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Toys

Junkyard Wars Needs A Few Good Contestants 110

Andy B writes: "At long last, we have got an address for aspiring contestants to send their Junkyard Wars applications to (Slashdot slightly jumped the gun last autumn). Hurry to get you applications in, as the deadline for applications is Fri 16th Feb."
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Junkyard Wars Needs a Few Good Contestants

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  • Yes, but its license states that it must act as a public service broadcaster:
    This [itc.org.uk] is taken from the ITC [itc.org.uk] website:

    The main points in the new licence are:
    • redefinition of the remit in relation to all channels, not just ITV, and further commitment to innovation and experiment;
    • a revised and strengthened statement on education;
    • a commitment to provide at least three hours on average per week of multicultural programmes, and also to schedule at least some of these in peak time;
    • a major commitment to the UK film industry, giving some preference to innovative and risky subjects and treatments;
    • a new commitment to programmes for and about people with disabilities;
    • increased requirement of 60 per cent of programmes specially commissioned for the Channel by 1999;
    • a new commitment for production outside the London region, including a minimum requirement of 30 per cent by 2002;
    • new maxima for repeats;
    • a new commitment and new minimum requirement for spending on training;
    • a new requirement for diversity in the peak-time schedule, including news, current affairs, educational, religious and multicultural programmes;
    • revised commitments to subtitling and other provisions for those with hearing and sight impairments.


    I think it's not fully privatised either - doesn't the government still own a proportion of it and fund it a bit too?
  • if you watched the last episode of junkyard wars (the rocket one), cathy said you can go to the site and submit an idea for them to build, i forget what site she said, probably either the junkyard wars site, or tlc.com, either way you should submit that, that would be cool to see... but only thing is theyd probably want to fight during the show at the end, unless they go tape the fight at battlebots, show the match during junkyard wars, then battle bots later, like they did with jay lenos chinkilla, they aired the match early on the tonight show then again on battle bots... but i dont know since battle bots is comedy centrals, maybe theyd have to do robot wars, but they dont air robot wars enough in america :(
  • The new Junkyard Wars episodes stink. I mean yeah, it's still a cool show, but it's just not what it used to be. I miss the silly Brits, they cracked me up. But yunno... maybe it's just me, but I swear the type of things they do on the show have changed since they got the new host and stuff. I mean.. one of the last episodes the Scrapheap Challenge did was drag racing. And what's the first Junkyard Wars thing? Drag racing. They also did all-terrain vehicles, which Scrapheap Challenge did.. and.. just tons of them. They're all the same sorts of things. Maybe it's just my perception, and the fact that I miss the old show, but it really seems like they've dumbed it down to suit us redneck Americans or something. I dunno... I just wish they'd give me my Scrapheap Challenge... Looking forward to next week's episode....
  • I haven't seen all that many episodes, but of those I have seen, this seems to be the theme. The team that comes up with the more brilliant, elegant design has it crap out on them almost immediately, because, after all, it's made out of junk. The crowd that bangs together some brute-force job powers through and wins it.

    Apparently, it doesn't pay to get too creative.

    Makes it more fun to watch, though.
  • that would be so lame. On the one hand, we have people turning scrap metal and garbage into working mechanical beasts that they bring to life to do their bidding. And on the other hand... we have a bunch of computer geeks, whose whole world exists on a hard drive somewhere. What's the absolute most exciting ending the show could have? They.... make a computer system work. Hoooo boy...

    Now robotics... There's something cool. A mixture of computing and mechanics. The software and the hardware, the virtual and the real, all blending together into one. You may think it's cool to make a few characters appear on your 31337 console, but that just can't come close to making a thinking machine that exists in reality, and that can directly have an impact on the real world. I say make a cross between Junkyard Wars and Battlebots, and have two teams with a bunch of robot parts, that have to build robots to do some task! WHOOO!!! (And none of this lame Battlebots crap. I don't care how well you make it, a machine that you completely control with remote controls is just lame. That's no "robot", that's a remote controlled car. WHERE IS THE REAL CHALLENGE?!?! WHERE ARE THE ROBOTS!?)

    Ok, enough of my ranting for now.

  • I always thought that the original, all-British Junkyard Wars was already pretty dumbed down.
    I'd have liked more commentary on the specifics of each machine, how certain problems are being solved, techniques, etc.

    But then again, I'm a freak.

  • Oops, didn't preview...
    Here are two pictures of her. [channel4.co.uk] (scroll down)
  • The post said Nationalised. That is not the same as 'not for profit'.

    Channel 4 was established as a not-for-profit business, paid for by skimming the budgets of the commercial ITV broadcasters in the UK.
    The whole Channel 4 set-up is a complex arrangement - it is paid for by advertising revenues, has no shareholders, and a license that obliges (obligates?) it to carry out a public service remit.
    This [uwaterloo.ca] link explains it all in more detail. It's quite interesting, especially to open-sourcerers..

    So, your uninformed commie is probably slightly more informed than you are.

    You could argue thant 'nationalised' was probably the wrong word, but since channel 4 doesn't have shareholders, 'commercial' is equally inaccurate. It's a strange beast: there probably isn't one adjective to describe it...

