Thursday, 13 October 2005

Busted Archimedes

In the beginning, I used to like Mythbusters, but as the episodes unfolded I started to be suspicious of their results and then I finally realized that they do not test things with the required care. I stopped seeing then, because I saw that you cannot trust entirely in their results and, sometimes, the results were so obviously flawed that made me upset. One of these days was when they tested the story about Archimedes against the Roman fleet.

The story says that Archimedes devised a way to combat the Roman warships trying to invade Syracuse by focusing the sunlight on them with soldier's shields arranged in some ordered way. Mythbusters tested the story in a highly controversial way and concluded that it was false. Well, I didn't like the way they made the test and commented with my fiancee that they probably would be wrong, because the test was full of misconceptions and strange asumptions. Well, today I was browsing slashdot and found that some guys from MIT made the test more carefully and indeed found evidence in favor of the story. At least, it is not totally discarded as the TV guys said.

Mythbusters have good intentions, but they must be more careful if they want to get more credit. My advice is ALWAYS to be suspicious about what they say, sometimes it's right, but sometimes it's not. I would give this advice to them, but I guess they'll probably not listen to me...

(The picture is: Archimedes Death Ray. Wall painting, Florence, Italy)

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