Tuesday, June 23, 2009

This June 28 let's meet in Iceland...

This Sunday, June 28, is the great day on which geologists - and indeed all scientists - all over the world remember the beginning of a most amazing adventure - the adventure which began in Iceland so many years ago on a clear, crisp, sunny June 28.
Might I be permitted to recall the document which made it possible?
In Sneffels yoculis craterem kem delebat Umbra Scartaris Julii intra calendas descende Audas viator, et terrestre centrum attinges.
Kod feci.
Arne Saknussemm.
Which dog Latin being translated, reads as follows:
Descend into the crater of Yocul of Sneffels, which the shade of Scartaris caresses, before the kalends of July, audacious traveler, and you will reach the center of the earth.
I did it.
Arne Saknussemm.
Indeed, though few of the wonderful tales of the great Jules Verne remain to be fulfilled, yet this one still stands as a triumph to the audacious - thank God it is a quality not restricted to geologists, or even scientists!

And I must tell you that though this plan may seem to be sheer fiction, it is not entirely so!

For, on one of the first days after I arrived as a brand new curious freshman at the-school-which-must-not-be-named, I went to the library, wandering in utter delight at the thought of so many new books to read - and I remembered that here would surely be a place wherein I might find highly detailed maps... so I sought out an atlas which would show Iceland in as high a resolution as might be available.

And behold, I saw that there really is a Jokullsneffels and a Scartaris!

So! When shall we go and follow the audacious Arne Saknussemm? What an adventure! What possibilities of new knowledge! What are we waiting for?

Let us make haste, and then join with Hans as he orders "Forüt" - Forward!

To the center of the earth!


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