Antarctic researchers mark winter solstice with icy plunge

A researcher takes a dip in a swimming hole prepared at the Casey research station to welcome the winter solstice in this photo released by the Australian Antarctic Division on Thursday, June 21. (Australian Antarctic Division/AFP)
Updated 21 June 2018
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Antarctic researchers mark winter solstice with icy plunge

SYDNEY: Scientists based in Antarctica welcomed the winter solstice by plunging into icy waters Thursday as part of a “mad tradition” heralding the return of brighter days after weeks of darkness.
In temperatures of -22 degrees Celsius (-7.6 degrees Fahrenheit), staff at Australia’s Casey research station marked midwinter’s day by cutting a small pool in the thick ice before stripping off and jumping in.
Casey station leader Rebecca Jeffcoat said midwinter day — the shortest of the year — was the most anticipated occasion on the Antarctic calendar and has been celebrated from the time of the early explorers.
“Swimming in Antarctica’s below freezing waters is something of a mad tradition, but our hardy expeditioners look forward to it, with 21 of the 26 people on station brave enough to take an icy dip this year,” she said.
“Midwinter day is really important in Antarctica because it marks the halfway point of our year here on the ice and it means the sun will spend slightly longer in the sky each day.”
Celebrations took place at all three of Australia’s Antarctic research stations and its sub-Antarctic Macquarie Island base, with feasting, an exchange of handmade gifts, and messages from home read out.
Jeffcoat, who is experiencing her first Antarctic winter, said the continent was extraordinary.
“The environment is spectacular and harsh, and we experience the most incredible range of conditions, from below freezing blizzards to auroras, or the midwinter twilight as the sun skims the horizon,” she said.
“It is challenging being so far from family and friends, but we have built a really close-knit community of friends on station that we’ll likely have for the rest of our lives as we’ve shared this great experience together.”
Australia currently has 75 researchers living and working on the frozen continent as part of the Australian Antarctic Program, with most of them on 12-month postings.


Marilyn Monroe’s Golden Globe sells for record $250,000 at auction

Updated 18 November 2018
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Marilyn Monroe’s Golden Globe sells for record $250,000 at auction

  • The award has made history as the highest selling Golden Globe sold at auction
  • Monroe picked up the Golden Globe for World Film Favorite Female

Marilyn Monroe’s Golden Globe Award sold for a record-breaking $250,000 at Julien’s Auctions in Beverly Hills, California, auction officials said late Saturday.
The 1961 award statue for World Film Favorite Female from the Hollywood Foreign Press Association made history as the highest selling Golden Globe sold at auction.
Monroe’s raven black two-seater, 1956 Ford Thunderbird, which was auctioned for the first time, fetched $490,000 at Icons & Idols: Hollywood, which took place Friday and Saturday.
Monroe, one of the most collectible celebrities, was pictured driving in the car with her husband, playwright Arthur Miller, shortly after their June 1956 wedding.
The movie star owned the vehicle for six years until shortly before her death in 1962.
Darren Julien, president of Julien’s Auctions, said the car was “not only part of automotive history but comes with an aura of glamor, romance and tragedy of a true Hollywood legend.”
Monroe gifted the Thunderbird to the son of her acting coach, Lee Strasberg, in 1962.
The current owner, who wishes to remain anonymous, tracked the vehicle down through registration and other documents. The car has undergone restoration but retains many original parts.
Monroe’s copy of Playboy’s first issue with her on the cover, signed by publisher Hugh Hefner, sold for $32,000 along with almost a dozen other items owned by the iconic actress.
The auction also included items from other celebrities including pop stars Tina Turner and Cher.