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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Busting life’s puzzling myths

    The Mythbusters, Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman, entertained an audience of about 1500 science enthusiasts with words instead of explosions during their show “”Behind the Scenes at Mythbusters”” Saturday night at Centennial Hall.

    The presentation included several video clips never seen on TV but mostly focused on the history of the duo’s unlikely partnership, while also answering questions posed by the audience. Savage’s lively wit, contrasted with Hyneman’s deadpan dry humor, evoked laughter and applause from the audience.

    Lizette Eckman, a Tucson resident, said that the Mythbusters’ relationship on-stage was very similar to the TV show but that the fact they are not friends outside of the show is “”kind of shocking.””

    “”Not being friends actually makes for a terrific business partnership,”” Savage said. “”Because there is nothing we won’t say in fear of hurting the other’s feelings … simply because we don’t care,”” he said, inspiring laughter from the audience.

    Though Hyneman admits that he and Savage are “”distinctly different,”” he points out that this is actually a “”powerful tool,”” because it provides them with two different perspectives and methods to any project.

    “”If you’re working along in a linear path and you run into a speed bump, sometimes you get stuck,”” Hyneman said. “”We don’t get stuck, we’re too busy fighting with each other and the speed bump just kinda gets destroyed in the process,”” he said.

    As you might expect, the two men, who have more than 30 years of special effects experience between them, have both “”had very eclectic careers,”” Savage said.

    Savage worked in the theatre for many years and spent time in his twenties working with drag queens he said.

    He also worked for Hyneman doing special effects for several years before going on to work with Lucas Films, Savage said. “”I worked on Star Wars Episode I and II … and I apologize,”” he said.

    “”I worked on the Matrix II and III … and I apologize again,”” he said. “”I worked on Galaxy Quest. You’re welcome,”” he said, to applause.

    Hyneman, who grew up on a farm in Indiana, said he has been “”all over the place.”” He earned a degree in Russian only to decide to become a boat captain and diver in the Caribbean for several years.

    “”We’re poster children for the school of hard knocks and just throwing yourself into something, that’s what we do on the show,”” he said. “”We say we’re trained professionals but you know for what, for turd polishing,”” he said.

    Savage said, “”We don’t stand by our results, we stand by our methodology.”” The show is about the process of figuring out how something works and includes screw-ups, failures, and changes of opinion, he said.

    “”All of that is intensely scientific, that is what it’s really like,”” Savage said.

    Hyneman added, “”If we actually knew what we were doing than it wouldn’t be any fun to watch.””

    Russakoff’s son, Max, enjoyed the show but was less than thrilled. “”I thought there would be more explosions, but oh well.””

    Max’s brother Ben said he had expected the Mythbusters “”to do something on stage besides talk.””

    The duo did save a video of what Savage called “”explosion porn,”” for the end of the show that climaxed with 500 pounds of high speed explosions creating a sonic boom of force that traveled over 20,000 feet per second.

    Stewart Kent, a UA alumnus and applied math graduate student, really enjoyed the show and said “”[he] thought it was nice that they had a lot of audience participation, because this is the type of show that people like to ask questions about and bring up contentious issues.””

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