Time Warp (2008) s01e04 Episode Script

Fuel Girls

NARRATOR: How can two girls add an entire new meaning to the phrase "you are hot"? And you can feel the heat on your face.
NARRATOR: How does a master skateboarder defy the laws of gravity? LUTZKA: It's all one motion.
Pop, slide.
NARRATOR: And what makes a skipping stone, well, skip? I didn't know I was doing that.
NARRATOR: If you want to know, you've got to get warped.
Uh-oh.
[Laughter] NARRATOR: Take two guys whose slow-mo cameras can stop the world in its tracks I'm gonna run down there and catch all the action.
-Good luck.
-All right.
Matt, you ready? Joseph, I need the widest-angle lens we have.
I'm gonna shoot this landing right here.
NARRATOR: add a high-tech laboratory, where anything can and will happen Oh, boy.
NARRATOR: toss in some of the world's wildest talents.
What happens? Though its exact origins are shrouded in antiquity, fire breathers have lit up audiences past and present in every corner of the globe.
But now, an old trick that once made its home in a circus midway has a whole new look.
[Cheering] Cases in point, meet the Fuel Girls, five performers who have taken the tricks of the fire-breathing trade and, well, put them in a somewhat different package.
[Cheering] No matter what the costume or lack thereof, the wild talent and science behind the spray remains the same.
We wanted to take our ultra-high-speed digital cameras and slow down the process so its secrets might be revealed.
But we needed to first bring a sample fire breather into the studio.
We had a couple of choices about who to book.
Finally, after much deliberation, we, uh -- we made a tough choice.
[Laughs] NARRATOR: Now, down to our warped business.
Just how do fire breathers breathe flames out without blowing themselves up? First, as in so many things, practice makes perfect.
The breath is very, very important.
When it leaves your body, it needs to be very sharp, very quick, and continuous.
And it really needs to come from your tummy.
Okay, so it's like playing an instrument.
It is indeed, and we've also heard that your mouth, the way you purse your lips is very similar to playing a trumpet.
We use an oil-based fluid, and it makes a very fine spray when it leaves the mouth.
NARRATOR: We're filming Helen over 1,000 frames per second.
That's actually lamp oil, and if you have any left over from the '70s, leave it in the lava lamp and the vaporizing to the pros.
In other words, do not try this at home.
Okay, so, you're converting the whole thing into vapor, pretty much, by playing it like a trumpet.
[Laughing] Yes.
Oh, my.
I didn't realize my face was that tense.
Well, it seems like you have to be that tense to get it to work.
-Yeah, it's going everywhere.
- [Laughs] NARRATOR: Our cameras reveal that even the experts get fuel on their face.
So, what happens when you light this stuff? LIEBERMAN: The vapor comes out quite a bit, and it actually pulls back toward you.
-Yeah, definitely.
-So, how close does that get? It's touching.
That looks pretty close, I must say.
GREEN: It is very close.
I mean, when you fire-breathe, you can hear the flame, you can feel the heat on your face, and you can definitely feel heat around your mouth.
NARRATOR: Let's watch that again, this time from the side.
Now, our time-warp cameras reveal what's really happening.
The key ingredient besides lamp oil? Breathe out, not in.
GREEN: Where is the fire? Oh.
NARRATOR: While some spray does blow back around Helen's mouth, the strong, steady stream of vaporized fuel forces the flame away from her face.
GREEN: I've never seen anything like this, and, actually, it looks pretty terrifying now [Laughs] seeing it like this.
You probably get a little complacent about how dangerous it really is, but you're an inch away from third-degree burns all the time.
NARRATOR: Watch it once more, this time closer.
If Helen stops blowing even for a second, she'll ignite.
Just a note, the temperature of that flame is 3,000 degrees.
Although the Fuel Girls' preferred mode of attire seems somewhat less flame-retardant than one might expect, anything short of an asbestos parka wouldn't really cut it.
GREEN: Your face is, like, so warm when you're breathing fire, and you can really hear the flames, as well.
It's like you're really aware of how close it is.
NARRATOR: You would expect that body burns are a likely occupational hazard.
