So I got two super cool books for my birthday from some guy named Nate. :)
This is like the definitive Newton bio. I’ve wanted to read this since I first heard of it, and now I can! I might have to put it on the bookshelf opposite of the bookshelf with my Leibniz shrine, though, haha.
Giant Antarctica book (this picture makes it look deceptively average-sized). It’s been a looong time since I got a new book on Antarctica, so yay!
Now the question is, do I delve right into Newton’s bio or should I re-read Leibniz’ for the nth time first? I’ll read them both back-to-back, it’s just a question of which one to start with.
Thank you, Nate! :D
News from the Antarctic!
WHAT IS THIS (and why have I not heard about this discovery until now?).
In January of 2013, a photographer’s notebook was found at one of Robert Falcon Scott’s base camps in Antarctica.
(Scott, for those of you unaware, was a British explorer who raced for the South Pole in 1912 against Norwegian Roald Amundsen, but died on his return from the Pole after discovering Amundsen had reached it days earlier).
The notebook is a photographer’s notebook and belonged to George Murray Levick, a surgeon and photographer who had been part of Scott’s last expedition. In it are notes about photos Levick had taken at Cape Adare, which is on an itty bitty little projection of land off of Victoria Land (near the Ross Ice Shelf).
Those in charge of the Antarctic Heritage Trust say that they can match up Levick’s notes with many of the pictures that they’ve already got preserved.
How cool is that?
(I still want to go down there.)
More Mindless Drivel from a Meaningless Mind
I have a bad habit of writing random notes to myself in the middle of Word documents containing stories/research papers/etc.
Like, I just tack the note onto the end of a paragraph, regardless of said paragraph’s contents.
Example: so this fanfic…it’s like 130 pages and it’s gotten really, really dark, right? Around page 80, there’s this huge scene where the characters are talking about self-harm. At the end of one particularly emotionally-charged paragraph I have in all caps: “JOHN UPDIKE LOOKS LIKE A BAMF.” (well, he does.)
And then a couple pages later: “BUY SHAMPOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!”
More somber and much more important news. God, look at that thing:
That’s so depressing I don’t even have words.
Related: here’s an article from back in 2011 that actually has a compressed sample of the sound another massive iceberg made when it split (tell me this isn’t the most haunting sound ever).
I would wash dishes for the rest of my life if doing so would be my job down at McMurdo or the South Pole.
Jobs! Jobs for weird polar-obsessed people like me!
One of my ultimate goals is still to get down there. Maybe once I get my current “issues” fixed up to the point that they’re manageable I’ll apply to be a kitchen helper or a janitor or a housing assistant. Hell, I’d sort their garbage if that would get me down there.
I wonder if they need anyone to run some stats…?
I don’t know if I’ve blogged about this yet (I don’t think I have), but my dad told me a few months back that next winter (December 2011 or January 2012, assuming the solar flares don’t kill us all) he’d like to take a cruise down south to Cape Horn (southern tip of South America) and…you guessed it…Antarctica.
I was jazzed about this for about 24 hours until I realized something: how appropriate is it to allow cruise ships to sail through the already delicate ecosystem down there?
The Princess Cruise website claims: “The most isolated continent on Earth, Antarctica is home to massive icebergs, majestic mountain ranges and diverse wildlife in a wilderness setting that has a purity as inspiring as it is remote.”
Remote until you catch sight of the five other giant cruise ships muscling their way for “scenic cruising” during the two or three months it’s warm enough for them to venture so far south. It strikes me as wrong on a certain level, you know? I mean, you all know that I’d practically saw off my arm to get the opportunity to frolic around Terra Australis, but not at the expense of unnecessarily disrupting the wildlife.
So as much as it kills me, I think I might have to say no to this solely out of principle. We’ll see how things go in the coming year, but who knows. I mean, trucking a crap ton of scientists down there is one thing…letting regular people disrupt the goings on of the animals/environment for the sake of taking a pleasure cruise is another.
I’m sure if I’m destined to go there, the universe will find a way.
Today’s song: Phazing (Tiësto Remix) by Dirty South and Rudy (the opening minute of this song is EPIC)
A love for the ice
I’ve been getting a lot of questions lately over why I like Antarctica so much. I have yet to be able to explain it. Maybe it’s because it’s such a strange thing to love, a continent. I guess I just love the adventure that goes along with it, you know? The fact that it was the last continent explored, the last left unsettled (at least permanently, or left unsettled by all but the scientists)…and it was called “Terra Incognita” for quite sometime.
It’s got a romantic sense about it (“romantic” as in the period, not the lovey-dovey kind): wilderness left untouched by man for centuries, then explored by a few daring men at the turn of the century. Then, left again until about 40 years later when science finally found interest and the means to further explore it.
I like the extremeness of it. I’ve always been a bit of a climatology geek (blame my dad for that one) and extreme climates have always interested me. Antarctica = extreme climate = Claudia happy…well, you get the picture. Plus I like ice.
Glaciers. I love glaciers. I guess I have a thing for the massive towers of floating ice, especially when they’ve been carved and shaped by the wind. How pretty.
Antarctica is a resource, and I’m not talking about energy or oil or any of that crap. I mean it’s a resource for us in regards to the earth’s past. It’s like a photo album of the world arranged in chronological order with the most recent pictures in front. The further we explore and the more we’re able to dig and bring up core samples, the further we can flip back in this photo album and get shots of what the world was like. And hey—how cool is that?
I don’t know. I guess I just like it. It’s hard to explain why. Yeah, all those reasons above count, but there’s more to it.
And I just realized I kind of copied Matt’s idea of trying to explain why one likes their hobby (or, in my case, continent). Sorry, Matt. I’m a dork.
The Pitcher in the Sourdough
Hello people! Guess what I’m doing today with some money from my first paycheck? I’m starting an Antarctica fund. That’s right, I’m saving up to get my butt down to Terra Incognita.
Haha, yeah. Just thought you’d like to know. Plus, it’s late, I’m tired, and I don’t have anything else to write about. More tomorrow. Promise.
Kudos if you got the reference of the title…or rather, what the title is making fun of.