Myth busting


It has fallen out of vogue with the educated set to admit an affinity for watching TV and eating fast food.So if confession is good for the soul, I confess TV, at its best, is awesome; and on some days, it is hard to beat a Quarter Pounder with cheese and those addictive french fries.Isn’t moderation the key?The boob tube and calorie bombs are offset with shows at the Tarkington, a piled-high reading list, Indiana University basketball and time on the treadmill.However, the advent of modern cable programming has not only brought into our homes a bunch fame-obsessed would-be starlets exhibiting way too much of their wares on reality shows, it has also delivered some innovative family programming.

Amongst our favorites is “MythBusters.”Led by an affable pair of overgrown kids, Hoosier native and IU graduate Jamie Hyneman and his partner, Adam Savage, attempt to prove or disprove common American myths, all the while educating the unsuspecting audience of the principles of science.They teach of preparation and discovery by showing the result of an exploding hot water tank, a rapidly depressurizing plane or, my personal favorite, using a stick of dynamite to clean the interior of cement truck mixer.Yet their good-natured, if sometimes sophomoric, humor serves as a model of how to make learning fun.They are credit to their network (Discovery Channel) as Hyneman is to our state.While their attempts to question perceptions are strictly limited to the natural world – ghost hunters and Sasquatchguides get no support – they are busting the common mythology learning, like Castor oil, must be taken while holding one’s nose.Isn’t the delivery mechanism, whether online, over the airwaves or in the classroom, far less important the passion and the dedication of the adult delivering the message?

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