Why did they replace Buster? Wasn't the whole point of rebuilding him from scratch to make a dummy that would be easier to repair and have a more human response to injury (hence the poplar wood bones, etc)? Getting a brand new crash test dummy will just force them to go through the pain that they had with repairing him when they first got him...
He got dropped from two hundred feet into a LAKE. They permanently lost one of his legs. I think the structural integrity was coming into question. Even dummies have elastic limits.
That was way back in season 1. They dedicated an entire episode to the rebuilding from the ground up of Buster, complete with aluminum joints, poplar wood bones, and dragon skin gel muscles, and specifically stated that this rebuild was due to the difficulty of rebuilding the original Buster, plus a need to get a more human-like response from him when they use him in an experiment (the only things from the original Buster was his hands, feet, and head). Hell, they were able to rebuild him after virtually exploding into pieces after a long fall during the Escape Slide Parachute myth, because the materials they rebuilt him from were designed to be easily fixed, hence why I don't understand why they replaced him with yet another normal crash test dummy, one that would be just as hard to rebuild and fix as the original Buster was. And why are they naming the new one Buster 2.0, anyway? After his rebuild, the original Buster was christened Buster 2.0 by Adam, so technically, this should be Buster 3.0.
I can think of three reasons why they might have replaced him. Number 1, ratings. Replacing Buster with a new dummy let them do an "OMG we gotz a nu dummee!!!lulz" preview for that particular episode (and also let them pad the episode out by filming the new Buster being unpacked and assembled). Number 2, practicality. At a certain point it was bound to become cheaper and less time consuming to just buy a new dummy rather than constantly putting Buster back together. Number 3, accuracy. After being repaired and rebuilt so many times, Buster's ability to accurately simulate a human body's response to trauma was probably starting to suffer. I imagine that less than 10% of Buster's original parts were still in there when they finally decided to replace him. The rest were parts the Mythbusters fabricated themselves. And since, by their own admission, they are not experts in the field of crash test dummy construction, they no doubt made more than a few small mistakes that decreased Buster's ability to correctly simulate a human body. It's probably no coincidence that as the show dragged on the Mythbusters started using Buster alternatives (such as dead pigs and Ted the Ballistics Dummy) more often for their human analogs when early in the series they would use Buster for just about everything.
They might be getting more funding; it seems they are hiring more stuff out now (such as actually going to a crash-test course) instead of building it themselves. Buster 3 may be a succession of new dummies they keep buying.
This is a matter of consistancy, in "exploding pants" Adam and Jamie call myth confirmed when they get a really fast combustion saying anyone who saw it would describe it as an explosion. The build team call the second part of "sword cutting a sword" based on combat in WW 2 busted when the high speed shows the sword bending to the point of snapping when they initially thought it had been cut while watching at full speed.
You know what bugs me? How rarely the full team works together anymore. This last season especially, they're treating Adam and Jamie as a separate unit from the Build Team. Does anyone else miss when all five (or at least some) were involved as a team effort? Now it feels less like a Five-Man Band and more like Two Lines, No Waiting with completely separate casts.
On the other hand, two separate teams allows them to tackle far more myths. If all the cast members are occupied testing one single myth they won't have time to test any others. And realistically, they don't actually need all five Mythbusters to test a single myth most of the time. If you put all five of them on, say, the myth of the paper crossbow, you'd have a lot of people with nothing to do but stand around.
I'm not saying do it ALL the time, but every once in a while (enough so it doesn't feel like an actual Cross Over, which at this point it would) would be nice, you know?
The Seesaw Saga was cool. That required all of them, and it was only last season.
Although there was a new episode that had the entire team to attempt for the third time to bust the JATO rocket car myth. So yeah.
They called it successful, too, even though the car faceplanted 50 feet from the ramp and bounced...
It was a successful test. They got the car to jump off the ramp with the rockets, as opposed to the last test, where it just exploded. They said the myth was definitively busted.
It just bugs me when they waste an episode testing something obviously false on the face of it, or which is only testable through ludicrous means, or just flat out uninteresting. Case in point, Knocks Your Socks Off. Does anyone really care if you can punch someone out of their socks? Worse, a second episode to answer fan griping. Proof that Fan Dumb has more than one potential meaning.
The little white mouse and his pal the elephant would like to say hello.
Exactly my point. It amounts to Flanderization of a science show. The majority of myths tested are still great but some of them amount to an Excuse Plot to blow something up or hit it with a remote controlled car.
And you're complaining...why? These guys are FX engineers, not research scientists (and Myth Busters isn't a science show). It would be entirely surprising if their interests didn't veer toward destroying things.
It was a massively viewer-requested myth, so yeah, a lot of people DO seem to care if you can punch someone out of their socks. And knock your socks off is just an outgrowth from previous myths where they tested common idioms, like needle in a haystack, bull in a china shop, hit the ground running, and polishing a turd. Plus, think about this for a minute. Couldn't you say the same thing about almost all the myths they test? Was anyone really aching to find out whether cheese fired from a cannon could pierce a ship's sail? Was anyone really being kept up at night wondering whether Hungarian archers get twice the penetration when firing from horseback? Did you really care whether Beatrix Kiddo could have really punched her way out of a coffin and dug herself out of her own grave?
You'll notice a trend that nearly all of those are b-grade build team "myths." Occasionally they test something then at the end of the episode reveal that it wasn't even necessary to test it because previous research already proved one way or another. That certainly doesn't qualify as "almost all" the myths tested, especially when you compare to the myths tested by Adam and Jamie or earlier seasons. At least a few of them qualify as genuinely cool, or pack enough quickies into a show to maintain pace (such as MacGyver episodes, where you often know it will be busted but at least they do a dozen myths in one show).
Fair enough, but you're still left with the same problem. Was anyone really that interested to learn whether it really is hard to find a needle in a haystack? Did anyone really care whether a duck's quack can echo? Was anyone frantically puzzling over how easy it is to shoot fish in a barrel? Probably not, but it all made for good tv. If you're complaint is that this particular myth was boring, I'm right there with you. But just because you don't care about something doesn't make it automatically not worth caring about.
That's the beauty of science. It is the pursuit of knowledge, no matter how trivial or stupid or obvious it may be. It's there for you no matter what you ask. The fact is that they knew more at the end than they did at the beginning of the episode, and that is science in action.
Also, they've been on for eight seasons. They might not always be able to find the coolest, most uber myths evar. This is part of why they request suggestions from viewers.
Also, if they only test things that they think or feel are obviously false, that's not good scientific inquiry. It would also result some myths never getting confirmed/plausible because they seem initially very silly (or vice versa). As well, by testing the crazier myths, they can also retain a level of impartiality and professionalism - you can't say they edit things to make the show look good or to get a lot of busted results. And, if you're only testing what you know, you're not really figuring anything out anyway... which is, in part, the whole point of the show (figuring out new stuff no matter how silly it is).
In the episode where they visit the JATO rocket car myth for the third and final time, they put weight on the front of the car in order to balance the weight of the rockets they put in the back. My problem is that if they didn't put that weight on the front, the car might have gone further.
There may have been an actual rocket science reason for that. For stable flight, you need to have your center of gravity in front of the calculated center of pressure, else the rocket is unstable. The mass of the car and the fact that it isn't aerodynamic may have left them no choice.
In the "Car Cling-On" episode, the swerving/turning aspect of the myth is declared "busted" when Adam and Jamie both fail to hang on to the car. Later, driving through a car wash is declared "busted" when both Adam and Jamie manage to stay on the car. I realize that they simply defined the myths differently, but the lack of parallelism still bugs me.
I had thought the car wash was to knock off the person, not to stay on. Since they both had stayed on the car, driving through a car wash was busted.
Those were essentially two entirely seperate myths, that they put to the test in the same episode: The first myth was that you could hang on to a speeding car. Busted. The second myth was that if you hung unto a car going through a car-wash, you would get knocked off. Also busted. The two myths shared a common element, namely hanging on to a car, but the expected result for one myth was the exact opposite of the expected result for the other myth.
In Beer Goggles (or whatever the "looks more attractive when drunk was called) why didn't they put in pictures of spouses and a member of the same same sex in the mix? That would have been funny and interesting data (just set it to show one more picture than normal and have it ignored for the average score if there was concerns about interfering with the data).
The reactions to the same-sex picture might have offended some viewers. If Jamie or Adam had been like "Ugh, that one's a dude! Get that outta here!" it might have been interpreted as homophobia. If they had reacted positively to a picture of the same sex, Moral Guardians might have seen it as a casual endorsement of homosexuality.
Because being heterosexual is homophobic.
That's not what he said, he said it would be INTERPRETED as homophobic. Which it probably would be, considering how prepared most people are to take offense at anything, no matter what their gender and orientation are.
I never liked the episode where they learn that a "jet pack" type of device is somewhere between impossible and suicidal: they never even mentioned the Fan Man, whose method is far from impossible or suicidal (you're basically flying around in an open parachute).
True, but they may not have considered powered paragliding a "jet pack type of device". Also, powered paragliding is still very impractical, it's just impractical for different reasons. It's extremely weather sensitive which means for most of the year it's too windy to do it. It's not as versatile as a jetpack-like device (i.e. no hovering, no VTOL, less maneuverability, etc.). It's very slow (up to 45 mph at most). And it's probably not something you want to do in residential or urban areas where there are things like power lines and tall buildings to snag your chute on.
