BLAST! will broadcast on KPBS – San Diego, November 2, at 11PM Pacific and KTCA – St. Paul, MN also in November (check local listings).
Get ready with this visit to Antarctica!
Posted by Paul Devlin
This broadcast is proudly sponsored by the University of Pennsylvania School of Arts & Sciences.
McMurdo Station is like an artist residency for scientists – total isolation, all needs taken care of, nothing to do but focus on your work.
There’s a real hierarchy there. The support staff are fascinating people, who have chosen very unconventional lifestyles, many returning year after year. But the scientists are royalty, treated with deep respect.
While I was at McMurdo, I met Henry Kaiser an accomplished musician and expert Antarctica underwater diver. He was also producing Werner Herzog’s film Encounters at the End of the World. At one of McMurdo’s watering holes, he introduced me to the table as a fellow filmmaker, listing my credits, awards and adventures. But this crowd had seen it all and were unimpressed.
Then he added, “…And his brother is the PI (Principal Investigator) of one of the NASA balloon experiments.” WOW! Now that was a different story. Suddenly, I was much more impressive, and the conversation picked up.
For more insight and dark humor about McMurdo Station, check out the book, Big Dead Place.