Antarctica

Message Bookmarked
Bookmark Removed
I'd like to visit one day. This photo essay on the Washington Post site reconfirms it.

A good friend knew somebody who was at the South Pole Amundsen-Scott station when Jerri Nielsen was diagnosed with breast cancer. It made for an interesting perspective on the whole thing when I was able to read some of the e-mails later.

Ned Raggett, Thursday, 22 March 2007 22:02 (eleven years ago) Permalink

I actually hadn't realized they've upgraded said station since then -- not quite what I expected!

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/b6/Amundsen-scott-south_pole_station_2006.jpg

Ned Raggett, Thursday, 22 March 2007 22:04 (eleven years ago) Permalink

I got this book for my Dad for Xmas the year before last, and ended up reading it myself... worth checking out:

http://www.amazon.com/Big-Dead-Place-Menacing-Antarctica/dp/0922915997/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1/103-0555392-7800610?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1174601313&sr=8-1

dan m, Thursday, 22 March 2007 22:09 (eleven years ago) Permalink

I'm intrigued with the notion that Antartica is extremely dry while at the same time there is so much ice...

Sara R-C, Thursday, 22 March 2007 22:11 (eleven years ago) Permalink

http://www.joeld.net/snowcruiser/snowcruiser.html

Catsupppppppppppppp dude ‫茄蕃‪, Thursday, 22 March 2007 22:13 (eleven years ago) Permalink

I'd like to visit one day.

Me too! Also Tierra del Feugo.

http://assets.pitchforkmedia.com/images/image/26475.mcmurdo-header.jpg?

This Pitchfork feature about the live music scene there is great!

caek, Thursday, 22 March 2007 22:23 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Me too , hopefully sail. Christchurch is pretty handy. One of my profs is a leading polar psychologist who can't stop chortling through class as he reminisces over Friday nites down there.

That snow cruiser monster link, OMG! WHAT WERE THEY THINKING!?

Such a spectacular and wonderful failure.

“The crew later found that the tires produced more traction when driven backwards. The longest trek was 92 miles -- driven completely in reverse”.

Kiwi, Thursday, 22 March 2007 22:58 (eleven years ago) Permalink

i wonder if i will ever visit antarctica

s1ocki, Thursday, 22 March 2007 23:11 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Some of my JPL friends tried to drag me down there for a month a few years ago (they all had research projects)...I skipped. I guess I regret it now, but it sounds like there are lots of miserable aspects to visiting Antarctica too (like for example: isolation)

I enjoyed the Kim Stanley Robinson book, though, and can't help smiling that there's a Lonely Planet book too.

mfleming, Thursday, 22 March 2007 23:20 (eleven years ago) Permalink

One of my profs is a leading polar psychologist who can't stop chortling through class as he reminisces over Friday nites down there.

This sentence is awesome!

caek, Thursday, 22 March 2007 23:21 (eleven years ago) Permalink

This book is a must read for the curreent Antarctic state-of-mind

Elvis Telecom, Thursday, 22 March 2007 23:52 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Ack, it's the same book mentioned above... The web site for it is great

Elvis Telecom, Thursday, 22 March 2007 23:53 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Especially recommended: [Removed Illegal Link]

On casual viewing, the movie appears to be just another sci-fi movie with dubious special effects. However, no other movie in history has ever depicted daily Antarctic life and its problems with such accuracy and intuitive brilliance. It took place at a research station with no scientists, which is the case with McMurdo Station in the winter. The doctor was nuts, which underscores the problem of attracting to Antarctic stations qualified physicians who have no practice at home and who are willing to work for peanuts on year-to-year contracts. The doctor was locked in a hut away from the others after his madness, much like the kitchen worker who was locked in McMurdo's luxurious Hut 10 to await retrieval by the FBI after attacking his co-worker with a hammer. There was suspicion of aliens, which parallels the evacuation from McMurdo in November 2000 of a science tech who held a lecture called "The Reality of Dreams" and later advertised to the hoi polloi that one Thursday aliens would descend in spacecraft to meet him outside the galley. In the film, the testing of the crew's blood brings to mind the USAP employee drug tests. And the film prophetically dramatized, and served as propaganda for, the U.S. political push to ban dogs from Antarctica, which the other Treaty Nations reluctantly consented to in 1991. And what of "The Thing", that can infect any fellow and turn him into a threat against his neighbor, that leads to the ultimate fizzling out of "The Station"? The Thing represents Bureaucracy, reproducing via individual hosts who are each stunted by their fear of an organized but faceless entity that influences every aspect of their daily lives. If there is a more lucid film that describes daily Antarctic life, it has already crumbled to dust in obscurity.

