Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Nerd Men of the Month: The MythBusters

For the geeks and nerds of the world, it's flat out impossible not to love "MythBusters." It's got everything: explosions, science experiments, on-screen math equations, explosions, lightning, hosts getting drunk for the sake of science and oh, did I mention, really cool explosions. But even more importantly, it's got five great personalities -- Jamie Hyneman, Adam Savage, Tory Belleci, Grant Imahara and Kari Byron (who, yes, is a girl but we're going to make her an honorary nerd man anyway) -- bringing all that cool science and know-how to life.

"MythBusters" is one of those shows that's just insanely addictive. I've lost countless weekend afternoons to one of the Discovery Channel's many "MythBusters" marathons. Why? Because some things are far more important than cleaning the yard or feeding your family, like finding out whether or not a vertical leap at the last second in a freefalling elevator will save your life or whether a V-shaped snowplow can really cut a car in two. That's honestly the kind of weird stuff I think about all day, and it is endlessly awesome to know that there are actual qualified people out there proving it right or wrong. Now if they could somehow do an experiment where they shoot a CEO and a mid-level manager out of a canon to see who'd travel farther, I'd appreciate it as I used to spend many a late-afternoon meeting pondering that question.

The science on this show is just as addictive as the cool things that go boom. It's fascinating to watch the trial and error that goes into each experiment as well as all the math, chemistry, biology and other sciences some of us wish we'd paid more attention to in school. This show is so good, in fact, it makes me wish I'd taken physics and that's not an easy thing for an English major to admit.

Beyond the basic premise and awesome execution, though, the thing that makes this show so much fun to watch are the MythBusters themselves. Hyneman and Savage are perfect foils for each other with Hyneman as the taciturn, methodic one (or "the James May" in "Top Gear" terms) and Savage as the exuberant, intuitive-leap guy. And then there's the trio of Belleci, Imahara and Byron who are just flat-out fun to watch. Seeing the three of them do wonderfully crazy things like waterskiing behind a cruise ship or dropping cars from an airplane is a vicarious thrill. Each and every cast member on this show makes learning look fun -- and let's face it, there's not nearly enough of that on TV these days.

So for being smart, entertaining and for showing that science in all its guises can be a blast -- sometimes quite literally -- The Park Bench is pleased to name the MythBusters team as its Nerd Men (and Woman) of the Month.


Minerva said...

An excellent choice! I admit to having watched the older episodes at least five times each. For those who don't know, Grant Imahara follows the Park Bench Twitter. :)

Lisa said...

Great choice! My dream job is to be a Mythbusters Researcher, but until that happens I shall watch repeats over and over and over again!

Jane said...

I love Mythbusters. The make Nerddom tremendously cool. And they teach kids (and adults) in a fun way

Two thumbs up for the guys (and Kari) of Mythbusters.

Alyson said...

Adam and Jamie are actually this month's guest editors for Popular Mechanics - I have the September issue in my hands (sometimes it's nice working for an ad agency) and will be checking it out when I get home. They posted a fairly long feature online a couple of days ago, and it's truly fascinating to see how well Adam and Jamie work together, given their radically different personalities.

Florinda said...

A long overdue honor. That is all :-).

Joi said...

Mythbusters: possibly the most addictive show ever.

And seriously, a show that displays just how cool science is? How can you beat that??

The Science Manly said...

Couldn't agree with you more, Liz!

I love the Mythbusters, and anything that expose people to science is ace's in my book.

And, they are so damn entertaining!

And, as a nerd man, Kari is the kind of girl I wish I could find ;)

Anonymous said...

And what could be cooler than the Mythbusters?

Jamie and Adam doing a cameo on CSI (Season 8 - The Theory of Everything)




Reverend Humpy said...

I actually did change my major from English to Physics in part because of the Mythbusters. It's nice to see them recognized!!

Michelle said...

Oh, how happy I am to have found your blog! Props to Grant Imahara's Tweet re: this post for bringing me to a land populated with fellow nerdy girls. Couldn't add you to my Reader fast enough.

Amy said...

Your inclusion of Kari with the Mythbusters as Men of the month makes me wonder - why aren't you doing a nerd Woman of the month? There are some awesome nerdy women out there, it would be fun to celebrate them too.

BlitzWing00 said...

Mythbusters is awesome, I love how they do crazy stuff in the name of science! =)

I'm not familiar with that new girl who's going to cover for Kari while on mat leave....hope she measures up to Kari.

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Anonymous said...

For what it's worth: Grant Imahara is the man who convinced me that eyebrows could actually be sexy.

jessi said...

Great choice! I'm so excited about meeting Adam at Dragon*Con this year. Maybe some of the others will turn up, too!