What do youse guys think of MythBusters

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  • #51
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Well, one of the things about myths is that what seems obvious is not always what is true.

Even Jamie and Adam have been wrong on their sure-things more than once.
I said some are obvious. Can tattoos explode in an MRI? No. Does a goldfish's memory last three seconds? No. Can sacrificially jumping on a grenade save others' lives? Yes. And so on.

That is something that I will never understand.

Science is bashed and hated by people who happily drive around in cars, use electricity and electronics, visit the doctor, etc. Call it ignorance on their part; it still pisses me off.

If shows like Mythbusters help people realize that virtually everything they use is a product of science, then such shows will have my support.
I never understood that, either. High school students complain about how badly they hate mathematics, when their cell phones, cars, clothes, all of their status symbols couldn't have been made without.
 
  • #52
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Science is bashed and hated by people who happily drive around in cars, use electricity and electronics, visit the doctor, etc. Call it ignorance on their part; it still pisses me off.
I don't see the contradiction. Why can't people hate to do something, but still like the products it can produce? I don't like sewing, but I don't mind wearing clothes. I don't like doing woodwork, but I like my desk.

I'm all for spreading science to as wide an audience as possible, but I think this reason is flawed.

I said some are obvious. Can tattoos explode in an MRI? No. Does a goldfish's memory last three seconds? No. Can sacrificially jumping on a grenade save others' lives? Yes. And so on.
I admit freely that I don't think any of these are obvious, though I would probably guess correctly.

I have little knowledge of tattos and don't know what kind of material can be used to perform them, so I wouldn't have ruled out some reaction to MRI (sure I know it wouldn't be a grand explosion). There are actually cases of people dying while being MRI scanned due to being struck by objects attracted by the scanner (see http://www.nytimes.com/2005/08/19/health/19magnet.html"), and while these objects are usually fairly large I wouldn't rule out the danger of tattoos without proof of safety.

I have little understanding of the neurology of most animals and it would seem possible to me that some small animals that operate in large groups have very short memory span.

I don't really know the power of a grenade and what the effect of covering it would be. Sure I would expect it to lessen the blow, but I wouldn't rule out either that it would make most shrapnel fire at an angle closer to ground level which could make it more deadly. Also I wouldn't have been surprised if the body had negligible effect on the blast.

Sure these can probably be figured out be people knowledgeable in these areas, or by reading some articles, but I wouldn't call them obvious especially to laymen.
 
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  • #53
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I don't see the contradiction. Why can't people hate to do something, but still like the products it can produce? I don't like sewing, but I don't mind wearing clothes. I don't like doing woodwork, but I like my desk.

I'm all for spreading science to as wide an audience as possible, but I think this reason is flawed.
But you don't bash or hate those. You didn't make fun of and harass the students in school who pursued a career in those options, and don't actively oppose any developments in them.

I admit freely that I don't think any of these are obvious, though I would probably guess correctly.

I have little knowledge of tattos and don't know what kind of material can be used to perform them, so I wouldn't have ruled out some reaction to MRI (sure I know it wouldn't be a grand explosion). There are actually cases of people dying while being MRI scanned due to being struck by objects attracted by the scanner (see http://www.nytimes.com/2005/08/19/health/19magnet.html"), and while these objects are usually fairly large I wouldn't rule out the danger of tattoos without proof of safety.
How many people with tattoos go through an MRI every day? Why do MRI technicians not ask if you have a tattoo? Shouldn't there be more stories in the news of people dying due to tattoo explosions in an MRI?

I have little understanding of the neurology of most animals and it would seem possible to me that some small animals that operate in large groups have very short memory span.
I'm betting that most people have seen a goldfish conditioned to go where the tank is tapped.

I don't really know the power of a grenade and what the effect of covering it would be. Sure I would expect it to lessen the blow, but I wouldn't rule out either that it would make most shrapnel fire at an angle closer to ground level which could make it more deadly. Also I wouldn't have been surprised if the body had negligible effect on the blast.

Sure these can probably be figured out be people knowledgeable in these areas, or by reading some articles, but I wouldn't call them obvious especially to laymen.
There have been stories of soldiers in the Iraq War jumping to cover grenades with their bodies, saving the other troops.

Paying attention to the world around one is beneficial to one's mind.
 
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  • #54
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They should Mythbust if Balloon boy could actually be carried in said craft.
 
  • #55
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They should Mythbust if Balloon boy could actually be carried in said craft.
They should. The news said it was an "eh" thing. It depended on how full the balloon was, etc.

They should also mythbust if "holy moly" is actually edible.
 
