Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Expora* (for Explora*)

On this day in 1909, explorer Robert Peary claimed to have reached the North Pole. Rival explorer and former colleague Frederick Cook disputed the claim, stating that he had reached the pole a year earlier, in April 1908. Cook’s claim was subsequently discredited.

However, in the 1980s skeptics wondered whether Peary also made a false claim. His expedition diary gave evidence of navigational mistakes that could mean Peary ended up 50-100km short of the pole. The National Geographic Society validated his claim based on the examination of shadows in photographs and ocean depth measurements, but many see the truth as still uncertain.

Speaking of mistakes…in your own exploration of the catalogue, watch out for expora*, a low probability typo for exploration, exploratory, and other similar words.

(Image of the top of the world from Wikimedia Commons)

Leanne Olson

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