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(CNN)   Archimedes: 1, Mythbusters: 0   (cnn.com) divider line 395
    More: Repeat, reflected light, Canary Wharf, six-yard box, London skyscrapers, beam of light, Jaguar XJ  
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31906 clicks; posted to Main » on 03 Sep 2013 at 1:26 PM (47 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-09-03 08:38:22 PM

Burr: Sounds like the car owner got screwed....


He did buy a Jaguar, after all.
 
2013-09-03 08:40:33 PM

BojanglesPaladin: albert71292: Mythbusters is the "Honey Boo Boo" of science.

Then answer me this:

"Honey Boo Boo" is the WHAT of WHAT?


Honey Boo Boo is the butt juice of America's anus.
 
2013-09-03 08:41:26 PM

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


Mythbusters, whose motto is: We couldn't figure out how to do it, therefore it cannot be done.

For both of you:

[imgs.xkcd.com image 599x524]


I love that!
 
2013-09-03 08:44:14 PM

PsyLord: That's what happens when you let Ford

Tata take over Jaguar... or something.

Ftfy.
 
2013-09-03 08:50:49 PM

ajgeek: Planes don't typically take off or land in fast moving rivers or in avalanches. I would consider that a different experiment than a plane and conveyor belt.


They don't do that because it's dangerous to do so for reasons other than being able to achieve takeoff speed.
 
2013-09-03 08:56:52 PM

Southern100: RogermcAllen: tripleseven: kidgenius: tripleseven:
Did I say what end of the myth I believed?  No, I never did.  Only that they tested the myth slightly diffe ...

You said they did it "wrong" which would imply that if they did it "right" then the outcome would be different.

We were merely saying that it doesn't matter, therefore nothing wrong with is being tested differently.

Actually, a jet, versus a forward wing mounted propeller would make a difference.

Why does engine type/placement matter?

Are you trying to claim that the propeller is pushing air back over the wings to generate lift?

The plane didn't sit in one place on the conveyor belt and take off; it still had to move forward at 60+mph to generate the lift needed to get the plane in the air.  The difference is that the *wheels* were free-turning at 120mph on the conveyor belt, as it was moving 60mph in the opposite direction.


I don't see what point you are trying to make.  To make a plane fly air needs to move past the wings faster than the stall speed (60mph in this case).  This is literally all that needs to happen to achieve flight, the ground doesn't matter.  For example:
-A 60mph wind blowing at a plane tied to a tree would make the plane fly
-A truck towing the plane at 60mph in still air would make the plane fly
-Dropping the plane off a cliff and letting gravity accelerate it to 60mph would make the plane fly
-A propeller pulling the plane forward through the air such that the air moving past the wings reaches 60mph will make the plane fly
-A jet engine pushing the plane forward through the air such that the air moving past wings reaches 60mph will make the plane fly
 
2013-09-03 09:17:30 PM

RogermcAllen: Southern100: RogermcAllen: tripleseven: kidgenius: tripleseven:
Did I say what end of the myth I believed?  No, I never did.  Only that they tested the myth slightly diffe ...

You said they did it "wrong" which would imply that if they did it "right" then the outcome would be different.

We were merely saying that it doesn't matter, therefore nothing wrong with is being tested differently.

Actually, a jet, versus a forward wing mounted propeller would make a difference.

Why does engine type/placement matter?

Are you trying to claim that the propeller is pushing air back over the wings to generate lift?

The plane didn't sit in one place on the conveyor belt and take off; it still had to move forward at 60+mph to generate the lift needed to get the plane in the air.  The difference is that the *wheels* were free-turning at 120mph on the conveyor belt, as it was moving 60mph in the opposite direction.

I don't see what point you are trying to make.  To make a plane fly air needs to move past the wings faster than the stall speed (60mph in this case).  This is literally all that needs to happen to achieve flight, the ground doesn't matter.  For example:
-A 60mph wind blowing at a plane tied to a tree would make the plane fly
-A truck towing the plane at 60mph in still air would make the plane fly
-Dropping the plane off a cliff and letting gravity accelerate it to 60mph would make the plane fly
-A propeller pulling the plane forward through the air such that the air moving past the wings reaches 60mph will make the plane fly
-A jet engine pushing the plane forward through the air such that the air moving past wings reaches 60mph will make the plane fly


Right, but none of those forces have any relation to how fast the wheels on the ground are spinning.

Think of it like this - in some airports, they have these really long "moving sidewalks". If you walk 5mph on the side that's moving 5mph in the opposite direction than you are, you basically "stand still".  But if you put a bicycle on the same sidewalk and walk alongside it while holding it (so that it's on the sidewalk but you aren't), you and the bike will be moving forward at 5mph, but the bicycle tires will be moving at 10mph in relation to the sidewalk, since the sidewalk is traveling at 5mph in the opposite direction.

