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Orange Bird Photo Hunt


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Our Friend the Atom

Since the disasters in Japan my wife and I have discussed at length, among other things, the mysterious forces of radiation, nuclear energy, and the sciences behind them. This 1957 documentary (and its accompanying book of the same title) brought to us by Walt Disney Studio lays out the basic principles of such topics in an educational and entertaining way.

We see how radioactive materials were discovered.

A fascinating demonstration is played using mouse traps and ping pong balls.

The power of the atom is equated to that of a genie in a bottle.

Man's efforts to harness such powers are exemplified.

Not only is this film highly aesthetic with a great graphical style, it brings what might otherwise be an less-than-interesting topic to life. We highly recommend this film which can be found on the always-recommended Walt Disney Treasures: Tomorrowland DVD or in the above YouTube video. While you get into the sciences of "inner space", check out this 1953 little ditty from the General Electric Company called A is for Atom:


Our thoughts and prayers go out to the people of Japan. If you choose to make a donation to the Japan Earthquake and Pacific Tsunami relief effort, click here.


Related posts:

Original Visions of Cal Arts
1967 "New Tomorrowland" Broadcast
Magic Highway U.S.A... It doesn't get much better than this.
The Fantasy of Space Colony Living



Photo credit (first photo): Marshall Astor, Flickr


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    Fantastic Site, Stick to the excellent job. Thanks a ton.

Reader Comments (3)

These videos are what sparked my initial interest in science and space. You are right. The Tomorrowland Treasures dvd is a must have for everyone. This particular video about the atom is fascinating and I think I know more about this subject having watched this Disney production than I did after my first college chemistry class.

Great post!

March 23, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterscotty

I love classroom films from the old days especially from the 50's and 60's. The disney people could have taken the most boring of subjects and captured my attention then and still today.

Its interesting how Disney used the analogy of the genie in the bottle (with so many physical similarities seen in Genie from Aladdin of 1992 interestingly enough) and how GE used the analogy of the giant.

Hopefully the radiation problems in Japan don't escalate too much. From what is being reported now the risks are much more minimal than we first thought.

March 23, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAnonymous

Saw this in elementary school in the late 60's/early 70's, along with Donald Duck in Mathmagic Land! That I can still remember them on just one showing is a testament to their creativity.

May 29, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterLarry

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