Wouldn't it be better :-) ?
To use the originals rather than dummies
They've built working crossbows using rolled up newspapers, shot frozen chickens at airplane windshields, and tried to paint a room using dynamite. They say their crowning moment was actually floating a lead balloon, disproving the old cliché. And when their 2011 season debuts Wednesday night in the US, they'll determine whether …
I have a friend who claims to have "OC"ed his CPU by (stupidly) splicing in an extra PSU to his ATX mobo connectors. Said his CPU (being bound on top by his heat sink) actually popped through the base of his motherboard and through the side of his case, sticking into the wall. I believe his story about as much as one would believe Kill Bill's version of "punching" through 6 feet of dirt.... which Mythbusters attempted as well, incidentally.
I was error-checking an old hard drive when it "violently failed" - stuck part of the platter in the wall.
Meanwhile, that would be an interesting bunch of myths to test - how fast you can overclock a CPU (complete with burning CPUs), overspin a CD, DVD, BluRay, or hard drive, or otherwise generally overtask. How long a computer would last in an oven would also be interesting (or submerged in oil, or...)
The mentioned that it was unlikeley and no one had seen it IIRC. After friday I have a single stich in my arm, a ripped shirt and bits of CD embedded in my accoustic tiles after a cheap supermarket brand dvdrw let go in a laptop and destroyed drive and laptop (and my arm)
Not long after the show we had a run of them and a crate went off to M5 containing drives, bits et al.
at 52x, a CD has amazing force in it. I've seen the glass shrapnel (later called "sand" a few micro seconds later), blow out the internals and metal casing far enough that it impacted the case supports itself and made it impossible to remove the drive physically from the PC. Essentially, you could see where a shard of CD dented the sides out from within, and it dented it so far out that it also dented the rails, embedding the CD drive permanently in it's own notch in the case. We also had one explode and a shard blew off the front door, flew about 6 feet across the space between 2 work benches, and hit the back of the monitor on the desk behind it hard enough to enbed in the plastic and crack the LCD on the other side of it. Luckily, no one was there at the time (found it that way one morning, and thus an immediate corporate ban on leaving CDs in a drive at all period unless they were in use installing software or being written).
There's a reason they stopped making 60x drives, and even 52s are hard to find now.
I had this one drive I was trying to salvage data off.
This was taking a lot of time and unfortunately not going too well, when suddenly and inexplicably it hurled itself violently off the table top (eSATA connection, see) and made a nice hole in the plasterboard wall about 6 feet away.
The other half maintains that I was responsible, as it coincidentally also took out a ugly framed print of something she called art hung up right there on that bit of the wall... , but ... I swear, it wasn't me.
The other half however, also knows now how to back up :P
a long time ago they did test the myth that a CD would self-destruct if spun too fast, that being the logic of why you didn't get ever faster optical drives. They couldn't get a stock drive to spin a disc to pieces, so employed a woodworking router to do it (at 20k RPM or something). The shrapnel that resulted stuck in all kinds of things.
It can happen, I have seen it. In the early days, a 4x read drive was considered fast. My son had a game bought around that time. When I upgraded to a 32x drive, said game disc disintegrated quite thoroughly in the drive with an impressive BANG (no bits flew out as it was all contained in the drive - there's yer busted myth, right there).
You almost certainly won't get a modern disc to fall apart in a modern drive, but an early one in a modern drive? That's a different matter.
 I think it was the Teletubbies one.....
Swear to God, honest truth.
It was TEAC CD drive round about 2000. I put in a CD-R disc and it started reading, I then attempted to copy off a shed load of data after about 30 secs there was a nasty grumbling noise and then a huge bang and a shattering plastic sound, the grinding and whining was quite loud, I just pulled the power out the back of the machine immediately!
I pulled the drive out of the case and it sounded like a parcel with china in it had been through the hands of Royal Mail! Shaking the now unplugged drive it sounded like those plastic-cup instruments with beans inside that you make with your kids.
... show your pupils Mythbusters!
The default position for science is scepticism. You start with an hypothesis and then test it to see if it's valid, if not, it's Busted.
If it comes out appearing to be Plausible or Confirmed, then you put out your results to Peer Review (in the case of Mythbusters, the online forums where fans can comment on what was done and, possibly, things that were missed) and re-evaluate your conclusions and perhaps test again (ie revisit) the myth to check your conclusions.
