Friday, 18th April 2014

The Science Of Not Buying Fake Gold

Posted on 29. Aug, 2013 by in Chemistry, Culture, Life, Social

There are many reasons why people prefer to invest in gold when they want to preserve their wealth. One of the main reasons for this is the fact that this material holds its value much better compared to other investments out there. It is therefore ideal for people who want to keep the value of their money high.

However, one thing you will have to contend with when contemplating buying gold is the fact that there is a lot of room to be swindled. Many people recognize the fact that gold is in high demand, and will therefore go to great lengths to try and swindle people of their money based on this. If you are interested in buying gold, it is therefore imperative that you do it in such a manner that you will increase the chances of buying legitimate gold.

Therefore, you need to use a series of methods to avoid buying fake gold. Let’s take a look at who goes into the science of avoiding a fake gold purchase:

Have a mental sense of what is reasonable

When buying gold, you are likely to come across a few vendors who may offer you ridiculously low prices. This in itself is a red flag. You should always try to find out how much is realistic, and then try to buy gold whose price is in that ballpark figure. A good way to go about it is to use the global gold prices as your guide. Ideally, the price at which you buy the gold should not differ from this too much.

Of course, there are times when you may be lucky enough to buy genuine gold at very low prices. An example of this is when someone is trying to get rid of it fast in order to settle their more urgent debts. However, it’s very rare for you to find yourself in such a position, so it’s always sensible to treat ridiculously low prices with a hint of suspicion.

Watch out for stolen property

Another common problem you are likely to come across is finding that the person you are buying from is selling you stolen gold. There are a few things that could indicate this to be the case. For instance, if they are too willing to get rid of the gold even at terms that don’t seem profitable, you should be on your guard. Other signs of this include them being too shifty, such as not wanting to meet you in a public place if you decided to buy the gold from an individual over the internet.

Gold Bar with Reflected Coins

Ask for certification

You also need to get certification for any gold you buy to ensure that you get quality products. Different countries have different ways of providing such certification, so you need to be aware of the norms in your particular country. The benefit of insisting on this is that it makes you sure that you are getting genuine products, and not ones that have problems such as having being stolen or mined in a manner that violates human rights. If you buy the gold from the right vendors, this is something that you should not have a major problem with; most of them will offer you the certificates even without your asking.

Have the gold tested scientifically

There are times when it may be necessary for you to have the gold you are thinking of buying tested. For instance, if you are buying a large amount, it would not make sense for you to spend money on it without making sure that it’s real, especially if you are buying from an untrustworthy individual or company. One way to avoid any problem is by asking the vendor for permission to have the gold tested by a third party. If they are really interested in doing business with you and are confident of the products, they will allow you to do this. There are a number of ways of testing that do not destroy the gold, so this should not necessarily be a concern.

Only buy online when you are sure of the vendor

There are times when you might want to buy the gold online. This is usually possible, but it fraught with more complications than buying the gold in person. You need to first make sure that you are dealing with a credible vendor to reduce the chances of being swindled. You also have to come up with a way of having them send the gold in such a manner that it won’t be stolen along the way. Generally speaking, it’s usually safer to buy smaller quantities of gold this way, since the risks are much lower then.

 

 

Chad is an investment expert who specializes in using gold as an investment. He has written numerous articles detailing the importance of gold evaluation in Kansas City prior to buying any gold.

Understanding the Effects of Porn on the Brain

Posted on 30. Aug, 2012 by in Culture, Human Biology

Understanding the Effects of Porn on the Brain

If you know the Internet, you’ll no doubt be familiar with Rule 34:

 “If it exists, there IS porn of it.”

If you don’t think this rule is real, then just go to Google Images, type in “apple pie”, take off safe search, and be horrified (or titillated, I’m not judging) at some of the results you’re about to find.

Yes, porn is pretty much everywhere on the Internet and it’s not going away anytime soon. So as the internet continues to expand, so does the availability of porn—which brings us to an interesting question: what kind of effects does porn have on the brain?

The answer is actually a lot scarier than you think—and also a lot more complicated.

To start, let’s take a look at how porn has an effect on our brain.

