Tuesday, February 15, 2011

This and That

I've been watching all sorts of stuff made before I was born.  Destination Moon was based on a novel by Robert Heinlein, my first favorite sci-fi writer.  Heinlein's stories aimed to educate.  He was always finding ways to slip in science facts.  DM used its comic relief, an ignorant engineer who had to replace a sick crew memeber at the last moment, as an excuse to explain things.  Joe Sweeney is always wailing variations on "What's happening?" in his heavy Bronx accent, so his crewmates can explain about weightlessness, outer space, and Newton's Laws of Motion.  Also, the guy who builds the rocket is a private businessman who has to raise funds for the project, so he shows the following cartoon to his rich prospects:

Very Educational.  (Though it implies that gravity is made by giant magnets.)

The other interesting thing I've been viewing is Tales of Tomorrow, a TV show that ran from 1951-1953. The DVDs include the advertisements, which were made in the same studio.  Live TV!  A couple of times I heard coughs or loud things drop while the end credits were rolling.  Perhaps they got sloppier as the night wore on.  Some good actors were in that series.  Burgess Meredith played the lead in the best one I saw: The Great Silence.  Most of the episodes were sponsored by Kreisler.

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