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10 reasons why super slow motion is awesome

November 9, 2009 Leave a comment

What is one thing you’ve ALWAYS wanted to see in slow motion? Don’t worry, I know. A lightning bolt.

Awesome! It’s really like a lightning web before it becomes a bolt.

The best stop motion animation videos part I

In the last blog we looked at 10 human feats of speed ranging from eating fast to stacking fast. A lot of times it is difficult to appreciate the speed at which those tasks are performed because the human eye cannot process that much information that quickly. That is why we have recruited the help of technology to give us yet another super power. The ability to slow down time.

10 strangely fast humans

Well, not exactly. But we do have the power to slow down film to a rate where we can see unusually fast things in extreme slow motion. And the results are nothing short of awesome.

The history lesson:

The effect of slow motion, or slowmo, was invented by Austrian physicist August Musger. The technique works by filming something at a frame rate much faster than it will be played back, thereby giving the effect of watching time pass by slowly. For example, if a camera films at 48 frames per second (FPS), and the film is played back at the standard 24 FPS, then the effect would be to see the action at half speed.

The use of slowmo was popularized in film making by Japanese director Akira Kusosawa (Seven Samurai), and later saw use in American film making with directors like Sam Peckinpah (Wild Bunch). The concept of slowmo may have predated film making, first being used in Japanese Noh theater.

Since the Japanese popularized the use of slowmo, we see much use of it in popular media and television.

Here the modern samurai Isao Machii cuts a flying bb with a katana. He doesn’t have to dodge bullets, he cuts them in half!

Samurai cuts flying bb with katana

Here is another clip of a katana vs. a bullet. Proof of the incredible strength of Japanese sword making.

I think the best part of the video is the dubbing over the Japanese old man. “I told you! My swords rule!” =)

Katana vs.  bullet

Did you think the last clip wasn’t cool enough? Then how about the same sword, going up against a 50 caliber machine gun?

Katana vs. .50 caliber Machine gun

The incredible sword cuts through 6 .50 bullets before finally giving in. If I ever get a sword for a present, I want a Japanese katana.

The present

Slowmo became even more popular with the invention of High Speed Cameras which could film at thousands of FPS. Things previously not visible to the human eye are now rendered in extreme clarity. For example, we can now watch bullets slice through random objects. Destruction is always best in slow motion.

Bullets in slow motion

When you mom told  you to not play with your food, she never said anything about not shooting it!

Previously used only for scientific research in large industries, High Speed Cameras became more commercially successful as costs for equipment and film became more affordable. Now such cameras are used in the field of media in shows like MythBusters. In the British show called Brainiac: Science Abuse, a popular segment is featured called “Things, but very slowly”.

A face slap very slowly

They sure picked a great subject to be slapped, the ripples through his face are priceless!

A water balloon popped very slowly

What good is a water balloon that doesn’t hit someone? Here we watch a water balloon hitting a face, but very slowly.

Water balloon to the face

Haha, I love how he is always the victim in these clips. His partner seems to have a fun job.

Ever wonder how popcorn works?

Popcorn, but very slowly

His narration makes popcorn sound so, sexy. Oh those spongy endosperms in that hot oil… mmmm….

As more people became interested in slow motion captures, film makers became more creative in what they decided to film. This one is as random as it could get.

A crossbow bolt through a fish tank

Next time you have a crossbow and an empty fish tank, you’ll know what to do.

A karate chop through a brick

This clip makes it even more impressive that he can break the block with his mushy deformed hand.

The future

High speed cameras are getting ever faster. Using new technology that no longer employ a shutter and film, some cameras can film up to 25 million FPS. How anyone can even stand to watch film that slow is beyond me. That’ll really be like watching grass grow.

Hoped  you learned something from this post and got some entertainment out of it. Please comment below!

10 human feats of speed that could make YOU famous, maybe…

November 8, 2009 Leave a comment

Speed has always been a key ingredient of human success. And no, we’re not talking about the narcotic substance.

