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View Full Version : Goodbye, Mr. Wizard



Maksutov
2007-Jun-13, 04:18 AM
Don Herbert has died at 89. (http://www.cnn.com/2007/SHOWBIZ/Music/06/12/obit.mr.wizard.ap/index.html?eref=rss_topstories)

Watched the show whenever I could. I wonder how old the two kids are now.

01101001
2007-Jun-13, 05:34 AM
Memories? Name your favorite Mr. Wizard demo.

Mine would be the mousetrap and ping-pong ball emulation of a nuclear reaction. A big closed transparent box full of mousetraps, set in the dangerous position, each with a couple of ping-pong balls loosely attached. Mr. Wizard dropped one ball through a small hole, and it tripped a trap, flinging two more balls into action, and they tripped a couple more traps, and quickly the box was full of flying ping-pong balls. Cool.

Gillianren
2007-Jun-13, 06:34 AM
I am all sad now! Why isn't this on DVD yet? For the love of Gods, you can get all sorts of hideous things on DVD, but not Mr. Wizard, not Square One TV, not Reading Rainbow. What's that all about?

My favorite moment . . . .

Peristalsis. That's a cool moment.

jrkeller
2007-Jun-13, 12:47 PM
Mine would be the mousetrap and ping-pong ball emulation of a nuclear reaction. A big closed transparent box full of mousetraps, set in the dangerous position, each with a couple of ping-pong balls loosely attached. Mr. Wizard dropped one ball through a small hole, and it tripped a trap, flinging two more balls into action, and they tripped a couple more traps, and quickly the box was full of flying ping-pong balls. Cool.

That was a good one.

Youtube has a few clips.

farmerjumperdon
2007-Jun-13, 12:51 PM
I wonder if he was the inspiration for Mr. Wizard and Tutor Turtle?

NASA Fan
2007-Jun-13, 01:08 PM
I am all sad now! Why isn't this on DVD yet? For the love of Gods, you can get all sorts of hideous things on DVD, but not Mr. Wizard, not Square One TV, not Reading Rainbow. What's that all about?

.

I actually saw Reading Rainbow on DVD at Fry's electronics the other day.

I only remember watching the occational episode of Mr. Wizard. The clip I found cool, and a fun (nerdy) "party" trick is how to cut a hole in a normal sheet of paper that is big enough for an adult to step through.

I just did a quick Google search, and found that you can get Mr. Wizard's world on DVD

http://www.mrwizardstudios.com/mrwizardsworld_mainpage.htm/

(Edited to add info about web-site)

Tinaa
2007-Jun-13, 01:14 PM
link doesn't work

why06
2007-Jun-13, 01:15 PM
I saw this on the blog. Who exactly is Mr. Wizard? and when did his show exist? I have never seen it...

SeanF
2007-Jun-13, 01:27 PM
link doesn't work
Corrected link (http://www.mrwizardstudios.com/mrwizardsworld_mainpage.htm) for Tinaa. :)

MrClean
2007-Jun-13, 01:57 PM
Crepe paper hot air balloons, made a couple though you can cheat and use laundromat bags for instant gratification. Been a while since I saw the ole guy puttering around, but will miss knowning he's not out there. Hey, science is for nerds anyways, what's Paris up to today.

Remember in the 60's when we needed a bunch of math and science minded children to go to the stars? Mr Wizard was a step in that direction making science fun and easy. Now, we just need a bunch of hungry little consumers to buy Music and Media telling us how terrible the world is, how you can never get ahead and even if you do it's all going to end tomorrow, well, day after anyways, tomorrow is when my NEXT rap CD is coming out and could you pre-order that on amazon?

Ok, rant off.

Godspeed Mr Wizard, you'll be missed.

01101001
2007-Jun-13, 01:57 PM
I saw this on the blog. Who exactly is Mr. Wizard? and when did his show exist? I have never seen it...

Wikipedia: Watch Mr. Wizard (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Watch_Mr._Wizard)

Matherly
2007-Jun-13, 02:29 PM
Never saw "Watch Mr. Wizard"

However, "Mr. Wizard's World" in the 80s pretty much gave me my foundation in physics and chemistry.

"Most Memerable Moments" for me were:

* The previously mentioned Ping-Pong Chain Reaction

* The previously mentioned "cutting a hole you can step through"

* Trying to fold paper 8 times

* Paper Mobeous (sp?) Strip

* Powder that kept the surface tension of water from breaking. Mr. Wizard sprinkled the powder into an aquarium of water and stuck his hand in. When he pulled it out, it was completely dry and covered in the powder

* Dry Ice Fog

Swift
2007-Jun-13, 03:16 PM
I have to admit I have only vague memories of the show, but I'm sorry to see him pass.

LurchGS
2007-Jun-13, 04:23 PM
oddly enough, my favorite experiment was one that failed on live tv. Using a glass jar (I don't know the real name of the fixture - it's a round bulb with a 8-10 inch neck - see them all the time in mad chemist setups) to hammer a nail. The idea is, fill the thing with water and the glass won't break when you smack the nail.

