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Scientists levitate ultra-pure glass
cnn ^ | Thursday, April 1, 2004 | By Tariq Malik

Posted on 04/03/2004 10:19:15 AM PST by demlosers

Edited on 04/29/2004 2:04:08 AM PDT by Jim Robinson. [history]

An experiment originally designed to fly on the International Space Station led a team of researchers to develop a completely new type of glass, a material formed while floating in mid-air in a NASA laboratory on Earth.

Using static electrical fields to levitate the material, scientists were able to construct a pure glass, free of any contamination typically associated with containers. It could serve as the centerpiece for new medical and industrial lasers, as well as have broadband Internet applications.


(Excerpt) Read more at cnn.com ...


TOPICS: Extended News; Government; Miscellaneous; Technical
KEYWORDS: glass; nasa; science
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A solid sample of metal alloy floats
inside NASA's laboratory at the Marshall
Space Flight Center in Alabama.

1 posted on 04/03/2004 10:19:16 AM PST by demlosers
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To: All

Donate Here By Secure Server
2 posted on 04/03/2004 10:20:22 AM PST by Support Free Republic (I'd rather be sleeping. Let's get this over with so I can go back to sleep!)
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To: demlosers
The Amazing Randy says levitation is a hoax.
3 posted on 04/03/2004 10:23:11 AM PST by Khurkris (Ranger On...)
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To: demlosers
An experiment originally designed to fly on the International Space Station led a team of researchers to develop a completely new type of glass, a material formed while floating in mid-air in a NASA laboratory on Earth.

Yet another reason we don't need a $100 billion money pit orbiting the earth. Time to burn it up.

4 posted on 04/03/2004 10:27:45 AM PST by Moonman62
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To: demlosers
"So we're not talking about golf balls and pineapples here," Weber said of the production capabilities.

Shucks. And here I was hoping for a breakthrough in the glass golf ball and pineapple markets.

5 posted on 04/03/2004 10:32:21 AM PST by Willie Green (Go Pat Go!!!)
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To: Khurkris
April 1 publication date might be a clue...
6 posted on 04/03/2004 10:36:00 AM PST by JimRed (Fight election fraud! Volunteer as a local poll watcher, challenger or district official.)
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To: AdmSmith
Pong
7 posted on 04/03/2004 10:55:12 AM PST by nuconvert ("America will never be intimidated by thugs and assassins." ( President Bush 3-20-04))
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To: demlosers
Cool--if it's not an April Fool's joke :)
8 posted on 04/03/2004 11:28:04 AM PST by Fedora
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To: Khurkris; JimRed
Diamagnetic Levitation

Many common materials such as water, wood, plants, animals, diamonds, fingers, etc. are usually considered to be non-magnetic but in fact, they are very weakly diamagnetic. Diamagnets repel, and are repelled by a strong magnetic field. The electrons in a diamagnetic material rearrange their orbits slightly creating small persistent currents which oppose the external magnetic field. Two of the strongest diamagnetic materials are graphite and bismuth.

The forces created by diamagnetism are extremely weak, millions of times smaller than the forces between magnets and such common ferromagnetic materials as iron. However, in certain carefully arranged situations, the influence of diamagnetic materials can produce startling effects such as levitation.

It was proved in 1842 that it is impossible to stably levitate any static array of magnets by any arrangement of fixed magnets and gravity. However, the addition of diamagnetic materials makes such levitation possible. The July 22 Nature paper, Magnetic Levitation at your fingertips, describes two configurations where diamagnetic materials are used to stabilize the levitation of a magnet in the field of a fixed lifting magnet.

Levitation without Meditation

It is surprising at first to see the frog and the top suspended in midair, in apparent defiance of gravity. They are supported by the force of magnetism. For the frog, the force comes from an electromagnet (coil of wire in which a current is flowing); for the top, the source is a magnetized metal slab. These powerful magnets push upwards on the frog and the top, because they are magnets too (weak ones). The magnetic force exactly balances gravity, so the top and the frog are in equilibrium and can float - there is no net force on them. A slight difference is that the top is intrinsically magnetized - it is a permanent magnet - while the frog is intrinsically non-magnetic but becomes magnetized by the field of the electromagnet – this is ‘induced diamagnetism’. Most substances are diamagnetic, and Andrey was able to levitate a variety of objects, including drops of water and hazelnuts.

