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Old January 19 2014, 02:22 AM   #217
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Re: MYTHBUSTERS 10th Anniversary Season

Movie car myths this week.

Pane of glass: Kind of an interesting rig to test the potential for injury to the glass carriers, but I wonder if Adam's rig was maybe too susceptible to "bleeding." For one thing, it seemed to be wrapped in pretty thin plastic; how does that compare to human skin strength? For another, maybe they should've wrapped it in fabric to simulate clothes.

Plus, another part of the myth I wish they'd addressed: Would anyone really carry a bare pane of glass across a street that way? Aren't large panes usually put in some kind of wooden framework for transport?

SUV vs. RPG: I think this one was badly handled all around. First off, the movie clip didn't show the RPG hitting the SUV head-on; it looked like the vapor trail terminated on the pavement right under the SUV, that the idea was that the explosion went off underneath it and pushed it into the air. Now, I really don't think that would've worked any better, but at least they should've tested it that way, since that was the myth.

Second, they seem to have forgotten what "replicate the result" means. It doesn't mean showing us how Hollywood faked the effect. It means trying to determine what it would take in real-world terms to achieve the effect that was shown. So they should've tried to figure out what kind of explosion, if any, could really flip an SUV. I'm just really disappointed in the M7 trio this week. (The fact that they're doing faux-Mythbusters car commercials during the show doesn't help.)

Truck vs. cars: Now, this made up for the disappointment. I love it when they bring out their giant dump truck. I'm impressed by how much progress it made smashing through the cars without modification (beyond the super-bumper), although I wonder how its 30,000-pound weight/momentum would compare to an 18-wheeler. (Googles it) Hmm, apparently it's close to the weight of a semi cab plus an empty trailer, but a loaded 18-wheeler can legally be as much as 80,000 lb. So the truck doing the smashing could theoretically have a momentum more than twice of this one's. That would probably have let it make more headway.

Still, it would've been nothing like the results they got with the cowcatcher. That was amazing. It was like pulling down a zipper. The lines of cars flew out like they were chained together. It really shows the power of a simple wedge. That is one of the most impressive things they've ever done. I'm a little disappointed that they spoiled it in the season previews, though I can understand why they highlighted it.

Oh, and I noticed they've installed a roof hatch in the dump truck's cab. So they no longer have to lift the rear hopper (or whatever that's called -- bucket?) to get into the cab. Good idea.
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