ink and sieve

January 7, 2010

Learning is fun!

Filed under: Uncategorized — inkandsieve @ 7:02 pm

Here are a couple of programs I found interesting this week on PBS. I’m a magpie about learning–I never actually liked school, but I like picking up bits and pieces of information. History is really fascinating, but not when it’s just a long list of dates, names and places. Science is not that compelling when it’s just figures and data, but link it to something like the human brain or our very existence as an entity and you’ve grabbed my attention.

This Emotional Life “opens a window into real lives, exploring ways to improve our social relationships, cope with emotional issues, and become more positive, resilient individuals” (so says the website). Provocative and intriguing, I found this documentary really interesting.

The Human Spark is another program I like. “The central question of this program: What did we possess that the Neanderthals didn’t – and where did it come from? Did the Human Spark really burst into life in Europe, as archeologists have long believed? Or did it originate earlier, on another continent?” It’s hosted by Alan Alda, who has been part of the PBS family as host of Scientific American Frontier, and has a sense of humor and intellect that is very approachable.

(learning isn’t all relegated to PBS, either)

We’re a big They Might Be Giants house. Here Comes Science is the latest and has been on heavy rotation on all our various devices. I especially love that there’s a DVD and a CD in the same case because the different styles of art used in the videos are something not to be missed. What I like most about TMBG’s kids music is that it doesn’t actually sound like kids music. They cram a lot into a short catchy diddy, but they also mix up the styles of music without sounding like they’re trying to expose the young’uns to different styles of music. If you know what I mean. Unlike other kids’ music, I can listen, rock out, and sing along without getting sick of schmarmy, saccharine, kiddified blandness. TMBG made an album that appeals to all ages–with kids or without.


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