Author Topic: Rude of them to attempt this?  (Read 11300 times)

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Fleur-de-Lis

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Re: Rude of them to attempt this?
« Reply #45 on: December 09, 2011, 01:35:00 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.
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Larrabee

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Re: Rude of them to attempt this?
« Reply #46 on: December 09, 2011, 01:35:25 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.  ;)

Fleur-de-Lis

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Re: Rude of them to attempt this?
« Reply #47 on: December 09, 2011, 01:42:02 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. 
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Larrabee

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Re: Rude of them to attempt this?
« Reply #48 on: December 09, 2011, 01:51:22 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.

Ruelz

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Re: Rude of them to attempt this?
« Reply #49 on: December 09, 2011, 01:52:11 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.
« Last Edit: December 09, 2011, 01:59:35 PM by Ruelz »
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Fleur-de-Lis

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Re: Rude of them to attempt this?
« Reply #50 on: December 09, 2011, 01:54:53 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.
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Twik

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Re: Rude of them to attempt this?
« Reply #51 on: December 09, 2011, 02:37:24 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.
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Larrabee

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Re: Rude of them to attempt this?
« Reply #52 on: December 09, 2011, 02:40:18 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...

hobish

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Re: Rude of them to attempt this?
« Reply #53 on: December 09, 2011, 02:50:08 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
« Last Edit: December 09, 2011, 02:53:18 PM by hobish »
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Flora Louise

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Re: Rude of them to attempt this?
« Reply #54 on: December 09, 2011, 04:04:54 PM »
I keep remembering that episode of Glee in which Sue wanted to fire a cheerleader out of a circus cannon.  ;D
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immadz

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Re: Rude of them to attempt this?
« Reply #55 on: December 09, 2011, 04:49:04 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.


Larrabee

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Re: Rude of them to attempt this?
« Reply #56 on: December 09, 2011, 04:50:21 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.  ;)

Sharnita

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Re: Rude of them to attempt this?
« Reply #57 on: December 09, 2011, 07:15:47 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.

MariaE

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Re: Rude of them to attempt this?
« Reply #58 on: December 09, 2011, 08:25:36 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).
 
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PeterM

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Re: Rude of them to attempt this?
« Reply #59 on: December 10, 2011, 04:24:01 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.