Yay!!! I GOT MAIL! Mrs. Lively forwarded me notes and questions from students at Twelve Bridges Middle School. I miss you all and appreciate your well-wishes and curiosity. Here's a selection of Q & A (with more later), with some goofy photos, because I feel a little goofy right now:
What made me want to do this?
Mostly, I feel pretty committed to science education and helping people understand how science works. Another big reason: I love adventure! I LOVE the idea of getting a chance to visit a place that's so weird and wonderful and far away and... did I say weird?
Why is it so cold?
Good question. It has been as low as -27°F with the windchill. BRR!! And this is SPRING, and the sun hasn't set since I arrived! How did it get so cold? It's because of a few factors. There are winds that circulate AROUND the continent, over the Southern Ocean, and they form a sort of WALL that prevents the warmer air from the rest of the world from getting here. Additionally, the tilt of the planet means that even though the sun doesn't set, it also doesn't get very high in the sky to deliver a lot of thermal energy our way. Then in the winter, it's dark for months on end, and that cold persists even when the sun does rise.
Why didn't we have heaters?
Well, we DID have heaters out in the field. In our larger buildings, we had big stoves that burned fuel and smaller ones that burned propane. Our tents did not have heaters because it would have been a fire hazard, or a carbon monoxide hazard. Either way, we'd be pretty dead.
Would I want to stay here longer/indefinitely?
No. I've really enjoyed my time here and I've learned a lot. If I could go back out into the Dry Valleys, I would stay a bit longer, for sure! But otherwise, I feel ready to be home. I miss my regular life. My family, friends. My cat. My routines and work. I'm ready to head home!
I asked YOU what game we invented for fun. Here are some of my favorite guesses:
- Connect 4, with ice
- Drawing hand turkeys
- The game where where you try not to break any tools (Daily)
- We used our scientific stuff to play bowling
- The sleeping game (BEST. GAME. EVER.)
- Getting some traction against ever-present ice
- When we had graphs for data, we'd bet on who would be right
- A treasure hunt to find all of the gear and supplies needed for the expedition to Lake Bonney (yeah... we did play that game)
The Real Answer: we made a mini cornhole game out of a cardboard box and some used hand-warmers.