Friday, December 14, 2007

Arts and Crafts

Antarctica is filled with people that have amazing talents. I figured it would be filled with a ton of people who were a little bit unusual, but the sheer talent that likes within this community is amazing. It extends from open mike nights at the Coffee House to full on jam bands at Ice Stock to our most recent Arts & Crafts show. It's really the same as any show you would have back in the states, but I'm just amazed that people find time to create these things down here.

Joe Harrigan setting up his photography.

One of the curious things was that there were 4 major photographers at the show. They certainly all have a ton of ability, but I think the key to them doing so well at the show was their jobs. One guy worked in FSTP as a field trainer and also took groups of people into the field. Another was the head of science support. I'm assuming she heads out with scientists from time to time. Two others were members of the Search and Rescue team. So, it isn't just talent, but also location, location, location. There are definitely a couple other great photographers on base, but they just don't have the opportunity to head out into the field as much. I might need to switch jobs.

More arts and crafts goodness.

Even more arts ands crafts.

Pottery made in Antarctica? Yes.

I'm not too inspired today so we'll keep this one short. This past weekend, I finally cleared 20 miles for my marathon training. I've lost my training rhythm so I'm not running as much as I should, but at least I'm still getting in my long runs. About five weeks to go until the real thing.

Also of note for anyone reading this from EEDRville, I was working on creating reports today. Still am. Where ever you are, Charley, thanks for a little training. I might not be your back up over there very well, but it is still coming in handy.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Ruffles have ridges

I've sent out quite a few lifestyle blogs recently, so I thought I'd return to some of the beauty that surrounds this continent today. Pressure ridges. When ice bodies collide with each other, they form pressure ridges where the ice is forced up into the air to alleviate the pressure. Two days ago, I went to a pressure ridge tour at Scott Base (the local Kiwi base). In fact, it is the only base we can get to without flying hundreds of miles.

Pressure ridges (photo by Kevin O'Connell)

At Scott Base, the Ross Glacier is coming off the continent to crash into the sea ice that resides in McMurdo sound. The glacier moves about a meter a day so the ridges are changing each and everyday. The tour guides say they can notice substantial changes from one day to the next. We are only allowed to take a tour out to the pressure ridges because some moron from a few years ago thought it would be a good idea to harass the seals that were pulled out of the water over there. Consequently, the Kiwis only let us (the Americans) come over in official tour groups. Where is this guy and how about we sick some starved leopard seals on him since he enjoys wildlife so much?

Pressure ridges (photo by Kevin O'Connell)

Kevin O'Connell, who took the two pictures above, is a phenomenal photographer. My photos were all overexposed. I wasn't in the mood to get my camera adjusted right and quite simply, it shows. I need to take a class on this stuff so I can do less figuring out and more taking pictures.

After the pressure ridge tour, I stuck around Scott Base for trivia night. My team brought it all home. We won our choice of key chains, lanyards, and candy. I took the candy. Yum yum.