Chilean Earthquake and Sun Correlation?

Icebreaker Get Together

We have yet to have a formal welcoming party, so Chef Fran put one together last night in the South Pole Bistro Lounge.

My task was hors d'oeuvres platters.

Rauls task was mixology.

Stuffed boomers.

At first there was just a few...

Then word got out there was good food and drinks...

And they all came.


Adios Iceberg

Source: http://news.mongabay.com/2010/0226-iceberg.html

The South Pole troposphere temp. is getting colder due to ozone depletion effects on cooling of the stratosphere. But, the oceans North of the coastlines are getting warmer, thus a temp. gradient is increasing, as are the consistency and speed of the westerlies. It is expected that the ozone hole should heal since we aren't pumping as many chemicals (i.e., freons (CFCs) and halons) into the air, and if it does heal then it is predicted that the South Pole temp. will rise 3 deg C by 2100. We honestly don't know much about Antarctica and in the last few years climate/ocean change studies have increased, and I bet in the near future this field of research escalates. Ice core samples show us the fluctuations between hot and cold periods, but they don't provide a record of anthropogenic alterations to the atmosphere as we are currently witnessing. They do show us that interglacial events naturally occur. The great flood? If this icy wonderland warms up... lots of fresh water ice will be pumped into the oceans altering the great oceanic conveyour belt. Feedback mechanims show no mercy.

Antarctic Boxing Team

First rule of ice fight club is no hitting each other, just pads and bags. We'll cover everything from the art of ring boxing to muay thai to jitsu to kenpo to street fighting and self-defense to Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle fighting styles. Classes start Tuesday.

Good Morning America

I awake to this every morning. After climbing out of bed and getting a jug of coffee I meander outside to the porch to check out the sky. Halos have been ringing the sun over the last few days. It's -85 F with wind chill, steady wind, ice crystals floating everywhere.

For the weekend we stock up the leftover fridge since the kitchen is closed on Sunday. I made 50 breakfast burritos, two quiches (lamb and veg.), a bunch of yogurt, bagels, and pastries.

The coolest thing happened when I took the eggs outside to cool... hoar frost grew on them within minutes. I laughed, the simple things amuse me. I mean how often do you get your hoar frost on your eggs?

The people working on closing down the summer camp have brought in a lot of junk leftovers for us to puruse and take home if we wish. I rummaged through it and got a few bottles of Vitamin D supplements as well as some fake plants. Hey, let me tell you a bit about vitamin D.

Vitamin-D Food Sources

Relatively few foods naturally contain vitamin D, the most abundant being oily fish like salmon, sardines, and mackerel, or old-fashioned, cod liver oil. Because of limited natural sources, numerous foods, such as milk, are vitamin-D fortified.

Many scientists now believe we need 1,000 IU per day of vitamin D (IU = international units, a measure of vitamin potency) to avoid deficiency. For reference, a salmon serving contains about 360 IU, a glass of fortified milk about 100 IU, an egg 25 IU, and a tablespoon of cod liver oil 1300+ IU.

In comparison, full-body sunbathing for a period of time that will just make you turn pink will produce 10,000-20,000 IU of vitamin D, equivalent to 100 to 200 glasses of fortified milk. Given such copious production, relatively casual sun exposure (arms, etc) should meet vitamin-D needs.

Remember, however, that no vitamin D will be generated in short-daylight months above certain latitudes. In these periods to avoid vitamin-D deficiency - especially if you don’t like oily fish or are lactose intolerant - you will need to consume a supplement or use a UVB-emitting tanning bed. Studies have shown that individuals who use such a tanning bed in winter have serum levels of 25-hydroxyvitamin D (the marker for vitamin-D status) that is 90% higher than controls.

The importance of solar-produced vitamin D was underscored in a study that evaluated vitamin-D status in a submarine crew after two months of acute sun deprivation. Although the crew consumed a vitamin-D fortified diet, their levels of this nutrient plummeted.

