26 January, 1997
>1/26/97 >Today was the first time in a long time that I got 8 hours of sleep. I >went to bed at 2:00AM (the sun was shining in a beautiful bright blue sky) >and got up at 10:00AM. One of the things I love most here is the >continuous sunshine; no matter how late I stay up, the cheerful sun is >always there. > >I met Barbara Schulz again today. She just got back from a different area >of the Dry Valleys (Lake Bonny). She is a biology teacher. I really >recommend her journals because she has a very different perspective of >Antarctica. While I was studying rocks, Barb was studying life. > >QUESTIONS: (if you mailed a question and do not see the answer here, >please try the January 21 and 24 entries. > > >Andy Verdon >Organization: Dutchess County BOCES > > Specifically, where are >you? > >GREAT QUESTION. I'M AT MCMURDO BASE ON ROSS ISLAND, ABOUT 166 DEGREES AND >40' EAST AND ABOUT 77 DEGREES AND 50' SOUTH. ROSS ISLAND IS ALMOST >STRAIGHT DOWN FROM NEW ZEALAND AND JUST OFF THE COAST OF THE CONTINENT. IT >IS CONNECTED TO ANTARCTICA BY THE GIANT ROSS ICE SHELF. >MORE SPECIFICALLY, I AM IN ROOM 118 OF CRARY LAB. THIS IS WHERE I WORK >SINCE RETURNING FROM THE DRY VALLEYS. CRARY LAB HAS ALL THE FACILITIES >THAT RESEARCHERS NEED FOR CARRYING OUT ON-SITE ANALYSIS. THE STAFF HERE IS >EXTREMELY HELPFUL IN FINDING EQUIPMENT AND MAKING REPAIRS. > >What are your insights into incorporating the Internet into the >classroom? > >FROM MY PERSPECTIVE IN ANTARCTICA THE POTENTIAL IS FANTASTIC. THE QUESTION >IS, "HOW DO WE FULFILL THE POTENTIAL". AND THAT IS SOMETHING I HAVE >THOUGHT ABOUT A GREAT DEAL SINCE I ARRIVED HERE. UNFORTUNATELY, I REALLY >NEED MORE TIME TO THINK ABOUT THIS TOPIC BEFORE I CAN GIVE A MORE COMPLETE >ANSWER. > >I'd also be interested in knowing what science you've >learned, and how kids might get more turned onto learning through the >integration of technology and science. > >OF COURSE THE JOURNALS GIVE SOME FEEL FOR THE SCIENCE I AM LEARNING HERE. >I THINK THE MOST IMPORTANT THING FOR THE STUDENTS IS THAT THEY ARE A PART >OF THIS ADVENTURE. MANY CLASSES ARE FOLLOWING THE JOURNALS FROM DAY TO >DAY. MANY OF THESE STUDENTS ARE BEGINNING TO SEE SCIENCE AS AN ADVENTURE >AND NOT JUST ANOTHER SUBJECT TO BE LEARNED. WITHOUT THE INTERNET, THE >IMMEDIACY OF THIS ADVENTURE WOULD BE LOST, THEY WOULD NOT FEEL THAT THEY >WERE A PART OF IT IF THEY COULD NOT COMMUNICATE WITH ME WHILE I AM HERE. > > >The following two letters mention the weather. I'll take time to talk >about it in general. > > >Date: Sat, 25 Jan 1997 12:54:24 -0500 >From: Martin Burns` Organization: Capital School Board President >Bill, >.Julie and I were in Chicago one >week ago and felt -5 degrees..luckily the windchill was not what it had >been the day before we arrived...