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Jim
2011-Dec-07, 05:32 PM
Well, it had to happen sometime.

One of the zany experiments staged by the "Mythbusters" television show nearly turned into a suburban tragedy Tuesday afternoon in Dublin when the crew fired a homemade cannon toward huge containers of water...

The cantaloupe-sized cannonball missed the water, tore through a cinder-block wall, skipped off a hillside and flew some 700 yards east, right into the Tassajara Creek neighborhood...

There, the 6-inch projectile bounced in front of a home on quiet Cassata Place, ripped through the front door, raced up the stairs and blasted through a bedroom...

The ball wasn't done bouncing.

http://www.chron.com/news/article/MythBusters-cannonball-stunt-goes-awry-2354585.php
with photos

Van Rijn
2011-Dec-07, 05:59 PM
Wow, given all the wandering that cannonball did, I'd think that story would be a myth if it weren't for the evidence and who's saying it.

I hope that doesn't cause too many problems for the show - I could just see somebody making arguments to close the show down because of perceived risks, or it might raise their insurance costs substantially, or additional safety measures might increase their costs.

NEOWatcher
2011-Dec-07, 06:14 PM
Well, it had to happen sometime.
Yep; Even the experts have lapses. I just hope no one does it at home.

Your story omitted one minor questionable fact that our local news has (http://www.newsnet5.com/dpp/entertainment/Mythbusters-cannonball-accidentally-launches-into-california-home).


The cannonball bounced off a sidewalk, blasted through the front of the home and whizzed across the bedroom of the sleeping couple.
How many of you believe they were sleeping at 4 in the afternoon. ;)

Stubby Boardman
2011-Dec-07, 06:19 PM
Live and learn. I honestly thought the bomb-disposal range would be farther from a residential area than that.

NEOWatcher
2011-Dec-07, 06:36 PM
Live and learn. I honestly thought the bomb-disposal range would be farther from a residential area than that.
Well; 700 yards isn't exactly a stones throw either. It's over a third of a mile.

But; I looked it up on Google Maps, and it looks like the area is behind the jail (search "Cassata Place, Dublin, CA"). There's lots of empty land around there, and it may have just been a poor choice of which way to aim it. It also seems to have flown past several houses too.

Gillianren
2011-Dec-07, 07:50 PM
How many of you believe they were sleeping at 4 in the afternoon. ;)

Given that Jim's article says there was a child in the bed, I hope they were sleeping.

Solfe
2011-Dec-07, 08:20 PM
How many of you believe they were sleeping at 4 in the afternoon. ;)

When my kids were younger, we had nap time until about 4. How I miss those days.

NEOWatcher
2011-Dec-07, 09:12 PM
... there was a child in the bed...
I missed that. Now I feel bad for those naughty thoughts.

Fazor
2011-Dec-07, 09:19 PM
My favorite part of the article was this quote at the end:

This isn't the first time projectiles in the area have hit homes. In 2007, a stray .223-caliber submachine gun bullet, apparently fired during a training exercise at Camp Parks Army base in Dublin, shattered the bedroom window of a San Ramon home.

I'm assuming projectiles hit homes in the area all the time. It's quite common.

Now, if they want to reword that to say that it's not the first time a home in the area has been hit by errant gunshot, that's a bit more interesting.

Bobbar
2011-Dec-07, 09:27 PM
Based on the info available, I marked out what I believe to be a pretty accurate path for the cannonball.

On the left is the bomb disposal range. Its layout matches footage from the show. And, at first glace and from the ground, it seems like it would be a good direction to fire the cannon, as it's directly at a large hill.

On the right is the house it hit, matched by photos and Google Street view. ;)

http://dl.dropbox.com/u/40788574/MythbustersOops.jpg

Cannonballs are notorious for bouncing huge distances, especially over hills. IIRC, they've watch that same Parrot gun fire a ball through several water barrels, then watched it bounce off a hill and sail into oblivion. I'm kind of surprised they didn't put more thought into aiming the cannon.

I just hope nothing too serious becomes of this. Even though it is clearly a very serious situation.

Swift
2011-Dec-07, 10:12 PM
I hope that doesn't cause too many problems for the show - I could just see somebody making arguments to close the show down because of perceived risks, or it might raise their insurance costs substantially, or additional safety measures might increase their costs.
They may have to shell out more for their insurance, and may not be welcome at that bomb-disposal range any longer, but I also would guess it will increase their ratings.

