MythBusters: Scents And Sensibility

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PoopReport of the Year AwardComment Content Moderatora 10000+ points - Super Pooperb 9000+ pointsc 8000+ pointsd 7000+ pointse 6000+ pointsf 5000+ pointsg 4000+ pointsh 3000+ pointsi 2000+ pointsj 1000+ pointsk 500+ pointsl 100+ pointsm 1+ points - Newb
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Walking into the restaurant on Manhattan's 7th Avenue, a block away from the Ed Sullivan Theater where my companions were to appear on Letterman the next day, some guy recognized Jamie and Adam. "Are you here to solve the myth of the pizza sauce?" he cracked. Jamie and Adam smiled. The man made a joke about blowing somthing up. Jamie and Adam walked into the restaurant, their smiles no longer as genuine.

Jamie Hyneman and Adam Savage are the stars of MythBusters, Discovery Channel's hit show dedicated to uncovering the science behind urban myths. For three seasons Jamie and Adam have devotedly applied the scientific method to bust dozens of widely held myths. But to the guy at the door and fans all over the world, they're known as the guys who love to blow things up. That's not how they want to be known, but that seems to be what gets butts onto couches, so that's how Discovery markets them. Discovery manages the MythBusters image carefully, and the image of two trigger-happy gung-ho scientists seems to be the one they've latched on to.

And that image, as Discovery has it, is incongruous with fecal matter.

And yet there I was.

We sat at the table for the interview that wasn't supposed to happen -- myself, Jamie, Adam, Peter, MythBusters' Executive Producer; Eric,









Dave and Jamie listen intently.





their Associate Producer; and my lovely wife Jenny. When I had first approached Peter about setting up this interview, he enthusiastically referred me to Discovery's PR representative. She refused to email me. A website dedicate to poo, she told Peter, doesn't jibe with Discovery's carefully crafted family-friendly image.

Spend five minutes with this crew and you can see why Discovery is apprehensive about putting them in the same room with a guy who spends his time contemplating the philosophical ramifications of poop. On the set, they told me, poop jokes regularly flow; Discovery knows this, and probably feared that my presence would be the catalyst that unleashed the true nature of their stars. But Peter felt loyalty to PoopReport -- this site was one of the first to write about the show when they first got started; and Peter didn't forget it. So he scheduled the interview himself. And sure enough, they were bursting with the kind of talk that would make a corporate publicity hack gnaw at her clipboard and mentally begin updating her resume:

"One of Adam's most unsettling experiences on the set involved poop."

"Peter keeps imagining a frying turd on a skillet."

"I once had one lodge across the bowl. I had to pour boiling water on it just to get it down!"


I print these quotes not to piss off Discovery, nor to frighten their advertisers, nor to appease those PoopReporters who are wondering when this article will finally start talking about poop; and certainly not just for shock value. (It shouldn't surprise anyone that a bunch of guys who work long hours together turn to poop jokes to pass the time -- most people would do the same.) No, I mention it instead to underscore the major theme of my forbidden ninety-minute discussion with the MythBusters team: the tensions between creative integrity and the corporate image.

Adam, Jamie, and Peter intend MythBusters to be an entertaining way to educate. Every week Adam and Jamie tackle urban legends, old wives tales, and conventional wisdom, deploying the scientific method to uncover the truth behind the myth. The point of the show is not to blow things up, but rather to apply science to situations in which science is not usually applied. The fact that things do get blown up at the end is the icing; but the one-dimensional positioning of the show causes too many people to overlook the cake.

"Our theory of the show," says Peter, "is the more {science} content you put in, the better. Discovery's theory about the show is spectacle. Each show has to have a stunt, an explosion, and Adam injuring himself." Recognizing this, the team has learned to use the system against itself. "Our technique is to use the way Adam injures himself to get more content in. So we can get the sequence of building something from three seconds to three minutes."

"The blowing stuff up is nearly always just a stunt," says Adam. "The research we've done and the data we've gathered is usually sufficient that we already know what to expect."

