May 15, 2006

Self-Proclaimed Webologist

Filed under: @ 5:50 pm

I recently saw a re-run of a television show on the Discovery Channel which reminded me of the original idea to use this domain name for a blog. About a year ago, my husband Dougal and I saw an ad for a tv show that looked pretty interesting – Dive to Bermuda Triangle – a show discussing scientific phenomena which would explain the odd occurrences in the Bermuda Triangle.

We tuned in, interested to hear some scientific theories, as opposed to the usual mystical explanations regarding the Bermuda Triangle. The show began well – discussing a prominent theory that large gas bubbles released from submerged rock formations could be responsible for sinking ships as well as interfering with aircraft controls. They even showed several experiments in which the release of these large gas bubbles did indeed cause ships to sway violently, and eventually ended up causing them to capsize.

Up to this point, the show seemed to maintain it’s scientific integrity; however, did I fail to mention that these large gas bubbles were methane gas? The fact that these “killer” (yes, “killer”) gas bubbles were methane was already causing a minor amounty of hilarity, but then, about half-way through the discussion of this gas-bubble theory, a new “scientific expert” was introduced to the program. A geologist? An oceanographer? No indeedy – a “Self-Proclaimed Bubbleologist”! Dougal and I looked at each other, as if to silently say, “Did he really say he was a Bubbleologist?”

After a great deal of snorking and several “Don Ho” jokes later, I informed my husband that *I* am a Self-Proclaimed Webologist! Then, going back to the gas bubble theory, I asked him something like, “So, if a bunch of submariners all farted at once, could they sink an enemy ship?” His immediate reply was, “You need a blog.” Hence the emergence of one Self-Proclaimed Webologist and digitaldivas.net.

8 Responses to “Self-Proclaimed Webologist”

  1. John says:

    So basically, the ocean farts and sinks ships. Shoot, I could have come up with that! So how much does a Bubbleologist make nowadays? Maybe I should think about changing jobs.

  2. I declared myself a “Self-Proclaimed Millionaire”, but so far it hasn’t affected our bank balance.

    Maybe I just don’t have the hang of it, yet…

  3. n4ixt says:

    Interesting timing on the blog, tonight was the Mythbusters episode where they tested the theory about a man farting himself to death (he was in a small room).

    Uh oh. I had some 50,000 volt chili for dinner. ‘scuse me, I need to go sink a ship…

  4. cmahon says:

    The best thing I remembered about this documentary was that they weren’t just regular methane bubbles, but “gigantic, miles in diameter” bubbles. Which begs the question – does our lovely earth need to change her diet?

  5. Suze says:

    Heh! I had forgotten about the bubbles being “gigantic in diameter”. You bring up another interesting career opportunity, though – Self-Proclaimed Earth Nutritionist. Since we have proof that you first thought of it right here, I think you should look into this. I see from your site that you’re looking for filmmaking work – maybe you could break in to documentary work by filming yourself as an expert for a Discovery channel special on the earth’s diet. ;-)

  6. Steve says:

    I totally agree about the implausibility of these methane bubble ideas, however, my own experience with methane is that you should never underestimate the potential of that gas to surpise. In my experience fact can be stranger than fiction.

    I am a waste consultant involved in landfills – and these produce methane.

    Back in the late 1980s there was an incident which I investigated in which there had been a fire in a house in Kent which was about 750 metres from a landfill. Far further than you could ever imagine the methane travelling.

    The couple that owned a lovely old Victoriam house, had an awful surprise when, during a romantic candle-lit supper in their magnificent (split-level part basement) oak panelled dining room, methane which had seeped into the room “flashed off” across the floor, and then continued to burn a sooty flame at a joint in the wall panelling.

    I am sure that if I was the couple involved I would have conjured up imaginings of poltergeists and hauntings if I had experienced such an event!

    The reality, when we borough in the geologists and tested the gas was the very unusual geology of the site (big blocks of limestone boulders overlying clay, and with clay above them) and the position of the house on the top of a gentle ridge of land.

    These huge boulders 3 to 5 m thick had slid apart on the ridge – tending tomove down inot the vally- in geological time, and had provided the route for the gas, in voids between them.

    The basement had cut through just far enough into the overlying clay, to (in just this one spot) allow the migrating landfill gas into the walling of the basement, and from there to behind the oak panelling into the room.

    Weird eh? Stanger than fiction?

    Luckliy neither of them were hurt – just shocked. The fire did not spread through the house either.

    This and other incidents has led to much improved landfilling requirements, but we must still be careful.

    I still work in this field, and have new EU legislation coming into force to improve awareness and safety of explosion risks, so yesterday I created the web site linked here.

    I hope you gain much enjoyment from your excellent bog.

  7. Steve says:

    As the web site link to Landfill Gas ATEX & DSEAR compliance didn’t seem to appear; here it is http://www.landfill-site.info .

  8. […] Also, I am a self-proclaimed Bubble-ologist. […]

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