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wd40
2016-Dec-01, 02:47 PM
Almost 87, is Aldrin a bit elderly to go to the South Pole (https://www.nsf.gov/news/news_summ.jsp?cntn_id=190518&org=NSF&from=news)?

schlaugh
2016-Dec-01, 03:07 PM
Why does his age matter? It's his health that counts and if he was medically able to participate in a guided tourist trip (http://www.white-desert.com/) then more power to him. Now, if he was hiding a serious medical condition, then yes, it might be inappropriate to make the trip.

pzkpfw
2016-Dec-01, 07:28 PM
http://www.stuff.co.nz/world/americas/87113101/ailing-buzz-aldrin-second-man-on-moon-medically-evacuated-from-south-pole

I find it interesting which items "Stuff" opens up for comments, and which they don't.

Buttercup
2016-Dec-01, 10:59 PM
Well I don't wish to be ageist at all, and wish him a full recovery, but when you're 86 and in a place where "rescues" are fraught with all sorts of danger (those peoples' lives and safety too). :(

bknight
2016-Dec-02, 01:33 PM
Here is an update from Buzz's web
http://buzzaldrin.com/south-pole-news/

grant hutchison
2016-Dec-02, 01:39 PM
Well I don't wish to be ageist at all, and wish him a full recovery, but when you're 86 and in a place where "rescues" are fraught with all sorts of danger (those peoples' lives and safety too). :(One way to avoid being ageist is not to make guesses about a person's medical fitness according to his age.

Grant Hutchison

molesworth
2016-Dec-02, 03:00 PM
Why does his age matter? It's his health that counts and if he was medically able to participate in a guided tourist trip (http://www.white-desert.com/) then more power to him. Now, if he was hiding a serious medical condition, then yes, it might be inappropriate to make the trip.
Indeed! As long as you're fit enough you can go. I've been twice (well, to the Peninsula, not the Pole) and the age range was considerable, ranging from 11 to <somewhere in the eighties - not polite to ask :-) >. There are various medical restrictions, mainly related to the difficulty of medical evacuation, which is only sensible.

Given the number of high-profile and celeb deaths this year has given us, I'm mightily relieved to hear Buzz is recovering, and in good spirits...

schlaugh
2016-Dec-02, 03:30 PM
For $70,000 they could bloody well haul my rear end around on a stretcher with skis.

Swift
2016-Dec-02, 04:02 PM
Merged the two threads on this topic

Gillianren
2016-Dec-02, 04:45 PM
Look, I'm less than half his age, and it wouldn't be a good idea for me to take the trip. (Especially now, but you know what I mean!) However, I know plenty of people considerably older than I am who would be fine, because they don't have my history of medical problems. Besides, when you're Buzz Aldrin, how far away does the South Pole really seem?

Trebuchet
2016-Dec-02, 05:20 PM
Look, I'm less than half his age, and it wouldn't be a good idea for me to take the trip. (Especially now, but you know what I mean!) However, I know plenty of people considerably older than I am who would be fine, because they don't have my history of medical problems. Besides, when you're Buzz Aldrin, how far away does the South Pole really seem?

But think of it -- you could be the first woman to give birth at the South Pole! You'd go down in history!

bknight
2016-Dec-02, 05:22 PM
But think of it -- you could be the first woman to give birth at the South Pole! You'd go down in history!
Might be a chilly birth for sure.

Gillianren
2016-Dec-03, 05:13 PM
I'm going to go out on a limb and guess they're not equipped for a c-section at the South Pole, thanks.

grant hutchison
2016-Dec-03, 05:36 PM
I'm going to go out on a limb and guess they're not equipped for a c-section at the South Pole, thanks.I think they could probably manage one - they have an operating room and some surgical and anaesthetic supplies, and a basic Caesarean doesn't require much in the way of specialist equipment. The only real gap I can think of would be the drugs routinely used to cause uterine contraction after the baby is out, but of course Caesareans have been done successfully without those drugs.
I doubt they'd be willing to sign up for one electively, though.