Nice work Bobbar

SkepticJ
2011-Dec-07, 11:47 PM
How is any of this a "tragedy"?

No one was injured, minimal property damage, and the people involved get to say their house or car was nailed with a cannonball by the MythBusters.

Do journalists even know what words mean?

Noclevername
2011-Dec-08, 12:03 AM
Do journalists even know what words mean?

Real journalists may know, but to most of the people who actually write for the news, the word "tragedy" means "higher ratings". So they try to use it as often as possible.

(Note that in this case they said "nearly" turned into a tragedy. That's their way of wedging the word into even nontragic news.)

swampyankee
2011-Dec-08, 03:06 AM
Things can fly surprising distances. When I was working in the gas turbine industry, the tests were bits of engine wreaked havoc on the neighboring sail loft were well-documented. To wreak this havoc, the parts had to make at least two ninety degree turns, bouncing off concrete walls, and then flying about 400 meters.

Leave aside the irony of having a sail loft next to a gas turbine test facility.

ggremlin
2011-Dec-08, 05:35 AM
I extremely glad that no one was hurt and I hope that it does not affect the relationship of the show and the police force. Based on the reports it sounds like they improved the shortstops since that last experiment with a cannon but it still wasn't enough to stop it.

Based on the Google's view, does anyone else think the housing deployments are built at a little too close to a bomb range and if the reports are correct, an ARMY gun range?

vonmazur
2011-Dec-08, 05:58 AM
Things can fly surprising distances. When I was working in the gas turbine industry, the tests were bits of engine wreaked havoc on the neighboring sail loft were well-documented. To wreak this havoc, the parts had to make at least two ninety degree turns, bouncing off concrete walls, and then flying about 400 meters.

Leave aside the irony of having a sail loft next to a gas turbine test facility.

Swampyankee: Sounds familiar, AVCO Stratford CT, circa 1971 or so....I worked in the test cells at night, and some idiot left an open tool box in front of a T 55 test run...
Parts of 17,000 rpm engine rotors went everywhere, but I do not think we got outside the building....

Dale

HenrikOlsen
2011-Dec-08, 07:14 AM
Real journalists may know, but to most of the people who actually write for the news, the word "tragedy" means "higher ratings". So they try to use it as often as possible.

(Note that in this case they said "nearly" turned into a tragedy. That's their way of wedging the word into even nontragic news.)
Even if they'd hit and killed someone it would still be a misuse of the word.

Jim
2011-Dec-08, 12:50 PM
I extremely glad that no one was hurt ...

I think this is the important thing. Kari was not hurt in any way.


Even if they'd hit and killed someone it would still be a misuse of the word.

Not to the person hit and killed.

NEOWatcher
2011-Dec-08, 01:21 PM
Bobbar; Thanks for the great investigation and illustration work.

On the left is the bomb disposal range. Its layout matches footage from the show. And, at first glace and from the ground, it seems like it would be a good direction to fire the cannon, as it's directly at a large hill.
From ground level, that hill probably looked plenty large to prevent anything like that. I find it interesting as to how the slope of a hill can be decieving from below.



Now, if they want to reword that to say that it's not the first time a home in the area has been hit by errant gunshot, that's a bit more interesting.
I'm not sure about interesting. But; I do find that statement to be very bad in mixing the plurals with a single instance.

jokergirl
2011-Dec-08, 01:59 PM
I extremely glad that no one was hurt and I hope that it does not affect the relationship of the show and the police force. Based on the reports it sounds like they improved the shortstops since that last experiment with a cannon but it still wasn't enough to stop it.

The report says they MISSED the water stops.
They've been using water to stop cannon balls before, since at least the leather cannon episode.

I wonder what myth they were testing?

;)

Stubby Boardman
2011-Dec-08, 02:14 PM
...Based on the Google's view, does anyone else think the housing deployments are built at a little too close to a bomb range and if the reports are correct, an ARMY gun range?

I'm wonder how much spin realtors have to use to make a house in THAT neighbourhood seem like a good buy.

"Sure, you have to watch out for stray artillery fire, but the schools are great. And there's an Olive Garden right within walking distance."

The Backroad Astronomer
2011-Dec-08, 02:19 PM
When I first read the quote of where it was, I read it as Dublin Ireland. There was point in time where having a projctile going thru the house was pretty average day.
(just take it as a joke.)

jokergirl
2011-Dec-08, 03:02 PM
I was wondering what they were doing in Ireland too, but then I saw the photo and figured "This doesn't look like your average Irish house wall". :D (Irish houses usually have more than just plaster walls on the outside. It does get cold there!)

