Category Archives: Uncategorized

We are all discoverers

Cold Latitudes

We have all made unexpected associations in our heads. Chocolate and peanut butter. Glamour and camping. We have all tried our hand at doing something new. Painted a room an unusual color. Trying a different sport. Discovery is an activity that we are both structured to do and which opens the door to create new life structures – a way to rebuild the airplane in flight, as it were.

Unlike computers thus far, we can reprogram ourselves and pursue new goals with new combinations of skills and tools. With an increasing longevity, we have the opportunity to enjoy discovery and its fruits a lot more than our forebears.

Chocolate and peanut butter may seem like a small thought – until you look at the popularity of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups. Running off the pavement onto a trail was a small change at the time – until I found myself running 135 miles…

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Iron, Harpoon Tips, and Peary

Cold Latitudes

For me, Earth’s Poles stand at the edge of space. The atmosphere and the magnetosphere are thinnest there, opening the door to solar winds and awesome northern lights shows. Greenland and its neighborhood are a bridge between the Solar System and ourselves.

Greenland had its own iron age – but unlike a “normal” iron age where you mine iron ore and extract the iron, Greenland’s iron was served ready to use via several huge meteorites from outer space. The Inuit learned to flake the large, alien stones, and to shape small iron tools and hunting implements, well before the Norse brought their “normal” iron along. You could say this is a clear example of an extraterrestrial influence in human development!

Three fragments from a particularly large meteorite, which landed in the Cape York area (a spot at the other end of where I will be in Greenland with respect to the center of…

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Gateway to Greenland

Cold Latitudes

Reykjavik Airport – Reykjavíkurflugvöllur – is what I call a real airport. City and forest surround the field. You can see all the taxiways and runways. Many small airplanes joyfully flitter around like hummingbirds. The terminals are functional – gateways to adventure rather than shopping emporia.

As for me, it’s hurry up and wait. There are 50km between Keflavik International and the Reykjavyk Airport, and I focus entirely on completing the transfer as fast as possible. “Success”: now I get to wait six hours for my flight to Greenland! Cost of taking an earlier flight: 300 euros. Rental car availability: no. Looks like I get to play Tom Hanks in The Terminal…

And there are no power sockets anywhere to be seen. This power-hungry American wallows in distress at the complete absence of power sockets. I sip off my mobile computers watching battery levels the way a video gamer watches…

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Off to the Glaciers

Cold Latitudes

Boulder – Reykjavik; Reykjavik – Kulusuk. The adventure has started, but we are not on the glaciers yet. We stand on the Kulusuk dock at high tide. Tied to the dock pillars, down in the icy water, a pod of dead seals stays cool and preserved. In a land with 2000 varieties of lichen and moss but no plants more than an inch tall, protein is the foundation of everyone’s diet, humans and sled dogs alike.
Guilo arrives with his boat – the Inuit in Greenland no longer depend on kayaks and umiaks – and three of us jump aboard after transferring our heavy backpacks over. The other three will travel with Juustuus, Guilo’s son, on his larger and newer boat.
We take off to the North and into Ammasalik Fjord. The water is glassy smooth, and the surrounding mountains look at themselves in it. There was a time when…

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