Energy in the News
11/10/2004 When host Jon Stewart of
"The Daily Show" joked about getting some seed money from billionaire Richard Branson, the conversation took a strange twist.
What does Sir Branson know and when did he know it?
Below is a transcription of a portion of the conversation
The Daily Show with Jon Stewart 11/10/2004
Guest: Richard Branson
JS: What about this? Puttin' up a prize for ahh
somebody to invent something ahh to get us off the internal combustion
engine? What do ya think of that?
Audience: Yeah!! (chears and applause)
JS: Get ahh, like an X-Prize type thing like they did with ahh space travel?
JS: What do ya think of that?
RB: Some how that's, hmm ahh ahh that makes a lot of sense. Wha, wha what's it?
JS: It does?
JS: How about giving me some seed money?
RB: (laughing and abrubtly changing body langauge, confidently placing hands behind head) Ahmmm, OK.
JS: What do ya think of that? You could set this
thing up, and people could, it would be like a private industry
thing. There's gotta be a way, I mean, we can fake diamonds.
RB: Hm hm
JS: There's gotta be a way we can make fake oil or something, something that we can, ya know what I'm saying?
RB: Hmm hmm
JS: It's just carbon for God's sakes.
JS: Water. It's water?
RB: Ahmm. (affirmative inflection)
JS: An engine that runs on water?
JS: Set up a prize!
RB: Well, I've just given you the answer so I want the money!
Audience: abrubt silence
JS: Oh, you're going to do it?
RB: No, water.
JS: What? Cars run on water?
RB: Yeah they could do it.
JS: What, on hydroelectic cells or something like that?
RB: That's something I, I don't hmm (laughs) try I'm trying to get my money back.
JS: I'm telling you something, this could be a great thing.
JS: Seed money.
RB: All right. Would everybody chip in here?
JS: You're the billionaire!!
RB: (Laughing) All right
At this point John Stewart shifted coversation to promoting Richard
Branson's TV show, "The Rebel Billionaire" where some contestants will
eventually ride on Virgin Galactic into space.
Transcription note: the conversation was very quick,
and riddled with jokes leaving doubt as to whether either party knew
what the other was inferring to. Jon was trying to get seed money for a
synthetic oil project, thus seemed startled Richard had already
determined a different direction to take the project. And possibly
suggesting he already knew how to make it work.
11/16/2004 patched 4-5-2005