Friday, May 28, 2010

Sex and Oil

And now, two completely different topics.

I have recently had reason to be thankful for one of my wife’s many good characteristics; she is not a fan of the show Sex and the City. This means I have not had to see the first movie and likely will not be going to the second one. I myself occasionally watched the series on TBS, usually with the same mindset applied to America’s Funniest Videos, marvelling at the stupidity that can be conjured up by people. Perhaps if/when the movies come to TV I’ll take a peek. But I’m certainly not paying for the privilege.

As I watch the ongoing oil tragedy in the Gulf of Mexico, I can’t help but feel sorry for the engineers at BP. I went to school with people like them (I haven’t checked , but I wouldn’t be surprised if some fellow alumni are involved in the current situation), and I know they would have thought about the possibility of something like that happening, and what to do if it did happen. I’m willing to bet that there’s a fair amount of “I knew this would happen someday” running through their minds as they scramble to figure out what to do.

Although the oil industry has considerable experience with this sort of thing - oil well “gushers” go as far back as drilling – none of it has been in deep water, so they’re having to make it up as they go. I’m also inclined to agree with Jon Stewart’s observation that the corporate resources devoted to such research have likely been considerably less than those dedicated to getting the oil. So now the bean counters who ignored them in the past scream for an immediate answer to a problem that should have been extensively studied in advance.

If only this wasn’t a common pattern.