Do you have adblock enabled?
If you can read this, either the style sheet didn't load or you have an older browser that doesn't support style sheets. Try clearing your browser cache and refreshing the page.

(Christian Science Monitor)   It now seems that the design for the containment cap on the BP well came from a "mystery plumber" who submitted the detailed sketch. He charged $500 per hour for his advice, but at least no one had to see his butt crack   (csmonitor.com) divider line 49
    More: Followup, oil spills, blowout preventer, Macondo, BP oil, similarities, sewage, gushing, two weeks  
•       •       •

6506 clicks; posted to Geek » on 17 Jul 2010 at 6:44 AM (4 years ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



49 Comments   (+0 »)
   

Archived thread
 
2010-07-17 06:05:57 AM  
If it works... that's the kind of productivity worthy of a millions-of-dollars bonus. If I were a BP bigwig, I'd give him mine.
 
2010-07-17 06:33:12 AM  
This plumber, is it Joe or Mario?
 
2010-07-17 06:44:15 AM  
Skail: If it works... that's the kind of productivity worthy of a millions-of-dollars bonus. If I were a BP bigwig, I'd give him mine.

If his name gets out, I'm betting he'll do ok out of this.
 
2010-07-17 06:59:52 AM  
Archie Goodwin: Joe

Maybe he can finally start that business he's been planning to start all these years. He probably won't though because he doesn't want to pay taxes.
 
2010-07-17 07:23:08 AM  
Mystery?

img.photobucket.com

We know who you are, and we thank you!

/now get back to work, your princess is in another castle.
 
2010-07-17 07:49:28 AM  
The reason it took three months is that the mystery plumber kept capping the wrong wells, and BP kept having to say "thanks but the leak is in another well"

www.majhost.com
 
2010-07-17 07:50:35 AM  
It now seems subby did not read the article he submitted.
 
2010-07-17 08:21:40 AM  
Skail: If it works... that's the kind of productivity worthy of a millions-of-dollars bonus. If I were a BP bigwig, I'd give him mine.

Are you kidding me? I'd consider it about a 1000x more likely that the VP of "stuff we bolt together" who has a business degree but not an engineering degree gets a monster bonus if they finally shut this sucker off only 3 months late. He will also claim his steely eyed leadership saw them through this crisis, while the other guys were "just doing their jobs".
 
2010-07-17 08:22:41 AM  
It would figure if a plumber came up with the basic idea. Sometimes the simplest ideas are the ones that work the best-and high level Ph.D.s are long past thinking up the simplest ideas.
 
2010-07-17 08:27:42 AM  
Pick: It now seems subby did not read the article he submitted.

FTFA

Six weeks ago, Robert Bea, an engineering professor at the University of California, Berkeley, received a late-night call from an apologetic "mystery plumber." The caller said he had a sketch for how to solve the problem at the bottom of the Gulf.


also, it was me. I'm THAT smart
 
2010-07-17 08:29:38 AM  
Fizpez: Skail: If it works... that's the kind of productivity worthy of a millions-of-dollars bonus. If I were a BP bigwig, I'd give him mine.

Are you kidding me? I'd consider it about a 1000x more likely that the VP of "stuff we bolt together" who has a business degree but not an engineering degree gets a monster bonus if they finally shut this sucker off only 3 months late. He will also claim his steely eyed leadership saw them through this crisis, while the other guys were "just doing their jobs".


This. Were "corporate governance" not a punchline, they'd start with whichever VPs were the bastards unlucky enough to have "safety" in their job title. Strip them of all bonuses, give them to that guy. Next up would be whoever was responsible for giving the direct orders that constituted corner-cutting, then his supervisor, then his supervisor.
 
2010-07-17 08:32:22 AM  
img1.fark.net tag on vacation today?
 
2010-07-17 08:51:56 AM  
Imma Luigi, I'm the best!
 
2010-07-17 09:03:24 AM  
I'm not a plumber and had nothing to do with those sketches.

Don't bother thanking me.
 
2010-07-17 09:42:32 AM  
I'd also like to point out that the day after they cap the well, MD has an earthquake...
 
2010-07-17 09:48:20 AM  
crazywisdom_uk: It would figure if a plumber came up with the basic idea. Sometimes the simplest ideas are the ones that work the best-and high level Ph.D.s are long past thinking up the simplest ideas.

Tell me about it...I talk to engineers everyday that overlook the obvious and try to do something the hardest, most nonsensical way possible.
 
2010-07-17 10:06:10 AM  
Since he didn't leave his name I guess he will officially be called Mario now. Go internet! Woot!!
 
2010-07-17 10:10:48 AM  
crazywisdom_uk: It would figure if a plumber came up with the basic idea. Sometimes the simplest ideas are the ones that work the best-and high level Ph.D.s are long past thinking up the simplest ideas.

