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Author Topic: 2011 Is The Nansen-Amundsen Year  (Read 19472 times)

RaikoRaufoss

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Re: 2011 Is The Nansen-Amundsen Year
« Reply #30 on: December 05, 2011, 11:35:46 pm »

http://explorersweb.com/polar/news.php?id=20520
On this day 100 years ago, Amundsen feels at home in whiteout conditions, while Scott feels the heat of a warm spell where the temperature gets above 0 C. (Yes, technically Amundsen's diary entry in the article is for yesterday, but the people at Explorer's Web have decided to state his dates as he originally wrote them.)
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RaikoRaufoss

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Re: 2011 Is The Nansen-Amundsen Year
« Reply #31 on: December 08, 2011, 10:39:10 pm »

100 years ago yesterday, Amundsen passed Shackleton's Furthest South.  The reaching of the South Pole was only 1 week away...
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RaikoRaufoss

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Re: 2011 Is The Nansen-Amundsen Year
« Reply #32 on: December 10, 2011, 01:16:37 pm »

Monument to the Norwegian polar party to be unveiled December 14 by King Harald: http://www.frammuseum.no/News/STORT-SYDPOLSMONUMENT.aspx
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RaikoRaufoss

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Re: 2011 Is The Nansen-Amundsen Year
« Reply #33 on: December 11, 2011, 08:58:00 pm »

http://www.express.co.uk/features/view/289344/Race-to-the-south-pole-Was-Scott-the-true-victor-

With the 100th anniversary of Amundsen's triumph fast approaching, the British press cranks up into propaganda mode.  After emotional rhetoric:
Quote
His Norwegian competitor had no such fine words. In his final Message To The Public, Scott said: “The causes of the disaster are not due to faulty organisation but to misfortune...”

Amundsen’s general view of fortune and misfortune was rather different: “Victory awaits those who have everything in order,” he wrote.

“People call this luck. Defeat awaits those who fail to make the necessary precautions. This is known as bad luck.”
That is what it came down to for these two men.  The words themselves are fine and true, since they illustrate what happened to Amundsen and Scott perfectly.

Then the accusation of lying:
Quote
Before comparing the two men – the one who got there first and back safely and the one who died–let it be remembered that Amundsen’s victory in “the race to the Pole” was partly the result of a trick and a lie.

Scott’s planned mission to Antarctica was well known; Amundsen was bound for the North Pole, or so he had told everyone including his crew.

Scott had even sent Amundsen instruments for comparative recordings of the south and north poles. Amundsen had presented his project to the world as involving science in the Arctic.

Instead he headed south and only when he knew Scott could not catch him up did he send a telegram: “Madeira. Am going south. Amundsen.”
I'd love to see the source saying Scott sending Amundsen equipment.  Amundsen realized that the glory of reaching the North Pole was gone since others (Cook and Peary) had made claims on it.  Instead, he decided to switch to the South Pole, for there would be a real achievement.  He had to keep it secret: small countries like Norway were afraid of offending a globe-spanning empire (albeit one that was decaying) and if the Norwegian government had learned about his switching Poles (the Norwegian government technically did own Amundsen's ship, the Fram), they would have stopped him.  So he had to keep it secret if he wanted to achieve it.

Then to the science:
Quote
Though it has always been billed as a “race to the Pole” Scott’s objectives were very different from Amundsen’s.

The Norwegian had one ambition only – to get there first. That was only part of Scott’s aim.

He set sail with the most impressive collection of scientists ever assembled for such a voyage.

A mixture of acknowledged experts and keen youngsters, they went to find and return with material that would extend knowledge about the flora and fauna of Antarctica, its geography, glaciology, oceanography and meteorology.

He combined the twin ambitions of his era: to reach places nobody had reached before and to return with material that would increase human knowledge.

Amundsen’s expedition produced two photographs: Scott’s Terra Nova expedition included photographer and film-maker Herbert Ponting who filmed animals never before filmed and produced some of the most beautiful images of Antarctica ever taken.

EDWARD WILSON, Scott’s great friend who died with him, made breathtaking drawings of birds.

The expedition delivered examples of 2,109 animals and fish, 401 of which had never been seen before. They also collected a huge number of rock samples, Emperor penguin eggs and plant fossils.

The discovery of a fossilised fern-like plant called a Glossopteris, which grew on what was then known as the Southern Continent (Australia, New Zealand, India) suggested that at one time they were connected by land.

Fossilised wood and leaves collected by Scott and Wilson were found where they died – these proved that at one time (250 million years ago) the weather had been temperate enough to support trees.
Again, would love to see sources for the number of animals.  The third Fram Expedition produced more than 2 photographs; in fact, it produced at least 266: http://www.flickr.com/photos/frammuseet/sets/72157625513387423/  I've said enough about the Glossopteris fossil.
Quote
To think of Scott as the loser in the race to the Pole is to ignore his scientific legacy.

It was Scott who connected Antarctica with the rest of the world – a connection we now understand as crucial.
And to focus on and exaggerate Scott's jeopardized research is to ignore Amundsen's even more important-if indirect-scientific legacy.  Amundsen, with his example of careful planning, dog teams, and safety margins, showed all those who went after him how to live, thus making so many of the scientific achievements in Antarctica a reality.  Scott merely showed those who went after him how to die-something that those people already had a good idea of how to do.  Who contributed more to science in the long run?
Quote
But whatever Amundsen said about luck, Scott did seem to have been the victim of terrible misfortune.

On the return journey from the Pole he was hit by freakish bad weather that no one could have predicted.

It was at least 10 degrees colder than it should have been.

Those who speak worst about him are those who dislike the virtues that were held in high regard as particularly British.

There was a tendency in the late mid-20th century to regard him as an unheroic failure.

But as anyone going to the various centenary exhibitions will see – and anyone reading his journals will understand – he was a very brave man with lofty aims taking on forces at which the rest of us can only wonder.
The only misfortune Scott went through was in his falsified weather logs.  No mention of Solomon?  I'm surprised it didn't mention her: propaganda usually works best when it's based on distorted truth.

In other news: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/canadas-north-won-him-the-south/article2267447/
The Canadians are riding Amundsen's coat tails.  And I say, why not?  Their Arctic lands and peoples had much to teach him.
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RaikoRaufoss

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Re: 2011 Is The Nansen-Amundsen Year
« Reply #34 on: December 14, 2011, 09:55:51 am »

100 years ago today, the last of the great geographical goals on earth was reached.

"The mists were upon us day after day, week after week-the mists that are kind to little men and swallow up all that is great and towers above them.
Suddenly a bright spring day cuts through the bank of fog.  There is a new message.  People stop again and look up.  High above them shines a deed, a man.  A wave of joy runs through the souls of men; their eyes are bright as the flags that wave about them."  Fridtjof Nansen, foreword to The South Pole.

"On days like this, everything is changed... It is more warmth and pride that we feel that we are all children of the same, happy country.  Smiles are more frequent-in bold men's deeds we are richer and more united and happier.
Ay yes-at one blow, we are far forwards!" Oslo columnist, quoted in Huntford's The Last Place On Earth.

Roald Amundsen, Sverre Hassel, Olav Bjaaland, Oscar Wisting, Helmer Hanssen, you did it.  Hail to all of you.
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cameni

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Re: 2011 Is The Nansen-Amundsen Year
« Reply #35 on: December 14, 2011, 10:43:46 am »

It was a feat .. humans should always have some goal like this in front of them, else we're zombies.
(like my eyes had fore-scanned your sentence initially: High above them shines a dead man. ... eh, what? :D)
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