Captain Disillusion To The Rescue

We all get those emails from well meaning friends and family members about some internet video that “you just have to watch – it’s unbelievable!” Facebook is full of such posts that get passed around more than a doobie at a Grateful Dead concert. If you’re like us, they often make you cringe a bit knowing that they are fake, but you just can’t put your finger on why, or how they did it. All you know is some fancy video trickery is involved.

Well, fear not! [Captain Disillusion] is here!!!! Although he doesn’t put out videos on a regular basis, when he does, we find them very entertaining and informative – we thought you might as well. Think of his Youtube channel like Mythbusters for those annoying viral videos. In his latest work, he debunks a video that was passed around several year back. The original video claimed you can take a cup that is upside down and full of water and it will remain in the shape of the cup – just by giving it a good spin as you lift up. We won’t ruin the surprise for you, but lets just say there was some computer magic involved.

We can’t help but to think his videos might be a great way to get kids (and perhaps some adults) into critical thinking, and not accepting everything they see on the internet at face value. If you like what you see, you can watch the full video after the break, or subscribe to his Youtube channel.



35 thoughts on “Captain Disillusion To The Rescue

    1. Yes this water trick was bogus. However, there is a trick you can do with water that may blow your mind.

      Put an unopened bottle of purified or distilled (Dasani, Poland Spring, Aquafina, etc.) water in the freezer for 1-1.5 hours. NO LONGER or it will freeze. Be sure it will not be disturbed (Shaken, jostled, opened, dropped) Take out the bottle and VERY CAREFULLY handle it. Marvel at that for a moment but what’s next may seem like magic – but is actually not. Agitate the bottle now and watch what happens right before your eyes!

      1. It need not to be purified water. I experienced this two times in August with Club Mate at the CCCCamp. Obviously my camping fridge box was set a little below 0°C. Beer was not freezing, but the Club Mate did it after openening: freezing slowly to slush.

          1. @Lasse – No nothing to do with drop in pressure. Yes it is due to drop in temperature. Yes “they” call it supercooling but I have no clue why as it is not supercooling as no liquid Helium or Nitrogen is used, only a standard kitchen freezer which operates with pressurized Ammonia (not Freon in USA). The trick is based on the dysfunctional standards of our (USA’s) education system. Obviously most of us have no idea how ice forms and even how rain forms around particles. Without particles in the water or the air arguably neither would happen. You’d think your public school science teacher would have explained that back in the day. But the product in USA are the cut-ups, dullards, and epicureans like our 43rd president turned out to be.

  1. I think that original video probably has 50K viewers who half bought it, and the the rest of the millions is people linking to it saying ‘look what idiots believe”.

    I also don’t think this kind of article should be on HaD, it isn’t even tech related let alone a hack.

    Next week on Hack a Day: “top ten unusual hairstyles on celebrities”

    1. Maybe you need to create your own dedicated site,

      I for one think that anything that is complex enough to take a day or two and involves meshing reality with a computer overlay is not very common and therefore a hack at least of sorts.

    2. Doesn’t HaD get to have slow news days? Would you really want to come here and find… nothing? This website protects me from less savory ones like, for example, anything from Gawker Media.

    1. Fun Fact: Mark Twain once debunked a Phrenology practitioner. Phrenology is basically like palm reading, except it uses the scalp instead. He disguised himself, then went to one of the Phrenologist’s public shows. The practitioner felt his scalp, and noted that a depression in a specific area indicated a lack of a sense of humor. Twain then went the next day without a disguise, and the practitioner said that there was a tall bump in the same area as before. Here’s a more comprehensive source:

      1. @Harold – Of course Phrenology is easy to debunk as is Astrology and Horoscopes. How can anyone attach any significance to Sebaceous Cysts (a/k/a Pilar Cysts) forming in your scalp at the root of a hair follicle and filling with keratin? The only thing significant is that you have inherited a genetic hair/skin aberration from your parents which causes are presently unknown. They can be removed in your Dermatologist’s office with a small biopsy punch. Then after excision what will your Phrenologist say then? Sam Clemons (a/k/a Mark Twain) was on the right track. He could spot bulls**, but unfortunately he was eventually fooled by James Paige.

    2. … except, you have been fooled in to thinking he actually said that, but if you check carefully… you will find it impossible to verify, so he most probably did not. It’s one of my favourite misquotes, because in all probability whoever did think it up was an expert in fooling people. A minor act of disruptive genius.

      1. @andrewjhull
        What infamous US political con-man and ever vigilant wordsmith and trickster said this on 12 Feb 2002 during a DoD briefing?

        “There’s another way to phrase that and that is that the absence of evidence is not the evidence of absence. It is basically saying the same thing in a different way. Simply because you do not have evidence that something does exist does not mean that you have evidence that it doesn’t exist.” Smart man. We can thank him for the morass we are in in SW-ASIA too (et al).

        Ex-Acting Director of CIA: John Edward McLaughlin (extant) once said after a meeting at the Kremlin in USSR during Cold War, in where he made a 1 Rubble note turn into a 100 Rubble note before the amazed Russian’s eyes at the conference table: “People are really easy to fool…” (paraphrased of course).John’s nickname is still The Magician.

        So the moral to the story is: If Mark Twain did not say it, he should have. Because good ol’ Sam was a great comedian and was fooled once into unloading a crapload of his and his father-in-laws hard-earned money to a man named James Paige and his way-before-it’s-time Paige Compositor gadget. It was a machine that bore an uncanny resemblance to a computer keyboard that set Linotype automatically. However, it never worked right and both went bankrupt.

        You did know MARK TWAIN was not his real name? Of course you did! :P

  2. “There’s no easy way to fake that” (quote from the YT video) …

    Well … there are people who get paid (poorly) for doing that kind of effect. Now, come on, really.

    1. @J_Malave – This is a non sequitur – which posting are you responding too? On my posting you should have clicked REPLY or at least type @sonofthunderboanerges or @sotb. Dan Deentremont’s video had absolutely NOTHING to do with ice. It was just simply trick videography,

      @Nitpicker Smartyass – PAID POORLY? Your standard of living must be extremely high. A special effects technician may earn more in certain industries. For example, multimedia artists and animators, who may work with special effects technicians, earned the highest salaries of $84,410 in the motion picture industry in 2012, according to the BLS. This bests the industry average of $69,560 by almost $15,000. Special effects technicians may also earn more in the movie industry. They earn more in California and New York because living expenses are higher in those two states. A special effects technician earning $50,000 in Columbus, Ohio would need to earn $73,532 in Los Angeles to maintain the same living standards. The same technician would need to make $121,151 in Manhattan. Some wouldsay that was POOR pay but others would say it was high. Depends on where you live I guess.

    1. @bob – Why? Because Dan Deentremont says at 2:30 of the original video that the video is fake? You’re probably right. It’s a sad testament to prevalent attention deficit disorder and lack of understanding of gravity in USA. People, especially us Americans, are in fact easy to fool – especially YouTube Americans…

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