Daily Archives: April 15, 2009

"Magic School Bus Cracks A Yolk": WOW! Your kids should watch this. Show it to some adults, too.

The State of South Carolina has a subscription to UnitedStreaming, a wonderful service offered by Discovery Channel. Teachers and homeschooling parents in South Carolina can register for a login to the website by contacting SC ETV with the name of their school or homeschool association. We use it a lot. Among other things, it has the enire series of The Magic School Bus.

If you don’t know the show, it concerns a teacher, Ms. Frizzle, who drives a “Magic School Bus” that transports the students into various weird situations to learn science. As the theme song explains the premise:

Surfin’ on a sound wave
Swingin’ through the stars
Take a left at your intestine
Take your second right past Mars.
. . .
Just to make your day complete
You might get baked into a pie

The kids love watching it. It’s amazing what they’ve learned just from that show alone, but I’d have thought they’d seen all the episodes by now.

Guess not.

They just watched one called “The Magic School Bus Cracks a Yolk.” Allie says they’ve never seen it before. In the episode, they enter the ovaries of a chicken and learn about reproduction at a lower elementary safe level.

There’s a scene where a kid, Arnold, is inside the fertilized chicken egg. They’ve used the School Bus to speed up the development of the chick.

Arnold: I’m beginning to see lots of parts, like a head an eyes!
Ms. Frizzle: That new chick is called an embryo, Arnold.

“New Chick” = “embryo.” Not “blob of tissue”?

Arnold: Hi, there, Embryo. I’m your egg-sitter. Hey It’s heart is beating! And blood is flowing to the yolk and back again.
Ms. Frizzle: To us, a yolk is yolk. To an embryo, it’s a yolk — food.

Another student, listening to Arnold over a radio, says he can see its eye “and, he’s singing!”

Arnold: Rock-a-bye, baby, inside this egg. Look how you grow: you’ve got
wings and got legs.
. . .
Other student: and feet. And, except for having a huge head, Arnold says it’s starting to look like a bird.
. . .
Mr. Ruhle (the principle): Does it have feathers yet?
Another student: Arnold says it does.

Very impressive! My high school civics teacher. Mr. Z, used to talk about how abortion became a personal issue for him–as opposed to “I’m Catholic, so I’m pro-life”–when his daughter came home with a fertilized chicken egg she was supposed to use for a science experiment. I forget if he said she was supposed to let it grow, and it broke on accident, or if breaking the egg was part of the experiment.

In either case, after a few days, the egg, which was about 5 days old, broke. They saw the blood and blood vessels in the yolk, and the embryonic chicken, with its beating heart and little legs and wings. He said that watching thay embryonic chicken die was the moment that made him committed to the pro-life cause.

OTOH, The Magic School Bus is sadly p.c., such as the “holiday episode”, where they keep talking about The Nutcracker, “the Holiday,” and Chanukah. Or the episode they watched yesteday, where Ms. Frizzle “quoted” “the old expression,” “when a door closes, a window opens” (leaving “God” obviously out).

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Susan Boyle Dreamed a Dream, but she’s no Fantine.

On Monday, “The Deacon’s Bench” had a post on “I Dreamed a Dream”. As much as I loved the song, I didn’t see, from the post, the relevance of bringing it up, and didn’t follow his link. I mean, Les Miserables is over 20 years old (though it was recently revamped and revived on Broadway after being closed for a couple years). Neil Diamond popularized this particular song 20 some years ago. Why bring it up now?

When Deacon Greg Kandra put a second post under the title “No song unsung, no wine untasted.” It had to do with some reality TV contestant named Susan Boyle. I had seen references to her on other blogs yesterday, so I said, “OK, I’ll bite.” I played the YouTube clip, and I was stunned. It really is one of the most moving and inspiring things I’ve seen in my life. I have never seen Simon Cowell so visibly impressed with a performer. I know he was thinking, “This is why I’ve been doing all these shows.” I know that’s what he said years ago about Clay Aiken (who turned out to be a huge disappointment in many respects).

Since then, he’s posted a *third* time about her.

Someone has already set up a fan site, SusanBoyle.com. The Vancouver Sun has published an article on her instant worldwide celebrity status.

The internet duly exploded with Susan Boyle-mania, with her YouTube video bringing 5.6 million viewings in just three days. Her performance has been seen on CNN and been plastered on newspaper pages from Australia to New York.

Increased demand from music downloaders has sent the original cast recording of the song she performed up the iTunes singles chart, and to top it all off, Boyle has said she has already had a meeting with Sony BMG with a view to releasing an album. “I can’t say much about it. It’s early days and I’m taking baby steps.”

She’s the youngest of nine children, a Catholic who skipped daily Mass for the first time in years to be on the show. She lived with her parents and cared for them until her mother died two years ago. Not only is she a virgin, but she’s never been kissed. She has been singing since she was 12, and she’s always wanted to be a professional singer. Beloved in her parish, she’s otherwise always been a social outcast. She has mental disabilities and certain appearance issues due to her oxygen being cut off during birth.

Her story is certainly one of virtue being rewarded in this life, as well as the next.