Grant Hutchison

profloater
2016-Dec-03, 06:07 PM
They have to be self sufficient and quite severe injuries happen down there, so if the weather closed in I think they would cope pretty well, but if flights are possible no doubt they have risk reducing protocols.

grant hutchison
2016-Dec-03, 06:25 PM
In the USA, pregnancy is a "not physically qualified" criterion which disqualifies a woman from taking up post on an Antarctic station, simply because of the difficulty of dealing with pregnancy-related emergencies in isolated settings.
Whereas both Argentina and Chile have deliberately sent pregnant women to give birth in their stations on the Antarctic Peninsula, as part of an effort to cement territorial claims. (Which is strange, given that they are signatories to the Antarctic Treaty, Article 4 of which states "The treaty does not recognise, dispute, nor establish territorial sovereignty claims; no new claims shall be asserted while the treaty is in force.")

Grant Hutchison

publiusr
2016-Dec-03, 07:02 PM
That treaty has force since because it is so hard to get there.

Some have wanted to move ice farther inland to avoid sea levels. I'd love to see a chain of spent off-shore oil rings moved by this ship: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pioneering_Spirit_(ship)
--tor form a chain of ocean and air current power stations--that could (over time) be linked to form a bridge from the tip of South America to the Antarctic spur which seems to almost meet it.
Harder to build than a Bering Strait bridge/tunnel, but perhaps do-able.

It would ease access.

Tuckerfan
2016-Dec-03, 10:04 PM
I'm going to go out on a limb and guess they're not equipped for a c-section at the South Pole, thanks.

Hey, if the Soviets could do an appendectomy in the Sixties down there, I'm certain that a c-section wouldn't be a problem. (http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-32481442)

grant hutchison
2016-Dec-03, 10:32 PM
Hey, if the Soviets could do an appendectomy in the Sixties down there, I'm certain that a c-section wouldn't be a problem. (http://www.bbc.com/news/magazine-32481442)You actually can do a Caesarean section with local anaesthetic infiltration, but you do need a well-behaved surgeon, and no-one involved enjoys it.

Grant Hutchison

Solfe
2016-Dec-03, 10:44 PM
I thought 10 babies have been born on Antarctica (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_Antarctica).

Never mind... Grant beat to it.

Trebuchet
2016-Dec-03, 10:45 PM
I vaguely recall an incident from some years ago in which a crew member wintering over needed emergency surgery, and they had a surgeon on the staff. Unfortunately they were the same guy and they had to fly him out.

Solfe
2016-Dec-03, 10:47 PM
That treaty has force since because it is so hard to get there.

Some have wanted to move ice farther inland to avoid sea levels. I'd love to see a chain of spent off-shore oil rings moved by this ship: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pioneering_Spirit_(ship)
--tor form a chain of ocean and air current power stations--that could (over time) be linked to form a bridge from the tip of South America to the Antarctic spur which seems to almost meet it.
Harder to build than a Bering Strait bridge/tunnel, but perhaps do-able.

It would ease access.

Isn't the Southern Ocean kind of a beast for construction? Not that I know much of anything...

Tuckerfan
2016-Dec-03, 11:47 PM
I vaguely recall an incident from some years ago in which a crew member wintering over needed emergency surgery, and they had a surgeon on the staff. Unfortunately they were the same guy and they had to fly him out.

See post #18.

One reason I can see for the evac that I didn't think of before: If you're in charge of the tour, do you want to say that the second man to walk on the Moon died while on the tour? If he'd gotten so much as a hangnail while down there, they probably would have med evac'd him out.

grant hutchison
2016-Dec-04, 01:12 AM
Isn't the Southern Ocean kind of a beast for construction? Not that I know much of anything...For "kind of a beast" read "complete non-starter". It's 800 kilometres across, 5000 metres deep, and a little on the stormy side. It's going to take more than a few oil-rigs to bridge that.

Grant Hutchison

Jens
2016-Dec-04, 05:45 AM
You actually can do a Caesarean section with local anaesthetic infiltration, but you do need a well-behaved surgeon, and no-one involved enjoys it.


I'm afraid you lost me there. What does it mean for a surgeon to be well-behaved, and why is it important?

