Sunday, December 9, 2007

tours, talks, & trivia

In addition to my regular daily work, I got most of the fire brigade to tour the main power plant and elevated station facilities yesterday. We only have one more tour to go and we will have pretty much gotten everybody to the major locations on station where we might have to perform an emergency response. Tim, who works in the power plant and is also on the fire brigade, did a really great job thoroughly explaining what was in each room and what hazards there are. I think the 4,000-Volt conduit areas really got every body's attention. It sure did mine.

In the evening I attended a two-part science lecture that covered outreach to kids about science with a polar spin and also ultraviolet radiation monitoring here at SP. Afterwards we had what seemed like the most sedate gathering for pub trivia yet. I think everybody was just pretty tired by that time of day. This is starting to get far enough into the season that fatigue can start to build up, and people start to slow down.

This weekend I finally got two postcards sent off in the mail. One is to George Lucas, and the other is to Steven Spielberg. I wrote to thank them for their great movies that have been so much fun for most of my life, and also to see if it would be possible for us at South Pole to maybe get a copy of the new "Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull" sent down before the station closes for the winter. It'd be a fun social event to have a "Hollywood premiere" down here early in the winter. I'm sure the odds are against it happening, but I had to try. "Raiders of the Lost Ark" was released on my third birthday, and I've been a fan of Dr. Henry "we named the dog Indiana" Jones, Jr. as long as I can remember.

I'm also attempting to get us a copy of the Apollo space program documentary "In the Shadow of the Moon", which would be appropriate given this is the fiftieth anniversary of the International Geophysical Year in 1957. That year not only saw the first manned satellite launched into orbit (Sputnik), but the first permanent research base at the South Pole was constructed then as well as part of the IGY. We are currently supporting the activities of the International Polar Year, and the new station's dedication ceremony will be held here next month, so there is an overlap of current events and history that is really interesting. I feel very lucky to be here at this point in history.

Cross your fingers for us!

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