Monday, July 31, 2006

Conflicts & Cryonics

Cooking: Scrambled eggs on toast

Judah & Mohammad - Documentary following two teenage boys, one from Israel and the other from Palestine, as their personal development is shaped by the conflict that goes on around them. The film-makers had access to the boys' classrooms, where history lessons are as much about the present as past events

Death in the Deep Freeze: Stranger Than Fiction
A look at the science of cryonics, where the terminally ill are frozen so they might be cured in the future. The programme follows a cancer patient as she undergoes the procedure and examines the controversy surrounding it

Sunday, July 30, 2006

The Size of Our World

It has been a very lazy Sunday but we found these images interesting and decided to include them. DJ has been cooking again: GF Cheese & Tomato Pizzas as usual - they were lush though!

Friday, July 28, 2006

Our World

Sudan's Human Rights abuses - genocide in Darfur

Arms Trade
Lack of controls on the arms trade is fuelling conflict, poverty and human rights abuses worldwide. We learned about the Control Arms campaign, asking governments to toughen up controls on the arms trade and calling for an International Arms Trade Treaty.

Gg - Mapping Our World

Burma: Army of the Child God

Africa: Living with AIDS / HIV You Wake Me Up
Why women are more susceptible to HIV/AIDS - Dangerous Sexual Practices -Gender Inequalities - The Promiscuity of the Male Population - Women Taking Action - The Vicious Circle - The Financial Implications of HIV/AIDS - AIDS is a Global Issue

Comedy: My Hero & Little Britain

Cooking & Creativity: DJ tried to make a chocolate bar from scratch and invented his own recipe for a hot chocolate soya drink

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Food, laughter & rights


Austin Powers

DJ made 2 GF Cheese & Tomato Pizzas

Children's Rights

Factory farming and sustainability - the problems with factory farming and sustainable food.

DJ spend some more time working on his website, finding out how to include link buttons. We talked about animal rights and the ethics of using animals in medical research and about people with Prader-Willi syndrome's compulsion to eat constantly

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Victoria Park

We went to a 'Home-Education' picnic in Victoria Park - it's always great to meet other families who have decided to educate their children otherwise than at school. So it was a good opportunity to share our experiences and swap ideas and information.

When we came back we relaxed for a bit and then spent some time negotiating a Computer Usage Contract which is now written down and signed. The process involved discussing personal responsibility, health & safety, electricity & CO2 emissions, building trust in relationships and dealing with anger that arises from not getting what we want.

Later on JG came over for tea and we watched Laurel & Hardy Someone's Ailing (classic shorts 1928-1935). DJ read the Guardian's article on the current heatwave Boiled Alive,,1830075,00.html

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Buddhism & Nature

Visual Dharma - Pema Chodron - Thich Nhat Hanh - the 14th Dalai Lama - Richard Gere's Discovering Buddhism - FPMT a Documentary

Ostriches in the Race for Survival - the life of the ostrich and its survival strategy. Its ancestors ran with the dinosaurs - and the ostriches managed to survive and evolve ever since


A Company of Soldiers: Documentary filmed in Nov 2004, charting the lives of the soldiers in a US army company as they patrol an area in southern Baghdad. They are there to keep the peace but lives are at risk.

Monday, July 24, 2006

HI & Sc

We've been to Keynsham to an 'aspie mums' get together, which was really nice. DJ spend some time on the 'Save the Egg' game, a kind of follow up on the emperor penguins documentary we watched yesterday. It is really hot so we're going to chill out for a bit now - we plan to watch the follow documentaries later on

Mean Machines of War - The De Havilland Mosquito, a wooden aircraft used during WW2

The War of the World - The Descent of the West
Challenging the fall of the Berlin wall as the ultimate triumph for Western values; racial conflict in the last decades of the 20th century; possibility of a global war in the future

The Real Story of Apollo 11: Stranger Than Fiction
Examining how the 1st moon landing in 1969 almost ended in disaster as a result of primitive technology, human error and mechanical failure.

Current Affairs - Lebannon

Sunday, July 23, 2006


The March of the Penguins

An amazing documentary about the emperor penguins

Prehistoric Park - extinct species
Turning the clock back 65 million years to save the tyrannosaurus rex from a giant meteor. Also Triceratops horridus & Ornithomimus velox.

