Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Author does book signing in Antarctica

This is an interesting article about the author Patrick Woodward launching his new book in Antarctica. The book is called Beneath the Ice, which is a thriller set in Antarctica being released on January 1, 2015.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Photos and notebook discovered in/near Terra Nova expedition hut

Here is an interesting article about photos and a notebook discovered last year in and near one of Scott's Terra Nova expedition huts. The photo negatives were from Shackleton's 1914-1917 expedition when he used Scott's hut. The notebook is quite amazing to have survived as it was found outside. It contains notes on photos taken during Scott's 1910-1913 expedition. The notes were able to be matched to the photos held by the Scoot Polar Research Institute.

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

New bird flu found in Adele penguins

Here is an interesting brief article about the a new bird flu virus being found on Adele penguins in Antarctica.  This is the first time a live strain has been reported found in penguins in Antarctica.  The study found it in 3% of the penguins sampled (8 out of ~300 it sounds like) and the penguins did not appear to be sick.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

1,600 year-old Moss in Antarctica

Plant life existing at all in Antarctica is pretty amazing for most to hear about in the first place, but even more unbelievable is that recently moss that has been frozen in Antarctica for over 1,600 years was found to come back to life when put in an incubator.  Frozen plant life coming back to life is not new, but how long it was frozen before being regenerated is much longer than previously done, as before this the oldest plant material regenerated was only frozen for 20 years.  Read more about this here.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Russians install bust in honor of 'discover' of Antarctica

A bust of Russian Faddey Bellingshausen was recently installed in Antarctica to honor his discovery of Antarctica.  Whether he was the actual discoverer is somewhat debatable, as Bellinghausen, British Edward Bransfield, and American Nathan Palmer first sighted it in the same year (1820).  Also, the discovery depends on the definition, as it could also go to those that first set foot on the continent in 1821 (also debatable whether it was John Davis, Nathan Palmer, etc) or the first to realize he had discovered a whole continent, Charles Wilkes.

Related Article

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Explosion at Argentine Esperanza Base Kills Army Officer

On January 14, an explosion at Argentina's Esperanza base on the Antarctic peninsula killed one army officer. The explosion was caused while retrieving inflammable material leftovers.

Related Links

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Antarctic Book Review: Deacon Leeds and the Pyramid of Symbols by Grant Morris

Deacon Leeds and the Pyramid of Symbols by Grant Morris is a science fiction and fantasy novel set in modern day Antarctica.  The book is geared towards a teenage audience with the main character, Deacon Leeds, being a teenager spending his winter break with his dad, who is doing research in Antarctica.  This is a fascinating read that goes back and forth between the perspective of a 70,000 year old civilization in the South that uses magic symbols on a pyramid and modern day Antarctica when they find the golden pyramid when drilling in the ice.  It is a great mix of the realistic world of
Antarctica and the fantasy world related to the pyramid colliding.  In particular, it is nice that it uses real information about how Antarctica is now, such as mentioning that dogs are no longer allowed on the continent, which gives the book a layer of realism even though it is partly fantasy.

This book is the first in The Pyramid Adventure series.  Here's hoping more come soon.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Diamonds in Antarctica?

I have read about minerals and the threat of the exploitation in Antarctica before, but I was quite surprised how my Antarctic news alert today was full of articles about diamonds in Antarctica.  The Antarctic Treaty does prohibit mining, but there is geological research allowed and they discovered kimberlite, which is a volcanic rock known to often bear diamonds.  Actual diamonds were not found, though.  Seems like there is a reasonable chance there would be diamonds in Antarctica somewhere with the volcanic activity, but the remoteness still makes it not worthwhile commercially beyond just the fact that it would be illegal.

Related Links

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Antarctic Book Review: Something to Tell the Grandcows by Eileen Spinelli

 Something to Tell the Grandcows by Eileen Spinelli is a historical fiction picture book written about a cow’s experience as part of Admiral Byrd’s 1933-35 expedition to Antarctica. The book does not provide much historical information other than being loosely based on the fact that Byrd did take cows with him. However, it does provide an interesting perspective of the cow experiencing the cold, 24 hours of sunlight in the Antarctic summer, and 24 hours of darkness in the Antarctic winter. This book is appropriate for grades K to 2. This can be a good book for engaging animal lovers into the topic of Antarctica, especially its climate.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Antarctic Book Review: Rescue in Antarctica by Emily Sohn

Rescue in Antarctica: An Isabel Soto Geography Adventure by Emily Sohn is a graphic novel appropriate for grades 3 to 5. This book is part science fiction with the main characters traveling through time and space through a portal. This book can also be partly considered contemporary realistic fiction because it is mainly about a rescue operation that is similar to how researchers may end up stranded and rescued in Antarctica today. This book is a good selection to introduce children interested in graphic novels to the topic of Antarctica. The book also provides a quick introduction to the concept of climate change and how it is affecting the continent.