Heads up! MYTHBUSTERS season premiere tonight at 9 Eastern!

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

  1. Professor Zoom

    Professor Zoom Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Um. Yeah. Thanks for explaining cruise control.... :rolleyes:

    Well, judging by what happened on Mythbusters, a fraction of a second...

    And why would you be using cruise control at 35 miles an hour? I wouldn't use cruise control until I'm on a highway and it's fairly clear of cars.

    Oddly, the one time I was in an accident that was my fault, it was in the city, not on cruise control, and still got to the brake before causing serious damage.

    It might be SMALLER fractions of a second for you, but it's still fractions of a second, and I'm not hampered by cramps...

    To each his own.
     
  2. Trekker4747

    Trekker4747 Boldly going... Premium Member

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    Fractions of a second can mean a lot when you travel dozens of feet inside of them.

    I didn't say I use it at that speed but just that's the speed at which most of them will activate. I don't use mine either unless I'm on a stretch of road with no traffic/stops ahead of me which is usually highway speeds.
     
  3. davejames

    davejames Vice Admiral Admiral

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    True, but they were still expecting to perform some complicated, last-second maneuvers, and knew how to properly hit the pedals to complete them.

    I'm not sure the average woman going about her day would be quite as prepared if an emergency came out of nowhere.

    And then there's the size of the shoes, which I'm not sure they properly accounted for. Being guys, they needed to wear some extra large, extra wide heels. The girls I know where things MUCH tinier and with much less surface area hitting the ground.
     
  4. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    I don't see the logic of that assumption. Anyone who's been driving for a while is going to have some experience with needing to make abrupt stops. I've only been driving for a few years myself, and I've had my share of such moments.

    Besides, they weren't testing any of those variables. The way science works is you isolate one variable at a time and test that specific thing, so that if you get a variation in the results, you know it's because of that and not something else. The only thing they were testing here was the myth that the shoes themselves undermined driving ability, independent of any other factor. So they created an experiment that tested that variable and kept every other variable constant, and that is perfectly good experimental design. Any other variables are a matter for a different experiment testing a different question.

    Anyway, if there are any women reading this thread (and it's sad that it has to be an "if"), my question is, is driving in spike heels something that women would even do under normal circumstances? Or would they simply slip off the shoes and drive in stocking feet, or keep a pair of more sensible/comfortable shoes in the car?
     
  5. CmdrAJD

    CmdrAJD Commodore Commodore

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    While it's not exactly Mythbusters, the season finale of Unchained Reaction is airing tonight at 6PM Eastern, according to the Discovery site.

    Based on the fact that they're dumping the episode in the early evening like this without any fanfare, I'm guessing that the show wasn't doing well and won't be back.
     
  6. davejames

    davejames Vice Admiral Admiral

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    Yeah I was wondering what happened to it. Although I can't say I'll miss it all that much. The final machines were sometimes fun to watch, but not enough to justify the boring rest of the show.
     
  7. Forbin

    Forbin Admiral Admiral

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    We modelers have a love-hate relationship with superglue.
    You can glue a piece to a model kit, come back later, pick the kit up and the piece will fall off, making you wonder what's so super about it. Then when you try to replace it, you permaglue your finger to the kit so securely you need debonder to escape.
     
  8. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Anyone else bother to watch the Unchained Reaction finale? It was okay; the two machines were nicely different in execution even though they had similar themes, but the team of artists had much cleverer elements even if the execution was less technically impressive. Unfortunately, the camera angles were poorly chosen so that a number of the effects in the artists' rig didn't come across clearly, like the Esther Williams divers or the city being "destroyed."

    The most impressive bit was that the guest judge was Rick Baker! A true special-effects legend, and it was a nice coincidence that the artists' team had a King Kong-inspired element when the judge was someone who's actually played Kong.

    Overall, though, I won't miss the show. I get that Adam & Jamie (and whoever else developed the show) were trying to cater to the audience that likes the design and building and destruction they do on Mythbusters. But what's cool about all that stuff on Mythbusters is that it's a means to an end, that it's about science and experimentation rather than just building cool stuff. They had the opportunity to make this show more science-oriented by discussing the physics and engineering behind the machines, but they didn't really do anything with it.

    So if Adam & Jamie (or the other Mythbusters) do create/host another show for Discovery, I hope it's more science-oriented and educational, because a show that actually lets us learn new things would be more interesting than this was.
     
