It’s understandable that some people get depressed around this time of the year. There is the uncomfortable weather, lack of sunshine, and incessant reminders of how we should all be out shopping, etc.. Fortunately, the flip side of that is that we can get cozy at home (with a tasty stir-fry of lemongrass-marinated beef), meet with friends in the evening (the blogger meetup was this Thursday night), give and get gifts, and perhaps even make plans for the new year. Pam has the jump on me this year in several ways: first, with one of the coolest gifts that you can give a nerd, an OLPC (One Laptop Per Child) XO computer. Although it hasn’t arrived yet, I got the email confirmation of the gift so the cat is out of the bag. The way the OLPC purchase works is to ‘give one and get one’, so in getting me this interesting piece of technology, Pam’s also insured that some child in another country (like Uruguay and Rwanda) also gets one. It’s a project started by Nicholas Negroponte, the flamboyant and charismatic founder of MIT’s Media Lab, and now the of the Non-profit organization (OLPC) that has created the device with the idea of getting an inexpensive (the original goal was <$100, the real price is now a little less than twice that number) laptop in the hands of children in poorer countries all over the world, with the hope of bridging the information divide). Here’s an ad with Heroes’ Masi Oka for OLPC:
You can be sure that future postings will be about this new gift, and given that it has a pretty long wi-fi range and is one of the few laptops that has a screen that is visible in full sunlight, as well as long battery life and lightweight design, I’m hoping that there will actually be some postings for this written on it (perhaps from the park out back?) as well.
I mentioned that Pam had the jump on me in the gift department. She’s also out ahead on plans for next year. She’s going to do something that she’s wanted to do for years now: see Antarctica. In February (the end of summer for that part of the world), she will first fly to Santiago, Chile, then board a charter flight to the southern tip of Argentina at Ushuaia, Tierra del Fuego (the world’s southernmost city). At that point, she’ll board the ship Explorer II, a “Double bottomed Ice Class vessel with an ice rating (Italian RINA Class 1‑D) that exceeds the requirement for operating safely in Antarctica” (thank goodness for that, with the recent sinking of a vessel from Gap Adventures, the M/S Explorer) The ship cruises for 2 days through the Drake Passage to the Antarctic peninsula. She’ll spend about 4 days there, making excursions in Zodiac rafts to the ice,where hopefully she’ll see penguins like these. There are plans to land on the South Shetlands, including Half Moon, Cuverville, Paulet, Penguin, Goudier and Deception Island, depending on the weather conditions. I’m hoping that she’ll be able to send some of the day-to-day details of her voyage, although I’m not sure how easy email will be.
Before all of this starts, there are a few other (less impressive trips), including a visit to my parents’ house in Baltimore, and a week in San Francisco for MacWorld Expo. Looks like 2008 is going to get off to a busy start.