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Author: Subject: Science bullcrap on TV
Etaoin Shrdlu
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[*] posted on 12-1-2014 at 13:01


Quote: Originally posted by gravityzero  
Badger makes a suggestion, "Can't you just make chloroform out of something, like maybe bleach?!? Then we could make her pass out and steal the vacuum."
Walter responds, "No. It does not work that way.", or something to that effect.

I thought it was interesting when it turns out that you actually can make chloroform this way.

It's the "knockout" that wouldn't work the way Badger was thinking. Chloroform isn't the holy grail of instant unconsciousness that it's become in popular culture. They could have made it though. (I haven't watched the episode, but that's what I'm getting based on the dialogue.)
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100PercentChemistry
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[*] posted on 11-6-2016 at 11:55


I was watching mythbusters and they did the sulfuric acid a sugar demo and listed the chemicals but when they got to the p nitroanaline they said it was a "secret highly dangerous chemical" or something. The sulfuric acid would probably cause more bad,
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ficolas
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[*] posted on 11-6-2016 at 12:27


Quote: Originally posted by 100PercentChemistry  
I was watching mythbusters and they did the sulfuric acid a sugar demo and listed the chemicals but when they got to the p nitroanaline they said it was a "secret highly dangerous chemical" or something. The sulfuric acid would probably cause more bad,

They also did that with H2O2, when they dumped a pig in piranha solution to bust when they disolve bodies in breaking bad with hydrofluoric acid.
But shit gets worse when they talk about computer related stuff, they just throw words together to make a sentence that sounds computery to people who dont know about it. In CSI they created a "GUI interface with visual basics to track an IP"
Sometimes is to make the show funnier, like when they make DNI analysis in a couple hours, sometimes is to not give information to the public, and spread ignorance, because why not, and sometimes is just because of pure ignorance.

[Edited on 11-6-2016 by ficolas]
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pepe
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[*] posted on 11-6-2016 at 14:37


Quote: Originally posted by Etaoin Shrdlu  
Quote: Originally posted by gravityzero  
Badger makes a suggestion, "Can't you just make chloroform out of something, like maybe bleach?!? Then we could make her pass out and steal the vacuum."
Walter responds, "No. It does not work that way.", or something to that effect.

I thought it was interesting when it turns out that you actually can make chloroform this way.

It's the "knockout" that wouldn't work the way Badger was thinking. Chloroform isn't the holy grail of instant unconsciousness that it's become in popular culture. They could have made it though. (I haven't watched the episode, but that's what I'm getting based on the dialogue.)


I came here to say this as well. Its not a reference to the synthesis but to the method of knocking someone out.

In the converse of the OP's topic I find that futurama, while stupidly hilarious, actually has a lot of interesting science incorporated into it.
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RogueRose
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[*] posted on 12-6-2016 at 04:52


I guess most writers take their perogative for "artistic freedom" which allows them to exagerate and completely miss-identify a lot of stuff. The problem is that many people hear this stuff and think it is gospel.

My biggest problem is on shows on "science" based channels like Discovery, TLC, History, etc and they talk about stuff, especially chemicals and how extremely dangerous they are.

An example was a shoe talking about how dangerous old chemistry sets were/are. The vials that came with the set contained MAYBE 30g (probably more like 10-20g) of each chem. They made a statement that the set, if mis-used (like a run-away reaction) could destroy/blow up a house - meaning totally destroy it! WTF, I want to know what 120g (say 4 30g samples mixed) could destroy a house.

The woman also states "some are extremely toxic and deadly" and then picks up a small vial of copper sulfate and says "like this" this would now not be included as it is a potent poison.

Look at the people in the show and wonder what their backgrounds are. They are just whoring themselves out and spewing dangerous stupidity. Sad state of affairs.
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Praxichys
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[*] posted on 15-6-2016 at 11:09


Quote: Originally posted by RogueRose  
They are just whoring themselves out and spewing dangerous stupidity. Sad state of affairs.

You should read some of the comments made on my YouTube channel, particularly the video on mercury. Every other post is someone telling me I'm about to die. It was funny at first but now I find it sad to watch others jump on the bandwagon of uninformed assertions.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XkXv8XmW3oQ




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aga
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[*] posted on 15-6-2016 at 12:27


What ? You touched mercury ?!?!

You're gonna die !

Us Immortals never touch the stuff.

