Etiquette Hell

General Etiquette => Etiquette of the Rich and Famous => Topic started by: Zilla on December 08, 2011, 01:15:35 PM

Title: Rude of them to attempt this?
Post by: Zilla on December 08, 2011, 01:15:35 PM
http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/12/06/BA1D1M99V5.DTL (http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?f=/c/a/2011/12/06/BA1D1M99V5.DTL)


Here is one of the links:


Mythbusters, a popular tv show that dispels myths/urban legends, had an experiment go awry on them and it caused some damage and outrage in a neighborhood.  One homeowner wants to sue.


Several comments under the article I saw this morning were really ripping into Mythbusters saying they were entitled and rude to do this and that this shouldn't have been attempted etc. 


I am not saying they were innocent, and in fact they said they have used this very site numerous occasions without mishaps.  They are repairing the damage caused and issued apologies.


I don't think they were rude and careless, what do you all think?
Title: Re: Rude of them to attempt this?
Post by: RingTailedLemur on December 08, 2011, 01:17:56 PM
I don't think so.

They were on a bomb range.
Title: Re: Rude of them to attempt this?
Post by: Judah on December 08, 2011, 01:25:18 PM
I don't think so.

They were on a bomb range.

Exactly.  They attempted it at a site that is built for just this sort of thing.  It was no more rude for Mythbusters to attempt this experiment than it is for the bomb range to exist.  Unfortunately, accidents happen.
Title: Re: Rude of them to attempt this?
Post by: mechtilde on December 08, 2011, 01:37:07 PM
I don't think so.

They were on a bomb range.

Exactly.  They attempted it at a site that is built for just this sort of thing.  It was no more rude for Mythbusters to attempt this experiment than it is for the bomb range to exist.  Unfortunately, accidents happen.

Then maybe there is an issue about whether the bomb range is fit for purpose. This sort of thing is just not supposed to happen.
Title: Re: Rude of them to attempt this?
Post by: O'Dell on December 08, 2011, 01:37:55 PM
It was a bomb range not a cannon range. So I can see how some would think it inappropriate use of the facility and conclude they got away with it because of who they are.

I think it was an unfortunate accident as they seem concerned with being careful and safe about everyone involved.

From the article: Hosts Adam Savage and Jamie Hyneman use science experiments to confirm or debunk rumors or myths. Reached Tuesday evening, Savage said, "I can't talk right now," before hanging up.

That is soooo Adam. :D
Title: Re: Rude of them to attempt this?
Post by: Shoo on December 08, 2011, 01:39:03 PM
Blowing up a bomb and firing off a cannon are two different things.  Obviously they miscalculated how far the cannonball would go.  This surprises me because usually these guys are so careful.  This could have easily killed someone! 

I don't know if rude is the word I would use for it, though.  Rude doesn't describe it.
Title: Re: Rude of them to attempt this?
Post by: Ruelz on December 08, 2011, 01:40:20 PM
Pure accident.
Title: Re: Rude of them to attempt this?
Post by: Larrabee on December 08, 2011, 01:45:19 PM
I'm of the opinion that you don't fire a cannon in a populated area unless you have a darn good reason.

The bomb range exists so that qualified, trained or in training people can practice disposing of explosives, for the public good, so is completely different.
Title: Re: Rude of them to attempt this?
Post by: Seraphia on December 08, 2011, 02:02:13 PM
It's an accident, pure and simple. They were using what they thought was a safe venue to conduct tests. It turns out, the range wasn't as suited to handle those tests as they thought. It's horribly scary, and I don't blame people for being upset, but it was still an accident.

There's no etiquette rule that says "if you must miscalibrate your homemade cannon, those people living two miles downrange must know about it beforehand." It might be a safety rule, but it isn't an issue of rudeness. Etiquette doesn't cover how accidents ought to happen, just how people respond to them. In that case, I think the Mythbusters are doing pretty well. They issued a sincere, thoughtful apology, in person. That's a pretty good start in my book.
Title: Re: Rude of them to attempt this?
Post by: jimithing on December 08, 2011, 02:02:49 PM
I love Mythbusters. My husband and I watch it every week.

I don't know how Mythbusters is entitled. If anyone should take the heat for it, it's the people in charge of the bomb range who allowed it to happen. In every episode, they always  bring in highly trained, highly qualified professionals to make sure that everything is as safe as possible.

Obviously, in this case, someone miscalculated. If the bomb range wasn't appropriate for this kind of thing, then I think it was up to the bomb dudes to say so.

Title: Re: Rude of them to attempt this?
Post by: RingTailedLemur on December 08, 2011, 02:10:49 PM
I love Mythbusters. My husband and I watch it every week.

I don't know how Mythbusters is entitled. If anyone should take the heat for it, it's the people in charge of the bomb range who allowed it to happen. In every episode, they always  bring in highly trained, highly qualified professionals to make sure that everything is as safe as possible.

Obviously, in this case, someone miscalculated. If the bomb range wasn't appropriate for this kind of thing, then I think it was up to the bomb dudes to say so.

Exactly.  It was on the Alameda Country Sheriff's Department bomb range - so they had permission and approval from them beforehand.
Title: Re: Rude of them to attempt this?
Post by: iradney on December 08, 2011, 02:15:19 PM
I love Mythbusters. My husband and I watch it every week.

I don't know how Mythbusters is entitled. If anyone should take the heat for it, it's the people in charge of the bomb range who allowed it to happen. In every episode, they always  bring in highly trained, highly qualified professionals to make sure that everything is as safe as possible.

Obviously, in this case, someone miscalculated. If the bomb range wasn't appropriate for this kind of thing, then I think it was up to the bomb dudes to say so.

jmithing read my mind. Parking my POD right here.
Title: Re: Rude of them to attempt this?
Post by: magicdomino on December 08, 2011, 02:18:07 PM
Slightly off-topic, but can you imagine calling your homeowners insurance company, and telling them that a cannonball went through your house? 
Title: Re: Rude of them to attempt this?
Post by: Ruelz on December 08, 2011, 02:25:33 PM
I can see them checking back to the files of 1812...looking for precident on the insurance claims...
Title: Re: Rude of them to attempt this?
Post by: Ms_Cellany on December 08, 2011, 02:38:12 PM
I can see them checking back to the files of 1812...looking for precident on the insurance claims...

Has the show's insurance company made any overtures to the homeowners yet?
Title: Re: Rude of them to attempt this?
Post by: jimithing on December 08, 2011, 03:37:01 PM
I can see them checking back to the files of 1812...looking for precident on the insurance claims...

Has the show's insurance company made any overtures to the homeowners yet?

From what I've read, yes. They are working with everyone to make it right.

Incidentally, this isn't the first time something like this has happened. They had a show a few weeks ago where they showed one of their first bomb experiences, at a bomb range, created such a large sonic boom, it broke out windows and things in the local town.
Title: Re: Rude of them to attempt this?
Post by: violinp on December 08, 2011, 03:45:33 PM
I can see them checking back to the files of 1812...looking for precident on the insurance claims...

Has the show's insurance company made any overtures to the homeowners yet?

 :D I see what you did there...
Title: Re: Rude of them to attempt this?
Post by: Larrabee on December 08, 2011, 03:53:20 PM
I can see them checking back to the files of 1812...looking for precident on the insurance claims...

Has the show's insurance company made any overtures to the homeowners yet?

From what I've read, yes. They are working with everyone to make it right.

Incidentally, this isn't the first time something like this has happened. They had a show a few weeks ago where they showed one of their first bomb experiences, at a bomb range, created such a large sonic boom, it broke out windows and things in the local town.

So how many times can they destroy property and cause people inconvenience before they need to show some restraint?
Title: Re: Rude of them to attempt this?
Post by: jimithing on December 08, 2011, 03:56:36 PM
I can see them checking back to the files of 1812...looking for precident on the insurance claims...

Has the show's insurance company made any overtures to the homeowners yet?

From what I've read, yes. They are working with everyone to make it right.

Incidentally, this isn't the first time something like this has happened. They had a show a few weeks ago where they showed one of their first bomb experiences, at a bomb range, created such a large sonic boom, it broke out windows and things in the local town.

So how many times can they destroy property and cause people inconvenience before they need to show some restraint?

In what way?
Title: Re: Rude of them to attempt this?
Post by: Larrabee on December 08, 2011, 04:01:34 PM
I can see them checking back to the files of 1812...looking for precident on the insurance claims...

Has the show's insurance company made any overtures to the homeowners yet?

From what I've read, yes. They are working with everyone to make it right.

Incidentally, this isn't the first time something like this has happened. They had a show a few weeks ago where they showed one of their first bomb experiences, at a bomb range, created such a large sonic boom, it broke out windows and things in the local town.

So how many times can they destroy property and cause people inconvenience before they need to show some restraint?

In what way?

Well, there's no pressing need for them to be playing with heavy explosives, is there?  I've only seen the programme a couple of times, it did seem a lot like playing, which is fine when they're only risking their own safety but the scale of these two, necessitating a bomb range, seems excessive.  I wouldn't want to be on the crew!
Title: Re: Rude of them to attempt this?
Post by: jimithing on December 08, 2011, 04:06:35 PM
I can see them checking back to the files of 1812...looking for precident on the insurance claims...

Has the show's insurance company made any overtures to the homeowners yet?

From what I've read, yes. They are working with everyone to make it right.

Incidentally, this isn't the first time something like this has happened. They had a show a few weeks ago where they showed one of their first bomb experiences, at a bomb range, created such a large sonic boom, it broke out windows and things in the local town.

So how many times can they destroy property and cause people inconvenience before they need to show some restraint?

In what way?

