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NauenThen

Polar bear, Svalbard

I love the Arctic (not that I've been there) (yet) so this article & photo really break my heart. This poor guy. Is there any explanation other than global warming & loss of habitat?

It's easy to feel overwhelmed by all that's gone or is going wrong (less easy to feel jubilation at the beauty of the world). What to do, what to do?  Read More 
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Postmen of the Wilderness

For most of his life, Arthur Heming (1871–1940) painted using just black, white, and yellow, apparently because he was color blind. (However, at the age of 60, he suddenly grabbed all the colors on the palette.) He traveled the Arctic for the Hudson Bay Company. "His best work is transcendent, calling to mind the rich velvety grayscale of Gerhard Richter’s realistic paintings, while his weakest work is the sort of mystic wolf lore that later became the vernacular of furry bedspreads and black crewneck sweatshirts," writes Abigail Walthausen in The Public Domain Review. I'm reminded of the straightforwardness (without the cobalt blue) of Maxfield Parrish. More illustrator than artist, perhaps, but still, with enough heart to make one linger over his work.  Read More 
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On top of the world

I don't even want to run a marathon. My knees give out after 30 minutes on the cross-trainer. But I kind of sort of want to run THIS marathon. I wonder if I could do it.

It costs 11,900 euros, about $12,500 right now. For that, they fly you from & back to Svalbard (where I've long wanted to go) to the North Pole camp, put you up there for 2 or 3 days, and provide helicopter flights, professional photography, & (uh-oh)  Read More 
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The fascinating Arctic

When Commander Robert Peary telegraphed President Taft in 1909 that he had "put the North Pole at your disposal," the president responded: "Thanks for your interesting and generous offer. I do not know exactly what I could do with it." These days he would, no doubt, but wouldn't be allowed to claim the North Pole, any more than the Russians were when they tried to in 2007, by dropping a flag in the seabed at 90° North (quite a technical achievement, if not a  Read More 
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