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Old November 12 2012, 04:15 AM   #210
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Re: Heads up! MYTHBUSTERS season premiere tonight at 9 Eastern!

Mattress dive: I was skeptical of this one the moment I heard it. I'm surprised Adam thought it was counterintuitive that it didn't work. Why would landing on a mattress in a pool be safer than landing in the pool? The mattress is more solid. It's not going to give way as much as the water would.

Anyway, the SynDaver was pretty cool. It is a really effective human analog for measuring injuries and such. And it seemed to behave more naturally on hitting the water than the more rigid Simulaid.

Jamie having to give up on the diving test because of his back and letting the stuntman do it made me realize that this show's been around a long time now, and if it goes on for years longer, the guys may have to depend more on surrogates to do the big stunts for them. Oh, well.

Stone cannonball: I'm pleased they went ahead with this experiment prefaced with an apology for the infamous mishap last December, rather than just burying the whole thing. Showing their test procedure and the safety precautions they took helped to demonstrate what a fluke it was that the shot went wrong. Although I would've liked to see a special episode that was built all around both the experiment itself and an examination of how the accident happened. I guess they thought that would be too exploitative, but as I argued at the time, I think it would've helped make something positive out of the accident if it could've been used as a learning opportunity. Plus it was a classic Mythbusters situation, an incredible fluke event that shouldn't be possible but somehow happened.

Anyway, the actual cannon myth was pretty straightforward aside from all that, although I was surprised at how porous the limestone cannonball was. But what bugged me was Grant saying this was probably the first time in 400 years anyone had fired a stone cannonball -- when Adam and Jamie fired a granite cannonball years ago in their tree cannon episode! You'd think the show's writers and researchers would've caught that.
Written Worlds -- Christopher L. Bennett's blog and webpage
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