CSI Miami: Do they even know what they're talking about?

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CSI Miami: Do they even know what they're talking about?

Postby Mathmagic » Tue Feb 06, 2007 11:29 pm UTC

So I was watching CSI Miami last night (the new episode) and right off the bat, this cargo truck "explodes", jumps a good 10-15 feet in the air, and dumps a bunch of guns all over the place. That's all fine and dandy. But then the CSI discovers that it the explosion came from a C4 charge planted on a manhole cover, and when the charge went off, it blew the manhole cover straight up and knocked this truck 15 feet in the air! Now, I only know "so much" about forces/kinematics, but does it seem reasonable for this to be possible?

If we assume that the manhole cover is no more than 50 Kg (and even that's being generous), and that the truck weighs 6 tonnes (as per the genius guessing of the CSI), could you really generate enough velocity/force using a single C4 charge and a manhole cover?
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Postby Jesse » Tue Feb 06, 2007 11:31 pm UTC

Not an answer to your question, but I had an argument on New Year's Eve with an aging lady who gains all her scientific knowledge from CSI.

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Postby Oort » Tue Feb 06, 2007 11:42 pm UTC

Jesster wrote:Not an answer to your question, but I had an argument on New Year's Eve with an aging lady who gains all her scientific knowledge from CSI.


I'd like to know the details. Did she think TV science is all real?

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Postby Twasbrillig » Tue Feb 06, 2007 11:45 pm UTC

I like how Jack Bauer uses a "neuroinflammatory" to "chemically torture" enemies. I also love how adamant people are about the truth of this.
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Postby larusson » Wed Feb 07, 2007 12:27 am UTC

I saw that episode too.
I think it's possible. First of all, they mentioned a sort of pipe to redirect the explosion in one direction (at the manhole cover). Second, they didn't make it sound like the manhole cover just got going fast and knocked over the truck. The cover would be coming from the manhole where the explosion happened, accelerating like mad, and the hot gases from the explosion would also work directly on the truck themselves.
So yeah, maybe it would work.

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Postby Gordon » Wed Feb 07, 2007 12:50 am UTC

From a strictly mass and force pov it's possible, what's more likely is that the man hold cover would shoot up through the truck leaving a manhole size hole up the middle (most cars/trucks aren't made to take impact from underneath or on top, save the Presidents limo et al).

I'm a huge 24 fan so I'm not about to bash Jack Bauer, but I will agree that a more plausible answer for his not succumbing to torture is that he is in fact Jesus. But we won't learn that til season 24.


P.S. CSI:LV is the ONLY CSI worth watching. Though my room mates still pvr NY despite my objections.
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Postby Jesse » Wed Feb 07, 2007 1:13 am UTC

@Oort: Yes, she was of the full belief that everything that occurs on programs such as CSI and Bones are true to life and all the science presented within was fact.

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Postby Akula » Wed Feb 07, 2007 1:24 am UTC

CSI has always been full of shit.

But then so is everything that Hollywood turns out, as far as science goes.

I'm glad no one has brought up The Day After Tomorrow in the global warming thread... :?

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Postby no-genius » Wed Feb 07, 2007 1:46 am UTC

Akula wrote:CSI has always been full of shit.

But then so is everything that Hollywood turns out, as far as science goes.

I'm glad no one has brought up The Day After Tomorrow in the global warming thread... :?


When I was watching it with my uncle (who's a cartogropher- he draws maps), he said they had the gulf stream going the wrong way round. The bit with the wolves was cool though - was almost like a zombie film :P
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Postby Akula » Wed Feb 07, 2007 1:56 am UTC

no-genius wrote:
Akula wrote:CSI has always been full of shit.

But then so is everything that Hollywood turns out, as far as science goes.

I'm glad no one has brought up The Day After Tomorrow in the global warming thread... :?


When I was watching it with my uncle (who's a cartogropher- he draws maps), he said they had the gulf stream going the wrong way round. The bit with the wolves was cool though - was almost like a zombie film :P


Yeah. That movie was awful from the science standpoint though. Probably the worst since Independence Day, where they connect to the alien internet and give it a virus... ugh.

