Much of the United States is currently in the grip of a polar vortex, a system of dense air producing plummeting temperatures and swathes of freezing weather, bringing some parts of the country to a halt and causing chaos in others.
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Wednesday 24 August 2011
You don't get to meet people like this very often," said Harry Wales, describing the four disabled Afghanistan veterans whose trek to the North Pole he was briefly going to join. Well, I don't, Harry, I thought... but surely it can't be that much of a rarity for you? It goes with the job really, doesn't it? All those hospital visits and hearts-and-minds tours, all those occasions when a royal handshake is assumed to be a sovereign remedy for the riot-struck and the dispossessed. It's partly what a prince is for these days. The old role, of being inaccessibly distant and more special than anyone around them, lingers on. But to it has been added the new duty of being ostentatiously less special than certain commoners. Prince Harry – regal rugger bugger and honorary squaddie – is actually quite good at this. As he said in Harry's Arctic Heroes: "I like to think I'm just one of the lads, whether I am or not."
Friday 24 June 2011
One of the books I have read and re-read with unfailing pleasure and interest is Jules Verne's 'Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea'. I can date my first reading precisely, as I still have my copy, given to me by "Mummy and Daddy, Christmas 1948", when I was nine. This edition was published in 1946 in Cleveland, Ohio, and has beautiful illustrations of sea creatures and seascapes, and of the brave adventurers who travel with Captain Nemo in his spacious submarine, the Nautilus. As a child, I liked the pictures of the narwhale and the kelp forest best, but now I also admire the narrator and his manservant Conseil, portrayed in handsome nakedness. Illustrated books were a rarity in that post-war period, and all the more to be cherished.
Tuesday 31 May 2011
The retreat of sea ice in the Arctic is not just opening up the fabled North-West Passage to shipping. It has made it possible for explorers to row to the North Pole.
Monday 02 May 2011
The much-loved Plough is riding high in the heavens.
Tuesday 29 March 2011
Prince Harry is starting a trek to the North Pole with a team of soldiers who were wounded in combat.
Friday 14 January 2011
Winner of the John Llewellyn Rhys prize, Sackville's debut novel marries the story of a doomed polar expedition with the story of a modern relationship in stasis.
Tuesday 23 November 2010
A £150m oil rig deal between US oil group Apache and engineering contractor Offshore Group Newcastle (OGN) will create 1,000 jobs in the North-east over the next 20 months.
Saturday 16 October 2010
Friday 02 July 2010
Two hapless environmental crusaders set off on the world's first unassisted, carbon-neutral, organic, vegetarian trek to the North Pole.
Monday 05 April 2010
Friday 20 November 2009
The Grinch stole Christmas back in the days of innocence, but today climate change and sexual alarmism are doing just as good a job as Dr Seuss's mean critter.
Thursday 26 March 2009
Premier Oil wants to buy the North Sea assets of the troubled Canadian exploration group Oilexco for $505m (£347m) in cash.
Friday 20 March 2009
Wednesday 11 February 2009
Polar explorer Pen Hadow will set off today to begin a 746-mile scientific survey of the floating ice in the Arctic Ocean.
Friday 31 October 2008
Replete with breathtaking footage of the North Pole's animal inhabitants, the French-Canadian director Jean Lemire's documentary snapshot of life in the Arctic tundra over the course of a year is mercifully light on global-warming preaching, but painfully heavy on anthropomorphising commentary.
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