  • #56
Dembadon
Gold Member
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Science is bashed and hated by people who happily drive around in cars, use electricity and electronics, visit the doctor, etc. Call it ignorance on their part; it still pisses me off.
I don't see the contradiction. Why can't people hate to do something, but still like the products it can produce? I don't like sewing, but I don't mind wearing clothes. I don't like doing woodwork, but I like my desk.

I'm all for spreading science to as wide an audience as possible, but I think this reason is flawed.
I was referring to people who actively bash science; people who look down their noses at scientists and those who take interest in it.

That is very different than simply not being interested in science. Do you insult those who have an interest in carpentry or sewing? I see what you were saying, but hate and disinterest are two different things. You don't have to like something, but there is no need to insult those who do.

I realize you probably misunderstood what I wrote. Hopefully I've brought some clarity. :smile:

Edit: started writing my response before I saw mynameinc's reply. Sorry for the redundancy. =)
 
  • #57
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47


Well, one of the things about myths is that what seems obvious is not always what is true.

Even Jamie and Adam have been wrong on their sure-things more than once.
You're right. For instance, it seems obvious that leaving your tailgate down would increase gas mileage. But like they said in the show, once they got the counter-intuitive result (decreased gas mileage from the tailgate down), they went to find out why that happened.
They should Mythbust if Balloon boy could actually be carried in said craft.
There's no way that little half-inflated balloon could carry anything. That thing could barely lift it's own weight.
 
  • #58
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They should. The news said it was an "eh" thing. It depended on how full the balloon was, etc.

They should also mythbust if "holy moly" is actually edible.
We could just calculate the buoyancy force in the balloon in about five minutes, but that wouldn't make for good television.

I want to see exploding balloons with a kid sized crash dummy falling several thousand feet - while on fire. And Kari in the background. (I don't know why but Kari appreciation weirds me out for some reason)
 
  • #59
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But you don't bash or hate those. You didn't make fun of and harass the students in school who pursued a career in those options, and don't actively oppose any developments in them.
I was referring to people who actively bash science; people who look down their noses at scientists and those who take interest in it.

That is very different than simply not being interested in science. Do you insult those who have an interest in carpentry or sewing? I see what you were saying, but hate and disinterest are two different things. You don't have to like something, but there is no need to insult those who do.

I realize you probably misunderstood what I wrote. Hopefully I've brought some clarity.
Sorry to both of you. I misunderstood the comments, and in that case I actually agree.

There have been stories of soldiers in the Iraq War jumping to cover grenades with their bodies, saving the other troops.
I'll give you the first two, but in this case it's hard to say what the result would have been without the body. These types of anecdotal stories can't really be relied on as few people have seen many grenade explosions wounding people under similar conditions (and therefore are not qualified to make a judgement on the relative effect). It only takes a couple of stories to start a rumor. A person surviving a grenade blast may just have been lucky, but swear that his mate saved him.
 
  • #60
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I'll give you the first two, but in this case it's hard to say what the result would have been without the body. These types of anecdotal stories can't really be relied on as few people have seen many grenade explosions wounding people under similar conditions (and therefore are not qualified to make a judgement on the relative effect). It only takes a couple of stories to start a rumor. A person surviving a grenade blast may just have been lucky, but swear that his mate saved him.
And I'll give you that one. ;)

You're right. For instance, it seems obvious that leaving your tailgate down would increase gas mileage. But like they said in the show, once they got the counter-intuitive result (decreased gas mileage from the tailgate down), they went to find out why that happened.
How many "obvious" things were consistent with the obvious answer and how many contradict?
 
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  • #61
DaveC426913
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I said some are obvious. Can tattoos explode in an MRI? No. Does a goldfish's memory last three seconds? No. Can sacrificially jumping on a grenade save others' lives? Yes. And so on.
You miss the point. Everyone has their own idea of what is "obvious". Obvious is synonymous with "no need to question". This is often touted as "common sense". It's sure common enough, but there's no sense to it.


Case-in-point (forgive the recursivity of the example): You think the following statement is obvious: "everyone knows tattoos don't explode in an MRI". But that is not common knowledge (even though many of us might deduce it), thus your assumption that "everyone knows it" is wrong. What you thought was obvious, isn't.

The point of the show is "Stop assuming you know everything; test it".


They should Mythbust if Balloon boy could actually be carried in said craft.
No point really, since it never happened.


We could just calculate the buoyancy force in the balloon in about five minutes, but that wouldn't make for good television.
While it may be about good television; I think it is just as much about good science. Your calculations will not override an empirical observation. There might be hidden factors heretofore not considered in the calculation, but the actual test will nail it (or highlight flaws in the theory and assumptions).


