History of Antarctica

The history of Antarctica emerges from early Western theories of a vast continent, known as Terra Australis, believed to exist in the far south of the globe. The term Antarctic, referring to the opposite of the Arctic Circle, was coined by Marinus of Tyre in the 2nd century AD; the rounding of the Cape of Good Hope and Cape Horn in the 15th and 16th centuries proved that Terra Australis Incognita, if it existed, was a continent in its own right. In 1773 James Cook and his crew crossed the Antarctic Circle for the first time but although they discovered nearby islands, they did not catch sight of Antarctica itself, it is believed. On 27 January 1820, a Russian expedition led by Fabian Gottlieb von Bellingshausen and Mikhail Lazarev discovered an ice shelf at Princess Martha Coast that became known as the Fimbul Ice Shelf. Bellingshausen and Lazarev became the first explorers to see and discover the land of the continent of Antarctica. Three days on 30 January 1820, a British expedition captained by Irishman Edward Bransfield sighted Trinity Peninsula, ten months an American sealer Nathaniel Palmer sighted Antarctica on 17 November 1820.

The first landing was just over a year when American Captain John Davis, a sealer, set foot on the ice. Several expeditions attempted to reach the South Pole in the early 20th century, during the "Heroic Age of Antarctic Exploration". Many resulted in death. Norwegian Roald Amundsen reached the Pole on 13 December 1911, following a dramatic race with the Briton Robert Falcon Scott. Aristotle speculated, "Now since there must be a region bearing the same relation to the southern pole as the place we live in bears to our pole...". It was not until Prince Henry the Navigator began in 1418 to encourage the penetration of the torrid zone in the effort to reach India by circumnavigating Africa that European exploration of the southern hemisphere began. In 1473 Portuguese navigator Lopes Gonçalves proved that the equator could be crossed, cartographers and sailors began to assume the existence of another, temperate continent to the south of the known world; the doubling of the Cape of Good Hope in 1487 by Bartolomeu Dias first brought explorers within touch of the Antarctic cold, proved that there was an ocean separating Africa from any Antarctic land that might exist.

Ferdinand Magellan, who passed through the Straits of Magellan in 1520, assumed that the islands of Tierra del Fuego to the south were an extension of this unknown southern land, it appeared as such on a map by Ortelius: Terra australis recenter inventa sed nondum plene cognita. European geographers connected the coast of Tierra del Fuego with the coast of New Guinea on their globes, allowing their imaginations to run riot in the vast unknown spaces of the south Atlantic, south Indian and Pacific oceans they sketched the outlines of the Terra Australis Incognita, a vast continent stretching in parts into the tropics; the search for this great south land or Third World was a leading motive of explorers in the 16th and the early part of the 17th centuries. In 1599, according to the account of Jacob le Maire, the Dutch Dirck Gerritsz Pomp observed mountainous land at latitude. If so, these were the South Shetland Islands, the first European sighting of Antarctica. Other accounts, however, do not note casting doubt on their accuracy.

It has been argued that the Spaniard Gabriel de Castilla claimed to have sighted "snow-covered mountains" beyond the 64° S in 1603, but this claim is not recognized. Quirós in 1606 took possession for the king of Spain all of the lands he had discovered in Australia del Espiritu Santo and those he would discover "even to the Pole". Francis Drake like Spanish explorers before him had speculated that there might be an open channel south of Tierra del Fuego. Indeed, when Schouten and Le Maire discovered the southern extremity of Tierra del Fuego and named it Cape Horn in 1615, they proved that the Tierra del Fuego archipelago was of small extent and not connected to the southern land. In 1642 Tasman showed that New Holland was separated by sea from any continuous southern continent. Voyagers round the Horn met with contrary winds and were driven southward into snowy skies and ice-encumbered seas; the Dutch expedition to Valdivia of 1643 intended to round Cape Horn sailing through Le Maire Strait but strong winds made it instead drift south and east.

Northerly winds pushed the expedition as far south as 61°59 S where icebergs were abundant before a southerly wind that begun on April 7 allowed the fleet to advance west. The small fleet led by Hendrik Brouwer managed to enter the Pacific Ocean sailing south of Isla de los Estados disproving earlier beliefs that it was part of Terra Australis; the visit to South Georgia by the English merchant Anthony de la Roché in 1675 was the first discovery of land south of the Antarctic Convergence. Soon after the voyage cartographers started honouring the discoverer. James Cook was aware of la Roché's discovery when surveying and mapping the island in 1775. Edmond Halley's voyage in HMS Paramour for magnetic investigations in the South Atlantic met the pack ice in 52° S in January 1700, but that latitude was his farthest south. A determined effort on the part of the French naval officer Jean-Baptiste Charles Bouvet de Lozier to discover the "South Land" –

Hitchens's razor

Hitchens's razor is an epistemological razor expressed by writer Christopher Hitchens. It says that the burden of proof regarding the truthfulness of a claim lies with the one who makes the claim. Hitchens has phrased the razor in writing as "What can be asserted without evidence can be dismissed without evidence." The concept, named after journalist and avowed atheist Christopher Hitchens, echoes Occam's razor. The dictum appears in Hitchens's 2007 book titled God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything, it takes a stronger stance than the Sagan standard, instead applying to non-extraordinary claims. It has been compared to the Latin proverb quod grātīs asseritur, grātīs negātur, used in the 19th century. Alder's razor – A philosophical razor devised by Mike Alder The Demon-Haunted World – Book on the scientific method by Carl Sagan Evil God Challenge – Thought experiment in philosophy Falsifiability – possibility of a statement to be proven wrong by observation Hanlon's razor – Never attribute to malice that, adequately explained by stupidity List of eponymous laws – Links to articles on laws, principles and other succinct observations or predictions named after a person Occam's razor – Philosophical principle of selecting the solution with the fewest assumptions Russell's teapot – Analogy coined by Bertrand Russell

Duke Tower

Duke Tower is part of the Scotia Square complex in Downtown Halifax, Nova Scotia. It stands at 71 metres with 16 floors, it in part houses the offices of Emera as well as tenants such as the dentistry offices of Scotia Dental and a campus for the Canadian Language Learning Centre. The building is connected to the Downtown Halifax Link system and has a ground level entrance on Duke Street and an entrance in Scotia Square Mall. List of tallest buildings in Halifax, Nova Scotia Barrington Place Barrington Tower CIBC Building Cogswell Tower Duke Tower at Emporis