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President Obama To Appear On Mythbusters

CmdrTaco posted more than 3 years ago | from the busting-the-citizenship-myth-at-last dept.

Education 795

Muondecay writes "President Obama will be featured in the December 8th MythBusters episode, 'Archimedes Solar Ray,' during which he will challenge Adam and Jamie to revisit an ancient and somewhat controversial myth: Did Greek scientist and polymath Archimedes set fire to an invading Roman fleet using only mirrors and the reflected rays of the sun during the Siege of Syracuse? This is part of a White House effort to highlight the importance of science education."

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They've already busted that twice now (-1, Troll)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 3 years ago | (#33936136)

I know Obama is a messianic figure for some, but I don't think even he can change the reality that this just never happened. I don't understand why so many people seem to have invested so much in this obvious myth being true.

Re:They've already busted that twice now (4, Informative)

Lord Ender (156273) | more than 3 years ago | (#33936198)

The only people I ever hear calling him "messiah" are right-wingers. They sound pretty ridiculous and juvenile when they do it. Just FYI.

Re:They've already busted that twice now (5, Insightful)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 3 years ago | (#33936286)

My favorite part was how people were (rightly) criticizing him for being such a media whore, when the conservative savior of 2008 Sarah Palin has a freakin' TV show [discovery.com] .

Re:They've already busted that twice now (4, Insightful)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#33936330)

And she is unable to mention one magazine she reads. How they could be proud of such a moron I will never understand.

Re:They've already busted that twice now (4, Funny)

Minwee (522556) | more than 3 years ago | (#33936358)

And she is unable to mention one magazine she reads.

Why should she have to mention just one? She has made it very clear that she reads all of them.

Re:They've already busted that twice now (1, Troll)

Surt (22457) | more than 3 years ago | (#33936426)

Frankly, I don't have a lot of respect for people who read magazines. Pulp crap frankly, unless you're talking about something like Science, which is better categorized as a journal.

Re:They've already busted that twice now (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#33936652)

She could have mentioned that too, but she did not. I highly doubt she can spell Science much less reads it.

Re:They've already busted that twice now (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33936526)

no shit, I prefer genius like Baraq Obama, I mean, shit, he can name all 57 states. I've never met anybody who could name more than 50.

Re:They've already busted that twice now (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#33936636)

I never said he was any brighter. Nor that I supported him, but your "...but Obama" is clearly noted.

Re:They've already busted that twice now (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33936676)

And she is unable to mention one magazine she reads. How they could be proud of such a moron I will never understand.

Half the population is on the left-hand side of the bell curve. She may seem unsophisticated to (us) "elite" college types, but plenty of people want their elected officials to be folksy types who they could see having a beer with and being your neighbour.

Being a brainiac is one possible criteria for being in considered suitable for office; some people would sacrifice that a bit for someone who has a bit of empathy/sympathy for the life they have to live, and who they can better related to. (Of course it's possible to simply make it appear you're a "folksy type", but that's another story.)

Re:They've already busted that twice now (0, Troll)

Moridineas (213502) | more than 3 years ago | (#33936410)

FWIW, I don't have a problem with President Obama being on Mythbusters -- I mean, I think it's kind of stupid, but I'm not going to criticize him by saying he shouldn't be on a TV show or anything like that... But, I think that most people think there are different standards for the President versus a private citizen. I don't buy into many of the ideals of the presidency, but the president is supposed to be above partisanship, be a leader of both the country and the government--not just his own party, etc. Of course that's rarely met, but it's an ideal. There are a lot of ideals, and some people view them differently. Reagan and I think Bush (for instance) always wore formal clothes (suit jacket) in the oval office, afaik. I'm not saying I care one iota about that, but people have very different ideas of what's expected of the president. I HAVE heard from even a lot of my liberal friends that at times they have been uncomfortable with some of President Obama's media appearances. ~shrug~

Re:They've already busted that twice now (2, Interesting)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 3 years ago | (#33936468)

She isn't a sitting government official, so why the fark can't she have a TV show?

If she was still the Governor of Alaska and doing a TV show, then people would have a problem with it.

Now the President, yea he is doing to many side media projects.

Re:They've already busted that twice now (1)

Pojut (1027544) | more than 3 years ago | (#33936504)

She isn't a sitting government official, so why the fark can't she have a TV show?