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Postby TheSquirrel » Wed Feb 07, 2007 1:59 am UTC

Akula wrote:
no-genius wrote:
Akula wrote:CSI has always been full of shit.

But then so is everything that Hollywood turns out, as far as science goes.

I'm glad no one has brought up The Day After Tomorrow in the global warming thread... :?


When I was watching it with my uncle (who's a cartogropher- he draws maps), he said they had the gulf stream going the wrong way round. The bit with the wolves was cool though - was almost like a zombie film :P


Yeah. That movie was awful from the science standpoint though. Probably the worst since Independence Day, where they connect to the alien internet and give it a virus... ugh.


Don't forget, they used a Mac to infect the aliens ... just goes to show you ...

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Postby no-genius » Wed Feb 07, 2007 2:02 am UTC

TheSquirrel wrote:
Akula wrote:
no-genius wrote:
Akula wrote:CSI has always been full of shit.

But then so is everything that Hollywood turns out, as far as science goes.

I'm glad no one has brought up The Day After Tomorrow in the global warming thread... :?


When I was watching it with my uncle (who's a cartogropher- he draws maps), he said they had the gulf stream going the wrong way round. The bit with the wolves was cool though - was almost like a zombie film :P


Yeah. That movie was awful from the science standpoint though. Probably the worst since Independence Day, where they connect to the alien internet and give it a virus... ugh.


Don't forget, they used a Mac to infect the aliens ... just goes to show you ...


http://qntm.org/id4
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Postby Nomic » Wed Feb 07, 2007 8:15 am UTC

If they really connected aliens to interned they would flood their computer with porn

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Postby no-genius » Wed Feb 07, 2007 8:16 am UTC

I don't think I would want to see alien porn... or maybe I would?
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Postby Phob0s » Wed Feb 07, 2007 8:32 am UTC

I could just see the headlines...
"SPAM BOTS SAVE THE WORLD"
i mean, they must have some use.

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Postby Andrew » Wed Feb 07, 2007 10:51 am UTC

Akula wrote:Yeah. That movie was awful from the science standpoint though. Probably the worst since Independence Day, where they connect to the alien internet and give it a virus... ugh.

Oh, neither has anything on The Core. Every time I see that I'm spotting new and ingenious errors. The very first scene (I think) had a mistake in it, and it wasn't even relevant to the plot -- it was a school science lesson!

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Postby hermaj » Wed Feb 07, 2007 11:20 am UTC

Jesster wrote:@Oort: Yes, she was of the full belief that everything that occurs on programs such as CSI and Bones are true to life and all the science presented within was fact.


Big tangent, but having read a few Kathy Reichs novels I have to say Bones was a pretty big disappointment for me. Temp Brennan was supposed to be a reformed alcoholic! With a kid in college! Did I just accidentally miss all the episodes where these points were covered, or did I accidentally miss all the books the series was based on?

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Postby cathrl » Wed Feb 07, 2007 12:21 pm UTC

I like both the series and the books, but about the only things they have in common are the name and profession of the heroine. It's a bit like the James Bond films and books - I don't think they do it any more, but all the old films had titles from the books but that was it, you'd never have been able to say which film was related to which book if you weren't given the titles to match.

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Postby digitrev » Wed Feb 07, 2007 12:51 pm UTC

Regarding TV science: I disregard it, unless it matches up with things I've previously heard from other sources.

The biggest CSI mistake that bugged me, though, was that stupid bomb one. They set up a test bomb scaled down to 5 times the actual bomb used, measured the blast radii, and multiplied by 5 to get the distance the actual bomb used. There is so much wrong with the physics there, that I wanted to hit the guy who did that.
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Postby no-genius » Wed Feb 07, 2007 12:56 pm UTC

Man, that makes me feel ill!

Don't you just want to shout "INVERESE SQUARE LAW" at whichever idiot did that? Makes my brain ache :(
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Postby miles01110 » Wed Feb 07, 2007 1:20 pm UTC

I don't watch a hole lot of CSI, but my favorite aspect of the show is how they have a separate room for EVERYTHING. I was watching one episode of the Las Vegas CSI a couple weeks ago and they had a room solely for the purpose of examining shoe scuff marks left on a victim being kicked while on the ground.

