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Friday night I was given the awesome opportunity to go to the Myths Busted Tour, hosted by MythBusters Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman. The show was everything I could have hoped, from things going wrong on stage to Adam’s jokes to the tricks they played on willing volunteers.
The show opened with smoke, light effects and a thunderous applause. They started the show off running, asking for volunteers. The gag ended with two of the volunteers being asked to interweave the pages of a phone book together for an experiment where Adam’s life would be in the hands of the phone book, Jamie, and an inflatable mattress.
Before beginning the experiment Adam gave us a little insight into their insurance company. He told us a story about the time they were testing the myth that you could cushion your fall with fabric awnings. After some deliberation, the insurance company decided that the stunt was far to dangerous for Adam to attempt … instead, they said Tory could do it.
He went on to explain the different ways the insurance company decides if something is safe enough for them to take it on themselves. While being hoisted up above the stage, a stage hand placed an inflatable mattress beneath him and Adam explained that it was an insurance requirement. We all got a good laugh at that one, because the mattress looked pretty flimsy from our point of view.
During the question and answer session with Jamie, I realized how creative the audience could be. One audience member wanted to know “Would you rather fight a horse-sized duck or 100 duck-sized horses?” Jamie’s answer was pretty funny. He said “I would say a horse-sized duck. I’d love to hear it quack.” He also explained that he felt there was no challenge in fighting 100 duck-sized horses because you could just kick them out of the way.
When asked about his favorite myth, I was expecting something with a big boom (because we all know that Jamie likes big boom). His answer surprised me. “The lead balloon. The end result thrilled us more than anything else. It was almost poetic.”
Another question someone asked was “Why do you and Adam do stupid stuff?” Jamie’s answer was really interesting. “For us, it’s all about the process and the experience. You don’t really need to know if a lead balloon flies or if you can swim through syrup. It’s about the experience and the process of learning what your dealing with. Some of the silly stuff is actually quite deep.”
The hardest part of the night was when Adam asked everyone to turn off their smartphones for a few minutes while they conducted an experiment on two willing volunteers. It was worth it to see the experiment and the trickery that ensued once they had everything set up.
One of the things I like about Adam is that some of the stuff he says, you know you want on a t-shirt. A couple of my favorites from the show are:
“We go through all this humiliating crap so you don’t have to.”
“Remember, the only difference between screwing around and science is writing it down.”
No MythBuster experience would be complete without some form of explosion and since UCF had this insane rule about explosions inside the building, they had Dolby Labs in San Francisco make them an audio of what they experience when blowing stuff up. When they showed the clips of explosions with the sound effects by Dolby Labs, I felt the sound in my chest.
When it came time for Adam’s question and answer session, the audience learned more than they bargained for in asking him about his favorite myth that didn’t end up on the air.
“My favorite myth is one that will never see the light of day.” The myth was that the cardboard box that sugary cereal comes in is actually more nutritious than what was in the box. They tested it with some lab mice. The control ate regular food and another set of mice ate fruit loops and a last set of mice ate a cardboard pellet variation that Jamie made. Jamie monitored the mice for a week and by Friday he could see that something was not quite right with the cardboard mice.
In the cage with the cardboard food there were no longer three mice; instead there was only one really fat one. The only thing left of the other two mice were their heads, rib cage and tails. The fat mouse, nicknamed Killer, was later fed to Jamie’s pet snake.
After they cut and edited the segment together, they gave it to Discovery who said “This can NEVER go on air.” I guess they didn’t see the humor in mouse cannibalism.
The cannon ball incident was brought up towards the end of the show and Adam gave a very honest answer. It was a horrific event that left them grateful that no one was hurt, and it has changed the way they do everything from top to bottom.
While they threw in scientific explanations for everything, the lesson for the night was: don’t believe everything you see. It was interesting that they wove that in there, considering that in some parts of the show they used a little of their special effects knowledge as well as their prankster skills.
After the show was over, we had the geektastic (my spell check that isn’t a word, but I say it is!) opportunity to have a one-on-one meet and greet with Adam and Jamie. It was a privilege and an honor to speak with them and present them with a humble bag of 501st Legion swag. My husband enjoyed shooting the breeze with Adam and I was thrilled when they signed the inside of my Clone Trooper helmet. Adam even added a little extra to his signature by writing “MythBuster Approved!”
The part that really stinks is I had a ton of questions I wanted to ask them that I forgot to ask because I was to busy being starstruck. One of the things I really wanted to know was, what was the most expensive thing they have ever unintentionally broken and had to replace? Another thing I’m curious about is whether or not they have ever had a myth that they really, really didn’t want to test, but knew they had to. Oh well…
Overall, the night was everything I could have hoped. For small children, it is a really long show, but entertaining enough that they might surprise you and make it the whole way through. The MythBuster team managed to incorporate myths and stories from older and newer seasons, so you never felt like you were missing anything. Of course, the best part of the night was getting to shake their hands and see their reactions to the swag bag we had for them.
While it might look like I’ve told you everything that happened, that is far from the truth. You really need to experience this for yourself. So what are you waiting for? Head over to their website and find out when they are coming to a town near you!
I was given free tickets to the show. Just because I received this benefit, that in no way affected my review. Lets face it, the MythBusters are awesome. Would you really expect a review that declares anything less?