MythBusters

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Fail
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MythBusters

Postby Fail » Sun Jul 15, 2007 6:41 am UTC

Couldn't decide to drop this in Science or here, went with here (obviously).

So, I've been watching alot of the show lately, and have noticed that in few myths do they actually do repeat trials. This strikes me as bad science! I think alot of "Busted" myths could very easily be "Plausible" or even "Confirmed" if more effort (for lack of a better word) was put into the actual field tests of myths.

What do you all think?

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Postby Dark Ragnarok » Sun Jul 15, 2007 7:22 am UTC

I think given the time frame and business demand of the showed coupled with so many factors they have to just do one thought out design test and try and get SOME kind of boom in the end. Sure they don't always retest things, and heck sometiems they even chuck out a lot of variables, but they'll crack the myth to most practicalities.

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Postby Oort » Sun Jul 15, 2007 7:59 am UTC

I think they like explosions more than careful scientific experiments. It's a fun show, but it strikes me as unreliable.

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Postby Dark Ragnarok » Sun Jul 15, 2007 8:09 am UTC

I don't know... a lot of myths are already freak chances. So i mean the myth in itself could be unreliable to begin with.

You can't really treat the show like it uses science methods to the book, but they at least look at some of the basic laws/concepts of physics, chemistry, and likewise.

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Postby Jesse » Sun Jul 15, 2007 8:25 am UTC

Does no-one remember the test shows they did for it? There was a lot more science and a lot less blowing up and it was boring as hell, nobody watched it, so they changed the format.

Also, remember, these are former special effects guys, they are just looking at "Can we reproduce this idea in the real world in a way that makes it fun for us to come to work?"

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Postby Dark Ragnarok » Sun Jul 15, 2007 8:42 am UTC

i suppose so. When did mythbusters first air? i thought i recall watching among some of first season.

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Postby Jesse » Sun Jul 15, 2007 8:57 am UTC

It wasn't the first season I don't think. I am pretty sure it was two test episodes aired to see what public reaction would be like. I may be compeltely wrong here and thinking about something different.

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Postby jfarquhar » Sun Jul 15, 2007 9:23 am UTC

My favourite was the myth (can't even remember what it was they were trying to disprove) where they filled a cement truck with explosives, detonated it, and it just instantly vapourised, that was awesome.

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Postby __Kit » Sun Jul 15, 2007 9:47 am UTC

jfarquhar wrote:My favourite was the myth (can't even remember what it was they were trying to disprove) where they filled a cement truck with explosives, detonated it, and it just instantly vapourised, that was awesome.


I remember that.

I like the Asian guy (Toni?) and the cracks they make about Buster.
=]

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Postby Dark Ragnarok » Sun Jul 15, 2007 10:06 am UTC

jfarquhar wrote:My favourite was the myth (can't even remember what it was they were trying to disprove) where they filled a cement truck with explosives, detonated it, and it just instantly vapourised, that was awesome.


that was my favorite episode as well. what i didn't understand, was how the fucking wheels and frame was left behind.

and my favorite myth that was cracked...

how they bypassed a sonic alarm system with just a blanket held in front of them.

if there's anything computers taught me... it was there is NO such thing as security. XD

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Postby Mother Superior » Sun Jul 15, 2007 11:39 am UTC

In my opinion Mythbusters is a perfect blend of education and entertainment. I mean, sometimes their science is a tad dubious, but considering their closest competitor is Brainiac...
They seem to get it right most of the time, and they do revisit myths that their fans claim could be done better, something I dare say is unique in television.
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Postby Fail » Sun Jul 15, 2007 12:51 pm UTC

I actually have a strange attraction to braniac, because It always claims to be just about blowing sutff up and really awesome experiments. (Can you lose weight staring at boobies?!-- Answer, no)

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Postby GhostWolfe » Sun Jul 15, 2007 1:01 pm UTC

jfarquhar wrote:My favourite was the myth (can't even remember what it was they were trying to disprove) where they filled a cement truck with explosives, detonated it, and it just instantly vapourised, that was awesome.