I mean, they are playing with matches, after all.
So, have you guys been injured from fire-breathing at all? I've got body-burning scars.
LIEBERMAN: Yes, you do.
[Laughs] NARRATOR: In fact, keeping the stream pointed upwards is a critical factor keeping the body of a Fuel Girl at a relatively cool Right, we've got one final trick for you.
-All right.
-We'll show you.
We're going to be trading flames.
Trading flames, and what does that mean? GREEN: Sahar will have a lit stick.
She'll breathe fire, and I'll breathe the flame off of hers.
This trick is actually all about trusting each other.
-Yeah.
-Definitely.
Well? That is amazing.
- [Laughs] -That's a great fireball.
GREEN: Here we go.
The flame looks so beautiful, as well.
KHOSRAVI: It does.
-GREEN: Ohh.
-LIEBERMAN: That's amazing.
I mean, that's 15 feet in the air right now.
Wow.
Oh, my God.
NARRATOR: The Fuel Girls call this trick the "kiss.
" But it looks more like an Olympic relay, Now, suitably inspired, Jeff decided to test his nonexistent skill.
Remember that "don't try this at home" part? Just checking.
And there you have it, the secrets of fire-breathing.
Vaporize the fuel, a strong, steady blow, and keep one more thing handy.
I think I'm safe.
Thanks, guys.
NARRATOR: The urban art of skateboarding is just that, an art.
It combines the athleticism of gymnastics with the choreography of ice-skating with all of the in-your-face aggression of a street fight.
When skateboard master Greg Lutzka placed first in the street category at the World Cup of Skateboarding, he left other competitors stunned.
I watch someone like you skate, and I have this totally false thought that I probably can do it 'cause you make it look so trivially easy.
Yeah, I've been skateboarding for the last, I'd say, like 13 years, so I started learning a lot of my tricks I do pretty much like a year to two after I started skating and, basically, just started building my skills from there.
I'm trying to progress it to the next level.
NARRATOR: There is no argument that competitive skateboarding looks amazing in real time.
But what about warped time? Is there more to this sport than meets the eye? We're gonna set up the high-speeds.
We got a hot zone over there by the staircase.
We're gonna surround it with the three high-speeds.
NARRATOR: After getting the appropriate permits, we turned a nearby park into a mobile laboratory.
You got so many things you can do in a place like this.
Why don't we just watch you skateboard and set up whatever you want, and we'll capture it? Let's do it, yeah.
All right, and so we obviously got to get the stairs.
KEARNEY: Yep.
NARRATOR: After a few practice moves, Greg was ready.
God, I suck.
NARRATOR: Well, almost ready.
-Do one more.
-Yeah, yeah.
We're actually set for high speed if you want to do this.
We're gonna try to really get a close-up here of your landing, but also get some of the other shots to capture the whole jump.
LUTZKA: All right.
Awfully tight but sweet.
-LIEBERMAN: You got it? -Yeah.
-It would be really cool if -- -Ah, you can't see it.
We'll all look at it together on a better screen in a minute.
No peeking.
NARRATOR: Pros like Greg can flip and spin their boards one way while they go another.
Now, that's got to be seen to be believed.
Hit it.
Awesome.
Awesome.
You got that? Happy, very happy.
Let's go right in the tent, and let's review that right away.
Oh, wow.
NARRATOR: When the jump is warped at 1,000 frames per second, it becomes something very different, something that appears to defy the law of gravity.
LIEBERMAN: Oh, wow.
You make it look pretty easy.
And then you can also, right when you're starting to kick this around, get a really good look at your custom board.
We should really get a closer look at the takeoff point.
NARRATOR: Let's watch the actual lift-off again.
Let all great art, it looks simple until you try it.
LUTZKA: My foot is fully off the board right there.
Did you ever know that that happens? I had no idea.
I thought my foot stays with the board the whole time.
You put all your weight on the back foot, and it rotates this board up around the wheel.
And you have rotational energy that wants to go up and around, but your front foot stops that from happening.
And suddenly, the only remaining energy is going upward.
It lifts the entire board.
Since you're already moving forward, that carries through, and that puts you on a diagonal arc.
