"Wow, I really suck."

I don't particularly like Ben Stiller.

Which places me in an awkward position, because I adore several of his movies ( Dodgeball, Tropic Thunder, Meet the Parents, etc.). To me, he's not really the draw in those movies; more frequently, he's the straight man, and others around him are the comedic elements.
But regardless, Ben Stiller IRL once said something that I thought was very poignant:
 Brilliant insight from the man who gave us
 Brilliant insight from the man who gave us "Zoolander".

"Wow, I really suck."  
We've all probably said that at several points throughout our lives, both privately and publicly. But personally, I always think of Ben Stiller when I have occasion to utter that 4-word phrase. It is sheer humility, in its lowest, lamest form, and that makes it all the more meaningful.
Now, as long-time followers might know, I have a tendency to ramble on about the sciences in my blogs, and in keeping with tradition, I present the following:

Engineers you should know about

 The one and only Issac Newton, inventor of gravity, calculus, AND the doggy-door, once said 
 The one and only Issac Newton, inventor of gravity, calculus, AND the doggy-door, once said  "If I have seen a little further, it is by standing on the shoulders of Giants."

Too much of modern engineering stresses what lies ahead and what must be done. That has its place, to be sure, but we have no history. We have no training in the legacy of our predecessors. In my own way, I will try to correct this by showing you some of the coolest, most bad-ass engineers mankind has ever produced. 


 "The Real McCoy"  1844-1929 
As in, "The Real McCoy". That's right, this is the guy who earned that expression. Born of a fugitive slave couple who ran from Kentucky to Canada, McCoy was almost single-handedly  responsible for making America into the powerhouse that it became in the late 1800's and early 1900's. He was a mechanical engineer, if we must classify him, and he had an incredible knack for machines, gears, moving parts, and so forth. He traveled around the globe, from Canada to Scotland and beyond, to learn his trade.
Working out of his home, he devised an invention known as the "lubricator cup". In simple terms, this invention utilized back steam pressure to allow railroads to be continuously lubricated during transit. This had MASSIVE implications in the railroad-burgeoning American market. It allowed faster travel times, more efficient operation, and it found its way into factories and trans-oceanic steam ships, as well. McCoy went on to create over 50 more inventions throughout his life, but he will always be best known for this one.   
Also, tell me that isn't a bad-ass name. Elijah McCoy. You don't fuck with a man with a name like that.

 It looks simple, but this device quite literally pushed us through the Industrial Revolution and into the 20th century.
 It looks simple, but this device quite literally pushed us through the Industrial Revolution and into the 20th century.



1841-1914  All you SH fans out there owe this man a debt of gratitude.
1841-1914  All you SH fans out there owe this man a debt of gratitude.

John Philip Holland invented goddamn submarines. After years and years of grueling (and insanely fucking dangerous) testing and labor, he finally created the Holland VI design, in 1898. The Holland VI was the first submarine model adopted by the U.S. Navy for use in combat. 
Some features of the Holland VI included: 
  • A dual propulsion mechanism (steam engine for surface travel, electric engine for submerged travel)
  • Variable ballast systems (as opposed to just a huge weight attached to the outer hull)
  • Weapons systems (an upward facing torpedo)
  • Center of gravity (a series of internal structures designed to maintain submarine balance underwater)

 The Holland VI
 The Holland VI

Keep in mind the TIME FRAME we're dealing with here. This is 1898! World War 1 hasn't even happened yet! How the hell did this guy make a functioning submarine with all those features, in 1898?! It's incredible, to me, at least.
This is actually kind of a sad story, because Holland got roped up in a lot of red tape issues (this IS the U.S. military we're dealing with). Amazingly, he went on to aircraft design, of all things, since fluid mechanics and air mechanics aren't really all that different. Many historians believe that Holland would have beaten the Wright Brothers in creating the first airplane, if he had only had the money. His designs most likely would have worked, but he ran out of investment capital before he could finish.



