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(CNN)   Archimedes: 1, Mythbusters: 0   (cnn.com) divider line 395
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31925 clicks; posted to Main » on 03 Sep 2013 at 1:26 PM (1 year ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-09-03 04:02:15 PM  
What is the scientific method?

Ask a Question

Do Background Research

Construct a Hypothesis

Test Your Hypothesis by Doing an Experiment

Analyze Your Data and Draw a Conclusion

Communicate Your Results

Do they do this on Mythbusters? Yes, in its simplest form they absolutely do. Therefore, they are following the scientific process.

Now the real argument is "does the experimental procedure have sufficient rigor to provide constant value and reproducibility?" In some experiment the answer is yes, on others it is clearly no. It really depends on the complexity of the hypothesis they are testing.I would say they do some great pilot studies, but I wouldn't let them test pharmaceuticals.


The need for rigor and constant value change based on the risk.If I am studying if raccoons will change their home range based on the availability of food, I don't need a control to run an ANOVA. What would that look like, a population denied any food? Food availability is the test treament here.


If I am testing whether a man-made chemical can cure cancer without seriously harming or killing the patient, I better have enough rigor to assure that under reproduction, the results maintain a constant value. The reality is


/funny thing is, the attacks on Mythbusters are the same as scientists make on each other

//as a scientist, I hypothesize this give validity to the claim they are scientists

///Control Group slashies for scientific rigor
 
2013-09-03 04:03:06 PM  

willfullyobscure: So you have no cogent response to any part of my hypothesis that Archimedes possessed not only the resources, the demonstrable ability to engineer sophisticated large scale projects in any medium available, and the man power, not so say the innate mental ability, to create the death ray of legend,


I'm sorry, in what world did I need to prove YOUR hypothesis?
 
2013-09-03 04:03:32 PM  

imnotadoctor: Bag-o-Nugs: FarkinNortherner: I honestly don't get the Mythbusters hate. Yes, they sometimes screw up but an army of nerds calls them on every failing and the revisits are not infrequent.

They consistently do bad science.  I find the show entertaining, but their methods are abysmal.  Also, they sometimes confuse their ineptitude as scientists with busting a myth.  Then there's that whole argument people have that they aren't actually exploring myths so much as examining/recreating scenes from movies.

Bad science?! Really?! It's a farking TV show on the Discovery Channel! Not exactly a peer-reviewed science journal, now is it? Anyway, I am pretty sure the whole idea of the show is to get kids interested in science. They aren't exactly rigorous, but it's 45 minute show and I am sure producers have much to say about the content.

ITT: Butt-hurt armchair scientists.


Yes, really.  It's bad science.  Regardless, I was simply explaining some of the gripes people have about the show.  I did also say that I find the show entertaining.  Kudos to them for at least making ideas and experimentation accessible/entertaining to the unwashed masses and all that.

I'm not really sure how my statements qualify as butthurt, nor do I do my scientific research from an armchair so much as in the field.  Well played though I guess.  At least you elicited a response from me.
 
2013-09-03 04:04:44 PM  
Mythbusters sucks.  Call me when they're willing submit their findings to peer reviewed journals for analysis like REAL scientists!
 
2013-09-03 04:04:57 PM  
The really funny thing is real adult scientists either like or don't care much about shows like Myth Busters or The big bang Theory.  They either like that more people will actually pay attention after asking about their job or are in the field and they are lucky to have a shower once a month let alone cable TV.  With all the other crap on TV those two shows are pretty goddamned low on the scale of things that any rational human being could possibly find objection with.

I don't really like either show, and I don't generally find the time to 'hate' any TV show, and if I did it sure as hell wouldn't be one of those.  Seriously though if you don't like something, don't watch it.  I don't sit around watching honey boo boo or jersey shore just so I can impress some other internet users with how sophisticated I am because I hate the show.

TLDR:  There are much much worse shows on TV to get all huffy about and it's stupid to rail against any TV show anyway.
 
2013-09-03 04:05:26 PM  

Cyclometh: Even with optimal conditions and modern mirrors, it wasn't possible to do it with people holding the reflectors.


They'll eventually set the ship on fire, even if it takes mirrors with shaped charges blowing molten bronze at the boat.

Or they'll have the builders of this building construct their next test.
 
2013-09-03 04:07:13 PM  

FarkinNortherner: Great headline. Not sure about this whole 'REPEAT' thing, though.

