Monday, February 25, 2008

10,478 feet

That's our current pressure/physiological altitude right now. It's not the greatest feeling to start working out again after any lapse of significant duration. Five of us did our first attempt at the "300 workout", which is loosely based on some of the exercise regimen that the actors that were in the movie "300" did in order to get in shape for their roles as Spartans-the baddest dudes on or off the mean streets of the Peloponnese. We're doing 10 different exercises, and each exercise requires you to do 30 repetitions (reps to those in the biz). I think the exercises would be much more doable if there were more air floating around up here at Pole. My arms, legs, and core were fine, but boy did my trachea catch fire really quickly with how hard I was breathing! This workout is supposed to last 12 weeks, so hopefully we can all stick with it for the duration and be in some seriously improved shape come June or so.

The sun is now low enough in the sky that if any bit of cloud passes before it the landscape-icescape would be more apt-takes on the pall of early twilight. The sky in general has been very beautiful the last few days, and with an almost full moon in the sky it is hard not to just stand and stare.

I got my geek on this morning and calculated roughly that the time dilation between us at the Pole (essentially zero circular speed) with respect to someone on the Equator (moving at around 1,700 km/hr around the planetary axis) is 1.00000000000123885 approximately. This is a mild relativistic effect, to say the least, but over the course of 13 months we at the Pole will have "aged" 0.0004 seconds more than somebody at the Equator, since we're moving that much more slowly than they are. This is the same phenomenon that let Charlton Hesston come back from his long-duration deep space mission (traveling very quickly) and not have aged, while on the Earth (moving much more slowly) vast swaths of time had passed and apes ruled the planet.

Let's hope no simian Armageddon occurs before I get off the Ice.


AaroN said...


EthanG said...

Thanks for the tips on the 300 workout. We'll be doing it again tomorrow night. Somebody gave my the copy of "BDP" at the end of the summer, and I've yet to read it. It should be interesting to see that perspective about working/living on the Ice and to compare it to my experiences.