Adam Savage From Mythbusters Asks AskMetafilter for Show Ideas

Mythbusting Question: can you help me find inspiration in the old west?

MeFi’s own Adam Savage here. I’m tasked with busting some “Old West” myths. And we’re light in the idea department on this one.
Now we’ve already done a whole bunch of sharpshooting myths, and gunslinger myths, and they still want more!
I’m asking the hive mind: are there any myths you can think of regarding cowboys or indians or anything to do with the old west. (cue black humor about the donner party etc.)

All suggestions taken seriously. Mostly.


  1. This is not an Old West myth, just a possible myth that someone and myself were discussing. Could the urban legend of the girl with very long hair who sticks her head out of the school bus window really get her head pulled off if the hair wrapped around a stop sign? (I know, you though that girl went to your school, too. We were all told that…)

  2. I hear that there is NO KNOWN mathematical solution to the probability of winning a CARD GAME of solitaire. I cite ( In specific the line: “The proportion of Klondike games that can be won is currently unknown. No mathematical model simple enough to allow direct computation of this probability has yet been found”.

  3. Hey Adam! I’v got a possable myth for ya! I’m a big fan of westerns an in one piticular movie(Tall Tail)a man gets his trigger(index)finger literally shot off. Is this at all plausible? Well to find out i leave this up to you!(and Jamie)Tell Kari to break out the bilistic(sp?) hand molds!She’s gonna love me for this one! Your friend in Science, Lunawolf

  4. Hey you guys at mythbusters should see if a flame can go back into a can of flammable liquid. I dont think you’ve done this one yet and I’ve always wondered.

  5. Metafilter. Cynical-C. Not the same thing. But hey, I just keep getting smarter and smarter every day, despite repeatedly banging my head on tables after every other sentence I read.

  6. Hey Adam, not a western myth but how about busting the myth that “white men can’t jump”… good work

    ps Kary is smokin! also, what’s with Jaime’s headgear?

  7. You have heard gasoline liquid does not burn.. only the fumes… Once a flame was put out with liquid gasoline….when done fast enough…

    I have seen metal float on water.. when set on soft plastic sheet or paper because of the surface tension of water when the paper is pulled under the metal floats..

    You can boil water in a brown paper sack..I’ve made coffee… A friend took a large cutting torch and tried to burn through the sack with no luck…

  8. Heard that taking a string and writing your name on a rock…. drop of liquid nitro every inch of the string will let the “bang” write your name on the rock…(large and flat…..)

  9. my husband and i where talking about boy things like farts and such, and he thought it would be cool to bust the myth that if you fart, burp, cough and sneeze all at the same time that you would explode… please bust this myth. thank you, shannon lafayette La

  10. Hi
    Two ideas. As far as Western themes are involved ,a friend of mine is one of the top whip masters in the world. Lots of those old whip myths can be busted. Also,having worked on the MacGyver series,maybe a Mac themed show to bust all those home made devices?
    Lots of material there

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