Paris1127: This is supposed to look like a walkie-talkie?

Ever since 30 St. Mary Axe, which was rapidly gaining the moniker 'the dildo' until a bit of nimble PR coined 'the gherkin', new buildings in London seem to acquire vaguely descriptive, innocuous, nicknames before they're even out of the ground.

It's also a little stumpier than that rendering, in order (notionally) to reduce the visual impact on the nearby St. Paul's Cathedral.


30 ST Mary Axw:
3.bp.blogspot.com

That really does look like an expensive vibrator discretely sold in a high-end lingerie boutique.  But really if you want a building that actually looks like a DILDO as opposed to a generic sex toy you need the Chinese People's Daily Press building:
www.taipeitimes.com
 
2013-09-03 04:07:58 PM  
huntercr:

I guess the thing about BBT that disappoints me is that it doesn't seem to even try to embrace real geekdom,

I know, right?  It's almost like they actually need the majority of the audience to get the jokes or something.

/farking crazy.
 
2013-09-03 04:09:31 PM  

Cyclometh: willfullyobscure: So you have no cogent response to any part of my hypothesis that Archimedes possessed not only the resources, the demonstrable ability to engineer sophisticated large scale projects in any medium available, and the man power, not so say the innate mental ability, to create the death ray of legend,

I'm sorry, in what world did I need to prove YOUR hypothesis?


This world, son. You need to DISPROVE it, or your argument is made worthless by the exposition of your ignorance and faulty logic.
 
2013-09-03 04:10:57 PM  

BafflerMeal: I was watching a local tv teens show about science one Saturday morning. The kids were broken out into teams measuring the gait of show horses


upload.wikimedia.org

Now that's old-school science
 
2013-09-03 04:12:04 PM  

willfullyobscure: Cyclometh: willfullyobscure: So you have no cogent response to any part of my hypothesis that Archimedes possessed not only the resources, the demonstrable ability to engineer sophisticated large scale projects in any medium available, and the man power, not so say the innate mental ability, to create the death ray of legend,

I'm sorry, in what world did I need to prove YOUR hypothesis?

This world, son. You need to DISPROVE it, or your argument is made worthless by the exposition of your ignorance and faulty logic.


Way to shoot your whole argument in the foot by making yourself look like a complete ass.
 
2013-09-03 04:12:12 PM  

willfullyobscure: Cyclometh: willfullyobscure: So you have no cogent response to any part of my hypothesis that Archimedes possessed not only the resources, the demonstrable ability to engineer sophisticated large scale projects in any medium available, and the man power, not so say the innate mental ability, to create the death ray of legend,

I'm sorry, in what world did I need to prove YOUR hypothesis?

This world, son. You need to DISPROVE it, or your argument is made worthless by the exposition of your ignorance and faulty logic.


I can't tell if you're trolling or impossibly stupid.
 
2013-09-03 04:12:14 PM  

Dick Gozinya: You mean the kings of junk science might have got something wrong? Say it aint so...


http://xkcd.com/397/

/oblig
 
2013-09-03 04:12:40 PM  

Dow Jones and the Temple of Doom: The Mythbusters never "bust" anything but their own ineptitude.


Dick Gozinya: You mean the kings of junk science might have got something wrong? Say it aint so...


Rev. Skarekroe: Mythbusters sucks.  Call me when they're willing submit their findings to peer reviewed journals for analysis like REAL scientists!


etc etc

imgs.xkcd.com
 
2013-09-03 04:13:06 PM  

willfullyobscure: This world, son. You need to DISPROVE it, or your argument is made worthless by the exposition of your ignorance and faulty logic


So... you have a hypothesis, and I have to disprove it, or it is assumed to be true?

That's not how it works.

And frankly, if the best you've got is "Archimedes was smart and had lots of people to help him", you've got a long way to go to demonstrate any support for your idea.
 
2013-09-03 04:14:01 PM  

Egoy3k: Way to shoot your whole argument in the foot by making yourself look like a complete ass.


Well, to be fair he didn't have much of an argument to begin with.
 
2013-09-03 04:14:20 PM  

huntercr: jst3p: huntercr: Voiceofreason01: Dow Jones and the Temple of Doom: The Mythbusters never "bust" anything but their own ineptitude.


