The Grey Chronicles


The End of Exploration, Part II?

National Geographic Video Collection on ExplorationsHaving been out-of-work, or more specifically under work, for a while, with the plant on forced shutdown, I had all the free time to lay back and watched the nine-disc National Geographic Video Collection on Explorations (2007) for eight consecutive days.

The collection featured everything National Geographic has done for the last 120 years. Founded in 1888, National Geographic can boast that it is in the forefront of various expeditions on explorations, specifically the far reaches of the planet Earth.

This a continuation of some of the stories in the collection which I really liked:

Contemporary Explorers

Mt EverestEverest has two main climbing routes, the southeast ridge from Nepal and the northeast ridge from Tibet, as well as many other less frequently climbed routes. Of the two main routes, the southeast ridge is technically easier and is the more frequently-used route; used by Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norgay on 29 May 1953 and the first recognized of fifteen routes to the top by 1996. In another video, Hillary and Norgay went back to commemorate that eventful climb. It also featured Hillary’s effort to give back something important to the Nepalese people: education. In another video, a group of climbers initiated to clean-up the climbing routes of ecological and environmental debris carried by various climbers from Hillary to those who followed.

Jane GoodallJane Goodall and her work on chimpanzees gave the insight on human emotions. Valerie Jane Morris Goodall is an English UN Messenger of Peace, primatologist, ethologist, and anthropologist. She is well-known for her 45-year study of chimpanzee social and family interactions in Gombe Stream National Park, Tanzania. In October 1960, Goodall witnessed the chimps fashioned tools for fishing termites from a nest. Her mentor Louis Leakey said: “Now we must redefine tool, redefine man, or accept chimpanzees as humans.” In 1969, she wrote My Friends the Wild Chimpanzees published by the National Geographic Society.

Battleship BismarckBismark and Titanic were sunken ships rediscovered by Robert Ballard. The Bismark sunk during the WWII while Titanic on its maiden voyage to New York. The German battleship Bismarck is one of the most famous warships of the Second World War. During the Battle of the Denmark Strait in May 1941, Bismark sank the battle cruiser HMS Hood, flagship of the Home Fleet and pride of the Royal Navy. British Prime Minister Winston Churchill issued the order to “Sink the Bismarck”. The wreck of Bismarck was discovered on 8 June 1989 by Dr. Robert Ballard, the oceanographer also responsible for finding the Titanic.

Quicksand might even appear right in one’s backyard as long as the key ingredients are present: sand and water. The clip cautioned that the existence of quicksand is far more common than anyone believes. It, however, debunked the popular movie-inspired belief that nobody could get out of quicksand. Tug-and-pull is not the answer. Easy, slow wiggling of the toes would do it.

Deep ImpactDeep Impact That explosive event over remote Tunguska is generally viewed by scientists as a large space rock that pierced through the atmosphere of Siberia, then detonated to flatten some 2,000 square kilometers of trees. In 1921, Leonid Kulik, the chief curator for the meteorite collection of the St. Petersburg museum led an expedition to Tunguska. It was suggested that the asteroid entered Earth’s atmosphere traveling at a speed of about 33,500 miles per hour. During its quick plunge, the 220-million-pound space rock heated the air surrounding it to 44,500 degrees Fahrenheit. At 7:17 a.m. (local Siberia time) on 30 June 1908, at a height of about 28,000 feet, the combination of pressure and heat caused the asteroid to fragment and annihilate itself, producing a fireball and releasing energy equivalent to about 185 Hiroshima bombs. Scientists debate whether the same could happen in the future.

Mt. UnzenVolcanologists Katia and Maurice Krafft were known as the superstars in volcanology; pioneers in filming, photographing and recording volcanoes, often getting within feet of lava flows. The work of the Kraffts was highlighted in a video issue of National Geographic, which contained a large amount of their film footage and photographs as well as interviews with both. Both died in a pyroclastic flow on Mount Unzen, in Japan, on 03 June 1991 which a day before both claimed that the pyroclastic flows from Unzen were too small.


National Geographic (2007). National Geographic: Explore Your Mind – Exploration. National Geographic, Box Set. back to text

Disclaimer: The posts on this site does not necessarily represent any organization’s positions, strategies or opinions; and unless otherwise expressly stated, are licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 Philippines License.



  1. What’s up everyone, I’m new to the forum and just wanted to say hey. Hopefully I posted this in the right section!

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    Comment by MichaellaS — 2009.July.21 @ 13:52 | Reply

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