Pine Nuts: Help is on the way

Perhaps it’s time we recognize the world for what it is, one humongous ventilator, and we’re all on it. The air that we leave to our grandkids will determine their longevity. Remember what our mothers told us, “Cleanliness, Honey, is next to Godliness.” Mom was right, and she still is when it comes to washing our hands and cleaning the air that we breathe.

Flashing back to childhood, my two brothers and I, while riding along in the back seat of our old Chevy, bored out of our minds, would try to hold our breath while Dad drove through the Caldecott Tunnel. It was easy for my older brother, not so easy for me, and nearly impossible for our little brother. Back then I could cup my hands, pump my palms together, and create the sound of gas passing. Well that was all our little brother needed to hear to cause him to burst out laughing, inhaling several large gulps of air, and effectively knocking himself out of our brotherly competition. I remember my mother shooting me a disapproving look, and then laughing. I can still do that trick today if asked, although I never do get asked. But I digress. The point is, without clean air to breathe we have very little time to exist, yet help is on the way … fusion help.

Here’s how it works. You take a magnet, a gigantic magnet the size of a soccer field, and use that magnet to compress and heat plasma until that plasma is hotter than Hades. (Don’t ask me how, but be sure to wear sunglasses while witnessing this process.)

I always thought magnets were just for anchoring photos on your refrigerator door, but no, physicists at M.I.T. tell us magnets will be used to produce fusion energy as soon as 2025. The fact that I most likely won’t live to see this happen is not a discouragement to me, as I am receiving great waves of euphoria right now just thinking about the possibility. There are health benefits to be found in the power of positive thinking. Somebody should write a book about that …

One caveat; this magnetic force is so strong, I am telling you, you will want to avoid wearing suspenders at all costs while in the same room with this magnet, or the magnetic force will suck-up the metal clips on your suspenders and tear your trousers right off your body. Worse yet, if your trousers are not tear-away trousers, well, you will get sucked onto to that magnet along with your trousers, and have to hang there until the janitor arrives to turn off the magnet and help you down.

Yes, Virginia, help is on the way, and it’s called fusion energy. Let us drop fossil fuels like a hot rock and get back to breathing the air that Mark Twain once called, “The Air That Angels Breathe.”

Learn more about McAvoy Layne at

Support Local Journalism


Support Local Journalism

Readers around Lake Tahoe, Truckee, and beyond make the Sierra Sun's work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.

Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.

User Legend: iconModerator iconTrusted User