Friday, March 21, 2008

MacGyver Thinks Foolishly

In my last post I mentioned the problem solving prowess of MacGyver. But I have to admit that I've never seen an episode of the show MacGyver. And the actor who played him, Richard Dean Anderson, studied theater at Ohio University just like I did, which the professors there were always reminding us.

Now I don't have to watch it because I found a great Wikipedia entry called List of problems solved by MacGyver

They write:
MacGyver employs his resourcefulness and his knowledge of chemistry, physics, technology and outdoorsmanship to resolve what are often life or death crises. He spontaneously creates inventions from simple items to solve these problems. These inventions became synonymous with the character and were called MacGyverisms by the public.
Just like a good clown would do.

Here's one of my favorites they list:
MacGyver builds a distraction by balancing pots and pans on a bag of ice that melts from heat produced by a toaster oven. He spreads vegetable oil in the ground to incapacitate some kidnappers. Mac smears pine pitch on pine cones to make "land mines". He then buries a sack of these mines on the road and throws a flaming cone under the villain's car to make the sack and the car explode.
But don't rely on his methods for your own problem solving:
The creative team behind MacGyver made a point of leaving out crucial elements of the inventions so that children would not be harmed.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I think that only applies to something he did which made an explosion.

Here's something I found on the MacGyverism page at

"The writers where always careful to leave out key ingredients of any MacGyverisms which created an explosive or otherwise harmful effect, to ensure that it could not be re-created by viewers"