"Roman Candle" turns 20: Secrets of Elliott Smith's accidental masterpiece (slideshow)
Elliott and the friends with whom he recorded in middle school in Texas (photo courtesy of Dan Pickering)
Elementary school classrooms in Ohio are being treated to a super special, game show-like day presentation, brought to them by Radio Disney and funded by the state Oil and Gas Association.
All of the activities are aimed at teaching kids about science — the science, that is “behind oil and gas production and their value as natural resources.” The Wooster Daily Record describes how the program, “Rocking in Ohio,” combined science and fun (and industry interests) at the Wayne County fairgrounds this fall:
[Radio Disney host] Jag introduced sub-topics — for example, drilling and production — shouted out some information about them and then put together teams for related games, at one point declaring “I need to create some really smart teams,” and at another juncture, cautioning, “This is a really physical game.”
One of the challenges was “literally creating our own pipeline,” Jag said, using balls and tubing to demonstrate “how we get oil and gas to your home.”
As contestants shot balls through the “pipeline” to end up in colored pails at the other end, Jag encouraged the audience, “Cheer these guys on like crazy.”
“It sounded almost too good to be true,” said Harbar Elementary School principal Cheryl Cook of the program. And yet it wasn’t: the Ohio Oil and Gas Energy Education Program (OOGEEP), a nonprofit education and public service organization funded by the oil and gas industry, brought it to the school’s third- through fifth-graders free of charge.
If the pilot’s judged to have been successful, “Rocking in Ohio” will be rolled out across the state in 2014. And judging by how amped up it got these kids about fossil fuels at the Ohio State Fair, that seems likely to be the case:
Lindsay Abrams is an assistant editor at Salon, focusing on all things sustainable. Follow her on Twitter @readingirl, email email@example.com.More Lindsay Abrams.
Heatmiser publicity shot (L-R: Tony Lash, Brandt Peterson, Neil Gust, Elliott Smith) (photo courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)
Elliott and JJ Gonson (photo courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)
"Stray" 7-inch, Cavity Search Records (photo courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)
Elliott's Hampshire College ID photo, 1987
Elliott with "Le Domino," the guitar he used on "Roman Candle" (courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)
Full "Roman Candle" record cover (courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)
Elliott goofing off in Portland (courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)
Heatmiser (L-R: Elliott Smith, Neil Gust, Tony Lash, Brandt Peterson)(courtesy of JJ Gonson photography)
The Greenhouse Sleeve -- Cassette sleeve from Murder of Crows release, 1988, with first appearance of Condor Avenue (photo courtesy of Glynnis Fawkes)