The show is still entertainment and the "great story" side gets a lot more emphasis than any rigorous testing that may or may not have been done.
The side stories make for a good show, but they do more: they address the source of the myths. This is an important part of laying the foundation for why the myth is being tested in the first place.

It promotes the idea of declaring a general, proven principle because "it happened once to my ex's brother-in-law's professor while he was sitting on a bar stool in Thailand".
I have never seen them suggest that an anecdote can be substituted for a real experiment.
 
  • #62


How many people with tattoos go through an MRI every day? Why do MRI technicians not ask if you have a tattoo? Shouldn't there be more stories in the news of people dying due to tattoo explosions in an MRI?
I would wonder if maybe someone who had a prison tattoo that could possibly have higher concentrations of metal in it might have a reaction. I don't remember the episode so I don't know if they tested that. Of course we might guess that any person with a tattoo that had significant enough amounts of metal in the ink to have a reaction would likely be suffering from metal poisoning.

I was referring to people who actively bash science; people who look down their noses at scientists and those who take interest in it.

That is very different than simply not being interested in science. Do you insult those who have an interest in carpentry or sewing? I see what you were saying, but hate and disinterest are two different things. You don't have to like something, but there is no need to insult those who do.
I have never found many people who hate science or scientists any more than there are people who look down upon people in other professions. I find that people tend to dislike those who look down upon them. Many people though may not like to admit that they are not so bright or that the person they dislike for looking down upon them may have reason to look down upon them so they wind up targeting the knowledge and profession rather than the person and sometimes the person as well. Though reading the sorts of things people post here on PF I have no clue why anyone would think that scientists and academics look down upon them. :rolleyes:

I don't know many people who dislike science fiction. You'd think that anyone who hates science and scientists would hate science fiction and have trouble relating to or rooting for a scientist as a protagonist yet I do not see this happen. Most people seem to enjoy even shows about science and engineering so long as they are entertaining and made so that they can understand them. Really I find that if you talk to just about anyone you will find them more than happy to share and explain what ever tidbits of scientific and technological prowess that they possess (even if it is based on myths).

As far as I can tell the vast majority of people are rather in awe of science and technology. They enjoy it, find it fascinating, wish they understood it, and get excited about things like Mythbusters which make them feel as though it might actually be somewhat accessible for them.

(I don't know why but Kari appreciation weirds me out for some reason)
Maybe it is because she has "blemishes". ;-)
 
  • #63
DaveC426913
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Maybe it is because she has "blemishes". ;-)
A pox upon you, blasphemer!

Those are battle scars, and nothing is sexier on a woman who likes to blow things up.
 
  • #64


A pox upon you, blasphemer!

Those are battle scars, and nothing is sexier on a woman who likes to blow things up.
I call them "freckles". Cyrus calls them "blemishes". I am figuring that Cyrus is weirded out by it because he does not consider her very attractive.
 
  • #65
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I call them "freckles". Cyrus calls them "blemishes". I am figuring that Cyrus is weirded out by it because he does not consider her very attractive.
Partially yes, and partially because I think she gets a lot of weird creepers as a following. If you Google myth busters you get page after page of her, not the actual mythbusters. It's a bit disturbing. If I were her it would freak me out.

Q:Mythbusters?
A: Drool............Kari......

....yokay, not asking that anymore.
 
  • #66
DaveC426913
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Partially yes, and partially because I think she gets a lot of weird creepers as a following. If you Google myth busters you get page after page of her, not the actual mythbusters. It's a bit disturbing. If I were her it would freak me out.

Q:Mythbusters?
A: Drool............Kari......

....yokay, not asking that anymore.
No, you want creepy, look at Lois Griffin fans (Ok, Lois is kind of hot) - but Marg Simpson fans??
 
  • #67
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No, you want creepy, look at Lois Griffin fans (Ok, Lois is kind of hot) - but Marg Simpson fans??
Sorry, I caught you being creepy. Just be shameless about it, don't dig the hole deeper.
 
  • #68
DaveC426913
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Sorry, I caught you being creepy.
Seriously though, not really sure what's creepy about it. Is it creepy to have the hots for Eva Longoria? Does Kari not qualify for the 'sexy celebs' club?
 
  • #69
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You miss the point. Everyone has their own idea of what is "obvious". Obvious is synonymous with "no need to question". This is often touted as "common sense". It's sure common enough, but there's no sense to it.
I'm using that quote, assuming you don't mind. :)

Case-in-point (forgive the recursivity of the example): You think the following statement is obvious: "everyone knows tattoos don't explode in an MRI". But that is not common knowledge (even though many of us might deduce it), thus your assumption that "everyone knows it" is wrong. What you thought was obvious, isn't.