They did mention and even show military jet pack prototypes that were developed in the past. As far as the actual functionality they did what they were designed to do, but the very unstealthy noise and the general lack of a failsafe landed it squarely in the Cool, but Impractical category. The myth was using consumer grade materials and an internet design to build your own jet pack, and when people think jet pack they think "strap it on and hover in the air" and nothing that requires a tricky take-off or landing.
What bothered me most is them using jet engines to power heli-turbine things, as if that's what anyone thinks of when they hear jetpack. It's supposed to be a pair of rocket engines!
The Cesium myth just bugs me. You know the viral video where the Cesium made such a big boom? Yeah, guess what it was in? A bathtub. They tested it in a toilet. Why didn't they use a Bathtub to replicate that myth?!
Because it wasn't about what the Cesium was contained in, it was about whether a Cesium explosion is comparable to a hand grenade explosion. It doesn't matter what container they use so long as their control (the grenade) is in the same container as the Cesium. Also, exploding toilets are funnier than exploding bathtubs.
Also, they did blow up a few bathtubs. One with a couple kilograms of sodium, one with another huge bunch of a different alkali metal, and one with a grenade's worth of C4. The grenade made a far, far bigger boom than any amount of alkali metal did.
In the "Greased Lightning" episode, they did one test with flaming peanut oil to see if pouring water on it could create a 30-foot fireball. After this one test, they called the myth unequivocally busted because the fireball only reached 25 feet.
No, they aired one test. They've said on many occasions that they always perform many tests but most of them don't make it on the air.
I'm pretty sure they even said it on that occasion. Something along the lines of "We've tried several times, and the highest this has gotten was 25 feet. Which is high, but not the 30 feet of the myth. So the specific myth is Busted, but this is definitely not something you want happening in your home." Not a direct quote, but they do say things like this a lot.
The point of the myth was that the oil and water would create a big-ass fireball, and the 30 feet was obviously just some random but plausible number thrown out there. They focused on the 30 feet figure and ignored the fact that it did create a big-ass fireball.
The point of the myth was that eight ounces of water would make a thirty foot fireball. It didn't. The highest the fire got was twenty-five feet, and even that was a maybe since the fire was obscured by smoke. They tested other ratios of water to oil and got much higher fireballs, but the specifics of the myth were not met, so it was busted.
The myth was that two phone books interlaced were basically impossible to pull apart. After much trial and cavorting, Adam and Jamie finally get it apart by using a pair of frikkin' tanks! They then proceeded to label the myth busted. In reality, the only way anyone could actually replicate those results is if you controlled a military power and were VERY bored, if you're a Rich Idiot with No Day Job, or if you're the frikkin' Mythbusters! Considering the staggeringly low percentage of the population those numbers actually represent, I'd say it fits the criteria for "basically impossible."
Sorry, but no. The myth was that it is totally impossible to separate two interlaced phone books, not that it is extremely difficult. They proved that it is not in fact impossible, merely very hard.
It was very poor wording of the myth, because there could be a myth stating "It is totally impossible to saw through a two-foot thick slab of metal using only butter knives" and, given a stupidly large amount of time and knives, it will eventually be busted. The myth never at any point even had a chance to be "confirmed."
I think the unstated pre-condition of the myth was that it is impossible to separate the phone books without destroying them in the process.
"Totally" and "impossible" are both absolute terms. So yes, in your example the myth would eventually be busted. And of course the myth had a chance to be confirmed. It just so happened that it wasn't, technically speaking, accurate.
8000lbf is easily achievable with a 5 ton come-along worth $50. Presumably MB used tanks for the wow factor but it's certainly possible to get the same level of force with much more mundane tools or equipment. They could have used a 5 ton block of concrete and a crane, for instance.
For the wow factor, I wish they'd used a locomotive.
That was probably what they would've tried next if the tanks failed.
They make a rain rig to test the "do you get wetter running or walking" question. Then they fill the thing with water dyed red. Why red? Why not blue dye, or orange dye, or something that doesn't look like it's raining blood?
It'd be pretty out of character for them to miss the opportunity to make it rain blood.
Why they bothered to build the model of a bridge. The cause of collapsing bridges is the standing wave. I.e. the length of bridge, frequency and material (to be more specific sound speed in material) needs to be correlated. (During physics class in high school we calculated for steel and wood - while marching through wood bridge may destroy it there shouldn't be problems with steel ones).
It would be a pretty boring show if it was just two guys and a white board with a physics text. That would be like school. The Mythbusters are there to prove to the people that science is not confined to the realm of lab coats and sterilized beakers and chalk boards. Science is everywhere happening every second and there is no excuse for anybody NOT to go out and do science for no reason, better yet, doing science while knowing exactly what will happen. It bugs me that people think "science" is some sort of "class" at school.
You misunderstood me (I wasn't clear enough). I don't think that calculations can replace experiments - especially in an entertainment show. I don't think science is some sort of class at school. However - the experiments have to have some cause (even if it is 'what will happen in such conditions'). Here the cause was to test the plausibility of some myth. However the frequency and length was key element in it - you cannot just scale down model and expect it to test it as it would not work. They did not get valid date (here - descriptive data - not quantitve data) - they did not prove or disprove myth and the plausibility of it was not affected. For the same reason in sterilized enviroment why Earth cannot model neutron despite having wavelength & co. is that the correlation between mass, wavelength etc. are different you cannot always build small model of something and expect it to work in any way similar to real thing. I didn't complain about show I don't like - I find it enterteining and promote "scientific" approach. *However* I do complain about this specific show because it did not tested what it was suppose to test.
That myth was done early in the show. You have to keep in mind that these guys are not scientists. Their profession is in modelmaking and special effects. Their line of work is all about scale models. In industry they are called "look like" models, which are meant to only superficially demonstrate what is going on. Granted, they did not need the model, but they admitted it wasn't enough to confirm anything, and so that's why they went to experts. You can't blame them for using the training and tools they work with.
Mythssion control. The wreck at the end did not look like 1 car hitting a wall at 50mph. It looked like 2 cars hitting a wall at 50mph siultaneously. In fact you'll find that the total compression of the cars equalled the compression of the 100mph crash. Why go to all theeffort of crashing 2 cars together and then only counting one of them? Now consider what the wreck would b like if one car was stationary and one travelled at 100mph; it'd be exactly he same.
well, not entirely. Doing the math shows 1 car hitting a wall at 50mph has x energy. 2 cars hitting at 50mph have 2x energy and 1 car hitting a wall has 4x energy. Still not true that 1 car hitting a wall = 2 cars hitting each other at the same speed.
Further, the point is that two cars hitting each other at 50 mph is the same as each car getting into a 100 mph collision. It isn't; the collision has 2x the KE spread out over 2 cars, leading to a 50 mph collision with two cars being the same as hitting a wall.
The episode where they busted the "myth" that you can paint a room using explosives, a la Mr. Bean, is just absurd. It's not a myth because no one seriously expects it to be true; it would be like trying to test the myth of whether you can really defy gravity by not looking down. In other words, it's a non-myth, and it seemed like its only purpose was to pad out an episode.
A) It was funny. B) It was requested, ergo it's not something nobody expects to be true, ergo it counts as a "myth" by the show's definition (i.e. something that may or may not be true but a lot of people believe). C) It was funny.
I doubt there's anyone who thinks Mr. Bean is a scholarly study in real-world physics. But that particular gag can easily appear physically possible to a layman, and that's really what this show is about. It's like the Finger In A Barrel myth. Nobody thinks Bugs Bunny cartoons are representative of real-world physics. Still, at the back of my mind even I couldn't help but wonder what would really happen if a gun went off while someone's finger was stuck in the barrel.
It's also these myths that are sometimes the most surprising. Was there any doubt in anyone's mind that putting bulls in a confined space with shabbily-built shelves lined with fragile dishes would result in anything but chaos? The only chaos that occurred there was when Kari, Tory, and Grant started smashing their set themselves. The bulls made conscious efforts to avoid them, and greatly succeeded. What about scaring an elephant using a mouse? Adam himself stated that he knew that myth was completely untrue when he got up that morning. Then... two elephants not only take notice of said mouse, but actively avoid it. In light of these, I'm not sure anyone would have been surprised if they had been able to paint a room with explosives, or if their gun barrel had exploded. And didn't the build team establish the possible origin of the barrel splitting myth in a revisit when they used a boresighter stuck in a barrel?
A "non-myth" would be the diet Coke and Mentos testing. They know it happens, they were just trying to figure out why. In painting with explosives no one was thinking it would make an even coat even close to what was shown, but it's still largely "What WOULD happen?" It may have been wildly splotchy but still evenly spread out. The testing ended up coming to the conclusion that even the most controlled explosions doesn't have as even a shockwave as you'd think.
The men vs. women pain tolerance test frustrated me greatly. There have been multiple independent scientific studies that have shown men to have a higher pain threshold than women. See here. Now just to be clear, I don't question the Mythbuster's methodology or their data. Their experimental model was more or less identical to the study I just cited and I'm sure the test subjects kept their hands in the ice water for exactly as long as Jamie and Adam said they did. However, their conclusion (that the myth of women having a lower pain tolerance than men is busted) flies completely in the face of another independent experiment. Where I come from that's "myth inconclusive" not "myth busted".
