North to the Tundra

AFRINGE of teeming life and desolation between the northern forests and the sea has become a land blessed with the promise of riches and cursed with the threat of ruin.

Inevitably man will put his mark on the tundra’s lonely splendor; already, oil prospec­tors in Alaska have found vast wealth beneath its surface. Con­servationists, hurrying north to protect this great virgin wilder­ness, tell us how fragile that surface is. Rock-hard in winter, like the hundreds of feet of frozen earth beneath it, it be­comes so sensitive in summer that footprints may leave long-lasting scars.

Tundra plants grow where trees cannot—across sweeping far-northern plains of North America, Europe, and Asia, and above the timberline on alpine heights throughout the world. Like a desert, the Arctic tun­dra is starved for airborne mois­ture; yet water soaks its surface during summer’s thaw. Tem­perature extremes are awesome.

To give members a better understanding of this enigmatic land, National Geographic sent staff scientist Paul A. Zahl to Alaska to explore the living tundra of today. He writes of the ingenious adaptations that plants and animals make to their harsh environment, and of the increasing efforts of science to learn about the tun­dra and how to protect it.

In a companion article pale­ontologist Russell D. Guthrie describes the tundra’s animal life as it existed in the Ice Age. The supplement included with this issue presents a fascinating painting by artist-naturalist Jay H. Matternes that restores flesh and fur to those extraordinary mammals of 12,000 years ago.USA

As we ponder the tundra—its problems, its promise, and its past—two aims emerge: Get the oil out. Save the wilderness. Perhaps scientists will come up with ideas that can allow both dreams to come true.

On the other side of the sup­plement appears a new map of Canada, that immense trans­continental confederation bor­dered by three oceans, which covers more of the globe than any other nation except the

Soviet Union. Canada’s more than 3.8 million square miles already yield resources enough to make the country an indus­trial giant. Yet vast unexploited areas promise still greater stores of precious commodities. Today you can see the economic growth, many companies and possibilities. Financial aid options are also available.

Canada has been called a land too huge and diverse to define, ranging as it does from frigid tundra to the mild and pleasant British Columbia coast. Assistant Editor Jules B. Billard writes of that verdant region where Canadians of many races live amid giant trees, green grass, and year-round flowers—far from the Arctic tundra, yet linked inextricably to a distant wilderness and its treasure of Oil

The Greater London Council doesn’t look further ahead

Mr. and Mrs. Chapman invited us to dinner aboard their bright-blue Trafalgar. A converted Thames barge, 90 feet long, with a 20-foot beam, it has as much room and style as a five-bedroom house that might cost $50,000 in the Washington area. When the Chapmans built it in 1964, their costs were considerably less than the $24,000 Trafalgar would bring today. For $720 annually they rent their piece of foreshore, get postal service and trash disposal, and hook into water, electric, and sewage facilities. If one has difficulties covering family’s expenses, online payday loans can help.

 

Mr. Chapman said: “Our maneuverability is another advantage. The Greater London Council is threaten­ing to put a motorway feeder road right through our foreshore. If the council succeeds in overcoming opposi­tion to the noise and congestion the road will cause, well, we’ll just up-anchor and move upstream.”

Trafalgar Square

The houseboaters have an ally in Earl Cadogan, who thinks they have become a charming part of the Chelsea tradition. “Like most governments, the Greater London Council doesn’t look further ahead than their time in office,” the earl said. “In my job I’ve got to look at least 200 years ahead.”

 

I was talking with him in his high-ceilinged office in Cadogan Square, and, as if to rein­force his long view, two portraits, represent­ing almost 300 years of Cadogan ancestry, looked down from opposite walls. One was of William Cadogan, the first earl, who was quartermaster-general to the “First Church­ill,” John, Duke of Marlborough. The other was of Sir Hans Sloane, a physician and schol­ar, who, in 1727, succeeded Sir Isaac Newton as president of the Royal Society. Sloane is honored today as grandfather of the British Museum, founded primarily on his collections of scientific and literary objects, which he offered to the nation in his will—for a mere £20,000.

