Saturday, May 1, 2010

1st May, 1911

Calm. Sent up a balloon this morning, but it only went up a mile before the instrument was detached by slow match. In the afternoon Bowers and I went out to collect it.

Bill gave us our first lecture: on Antarctic Flying Birds. Very interesting it was, too.

OK, it wasn't; it was deathly boring, but I couldn't tell him that. The most attractive point raised was that of pigmentation. There are so many questions one can ask about why certain birds have certain coloring. Does white or dark coloring help reserve heat or radiate it? I am reminded of our lengthy discussions of Mr. Darwin's work on the Discovery trip. He'd love it here.

Will he be giving his second lecture on Antarctic Non-Flying Birds? And if so, can't he just call them penguins? I had a nip or two from my flask, I will allow. Had to.

I don't suppose the bird's coloring can teach us anything about what colors our stuff should be. Not that there's a lot we can do about it. Jaeger makes its clothes in the colors it makes them in. Tent canvas is green. That's just how it comes. I wonder what color Amundsen's tents are? I don't suppose he's given it any thought at all. He probably would have found Bill's lecture fascinating. I've heard rumors of his dream to take to wing one day. Ha ha ha.

OK, really need to lay off the whiskey.

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