Common icons of Antarctic life are repeated throughout the movie with uncanny precision: spilled fuel; ubiquitous barrels; plentiful whisky; anti-intellectualism; resentment toward Norwegians being the first at Pole; general madness; obsession with generators; and black flags planted in the snow are all familiar to the Antarctic station. There are minor annoyances, such as that the crew stores dynamite in a supply closet in the main building, that they don't tie anything down outside to keep it from the wind, and that their machines start up in the cold without being plugged in, but the most noteworthy deviation from actual USAP practices is that in the film everyone has a flamethrower. In the movie, fire is a tool against insidious dangers and is employed as an agent for the community against the threat of a larger hostile organism. In the actual USAP, employees are forbidden flamethrowers.

Elvis Telecom, Thursday, 22 March 2007 23:57 (eleven years ago) Permalink

http://www.discogs.com/image/R-150-440421-1113767465.jpg

Abbott, Thursday, 22 March 2007 23:57 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Fuck washing an illegal link... It's from http://www.bigdeadplace.com/the_thing.html

Elvis Telecom, Thursday, 22 March 2007 23:57 (eleven years ago) Permalink

http://store.gwar.net/images/V116antarctica_dvd.jpg

Abbott, Thursday, 22 March 2007 23:58 (eleven years ago) Permalink

my friend went to the tip of Argentia and said it's basically the same!

emilys., Friday, 23 March 2007 02:57 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Her schoolhouse mind has windows now
Where handsome creatures come to watch
The anaesthetic wearing off
Antarctica starts here

gershy, Friday, 23 March 2007 03:16 (eleven years ago) Permalink

ANTARCTICA!!

rrrobyn, Friday, 23 March 2007 04:32 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Awesome Caek? Thankyou! OTOH if you mean my syntax is crapola apologies. And to think I went to a grammar school. The shame. Not to derail further Ned but for the record it would seem I was pwned by wikipedia funnies on the snow cruiser being driven in reverse for 92 miles.

Kiwi, Friday, 23 March 2007 09:14 (eleven years ago) Permalink

One of my friends was a cameraman on Life In The Freezer

C J, Friday, 23 March 2007 09:21 (eleven years ago) Permalink

> I actually hadn't realized they've upgraded said station since then -- not quite what I expected!

this is what the architects in the office below mine do, design antartic research centres, i can see the models through the window. (bit of a niche i'd've thought...)

http://www.realestatejournal.com/propertyreport/architecture/20041203-frangos.html (top picture)

koogs, Friday, 23 March 2007 09:33 (eleven years ago) Permalink

I went over the summer of 2000-2001 and worked for 5 months, driving the shuttle back and forth between the "town" and the various airfields at McMurdo. We flew down from Christchurch and landed right on the sea ice in a military C-130. There are maybe 6 small porthole windows in the whole cabin of a C-130, and I lucked into one of them, craning my neck to get a view of the ice and the mountains. I've (obviously) never had a flight like it.

The first two weeks were hell. I never get dry skin, but it seemed like all of me was cracked and cut. I was also in a room with no windows and 3 dudes. There was so much to get used to at first. But then I settled in. Work, 56 hour weeks, driving back and forth, took up both time and mind. That's one thing I'll treasure: driving on the ice, alone, music up, sun out.

I played drums down there too. God, what was the name of that band? We were the only group that played originals: The Legendary Beep Beeps. We drank a lot of New Zealand beer and thought we were fucking great.

