President Obama to Appear on Mythbusters

President Barack Obama checks out some of the projects on display at the White House Science Fair. [Official White House Photo by Pete Souza]

What do President Obama, the ancient Greek scientist Archimedes, and Jamie Hyneman and Adam Savage have in common? They’ll all be featured prominently in an upcoming episode of MythBusters to promote science education, and to see if it’s possible to light Roman ships on fire using only the rays of the sun and mirrors.

At the White House Science Fair Monday, President Obama not only said that America’s future depends on science, but also announced that he will appear on the December 8 episode of MythBusters What myth will Obama be debunking alongside Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman? An oldie but a goodie: Was it possible for Archimedes and the Greeks to set fire to a fleet of invading Roman ships armed with only mirrors and the rays of the sun? This sounds like a matchup made in geek heaven.

Filmed in late July, President Obama challenged Jamie and Adam in an episode called “Archimedes Solar Ray” to determine if it was possible to light ships on fire with sun and mirrors. MythBusters had evaluated this myth at least twice before---once in September of 2004 and again in January of 2006 with a team from MIT. Regardless, we here at Geek Tech are simply excited that (ancient) technology and encouraging students to pursue science and engineering education are high enough priorities for the current administration such that their promotion warrants President Obama appearing on a popular TV show.

Geek Tech will not take any responsibility for the hulls of your Roman boat being set alight if you try to recreate this experiment. What myths would you like to see Obama help bust on MythBusters? Let us know in the comments!

Editor's Note: We welcome your comments on this story, but for the sanity of our forum moderation team and other readers, please keep your political views to yourself.

[via Los Angeles Times]

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