Author Topic: Rude of them to attempt this?  (Read 12045 times)

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Garden Goblin

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Re: Rude of them to attempt this?
« Reply #75 on: December 10, 2011, 05:23:51 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.

BarensMom

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Re: Rude of them to attempt this?
« Reply #76 on: December 10, 2011, 06:20:11 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.

PeterM

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Re: Rude of them to attempt this?
« Reply #77 on: December 10, 2011, 06:46:24 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.


twiggy

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Re: Rude of them to attempt this?
« Reply #78 on: December 10, 2011, 07:07:51 PM »
http://www.wvva.com/story/16208898/mythbusters-cannonball-tears-through-house-van

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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.
In the United States today, there is a pervasive tendency to treat children as adults, and adults as children.  The options of children are thus steadily expanded, while those of adults are progressively constricted.  The result is unruly children and childish adults.  ~Thomas Szasz

afbluebelle

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Re: Rude of them to attempt this?
« Reply #79 on: December 11, 2011, 12:04:02 AM »
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.
My inner (r-word) is having a field day with this one.
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splifficated

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Re: Rude of them to attempt this?
« Reply #80 on: December 11, 2011, 03:13:32 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.

Aeris

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Re: Rude of them to attempt this?
« Reply #81 on: December 11, 2011, 03:38:05 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.

splifficated

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Re: Rude of them to attempt this?
« Reply #82 on: December 11, 2011, 03:47:07 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...

RingTailedLemur

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Re: Rude of them to attempt this?
« Reply #83 on: December 11, 2011, 07:07:08 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.

CuriousParty

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Re: Rude of them to attempt this?
« Reply #84 on: December 11, 2011, 08:34:49 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.

Golden Phoenix

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Re: Rude of them to attempt this?
« Reply #85 on: December 11, 2011, 03:17:49 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.

Carotte

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Re: Rude of them to attempt this?
« Reply #86 on: December 11, 2011, 08:24:18 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

PeterM

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Re: Rude of them to attempt this?
« Reply #87 on: December 12, 2011, 03:01:27 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.

PeterM

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Re: Rude of them to attempt this?
« Reply #88 on: December 12, 2011, 03:05:12 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.

splifficated

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Re: Rude of them to attempt this?
« Reply #89 on: December 12, 2011, 03:24:07 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.