For a change, I have a problem with a Mythbusters episode


I love Mythbusters – it is one of my favorite shows currently on the air. I usually find little to complain about with their testing methods, but an episode I saw today definitely caused an issue with me. The myth being tested was the old Hollywood scene of someone hanging onto the top of a car while the driver attempts to throw them off, through weaving and slamming on brakes. In this test,  Jamie was hooked to a rig that kept him safe while he held onto the roof of the car while Adam drove.

The part that I had a problem with was the second part – the long curve test. In this test, Adam held a constant right turn while Jamie tried to hold on as Adam sped up. Jamie was laying perpidicular to the car, so his feet were on the outside edge of the turn and his hands were clamped to the top of the windows on the inside edge of the turn. He fell off around 20mph, and they considered it busted at that.

Well, I’m a rock climber. Jamie has never mentioned doing anything that would particularly strengthen the muscles in his fingers in ways that I know they can be strengthened. On top of that, he was wearing gloves. No climber wears gloves, and there is a good reason for that – you lose almost all grip with gloves.

Between the gloves, and the lack of finger strength, it’s no wonder he lost grip so quickly. While the myth might still have been busted, this portion was poorly done, and if someone were to train in holding onto a vehicle like this, I’m sure they could do it for much, much longer. Most of the time, I approve of their testing methods, but not this time – Jamie losing grip while wearing gloves does not prove that it is impossible to hold on.

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