Mythbuster shares the fun of science

Grant Imahara spoke to a packed house at the DMACC West Campus on Thursday, March 6.

Grant Imahara spoke to a packed house at the DMACC West Campus on Thursday, March 6.

There was organized chaos Thursday morning at West Campus as students found their way into spillover rooms when one of The Discovery Channel’s Mythbusters, Grant Imahara, visited the campus to talk to students during CI Week about how the popular show accidentally made science and engineering cool.

Mythbusters takes myths, tall tales and urban legends and gives them the scientific treatment to determine their validity. Myths are proved true, probable, possible, improbable or busted. Often after the real-world practical tests have proved or debunked a myth, the team will take the experiment to the extreme, many times using more modern technology than the myth could have used or upping the black powder for impressive explosions, according to IMDb.

In past years, the show has used ten tons of explosives.

“Over the years, I think the Alameda County, where our home bomb range is, they’ve become probably the nations most well-trained bomb squad,” Imahara said.

So at this point cue the video of the montage of explosions that have taken place on Mythbusters over the years.

Imahara also mentioned in his talk another way to make science and engineering accidentally cool is to use duct tape, lots and lots of duct tape.

“Everybody can get behind it, everybody has a story about using duct tape, now most people don’t try to lift a whole car with duct tape, but that’s an indication about how strong it is,” said Imahara.

“You can actually use duct tape to make a boat to sail,” said Imahara, “I did not think that this was possible because of the adhesive, but apparently if you put the adhesive side  ‘in,’ you’re able to create enough of a seal that you can sail around San Francisco Bay quite comfortably for an hour or two.”

He also implored the idea to students about not being afraid to look stupid, with a humorous approach to the idea.

“When I first started on Mythbusters, one of the best pieces of advice I got was from Adam, and he said ‘Grant, there’s no dignity in television once you get over that it get’s a lot more fun’ said Imahara.

Then Imahara answered a few questions from audience members including some involving the impact of the show, and how the show gets its ideas.

“We’ve gotten emails from all around the world from teachers, from kids, from people who are enjoying science, and probably some of you, many young people who are in college now went into science because of watching Mythbusters, so I just wanna say thanks for that,” Imahara said.

“Nowadays a lot of our content comes from the internet,” said Imahara, “which is a tremendous source of mis-information, as long as people keep believing silly things we’ll have a job,” said Imahara in regards to a question about ideas for the show.

However it goes, the show has generated enough response with audiences in past years to keep them in suspense. In the past ten years, according to the Huffington Post, the show has tested 885 myths, had nearly 200 episodes filmed, has filmed over 7,200 episodes, has exploded something 815 times and in the last ten years, 43,500 yards of duct tape were used.

. According to Mark Wheeler, a 23-year-old business major, “I thought it was interesting and informative, and I learned a lot more of the background of what goes into the show.”

Another student, Matthew White, a 34-year-old Telecommunications major from Des Moines, said, “He made a career of his passions and it all started with Legos.”

Mythbusters airs on the Science Channel at 9 p.m. on Saturdays.


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