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Basically Bipolar

The Book

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Praise

“A fascinating and perceptive look at what it means to live and work in extreme conditions.”

—Publishers Weekly

“A great read. Polar research is often glamourised, but here the realities are laid bare. Come along on a journey of adventure, humour, science, and madness.”

—Anthony Powell, creator of Antarctica: A Year on Ice

“A sharp, funny, and visceral tour of fascinating stuff you’ll probably never do, but should. If this book doesn’t make you want to move to the summit of an ice cap, then you must have read it.”

—Dave Dyer, this guy I know

The Story

At some point you’ll think, “These people are nuts,” and you’ll be right. You may find yourself suddenly glad for the little things in life, like sunlight (a big little thing) or above-zero temperatures (equally appreciable). What you might not know is that the lack of these things can drive a person nuts. Or in this case, more nuts.

That’s the road five guys have chosen as they spend an isolated winter together at the summit of the Greenland ice cap. Throw in colossal special effects, a twisting murder mystery, spontaneous combustion, a bit of climate change science, and the longest car chase ever captured in print and you have Basically Bipolar.

Truth be told, none of that actually occurs in the narrative (except the bit of climate change science—apologies), but they’re likely to be occurring at any given moment in the knife-edge-of-sanity mindset of the protagonist, whom you get to laugh at as he loses his marbles.

Don’t worry, he knows he’ll survive because he’s done this before—in Antarctica—and he willingly chose to do it again, so it’s really his own damn fault. To assuage your concern and spoil the ending, eventually he gets to leave.

Photo Gallery

This gallery contains all the photography in the book, plus many extras:

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The Blog

Not a Mockingbird

I’ve been reading Richard Feynman again after many years away (for a great read: “Surely You’re Joking, Mr. Feynman”). I am enlightened by the curiosity and light-hearted reasoning of this brilliant scientist. He is as curious about his own psychology as he is about quantum electrodynamics, for which he won a Nobel Prize. Yesterday, I …

Pure Evil

Imagine the scariest wasp you’ve ever seen. Then make it scarier and twice the size, then twice the size again. Imagine a sleek, plated, gunmetal-blue body and long blood-orange wings; the shock of an opposing palette. Imagine it buzzing the front porch of my humble arroyo campsite like a military helicopter. You are imagining a …

The Author

Hi! I’m Rex.

I’m a wanderer, adventurer, and generally crazy person—by some standards. I often, but not always, work in the polar regions of the earth. I like to travel to other parts of the world too. I sometimes write about my experiences on this website and post photos on Instagram (linked below).

My home has wheels so you might find me anywhere in North America, but I’m most often in the Pacific Northwest. At least, that’s where I store my belongings and occasionally find time to hang out between adventures. My mind is almost always abroad—i.e. elsewhere. I have a million hobbies, of which I’ve mastered exactly none. That’s me, in a nutshell.

I hope you enjoy Basically Bipolar!

May the path lead you where it will, and where you will it.