NO EXPERTSgreenspun.com : LUSENET : Junkyard Wars : One Thread
I say get rid of the experts and have four team members. Give the teams some time to prepare for the challange. how much time??? The way they have it now the so called expert can make or break your team. ie. Diving helmet episode it came down to the expert, not fair! and last night the snow cone rocket, my 7 year old said he would'nt build that. My two cents like it or not!
-- Brian (email@example.com), January 25, 2001
The experts bring the balance for the good of the show. I caught myself a few times watching the beginning of the show and when the idea of Rockets (for example) was suggested I didn't have a clue where to start. Could you imagine the program if one team could not get their butt in gear because of lack of knowledge? It would be embarrasing to them and contribute to a boring show. Any TV show or great movie has its balance. every watch a boring movie? I have...click!!
Experts...We have all disagreed with the experts at one point or another, I know I have. Hey there's the balance. Cheers
-- Jerry Johnson (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 25, 2001.
I built rockets when I was young, model rockets, Estee models so I sincerely doubt an expert was needed in that episode. I too at times think the experts are a distraction and agree that the team that gets the best expert is the winner, and clearly the experts are not equal.
I think on some challenges experts are needs but on some they can be eliminated. I'd hope they aren't out there as part of the team all the time. But they do seem to add to the educational part of it.
-- Richard James Retey (email@example.com), January 25, 2001.
I think the experts should help the first hour of build and then the teams get to use them like "lifelines". Three 30 minute sessions throughout the day. The experts SHOULD NOT participate in the actual challenge...
-- Dan Denney (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 25, 2001.
I think that the team that I was with, the "Rusty Juveniles," could have continued the project of building a pumpkin launching air cannon without my help after the first hour or two. Having four people there speeds up the build, and time is very precious on the set. There are times when the experts cause a problem for the teams, but that is part of the luck and mystery that makes the show so great. Like scrapping for the right junk, getting a good or bad expert can make or break the team's chances. Some of the things that the teams can or can't do, for safety reasons, cause a lot of problems too (example; our air "tank" was dictated by the fact that it had been pressure tested for an earlier show). The expert and team captain are not allowed out of the build area (except to retrieve a heavy part if necessary) while the build is going on, which makes it even more difficult to get the best parts for the build. Sometimes the hunters will find a part that will work better than what the expert would have chosen. Again, the US teams are at a disadvantage in London also, because the time there is five or more hours ahead of our time. We were beginning the build day at about 1:AM local time, when thinking is not at it's peak. Everyone will see a big difference in the energy level of the teams when the shows are being filmed in California. Waddy, "Wreckspert" for the "Rusty J's"
-- Waddy Thompson (email@example.com), January 25, 2001.
When we were in the idea stages....the people from the crew did make sure I knew that I could go against the expert for aerodynamic purposes. Thats fair. You can go against the expert if you want. We saw that with Bowser too. I just made a split decision that we didn't come all this way, to build something normal. and we already got to the final....so we already surpassed our expectations! I built tons of rockets growing up wasn't about to just duplicate what I already knew and just produce a larger version of an Estes Rocket. James had a twinkle in his eye from the get go about making this weird design fly. It was obvious we had to attempt "The garrish snowcone from hell idea"! The sound it made didn't really show up on TV.
-- Duane Flatmo, Art Attack (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 26, 2001.
Re: Art Attack's rocket.
So many people get so wrapped up in winning that they forget the other virtues of life, such as the gallant effort in a noble cause. I, for one, respect and honor the Art Attack folks for building Satan's Sno-Cone. As Flatmo said, why build the same old thing over and over when you can make a big, fat scene doing something different?
Reference 1: "I took the road less travelled by and that has made all the difference."
"Cannon to right of them, Cannon to left of them, Cannon behind them Volley'd and thunder'd; Storm'd at with shot and shell, While horse and hero fell, They that had fought so well Came thro' the jaws of Death"
Failing in a gallant effort is not shameful. Way to go, Art Attack.
(Paranthetically, the Long Brothers were another of my favorite teams. They had a good time, and the built some cool stuff.)
-- Rick Tyler (email@example.com), January 26, 2001.
I concur with the initial sentiment expressed in this thread, dispense with the experts. Logically the Team creation process should attempt to create as broad an expertise range as possible. The trend seems to be in finding Teams with some sort of "neat" theme, who is then lead by an expert in actually attacking the challenge.
[Today's episode: watch three lesbian elementary school teachers take on three midget hairstylists...their challenge: build a 100 teraflop computer with just the stuff in our heavily doped scapheap and our two multi-Ph.D. experts from IBM and INTEL!]
I liked the original premise of groups of everyday people showing what is possible with the crap you'd find in a real world junk yard. So again I'll state, drop the experts! If a group has no idea what to do, they lose...bring on another team to try the task. You'd have to reshoot the beginning...but so what? To be honest...I don't think you'd have many situations where someone on the team didn't have an idea. Unless of course, this theme based Team concept is perpetuated.
