What is this handbasket we’re in, and where is it going?

Hot Antarctic Nights

As summer begins here in the northern hemisphere, people in the southern are hunkering down for the winter. Nowhere is this dichotomy more apparent than near the poles – far to the north the days stretch into the wee hours of the morning, while in the south night becomes eternal.  Well, it lasts into August, anyway. It’s a good thing, then, that the scientists who make up the staff at the McMurdo base in Antarctica received the last of their supplies to take them through the longest night on Earth – fitting, considering that one of the last shipments included a year’s supply of condoms.

Apparently, a year’s supply for the 125 people stationed at McMurdo amounts to 16,500 condoms. Now I’m not sure what the demographics of McMurdo are, but even assuming a 2:1 man-to-woman split, couples getting down to business once every 24 hours only amounts to 7,380 condoms being used by the end of August. Have fun, scientists – you’ve got your work cut out for you.

Of course, latex condoms do have their uses outside of preventing the spread of stds and unwanted pregnancies. From keeping detritus out of gun barrels, to waterproofing microphones, to acting as a one way valve for paramedics in a pinch – the condom’s uses are numerous. Latex, as a material, also remains quite pliable in sub-zero temperatures. I’m sure scientists at McMurdo have plenty of grand plans in mind for their newly acquired treasure trove of prophylactics.

Like protecting sensor equipment. Or keeping soil samples dry. Or having ‘relations’ – nope, wouldn’t rule that one out.


June 10, 2008 - Posted by | All the news that's fit to hear

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