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It was real, the way things worked. The way things wanted to work. Theirs was the erector-set cosmos of Popular Mechanics , with its pictures of moonwheels and frictionless bearings, and its ads for kits to put a sleek fiberglass body— As Aerodynamic as a Porsche!

The New Adventures of the Mad Scientists' Club (Mad Scientist Club)

P art of the attraction may have been the Tomorrowland utopia the technology seemed to promise, with its glimpses of a Jetsonian future: the People-Mover! And part of it was the sheer gadgetry: the fetish of the accessory that made, for instance, a s shutterbug ache for all the telephoto doohickeys and widgets in the mail-order catalogue that came every other month from that We-Have-It-All!

For the American science boys, it was oscilloscopes and cathode rays, diodes and dynamos, capacitors and step-down transformers. Or the great mechanical words they got to use: axial force and momentum, vector and differential, tension and torsion. Do they still exist?

All the junior engineers I knew have flown now, arcing like rockets with a small, eccentric wobble as they fluttered across the sky. Another made a fortune, inventing something or other during the gold-rush days of semiconductors, and retired at age thirty-five to a fancy mountain house in Colorado, where he tinkers happily all day with the nineteenth-century mechanical toys he collects.

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Yet another teaches basic physics, explaining to prep-school students why iron filings make a pattern when you sprinkle them on paper above a magnet and why light dissociates into rainbows when you shine it through a prism. Each of them still sometimes gets that eyes-down, hunted expression they used to have in high school, especially when the conversation moves to politics or novels or something else too amorphous to discern the rules by which it works. And each of them seems different, somehow, from the computer kids one meets today. Over the past few months, an enormous number of words have been spilled about how the United States is falling behind the rest of the world in science: cover stories in news magazines, chin-pulling on television talkshows, widely publicized demands for legislative action.

But in the end,. The most obvious bedrock of success is entrepreneurial spirit.

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The U. The whole gigantic, weird, sprawling, entrepreneurial American thing was never really about science, and the all-American science boys, cast from the Ben Franklin—Thomas Edison mold, were never really scientists. They were tinkerers, engineers, and machinists rather than theorists and experimenters. They were inventors, more than anything else, which is why the U. Patent Office has issued them more than three hundred patents for apple-peelers since But always Americans believed that we had probably invented those goods in the first place.

A few moments of serious money came along especially with automobiles in the s, radios in the s, and personal computers in the s , when all the tinkering boys in the bicycle shops and cinder-block basements seemed to be getting rich. But mostly the distinctive American inventing was non-financial, or pre-financial, or extra-financial, or, anyway, somehow partly outside the realm of money. But though they gave birth to the world of Apple PCs and Microsoft and the Internet, their computerized children seem to live instead in something more like a Cartesian universe—the mind-body distinction cleaner, the logic-puzzle elements come to the fore, the math side triumphing over the engineering side, the reality grown more virtual and less physical.

For years and years—long before J. Rowling and the Harry Potter books made it the most successful publisher on the planet—Scholastic used grade schools to help market its softcover selections. As a money-maker, the scheme was hard to beat: Teachers handed out catalogues, the students would bring in their quarters and dimes, and a small portion kicked back to the school. The books were usually illustrated, and they were always sweet, in one way or another. Maybe you have to have gone to school in a small town with only a Carnegie library and a single bookstore to know the excitement of those catalogues that came midway through the fall and again in the spring.

Born in upstate New York in , he lived an unsettled life as a child—dragged from Pennsylvania to Illinois to California—before finishing high school in West Newbury, Massachusetts, and heading off to Stanford for college. Though he took a degree in history, it was amateur theater that attracted him, first in Palo Alto and then while working for Lockheed Aircraft in southern California as a systems analyst. Army in Munich and Heidelberg.

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Escorted USO shows. Directed Troop Entertainment Program for U. Occupied Zone, Germany. Organized road circuit of twenty-one show units and ninety-five dance bands. Wrote and directed seven musical productions for troop entertainment.

Pre-K -K- 1st 2nd 3rd 4th 5th 6th 7th 8th 9th 10th 11th 12th. You must enable javascript in order to use this site. Seton Program Books Only:. Advanced Search. The Mad Scientists' Club.

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Add to Cart. Seton's Description: A strange sea monster appears on the lake Watch out as the Mad Scientists turn Mammoth Falls upside down! In the hands of an author whose own work involved technological pioneering, the proceedings are well worth undivided attention, as the boys explore every conceivable possibility for high and happy adventure in the neighborhood of Mammoth Falls.

Here, captured under one cover, are the fun-filled escapades of the young scientists whose exciting capers debuted in Boys' Life over fifty years ago.

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Approximate dimensions: 5. Hard cover. Shepherds to the Rescue.


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