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Julia Child Cooks Primordial Soup (1973) [video] (instructure.com)
109 points by DonHopkins 13 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 11 comments





As Don Hopkins notes, this was originally part of the National Air and Space Museum's "Life in the Universe" exhibit. I saw it several times there and it's still a treat. For a while, a high quality version was available on YouTube but it was taken down due to a copyright claim by the owner, WGBH Educational Foundation. The Smithsonian Magazine link Don posted has a link to the now-removed video.

Only slightly related, but she also helped develop shark repellent for the US government:

https://www.cia.gov/news-information/featured-story-archive/...


If anyone hasn't seen Cosmos (1980) it's explained and the result of the experiment is shown: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_2xly_5Ei3U

boy-oh; that list reminds me of the one scene in full-metal alchemist where they list the ingredients that make up a human

also, the scene in Breaking Bad where they determine how much of each element is involved in making up a human.

Breaking Bad was a great trip in Chemistry basics.

Video: The Primordial Soup with Julia Child. (Click on the small thumbnail in the second row with the (>) "play" icon to see the video.)

https://massasoit.instructure.com/courses/346438/pages/video...

The National Air and Space Museum used to show this delightful video in its "Life in The Universe" exhibit, in which Julia Child recreates Stanley Miller's famous experiment, cooking up a delicious hot batch of Primordial Soup!

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/julia-child-an...

>Julia Child and the Primordial Soup

>Scientists don't yet know how life began here on Earth. Mineralogist Bob Hazen, who is profiled in the October issue of Smithsonian, thinks that rocks were key to the development of life. Reporter Helen Fields wrote:

>It’s the complexity of the hydrothermal vent environment—gushing hot water mixing with cold water near rocks, and ore deposits providing hard surfaces where newly formed amino acids could congregate—that makes it such a good candidate as a cradle of life. “Organic chemists have long used test tubes,” he says, “but the origin of life uses rocks, it uses water, it uses atmosphere. Once life gets a foothold, the fact that the environment is so variable is what drives evolution."

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Miller%E2%80%93Urey_experiment

>The Miller–Urey experiment (or Miller experiment) was a chemical experiment that simulated the conditions thought at the time (1952) to be present on the early Earth and tested the chemical origin of life under those conditions. The experiment at the time supported Alexander Oparin's and J. B. S. Haldane's hypothesis that putative conditions on the primitive Earth favoured chemical reactions that synthesized more complex organic compounds from simpler inorganic precursors. Considered to be the classic experiment investigating abiogenesis, it was conducted in 1952 by Stanley Miller, with assistance from Harold Urey, at the University of Chicago and later the University of California, San Diego and published the following year.

https://www.wired.com/2009/05/dayintech-0515

>May 15, 1953: Cookin' Up Some Primordial Soup

>1953: Stanley Miller, just 23 years old, publishes his landmark work on the production of amino acids, a necessary component of life, in a jar.


Here she cooks a diamond. The result is "a very sad sight."

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PJ-mVHoosdI


I grew up in DC in the 70s, and used to go to the Air and Space Museum all the time. I'm surprised I don't remember having seen this video as a kid.

I love how she uses her well-worn chef's knife as a pointer.


Me too! (You might also appreciate the FX show "The Americans" that's set in that era and area. One of the kids on that show had the exact same Star Wars blanket as I did!)

https://www.ebay.com/itm/Vintage-STAR-WARS-Blanket-Throw-197...

The "Life in the Universe" exhibit was on the first floor of the West wing, from July 1, 1976 through March 1, 1979:

https://www.si.edu/exhibitions/life-universe-event-exhib-346...

It also featured the original "Powers of Ten" movie:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0fKBhvDjuy0

And they had a cool interactive "Pick-a-Star" display that let you press buttons to select hypothetical planetary systems and extraterrestrial life forms:

https://airandspace.si.edu/collection-objects/museums-smiths...

Did you ever see the "Person to Person" Telephone Exhibit in the History and Technology museum? My mom was a docent at the Electricity Discovery Corner, right next to that. So we'd go to the museums every Saturday!

https://siarchives.si.edu/collections/siris_sic_955

More photos of the "Life in the Universe" exhibit (it was cool and dark and really great place to hang out if you were stoned):

https://airandspace.si.edu/collection-objects/museums-smiths...

https://airandspace.si.edu/collection-objects/museums-smiths...

https://airandspace.si.edu/collection-objects/museums-smiths...

https://airandspace.si.edu/collection-objects/museums-smiths...

https://airandspace.si.edu/collection-objects/museums-smiths...

https://airandspace.si.edu/collection-objects/museums-smiths...

https://airandspace.si.edu/collection-objects/museums-smiths...

https://airandspace.si.edu/collection-objects/museums-smiths...

https://airandspace.si.edu/collection-objects/museums-smiths...

https://airandspace.si.edu/collection-objects/museums-smiths...

https://airandspace.si.edu/collection-objects/museums-smiths...

https://airandspace.si.edu/collection-objects/museums-smiths...

https://airandspace.si.edu/collection-objects/museums-smiths...

https://airandspace.si.edu/collection-objects/museums-smiths...

https://airandspace.si.edu/collection-objects/museums-smiths...

https://airandspace.si.edu/collection-objects/museums-smiths...

https://airandspace.si.edu/collection-objects/museums-smiths...


How does it taste?



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