  • How to make breakfast using one egg, leftover chinese take-out, and a slice of cold pizza:

    Method One - "Egg Foo Breakfast":
    - Fry the egg.
    - While the egg is frying, dump the take-out onto it, omlette style.
    - Scrape the cheese and toppings from the Pizza and lay it across the top.
    - Toast the Pizza crust in the oven.

    Method Two (My preference):
    - Throw the egg and the chinese take-out into the trash.
    - Eat the cold pizza.

  • Uban_Existentialist is just a troll trying to bait the libertarians on /. (I bit, for one)

    Take a look at his other comments & Bio. He's either a troll (and I hope he is) or a clueless 16 year old who is hell bent on saving everyone from themeselves. Either way, not someone to be taken seriously.

    -Red
  • I'm sure the costume department had several identical ties, just in case he somehow gets it caught in a naked fanbelt and survives

    I remember one episode, he got a big oil/grease/dirt/etc stain on his tie. The very next episode it was obvious that it was the very same tie, it was tied up so much shorter so the stain would be under/in the knot.. Hilarious.. the end of the tie only reached mid-chest..
  • My first exposure to the show was the rocket building one. Personally, I found it disappointing they had "experts". To me, this turns the team into nothing more than order takers and labor.

    I say increase the quality of the teams and drop the "experts".
  • by edremy ( 36408 ) on Saturday January 27, 2001 @11:34AM (#477606) Journal

    I've never watched the show, but it sounded kind of interesting... until now.

    Watch before judging. For example in the hovercraft episode, we got to watch someone make a roughly 4' diameter propeller from a block of wood and a chainsaw. The NERDS last year made a 3000rpm centrifugal water pump out of a brake rotor and some scrap metal. The Long Brothers invented the Styro-lathe out of a electric drill and a knife to turn the pieces for their rocket: 3 Revs a Minute fashioned up a hot-wire to cut their styrofoam into a proper airfoil for their bomber. And if you saw Bowser's walking table or the famous (albeit too fragile) Brick Muncher, you wouldn't believe that they were put together in 10 hours.

    Yeah, some stuff is seeded. Go read the NERDS webpage for just how much work was involved in getting Frobette, their steam car running despite having a boiler and engine given to them.

    Eric

  • I can see it now, someone builds a computer with a full AI to control their machine out of old car parts.

    I can see it now, too. 7 1/2 minutes before the deadline, the Slashdot team has a working artificially intelligent fire extinguishing hydrogen powered hovercraft, with AI, running on Linux.

    Just as victory seems imminent, one of the team members runs back off into the junkyard screaming something about a beowolf cluster, and the team is disqualified because they can't find him for 3 hours while he frantically tunnels through dead washing machines and microwaves looking for Pentium mobos.

    But the real highlight comes halfway through the show. What did the team bring for lunch?

    Why, hot grits, of course.

  • I love watching british comedy on PBS. I wouldn't want to increase their funding though, since they are soo full of liberals that decide what to put on the tv.
    I'll stick with Discovery Channel, TLC, and the History Channel for now (along with Fox News and Cartoon Network)

    -Shadoelord
  • What I'm really liking lately is "Made in Canada."

    Oh yeah? What's that show a-boot.
  • You might be interested to know that Scrapheap Challenge, as it's known here, was produced by Channel 4. Channel 4 is a *commercial* channel. It's not publically funded and it has commercials.
  • If can't weld.
    If you don't know a carburetor from an alternator.
    If all you know how to do to your car is check and maybe change the oil.
    If your idea of a good weekend is sitting at home and compiling the latest kernel.
    The only tools you own see most of their use on computer cases.
    Your idea of spare parts is few old motherboards and some hard drives under 5 gig.
    And most importantly, if you can't handle 10+ hours of manual labor in whatever conditions present themselves on the days of taping.
  • Wow, that's some bad moderation...Golias's post marked as flamebait?

    Fortunately, the show is basically about using actual junkyard parts to make stuff, even with the seeding. But there certainly is the potential for this to get out of hand if they keep on making episodes, and the challenges become more unrealistic without basically having the parts and the bluprints laid out in front of the contestants.

    I for one would be happy watching simpler challenges (like the classic build-a-wrecking-machine) that don't require as much seeding.

    But seeing cool complicated contraptions is fun too. I hope they manage to strike a reasonable balance.
  • I don't agree with your post on any level - but it's actually wrong too.

    Channel 4 show Scrapheap Challenge / Junkyard Wars. Yes, the government own them but no, they're not funded through tax. They carry adverts.

    Now, I'd argue that the BBC produces substantially better programming (as a rule) than either ITV, Channels 4 or 5 or the various digital channels (and yes, I've had digital / sattelite TV for years) and is consequently well worth the license fee. But, even if you disagree with this on principle for whatever reason, _it_ _doesn't_ _apply_ _to_ _Channel_ _4_!

  • Now, if I had been in charge of the show, I would have expected them to make the engines, too... A little bit of powerdered aluminium would not have been hard to dig up... finding magnesium might have been difficult, I wonder what else they could have used?

    Remember, in the hovercraft episode, they found jet engine nacelles. That's a hell of a junkyard. And, uhhh, I don't think I'd try welding to those (though they did), if you know what I mean.

