Thursday, April 24, 2008

5^1 Things I have learned over the last 2^5 years

5^1 Things I have learned over the last 2^5 years
(and things you shouldn't say)

So over 32 long years you pick up a thing or 2 that will inevitably help you out in life. Most of these are things that you already know. Lord knows I am making the list, but still miss some occasionally. So read carefully even if the benefits are not immediately evident sooner or later you will thank me, or have some horrible story about how you should have paid better attention.
0000000. Never say anything to any woman about being pregnant.

Even if you know for a fact that she is pregnant or are really sure she is pregnant. You never know something could have happened and now she is not any more, or maybe she has gotten some news about the pregnancy and really does not want to talk about it. Even if you are OK 95%of the time there is that 1/20 chance that you will have a woman who is totally pissed off at you, or worse she could cry. Either way, why chance it especially when she is chocked full of hormones.

Here is an idea you can ask her Some innocuous idle conversation question. "so how have things been with you?" Now if she wants to talk about being pregnant or tell you how things are going with the pregnancy she can. If she does not she won't, but best of all she is not pissed off at you... or if she is, it is for a different reason. If it helps just ask all of the questions that you really want to ask, but take out the words pregnant and baby.

"Have you been updating your house?"
"How has your health been?"
"Has your Husband been helpful lately?"
"Are you interested in finding out about sex?"... (strike that one)

"Man what was up with John and the weird questions."

The obvious exception is your siblings are open game for wild speculation and accusations. Especially if they turned down a glass of wine at dinner... Ah Ha!

0000001. Don't give people relationship advice

This one is really hard because you have so many opinions you would like to express. I know I do, but please keep them to your self. First of all never offer unsolicited advice. However, sometimes your friends come to you asking for advice about a troubled relationship. You really have only one move here. Quietly listen and offer your sympathy and support. Sure you
have seen how horrible their significant other is, and you know they should really not be together, but voicing that opinion will only lead to down one of 2 horrible paths. If they do not break up now you are the person who hates their soul mate, Now you have to wait for the relationship to end before you can be friends again. Or the best you can hope for is that they break up and you are the one who broke them up.

Either way, congratulations you are a horrible friend.

So what can you do? You can sway opinion just by actively listening, and impressing your body language upon your friend. You can say volumes by how supportive you are. After all if you are close enough friends that they are coming to you for relationship advice, they probably know you well enough that they already know what your opinions are. Now all you have to do is say "I understand your difficulties" instead of "You need to drop that loser and get yourself a real man (snap)". Also points off for "I've never really liked them" or "I've never thought this was a good relationship".

Exceptions will be granted for "abusive" relationships, after you complete the "losing friend : getting them out of the relationship" cost benefit analysis form.

00000010. Don't tell anyone a anything that you don't want everyone to know

So these last 3 all tie together so stick with me...these are not getting any easier, but this one is important because everyone regardless of gender sucks at keeping secrets. Look at it this way at some time everyone will have a failure to keep a secret. Sometimes it is intentional sometimes it just slips, but eventually everyone says something they shouldn't have. The MTBF (meant time between failures) will determine greatly how safe your secret is, but consider this. When that failure does occur now what ever group was around knows as well, so now instead of 1 close confidant, you have 5 (non-gender specific) gossips who also know. It should be a matter of seconds before whoever REALLY should not know finds out.

Screwed = (Pn * Gn * Gj)/(MBTF * Dg)
Pn = # People you told
Gn = # People in average group setting
Gj = Juiciness of gossip
MBTF = Average Mean Time Between Failures of the Pn
Dg = Graph distance from the Pn to the person who is going to screw you.
So as you can plainly see it is only a matter of time before you end up getting screwed, but to minimize your probability only tell your unpopular, trustworthy friends.

Unfortunately, YOU are included in the people who know, and are you really willing to trust yourself with that secret. It helps if you are forgetful, but whether it is only a matter of an hour until your life altering secret gets out, or it is 2 years till something that doesn't really matter anymore gets out, sooner or later all your friends will find out that you had peed your pants when you were 14. Crap I guess I should not have trusted myself with that one.

