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The race to the South Pole

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    Posted: 26 Jun 2011 at 23:00
Hi,

I took my son to an exhibit at the National Geographic museum on the race to the South Pole. It was good, and the length of the exhibit was just right.

I remember that this was a story that circulated when I was growing up in my household. My mother read a book that was published in the 70s on Scott's expedition, so she would talk about it ever so often. There was practically no mention on Amundsen's expedition.

These two expeditions could be taught in business school; and maybe they are. Scott's expedition was a series of bad decisions. I think in part the exhaustion that he suffered as he was nearing the pole made him judgment a lot worse. On top of that he had very bad luck with the weather on the way back.

So, any thoughts of the expeditions?

Edited by hugoestr - 27 Jun 2011 at 13:47
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Jun 2011 at 11:49
Scott went to the north pole?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote hugoestr Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 Jun 2011 at 13:47
Thanks for catching that, gcle. My slight dyslexia strikes again :P
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Tashfin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Jun 2011 at 17:18
Scott's expedition was mired with bad decisions (e.g. not using dogs), and weather. Amundsen's was well executed and planned (down to the choice of route). I guess the courage and fortitude of Scott's  team stands out (especially in the UK) as a reminder of 'stiff upper lip' heroism and sacrifice, and hence has gained greater coverage, even though he lost the race.
 
As a side point, It is interesting how Scott and his rival Shackleton were originally seen in Britain, the former was always the heroic naval officer the latter a working class adventurer, whose legacy was overshadowed by Scott.


Edited by Tashfin - 28 Jun 2011 at 17:19
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Amundsen was an expert in survival skills for the poles. He not only was Norwegian, but also had lived with the Inuits. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote drgonzaga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Jun 2011 at 18:17
Gee...Inuits in Antarctica? Must be Chilean spies...
 
OK a bit of humor but in speaking of Time and a 19th century afterthought, we could look at this entire enterprise as more or less the last gasp of 19th century Romanticism in geographic wanderlust. It was much of the same nonsense that took someone up Everest a few decades later: It was there! 


Edited by drgonzaga - 28 Jun 2011 at 18:18
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Thanks to Amundsen and all dreammers. Fortunately, dreammers change the world, while the "smart people" stay at home, arguing about how many angels fit on the head of a pin. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote drgonzaga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Jun 2011 at 20:24
Originally posted by pinguin pinguin wrote:

Thanks to Amundsen and all dreammers. Fortunately, dreammers change the world, while the "smart people" stay at home, arguing about how many angels fit on the head of a pin. 
 
No need to be so hard on yourself Penguin, the  advantages of travel are highly over-rated and, frankly speaking, such does little to change the habits of one's weltanschauung [there I go again adding that note from my allgemeine deutsche musikalische]. You're not bad yourself in striking those old romantic chords...how about a few chords of Someday my prince will come? Shades of Jimminy Cricket!
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I have also travelled, doc, and at my own risk and resources. Thanks.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote hugoestr Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Jun 2011 at 21:15
Doc, Amundsen did live with Inuits when he sailed through the Northern Passage. So he Pinguin is right.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 28 Jun 2011 at 21:35
Originally posted by hugoestr hugoestr wrote:

Doc, Amundsen did live with Inuits when he sailed through the Northern Passage. So he Pinguin is right.


Thanks hugoestr
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote drgonzaga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Jun 2011 at 02:56
Hugo we discussed the Inuit and Amundsen's hop to Nome earlier when we were yapping about Amundsen as couture in another thread. We were discussing the South Pole and not Nanook of the North.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote hugoestr Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Jun 2011 at 02:58
But Pinguin's mention of the inuits is relevant, dear doctor. This gave him an advantage over Scott in clothing, snow goggles, transportation, and lodging. Amundsen adapted inuit living to a large extent for his mission.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Jun 2011 at 03:08
Originally posted by hugoestr hugoestr wrote:

But Pinguin's mention of the inuits is relevant, dear doctor. This gave him an advantage over Scott in clothing, snow goggles, transportation, and lodging. Amundsen adapted inuit living to a large extent for his mission.