    Lots of mid-80s Volvos have magnesium rims.

    Even so, you could do a thermite with just powdered rust and powdered aluminum. In the 1800s, it was how large welding was done.

  • While it's a great show, the participants who can enter the show are pretty limited. There are legions of us resourceful computer geeks out there who would be perfect for a sister-show to Junkyard Wars--based on computers. The contestants could be put in a warehouse filled with old 386's/486's and different obsolete software packages and the goal could be to assemble a specific type of computing system! (and perhaps to hack the opposing team's network!)
  • Maybe someone should explain "Logic" to them on their videotape... they have two "most important" questions.

    "Okay, I'll be P, you be Q, and Ray here will be the equal sign. Do you have the NOT? Who's got the not?"

    !

    "Oh, there it is. Roll camera!"

    -Omar


  • And the old host was hilarious. He'd look at a teams work, crack a joke and laugh hysterically. It was great.

    I agree. And I loved his ties.

  • If I'm supposed to "beware of programmers carrying screwdrivers", what do I do if I see one with a cutting torch? I think I would run for the hills!
  • This point is illogical
    I'm afraid I don't agree, but it was nice of you to warn us in advance... Rather than being illogical, IMHO, your executive summary wasn't representative of the original post. Illogical, no, unrepresentative, possibly...

    As I understood it, the original argument was that broadcasters who are not obliged to continually chase the bottom line are more likely to come up with something creative and interesting. Occasionally these also turn out to very popular. Channel 4, like other PSB's, is legally obliged to spend a certain amount of its output on education, multi-cultural broadcasting and the like. Scrapheap challenge (or Junkyard Wars, if you prefer) is probably a direct consequence of them being forced to produce something educational and show it in peak time.

    Seems fairly logical to me...
  • What makes this show so interesting to watch is that they are not, how should I put this, bound to selling the show. Its all about the actually building, testing, and spirit of the game. They never say "Lets play, who wants to be a millionaire!"
  • What a purblind opinion you have. Why, I have, (very occasionally) expressed a reasoned opinion different from that of the mainstream! Anyone who does that must be a troll, it stands to reason. I suggest that you haven't researched properly - if you had, you would realise that I am no different from anybody else, with deviances from the groupthink that occur to the same degree as in anybody eses posts. My posts are very rarely controversial, but you appear to have made your mind up rather quickly on the matter, so what can I do?

    You know exactly what to do-
    Your kiss, your fingers on my thigh-

  • Any, and I mean ANY show which is Americanized turns out worse than its UK counter part

    Besides, US networks can hardly ever come up with anything new on their own. They BUY most of their shows. Just look at 'Whose Line Is It Anyway', TLC's trauma crap, 'Trading Places', and 'Junkyard Wars': all these shows are bought/ripoffs of UK shows.

    I think any UK-turned-US shows should always have the following added onto the title:

    "Now with more commercials!(TM)"

  • I agree, it's a pity that TLC felt the needed to Americanize the show and produce a version only for the US market. Don't they realize that the fact that it is distinctly british is one of the best things about the show?

    The previous series with Robert Llewellen (Kryten) were made as "Scrapheap Challenge" only for the UK market, and were picked up by TLC and renamed for the US. My hope is that they continue to make the UK series with Kryten and these eventually find their way to our US screens.

    The series starting this Monday is actually the first british series which hasn't been shown on US TV before. I've seen parts of it on the "Best of Scrapheap Challenge" VHS I ordred from Amazon.co.uk. (The channel4 website also carries the tape but it doesn't deliver internationally).
  • by ckedge ( 192996 ) on Saturday January 27, 2001 @12:39PM (#477624) Journal

    Yes, but it's gotten worse with each season. The very first season or two from England had much less obvious or near-nonexistent seeding. The seeding with the latest English and American episodes is going too far, and leaves a bad taste in my mouth.

    I can understand it a bit from the perspective that they've already built a lot of the things that one can build, and they always need to come up with something new..., but it's still gone too far. (And they never should have replaced Robert Llewellyn in the American series, good thing they kept whats-her-name, if they'd replaced her with some stupid blonde-bubble-gum girl, I'd have puked.)

  • "Junkyard Wars" is the US version of "Scrapheap Challenge". Scrapheap Challenge was made for Channel Four in the UK, which is not a state funded channel (i believe).

    however c4 is a relatively liberal station, maybe thats what you need in the US.. not neccisarily nationalisation?
  • > For example in the hovercraft episode, we got to watch someone make a roughly 4' diameter propeller from a block of wood and a chainsaw. The NERDS last year made a 3000rpm centrifugal water pump out of a brake rotor and some scrap metal.

    Yep, those two items were *quite* impressive. I'm amazed that the prop stayed together. And that you could build a vehicle based on sytrofoam! (albeit thick styrofoam, with a little extra strengthening).

  • While I agree with your argument about publically funded broadcasters making quality TV, Junkyard Wars was not created by the BBC. It was created as Scrapheap Challenge [channel4.com] by Channel4 in the UK, a commercial TV station.

    But, the fact that the BBC generates such quality programming in general is definitely responsible for the quality of programming coming out of other UK channels such as Channel4 and ITV.

