June 29th, 2009

ronin

40oz styrofoam Sonic soda cup breaks windshield. Mythbusters should do this!


It all started Wednesday, when I got an email from Brandon Webb, who handles PR for the College of Natural Sciences and Mathematics at UT Dallas. He wanted to know if I could talk to a reporter who wanted to know whether a Styrofoam cup could break a windshield. (That's an advantage to being officially mediagenic - I don't get contacted directly now - they go through my 'people' a.k.a Brandon.)

C'mon - a Stryofoam cup break a windshield? Not likely. Then the reporter emailed me the photos. The windshield looks like a rock went through it just above the inspection sticker. For you non-Texans, that's a few inches from the bottom left side of the windshield.

Marilyn Mackey, the driver of the car with the broken windshield, was traveling about 65 mph down a highway. As a car passed her in the opposite direction, its driver threw a cup out his or her window. We know it was a cup of soda because, in addition to poor Marilyn getting wet, there is sticky dried cola-colored liquid all over the inside of the car. The police pulled part of the cup out of the windshield (which is how we know it came from Sonic) and found a shredded straw inside the car.


http://twistedphysics.typepad.com/cocktail_party_physics/2009/06/dialascientist.html

I don't doubt that a 2 lb, 130 MPH mass of water has sufficient kinetic energy to break a windshield. As some people know, even a small piece of super-hard spark plug ceramic thrown by hand (weighs only a tiny amount, and is going far less than 130 MPH) can break a car window. But see, that's key here - hardness. I don't believe that styrofoam is hard enough to break glass, no matter how fast it's going. Same with liquid water. Now, an ice cube at 130 MPH? Maybe.

Someone alert Adam and Jamie.
ronin

So what did I think of Transformers 2?


I went to Transformers 2 with only two goals in mind:

- I wanted to see giant robots brawling and blowing shit up.
- I wanted to drool at Megan Fox.

Both of these objectives were amply satisfied. So in that respect, I can say that I got my $9 worth.

That said, there's basically nothing worthwhile in this movie. I experienced only a single genuine moment of joy: when the two generic buddy-cops (who are so generic I can't even remember either character's name or back-story - not that there probably was much of one) drive into a randomly placed excavation site and park in front of a big, lime-green mining truck. At this point, my brain actually woke up from its slack-jawed / overwhelmed slumber and started chanting: "Oh please be a giant robot! Oh please be a giant robot!"

Well, rest assured - it's a giant robot.

The fact that this is the sole memorable moment in the entire two and a half hour movie should speak volumes. And yes, I admit that I've had a busy weekend. But still: this is the only thing I remember from a movie that I saw on Thursday night. Oh, all right; I liked Soundwave and his silver mecha-tiger. And I liked crotchety old Jetfire in spite of myself. But seriously, that's it. Those are the only things I can remember about the movie, a mere three days after seeing it.

This movie is the ultimate in big, dumb, forgettable summer celluloid. In every way I can think of this movie is bigger, dumber and more forgettable than any other movie I've ever seen. Ever.

I'd still recommend it. I'd even recommend paying full price. But you probably won't remember it the next day. And in a week? Completely forgotten.