Gratulerer med fødselsdagen, Roald!
Today in 1872 Roald Engelbregt Gravning Amundsen was born. Polar explorer par excellence - first to reach the South Pole, first to reach both poles, and first to make it all the way across the Northwest Passage. He succeeded where his British rivals failed, partly because of his single-mindedness (getting there was everything, science was a distant second; he did no surveying and took almost no pictures) and partly because of his willingness to follow the lead of the native peoples - skin-and-fur parkas instead of heavy wool, and dogs to pull his sleds (and to serve as food). Perhaps fittingly, he died on a mission to rescue polar explorers from the Nobile expedition in 1928.
"I may say that this is the greatest factor -- the way in which the expedition is equipped -- the way in which every difficulty is foreseen, and precautions taken for meeting or avoiding it. Victory awaits him who has everything in order -- luck, people call it. Defeat is certain for him who has neglected to take the necessary precautions in time; this is called bad luck."