  • Sorry, I'm paying more attention to Cathy Rogers. She's pretty hot. I can't find a damn picture of her anywhere on the web though.

    Something that can't be found on the web? Impossible! Sounds like a challenge.

    She's not that hot, in my opinion. Here's some pictures [topcath.co.uk] anyways.

    Oh, you meant those kinds of pictures. Oops.

  • Is this a 5 minute argument or the full half hour?
  • Actually, checking out Channel 4's Scrapheap Challenge [channel4.com] page, the poor brits are going to get the US series of Junkyard Wars. But at least they're telling their audience it's definitely not the same show, and there's a new series of "Scrapheap Challenge" in production at the moment, presumably with Llewellen.
  • Bugger you mean they changed it? @!#$@#$ Dammit thats what I get for not watching it in a long time. *sigh* back to Red Dwarf reruns.
  • That's why I phrased it the way I did. The two contestant robots would fight on JW. The winner would become a RW/BB contestant. If it's an American JW, BB; if it's a British JW, RW.
  • In the UK "Scrapheap" is on Channel 4, not one of the BBC channels.
  • Sadly, even when it's possible to do otherwise, seeding is necessary for the safety factor.

    In you example, you provided several good methods of creating rocket propulsion, and they would likely work. However, they're also a LOT more prone to blowing up on the launchpad or workshop... just think of welding a makeshift rocket (with live fuel inside) to the main body... goodbye team.

    Similarly, they've been known to seed the junkyard for other vital parts. In one of the eps in the last series, the challenge was a steam-powered car (see www.the-nerds.org for one of the teams' website with design notes). For that, they provided steam boilers and engines, for both the safety and complexity factor...

    Making a steam engine in the 10 hr time limit would be horrible, especially in conjunction with the rest of the car. Making a boiler would not only be as bad but also dangerous - the seeded ones had inspection certificates on file. Also, reportedly they needed a licensed plumber to inspect the plumbing on the cars before the race.

    The purpose of this show is to highlight brilliant hackish mechanical engineering, not to be ultra-realistic, and it works.

  • The blonde host, Cathy (Iforgetherlastname), is also one of the executive producers of the show, as I remember... they're not likely to remove her. :)
  • C4 (unless sold recently) is OWNED by the UK government, but partially finances itself through advertising etc.
    John
  • Channel 4 is publically owned, but funds itself through advertising.
    John
  • Damn it, I hate to agree with one of those sanctimonious, scary, right wing Libertarimericans but he does actually have a point. We don't have free speech in Canada due to that hideous "notwithstanding clause". The Quebec government has been limiting reasonable speech for years with it's language laws.

    The notion that any government, federal or provincial can pass unconstitutional laws simply by invoking the notwithstanding clause is horrible. A government can run rampant until it's mandate ends, which is too long.

    Lots of things about the USA don't appeal to me: fetishism of money & the market, intolerance, ignorance. Unfortunately, there are an equal number of things about Canada that I don't like: our celebration of mediocrity, our provincial attitude (ie; we're always somebody's bitch, whether it be Uncle Sam or Mother England), and most especially our willingness to sacrifice our principles (ie the Charter) for political expediency (ie the notwithstanding clause).

    Just because Upton Sinclair was right doesn't mean Solzhynitzen wasn't also right.

  • Well, there are two things that suck about PBS. One is the seemingly non-stop fund-raisers interrupting the one show in a hundred you care about. The second is the message at the end of the half hour show telling you that you can get it on VHS for only $400!

    But, there ARE alternatives. For example, here in the Portland (OR) area, there are 3 channels that are Community Access (NOT PBS)... I am planning on going down and taking their class this summer so I can get free use of their camera, editing rooms, mobile editing studio, studios, blue screens, and oh-yes, the AIR TIME.

    Oh, and did I mention that they DO NOT EDIT FOR CONTENT?
  • I was watching Junk-yard-wars the other day (the one were they built the rocket). THey pulled two brand-new rocket engines OUT OF THE BACK OF A TRUCK!!!! what kind of junk-yard is this?
  • Some one should get a slashdot team team together.
    I can see it now, someone builds a computer with a full AI to control their machine out of old car parts.

    _________________________________
  • I'd say that while the point itself is made in a slightly illogical way, what Urban was saying was true. The vast majority of the funniest, most interesting, most entertaining programmes have their roots in the BBC or Channel 4.

    We've got Dr. Who, Red Dwarf, Monty Python, Black Adder, the Goon Show, the Crystal Maze, Blue Peter excetera excetera excetera.

    Admittedly, some of my favourite shows come from syndicated stations such as Buffy, Frasier, Cheers, Mash... but they are few and far between.

    I couldn't say what the difference really is, but I strongly suspect it is that the BBC and C4 don't always say 'no that's a silly idea'. They don't try to stick to tried and tested, formulaic shows. IIRC, Who Wants to be a Millionaire is the only interesting show that ITV have ever produced.

    They get their audience by providing bad sitcoms and bad drama that people watch because it looks flashy or has some good actors in it. The BBC has always been about introducing new faces and new writers and new types of show.

