The Cinnamon Challenge!

I love traveling. I love food. I love sharing stories. That’s why I had to take the Cinnamon Challenge.

cinnamon challenge

Cinnamon Challenge Epic FAIL!

The Cinnamon Challenge

According to the Wikipedia Page, the challenge sounds quite simple. Consume a tablespoon of cinnamon in less than 60 seconds. What makes it difficult, is that the cinnamon quickly dries, making it nearly impossible to swallow. The challenge was first made popular in 2001, but spread widely in 2007. The Cinnamon Challenge can be dangerous, as one could choke on the clotted cinnamon or inhale it. Severe coughing and vomiting  can occur as a result of competing the challenge.

My Attempt

My Thoughts on the Cinnamon Challenge

What you see above is actually my third attempt at the Cinnamon Challenge. That’s right I did it three times! The first two attempts, I actually was able to down the cinnamon, but felt the spoonful I used was significantly less than the required tablespoon. Therefore, I went back and found our measuring spoons to make sure my attempt would be legit.

Upon placing the cinnamon in my mouth, I immediately discovered why this challenge is so difficult. The cinnamon clots up and becomes an immovable mass. While some websites say it burns, I never found that to be the case. It was more like being at the beach, falling, and catching a mouth full of sand. Try as hard as you may, there’s just no easy way to swallow it, so your body then wants to force it out by coughing… forcefully. Any that you did consume, usually then comes back up as well.

It’s not a real pretty site. We were originally going to shoot this video in the apartment, but with the cooler weather, I thought the rooftop would be a better location. That way, any flying cinnamon and vomit would not be in our home.

Twixtor successfully slowed the footage down to 9.36%. I almost decided to use the 120fsp setting to enable a slower playback, but I think that would have drawn out the video a bit too much. I have another slowed footage that is a derivative of the one included and I may post that one another time. Talk about a long and drawn out spew!

Since I’ve completed the Cinnamon Challenge (and failed), have you? What was your experience?

Time Travel

One of the things I’ve noticed over the yeas of traveling, is that time seems to bend for me. When I need to get somewhere, it appears to take ages, yet the same trip back feels like it takes a fraction of the time. Recently, on the race video, the chain fell off and I needed to make a spot repair. What seemed to take a good five or six minutes was only just a little over a minute when  reviewed the race footage.

So this got me thinking about how we perceive time. The video was shot with my GoPro Camera set to the 720p60 mode. Each of the time-lapse sequences represent only one minute of actual time sped up to 900% of reality and then strobed to 15fps. The process creates an effect as if one was stringing footage made with stills. I noticed when taking the footage, it seemed to be much more than one minute when filming, but in actuality just that small unit of time.

QiRanger - Twixtor - GoPro

The above picture was from the jump portion of the video. Here, I slowed the jump to a little over 9% of real-time. Twixtor was used for this process and relatively easy to incorporate into the final video project. What amazed me here was that the jump itself was less than a single second, but watching the video, I feel almost as if it should be the real speed.

Why does time warp like that?

GoPro Testing

The testing continues with the GoPro Hero2 in this vlog:

In the above video, I set out to accomplish three things –

First, I wanted to really test the new mic the Hero2 has on board. The original mic was really tinny and pretty much useless to capture speech. When watching reality shows, I could always hear when they forgot to swap out the lavalier mics and left the GoPro running. The Hero2’s system corrects much of the first generation’s problems, but still has a tinny sound. Even with that effect, I think it’s works well enough to do a quick vlog. Capturing ambient noises doesn’t seem to create the same effect. It’s really only with speech that you pick up on things.

GoPro Hero2

Second, I wanted to test my frame placement. In a few weeks, Jo and I will be shooting our next Your Neck of the Woods video and I plan on using the GoPro when walking and talking during my interviews. Since there is no LCD screen facing the subjects, I needed to master how to frame myself. By using the bubble lens reflection, I’m able to correctly guess where I sit in the frame. This is a technique I picked up when using the camera in my office for Vlogs. I also found out that I really don’t need to hold out my arm that far when vlogging like I do with the Canon. This should make things a lot easier. As you can see in the image above, if you pay attention, you know exactly where you’ll appear.

Finally, I wanted to test out some additional Twixtor settings. When making the coffee video, everything was shot in 720p/60fsp. This vlog combined 1080p/30fps and 720p/60fps. I’m glad I did this, because I learned a valuable lesson. When combining the footage in FinalCut, I need to first drag the 1080p footage into the timeline to get the clip settings uniform. Then I can bring in to the 720p clips. Otherwise, things get all haywire and I have to export and re-import. That just takes too much time. The clips were slowed down to about 14% and there is still a little choppiness. On Monday’s shoot I will test using the camera’s 120fps option and see how that integrates to a 1080p project. My friend Chuck showed me a gun firing clip me made using the 120fos mode and slowing footage down to 0.3% – it was very smooth!


#CoffeeTime Pr0n with GoPro

Word up!

It’s no secret that I love coffee and since getting the new GoPro, I’ve been really enjoying testing out its features. Since Jo and I have a shoot today, I needed to run a quick test using the camera’s 720p/60fps shooting mode.

I had used it before when I first acquired Twixtor, but I hadn’t used it since with the new GoPro. I’m glad I did, since I found that I needed to completely retool my workflow with the camera to bring in the footage to FinalCut.

I’m quite please with the result as well, but amazed at the uncompressed quality and size of clips. Now with this workflow established, I hope to really make advantage of the quality of the camera on a few upcoming shoots!

Just what was my workflow?

  1. Shoot in 720p-60fps
  2. Transcode the footage using GoPro’s CineForm Software to 720p – 60fps
  3. Import into FinalCut
  4. Identify sections to slomo.
  5. Configure Twixtor for correct length (speed %). The pouring section was about 30% of normal. The tasting was about 60% of normal.