Tribe - Hamar
We learned about Ethiopia's Hamar people and their initiation rituals. A boy's coming-of-age is marked by them running across the backs of cattle while naked and smeared with dung. The accompanying ceremony for women involves them being voluntarily whipped

50 Greatest Comedy Schetches

YESTERDAY DJ spent the afternoon with his friend BS and the evening with the boys outside on the trampoline - a lot of playing, socialising and physical exercise.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Family Day

HI: Great British Commanders - Admiral Horatio Nelson,_1st_Viscount_Nelson

Comedy 1-My Hero: Footloose, with James Dreyfus; 2 - Little Britain with Matt Lucas, David Walliams and guest star Cat Deeley; 3 - The Friday Night Project

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Egypt & Head Transplants

ICT/Art - Computer Animation (including adding soundtrack) with SWiSHmax

HI: learning about Roman battles with Rome: Total War

Horizon - Tutankhamun's Fireball
Scientists try to unravel the mystery of how pieces of glass predating the ancient Egyptians managed to become buried in the Sahara Desert. They travel to the Great Sand Sea, collect evidence from the wastes of Siberia, wind up in the test site for the world's first atomic bomb in New Mexico, and soon uncover a strange theory involving a previously unknown natural phenomenon

The First Head Transplant: Stranger Than Fiction
Documentary exploring experiments carried out on the brain by scientists between 1950 and 1970, and highlighting the complexities of working with such a delicate organ. Plus, an insight into the careers of American and Russian researchers, revealing how Cold War politics influenced the way their investigations were conducted, and how their methods could still be relevant today

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Our World

YESTERDAY was too hot and the answer was to chill out as much as possible. DJ watched The 12 Tasks of Asterix, a cartoon adventure where Asterix the Gaul and Obelix perform a dozen feats set by Julius Caesar. He chatted and played online with his friend BS. Apart from that we had a light introduction to NVC or Non-Violent Communication.

TODAY we came across Journeyman Pictures' site, which is like an encyclopaedia of the world, and ended up watching 3 documentaries about Belarus, India and Iraq.

Belarus: Merchants of War - we learned how some believe Russia is using Belarus to sell weapons to 'rogue states' and that President Lukashenko keeps his grip on power using proceeds from the global arms trade.

'The Untouchables' - we learned that in India 80% of the population has no access to toilets and about the Untouchables traditional 'sewage collection' role.

How to stay alive in Iraq - we found out how Iraqis cope with the constant risk of attack by avoiding certain jobs, clothing or neighbourhoods.

Attitudes Towards Sex & Relationships
2 documentaries bringing up the issues of polygamy - arranged marriages - child rape - sexual fetishes: human sexuality and fantasies

ICT/EN - blogging non-sense

Monday, July 17, 2006

Virtual Cousins

DJ (UK) and GJ (Pt) are online playing Runescape together - he also had a chat on Windows Messenger with J (Pt).

Mindshock: Feral Children
Documentary examining cases of people who were raised by animals, focusing on a Ukrainian girl who grew up among dogs. We learned about child development and that empathy and language are thought to be the most important factors making us human. We also learned a bit about the development of language and the concept of nature versus nurture

Medicine's Strangest Cases - Rare Conditions
The stories of a nurse with a connective tissue disorder, causing her joints to become stiff and inflexible, and teenagers who can't smile and have no facial expression.


There has been such a leap in awareness in this last few days that I'm finding it hard to express its depth. I realised how important it is to connect with great people and I just can't believe how many amazing people there are out there.

Some links related to this week's learning

Buddhafield Festival - Day 5

We went to a workshop on Personal & Global Power facilitated by Dr Chris Johnstone

We also went to a Positive Comedy workshop with Gerry Thompson. It was a good laugh but also the chance to face ourselves during the improvisation exercises.

Eventually we decided to pack things up - with DJ helping and cooperating throughout the whole process! Then we chilled out for a while with J, before driving back home, and talked about all sorts

Buddhafield Festival - Day 4

Sat 15th July
Play, play and more play
Film: Duck Soup (1933) - Marx Brothers' greatest and funniest masterpiece is a classic comedy and a brilliant satire of dictatorial leaders, Fascism and authoritarian government.
Reading: The Pirates of Pompeii by Caroline Lawrence

Buddhafield Festival - Day 3

Fri 14th July
For DJ it was a day for playing and making new friends.
Later on, at night, time for more open air educational cinema. The themes today covered the Iraq War, asylum seekers, the environment, personal freedom and state control, animal rights and forgiveness/revenge.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Buddhafield Festival - Day 2

Thu 13th July
Reading in the tent until quite late: DJ read War Horse by Michael Morpurgo, a book about the First World War, in one go. Eventually he decided to get out of the tent, had a cheese & mushroom crepe and went to the kids area - where he had the chance to practice conflict resolution and communication skills with a member of the crew. One thing I liked about the festival was seeing Education Otherwise & Free Range Kids representatives at the festival.

