Image: AP

Antarctica sounds like an awful place insofar as the people who have jobs there care far too furiously about what truly matters. There is simply no sense of proportion in that frozen, frivolous terrain where men grow their magnificent beards until they crack off.

The Sun reported on Tuesday that Russian engineer Sergey Savitsky, 55, has been accused of stabbing welder Oleg Beloguzov, 52, in the chest with a kitchen knife while working in Antarctica. The stabbing is said to have taken place at the Russian research station Bellingshausen in the South Shetland Islands. Buloguzov was immediately transferred to Chile for medical treatment (he is reportedly not in critical condition), and Savitsky was taken to St. Petersburg where he was arrested.

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It was reported that the alleged attack was brought on by Belguzov’s habit of spoiling the endings of the books he was reading in the local library. Presumably there are not many books available at distant antarctic outposts and Savitsky is a lover of literature. (Alcohol may not have helped matters.)

Alexander Klepikov, the deputy director of the Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute, commented on the incident, saying “They are both professional scientists who have been working in our expeditions, spending yearlong seasons at the station. It is down to investigators to figure out what sparked the conflict, but both men are members of our team.”

My point is that scientists, unlike novelists, are creatures of perfect objectivity and reasoning.