What's most important, of course, is that you shouldn't get so wedded to your conclusions that you refuse to accept that they may be wrong.
Now *that* is science!
As Adam has mentioned many times, it is the results which don't go the way you expect which are the most thrilling. How many people remember the 'are elephants really scared of mice' episode. Everyone knew it was just some cartoonish joke but when they ran through the test the elephants backed away!!
So much material used in education tends to be taken on faith when a little investigation shows either no supporting evidence or else conflicting evidence and remember, the victor writes the history (or some sycophant writes it to please them). Only later do 'balanced' viewpoints try to get written at which point the legend could be set in stone and your great-to-the-10th-Grandad ambushed my great-to-the-10th-Grandad for no reason, how on earth do you set about getting the truth behind that.
Anyone who can make it interesting to look past the pretty story to see if it is Confirmed/Plausible/Busted deserves support to if only to defeat the 'if it's on the Internet it must be true' danger.
>If it comes out appearing to be Plausible or Confirmed, then you put out your results to Peer Review
ans somtimes you should publish the negative results, otherwise you get confirmation bias. where there are 1 study that proved x and was published and 99 studies that disporved x but were never published.
You're wrong, you must be thinking of one of these 'science' shows:
"Brainiac: Science Abuse" - UK idiocy
"Smash Lab" - US idiocy
"It's Effin' Science" - US fuckwittery of the highest order
However there was another really good sciency type show that unfortunately didn't last long, "Prototype This".
Oh and if you like watching things in slow-mo, "Time Warp" has some quite fascinating video footage even if some of the stuff they do is fairly stupid and one of the presenters appears to be from another planet.
Methodological: 1. of or relating to methodology (a body of methods employed by a discipline).
Methodical: 1. performed with method: SYSTEMATIC 2. the state of being marginally easier to spell than another word with a different meaning. 3. a word thankfully requiring few enough letters for Drop Table to be able to count them all without having to take off his socks and sandals.
They haven't tackled God yet. I expect ratings to further surge if they do. God may not respond well to a "Busted" sign being chucked out after His (or Her) segment, but advertisers are not so fickle.
P.S. - They did the CD-ROM rpm test here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MythBusters_(2003_season)#CD-ROM_Shattering
If I claim my god is a blue rooster that grows out of my forehead, it is very easy to test my claim (and disprove it).
Many religions have lost their initial followings because their claims could not survive physical tests (some of the doomsday cults for instance).
So we are left with the "clever" religions that claim that their gods are ethereal beings and their existence cannot be tested and that this very fact is what makes them extra special.
Hence the admiration given to people who are especially strong in their faith - despite no supporting evidence that this faith has any merit.
It's ultimately a fun and engaging show that never takes itself too seriously. The presenters all look like they are having a great laugh and if it gets kids interested in science and engineering then great. Don't bother coming on here with your chemistry degree and dislike of social interaction bitching about how it's not 'real science', it's not supposed to be. Jeez......
Plus a beer for Kari Byron, god she's geek hot!
I call them Idiots... How embarrassing for Obama..
Every time (I believe its three times now) they have tried this with flat glass mirrors, whereas the original myth used metal which CAN be curved very easily into slight dish shapes, giving a specific focal distance, they dont all have to be the same either, just that each soldier needs to know his distance and maintain it.
What are they doing wrong? well they are failing to focus, all they do is use 1000 flat mirrors pointing 1000 incident rays, like a mirrorball.. whereas a single concave mirror will focus a billion 'rays' (ie every bit of light) into a point the genius is in the curve. they really should look at the "Bang goes the theory" Mirror Clip on youtube to see what a 2m mirror can do.
I love mythbusters. As much for the fact that it may be the best job in the world, I like that it is realistic(ish), I know it isn't the most scientific of shows, but it does attempt to be real-world about a lot of stuff, and it also peer-reviews itself. They are not afraid to retest something when prompted by viewers pointing out flaws. Also, How clumsy are Adam and Tore? They seem to get hurt a lot, which is always worth a giggle.
Top notch edutainment, and better than watching Vic Reeves not being funny.
Theese guys annoy me to hell - apart from the oh-so-obvious poor scripting and execution of the script, most of their experiments wouldn't stand up to scrutiny. They tend to run their tests based on very narrow assumptions that have been tailored to give the answers they want, then claim that a myth is busted based on absence of a "sucess"; also much of the "science" they base their experiments on is wrong. At least with Brainiac they got the right mix of tongue-in-cheek, eye candy, presenters and assorted explosive materials.
