Monday, February 25, 2008

McMurdo's Angels

McMurdo's Angels: Beatrice, Gifford, and Brodicus Maximus

You might not know it, but in my other life down here I work as a covert spy dressed in tight fitting clothes to defend penguin rights. I am one of McMurdo's Angels or at least I play one for a robot that NASA is trying to build. The basic idea of the camera on the robot is the same as the kid's guessing game where you say warmer and colder in response to guesses. Warm colors are nearer and cold colors are farther. The computer in the robot will then take this image map and figure out where it is going next. I'm not sure how this is different than the Mars Rover, but I'm sure a NASA web page could explain a lot about it.

The last plane of summer left on Sunday. Our population is down to around 210 and will stay that way until mid-April. The base feels empty. If you don't make plans, plans are probably not going to find you. There are no lines. Buildings are closing up. The food is better. I am the only one in my brand spanking new dorm room with a window view! OK, it isn't actually a new dorm, but it is new to me. I'll post on it later with pictures. What else?

OH YEAH, I am the only one in my shop which means you can call me from the outside world!!!
1.800.688.8606 x42604

Dial those and dial them often. You can leave messages, I think. That is my work phone so I'm only there from 7:30am-5pm my time. Also, I'm in and out of my shop all day so it is possible you might miss me, but please call for a quick hello. I've had one way communications with too many of you for too long.

Parting thoughts:
In Antarctica the extraordinary become ordinary because there are so many amazing people who have done so many amazing things. This week I met someone who once won the Mr. Oklahoma contest and someone else who climbed Kilimanjaro. Another guy is attempting his second trip to Everest Base camp next spring.


  1. Speaking of Everest... I'm about to finish Jon Krakauer's Into Thin Air. I'd highly recommend it, should you be able to locate a copy on base.

  2. We just had a long discussion on Sunday about that entire season on Everest. One guy has done a bunch of talks on and is attempting to reach base camp for a second time next spring. I mostly listened, but the people speaking new a ton. Very cool and thanks for the suggestion.

  3. what IS your time? i guess it doesn't matter but if i called it might help if you were there. :)

  4. We are on New Zealand time.
    4 hours behind Denver, but a full day ahead. I work Mon-Sat 7:30-5pm. 7:30-9 is the best time to reach me. After that, I am out and abuot more, at lunch, meetings, etc.