I think your theory should be applied to all forms of government.
 
2010-07-17 10:14:56 AM  
ihatedumbpeople: Tell me about it...I talk to engineers everyday that overlook the obvious and try to do something the hardest, most nonsensical way possible.

Those are usually the ones with little to no hands on experience with what they're designing, and are also too arrogant to consult with the technologists that actually do have that experience.
 
2010-07-17 10:46:58 AM  
Fizpez:
Are you kidding me? I'd consider it about a 1000x more likely that the VP of "stuff we bolt together" who has a business degree but not an engineering degree gets a monster bonus if they finally shut this sucker off only 3 months late. He will also claim his steely eyed leadership saw them through this crisis, while the other guys were "just doing their jobs".


You do realize that a lot of executives at Fortune 500 companies have engineering degrees? They usually have an MBA or JD on top as well.
 
2010-07-17 11:25:19 AM  
gudlyf.com

He has some experience with large pipes

//hot like oil in the gulf of mexico in the middle of july
 
2010-07-17 11:37:00 AM  
I'm just glad that the guy who supervised the implementation of the cap was a local guy from New Iberia. We know something about wells down here, even wells that are not under control.

As for the plumber, right on ya!

Just keep in mind that the relief well is the only way to shut this one in for sure.
 
2010-07-17 11:54:52 AM  
If this guy reveals himself, he should never have to work again... but he will, of course, because guys like this are just like that.
 
2010-07-17 11:57:13 AM  
If he is revealed, the man deserves $25 million. We'd give that amount to him if he found Bin Laden, and this is just as important if you ask me.
 
2010-07-17 12:30:18 PM  
Who would have thought to ask a plumber how to fix a leak?
 
2010-07-17 12:48:50 PM  
Is it this man?
scrapetv.com
 
2010-07-17 12:53:22 PM  
o.aolcdn.com
 
2010-07-17 12:57:25 PM  
This mystery plumber isn't the only guy who solved the problem long before BP. Here's a guy who suggested this to BP back in April:


Consumerist (new window)
 
2010-07-17 01:03:14 PM  
FTA: When Bea saw the design of the containment cap lowered onto the well last week, he marveled at its similarity to the sketches from the late-night caller, whose humble refusal to give his name at the time nearly brought Bea to tears.

So, no Subby, he didn't charge anything -- and given that it was successful, it looks like no-one would be complaining if he had charged $50000 an hour.

What I'm wondering about is how the plumber figured out that Dr. Bea was close enough to the problem to actually get the idea passed along toward implementation. THAT is what I consider the really impressive trick.


Jippy Jay: img1.fark.nettag on vacation today?

Also, this.
 
2010-07-17 01:08:33 PM  
INeedAName: I'd also like to point out that the day after they cap the well, MD has an earthquake...

You'd better check to see if your tiger-repelling rock is still working.
 
2010-07-17 01:57:05 PM  
This is the reason you should have to go through apprenticeships and work your way up to master before you can go be an engineer. I've hardly met an engineer yet that has real-world experience.
 
2010-07-17 02:21:10 PM  
Skail: If it works... that's the kind of productivity worthy of a millions-of-dollars bonus. If I were a BP bigwig, I'd give him mine.

That's not how it works for the productive and creative people. If you are lucky you get a 'job well done'. That's it. Saving/making a company millions of dollars is considered 'your job'. Management gets bonuses.

/saved a major US corporation many millions of dollars.
//got downsized at the end of the project.

Retractable Weeners: I've hardly met an engineer yet that has real-world experience.

That's because the engineers with hands on experience are too busy working to BS with people in other areas. There are two kinds of engineers, the kind that know what they are doing and do all the creative/real work and the kind that don't, they were good at taking tests and writing reports, the ones good at working their way through an institution. You're talking to the later.

I've worked with them, they need to be eliminated. They've never done anything. I remember one I worked with. He claimed to do all sorts of things, home repairs, etc... couldn't do design work for shiat. Had no knack. The telling sign he was lying? He had hands like a girl's. Never any cuts, never any bandages, no signs of damage of working with his hands... ever.
 
2010-07-17 02:28:19 PM  
operatorchan.org

You're welcome
 
2010-07-17 03:05:07 PM  
leadmetal:

Retractable Weeners: I've hardly met an engineer yet that has real-world experience.

leadmetal: I've worked with them, they need to be eliminated. They've never done anything. I remember one I worked with. He claimed to do all sorts of things, home repairs, etc... couldn't do design work for shiat. Had no knack. The telling sign he was lying? He had hands like a girl's. Never any cuts, never any bandages, no signs of damage of working with his hands... ever.