200m range parabolic mirror 1 m in dia would have a depth at the centre of .625mm to observe the effect you are looking for they would need a curved surface accurate to better than 1%.
and to aim it within 1m of a target at 200m requires an accuracy of less than 1/3 of a degree.
you try holding a 1m dia dish up _that_ still for 1/2 hour, now get 500 of your closest friends with their own mirrors to join in.
the reason this myth has failed 3 times is that it is BOLLOCKS.
the real question is why do they keep wasting their time going over and over this one
In point of fact one of the unaired tests run by a contestant was with a parabolic mirror. It works at short distances, but fails at the required distances of 150 or 75 feet. The focal point for the parabolic mirror is too close to shore to have an effect.
The flat mirrors at irregular distances is a better chance at approximating a parabolic shape focusing at the single point. But I think the engineering required to get the precision alignment of the mirrors makes it impossible for it to have been done in ancient times.
"The flat mirrors at irregular distances is a better chance at approximating a parabolic shape focusing at the single point. But I think the engineering required to get the precision alignment of the mirrors makes it impossible for it to have been done in ancient times."
"The focal point for the parabolic mirror is too close to shore to have an effect."
Very good. The point of this experiment was toasting ships/sails of an invading fleet, which would require a minimum distance of 150 feet, if not 150 METERS just to make this more useful than, say, FIRE ARROWS. As stated previously, a single parabolic dish would have to have such a slight curvature that using their tools (likely just a hammer and heated metal, even though the blacksmiths then were likely quite skilled none-the-less) would still not be able to reproduce one with the required focal point distance. Then there's the obvious problem of taking more a few seconds to heat the point on the ship, it would require the ship to be stationary. In the Mythbusters experiment, the ship was stationary and sealed with commonly used (and ideal) pitch, and the mirrors were barely 150 feet away. After their burn attempt, they did manage to char the wood, but nowhere near a necessary 2 second flash burn. A modern example of this is using a laser to cause an ICBM to explode en route....
>Ancient< Death Ray - definitely busted. Computer tracking and megawatt lasers are having a hard enough time as it is. :P
"The flat mirrors at irregular distances is a better chance at approximating a parabolic shape focusing at the single point."
Thats the problem you cant Approximate a Parabolic shape. Either it focuses or it doesn't.. think of a lens and how you could try to approximate a lens shape with pieces of flat plate glass but it will NOT focus EVER.
Reflecting four/ten/forty Single Dimensional Beams is not the same as concentrating a 3 Dimensional Area this is where they are failing. There are no powers of multiplication. its simple mathematics. A curve adds a power! Are you familier with these? a line = ax+b , a parabola= ax^2+bx+c Do you see the power now? (dont forget also that a parabolic mirror is parabolic in two dimensions)
As for such a flat curvature, that really is easy, and the MB could achieve it too, with flat glass, which does bend enough to provide such a flat curvature, the point is THEY HAVE NEVER TRIED they just do the same thing again and again..
Just bond a bolt to the middle of a plate mirror and wind a turn or so into a back board with a raised rim. easy.
as for the olden days if you apply pressure whilst polishing a flat surface you will induce a very slight curvature.
The focal length of a parabolic mirror does not change its effective concentration, the surface area is the only variable that determines the amount of light/power that is collected and focused. so a parabolic mirror with a 50cm focus produces the same power at the foci, as a focal length of 10M.
I have to agree that the MBs have never tried with a curved mirror, that will be the only way to 'bust' the myth.
started out encouragingly... yep a parabolic reflector would be good, then blam you completely fuck it all up with " if you apply pressure whilst polishing a flat surface you will induce a very slight curvature."
how much pressure, in what direction, for how long, on what thickness of substrate, youngs modulus of which is what?. cos you get any number of curves, only one of which will be parabolic.
(i'll give you a mulligan on the 'bond a bolt to the back of a mirror' - we'll assume cyano acrilates were avaialable to the greeks and they did have the capability of producing _perfectly_ flat sheets of glass or reflective metal with a _totaly_ uniform cross section.... ho hum)
but im afraid "The focal length of a parabolic mirror does not change its effective concentration" is pretty unforgivable. the POINT of a parabloic reflector is that it takes the energy impinging on the whole surface and delivers it to 1 point - the focus (same ammount of energy over a smaller area), passing beyond the focus the reflected beam diverges, therefore dissapating the energy, so that at a point that is as far from the focus on the opposite side from the reflector will see exactly the same concentration of reflected energy.
to reitterate: The reason this didnt work for mythbusters, or archimedes is that the whole thing is bollocks.
