WoWB: Adventures in Wikipedialand

I love Mythbusters. Today, through a dizzying chain of articles, I arrived at the Wikipedia entry for the show. And I found that someone with far too much time on his hands has catalogued every episode, and the myths that were put to the test in each. Here’s a sampling.

Dangerous urination practices may not be that dangerous:

Myth: Urinating on the electric third rail of a train track can cause electrocution.

Status: Busted. Although it is possible to electrocute yourself by urinating on a third rail, you would have to stand unrealistically close to the rail to do it. In most instances, a urine stream would break into droplets before making contact with the rail.

Need something to do with your keg, post-party? Why not blow it up?

Myth: A beer keg can explode with lethal force if placed in an open fire.

Status: Plausible. While the beer keg exploded violently, there was no shrapnel from the explosion. However, the Mythbusters pointed out that any shrapnel thrown from such a powerful blast could kill a person.

The most unbelievable myth I’ve found so far is this one:

Myth: A water heater can explode like a rocket and shoot through the roof of a house.

Status: Confirmed. In small scale testing, the Mythbusters started with a small six gallon water heater and disabled all of its safety features under the theory of poor installation or neglect. While the water heater eventually ruptured, it did not explode like a rocket. The Mythbusters then upgraded to larger thirty gallon water heater which exploded with significantly greater force, sending the water heater several hundred feet into the air. In order to confirm the stated myth, the Mythbusters obtained a full size fifty two gallon water heater and built a shack around it with a roof that followed standard California building codes. The water heater eventually exploded, shooting through the roof five hundred feet into the air and disintegrating the shack. In light of these results, and the fact that there is documented evidence corroborating the myth, the Mythbusters deemed it was confirmed.

Here’s the link to the episode list. Click on the main articles for each season to see the myths, and the Mythbusters’ results.

EDIT: Video of the water heater episode. Explosions at 9:22, 10:30, 14:55, and 16:30. Totally ridiculous (but really awesome).

DISCLAIMER: Wesleying does not encourage urinating on train tracks, blowing up your beer kegs, destroying homes, or using Wikipedia to cure your boredom.

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12 thoughts on “WoWB: Adventures in Wikipedialand

  1. Anonymous

    I know how to not read things. There just seemed such an abundance of irrelevant things to not read recently that I thought I ought to say something. Human Slinkey, Charley, T-shirts, Mythbusters. 4 of the last 6.If 4 out of every 6 posts had nothing to do with Wes, you would be doing exactly what a lot of bloggers seem to consider their job: sucking.But it seems to have improved, so thanks.You remembered the job of bloggers correctly. But in the future you’d do well to recall the various jobs of anonymous internet commenters.

  2. Anonymous

    I know how to not read things. There just seemed such an abundance of irrelevant things to not read recently that I thought I ought to say something. Human Slinkey, Charley, T-shirts, Mythbusters. 4 of the last 6.

    If 4 out of every 6 posts had nothing to do with Wes, you would be doing exactly what a lot of bloggers seem to consider their job: sucking.

    But it seems to have improved, so thanks.

    You remembered the job of bloggers correctly. But in the future you’d do well to recall the various jobs of anonymous internet commenters.

  3. Sam

    It’s winter break…there’s not exactly much Wes related stuff to talk about and it’s not like this is the first ever post about something irrelevant during a vacation.

  4. Sam

    It’s winter break…there’s not exactly much Wes related stuff to talk about and it’s not like this is the first ever post about something irrelevant during a vacation.

  5. Justin

    Anonymous @ 4:51:I’m glad you care about Wesleyan, because we do, too. That’s why we write so much about it.But sometimes, there isn’t much Wesleyan news to write about. Sometimes, when this happens, we like to post things that someone might find interesting. Like, say, testing urban myths. Or user-submitted videos. lolcats. Facebook news. Comics. The weather. Harvard’s financial aid policies. You get the idea.Let’s face it: pretty much anything is more interesting than staring at the same post for a week straight.If you don’t want to read about things that have little to do with Wesleyan, I suggest you… well… don’t read them. Our task, which you are so concerned with, is to blog. It’s not to please people who have a phobia of reading things that aren’t directly related to Wesleyan.

  6. Justin

    Anonymous @ 4:51:

    I’m glad you care about Wesleyan, because we do, too. That’s why we write so much about it.

    But sometimes, there isn’t much Wesleyan news to write about. Sometimes, when this happens, we like to post things that someone might find interesting. Like, say, testing urban myths. Or user-submitted videos. lolcats. Facebook news. Comics. The weather. Harvard’s financial aid policies. You get the idea.

    Let’s face it: pretty much anything is more interesting than staring at the same post for a week straight.

    If you don’t want to read about things that have little to do with Wesleyan, I suggest you… well… don’t read them. Our task, which you are so concerned with, is to blog. It’s not to please people who have a phobia of reading things that aren’t directly related to Wesleyan.

  7. Anonymous

    I always come to Wesleying because I want to read things that have nothing to do with Wesleyan.Oh wait. Scratch that. I meant to say “never”.Please try to stay on task here. You can easily get a personal blog. But don’t use Wesleying as one. God.I don’t care about the random crap you find online. I care about Wesleyan.

  8. Anonymous

    I always come to Wesleying because I want to read things that have nothing to do with Wesleyan.

    Oh wait. Scratch that. I meant to say “never”.

    Please try to stay on task here. You can easily get a personal blog. But don’t use Wesleying as one. God.

    I don’t care about the random crap you find online. I care about Wesleyan.

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