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Archive for September, 2008

Rodney’s Death Remains a Mystery

Wednesday, September 24th, 2008

“The Press” reports on the coroner’s formal findings, released today. From the brief article it seems that nothing new was learned:

“Dr Marks’s death was unintended and he died on May 12, 2000, at Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station as a result of acute methanol poisoning.”

Rodney was a great person to winter with in 1998 and it is unfortunate that his death remains a mystery.

Mother of Polestock

Wednesday, September 24th, 2008

Another big gig, featuring four bands, took place the previous weekend. The gym was converted to a concert venue once again. Not sure where our musicians get the energy from but apparently they are not burned out yet and enjoy the practice sessions and the live gigs. Enjoy the pictures:

Mother of Polestock: Andy & Adit

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Sound Check

Wednesday, September 24th, 2008

After the sunrise dinner our musicians had a sound check for the concert the next day. I was waiting to take over from Shaun for two songs (more like making sure nobody knocks over the mixer) and used the time to take a few pictures.

Sound Check: Sound Guy Shaun

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Sunrise Dinner

Wednesday, September 24th, 2008

Hard to believe that it was already time for the sunrise dinner. The weather wasn’t cooperating but we had a great evening anyway.

JT III contemplating, or just staring off into space

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South Pole Web Camera is Online

Thursday, September 11th, 2008

It is now bright enough for the NOAA web camera on top of the ARO building to operate once again. The picture is still a little grainy but should improve in the next couple of weeks as it brightens up here at the Pole. So head on over to the weather page and check out what conditions are like in real time.

Plans for South Korean Base

Thursday, September 11th, 2008

South Korea is considering building a new Antarctic base in Marie Byrd Land in remote West Antarctica using Christchurch, New Zealand as a logistical hub. They are looking at spending $70 million on the research station.

Read “The Press” arcticle

Let There Be Light

Tuesday, September 9th, 2008

The previous weekend the last of the light sensitive equipment was shut down and the window covers came off. I guess some people were more anxious than other to see them come off. I was running on the treadmill when someone walked into the gym and ripped them off with a vengeance :-).

The window covers have come off with a vengeance

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Yukimarimos Are Back

Tuesday, September 9th, 2008

After a few days of stormy weather it has cleared up and and it is stunningly beautiful outside. I went for stroll around the Station and I found a huge collection of yukimarimos, my old favorites, near Skylab.

Yukimarimos near Skylab

[tags]Antarctica, South Pole, sunrise, yukimarimo[/tags]

Own a Piece of South Pole History

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2008

/South Pole Station /1960; /16

The estate of Navy painter Arthur Beaumont is selling a piece of South Pole history. They claim that this is the very first watercolor painting ever painted on location, outdoors, at the Geographic South Pole. Mr Beaumont mixed torpedo alcohol with his watercolors to prevent them from freezing.

The radome shown in the picture looks just like the one that is still stashed away on the berms. I’m pretty sure it is the same one. We still have a barber pole with a sphere on it, although these had to be replaced at some point.

It would be nice if this historic painting could somehow make its way back to the South Pole but I doubt that NSF will have funds for this with the current budget crisis. [tags]Antarctica, South Pole[/tags]

MacGyver Award

Tuesday, September 2nd, 2008

SpaceRef.com published an article on how our satellite dish elevation drive got fixed back in July. Nice job on pointing out how the dedicated folks down here dealt with what they had and put in long hours to fix the problem.

South Pole RF Building and GOES/MARISAT 9m antenna radome

However, considering that the piece was written by an editor of NSF’s Antarctic Sun it comes as no surprise that he fails to mention that the elevation drive also failed the previous winter and that they somehow forgot to test the grease before they used it for the drive. One can only hope that a few lessons will finally be learned by the management and engineering folks back in Denver.