Browse content similar to Episode 13. Check below for episodes and series from the same categories and more!
You're all right. You're all right. Back it in. Back it in.
Nicely parked. Wow, my first lab rat in space. Come out, say hello!
Oh, yeah, I forgot to fit a door.
That's awkward. Anyway, I'm Richard Hammond, this is Blast Lab.
In just a few moments, we shall meet two teams of budding young
scientists who will be competing in top-level scientific experiments
for great prizes. Let's have a look at what's in store.
Now, what, with this being a top-secret underground lab
it usually has 24-hour protection from a crack team of SAS guards.
But one of them was climbing a tree and he got stuck and all the others
have gone round to his mum to get her to ring the Fire Brigade.
But, don't worry, because I've arranged back-up.
She is a one-woman fighting machine.
She's a tough old boot and she knits her own socks. She is my Ninja Nan.
Ninja Nan, thanks for standing in.
Thank you. She looks fragile, but she is, in fact, a trained Ninja.
See? Nan, if you'd like to take your station in security.
Nan... NAN! Sorry.
If you'd like to get settled in there, to security. Thank you.
Away she goes. Look at her go.
Look at that, look at that.
Nan, are you there yet?
She's here. What's she looking for?
Oh, her knitting. Yeah,
it looks like she's settling down to do her knitting,
but those knitting needles have been balanced for throwing at bad guys.
Right, let's meet the bunch of people trying
to get into my lab today. Hello.
-Now, you all claim to be the Yellow Team, yeah?
I can't just let anybody into my Blast Lab, we've got to make
absolutely sure before we let you through security.
So, for security purposes, identify yourselves by name, please. You are?
-Annabel, Olivia, Amelia.
Yeah, that checks out with the file. Now, hidden talent.
It says here, Amelia,
you want to be a stand-up comedian and you're going to tell a joke?
-Tell us your joke.
-Have you seen the constipation movie?
The constipation movie? No.
That's because it hasn't come out yet. It hasn't been released.
I get it, it's terrible, but I get it. That's a joke.
OK, by definition that's it, you are the Yellow Team.
That's confirmed it, come through security, into the Blast Lab.
I'm sorry, I can't be too careful, because if I let just anybody in
you could be after the secrets in this lab.
-Where are you from?
-And we are the TNT Trio.
-Lovely. You're all sisters, aren't you?
And you made up your own team name and everything.
You needn't have bothered, you're the Yellow Team and that's final.
Welcome. Lovely to have you here.
Now let's meet the bunch of guys who are claiming to be your opposition.
Let's have a look. They say they're the Red Team. There they are.
You say you're the Red Team.
-Yes, we are.
-Before we can be sure we've got to check it out.
Identify yourselves by name.
Jed, Aidan, Owen, yeah, that checks out with the file.
Hidden talent, it says here, Owen, it's you.
You've brought your banjo.
-Um, when did the banjo happen?
-What is that then?
-It's called a trumpet.
-Correct, that's what it says
on this file here. Just trying to trick you there.
You never know, with villains trying to get in here. Give us a tune.
HE PLAYS "Ba Ba Black Sheep"
Well, I suggest we don't release it as a single, but it is musical.
So, you are the Red Team,
you're cleared through security, come into the Blast Lab.
Hello, Red Team, where have you three come from?
WE'RE FROM HAMPSHIRE
AND WE ARE THE WHIZ-BANG WILLIS BOYS.
CLEVER NAME, BUT YOU'RE NOT, YOU'RE THE RED TEAM.
-You're brothers, aren't you?
-OK, three brothers, three sisters.
I'm expecting some pretty intense competition in the Blast Lab today.
We're nearly at round one.
So Red Team, Yellow Team, go and get settled in comfortable and ready.
For this, we're going to need the help of a special friend.
He does nought to 60 in five minutes
and the Times crossword in three. It is, of course, Oliver.
I've fitted Oliver with the very latest hi-tech
state-of-the-art fact-nav system.
But it was very fiddly and there were so many wires
that eventually I couldn't be bothered with all of them.
As a result, quite a lot of the facts aren't right.
So, our two teams are going to decide.
I give them each a science fact
and they tell me if it is true or false.
If it is true, Oliver will do this...
And if it's false, Oliver will do this...
So, it's simple enough, teams.
Three sisters, three brothers and your first chance
to earn a point in Blast Lab, OK?
Science fact number one for the Red Team first of all.
Astronauts get taller in space.