Amazing!

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Postby dekonstruct » Wed Feb 07, 2007 3:20 pm UTC

speaking of TV science, anyone here a fan of mythbusters? and how is their science compared to "hollywood" science.

please note, I am in no way a scientist. Unless "dance floor scientist" qualifies.

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Postby Misc » Wed Feb 07, 2007 3:29 pm UTC

Jesster wrote:Not an answer to your question, but I had an argument on New Year's Eve with an aging lady who gains all her scientific knowledge from CSI.


Could be worse... One of my friends had an argument in a bar with an ageing lady whose "life was changed by the Da Vinci Code" (sic and sick). We all left them together and escaped.

About CSI: do you notice how the blond girl examines the same car 3 or 4 times before finding a minuscule clue (a carpet hair or something) and she never wears a protective hat? She's probably not photogenic enough with one of those hats (who would be). She's not fond of gloves either.

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Postby Tractor » Wed Feb 07, 2007 4:13 pm UTC

Akula wrote:CSI has always been full of shit.

But then so is everything that Hollywood turns out, as far as science goes.

Seconded
dekonstruct wrote:speaking of TV science, anyone here a fan of mythbusters? and how is their science compared to "hollywood" science.

Mythbusters is awesome. Their science is undoubtably better than CSI and other hollywood stuff, but it is hard to be sure. It is TV after all...
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Postby Mathmagic » Wed Feb 07, 2007 4:22 pm UTC

Mythbusters pwns all when it comes to TV science, but the funniest thing I notice about any kind of TV science show (CSI in particular) is how they are able to solve an elaborate crime in one 24 hour period (more or less), with only MAYBE 6 people involved in the investigation.

Also, maybe we should change the title of this thread to "TV Science is LOL" or something along those lines. Because it really is.
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Postby fjafjan » Wed Feb 07, 2007 4:34 pm UTC

I don't know why everyone raves over mythbuster, the bits I have seen were pretty poor, yes, better than "multiplying the effects by5" or whatever, but still
They were doing a test on water torture, but both subjects were free to go whenever they wanted (well, one of them was chained down, but sitll, free) and while they DID conclude that it COULD be used, something like waterboarding, etc etc etc WONT work if you are in control of it, and you ofcourse can't torture something for TV (or science). Me disapproves
I remember they did one where they tested the shark thing (woudl the gas thing explode) and again my "wtf, that doesn't seem right" metre went off.

They are a whole lot better than most TV shows, but those TV shows are rarely abot the sceince but about crime, drama, etc. That show is about the science and funnyness.
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Postby digitrev » Wed Feb 07, 2007 5:12 pm UTC

Mythbusters is an amusing show when bored. I do like it when they try to debunk Hollywood myths. Like a sword cutting another sword.
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Postby fjafjan » Wed Feb 07, 2007 6:06 pm UTC

digitrev wrote:Mythbusters is an amusing show when bored. I do like it when they try to debunk Hollywood myths. Like a sword cutting another sword.


That can happen if the swords are of varying quality of steel?
I would like to see them debunk that, because really, steel can be of very different hardness/flexability etc, yes, an oak sword cannot cut through another oak sword (break it at best) but possible a pine sword, or a rotten pine sword.
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Postby Tractor » Wed Feb 07, 2007 7:36 pm UTC

fjafjan wrote:
digitrev wrote:Mythbusters is an amusing show when bored. I do like it when they try to debunk Hollywood myths. Like a sword cutting another sword.


That can happen if the swords are of varying quality of steel?
I would like to see them debunk that, because really, steel can be of very different hardness/flexability etc, yes, an oak sword cannot cut through another oak sword (break it at best) but possible a pine sword, or a rotten pine sword.


