Penn & Teller: Bullshit! Forums

Showtime (ended 2010)

This season (5)

  • Avatar of osa420

    osa420

    [1]May 8, 2007
    • member since: 06/10/05
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    I really like this show and will definitely keep watching it, but I feel like the subjects in this season have been kind of obvious. And from looking at the titles of future episodes, it doesn't look like much will be that informative. I guess they have done many of the good subjects and so now they have to reach to find something to consider bullsh**. I guess the ADA episode was pretty good, but the things that they hit on that were bullsh** about the act, to me, were obvious. Though, I definitely give them credit on the lawyer who basically blackmailed many of the businesses in that small town(sorry I don't remember the details). I had never heard of this and definitely feel everyone should hear about it. It's just that things like the bottled water episode gave fuel for when I'd have friends tell me BS like, tap water causes kidney stones. Or the recycling episode where they showed the BS of recycling paper. I guess that Penn and Teller have done such a good job on this show in the past, my standards are too high now.
    Edited on 05/08/2007 10:22pm
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  • Avatar of jkoudys

    jkoudys

    [2]May 11, 2007
    • member since: 05/08/05
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    I agree -- it feels like they've lost the spirit that made the earlier episodes so great. It's changed from subjects that are total BS, to topics where reasonable people may differ.

    Many of their topics I agree with them on, but for some cases (eg, illegal immigration), I don't think that the people on the other side of the argument believe in BS. These isn't in the same league as ideas like talking to the dead, recycling paper, or bottled water, which are verifiably BS.

    There have been a couple good topics this year, which are 100% crap -- the colon cleansing one (while painful to watch) falls into that category.

    It's disappointing that they've been reaching for topics lately, and turning the show into a soapbox for politics. There's no shortage of BS out there to report on, since we have James Randi (randi.org) putting out reports on 5 or so different topics every single week.

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  • Avatar of MrRossZ

    MrRossZ

    [3]May 31, 2007
    • member since: 06/14/06
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    I agree with both posters -- earlier segments were much better -- like Abstinence, but things like nukes/hybrids/etc are something of a debate topic, not BS material (for one I could say that they tested prius incorrectly -- since it's more efficient in the stop and go traffic, not long distance freeway driving) -- I wish they'd do more on actual BS subjects like maybe Faith Based office dubya had created.
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  • Avatar of abacusman

    abacusman

    [5]Jun 25, 2007
    • member since: 11/07/06
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    all of you are forgetting the best episode this season, exorcisms, complete B***S***. i loved the group that thought boogars were evil spirits, F***ing classic.
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  • Avatar of vokilj

    vokilj

    [6]Jul 6, 2007
    • member since: 07/02/06
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    I also feel like their topics have drastically changed. They don't deal with topics that 100% Bull anymore instead they go for ones that most viewers aren't really interested in.
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  • Avatar of scud42_2006

    scud42_2006

    [7]Jul 15, 2007
    • member since: 07/27/06
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    CCMCornell wrote:
    FYI: stop and go traffic is exactly where hybrids don't do well since acceleration is mostly done by the gasoline engine.
    It's actually funny when you correct someone else with wrong information. Stop and Go traffic is EXACTLY what makes hybrid cars give you better gas mileage.

    The trick to getting the most out of a hybrids gas mileage is knowing how to drive it. If you gun the engine at every stop light you kick in the gasoline engine. However, if you slowly accelerate like a normal person, you rely solely on the electric motor. Also Hybrid cars have what is called regenerative braking in which the forward kinetic energy of the car is used to charge the battery, therefore you are regaining a portion of the energy that you used to move the car from rest when you slow it down. Simple physics.

    Please don't quote like you have facts unless you provide information to back it up. That is exactly the kind of BS that Penn and Teller like to expose in every show.

    http://www.hybridexperience.ca/Hybrid_Benefits.htm
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  • Avatar of lbcyber

    lbcyber

    [8]Jul 15, 2007
    • member since: 10/22/05
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    scud42_2006 wrote:
    It's actually funny when you correct someone else with wrong information. Stop and Go traffic is EXACTLY what makes hybrid cars give you better gas mileage.

    The trick to getting the most out of a hybrids gas mileage is knowing how to drive it. If you gun the engine at every stop light you kick in the gasoline engine. However, if you slowly accelerate like a normal person, you rely solely on the electric motor. Also Hybrid cars have what is called regenerative braking in which the forward kinetic energy of the car is used to charge the battery, therefore you are regaining a portion of the energy that you used to move the car from rest when you slow it down. Simple physics.

