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Scientific Illiteracy at Disney’s California Adventure Theme Park

My apologies for not posting more in the past week – we took the family down to LA (10 hours of minivan fun each way) to go to Disneyland for my father’s 60th birthday. This was the first trip to Disneyland for my 2 1/2 year old son, so needless to say, we were all quite excited.

My dad pointed out this silly mistake at Disney’s California Adventure theme park. In the bear country, they have these oil drums all over the place in a pseudo-frontier environment. Check this one out (courtesy of my Blackberry Pearl):

Really? Knowing that it was someone’s full time job to set up the props for this theme park, and that several million people have likely walked by this, it’s still messed up?

The irony is that I imagine some effort around not just labeling the drum water:

“Hey, let’s get fancy here. What’s that thing they call water sometimes? H2O?”

“Yeah, but they make the 2 little, like this”

“Oh, that looks cool. Awesome. Thanks.”

sigh. I really liked the book Innumeracy, by John Allen Paulos, which focuses on the incredible lack of numerical competence for most educated people. Seeing this drum made me feel like whatever the situation is around mathematical ignorance, my guess is that the ignorance around science is even worse.

Just so I can’t be accused of spreading ignorance, a water molecule is represented chemically by its components, 2 Hydrogen atoms, and 1 Oxygen atom. H2O. As always, Wikipedia is here to the rescue. You can find an entire page on it here.

This prop is a silly mistake, of course, and not an indictment of our society. But it bugged me so much that I decided to post it here. Maybe a few thousand page views of embarrassment will get Disney to fix it.

So, Digg this link… maybe we can shame them into fixing it.

4 Comments Post a comment
  1. Mary Lou Scott #

    As if that were the ONLY wrong. Forget what else is wrong with that place, but nobody checks anything anymore…including people reading their email before they send it. Grammar is out the window. Does any one remember how to do sentence diagramming? Watch “Who’s Smarter Than A Fifth Grader”. It’s pretty interesting!
    BTW love your financial entries

    July 6, 2007
  2. Jason #

    Digg the link???

    Real geeks use Reddit (reddit.com), not Digg… :)

    Submitted to Reddit…

    July 6, 2007
  3. Thanks, Jason. WordPress has Digg support now, but not Reddit.

    But happy for any votes – is there an easy way to add a Reddit link?

    July 6, 2007

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