Extended Interview: Mythbusters

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About This Episode

This is an extended audio interview from “Mythbusters (Part 1 & 2)” on StarTalk Radio with Neil deGrasse Tyson.

MythBusters are in the house! Neil deGrasse Tyson welcomes Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman to his office to talk about experimentation and the importance of using good data when applying physics and science in real life. You’ll learn how easy it is to tell when an experiment is faked, using shadows, Space Shuttle launches and the Chelyabinsk meteor in Russia in 2013 to illustrate the point. You’ll find out how the two special effects wizards got started with MythBusters, what their first experiment was, what their most expensive episode was, and what happened when they tried to prove you can clean out a cement mixer with dynamite. Plus the problems that prevented them from investigating two infamous urban legends: alligators in New York City sewers and the infamous “Poodle in a Microwave.” They also discuss testing the myth that Archimedes set fire to an invading fleet of ships using mirrors and why the team never tries to prove negatives, like that the Loch Ness Monster, Bigfoot, the Chupacabra and the Jackalope don’t exist. You’ll hear how a truck driver, two police officers and other real people have escaped from a sinking car using tips from the show. And you’ll discover why the MythBusters never shot Jamie off the back of a moving train using a slingshot or tested how well teeth whiteners work. The duo also describes the scars they’ve gotten over 15 seasons, and Adam talks about the time he blasted Jamie’s beret with a shotgun. Plus, find out what the show uses powdered animal birthing lubricant for, how you can actually “polish a turd” and what was the weirdest urban legend that turned out to be true.

Please note that this is the raw interview, with minor edits made to the original interview by our producer to address recording issues, not content. Enjoy!

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