Whether you want to believe it or not, your body maintains a delicate balance of chemicals that is then reflected in your behaviors. One chemical in particular—dopamine—plays a major role in the rewards system of your brain. There are a lot of different things that I can say about dopamine, but the only thing YOU need to know is this:

Dopamine is what gives you the rush you feel after you’ve achieved some kind of accomplishment.

So, when you do something that’s pleasurable, your body will experience a spike in dopamine. Starving and just took a bite out of a BLT? Dopamine spike. Thirsty and just chugged a liter of water? Dopamine spike. Had sex for the first time in years? Dopamine spike. Just finished rubbing one out? Dopamine spike.

So, how does that relate to the effects of porn on the brain?

Simple: porn provides an easy access to dopamine. In fact, if you refer back to the linked infographic, you’ll actually notice something very interesting. Dopamine levels actually rise higher and last longer from porn than from just normal sex alone. There is a school of thought that believes that too much porn will turn you away from having actual sex because of how available porn is. Bang on the keyboard a few times and you’ll get boobs. Why spend the effort and money for the real thing when you can rub one out practically for free?

Now, am I saying that you should stop watching porn entirely? No, because odds are, if you spend ANY time on the internet, you’re bound to stumble onto Rule 34 and be exposed to porn. Instead, all I’m telling you is that while porn may be easier and chemically more pleasurable than actually having sex, it’s no substitute for the real thing.

Real boobs just feel better.

Below is a simple Infographic that explains everything in simple to understand terms.
Porn Effects on Dopamine Levels

Solar Panels Dominating Renewable Sources Of Energy In America

Posted on 11. May, 2012 by in Earth Sciences, Physics, Popular Science

Solar Panels Dominating Renewable Sources Of Energy In America

Solar energy is peaking in the United States, according to Solar Home, a leading retailer of solar panels.

Up until now, the majority of the world’s consumption is still based on fossil fuels – oil (17%), coal (69%), and natural gas (14%). And their average costs increase by 4% per year. As of March 2012, the United States has already consumed 2526 millions of barrels of oil, most of which have been imported. These are resources that are non-renewable and currently depleting. It is feared that with the continuous rise in population and people’s unregulated dependence on these resources, the earth may not provide enough by 2025 to sustain our needs. SolarHome is among the companies who have seen the relevance of developing alternative energy sources that are renewable and environmentally friendly.

Solar Energy Infographic and StatisticsNow, although wind and hydroelectric power have taken strides to become a viable substitute energy source, solar energy is still considered the most efficient since it is abundant and has the shortest path of transfer that can be directly harnessed for electrical use. Solar panels are the primary instruments utilized to transform solar energy. Although it has not been perfected yet, SolarHome acknowledges that certain improvements in both efficiency and cost (which is declining 10% annually) have been experienced over the years.

Solar installations can now be made without moving parts. This ensures greater endurance against environmental and mechanical wear and tear. And future research into multi-junction solar cells shows promise of increase in energy bandwidth of usable light, making every spectrum of light useful in creating electricity. On top of that, solar panel manufacturers are currently experimenting on the use of silicon in solar film panels to make the device less cumbersome. With this, the possibilities – solar blinds, solar paints, solar cars – are endless.

As of today, the U.S.A is among the top 5 solar power producers in the world along with Germany, Span, Japan and Italy. The top ten states in the country that patronizes this green movement includes California, New Jersey, Colorado, Arizona, Nevada, Florida, Pennsylvania, New York, New Mexico and North Carolina. Moreover, approximately 100,000 people are part of the solar industry of America as of 2011. Considering how this idea was virtually non-existent in the 1990s, solar energy has certainly come far. It won’t be surprising if it becomes the foremost energy source in the coming years.

To know more about or get your own solar panels, visit Solar Home’s website at http://www.solarhome.org.

Why Brides Should Consider Coolsculpting As A Potential Weight Loss Method

Posted on 03. May, 2012 by in Life

If you are preparing for a wedding and need a way to lose fat fast, you can try out the Coolsculpting Houston services to help you. Coolsculpting Houston is a procedure which allows a person to get rid of fat cells by cooling them to such low temperatures that they end up dying on their own. This means that you would not need to participate in things such as a fast weight loss diet, most of which do not work. There are many benefits of using Coolsculpting Houston services, especially in the case of a bride trying to lose weight in order to fit properly in her dress.

