Elizabeth Barrette (ysabetwordsmith) wrote,
Elizabeth Barrette

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Content Notes for "Bitter Ice"

Here are the content notes for the poem "Bitter Ice."

The sea ice cover is shrinking around Antarctica, affecting the wildlife. It is difficult to study this area, but very illuminating. When sunlight penetrates the water, microalgae proliferate, followed by krill and the larger animals that eat them. See a map of the Antarctic peninsula ice sheet and its relation to South America.

Emperor penguins are large, gregarious birds. They have a complex life cycle.

Seaweed is colonizing ice-free parts of Antarctica.

The winter of 1917-1918 was famously dire. Weather at the South Pole is extremely harsh. The seasons are reversed, so northern hemisphere winter is southern hemisphere summer. However, exceptionally cold temperatures can affect the summer weather so that ice doesn't melt, or even refreezes at unseasonal times.

Compare the straight lines of the old U-boats to the much more streamlined shape of modern submarines.

There are many kinds of rope for wilderness uses, and climbing in particular. Learn how to make a rope harness.

Homosexuality in Germany has gone through many ups and downs over time. During a war, the military tends to become less tolerant.

Germany has a long-standing fascination with the occult. In World War I, secret societies motivated some of the conflict.

A mass casualty incident is one where the number of casualties exceeds the personnel and/or supplies available to treat them. It doesn't take a huge number -- a handful will do it if you only have one medic and a couple of beds. This requires special planning to handle critical resource shortages. It's also important to account for sudden peaks in demand. A few local-American hospitals have a proper surge plan, but many do not. Read about how one hospital developed a surge plan and see what it looks like. Terramagne has much wider use of surge plans. T-America requires them for emergency services such as hospitals, police, and fire departments. Kraken uses them too, although theirs have more military roots.

Overstrain is a condition in which using superpowers beyond safe limits begins to cause problems. At lower levels, normal expression of powers tapers off, such as a glow diminishing or going out because there's no excess to tap off that way. Then comes tiredness, general achiness, and slow or fuzzy thinking. Using superpowers becomes uncomfortable and then painful. The most famous symptom is a terrible headache, similar to a migraine, which does not respond well to most medications. At higher levels, nosebleeds or fainting can occur. Sometimes people get other symptoms particular to their abilities. Overstrain usually builds up slowly from using superpowers too long, but it can happen quickly from pushing them too hard. Much like use of physical abilities, attempting to exceed your limits can cause ruptures in painful places. It is possible, though not common, for people to die of overstrain; rather like pushing oneself into a heart attack. The most important treatment is rest, preferably somewhere dark and quiet. Blue chamomile helps somewhat. Prescription-strength painkillers may or may not take the edge off, and are more useful for helping the victim sleep through the worst of the misery.

Emergency rations are food supplies for times of crisis. At sea, people use genuine ration bars, because drinking water may not be available in an emergency. In this instance, Kraken has stocked Mayday 3600-calorie food bars. Soups often use ration bars for frontloading or backloading calories to fuel their superpowers. The high-density, easily digested nutrition is a big advantage.

Akutaq is seal blubber ice cream, popular among Arctic natives and high in calories. Some soups with Ice Powers love this stuff. Most people can't stand it.

Sha shogok is Tibetan beef and potatoes. They also make butter tea, which is kind of gross in temperate weather but surprisingly good in frigid weather. Tibetan cuisine accounts for the high altitude and savage weather of that homeland. Naturally, when you put globe-trotting supervillains in Antarctica, they share all their favorite recipes for what to eat when it's freezing outside.
Tags: cyberfunded creativity, ethnic studies, fantasy, fishbowl, history, nature, poetry, reading, weblit, writing
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