Antarctica

…is really big. It’s an interesting perspective, and it makes Scott’s attempt and Amundsen’s success, almost a century ago now, all the more impressive. It would be like a dash from south Texas to upper Missouri, and back, in much harsher conditions.

I would note that the key to success was supply caches along the way. It’s too bad that NASA can’t accept that lesson. I should write an alternate history of how NASA would have reached the south pole, using a heavy-lift dog sled.

Science Fiction

is it cool? Was it ever? It never seemed to be when I was a kid, but maybe that’s changed. Scalzi thinks that 2001 and The Matrix were cool, but Star Wars wasn’t. I might completely agree if I’d seen The Matrix, but not having done so, I’ll take his word for it. I do agree on his assessment of the other two.

Slightly off topic, I use the verb grok regularly (I did so at work just this week) and when I do so I wonder how many people grok it? And if so, how? No one has ever asked me what it means, which means that either they already know, or they think they already know, or they don’t want to admit that they don’t know.

And getting back on topic, and speaking of “cool,” it’s remarkable how well the word has held up for decades. A lot of other words (groovy, groty) come and go, but that one seems to have stood the test of time, and become classic slang. It’s also interesting how well the word is grokked by most people.

Biting Commentary about Infinity…and Beyond!