Sir William had no idea what to put for this article's featured image, so Darcy just chose a cute puppy.

Hello all,

In this light-hearted Friday piece, Sir William Shortspeare (who is both an engineer and a geologist), put down on virtual paper some thoughts that he calls: Cultural Learnings of Geology for the Glorious Profession of Engineering. The list is in rough alphabetical order. Enjoy.

Acid Rock: a type of rock (music) that evolved out of the mid-1960s garage punk movement and helped launch the psychedelic subculture.

Geophysicist: archaic term for an extinct species; no one ever knew what they did.

Engineer: according to geologists, a train driver.

Landman: a profession created by oil and gas executives so stupid relatives could have a job.

Absolute Dating: the process of somebody being forced to date an engineer under any conditions.

Diapir: what most engineers wear by age 50 to control penal leakage and anal blowouts.

Gneiss: a type of rock beloved by punsters.

Granite: see “gneiss.”

Graben: a practice that has been banned in 38 states and 6 provinces since 1978. “Oh dude, this bush party rocks! I’ve been graben ass all night long, baby!”

Frack: an obscene word not used in polite society but rampant throughout the Frick community.

Rock Hammer: a hand-held tool with a built-in Sirius XM satellite radio receiver permanently tuned to the “Sixties on Six” channel.

Dilbert: a comic strip that was last funny on April 17, 1989.

Anticline: your uncle’s spouse.

Hydrolysis: What happens when you push your bratty female sibling into a lake.

Continental Shelf: The expansive horizontal surface behind the headrests of your old man’s Lincoln.

Cross Bedding: Moving a plant from one side of your yard to the other.

Bed-load: what happens when your well-upholstered friend sits on your king-size.

Columnar Joints: a vertical arrangement of a collection of dooby dooby doos

Physics: an impediment to creative geological thinking.

Pahoehoe: a prostitute from the state of Pennsylvania.

Petrophysics: physics of the petro, a small seabird.

Hysteresis: when your female sibling goes bezerk (yes, we said bezerk, we’re stuck in 1984).

Normal Fault: everyday blame for a dry hole.

Reverse Fault: dodging blame by accusing the accuser.

Thrust Fault: finding out she’s underage.

Slickenside: A long rectangular yellow vinyl sheet coated in water for recreational play. “Hey man, this slickenside is sweet!”

Subduction Zone: the area of the city where you might encounter a thrust fault.

Risk: a concept proved false by generations of geologists. Also a board game.

Refinery: a place where geologists go to learn how to drink tea properly and change their underwear on a less than annual basis.

Yellow Cake: something often served at birthday parties.

So there you have it. Can you think of some cultural learnings to add to this list? If so, please submit them to the comments below. You don’t need to register to submit a comment, so have some fun.

Sir William Shortspeare


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