Well, there's no pressing need for them to be playing with heavy explosives, is there?  I've only seen the programme a couple of times, it did seem a lot like playing, which is fine when they're only risking their own safety but the scale of these two, necessitating a bomb range, seems excessive.  I wouldn't want to be on the crew!

The show is about debunking myths, as well as lots of scientific experiments. They do a lot of things with explosives. But like I said, they really do have tons and tons of specialists around and they take a lot of care to be as safe as possible. But in any type of experiment, things can go wrong. When the do things with explosives or other things, they are always done on bomb ranges, or out in the middle of nowhere.

They've also recently met with President Obama, who gave them lots of accolades for getting kids interested in science. I really like the show because it is entertaining and fun to watch, but it's also quite educational.
Title: Re: Rude of them to attempt this?
Post by: WillyNilly on December 08, 2011, 05:04:48 PM
If a cannonball went through my home or my car (or a sonic boom blew out my windows) it would take a whole lot more then mere money to make me "whole" again.  Its winter - a hole in the wall is going to mess with heat.  Not having a car is a huge inconvenience, especially right before the holidays.  Home owners insurance rates will rise.  No doubt a few days will have to be taken off by the homeowners to meet with repair people.  Etc.  This is really not ok behavior IMO.
Title: Re: Rude of them to attempt this?
Post by: Fleur-de-Lis on December 08, 2011, 05:25:01 PM
*shrugs* Physics wins.  They do take precautions, and they were apologetic.  Moreover, while they acceded to photos with fans following their apology, Adam Savage was very chastened about what had occurred and observed that the circumstances were such that smiling even for the photos was inappropriate. 
Title: Re: Rude of them to attempt this?
Post by: Onyx_TKD on December 08, 2011, 05:36:34 PM
I can see them checking back to the files of 1812...looking for precident on the insurance claims...

Has the show's insurance company made any overtures to the homeowners yet?

From what I've read, yes. They are working with everyone to make it right.

Incidentally, this isn't the first time something like this has happened. They had a show a few weeks ago where they showed one of their first bomb experiences, at a bomb range, created such a large sonic boom, it broke out windows and things in the local town.

So how many times can they destroy property and cause people inconvenience before they need to show some restraint?

So far, there have been only two incidents mentioned involving property damage (sonic boom breaking windows and misaimed cannon) from a show that has been running since 2003 and uses explosives frequently (I'm not a regular watcher, but I'm not sure I've ever seen a Mythbusters episode that didn't involve an explosion of some sort). To me, that doesn't suggest a flagrant disregard for public safety--on the contrary, it suggests that they usually do have sufficient safety precautions, and there have been a couple of very unfortunate miscalculations. After the accident, they are trying to make reparations to those who were harmed by it--it seems to me that they're doing things right.

Like PPs, I think that significant responsibility also rests with whoever approved their use of the bomb range--if the person running the bomb range can't make a good estimate of what is safe to try there and what is a danger to nearby homes (and doesn't know to err on the side of judging something too dangerous, if there is doubt), then that is a problem that has little to do with the Mythbusters.
Title: Re: Rude of them to attempt this?
Post by: Bluenomi on December 08, 2011, 05:39:57 PM
I love Mythbusters. My husband and I watch it every week.

I don't know how Mythbusters is entitled. If anyone should take the heat for it, it's the people in charge of the bomb range who allowed it to happen. In every episode, they always  bring in highly trained, highly qualified professionals to make sure that everything is as safe as possible.

Obviously, in this case, someone miscalculated. If the bomb range wasn't appropriate for this kind of thing, then I think it was up to the bomb dudes to say so.

jmithing read my mind. Parking my POD right here.

And I'm parking mine next to yours.
Title: Re: Rude of them to attempt this?
Post by: Shores on December 08, 2011, 05:45:49 PM
I can see them checking back to the files of 1812...looking for precident on the insurance claims...

Has the show's insurance company made any overtures to the homeowners yet?

From what I've read, yes. They are working with everyone to make it right.

Incidentally, this isn't the first time something like this has happened. They had a show a few weeks ago where they showed one of their first bomb experiences, at a bomb range, created such a large sonic boom, it broke out windows and things in the local town.

So how many times can they destroy property and cause people inconvenience before they need to show some restraint?

In what way?
Cancel science!

Seriously though, one could argue that it's "just a TV show", but the fact is that they're doing the same type of experiments that scientists and experts do all over the world. They just happen to be doing it on camera. Any science experiment could go awry. It could have been tragic and of course they are responsible for damages/inconvenience (which, with my impression of the men, will be no issue for them) but accidents happen every day in science... two property damages in 9 years really isn't out of line.
Title: Re: Rude of them to attempt this?
Post by: AdakAK on December 08, 2011, 05:47:56 PM

Cancel science!

Seriously though, one could argue that it's "just a TV show", but the fact is that they're doing the same type of experiments that scientists and experts do all over the world. They just happen to be doing it on camera. Any science experiment could go awry. It could have been tragic and of course they are responsible for damages/inconvenience (which, with my impression of the men, will be no issue for them) but accidents happen every day in science... two property damages in 9 years really isn't out of line.

I agree.  We are regular watchers and thanks to my sons, there are many episodes where I can almost say their lines before they do.  From what I can see they are on the bomb range, or the military facility or any of the places they run the explosive or other more dangerous experiments because they DON'T want to risk their crew.  They often show that they are doing more safety steps than they think they will need.  I would have no problem standing with them in anything they ran, I do believe that they would keep me safe. 
Title: Re: Rude of them to attempt this?
Post by: VorFemme on December 08, 2011, 05:50:08 PM
I can see them checking back to the files of 1812...looking for precident on the insurance claims...

Has the show's insurance company made any overtures to the homeowners yet?

Why is the 1812 Overture my new earworm?
Title: Re: Rude of them to attempt this?
Post by: jimithing on December 08, 2011, 05:52:07 PM

Cancel science!

Seriously though, one could argue that it's "just a TV show", but the fact is that they're doing the same type of experiments that scientists and experts do all over the world. They just happen to be doing it on camera. Any science experiment could go awry. It could have been tragic and of course they are responsible for damages/inconvenience (which, with my impression of the men, will be no issue for them) but accidents happen every day in science... two property damages in 9 years really isn't out of line.

I agree.  We are regular watchers and thanks to my sons, there are many episodes where I can almost say their lines before they do.  From what I can see they are on the bomb range, or the military facility or any of the places they run the explosive or other more dangerous experiments because they DON'T want to risk their crew.  They often show that they are doing more safety steps than they think they will need.  I would have no problem standing with them in anything they ran, I do believe that they would keep me safe.

Many times they actually conduct the experiments from inside bunkers, or they are really far away from the actual explosion site.

I wonder how many other incidents have happened at either of the sites where the Mythbusters had those incidents? I can't imagine the only time there has ever been any kind of accident has only been when the Mythbusters and their cameras are around.

I would imagine that living next to a bomb range doesn't always mean peace and quiet. Seems like a possible sonic boom comes with the territory.
Title: Re: Rude of them to attempt this?
Post by: Diane AKA Traska on December 08, 2011, 06:04:32 PM
Also, what happened was that they weren't away that the cannon would "jump" as significantly as it did.  That is, the weapon's reaction added to the cannonball's elevation, increasing its ascent angle.  That was what caused the misfire.  I'm sure they didn't do this in a vacuum.  I'm sure the range officials checked it all out beforehand, gave it the okay... and were just as stunned when the projectile proceeded to soar higher than they thought.

Accidents happen.  Maybe they should have their own dedicated testing range, but then... what government would allow a private company to open a munitions testing range?
Title: Re: Rude of them to attempt this?
Post by: Sterling on December 08, 2011, 06:57:38 PM
When I was a teenage they filmed the movie "The Chamber" down the street from my house.  During one scene they "blew up" the fake front of the local court house causing a boom that broke several windows at my house as well as others.  The movie didn't pay for anything.

I don't actually think that Mythbusters did anything wrong.  It was freak accident.  Also the article even says that that site has had problems before with bullets leaving the range.  Seems to me the real problem is the location of the range which isn't their call.
Title: Re: Rude of them to attempt this?
Post by: 567Kate on December 08, 2011, 07:03:24 PM
I have to say: I'm very impressed with Adam and Jamie for not passing the buck to the build team (Kari, Grant, and Tory). Even though they weren't on site when this happened, they are the ones taking responsibility as the ones in charge of the show.
Title: Re: Rude of them to attempt this?
Post by: Winterlight on December 08, 2011, 07:27:57 PM
I'm voting for freak accident and stuff happens.
Title: Re: Rude of them to attempt this?
Post by: PeterM on December 09, 2011, 12:07:09 AM
Also, what happened was that they weren't away that the cannon would "jump" as significantly as it did.  That is, the weapon's reaction added to the cannonball's elevation, increasing its ascent angle.  That was what caused the misfire.  I'm sure they didn't do this in a vacuum.  I'm sure the range officials checked it all out beforehand, gave it the okay... and were just as stunned when the projectile proceeded to soar higher than they thought.

Accidents happen.  Maybe they should have their own dedicated testing range, but then... what government would allow a private company to open a munitions testing range?

The cannon jumped and affected the trajectory? Is that actually the official, verified reason for this accident? If so I'm calling everyone involved dangerously incompetent. Cannons move when they fire. Said movement affects the path of the projectile. This is not new information, it's been known for hundreds of years. I'm completely ignorant of the practical mechanics of firing a cannon but I know enough not to point the things in any direction that contains human habitations within at least a mile or two, unless you want those habitations destroyed. The article says the cannonball flew 700 yards before it hit the inhabited neighborhood. That's nothing.