00000011. Don't Talk about other People

Yeah we all do it, but we really shouldn't. I don't think that statement will really come as a shocker to anyone. It is just so tempting to discuss the problems of our friends basic human nature really, and unfortunately that is the reason I can't ever tell you anything private (see above). The unfortunate part is that there is a decent chance whatever you said about the person will get back to them (they may or may not care). The problem is that by discussing and disseminating information about the woes of others it makes us feel relatively better about our own problems.

Einsteins theory of special relativity states that "The happiness of your own life is only as great as the crapyness of the lives of your friends (when viewed from a neutral plane)". That means that you could be having the worst day of your life, but it would not really matter as long as someone you knew was having a worse day. Conversely, any happiness you feel will only be muted by the happiness of your friends (see also Schadenfreude).

Jane "I don't feel good today, but @ least I don't have a huge zit like Mary"
Mary "I have this huge zit but @ least I am not grounded like Sara"
Sara "I am grounded, but @ least I am not mired in an abusive relationship with a man that I never really loved like Anna"
Anna "I may have problems but @ least I am not starving in Africa"
Africans "We may be starving, but at least we are not Gary Coleman"

So we all know that we should stop gossiping, but what can we do. I could just let it go and be mired in my own self pity for the rest of my life, but that does not seem very fun... does it. What advice can you offer oh wise 32 year old?

00000100. Accept everyone for who they are.

Wait wait, sit back down. Lets make an important distinctions. I did not say love everyone for who they are, or even like everyone for who they are. You are still allowed to dislike whoever you want. There is no universal personality who everyone will like, and you cannot really expect there to be. So that guy in the desk next to you who talks excessively, you do not have to be friends w/ him, in fact you don't even have to talk to him. All you have to do is acknowledge that, is who he is. It should be much easier to accept our friends since we already know most of their faults and can acknowledge them and either move on or find new friends. The point here is they are not going to change. Your friends, your enemies, your significant other, they are who they are and that is how they will stay.

But wait it gets better/harder. Note that accepting everyone includes yourself, and again I am not saying that you have to like your self, though hopefully you will, but you should get to know yourself (γνωθι σεαυτόν), and then accept yourself for who you are. Hopefully after spending some time with yourself you have come to like your self as well. Now you can be happy in who you are and do not have to depend on the misery of others. Although it is always there to fall back on.

An unfortunate side effect of this secret free, gosip free society I have single handedly created is that now conversation is somewhat lacking. Seriously what are we supposed to talk about. Well that is where being nerdy comes in incredibly handy. You have never met a nerd who didn't have some nerdy thing to talk about, how diesel engines work, the physics of earthquakes, insights about fuel economy. It is just like watching the history channel except in conversation form...

Oh, you are not intrested in dorky conversation...
Ok, sorry to bother you strangers in the middle of your lunch...
Please go back to your juicy gossip.

00000101. BONUS: John's Secret to making delicious sandwiches

Condiments, Condiments, Condiments.

Some people think the best part of the sandwich is the meat/soy, or the bread. Those people are wrong. All the possibilities, and potential lie in the thin layer just between the meat and bread. All the flavor, texture, aroma, all won or lost after the burger is grilled, or the chicken is Forman'ed

So what is the secret to condiment application? Simple, variety and quantity. Use as many different condiments as you can and don't start skimping. Use both sides of the bun there should be plenty of room. Spicy Mustard, mayo, relish, tarter, spice weasel, even ketchup, these are the flavor team, just a dab will give your sandwich some kick, so go ahead and use 2 dabs. Lettuce, onion, tomato, pickle, this is the texture team, they take what would normaly be a soft homogneous meal and give it crunch, jucieness, and bite. The tosted bun also plays for the texture team as well as an occasional Bo Jackson'esque appearence from potato chips.

Well there you have it, all that I have learned from 32 years of mistakes and foot biting. It has
had a few highlights and a lot of embaresing moments... and a lot of sandwiches. Perhaps there will be an update when I hit 2^6, until then you've just got more rants about zombies and 15 year old movies on this blog...

