In the 1970's, Sesame Street wasn't the only educational puppet show in town. The Letter People was a literacy program and television series that taught phonics with an unusual bunch of 26 characters. Here's the entire 60 episode run. The production values improved a bit as the show went on, evolving from black backgrounds and simple sets to more elaborate ones. Every Letter Person had their own theme song, featured in their introductory episode; here's all twenty-six of those in alphabetical, and thus wildly anachronic, order. Absent from the show are the songs of Misters R, X and Q (the last three Letter People to debut in the show - they'd clearly gone through design changes by then, ESPECIALLY Mr. X). [more inside]
Jeff Quitney has curated hundreds and hundreds* of YouTube playlists with thousands and thousands of vintage educational, training and institutional films and documentaries. If you hate multi-link posts you can jump right in because the playlists aren't organized. In addition to including extensive background information and links to other resources in the video descriptions, he has restored or improved the video and audio in most of the films. Space, the military, and biology are well represented, but so are pets, food, and outdoor recreation and survival. Armchair travelers will be able to travel around the world, but you can also stay at home and watch cartoons. Travel back in time for the latest breaking newsreels, and add your own weather reports from vintage USAF meteorology films. And if you like women’s tennis, then you’ve just hit the motherlode.*I stopped counting at 480 [more inside]
Everybody's got to start somewhere, right? So why not enjoy Charity Scanvenger Hunt organizer and Supernatural star Misha Collins' excruciatingly earnest acting debut in the 1999 educational film NO BRAINERS ON TAXES.
From the nearly-forgotten 80s educational show Vegetable Soup, Woody the Spoon tells you how to make gohan, Japanese-style rice. If Woody's voice sounds a little familiar, it's because he's voiced by Bette Midler.
Henry Reich of Minute Physics shares his favorite science blogs, video channels, and other resources on the web. (Minute Physics previously) [more inside]
Molecular Movies features cell and molecular animations, along with animation tutorials. [more inside]
Look Around You is an insanely funny BBC parody of 1970's educational programs filled with pure nonsensical lies clothed as facts & pitch perfect mimicry of the style of governmental approved childrens education television. Each of the entire first season's worth of 8 10-minute episodes can be viewed here and is highly recommended.
Education for Death. (YouTubefilter.) Disney-produced anti-Nazi cartoon short from 1943. Look for Hitler's Satanic horns. More weirdness from WWII: Warner Bros Snafuperman, starring Pvt. Snafu (originally created by Dr. Seuss!), who also deals with spies, all while jabbering away in a voice that sounds disconcertingly like that of a certain cwazy wabbit. From Archive. org -- Pvt. Snafu learns about booby traps, in one case literally. Bugs himself joined the Air Force, and was faced with gremlins for his trouble. Superman himself got in on the act, battling Japoteurs. After all, during the War we were plenty worried about those canny Japanese.