Facepalm TV / Doing It Wrong

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Re: Facepalm TV / Doing It Wrong

Postby Link » Tue Nov 02, 2010 5:22 pm UTC

True, the Alcubierre drive cannot exist. But it is still remarkable that it is mathematically possible, with just a few variables that we're not 100% sure are possible, and the only real deal-breaker being a purely practical one (the energy requirement, which varies between impossibly large to improbably large depending on improvements on the original metric). Personally, I think that in light of this being mathematically possible and theoretically almost possible in the real world, it's quite conceivable that another, similar, more feasible loophole will be discovered within the space of maybe a few centuries.

Looking at how much our understanding of the universe has improved over the last century, I frankly wouldn't be surprised at any such discovery. And paraphrasing someone else on these fora, if a loophole, however small, exists, then humanity will find it. (Given enough time and prosperity, anyway.)

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Re: Facepalm TV / Doing It Wrong

Postby Eebster the Great » Tue Nov 02, 2010 7:12 pm UTC

Link wrote:True, the Alcubierre drive cannot exist. But it is still remarkable that it is mathematically possible, with just a few variables that we're not 100% sure are possible, and the only real deal-breaker being a purely practical one (the energy requirement, which varies between impossibly large to improbably large depending on improvements on the original metric). Personally, I think that in light of this being mathematically possible and theoretically almost possible in the real world, it's quite conceivable that another, similar, more feasible loophole will be discovered within the space of maybe a few centuries.

Looking at how much our understanding of the universe has improved over the last century, I frankly wouldn't be surprised at any such discovery. And paraphrasing someone else on these fora, if a loophole, however small, exists, then humanity will find it. (Given enough time and prosperity, anyway.)


That is NOT the only problem with the drive. It also requires exotic matter, naked singularities, tachyons, etc. Just read the article, it points out five or six problems with the concept. It might be possible that we will discover a model of the universe consistent with reality in which it is "possible" but not "practical," but we have not yet discovered one, and it might not be possible at all.

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Re: Facepalm TV / Doing It Wrong

Postby Carlington » Sun Nov 07, 2010 1:43 am UTC

I guess someone better start drawing up plans for a Finite Improbability Drive then...
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Re: Facepalm TV / Doing It Wrong

Postby Technical Ben » Sun Nov 07, 2010 3:15 pm UTC

It annoys me when Sci-fi throw cause and effect out the window. Then expect me to keep watching. Mainly Farscape and Dr Who. With no logic, plausibility or reason. My dreams make more sense!
Don't get me wrong, I enjoy both programs at times, just they sometimes devolve into a expressionist painting. With nothing more than a pretty picture, and no substance. Plus the fact you cannot really build a universe where logic is broken.
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Re: Facepalm TV / Doing It Wrong

Postby Eebster the Great » Sun Nov 07, 2010 7:27 pm UTC

Well I just watched The Fifth Element and wuted all the way through the movie.

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Re: Facepalm TV / Doing It Wrong

Postby Diadem » Sun Nov 07, 2010 8:15 pm UTC

Sir_Elderberry wrote:Faster-than-light travel and deflector shields are genre conventions. That is, those are places where there is a deliberate, directed assault on the laws of the physics--the writers know that they're screwing up and correct for it. Things like sound in space are another level down--by this point, the writers honestly probably do know, they just don't care. The things that are actually deserving of contempt are when the science is unintentionally wrong/bad.

Exactly. I don't mind FTW in fiction. I know it's not realistic, but it's needed for the story. Same with shields and teleporters. What bothers me if they make obvious, stupid mistakes, or if they fuck up their internal logic.

In star trek they require warp engines to travel FTL. Ok, got it. But then in episodes where the warp engines are down for a few hours for maintenance, they fly at maximum impulse towards their destination. That's just stupid. Or one episode there had to travel a distance of a few milliparsecs. They did that in a few seconds, so that's roughly ok I guess, but you saw a shot of the outside of the ship, and in this shot you saw dozens of stars flying by. C'mon, there's not that many stars within a milliparsec!

I can still kind of forgive all that. Distances in space are tricky, you're already ignoring the laws of physics with your warp drive, might as well go for dramatic effect all the way.

But in the episode I am watching now (rewatching TNG. Currently at 2x12) they just discovered a planet with: "Surface temperature minus 291 degrees Celsius". There's absolutely no excuse for that.
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Re: Facepalm TV / Doing It Wrong

Postby Mr_Rose » Sun Nov 07, 2010 8:26 pm UTC

Eebster the Great wrote:Well I just watched The Fifth Element and wuted all the way through the movie.