As far as the bicycle is concerned, it doesn't matter how fast the wheels are spinning (even if the sidewalk is moving at 50mph) - the wheel speed has no correlation as to how fast the bicycle itself is moving forward due to the external force that you're applying to the bicycle.

I'm sorry, it's clear in my mind, but it's difficult to verbalize.
 
2013-09-03 09:32:15 PM

Southern100: Think of it like this - in some airports, they have these really long "moving sidewalks". If you walk 5mph on the side that's moving 5mph in the opposite direction than you are, you basically "stand still". But if you put a bicycle on the same sidewalk and walk alongside it while holding it (so that it's on the sidewalk but you aren't), you and the bike will be moving forward at 5mph, but the bicycle tires will be moving at 10mph in relation to the sidewalk, since the sidewalk is traveling at 5mph in the opposite direction.

As far as the bicycle is concerned, it doesn't matter how fast the wheels are spinning (even if the sidewalk is moving at 50mph) - the wheel speed has no correlation as to how fast the bicycle itself is moving forward due to the external force that you're applying to the bicycle.

I'm sorry, it's clear in my mind, but it's difficult to verbalize.


Another example that comes to mind - a motorcycle with a sidecar (or a car itself) - 2 wheels on the ground, and the motorcycle sidecar (or the right 2 wheels of the car) on the moving sidewalk.  The sidewalk is moving @ 50mph in the opposite direction, but the motorcycle or car is moving forward @ 50mph.  2 of the wheels on the motorcycle (or left side of the car) will be moving @ 50mph in relation to the ground, and the wheel on the sidecar (or the right 2 wheels on the car) will be travelling at 100mph in relation to the moving sidewalk.

As far as the car or motorcycle is concerned, the same amount of force is required to move the vehicle forward @ 50mph, even though the wheel(s) on the sidewalk are actually spinning @ 100mph (since those wheels aren't part of the drive train and are free-turning).

In the case of the plane, the force is applied to air, but as the wheels are still free-turning it still only takes the same amount of force to move the plane forward @ 60mph, even though the wheels themselves may be spinning @ 120mph.
 
2013-09-03 09:46:33 PM

Southern100: RogermcAllen: Southern100: RogermcAllen: tripleseven: kidgenius: tripleseven:
Did I say what end of the myth I believed?  No, I never did.  Only that they tested the myth slightly diffe ...

You said they did it "wrong" which would imply that if they did it "right" then the outcome would be different.

We were merely saying that it doesn't matter, therefore nothing wrong with is being tested differently.

Actually, a jet, versus a forward wing mounted propeller would make a difference.

Why does engine type/placement matter?

Are you trying to claim that the propeller is pushing air back over the wings to generate lift?

The plane didn't sit in one place on the conveyor belt and take off; it still had to move forward at 60+mph to generate the lift needed to get the plane in the air.  The difference is that the *wheels* were free-turning at 120mph on the conveyor belt, as it was moving 60mph in the opposite direction.

I don't see what point you are trying to make.  To make a plane fly air needs to move past the wings faster than the stall speed (60mph in this case).  This is literally all that needs to happen to achieve flight, the ground doesn't matter.  For example:
-A 60mph wind blowing at a plane tied to a tree would make the plane fly
-A truck towing the plane at 60mph in still air would make the plane fly
-Dropping the plane off a cliff and letting gravity accelerate it to 60mph would make the plane fly
-A propeller pulling the plane forward through the air such that the air moving past the wings reaches 60mph will make the plane fly
-A jet engine pushing the plane forward through the air such that the air moving past wings reaches 60mph will make the plane fly

Right, but none of those forces have any relation to how fast the wheels on the ground are spinning.

Think of it like this - in some airports, they have these really long "moving sidewalks". If you walk 5mph on the side that's moving 5mph in the opposite direction than you are, you basically "stand st ...


That's exactly the point.  Flying an airplane has absolutely nothing to do with the wheels or the ground.

/I'm not even sure if we are arguing against each other, or just using poor examples to say the same thing
 
2013-09-03 10:15:06 PM

mbillips: Cyclometh: PanicMan: And the Archimedes mirror concept could have been used as psychological warfare to keep enemy ships from getting close to land.

Actually, it could have been quite effective as a navigational hazard. You get 800 guys holding reflective shields to focus on you, you're not going to burst into flames but you're damn sure not going to be able to see well.