I dunno if they bothered to look at any other studies when they were researching the myth. If they didn't, then I suppose the only data they can be absolutely sure of is what they gathered themselves. Of course, if they did, then you're right.
The reason I complain is they've shown in the past that they do look for things like this when researching myths. When they were testing the "taxi flipped over by jet engine" myth they uncovered a news report from Brazil where that very thing happened. When they were testing "bullets fired up" they brought in a medical doctor who had personally treated victims of falling bullets, and in their Top 25 Myths recap Adam said they dug up a bunch of research that the US military did on falling bullets between the two World Wars while researching the bullets fired up myth. I wouldn't mind if the study I posted above was only just published or was really obscure, but the study I posted was published in 2003 (the same year the pilot episode of Mythbusters first aired) and I found it by simply typing "pain tolerance" into Wikipedia. Oh well. They can always revisit it I guess.
Pain is a subjective experience modulated by multiple external factors - in this subject area there are no doubt multiple studies that show women have a higher tolerance, men have a higher tolerance, or there is no difference between them. So I guess they could say as a fact it is busted - but the entire research area of pain tolerance is inconclusive.
But that's not the standard they've used in previous myths. "Busted" is supposed to be reserved for things that are absolutely not true under any circumstance. In previous myths if the Mythbusters' results conflict with the results of some other independent study, they either continue testing to try and explain the discrepancy (as with Bullets Fired Up) or they label the myth "Plausible" because it contradicts real-world evidence (as with the first test of the Jet Taxi myth). I am at a loss to explain why they did not do the same here.
They were testing pain tolerance, not pain threshold. It may very well be that men have a higher pain threshold but lower pain tolerance, and women are the opposite.
Irrelevant. They were testing pain tolerance and their results contradicted an independent clinical study. Therefore it was inappropriate to call the myth "Busted".
And the comparison to the clinical study is irrelevant when the OP confused "tolerance" and "threshold". Move along.
Someone didn't bother to read the study. It found that men had both higher pain thresholds and a higher pain tolerance. You move along.
Basically, this argument has two things that need to be said 1) the idea that just because the mythbusters did a lot of research about a previous topic does not mean they ALWAYS do it. Yes, they did so for the taxi and bullet myth. Maybe they did for this one, but based on the conclusions they drew, maybe they didn't. 2) There are also plenty of studies indicating women have higher pain tolerances than men in some circumstances, some of which are cited in some relationship books, so if you want to find one stating just the opposite, look around. Regardless, the Mythbusters test shows that in at least one circumstance the fact is busted anyways, and it was 'A' study so if there is some reason you have to refute results I guess there would be some sort of point here, but as it stands, pain is subjective and there are obviously many facets to it's study.
In regard to point 1: I don't know how you could have missed this but the fact that they didn't do the proper research in this case is exactly the point of this JBM entry. The Mythbusters have an entire team of researchers on staff who apparently do nothing else but research the crap out of every myth that crosses their desks. Yet they utterly failed to track down a study that I found through a simple Wikipedia search. That bugs me. Why doesn't it bug you? In regard to point 2: I'll take an actual clinical study over a "relationship book" any day. Relationship books can say anything the author wants them to say. Scientific studies have to stand the peer review test. Plus, their one, single, relatively informal sample is hardly enough to reach any conclusion. Certainly not enough to arbitrarily dismiss every other conflicting scientific study performed under rigorous laboratory conditions. So the point still remains. The Mythbusters inappropriately declared a myth "busted" when the correct conclusion was "myth inconclusive" or at best "myth plausible".
What makes you so sure that they didn't look this up, and find those studies you refer to, but also find all those other studies suggesting the exact opposite, and then someone in editing makes the decision that rather than spend time trying to explain a complicated scientific controversy (which studies are the most reliable? What are the confounding factors are how were they controlled? Does upbringing, culture, age, life-experience make a difference? Would women who have given birth have higher pain tolerances/thresholds than women who have not? Sample sizes? Are the various methods for measuring pain threshold and tolerance equivalent?) and getting bogged down in minutiae, they just drop the whole thing, not mention it and get on with the action? Also, the best interpretation of a highly conflicting data set like this is that neither men or women have higher pain tolerances and thresholds, that the variance in pain tolerance/threshold between individual men and women is so great that any tiny differences in the average pain tolerance/threshold between the groups that any particular study measures is clinically insignificant, and essentially an artifact of random quirks in sample selection, which would make the myth busted.
I didn't miss it, but you are still assuming they have an "entire team" of researchers. I've certainly never seen them. The one woman who used to do that sort of thing on camera hasn't been around since the beginning of season one. And even if they do, going into the details of other groups tests isn't really what Mythbusters is for. Open line of the show, "They don't just tell the myth, they put it to the test." There are no promises of outside research. And besides, what is the "proper" research for a team of non field experts looking to demonstrate an experiment for entertainment purposes on basic cable? The reason it doesn't bug me then, since you asked, is that I never expected nor cared if they looked at other studies because they aren't really an official group in any sense of the scientific community. It's like taking political advice from the daily show, it doesn't add up, it's for entertainment. They are a special effects team that dabbles in reasearch, getting up in arms because they didn't catch the details of another study, even if it is easy to find, doesn't make sense. Its not what they do. Most people watch Mythbusters to see what THEY come up with and how they got there. As for the relationship book, it didn't perform the test, it CITED it, and it WAS done by an actual clinical group. So we're back to studies on both sides. Inconclusive in the greater scientific community sure but Mythbusters has never had any stated criteria for result validity. There data supported a conclusion and they stated it. If you want a revisit fine.
They do have a team of researchers. They've stated several times that they have a team of researchers. They've even shown some of them on occasion (like during the Brown Note myth when Adam tested out that annoying siren thing). The woman you're referring to was just a folklorist who was hired to give some exposition on the historical and cultural significance of the myth, not a researcher. And there ARE promises of outside research. Have you not seen any of the myths where they specifically reference news articles and academic papers? It IS what they do. It's what they've done from the start of the show. But for some reason they completely failed to do it here. And you're completely misunderstanding the scientific process here. Even if the majority of studies agree with you, if just ONE credible scientific study contradicts your results, you must examine their study. Because it's entirely possible that the majority is wrong and the minority is right. Science does not work by consensus or popular vote.
"Scientific consensus is the collective judgment, position, and opinion of the community of scientists in a particular field of study. Consensus implies general agreement, though not necessarily unanimity."
Read that article again.
"Scientific consensus is not by itself a scientific argument, and it is not part of the scientific method."
"I'm totally unsatisfiable". Gotcha.
Yes, I am totally unsatisfied by arguments that are totally wrong. Consensus is not part of the scientific method. Full stop. Period. The end.
The "can you launch yourself off a waterslide and land safely in a kiddie pool" myth. Not once did they point out that accuracy and distance aside, even if you managed to hit that pool, you'd go right through the one foot of water in a split second and splat across the bottom of it. Not one single time.
Not necessarily. There's an old circus act where someone jumps off a high dive and lands smack into a kiddie pool without harm. It's tricky and involves very careful technique, but it can be done without dying.
Are you kidding me? The circus act involves a performer who knows exactly when and where he's gonna hit, and thus when to tighten your muscles or whatever. Launch yourself at a wading pool and you don't know if you're gonna hit, much less when with any precision at all.
...Did you watch the episode at all? They proved conclusively that while the slide didn't have anywhere near the range of the video, it was still extremely accurate.
Extremely accurate? Adam said outright that if the floating ring wasn't surrounded by water he'd never even try this stunt.
They proved it would hit the same target reliably. That's accuracy where I come from, Adam was simply displaying his common sense about dangerous stunts. You have to remember they found that the YouTube video was fake.
The first season episode "Exploding Toilet" purports to test the "magic bullet" theory of the JFK assassination. It does not. At all. This is the magic bullet theory. The name refers to the alleged trajectory of one of the bullets fired during the assassination, which critics of the Warren Commission feel to be wildly improbable, if not outright impossible. What they actually test in the episode in question is whether or not it is possible to make Abnormal Ammo that can kill and then dissolve without a trace. The two are not in any way related.
I don't think they meant the actual magic bullet theory. They just called it "the magic bullet" because it sounds good on tv. Also, IIRC they consistently refer to the myth afterward as "ice bullet" not "magic bullet".
Some of you may not be aware that while most witnesses to JFK's assasination heard 3 shots, there are more than one who claim to have heard 4 shots yet only 3 slugs were found in JFK's body. There is a theory that says someone shot a 4th bullet made out of something that dissolved so that investigators wouldn't find it...thus making it untraceable. I believe this is the actual myth being tested in this episode. Not the supposed Grassy Knoll shot.
No. Just no. Most people base their knowledge of the JFK assassination from Oliver Stone's JFK, which Oliver Stone himself regrets not making it clearer he was making shit up. Among other things, the "magic bullet's" trajectory is basically a straight line, passing through Kennedy's neck, through the seat and into Connolly's side, hitting his wrist, then into his thigh. There is nothing improbable nor impossible about that. Daly Plaza is an accoustic nightmare, and eyewitness testimony is unreliable at the best of times (unless you're talking about the dictabelt recording, which is A: clearly car doors slamming, and B: the second and fourth are clearly echos); the testimony is contradictory.
As to slugs removed from Kennedy, only one(1) bullet was removed, not three. It's mind boggling that people still take that movie at face value.