 1913-2000 Also, DAMN.
 1913-2000 Also, DAMN.
So let's get two things out of the way immediately:
1) I am aware of, and have personally made, all the "head" jokes you can possibly concoct.
2) It's not the goddamn headcrab. The headcrab is named AFTER her.
Hedy Lamar was a very successful Hollywood actress for MGM from the 1930's to the 1950's. She was born to Jewish parents in Vienna, Austria-Hungary. Look at the time period we're dealing with. How do you think the Jews were faring right about then?
Well, suffice it to say that the beautiful Ms. Lamar didn't take the Holocaust lying down. She, along with the bizarre composer Mr. George Antheil, devised the "frequency hopping-spread spectrum" in 1942, at the height of World War II. Unfortunately, the invention was so far ahead of its time that it was not adopted until the 1960's, but it was still an incredible triumph of science and engineering.
The FHSS was a device which made radio-controlled torpedoes significantly harder to avoid. It allowed the controller of the torpedoes to switch (or "hop") frequencies as the torpedo was being directed, which meant that the defender had a MUCH harder time trying to detect and/or jam frequencies as the torpedo closed in on him. It was a relatively simple, but brilliant invention, which eventually made its way into spread-spectrum communication technology, such as COFDM and CDMA.

 I would put a picture of the FHSS up, but screw that, let's just have another one of her.
 I would put a picture of the FHSS up, but screw that, let's just have another one of her.



1806-1859  Look at the SIZE OF THOSE GODDAMN CHAINS.
1806-1859  Look at the SIZE OF THOSE GODDAMN CHAINS.
Let me make this utterly clear:
There never has been, and there never will be, any engineer greater than Isembard Kingdom Brunel.
This guy was a cosmic phenomenon. He's my personal hero. He did more than you would ever believe. He was a crotchety, misanthropic old bastard, who lived to build big-ass stuff and hated everybody else. He was the right man, at the right time, and good God, did he accomplish a lot.

 That's him, scowling, second from the right.
 That's him, scowling, second from the right.

So how about some back story? Mr. Brunel was a British construction engineer (nowadays we'd probably call him a civil engineer, but.....not entirely). Among many, many other accomplishments, Mr. Brunel is best known for:
  • Building the Great Western Railway in England
  • Building the first propeller-driven trans-Atlantic steamship (also, the largest ship ever built at the time)
  • Building the first tunnel under a river (pioneered using a method that we still use today, the "tunneling shield")
  • Building the first trans-oceanic telegraph system
  • Building the Clifton Suspension Bridge in Bristol, the largest suspension bridge (700 feet long, 200 feet above the bed) ever devised at the time
  • Setting the standards still used today for surveying, especially for railroad construction
  • Proposing an extension of the English railways TO AMERICA via steam-powered iron-clad ships
  • Surviving three cave-ins that killed most (and once, ALL) of his construction crew
  • Smoking 40 cigars a day
  • Sleeping 5 hours a night
  • Generally kicking ass and building shit that's still around and working fine to this very day

The "tunneling shield", a method to construct tunnels in highly unstable environments, still used to this day 200 years after it was created.

 Most of Brunel's bridges exist to this day, requiring only minor renovations to remain in service
 Most of Brunel's bridges exist to this day, requiring only minor renovations to remain in service

 The "Great Eastern" steamship, in all its glory. It was capable of making a round-trip from England to Australia and BACK, without refueling.

And now to wrap things up

"Wow, I really suck." 
I'm of the opinion that life is about asking yourself questions. Questions, which don't necessarily have answers. "Do I suck?" is one such question. I think that personally, I can't live up to the achievements of these individuals. At least, not in the near future. And now without a good bit of luck. Does that mean I suck? Or is it all situational? Were they just luckier than me, in time or placement, in knowledge or ability?
Regardless, I think we grow by simply thinking about these questions. It's good to reflect on what's been done by others. It's good to see, and think, about the achievements of great men and women that came before us. 
That enough philosophical rambling for now, wouldn't you say?

