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Teen saves life, with help from Mythbusters.
November 8, 2007 6:56 PM   Subscribe

Paging asavage, congratulations are in order. Thanks to quick thinking and an episode of Mythbusters, 14-year-old Julian Shaw saves a man from death by train. "[As the train roared past] the noise pierced your ears and there was a suction that pulled us in… I'd seen that on MythBusters, so I stayed right back and pulled Mark back towards me."
posted by micketymoc (60 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite

 
TV saves lives!!! I knew it...
posted by GavinR at 7:02 PM on November 8, 2007 [2 favorites]


Julian has already written a song about the incident for his band, featuring the chorus "I saved your soul".

Mythbusters can tackle this one later.
posted by Brian B. at 7:02 PM on November 8, 2007 [6 favorites]


Ice-blocks and hamburgers for everyone!
posted by tizzie at 7:06 PM on November 8, 2007 [1 favorite]


That's so great! But I have to wonder, was the train on a conveyor belt at the time?
posted by Dormant Gorilla at 7:08 PM on November 8, 2007 [1 favorite]


Eh? I'm pretty sure that the end result on that episode was that trains don't have enough of a suction vortex to pull a person in.

He's not remembering his Mythbusters very well, but kudos anyway.
posted by CKmtl at 7:20 PM on November 8, 2007 [1 favorite]


Nothing he learned from mythbusters helped save anything. He was just remarking that he'd seen the episode before involving trains. And anyway, the episode suggested that you aren't going to be sucked in by the wind from a train so this doesn't even make sense.
posted by puke & cry at 7:21 PM on November 8, 2007


Whether he got the myth right or no, I think it's pretty awesome that he acted the way he did. I don't know that I'd have the guts to face down a train like that.

Brave kid.
posted by quin at 7:26 PM on November 8, 2007


Right. Sorry, I got caught up in the mythbusters thing. Kid has balls so big they're sitting in my lap right now.
posted by puke & cry at 7:29 PM on November 8, 2007 [1 favorite]


What CKmtl said. The myth comes from eductors, a pump that uses pressure and velocity of a given fluid (water usually, but there are steam/HP air eductors) to create a vaccum in the pump chamber.

Kid's a hero anyway.
posted by Mblue at 7:40 PM on November 8, 2007


I hold out hope that some day I will save someone with an exploding water heater. Or by blowing up a dump truck. Either way.
posted by dirigibleman at 7:43 PM on November 8, 2007 [2 favorites]


Mark O'Dwyer owes his life to a 14-year-old punk rocker and an edgy television science program.

"Punk rockers" are a lot dorkier these days, aren't they?
posted by dhammond at 7:45 PM on November 8, 2007


I'd just like to mention here there's a character in NBC's Heroes who watches stuff on TV, duplicates what she sees on TV, and theoretically saves lives. How she can do this from watching Wrestling, cooking shows, and old Bruce Lee flicks is beyond me. Maybe they shoulda said she watches MythBusters.

What's our resident MeFi/MyBu Liason have to say about all this?
posted by ZachsMind at 7:46 PM on November 8, 2007


The article sucks anyway.
posted by puke & cry at 7:47 PM on November 8, 2007


I am dissatisfied with this. I want to see someone saved from a burning but still operational giant conveyor belt by a daring airplane pilot as inspired by a future episode of this television program.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 7:48 PM on November 8, 2007 [2 favorites]


No no, what we really want to see is someone being rescued from the suction of a sinking, about to explode concrete truck by a guy on a lawnchair attached to balloons, then sailing back to earth under a sheet of plywood.
posted by tomble at 7:56 PM on November 8, 2007 [3 favorites]


I'd settle for seeing someone saved by a guy covered head to toe in mud, a woman in a shag rug and an asian robotics engineer in his boxers.

Metafilter: balls so big they're sitting in my lap right now.
posted by CKmtl at 8:01 PM on November 8, 2007


Whatever, as long as Kari Byron is on hand to perform mouth-to-mouth afterwards.
posted by micketymoc at 8:03 PM on November 8, 2007 [2 favorites]


He forgot the ping pongs! Asshole!
posted by stavrogin at 8:11 PM on November 8, 2007 [1 favorite]


I think my ideal story would have been that he saved the man from rampant gunshot fire by diving a few feet into the bottom of a pool, and then after they ran out of rounds he leaped out of the water and beat them up.