Remind me again what happend with that? Didn't she quit, or something...?

Re:They've already busted that twice now (1, Interesting)

BobMcD (601576) | more than 3 years ago | (#33936304)

Hyperbole is supposed to be ridiculous, FYI.

And the critique goes directly to his credibility as a change agent. It was valid before he was elected as doubt, and is valid now as outright criticism. He was 'Hope', he was 'Change', but what did he really bring to the table?

So I'd grant you 'snarky', but the other two labels are only fitting if you're predisposed to disagree with the criticism.

Re:They've already busted that twice now (0, Offtopic)

geoffrobinson (109879) | more than 3 years ago | (#33936308)

http://obamamessiah.blogspot.com/ [blogspot.com]

See some nice examples on the left of creepy cult of personality.

Re:They've already busted that twice now (2, Interesting)

macraig (621737) | more than 3 years ago | (#33936334)

I've sarcastically referred to him as a Messiah myself, as an exaggeration of how some others obviously perceived him, but I'm anything but a right-winger. I was making fun of this habit of investing too much expectation in people who, honestly, are in it as much for themselves and their own Inner Circle as they are for any of the rest of us, regardless which Party's flag they happen to be waving. Our criteria for choosing leaders is just FUBAR and has been for millennia.

Re:They've already busted that twice now (1)

enderjsv (1128541) | more than 3 years ago | (#33936438)

What criteria would you suggest?

Re:They've already busted that twice now (4, Funny)

fahrbot-bot (874524) | more than 3 years ago | (#33936412)

The only people I ever hear calling him "messiah" are right-wingers.

And the obvious follow-up:

  • Obama: ...Will you please listen? I'm not the Messiah! Do you understand? Honestly!
  • Woman: Only the true Messiah denies his divinity!
  • Obama: What? Well, what sort of chance does that give me? All right, I am the Messiah!
  • Crowd: He is! He is the Messiah!
  • Obama: Now, fuck off!
  • [Silence]
  • Arthur: How shall we fuck off, oh Lord?
  • Obama: Oh, just go away! Leave me alone!

Thank you, Life of Brian" [wikiquote.org]

Re:They've already busted that twice now (1)

iceperson (582205) | more than 3 years ago | (#33936432)

Really? You've never see anything that might be construed as "Obama worship" from his supporters?

Re:They've already busted that twice now (4, Informative)

ScentCone (795499) | more than 3 years ago | (#33936532)

The only people I ever hear calling him "messiah" are right-wingers. They sound pretty ridiculous and juvenile when they do it. Just FYI.

Then you probably missed Oprah, while weeping, proclaiming him to be "The One" (her words, repeated many times). You have missed Obama himself describing his election as being the point at which the earth would heal and the oceans would recede (his words!). There's a reason that one of Jon Stewart's best satire videos involved a mythic/messianic send-up of Obama with the opening from The Lion King, and going even more over-the-top from there. Perhaps you missed the Greek Temple that was built for his coronation at the DNC convention?

The reason you hear his political opponents making fun of the messianic hoopla is because it exists, right down to mainstream media types talking about how they get shivers down their legs when he makes an appearance. Of course it was all a lot noisier before he was elected. Even some of his most breathless fanboys/girls are realizing that they were being completely irrational.

The people making fun of that BS aren't the ones who look ridiculous - it's the people who still cry and faint when he gives campaign speeches. Just FYI (your words).

Re:They've already busted that twice now (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33936564)

Obama is taking a page from Hugo Chavez and his personal TV show. Cult of personality. Obey!

Re:They've already busted that twice now (1)

Moridineas (213502) | more than 3 years ago | (#33936590)

Perhaps we can extrapolate from your attack to a more general form:

"The only people I ever hear calling $HATED_POLITICIAN "$STUPID_TERM" are $PEOPLE_I_HATE. They sound pretty ridiculous and juvenile when they do it. Just FYI."

Let's try a few...

"The only people I ever hear calling Bush "Chimpie" are left-wingers. They sound pretty ridiculous and juvenile when they do it. Just FYI."

"The only people I ever hear calling Tea Party members "teabaggers" are left-wingers. They sound pretty ridiculous and juvenile when they do it. Just FYI."