/Old Episodes of Mr Wizard basically cover the same ground. Mr. Wizard's intended audience was squarely aimed at children though... rather than adults that think that Big Bang theory is really funny becuase.. you know... science!

Big Bang theory is very funny because they have great writers and an ensemble cast that "works". Your comment is like saying "Cheers" was funny because.. you know...  beer! I demand you retract your disparaging remark.

come on now...  be honest. The show is only the lightest of science/nerd/geek concepts/terminology and language. It's devoid of any real collegiate nerd/geek/science culture. It's so frequently the "least common denominator" humor ( but science! )  it's a little sad.
I challenge you to alternate episodes of "That 70's show" and "Big Bang Theory".
Try to spot the similarities...if you strip away the light surface of character background and tack on quirks, I have a hard time telling them apart.

I guess the thing about BBT that disappoints me is that it doesn't seem to even try to embrace real geekdom, or universe of wonderfully eccentric people in the world of hard science majors...  What they do do, seems so... hollow.  Granted, It is a sitcom and is  expected to keep the laughs running, but this   It's an area ripe for fantastic comedy and yet to me there's more true nerd/geek in any given old episode of News Radio than most episodes of BBT.


And yet some of the brightest minds on this planet love it and laud it for getting people interested in science.

And what exactly is "real geekdom"? Can you provide a definition? Because I've found that any person who uses the "Well it's not what I consider X" is just one of those sad purists who hates the fact that they're bringing science fiction out of the basements and making it accessible to the general population.
 
2013-09-03 04:14:58 PM  

Cyclometh: willfullyobscure: This world, son. You need to DISPROVE it, or your argument is made worthless by the exposition of your ignorance and faulty logic

So... you have a hypothesis, and I have to disprove it, or it is assumed to be true?

That's not how it works.

And frankly, if the best you've got is "Archimedes was smart and had lots of people to help him", you've got a long way to go to demonstrate any support for your idea.


The correct answer was, "There's a dragon in my garage."
 
2013-09-03 04:15:13 PM  

Magorn: But really if you want a building that actually looks like a DILDO as opposed to a generic sex toy you need the Chinese People's Daily Press building:


I dunno, that looks a lot more like a Cawk Cage than a dildo.

Or at least as they've been described to me...
 
2013-09-03 04:16:47 PM  

GameSprocket: There are not too many programs or movies that inspire anyone by delving into the mundane details of their subject. Even Sagan's "Cosmos" didn't get into the detailed mathematical equations behind the topic of each show. This whole idea of "perfect or nothing" is why STEM education is falling off. The media can't portray anything scientific (or historical) without being nitpicked to death, so these things drop out of the popular culture.


Dude, have you ever tried to understand any of the equations used in astrophysics?  Astrophysics is farking hard, even if you already have a PhD in math or some other branch of physics.  If your target audience was people who could get anything from flashing the equations on the screen, Cosmos would have had about 80 people watching it, max.
 
2013-09-03 04:17:08 PM  

jruland: IdBeCrazyIf: vudukungfu: Can we please get back to posting pictures of the hot redheaded lady?

I have no idea why, but my hots for her tripled when she got preggers

[blogs.babble.com image 286x400]

Mmmm hot red head pregger boobs

[bigstickcombat.files.wordpress.com image 450x332]


I'm not in any way in favor of smacking a woman, but damn if there isn't a look of utter satisfaction on that dudes face....
 
2013-09-03 04:17:53 PM  

China White Tea: Cyclometh: willfullyobscure: This world, son. You need to DISPROVE it, or your argument is made worthless by the exposition of your ignorance and faulty logic

So... you have a hypothesis, and I have to disprove it, or it is assumed to be true?

That's not how it works.

And frankly, if the best you've got is "Archimedes was smart and had lots of people to help him", you've got a long way to go to demonstrate any support for your idea.

The correct answer was, "There's a dragon in my garage."


How the hell did you know that?

/his name is George.
//he's a nice dragon.
 
2013-09-03 04:18:14 PM  

willfullyobscure: capt.hollister: viscountalpha: capt.hollister: Dick Gozinya: You mean the kings of junk science might have got something wrong? Say it aint so...


There are situations that are IMPOSSIBLE to replicate in a lab. Strange shiat happens and its the stuff of legends.

They are not, but even a genius like Archimedes could still only have used technology which existed in his day. There is no magic.

