Wednesday, May 20, 2015

The WOW Factor!

I am rarely entirely blown away by the products I receive to review. I am just being honest because after 13 years of running a review department, it takes a lot to do that. These two movies, Metamorphosis and Flight: The Genius of Birds, sent to us from www.FishFlix.com, have done exactly that. These are top-quality gorgeous science DVDs full of the astonishing life and ability of butterflies and birds. Right out of the gate - buy them! If you want to know why I say this - read on.

The Schoolhouse Review Crew was sent one of what is a huge selection of DVDs available from FishFlix.com. Who are these folks? Their tagline says it all: "Christian Movies to Inspire and Entertain." They have hundreds of quality DVDs for education, entertainment, and family enjoyment. There isn't anything on this site that is likely to offend the moral sensibilities of anyone - how wildly refreshing! 

This is a brilliantly filmed beautiful DVD that showcases a bird's anatomical structure, the glory of flight, the unusual skeletal make-up, reproduction, and much more. I especially loved the focus on the special muscle, bone, and feeding abilities in hummingbirds. There is an extended section that animates the muscle and bone structure of the hummingbird to demonstrate how it can hover in the air as well as how it feeds itself. Its tongue is one of the most astonishing things I have ever learned about! No other bird does the things a hummingbird does! 

There is much more to this 63 minute DVD (available on sale for $11.18 right now), but I wanted to focus a little more on the second DVD I received.

I figured by the title that I'd see the lifecycle of a butterfly like the graphic below, but little did I know just how truly amazing and mine-bending the whole process really is! From a very young age, you learn that butterflies lay eggs, that turn into caterpillars, that eat a lot, form a chrysalis, and burst forth as a butterfly - just like this beautiful Swallowtail Butterfly:

Even the youngest children "get" this, but do we really "get" what goes on? 

This DVD will Blow. Your. Mind. 

What is going on cannot be explained by any scientific method whatsoever. It is so completely transformative that evolution has absolutely no explanation for it. What happens in the chrysalis simply could not have developed by evolution. 

Some of the things we learned from this DVD as a family: 

Butterflies know which plants to lay their eggs on - no parent butterfly shows them. They determine this by a very specific complex internal process.

When caterpillars emerge from their tiny eggs, they are little eating machines. Their digestive track is as long as their bodies and they eat their own weight in leaves every day. In the short time they are caterpillars, what they eat multiplies their birth weight by 3,000 times. That's crazy! 

The process of forming into a chrysalis is seriously complex and the entire structure of the caterpillar breaks down and rebuilds itself into the butterflies we see. There is a particularly compelling MRI scan of a Monarch chrysalis as it changes that we get to see. The whole structure of the Monarch reforms inside the chrysalis. It is astonishing!

Did you know that the proboscis (mouth part we usually call a tongue) emerges from the chrysalis in two parts and that the butterfly has to piece it together or it dies from starvation? 

There is a wonderful section on the Monarch migration to Mexico:

Did you know that the Monarchs that make this journey have never done so before and that it is a complicated route to get there? 

Metamorphosis is more than just a 64 minute science DVD; it is literally mind-altering. It more than challenges the belief that there is no Intelligent Designer - it downright refutes it! The transformation from egg to butterfly is so profoundly complex there is no other answer. Every effect must have a cause and this DVD proves these beautiful astonishing creatures have an Intelligent Designer that transcends the natural world. It was a delightful movie to share with my children and I am so thrilled to be able to share it with you. It is also on sale right now for only $11.18!

The Crew reviewed other great products from FishFlix.com. If you'd like to read about those, click the graphic below!

Click to read Crew Reviews
Crew Disclaimer

Wednesday, May 13, 2015

Highland Hymn

I thought this was absolutely lovely. Aren't these words marvelous? It is written by R.C. Sproul and available to stream for free.

Highland Hymn 

Above the mists of Highland hills
E’en far above the clear blue skies
The end of pain and earthly ills
When we shall see His eyes

Lutes will sing
Pipers play
When we see Him face to face
On that day

His face now hidden from our sight
Concealed from ev’ry hidden gaze
In hearts made pure from sinful flight
Is the bliss that will amaze


We know not yet what we will be
In heaven’s final blessed state
But know we now that we shall see
Our Lord at heaven’s gate

The beatific glory view
That now our souls still long to see
Will make us all at once anew
And like Him forever be


Tuesday, May 05, 2015

Instagram Challenges - Do you do them?

The Schoolhouse Review Crew is doing a fun thing for the whole month of May - #31DaysofMay #IGChallenge! If you are not on Instagram, this will probably make little sense, but we have a good time showcasing photos of different things. This is the whole challenge at a glance:

So each day, we post something that to *us* defines the day's term.

This is my Day 1: May Flowers

These are some of the beauties in my backyard. I just love flowers
so this one is one I really enjoyed doing.

This is my Day 2: Sunny Yellow

I took it quite literally! I love how the sun looks through a camera lens. It was a very warm day - 90 degrees already - so this was quite fitting! 

This is my Day 3: My Heart

It is a rare thing to have my whole family together these days. With two adult children working and in school - life gets busy and full and we grab time when we can. These are two that have my heart! I am so grateful for family! 

This is my Day 4: Techie

Maybe the IG Challenge leaders meant a person, but my favorite tech support guy is my man and I already had him photographed for "My Heart." So I took it in a different direction and shared my newest (and needed) wireless tech to help my life! A few weeks ago I spilled coffee on my keyboard and my mouse has been on the fritz for quite some time. My favorite tech support husband didn't wait to be asked and bought this new set for me. I spend a lot of time on the keyboard for my job and it is just *so* nice to have working equipment!
Love my very own Techie!

So now you see how an IG Challenge works. We post these photos to Instagram and it is such fun to see what others are doing with the same key words. Have you ever done a challenge like this? Today's word is Cinco de Mayo and I have yet to figure out that one for me. I somehow thing cilantro will be involved! 

Happy Blogging!