"New Years"

Katy McNitt - January 1, 1995
Expert on Ozone and Climate Change

    What better day to begin this electronic journal. Hello! My name is Katy McNitt and I'm an officer in the NOAA Corps, assigned to the South Pole until November of 1995. I work in the Clean Air Facility, where we monitor things in the air which might affect the Earth's climate. Today is supposed to be a "day off", but it's one of the busiest days of the year for me! I have to write end-of-the-month reports, end-of-the-year reports, then I get to take beginning-of-the-month flask samples. But I'll tell you more about that later. For now I just wanted to introduce myself and tell you about New Year's Eve at the South Pole.

We began the evening with a "Pagan Feast". The cooks roasted a pig and set up a huge feast with fresh fruit and homemade bread and all kinds of cheeses and vegetables. As you might imagine, fresh food is rare at the South Pole, since it has to be flown in from New Zealand! What a treat!

Of the 140 people here, about half of us dressed up in togas or other goofy costumes for dinner. We were too polite to make it a Real pagan feast (in fact almost everyone used plates, napkins, and silverware!) but it was a lot of fun.

After dinner we had a big party in a heated canvas tent called a "jamesway". People live and work in these tents during the summertime, but not during the winter. Our resident band, "The Polecats" played loud music just right for dancing, and at midnight a bunch of people went out to the geographic South Pole to celebrate the coming of the new year.

The great thing about New Year's at the Pole is that this is where all of the lines of longitude (and all the time zones) meet. If we wanted to, we could go out to the pole every hour for twenty four hours and celebrate New Year's with each different time zone, all around the world!


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