March 22, 2002
12:35 PM   Subscribe

This week marks the 90th anniversary of the death of Robert Falcon Scott and four companions on their return trip from the South Pole. Most of the blame for the failure of the polar expedition has been placed on critical blunders Scott made in his trek to the pole but Antarctic meterologist Susan Sontag says that although Scott cut his safety margins too close, unusually cold weather provided the killing blow. On a related subject, next month A&E premires a movie starring Kenneth Branagh as Shackleton (flash site) who saved his crew after their ship shattered in Antartic pack ice.
posted by KirkJobSluder (4 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
The Shackleton story is one of the most amazing stories of human determination ever. I'm looking forward to the movie.

Kim Stanley Robinson, well known for his Mars Trilogy, also wrote Antarctica, a great book about the past and future of humans on the cold continent. Part travelogue, part eco-thriller, it has great descriptions of the terrain and summarizes the early expedtions.
posted by euphorb at 1:04 PM on March 22, 2002

Geez. What doesn't that Susan Sontag know?
posted by RJ Reynolds at 1:14 PM on March 22, 2002

Whoops, my Freudian slip is showing, The Coldest March is by Susan Solomon.
posted by KirkJobSluder at 1:19 PM on March 22, 2002

Spanish-speaking Scott enthusiasts may find this an appropriate time to check out a song called Héroes de la Antártida by Mecano (very big in the 80s, have unfortunately split since then).

It's got some very haunting lyrics once you get beyond the sold-as-standard 1980s power-synth-pop arrangement (which suits my taste fine, but might not everyone's).
posted by CatherineB at 1:49 PM on March 22, 2002

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