Sunday, June 14, 2009

Chuck the Writer's enjoying "Man vs. Cartoon" on Tru TV

Okay... take one part Mythbusters, one part Monster Garage, mix in a bunch of college kids who actually go to college to STUDY (holy smokes), and give them a challenge to recreate a scene from a motion picture.

That's what I caught last night, on a show called "Man vs. Cartoon" on the TruTV network (what used to be Court TV).

Here's the premise. Engineering students at New Mexico Tech are given a challenge to recreate - and improve upon - a scene from a Road Runner cartoon, in which one of Wile E. Coyote's ACME mail order contraptions fails. Only the NMT engineering students have to make the contraption work.

Here's a clip from the show's intro:

Okay. So in one of the original Road Runner cartoons, the Road Runner is enticed by a tray of free bird seed. Wile E. Coyote fires a slingshot - which knocks over a watering can - which waters a flower - which grows, and upon whose stalk a match lights an explosive charge, sending an old shoe flying onto a see-saw - which releasee a mouse from a cage, which in turn takes some cheese off a balance scale, causing a weight to drop and trigger a shotgun, the bullet bounces off two targets, then ricochets off the barrel of a cannon. The cannon pivots into position, is lit by a nearby candle, and a cannon ball goes flying. Supposedly to hit the Road Runner - but as we all know, Wile E. Coyote's got as much of a chance of getting that Road Runner as I do of getting Megan Fox.

After watching the clip, the New Mexico Tech engineering students are challenged to put together the exact same Rube Goldberg-inspired contraption - only this time it has to hit the Road Runner. The six students are broken into three teams of two apiece, and are charged with working on each section of the contraption.

Personally, I would love to see these teams from New Mexico Tech go up against MIT or RPI to see which school's engineering or tech students could build a better roadrunner-killing contraption (they wouldn't stand a chance against either school), but it is a nice diversion to watch.

I wonder if they'll figure out how to make that special black paint that can be applied onto rocks and create instant tunnels.

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