I like to learn new things. I read about many subjects, but also like to watch informational television shows. One of my favorites is Mythbusters on the Discovery Channel. The two main hosts Jamie and Adam have over 30 years in special effects related fields. Their opening line is “We are what they call experts; do not try this at home.” The premise of the show is testing to see if certain “urban myths” are true. The also test scenes in the movies to see if they are realistic. Viewers are encouraged to send them ideas or stories to be tested.
Surprisingly the Mythbusters are very scientific in their methods and attempt to replicate the conditions of the supposed event as exact as they can. They then label the myth as confirmed, plausible, or busted. Now it does not always end there; they often attempt to replicate the supposed results by going big.
For example in one episode they were testing scenes of TV’s MacGyver show. One myth was that MacGyver was able to blow a hole in a concrete block wall by using a once of Sodium in a gel capsule dropped into bottle of water. The resulting explosion did not kill MacGyver but blew a big enough hole for him to escape. The Mythbusters first replicated the scenario exactly as on TV. It was busted because the resulting explosion was not big enough to do any damage to the wall. They then stepped up the test until they were able to replicate the results using a block of C4. So not only did they show what actually happened as done by MacGyver but what had to be done for him to escape.
The Mythbusters really take their audiences communications seriously; and sometimes revisit myths when the audience suggests it. They are very safety conscious and have an unwilling volunteer named Buster to drive, fall, be shot, or blown up as needed. Of course Buster is a test dummy or he would be dead hundreds of times over. There are lots of car crashes, explosions, gunfire, and other exciting things always happening on Mythbusters; but there are also very scientific tests performed. I highly recommend the show. Who knows maybe you will learn how to skip a car across a 100 ft. lake. Just do not try it at home unless you are an expert.