Solfe
2016-Dec-04, 05:56 AM
I'm afraid you lost me there. What does it mean for a surgeon to be well-behaved, and why is it important?

I'll guess that in a system where rankings are needed but not normal, "well behaved" is better than "competent". Good bedside manners, good skill with a blade, good knowledge of tools and techniques, and so on. We do sort of ask doctors to be a lot of different things. I would think some of the things we ask are slightly conflicted ideals or at least hard to find in one person.

grant hutchison
2016-Dec-04, 01:05 PM
I'm afraid you lost me there. What does it mean for a surgeon to be well-behaved, and why is it important?When the patient's awake during a procedure, anaesthetists generally make sure that there's no feeling anywhere the surgeon can reach from the incision they've made. For a Caesarean section, for instance, that generally means no sensation anywhere inside the abdomen. But when you make it routinely possible for surgeons to go wherever they want, they'll spend their lives never having to think about where they can and can't go, what they can and can't pull on.
With a Caesarean under local infiltration, there's nothing inside the abdomen that the surgeon can touch without thinking about it in advance - it's a huge change in behaviour, and it requires a certain (additional) mental discipline and (additional) attention to detail. Some surgeons are better at that than others. And some surgeons do tend to just naturally wander around inside the abdomen more than others, so they're the ones that have the hardest time when they find themselves surrounded by no-go areas. Anaesthetists in my part of the world tended to classify surgeons into "tourists" and "well behaved" according to their tendency to stray, or otherwise.

Grant Hutchison

Extravoice
2016-Dec-04, 01:09 PM
One way to avoid being ageist is not to make guesses about a person's medical fitness according to his age.

My mother use to say, "It's not the age, it's the mileage*", but in Buzz's case, you can't really use that metric. :)

* using a phrase more commonly applied to older cars.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

CJSF
2016-Dec-04, 02:15 PM
Please, correct me if I am misunderstanding your characterization of surgeons, Grant. Are you saying that some surgeons routinely pull, poke, or prod into and around areas that have nothing to do with what they are actually operating on? That seems wasteful of time and focus, not to mention possibly deadly? I feel like I should have access to any and all video of any surgery done on me, and if the surgeon is seen yanking or poking at something irrelevant to my surgery, I'd sue his or her...well, I'd sue a lot. Probably. Or maybe just get really angry at the surgeon, probably. Still. Learning of this irks me greatly.

CJSF

Trebuchet
2016-Dec-04, 03:15 PM
See post #18.

Interesting, although not the case I was thinking of. I believe the patient in that case was from the Seattle area.

grant hutchison
2016-Dec-04, 03:27 PM
Please, correct me if I am misunderstanding your characterization of surgeons, Grant. Are you saying that some surgeons routinely pull, poke, or prod into and around areas that have nothing to do with what they are actually operating on?No, there's always a reason for what they're doing. I have, for instance, seen a surgeon who was resecting a loop of bowel in the lower abdomen suddenly thrust her entire forearm out of sight into the right upper quadrant. She'd found a vaguely suspicious nodule in the bowel she was resecting, and was extending her thinking about it by having a feel of the liver. I've seen a surgeon who was bringing two ends of bowel together for an anastomosis shove most of the rest of the bowel up into the upper abdomen out of the way, pack it in place, and then strongly lift the two ends of bowel he was handling in order to give himself some slack. These manoeuvres are done for a reason (in one case, an almost absent-minded gesture that let me understand she thought she'd maybe found a tumour; in the other case, a way of "clearing the work surface" to make the anastomosis easier). But they're strongly transgressive in terms of sending signals to the central nervous system from outside the immediate area of surgical interest. You can do these things if you have good general anaesthesia and/or extensive regional anaesthesia, which is what these surgeons are used to working with. But you simply mustn't do them if you are working under very limited local anaesthesia. The surgery could have been done without feeling the liver, the anastomosis could have been made without all the additional tugging and pushing. What's happening is that "the usual" surgical options are strongly limited by the use of LA alone, not that surgeons spend their time poking about for no reason if they get the chance.

