Friday, February 26, 2010

Giant icebergs collide off Antarctica

Australia's ABC TV announced today that a gigantic iceberg measuring 78 km long by 39 km wide and 400 meters thick has broken from the tongue of the Mertz Glacier in Antarctica. The calving was due to another berg of similar size colliding with it.

The report stated that this event was not related to global warming but that there could be long term effects from these two giant bodies of ice if they remain where they are. They may have an effect on ocean currents and temperature.

ABC News on-line states: “With an area of more than 2,500 square kilometres, the iceberg is bigger than the Australian Capital Territory [or Luxemburg], and holds enough fresh water to supply all of the earth's human needs for a year.”
That is one big berg!

Having commenced Antarctic studies at the University of Tasmania only this week, I find this event intriguing and the sheer dimensions of this berg mind boggling.

Pic: Relatively small iceberg photoed at a distance of several miles in the Southern Ocean.
Pic: Relatively tiny glacier in the Chilean Fjords. Note the insignificant size of the cruise ship.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

AVATAR - first-rate, must-see movie

Being nearer 60 than 16, not being a lover of Sci-fi/fantasy, and never having seen a 3-D movie before, I wasn’t sure if I would enjoy this mainly animated movie or not.

However, I saw it the first week it was out and thought it was brilliant.

If you haven’t seen it you must – Avatar is not only a box-office hit and is breaking all previous movie records, but it’s a first-rate must-see movie!

Producer, James Cameron’s presentation of the planet Pandora is remarkable and the scenery (real photography from China) for the floating rocks is breathtaking. The animated flying creatures and costume design are all deserving of Oscar nominations, as are some of the performances.

Little known Australian actor Sam Worthington plays the main role; Zoƫ Saldana is Neytiri, Sigourney Weaver supports.

My only criticism is of Sigourney Weaver smoking in a high tech lab. This would not be allowed despite her status. And the guerrilla warfare scenes for me were reminiscent of my grandson’s animated war games.

All-in-all, a remarkable movie which I will buy when it comes out on DVD.