Thursday, June 14, 2007

Mr. Wizard Dies

TV's 'Mr. Wizard' Don Herbert Dies at 89

LOS ANGELES - Don Herbert, who as television's "Mr. Wizard" introduced generations of young viewers to the joys of science, died Tuesday. He was 89. Herbert, who had bone cancer, died at his suburban Bell Canyon home, said his son-in-law, Tom Nikosey.

"He really taught kids how to use the thinking skills of a scientist," said former colleague Steve Jacobs. He worked with Herbert on a 1980s show that echoed the original 1950s "Watch Mr. Wizard" series, which became a fond baby boomer memory.

In "Watch Mr. Wizard," which was produced from 1951 to 1964 and received a Peabody Award in 1954, Herbert turned TV into an entertaining classroom. On a simple, workshop-like set, he demonstrated experiments using household items.

"He modeled how to predict and measure and analyze. ... The show today might seem slow but it was in-depth and forced you to think along," Jacobs said. "You were learning about the forces of nature."

Herbert encouraged children to duplicate experiments at home, said Jacobs, who recounted serving as a behind-the-scenes "science sidekick" to Herbert on the '80s "Mr. Wizard's World" that aired on the Nickelodeon channel.

When Jacobs would reach for beakers and flasks, Herbert would remind him that science didn't require special tools.

"'You could use a mayonnaise jar for that,'" Jacobs recalled being chided by Herbert. "He tried to bust the image of scientists and that science wasn't just for special people and places."

Herbert's place in TV history was acknowledged by later stars. When "Late Night with David Letterman" debuted in 1982, Herbert was among the first-night guests.

Born in Waconia, Minn., Herbert was a 1940 graduate of LaCrosse State Teachers College and served as a U.S. Army Air Corps pilot during World War II. He worked as an actor, model and radio writer before starting "Watch Mr. Wizard" in Chicago on NBC.

The show moved to New York after several years.

He is survived by six children and stepchildren and by his second wife, Norma, his son-in-law said. A private funeral service was planned.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

No, I didn't drop of the face of the earth!

Hi folks! Yeah, I know it's been quite a while. Where have I been you ask? Well, mostly I've been busy with work, running, and getting out and enjoying the summer. It's hard to sit down in front of the computer to read the news and reply to emails when it's so nice out. It's almost impossible to sit here for long enough to write a blog post!

So the smaller things first -

Work has been good. I'm learning how to do the bookkeeping. Which will get me off the floor a little bit more, which I'm 100% ok with. It's been going well though. I really like all (three) of my co-workers, which is really nice. It's a lot of fun most days.

It's been great to hang out with friends more often lately. There have been lots of cook outs, and dinners, and get-togethers of all sorts. I'm really looking forward to having next Monday and Tuesday off though. Two whole days with nothing to do! It sounds like some foreign type of heaven to me!
For example, this was my last weekend -
Friday night - Up to Montreal to see Ferry Corsten. Which was a really great time, and something I really needed. I find raves to be very therapeutic in a lot of ways. I think that music as as close as we can get to the Divine, so dancing all night is this wonderful release for me.
Saturday - Leave the rave at 10 am, go get breakfast in Montreal, get home in the afternoon, sleep for a couple of hours, then downtown for JazzFest. The original intention was to see the Skatallites, but we overslept. :( It was still very fun though!
Sunday - Get up at a reasonable hour, go and run my first 5K, and then have a cook out that afternoon / evening, fall asleep on the couch watching a movie with friends.
So as you can see, my weekends have been busy. My weekdays seem to have become quite busy too!

Yes, you did read my Sunday events right! I ran my first 5K on Sunday, it it was actually a lot of fun! It was a benefit for the Humane Society, which made it seem even more right that it be my first race. The weather was beautiful for a run, and I did much better than I thought I would. Of course, this means that I'm going to have to work even harder now to beat my time during my next race. What was that time you ask? Just under 28 minutes, unofficially. The official times still haven't been posted, but since I'm confident in my ability to read, I'd say it's safe to go with the unofficial time. Thanks again to Karen, Marc, Ravyn, Jon and LeeAnn for their donations. The animals also say thank you, I'm sure! My next race will probably be the Williston Fun Run, in the beginning of July. Well, that's not counting the Catamount Tuesday Night Trail Series 5Ks. Those are a bit more informal, but still a lot of fun.

Well, that's it for now. I've got to get to work. I'll try to post a bit more regularly. Really I will. Maybe it will stick this time! Well, one can always hope, right?

Oh, one last thing- I want to read this book, just because of the author's clever web page .