So you're saying my idea of the several-hundred-of-years-old tradition of apprenticeship works?

I held the hand of a project manager who was straight out of college throughout a 300 million dollar development. It's just like you said, clean, new clothes, he had no clue as to common building practices or where to even start, and wore gloves if he had to go outside. It's situations like that which make it hard to find qualified labor because qualified labor won't be told by some kid out of school how to half-ass their craftsmanship. I know I begged until I was transferred to a proper project.

/My weener is cleaner than my hands, it usually is. I'm proud of that.
//Wait. When I pee, what should I wash?
 
2010-07-17 05:56:48 PM  
Retractable Weeners: I held the hand of a project manager who was straight out of college throughout a 300 million dollar development. It's just like you said, clean, new clothes, he had no clue as to common building practices or where to even start, and wore gloves if he had to go outside. It's situations like that which make it hard to find qualified labor because qualified labor won't be told by some kid out of school how to half-ass their craftsmanship. I know I begged until I was transferred to a proper project.

if you are such a badass then you should get your own projects instead of having some monkey tell you what to do.I find the guys that are 'great with their hands' aren't so great when it comes to business and project management.Maybe the guy was better at business? I see tons of engineer types that want to reinvent the wheel but never consider simple things like cost or labor. Engineers crack me up. 'skilled labor' crack me up as well.

as for this well, all kinds of people are going to come out saying they had it all figured out. It's obvious. The same way I should have made a stupid website that has user submitted news links. genius. I thought of it first right?!
 
2010-07-17 06:03:37 PM  
crazywisdom_uk: It would figure if a plumber came up with the basic idea. Sometimes the simplest ideas are the ones that work the best-and high level Ph.D.s are long past thinking up the simplest ideas.

Parsimony and Occam's razor disagree with you. Parsimoniously, of course.
 
2010-07-17 06:58:07 PM  
Sure this idea they try who's completely ignoring the suggestions to clog the pipe with the bodies of BP executives
 
2010-07-17 07:13:18 PM  
project management is hysterically funny. I have worked with dozens of 'project managers' and not met one who could manage a dump without getting their hands dirty let alone a project.

Projects get managed all the time, just not by declared 'project managers'
 
2010-07-17 07:39:16 PM  
SCUBA_Archer: INeedAName: I'd also like to point out that the day after they cap the well, MD has an earthquake...

You'd better check to see if your tiger-repelling rock is still working.


I cant tell. I hid it in my rock garden so no one would steal it, but I don't remember which one it was...
 
2010-07-17 07:41:24 PM  
As a guy who recently became a plumber, Im really getting a kick out of these replies.
 
2010-07-17 07:49:40 PM  
Retractable Weeners: So you're saying my idea of the several-hundred-of-years-old tradition of apprenticeship works?

No. That engineering education has to become less math based. Education in general needs to focus on learning things instead of passing tests etc. The american educational system produces people who are good at getting through the institution that is the school. They are good at taking tests, doing homework, telling teacher what teacher told them. Someone good at it can choose any subject for degree, they will get that degree because they are good at the mechanisms of the educational process. No real knack or understanding of the subject is required.

Engineering attracts a good hunk of these knackless people because of high starting salaries compared to other 4 year degrees. Once out in the real world these people shape the corporate world like that of the schools. That's why you get corporate buzzword crap etc and so on. They make it like the schools.

Apprenticeship programs IMO are really about restricting the labor supply in a given industry. Sure they teach hands on stuff, but the point was to make a bunch of hoops such that few people could enter a given profession. So no, apprenticeship won't solve the problem. Engineering education has to get back what it lost in the early portion of the 20th century. The hands on work, the work that was real world instead of institutional work.
 
2010-07-17 09:09:15 PM  
Occam's Chainsaw: Fizpez: Skail: If it works... that's the kind of productivity worthy of a millions-of-dollars bonus. If I were a BP bigwig, I'd give him mine.

Are you kidding me? I'd consider it about a 1000x more likely that the VP of "stuff we bolt together" who has a business degree but not an engineering degree gets a monster bonus if they finally shut this sucker off only 3 months late. He will also claim his steely eyed leadership saw them through this crisis, while the other guys were "just doing their jobs".

This. Were "corporate governance" not a punchline, they'd start with whichever VPs were the bastards unlucky enough to have "safety" in their job title. Strip them of all bonuses, give them to that guy. Next up would be whoever was responsible for giving the direct orders that constituted corner-cutting, then his supervisor, then his supervisor.


I'd be more willing to bet that the idea was thought of "in-house" but, in order to screw the deserving people out of any financial rewards, credit will ultimately be given to the unknown plumber. Since he doesn't work for BP, doesn't have any claim, and so far is unknown, it's a perfect way to avoid rewarding people who were, "just doing their jobs."

