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Old January 12 2014, 03:05 AM   #195
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Re: MYTHBUSTERS 10th Anniversary Season

Aww, hell, they're doing another one of their crossovers with Discovery Channel shows, this time some stupid "reality" show about "moonshiners." I am sick of this. In the decade that Mythbusters has been on the air, Discovery has decayed around it from a science channel into a mindless reality-show channel, and it's starting to drag the Mythbusters down with it. I think the show should jump networks. Although are there any cable educational channels left that haven't completely degenerated into pseudoscience and reality rubbish? Is even The Science Channel still about science anymore?

How do you even make a show about "real" moonshiners? If what they're doing is against the law, why are they willing to show their faces on camera while they do it? The whole thing is probably staged anyway. Hold on... yep, Wikipedia says it's a dramatization. The Virginia authorities have requested a disclaimer to that effect, but the show refused. They're lying to their audience about the reality of their fictional show. This is not the kind of program the Mythbusters should be collaborating with.

Anyway, the actual experiments were pretty standard Mythbuster stuff -- exploding gases/pressure vessels and alternative automotive fuels. Kind of run-of-the-mill. But that high-speed shot of the shop-test explosion in the model shack was a thing of beauty. And I really liked that brief bit between commercials where Adam was talking about the transfer of energy and the physics and mechanics of the full-scale explosion. Despite Discovery's awfulness, there's still some science in this show.

In the car tests, I didn't get why they used a dirt track to compare the performance of gasoline vs. ethanol. All the swerving and fishtailing and going off course introduced too many variables for the time comparison to be meaningful, especially when the difference was only 2 seconds. Although I guess it does show that the performance is comparable.

Still, presumably this myth isn't based on modern cars with computer-controlled fuel mixtures, since it would've originated some time in the past. So it seems like a cheat to test it with that kind of car.

Oh, and Kari in a cop uniform? Also a thing of beauty.
Written Worlds -- Christopher L. Bennett's blog and webpage
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