The Medieval Bestseller
I read it somewhere on the Internet...
Wednesday, March 01, 2006

I have a spring in my step today. Not really sure why, but I think it may have to do with the fact that I was able to wake up at my leisure this morning, instead of having to go to my 8 a.m. class (cancelled). Feels nice.

Last night I watched one of my favorite shows on TV: NOVA. I love watching this show, but almost never do because somehow I either always have something to do or remember it's on an hour or two after its broadcast. But yesterday I remembered and I got to watch not one, but TWO episodes.

The thing about NOVA is that it's a science show. I never really liked science much until I started to get to know my Caltech friends. Even still, there's plenty of episodes that, when I read about them, I think I have absolutely no interest in them. Like last night - Nineteenth Century British Maritime Exploration of the Artic Circle. Boring. However, when I was watching these shows, I was fascinated by their sheer desire to explore the Artic circle to find a shorter way to get from the Atlantic to the Pacific (instead of going all the way around South America). Going on these expeditions was practically taking a death sentence, since so many missions had failed. The first episode focused around John Franklin and his last mission to the Artic where his crew failed to make it through and ended up resorting to cannibalism after being stranded for a couple of years on some of those islands in the Northwest Passage. The second episode focused on this Norwegian guy whose hero was Franklin and who was the first to successfully make it through the Northwest Passage. While doing it, he and his crew hung out with the Inuit for awhile and it just blew my mind to think that people can and do live in such a hostile environment. Something I found really interesting from the show was that Amundsen (as opposed to Franklin) thought that the Inuit were smart because they could figure out how to survive in such a hostile environment (where the British simply could not). So, the skills Amundsen learned from the Inuit (like how to stay warm, how to find food, etc.) helped him to be able to make it through the passageway, which is still treacherous to go through to this day. There was also a really interesting quote the show gave...I won't remember it perfectly, but in essence the guy said that he genuinely loved the Inuit way of life and culture and so didn't want them to be exposed to "civilization" because it would ruin their culture and environment and stuff.

Anyhow, that NOVA is an interesting show, and I never really feel like I'm wasting time when watching it.

- Jenny, 3/01/2006 09:59:00 AM

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