28 December 2011

The Caste System and its implications ... my perspective.

It was pointed out recently that the Ambani's are celebrating the 80th Birth anniversary of the pioneer Late Shri Dhirubhai Ambani by inviting Brahmins to their home. The programme, spread over two days, will witness elaborate pujas and other rituals at the family temple. It has been pointed out by some that in the Ambani household reunion feast, only Brahmins & Baniyas get invited. This has renewed the ageold controversy regarding caste system and its derivative, teh controversial quota system. I am giving here my thoughts on this matter.

Caste system should be shunned by all Indians. It is indeed an retrogressive and despicable social malady. But along with it should also go the caste based reservation system prevalent in Modern India. Why only blame the Brahmins? Just for a custom being followed by a family in Gujarat? The same caste system actually comes into play when quite well off communities like Jats claim OBC seat. In fact, the day this caste system used to benefit the Brahmins are long over ... a thing of last century. Now it is the privilege of the sarkari damads. Brahmins are at the receiving end of this fallacy for the last 20 years or so.

So, yes, I do want the caste system to end. and with it should end the quota system as well, which is nothing but disguised vote bank politics at its worst.

People who blame Brahmins for the caste system should not apply for reserved seats in Universities, colleges and govt jobs.

When someone goes to tehsil offices to apply for SC/ST or OBC certificates so that his/her highly incompetent children can occupy a college/university or govt job seat in a totally unethical and biased way, is that not caste system? Where does the sense of fairness go then? Why water the same caste plant so much when we think it is benefiting the Brahmins?

There is no shame in claiming SC/ST or OBC seats,no shame in claiming that "hey we are very backward and socially incompetent people, we need crutches to survive" .....

But there is anguish in thinking about how brahmins exploited the caste system in the last century. How, in some pockets, the caste system is still being exploited.

The same people, who claim govt protection from competency, constitute the so called Khap Panchayats which award death penalty to people if they fall in love, even at this age and day.

Yes, let us silence the so called "gun of the brahmins" and let us also at the same time, break the quota crutch.

It has been pointed out that the Ambani Family is no ordinary family. That they should set good precedents. I have my own thoughts.

1. Whether the family is extra-ordinary or ordinary does not matter. Why should ordinary people be exempted from social responsibilities? Social change will be brought about only when everybody starts following better social norms.

2. Why not start a discussion on the regressive vote bank policy and how everyone should boycott the quota system?

3. Brahminical dominance as I have already stated is a thing of past. There is no such thing as this except in some minor pockets. Atrocities in the name of caste, as you can see in all recent example,s have been perpreted by Upper classes who are not Brahmins for examples Thakurs, Jats etc.

4. The fact that Brahmins once were a privileged class does not give logic to unfair practice such as quota system. Infact quota in education is still understandable as it may increase the competency in the so called "unprivileged" class, but on what preposterous logic is quota in govt jobs based? How can anyone justify such injustice? such gross bias? If you are giving quota in educational institutions so that unprivileged class may get better education or access to education, why should you give quota in jobs after the same unprivileged class has availed of the subsidised and watered-down educational system and become "as competent as" a Brahmin?

5. Merit and Merit alone should be the criteria to be selected for any job, whether in Private or govt sector.


Everybody wants a piece of the cake called quota system. but no body is really serious about solving the caste system. Targetting the brahmins is not going to solve the problem. If someone is really serious about it, let him try to get out of the caste system in all its forms and manifestations, including the haloed quota system of Indian Government.

09 September 2011

Petrol Prices - A comparative study

There is an on going debate in Facebook regarding the petroleum prices in different countries and how the Indian Petrol price is more than that of neighbouring countries.

I found this comparison interesting and did a little bit of internet surfing on this matter to get some idea of what this is all about. Given below is what I found from the Internet.


There is in fact a website in which such kind of data is compiled (with necessary disclaimers of course) ... and hence I thought I would also incorporate the same disclaimers here ...

