Saturday, July 9, 2011

okay, I am now admitting I am related to someone COOL in bio research land

A famous penguin researcher.

Really famous.

This lovely photo of an Adélie penguin by Samuel Blanc 
He's got some other photos on his user profile that are nice!
Check out his pétrel des neiges (snow petrel) lovely

Granted, I am related to him through marriage, so I don't get any genetically-based glory, tho' some of my cousins do. =)

So, I was going to send you to this site to make you track down who it is, but now that I've been there, you've gotta see the FILM clip they have re: the Antarctic ecosystem research they're doing.

I clicked on the link to watch the whole thing, then sat, immobile, mouth open.

 OMG it's a BEAUTIFUL, fascinating thing.

 Mount Herschel, Antarctica


So, to watch that short, enchanting film,

2. Click play on that black screen

3. Sit back and enjoy. It's FASCinating.

It's not just penguins, it's about the whole ecosystem down there. I never thought about the fact that in a place like that, which is soooo remote, you can study nature in a very close to unaltered-by-human-action state.

And learn really cool stuff.

Such amazing scenery (minimalist's dream) and
FABulous photography,
  with lovely music, I was transfixed.

And what he says (that's David Ainley) is so interesting.

Ate. it. up.

And the penguins are cute, of course. =)

3. Anyhow, once one of my cousins (D.A.'s nephew) sent me an e-mail consisting entirely of an image of a frozen mountain w/a little bit of text on it.

I e-mailed back, "Uh, why did you send me this?!?"

Thinking, "Dood, how RANDOM & cryptic can you GET?"

He replied "Read the name."

I did: Ainley Peak

Still nothing.

I e-mail him again, "So... Ainley Peak. And?"

"THAT'S MY UNCLE, remember? They named a peak after him."

Oh, that Ainley.

Hee. =)


Then I was appropriately congratulatory. And impressed.

To be honest, I'm not sure I've even met him. Don't remember. This may be a common thing if you focus your life researching animals that live at the south pole. Not lots of time to gad about California visiting chatty relatives. Kinda busy.

=) Anyhow, his sister, my aunt, is a very quiet person. Very smart, but very quiet. Lotsa talkers in my family, so she stands out. When I was a kid, I was kind of fascinated by her: so mysterious.

And once, not too long ago, I was apologizing to her for babbling (imagine!) and she said never apologize for that.


Then she related the story of her first date with my uncle. They went out, she had a great time, she "didn't have to talk at all" (apparently she likes that), and when my uncle dropped her off at the end of the evening, her cheeks were sore from smiling so much.



Apparently her brother is EVEN QUIETER.*


SO not related (genetically).

But, such cool stuff.

No pun intended.



*If I remember this correctly (what my cousin said); I have the worst memory.

Well, except for great places to eat.

Always remember that. Frequently not at all, until I get physically close enough, and then, without consciously recalling where we are or if I've ever been there before, this food-GPS function kicks in and I tell you which way to drive to get to great tacos, or whatever it was I ate there once. =) Bizarre. But, rewarding. =)

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