Sunday, May 29, 2011

Happy Feet Two Comes to Theaters November 18, 2011

The sequel to Happy Feet is about Mumble's son, who does not want to dance.  The trailer does not make it seem all that interesting, as there is not much to it, but it actually makes me totally uninterested because it some rap hip hop thing and I do not like that kind of music.  However, the graphics look nice and it is going to be in 3D, so that sounds kind of cool.  Plus, its still penguins and set in Antarctica.

The end of the trailer is also kind of disturbing with the little penguin looking like he is being hung and then the seal kind of eating him to pull him back up.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Chile Plans to Add Museum to Arturo Prat Base

Chile is planning to add a museum with exhibits relating to Chilean Antarctic explorers/pioneers to its Arturo Prat base.  The museum is partly to remember the explorer's achievements, but it is also meant to draw tourism.  All those that fear they are majorly trying to ruin Antarctica and draw massive tourism, there is not much to fear, as they only hope to draw 500 people a year.

One of the things the museum will highlight is the Chilean Luis Prado's involvement in the rescue of Shackleton's men from Elephant Island in 1916.  Additionally, the museum will highlight the founding of Chile's first Antarctic base in 1947.

The museum is expected to be finished within the next two years, so visitors should be able to start enjoying it by end of 2013.

Read more about the plans here.

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Book Review: Magic Tree House Research Guide Penguins and Antarctica

The Magic Tree House Research Guide: Penguins and Antarctica is a nonfiction companion to the fiction book Eve of the Emperor Penguin.  This is a great chapter book for kids to learn about penguins and Antarctica, especially if they are fan of the Magic Tree House series.

The book has chapters on penguins, Antarctica explorers, other Antarctic animals, and modern day Antarctica.  It also has some recommendations for doing more further research.

Antarctic Book Review: Eve of the Emperor Penguin by Mary Pope Osborne

Eve of the Emperor Penguin by Mary Pope Osborne is part of the Magic Tree House series of chapter books for children.  It is set in modern times and the kids magically end up in Antarctica to help find something to cheer up Merlin.  It does have some unrealistic magic stuff, but that is what the books are about.  At the same time, though, it has some very realistic Antarctic experience information, such as the danger of ice cracks and the volcano Mount Erebus.

Overall this is a decent book.  It is rather simple, but it is does give a decent look at how current research works in Antarctica.  Definitely a good book for those that are already fans of the series.  It is somewhat educational on its own, but match it with the Magic Tree House Research Guide on Penguins and Antarctica for a good brief introduction to the continent and penguins for kids.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Electric Vehicles Being Tested in Antarctica

Currently, two electric vehicles are being tested in Antarctica to see how effective they are and if they could replace some of the diesel trucks used in Antarctica.  The electric vehicles being used are E-ride EXV2s.  One is owned by NREL (National Renewable Energy Laboratory, part of the US Department of Energy) and one is owned by Raytheon Polar Services.  These vehicles hold two passengers and have a truck bed.  They can go up to 25 MPH and uses lead based batteries.  The vehicles uses battery warming devices, although the harsh Antarctic conditions still limit what the vehicle can do.

It would certainly be a good thing if they can make electric vehicles work in Antarctica and replace at least some of the diesel vehicles.  However, at the same time it is good that they are doing research and not just jumping the gun in an effort to appear more green, as it is possible the energy consumption could be equal or more to the diesel vehicles if the electric vehicles need to use a lot of energy to work in the harsh cold.

Further Reading on this topic here.