The meek shall inherit the earth, but not its mineral rights.
J. Paul Getty


Real Geologists
  • don't eat quiche. They don't even know what it is. Real geologists like raw meat, beer and tonsil-killer chili.
  • don't need rock hammers. They break samples off with their bare hands.
  • don't sit in offices. Being indoors drives them crazy. If they'd wanted to sit in offices they'd have become geophysicists.
  • don't need geophysics. Geophysicists measure things nobody can see or feel, make up a whole lot of numbers about them, then drill in the wrong places.
  • don't go to meetings, except to point at a map and say "drill here" and leave.
  • don't work 9 to 5. If any real geologists are around at 9am it's because they're going to a meeting to tell the managers where to drill.
  • don't like managers. Managers are a necessary evil, for dealing with bozos from Human Resources, beancounters from Accounting and other mental defectives.
  • don't make exploration budgets. Nervous managers make exploration budgets. Only insecure mama's boys try to stay within exploration budgets. Real geologists ignore exploration budgets.
  • don't use compasses. That smacks of geophysics. Real geologists always know exactly where they are, and the direction of the nearest place where beer is available.
  • don't make maps. Maps are for novices, the forgetful, managers and pansies who like to play with coloured pencils. A real geologist will only draw a map to show the ill-informed managers where to drill.
  • don't write reports. Bureaucrats write reports, and look what they're like.
  • don't have joint venture partners. Partners are for wimpy bedwetters who are unable to think big.
  • don't use computers. Computers are for geophysicists, other nerds and limp-wristed quiche eaters who can't think for themselves.
attributed to J. Garter (1990). Geolog 19(4) Sept/Oct 1990

Instructions to Field Officers

The true geologist will never spare himself when his work is in question. He must be prepared to work long hours, to endure cold and heat and wet and hunger, and at all times risk life and limb (though not without consideration of the advantage to be gained). He should allow no difficulty that can be overcome to stop him. Streams must be forded, precipices climbed, tent and clothes and food swagged many miles up and down stream, through bush, up mountain sides etc.

The camp is a Government Building, and under Government control. All members of the party must obey the orders of the officer in charge, at all times, whether in ordinary working hours or not... No cards must be played for money, nor shall any other form of gambling or game of skill be permitted... Before inviting acquaintances to the camp, members of the party must obtain permission from the officer in charge.

P.G. Morgan, NZ Geological Survey 1920.
Reproduced in Geological Society of NZ Newsletter 54: 29 in 1981

Hal Fanglegraben's Guide to Finding Oil

1. Send geologists to a quiet, undeveloped part of the planet. Rainforests are not essential.

2. Make a seismic reflection survey so you know where to drill for oil. Be sure to consider all possible interpretations, however unlikely.

3. Extra effort to acquire high incidence swath bathymetry or side-scan sonar data is always worth the inconvenience.

4. If the reservoir strata are tilted you may need an oil rig equipped for specialised angle drilling.

5. A knowledge of petrophysics can squeeze a bit more oil out of the rocks.

6. Get your precious oil to the refinery. This particular tanker was a bad choice. The oil became contaminated with seawater, and sick dolphins, birds and seals.

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Photographed at Knockan Crag. Thanks Mo and Jane.