It failed, catastrophically. Glass shattered and there was water everywhere.

I've gotta find those DVDs. Not that I'm gonna let my kids see 'em. They're dangerous enough as it is. I'm gonna give them to my niece and nephew. Muahahah they live 2000 miles away, so I'm safe!

Note- I couldn't get the new, edited link to work either - but this should: http://www.mrwizardstudios.com/store.htm

Trebuchet
2007-Jun-13, 07:12 PM
I never got to see Mr. Wizard as a kid -- the local station (it was a big deal when we got a second one!) didn't carry him. Missed out on other 50's classics such as Leave it to Beaver for the same reason.

Mr. Wizard was one I'd really have liked to see. I was a science nerd for as long as I can remember. I think I'll have to look for those DVD's.

I think that round glass flask is called a "boiling flask". (That's from my chemistry set days!) Seems like it would be pretty critical to have it absoulutely full of water and tightly stoppered, as well as making sure there's not a scratch on the surface.

Charlie in Dayton
2007-Jun-13, 07:14 PM
I remember Mr Wizard from my daze as a child...it was always fascinating.

Blew me away when he popped up on Letterman one night, and I'll never forget them setting a bowl of cereal on fire...

They prepped a bowl of Frosted Flakes (IIRC), plenty of milk and sugar. Then Mr Wizard handed a small bottle to Dave, instructing him (in a very serious tone of voice) to pour it on one drop at a time, and IMMEDIATELY move back when Dave saw smoke.

...drip...drip...drip...smoke starts curling up, Dave steps well back, camera pulls back from closeup to wide shot...

KA-WHOOM! Oxidizing agent does its thing on the carbon (aka sugar) liberally distributed throughout bowl -- ten feet of white fire stabs to the ceiling of the studio for about five seconds or so.

Letterman is appropriately wide-eyed and exclamatory.

Audience goes b*tsh*t.

Hell of a demo, if I do say so myself.

Fare thee well, Mr Wizard. We shall not forget...

Gillianren
2007-Jun-13, 07:45 PM
See, yeah--those DVDs are four episodes per, $17.95 a volume. The Reading Rainbow is more expensive and, I think, has fewer episodes. But you can get all the Walker, Texas Ranger and Full House you can stomach.

Sorry; now is not the time for my DVD injustice rant. Now is the time to honour a man who did more for science education than practically anyone I can name. Sure, Carl Sagan inspired. But Mr. Wizard brought it home.

Tucson_Tim
2007-Jun-13, 08:51 PM
Kiazi's children, their faces wet.

Maksutov
2007-Jun-15, 05:29 AM
Kiazi's children, their faces wet.Darmok was on Mr. Wizard? That must have been some conversation!

One of the experiments, IIRC, I liked the most was using paper and a ruler to demonstrate air pressure. Very effective way to show that something that can't be seen can have quite an impact.

Tucson_Tim
2007-Jun-15, 05:31 AM
Darmok was on Mr. Wizard? That must have been some conversation!


Sokath, his eyes uncovered!

01101001
2007-Jun-15, 06:11 PM
One of the experiments, IIRC, I liked the most was using paper and a ruler to demonstrate air pressure. Very effective way to show that something that can't be seen can have quite an impact.

Oh, yeah. I remember that one. I reproduced it in front of an older brother and sister -- winning a candy bar bet. Thanks, Mr. Wizard!

(Spread out single sheet of newspaper on a table. Slide wooden ruler, meter stick, or similar, under newspaper, leaving portion cantilevered off table. Whack exposed ruler firmly. You might expect opposite end of ruler to simply raise the newspaper. Instead, wood is broken off cleanly at table edge, as if a great weight were perched atop the newspaper -- because a great weight of air is. Like magic.)

Noclevername
2007-Jun-16, 10:37 PM
We desperately need another show like this. In fact, put it on Prime Time, maybe it'll help make some adults less ignorant too.

danscope
2007-Jun-18, 02:48 AM
Hi, I was lucky to have access to Don Hebert as "Mr. Wizard" .
Show was on Saturday ....after the cartoons. Smart timing. Smart show.
He asked questions. Let you think. He actually expected you to be smart enough to follow what was happening. He made it feel natural. And it "WAS"
fun. Always. He talked about everyday things. He Let the kids on the show do stuff. The man was a born teacher. One of my favourites.
One experiment I remember early on was the old "Suck the hard boiled egg
into the bottle" Trick. There were so many good ones. How about the "Majic Writing" with the lemon juice on the paper? Invisible ink. This trick went back to the American revolution and our first spies ! :)
But always, it was his style, and his great attitude. He made you feel like
"You can do this" !!!!!!!! He still does. We shall always remember "Mr. Wizard".
Best regards, Dan