Why I should Have Paid More Attention in Science Class

When I was a kid, my teachers loved to show us “educational” films. These were old 16mm films that had been viewed so many times they were guaranteed to break at least once per showing. The picture was usually grainy, the sound garbled, the story line preachy and boring.

The only films I really liked were those that were part of a series of science films sponsored by Bell Labs. These films all featured a “scientist” known as Dr. Research. I found out later that Dr. Research was actually an English professor named Dr. Franklin C. Baxter. Baxter narrated these educational films in a warm, fatherly, yet entertaining way. In each of these films Baxter would explain scientific concepts to an eager, but somewhat slow, writer whose dialogue consisted of lines like, “I’m not sure I understand. Could you explain?” and, “Really? Tell me more.”

I remember two of the actors who played the dimwitted writers because they went on to greater things- Eddie Albert, who starred in the TV series “Green Acres,” and Richard Carlson, who was featured in such “B” movie classics as “It Came from Outer Space,” and “The Creature from the Black Lagoon.”

The two films from the series I remember the most vividly are “Our Mr. Sun” and “Hemo the Magnificent.” I think “Hemo” was shown in every science class I took from 4th grade through high school. Pretty much everything I know about the human circulatory system, I learned from that film.

The reason I am mentioning these films is because I came across a Youtube clip of one film from the series that I don’t recall having seen before. I either slept through it or, possibly, my science teachers didn’t show it because the premise of the film seemed too outlandish. The film, made in 1958, was called The Unchained Goddess and it predicted, with uncanny accuracy, Global Warming. Watch the clip below.


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