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What Should I Ask the Mythbusters?

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mental_floss has been offered an interview with three of the Mythbusters: Adam Savage, Jamie Hyneman, and Kari Byron. There's a new season of Mythbusters starting in two weeks, and Kari Byron is also hosting the new science show Head Rush, a commercial-free hour of experiments on the Science Channel every weekday at 4pm.

Anyway, for this interview -- while I've got some nerdy thoughts of my own, I want to know what your burning questions are. Got a favorite myth you want to see busted? Want to pick a bone with the Mythbusters' methodology in some obscure myth from four years ago? Want facial hair-care tips from Jamie? ASK AWAY.

The Details

Post your questions in the comments. The cut-off date is Monday, September 27 at 8am Pacific. We'll pick our favorite questions and pass them along to Adam, Jamie, and Kari for an interview that will be posted on Wednesday, October 6 -- the day the new season premieres.

Methodology for choosing the top questions: will be subjective, capricious, and based primarily on the awesomeness of the question. Should a situation arise in which all questions are awesome, a group of mental_floss writers shall be empaneled, Twelve Angry Men style, to determine the best.

Number of questions to be selected: something like ten. We'll see how much the Mythbusters can take, but we think ten seems like a fair number, plus a few nerdy bonus _floss staff questions will be thrown in for good measure. If you ask a multi-part question, be aware that we may only choose the most awesome part of it.

Now, add your questions in the comments! You have until Monday, so be quick about it!

(Photos courtesy of the Discovery Channel. After the jump, check out a few more fun promo shots.)

Mythbusters - Adam and Jamie

Mythbusters - Adam with Tennis Ball

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science
Why a Howling Wind Sounds So Spooky, According to Science
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iStock

Halloween is swiftly approaching, meaning you'll likely soon hear creepy soundtracks—replete with screams, clanking chains, and howling winds—blaring from haunted houses and home displays. While the sound of human suffering is frightful for obvious reasons, what is it, exactly, about a brisk fall gust that sends shivers up our spines? In horror movie scenes and ghost stories, these spooky gales are always presented as blowing through dead trees. Do bare branches actually make the natural wailing noises louder, or is this detail added simply for atmospheric purposes?

As the SciShow's Hank Green explains in the video below, wind howls because it curves around obstacles like trees or buildings. When fast-moving air goes around, say, a tree, it splits up as it whips past, before coming back together on the other side. Due to factors such as natural randomness, air speed, and the tree's surface, one side's wind is going to be slightly stronger when the two currents rejoin, pushing the other side's gust out of the way. The two continue to interact back-and-forth in what could be likened to an invisible wrestling match, as high-pressure airwaves and whirlpools mix together and vibrate the air. If the wind is fast enough, this phenomenon will produce the eerie noise we've all come to recognize in horror films.

Leafy trees "will absorb some of the vibrations in the air and dull the sound, but without leaves—like if it's the middle of the winter or the entire forest is dead—the howling will travel a lot farther," Green explains. That's why a dead forest on a windy night sounds so much like the undead.

Learn more by watching SciShow's video below.

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Space
SpaceX's Landing Blooper Reel Shows That Even Rocket Scientists Make Mistakes
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SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket launches.
AFP/Stringer/Getty Images

On March 30, 2017, SpaceX did something no space program had done before: They relaunched an orbital class rocket from Earth that had successfully achieved lift-off just a year earlier. It wasn't the first time Elon Musk's company broke new ground: In December 2015, it nailed the landing on a reusable rocket—the first time that had been done—and five months later landed a rocket on a droneship in the middle of the ocean, which was also unprecedented. These feats marked significant moments in the history of space travel, but they were just a few of the steps in the long, messy journey to achieve them. In SpaceX's new blooper reel, spotted by Ars Technica, you can see just some of the many failures the company has had along the way.

The video demonstrates that failure is an important part of the scientific process. Of course when the science you're working in deals with launching and landing rockets, failure can be a lot more dramatic than it is in a lab. SpaceX has filmed their rockets blowing up in the air, disintegrating in the ocean, and smashing against landing pads, often because of something small like a radar glitch or lack of propellant.

While explosions—or "rapid unscheduled disassemblies," as the video calls them—are never ideal, some are preferable to others. The Falcon 9 explosion that shook buildings for miles last year, for instance, ended up destroying the $200 million Facebook satellite onboard. But even costly hiccups such as that one are important to future successes. As Musk once said, "If things are not failing, you are not innovating enough."

You can watch the fiery compilation below.

[h/t Ars Technica]

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