MAGNETIC LEVITATION TRAINS

Magnetically levitated (MAGLEV) trains are considered as a future application of HTS development. . .The idea of MAGLEV transportation has been around since the early 1900s. The benefit of eliminating the wheel/rail friction to obtain higher speeds and lower maintenance costs has great appeal. The basic idea of a MAGLEV train is to levitate it with magnetic fields so there is no physical contact between the train and the rails (guideways).

[SNIP]

To find out the rest of the story, we refer you to the following Web sites:

general overview of MAGLEV systems

high speed MAGLEV systems in Japan

high speed systems in Germany

discussion of MAGLEV systems in general and HTS systems in particular (first chapter of the thesis of Dr. Mark Thompson at MIT).

9 posted on 04/03/2004 11:41:07 AM PST by Fedora
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To: Fedora
"The forces created by diamagnetism are extremely weak, millions of times smaller than the forces between magnets"

AAARRRGGGGHHH, how can someone write such a seemingly learned article and then say "millions of times smaller"? There is no such thing as millions of times smaller, what math class did this person attend?
10 posted on 04/03/2004 1:18:57 PM PST by RipSawyer (America needs a good democRAT terrier.)
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To: RipSawyer
AAARRRGGGGHHH, how can someone write such a seemingly learned article and then say "millions of times smaller"? There is no such thing as millions of times smaller, what math class did this person attend?

Maybe they meant to say "billions and billions times smaller" :)


11 posted on 04/03/2004 1:25:40 PM PST by Fedora
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To: Fedora
Probably so, that would certainly make more sense, wouldn't it? Oh wait, I think I need some more coffee, I am working a twelve hour night shift tonight ;o)
12 posted on 04/03/2004 2:21:11 PM PST by RipSawyer (America needs a good democRAT terrier.)
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To: Fedora
I see use for this in a railgun...
In practical everyday use *shrug* I don't know.
Of course, if it CAN be used in a railgun, I'd like to launch an unopened soda can on it's 'christening' shot.
Yes, I'm somewhat babbling here.
Mind working faster than I can type, and the thinking is about the diamagnetism and levitation info.
*hmm*
13 posted on 04/03/2004 2:34:30 PM PST by Darksheare (Fortune for the day: Hugs and apologies are nice, but slaying our enemies is better.)
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To: demlosers
Very kewl. So Scotty and StarTrek WERE ahead of their time, Sounds like "Rare Earth Aluminum oxide " is the invisible aluminum that Scotty gave the glass manufacturer in, which one was it? the whale movie.....
14 posted on 04/03/2004 2:38:30 PM PST by Centaur (Member of "The RAM", formerly VRWC)
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To: Centaur
Powder..Patch..Ball FIRE!

Transparent Aluminum... Light and extremely strong....

15 posted on 04/03/2004 3:15:18 PM PST by BallandPowder
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To: RipSawyer
Probably so, that would certainly make more sense, wouldn't it? Oh wait, I think I need some more coffee, I am working a twelve hour night shift tonight ;o)

LOL! "Billions and billions of cups of coffee. . ." :) Good luck with surviving your 12-hour shift--I don't envy you having to do that the day we switch to Daylight Savings!

16 posted on 04/03/2004 5:37:47 PM PST by Fedora
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To: Darksheare
Of course, if it CAN be used in a railgun, I'd like to launch an unopened soda can on it's 'christening' shot.

Here ya go :)

A railgun in 10 minutes

17 posted on 04/03/2004 5:43:34 PM PST by Fedora
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To: Fedora
Now I'm giving people bad ideas.
;-)
*chuckle*
Thanks!
18 posted on 04/03/2004 5:48:16 PM PST by Darksheare (Fortune for the day: Hugs and apologies are nice, but slaying our enemies is better.)
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To: Moonman62
Yet another reason we don't need a $100 billion money pit orbiting the earth. Time to burn it up.

