Mythbusters attack San Francisco

  • #26
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I confess I do not understand why they would be doing this up range of a populated area within firing range.

What were they thinking?
I dunno.

Regardless, it's great no one got hurt. And, you can be 100% certain they're never, ever, ever going to make an error like this again.
 
  • #27
Dembadon
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I actually really enjoy their show. It's not really about teaching people proper scientific method (they never do enough replicates to really "confirm" or "bust" anything), but just getting the lay public more engaged and interested in science. Or, if nothing else, to inspire a healthy dose of skepticism about the many myths that abound, especially on the internet.

...
I feel the same way.
 
  • #28
AlephZero
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I confess I do not understand why they would be doing this up range of a populated area within firing range.

What were they thinking?
Hindsight is the only exact science known to man, but from what I've read here (I haven't seen the show) the populated area was NOT within firing range if they had aimed straight, and all their previous experience on the test range was that not aiming straight was not an issue.

I admit I take the "insiders view" on this. I don't stay awake at nights worrying that if something goes wrong with the stuff I do for a living, hundreds of innocent unsuspecting people might get killed. If and when that happens (and sometmes it does happen) we don't go into a group hug to make ourselves feel better, or take a year out for therapeutic stress counselling. We just get our heads down and figure out how to reduce the chance of it happening again...
 
  • #29
DaveC426913
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Hindsight is the only exact science known to man, but from what I've read here (I haven't seen the show) the populated area was NOT within firing range if they had aimed straight, and all their previous experience on the test range was that not aiming straight was not an issue.
Hindsight? It seems that - missing the target and looking at what's in range - is ballistics safety 101.

Somebody first figured out the you don't point the firing range on a military training ground at the CO's office, and just assume no one will ever miss the targets.
 
  • #30
Chi Meson
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Of COURSE there is an XKCD for this
unscientific.png


Anyone who has seen the episode where they showed the bullet fired from a handgun hitting the ground at the same time, in the same place, ans a dropped bullet will understand. Blowing things up is NOT the majority of what they do. Big explosions are more fun, and more memorable, and are "better TV," but the show is beyond that.

Not only do they stress the importance of data to support your conclusions, they are ingenious at building contraptions. I have been really impressed by some of the rigs they build to get data or to replicate a myth that a majority of people accept because of an email they receive.

As for safety, 'tis true, the lawyers, are all about not being sued, about not letting things like this happen. My point is that they are not yahoos on Youtube. I'm giving them the benefit of the doubt that this was a freak accident. I hope they get to keep their pants.
 
  • #31
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Mythbusters are an invented people. They lob missiles into San Francisco.
 
  • #32
Borg
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The path of the cannonball was incredible.
It aimed the projectile at huge containers of water meant to absorb the impact on the grounds of the sheriff's bomb disposal range.

But the ball somehow missed its mark, took an unforeseen bounce off a safety berm and barreled into the quiet Tassajara Creek neighborhood of Dublin about 4 p.m. Tuesday.

That's where the projectile turned into a suburban pinball, bouncing off a sidewalk, blasting through a front door, barreling up some stairs and careening through a bedroom where a man, woman and child were reportedly sleeping.

The cannonball then punched through the home's exterior stucco wall, sailed across a six-lane thoroughfare, ricocheted off the roof of another home and finally crashed through the window of a parked, empty Toyota Sienna minivan, where it came to rest.
 
  • #33
Ivan Seeking
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Hindsight is the only exact science known to man, but from what I've read here (I haven't seen the show) the populated area was NOT within firing range if they had aimed straight, and all their previous experience on the test range was that not aiming straight was not an issue.

I admit I take the "insiders view" on this. I don't stay awake at nights worrying that if something goes wrong with the stuff I do for a living, hundreds of innocent unsuspecting people might get killed. If and when that happens (and sometmes it does happen) we don't go into a group hug to make ourselves feel better, or take a year out for therapeutic stress counselling. We just get our heads down and figure out how to reduce the chance of it happening again...
A good part of my job involves anticipating the potential for death and injury. I'm not anti-Mythbusters, but this was a stupid mistake and seriously calls into question the competency of those planning their stunts.

I couldn't sleep at night if I didn't worry about these things [in a preventive sense]. As with people like the mythbusters, it is a part of the job.
 
  • #34
Dembadon
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...

Anyone who has seen the episode where they showed the bullet fired from a handgun hitting the ground at the same time, in the same place, ans a dropped bullet will understand. Blowing things up is NOT the majority of what they do. Big explosions are more fun, and more memorable, and are "better TV," but the show is beyond that.

Not only do they stress the importance of data to support your conclusions, they are ingenious at building contraptions. I have been really impressed by some of the rigs they build to get data or to replicate a myth that a majority of people accept because of an email they receive.

As for safety, 'tis true, the lawyers, are all about not being sued, about not letting things like this happen. My point is that they are not yahoos on Youtube. I'm giving them the benefit of the doubt that this was a freak accident. I hope they get to keep their pants.
Well said.
 
  • #35
S_Happens
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A good part of my job involves anticipating the potential for death and injury. I'm not anti-Mythbusters, but this was a stupid mistake and seriously calls into question the competency of those planning their stunts.

I couldn't sleep at night if I didn't worry about these things [in a preventive sense]. As with people like the mythbusters, it is a part of the job.
I'm not disagreeing that the placement was a bad idea, but it's tough (impossible) to catch everything. A major part of my job was the safety of others, both practically (preparing equipment to be worked on) and just talking about potential problems (process hazard analyses where you question every piece of equipment). It can be hard to question EVERYTHING. How far back do you go? If you need a firing range and find one available, do you automatically think to question it's validity? Most people will skip that step. "It's here, so it must be right." This tendency is exaggerated when put under pressure, say from time constraints. "We need to shoot this cannon. Well go get it done!!" It's not an excuse, but a reality. Examining the event after the fact makes it seem much easier. You already have the problems in front of you.

Safety will always cycle. Regardless of who and what you have in place (I can only speculate on their personnel) there will be a certain amount of complacency. With great people, procedures, and redundancies it will typically take longer to happen, more precise failures in a sequence to occur, or be less severe. There will always be an event to put you back on track.
 
  • #36
Chi Meson
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Just read a comment following a news story:
House Busted. Myth Confirmed
heh heh.......eh.
 

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