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My Christmas Gift to you all

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  • DJ Jackalope
    replied
    Re: My Christmas Gift to you all

    I grew up in total hick country with party phone lines (we shared our phone line with 4 other houses) and were pretty much lucky to even have network tv. I never had cable and I'm not even sure there's cable where I grew up now. Thus... I have never seen an episode of Mr Wizard ever. :/

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  • Greyhatter
    replied
    Re: My Christmas Gift to you all

    When you get more of those Deviant please share them, they’re great!

    One of my favorite physics demo somewhat like the “paper hole” was “what a wormhole theoretically would be like.” Can’t find a video demo of this anywhere but here goes:

    Take a piece of paper and put two dots on the edge of the short ends in the center. Now ask someone “what is the fastest way to get from one dot to the other and to connect them?” Of course they should draw that line. At that point ask if they are sure that’s the fastest way to connect the two dots but then you say “well I think I can do better.” To prove it you simply fold the paper in half connecting one dot on top of the other. Hence a fold in space and time kinda’ like a wormhole in space. I know Z^2 will be along shortly.:~)

    Science is fun.

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  • burncycle
    replied
    Re: My Christmas Gift to you all

    Being that everyone else has basically said everything that I would have said. I'll just leave you with an "I loved that show SO much as a kid!" and bid you good day.

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  • xor
    replied
    Re: My Christmas Gift to you all

    My manners.....my mom would be rolling over in her grave. Happy Thanksgiving To D.O and the rest as well as well as thanks and Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and Happy New Year,

    xor

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  • Deviant Ollam
    replied
    Re: My Christmas Gift to you all

    The wikipedia entry here can tell you more in detail, but to summarize i'll just say that Don Herbert was a remarkable man who valued education in the field of science, particularly as far as young people are concerned.

    An actor whose career was interrupted by World War II (He was Army and later Army Air Force), Herbert worked in radio out of Chicago during the postwar years, mostly on educational programs. He approached network executives with the proposal that the new, emerging medium of television could be used to educate children about science in fun and engaging ways. Thus was born his first show, the long-running Watch Mr. Wizard of the 1950s.

    To quote the wiki page directly, "The experiments, many of which seemed impossible at first glance, were usually simple enough to be re-created by viewers." That is really key to understanding the genius of this style of program. Most of Don Herbert's material was what could be called "Supermarket Science"

    While the original Watch Mr. Wizard program may be available in some form somewhere, i never got to see it myself. In the 1980s, Mr. Wizard's World was shown on the emerging Nickelodeon network and was formatted as a faster-paced adaptation of Herbert's original concept.

    As before, talented youths (who often were clearly not the cool kids in school) assisted Mr. Wizard with the tasks at hand. Always stressed was the value of critical thinking and the joy of fascination in exploration.

    I've cropped out a few short clips from the videos i've downloaded thus far. I've reduced them in size and quality a little bit in order to make them download faster for you. They're XviD MPEG-4 clips and i think they'll really help give you an understanding of the program if you're interested...
    Boil Water With an Ice Cube
    A wonderful experiment in which Mr. Wizard uses changes in pressure to enable his assistant to make water boil while using just an ice cube to trigger the effect. In addition to demonstrating scientific principles, this was wonderful encouragement to children watching at home to think outside the box.

    Inside a Computer
    Mr. Wizard takes apart an Atari computer (which was pretty modern equipment back then) to show his assistant the fun and value of exploring "beneath the hood" so to speak whenever you get your hands on new technologies. He even takes apart a joy stick to explain how that works and let his assistant attempt to play a computer game in a new, unconventional way.

    Jumping Through Paper
    Perhaps my favorite example that i can recall of critical thinking on Mr. Wizard's World, a young assistant is asked a series of leading questions in order for her to realize just how to make the most of the resources she is given and allow her to solve a problem that at first glance seemed impossible. This was the first thing I attempted to re-create after watching an episode of the show when I was about 5 or 6 years old. My parents were thrilled when I showed the results to them, and encouraged me ever since to continue learning and thinking laterally.
    Last edited by Deviant Ollam; November 26, 2008, 00:36.