The point of the show is "Stop assuming you know everything; test it".
I deem "obvious" as "can be deduced with basic logic and basic knowledge." Of course what's obvious to one person is not always obvious to another (obviously! ;) ), but there are widespread ideas of obviousness. And of course I didn't mean everyone, there's always an exception.

Back to the original statement, a good peer review could probably challenge the validity of any MythBusters experiment.

I'm using that last sentence, also, if you don't mind. :)
No point really, since it never happened.
Shouldn't we test it? There could always be copycat incidents, and why not know in advance if a balloon in that style and approximate size could actually hold a child?

While it may be about good television; I think it is just as much about good science. Your calculations will not override an empirical observation. There might be hidden factors heretofore not considered in the calculation, but the actual test will nail it (or highlight flaws in the theory and assumptions).
Or the "actual test" may be flawed, as experiments are prone to be. And do you honestly think MythBusters is as much about science as producing a good show?

The side stories make for a good show, but they do more: they address the source of the myths. This is an important part of laying the foundation for why the myth is being tested in the first place.
So it deserves as much, if not more, emphasis than rigorous testing itself?

I have never seen them suggest that an anecdote can be substituted for a real experiment.
Anecdote over watching every episode. :)
 
  • #70
diazona
Homework Helper
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Shouldn't we test it? There could always be copycat incidents, and why not know in advance if a balloon in that style and approximate size could actually hold a child?
I imagine they think it's too similar to the time they launched one of the production staff's kids using party balloons. I even remember them running commercials about it... "blah blah blah blah Balloon Boy blah, but did the Mythbusters beat them to it?" (in dramatic announcer voice) Although I have no doubt that if they hadn't already done so, they'd at least be strongly considering testing that hoax on the show after the news broke.

So it deserves as much, if not more, emphasis than rigorous testing itself?
Well... there are a lot more people who do rigorous testing than there are Mythbusters...

P.S. I have no doubt that the Mythbusters' experiments wouldn't hold up under standard scientific peer review, but passing peer review is not their goal. Trying to do so would probably even be counterproductive.
 
  • #71
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I imagine they think it's too similar to the time they launched one of the production staff's kids using party balloons. I even remember them running commercials about it... "blah blah blah blah Balloon Boy blah, but did the Mythbusters beat them to it?" (in dramatic announcer voice) Although I have no doubt that if they hadn't already done so, they'd at least be strongly considering testing that hoax on the show after the news broke.
I remember that episode! I forgot how many balloons they had to use.

Well... there are a lot more people who do rigorous testing than there are Mythbusters...
But that doesn't call for the manner in which they currently allocate the emphasis of the show.

P.S. I have no doubt that the Mythbusters' experiments wouldn't hold up under standard scientific peer review, but passing peer review is not their goal. Trying to do so would probably even be counterproductive.
Lol. There would be several months, if not several years, between episodes.

I like these forums. There seem to be less (I've not encountered any!) "I'm right, you're wrong, about everything, no matter what. LALALALALALA" people on here. :)
 
  • #72
Dembadon
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... I have never found many people who hate science or scientists any more than there are people who look down upon people in other professions. I find that people tend to dislike those who look down upon them. Many people though may not like to admit that they are not so bright or that the person they dislike for looking down upon them may have reason to look down upon them so they wind up targeting the knowledge and profession rather than the person and sometimes the person as well. Though reading the sorts of things people post here on PF I have no clue why anyone would think that scientists and academics look down upon them. :rolleyes:

I don't know many people who dislike science fiction. You'd think that anyone who hates science and scientists would hate science fiction and have trouble relating to or rooting for a scientist as a protagonist yet I do not see this happen. Most people seem to enjoy even shows about science and engineering so long as they are entertaining and made so that they can understand them. Really I find that if you talk to just about anyone you will find them more than happy to share and explain what ever tidbits of scientific and technological prowess that they possess (even if it is based on myths).

As far as I can tell the vast majority of people are rather in awe of science and technology. They enjoy it, find it fascinating, wish they understood it, and get excited about things like Mythbusters which make them feel as though it might actually be somewhat accessible for them. ...
Nice post, Ape. :smile:

I should have mentioned that I grew up in an extremely religious (conservative Christian) home. Most of my parents' friends and relatives were being told in church, and amongst themselves, that science is bad. I have a very jaded, and likely stereotypical, view of "the general public." I am now 26 and am finding my experiences are becoming more like what you mention in your post. It's encouraging to see more and more people who think for themselves, and someday I'll get over my pretentious attitude towards those who don't. :wink:

Back on topic -- Mythbusters does well, as you've said, at making science and technology approachable.
 

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