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Tag Archives: secretive

Guys.  I have a fascination with sinkholes (because they’re generally spontaneous) and other giant holes in the ground, like blue holes and the Door to Hell and excessively deep open pit mines (I once worked at one, but only as a contractor).

And I have discovered a giant hole in the ground.

Ok, so I did not personally discover a giant hole in the ground.  I discovered that it exists.  And this giant hole in the ground is really the now inactive Mirny mine, the second biggest open pit mine in the world.  The biggest one is the Bingham Canyon Mine (the company that owns this mine also owns the one I worked at), which I actually think looks less impressive than the Mirny mine.

Here is the Bingham Canyon Mine.

Bingham mine 5-10-03.jpg
Bingham mine 5-10-03“. Licensed under Public domain via Wikimedia Commons.


And here is the Mirny mine.

Mirny in Yakutia.jpg
Mirny in Yakutia” by StaselnikOwn work. Licensed under CC BY-SA 3.0 via Wikimedia Commons.

They are impressive looking, wot?  Especially the Mirny mine.

So, both photos show you a giant hole in the ground, but even though you don’t really have the context of the surroundings for the Mirny mine, you can see that the grade into the pit is much steeper than that of the Bingham Canyon Mine.  It looks much more like a giant hole than it does a canyon, which is arguably less impressive than a hole.

But take a look at these photos here.  You can see that there were support buildings pretty much built right up to the brink of the pit.  And the hole is just…giant.  It’s kind of mind-boggling that there’s this giant hole in the ground that helicopters are apparently not allowed to fly over because the air is too unstable for them to maintain proper flight.

I also like the story with the De Beers people only having 20 minutes with the mine to try and solve the mystery of it’s never-ending gem quality diamonds.

Um…that was it.  I just wanted to show you a giant pit in the ground.  You can carry on with your day now.


I’ve been thinking about where I’d like to take my career recently.  I’ve thought about going back to school for an advanced degree (not really thrilled with the idea), going back to school for some professional qualifications (still not really thrilled with the idea), just slogging through as I have (easiest), or possibly getting my PE license (ehhh).  But…that last option has a perk that the others don’t necessarily offer.  If I had my PE license, I could join…THE ORDER OF THE ENGINEER.

Secret societies.  They’re so interesting!

Ok, so the Order of the Engineer is not really a secret society.  They’re a…public society?  In that, they don’t have secret rituals and the like.  The Order of the Engineer is a US association for graduate and professional engineers that emphasizes responsibility in the profession.  It’s based on something Canada has done since the early 1900s in which they present graduate engineers with an Iron Ring in the Ritual of the Calling of an Engineer.  The ring is functional rather than ornamental and is meant to be worn on the pinky finger of the dominant hand so that it drags when you write.  It serves as a reminder of your moral, ethical, and professional commitment as an engineer.

The US has formalized all this into a fellowship of engineers you can join as a professional engineer called the Order of the Engineer.  They have a similar ritual in which the initiate is presented with the Engineer’s Ring after taking an oath to abide by the Obligation of an Engineer.

So all of this is extremely interesting to me.  Groups of people with particular or peculiar habits/rituals/whatever are interesting to me.  But…I’m not sure if I’d be willing to put in the work to get my PE just so I could join this Order of the Engineer so I could observe them from the inside.  It probably is the wrong reason to join.