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Old July 6th, 2012, 01:28 PM   #1
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UWOL 23- 3.8 Ga?- Mike Sims

3.8 Ga?
This one’s pretty simple really- “Jack goes uphill and gets all hot and bothered in the end”. I’m not sure what persuaded me to get back in front of the camera (at least I wasn’t wearing a kangaroo this time!). It was shot under adverse weather conditions (wind) and with minimal kit, but at least I finished a video on which all can practice their critiquing skills. Before we get embroiled in any religious discussions or descend into purely personal remarks, I should point out that every ten years I will myself to suffer, religious dictates not-withstanding and whether-or-not-I-need-it, a shave and haircut. Thank-goodness I still have six good long years left on that last one…

More importantly, as to the pseudo-philosophical (and no doubt pseudo-interesting) “3.8 Ga?, well it’s not really answered, is it? Usually when I come up with an idea for a UWOL Challenge the name for the title I want to use is obvious to me immediately. Obviously, not so this time. It really rather relies upon you to have paid attention while at one of those cocktail parties where people naturally would discuss the use in Archaeological and now Earth Science circles of the abbreviations Ba and Ga instead of the more-widely used literary abbreviations mya and bya for million-years-ago and billion-years-ago, and to have then quickly recalled that 3.8 billion-years-ago is the earliest evidence we have of dry continents on earth. If you are not the sort to get invited to that kind of cocktail party and haven’t suddenly remembered anything at all then perhaps you will read of it. Somewhere.
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Old July 6th, 2012, 02:23 PM   #2
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Re: UWOL 23- 3.8 Ga?- Mike Sims

Mike, I've for the past couple of weeks I've been reading and studying about the microbial ecosystems in the dark ocean biosphere, in particular the chemo-synthetic bacteria next to hydro thermal vents, so I can relate to some of the details of your film. Although I've never been invited to one of those cocktail parties you describe....
A very enlightening film, thanks for making it, and I hope we do evolve out of our current trash producing system.

Last edited by Bill Thesken; July 6th, 2012 at 03:39 PM.
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Old July 6th, 2012, 03:51 PM   #3
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Re: UWOL 23- 3.8 Ga?- Mike Sims

Mike,

This was really well shot and very interesting. I enjoyed the almost David Attenborough quality of hiking along with you- though really you need to whisper a bit more in a conspiratorial way to fully pull that off.

You had lots of very well presented information. I especially enjoyed your mini lecture on lichens. I have always thought they didn't get respect. The graphics really enhanced the film, and I appreciated your concluding message, too.

A total aside- I think your hair is a force of nature :) Also, how do you get invited to cocktail parties like that?!
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Old July 6th, 2012, 06:00 PM   #4
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Re: UWOL 23- 3.8 Ga?- Mike Sims

Mike. Thanks for the lesson in early earth lifeforms.... very interesting and quite a dramatic underscoring of the force that is life itself and how it just keeps going and evolving with conditions.
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Old July 6th, 2012, 07:26 PM   #5
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Re: UWOL 23- 3.8 Ga?- Mike Sims

Very appropriate to take us back almost 4 billion years in the same week that they discovered the Higgs particle. I especially enjoyed your pointing out those little vascular plants whose grandparents were Carboniferous tree ferns. We can all use a touch of stability these days. And don't feel bad. The last time I saw David Attenborough on TV, he needed a shave, too.
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Old July 7th, 2012, 04:04 AM   #6
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Re: UWOL 23- 3.8 Ga?- Mike Sims

Very informative and cool video Mike!
As a foreigner your narrating is very nice and easy for me to understand. And thanks for your informative way to teach the development of the earth!
Technically this was well made and the edit phase was good. Some minor wind noise and compositions flaw but my overall impression is a very well made uwol-video.
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Old July 8th, 2012, 05:30 AM   #7
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Re: UWOL 23- 3.8 Ga?- Mike Sims

Yeah the title had me completely stumped; guess I go to all the wrong cocktail parties....

Well you said you had a tough time filming this with the wind and the tourists, but it looks like you pulled it off.

The wind is a bugger for location audio; the only way I got through it was using a sound guy with a blimp; but I don't always have that luxury. However, you managed to pull off your dubbing quite well (I guess you did it in post), so it all came together in the end.

Great video, and informative too. For someone who stubbed a toe on a cactus while dodging noisy tourists and funnel clouds you seem to have held it all together well.
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Old July 8th, 2012, 05:50 PM   #8
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Re: UWOL 23- 3.8 Ga?- Mike Sims

Hi Mike
That was another interesting and educational piece. I did notice in the odd spot your voice over was off a little with the video. Your videos do make a person think.

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Old July 9th, 2012, 04:20 AM   #9
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Re: UWOL 23- 3.8 Ga?- Mike Sims

Hi Mike,

With your entry, uwol has gone pre-historic. :)
Very interesting and educational story. I like it.
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Old July 9th, 2012, 10:50 AM   #10
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Re: UWOL 23- 3.8 Ga?- Mike Sims

Hey Bill, that’s a very interesting subject. Those were some of the bacteria I referred to by “…they still exist in extreme environments…” Don’t, however, fall into the trap of thinking that because they appear to be directly related to these primitive forms that they are primitive themselves. They’ve been here a long time and, like the rest of us, they are highly evolved- just to a primitive life-style.
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Old July 9th, 2012, 10:53 AM   #11
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Re: UWOL 23- 3.8 Ga?- Mike Sims

Ruth- I don’t think this was particularly well shot- it was a rush job, but thanks anyway. I did forget to whisper like Sir David and it really scared away lots of those elusive lichens before I caught on.

I’m not often invited to those kind of parties myself so I just have to throw them. Which reminds me, what are all you guys doing next Friday?
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Old July 9th, 2012, 11:01 AM   #12
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Re: UWOL 23- 3.8 Ga?- Mike Sims

Chris- Thanks for watching. Most folks find this kind of stuff pretty boring. I’m pleased that you didn’t.
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Old July 9th, 2012, 11:09 AM   #13
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Re: UWOL 23- 3.8 Ga?- Mike Sims

Steve- I had originally intended to go from microbial mats to lichens, club mosses, ferns to vascular plants. Between my poor scheduling and the three minute limit it didn’t happen.

I’m not sure what to make of publishing results first in the popular press. The internet age has brought many new tools to science but I’m not sure they are all so good. I rather suspect that over the next years we may well see the discovery of a whole family of large short-lived particles, each vying to be labeled the H boson. Interesting times…
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Old July 9th, 2012, 11:29 AM   #14
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Re: UWOL 23- 3.8 Ga?- Mike Sims

Thanks, Per Johan. Some of those weird compositions were because the only take that turned out usable was the one where I had the camera point the wrong direction. Oops..
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Old July 9th, 2012, 11:30 AM   #15
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Re: UWOL 23- 3.8 Ga?- Mike Sims

Simon- Most of it was dubbed in the studio. The main thing I learned this round is how incredibly difficult it can be to match the timing and the inflection on dub. (Kudos to all you highly paid movie actors!) The worst was matching the shot where I kicked the cactus (appropriately “…true plants.” ) The dub there came out sounding pretty smarmy to my ear.
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