The first of these is that with Coolsculpting Houston, you do not have to be bedridden for any length of time. When you try to lose weight using surgical means, you would need to take some time off to recuperate. Since you cannot do much in the meantime, this can be thought of as time wasted, as you could easily use it for other things such as planning for your wedding. The fact that Coolsculpting Houston is fast, easy and noninvasive means that you never have to waste time in this manner.

The other benefit of Coolsculpting Houston is the fact that it is very cheap. This can be ascribed to many things. The fact that you don’t need to be hospitalized in order to take advantage of Coolsculpting Houston means that you need not worry about costs of medication, doctor’s fees or even admission fees. When you consider all such costs, you will find that it is much cheaper to get Coolsculpting Houston done instead of getting surgery. You can then save this cash or use it to make your wedding that much more special.

The other very important benefit of Coolsculpting Houston to any bride is the fact that it does not expose you to any risks. When you take advantage of other invasive weight loss methods such as liposuction, you would have to expose yourself to the risks of surgery. Liposuction, while cosmetic in nature, is major surgery. Issues such as reaction to drugs and infections may occur, and this may risk your life and put a damper on your wedding. By simply taking advantage of Coolsculpting Houston, you can lose weight just as fast as or even faster than when using these invasive procedures, but without having to expose yourself to the associated risks.

If you are a bride and are looking for an easy way to lose fat, the only thing to do would be to get Coolsculpting Houston. These are just a few of the benefits of Coolsculpting Houston; there are many more out there. The next time you need to lose weight, you just have to find the nearest beauty clinic and ask them if they provide Coolsculpting Houston services. If not, you can simply go online to find the ones that do, and you can then take advantage of them.

Getting Carbon Infrared Saunas Or Traditional Infrared Saunas Kits?

Posted on 27. Apr, 2012 by in Human Biology

Generally, most people agree that the West Coast saunas can offer greater health benefits than regular saunas. However, because they employ higher levels of infrared waves, the carbon infrared saunas are believed to cause the body to sweat more. Consequentially, as the trump card of the infrared sauna kits resides in the amount of sweat they can generate, the carbon and solocarbon saunas are viewed as the best in their field. In fact, according to a study performed in Japan on the far infrared technology, the panels of the carbon saunas actually emit a superior type of heat energy.

As you probably already guessed, the heat panels of the west coast saunas are made of carbon unlike the traditional infrared sauna kits, which typically have panels incorporating ceramics and steel rods and coils. In addition, by placing the two types of infrared sauna kits together, you will immediately notice that the panels of the heater of the solocarbon unit is visibly larger than that of the regular IF saunas. Another distinction between the solocarbon and traditional IF sauna comprises of the temperatures registered by the heaters: while the normal sauna heaters can reach temperatures of 1000 degrees Fahrenheit, their carbon counterparts will not go higher than 200 degrees Fahrenheit to produce the same heat.

The features of the carbon West Coast saunas are also slightly different compared to the ones of a standard infrared sauna. Essentially, the fixed solocarbon saunas are usually made of aromatic, veneer-free and hypo-allergic wood. On the other hand, the portable infrared saunas are not made of wood, but rather flexible materials, which also give it the shape of a tent. Rest assured that the tent design is large enough to allow you to sit up and lie down comfortably and, due to lower temperatures, it permits you to read or watch TV while in the sauna.

Take note that the solocarbon IF saunas do not only have great health advantages, but are also easy on your budget. As a matter of fact, the manufacturers of carbon infrared saunas kits actually claim that users can save approximately ten cents on electricity for a standard thirty minutes session. In addition to incorporating a more environmentally friendly heater, the manufacturers also offer lifetime warranty for the cabinetry. This is quite great news considering that with regular infrared saunas the warranty for the wood does not go beyond one year. Moreover, the lifetime warranty ensures an effective and relatively quick fix for warps and cracks of the wood that might occur due to constant exposure to heat.

