We’re all nerds at heart. Especially me, and yes, even you. Admit it, you’re fascinated with scientific phenomena and especially get all hot and bothered when it’s explained to you in plain terms by friendly, ostensibly benevolent, white males.
That’s why people like us have watched Mr. Wizard since its 1951 premiere; that’s why we reveled in its 70s and 80s revivals. It’s also why we tuned into Beakman’s World and Bill Nye the Science Guy in the 90s.
The magic of television has assured that there’s a TV scientist for every generation. But what about this internet generation? Who’s our informative guy with a Ph.D. or equivalent experience, making Newtonian principles and Edisonian experiments accessible to the masses?
Enter veteran science educator Robert Krampf. Krampf is an endearingly quirky individual, sporting big glasses and an awesome, bushy, salt-and-pepper beard, who has made it his mission to spread the joy that is everyday science to anyone with a computer and two minutes to spare.
After thirteen years of meddling in Geology and Science Services at the Memphis Pink Palace Museum, Krampf got a buzz for electricity. In 1987, he started a high voltage, electric education tour starring a one million volt Tesla coil that raised eyebrows and garnered attention from the mainstream media. He’s now taken his knowledge from the stage to the internet.
Started in April 2007, Experiment of the Week focuses on questions that we’ve all asked ourselves: Why do wet things turn dark? Why do things go bang? And topics that haven’t had reason to occur to us: How to MacGyver yourself a pair of eyeglasses if you’re stranded on a deserted island.
Regardless of the pragmatism behind Krampf’s experiments, every one is brilliantly entertaining and informative, which is no easy feat. And he does it all in about two minutes without a schtick, except for a touch of old-fashioned, nerdy charm. Now who doesn’t have time for that?