If someone was shooting at targets in their backyard, missed because of a freak accident, and the bullet missed the target and tore through a house I'd call that person dangerous and rude. You don't point a loaded gun at innocent people. I don't see why making the gun much, much bigger would change that.
Title: Re: Rude of them to attempt this?
Post by: Shores on December 09, 2011, 02:22:46 AM
Also, what happened was that they weren't away that the cannon would "jump" as significantly as it did.  That is, the weapon's reaction added to the cannonball's elevation, increasing its ascent angle.  That was what caused the misfire.  I'm sure they didn't do this in a vacuum.  I'm sure the range officials checked it all out beforehand, gave it the okay... and were just as stunned when the projectile proceeded to soar higher than they thought.

Accidents happen.  Maybe they should have their own dedicated testing range, but then... what government would allow a private company to open a munitions testing range?

The cannon jumped and affected the trajectory? Is that actually the official, verified reason for this accident? If so I'm calling everyone involved dangerously incompetent. Cannons move when they fire. Said movement affects the path of the projectile. This is not new information, it's been known for hundreds of years. I'm completely ignorant of the practical mechanics of firing a cannon but I know enough not to point the things in any direction that contains human habitations within at least a mile or two, unless you want those habitations destroyed. The article says the cannonball flew 700 yards before it hit the inhabited neighborhood. That's nothing.

If someone was shooting at targets in their backyard, missed because of a freak accident, and the bullet missed the target and tore through a house I'd call that person dangerous and rude. You don't point a loaded gun at innocent people. I don't see why making the gun much, much bigger would change that.
Because they're on a shooting range that has been vetted and approved for this purpose by government officials. If the range is too close to the neighborhoods, that's THEIR mistake. Mythbusters was exactly were it should be. And if the range couldn't handle a cannon, the owner and officials should never have approved it.
Title: Re: Rude of them to attempt this?
Post by: Diane AKA Traska on December 09, 2011, 04:22:26 AM
Also, what happened was that they weren't away that the cannon would "jump" as significantly as it did.  That is, the weapon's reaction added to the cannonball's elevation, increasing its ascent angle.  That was what caused the misfire.  I'm sure they didn't do this in a vacuum.  I'm sure the range officials checked it all out beforehand, gave it the okay... and were just as stunned when the projectile proceeded to soar higher than they thought.

Accidents happen.  Maybe they should have their own dedicated testing range, but then... what government would allow a private company to open a munitions testing range?

The cannon jumped and affected the trajectory? Is that actually the official, verified reason for this accident? If so I'm calling everyone involved dangerously incompetent. Cannons move when they fire. Said movement affects the path of the projectile. This is not new information, it's been known for hundreds of years. I'm completely ignorant of the practical mechanics of firing a cannon but I know enough not to point the things in any direction that contains human habitations within at least a mile or two, unless you want those habitations destroyed. The article says the cannonball flew 700 yards before it hit the inhabited neighborhood. That's nothing.

If someone was shooting at targets in their backyard, missed because of a freak accident, and the bullet missed the target and tore through a house I'd call that person dangerous and rude. You don't point a loaded gun at innocent people. I don't see why making the gun much, much bigger would change that.

It's not that they didn't know it would happen.  It's that they didn't know it would be as significant as it was.
Title: Re: Rude of them to attempt this?
Post by: Larrabee on December 09, 2011, 10:30:34 AM
I can see them checking back to the files of 1812...looking for precident on the insurance claims...

Has the show's insurance company made any overtures to the homeowners yet?

From what I've read, yes. They are working with everyone to make it right.

Incidentally, this isn't the first time something like this has happened. They had a show a few weeks ago where they showed one of their first bomb experiences, at a bomb range, created such a large sonic boom, it broke out windows and things in the local town.

So how many times can they destroy property and cause people inconvenience before they need to show some restraint?

In what way?
Cancel science!

Seriously though, one could argue that it's "just a TV show", but the fact is that they're doing the same type of experiments that scientists and experts do all over the world. They just happen to be doing it on camera. Any science experiment could go awry. It could have been tragic and of course they are responsible for damages/inconvenience (which, with my impression of the men, will be no issue for them) but accidents happen every day in science... two property damages in 9 years really isn't out of line.

Cancel science?  Right, because that's definitely what I want to happen.  ::)

The difference this and true science is the intent (well, and the funding) unless the TV show has made any major scientific discoveries or progress that I'm unaware of?

If they want to educate, there are ways that don't involve so much risk, if they want to play or entertain they should get some perspective and scale it right down to experiments where the likelihood of uninvolved parties being seriously impacted is much, much less.

I do put some of the blame on the bomb range management of course.
Title: Re: Rude of them to attempt this?
Post by: Auntie Mame on December 09, 2011, 11:57:54 AM
I can see them checking back to the files of 1812...looking for precident on the insurance claims...

Has the show's insurance company made any overtures to the homeowners yet?

From what I've read, yes. They are working with everyone to make it right.

Incidentally, this isn't the first time something like this has happened. They had a show a few weeks ago where they showed one of their first bomb experiences, at a bomb range, created such a large sonic boom, it broke out windows and things in the local town.

So how many times can they destroy property and cause people inconvenience before they need to show some restraint?

You mean the tiny handful of times it has happened in the 9 seasons it has been on the air? 
Title: Re: Rude of them to attempt this?
Post by: Larrabee on December 09, 2011, 12:02:16 PM
I can see them checking back to the files of 1812...looking for precident on the insurance claims...

Has the show's insurance company made any overtures to the homeowners yet?

From what I've read, yes. They are working with everyone to make it right.

Incidentally, this isn't the first time something like this has happened. They had a show a few weeks ago where they showed one of their first bomb experiences, at a bomb range, created such a large sonic boom, it broke out windows and things in the local town.

So how many times can they destroy property and cause people inconvenience before they need to show some restraint?

You mean the tiny handful of times it has happened in the 9 seasons it has been on the air?

Well, its a question!

How many is too many and how much damage is too much damage?
Title: Re: Rude of them to attempt this?
Post by: Twik on December 09, 2011, 12:11:14 PM
How many times can airplanes crash, before we ban them as too risky? How many times can people have car accidents before we ban driving automobiles, because it could hurt other people?

They took the experiment to a professional explosives range. The people who run that had a choice to say no, if they thought there was a serious risk. How much more "restraint" do you want?
Title: Re: Rude of them to attempt this?
Post by: Fleur-de-Lis on December 09, 2011, 12:15:33 PM

(snipped tree)
Well, its a question!

How many is too many and how much damage is too much damage?

Once the insurance rates go up unacceptably because of paid claims, there will be deemed to have been too much damage.  As long as the adjusters are willing to keep the rates manageable, the show will likely remain in production. 

Given some of what they have done (the water tank, most notably), I'm impressed with the safety measures they have been able to successfully implement. 

Given that there have been only two incidents of note in 9 years of production speaks highly of their attention to safety.  But sometimes, physics wins.  To a certain extent, that's why things *must* be live tested.  It all looks pretty on paper, but until it happens, it's impossible to fully anticipate the actuality. 

My ex received a toy cannon for Christmas one year.  1/100th scale model. My genius of an ex decided nothing would do but to put a bit of potato in the barrel and use a mini-firecracker as the detonation.  The cannon recoiled and missed the plate glass wall of our rental by less than foot.  I still wonder what explaining that - and dealing with that - would have entailed.

Physics wins. 
Title: Re: Rude of them to attempt this?
Post by: Larrabee on December 09, 2011, 12:16:51 PM
How many times can airplanes crash, before we ban them as too risky? How many times can people have car accidents before we ban driving automobiles, because it could hurt other people?

They took the experiment to a professional explosives range. The people who run that had a choice to say no, if they thought there was a serious risk. How much more "restraint" do you want?

Ok, well then maybe an additional question is 'At what point are the ends (entertainment) not worth the risks?'
Title: Re: Rude of them to attempt this?
Post by: Twik on December 09, 2011, 12:24:00 PM
How many times can airplanes crash, before we ban them as too risky? How many times can people have car accidents before we ban driving automobiles, because it could hurt other people?

They took the experiment to a professional explosives range. The people who run that had a choice to say no, if they thought there was a serious risk. How much more "restraint" do you want?

Ok, well then maybe an additional question is 'At what point are the ends (entertainment) not worth the risks?'

Actually, that's a very good question - but it affects much more than Mythbusters. Half of the movies made today seem to use pyrotechnics excessively, and they are as much at risk of a freak accident as any Mythbusters episode (consider the number of actors hurt or killed by "blanks", for example).

I'd also ask why exactly there is an explosives range within reach of homes in the first place. And why people took the risk of living there?
Title: Re: Rude of them to attempt this?
Post by: Fleur-de-Lis on December 09, 2011, 12:30:12 PM
How many times can airplanes crash, before we ban them as too risky? How many times can people have car accidents before we ban driving automobiles, because it could hurt other people?

They took the experiment to a professional explosives range. The people who run that had a choice to say no, if they thought there was a serious risk. How much more "restraint" do you want?

Ok, well then maybe an additional question is 'At what point are the ends (entertainment) not worth the risks?'

That supposes the only ends are entertainment.  It also ignores the very real possibility that without a venue such as Mythbusters, there would be even more guys in back garages doing stunts like my ex did - a homemade fireworks show that started a small fire; nearly blowing out the wall with an 1/100th scale cannon, and others I probably don't know about. 

At least with Mythbusters there's a venue to pose the question and some number of uninformed individuals aren't attempting these things with inadequate (or no) safety precautions.

The more important question is how many people *don't* do something because they saw it on Mythbusters, vs. the number who *do*, despite the "don't try this at home" warnings. 

I watch it rarely enough that I can't tell you much that I've meaningfully learned, but I do know more about what safety mechanisms are integral on a hot water tank, and why they're there, and the worst case scenario if they were over-ridden or cascade failed.

