Not Really

This one is easy pickings really. Almost everything written in the Daily Express is rubbish and it has been amongst the leaders of our “free press” stoking the embers of racism and nationalism over the last few years. But, let’s stick with science:

Express Distress
Express Distress

I took this clip of the Daily Express two days ago. It’s a photo that was shared widely through the press and you’ve probably seen it.

It is a good photograph and quite stunning. Although we can’t see the right hand corner of the iceberg and I couldn’t see any other views of this iceberg so I wonder how rectangular it is and how many people’s brains will fill in another right angle.

I’m more interested in the words that the Express uses.

“Nature can do straight lines” – yep, knew that already. Pretty sure light travels in straight lines (at a basic level). Also, notice that the edges of the ice berg aren’t straight. There are bumps and lumps. So, it’s not straight. It just appears that way.

“Eerily perfect 90-degree angles” – hmm, have they measured that? Perfect 90-degrees is pushing it a bit. I mean they can be close to 90 but “perfect”. Bullshit. In the very NEXT paragraph they say the angles can be “about 90-degrees”. So they dismiss their own claim in the VERY NEXT PARAGRAPH.

“Perfect ice rectangle” – but it’s not perfect. What sort of person writes that word in a news article? We can’t see the rest of it. The picture is at an oblique angle so we can’t measure the sides. I doubt the Express have done anything like that.

So, let’s see what NASA said about their photographs:

“I was actually more interested in capturing the A68 iceberg that we were about to fly over, but I thought this rectangular iceberg was visually interesting and fairly photogenic, so on a lark, I just took a couple photos,” Harbeck said.

The photographer took the photos for a lark! Brilliant.

Tabular Iceberg Panorama

They aren’t all that rectangular:

Second Rectangular Iceberg

In fact pretty much all of them are irregular in shape and so the odd one that looks a little special to human brains isn’t that exciting:

Larsen C tabular icebergs 1

How do you get your kit to Antarctica? In a large plane of course. How do you land large plane? Make an ice runway: