Wednesday, October 18, 2006

GALAPAGOS ISLANDS - Charles Darwin's works go online

I've been in something of a Charles Darwin mood lately, and I note with interest the news about a new effort from Cambridge University that brings some 50,000 digitised, searchable pages of text and 40,000 images to the web. The BBC Science and Nature article goes on to say...
Surfers with MP3 players can even access downloadable audio files.

The resource is aimed at serious scholars, but can be used by anyone with an interest in Darwin and his theory on the evolution of life.

"The idea is to make these important works as accessible as possible; some people can only get at Darwin that way," said Dr John van Wyhe, the project's director.
Darwin Online features many newly transcribed or never-before-published manuscripts written by the great man.

These include a remarkable field notebook from his famous Beagle voyage to the Galapagos Islands, where detailed observations of the wildlife would later forge his scientific arguments.
The Darwin Online site seems to be struggling under heavy load right now but I will be very interested to see exactly what they have to offer when their web server recovers.

During my recent vacation back to England and the beautiful Lake District area (I highly recommend The Old Vicarage Bed and Breakfast in Ambleside) I was lucky enough to catch an episode of the BBC's new nature series "Galapagos". Superb filming as always, but unfortunately it doesn't look like the series has its own website.

I also caught an episode of Radio 4's Nature which explored the "The Sounds Of Galapagos" behind the TV series. That show is still available for audio streaming.

And finally, I dug up my old Doctor Who audio play from Big Finish Productions that featured Charles Darwin.

Starring Colin Baker as the 6th Doctor and featuring the Silurians reptilian race (who first appeared with Jon Pertwee in the early 70s), the play "Bloodtide" is still available on CD from, direct from Big Finish, or from WhoNA in North America.
The prehistoric Earth is dying. Thunderclouds roll across the skies, cloaking the land in darkness. The seas crash and boil as the rain turns to acid. The remnants of the Silurian race place themselves in suspended animation, deep below the surface. One day they will awaken and reclaim their world...

The TARDIS has landed on the Galapagos Islands, a desolate outcrop of rocks shrouded in mist and fear. In the settlement of Baquerizo Moreno, there are rumours that prisoners have been mysteriously disappearing from the gaolhouse. A fisherman has been driven insane by something he saw in the caves. And the Doctor and Evelyn are not the only new arrivals; there is also a young natural philosopher by the name of Charles Darwin...
This style of "old time radio" never died out in the UK like it did in the USA. Marvellous CD releases like this, plus shows from BBC Radio 4 and BBC7 keep me sane on my Philadelphia commute every day of the week.

1 comment:

baksanir said...

Hello folks, I like your post very much. few days ago i have read another article about these islands Journey of a lifetime at Galapagos Islands and i think after these two i will for sure get there