Because I'm a science and history geek, it's cool to know to what extent paper armor was as effective as steel armor, and why it hit a fail point.  (For those who didn't see the episode, paper armor was 60-80 percent as effective, and posed a considerably lesser cost on the wearer physically.  To have that much more energy with that small a loss in protection might be an acceptable trade-off for quite a while.)

I'm a writer; I like to know what would *really* happen if.. and I like to see the special effects debunked.  I grew up with Dukes of Hazzard and Knight Rider - it was cool to see what would *really* happen to those cars had those stunts been real. 

Entertainment? Information/Education? Edutainment? Your mileage may vary.
Title: Re: Rude of them to attempt this?
Post by: Larrabee on December 09, 2011, 12:32:43 PM
How many times can airplanes crash, before we ban them as too risky? How many times can people have car accidents before we ban driving automobiles, because it could hurt other people?

They took the experiment to a professional explosives range. The people who run that had a choice to say no, if they thought there was a serious risk. How much more "restraint" do you want?

Ok, well then maybe an additional question is 'At what point are the ends (entertainment) not worth the risks?'

Actually, that's a very good question - but it affects much more than Mythbusters. Half of the movies made today seem to use pyrotechnics excessively, and they are as much at risk of a freak accident as any Mythbusters episode (consider the number of actors hurt or killed by "blanks", for example).

I'd also ask why exactly there is an explosives range within reach of homes in the first place. And why people took the risk of living there?

I lived in that county for 6 months and had no idea it was there!

I understood it that the purpose of the range was to practice disarming bombs, so the cannon scenario isn't exactly what it was intended for, but the managers of the facility do bear responsibility for allowing it be used for an unsuitable purpose.

That's a good point about the film industry.  I've heard of many stunt-people, crew etc. being killed or injured but not of any public safety issues like this.  I suppose there must have been at some point in the last 100 years or so.


EDIT:  After this thread, I am going to try and watch a few episodes of Mythbusters to get a better handle on what they do.  It did seem a lot like gleefully playing with dangerous toys the few times I watched it.
Title: Re: Rude of them to attempt this?
Post by: Fleur-de-Lis on December 09, 2011, 12:35:00 PM
How many times can airplanes crash, before we ban them as too risky? How many times can people have car accidents before we ban driving automobiles, because it could hurt other people?

They took the experiment to a professional explosives range. The people who run that had a choice to say no, if they thought there was a serious risk. How much more "restraint" do you want?

Ok, well then maybe an additional question is 'At what point are the ends (entertainment) not worth the risks?'

Actually, that's a very good question - but it affects much more than Mythbusters. Half of the movies made today seem to use pyrotechnics excessively, and they are as much at risk of a freak accident as any Mythbusters episode (consider the number of actors hurt or killed by "blanks", for example).

I'd also ask why exactly there is an explosives range within reach of homes in the first place. And why people took the risk of living there?

That's a very good question.  The answer is history, and population density.  If the range is on the decommissioned naval base, there isn't a lot that can be done with the area there. 

Population density here (SF Bay Area) means that city councils have shaved the "safe" distance between munitions and housing to a bare minimum.  They also tend to over-estimate the mitigating factors of hills, etc.

And most people buying homes don't actually look to see where things like that are.  They look for schools, community services, etc., and if nobody mentions that there's a decommissioned naval base, they may not know to ask.
Title: Re: Rude of them to attempt this?
Post by: Larrabee on December 09, 2011, 12:35:25 PM

At least with Mythbusters there's a venue to pose the question and some number of uninformed individuals aren't attempting these things with inadequate (or no) safety precautions.

The more important question is how many people *don't* do something because they saw it on Mythbusters, vs. the number who *do*, despite the "don't try this at home" warnings. 


Hopefully your ex wouldn't have had access to a cannon on the scale of this one.  ;)
Title: Re: Rude of them to attempt this?
Post by: Fleur-de-Lis on December 09, 2011, 12:42:02 PM

EDIT:  After this thread, I am going to try and watch a few episodes of Mythbusters to get a better handle on what they do.  It did seem a lot like gleefully playing with dangerous toys the few times I watched it.

Yes, they gleefully play with dangerous toys.  They also inform the viewer as to the science behind what is and isn't dangerous, and why something is or isn't possible.  They put myths (Extra weight on a helicopter blade will cause the helicopter to crash/the moon landing was a fake because ... / you're "safer" (for a relative degree of safety) if you float on your back instead of treading water in the event of an underwater detonation/ etc.) to the test, in scale model and full size.  Sometimes they completely blow their own theories and guesses out of the water.  And then, yes, because they can, they usually make a big explosion at the end, regardless of the results of the testing.

Not that most of us will be in the water when an explosive is detonated, or suddenly swimming with sharks, or tampering with our hot water tank, or ... but who knows? One person might. Or one person might be inspired to take up a career in math/science/film effects because this show made it fun. 
Title: Re: Rude of them to attempt this?
Post by: Larrabee on December 09, 2011, 12:51:22 PM

EDIT:  After this thread, I am going to try and watch a few episodes of Mythbusters to get a better handle on what they do.  It did seem a lot like gleefully playing with dangerous toys the few times I watched it.

Yes, they gleefully play with dangerous toys.  They also inform the viewer as to the science behind what is and isn't dangerous, and why something is or isn't possible.  They put myths (Extra weight on a helicopter blade will cause the helicopter to crash/the moon landing was a fake because ... / you're "safer" (for a relative degree of safety) if you float on your back instead of treading water in the event of an underwater detonation/ etc.) to the test, in scale model and full size.  Sometimes they completely blow their own theories and guesses out of the water.  And then, yes, because they can, they usually make a big explosion at the end, regardless of the results of the testing.

Not that most of us will be in the water when an explosive is detonated, or suddenly swimming with sharks, or tampering with our hot water tank, or ... but who knows? One person might. Or one person might be inspired to take up a career in math/science/film effects because this show made it fun.

One person might be put off the sciences, fearing a work environment dominated by juvenile males.  ;)

I'm not anti-science, and from your posts you seem to think I am which is a shame.
Title: Re: Rude of them to attempt this?
Post by: Ruelz on December 09, 2011, 12:52:11 PM
Well, we don't need to keep re-inventing the wheel...but each generation wants to experience the wheel-inventing for them themselves...and I think that's fair.

I think it's unrealistic to cocoon ourselves and keep ourselves so safe that our lives focus only on taking the next breath and nothing else.

Of course care has to be taken...but there are two kinds of accidents, avoidable ones and unavoidable.  If you've taken all reasonable precautions, then I chalk up the unavoidable accidents to life.

If you really want to make the world safe, you have to get rid of all cars, electronics, varnishes, carpeting, particle board, medications (side-effects), booze, sports, dining (you might choke on something)...etc. to the point it just gets silly.

Our acquaintance that died 2 weeks ago?  We still don't know all of it, but it looks like she misstepped and fell down the stairs when she went home at lunch to pick something up before returning to work.  Her house was  under construction and their was no stair railing.  So add home renovations to the list.

I'm much more likely to die tonight on my way home, in a car accident, than ever by an errant cannonball.
Title: Re: Rude of them to attempt this?
Post by: Fleur-de-Lis on December 09, 2011, 12:54:53 PM

At least with Mythbusters there's a venue to pose the question and some number of uninformed individuals aren't attempting these things with inadequate (or no) safety precautions.

The more important question is how many people *don't* do something because they saw it on Mythbusters, vs. the number who *do*, despite the "don't try this at home" warnings. 


Hopefully your ex wouldn't have had access to a cannon on the scale of this one.  ;)

Who knows - I don't know what they were using.  But a quick Google search showed a 1/2 scale  civil war cannon available for $500, and I think I found the ammunition for it for $10/ball. 

My ex had a reproduction firearm (source unknown) for which he was able to acquire black powder, cleaning rags and ammunition.  (I don't know enough about the matter to properly name the ammunition.) Fortunately, *that* he took to the firing range. 

But if you look for "black powder" or "civil war recreation", there is a lot more available than one may ever have contemplated.
Title: Re: Rude of them to attempt this?
Post by: Twik on December 09, 2011, 01:37:24 PM
One person might be put off the sciences, fearing a work environment dominated by juvenile males.  ;)

Well, better they know in advance....

It's unfortunate, but take it from one who's been there - the average safety protocols in universities are WAY below that espoused by Mythbusters.
Title: Re: Rude of them to attempt this?
Post by: Larrabee on December 09, 2011, 01:40:18 PM
One person might be put off the sciences, fearing a work environment dominated by juvenile males.  ;)

Well, better they know in advance....

It's unfortunate, but take it from one who's been there - the average safety protocols in universities are WAY below that espoused by Mythbusters.

Yet I so rarely see cannonballs flying past the windows while I'm in lectures!  Probably just a matter of time...
Title: Re: Rude of them to attempt this?
Post by: hobish on December 09, 2011, 01:50:08 PM
How many times can airplanes crash, before we ban them as too risky? How many times can people have car accidents before we ban driving automobiles, because it could hurt other people?

They took the experiment to a professional explosives range. The people who run that had a choice to say no, if they thought there was a serious risk. How much more "restraint" do you want?

42, duh.





Sorry, couldn't help myself. Carry on.
Excellent points about insurance all around. They are insured in general and were also insured on this particular experiment, as well. There have been times when one of the crew had to sub in for someone when the original person's insurance would not cover whatever it was they were doing. It's not like they are just a bunch of yahoos.



