Mar 21, 2011

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Myth Busted!

The MythBusters test various myths inspired by scenes in several James Bond movies. These are some scenes from James Bond movies, that Myth Busters were tested and found some very intresting answers. Take a look.

Electromagnetic Watch


Myth statement:  An electromagnet hidden in a wristwatch can deflect bullets. Based on Bond’s wristwatch in Live and Let Die.

Notes : Jamie built an electromagnet that could fit inside a wristwatch and mounted it near a target. They then fired bullets at the target, making sure that the bullets passed close by the electromagnet. However, the wristwatch sized electromagnet was not powerful enough to change the bullet’s trajectory. The MythBusters then upgraded to a larger and more powerful electromagnet, but it still could not deflect the bullet. Finally, the MythBusters resorted to using a series of thirteen super powerful permanent rare-earth magnets, which only deflected the bullet enough to bounce off the magnets before hitting the target. The MythBusters explained that a magnet’s energy decreased “exponentially” the farther away someone is from the magnet (the force actually follows an inverse square law). Plus, in order to be powerful enough to stop a bullet, an electromagnet would need an enormous amount of energy that could not possibly be contained within a wristwatch, which would make most of the magnet scenes in Bond films impossible (with the possible exception of the unzipping scene).

Myth Busted!

Propane Tank Peril


Myth statement: A person can shoot a propane tank with a 9 mm pistol and make it explode. Based on a scene in Casino Royale.

Notes : First, the Build Team decided to test whether it was possible to breach a propane tank with Bond’s 9 mm handgun. They found that 9 mm rounds were not powerful enough to breach the tank, but shotgun shells and 7.62 NATO caliber rifle rounds were more than enough to pierce the tank. They then fired armor piercing rifle rounds at a tank filled with propane, but could not get the tank to explode. Not even tracer rounds were successful. Finally, the Build Team resorted to extreme measures in the form of high explosives and an 7.62mm Dillon Aero M134 minigun firing a mix of tracer and incendiary rounds at the same undisclosed location as “Shooting Fish in a Barrel”. Both high explosives and the M134 were able to cause the propane tank to explode. The Build Team concluded the myth was busted as small arms were unable to explode a propane tank as depicted in Casino Royale, and that Bond would not have been able to get hold of a gattling gun or incendiary rounds.

Myth Busted!

Speed Boat Survival


Myth statement: A speedboat jumping off a ramp and flying through the air can survive the landing and continue driving. Based on a scene in Live and Let Die.

Notes : he MythBusters obtained a boat which was identical to the model Bond used in the movie. They then converted it so that it could be remote controlled and built a makeshift ramp in Lake Yosemite. They even put a barge with a car under the ramp to simulate the exact scene from the movie. Adam drove the boat at the ramp at a speed of 45 miles per hour (72 km/h), but lost control of the boat at the last second and hit the ramp at an angle. As a result, the boat managed to clear the car, but flipped in the process. However, seeing that there was no visible damage to the boat, the MythBusters decided that the myth was plausible. It was also pointed out that the stunt team in Live and Let Die crashed 17 boats and made about a hundred practice runs just to perfect the jump.

Myth Plausible!

Exploding Pen


Myth statement: A Ballpoint pen bomb can be used to completely destroy the top of a mannequin. Based on the gadget from GoldenEye.

Notes : Using normal sized pens filled with explosives, the MythBusters demonstrated that a pen bomb could be fatal. However they needed an unrealistically large pen to completely destroy the top half of the foam dummy they used.

Myth Busted!

Killer Hat


Myth statement: A metal brimmed Bowler hat can be thrown hard enough to knock the head off of a stone statue. Based on a scene in Goldfinger.

Notes : The Build Team made two duplicates of the hat worn by Oddjob, built a hat throwing robot, and acquired a few statues as test targets. The difference between the two hats was that one had a dull steel edge while the other had a sharp steel edge. The bonded marble statue they first tested was decapitated by the robot, but as it was not actually solid stone it was not considered a valid test. They next tested a concrete statue on the premise that it would be a good match for the hardness of natural stone, even though it was weaker than solid marble. It was chipped several times but not badly damaged, meaning that there is no way for a thrown hat to decapitate a solid stone statue. The Build Team did however prove that it was possible to decapitate a plaster statue with a bowler hat, since plaster is significantly more fragile than stone.

Myth Busted!

Jaws of Steel


Myth statement:  A person can use a set of metal teeth to bite through a cable car’s cable. Based on a scene in Moonraker.

Notes : Adam and Jamie created two versions of the teeth shown in the movies. One was a set of steel teeth set in a normal bone jaw, and the other set was a jaw and teeth made out of hardened steel. However, neither jaw was able to cut through the one inch cable they used with normal human bite strength. Not even 10 tons worth of force was able to force the teeth through the cable, with the hydraulic press applying the pressure actually bending itself out of shape. In order to replicate the results seen in the film, Jamie had to use a hydraulic cutter to sever the cable.

Myth Busted!

Martinis: Shaken vs. Stirred

Though this is not actually a myth, the Build Team decided to test why James Bond prefers his martinis “shaken, not stirred.”

Myth statement:  There is a difference between shaken and stirred martinis.

Notes : On physical inspection, the shaken martini is cloudier because of the ice that was crushed because of the shaking, compared to stirred one, which is clear. But when the ice in the shaken martini melts, it is similar to the stirred martini. In a blind taste test wherein only Tory knew the clear shaken martinis and the stirred ones, Kari, Grant and the expert hired for the myth (Anthony Dias Blue, who previously appeared in “Vodka Myths III”) were able to correctly distinguish the shaken ones. Several explanations on why this is so were also given. (See the article Shaken, not stirred for details.)

Myth Confirmed!

Source : Wikipedia

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