And so on! Guess what -- everybody who is a blind-partisan and uses such terms sounds like an ass to everybody who doesn't agree with him/her. This includes people who offer disingenuous little tidbits of snide advice that are really meant to insult others, FYI.

(wait..crap!)

Re:They've already busted that twice now (1)

JSBiff (87824) | more than 3 years ago | (#33936214)

You know, I was going to ask about whether Mythbusters had already done this. I haven't watched many episodies of MythBusters (because I don't have cable, but I've caught a few Eps. at friends and relatives homes). I could swear I saw an episode all about this that they did in the early seasons, like 5 years ago or something.

So the question is, if the myth is busted, why would Obama want to use this as a way of promoting solar energy?

Perhaps he's really trying to show that Solar Energy is safe? Although, even though Archimedes might not have set a fleet on fire with mirrors, doesn't mean that real fires at Solar Thermal plants never happen. I believe I recall reading an account of the oil at a solar thermal plant in California catching fire back 5 or 10 years ago.

Re:They've already busted that twice now (5, Insightful)

master0ne (655374) | more than 3 years ago | (#33936306)

I think this is more of a "media event" to promote sciences and education more than trying to prove anything. When the goverment wants to prove something, they dont turn to Adam and Jamie, they hire scietists with billion dollar budgets and secret labs. This is more just the president trying to get more kids involved in science/history etc.... i doubt he even thinks their orignal conclusion was wrong, just wanted a intresting "Myth" for the duo to revisit that might turn a few heads. Take this for what it is.... a attempt to revive education in the american youth.

They sucked at busting it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33936364)

I remember facepalming when I watched that episode.

If I wanted to set a ship on fire using solar reflections, I would aim at the sails, not the damp wood. The mythbusters apparently didn't think that way. I considered mailing them to ask if they would revisit the myth but never bothered to do that.

Re:They've already busted that twice now (2, Informative)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#33936368)

Because while they failed to do it, others have made it work to some degree. The mythbusters often retest myths and this is about getting kids into science. This has nothing to do with solar energy safety, or anything else like that. You are seeing conspiracy where there is none.

Re:They've already busted that twice now (1)

JSBiff (87824) | more than 3 years ago | (#33936518)

What conspiracy? I was just trying to see if I could 'suss-out' why they chose that particular myth, instead of any other. I mean, I'm all for any attempts to try to get more kids more interested in science and technology. I think it would work better, if the goal is to generate interest, to 'prove' something cool, than to disprove something (although, certainly, showing kids how something can be disproved has value too) which *would have been* cool IF it was true, but hey, it's not.

Although, as the other poster mentioned, it's a good point that perhaps the MythBusters failed to take something into account, like setting sails on fire instead of setting hulls on fire.

Re:They've already busted that twice now (1)

ByOhTek (1181381) | more than 3 years ago | (#33936408)

Maybe he doesn't watch Mythbusters, just knows of it's fame? Epic fail.

Alternatively, if you read the entry in wikipedia, you see someone did the test in the 1600s and it succeeded, and the mythbusters test, as described, seemed lacking. They are a bit quick to 'debunk' a myth. Just because their way of doing something doesn't work, doesn't mean there isn't a feasible way. The two flaws I'd see are (1) if the mirrors aren't required to be stationary, 10 minutes s plenty of time. (2) there could easily have been more reflective surface area than listed. They may have estimated and reduced the amount of surface area for lower quality in the myth-event.

A decent/good test: try 200 1.5 foot by 2 foot copper mirrors. Make them all be generally focused in the right direction with a bit of wobble to allow for the fact that they'd be held by humans.

Even so, I'd debunk it simply by the logic listed on Wikipedia - there were much more effective methods given the time.

Re:They've already busted that twice now (2, Funny)

RKThoadan (89437) | more than 3 years ago | (#33936300)

Of course it's not true, but that's no reason no to try to start a big fire.

Re:They've already busted that twice now (2, Funny)

Surt (22457) | more than 3 years ago | (#33936322)

The obvious answer is that Obama knows what the military knows: they have a secret technology for accomplishing this, and will reveal it as part of the episode. This probably means the technology in question was recently stolen by Chinese spies, so the value of keeping it secret has expired.

