Decompression dummy


The Gamow bag needs a volunteer!


Enjoying some quiet solitude inside the Gamow bag

Greetings non-claustrophobes,     

I signed up for the intro to Antarctic altitude class this afternoon, and after the instructor was done giving her spiel on all the basics it was time to test the theory with a warm body inside the portable decompression bag, know as the Gamow, named after some famous researcher who liked to put people in big zip lock bags. Naturally I volunteered to be the man in the tube, so I striped off a few layers of clothes and climbed in to what looks and feels like a carry-on body bag. It was pretty cozy inside and you can see out of the little plastic window and overhear the teacher talk about what to do if the person inside starts to freak out, but I was more inclined to doze off for a power nap. The outside group then pumps the bag full of air to create a pressurized environment to overcome high altitude maladies, and after about 10 minutes they voted to let me out, although I had smuggled my Swiss army knife inside just in case there was an untimely fire drill and everyone rushed out without me. It was a pretty neat device and could be a lifesaver in the frozen high country.     

The sun appeared over the distant mountains at the same time the temp hit 8 degrees above zero, so spring was definitely in the air. I wandered around snapping off a few pictures before heading back to work, and am hopeful to get out on some cross country skis this Sunday if the weather cooperates. The dental schedule is starting to fill up with a little more variety and my Scrabble sign up sheet has a few names of folks who are ready for some competition, so the social scene is heating up too. I’m getting hints of ping pong tables showing up in a few weeks as well, so there could be plenty of activities before too long. Hope your attitude and altitude are under control and enjoy your weekend.


Body bag Bob