A Little Less Magic in the World.

13 06 2007

Don Herbert, AKA Mr. Wizard, died today at the age of 89.  He’s one of those people that had drifted to the foggy background of my memory, but when I saw the news of his passing, the recall was instantaneous.  I loved Mr. Wizard as a child–this is the man that taught me how to slice a banana while it was still in the freakin’ skin.  He’s the man who made me really, really want dry ice.  (I still do, where do you get the stuff?).  When I was a kid, I wanted Legos and Transformers, but I also wanted a Chemistry set and a rock tumbler–and it was thanks to him.

Once in High School I happened across an episode of Mr. Wizard’s World on TV very early in the morning.  He was terribly low-key, I found him a bit…erm…dull.  You know how teenagers are, they need the frenetic, ADD, pow-pow-pow in-your-face pacing of an action movie.  Bill Nye became my teenage-years Mr. Wizard.  Still, Don Herbert was the original and helped instill a love of science and learning in me at an early age.  His influence on me and an entire generation of Geeks was enormous.  Even though he lived to a generous age, it’s sad to see him go.  This world was better for his having been here.