Have a chat. Is it true or false, audience, what do we think?
You think it's true. OK, the Red Team think it's true.
Oliver, is it true or false?
Yes, it is true. That's a point for the Red Team.
On Earth gravity pushes your spine and compresses it,
but when astronauts are
in space there is no gravity so it stretches out, like a giant spring.
It can increase your height by up to 5cm. I'm thinking of going!
Right, Yellows. More electrical impulses are generated in one day
by a single human brain than by all the telephones in the world?
Is that true or false? Have a chat.
Audience, what do we think? Is that true or false?
-We think it's true.
-The Yellows think it's true.
It is true, so that's
a point to the Yellows as well, straightaway.
Well, done, that's another point.
Electrical impulses are there to help your brain process information.
They travel at up to 100m per second, which is really fast.
Right, the third one is a question, not a fact. I need you to give me
an answer and write it down on the boards in front of you.
What percentage of the world's water is drinkable?
Audience, any ideas?
I shall come and talk to you using this.
You see, they combined the boot with wheels to make
roller skates, I've combined the boot with a microphone to make...
well, this. What do we think?
Any ideas what percentage of the world's water is drinkable?
-50 or 40%?
-50 or 40%. OK.
-60%. Right, teams, have you both come up with your answers?
-Turn your boards around, let's have a look.
5% from the Reds, 5% from the...
That's quite a coincidence. You've both gone for the same answer.
Well, the real answer is 1% of the world's water is drinkable.
It's a point to both teams because you're both closest.
It's a draw with two points each.
That's all to come. But right now it is mini science.
Our teams are going to use their science knowhow
and household objects to conduct incredible scientific experiments.
To help with this round, I made a time-travel machine
to bring my science teacher here to Blast Lab, from school.
But there were problems.
Probably because time travel is still in its infancy.
And so is she now, I'm talking, of course, about Mini Miss.
-Not amused, Richard.
-No, you were quite cross.
Sorry. What are we doing today then?
Today we're looking at water tension.
Miss, I don't get that. What's water got to be so tense about?
It's a joke, Miss and...
I'm sorry. Carry on. What are we doing?
Water is actually quite sticky
and the team today are going to be assessing just how sticky it is.
The teams will be given containers
holding water and a selection of lids,
all with different fabrics in them, with different-sized holes in them.
The teams then have to choose a lid and put it on their container
full of water. They then have to turn
their container upside down and hold it over their team mate's head.
The winning team
is the one that gets their team-mate to stay driest in the game.
Fine. One thing I'd like to discuss.
There had to be two, I'm assuming, volunteers to be
the ones to sit in the pool and have
the huge flask of water held over their heads?
Aiden, Amelia, you two, I'm presuming,
have volunteered for this duty. Can I just ask the question?
-Are you both the youngest of your brothers and sisters?
We've got the two youngest brothers and sisters.
Teams, was this an entirely unanimous decision, or did you
-We volunteered them.
It was kind of a dilemma. We want to see him wet, but we want the prizes.
-Are they always like this?
Good luck, youngest brothers and sisters. Look, I'm feeling generous,
I'm going to give you some time to think about this.
There are some tactics. I want you to think about the science.
You have a bit of time to gather around the table and have
a look at the lids and think.
This game really is all about water tension.
And water tension exists because water molecules,
the tiny bits that make up water, are attracted to each other.
And you can see it for yourself if you get a glass of water
and fill it drop by drop by drop,
keep going and eventually you'll fill it so that the water stands
above the top of the glass. And that's the water tension,
that's the molecules of water clinging together, holding together
so much that you can fill it so that it bulges out over the top.
So, with the lids, when they turn these flasks full of water
upside down, water tension in the tiny
holes will be clinging together and holding all the water in above it.
But it only works with some of the lids.
It is up to our teams to decide which ones.
Right, you've had enough talk time.
Now, it is a draw right now, the scores are the same.
So, to decide which team goes first we're going to draw pens.
Four pens, one of which is a short pen. Pick a pen.
Pick a pen, Yellows.
Sorry, Yellows. Oh, I'm sorry, Olivier,
that means Reds decide to go first or second?
-OK. Have you decided which lid you're going to use?
Which one? That one. Why are you going to use that one?
It looks like it's quite an absorbent material.
We're thinking that a weenie bit will come out or none.
This is it.
If we're ready with the timer, remove the postcard now.
You see, you've not chosen well at all. OK, times up.
