Special 18: Mailbag Special

Air Date: May 20, 2012

It is impossible to swallow a spoonful of ground cinnamon without drinking any water.

busted

Each team member tried to swallow a spoonful, with medical personnel standing by. Kari and Grant coughed and spat out large clouds of powder, with Grant vomiting up a small amount as well. Tory tucked his spoonful into his cheek and eventually managed to swallow it after letting enough saliva accumulate in his mouth. The team commented, however, that this activity was very uncomfortable and dangerous, due to the powder’s tendency to absorb saliva and potential to cause respiratory infections.

A van loaded with leaking containers of flammable gases can explode when it receives a signal from its keyless remote. (A previously unaired segment entitled “Vanishing Van”.)

confirmed

The team filled a van with gas containers and rigged these for a slow leak. They triggered the remote and were shocked when the van blew apart, confirming the myth on the first try. The segment was shelved since the quick result gave no chance for the team to explore the myth’s background.

Which will fall faster, a six-pack of light beer or a six-pack of regular beer?

they fell at the same rate

The team hoisted a sixpack of cans of each beer type up on a construction crane and dropped them at the same time from 100 ft (30 m). After the packs landed at the same time, they switched to sixpacks of bottles and got the same result. Tests with other objects, including a piano, a grandfather clock, and a toilet, showed no differences in time to hit the ground.

A bullet from a .50 caliber Desert Eagle pistol cannot penetrate 25 watermelons.

confirmed

Kari’s shot only penetrated the first three watermelons. They noted the parallels between this test and the use of a .50 caliber sniper rifle during “Bulletproof Water” (2005), in which the slug could not reach Adam through only a few feet of water.

Girls do not pass gas. (A previously unaired segment.)

busted

Adam put together a pair of gas-proof underwear with a chemical sensor and microphone, and Kari wore them during a day’s work in the shop. Although she claimed that the chemical sensor was giving false alarms, the microphone picked up the sound of flatulence.


The Built Team also answered a series of questions and comments from the viewers.

  • Is it good to start with a bang? (Based on End with a Bang)

    The team built a mockup of an office cubicle, placed Buster at the desk, and set off a 1 lb (454 g) charge of C-4. After watching the explosion, they decided that starting with a bang was indeed good.

  • Who makes the blueprint drawings that are used to introduce segments?

    Crew member Eric Haven inherited the job from the team, drawing on his experience as a comic book artist.

  • Favorite high-speed camera footage?

    Grant: Car Skip (car going across surface of pond)

    Tory: Stone Cold Sober (Adam trying to sober up with exercise and falling off a treadmill)

    Consensus: Cement Mix-Up (exploding truck — no high-speed footage of it due to a camera glitch)

  • Is Jamie really as stoic as he appears on the show?

    The team members commented that he occasionally shows excitement in his own subdued way.

  • Favorite tool in the shop?

    Kari: plasma cutter (for slicing easily through metal)

    Grant: forklift (customized for special maneuvering with mecanum wheels)

    Tory: 5-horsepower cutoff saw (to cut through concrete, steel)

  • Favorite moment on the show?

    Grant: Racing Gravity (remote-controlling a car to race against a second one dropped from a helicopter) and Binary Fender Bender (rear-ending a car with a pickup truck front end mounted on a rocket sled)

    Kari: Supersize Cruise Ship Waterskiing (Tory skiing behind a cruise ship)

  • A request for details on filming explosions and a request to determine whether a washing machine or clothes dryer gave a better explosion when blown up with a 1 lb (454 g) charge of C-4.

    To answer both letters at once, the team took a camera crew out to the bomb range and showed the mechanics of setting up camera angles. Although the two explosions appeared very similar and destroyed one of the cameras, the team chose the dryer as being slightly more impressive.

  • Favorite machine built for the show?

    Grant: Sword-swinging robot (first used in Catching a Sword)

    Kari: Giant hamster ball (used in Beat the Guard Dog)

  • A viewer-submitted trivia quiz about past episodes.

    Adam gave the quiz as a series of buzz-in questions, with Kari winning by a large margin, Grant coming in second, and Tory coming in third.

  • Most surprising moment on the show?

    Tory: totally unexpected results, such as Bull in a China Shop.

    Kari: Chinese Invasion Alarm (being able to clearly hear Jamie and Tory tunneling in)

  • Use of animals in myth testing?

    Some animals have proven easier to work with than others.

  • Most embarrassing moment on the show?

    Grant: Stripping down to his underwear; vomiting on camera

    Tory: Wearing a bra; trying (and failing) to jump over a toy wagon on his bicycle

    Kari: Passing gas segment

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