LOL, modified for spelling. Did not mean to say that they are not a bunch of internet earch engines  :P
Title: Re: Rude of them to attempt this?
Post by: Flora Louise on December 09, 2011, 03:04:54 PM
I keep remembering that episode of Glee in which Sue wanted to fire a cheerleader out of a circus cannon.  ;D
Title: Re: Rude of them to attempt this?
Post by: immadz on December 09, 2011, 03:49:04 PM
One person might be put off the sciences, fearing a work environment dominated by juvenile males.  ;)

Well, better they know in advance....

It's unfortunate, but take it from one who's been there - the average safety protocols in universities are WAY below that espoused by Mythbusters.

Yet I so rarely see cannonballs flying past the windows while I'm in lectures!  Probably just a matter of time...

Lecture halls are far away from the combustion labs for that very reason. I say this as a person who happened to be in the vicinity of an accident in a combustion lab.
Title: Re: Rude of them to attempt this?
Post by: Larrabee on December 09, 2011, 03:50:21 PM
One person might be put off the sciences, fearing a work environment dominated by juvenile males.  ;)

Well, better they know in advance....

It's unfortunate, but take it from one who's been there - the average safety protocols in universities are WAY below that espoused by Mythbusters.

Yet I so rarely see cannonballs flying past the windows while I'm in lectures!  Probably just a matter of time...

Lecture halls are far away from the combustion labs for that very reason. I say this as a person who happened to be in the vicinity of an accident in a combustion lab.

As far away as those houses were from the bomb range?  ;D

It was just a bad joke.  ;)
Title: Re: Rude of them to attempt this?
Post by: Sharnita on December 09, 2011, 06:15:47 PM
People have been killed at concerts - collapsing stages, fires, etc. Are concerts still worth the risk in the name of entertainment?  Certainly steps should be taken not to repeat the same mistakes.  In some cases there should definitely be investigations.  In thesituation described in the OP nobody was killed or, as far as I can tell, hurt.  However it sounds like everyone involved with the show is cooperating by making the whole situation transparent.  They are making restitution and apparently are aware of what ent wrong and intend to make sure it will not happen again.
Title: Re: Rude of them to attempt this?
Post by: MariaE on December 09, 2011, 07:25:36 PM
My favourite episode is the one where they test whether or not elephants actually are afraid/wary of mice  :) Yes, a lot of the show is about blowing stuff up, but there's also some real science in there which makes it a must-watch for a geek like me  ;D

Oh, and I know of at least two people whose lives were saved because of a Mythbusters episode (escape from a submerged car).
Title: Re: Rude of them to attempt this?
Post by: PeterM on December 10, 2011, 03:24:01 AM
How many times can airplanes crash, before we ban them as too risky? How many times can people have car accidents before we ban driving automobiles, because it could hurt other people?

They took the experiment to a professional explosives range. The people who run that had a choice to say no, if they thought there was a serious risk. How much more "restraint" do you want?

I want them to not fire a gigantic gun in any direction where there are dozens or hundreds of innocent people well within the lethal range of said gun. I wouldn't call that "restraint." Honestly, I wouldn't even call it common sense, because I would think it would be even more basic than that. But apparently, out of all the people involved in the decision to fire a cannon at a target, not a single one of them thought, "What happens if we miss?" That's just idiocy, plain and simple. Especially from people who claim to be knowledgeable about science. "An object in motion tends to stay in motion" and all that. It's kind of famous. This isn't even the first time they've had a cannonball travel much further than they expected. The other time it just went into some empty fields and didn't endanger anyone. I figured that was good safety measures at work, but now I guess it must've been just dumb luck.

I see your point about the people running the range being responsible, but I think the Mythbusters are responsible, too. If you're firing a weapon you shouldn't just rely on what someone else says is safe. You're responsible for what happens when the projectile leaves the barrel. If you don't want that responsibility, don't fire the weapon.

As for cars and planes and such, that's not even comparing apples and oranges. It's more like apples and dryer lint. Cars and planes are tools of transportation that pose dangers that society as a whole has decided are worth the risk. A cannon is a deadly weapon that I'll admit can be used to prove various scientific principles, but in my opinion the Mythbusters folks long since left real science behind in favor of "Let's blow some stuff up." But even so, I don't care how many cannons they fire. None of my business. Just don't point them at anyone before you set them off. The same way you don't drive or fly full speed at people in the hopes that whatever safeguards you've set up will keep you from killing anyone.
Title: Re: Rude of them to attempt this?
Post by: hobish on December 10, 2011, 03:32:12 AM
How many times can airplanes crash, before we ban them as too risky? How many times can people have car accidents before we ban driving automobiles, because it could hurt other people?

They took the experiment to a professional explosives range. The people who run that had a choice to say no, if they thought there was a serious risk. How much more "restraint" do you want?

I want them to not fire a gigantic gun in any direction where there are dozens or hundreds of innocent people well within the lethal range of said gun. I wouldn't call that "restraint." Honestly, I wouldn't even call it common sense, because I would think it would be even more basic than that. But apparently, out of all the people involved in the decision to fire a cannon at a target, not a single one of them thought, "What happens if we miss?" That's just idiocy, plain and simple. Especially from people who claim to be knowledgeable about science. "An object in motion tends to stay in motion" and all that. It's kind of famous. This isn't even the first time they've had a cannonball travel much further than they expected. The other time it just went into some empty fields and didn't endanger anyone. I figured that was good safety measures at work, but now I guess it must've been just dumb luck.

I see your point about the people running the range being responsible, but I think the Mythbusters are responsible, too. If you're firing a weapon you shouldn't just rely on what someone else says is safe. You're responsible for what happens when the projectile leaves the barrel. If you don't want that responsibility, don't fire the weapon.

As for cars and planes and such, that's not even comparing apples and oranges. It's more like apples and dryer lint. Cars and planes are tools of transportation that pose dangers that society as a whole has decided are worth the risk. A cannon is a deadly weapon that I'll admit can be used to prove various scientific principles, but in my opinion the Mythbusters folks long since left real science behind in favor of "Let's blow some stuff up." But even so, I don't care how many cannons they fire. None of my business. Just don't point them at anyone before you set them off. The same way you don't drive or fly full speed at people in the hopes that whatever safeguards you've set up will keep you from killing anyone.

It's not comparing apples and oranges. The cannon ball hit a car :)

Title: Re: Rude of them to attempt this?
Post by: RingTailedLemur on December 10, 2011, 03:58:09 AM
No-one said they didn't take responsibility, Peter.

There is no need to be so sarcastic.
Title: Re: Rude of them to attempt this?
Post by: Larrabee on December 10, 2011, 04:10:23 AM
Genuine question, if this hadn't been done for the TV show but just to satisfy the curiosity of some random individuals, would it still be ok?
Title: Re: Rude of them to attempt this?
Post by: Aeris on December 10, 2011, 05:08:55 AM
Genuine question, if this hadn't been done for the TV show but just to satisfy the curiosity of some random individuals, would it still be ok?

Honestly, isn't  that why scientific experiments are often done? Sure, sometimes they are done for 'the betterment of human civilization', but it's easily arguable that 1) those reasons are sometimes just the rationale that gets you the grant, and not the real incipient motivation and 2) a vague notion of 'the betterment of human civilization' could very well be present with sheer curiosity experiments as well.

For most situations, the reason why the experiment is happening doesn't matter that much to me. As a blanket set of rules, I would say that:

1) all reasonable precautions should be taken - to fail to do so would constitute negligence.*

2) all costs of accidental damage, even absent negligence, should be covered by the party creating the experiment. Insurance coverage must be adequate to cover all reasonably foreseeable risks.

Why the experiment is happening just doesn't matter a ton. Having a really awesome reason is not going to get you off the hook in the vast majority of situations if you are conducting experiments without reasonable precautions. And if you're taking all reasonable precautions, and we haven't as a society decided the activity is so inherently dangerous there is no way to take reasonable precautions, then I don't see why the reason really matters all that much.


*There are some things that are so inherently dangerous, they exist in a separate category where purpose matters: i.e., nuclear power - you're not allowed to just experiment with that on your own, no matter how careful you are. Note that in the US, a lot of things involving a certain level of explosives and firepower are typically *not* considered so inherently dangerous to fall into this category. We allow all kinds of explosives/pyrotechnics/etc for movies, rock concerts, and just plain recreation, etc, as PPs have mentioned.


Now, I don't know if Mythbusters was negligent in this case or not. From what little I've read, it sounds like they weren't. It's possible the site owners/managers were negligent if they agreed to allow their site to be used despite it's unsuitability. If Mythbusters knew, or should have known, that the site was unsuitable, then perhaps they were negligent. I don't know. But I would have to know a lot more about the nature of the site, the nature of the cannon, what information is reasonably determinable about such firepower, etc.

Title: Re: Rude of them to attempt this?
Post by: kherbert05 on December 10, 2011, 08:51:33 AM

Cancel science?  Right, because that's definitely what I want to happen.  ::)

The difference this and true science is the intent (well, and the funding) unless the TV show has made any major scientific discoveries or progress that I'm unaware of?

If they want to educate, there are ways that don't involve so much risk, if they want to play or entertain they should get some perspective and scale it right down to experiments where the likelihood of uninvolved parties being seriously impacted is much, much less.