Cover it up. OK, that is the first go, and frankly, it was a disaster.
Yellows, decide which ones.
Can I ask why you've chosen that lid in this instance?
The thick one that they chose didn't work, so we're going
to try a slightly thinner one.
If you're ready, audience. Remove the postcard now.
Look at that! Look at that!
Cover it up, very carefully. Not a drop. Well done, Yellows.
You are ahead right now. That point is looking like being yours.
-Reds, which one are you going for?
-Why the wire mesh?
We've decided that the ones with smaller holes seem to work better.
We're all ready, audience. Remove the postcard now.
Oh, now the water tension is holding it in in those small holes.
Cover it up.
Cover it up, cover it up. You left it there longer on purpose, Jed.
Well done, that was a good go. That made up for the last go.
-Yellows, which lid are you going for?
-We're going for the black one.
-Why are you going for that one?
Because it has slightly smaller holes than the white one.
Confident? Quite dry at the moment. Lovely and dry and comfortable.
Oh, that's not my fault.
we really didn't
need the timer there, Amelia, it really just all fell out.
I think that's put the Yellows behind the Reds now,
despite Aiden being soaked.
This is your last one, Reds, what are you going for?
That white nylon one there.
If you'd like to hold it above Aiden's head and...
Oh, Lord. That just didn't. No.
You are now ahead again. You've got to choose this one.
OK, remove the postcard, we'll start the timer. Here we go.
Oh, look at that!
-Cover it, cover it up. Well done.
We are all agreed...
and Aiden will certainly agree that there is only one result there.
The Yellows take the point, which puts them in the lead.
So, the lids with the smallest holes worked best of all.
This is because with small holes there is less chance that
the surface tension will break apart enough to let the water flow out.
The thing is, if that much water in these flasks can be held in
like that with surface tension it must be quite a strong force.
I wonder - how strong is the surface tension on a pool full of water?
On a rare experiment-free afternoon at my secret
test facility, a clueless lab rat heads to the pool for a cool down.
His brain tells him water is soft and safe.
He can swim in it, drink it, and sometimes he even washes in it.
But lab rats aren't known for their brains.
That looked like it hurt.
It seems that the impact of bare skin on water from just a couple of
feet up can cause pain.
But why is this? Well, it's all down to how water behaves.
We know that water has a high surface tension
which means it creates a sort of skin on the surface of the water.
But also, as water is a liquid it can't easily be squashed.
This means that when the lab rat hits the pool the water molecules
push against his belly.
So, if a lab rat, or, indeed, any object, hits the water with
enough force it's as if it is hitting something solid.
But we need to test this theory.
First, our lab rat is fitting with
a scientifically adapted belly-flop wet suit.
Just one final modification.
Safety harness... check.
Smiley face on belly... check.
One giant crane hook... check.
He's ready to go.
We're going to suspend the lab rat above the water
then drop him into the pool.
Lab rats are useless and bred for such things,
so please don't feel sorry for them or,
heaven forbid, actually do anything they do.
It seems that water isn't as soft as it looks.
This got us thinking. What damage could water do to something dropped
from an even greater height?
Our lab rat seems to be a little worse
for wear, so we'll have to use a body double. But what can we use?
A metal barrel... a perfect likeness.
There it goes, all the way to 30m above the pool.
Three, two, one...
Hold the experiment right there! Because...
I think there's an extra point in it for this one.
The score's at 3-2 to the Yellows, you could do with
the point, Reds. Right, an extra point for the team that can tell me,
most accurately, what happens.
Have a think, have a talk.
Audience, I'm going to ask you as well. What do we think?
-Talk to the boot?
-It might smack down, stop and then just sink.
So no buckling? OK.
-Have you made your minds up, sisters and brothers?
-What's your answer then?
-I don't think it will buckle.
-You don't think it will buckle?
-We think it will buckle.
The boys say no, the girls - yes.
Let's find out and watch it.
It looks like the end of the line for that barrel.
The water really does become as hard as concrete from that height.
There we go, the barrel did buckle, that's another point to the Yellows.
4-2 is the score right now. That's water tension for you.
Never do a belly flop again. Ouch!
Right, both teams, time for you to go off and get into protective suits
for the final game. Away you go.
And while they go, can I just tell you, audience,
that should have been the end of that experiment, but we
thought we'd experiment a bit more and take it one stage further.
Ah, here's our lab rat in his pride and joy.
It might not be much to look at but it means a lot to him.