Anyhow, I've ranted enough for the day. Asta la Pasta.
-- JamesT (KindaNutty@uswest.net), January 28, 2001.
I believe that my team, The "Rusty Juveniles" could have completed the pumpkin shooter challenge, but without my input to RDF, they would not have gotten the valve, the critical part of the machine. They had the experience and skills to do the job as well or better than it turned out with me helping. Some of the other teams would have a problem making things that would work, and would spend a lot of the ten hours trying to guess what would work, when the expert has likely seen most of the ways that each part of a machine can be built to complete the machine and the expert knows what will work, and what may not work. Part of the deal is to "Make Show" by allowing the team to work out how they want to build their machine, and to hope that it would be more than just a plain jane thing that looks like every other one ever made. A good example is the long diesel powered outrigger boat.
-- Waddy Thompson (firstname.lastname@example.org), January 29, 2001.
I think the experts are important to the show. They bring knowledge that's not general in many cases and often operating skills. And, they may be experts, but not in building anything the way it actually gets built on the show. They have to learn to improvise. My only concern is that the experts do seem to drive a plan that often was chosen more for the show than as the best choice. How often have we seen the V8 vs. the motorcycle engine? Powerful but heavy vs. Smaller but lighter?
-- Charles Owen (email@example.com), January 29, 2001.
I know that if I was on a team on most of these challanges, from a competition standpoint and a safety point of view I would welcome the expert. In the end everyone has to build and engineer this thing. It is a team effort, both sides have the problem and must deal with it.
And as far as the flying cone from hell goes, the more people discuss it the more I realize I was on the right track. I give all the credit in the world to "Art Attack" and especially Duane for seeing the that twinkle in my eye and going for it. Read some of my other posts (pardon my typos) and you will get the idea of how much thought and design went into that. These rockets are a far cry from the "model rockets" that everyone knows about. The levels of thrust and power of that one motor we used is 128 times more powerful than a model rocket motor and must be handled with care. One interesting note: The design of a cone shaped rocket is one of the oldest designs in the hobby rocketry stable of designs. There have been numerous kits of cone rockets going back to late 50's. One of the fastest guided missles ever developed was cone with no fins.
Keep the experts.
-- James Tucci (Jtucci@archion.com), January 30, 2001.
Yeah, but its too bad you didn't take the time to reinforce the skirt. Its collapse was what killed it. The nosecone would've stayed on with a few wraps of clear packing tape, which would've let go OK when it was time for the ejection system to blast it off. The Long Brothers evidentially didn't mount their accelerometer securely or in the right orientation which caused it to prematurely fire the ejection charge. But at least it did fire instead of having the nose ripped off from spinning. :) I wanted to see the remains of the rest of the rockets after they impacted.
-- Gregg Eshelman (firstname.lastname@example.org), March 01, 2001.
I truly feel that if we had of made our skirting on that rocket out of 3 layers of alluminum sheeting ....or, reinforced that skirting.....that it would have surpassed the height we were trying to achieve. I keep seeing that depression on the skirting when watching the replay and kick myself....but , isn't that's what it's all about. living and learning. that's what got us there. And we learned something new again. the power of G- forces! mega powerful! After seeing the video again....."Hey, let's strap a beer can to the top of the Space Shuttle and see what it does on take- off.....Hello! the best can-crusher you could possibly imagine.......
-- Duane flatmo, Art Attack (email@example.com), March 04, 2001.
Now in defense of the Experts, consider this: I feel that the show is mostly about entertainment, it is first and foremost a TV show and is intended to amuse as well as enlighten. It would be rather boring to watch if nothing ever crashed or blew up, or if both teams could not get anything to work at all. (it could happen!) Or if only one team could get a limping lame apparatus to struggle pathetically across the finish line without the benefit of the other team to compete against them! The Teams are all highly skilled and talented people but with Experts added, it's insured that something is going to work (well sort of) and that the two teams can at least compete to a showdown. Don't kid yourself! Rockets are not easy, not even Esties rockets are 100% reliable! Model rocket electronics are not reliable either, nor are rocket igniters. As you scale a rocket up, you also scale up it's unreliability. It's expediential, like the Richter scale. In highpower rocketry, ejection is frequently controlled by the altimeter calculating the time of ejection and not by a timing fuse as in smaller rockets. If the altimeter is faulty and you have a bad ejection, no matter how aerodynamic your rocket is, it's going to crash! Like other hobbies, most people who fly big rockets, build them from prefabricated kits designed by professional Rocketeers who have tested the heck out of the design first.(Oh! by the way, Cone Rockets are very aerodynamically stable and old design, i.e. Esties "Mars Lander Kit") Really big rockets are really difficult, especially if custom built out of junk with parachutes made from old tents, payload sections made from fire extinguishers and bodies made from thin lithoplates.
-- A. Lori Tucci (firstname.lastname@example.org), June 14, 2001.