Dear hugoestr.

Doc doesn't want to know about the influence of Inuit techniques on Amundsen. I tried to convince him before, but he is sure Amundsen bought his cloths and dogs in a London's grocery store.
Now, I am amazed Amundsen used Inuit snow goggles!! Do you have a picture about it. Now the thread has become fascinating.



Edited by pinguin - 29 Jun 2011 at 03:10
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Hey, I got it!!! Amundsen expedition with Inuit snow googles!!! By the way, unlike the Scott's expedition, no one in the Amundsen team suffered from snow blindness.



Wink


Edited by pinguin - 29 Jun 2011 at 03:17
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You are forgetting the tons of supplies brought along since no amount Inuit doodads would have convinced a tundra dweller to venture onto the ice-pack inland. I am not arguing against the Inuit but instead injecting the needed perspective as did Pierre Berton with respect to the Arctic in his book, The Arctic Grail...
 
here is some background:
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Jun 2011 at 03:31
You are seen the evidence of Inuit influence right on that picture. Please, don't cover the facts with "authorities" Wink

Besides, I never said that "ALL" Amundsen technology was Inuit. I only said that "SOME" things were learned by Amundsen while living with the Inuits, in that thread that you trolled on and on, right up to close it.



Besides, it seems you don't read your own posts. You just google it, but don't pay attention to the contain. This is what Berton said:

Berton: Very few of the explorations would have been successful without the assistance of the Inuit.




Edited by pinguin - 29 Jun 2011 at 03:35
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote hugoestr Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Jun 2011 at 04:07
Yeah, Doc, the Inuits were a huge help to him. Besides the superior Inuit clothing that they used, they tried many goggle designs, and they came to the conclusion that the Inuit design was the best, so they adopted it. And they built practically a village of ice dwellings for their base.

No one is claiming that Amundsen went native. He just learned many useful technologies and techniques from Inuits, which helped him to succeed in Antarctica.

Really, it makes a lot of sense. Inuits knew how to live in extremely cold conditions for hundreds of years, so learning their lifestyle is common sense.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote drgonzaga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Jun 2011 at 17:22
Is careful reading a "lost art"?  I can easily understand the duplicitous behind the Penguin's "selectivity" with respect to the photographic record:
 
 
But, et tu Hugo? I suppose no Scandanavian had learned to live in extremely cold conditions for hundreds of years! And as I referenced earlier with respect to Burberry, the Inuit technology argument is specious.
 
As for the the purported claim that I do not read my links [with reference to Berton], did no one grasp the context with respect to "assistance" in the Arctic?
 
Perhaps Amundsen himself summed it up best:
 
"I consider it an urgent necessity that each of us be aware of what has already worked in the parts were we go. That is the only means to become familiar in advance with the difficulties with which we will have to fight. With that intention I brought a library of Antarctic travel cocnsisting of the books of Cook and James Ross, of Commader Scott and Sir Ernest Shackleton too. The different books are read avidly, especially the latter two...so therefore the theoretical education of the employees started vigorously."
 
Roald Amundsen. The South Pole. 2v (London: John Murray, 1912).
 
Just go to the "horse's mouth":
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Jun 2011 at 18:04
Originally posted by hugoestr hugoestr wrote:

Yeah, Doc, the Inuits were a huge help to him. Besides the superior Inuit clothing that they used, they tried many goggle designs, and they came to the conclusion that the Inuit design was the best, so they adopted it. And they built practically a village of ice dwellings for their base.

No one is claiming that Amundsen went native. He just learned many useful technologies and techniques from Inuits, which helped him to succeed in Antarctica.

Really, it makes a lot of sense. Inuits knew how to live in extremely cold conditions for hundreds of years, so learning their lifestyle is common sense.