  9. Trekker4747

    Trekker4747 Boldly going... Premium Member

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    I'm sure my TiFaux recorded Unchained Reaction so I'll need to watch it. The thing with it was is that I got bored with it as there just wasn't enough too it to make it interesting. Watching the teams assemble the machines just wasn't interesting and the show seemed to delve a lot into the "reality show drama/bickering" that's common to shows like this.

    I also think the show needed more involvement from Jamie and Adam, though I know that wasn't in the cards since J/A lived and worked in San Francisco and were still doing Mythbusters while UR was done in Los Angeles.

    Really the show made me realize how much I missed Junkyard Wars.
     
  10. Roger Wilco

    Roger Wilco Admiral Admiral

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    It was a neat idea, but it just didn't really work out. The time-frame the teams got just wasn't enough to really "polish" out the machines enough imo. They managed to make impressive stuff, but it always looked a bit shabby and not as professional as I think Adam and Jamie and the audience wanted.
     
  11. TheMurph

    TheMurph Rear Admiral Rear Admiral

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    Exactly. I was hoping that was what CR was going to be, but was left disappointed. And if they ever get tired of Mythbusters i would be happy if one or both of the Senior Busters got a more Edu Science show.
     
  12. CmdrAJD

    CmdrAJD Commodore Commodore

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    I watched the finale, and, as others have said, I can't say that I'll really miss the show. The relative lack of Adam and Jamie was a serious problem, and the show only seemed to perk up when they were on screen. The "host", such as he was, seemed to have almost no personality, and despite the fact that I believe Adam and Jamie said he was there as a resource, we never saw him interact with the teams except when he looked at their first link and then threw the missing link at them.

    My biggest issue was with how they handled the final execution of the machines, though. The whole point of the show is to see these things work, and half the time it felt like we weren't seeing segments work or they were shot at a terrible angle. The machines are the payoff. The show crew gets to see these things being built over five days. They know where the elements are. Put in more cameras to catch it all properly and then do some editing to better show us the flow. I'd be fine if they had cut a couple of minutes of the build and instead ran through each machine twice for the viewers: once in real time and one more to really show us the flow of the machine. I doubt it's an issue now, though. I seriously can't imagine that we will see a second season.
     
  13. Redfern

    Redfern Commodore Commodore

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    When Adam and Jamie Rigged that water heater cannon last night, I thought this was going to be the expriment that resulted in a cannon ball smashing through a couple of houses. But neither the round shot from the Civil War weapon (as a baseline test) nor their steam powered mechanism punched through 2 full "pallets".

    What WERE they testing that resulted in that freak accident? I can't remember.

    Sincerely,

    Bill
     
  14. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Anyway, back to Mythbusters:

    Water heater cannon: At first blush, it seems surprising that the water heater cannon didn't work as well as a regular cannon, given how much power past water-heater explosions have had. But I guess they just seem that powerful compared to our expectations about what water and steam are capable of. It really shouldn't be surprising that a gunpowder cannon actually designed to be a cannon would be more powerful. Although I guess it's impressive that the water-heater cannon was even half as powerful.

    And this just wasn't their day for testing, was it? First a bad heating element, then a brush fire (or was it the other way around?). Well, at least it didn't go as far awry as that other cannon myth that was in the news a while back. (EDIT: Redfern, your answer is in the link. The other Mythbuster team was testing whether other objects fired out of a cannon would have as much force as a cannonball.)


    Fireworks Man: Pretty straightforward. They improved the design of the launch vehicle and got better results. Nothing surprising, so not much to say. Nice to see the legendary cement-mixer-explosion quarry again, though.


    Limo tilt: How appropriate that the bird they used as a model was a Kori bustard. They should rebuild that mechanical bustard and make it their new mascot.

    I think the problem with testing this myth is that the idea behind it is that the car is so precariously perched that it only takes a tiny change to send it over, whereas they have to make sure the car is just a touch less precariously perched so that it'll be stable enough that it won't go over just with a gust of wind. So I'm not sure it's really feasible to test the exact circumstances of the myth. It's the sort of thing that might be plausible with just the right incredible fluke circumstances, but that's hard to test for.


