Mythbusters 12/28/09

I know I’m a little late to this party, but thanks to the magic of DVR, I just watched this episode last night.

On two of the myths, the team screwed up.

  1. Earwax candle. While they did a good job of busting the myth that you could make a candle out of earwax, a la Shrek, they didn’t replicate the results. I suggest they repeat the myth and add some sort of oxidizer.

  2. Sleeping Camper + Warm Water = Wet the Bed.

This is where they totally boned they myth. The myth is about a myth you pull on kids, not three middle-aged men who are in on the joke! They should have tested it on kids.

Now, there might be ethical considerations about experimenting on minor children, especially in light of the fact that this will lead to embarassment on national TV, but science ain’t pretty.

I don’t see how an oxidizer would have helped. The problem wasn’t a lack of oxygen. Rather, the problem was that unlike beeswax or paraffin, earwax doesn’t melt, infuse itself into the wick, and the evaporate and burn.

As for the sleeping camper joke, I don’t have a problem with their approach either. After all, most camp kids would be familiar with this prank as well. I suppose one could postulate that there are some relevant biological differences between children and adult men, but that seems like a huge stretch to me.

The problem I had with the sleeping camper trick was that they had the bowl of warm water resting on the bed, which is why it spilled. I assumed that you would put the bowl on the nightstand, next to the bed.

The problem was that it wasn’t a good experiment. They needed a lot more people, and told them it was for some different myth about sleeping so they weren’t ready.

I’m guessing the sleeping camper thing is pretty dangerous legal territory. They certainly couldn’t have done it on kids.

That earwax bit was the most disgusting thing ever on TV. I couldn’t watch it at all.

You must have missed the one where they polished poop.

That one wasn’t nearly that gross compared to the earwax one. Basically it just looked like dirt.

Never watch Dirty Jobs, I take it. :smiley:

I just have to know - are most people waking around with that much wax jammed into their ears? How the heck do they hear anything?

I caught a glimpse of the ear wax when they were collecting it. It was pretty disgusting, so I avoided looking for the most part. Where did they get so much? How many people did it come from?

Dozens. Seemingly every Mythbusters employee and their kids. (I reckon the kids were the suppliers of the most, person-for-person.)

Well first, the three guys they tested it on knew exactly what was going to happen. That right there probably made some difference, however slight.

Second, IANAP(ediatrician), but I would have to WAG that there are HUGE diffrerence biologically between children and adult men w/r/t nighttime urination. Keeping in mind that this is a prank that kids (theoretically) play on one another, and that kids that age are only out of nighttime bed wetting by a few years (and some not at all :eek: ), the myth makes more sense if they test it on kids.

I suppose legally they could get away with testing it on kids, if their parents were in on the joke and they signed waivers, yada yada yada. But the idea seems kind of ooky.

But then again, they harvested [huge black chunks of] earwax from a bunch of kids, so who knows?