The University’s new website appears to be marred by an embarrassing gaffe wherein Snapback Lad has a sudden change of direction to avoid tripping over a raised grass platform.
Frame-by-frame analysis performed by your correspondent (trained by virtue of his undergraduate degree in gait analysis) reveals a discreet but definite pivot-shift to avoid catastrophe.
Let’s break the footage down.
1. Crude trajectory modelling illustrates Snapback Lad is on a collision course. Near-peak hip extension and arm-swing amplitude suggests he is approaching the raised grass platform at speed. That the metal guard is a trip hazard is yet to register.
2. As Snapback Lad approaches the grass, his shoulders, torso and hips remain worryingly oriented towards the Anderson Stuart Building. The orientation of these key body landmarks is a classic proxy for direction of ambulation. At this point Snapback Lad is still due for collision.
3. Snapback Lad realises that contact with the metal guard is imminent. He plants his right leg, hoping the resultant ground reaction force will sufficiently accelerate him in the opposite direction. Note his hands flailing as he attempts to redistribute his upper body weight about his now-volatile base of support. Watch carefully in real time to appreciate the urgency of this manoeuvre.
4. Snapback Lad regains his balance and continues walking; in a direction very different to that depicted in (2). Crisis averted.
The University’s Media team was (seriously) contacted for comment. They had this to say: “Only one take was done for each of the people/groups that walked up the stairs. We chose the video of this particular person because of his energy as he ran up the stairs – it made for more interesting and lively visuals. It’s worth noting, though, that we’ve always had the intention these videos will be changed periodically, and we have another video waiting in the wings to go up soon”.
One hopes the apparent website blunder is just that, and not a commentary on the general direction in which the university is headed.