-50 to -70...the gods turned off the >winds for some reason...an unheard of event in CHICAGO! Couldn't help >thinking of being in that kind of weather constantly. > >Dear Dr. Bill Philips, > We hope you are having an enjoyable time. How cold is it? The >other day at Hartly it was -18 below zero with the wind chill factor. >We hope you will come to our school when you return. Please E-Mail us >back. We just got the internet and you would be the first to e-mail >back to Mr. Smith's class. The fourth Graders at Hartly > >AT THIS TIME OF THE YEAR AND IN THIS PLACE (MCMURDO) THE WEATHER IS >DELIGHTFUL---USUALLY. OFTEN CHICAGO AND HARTLEY, DELAWARE WILL HAVE COLDER >WEATHER THAN THE COAST OF ANTARCTICA. WHILE IN THE DRY VALLEYS THE COLDEST >TEMPERATURE WE EXPERIENCED WAS ABOUT -8 C. THE HIGHEST WAS JUST ABOVE 0 C. > THESE "WARM" TEMPERATURES IN THE DRY VALLEYS IS WHY THEY CALL IT THE >"BANANA BELT". ALSO THE WIND BLOWS ALMOST CONSTANTLY THERE, USUALLY FROM >15 TO 25 MILES/HR. > >THE WIND OF COURSE CREATES A WIND CHILL. HOWEVER, THE WIND CHILL FACTOR >THAT WEATHERMEN LOVE TO SCARE PEOPLE WITH IS NEGLIGIBLE IF YOU ARE DRESSED >IN ANYTHING THAT CAN BLOCK THE WIND OR ARE STANDING OUT OF THE WIND. IN >OTHER WORDS, IF YOUR SKIN IS NOT EXPOSED AND YOUR CLOTHING KEEPS OUT THE >WIND, WIND CHILL IS NOT IMPORTANT. THE WIND CHILL TEMPERATURE SHOULD BE >APPLIED TO UNPROTECTED SKIN---SO NAKED PEOPLE STANDING AROUND THE STREETS >OF CHICAGO WOULD ACTUALLY EXPERIENCE THOSE WIND CHILLS THAT ARE REPORTED. >HOWEVER, THOSE OF US THAT ELECT TO WEAR JACKETS, PANTS, ETC. ARE LESS >EFFECTED BY IT. > >HAVING SAID THAT, I MUST ADMIT, THAT WHEN I AM LIGHTLY DRESSED AND A WIND >COMES WHIPPING OFF OF THE ICE SHEETS, I FEEL A COLD THAT BITES LIKE TEETH >OF ICE. FORTUNATELY WE ARE PROVIDED WITH THE VERY BEST GEAR TO PROTECT US. > IT'S JUST THAT IDIOT'S LIKE ME SOMETIMES RUN FROM ONE BUILDING TO ANOTHER >WITHOUT BOTHERING TO PUT IT ON. > >AS FOR SLEEPING IN A TENT IN THIS KIND OF WEATHER, AGAIN, IT DEPENDS ON >WHERE YOU ARE AND THE TIME OF THE YEAR. SINCE BULL PASS, WHERE WE STAYED, >WAS USUALLY SUNNY OUR SCOTT TENT WAS OFTEN IN THE 40'S F. HOWEVER, THERE >WERE DAYS WHEN THE WATER FROZE IN OUT TENTS. NEVERTHELESS OUR SLEEPING >BAGS WERE WONDERFUL AND KEPT US VERY WARM. > >THERE IS ALSO THE ADJUSTMENT TO THE COLD. I DO NOT KNOW WHETHER THE >ADJUSTMENT IS PHYSICAL OR MENTAL. SOME PEOPLE HERE NEVER GET USE TO IT, >BUT MOST OF US DON'T EVEN NOTICE IT. ONE PERSON WANTED TO KNOW WHAT IT >FELT LIKE GETTING UP IN THE MIDDLE OF THE NIGHT OR EARLY IN THE MORNING. >IT FELT PRETTY MUCH LIKE GETTING UP AT HOME, THE COLD WAS NOT A FACTOR. > >FINALLY, AS I HAVE SAID, I'VE WORKED IN SOME OF THE WARMEST PLACES IN >ANTARCTICA. THOSE RESEARCHERS AT VOSTOK AND AMUNDSEN-SCOTT BASE CAN TELL >YOU QUITE A DIFFERENT TALE, AS CAN THE PEOPLE WHO LIVE HERE IN THE WINTER. >VOSTOK RECORDED THE LOWEST TEMPERATURE IN THE WORLD DURING THE WINTER, I >BELIEVE IT WAS -89 DEGREES C (AT THAT TEMPERATURE TIN CRUMBLES INTO DUST >AND A DROPPED STEEL BAR MIGHT BREAK). > >Dear Mr. Phillips, > We are students in Mrs. Handler's second grade class at Arnold >Elementary School in Dover, Delaware. We are interested in your >expedition in Antarctica because we are studying continents. We are >also interested in penguins. Can you take a picture of a penguin We have >started a >notebook of information from your trip. > Thank you for sending the letters to help us learn more about >Antarctica. Your Friends, Mrs. Handler's Class > >THIS IS THE SECOND LETTER I HAVE RECEIVED ABOUT PENGUINS, SO I GUESS IT'S >TIME TO TELL ABOUT BEING AMONG THE ADELE