Disclaimers:
1) The data has been garnered from various sources on the Internet. Accuracy is not guaranteed.
2) The prices are not strictly comparable because:
(a) They cover different grades of petrol
(b) They cover a period of .... 6-7 months? ...
(c) Some prices are inclusive of local taxes, while others are exclusive
(d) Prices vary across different regions within a country (wildly ... seems it is a free for all, unlike
the price of other commodities).
(e) All the data on this page is gathered from internet. I did not go around to all these countries
gathering this data.
(f) I am not responsible for the accuracy of the data.
(g) If you detect any mistake, please let me know and show me the source of the correct information. Only then I may think of acknowledging my mistake.
(h) I did this unnecessary exercise just out of curiosity with no profit objective. I am not
responsible for any gains or losses of any kind that anyone derives from this page.

Now comes the Information:
All prices are in Indian Rupees
Notwithstanding the disclaimers, we get a fairly good idea of what the table means regarding the petrol prices.

Country

Petrol/ltr

Diesel/ltr

% Deviation from India (petrol)

Comments

India

66 to 73

41 to 45

0

Over 40 per cent of the price of petrol is made up of taxes. While petrol has been freed from government control and is priced at market rates, diesel continues to be sold at government-dictated rates. Petrol prices have risen byabout 25 per cent since they were freed from government control in June last year.
http://www.petroleumbazaar.com/newsdetail.aspx?id=10145
The Government earned Rs 1.02 lakh crore by way of taxes on these items in 2010-11. Now where does this money go? May be we should ask this question to Mr. Kalmadi, Mr Raja, Mr Amar Singh etc.

Pakistan

46 to 47

51 to 52

-35%

No subsidy for diesel ?

Bangladesh

47 to 50

29 to 32

-31%

Diesel is subsidised

Nepal

65 to 70

47 to 50

-4%


Bhutan

60 to 65

45


Same as in India, Bhutan is better than India in the Transparency International's Corruption Index

Sri Lanka

60

40

-17%


08 September 2011

Literacy rate in India ...

Literacy has traditionally been described as the ability to read for knowledge, write coherently and think critically about printed material (source wikipedia).

The idea of Literacy in India has always been that of the ability to just scribble one's name on a piece of paper. Hence, this 82% (men) and 65 % (women) literacy rates (by itself these are low figures) quoted by government are nothing but delusions. What we consider Literacy in India are not real literacy. The moment someone is able to write one's name, we declare the person literate and add one more person to the "literate" population thereby increasing the percentage. This kind of literacy is another example of how much corrupt Indian society is.

It is no longer sufficient to consider whether a person can 'read' and 'write' some preliminary words (in India it is just the name of the person), and it is necessary to consider more meaningful aspects of literacy in education and in society as a whole, if we are to complete the transition from a backward country to a really developing country.

Rather than a meaningless literacy rate, we should have something more on the lines of "education rate" and count only those persons who are educated to a minimum level of matriculation. That would give a more realistic picture of India's state of literacy.

I think then the real Literacy Rate would come down to 20-30 %.

As you sow, so shall you reap !

People all over India had been shouting foul about how incompetent our government is and how lax our security and intelligence systems are. I do not think they have anything to complain about.

"We the people of India hereby solemnly resolve to elect to our parliament and legislative assemblies, totally incompetent, irresponsible, unscrupulous, unworthy, and criminal candidates, every five years or less, on the basis of religion, caste, regionalism and favouritism and cast our votes for money or cheap desi Liquor or unrealistic and populist election promises."

This is the motto for the common man of India. How on earth do we expect to have responsible and proactive political class? We are getting what we deserve.

I do not think that the people of India has any right to complain about the numerous terrorist attacks, financial scams, corruption, riots, red tapism, poverty etc etc etc in our beloved "Mera Bharat Mahaan".

I ask the common man of India -
Where was your sense of justice, your sense of righteousness, and your sense of patriotism when you had voted for the wrong candidate just because he was of your religion, or your caste or may be from your community?
Why did you cast your vote in return for some petty sum of money or a bottle of cheap desi liquor?
Why did you believe in a man who makes populist promises just to come in power and then forget the plights of common man?
Why did you not cast the vote based on merit and competence?
If you do not believe in competence, how can you expect that from people who have been chosen by you?
How can you expect incompetent, unscrupulous and irresponsible people of your choosing, now suddenly take right steps?

You are reaping the harvest of your own sowing. Why complain?