Starting with the title card right?
Really though, it's based on there not only being four actual alchemical elements but also a bunch of aliens knowing about them, having the same set, and developing a weapon based on them to fight literal, elemental Evil with a big "E" - I have no idea why you'd even start trying to critically analyse the scientific content because there blatantly is none, pretty much by design. Still a pretty good film though.
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Re: Facepalm TV / Doing It Wrong

Postby Sir_Elderberry » Sun Nov 07, 2010 9:14 pm UTC

Hah, I remember that. Yeah, Trek isn't scientific, and honestly it doesn't try very hard to be either. (On the bright side, soon you'll be done with season two, and the show will get good.)
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Re: Facepalm TV / Doing It Wrong

Postby xkcdfan » Sun Nov 07, 2010 10:29 pm UTC

You, sir, name? wrote:I'd be more concerned about the presence of sound in space than explosions.

Wait, if there's no sound in space then what the eff is this supposed to be?

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Re: Facepalm TV / Doing It Wrong

Postby Whelan » Sun Nov 07, 2010 10:40 pm UTC

NASA wrote:In 2002, astronomers obtained a deep Chandra observation that shows ripples in the gas filling the cluster
In the vacuum of space, sound isn't. In the not-quite-a-vacuum of the gas cloud in the perseus cluster, there can be. And apparently is.
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Re: Facepalm TV / Doing It Wrong

Postby Eebster the Great » Mon Nov 08, 2010 1:43 am UTC

xkcdfan wrote:
You, sir, name? wrote:I'd be more concerned about the presence of sound in space than explosions.

Wait, if there's no sound in space then what the eff is this supposed to be?

Well the sound is a B♭-53, so it is safe to say nobody could ever hear it.

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Re: Facepalm TV / Doing It Wrong

Postby You, sir, name? » Sat Nov 20, 2010 8:34 pm UTC

xkcdfan wrote:
You, sir, name? wrote:I'd be more concerned about the presence of sound in space than explosions.

Wait, if there's no sound in space then what the eff is this supposed to be?


Sound in a medium, pretty much the same deal as sound in our atmosphere, except this gas is near a black hole.
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Re: Facepalm TV / Doing It Wrong

Postby SlyReaper » Sat Nov 20, 2010 9:20 pm UTC

The sound in space thing in sci-fi movies is so ubiquitous that I always sit up and pay attention when they actually don't have sound effects in space. Sometimes they actually do it right! Firefly had no sound in space, I remember. Also an anime called Planetes seemed to be very careful about obeying the laws of physics. I think there are a couple of others too. I wish film and tv show makers would do that more often, because it does help make their work stand out from the crowd.

Things like warp drive I can forgive though. It's often necessary to make a good story. Sound in space serves no purpose other than to be wrong, and I cannot fathom why film makers still do it. They must realise by now that SPACE DOES NOT WORK THAT WAY. GOODNIGHT.
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Re: Facepalm TV / Doing It Wrong

Postby Eebster the Great » Sun Nov 21, 2010 12:46 am UTC

SlyReaper wrote:Things like warp drive I can forgive though. It's often necessary to make a good story. Sound in space serves no purpose other than to be wrong, and I cannot fathom why film makers still do it. They must realise by now that SPACE DOES NOT WORK THAT WAY. GOODNIGHT.

They want the space fights to be exciting and sound effects are very easy to insert. Even if they don't want to put them in at first, they will probably be added later in post at the request of the producers. I think accuracy doesn't even come into consideration most of the time.

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Re: Facepalm TV / Doing It Wrong

Postby StNowhere » Sun Nov 21, 2010 1:36 am UTC

SlyReaper wrote:The sound in space thing in sci-fi movies is so ubiquitous that I always sit up and pay attention when they actually don't have sound effects in space. Sometimes they actually do it right! Firefly had no sound in space, I remember. Also an anime called Planetes seemed to be very careful about obeying the laws of physics. I think there are a couple of others too. I wish film and tv show makers would do that more often, because it does help make their work stand out from the crowd.

Things like warp drive I can forgive though. It's often necessary to make a good story. Sound in space serves no purpose other than to be wrong, and I cannot fathom why film makers still do it. They must realise by now that SPACE DOES NOT WORK THAT WAY. GOODNIGHT.


Firefly, if I remember, though, did not have many battles that actually took place between ships. It was more, "ship flies to here, stuff happens on-planet" or "ship gets picked up by bigger ship, stuff happens on bigger ship/space station". If you ever try to watch any of the fighter battles in Star Wars without the sound, it does (IMO) tend to seem boring.

Eebster the Great wrote:They want the space fights to be exciting and sound effects are very easy to insert. Even if they don't want to put them in at first, they will probably be added later in post at the request of the producers. I think accuracy doesn't even come into consideration most of the time.


