The excitement of the Gold Rush is in this show; the feverish travel across the country to find treasure, and the life of the prospectors. Bash shows the methods of mining with rocker and with gold pan, and then goes on film to visit Columbia, California, where rich strikes of gold were made. An old prospector takes her to the river and shows her how he extracts gold by rocker and pan, equipment which is as good now as it was then. Songs include “I Wish I Were Single” and “Clementine.”
Topic of discussion on this program is the actual organization of the major parties. Our lecturer considers the national characteristics of parties as opposed to the idea that each of them is a conglomeration of local political machines. He concludes with a look at the role the private citizen can and does play in party organization.
The desert plains of central Idaho bore silent witness to many events in history – the coming of the Oregon Trail, the wars between the whites and the Indians, the events of the Old West, Today they are witnessing a change that is far more important – the coming of atomic power. On the lava plains of central Idaho is the National Reactor Testing Station, famous for “firsts” in nuclear energy. Here electricity was first generated from atomic energy and atomic power first was used to light a town. Principles of nuclear submarine propulsion were worked out in “a ship on the desert” in Idaho. “Challenge” visits the National Reactor Testing Station to look at a power plant of the future, a reactor that makes more nuclear fuel than it consumes. The principle is not perpetual motion. This reactor takes the part of uranium that is not fissionable fuel (more than 99 per cent of the total) and converts it into plutonium, a man made element that is a good nuclear fuel. Because the reactor “breeds” plutonium it is called a “breeder” reactor – Experimental Breeder Reactor-II. How this breeding is accomplished, and how fuel for EBR-II is fabricated by remote control, is explained in this program.
A few years ago history was made at the United States Atomic Energy Commission’s Argonne National Laboratory where this program was filmed. This is the story of the dedicated research scientists whose search for truth ended a fallacy in chemistry which had existed for more than half a century. Although their efforts were not as exciting as the discovery that the world was round and not flat, the scientists at Argonne disproved that a group of elements called “inert gases” would not react with other elements to form compounds. This is not to imply that these elements – helium, neon, argon, krypton, xenon, and radon – did not have utility. Helium is the gas used to send balloons aloft. Neon, argon, and krypton are used in light bulbs: xenon in high speed photographic cells; and radon in medical therapy to irradiate cancer cells. What the Argonne scientists investigated was the atomic structure of these elements. For years it had been falsely believed that the electrons within these elements could not combine with electrons within the atoms of other elements. Following a report of Canadian scientists, the researchers at Argonne found that, instead of picking up electrons from other atoms, some of these so-called “inert gases” actually gave up electrons when combined with other elements. Using Krypton, xenon, and radon, in separate experiments, the Argonne scientists succeeded in making compounds which previously were unheard of. In fact, they also found at least one xenon compound for which they weren’t looking. This was xenon trioxide, a powerful explosive, made from xenon and oxygen. Many new uses will doubtless be found for these new compounds, according to the scientists. One might be the use of xenon tetrafluoride to store large quantities of fluorine as an oxidizing agent in rocket fuel.
In this program, Criminologist Joseph D. Lohman charts the growth and increasing complexity of the crime problem which has accompanied the development of an urban, industrial culture in the U.S. He shows a corresponding inadequacy in the control and treatment of crime and criminals. An interviewed inmate points out these inadequacies and the need for individual treatment, which is pointed out by Harrison and Lohman, also. Harrison notes that differences in crimes and criminals indicate needs for individual treatment.
In this episode, Dr. Smith, Jr., explains the relationship between language and culture. He points out that there is no such thing as a “primitive” language; all languages have the same amount of history behind them. He reveals why all languages are about equally complex, and discusses language patterns and how they affect the learning of a language.
This program is a summary and conclusion of the course. Dr. Smith first briefly hits highlights of the major religions. Then he discusses some of the attitudinal changes that may have resulted from the course.
The French horn, capable of producing melody, and the piano, a percussion instrument able to produce symphonic effects, are instruments which contrast with each other and blend exquisitely. To illustrate this musical partnership the program features John Barrows, French horn, and Vera Brodsky, piano. This film deals with the blending and contrasting of voices in composition and Mr. Barrows points out how composers have capitalized on this partnership.
Explains that diversity is part of the Protestant tradition and belief. States that although there is no single Protestant view, it is the Protestant heritage to drive toward excellence in education. Notes that any Protestant view holds that some appropriate way must be found of teaching in schools, that man does not live by bread alone, and that God exists and is sovereign. Feature personality is Merrimon Cunninggim, director of the Danforth Foundation in St. Louis.
In a Catholic school the realities of God and Christ, the guidance, teaching and influences of the Church, the Christian ideals are presupposed and within this framework all physical and intellectual disciplines have their place. Includes scenes of an elementary classroom. Features Dean Robert J. Henie, S.J., of St. Louis University. (kinescope)
Discusses methods of controlling nuclear testing. Outlines the obligation of the United States in assuming leadership in the control of such testing. Points out possible effects of continued tests. Makes suggestions concerning what can be done by various groups to diminish the dangers posed by continued testing of nuclear weapons. Features Norman Cousins, editor of the Saturday Review.
Bash compares the chores children have today with those children had a few generations ago as members of a pioneer family. She describes a typical day and tells of the work the family members do and their entertainment. Lillian Patterson performs the imaginary dreams of a pioneer child. Songs include “Pony Lullaby” and “Springfield Mountain.”
Dance is a universal experience, and Miss Myers introduces the series with paintings, sculptures and film clips showing ethnic dances throughout history and the world. Following this, she presents the three major forms of dance – ethnic, ballet, and modern. To illustrate these, the Ximenez-Vargas Company performs two European ethnic dances. They are followed by Melissa Hayden and Jacques D’Amboise, who execute a 17th century court dance, the predecessor of pure classical ballet which is represented by the pas de deux from The Nutcracker Suite. As the French court and manners of the 17th century affected later ballet, so today’s social developments and conditions affect modern dance. Daniel Negrin performs an illustrative dance satire to introduce the audience to forms of the modern dance.
Traces the history of computer development from the first mechanical calculators to ENIAC, the first electronic computer. Explains in lay terms how a modern digital computer stores both data and instructions in number form.
Demonstrates the role of perception in handling the processing information from the environment and the way in which our personalities affect our perception. Reviews the research of Dr. Herman Witkin of the State University of New York Medical Center, Dr. Eleanor Gibson of Cornell University, and Dr. Richard D. Walk of George Washington University.
Discusses the transition in art from realism to the abstract. Explains the reasons underlying abstract and non-objective painting. Demonstrates important points with illustrations drawn in chalk and paint. Uses prints of abstract painting to clarify and develop a greater understanding of the artist's interpretation. (WQED) Kinescope.
Discusses abstract art and the elements in a machine society which have furthered its development. Discusses the influences of Cezanne, the cubists, and the futurists. Uses charcoal drawings to distinguish expressionistic from geometric abstraction.