Blind the crews and cause a few ships to collide and you've got a pretty effective weapon. Don't need to set someone on fire to accomplish its goal.

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.


Or, you know, a hill. But they probably didn't have those either, right?
 
2013-09-03 10:18:45 PM

capt.hollister: Without advanced mirrors and a highly precise way to focus them and keep them focused, even he could not do it using only bronze age technology. Like it or not, he only had polished bronze to work with, catapults would have been more effective.


these people built infrastructure and tools and art that wouldn't be equaled for another 1800 years, dude. We're not talking magic AT ALL.

Polished bronze has an albedo almost as good as that of silver, and not quite as good as mercury; all are better than steel. There's a reason people used it for mirrors for five thousand years, YOU CAN SEE YOUR FACE IN IT PRETTY GOOD.

Between the construction and craftsmanship techniques available to Archimedes at the time and the demonstrable ability to execute large engineering projects, he could have probably created a 10 story mirror array you aim with one hand. Or a firing array that would ignite solvents in the air or water, or poured on to ship- I daresay a plume of white hot smoke boiling through a focused beam would look like "the air was on fire" as the ancient reports go.

But don't take it from me. Put your faith in a hammy reality show or, y'know take it from some actual scientists and engineers that did the math.

boom goes the dynamite
 
2013-09-03 10:24:28 PM

ZeroCorpse: But can we all at least agree that XKCD sucks?


Not nearly as much as you do
 
2013-09-03 10:29:27 PM
So this is the 'haters gonna hate' thread for this week?
 
2013-09-03 10:32:50 PM

willfullyobscure: capt.hollister: Without advanced mirrors and a highly precise way to focus them and keep them focused, even he could not do it using only bronze age technology. Like it or not, he only had polished bronze to work with, catapults would have been more effective.

these people built infrastructure and tools and art that wouldn't be equaled for another 1800 years, dude. We're not talking magic AT ALL.

Polished bronze has an albedo almost as good as that of silver, and not quite as good as mercury; all are better than steel. There's a reason people used it for mirrors for five thousand years, YOU CAN SEE YOUR FACE IN IT PRETTY GOOD.

Between the construction and craftsmanship techniques available to Archimedes at the time and the demonstrable ability to execute large engineering projects, he could have probably created a 10 story mirror array you aim with one hand. Or a firing array that would ignite solvents in the air or water, or poured on to ship- I daresay a plume of white hot smoke boiling through a focused beam would look like "the air was on fire" as the ancient reports go.

But don't take it from me. Put your faith in a hammy reality show or, y'know take it from some actual scientists and engineers that did the math.

boom goes the dynamite


This is farking retarded. They're talking about setting a ship on fire at 100 feet. A trireme can cover 100 feet in about 6 seconds. Who cares if you start a small fire on the hull in that amount of time? I'm already aboard your pier and stabbing your ass with a nine-foot spear.
 
2013-09-03 10:35:49 PM

Dr. Picklebacon: mbillips: Cyclometh: PanicMan: And the Archimedes mirror concept could have been used as psychological warfare to keep enemy ships from getting close to land.

Actually, it could have been quite effective as a navigational hazard. You get 800 guys holding reflective shields to focus on you, you're not going to burst into flames but you're damn sure not going to be able to see well.

Blind the crews and cause a few ships to collide and you've got a pretty effective weapon. Don't need to set someone on fire to accomplish its goal.

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.

Or, you know, a hill. But they probably didn't have those either, right?


Again, who gives a shiat? Given ideal conditions, with a REALLY sunny day, your massive array of mirrors might start a small fire on one trireme as it gets super close. Which accomplishes nothing, as the the other 100 triremes unload hoplites and kill your silly ass.
 
2013-09-03 10:40:57 PM

Lsherm: BojanglesPaladin: albert71292: Mythbusters is the "Honey Boo Boo" of science.

Then answer me this:

"Honey Boo Boo" is the WHAT of WHAT?

Honey Boo Boo is the butt juice of America's anus.


LEAVE HONEY BOO BOO ALONE!
 
2013-09-03 10:58:36 PM
Seriously? Someone designs a parabolic curve building on a south-facing side and nobody sees this coming?

I see an unemployed architect in the near future.
 
2013-09-03 11:04:39 PM

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


Maybe because of the similar issues at that concert hall in LA?

