USF to meet the Mythbusters

Whether it’s testing methods thought to stop shark attacks or studying the effects of alcohol on the attractiveness of others, “Mythbusters” provides answers to some of America’s weirdest questions.

Two investigators, Kari Byron and Grant Imahara, from the Discovery Channel show will speak at the University Lecture Series (ULS) tonight at 7 in the Marshall Student Center Ballroom.

Byron and Imahara are known on the show for their work with special effects, using these skills to “bust” viewer-submitted myths.

The lecture will last an hour to 90 minutes and will feature footage from the show, as well as information on how Byron and Imahara became involved. A moderated question-and-answer session will follow.

“They’re going to have bloopers from the show,” said Genna Martella, marketing director for ULS. “They’re also going to talk about how they got involved with the show — their experiences and their job background.”

Originally, the event was scheduled for April 20, with Tory Belleci, another “Mythbusters” cast member,
giving the lecture with Imahara. However, Martella said the event was rescheduled because of scheduling issues.

“We thought (the original date) would limit their availability, so we changed the date,” she said. “Unfortunately, Tory couldn’t come, so it became Kari and Grant.”

Martella said Byron and Imahara were chosen from a list of 30 suggested speakers compiled from student surveys and ULS members.

Martella said students can indicate their preferences for future speakers on a “satisfaction survey” handed out at ULS events. Students vote on the top 30 suggestions, which are determined by ULS committee members, on the ULS Web site in an online survey that is available at the end of each spring semester.

The cost to bring Imahara and Byron to USF is about $20,000, funded by the Activities and Services Fee students pay at the time of registration, Martella said.

Admission for the lecture is free for students and the community. Between 200 and 300 students are expected to attend, she said. Students are allowed to enter the Ballroom before non-students for priority seating.