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Friday, August 29, 2008

A Swiss Army Knife, A Roll Of Duct Tape, & A Man

MacGyver sure knew how to rescue people. The man with the Scottish last name arrived in town, undid a nuclear missile with a paper clip, and left behind a tidy pile of separated recyclables. Wikipedia has an entry listing all the mad solutions this amiable rogue scientist used to get himself out of situations which would baffle Houdini. A few of my favorites:

Pilot (1x01)

MacGyver defuses a highly advanced nuclear warhead using a paper clip to short circuit the timing device.

MacGyver places a stick through the trigger of an AK-47 and hangs it from a tree with some string. He then attaches a paper match packet to the string and lights the matches, using them as a time delay. The AK-47 falls to the ground with the stick still attached to the trigger, causing the AK to fire and distract some guards.

He also makes a "Rocket Thruster" by hitting the end of a flare gun with a rock to make the nozzle thinner, launching him and a man he rescues from a mountain. Not only would the thrust produced from a gun of that size be unable to lift the weight of two human beings, flare guns fire projectiles. The more realistic result would be a jam at the end of the gun, much like if you bent the barrel of a normal gun.

When near a deadly laser grid, MacGyver lights a pack of cigarettes to make the lasers visible. He then smashes a pair of binoculars, removing a prism to deflect a laser beam back to the emitter, destroying it.

To help rescue a group of people trapped in a building, he ties a fire hose shut, places it under a girder in the way, and turns on the water. Using the water pressure to lift the girder, he pushes it out of the way.

MacGyver plugs a sulfuric acid leak with chocolate. He states that chocolate contains lactose and sucrose (chemically C12H22O11), which are disaccharides. The acid reacts with the sugars to form elemental carbon and a thick gummy residue. (This has been tested and confirmed by Mythbusters).

MacGyver creates a bomb to open a door using a gelatin cold capsule containing sodium metal, which he then places in a glass container filled with water. When the gelatin dissolves in the water, the sodium reacts violently with the water and causes an explosion which blows a hole in the wall. ("MythBusters" questioned the size of the explosion but verified that pure sodium does cause an exothermic reaction when mixed with water, just not enough to destroy a concrete wall.) The amount of sodium required to destroy a concrete wall would greatly exceed the size of a cold pill.


The Gauntlet (1x02)

MacGyver is in a room trying to get out, but sees the key in the other side of the locked door. He takes out a map, unfurls it and sticks it under the door. He then pushes the key out of the lock using his Swiss Army knife, which lands on the map. He then drags the map back under the door, thereby getting the key to unlock him from the room.

In order to disguise himself, MacGyver rolls up the same map and uses it as a peashooter to distract a woman who was washing some clothes.

To get away from a guard with a gun aimed at him, he wraps the same map around an iron bar to disguise the bar from the guard. He first bats away the gun and then slugs guard in the chest with it.

MacGyver uses the same map again as a makeshift sled to slide down sand dunes to get away from the guards chasing him.

While escaping the guards, one of them shoots a bullet through the side of the balloon he is escaping in. He uses the same map and some duct tape to patch a hole over the balloon fabric and escape.


Thief of Budapest (1x04)

MacGyver uses a board and a bunch of light bulbs to simulate the sound of a tire being blown.

He uses salt combined with sugar and a small amount of chemical enhanced weed killer to create dynamite with a battery acid trigger.

He also creates a magnifying glass from a hairpin and wine to read names of spies off a watch.

He creates a traffic jam by jamming the timing mechanism for the traffic lights using cut strips of a plastic credit card.

He makes all police radios within a one mile (1.6 km) radius malfunction by duct taping an ordinary transistor radio to a pick-pocketed police radio and sends it up in the sky using around twenty balloons.

Who am I kidding? They're all great.

1 comment:

bell said...

-Thank you Senor MacGuyver, you've saved our village.
--Don't thank me. Thank the Moon's gravitational pull.

Ahhh....MacGuyver. Where else in history has a guy accomplished so much with so little? In a related story, Mike Brett is getting married in less than a month.