After the construction, modifications were made to the Founders Room exterior; while most of the building's exterior was designed with given a matte finish, the Founders Room and Children's Amphitheater were designed with highly polished mirror-like panels. The reflective qualities of the surface were amplified by the concave sections of the Founders Room walls. Some residents of the neighboring condominiums suffered glare caused by sunlight that was reflected off these surfaces and concentrated in a manner similar to a . The resulting heat made some rooms of nearby condominiums unbearably warm, caused the air-conditioning costs of these residents to skyrocket and created hot spots on adjacent sidewalks of as much as  140 °F(60 °C). There was also the increased risk of traffic accidents due to blinding sunlight reflected from
thepolished surfaces.

After complaints from neighboring buildings and residents, the owners asked Gehry Partners to come up with a solution. Their  response was a computer analysis of the building's surfaces identifying the offending panels. In 2005 these were dulled by lightlysanding the panels to eliminate unwanted glare.
 
2013-09-03 11:13:33 PM

Highroller48: SERIOUSLY?  SERIOUSLY?  W. T. F. ???

This far in and no Kari Byron?  All of you should be ashamed of yourselves.

[xbradtc.files.wordpress.com image 723x1024]


www.lesliensinvisibles.org
 
2013-09-03 11:31:02 PM
Having read the monotonous haterade for Mythbusters, I'll throw in my 2 cents:

They do an incredible job, but are way too quick to call something "Busted", when often the myths involve the "winning the lottery" odds that all the random events needed to make something fantastically improbable happen come together at the right moment and all the scientific experimentation in the world isn't going to be able to replicate it.

They need an "Improbable" tag to go along with the "Plausible" tag.

I'm still pissed at their methods for testing the eelskin wallet myth. They never tried sliding one in and out of a back pocket hundreds of times to see if they can generate a magnetic field that would erase the credit cards.
 
2013-09-03 11:46:30 PM

BojanglesPaladin: "[Archimedes] constructed a sort of hexagonal mirror. He placed at proper distances from the mirror other smaller mirrors of the same kind, which were moved by means of their hinges and certain plates of metal. He placed it amid the rays of the sun at noon, both in summer and winter. The rays being reflected by this, a frightful fiery kindling was excited on the ships, and it reduced them to ashes, from the distance of a bow shot.


This. A real quote from an historical source. The bit about the soldiers' shields could have spawned after a few jumps of word of mouth. Or, there could have been a kernel of truth to it: the mention of hinges and metal plates... the soldiers have this nifty wooden 'coaster' strapped to their arms, they could have used their shields to re-position the satellite mirrors - rest the shield edge on your shoulder, everyone get under, straighten your legs and walk until the boss says put it down. Yes that's a stretch, but it could honestly be something simple that's been lost.

As far as fast moving ships in the harbor, I've read numerous accounts of just-under-the-surface booms/barriers strung across ancient harbors making it difficult for the attacking fleet to disembark their forces - and make them relatively immobile.

The mirror part - I honestly don't know. Hero or Alexander figured out specular reflection, but that was like a couple hundred years after (along with steam engines, sharp guy).

But in Archimedes  palimpsest he used Riemann sums and a real working 'method' of integral calculus (he didn't get differentiation) that was... what 1800 years or so ahead of Newton and Leibniz. If I had to bet there was a guy alive at the time that could have figured out a way, I'd bet on him. BTW, if that document hadn't been 'lost', the world would be a much different place - not certain we'd still be here.

Historical accounts indicate the fleet burned, and that Archimedes was responsible. I'd rather the MB team had done a show on the possible composition of 'Greek Fire'. (Maybe they have, I haven't watched it in a long time.)

highendmighty: Their ridiculously oversized cartoonish woofer they destroyed a car with was an idiotic and clownish attempt to bust that "myth."  They didn't even consider the resonant frequency of the windows and went full tard out of the box.


Lol - that was the last episode I watched. It's funny, they had some really entertaining pieces, but then something would annoy the snot out of me - the woofer episode being the last straw.

But hey, that's not the show, that's me. It's the same thing with a show like Star Trek. I'm perfectly capable of suspending my disbelief and accepting interstellar communication and transportation, willing to accept the ridiculous time issues... But then they screw up or ignore some basic law of physics and I'm lit. Lol - the wife makes fun of me all the time.

My son liked the show until he hit about 9, then switched to Science Channel's: How It's Made. Their latest episodes on dream cars I thought was way cool.

/no axe to grind, no dog in this race...
//As a rule I'd rather get my teeth drilled than watch BBT. Sorry. I'm more in the 'feels like laugh at than with' category, but most of my geeky friends love it.
///I liked Buffy/Angel/Firefly (except for the Fred/Wash part, broke my heart dammit), do I get to keep my geek/nerd card?
 