Buddhafield Festival - Day 1

Wed 12th July
Our first day at Buddhafield: unloading, putting the tent up, checking the site, etc. So much great stuff on offer! The kids area was really nice, with swings, climbing nets, trampolins, youth theatre, circus workshops, art & crafts, drumming, etc
At night DJ loved the outdoor cinema, especially watching South Park's episodes on carbon emissions / environment / smugness and on freedom of speech and religious sensitivity
DJ still found time to finish reading Horrible Science: Blood Bones and Body Bits by Nick Arnold and to start reading Murderous Maths: Desperate Measures - Length, Area and Volume by Kjartan Poskitt

Tuesday, July 11, 2006


We spent the day with an old friend near Wellington (Somerset/Devon border).
It was great to catch up and enjoy each other's company. For DJ there were lots of opportunities for interaction, dialogue, humour and trampolining.

Monday, July 10, 2006

Hi Sc

Mean Machines of War - Apache
History of the Apache helicopter, from its development in the 70s to its role in the 1st Gulf War. How maintenance crews keep them functioning in the desert. New 1997 version identifying specific targets on the battlefield

The War of the World - A Tainted Triumph

The last years of WW2 - ethical compromises the Allied nations were forced to make to defeat their German and Japanese enemies - the long-term consequences for the victors

Mindshock: Sex on the Brain
The story of a man who suffered a head injury that left him with no sexual inhibitions. Exploring how the human brain is, under normal circumstances, able to repress and control animal instinct.

Medicine's Strangest Cases - Extraordinary Bodies
The stories of a girl who doesn't feel pain, a boy whose hand has grown uncontrollably and a woman with one leg half the length of the other

Sunday, July 09, 2006


EN / ICT - blogging: 'Patch This!'
Helping out: DJ took the rubbish downstairs :-D
Friendships: DJ went to Fls yesterday and today JG came over for lunch (DJ tried squash and ate celeriac, green beans and suede mash!) and J came over in the afternoon for a chat
Communication (taking turns - dialogue): random words; famous people

Friday, July 07, 2006

Sc Hi ICT Gg Re PE

Horizon - The Hawking Paradox
Examining Stephen Hawking's most controversial theory and possibly his greatest mistake - the information paradox.
Key words: Black Hole research - Breakdown of predictability

DJ's thoughts:
"1) If black holes disappeared then, when they do the very point in the centre of it, it would create a new universe behind it.
2) What if all the particles that could be smudged in the event horizon would be pulled into the centre of the black hole when it was about to collapse into itself and disappear... then, when the black hole is really small, then the particles might burst free and float around the universe..."

Great Victorian Achievements
DJ: "Women's rights, discovery of electrons, antiseptic surgery, post stamps, great ships (Brunnel)..."

Victorian Women's Rights
How women's rights evolved through the Victorian age.


Can you match the poop with the poopetrator? Palaeontologists sometimes find fossilised faeces called coprolites. Matching coprolites with the ancient animal most likely to have created it.

The Evolution game - You're a small primate in the Eocene forests of 50 million years ago, but the world is changing.

Caveman challenge game - Complete 7 evolutionary challenges, each allowing you to move along the evolutionary scale from ape to man. Key words: food - tools - fire - hunting - language - imagination - cave art

ICT/Art - Computer Animation with SWiSHmax

HI: Great British Commanders - Marlborough
Profile of John Churchill, the first Duke of Marlborough, who deserted James II to support Dutch prince William of Orange but was later accused of plotting to restore James to the throne

Gg: Investigating possible long-term effects of water shortages in Britain: if current weather patterns continue, changes may be needed to conserve supplies, affecting the way we lead our daily lives

DJ: "A way to save water when going to the toilet: if it's yellow let it mellow, if it's brown flush it down. The water companies should do their best to save water or be sacked by the government. People should only use the washing machine when it's full, no matter what, even if they have to walk around naked, and they should keep the tap off when not using it."

Cooking - Triple Chocolate Cookies

EN/ICT: Blogging

RE: Buddhism - listening to talks and discussion (developing communication skills) e.g. the idea that there is no such thing as a creator God, cause & effect, kindness, mind and so on

PE: rolls & back rolls, push ups, jumping, running and moving around

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Neanderthals & Victorians

Horizon - Neanderthal
The earliest Neanderthals had lived in Europe about 200,000 years ago. But then, about 30,000 years ago, they disappeared... when the first modern humans appear in Europe. Was Neanderthal really the brutish ape-man of legend? And how exactly had he been driven to extinction?