Things Archimedes invented or discovered during the bronze age:
Catapult
compound pulley system
screw pump
a planetarium
naval engineering
the basis of modern geometry, calculus and physics
pi

Things the Mythbusters have invented in the Modern Era:

State of the art of architecture and craftsmanship during Archimede's era
[www.mlahanas.de image 672x504]
 [24.media.tumblr.com image 500x625]

The Mythbusters qualifications as: master builders; master coppersmiths; military sappers:


Archimedes' Human Capital:

25,000 men under arms(conservatively- Syracuse had a population of 300,000 when it was beseiged, and Archimedes was captain of the defenses)

The Mythbusters Human Capital:

two pairs of tits, four helpless dorks, and people from the internet that want to be on TV

I'd say Archimedes was sliiiightly more able to build a death ray than the Walrus and the Crapenter were.


Silver/Glass mirrors weren't invented till the 19th century

Polished bronze and/or iron is all they had for mirrors.  They may also have used glass beakers w/ water for optical lenses, they however did not have anything resembling modern day lenses
 
2013-09-03 04:19:26 PM  

Cyclometh: Gosling: That's the same conclusion Jamie reached upon failure #3. It doesn't need to set you on fire if you can't see where you're going or where you're supposed to be shooting.

Indeed. And as someone else pointed out upthread, it's even plausible a fire got started accidentally by someone blinded and panicked on a ship. Although I'm not sure if navies at the time would have had open flames on board; mostly navies were used to ram or board, and fire would be inherently dangerous on a wooden ship.


It is, but navies would occasionally defend by launching a burning ship into enemy lines.
 
2013-09-03 04:21:38 PM  

Magorn: FarkinNortherner: Great headline. Not sure about this whole 'REPEAT' thing, though.

Paris1127: This is supposed to look like a walkie-talkie?

Ever since 30 St. Mary Axe, which was rapidly gaining the moniker 'the dildo' until a bit of nimble PR coined 'the gherkin', new buildings in London seem to acquire vaguely descriptive, innocuous, nicknames before they're even out of the ground.

It's also a little stumpier than that rendering, in order (notionally) to reduce the visual impact on the nearby St. Paul's Cathedral.

30 ST Mary Axw:
[3.bp.blogspot.com image 475x555]

That really does look like an expensive vibrator discretely sold in a high-end lingerie boutique.  But really if you want a building that actually looks like a DILDO as opposed to a generic sex toy you need the Chinese People's Daily Press building:
[www.taipeitimes.com image 480x315]


I submit to you the Blue Sky Tower in Ulaanbataar, Outer Mongolia:
www.blueskytower.mn
The locals call it "the boob building."
 
2013-09-03 04:25:44 PM  
I'm convinced that everyone that now hates Mythbusters was on the wrong side of the "airplane on a conveyor belt" myth, and is still bitter over losing that battle...

/I've seen people nearly come to blows arguing over that one before!
 
2013-09-03 04:31:08 PM  
willfullyobscure:
State of the art of architecture and craftsmanship during Archimede's era

They were way ahead of London.

i.imgur.com
 
2013-09-03 04:31:18 PM  

RobSeace: /I've seen people nearly come to blows arguing over that one before!


Their forum thread on it was something like 500+ pages of people misinterpreting the other sides argument.
 
2013-09-03 04:34:11 PM  

bhcompy: Given the concave design, did the architect not see this coming?  Is this architect a moron?


But you're being redundant.
 
2013-09-03 04:37:43 PM  

BojanglesPaladin: mbillips: Uh, have you seen polished bronze? At any distance at all, you'd barely notice the reflection. Even a modern lighthouse isn't blinding, at night, at any range over a mile. You have to factor in the RANGE at which Archimedes' weapon would have to work. In order to focus on a target at 100 meters, you'd need a mirror diameter of 200 meters, and unless you had tiered bleachers to work with, you'd have only a narrow band of focused light. And if the ships were closer than 100 meters, under oars, they'd cover the distance to the dock in a matter of seconds. Triremes are FAST. At better than 10 knots in a sprint, you'd have less than 20 seconds to start a fire. Even if you did set it on fire, it would be alongside and unloaded before it became dangerous to the ship. And all the other ships you WEREN'T focusing on would have unloaded their marines.

This one is too ludicrous to NEED busting.

Throwing both science and mythbusting completely aside, what I find most fascinating is the question of how this myth originated in the first place and why it is so pervasive. Something so obviously absurd and unworkable was accepted as part of the historical record for millennia. It's not like this account was alongside stories of Greek armies riding pegesuses..pegusi.. flying horses.

