Sunday, December 7, 2014

Gift Ideas for 2014

Solstice/Holiday Gift Ideas for December, 2014


New Stuff for Parents/kids:

The new Cosmos:   (great for everyone in the family, with enough different material that the new and classic Cosmos series are great together)  

Mira & the Big Story:This is a really cool story showing how the Universe Story can bridge differences between groups, told in a fun and inviting way - written for kids under 10 years old. 

You’ll never see a Birthday Party the same again!  A fun way to connect us to the rest of the Universe, now in hard copy - Elemental Birthdays   (This is by Heather and I)

 The Universe Story Comic Book, in verse!


New Stuff for the Adults & Teens

 A fascinating tour of our DNA: The Violinist's Thumb, by Sam Kean  (also can be found on audio)

Taking that same story told by our bodies a few steps earlier - The Universe Within, by Neal Shubin    (this is the only book in this guide I have not yet read.  I greatly enjoyed Shubin’s earlier book, and this looks very good as well.)  This also can be found on audio)

Here is a sacred way of seeing our Universe - The Holy Universe, by David Christopher

Big History Resource:  Now the popular Crash Course youtube series has produced a fun Crash Course on the Universe Story/Big History in 8 short videos.  



Carl Sagan’s Cosmos (available on DVD) Carl Sagan's Cosmos is my #1 recommendation to families for giving children the priceless gift of our Universe, which they will carry with them into adulthood.  

For younger kids, the need for evidence is shown by: ”Scooby-Doo, Where Are You!: The Complete First and Second Seasons (1969)”. 

Essential Books for all Families:
For the youngest kids, aged 3 to 6, “Our Family Tree” by Lisa Peters is a great introduction to how we got here.  Next, for ages 5 to 10, is the “Born with a Bang” trilogy by Jennifer Morgan.  After that the child can read on their own, so Richard Dawkins book, “The Magic of Reality” is a good choice.  Here are pictures for all three:

Timespirals: A way to show many wonderful ideas, including our Deep Time past, our place in our Ancestry, etc.  

Earth and Sky Calendar:, another way to bring our Great Story to your daily life, updated for 2015.

DNA Kit & Pop Bead DNA (about the same cost, more versatile:   with a description of how to use them at the Epic of Evolution)

The BBC “Walking with” series is also excellent – especially “Monsters”, “Cavemen”, and “Beasts”.
The Great Story Site has a very useful collection of resources for parents and educators  & additional books are at Evolution for Kids


The Ancestors Tale by Richard Dawkins  

The Big History Series on the History Channel is a cool overview of how we got here:

Happy Holidays!

Jon Cleland Host

1 comment:

  1. Yes, dear, an eternal Hell exists... just as Seventh-Heaven exists after we croak. Guess whose decision it is?? YOURS! YOU decide which one YOU wanna enter by YOUR wee, wee lifetime. Dunno why they refuse to teach ya in school... yet, dats da fak, Jak.

    How can God sentence some of U.S. to an eternity of torment? Silly, He doesn't. WE do. We tok, tok, tok on our devices. We never lissen. We're tooo concerned withe whorizontal: cars, clothes, cash, condumbs, calumny, contempt as we co-exist within a coffin. Precisely how we condemn ourselves.

    Yes, I realize this breaks YOU outta YOUR bubble of lies WE have so enveloped ourselves in; however, just know, dear, I myself had togo through an extraordinarily tuff experience after my accident, so dont think Im telling you hypocrisy.

    Choose now whom you're gonna serve and you wanna follow: the finite world which endsNhell -or- Jesus which endsNeternity Upstairs. Decide NOW.