Let’s Start With a Thought Experiment

Let’s role-play. Not like that! You are the CEO of a major multinational corporation and also an astronaut. You are monumentally successful, earning vast sums of money at every turn. You are now looking for was to spend the large amounts of free time your success has earned you. I am a plucky wannabe blogger looking to make his mark, parlay it into a book deal, and maybe run for state senate somewhere down the road. Obviously, we have never met before. You do not know me. You do not know why I am in your office. Your assistant tells you that you invited me for tea, but you really don’t remember. I compliment your taste in flannel shirts. You tell me to cut to the chase, that you are a busy man or woman, and you are already late for your daughter’s piano recital. Why should you read my blog, or read at all for that matter? I get up and close the door. I return to my chair. I take out a pair of maracas and tell you to shake them. Then I make my pitch.

The Background

I do geology. Specifically, I study volcanoes. Last year I finished my masters in geology, which I split between Milan, Italy and Houghton, Michigan.

A short visual summary of the first year:

And the second year in a nutshell:

Also, this mostly explains what I do in just a few minutes:

Why am I doing this again?

In a month or so, I will be starting a three year-long PhD program at the University of Auckland in New Zealand, where I’m going to be researching volcanic hazards and hazard communication. Basically, I’ll be wandering around in the woods looking for stuff that came out of a volcano and then trying to make other people care about it. But more on that later!

When I was in Italy this was a great way to keep in touch with people far away about what I was up to. In Michigan, not so much. Based on my sample of two blogs, there is a direct correlation between distance from home and blogging success. Since New Zealand is pretty much as far from home as I can get, this should basically be the greatest blog ever made.


Figure 1. Graph of actual/projected blog success for New Jersey (no blog), Houghton (a little), Milan (a lot), and Auckland (the most).

What’s in it for you?

I hope that most of the stuff I post will be funny, interesting, pretty, or educational–maybe even more than one of those things at the same time! For the low low price of some of your valuable free time, you get:

1. Culture – Based on previous experiences in other countries, I assume some stuff in New Zealand will be different from here. Like maybe they call cookies “biscuits” and butts “bums”. I don’t know, do you? I’ll tell you if I find out.

2. Pretty pictures – I like having an excuse to take pictures of random interesting crap. And naturey stuff. And hopefully a kiwi bird.

3. Science – I’ll try to explain what I do in a little more detail than the description above. Volcanoes are cool (that’s an undersell–they are super-mega-awesome), and I hope I can make you like them, too.

4. History – I like learning about the places I go, so when I write about what I ate for breakfast, I’ll tell you not only the supermarket I bought the eggs from, but the name of the chicken that laid them, the location of the farm it lives on, and what Josephine the chicken had for breakfast the morning she laid the eggs. (Note: I promise not to actually write about my breakfast barring unusual circumstances.)

5. Puns – Geologists have to like puns. I think it is part of the International Geologists’ Code. If it is emotionally difficult for you to handle bad puns (and even the occasional good one), you should probably not read this. And also I don’t know if we can be friends anymore.

In conclusion

I like you. You like sarcasm and pictures of stuff. It’s like we were made for each other. I promise I’ll try to make the time you spend reading this worth your while by doing stuff like spending way too long in Excel making a graph about the success of my blogs instead of doing actual work. And be honest, if you don’t read this, you’re just going to spend that time watching cat videos anyway.

You open your eyes. Turns out you are not a billionaire CEO or an astronaut (well, I guess you could be. If so, congrats!). But you can still read my blog. So, there’s that.

4 thoughts on “Let’s Start With a Thought Experiment

  1. There’s too many zeros on the graph!! 😀

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I mean in on a bad spot.. could’ve used color too maybe.. hahaha


    • I had a feeling you’d have some comments for the graph. I know it’s not quite good enough yet, but I promise I’ll send you the final version to look over before I submit it for publication. 😛


  3. While I wait for the next post I’ll spend my days watching cat videos


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