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Old May 16 2013, 03:05 AM   #28
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Re: MYTHBUSTERS 10th Anniversary Season

Ugh... I don't much care for the ones where they do myths about germs and bathrooms and stuff. But the test about the air dryers vs. paper towels was pretty informative. On the one hand, it's alarming how worthless air dryers really are. What I've read is that the only reason they're used is because it's cheaper and easier than having the maintenance staff refill paper towel dispensers regularly.

On the other hand, it's reassuring that as long as you wash your hands thoroughly and properly with soap, it doesn't matter whether you use dryers or towels. Since I do wash my hands thoroughly, I can feel secure. (Though I wonder -- in their test, were they using antibacterial soap or the regular kind?) It also makes me feel more comfortable about reusing cloth towels to dry my hands in the bathroom and kitchen.

The other myth was rather less pleasant, and I have to question the validity of an experimental result conducted with only one sample. They'd need to test other restrooms, see if the results were repeatable, before they could really declare a result. Anyway, I bet their result is now immediately invalidated as soon as they've announced it, because now legions of Mythbusters fans are going to switch to using the first stall, so it won't be the least used anymore, or at least not by as much.

On the earthquake myth, the shake table they built was impressive. I've never even heard of air casters; I'm still not entirely sure how they work. But they worked pretty well here. But why did the announcer call it the biggest build in Mythbusters history? They've certainly built bigger things before. The last thing I heard that phrase used for was the ramp for testing that viral-video stunt about flying off a ramp into a pool of water. That was a lot bigger than this. And they've built bigger house mockups too.

And this was just like the first myth in that it just reaffirmed what I've read elsewhere, about how the "stand in the door" idea doesn't work for modern buildings. Although it's kind of reassuring, because the impression I'd gotten was that modern buildings were less sturdy so it wouldn't matter where you stood. Nice to see it's the other way around.
Written Worlds -- Christopher L. Bennett's blog and webpage
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