I'm Complaining About Giantbomb



So check this out, I've got some major beef to root up with Giantbomb and now I'm going to outline it in a truly intellectual and methodical format. This officially makes me part of the COOL CLUB so you all better watch out.
1) Sometimes I don't agree with what the Giantbomb guys say. That's bullshit. They should always agree with me. After all, my opinions are just facts that other people haven't learned yet.  Look at Jeff, down there. Man, FUCK THAT, he likes some Tony Hawk bullshit, and I HATE skaters. God damn, what a JERK Jeff is.

Jeff's puppy-dog-eyes don't have any effect on me.
Jeff's puppy-dog-eyes don't have any effect on me.

2) Once in a while, I notice that some idiots on Giantbomb don't like or even OWN the same console that I do. Man that pisses me right the fuck off. I took the time to find and register on this website, you fools should recognize that my console passion is clearly the superior one.
 The fuck is this? It's a bullshit console for bullshitters to own. Blerdyblerdyblahblahpenisblahblah.
 The fuck is this? It's a bullshit console for bullshitters to own. Blerdyblerdyblahblahpenisblahblah.
3) Sometimes when people act like dicks, they get called out on it. Whoa, wait, what?? How the fuck is that fair? People should be able to act like total assholes and be free from any and all repercussions. 
Oh man this is witty, take a minute to figure it out
Oh man this is witty, take a minute to figure it out
4)  I'm fucking doin' this for a quest and FUCK the rules, man, I don't know any better LOLOLLLOOLLL 
 Check it: I got like 50XP for bothering you, isn't that sweet?
 Check it: I got like 50XP for bothering you, isn't that sweet?

5) I can't spell or write worth a fuck but god-DAMN if that's not going to stop me from trying to compose entire compositions and pass them off as legitimate forum material.
 I really have no idea, I just Googled
 I really have no idea, I just Googled "bullshit" and got a picture of Francis Bacon.

I'm SICK of all your crap.

I make no apologies for my potentially offensive blog title.

Simply because it's entirely true. Though not in the sense you probably assumed. This blog post is a public service announcement! And also part of a quest, but hey, I'm not spamming like everyone else! I have a purpose!
 I am here to educate you all about a subject near and dear to my own heart: 

Where does the poo go?

 This is actually a real book.
 This is actually a real book.

That's right. Poo. Crap. Shit. Big brown bombs. Turds. Ass candy. Cornhole gold. Or as we in engineering call it: "biosolids". 
I bet you never ever thought about this before, huh? You just take a seat on your toilet, let 'er rip on out, and then flush the little magic lever that whisks away your 8-hour breakfast to a magical, unknown place. Those holes in the street? Who KNOWS what they're for, right? Who CARES?

 This guy has one of the worst jobs in the world. Trust me.
 This guy has one of the worst jobs in the world. Trust me.

Well, I'm here to break it down for you, kiddos. Here's a nice, brief overview of what happens to your crap. And hopefully, by the end of this, you'll be a little less prone to knee-jerk reactions against the hard-workin' guys and gals at your local sanitary district. All right, let's get started.
STEP 1: You crap, you flush, and it begins.
I was considering putting an image in for the crapping step, but (wisely) decided against it. Most home toilets hook into the sewer mains via lateral pipes as shown in my totally awesome Paint image below. [Yes, yes, okay, some people have septic tanks, but let's ignore them for the sake of brevity.]

 Megabowl: THE Toilet for the Hefty Gentleman
 Megabowl: THE Toilet for the Hefty Gentleman

And away it goes! If you care, lateral pipes are usually about 4 inches in diameter, while sewer mains can range up to several feet across (I've stood upright inside 8-foot mains before, it's pretty crazy.)
STEP 2: Snakes and Ladders 
Protip for anybody who is thinking about designing a sanitary collection system: water (and shit) flows downhill. That's why, most of the time, you'll find wastewater treatment plants (WWTPs) located at the lowest possible elevation. In valleys, in canyons, etc. That way, the majority of the flow simply comes straight to the plant! Sometimes, though, there's stupid hills or mountains in the way, and that's when you need pumping stations. You might see some of these pumping stations throughout your neighborhood. They're usually pretty clearly labeled with big "PUMP STATION" signs and "STAY THE HELL OUT" signs.