"The most interesting thing to us," says Jamie, "is that we're out there









Adam gives my lovely wife the eye. Back off, man!





exploring the world at large in all its various facets."

And indeed they are. One facet was the brown note, the sound frequency rumored to cause uncontrollable defecation (doesn't exist). Another is whether you will get stuck to an airline vacuum toilet if you're sitting on it when it flushes (you won't). Yet another is whether you can get electrocuted by peeing on the subway's third rail (you can't, unless you're peeing from only a foot or two away, in which case your urine will still be a stream instead of a bunch of droplets and you can expect one very charred wee-wee).

People believe urban myths because they make sense of society's unknowns. Many of society's unknowns, though, coincide with society's unmentionables. The constant struggle is to explore these unmentionables on a network with a censorship standard, according to Adam, based on whether one can "turn on the show at any moment during the edit and not be shocked by what I see."

It's that standard that meant viewers never got to see the aforementioned shot of the fake ass in the vacuum-toilet episode. "They felt that this one shot of a point of view from the toilet bowl of a big rubber ass lowering down on the toilet seat was unacceptable," said Adam. "Because if you were switching channels and didn't know what you were seeing -- 'oh my God!'"

Jamie recalls the episode Son of a Gun as another example. The myth they were exploring was a civil war story of a bullet ricocheting off a soldier's tibia, passing through his testicles, and then piercing the womb of a woman 150 yards away, impregnating her. With elements of biology, physics, and history, it was a perfect subject. But how do they illustrate the flight of the bullet when they're not allowed to show testicles? How do they discuss the viability of this method of artificial insemination when they're not allowed to say "sperm"? Discovery asked them to use the phrase "genetic material," which they did, until Jamie couldn't take it any more. "Genetic legacy?? It's SPERM! Any kid in grade school knows that -- helps make babies, y'know!"

That outburst, perhaps because it was grounded firmly in science, survived the edit.

What makes MythBusters click is how Adam and Jamie's skills compliment each other. Jamie is practical, as Peter told me, and Adam is experiential. Jamie thinks. Adam does. To illustrate this, Peter asked Adam to describe "one of his most unsettling experiences" on the set.

"We were doing the porta-potty explosion, and we had to test whether I was one of the 40% of Americans that produce methane in their farts. We were going to use a little amount of my poop in sample jars and test the methane in them. You know, I'm pretty regular, so right about 7:30 before I'm heading into work, I'm ready for my constitutional. The wife is giggling as she hands me a big Ziplock baggie, and I go into the bathroom and then there's five to six solid minutes of just trying to figure out the mechanics of how to poo in this bag." And to the chagrin of passing waiters and waitresses probably wishing that these celebrities would throw phones or punch photographers like Russell Crowe or Sean Penn instead of loudly talking about poop in the middle of the lunch hour, Adam described his thought process, and how he eventually settled upon a "kind of gymnastic squat" to get his poop into the bag.

"Of course," replied Jamie, "the mechanical approach you wouldn't have thought about would be to just get some Saran Wrap and put it on the floor and do it like you would in the woods. Pick that up and put it in the bag."

It's that kind of relationship -- one problem, multiple perspectives -- that helps the team









Peter and Adam peruse The Journal of Ass Production.





investigate their myths. And it frustrates them equally to see their creativity distilled down into montages of explosions for their promos; or to be on Letterman not to talk about bringing science to the masses but instead launching Paul Newman a hundred feet above 54th Street in a balloon chair; or to have some yahoo outside the restaurant recognize them not for the scientists and educators they are but for the pyromaniacs Discovery makes them out to be.

The ideal myth, Adam says, is "both shocking and illuminating." Maybe that's why Peter was so keen to interview with this purveyor of brown journalism -- because he could see this site takes the same approach. If shock was all we PoopReporters were after, then stark pictures of glistening ass batter would illustrate every story; but this site's aim is to analyze the social structure that makes us laugh at people who crap themselves while we're laughing at people who crap themselves. So if MythBusters were to take this site's suggestion and investigate whether toilet paper actually works (or whether wiping just smears an invisible layer of fecal mater on your taint), the end result would be both hilarious and enlightening: because it would explore the science behind something few of us have ever thought to analyze. Because it would open our eyes to the world we think we know. And because it would probably multiply bidet sales a hundred times once people learned the science debunking the myth.

