Back on New Year’s Day, we watched the Tournament of Roses Parade. The floats are marvels of beauty and engineering, combining artistic flower work with mechanical prowess. In addition, each float must be self-propelled. During the parade, the worst nightmare of any parade coordinator comes true each year however when at least one float fails to function properly. A number of years ago, that happened and parade personnel were quickly dispatched to figure out the problem. Within a few minutes they discovered that the problem was actually quite simple: the engine that powered the float was out of gas. As fingers pointed about whose fault that was, someone was dispatched to the staging area for a gas can. Not longer after, the float was on its way again. As it rolled off, parade coordinators had to laugh, however. Out of the hundreds of floats in the parade the one that ran out of gas was owned by Standard Oil.