I mean, I don't watch Mythbusters, what are you talking about
posted by blacklite at 8:27 PM on November 8, 2007


Thanks CKmtl!

I hardly ever watch the show, but did manage to catch that one. And that's how I remembered it... but wasn't exactly gonna go Googling to confirm.

The kid's an idiot.
posted by uncanny hengeman at 8:28 PM on November 8, 2007


Forgive a non-Aussie... what are ice-blocks?
posted by dammitjim at 8:30 PM on November 8, 2007


Blocks of ice.
posted by stavrogin at 8:31 PM on November 8, 2007


They're a simple people.
posted by stavrogin at 8:32 PM on November 8, 2007 [10 favorites]


American hamburgers.
posted by Mblue at 8:33 PM on November 8, 2007 [1 favorite]


Ah. Frozen treats on a stick. AKA "popsicle" in USian, or "icy pole" (heh... you said "icy").
posted by dammitjim at 8:41 PM on November 8, 2007


In Australia they call it an icy pole, I should have said. I just learned that. Forget it, I'm going to bed.
posted by dammitjim at 8:42 PM on November 8, 2007


Icy pole? Might as well call em frost cocks.
posted by puke & cry at 8:52 PM on November 8, 2007 [5 favorites]


or checkered fists.
posted by isopraxis at 9:06 PM on November 8, 2007 [1 favorite]


"Julian has already written a song about the incident for his band, featuring the chorus "I saved your soul".
Mythbusters can tackle this one later."

Oh, how I wish we could tackle that. Though I guess that all religions would fall under the 'oogie boogie' clause.

Yes I saw it. Yes he got the basic gist (jist?) wrong. Yes that kid's got some brass. Don't know what to do with this kind of story really. My parent company is pretty pleased, as you can imagine.

TheOnlyCoolTim-- Wait till you see Airplane on a conveyor belt. We did that sucker full size. It oughta end the debate (if you can call it that) once and for all.

I like blacklite's suggestion, but I think that tomble wins. MeFi rules, and not just because I made the front page.

Finally:
Don't make fun of the Australians, there's less of them than Californians, and besides, Mythbusters is actually produced out of Sydney. Much of the humor in the narration is from down under (I'll take credit for the rest of the funny). That's why phrases like "dog's breakfast" sometimes get in.
posted by asavage at 9:06 PM on November 8, 2007 [20 favorites]


Lest we forget New York Subway Hero -- Wesley Autrey!
posted by ericb at 9:18 PM on November 8, 2007


From the Wesley Autrey wiki entry:
"In late March 2007, Mr. Autrey sued a lawyer and his Hollywood agent, alleging they tricked him into signing a "one-sided" contract. The lawyer, Diane Kleiman, says Mr. Autrey signed the contract willingly and is trying to get out of the contract because he wants to work with someone else. According to the Associated Press, the contract between Autrey and Kleiman (which Autrey says he signed without reading) gives Kleiman (1) exclusive rights to Autrey's name and ownership of his story, and (2) 50% of Autrey's earnings."

Now that's heart-warming.
posted by puke & cry at 9:23 PM on November 8, 2007 [1 favorite]


In honor of The Sinking Titanic "Creating Enough Suction to Pull a Person Under If That Person Is Too Close" Myth which was busted by our MetaFilter's own asavage, let us mourn the passing today of Barbara Dainton, age 96, the last of the two remaining survivors of that tragic event.
posted by ericb at 9:29 PM on November 8, 2007 [1 favorite]


He's right. We should be making fun of Texans, instead.
posted by stavrogin at 9:29 PM on November 8, 2007


Strikes me that the circumstances here were different to the circumstances tested by Mythbusters. They weren't standing on the platform, they were under it, and that might (but probably didn't) cause different air flow.
posted by robcorr at 9:45 PM on November 8, 2007


Hey, Mythbusters saved me from allowing my nylon panties to cause static electricity to blow me up while talking on my cell phone while pumping gas at the same time, or wait actually...never mind.
posted by tamitang at 9:45 PM on November 8, 2007 [1 favorite]


Reposted from here: They also reminded everyone to make sure your water heater is working properly so it doesn't explode like a rocket and kill your dog. I almost checked mine but I'm just too lazy. It's the thought that counts anyway.
posted by puke & cry at 9:50 PM on November 8, 2007



