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Hooray for boobies

I went to the Franklin Institute last night to watch a test screening of linkurl:Galapagos;http://www.mnh.si.edu/expeditions/galapagos/ a 1999 IMAX film that may be returning to the screen in Philadelphia. The movie is gorgeous, presenting the Galapagos islands as a ?little world within themselves? quoting Darwin, and one ?still in the process of creation,? marking the only time the c-word gets used. From the sparse, seemingly uninhabitiable volcanic lava floes, to shorelines teeming with stra

By | March 1, 2006

I went to the Franklin Institute last night to watch a test screening of linkurl:Galapagos;http://www.mnh.si.edu/expeditions/galapagos/ a 1999 IMAX film that may be returning to the screen in Philadelphia. The movie is gorgeous, presenting the Galapagos islands as a ?little world within themselves? quoting Darwin, and one ?still in the process of creation,? marking the only time the c-word gets used. From the sparse, seemingly uninhabitiable volcanic lava floes, to shorelines teeming with strange reptilian life (and yes, blue-footed boobies), the Galapagos are as fertile a backdrop for sparking the inquisition of scientists today as they were in 1835 when the HMS Beagle visited. The documentary?s main character, marine biologist Carole Baldwin from the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History, does a nice job of conveying her excitement as she hunts for undiscovered life while retracing some of Darwin?s steps. She goes even further venturing to 3,000 to the ocean floor just off the coast. But aside from startling beauty and the thrill of observation, the film shies from any serious message about the scientific process. Although refreshing in its unwavering presentation of the facts about evolution and natural selection it offers little in connecting the beautiful imagery on the screen to the scientific process that bore out Darwin?s theory of evolution. Nevertheless, linkurl:Baldwin?s diary;http://www.mnh.si.edu/expeditions/galapagos/journal-main.htm from the two year excursion offers a bit more both about the samples they collected and the experience of making an IMAX film. The Franklin Institute is weighing the option of presenting the film (a product of the Smithsonian Institute) in conjunction with a Darwin exhibit opening soon. And as promising as that is, it?s still a bit disappointing watching so many opportunities to present in-depth information whiz by without explanation. Regardless, the movie is aimed primarily at children, and the immersive experience of a movie screen several stories tall is quite a tool for instilling awe in the natural world (rather than feature films like Harry Potter which have increasingly invaded the science museum?s theater). When I asked the woman sitting next to me, she said she loved Galapagos. Who needs to be deluged with a science lesson? ?I just love to escape,? she told me.
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Mettler Toledo
BD Biosciences
BD Biosciences