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Watch a Samurai sword expert slice a fastball at 101 mph

One of the latest YouTube multimillion-view delights defies the abilities of most humans.

Technically Incorrect offers a slightly twisted take on the tech that's taken over our lives.


machii.jpg
Is it a home run? Is it for real? Oricon News/YouTube screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

As the Major League Baseball playoffs reach a heady level of excitement and bat-flipping incitement, it's time to consider just how hard it is to hit a 101 mph fastball.

Even the best hitters can only get such a ball into play roughly three times out of every 10.

Imagine, though, if they weren't armed with a fat bat but with the thin blade of a Samurai sword. How many times would they slice through the fastest fastballs?

I mention this because of a YouTube video that's gone viral. Since launching Tuesday, it has attracted more than 5.6 million views.

The video features Isao Machii, who is something of a Babe Ruth in the world of samurai swordplay.

In the video, balls are propelled toward him at an alleged 101 mph. He's on a raised platform that's apparently just 30 feet from a ball machine. In contrast, a baseball pitcher stands 60 feet from the batter.

Ergo, even to get anywhere near the ball would require astonishing hand-eye coordination.

Machii watches a couple of pitches go by. The third he simply slices in two.

Of course, there will be those who say: "I bet he couldn't do that in another 100 tries." There will be those who mutter: "It's fake."

However, this isn't the first of Machii's startling stunts. He has sliced a fried shrimp traveling at an alleged 80 mph. I bet you didn't realize that shrimp could go that fast.

He also has sliced a BB gun pellet fired at him from 70 feet (video below). After that feat, Ramani Durvasula, a psychology professor at California State University at Los Angeles, said that Machii wasn't looking at the pellet per se. "This is about processing it at an entirely different sensory level because he's not visually processing it," she said on the 2011 YouTube video.

He doesn't see it. He feels it.

Machii has felt it enough to hold at least three Guinness World Records for his sword skills, according to a search of the Guinness site.

It's unclear, of course, how many attempts it took Machii to record his perfect baseball slicing. Regardless, the video has enthralled the populace of YouTube. And that's what really matters, isn't it?

Still, I bet he can't slice a Clayton Kershaw curve.