The Octopus Egg Pregnancy myth was censored down to almost nothing by the higher-ups. Um, if the sum total of the "allowed" footage was so short and (let's face it) incomplete in terms of shown experimentation, why bother? Just pull the whole thing (perhaps turning it into a DVD extra with a content warning) and add extra footage from the other myths!
That was the American editors being stupid. The full version of the episode aired internationally, and is on the DVD release of the first season.
The OJ Film Lab myth. The stages they used MAY have worked for black and white film◊, which is clearly not what they were attempting to develop. Color film,◊ which is what they were trying to develop, requires completely different steps involving precisely formulated chemistry that must be kept at a constant temperature of 100 degrees Fahrenheit at all times. Small wonder it failed.
For the salsa escape myth, they mention that they're going to test the various components of salsa and use bars composed of a number of different metals. And then they fail to comment on any of these factors, reducing the myth to "can salsa eat away at metal bars?" If they weren't going to actually make use of the additional variables, why bother mentioning them in the first place?
I suppose the different bars and different salsas made no difference so they ignored it.
Exactly my point. Why bother have the narrator mention the variables at the start of the episode? I'm pretty sure the narration is one of the last steps, so they already knew the type of metal wasn't going to matter. They could've just crossed off that line of dialogue in the narrator's script.
They couldn't just cross it out, because then they would have had to throw out a bunch of footage of Adam and Jaime playing with different types of salsas and different types of metal bars. That's a fair number of perfectly good jokes gone right there. Also, the rig they built included the side-test of different salsas combined with different metal bars right next to the main experiment, and all of it was caught on film. They couldn't just make half the rig disappear into thin air, so they had to explain what was going on with those other tests or viewers would have been confused.
Not to mention that they do at one point show the effects of the various substances on the bars. It's not a particularly long scene, but it's not like they left it completely out.
For the "elephants afraid of mice" myth, did it not occur to them that the elephants might react the same way to any small white object that suddenly materialized in front of them? I'd be interested to know if the elephants would also be spooked if the Mythbusters had put, say, a white golf ball under the dung instead of a white mouse. Or if a brown mouse would have been noticed by the elephants at all.
The myth wasn't "elephants are afraid of specifically mice and no other small white objects", it was "elephants are afraid of mice." Even if they are afraid of any small white object, that still includes mice, so it's not relevant to the topic at hand. If someone is afraid of anything with more than 4 legs, that doesn't mean they aren't afraid of centipedes.
Uh, what? The myth is that elephants are afraid of mice. If elephants are actually nervous about any small unfamiliar object that kind of makes a big difference for the myth.
Incidentally, why the heck did they use a white mouse? Any sort of mouse a wild elephant could've ever seen before would be either brown or gray. For all we know, the elephant didn't even realize the tiny white thing on the ground was a mouse.
In the cycling under water myth, why didn't they enlist the help of a pro to see if he could hold the bike going under water? I believe the myth was done in 2010, at which time, there were three American based pro teams (Garmin, HTC, Radioshack)). While not all riders would be available, there should be at a couple of good riders who could be contacted. Furthermore, there were several pro continental teams from North America, and even more continental teams with some rather strong talent. They frequently get help from people in pro sports, what's the difference this time?
In the awning fall myth, they score the awnings to ensure a tear. Doesn't this negate the entire point? As long as it's not an actual person falling, they need to use unprepared awnings, right? Couldn't they just set up an awning in the shop near the floor and toss a sandbag the weight of a person onto it, to see if A. the awning tears and B. the person is falling at a slower speed afterward?
Tory/Kari/Grant (and their temporary substitutes) Myths
Throughout "Curving Bullets" I was waiting for them to give a detailed explanations of the physics involved and why simply flinging the gun wouldn't affect the bullet's trajectory. They never did. I understand the basic reasons, but I still would've liked to have them spell it out for me.
It bugs me too, considering they did often cut to "Warning: Science Content" segments to explain stuff like that.
This troper was more annoyed with the fact that they said that they would explore "every minute detail down to the bullets' rifling". Thing is, they NEVER spoke on the bullets' rifling during their experiments to the point where this troper wound up interpreting that they didn't even take a gander. Why? Anyone who read the comic would know that it's not JUST the superhuman reflexes and strength of the Fraternity that caused the bullets' curving, but also the fact that the bullets are rifled in such a way that their aerodynamics were changed to allow that phenomenon. The comic explores the bullets' rifling at one point, IIRC.
In fact, the guns the Fraternity used were Smoothbore handguns, whereas the pistols used by the team had rifled bores.
Except, they did test that. They said flat out, they removed the rifling on the pistols for the 3rd round of testing. And messed with the aerodynamics. And the weight of the bullet. All the bullets did was tumble and go way off target. They never curved at all.
Nerd Rage time: in MacGyver Myths, the narrator claims that the "classic airfoil shape [...] makes flying possible". Flat airfoils work just fine, they're just a bit heavy on the drag. That's...that's a research mistake, on Mythbusters. Gah!
For one, it does make flying possible. The fact that flat airfoils also make flying possible does not detract from the truth of the first statement. Second, without Bernoulli and, by proxy, the classic airfoil shape, it's safe to assume that aviation would not be where it is today.
They're built the way they are because a convex lower surface would be significantly less aerodynamic. The Bernoulli effect is just a happy coincidence.
The Hit The Ground Running Idiom Test really bugged me (bugs me, actually, since I'm watching it on DVD right now.) Suspending someone above the running surface and flailing their legs in an approximation of running doesn't prove anything, because there's no momentum from that. If I was testing the idiom, I'd have a runner running on a slightly elevated surface (something like a coffee table) that ends a small distance before the predesignated starting point. That way, the tester/runner lands at the starting point and keeps going. That way, they could compare between a person starting from a stationary position for the first test, and someone literally hitting the ground at a running speed.
But then they're not hitting the ground running; they're already running and then making a running jump. In this case, it would have to be - control (running without jumping) and test (running with jump).
They did try that with the zipline, which tripped them up even more than a straight fall.
Except that doesn't fulfill what he was saying anyways running after jumping off a zip line doesn't compare to making a running jump which people can do quite easily.
The myth about the armoring your car with phonebooks. They called it busted, even though it took them until .338 Lapua, .418 Barrett and .50 BMG to stop a car armored with around four phonebooks, and with the original myth, stuffing a layer of phonebooks inside your door, it stopped all handguns they fired at it (And thus most SMG ammunition, another annoying thing since they brought out a UMP with .40 rounds out for the 4 book car). Apparently they don't understand there's levels of "bulletproof".
Um, 'proof' has a very specific meaning, actually. Most things are actually classified as 'bullet resistant' because of this fact. Layers of phonebooks are bullet resistant. They are not bulletproof.
The myth there was that a phone book padding would stop all but the armor piercing rounds. I can assume that those guns were still packing non-armor-piercing rounds, regardless of their BFG status.
Well, I don't think they make .338, .416 and .50 BMG in hollowpoints, since hollowpoints kinda make high-powered anti-personnel or anti-materiel rifle issue, so yeah, technically they were probably using "armor-piercing" ammunition. It depends on how you wanna draw that line. The .50 BMG round is so powerful that its not normally used on people, but instead on enemy vehicles.
Except "armor-piercing" has a very specific meaning. Your standard jacketed bullet (likely full jacket, considering the rifles) is *not* an armor-piercing round and just contains a metal (usually lead) surrounded by another metal (copper or sometimes steel). Armor-piercing rounds are specifically rounds with a ballistic cap meant to break an armored surface just enough to let the solid metal behind it break through the armor. If memory serves, the latter are quite illegal in California. Considering all the stated rounds are pretty decent for hunting dangerous game (elephants, rhinos and the like), it's likely not too difficult to just find standard jacketed rounds that don't have any kind of special armor-piercing capabilities. The biggest reason a .50BMG is good against vehicles is because an unarmored vehicle, like a truck, doesn't have much to get in the way of a very big bullet traveling very, very fast.
First, the episode of Burn Notice this myth was taken from clearly states that the phone books are bullet resistant, and not bullet proof. Second, in Burn Notice they outfitted the car with bullet proof glass.
While the testing they did was certainly fun and interesting, they were testing a claim and not what was actually done on the show. The Burn Notice set-up was bulletproofing a car on a budget (they didn't have the money to do it properly), but they also said you don't want to skimp when it comes to the windows. Bulletproof windows would certainly be much lighter, and they also made modifications to the vehicle such as a more powerful engine and better suspension. The details of them needing the car involved knowing they were going to be in a firefight and what kind of weapons the enemy would be using on them (all part of a Batman Gambit). It would have been interesting to see Mythbusters examine all aspects of that, but that would be a solid hour-long episode rather than the normal half-episode.
Except they said the myth was taken from Burn Notice (well okay, technically they said "a spy tv show" but if you can name another spy tv show that ever did the same thing I'd love to hear it). And in the Burn Notice episode in question, the phrase they used was bullet resistant, not bullet proof, and they used bullet proof glass. Meaning the two things that ended up "busting" this myth, the weight of the extra books and the fact that phone books aren't totally bulletproof, aren't even relevant to the original myth.
The myth was that lacing the car with phone books would make the car bulletproof short of armor piercing rounds. They were able to achieve full penetration with non-armor piercing rounds rendered the myth busted, the added weight rendered the myth impractical as well. The scenario of shooting at the van in the quarry was just having fun, they weren't using it as a genuine experiment that would influence the verdict.
