Results tagged “MythBusters” from kwc blog

Elsewhere on kwc.org

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The Hindenburg and Underwater Car myths are two of my favorites that they have tested recently. I still have a huge backlog of episodes though this clears it up a bit.

Mythbusters guides redesign

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AnnotatedMythbustersRedesign-thumb.jpgI did a very, very quick redesign of my MythBusters episode guides site and even gave it a new name: Annotated MythBusters. 'Annotated' seemed slightly less hackneyed than 'Unofficial', which was chosen because I was getting sick of dealing with absurd cease and desists. Annotated is a little bit closer to what I'm trying to do, which is both document what occurred as well as provide supplementary links to details not covered during the episode.

The only reason I was able to do a quick redesign was because I used Liz Lubowitz's "Calm, Cool, Collected" entry into the SixApart Style Contest. I made some minor tweaks, such as tweaking widths and removing background graphics, but I didn't want to spend too much time on it, and Liz's design was already so clean. Her other designs are quite good as well and are there to remind me that 1) I don't know jack about CSS anymore and 2) I really, really need to get the redesign of this blog done sometime. Maybe I'll make that a resolution as well.

Elsewhere on kwc.org (Part IX)

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Episode 69: 22,000 foot fall, Lights On or Off

The 22,000 Foot Fall myth was in many was a revisit of the Cement Mix Up myth, i.e. setting off a really big explosion in a Calaveras County quarry for kicks, though they were actually testing a myth this time around. This explosion had better footage than the cement truck as you could see the shockwave more clearly, and there is even a fire-fighting copter swooping in afterwards to put out fire on the surrounding hillside. As this myth did have a true story at its core, there was some hint of belief from Adam that this might actually work... until they were reminded what a 1,000 lb bomb looks like.

I was interested in the lights on or off myth as I had been told that its generally best if you leave fluorescent lights on all the time. I believe I had been told something like, "unless you leave the fluorescent lights off for more than an hour, you shouldn't turn them off." As it turns out, the actual rule for fluorescent lights is about 23 seconds. For other lights, about a second or less.

Episode 61: Deadly Straw, Primary Perception

The primary perception myth was the kooky myth of the episode and it started off on a weird note: they actually got a polygraph to react to Tory's thoughts of harming a plant. As they improved their experimental setup, though, these weird results disappeared.

The hurricane-related myths saw the construction of a new MythBusters air cannon. This one couldn't fire chickens -- just at them -- but it did feature an 80-foot-long barrel. It was a little scary as a straw gun; it was absolutely frightening as a piano wire gun.

Episode 62: Killer Cable Snaps, Pottery Record

The cable snap myth saw the return of pig carcasses as standins for human bodies. Its not a episode for those easily made queasy. The cable snap myth tested a belief that many of us, including Adam, had: that a snapping cable can cut you in half. But their own researchers had not turned up a single confirmed case of this actually happening and their testing confirmed what their researchers did: a snapping cable isn't going to cut through you like butter. It can kill you and cause many other types of damage, but in their multiple tests, though couldn't get a single cut.

Elsewhere on kwc.org (part VIII)

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NYTimes on MythBusters

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The New York Times has an article title 'Best Science Show on Television?", which discusses the MythBusters TV show and their Hindenburg experiment.

I get to clear some photos from the backlog

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The MythBusters "Mega Movie Myths" episode has now aired so I've uploaded some more photos from "Awning Fall," which is the segment that we got to watch. m lent me the 16-35mm lens that really made a lot of these shots possible. I'm still watching the episode so I'll keep my comments brief, except to say its fun to finally see how they put it all together.

Mythbusters-Awning Fall-Adam

Mythbusters-Awning Fall-Buster Butt Mythbusters-Awning Fall-Buster Butt

I was just on MythBusters!

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See if you can spot me ;) (Hint: you won't recognize me, just my big telephoto lens shooting behind everyone as Tory does his fall)

Elsewhere on kwc.org (Part VII)

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I've gotten a start on the season 4 episode writeups. Of course I am eagerly anticipating the episode that I got to watch in person, but many of these have been fun as well. Never before have I gotten so much background info on a myth prior it to showing. I mean, it's one thing to hear Adam tell everyone at lunch about that pizza he ate, it's another thing entirely to watch said pizza spinning down a whirlpool vortex.

Light blogging cont'd + hiatus

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I'm heading off to Japan on Friday for work + play. I've been catching up on my JapanesePod101.com lessons, which I think is an excellent language resource for those of you with iPods. You get beginner- and intermediate-level spoken courses and you also get an English/romaji/kanji/hiragana/katakana transcription if you press you press the center wheel on your iPod a couple times. I didn't even know that you could store note tracks with podcasts until they explained this feature and I've loved it ever since.