While they do help you save some cash from the energy bill, they are generally more expensive than the other types of infrared saunas available on the market. Another setback that especially concerns individuals who have adopted a green lifestyle is that there are no references to the provenience of the wood. Nonetheless, if you consider yourself an ecologically conscious consumer, then you can learn more about the sustainability of the materials used by contacting the manufacturer of the carbon infrared saunas.

Your Chances of Dying [Infographic]

Posted on 26. Apr, 2012 by in Human Biology, Life

Your Chances of Dying [Infographic]

Many people may understand that there is a significant risk in sports like skydiving, scuba diving and bungee jumping. While these activities do carry a high level of risk, many people expose themselves to more dangerous activities on a daily basis.

For example, driving a vehicle to work every day carries a higher degree of risk than skydiving. In addition, the most common causes of death in the United States have changed significantly over the past 100 years.

Less than 100 years ago, the most common cause of death in the United States was an infectious disease. With the advent of modern antibiotics and improved hygiene, the most common cause of death in 2004 was heart disease. Since many people live sedentary lifestyles with an unhealthy diet, metabolic disorders are often implicated in one’s death.

Everyone receives only one shot at life, so it’s important to live one’s life in a way that is enjoyable to him or her.

Source: Best Health Degrees

The Future of Renewable Energy

Posted on 26. Apr, 2012 by in Environment & Ecology

The Future of Renewable Energy

It’s no surprise that renewable energy is gaining popularity every year. The current economic climate is pushing people to think harder about the money they spend, and with the prices of fossil fuels climbing every year, we’re obviously starting to look elsewhere. On top of this, good evidence to suggest that global warming is increasing every year means we’re all feeling a little more environmentally conscious than we used to – and that’s no bad thing.

Consumables

At the moment, most of our power still comes from non-renewable sources. We all run our cars on gasoline and heat our homes with oil, and most (just under half) of the US’s electricity is generated from coal, with nuclear power also contributing a large proportion of our power. Today, only around 16% of global energy consumption comes from renewable sources. This means we’ve still got a long way to go before we can collectively reduce our carbon footprints; but luckily, advances in the field of renewable energy are being made every day.

Renewables

The most common sources of renewable energy are wind power, solar power, hydroelectric power and biomass. Different energy sources are considered optimal for different uses; solar energy is often considered to be one of the most efficient ways to heat a home – concentrated solar power (CSP) can  be used to boil water, which will be pumped through radiator pipes instead of water boiled with more traditional methods.

For renewable energy to be considered a viable option scientists need to ensure that it can meet society’s needs adequately; that is, it needs to be sourced without great cost, efficient, and safe. Luckily, most renewable energies come from natural sources and so are naturally replenished anyway, but converting the elements into energy isn’t always cheap or cost-effective.

Image by World-3

Scalability

Another problem with renewable energy sources is that they can often require large areas of land or space in order to supply a sufficient amount of energy; for example, in order to provide enough power for one city in the US, a wind farm would have to home hundreds of wind turbines. Refining the way we collect renewable energy will mean that we can begin to generate more power in less space, and with less cost. The US is investing more money into wind farms and renewable energy labs every year, but before we can rely on these energies to power our homes fully, the technologies will need to make some serious advances.

Self-powered Appliances

Of course, one way in which things are improving speedily is in the innovation of new products that can be powered by renewable energy. There are plenty of situations where renewable energy is far more practical than non-renewable energy; solar-powered lamps are already commonplace in gardens across the country, and wind-up torches and radios are a staple of every well thought-out camping trip.

Solar Power

Solar power is one of the most versatile forms of renewable energy; whereas hydropower and wind power require heavy, burdensome equipment (such as windmills), solar power simply requires photovoltaics (PVs), which convert sunlight into energy, and can be integrated into many appliances. The US military are already sending out their soldiers with solar mats, which charge in the sunlight and can be used to power a variety of appliances including laptops, fans and lights. The benefits of a solar mat over batteries are its lightness and longevity; it’s definitely harder to ‘run out’ of sunlight than it is to use up a battery.

The Future

The future of renewable energy looks positive, but it’s unclear just how soon technology will make it viable as a major source of power in the home. What’s important at the moment is that major institutions invest enough money into renewable energy to keep its momentum high enough just as we hover on the cusp of major developments in the field.