 If we cannot pass over the mountain, let us go under it! Let us go through the halls of MORIA.
 If we cannot pass over the mountain, let us go under it! Let us go through the halls of MORIA.

 You gotta give credit to the guys that maintain the pipelines that run throughout our cities. These underground pipes are very difficult to install, very difficult to repair (impossible, really), and pretty dangerous to work with. Most older pipelines in the U.S. are made from concrete, and many of our older systems are suffering from terrible corrosion issues nowadays. Newer pipes tend to be PVC (or some other plastic) which are far more corrosion resistant. Usually, when a concrete segment fails, the district goes in and just replaces it with a PVC segment, rather than trying to repair the concrete.
 This is what the inside of a typical pumping station looks like. Those long, gray, cylindrical things are the pumps themselves, and they pump away 24/7 pushing your shit up and over the elevations in your district, so that it can ultimately get to the WWTP.

 Key variables in pump design are
 Key variables in pump design are "shaft work" and "head". Again, not kidding. You know you're an engineer when these terms no longer make you laugh.

Step 3: The Plant
Understanding a wastewater treatment plant is.......well, it's fucking complicated, and I'm sure as hell not going to explain every aspect of it. Look at the picture below if you're curious. (And yes, I COULD explain every single one of those damn things, I just don't wanna). Plants range vastly in size. A "moderate" plant will handle about 45 million gallons per day of incoming sewage, and that can quadruple (or more) in big wet weather events. 
Let's pause for a second and consider that. Say the "average" flow is 45 million gallons per day (MGD). But the peak flow, during a huge storm, might be 250 MGD. You have to design your plant to operate at that WHOLE range. From, say, a 30 MGD minimum to the 250 MGD maximum. That's a goddamn HUGE design range. That's nuts. That means that, on average, 80% of your plant will be unused. But you need that capacity there to handle the wet weather events! And if you don't have it, you get fined, sued, and fired when overflows start happening. (An overflow is simply a backup in the sewage line, usually resulting in manholes popping off and sewage spraying into people's homes and so forth. The EPA simply loves overflows because it gets to fine the sewage district shit-tons of money any time one happens).

 A pretty typical plant. The trickling filter thing is a little uncommon, but whatever, you can design these plants in like a million ways.
 A pretty typical plant. The trickling filter thing is a little uncommon, but whatever, you can design these plants in like a million ways.

All you really need to know is the following order for how a WWTP works:
1) You take the heavy things out of the flow (tree branches, skateboards, you name it)
2) You take smaller things out of the flow (sand, grit, pebbles, etc.)
3) You separate the flow into two components: sludge (biosolids) and liquor (stinky brown water)
4) The sludge goes one way, and the liquor goes another.
What we're going to talk about is the sludge. Sludge is a generic term for the concentrated flows of biosolids that you start seeing at the end of the plant process. You see that thing called the "sludge thickener" in the picture above? That's right about where we're going to start paying attention. That device is taking all the sludge lines that have been created so far (there's a couple which come from different parts of the plant) and it mixes them all together into one, uniform flow.
Yes, this is exactly as disgusting as it sounds.  It's stinky, pathogenic, disgusting, slimy, and horrible. Sludge is the third-worst thing you can imagine at a WWTP.  Don't worry, we'll get to the other two.

 This is a
 This is a "light" sludge. It's one of the LESS offensive sludge flows you'll see at a WWTP.

Step 4: Killing the Sludge
How do you get rid of all this horrible sludge? Well, there's two ways: burning it and digesting it. I'm deliberately omitting a step here, that step being DRYING the sludge, because I have a great/horrible story about that that I'm saving for the end. 