There are multiple historic references to Archimedes' defending Greece against the Romans with contraptions and and that he was responsible for setting their fleet on fire. Two second century A.D. writers, Lucian of Samosata and Galen of Pergamon, do say that Archimedes set fire to the Roman ships, but don't say exactly how. Zonares and Tzetzes writing in the 12th century quoted from an earlier work (now lost) called the Siege of Syracuse and said:

"At last, in an incredible manner, he burned up the whole Roman fleet. For by tilting a kind of mirror he ignited the air from the beam and kindled a great flame, the whole of which he directed at the ships at anchor in the path of the fire, until ...


Well, IF it did happen, either:

A) Archimedes actaully used two mirrors and a big ass ruby rod and somehow got his hands on a Xenon flashtube

or
Archidmedes used something more prosaic like seeding the harbor with naptha, and the legend just grew up around that.

And it seems to me there's a dirt simple way of proving this.  If Archimedes did consume the roman fleet at Syracuse then an archaeological expeidition should be able to find some evidence of charred roman-era Triremes in the silt of the modern day harbor, no?
 
2013-09-03 04:37:51 PM  

RobSeace: I'm convinced that everyone that now hates Mythbusters was on the wrong side of the "airplane on a conveyor belt" myth, and is still bitter over losing that battle...

/I've seen people nearly come to blows arguing over that one before!


I do have an argument on that one:

The question I read was that it was a jet airplane, and the conveyor was going the exact same speed to match the thrust of the plane.

MB did it wrong in 2 ways:
1) they used prop planes
2) the conveyor was not matching the speed.
 
2013-09-03 04:40:27 PM  

tripleseven: RobSeace: I'm convinced that everyone that now hates Mythbusters was on the wrong side of the "airplane on a conveyor belt" myth, and is still bitter over losing that battle...

/I've seen people nearly come to blows arguing over that one before!

I do have an argument on that one:

The question I read was that it was a jet airplane, and the conveyor was going the exact same speed to match the thrust of the plane.

MB did it wrong in 2 ways:
1) they used prop planes
2) the conveyor was not matching the speed.


But other than that, I do like the show, it's entertainment.

The funniest thing was, after the pickup tailgate MPG myth, they had so much crap from nutbags on the intertubes that they just said "Hey, don't listen to us, drive whichever way you like!"
 
2013-09-03 04:40:48 PM  
Archidmedes used something more prosaic like seeding the harbor with naptha, and the legend just grew up around that.

i.lv3.hbo.com


Who you callin' prosaic?
 
2013-09-03 04:41:50 PM  

tripleseven: 2) the conveyor was not matching the speed.


Matching the speed of what exactly?
 
2013-09-03 04:44:19 PM  

tripleseven: RobSeace: I'm convinced that everyone that now hates Mythbusters was on the wrong side of the "airplane on a conveyor belt" myth, and is still bitter over losing that battle...

/I've seen people nearly come to blows arguing over that one before!

I do have an argument on that one:

The question I read was that it was a jet airplane, and the conveyor was going the exact same speed to match the thrust of the plane.

MB did it wrong in 2 ways:
1) they used prop planes
2) the conveyor was not matching the speed.


Prop vs Jet won't matter. The idea is the same.
The speed of the conveyor is irrelevant as the plane is pulled through the air and the wheels are just resting on the ground. You can spin those wheels as much as you want and it won't affect the plane taking off. So if you match the speed of the conveyor to the plane, so what...the wheels just spin twice as fast. Planes fly because of airspeed not ground speed. They couldn't give fark all about it.

Think of a situation where we use a "conveyor" to help a plane fly. An aircraft carrier is a great example. And if you look at how the catapults work, they attach to the landing gear, which is fixed, and thus can pull the plane along. We don't use a conveyor belt because the wheels would just spin.
 
2013-09-03 04:45:06 PM  

tripleseven: RobSeace: I'm convinced that everyone that now hates Mythbusters was on the wrong side of the "airplane on a conveyor belt" myth, and is still bitter over losing that battle...

/I've seen people nearly come to blows arguing over that one before!

I do have an argument on that one:

The question I read was that it was a jet airplane, and the conveyor was going the exact same speed to match the thrust of the plane.