Jessica Wilson is a renewable energy and conservation enthusiast. A big fan of outdoor pursuits including hillwalking and kayaking, She currently writes about solar energy and renewables for Solar Contact, a website dedicated to helping homeowners and small businesses implement renewable energy systems.

Why You Need To Organize Louisiana Swamp Tours In Advance

Posted on 17. Apr, 2012 by in Human Biology

Whenever you need to go and have some fun at the Louisiana swamp tours, it is a good idea to try to arrange the trip early in advance. In many cases, most of the people who want to go for the Louisiana swamp tours come from far off locations, and sometimes even from foreign countries. This means that if you are one of these people, you may find it difficult to simply come to Louisiana and go on one of these tours, since you may not know what to expect. In order to plan your Louisiana swamp tours properly, you would need to first of all find out how these tours are organized.

Fortunately, this is not such a hard thing to do. If you need to get some information about Louisiana swamp tours, you can make use of the power of the internet to do so. There are many tour companies which have sites providing information about the Louisiana swamp tours that they offer. You can use Google to find one of these and then use the information found on them to plan your tour with relative ease.

In some cases, you may find that one site does not offer very good deals as compared to others. For this reason it is a good idea to always try to visit a few sites and compare them to find out which ones offer the best Louisiana swamp tours. For instance, there are some companies which only offer long Louisiana swamp tours that last a few hours at least. If you are in the region for only a few hours, these may not be the best tours to use. It would then be necessary to try to find a company that offers Louisiana swamp tours that meet your specifications as far as time and cost are concerned.

When planning for Louisiana swamp tours, it is recommended that you start planning early. This is especially so when you are planning to go for the swamp tours during peak times of the year such as summer. In peak times, there are usually many other people eager to go for the swamp tours as well. This means that if you do not make your arrangements early, you may end up being frustrated due to lack of facilities such as hotel rooms and car hire facilities due to the huge demand. By simply making sure that you start planning for your swamp tours early on, you can easily avoid this.

When all is said and done, going for swamp tours can be a fun way to spend some time with family and friends. In order to make it even more enjoyable, it would be necessary to try to make sure that you plan for it as has been described above. Doing this may also result in a reduction of the cost of the swamp tours, since you could benefit from some of the discounts that most of the facilities such as hotels offer when you book early.Louisiana swamp tours, it is a good idea to try to arrange the trip early in advance. In many cases, most of the people who want to go for the Louisiana swamp tours come from far off locations, and sometimes even from foreign countries. This means that if you are one of these people, you may find it difficult to simply come to Louisiana and go on one of these tours, since you may not know what to expect. In order to plan your Louisiana swamp tours properly, you would need to first of all find out how these tours are organized.

Fortunately, this is not such a hard thing to do. If you need to get some information about Louisiana swamp tours, you can make use of the power of the internet to do so. There are many tour companies which have sites providing information about the Louisiana swamp tours that they offer. You can use Google to find one of these and then use the information found on them to plan your tour with relative ease.

In some cases, you may find that one site does not offer very good deals as compared to others. For this reason it is a good idea to always try to visit a few sites and compare them to find out which ones offer the best Louisiana swamp tours. For instance, there are some companies which only offer long Louisiana swamp tours that last a few hours at least. If you are in the region for only a few hours, these may not be the best tours to use. It would then be necessary to try to find a company that offers Louisiana swamp tours that meet your specifications as far as time and cost are concerned.

When planning for Louisiana swamp tours, it is recommended that you start planning early. This is especially so when you are planning to go for the swamp tours during peak times of the year such as summer. In peak times, there are usually many other people eager to go for the swamp tours as well. This means that if you do not make your arrangements early, you may end up being frustrated due to lack of facilities such as hotel rooms and car hire facilities due to the huge demand. By simply making sure that you start planning for your swamp tours early on, you can easily avoid this.

When all is said and done, going for swamp tours can be a fun way to spend some time with family and friends. In order to make it even more enjoyable, it would be necessary to try to make sure that you plan for it. Doing this may also result in a reduction of the cost of the swamp tours, since you could benefit from some of the discounts that most of the facilities such as hotels offer when you book early.

