Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Red Paintballs

Guess what? It's time to debunk CSI again.

(audible groaning from readers)

No, it's really not that bad this time. Just that, once again, TV producers thought it would be really "edgy" to have someone get shot with red paintballs. In last night's CSI: MIAMI new ep, the side-story was that some transient old guy (read: bum) died of a heart-attack after some kids shot him with a paintball gun.

Only two problems here:

1). The dead guy they found initially looked like he was covered in red blood, only it turned out to be red paint after they got him to the lab. There isn't a CSI or detective on the planet who would have made this blunder. If the show's writers/producers had actually purchased just *one* paintball, broke it on some fabric, and waited around for about 10 minutes, they would have found that paintball paint soaks into the fabric after a short time, and rapidly loses its color. Also, there's plastic flecks everywhere from the shell of the ball breaking. No plastic flecks were found on the dead guy, which would have been a dead giveaway that it was a paintball. Also, paintball paint is engineered to be bio-degradeable, it's pretty much made out of a vegetable oil with a non-color-fast dye in it. It's unmistakeable once you've seen it.

2). There are NO red paintballs made in the 68 caliber size (the kids used a 68 cal paintgun. Some manufacturers make 6mm paintballs for airsoft guns, and 40mm paintballs for blowguns, but it was a 68 cal paintgun used in the ep). There are "red" paintballs sold by the one company in that Froogle link, but I'd bet real money that they have pink paint inside, like these. Red paintballs don't exist for the very reason that this episode was written around: So that people don't have heart attacks if some asshole kids come out and shoot them in the middle of the night.

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