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  • Greyhatter
    replied
    Re: My Christmas Gift to you all

    Originally posted by Deviant Ollam View Post
    How many of you grew up with this program? I'm guessing it was a lot of you, given that this was Nickelodeon's #3 show during much of it's long run through the 1980s.
    Nope just missed this one Deviant (age) and Merry Christmas back. I had to learn later in life because we had no cable TV, and proud to say no cable still in my adult life (it's a anti-Turner thing). I grew up mostly on the 60-70's TV stuff. If these Nick shows are as good as the stuff I'm just now fetching from You Tube, Captain Kangeroo, HR Puffinstuff, Schoolhouse Rock, Speedracer, then I'd like to download them too.
    Last edited by Greyhatter; November 25, 2008, 22:10.

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  • xor
    replied
    Re: My Christmas Gift to you all

    Pre-Nickelodeon TV myself. I remember Gene London and The Wee Willie Weber show. Though oddly enough I'm familiar with the expression Mr. Wizard. Even though I've never seen the show.

    xor

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  • DaKahuna
    replied
    Re: My Christmas Gift to you all

    Dude I was in my 30's in the 1980's. I don't even remember my kids watching this show.
    But I certainly will watch with interest if the opportunity presents itself.

    Leave a comment:


  • Fire_Walker
    replied
    Re: My Christmas Gift to you all

    I loved that show!

    And on the topic of the host not being able to be aired today due to the kids being involved. I just think how sad it is that people are not allowed to first hand. I know from personal experience how people look down on you for letting your children explorer. My son asked what some would do if he did something to it. Knowing the outcome would be something minor (I can't remember what he asked but the outcome would of been like a shock or something small). So I told him to try it. He got the shock or whatever. He was more frightened then hurt and after running away he came back and we got to talk about why that happened. A parent pulled me aside and told me they were appalled that I would endanger my child like that. I laughed and walked away. I feel sorry for the generations growing up that has to just believe what happens and doesn't get to truly learn.

    Leave a comment:


  • Deviant Ollam
    started a topic My Christmas Gift to you all

    My Christmas Gift to you all

    (This may skirt the line a bit, given how we're talking a little bit about intellectual property here. However, since it's educational material captured from the Science Channel, concerning a program they no longer run featuring a man who is no longer alive, maybe historical interest outweighs those concerns. I'll let the mods decide)

    This may be a bit pre-mature, since i haven't finished the download yet, but i've struck gold on the internets. And, if things complete and look good, i'll be in possession of something like 20 to 30 episodes of the wonderfully popular Nickelodeon TV show Mr. Wizard's World


    How many of you grew up with this program? I'm guessing it was a lot of you, given that this was Nickelodeon's #3 show during much of it's long run through the 1980s. I know that it had a dramatic effect on my life and was surely a factor that contributed strongly to my interest in science, critical thinking, and do-it-yourself experimentation.

    Sadly, Don Herbert passed away in the summer of last year. (Although i did have the amazing privilege of corresponding with him briefly before his death) But his wonderful legacy lives on, through the eyes of every child (and grown-up) delighted to see the principles of science illustrated through straightforward, easy-to-understand experiments.

    About three years ago, The Science Channel used to air selections from the 70-some episodes of Mr. Wizard's World that were produced for Nickelodeon. Someone must have captured them and archived them away. After ages of searching with no luck, i finally came across Mr. Wizard episodes and feel like i've found gold at the end of a rainbow.

    If you, too, cherish and remember the time when Nickelodeon wasn't a network about talking down to kids and pimping consumer wares but instead was about teaching children that they were smart, capable, and unique... then get in touch with me and we'll see about sharing this magnificent piece of history. Perhaps you know someone for whom this would make a great Christmas gift.

    Heh... can you imagine if a TV show host today attempted to conduct an experiment with a bowl of liquid nitrogen on a counter top in front of a youngster wearing nothing but safety glasses? He'd be condemned by parents' groups or sued and kicked off the air. Let these programs be a reminder of an older, better age... when kids weren't treated as precious snowflakes and the nanny state didn't do everything for us... but, rather, we were expected to pay attention, participate, learn, and become effective parts of society.
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