2013-09-03 11:53:29 PM

mbillips: willfullyobscure: capt.hollister: Without advanced mirrors and a highly precise way to focus them and keep them focused, even he could not do it using only bronze age technology. Like it or not, he only had polished bronze to work with, catapults would have been more effective.

these people built infrastructure and tools and art that wouldn't be equaled for another 1800 years, dude. We're not talking magic AT ALL.

Polished bronze has an albedo almost as good as that of silver, and not quite as good as mercury; all are better than steel. There's a reason people used it for mirrors for five thousand years, YOU CAN SEE YOUR FACE IN IT PRETTY GOOD.

Between the construction and craftsmanship techniques available to Archimedes at the time and the demonstrable ability to execute large engineering projects, he could have probably created a 10 story mirror array you aim with one hand. Or a firing array that would ignite solvents in the air or water, or poured on to ship- I daresay a plume of white hot smoke boiling through a focused beam would look like "the air was on fire" as the ancient reports go.

But don't take it from me. Put your faith in a hammy reality show or, y'know take it from some actual scientists and engineers that did the math.

boom goes the dynamite

This is farking retarded. They're talking about setting a ship on fire at 100 feet. A trireme can cover 100 feet in about 6 seconds. Who cares if you start a small fire on the hull in that amount of time? I'm already aboard your pier and stabbing your ass with a nine-foot spear.


Look who doesn't know that Syracuse had a 100 ft high seawall of polished stone as a primary fortification and that the sea battle took place within 100 yards of two small fortified harbors!!

look, look!

(oh boy are you gonna be MAD about the tower crane Archimedes invented that jerked whole ships out of the water!!)

(so MAD u guise!)
 
2013-09-03 11:55:08 PM

mbillips: Dr. Picklebacon: mbillips: Cyclometh: PanicMan: And the Archimedes mirror concept could have been used as psychological warfare to keep enemy ships from getting close to land.

Actually, it could have been quite effective as a navigational hazard. You get 800 guys holding reflective shields to focus on you, you're not going to burst into flames but you're damn sure not going to be able to see well.

Blind the crews and cause a few ships to collide and you've got a pretty effective weapon. Don't need to set someone on fire to accomplish its goal.

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.

Or, you know, a hill. But they probably didn't have those either, right?

Again, who gives a shiat? Given ideal conditions, with a REALLY sunny day, your massive array of mirrors might start a small fire on one trireme as it gets super close. Which accomplishes nothing, as the the other 100 triremes unload hoplites and kill your silly ass.


Perhaps you've heard of cliffs? It's like a REALLY steep hill. You've been outside, right?
 
2013-09-04 12:01:33 AM

willfullyobscure: Syracuse had a 100 ft high seawall of polished stone as a primary fortification


but... TRIREMES!!
 
2013-09-04 12:06:51 AM
Oh, and if I was going to make another request to MB since they've been doing movie plugs:

Expand to other 'media',  Like:
How the hell did Spike survive the fall from the cathedral window?
There were several InuYasha fights I have no idea how he pulled it off.
Oh, and don't even get me started on Death Note...

/I keed. Although the Spike one bugs me.
 
2013-09-04 12:08:27 AM

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

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.


Well, take for instance the shark episode. They tested whether or not the shark in 'Jaws' could actually ram a hole in a boat. How? Well, they figured the shark in Jaws was 20-something feet, so they decided to use a much smaller dummy shark (in the teens of feet long). That right there invalidates that whole thing. They then towed it thru the water at a significantly slower speed than the shark in jaws swam, and rammed it into a completely different kind of boat.

Other than those little details, they got it pretty spot on.
 
2013-09-04 12:19:49 AM

scottydoesntknow: Ohh and Mayim Bialik, who has a PhD in neuroscience


That bugs me, because she uses her PhD degree to justify her quackery, like her anti-vax positions, her beliefs about parenting that run counter to current scientific research (like advocating practices that increase the risk of SIDS), or her advocacy of homeopathy (Really?! Homeopathy? Come on!), and her popularity with the TV show means that more people will listen to and believe her.

I'm really happy that a celebrity went on to go into the sciences (especially a woman, as we need more women in the STEM fields), but I wish she would stick with current research and not preach things that are harmful or counter to what the best of science says is true (vaccinations are important, and it is not equally ok to vaccinate or not vaccinate).

Regarding BBT, the first time my wife and I saw BBT, it was an episode where the main guy was trying to prove a theorem that had been proved many many years ago, and they were treating it like it was cutting edge science.  I don't remember what it was in the show, I only remember that it bugged us both.  That kind of killed the show for us both; but much like how I'm not fond of CSI, I understand that many people enjoy the show. I am happy that it at least helps make science more popular, I'm just afraid it'll popularize science the way CSI popularized forensics: with misinformation and inaccuracies both on and off the set.
 