Re:They've already busted that twice now (4, Informative)

91degrees (207121) | more than 3 years ago | (#33936492)

They have busted it twice now, and both times it was with two guys and small mirrors. Archimedes would have used large polished shields and have each held by a man.

An experiment in 1973 [time.com] used 0.75 square metre polished brass mirrors and 70 Greek sailors and had considerably more success at 50m.

Whether it actually happened or not is up for speculation, but it seems that it was at least plausible.

Wasn't totally convinced by the steam cannon either:)

OMF Politics !! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33936162)

Does slashdot do politics?

Is it free?

Re:OMF Politics !! (1)

jdgeorge (18767) | more than 3 years ago | (#33936452)

Free software (and non-free software, for all that) is inextricably linked with law and politics. So, yes. Slashdot does politics.

Oddly, this is likely pretty apolitical (except that Obama is a politician, and therefore inherently political). Just repetitive. Just repetitive. Just repetitive.

I appreciate the desire to focus on solar energy, science, and all that. I just hope they can come up with an interesting angle on this that make is worth yet another remake of the same episode that wasn't all that interesting in its previous iterations.

I am surprised it was him myth-busting his birth (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33936168)

I am surprised it was him myth-busting his country of birth.

*pours tea over everything and yet fails to comprehend what the Boston Tea Party was about*

Re:I am surprised it was him myth-busting his birt (1, Troll)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#33936406)

Even if he was born outside the USA, as I was, he could still be president, as I could. You have to be natural born, not native born. The difference is that one can be natural born a US citizen if one parent is a US citizen no matter where one is born.

Also he was born in Hawaii, you stupid troll.

Re:I am surprised it was him myth-busting his birt (2, Insightful)

jdgeorge (18767) | more than 3 years ago | (#33936536)

I think you missed the intended sarcasm of the OP.

Re:I am surprised it was him myth-busting his birt (1)

Wyatt Earp (1029) | more than 3 years ago | (#33936638)

"Despite widespread popular belief, U.S. military installations abroad and U.S. diplomatic or consular facilities are not part of the United States within the meaning of the 14th Amendment. A child born on the premises of such a facility is not subject to the jurisdiction of the United States and does not acquire U.S. citizenship by reason of birth."

http://www.state.gov/documents/organization/86755.pdf [state.gov]

So McCain likely wasn't eligible to be President, or might have been

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Natural_born_citizen_of_the_United_States#Presidential_candidates_whose_eligibility_was_questioned [wikipedia.org]

If McCain had won, I suspect that a group of the same size would exist as a "birthers".

The Greeks (4, Funny)

roman_mir (125474) | more than 3 years ago | (#33936172)

Did Greek scientist and polymath Archimedes set fire to an invading Roman fleet using only mirrors and the reflected rays of the sun during the Siege of Syracuse?

- probably, but you can count on this: if UN existed at that time, they would have banned any of this 'Sun Blotting or Reflecting'.

Re:The Greeks (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33936288)

If the UN existed at that time, Obama wouldn't be on Mythbusters now.

Re:The Greeks (5, Funny)

blair1q (305137) | more than 3 years ago | (#33936524)

If the UN existed at that time, we'd never have had the Dark Ages, the Inquisition, the rise of Colonialism, or two World Wars.

It wouldn't all have been rainbows and unicorns, but it would have been better than it was.

Incidentally (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33936550)

Why is science education important in public schools?

The vast majority of students will not be scientists, and will not have any opportunity to reinforce the information they learn, and hence will forget it all by the time they are 20.

If science were *really* so important, we wouldn't be beefing up science education in public schools, we would be allocating more grant money for the research, thus creating natural economic incentives for people to get degrees for this stuff. It would all be downhill from there.

Some sort of practical science education, which teaches you to avoid things like dropping the hair dryer into the tub, putting metal in the microwave, hydroplaning your car, etc. would be useful in public schools.

Of course, Obama probably knows all this. He's just posturing to be re-elected, because people love anything that ostensibly benefits the children (regardless of how well it will actually work or what it will actually cost).

Re:The Greeks (1)

PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) | more than 3 years ago | (#33936678)

- probably, but you can count on this: if UN existed at that time, they would have banned any of this 'Sun Blotting or Reflecting'.

And Archimedes would have answered, "You can kiss my shiny metal ass!", and then would have fried them.

