Taken in the lobby of the National Science Foundation headquarters in Alexandria, VA.
To what extent should public opinion dictate the direction of federally funded scientific research? Do we trust ourselves to make these choices, or should we put it in the hands of those with strict scientific backgrounds? When scientific advancements are made with federal dollars, who owns the patents? Should the market naturally dictate the direction of scientific progress? Or, by spreading federal research dollars over a wider range of universities, small business, and interests, would we be socializing a largely independent sector of the economy? In short, should the government pursue scientific advancement through the eyes of a socialist or a capitalist?
Marco Flagg was born in Germany. He is a self-taught engineer who found himself in Antarctica testing an under-ice navigation system he had designed and built. As a kid, he had biked his way across Europe and hitch-hiked the oceans aboard freighters. He has been in two small plane crashes, a malfunctioning deep-water submarine, attacked by a great white shark, and has survived them all with the same look in his eyes that only geniuses and lunatics possess.
Scribbled on a bunk at Cape Evans. You can see the "Scott (?)" under Losses to Date
Lying in their bunks, as the inevitable darkness of winter began to arrive, a member of the British Antarctic Expedition scribbles the latest score of their teams attempt to reach the South Pole. The figures aren’t promising, and as the team prepares to search for their missing party the following summer, their hope of reuniting with their countryman continues to fade along with sun, whose dim glow is barely visible on the horizon. Only after the burial of old-man winter, can the team set out to discover the fate of their comrades, who had partaken in what would become the last great race on earth. Continue reading
Pegasus still sits 40 years later
October 8, 1970 – a US Navy C-121 Constellation took off from Christchurch, NZ on the ten-hour inaugural flight of Operation Deep Freeze. Well past its Point of Safe Return, and only an hour from McMurdo, the weather deteriorated and Pegasus crash landed at McMurdo’s only permanent airfield. Although none of the 80 passengers on board were killed, this airfield would come to bear the name of the plane whose wreckage is still visible only 2000 ft from the current runway. The wreckage sits as a reminder of mans vulnerability on this extreme continent, especially to those of us whose job is to bring these planes, provisions, and people safely to Antarctica. Continue reading
Written September, 2009
Kia Ora (pronounced as one word – Keyora) literally translates to “be well”, or “be healthy.” It is a traditional Māori greeting that today is widely used much like a Hi, Hello, Welcome, or G’Day. Kia Ora is also the title of Air New Zealand’s complimentary in-flight magazine, which is where I first came across the word while taxiing down the runway just before leaving LAX, the country, and my frenetic state of mind. Continue reading