Monday, April 21, 2008

Dogs suck at predicting earthquakes.

After last weeks earthquake I took an informal survery of the people in my office to validate or invalidate the belief that doggs can sence earthquakes before they happen and/or dogs are very sensitive to earthquakes. Below are the responces to "What did your dogs do during the eartquake.

"At first I thought it was one of my dogs scratching int the bed or something, but when I sat up they were still asleep and other stuff in the room was moving around. I figured it was an earthquake."

"When I got up to see what was going on my dog lifted its head and looked at me then went back to sleep."

"I went down stair to check on the dogsthey were either asleep or not that concerned."

"My dogs were going crazy for 20-30 min."
"Really before the quake."
"No after I got out of bed and woke them up."

"I sat bolt upright in bed, my dog looked over at me like I was stupid."

Preliminary Conclusion:
Dogs do not have any earthquake ESP, also they are not particularly bright or aware of their surroundings, but are very loyal and love unconditionally (Warning: Love is expressed through licking).

It is still a very small sample size, so go ahead and add your earthquake dogs story in the comments. Maybe it is just special dogs that have "the gift".

My 10 Favorite (Inaccurate) Plot Devices (2 of 2)

My 10 Favorite (Inaccurate) Plot Devices (2 of 2)

1) If you get hit in the head w/ anything you will be knocked unconscious and wake up 15 min later

Worse offenders:
Every Action/Drama ever made

This is key a key plot device to so many shows, that to take it away would rock the makeup of action shows as we know them. Basically the characters need a way to render their adversary unconscious for a period of time without actually harming that person. After about 15 min and up to an hour or 2 they will wake up with a headache and continue doing what they were doing. Variations include what they were hit with (frying pan, baseball bat, butt of gun) and what happens when they wake up (nothing, tied up, in some precarious predicament eg tank filling with beer).

The problem is that hitting people in the head is not really a science and even if it were, the inexperienced frying pan wielding co-ed would probably not be very good at it. There is a fairly fine line for hitting someone in the head and knocking them out. That line lies between: Making them more angry and causing severe brain damage or death. So judge your use of force carefully. For most of what you see on TV, that falls into the piss people off with no real effect range, which is good for the actors but bad for the potential rape victims.

Even more impressive is that even if you do hit someone hard enough to do some real damage. It is likely that they will not be completely unconscious just really groggy and out of it, and that will only last a few minutes. Fortunately it is also fairly likely that they will forget what they were doing just before you hit them, so maybe you can convince them that they were not trying to kill you. Either way they should probably get to the hospital for observation because it is also reasonably likely that they have a slow bleed into their brain that could cause some serious damage.

So just to recap head trauma in order of force:
1 Pisses off attacker
2 Stupor (groggy out of it)
3 Coma (knocked the fuck out)
4 Persistent Vegetative State (come on pick up a newspaper once in a while)
5 Locked in Syndrome (can process information but completely paralyzed including speech)
6 Brain Death (manslaughter conviction)

You are aiming for #3, but just like bozos grand prize bucket game there are no rewards for being only 1 bucket off.

And while we are on the subject:
You may want to consider where in the head you hit your attacker, as that will also greatly effect your chances. A good solid blow to the front of the head will be a lot more likely to get you a #1. If you hit too hard at the back / bottom of the skull that will likely get you a 4 or 5 (note this is the preferred bad guy pistol knocking location. The side of the head might be a good bet also since they can't see you coming, or instead of confronting them with a crudely fashioned weapon, call the cops on your cell phone and hide in a locked area.

2) AEDs magically shock people back to life

Worst Offenders:
Flatliners, Every Medical Show Ever

AEDs or automatic external defibrillators are kind of magic. Some studies have shown that if you are having a typical heart attack, and are defibulated within 5 min that you can have as much as a 40% survival / conversion rate. Those are people who 15 years ago would have likely died. The problem is not with what defibrillators can do, but with what they cannot do. Defibrillators cannot bring people back from the dead.

