Tuesday, 14 September 2010

"Richard Hammond's Invisible Worlds" ~ a television delight

I hope everyone in New Zealand watched this show last evening.  I sat spellbound for a full hour watching the first episode.  As a keen photographer, nature watcher and writer, I was entranced by the detail, the fabulous visuals and well thought-out commentary.

Richard Hammond is familiar to New Zealand viewers as a presenter of "Top Gear" and for his appearance in recent Telecom advertisements.  His role as front man for a nature show came as a surprise and a very pleasant one, I must say.  He's a first rate presenter. 

Subject matter ranged from the shock waves from explosions to the speed at which fungal spores shoot out from horse manure, how bumblebees and moths fly, images of atmospheric 'sprites' following certain electrical storms, lightning that travels upwards and much more.

Richard points out that the human eye is capable of seeing in great detail, but that our brains take longer to process than our eyes do to see things.  This means that there are things that we can see but which we don't register because things are moving too fast.  Other things are too small for us to see with the naked eye.  We are shown how the modern technologies of powerful magnification and extremely high speed film played back slowly enable us to see and learn about things in a new way.  The camera work is superb.

If you did miss it all is not lost - there are two more episodes in store which screen on TV1 on Mondays at 8.30pm.

The DVD is available from Amazon.co.uk
Note the five star ratings from all three reviewers!

"The Real Dirt on Farmer John" ~ a documentary about organic farming and an extraordinary man

I love this film and recommend it most highly to anyone interested in the quality of the food they eat, the source of their food, organics, sustainability, farming and so on.

It is the story of farmer John Peterson, who presents a compelling story of growing up on a farm in America's mid-west, inheriting it, giving it up twice - and going back one more time.   Finally  he arrived at style of farming that worked for him, biodynamics, a form of organic agriculture. 

He certainly is an unusual man.  At a time in history when the display of natural emotions still incurs censure he generously lets us into his private world: his joys and sorrows, anger and frustration, his relationships, and ultimately his celebration of farming life, the people who make it happen and the land itself.

Movie trailer:

For my full review of this film click on this link to my Pursuit of Wisdom site.

Saturday, 4 September 2010

"The Power of Community: how Cuba survived peak oil" ~ a documentary about sustainability in action

To seriously contemplate severe oil shortages invites anxiety, yet there are societies which have managed to adapt their lifestyles accordingly and done so with flair.

Cuba is one of them.  This documentary is an eye-opener and I cannot recommend it highly enough.  It includes the historic context, factual discussion and presents solutions that have worked.  In the absence of an official trailer, I've embedded a clip from YouTube.  Other related clips become apparent once it has played.

Here is "The Power of Community" website which provides good background information.

My full review of this film can be found in my "Pursuit of Wisdom" site.