Tuesday, January 1, 2008

Happy New Year!

Resolutions for geologists is the theme of the day. My personal resolutions usually tend toward the usual - get in better shape, finish working on some project I've been letting languish on my desk, acquire a totally gorgeous boyfriend who can appreciate the wonders of a really great outcrop of columnar basalt... (Okay, that one I made up, although it would certainly be nice.)

But this time I thought I'd take a stab at some resolutions one might see on a geologist's list (or at least some potential ones of mine, based on amusing and not-so-amusing life experiences). So, here goes:

  • I will not succumb to apoplexy when approached and "corrected" by Flat Earthers, Creationists, IDers, Young Earth proponents, and followers of L. Ron Hubbard.

  • I will not insist that we drive really slow or make u-turns (illegal or otherwise) whenever I see a really cool roadcut.

  • I will only make the suggestion "Why don't you lick it?" in the appropriate setting and in the presence of other geologists.

  • I will recognize that having a grain size identification card in my wallet does, in fact, make me a geek.

  • I will attempt to avoid a steady stream of snarky geologist commentary when watching The Core, Dante's Peak, Volcano, The Day After Tomorrow, Armageddon, Jurassic Park, or Deep Impact. (The second two Jurassic Park movies and anything made or aired by the SCIFI channel is fair game.)

  • I will remove the rocks from my handbags or, failing that, stop trying to claim that they are "crime prevention devices".

  • I will not become angry when airport security thinks that the muddy boots / rock hammer / crack hammer / fossil chipper / twenty pounds of andesite / mapping clipboards / heavy-duty gloves / tent stakes / souvenir benchmark / GPS receiver / power tools are signs that I am dangerous / a graduate of a terrorist training camp / attempting to smuggle radioactive material between states / going to gouge a hole in the plane. (All of these have given me problems at one time or another. No, most of them weren't in my carry-on luggage. Frankly, I'm surprised the TSA hasn't blacklisted me yet.)

  • I will not drag my friends into the rock shop directly adjacent to the exit of the large cave we have been visiting for several hours.

  • I will remember that not everyone appreciates the joys of initiating a mass wasting event upon discovering large rocks at the top of a cliff.

  • I will get into graduate school, become part of a wonderful volcanology program, travel the world, write an award-winning popular science book and spend the rest of my life chasing down violent eruptions and spreading the good word about volcanic hazards. (Oops...a serious one!)

Best wishes in the new year!


Kim said...

All of my post-9/11 field work has been in driving/backpacking distance from home, so I haven't had to deal with TSA and rocks. And given how many rocks/rock hammers/empty fuel bottles I've transported in carry-on luggage... well, that's a really good thing.

The 1980's-vintage stories about Customs thinking that bags of volcanic ash were cocaine have become tame, I'm afraid.

(Someday I'm going to teach a for-fun course about bad geology movies, though, and encourage everyone to snark at The Core and Dante's Peak.)

Tuff Cookie said...

Lucky! I did once have my boots paraded around the security area like they were the Holy Grail of hazardous materials. Given the way they probably smelled at that point, if the TSA wanted to examine them that closely, they must have been either really serious or really bored.

I would definitely sign up for a geo movie snarking class.

Julian said...

But snarking at terrible disaster movies is such fun! I laughed as hard at The Day After Tomorrow as any stupid comedy, and I was actually disappointed that Dante's Peak wasn't quite as terrible as people warned me it would be. (Which is not to say it wasn't awful, but I expected worse.)

Apparently there used to be Bad Earth Science Movie Night where I go to school, but it kind of faded out long before I got there. Seemed that both students and professors of the field mapping class were keen on the idea of reinstating it...

(Also, in case you're wondering who this random commenter is, I saw your blog linked from "All My Faults Are Stress Related," which I came to from a bunch of other geoblog links. I promise I am not with the TSA.)

Tuff Cookie said...

Dante's Peak is actually one of my guilty pleasures...I'm torn between laughing myself silly at the truck driving over the lava flow and drooling at the fact that it has Pierce Brosnan in it, and he's a volcanologist.

On your way to a seismology degree, yes? Good luck! I'm actually a musician too - I play various modern and medieval stringed instruments in my spare time. (I might have been a music major, but I couldn't resist the hot rocks.)

Glad to see I'm getting noticed!

Julian said...

When I watched Dante's Peak with my family, they had to tell me to shut up during the truck and lava flow scene because I was objecting so loudly.

Yay, string players! Most of the things I know how to play have strings - viola's my main one, though I'm learning tenor viol as part of the Medieval/Renaissance/Baroque ensemble on campus. Which things do you play?

And it definitely seems you're getting noticed by more than just blogless newbies such as myself - I've been poking around the geoblogosphere more, and you've turned up on quite a few blogrolls.

Thanks for the well wishes on the degree! Good luck with yours as well!

Tuff Cookie said...

You are my new best friend. ;) I play violin and treble viol - at least, viol while I was at school and could borrow one. (They also, at some point, handed me a vielle - medieval fiddle - and a rebec and said "Here, learn these." I had less success with those, but I've played the viol for two years and violin for about thirteen.)

We'll have to start a Medieval Geologists group and tour conferences!

Julian said...

Ahaha, that would be fantastic! And I'd say the odds would be pretty good that, at a conference of some 15,000 geologists, there might be someone around who plays bass viol and could complete the consort!