(bananas are also lethal in sufficient quantity, or if handled incorrectly)

[Edited on 15-6-2016 by aga]




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morganbw
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[*] posted on 15-6-2016 at 13:50


I like them all, if it is total bullcrap and I actually know the chemistry, I am able to say to my wife that the chemistry is off and this will not happen and then for a brief moment I am full of myself.

What if these shows/or possibly one of them, with their flawed chemistry excites a few young people to expand their lives beyond TV/movies and helps propel them into a scientific oriented life. Really what if?
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[*] posted on 3-7-2016 at 17:31


This thread summerizes the way programmers feel when watching the TV filth that is CSI: Miami/New York/etc.
If it was accidentally left on in the background, it's sure as hell getting shut off when they start talking about tracing the IP with GUI using VB.NET
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APO
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[*] posted on 4-7-2016 at 17:12


I think it was Law and Order, it described nitrobenzene and aluminium as a powerful, extremely sensitive explosive; for one, that wouldn't even explode at all, and most aromatic explosives are extremely insensitive and always need a very strong blasting cap with a booster.

In Homeland, only atropine was used as antidote for sarin, it's usually used in combination with pralidoxime; also, potassium chlorate can't detonate on it's own.

I'm starting to think TV shows intend this kind of misinformation; almost every time, it's kinda close to being somewhat right in the grand scheme of things, that I think they make it a tad wrong on purpose. It seems like too big a coincidence that it could've been even more wrong, but it's just wrong enough to seem stupid.




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[*] posted on 5-7-2016 at 03:13


Quote: Originally posted by Praxichys  
Quote: Originally posted by RogueRose  
They are just whoring themselves out and spewing dangerous stupidity. Sad state of affairs.

You should read some of the comments made on my YouTube channel, particularly the video on mercury. Every other post is someone telling me I'm about to die. It was funny at first but now I find it sad to watch others jump on the bandwagon of uninformed assertions.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XkXv8XmW3oQ


Ah the ol' youtube comments.. I get a lot of the "I work for the eff-bee-eye see you tomorrow" or "Aye-Tea-Eff on the way" 50% of the comments I get are insults, 25% threats, 10% mom jokes, 10% asking answered questions, 5% actual help like if said something wrong or made a mistake.

To stay on topic, I enjoy all these shows errors and all, I like to find the mistakes keeps my mind sharp, not the csi computer stuff though thats too far bogus, USA's Mr. Robot is actually legit, its beyond my expertise but I fully believe if my life depended on it I could do it. CSI just no, not possible. I do wonder about touch DNA though, seems like it could be real or at least in development. I loved breaking bad and Dexter. I was pissed when dexter ended how it did.

[Edited on 5-7-2016 by Arg0nAddict]




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pepe
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[*] posted on 6-8-2016 at 19:01


Resurrecting this thread to say that what is seen regarding DNA and television is most blatantly false. To get DNA off hair the root still needs to be intact. As far as leaving behind skin particles or something whatever you leave behind would be basically invisible to the naked eye and probably wouldn't be enough for valid results anyway. Even things like blood are only usable depending on if the conditions are sufficient for preservation.
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[*] posted on 6-8-2016 at 22:27


Nah. DNA collection methods have improved.
Now it is relatively common practice for example to wipe down a car steering wheel for DNA rather than lift fingerprints.
Where the TV shows get it wrong is the length of time to analyse the DNA and the certainty of the information gathered, It takes days. And if there is a mixture of DNA from more than one source (which is common) then it is a tough mathematical exercise to determine the probability that a particular suspect could have contributed to the body of evidence found at the scene.




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mayko
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[*] posted on 6-8-2016 at 22:34



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[*] posted on 6-8-2016 at 22:35


pretty old improvement en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polymerase_chain_reaction
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James Ikanov
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biggrin.gif posted on 28-8-2016 at 20:38


I think one of my pet peeves in this realm is that often people who are subject matter experts are too busy actually doing subject matter to tell the writers and actors how to do certain things, generally.

They're getting better about this with the whole "gun safety, moving and shooting" stuff, but science, explosives, and macgyvering chemicals together are still a bit above the average writers paygrade.

That said, I think macgyver is a decent middle ground. A few questionable things but a lot of relatively good scientific concepts that those things are based on.

I especially love the episode where he builds a charge out of nitromannitol to fight off a herd of carnivorous ants.




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