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(CNN)   Archimedes: 1, Mythbusters: 0   (cnn.com) divider line 395
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31904 clicks; posted to Main » on 03 Sep 2013 at 1:26 PM (45 weeks ago)   |  Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook   more»



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2013-09-03 02:34:21 PM

joeshill: My problem, and probably others, is that they claim to be doing science.


Actually, they've said any number of times that what they're doing _isn't_ intended to be rigorous and _isn't_ intended to be peer reviewable.
 
2013-09-03 02:35:09 PM
Outside of a pure lab environment and with the constraints they have, they do a pretty great job.  They freely admit they make mistakes and revisit them if they can.


And the Archimedes mirror concept could have been used as psychological warfare to keep enemy ships from getting close to land.
 
2013-09-03 02:35:16 PM

Kit Fister: joeshill: Cyclometh: joeshill: "I hypothesize that it is impossible to set a ship afire with mirrors."
Later that same year: "Well, I tried a few different methods, and couldn't set the ship afire - therefore, my hypothesis is correct!"

That was never the hypothesis. You could set a ship on fire (or more likely start fires ON it) with mirrors if you set them up right. That's how heliostats work.

The actual myth was that a group of soldiers with polished bronze shields were able to act in tandem to set fire to an entire fleet of ships approaching to attack in a harbor by reflecting the light of the sun using their shields.

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

At some point you can say "myth busted" with a high enough confidence factor.

That's not how science works.  A hypothesis remains such until it is falsified.  The very best you can say is "hmm, we couldn't find a way to falsify it.  For now it remains a hypotheis."  My problem, and probably others, is that they claim to be doing science.  They are not.  They are blowing shiat up while showing off Kari Byron's tits and calling it science.

Okay.  Fine.  Top of my head.  Early ships were sealed with pitch.  The flashpoint of pitch is anywhere between 81F-400F.  Aim bunch of mirrors at ship.  Raise pitch to flash point.  Much much much easier than igniting cloth.

but they attempted a test with a ship sealed with period pitch, and it didn't light up. ..


And yet some MIT students performed a feasibility study in 2009, and achieved ignition.  And they address pitch in their FAQ (hypothesizing that it might darken the wood increasing heat absorption, and that the volatiles might play a part).

http://web.mit.edu/2.009/www/experiments/deathray/10_ArchimedesResul t. html
 
2013-09-03 02:35:30 PM

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

I'll just point out one thing, though. The modern mirrors were flat and aimed at the white sail. The soldiers were likely holding their shields backwards, with the concave side facing the ships (focusing the light), likely targeting the darker hull (where black tar was used to seal the seams), and there may have been a whole bunch more of them.


The inner surface of a shield was typically wooden, not bronze.  the metal sheeting was usually only on the outside, if it was there at all.  Assuming the inner surface was mirrored, the radius of curvature for the concavity would have to be VERY large for it to make the problem easier.  If the target was more than twice the radius of curvature away, using the curved surface would just make the problem worse.
 
2013-09-03 02:35:45 PM

Kit Fister: Kit Fister: dittybopper: Paris1127: /also: Archimedes sought to burn a fleet of Roman ships using the Sun. The skyscraper melted plastic in a stationary vehicle. Point: Mythbusters. Seriously, they've tested this myth like 3 times now... Even Obama couldn't get them to do it.

With enough mirrors in the right configuration, you could do it.

[upload.wikimedia.org image 640x480]

Didn't I liberate this building for the NCR after the Brotherhood of Steel had been holding it?


Or you could have blown it up completely if that was your choice. Either way it was pretty good fun.
 
2013-09-03 02:35:53 PM

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

yes, yes you must be some kind of super genius because you can point out that the experiments in a show primarily about blowing stuff up are not always rigorously performed. Besides that, they do a pretty good job given the limitations of the medium: production time, budget and air time.


I enjoy the show.. I do.  Yet it does slightly bother me, as a scientist that  they continue to spread the idea that science is quaint and "interesting from afar" and the only way to prove something is expirimentally... often with poor evidence.

Clearly they know 99.9% of the time whether something is going to succeed. Anyone in a highschool physics or chemistry class should be able to answer each show's premise within seconds and usually be right.

Just once I'd like to see an episode where they start out saying "clearly this isn't going to work because of the 2nd law of thermodynamics, but we'll do it anyway to prove it"  and they actually go past their 8th grade level of explaination of why.

I just wish the audience could be allowed to dive deeper if they wanted to.


