always a good rule I think, in general.
Membership to one of the most exclusive clubs in the world takes place around a short red and white striped pole in Antarctica. Only those who endure an atmospheric difference of 300 degrees Fahrenheit are granted entry.
To join the elite 300 Club, residents at the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station, where on winter days the outside temperature dips below -100 degrees, must bare it all. It’s an odd tradition, one that comes with a high risk of frostbite in rather sensitive, traditionally clothed areas.
To join the exclusive group, the scientists must first spend time in the station’s 200-degree sauna. Once they’re fully cooked, they dash outside (at a brisk walk, because running is dangerous) wearing nothing but shoes and an optional neck gaiter to circle the ceremonial South Pole marker, which is hundreds of feet from the station. They then get back into the steamy sauna, which helps thaw their outsides while a bit of alcohol warms them up inside. Those who complete the challenge even earn a commemorative patch.
Though the thought of a naked scientist racing across the ice in dangerously cold temperatures to circle a pole may seem simply absurd, it’s actually a beloved ritual. The temperature only gets low enough a handful of days each year, giving the wacky tradition an almost ceremonial feel. Participants are usually cheered on by bystanders who use flashlights to guide them to the pole during the perpetual winter blackness.
The marker isn’t even the true location of the South Pole. Antarctica is blanketed by massive chunks of moving ice sheets that move about 30 feet each year. The ice’s inability to sit still makes pinpointing the world’s most southern spot with permanent precision impossible.
Finding and marking the accurate geographic South Pole is an annual (fully clothed) New Year’s Day tradition for those staying at the station. Every year since 1959, South Pole residents erect a new temporary marker at the spot and retire the old one into a display case inside the station. The ceremonial South Pole remains where it is, flanked by the flags, awaiting the next group of winter scientists hoping to join one of the world’s weirdest clubs.
“we take to the breeze, we go as we please.”
― E.B. White
story credits: Atlas obscura, kerry wolf
photo credits: martin wolf – national science foundation,
craig knott – national science foundation, alan light
in the midst of the polar vortex
a call goes out
a friend offers to drive us all to the movies
preston- holding down the fort at the theater
sells us popcorn, beverages, and tickets
menu offers a movie combo of cocktails and popcorn
the movie was great
the company was great
felt like we were skipping school
to just have a day of fun
we forgot about the polar vortex outside
we laughed and cried
we’ll never tell who chose which beverage:
coffee, tall soda, sippy-cup ‘o wine.
choose your own adventure.
everyone needs someone who will call them and say,
“get dressed, we’re going on an adventure.”
my car and i
have happily traveled
100,000 miles together as of today.
who knows how far we’ll go from here?
‘there is but one earth, tiny and fragile,
and one must get 100,000 miles away
to appreciate one’s good fortune in living on it.’
(Major General, USAF, Ret.) is an american former astronaut and test pilot. selected as part of the third group of fourteen astronauts in 1963, he flew into space twice.
dear friends, j and b, walk in michigan
getting ready for the big walk.
they leave tomorrow –
i wish them both the best of luck on their journey
and look forward to their tales from along the way
knowing they will return somehow changed forever.
the portuguese way/caminho português
The Portuguese Way (Spanish: Camino Portugués, Portuguese: Caminho Português) is the name of the Way of St. James pilgrimage routes starting in Portugal. It begins at Porto or Lisbon. From Porto, pilgrims travel north before entering Spain and passing through Padron on the way to Santiago de Compostela.
The Portuguese way is 227 km long starting in Porto. The way from Porto was historically used by the local populations and by those who arrived in the local ports.
In the contemporary period, most pilgrims are foreigners, and of the total number reaching Galicia between January and October 2017, only 4.27% were Portuguese. Roughly 30,000 pilgrims per year walk this path.
Arrival of queen Elizabeth of Portugal to Santiago de Compostela, after finishing the Portuguese Way around 1325, after the death of her husband, Denis of Portugal.
“a path is a prior interpretation
of the best way to traverse a landscape.”
-rebecca solnit, Wanderlust: A History of Walking
got these for my grandies
soon to set off for a camping trip
on manitou island
where they’ll have only whatever they can carry in
this utensil will help to take care of at least 4 things
knife, fork, spoon, and ?
“every contrivance of man, every tool, every instrument, every utensil, every article
designed for use, of each and every kind, evolved from very simple beginnings.”
spent the afternoon at
the rogers centre
baseball opened with
the official roof report –
‘the roof is open’
the game began
watched our detroit tigers
get mowed over
by the toronto blue jays
such a game (15-1)
our outfielder even
lost track of
how many outs there were
and forgot to throw the ball back
toronto fans threw out hats
when their player hit 3 home runs
all in the same game
hockey and baseball
in the old hockey tradition
of the hat trick
every opposing starter
got at least on base
giving us the chance
to see their entire roster
all in one game
but the staff and the local fans
were very friendly
except for the guy
our piñata head mascot
kind of a chicken
who was meant to be a tiger
upon entering the stadium
lest i possibly wear it
and conceal my identity
but we decided to shake it all off
embrace the huge loss of this game
by enjoying the town
with fans from both sides
came right along with us
as we met
a rickshaw driver
a man with a chicken hat
( a kindred spirit who grew up in my hometown)
a street singer with a bag on his head
a sweaty spiderman
and a band
playing american and canadian covers
so we danced a lot
and passed the piñata on to the band
but upon returning to our hotel
i couldn’t exactly remember
my hotel room number
except for the last two digits
which caused a bit of a logistical issue
so i visited a few floors
on the elevator that only moved
in response to an electronic key swipe
saw a lot of our beautiful hotel
made friends with the front desk
who made a few phone calls
to my fellow travelers
who mostly had their phones shut off
faraway and friendly foreign land
finally got back into my room
where i soon after
got locked in the glass shower
for a while
relaxed and drifted off to sleep
in my pillowy bed
until there was
a 3am fire alarm (false)
but it was one great day
leading into the next
there certainly was a lot of laughter
i’d say there were
3 major bouts of laughter
all in the same day.
that’s a hat trick.
‘that’s the beauty of sport.
sometimes you laugh,
sometimes you cry.’
– joseph gradual
we put the food together quickly
packed a picnic
headed out to the arboretum
right in the heart of the city
on a perfect late summer night
to see live opera
university music students
found a parking space
hauled out our gear
hiked in a mile
found the amphitheater
saw an open space for a great place to sit
our luck just kept getting better!
didn’t hear any music
wondered if we were too early
didn’t see any signs of a musical set-up
didn’t see any people around
walked on a bit
to see if perhaps
the music was
in another location in the park
i even said,
(a bit indignantly and dismayed),
“the paper said it was on the 23rd at 5:00!”
mg turned his head
looked at me
it was then that i knew
something was wrong
he calmly mentioned
that it was actually
still the 22nd at the moment
we were a bit early
24 hours early
but at least we had great seats.