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Prof. Boerner's Explorations

Thoughts and Essays that explore the world of Technology, Computers, Photography, History and Family.

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Tag: South Pole

                  Edited by Gerald Boerner

    

    
Introductory Comments:

JerryPhoto_thumb2_thumb_thumbToday’s events direct our attention to the exploration of boundaries, both physical barriers and cultural “walls”. In several cases from the early 20th century, events related to the conquering of new lands came to the forefront. Several explorers (Yes, Heather, I know that these were men, but the women’s movement had not yet reached parity) achieved new firsts: discovering the Hawaiian Islands, reaching the South Pole, and settling Australia. At these were firsts for European, white males; the native populations had known about them for centuries if not millennia!

Aan_de_Zuidpool_-_p1913-160

There have also been breakthroughs on the cultural front. The post-World War I Peace Conference sought to forge a new world order that would live at peace with each other; World War I would become the War to End All Wars, after all. The Treaty of Versailles created a League of Nations to be a forum to forge and ensure this understanding. Then, of course, there were the events of the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s breaking down the colored ceiling that kept African Americans from the mainstream.

About the time of our Revolutionary War (1778), an English Explorer, Captain James Cook explored the great expanses of the Pacific Oceans with two ships — the HMS Resolution and the HMS Discovery. in this year, Cook and his small fleet passed by the islands of Oahu and Kauai of the Hawaiian Island group. He would later return to land and explore these islands, and to eventually be killed on one. It is interesting to note that another phase of this exploration of the Pacific took his group along the West coast of North America, along what would become California, Oregon, and Washington.

But the discovery that captured the heart and soul of the populace was the exploration of Antarctica during the first decades of the 20th century. This quest for the South Pole pitted a team lead by Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen against the team lead by the British Explorer Robert Falcon Scott. These two men started their trek toward this last conquest of the significant quests of 20th century, at least on earth. Scott reached the South Pole on this day, but found Amundsen’s tent and the Norwegian flag flying; he was a week late. Both parties would lose their lives to the harsh storms on this forbidding continent. Interestingly, the photographer who accompanied Scott’s party would have his undeveloped film found by the 1958 Commonwealth Trans–Antarctic Expedition and these photographs have recently gone on exhibit for public viewing.

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The Peace Conference following World War I started out to implement a “peace with understanding” in accordance with the Fourteen Points of U.S. President Woodrow Wilson. However, the colonial powers (Britain and France) had suffered tremendous losses during the prolonged battles and their leaders, Sir David Lloyd George and Georges Clemenceau, would hi-jack the process to protect their current world-wide empire and even expanding it from the remnants of the Ottoman Empire and German holdings in Africa. Thus, the Treaty of Versailles did set up the League of Nations, but put major reparation costs on the German People. Thus, what started out as a quest for lasting world peace and ended setting the stage for World War II twenty years later.

Finally, on the Civil Rights front found the appointment of the first African American Cabinet member, Charles Weaver (Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development) in 1966 and President Ronald Reagan signing legislation to set aside second Monday of January as “Martin Luther King, Jr. Day” for this country. King lead a series of marches in the south and a number of rallies in the north, including his famous gathering at the Washington Monument and his “I have a dream” speech. By the end of the decade of the 1960s, African Americans would survive the Watts Riots of 1965 and the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr., in Memphis in 1968 to take their rightful place in American society. A major cultural barrier, as well as the Jim Crow laws that had deprived them of their Constitutional Rights since Reconstruction, had fallen. New meaning had been brought to the words: “One Nation, Under God”.

