Category Archives: Travel

Galileo in Florence

This story first appeared in The Listener, issue 3688, 15 January 2011.  I’d come a long way to see Galileo’s arthritic middle finger, but recognised the great 17th-century astronomer’s aged appendage – displayed in a gilt-edged glass egg in a … Continue reading

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Kermadecs voyage #2: The mystery of the floating pumice

I was planning to write this personal blog at the same time as writing one for Scientific American, but I’m so busy circumnavigating islands in a RHIB, flying into volcanic craters in a Navy Seasprite, fishing for sharks off the … Continue reading

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Kermadecs voyage #1: On the HMNZS Canterbury

In 1955, when the US and USSR were involved in a nuclear arms race, the British Prime Minister asked New Zealand’s permission to test hydrogen bombs in the Kermadecs, a small group of islands about 800 km north of Auckland. … Continue reading

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Antarctic playlist update

Before I went to Antarctica I asked people for recommendations on music to listen to while there, and I put together an Antarctic playlist. Turned out I didn’t listen to much music while I was in Antarctica. It was too … Continue reading

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Scott Base, Scott Base, this is Rebecca

When I first arrived in Antarctica I felt like the world had just got smaller. This place that had lived in my imagination for so long was suddenly real and underfoot. I’d now been to the Arctic and the Antarctic, … Continue reading

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Be careful what you wish for

When I arrived here, I didn’t want to leave. But now our stay has been extended. By a day. By another day. By two more days. On Thursday we did “bag drag,” where our bags were weighed and driven over … Continue reading

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