    Please don't quote like you have facts unless you provide information to back it up. That is exactly the kind of BS that Penn and Teller like to expose in every show.

    http://www.hybridexperience.ca/Hybrid_Benefits.htm

    To be clear here, slow, steady acceleration results in more efficient energy consumption, hybrid car or not. When it comes to the HEV (Hybrid-Electric Vehicle) phenomenon, people seem to discount (or simply don't understand) the first and second laws of thermodynamics. Simply put, you can't create energy, you can only transform it, and, in doing so, a certain degree of energy will always be lost depending on the efficiency of the transformation. This is why, according to physics, a "perpetual motion device" is an impossibility.

    With that said, "Hybrid" is a bit of a misnomer. Gasoline is still the car's only source of energy. The battery, in a nutshell, is merely intended to increase the efficiency of the car. Many do, but some don't as much. That's what Penn and Teller's unscientific experiment suggested: Ignoring the limited speed of hybrid cars, their usage of gas in many cases is the same, or even worse, than a comparable economy vehicle. Why? Because depending on the actual increase in a hybrid's efficiency, it now has two engines to carry, requiring more energy for the car to travel. When deciding on an HEV's benefit, the balance of the increased weight vs. fuel efficiency trade-off is the bottom line.

    Hybrids might very well help us decrease our fuel consumption as their designs are perfected, but as it stands, they aren't very feasible for the average consumer. What irks me is just how politicized this "issue" has become, and, furthermore, just how vehemently people condemn/praise HEV's and each other. Things would be far better if everyone approached these sort of subjects with a rational, objective perspective. Not because we don't want to improve the environment, but because we do.

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  • Avatar of scud42_2006

    scud42_2006

    [9]Jul 15, 2007
    • member since: 07/27/06
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    lbcyber wrote:

    scud42_2006 wrote:
    It's actually funny when you correct someone else with wrong information. Stop and Go traffic is EXACTLY what makes hybrid cars give you better gas mileage.

    The trick to getting the most out of a hybrids gas mileage is knowing how to drive it. If you gun the engine at every stop light you kick in the gasoline engine. However, if you slowly accelerate like a normal person, you rely solely on the electric motor. Also Hybrid cars have what is called regenerative braking in which the forward kinetic energy of the car is used to charge the battery, therefore you are regaining a portion of the energy that you used to move the car from rest when you slow it down. Simple physics.

    Please don't quote like you have facts unless you provide information to back it up. That is exactly the kind of BS that Penn and Teller like to expose in every show.

    http://www.hybridexperience.ca/Hybrid_Benefits.htm

    To be clear here, slow, steady acceleration results in more efficient energy consumption, hybrid car or not. When it comes to the HEV (Hybrid-Electric Vehicle) phenomenon, people seem to discount (or simply don't understand) the first and second laws of thermodynamics. Simply put, you can't create energy, you can only transform it, and, in doing so, a certain degree of energy will always be lost depending on the efficiency of the transformation. This is why, according to physics, a "perpetual motion device" is an impossibility.

    With that said, "Hybrid" is a bit of a misnomer. Gasoline is still the car's only source of energy. The battery, in a nutshell, is merely intended to increase the efficiency of the car. Many do, but some don't as much. That's what Penn and Teller's unscientific experiment suggested: Ignoring the limited speed of hybrid cars, their usage of gas in many cases is the same, or even worse, than a comparable economy vehicle. Why? Because depending on the actual increase in a hybrid's efficiency, it now has two engines to carry, requiring more energy for the car to travel. When deciding on an HEV's benefit, the balance of the increased weight vs. fuel efficiency trade-off is the bottom line.

    Hybrids might very well help us decrease our fuel consumption as their designs are perfected, but as it stands, they aren't very feasible for the average consumer. What irks me is just how politicized this "issue" has become, and, furthermore, just how vehemently people condemn/praise HEV's and each other. Things would be far better if everyone approached these sort of subjects with a rational, objective perspective. Not because we don't want to improve the environment, but because we do.

    I agree with you, but to a point. By the way, I have a degree in physics (from an environmental college in fact). You're right Penn and Teller's experiment was quite unscientific. They planned it this way to prove their point...when ratings are a factor, science can go out the window.

    I haven't however heard of an instance of a hybrid version of a car in which it gets worse gas mileage due to the increase in weight though. Do you have a reference to anything I could view?

    You're right they're not for the average consumer. Hybrid vehicles are for:

    a. People who would like to purchase a car to save a bit each year on gas bills (likely these are to be people in larger urban areas, like I stated earlier, a hybrid becomes more efficient in stop and go driving. People who sit in traffic an hour each day onthe way to work would benefit a lot more then the person who drives 10 minutes of highway for their commute)

    b. People who would like to contribute a smallportion bynot emitting as much greenhouse gasses.

    c. Yuppie environmentalists that like the fact that they're so pro environmental they like to brag to everyone about it.

    I personally do not think that hybrid vehicles are a solution to an eventual oil crisis, however at least it's a good step by the automakers.

