Oden News Flash! Before we get to today's topic I need to make an announcement....Set your calendars for our 2nd Live Webinar on Wednesday, January 7th! Our first live event was a great success and we are excited to give everyone another chance to participate. By Jan. 7th we will be nearing the end of the scientific data collection portion of the expedition and we will be able to announce some preliminary results. Go to the PolarTREC home page and go to the Live From IPY link to register for the event. Before our first webinar I posted an attached document that helps you understand how to get the most out of the webinar and how to prepare your students. You can find that document on my Dec 13th journal.

    Holiday decorations are appearing all over Oden! Today's journal is a collection of photos that tries to capture some of the ways that the international group of scientists, crew, technicians and teachers aboard the Oden are preparing for the holidays. Yesterday was the Summer Solstice that marked the longest day of the year for the Southern Hemisphere and the official beginning of summer in Antarctica. In the afternoon we all gathered on the stern deck, in the bright sunshine for our official greeting card photo. Apparently this also signaled the rush to get into the holiday spirit and I started to notice decorations appearing around the ship. The scientific collection and analysis of data continues 24 hours a day, but during break times you can find people creatively transforming the holiday traditions of their homes into shipboard works of art. I created an 18" tall version of a Christmas tree, complete with penguins that I put on display in the starboard mess. The Swedes celebrate Christmas with a party on the 24th and everyone is invited. Enjoy!

    Foam Snowman by the CTD Crew
    One of the technicians used extruded foam to create the bodies of several snowmen. They were given to various labs on board and each was decorated with the scrap materials. The CTD crew used rope for a scarf and electrical tape to make a hat!

    Star of David
    Julia, from Georgia Tech. made this Star of David out of a scrap of Styrofoam and aluminium foil as a gift to her advisor, Ellery.

    My Christmas Tree
    Hanna, from Sweden and Alex from Georgia helped me decorate the 18” tree that I brought aboard in my duffle bag. I also brought a small string of lights and we made ornaments shaped like penguins and snowflakes with a blue star on top. Can you see the group of penguins on the blue ice under the tree?

    Gingerbread House
    The chief cook and his staff are amazing. With a homemade recipe for gingerbread, they created this cute little house. They even made the glass for the windows out of sugar.

    Gingerbread Seals
    They made a whole collection of gingerbread cookies including this mother seal with her pup.

    Gingerbread Oden
    Have you ever seen an icebreaker that you could eat?

    Gingerbread Penguin and Heart
    The heart-shaped Swedish greeting looks good enough to eat. BUT, I think we could be violating part of the International Antarctic Treaty if we ate the penguin!

    Paper Heart Makers
    There is a holiday tradition all over Scandinavia in which children learn to cut, fold and weave heart shaped ornaments out of paper. The hearts are then hung on the Christmas tree like little baskets and are filled with candy. After dinner tonight, I gathered the materials and invited folks to teach each other how to make the beautiful hearts. American and Chinese scientists learned to make the hearts from Danish, Swedish and Norwegian scientists. Most of the Scandinavians admitted that they had not made the paper hearts since they were children and everyone had a great time.

    Paper Hearts
    The Scandinavian Christmas hearts are traditionally made out of a single sheet of red and a sheet of white paper. The paper is cut and woven to make a little basket. We put candy and nuts in these and hung them up in the mess for everyone to enjoy.

    Photo of the Day!

    Weather Summary
    Clear blue sky!