Reuters North American News Service: One of the last shipments to a U.S. research base in Antarctica before the onset of winter darkness was a year's supply of condoms, a New Zealand newspaper reported on Monday.
Bill Henriksen, the manager of the McMurdo base station, said nearly 16,500 condoms were delivered last month and would be made available, free of charge, to staff throughout the year to avoid the potential embarrassment of having to buy them.
The base only has a skeleton staff through the long winter.
"Since everybody knows everyone, it becomes a little bit uncomfortable," Henriksen told the Southland Times newspaper.
About 125 scientists and staff are stationed at McMurdo base, the largest community in Antarctica, during the winter months when there is constant darkness.
The first sunrise will occur on August 20 and McMurdo's population will start to increase again in September when supply flights resume, peaking at more than 1,000 during the summer period. (Reporting by Kazunori Takada, editing by Miral Fahmy)
LSB: Does the Bush Administration know about this? What about their abstinence policies? (Sidebar: Did the Bush Administration’s abstinence policies apply to the Bush twins while they were in school?) Aren’t the administration’s policies about condoms racist and educationist? It’s fine to send them to scientists in Antarctica, but not to the poor in Africa or to the uninformed in the nation’s high schools? Won’t supplying free condoms to unmarried scientists (or worse, at least to the Religious Right, married scientists there without their partners) encourage promiscuity? And what if, heaven forbid, some of these scientists experiment with their sexuality and “express the love that dare not be mentioned?” If my math is correct, 16,500 condoms distributed to 125 scientists equals 132 condoms per person… for four months (May-Sept), that amounts to 33 condoms/month. What kind of sexual animals are we sending there and how many experiments are going to be completed if they’re having that much sex? And I still don't get the free part - "to avoid embarassment of having to buy them" - isn't that just part of the whole experience in using condoms? Finally, is 16,500 condoms a good use of our tax dollars? I guess that we at least know in advance we're being fucked over!