My guess is that he used Greek Fire: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Greek_fire [wikipedia.org]

Now why can't someone figure out how that was made .. . . and send me the recipe . . .

Archimedes, again? Really? (3, Insightful)

Manip (656104) | more than 3 years ago | (#33936178)

They're doing Archimedes solar ray AGAIN? Aren't we up to three already (the original myth and two revisits)? Obviously I think it is fun that Obama will be on the show but frankly aside from that I really don't want to see that same tired Myth for a third time...

Re:Archimedes, again? Really? (0, Troll)

Junior J. Junior III (192702) | more than 3 years ago | (#33936356)

Yeah, it'd be better if Obama asked the Mythbusters to bust the myths about the recently passed healthcare bill, the who's to blame for the 2007 economic crisis, what the constitution really says, and other GOP myths.

Re:Archimedes, again? Really? (1, Insightful)

operagost (62405) | more than 3 years ago | (#33936608)

Hypothesis: The Constitution gives Congress the power to impose mandatory health care insurance on every citizen.
Experiment: Read the Constitution.
Observations: Health care is not mentioned anywhere. "General welfare" is, but since bills of attainder and confiscation of life, liberty or property without due process of law are prohibited-- and the health care bill causes summary fines to be levied against those who do not wish to buy health insurance-- this vaguely stated power is negated.
Conclusion: The health care bill is unconstitutional.
Notes: The GOP proposed a similar bill in 1994 to combat the radical "Hillarycare". It was a really dumb idea when they proposed it, too.

Re:Archimedes, again? Really? (2, Insightful)

BobMcD (601576) | more than 3 years ago | (#33936370)

They're doing Archimedes solar ray AGAIN? Aren't we up to three already (the original myth and two revisits)? Obviously I think it is fun that Obama will be on the show but frankly aside from that I really don't want to see that same tired Myth for a third time...

Yeah, the whole event screams 'PR stunt' more than anything else. I hope it doesn't spell the beginning of the end for Mythbusters, but this feels like a really weak excuse to have the President on TV, and it damages the integrity of both bodies. Mythbusters is clearly, undeniably now more 'show' than 'science', and that's too bad, and the Pres has clearly never watched the program...

Re:Archimedes, again? Really? (1)

shadowrat (1069614) | more than 3 years ago | (#33936634)

It was either this myth or, "All your balance is in your pinky toe."

I don't know why they keep choosing to redo the solar death ray. Who wouldn't want to watch Jamie lop off one of Adam's pinky toes?

Re:Archimedes, again? Really? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33936668)

In order for them to prepare the scripts for the teleprompters, they need to know beforehand what he will say. Having 3 versions available already should give them plenty of crap for those who enjoy watching Obama ping-pong.

3rd Post! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33936182)

It's the new first.

Re:3rd Post! (1)

Yvan256 (722131) | more than 3 years ago | (#33936298)

And 3rd post is the new sixth.

this ranks just below ... (1)

thrillseeker (518224) | more than 3 years ago | (#33936200)

when Slashdot posted the non-story about the Googlers fighting over the decor of their airplane.

The original idea for the episode... (0, Troll)

digitaldc (879047) | more than 3 years ago | (#33936206)

...was to debunk the myth that a black man can't be elected president.

Re:The original idea for the episode... (5, Funny)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 3 years ago | (#33936226)

For some reason this reminds me of the Onion headline: "Black Man Given Worst Job In Country".

Re:The original idea for the episode... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33936296)

Mod parent up. +1 Funny.

Re:The original idea for the episode... (1)

Surt (22457) | more than 3 years ago | (#33936340)

If they could debunk that successfully it would be fantastic. People have been trying for a couple of years now, and still over 25% of this country is convinced he wasn't legally elected.

Re:The original idea for the episode... (1)

operagost (62405) | more than 3 years ago | (#33936650)

[citation needed]

Re:The original idea for the episode... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33936644)

You mean a 50% white, 40% arabic, and 10% black man?

Archimedes was not born in Greece (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33936210)

He was Sicilian.

Re:Archimedes was not born in Greece (5, Funny)

WilliamGeorge (816305) | more than 3 years ago | (#33936314)

Someone really should have warned the Romans before that battle: 'never go in against a Sicilian when death is on the line!'