MB did it wrong in 2 ways:
1) they used prop planes
2) the conveyor was not matching the speed.


None of which mattered.  It's another one that's really high up on the list of, "shiat that didn't actually need busting."

The wheels are free-spinning.  The thrust is acting against the plane.  The only counterforce caused by the conveyor is equivalent to that which can be imparted on the plane by way of friction between the wheels and the plane, i.e., very little relative to the thrust of the prop (or jet engines).

The net effect is that the wheels just spin a bit faster than they would on a static runway.  Virtually none of that force is transferred to the plane body.
 
2013-09-03 04:45:14 PM  

tripleseven: RobSeace: I'm convinced that everyone that now hates Mythbusters was on the wrong side of the "airplane on a conveyor belt" myth, and is still bitter over losing that battle...

/I've seen people nearly come to blows arguing over that one before!

I do have an argument on that one:

The question I read was that it was a jet airplane, and the conveyor was going the exact same speed to match the thrust of the plane.

MB did it wrong in 2 ways:
1) they used prop planes
2) the conveyor was not matching the speed.


You do, of course, know that airplanes, prop and jet, derive locomotion via thrust from the engines pushing against the air, right?
 
2013-09-03 04:46:31 PM  

tripleseven: MB did it wrong in 2 ways:
1) they used prop planes
2) the conveyor was not matching the speed.


1) Totally irrelevant.
2) Also irrelevant.

The plane is not getting its thrust from the wheels; it is pushing against the air. By rolling backwards against its wheels, you're not countering its thrust and the wheels don't provide enough resistance to reduce it appreciably when the engines are pushing on it.
 
2013-09-03 04:47:15 PM  

China White Tea: It's another one that's really high up on the list of, "shiat that didn't actually need busting."


Given how many people passionately argue that the plane would stand still, yes, it needed busting. A myth is a myth based on how many people believe it, not on how false it is.
 
2013-09-03 04:47:26 PM  
Meh.  Mythbusters never had enough people trying it.  How many soldiers are in a legion?  How many legions of highly trained and disciplined men used to shiatty slave work and who were ordered to stand around did Archimedes have at his disposal?  More than a couple of classes of science geeks, that's for sure.
 
2013-09-03 04:49:04 PM  

itsdan: China White Tea: It's another one that's really high up on the list of, "shiat that didn't actually need busting."

Given how many people passionately argue that the plane would stand still, yes, it needed busting. A myth is a myth based on how many people believe it, not on how false it is.


That was one of their better myths that they busted. And was done fairly well.
Lately, they've just regressed into testing movie/tv tie-in "myths" because they get a ton of cash for it.
 
2013-09-03 04:50:31 PM  

scottydoesntknow: huntercr: jst3p: huntercr: Voiceofreason01: Dow Jones and the Temple of Doom: The Mythbusters never "bust" anything but their own ineptitude.


/Old Episodes of Mr Wizard basically cover the same ground. Mr. Wizard's intended audience was squarely aimed at children though... rather than adults that think that Big Bang theory is really funny becuase.. you know... science!

Big Bang theory is very funny because they have great writers and an ensemble cast that "works". Your comment is like saying "Cheers" was funny because.. you know...  beer! I demand you retract your disparaging remark.

come on now...  be honest. The show is only the lightest of science/nerd/geek concepts/terminology and language. It's devoid of any real collegiate nerd/geek/science culture. It's so frequently the "least common denominator" humor ( but science! )  it's a little sad.
I challenge you to alternate episodes of "That 70's show" and "Big Bang Theory".
Try to spot the similarities...if you strip away the light surface of character background and tack on quirks, I have a hard time telling them apart.

I guess the thing about BBT that disappoints me is that it doesn't seem to even try to embrace real geekdom, or universe of wonderfully eccentric people in the world of hard science majors...  What they do do, seems so... hollow.  Granted, It is a sitcom and is  expected to keep the laughs running, but this   It's an area ripe for fantastic comedy and yet to me there's more true nerd/geek in any given old episode of News Radio than most episodes of BBT.

And yet some of the brightest minds on this planet love it and laud it for getting people interested in science.

And what exactly is "real geekdom"? Can you provide a definition? Because I've found that any person who uses the "Well it's not what I consider X" is just one of those sad purists who hates the fact that they're bringing science fiction out of the basements and making it accessible to the general population.