2013-09-04 12:34:36 AM

mgshamster: That bugs me, because she uses her PhD degree to justify her quackery, like her anti-vax positions, her beliefs about parenting that run counter to current scientific research (like advocating practices that increase the risk of SIDS), or her advocacy of homeopathy (Really?! Homeopathy? Come on!), and her popularity with the TV show means that more people will listen to and believe her.

I'm really happy that a celebrity went on to go into the sciences (especially a woman, as we need more women in the STEM fields), but I wish she would stick with current research and not preach things that are harmful or counter to what the best of science says is true (vaccinations are important, and it is not equally ok to vaccinate or not vaccinate).


I did not know that. That is pretty weird.

mgshamster: Regarding BBT, the first time my wife and I saw BBT, it was an episode where the main guy was trying to prove a theorem that had been proved many many years ago, and they were treating it like it was cutting edge science. I don't remember what it was in the show, I only remember that it bugged us both. That kind of killed the show for us both; but much like how I'm not fond of CSI, I understand that many people enjoy the show. I am happy that it at least helps make science more popular, I'm just afraid it'll popularize science the way CSI popularized forensics: with misinformation and inaccuracies both on and off the set.


If it was Leonard, he's constantly getting hounded on for proving theorems that have already been proven by others. His mother gets on him especially about it. And like I said, they've got a physicist on staff (David Saltzberg) who double checks pretty much everything, so the risk of popularizing misinformation is very low.
 
2013-09-04 01:16:53 AM

scottydoesntknow: If it was Leonard, he's constantly getting hounded on for proving theorems that have already been proven by others. His mother gets on him especially about it. And like I said, they've got a physicist on staff (David Saltzberg) who double checks pretty much everything, so the risk of popularizing misinformation is very low.


It was the autistic guy. I thought he was the main character?

I'm happy that they actively work to reduce misinformation.  From what I can tell with a quick online search (for example, there's a website dedicated to pointing out the errors in the show), there aren't that many mistakes.  This is good. I'm happy about that.

CSB:  One of the teachers during my master's degree in forensics was offered a job to work on the set of the original CSI (before it ever aired) to help them keep the show accurate to the field. She turned it down because she thought the premise was horrible and that such a show would never become popular.  She didn't want to quit her day job for it.
 
2013-09-04 01:46:32 AM

willfullyobscure: capt.hollister: Without advanced mirrors and a highly precise way to focus them and keep them focused, even he could not do it using only bronze age technology. Like it or not, he only had polished bronze to work with, catapults would have been more effective.

these people built infrastructure and tools and art that wouldn't be equaled for another 1800 years, dude. We're not talking magic AT ALL.

Polished bronze has an albedo almost as good as that of silver, and not quite as good as mercury; all are better than steel. There's a reason people used it for mirrors for five thousand years, YOU CAN SEE YOUR FACE IN IT PRETTY GOOD.

Between the construction and craftsmanship techniques available to Archimedes at the time and the demonstrable ability to execute large engineering projects, he could have probably created a 10 story mirror array you aim with one hand. Or a firing array that would ignite solvents in the air or water, or poured on to ship- I daresay a plume of white hot smoke boiling through a focused beam would look like "the air was on fire" as the ancient reports go.

But don't take it from me. Put your faith in a hammy reality show or, y'know take it from some actual scientists and engineers that did the math.

boom goes the dynamite


Boom, indeed. Those were MIT students and their instructors.
a) They used modern mirrors. No one doubts the capacity of tightly focused modern mirrors to ignite a wooden target.
b) They calculated it would "only" take minutes to reposition and refocus the mirrors on a moving target...
c) They used a stationary target on land. Even so, they had to repeat the test because of clouds. Maybe it was a cloudy day in Syracuse all those years ago since the Romans did not lose their fleet and they did manage to capture the city...
d) The author's instinct, not the math, tells him that an anchored ship would have remained sufficiently stationary. This is a remarkable statement. He's saying that for their modern version of the heat ray to have worked as a weapon, the attacking ships would have had to be at anchor. The Romans were not great sailors, preferring to fight on land, but I'm pretty sure even they did not attack a harbour by anchoring their ships. Even then it's only the author's gut feeling that any one ship would have been sufficiently stationary for the focused mirrors to build enough heat to ignite the ship.
e) In the end the author offers only speculation as to whether the MIT team could have ignited a floating ship using their modern mirrors, let alone using mirrors available to the ancient Greeks. We do not know the answer because that is not what they tested. What they tested was whether it is possible to ignite a wooden silhouette of a boat on the roof of a Boston building using hand focused modern mirrors. And the answer is yes.

