Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Mythbusters II: Do I need to do math at you?

Inspired by [lurch]'s prizewinning anno to _One Wheel Pinewood Car_
  (+10, -3)
(+10, -3)
  [vote for,

A version of Mythbusters in which the whole episode is two guys writing equations on a whiteboard. The myth is busted or confirmed using only calculations.
mouseposture, Mar 08 2011

One Wheel Pinewood Car One_20Wheel_20Pinewood_20Car
[mouseposture, Mar 08 2011]

Periodic videos https://www.youtube...user/periodicvideos
Long suffering assistant, stuff explodes; the professor explains why. [bungston, Feb 23 2016]

School of hard sums http://dave.uktv.co...chool-of-hard-sums/
[Loris, Feb 23 2016]

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       Sadly this is an horrible idea. The only people who actually believe in maths are people who can do them and thus are able to "bust a myth" themselves. The rest just stare vacantly at the figures-wielder as would freshly poleaxed cows.
FlyingToaster, Mar 08 2011

       + despite my propensity for experimental science!   

       Much needless experimentation could be avoided by appropriate calculations.
csea, Mar 08 2011

       [Flying_Toaster] By no means! [bungston] in the anno thread to the linked idea is a counterexample and so am I.
mouseposture, Mar 08 2011

       I went to a drive-thru for a coffee the other day. The coffee was $1.23. I handed the attendant $2.28 . After 3 tries at returning change, including one where she gave me too much, I just said "Trust me, give me $1.05" a whole bunch of times 'til she did.
FlyingToaster, Mar 08 2011

       //I handed the attendant $2.28//   

       I'm almost as confused as the cashier. Why didn't you just give her $2.23?   

       The only thing I can think is that you were trying to convert 5 pennys into a nickel as part of the transaction. (I'm assuming you're American, BTW).
xaviergisz, Mar 08 2011

       //Why didn't you just give her $2.23?//   

       I gave her a 2dollar coin, a 25c coin and 3x 1c coins.   

       //you were trying to convert 5 pennys into a nickel// how ? I only had 3 pennies.
FlyingToaster, Mar 08 2011

       Distributed content on commercial channels needs to appeal to the largest audience possible, so ad revenues can be maximised. Sadly, (the constant drivel on sharks, nazis and backyard battle tanks being a case in point) this says more about the audience than the creators of the content.   

       This may pop up as a youtube idea. Independent content creators targeting a specific audience not regulated by geography or content distribution packages. Edutainment is a large market in itself, just not very popular within a normal population.
4whom, Mar 08 2011

       //I gave her a 2dollar coin, a 25c coin and 3x 1c coins.//   

       ah, missed that possibility. We have 20c coins, not 25c coins. I'm guessing most customers in your position would have just given $2.25 and expected $1 change (although I'm not American so could be wrong).   

       I was in the US last year and I found the currency baffling - the size of coin not proportional to its value, sales tax, tips etc.   

       We (ie Australians) got rid of 1c and 2c coins more than a decade ago. There's also talk of getting rid of 5c coins as well.
xaviergisz, Mar 08 2011

       North North American ackshully. We've 1 & 2 dollar coins having ditched the paper quite awhile ago.   

       //size of the coin not proportional to its value// That would be 10c pieces which used to be made of silver.
FlyingToaster, Mar 08 2011

       I pay for things like [flyingtoaster] does. The purpose is usually to avoid creating more change. On the currency sizes issue, Canada really needs to make nickles not at all like quarters.
rcarty, Mar 08 2011

       Are you implying there will be no more explosions?   

       How could you?
Zimmy, Mar 08 2011

       //no more explosions ?// No, but we could do equations with measurements like "Olympic Swimming Pools" if that helps ease the pain.
FlyingToaster, Mar 08 2011

       I have wanted to see a re-do of the ninja walking on water. I suspect they failed to understand the physics of the concept just as I have failed to get the olympic pool reference.   

       Thust!, not bouyancy!   

       And for the one trying to rip the Canadians about how good our money used to be .... a large part of my silver hails from Canada. And Mexico. Their early 20th century Coins are beautiful. Perhaps, ask if their coins went .999 Nickle for several decades, unlike ours.
Zimmy, Mar 08 2011

       The "olympic swimming pool" reference refers to the mass-media habit of trading off measurements in silly things like inches, yards, pounds, tonnes, etc. for more relatable ones:
"weighs as much as 3 Jumbo Jets"
"as much water as 45 Olympic-sized swimming pools"
"produces more hot air than 14 days of a fully quoromed Parliament"
FlyingToaster, Mar 08 2011

       // constant drivel on sharks, nazis and backyard battle tanks //   

       The sharks can go; touch the tanks and the nazis at your peril.
8th of 7, Mar 08 2011

       What kind of mathematicians would wager upon their conclusions? If a mathematician was not certain of the accuracy of his calculations, he should not be taking part in a TV show.   

       Perhaps the show should pit a mathematician, engineer or other theorist against an experimenter. Preferably the experimenter would be one who really has a good feeling about the outcome, or believes in it. Each side would put their argument to a team of accountants and statisticians, who could then place wagers.   

