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MythBuster's new live show turns learning about science into 'Brain Candy'




Adam Savage will bring Brain Candy Live! to the Segerstrom Center for the Arts on April 4th.
Adam Savage will bring Brain Candy Live! to the Segerstrom Center for the Arts on April 4th.
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"Brain Candy Live!," starring Adam Savage and Michael Stevens, is Tuesday night, April 4, at the Segerstrom Hall in Costa Mesa. Off-Ramp host John Rabe got a preview of the show from Mythbusters co-host Adam Savage.

"We are celebrating over a two-hour stage show the pleasure of learning new things, the feeling in your head when someone makes something slightly clearer to you, and you get that physical intuition about how some small part of the world works. The endorphin rush that you get from that understanding is something both Michael Stevens and I are addicted to, and we call it Brain Candy." -- Adam Savage

Adam Savage is probably best known for his explosive experiments done in the name of science as co-star of Discovery Channel’s “MythBusters.” Now he's bringing the same excitement and wonder of science with a touring show called “Brain Candy Live!.” Savage says, “It’s a little like a science lesson if you gathered Eisenstein and Walt Disney together. It’s Blue Man Group meets the TED Talk.”

Adam Savage and Michael Stevens will bring Brain Candy Live! to the Segerstrom Center for the Arts on April 4th.
Adam Savage and Michael Stevens will bring Brain Candy Live! to the Segerstrom Center for the Arts on April 4th.

With the help from YouTube star Michael Stevens, Adam says the goal of the show is to create a learning environment that is creative and unconventional …  something that doesn’t always happen in academic settings. “One of the things that happened to me in school about science in particular is that many of my science teachers … most of them ended up teaching science as something like a group of facts to memorize,” Adam says. “Science is not a series of facts; it is a series of stories in context with each other.”

Adam says the best way to teach science is with toys, tools, demonstrations, and of course, explosions.

“We have an explosion on stage every single night… I do not want to give a spoiler as to how the explosion fits in to the rest of the evening." But as to the rest of the show: "We will take a series of scientific demos. We have stacked them on top of each other so fast and furious in a way to give a physical intuition as to how molecules in air might work for instance. We’ll talk about it on a micro level then we’ll talk about it on a macro level. And we’ll bring out ping-pong balls, beach balls, air cannons, leaf blowers, and all sorts of different things to demonstrate these concepts until you really get them.”

And, he admits, he's kind of assembling an army of people who love fact-based science and new ideas, to counterbalance the recent attacks on science, like President Trump's statement that global warming is a "hoax."

"I do talk a little politics from the stage," Savage says. "But I never talk about it in terms of Democrat versus Republican or conservative versus liberal because we're such a divided country on this front. And I have a fair number of fans who disagree with me politically, and I'm fine with that. Because I think we're all working in general from the same precept, which is we're trying to protect our children and make a better world for them and our neighbors."

For a lightly edited version of Adam and John’s entire conversation – including what tattoo John’s cunada has on her arm, and how to get oily residue off plastic utensils – click on the audio player above.