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"The following lines were stimulated by the account of one of the Antarctic
expeditions (I forget which, but I think one of Shackleton's): it was
related that the party of explorers, at the extremity of their strength, had
the constant delusion that there was one more member than could actually be
counted."

Yep.  It was one of Shackleton's and now there is an Imax movie on his
expedition.

Shackleton Imax Movie
http://main.wgbh.org/imax/shackleton/

Shackleton Links
http://www.dulwich.org.uk/history/shacklinks.htm

Shackleton Books
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/stores/detail/-/books/0375404031/simila
rities/ref%3Dpm%5Fdp%5Fln%5Fb%5F10/107-5321926-5099737

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South
Sir Ernest Shackleton
The last paragraph of the chapter entitled "Across South Georgia"

When I look back at those days I have no doubt that Providence guided us,
not only across those snowfields, but across the storm-white sea that
seperated Elephant Island from our landing-place on South Georgia. I know
that during that long and racking march of thirty-six hours over the unnamed
mountains and glaciers of South Georgia it seemed to me often that we were
four, not three. I said nothing to my companions on the point, but
afterwards Worsley said to me, "Boss, I had a curious feeling on the march
that there was another person with us." Crean confessed to the same idea.
One feels "the dearth of human words, the roughness of mortal speech" in
trying to describe things intangible, but a record of our journeys would be
incomplete without a reference to a subject very near to our hearts.

Sir Ernest Henry Shackleton (1874-1922)
South
Originally published 1919, William Heinemann, London
Reprinted 1998, The Lyons Press, New York, ISBN 1-55821-783-5

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On a personal note, Sir Ernest might really have liked exploring in my
front yard.  Earlier this week we got at least 18 inches of heavy wet
snow in a two day storm.  And at least 7 inches more have fallen since
yesterday and it is still snowing.  New England gets weather like this
periodically but this is a little bit unusual.  Typically the snow
comes, melts and comes again but this year, for the first time in the 15
years at this house, I haven't seen my lawn all winter, it has been
covered in snow for 3 months.  Also typically, I get snowdrops actually
BLOOMING the last week of February but this year there has been no sign
of the PLANTS yet.

I was brought up at the other end of the state where winters were a bit
tougher than that gotten here but my wife has better stories from
upstate New York.  One winter at her hometown on the shores of Lake
Ontario it snowed, at least a dusting, EACH DAY from Christmas to the
first day of spring.  Then there was the time she lived in Lake Placid
and worked in nearby Saranac Lake.  She used to get really irked when
leaving for work and hearing that the lowest temperature in the lower 48
recorded for the morning was in, you guessed it, Sararnac Lake and that
is where she had to go.  On the plus side she had some really good skiing.

Regards,
   Rick Parker