Holiday Shopping Guide: Inspirational DVDs
Some of my favorite gifts over the years have been the educational ones. The holidays give us much needed down time. It's the perfect excuse to picking up a new skill such as cooking, taking a journey of our planet with Oprah Winfrey, or exploring the history of our solar system. Here are the top new releases this season for some truly inspirational gifts.
Cooking From A to Zest
While we love to watch cooking classes on Food Network as much as the next person, we can't remember one instance of actually going off and baking that 7-layer meringue cake. Finally, a box-set that takes cooking from entertainment to instructional. The perfect present for the newlyweds or college grad on your shopping list, "Cooking From A to Zest" ($59.99) covers the basics and beyond. Your lucky gift recipient will perfect their knife skills and build an arsenal of sauce recipes. Here's hoping you'll be on the receiving end of a great meal well past the holidays.
Filmed over four years across every continent, "Life" ($69.98 on Blu-ray), narrated by Oprah Winfrey is a jaw-dropping portrait of plant and animal life, showcasing the seemingly simple but incredibly bewildering tactics species use to survive. Follow a tree frog the size of a thumbnail thousands of feet up a tree in the Amazon to deposit and protect its new tadpoles. Get inside the mouths of dueling hippos and witness a pack of flying cheetahs prey on an equally powerful ostrich. Witness dolphins feeding by creating sand circles in the ocean floor to trick fish into leaping into their mouths. Led all along by Winfrey's commanding voice, "Life" takes you to places you never thought possible of film. An essential gift for anyone interested in the living species we share our planet with. Available in Blu-ray and DVD.
Wonders of the Solar System
Just as privileged as we are to look into the deepest corners of our planet, "Wonders of the Solar System" ($34.98 on Blu-ray) brings us up close and personal with the wonders in they sky. Taking a journey with the esteemed and personal physicist Brian Cox, "Wonders" explores the intricate connections between our own planet and outer space. With stunning images from a fleet of probes, Cox takes us on a special journey into understanding how the history of our planet was formed, and how the universe around us is evolving around us. This holiday season, it's a much better gift than a telescope and promises many greater returns.