Okay, enough of this. but maybe I'll post a few pictures.

jergincito, Friday, 23 March 2007 10:15 (eleven years ago) Permalink

i guess that band continues. i had no idea: http://profile.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewprofile&friendid=9021959
ha ha

i drove this a couple of times:

[Removed Illegal Image]

my dorm:

http://www.antarctica2000.net/mcmurdo/images1/dorm.jpg

i need to scan my own pictures. they're so much better.

jergincito, Friday, 23 March 2007 10:20 (eleven years ago) Permalink

try the bus again:

http://tea.armadaproject.org/Images/deaton/deaton_2_deaton_Ivan_passengers.JPG.jpg

jergincito, Friday, 23 March 2007 10:21 (eleven years ago) Permalink

my favorite stories to ask about of the winter-overs were about the people who'd gone a little crazy during the 24 hours of darkness. my friends, the ones who got me my job, and feature in the book linked to above, were down over a winter when one guy wouldn't leave his room. you quit your job in a place like that and there's no place to go. so he just stayed in his room, wouldn't even go to the galley. people brought food to his door and tried to talk him into taking a shower. another guy got hold of an ax somehow and had to be talked down. there aren't exactly cops, or jail cells, there, so it took some pretty fine diplomacy. i think he got arrested on his return to NZ.

jergincito, Friday, 23 March 2007 10:24 (eleven years ago) Permalink

The new south pole station (I never went to the pole) is pretty interesting from an architectural standpoint:

It is a 2-story structure with the "leading edge" facing the prevailing wind. The steel structure is elevated 10' above the initial graded snow surface, supported by many 24" heavywall pipe piles. These are designed to allow the structure to be jacked up in the future.

it's on these pillars, so that when the ice changes, rises, they can keep the station from being covered over, ala the old one:

http://www.johnj.com/art/pole/vidpix/70.jpg

jergincito, Friday, 23 March 2007 10:28 (eleven years ago) Permalink

My new favourite band:

http://cms.pitchforkmedia.com/images/image/26643.ant3.gif

Masonic Boom, Friday, 23 March 2007 10:30 (eleven years ago) Permalink

I love how even original bands in Antarctica have their own myspace site.

Ned Raggett, Friday, 23 March 2007 12:14 (eleven years ago) Permalink

I would go to Antarctica, but I would feel like such an intruder if I didn't have a job to do. Seems like tourists would spoil the place. Those pictures at the top, especially of Erebus, are amazing.

Mr. Que, Friday, 23 March 2007 13:47 (eleven years ago) Permalink

it's really hard to get there as a tourist (which makes the lonely planet all the more laughable). we had one group pass through there while i was there, off of a russian boat, helicoptered over. we looked at them like they were aliens. it was especially odd to see a child. people were trippin, "oh my god a kid!"

jergincito, Friday, 23 March 2007 16:54 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Some cruise line is running tour ships to Antarctica, right?

M.V., Friday, 23 March 2007 17:18 (eleven years ago) Permalink

yeah, it's a russian boat. i think they go to the peninsula, on the s. america side. sometimes you get on land, sometimes you don't. weather.

jergincito, Friday, 23 March 2007 17:22 (eleven years ago) Permalink

I believe that people should not be allowed visit Antarctica, except maybe for regulated numbers of scientists.

The Real Dirty Vicar, Friday, 23 March 2007 18:00 (eleven years ago) Permalink

what about rich people?

Catsupppppppppppppp dude ‫茄蕃‪, Friday, 23 March 2007 18:08 (eleven years ago) Permalink

they should just go to space instead

rrrobyn, Friday, 23 March 2007 18:30 (eleven years ago) Permalink

yeah, rich people can go. i should have said 'expensive' instead of 'difficult'. it's about $10k per person, i think.

jergincito, Saturday, 24 March 2007 09:46 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Rich people going: http://photoshopnews.com/feature-stories/antarctica-expedition/, http://photoshopnews.com/2007/03/08/im-back-from-antarctica-but-im-on-the-road-again/

caek, Saturday, 24 March 2007 12:52 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Awesome Caek? Thankyou! OTOH if you mean my syntax is crapola apologies.

No, I meant that sentence was so fun! It made me smile. A+++ would read again.

Elvis Telecom: had fun reading the PDF of the first chapter of that book. Thanks for the link.

caek, Sunday, 25 March 2007 21:50 (eleven years ago) Permalink

That makes me happier than you would care to imagine. I feel complete at last. Nice trade! Highly Recommend!