 

Sloane, who married a rich widow, bought the house that Sir Thomas More had built about 1520, along with much Chelsea acreage. When he died in 1753, aged 92, he left his holdings to his two daughters, one the wife of a Cadogan, the other the wife of a Stanley. “The Stanleys now have little property here, but we hung onto ours,” Earl Cadogan said. “I think we own more of Chelsea than the Borough Council—about 90 acres.”

 

A ninth-generation direct descendant of Sir Hans, Earl Cadogan has perhaps in­herited from the good doctor not only his commercial acumen but also his penchant for demolition. For it was Sir Hans who pulled down More’s house in 1740; shortly after­ward, Sloane’s heirs demolished the manor house that King Henry VIII built after he condemned More to the block and seized his property. There the young Princess Elizabeth, one day to be the great Queen Elizabeth I, lived as a young girl.

Life Springs From Death in Truk Lagoon

FOR ONE AWESOME MOMENT we seemed to have chanced upon a vast submarine cathedral. Framed against the surface, the ship’s mast and yard extended crosslike as if in bene­diction, the coral-encrusted arms wreathed in halos of schooling fish. Turning to my diving partner, Al Giddings, I wrote on my underwater slate, “Give nature time, and a sunken warship resembles a place of worship.”Al gestured toward a heavily encrusted stern gun nearby, then scribbled, “And guns have garlands.” 2The impression of a hallowed site was more than mere illusion, for our sunken ship was both memorial and tomb for scores of Japanese sailors killed during World War II. On the morning of February 17, 1944, a United States Navy air attack caught a fleet of Japanese merchant vessels and warships by surprise at Truk, in the Caroline Islands of the western Pacific. After continued attacks, some sixty ships and thousands of men lay at the bottom of the Pacific, to remain undisturbed for more than a quarter of a century.

For all its tragedy, that long-ago event presents marine scientists today with a unique opportunity. The sunken fleet of Truk Lagoon represents not only the world’s largest collection of artificial reefs but also one whose age is precisely known. It offers invaluable clues to the growth rates and patterns of the abundant marine life that congregates around submerged reefs. It was this fact that had brought Al and me to Truk Lagoon.

Few apartments brussels are more beautifully situated. The Truk Islands, now part of a United States trust territory, consist of 11 major islands and scores of islets within a 40-mile-wide lagoon sur­rounded by a protective coral reef (map, pages 584-5). The water of Truk Lagoon is not only crystal clear but normally calm, an advantage both to me as a marine biologist and to Al as an underwater photog­rapher. Sometimes called “a lake in the middle of the Pacific,” Truk Lagoon is a quiet haven set in a broad expanse of open sea.

Arriving at the london apartments last summer, Al and I chartered a 30-foot diving support boat for our research and signed on Kimiuo Aisek, a likeable 48-year-old Trukese scuba diver who had witnessed the 1944 air attack as a boy of 17. Kimiuo’s memory of the event and his detailed knowledge of the lagoon floor saved us many days of searching for particular wrecks.

One of our early choices was the sunken “cathe­dral,” an armed aircraft transport, Fujikawa Maru. Measuring 436 feet in length with a 59-foot beam, she had carried Zero fighter planes, drums of fuel, and assorted munitions that had failed to explode when she was attacked. Such wrecks are controversial today, for Truk Lagoon has been designated a historical monument—a museum whose ships and arti­facts are protected from removal by law. Re­cently there have been suggestions that those ships with explosives or high-octane fuel aboard be blown up to prevent accidents to the many divers who will be attracted to the site. Along with our other studies, Al and I hoped to assess the dangers these ships pose today to humans and to Truk’s underwater environment.