    Fine motor skills with heavy machinery: I like that inversion of expectations, trying to do something very subtle with these powerful vehicles. I think they should've done the needle threading second, though, since it was a lot more impressive than the wine pouring. (Heck, I have trouble threading needles even up close with my fingers. Though I wonder how many tries it actually took.)
     
  15. davejames

    davejames Vice Admiral Admiral

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    I thought this latest episode was a lot of fun. As a Burn Notice fan I got a huge kick out of seeing them tackle one of Michael's "spy tips." Hell, you could probably devote an entire season to just stuff from that show (like all the various uses he gets out of a cell phone).

    As for the bullet ricochet, I'm sure they could have lucked out and hit the right spot eventually, but as they showed it would have to be a REALLY lucky shot. And at that point, you might as well try something else.

    And I have to admit I expected at least SOME kind of small boost from the shockwave. Nothing like what we see in the movies of course, but at least an extra couple inches. But looks like there just isn't enough air being pushed out to get the job done.
     
  16. Trekker4747

    Trekker4747 Boldly going... Premium Member

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    I don't think it so much force as it is "path of least resistence" for the shockwave to push you out of the way it has to, well, do something. It's easier for the shockwave to just move around you than it is to push you. ;)
     
  17. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Bouncing bullets: I'm a little surprised it even came as close to working as it did, in terms of the ricochet off the asphalt. I guess asphalt's a harder material than I figured. But I hadn't realized there was so much sturdy, bullet-resistant stuff underneath the floor of a car.

    I was surprised to hear them talking about the "firewall" as part of the construction of a car. I figured that "firewall" as a computing term had to be named for something more physical, but I never would've thought it referred to a piece of a car. Although I just looked it up and apparently it's mainly used in construction to refer to a fire-resistant wall of a building. The firewall in a car is what separates the passenger compartment from the engine; is it called that because it blocks the heat from the engine, or because it provides temporary protection to the passengers if the engine catches fire?

    The rig they built to get high-speed footage of bullet ricochets while the truck was in motion was pretty ingenious.


    Shock wave riding: Not too surprised by the result, since I'm not sure I'd expect a shock wave to have a "pushing" effect at all. I mean, it isn't really a substance moving forward; it's just an outwardly propagating density/pressure increase in the air. It's like a wave in the ocean. If you're on a boat in the ocean and a big wave comes by, it doesn't so much push you forward as lift you up and then lower you again. The water in a wave doesn't actually move forward, just rises up and down, so an object in that water would be affected the same way. I know surfers can ride waves, but I think they already have to have built up a certain amount of speed. From the footage I've seen, if you're sitting still on a surfboard when a wave crest reaches you, you just bob up and down. So maybe surfing isn't so much about being pushed forward by a wave as it is about propelling yourself forward until you can match velocity with the wave. Ah, and the Wikipedia article on surfing bears this out. Surfers do have to match velocity with the waves before they hit, and they need to be towed by a boat to match velocity with really fast waves. So the waves aren't actually propelling the surfers at all.

    So really, there's no reason this should have worked, and the Mythbusters shouldn't have been surprised by its failure. The notion that a shock wave even could push someone forward is a misunderstanding of the physics of the phenomenon. Sure, the actual expanding gases from the explosion push stuff outward -- that's how an explosion works in the first place -- but the shock wave that hit Buster isn't made of those gases; it's just a compression in the surrounding air as a consequence of the explosion. So all Buster would've felt was a temporary, sharp increase in air pressure, not an acceleration.
     
  18. Forbin

    Forbin Admiral Admiral

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    I'm surprised you didn't know the computer term came from a physical world origin! As a WWII airplane buff and son of a fighter pilot, I've been hearing the term since I was a wee lad, referring to the bulkhead that the engine is mounted to. Meant to, you guessed it, try to keep an engine fire away from the pilot and gas tank.

    In fact a colloquialism for suddenly going balls-out full speed was "Firewall it!" Meaning shove the throttle lever forward toward the firewall.
     
  19. Trekker4747

    Trekker4747 Boldly going... Premium Member

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    Yeah, I'd always heard of the bulkhead between the passenger compartment of the car and the engine compartment as being the "firewall."
     
  20. Christopher

    Christopher Writer Admiral

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    Umm, I just said "I figured [it] had to be named for something more physical." Obviously something with "fire" and "wall" in the name is a metaphor based in physical things. I just didn't expect it to have anything to do with cars specifically. I was assuming something more building-related (which is its primary meaning).