pitagora switch (Pythagoras Switch) is a 15 minute tv show on the nhk educational channel, airing since 2002. this show targets children between 4 ~ 6 years old, but it also attracts adults who still have kids in their hearts (yay!).
“there’re various mysteries in structures and interesting ways of thinking hidden in our everyday life. for example, you’ve had waffles so many times – why are the waffles shaped in exactly that way? have you every wondered about that? it’s easy to live without wondering. but if you pay attention, you’ll soon realize there’s a hidden law, “having a shape” behind them. you can find this law in our everyday items such as stamps, prints and various industrial products. everything is composed of the law of “having a shape”. if you notice the “shape”, you can understand the law. in this program, we’ll introduce these “wow!” and “ah-ha!” moments for children. by watching this program, we’re hoping for them to discover and foster the way of thinking with a “switch” in their mind.”
— this is my loose translation from nhk educational channel.
the main focus of this show is a puppet show. but also there’re “algorithm exercises” (featuring comedians called, “itsumo kokokara”), “what are you doing, mister?” (featuring a comedian, “ramenzu” – you know this guy by now. the guy from “the sushi video“!) and more. you can view a short clip here. i LOVE their surrealistic approach!.
my favorite is this “pitagora switch” device. these clips appear at the opening and the ending. these devices were designed by professor Masahiko Satou and the students from his lab at keio university. they are just beautiful devices.