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Wednesday, March 12, 2008
Black Days & White Nights

I just watched a report on how a city in Norway (apparently the most Northern populated city in the world) just saw a sliver of sunlight after months of pitch-black.

This reminds me of the opposite phenomenon, which I had the good fortune of experiencing as a teenager when I visited Alaska with a friend and her family. We were there in July and, in the middle of the night, it looked like dusk. The sun only set for two or three hours per night. It was odd and wonderful for a pair of friends who liked to stay up all night hanging out.

I don't know how the Alaskans or Norwegians manage the winters though. All that darkness. Kind of scary unless you've got Vin Diesel with you.

(This photograph was taken by Jennifer Adleman and is available for download from the Alaska Volcano Observatory / U.S. Geological Survey)


  1. Good morning, world.

    Is nearly 5 a.m., and have been up writing for three hours. Look forward to coffee later after a seven a.m. nap.

    I used to be a night person. I'm not even sure what I am anymore. Last night crashed at 10 p.m. Woke at 2 a.m. Couldn't sleep so got to work. What kind of schedule is that?

    Hmm...right, insane. Was just checking.

    How are you today?

  2. I suspect that vodka is a major wintertime comfort in those latitudes. :-P

    I used to be a night person too… 2am to 10am was my preferred sleeping hours back when. Nowadays, I rarely sleep past 8, even when I don't have to be up.

    It would be nice to have a schedule like yours, I think: ust get up & write when you need to, sleep when you need to, no day job or in-laws to absorb what used to be called free time.

  3. Far-

    I do have a day job...sometimes. ;) I don't have the in-laws though. Vodka's probably a good comfort for that too.

    Now, off to cafe for late lunch and work on new book.


  4. Being a born-and-raised Alaskan, all I can tell you is that beer and sleeping both play a big part in coping with the winter darkness.

    To cope with the summer's midnight sun, beer and staying up all night is the key.

    Cheers from Kodiak (about 100 miles south of that volcano in your photograph).

  5. Ishmael,

    Thanks for stopping in. I hope the darkness is receding and that you're staying warm in Kodiak.

  6. Yep, lightening up a bit for sure: We're gaining five minutes a day of daylight and will have (like everyone on earth) 12 hours of daytime on the spring solstice in a small number of days....

    As for staying warm, it's easier here in Kodiak than other places I've lived in the state -- right around freezing today.

    Enjoying your blog!

  7. i wonder if Poptarts cost $6/box in Norway like they did at Mt. Alyeska...

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