They were attempting to bust the myth that a small amount of explosive would loosen up a layer of caked-in cement on a cement mixer truck. They found out that they myth was perfectly plausible if the cement wasn't too thick. The truck they vaporised was literally half-full of cured cement, it was a write-off anyway, so they blew it to smithereens.

And it rocked.
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Postby hyperion » Sun Jul 15, 2007 1:01 pm UTC

Fail wrote:I actually have a strange attraction to braniac, because It always claims to be just about blowing sutff up and really awesome experiments. (Can you lose weight staring at boobies?!-- Answer, no)

I have no problem with what they do on Brainiac. I don't like the fact that they call it science, because it lures in fools who'll believe anything.
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Postby Rodan » Sun Jul 15, 2007 4:15 pm UTC

__Kit wrote:
jfarquhar wrote:My favourite was the myth (can't even remember what it was they were trying to disprove) where they filled a cement truck with explosives, detonated it, and it just instantly vapourised, that was awesome.


I remember that.

I like the Asian guy (Toni?) and the cracks they make about Buster.

That episode was the first one I ever saw. I only saw the end, so I didn't know what they were doing, I just saw a big-ass explosion, and it hooked me.
Great show.
Also, the Asian guy's name is Grant.

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Re: MythBusters

Postby yy2bggggs » Sun Jul 15, 2007 6:15 pm UTC

This was discussed before in General.

Mythbusters doesn't ever claim to be science (oh, they unapologetically use science, but they never claim to be a science show). The reason they aren't more methodical and exhaustive in testing myths is very easily explained--their primary purpose is entertainment. But they do have integrity; nothing they do is faked.

Brainiac claims to be science and has no integrity. They fake results--intentionally spreading misinformation for the sake of entertainment.

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Postby Kawa » Mon Jul 16, 2007 7:56 am UTC

I love Mythbusters. It's wonderfully entertaining and at least tries for some integrity. And in chat rooms and the like Adam and Jamie are perfectly willing to admit that sometimes they forgo some science for time, practicality, and entertainment. They know the explosions sell, and they enjoy it themselves, so they're willing to sacrifice a bit for it.

Though Mythbusters will always inspire in me sitting on the dorm lounge couches with my boyfriend and one of my best friends, horking down Pepsi and gummy bears, and laughing our heads off. It was a Wednesday night tradition (for those who don't know, that's when the new eps come out) and a whole ton a fun. Shame the friend is taking a semester off for health reasons; we're gonna miss her.
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Postby e946 » Mon Jul 16, 2007 9:20 am UTC

Along with the fact that it is primarily a television show and is thus out for the entertainment value, you have to remember that they do a lot of tests that don't make it into the final show simply due to time constraints. Some ideas will be more tested-out than you think, but they can only choose the most entertaining parts and the parts most important to the overall result (Kind of like turning a book into a movie) to put into the show.

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Postby Dr. Venture » Wed Jul 18, 2007 2:50 am UTC

Although it isn't exactly "science", the show does promote critical thinking, which is something that you don't see much on TV. I read an interview with Adam where he said that they really want to do a show that would somehow demonstrate natural selection. Creationism: Myth busted!
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Postby Xaith » Wed Jul 18, 2007 2:51 am UTC

Dr. Venture wrote:Although it isn't exactly "science", the show does promote critical thinking, which is something that you don't see much on TV. I read an interview with Adam where he said that they really want to do a show that would somehow demonstrate natural selection. Creationism: Myth busted!


I'd love to see the controversy that episode would spark...

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Postby Yhatki » Wed Jul 18, 2007 3:45 am UTC

Has anyone seen their movie myths episode? I now know to leap for the tapestry like Indiana Jones if I am helplessly falling off of a building in a calm state of mind. It might break my legs, but I could just (barely) survive!


If they do a Creationism: Busted episode, which I hope for, I wonder how many times it would run on the air, and if it were to ever make it into syndication. The Drama Llama in me is aching for it to be done, though.

