The challenge Obama will set is to test the legend of Archimedes’ solar ray. Supposedly, the Greek scientist used giant mirrors to reflect sunlight toward Roman ships in the siege of Syracuse, setting them on fire.
This is a real legend – not a scene from an upcoming movie in which Johnny Depp stars as the Roman fleet commander. Mythbusters has examined it before: in 2006, for instance, they managed to char a wooden fishing boat off San Francisco. But Obama is adding a twist: he wants Hyneman and Savage to get 500 teenagers to point 500 mirrors at that boat, and see if it works better.
Get young people involved! That’s so presidential.
“Figure this out and report back to me,” says Obama to the Mythbusters at the beginning of tonight’s show.
We won’t spoil the ending for you, other than to say we would if we could, but we can’t because we haven’t seen the whole thing either.
Some have criticized Obama for wasting his time appearing on basic cable, especially since he recently appeared on Comedy Central’s “Daily Show” as well.