NARRATOR: This move is known as the ollie, named after master boarder Alan "Ollie" Gelfand.
It's a move that must be mastered if you want to get into the big leagues.
LIEBERMAN: So, not only are you creating all this torque and force and projecting it in the right direction, but you're putting a ton of vibrational spring energy into the board, which functions as a spring, -just like any solid object.
-Yeah.
I'm gonna show you what that looks like.
Okay, let's check it.
NARRATOR: Now, laws of nature cannot be broken, just adapted.
Case in point.
LIEBERMAN: Every object in the universe is a spring.
Even this wooden dowel rod can store all the energy of my throw to return it to me.
And your board is doing the exact same thing, storing that vibrational energy.
It's just so much more rigid that it's hard to see.
Yeah, exactly.
NARRATOR: Now, anybody can launch themselves clear a garbage can by a few inches, and land perfectly, all on a wobbly board with a couple of roller skates screwed on.
Well, actually, almost nobody can do that.
But how about jumping off a flight of concrete stairs? Even "Time Warp" is impressed.
Greg Lutzka is a guy who puts the "pro" in "professional skateboarders.
" And my foot is fully off the board right there.
NARRATOR: "Time Warp" commandeered a local park in order to learn some of his secrets.
LIEBERMAN: Awesome.
NARRATOR: Now we return to the wondrous land of "Don't try this at home.
" Or in the park or office or, actually, anywhere.
LIEBERMAN: So, you're 3 feet above that ground level before you even get started.
LUTZKA: That turned out really rad.
LIEBERMAN: So, this is the landing on the same jump? -Exactly.
-LIEBERMAN: Two things, right? Your feet separate by an inch from the board.
-Yeah.
-Both of them.
And then right when you start to kick to stabilize it, this wheel stops completely in one spot, moves itself forward, and stops again.
-LUTZKA: Yeah.
-KEARNEY: The truck walks.
I think both do, actually.
I haven't watched the rear.
-Yep.
-LUTZKA: Yep.
KEARNEY: Same thing.
LIEBERMAN: You have incorporated all of these really complicated physics into your instinct, and you can just do this without even thinking about it anymore.
LUTZKA: What would be rad is to see someone that doesn't know much about skateboarding and throw them on a skateboard and see what would happen.
NARRATOR: Hmm.
We wonder who that might be.
Where angels fear to tread, where strong men faint, Jeff Lieberman steps up.
But first, he has to play hard to get.
-I'll try it, I'll try it.
-Yeah? -You can show me something.
-You mind if I record that? -Please do.
-Let's make it happen.
NARRATOR: Greg demonstrates his mastery of the skill of passive aggression.
You could try to learn how to ollie.
That'd be kind of funny for the cameras, I think.
Oh, yeah, funny.
You have a different goal than I have, I think.
I want to learn something.
But, yeah, show me how an ollie works.
All right, basically, an ollie works It's all one motion.
Pop, slide.
NARRATOR: See? Easy.
Anybody can do it.
And you have to go 3 feet high for it to be a nice one.
Yeah, exactly.
Oh.
[Laughs] So, it's pretty easy.
So, a couple more tries and I'll nail it.
You're gonna get it.
NARRATOR: We'll fast-forward to take number 27.
-Okay, ready? -Yeah.
Let's see it.
Oh.
That was pretty close.
That was good.
All right, why don't we take a look and see how not good it really was.
I can't tell the difference between you and Greg until we get this thing rolling.
LIEBERMAN: Yeah, I can stand still really well.
KEARNEY: So, you got the pop right.
My shoes are dragging just the way yours are dragging.
LUTZKA: See, you did get off the ground a couple inches, but you didn't push forward on the board to level it out.
Otherwise you would've had it right there.
NARRATOR: Back to the professionals and our grand finale.
LIEBERMAN: So, the ollie's a pretty simple move.
Can you show us something a lot more complicated and advanced? Let's go out there and try out something else.
I can show you how to do a 360 kickflip.
So, let's see if we can get it here first shot.
Wow.
I think that happened a little fast for me to even understand what a 360 kickflip is.
