You’ll hear me talk a lot about ‘obtainium’ and it’s true, it’s the basis of what I do.

So what is it?

At its core, it’s stuff, stuff that’s been trashed, forgotten about, abandoned, left to die on an ice floe.  I’ve obtained it and it’s become the wonderful raw material:  obtainium.  I’m not saying I’ve stolen it and it might not even be free, but the point is, it’s stuff that nobody else but me really wants.

A quick aside.  I obtained the word ‘obtainium’ from machine art pioneers, the Survival Research Laboratories.  They certainly popularized its usage, though some say they themselves obtained from somewhere – that would be kinda neat, no?

The cool thing about really good obtainium is that it’s often very high quality, well made and well designed stuff.  Think about it – American manufacturing and it’s more mysterious twin, the military-industrial complex, churned out billions and billions of dollars worth of highly engineered items during the Cold War alone.  Add industrial mass production from the early part of the 20th century and you’re sitting on a mound of obtainium, just waiting to be reborn.

A core concept of the of the show, wait for it…premiering on Thursday, August 18th at 10.30EST on Science Channel…is that I get to use the most delicious and unusual obtaining and to go to places like this amazing airplane graveyard in the desert.  This place was amazing, it was as if the cruel God of Obtainium was having a particularly good day – every time I wanted something, I not only found it, but had options.  Now that is a good day in the junkyard.

3 thoughts on “Obtainium

    • Yes it does. Obtainium, obtainium, obtainium.
      Ooh- who is at the door? A deliveryman? With a stack of Emmys, and a MacArthur Genius grant for Interesting Televiosion ? Why thank you! Here is your tip, good deliveryman: “Obtainium!”
      (delivery man struts away, deeply satisfied with a tip more precious than a solid-gold kitten)

      See? That could totally happen. Probably will, too.

  1. Caught you show recently (washer/dryer episode) — enjoyed it — lots of fun. Only thing I couldn’t follow was where on earth you find these dump sites! Keep up the good work.

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