    Tom 2.0
    Flying on the ground is wrong.
    www.fotg.co.uk

  • Yes, however C4 is chartered to create minority programs and gets a good deal of its cash in a bursary style payment from ITV. Also, it has to compete with the BBC in a public television environment, so really, the point still applies rather well, if not better.

    You know exactly what to do-
    Your kiss, your fingers on my thigh-

  • I think that would be great -- depending on the challenge... Like, perhaps an AUTOMATED ______... In fact, I think I will go submit an idea... Remember all those old games where you have to program a robot to make it through the maze on their own??? Of course, neither a Palm Pilot or Lego RCX would really do for a brain.
  • Junkyard Wars is an excellent program, and it could only be a product of a nationalised television broadcasting agency. Consider what would happen if a commercial bigwig were presented with the idea. His reaction would probably be "Are you mad? I asked for a 'Who wants to be a Millionaire' clone. Get the fuck outta here!".

    It is then a good job that Nationalised television exists in Britain in a happy symbiosis with the private sector, and is therefore free to bumble along making programs for their own sake, for the love of it, and not because of what focus groups and market ratings say. Thats what happened with Monty Python - it was literally made in a fit of absent mindedness by the relevant authorities at the BBC. If only America had a similar system.

    It would greatly improve American Television, IMHO, if they were to greatly increase funding for PBS, such that it would have money to not just show BBC reruns, but to make its own innovative programs for a variety of channels as well. The beauty of this is that it would force the commercial companies to stop making pap, and start focusing on making interesting programs for once. Things could only improve.

    You know exactly what to do-
    Your kiss, your fingers on my thigh-

  • Update: Due to the fact that I did not want to register for YET ANOTHER account, I did not post the suggestion. If anyone else wants to, feel free.
  • No no no, this would be the perfect test ground for a slashdot team to build a totally recyaled mobil, wireless, laptop that could roam on its own to search the junkyard for even more useless and usable devices to better it self. By using the Paper phone [slashdot.org] and the paper laptop as controlling devices, it could easyly just use household glue to constantly upgrade it self with even more sharmin (tolit paper) to become the biggest Mobil trash ball in the world!

    The Zaphod -Didn''t you hear I come in six packs now!
  • Let's see:

    She's in a band,

    She studies medicine

    She produces educational TV shows

    She got the job because she actually likes talking to the
    Nerds that "star" in each episode.

    She still manages to look cute in that black vinyl whatever
    that she wears in each episode.

    She does a great job of explaining semi-technical concepts without
    losing the rest the couch potatoes.

    Did I mention she's cute? She may not look to be the type of girl most
    Nerds want to date, but she strikes me as the type of girl that might
    date most Nerds.

    Hot? No she's the next nominee for Slashdot Woman of the Year.
  • It's not entirely a salvage show. They plant many things throughout the heap. It's rather obvious though, you can tell they've found a planted item when the presenters talk about how they've found the smaller 2000rpm model; heavy emphasis on comparasons.

    Now as to whether it's a bad thing. They do supply them with tools, and things like scotch-tape and glue which aren't salvaged. They use these in what they make. Welding gunk too.

    If they wanted to do rockets there's no way they could have done impressive rockets without some planted items, but I would prefer that they choose not to do rockets and keep the show untainted from plants.

    -- Eat your greens or I'll hit you!

  • You're in luck, Bender 22! There's a film out in Japan now that has this 'best of both worlds' flavor. In BATTLE ROYALE, they take like 32 or so school kids to an island with explosive collars around their necks, and tell them they have 48 hours to kill each other off but for one. If there are any more than 1 of them, all the collars explode. Needless to say, the film's a bit controversial.
  • The hosts clearly stated that the rockets were planted in the junkyard, as they knew that there would be no naturally-occuring rocket engines there, but they still wanted to make the contestants search for parts.

    Now, if I had been in charge of the show, I would have expected them to make the engines, too... A little bit of powerdered aluminium would not have been hard to dig up... finding magnesium might have been difficult, I wonder what else they could have used?

    At any rate, I'm sure that the show's producers thought it best to hide the rocket engines to guarantee a finale which made for good television.

    --
  • by Livn4Golf ( 83604 ) on Saturday January 27, 2001 @04:49AM (#477652) Homepage
    The issue of "seeding" the yard has caused the most ire from JYW fans. Most times objects such as rocket engines, and steam engines are planted in the interest of safety laws and time constraints. Before the competition takes place, the expert submits a list of parts they would like and their preliminary plans for the build. The producers then decide what items will be hidden (such as mylar for the blimp in the bombing episode). It is not always as extreme as that--most times it's just throwing a few more old cars on the heap.

    Also, the UK has very stringent laws about safety that the show has to obey. For example, every valve and connector for air, fuel, etc. has to be brand new and installed by a certified installer. It's all done for the safety of the participants. For a more detailed description check out the website of The N.E.R.D.S. at Answers to its fake, they seed the yard [the-nerds.org]
  • I once saw a team of British nuclear technicians compete, and, well, they made a brilliant device that completely fell apart in the first 5 seconds of the match.

