Saturday, May 21, 2011

This Isn't Stupid, This Is Science

Via The Borderline Sociopathic Blog for Boys:

[YouTube direct link]

If you're one of the people who watch this and ask "why?", the are four answers.

First, it's repeated experiments in the science of materials testing. Until you stress a material to its breaking point, you cannot know its strength or reliability. One typical procedure is to use an impact test - repeatedly striking samples of a material with an object of known weight and density until the sample fails.

In this case, they're testing modern plastics. In my youth, most plastics were either too soft or too brittle for construction, so I did most of my testing with cardboard boxes and wooden pallets. Also, I lived a block away from a Montgomery Ward and they threw away large appliance boxes nearly every day.

Second, they're investigating crash-test safety ratings. Does a plastic garbage can provide any protection against pedestrian impacts with stationary objects? More importantly, if so, how much?

Third, physiological pain tolerance. To quote Lt. Callahan, "a man's got to know his limitations". Using the 0 to 10 pain scale, subjects separate intolerate impacts from tolerable ones so that the intolerable ones can be recognized and avoided in the future.

Fourth, it's fun.

Boy-science - it rules.


  1. One of the problems with our modern, safety conscious society, is that children generally don't learn their limits. They then don't know the difference between safe (albeit uncomfortable)and genuinely unsafe activities. Your third point is spot on and something that we are sorely missing these days.

  2. My daughter and her friend started what they like to call, JAGS.
    Jack Ass, Girl Style
    Where they would do just as stupid tricks, and put it on video...I'm not sure what ever happened to the video...