26 August 2011

Opposition to Anna's movement

The opposition to Anna's movement seems to be based on two main points (I welcome more from my readers):

1) How can a common man (just a civil leader) be better than the the elected representatives?
2) This protest is causing loss of man hours and disturbance in the peaceful Indian society.

Isn't it funny? 64 years of democratic government became oblivious to common people's difficulties and aspirations causing a 78 year old man to take up the job of setting up a proper regulatory system. He, without any major financial or political clout, set out to do the needful. Public support has been spontaneous, not the type the political parties garner by distributing cash or bottles of desi sharaab. Public support has come from all walks of life, region and religion. That's the beauty of this movement.

Yet some feel the entire thing is wrong!

What are the alternatives?
Keep on living in a decaying and decomposing society where only the bastard children of corruption and greed become powerful?

When crores of people watch cricket matches for hours or even days on end, is it not a massive wastage of man hours?
What do the common man, the public gain by watching some people playing with a stick and a ball and earning millions of dollars?
Why do this self-proclaimed intelligentsia not shout from their rooftops, as they are doing now, that this is disturbing the Indian society?

May be because, the cricket matches help the corrupt polticians, rich businessmen and movie actors earn millions of dollars. These are the people who have kept these pseudo-intellectual people alive, isn't it? The common man has no time to listen to the rantings of people like Arundhati Roy. They are too busy earning their bread. It is the rich and corrupt people who pretend to keep the glorified literary halo alive. And hence, it is but natural that these so called proponents of right thinking in India have been so critical of a righteous man's effort to bring about a long-overdue change.

25 August 2011

Corruption and India

Corruption has always been the Indian way of Life ... blame it on poverty, or religion, or the big gap between available resources and huge population ... whatever is the cause, Indian culture has never been that of upholding righteousness ... it has always been a very "chalta hai yaar" and "compromise kar lete hain" attitude.

What makes the last 15-20 years different from the period before that is the SCALE of corruption. Be it politicians or bureaucrats, their greed and avarice has now crossed all bounds and sense of logic.
What is simply illogical is the amount of wealth they are hoarding up in swiss banks. What happens to this money when they die? They may not be able to utilise even 10% of what they have hoarded up, and yet they go on amassing huge amounts of wealth.

Earlier corruption was a way to live a better life. It is no more so. Now it has become some kind of obsession, some kind of mania, sickness.
We have elected mentally sick perverts to our parliament or legislature.

Ultimately, of course we the voters are to be blamed. We always have a colored glass on our eyes. The color of religion, caste or regionalism.

17 May 2011

Buddhist pilgrimage Centers in India

Wish you Peace and Happiness on the occasion of 2600th Anniversary of Buddha Jayanti. I recently gave a presentation on the Buddhist Religious and Tourist Centers of India. I am posting that video here in my blog today for you. Instead of my voice I have put some music in the video to make it more palatable. Hope you like it. Due to uploading in Blogger, the video quality has suffered to some extent ... please bear with that and enjoy it.


video

07 April 2011

Just a Comparison

I was just wondering about what would have happened had the recent natural disaster that happened in Japan would have happened in India ...
I thought the best way to understand this problem would be to compare two situations. One is the Recent Japan Disaster and the other is the 1984 Bhopal Gas disaster. I know those two are very different in the what, how, when and why, but I just wanted to see what are the differences in which the two countries/societies have reacted ....

Let us first take up the case of the Japan Disaster as it is still going on:
Japan Earthquake, Tsunami and Nuclear Problem
  • 11th March 2011 - Disaster strikes - 9 magnitude earthquake, 10-14 meter high tsunami
  • Thousands die - washed away by tsunami, crushed under debris, burnt by fire (more than 10,000)
  • Dams break, electricity gone, supply system badly damaged, entire localities wiped out
  • Nuclear Reactors damaged - Hydrogen explosions, leak of radioactivity, leakage of reactor water into sea, evacuations over 30 mile radius, speculations over core meltdown
  • Japan Government mobilize rescue teams, requests help from others, Help send to Japan by different sections of the International arena
  • Media leaves no stone unturned to create as much panic as possible
  • Till now there has not been any death due to the Nuclear Reactor Problem
  • The Japanese have shown exemplary courage in the face of such a traumatic event. A team of people are risking their own life in the Reactor complex to cool down the reactors

