Heads up! MYTHBUSTERS season premiere tonight at 9 Eastern!

Discussion in 'TV & Media' started by Christopher, Mar 25, 2012.

  1. Trekker4747

    Trekker4747 Boldly going... Premium Member

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    Not very much but somehow every week I find more. :)
     
  2. Lonemagpie

    Lonemagpie Writer Admiral

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    Ah, we just had this episode this week - they're going for headshots from chudan no kamae, which isn't what I expected - but they really need to re-do it with freer options on stances and moves than just the one.
     
  3. the G-man

    the G-man Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Lately, for anyone who's interested, Adam's been writing a lot for Wired magazine.
     
  4. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    So nobody's posting thoughts on the new episodes? This week was the Halloween special, and it was a mixed bag. The first myth, testing whether infrasound could induce anxiety and the perception of a place being haunted, was really badly handled. Adam even admitted a source of bias in their experimental design -- that maybe their volunteers were picking the first of the four cabins as the creepiest because of the novelty of the experience -- but they just shrugged it off rather than trying to fix the problem. They should've done more to balance out other differences and sources of bias -- put the infrasound on a different cabin each time, had the volunteers go through the cabins in different orders, had identical chairs in each, etc. But they didn't even bother. Really, really sloppy experimental design. The science has really gone downhill on this show.

    I didn't much care for the Fear Factor quality of the "smell of fear" experiment, but since it served a purpose, it didn't feel as gratuitous. Interesting that there was a difference detectable to an expert, but I wish they'd explained what caused fear sweat to smell different from exertion sweat, what the biochemical or hormonal difference was. Another way the science is slipping: they don't put as much effort into explaining the causes and mechanisms behind things.

    I liked the animated Scooby-Doo pastiche they did, with Tory as Shaggy, Grant as Fred, Kari as Daphne, and Buster as a ghost. But why was Grant wearing a shirt and tie instead of a sweater and ascot?

    The body-moving test gave surprising results. For years I've been watching the Mythbusters struggle to move and carry Buster around, so I would've thought they'd have similar difficulty with this SynDaver(TM). Maybe the SynDaver being lighter, only 150 pounds, made it easier. Or maybe it was because it was more flexible than Buster or a ballistics-gel dummy, making it easier to maneuver.

    Anyway, the SynDaver is a pretty cool human analog, and I expect we'll see more of them on the show in the future. I wonder if there's a version that comes with skin.

    One thing I question is the premise of the myth. Is it really true that movies tend to show body-moving as an easy thing to do? I'm sure I've seen a number of instances of characters struggling with the dead weight.
     
  5. Trekker4747

    Trekker4747 Boldly going... Premium Member

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    Usually you've been the one to express your thoughts on the episodes/where they went wrong/etc. I didn't want to steal your thunder or anything, nor do I think I could present as much intriguing thought into their experiments.

    I haven't watched tonight's yet, but the previous episodes have been pretty decent.

    I do think they were a bit... "off base" in saying Cameron was "wrong" in the Jack/Rose Titanic ending. Jamie and Adam were only able to "survive" because they had the ingenuity and thought to strap the lifebelt to the debris. The situation Jack and Rose were under was somewhat different. Consider that it was 2AM when Jack and Rose went into the water so they were doubtlessly tired from being up for so long, tired from the running and such they've been doing all night, not to mention the very frigid waters would likely make it hard for them to manipulate the lifebelt and debris to make it slightly more buoyant.

    Also wonder how well testing hypothermia rig they made translates to the real world. Water is more efficient and the transference of heat energy than air. You feel cold in water than you do in similar temperature air because water is a better conductor of heat. So I would think surviving hypothermia in air would be a lot more likely than becoming deathly hypothermic in water than they indicated in the episode. I'm just not clear on how their rig worked on making the dummy "generate its own heat" like the human body does.

    The balloon drop myth was interesting, but didn't produce anything too surprising. In the "Aftershow" they indicated it's just plain easier to crash cars in this manner (dropping them as opposed to using a crash test track) but I think the visuals lose something in the process.

    The wave trench was interesting from Jamie and Adam's experiments. (Love the large-scale office-toy rig Adam built.)

    The "Cliffhanger" myth, again, nothing too surprising there.

    And I can't quite remember what other myths we've had since the show came back. I remember the rocket surfboard, nothing to say there, and there's one other one just not springing to mind.

    And, I think Kari and the producers are just really toying with us now.

    [yt]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kv6qy99UCUw[/yt]

    I mean, come ON. They HAD to know how this would be taken.
     
  6. Forbin

    Forbin Admiral Admiral

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    They missed a bet in the smell of fear segment. A dog! Especially since the most common cliche I know of is to keep calm when faced with a dangerous animal because "they can smell fear on you!"
     
  7. Forbin

    Forbin Admiral Admiral

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    ^There's a loving sequence of stills from that Kari balloon sequence at www.zodcaps.com. :D
     
  8. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    As I recall, there was water being heated externally and then fed through the tubing into the dummy's body. So kinda like a dialysis machine, except with a heater instead of a filter.


    But how's the dog going to tell you whether it detects fear or not?
     
  9. Trekker4747

    Trekker4747 Boldly going... Premium Member

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    Ah, okay.

    Just watched the episode:

    I agree with Christopher the problems with the "sound of fear" test didn't seem to be tweaked out. I would have expected them to mix it up a bit to rule out any "bias" in the order of the cabins. Or keep them in the same cabin, turn the sound on at some random interval during the course of a 10 minutes or so and have their test subject under various forms of surveillance to see if anything in them changed when the "fear sound" was started. (Like heart rate, respiration, body temperature, etc.)

