What does “MeFi” mean in the background of Mythbusters?

Screenshot of Mythbusters
(photo by heather)

I figured I should write the answer to this entry in case some fans of the TV show Mythbusters ever wonder what a small easter egg in the background of the show set means. For anyone typing the title of this post into Google, here’s your answer:

Adam Savage, the co-host of the show is obviously a geek and spends some time online each day between shooting scenes for the show. Among many popular blogs, he reads MetaFilter, which goes by the shorthand “MeFi” by its members. Most of his participation takes place on Ask MetaFilter, a question and answers area of the site. This is his profile on the site.

Early this year, he posted a question asking members of the site to suggest some myths they could test from the Old West. The show had already covered a bunch of standards in previous shows and Adam wasn’t too happy with the suggestions for new myths from his producers, so he asked on the site. There were over 200 answers, but these three made it onto the show:

Adam talks about how the myths were chosen and how they were filmed in a podcast interview I did with him a couple months after the original question. In it, he talks about how he wanted to thank the website by having some small “easter egg” mention of MetaFilter, Ask MeFi, or MeFi somewhere in the blueprint and credits at the end of that episode.

Turns out that instead of a temporary small mention on that one specific episode that aired this evening, it was done in masking tape on a door in the set’s background several episodes before and has since stuck around. Time will tell how long it lasts, but now you know what it means and why it’s there and thanks again Adam for the shoutout. Mythbusters continues to be my favorite show on TV due to the great simple science and geekiness displayed each week. Mythbusters is probably doing more to help steer kids into engineering and adults into DIY/hacking projects than anything else on TV today.

10 Comments

  • Well, online, MeFi stands for metafilter.com

  • I read on danelope (http://www.foreword.com/danelope.php) that there would be an Easter egg on the show and about jumped out of the bed when I saw it. That wasn’t just an Easter egg, it was almost a billboard! I can’t imagine how many G searches there were for “mefi” last night. Totally cool, Matt. Congrats.

  • Matt, I agree with the brilliance of Mythbusters. It’s science and mathematical content is greatly balanced with the sheer entertainment of the show. A fantastic way to educate and excite the public about two disciplines, as a nation, we tend to stray from. One of the best shows on TV.

  • How do you pronounce MeFi? Does it rhyme (sort of) with “knee-high,” or with “Jeffy”? I think of it as the former, MEE-fye, even though neither vowel is the same as how it’s pronounced in the full name.

  • Like knee-high, yeah.

  • Well, that’s how Matt pronounces it, anyway.

  • Hey Matt. This is cool. Saw last night’s episode and the MeFi plastered in the background. Brought me straight to MeTa and then here. Congratulations for the good exposure. I too love MythBusters. Nice one!

  • Hey Matt, I see that mefi.com is owned by a squatter — ever check on how much they’d take for it? Seems like it’d be a nice shortcut domain, like 37svn.com’s pointing to Signal vs. Noise.

  • D’oh, the squatter page says they want $6k for it.

  • this is a cool site.

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