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Postby SpitValve » Wed Jul 18, 2007 4:32 am UTC

I liked the "escape from a car underwater" one. Turns out the best thing is to chillax until your call fills up with water and the pressure equalises, then calmly open the door and float up to the top.

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Bad mythbusters, bad!

Postby Invisible Queen » Wed Aug 08, 2007 11:42 am UTC

I saw Mythbusters bust the myth that you can catch a bullet between your teeth. They conclusively proved that if you stop a high-powered magnum round dead in its track then it explodes.

But what if you use a low-yield gunpowder charge, like magicians and airplane hijackers do? And more importantly, what if you match the bullet's speed and trajectory with your head and slow it down like when you catch a ball? I'm trusting you left-brain fetishists to help me figure it out, just to prove you can do a better job than Mythbusters.

We'll have to begin by figuring out how slowly a tooth can move when a bullet makes contact with it, for both the bullet and the tooth to remain intact. . .
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Postby TheKhakinator » Wed Aug 08, 2007 11:47 am UTC

You wouldn't want to catch it head on. I'd suggest catching it by plucking it out of the air as it goes past.

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Postby thedufer » Wed Aug 08, 2007 12:18 pm UTC

Catching it head-on would be a terrible idea...think what would happen if you missed. Blegh. Anyway, I don't really know how fast bullets move but I think it would be difficult to get your teeth moving fast enough in the same direction such that neither your teeth of the bullet are damaged too badly upon impact. Sounds viable, but extremely difficult to pull off. I'm perfectly willing to do number-crunching, but looking up stuff like bullet speeds and the highest impact bullets/teeth can handle really isn't my thing.

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Postby keozen » Wed Aug 08, 2007 12:25 pm UTC

Catching it anywhere in your head is a BAD idea but having said that at least you wouldn't realise if you failed (or much anything else after that).

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Re: Bad mythbusters, bad!

Postby Azrael » Wed Aug 08, 2007 12:31 pm UTC

Invisible Queen wrote:But what if you use a low-yield gunpowder charge, like magicians ...


You're aware that magicians don't actually ever catch bullets with their teeth, yes? That it is an illusion?

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Postby German Sausage » Wed Aug 08, 2007 12:33 pm UTC

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Re: Bad mythbusters, bad!

Postby hyperion » Wed Aug 08, 2007 12:34 pm UTC

Invisible Queen wrote:[Insane ramblings]

Um... No. You can't catch a bullet with your teeth. They got it right.
If it's going slowly enough to catch, then it's not really a bullet.
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Postby Gelsamel » Wed Aug 08, 2007 12:36 pm UTC

Bullets are tiny.... and LOW END speed for most handguns is around 240 m/s.

First of all it would be impossible to react fast enough to "catch" it, even if you were anticipating it. And since the bullet is so tiny any attempt to catch it will result in an extremely large impulse over the surface area of contact. Even if you could lower the impulse by increasing the impact time - you could only do that a tiny (Read: Insignificant) amount.

In fact letting it pass through the back of your throat or through your whole hand would dissipate less energy then catching it. (as it would probably be a through and through wound)

Even if you could react fast enough to catch it with your teeth - and you could lower the impact time somewhat by how you close your mouth or something stupid like that - it would either shatter your teeth, OR it would ricochet after nicking your teeth (Bullets spin really fast, even hitting a leaf can cause a bullet to go totally off course) and it would land in your throat or brain.

In fact - translational velocity is only one problem, you ALSO have to clamp down with your teeth fast enough to stop the spinning.

If you ask me any attempt to "catch" a bullet is ridiculous.

Also - magicians use things called magic tricks....
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Postby Invisible Queen » Wed Aug 08, 2007 12:45 pm UTC

Less of the "that's impossible" and more of the hard figures please. What's the lowest velocity of a bullet, what's the impact whatchamacallit critical point, is it impossible for a human to reach that speed, and if so why?
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Re: Bad mythbusters, bad!

Postby Hench » Wed Aug 08, 2007 1:16 pm UTC

Azrael wrote:
Invisible Queen wrote:But what if you use a low-yield gunpowder charge, like magicians ...


