Thursday, August 19, 2010

Robert F. Scott

Today we feature of picture of Robert F. Scott, captain of the ill fated Terra Nova expedition to the South Pole. As we have seen this week, the party did make it to the South Pole, but all five died on the return journey. Scott and two other died only 11 miles from the supply depot and camp they were desperately trying  to reach. In researching the expedition, it appears it was somewhat poorly planned, and they left little margin for error. 


  1. I guess one thing about was that it seems they keep excellent records of the trip.
    To bad that the trip wasn't entirely successful.
    He sure had a lot of books there with him. And it looks like there a bunch of loose leaf binders in those shelves on the lower left side of the photo.

  2. I just noticed the POLL count.
    Between the two polls as far as if either of you two really exist. It seems that there are barley enough YES votes added together to make one of you two exist.
    So with that kind of low counts, one of you two may have to fade away.

  3. I got the impression that this particular expedition wasn't a little poorly planned, it was actually badly planned. It's very difficult to accept the failure of this attempt in light of Scott's previous experiences.

  4. How's the first week of school?

  5. To put it in modern statistical terms, the specification was that the South Pole team should make it back alive even if the weather was 2 standard deviations worse than average. In the event, the weather was about 2.1 standard deviations worse, and Scott died 11 miles short of his southernmost supply cache.

    So the planning, whether good or bad, closely met the specification. Does you no good to meet specs if the specification gets you killed.

  6. It's very sad and very interesting, especially when you compare it to Shackleton's furthest south and then Amundsen's astounding success. It became fashionable to criticize Scott. It's easy to criticize in hindsight. We only know that we don't know enough. I never tire of reading about exploration in the high latitudes.