Sunday, January 4, 2015

Documentaries I Watched Over the Break

Guys, I love documentaries.  A lot.  Of course, I don't really watch a lot of TV because it is a waste of time, but since I didn't have school these past two weeks I sometimes made exceptions.  Plus documentaries are educational, so maybe they're not that much of time wasters!  I just love learning, and so I'm going to share with you guys some things I learned from the documentaries I've watched these past couple of days.  Because maybe you enjoy learning as much as I do!

So I thought this documentary would be about Alexander the Great.  You know, just a guess.  Well, it was actually about his dead body instead of his life, so it should really be called Mystery Files: Alexander the Great's Dead Body.  It was all about the mystery of where his body is, and it actually was quite fascinating.  Though I would have rather learned about his life (he was a pretty unique fellow), it was quite interesting to learn about all of the different theories of where good old Alex's body is these days.  Some people think that his tomb was destroyed while Alexandria was going through some crazy upheaval.  Some people think that it was destroyed with the rise of Christianity, because Alexander was a pagan god and the Christians wanted to get rid of anything pagan.  I think that one might be the most likely, because the very last records of Alexander's tomb were written about that same time.  I don't know about the theory of people changing the identity of Alexander's dead body to St. Mark's and then relocating it.  Seems like kind of a stretch.  But who knows!

I've always been a Joan of Arc fan, but because of my previous knowledge of herI actually didn't learn much from this one.  I found it very unfortunate that it didn't really do into depth about her life at all, it just kind of skimmed across the big things that I already knew.  Of course, I was once again inspired and amazed by Joan's courage.  She is so cool!  Oh!  I did learn that most experts now agree that she wasn't schizophrenic (she was thought to be, because of her claims of hearing voices).  So where did the voices she heard come from?  I'm willing to believe that they did come from God, just like she said.  Personal revelation, folks!  They did an interesting study in this film, involving Christians and Atheists being shocked while being shown religious pictures vs being shown non-religious pictures.  The conclusion of the study was that upon being shown religious pictures, the Christians had a higher tolerance for pain.  It was showing the link between faith and healing quickly, which is assumed to be the case for Joan's miraculously quick recovery after being shot with an arrow.  Very cool.

Kylie and I sat down to watch this one after deciding we were in the mood for something Egyptian.  That country is way awesome, I've always loved studying ancient Egypt and their mythology.  This particular film was about the Great Spinx.  They were trying to figure out whose face the sculpture depicts.  They had all sorts of theories, one guy even thinks that it wasn't a sphinx to begin with, but rather a lion carving that some conceited pharaoh (weren't they all conceited anyway?) carved into his likeness at a later date.  The film talked about all different possibilities, and finally came to the conclusion that it was Khafre's face (if I remember right), carved so that he could reach some degree of high exaltation or something of the sort.  Exactly what you'd expect from an ancient Egyptian.  Can't say this was my favorite documentary, but I guess it was entertaining to watch!

Alexandria: The Greatest City (Bethany Hughes)
Finally a documentary that gave me more information!  When I realized that I kept going to the Smithsonian Channel on Netflix, I decided that I should for sure find something unrelated (because let's face it, those other documentaries didn't impress me).  Yeah, this one was good.  I liked Bethany Hughes, and I didn't really know much about Alexandria until after I watched this.  It seems like my dream city!  I mean, a city basically dedicated to learning, containing every single book in the world.  That is amazing!  It was nice gaining some knowledge about Alexander the Great, the founder of Alexandria.  And I enjoyed learning about Hypatia, what a cool lady she is!  It truly is a shame that this city was destroyed the way it was, but us humans tend to do stupid things...

All of these documentaries can be found on Netflix if you're interested!  I'm quite surprised with myself, I didn't watch a single astronomy documentary over the break.  Those are usually my go-to shows!  But you can probably tell that I was on some kind of history kick.  Anyway, I hope you had a great winter break!

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