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Author Topic: Mythbusters: bustin' at the speed of light!  (Read 2457 times)
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totalnerduk

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« Reply #80 on: 09-01-2008 21:00 »

Mythbusters is enjoyable precisely because most of the time they're happy to let the rules of scientific enquiry slide in order to blow something up successfully.

I like explosions. Sure, some of their "experiments" are flawed, but I forgive them. Because they make things go boom.
winna

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« Reply #81 on: 09-01-2008 23:53 »

They're probably slightly more accurate with their scientific experiments than an elementary/middle school science fair.  They have access to materials and the know how to go about the experiments that they perform.  I was just commenting that it's not hard science...  for a lot of their experiements they don't go quite far enough to completely validate some of their results and they don't necessarily take other considerations into account.  However, most of the time they're just asking general questions and the ones they do ask can be answered with relative reasoning.... such as will a penny thrown off the empire state building kill someone, or will jumping off a bed into a ceiling fan chop your head off.
Nixorbo

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« Reply #82 on: 09-02-2008 00:08 »

Because, you know, you need a background in science to see if a chunk of truck tire traveling at 45 miles an hour will knock your head off.
winna

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« Reply #83 on: 09-02-2008 00:14 »

Exactly.  People just don't have the expertise to actually test that.  The mythbusters do, and they're happy to show you the effects in slow motion. smile
espon

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« Reply #84 on: 09-02-2008 07:13 »

Yeah it's not hard science and they aren't always thorough, but a lot of what they test is not deeply scientific, like, well what the two people above me said. Their experiments are a lot more logical. Basically asking if it is at all possible. They don't need to go into the scientific details. If they need an expert they call one in.
Anarchy_Balsac
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« Reply #85 on: 09-02-2008 10:05 »

Err, it's more the other way around, if you're going to try and make the call on whether or not something is possible at all, you need details. And they certainly don't always call in experts when needed.

On the credit card episode for instance, did they call in an electronics expert who would surely tell them it was the coulombs, not the gouse that would erase a credit card? No, and what's worse, they used 8-bit ASCII, credit cards use 5-7bit non-ASCII digits. The experiment was totally flawed, that's just one example. Another is when Jamie dropped a wax covered mentos into carbonated water to "prove" nucleation. Small problem, only the wax touched the water, not the ingredients of the mentos, which, by the way, were previously demonstrated to be a part of the reaction.

And I'm sorry winna, but drawing a conclusion from a lack of evidence, knowing your evidence isn't sufficient isn't being scientific. It's only being scientific in the same manner that crashing crashing into a brick wall is being safe.
winna

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« Reply #86 on: 09-02-2008 11:25 »

Umm... I'm not sure what you're disagreeing with me about.... that's pretty much what I've said all along. 

It's like an elementary school kid doing a science fair experiment and asking if juice cleans penny.... despite not having enough data to conclusively say anything for sure, they'll probably still come up with a conclusion.  Is there a problem with that?  I mean.... it's not like cleaning pennies with juice really matters... but they are learning about how to apply the scientific method.  Which is mostly what mythbusters teaches albeit, not at an in-depth level....  They also perform experiments that other people really don't have the expertise to try.... like trying to blow dried cement off the inside of a tanker with dynamite... or attempting to slice through a gun barrel with a katana.  Would I believe whole heartedly in their results and cite it as evidence?  Probably not, but it does give reason to the conclusions they draw.
Anarchy_Balsac
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« Reply #87 on: 09-02-2008 23:32 »

Ok gotcha, I misunderstood what you meant when you said they get the scientific thing right. Here's the thing, they are better at experiments than elementary school kids, but only in the same manner that pouring balsamic vinegar on your eyes is better for them than pouring ammonium hydroxide on them. It's still not Visine, and still a terrible idea to do.

Is it wrong to draw conclusions from their experiments? In the manner that they do it, yes. Sometimes they call stuff "busted" despite the fact that the video shown demonstrates it is at least plausible, or vice versa. Also their calls are absolute, they don't just sit there and say, "Our data suggests X,  so X may be the case", no they say, "X is true, end of story", and it bothers me because people blindly take their word for it. They don't "bust" anything from a scientific standpoint, but their show's title, marketing, and their absolute callings, and their attitude about it in general leads the public to think that they do. And that is a very bad thing.
Gopher

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« Reply #88 on: 09-03-2008 02:45 »
« Last Edit on: 09-03-2008 02:46 »

Oh for fuck's sake.

1) if the moon landings were faked it was to fool russia, not the us people. And unlike the US people, russia had comparable space observation technology and an extensive intelligence network. So a landing wouldn't have to fool YOU, it would have to have fooled THEM. Which is a whole different matter, as they had the capacity to observe the launches, compute their trajectories and, if NASA were not really going to the moon, Russia would've known it. And they would have revealed it, too.

2) One of the projects performed by Apollo 11 was the installation of a bank of mirrors, oriented to face earth. The purpose of these mirrors was to allow lasers to be bounced off the moon. Many advances in our understanding of the moon's orbit have come from experiments using these mirrors with increasingly powerful lasers and sensitive sensors here on earth. Projects involving these mirrors are still on-going, and not just by NASA but independent universities as well. If we didn't go, where the hell did the mirrors come from that make this possible?