Kiwi, Monday, 26 March 2007 02:02 (eleven years ago) Permalink

five months pass...

This book is a must read for the curreent Antarctic state-of-mind

-- Elvis Telecom, Thursday, 22 March 2007 23:52 (5 months ago) Bookmark Link

I read the rest of this book after reading this thread. It is great. I have now subscribed to this RSS feed: http://www.antarctica.ac.uk/employment/.

Also, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qz2SeEzxMuE = Whoa.

caek, Wednesday, 12 September 2007 02:06 (eleven years ago) Permalink

Also, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qz2SeEzxMuE = Whoa.

Bloody hell, it's like opening the hatch of a spaceship in deep space.

Elvis Telecom, Wednesday, 12 September 2007 04:11 (eleven years ago) Permalink

i just saw werner herzog's new movie about antarctica. it's called encounters at the end of the world. some cool stuff in there.

s1ocki, Wednesday, 12 September 2007 05:17 (eleven years ago) Permalink

ooh. i want to see that.

a few weeks ago i ran into a friend i hadn't seen for a while. we were talking and he told me he'd gone to antartica earlier in the year, or at the end of last year, i don't remember, but he'd gone to argentina and then taken a huge boat for two and a half days through rough seas. most of the people on board spent the entire time wanting to die but he was fine he said b/c of all the halfpipe/vert stuff he'd done when younger. by the time they got to antartica all anyone could talk about was icebergs though.

rrrobyn, Wednesday, 12 September 2007 05:36 (eleven years ago) Permalink

one month passes...

just read that, based on recommendations--pretty damn good

the bureaucratic nightmare stuff started to piss me off too much, though

mookieproof, Saturday, 3 November 2007 16:33 (ten years ago) Permalink

two weeks pass...

Oopsy.

Ned Raggett, Friday, 23 November 2007 21:10 (ten years ago) Permalink

That link just comes back here. Perhaps that is what you meant by 'oopsy'?

Isn't tourism to the polar regions irresponsible?

Alex in Denver, Friday, 23 November 2007 21:13 (ten years ago) Permalink

Hahah, you're right at that, Alex. Here's the real link:

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/11/24/world/americas/24ship.html?_r=1&hp&oref=slogin

Ned Raggett, Friday, 23 November 2007 21:14 (ten years ago) Permalink

When I read that I thought, "Oh damn. Hey, it would be neat to be crew on one of those ships."

Maria, Friday, 23 November 2007 21:25 (ten years ago) Permalink

I was on that same boat 3 years ago, in the Canadian Artic! Wierd to see it sunk. It seemed solid enough at the time.

They're pretty cool trips, in these smallish boats. They bring along historians, geologists, etc, to give lectures. Some of the folks on the trip I was on had been on the same boat to Antartica before, and said the Drake Passage was pretty hairy.

As to whether tourism in the polar regions is irresponsible, that's a good question.

pauls00, Friday, 23 November 2007 21:30 (ten years ago) Permalink

suspicions

Chris Barrus (Elvis Telecom), Saturday, 22 November 2008 01:38 (nine years ago) Permalink

I think it's legit. The contact e-mail is from the usap.gov site.

clotpoll, Saturday, 22 November 2008 01:41 (nine years ago) Permalink

it doesn't make sense because they don't need to advertise. they get hundreds, if not thousands, of applications. and i'm talking just for dishwashing.

that special someone (jergins), Saturday, 22 November 2008 01:47 (nine years ago) Permalink

Apparently hiring is done through the NANA company that posting mentions as well as Raytheon...but the USAP and NANA sites say applications go to a general NANA HR email, not the specific name on that ad. So I'm also suspicious.

Maria, Saturday, 22 November 2008 02:22 (nine years ago) Permalink

seven months pass...

RIP Jerri Nielsen

BOSTON (AP) -- Dr. Jerri Nielsen FitzGerald, who diagnosed and treated her own breast cancer before a dramatic rescue from the South Pole, has died. She was 57. Her husband, Thomas FitzGerald, said she died Tuesday at their home in Southwick, Mass. Her cancer had been in remission until it returned in August 2005, he said Wednesday.