       I'd like to see the proponents of the 'fuel from electrolysis' systems pitted against an engineer.
Twizz, Mar 08 2011

       //What kind of mathematicians would wager upon their conclusions? If a mathematician was not certain of the accuracy of his calculations, he should not be taking part in a TV show.//   

       It's not just about the calculations - it's also knowing which variables are important.
Loris, Mar 08 2011

       //test the math in a demonstrable fashion// I think that's an important point. The main point for this show might be to apply math to things that are difficult to create on stage as a stunt.   

       For example: astronomical stuff (solar flares, gamma-ray bursts, orbital slingshots); geological stuff (tectonic motion, crustal folding, formation of marble); biological stuff (evolution, immunity, krill populations) - things that don't happen on the same time-scale as a human attention span, but that can be mathematically modelled, and then the model tested and confirmed or "busted" against observation.
lurch, Mar 08 2011

       This type of show could be good for showing people why you can't "trisect any angle" using only compass and straight-edge. Or why you can't "square the circle" also using only compass and straight-edge. And similar stuff.   

       However, math will only lead you to the logical consequences of the assumptions you started with. Only experimentation can prove whether or not those assumptions are true. For example, if you assume that when you strike an object with a hammer, the force of impact is INSTANTLY transmitted throughout the body of the object, then what you will end up with is Standard Newtonian Mechanics. Yet we know full well that that assumption is invalid!
Vernon, Mar 09 2011

       [Loris], [Vernon] For the reasons you gave, I think [21_Quest]'s hybrid concept may be better than the idea as originally proposed. [lurch] It's a matter of taste, but I think the show would be more amusing if it applied math to things that *are* feasible to create on stage as a stunt.   

       If the predictions are confirmed, the audience gains respect for (and perhaps a little understanding of) mathematics. If the experiment refutes the computation, there would be a denoument, in which the equations are revisited and the faulty assumption identified. In that case the audience learns a subtler lesson.
mouseposture, Mar 10 2011

       sounds hideous [-]
simonj, Mar 10 2011

       Well, slightly more interesting than watching them do the math in their head I guess.
doctorremulac3, Mar 10 2011

       Well, okay, mouseposture - but isn't that then just Mythbusters as it stands, plus a bit of betting?
Loris, Mar 10 2011

       Vernon, "standard" Newtonian physics clearly describes the elastic behaviour of collisions - I remember doing it at school in the 70's.   

       The trick to good mathematics is to avoid starting with assumptions. Start with accepted laws of physics and verifiable data.   

       Of course, you need to be using the appropriate laws and data, or is that what you meant by assumptions?
Twizz, Mar 10 2011

       [Twizz], perhaps I should have said, "the original form of Newtonian Mechanics", before stuff like Hook's Spring Constant got added to it. Because your basic equation F=(m)(a) doesn't say anything about the time it takes for an externally applied force to affect the entirety of a mass. All it says is that the whole mass accelerates in response to the force (instantly).
Vernon, Mar 10 2011

       ///test the math in a demonstrable fashion// I think that's an important point. The main point for this show might be to apply math to things that are difficult to create on stage as a stunt./   

       Difficult but not impossible. This would be a rarified audience to be sure. Maybe the same crew that watch that wild-haired chemistry professor from University of Nottingham.   

       I like the idea of teams. Junkyard wars is great but it seems mostly empirics: people wiggle it until it fits. Teams should do the math in advance and then people with bad math can undergo correction and try again.   

       But look what time it is! 5 years gone by. Maybe this exists now?
bungston, Feb 23 2016

       Correction of math problems should include many comments like   

       /we decided (1*[my vote]+0*[your vote]) on frictionless motion/
bungston, Feb 23 2016

       //But look what time it is! 5 years gone by. Maybe this exists now?//   

       Well, there was "Dara O Briain: School of Hard Sums" on Dave, which was really good.
Loris, Feb 23 2016

       //Dara O Briain: School of Hard Sums//   

       Wow, never knew that existed. With costs of production falling, and broadcast platforms multiplying... programming will become progressively niche. Just a matter of time before Alan's "Youth hosteling with Chris Eubank" is green lit.
bs0u0155, Feb 23 2016

       It is a great idea! Let's do it!
bondarchukb, Aug 22 2019

       Yes, please!
Voice, Aug 23 2019

       //Much needless experimentation could be avoided by appropriate calculations//   

       Afraid not [csea 2011], as [Loris 2011] said   

       //It's not just about the calculations - it's also knowing which variables are important//   

       Which is why your idea [mouse 2011] would have to be paired with a traditional mythbuster in the 2nd half of the show to prove the math guys got it right.   

       //The only people who actually believe in maths//   

       Everyone believes in math [Toaster 2011], it's just not everyone believes anyone who says they can do stuff with it actually knows what they're talking about, see above, it's not the math people don't trust it's that people using the math know all the variables on any chosen random subject.
Skewed, Aug 23 2019

       I like mathematics having a entertaining platform to inspire but the question is, to how many significant figures?
wjt, Aug 24 2019

       "How many significant figures?"   

       Two hosts of course, one of them being the cut up math wiz, and one being the doubting experimenter...   

       The math skeptics of course would state that he just put up some squiggles on a chalkboard and came up with the right answer after the experimenter finished.   

       Actually producing it that way, at least until you got caught by someone who understands basic college math, could be less expensive as finding an outgoing charismatic lead without requisite math skills would be much cheaper than, say, hiring Maxwell or I suspect even Sturton.
RayfordSteele, Aug 28 2019


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