In fact the most common hospital use on TV the beeping flatline (asystole) and shock back to life, that does not happen. What Defibrillators do is to take a heart that is basically having a freakout, and slap it so that it can snap out of it and get back to what it was doing. The hearts electrical system is kind of like bouncing a basketball. The electricity starts at the top of the heart (AV node) moves through the heart making the top squeeze. Then it bounces off of the floor (SA node) and comes back making the bottom squeeze.

That is the over simplified explanation, but even then can you imagine after bouncing the basket ball a billion times ≈20 years worth. Occasionally the heart will lose its place and instead of a nice steady basketball it will be like 100 little bouncy balls all bouncing around. Other times instead of a nice steady rhythm it will lose control and start going way to fast (Harlem globe trotter style). Either way what it needs is about 300J of smack down. It stops for a second resets and goes on its merry way. Meanwhile back in the real world you are loaded in an ambulance and a doctor tells you to get in shape. If there was not a heart beat in the first place there is nothing to reset and you are probably dead.

The other big problem is that if you have been shot, or had any other sort of trauma (ie some jag bag hit you in the head w/ a 2x4) the defibrillator will not help at all. In fact you should not even put it on. Traumas are just another small part of the huge list of ailments for which the AED will have no effect. They are very good at what they do and getting better all the time, but that is all they do, reset the basket ball.

And while we are on the subject:
Makeshift items cannot be used as defibrillators. Even in a pinch, car batteries, extension cords, and computer monitors CANNOT be used as defibrillators. Also defibrillators cannot be used to jump your car or revive slowly dying robots. Sorry johhny #5

3) If you shoot a hole in an airplane everything will get sucked out

worst offenders:
True Lies, Airforce 1, Snakes on a plane?

This is another one where people may find it hard to believe, but most airplane manufacturers actually try to make their planes as safe as possible, and that includes not making them suck out all of the passengers and seats and eventually disintegrating upon being shot by a small caliber bullet. In fact military planes have been getting shot at for years, and many of them manage to survive with numerous holes in them. Some even continue in service with a little patching and a good once over.

So what would happen? Well if the shot the metal depending on the bullet it may or may not make it through the inner and outer shell and if it did it would just leave a small hole. the pressure would slowly leak out and depending on how fast those Oxygen masks might drop down (remember to secure your own mask before helping children). If they did shoot a window and it did break (again not a certainty) the seats by that window would be very windy, and you would probably want to move away from them, and again the O2 masks would come tumbling down. In either case you should be more worried about who has a gun and why they are shooting at people (damn TSA).

In either case the pilot would reduce altitude so your ears would stop bothering you, and reduce the speed so it is not as windy. Maybe the stewardesses would cover up the hole with something, if they were nice. You would land safely at the closest airport, and hopefully the jackass with the gun will be arrested. In either case the only thing that will be sucked out are your cocktail napkins and loose pages of your sudoku book.

While we are on the subject:
What ever you think of the TSA they are really trying to keep guns and explody things off of planes. That should help some, or at the very least we will not have to worry about a knitting crisis.

4) People are fragile and die very easily or not at all

Worst offenders:
Anything with Setven Segal, again w/ the Rambos

Have you ever noticed that when bad guys get shot in movies they always just fall over dead. No screaming, no laying on the ground twitching, just dead. This is another one of the clean baby myths that in order to keep the audience watching and not throwing up, you have to just pretend that a single shot will kill most bad guys with out much mess.

In reality people and most mammals are actually pretty sturdy. Now guns are very dangerous and could still very easily kill you but in terms of the places you may get shot there are really only 2 that are drop to the ground fatal. First is the heart, and even then it will have to be specific parts of the heart. The other is most of the head. Even with the head though there are many places that you could be shot and go on living for a minute up to forever. The rest of the chest and abdomen is going to be a minimum of 2-3 min of bleeding and gasping. Below the rib cage you could probably even make it to the hospital on your own depending on exactly what got hit on the inside.

