Friday, October 14, 2011

YouTube Scavenger Hunt, Volume II: Slow Motion

As the great Dave Chappelle once said, just about everyone and everything looks cooler in slow motion. Some day, I hope to do the slow motion nonchalant walk away from a giant explosion or dial things down to bullet time or something. But until that time, I give you 10 random actions or things I thought to check YouTube for to see if there's slow motion footage of them.

10. Chopping wood

A few years ago, my parents moved to a house that once again had a fireplace, and they added a wood-burning stove to boot. So now every year they get a pile of firewood dumped in the driveway, and my dad tends to correspond it to my summer visit so I can help split and stack the winter fuel. I tend to alternate between cleaving the piece like a big burly man and having the axe bounce off it with barely a dent left like a nancy boy. Whoever filmed this split the difference (HA) by getting a nice cut on a rather clumsy swing (even though another wood split video shows them neatly slicing through two pieces of firewood). Video is from LucidMovement, a slow motion specialist, in June of 2007.

Views: 7,653
Comments: 8

9. Whip

The top result, with nearly half a million views, is a Discovery Channel clip from a show called Time Warp (apparently about how cool things look in slow motion) where a couple of guys bullshit about whips without showing any slow motion at all. The end of a whip breaks the sound barrier when it creates the crack, and although this guy fooling around in his backyard doesn't give a nice close-up view of that it's still pretty neat. Shared by ksteryou, a bullwhip enthusiast and no doubt adventurous archaeologist, in December of 2008.

Views: 12,787
Comments: 33

8. Kiss

I remember the sitcoms and other shows of my youth as always portraying a really slow leadup to a kiss, both in the interaction between characters and the final magnetic pull between their lips. In retrospect, it was kind of like watching the docking scene in 2001, and offered ample opportunity for the characters to break off and pretend like it never happened (TV Tropes has a whole category for that).

Then I grew up and found out that kissing is a much speedier affair, except in the lazier makeouts. TV shows seem to have reflected the reality more in recent years, which might be why most of the results for a slow motion kiss are just scenes from shows slowed down a bit. Here's one from House, posted by superfan JustHuddy.

Views: 77,816
Comments: 81

7. Water balloon

Odds are you've already encountered a video or photo of a water balloon exploding, and that awesome moment when the skin has burst but the water remains in the globular shape of the balloon for awhile before dissolving into droplets or splattering about someone's face. This video's view count is higher than the population of several small countries, after all. In case you haven't seen anything like it, though...there it is. Uploaded by DiscoveryNetworks, the Discovery Channel page of YouTube, in January of 2009.

Views: 24,446,597
Comments: 32,729

6. Bottle breaking

Oh it's such a waste of a good beer...Put on the site by HumorKick, a website of humorous videos and photos and articles, way back in November of 2006.

Views: 3,171
Comments: 5

5. Card shuffling

I'm forgoing the main result, a slowed-down scene from a Western, in favor of this neat little parlor shuffle. HQMedia, or High Quality Stock Footage, brought this to us on July 29 of this year.

Views: 1 (just me??)
Comments: 0

4. Wrecking ball

An already beat-up old car gets punched in the top. It is indeed a pretty thing to see. This was uploaded by monkeycu in November of 2008.

Views: 7,445
Comments: 5

3. Guitar strings

Long, long ago in ninth grade, a couple of friends of mine used a slow-mo camera for a science class presentation and the outcome looked a bit like this grainy, close-up video of a guitar string getting plucked. And yes, the presentation was still a lot better than anything the rest of us came up with. Also, this was brought to us by twopamels of Spain, whose uploads are a mix of slow motion and music.

Views: 12,798
Comments: 3

2. Match strike

I wonder if the number of pyromaniacs skyrocketed after the development of cameras with high frames-per-second rates. This thing of beauty, uploaded in July of 2008, comes from 78James, an Englishman who seems to specialize in slow motion videos.

Views: 54,847
Comments: 41

1. Cannon firing

If you're reading this before you see the video, I'll save you some time: you can stop after five seconds unless you want to see 51 seconds of smoke wafting about. This was uploaded on July 5 of this year by MrPatriotOne, who had another video of his cannon, a biscuits and gravy tutorial, and something on a Second Amendment March because apparently the government wanted to take his cannons away.

Views: 248
Comments: 0