And now I saw, in the other article:


The "Mythbusters" crew was trying to see if other materials could be fired out of a cannon could be as effective as a cannonball. But the crew found out what kind of damage a cannonball can do when it misses its target.

:lol:

NEOWatcher
2011-Dec-08, 03:12 PM
I wonder what myth they were testing?

And now I saw, in the other article:
That explains what they were doing, but not the myth itself.

My guess is the scene from Pirates of the Caribbean when they were shoving knives, forks and all sorts of other stuff in the cannons.

jokergirl
2011-Dec-08, 03:15 PM
That explains what they were doing, but not the myth itself.

My guess is the scene from Pirates of the Caribbean when they were shoving knives, forks and all sorts of other stuff in the cannons.

They already did that one, in the second Pirate special.

They also put cheese into a cannon once.

;)

HenrikOlsen
2011-Dec-08, 03:53 PM
Not to the person hit and killed.
Still only according to modern journalistic use, not classical use.
Where's the goat?:D

But then I'm also the type who insists that "decimate" requires that 10% is affected.

NEOWatcher
2011-Dec-08, 04:02 PM
They already did that one, in the second Pirate special.
I don't remember that. I just remember them shooting the side of a ship to see if the splintering was fatal.

jokergirl
2011-Dec-08, 04:27 PM
Here's a link to a clip from that episode:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QJOWKo0bkR4

(warning: VERY gory. They used pigs for that one too.)

Tog
2011-Dec-08, 04:33 PM
The myth they were testing was if a stone cannonball could penetrate a stone castle wall. The day at the bomb range was to calibrate their home-made cannon with iron cannon balls to get the charge right to match the speed when it came time to do the real test at a remote location.

According to Jaime, the cannon suffered muzzle lift and they overshot the water barrels. It was only Kari, Grant, and Tori at the scene.

It makes me wonder if the cannon used was on a fixed frame that created a dent in the dirt from previous firings which led to the back dropping down and the muzzle tipping upward.

The path after it left the house was to go over the 6 lane road behind the house and then bounce off the roof of a second house before coming to rest in the front seat of a minivan.

As a side note, I'm surprised the bomb range is that close to houses, though there is a 100 to 200 foot high ridge between them. Also, the bomb range looks like it shares a border with the federal prison.

SkepticJ
2011-Dec-08, 04:56 PM
Things can fly surprising distances. When I was working in the gas turbine industry, the tests were bits of engine wreaked havoc on the neighboring sail loft were well-documented. To wreak this havoc, the parts had to make at least two ninety degree turns, bouncing off concrete walls, and then flying about 400 meters.

How is that possible? A dumb ballistic mass ricocheting around two ninety degree turns, that is.

There'd have to be glancing impacts off the walls preceding the turns, I guess.

R.A.F.
2011-Dec-08, 05:28 PM
Not to the person hit and killed.

I wonder if the show would have gone on if they had killed someone. I'd likely have to stop watching on principle.

...no, that's not quite fair...I've been "dodgy" about watching mythbusters for a while now as more and more they seem to be confusing things they watched in movies to "myths".


Bound to happen...there are only so many myths.

Gillianren
2011-Dec-08, 08:05 PM
Still only according to modern journalistic use, not classical use.
Where's the goat?:D

But then I'm also the type who insists that "decimate" requires that 10% is affected.

I'm the same way. It would have been unfortunate, but not even tragic by my slightly-looser-than-classical usage.

SkepticJ
2011-Dec-08, 11:15 PM
I wonder if the show would have gone on if they had killed someone. I'd likely have to stop watching on principle.

What principle? It's not like they weren't following safety procedure. As the saying goes, "*bleep* happens".

Would you watch The Crow?

NEOWatcher
2011-Dec-09, 12:52 PM
...no, that's not quite fair...I've been "dodgy" about watching mythbusters for a while now as more and more they seem to be confusing things they watched in movies to "myths".
Maybe "Myth" isn't the appropriate word, but considering that so many people get thier education of science from the movies, I think movie "myths" is pretty close.

starcanuck64
2011-Dec-09, 06:47 PM
I can imagine there's some red faces at M5 I.

You'd think they'd understand there's a big difference between blowing stuff up and shooting massive objects at high velocity, they shouldn't have been anywhere near a housing development.


