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October 25, 2006 | South Carolina Headlines


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Help me save the planet
Jonathan Pait
August 5, 2006

Okay, so the title of this column is just a little bit over the top.  I'm hoping that it got your attention.  Now, I'm hoping I can hold it for a moment.

Perhaps a better title would have been "Help me save my wallet."  Either way, I'd welcome your help.  Just exactly what do I need?

Nearly one year ago now, I made a mistake.  I purchased a vintage Vespa from Indonesia.  I have since learned that the way they "restore" them is to go out and get 10 or 15 broken down scooters put them together from what working parts they can find.

After waiting several months to get the bike as it traveled on the slow boat from China (literally), the beautiful silver grey 64 Vespa 150 with sidecar arrived.  As I pulled it from the box, it really was a looker.  Unfortunately, as I started looking more closely and trying to get it to run consistently, I found that the beauty was only skin deep!

You can read all about it at Vespatude.com.  I won't bore you with all the details at this time. All I will add is that right now, Heebie (that's the name I gave it - it is how my two year-old pronounces "Herbie") is sitting up on jack stands with his heart ripped out.  He has been that way for a month now.

Heebie needs a heart transplant and thus began my sociological experiment.  The experiment takes the form of the below mismash of images and the explanation follows below.

I remembered the young Briton who decided to try to make a million dollars by selling a million pixels on a web site for a dollar a piece.  Since he was the first person to try such a thing, he was able to get the attention and be novel enough to succeed.  I knew I couldn't do that, but it would be interesting to see if people would come forward to help me get my Heebie a new heart.

The good news is that I am just over halfway there.  It has been a good experiment, not just because I am getting the money I need, but because I have met some really neat people as I have communicated with both those who have taken part and those who just wanted to know what kind of nut would do such at thing.

Well, I would like to take this to the conclusion.  If I can just sell as many pixels as I have already sold, then I can call my little project a success.  You can find out more about the project and how you can participate (and maybe even get $100) at the Vespatude.com Pixel Page.  You'll have helped my wallet by providing the money I need for the engine and getting me back on my little Vespa that gets 50+ mpg. 

Yep, and that is how you help me save the planet.  Think of all that fossil fuel that won't get burned!

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