I'm hoping my RSI cools down a bit while in Japan, but for now the light blogging continues...

On a separate note, the episode guide for Myths Reopened is now up. The arrow-splitting myth was the only true revisit; the salami rocket and bullets fired underwater were variations of the original myth.

Elsewhere on kwc.org (part 4)

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A writeup of my visit to the MythBusters set and the Tour de Georgia coverage has concluded. It's been an exciting month, from cycling events like the Sea Otter Classic, Menlo Park, and the Tour de Georgia, to MythBusters to Maker Faire to Alternative Press Expo, but I'm probably going to have to buy a stack of hard drives for all the photos and videos, and I go to Japan in two weeks! These are very good times.

Maker Faire

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Maker Faire was so much bigger and better than I thought it would be. I thought it would be great, but it was amazing. There were multiple pavilions crammed with eye-catching maker-foo and everywhere inbetween was interestingness as well. It was part Burning Man, part science fair, part RoboOlympics, part Web 2.0 conference, part RoboNexus, part DorkBot, part arts and crafts fair, part who knows. m, d, and I went on Saturday and I couldn't resist going back for Sunday as well. Some highlights:

Maker Faire-07 Maker Faire-10 Maker Faire-17 Maker Faire-13 Maker Faire-06 Maker Faire-15

  • Parallax had some great workshops, great in that you got to walk away with ~$70 worth of hardware for only $15. I made an RFID reader and a ultrasonic range finder. It's a good investment on their part -- I'm very tempted to get into BASIC Stamp programming now and also get one of their boe-bots: they showed off how you can mount the range finder on a swivel to turn it into a short-range (3.3m) radar.
  • I had a great time relearning how to solder while making my own Simon game.
  • The MythBusters were there playing Segway Polo and test driving a Xebra. The parking lot smelled like burning after their test drive.
  • The fine folks of The Crucible had a firetruck flame-shooting apparatus and there was also the flame-shooting SS Alpha Fox. The booms were loud enough that it was shaking the workshop building next door.
  • I absolutely loved the Meccano models of Difference Engine #1 and #2 (photo 1, photo 2).
  • Lego was showing off their next generation of Mindstorms: NXT. I snapped a video of their NXT scorpion 'stinging' my hand. The NXT set should be Mac and PC compatible and will support Bluetooth. I previously abandoned Mindstorms immediately after I discovered the kit I bought required Windows 98.
  • The folks at Amazing Magnets had a about a liter of ferrofluid to play with -- much more than the 30mL I bought.
  • There were plenty of modified bicycles on display, like a lawnmower bike and a chopper bike. My favorite was the Harry Potter broom bike. I failed to tame that unruly broom ride.
  • The cartwheeling robots (video) that I last saw at Robolympics were back.
  • There was a live demonstration of glass-flower making (video)

This entry doesn't begin to cover what was at Maker Faire. If you're interested in finding out more, you can check out the official Maker Faire site, the 3000+ photos on Flickr, or my mediocre photoset.

Bustered

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I just got back from watching the MythBusters in action. They were really nice to us and I took a ton of photos, but I'll have to figure out how to split this up as neither I nor they want to give away any spoilers.

Update: here's an initial sample. There are many, many photos remaining, but they will probably wait until I can do a writeup.

MythBusters-Buster

MythBusters-12 MythBusters-07 MythBusters-06 Kari and Jamie

MythBusters @ JavaOne

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rockstarprogrammer sent me this bit of info: the MythBusters will be doing entertainment at the AfterDark party at JavaOne. If you're having trouble getting your boss to send you to JavaOne this year ($1500 reg fee), then maybe this will tip the tables in your favor.

Situation resolved

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It looks like my mythbusters site is in the clear now. I've just chatted with the lawyer and, although I don't have the official okay, any confusion as to the nature of the remaining images on the site has been cleared up. In response to this whole situation that started a month ago, I have been trying to find legal sources of images documentating the shows. Just today, Robert Werden of replicaprops.com was kind enough to let me use photos of the Flatulence Containment Unit (FCU) that he acquired (as seen in the Flatulence myths episode). If you know of any images, please drop me a line at

For reference, I was asked to remove images from the Archimedes Revisited and Shredded Plane myths. Neither of those are actual screen captures from the program, which was the cause of the original cease and desist.

In other MythBusters news, you can now view video of the six pack cooling demonstration on my Encinal High event summary. You get to see Jamie shoot Adam with the fire extinguisher and audience members drink beer in a high school auditorium.

I've posted a lot of transcripts and video from the MythBusters Encinal High Benefit. The video is shaky but has descent audio.

NOTE: The video of the six-pack cooling demonstration is still being verified by Google Video. From prior experience, that's gonna take awhile to be ready (YouTube couldn't handle a file that large).

