Category Archives: television

Mythbusters 4-20-2011

This episode featured attempting to run on water, what can shield you from a blast.

The A myth (Jamie and Adam’s) was running on water.  All attempts to do this failed, not surprisingly, though the YouTube video was replicated (its faked).

The idea was if one could run on water, at least for a few steps.  Even an Olympic athlete couldn’t do this, though a small lizard and many insects can.  Greater weight makes its impossible.

I did wonder if approached the water more like a long jumper possible you could manage to push of the water.  I doubt it, but I wonder.

It turns out that crouching behind a car or wall does offer quite a bit of protection from a blast.  This is a phenomenon on fluid dynamics.  The one thing I would have like to have seen tested was if being in the car is more protection than being behind it.  I’m pretty sure the answer would be yes if the windows were rolled up and absorbed even more of the pressure wave.



I am a nut about this show. It makes my week and I have trouble getting by the periods when there are no new episodes to watch. I hope to make a weekly comment on new episodes on my blogs henceforth.

2 days ago was a test of blueice and a Bourne movie myth.

Blueice tested if the lavatory on a plane could be dumped by the pilot resulting in frozen “waste” falling to the ground with destructive results.  The story was partially confirmed.

It turns out pilots have no option to dump the waste.  However if water in lavatory holding tank slowly leaks it can freeze on the outside of the plane, and break loose as the plane descends (confirmed in a NASA test chamber).  Ice dropped from altitude could stick together and impact the ground with great forces.  This was confirmed by dropping ice from a plane.

So what are the unanswered question, or issues:

1. Even though lavatories aren’t dumped by choice today, I wonder if that’s always been true.  I suspect 30-40 years we might not have been so fastidious with lavatory waste. 

2. The formation of ice seemed very confirmed, and I think perhaps the ice could have formed behind the door to the waste hose, making perhaps even harder ice.

3. The ice that was dropped did not appear to be as slushy as what was formed in the NASA test.  I’m not sure that’s confirmed.

The other myth tested using methane ignited with a toaster as a IED.

The only thing I might have wanted to see was happened if the gas concentration exceeds the 9% optimum.

Onion news is too real, and loudmouths in many languages sound the same.

The Onion has nailed cable news, especially fox.
Morbid Curiosity Leading Many Voters To Support Palin

Also you find the same thing in other countries, such as Pakistan.  See this.

I found it sad that this is making the rounds to prove that Muslims are particularly intolerant but I think you’ll find authoritarian prudes in Christianity too.  If indeed this woman is seeking asylum because of this, that is a more scary face of Islam than conservative Christians.

Reality TV

I’ve read the SAT had a question on reality shows and their implications. This wasn’t presented in a favorable light.

Maybe a more challenging essay topic could have been chosen, but I think a smart kid should be able to say something insightful with broader implications than saying:  "I really hate Billy on survivor"  (I know there’s no Billy.  I’ve never watched Survivor or more than 5 or 10 episodes of reality TV, unless you count Mythbusters)

My own take on reality shows is that they reflect a movement in entertainment, especially TV away from what I think of as aspiration oriented to reality oriented, and that’s been at least in part unfortunate.

Forty years ago TV reflected the kind of people we wanted to be.  Hardly any dad is as wise as Robert Young on father knows best.  But we all wanted to be, and what we aspired to reflected itself on TV.  Since the 70’s shows seem much focused on being real or believable.  Characters became much more flawed.  Maybe we see more what we don’t want to be now.  I suppose that has value as well, but I miss aspirational TV.

I love it

The President on my favorite TV show.

The History Channel???

Am I the only on that notices the History Channel lately seems to run few shows about history?

There are shows about collecting old stuff. Shows about truckers, and axmen and so on. Shows that likely appeal to men. I like some of them.

But shows about historical events and figures, except for a few about wars and warmaking seem very rare now.

I find that cable channels seem to have become more homogenized. I think the role of channels to appeal to niche audiences like history buffs is better filled by the net. Cable has been pushed out of the niche business mostly. The weather channel doesn’t have a lot of weather anymore.

So cable is left more doing what old time TV did appeal to a broader audience.

America Through the Reality Lens by Jonah Goldberg on National Review Online

America Through the Reality Lens by Jonah Goldberg on National Review Online.

It’s hard for me not to conclude that the dumbing down that you see in reality  shows as discussed above  is also what afflicts American conservatism.  Sarah Palin’s popularity seems to stem from her “realness”, not any demonstrated grasp of even one policy issue.