Re:Archimedes was not born in Greece (1)

geoffrobinson (109879) | more than 3 years ago | (#33936332)

Is this true or is this like when my Italian friends insist that Saint Patrick was Italian?

Re:Archimedes was not born in Greece (3, Informative)

Clsid (564627) | more than 3 years ago | (#33936394)

Arquimedes was indeed Sicilian, but that's considered Greek since Syracuse, capital of Sicily was a Greek nation state, part of the Hellenistic civilization.

Here's another one to bust... (0, Troll)

Kestrel87 (1892602) | more than 3 years ago | (#33936230)

Next up, a popular request myth from the Southern part of the country: Was President Obama born in Kenya? Oh I hope they make a joke about that...

pessimism... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33936238)

This is part of a White House effort to highlight the importance of science education.

Or just look fun and popular while really being a complete douche and awful president.

See also: Clinton playing the sax.

Re:pessimism... (3, Funny)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 3 years ago | (#33936436)

Here we have a fine example of a modified "but clinton". Notice this trolls plumage, that with his call clearly indicates he is a small brained republocrat. Sadly this creatures actually are allowed to vote.

Really? (5, Insightful)

orphiuchus (1146483) | more than 3 years ago | (#33936260)

I don't really have a problem with the president appearing on random TV shows a few times during their term, but I would really like Obama to spend less time being cool and more time fixing shit.

Re:Really? (0, Troll)

Mashiki (184564) | more than 3 years ago | (#33936484)

Good luck with that, since all he can figure out is how to swing a golf club on the golf course. He's a non-non-president.

Re:Really? (1)

orphiuchus (1146483) | more than 3 years ago | (#33936516)

Wouldn't that make him a president?

Re:Really? (1)

winwar (114053) | more than 3 years ago | (#33936602)

"...since all he can figure out is how to swing a golf club on the golf course."

I'm afraid you are thinking of House Minority Leader John Boehner :)

Re:Really? (1)

orphiuchus (1146483) | more than 3 years ago | (#33936642)

I doubt hes playing much golf, hes probably too busy manically laughing his ass of as he reads the estimates for the mid-term elections.

Re:Really? (1)

Surt (22457) | more than 3 years ago | (#33936554)

In all seriousness, the president's job IS mostly to inspire. It's not like there's a lot he can actually DO. He can't force congress to do anything, and even if he had 100% control over the members of his own party, the current seat count makes it impossible for him to force anything to get done.

Re:Really? (5, Insightful)

CannonballHead (842625) | more than 3 years ago | (#33936630)

How to be a good supporter of your candidate:

When a president you like is in office and doesn't do "enough," you claim that the President doesn't really have a lot of power and is more of a figurehead, like royalty.

When a president you dislike is in office and doesn't do "enough," you claim that the President should be doing more.

When a president you like is out of office, you blame everything that went wrong in his term on Congress.

When a president you dislike is out of office, you blame everything that went wrong in his term on him.

When a president you like is in office and something bad is happening (e.g., the economy), you blame it on the previous administration, because economic problems take a while to develop.

When a president you dislike is in office and something bad is happening (e.g., the economy), you blame it on the current President or the previous Congress.

Yes, this is part of Obama's Science push (1)

gad_zuki! (70830) | more than 3 years ago | (#33936262)

More info here. [nytimes.com] Taco should just hire me.

Bad science and bad politics... (1, Troll)

Wells2k (107114) | more than 3 years ago | (#33936270)

...go hand in hand.

I saw this somewhere (1)

sea4ever (1628181) | more than 3 years ago | (#33936276)

I remember watching somewhere that a University somewhere in North America recreated the conditions of the archimedes solar ray and used mirrors to set fire to an imitation of the ship, which was made of the same type of wood, etc.
It was very interesting and I can't remember if it showed on television or if I watched it on a DVD from somewhere.
Still very cool though. It's definitely possible, since the university students did it.
Why are we still going after this, though? Someone needs to make a standardized test and settle it for everyone to see, so that we don't keep revisiting this.

Re:I saw this somewhere (1)

shadowrat (1069614) | more than 3 years ago | (#33936662)

i think it was at a pool in las vegas.