UK Scientist Recommends Global Warming Solution

Posted on 17. Mar, 2012 by in Atmospheric Sciences, Earth Sciences, Environment & Ecology, Physical

UK Scientist Recommends Global Warming Solution

Stephen Salter, Emeritus Professor of Engineering Design at the University of Edinburgh and major proponent of geo-engineering, has suggested that there may currently be a feasible way to combat global warming until greener alternatives have been reached in the future. The plan calls for large seawater pumps to convert the spray into tiny droplets of water in the atmosphere to reflect back sunlight, halting the problem of warming before it arrives on Earth. In previous iterations of the plan, Salter has entertained the idea of using specially built ships that can do this on a large-scale, mobile basis. However, the gravity of the warming situation has prompted him to look at alternatives.


 

“I don’t think there’s time to do ships for the Arctic now,” Salter said before the Arctic Methane Emergency Group Conference in Westminster.

 

The previous set-up, as envisioned by Salter, would require constructing infrastructure that currently do not exist and could take years before a prototype can even be launched to sea. By switching from a mobile to a stationary platform, Salter say that few resources would be needed.

 

“We’d need a bit of land, in clean air and the right distance north.”

 

When asked about where said facilities would be located, Salter hinted at both the Faroe Islands in the North Sea and the many islands in the Bering Strait. The plan will call for simple towers that pump seawater to the top and release extremely fine droplets. The pumping action will be powered by a renewable form of energy, possibly geothermal if the North Sea location is chosen. Droplet creation would be achieved through technology that is currently being developed at Edinburgh University and spearheaded by Salter himself.

 

The concept of creating fine mists of water to reflect the sun’s rays back isn’t a new one. In fact, this idea was first pondered by US physicist John Latham. In essence, the tiny droplets allow atmosphere water vapor to condense near each other loosely, forming whiter cloud layers that are much more reflective than the clouds normally seen over many of Earth’s major cities.

 

Why Now?

The Arctic Ocean is currently undergoing a rapid thaw. In particular, areas typically under ice-cover during the summer seasons have been shrinking at an alarming rate. This has been heralded by scientists as definitive proof of global warming. Furthermore, at the current rate of shrinking, the Arctic is predicted to have ice-free summers by 2015. While the shrinking of the Arctic ice caps is alarming, far more alarming is the issue of methane that is currently trapped under the ice-caps.

 

In terms of the effect it has on global warming, methane is a far more powerful greenhouse gas than carbon dioxide, though its longevity in the atmosphere is far shorter. In fact, scientists have pinpointed the previous extinction cycle to a time of high atmospheric methane levels. If unchecked, increased methane presence in the atmosphere could very well lead to another large-scale extinction era.

 

Investigative teams have already reported that bubbles containing methane have been emerging from the Arctic regions during summer seasons. The amount is still currently under debate.

 

While some outlook to the future remain optimistic, pessimism seem to flow with every word from the scientific community.

 

“With ‘business-as-usual’ greenhouse gas emissions, we might have warming of 9-10 degrees Celsius in the Arctic.” said Professor Peter Wadhams of Cambridge University.

 

For reference, the total world temperature has not exceeded 5 degrees Celsius over the course of the past twenty years. A 9-10 degree rise in the Arctic will prove catastrophic.

 

Tips For Antarctic Expeditors & Researchers: Coping Cold

Posted on 15. Mar, 2012 by in Atmospheric Sciences, Earth Sciences, Environment & Ecology, Experiments & Research

Tips For Antarctic Expeditors & Researchers: Coping Cold

According to Victoria Auld, physicist and electronic engineer with the British Antarctic Survey, there’s a lot more to the challenge of coping with cold weather than just the cold. Auld has spent the past two Austral winters at Halley’s base in Antarctica, braving temperatures lower than 50 degrees below.

How do you cope, working when it’s that cold? The answer, according to Auld, is one familiar to many Canadians: dress for it.”Snow boots, thick and thin pairs of socks, thermal underwear, t-shirt,” Auld lists as the normal first layer worn. “Light fleece, thick fleece (moleskin trousers were preferred to fleece tracksuit bottoms). The outer layer depended on the weather. A thick cotton ventile top and bottoms for windy weather, a thick protective VR jacket and trousers for manual work, or a duvet style ‘doo suit’ for cold skidoo trips. Hat, fleece headover, thin and thick pairs of gloves, goggles (clear lens for winter, dark for summer), and sunscreen.”

