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When you choose to spend the winter in Antarctica, you'll be prepared for it to be cold. You know that nobody will be leaving or arriving until springtime. And you're braced for months of darkness. But a few weeks after the last sunset, you might find you can't even string a sentence together. And even if you can, that sentence may only make sense in Antarctica.
To explain why are Antarctica veteran Allison 'Sandwich' Barden, endocrinologist Tom Baranski, and astrophysicists Amy Lowitz and Christine Moran, reporting from the South Pole in the depths of winter.
- Sandwich recommends the documentary Antarctica: A Year on Ice, as a great depiction of what it's actually like to live there. I also learned a lot about daily life at the stations reading the book Big Dead Place by Nicholas Johnson.
- Amy Lowitz has been blogging from the South Pole; you can tour inside the station and see a Big Red. Christine Moran's newsletter contains snapshots of South Pole life.
- Or, if you prefer to experience Antarctica via Jonathan Franzen, here you go.
- There's an Antarctic dictionary! Take a peek.
- This looks like an interesting book about Antarctic food.
- Bear etymology: a tale of taboos.
- The myths of the Great Bear and Little Bear constellations.
- Find the transcript of this episode at theallusionist.org/transcripts/antarctica.
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MAILCHIMP'S RANDOMLY SELECTED WORD FROM THE DICTIONARY:
- Astrophysicists Amy Lowitz and Christine Moran are down at the South Pole right now. Follow their adventures: Amy's website is weblogarithms.com and she tweets @weblogarithms. Christine's website is christinecorbettmoran.com and she tweets @corbett.
- Allison Barden AKA Sandwich tweets @sandwichgirl and you can see some posts from her previous Antarctic seasons at sandwichgirl.com. She even has her own entry on the Antarctic Wikia.
- Tom Baranski is an endocrinologist at Washington University, St Louis, Missouri.
- This episode was produced by me, Helen Zaltzman, with the aid of Cheeka Eyers and Devon Taylor. The music is by Martin Austwick.
- Thanks to Kathleen Unwin, Tom Crawford, Ryan Keisler, Delaney Hall, and Julie Shapiro.