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Can you really cook popcorn with your cellphone?

We love viral videos, here at Out in Africa. Sometimes, they’re really funny, amazing, or scary. Most times, however, they are a hoax, even if they are really well done, and we try to check out the truth or fiction of it (on Snopes.com or TruthorFiction.com), before we contribute to the spread of the video.

This one was particularly shocking: cellphones being used to actually pop unpopped maize kernels! The video looks authentic enough — at least, it looks like any other amateur video (i.e., not a professional job with loads of special effects), and automatically, one thinks “OMG, if my cellphone can do this to popcorn, what’s it doing to my brain!?”

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Fortunately for all us cellphone users though, this was nothing more than a guerrilla marketing ploy by bluetooth headset manufacturer, Cardo Systems, Inc.

Snopes.com explains it fully here (scroll down past the related “cooking an egg” story), including a video of a CNN interview with the advertisers, where they admit the popcorn effect was achieved by dropping already-popped corn into the scene during filming, then using digital editing to remove the kernels from the table:
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Very interesting stuff! Hoax-slayer also does a reasonably thorough job of debunking this “mystery”.


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Amanda is OIA's new IT person - in charge of all things technological, including the development of our new-look website. Oddly enough, she comes from a biochemistry background... go figure.
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