/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!
 
2013-09-03 02:36:51 PM
Maybe the ships were just hit with blinding light and the crew on deck was running around, in agony,  bumping into things and tended to knock over a torch near the tar storage. and the ship burns down that way instead of microwaving it.
 
2013-09-03 02:37:09 PM

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.
 
2013-09-03 02:38:37 PM

Dow Jones and the Temple of Doom: Mythbusters is a great show, very entertaining, gets kids interested in science, and has 'splosions.

There, that better?


It's unlikely the show's producers or hosts would ever claim anything more than that.

Often what they do isn't so much scientific investigaiton, but rather a demonstraiton of practical applications of science or pointing out that when yu look at something the proper way, the answer is obvious.
Two good examples:  Showing why hitting an oncoming car travelling at the same speed as you isn't any worse than hitting a wall - Basic physics, logically explained.    Airplane on a treadmill - Of course it takes off, you just have to undo the logic trick your mind is playing on you.

Hard-core investigative science?  Not really.  A good exercise in critical thinking and fun water-cooler stuff?  You bet!  All that, and a Walrus in a funny hat.  Who could ask for more?
 
2013-09-03 02:39:21 PM

PanicMan


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


It would be awfully difficult to aim a bow with bright lights flashing in the archer's eyes. That drastically reduces the effectiveness of the attackers' ranged weapons and forces them to rely on melee once they land.

Heck, it's possible that someone got temporarily blinded, dropped a torch, and set his own damn ship on fire, and Team Archimedes mis-interpreted the events.
 
2013-09-03 02:39:44 PM

Gosling: BafflerMeal: /the show would be much better if it was just a xkcd show of 'what ifs' and 'because we cans'.

So basically you want Dude, What Would Happen?



Yes.  That's more or less what the show is now, it would just be more honest with less hand waving.  It could also be:  "Dude, How did they do That? Let's Try!"

images4.static-bluray.com
 
2013-09-03 02:40:27 PM

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

yes, yes you must be some kind of super genius because you can point out that the experiments in a show primarily about blowing stuff up are not always rigorously performed. Besides that, they do a pretty good job given the limitations of the medium: production time, budget and air time.

I enjoy the show.. I do.  Yet it does slightly bother me, as a scientist that  they continue to spread the idea that science is quaint and "interesting from afar" and the only way to prove something is expirimentally... often with poor evidence.

Clearly they know 99.9% of the time whether something is going to succeed. Anyone in a highschool physics or chemistry class should be able to answer each show's premise within seconds and usually be right.

Just once I'd like to see an episode where they start out saying "clearly this isn't going to work because of the 2nd law of thermodynamics, but we'll do it anyway to prove it"  and they actually go past their 8th grade level of explaination of why.

I just wish the audience could be allowed to dive deeper if they wanted to.


/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.
 
2013-09-03 02:40:49 PM

Cyclometh: 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.


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.
 
2013-09-03 02:40:56 PM

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.


And Lo, a death ray myth is born.:b
 
2013-09-03 02:41:25 PM

huntercr: rather than adults that think that Big Bang theory is really funny becuase.. you know... science!


Stephen Hawking
Neil Degrasse Tyson
George Smoot
Brian Greene
Michael Massimino

Each of them are 1000x smarter than you or I, yet they love the show because it gets people interested in science and science fiction.
 
2013-09-03 02:43:39 PM

Cyclometh: Greek hoplite shields were almost all made of wood.


mbillips: It would be quicker just to make bronze mirrors than to use shields.


All fair points, although I'll point out that these may not have been conventional greek hoplite shields. I'm assuming Archimedes wasn't improvising on the spot...

China White Tea: Concave mirrors would be the absolute wrong way to do it if you were actually trying to weaponize solar convergence - they would require the target to be located more or less precisely at the focal point.


Also true, although if the harbor entrance has to be entered via a channel, you have an approximately known focal range.
 
2013-09-03 02:44:29 PM

Dow Jones and the Temple of Doom: Voiceofreason01: Dow Jones and the Temple of Doom:
They're third rate special fx nerds who fancy themselves genius scientists/inventors.

I haven't seen the show in a while but I don't remember them ever saying or implying that.

So I guess you could say that myth... has been busted?


http://instantyeah.org/
 
2013-09-03 02:44:37 PM

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.
 
2013-09-03 02:45:32 PM
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.

Yet a segment of the geek (supposedly science-y) crowd have latched onto the clown of this show claiming adam is some kind of intellectual hero, when he's a fool.
 
