Sunday, November 23, 2008

end radio silence.

just got back to the US today. consider radio silence terminated (but it will be sorely missed by all).

in summary: flew to southern tip of Argentina, set sail in a Russian "acoustic research" boat, spent several days in Antarctic land and sea, stopovers at Ukrainian AND British science stations, crashed an abandoned whaling station in a sunken volcano, was in awe of majestic icebergs, in fear of ginormous glaciars, run amock by unpredictable weather, cruised around in Jacque Cousteau's Zodiacs, shared quite a few drinks with (mostly) funny Europeans, and even went to Uruguay.

oh and then there were penguins. LOTS of penguins:

...there were a few seals, whales, and assorted albatrosses as well.

and as if that wasn't enough, there was also quite a large pillow fight:

...but that was MUCH later.

it will be about a week before i get my pics posted (3000+ taken to be sorted through, and a few friends' videos to share), so stay tuned. in the meantime, enjoy some sci-fi geekout.

coming soon:

already happened:

Wednesday, November 05, 2008


the day has finally arrived.

sadly, this trip only marks #6/7 (of my goal of "7 continents by 30 - Africa, the mother of all creation, is my final destination). you won't be hearing ANYTHING from me for awhile, so enjoy it while it lasts.

a rough itinerary of the impending journey:

Days 1 & 2: Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego, Argentina
Arrive in Ushuaia and transfer independently to your hotel. Next day you will have a chance to explore Ushuaia, the southernmost city in the world. Enjoy the spectacular setting beneath the snow-capped mountains of the Andes. Later in the afternoon, the Expedition Team gets you settled aboard your ice-strengthened ship as we sail into the Beagle Channel to start your Antarctic expedition.

Days 3 & 4: Across the Drake to the South Shetlands

We enter the Drake Passage, named for Sir Francis Drake. Various seabirds, including the Wandering Albatross, accompany us on our crossing. We also sail through the Antarctic Convergence, which – as one of our specialists will be happy to explain, poring over a map in the lounge – is a natural boundary formed by the meeting of cold Antarctic and warmer Subantarctic waters. By Day 4 we should reach the South Shetland Islands, where we plan to visit penguin
rookeries and walk remote beaches sighting Antarctic fur seals and southern elephant seals.

Days 5 - 9: Antarctic Peninsula
There will be many unforgettable close-ups in the days ahead, but if you painted the broader canvas of your Peninsula experience it would begin with endless vistas of windswept ice; jagged mountain peaks crowned with snow; massive glaciers descending into the sea; and our ship winding through deep blue waters dotted with floating icebergs. Then there is the wildlife: Gentoo, Chinstrap and Adélie Penguins; Weddell, crabeater and leopard seals; orcas; humpback
and Minke whales; and every kind of bird, from Blue-eyed Shags and Snowy Sheathbills to Kelp Gulls, Cape Petrels and Antarctic Terns. During this period we hope to visit one of the archipelago’s many research bases, and on some departures we are able to sail right into the sunken volcanic caldera of Deception Island. Around this point in the journey, those who opted for polar camping (we did) will set off with their expedition tents for an unforgettable night on the ice. Next, if conditions allow, we navigate the Neumayer and Lemaire Channels, taking in stunning views as the ship passes between towering rock faces and spectacular glaciers. Weather permitting; we may also sail up to the Peninsula’s northern tip into Iceberg Alley – where massive pieces of the ice shelf have calved into the Antarctic Sound. Travelers who’ve chosen the sea-kayaking option (not us, it was an additional $600) enjoy an even more dramatic perspective as they paddle among the icebergs. Your exploration of the continent proper typically begins at Neko Harbour or Paradise Bay. Neko Harbour is prone to relatively frequent glacier calving, and offers excellent views of Andvord Bay and the Gerlache Strait
Days 10 & 11: Back across the Drake to Ushuaia
As our ship makes the return voyage across the Drake Passage, we’re escorted much of the way by an impressive variety of seabirds, including magnificent Wandering Albatross, as well as Giant and Cape Petrels. You’ll often spot whales and dolphins en route as well. Illuminating presentations and lively chats continue as the Expedition Team reviews the journey and invites your perspective on all we’ve seen and experienced.

Day 12: Disembark in Ushuaia

more details on the trip can be found here (note - we only paid half price, as we jumped on some last min cancellations)

we'll be spending a few days after wandering around Argentina/Chile/Uruguay (during which i MIGHT make some intermittent posts, but probably not), returning to the US on Sun Nov 23rd.

das ist alles.

yes we did.

Tuesday, November 04, 2008

tweet the vote?

i really have nothing of profound significance to say today (i stayed up all night packing so i wouldn't freak out about my trip tonight so could relax + focus on freaking out for the election), unlike some people, but thought i'd share yet another interesting election tracker that is unique this year around (thanks Josh for sharing):

here's another couple of interesting ones i just noticed from our friends @ Facebook:

and it took them awhile, but our pals @ Google finally got their election day logo up:

seriously, go vote.

...quit reading this, GO!

Monday, November 03, 2008

fair & balanced

my buddy John from Chattanooga recently posted the following disturbing pic:

...reminiscent of an earlier post from Cincinnati:

good to know that ignorance knows no political affiliations. but evil does*!

*just kidding (or am i?)! go vote already.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

man that's targetted!

watching SNL clips of Johny Mac on Hulu, and look what i saw...

(HINT: look just slightly below the guys in the suits)


...and someone recently told me that Seth Meyer (shown left) was now the HEAD WRITER of the show? it seems like just yesterday that he was but just a boy (in a top-hat)
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