By Jim Walsh
2:12 PM CST, January 4, 2014
With days of subzero temperatures on the way and a predicted wind chill of 40 degrees below zero on Monday, Chicago is looking more like the ice planet Hoth than merely a Windy City.
All the better to stay in and watch the season premiere of "MythBusters," airing at 7 p.m. Saturday on Discovery Channel, as the gang tests the plausibility of different "Star Wars" scenarios—like whether Luke would really survive the cold wrapped in the intestines of one of the planet's beasts.
The temperature of the planet in the "The Empire Strikes Back" is presented as somewhere in the range of negative 40 degrees to negative 50 degrees Fahrenheit, said "MythBusters" co-host Jamie Hyneman. In fact, to test the premise, the team had to use refrigerators inside refrigerators to achieve such frigid conditions.
RedEye talked with Hyneman on Saturday about cold-weather myths (Yes, you can get your tongue stuck to a pole!) and tips for keeping a little bit warmer in arctic conditions.
On hand-warmers ...
"We've ended up going to Alaska and other cold places to experiment with this stuff quite a bit …. Those throwaway hand warmers work great. They have ‘em for our hands and feet and they actually last a long period of time. We end up using those all the time and they keep us, at least our extremities, reasonably warm when we have to go out and do these things."
On layers …
"Layers of course are extremely important, you can't have too many."
On the efficacy of bubble wrap and duct tape …
"We made additional clothing out of bubble wrap and duct tape [during the filming of a recent duct-tape survival episode]. As long as it was daylight, putting bubble wrap over your clothing, especially dark clothing, was like turning on a heater right next to you. … The fact was that bubble wrap was so effective, that it put the down coats to shame. It was just extraordinary."
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