The Competition

Anything that human beings do for fun, they'll find a way to turn into a competition. Do you enjoy Irish dancing, or whitewater kayaking, or juggling? You've probably only scratched the surface of the competitive leagues, Olympic events, and fierce rivalries between competing philosophies and disciplines. 

Even something as task-oriented as Firefighting, my profession, can be reduced to a series of timed events. This video shows almost mind-boggling feats of agility that bear only a passing resemblance to the actual physical work of the job.

I was thinking about this as I looked at the website for the 2015 World Police and Fire Games, which will be centered a stone's throw from my house. I was poring over the lengthy lists of sporting events, and pondering whether I could be competition-ready within six months. I'm in pretty good shape - my job demands it - but when it comes to serious athleticism, I'm like a normal guy who read an encyclopedia in lieu of being smart. There's something very enticing about the idea of taking part in an Olympic-styled event with colleagues from around the world. It's almost enough to justify the inevitable ass-kicking I would suffer at the hands of genuinely gifted and dedicated athletes. 


Continuing my recent fascination/obsession with different forms of temporal distortion, I dug up this video, which was the first one I saw that used slit-scan photography to create temporal displacement. Many people have employed this technique in interesting amusing ways, but this one exceeds all for general creepy weirdness. (I apologize if this drops in an advertisement. It's worth it.)

I know, her attire makes it just that much more creepy, but having viewed a few videos that use this technique, I'll attest that the effect is much more striking when we see people's actual limbs. 

If you wonder what you're looking at, the technique is creating a time difference between the top of the frame and the bottom. Each line of video, from the bottom up, lags slightly behind the one below it. This creates a time difference of several seconds recorded within each frame.