I do put some of the blame on the bomb range management of course.
I hate it when people put this show forward as a great science show. I've watched it a couple of times the formula seems to go like this
1. Disprove myth
2. Make changes so we can either make myth results happen or make a bigger louder explosion
Title: Re: Rude of them to attempt this?
Post by: Shores on December 10, 2011, 09:37:02 AM
Genuine question, if this hadn't been done for the TV show but just to satisfy the curiosity of some random individuals, would it still be ok?
If the "random individual" had the scientific credit to back up the theory, had the approval of the local police (as MB did), had the approval and setup with the bomb range (as MB did), had an explosives expert onsite overseeing the experiment (as MB did) and had successfully fired this same weapon with the same ball in the same place 50 times (as MB did), and something just went bizarrely wrong this one time and they were absolutely willing to cover damages and are apologetic (as MB are), then yes, it would still be OK in my eyes. Sometimes bad things just happen. But this was not a bunch of 15 year olds setting off Molotov Cocktails in the backyard and it was done with the approval and supervision of dozens of experts and that makes it different in my eyes.
Title: Re: Rude of them to attempt this?
Post by: Shores on December 10, 2011, 09:38:06 AM

Cancel science?  Right, because that's definitely what I want to happen.  ::)

The difference this and true science is the intent (well, and the funding) unless the TV show has made any major scientific discoveries or progress that I'm unaware of?

If they want to educate, there are ways that don't involve so much risk, if they want to play or entertain they should get some perspective and scale it right down to experiments where the likelihood of uninvolved parties being seriously impacted is much, much less.

I do put some of the blame on the bomb range management of course.
I hate it when people put this show forward as a great science show. I've watched it a couple of times the formula seems to go like this
1. Disprove myth
2. Make changes so we can either make myth results happen or make a bigger louder explosion
And I hate it when people brush the show off in exactly this manner having seen "a couple of" episodes and making a blanket judgment. Ah well, different opinions and all. ;)
Title: Re: Rude of them to attempt this?
Post by: Yvaine on December 10, 2011, 09:40:01 AM

Cancel science?  Right, because that's definitely what I want to happen.  ::)

The difference this and true science is the intent (well, and the funding) unless the TV show has made any major scientific discoveries or progress that I'm unaware of?

If they want to educate, there are ways that don't involve so much risk, if they want to play or entertain they should get some perspective and scale it right down to experiments where the likelihood of uninvolved parties being seriously impacted is much, much less.

I do put some of the blame on the bomb range management of course.
I hate it when people put this show forward as a great science show. I've watched it a couple of times the formula seems to go like this
1. Disprove myth
2. Make changes so we can either make myth results happen or make a bigger louder explosion

I think the point of the latter--beyond just the desire to blow things up  :D--is to show how extreme the circumstances would have to be for the myth to come true. So, in a totally made-up example, I wouldn't have to be afraid my socks would blow up randomly, because it didn't happen until they soaked them in gasoline and stuffed them with TNT, which is not something I plan on doing with my socks in the normal order of things.
Title: Re: Rude of them to attempt this?
Post by: immadz on December 10, 2011, 09:58:27 AM

Cancel science?  Right, because that's definitely what I want to happen.  ::)

The difference this and true science is the intent (well, and the funding) unless the TV show has made any major scientific discoveries or progress that I'm unaware of?

If they want to educate, there are ways that don't involve so much risk, if they want to play or entertain they should get some perspective and scale it right down to experiments where the likelihood of uninvolved parties being seriously impacted is much, much less.

I do put some of the blame on the bomb range management of course.
I hate it when people put this show forward as a great science show. I've watched it a couple of times the formula seems to go like this
1. Disprove myth
2. Make changes so we can either make myth results happen or make a bigger louder explosion

I think the point of the latter--beyond just the desire to blow things up  :D--is to show how extreme the circumstances would have to be for the myth to come true. So, in a totally made-up example, I wouldn't have to be afraid my socks would blow up randomly, because it didn't happen until they soaked them in gasoline and stuffed them with TNT, which is not something I plan on doing with my socks in the normal order of things.

haha... I love it!
Title: Re: Rude of them to attempt this?
Post by: jimithing on December 10, 2011, 10:05:14 AM

Cancel science?  Right, because that's definitely what I want to happen.  ::)

The difference this and true science is the intent (well, and the funding) unless the TV show has made any major scientific discoveries or progress that I'm unaware of?

If they want to educate, there are ways that don't involve so much risk, if they want to play or entertain they should get some perspective and scale it right down to experiments where the likelihood of uninvolved parties being seriously impacted is much, much less.

I do put some of the blame on the bomb range management of course.
I hate it when people put this show forward as a great science show. I've watched it a couple of times the formula seems to go like this
1. Disprove myth
2. Make changes so we can either make myth results happen or make a bigger louder explosion

Just because something's entertaining, doesn't mean it can't be scientific, and that it's just mindless entertainment. Right, Bill Nye?
Title: Re: Rude of them to attempt this?
Post by: 567Kate on December 10, 2011, 10:20:28 AM
XKCD puts it better than I can: http://xkcd.com/397/

While the show may not create results that could be published in a scientific journal, I think they do a lot to encourage the concept of scientific inquiry. Too many people think of science as a list of rules to learn, rather than as the process it is. I'd like to think that Mythbusters encourages people to think about how we know things and how to test our ideas, in addition to making cool explosions.

As for the cannon incident, I actually feel like I don't have enough information to know whether this was a freak accident or they were negligent. The team generally takes all possible safety precautions, which is why viewers of the show are giving them the benefit of the doubt here. I was very surprised to learn that people lived that close to a bomb disposal range, and it is possible that it will come out that the team did not take sufficient precautions for this project. I feel like a lot more analysis of the accident (by an outside source) is needed to know for sure.

And I'll reiterate that I really admire Adam and Jamie for taking responsibility and not throwing any of their crew under the bus.
Title: Re: Rude of them to attempt this?
Post by: MariaE on December 10, 2011, 10:26:39 AM

Cancel science?  Right, because that's definitely what I want to happen.  ::)

The difference this and true science is the intent (well, and the funding) unless the TV show has made any major scientific discoveries or progress that I'm unaware of?

If they want to educate, there are ways that don't involve so much risk, if they want to play or entertain they should get some perspective and scale it right down to experiments where the likelihood of uninvolved parties being seriously impacted is much, much less.

I do put some of the blame on the bomb range management of course.
I hate it when people put this show forward as a great science show. I've watched it a couple of times the formula seems to go like this
1. Disprove myth
2. Make changes so we can either make myth results happen or make a bigger louder explosion

I think the point of the latter--beyond just the desire to blow things up  :D--is to show how extreme the circumstances would have to be for the myth to come true. So, in a totally made-up example, I wouldn't have to be afraid my socks would blow up randomly, because it didn't happen until they soaked them in gasoline and stuffed them with TNT, which is not something I plan on doing with my socks in the normal order of things.

Yup, this exactly. They always say that there are two parts to debunking a myth - replicating the circumstances, and replicating the results  :)

I love the show - it's a favourite of both my DH and me, and I have definitely learned a lot about science from it, so I'm not sure how people can claim it's not an educational science show  ???
Title: Re: Rude of them to attempt this?
Post by: wolfie on December 10, 2011, 10:29:25 AM

Cancel science?  Right, because that's definitely what I want to happen.  ::)

The difference this and true science is the intent (well, and the funding) unless the TV show has made any major scientific discoveries or progress that I'm unaware of?

If they want to educate, there are ways that don't involve so much risk, if they want to play or entertain they should get some perspective and scale it right down to experiments where the likelihood of uninvolved parties being seriously impacted is much, much less.

I do put some of the blame on the bomb range management of course.
I hate it when people put this show forward as a great science show. I've watched it a couple of times the formula seems to go like this
1. Disprove myth
2. Make changes so we can either make myth results happen or make a bigger louder explosion

That's not accurate. They have proved some myths to be true and some to be undetermined. Also some they have abandoned before completion because they decided that the side effects were too dangerous to continue.
Title: Re: Rude of them to attempt this?
Post by: RingTailedLemur on December 10, 2011, 12:06:15 PM
I show clips of Mythbusters to my students.

My favourite was the one which demonstrated the independence of vertical and horizontal motion - a bullet fired horizontally out of a gun and another dropped from the same height, at the same time, hit the ground together.

It's a common thought experiment, but I have never seen it done anywhere else.  Brilliant.
Title: Re: Rude of them to attempt this?
Post by: PeterM on December 10, 2011, 02:58:20 PM
No-one said they didn't take responsibility, Peter.

There are people on this thread saying it was just an accident, as far as I can tell with no real responsibility at all being assigned. There are other people who certainly seem to be saying that all responsibility lies with the people in charge of the range, not with the Mythbusters.


Quote
There is no need to be so sarcastic.

There's always a need for sarcasm, in my opinion, but I apologize if I went too far.

Honestly, though, I'm having a very hard time understanding why my suggested rule of "Point weapons away from innocent people before firing" is apparently being seen as unreasonable. I'm happy to expand it to include "Or make sure there's some barrier that the projectiles will definitely hit and absolutely cannot penetrate," if that makes people happier.

The only firing ranges I'm at all familiar with follow the latter rule, to give something to compare to. One is set up at the base of a large hill/small mountain, so anything that misses or goes through the targets is stopped by the millions of tons of earth. The other is indoors, fully enclosed by materials that no small arms fire could possibly go through. If people using those ranges somehow managed to fire their weapons in a way that ended up endangering innocent lives, I'd be willing to accept the term "freak accident" when describing the situation and could understand assigning blame more to the owners/designers of the ranges than to those who fired the weapons.

I can't accept the term "freak accident" for the Mythbusters' mistake, because it would've been entirely avoidable if they'd just put more stringent safeguards in place. Seriously, point the cannon away from occupied houses. That's all it would've taken.

Unless - did the cannon somehow shift at least ninety degrees before firing? If it was pointed at nothing but empty fields but somehow fired in a significantly different direction, I'd accept that it can reasonably be called an unforeseeable accident. Though even then I'd hold everyone involved responsible for placing the cannon in such a  way that it was physically possible for it to fire that far away from where it was supposed to. But that would be a much lesser offense, in my opinion.

