We all know about the great race to the Antarctic between Amundsen and Scott but how many of us have heard of Nobu Shirase? I know I hadn't until I read an article in New Scientist.
Shirase died in 1946, poverty-stricken and forgotten.
"Shirase was the victim of bad timing, says Ben McInnes, a Japanologist at the University of New England in Armidale, New South Wales, Australia. "If Shirase had won government support, he would have reached Antarctica at the same time or perhaps earlier than Scott and Amundsen," he says. In the event, his efforts were eclipsed by those of his rivals."
These are the types of people I hold in deep respect. Those who are driven by an idea, no matter how stupid or daring, and strive to overcome the obstacles put in front of them. Long may these types of people exist.