Elvis Telecom, Wednesday, 24 June 2009 23:36 (nine years ago) Permalink

one year passes...

Shackleton is an all-time bad ass.

gtfopocalypse (dan m), Monday, 14 February 2011 22:10 (seven years ago) Permalink

Got that right.

Ned Raggett, Monday, 14 February 2011 22:32 (seven years ago) Permalink

apparently bad-ass enough to allow a zombie with no pupils on his expedition team

congratulations (n/a), Monday, 14 February 2011 22:33 (seven years ago) Permalink

and the dog on the far left is a shapeshifter!

http://i55.tinypic.com/2ib12jr.jpg

uncle twikkelingssteurnissen (unregistered), Monday, 14 February 2011 23:05 (seven years ago) Permalink

has anyone seen this?

http://www.bfi.org.uk/lff/node/461

caek, Monday, 14 February 2011 23:07 (seven years ago) Permalink

apparently it's been screening on discovery in the UK

caek, Monday, 14 February 2011 23:08 (seven years ago) Permalink

Robert Scott's abandoned hut is just astonishingly beautiful and terrifying (you can see some high-res photos of it here and here: best viewed in full size). some of the furnishings came from the Shackleton Expedition, which reused the hut years after Scott met his doom.

that video looks interesting, caek. I hope it shows up on Discovery in the US at some point.

uncle twikkelingssteurnissen (unregistered), Monday, 14 February 2011 23:21 (seven years ago) Permalink

i read the worst journey in the world last year and posted this:

Will finish The Worst Journey In The World this weekend. Incredible book. Surprisingly funny. Not Jeeves and Wooster, but occasionally laugh out loud good. And obviously what happened is incredible and it can't help but be thrilling. It's a bit "one crevasse after another" (lol sounds like my friday night) for the first 300 pages or so, but from the winter journey to the penguin rookery onwards (obv. including the polar journey) it's just wonderful. And I really enjoyed the unusual structure of the last couple of hundred pages, which is assembled from diaries of multiple people in multiple parties and ends up jumping backwards and forwards revealing what happened in a rather crafty way (although obviously you know the basic story).

caek, Monday, 14 February 2011 23:24 (seven years ago) Permalink

tl;dr version: read if u like antarctica

caek, Monday, 14 February 2011 23:25 (seven years ago) Permalink

http://www.southpolestation.com/pole/oldpoleteam1.jpg

caek, Tuesday, 15 February 2011 00:43 (seven years ago) Permalink

http://www.southpolestation.com/winter/3inbar1.jpg

south pole bar, winter 1977

caek, Tuesday, 15 February 2011 00:44 (seven years ago) Permalink

http://www.southpolestation.com/spring/trio0.jpg

first sunrise after winter, 21 september 1977 just before flights start arriving again
and this is what they sang http://www.southpolestation.com/spring/c130.mp3

caek, Tuesday, 15 February 2011 00:53 (seven years ago) Permalink

two weeks pass...

this appeals to me on so many levels, make me sad that I've not seen places like this for myself.

not_goodwin, Saturday, 5 March 2011 01:27 (seven years ago) Permalink

seven months pass...

Cool!

TracerHandVEVO (Tracer Hand), Friday, 7 October 2011 15:35 (seven years ago) Permalink

(the zombie guy is frank wild)

mark s, Friday, 7 October 2011 15:47 (seven years ago) Permalink

one month passes...

Great stuff (and a link to the original piece if you'd like to go all in).

Ned Raggett, Wednesday, 16 November 2011 23:19 (six years ago) Permalink

nature had a seriously good week this week, with these mountains and ionian water

caek, Wednesday, 16 November 2011 23:28 (six years ago) Permalink

european even

caek, Wednesday, 16 November 2011 23:28 (six years ago) Permalink

four months pass...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aES6WC0CDnI

toandos, Tuesday, 27 March 2012 02:45 (six years ago) Permalink

one month passes...

In which mark s digs deep, with Scott/Amundsen as a launching point for all kinds of things:

http://freakytrigger.co.uk/ft/2012/04/inuit-science-and-the-commodification-of-victory-scott-versus-amundsen-a-century-on/

Ned Raggett, Monday, 30 April 2012 14:31 (six years ago) Permalink

deep into the zone of pitchforkmedia

Ms Tum-Bla-Wi-Tee (nakhchivan), Monday, 30 April 2012 14:32 (six years ago) Permalink

two months pass...

