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Old February 2 2014, 03:10 AM   #264
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Re: MYTHBUSTERS 10th Anniversary Season

Tonight's theme: "Do Try This at Home?" Myths that may or may not be safe enough to try at home for a change.

Microwaved water: Well, it was obvious right off the bat that water boiled in the microwave would not be toxic to plants. The idea is completely idiotic. Microwaved water is just hot water, period. But what's surprising is that the plants watered with the previously-microwaved water grew better. You'd probably have to repeat the test to confirm it wasn't a fluke, but I wonder why it could enhance plant growth. Could the microwaves have killed microbes that stovetop boiling didn't? That seems unlikely. It's probably just a fluke.

The fact that this myth took 2 weeks to test got me thinking. I've known for years that they must have a bunch of different myths going on at once, in different stages of readiness or progress. So I'd love to see an episode that shows us "a day in the life" for the Mythbusters, or maybe a week -- however long it takes to show the process of them dealing with the various myths they have going on concurrently. Of course, that would leave the longer myths incomplete, but they could be resolved in later episodes, or maybe there could be flashforwards or something.

Putting out a fire with a speedboat's wake: Okay, this one's obviously too dangerous to try at home -- at least unless you have the cooperation of your local fire department (plus it's a very generous definition of "at home"). I suppose the only reason it's in here is because it's too short a myth to focus half an episode on. So I was able to guess that it would work, since if it didn't work, they would've had to try other things and replicate the results and so forth.

Metronomes: This is a standard physics demonstration to show the concept of resonance, so I knew it would work. The air hockey table is a cool idea, though. Interesting that it didn't work with 216 of them. I guess there was just too much noise in the system -- Adam chalked it up to the loose manufacturing tolerances. But I wonder if maybe the movable surface just absorbed too much of the energy, and 216 metronomes were just too much mass to affect with the available energy. Which makes me wonder if more energy could've helped. They should've tried lifting the weights higher, so that there was a more powerful swing to the metronomes.

Adam was overstating a bit when he said this was their biggest failure ever. I'd say that was the second JATO Rocket Car attempt where the car blew up on the ramp. That was much bigger in scale, personpower, and expense.

Ball chain arc: I've seen this demonstrated online, and the video I saw explained the physics much better than the Mythbusters did, I'm afraid.

"Suspended" water drops: Another thing I've seen before in a viral video, and the video explains it well enough that the mythbusters didn't add anything new.

"Elephant toothpaste"/"Explosive snake": Okay, interesting chemistry demonstrations, but not really myths.

Dry ice bombs: This is a nice idea -- taking something stupidly dangerous that people do try at home, and showing exactly why they shouldn't, as a public service. It showed the danger pretty effectively, I think.
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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