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September 2013


NTP to Attend RGS Conference in London

In November 2013, NTP will attend the Royal Geographical Society (RGS) of London’s annual “Explore” conference at its Headquarters in the Kensington Gore area of London, near Royal Albert Hall. NTP attended “Explore” in 2010, following his election as a Fellow. The conference has a singular purpose: To encourage thoughtful, knowledgeable, and, for many, daring and bold forms of exploration regardless of age or circumstance.

Through photographs, journals, videos and oral recordings, the remote places for exploration discussed in 2010 were documented fully—a trek across the Sahara on camel (without a guide; undertaken by a 40ish woman pubic school teacher); a bicycle expedition that paralleled the Amazon River by a young man in his late teens, stopping in local villages for food, water, and the need, when there was no path, to board a canoe; a motorcycle expedition into northeastern China by a 50ish biker, compass in hand, and superb cultural, geographic, climatic awareness, and canny mechanical skill; a rigorous visit deep into the Arctic regions lead by and exclusively for women, particularly from Asian and African climates.

These were but a few examples. Almost every expedition involved scientific and empirical reportage, and respectfully displayed understanding of people, cultural character, and climate change. In each case, funding was personal, some raised privately or from host governments, many with partial “incentive” financial support from the RGS; all undertaken with painstaking research and preparation, often years in advance, and all done with first hand knowledge of medical requirements, changing political conditions and elections, and the precise locations over numerous borders of the risk of terrorism, crime, rebellion, corruption, and reports of disease. It was a stunning, unpretentious display of knowledge and adventure.

The audience ranges from young university students throughout the world to experienced geographers, medical professionals, environmental researchers, and suppliers of equipment. All are acutely conscious of the harsh reality and deadly risk of exploration in remote places, the benefits—personal and scientific—to each effort, and the need for hands-on, daily knowledge normally requiring a dozen foreign-service experts, and changing more rapidly than even Google can manage.

It’s the British. Geography, evolving in definition into the 21st Century, is in their cultural genes.

NTP to Explore the Antarctic Shackleton Route with National Geographic Society (NGS)

In November 2014, NTP will join a 24-day expedition to the Antarctic, South Georgia Island, and the Falklands aboard the “National Geographic Explorer.” The expedition includes a diverse team of scientific and historical experts and photographers, kayaking and Zodiac gliding past icebergs, observing wildlife unique to the globe (including King Penguins in South Georgia), “trekking the coastline and snowy rises in Antarctica,” strolling the streets of Port Stanley, and “hik[ing] and kayak[ing] along rocky coasts, spotting Magellanic penguins, herds of enormous elephant seals, and the largest albatross colony in the world.”

In 1914, Sir Ernest Shackleton began an expedition intended to cross the Antarctic. There is a long, controversial, and disappointing history to British (and Shackleton’s) effort to reach the South Pole, some which will be examined in subsequent Newsletters, all of which is available in books, journals, movies (a highly commendable one with Kenneth Branagh), and on line.  Shackleton’s effort, like others before it, was funded, in part, by the RGS. The expedition took a tragic turn when the ship “Endurance” became locked in ice in the Weddell Sea, was abandoned and, in October 1915, was crushed.

The courageous, skilled and very daring command by Shackleton and the camaraderie, knowledge, and persistence of his crew endured for more than seven months atop floating icebergs, in three small boats, and, in the final effort by Shackleton and a few of his crew (the remainder held up on the edge of Elephant Island), who crossed in a single boat and found help on South Georgia for a return rescue. All of his men from the Endurance survived.  It’s the final portion of Shackleton’s effort— including Elephant Island, remnants of the whaling station on South Georgia where he sought help, and his final resting place—covered by the NGS expedition that motivated NTP’s decision to join.

NTP references the Shackleton expedition in two articles, “On the Edge of America,” and “Implicit Danger”

A statute of Shackleton frames the exterior of the RGS.

Praise for To A High Court

***** (five star rating) ebook 40th Anniversary edition on

 â€œA Civil Action merged with Paper Chase. I can't wait to see the movie!” Actor Dan Lauria

 â€œThis David-Goliath legal drama would make a good movie.” Klasse, 2013

 â€œ[C]ompelling, important and especially relevant today….With… perfectly modulated prose, [NTP] recounts the eight months, in which he and four other… students, parlay a class group assignment into a controversial paradigm shift in which consumer, environmental, and public health protection takes precedence before established corporate comfort and profit.” C.Tilson, 2013

“High Court describes… how the imagination and persistence of students can sometimes achieve more than professionals who are restricted by doctrine and imprisoned by caution.” Professor John Bonine (Oregon) Other endorsements by Dean Erwin Chemerinsky, California), and Professors William Rodgers, Jr. (Washington), and Robert Drinan, SJ (Georgetown) (2006-2010)


Recently added to the website. Click to download these audio interviews now!

NTP’s 2006 radio interview about To a High Court at Radio Curious.

NTP’s 2009 radio interview about Rights of My People
Copyright © 2013 Neil Thomas Proto, All rights reserved.

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