In Frank Capra's It's a Wonderful Life, Jimmy Stewart discovers just what his life would've been like if he'd never been born. And in the hands of Capra, the film become a three-tissue tearjerker holiday classic wherein one of the most romantic moments occurs when Stewart tells the woman he loves that if she wanted the moon, he'd get it for her.
Yet, because we were more enchanted by Stewart than physics, we never stopped to consider just what life would be like if we didn't have the moon.
Well, thanks to A&E and The History Channel's original series The Universe, we now have a pretty good idea what Earth sans moon would be like and the result is anything but the stuff of a Capra classic... unless Capra had been a 1950s science fiction disaster movie director.
Breaking down the technical terms in such a way that this stellar program could be considered “Physics For the Rest Of Us,” The Universe blends together traditional documentary features of narration and the typical talking heads that consist of scholarly suits and field experts from academia and new approaches including CGI animation, practical applications and examples of illustrating tough concepts with a doughnut or a sprinkler to fully engage audience members.
However, all of the theories and discussion would be nothing without ensuring that the topics remain interesting and the narration leaves us not only questioning scientific matters we never even knew we were curious about beforehand but that above all, we're entertained enough to watch an educational series for the sheer fun of it.
Whether we're investigating the interstellar monster truck rally of items that smash into one another in the solar system to the particles and properties like asteroids that have fallen to Earth and wiped out the dinosaurs to uncovering the difference between death star reality to George Lucas' Star Wars or counting down ten wickedly ingenious scientific community generated ideas on how to whack the planet Earth you won't find in a cheesy movie, you're never sure just what you'll find in the show.
Obviously, it helps if you do have an interest in solar system astronomy or an inquisitive mind that's open to new, challenging ideas but the best thing about Universe and especially jumping right into the series well into its fourth year is that there's no mathematic academic prerequisite since it's bound to fascinate those of all ages as the type of learning enhancement tool disguised as time-wasting entertainment that will satisfy all levels of experience and knowledge.
Bursting off the screen in speaker rocking, high definition Blu-ray, this three disc set which contains all twelve episodes and takes you from gamma ray bursts to blackhole energy comes highly recommended for parents of middle school students looking to lineup extracurricular, thought-provoking entertainment for Spring Break that no doubt, you'll enjoy just as much (if not more) than the Twilight set.
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Labels: TV on Blu-ray