Saturday, April 10, 2010

Colored eggs and golf balls

Easter has always been one of my favorite holidays. Our family traditions involve lots of candy, egg-coloring, and poker. It's a good combination. I was a bit blue about missing my first easter at home, so one of my hall-mates and I organized a big Svalbard-style easter brunch. I taught the Norwegians how to dye eggs the American way and we had a grand time. The day itself was spent thoroughly exploring our local ice-cave, and in the evening I enjoyed (!!) my first-ever steak. My inner vegetarian is dying on this trip.

p.s. there are 6 nationalities in this picture alone

A couple of days after Easter, class started again with a fieldtrip to SvalSat, a collection of monstrous golf-balls on a rather large plateau above town. This is where organizations like NASA and NOAA communicate with their satellites. It makes sense to have a ground station like this on Svalbard because we're far enough north that polar-orbiting satellites (those that travel over the pole with each pass) are able to communicate with the station on every orbit around the earth. In contrast, a station at the equator would only be able to communicate with the same satellite on 1 out of every 14 orbits.

I'd like take a moment to thank SvalSat for existing-- without whom I would not be able to update this blog. The 890 miles of undersea fiber optic cables that are currently supplying me with high-speed internet were installed for SvalSat, and 1/4 of our bandwidth is reserved for uploading and downloading satellite data.

I was able to take pictures outside the facility, but security was much tighter inside. Inside the huge round ball is a rather impressive satellite dish.

Other good news-- 4 washes later and I now have a functioning sleeping bag! The rest of my gear still has a bit of an eau-du-gasoline, but nothing unbearable.


Sandy.Riverman said...

Your great-grandma Riverman would be smiling in her grave, knowing that you made her traditional Easter brunch in Svalbard. You did teach everyone to "kip" didn't you?

Anonymous said...

Did you make a "Sue's Butt" egg? Surely you didn't forget THAT tradition!?

Love you lots!
Auntie Sue

Platzreife said...

The size of the golf ball, according to the rules of golf is as follows. The diameter of the golf ball should be at least 1.680 inches or 42.67 mm. A small ball tends to fly further than a big ball due to less air resistance on a small object in flight or in other words, the smaller ball is not necessary to move the air more like a big ball. In this spirit, most manufacturers produce golf balls to the minimum size.

Chiemsee Sporthotel said...

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Golfkurse said...

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