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Wednesday, May 30, 2007
Five days, same clothes, no toothbrush
The car alarms. The garbage trucks. The straphangers who crowd the doors on the subway and then lean into you as you try to squeeze past them.

Ah, it's good to be back in New York. At least when it's warm.

I just spent a few days in Greenland for our "Planet in Peril" series. We were at a place called Swiss Camp, it's a research outpost run by a scientist named Konrad Steffen out of the University of Colorado.

A more remote spot I have not been to. Nothing but ice as far as the eye could see. We all slept in tents and the toilet was a hole in the ice in an igloo. They call it the shigloo. You can guess why.

It was stunningly beautiful there, and the researchers were a great bunch - wickedly smart, but also very funny. When it's ten below zero a sense of humor is essential. I have to confess, I'm not a big fan of the cold. How cold was it? It was so cold I didn't bother to change out of my clothes for the entire five day stay. I slept fully dressed in a sleeping bag, and I didn't even bother to brush my teeth the entire time.

The scientists are there for a month. I don't know how they stand it. By the time the helicopter came to pick us up I wanted to run towards it as fast as possible. Complaining aside, it was a great experience and I learned a lot about how the ice is melting in Greenland and how it is going to affect sea levels for generations to come. We're planning to have some of what we shot on the program tonight.

I just noticed that all three New York newspapers have different headlines splashed on the covers. The Daily News has the latest on Lindsay Lohan. The Post is running exclusive photos on a baseball player's visit to a strip club (catchy title: Stray-Rod). And the New York Times is exploring the Supreme Court's ruling that limits the timeline for sexual discrimination lawsuits.

As for us, we're looking at the tuberculosis quarantine story...there now seems to be a dispute over what the TB patient knew, about how contagious he is and really-- what was going on-- if his health posed such a threat why would he not have been quarantined in the first place? Lots of questions.

And as always we're "Keeping Them Honest." Our correspondent Drew Griffin is looking at Congress' seemingly insatiable need to bring home the bacon, (your tax dollars) in the secret process known as earmarking...even when they vow again and again to be transparent about the process. (Hint: Rep John Murtha, who has been in the news for his strong opposition to the White House on Iraq, will be at the center of one of tonight's reports)

There is always something for everyone.

See you tonight.

-- By Anderson Cooper
Posted By CNN: 2:50 PM ET
Five days, Yet they still allowed you on the plane back to New York? Good Lord.
I'm glad I was in Los Angeles. Pack some Listerine breath strips next trip.

The weather while you were freezing in Greenland was fabulous, by the way. :)
Posted By Jeana : 4:14 PM ET
last night I managed to catch your special report on Refugee Camps... it was a jewel in terms of reporting, and certainly a moving commeentary on the sad state of affairs that is all so common in that region of the world. It's good to see that this is news that CNN is still pursuing and informing about --- sadly few else seem to have the interest or appetite to keep viewers informed of the situation over there, or efforts by aid agencies to bring some measure of releif to people stricken by civil strife and poverty. Keep up the good work!!!
Posted By J Patino : 4:31 PM ET
Nice to see the "variety" in cover-worthy stories in NY papers. I guess all of us have differing opinions on what's important.

Glad to see you back Anderson, hope you had a good time in Greenland. I understand your hatred of the cold, I can't stand it either. I guess I should get out of Iowa then, some winters feel like they could rival Greenland's weather :) Thanks for all the great stories, especially the Planet in Peril series.
Posted By Evy, Des Moines, IA : 4:44 PM ET
We live in very dangerous and very important times. Should we really be focused on the latest trouble into which some Hollywood actress has fallen, or a baseball player's personal life? They're just distractions... but I guess tv needs its "ratings grabber".

p.s. I hate camping, but camping in the snow? Not gonna happen.
Posted By xtina - chicago IL : 4:45 PM ET
Excellent Story. I'm a conservative who's going to watch more CNN for this kind of reporting. Exposing this institutionalized corruption is both patriotic and professional. Turning over these rocks is our only hope at ferreting out fraud, waste and mismanagement.
Posted By bart, pasadena, california : 10:53 PM ET
Hi Anderson,

You have to have a sense of humour when you live in a cold climate. Why do you think Canada breeds so many great comedians? Great job as always on the "Planet in Peril" series. It is scary to see just how fast the polar caps are melting!