Auld was at Halley’s base as part of an atmospheric study, setting up experiments to look at atmospheric chemistry, glaciology and meteorology, collecting snow and air samples and recording the weather every three hours. Working in a team of three, Auld and her colleagues covered the 24-hour shift.

And it could get really cold.

“The coldest temperature recorded while I was south was negative 51.2 Celcius,” Auld recalls. “The only work I did at this temperature was a quick trip to the meteorological station to record the temperature and check all instruments were working! Below -40C I found it becomes painful to breathe as the moisture on the hairs of my nose and mouth froze instantly. To help avoid this I wore a neoprene face mask (very kinky!).”

So what’s negative 51.2 feel like with the windchill factored in? Warmer.

“Unlike more normal conditions where there is a decrease in temperature with height, in the Antarctic winter the opposite is true,” explains Auld. “It is colder at the surface than maybe 500 metres above it, [because] snow is, obviously, always cold and cools the surface air above it. Furthur away from the ground there is less cooling effect. So the coldest conditions are when it is calm and clear. When fronts or depressions pass over the base, they bring strong winds which mix up the atmosphere allowing the warmer air above to reach the surface. So even in the middle of winter, with 40 knots of wind, it may bring the temperature up to -10 celcius.”

Auld insists that on a sunny day, you could work in a T-shirt and shorts so long as you keep moving. But for three months out of the year the Sun never rises in Antarctica at all. During those cold, sunless months, the scientists would find their way by the light of the Moon and the stars — or torches on cloudy days.

“Base work was kept to an absolute minimum, with full preparation for the winter months completed in autumn,” Auld says. “Chefs and radio operators had little need to go outside, while the meteorologists, upper atmospheric engineers and vehicle mechanic were required to walk to work everyday. Other [people doing] jobs such as steel erector and field guide were occasionally required to complete grueling tasks in adverse conditions.”

However, their refuge stayed toasty. The heavily-insulated timber and steel living quarters were powered by generators, and kept at a comfortable 20 degrees C. It consisted of a kitchen, dining room, lounge (with TV, small bar and pool table!) library, dark room and computer room, and small pit bedrooms, and was built on stilts five meters off the ground, to prevent being buried in drifting snow.

But even though temperatures inside the rooms were usually a comfortable 20 degrees Celsius, the atmosphere could be frostier than outside.

“The daily challenge of living in isolation with the same 15 people for 10 months of the year, three of which are in darkness, is the biggest challenge I faced,” Auld says. “Coping with the frustrations of personality clashes, even if the clash is between others, and little personal space can leave you feeling surprisingly lonely. And yet I find I have met some of my best friends while ‘south.’”

And there were opportunities to “get away from it all” and visit the penguins.

“We had a small caboose that slept two or four, situated just one kilometre away from the base that people used for weekend retreats,” Auld explains. “On top of this our main relaxation was the field training trips where we would skidoo out to camp and then trek around the area looking for climbing areas, and visit the penguins. And darkroom photography development was also extremely popular.”

Sometimes nature itself was all it took to coax the staff out into the cold.

“The aurora could be guaranteed to get everyone outside, whatever the weather or time of night,” Auld says.

Could anyone survive work as an Antarctic researcher? Auld admits that she’s not too fussy about temperature, so long as it’s sunny, and she has the right gear to enjoy some type of sporting activity in whatever environment she’s in — so she may be more adaptable to the work.

“I found that walking to and from work every day reminded me just how fragile and quite frankly, odd, this world is,” says Auld. “The diversity of landscape and of people the world over is truly fantastic. I was constantly busy when working in the Antarctic and I enjoyed the reality of working to survive, having to think where you’re water is coming from daily, whether there’s enough fuel to last the cold spell.”

And for a scientist, it may be the most perfect of work spaces.

“I have heard numerous people say it, and I have to agree, that the Antarctic is the perfect laboratory,” Auld points out. “For my area of research it is about as controlled a situation as can be found. It is remote, flat, dark, and cold, with little if any anthropogenic impact. What more could anyone ask for?

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