asher63 (asher63) wrote,

  • Mood:

Greatest. Educational. Video. EVER.

Okay, it's a subjective judgment. But I think it's really hard to beat "The Future Is Wild" from The Discovery Channel. It's one of those few videos I can watch over and over again.

What they did is they took a bunch of paleontologists and evolutionary biologists and asked them to envision what life on Earth might look like in five million, 100 million, and 200 million years. And they animated it.

It's three disks, five and a half hours all together, and simply riveting.

First of all, the computer animation is incredibly good quality. Especially since they put the animated sections back-to-back with live footage from present-day Earth. To be able to do this, and your eye doesn't go "aw, that's bogus!", they must be doing something right.

The presentation is great. They do a wonderful job of relating the imagined future developments to observed phenomena in Earth's ecosystem. Transitions between imagined future and known present are logical, and always signaled with a sunburst device. The scientists explain exactly what they've introduced in their future scenarios, and why it makes sense. There's lots of information about climate, adaptation, evolution, and stuff like that, and it's always presented in an interesting and understandable way.

The design is elegant, with graphic devices attractive but not gimmicky or intrusive. There are clear diagrams that show the development of each animal from the present to the future.

(Cephalopods: A bright future. Mammals: Not so much.)

Predatory behavior is dealt with frankly but not graphically. All the biting and tearing is done off-camera.

The ecosystem of the future Earth is carefully envisioned. They've worked out what each animal eats, and where it fits in the food chain. And they explain every feature they've introduced, and why it makes sense - and every time you're tempted to say, "Oh, come on! That's crazy!", they turn around and say, "Well, actually there's an animal in the Amazon Rain Forest (or wherever) that does that right now."

This is one of those presentations where you learn an incredible amount without feeling like you're learning anything. It's just fun to watch and I would recommend it to anyone and everyone.
Tags: geekery

  • Tuesday morning: Sight and sound.

    After going without a decent computer monitor for way too long, I finally splurged and ordered one last week. It's due to arrive next Monday.…

  • Wednesday afternoon.

    Oregon hasn't been hit as hard by the coronavirus as our neighbors to the north and south, but within Oregon, Washington County - where I live - has…

  • Wednesday morning: The new normal.

    Not much new to report, except I'm settling in to the work-at-home routine and getting used to it.

  • Post a new comment


    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded 

    When you submit the form an invisible reCAPTCHA check will be performed.
    You must follow the Privacy Policy and Google Terms of use.
  • 1 comment