Would you rather give that $100 billion to single mothers? 'Cuz that's where it will go otherwise.

Those are your choices: A space program or more single mothers.

19 posted on 04/03/2004 5:55:09 PM PST by Cogadh na Sith (The Guns of Brixton)
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To: Darksheare
Now I'm giving people bad ideas.

;-)

LOL! Here's some more good sources of bad ideas:

Robert E. Iannini, Build Your Own Laser, Phaser, Ion Ray Gun and Other Working Space Age Projects

Robert E. Iannini, Build Your Own Working Fiberoptic Infrared and Laser Space-Age Projects

20 posted on 04/03/2004 5:57:36 PM PST by Fedora
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To: chookter
There was a galaxy a long, long time ago and far, far away where conservatives and Republicans would have said that the money in question would stay with the people who earned it. But with a free spending Republican president who would make LBJ blush with his no veto record and incredible growth in the federal government in three short years, I guess that just isn't the case anymore.
21 posted on 04/03/2004 6:00:44 PM PST by Moonman62
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To: Moonman62
where conservatives and Republicans would have said that the money in question would stay with the people who earned it.

Now either it goes to a space program or single mothers. Government cheese or bullets. I'd rather have a space program and some wars rather than more single mothers and welfare...

22 posted on 04/03/2004 7:45:01 PM PST by Cogadh na Sith (The Guns of Brixton)
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To: Fedora
MORE bad ideas!
Thanks!
*chuckle*
I'm going to be hunting those down at various local spots on a pricing mission later.
23 posted on 04/04/2004 5:20:55 PM PDT by Darksheare (Fortune for the day: Hugs and apologies are nice, but slaying our enemies is better.)
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To: Darksheare
Let me know if you build anything in there!--fun stuff :) Meanwhile I've been thinking more about combining the railgun with levitation--that is an interesting idea. . . :)
24 posted on 04/04/2004 5:49:47 PM PDT by Fedora
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To: Fedora
Not sure how it would work, but it would be neat to see.
25 posted on 04/04/2004 6:00:52 PM PDT by Darksheare (Fortune for the day: Hugs and apologies are nice, but slaying our enemies is better.)
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To: demlosers
The new material known as REAL glass -- short for Rare Earth Aluminum oxide -- was first developed at NASA's Electrostatic Levitator laboratory at Marshall Space Flight Center in Huntsville, Alabama.

Pretty lame acronym, if it doesn't encompass all the words for which it's supposed to stand.
26 posted on 04/04/2004 6:02:08 PM PDT by Xenalyte (in memory of James Edward Peck, my grandfather, who passed on 3/23/04)
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To: Willie Green
You and me both, dammit. Cruel fate thwarts us again.
27 posted on 04/04/2004 6:02:48 PM PDT by Xenalyte (in memory of James Edward Peck, my grandfather, who passed on 3/23/04)
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To: Fedora
Maybe they meant to say "billions and billions times smaller" :)

Read his final book. Sagan swears he never said "billions and billions".

28 posted on 04/06/2004 10:05:18 AM PDT by Professional Engineer (Indeed, PE does = NASA)
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To: Darksheare
Thanks for the link.
29 posted on 04/06/2004 10:06:17 AM PDT by Professional Engineer (Indeed, PE does = NASA)
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To: Professional Engineer
Welcome.
Umm.. how many bad ideas have we traded back and forth now?
*chuckle*

30 posted on 04/06/2004 12:08:54 PM PDT by Darksheare (Fortune for the day: "Mirrors are more fun than television" -Pink Flamingo from 'Address Unknown')
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To: Professional Engineer; Darksheare
Read his final book. Sagan swears he never said "billions and billions".

