Tuesday, December 30, 2008

A Random Classroom Conversation and Geologic Predictions for a New Year

The professor speaks: “ Psychics predict earthquakes! True or false?”

The class: “False!” (They know I’m up to something, so even if they believe in psychic phenomena, they know as science class students they should and will almost always say “false”.)

The professor: “No, it’s true!”

Confusion ripples through the classroom for a moment. And then they get it.

The class: “Oh, we get it; sure they predict earthquakes. But they aren’t correct.”

The Professor: “But they ARE correct!”

The class: “Huh? But you’re a science teacher. You aren’t supposed to believe that stuff….”

The Professor: “Look at the usual prediction…a great earthquake will destroy a major city at some point during this year… How could they go wrong? If you set the parameters loosely enough, you will always be right. The only useful prediction will include the place, the time and the magnitude, and no one has really done that yet”

The class: “You know Professor? You are right! Those psychics don’t really predict earthquakes at all! We all really learned something today! Thank you for your brilliance!”

OK, I lied about the ending of the conversation. That never happens in my classes.

I would like to offer my predictions for the new geological year, in the spirit of BrianR at Clastic Detritus. But first, a disclaimer. This is a joke. If you googled something about earthquakes being predicted and volcanic disasters being foretold, I am doing this as a parody, and am not really making predictions. Just the same, check the note at the bottom of the page...

Here are my predictions:

  • The long awaited BIG ONE, the magnitude 8 quake, will take place on the San Andreas Fault. San Francisco, or Los Angeles, or San Diego, or Palm Springs will be devastated. Despite the arguments of geologists, everything east of the fault will fall into the Atlantic Ocean.

  • Yellowstone will erupt with the force of a million hydrogen bombs, and screw up Dick Cheney's vacation home in Wyoming. He will be hiding in an undisclosed location at the time and will be uninjured.

  • Mt. Shasta will erupt and form a gaping caldera. In a few decades the hole will fill with water, but will have to be emptied out when the state of Oregon sues for copyright/trademark infringement.

  • A giant asteroid will land in the Pacific Ocean and cause the extinction of human beings. The dominant species to survive the event will be the little geckos who sell insurance on tv.

  • The Greenland Ice Cap will melt completely away, causing sea level to rise 30 feet, inundating vast areas of the coastlines of the world and displacing hundreds of millions. Global Warming deniers will blame sunspots.

  • Oil prices will top out at more than $140 a barrel (Oh wait, ignore that one, can't possibly happen...)

  • Oil prices will plunge to $35 a barrel (Oh wait, ignore that one, can't possibly happen...)

  • Geologists will be hired out of college with huge salaries (Oh wait, ignore that one, can't possibly happen...)

  • Geologists out of college won't be able to find jobs (Oh wait, ignore that one, happens every year...)

Well, that's all the psychic energy I have for the day. If, even after noting the disclaimer above, any of these events come to pass, I want full credit for predicting them....


Anonymous said...

Oh, Cool! I have been waiting on confirmation of Paul Bunyan and Babe ever since I saw their statues in Brainerd, MN!

Aparna said...

Interesting conversation, thanks for sharing.

Anonymous said...

One day oil will drop below $0/barrel.