A History of Britain - Victoria
Not just about Queen Victoria but also about other great women like Annie Besant, Elizabeth Gaskell and her novel Mary Barton, Mary Seacole and the sufragette pioneers


Computer animation with SWiSHmax

Building a website
Adding screenshots

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

Website & Animations

ICT - DJ is busy building a website - now isn't that great? ;-D
Under construction:

ICT/Art - SWiSHmax computer animation
DJ downloaded the trial and is having another go at it

RE - The Convent
How our patience is tested when we face other's self-centred behaviour and complaints.

Art - Drawing

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

ICT, Sc, RE & H&S


Horrible Science
Blood, Bones
and Body Bits

Nick Arnold

Up to page 94: Intro - Bits of body - Sweaty skin - Horrible hair and nasty nails - Sensational senses - The baffling brain - Bones and groans - Disgusting digestion

ICT: Online Security on Runescape
How to choose and keep your passwords protected plus other tips

Health & Safety
DJ: "I protected the house from lightning by unplugging everything electric as the storm raged very close. This was a very good idea as my friend JG's house was struck by lightning and now his phone is not working and his TV barely works."

DJ also read an NPL (National Physical Laboratory) electricity poster. DJ: "Did you know that just 0.1A is lethal? And that the currents in nerve impulses in the body are: 0.000 000 010A?"

RE: Buddhist meditation
We discussed where happiness comes from: the mind, people and material objects or both. We talked about attachment and how we often over-estimate the qualities that the objects we like and the people we love really have e.g. we expect them to constantly make us happy.

Helping Friends: FKE came over and use DJ's PC to revise for his math's tests tomorrow. He told us about, where you can build your website.

China - Freedom and Justice
Exploring how the government intervenes in people's lives e.g. religious freedom (including the situation in Tibet) and the lack of justice by corrupt officials allowed by the Communist Party. DJ: "The Chinese people should make a deal with a President or Prime Minister of another country to help them rebel and then they should get rid of all the bad leader and officials."

Monday, July 03, 2006

Sc & Hi

Horizon - The Day We Learned to Think
How the discovery of a piece of ochre appearing to be a work of abstract art in a South African cave caused scientists to 1) wonder whether the development of complex thinking happened earlier than previously thought and to rethink the origins of humanity.

DJ: "The theories might be wrong. Humans may have been able to think from the very beginning. Animals sometimes look puzzled, and you can actually train a dog to understand, though it wouldn't speak"

Cooking: GF Chocolate Crunch - Yummy!

PE: push ups, jumping & running

Mean Machines of War - The Tank
The history of tanks, from their origins in WW1 to breakthroughs in the material used as armour during the Cold War
DJ: "The British rule! We may have had bad tanks in the beginning but then we made the best tank in the world - the Challenger II (which means we are late developers). The Challenger II was used in Iraq (Bazra). It could take unlimited shots from grenades and explosives and anti-tank guns only made it shake a bit but did no damage and tank crew was safe. It also had a revolutionary target system and it could destroy 8 tanks in 40 seconds"

The War of the World - Killing Space
Examining the ideas of a new world order based on racism and fear e.g. the Germans trying to exterminate the Poles and the Jews & the Japanese perceiving the Chinese as worse than animals.

Mindshock: Sleepwalk Terrors
Examining cases of people who have committed serious crimes like murder and rape, while sleepwalking. Can people in these situations be held responsible for their actions? What do they reveal about the human subconscious and the possibility of controlling it?

Sunday, July 02, 2006

Friends & Family

Friends: playing Runescape with BS

Family: Dad came over to spend some time with DJ

The Somme: From Defeat to Victory
We watched this drama-documentary shown to mark the 90th anniversary of the battle. We learned how the massive cost in lives forced changes in military strategy, e.g. new styles of leadership and the 1st tanks on the battlefield

Reading / ICT: PCs for Dummies by Dan Gookin

Today there was a HE article in the Sunday Times - it can be found online at,,2099-2240330_1,00.html

Saturday, July 01, 2006

WW1 & Battle of Somme

World War 1 in Colour
Victory and Despair
1918 and the Aftermath

DJ watched most of this rare archive footage, retouched and remastered to capture the life of World War One soldiers.

Battle of the Somme: The True Story
He also watched part of this documentary about one of the bloodiest battles in history, captured on film 90 years ago.

EN/ITC - Blogging

Cooking - GF Cheese & Tuna Pizza - which DJ ate while watching part of The First Emperor, a documentary we had watched before about the history of Qin Shi Huang Di. DJ still remembered the Emperor's tomb, with its terracotta soldiers and rivers of mercury. He can relate to all this because of his Dinasty Warriors games...

Reading - poems from the Kingfisher Book of Comic Verse chosen by Roger McGough