Thursday, November 24, 2011

Who needs science?

 I have received lots of praise, but also some negative comments about my latest video.

People said that is shows the effect of tapered bands, but that it does not explain the fact, and it does not say how a better band can be derived from it.

Of course the video does not explain what happens, simply because we don't know yet. But it provides reliable data for those who want to explore the issue. This data was not available beforehand. Destin (who is a rocket scientist) has given the data to his professors, and they say they want to find out what is going on... it is clearly a challenge for these guys now.That's fantastic!

Dan has used the video intensively to study various effects. I find it quite fascinating.

Read his blog entry here

Science works that way. I can only contribute to the solution, not provide it.

One of my other fields of interest is the history of contagious diseases. When the first microscopes came out, scientists had been able to see the bacteria and viruses for the first time. Fascinating. but it was useless at first, as seeing what was going on did not mean that a cure was immediately available. But it enabled other scientists to come up with vaccination and effective treatments.Microbiology ultimately found cures for some of the worst killers in the history of mankind.

My little video won't save lives of course, but I believe that it will ultimately lead to better slingshots.Science works that way.

Having said that, witch doctors are still in business today, trying to cure cancer with goat poop and stuff! I guess that likewise, some guys will always insist that office rubber bands is all you ever need to make a good slingshot. Which is fine, if you don't care for progress.


  1. Small envious minds will always denigrate and you well know it. Your efforts are as you say, first steps to better understand and with better understanding we can advance. Continue your efforts and know there are more people cheering you on than there are putting you down. Nay-sayers have their uses as they just simply make one work harder and sometimes, spur thoughts in different directions with unexpected results.
    Your efforts have sparked questions in my mind and I find myself wanting to experiment more. (heheh, I want to take my hole puncher to rubber bands and see what happens...) :)

  2. Might I presume the "peanut gallery" have themselves made huge strides forwards in our understanding, have documented their efforts clearly, and assist others to reproduce the results.

    Or are they perhaps just whining.

  3. I think it's a nice to know information, and we should all be gratefull for this. Mr Sprave puts a lot of energy in those videos, and it's just good, that he displays many different topics of the slingshot. If you're consuming information and emtertainment for free, you're not in the position to nag.
    All in all,
    Great Videos!

  4. @Jörg, thanks very much for promoting my blog again. This is very one-sided to my advantage because you have all the traffic and data and it's hard to reciprocate sufficiently.

    @Rational Root, a lot of people who resist others looking into how bands work have vested interests. Some sell rough natural forks with tube bands, some promote rubber stationary store rubber bands and others are fixated on the old-worldly charm of good old solids. That's not to say I haven't invested heavily in bands, but if I could shoot better with a rubber hose I'd be posting all about it.

    Jörg does an excellent job of popularising the sport, but let's not forget he's a thinker and an engineer of the highest order.