If you watch science television shows you will probably be very aware of the juggernaut that is Mythbusters. For the rest of the world – you might be in for a treat. In theory the show involves taking a couple of myths, urban legends or sayings and testing to see if they are actually true.
The show’s hosts take an experimental approach and try things out on a small scale or in miniature first and then go for a full size test. If the realistic test does not get the results expected in the myth they try to replicate what the myth calls for. On the way the science involved is explained and shown with little animations and cute labels. The idea is to be entertaining and and slide a little science education in on the way. Written that way it sounds innocuous.
Once you start explaining the myths it starts to get a little more crazy. The show has been running for 15 seasons – meaning over 300 hours are now available and in that time has spawned a huge number of watchable myths and one-liners. To pick a few of my favorites out – waterskiing behind a cruise ship, flipping a car with a snow plough, a boat being cut in half by hitting a buoy, getting stuck on an airline toilet and cleaning out a cement truck with explosives. I had difficulty finding a video that captured the essence of the show not because they don’t exist but because there are just too many good ones.
You’ve probably guessed that I’m huge fan but I don’t think I’m too biased. I had to restrain myself writing this post from going on and on – watch the sample video of elephants and mice and if you like it at all give the show a go. It’s available on Sky and Discovery in the UK and is all over Youtube.