What's the point of episode of finding mind control chip? If state did have the technology they could for sure prevent emitting the episode/trick them into thinking they did not find it out and alter the tapes/just buy them/... - internet by virtue of its decentralisation would be much harder to block. Of course the not-existing of the chip would give the same results.
I think they were busting the specific myth that a man gave blood, then detected a chip under his skin using a stud finder. That's what The Other Wiki says, anyway.
Key words - mind control. They could just be controlled to report they found nothing. (Not that I believe that there are any chips - but experiment from the point of viewers the results would be same.
That, however, ignores everybody else involved in the show. Also, the initial statement is a poor argument as having mind control technology doesn't make it any easier or possible to completely cover it up; that's two unrelated things. And, as they noted in the anti-gravity episode, they can't prove a negative. They can only disprove a very specific set of conditions. In this case, it's not that the technology is possible, its whether the act of donating blood causes some sort of anomaly to occur.
The gunpowder engine thing really irks me. Why build these historical engines that are of dubious workability, when they use gunpowder engines constantly, GUNS. The only difference between a machine gun and a single stroke engine is a machine gun drives bullets rather than a piston. Modify one and you've got your engine.
You either grossly misunderstand how either engines or guns work. I'm not sure which.
No, I don't think there is a misunderstanding here. A machine gun's reload mechanism is for all intents and purposes a piston engine driven by gunpowder, so I'm sure it would be technically feasible to modify the mechanism of a machine gun to make it do useful work like an engine. However, in real life machine guns cannot sustain continuous fire for very long without overheating and/or running out of bullets. And that does not a practical engine make. In fact, the main functional difference between the historical engine they tested and a gun was the fact that in a gun the gunpowder fuel is physically separated into pre-wrapped packets, all of uniform size. Also, modifying a gun in that manner may have been considered too dangerous for the crew to attempt, or they may not have had the training to be allowed to attempt such a thing legally.
The part of that episode that bugged me was the way Grant modified the existing engine for use with gunpowder. By providing a steady stream of fuel and replacing the spark plug with a glow plug, he completely destroyed the engine's timing - a fairly vital part of the process. By the time he was done with it, it wouldn't even have run on gasoline - its intended fuel - so the fact that it wouldn't run on gunpowder proves nothing.
You have to remember why it didn't work. The gunpowder got gunked up with the lubricant to the point it wouldn't light. No matter what they did to the engine, there was no way it was going to work, unless you could find a way to get it to light with having in contact with any of the fluids in the engine.
I agree with that assessment, but it still hurts the experiment to try it on an engine that's been rendered inoperable. It never had a chance to succeed.
In the recent driving tipsy and driving tired test, it irritated me that there was no control test to compare to Tory and Kari's tipsy and tired tests. The huge differences between Kari's and Tory's driving in both tests seems to indicate to me that Kari in general probably isn't that great of a driver but we wouldn't know that because they didn't drive the course sober and rested first! They've always had control test in the past why not this time?
It was a bit sloppy, but they weren't really testing how driving tipsy or tired compares with driving while sober and well-rested. They were testing to see whether driving tipsy is better or worse than driving tired. A sober and rested control might have been interesting but was not strictly necessary as a point of comparison.
But how do they know that during these tests the subjects aren't driving as well as they would have awake and sober? From a scientific stand point, they can't.
No they can't, but neither do they need to. That was not the question they wanted to answer. And they've already previously done the comparison between sober and tipsy as part of the sober vs drunk vs distracted by cell phone episode.
Again, it's not about how tipsy driving and tired driving compares with awake and sober driving. All that matters is whether tired driving is better or worse than tipsy driving. A third set of data would be nice to have, but isn't strictly necessary for this particular experiment.
The sober/rested control is necessary for the results to mean anything because there are two different subjects with unknown baseline driving ability. You could get away with only 2 tests if you used the same subject for both, but with different subjects the comparison is worthless.
Except the subjects are being compared against themselves, not each other.
The Build Team attempts to build a rig to launch someone over a lake using hundreds of fireworks. The model was clearly rear-heavy and failed to fly straight. The YouTube comments were annoyed that they didn't perfect the design before going full-scale. I can't blame them. That surfboard clearly needed a few more model iterations.
It could be a casualty of the television format. They need a test to film so the network can show it, and the time needed to perfect the design may have been time they didn't have in this instance.
This is less about the show and more about a result from the show, but in the "Talking to Plants" myth, it was demonstrated that plants talked to grew better than those that weren't and that death metal (or otherwise loud, energetic stuff) was the best to use. Can anyone give a plausible explanation as to why this might be?
The Blue Ice myth. They manage to create a lump of loose ice in the lab, akin to clumped refrozen snow. Then for the full scale test they use a chunk of solid ice. A lump of loose ice will break apart in free fall much easier than a giant ice cube. A totally inaccurate experimentation method.
Somebody actually asked them the same thing, and they addressed it in the Blue Ice after-show; the "lump of loose ice" was still solid as a rock when they picked it up, as was most of the ice still clinging to the fuselage.
I've always wondered why the "Instant Convertible" myth was concluded as "plausible" and not as "busted". The first argument against plausibility is that, if the driver of the car ducks before the top of the car gets torn off, he's either driving completely blind, or has to let go of the steering wheel. Alternatively, if the driver — or anyone else on board — isn't wise enough to duck, decapitation is inevitable. In either of these two cases, there is virtually no control over the car's acceleration and/or steering.
They don't have to be ducking for the entire run-up. Only for the part of time that they go under the trailer. And how, exactly, would letting go of the steering wheel (which they wouldn't have to do—it's a wheel, they can hold onto the sides and bottom) give them no control over acceleration? "Busted" would mean it's impossible. It's plausible inasmuch as the car would still work, and a person could survive.
Why is it in Conifer Catapult do they only test and use American tree species? The Douglass Fir wasn't introduced to Europe until the 1800's and the point of the myth was if a tree could have been used against castles in the medieval period? Now this troper doesn't believe for a second that this myth is true (since it was never discussed in history). But why not actually test tree species that are in Europe.
In order to do that they would have to actually go to Europe. And they can't justify that kind of expense for a silly myth like this. So they used the closest North American equivalent tree.
On episode 155, in the myth "Gas Room Boom" the team are testing if the muzzle flash of a gun can detonate a room full of methane gas. After proving that this was impossible with methane, they move on to hydrogen gas, which is much more flammable. The problem here is that the narrator, when describing its flammability, says something to the effect of "After all, they use this stuff for hydrogen bombs". The thing is, hydrogen's use in hydrogen bombs has nothing at all to do with its flammability and everything to do with its ability to undergo nuclear fusion relatively easily. Good grief, the hydrogen used in hydrogen bombs isn't even elemental, it's in compound with lithium.
I think they were just trying to emphasize that it's a very scary thing, and the fact that it both becomes a firey explosion and a nuclear explosion are not directly related.
It occurs to me that in Battle of the Sexes - Round 2 when they tested men and women's ability to multi-task, the test they used emphasized domestic tasks like childcare, ironing clothes, cooking breakfast, etc. Most of those activities are stereotypically "feminine" jobs that women are generally more familiar with than men. Does this invalidate the results? Should they have included an additional round of testing where men and women were asked to multitask a series of stereotypically "masculine" jobs?
I thought it might have been useful to break down the participants by parental status, since it seems likely that parents of either sex would have to learn how to multi-task better in order to handle childcare while getting anything else done.
General Experimental Approach and Decision Problems
In recent reasons I've noticed they've "busted" myths based on an almost arbitrary level of magnitude
Exploding wine: they got corks to fire 50 feet in their setup, but because a newspaper report specified 100 feet, they called it "busted".
According to The Other Wiki, the criteria for "busted" is "when the myth's results cannot be replicated via either the described parameters, nor reasonably exaggerated ones". So in this case, because they couldn't replicate the 100ft range the myth was busted by their definition. But I agree that this probably should have been labeled plausible. The newspaper article could have easily exaggerated or misquoted the distance the corks flew, and the Mythbusters have made allowances like that in the past. Like in Exploding Pants where they declared the myth confirmed even though the pants didn't technically explode, just burned rapidly.
Grease fireball myth: they got rather close to 30 feet several times and it looked like the wind was a negative factor, but they nevertheless tossed it in the "busted" bin.
Exploding bumper: It certainly did explode, but it didn't make it 50 feet, so...
Because the distance or height is what they're testing. Pouring water on grease causes a fire. We know that, everyone and their brother knows that. They're testing whether you can get up to the 30 feet. You can't. Exploding bumper. It can happen. It has happened. We know that. They were testing the distance.
Even in the grease fire one they did it poorly, for several reasons. 35+ foot ceiling in a kitchen is going to be very, very rare... and their test setup was heavily flawed in that the barrier/measuring scale didn't block the wind above it, so all the fire that hit that level was blown off to the side, thus 'failing'.
It just bugs me when they trot out an urban myth or idiom that sounds like a variant they made up to make things more entertaining. The "You Can't Shine Shit" thing might be passable (although I'd always heard the term as "You can't polish a turd" - which would seem to preclude shaping said scat). But the version of the "One-Inch Punch" (from Ninja Special II) I'm familiar with said that Bruce Lee could throw a punch and stop and inch away from his target and still knock them down. And I'd always heard a hurricane could drive straw into a tree trunk (which they did, BTW), not clean through. Whether it's me being ignorant of idioms or the Mythbusters putting a thumb on the metaphorical scale, it bugs me.