Meanwhile, the upper level executives can take 2 Gulfstream V's and a few million in bonuses.
 
2010-07-17 09:29:13 PM  
leadmetal: Retractable Weeners: So you're saying my idea of the several-hundred-of-years-old tradition of apprenticeship works?

No. That engineering education has to become less math based. Education in general needs to focus on learning things instead of passing tests etc. The american educational system produces people who are good at getting through the institution that is the school. They are good at taking tests, doing homework, telling teacher what teacher told them. Someone good at it can choose any subject for degree, they will get that degree because they are good at the mechanisms of the educational process. No real knack or understanding of the subject is required.

Engineering attracts a good hunk of these knackless people because of high starting salaries compared to other 4 year degrees. Once out in the real world these people shape the corporate world like that of the schools. That's why you get corporate buzzword crap etc and so on. They make it like the schools.

Apprenticeship programs IMO are really about restricting the labor supply in a given industry. Sure they teach hands on stuff, but the point was to make a bunch of hoops such that few people could enter a given profession. So no, apprenticeship won't solve the problem. Engineering education has to get back what it lost in the early portion of the 20th century. The hands on work, the work that was real world instead of institutional work.


Precisely. I went, I made my president's list, I got my degree and found it wasn't gonna do crap for me. Then, I heard the simplest piece of wisdom ever. "say what you want about the economy, people need a place to shiat."
 
2010-07-18 01:35:05 AM  
Unfortunately, there's no way the BP assholes will admit they used this guy's idea to cap the well. They'll milk the success for as much positive PR as they can get.
 
2010-07-18 12:08:45 PM  
Retractable Weeners: This is the reason you should have to go through apprenticeships and work your way up to master before you can go be an engineer. I've hardly met an engineer yet that has real-world experience.

Best comment all week.
 
2010-07-18 08:26:34 PM  
It wouldn't surprise me if a plumber figured it out.

The BP oil geyser is basically a worst-case-scenario plumbing disaster:

* 20,000+ PSI (conservative estimates)
* 10" diameter pipe, underground, 20" at surface
* 400 degree Fahrenheit oil
* oh, and a mile underwater

I'm impressed that anybody could fix this.
 
2010-07-19 12:42:14 AM  
Retractable Weeners: This is the reason you should have to go through apprenticeships and work your way up to master before you can go be an engineer. I've hardly met an engineer yet that has real-world experience.

In Canada, after you get your degree you have to work for a few years as an "engineer in training" before you can get the P.Eng (professional engineer) certification.
 
2010-07-19 11:51:34 AM  
leadmetal: Retractable Weeners: So you're saying my idea of the several-hundred-of-years-old tradition of apprenticeship works?

No. That engineering education has to become less math based. Education in general needs to focus on learning things instead of passing tests etc. The american educational system produces people who are good at getting through the institution that is the school. They are good at taking tests, doing homework, telling teacher what teacher told them. Someone good at it can choose any subject for degree, they will get that degree because they are good at the mechanisms of the educational process. No real knack or understanding of the subject is required.

Engineering attracts a good hunk of these knackless people because of high starting salaries compared to other 4 year degrees. Once out in the real world these people shape the corporate world like that of the schools. That's why you get corporate buzzword crap etc and so on. They make it like the schools.

Apprenticeship programs IMO are really about restricting the labor supply in a given industry. Sure they teach hands on stuff, but the point was to make a bunch of hoops such that few people could enter a given profession. So no, apprenticeship won't solve the problem. Engineering education has to get back what it lost in the early portion of the 20th century. The hands on work, the work that was real world instead of institutional work.


I believe this is exactly the problem with modern engineering, and its been that way for at least 15 years. My cool story bro, is that I almost could not graduate college on schedule because I was going to be 1 hour short because I had the notion that a basic machine shop class would count toward my engineering degree.

I had an hour I needed, machine shop was an hour, and I thought actually knowing some basics on how to machine stuff would be undeniably helpful in designing new stuff. Apparantly that isn't good enough for an accredited hour, so I had to change my lab 3 weeks in. Stupid counselors don't help either.
 
2010-07-19 05:08:50 PM  
An engineer is only as good as his reference material and the skill at which he can navigate through it.
 
Displayed 49 of 49 comments



This thread is archived, and closed to new comments.

Continue Farking
Submit a Link »
Advertisement
On Twitter





In Other Media


  1. Links are submitted by members of the Fark community.

  2. When community members submit a link, they also write a custom headline for the story.

  3. Other Farkers comment on the links. This is the number of comments. Click here to read them.

  4. Click here to submit a link.

Report