Failure is always an option
When in doubt, C-4.
I'm a lifelong movie addict, and one of my favorite projects is making replica props and costumes. Nearly every one of these - from R2D2 to Hellboy's revolver - ends with the paint job. And it's not just cosmetic. The paint literally tells a story: what this thing is made of, where it's been, what it's been used for, and for how long.
I think one of the defining moments of adulthood is the realization that nobody's going to take care of you. That you have to do the heavy lifting while you're here. And when you don't, well, you suffer the consequences.
The Internet is probably the most important technological advancement of my lifetime. Its strength lies in its open architecture and its ability to allow a framework where all voices can be heard.
Technology is usually there to let some process go on hidden in the background. For us on 'MythBusters,' we're always trying to make the process apparent. So, we have learned to try and never rely on a technological solution when an analogue one is in front of us.
Whether it's the experiments on 'MythBusters' or my earlier work in special effects for movies, I've regularly had to do things that were never done before, from designing complex motion-control rigs to figuring out how to animate chocolate.
Again, like I said, my life has been about being fascinated by objects and the stories that they tell, and also making them for myself, obtaining them, appreciating them and diving into them.
Back when I was a professional model-maker at Industrial Light & Magic, my specialty was hard-edged construction - spaceships, miniature sets, and architectural stuff. These objects were sometimes just 12 inches across yet needed enough detail to fill a movie screen.
Of course, I love tools. I also love arranging them, to the point where I came up with a name for my organizing metric: first-order retrievability.
I'm always going to be making costumes. It's one of the ways I relax my brain. In addition to the pleasure of having the piece, there is a deep and abiding pleasure for me assembling something in my head - learning to know something in its totality in my head, and then putting together all the constituent parts into a cohesive whole.
Audiences of critical thinkers are my favorite kinds of audiences. There are jokes I tell in the show that don't get laughs unless I am in front of an audience of critical thinkers. Put me in front of a crowd of science teachers or astronauts! The guileless aren't our audience - it's the critical thinkers we love.
I'm obsessed with the form of a toolbox. The idea of a portable kit that has everything you might need ignites something inside me. It's like Batman's utility belt.
The 'Mythbusters' crew, we monitor the Discovery boards, we look for the new ideas that are being forwarded on those boards, and we keep track of what's going on, we keep updated.
The fact is that the British Museum had a complete specimen of a dodo in their collection up until the 18th century - it was actually mummified, skin and all - but in a fit of space-saving zeal, they actually cut off the head and they cut off the feet and they burned the rest in a bonfire.
Walking the floor at a con dressed as Chewbacca, you might as well be Bono. I mean it's ridiculous. People just walk up and grab you and hold you, because they love Chewbacca so much.
I go home at the end of the day and I rarely talk about what I did that day. So my wife's experience is just like that of anybody else whose husband goes away to a blue collar job and comes home bruised and dirty and often proud of the work that they're doing.
We're not leaving here without Buster, man. Leave no crash-test dummy behind!
Growing up in New York, I was sort of shocked when I realized that my children are Californians. They are 14 years old, and I explain to them frequently that they will never realize the glory of a snow day. You wake up and the world says, 'Oops, it's too much fun to go to school, you've got to stay home and deal with the snow!'
New York State is giant and has some of the most beautiful landscape on the Eastern seaboard. There is so much history in New York State, from the Erie Canal to the Catskills, the birth of American stand-up comedy.