I absolutely love incineration. In most places (especially here in California) it gets a bad rap because people are idiots and don't know the first thing about engineering. The common belief is that it's not "green" because it has fire and smoke, so it MUST be dirty. The truth is it has almost exactly the same greenhouse gas emissions as the "green" way of destroying biosolids, digestion (which we'll cover in a second). The best kind of incinerator is called a Fluidized Bed Incinerator, and you can see it below. It's basically a huge can full of sand. You heat it up with natural gas, then throw some sludge in there. The sludge burns, and as long as you keep adding more sludge, the temperature stays high enough to maintain combustion (that means you can cut the natural gas feeds, it will keep running with just sludge). You also make a LOT OF HEAT which you can use to make steam, which can be used to spin turbines, which make electric power that you can use around the plant. So that's pretty cool.

 Another protip: Don't touch the sides of these furnaces with your bare hands.
 Another protip: Don't touch the sides of these furnaces with your bare hands.

You gotta marvel at the majesty of Creation, because sure enough, there are some microorganisms ("bugs", as we say) out there that just can't wait to eat your shit. That's exactly what an anaerobic digester tank takes advantage of. It's a huge, "bug" rich, stomach tank. You pump in sludge, the "bugs" inside eat it up and fart out methane gas, and then you take the methane gas and burn it. You can get energy out of burning that methane, which is a big draw for plants to use digestion.

No Caption Provided
And that's pretty much how you destroy crap. There's more to it, of course. A LOT more. But I think this is a pretty good quick and dirty (ha) overview.  Read on if you wish to hear a truly sad, disgusting story about the fall of a noble man.

The Legend of Gary
Remember how I said I omitted a step? Drying the sludge? Well, it turns out that you don't want to incinerate really wet sludge. Go figure. Most mixed sludge lines are about 5% actual sludge and 95% water. Protip: Don't try to burn water, it doesn't fucking work. 
So you want to dry that out somewhat. A good incineration value is 22% sludge and 78% water. (That sounds like it's still a lot of water, but this is really as far as you can dewater most sludges in common practice.) This 22% sludge is called the "cake". Because it has pretty much the same consistency of a nice, soft cake. A cake made of shit. Hyper-compressed, concentrated, compacted, warm, gooey, shit.
 This is some cake. This looks like it's more than 22%, probably more than 30%. A standard 22% cake is much....gooier.
 This is some cake. This looks like it's more than 22%, probably more than 30%. A standard 22% cake is much....gooier.

So how do you dry the cake? You don't want to do it thermally. Again, like I said, it's stupid to heat water. So you use mechanical means. A nice big belt press, or in Gary's case, a centrifuge.
 I want you to realize that industrial centrifuges are big. Really big. These ain't your pansy little high school centrifuges.
 I want you to realize that industrial centrifuges are big. Really big. These ain't your pansy little high school centrifuges.
Poor Gary was a WWTP operator. His centrifuges were running just fine until one day there was a high pressure alarm on Centrifuge #4. Gary, being a fresh new hire, eagerly jumped on the chance to prove himself. He turned off the centrifuge from the control room, ran downstairs to the plant floor, and looked at the now-off centrifuge. What ever could be wrong? Knowing that he turned it off, Gary proceeded to crawl under the centrifuge and find the access hatch that permitted a look inside the machine.

 This is a chili dog. I'll leave the rest up to you.
 This is a chili dog. I'll leave the rest up to you.

Gary, from that day forward, would be forever known as "Chili Dog" among his fellow plant workers. Upon opening that hatch, a veritable flood of rich, creamy cake covered Gary from head to toe. He cried out for help, and suffice it to say that his situation did not improve. After being hosed down outside the building, Gary went home early that day. About two weeks later, Gary's skin color returned to its normal hue.
That's all, folks. Thanks for reading, and maybe next time you take a fat dump, think about all the poor schmucks that it might traumatize.
Oh and hey, if any mods feel like checking me out, you know, that would rock.

