Top 10 Doctor Who Episodes

Doctor Who by Ben Biddle
Doctor Who, a photo by Ben Biddle on Flickr.
OK, even the title is controversial. This is not an authoritative or exhaustive list, just a top ten in my book but totally subject to change. I present them in order of appearance.

1. The End Of The World - So much is explained for new viewers without becoming boring. 2. Dalek - Meet the Doctor's arch enemy and discover just how compelling Rose can be.
3. The Girl In The Fireplace - classic, sheer genius with a twist of irony.
4. Blink - maybe THE scariest creatures EVER, and the Doctor hardly appears.
5. Voyage of the Damned - touching, this is why the Doctor must never travel alone.
6. Silence in the Library - epic plot twists and con-flux of companions.
7. Midnight - even the Doctor can't take a vacation.
8. Vincent and The Doctor - a masterpiece of storytelling and art.
9. Curse of the Black Spot - creative, daring; a fun romp on the high seas
10. The Girl Who Waited - life is full of tough choices, be patient.

And just because there are so many great episodes out there, I'll chuck in another one: The Doctor, The Widow and The Wardrobe. What are your top ten episodes?

Brazil Prezi

Just finished building a Prezi with my daughter. Each student is researching a different country and presenting about them in a World's Fair type setting. She already built a PowerPoint so we simply transferred the data over and added new images.

At first she seemed apprehensive about the whole process, but after ninety minutes of working together, she was pleased with the result. Watch the entire presentation online here.

Analysis and Research

Books borrowed from the library to research for set design.
In theater class, the kids perform a dramatistic analysis of every piece they are to perform. I know that most see it as another thing for me to grade and have yet to understand the value of researching a part.

I'm working on designing the set for our spring musical, Fiddler on the Roof. So I've done research on the web and discovered lots of interesting things like shtetel, Marc Chagall, the Pale of Settlement and Sholem Aleichem. I even  created a pin board of images I like.

But the part that fascinates me the most is finding the original stories that the musical is based on. Our lending library system allows me to reserve the books from libraries all across Indiana. I simply pick them up at my local branch. That's what makes me quirky, I love the research, the discovery of something new.

I'm not sure how our kids lost that or if we never shared that love with them. Just tonight, my daughter commented that kids don't read because of electronics. I'm not convinced that's the reason. All I know is we need to help kids find the joy of discovery rather than focusing on the burden of performance.

Rock N Rollers

Skating is fast and fun at Rock N Rollers in Avon.
Today, we met up with a few friends in Avon for some good old roller skating. Rock N Rollers has both traditional skates and inline skates available to rent.

What makes it different is the vinyl floor, but don't be fooled, skates roll just as fast as a traditional wooden floor.

They also host a black light cosmic skate in the evenings. We went to a special holiday break afternoon skate. Three hours is a long time to roll in circles! But they also have arcade games and concessions.

To find out more, visit their website.

Review: The Secret World of Arrietty

Disney's take on the classic children's book The Borrowers is fresh and charming. As a sort of summer love, coming of age adventure, fourteen year-old Arrietty learns many tough lessons. Taught to fear humans, she discovers that not everyone is bent on her destruction. Bravery and love overcome differences to build a timeless friendship.

Wonderfully illustrated in Japanese anime style, the characters are both cartoon-ish and amazingly life-like. We watched the US version which uses different voice actors. I especially liked Carol Burnett's portrayal of the demented Haru.

The film is another family classic from the world leader in animation. With no foul language or graphic scenes, it's safe for even the little ones to watch. Some impatient teens may feel the plot moves too slow. Often though, the lack of resolved tension is enough to hold everyone's emotional interest. Subtle moments were not lost on my fifteen year-old son.

In the US version, Arrietty is voiced by Bridgit Mendler, who also sings the background song Summertime. Mendler is probably best known for her role as Teddy on the Disney show Good Luck Charlie. The copy we viewed included the official music video, which kept the diminutive proportions presented in the movie.

Watch trailers on the official movie site.