Day 179: Stay Frosty

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June 27, 2012 by Alex Hoekstra

So that’s the weather around here.  ‘Nuff said.
Time again to power up the A/C, crash the neighbor’s pool party and remind everyone who made jokes about global warming in the dead of winter just how funny they were.  It’s hot – getting hotter – and this might not be so local a forecast.  I’m not qualified to say whether humanity is having a direct and significant impact on the climate of Earth, but I’d be foolish to discard the notion.  I’d be even more foolish to overlook the risks associated with that claim being valid.  But regardless of whether everything is really all our fault or not, our little planet does appear to be going through changes; for better or worse, we’re in for a ride.  Some changes might be subtle, but there are places on Earth that might be in for a dramatic shift.  Rather than to pass judgement and say that a warmer Earth is entirely bad or good (merely different), I’ll say that it’ll be interesting to take note of these changes if they unfold in front of us.  I think it’s important, though, to look around at the Earth as it is now.  At least knowing what things are really like now will enable us to judge whether things have gone up, down or sideways as time marches on.  Maybe (and this is a big maybe), looking more carefully around might compel us to take stock in what we’ve got – to appreciate it and maybe take measures to preserve it.  Maybe today’s project can help us with that.

Antarctica: A Year on Ice is a documentary filmed at the end of the world…or, at least the bottom of it.  Using footage captured over the course of 10 years spent around the South Pole, Anthony Powell has had to weather ice storms and penguin parades, hacking together film equipment and documenting life on ice as it really is: hard, raw, cold and beautiful.

Never before has this been brought to the screen. Documentary film crews usually only get to visit Antarctica during the few short months of summer. This film includes footage meticulously gathered over 10 years, including 9 winters, isolated from the rest of the world, in 24-hour darkness and mind-numbing cold for months at a time.

A vacation (excursion?) to Antarctica is something I’ve always wanted to do.  There’s something uniquely beautiful about the South Pole, and I’ve always hoped to find an excuse to invite myself down there to have a look around.  Maybe someday I’ll get to follow penguin tracks through the tundra…presuming that either will have survived the meantime.  Until then, though, A Year on Ice is the sort of project that captures raw, serene, bitter-cold beauty that deserves to be showcased for the rest of the world to see.  Back it before July 7, or before this heat wave melts your keyboard.


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