I enjoyed last night’s episode of Mythbusters for a variety of reasons. For starters, I now have Smart Board Envy™, projectiles and explosions are always fun, and seeing Adam, Jamie, and Kari drunk was a hoot.
The social scientist in me, though, really enjoyed the “beer goggles” experiment. In fact, the show, edited down to just include that section, would make a great primer on “how social scientific experiments work” for my undergraduate methods course when I teach it again, presumably next fall. On the other hand, I was less thrilled with the “sobering up” experiment, but the comedy factor of drunken Adam trying to run on a treadmill without a handrail, with all-too-predictable results, made up for the scientific shortcomings therein.
Timothy Burke articulates in a far better way an idea that Frequent Commenter Scott and I discussed (probably very loudly in a way so as to maximally annoy other patrons) at a bar in Chicago sometime last year, although my pitch was more for Mythbusters gone social science. Then again, maybe just using straight Mythbusters is a better idea; I doubt very many people would tune in to watch Kari Byron analyze data in SPSS.
EDSBS’ Mustache Wednesday this week features Mythbuster Jaime Hyneman and his impressive ’stache… although the comment thread is more a discussion of “build team” co-star Kari Byron, who thankfully doesn’t sport a Walrus-style mustache (although she would probably be cute in a beret).
Incidentally, in this post-Imus world, are we allowed to call people who don’t work in the sex industry “pimps” any more? Ruling from the commenters, please.