There Is No Cat

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Saturday, May 24, 2003

An explorer who doesn't come from Microsoft

Did you know there was a major polar expedition going on right now? Me neither. Pen Hadow has become the first man to travel to the geographic North Pole alone without resupply from Canada, which is considered the hard way. Only one person has made it in similar conditions from Russia. Hadow made it to the North Pole this past Monday. He's still there. He's supposed to fly out by airplane, but the weather has prevented the planes from landing. His satellite phone is dead, he fell through the ice on his way to the pole and lost one of his skis, and he's utterly exhausted and perhaps a little disoriented. The web site about the expedition makes fascinating reading, as do the despatches of the reporter from The Times of London who has been covering the story extensively (use the cypherpunk user ID and password trick if The Times asks you to register).

I have a friend who has co-written a book, Dangerous Crossings, about one of the early Arctic expeditions in 1925. I think a lot of people think that exploration of the poles is something that's over, done, it was something that happened in the past. All the exploring has been done, hasn't it? It's interesting to see something being done today in the field that's never been done before.

Posted at 10:51 AM

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What do you mean there is no cat?

"You see, wire telegraph is a kind of a very, very long cat. You pull his tail in New York and his head is meowing in Los Angeles. Do you understand this? And radio operates exactly the same way: you send signals here, they receive them there. The only difference is that there is no cat."

- Albert Einstein, explaining radio


There used to be a cat

[ photo of Mischief, a black and white cat ]

Mischief, 1988 - December 20, 2003

[ photo of Sylvester, a black and white cat ]

Sylvester (the Dorito Fiend), who died at Thanksgiving, 2000.


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