Friday, August 13, 2010

Penn & Teller: Hybrids & Nukes (May be Offensive to Some)

This edutainment piece is from the show Bullshit, and it comes with a warning-- many people might find some of the unnecessary antics offensive, and there's question that Penn is an obnoxious pig, which he proves time and time again throughout the video.


Now a little energy trivia quiz for the readers. These pictures have been making their way around the Internet so some people may already know the answer. Can anyone identify the owners of these two houses?

House #1 
A 20 room mansion (not including 8 bathrooms) heated by natural gas. Add on a pool (and a pool house) and a separate guest house, all heated by gas. In one month this residence consumes more energy than the average American household does in a year. The average bill for electricity and natural gas runs over $2400 per month. In natural gas alone, this property consumes more than 20 times the national average for an American home. This house is not situated in a Northern or Midwestern 'snow belt' area. It's in the South.


House #2 
Designed by an architecture professor at a leading national university. This house incorporates every 'green' feature current home construction can provide. The house is 4,000 square feet (4 bedrooms) and is nestled on a high prairie in the American southwest. A central closet in the house holds geothermal heat-pumps drawing ground water through pipes sunk 300 feet into the ground.

The water (usually 67 degrees F) heats the house in the winter and cools it in the summer. The system uses no fossil fuels such as oil or natural gas and it consumes one-quarter electricity required for a conventional heating/cooling system. Rainwater from the roof is collected and funneled into a 25,000 gallon underground cistern. Wastewater from showers, sinks and toilets goes into underground purifying tanks and then into the cistern. The collected water then irrigates the land surrounding the house. Surrounding flowers and shrubs native to the area enable the property to blend into the surrounding rural landscape.


  1. Is the owner of house #1 someone who likes to tell others how to live their lives?

  2. You're getting very warm. Care to make a guess?

  3. I would say Al Gore, but I wasn't aware that he had a mansion in the south?

  4. You got the first one, Al "Carbon Baron" Gore. It is the Goracle's mansion just outside of Nashville, TN. How about the second one?

  5. George Bush? Haha, I don't know, but I'm expecting an antithetical answer like that ;)

  6. Great job. House #2 is the western Whitehouse of George "Big Oil" Bush near Crawford, Texas. Just goes to show you things are not always as the media portrays them and you need to dig a lot deeper to get to the truth.

  7. Haha. I hold no great love for either of those two men, but it just goes to show just how there is a double standard for some people... the life they live by, and then the life they would like YOU to live by... great comparison!

  8. I think everyone knows George Bush's blue-blooded heritage. But Al Gore comes from a political dynasty in Tennessee. Al Gore, Sr. served in the House and Senate for decades. After retiring from Congress, he worked as a lawyer for Occidental Petroleum before becoming the chairman of Island Creek Coal Co. In his last years he ran an antique store in Carthage, TN. So both the Gore and Bush fortunes were built from politics and energy.