NARRATOR: And once warped Jeff, you got to check this out.
This is incredible.
I'm stunned at what he actually did.
LIEBERMAN: Clearly, it's rotating 360 in this axis, but then the board itself is flipping over its own axis, as well.
It's like he's a scientist without even thinking about it.
He's got to know all of these physical principles and have all this athletic ability and combine it without even thinking about it.
KEARNEY: Total package.
NARRATOR: Remember when we started we mentioned this is an art? Now you see what we mean.
LIEBERMAN: Wow.
NARRATOR: Is there any innocent pastime that has not gone pro? Short answer, no.
Russ Byars recently set the Guinness World Record for stone skipping.
Well, the skill may be no less useless than half the others you'll find listed there, it's way cooler.
How cool? The kind of thing you just watch and think, "How in the heck did he do that?" Jeff, Matt, and Russ went to the old fishing hole with a bag of designer rocks and, of course, our high-speed cameras.
So, what do you have to do to make a throw like that? I think the speed, the angle, and the spin.
-That's the important aspects.
-Speed, angle, and spin.
We got both of these set up, so if you can just give me a shot of how you're gonna throw this, I'll set this up.
Okay.
Yeah, that was quick.
LIEBERMAN: Yeah, it's pretty fast.
I think I got most of it.
NARRATOR: Now for the analysis.
What exactly is keeping this rock skimming above the water instead of sinking like a stone? KEARNEY: Wow.
That's a great throw.
And that's a tremendous amount of spin.
Look at that.
LIEBERMAN: I mean, that's 20, 30 spins in between every bounce, and that's even once it gets over there.
It's totally gone.
It's still going all the way.
NARRATOR: Okay, part two, the throw.
KEARNEY: Here's a head to toe of the motion.
Nice, high leg kick.
LIEBERMAN: So far, it is like a baseball pitch.
Not at all anymore.
BYARS: It looks like an arm broke somewhere in there.
LIEBERMAN: It's become so second nature that you don't even have to pay attention to what you're doing.
No.
NARRATOR: Watch again.
Look at the contortions of Russ' arm and hand.
LIEBERMAN: You have this -- forgive me for saying it -- but very weird motion that creates all this extra spin.
BYARS: Yeah.
LIEBERMAN: I think that's crucial to your success.
KEARNEY: Ooh, look at the strain on your fingers there.
LIEBERMAN: Which is part of your spin, but you have this whole forearm rotation that adds -- It uses a much bigger muscle to add a lot more rotation to the stone.
BYARS: And I didn't know I was doing that, though.
LIEBERMAN: No, but now you can hone that technique, and everyone can steal it from you now that it's on TV.
NARRATOR: And that means you, "Time Warp" viewer.
Watch again.
We slow-mo to save you all that wrist strain from pausing your remote control.
Problem with ponds is that they are deep and wet.
Not a good place for our cameras.
So, in order to get the perfect warped views of a skip, we built our own test pond, the ultimate pool table.
Go for it.
NARRATOR: Russ made his throws.
We did our high-speed thing.
And this is the result.
LIEBERMAN: Now, you can see how it scoops along, right? You're going at such a low angle that all it has to do is give you energy.
Now, where does that energy come from? It comes from the fact that you're moving amazingly fast at an angle so that the water will push you and reflect it up.
Okay.
NARRATOR: What was all that about the energy and the water pushing up? Uh, one more time.
Spin keeps the rock upright just like gyroscope.
On contact, it pushes some of the water down in order to push itself back up.
Tilt it too little, and it doesn't keep itself above the water.
Tilt it too much, it loses forward momentum.
Research shows that for best results, the angle of upward slope should be 20 degrees.
Now, is that any clearer? I think you just whipped it really hard.
[Both laugh] NARRATOR: Science is where you find it.
On a Vegas stage, in a skateboard park, and in a bucolic setting.
All right, I'm inspired.
I want another lesson.
I want a chance to go across the pond.
-We'll get you there.
-All right.
NARRATOR: Something you want to see warped? Check us out on the Discovery Channel Website, discovery.
com, and the warp you see just might be your own.