Star Wipes

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  • North Americans have fun with hot water, cold air

    01/7/2014 10:01 AM

    Since the deep freeze hit in December, North Americans from coast to coast to coast to coast are heading outdoors in the name of science.

    Well, it's more than that - the cool factor of the hot water vs. cold air experiment is really high.

    If you're unfamiliar with this concept, it's really simple. When the temperature drops to below 30 degrees Celsius (the colder the better) boil some water, put it in a cup, go outside, and toss the water out of the cup and into the air as vigorously as possible.

    The result will look like a plume of smoke as most of the water instantly turns into ice crystals. The science part is pretty simple, but experiment can be enjoyed over and over and over again using different methods.

    After watching a video on YouTube in 2011, Free Press intern Kristel Mason and I tried this experiment with University of Manitoba physics professor Kumar Sharma with pretty solid results.

    wfpvideo:756705234001:wfpvideo

    And since the "Polar Vortex" struck North America this winter, the experiment has taken on a life of its own.

    A video posted last Thursday by YouTube user chrisgsauce in South Porcupine, Ontario, in which he shoots boiling water from a water pistol has garnered a staggering 3,469,247 views and counting.

    A quick search on YouTube reveals many more great examples.

    And of course, I wouldn't be a video producer and lover of amateur science if I didn't get in on the action. So click on the video at the top to see our Winnipeg winter watergun fight video.

    I bet there's 100 other unique ways to do this experiment, so here's your call to action. Upload your cool video to YouTube and send me the link. I'll feature all the submissions in a future blog post.

    Of course, please be very careful and wear protective gear. You are dealing with hot water after all.

    Science rules.

     

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  • Cranking iPhone video up a notch

    02/24/2012 3:28 PM

    In my neverending quest to make the iPhone a legitimate tool in our newsgathering arsenal, I may have found a device that finally resolves all audio concerns.

    For anyone wh uses the iPhone for video, you'll know that the audio quality leaves something to be desired. For professional video newsgathering, you've got nothing without good audi

    Enter the Fostex AR-4i,  a lightweight battery powered device with all the bells and whistles to take audio to the next level.

    After picking up the unit several months ago, I finally got an opportunity to test it out...and WOW.

    It's got three input options with volume controller and a headphone jack with volume control.

    I took it into the Jets dressing room recently and got in on some player scrums.

    Using my wireless handheld microphone for the Andrew Ladd scrum, I was able to capture broadcast quality sound through the third input and secondary (backup) audio off one of the top mics.

     

    On the Blake Wheeler scrum, I used both of the top mics (which came with the unit) and ditched the wireless. I had to boost the levels a bit which led to more background noise, but it was still more than usable.

     

    The grand finale was the Claude Noel interview. He stands behind a podium and all broadcast media plug into a sound board which, up until now, was impossible with an iPhone. Not today.

     

    The Fostex comes with a separate app which allows you to set inputs to mono or stereo and a few other options. Good times.

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  • Now THAT is a handshake

    01/24/2012 3:09 PM

    We all know sports stars are famous for their game rituals and the Winnipeg Jets are no different. We got a peek at the not-so-secret secret handshake some of the players participate in before every game.

    But if you thought some of the players' handshakes were interesting, check out the ridiculously elaborate moves of the Jets' training staff as captured by photographer Mike Deal.

    Oh, and it's a chin bump, not a kiss. I watched it in slow motion.

    video player to use on WFP

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  • Top Videos 2011 - From Lake Manitoba to Lady Maria

    01/2/2012 12:12 PM

    Five big stories dominated our video hits this year: The new airport terminal, Maria Aragon, the Jets return, the spring flood and the new Bombers stadium.

    These videos allowed viewers to go inside the stories, literally in cases like the tour of the airport terminal or the new football stadium under construction. They allowed us to put a face, and more importantly a voice to Maria Aragon. We covered the spring flood in ways we never have before, through live video in the field or by attaching a GoPro video camera to the bottom of a plane for a never-before-seen perspective.

    Here's a list of our top viewed videos of 2011 and watch them all in the video player below.

    1. New airport ready for takeoff - October 25
    2. Aerial tour: Red River Valley flood zone - April 21
    3. Maria Aragon talks to Lady Gaga - February 18
    4. Maria Aragon performs "Just The Way You Are" at Hot 103 - February 17
    5. Mark Chipman on new Jets logo - July 22
    6. Welcome to Winnipeg: First passengers react to new airport terminal - October 30
    7. Maria Aragon appears on Ellen - February 22
    8. Flood fight - April 8
    9. Bomber stadium taking shape: An inside look - August 12
    10. MTS Centre crowd erupts after 'Jets' name announced - June 24
     

     

     

    I've shortlisted my personal favourite videos from 2011, in no particular order.

    Tour of destruction at Twin Lakes Beach - I've spent a lot of time at Twin Lakes Beach over the years and to see first hand the massive amount of damage caused by high water levels on Lake Manitoba was an incredible sight.
    Hot water vs. cold air - A fantastic original video produced by Creative Communications intern Kristel Mason. She put into practice the theory of tossing cold water into bitterly cold air and having it instantly turn to mist.
    Aerial tour of Red River Valley flood zone and Hey Dave Babych, can you tie my skates? - I've lumped them together for no other reason than they both make fantastic use of my beloved GoPro cam.

    These four videos can be seen below:

     

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About Tyler Walsh

After a short but successful stint on CKND-TV's The Great Spelling Bee in 1993, Tyler Walsh knew the bright lights of television were in his future. That was before the World Wide Web came along. He lived the dream for five years, working as a news producer at Global Television in Winnipeg. Never one to back away from a challenge, Tyler left the TV business behind and joined the Winnipeg Free Press in 2008 as the company's first Multimedia Editor. He's worked with the online team and photo department to shape and grow the video product at winnipegfreepress.com, which now includes live streaming video, documentary features and live and interactive events from Canada's first News Café, which is where you'll find Tyler and other members of the online team. Feel free to drop by 237 McDermot Avenue and engage Tyler in conversation about one of three topics: Video editing, curling or Star Trek.

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