Silicon Valley Comic Con 2016 – Ask Adam Savage

Silicon Valley Comic Con 2016 – Ask Adam Savage



One more of the most popular panels of the first day of Silicon Valley Comic Con was Ask Adam Savage. A veteran of the now ended series, “Mythbusters” Adam Savage has gone on to work on with the show “Tested”. After the rapid and often crazy pace of Mythbusters, Adam was able to come in and enjoy presenting on numerous panels. Just before this panel, he told us that he was on a panel with Andy Weir and a NASA Scientist. He was very grateful to be there and looked forward to whatever questions we had to ask him.


The first question was about the Elephants being scared of mice. That entire segment was something that was not fully planned. They were in Africa to shoot for the Shark Week episode but storms and winds were keeping them off the water. So they got permission to work on this to meet the criteria for the shooting schedule. From there, they got some lab mice and built the dung cover. Apparently the mice were furiously trying to claw their way out of the enclosure. Adam somewhat suspected that the sounds the mice were making were one of the reasons why the elephants were very keen to avoid them. He did talk some about how they weren't quite sure how to handle any shots of mice that did get stepped on.


The next question was something one might expect but not one all too common. They asked if Adam was a cat person or a dog person. In his typical style, Adam explained that while he owned cats before, that they were dicks. From there, he told us that growing up his Dad was allergic to some pets. Because of this, he grew up with cats. While they were there, they didn't offer the same unconditional love that a dog offers. Once he got his dog he explained that he found he was more a dog person. Just the love that he felt from the canine was very different from his experience with cats who were normally more standoffish.


Next Adam was asked about he thoughts on his association with Firearms because of the show. He had to say that he admired the engineering behind these creations but fears what they can do. He went on to explain that any time there were guns on the set of Mythbusters, the safety measures were very strictly enforced. This meant that each bullet fired was accounted for. That was one of the things that everyone was incredibly careful about. He also told us that he had gone to a gun show. It was one of the few places he didn't immediately expect to be recognized. He was but the people who did told him that they didn't want to bother him. He made it very clear he wanted to associated with gun safety more than anything.


This was followed by him getting asked what got him introduced into making things. First, he listed Legos, then Star Wars and his parents. His father started in one industry but dropped out of it because he had become disillusioned with the industry. From there his father started to do prop building and animation. This was about when his mother started managing. She would make sure that his few paychecks a year would last for the family as long as they needed. It was likely out of this that they encouraged Adam to start building and making his own toys.


One expected question was what his favorite kind of explosion was. Adam answered without hesitation: Water Heaters. He explained that most explosions only lasted instants. But the Water Heater had a different kind of explosion. He described as a “slower explosion”. He wished it was something we could all witness but not something we had to experience.


Next, someone asked him about his response to all the “Haters” on the internet. First, he thanks those Mythbusters fans who would leap to the shows defense. Second, he told us that he stood by the methodology that the show used, not the results. The amount of iterations (tests) was simply too small to give any scientifically viable results. There were still a few tests which did have some valid results. He cited the shots fired into the air. This particular field of study had only had very limited research conducted decades ago. In just a short while they were able to expand the number of tests greatly. It is one of the many things he takes some pride in that the show did.


An ever-common question that was asked of his, by a science teacher, was what he felt could work to inspire people to get into the sciences. Adam made it clear, albeit later, that he felt the sciences should be seen more as a vocation than a profession. They were not just something for the smart people to do. It was something that anyone could. Second, it was that he was inspired by having discussions with two teachers that he had in high school. That he would just keep asking questions about things and getting answers. There were times that he would stump the teachers and they would tell him that they didn't know. This would prompt him to learn a bit more on the various matters or just feel a small sense of pride to have stumped a teacher.


Every question led Adam to answer with an amusing anecdote. Many people came forward and told him about how Mythbusters had encouraged them to get into the sciences, building and creating things.

It was a wonderful experience to witness. Mister Savage, thank you.

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