Edited by Brian Dunning
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A former special effects modelmaker at Industrial Light & Magic, Grant's work that you may be most familiar with (and not even know it) is that cute little R2-D2 robot who's been in a couple of movies. Grant had to make him go for the latest Star Wars movies. The movies sucked, but the robots were cool.
With robots in his blood, Grant went on to compete on Battlebots with his small but deadly alter ego Deadblow with a record of 7-6. He wrote the book Kickin' Bot: An Illustrated Guide to Building Combat Robots.
Which brings us to Grant's magnum opus: being a member of the build team on Mythbusters. He's not as hot as Kari and he lacks Tory's meticulous facial hair, but he does walk all over them from an engineering perspective. Join us now as we see what he can make out of our 1000 Questions:
0001. In all of history, what is your favorite invention, and why?
Undo. For obvious reasons.
0010. What do you hope will be invented next, and why?
Undo. For your life. Again, for obvious reasons.
0011. What do you hope will never be invented, and why?
Definitely time travel. If all the theories are correct, this would be catastrophic for the fabric of the universe. Then again, if it has already been invented, then that would explain a few things…
0100. If marooned on a desert island, what three technological devices would you bring with you, and why?
Given that it’s unlikely I’ll be marooned on a desert island with a Four Seasons, my focus would be on survival. The technology I’d bring would be simple and robust. My three devices would be my Leatherman Wave — 18 tools in one; a magnifying glass — an endless means to start fires; and a roll of industrial plastic — to create fresh water. Having safisfied those basics, I would then build my multi-level Swiss Family Robinson hut complete with indoor plumbing and working elevator.
0101. When have you suffered at the hands of technology?
I have two words for you: DIAL UP. Billions of hours all over the world were lost to mind-numbing boredom as a result of dial-up technology. Don’t get me wrong; I love the internet. I just hate the dial-up. Hallelujah for high-speed connections!
0110. When has some technology suffered at your hands?
I have a knack for bending technological devices to my will. Given my background as an electrical engineer, I can usually make things work. And if not, I can pound whatever it is into tiny little pieces and destroy the evidence.
0111. If you had to revert and freeze the world’s technology at a particular time in history, what year would you choose and why?
I actually like the world’s technology that we have now. Flat screen televisions, high speed internet, wireless technology… Alternatively, if the Victorian Era were really as Jules Verne envisioned, I would want to live there. Steam-powered robots and finely machined brass mechanisms. I could really get into that.
1000. If you found yourself sitting at a UNIX terminal as Earth’s last hope while, outside, aliens were wiping out humanity, what would you type?
All your base are belong to us… <ctrl-D>