Hosts Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman “have subjected nearly 1,000 cultural legends, historical myths, and internet rumors to the crucible of the scientific method,” she writes.
Her 11-year-old son, Finn is a big fan. The show has kindled his “sense of wonder about the cool stuff that exists out in the world,” she writes.
Each episode starts with a question:
Can eating pop rocks and soda cause your stomach to explode? Is running better than walking for keeping dry in the rain? Can you bounce a laser off the moon? Can an unamplified human voice shatter a wine glass?
As Savage and Hyneman explore these questions, they dive deep into the background knowledge required to understand the problem at hand. Consequently, they have taught my sons physics, geometry, chemistry, astronomy, biology, and history.
In a live show for the Behind the Myths tour, Savage ran a video of “favorite explosions and catastrophic failures” from over the years. It was a “montage of exploding water heaters, cement trucks, and cannons made out of trees, complete with custom-made Dolby sound.”
In his teens, Savage became obsessed with juggling, he told the audience.
I used to practice juggling for hours in my upstairs bedroom, and the sound of me dropping the balls over and over again—thump-thump-thump, thump-thump-thump—as they hit the ground was the sound of my teenage years. I spent entire afternoons practicing tricks that just would not work. But as I slept, and my brain fermented on them overnight, the next morning they would suddenly work. I thought I was just learning how to juggle, but I wasn’t. I was learning how to learn.
That thump-thump-thump? That wasn’t the sounds of failure. That was the sound of learning.
“Play is simply a process of running experiments,” he said. “We do things because they are fun. And remember …” He paused, allowing the audience to complete his sentence: the classic Mythbusters catchphrase. “The difference between screwing around and science is writing it down!” audience members shouted, chanting along with Savage.