It's you being ignorant, dude. Sorry.
First of all, there's a lot more to the One-Inch Punch than just punching something from really close up. To quote the other Wiki, "When performing this one inch punch the practitioner stands with his fist very close to the target (the distance depends on the skill of the practitioner, usually from 0-6 inches). Then in one explosive burst, the legs root, the waist turns, the ribs expand and the arm extends through the target. It is crucial that the entire body move in unison, or else the power will be limited." Lying down horizontally in the extremely confined space of a coffin would make it extremely difficult to perform a proper One-Inch Punch. Secondly, even after dialing the rig up to the highest recorded windspeed at ground level, they only got the straw to penetrate a quarter of an inch. Not nearly deep enough for the straw to stick into the tree, the wind would probably rip it right back out again.
Yeah, but unfortunately for the Mythbusters crew, one of my grandmother's prized possessions is a chunk of fence with a piece of straw through it from a 1940-ish twister in Monroe, Wisconsin. It's in a case in her living room where it's sat for years. Just because they couldn't replicate nature's fury under laboratory conditions doesn't mean they managed to prove anything.
"Chunk of fence" =/= "tree"
And "tornado" =/= "hurricane." Tornado wind speeds can actually get quite a bit faster.
The general procedure is that they do the myth as stated, or parallel experimentation that tests the substance of the myth as stated, and then if necessary change the conditions to produce the ostensible effects (justifiable as confirming that the myth is false by showing how unlikely real-world circumstances are to have the claimed outcome but mostly just fucking awesome).
I have to agree, though, they often state the myths as totally different from how I heard them, or interpret them differently. I think that's just the nature of folklore.
Production Procedures/Behind the Scenes
How did it take this long for a show about blowing stuff up in the name of truth and science to come about? Why wasn't this happening in 1995?
Realistic answer? Funding and the television production process; thousands of ideas pitches, hundreds of pilots produced, tens of shows make it to the air. MythBusters on paper is everything TV execs hate: lots of liability risk, "ugly" people hosting, no proven "four-quadrant" appeal, etc. If you watch the shows in order, you can see how little faith they had at first.
In season 8 episode 5, Adam tells us how much money it takes to blur their mouths when they swear. ARE YOU BLURRING KIDDING ME. The show clearly uses digital graphics extensively, but even before desktop editing, blurring a specific area has been a simple procedure since the 1980s at least. Either he lied to have an excuse to build the swear blocking rig, or the editing team apparently is using the only NLE out there that can't blur a specific area.
Okay, see, there's this obscure thing called a "joke," and when people are trying to be funny, they tell them. The purpose is to make the audience do something called "laugh," which is, generally speaking, the positive reaction to a "joke." Now here's the tricky part: These "jokes," while often grounded in some form of truth, usually rely on some form of exaggeration to be "funnier," and occasionally are in fact blatant un-truths. I know, shocking.
I know what a joke is. But it's not an Adam style joke. It seemed he honestly believed that to be the case.
Because it's true: as noted below, editors can charge triple figures per hour, they've got strict deadlines to get their deliverables in to Discovery (which can involve footage being shipped across the country several times; Discovery subcontracts out work to production houses in L.A., San Francisco, Boston, and New York), and blurring is an annoying, lengthy task, especially in a situation where people's mouths move around the frame, which is most of the time. It's essentially doing a small, crude animation that has to be rendered (which means editing stations are offline and/or you have to pay for a rendering infrastructure), and depending on their production process, it probably has to be done on all the footage, not just what makes it to air.
It's not that the process is SIMPLE, but consider the time it takes for the video editors/techs to go through each show and blur out every little thing that needs blurred. If they're hourly, that can get rather expensive.
Considering the production schedule can be months for any given myth/episode, maybe the joke was that between the time of filming and the time of post-production and the time of air, it can be months for the blur to occur in a technical sense.
Regardless of the actual time and effort, regular sound effect bleeps and mouth blurrings happen only when it is done by accident during the normal course of filming. There are times they go almost a whole season without having to do it once. The trope being tested (whether you have a greater pain tolerance when swearing) would require a great deal of careful editing, blurring and sound bleeping for the entirety of the myth, and likely make a lot of the footage worthless or "controversial" to use. Blurring is the most expensive, however cheap it may be, but I'm certain a 20 dollar headset that took Adam 20 minutes to rig up was cheaper.
I do wonder if people are aware of how expensive anything can be in the television business. This isn't someone goofing around on their laptop, it's a professional who charges for their time regardless of the project to be done. 150 dollars per man hour for something like that is not unheard of. It might be cheaper if they lived anywhere other than California, which is why shows filmed in remote areas are able to save money despite having to transport cast and crew in.
How do they not accidentally film another build progressing in the background? Jamie's workshop can't be that big.
Jamie is a Time Lord and the workshop is his TARDIS.
Looks like someone is doing a poor job of hiding the truth.
They do, from time to time. Adam's attempted smoke bomb prank in the Mentos and Coke episode interrupted the black powder test, the air cannon is occasionally visible (in its various forms), and I'd have to buy the DVDs to cite anything else.
Speaking of that prank, when is Adam going to properly get his own back for the electric shock? Or has he done that and I've missed it?
I haven't seen the electric shock so don't know if this applies (who did what to whom?) but Adam did light Jamie's arm on fire in the Discovery Channel "Boom-de-yadda" video.
I think this is a reference to an incident in some static-electricity myth in which a build team member or two (I'm sure Kari was involved, and equally sure she had an accomplice, but I don't remember who) talked Adam into touching an object that had a much higher electrical charge than he was aware it did. As I recall, he was (quite justifiably) seriously POed about that one, but was gracious about accepting very sincere apologies.
Yes, that was during the testing of the ancient battery claims where Kari and Tory got him to touch the electrified gold angel thing. Adam's releasing of the smoke bomb mentioned above was his attempt to get his revenge, but it didn't really work, and I was just wondering if he was ever going to get proper payback.
In a Q&A, Adam pointed out that the electric fence incident wasn't the Build Team's idea, one of the producers made them do it. He also pointed out that that producer is no longer working with Mythbusters. I'd say that Adam has gotten closure on the guy who deserved it, and his talk about payback with the smoke bomb was just him joking around.
I wouldn't be surprised if he was the one to suggest the bus ride home from South Carolina if they didn't beat the lie detector.
If he was, he probably liked that Grant beat the test, since he wasn't involved with the test (or the show at that point).
Also, when they did the myth that you remember more stuff under hypnosis they interrupted one of the motion sickness tests. When they had those two actors come in dressed like delivery men and pretend to give Jamie some guff you can clearly see Grant sitting in that spinny-chair thing that makes you puke.
They've also gotten the production company to spring for a second shop location. Most of the "build team" segments are filmed at M7, separate from Jamie's M5.
The Solar Propane Wheel from "Free Energy" is visible in the background when Adam undergoes Chinese water torture. Also, the Stone Roller (to see if they gathered moss) was visible from time to time in other episodes from the same season (it was, after all, a long-term experiment).
So why do they tell you "Do not try this at home" and yet they are giving you step by step instructions on how to do their things?
It's not like they're a cooking show. And they leave out, or are vague when it comes to really dangerous stuff. But I seem to recall hearing something about them wanting people who know what they are doing to try it at home. Also, there are times when they do omit the exact steps involved.
"You should never mix blur with blur, or things might blow up."
It's a legal thing. I have a book from a scientist called Theodore Gray who made a coffee table of the periodic table and filled it with samples - and I mean of all the elements he can feasibly get. The book is called Mad Science: Experiments You Can Do At Home...But Probably Shouldn't. Gray tells you you CAN do these at home but you should be sensible enough to wear eye/ear/skin/etc protection by rote, and if you promise to he will tell you what the real dangers are. Also some of the more dangerous experiments are missing certain points in the instructions, and some of them require equation-balancing - but if you do know what you're doing, well, the experiments are awesome. Who wants to go to the titanium-coated Guggenheim Bilbao Building in Spain with some coke and a battery?
I also imagine that most people trying to replicate myths would probably have enough sense to know that some stuff is pretty much impossible to replicate unless they had access to as much equipment and stuff as the MythBusters crew did, anyways. Of course there are some like the grease fire myth that actually could be replicated with household materials. (And they aren't even benign like the Mentos and Diet Coke.) Stuff like the firearms myths? You'd have to be really stupid to try to replicate some of those, and if there are kids attempting to replicate some of those myths, then there are some really irresponsible and/or stupid adults around. (Really? Even the walking stereotype NRA people I know are sensible enough to not let kids get ahold of actual loaded weapons - especially not military-grade or stuff made for hunting big-game.)
It's an experiment-driven science show. The whole point is to explain why and a how a theory is true or false, and to do that you have to fully explain the experiment.
You're not the only one who thought that - Remember the You Spoof Discovery thing? One of the spoofs had Jamie saying, "Remember kids, don't try this at home - even though it's really cool and we're giving you step-by-step instructions on how to do it." They probably also say it as a disclaimer since avoiding liabilities is the name of the game.
Let's not forget that most of the myths involved usually require a whole crapload of paperwork, specialized licenses, and often a lot of cooperation from local, state, and even federal authorities. Jamie and Adam at the very least have heavy equipment certifications, firearms certifications, pyrotechnician certifications, and a commercial driver's license.
