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Wannabe Zissou the Grinch Goes Down to the Trench

April 1, 2012

After years of secretly plotting and scheming, James Cameron ‘the adventurer’ broke out of his personal Death Star-type lair of darkness to, well, plunge back into the dark, mysterious lair of life known as the deepest place on earth, the underwater ‘hood known as Challenger Deep. The enigmatic Hollywood director of, ironically, ‘The Abyss’, and blockbusters ‘Titanic’ and ‘Avatar,’ has been playing the real-life version of the incomparable one Steve Zissou. Zissou is Bill Murray’s character in Wes Anderson’s cult-classic (decided by me), ‘The Life Aquatic.’ So, at exactly 5:52pm EST, on Sunday, March 25, 2012, Cameron became only the third person, and the first person solo, to ever reach the, at one time in history, unreachable. El Señor Cameron, who is often bemoaned by the media for being an egotistical, inconsiderate arse, is being largely cheered for the voyage into the oceanographic-biological history books. As always, with anything, especially Cameron, the peanut-gallery makes it’s presence felt, largely exclaiming the project as yet another a la carte side/dish (maybe the tenderloin just brought out at Luby’s, right?! lol) in Cameron’s lifelong buffet evilness, feeding his insatiable, ravenous, and rapacious (those words are fun — words should be fun, the public school system misframes the wonder of words completely, more on a later post**) appetite for evil nutrition, made-up of various amounts of the evil food pyramid, which includes power, attention/prestige, and money, to name a few. Again, back to the numbers; numbers, especially larger ones, can be hard to imagine with much accuracy and reliability (accuracy and reliability being the main two concepts used in sociology when testing, analyzing the most important thing in any research and even in life, validity, the ‘V-word’ — a.k.a. truth). The Challenger Deep is about 6.7 miles deep, and there are a litany of different, competing measurements, anywhere from 36,069 ft (recent University of New Hampshire study) to 35,756 ft (Cameron’s recent) to 35,813 ft. The total size of the trench is roughly 1,580 miles (2,550 km) long with a mean (overall average) width of 43 miles (69 km), making an area of 67,940 miles squared. The Grand Canyon is more difficult to find measurements, due to a high number of changing directions in the land, but the area eventually comes out to 1,904 miles squared — a little more than 35 times smaller than the ole’ M to the T [Mariana to the Trench, bam — get sum (sic re ‘sum’ — phonetic usage one time — how we do)]. It’s average depth is about one mile, 5,280 ft, 1.6 km. And just to throw in something different, the Empire State Building is a mere 1,250 ft (102 stories) to the top of the rod. The Trench is actually the result of good ole’ plate tectonics, with the collision of two oceanic plates, causing the Phillipine Plate to subduct under the Pacific Plate. This creates a host of geologic and oceanographic dynamics, and things that I think are prett-ay damn cool. Science and nature people. Don’t get too excited: I’ll write and post a diagram on everything else going on down there on a seperate post later.
Watch out for the TV a/o movie special from National Geographic and Cameron, using the footage recorded by Cameron on the journey.

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