But then I'm also the type who insists that "decimate" requires that 10% is affected.

I'm the same, some people sem to confuse decimate with annihilate.

Swift
2011-Dec-09, 08:08 PM
I heard on the radio today a report that they are planning not to air the episode. If true, I'm disappointed.

Noclevername
2011-Dec-09, 10:28 PM
But then I'm also the type who insists that "decimate" requires that 10% is affected.


I'm the same, some people sem to confuse decimate with annihilate.

That may have been the meaning 2000 years ago, but stricly as a mental exercise, you might entertain the possibility that language occasionally changes. Otherwise we'd all be speaking Early Neanderthal. ;)

Gillianren
2011-Dec-09, 10:40 PM
Language changes, but that's no reason to abandon all standards across the board. (The "decimate" change is also only within the last few decades; "decimate" meant "reduce by one-tenth" for more than two thousand years.) If there's a reason for a change, I'll argue in favour of the change. "Decimate" does actually serve a purpose. One-tenth is a pretty significant fraction, enough to seriously hurt without being completely destroyed.

starcanuck64
2011-Dec-10, 01:26 AM
That may have been the meaning 2000 years ago, but stricly as a mental exercise, you might entertain the possibility that language occasionally changes. Otherwise we'd all be speaking Early Neanderthal. ;)

Certainly language evolves as cultures change but I'm just a little confused how a word that contains the latin word for ten as it's root is confused with something else...but then I'm assuming that many people even know that.

Gillianren
2011-Dec-10, 01:57 AM
"Its" . . . .

Swift
2011-Dec-10, 02:00 AM
"Its" . . . .
Its... (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-rutX0I6NxU)

Gillianren
2011-Dec-10, 03:04 AM
I just watched the second half of Almost the Truth today.

More on topic, were I involved with the MythBusters, I would probably ask the people who were lucky enough to survive a near-miss by a cannonball if they wanted the episode aired. Who knows; they might be fans!

publiusr
2011-Dec-10, 07:32 PM
I thought that it was the neighbors at M-5 who were more miffed at the sounds of loud noises. Ironically, they were trying to be safe using the bomb range out of regulations. Had they the authorities thought to shoot parallel to the road and the homes, there wouldn't have been a problem. Had the Mythbusters did this on their own, they might have used that big runway, with the distant city at their backs and what, nothing but ocean ahead?

starcanuck64
2011-Dec-10, 11:04 PM
"Its" . . . .

Not if enough people use my version.;)

R.A.F.
2011-Dec-10, 11:21 PM
What principle? It's not like they weren't following safety procedure.

How can you say this with such certainty? In my opinion, they should have not done this anywhere near "civilization"...the range is close to, and convenient located near SF, so saving money must be a consideration...


Would you watch The Crow?

Improper comparison in my opinion...The Crow was a stand alone movie, not a continuing series...and actually, no, I haven't watched it since it was released, but that has nothing to do with the death of Brandon Lee.

..and as I said, it wasn't "fair" to say that....truth is, I've simply lost interest in the show....just how many "pirate specials" can one stand??

WHarris
2011-Dec-11, 02:45 AM
I heard on the radio today a report that they are planning not to air the episode. If true, I'm disappointed.

AS I understand it, they won't air the footage shot during this incident. The myth itself will be seen later next year.

Van Rijn
2011-Dec-11, 09:13 AM
I heard on the radio today a report that they are planning not to air the episode. If true, I'm disappointed.

I'm not surprised. Even if they have a good shot of it, I doubt they would want to give the ammunition to lawyers.

SkepticJ
2011-Dec-12, 01:05 AM
How can you say this with such certainty? In my opinion, they should have not done this anywhere near "civilization"...the range is close to, and convenient located near SF, so saving money must be a consideration...

You think they don't consult with people? You know, the people who own the bomb range? "Hey, firing a cannon there is not such a hot idea."

Like I said, "*bleep* happens". What if they'd done it elsewhere, and someone actually got hurt? Say they fired it out over the ocean, but oops, it nailed a scuba diver near the surface?


Improper comparison in my opinion...The Crow was a stand alone movie, not a continuing series...

So? Why does that invalidate my point? If anything, that puts more burden on the movie: hey, how hard is it to not kill an actor while filming a movie?


truth is, I've simply lost interest in the show....just how many "pirate specials" can one stand??

Well, that's you. I still watch every episode.

It popularizes scientific skepticism to a youthful audience, it's educational, occasionally there are quite surprising results, and it's fun.