[edit]er... responding to last page I guess. Oh well.[/edit]
winna

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« Reply #89 on: 09-03-2008 09:14 »

Some, if not most of their results can be determined to be reasonable evidence for what they suggests at the end of a show...  Shooting a penny out of a rifle and having it bounce off a replica of a human head actually does suggest that throwing one of the empire state building won't kill somebody.

I completely agree that some of their findings absolutely do not take certain criteria into consideration, and further that not all of their results I agree with.  I don't see how making science entertaining is a huge problem, though.  There's probably some young boy who has the hots for Kari right about now and will grow up to a great scientist.... if the Large Hadron Collider doesn't kill us first anyways.

Also, don't they have a third category now?  One in the middle if they don't think they have enough data to say one way or the other?
Anarchy_Balsac
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« Reply #90 on: 09-03-2008 09:27 »

The third category is plausible, and yes it's there. The point I'm trying to make here that I'm not sure I'm making clear, is that sensationalizing science is ultimately leading to a destructively misinformed public. People won't/will do things that they should/shouldn't because of mythbusters' bad call on the subjects. Or alternatively, they're taking mythbusters' word for things instead of doing their own research. People actually use them as a source of information, and that is dangerous.

If they didn't market themselves as "mythbusters" didn't make their calls in an absolute manner, and only presented their results as something to consider, not the be all, end all of things, then I wouldn't have a problem with it. As it stand, they pretty much do the opposite.
winna

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« Reply #91 on: 09-03-2008 10:42 »

I'm pretty sure they have a warning label on their show.... so worst case scenario is that someone takes their word on a subject as the absolute truth and lies to me.... then says "I saw it on Mythbusters."

This would be in the same category as "I read it in the Bible." and ummm "my physics professor told me so."

Fact of the matter is that as a society most of us take information for granted without checking into the reasonableness of it.  And that's fine with me, I'll take someone's word on it, I don't need evidence.... if it seems reasonable then sure, why not... if it doesn't, I'll argue with you and give an explanation as to why I disagree.

I don't need evidence for it.... and it would only be good evidence if I could verify it on my own.  Fact of the matter is, trying to get a clean slice through a gun barrel with a katana isn't very applicapable to my everyday life.... it's just neat that somebody tried it and has video of it.

Although they aren't entirely thorough, they do experiment with what they can think of at the time.  And they do a decent job of following the scientific method, planning out their experiments, measuring their variables and testing out their hypothesis.  At the very least they show that you probably won't get the results you want if you just go out back and try to build a potato gun with whatever you can find.  Young people can get interested in the subject, learn a little about the basics, and when they decide to go into a scientific career get into the specifics later on down the line.

See, as it is... I'll take somebody's word for it... but I know there's a possibility they're wrong, so I don't cross out the other possibilities.  Weren't you the one debating about the legal status of ED and I was willing to give you the benefit of the doubt.....then one of my colleague's actually did research and showed precedence determining your stance to be incorrect?  I think that was you.... but I'd have to look up the files.... if it's not... my bad. roll eyes
Anarchy_Balsac
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« Reply #92 on: 09-03-2008 11:32 »
« Last Edit on: 09-03-2008 11:42 »

I think I can see your point a little bit there, yeah, it's not as though they are the only ones spreading bad information. I still say it would be better if they didn't, but the same goes for the others though.

And your assertion that your colleague did "research" is erroneous. He stated his opinion, which is different. But is it really necessary to bring up an argument where we basically agreed to disagree and then dropped it? If you are really that bothered about it, revive the other thread. If you must know why I dropped the argument there, it's because anything we discussed that we were going to agree upon was already discussed, there was no point in continuing to discuss the things we weren't going to agree upon, but I'll oblige you if it's that important, but leave it, and your friend out of this.
winna

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« Reply #93 on: 09-03-2008 11:51 »
« Last Edit on: 09-03-2008 14:39 »

I have no need or desire to bring that argument up again.  As you said, we ran the course with that debate, and the conclusion was acceptable in my opinion.  I was merely pointing out an example where someone made an assertion without having evidence to back up their conviction.

Also, although most of what was stated in that thread was opinion... my colleague did in fact do research, and he did cite legal cases as evidence for his position. 

No, my argument here is that there's nothing wrong with having a position without having hard scientific absolute proof; as long as it is a reasonable position to take and one has the ability to explain their position in a way that can make sense in a general understanding.

My original argument in this thread, however, was that if you're going to cite evidence for something to claim it as absolute, you might as well have really good evidence that can be validated and reproduced multiple times from multiple angles.  In my opinion, mythbusters does not fulfill these requirements.  In other words, it would be alright to use them as examples for explaining your reasoning, but they're not good enough to claim as fact beyond a shadow of a doubt.  And I happen to agree, unless I am misunderstanding, your assertion that the word science is thrown around too easily as a basis for an argument when there's hardly anything scientific about the evidence proposed.
Anarchy_Balsac
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« Reply #94 on: 09-03-2008 20:58 »

I missed a post of his I guess, I addressed it now.