He said it billions and billions of times :) Just kidding! :) Seriously, I never actually heard him say it, I just remember these skits on Saturday Night Live and Mystery Science Theater 3000 where they had people imitating him saying it, which is what I think of whenever I think of it. But I never actually heard him say it. However I do remember the way he used to talk on Nova and I can definitely "hear" what it would sound like if he said "billions and billions"--ROFL! In the MST3K episode--I think it was The Pod People--there's a scene with what looks like the opening scene of Star Trek except the camera was going backwards ("boldly backing away from where no man has gone before") and it looked like a bunch of red stars, which Joel and the 'Bots determined were actually Raspberry Smucker's Preserves, prompting a comment to the effect of, "Billions and billions of Smucker's. . ."--ROFLMBO!

31 posted on 04/06/2004 2:01:43 PM PDT by Fedora
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To: Fedora; Professional Engineer
LOL!
Sagan's Billion and billions quote comes from a voice over he did for an educational film about teh universe.
The words were somethign to the effect of "Somewhere out in the universe among the billions and billions of stars is a star much like our own.." or something similar but the words 'billions and billions' were in there.
Had to see it in 5th grade science class, the vid section has a panning vista of thousands of stars, nebulae, galaxies, and quite a few hairs stuck to the film projector.
Right after that section played, the audio kept going but the film delaminated, got stuck, and melted.
But the audio kept going.
I'd wanted to see the section that had been mentioned about supernova stars and supergiants.

The science teacher got scared and went to look for the fire extinguisher, there was a small yellow flame flickering out of the projector, and those of us who had been listening in class reminded her that we had baking soda in the class supply closet.
We had to do some quick explaining as to why the film projector had a melted movie still in it, and was dusted liberally with white powder.
Ah, the wonders of Science class.
32 posted on 04/06/2004 2:49:44 PM PDT by Darksheare (Fortune for the day: "Mirrors are more fun than television" -Pink Flamingo from 'Address Unknown')
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To: Professional Engineer
Hmmm, I have trouble believing that... I could swear he said it several times during "Cosmos".

Qwinn
33 posted on 04/06/2004 2:56:55 PM PDT by Qwinn
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To: Moonman62
"Yet another reason we don't need a $100 billion money pit orbiting the earth. Time to burn it up."

Guess you missed this part...

"The step was a crucial one for commercial purposes, since NASA's facility is only powerful enough to levitate tiny sample materials up to three millimeters wide and 70 milligrams in weight."

Now, on the space station, they could've levitated and made this glass at far greater masses and potentially learned a great deal more, and more quickly. And not just glass, I'm sure there's thousands of metals and other materials that could be made "pure" using this methodology that wouldn't be possible with smelters and other techniques -required- in a gravitational field.

We may not have developed this glass for a long time were it not for the Space Station, as the very sentence you quoted pointed out. And without the Station, who knows how many discoveries and manufacturing processes will wind up being postponed for perhaps centuries as a result of people who have no ability or -desire- to think outside the box known as Earth. That would be you, by the way.

Qwinn
34 posted on 04/06/2004 3:02:14 PM PDT by Qwinn
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To: Qwinn
We may not have developed this glass for a long time were it not for the Space Station, as the very sentence you quoted pointed out. And without the Station, who knows how many discoveries and manufacturing processes will wind up being postponed for perhaps centuries as a result of people who have no ability or -desire- to think outside the box known as Earth. That would be you, by the way.

Who's to say they can't build a bigger facility here on Earth. I don't see too many companies lining up to manufacture anything in space, provided they are paying their own way.

35 posted on 04/06/2004 3:27:24 PM PDT by Moonman62
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To: Qwinn
I forgot this little gem from the article. They already have a way to manufacture more of it on Earth.
Once Containerless Research scientists understood the basics of REAL glass formation, they were able to adapt the technology away from its dependency on electrostatic levitation. The step was a crucial one for commercial purposes, since NASA's facility is only powerful enough to levitate tiny sample materials up to three millimeters wide and 70 milligrams in weight.

Weber's team was able to devise a small-scale production plan that uses platinum crucibles to melt REAL glass and cooling forms that shape it into commercial rods and plates without taking away the materials positive properties.


