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titus toledo
image DO YOU remember Daniel Dingel? I don't. But I remember his car: A red 16-valve Toyota Corolla.

Now what is so special about Mr Dingel's red 16-valve Toyota Corolla? Absolutely positively nothing. In fact, it looked like any red 16-valve Toyota Corolla (not exactly your prototypical carnapper's wet dream), except for this: Mr Dingel's Toyota, or so he claimed, ran on water.

Imagine that.

You probably remember Daniel Dingel now, or shades of what used to be Mr Dingel's story from way way back.

You probably remember catching him on some late evening news rerun, talking about how he supposedly found a way to power his Toyota by extracting the "H" from H20.

You probably remember watching him filling up his engine with a pitcher of plain old tap water. Not mineral water. Not even bottled purified water. Just the everyday kind of H20 you use to flush down your toilet.

And, you probably remember thinking out loud and asking yourself "What is this: Home Science Project Gone Haywire or Genuine Revolutionary Idea With Real World Paradigm-Shifting Life-Changing Earth-Shaking Possibilities?"

Full disclosure: I don't really remember this much. For instance, I don't really remember the name Daniel Dingel but I am 100 percent sure that he is a Filipino. The car may or may not be a Toyota Corolla 16-valve but who cares? Where my mind fails me, it cheats. And why not? There is always Google to fill in the memory gaps.

Some questions (I've been wondering about for the longest time):

Is the Dingel technology for real? (That is like asking if climate change is for real. There are scientists who will say it is. And there are scientists who will say it isn't. Mostly it's beginning to look like it really depends on who pays for the science. UFO technology comes to mind. The Bible Code comes to mind. December 21, 2012 comes to mind.)

So why didn't we, or the Philippine government for that matter, support Mr Dingel? (We did. In fact, the Philippine Department of Science & Technology did verify Dingel's invention in 2008 and did dismiss it as a hoax. That very same year, the Parañaque City Regional Trial Court, Republic of the Philippines, did convict Mr Dingel of estafa, did order him to pay $380,000 in actual damages, and did sentence him to a maximum of 20 years imprisonment.)

And how old was Mr Dingel at that time? He was 82.

Imagine that.

A hypothetical scenario (assuming, of course, that this is the real deal):

What if Mr Dingel had a change of heart? What if he suddenly realized, in a rare moment of satori, that the only fail-proof way to really safeguard an invention of this magnitude is to finally reveal it, to bring it all out into the open, to let go and place it all in the hands of every Juan, Maria, and Jose?

What if Mr Dingel—in a final act of defiance against those who stood to dismiss and convict him—suddenly decided to bare it all on the internet, to post every minute detail of his prototype (blueprints included) on, say, Sourceforge.net or WikiLeaks?

A free tip: If I were Mr Dingel, I would, for good measure, zip all my files in a single self-extracting torrent under a generous "Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported License" for all the worlds (first world, second world, third, and fourth) to freely share, copy, distribute, transmit, remix, and adapt.

The ramifications of such a radical humanist act can be mind-blowing.

Just think about the derivatives: Mobile phones powered by the sweat of your hands. Entire cities illuminated by rainwater runoff. A weekend trip to Vigan fueled by your family's collective bladder.

You could send Boyet on an errand to buy Datu Puti from the corner sari-sari store and he would come back with a recipe for a homemade hydrogen reactor.

Imagine that.

But (as good fortune would have it) I am not Daniel Dingle. Just as I am not Elvis "The King" Presley.

To be sure, the Dingel story is almost as old as the late Marcos Ferdinand E., or so Mr Dingel himself once claimed. I bring up the ghost again only because, as it happened, I caught yet another news segment over at the Kapamilya Network the other day about yet another Filipino inventor whose invention very much reminds me of Dingel's—give some, take some.

The Filipino inventor goes by name Ismael Aviso. His invention: A self-charging electric car reminiscent of Nikola Tesla's Pierce Arrow electric automobile.

Now what is a Pierce Arrow electric automobile and who the hell is Nikola Tesla?

A Pierce Arrow electric automobile is supposed to be Tesla's greatest invention—a modified 1903 American luxury car that purportedly requires no petrol, powered as it is by some sort of an "energy receiver" housed in a little black box said to freely extract energy from the "wheelwork of nature."

The Wheelwork of Nature. Right.

And Nikola Tesla? In a perfect world, he is supposed to be a neighbor of mine who moonlights as a barber by day and experiments with electromagnetism by night.

Check Google. I could be wrong.

And what about the Filipino inventor Ismael Aviso? Well it looks like Mr Aviso really has something hot cooking in there.

You might want to check this out from PESN: "Philippine Department of Energy Verifies Aviso's Self-Charging EV," (24 February 2011)

Some thoughts (on both Dingel's and Aviso's inventions—moonpunch and top of the head):

If this is true, it matters. Not only to us, Pinoys, but also to the rest of the planet.

If this is true, this changes everything. Not only for us, Pinoys, but for the rest of humanity, too.

Because if this is true, this is the revolution that ends all revolutions.

And what if it isn't true?

If it isn't true— that, too, matters.

In the meantime, I leave you with a few words from the eminent English-born American physicist Freeman Dyson:

"Children are taught in school that science is a collection of firmly established truths. In fact, science is not a collection of truths. It is a continuing exploration of mysteries."


[About the author. Titus Toledo has published extensively in discord. As of this writing, he digs space weather, code art, semiotics, guerrilla gardening, and crispy begukan—in that order. He comes in peace.]

-Posted: 12:30 PM 2/24/11 | More of this author on eK!