Friday, April 06, 2012

Video Del Fuego, Part LIV

The history of Man can be read as a long litany of rage against Evolution's iniquities. Evolution didn't give us gills? Well screw you, Mr. Evolution, we're going to go diving anyway. Didn't give us wings? Up yours, we're going to go flying despite that. Can't breathe vacuum? So what? We'll bring air along in bottles.

The last few weeks have taken us from one extreme of Earth to the other. Last time, we saw an intrepid adventurer seeking to skydive from the edge of space. This time, James Cameron got it into his head to go somewhere only two other human beings have ever been before: the bottom of the Mariana Trench.

Water, you have to remember, weighs in at just over a ton per cubic yard. And the pressure of that column of water is equal to the density (62.5 lbs/ft^3) times the depth. At the bottom of the Challenger Deep, 35,814 feet below the surface, the pressure is a staggering 1100 TONS per square foot. There's a damn good reason this has only been done twice. You basically have to design a submersible that can take a near-miss from a tactical nuke.

And, it goes without saying, he took cameras with him. And why not? Making movies is what the man does, after all. I have to admit, I skipped both Avatar and Titanic when they came out. But, I'm absolutely going to see this in 3D on opening weekend. Maybe even more than once.

Inveniam viam aut facium, reads an inscription on one of the memorials to Robert Peary. "I shall find a way or make one." It's a fit motto for any explorer, and one that James Cameron can now proudly claim. Well done, sir. Well done, indeed.

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