Jamie Hyneman and Adam Savage, the men behind Discovery Channel's "MythBusters," share behind the scenes stories from their daring, often rudimentary and typically inadvisable tests of myths, rumors and complete hogwash with Kevin Kelly, Wired magazine's founding executive editor.
Hailing from Indiana farm country, Jamie Hyneman is a multifaceted man: wilderness survival expert, boat captain, diver, linguist, animal wrangler, machinist and cook, to name a few. His career has been as equally diverse: Hyneman earned a degree in Russian languages and ran a sailing/diving charter business in the Caribbean for several years before he moved over to the visual-effects industry.
Once he had joined that field and had worked for several special-effects companies, Hyneman found his way to Colossal Pictures' model shop, where he managed the production of models and special effects for hundreds of commercials and movies. Then, 16 years ago, Hyneman took over the shop and created M5 Industries Inc.
Hyneman has worked on over 800 commercials for major automobile manufacturers, soft-drink companies, athletic shoe companies and numerous other products. And in the midst of all this activity, Hyneman's company diversified into toy prototyping and research and development in a variety of other areas as well.
The holder of several patents and the winner of numerous industry awards, Hyneman is also a long-standing Screen Actors Guild member.
Today, while "MythBusters" occupies the majority of Hyneman's professional activity, M5 is active with developing cutting-edge technologies for a variety of industries ranging from defense to green vehicle design. In Hyneman's own words, "At this point, with over 130 episodes under our belts, I feel that we have evolved into different people than we were when we started Mythbusters. You can't go through all the mayhem we have been into on the show without it changing you. I feel like we are just getting warmed up."
Kevin Kelly cofounded WIRED in 1993 and served as executive editor of the magazine from its inception until 1999. He currently holds the unique title of senior maverick. Kelly’s most recent book is What Technology Wants (2010), about long-term trends in what he calls the technium. He is also editor and publisher of the Cool Tools website, which gets half a million unique visitors per month. From 1984 to 1990, Kelly was publisher and editor of the Whole Earth Review, a journal of unorthodox technical news. He cofounded the Quantified Self movement and the ongoing Hackers’ Conference, and he helped launch the pioneering online service the WELL in 1985. He is the author of the best-selling book New Rules for the New Economy and the classic 1994 work on decentralized emergent systems, Out of Control.
Adam Savage has spent his life gathering skills that allow him to take what's in his brain and make it real. He's built everything from ancient Buddhas to futuristic weapons, from spaceships to dancing vegetables, from fine art sculptures to animated chocolate and just about anything else you can think of.
The son of a filmmaker/painter and psychotherapist, Savage has been making his own toys since he was allowed to hold scissors. Having held positions as a projectionist, animator, graphic designer, carpenter, interior and stage designer, toy designer, welder, and scenic painter, he's worked with every material and process he could get his hands on - metal, paper, glass, plastic, rubber, foam, plaster, pneumatics, hydraulics, animatronics, neon, glassblowing, mold making and injection molding, to name just a few.
Since 1993, Savage has concentrated on the special-effects industry, honing his skills through more than 100 television commercials and a dozen feature films, including Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace and Episode II: Attack of the Clones, Galaxy Quest, Terminator 3, A.I. and the Matrix sequels. He's also designed props and sets for Coca-Cola, Hershey's, Lexus and a host of New York and San Francisco theater companies.
Not only has he worked and consulted in the research and development division for toy companies and made several short films, but Savage has also acted in several films and commercials - including a Charmin ad, in which he played Mr. Whipple's stock boy, and a Billy Joel music video, "Second Wind," in which he drowns.
Today, in addition to co-hosting Discovery Channel's "MythBusters," Savage teaches advanced model making, most recently in the industrial design department at the San Francisco Academy of Art. Somehow, he also finds time to devote to his own art - his sculptures have been showcased in over 40 shows in San Francisco, New York and Charleston, W.Va.
MythBuster Adam Savage recalls being stunned by the results of the "Dirty vs. Clean Car" episode, which tested the fuel efficiency of a car covered in golf ball dimples. "Our thought going in was, 'This is total crap,'" says Savage. "No way."
The results of their experiment actually prompted Ford to test their own version of the "golf ball car."
I thought that Jamie was quite modest and silent here but he clearly has great vision for what people like. This show has purely risen because of its entertainment value and gives youngsters an insight into the importance of empirical evidence. I hope they will continue the show for years to come.
I love the fact that these guys say they will not do supernatural stuff. I am a Christian that loves science and who really enjoys looking at stuff which, from my perspective, God has made. I get two kinds of wonder going on at the same time. For me, the kind of aggressive God hating scientist is a fool who is missing more that he/she can ever know but, I don't hate them the way many of them hate me. That is also another positive. The fact that most of the greatest scientists in our history also happen to have been Christians and their genius was not destroyed by their understanding of God but rather, enhanced by it, is for me, amazing.
The Richard Dawkins approach to religion so many of his misguided followers adopt simply makes us poorer and creates the kind of arrogant scientists many horror movies and stories of the past illustrate only too well. My attitude is, if you do not believe then leave those alone who do. The arrogant idea that YOU alone know the truth is as crazy as the idea that any Christian might think all science is evil.
It is interesting to me that if you put science and religion together and compare them, science has killed more people than religion ever has. Add in politics and now you find that politics and science have been responcible for most of the deaths on earth and have far out stripped religion. Yet I do not believe that all politicians and all scientists are evil people any more than I believe that Christians, misled by politicians into fighting wars in the name of God, started out as evil people. Conversely, the same applies when we look at the good things in the world which science and religion have done. I live in a warm house in chilly England because of science. My streets are safe because of Christianity.
I suppose the key is this: Whatever you think is right be careful you are not misled. Think for yourself and think, if I do this thing will others be hurt by it? If the answer comes up yes, don't do it.
Or, as Christ put it, "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."
I love science and I love these guys. It is attitudes not investigation that worries me. Jamie and Adam have the wisest approach.
Well done Guys. My favourite programme here in the UK. They have done loads for science. How about busting the myths of Religion Guys? Oh yeah, you can't prove a negative lol. Lovely to see you're just as funny here as on the show. Thanks.