Before I get back to scientific topics, I have just one more living-in-Antarctica digression. While the general outward look of McMurdo is strictly utilitarian with metal siding and above ground piping dominating most views, the community is also infused with wonderful and creative art. There are gigantic oil paintings in the galley and glossy art photos in the halls of many buildings from the recipients of NSFs Antarctic Artists & Writers program grants.
With Halloween coming up, many folks have flocked to the open hours at the Craft Room to work on their costumes. Some McMurdo residents have turned their artistic talents to commercial ventures, selling knitted hats or scenic batiks. My favorite artworks are the quirky and clever pieces by local Antarcticans tucked in unexpected places - the troll under the bridge or the hand silhouette railing in one parking area.
Whether the poles attract a more creative and artistic bunch, or the isolation and recreation limitations inspire greater creative efforts, or just give us all more time to carry out our ideas I'm not sure, but the community in general down here is very involved in do-it-yourself creativity - I love it!