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Revisiting The Voyage of the Mimi

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Long before he was an Academy Award-winning screenwriter and producer, Ben Affleck played C.T. Graville on PBS’ educational mini-series, The Voyage of the Mimi, about scientists taking a census of humpback whales off the coast of Massachusetts. The episodes, which began airing in 1984, consisted of two segments: A 15-minute episode that tells the fictionalized tale of scientists on the Mimi, and a 15-minute “expedition” documentary where Affleck (or one of the other young actors) comes out of character to showcase the facts of the previous segment and interview real-life scientists about their work. Here are a few of our favorite episodes from the show. (And if you want to watch more, you can find all of them on Youtube.)

Episode 1: “All Aboard,” “Planet Ocean”

In this episode, we’re introduced to CT, the Mimi and its crew. Captain Granville—CT's grandfather—was played by Peter G. Marston, an MIT scientist who owned the ship at the time.

Episode 4: “Counting Whales,” “Whale Bones”

In the episode, we learn what distinguishes humpbacks from finbacks, see a breach, and watch the crew enter sighting data into a truly ancient computer; in the expedition, Affleck heads to the Smithsonian's Natural History Museum.

Episode 6: "Home Movies," "Songs in the Sea"

Via home movies of another expedition that follows the humpbacks from the Northern Atlantic down to the seas around the Dominican Republic, we learn about how the whales travel to certain areas to mate and calve, listen to whales sing (that starts around 11:30), and watch the scientists match photos of flukes to identify whales.

Episode 9: “Shipwrecked,” “Goosebumps”

This episode—my personal favorite—demonstrated how to cure hypothermia (everybody strip and get in a sleeping bag to bring up that body temperature!). The documentary segment, “Goosebumps,” has young Affleck visiting the U.S. Army’s arctic wind tunnel.

Episode 10: "Making Dew," "Water Water Everywhere"

Still shipwrecked, the crew of the Mimi teach young CT—and young viewers—how to create drinkable water from salt water.

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Happy Birthday, Alex Trebek!
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Today, everyone's favorite game show host turns 76 years old. Let's celebrate!

ON SESAME STREET

In 2006, Trebek played “Special of the Day” with Telly.

ON CARD SHARKS

In 1980, the tables were turned, and Trebek found himself the contestant on this episode of Card Sharks. The “tell me about yourself” portion of the program doesn’t go so smoothly, but he’s pretty good at the game itself.

THROWING PEOPLE IN THE POOL

In this sketch for the 40th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards, Trebek throws a waiter in a pool. The takeaway is clear: Don’t phrase things in the form of a question when you’re talking to the Jeopardy! host.

TREBEK ON NASA

And how the agency’s work with other companies helps all of us, not just astronauts.

HOSTING WHEEL OF FORTUNE

Happy April Fool's Day 1997! (Pat Sajak hosted Jeopardy that night.)

ALEX, AUTOTUNED

MC TREBEK IN THE HIZZOUSE

That was the actual name of the category.

AND JUST WHEN YOU THOUGHT IT COULDN'T GET ANY WEIRDER...

Behold “Sexiest Potpourri Ever.”

LAST BUT NOT LEAST...

You didn’t think we’d leave without posting one of these, did you?

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Covers of "Me and Bobby McGee"
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On this day in 1970, Janis Joplin died of a heroin overdose at the age of 27. The singer-songwriter was known as "The Queen of Psychedelic Soul." Here, we remember Joplin with covers of her only number-one hit, "Me and Bobby McGee." Joplin's version of the song, originally written by Kris Kristofferson and Fred Foster, topped the charts after her death, making the song the second posthumous number-one single in U.S. chart history.

Johnny Cash

Pink

Willie Nelson

Dolly Parton

James Last

Jerry Lee Lewis

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