It's a shame we're going to have to commandeer the car in the name
First, let's scientifically attach our giant crane to the car.
Flip him on his roof before lifting him skywards.
Here we go then.
One car suspended 30m in the air
above one pool and a number of unsuspecting inflatable toys.
Oh, dear. I think we can safely say water won that battle.
Even though the car ended up
on the Tarmac, it's actually the water that's caused all that damage.
I'm sure the lab rat will never notice.
Just a little water damage, lab rat, nothing to worry about.
Well, it filled an afternoon for them. Right, time for us all
all to move on, because it's time for the messy, messy mess test.
Which, today is the gungy bungy,
featuring, of course, my Blast Lab catapults.
These were originally designed and built for high-speed, airborne
cat projection, but were a complete disaster. So, today we're going
to use them for firing prize pods, like these, across this tank of
unspeakably hideous gunge into the prize zone beyond.
This being Blast Lab, there is a twist.
You may see that each team
has a representative standing in this hideous gunge in the tank.
Jed, Annabel, I hope you're comfortable. word of warning.
This tape, very, very important, because I think something has moved
in and made its home in this end of the tank.
Late last night I saw bubbles. Oh, like that. Like that.
I don't know what it is, but I saw teeth.
Both of you, for your own safety, no further than that line of tape.
The idea is to get the prize pods into the prize zone.
Your jobs in there are to stop the opposing team's prize pods as
they arc gracefully across the tank and to retrieve your own team's pods
as they fall into the tank and put them in these baskets.
The wining team will be the team that gets the most prize pods
into the prize zone.
And they will get to take home each of the prizes written
on those prize pods.
The losing team will get to blow their prizes up.
Yellows are in the lead so you start first.
You have a five-second advantage.
When you hear the first siren you start.
Reds, wait until the second siren.
As soon as you hear that you start firing.
You have some time to get as many
prize pods as you can into the prize zone and that some time starts now!
The Yellows are already making
the most of their five-second head start.
There's the second siren, the Reds are off.
That's 2-0 to the Yellows.
The Reds seem to be losing their heads and their helmets.
A fumble from the Yellows there, that could cost them.
And it's followed by a terrible shot. It's all going wrong.
The Reds are in with a chance now.
It is absolute mayhem out there.
The Yellows have run out of pods to launch? And a score to the Reds.
The Yellows are back in the game. It is raining prize pods out there.
Hurry up, teams, time's running out. Or at least it might be.
It's impossible to tell with my "some time" countdown clock.
OK, the end. That's it. That was quite busy, teams.
We can safely say both teams worked pretty hard.
It's now time to find out which team has won.
The lab rats are counting out the prize pods.
So, lab rat for the Red Team, how many have we got?
Four. For the Yellows, how many have we got?
Six! That mean's the Yellows are the winners.
Let's look at what they've won. Ready, Nan?
Each of you will be taking home an MP3 player,
a Doctor Who game.
A brain-teaser jigsaw.
A fizzing dinosaur egg.
And flashing pogo stick.
All of those for the Yellow team. Each of you taking those home.
Reds, this is slightly less comfortable now,
because these are the prizes that you would've won, but you haven't.
-You'd have won a glider set each.
Oh, I know. A remote-control helicopter.
A fizzing dinosaur egg and a Doctor Who game.
Instead of which,
you're going to blow them up because it's time for Bidet Goes Back.
It's the strangest thing but the Yellow Team stand here
behind their massive haul of prizes,
looking quite happy and content. Well done for winning.
The Reds are in a different frame of mind as they prepare to blow up
their prizes. How are you feeling?
-Because there's gonna be an explosion?
Who is going to push the plunger? I know the answer.
-All of us.
-All of you together. All three brothers. It's a
touching scene, three young brothers about to explode their own prizes.
When you're exploding things, it's best to do it in the bathroom
because there is plenty of water to put out the flames.
That's where I came up with my next invention, my exploding
bidet. There it is, you see. So, are you ready?
Lift the plunger into the firing position.
Lift the plunger.
Five, four, three, two, one!
There we go. They're all gone.
Today, in the Blast Lab we've learned about water tension
and while we could have done this by reading through my 20,000 word essay
on the subject, we've done this by doing belly flops,
dropping cars in pools then splashing around in my lab.
See you next time!
Blast Lab was recorded in front of a live studio audience.
No lab rats were hurt during filming.
Probably. Well, not that much.
Subtitles by Red Bee Media Ltd