Not to mention *where* they are filming most of this show. California has some of the country's toughest laws concerning firearms and explosives. In many other states, it is far easier to get some of the stuff they require for their bigger myths (an example: to get a .50BMG rifle in Montana, you need the money to buy it and about five minutes for a background check). It's likely a concern of the producers that someone in a state where it is easier to perform some of the more dangerous myths might actually try it and get harmed, and are protecting themselves from lawsuits stemming from those accidents.
This one really is a Headscratcher, it doesn't really bug me. Why do they keep making huge water tanks in the shop? I know they like to film there to seem all rough and all, but that's a lot of water that could possibly (with the Mythbusters, make that probably) leak and/or burst onto not only the electrical equipment, but the props, supplies, etc. that Jamie has collected and they still use. Why can't they rig up a separate watertight room with a variety of cameras, etc. to do their water tank tests in?
All those props and supplies are in plastic bins set into shelves making it damn near impossible to accidentally splash water on them. Unless their whole shop comically fills up with water like a Looney Toons cartoon, I don't see this becoming a real danger.
When the tank ruptured during "Bulletproof Water", there was a real chance water would have gotten onto the power cords strung around for filming. But I think the reason they don't add on a waterproof filming chamber is lack of room. Maybe if one of Jamie's neighbors moves out ....
The Build Team now has their own workshop called M7. They still don't have room for a watertight room?
In every episode they say something along the lines of: "There was a bunch of stuff that didn't make it to the show, go online and check it out". Fair enough but the reason it couldn't be on the show is that they are limited to 43-44 minutes. That said, why the hell are they always repeating every fucking thing to the extreme? They explain the myth twenty times, they explain what they have already done two or three times and you have already watched it and re-watched it. Other shows from The Discovery Channel and The History Channel also do this past its logical sense, while BBC's Horizon and other BBC science shows are quite moderate in repetitiveness. I try to avoid the stereotypical american being fat, illiterate with severe case of ADD but Mythbusters do not help with the latter two.
They're making it so viewers can start watching at any point without too much confusion. Wasn't it obvious?
Well, no. No it wasn't bloody obvious. The cartoony re-capped explanations after every commercial break make perfect sense but explaining a simple compression chamber three times in less than ten minutes, no commercials mind you, is just draining my willingness to watch this otherwise highly enjoyable show.
You're forgetting that this is a pop science show. A big part of its intended audience are kids and people who aren't scientifically inclined by nature. Exactly the sort of people who would appreciate regular recaps.
There's also a good dose of Viewers Are Idiots at work here. You'll notice as it went from cult show to semi-mainstream phenomenon these bits became a lot more common.
I agree with you. I like the Buster's Cut versions of episodes they've been doing lately, precisely because there's more action and less of that repetition garbage. Also seems to be slightly less annoying narrator.
The opening narration. "They don't just tell the myths, they put them to the test." No.. they don't tell the myths at all. They go right to the testing. Sometimes they ask 'have you heard the myth..?' but that's not the same as using the myth as an ostensibly true statement. this drives me insane.
Then that's your problem. "Telling the myth" doesn't mean the same as "using the myth as an ostensibly true statement." It means telling you what the myth is, and that's what they do. The show is science, not story time.
This is mainly to distance themselves from shows that do simply tell the myths and leave it at that.
The Artifact from when exposition lady was part of the show.
You're parsing the statement wrong. It's not "They don't just tell the myths, they also put them to the test," but more like "They don't merely tell the myths; on the contrary, they put them to the test."
The statement is: "They don't JUST tell the myths,...(emphasis mine)" infering that they do tell the myths. Ok, well, when they tell you what myth they are going to test, they usually do a bit of elaboration. So they do in fact tell the myths.
When all else fails, add dynamite, even if it has nothing to do with what they are testing.
...That bugs you?!
In the show's defense they've never tried to hide the fact that they do it for Rule of Cool.
Though they claim, sometimes, that it's to replicate a myth about an explosion. "Well, fire alone didn't make the piano explode. What would a piano look like if it were to actually explode? Well here you go!"
That piano myth was such a wasted opportunity. The myth was that a fire would cause the piano to fold in on itself. When they showed the fire didn't do that, they just blew it up? Huh? I wanted to see them make it fold in on itself. Maybe use some det. cord to weaken that big steel armature inside, or rig up some remote saws or something. Not just blow it up.
But they never stated the myth was that the piano would fold in on itself, or even implode. They stated the myth was that fire would cause the release of tension resulting in an explosion. It was specifically stated to be an explosion myth. Hence, they were not gonna wrap up until something exploded. It's what they do.
Dear Mythbusters: Please use the Metric system or US Imperial units. Pick one and stick with it. Don't use both, and especially stop using both in the same sentence.
Oh, you'd hate Canada, wouldn't you? It's quite common practice there and in some of the US.
This Troper loves using both, they work very nicely together. Measure tiny things in mm and cm, then work up to inches and feet before requiring meters...
In the U.S. there are several things that are measured using the metric system, especially liquids and small amounts of matter. That's just how it works here, so they can't really be blamed for that.
Try working in any kind of scientific laboratory in the US. Metric/USI measurements are used completely interchangeably, to the point where this troper sometimes has to think hard to remember which terms belong to which system. Possibly worse is the constant switching between celsius and fahrenheit- your samples are overheating at 20 degrees, while outside it's 31 and snowing. Wha-?
This Troper works in an engineering shop that manufactures medical implants and surgical tools, and is used to cutting raw material into manageable sizes measured in inches, then using cm and mm to measure the details of parts once they've been machined into shape.
It 's handy to have someone when they need to torture Grant and Tory.
Plus, she has been shown doing welding and such lately. Looks like she's picked up a few skills hanging around the crew.
She already had skills, or she wouldn't have gotten hired at a special effects company to begin with (that's what M5 used to be before it was Mythbusters HQ).
Yeah but those skills are artistic skills that are useful for SFX work but never seem to be utilised in the show.
The Superhero episode - where she designs the rings for the Phantom Mark tests - says "Hi."
I know she seemed to do a lot of building with the bamboo ultralight in the MacGyver episode.
Bottom line: She's an extra pair of hands who just happens to look and sound good on camera.
Her artistic skills include putting together the zombie dog, branding the various vehicles they eventually crash. But in all reality her first job was to pose while they took a picture of her butt for the airplane toilet myth. She seems okay with being The Chick, and it is unlikely that Grant or Tory would be effective without Jamie and Adam around. That's part of the reason of a Five-Man Band, everyone has their part even if it isn't a big role.
That was her first on-camera job. She had already been working (or interning) at M5 for some time when they borrowed her butt.
It occurs to me ... I don't know how long she was trying to get pregnant, but a lot of the stunting on the show involve things a pregnant woman Should Not Do. Firing a blowgun from the bottom of a swimming pool is OK, but I'm certain the insurance company demanded a pregnancy test before she did "Beer Goggles". We'll be able to check this with the upcoming episodes — judging by the baby bump in the announcement video, I'm guessing she was pregnant during most of the filming.
The observant viewer will note that many (possibly the majority) of the myths are not aired in the same order they are filmed, and the "blueprint room" skits are almost certainly all filmed long after the myth(s) are tested and busted/confirmed (the fact that they're so obviously scripted suggests as much). So there's really no way to know exactly when the Beer Goggles myth was filmed. That said, given what the Mythbusters do on a daily basis, I'm sure the insurance company requires regular health screenings for all members of the cast, male and female.
Also, I'm not sure she was trying. In the 'Top 25 Myths' episode, she mentions being pregnant during the car-drop, unbeknownst to her. She says that may or may not be why she was "OMG so excited!!!"
She's a professional artist outside of the show, working in mixed-media sculpture (you can see some of her work here. She also has a degree in Film and Sculpture.
And besides all that, building stuff is the easy part, the hard part is coming up with what to build and I bet having someone with a different skill set is way helpful.
In any given experiment, we see a few minutes of several hours, sometimes days, of work. Kari obviously has applicable skills because she had been working behind the scenes before she slowly became an on-screen cast member. I'd expect tropers to be savvy enough to know that editors don't care about reality.
Kari graduated magna cum laude with a BA in sculpture and film. Pretty good pedigree if you ask me. I mean just look at her sculpting prowess!
Special effects work, which is really what the show does, requires a good measure of artistic work. Also, more than once the show has shown Kari serving as a "stage manager" of sorts, which, ask a theater professor, is a crucial and unforgiving job.
One thing that bugs me about Kari... she's got no problem messing around with bones, blood, pig corpses, etc. (and even commented in one episode that she thought blood was beautiful), but she freaks at a little bit of meat! Yeah, I get it, she's vegan and all, but seriously, with all the other stuff she handles in her day-to-day duties, you'd think a little bit of muscle fiber clinging onto a pig's spine wouldn't bother her too much...
Two possibilities. Either it was because that was before she got so used to it, or, given the delight the show was taking in her reaction, she was asked to continue the "I'm a vegetarian" grossed-out-ness after that one comment.
Maybe it was just the manner in which Tory was playing with the pig spine that grossed her out so much.
If you look at the earlier episodes with Kari, she's much more grossed by the dead animal chunks — I think she's just getting numb.