Ultimately the media vehicles Discovery's publicity people love so much -- the Lettermans and the Regises of the world -- are the ones that advance science the least; while this interview here on PoopReport.com (your #1 source for your #2 business! Buy a t-shirt!) is intended to be one of the more thoughtful the guys have ever had published.

So it's in the name of science that I close with this final quote from Adam: "We'd like to do the first lighting of a fart on television." Because after saying that, Jenny asked, "If you do that, is there a risk that the fire could go back up your butt?"

To which Peter responded: "That's the classic urban myth." And then he explained the scientific reasoning that proves lighting your fart creates absolutely no risk of a methane explosion in your colon. Myth busted.

99 Comments on "MythBusters: Scents And Sensibility"

P_u's picture
m 1+ points - Newb

I do believe I just fell deeply in love with PoopReport. Poop and Mythbusters: my two favorite conversation topics, and to see that you had them combined back in 2005 like the elemental powers of Captain Planet?! Awe-inspiring!

Anonymous Coward's picture

This is a shame. Almost no one here recognizes the mythbusters' problems. All i can read is "this one episode". You can be more comprehensive of reading than that...

karina's picture
m 1+ points - Newb

( "I once had one lodge across the bowl. I had to pour boiling water on it just to get it down!" )

that's hilarious! did that actually happen?
also i love mythbusters but i never noticed there were so many explosions before....

am in it for the science...baby

Kenny's picture

I think that their are alot of people out there who only watch the show for explosions, and their producers know that, and that is why it such a AWSOME AWSOME show. If it was just science, cool, just explosions, cool. But science + explosions + actual mythbusting (or proving) = COMPLETE AWSOME.

But I have to say personaly, I find the explosions dull, I see them allllll the time in movies, shows, you name it...but when they end the show with defenite results busting or proving an actual myth (that almost anyone can relate too) is just pure 100% science at it's best.

Mrs. Mad Crapper's picture
Comment Quality Moderatorj 1000+ points

Has anyone seen the episode where they build the big mechanical shark to see how easy it is to escape a shark attack? Adam was flopping all around in it's mouth as it threw him around wildly. I couldn't stop laughing. Great report Dave.
_______
Earth, insane asylum for the universe.

Earth, insane asylum for the universe.

ChiliKahKah's picture
j 1000+ points

PR is still rated #1 to discuss the issues of #2 in the hearts and souls of its members

clay has crohns's picture
m 1+ points - Newb

good article

Jimmy the Shit's picture

Is it true that floating turds are sometimes an early indication of pancreatic cancer? Just lost my dad to it. He never said nothing about it, but I read something elsewhere recently, figured you guys might know or could get Adam and Jamie of Mythbusters fame (a show he loved to watch with me) to do some research.

Halaspa's picture
m 1+ points - Newb

This is too cool for words. I'm sure the Mythbusters, should Discovery permit, do an entire show dedicated to Number 2. The physics, physiology, urban myths, and poo adventures on and off the set.

Poop is Fun's picture
m 1+ points - Newb

Awesome! Thats so cool you intereviewed the mythbusters!

Anonyward's picture

Strange the corporate folks got so tight assed... isn't this the network that used to show tribal folks walking around naked and wild animals having sex?

This article was written before the episode where they tried to see if someone could gas themselves to death on their own farts and also a recent one where they analyzed a toothbrush in a bathroom to see if it had more fecal bacteria on it than one outside the bathroom. They need to lighten up a little with their lingo.... Flatus? Come on dudes, they're farts.

Logjam's picture
Comment Quality Moderatori 2000+ points

I thought we'd had a brief chatroom experience a couple years ago, daphne, but maybe I just dreamed that. That was great last night, and I'm sorry that I can be such a stranger.

