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Wouldn't It Be Cool If...?

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When I was a kid, maybe nine or ten, I watched a nature documentary following a team of scientists in Antarctica. I don’t remember much about it other than some shots of ice and penguins, and also that I cried.

Let me stop right there to clarify your portrait of young-me. Yes, I was a ten-year-old kid who watched documentaries ON PURPOSE. And YES I think it was during a bright summer day when I could have been outside riding my bike or whatever it is kids without a lot of Star Trek action figures do. But! The crying part was out of character. I don’t cry often, and I don’t have any other memories of crying as a kid. It’s just that something really got to me about this show.

Like most kids, I had a sense of wonder about this huge, unknowable world we live in. In school, I learned about Christopher Columbus, Ferdinand Magellan, Lewis and Clark… brave men who tore through the dark corners of the earth in search of fame and adventure! (Also slaves and gold, etc...) The frontier, you know? …