Sunday, May 4, 2008

Darkness, Links



(This was a "travelogue" e-mail, sent out on May 2, 2008)


Hi All,

Well, as you can imagine it’s getting quite dark and cold down here these days. The last sunset was almost a week ago, and the most we get is a bit of twilight in the middle of the day. It’s okay, though, I’m kind of looking forward to the darkness. It hasn’t affected me much mood-wise, except for a touch of insomnia. There is a light room here in the main galley building, in case the darkness gets really old. It’s just a vacant dorm room with about ten extra fluorescent fixtures added. I think they use full-spectrum bulbs, too. There is also a greenhouse on station, which I haven’t had a chance to check out yet on this tour. Very strange weather lately—blowing mist at well below zero. Yesterday’s low was -17F, with a low wind chill of -45F. That’s not any worse than weather we were having six weeks ago, but there was a lot of moisture in the air, which formed hoar frost on everything, and felt extra chilly against exposed skin. I drove out to the Pegasus runway, on the ice shelf to troubleshoot a data network yesterday. The road is flagged with bamboo flags—at times we could only see three or four of them at a time. Found some interesting links for y’all to peruse, in case all the warmth and light in your lives gets to be a grind. First, you can read a nice article about my coworker, Antz Powell, in our newspaper, the Antarctic Sun: http://antarcticsun.usap.gov/features/contentHandler.cfm?id=1402. You can view the paper in general, including back issues at: http://antarcticsun.usap.gov/ . Another interesting blog/site developed by a McMurdo local (fellow contractor) is Big Dead Place: http://www.bigdeadplace.com/. He makes some rather controversial and insightful observations about the bureaucracy behind the polar program. Warner Herzog did a documentary about life down here, called Encounters at the End of the World; you can see details at: http://encountersfilm.com/. I haven’t seen that one yet, but it sounds interesting. There is a review and some background information about that film posted on Big Dead Place. Another new film out is Ice People: http://www.icepeople.com/index.html. Haven’t seen that one yet, either, but I understand both films had some footage of McMurdo and our unique local population—most likely some folks I know. I’d like to hear back from you on these films and links, and any other you discover. There seems to be a lot of interest in the ice right now, and it’s fascinating to see it from this perspective.

Cheers,

Lee
("Frosty Bike" by Ken Klassy, a coworker. "Flags" picture not taken lately-- just to show what a flagged ice shelf road looks like.)

1 comment:

Susan Adams said...

Wow...cute name...you are so damn clever. You know you should write for a living don't you? To hell with facilitating. You are a born journalist. I was one...I should know.

I think there is a job opening at the Prescott Courier for 20K

xoxoxo

Susan