Episode 11: Sinking Ships, Goldfish, 1812 Overture + Trombone
- when a ship sinks, it will pull you down with it if you aren't far enough away: busted
- goldfish only have a three second memory: busted
- a complicated story involving the 1812 Overture, a trombone, and explosives: busted
This show was really interesting because it provided a lot of interesting background on Jamie. When they rattled these off, I felt very underaccomplished: * former pet store owner * Special Forces * ran a dive shop in the Caribbean * Whist champion * used to own a lion
The sinking ship myth was the main myth for the episode, but I actually liked the trombone segment the best, so I'll talk about it first (other two are in the extended entry).
The myth was of the Rube Goldberg variety.
A trombone player decides to add some bang to the 1812 Overture and puts a firecracker in his trombone, which he intends to set off and use to launch his bell across the audience. Instead, the bell launches and hits the conductor in the chest, knocking him into the audience. The slide also flies off and does further damage.
Jamie went all-out on this one. After an initial attempt weakly blew the top of the bell into Buster, the immediately started going for more bang. meta watched in horror as the next trombone (possibly the one she sold to go to a typography conference) exploded in a huge cloud of smoke. Buster fell forward in a smoking heap. The slow-mo of the bell flying out of the trombone was beautiful.
This wasn't enough for Jamie and Adam as they wanted to replicate the portion of the myth where the conductor gets knocked backwards into the audience. They loaded in even more powder for one more try. Again, Buster didn't fly backwards, but the trombone was mostly scrap metal, and there was even more cool slow-mo explosions set to the 1812 Overture.
Sinking Ship Myth
The theory is that when a ship is sinking, you should get as far away from it as possible. Otherwise, like in the movie Titanic, it will pull you down with it. Many of the dock workers/boat people had heard this advice before (though probably haven't put it into practice).
Jamie and Adam broke the myth down into three popular theories: 1) the air escaping from the ship aerates the water and reduces the density, pull the person downward 2) the ship creates a vortex as it's going down 3) water rushing into the empty spaces of the ship
The didn't really do much with (3), but the first two they showed were actual valid theories by setting up a aeration/sinking platform rig in a pool. They even sat Adam on a platform that they sunk to the bottom of a pool, and he sunk straight to the bottom with it. The important part of the vortex theory, though, is that the ship has to sink quickly in order to create the vortex.
After this initial investigation, they took an old ship out into the Bay for sinking and resinking. They had resealable holes on the bottom and a crane to lift to boat back out. They coined the ship the 'Mythtanic," and for the most part, this portion of the show was a bit of a bust. They sank the ship twice. The first time Adam got scared and jumped off as the boat went under. The second time, Adam managed to stay on, but he wasn't the least bit pulled under. Based on this, they called the myth busted, as a ship probably doesn't sink fast enough to really pull you down.
Three-Second Goldfish Memory
This myth states that goldfish only have three seconds of memory, so you shouldn't feel bad when you stick them in a small fish bowl -- by the time they make it around the bowl, it's all new to them.
This silly myth was mainly an opportunity to show off the fact that Jamie really knows aquarium fish (apparently he trained a goldfish to ring a bell). They set up the mythbusting as a competition between Adam and Jamie to see who could train their fish to swim through a maze (four dividers in an aquarium with a hole in each) the quickest.
Jamie busted out bright colored rings, which he used to condition the fish to associate with food. Adam busied himself with trying to prevent the fish from dying. When it came to competition time, Jamie's fish zoomed from one side of the tank to the other. Adam's aimlessly wandered back and forth and never made it more than halfway across the course.