On the Various Kinds of Engineers

I, by training, creed and practice, am a chemical engineer. And in so being, I have developed a loathing for all other "engineers" who attempt to lay claim to the profession. Not really, but still, there are certainly broad stereotypes that I've noticed which are pretty comical. I've decided to construct this handy list so that all you non-engineers out there can tell some of us apart with just a few, simple tips:

CHEMICAL ENGINEERS (the best engineers)

No Caption Provided
It can be tricky to pick out ChEs from a crowd of engineers, but sure-fire indicators are the following:
  • We're (usually) the only engineers who will ever talk about chemistry in any appreciable way. This gets muddy when biochemical engineers and material science engineers start getting in the mix, but those guys are nerds, who cares about them anyway.
  • We're the highest paid, so we have the best clothes.
  • We're the handsomest ones.
  • ChEs are pretty good about talking about all fields of engineers, not in any great depth, but they have good grasps on a lot of different branches. We can talk "shop" about mechanical engineering, controls engineering, civil engineering, electrical engineering (sometimes), material science engineering, and so on. Just don't ask us detailed questions or we'll run away.
  • ALPHA VERSION: Alpha ChEs aren't ChE's at all, usually. They're typically highly specialized lab scientists from fields like chemistry, biology, physics, etc. All research done in engineering is so advanced now that the amount of theoretical training you need is through the roof; that's why you need to be a heavy academic (read, "lab nerd") to be an Alpha.
  • PROTIP: ChEs absolutely LOVE terms like "CSTR", "PFR", "batch reactor", "stripping (or) rectifying", and "mass transfer". Try yelling them at parties to see who looks at you. Just keep in mind that saying these terms might give you false positives from other disciplines, since the terms are inter-disciplinary. Just in general, though, ChEs have a thing for them more than most.


No Caption Provided
MechEs are the dirty, hard-workin' grunts of the engineering world. They like gears, and motors, and flanges, and all sorts of wild mechanized bullshit. 
  • MechEs are the guys that actually know what's going on at any kind of industrial plant. If you find a pump or something and you don't know how it works, 9 times out of 10, a MechE will come running up and give you the info.
  • NEVER EVER ask MechEs about their god-damn cars. Nothing good results from this. They will NEVER shut up if you get them started.
  • MechEs stole the fields of combustion and paper-making from ChEs, the dirty rat bastards, so if you hear anybody talking about these two fields, it's a good bet they're MechE thieves.                                                                                                                                                                           
  • ALPHA VERSION: Sometimes you'll find a MechE that doesn't talk about his car, but instead talks about microelectronic fabrication, or prototype rocket designs, or MEM Structures, or nano-robots. These types of "high thought" MechEs are rare (since remember, they're grunts) so pay attention if you meet one. It's kind of like how orcs sometimes have orc shamans that lead them; these guys know a bunch of mystical guru-science that you can't hope to comprehend.
  • PROTIP: MechEs LOVE the phrases "stress", "strain", "shear", and "Young's Modulus". Try shouting these terms around, and see who turns their heads.