Conversely, if you are the good guy or a particularly high up bad guy you can probably survive several shots without much concern. Fortunately you will likely be shot in the arm or leg (see bad guys suck at shooting). Clearly a day ruining experience for most, but you can brush it off and kill 20 or 20 more people with your bare hands

While we are on the subject:
Killing people with your bare hands is not as easy as it looks. One, usually they don't want to be killed, and two necks are surprisingly more difficult to break than a handfull of spaghetti. Perhaps bad guys in addition to their poor shooting skills and desire to be shot also have unreasonably weak necks. They should really get into another line of work.

5) If you hold a lighter to a sprinkler all of the sprinklers will not go off

Worst Offenders:
Die Hard, Lethal Weapon 4, Matrix, Changing Lanes

This one happens so often that you just assume that is how sprinkler systems work. It is not. 99% of sprinkler systems function on a thermal head activation system. That means that if there is fire under one head, that head will go off and put out the fire. If the fire gets bigger and hits another head that head will go off as well. I will not bore you with the details (toooo late), but suffice it to say most companies with 100s of computers do not want everything getting wet because some jag bag was dicking around with a lighter.

What will happen when you set off the sprinkler is that the alarm will go off and everyone will have to leave the building. However based on my recent fire alarm experience unless there is visible smoke about half of them will not do anything or will look around for what is causing the alarm to go off. So even then you might look out of place if you are running for the door, while everyone else is looking around blankly. You would probably have been better off pulling the fire alarm. Also, pulling the fire alarm has absolutely nothing to do with the fire sprinkler system, except that they both have fire in the name.

While we are on the subject:
The sprinklers are actually only designed for a certain # of head activations based on the size and type of building. If any more than that go off they will not be able to shoot out as much water, to the point where if they all went off it would probably be mostly just be a bunch of dribbling heads. Also do not pull the fire alarm unless there is a fire. Aside from being against the law it really pisses off the firemen.

Friday, April 04, 2008

My 10 Favorite (Inaccurate) Plot Devices (1 of 2)

My 10 Favorite (Inaccurate) Plot Devices (1 of 2)

As I watch Die Hard for the 20th time or so it strike me how little reality comes out of Hollywood, and what is worse is it seems like the more realistic they try to make things the further off they get. Now, I don't want to be that guy behind you at the theater who is always saying things like "That would never really happen!", or "Geez I don't know how they let that slip through". So to avoid the unplesantness of hearing me say "geez" I will sumarize them here and then sit in quiet smugness everytime they come around.

10) Newborn Babies are Cute Cudely and Surprisingly Unslimy

Worst Offenders:
Lost, ER, any show where there is a power outage in an elevator

Nothing makes for a good dramatic moment like birthing a baby. It is a very tense situation with lots of screaming, anything could and if you are on screen probably will go wrong. Then at the end you have created... LIFE (tada). The problem is that newborn babies are not very photogenic. In fact, they are kindof disgusting, and as Americans we do not really want anything to do with the disgusting miracle of life. So as an industry TV and movies have decided to sanitize the whole process (maybe that is what all of that boiling water).

Warning! Disguisting facts of childbirth to folow...
follow links @ your own risk

Babies are housed in a sack full of amniotic fluid. At the end of th pregnancy this fluid consists primarily of the amniotic fluid that the baby has been drinking and peeing back into the womb, in addition there are some floaty things that hare been sittin in there for ~30 weeks, and sometimes even some meconium (you don't want to know). So there is about a pint of that and unlike the clear water that always lands on peoples shoes on the screen, in reality it is probably more like the used oil from your fry vat (ok my fry vat).

Then there is the actual birth w/ generally more of the same as well as a a good chance that the mother may evacuate their bowels a little, and lets say a 31% chance that they will have an Episiotomy (again you don't want to know). Then when it is all done the cut the umbilical cord a couple inches from the baby and secure it w/ a tiny chip clip, a little blood shoots out (really the least disgusting part). They suck some of the fluid out of the babies airway, and viola. Pan to the happy mother holding her beutifully pink perfically formed pristine baby. It all makes perfect sence, and as an added bonus the audience will not be heading to the bathroom to throw up... ahhh miricle of life.

