"The oods are good, but the goods are odd."
January 22, 2009 11:17 AM   Subscribe

That was a suprisingly enjoyable and non-douchey read. Thanks, The Whelk.
posted by dersins at 11:43 AM on January 22, 2009

Yeah, it was a fun slice-of-life kind of piece. I've read worse articles in actual newspapers.
posted by GuyZero at 11:44 AM on January 22, 2009

I would go. Though, people make me irritable, so I think I might become "toasty" quite quickly.

Nice interview!
posted by everichon at 11:44 AM on January 22, 2009

Tsaven Nava? Somehow that's the most appropriate name ever.
posted by topynate at 11:50 AM on January 22, 2009

The one question not asked which I find surprising; Do they have high-speed?
posted by ZaneJ. at 11:54 AM on January 22, 2009

This was actually pretty great to read.
posted by Damn That Television at 12:03 PM on January 22, 2009

Probably not- as far as I know they get that via satellite and they're far enough south that it's not very reliable.

I'm pretty sure I'd need a steady supply of vodka in Antarctica. I'd go nuts.
posted by dunkadunc at 12:06 PM on January 22, 2009

If you have an SA account, the forum post is here. It has more answers that were edited out of the main page piece. For instance, an answer on ZaneJ's question:
What kind of internet connection do you have down there? Satellite I'm assuming?

Yes. Palmer actually has the best bandwidth/person ratio, at 1.5mbit up and down. And it's only shared with the station locally, so web surfing and things are never a problem. And as long as you're not a dick about high-bandwidth activities (P2P and stuff is blocked, but VPNs aren't . . .), only restricting them to the night hours or something, you can do plenty.

McMurdo has a 10mbit up/down connection, but it's shared with up to 1200 people. South Pole is a 1.5mbit for up to ~250 people, and it only works for 12 hours per day. Well, as much as they actually have "days" at Pole.
posted by smackfu at 12:10 PM on January 22, 2009

The dirty little secret about Antarctica is that it's WAY more comfortable then you'd think. Would you believe me if I told you that Palmer has an outdoor hot tub with a stunning view out over the bay?

posted by Potomac Avenue at 12:30 PM on January 22, 2009 [1 favorite]

Ha, this is so great, in way that is so SA:
"Don't get me wrong, the job sucked. But it sucked in a way that is awesome."
posted by dammitjim at 12:37 PM on January 22, 2009

Great post!
posted by seagull.apollo at 12:45 PM on January 22, 2009

Hey! Your title was totally ripped off from my alma mater!

@#$% 5:1 male:female ratio...
posted by backseatpilot at 12:57 PM on January 22, 2009

The parts on going "toasty" were horrifying. Thanks!
posted by basicchannel at 1:02 PM on January 22, 2009

So great. Thank you.
posted by rtha at 1:07 PM on January 22, 2009

A very good read.
posted by shockingbluamp at 1:08 PM on January 22, 2009

Awesome awesomeness made of awesome.
posted by snsranch at 1:09 PM on January 22, 2009

I loved the part about the guy trying to walk home on the treadmill.
posted by mr_crash_davis mark II: Jazz Odyssey at 1:25 PM on January 22, 2009

Crazy Swedes.
posted by steef at 1:28 PM on January 22, 2009

The oods? C'mon...
posted by Evilspork at 2:01 PM on January 22, 2009

posted by katillathehun at 2:26 PM on January 22, 2009 [2 favorites]

The oods? C'mon...

Can I beseech someone to change the fact that I'm illiterate?
posted by The Whelk at 2:29 PM on January 22, 2009

I'd love to work there just for the food. Maybe the cook needs a sweet Canadian assistant to help around the kitchen? I'll taste everything she makes to be sure it's good. :9
posted by Phalene at 2:53 PM on January 22, 2009

From the SA forum.

Ninja Monkey posted:

This is probably a stupid rear end question, but do any of you play any MMOs? I like to think some guy is rockin' around in Northrend wondering if he'll ever escape the snow.

In your time there, have there been any pregnancies?

Due to the latency of a satellite connection, ping times are pretty lousy, so I'm not sure most games would even work. And they frown heavily on gaming, due to bandwidth usage. Quake 2 was popular on station, though. Every so often the station manager would get on the intercom and say "Attention Palmer Station; KILL! KILL! KILL!", which was the cue for everyone interested to find a computer and fire up Quake 2 for some fraggin'.

posted by The Whelk at 3:47 PM on January 22, 2009

To answer the (possibly) unanswered question: yes, there are pregnancies. Men + Women + months together = all sorts of things. A fellow I know was in Antarctica for a while, and came back a father.
posted by filthy light thief at 4:41 PM on January 22, 2009

Mmm. It's articles like these that make me want to go to Antarctica, deep inside a tropical jungle, and such.

Reading about the baked goods made me smile. My cousin used to work as a baker on an oil platform. The general schedule was two weeks on the platform, two weeks vacation on mainland - although there were those who somehow ended up staying at the platform for over a month. No women, just lots of frustrated men who became really good at playing billiards, and watched porn together in the rec room.

The baking part of the job was pretty much the same as described at SA. The job required him to always have cookies and easily-pocketed foods on hand all the time. Especially at breakfast, which was when the men would pocket the cookies to take to ... wherever it was that they worked at. My cousin always said this was tricky - he had to bake enough so that no-one was shorthanded at pocketing post-breakfast cookies. Generally, each person took away about twenty, forty cookies to last them until they got back at dinnertime. But he could never really tell how many people were going to take cookies. Or entire loaves of bread.

He also had to have at least three kinds of cakes out for dinner, couldn't make the same thing twice in a week, and so on. And if anyone even made the slightest casual suggestion of a new baked good, he was required to whip it up within three days. Ingredients were not an issue - if he told the purchaser that he needed such-and-such because someone had requested a certain baked good, the ingredients would be bought and flown out with the next shipment, (almost) no questions asked.

As a twelve-year-old kid, I loved hearing my cousin's oil platform tales. The stories ended during my freshman year in college, unfortunately. Had to quit his job for health reasons. Apparently he had too many weight-related problems going on - something to do with blood pressure, if I remember correctly. Ah, well.
posted by Xere at 4:58 PM on January 22, 2009 [3 favorites]

This was a great read. Thanks for posting it.
posted by a3matrix at 5:04 PM on January 22, 2009

That was a great read!

(On the male:female ratio issue, my understanding from my possibly biased source - a dyke who worked there one season - is that a disproportionate number of women who do work there are gay. So the chances of a straight guy getting action is probably even worse than he makes out here.)
posted by serazin at 8:45 PM on January 22, 2009

I was pleasantly surprised by something good at Something Awful. I would love to go down there...
posted by schyler523 at 10:12 PM on January 22, 2009

"The odds are good, but the goods are odd".

I love it. It's like every provincial nightclub I've ever been to.
posted by MuffinMan at 12:49 AM on January 23, 2009

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