The Kinetic Karnival of Jearl Walker

PBS (ended 1982)


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The Kinetic Karnival of Jearl Walker

Show Summary

In 1981, a physics professor named Jearl Walker was asked to show some of the science tricks he used in his classes on the ABC prime-time series That's Incredible! But walker didn't want to be exploited in such a fashion. This opened the door for Cleveland's WVIZ (as it was then called) to showcase Walker for a show of their own. The result was The Kinetic Karnival of Jearl Walker. It was made available nationwide to schools for almost two decades and earned an Emmy award (though only six shows were shot). Walker demonstrated that physics dictates no fluid corn starch will spill if you slam your hand into it. This, plus other fantastic demonstrations, provided the energy for the series. A great deal of material for the series was derived from Walker's articles in Scientific American magazine and in his 1977 book The Flying Circus of Physics with Answers, so not all of these lectures were foreign. Certainly Walker's students are familiar with these stunts, including balancing a spoon on your nose. But all these facts are fascinating to the world around us.moreless