EEs are strange, foreign entities that don't obey any of the standard rules that other, "heavy" engineers (ChEs, MechEs, CivEs, etc.) tend to follow. They operate in their own weird-ass universe of 1's and 0's. 
No Caption Provided
There's two kinds of EEs: the Tesla Disciple, and the Matrix Jacker.
  • The Tesla Disciple is one who loves running cables, setting up big wiring systems, making amateur lightning coils, creating wild little robots, and generally doing shit you can actually see IRL. Never EVER become room-mates with a Tesla Disciple, because he/she WILL put your life in danger.
  • The Matrix Jacker is a code monkey, who lives in front of a computer screen. He'll slave away for weeks and weeks, and then suddenly jump up and scream "HELL YES IT WORKS, I'M THE BEST" and run around like an idiot. You won't know what he did, and if you sat down in front of the computer and tried to figure it out, you still wouldn't know. But damn if he isn't happy about it.                          
  • All EEs are the nerdiest looking of all engineers. Hands down.
  • All EE clans also, for some entirely inexplicable reason, can instantly recognize and shun an outsider engineer.
  • ALPHA VERSION: Elite EEs are terrifying. Again, they tend to be heavily cross-disciplined, but they just KNOW things they shouldn't know. You'll find Alpha EEs that are world-class chemists, and some that are god-damn structural engineers making little tiny fucking cities on a microchip, and doing circuits with them and shit. It makes no sense.
  • PROTIP: Good phrases for rooting out EEs are the following: "Ohm's Law", "Plasma Etching", "Signals", "Bode Plots", "SOI process flow", "fucking transistors, how do they work?", and "electron migration".

CIVIL ENGINEERS (the do-gooders)

 CivEs are generally the nicest of the engineering clique, and as such, they get kicked around a lot.
No Caption Provided
  • There's two kinds of CivEs: the Brunel, and the Green Knight.
  • The Brunel is one who likes to build things. Big fuckin' things. Things like skyscrapers and bridges and tunnels and such. These guys can be pretty intense because the amount of pressure on a Brunel is HUGE (I mean, what if that bridge goes all Tacoma Narrows on you? Guess who's fired? And sued? YOU.)
  • The Green Knight is concerned about the environment and wants to protect Mother Earth. The Green Knights tend to start off really optimistic about their careers and idealistic about how they can help the world, but a few years in college (or even better, actual work) tends to crush these notions. The fact that it costs hella bank to protect the environment is a big turnoff for most of them, but a brave few actually suffer through the economics and end up becoming very successful. Green Knights are pretty easy-going (as long as you don't litter in front of them).
  • ALPHA VERSION: Alpha CivEs are generally pretty rad. They're smart as hell but pretty laid back about it. The Brunels, again, can be a little more uptight than the Green Knights, but in general both types are chill. The best of them tend to be microbiologist specialists who look at little bugs all day and figure out how they eat, grow, rail, and so forth. They basically play Spore non-stop in real life, so yeah, they're cool.
  • PROTIP: Terms like "wastewater treatment", "sanitation", "trusses", "structural reinforcement", "water quality", "air quality", and "suspension bridges" tend to lure out CivEs. There can be significant cross-contamination of MechEs, though, if you're looking for Brunels, so watch out for that.
I could add in MSEs, IndustrialEs, BioChemEs, ControlEs, and many more, but I'm really tired so I think I'll cut my losses here.
What do you guys think? What stereotypes would you like to counter with? I can only wonder what horrible retaliation will be coming my way.

My God, the PAIN

 Sore throats follow a very standard protocol for me. They always have. For the past 21 years, they've proceeded as follows:
First day: First signs that something is wrong: Scratchy throat, hot throat, etc. Within 6 hours of first signs will have throat in incredible pain. Can't swallow or breathe without cringing. 
Second day: Continuation of the first day. Usually worsening of symptoms. Second night typically the hardest to get sleep through.
Third day: Slight abatement in sore throat, increase in nasal congestion. Becomes very difficult to breathe through the nose, but throat at least is tolerable. The worst part is over. Sleep actually possible on the third night (but difficult).
Fourth day: No more throat issues, but total nasal stoppage. Have to blow nose constantly. Sleep on fourth night not that hard.
Fifth day: Nose clears up, but phlegm starts to crowd the throat. Have to spend whole fifth day hacking up phlegm (but at least throat doesn't really HURT)
Sixth day: Usually okay by sixth day. 
And of course, I'm taking several thousand mgs of Vitamin C and Zinc and drinking tons of orange juice every one of these days, causing horrible diarrhea. I've found this is the fastest way to get over the horror.
Also, first blog EVER. How's that for a high note?