(I put "the usual" in scare-quotes because what surgeons in our parts of the world consider "usual" is far from the conditions available to surgeons in, say, rural Africa, who are very used to working with limited local anaesthesia and very little monitoring equipment.)

Grant Hutchison

CJSF
2016-Dec-04, 03:56 PM
No, there's always a reason for what they're doing...
Thanks for the clarification. I was imagining the worst, obviously. This makes much more sense.

CJSF

Solfe
2016-Dec-04, 04:09 PM
I have, for instance, seen a surgeon who was resecting a loop of bowel in the lower abdomen suddenly thrust her entire forearm out of sight ....

And this is the point where I would have fallen to the floor.

I was in the room for my wife's c-section and I was fine with everything for a few minutes. What sent me over the edge was I peeked over the curtain and saw what they were doing. That was interesting. Then one of the doctors cracked a joke* and my wife laughed. I did a head to toe scan of my wife about three times while all of the blood slowly drained to my feet. I think this is why they make guests sit down. If I could have fallen over, I would have. My wife, on the other hand was giggling and chatting away the whole time.

*Joke over here (https://forum.cosmoquest.org/showthread.php?136798-Really-trivial-stuff-that-amuses-you&p=2380417#post2380417), in the amusing thread.

wd40
2016-Dec-04, 04:26 PM
For some reason the South Pole continues to hold many people's imagination in a vice-like grip about Nazi bases/UFOs/aliens and an entrance in to an inhabited Hollow Earth, which the recent innocuous visit of the Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church, Secretary of State Kerry and now Buzz Aldrin only causes to inflame their meninges to incandescent proportions!

Solfe
2016-Dec-04, 04:34 PM
For some reason the South Pole continues to hold many people's imagination in a vice-like grip about Nazi bases/UFOs/aliens and an entrance in to an inhabited Hollow Earth, which the recent innocuous visit of the Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church, Secretary of State Kerry and now Buzz Aldrin only causes to inflame their meninges to incandescent proportions!

I've never heard this. Apparently, I travel in the wrong circles.

grant hutchison
2016-Dec-04, 04:44 PM
Thanks for the clarification. I was imagining the worst, obviously. This makes much more sense.And, of course, different surgeons have different ways of completing the same procedure. At the end of the day, what the patient ends up with is exactly the operation it says in the textbooks, but some surgeons just naturally do more "moving stuff about". I think that's true of any group of people who carry out complex tasks - the joke in my family was that we needed to dust-sheet the room if my father was planning on changing a fuse, whereas my uncle once famously papered a ceiling while wearing his Sunday-best suit, and it emerged completely unmarked. So in the jargon, my father was a "tourist" when it came to completing maintenance tasks, my uncle was "well behaved".

Grant Hutchison

Tuckerfan
2016-Dec-04, 04:44 PM
Interesting, although not the case I was thinking of. I believe the patient in that case was from the Seattle area.

There's also this case where a doctor discovered she had breast cancer while there and had to treat herself. (http://www.cnn.com/2009/HEALTH/06/23/obit.jerri.nielsen/index.html?eref=ib_us)

grant hutchison
2016-Dec-04, 04:45 PM
I've never heard this. Apparently, I travel in the wrong circles.I think it may be wd40 who's travelling in the wrong circles.

Grant Hutchison

grant hutchison
2016-Dec-04, 04:54 PM
And this is the point where I would have fallen to the floor.

I was in the room for my wife's c-section and I was fine with everything for a few minutes. ...I once anaesthetized the very young wife of a middle-aged rural farmer for an epidural Caesarean section. He was one of those guys who had a brown face and a band of pale forehead, from a lifetime of wearing a flat cap outdoors in the fields, and he was a man of few words - we call the type "dour" in Scotland, but I think it has wider currency in a slightly different pronunciation.
So he sat and held her hand for a while, until the obstetricians had started the surgery. But then he gave her a bit of a nod, let go of her hand, and wandered down behind the surgeons to peered over their shoulders into his wife's abdomen with every sign of interest.
After a minute he came back to the head end, sat down, gripped her hand again, gave her another nod and remarked, by way of conversation: "You're just like a beast inside, woman."
("Beast" in this context applies specifically to farmed cattle.)

