Antarctic Night

The Antarctic winter has a queer replenishment and dignity of its own. Nowhere on earth will you see anything lovelier than the Ross Ice Barrier by moonlight. Here you felt the beauty and repose of the night, it’s immensity and movement, whole armies of stars and wheeling constellations, and the tidal movements of the aurora, now lying like a pale ocean river of light through the zenith, now bursting into insane displays, becoming searchlights, puckering and flying curtains, growing rays. And you could glance up from the wastes of the Barrier and see taking shape, in misty showers of ice crystals, the magical refraction phenomena of the moon – halos, paraselenae (moon dogs) and, rarest of all, the corona, with the moon a polished ancient silver coin framed between concentric rings of colour, pale blues and greens and smoking reds.

When you look upon such things there comes surging an awareness of the dignity of the earth, of the unaccountable importance of being alive, and the thought comes out of nowhere that unhappiness arises not so much from lacking as from having too much.

Charles J.V. Murphy  in Antarctic Night by Admiral Richard E. Byrd


Evil Islam Quote from 1298

The Saracens of Tabriz are wicked and treacherous. The law which their prophet Mahomet has given them lays down that any harm they may do to one who does not accept their law, and any appropriation of his goods, is not sin at all. And if they suffer death or injury at the hands of Christians, they are accounted martyrs. For this reason they would be great wrong-doers, if it were not for the government. And all the other Saracens in the world act on the same principle. When they are on the point of death, up comes their priest and asks whether they believe that Mahomet was the true messenger of God; if they answer, ‘Yes’, then he tells them that they are saved. That is why they are converting the Tartars and many other nations to their law, because they are allowed great license to sin and according to their law no sin is forbidden.

Marco Polo: The Travels (1298)