It was the fast hunters who made the kills and triumphantly returned to feed the villagers. It was the fast armies that out manuevered their enemies and achieved glory on the battlefields. And it is the fast athletes that get the big contracts and endorsement deals.

10 awesome super slow motion videos

In a society where time equals money, speed is a valuable trait to have. If you can run fast like Usain Bolt or swim fast like Michael Phelps, your speed can make you a star and bring in the big bucks. Unfortunately for most of us, that only works if you are the fastest. Being 2nd best often doesn’t matter much at all. For example, do you remember who finished 2nd behind Usain Bolt in the 100 meter dash?

If you didn’t know, it was Richard Thompson. Sound familiar?

If Usain Bolt and Michael Phelps’s success resulted from them being the fastest, does being the fastest in other things also bring success? That is the question we are looking to answer with the help of these 10 fastest humans.

10 weirdest human oddities

Fastest drinker

We all know someone who chugged beers really fast in college. They were pretty successful when it came to partying, but can drinking fast bring  you success in other ways? Watch this Japanese dude drink, wait, inhale this bottle of liquid.

The best part about it is the faces of the witnesses. They all look like they’ve just seen a ghost!

From drinking we go onto cooking and food.

Fastest pizza chef and fastest pizza eater

What a combo these two make! They could have a traveling show together.

So the pizza chef has been at the same Domino’s for 18 years? I guess cooking fast didn’t help his success much. And eating fast just looks disgusting after a while. Scratching those two off our list.

Fastest clapper

Hmm… maybe eating fast might not get you very far, but how about clapping? This guy actually holds the Guinness World Record for clapping! That’s gotta mean something.

Try using his technique and not end up looking like an idiot, it’s not possible.

Fastest rapper

There may not be any successful clappers, but there definitely are successful rappers. And this guy is the fastest of them all. That’s gotta guarantee success right?

It turns out you can’t really be a successful rapper if no one knows what you’re rapping about.

Okay, now moving into the world of business. Being fast in business has always led to success. Domino’s Pizza pioneered the fast pizza delivery and went from near bankruptcy to overnight success. Let’s see if the same can be said of being speedy in the office.

Fastest secretary

Many things a secretary does is repetitive and almost robotic. What about a secretary that can do those things even faster than a robot?

Maybe stamping fast isn’t that important for business success, but crunching numbers must be! Make sure you watch the whole clip.

Stupid Excel! She could have been a contender! She could have been somebody…

Okay, forget the office, let’s go out west and find some ACTION!

Fastest gun in the west

Bob Munden not only holds multiple world records, he’s also an arrogant SOB! Here he shows us his quick draw move and how he hits 2 targets with one shot. Or is it two shots… we don’t know, it’s too fast.

He seems like the most successful of the bunch so far, but let’s keep looking.

Child prodigies are always pretty successful. We had Bobby Fisher who became the youngest chess grandmaster, and Steven Purugganan seems to be on the same track, or should we say stack.

Fastest Stacker

The future of stacking is limitless! Steven did make a Mcdonald’s commercial, making him the best success so far.

One thing we know is the geeks are successful. Just look at Bill Gates with those big glasses and nerdy grin. They labor hard into the night in front of their computers making black magic happen on our screens. So let’s look at some other geeks, really fast geeks.

Fastest Rubik’s cube solver

Can you believe the number of people attending this event? It’s almost as crazy as Domino day!

This last one is just plain ridiculous.

Fastest undresser

We wish we knew what he talks about in his intro. We are still wondering how he came upon this unique and strange skill.

Bonus Clips:

Fastest Snooker maximum break

This clip doesn’t count since Ronnie O’Sullivan is already a very successful snooker player. But what he does here is amazing.

Maximum break means getting the maximum number of points in a game of snooker. It is extremely rare, and even rarer at this speed.

Fastest Chugger

This was an unofficial video but he sure looks like the fastest we’ve ever seen.

Well there you have it folks, it seems that just being the fastest at something does not make you successful. It seems that it is also important to be the fastest at something many other people care about. But who knows, we could be wrong. Keep doing what you are doing and get ever faster doing it, at least you might get mentioned here.