    I would be kind of worried what our uber-geek devices would do when set out into the real world. :)

  • The US does have somthing like what you are talking about, we call it PBS(Public Broadcasting System). Its amusing beacuse 1) there are no commercials, and 2) their programming doesnt suck.

    /*
    *Not a Sermon, Just a Thought
    */
  • The phrase broadcasters who are not obliged to continually chase the bottom line are more likely to come up with something creative and interesting is an assertion, not an argument. My point is that there is nothing in the original post to support the assertion, no matter how it is phrased.

    There is also the slippery slope of defining terms. What do "creative" and "interesting" mean? What is creative/interesting to one person is trite/boring to another. In any case, there is no proven connection with the method of funding the production.


    OpenSourcerers [opensourcerers.com]
  • by MrP- ( 45616 )
    Maybe you should have read his whole post:

    "It would greatly improve American Television, IMHO, if they were to greatly increase funding for PBS, such that it would have money to not just show BBC reruns, but to make its own innovative programs for a variety of channels as well. The beauty of this is that it would force the commercial companies to stop making pap, and start focusing on making interesting programs for once. Things could only improve."
  • Ok, I'll bite.

    Do not comment on what you clearly do not understand. As for Communism, it is probably one of the greatest evils ever inflicted on man. Horror, strife, demoralization and death of the human spirit are born of this atrocity.


    ...and you put both sentences right there together. Bravo, hypocrite.

    Interesting getting such a lecture from a citizen of a country without free speech. Anyway we've wasted enough time. Back to work. Nose to the grindstone citizen we have a 5 year plan to complete!


    That you would even say such a thing shows how truly clueless you are. We have more free speech than you. Censorship is rampant in your country, in case you haven't noticed. We didn't make DeCSS illegal. We didn't pass some stupid DMCA law.

    How about a cluelink [justice.gc.ca]. Note that freedom of thought, belief, opinion and expression is worded to allow for new technologies.

    This is a country that released a pamphlet about how to use encryption.

    Need I go on?
  • The phrase
    The phrase broadcasters who are not obliged to continually chase the bottom line are more likely to come up with something creative and interesting is an assertion, not an argument.
  • OOps, that should have read:

    The phrase
    The phrase broadcasters who are not obliged to continually chase the bottom line are more likely to come up with something creative and interesting is an assertion, not
    an argument.
    is also an assertion, not an argument.
  • Now you're trolling.


    OpenSourcerers [opensourcerers.com]
  • Sorry, I couldn't resist. I think I just thought you jumped down the guy's neck a bit...

    I think we're also somewhat offtopic by now :-)
  • Have to agree I liked the Brit version better!

    Some Americans can pull off wryness and non-guffaw humor, but that never seems to make it onto television in the U.S.

    Yet it's part of the national culture across the Pond.

    I also agree the mullets have to go!

    Would like to see a kitchen version of the show where teams have to make edible meals from whatever happens to be left in the cabinet... ketchup, beer, flour, beer, etc.

    Wait a second, that's Welsh rarebit, isn't it?

  • Junkyard Wars should make the contestants build a robot for Robot Wars or Battle Bots...after arranging for the winner of JW to become an RW/BB contestant.
  • We are definitely off-topic now but I need to say to everyone that I didn't mean to be harsh in my response to the original poster and I apologize if I came across that way.


    OpenSourcerers [opensourcerers.com]
  • I think that were safe there, you don't weld with a torch. Torches are used for cutting (or brazing). Welding is done with a high amperage electrical device.
  • Sorry, I'm paying more attention to Cathy Rogers. She's pretty hot.

    I can't find a damn picture of her anywhere on the web though.
    --
  • PBS already makes interesting programs, though. The Ken Burns series "Jazz" has been one of the best things on TV for the last month.

    Exclusively state-run TV might be fine for England, Canada and other communist nations, but I would like to defend network television thus:

    The Simpsons
    Buffy The Vampire Slayer
    The first three Star Treks

    Game, set, match.

    PS: Canadians, I was just kidding about calling you and the English a bunch of commies... I know that you prefer the term "pinko". No offense inteded.

  • Or a female with jars full of breasts in her closet next to the chainsaw cabinet.
  • Oh boy, foot - gun - ready, aim, fire!

    First, Junkyard (nee Scrapheap) Wars is made for Channel 4 (a commercial channel) by an independent producer. "Who wants to be a Millionaire" is also a UK programme, made for a commercial station by an independent company.

    The real difference between the US and UK systems?

    Well, Junkyard Wars is losely based on "The Great Egg Race" which WAS a BBC programme, but the real difference is that there is a tradition of 'different' programmes which pop up from time to time as a result of producers being able to point to an identifiable demographic of 'nutty eccentric' as a means to justify pilots for new shows.

    Yes, we get the "Millionaire" shows, but we also get the gems that would never be accepted in the rote reproduction environment of the US system, where the committee is king.

    'Too much' TV programming is as problematic as 'too little'. Unless it tries to appeal to a mass demographic, no programme has a chance under the US system of drawing a large enough audience to sustain its existance until a large enough audience will be attracted.

    In the UK BECAUSE we have had limited programming, the same people have attempted to produce 'something different' than their usual favorites, if only to attempt to stem the irate letters. They weren't aiming for "Monty Python" - they probably didn't like it - but the complex environment was right for its (and others) emergence.