If you can't enjoy it anymore, I feel sorry for you. I hope I never develop Old Man Syndrome.

R.A.F.
2011-Dec-12, 01:33 AM
I hope I never develop Old Man Syndrome.

Yep...that must be what it is...


eta...Oh and I didn't say that I "couldn't enjoy" the show anymore, I posted that I had "lost interest" in the show.

Please try to be precise when "quoting" other posters.

thanks...

Noclevername
2011-Dec-12, 01:40 AM
I don't mind the pirate specials so much as Adam's annoying "pirate accent" (which also doubles as his Roman accent and Confederate accent, for some reason.)

Swift
2011-Dec-12, 02:41 AM
If you can't enjoy it anymore, I feel sorry for you. I hope I never develop Old Man Syndrome.
This old man moderator thinks you need to play nice or I'm going to kick all you kids off my lawn.

NEOWatcher
2011-Dec-12, 03:47 PM
How can you say this with such certainty? In my opinion, they should have not done this anywhere near "civilization"...the range is close to, and convenient located near SF, so saving money must be a consideration...
Considering that I have heard many times about the insurance company not allowing them to do something, or a last minute change because of the insurance company, I can be pretty certain they followed ample safety procedures.

R.A.F.
2011-Dec-12, 05:54 PM
Considering that I have heard many times about the insurance company not allowing them to do something, or a last minute change because of the insurance company, I can be pretty certain they followed ample safety procedures.

If I were one of those who ended up with a hole in the wall, I would think that "ample safety procedures" were not "ample" enough.


..but I do agree that "stuff' happens, of course, but I'd "wager" that it doesn't happen at that particular range anymore.

NEOWatcher
2011-Dec-12, 06:36 PM
If I were one of those who ended up with a hole in the wall, I would think that "ample safety procedures" were not "ample" enough.
Ok; obvious not "ample". But; I still think they were "accepted" safety procedures.
But; since you didn't specify what kind of safety procedures, I stand by my amended post.



..but I do agree that "stuff' happens, of course, but I'd "wager" that it doesn't happen at that particular range anymore.
What do you mean by "it"?
The accident, or an experiment like that.
While I'm positive that the former is definitely being looked at as a change in policy on safety procedures, I'm not so sure of the latter. The latter might be necessary if the former's research does not reveal something too conclusive.

Tog
2011-Dec-12, 06:42 PM
Given what they were attempting to do at the time, the bomb range was probably the best place within reason to do it. Since they do seem to use it quite often, I wouldn't be surprised to see the range itself modified by making a more vertical specifically for use as a backstop in one end of the place.

Gillianren
2011-Dec-12, 06:57 PM
Yeah, it's hardly as though you should expect to be completely safe from projectiles if you live near a bomb range. And no, that doesn't mean you should expect cannon fire, but it's not as though the MythBusters are allowed to do whatever they want to there, either. Someone in authority told them they could, and not just the insurance people.

NEOWatcher
2011-Dec-12, 07:12 PM
I wouldn't be surprised to see the range itself modified by making a more vertical specifically for use as a backstop in one end of the place.
That wouldn't surprise me either, but I wonder how you determine how high to go and how strong to make it.

Like I mentioned earlier, they could have just chosen a different azimuth. Although; I don't know the layout of the land, from what I can see on google, they would have had a few miles of nothing if they aimed at around 310 degrees.

Tog
2011-Dec-12, 07:37 PM
They were only trying to figure out the muzzle velocity before conducting the test at a remote location.. The elevation should have been near horizontal, but for some reason, the muzzle lifted and they overshot the backstop.

R.A.F.
2011-Dec-12, 08:15 PM
...for some reason, the muzzle lifted and they overshot the backstop.

My question would be "could, (or better should,) that "lift" have been predicted?"



Ok; obvious not "ample". But; I still think they were "accepted" safety procedures.

I agree...



What do you mean by "it"? The accident, or an experiment like that.

I can't imagine another accident such as happened, happening again.

I don't know about the other...I just think the residents would/should/will have more to say about future "experiments".

Gillianren
2011-Dec-12, 09:12 PM
As the article mentioned, homes in the area have been hit by shrapnel/debris/bullets from the bomb range before, and doubtless they will again, whether or not MythBusting is involved.

HenrikOlsen
2011-Dec-12, 09:25 PM
My question would be "could, (or better should,) that "lift" have been predicted?"
"Should" is always easy with hindsight as a guide.