February 17, 2003
(last week's news) The first building ever erected on Antartica is being lost under mountains of Penguin excrement. Around 100,000 Adelie penguins live beside the hut built by Norwegian explorer Carsten Borchgrevink, the first person to land on Antarctica, in 1895. Unfortunately, their shit is at least three feet deep around the hut, and is destroying the fabric of the building. (see also.)
(this week's news) "We organized a rally (against the war) here at the US Amundsen-Scott Station, South Pole, Antarctica. We were only five rallying, probably the smallest protest in the world. Antarctica is the only continent where no wars ever happened and where all countries recognise that the only way to survive is collaboration."
The price of militarism has reached the most remote corners of the world, as a massive onslaught of penguin shit goes unattended in five peoples' desperate attempt to pull civilization back from the brink of disaster. Should the penguins be seen as engaged in symbolic protest against the war - mistakenly blaming Norwegian aggression, but you cannot expect accuracy from their critiques, they are, after all, a species that tends to fall over backwards when they try to watch planes flying overhead - or are the penguins merely naked opportunists, seizing a moment when the rest of the world is distracted to act on a long-held grudge? Do they next plan some vicious act of historical revisionism? These are questions. We read further into this Carsten Borchgrevink:
(biography) Both (Henrik Johann) Bull and Borchgrevink went on the lecture circuit in Melbourne and Sydney but could not raise enough interest to finance a second expedition. Falling on deaf ears, Borchgrevink left for England. He presented his study to the Geographical Congress in London which resulted in Dr. H. R. Mill declaring "His blunt manner and abrupt speech stirred the academic discussions with a fresh breeze of realism. No one liked Borchgrevink very much at that time, but he had a dynamic quality and a set purpose to get out again to the unknown South that struck some of us as boding well for exploration".
And the results of his expedition:
The average age of the wintering party was 27 years old. A number of measurements were taken at the start and conclusive evidence showed that the three Englishmen were, on average, taller, stronger and heavier than the Norwegians while the two Finns, although small in stature, were slim and capable of withstanding any amount of cold. Until winter arrived on May 15, various members of the party surveyed the coast of Robertson Bay and collected specimens of birds, fish, seals and penguins. Then the blizzards hit. On July 24 the huts were nearly destroyed by fire as a candle left burning in a bunk set the structure on fire. A great deal of damage occurred before the flames were extinguished. On the night of August 31, Hanson, Ellifsen and Bernacchi were nearly asphyxiated by coal fumes as they slept. Coal had been left burning in the stove and luckily Bernacchi woke up in time to throw open the door before they all died. One of the Finns fell to the bottom of a crevasse. Fortunately he had a knife with him and, by cutting toeholds in the ice, he was able to climb out to safety. Hanson, the expedition's zoologist, died on October 14.
Who would the penguins have liked among the crew? Who would have been their friend, understood then, turned them upright when they fell over? That's right: the zoologist. The suddenly dead zoologist.
The cause of his death is still a mystery. He was buried at the top of Cape Adare and Bernacchi wrote "There amidst profound silence and peace, there is nothing to disturb that eternal sleep except the flight of seabirds."
Do you have chills? If not, ask your momma if you a robot, because this shit is chilling.