Today’s guest blog comes from Tim Braden and Tim Woolsey (pictured), scientists in Lilly Research Laboratories and ardent “MythBusters” fans.
It’s the end of an era. The 14th season of “MythBusters,” which begins airing January 9 on Discovery Channel, will be its last. As two Lilly scientists passionate about teaching kids how science works and why it matters, we will miss the fun, enthusiastic and hands-on approach that “MythBusters” takes with science.
Here is our list of the Top 10 things we'll miss most about the show:
10. Accidents happen. In 2011, the “MythBusters” crew miscalculated and launched a cantaloupe-sized cannon ball into a neighborhood. Fortunately, no one was hurt—but you can be sure the team learned from that mistake. When an experiment fails, scientists take the learnings, adjust the experiment and keep moving forward.
9. Over-the-top experiments. “MythBusters” has the scientific expertise, resources and safety measures in place to take experiments further than most people could ever imagine. For example, can an explosion be used to clean out the inside of a concrete truck? The team started with a small firecracker inside a truck and moved to an explosion big enough to blow the truck into pieces. If you actually owned a concrete truck, you would never want to take the experiment so far.
8. Let’s see what happens if … Enthusiasm for science is shared by kids and adults alike. We love to test our theories and learn new things while having fun.
7. Don’t monkey with the safety features. What happens if your water heater over-pressurizes? Well, “MythBusters” showed that the heater probably won’t explode unless you have tinkered with the safety features. This episode served as a good reminder that safety features exist for good reason.
6. There is no “i” in “team.” The show's co-host, Adam Savage, is an extroverted special-effects designer always looking to take things to the extreme. Meanwhile, Jamie Hyneman is more of a traditional, systematic guy who likes to do things the “right” way. The personal chemistry between them remains one of the show's best experiments.
5. It’s good science. “MythBusters” applies science in a rigorous way, just as Lilly scientists do every day. As the guys always say, “It’s not science if you can’t repeat it.”
4. Explosions. Whether you're young or old, it's always fun to see things explode when you are watching safely from your living room and nobody gets hurt.
3. Everyone’s ideas are worth a shot. The head-to-head challenges between Adam and Jamie have given us hours of entertainment. Adam takes a more complicated, artistic approach while Jamie presents a more practical, no-nonsense solution. In the end, you never knew whose idea would work best.
2. It confirms what you learned in high school. Science teachers around the world can say, “I told you that wouldn’t work” after Adam and Jamie debunk a long-standing urban myth created by Star Wars movie magic.
1. It’s been a part of our TV schedule for 14 seasons. As one of cable’s longest-running shows, we’ve seen the “MythBusters” team execute over 2,900 experiments. We wish the end of the show itself was just a myth, but unfortunately this season is indeed it's last. Even so, "MythBusters" and science itself are always worth celebrating.