kottke.org posts about David Attenborough

David Attenborough narrates Pokemon GoJul 28 2016

Will I ever get tired of this trope? Apple should make David Attenborough the Siri voice...I would immediately start using it more.

Perhaps Britain won't leave the EU after all?Jun 26 2016

Perhaps it's just wishful thinking or the social media filter bubble I'm in, but there seems to be a more-than-zero chance that Britain won't actually leave the European Union, despite last Thursday's vote. For one thing, as I mentioned in my Friday AM post about Brexit, the vote is not legally binding. The Prime Minister needs to invoke Article 50 of the Treaty on European Union, which has not happened yet.

But there's no requirement that the UK invoke Article 50 in a timely fashion. Indeed, both Cameron and Johnson have said they think it's appropriate to dawdle; Cameron says he'll leave the decision to invoke to his successor, and Johnson has said there's no rush.

It wouldn't be tenable for the government to just completely ignore the vote forever, even though that is legally permissible.

But perhaps not untenable. A Guardian commenter speculates that Cameron did something politically canny when he passed the buck to his successor. As the full ramifications of Leave become apparent, it may be that the consequences of leaving will be transferred from the voters to the person who decides to invoke Article 50...i.e. it may become politically untenable to leave.

Throughout the campaign, Cameron had repeatedly said that a vote for leave would lead to triggering Article 50 straight away. Whether implicitly or explicitly, the image was clear: he would be giving that notice under Article 50 the morning after a vote to leave. Whether that was scaremongering or not is a bit moot now but, in the midst of the sentimental nautical references of his speech yesterday, he quietly abandoned that position and handed the responsibility over to his successor.

And as the day wore on, the enormity of that step started to sink in: the markets, Sterling, Scotland, the Irish border, the Gibraltar border, the frontier at Calais, the need to continue compliance with all EU regulations for a free market, re-issuing passports, Brits abroad, EU citizens in Britain, the mountain of legistlation to be torn up and rewritten ... the list grew and grew.

The referendum result is not binding. It is advisory. Parliament is not bound to commit itself in that same direction.

The Conservative party election that Cameron triggered will now have one question looming over it: will you, if elected as party leader, trigger the notice under Article 50?

Who will want to have the responsibility of all those ramifications and consequences on his/her head and shoulders?

There's also been talk that Scotland could veto Brexit.

Scotland's First Minister Nicola Sturgeon has told the BBC that Holyrood could try to block the UK's exit from the EU.

She was speaking following a referendum on Thursday which saw Britain vote by 52% to 48% to leave Europe.

However, in Scotland the picture was different with 62% backing Remain and 38% wanting to go.

SNP leader Ms Sturgeon said that "of course" she would ask MSPs to refuse to give their "legislative consent".

But perhaps the most heartening bit of information comes courtesy of David Allen Green: that boat never did get named "Boaty McBoatface", vote or no vote. Prime Minister David Attenborough anyone?

Update: From Gideon Rachman at the FT: I do not believe Brexit will happen.

Any long-term observer of the EU should be familiar with the shock referendum result. In 1992 the Danes voted to reject the Maastricht treaty. The Irish voted to reject both the Nice treaty in 2001 and the Lisbon treaty in 2008.

And what happened in each case? The EU rolled ever onwards. The Danes and the Irish were granted some concessions by their EU partners. They staged a second referendum. And the second time around they voted to accept the treaty. So why, knowing this history, should anyone believe that Britain's referendum decision is definitive?

Update: John Cassidy writing for the New Yorker:

As reality sets in, E.U. leaders may well be content to let the Brits stew in their own juices for a while. Initial talk of forcing the U.K. to begin the process of leaving straight away has been replaced by calls for patience. Monday's edition of the Wall Street Journal quoted Angela Merkel's chief of staff, Peter Altmaier, as saying, "Politicians in London should have the possibility to think again about the fallout from an exit." To leave now, he added, "would be a deep cut with far-reaching consequences." A majority of the politicians at Westminster probably agree with Altmaier's analysis. But what, if anything, can they do to reverse the march toward Brexit?

The fashionable peacocks of Pitti UomoJun 21 2016

Aaron Christian shot footage of the fashionably dressed gentlemen attending the Pitti Uomo menswear trade show and paired it with David Attenborough-esque commentary about peacocks.

Unlike the cues outside of the city shows, where photographers have a few seconds to snap their favourite look. Pitti Uomo is a four day long menswear trade show, in Florence, Italy.

It's a vast space where attendees spend all day walking around, visiting stands, eating in the sun or catching up with fellow fashion colleagues -- and so consequently it has become a prime spot for the worlds top street style photographers to document and shoot some of the most stylish men on the planet.

It's become a peacock parade where the men show off their outfits in all their glory hoping to get snapped by the top photographers.

It's quite comical, the way the fully grown men pace around subtly trying their best to get snapped, and it's the perfect location for this wildlife style mockumentary to take place.

A new season of Planet Earth is comingFeb 22 2016

Ten years after the debut of the original show, the BBC is doing a six-episode second season of Planet Earth. They've been shooting it for the last three years using ultra-HD cameras and David Attenborough will return as host.

"I am very excited to once again be working with the Natural History Unit on its latest landmark series and am especially looking forward to getting out on location in the next month or so," said Attenborough.

