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4 January, 2003

Working in a place as isolated as Antarctica requires an easy going demeanor and a certain sense of humor to help cope. While there are great recreational opportunities available, the subtleties of humor at an Antarctic station are imbedded in the signs and actions and speech of those who live here. Most of the workers here that are not scientists come here in October and stay until February. Last night I heard that the last plane scheduled to leave for those not intending to "winter-over" is Feb 22nd.

Some facts about Raytheon's on-Ice employees

Number of full-time vs. contract employees: 310 full-time, 879 contract

Percent of men to women: 65 percent men to 35 percent women

States represented on the Ice: 50 plus D.C.

States with the most people on the Ice: Alaska - 69; Washington - 77; California - 79; Colorado - 492.

States with only one Raytheon employee each on the Ice: Alabama, Iowa, Kentucky and Mississippi

Only state that throws its own party at McMurdo Station: Alaska

Number of employees under age 21: 29

Number of senior citizens employed on the Ice: 9

Age of oldest employee on the Ice: 74

Age of youngest employee on the Ice: 18

Average age of Ice employees: 37

Source: RPSC Human Resources as printed in The Antarctic Sun 12/15/02

1. This beautiful clock hangs in the galley and is about 5 feet in diameter

2. A decoration on the dashboard of the fire truck

3. Scientists are called "beakers" in McMurdo. This refers to them in a humorous way and is located just outside the main science lab.

4. A sun dial that keeps pretty good time. Note the direction the numbers go. In order for the sundial to work the sun goes counterclockwise in the sky.

5. A brass sundial and compass, a gift from Mr. Biskup, at work in Antarctica. The case is engraved with the latitude and longitude of McMurdo Station on it. (77-51 South, 166-40 East)

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