Worth Noting

This has nothing to do with Georgia politics, but Mr. Wizard has died. I actually assumed he’d died a long time ago.

I loved his show on Nickelodeon when I was a kid. When I was growing up in Dubai, we weren’t restricted on chemicals you could buy, so I had a great big chemistry set I had put together myself — big bottles of HCl, Sulfuric Acid, Zinc, Potassium Permanganate, anything I could mix together to produce a gas and then explode.

My favorite was mixing HCl and zinc in a flask, filling a balloon with the resulting hydrogen discharge, then sticking a match to it. Way cool. Of course the KMnO4 + H2O2 catalytic discharge of oxygen was equally explosive and cool (that’s potassium permanganate dropped into hydrogen peroxide). I still have some KMnO4 somewhere around the house.

6 comments

  1. Rusty says:

    I watched that show all the time. The only experiment I remember was when he created a vacuum in a 2-liter Coke bottle and demonstrated that a feather and a quarter would drop at the same rate.

  2. Holly says:

    Aw, this is terribly sad! Mr. Wizard inspired many summer science projects around my house growing up. I never was allowed to watch television during the school year until after my homework was done, which cut out Mr. Wizard until the glorious month of June rolled around.

  3. Erick says:

    Rusty, I was amazed a few weeks ago when I made an offhanded comment about “pouring out a candle” with carbon dioxide and my 19 year old nephew was clueless.

    I immediately jumped up to demonstrate by mixing vinegar and baking soda and pouring it over a lit candle. He was quite amazed.

    And why am I not surprised that bloggers and blog readers watched Mr. Wizard growing up?

  4. memberg says:

    I totally met Mr. Wizard at SciTrek like 18 years ago or something.

    His legacy lives on though, if the 6300 results on youtube for “mentos diet coke” mean anything.

  5. as if your words weren’t explosive enough… wondered what those noises, coming from the south end of “our” hood, were. let’s do a community garden on the Rosa Taylor campus? we could get some atlantans to live blog the watermelon & squash vines growing.

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