The article doesn't seem to indicate that's the case, though. They were firing at water containers which apparently had a cinder-block wall behind them. They missed the containers and the cannonball went through the wall and kept going. Given that missing your intended target is an entirely foreseeable result of firing a weapon, and that cannons were invented specifically to penetrate stone walls and damage things on the other side, I still think they were incredibly careless and, yes, rude to conduct the "experiment" the way they did.
Title: Re: Rude of them to attempt this?
Post by: Garden Goblin on December 10, 2011, 04:23:51 PM
I seem to recall a few years back, Mythbusters did a 'can you beat the red light camera' test.  To do this, they had to drive cars to the location.

Now, out of curiousity, if one of the test cars had suddenly had a massive blowout while being driven and crashed into someone's property, would we be here discussing how careless and rude the Mythbusters were?  It's a considerably more foreseeable accident. 

The cinderblock wall is designed to stop the ammo.  They checked with the owners of the place who assured them it was okay.  They did their due diligence.  An accident happened anyway.  They are apologetic and willing to make restitution.  I fail to see what more can be expected from them.
Title: Re: Rude of them to attempt this?
Post by: HenrysMom on December 10, 2011, 05:20:11 PM
I'm familiar with that area, so that projectile must have bounced off something at/around the range, then bounced around half the town.  There are schools in that area also, if my memory serves.  Very irresponsible of the crew and sheriff's dept.
Title: Re: Rude of them to attempt this?
Post by: PeterM on December 10, 2011, 05:46:24 PM
I seem to recall a few years back, Mythbusters did a 'can you beat the red light camera' test.  To do this, they had to drive cars to the location.

Now, out of curiousity, if one of the test cars had suddenly had a massive blowout while being driven and crashed into someone's property, would we be here discussing how careless and rude the Mythbusters were?  It's a considerably more foreseeable accident. 

The cinderblock wall is designed to stop the ammo.  They checked with the owners of the place who assured them it was okay.  They did their due diligence.  An accident happened anyway.  They are apologetic and willing to make restitution.  I fail to see what more can be expected from them.

I honest and truly do not think the two examples are comparable, but if we're going to compare them I would only blame the MBs or any other TV crew for a car accident if they were driving recklessly. I will only blame them for accidents with firearms or cannons if they use them recklessly. I think aiming a cannon in a direction that has innocent people well within the lethal range of the cannonball constitutes using it recklessly. Others disagree.

I also doubt very much that the cinder-block wall was designed to stop a cannonball propelled from a black powder cannon. I would need to see some evidence before I accepted that claim. As for what more I expect of them, I expect them to aim any future cannons they fire in a safe direction before touching them off. I do not believe that is an unreasonable suggestion. I also find it hard to believe it never occurred to anyone on the show long before this incident.

Title: Re: Rude of them to attempt this?
Post by: twiggy on December 10, 2011, 06:07:51 PM
http://www.wvva.com/story/16208898/mythbusters-cannonball-tears-through-house-van

Quote
Instead of hitting a string of water-filled garbage cans, however, the cannonball passed over the barrels, crashed straight through a protective cinderblock wall and careened off the hill behind it, said Alameda County Sheriff's Department spokesman J.D. Nelson.

"It missed the target and took kind of an oddball bounce," Nelson said. "It was almost like skipping a rock on a lake. Instead of burying it into the hill it just went skyward."

It looks like the water filled garbage cans were the first level of defense. It seems that they would have slowed the cannon balls, and then the cinderblock wall would presumably have either stopped or slowed the cannon ball. And, if it made it past the wall, the ball should have then been buried in the hill behind.

Based on this statement, I don't think that the MB crew was pointing their cannon into a neighborhood with wanton recklessness.

I think that this was an accident. I also think that MB should be held accountable for it. It seems that they are accepting responsibility for the damage that their actions caused. I also believe that they will learn from this incident and make any necessary changes to make their experiments as safe as possible in the future.
Title: Re: Rude of them to attempt this?
Post by: afbluebelle on December 10, 2011, 11:04:02 PM
Eh, no one was hurt. I call it an accident.

I'm biased though... my employer has a long history of mucking up the local communities around it. We accidentally bombed the Las Vegas Strip once  :-[ A 25 lb practice bomb through the engine block. Guy's truck was not happy.
Title: Re: Rude of them to attempt this?
Post by: splifficated on December 11, 2011, 02:13:32 AM
One of the basic tenets of gun safety is not to point a weapon at anything unless you want it destroyed.  Given this a science show, I would expect them to have a grasp of the physics involved in stopping a bomb and should therefore ensured that everything in a possible target zone was clear and that their mechanisms to stop the ball would be adequate to stop it.

Mistake 1:  Whoever their weapons expert is should be seriously questioned for not knowing how much recoil the cannon would have and how it would affect trajectory.  I realize we don't use cannons much anymore, but this is basic physics.  Actually the scientists on the show should be ashamed, too.  I say this because they blamed the recoil, not an improperly functioning gun. If there was a flaw in the gun, it would still be a mistake in not properly examining the weapon, but I would find it more understandable than a basic physics error on a science show.

Mistake 2: Not have adequate barriers to stop the cannon.  Due to science error above, they didn't have enough water tanks or position them properly, so there was only a brick wall which there weapons guy would presumably know was inadequate.

Mistake 3: Beyond the wall was a populated area.  See basic gun safety.

Mitigating factor: Apparently, beyond the brick wall was a hill into which the cannonball was expected to bury itself? If that's the case - and assuming the hill was big enough - well that changes my opinion entirely.  It completely wipes out mistake #2 and #3, leaving only mistake #1.  And mistake #1 is forgivable as the hill should have provided adequate protection.

However, it seems like the hill wasn't tall enough to compensate for bad aim.  Their bad.  And really, this is basic science and basic gun safety.  I don't understand why a well funded, knowledgeable group with their resources could make such basic mistakes. 

Since no one got hurt, I hope they'll reevaluate their experts and precautionary measures but I don't find them totally reprehensible.  Assuming the hill should have stopped the cannon, of course.
Title: Re: Rude of them to attempt this?
Post by: Aeris on December 11, 2011, 02:38:05 AM
One of the basic tenets of gun safety is not to point a weapon at anything unless you want it destroyed.  Given this a science show, I would expect them to have a grasp of the physics involved in stopping a bomb and should therefore ensured that everything in a possible target zone was clear and that their mechanisms to stop the ball would be adequate to stop it.

Mistake 1:  Whoever their weapons expert is should be seriously questioned for not knowing how much recoil the cannon would have and how it would affect trajectory.  I realize we don't use cannons much anymore, but this is basic physics.  Actually the scientists on the show should be ashamed, too.  I say this because they blamed the recoil, not an improperly functioning gun. If there was a flaw in the gun, it would still be a mistake in not properly examining the weapon, but I would find it more understandable than a basic physics error on a science show.

Mistake 2: Not have adequate barriers to stop the cannon.  Due to science error above, they didn't have enough water tanks or position them properly, so there was only a brick wall which there weapons guy would presumably know was inadequate.

Mistake 3: Beyond the wall was a populated area.  See basic gun safety.

Mitigating factor: Apparently, beyond the brick wall was a hill into which the cannonball was expected to bury itself? If that's the case - and assuming the hill was big enough - well that changes my opinion entirely.  It completely wipes out mistake #2 and #3, leaving only mistake #1.  And mistake #1 is forgivable as the hill should have provided adequate protection.

However, it seems like the hill wasn't tall enough to compensate for bad aim.  Their bad.  And really, this is basic science and basic gun safety.  I don't understand why a well funded, knowledgeable group with their resources could make such basic mistakes. 

Since no one got hurt, I hope they'll reevaluate their experts and precautionary measures but I don't find them totally reprehensible.  Assuming the hill should have stopped the cannon, of course.

I don't think the hill wasn't high enough. I was under the impression that the cannonball *bounced* off the hill unexpectedly. That's a totally different situation.
Title: Re: Rude of them to attempt this?
Post by: splifficated on December 11, 2011, 02:47:07 AM
One of the basic tenets of gun safety is not to point a weapon at anything unless you want it destroyed.  Given this a science show, I would expect them to have a grasp of the physics involved in stopping a bomb and should therefore ensured that everything in a possible target zone was clear and that their mechanisms to stop the ball would be adequate to stop it.

Mistake 1:  Whoever their weapons expert is should be seriously questioned for not knowing how much recoil the cannon would have and how it would affect trajectory.  I realize we don't use cannons much anymore, but this is basic physics.  Actually the scientists on the show should be ashamed, too.  I say this because they blamed the recoil, not an improperly functioning gun. If there was a flaw in the gun, it would still be a mistake in not properly examining the weapon, but I would find it more understandable than a basic physics error on a science show.

Mistake 2: Not have adequate barriers to stop the cannon.  Due to science error above, they didn't have enough water tanks or position them properly, so there was only a brick wall which there weapons guy would presumably know was inadequate.

Mistake 3: Beyond the wall was a populated area.  See basic gun safety.

Mitigating factor: Apparently, beyond the brick wall was a hill into which the cannonball was expected to bury itself? If that's the case - and assuming the hill was big enough - well that changes my opinion entirely.  It completely wipes out mistake #2 and #3, leaving only mistake #1.  And mistake #1 is forgivable as the hill should have provided adequate protection.

However, it seems like the hill wasn't tall enough to compensate for bad aim.  Their bad.  And really, this is basic science and basic gun safety.  I don't understand why a well funded, knowledgeable group with their resources could make such basic mistakes. 

Since no one got hurt, I hope they'll reevaluate their experts and precautionary measures but I don't find them totally reprehensible.  Assuming the hill should have stopped the cannon, of course.

I don't think the hill wasn't high enough. I was under the impression that the cannonball *bounced* off the hill unexpectedly. That's a totally different situation.

