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  • NOVA: Mystery of the Senses
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NOVA: Mystery of the Senses


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5-Disc Version

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Product Details

  • Actors: Nova
  • Directors: Nova
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Box set, Closed-captioned, Color, NTSC
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.33:1
  • Number of discs: 5
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: PBS
  • DVD Release Date: January 9, 2007
  • Run Time: 276 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B000JJ5F6G
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #330,488 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Special Features

None.

Editorial Reviews

Enjoy a celebration of the senses. Hearing visits the quietest place on earth, the music-rich Maori and a deaf woman regaining her hearing. Smell samples a huge spectrum of smells, from the world's largest perfumery to sweaty t-shirts. Taste savors the miracle of great cooking and eating. Touch discovers that touching is a potent tonic. And Vision explores how art and science enhance our most magical sense.

Customer Reviews

3.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Sam B on February 23, 2010
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
Oh dear, this was such a disappointment. Diana Ackerman spends too much time in pointless shots (looking a river; admiring her own photos from childhood) and has produced a NOVA series that seriously misses the mark. Too little science, too much irrelevant material. While one can certainly connect art and human experience with scientific knowledge about how the brain works, this series didn't do so successfully. If you were hoping to reveal the wonder of the senses for your students, do not buy this series. Unfortunately, I ordered it through an affiliated store with Amazon and they won't answer my queries about whether/how I can return it.
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful By RS on January 23, 2008
Format: DVD
This series was a disappointment. The narrator, Diane Ackerman, apparently an author in her own right, gives a disjointed, rambling discussion of the five senses, with bits of science (interviews with actual research scientists, which Ackerman is not) joined to rather arbitrary examples of how the senses are involved in various cultural activities. Ackerman's examples are often a bit of a stretch, and her monologues are full of distractingly florid language. Kind of a New Age/postmodern pseudo-anthropological view of what science knows so far about the senses. I believe that Ackerman was trying to convey sensuality in her delivery, but I found myself increasingly annoyed by her throaty-yet-girlish voice, heavy make-up, and grating self-involvement. There was too much of her and not enough science. There are far better Nova series out there, and I'm sure that there are better programs about the five senses. I don't recommend this series.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful By J. Martin on May 25, 2001
Format: VHS Tape
For anyone who has ever wondered how the five human senses works, this is the tape to purchase! This film of the flagship series NOVA introduces a wealth of knowledge on seeing, hearing, feeling, taste, and smell. Anyone who has seen anything educational program from the NOVA series, now on PBS across the nation, knows the quality of their documentaries. This tape is no exception. This film is highly recommended to anyone who is interested in exploring these five basic functions of the body, taken for granted everyday. A real winner, this video will not disappoint!
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Ms. Teacher on November 13, 2010
Format: DVD
I couldn't agree more with the other reviewers that a lot of time is wasted by the narrator on fluff (who wants to see her dancing or buying candy for 5 minutes). But...I can't find a better dvd/film that covers the senses. I use only the parts of each dvd that are pertinent.
The series brings home the point that most of what we sense is in our brains, and when the brain (spinal/nervous system) is injured you can lose the function, even though everything else is working. Liked the first person stories and graphics that clarified functions. Simply put, the students would much rather watch a film than read their book or listen to the teacher. I did little experiments in class to follow up.
For the taste and smell senses I gave each student a few Hershey's chocolate and butterscotch drops (the little ones you buy in a bag to make cookies). They couldn't tell the difference when they held their nose while eating them and loved eating candy as an experiment (be sure to check for allergies, like peanut, among your students first). For the vision we looked through prisms and concave and convex lenses that I purchased at our local Lakeshore store, a teacher supply store. Also turned the lights in the room on and off to watch our pupil size change and looked through magnifying glasses to make things larger then turn everything upside down. Simple experiments, yes, but effective when they followed the dvd explaining what happens and why, and we later reviewed the concepts in writing and drawing.
PS - Save yourself some money and buy the dvd that has all 5 senses on it.
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