As for the coverage of Lindsay, Paris, Britney and the like, it is not real news and journalists should stop treating it as such. If we focus the spotlight elsewhere, these girls might come to their senses and have a chance of living better lives.
Posted By Julie, Montreal, Canada : 11:24 PM ET

I hope you had a great day pampering yourself after all that shigloo experience. And I thought outhouses were bad.
Your recap of Greenland brought me memories of going to my father's farm when I was younger. Although, it wasn't in Greenland, nor was it cold, I can relate to the not brushing your teeth, and not changing clothes for a few days. And I said a few days... It's a great being able to feel that no one cares what you look like, if you changed your clothes, if you combed your hair-- there's such freedom in that. At the same time, it's so great coming back to life's comforts. A toliet, heated water, a mirror... you know "luxuries".

It's good to see you back!

Ariston Neto
Miami Beach, FL
Posted By Ariston Neto : 1:11 AM ET
The straphangers who crowd the doors on the subway and then lean into you as you try to squeeze past them.

Um, could someone please explain to me why ANDERSON COOPER still rides the subway?!!
Posted By Tammy, Walnut Creek, CA : 3:01 AM ET
A shigloo?? I'm sorry, I about choked I laughed so loud when I read that part!

I bet YOU were fun to be around for those five days- same clothes, no toothbrush, I bet grumpy too because that jacket of yours just wasn't fluffy enough- but hey! The program was great and WE couldn't smell you, and therefore, so what?

hee hee
Posted By Sharla Dawn : 6:09 AM ET
I can’t believe you confessed to not brushing your teeth. Even my nieces and nephews would at least have the decency to look sheepish when caught in the act.
I wonder if I’ll do the same under such cold circumstances. I hope not!
You’re hilarious.
I hope you’ll show the shots you’ve got from Greenland soon.
Keep up the good work.
Posted By Lai Peng Foong, Penang, Malaysia : 6:38 AM ET
I watched the report on the guy with TB. I think he should be arrested. He knowingly put numerous people at risk. HIPAA laws allow for discolsure of a patient's protected health information if there is public risk involved. Maybe the CDC is breaking the law by refusing to release his name. His name needs to be released and I think he should be held accountable. I feel sorry for him, but can you imagine if this was a virus even worse than TB?
I loved your brief description of New York...although I realize it was laced with sarcasm, I can't wait to go in November and have someone lean on me in the subway.
Posted By Debbie, Denham Springs, LA : 9:05 AM ET
Talk about roughing it... :)
What was your diet for those 5 days anyway?

I just got back after a 3 week vacation from sunny (hot, rather) Sri Lanka... Global warming can be felt and seen there too (the sea level has risen considerably)

Looking forward to watching AC360 ;)
Posted By Shehan Jayawardena, Middletown CT : 9:54 AM ET

What you can see on your CNN?
Thermal underwear..check.
10 pairs of socks on at one time..check
5 wool hats to cover the salt and pepper hair..check
One adventurous Cooper without brushing teeth..priceless..

Glad you are back!
Posted By SP, Villa Hills, Ky 41017 : 11:13 AM ET

I take it you are not going to join me for the annual New Years Day jump into Lake Minnetonka? Come on - you should try it. There is no better way to start the new year than standing in sub zero weather in a bathing suit and running shoes in front of a 100 foot long hole in the ice. Jump in, swim to the other side, crawl out, and know it is going to be a great year. :) I promise I won't let you drown. :D

I have been listening to the debate on Global Warming for as long as I can remember. Scientists have been warning us for decades about we can expect if we ignore the signs. While I am glad that we are finally starting to understand that Global Warming is a truth and not some crackpot theory cooked up by tree huggers this acceptance appears to have come a little late. The evidence now appears indisputable but worse, it seems irreversible. At least not in the short term. Please keep us informed on what we as a society can do to lessen our impact on the environment.
Posted By Angela, St. Paul, MN : 12:00 PM ET
Hi Anderson,
I must admit that Greenland isn't the first place that springs to mind as the most colorful of a vacation spot. After all, how many shades of white can the eye take in. One thing is certain, the news never stops! Even for five days, same clothes, no toothpaste. The polar bears seem like a welcomed change considering tuberculosis, Lindsay Lohan, and king of the pork barrel CONGRESS. Yes, Greenland is looking mighty good right about now. Take Care
Lorie Ann, Buellton, Calif.
Posted By Anonymous : 1:26 PM ET
I just got back from Arizona last night and the temperature was climbed to 103. After reading your blog, I laughed hearing about your experience in Greenland. No matter where you go, just keep up with a good sense of humor. You have done a great job on the Planet in Peril programs with Jeff Corbin. Unfortunately, I missed that Greenland documentary. Are you having the same program repeated someday?
Posted By Michele, New York, NY : 1:48 PM ET
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