Gas Disaster in Bhopal, India

History:
  • Plant located close to dense population,
  • 1976 to 1982 - Several accidents occur due to lack of safety measures and callous administration
  • 1984 - The company stops producing MIC - cost cutting measures are taken - poor maintenance, downsizing and employees are fired, safety personnel reduced to half, several employees fined when they refuse to abandon safety procedures
  • 1984 - Storage and other production units goes into negligence, disrepair - disaster waiting to happen

  • 2nd December 1984 - Disaster strikes - MIC gas leaks from Union Carbide Factory in Bhopal, India
  • Siren is turned off by administration
  • Union Carbide Directors deny any leak
  • Police announcement - Everything is normal
  • People start to die
  • 3000 people die within weeks, 8000 more have died since due to diseases caused by the leak, 558,125 injuries including 38,478 temporary partial and approximately 3,900 severely and permanently disabling injuries.
  • Warren Anderson escapes with the help of his cronies in the government
  • Cases still going on, compensations are still to be paid fully
  • Knee jerk reaction and failure of the government to take adequate measures
source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bhopal_disaster

07 March 2011

Ling Poojan - Part 2

This post is a continuation of my earlier post in which I have tried to probe the falsities of the pseudo scientific explanation being provided these days to explain various religious customs prevalent in the society, especially the case in consideration here “Ling Poojan” or Phallus worship. The case of Naga sadhus is often advocated as an important example whenever someone wants to stress the importance of “Shaivism/Shaiva Culture” and has often been put forward as arguments for Ling Poojan.

In fact it is a very weak argument, if it is any. The way Naga sadhus stay butt naked, their ability to keep their penis erect for quite long periods of time, the strength of their penis when they lift heavy stone tied to it etc. has often been forwarded to show how strong a penis can be and its importance as a thing of worship. Big deal ! Almost all virile and young men get erections whenever they think of sex or girls. It is very common among teenagers to have long periods of penile erection during which they keep thinking about and get obsessed about sex and girls. Blame it on age and hormones.

I am sure many of you have seen TV programmes such as “Guiness book of world records” and “Ripley’s Believe it or not”. I saw one programme where they showed someone lifting up heavy stones or bricks tied to their penis. Do these people, who are incidentally not Indians, start practicing phallus worship? Do people in their countries think that they should indulge in such practice just because some people have shown the strength of their penis on TV?

Never!

They have shown many people try to and succeed in pulling aeroplanes or trucks with their teeth or hairs. Why don’t we start worshipping hairs and teeth for that?

Believe it or not, even Fellatio has been advocated as one of the reasons to justify Phallus worship by some people. I cannot think of anything more foolish than this.

Many people swear by the name of Indian Philosophy while they justify phallus worship. It only serves to make Indian philosophy something to ridicule and laugh at in the eyes of the world. Yes, I know, many will say that that is because most people of other countries do not understand Indian Philosophy. This statement reeks of undeserving superiority complex and stupidity. Only a fool claims to know everything. Wise men never do so.

Wisdom and Philosophy are ever-changing things. There has been world famous and great philosophers such as Aristotle, Socrates, Plato, Sir Francis Bacon, Emmanuelle Kant etc apart from our home grown ones such as Ved Vyas, Aryabhatta, Charvak, Patanjali, Pingala etc.

The main difference between the outside world and India has been that while in most of other countries, philosophical works have been understood, questioned, researched, reviewed and then new philosophical thought/logic/premises have been developed, in India it has been just the opposite. After the ancient period, Indian philosophy has become stagnant. And like all stagnant bodies, it has started showing signs of decay. We rest on our past glory. We do not want to question and review what has been written in ancient philosophical and religious scriptures. We are afraid of our society, forgetting that it is we who constitute the society. We are afraid of change. Truth, for us is what is written in the religious scriptures or told to us by religious Gurus not what we understand by our logic to be true and correct.

Indian philosophy needs to be resurrected. We need to question many unnecessary and harmful customs. We need to think from new angles. We need to be skeptics.