Oh wait, now you get to deliver the placenta. Which will be substantially easier, but possibly even more disgusting. Fortunatly, we have already cut to comercial, and can leave that to the professionals.

And while we are on the subject:
Did you know that the rough trip through the birth canal can often leave the babies head looking kind of funny. Maybe a cone or maybe some other potato shape. Dont worry it will round out eventually everything is still pretty soft, and it does not really hurt them any, but just so you know. By the way all of this is really considering nothing goes wrong, this is just the normal level of bodily fluids that you get to deal with in the ob ward.

9) Any Computer File Can fit on a 3.5 Floppy disk

Worst Offenders:
The Net, Mission Impossible, James Bonds

I think if you have touched a computer in the last 10 years you know that this is simply not true. In fact most people have not even touched a floppy disk in 5 years. But for some reason they are still a mainstay in movies. Maybe it is the iconic nature of the floppy disk or the fact that movie producers do not actually use computers except for porn which is suprisingly floppy free, but there seems to be a substantial disconnect between what will fit on a floppy and what people put on floppies in movies.
Some things will certianly still fit on a floppy disk, there are many small items that could easily reside on the large disk that holds about .1% of what is on the memory chip in your camera. Encription keys, text files, phone numbers, even some, word documents, should all fit nicely. The list of things that cannot fit on a floppy include EVERYTHING ELSE. A single MP3 would take 4 floppies, a small video would take 20, even a single picture on a newer camera would take 2 floppies. The plans to youre secret evil lair would presumably take several floppies.

In addition to all of these shortcomings, the floppy disks actually break fairly easily. They are highly suseptible to water, bending, dirt, being crushed, and magnets. That last one should not be a big concern unless you are Magneto. So even after you bypassed the gaurds, defeated the security system, picked the lock, and rendevoused with the submarine there is a 50/50 chance that when you popped the disk into your apple 2E that you would get a whooping [segmentation fault].

And while we are on the subject:
Floppies are slooow, and I mean painfully slow. To fill them with your relativly small amount of data can take minutes or longer, not a good practice for someone who is being shot at or trying to avoid the guards. I remember when software used to be distributed on floppies sometimes 10-20 floppies and you would have to sit at the computer for hours painfully swapping disks on command, but at least then I was not hovering on some sort of chamber suspended from cables. Now that really would have been painful.

8) Bad guys suck at shooting (all of them) also they like to get shot

Worst Offenders:
Rambo, Clear & Present Danger, Mr. and Mrs. Smith, Rambos

This is one of the most unfortunate coincidenses in TV and cinima, since typical bad guys spend so much time with firearms. Whether it be guarding a door, or defending their compound from a single renegade soldier, they will always have a gun. I bet it is at those points when they first hear the helicopters coming that they wish they had spent some small quantity of time at the firing range, but it is too late now. Harrison ford is running directly toward you and you could not hit the froad side of the barn. All you can do is close your eyes and shoot wildly... And now he is punching me. Could this day be any worse.

Now granted shooting stuff is harder than it seems (see #7), but if you have 100+ guys shooting at 1 guy with automatic weapons someone is going to hit him even if it is an accident. even if you were aiming at something else in the protagonist general vicinity there is a decent chance you will accidently miss what you are aiming for and kill him. Maybe in an even more menhical plot the evil overlord has given his men all blanks, so that... uhm. OK so bad guys just suck at shooting, but why do they keep getting shot.

Bad guys like to get shot. Maybe it is in their contract that if they take a bullet in the "evil" line of duty their family gets some awesome settelment, or if they don't die they get a big bonus. Whatever it is, the evil henchman are practically lining up to get shot. They cannot get enough of it. They don't bother hiding behind things, or shielding themselves in any way. $300 for a bullet proof vest thats crazy. Besides what are the odds that in my line of work Angelina Jolie will be busting the door down guns blazing. "What shes here now? How did she find our evil lair?" the worse news it that the more henchmen you have the more they will such at shooting an dwant to get shot. You should really downsize and invest ina decent training program.