2013-09-03 02:45:35 PM
Brilliant.
 
2013-09-03 02:45:42 PM
"...sometimes things go wrong which nobody would have envisaged, and this is one of them."

OK, so which part of this is what nobody would have forseen:
A) Creating a giant smooth seamless convex surface of highly reflective glass would result in a concentration/focusing of the sun's light creating extreme temperatures; or
B) There is ever any sun in London?
 
2013-09-03 02:45:47 PM

scottydoesntknow


Each of them are 1000x smarter than you or I, yet they love the show because it gets people interested in science and science fiction.


Do they love the show because of where it may lead, or do they love the show as a show? I'll believe the former but will have a tough time with the latter.

I cannot watch the show because the braying of the laugh track live studio audience grates on my ears.
 
2013-09-03 02:45:54 PM

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.


That wasn't in the story, though.
 
2013-09-03 02:45:59 PM

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


They "bust" their own ineptitude?  They disprove their own ineptitude?  Wouldn't that mean they're proving their competence?  Is that what you were trying so ineptly (and ironically) to say?
 
2013-09-03 02:47:54 PM

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

They "bust" their own ineptitude?  They disprove their own ineptitude?  Wouldn't that mean they're proving their competence?  Is that what you were trying so ineptly (and ironically) to say?


I am not a very smart person
 
2013-09-03 02:48:35 PM

BafflerMeal: Yes. That's more or less what the show is now, it would just be more honest with less hand waving. It could also be: "Dude, How did they do That? Let's Try!"


No. Dude, What Would Happen's problem is the same as everyone else that's tried to follow Mythbusters: toning down of the science element and cranking up the in-your-face elements of the show. Dude, What Would Happen was staffed by a bunch of dudebros. You don't learn shiat. You're not motivated to learn shiat. There's nothing to argue with the show about regarding their results. It's just idiots doing stupid shiat and viewers fought with Cartoon Network for years before the network finally gave up and cancelled it because the network loved the show when nobody else did.

If you don't like the word 'myth', just substitute it with the proper scientific word: 'hypothesis'. That's something you're just going to have to learn to live with at this point because the name of the show isn't going away.
 
2013-09-03 02:49:52 PM
Voiceofreason01 [TotalFark]
2013-09-03 01:35:30 PM


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

yes, yes you must be some kind of super genius because you can point out that the experiments in a show primarily about blowing stuff up are not always rigorously performed. Besides that, they do a pretty good job given the limitations of the medium: production time, budget and air time.

They did 3 episodes (one being a full length campaign ad) "proving" the Archimedes claim busted, when there's a youtube video of some (HS?) science class actually doing it.


They get more wrong than right. A box of sock monkeys and a soiled diaper would get better results than these two morons.
 
2013-09-03 02:49:57 PM

jst3p: 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.


No, wouldn't it have been more like "Cheers wasn't funny because it glorified alcoholism and didn't accurately reflect what a real bar is like."
 
2013-09-03 02:50:18 PM

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.
 
2013-09-03 02:50:24 PM
Every time they did Archimedes mirror they went about it in the laziest, most half-assed way possible.
 
2013-09-03 02:51:42 PM

cameroncrazy1984: That wasn't in the story, though.


I didn't claim it was?
 
2013-09-03 02:52:57 PM
I've heard some people claim that female orgasm is a myth. I would like to volunteer to work with Kari to prove its real. Don't worry, the science would be very rigorous, with multiple trials in all possible combinations.
 
2013-09-03 02:54:44 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.


If the show is for children, shouldn't it be on Nick or Disney or Discovery Kids?
 
2013-09-03 02:55:22 PM

Private_Citizen: I've heard some people claim that female orgasm is a myth. I would like to volunteer to work with Kari to prove its real. Don't worry, the science would be very rigorous, with multiple trials in all possible combinations.


Sure, but properly double blinding, you don't get to have sex with anyone.
 
2013-09-03 02:55:24 PM

Private_Citizen: I've heard some people claim that female orgasm is a myth. I would like to volunteer to work with Kari to prove its real. Don't worry, the science would be very rigorous, with multiple trials in all possible combinations.


after being associated with that show for so long, she is certainly used to disappointment and things that fizzle instead of boom
 
2013-09-03 02:55:43 PM

Dow Jones and the Temple of Doom: ManateeGag: Dow Jones and the Temple of Doom: Voiceofreason01: Dow Jones and the Temple of Doom:Have you seen an episode lately? They don't even bust "myths" anymore, just random potholes from shiatty 80's movies.