That's not what I mean at all. BBT always take the cheap shot... the shallow easy joke.
They try for the joke about Uranus instead of saying something like "if you're not part of the solution you're part of the precipitate".  Or if they did do a Uranus joke, it should be what happens to everyone who's ever been a TA in an astronomy course: there's always some idiot who has realized this for the first time, and no matter what you say it will cause a cascade of laughter eventually.

In Gradschool there are amazingly eccentric and eclectic people that you meet. They are themselves fascinating and hilarious. Geekdom/embracing the nerd is different in different disciplines, but there core of it is appreciating the eccentric and embracing it in a warm "laughing with" sort of way. BBT is mostly a  "laughing at", outside looking in sort of humor. It's writers used to sit next to geeks in college in the student union, rather than being geeks.

/It's a little like if they did a show about Fark and the only joke was people saying vodak over and over and laughing to themselves and huffing gold paint.

// oh well.. to each his own
 
2013-09-03 04:50:48 PM  

Magorn: Archidmedes used something more prosaic like seeding the harbor with naptha, and the legend just grew up around that.

And it seems to me there's a dirt simple way of proving this. If Archimedes did consume the roman fleet at Syracuse then an archaeological expeidition should be able to find some evidence of charred roman-era Triremes in the silt of the modern day harbor, no?


I'm inclined to go with the "everyone is right!" explinayion which goes like this:
Archimedes had a buncha stuff in play to fend of the Romans, from giant pincer claws to steam canons, to catapults, to flashing mirrors to greek fire to who knows what all.

So he probably had a mirror contraption to blind the oncoming sailors, and some Greek fire launchers. Those watching the battle would see the mirrors turned on the boats at about the same time they burst into flames, and viola! Burning mirrors.

There isn't really any dispute that the Romans attacked Syracuse in 212 B.C. and were defeated with their navy in fiery ruins. And finding remnants of burned wooden ships underwater from two thousand years ago is no easy thing. Extraordinarily rare that we find even a few scattered pieces, and unlikely if we did that we could conclusively tie it to this particular event anyway.
 
2013-09-03 04:51:01 PM  

kidgenius: Lately, they've just regressed into testing movie/tv tie-in "myths" because they get a ton of cash for it.


Some of those I don't mind, I was surprised how close Titanic was with the way they were supported, and Breaking Bad I liked but maybe just because I like Breaking Bad. The curving bullets one was dumb.
 
2013-09-03 04:52:25 PM  

gadian: Meh.  Mythbusters never had enough people trying it.  How many soldiers are in a legion?  How many legions of highly trained and disciplined men used to shiatty slave work and who were ordered to stand around did Archimedes have at his disposal?  More than a couple of classes of science geeks, that's for sure.


Actually, armies weren't all that large back then compared to modern ones, and most weren't what we consider professional standing armies. Sparta had about 2000 men in its army and it was one of the only "standing armies" there were. Most of the Greek city-states had very small armies unless they were in a war, in which case you had citizen-soldiers making up the bulk of the forces.

These weren't SEAL Team Six. And even at the height of the wars against Persia, the Greeks fielded about 40 thousand men- which took pretty much all of them working together.

And lastly, "legion" is a Roman unit. ;)
 
2013-09-03 04:53:22 PM  
You want science? This guy has it:
www.popsci.com

You want entertaining fails and kablooey?
You get Hyneman and Savage.


What I don't get is their solution. No parking instead of forcing them to fix an inherent flaw in the building design. How many sunburns in the nanny state will it take before the building is demolished in the interest of public safety?

/hot like burning chemicals
 
2013-09-03 04:54:12 PM  

tripleseven: RobSeace: I'm convinced that everyone that now hates Mythbusters was on the wrong side of the "airplane on a conveyor belt" myth, and is still bitter over losing that battle...

/I've seen people nearly come to blows arguing over that one before!

I do have an argument on that one:

The question I read was that it was a jet airplane, and the conveyor was going the exact same speed to match the thrust of the plane.

MB did it wrong in 2 ways:
1) they used prop planes
2) the conveyor was not matching the speed.


Not that I really want to get dragged into such an argument, but...

It doesn't matter one bit... The key part of the myth is believing that the conveyor belt matters at all... It doesn't... The wheels on the plane are just free-spinning and if you spin up the belt to match take-off speed, then the wheels will simply spin twice as fast as they normally would on normal ground... Yet, the plane would still continue moving forward at the same speed as it would on normal ground... Because, the propelling action that's moving it forward has nothing to do with the wheels' contact with the ground (minus some minor friction slowing it down a bit)... It's all about air movement, whether with a propellor or a jet engine... So, I can't see how it would make any difference to the outcome...

