Mythbusting for Fun and Profit

Due to unfortunate circumstances, Kari Byron and Grant Imahara had their flight delayed. Tory Belleci bravely took the stage by himself to thunderous applause from the audience.

In true Mythbuster fashion, his first act as solo presenter was to bust the myth of his IMDB entry. Written by an acquaintance, Tory quickly denied the rumor that he was adopted and has dealt drugs. Thus, the myth that you can believe what you read on the Internet was well and truly busted.

Tory recounted one anecdote after another to the delight of the audience. Starting in high school and stripping down fireworks to make pipe-bombs in his backyard—which led to his first official run-in with the law—he entered film school and earned a degree in art.

One of the people he met during this time was Jamie Hyneman. Daily visits to Jamie’s workshop, as well as requests for work, led to the odd assignment here and there until he landed a job working for Industrial Light and Magic.

He worked on a number of projects until he met Grant while working on the models for the Federation Battleship for the Star Wars prequels. Many hours were spent together, first in the light, as Tory built the models and Grant wired them, and then many more in the dark as they waited for the filmography crews to take the necessary shots.

One day, he received a call from Jamie asking him to build something, tape it, and submit it to the Discovery Channel. He did and was hired for Mythbusters. After a few episodes, Tory was, somewhat unwillingly, catapulted into the limelight, along with Grant and Kari.

Tory’s favorite myth was blowing up a can of beans by placing it on the stove (inside a trailer for safety). A one gallon can of beans ricocheted into the doors, opening them, and dented the roof. Never let it be said the Mythbusters are afraid to make things go bang!

Tory’s scariest myth, although not actually a myth, was the result of a small lapse in judgment by the safety officer—Tory added there is currently no safety officer for the show; this met with an appreciative cheer from all. After the Floating Lawn Chair myth, balloons were gleefully popped with all manner of items, including a BB gun. When two police vehicles suddenly pulled into the warehouse, Tory promptly divested himself of all manner of balloon busters, while the safety officer proceeded to approach the officers, arms raise, BB gun in hand. To his credit, he did tell them it was a BB gun, but apparently the police officers, being somewhat skeptical, proceeded to draw and aim their weapons.

Asked about the future of Mythbusters, Tory mentioned an upcoming project to tackle Ninja myths. While he couldn’t promise anything (after all, who volunteers to see if the Death Touch really works? Buster has already refused), we all hope this episode comes to fruition.

We wish Tory and his co-hosts all the best, and hope we can count on them to become regular Dragon*Con guests.

Author of the article

After a lifetime of science fiction and fantasy influences, the last twenty of which have been spent in IT, Geoff Termorshuizen is applying for his Ph.D. in Strategic Security after finishing a B.A in Political Science and M.Sc.'s in Cyber Security and MIS. He currently works as a technical consultant for ACI Worldwide, supporting security and financial payment systems. You can find him at Con either at the the DailyDragon room, or via the EFF track where he has presented panels on digital forensics, privacy, cyberwar, surveillance and technology related politics.