Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Miracles from Molecules

(This post is in progress).

I miss the cold war, when not everyone was using computers to steal money and distribute pornography, and we thought a new world was coming, a world with freedom and economic security for everyone.  A world where the rich would not oppress the poor, where disease would be defeated, and where everyone could explore their full potential, irregardless of the circumstances that the accidents of their birth allowed.

This is the world that the composers of the post-show of the Disney/Monsanto Adventure Through Inner Space celebrated.  I was listening to this song this morning and I felt compelled to transcribe the lyrics, an artifact from a past that imagined a future very different from our present.

Please watch your step as you leave the vehicle and step on the moving walkway.  

The composers of this song created a perfect statement of the triumph and potential of modern (e.g. 1960's) chemistry and sings the praises of a new hero, the industrial chemist.  The song is called "Miracles from Molecules" and it was composed by the Sherman Brothers (1) for the Walt Disney Company.

      Miracles from molecules are dawning every day
      Discoveries for happiness in a fabulous array!
      A never ending search is on, by men who dare and plan,
      Making modern miracles from molecules for man!

      Every atom is a world, an infinity unfurled,
      A world of inner space without an end!
      A world of mystery, of endless energy,
      With treasures more than man can ever spend!

      Miracles from molecules, around us everywhere,
      There are miracles from molecules, in the earth, the sea, the air!
      Now men with dreams are furthering what nature first began,
      Making modern miracles from molecules for man!

      Making modern miracles from molecules for man! 

The song encapsulates the early 1960's vision of the future and the promise of a world with unlimited energy, and new materials that solve previously unsolvable problems, a world without limitations, amen. This was a  vision of hope when some would despair in a world of poverty, war and the threat of nuclear destruction.  It was for all of us, the worldwide community of Americans of whatever nation, all citizens of this new and synthetic world that was right around the corner.

Of course you had to be 12 years old to believe in such a thing, and a naive 12 years old at that.

But at least it was a vision of a better world, and stated with total sincerity, in a large-scale corporate marketing world exposition sort of way.

Today, do we hear a similar refrain from the promise of nanotechnology?   Perhaps, but they don't have a catchy song yet.

Get on the moving walkway and follow the arrow to your future.

A simulation of the complete attraction with the official soundtrack, is below.  This song is part of the post-show and it starts at approximately at approximately 8 minutes, 20 seconds into this video.

My previous post on the Adventure Through Inner Space is below.

(1) Richard and Robert Sherman composed a tremendous number of songs for the Walt Disney Company, for both films and theme parks.   Not only "Miracles for Molecules", but also the lead song from the Carousel of Progress as well as It's a Small World.  Both of these will be subjects of their own post.  A Wikipedia page for these two is at:

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