"Vegan" seems to be the incorrect term here, as she was seen eating Cheese in the Cheese Cannonball segment. In one episode, she specifically stated she was a Vegetarian, not the same thing.
And according to an interview, during her pregnancy she craved (and, yes, ate) lots and lots of beef stew.
In other interviews, she stated that she just says vegetarian because that's what people understand; she is actually pescatarian.
Selective Squick is Truth in Television. This troper actually enjoys blood, when not rotting or in suffocating quantities, and doesn't mind the sight of variously vivisected cadavers or raw meat (the latter is just undercooked food), but has (formerly) severe spongiphobia and is liable to throw up if he sees cilia on anything.
Does Jamie actually like any of his staff? Adam seems to get on his nerves an awful lot. He shares more screen time with his mysterious 'Myth-tern' Jess than Kari. And if his idea of 'messing around' is what Adam gets up to, then how does he react to some of the stunts Tory pulls? Grant seems to command more respect than the rest of them put together. Or is Jamie just a nice guy really?
I've seen some behind the scenes stuff, and a speech by Adam at a convention, and it sounds like, according to the rest of the cast and crew, Jamie is actually a nice guy, just fairly anal about certain things (like cleanliness)
He likes them, he's just not very warm. This INTJ troper is told he's the same way.
INTJ = I'm Not The Jamie? Elaborate!
It's the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator. It (supposedly) means he's an Introverted, iNtuitive Thinker who Judges (instead of Perceiving). Myers-Briggs is popular but it's a very crude tool if it measures anything useful at all.
Adam and Jamie did "MythBusters Live" as a benefit for the High School where Jamie's RL wife works. During the Q & A, Adam said firmly "We're not friends; we don't hang out, we don't go to dinner together." But I did get that they respected each others' skills.
That said, this troper gets the feeling that they would be better friends if they weren't spending sixty hours a week together. The amount of laughter they manage to get out of each other would be pretty unrealistic if they didn't at least like each other.
I believe Jess was hired by Jamie for M5 from viewer challenge episode and they tried to work her into the show, but she was mostly a third wheel with the build team and could barely fit in between Jamie and Adam.
He does; but their personalities are a lot different. They have warmed up to each other a little more in recent years, notably. (Watch some of the like 2006 episodes then compare them to a recent episode)
It's probably just a matter of dissimilar lifestyles/interests rather than any sort of like/dislike. Like the person at work you get along with, respect, and otherwise get along, but beyond work, you have little in way of reasons to do anything with. After all, they do have very different personalities and while they're probably very professional at work, it's pretty plain that in casual life, such personalities might have a lot more friction without that focus on work.
The Narrator. He Just Bugs Me.
Right there with ya. If he would stop making blatantly emphasizedpuns and pronounce things like 'guillotine' correctly, I might be able to tolerate him. As it is, he's the most irritating part of the show. The cast themselves explain what's going on more often than not, I don't see why they even need a narrator.
In some of the early episodes that were aired in Australia the American narrator was replaced by an Australian(?) narrator reading the exact same script. He wasn't any better.
Ironically, the narrator in the US version (Robert Lee) actually lives in Sydney, Australia.
I've seen a couple website clips that use the British narrator. He doesn't put the same painful emphasis on the puns and I really prefer him.
Maybe not exactly the narrator, but the narration: In one episode involving concrete, Jamie mentions in passing he used to be a concrete inspector, only to be immediately droned out by the narration claiming that this is boring drivel only nerds would be interested in. Considering 99.9% of the audience are nerds that actually *would* be interested in what a concrete inspector does, why did someone in the production choose to insult their own audience like that?
The narrator said "Swedish sauna" in one episode. Sauna is Finnish invention.
While we're at it, Robert Lee also consistently mispronounces "dorodango" in the "can't polish a turd" myth - it's pronounced with a short "A" sound, he says it with a long "A". Seems the post-production guys at Beyond Productions generally aren't half as good at research as the MythBusters themselves.
To be fair, when I saw the word "dorodango," I thought it was with a long "A" sound, much like the way I pronounce "Tomato". This seems to be less of research problem and more of an individual's way of pronouncing words. Besides, researching how to pronounce a word that seems easy to pronounce seems almost like a waste of time that could be used instead for narrating more Mythbusters.
I've just kind of been wondering lately why no member of the team is a certified explosives expert by now. Of course, maybe one or more of them are and they just like having more experts around for extra safety.
You mean a licensed pyrotechnician? I imagine there's many years of education that go into that, which the team doesn't really have time for. And they've got access to licensed pyrotechnicians through their FBI contacts, so it's not like they need to be licensed pyrotechnicians themselves.
Well, they always call that contact "FBI explosives expert Frank Doyle," so I used that term. I'm sure it does take years, but they have spent years doing this and they all hang out at the bomb range quite a bit, is all. Maybe first-hand experience isn't enough, but on the other hand they can get their hands on some volatile metals, so maybe they do have some credentials.
They probably are. But considering the scale of some of their tests, they may need to call in the FBI simply to avoid legal trouble. After all, some materials can be highly regulated and making bombs can be potentially illegal. Also, it gives them a measure of expert opinion to avoid accusations of "Well you didn't do that right... a -real- expert would have done it this way."
I know I've seen an article that referred to Jamie as a trained pyrotechnician, but even back in season one (before MythBusters took over M5) they brought in pyros instead of having Jamie do the work. He doesn't strike me as the sort of person to let his license lapse, but maybe his is limited to the size of charge that would be used in effects work?
Getting certified to use explosives is (relatively) easy; it's basically an extensive safety course. Getting certified to buy them is something else again; it's a lot cheaper and easier to pay Frank Doyle for his time than it is to go through an extensive and invasive federal background check.
Why are Kari, Grant and Tory called the "Build Team"? Adam and Jamie build stuff too.
I think it's a legacy title, back from before they were full-on cast members. They used to do a lot of grunt work behind the scenes and were called the "build-team" back then, but got more and more screen time but the term stuck.
They really aren't called that anymore; the narrator just uses their three names. I kinda wish they had a official name, though. Yes, they are Mythbusters, but "The Mythbusters" are Jamie and Adam, not them.
Why is Adam called a redhead in the "No Pain, No Gain" myth? His hair is dirty blonde!
He's gone gray since the show started (gee, I wonder why?). His hair is much redder in early episodes, and remember that film clip of his Charmin commercial appearance? I think that's a trait of red hair; my brother is a natural redhead, and as he's aged he's gone very close to Adam's current hair color.
So, if Jamie Hyneman is the Walrus (goo goo g'joob), then who among the cast is the Eggman and who is the Carpenter?
Adam Savage's shiny forehead probably qualifies him as the eggman. The carpenter could be any of the cast, really
I think Jamie is all three. Bald head: Eggman. Mustache: Walrus. Mad engineering skills: Carpenter. The function of the beret is obviously to keep his apocalyptic powers in check.
Just for the hell of it: I believe the sound you're looking for is "goo goo g'joob." "Coo coo kachoo" is from Simon & Garfunkel's "Mrs. Robinson."
This troper always thought Jamie was really Dr. Eggman from the Sonic series in disguise...
Eggman is also all three: walrus mustache, bald head and engineering genius. If these two ever meet, they'll be an unstoppable World Domination team.
Most importantly, what would Jamie do if someone got his bukket?
He'd whine for a few seconds, and then come to his senses and build a better bukket, with a motion sensor, a secret compartment, and a cupholder.
Is any of the things about Jamie's past described by the cast actually true?
Probably the first few to have been named. Then they ran away with it!
You can probably trust the ones that manifest in the show itself. For instance, no amount of pretending to be a scuba instructor would get me to trust him sitting behind me in a sinking car with my safety air. If you try, you can live a fairly varied life, you know; it doesn't have to be forty years of office jobs if you don't want it to be.
Yes it does, unless you're already rich.
Actually, Jamie's "real" jobs, according to Wikipedia, include boat captain, scuba instructor, machinist, and linguist. Those are all well-paying jobs.
No it doesn't, unless you're obsessed with making money and/or were born without a personality.
Or you don't want to, at best, barely scrape by, hoping that you don't lose your home.
Very true. I knew a guy who had been a pastor, an English teacher, and a driving instructor during different parts of his life (he did driving when I met him); somewhere in there he'd also managed to snag an important position in a bookstore, get married and have kids.
To be fair, if you're already a High School teacher, adding "driving instructor" is easy. Sometimes the trick is not getting stuck teaching summer Driver's Ed.
Anything's possible, my dad has managed to be both an undertaker's apprentice, pastry chef, staff seargent, shooting instructor, private detective, free boxer, private security, ticket checker and... busdriver. Yes, he is very old. Sadly, he have to this day never fulfilled his biggest dream, being a sailor.
I'm pretty sure that much of his prior careers are noted on The Other Wiki, and are verified true.
Personally, I'd take anything Adam says not with a grain of salt, but the whole salt shaker. He admitted in an online interview to deliberately making up Jamie-history. (Want the link? )
Theodore Roosevelt, nuff said.
Jamie was Theodore Roosevelt?
I'd imagine anything that isn't played for laughs. I'm pretty sure he didn't use to be a 19th century miner or a hitman for the mob, but the more reasonable things like scuba instructor and pet shop owner.
After the guy mentions he's trained goldfish in the past, as he is using that experience to flawlessly train goldfish again to bust a myth, anything is possible.