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One of my favorite people had a birthday this week, David Attenborough turned a happy healthy 87 on Wednesday. He started the day inaugurating Tweet of the Day, a new weekday show on BBC 4 radio wherein he and other naturalists present a very brief minute and a half on a native English bird, the first being the cuckoo (described here by Fiona Sturges of The Independent):

There was, of course, a palpable thrill to be had from hearing the springtime song of the cuckoo, famously the douche bag of the avian species due to its habit of squatting other bird’s nests. But this was nothing next to hearing the mellifluous murmurings of Attenborough who, in quoting Wordsworth on cuckoos – “Shall I call thee Bird, Or but a wandering Voice?” – and reflecting on the bird’s migration south to the dense equatorial forests of central Africa, offered instant balm to the ears and to the soul.

Is there anyone better?

And here he is launching the Cambridge Conservation Campus, the hub of the ambitious Cambridge Conservation Initiative (CCI) (the production values of the video suck actually).

CCI seeks to transform the global understanding and conservation of biodiversity and the natural capital it represents and, through this, secure a sustainable future for all life on Earth. The CCI partners together combine and integrate research, education, policy and practice to create innovative solutions for society and to foster conservation learning and leadership.

The campus itself won’t be completed until 2015, but here’s the architect’s “impressions” of it. Of course this should have been just one of many started forty years ago (but here we are). Incoming students interested in the environment and sustainability must be beyond psyched about being in on the ground floor.

Another one of David’s recent projects is the television series Galapagos 3D – here’s the trailer. Does anyone here get Sky TV, has anyone seen the series?

I couldn’t definitively claim any one series to be my favorite, they are all wonderful, but recently I re-absorbed the 1989(!) fossil series Lost Worlds, Vanished Lives, learning much – what’s yours?

We should all live such long and fruitful lives. Happy Birthday David! – and may you mellifluously murmur for many more.

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Elliott

Elliott

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