And while we are on the subject:
7) Good guys can shoot anything no matter how far away

Worst offenders:
Fist full of dolars, Robin Hood, Rambos

This is really the converse of the bad guys suck at shooting, but it seems like good guys are great at shooting. If you need to shoot a rope from 500+ yards away call Clint Eastwood, if you need to shoot 2 guys at once with a bow and arrow, call Kevin Costner. It really dosen't matter what the weapon or what the target. Your protagonist should be able to hit it with precision accuracy, and then say something cool to boot.

Unfortunatly, from the small amount of shooting I have done it is not as easy as it seems. In fact it is pretty hard they even have competitions for it, and even if John McClane is a competitive shooter in his off time there are still things that substantially increase the diffuculty. for one if you are excited or out of breath holding something perfectly still at arms length gets substantially harder. That whole biatholon they have in the winter is based on this. Olimpic athelets ski around then shoot at stuff, and guess what even the good ones miss some of the targets. These are presumably people who are training every day.

If the target is moving it can be difficult to shoot. By the time you have your gun in position to start the aiming process it is probably gone. If it is moving in a path where p''(t) is not a constant, forget about it. Fortunatly most bad guys will just stand there menacingly ready to be shot. Take your time, take a few tries they are not going anywhere.

Finally pistols are not the prefered weapon for shooting things that are more than 20ft away. They are kind of nice if you need something protable because they are short, BUT because they are short they cannot really get the hig muzzle velocity, or the full effect of the rifling, and bullet stabilization. All this adds up to bullets that even when fired perfectly will not go as far and will not be as precise, but they do look pretty cool.

While we are on the subject:
Usually, when you shoot electrical devices like switches to open doors, they will not turn on enabling you to use your gun like a universal remote. They will probably just break, because they were not designed to be shot. Also if you shoot metal things there is a decent chance that the bullets will fly back and hit you, which I guess makes sence, because at least if the bad guys cannot shoot you you can accidently shoot yourself.

6) Everything blows up (most of all cars)

Worst Offenders:
Die Hards, Rambos,

Like most things on this list, this may surprise you. You have seen so many things explode on TV that you kind of take it for granted that the day to day things theat we all interact with on a regular basis are literaly (correct use) ticking time bombs. Your TV, your stove, chandeler, stop light, boats, planes, trains, tractor trailers, all waiting in the sidelines ready to kill you if you bump them too hard, or God forbid if a bullet hits them, and your car, your car is the worst one. From what I have seen anything could make your car explode in a enourmous fireball, killing everyone in a 20 yard radius.

In general the rules are: If you are in an accident you have until you are rescued + 15 seconds to run and possilby jump into the air as the car explodes violently, If you are not rescued you have about 20 seconds, if your car is shot if will blow up imediatly, and spectacularly.The thing is in this world many things are flamable some are even highly flamible, but virtually nothing we come into contact with on a daily basis is explosive.

It turns out that even the things that we count on to explode only do so under controled circumstances. Gasoline loves to burn and be careful with it, because it can really burn you. but it you have some out on the groung and toss a match all you will really get is a big woosh. Diesel and jet fuel are even less flamible to the point of if you trew a match into a pool of diesel it may just go out. Really the only things that explode violently are... explosives (C4, dynomite, ANFO).

Movie Exec1: "Everyone likes explosions in movies, but as producers how can we make more stuff explode"
Movie Exec2: "Maybe for the coarse of this movie we asume that everything is full of nitroglycerin"
Movie Exec1: "That works for me!"

Even less surprising is that there are 10s of thousands of people in the world whos only job is to make the things that you deal with safer and less likely to explode. The UL, National Safety Board, even the manufacturers really don't like it when their items explode and kill people.

And while we are on the subject:
Bullets do not ignite anything. Lead is typicaly known for its ability to hit things without sparking. That is why you may see lead hammers around. They are a soft metal that will deform when hit and will not spark. They do make incendiary bullets, but unless you woke up in the morning expecting to need to shoot some gas tanks to blow up a fuel depot, then you probably did not buy them... moving on.