Thursday, June 25, 2009

I miss ze undairsea virld of Jacques Cousteau

It is hard to believe that today marked the twelfth anniversary of the death of Jacques-Yves Cousteau. The grizzled Frenchman brought the magic of the sea to homes across the country, and gallic sophistication with his accent.

We take for granted the wonders of modern technology with its ability to capture every movement and every nuance, yet I would suggest that Jacques-Yves, like David Attenborough on land, was a far greater television naturalist. Without the massive advantages that miniaturisation of equipment and various tracking aids now brings, he was able to capture a view of the world that we had never seen before. Brave, dashing and tough, he went to places that we could only dream of and did proper science too, none of this "isn't it cute" and "we were so sorry to discover that it had been eaten by hyenas" that you tend to get now.

He also inspired a generation of oceanographers and impressed upon the rest of us the importance of preserving nature long before it was fashionable to do so.

Jacques-Yves Cousteau, so long, and thanks for all the fish...

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