Pedantically criticizing the title of the show is totally a real point and not at all you mindlessly sticking to a broken talking point in a blatant plea for attention.

It's a horrible show, but it's fine entertainment for the tards. I don't give a shiat if you like it, just don't pretend it's anything but a couple goofballs breaking shiat in a warehouse

STOP LIKING THINGS I DON'T LIKE!

Mythbusters is a great show, very entertaining, gets kids interested in science, and has 'splosions.

There, that better?


Can you GET any more passive aggressive?
 
2013-09-03 02:56:09 PM

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.
 
2013-09-03 02:56:24 PM

johnny_vegas: Private_Citizen: I've heard some people claim that female orgasm is a myth. I would like to volunteer to work with Kari to prove its real. Don't worry, the science would be very rigorous, with multiple trials in all possible combinations.

after being associated with that show for so long, she is certainly used to disappointment and things that fizzle instead of boom


Niiiiicccccceeeeeeeeeee.
 
2013-09-03 02:56:41 PM
Can we please get back to posting pictures of the hot redheaded lady?
 
2013-09-03 02:57:47 PM

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.


Because Mythbusters have made a bunch of people look like morons, so they feel like they have been validated whenever Mythbusters makes some clerical error.
 
2013-09-03 02:57:55 PM

Mikey1969: 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.


Well, now Kari's been building stuff for the show for 10 years. Do those not count?
 
2013-09-03 02:58:49 PM

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


encoremag.com
 
2013-09-03 02:58:56 PM

BafflerMeal: Private_Citizen: I've heard some people claim that female orgasm is a myth. I would like to volunteer to work with Kari to prove its real. Don't worry, the science would be very rigorous, with multiple trials in all possible combinations.

Sure, but properly double blinding, you don't get to have sex with anyone.


That's not the way I would double blind it :)
 
2013-09-03 02:59:16 PM
Archimedes   Ra: 1, Mythbusters: 0

That works too.
 
2013-09-03 03:00:11 PM

ThatDarkFellow: Every time they did Archimedes mirror they went about it in the laziest, most half-assed way possible.


Yes, because they were supposed to be superserious about it in order to actually prove something in the most stringent way possible. *eyeroll*
 
2013-09-03 03:00:12 PM

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.
 
2013-09-03 03:02:19 PM

J. Frank Parnell: If the Mythbusters subjugated themselves to a couple physicists the show would have more scientific sway.


And you would never see it again after that episode.  Its ratings would drop into the toilet and the execs would pull it.

As they should.

If I want rigorous peer-reviewed science, I'll read a peer-reviewed journal.  It's not like there's a shortage of them.

Mythbusters is about a mindset that is sorely needed in the general population - that testing an idea is actually good.  Many organizations would prefer that people don't do this and take things at face value "because we told you so."
 
2013-09-03 03:03:03 PM

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

Mmmm hot red head pregger boobs
 
2013-09-03 03:03:08 PM

Mikey1969: I fail to see your point. Is it the "stationary" thing? Do you know how slow those boats moved back then?


I'm gonna guess he meant the waves.  I've got an old fresnel lens you can melt a penny with.  But you've got to keep the "hot spot" right on the penny for several minutes-- lose your aim or focus distance even a little and you lose your heat.  If the hot spot wobbles around on the boat as it bobs in the waves, or worse, if the soldiers correct for this in a way that is not in perfect sync, it won't get concentrated enough to do much besides sunburn the sailors faster than usual.

I have no doubt you can melt things with reflected sunlight.  With modern gimbals and tracking on the mirrors, you could probably even melt holes in steel boats with reflected sunlight-- but I have my doubts you could ever train soldiers to be coordinated and steady enough to keep thousands of overlapping reflected spots in the same relative location on a bobbing target.
 
2013-09-03 03:03:34 PM

OnlyM3: They get more wrong than right. A box of sock monkeys and a soiled diaper would get better results than these two morons.


I started watching the show with my 7 year old.

The Myth Buster:
1. Clearly state the hypothesis being tested.
2. Explain how they are going to test the theory and often, the limitations of their experiment.
3. They often graph out the results.
4. Then they get goofy and blow crap up.

I want my son to learn items 1-3 in that list. He likes item 4. I am not so interested in the scientific rigor of their experiments as I am in how they demonstrate the methodology.
 
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