Grant Hutchison

Gillianren
2016-Dec-04, 05:01 PM
I'm sure there are operating rooms in Antarctica, but is there one at the Pole itself? Because that's specifically what I was thinking.

grant hutchison
2016-Dec-04, 05:12 PM
I'm sure there are operating rooms in Antarctica, but is there one at the Pole itself? Because that's specifically what I was thinking.Yes, there is. Amundsen-Scott has its own operating room, with a video uplink so that the doctor on site can get real-time advice from other doctors. see Frequently Asked Questions about life at the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station, Antarctica (https://www.jeffreydonenfeld.com/blog/2013/01/frequently-asked-questions-about-life-at-the-amundsen-scott-south-pole-station-antarctica/), for instance.

Our medical facility is equipped to handle almost anything. We have a trauma/surgery bay, a dental bay, a communications bay, a medical laboratory, and even two ward beds, for sick patients. It’s quite incredible how much capability we have packed in such a small space. We also have every kind of medical device you’d find in a basic modern hospital, including 12-lead EKG, Xray, suction, O2, etc. Finally, there’s a remote video system – so if there’s a situation in which we need an extra doctor’s opinion, we can get somebody “virtually” in the operating room.It's used for other purposes most of the time, but can be set up as an OR - they surgically fixed a ruptured patellar tendon there back in 2002.

Grant Hutchison

Tuckerfan
2016-Dec-04, 05:51 PM
It appears that the Grim Reaper was more in the mood for Chinese takeout (http://www.nbcnews.com/news/asian-america/general-tso-s-chicken-creator-dies-98-n691326), than astronaut.
General Tso's Chicken Creator Dies at 98
Peng first made General Tso's chicken in the 1950s, when he was working as a chef for the Taiwanese government, according to Taiwan Business Topics. When U.S. Navy Admiral Arthur W. Radford visited Taiwan in 1954 to lead a summit of high-ranking government officials, Peng decided to expand on the usual banquet menu. One of his innovations, a breaded and stir-fried chicken dish in a sweet and spicy sauce, was so popular that the chef was asked what it was called. On the spot, Peng coined "General Tso's Chicken," according to Taiwan Business Topics, after a celebrated war hero from Hunan, his home province.

The Backroad Astronomer
2016-Dec-05, 11:34 AM
Say it ain't Tso.

The Backroad Astronomer
2016-Dec-05, 11:43 AM
I know that was only tso tso.

blueshift
2016-Dec-05, 04:15 PM
One of the college profs at Harper College, Paul Sapiera, used to take journeys to that region with James Lovell, searching for meteorites. He would prepare by sleeping outside of his Chicago area home in January in a tent. Upon arrival they were not admitted to any buildings and had to build an outdoor toilet out of ice. All solid human waste has to be brought back. They would sleep three to a tent, unbuttoning their snowsuits just enough, letting body heat from all three bring up the temperature in the tent to about 60 F. When they stopped off in South America on the way back, being without any showers for a week, the press informed them that no interviews would take place without them first showering.

Trebuchet
2016-Dec-05, 04:37 PM
It appears that the Grim Reaper was more in the mood for Chinese takeout (http://www.nbcnews.com/news/asian-america/general-tso-s-chicken-creator-dies-98-n691326), than astronaut.

Off topic, but I very much like General Tso's Chicken. Much more so than the Big Mac, whose creator also died at a similar age last week.

KaiYeves
2016-Dec-05, 11:22 PM
Isn't the Southern Ocean kind of a beast for construction? Not that I know much of anything...

Ooooh, oooh, I just did a PowerPoint that dealt with this! Here are the relevant slides. ("Knots per hour" is redundant and I have to fix that but I think the rest is still good. The whole PowerPoint is here. (http://a-solitary-sea-rover.tumblr.com/post/153159390191/so-i-made-one-of-those-tumblr-powerpoints-to))
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Jens
2016-Dec-06, 12:20 AM
For some reason the South Pole continues to hold many people's imagination in a vice-like grip about Nazi bases/UFOs/aliens and an entrance in to an inhabited Hollow Earth, which the recent innocuous visit of the Patriarch of the Russian Orthodox Church, Secretary of State Kerry and now Buzz Aldrin only causes to inflame their meninges to incandescent proportions!

