Here Are the Books Ernest Shackleton Brought on His Final Antarctic Expedition

Sir Ernest Shackleton's final polar expedition was also his most ambitious. In 1915, he and his crew set off aboard the Endurance with the goal of becoming the first men to cross the Antarctic continent. Though ultimately unsuccessful, their mission lasted 21 months from departure to return. Luckily, Shackleton had plenty of books on board to pass the time, the BBC reports.

London's Royal Geographical Society recently digitized a photograph taken aboard the Endurance in March 1915. The image shows the explorer's collection of reading material, and thanks to digital enhancement, their titles are visible for the first time. We now know that Shackleton brought dictionaries and encyclopedias with him as well as famous works of literature. Some of the notable titles include The Brothers Karamazov by Fyodor Dostoyevsky, the Poetical Works of Shelley and Almayer's Folly by Joseph Conrad. He also brought with him a number of tomes detailing polar expeditions from the past, like Voyage to the Polar Sea and Journal of HMS Enterprise.

The frame hanging on the wall at the left side of the picture contains a print of Rudyard Kipling's poem "If." According to the Royal Geographical Society, Shackleton carried the poem with him onto a sheet of floating ice while fleeing his sinking ship. 

The Endurance remained trapped in ice for 10 months before ultimately sinking into the sea, forcing the crew to transfer to the ship's three lifeboats. It was months before they finally found help, but Shackleton was able to lead all 28 members of his crew to safety. The expedition is chronicled in Ernest Shackleton's 1919 book South. To see the full list of titles the explorer brought on board, check out the original article on the BBC.

[h/t BBC]

Nate D. Sanders Auctions
Sylvia Plath's Pulitzer Prize in Poetry Is Up for Auction
Nate D. Sanders Auctions
Nate D. Sanders Auctions

A Pulitzer Prize in Poetry that was awarded posthumously to Sylvia Plath in 1982 for her book The Collected Poems will be auctioned on June 28. The Los Angeles-based Nate D. Sanders Auctions says bidding for the literary document will start at $40,000.

The complete book of Plath’s poetry was published in 1981—18 years after her death—and was edited by her husband, fellow poet Ted Hughes. The Pulitzer Prize was presented to Hughes on Plath’s behalf, and one of two telegrams sent by Pulitzer President Michael Sovern to Hughes read, “We’ve just heard that the Collected Plath has won the Pulitzer Prize. Congratulations to you for making it possible.” The telegrams will also be included in the lot, in addition to an official congratulatory letter from Sovern.

The Pultizer’s jury report from 1982 called The Collected Poems an “extraordinary literary event.” It went on to write, “Plath won no major prizes in her lifetime, and most of her work has been posthumously published … The combination of metaphorical brilliance with an effortless formal structure makes this a striking volume.”

Ted Hughes penned an introduction to the poetry collection describing how Plath had “never scrapped any of her poetic efforts,” even if they weren’t all masterpieces. He wrote:

“Her attitude to her verse was artisan-like: if she couldn’t get a table out of the material, she was quite happy to get a chair, or even a toy. The end product for her was not so much a successful poem, as something that had temporarily exhausted her ingenuity. So this book contains not merely what verse she saved, but—after 1956—all she wrote.”

Also up for auction is Plath’s Massachusetts driver’s license from 1958, at which time she went by the name Sylvia P. Hughes. Bidding for the license will begin at $8000.

Plath's driver's license
Nate D. Sanders Auctions
Sagar.jadhav01, Wikimedia Commons // ;CC BY-SA 4.0
New 'Eye Language' Lets Paralyzed People Communicate More Easily
Sagar.jadhav01, Wikimedia Commons // ;CC BY-SA 4.0
Sagar.jadhav01, Wikimedia Commons // ;CC BY-SA 4.0

The invention of sign language proved you don't need to vocalize to use complex language face to face. Now, a group of designers has shown that you don't even need control of your hands: Their new type of language for paralyzed people relies entirely on the eyes.

As AdAge reports, "Blink to Speak" was created by the design agency TBWA/India for the NeuroGen Brain & Spine Institute and the Asha Ek Hope Foundation. The language takes advantage of one of the few motor functions many paralyzed people have at their disposal: eye movement. Designers had a limited number of moves to work with—looking up, down, left, or right; closing one or both eyes—but they figured out how to use these building blocks to create a sophisticated way to get information across. The final product consists of eight alphabets and messages like "get doctor" and "entertainment" meant to facilitate communication between patients and caregivers.

Inside of a language book.
Sagar.jadhav01, Wikimedia Commons // CC BY-SA 4.0

This isn't the only tool that allows paralyzed people to "speak" through facial movements, but unlike most other options currently available, Blink to Speak doesn't require any expensive technology. The project's potential impact on the lives of people with paralysis earned it the Health Grand Prix for Good at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity earlier in June.

The groups behind Blink to Speak have produced thousands of print copies of the language guide and have made it available online as an ebook. To learn the language yourself or share it with someone you know, you can download it for free here.

[h/t AdAge]


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