The Daily Ping

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June 18th, 2006

My Dad and Mr. Wizard

A while ago I wrote a very wide Ping about Nickelodeon and since then, I’ve thought very little about it. But given that it’s Father’s Day, I wanted to share with you a small memory from my childhood that does tie in with, of all things, Mr. Wizard’s World.

My dad was a truck driver, so he’d wake up pretty early – around 5 or 5:30 each day. Over time, I started getting up early too. Not quite 5, but maybe 6 even though school didn’t start for a couple of hours. I was just a kid, but I’d wake up and talk with my dad for a bit, then leave him to have coffee and breakfast. And I’d watch some TV.

The first show I really tended to watch and, I’m not kidding because this shows how geeky I was, was The Weather Channel. I was really fascinated by the maps, front lines, and all that stuff. Afterwards though, I’d join Nickelodeon while it was just starting up for the day and watch Mr. Wizard.

The actual show was a great concept: learn science by doing cool experiments with things like magnets, mirrors, and everyday household objects. Great concept. Mr. Wizard had a standard group of kids helping him out, and the whole thing was done in a very kid-friendly way. It introduced me to a lot of new concepts and of course, I geeked out whenever he used a computer on the show.

A lot of times, though, I’d talk with my dad about the things I learned from Mr. Wizard (“This is cooool!”) and sometimes – just sometimes – I’d be able to do an experiment like the ones he presented. My dad was just as enthusiastic as I was about the stuff I learned from the show.

In any case, getting up early with my dad is something that I really liked doing. We got to hang out a bit and eat breakfast together and talk about making volcanoes with baking soda and vinegar… well, maybe not that last one.

Happy Father’s Day, Dad.

Posted in Miscellaneous

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