But let us jump into a brief view of the significant events that have occurred on this day… GLB

These Introductory Comments are copyrighted:
Copyright©2012 — Gerald Boerner — All Rights Reserved

[ 1392 Words ]
    

    

Quotations Related to Versailles:

[ http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/keywords/versailles.html ]

    

“If the constitutional treaty is rejected it will be back to square one, just at a time when we want Europe to be a more effective force for good in the world, when we need to buttress ourselves against the pressures and insecurities of globalization..”
— Peter Mandelson

“Are ideals confined to this deformed experiment upon a noble purpose, tainted, as it is, with bargains and tied to a peace treaty which might have been disposed of long ago to the great benefit of the world if it had not been compelled to carry this rider on its back?”
— Henry Cabot Lodge

“It was my dream, and probably the dream of every one of us, to bring about a revision of the Versailles Treaty by peaceful means, which was provided for in that very treaty.”
— Hans Frank

“I would point out that Japan’s proposal at the Versailles Peace Conference on the principle of racial equality was rejected by delegates such as those from Britain and the United States.”
— Hideki Tojo

“As a consequence of the terms of the Treaty of Versailles, the officer corps of the old army became part of this class, as did that part of the younger generation who, in the old Germany, would have become officers or civil servants.”
— Gustav Stresemann

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Edited by Gerald Boerner

    

    
Commentary:

JerryPhoto_thumb2_thumbFew accomplishments capture the imagination more than that of the New Zealander, Edmund Hillary, when he successfully reached the summit of Mt. Everest, the tallest point on earth in 1953. He and his Nepali sherpa climbing companion, Tenzing Norgay, successfully reached that fabled summit and were at the top of the world! The next most famous event was the discovery of both the North and South Poles earlier in the 20th century.

Terra_nova_hut_inside

The race to the South Pole by was ultimately won in December of 1911 by the Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen, but another team, lead by Robert Falcon Scott would reach it in January of 1912. Neither of these men would make the return trip alive. During the International Geophysical Year of 1958, Sir Edmund Hillary led a group of explorers on the Commonwealth Trans-Antarctic Expedition on a trek across Antarctica in commemoration of the feat of those two earlier heroes. Ironically, this was the same year that saw the Russians launch the first man-made satellite. Sputnik I, into space, heating up the cold war and challenging America’s technology leadership in the world.

The Commonwealth represented a coalition of western nations to commemorate mankind’s challenge to nature while the latter event (Sputnik) put the world’s two superpowers on a collision course toward nuclear war. It is interesting to note that the trans-Antarctic expedition was almost as challenging to man in 1958 as it had been to the original explorers in 1911-12. The launch of Sputnik triggered events that eventually led, in 1969, to man taking his first steps on another frontier, the Moon. We are now peacefully sharing the frontiers of space with a joint effort of the international community, not using it for the destruction of mankind.

But, let us now get into an examination of the events that led to man’s search and discovery of the South Pole, as commemorated by the Commonwealth Trans-Antarctic Expedition… GLB

These Introductory Comments are copyrighted:
Copyright©2012 — Gerald Boerner — All Rights Reserved

[ 4063 Words ]
    

    

Quotations Related to Sir Edmund Hillary (Antarctica):

    

“It is not the mountain we conquer but ourselves.”
— Edmund Hillary

“There is precious little in civilization to appeal to a Yeti.”
— Edmund Hillary

“People do not decide to become extraordinary. They decide to accomplish extraordinary things.”
— Edmund Hillary

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Edited by Gerald Boerner

 

Commentary:

JerryPhotoThe early 20th century was a time of innovation and discovery. History records the Wright Brothers first flight, Ford’s Model T from an assembly line, new weapons of warfare, and, oh yeah, the exploration of the last frontiers on our planet — the North Pole, the South Pole, and the dark continent of Africa. We explore the quest of the South Pole today. It was not to require only navigational skill, but these explorers were confronted by the elements of nature, such as winds, extreme cold, and unpredictable snow packs. They faced not a land mass, but a continent with a “frosting” of glacial ice!.

Scott_memorial_bintonThe discovery of Antarctica and the South Pole captured the energies of the adventurers: Ernest Shackleton, Roald Amundsen, and Robert Falcon Scott. The latter is the focus of this blog posting.