Logjam

daphne's picture
PoopReport of the Year AwardSite AdminComment Content ModeratorComment Quality Moderatore 6000+ points

I was happy to finally chat with Jam. We've been on the site together for over 3 years and last night was the first time we got to lock keyboards. I think that poor, dusty chatroom was happy, too, to see some visitors.


_______
.....hugging bunnies since 1969
www.daphneszoo.com

.....hugging bunnies since 1969
www.daphneszoo.com

Logjam's picture
Comment Quality Moderatori 2000+ points

We, of course, tore into once you left, so it wasn't all for naught. But glad to hear you're taking care of yourself, getting in those 8 hours and such.

Logjam

Bilgepump's picture
Comment Quality Moderatorh 3000+ points

all of ya pissed me off. No...it was already way past my bedtime, I was tired, and goodnights would have taken another hour, lol. I apologize for leaving so abruptly, but it WAS great to get together with everybody.

"One of the founding members of the Front Page Hyena Pack, and runs as its alpha male when the urge strikes him, which is often." Daphne (one perceptive chick)

Logjam's picture
Comment Quality Moderatori 2000+ points

I guess I was. Hey, it was great getting together with you last night, but I was a little hurt that you ran off so quickly. What was that about?

Logjam

Bilgepump's picture
Comment Quality Moderatorh 3000+ points

Did you think I was lying? shame on you.

"One of the founding members of the Front Page Hyena Pack, and runs as its alpha male when the urge strikes him, which is often." Daphne (one perceptive chick)

Logjam's picture
Comment Quality Moderatori 2000+ points

Talk about probabilities -- I came back to read this thread, and at that moment up on my Pandora radio comes Willie Nelson singing his version of, "Don't get around much anymore." I kid you not.

Logjam

Bilgepump's picture
Comment Quality Moderatorh 3000+ points

I am the sum and product of all improbabilities.

"One of the founding members of the Front Page Hyena Pack, and runs as its alpha male when the urge strikes him, which is often." Daphne (one perceptive chick)

prarie doggin's picture
PoopReport of the Year AwardComment Quality Moderatorg 4000+ points

Imagine the odds if he also spontaneously combusted at the same time. It's mind boggling.

Logjam's picture
Comment Quality Moderatori 2000+ points

Discussed it? We got National Science Foundation funding and conducted 3 years of study on this question in Bidge's basement. As you know, shit particles that make up a turd are constantly in random motion. But what's the probability that they all at the same exact moment travel in the same direction upward from the toilet and, say, right into a face that is looking down admiring it all. We kept Bidge for 2 years looking over a piece of his work, and it was half way through the 2nd year that he walked out pissed as could be with a shit-covered face. We wrote it up and published it in the journal Science. Science requires you to keep the raw data from a published article for 10 years. This explains why Bidge doesn't get out much anymore.

Logjam

Anonymous Cow-Turd's picture

Has anyone discussed the effects of Brownian motion on the human anatomy of the gastro-intestinal ejected matter in quantum theory ?

Lol - if that wasn't total poop I dunno what is :-)

baron von crapalot's picture
k 500+ points


___mythbusters are great, although, just on 'peeing on a railway line' theory, is it not so, that, because of the direction of flow, the elastictrickery cant 'swim upstream'?

____
i just cant work this one out????

I hope to god I've just sat in a Shepard's pie.

Ricky's picture

On TV today a mythbuster episoded caught my eye by saying that the red cross was injecting people with a tracking device or some sort of something??? I was almost recruited by the navy, while taking my blood they took a big needle stuck it into my arm and clicked it like a ball point pen. Something went into my arm that looked like a silver grain of rice but no blood was collected into the needles glass tube. When I asked the administer "WHAT DID YOU JUST DO?!?!" He replied "we just took your blood".. "NO, you didn't!, I replied".. Anyway, needless to say this was my determining factor to NOT join because I felt that I had been lied to.. Could someone tell me which episode this is or where I could find more info online on what they injected into me. Thank you.. R.P.

