Monthly Archives: March 2017

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Women in Antarctica

How far would you go to prove that you have all the brains (and brawn) of your male counterparts?

To the ends of the Earth?

Well, that’s exactly what the 76 women scientists of the Homeward Bound 2016 expedition did.

History’s largest female voyage to Antarctica was neither a vacation nor a simple fulfillment of wild-woman wanderlust. It was a landmark statement heard around the globe in response to prevailing sentiments of discouragement and sexism in the scientific realm. Shockingly, the United States didn’t allow American women to work in Antarctica until 1969, and it has been an uphill battle since then for women to get a foothold on the icy continent.

Photo by Vincent van Zeijst via Wikimedia Commons

The challenge inspired women’s leadership activist Fabian Dattner. Last year, she joined forces with Ecosystem Modeler Jessica Melbourne-Thomas to send a boat full of women to Antarctica on a mission that would serve both scientific and gender-equality agendas.

Simply put, women want to take an active role in protecting the planet, and this opportunity sought to fling the door wide open for them. The Homeward Bound expedition’s motto became, “Mother Nature needs her daughters.”

“You feel something inside you that makes you want to take care of people and the planet,” French population modeler and expedition participant Deborah Pardo, who attributes a portion of her passion to motherhood, explained to CNN. “Women have this drive to ensure the sustainability of the environment and the welfare of their families.”

And so, after nearly a year of training, 76 women from around the world—ranging in professions from marine ecologists to doctors, physicists and astronomers—set sail from Argentina on December 2.

Destination: Antarctica.

photo, http://homewardboundprojects.com.au

After two and a half weeks at sea, the women set foot on the wildly remote shores of the earth’s southernmost landscape.

“Antarctica represents the relative fragility of the natural world, but it is also an environment that can provide us with a lot of information about what’s happening on the global scale,” said Melbourne-Thomas. “Antarctica is an important system in terms of providing us with early warnings about climate change, but also a way to untangle the effect of multiple changes in the environment.”

Photo by Andrew Shiva via Wikimedia

According to CNN, the Antarctic expedition was part of a 10-year project to help women in science cultivate their clout. “The 10-year goal, starting with Homeward Bound 2016, is to engage, encourage and support a diverse pool of women into leadership roles where they can shape policy and decision making. The hope is to establish one great network of 1,000 women with backgrounds in science collaborating for a shared vision.”

Melbourne-Thomas added, “We just really can’t afford to have the voice of women missing at the leadership table. Women bring a diversity of approaches and a whole range of complementary skills and styles in terms of science, and leadership more generally.”

Plans are now underway for a second all-female trip to Antarctica in February 2018.

Learn more at HomewardBoundProjects.com.au.

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What’s That Sillage?

What’s that smell? No, not the stuff in the silo (silage)—that distinct odor of fermenting corn or hay—but that lovely, faint, lingering scent …

sillage

Pronunciation:
[sil-ij]

(n.) the scent that lingers in air, the trail left in water, the impression made in space after something or someone has been and gone; the trace of someone’s perfume.

Origin:
French, literally, wake/trail

A poetical word, to be sure, when romancing over a love long-gone.

But perhaps you find sillage in other places and spaces …

… like when you pull up in your car to pick up your children from school and they sense the lingering aroma of the cheeseburger you wolfed down a moment earlier. Suspicion arises.

That kind of sillage … not so poetical.

Or when you move into a new house and smell the persistent bouquet of a woman’s perfume. But only at midnight. On Halloween.

Thanks to that type of sillage, you now know to pack up and move once again.

How about the sillage of your grandmother’s hand lotion, your dad’s motor oil, or the scent of a new baby’s scalp?

Only the nose knows.

Photo by Angela Andriot via Wikimedia Commons

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Hear Ye!

Welcome New Sisters! (click for current roster)

Merit Badge Awardees (click for latest awards)

My featured Merit Badge Awardee of the Week is … Arlene Woods!!!

Arlene Woods (Whirlwindwoman, #7241) has received a certificate of achievement in Garden Gate for earning a Beginner Level Backyard Farmer Merit Badge!

“I have 15 laying hens. (Started out with 18, but a hawk was killing them.) I finally learned how to butcher a chicken! One of my friends showed me how to do it without the boiling water—just butcher them like we do the rabbits! So much easier.

I feed my girls organic grain and they free range for insects and have pasture.

We have enjoyed the large brown eggs and good meat that we know is healthy. My son wants to add Russian meat rabbits this year and we are doubling our flock to include a heritage breed. (Right now we have a hybrid – Golden Comets.)”

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Today’s Recipe: Gluten-free Carrot Muffins w/Cream Cheese Filling

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clinomania

clinomania

(n.) an excessive desire to stay in bed

Pronunciation: klin-oh-MAYN-nee-uh

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If you aren’t one now, you probably were one, back in your teenage days. A clinomaniac, I mean. I’d wager there’s one in every house … if you don’t know who it is, crack open those peepers and move the covers off your face; it’s probably you.

Is clinomania a thing due to the actual sleeping part of being in bed, or is it the comfort of a nice mattress, the softness of your favorite quilt, the easy access to your nightstand TBR pile of novels, or because it’s where you get some high quality snuggling?

Who knows?

Best sleep on it.

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