36 posted on 04/06/2004 3:36:01 PM PDT by Moonman62
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To: Darksheare; Professional Engineer
Ah, the wonders of Science class.

ROFL! Sounds like your science class' AV equipment was more updated than ours :) We were still using those old 1950s documentaries with that old guy trying to explain stuff to the younger guy who's perpetually amazed at everything the old guy says. I can't remember the name of the series, but it was very widely used at one time--appears in the science class in the movie Gremlins, and I think MST3K also spoofed an episode on the science of springs featuring "Coily" (although maybe that was from another series--similar style, though):

Episode 1012- Squirm (with short: A Case of Spring Fever)

Short Summary: A delightful and very instructive little filmlet about the danger of dissing springs. A froglike middle-aged man, thwarted repeatedly in an attempt to fix a couch because of its springs -- and therefore missing his golf game -- cries to the very heavens, wishing that springs that never been invented. He has no idea of the gravity of this invocation. God opens a can of omnipotent whoop-*ss on the unsuspecting man, sending his archangel Coily, the "spring sprite." Coily is an elfin fiend with a single sharp fang and the voice of a cartoon hillbilly grandpa. He tells Mr. Froggy that all right, he's got his wish, there are no more springs in the world. And just like that, they're gone. Coily, he can do magic things.

Mr. Froggy accepts this in stride, merely happy that he can now make his golf foursome. He never questions the whole order of the universe, in which there are apparently many small elf-devils who guard the integrity of certain very, very specific areas of creation. Or the perhaps even more bizarre alternative: that there is no God, there is no divinity, no order to things -- there is only Coily, and he is all-powerful, but for some reason he will never explain to us, all he cares about is springs and their reputation.

However, Coily goes on to show our lumpen hero the many reasons why springs are so vital in his life. Seems you can't do anything at all, truly not a blessed thing, without springs. Our man gets the message and begs Coily to restore the world's spring. Coily does it grudgingly, but the whole experience causes a massive conversion in Man-Frog: he becomes a zealot and spreads the Gospel of Springs to his golf buddies, prattling on non-stop during their game and their ride home about unbelievable importance of springs. Unfortunately, this list of spring facts (eg. springs make your liver run properly, cows couldn't give milk without springs, the name "Buddha" originally meant "chubby enlightened spring") constitutes about 90% of this short, leaving the fascinating Coily behind.

37 posted on 04/06/2004 3:36:12 PM PDT by Fedora
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To: demlosers
Is this what Scotty used to pen up those whales up that Star Trek movie?
38 posted on 04/06/2004 3:38:46 PM PDT by mewzilla
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To: Fedora
A railgun in 10 minutes

Cool site! Thanks for posting it.


39 posted on 04/06/2004 3:48:48 PM PDT by Ichneumon
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To: Darksheare; Professional Engineer
It turns out the aforementioned Case of Spring Fever is in the public domain and can be downloaded--if you're in the mood for a good laugh, check it out:

Case of Spring Fever, A

40 posted on 04/06/2004 3:56:57 PM PDT by Fedora
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To: Ichneumon
Cool site! Thanks for posting it.

You're welcome, hope you enjoy it!--it's a fun site :)

41 posted on 04/06/2004 4:00:18 PM PDT by Fedora
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To: Fedora
Oh no!
That reminds me of the Driver's ed films and such.
"Highway of DEATH" and the sexual health vid "dirty Suzie" (or whatever the name was)
Made our minds melt.
The voice acting in those were awful, and made some of us laugh out loud, being disrespectful youths in the 80's watching films made for the disrespectful youths of the 60's or so..

The "Dirty Suzie" one will almost make you swear off of carnal knowledge of your wife or anyoen for life.
'This man did not heed the warnings, and he fell victim to VD! His pain is twofold, both physical and social..'