harold wiebe's picture

would like to prove that some of there shows say its busted but in fact it is true they just us the wrong thing for there experment for example the boat hitting a marker in the water if they used a wood boat it would have split in half but they used a fiberglass boat so they busted but really it would not have bein busted if they tryed otrher tyes of boat material

Frank2401's picture
l 100+ points


I heard this in some movie once but I think it applies to you sirfarts or whatever your name is... "is it true that when you were born, the doctor turned around and slapped your mother"?

daphne's picture
PoopReport of the Year AwardSite AdminComment Content ModeratorComment Quality Moderatore 6000+ points

Dave, we've got to contact these guys to test the 8 foot ceiling with poop on it theory.


_______
.....hugging bunnies since 1969
www.daphneszoo.com

.....hugging bunnies since 1969
www.daphneszoo.com

GottaGoGirl's picture
i 2000+ points

I think it's a plausible theory. I also think you'd have to contact Mythbusters to get an answer.
_______
Hey! Don't touch my wenis!

vic burt's picture

My friends and I were watching the episode on explosive decompression and we have a complaint about the testing. During the test the plane was pressurized yet was only tested idle, there was no wind pressure on the plane as it would be in flight. we think the myth may be plausible if the plane is pressurized and put in a windtunnel to simulate actual flight. if the plane is decompressed with 300mph plus winds outside the plane it would be more likely that you would be sucked out due to the wind speed outside the plane. maybe this would make little difference but we still felt compelled to ask. please let us know what you guys think about this. thanks alot, vic, james, jackie and ashley from sc.

Natural Gas's picture

Love the article and, since it's my first real root around the poopreport, I also love the names of your readers/contributers.

Big noisy gas sounds in the directions of MegaDump, Fireball, The Big Wiper, Dung Daddy, Poopgirl, WhoFloatedTheAirBuscuit? and my favorite, Turtle Head.

They're all a crack up!

Keeping it real....

Natural Gas.
Hey! It's shit without the mess!

Bigassman's picture
m 1+ points - Newb

Man the mithbusters are assome

Shit shit and shit

Barking Spider of the Carolinas's picture
m 1+ points - Newb

Nah, it's cool. We have a lot more important stuff in common. Also, the fact that she will still tolerate my gas even with her background lets me know that she really loves me. The horrified look on her face actually made the segments funnier to me. I also exagerate her squeamishness a bit. (I was also glad to get the chance to buy her dinner). It is more important that we complement each other than that we have identical personalities. When we have kids I can teach them the fun side of poop and she can teach them not to be little turd terrorists.


_______
Recycle! Reduce! Reuse!
You can close the loop!
You can eat your poop!

Recycle! Reduce! Reuse!
You can close the loop!
You can eat your poop!

daphne's picture
PoopReport of the Year AwardSite AdminComment Content ModeratorComment Quality Moderatore 6000+ points

If you had to buy her a nice dinner to make up for this, maybe she's not the one for you.....

Good luck with her!


_______
.....hugging bunnies since 1969
www.daphneszoo.com

.....hugging bunnies since 1969
www.daphneszoo.com

Barking Spider of the Carolinas's picture
m 1+ points - Newb

The Mythbusters came to give a talk at Georgia Tech this semester. It was pretty sweet. They showed unaired footage from their "facts about flattus" episode. They showed "Do pretty girls fart" and "lighting the expulsion". It was truly awesome. Unfortunately my fiance, whose family pretends that such natural functions don't exist, was horrified. I had to buy her a nice dinner to make up for it. I wonder if this interview had any connection to that episode?


_______
Recycle! Reduce! Reuse!
You can close the loop!
You can eat your poop!

Recycle! Reduce! Reuse!
You can close the loop!
You can eat your poop!

ExplosiveShitMatrix's picture
m 1+ points - Newb

Mythbusters are the best, they can be morons at times, or so Discovery would have you believe, but they always send me into a fit of hysterics. Cool that you actually got to meet them, they would't even answer my email.