PENGUINS AT CAPE ROYDS. A FEW >DAYS AGO WE WENT TO CAPE ROYDS AND MET STEPANI AND SOPHIE WHO HAVE BEEN >WORKING AT THE ROOKERY THERE FOR MOST OF THE SUMMER. LATER WE WALKED OVER >TO AREA NEAR THE ROOKERY (SIGNS ARE POSTED TO KEEP PEOPLE OUT OF THE >ROOKERY). I SAT ON A ROCKY LEDGE CLOSE TO WHERE THE PENGUINS LIKED TO >ENTER THE WATER. FOR ABOUT 45 MINUTES I WATCHED THERE COMINGS AND GOINGS. >I CAN TELL YOU THAT THEY ARE EVEN MORE DELIGHTFUL IN PERSON THAN THEY ARE >IN THE NATURE FILMS. MY FAVORITE WAS RICH (NOT HIS REAL NAME). RICH STOOD >AMIDST THE HUSTLE AND BUSTLE LOOKING COMPLETELY BORED AND HALF ASLEEP. HE >NEVER MOVE BUT OCCASIONALLY GAVE A LOOK THAT SAID, "STUPID PENGUINS". THE >FIRST TIME I SAW PAUL (NOT HIS REAL NAME) I THOUGHT HE WAS DEAD. HE JUST >LAID THERE SLEEPING AMONG ALL THE TURMOIL ABOUT HIM. CHERYL, JEN AND ANN >(ALSO NOT THERE REAL NAMES) RAN UP AND DOWN THE ROCK FROM WHICH THE >PENGUINS JUMPED INTO THE WATER. THEY HAD NO INTENTION OF GOING IN >THEMSELVES, BUT SEEM TO LOVE WATCHING THE OTHERS, ANN EVEN KNOCKED ONE OR >TWO IN SOMETIMES. BOB, GENE, LARRY AND ANOTHER BOB (THEIR REAL NAMES) ALL >SHOT UP ONTO THE ICE VERY GRACEFULLY AND THEN REALIZED THEY WERE NOT ON >LAND BUT ON AN ICE FLOW. THEY RAN UP AND DOWN THE FLOW, WONDERING HOW TO >GET ONTO THE LAND WHICH WAS ABOUT SIX FEET AWAY. NONE OF THEM SEEMED TO >REALIZE THAT THEY COULD SWIM OVER. JAN AND ELAINE CAME OVER TO STARE. >THEY WALKED TO WITHIN FIVE FEET OF ME AND GAVE A LOOK WHICH SEEMED TO SAY, >"HEY, STUPID, YOUR NOT A PENGUIN." AS I WALKED BACK TO SHACKLETON' S HUT I >WAS FOLLOWED BY APRIL. APRIL SEEMED INTERESTED IN THE FACT THAT THE DOOR >TO THE HUT WAS OPENED. PENGUINS OFTEN SEEM VERY CURIOUS ABOUT SOMETHING >DIFFERENT, SHE SEEMED TO THINK THE OPEN DOOR MIGHT OFFER A NEW OPPORTUNITY >FOR EXPLORATION. > >AND THAT WAS MY WONDERFUL DAY WITH THE ADELE PENGUINS. > > > >Dear Dr. Bill, > >You are a dork. However, those two graduate students with you are very cool. > >Sincerely Gabe > >THIS WAS A RATHER STRANGE NOTE. THE ROUTING OF THE MESSAGE SEEMED TO BE >FROM ANTARCTICA TO MY HOUSE AND BACK AGAIN. WHAT WAS PARTICULARLY STRANGE >ABOUT IT IS THAT IT REFERS TO ME AS A DORK AND TO MIKE AND JON AS VERY >COOL. NOW I KNOW MIKE AND JON VERY WELL. SEVERAL WORDS COME TO MIND WHEN >YOU MEET THEM, BUT NONE OF THE WORDS WOULD BE "COOL". BOY, I REALLY WISH I >COULD FIGURE OUT WHO IN ANTARCTICA WOULD BE CALLING ME A "DORK" AND MIKE >AND JON "COOL". I THINK THE MESSAGE WAS SUPPOSED TO READ, "YOU ARE VERY >COOL. HOWEVER, THOSE TWO GRADUATE STUDENTS WITH YOU ARE DORKS." OH WELL, >I GUESS WE'LL NEVER FIGURE OUT WHO WROTE IT. > > > >One last thing before closing. Sir Edmund Hillary, the first man to stand >at the top of Mount Everest, is giving a lecture at this very moment. Why >am I not there?---I really don't like large crowds. I went over to hear >him, but the room was absolutely packed. I'm afraid I did the same thing >when the Norwegian who skied across Anarctica spoke Friday night. So, I am >sorry to say, I have nothing to report about two very remarkable men. But, >if they would just step down to my office....Return to Bill Philips' Page
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