So, as spoken of on Friday, Discovery played its “Planet Earth” special, which, as it turns out, was created over the course of 5 years by BBC. Basically, HD existed, and as soon as it did, BBC and Discovery decided to take a bunch of these shiny, new HD cameras and head out to just about everywhere to film animals and plants.
The result is visually spectacular. The first three (of eleven) hour-long episodes aired last night, “Pole to Pole”, “Mountains”, and “Ocean Deep”, and are incredible enough to make me look into buying an HD TV. The series is capably narrated by Sigourney Weaver, and despite doing an excellent job, I’m somewhat disappointed to not hear the excellent David Attenborough describe to me the hunts of snow leopards and wolves. A remarkable number of the scenes are “never before seen”. We know this because, not only do they look like nothing we, the general viewing audience, has ever seen before, but because the scriptwriter has Sigourney mentioning the rarity of each instance: unusual, rare, very rare, or never before seen. It’s a minor distraction in a superb broadcast.
For anyone looking for real meat on specific subject matter, look elsewhere. The lack of details about the habits of some of the creatures of a given habitat are not a shortcoming. Planet Earth isn’t for the most thorough examination of caribou. It’s an overview of the planet, mostly looking at the fauna. It’s a display of Earth’s diversity.
I have no clue when it’s going to re-air, but every Sunday at 8PM for the next few weeks, Discovery will air the rest of the episodes. Seriously, watch it. And if possible, watch it on HD.
[Planet Earth Official Website]
“People ask me what I do in winter when there’s no baseball. I’ll tell you what I do. I stare out the window and wait for spring.” ~Rogers Hornsby
We make no secret here of our love for baseball. We love baseball more than Star Wars and Lord of the Rings. More than cheesesteaks and pizza and soft pretzels. More than good beer. We love everything about baseball, from the monstrous number of games played, to the smell of ballparks, to the insanity of making old men wear players uniforms (and even still, let them wear suits!). We love the sounds of vendors and children, the cracking of bats. We love the way, in Philadelphia, the first games are too cold, the last games are too cold, and everything in between is too hot. We love section 420, with its high view of the entire field, and its distant view of the Philadelphia skyline. We adore the Phanatic. We enjoy the way anyone can and everyone will enjoy a home run. We enjoy more the subtle beauty of a well-pitched game.
We love baseball the way we love few things in this universe. We are as unwilling to give it up as we are unwilling to give up Tom Waits, Mrs. Thursday, and oxygen.
All this being said, baseball has returned. Yesterday, the first teams began to report for spring training, and today, the rest check in, included our beloved Phillies. There are professional ballplayers scattered across Florida and Arizona, shaking off rust and spare tires and getting prepared to another grueling season.
We intend to document this season often. Sometimes with stats and box scores, sometimes with firsthand accounts of games, sometimes with mere musings on the state of the season. Opening day is six weeks from now, and we couldn’t be more excited.