Vitamin D can be toxic if too much is consumed from supplements or mistakenly over-fortified foods. However, prolonged sun exposure does not generate toxic vitamin-D levels due to the body’s feedback regulatory mechanisms." - Laurance Johnston, Ph.D, 'Sunlight, Vitamin D, and Health'

With all that said, I also spoke with out station doc on Vitamin D. She says that sunlight is necessary for good health. People say drink a glass a milk for good bones, but really... you need 10 glasses of milk to get your daily amount of Vitamin D. A half hour in the sun will fill your body with all it's Vitamin D needs. For us at the South Pole, the sun is already too low in the horizon to offer any UVB for Vitamin D making. The greenhouse has a limited ultraviolet spectrum for maximum plant growth and I don't think there's any UVB there. How will we get our Vitamin D doc? She said that supplements will be useful to a degree, but sunlight is necessary for the full production process that helps our bones, cells, etc. Good news is that since Vitamin D is stored in fat cells we are good for up to year with D with the assistance of supplements and milk. Thankfully I spent 6 weeks in Belize soaking up the sun every day before coming down to Antarctica.


Majestic Sun

With all the ice crystals floating around in the air and the sun 9.3 deg. above the horizon we get light shows like this all the time.

A Southern Kitchen Scene

2/25/2010 – Cody Lee Meyer – South Pole, Antarctica

A Southern Kitchen Scene

A mutation at 3 AM,
The ice chef comes to work
With a desire for coffee
And an inching of hunger;

Awaking from dreams,
Of last nights reality;

Walking a rhythm,
Of a song yet to be played.

He focuses upon a cookbook,
Not for recipes,
But for ideas,
For pictures of what should be cooked.

He checks the leftovers,
Not for items,
But for ideas,
For dishes to be engineered.

Lamb and steak;
Could be steak and eggs.

Eggs and heavy cream;
Could be South Pole Bistro crème brûlée.

Could be a taste untasted.

He scurries to find what’s needed
In hope of inventing
A new dish today.

The most southern dish,
The most remote dish,
The coldest dish on Earth,

Only found here.

With the use of machines
And ingenuity,
He pieces together a puzzle
Of something contemporary yet old.

Stemming from roots
Are recipes from tombs,
Lessons from the wise
Telling son it’s time to fry.

Deep fried macaroni and cheese
Is new to these streets.

It’s crispy and cheesy
Good enough to put one on their feet.

Last night’s mac-n-cheese
With bacon-n-more blue cheese,
Dipped in a rich southern fish fry batter,
Topped off at 360 degrees in the fryer,
Ends up being a ball of deep-fried cheesy goodness.

Goodness this chef is smart…
He knows this art.

Late is has become,
Time for another one.

Late afternoon arrives and
The next Chef walks in.
Hi and Goodbye Chef.
See you at dinner, at around 5.

What a day it has been,
Playing in the kitchen.


Trauma Team 4 Response Training

Every person on station is given a duty outside their payed job to act as an emergency responder in some way... you can be a fire fighter, supply person, medic, or first-on-scene responder. I am the backup lead medical response guy, which means when I get a call on the radio and don't here the lead responder within 30 sec. I must be on my way, quickly, to the scene. Yesterday, we journeyed to several buildings outside the station (~ 1 mile away) to examine their backboard, AED, and first aid kits. Biggest challenges for us are when an accident occurs outside, in winter, where it's complete darkness, colder than poo, and we're all wearing heavy ECW gear. The goal is to get the victims on sleds, no matter where they are, and safely haul them to the emergency room.

There's our station about a mile away. Beyond the mile marker... there ain't nothing except the Russian Vostok station, which is like 700 miles away.

The machinist shop.

I'll pass, but thanks for the offer.

IceCube balls.

Here you can see the station, and the IceCube strands of sensors hanging in the ice. The thing to the bottom right is a neutrino --> muon and it's associated blue light cone... originally moving faster that the speed of light, so yes it is possible... just not in a vaccum.

This morning there were some sun dogs on the horizon. Nice to to see the sun after 5 days of clouds.