People think that if you move the conveyor belt fast enough, you'll inhibit the plane's forward motion... If you could do that, yes you'd prevent it from taking off... The thing is though that you can't do that via a mere conveyor belt, no matter HOW fast you spin it... At best, you might cause the wheels to self-destruct from spinning far faster than they were designed to... But, otherwise, they're just going to spin as fast as the belt + however fast the plane's thrust is pushing it forward, and the plane will still move forward roughly as per normal...
 
2013-09-03 04:54:20 PM  

huntercr: In Gradschool there are amazingly eccentric and eclectic people that you meet. They are themselves fascinating and hilarious. Geekdom/embracing the nerd is different in different disciplines, but there core of it is appreciating the eccentric and embracing it in a warm "laughing with" sort of way. BBT is mostly a "laughing at", outside looking in sort of humor. It's writers used to sit next to geeks in college in the student union, rather than being geeks.


What you are looking for would not make it past the pilot episode. Poking fun a geeky stereotypes is going to be much funnier to more people than the show you wish it were.

It can still be funny.
 
2013-09-03 05:04:06 PM  

RobSeace: People think that if you move the conveyor belt fast enough, you'll inhibit the plane's forward motion... If you could do that, yes you'd prevent it from taking off... The thing is though that you can't do that via a mere conveyor belt, no matter HOW fast you spin it... At best, you might cause the wheels to self-destruct from spinning far faster than they were designed to... But, otherwise, they're just going to spin as fast as the belt + however fast the plane's thrust is pushing it forward, and the plane will still move forward roughly as per normal...


I think the reason this shorts so many people's brains is because it's wheels and not a fixed point on the plane. I was able to get a friend to get it this way:

Look at it taken to absurdity: If the plane had its belly on the conveyor belt, it would absolutely prevent flight because the friction of what is now effectively an inverted belt sander could counteract the thrust. Make sense?

But if you put an exactly equally fast conveyor belt on the bottom of the plane, and set that ontop of the ground conveyor belt the plane would stay perfectly still, right?

So imagine that plane with a conveyor belt on it's underside instead of landing gear was perfectly timed with the ground conveyor belt and the plane is nice and stable above the belts spinning away....

Now you turn on the airplane engines and you get thrust. Of course the plane is going to move forward.
 
2013-09-03 05:04:50 PM  

RobSeace: tripleseven: RobSeace: I'm convinced that everyone that now hates Mythbusters was on the wrong side of the "airplane on a conveyor belt" myth, and is still bitter over losing that battle...

/I've seen people nearly come to blows arguing over that one before!

I do have an argument on that one:

The question I read was that it was a jet airplane, and the conveyor was going the exact same speed to match the thrust of the plane.

MB did it wrong in 2 ways:
1) they used prop planes
2) the conveyor was not matching the speed.

Not that I really want to get dragged into such an argument, but...

It doesn't matter one bit... The key part of the myth is believing that the conveyor belt matters at all... It doesn't... The wheels on the plane are just free-spinning and if you spin up the belt to match take-off speed, then the wheels will simply spin twice as fast as they normally would on normal ground... Yet, the plane would still continue moving forward at the same speed as it would on normal ground... Because, the propelling action that's moving it forward has nothing to do with the wheels' contact with the ground (minus some minor friction slowing it down a bit)... It's all about air movement, whether with a propellor or a jet engine... So, I can't see how it would make any difference to the outcome...

People think that if you move the conveyor belt fast enough, you'll inhibit the plane's forward motion... If you could do that, yes you'd prevent it from taking off... The thing is though that you can't do that via a mere conveyor belt, no matter HOW fast you spin it... At best, you might cause the wheels to self-destruct from spinning far faster than they were designed to... But, otherwise, they're just going to spin as fast as the belt + however fast the plane's thrust is pushing it forward, and the plane will still move forward roughly as per normal...


Did I say what end of the myth I believed?  No, I never did.  Only that they tested the myth slightly different than I had read it.

However, you and the other 4 intertubes physics GED holders could not wait to prove me wrong.

That's kinda why I love this place, it's things like this that just amaze me.
 
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