Tuesday, January 10, 2017

The Discovery Of Dr. Higgs Boson

Generally speaking, I don’t get sucked into social trends. Much of my clothing collection from high school remains in use, as it still functions as clothing, so why would I discard it? I don’t drink soda; it tastes amazing, but it also destroys your teeth. Much like Spock, I generally base my decisions on logic, often without putting much emphasis on feelings, for better or worse. 

To this extent, my Subaru Crosstrek did not have a name until recently. I often don’t feel the bond that so many others claim to have with their machines, but rather an admiration for what the machine is capable of, and how the machine is capable of achieving desired results. Before buying my car, like any classic soulless engineer I drew up a Pugh Matrix to determine which vehicle best suited my needs. Of the six options, the Crosstrek offered the most ground clearance, longest driven range, most front legroom, lowest depreciation, best estimated reliability, and all with a manual transmission and the second best cargo space of the group. To be fair, I also do like the shade of blue it comes in. I’m not that soulless. 

The Subaru was a numbers based decision, as numbers have always been the only thing I’ve been good at. My reading is poor, and at this point you’ve likely noticed the same of my writing. The Crosstrek isn’t the most exciting car out of the six vehicles I test drove, but like the math portion of my SAT scores, it did win the numbers. Need to make it long distances with lots of cargo? Need to get off the beaten path and up a sketchy backroad to a trailhead? Trying to hit the ski slopes up an icy mountain traverse? Perhaps I do have a strong bond with my car, as it handles everything I throw at it. So now it needs a name… 

According to an eBay Motors survey, nearly 40% of American millennials name their cars. Naming things isn’t a strong suit of mine (my cat’s name is Bucket), so this time I left it to chance with the Mobil 1™ "Name-u-lator." Simply put, the Name-u-lator will provide you a name for your car, and you can get a free personalized license plate frame (picture below) simply by purchasing 5 quarts of Mobil 1 oil at your local AutoZone, Advance Auto Parts, or Pep Boys. After answering a short list of questions, the Name-u-lator had pegged my car’s name: Dr. Higgs. Higgs? As in the Higgs Boson? Spock would be proud. 

As a dramatic oversimplification for those of you unfamiliar with the Higgs Boson, this so called “God Particle” brings a clearer explanation to our existence. The theory starts with the idea that  our universe is filled with Higgs particles. These particles are everywhere: they surround us and are inside of us. Brian Cox, physicist and apparently my celebrity look alike based on YouTube comments, puts it best: “the things that make up you and me, and our bodies, and everything we can see, are bumping into [Higgs particles], and in that process they acquire mass, which means they’re solid, which ultimately means that we exist.” Our planet earth, the sun, the stars, the screen you’re reading this on, the eyes you’re scanning with, and yes, even the matter that makes up my car - all of these things exist because of their interactions with Higgs particles throughout the universe. 

For some folks, cars are merely a device used to transport their mass from one location to another. For others, there’s a passion derived from the bond between man and machine - a bond that’s not so easy to see or define, much like the Higgs Boson. How appropriate then, that the Crosstrek be randomly named this? Dr. Higgs: the logical, data driven vehicle that accepts challenges ahead with an analytical approach void of emotion. May we both live long and prosper.

I’ll admit, I didn’t know what to expect when testing out the Name-u-lator. What tunnel would it take me through in discovering the name of my car and establishing a stronger connection? What is the name of your car, and what’s the story? Was your car nameless like mine? Consider using the Name-u-lator and embrace on a new beginning as I have. For more information, check out video below: Loved Cars Have Names.

Huge thanks to Mobil 1 for sponsoring this post and providing a meaningful name to my ride! 

Related Links:
Mobil 1: mobil1.us/frameme  

Legal Disclaimer: This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of ExxonMobil. The opinions and text are all mine.


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