Hey, Mythbusters saved me from allowing my nylon panties to cause static electricity to blow me up while talking on my cell phone while pumping gas at the same time, or wait actually...never mind
...my panties are cotton.
posted by Mblue at 10:47 PM on November 8, 2007


In the kid's defense, maybe Mythbusters gave him the courage to act, by knowing what to expect, mentally able to override his survival instincts. Who knows how the reporter interpreted it.
posted by Brian B. at 11:05 PM on November 8, 2007 [1 favorite]


TheOnlyCoolTim-- Wait till you see Airplane on a conveyor belt. We did that sucker full size. It oughta end the debate (if you can call it that) once and for all.

Actually, I think the latest status on the debate is that if your plane is revealed to have taken off, something I'm pretty confident of, paulsc is going to start holding out for a bigger plane.
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 11:11 PM on November 8, 2007


Do people in this publication

usually break up articles so frequently

on separate lines?
posted by asuprenant at 11:48 PM on November 8, 2007


I feel like I need to say something because I'm Australian but all I can think of is how damn dorky that kid looks.
posted by liquorice at 11:48 PM on November 8, 2007


I've always wanted to save someone with an emergency appendectomy based on having watched an episode of MASH when I was about 10. I've got a biro.


the last of the two remaining survivors of that tragic event

Surely the last of the one remaining survivor or the next to last of the two remaining survivors?
posted by biffa at 1:28 AM on November 9, 2007 [2 favorites]


I've always wanted to save someone with an emergency appendectomy based on having watched an episode of MASH when I was about 10. I've got a biro.

You're confusing your field procedures. A biro is what you use for an emergency tracheotomy. It's the lid of a rusty sardine can that you use to perform an emergency appendectomy.

Try using a biro for the appendectomy, and you'd just end up performing a rather large and unsightly biropsy.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 1:54 AM on November 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


asavage. If the show was produced in Melbourne, then it'd truly be good. How often do things go pear shaped. Donkey's years?

stavrogin, I knew I left Texas at an early age for a reason. Shiiiiiiiiiiiit bouy.
posted by michswiss at 3:12 AM on November 9, 2007


A Sheila in the bush by a Coolibar tree
Needed an urgent appendectomy
The Flying Doctor like a true Australian,
Performed the operation with a sardine can
He made a rough incision and tried to chew it out,
He had no anaesthetic, so she started to shout,
She started to shout, when he was chewing it out,
She started to shout, he tried to chew it right out,
He balled up his fist and scientifically socked her,
Look out you'd better duck,
Here comes the Flying Doctor

The Flying Doctor, from the late great Robert Calvert
posted by Joeforking at 3:58 AM on November 9, 2007


I keep telling you, we have to outlaw these dangerous trains.

*drives off in his shiny new GM car*
posted by Eideteker at 4:13 AM on November 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


What robcorr said. It's possible that there is a suction effect under the platform; that's not what MythBusters tested for. The kid is not "an idiot." He saved the guy's life. Somebody making disparaging remarks about the kid, based on their misunderstanding of a TV show and the real-life event, that's an idiot.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 4:13 AM on November 9, 2007 [2 favorites]


Wait till you see Airplane on a conveyor belt. We did that sucker full size. It oughta end the debate (if you can call it that) once and for all.

So, did the airplane or the conveyor belt explode?
posted by eriko at 5:21 AM on November 9, 2007


It's Mythbusters. Everything explodes.
posted by onhazier at 7:41 AM on November 9, 2007 [1 favorite]


I'm not sure the Aussies can claim Pear Shaped, exactly.

Moreso than the Americans can, sure, but still.

Also - agreeing that simply being exposed to non-anecdotal information about something unexpected and rare is enough to make acting on it less daunting. There may be something to extrapolate there - anecdotal data inspires inaction for fear of worst-case outcomes while ground truth data which grants the possibility of success (or debunks the worst-case myth) grants permission to act?
posted by abulafa at 7:48 AM on November 9, 2007


So, did the airplane or the conveyor belt explode?