"I'm going online, I may be some time..."

second dullest ILXor since 1929 (snoball), Tuesday, 17 July 2012 19:57 (six years ago) Permalink

four months pass...

RIP Nick Johnson, writer of the terrific Big Dead Place book and blog: http://feralhouse.com/nick-johnson-rip/

Elvis Telecom, Thursday, 6 December 2012 08:44 (five years ago) Permalink

Yeesh. Heavy stuff. Rip.

caek, Thursday, 6 December 2012 10:32 (five years ago) Permalink

four years pass...

that last link post here is just awful (http://feralhouse.com/nick-johnson-rip/), on many levels. i know the person writing it was dealing with intense pain, but it's probably not a good idea to imply that the author of a rejection letter was the cause of someone's suicide. she has to live a life, too. ugh. the south pole, man. fuck.

Karl Malone, Saturday, 2 September 2017 04:26 (one year ago) Permalink

four months pass...

i meant to revive this a while back when i finished reading his book, but just want to second the recommendation of Big Dead Place. elvis mentioned it above, caek recommended i read it, and mookie even sent me an e-book version! it was an ILX-sponsored reading journey, and now i'm happy to hop on the Big Dead Place train as well.

the book is about living and working in antarctica, mainly the McMurdo station. but it's not about the environment or the hazardous conditions, and certainly not about scientific research. instead, it's about surreal bureaucracy, one of my favorite topics. johnson worked in the waste management department at the station. johnson must have been a nightmare for the NSF (the operator of the station, with the authority residing in Denver) - a worker who recognized the absurdity of his working environment, had the talent to express it eloquently (and hilariously), and the willingness to name names and embarrass management. i imagine he would have found the working environment absurd in just about any workplace administered by the government - ime, the entire federal government is like a bad episode of The Office - but the extremes of antarctica really brought out something special in him. i'd like to think that i would have been his friend in mcmurdo, if i was there, toeing the line with authority. but who knows, i may have been the guy who gets promoted to lower management as an emergency fill-in and then ends up being the buttoned up stooge passing along orders from Denver that everyone hated. or the weirdo down the hall who never left the room except to bring out buckets of frozen piss and pick up more beer.

at any rate, i finished his book several weeks back and it's one of those writings that has really struck with me. RIP nick johnson.

Karl Malone, Sunday, 14 January 2018 19:11 (nine months ago) Permalink

yes! great book. i didn't make the government bureaucracy connection with you, but it makes sense that would ring true for you.

gonna post this again now we have embeds

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qz2SeEzxMuE

π” π”žπ”’π”¨ (caek), Monday, 15 January 2018 05:28 (nine months ago) Permalink

three weeks pass...

(xpost with new yorker thread)

i haven't read this yet but even a quick scroll through suggests it will be good:

https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2018/02/12/the-white-darkness

Karl Malone, Friday, 9 February 2018 01:26 (eight months ago) Permalink

Encounters at the End of the World was so good. just interviewing all of the random people from all over the globe that end up there was v fascinating. the spooky minimal wildlife stuff was interesting as well. like when they are listening to the seals under the ice and it sounds like the most insane synthesizer filters. the place looks otherworldly beautiful - the cathedrals of ice sculptures reflecting light underneath the vast frozen seas, the crystal caves, the blinding force of the winds, the extremophiles that survive without oxygen, sunlight, or carbon. its all so extra-terrestrial!

AdamVania (Adam Bruneau), Friday, 9 February 2018 01:56 (eight months ago) Permalink

Extremophiles are the ultimate adventurers. These organisms thrive where other microbes don’t dare venture: boiling water holes, freezing lakes, and toxic waste dumps.

Now, researchers have sequenced the genomes of two extremophiles that love life extremely cold. They live at the bottom of Ace Lake in Antarctica, where there is no oxygen and the average temperature is a brutal 33 degrees Fahrenheit.

The two organisms, called Methanogenium frigidum and Methanococcoides burtonii, produce methane and are known as methanogens.