I think that depends on how you define "many". If you mean more than ten people, sure. If you mean a significant fraction of humanity, then no, it does not.

Jens
2016-Dec-06, 12:32 AM
I'm sure there are operating rooms in Antarctica, but is there one at the Pole itself? Because that's specifically what I was thinking.

I'm not sure how nitpicky you want to be. As you can see in the picture, the base is maybe a hundred meters from the actual pole, which is to the top of buildings (you can see the circle of flags). So no, there is no operating room precisely on the south pole, which is just a patch of snow. You'd have to walk a few meters.

grant hutchison
2016-Dec-06, 12:32 AM
Ooooh, oooh, I just did a PowerPoint that dealt with this! Here are the relevant slides. ("Knots per hour" is redundant and I have to fix that but I think the rest is still good. The whole PowerPoint is here. (http://a-solitary-sea-rover.tumblr.com/post/153159390191/so-i-made-one-of-those-tumblr-powerpoints-to))I quite enjoyed the Drake. We had 30ft waves (fairly standard, I'm told) in a fairly small (1700 gross tonnage) ship. Our cabin was quite a long way forward, and in our bunks at night, there were occasional episodes of what felt like free-fall when the ship pitched. Out of 40 passengers, there was just me and one other guy eating lunch the first day out.
I spent a bit of time on the rear deck, one arm and one leg wrapped around a stanchion, trying to photograph albatrosses skimming the waves. That didn't work.

Grant Hutchison

Jens
2016-Dec-06, 12:37 AM
When they stopped off in South America on the way back, being without any showers for a week, the press informed them that no interviews would take place without them first showering.

I suppose that that's a kind of joke. Lots of people don't take showers for weeks or months, and the press will still interview them.

Jens
2016-Dec-06, 12:40 AM
Anaesthetists in my part of the world tended to classify surgeons into "tourists" and "well behaved" according to their tendency to stray, or otherwise.


Thanks for the clarification. That makes it perfectly clear.

Extravoice
2016-Dec-06, 01:15 AM
I quite enjoyed the Drake.

You gotta love the Drake
https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=BrQw2TKXq6o


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

Solfe
2016-Dec-06, 03:56 AM
This is totally off topic, but I worked for a toy company that made a product that could be paired with a second device to allow chatting over the internet. One guy had all of these issues where he couldn't chat with his daughter intermittently and the problem was getting progressively worse as the days went on.

I was able to backtrack his travels and soon discovered that he was coming across a latency issues because he was using satellite based internet and was traveling by sea and air through various countries. His final destination was Antarctica. When he finally arrived, the dang product worked perfectly.

I haven't mention the product or the company, because darn it, we should be celebrating the world's best dad.

Yes, I am proud that I successfully serviced a product in Antarctica from a US location, but the lesson is, be a good dad.

Jim
2016-Dec-06, 12:28 PM
Ooooh, oooh, I just did a PowerPoint that dealt with this! Here are the relevant slides. ("Knots per hour" is redundant and I have to fix that but I think the rest is still good. The whole PowerPoint is here. (http://a-solitary-sea-rover.tumblr.com/post/153159390191/so-i-made-one-of-those-tumblr-powerpoints-to))


Hey, that's a very good PPT, Kai! I have to admit I was sorry when it ended, which is very rare for PPTs.

What do you mean about your three friends doing the Vendee Globe with you?

KaiYeves
2016-Dec-06, 04:44 PM
Hey, that's a very good PPT, Kai! I have to admit I was sorry when it ended, which is very rare for PPTs.

What do you mean about your three friends doing the Vendee Globe with you?

I'm not sure what you mean my "my three friends", does the PowerPoint say something like that? I know elsewhere on the blog I discuss the fictional characters in the story I'm writing, the most prominent three of whom (Miranda, Jérémie and Valérie) have sailed in the VG in their universe, but I don't think I talk about them in that post.

