Crash Test Girl; A Book Review

I think everyone has a celebrity crush. One of Casey’s is Jason Mamoa, though I don’t see why. I have a beard and tattoos too. 

Mine was Kari Byron from Mythbusters. She wrote a book in 2018 called Crash Test Girl. The premise is using the scientific method to answer life’s questions. In the book, she looks at her life through that lens.

It makes for an entertaining read, especially with stories from the show in it. 

Crash Test Girl: An Unlikely Experiment in Using the Scientific Method to Answer Life’s Toughest Questions

Kari Byron—former host of the wildly popular, iconic cult classic MythBusters—shows how to crash test your way through life, no lab coat required.

Kari Byron’s story hasn’t been a straight line. She started out as a broke artist living in San Francisco, writing poems on a crowded bus on the way to one of her three jobs. Many curve balls, unexpected twists, and yes, literal and figurative explosions later, and she’s one of the world’s most respected women in science entertainment, blowing stuff up on national television and getting paid for it! In Crash Test Girl, Kari reveals her fascinating life story on the set of MythBusters and beyond. With her signature gusto and roll-up-your-sleeves enthusiasm, she invites readers behind the duct tape and the dynamite, to the unlikely friendships and low-budget sets that turned a crazy idea into a famously inventive show with a rabid fanbase.

The truth is, MythBusters was never meant to be a science show. But attaching a rocket to a car, riding a motorcycle on water, or lighting 500 pounds of coffee creamer on fire requires a decent understanding of chemistry, physics, and engineering. Thus, the cast and crew brought in the scientific method to work through each problem: Question. Hypothesize. Analyze. Experiment. Conclude. And as Kari came to learn in her own life, not only is the scientific method the best approach for busting myths, it’s also the perfect tool for solving everyday issues, including:

Career · Love · Creativity · Setbacks · Money · Sexuality · Depression · Bravery

Crash Test Girl reminds us that science is for everyone, as long as you’re willing to strap in, put on your safety goggles, hit a few walls, and learn from the results. Using a combination of methodical experimentation and unconventional creativity, you’ll come to the most important conclusion of all: In life, sometimes you crash and burn, but you can always crash and learn.”

I read it as a library book, so this won’t have extensive quotes, but the book did make me record some things in my journal. That’s why it ranks as a book I recommend.

“To be successful, you don’t have to be right, but you do have to understand, with a scientist’s emotional detachment, why you were wrong.”

“No one knows what’s going to happen in experiments or life.”

“Desperation makes you bold.”

“Always say yes to an opportunity. You can change your mind later. But if you say no at first, you might not get another chance.”

True. Except when I say yes, I am committed. It’s how I’m wired.

“The harder I work, the luckier I get.”

This reminds me of making your own luck.

Pretty good book. Good lesson in idealizing someone on TV. The Kari I imagined while watching Mythbusters is quite a bit different from the one who’s writing the book.

She’s flawed and done a variety of things I’d never imagine. But that’s people. We’re not one dimensional.

If you just met Casey or me, you’d not imagine our past. The lesson of human origami strikes again.

I gave it 5 stars. 

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