Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Jules Verne's Birthday, Oh What a Journey!

Today is February 8, 2011 and it is the 183rd Birthday of Jules Verne! Yippee, who's Jules Verne?

Jules Verne is the mastermind author of Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea and may very well have been the first creative writer of exploration! Jules was able to take us Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea (28,272 miles!),* Around the World in 80 Days (24,901 miles!) and on a Journey to the Center of the Earth (3,959 miles) ­taking us a total of 57,132 creative miles in three books!!

In review of the mileage, I became puzzled . How can you go 28,000+ miles under the ocean, but to get to the center of the earth it¹s only about 4,000 miles? It was a question that needed Google research! In my research, I found LOTS and LOTS of creative material centered around "Twenty Thousand Leagues", but hard as I looked, I couldn't find an explanation for Jules' math. However, I did find a Saturday Night Live skit that ponders this very same question:

http://snltranscripts.jt.org/93/93qleagues.phtml

But really, who cares if Jules was accurate? It was 1869 when he wrote the book! Jules took readers to places they had never even ventured to think about, let alone imagine themselves going! He used creativity to capture his audience by introducing visuals of historic proportions! By bringing to life the Nautilus, Captain Nemo's famous Å’fish-like' submarine, he introduced another world to his readers and brought them the experience of walking on the bottom of the ocean (which could have never happened the way Jules described it. They would have been crushed by the water pressure but that¹s
another story!)

Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea has been made into a radio show, a play, a TV show, several movies and a ride at Disney World. There is even a soundtrack with the macho man himself, Kirk Douglas, singing! Google has continued this legacy by honoring the creative genius with a special Google logo today in honor of his 183rd birthday. The logo is super fun, and definitely creative as it's interactive. If you move the handle to the left of the logo, you can peek through the submarine's portholes to take a look at the ocean, and then move the level around to look at different ocean
views.

Jules pushed the creative limit by writing a book that not only fascinated people of the nineteenth century, but is still fascinating people today as evidenced by Google's logo! Here's to creativity, all the way around, which makes for a better, more interesting world.


*A "league" is an ancient unit derived from the Gauls and introduced into England by the Normans. It was estimated by the Romans to be equal to 1,500 paces‹a pace, or passus, in Roman measure being nearly 5 feet.