Sunday, 29 April 2007

All aboard ... Noah's ark

Noah's ark
I can imagine that rising sea levels might be a concern in the Netherlands. So the replica ark built by Dutch creationist Johan Huibers may yet prove useful. CNN reports on the huge (but apparently not full-size) vessel:

Reckoning by the old biblical measurements, Johan's fully functional ark is 150 cubits long, 30 cubits high and 20 cubits wide. That's two-thirds the length of a football field and as high as a three-storey house. Life-size models of giraffes, elephants, lions, crocodiles, zebras, bison and other animals greet visitors as they arrive in the main hold.
"The design is by my wife, Bianca," Huibers said. "She didn't really want me to do this at all, but she said if you're going to anyway, it should look like this."
A contractor by trade, Huibers built the ark of cedar and pine -- biblical scholars debate exactly what the wood used by Noah would have been. Huibers did the work mostly with his own hands, using modern tools and occasional help from his son Roy. Construction began in May 2005.

Watch a video tour here.

Wednesday, 4 April 2007

Remember the 300 ...

I have just been to see 300.

In case you have been sitting on a pillar in the desert for the last month, 300 is the movie adaptation of Frank Miller's graphic novel of the same name, in which a band of 300 Spartans die defending Greece against a Persian grand army.

Movie still, © Warner Bros.

Over the last month or so, reactions to the movie have been mixed. Some commentators loved the theatricality, the violence and the technology. (The entire movie was filmed in 60 days on blue and green screens in Montreal.) Others have deplored the historical inaccuracies. (There were other Greeks at Thermopylae besides the 300 Spartans, and the Persian Immortals probably weren't samurai-masked ninjas!) On reflection, the verdict of the Rotten Tomatoes web site seems fairly accurate: "a simple-minded but visually exciting experience".

Incidentally, historian Victor Davis Hanson's audio commentary can be found here.