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Old April 2 2012, 03:17 PM   #22
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Re: Heads up! MYTHBUSTERS season premiere tonight at 9 Eastern!

Since the Mythbusters threads generally don't run too long, anyone mind if we just use this as a combined thread for the whole season?

This week was "Fire vs. Ice," which apparently is the name of a viral video pitting a fire extinguisher against a flamethrower -- which doesn't make sense, since a fire extinguisher uses carbon dioxide, not cold, to smother a flame. Okay, a compressed gas does get pretty cold when it's released, but that's a far cry from being "ice." One strike against the video right there.

It's a little unclear to me exactly what the viral video showed, since they didn't show the whole thing. Was it just about using an extinguisher to deflect the flame from a flamethrower, or to put it out altogether? Adam & Jamie were acting as though it was the latter, but the clips never got that far. Anyway, they showed that deflecting it was barely feasible with a really powerful, souped-up fire extinguisher (and Adam's modification adding a water feed actually did make it "ice" this time), but not with a more conventional one as supposedly used in the video. As for dousing it, clearly that's not going to happen unless the actual ignition source on the flamethrower itself is engulfed in CO(sub)2 long enough to put it out, and that's not going to happen from a distance, as we saw.

I wish they'd addressed how the illusion in the video was created, but otherwise, a decent test and result, if a bit simple. (I also wonder -- if making a flamethrower is so illegal, how did the video makers get away with it?)

Dust cloud kidnapping: I've never seen the movie this is from (or even heard of it, as far as I can recall), but it was an interesting thing to test. They really managed to punch a lot of holes in the movie's idea that a bunch of SUVs kicking up a dust cloud could obscure a kidnapping from an overhead UAV/drone. The difficulty of driving safely in a dust cloud, the fact that circling the subject doesn't kick up enough dust in the center, and most of all the fact that UAVs have thermal imaging which could see right through the dust. And it wasn't that difficult for the Mythbusters (or their research/writing team?) to come up with a better solution than the one in the movie! Seriously, why aren't filmmakers hiring these guys as consultants by this point?

As for this week's Unchained Reaction, for once I didn't have a clear preference or any disagreement with the outcome. Both teams' machines worked very smoothly (although there were a couple of points where it seemed they wouldn't and then they did) and were both creative in their own ways, and the motorcycle team managed to overcome the handicap of a team member dropping out. (I wonder if it really was just "stress" or if that was a TV-friendly substitute for something else. None of my business, though.) Though I agree that having the guy just drive off on the motorcycle at the end was cheating a bit. The creature-FX team's machine was more imaginative and funny but a bit gruesome for my tastes.

I'm really wondering if the timing of events on this show corresponds to real life. Is it practical for Adam and Jamie to fly from SF to LA twice a week just to do their host segments? I'm wondering if it's like Mythbusters where the intro segments are actually recorded afterward and they just pretend it's before.
Christopher L. Bennett Homepage -- Site update 11/16/14 including annotations for "The Caress of a Butterfly's Wing" and overview for DTI: The Collectors

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