Birth Certificate (-1, Troll)

0racle (667029) | more than 3 years ago | (#33936282)

Is he showing up with his birth certificate?

Re:Birth Certificate (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33936328)

>Is he showing up with his birth certificate?

Are you? Do you know something that the State of Hawaii does not?

Birth Certificate (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33936284)

Maybe they can prove that one actually exists!

Bring your birth certificate! (2, Insightful)

synthesizerpatel (1210598) | more than 3 years ago | (#33936312)

Even though the false-birther myth has been reiterated time and time again by conspiracy theorists and infortainment 'pundits', and that it's been proven false time and time again by reliable news media. It'd be nice if we could just cut/paste the URL to the mythbuster segment to anyone who might still be laboring under the false pretense..

Although, come to think of it, I suspect that the people who still believe this myth probably don't use the internet much.

Re:Bring your birth certificate! (4, Informative)

jfengel (409917) | more than 3 years ago | (#33936446)

Although, come to think of it, I suspect that the people who still believe this myth probably don't use the internet much.

Sadly, that's untrue. They use the Internet to squeal their paranoid nonsense at each other in increasingly deafening volumes. They create special web sites for themselves, where they can tell each other "the truth" free from liberal constraints like "reality".

And when presented with some new falsehood, they'll forward it to all of their friends with joyous abandon, undimmed by the previous 9,000 times those friends have replied by debunking it.

The Internet is at least a powerful tool for spreading idiocy, not just a world wide web but also a global echo chamber where stupid ideas can see print and take on the same black-and-white power of a newspaper.

And they appear to have nothing whatsoever better to do with their time.

I do not mean to leave liberals out of this: stupid liberals can use the internet to spread stupidity just as effectively as conservatives can. But I've seen nothing with the sheer idiocy-concentrating power of conservapedia or the freepers. That's industrial-grade stupid.

Re:Bring your birth certificate! (0, Troll)

orphiuchus (1146483) | more than 3 years ago | (#33936478)

I wouldn't care if the man was born in Kenya to be honest, there are lots of other problems to have with this administration, but I haven't seen anything on the news proving he was born in the US yet. Which is not to say that its a reasonable belief that he was born out of the US, its just an issue of falsificationism. At this point you cant really prove it one way or the other.

Mythbusters went sailing over the shark... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33936348)

What? Two, three seasons ago. It has descended into gross out and stupid stuff that doesn't even interest my teenagers anymore. Was once fun, now sad.

Science? (1, Interesting)

rbayer (1911926) | more than 3 years ago | (#33936390)

If the goal is to promote science education, Mythbusters seems like the LAST place to do it. Seriously, this is a show that will try one particular way of doing things, fail at it, and then conclude that the original "myth" is busted based on their one experiment. I would have a lot more respect for the show if their only possible conclusions were "confirmed" and "inconclusive"

Re:Science? (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33936544)

If the goal is to promote science education, Mythbusters seems like the LAST place to do it. Seriously, this is a show that will try one particular way of doing things, fail at it, and then conclude that the original "myth" is busted based on their one experiment. I would have a lot more respect for the show if their only possible conclusions were "confirmed" and "inconclusive"

you are a moron, they do test many ways that something to could be done they on many occations go above and beyond to try and prove the myth as fact and when all else fails they rule it as busted and false obviously you don't watch the show

Re:Science? (0, Flamebait)

Nukky Cisbu (1738668) | more than 3 years ago | (#33936588)

I watched a few early episodes of Mythbusters and really can't see what the appeal is. It's a show that fights junk science with junk science.

That said, I can definitely see why fans of the show would also be so partisan in their political beliefs: neither involve much rational thought.

The parabolic mirror thing's already been done (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33936414)

http://abcnews.go.com/Travel/las-vegas-hotel-pool-sunlight-swimming-tourists/story?id=11739234

Covering (1)

gmuslera (3436) | more than 3 years ago | (#33936458)

We didn't start the fire, said Obama. Mythbusters and/or Archimedes did.

So be ready to what will happen after that episode

Mythbusters != science education (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33936488)

"This is part of a White House effort to highlight the importance of science education."

How is Myth busters in any way useful for promoting science education?

Perhaps we should start learning to drive by watching Top Gear.

Wanted: (3, Insightful)

CaptSlaq (1491233) | more than 3 years ago | (#33936502)

-1 (flamebait) rating for articles.

