Vaccines? Climate change? Yup.
MythBusters Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman have been making things explode for 13 seasons.
But we wanted to hear what they think of some of the biggest recent science headlines, from the Jurassic Park sequel to Mercury retrograde.
Here are 14 of their answers from our lightning round of word association. (Adam’s answers are in white, and Jamie’s are in yellow.)
1. Neil deGrasse Tyson.
3. Sending humans to Mars.
5. The Jurassic Park sequel.
7. Mercury retrograde (and whether or not it has any effect on your actual life).
8. Climate change.
Adam: “Early on in MythBusters we went on Fox News and they wanted to ask us about the extremely vigorous hurricane season. As we were getting mic’d up, they were like, ‘So this is just a light piece. We don’t want you guys to talk about global warming or anything like that. OK, you’re on. What do you guys think about this hurricane season?’ Jamie’s like, ‘It’s clearly global warming.’ It was awesome.”
9. Naming snowstorms.
Adam: “I remember when Hurricane Gloria came through New York in 1985 or early ‘86 — one of those two. You get a personal relationship with the disaster.”
10. Rosetta comet landing.
Adam: “They work. Stop not using them.”
12. Mantis shrimp.
Adam: “Oh right, the one that causes a shockwave. That’s one of the fastest biological processes in nature. Not sure where it compares to a jellyfish stinging, which is also ludicrously fast. They’re literally injecting you with a micro-hair of poison when you touch a jellyfish stinger. If you look into it microscopically, it’s amazing. The mantis shrimp is incredible.”
Jamie: “Yeah, I first ran across those in the ocean while diving, and one of my favorite things to do was to just go down and not run all over the place like most people do when they’re scuba diving but just drop down and hang out and go into spaces in the reef.
“There was a cleaning station that had those in it. These little fish were hanging out, and the shrimp would come out and pick at them. But one of the mantis shrimp came out and it has, as I recall, if this is the same shrimp, it has one big claw and one little one. And I’m putting my hand out, and it comes up with its little claw and it’s picking at you. Then out comes the big claw and Bang! It’s like an electric shock that you feel.”
13. Tardigrades (aka water bears).
Adam: “Life is amazingly tenacious. That’s the best part of looking at extremophiles like that.”
14. Grab bag: kale!
Adam: “Kale! In our house, we make kale chips all the time, which is baking them in the oven with a little hot sauce and salt, and it’s phenomenal.”