Scott was not the first explorer to reach the South Pole. Amundsen beat him on that front. But Scott’s team did reach the pole. And they met the same fate on their return trip. In fact, they discovered the last camp of the Amundsen expedition before they too met their fate. It is a cruel and hard world out their!

So, let’s get on with our own journey of exploration…  GLB

These Introductory Comments are copyrighted:
Copyright©2011 — Gerald Boerner — All Rights Reserved

[ 3740 Words ]
    

   

Quotations Related to ROBERT FALCON SCOTT:

    

“Slowly but surely the sea is freezing over.”
— Robert Falcon Scott

“We are very near the end, but have not and will not lose our good cheer.”
— Robert Falcon Scott

“The dog lives for the day, the hour, even the moment.”
— Robert Falcon Scott

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Edited by Gerald Boerner

 

Commentary

JerryPhotoGrowing up, reading about the feats of the polar explorers ranked right up there with the latest accomplishments of the Hollywood Stars and Los Angeles Angels (the 1950s Pacific Coast League teams). Hillary had not yet conquered Mt. Everest (1953) and Bannister had not yet ran his sub-4 minute mile. Aviation feats were being set with the new jet planes, including Chuck Yeager’s breaking of the sound barrier (1947).

It was a time of great achievement. Admiral Richard Byrd was part of man’s great tradition of exploring the unknown or unexplored. He was an explorer of both poles and a Naval aviator as well. But in addition to his explorations, He was an organizer who helped build the infrastructure that remains in Antarctica. Hopefully, the current generation can catch a bit of the exploration “bug” that made America the leader in scientific, technical, and “people skills” over the past century.

So, let’s get on with our look at Richard Byrd, polar explorer and aviator…  GLB

These Introductory Comments are copyrighted:
Copyright©2010 — Gerald Boerner — All Rights Reserved

[ 3308 Words ]

   

Quotations Related to EXPLORATION

“Exploration is really the essence of the human spirit.”
— Frank Borman

“In wisdom gathered over time I have found that every experience is a form of exploration.”
— Ansel Adams

“The good is, like nature, an immense landscape in which man advances through centuries of exploration.”
— Jose Ortega y Gasset

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Edited by Gerald Boerner

 

Commentary

JerryPhotoThe nineteenth century was a time of discovery in literature, the arts, science and the new lands of the polar areas. In 1820, a seal hunting expedition under Captain Nathaniel Palmer. The rough seas of the southern polar area along with fog, freezing cold, and ice made the waters unfriendly. These several expeditions of the 19th century set the stage for the more extensive expeditions of the 20th century that culminated with the locating of the South Pole.

Some of these 20th century expeditions, most notably the Shackleton group, were severely tested and resulted in extensive loss of life. The present day outposts on Antarctica belie this long history of danger, hardship, and death. Today’s post is a closer look at that first sighting of Antarctica. Join us for that exploration.  GLB

These Introductory Comments are copyrighted:
Copyright©2010 — Gerald Boerner — All Rights Reserved

[ 1887 Words ]

   

Quotations Related to ANTARCTICA

“Sea ice conditions have remained stable in Antarctica generally.”
— Ian Allison

“If I had not some strength of will I would make a first class drunkard.”
— Ernest Shackleton

“After months of want and hunger, we suddenly found ourselves able to have meals fit for the gods, and with appetites the gods might have envied.”
— Ernest Shackleton

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Edited by Gerald Boerner

 

Commentary

Due to injury, this commentary will be added later. Please check back. Thank you.  GLB

These Introductory Comments are copyrighted:
Copyright©2010 — Gerald Boerner — All Rights Reserved

[ 2661 Words ]

   

Quotations Related to ANTARCTICA

“Sea ice conditions have remained stable in Antarctica generally.”
— Ian Allison

“A static hero is a public liability. Progress grows out of motion.”
— Richard E. Byrd

“Few men during their lifetime comes anywhere near exhausting the resources dwelling within them. There are deep wells of strength that are never used.”
— Richard E. Byrd

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