    If you want a different TV industry, you have to change the basic, underlying rules - change the complex attractors. Then, and only then, will the quality of the programming change.

    As a start, value and promote those who produce the different; you may not like them, but they change the basic rules for the rest. Give them guarantees of at least one season, let them have the room to change your preconceptions.

    In short, you get the programming you deserve...

  • I am really disappointed with this aspect of the show, which seems worse this season. I remember one episode where they had two boats (one was a planing boat and one was a displacement boat). And they mentioned (more than once) that displacement boats go faster if they are longer. I wondered, "Why?" thinking that in a few seconds, they would cut to an animation that would show the forces and answer the obvious question. Instead, they skipped over it, and actually made a comment about not wanting to get into it because it was too technical. Too technical?!? Fuckin' A, I thought this was The Learning Channel. I guess not.


    ---
  • Not only is she the executive producer...she invented the show. She got the idea from watching Apollo 13.

  • I remember one episode, he got a big oil/grease/dirt/etc stain on his tie. The very next episode it was obvious that it was the very same tie, it was tied up so much shorter so the stain would be under/in the knot.. Hilarious.. the end of the tie only reached mid-chest..

    And every episode since...

    It seems to me that (until the American episodes stupidly ditched him) the tie was always tied ridiculously.

    Damn it.

    Last night, I watched an episode that was on TLC a few weeks ago, and that I hadn't had time to watch until now: Hovercraft.

    This morning, before leaving for work, I found myself rummaging around the garage, looking for an old horizontal crankshaft Briggs and Stratton engine and a couple of furnace blowers that I have kicking around.

    Tonight, I guess I'll put aluminum wire into the MIG welder and throw together a lightweight frame...

  • Well, I agree that Llewellen was a better host. He fit in with the format much better. But he quit! TV personalities have lives and preferences too --- aparantly his weren't in JYW. A pity, yea, but don't blame TLC! If you need a new host, it's gonna change the show.
  • >> Is this a 5 minute argument or the full half hour? LOL - 306b
  • This certainly requires a certain talent and familiarity with practical engineering. and the ability to through away everything that is not essential to the job at hand.

    Given how much code we have seen that shows just the opposite focus, I got to wonder how would this all work out.

    Imagine a contest, for example, between the Microsoft team (the Shaft Warriors) and the "Penguinistas", or whatever.

    what kind of designs would the various camps build?

    the old satirical bits come to mind, "If OSs were airlines","if systems were beer", etc.

    How would the different corporate teams refelct the philosophy of their companies, and how would this reflect in their success on the show?

  • This point is illogical.

    1. I like this program.
    2. This program is the result of nationalization.
    3. Therefore, nationalization produces the best programs.

    The best we might be able actually deduce from the statements is that the programs that have appealed to you the most so far happen to have been the product of nationalized institutions.


    OpenSourcerers [opensourcerers.com]
  • by Xaviar ( 202211 ) on Saturday January 27, 2001 @05:17AM (#477678)
    Junkyard Wars is an excellent program, and it could only be a product of a nationalised television broadcasting agency.

    Ahh, I see. The only way to get good, television is to force all of us dolts to cough up a little extra tax money and let the truly enlightened (i.e. the creators of the world-famous and universally-loved USPO, IRS, INS, ...) and let them decide what we should watch. What a fantastic idea. If only it had been tried before! (cough, cough Communism cough).

    And yes, Junkyard Wars is a great show.
    --
    ...you get to keep your drugs and have all the abortions you want!

  • A Slashdot team would be brilliant. We would have to use the moderation system to select team members. That way we could avoid having a team that would keep saying 'first post!' every time the camera crew came around.
    A team of three should probably include an 'informative' an 'interesting' and a 'funny' for good measure.

    These are breasts; this is source code.
  • Did anyone else notice that the host of Junkyard wars is the guy who played Kryten on Red Dwarf? I liked the ep where they built the sail powered carts, and the one team ended up pushing it with their feet.
  • They get rid of the new goofy co-host... If in the heat of Junkyard Wars battle/construction some pinhead is asking me asanine questions/jokes regarding my team's masterpiece, he'll get a sawz-all to the head (failing that a nutpunch (tm))

    E.
    www.randomdrivel.com [randomdrivel.com] -- All that is NOT fit to link to

  • I can see it now, someone builds a computer with a full AI to control their machine out of old car parts.

    Ah, yes. A Beowulf cluster of fuel injection ECMs.

  • Are you fscking insane?

    The idea may have come from the BBS, but it is currently being run on a FOR PROFIT CABLE CHANNEL. The thing is now an American show (with american contestants), albeit they are keeping the orignal co-host (the shows inventor, IIRC).

    This should be enough to say thwap you, but I'll rant just in case. You're definition of government fits the definition of charity/parton nicely. The government doesn't have to take taxes and fund public broadcasting. People who like this kind of thing can give to charities/non-profits to do this kind of thing. It might not provide the number of programmes (homage to the commonweatlh types) that you like, but biteme, you didn't pay for them. If you want more stuff you like, pony up, don't ask the government to steal from others just to promote stuff you like.