Great! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33936548)

Except Mythbusters is not scientific.

He gets to meet Kari! (5, Funny)

smellsofbikes (890263) | more than 3 years ago | (#33936570)

I'd love to get to meet Kari Byron, too, but he went to all the trouble to get elected *President* just to arrange an introduction? Guy's got style and determination, no doubt.

Haven't they already done this myth 3 times? (1)

Phoenix666 (184391) | more than 3 years ago | (#33936574)

Focusing attention on science education is a great goal, but Mythbusters has already done that myth to death. The last time a couple university teams did succeed in setting a ship on fire, but it took a much longer time to do than was plausible for a ship on the attack, bobbing up and down on waves.

Expert in Smoke and Mirrors (4, Funny)

nedigital (148927) | more than 3 years ago | (#33936584)

Since they tried and failed to prove this myth previously they decided to call in an expert in smoke and mirrors !

greek fire (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#33936598)

Archimedes may have used mirrors, but he probably ditched that after he invented "greek fire", basically the ancient equivalent of napalm (sticky and extremely flammable... yeah that's not good).

Is That It? (0)

carrier lost (222597) | more than 3 years ago | (#33936666)

...during which he will challenge Adam and Jamie to revisit an ancient and somewhat controversial myth: Did Greek scientist and polymath Archimedes set fire to an invading Roman fleet using only mirrors and the reflected rays of the sun during the Siege of Syracuse?

Oh. I thought he was going to ask them to help him find his birth certificate.

Truth, myth and how they blend into one. (5, Insightful)

SmallFurryCreature (593017) | more than 3 years ago | (#33936670)

Say this battle happened. How do we know for certain? Because X number of people wrote about it or wrote about people having told them about it or having being told about people who heard it from others. If X is large enough, we accept it as fact. If not, well then it becomes myth or religion.

Now, imagine a battle. Ships are going to attack an harbor. Ships ain't easily destroyed by the weapons of the age and worse, if you can hit them, they can hit you. They might be unable to hide, but neither can you, you are on the walls of the defences and the enemy knows this.

So, how can you protect your archers from their archers? Blinding light? Pose them beside mirrors and the enemy can't see them. Simple trick if you think about it. With this blinding light, you can fire countless arrows, even heavy slow ones like fire-arrows and aim at ease.

How would such a tactic, written down by someone who didn't understand and heard it from someone else be recorded?

The mighty ships sailed at the harbour and a blinding light erupted from the walls and one by one the mighty ships were set on fire and sunk.

Death ray is born. Nothing more then smoke and mirrors.

THAT is what disappoints me about the Myth Busters. They far to often examine only part of a myth or add their own elements, the worsed of it being "well we two couldn't do it, so no-one could". Well, I doubt the myth busters could put a man on the moon. So the moon landings are a myth?

Take the pycrete "myth". Why the paper substitution? THAT is not what the myth is about. And I still don't know how such a ship could have set sail. After all I presumed WW2 admirals were smart enough to ask "won't it melt". So why wouldn't it have melted?

Or the Jaws myth. "We are going to examine wether a very large movie monster can ram a ship, but we are going to use a smaller shark because sharks ain't that large in real life..." No shit sherlock. And sharks also don't ram ships in real life.

What next, I am going to test if my cat likes tuna by feeding it dog shit. If it doesn't like that that proofs it doesn't like tuna?

As for the movie myths. Can a pen explode, kill a room of baddies but leave the hero intact... NO. If you think James Bond has myths, you REALLY need to get out more.

The program was okay but has rapidly gone in the general direction of Discovery. Here is a hint. Gay fat guys building bling-bling bikes is NOT science. Mind you, they can go lower. Cakes? Tatoo shops? Why not just relabel it Oprahs Channel and be done with it.

So cool, they are once again going to proof a couple of overweight Americans can't build something that is highly unlike to have ever existed and if it did, not have been able to destroy and entire fleet before the soldiers landed (or swam ashore) and destroyed it. That is supposed to encourage Americans back to science? Fat chance.

We know what Americans think about science. We can see it in the nose-dive the science content on Myth-busters has taken. Unless it goes boom, not intrested. Note the increasing lack of myths that do not go boom.

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