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Learning in Freedom

Welcome to Learning in Freedom, a blog all about the learning adventures (and mishaps) of the Allen family. My four children are unschooled, following their interests and passions every day and living the lives of their choosing. The purpose of this blog is to share our every day lives (and my not-so-humble opinons) with anyone interested in stopping by. We hope this will give a glimpse of how natural learning unfolds from day to day......

Friday, August 04, 2006


We rented "March of the Penguins" last night...finally. Jared was the only one interested in watching it (and he was initially reluctant) but it ended up being a REALLY interesting movie. He was pretty amazed, as were Markus and I, by the behavior of these birds.

After the movie, we started discussing the questions that were unanswered; mainly, what IS the survival rate for a baby Emperor Penguin? Google was the next stop of course and we found out that it's pretty tough for the little ones to even make it to adulthood. Survival rates vary from 6-14%. Not so good.

After perusing some cool information on penguins, we got off onto paleoarcheology and the earliest human ancestors, evolution of species, (watched a video on the discovery of Lucy), paleontology and the whole Jack Horner/egg mountoun/maiasaura story, history of East India Trading Company and some of their brutal tactics and ended up watching diet Coke and Mentos explosions. It's neat to hear Jared's questions. He wants MORE information...until you've swirled through several topics and discussed various possibilities for hours. He's going to be 13 on the 29th of this month, not a bit of his joy for learning has dimmed.

A magazine we've had a lot of fun with lately, is "Mental Floss". It's dubbed itself as "the magazine for knowledge junkies". That we are.


Looked up information this afternoon on the making of the film. It's fascinating. You can read an interview with the director, Luc Jacquet here: Making of March of the Penguins.
The film crew actually spent 13 months living in Antartica! Here's a quote from Luc describing the lanscape there. Markus and I had commented during the film, that it seems so foreign, like another planet. We plan to charter a freighter there when we become independently wealthy:

"It's indescribable. It's almost not like Earth. It's such a challenge to transmit via film the sensations you feel over there. The scale is just mindboggling. You have icebergs that are 30 kilometers (18.6 miles) wide. It's a strange and eerie environment, hence my use of an impressionistic voice to try to transmit the beauty. There's no human reference point for it. There are only two color schemes. You don't smell anything. It's very complicated to try to convey this. All I have to work with is my passion."

Seems passion is a pretty amazing tool to work with!!! Hmmmmmm......:)


Blogger Snavleys said...

We watched the Diet Coke and Mentos explosion on Letterman the other night. Kind of scary when you think about it! What else are we eating with chemicals that don't mix well in your stomach? I don't think I will ever drink Diet Coke again, not that I did much anyway. It was fun to watch the explosions though.

2:39 PM  
Anonymous Sandy Winn said...

We watched this movie months ago and were totally blown away, what an absolutely wonderful movie. The thought never occured to me to figure the survival rate..."out of the box" I need to train my mind to think "Renlike" HAHAHA...

Lately we have been renting an AMAZING series that we get from Netflix called "The Life of Mammals" there are three discs chock full of beautiful footage and Richard Attenborough is a wonderful host for this delightful series. DD and I especially cannot get enough. There is footage inside a beaver damn and also inside a platypus hangout out on discs one and two.

5:46 PM  
Blogger Ren said...

Oh, I have lotsa help coming up with questions and curious musings that lead us to more questions!:)

The other thing were all totally blown AWAY over, is the cinematography! Can you believe some of those shots? I want to read about the filming process and how-the-hell they got some of those pics. Beautiful.

6:01 PM  

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