    -Red

    ps, It's noon, I'm still hammered from last night, and I have to go code. Be afraid.
  • ...McCarthy....

    A bad idea is a bad idea.

    Meanwhile, the post you're responding to mentioned the BBC, and your calling the UK "commies."

    No more than citing North Korea's single private industry has me calling North Koreans Capitolists.

    Here in Canada, we have the CBC, which is costing me 6 pennies a day (that's 4 American pennies). I think it's money very well spent...

    I probably wouldn't. How are your prisons?

    I can clearly listen to Radio Canada International on shortwave pretty much anywhere in the world (BBC radio does this too). We can watch and listen to Enlish and French programming anywhere in Canada.

    A feat that couldn't possibly have been accomplisted privately.

    At this point certain people are thinking that the government is using this to brainwash us and keep us complacent.

    Not I. Would it even be an issue if...never mind.

    You'll see more criticism of the government on CBC than on any other channel.

    Public funds cause government critisizm. Neat.

    Then there's the other government funded content like the NFB, and the tax credits for Canadian shows. For a recent American-known example of a show that was helped by this: The Tom Green Show.

    The US has a commercial version of this show, "Home Improvement". It's often cited as a sign of the collapse of our Capitolist system.

    What I'm really liking lately is "Made in Canada." "Here's the vice president of communications, and the vice president of...," bunch of different VPs are introduced, "...and the vice president of vice presidential affairs." I laughed my ass off.

    Hmm. Good gag.
    --
    ...you get to keep your drugs and have all the abortions you want!

  • This is not an argument!

    Is too!

    Is not!

    Is too!

  • I think that the current format of Junkyard wars probably isn't the best for /.ers to participate in. What we really need is a scrapyard full of broken computer bits and we have a certain amount of time to see who can do the coolest thing with it. I get kinda scared when CS guys do anything with electricity. I wouldn't want to even be close when a bunch of hackers fired up the welding torch!


  • Nationalized TV? (Score:1, Offtopic)

    How the hell is the Russian National Anthem offtopic when we're talking about socialist government policies?

    Read the thread; this springs from some uninformed commie suggesting that Junkyard Wars (or, Scrapheap Challenge in the UK) is a TV show produced by a not-for-profit TV system.

    Imbeciles. Besides, I *still* have more karma than you, notice that I post at +2.


  • Don't you mean his one tie? I don't know why, but for some reason it really annoys me that the hosts of the show never wear anything different from episode to episode..

    I'm sure the costume department had several identical ties, just in case he somehow gets it caught in a naked fanbelt and survives.

  • I was watching Junk-yard-wars the other day (the one were they built the rocket). THey pulled two brand-new rocket engines OUT OF THE BACK OF A TRUCK!!!! what kind of junk-yard is this?

    It's a purpose built set. Also the contestants are probably issued with motor fuel, oil, hydrolic fluid, etc. But someone drew the line at issuing them with the chemicals to make explosives.
  • Now, if I had been in charge of the show, I would have expected them to make the engines, too... A little bit of powerdered aluminium would not have been hard to dig up...

    But bags of fertilizer would have been as obvious plants as pre built rocket motors. As well as adding issues relating to the safety of manufacturing the fuel.
  • She's not that hot, in my opinion.

    Well, you have to think about it in context. In the U.S., she might not draw a second glance, but for a Brit, she's pretty hot.

    It might be that I'm fascinated by her shiny clothing though...


    --
  • by WeeMadArthur ( 96586 ) on Saturday January 27, 2001 @05:33AM (#477699)
    The old shows were great with the guy from Red Dwarf and old those silly British people. I've watched a couple episodes of the new season and its all a bunch of rednecks and the new host sucks. The British version is MUCH better. Brits are funnier in general. They have all these wierd little words and phrases that we don't say in English that make it fun.

    Even the episodes with the American team were ok because they were reasonably funny as well. They were rednecks like this season. In one of the first episodes (drag racer or something) I saw TWO mullets.

    And the old host was hilarious. He'd look at a teams work, crack a joke and laugh hysterically. It was great.

    Oh well. so i don't make any sense.

    Bloody Rednecks.

    ANdrew
  • What a fantastic idea. If only it had been tried before! (cough, cough Communism cough).


    McCarthy really warped the minds of American people. Once someone says "commie!" everyone wants to run someone out of town.

    Meanwhile, the post you're responding to mentioned the BBC, and your calling the UK "commies."

    Here in Canada, we have the CBC, which is costing me 6 pennies a day (that's 4 American pennies). I think it's money very well spent. I can clearly listen to Radio Canada International on shortwave pretty much anywhere in the world (BBC radio does this too). We can watch and listen to Enlish and French programming anywhere in Canada.

    At this point certain people are thinking that the government is using this to brainwash us and keep us complacent. You'll see more criticism of the government on CBC than on any other channel.

    Then there's the other government funded content like the NFB, and the tax credits for Canadian shows. For a recent American-known example of a show that was helped by this: The Tom Green Show.

    What I'm really liking lately is "Made in Canada."

    "Here's the vice president of communications, and the vice president of...," bunch of different VPs are introduced, "...and the vice president of vice presidential affairs." I laughed my ass off.

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