Thursday, July 17, 2014

The Prof

From the previous post: In the 1960s in Australia and possibly around the world, one pint milk bottles being returned for cleaning and re-use were appearing with a whole boiled eggs in them, much to the annoyance of the milk dairies .

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His passion and enthusiasm were infectious. Professor Julius Sumner Miller (1909-1987) transfixed children, probably around the world, with his simple scientific experiments to demonstrate physics. His violently shaking body as he scrawled meaningless to me scientific formulas on a blackboard was mesmerising. I think I have now run out of adjectives. It was a lesson I did not really pick up at the time but it must have stuck in my mind, as I have learnt later in life that passion and enthusiasm is a wonderful thing along with them both being contagious, and when I find something to be passionate and enthusiastic about, you will be the first to know.

The Prof did come in for some criticism in his older years when he was accused of selling his soul by participating in paid television advertisements.

Nevertheless, he had a profound impact on me. His catch cry, "Why is it so?", was memorable. I can't find an old black and white recording of The Prof, so this tv commercial of the egg in the bottle will have to do.

Ah, I have just read his Wikipedia entry and he has a strong connection to Australia.


20 comments:

  1. Andrew, thank for sharing information. I haven't heard about him before.

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    1. Gosia, I did not think you would have seen him, but I expect you have seen the experiment.

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  2. Passion and excitement are contagious. Which is wonderful. And 'why is it so' is definitely a part of my childhood.

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    1. EC, he was just super.

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  3. My son liked him as a kid, he did a science degree at uni it never helped him much to get a job but he still has a passion for science, so it sunk into someones brain.
    Merle............

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    1. Merle, a science degree is not to be sneezed at. Smart son.

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  4. I'd forgotten about the TV ads, but I'll never forget the egg in a bottle trick.

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    1. River, I wonder if it really was a glass and half of full cream milk.

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  5. I didn't like him at all, but now I have to sit back for a few minutes and think why.

    There was something really scowly and aggressive in his face and language, as if no-one else in this wide brown country knew anything. Perhaps he wouldn't have frightened young boys as much as he frightened me in 1963.

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    1. Hels, wasn't he just somewhat eccentric?

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  6. I don't remember him but i do remember doing that trick for the kids when I was teaching. Great for showing them the awe and wonder of science!

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    1. Fun60, such a simple experiment, but what fun for kids.

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  7. Sounds like an interesting man. I'll Google some YouTube clips of him!

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    1. Keith, he was quite a character.

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  8. Damn! Now I'M thinking about Cadburys chocolate.. thanks Andrew :)

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    1. C'mon Grace. Forget the Cadbury. Go for the Lindt.

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    2. I gave up on Cadbury years ago. I don't care what they say, they've changed the formula somehow and it just doesn't taste the same, it's even worse since they went Fair Trade. The actual cocoa content is less than when we were kids too. I eat Whittakers instead, it's from New Zealand and has a higher cocoa content and a smoother taste.

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    3. River, is Fair Trade like Green Earth cleaning products? I don't like. I don't know of Whittakers, and when I see the product, no doubt I will think, ah yes, River mentioned that.

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  9. Mmm Mmm, Cadbury! Too bad it was such an awful commercial!

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    1. Ah yes, Mitchell and chocolate. Problem. The commercial is only bad viewed several decades on.

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