"...on Thursday August 2nd the Russian Expedition placed the Russian flag (in titanium) on the yellow gravel 4,200 metres below the surface at the site of the North Pole.Yellow gravel, huh? How uninteresting. The bottom of the North Pole looks like my driveway.
I always assumed...from cartoons...that the North Pole was just a barber's pole stuck in the ice and that Santa Claus lived there and, of course, Superman had his Fortress of Solitude.
Santa Claus and Superman were the only people who lived there, but it was OK because they were both good guys and got along together pretty good. They had some things in common. Both could fly, for example, although Santa Claus did need the help of his magic reindeer. And, of course, they were both rejects from society, shunned and sent into exile to the one place that nobody in the world gave a damn about because it had no value. But something changed all that.
"At stake are the region’s natural riches, until now frozen both in law and in nature. But global warming is making them look more accessible. They may include 10 billion tonnes of oil and gas deposits, tin, manganese, gold, nickel, lead, platinum and diamonds, plus fish and perhaps even lucrative freight routes.So one day last week Superman and Santa Claus were sitting in the fortress of solitude watching a re-run of an episode of 'Married with Children' for the twelfth or thirteenth time on Superman's satellite dish when first they heard, and then saw, the Russian icebreaker.
"A mighty nuclear-powered icebreaker shepherded a research vessel that launched hi-tech mini-submarines capable of pinpoint navigation under the Arctic ice."Damn," muttered Superman. "Looks like we got company.
"What are we gonna do, Superman?" asked Santa Claus of his old friend.
"Well," responded Superman in those super sonorous tones of his, "I could melt the Russian icebreaker with my super laser beam eyes!
"But, Superman," said Santa, "we promised not to interfere in the destiny of planet Earth!
"That's true, Santa," said Superman, looking glum, "but what about Denmark? They have claim to the North Pole too, along with the United States, Canada and Norway!
"Norway, eh?" sighed Santa Claus. "Gee, I'd sure hate to let the Norwegian children down. And the fish! Those could be Norwegian fish down there!
"Well, looks like they're Russian fish now. Let's see what it says in The Economist!" said Superman, opening a copy of his favorite magazine.
“The Arctic is ours and we should manifest our presence,” said Mr Chilingarov, a charismatic figure whom President Vladimir Putin has named as “presidential envoy” to the Arctic. “This is like placing a flag on the moon” said Russia’s Arctic and Antarctic Institute."The Moon!" said Santa, excitedly. "That's it! We could transfer our operations to the bottom of the Moon!
"Naw," said Superman. "Neil Shakespeare already has that...