Humans and small internal combustion engines

Both do work and need fuel and maintenance over time

we will compare and contrast similar moving parts and functions

Small engines have an air filter made of wire screens or foam or cloth

it filters the dust and particle bits that would otherwise clog your engine

Humans got an air filter its called nose hairs and mucus

they catch the gunky stuff that would otherwise clog your respiratory system

Small engines have a fuel filter

it cleans the fuel so that the fuel burns cleanly

and stores the yuck yuck that would gunk up your machinery

humans have two filters

one filters the blood and makes piss, that one is called the kidney filter

the other also filters the blood of poisons and hazards, it is called a liver

Small engines use fuel to perform work

in some engines, fuel is pure unleaded gasoline ( a four cycle engine)

in others, it is pure unleaded mixed with some oil ( a two cycle engine)

gasoline is millions years old fossilized plants crud

black crude oil heated and refined into the stuff we pump at the gas station

humans eat plant foods for fuel

or we eat the animals that ate the plants for fuel

we use the glucose from rice, wheat, oats, sugars, and beer

we also use the glucose broken down from fats

for fuel

its all the same stuff more or less,

carbon spiced with nitrogen, lined with hydrogen

Small engines have pistons that go up and down

pistons driven by the combustion explosion of fuel and air

this up down energy can be converted into going around and around energy

with a crankshaft and a sprocket

this makes the chain on the chainsaw go around and around

or makes the cutting blade on the mower go in circles

humans pump their legs up and down running or walking

their shoulders rotate forwards and backwards as they swim and row and throw balls

the mechanisms are muscles joints, tendons and ligaments

as fuel is burned inside the cells

work is the end result of both systems

Small engines have a spark plug which causes a tiny explosion

electrical spark that ignites the mixture of the air and fine droplets of fuel


humans need air oxygen and fuel to do work as well

this reaction happens in the process called cellular respiration

in the presence of oxygen

glucose fuel turns into ATP and carbon dioxide

ATP is the energy within all cells

it enables cells to grow and move, take stuff in and take stuff out, and replicate genetic material

Small engines get rid of the unburned spent fuel through the  exhaust valve

Humans get rid of unused food, fluids, and gases – poo and pee and farts – outa holes called the urethra and anus

one is at the end of the bladder, the other is at the end of the rectum

Small engines have a switch called a choke

When it is flipped (the air is then choked), more fuel is drawn in

making a richer fuel mixture when starting the engine

engine cold, hard to start – more fuel

pull that cord!

later, engine warm, no need to choke it no more

sometimes there is a a little rubber bulb thing called a primer

this does the same thing – press it a few times – squirt squirt

more fuel for the start

Humans don’t have any such equivalent

the closest thing is a boost of caffeine in the morning, coffee or tea or yoco

to get a person moving and started on a day’s work

choking yourself in the morning as you get up

does not usually jump start the ATP’s

it would just turn you blue and deprived

Another valve that small engines have is called a throttle

it regulates the amount of air and fuel entering the engine, inside the carburetor

if you give it more throttle, the engine goes vroom vroom

the symbol on the machine goes from turtle to rabbit

vroom vroom

this is kinda like when you blow the bellows on a fire in the forge

give it some more air while smelting iron nugget ores

exposing more of that coke or coal fuel to burn

or blow blow blow on that kindling to start the camp fire

air and fuel

For people to get more air, hence more cellular respiration

you breathe deeper all the way down to the flap of muscle called a diaphragm

either hyperventilate and pack your system with oxygen before a dive

or slow and deep yogi style to slow down your heart rate

regulating the air inside your system

last but not least is the carburetor

a small device that blends the air and fuel mixture for an internal combustion engine

blending and mixing the  air flow

making sure there is the correct amount of fuel – fine and even

to get it all ready for the spark plug to light it up and explode it into work

in humans this is probably the stomach or further down the digestive tract

where food is acidified and churned

where food fuel is broken down into small pieces to be absorbed and used

or stored as energy for later

not equivalent, but something similar in action

thats all for now

kinda the same

but very different

good luck working with the

small engines named

blower, string trimmer, chain saw, hedger

mower, rototiller, aerator, stump grinder, chipper and shredder

snow blower,  brush cutter, ditch digger trencher, auger, pressure washer

or perhaps you have gone electric…


well then this is old timey stuff for you

next time, we can chat about volts and amps

chargers and cables

deep cycles and reserve capacities…