    It's just the one thing I can't stand is when people bash solutions that may in fact be helping albiet a small amount, by giving non-factual evidence. That is why I spoke up.

    Edited on 07/15/2007 9:29pm
    Edited 2 total times.
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  • Avatar of lbcyber

    lbcyber

    [10]Jul 15, 2007
    • member since: 10/22/05
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    scud42_2006 wrote:
    I haven't however heard of an instance of a hybrid version of a car in which it gets worse gas mileage due to the increase in weight though. Do you have a reference to anything I could view?

    I wish I could cite directly from a scientific source, but the truth is I'm quoting from a free-thinking seminar I attended a few months back. After a brief scouring of the web, I've found a few relevant although unverified articles on the subject. The general consensus is that the increased weight has a significant effect on energy usage, although further refinements on newer models to contain lost energy (such as regenerative breaking) are implemented to compensate.

    scud42_2006 wrote:
    I personally do not think that hybrid vehicles are a solution to an eventual oil crisis, however at least it's a good step by the automakers.

    Sadly, I agree. I sincerely want to believe that Hybrids will solve a lot in the coming years, although, due to their role as a "temporary solution" as well as considering their price, I really can't see them achieving as much as they potentially could.

    And finally, I do agree with you over the need to discuss the subject (rather than persist in the volatile arguments that seem far-too common.) I share the same pet peeve: The desire of people to help the environment oftentimes gets the better of them and their judgement. It's sadly common for people to see issues (such as hybrid cars) as a black-and-white issue. Far too often am I labeled an "evil conservative" for remaining skeptical over the long-term advantages of hybrid vehicles-- which I'm not, of course. I maintain no biases about the subject, I just need proof before I can become a so-called "believer." At the risk of sounding arrogant, it's a damn shame that the greater sect of society doesn't comprehend skepticism.

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  • Avatar of scud42_2006

    scud42_2006

    [11]Jul 17, 2007
    • member since: 07/27/06
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    lbcyber wrote:

    scud42_2006 wrote:
    I haven't however heard of an instance of a hybrid version of a car in which it gets worse gas mileage due to the increase in weight though. Do you have a reference to anything I could view?

    I wish I could cite directly from a scientific source, but the truth is I'm quoting from a free-thinking seminar I attended a few months back. After a brief scouring of the web, I've found a articles on the subject. The general consensus is that the increased weight has a significant effect on energy usage, although further refinements on newer models to contain lost energy (such as regenerative breaking) are implemented to compensate.

    scud42_2006 wrote:
    I personally do not think that hybrid vehicles are a solution to an eventual oil crisis, however at least it's a good step by the automakers.

    Sadly, I agree. I sincerely want to believe that Hybrids will solve a lot in the coming years, although, due to their role as a "temporary solution" as well as considering their price, I really can't see them achieving as much as they potentially could.

    And finally, I do agree with you over the need to discuss the subject (rather than persist in the volatile arguments that seem far-too common.) I share the same pet peeve: The desire of people to help the environment oftentimes gets the better of them and their judgement. It's sadly common for people to see issues (such as hybrid cars) as a black-and-white issue. Far too often am I labeled an "evil conservative" for remaining skeptical over the long-term advantages of hybrid vehicles-- which I'm not, of course. I maintain no biases about the subject, I just need proof before I can become a so-called "believer." At the risk of sounding arrogant, it's a damn shame that the greater sect of society doesn't comprehend skepticism.

    Extremly Well Said!!

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  • Avatar of karirafn

    karirafn

    [12]Jul 31, 2007
    • member since: 01/09/06
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    Since we're talking about "green" cars I don't really see the need to transform the energy from one form to another ... 100% electric vehicles are the way to go imo. With hydrogen, for example. You start by making electricity at a power plant. Then you use that electricity to get hydrogen from water (which btw takes a lot of electricity) then you use the hydrogen in your car to make electricity for your electric motor ... It's obvious that a lot of energy is wasted in this process... Why not just put the electricity directly on the car? We have electric cars now that can go 400 km (around 250 miles) on a single charge and the batteries are guaranteed by their makers to keep at least 70% of their original capacity for 3 years (if memory serves me right - think I read that in popular science)). Now I've heard some conspiracy theories that the automakers don't want electric motors since they require almost no maintenance and that the producers of cars make more money selling you parts than they do selling you the car (which I have not seen verified anywhere, but then again I haven't looked ) and that's why they don't want to make cars with electric motors... Also. The oil companies want something they can sell you (i.e. hydrogen). Anyway, this could be a good subject for Penn and Teller to look into, see if there is anything behind those conspiracy theories. Also I recommend the movie "who killed the electric car" can probably be downloaded from most torrent sites (not that I'm condoling such illegal activities
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