Charlotte Moore, controller of BBC TV channels and the iPlayer, said that the new series has taken three years to shoot taking advantage of significant advances in filming technology since Planet Earth aired a decade ago.

The first season of Planet Earth is on Netflix in the US, but the Blu-ray is only $40 and the picture is so much better...worth it if you somehow haven't seen it and still have a BR player.1

  1. I still buy Blu-ray for a few things, stuff that needs crisp 1080p w/o streaming compression artifacts. Last purchase was Princess Mononoke.

David Attenborough being awesomeFeb 08 2016

Here are some clips taken from Life on Air, a 2002 BBC documentary celebrating David Attenborough's 50 years on television. The entire show is available here. (via @dunstan)

David Attenborough narrates Adele's HelloNov 03 2015

BBC Radio One got David Attenborough to narrate the first minute or so of Adele's video for Hello as if it were a nature documentary. Solid gold. Although I am a little cross they made Attenborough say the words "hashtag flip phone". :|

Bonus pseudo-Attenborough: the episode of Human Planet on The Douche.

David Attenborough narrates curlingFeb 19 2014

BBC Radio 1 recorded David Attenborough doing nature-style commentary for curling, but the YouTube video isn't available in the US, but luckily there's a copy on LiveLeak:

For the curious, here are the rules of and other assorted information about curling.

Planet Earth, narrated by kidsApr 20 2012

This is great...BBC America made this promo of kids narrating the Planet Earth nature documentary in place of David Attenborough.

(via boing boing)

LifeMar 24 2010

I'd really like to watch Life, the newest multi-part nature documentary from the BBC, but the version showing on Discovery in the US is narrated by Oprah Winfrey and not David Attenborough. Guess I'll wait for the Blu-ray version for the full English experience. Or maybe they'll release a German version narrated by Herzog? Pretty please? In English?

Planet Earth on sale at AmazonNov 23 2009

Whoa, Amazon has the BBC version of Planet Earth on sale for ~60% off...$30.49 for the DVD and $40.99 for Blu-ray.

Note: this edition features the original narration by David Attenborough

Sigourney Weaver, I'm really happy for you and I'ma let you finish but David Attenborough was one of the greatest Planet Earth narrators of all time. Of all time! (What, too late?)

David Attenborough's favorite animalsSep 28 2009

I can't get this to work (because I'm in the US?) but the BBC has put up a collection of David Attenborough's favorite moments from his last 30 years of shooting nature documentary videos. More info here.

It has always been my hope that through filmmaking I can bring the wonder of the natural world into people's sitting rooms, inspire people to find out more and to care about the world we share.

(via @dunstan)

Cicadas matingAug 05 2009

Watch as David Attenborough signals his interest in mating with a male cicada. Scientists think that cicadas have 13- or 17-year mating cycles because, being prime numbers, those periods are not divisible by those periods of potential predators. From Stephen J. Gould:

Many potential predators have 2-5-year life cycles. Such cycles are not set by the availability of cicadas (for they peak too often in years of nonemergence), but cicadas might be eagerly harvested when the cycles coincide. Consider a predator with a life-cycle of five years: if cicadas emerged every 15 years, each bloom would be hit by the predator. By cycling at a large prime number, cicadas minimize the number of coincidences (every 5 x 17, or 85 years, in this case). Thirteen- and 17-year cycles cannot be tracked by any smaller number.

It's a bit more complicated than that, but Gould's argument covers the basics. (thx, @mwilkie)

Nature's Great EventsFeb 26 2009

If you liked Planet Earth, you should probably check out Nature's Great Events. Narrated by David Attenborough and currently airing in the UK on BBC1 and BBC HD, the series consists of six 50-minute shows, each of which features a large-scale annual event, like the spring thaw in the Arctic Circle and the sardine run along the coast of South Africa. The series was shot in HD using many of the techniques seen in Planet Earth.

If you're in the UK, you can check out the first three episodes on the BBC site. In the US, Discovery will be airing the show sometime in the spring under the title Seasons of Survival (apparently Nature's Great Events isn't dramatic enough for the American audience). No word on whether Attenborough's expert narration will also be replaced as it was in Planet Earth.

In the meantime, some HD clips of the show are available on YouTube. This slo-mo video of a grizzly bear shaking the water off its fur is fun to watch but this too-short clip of an extraordinary coordinated attack of dolphins, seals, sharks, and birds on a massive school of sardines is the gem.

(via we made this, who call the series "mind-blowingly good")

David Attenborough gets hate mail?Jan 27 2009

David Attenborough, the voice of several thousand hours of nature films, gets hate mail from viewers who believe he should be crediting God for nature's beauty.

Telling the magazine that he was asked why he did not give "credit" to God, Attenborough added: "They always mean beautiful things like hummingbirds. I always reply by saying that I think of a little child in east Africa with a worm burrowing through his eyeball. The worm cannot live in any other way, except by burrowing through eyeballs. I find that hard to reconcile with the notion of a divine and benevolent creator."

(via cyn-c)

Leopard slugs get busyMar 26 2008

David Attenborough narrates a sexual encounter between two leopard slugs. I know slug sex probably isn't your thing, but this is worth a look. Beautiful.

(thx, alex)

Tags related to David Attenborough:
video TV planetearth Planet Earth

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