This. If one were to make a movie or TV show with all science as accurately portrayed as is possible, I doubt even scientists would watch it. I wouldn't. That, of course, doesn't mean that they should do whatever they want and call it "science." It does mean, IMO, that we should probably give them as much latitude in producing mass entertainment as possible. I find sound in space to be a minor problem.
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Re: Facepalm TV / Doing It Wrong

Postby The Scyphozoa » Sun Nov 21, 2010 1:36 am UTC

SlyReaper wrote:I wish film and tv show makers would do that more often, because it does help make their work stand out from the crowd.

Think about that one for a second. :wink:
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Re: Facepalm TV / Doing It Wrong

Postby TheChewanater » Sun Nov 21, 2010 1:48 am UTC

StNowhere wrote:This. If one were to make a movie or TV show with all science as accurately portrayed as is possible, I doubt even scientists would watch it. I wouldn't. That, of course, doesn't mean that they should do whatever they want and call it "science." It does mean, IMO, that we should probably give them as much latitude in producing mass entertainment as possible. I find sound in space to be a minor problem.

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Re: Facepalm TV / Doing It Wrong

Postby Sizik » Sun Nov 21, 2010 2:00 am UTC

StNowhere wrote:This. If one were to make a movie or TV show with all science as accurately portrayed as is possible, I doubt even scientists would watch it. I wouldn't. That, of course, doesn't mean that they should do whatever they want and call it "science." It does mean, IMO, that we should probably give them as much latitude in producing mass entertainment as possible. I find sound in space to be a minor problem.


Most sitcoms have an accurate portrayal of science.
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Re: Facepalm TV

Postby Foremorrow » Sun Nov 21, 2010 5:08 am UTC

You, sir, name? wrote:The Stargate franchise also loves it's bad technobabble, though it's far enough between to be possible to watch it without bashing your head into the wall.


We can all poke fun and complain about one another, for example, you made the grammatical mistake of using "it's" (it is) where you should have used "its" (possessive form of it). Is your criticism of the bad science on television because it is bad science because you know better and it simply irritates, or is it because you're worried it dumbs down people?
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Re: Facepalm TV

Postby Eebster the Great » Sun Nov 21, 2010 6:07 am UTC

Foremorrow wrote:
You, sir, name? wrote:The Stargate franchise also loves it's bad technobabble, though it's far enough between to be possible to watch it without bashing your head into the wall.

We can all poke fun and complain about one another, for example, you made the grammatical mistake of using "it's" (it is) where you should have used "its" (possessive form of it).

No he shouldn't have. You should read the entire sentence between making that judgment.
Well now I feel like an idiot. "It's" appears twice.
Is your criticism of the bad science on television because it is bad science because you know better and it simply irritates, or is it because you're worried it dumbs down people?

In the case of bad technobabble, I personally think it is used as a cheap way to appear sciency and fill time without requiring any real dialogue or creativity. They could just as easily spend a few minutes coming up with real phrases that make some scientific sense to blurt out when they need them.

Primer did this very well.
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Re: Facepalm TV

Postby mdyrud » Sun Nov 21, 2010 6:49 am UTC

You, sir, name? wrote:The Stargate franchise also loves it's bad technobabble, though it's far enough between to be possible to watch it without bashing your head into the wall.

Emphasis mine. It should have been its. But I do agree with your point. Stuff that gets the science right all the time is kind of annoying.

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Re: Facepalm TV / Doing It Wrong

Postby BlackSails » Sun Nov 21, 2010 7:07 am UTC

I have no problem with TV breaking science. I have a problem with them breaking science and replacing it with gobbldygook. For instance, lets say your story requires FTL travel. Fine with me, just dont claim it works on quantum subspace tachyonic isospin drives. Just handwave it, or have an intern on your show spend 5 minutes on wikipedia coming up with something reasonably named. "Its powered by the Alcubiere-Plait drive." Or "it makes wormholes though space" or "Its very complicated, and Im not the warp drive engineer, so its way over my head"

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Re: Facepalm TV / Doing It Wrong

Postby StNowhere » Sun Nov 21, 2010 7:12 am UTC

Sizik wrote:
StNowhere wrote:This. If one were to make a movie or TV show with all science as accurately portrayed as is possible, I doubt even scientists would watch it. I wouldn't. That, of course, doesn't mean that they should do whatever they want and call it "science." It does mean, IMO, that we should probably give them as much latitude in producing mass entertainment as possible. I find sound in space to be a minor problem.


Most sitcoms have an accurate portrayal of science.


