December 31, 2006

Happy New Year from Antarctica

IceStock was held yesterday, though it was windy and bit colder during the day. The ANITA payload is still traveling on its merry, and rather bizarre, course. Back over some ice again, so the current data should be okay. Will bag drag tonight, get weighed and get my luggage into the aircraft packing system.

Probably back in the US by the end of the week. Will be good to see those little gals again!

Posted by duver001 at 9:01 PM

December 28, 2006

December 25, 2006

James Brown is not immortal

I know we suspected that he might not be, but learning it from the BBC at 1AM in Antarctica made it a particularly large surprise. The 20th Century must finally be over.

Posted by duver001 at 6:40 AM

December 24, 2006

Imagining Dawkins on Santa Claus

I can't quite decide if this is a spot-on parody of Dawkins, or if it's a friendly homage. Funny either way I think.

Posted by duver001 at 10:53 PM

December 23, 2006

Christmas on the icy continent

The Christmas celebration is going be this evening, the 24th in McMurdo time, and the 23rd back in the States. The third payload is getting ready to launch. What else is there to report? We rotated the polarization angle of the Seavey by 20 degrees a few minutes ago...

Amended on the 25th, local time: We had a big Christmas dinner last night, lobster tails and Beef Wellington. Then a lot of wine at the coffee shop/wine bar. This morning, back to work.

Posted by duver001 at 8:44 PM

December 21, 2006

All Turkmen must wail and nash their teeth

Niyazov is dead.

Posted by duver001 at 4:24 PM

"Big black nemesis"

Parthenogenesis observed in Komodo Dragons. Shriekback's rhyming of parthenogenesis improved my zoological vocabulary...

Posted by duver001 at 4:10 PM

December 19, 2006

Iraq continues to spiral down into chaos

And that is chaos in the bad sense, not the positive sense.

Posted by duver001 at 1:53 AM

Better ANITA/Antarctica map

Here.

Posted by duver001 at 1:49 AM

December 15, 2006

A video game in which one goes around killing non-xtians

Army recruiting tool? Nope, commcercial game from the folks who brought you left behind and the turner diaries.

Posted by duver001 at 10:35 AM

Mugabe to continue as president

Among his achievements are the lowest life expectancy in the world, the highest inflation, and 50%+ unemployment. In a country that used to be the "bread-basket" of Africa.

Posted by duver001 at 10:25 AM

December 14, 2006

ANITA is aloft

You can follow its trajectory here.

Posted by duver001 at 10:32 PM

Howl

So, in addition to the classic, we also have howl.com from the era of the .com boom. And Yowl, the yuppie classic.

Posted by duver001 at 10:27 PM

Today's "Writer's Almanac" on Amundsen

It was on this day in 1911 that the Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen and his team became the first people ever to reach the South Pole on the continent of Antarctica.

As far as we know, Antarctica was the last continent on earth to be explored by people. No one knows for sure who saw it first, but a Polynesian legend from New Zealand tells of a man in a war canoe sailing south and discovering a frozen ocean. In 1774, the English explorer James Cook saw vast mountains of ice to the south when he sailed around the southern tip of South America, and he believed there was probably a land mass behind the ice.

The first people to really explore the edges of Antarctica were the seal hunters who began to slaughter the fur seals that gathered by the thousands on Antarctica's shores. The Englishmen Robert F. Scott and Earnest Shackleton were the first men to lead teams into the interior of Antarctica, and Scott went on to try to find the South Pole. He was followed by another explorer named Roald Amundsen, who had decided to join the quest at the last minute.

Amundsen's expedition was a full eight weeks behind Scott's, and when word got out that he was racing to beat the famous English explorer, most people thought Amundsen was crazy. But he had a secret weapon: a team of well-trained Greenland sled dogs. Scott had decided not to use dogs for transportation because, he said, "No journey ever made with dogs can approach the height of that fine conception which is realized when men go forth to face hardships, dangers, and difficulties with their own unaided efforts."

As a result of Scott's aversion to dogs, Amundsen's team arrived at the South Pole more than a month before Scott's team did. And Scott's team perished in a snowstorm on their way home.

Posted by duver001 at 12:14 PM

December 11, 2006

More on ANITA

I'm headed to Antarctica on less than 12 hours notice. Should be fun, but missing the holidays is pretty sad. But the holiday spirit isn't tied to a calendar date, right?

Posted by duver001 at 10:51 AM

Indeed

Posted by duver001 at 10:50 AM

December 7, 2006

ANITA launch preparations

The ANITA balloon-borne experiment that I work on, is awaiting launch in Antarctica. You can watch the progress here. More soon!

Posted by duver001 at 1:47 PM

Iraq study group report

Yup, it was all an unmitigated disaster. But the report isn't quite ready to say that there's no hope. That's the job for the next committee to report!

Posted by duver001 at 1:31 PM

December 6, 2006

Pimp my nutcracker!

Make 'em all.

"So, cast thine eyes in my righteous bag and see/What insane object I shall lay on thee!" - From the Be-Bop Santa Clause

Posted by duver001 at 3:55 PM

December 4, 2006

Christmas music


Posted by duver001 at 11:57 AM

Using the faith healer con to get a private airplane

And not some little Piper Cub, but a multimillion dollar corporate jet. Yup, Jesus don't want his tax collector to fly coach.

Posted by duver001 at 11:54 AM

December 3, 2006

Swedish holiday traditions

Nope, not the Swedish Chef! Destroying a public sculpture of the Christmas-tree protecting goat. Last year with flaming arrows? Shot by people dressed as Santa and the Gingerbread Man?

You can watch the live webcam of the goat as well to see if it really is fireproof. If you look up the Galve Goat on wikipedia you'll see what has happened previous years.

Posted by duver001 at 5:30 PM