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Thursday, December 14, 2006
Friday, December 01, 2006
It seems reports of the swashbuckling MSNBC reporter are already coming in, so this is a good time to unveil Big Dead Place's new "Llanos-watch" section.
Send observations of the icy horrors faced by the intrepid MSNBC reporter to: nick AT bigdeadplace.com
The reporter of this juicy article from MSNBC.com highlights the sort of whimpering correspondent NSF gets when they keep sucking up to the big media to fob their glorious science stories.
In the article titled, "Tough start to long journey to Antarctica", reporter Miguel Llanos whines about these things:
*His NSF escort didn't PQ, so Llanos and his photographer friend were unable to have someone "help us through any other bureaucratic hurdles"
*There was no in-flight video on the C-17 from Christchurch to McMurdo
*The interior of the C-17 didn't "help establish a comfort zone"
*After he landed he had to get on the Terra Bus right away, rather than standing around in the middle of the airfield
*The parka and boots felt like a "full-body straightjacket"
*He had to go to a housing briefing upon arriving in McMurdo
*His roommate snores
*And, after only a few hours on the ice, he's already feeling dizzy from the "long exposure to daylight"
To Mr. Llanos:
1) Most people don't get personal NSF escorts. Only journalists, and others from cushy offices who might cry if they don't get one.
2) C-17s are military aircraft. They sometimes go into combat zones packed with soldiers ready to kill the bad people. They're not going to show videos. And they're not built to "help establish a comfort zone" which, by the way, is really superb HR-speak. Maybe you'll fit in after all. Did you call the Firehouse to report your roommate for snoring yet?
3) Airfields are busy places. You're not supposed to just stand around in the middle of them.
4) When it's -100F and you're spending much of the day outside, the parka and boots are your friend. You're like a diver bitching that he has to wear an oxygen tank.
5) So you've been on the ice a couple of hours and you're dizzy from exposure to sunlight? May I tell you a story? Thanks. It's a "human interest" story about a guy named Douglas Mawson. Much like you, he had a tough start when he came to Antarctica for adventure. Much like you, he was a very long way from Redmond, Washington when things started to go sour. Much like you, he was exposed to constant sunlight. Unlike you, his companion fell into a deep crevasse with most of their food, his other companion went mad and bit off his own finger, then Mawson ate all his dogs and crawled hundreds of miles back to base to get stuck wintering with a crewmember so insane they had to lock him in a closet. The end.
6) Unlike all these other points, I sympathize with you about all the inane briefings and the PQ incompetence. I really do. It's a nightmare. Medical loses everything. One day someone will open a drawer and find a decade worth of all the lost urine samples and x-rays. And all rational people would trade places with Mawson to avoid another Safety or All-Hands Meeting. Please tell the world of the cruelty ravaged upon Antarcticans.
Send him to Happy Camper, show him a penguin or two, he'll fall in line and start eating from your hand again. They always do.
If you got any good Llanos-sightings, send 'em on in: nick AT bigdeadplace.com
Got news from one of the stations? Send it to Big Dead Place. Do you witness interesting Antarctic activities that somehow just don't seem sensational enough for Newsweek or People magazine? Send them to Big Dead Place. Have you ever wondered why a hundred media events overshadow millions of daily events? Because you didn't yet write to Big Dead Place. You know things. We promise anonymity.
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