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Prez Obama on "Mythbusters"


  Announced last night and just getting around to it now, this: President Obama will appear on the Dec. 8 episode of "Mythbusters."

  Hold the jokes, applause, scorn, or just plain puzzlement - the prez is doing this as part of the White House effort to promote science education, and why the heck not this show? He's been on every other show - except "Desparate Housewives." There hasn't been a cameo there yet.

  "Mythbusters," as fans well  know, is a good and interesting show, hosted by a pair of amusing (perhaps unintentionally so) guys, Jamie Hyneman and Adam Savage, who travel the globe in search of myths to bust...

  The Dec. 8 one is immenently bustable: Did Archimedes really set a Roman fleet afire with a mirror, or mirrors - sort of an early version of the death ray? Jamie and Adam will, of course, get a hold of a very large mirror to give it a try; unclear what role the prez will have. 

  But a fairly quick Google search does establish that it may all be a waste of time...Check out the opeing grafs of this good Christian Science Monitor piece from June...

A legend begun in the Medieval Ages tells of how Archimedes  used mirrors to
concentrate sunlight as a defensive weapon during the siege of Syracuse, then a
Greek colony on the island of Sicily, from 214 to 212 B.C. No contemporary Roman
or Greek accounts tell of such a mirror device, however.

Both engineering calculations and historical evidence support use of steam
cannons as "much more reasonable than the use of burning mirrors," said Cesare
Rossi, a mechanical engineer at the University of Naples "Federico II," in
Naples, Italy, who along with colleagues analyzed evidence of both potential

  Per the NYT, the Jamie/Adam busted the myth a few years ago, but the prez wanted them to reopen the case. Does he know something we - or they - don't?

  Never seen it?

  Here's a good clip...



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