Grey
2016-Dec-06, 05:50 PM
I'm not sure what you mean my "my three friends", does the PowerPoint say something like that? I know elsewhere on the blog I discuss the fictional characters in the story I'm writing, the most prominent three of whom (Miranda, Jérémie and Valérie) have sailed in the VG in their universe, but I don't think I talk about them in that post.I think Jim is talking about the picture of the Vendee Globe competitor showing the three "friends" (stuffed animals) that came along on the journey.

KaiYeves
2016-Dec-06, 05:54 PM
I think Jim is talking about the picture of the Vendee Globe competitor showing the three "friends" (stuffed animals) that came along on the journey.

Oh right! That was an example of the competitors "doing hilarious stuff".

pzkpfw
2016-Dec-06, 08:04 PM
Mr Aldrins' doctor is Dr David Bowie.

Tuckerfan
2016-Dec-07, 01:25 AM
This is totally off topic, but I worked for a toy company that made a product that could be paired with a second device to allow chatting over the internet. One guy had all of these issues where he couldn't chat with his daughter intermittently and the problem was getting progressively worse as the days went on.

I was able to backtrack his travels and soon discovered that he was coming across a latency issues because he was using satellite based internet and was traveling by sea and air through various countries. His final destination was Antarctica. When he finally arrived, the dang product worked perfectly.

I haven't mention the product or the company, because darn it, we should be celebrating the world's best dad.

Yes, I am proud that I successfully serviced a product in Antarctica from a US location, but the lesson is, be a good dad.Back in '01, I worked for a satphone company and had to help a guy who was going to be working out of the US military bases in Antarctica. Surprisingly, it turns out (at least back then) that there were very few resources available to folks in Antarctica who wanted to communicate with the outside world. Even a number of satphones wouldn't work there.

Solfe
2016-Dec-07, 04:32 AM
Back in '01, I worked for a satphone company and had to help a guy who was going to be working out of the US military bases in Antarctica. Surprisingly, it turns out (at least back then) that there were very few resources available to folks in Antarctica who wanted to communicate with the outside world. Even a number of satphones wouldn't work there.

What was messing this guy up was he was moving "too fast". He was on a ship and then an airplane and then back on a ship. When I spoke to him on the phone, the product worked. When he emailed, it wasn't working.

Basically, what he was running into was the product was only designed to work in countries where it was sold. Just to make up an number, say it worked in 54 countries. What is really odd is you can be in a US based company's storefront and use their wifi as if you were in the US. So if he was in a hotel in Indonesia, the product was a doorstop. If he walked into a Starbucks or Tim Hortons in the same building, the product worked because it was sold in the US and Canada those places have a tendency of routing internet back home.

On top of that, there is something hinky about satellite internet on ships. It doesn't like a lot of products. If you are onshore, satellite internet behaves differently and the product is fine. Presumably, since he was from the UK, stations where UK personnel visit in Antarctica have well behaved internet systems. Whatever that might be. At least, to the specs of the product anyway*. So from the US, I serviced a consumer from England in Antarctica to speak to his daughter in Germany. Drove me batty, but so worth it.

*The product was intended to be used to sell music so there were regional security setting baked right in. The music deal fell through because we wanted almost world-wide rights and companies don't, can't or charge a high price for it.

ngc3314
2016-Dec-07, 05:42 PM
Even with satellite networks, communications with Antarctica are still not really routine. Payloads for stratospheric scientific ballooning have to be engineered much like satellites - only communication is worse since they can't rely on seeing geostationary relay satellites. Some of them use line-of-sight when near a base, plus Iridium relay - at 256 bytes/packet, IIRC, that about serves for status checks and emergency notifications. The IceCube neutrino observatory at the pole can relay only a tiny sunset of highy-selected (they hope, most interesting) event data by satellite link - most data are flown north on copied hard drives.

wd40
2016-Dec-08, 10:01 AM
Even with satellite networks, communications with Antarctica are still not really routine.