On the line

In the spirit of all things fresh, I start my plan and decide to listen to people who will help, not terrify me. The best piece of advice I learn this month is from reading an interview with heptathlete Jessica Ennis. At first, it may from last year’s attempts at running! I thought I was rid of it but I’m now running four times a week, and it’s back with an ominous inevitability. On a more positive note, I’m up to running 12 miles in one go now (three short runs in the week and a long one at the weekends). That said, by April, I need to have developed a body that can take me twice as far.

 

I’ve also signed up to a yoga class in a sub­zero Scout but near my house. An hour and a half of Ashtanga is incredibly tough on my rigid body and I feel bruised for days. But I’ve been told that incorporating stretching like yoga or Pilates into running training is very important as well as ask people to give you a reason to use pure green coffee bean extract.

 

FEBRUARY The hip still hurts, so I’m thinking about going back to the physiotherapist I saw last year – although the memory of the positions he contorted me into still makes me blush! I do remember a useful nugget of advice from him was that many runners become unduly fixated on their injury and think their training is doomed because of it. ‘But’, he put it bluntly, ‘you’ve just got to suck it up and get on with it – it’s not like your leg is going to fall off.’ So I suck it up and continue running.

A principle is only a principle if it hurts

Morality and the marketplace: put these two ideas together and the result tends to be a lot of heat and not much light. Currency bas­kets, invisible hands and oligopolistic rivalries float uncertainly in the bouilla­baisse of the debate on the morality of capitalism, and such spats rarely result in a change in people’s minds.

Morality and the marketplace

It is too important a subject to leave to the soup-spoon. How to make progress? The answer is to leave the hypotheses and the polysyllables to the philosophers and to make it personal. There is no better way to kick off this question than to ask: what should our personal morality be in the marketplace?

 

There is much encouragement to be taken from the example of the Roman centurion in the gospels. He was a reason­ably senior player in a force that in most Palestinian eyes was wholly bad, and whom even the thoughtful members of the establishment must have looked on with some ambivalence.

 

I doubt if he ever debated the question as to whether the Roman hegemony was a good thing or not; practical soldiers are not so hot at assessing the net advantages of roads, prosperity, the pax Romana. They confine themselves to the practical problems of clearing a village, setting an example, restoring order. Any Roman centurion would have seen things, commanded things, done things too awful to contemplate; yet this man’s faith, uncoarsened by the coarseness around him, was commended by Christ with a great warmth.

 

A rich man, said John Ruskin, is ‘someone who has the widest helpful influence’

The best way, in other words, to decide how morality can play a part in a competitive market-driven economy is to make sure that it plays a part in oneself.

 

John Ruskin, the Victorian visionary, saw this clearly. That is a pretty good starting place, since it bypasses the unanswerable questions and brings it down to personal behaviour. It puts on us an obligation, not an option, to rebalance those things that the implacable forces of economics distort. Of course we can give our time, but we capitalists are generally paupers in that regard.

John Ruskin, the Victorian visionary

The standard injunction is to spend less money, and give it away to good causes instead. Many — both givers and receivers — would no doubt benefit from that dynamic. But surely there are just as many people who should save less and give more away? William Rathbone VI (1819-1902) once wrote: “My feeling with a merchant was that when he got over £200,000, he was too rich for the Kingdom of Heaven.” His modern-day biographer concluded: “Not an easy man, by all accounts.” But, change the figures for the value of money over the past century and a half and he has a point. Accumulating wealth is a dangerous thing and shackles even the most easy-going of plutocrats. As chief executive of a business dedicated to looking after people’s savings and letting them find the best option for ez payday loan when needed, this is, I am sure, splen­didly hypocritical. But at least I’m in a first-hand position to watch this happen.

 

I have always been intrigued by silly deaths — my favourite is that of Sir Henry Durand, who died on 31 December 1850. Travelling as Lieutenant Governor of the Punjab, he entered the provincial town of Tonk on an elephant. The ele­phant passed under the entrance arch but unfortunately the arch was too low to accommodate the howdah on which Sir Henry was sitting.