Unofficial MythBusters guides:

Spare cycles: * What Would Graham Do? * SportsVelo and LATS * Basso Looking Strong (Criterium International)

More on the MythBusters coming soon. I took lots of video that I need to process. If it's good enough I'll post on YouTube. If it's not, I try to transcribe some of the Q&A. There was a great blooper reel that I wish I could post.

Elsewhere on kwc.org

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MythBusters episode guides relocated

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If you're reading this blog for MythBusters episode guides, let me now point you to kwc.org/mythbusters. I've been wanting to run a separate episode guide site as I've never liked that someone searching for a MythBusters episode summary is dropped into the middle of my blog. The separate site should eliminate a lot of navigation confusion. I've also gone back through a lot of entries and have tried to add in photos to replace some of the removed screenshots where possible.

I'll still be posting MythBusters news on this blog, but the episode summaries will go to the new location.

On a related note, I'm thinking of separating out the cycling and Comic-Con content so that I can create more customized pages. I may wait until I have more artistic inspiration for those as the new mythbusters episode guide site is rather bland.

Brief update

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Thanks to bernadette I've been browsing the Chilling Effects database. There are a few cease and desist letters from the same law firm and one for Discovery Channel that is much more harshly worded than the one I received. They are a bit nicer in their wording now, though the arguments I feel still conflate copyright and trademark and are awash in slippery slope non sequiturs. It's still not clear to me how one defends against a cease and desist letter without financial liability.

I also found this fair use article online, which I'll link to because of it's title:

Copyright Mythbusters: Believe It or Not, Fair Use Exists

For now I've updated the MythBusters episode summaries to really, really try to make it clear that this site is not Discovery affiliated. I've also decided that I'll leave all the broken image links in so that future visitors can appreciated the absense of screenshots.

MythBusters @ Encinal High

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Update: my summary and videos from the event have been posted

Even in light of my previous post, I'm still going to a "MythBusters Live Event to Benefit Encincal High" in Alameda. Perhaps they will be raising money to fix the goalposts they warped in Border Slingshot. Here are the full details:

Encinal High School Presents:
Myth Busters : Live Event to benefit Encinal High School
Saturday, Mar 25, 2006 7:00 PM PST (6:00 PM doors)
at Kofman Auditorium

Tickets are still available.

Myths undecorated

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In my more recent episode summaries for MythBusters, I have been using screenshots from the episodes as I felt that they conveyed some of the mythbusting better than text. I did so believing this is fair use, as they were merely screenshots and not actual video clips, they were of low quality, and in no way did they devalue the original material. Apparently the Discovery Channel does not agree.

They state that I am using Discovery Channel's copyrighted material and, oddly, Discovery Channel's logo (do they mean their own logo they place in the bottom right corner of every episode?), and they are concerned that somehow someone will mistake kwc.org for a Discovery affiliated or sponsored site. This is probably a form letter and, as such, I can only expect a form response to any further inquiry. In the mean time, I have disabled the images in the links so you will see many, many broken image links. It will take quite awhile for me to fully purge the entries of these images.

I'm saddened as I feel that this was a fair, legitimate, and appropriate way in which to document MythBusters episodes. I also feel we live in a very bogus era of copyright enforcement where any weak argument can be used to effectively deter legal uses of material.

MythBusters at Maker Faire

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The MythBusters will be at Maker Faire, April 22-23 in San Mateo. Maker Faire is an event being held by Make Magazine, which is a darn cool magazine for people who want to get MacGuyver-y with electronics. The faire might give me a good jump start on my kite camera.

Screenshots added

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My MythBusters: Catch a bullet with your teeth and helium football entry has been updated with disgusting screenshots of abused pig heads.

Update: screenshots removed at the order of the Discovery Channel

Link roundup

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My dorky quote for the day

I had two teachers for algorithms class. One spoke as if conversation were a non-returning recursive function

I'm clearing out the Firefox tabs. BoingBoing appears to have beaten me to posting some of these, oh well

'Lost' MythBusters Experiments

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Discovery has posted some videos of 'lost' experiments: MythBusters: Lost Experiments

These aren't really 'lost' because, as far as I can tell, they've all been shown on the show before. They're more like MythBusters shorts.

MythBusters interview

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The MythBusters were interviewed over at Ask Slashdot: The Mythbusters Answer Your Questions. I think the most interesting bit for me is finding out that they have just completed an episode on firing bullets up into the air -- it should be a nice variation on the Penny Drop myth.

MythBusters

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One of my favorite new shows, thanks to Paul, is MythBusters which is on the Discovery Channel. It's pretty apparent that the show is in the Bay Area, but up until a post on A Whole Lotta Nothing I didn't know where. You can check out the link below to see where there located (not too far from meta) as well as see their portfolio of stuff they've done for movies/commercials/etc...
M5 Industries Visual Effects