I miss “Mythbusters.” Maybe I miss it more now because everything I watch and read these days seems so out of whack and exaggerated. This weekend’s news (and this year’s, for that matter) was full of people saying things, then saying they didn’t say them, and their supporters trying to explain what they actually meant. I think I’m just overwhelmed with the doublespeak of an election year. I miss soothing science on TV. You know, where facts are totally cool.
It was so lovely to watch the “Mythbusters” gang pull apart misconceptions about science, or see if something that happened in a movie could actually happen in real life. It never took anything away from the fantasy in those films. It was just fun! When it was canceled, I wasn’t the only one left disappointed. Now I had to get my “could that really happen?” fix by overhearing geeky discussions at cons. This past weekend, however, we learned that former Mythbusters Kari Byron, Tory Belleci and Grant Imahara are returning to investigating science mysteries about weaponry, jailbreaks, tech and more on Netflix in the new show, “White Rabbit Project."
I’ve found science shows calming since I was little. One of my favorite quotes is from Neil deGrasse Tyson, who said, “The good thing about science is that it's true whether or not you believe in it.” You can’t argue with facts. I’ve watched “Cosmos” over and over, watching him travel through space in his oddly-shaped ship and listening to his stories about the history of science — it wipes out some of the lies and half-truths that are all over the web. Learning how small and insignificant we are in terms of the galaxy puts things in perspective. Maybe it even reminds me that as bad as things are now, everything passes.
However, I’m even more thrilled about the fact that once again, we’re going to see science as fun and exciting; that kids are going to see that, too. When I was a kid, I was definitely more fond of the reading and writing side of things than math and science. That is, until I started watching an old show called “Mr. Wizard’s World” on Nickelodeon. It opened up my eyes and made science fun. It made it approachable. I didn’t feel like it was all out of my reach. It gave me fun facts to go to school with that I was excited to share.
Maybe I wasn’t the best at science but I wanted to learn more, and I think that’s the point of shows like “Mr. Wizard’s World”: inspiring curiosity about facts. I know younger friends who actually went into science-based careers because of “Mythbusters,” and I'm thrilled we’re getting a new show that’s going to do the same for the next group of kids. Maybe my niece will end up as an engineer or an astronaut because she watches an episode, or maybe she’ll just love to learn about it all. I know what we’re watching when I see her this Christmas.