The question is not whether a particular organ of our body is very important or not, cause almost all organs of our body are very important for us. The question is , whether or not to worship an organ of our body just because it is an important organ.

Yes this practice has been prevalent throughout India. But is it not time to change some things. This change will not come overnight. But at least we should start to make some small changes. Small steps today will lead to big changes tomorrow. It is high time we give more importance ot science and logic rather than religion, which has only served the purpose of dividing mankind throughout the ages.

Even skepticism has been changing. Someone who could be called a sceptic or an atheist about 200-300 years ago would be considered by modern atheists as a believer. It is but natural that understanding and thought processes change with time. We go against nature when we do not want to change, when we want to live in a stagnant and decaying society in the name of culture and customs.

How many of those people who swear by Indian culture and religious Babas actually go to them when they have any medical problem. I have seen many people shout at the top of their voice that Sanskrit is the best language, and then give thousands of rupees donations to get their children admitted to English medium schools. Oh, how much steeped in hypocrisy are we!

It is often said in India that atheists are people who follow the western culture blindly. That they do not understand anything about Indian culture or philosophy. If this is not an illogical statement, I do not know what is ! It is a fact that we cannot deny that most modern research and study has been carried out in western countries. The research and discoveries being done in India is also being published in English rather than Sanskrit and Urdu. These languages, apart from serving literary purposes have been relegated to Madrasas and Gurukuls, which incidentally do not have anything to do with modern life, technology, progress and science.

Even if you learn Sanskrit, what great use is it going to be for your career?

How does the knowledge of Sanskrit make one more logical or learned than someone who knows English?

How does logic depend on the knowledge of any language?

Why are we so afraid to question our religious scriptures, whether it is of any religion? These books were written by people who were less educated than us. How can they be wiser and more intelligent than us? Come on … we are supposed to be human beings, and not pet animals that are supposed to obey there master’s every command.

04 March 2011

Ling Poojan

"Ling Poojan" or Phallus worship has been an accepted norm in the Indian society for time immemorial. The Ling is considered as a symbol of Lord Shiva, one of the three main Gods in the Indian Mythology. There has been various arguments to justify such kind of act, ranging from social arguments, religious, psychological to some pseudo scientific arguments that have come forward these days.
Let us have a look into some of the pseudo scientific arguments that are being put forward from various quarters to justify such illogical customs.
Let us for once keep the matter of faith and the psychological advantages of faith aside and look into the act itself from a scientific viewpoint.
The whole idea of worshipping a body part as a god is hilarious to say the least. If we can worship a penis or a vagina, why not worship a liver or a kidney or an intestine for that matter?
Next comes the question of justifications for the "Ling Poojan".
First of all the comparison of the snakes on the Linga with the DNA double helix. We are so naively assuming that whatever the modern technology, through years of painstaking hard work, has unveiled now, was known to forest dwelling half educated or illiterate unsocial bums long long ago, who did not have any idea of even our body parts. These so called ascetics did not even know what is an intestine or how does a kidney function, and now they are supposed to know a DNA, and actually fashion a worship idol based on its complex structure.
There has been examples of Nuclear Reactors and Galaxies to explain the shape of the Linga and the surrounding Yoni . This custom of worshipping the Linga started quite some time back in the history at which point of time neither was there any nuclear reactor, nor was their any telescope to understand the shape of galaxies. So, these justifications are not only a vain and oft-repeated attempt at explaining illogical and uninformed customs, but also criminal conspiracies at misleading gullible people. It has become a fashion these days to try to explain every superstition by using scientific terms and bending the science.
Whoever has explained the Shivalinga as a nuclear reactor seems to have very sketchy knowledge about a reactor's function, most probably gathered from the internet and is clearly under the impression that similar shapes mean similar things.
A similar attempt has been made at explaining the Shivalinga by comparing it to a gland at the base of our brain, the pineal gland. So, now the linga has become a gland.
Comparing by shape and then declaring it to be the same .... if this is not blind superstition, I do not know what is.
Quite similar to some people who declare that the Betel leaf is very good for human heart just because it is heart shaped (the commercial shape of heart as advertised by various media, not the real shape of heart, which of course is unknown to such people).

