I disagree with the conclusions on the fire-fighting boat. As the premise itself already has a LOT you have to grant someone. I mean I wouldn't tell Joe Blow to go out there with a regular boat and try this without any boating experience. But someone who *is* a capable boatman with a capable boat this "could" work in emergency situations, where people take risks all of the time to save lives or prevent the spread of a disaster.
I mean, this is like telling someone to not run into a burning building to save a trapped person and to wait for the fire department to get there. Yeah, sure, doing it would be dangerous and the fire department is better trained and equipped to save that person but they might get there too late.
Well, I don't think they were saying "If you happen to come across a fire while you're in your speedboat, don't try to help." After all, that's not a scenario that's very likely to occur. What they were saying was, "Don't go out and set something on fire in order to try to put it out with a speedboat."
Besides, they have lawyers, so they aren't going to verbally encourage people to put themselves in danger.
I agree, Christopher, that the metronome test wasn't their biggest failure. They've certainly had others where tried as they might they couldn't get things to work. The second JATO test is up there but, to be fair, it was a failure on the part of the makers of the rockets and not so much on Jamie and Adam.
Maybe, but Adam concluded that this failure was due to the construction of the metronomes, so it's pretty analogous. He wasn't saying it was his and Jamie's fault that it failed, just that it was a case where they put a ton of effort into something that they couldn't get to work for whatever reason. (Come to think of it, "Breakstep Bridge" would seem to be right up there on their greatest-failures list.)
After all, remember the Mythbuster motto. Failure is always an option. And in science, you can often learn things from failure that you couldn't learn any other way.