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 covers are an interesting story anyway. I think the “deciders” fell in love with an early artist’s rendition of the New Station that had lots of windows and they wound up building it that way. Now remember that the sun is above the horizon for half a year and below for the other half. Most people can’t sleep with the light shining through their room window in the summer and they end up covering it. In the winter the windows have to be covered for the light sensitive scientific instruments installed on the roof. To make matters worse, whoever spec’ed the window blinds had simply no idea and probably has never been to the South Pole. They got window “shades”, which don’t even come close to blocking out the sun and there is no plan to fix that. That’s why we have to use cardboard cutouts to cover all the windows in our brand spanking new, multi-million dollar Station. Oh, and they also forgot to build any storage whatsoever and all these pieces of cardboard are stored in the wardrobes and people trip over them when they try to hang their coats. Not to mention the fire hazard. As if that wasn’t enough, the window frames are made of aluminum, which makes for a nice cold bridge every few feet in our highly insulated Station. The fools that follow the weekly cleaning instructions and try to clean the sills with Windex learn quickly that it will freeze instantaneously.
On a lighter note, the South Pole camping season is in full swing. Just as for the last few years, a Scott tent is pitched right at the Geographic South Pole. A number of people have spent a night out there to get some bragging rights. You got to do something crazy if it doesn’t get cold enough for the 300 club :-)
[tags]Antarctica, South Pole, camping, windows, sunrise[/tags]