09 February 2011

Incredible India - 1


Here's a picture I took in one of the narrow bylanes in Delhi. I could not resist taking a picture of this when I saw it and to me the whole setup kind of appeared to be ironic (note the LIC ad vertisement in the background).
I would like to learn about your reaction to this picture.


10 January 2011

How to Spot a Geologist

One of my Friends has forwarded me this material by email. This is extracted from this link:
http://uncyclopedia.wikia.com/wiki/Geologist
Found it kind of Hilarious ...

To spot a geologist in the wild, look for:

  • Someone who has the longest occupational description on Uncyclopedia (and has looked at all the other occupations to confirm while consuming large quantities of alchohol).
  • Hand-lens, compass, pen-knife, handcuffs etc. tied round neck with string.
  • Someone awkward and unsure around people who don't know the difference between a rock and a mineral
  • Someone with a beard and Sandals... Jesus was a Geologist (actually, carpenters back then were also stonemasons, so there is some truth to that statement)
  • Someone who owns a pet rock and is not eight (in the case of paleontologists, this will be their closest friend), with said 'pet' often found hanging from keys.
  • Someone with over enthusiasm on the subject of dinosaurs and who cringes when a dinosaur is called a reptile.
  • Someone who outgrew geology, started a brewery, and is now in politics.
  • Someone explaining to airport security that a sidewall core covered in gunpowder residue isn't really a weapon.
  • Someone who only includes people in photos for scale, and has more pictures of his/her rock hammer and lens caps than of family and friends. Especially *Someone who uses their new baby for scale (Oh God..the horror!)
  • Someone who, if they could travel to Jupiter's moon, IO, would think the coolest part about it was the volcanoes and not the space travel.
  • Someone with a collection of beer cans/bottles that rivals the size of his rock collection.
  • Someone lighting a cigarette with a handlens focussing the sunlight, or a coat hanger stretched between the battery terminals of a University van.
  • Someone who brings beer instead of water when hiking.
  • Someone whose lunch consists of rocks, instead of ordinary bread. Shale lightly sprinkled in Halite mostly.
  • Someone who consumes tonsil-killing chili for dinner every night of the week, and warms it up in a can on the drill rig engine block.
  • Someone whose child is trained to know the geologic timescale before being able to walk.
  • Someone explaining to airport security that just because his/her safety boots are covered in high-explosive (usually ANFEX) residue, it doesn't mean he/she is a terrorist
  • Someone with hair in a pony-tail (this applies to male or female geologists).
  • Someone who considers a "recent event" to be anything that has happened in the last hundred million years.
  • Someone who licks and/or scratches & sniffs rocks or in case of china clay will eat it to prove it's perfectly safe.
  • Someone who eats dirt and claims to be "getting an estimate of grain size"
  • Someone who will willingly cross an eight-lane interstate on foot to determine if the outcrops are the same on both sides.
  • Someone who considers causing a four-lane pile-up on the highway by examining outcrops while driving, as acceptable behaviour.
  • Someone who can pronounce the word molybdenite correctly on the first try.
  • Someone who has hiked 6 miles to look at a broken fence that was "offset by a recent earthquake".
  • Someone who says "this will make a nice Christmas gift" while out rock collecting.
  • Someone who thinks a "sexual exploit" is lying naked on an outcrop so the satellite will photograph them on the next pass.
  • Someone who hires student assistants with an eye to whether they can run slower so the bears get them first.
  • Someone who can jump start a campfire in wet weather with the judicious application of a beer fart.
  • Someone who from personal experience knows the difference between Arctic grade and summer grade diesel fuel.
  • Someone who even on an average day in the field can make Indiana Jones look like a bit of a klutzy wuss
  • Someone who looks at scenery and tells you how it formed.
  • Someone whose pockets tend to be filled with bits of rock.
  • Someone whose rockery moved into their spare room and had replaced the goldfish.
  • Someone who has more pairs of hiking boots than shoes.
  • Someone who knows that Lagerstätten isn't beer, but wishes it was.
  • Someone who wears hiking boots constantly, even for formal functions, and occasionally sandals with (obligatory) socks