If that's the case, I can't really see how this is anything but an accident, and it's just an accident.  And I was blaming them in my head before I heard their was a hill between them and the general public.  A brick wall did not seem adequate, but a hill...
Title: Re: Rude of them to attempt this?
Post by: RingTailedLemur on December 11, 2011, 06:07:08 AM
No-one said they didn't take responsibility, Peter.

There are people on this thread saying it was just an accident, as far as I can tell with no real responsibility at all being assigned. There are other people who certainly seem to be saying that all responsibility lies with the people in charge of the range, not with the Mythbusters.


The people on this board can say whatever they like.  Your earlier post insinuated that the Mythbusters themselves were not taking responsibility, which is what I was responding to because it is completely and utterly untrue.

As for "there always being a need for sarcasm", I have to assume you are joking because no-one could seriously say such a thing on an etiquette board and mean it.
Title: Re: Rude of them to attempt this?
Post by: CuriousParty on December 11, 2011, 07:34:49 AM

Mistake 1:  Whoever their weapons expert is should be seriously questioned for not knowing how much recoil the cannon would have and how it would affect trajectory.  I realize we don't use cannons much anymore, but this is basic physics.  Actually the scientists on the show should be ashamed, too.  I say this because they blamed the recoil, not an improperly functioning gun. If there was a flaw in the gun, it would still be a mistake in not properly examining the weapon, but I would find it more understandable than a basic physics error on a science show.

While I agree with the tenets of your post, in reading the article it also stated that this same cannon had been fired by the show 50 times in the past. In my opinion, they had reason to believe it would behave as it had in the past, and reason to believe that if it did not, the hill beyond would be adequate. This does seem to me like a true accident - as someone upthread said, "Sometimes physics wins."(btw, love that, it should be a t-shirt). Those facts plus the fact that they DO seem to be quite embarrassed and willing to make adjustments to their procedures as well as restitution goes a long way with me.
Title: Re: Rude of them to attempt this?
Post by: Golden Phoenix on December 11, 2011, 02:17:49 PM
From what i've read (please don't make me go find that article again, i read it yesterday, and don't remember where, lol) the bank behind the target was sufficient to stop the projectile in the past, however this time it bounced unexpectedly reuslting n the damage.

I can't help but think of a story told to us by our CO when i was a cadet. the "butts" of the firing range were on the front of a hill, whne it was in use the path that ran along the hill was guarded for safety as it was a public footpath. One day firing was going on when a man appeared on top of the hill and was shot (flesh wound, so we were told) through the leg. Turns out he had decided to camp in the wood on the other side of the hill and had climbed up to see what was going on. A lot of people said the cadets should never be allowed to fire weapons where a person may be.

Trouble is, in both cases, safeguards were in place and everything had been ok in the past (the range had been open for years) but this time it went wrong. Not everything can be foreseen.

I watch a lot of mythbusters and have seen how picky they are about their safety at all times. If there was the slightest indication that this was unsafe then they would have stopped, they have done so in the past. This time, a fluke happened.
Title: Re: Rude of them to attempt this?
Post by: Carotte on December 11, 2011, 07:24:18 PM
Science, or 'science' if you rather, experiments are there to check what would happen in real life. Until then you can't really know what is bound to happen, that's why you check and experiment. So there is no way to make a 100% sure that no accident will happen, and knowing MB, they probably went to 99% and the freak 1% happened.
I wouldn't blame them one bit, I would however blame them if they didn't take their responsibilities or didn't make sure to be as safe as possible.


Someone beat me to say that some people owe their life to watching mythbuster ( and some to watching Bear Grylls running around naked in the snow*).
And it's always nice to know that C4 would not blow up if heated in a microwave. ( Actually I see no use for this information in my case, but it did get me interested in the physic/science behind explosives),
But I do think, personally, that they blow up stuff a bit too much ( when they 'don't' have to ), at least they do it safely**.


*Ok, he's not always doing that... just a lot
**Kari, Grant and Tori did get a bit close to being roasting like marshmallows because they didn't think their explosion would be *that* big
Title: Re: Rude of them to attempt this?
Post by: PeterM on December 12, 2011, 02:01:27 PM
Mitigating factor: Apparently, beyond the brick wall was a hill into which the cannonball was expected to bury itself? If that's the case - and assuming the hill was big enough - well that changes my opinion entirely.  It completely wipes out mistake #2 and #3, leaving only mistake #1.  And mistake #1 is forgivable as the hill should have provided adequate protection.

However, it seems like the hill wasn't tall enough to compensate for bad aim.  Their bad.  And really, this is basic science and basic gun safety.  I don't understand why a well funded, knowledgeable group with their resources could make such basic mistakes. 

Since no one got hurt, I hope they'll reevaluate their experts and precautionary measures but I don't find them totally reprehensible.  Assuming the hill should have stopped the cannon, of course.

You've stated pretty much my exact thoughts on the matter in one post better than I did in several.

About the hill, though, I'd need to know more before calling it a true mitigating factor. Cannonballs bounce. Deliberately making them bounce was apparently a common and powerful tactic when they were still used in warfare. So unless a hill is pretty close to vertical, I myself wouldn't expect it to definitely stop a cannonball. Of course, I have at best a layman's grasp of this sort of thing. If true experts thought it would do the job and it was a one in a million fluke that it didn't, that's another matter.

Except, the MB boys have bounced a cannonball over a hill in the past. No one came even close to being hurt in that case, but you would think it would inform their future use of cannons. And given that they tend to use the same sites for their show, I certainly hope it wasn't the same hill this time around.
Title: Re: Rude of them to attempt this?
Post by: PeterM on December 12, 2011, 02:05:12 PM
There are people on this thread saying it was just an accident, as far as I can tell with no real responsibility at all being assigned. There are other people who certainly seem to be saying that all responsibility lies with the people in charge of the range, not with the Mythbusters.

The people on this board can say whatever they like.  Your earlier post insinuated that the Mythbusters themselves were not taking responsibility, which is what I was responding to because it is completely and utterly untrue.

Can you please quote where you think I did that? I have no actual knowledge as to whether the MBs took personal responsibility for this accident, but I assume they did. I have never intended to talk about their assumption of responsibility, only the assigning of responsibility by people in this thread.

Quote
As for "there always being a need for sarcasm", I have to assume you are joking because no-one could seriously say such a thing on an etiquette board and mean it.

I do personally think that sarcasm helps almost every situation, but I also agree that it has a time and a place. I don't think it's any less appropriate on this board than any other forum I can think of.
Title: Re: Rude of them to attempt this?
Post by: splifficated on December 12, 2011, 02:24:07 PM
Mitigating factor: Apparently, beyond the brick wall was a hill into which the cannonball was expected to bury itself? If that's the case - and assuming the hill was big enough - well that changes my opinion entirely.  It completely wipes out mistake #2 and #3, leaving only mistake #1.  And mistake #1 is forgivable as the hill should have provided adequate protection.

However, it seems like the hill wasn't tall enough to compensate for bad aim.  Their bad.  And really, this is basic science and basic gun safety.  I don't understand why a well funded, knowledgeable group with their resources could make such basic mistakes. 

Since no one got hurt, I hope they'll reevaluate their experts and precautionary measures but I don't find them totally reprehensible.  Assuming the hill should have stopped the cannon, of course.

You've stated pretty much my exact thoughts on the matter in one post better than I did in several.

About the hill, though, I'd need to know more before calling it a true mitigating factor. Cannonballs bounce. Deliberately making them bounce was apparently a common and powerful tactic when they were still used in warfare. So unless a hill is pretty close to vertical, I myself wouldn't expect it to definitely stop a cannonball. Of course, I have at best a layman's grasp of this sort of thing. If true experts thought it would do the job and it was a one in a million fluke that it didn't, that's another matter.

Except, the MB boys have bounced a cannonball over a hill in the past. No one came even close to being hurt in that case, but you would think it would inform their future use of cannons. And given that they tend to use the same sites for their show, I certainly hope it wasn't the same hill this time around.

That's interesting about the bounce... I didn't know that cannonballs were expected to do that.  That does make it sound like MB should have realized this situation was a potential outcome and taken further steps than they did. 

My basic instinct is that it's on MB to go even further to take precautions because what they do goes against what I've been taught about guns and gun safety ie respcting the weapon, guns are not toys, etc.  I'm not saying they shouldn't do what they do, but that it's on them to be very careful, since they engaging in dangerous activity for a less than necessary cause.

On the other hand, a previous poster said they've used this cannon before, and therefore this is likely to be an unusual firing. In which case, I have more sympathy for MBs position. 

Title: Re: Rude of them to attempt this?
Post by: RingTailedLemur on December 12, 2011, 03:46:35 PM
There are people on this thread saying it was just an accident, as far as I can tell with no real responsibility at all being assigned. There are other people who certainly seem to be saying that all responsibility lies with the people in charge of the range, not with the Mythbusters.

The people on this board can say whatever they like.  Your earlier post insinuated that the Mythbusters themselves were not taking responsibility, which is what I was responding to because it is completely and utterly untrue.

Can you please quote where you think I did that? I have no actual knowledge as to whether the MBs took personal responsibility for this accident, but I assume they did. I have never intended to talk about their assumption of responsibility, only the assigning of responsibility by people in this thread.


Here:

Quote
I think the Mythbusters are responsible, too. If you're firing a weapon you shouldn't just rely on what someone else says is safe. You're responsible for what happens when the projectile leaves the barrel. If you don't want that responsibility, don't fire the weapon.

I refuse to engage with you any more, as I do not want the thread derailed by side arguments.
Title: Re: Rude of them to attempt this?
Post by: cass2591 on December 12, 2011, 05:29:00 PM
If you choose not to engage, then don't engage. Just don't announce it.