Sunday, 11 November 2007

Halley Tour I: The Simpson.

All right, let's get this official Halley tour in motion. First stop: my office, the Simpson building.

The Simpson building is where the scientists work. And that includes me, because I'm a "scientist". We even have white lab coats. Which will be necessary, as you'll see.

The Simpson is about a 4 minute walk from the main Halley building. One typically walks there, but you could ski or skidoo there, of course. A pretty nice commute, albeit occasionally cold. On zero visibility days, there's a rope you can follow from the main building.

Here is our patio. Lovely for sunning yourself, if you have the urge to contract melanoma. It has its own crane, and it's about 8m off the ground. All of the Halley buildings are on stilts, so to speak, as the snow accumulates 1-2m per year. The buildings get raised at the same rate. As we walk into the door there... come into our hallway. In the room to the right, is the ozone machine, which is mounted into the roof. This sucker hasn't changed much in the last 50 years - the computer which was reluctantly added to it, still runs DOS and has a dot-matrix printer. It still has a bit of a mad-scientist feel to it - and it's operated all day and night.

On the left, we have the plumbing room, and a bathroom with an incinerator toilet at the end. This is the only room that requires a lab coat - or, at least, the only one with a sign to that effect. I believe the sign may predate the room's designation as a toilet. But I could be wrong. It is a hazardous waste depot, particularly the morning after chili night.

Moving down the corridor, and looking to the right, you see our office. As you can see, it's a very formal environment, with a very dignified hammock as our centerpiece. Actually, the hammock is just a weekend thing, used in between ozone readings. My desk is behind it.

And that's that! Not a big building. It will become our haven of solitude, once the hordes hit us in about a month. It's got everything - a fridge, tea, biscuits, and distilled water. Mmm. Certainly different to most of the offices I've worked in.


West Coast Cousin said...

Excellent tour. Have you ever seen photos of the scientific stations at Scott's 1911 Cape Evans Hut? It's amazing how little things change, they had very similar facilities. A desk, boxes of biscuits, various scientific thingies on shelves and handy places to snooze right next to your work surface. I can send you pics if you like...

Becky said...

More penguins! I demand more penguins!

Ryan said...

Yeah, we've got pictures of all the old stations on our walls! As you may see when I hit the main building. We've also got a fully stocked library, with many books about the stations (some of them 50 years old, from the original stations). But yes, much doesn't change.

Becky, you know I have to ration my penguins. I've got 3 more months of blog!