I fully expect my mind to be blown. The plane and/or conveyor belt, not so much.
posted by sparkletone at 8:21 AM on November 9, 2007


MetaFilter MythBusters: We did that sucker full size.
posted by yhbc at 8:36 AM on November 9, 2007


What was I doing writing appendectomy? Of course I did mean tracheotomy, I was even thinking of using a kitchen knife on someone's throat as I wrote! Perhaps I am losing the plot.
posted by biffa at 9:02 AM on November 9, 2007


"Punk rockers" are a lot dorkier these days, aren't they?
O RLY?
via
posted by exogenous at 10:40 AM on November 9, 2007


BTW, Checkered Fist
posted by rush at 11:00 AM on November 9, 2007


thx exogenuous...i love seeing rollins in that haagen daaz shirt (as opposed to seeing him in all-out camo gear, in wrong turn 2.)

don't mistake me: wrong turn 2 was awesome, horror-wise. it just made me a little sad to see henry in that militaristic camo get-up
posted by CitizenD at 11:01 AM on November 9, 2007


'The Flying Doctor, from the late great Robert Calvert

I'm guessing we stole it from the same place:

NURSE:" Adrenalin, doctor?"
DR. BENWAY:"The night porter shot it all up for kicks." He looks around and picks up a toilet plunger... He advances on the patient..."Make and incision Dr. Limpf," he says to his appalled assistant..."I'm going to massage the heart."
Dr. Limpf shrugs and begins the incision. Dr. Benway washes the suction cup by swishing it around the toilet bowl...
NURSE: "Shouldn't it be sterilized, doctor?"
DR. BENWAY:"Very likely but there's no time." He sits on the toilet plunger like a can seat watching his assistant make the incision..."You young squirts couldn't lance a pimple without an electric vibrating scalpel with automatic drain and suture...Soon we'll be operating by remote control on patients we never see...We'll be nothing but button pushers. All the skill is going out of surgery...All the know how and make-do...Did I ever tell you about the time I performed an appendectomy with a rusty sardine can? And once I was caught short without instrument one and removed a uterine tumor with my teeth. That was in the Upper Effendi, and besides...the wench is dead."
DR.LIMPF: "The incision is ready doctor."
Dr. Benway forces the cup into the incision and works it up and down. Blood spurts all over the doctors, the nurse and the wall...The cup makes a horrible sucking sound.
NURSE:" I think she's gone, doctor."
DR.BENWAY: "Well, it's all in a days work." He walks across the room to a medicine cabinet..."Some fucking drug addict has cut my cocaine with Saniflush! Nurse! Send the boy out to fill this RX on the double!"
posted by PeterMcDermott at 11:31 AM on November 9, 2007


With the train "just a couple of metres away", Julian moved the North Gosford resident to the edge of the track and rolled him under the platform.
This is the part that bothers me. If the train was just a couple of meters (i.e., six feet) away and moving at a speed that could cause suction, there's no way anyone could perform the described acts in time. As an example: 30 mph is 44 feet/second, so the train would move 6 feet in about 140 milliseconds. (An eyeblink takes about 500 milliseconds.)

Looking at it another way: say it takes 2 seconds for him to move the man to the edge of the track and roll him under the platform. 2 seconds for 6 feet means that the train is moving at 2 mph -- not exactly a roaring, sucking beast.

If the "couple of metres" means that the boy and the man were actually 6 feet to the side of the track (ignoring the "moved to the edge of the track" part), this could make some sense. Although there may not have been the danger of being hit by the train, I'm pretty sure I couldn't stand within 6 feet of a speeding train without needing a clean set of underwear afterwards. And if I'm on the tracks with a train coming, there's not much difference between 6 feet and 6 blocks to me -- I'M ON THE TRACKS WITH A TRAIN COMING. The kid done good.
posted by joaquim at 12:56 PM on November 9, 2007


You're confusing your field procedures. A biro is what you use for an emergency tracheotomy. It's the lid of a rusty sardine can that you use to perform an emergency appendectomy.

I think it was a cricothyrotomy, actually. Similar to a trach, but not quite the same.
posted by spaceman_spiff at 9:13 AM on November 10, 2007


asavage: "Don't make fun of the Australians, there's less of them than Californians, and besides, Mythbusters is actually produced out of Sydney. Much of the humor in the narration is from down under... "

That explains a WHOLE LOT actually...

stavrogin "He's right. We should be making fun of Texans, instead."

HEY! I'm standin' right here, y'all!
posted by ZachsMind at 11:28 AM on November 10, 2007


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