You're aware that magicians don't actually ever catch bullets with their teeth, yes? That it is an illusion?


Suddenly reminded of The Prestige...
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Postby SecondTalon » Wed Aug 08, 2007 1:45 pm UTC

The lowest velocity I've seen is 180m/s, but given that velocity will vary with each bullet for various reasons, I figure giving the average of the lowest of the low to be roughly 200m/s seems fair.

Also, it's a good number for the mathematics, as I are terrible at it.

This experiment gives various reaction times of male/female students (15-18 ) and male/female teachers (mid20s to 60s)

Of course, the experiment is flawed due to various factors, but it's what I'm going to use. I'm also going to assume for the sake of this argument that the mouth closing and fingers catching a ruler are more or less the same thing, even though I know they are not. Personally, my hands are faster.

We're looking at a best reaction of .02 seconds. Simple math tells us that in .02 seconds, a bullet travelling at 200m/s will travel 4 meters. (This is assuming I didn't screw the simple math up, which I probably did.)

Assuming that you could get your mouth closed fast enough, the teeth aren't going to clamp on to the bullet and stop it, the bullet is going to skid along the teeth before stopping.

Various things I've eaten during my life, as well as rapping on my teeth with a screwdriver just now, lead me to believe that while my teeth are strong enough to eat food, they're not strong enough to, say, open a coconut.

I have a feeling that as the bullet skids to a stop along the teeth, it will destroy the teeth, fragment and scatter. While I'm not sure that this will kill a person, I know it'll give them a mouth full of blood very quickly.

Given the rows of molars and such, I figure a person could do this exactly twice.
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Postby Gelsamel » Wed Aug 08, 2007 2:12 pm UTC

9mm Luger is a gun with decent Muzzle velocity and low bullet weight.

Bullet's Mass: 0.008 kilograms or 8 Grams
Bullet's Muzzle Velocity: 341.4 meters per second (Compared to 520 for Magnum)

Teeth are on average are only a few millimetres deep. Lets be generous and say that teeth are 5 millimetres deep.

At a relative velocity of 341.4 meters per second, it would take the bullet 1.46*10^-5 seconds to pass the teeth, so the bullet must be caught within this time.

Impact force = m*(dv/dt)

dv = 341.4
dt = 1.46*10^-5

F = m*(341.4/1.46*10^-5) = 187 068.5 Newtons

This force acts over a area of about 5.0*10^-5 m² (about 1 cm by 0.5cm it's an OVERestimate of the area of the bullet come in contact with the teeth when you're biting it, the bullet is rounded so in reality MUCH LESS surface area would be stopping the bullet) So the force per square meter is (Impact Force/Area).

About 3,725,320,000 N/m² or..

3,725.32 MPa.

The various teeth parts (Enamel/Dentin) and positions and types of teeth in the human mouth do not surpass an Ultimate Tensile strength (UTS) of 61.6

Now this is ONLY translational velocity, if you add in rotational velocity then it's even more ridiculous then it already is.

EVEN THOUGH the UTS is NOT when things break, and 341m/s isn't a SLOW BULLET (it's average, slow bullets would probably half the Force per unit area). Even allowing for a SIZEABLE increase in the impact time (but lowering relative velocity, by travelling in the same direction) It's still blatantly obvious that this is impossible.

If I got something wrong don't blame me, this is rushed and it's midnights (yay excuses).

Edit: @SecondTalon: The bullet would have to skid, if it didn't the impact force would be SO HUGE that your teeth would and decorate your brain with enamel. Even if the bullet skid from the front of the bullet to the back of the bullet the impact force would still be that huge. The fact that if you tried this the bullet would skid past your teeth and go through the back of your through and this would be what SAVES YOU from DYING.

It's like that question I got way back ages ago. "What would happen to superman if he stopped a semi-trailer going at X m/s and with a mass of Ykgs almost instantaneously (assume something like 0.0000001 second)" Answer = he would explode.