Don't try to convince Doc. He is not  a reasonable man. Sometimes I wonder if he is not a smart 5 years old child fooling in the web. Confused
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote drgonzaga Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Jun 2011 at 18:44
Originally posted by pinguin pinguin wrote:

Don't try to convince Doc. He is not  a reasonable man. Sometimes I wonder if he is not a smart 5 years old child fooling in the web. Confused
 
Here under leave of Penguin and the rest,
For Penguin is a reasonble man
So are they all, reasonable men
Come I to bury Amundsen.
 
The noble Penguin has told you that Amundsen was ambitious
That he succeeded solely because of what he took from the Inuit
If 'twere so then his silence was a grievous fault
And grievously does the Penguin demand he answer for it.
Given that we know the Penguin is a reasonable man
It would be reasonable to grant that Inuit goggles brought success
So then let us forget all careful planning and meticulous supply,
Most of all the beds, the instruments, and the larder for the cook's mess!
For the Penguin is a reasonable man!
 
 
What not a word about those hapless canines fed for the return to their sled mates?
 
By the way, Pinguin old boy, the nine member Amundsen contingent made their own snow goggles and did not drop by the local Inuit General Store to secure these accoutrements.   


Edited by drgonzaga - 29 Jun 2011 at 18:48
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Jun 2011 at 19:09
Recognize it, Doc. You are a xenophobe that don't want recognize Amundsen loved Inuits and learned from them. Period.

Edited by pinguin - 29 Jun 2011 at 19:27
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Jun 2011 at 20:42
Originally posted by pinguin pinguin wrote:

Don't try to convince Doc. He is not  a reasonable man. Sometimes I wonder if he is not a smart 5 years old child fooling in the web. Confused
Keep off the offensively personal stuff. You've been warned often enough. You can't get away with it for ever.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote fantasus Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 Jun 2011 at 21:22
 The importance may be symbolic - that it was at the end of an era rather than at the beginning. After that man - and in particular europeans, had been about everywhere on this planet. At least from an European perspective  this lasted a few centuries.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote hugoestr Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Jun 2011 at 04:22
Doctor, as I said before, they did design their own goggles, but eventually adopted the Inuit design.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Jun 2011 at 04:47
What is interesting, hugoestr, is that Inuits invented snow blindness googles. I don't know how they figured out that theirs design polarized light, but they did.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Cezar Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Jun 2011 at 09:01
Originally posted by pinguin pinguin wrote:

What is interesting, hugoestr, is that Inuits invented snow blindness googles. I don't know how they figured out that theirs design polarized light, but they did.
That's got to be a symptom of carchariosys! Too bad the inuits were too cold or lazy to enhance quantum mechanics based on the shape of their kayaks. 
The inuit were not aware of the polarization of light due to diffraction since their googles do not polarise light. Take o short course of optics here: http://200.105.152.242/olimpiada/file.php/1/LIBROS_OLIMPIADAS/FISICA%20SERWAY/38-DiffractionandPolarization.pdf
Since the inuits lived in the arctic, it is not intersting the fact that they used some protection for their eyes. It would have been interesting if they would have not.
Amundsen choice was not because inuits make it better, it was because at that moment the inuit model was better. If these http://www.spyoptic.com/category/76070/PRO_MODELS had been available, he would have forgot about inuit slits.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pinguin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Jun 2011 at 17:03
Originally posted by Cezar Cezar wrote:

That's got to be a symptom of carchariosys! Too bad the inuits were too cold or lazy to enhance quantum mechanics based on the shape of their kayaks. 
The inuit were not aware of the polarization of light due to diffraction since their googles do not polarise light. Take o short course of optics here:


Please fellow. There is no need to teach me physics, particularly when you didn't understand my argument. As you know, when light hit an icy surface, the light get oriented in all directions, randomly. If you make light to pass from a narrow gate, only those waves oriented in certain angles will pass through. That's the same effect that produces a modern polirized glass. In both cases, the eye only receives light with a narrow variation in the polarizing angle. In other words, only receive light from the environment and not those that bounced back from the ground.

