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Polar Vortex: The Science, Myth & Media Hype Behind North American Weather Phenomenon

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Since early January, the polar vortex craze has swept North America. You’ve seen it splashed across mainstream media and if you are a social media user, have probably been inundated with polar vortex warnings and memes over the past month.

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Dressing for the Polar Vortex 101

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When it comes to gearing up for cold weather, look no further than Quark’s Merchandise team for all the tips and tricks you’ll need to stay warm.

Layering is essential. Synthetic fibres work well as a base layer, but natural fibers such as merino wool work even better. There are various weights to merino wool base layers, but for walking your dog, or trudging through the snow to your next destination, we recommend the Icebreaker brand. This is a truly ‘cool’ New Zealand company whose products are worn by athletes, adventurers and everyday Joes like us. On every Icebreaker product there is a “Baacode” so you can track your individual garment’s origin back to the source!

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It’s Getting Hot Up Here: Arctic Circle Destinations On Holiday Hotspots Lists

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Written by Quark's extraordinary president, Hans Lagerweij.

Even as frigid temperatures grip typically mild areas this winter, travelers are gearing up for Arctic expeditions this summer. In fact, 2014 is shaping up to be a banner year for travel in and around the Arctic Circle, as travelers and mainstream media alike are eager to explore and share their adventures at the top of the world.

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Ocean Diamond: Aerial view from the Drone

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Wanna see something cool?

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Fluffy flowers

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The Arctic cottongrass is the most widespread flowering plant found in the northern hemisphere and Arctic tundra regions. Cotton grass is not actually a type of grass, but rather a plant that flourishes in areas that are too cold for trees.

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2014 Sochi Winter Olympic Games

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Quark looks forward to Sochi opening ceremonies and wishes all the Olympic athletes the best of luck!

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Crossing the Circle: voyage update

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Below is an insightful update from Expedition Leader David "Woody" Wood. David is leading Quark's Crossing the Circle, Southern Expedition:

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Wow moment: Quark passengers encounter humpback whales

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Expedition Leader, Shane Evoy, and the passengers aboard Quark's Antarctic Peninsula East & West Voyage, shared a once in a life time experience; being surrounded by humpback and orca whales. For close to three hours, a group of 50 whales were breaching, tail slapping and flaking around the zodiacs that were cruising in Wilhelmina Bay.

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Best Job In The World

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Expedition Leader, Shane Evoy, who is leading Quark's Antarctic Peninsula East & West Voyage, has experienced what most people can only dream of; a once in a life-time encounter with Humpback and Orca whales. Below is Shane's description of this phenomenal event:

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Arctic flowers: the beautiful Purple Saxifrage

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Former Canadian Museum of Nature botanist, Nicholas Polunin, wrote in 1940 that this plant "must be reckoned among the world's greatest beauties, especially as it stands out in its unusually bleak and desolate surroundings." Purple saxifrage is an edible plant that is seen all over the high Arctic. Purple saxifrage is the first plant to flower in the Arctic spring, and stays in bloom for 10 to 14 days. Fun fact: Inuit have been known to eat the sweet blossoms of the purple saxifrage which contain vitamin C.

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