The Cook/Peary Polar controversy and why people lie.

Not nearly as cool as it sounds, but it caught my attention this morning. I went through a brief polar obsession in the Winter of 2006 when I read Voyage of the Narwhale by Andrea Barrett and The Terror by Dan Simmons. I highly recommend both. I did a little light non-fiction reading, but couldn't find the right line to hook me for a major obsession. I know a few of you are polar devotees... any recommendations?

Also: I have an interview today.
So, my latest obsession seems to be the arctic. There was a brief interview with Will Steger, arctic explorer and environmental educator, on the radio this morning. His latest expedition is a 1200 mile trek across Baffin Island w/ three Inuit hunters documenting the impact of warming in the arctic on Inuit culture:

As you can see by the expedition title, there is a clear "political" bias to the expedition; but it's also a great way of learning more about the arctic. (I've already sent away for my free expedition map.)

More about the arctic obsession. )
This week I got ahold of Werner Herzog's Wild Blue Yonder a science fiction fantasy. It's a speculative film about space exploration utilizing stock footage and archival material primarily from NASA and from a team that dived beneath the ice in Antarctica. The Antarctic ocean stands in for a new planet with a liquid atmosphere.

Read more... )
An article about the impact of climate change on Greenland.

What caught my attention in this article is not the bits about climate change, but the implications for cartographers and explorers:

All over Greenland and the Arctic, rising temperatures are not simply melting ice; they are changing the very geography of coastlines. Nunataks — “lonely mountains” in Inuit — that were encased in the margins of Greenland’s ice sheet are being freed of their age-old bonds, exposing a new chain of islands, and a new opportunity for Arctic explorers to write their names on the landscape....

Global warming has profoundly altered the nature of polar exploration, said Mr. Schmitt, who in 40 years has logged more than 100 Arctic expeditions. Routes once pioneered on a dogsled are routinely paddled in a kayak now; many features, like the Ward Hunt Ice Shelf in Greenland’s northwest, have disappeared for good.

I read Andrea Barrett's Voyage of the Narwhal this Christamas, which has me thinking a great deal about arctic exploration, and also another one of the book's themes, which is moral exploration.


Jan. 15th, 2007 09:51 am
I'm embarrassed to admit I've totally retreated into books since Xmas:

Voyage of the Narwhal by Andrea Barrett )

Robin Hobbs )

Spinning Straw into GOld by Joan Gould )



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