Yeah, I watched that one, they tried a few types of swords of varying hardness. Best they could do was nick/chip them if I remember correctly.
Then they did a re-visit where they tried sword on machine gun.
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Postby Hamorad » Wed Feb 07, 2007 7:56 pm UTC

My favorite part about CSI: Miami is that, despite literally hundreds of dangerous, open air-gunfights, sometimes more than one a day, Horatio is still alive. I would definitely call him on Aimbots.

Come to think of it, he ever seem to do any real work either. He sometimes will pretend to swirl something about in a test tube or something, but he usually just stands around with his sunglasses and shoots at Cubans.
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Postby Belial » Wed Feb 07, 2007 8:00 pm UTC

Prefer...Vegas Series....So much.....

Well, less so since they got rid of Grissom.
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Postby fjafjan » Wed Feb 07, 2007 8:04 pm UTC

This is why anyone might want to watch Miami


:D:D

Grissom was the awesomest tho...
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Postby Nonthought » Wed Feb 07, 2007 8:11 pm UTC

I remember when Mythbusters built a steam cannon.

They almost his Chicago! :D

It is Chicago and not New York or somewhere, right?
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Postby robcro » Wed Feb 07, 2007 9:59 pm UTC

Why did u make me watch that!?!?
Pls do not do that again!
Just kidding, but seriosly that was annoying.
I would almost rather have Raptors tear into my splean and rip out my intestines that watch that again
(I said almost Belial)

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Postby fjafjan » Wed Feb 07, 2007 10:00 pm UTC

robcro wrote:I would almost rather have Raptors tear into my splean and rip out my intestines that watch that again
(I said almost Belial)


Maybe *puts on glasses*...well do both
AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHh!!
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Postby Belial » Wed Feb 07, 2007 10:07 pm UTC

Who eats spleen, anyway? It's all...bile-y....
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Postby chan the evoker » Thu Feb 08, 2007 12:13 am UTC

As a reply to the original question (has nobody takes 5 minutes to research explosives on wikipedia? Perhaps they're still there.), here are my calculations:

[assuming metric tons]

Force imparted to the truck: 3x10^5 J
Velocity of the manhole cover: 6x10^3m/s, or about 17 times the speed of sound
Amount of RDX needed to be burnt to supply that energy: about 50 grams (discuss)

As to how much of the truck will be left:
Velocity of a 75-100kg kinetic energy penetrator round fired by an M1 Abrams: 1.7x10^3m/s

Bang!

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Postby Toeofdoom » Thu Feb 08, 2007 12:28 am UTC

chan the evoker wrote:Bang!


Summed up perfectly
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Postby Mathmagic » Thu Feb 08, 2007 12:38 am UTC

chan the evoker wrote:As a reply to the original question (has nobody takes 5 minutes to research explosives on wikipedia? Perhaps they're still there.), here are my calculations:

[assuming metric tons]

Force imparted to the truck: 3x10^5 J
Velocity of the manhole cover: 6x10^3m/s, or about 17 times the speed of sound
Amount of RDX needed to be burnt to supply that energy: about 50 grams (discuss)

As to how much of the truck will be left:
Velocity of a 75-100kg kinetic energy penetrator round fired by an M1 Abrams: 1.7x10^3m/s

Bang!

1.) Why is your "Force imparted to the truck" calculation in Joules?
2.)I don't understand your last calculation there, with the "how much of the truck will be left", as the only damage to the underside of the truck was an imprint of the manhole cover.
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Postby chan the evoker » Thu Feb 08, 2007 1:39 am UTC

mathmagic wrote:1.) Why is your "Force imparted to the truck" calculation in Joules?
2.)I don't understand your last calculation there, with the "how much of the truck will be left", as the only damage to the underside of the truck was an imprint of the manhole cover.


1.) Energy, not force. I am duly embarrassed.

2.) I had intended that the reader would say to themselves "Hey! This guy says that the velocity of some projectile designed to disable armored vehicles is less than 1/3 that of the manhole cover of obliteration! A truck less durable than a tank, and the fact that the manhole cover is flat rather than narrow and pointy should cause it to transmit all it's momentum to the truck, rather than going straight through it without slowing down much, so the truck is probably going to disintegrate in a very impressive manner. Cool!"

At least that's what I said to myself.


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