Season’s greetings with a geologist’s perspective…

With Christmas just behind us, and New Year approaching fast, the world is now half-way in that time of year that is reserved for wishing everyone the best for yet another year. You have certainly received enough blessings from friends, families, and the occasional friendly stranger to already be certain of a fairly decent health for at least a couple of months. With the real countdown to ‘it is 2019!’ yet to come, you will no doubt be able to survive well into 2020.

Earthrise, the eye opener from fifty years ago. Or how a Saturn V is quite helpful for putting things in perspective. Taken by Mission Commander Frank Borman from aboard Apollo 8 (picture AS08-13-2329 on

But what does the turn of a year mean to a geologist? You might expect that a wish is not scientific enough to bother a hard-core geologist, and probably it shouldn’t. You could also expect that people that round up numbers to ‘give or take a million years’, are not really interested in those final seconds that mark the transition to some arbitrary point in time, which is at best an ill-achieved attempt to confluence our daily and annual biorhythms while ignoring that the Earth does not rotate a whole number of times during one solar year…

Maybe you would expect to read here a sceptical opinion, stating that these festivities are an unnecessary and unwanted break. Maybe you even turned to this weekly post, hoping that there are at least some sensible people out there, that even during those darkest days of the year continue to take life seriously.

Indeed, if you hope that geologists do not take part in that global social event that involves kissing, hugging, champagne, music, and dance, then I must disappoint you. You are overlooking one crucial element: geologists are also renowned party animals. No, really, try your luck with physicists, philosophers, a chemist maybe… But not geologists, we make it our professional duty to take obligatory festivities serious.

And best wishes are a fundamental part of that, so we give it a great deal of thought, and write them down while still being sober.

So, to you, dedicated follower of our blog, we do not wish you all the best for the year to come. Others already ascertained you of a healthy 2019. Oh no, we look deeper in time, to when it will really matter.

We therefore wish you and/or your next of kin
a healthy and procreative offspring,
for many generations to come,
to ultimately give rise to new species
that will fearlessly face the end-of-times,
and will against all odds survive
yet another mass extinction.

That should give you have a healthy head start over those not interested in GeoConnect³d. Consider it one of the advantages of believing that the best things in life are geology based. Thanks for staying tuned in 2018, we’ll be back with more.

Kris Piessens

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