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Episode 53: Exploding Trousers, Great Gas Conspiracy

  • Exploding trousers: herbicides were responsible for indicidents of explosing pants in New Zealand in 1931 confirmed
  • Great gas conspiracy: there are devices that you can buy on the Internet that will greatly improve your fuel efficiency: mythbusted

See "Video 2" in my Encinal High Benefit notes for some more background about the exploding trousers myth.

Buster Thigh Damage-1

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Episode 52: Mind Control, Painting with Explosives

  • Painting a room with dynamite in a can of paint: busted
  • Mind Control
    • psionic helmet: busted
    • pulsed air: no effect on John's brain waves busted/
    • rotating magnet: did have an effect on John's brain waves, but there is a slight possibility it was affecting the EEG machine itself. plausible
    • silent sound: no effect on John's brain waves busted
    • remote hypnosis machine: there was a change in John's brain waves, though minor. plausible

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Episode 51: Myths Reopened

  • You can fire a bullet from a rifle or handgun underwater: confirmed. A 9mm or .357 magnum would be lethal at 2ft.
  • salamis as rocket fuel: confirmed
  • splitting an arrow from nock to tip: still busted

Update: salami rocket revisited in More Myths Revisited

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Episode 50: Bullets Fired Up, Vodka Myths III

  • Bullets fired up into the air can be lethal: busted, plausible, and confirmed.
  • Vodka as a poison oak oil remover: busted
  • Vodka as a bandage remover: plausible
  • Filtering vodka through a Brita filter will turn it into a high-end vodka: busted

The "all of the above" ruling on the bullets fired into the air myth was a new one for MythBusters. All of their tests showed that if you fire a bullet perfectly straight up into the air, it will not kill you as it will fall down on its side and have too low of a terminal velocity to kill, much like the Penny Drop myth. However, it is very difficult to fire perfectly straight into the air and they even found an international expert in falling bullets who was able to confirm for them that people have died from bullets fired up into the air.

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Episode 49: Cellphones on Planes and Helium Raft

  • Cell phones disrupt airplane navigation: mythbusted. Modern planes are well-shielded enough to not be affected
  • Flying helium raft: mythbusted. The raft would be much too large and flimsy

Adam, Jamie and Kari built a gigantic raft filled with helium to see if they could make Adam fly. Things didn't turn out as well as they would have liked, but any episode that starts with Adam hanging upside down in a net, looking like he got caught in a trap from Lost, was plenty of entertainment even if the busting wasn't done as well as it could have been.

Grant, Tory, and Kari handled the construction of a mock cockpit to see if cell phones could disrupt the navigational equipment. They eventually upgraded to a Hawker 800XP corporate jet, which they were unable to cause any interference with. Their busting showed that interference was possible, but only if the wiring wasn't properly shielded.

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Episode 48: Franklin's Kite and Flatulence Myths

  • Ben Franklin's kite: busted
  • Flatulence myths:
    • You can die from the fumes of your own flatluence: busted
    • Beans and bubbly drinks increase your flatulence: confirmed
    • Matches burns up the smell of farts: busted

fcu.jpg

Flatulence Containment Unit. credit Rob Werden, used with permission

The pairing of these two myths was a terrific choice given Benjamin Franklin's essay "Fart Proudly," which gives us a vision of flatulence from one of our own founding fathers. You can buy it on Amazon.

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Episode 47: Catching a Bullet with Your Teeth and Helium Footballs

  • Helium-filled footballs travel farther: mythbusted (they might even travel less far)
  • Catching a bullet with your teeth: mythbusted (a no brainer, but more interesting for their attempt to mechanically catch a bullet)

This episode featured slow-motion shots of a pig's head being shot. To quote Kari, "That is probably one of the most disgusting things I have ever seen and I'm trying to stay in my happy place."

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Episode 46: Archimedes Death Ray Revisited

Archimedes Death Ray: busted (again)

archimedes death ray

NOTE: all thumbnail images from MIT 2.009 page

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Episode 45: Shredded Plane, Fire without matches

  • Shredding an airplane with a propeller: confirmed
  • Starting a fire
    • ...with sticks: confirmed?
    • ...with chocolate and a soda can: confirmed
    • ...with a flashlight and steel wool: confirmed
    • ...with a bullet: confirmed
    • ...with ice: confirmed

shredded plane

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Episode 44: Paper Crossbow

  • Lethal newspaper crossbow: plausible
  • Vodka smoke remover: plausible
  • Vodka bee killer: busted

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Episode 43: Seasickness Cures, Finger in the Gun Barrel, Tailgate Gas Efficiency

  • Sticking your finger in the barrel of a gun as it's firing will cause the gun to blow up and leave you safe: mythbusted. You can get a barrel to balloon slightly, but it won't explode and you will lose your hand.
  • You save more gas with the tailgate down in a pickup truck: mythbusted. You save more gas with the tailgate up.
  • Seasickness cures: they tested various non-pharmaceutical remedies, a placebo, and an over-the-counter pharmaceutical drug and found that ginger pills were a plausible remedy. The pharmaceutical drug worked as well, but made them loopy.

Update: Tailgate Up or Down Revisited

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Episode 42: Steel Toe Amputation, Bottle Rocket Blast Off

  • You can launch someone 30-40ft with a bottle-rocket-powered backpack: mythbusted (the engineering on this one was a bit questionable)
  • Steel toe boots have a higher amputation risk than regular boots: mythbusted

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Episode 41: Compact Compact and Vodka Myths

  • Two semis trucks can collide, fuse together on impact, and hide a small car between them: mythbusted
  • Vodka Myths:
    • Vodka as foot wash: confirmed
    • Vodka as mouthwash: confirmed

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Episode 40: Confederate Rocket

  • The Confederate Army built and launched the first long-range missile (2-stage) from Richmond to DC: mythbusted

Revisits: * Salami Rocket 1 * Salami Rocket Revisited

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Episode 39: Chinese Invasion Alarm, 5 Second Rule

  • Pottery drums lowered in holes can detect an approaching tunnelling army: plausible
  • The Five Second Rule: mythbusted

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Episode 38: MythBusters Revisted 2

Upheld:

  • Explosive Decompression: A gunshot cannot cause a pressurized plane to explosively decompress (original episode summary). still busted
  • Blown Away: Does getting shot throw you back through the air? still busted
  • Plywood Builder: You can glide to safety holding onto a piece of plywood. still busted

Overturned:

  • Running in the rain: It is better to run in the rain instead of walk (original episode summary). confirmed
  • Revisit of the Biscuit Bazooka Revisit (episode summary of first revisit): cola cans can explode if left inside a hot car. They confirmed this as true without testing. Instead they did a test to find that (surprise) black cars get hotter than white cars.

Neither nor:

  • A/C vs. Windows Down: You save more gas driving with the A/C on than with the windows down (original episode summary). Answer: it depends on the speed you're driving at.
  • Exploding gas tank: a car can explode when the gas tank is shot (original episode summary). They redid this with tracer rounds and confirmed that tracer rounds can ignite a gas tank. This doesn't contradict their original result that ordinary (legal) bullets cannot.

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Episode 31: Breaking Glass, A Rolling Stone Gathers No Moss, Shop-Vac Jet Engine

  • Breaking Glass: an unassisted human voice can shatter a glass confirmed
  • "A Rolling Stone Gathers No Moss": confirmed
  • Shop-Vac jet engine: a shop-vac + gas = jet engine mythbusted

The star myth of this show was the Breaking Glass myth. They got rock singer Jamie Vendera to break the glass on camera, unassisted, which they claim is the first documented video evidence of this ever happening. A surprising claim, but very cool slo-mo video.

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