Thursday, March 31, 2011

Historic Admiral Richard Byrd 2nd Antarctic Expedition Rediscovered

Back in January, a team of researchers rediscovered one of the depots used by American Admiral Richard Byrd and his other expedition members on his 2nd Antarctic Expedition between 1933 and 1935. At the depot they found three crampons and a set of wooden expandable survey poles. Two of the crampons belonged to Quin A Blackburn and one belonged to Richard Russell. The poles had the name Cox on them. The straps of the crampons had disintegrated, but they were otherwise in good condition including no rust on the buckle since it is a dry windblown area (Antarctica is a desert afterall!).

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Video Game with Penguins: 3DS AR Game - Graffiti

I got my Nintendo 3DS yesterday, but did not try the AR Games until today. When I first started the Graffiti (drawing) game, the first thing I drew was a penguin. Mine came out okay, but what is really cool is that one of the few stamp options is a realistic little penguin. I had some fun making some pics using it including one with penguins on an iceberg. As a penguin lover I had a lot of fun with Graffiti partially just because I could stamp penguins.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Mars Space Suit Tested in Antarctica

Recently, a space suit prototype that may eventually be used for a manned mission to Mars by NASA was studied in the harsh, windy conditions of Antarctica. The average temperature on Mars is -200 degrees Farenheit, which is not colder than Antarctica, but the 47 mile per hour winds do help create similar cold conditions or at least as cold as you can get in a natural Earth setting. The suit was tested while users did various activities similar to what they would do on Mars.

It is not the first time Antarctica has been used as a Mars-like habitat for space study reasons. Back in 2007, an Inflatable Habitat was tested at McMurdo for potential use on the moon and Mars. The dry valleys of Antarctica have also been studied as an Earth equivalent to the dry valleys on Mars.

Antarctica Themed Painting in Alexis Rockman: A Fable for Tommorrow Art Exhibit

Earlier this week at the Smithsonian American Art Museum I happened upon a cool Antarctica themed painting in the Alexis Rockman: A Fable for Tomorrow exhibit of paintings. The paintings are mostly fantasy or future nature themed. The Antarctic themed "South" painting is a several panel one that is among the biggest in the exhibit. It mainly features icebergs.

The exhibit will remain on display at the Smithsonian American Art Museum (same building as the National Portrait Gallery) until May 8, 2011. It will also be on display at the Wexner Center for the Arts in Columbus, Ohio September 24, 2011 through January 1, 2012.