I dunno. Do you remember that one episode of Roseanne where they won the lottery, and then DJ invented subspace tachyon field emission quantum hyperdrive propulsion? And it was all a dream?

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Re: Facepalm TV

Postby You, sir, name? » Sun Nov 21, 2010 7:38 am UTC

Foremorrow wrote:
You, sir, name? wrote:The Stargate franchise also loves it's bad technobabble, though it's far enough between to be possible to watch it without bashing your head into the wall.


We can all poke fun and complain about one another, for example, you made the grammatical mistake of using "it's" (it is) where you should have used "its" (possessive form of it).


Well, seeing as how English is my second language, I request that some slack be cut on the finer points of English grammar.

Foremorrow wrote: Is your criticism of the bad science on television because it is bad science because you know better and it simply irritates, or is it because you're worried it dumbs down people?


Both, really.
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Re: Facepalm TV / Doing It Wrong

Postby SlyReaper » Sun Nov 21, 2010 9:26 am UTC

The Scyphozoa wrote:
SlyReaper wrote:I wish film and tv show makers would do that more often, because it does help make their work stand out from the crowd.

Think about that one for a second. :wink:

I'm thinking. It's been more than a second. What am I supposed to notice?
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Re: Facepalm TV

Postby Eebster the Great » Sun Nov 21, 2010 9:52 am UTC

mdyrud wrote:
You, sir, name? wrote:The Stargate franchise also loves it's bad technobabble, though it's far enough between to be possible to watch it without bashing your head into the wall.

Emphasis mine. It should have been its. But I do agree with your point. Stuff that gets the science right all the time is kind of annoying.

Well shit.

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Re: Facepalm TV / Doing It Wrong

Postby TaintedDeity » Sun Nov 21, 2010 7:10 pm UTC

SlyReaper wrote:
The Scyphozoa wrote:
SlyReaper wrote:I wish film and tv show makers would do that more often, because it does help make their work stand out from the crowd.

Think about that one for a second. :wink:

I'm thinking. It's been more than a second. What am I supposed to notice?
More film and TV makers should use it. You like it because it makes stuff stand out. If more used it, it wouldn't stand out.
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Re: Facepalm TV / Doing It Wrong

Postby userxp » Sat Jan 22, 2011 5:11 pm UTC

I just watched (part of) the "Aeon Flux" movie. Apparently a virus kills 99% of Earth's population. Some scientists find a cure, and all the survivors live in a walled city. However (SPOILERS) the cure also renders humans infertile, so in order to keep civilization going they have to clone people. Since OBVIOUSLY people would never agree with being cloned (as being cloned is OBVIOUSLY inhuman and cruel), the government has to keep it secret. For 400 years they keep "recycling DNA" of dead people to make embryos and insert them in the mothers' wombs. But since the baby is a clone, he or she keeps all the memories of the previous person (WTF), and has nightmares about things that happened in his/her previous life. One scientist finally manages to find a cure to make people fertile again, but another one (his evil brother) wants to keep getting cloned because he wants to live forever. That's when I stopped watching.

In general, in almost all movies set in the future there are dozens of nonsensical "futuristic" things that they just put there because they were cool. For example, computers tend to have holographic screens that look much worse than current screens and be controlled through voice interfaces that are extremely impractical.

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Re: Facepalm TV / Doing It Wrong

Postby uncivlengr » Sat Jan 22, 2011 5:50 pm UTC

userxp wrote:But since the baby is a clone, he or she keeps all the memories of the previous person (WTF), and has nightmares about things that happened in his/her previous life.
This kind of thing always bugs me, along with the schtick with the protagonist getting sent back in time after spending the entire film rescuing or developing a relationship with another character. Having gone back in time to a point where they had not yet been introduced, the other character has some innate attraction to the protagonist, despite the fact that there's no reason they would (aside from the feel-good ending it produces).
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Re: Facepalm TV / Doing It Wrong

Postby Shivahn » Sat Jan 22, 2011 6:25 pm UTC

uncivlengr wrote:
userxp wrote:But since the baby is a clone, he or she keeps all the memories of the previous person (WTF), and has nightmares about things that happened in his/her previous life.
This kind of thing always bugs me, along with the schtick with the protagonist getting sent back in time after spending the entire film rescuing or developing a relationship with another character. Having gone back in time to a point where they had not yet been introduced, the other character has some innate attraction to the protagonist, despite the fact that there's no reason they would (aside from the feel-good ending it produces).

Well, if they were dating or whatever with the other character, they're at least... compatible? And probably knows what the other person likes, so they're likely to be more attractive.

Also more creepy, probably "I got you roses! And a pink teddy bear!" "How did you know I liked.... either of those things?"