The best 10 Sport Science lessons (part 2: Football)

November 5, 2009 Leave a comment

In part 1 of our feature on Sport Science, we looked through the eyes of science and biomechanics at ball striking sports such as baseball, softball, and golf. Today, in the second part of the feature, we will look at a sport where the target being struck, is the athlete himself.

American Football is often considered the most demanding sport there is, both physically and mentally. Football players are incredibly strong and athletic, performing feats most of us could only dream of. At the same time they play under immense pressure, where the outcome of each play could be the difference between victory and defeat.

Every Sunday, millions of viewers gather in front of their TVs to watch these amazing athletes compete. And often we find ourselves wondering, do we have what it takes to be a professional football player? Lucky for us, Sport Science is here to answer just that question. And in order to do so, they have recruited stars like Ben Roethlisberger, Drew Brees, Chad Johnson, Ray Lewis, and Jerry Rice, the best of the best of the NFL.

We will look at each position on the football field and find out just what it takes to become a premier football player, using science and the study of bio-mechanics.

The Offensive Lineman

Offensive linemen are the biggest men on the football field. They are in charge of protecting the Quarterback, and also creating running lanes for the Running backs. However, very little focus is paid to what these men actually have to deal with. This episode takes us into the line of scrimmage to see what the offensive linemen have to deal with on every play of the game. You think you can handle Kris Jenkins? Just watch.

It is amazing to see the amount of technique that it requires to be an effective lineman. Not only are these guys big and strong, they also have solid fundamentals which help them use their strength to its maximum potential.

The Linebacker

These guys are the secondary line of defense. They are fast, aggressive, and are a nightmare to Quarterbacks in a blitz or Running backs in the open field. In this episode we look at one of the best Linebackers in the game, Ray Lewis, and see just how much power he can hit with.

There we have it, Ray Lewis hit harder than a battering ram. Now imagine him running at you full speed on a football field…

The Running back

This is the blue collar grunt work position on the football field. It requires extreme toughness to carry the football and run straight into the teeth of the defense to gain those precious yards. The fear of any running back is the fumble. Therefore running backs are required to have great strength in order to hold onto the ball. But just how strong is their grip? Rudi Johnson steps up to the challenge, and the results are shocking.

Running backs do not only use their strength, but also great technique to make sure the ball is secure. Using the four point harness and keeping the ball tight will go a long way to reduce the number of fumbles of any aspiring running back.

The Wide receiver

The wide receiver is one of the more glamorous positions on a football team. They are the ones running full speed down field, and making spectacular catches for touchdowns. Our previous list looks at the best 10 catches in football, and will give you an idea just how athletic these guys really are. In this episode of Sport Science, two of the best wide receivers to have ever played the game, Chad Johnson and Jerry Rice, steps into the laboratory to demonstrate their athletic abilities.

Great lessons for wide receivers out there. Increase your range to become a bigger target, and use your fingertips to pull in those tough catches.

The Quarterback

He is the leader, the field general, and sometimes the heart and soul of a football team. Great Quarterbacks can lead a team to greatness, and poor quarterbacks can doom their team to mediocrity. A quarterback has the most responsibility of anyone on the field. They have to call the plays, read the defense, make adjustments, and when that’s all done, they have to throw the ball accurately with defensive lineman and linebackers charging him at full sprint. No wonder even the best quarterbacks only complete 60% of his passes.

Drew Brees is one of the best passing QBs in history. He is the 2nd QB ever to throw for 5000 yards in a single season, and is the 2008 offensive player of the year. If anyone can hit a bulls eye, he can. Drew attempts to hit a bulls eye from 20 yards. And the results are astonishing.

Drew’s accuracy is unbelievable. Proving that professional football players are truly amazing athletes, and their multi-million dollar contacts are probably worth the work they have put into the game.

Bonus clip:

We saw a great defensive lineman, and we saw a great quarterback. But what if we put them against each other? Ben Roethlisberger and Luis Castillo go head to head to tell us the answers.

As Al Pacino says in his pregame speech, it really is a game of inches.

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