A Two-Word Phrase Beginning with “Cluster” and Rhyming with “Luck”

Here’s the latest on the causes of the Gulf blowout. According to WaPo‘s Steve Mufson,

BP’s internal investigation of the Gulf Coast oil spill points to a series of equipment failures, mistakes and missed warning signs that led to the blowout and fire on the Deepwater Horizon drilling rig, according to lawmakers briefed by the company. . .

Once the blowout began, all the systems in place to prevent disaster broke down in serial fashion, the memorandum said, “including the failure of its emergency disconnect system (EDS), the failure of its automated mode function or deadman switch, the failure of the [blowout preventer’s] shearing functions, and the failure of the remote operated vehicle interventions.”

The technical term for this is a surprisingly apt two-word phrase defined by Urban Dictionary to mean:

Military term for a situation caused by too many inept officers, cluster referring to the insignia worn by majors and Lt. Colonels, oak leaf clusters.

military use: a situation where nothing will go right, casualties will occur, evac will not happen, often engineered by the stupid.


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Dan Farber has written and taught on environmental and constitutional law as well as about contracts, jurisprudence and legislation. Currently at Berkeley Law, he has al…

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