It is just common sense. You don't need a Nobel to understand that.

Originally posted by Cezar Cezar wrote:


Since the inuits lived in the arctic, it is not intersting the fact that they used some protection for their eyes. It would have been interesting if they would have not.


Confused... Interesting conclusion, but if you allow me, it is not quite logical. Because the Inuits INVENTED those googles, among other things, they conquered the Artic; and not the other way around.

Originally posted by Cezar Cezar wrote:


Amundsen choice was not because inuits make it better, it was because at that moment the inuit model was better.


It was because the better tech at his time was Inuit. After all, those guys invented the googles to prevent snow blindness.

Originally posted by Cezar Cezar wrote:


If these had been available, he would have forgot about inuit slits.


Irrelevant. If Columbus had internal combustion engines we wouln't need to use sails... but who cares? That's irrelevant to the topic. Amundsen used the best tech available to him, and that was the Inuit's.


Edited by pinguin - 30 Jun 2011 at 17:05
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Styrbiorn Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 30 Jun 2011 at 21:23
Originally posted by pinguin pinguin wrote:

Originally posted by Cezar Cezar wrote:

That's got to be a symptom of carchariosys! Too bad the inuits were too cold or lazy to enhance quantum mechanics based on the shape of their kayaks. 
The inuit were not aware of the polarization of light due to diffraction since their googles do not polarise light. Take o short course of optics here:


Please fellow. There is no need to teach me physics, particularly when you didn't understand my argument. As you know, when light hit an icy surface, the light get oriented in all directions, randomly. If you make light to pass from a narrow gate, only those waves oriented in certain angles will pass through. That's the same effect that produces a modern polirized glass. In both cases, the eye only receives light with a narrow variation in the polarizing angle. In other words, only receive light from the environment and not those that bounced back from the ground.

It is just common sense. You don't need a Nobel to understand that.
Eskimo goggles do not polarize light. Voine voine, I suspect pictures such as this has misled you. First of all, the waves that are polarized are not some physical string or physical movement of photons (this is a common misconception I think, to confuse particles with something that has to do with the wave-nature of light) but of direction of the electrical field. Thus a polarizer need to be made of a material that can cancel the electrical field, such as metal, or in some other way influence the optics, like crystal or glass. Further, the slits between the metal wires need to be much much narrower than the millimeter slit glasses on the pictures - in modern filters on the order of tens of microns or smaller. The goggles in question simply reduces the amount of light and has no more polarizing effect than does squinting.


If you want polarization and Arctic exploration you can forget about goggles and google for the sunstone or sky compass.


Edited by Styrbiorn - 30 Jun 2011 at 21:36
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Cezar Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Jul 2011 at 09:52
Originally posted by pinguin pinguin wrote:

It is just common sense. You don't need a Nobel to understand that.
I'm on my way to Stockholm, just to make sure the inuits don't get there first. Styrbyorn expects me there and we will use the money to start a crash course on optics among chilean feathered humansTongue
Quote
Confused... Interesting conclusion, but if you allow me, it is not quite logical. Because the Inuits INVENTED those googles, among other things, they conquered the Artic; and not the other way around.
You mean that before conquering the Arctic they took their time and invented snow goggles, among other things. Sipping daiquiri's on the beaches?
Quote It was because the better tech at his time was Inuit. After all, those guys invented the googles to prevent snow blindness.
So, the skiis were invented by inuits, too?
Quote Irrelevant. If Columbus had internal combustion engines we wouln't need to use sails... but who cares? That's irrelevant to the topic. Amundsen used the best tech available to him, and that was the Inuit's.
  Amundsen used the best tech and by then the inuits were indeed the best equipped people on earth in terms of dealing with that sort of climate, so many "inuit inventions" were logical solutions. But that doesn't mean Scott didn't knew about it. The fact is that he did not made a single mistake, there were a lot of them while Amundsen made a few, if any.
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