Planet Earth, Discovery Channel and More

I had a birthday recently. That wasn’t such a big deal, I have one every year and I seldom feel like the numbers say I should feel. That is to say that I don’t feel as old as I probably should feel, and I often forget that I have more than a few miles behind me. What makes me realize that I’ve turned my share of corners are the memories that seem to bubble up around the anniversary of my birth.

These memories have nothing to do with previous birthdays, I’ve had few parties celebrating the event and few things have happened on those days that were of such magnitude that they are forever etched into my grey matter. (There were three birthdays, however, that I’ll always remember; one where I went hang gliding, another where I flew an airplane, both courtesy of my wife and daughter, and the last one where friends took me out to dinner.)

The memories I’m talking about are random bits, places, people, and doings that might have happened just last week or many (Many) years ago. For instance, I recall watching Mutual of Omaha’s The Wild Kingdom when Marlin Perkins was the host.

I credit Mr. Perkins for instilling in me a love of nature and a desire to become a game warden/explorer/naturalist. That desire was all consuming, that is until I saw photos of shark, lion, and bear attack victims. I then decided that I would pursue endeavors that did not put me on anyone’s or anything’s menu.

It’s worked out pretty good so far.

The problem, however, is that I still enjoy nature. I was absolutely enthralled with Discovery Channel’s Planet Earth series. No wrinkly old dude traipsing around African scrub looking for bugs. That series put us right up close to creatures few ever see in the wild.

If you haven’t seen at least one episode of Planet Earth then you are truly missing out. But, as luck would have it, there is a free episode available in both standard and hi-def, ready for you to download and watch from the iTunes Store.

If you’ve got one of those new fangled iPads then this is just the ticket to show off your new toy (strike) media portal to friends and family.

The free episode is one of the best, titled “From Pole to Pole”, it explores the many environs between the north and south poles and fauna that inhabit them.

They show polar bear cubs! There are few creatures cuter than polar bear cubs, except maybe penguin chicks, and they have those too! You have to get this episode just for the cubs and the chicks.

Planet Earth. A great place to live and a great series to watch.

If, after watching the free Planet Earth episode, you feel like you need to commune with nature some more, virtually of course, then you might want to check out some of Discovery Channel’s Video Podcasts. You’ll find stuff from every Discovery Channel show.

One such show I had missed when it aired was the ‘Walking with Dinosaurs” series. In that series they got up close and very personal with the ancient reptiles and discussed how the big lizards got it on.

When you think about it, whenever T-Rex is casted in a movie it’s usually a male and it’s usually pissed-off. After watching these podcasts I’m starting to wonder if old Rexy was more horny than angry. After all, little T-Rexes have to come from somewhere.

In fact, maybe T-Rex is just misunderstood. Sure, he or she has got to eat, but even dinosaurs can’t live on food alone. It can be tough to make friends when your smile looks like a stiletto factory. That would mean that tyrannosaurs could only befriend other tyrannosaurs, and that could make for a monotonous existence. I can imagine two T-Rexes strolling through a Jurassic jungle:
“Hey Claws, what do you want to do tonight?”

“Umm, how about we run down some plant-eaters? Those Diplos over there look pretty tasty.”

“ Didn’t we do that last night? You still got some of that Bront stuck in your teeth.”

“Yeah, we did do that, didn’t we? Gee. What else can we do? Our forearms are too short for archery or needlepoint and our feet aren’t made for tap dancing.”

“We could find some females.”

“Hey? Not a bad idea. Do female Bronts taste any different?”

“(sigh!) Claws, my friend, we really need to talk.”

Anyway, dino-sex is a subject that just doesn’t come up in everyday conversation so it’s interesting to learn what the experts think went on during a Jurassic booty call. Of course, there are other topics covered so you don’t have to feel like a pervert for watching.

Discovery Channel Video Podcasts. Grab some.

That’s going to do it for this week. I’ll be scoping out more freebies at the iTunes Store so stop back next week. Until then you can check out the freebies below, with direct links.