To me, the most damning bit regarding this legend comes from a reading of Italian literature regarding Archimedes. Italians love and venerate Archimedes like one of their own. He's considered the greatest inventor of all time. In Italian literature he is rightfully remembered (and even immortalized in comics) for his many and important inventions. Particular attention is paid to the many advanced weapons he deployed in the defence of Syracuse. Absent from that list is the supposed heat ray.  Why ? because the legend of the heat ray was not added to Archimedes' biography until centuries after his death ! It is apparently a Roman literary invention to embellish the story of a man who caused great difficulty to Roman invaders. Makes the Romans seem all the greater for having defeated him...
 
2013-09-04 02:04:22 AM

scottydoesntknow: mgshamster: That bugs me, because she uses her PhD degree to justify her quackery, like her anti-vax positions, her beliefs about parenting that run counter to current scientific research (like advocating practices that increase the risk of SIDS), or her advocacy of homeopathy (Really?! Homeopathy? Come on!), and her popularity with the TV show means that more people will listen to and believe her.

I'm really happy that a celebrity went on to go into the sciences (especially a woman, as we need more women in the STEM fields), but I wish she would stick with current research and not preach things that are harmful or counter to what the best of science says is true (vaccinations are important, and it is not equally ok to vaccinate or not vaccinate).

I did not know that. That is pretty weird.

mgshamster: Regarding BBT, the first time my wife and I saw BBT, it was an episode where the main guy was trying to prove a theorem that had been proved many many years ago, and they were treating it like it was cutting edge science. I don't remember what it was in the show, I only remember that it bugged us both. That kind of killed the show for us both; but much like how I'm not fond of CSI, I understand that many people enjoy the show. I am happy that it at least helps make science more popular, I'm just afraid it'll popularize science the way CSI popularized forensics: with misinformation and inaccuracies both on and off the set.

If it was Leonard, he's constantly getting hounded on for proving theorems that have already been proven by others. His mother gets on him especially about it. And like I said, they've got a physicist on staff (David Saltzberg) who double checks pretty much everything, so the risk of popularizing misinformation is very low.


David Saltzberg is also the man who fills the white boards that can be seen in the background of Leonard and Sheldon's apartment and offices. They always contain accurate formulae or esoteric bits of info. As a WWII aviation buff, I once recognized the ingredients for the Me263 rocket airplane's fuel. IIRC, it was the show that recounts how the guys all met. In the show Leonard is mixing a batch of the top secret new rocket fuel he's working on for the government which he's going to give to Howard to propel his model rocket.
In another instance, the white boards apparently contained the answers to the test he had given his students that same day.
 
2013-09-04 02:48:05 AM

itsdan: 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.


So...like Fark with longer threads?
 
2013-09-04 07:07:11 AM

Kit Fister: Why? Same principle.


Yes and no. Yes, the same principles are at play. No, the friction acting on the plane's wheels from the conveyer belt is quite small, much smaller than the ability of the engine to generate thrust. You might need a little more throttle, but the friction involved is nearly negligible.

Seaplanes have to deal with much greater friction. Enough to matter. It's easier for conditions to create enough friction (strong adverse current, waves) that a plane with an inefficient float shape and/or weaker engine might be unable to build enough airspeed to take off.

I _think_ skiplanes fall somewhere in between in terms of friction, but I'm not sure enough to be assertive on that.
 
2013-09-04 08:44:53 AM

highendmighty: I have seen with mine own eyes on two occasions where woofers busted out car windows at a competition.  Their ridiculously oversized cartoonish woofer they destroyed a car with was an idiotic and clownish attempt to bust that "myth."  They didn't even consider the resonant frequency of the windows and went full tard out of the box.
Sometimes entertaining, but overall, it is a bad show.  Stuntman does not equal scientist.


Really late on this one but... glass is a hard (brittle) material and has a relatively high resonant frequency.  As such it's unlikely that any of the windows that you have witnessed failing we due to resonance from the bass (low frequency) in the car.  It's much more likely that they had a chip or crack or other defect that acted as a localized stress raiser and failed due to simple pressure waves.
 
2013-09-04 09:09:39 AM

fredklein: They then towed it thru the water at a significantly slower speed than the shark in jaws swam


The shark in Jaws was not real and did not actually swim.

Other than those pesky details you got it pretty spot on
 
2013-09-04 09:16:54 AM

johnny_vegas: fredklein: They then towed it thru the water at a significantly slower speed than the shark in jaws swam

The shark in Jaws was not real and did not actually swim.

