Mythbusters team charged with multiple felonies after video evidence comes to light

In shocking news today, the crew of the smash hit Discovery Channel show Mythbusters were arrested in Polk County, Florida, after over 200 hours of graphic video footage was seized by the Sheriff’s office.

This footage is reported to show the team – who have previously passed themselves off as fun-loving larrikins promoting scientific knowledge to a broad audience by scientifically testing myths and urban legends – setting off a series of increasingly devastating explosions, with the estimated damage to property and pig carcasses totalling hundreds of thousands of dollars.  In one video, they appear to test the effectiveness of store-bought ammunition against commuter aircraft.

The Sheriff’s department has also released provocative images of one team member constructing what appears to be a long-range assault cannon using a popular diet soda and candy.

A spokesman said, “We have a zero-tolerance approach to people using chemical reactions to learn more about the wonders of our physical universe.  The Mythbusters’ interest in the rapid expansion of matter, sudden releases of chemical energy, and demonstrating the laws of physics using frozen chickens poses a clear and present threat to the citizens of Polk County.”

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Except of course that’s not what happened.  What happened was a sixteen-year-old high school student mixed some stuff together in a water bottle to see what would happen.  As hundreds of thousands of sixteen-year-old high school students have done over the course of centuries – that is, those who didn’t tire of such childish things and graduate to making their own fireworks or pipe bombs, or throwing handfuls of potassium into the school pool.

(Best.  Chemistry class.  EVER.)

But this time, when there was a “pop” and the top came off the water bottle, Kiera Wilmot was expelled and arrested on felony weapons charges.

Kiera Wilmot just happens to be a young woman of colour, unlike 90% of the people you see on YouTube making things go “pop” in a similar fashion.

@graceishuman has Storifyed the coverage.  Read it, read up on the school-to-prison pipeline.  Get angry.

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4 comments

  1. Helen

    Good one, QoT. Everyone was so concerned with the “bright future” of the Steubenville rapists, but no one seems to be concerned with this student’s bright future.

  2. Chris Miller

    My sister had a chemistry teacher who once threw potassium, not in the school pool, no. You see, this school was beside a river. Handy body of water right there! Unfortunately, in the river are ducks. Ducks that are used to people throwing them pieces of bread. I will go no further, except to note that he was also not allowed to teach in the main science block at my sister’s school (a different one from the potassium incident, though I don’t think that was the reason he changed jobs, shockingly enough) because it was in the same building as the admin offices and they didn’t like having to evacuate when he did stupid shit like microwaving lightbulbs, running hot beakers under the tap to cool them down, flooding the classroom with bromine gas…

  3. Rhinocrates

    An update – good news:

    http://www.upi.com/Science_News/2013/05/23/Girl-expelled-from-school-for-exploding-experiment-going-to-space-camp/UPI-73341369336259/

    News of the incident reached 18-year NASA veteran Homer Hickam, a former lead astronaut training manager for Spacelab and later for the International Space Station, reminding him of an incident in his own youth, ABC News reported Thursday.

    Learning Kiera had a twin sister, Kayla, Hickham raised enough money to send them both the college-accredited program offered through the University of Alabama-Huntsville.

    “I’m really excited about going,” Kiera said. “Especially the zero gravity tank, I’ve always wanted to do that.”

    Students receive one hour of freshman level general science credit upon completion of the space camp.

    “You’re not just sitting in a classroom hearing about it, you’re on the floor, in spacecraft simulators, experiencing zero gravity,” Hickham said. “They run through real space missions, like voyages to the moon or Mars, where they are given problems they must solve.”

    Kiera’s family said they remain hopeful she will be reinstated at Bartow High School in central Florida. She is currently attending an alternative school, ABC News said.