Similarly a question where he catches Lois by flying up and catching her with an upwards velocity while hers is a downwards one (she basically gets broken bones all over). Yay Fun!
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Postby Invisible Queen » Wed Aug 08, 2007 2:26 pm UTC

Interesting figures, but I got to point out reaction speed doesn't matter at all. Even ninjas in movies don't dodge bullets after they're fired (not good movies anyway), they read the body language of the shooter to see when and where they'll shoot and move in advance. Which the subject of our experiment can do since it's carefully planned in cooperation with the shooter.
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Postby SecondTalon » Wed Aug 08, 2007 2:27 pm UTC

I'll get this tag right eventually
Gelsamel wrote:Science!

Sure, all of my limited stuff was written with the assumption that the force of impact wouldn't kill you, which it probably would; that close to the brain and all. Still, I'm figuring with human reaction time and all, you'd basically have to start with your mouth and teeth already in a position where the bicuspids and such would have to be barely larger than the bullet itself, to allow it to pass through and skid to a stop on your molars.

So now we need an incredibly accurate gun and an equally accurate shooter to even make the shot. A handgun just won't too.. they're far too inacurate.

Even ninjas in movies don't dodge bullets after they're fired (not good movies anyway), they read the body language of the shooter to see when and where they'll shoot and move in advance.


Nevermind the movie bit, as the only real way to dodge a shooter is to make the shooter believe you're zigging when you're zagging... given that you know exactly what is going to happen, you still have to wait for it to happen before you can react. If you react to it when it hasn't happened yet, you'll screw up.

This goes for both the catcher and the shooter. Nevermind that no two bullets fire exactly the same.. one will shoot a little bit earlier than another... you'd have to start to close your mouth, give the signal to the shooter who (reaction .02 seconds) pulls the trigger to shoot at you while you manually adjust your jaw speed when the shot is fired (reaction .02 seconds) to catch.

With a narrow window of 4 meters per .02 seconds... you need pinpoint accuracy that your .04 seconds of reacting to each other will not do.

Again, we're talking humans.. so reacting to something in .02 seconds one times doesn't stop you from taking .1 second the next time. Even someone focused on what's going on will not react with the same speed every single time.
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Postby Pixel » Wed Aug 08, 2007 2:28 pm UTC

Invisible Queen wrote:Less of the "that's impossible" and more of the hard figures please. What's the lowest velocity of a bullet, what's the impact whatchamacallit critical point, is it impossible for a human to reach that speed, and if so why?


How about less of the "I demand hard figures to prove to me my idea is impossible" and more of you proving your theory is possible with hard figures.
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Postby Invisible Queen » Wed Aug 08, 2007 2:33 pm UTC

I'm leaving the math in more capable hands, thank you. If it's possible or impossible, I suppose it can be mathematically proven. The idea is to do a more thorough job than Mythbusters did.
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Postby Devilsaur » Wed Aug 08, 2007 2:36 pm UTC

Wait, wtf, who thinks they can catch a bullet with their teeth?
Well, I suppose someone probably did. But they’re probably dead now.

Remember energy needs to go somewhere. Bullets have a lot of energy. You don't want all of this energy suddenly transfered to your face. Ever.

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Postby SecondTalon » Wed Aug 08, 2007 2:37 pm UTC

Invisible Queen wrote:The idea is to do a more thorough job than Mythbusters did.

There really isn't a need. If you recall, the experiment they did where they finally caught the bullet involved the jaw closing well before the bullet fired, and they still had to do that a few times as bullets fire with different timing.

The Ninja episode where they did the arrow catching experiment should also have you believe that it'll be impossible. Arrows travel at speeds well below bullets... and they're nigh-impossible to catch, as again.. you have to react before the arrow is fired to do it.

Same thing with bullets. You have to start your catch before it's fired, and hope that it's fired when you think it's going to be fired.

If you're asking if there are better ways to conduct the experiment.. yeah, there are. Lower velocity rounds, plastic rounds, rubber rounds...

If you're asking if there's going to be a different result? No, there's not. You cannot catch a standard round in your teeth.
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