Anyhow, I think we're pretty much agreed here, save for minor points that we're just going to hold our own opinions about.
Nixorbo

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« Reply #95 on: 09-04-2008 03:16 »

... I'll be in my bunk
Smarty

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« Reply #96 on: 09-04-2008 04:45 »

Yeah, Plausible.
Nixorbo

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« Reply #97 on: 09-04-2008 23:55 »

i_c_weiner

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« Reply #98 on: 09-05-2008 02:18 »
« Last Edit on: 09-05-2008 02:19 »

My only fret with the show is that all of their measurements are in Imperial/American form; I learned physics and chemistry in metric!

Otherwise, one of my favorite shows on TV. Mos def.
winna

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« Reply #99 on: 09-05-2008 02:28 »

That's pretty nitpicky.... measurement systems are arbitrary imaginary man-made constructs.
Gopher

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« Reply #100 on: 09-05-2008 02:36 »

weiner: Mos Def is on Mythbusters now? I should watch more often.
JBERGES

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« Reply #101 on: 09-05-2008 18:45 »
« Last Edit on: 09-05-2008 18:46 »

Don't think this xkcd was linked yet:
http://imgs.xkcd.com/comics/unscientific.png

Anyway, the lack of full scientific method will irk me once in a while, but overall its a wonderfully entertaining show.  Besides, it's taught me important things about non-dairy creamer. 
Nixorbo

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« Reply #102 on: 09-05-2008 18:53 »

it's taught me important things about non-dairy creamer. 

Like we have a project for the next PEELathon?
Nixorbo

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« Reply #103 on: 09-11-2008 03:42 »

... Mythbusters just used the Willheim Scream?  Srsly?
Gopher

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« Reply #104 on: 09-11-2008 04:37 »

reality tv at it's finest.
CrapBag

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« Reply #105 on: 09-14-2008 07:57 »

about the moon landing episode-
prior to the mythbusters episode, there was another group of scientists who did the exact same thing. they went through every piece of so called 'fake' evidence, and proved it wrong. i don't even know why the mythbusters bothered doing it, when there was already a debunk movie made, proving conspiracists wrong, but whatever.
how many goddamn science experiments does it take to win you guys over.

note- shift buttons are broken, getting new keyboard asap.
Ben

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« Reply #106 on: 09-15-2008 04:37 »

Quote
i don't even know why the mythbusters bothered doing it

Because the other guys aren't the mythbusters.

Quote
note- shift buttons are broken

Both of them..?
winna

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« Reply #107 on: 09-15-2008 06:01 »

Penn & Teller did a show which focused on the moonlanding for a little bit too... they were debunking conspiracy theories I believe.

That's what got me about this thread in the first place... I mean sure the Mythbusters probably did a decent job of explaining some stuff, but most of that is easily gathered communal knowledge.

So it's not like it was a big deal, but more people probably watch Mythbusters than read up on conspiracy theories and gather good information.

What's your address Ben?
FemJesse

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« Reply #108 on: 07-07-2010 02:04 »

*bumpity bump*



I love the Mythbusters... and they're still going strong. The hour and a half top 25 special is free on Discovery's site right now and it was a pretty good show.

Where am I going with this picture? Hmmm....
Nixorbo

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« Reply #109 on: 07-07-2010 03:24 »

FemJesse

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« Reply #110 on: 07-07-2010 04:35 »

 laff
Ah Mythshipping... gotta love it...
DrThunder88

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« Reply #111 on: 07-07-2010 06:02 »

The myth of Rule 34 has been confirmed.
FemJesse

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« Reply #112 on: 07-08-2010 06:48 »
« Last Edit on: 07-08-2010 06:51 »



We'll here's where I'm going with that... ugh I didn't get enough done today...

Still WIP btw... not done.
totalnerduk

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« Reply #113 on: 07-09-2010 16:54 »

Jamie's moustache should be bigger and fuzzier. It needs volume!
FemJesse

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« Reply #114 on: 07-10-2010 07:46 »

Nah tried to keep it semi-realistic...


I don't feel like working on it anymore...
Javier Lopez

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« Reply #115 on: 07-10-2010 07:54 »

I love this show... its fun , its practical and is scientific correct..

and most important it destroys so many hollywood cliches they should be awarded some nobel pryce.

One of the last ones i saw was the "car drives off cliff and explodes instantly on impact" , every time i see that in movies i laught my ass off so it was nice seeing it uterlly debunked
FemJesse

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« Reply #116 on: 07-10-2010 08:04 »

The last one I saw was "The Flu" where they tested a bunch of flu myths. The nasal germ spread experiment was disgusting and colorful and wonderful.
JoshTheater

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« Reply #117 on: 07-10-2010 08:31 »

And now I found you on Facebook, FemJesse. big grin

+1 Stalker
FemJesse

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« Reply #118 on: 07-10-2010 09:09 »

Sexy.
Nixorbo

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« Reply #119 on: 07-20-2010 17:38 »

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