Noted on MSNBC yesterday that Don Herbert (a.k.a. "Mr. Wizard") has passed on at the age of 89. Being of the baby boom generation, I was an avid fan of the "Mr. Wizard" TV show as a kid, as it not only provided fuel for my interests in science and technology, it had the larger motive (and result) of sharpening one's critical thinking skills, which is the real gift he brought to us.
Other than news, sports, and the occasional Food Network or HBO binge, I don't watch much TV. When my kids were younger, there were a couple of science-oriented youth shows that I recall seemed to be lost in the sea of absolute crap that TV networks and marketers routinely pitch to children. "Mr. Wizard" was entertaining, unique, and in a subtle way, very powerful in arming a generation of children with not only the capabilities to ask "why," but to start finding the answers immediately around them.