Other than those pesky details you got it pretty spot on


The shark in the movie was a real shark. And thus, in the movie, it did swim. In real life, it was animatronic.

Don't be stupid.
 
2013-09-04 09:23:39 AM

fredklein: Don't be stupid.


i won't if you won't....oops, too late
 
2013-09-04 09:52:51 AM

ajgeek: Philip J. Fry: Friction between what? I hope you're just trolling and don't actually think the wheels need traction for a plane to lift off.

The prop/turbine and the air. If there were no friction, the device would just cut through the liquid and never move it.

err - no
Friction has nothing to do with the functioning of a airfoil to create lift.

 
2013-09-04 10:40:36 AM

Mikey1969: Guadior42: Mikey1969: Highroller48: SERIOUSLY?  SERIOUSLY?  W. T. F. ???

This far in and no Kari Byron?  All of you should be ashamed of yourselves.

[xbradtc.files.wordpress.com image 723x1024]

Her and her stand in when the babies are on the way(Jessi Combs) are She is the best parts of the show. The two dudes on the build team are cool, but Kari and Jessi makes it worth tuning in for...

FTFY

No you didn't. Jessi Combs is not only hot, but she actually knows what she's doing. Kari was a street performer they hired for the show. Combs could actually do build out with any of the guys on the show.


I haven't read the rest of the thread yet but:
She was a regular on one of the Spike-TV car shows... Extreme 4X4 I think.  She is a very capable builder/fixer/welder/fabricator from what I've seen.  (Don't judge me, the power-block is good mindless hangover TV on Sunday mornings)
 
2013-09-04 11:36:07 AM

SharkaPult: I haven't read the rest of the thread yet but:
She was a regular on one of the Spike-TV car shows... Extreme 4X4 I think.  She is a very capable builder/fixer/welder/fabricator from what I've seen.  (Don't judge me, the power-block is good mindless hangover TV on Sunday mornings)


Nope, it was a great show, and she knows what the fark she's doing. Actually, with her gone, I stopped watchign it, the guy on there was still cool, but it was nowhere near as good. She isn't just eye candy. She graduated from WyoTech, and 4x4's are apparently in her blood. Her grandmother won an off-roading race back in the day in whatever state she was from. The girl's pretty damn bad ass, and hot as well, my wife acknowledges that she is on my "list"... ;-)
 
2013-09-04 01:17:48 PM

Magorn: 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?


No. Wood-boring worms tend to eat exposed wooden hulls. That's why marine archaeologists generally only find the keel/bilge area of wooden shipwrecks, because those areas silt up and/or dig into the mud when they reach bottom. The rest becomes worm poo.
 
2013-09-04 01:47:35 PM

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

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.

Watch an episode from the first season, then watch one of the current episodes.  The first half of an old episode was research (calling experts on the phone, visiting the morgue, etc.), while experimentation happened during the second half.  Only one or two myths were tested.  A current episode is 1/2 wearing funny hats/painting things, 1/4 recap, 1/8 product placement, and 1/8 experimentation.  To make things worse they try to cram too many things in, so they are constantly jumping between myths.  I probably wouldn't mind Mythbusters so much if I was only exposed to new episodes without knowing what they had been.


A million times this.

It *used* to be great because they did their homework and talked to SMEs *before* building their experiment. So they didn't immediately run into pitfalls that would be obvious to any high school physics class.

Now they just come up with an idea and immediately run off to build something without thinking it all the way through. I am not a physics genius, but in their past couple of seasons, it's not hard to identify what critical variables they've missed, and what failure mode that's going to induce in the test.

Then when you factor in the recaps and trying to do too much in each episode, it just becomes an exercise in boredom.

I liked the show, and would like to enjoy it again. But I can't see them returning to the older, more thoughtful approach. Obviously blowing up more shiat makes for better ratings.
 
2013-09-04 08:33:52 PM
What the hell? The owner of the Jaguar was understanding? I thought when something didn't go your way, you were supposed to jump up and down and whine and demand millions of dollars for the emotional damage. This guy wouldn't make it two days in America.
 
2013-09-04 09:06:28 PM

Southern100: In the case of the plane, the force is applied to air, but as the wheels are still free-turning it still only takes the same amount of force to move the plane forward @ 60mph, even though the wheels themselves may be spinning @ 120mph.


The wheels are not free turning, though. Even if you assume a zero friction bearing system at the axle, you still have angular momentum. The conveyer belt is pushing backwards on the bottom of the wheel, which applies a backwards force at the axle even without friction at the axle.
 
2013-09-04 09:43:18 PM
Subs, you realize Mythbusters never built a 40 story building, right?

Point? You're an idiot.
 
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