen has fat molecules that can't pass through the rubber
tire as quickly as the skinny molecules of oxygen. I wondered
why my tires kept getting low. I get them inflated and before
you know it, the tire pressure warning lights are doing
I really hate putting air in the tires myself. It involves
getting down on some filthy parking lot or standing on my head
while trying to measure tire pressure. Service stations have
crummy air with water vapor that is really bad if it gets inside
your tires, or at least that is what the nitrogen people say.
With nitrogen, you can get them refilled at the dealership
without feeling guilty or stupid.
Until now, I thought nitrogen was only good for fertilizing the
garden or the lawn. It seems, however, that nitrogen comes in
many different forms, including the gas in the atmosphere. Using
nitrogen in tires is supposed to reduce your carbon footprint
and be good for the environment.
It seems they are coming out with a lot of things to help the
environment. The hydrogen that I can't put in my tires can be
put in my gas tank. I just read an article today about how
Hyundai has developed a car that uses a hydrogen cartridge
instead of gas. The hydrogen makes electricity and that runs the
car. I'm not really sure I want to have a hydrogen bomb in the
trunk, but I suppose it is no more explosive than the gasoline
that we are all so fond of now.
I am going to hate missing out on the new tires that tweet when
you reach the right pressure. Have you seen that ad on TV? I
wouldn't have to measure tire pressure any more. Hallelujah! It
tells you when to quit. However, if they really want to invent
something useful, why can't they create a tire that uses carbon
monoxide? Then my car could blow up its tires right from the
Anyhow, ff you see a car with green wheels driving by, it will
not be something new from Detroit. It will be me in my nitrogen
chariot. I still think helium might be fun, though.
Copyright 2012 Sheila Moss
Nashville, TN 37219
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