Methanogens are unique among organisms in their ability to survive a wide range of temperatures, from the freezing point of water to 185 degrees Fahrenheit and everything in between.

In a new study, scientists sequenced the genomes of M. frigidum and M. burtonii and compared their genomes with those of heat-loving methanogens to identify features that may help these microbes adapt to their cold surroundings.

Some of these hardy organisms also live in oxygen-starved environments, without sunlight or carbon, and scientists believe that studying these microbes could reveal the boundaries of extreme environments that support life here on Earth and on other planets.

---

So what if Earth isn’t the only place these kinds of microbes live?

Some scientists speculate that methanogens could provide clues to life on other planets, such as Mars, and Europa (Jupiter’s sixth moon).

Evidence suggests that beneath the icy surface of Europa, there may be subsurface oceans that could support extremophiles like M. frigidum. The Antarctic lakes of the Vestfold Hills and their hardy inhabitants may, in some way, resemble the environment on Europa.

Other research suggests that some methanogens could survive life on Mars. Scientists at the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville have grown methanogens in Mars-like soil and under Mars-like conditions.

After the Viking voyages to Mars in the 1970s turned up no trace of life, as we knew it, some scientists dismissed the idea of Martian life. Twenty years later, with the discovery of organisms that can survive without oxygen, carbon, or sunlight, researchers are rethinking the boundaries of what environments may support life.

http://www.genomenewsnetwork.org/articles/07_03/extremo.shtml

AdamVania (Adam Bruneau), Friday, 9 February 2018 01:58 (eight months ago) Permalink

i find this page extremely poignant

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_rivers_of_Antarctica

π” π”žπ”’π”¨ (caek), Friday, 9 February 2018 04:06 (eight months ago) Permalink

karl malone you should read the worst journey in the world

π” π”žπ”’π”¨ (caek), Friday, 9 February 2018 04:07 (eight months ago) Permalink

four months pass...

via the best blog (but CW weirdly glib description of suicide)

http://www.southpolestation.com/news/news.html

Nicholas JohnsonA bit of iconic history, otherwise elsewhere described as the "WikiLeaks of Antarctica..." is the iconic book Big Dead Place. Author Nicholas Johnson, unfortunately, is no longer with us after he blew his brains out in 2012, but his work survives. And his work has now been given a new lease on life. On 30 April, ABC's program Earshot aired a 30-minute podcast/download which describes and details Nicholas's work, life, and the rest of his story. The interview and accompanying web pages include the voices and photos of several friends. Two ABC links of interest: this page gives basic information about the episode along with links for listening to or downloading the story...and this page gives additional background information as well as more photos. But that is not all. Nicholas' sister worked to get THE BIG DEAD PLACE WEBSITE back up to coincide with the release of this documentary. Have a look! Not everything is there, but there is a lot of the good stuff. The photo of Nicolas at left shows him at work in the McMurdo waste barn in about 2001...it's from Kathy Blumm and used by permission.

π” π”žπ”’π”¨ (caek), Saturday, 9 June 2018 20:20 (four months ago) Permalink

great book; didn't know about the suicide (although it's . . . not exactly shocking)

mookieproof, Saturday, 9 June 2018 20:24 (four months ago) Permalink

(but CW weirdly glib description of suicide)

oddly, the place where i first learned about his death described it in the same way: http://feralhouse.com/nick-johnson-rip/
maybe it was an inside joke, or perhaps just a way of addressing it that seemed in keeping with his style of writing. i'm not sure.

the earshot episode was good, although i didn't really like whoever was reading in the voice of nicholas johnson. reminded me of the old iron chefs with the english dubs

obviously DLC (Karl Malone), Sunday, 10 June 2018 00:18 (four months ago) Permalink

Thanks for the link. Weird personal trivia.... my copy of Big Dead Place has actually been to Antarctica. Haven't been there yet.

Elvis Telecom, Sunday, 10 June 2018 04:54 (four months ago) Permalink

two weeks pass...

Thank you all for suggesting Big Dead Place. It's Rivethead... On Ice!

pplains, Monday, 25 June 2018 03:04 (three months ago) Permalink


You must be logged in to post. Please either login here, or if you are not registered, you may register here.