_______
Big DJ

GottaGoGirl's picture
i 2000+ points

Like, totally, Eyekandy.

daphne's picture
PoopReport of the Year AwardSite AdminComment Content ModeratorComment Quality Moderatore 6000+ points

eyekandy19, I am pretty sure that "drafting" relies on the concept of being in the same aerodynamic stream as the car in front of you so that your car is pulled into the void left by the car driving so quickly. To do this, I think the cars have to be either: going so fast that the car in front of them actually pulls the car behind; or so close at slower speeds that you're way too close to obey legal traffic safety, or the "2 second" following distance.

I'm really not sure, but this is what I hear when listening to NASCAR people while watching my son's baseball games.

When I was living in Germany, the Germans used drafting to pass on the highway and the autobahn; it was always a well-timed quick approach and pass so as to be able to be in the next lane over and do so by getting in between cars going sometimes 40 mph faster than you were.

I learned how to do it by watching.

However, I do hope you're joking about drafting on the roads here because you would be probably so close that if someone had to stop in front of you, you'd kill yourself by crashing into the truck.

You should stick to bicycles! JK. (I hate the gas prices, too.......)
_______
.....hugging bunnies since 1969
www.daphneszoo.com

.....hugging bunnies since 1969
www.daphneszoo.com

eyekandy19's picture

i want them to do a thing on how fast you have to go on a free way for drafting to take effect
so like im drving behind a transport truck , and how far back from it should i be and at what speed, so like i dont have to waist all my gas

the log of hazzard's picture
l 100+ points

Oh by the way, for some reason I think I saw them at a car rental place. I don't know. They were just two guys with huge mustavhes and 1 guy wearing a beret. Looked sooooo like them.

Some are born crappy, some achieve crappiness, and some have crapiness thrusted upon them. (Do NOT be the last one)

Anonymous Coward's picture

There so funny. I love them

the log of hazzard's picture
l 100+ points

Wow, that's the first time I've seen you Dave.

Since when do people think Mythbusters is all about blowing things up? weeeeeeird.

Some are born crappy, some achieve crappiness, and some have crapiness thrusted upon them. (Do NOT be the last one)

Poopgirl's picture
m 1+ points - Newb


Go Mythbusters!
Poop on!

-Poopgirl

Poop on!

-Poopgirl

Double Flush's picture
k 500+ points

Sorry Jared, this is PoopReport and not Myth Busters. This is just a topic about Myth Busters. It's too bad I'm not them, really. I'd love to bloe something up every episode!

_______
I'm the only geek I know who has to flush twice. Or who clicks on links in people's sigs.

[Insert witty banter here]

daphne's picture
PoopReport of the Year AwardSite AdminComment Content ModeratorComment Quality Moderatore 6000+ points

I'd go their website and find the "contact us" link?


_______
.....hugging bunnies since 1969
www.daphneszoo.com

.....hugging bunnies since 1969
www.daphneszoo.com

The maked assasin's picture

WHAT IS ADAM AND JAMIE'S EMAIL?????????

Jared Lawlor's picture

Hey myth buster im from australia this episode was a long time ago but its about the shark 1 (when you where testing if they where attracted to blood) i think you should re-do that one becasue they where not in there natural environment and they would have been shocked maybe u should re-do it in a swimming pool or something.?

craperjack's picture
m 1+ points - Newb

wow you actually meet them speechless you are the man Dave and dont change.

Eric Weighall's picture

I just watched the airplane episode and was wondering about the air flow that would be going past the hole made by the gun. What effect would that have on the explosive decompression idea could that help in the effect or not?

GottaGoGirl's picture
i 2000+ points

Dufya, what does that have to do with Dave interviewing Adam and Jamie?

Double Flush's picture
k 500+ points

I think dogs are revolting! They eat poop and they eat carcasses that have been lying around. Humans clean their mouths at least daily. You be the judge.

_______
Practicing the ancient Chinese art of double flushing... because sometimes, a single flush just isn't enough.

[Insert witty banter here]

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