In theory, could a non-geosynchronous, non-geostationary, non-Molniya, non-polar orbit satellite be launched vertically straight up exactly from the South Pole and just hang there stationary in space without any adjustments?

Jens
2016-Dec-08, 10:54 AM
In theory, could a non-geosynchronous, non-geostationary, non-Molniya, non-polar orbit satellite be launched vertically straight up exactly from the South Pole and just hang there stationary in space without any adjustments?

I'm not sure what you mean. What would stop it falling to the ground?

Jim
2016-Dec-08, 12:33 PM
I think Jim is talking about the picture of the Vendee Globe competitor showing the three "friends" (stuffed animals) that came along on the journey.

Yup, that's it. What threw me was the slide had pictures of three competitors.

grant hutchison
2016-Dec-08, 01:36 PM
In theory, could a non-geosynchronous, non-geostationary, non-Molniya, non-polar orbit satellite be launched vertically straight up exactly from the South Pole and just hang there stationary in space without any adjustments?No, it would fall down. Like stuff falls down if you hold it over the south pole and let go.
You can in theory hover a statite (a combination of satellite and solar sail, invented and patented by Robert Forward) in a near-polar position (a "pole-sitter"), but it would require continuous adjustment because of the changing angle of illumination with the seasons.

Grant Hutchison

Solfe
2016-Dec-10, 05:09 PM
No, it would fall down. Like stuff falls down if you hold it over the south pole and let go.
You can in theory hover a statite (a combination of satellite and solar sail, invented and patented by Robert Forward) in a near-polar position (a "pole-sitter"), but it would require continuous adjustment because of the changing angle of illumination with the seasons.

Grant Hutchison

That is cool. I wonder if you could illuminate the pole with the solar sail? I would imagine that it would be too small and appear as a dot in the sky. But if you went really big...

grant hutchison
2016-Dec-10, 05:22 PM
That is cool. I wonder if you could illuminate the pole with the solar sail? I would imagine that it would be too small and appear as a dot in the sky.Sure could, except it's necessarily the opposite pole. I give you Robert Zubrin's terraforming mirrors (http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download;jsessionid=FFAA3816B9C7A5A51AF4538B4CF395 18?doi=10.1.1.24.8928&rep=rep1&type=pdf) to thaw the Martian polar caps (131KB pdf, see Figure 8).
Back when I was a Celestia (http://celestiaproject.net/) developer, I wrote a Zubrin Mars statite add-on which is still out there (https://www.classe.cornell.edu/~seb/celestia/hutchison/statite.html).

Grant Hutchison

wd40
2016-Dec-11, 12:30 PM
Is it correct that Aldrin on returning from Antarctica has tweeted "We are all in danger: it is evil itself" (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Th8jpX-9M-I)?

Or is it a hoax?

grant hutchison
2016-Dec-11, 01:12 PM
Is it correct that Aldrin on returning from Antarctica has tweeted "We are all in danger: it is evil itself" (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Th8jpX-9M-I)?

Or is it a hoax?Take a wild guess.

Grant Hutchison

Solfe
2016-Dec-11, 03:37 PM
Is it correct that Aldrin on returning from Antarctica has tweeted "We are all in danger: it is evil itself" (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Th8jpX-9M-I)?

Or is it a hoax?

The video has a computerized voice and the guy who photoshoped the tweet might not have ever seen a real tweet, because it's not even close. There there is the bit about John Kerry traveling to a "pyramide" in Antarctica, for a secret meeting. "Pyramide" is drug brand name for TB. I am pretty certain that John Kerry's scheduler is a hot shot, but not good enough to send Kerry to respond to Aldrin's concerned tweet... a month before Aldrin got there.

KaiYeves
2016-Dec-11, 03:39 PM
Is it correct that Aldrin on returning from Antarctica has tweeted "We are all in danger: it is evil itself" (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Th8jpX-9M-I)?

Or is it a hoax?

Now, now, as a private citizen Mr. Aldrin is perfectly free to comment on Congress... ;-)

publiusr
2016-Dec-16, 10:02 PM
He saw that dog the Swedes were shooting at. Err...Norwegians.