Then there was the one they traumatised us with in 4th grade dealing with drunk driving.
Th emost memorable thing about it: a youngster is riding his bicycle into the road from his driveway. You KNOW something bad is about to happen because oddly you hear, for no apparent reason, a bunch of cheer-leaders chanting 'reverse! reverse! reverse! reverse!'
Sure enough, out of nowhere a green AMC Gremlin driven by some kids, blaring the Cars song "Let's Go" and beer bottles ahoist comes tearing around teh corner -without being heard until then!- weaves all over the road, and then narrowly misses the boy.
At about this point I was busy laughing and being sent to the Principle's office.
42 posted on 04/06/2004 4:16:55 PM PDT by Darksheare (Fortune for the day: "Mirrors are more fun than television" -Pink Flamingo from 'Address Unknown')
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To: Darksheare
LOL! Yeah, they made us watch Highway of DEATH, too :) Never saw Dirty Suzie, but they showed us some film along similar lines only everyone in the film was dressed in early 1970s Brady Bunch style, LOL!
43 posted on 04/06/2004 4:30:18 PM PDT by Fedora
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To: Fedora
LOL!
Uh oh.
44 posted on 04/06/2004 4:47:08 PM PDT by Darksheare (Fortune for the day: "Mirrors are more fun than television" -Pink Flamingo from 'Address Unknown')
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To: Fedora
Be glad you didn't see 'Dirty Suzie' as it was pretty horrible to watch.
The guy is sitting on a hospital gurney and he was definately NOT acting.
And the deadpan voice over was absolutely terrible to bear, what with the guy on the gurney letting out a skull-splitting howl when the doctor started his exam when previously he was only moaning and whimpering.

Of course, we disrespectful youths were suppsode to be dutifully traumatised and instead were laughing like insane crows over it.
As awful as those films were, there's a kind of demented nostalgia about them.
Like the children who wished they didn't have shadows, so they 'sold' their shadows to a magician and couldn't play shadow tag during recess and became social pariahs and outcasts because of this.
And the geography film strip about compass directions with a VERY Mod Squad dressed woman named *groan* Compass Rosa.
They were so awful, and such nannyism, that they HAVE to be archived somewhere for fun and rememberence.
45 posted on 04/06/2004 4:52:43 PM PDT by Darksheare (Fortune for the day: "Mirrors are more fun than television" -Pink Flamingo from 'Address Unknown')
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To: Darksheare
I was trying to answer your last post when I got hit by a virus (I think) that crashed my system for a few hours. Hobbit Hole tech support helped me fix it, so now I'm back. Anyway, I was going to tell you, here's another one to go with Highway of DEATH, LOL!

LAST CLEAR CHANCE

Trying to find an archive where there are more of these--like you say, there's a demented nostalgia about it, I'm sure there must be some out there :)

46 posted on 04/06/2004 10:13:14 PM PDT by Fedora
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To: Xenalyte
REAL glass -- short for Rare Earth Aluminum oxide

I seem to recall a scene from the 3rd Star Trek movie where Scotty obtains some plexiglass panels from a 20th century scientist by giving him the formula for "transparent aluminum". Now we Do have it!
47 posted on 04/06/2004 10:29:38 PM PDT by cartoonistx
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To: Fedora
Some of them are reviewed at Badmovies.org and there are links to other sites that have horrible films listed and reviewed.
Though I didn't find any viewable archive content of the old educational film shorts.
Just reviews of them.
*snicker*
SOMEONE just HAS to have them available on DVD just to torment the younger generations who didn't get to see them.
48 posted on 04/07/2004 8:25:54 AM PDT by Darksheare (Fortune for the day: "Mirrors are more fun than television" -Pink Flamingo from 'Address Unknown')
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To: Fedora
Cool sites.
49 posted on 04/07/2004 8:35:39 AM PDT by FourtySeven (47)
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To: Darksheare
SOMEONE just HAS to have them available on DVD just to torment the younger generations who didn't get to see them.

I agree! :) I'll check into it--wish I could remember the name of that one famous series with the old guy I was talking about, that was classic.

50 posted on 04/07/2004 9:33:01 AM PDT by Fedora
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