Friday, 23 December 2011

Antarctica: Not Practising Gender Equality!

Yesterday, I was listening to the radio, and it was "Womans Hour" on the BBC.
The interviewees for part of the programme were women who had worked on the recent BBC series "Frozen Planet".  Sarah Wheeler, ex writer-in-residence in Antarctica, described how, before travelling to the Mc Murdo, she'd been given a U.S. Navy Antarctic Survival Manual. One of the useful tips in there is that if you touch very cold metal with bare skin, such as an ungloved hand, then you'll stick to it, firmly. The best way to release yourself with minimal injury is to urinate over the join between self and metal.  "before going south, I did a 'dry run' so to speak, in the privacy of my own bathroom, and... y'know, it's a man's world!".

After clearing up the mess of the tea I'd snorted, I gave that a tiny bit of serious thought. And, you know, I'd suggest that if a man gets stuck to something, then he's likely to find it nearly as difficult as it might be to a woman to aim pee at the intersection. Say, for instance if it's his hand stuck to a door-handle.
Where we do score more highly, is that we're more likely to be able to direct an aimed stream of pee at a colleague's sticky problem.

(And before we all go "eeeuooo!" in disgust, for heaven's sake, grow up. Unless you've got a kidney or urinary tract infection, pee is pretty much sterile.  Safer than saliva... that kissing?  it's more dangerous!
The advice came from the U.S. Navy, which, like most military forces, advises its personnel that in the absence of sterile boiled water, peeing into a wound is a safe way to flush it clean of dirt and bacteria.)

 What other piece of music could I append than something from Brian Eno's "Here Come the Warm Jets"


  1. good lord......imagine that the only thing worse than having my finger stuck on a flagpole at the south pole is having to pull out my willy to pee on it...soooo cold!

  2. Almost every Canadian, has at sometime or another during their childhood stuck their tongue or lips to frozen metal. It's a shared cultural experience, particularly promoted by elder brothers.

    I'd agree that urine in the bladder is usually sterile, it's what happens to it on the way out that causes problems.

  3. I'd wish you a merry Christmas, but I've seen the bah, humbug post.

  4. Gary!:The tricky thing in those temperatures is not so much whipping it out as finding it! (Girls, believe me, the mightiest oak becomes a little acorn at -30!)

  5. A: Luckily, not being Canadian I've never felt the urge to lick a flagpole. I have frozen my hand to an iron bar, though, inadvertently. It unpeeled without peeing, and without losing skin, but oh shit oh shit it f@@@king well hurt as it unfrozed.

    Hah. Bumhug!


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