"The focal length of a parabolic mirror does not change its effective concentration [of energy], the surface area is the only variable that determines the amount of light/power that is collected and focused. so a parabolic mirror with a 50cm focus produces the same power [amount of energy] at the foci, as a [mirror with a] focal length of 10M."
I think you must have misread what I wrote. as your point is the same. The area is important, the focus is where all the energy goes, the energy delivered to the focus is the same for same size [Area] mirrors irrespective of the focal length.
"how much pressure, in what direction, for how long, on what thickness of substrate, youngs modulus of which is what?. cos you get any number of curves, only one of which will be parabolic."
Metal Mirrors have been hand made since way before newton in the 1660's (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amateur_telescope_making#Mirror_making)
Which of these 'technologies' was not available to the Greeks?
To reiterate: It didn't work for Mythbusters because they are idiots. It can be done and if you (or the mythbusters) give me a budget and an audience I would proove it.
The present the myth (hypothesis), outline the testing method, run a small scale test, refine the hypothesis, complete the full scale test, and review the results with one of three possible outcomes, two of which are exactly the same as what scientific work is, the other of which can be considered to roughly correlate to "needs more testing" which is your third scientific outcome.
This show probably does more to entice young people into science than any 10 years of government grants ever has.
...certainly neither one of them is an Archimedes or DaVinci.
That's something to consider when the mythical work of an ancient genius is seemingly debunked.
That doesn't necessarily invalidate the effort.
Although I've always thought that having a group of well disciplined soldiers might be a factor in putting together a Sicilian death ray.
I believe that is a suit used by parachute jumpers, and should be available from a purveyor of parachute jumper suits; they tend not to use custom made gear.
It is not a Mister S item, which they commonly use as a source for leather and rubber fetish gear. The strangest store I have seen them go to was a place that specializes in underwear -- of all types, shapes, and sizes.
I've always found Mythbusters to be very hit-and-miss when it comes to being scientific - it's first and foremost an entertainment show and the "experiments" they design are done with this in mind, even when the myth could be busted with a quick hand-waving explanation. Similarly, a lot of their assumptions are very constrained and/or ignore key points.
To be honest, I actually prefer Brainiac (give or take the oddly nasty bits hosted by Charlotte Hudson) - it's a lot more contrived (and occasionally faked), but it feels like there's more science and interesting facts tucked away behind the exploding caravans...
Somebody (not them) had some NEC magnesium cases lying around and wanted to find out if heated enough they would burn *fast* (or if they were really magnesium, pick one). They did. There's the closest IT angle I could get, except it was no myth, the cases were real magnesium, and if heated enough, they do burn up really fast.
And the CD drive was spun with a air compressed hose blowing a small turbo (when they wanted to deliberately see what it takes to destroy a drive). It could be not accurately measured with the RPM reader they had, which could read 100k rpm or such. And the metal sheet covering all CD drives is totally justified, and proved in their lab. The drive is destroyed, that sheet was warped and dented, but few bits of the blown CD ever escaped the cover. Plus the CD drive should be safely installed within a PC case anyway, which would further prevent injury.
I personally like their method: On the conditions described in the myth, they recreate it. If the conditions fail to reproduce the myth, they go the extra mile to force the myth event happening.
The myth of a car skipping through a lake surface like a pebble while doing 70mph (with a flat sheet of metal covering the bottom of the car, mind you) was so satisfying to watch, it just aired here.
Myth: A laptop can stop a point-blank blast from a shotgun.
"Using a 12-gauge shotgun, the Build Team fired a load of birdshot at a 4-year-old laptop in a leather bag from point-blank range, with a block of ballistic gelatin behind it to stand for the owner’s body. The birdshot easily punctured every area of the laptop that was hit and damaged the gelatin severely. In a second test, they targeted the battery – the component with the highest density – and found that none of the pellets would go through it. The team classified the myth as plausible, since only a very lucky shot would be stopped"
I have disagree with many of the above posters. The methodological, experimental search for truth? This is science! My problem is they and many others don't like to use the word. I guess it would damage their viewing figures?
Don't get me wrong I love this show, I just wish they would add the odd plug for something I love so much.
Insert redundant rant concerning modern fashion to be anti science
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