From the Greek meaning 'heavy with wine'
A blog devoted to science and reason
Written after a glass or two of Pinot Noir.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

St. Patrick Was an Engineer?

If you believe the engineering students at my alma mater, the University of Missouri, St. Patrick did more than drive the snakes from Eire. From the MU Archives:
The students of the College of Engineering at the University of Missouri-Columbia were the first to "discover" that St. Patrick was an engineer. Since 1903, UMC engineering students have celebrated St. Patrick's Day (March 17) as a holiday set aside for engineers. This celebration has developed into a week of festivities, including lab exhibits, a canned food drive, a knighting ceremony, St. Pat.'s Ball, and the coronation of the King and Queen of the engineers.
According to engineering tradition, the discovery that St. Patrick was an engineer began with the excavations for the Engineering Annex Building. During the excavation, a stone was unearthed with a message in an ancient language. This message was translated into "Erin Go Bragh." Although those of Irish descent may recognize "Erin Go Bragh" as "Ireland Forever," the engineers loosely translated this phrase as, "St. Patrick was an engineer." The stone, now known as the Blarney Stone, is an integral part of the St. Pat. festivities. The engineers looked to the legend that St. Patrick drove the snakes out of Ireland as proof of his engineering skills. They further credit St. Patrick with the invention of calculus. 
For more on Engineering Week at Mizzou, follow this link.

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