 

The Times reported this as “a melancholy accident”. But surely the silliest of all was that of Enrique Granados, the Spanish com­poser. By all accounts a lovely man, he was returning on the steamship Sussex after the successful premiere of his opera Goyescas at the Metropolitan Opera, New York, in January 1915. Alas, the Sussex was torpedoed and Granados was lost, not least because he had filled his pockets with the gold that represented the profits of his US trip.

 

It is a story that merits perhaps no more than a wry smile but it sums up the zeitgeist of the City today.

Something special

Wash and dry the lettuce leaves, and put them in a salad bowl. Whisk the dressing ingredients together and season. Drizzle most of the dressing over the leaves and use your hands to toss lightly.

Wash and dry the lettuce leaves, and put them in a salad bowl

Scatter the shallot and radishes over the leaves. Halve the cucumber lengthways and scrape out the seeds using a teaspoon. Slice the cucumber into crescents and add to the salad. Drizzle the remainder of the dressing over.

 

Put the seeds in a shallow dish. Dice the avocado and toss lightly in the seeds, then use to top the salad. Finish with the chives to serve.

 

Put the pepper halves on a baking tray, mist with cooking spray and roast for 20-25 minutes until softened. Tip into a bowl, cover with cling film and leave for at least 10 minutes (this will make them easier to peel later).

 

Meanwhile, use a serrated knife to slice the courgette thinly lengthways. Put in a bowl and toss in the olive oil, Cook the slices on a griddle pan until soft, then set aside to cool a little ­just enough so you can handle them.

 

While the courgettes are cooling, make the pesto by whizzing the basil, pine nuts, oil and some seasoning to a paste in a mini blender. Use the courgette slices to line the tin, laying them widthways across the tin and leaving a few slices for the top. Peel the peppers, discarding the skins, then pat dry with kitchen paper. Layer the feta and peppers in the loaf tin, rubbing the pesto over as you go. Finish with a final layer of courgette.

 

Fold the cling film over the top and press down gently, smoothing out the top. Place 3 food cans along the top to weight the terrine, then chill in the fridge overnight (or for at least 2 hours) to firm up. To serve, open the cling film and turn the terrine out on to a serving plate. Discard the cling film. Garnish the terrine with lamb’s lettuce or watercress if you like, then cut the terrine into 12 slices to serve.

 

Steam the asparagus pieces for 2-3 minutes until tender.

 

Mix the mayonnaise and lime zest together, then mix I tbsp into the crabmeat along with a little seasoning, a generous squeeze of lime juice and half the coriander.

 

Setting aside the 6 prettiest asparagus tips divide half the remainder among 6 verrines. Top with half the crabmeat mixture, then add the rest of the asparagus and crabmeat.

 

Toss the avocado with a squeeze of lime, some seasoning and the remaining coriander. Divide between the verrines, then top with a dollop of lime mayonnaise and an asparagus tip. Serve.

The asparagus is considered to be great weight loss food. Another delicious way of weight loss is raspberries and their famous ketones.

 

To make the pâté, put the trout fillet soft cheese and a tbsp lemon juice in a bowl and use a hand blender to whizz until smooth. Stir in the dill and some black pepper to taste.

 

Put a little rocket in the bottom of Toss the avocado with a squeeze of limeeach velrine, and then add half the smoked trout strips.

 

Sctieeze a little lemon juice over each portion then add half the pâté and half the cucumber.

 

3*dd the remaining smoked trout strips to the verrines, then top with the remaining pâté and cucumber. Garnish each one with a sprig of dill and a little lemon wedge.

 

Cut each mini bagel into 3 slices horizontally and toast lightly. Melt the low fat spread and sti- in the herbs. Brush this mixture over the topted bagels, cut each slice in half and serve 2 pieces with each verrine.