And a bit creepy on a meta level, too. As it's basically someone who knows a lot more than the other person does about each other and unless they tell them that they're kind of manipulative.

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Re: Facepalm TV / Doing It Wrong

Postby Dason » Sat Jan 22, 2011 10:39 pm UTC

Shivahn wrote:Also more creepy, probably "I got you roses! And a pink teddy bear!" "How did you know I liked.... either of those things?"

And a bit creepy on a meta level, too. As it's basically someone who knows a lot more than the other person does about each other and unless they tell them that they're kind of manipulative.

But hopefully in the 'roses' and 'teddy bear' case nobody is going to be like "HOW THE FUCK DO YOU KNOW THAT I LIKE THOSE THINGS."

I understand what you're getting at but the example made me laugh.
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Re: Facepalm TV / Doing It Wrong

Postby Shivahn » Sat Jan 22, 2011 10:53 pm UTC

Man if someone I barely knew all of a sudden brought me things that were semi-normal but also things I secretly liked I'd be pretty creeped out :P

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Re: Facepalm TV / Doing It Wrong

Postby Dason » Sat Jan 22, 2011 10:55 pm UTC

True but you'd probably be creeped out even if you didn't semi-like that stuff they bring you. It still is just somebody you don't know bringing you stuff.
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Re: Facepalm TV / Doing It Wrong

Postby You, sir, name? » Wed Feb 02, 2011 12:31 am UTC

I like it when they flip over a wafer thin wooden table and effectively use it as cover from gunfire.
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Re: Facepalm TV / Doing It Wrong

Postby Mr_Rose » Wed Feb 02, 2011 2:01 am UTC

You, sir, name? wrote:I like it when they flip over a wafer thin wooden table and effectively use it as cover from gunfire.

Others in this category include:
Car doors, esp. modern hollow sheet steel vs equally modern semi- or fully-automatic rifles
Plasterboard and single-course brick walls
household interior doors
Sofas
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Re: Facepalm TV / Doing It Wrong

Postby Diadem » Wed Feb 02, 2011 2:20 am UTC

Didn't mythbusters test that bullets were stopped by a few inches of water? I don't see why sofas or car doors wouldn't stop them. I mean heck, human bodies usually stop them, and they are quite squishy.
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Re: Facepalm TV / Doing It Wrong

Postby Antimony-120 » Wed Feb 02, 2011 3:12 am UTC

Diadem wrote:Didn't mythbusters test that bullets were stopped by a few inches of water? I don't see why sofas or car doors wouldn't stop them. I mean heck, human bodies usually stop them, and they are quite squishy.


They're stopped by a few FEET of water. Water is actually pretty good at stopping blunt force as well, which sofas and car doors are not. The point is that there's actually a large amount of distance they travel in water, wheras a hollow car door might have half an inch of metal.
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Re: Facepalm TV / Doing It Wrong

Postby Dopefish » Wed Feb 02, 2011 3:24 am UTC

Also, they specifically tested car doors, fridge doors, and an assortment of other potentially bulletproof things (I believe they have a couple 'what is bulletproof' type myths acroos the various seasons), and in the vast majority of cases it works out to be not bulletproof, due to the stuff simply isn't thick enough to prevent things form being lethal.

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Eebster the Great
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Re: Facepalm TV / Doing It Wrong

Postby Eebster the Great » Wed Feb 02, 2011 5:01 am UTC

It depends entirely on what gun and ammo you are testing. 0.22 caliber rounds fired from a subsonic pistol aren't going to pierce much more than tin foil, but 0.50 caliber armor-piercing rounds from a sniper rifle might go through a foot of rebar. In general though, car doors will be completely useless. In fact, cars in general are bad cover. Hiding behind the engine might work.

(E: Oh, it obviously will also depend on the range.)

Carnildo
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Re: Facepalm TV / Doing It Wrong

Postby Carnildo » Wed Feb 02, 2011 5:28 am UTC

Eebster the Great wrote:It depends entirely on what gun and ammo you are testing. 0.22 caliber rounds fired from a subsonic pistol aren't going to pierce much more than tin foil, but 0.50 caliber armor-piercing rounds from a sniper rifle might go through a foot of rebar. In general though, car doors will be completely useless. In fact, cars in general are bad cover. Hiding behind the engine might work.

A car door isn't that thick. As long as you don't get unlucky and hit something like the lock mechanism or the hinge, you're looking at less than a tenth of an inch of steel. You might be able to stop a .22 pistol with that, but you won't stop much else.

An armor-piercing .50 will quite happily go through your engine block, you, and probably the brick wall behind you.


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