    The "smell of fear" I'm doubtful on. I'd even quibble that the expert sniffer during the first test may have been mostly right out of just pure luck of the numbers or out of it not being an entirely "blind" test. She knew there was something she was supposed to sense differently. The fact that their larger test with the 20-some samples was a failure for her should have busted the myth right there. (I might also quibble there's a difference between be "afraid" due to a phobia or being crawled on by "creepy" animals and "fear." Does a person really react the same way to a personal phobia or discomfort the same way as they would, say, walking through a dark alley in the inner city, or through a supposedly "haunted" house?

    Moving the body? A 150-lb weight is pretty damn light in body form. Both Jamie and Adam we could argue are "average" sized and they're knocking on 200 IIRC. I'll take them for their word that the body was correctly weighted to a real human, I just think that short of the body being a slightly larger than average sized female, 150lbs is way too light.

    The grave-digging one was on their almost a stinger so a non-subject. Hell, the history of murders can tell you that for the most part burying a body is very hard since most desperate criminals not in organized crime hardly bother with digging much more than a ditch they can sorta lay the body in.

    Kari is Hot.
     
    Last edited: Oct 29, 2012
  10. SynDaver Labs

    SynDaver Labs Cadet Newbie

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    The SynDaver Synthetic Human that was used on tonight's Mythbusters episode was our standard female unit. It includes all muscles, bones, and organs present in normal human anatomy and it is correctly weighted for it's build and height (5ft 4in).

    We do indeed make versions with skin but the show producers thought the body would perhaps be disturbing to viewers with the skin and fat installed.
     
  11. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    ^Thanks for posting. But isn't 150 pounds a bit high for a typical 5'4" female? I'm a 5'10" male and I weighed around 150 in my prime, sometimes less.
     
  12. SynDaver Labs

    SynDaver Labs Cadet Newbie

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    Depends on her bone structure and body type I suppose. In the case of our female SynDaver we could have made her lighter or heavier by altering her muscularity and / or fat content - but we did not shoot for a particular weight when we designed her - that's just how it came out.
     
  13. Trekker4747

    Trekker4747 Boldly going... Premium Member

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    150 sounds a bit right for "slightly above average" female.
     
  14. LitmusDragon

    LitmusDragon Commodore Commodore

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    I've missed these threads but have been too lazy to start my own. :lol: I haven't seen the new episode yet due to TWD and Dexter but once I do I'll be checking back. :)
     
  15. Trekker4747

    Trekker4747 Boldly going... Premium Member

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    On those lines, I'm guessing to make the animations look as little as possible like Scooby Doo. Tori's "Shaggy" look was only vaguely Shaggy-like, same with Kari's Daphne look. They were similar-enough looking to get the reference across but different enough to not be a direct rip-off.
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2012
  16. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Hmm, maybe, but a tie just doesn't look enough like an ascot. Maybe a scarf would've been better.
     
  17. Trekker4747

    Trekker4747 Boldly going... Premium Member

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    True, but since you and I instantly, apparently, recognized it as Fred then their attempt worked. ;)
     
    Last edited: Oct 30, 2012
  18. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    ^Nope -- the only reason I know it was supposed to be Fred is because the only other characters left were a girl and a dog.
     
  19. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    A set of mini-myths this week.

    I was surprised to find that "I know it like the back of my hand" actually proved valid. And I was surprised along with Adam that people didn't know their teeth even better, although the difference between the two was only 10/12 vs. 11/12, which is well within the margin of error. Also interesting that recognizing one's own palm gave results no better than a random guess... or, no, wait, I think Adam was wrong about that. After all, it was a choice between ten different palms, not two. So random chance would've given more like 10% correct results, and they got a shade over 50%. So not as good as with the back of the hand, but still significantly better than chance.


    On the needle-throwing myth, I don't think the sheet in the viral video looked like glass -- from the way it was punctured, it seemed more like some kind of plastic, or maybe the breakaway sugar glass that's used in TV and movies. Anyway, the best part was the audience of cutouts for the baseball pitcher, including cutouts of Adam, Jamie, an Apollo astronaut, and the Gorn.


    On the underwater bike, it was interesting that Adam was more buoyant fully submerged than half-submerged. I guess that's because more of his body was underwater, and since the density of the body is about equal to that of water, and lower than the density of the bike (since the bike sank), that means that the more of the body was submerged, the greater the buoyancy of the combined bike-rider system became.

    My first thought about increasing the traction of the bike was to fill the tires with water. That way, the weight is concentrated toward the bottom and the bike would be more stable. Also it would make the wheels more massive and the gyroscope effect would create more stability. (This is an old trick for making a bicycle stay upright without a rider. It was used in Who Framed Roger Rabbit? for the live-action bicycle that was being "ridden" by a toon in one shot.) Adam's approach was similar, though he was going for softness and traction rather than mass redistribution (anyone know how the density of corn syrup compares to water?). And the gyroscope effect wouldn't even kick in with the wheels turning so slowly.

    I wonder if it would've been possible to modify the wheels with some kind of paddles on the sides. But how to get them past the frames holding the wheels in?


    On the, err, other myth, I really don't want to talk about it much, but I did kind of wonder how the differences between male and female anatomy in that, err, region might've affected the results.
     
  20. Forbin

    Forbin Admiral Admiral

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    I said out, dammit!
    By attacking? :D

    Or, how do they tell you when they detect drugs and bombs?