  • Someone who thinks of woodlice as trilobites but would tell anyone off who said so.
  • Someone who, when on a beach, will collect shells and try to explain their muscle scars to you.
  • Someone who prefers to explain the sequence of events shown in a cliff face to sunbathing.
  • Someone whose collection of petrified wood samples is stacked like cord wood.
  • Someone who plans extra time on trips to investigate road cuts along the way.
  • Someone who almost crashes his/her car looking at road cuts while driving.
  • Someone who often explains how their boozy coffee with whipped cream resembles a layered igneous complex.
  • Someone who knows the phylum, kingdom, and genus of every ancient creature lodged in stone, some of which look nothing like an animal, but can't remember his/her mother's, or spouse's, birthday.
  • Someone who uses a geologic hammer to halve a boiled egg, open a coconut, open a melon, crack nuts, or generally open any tough to get at food.
  • Someone who modifies his/her pace to one meter in order to simplify pace-and-compass mapping.
  • Someone whose radioactive ore specimen collection glows in the dark. It is so bright you can:
    • use it to read by.
    • illuminate your front yard.
    • use it as a landing beacon.
    • see it from Mars.
  • Someone who can identify the chemical formula for Cummingtonite...and chuckles like a junior-high kid every time.
  • Someone stuck on the side of the road without a spare tire because it was removed to make more room for samples or alcohol (or the spare is already being used on the other side of the van).
  • Someone who, when asked what this rock is says, "Leverite, so leave her right there."
  • Someone who compulsively peels pack moss and topsoil in the woods, just in case there are rocks underneath.
  • Someone unwilling to improve their personal situation, resigned to the fact that the sun will explode in 5 billion years anyways.
  • Someone who walks out of a bathroom and asks if you noticed the fossils in the stall dividers.
  • Someone prone to Linnean mnemonic devices such as Keep Privates Clean Or Forget Getting Screwed.
  • Someone who can only relate to one "Rock Band" (besides BIF): Are We Not Men, We Are Devonian!
  • Someone who enjoys their topography: Subduction leads to orogeny, and orogeny leads to relief.
  • Someone who walks into an art museum and looks at the floors and columns commenting on the stylolites and fossils, rather than looking at the paintings.
  • Someone whose shorts expose way more leg than you ever wanted to see.
  • Someone who rocks the party and is the schist everywhere they go.
  • Someone whose sentences begin with the phrase, "Let me tell you what happened here."
  • Someone who can say, "Gneiss Cleavage" or talks about slaty cleavage and means it in a non-derogatory sense.
  • Someone who has to point out that your kitchen worktop is NOT made of granite and after a seemingly non-sensical crash course in petrology (involving many 'diagrams' and supposed 'writing') will even produce their trusty hand-lens to show you.
  • Someone who gets really upset when the countertop, which is obviously mafic/aphanitic/metamorphic, is called granite and takes 20 minutes to tell you why you're wrong.
  • Someone who has an odd obsession with Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, Star Trek etc...and often dresses the part!
  • Someone who can’t use a street map because it doesn’t have contour lines.
  • When helping someone move and you ask "is this box full of rocks?" They answer "yes, be careful."
  • Someone who always carries a small squeezy bottle of vinegar in their pocket
  • Someone unsympathetic at the prospect of extinction for the long-haired woolly-horn red-butt moose, replying "Glaciers woulda killed him off in 10,000 years anyways."
  • Someone who when colouring, stays between the lines. Always.
  • Someone who scoffs when they see your compass doesn't have a clinometer as standard.
  • Someone who will drink whiskey from funnels at parties in place of lager.
  • Someone who selfdescribes his character as: "I'm gneiss, but don't take it for granite!"
  • Someone who insists on wearing shorts and flip-flops in the dead of winter "so their toes can breathe". Only in really cold weather will they wear hiking boots with their shorts.
  • Someone throws huge pieces of pumice at strangers to determine if they are acceptable to befriend.
  • Someone who has a moustache or excessive facial hair.
  • Someone who takes baths in crude oil.
  • Someone who has a holster for their rock hammer.
If you remain unsure, ask the subject to draw an annotated diagram of a trilobite. A true geologist will immediately reach for their waterproof notebook - this is your opportunity for escape.