LIZ ANASTASIADIS, Managing Editor — Have you ever asked yourself: “Would you survive a fight in pop tab chainmail?” or “Can you sail a mile in a paper boat?” Well, Louis Weisz ‘20 might have some answers to your questions on his YouTube Channel, “WeiszCracks.”
A data analytics major originally from Naperville, Illinois, Weisz has been working on a series for the past six months called “I had a question.”
“It’s a lot like Mythbusters but instead of testing myths that people have heard of, I’m asking questions that nobody is asking,” says Weisz. “That gives me a lot of free licenses to do stuff that hasn’t really been done before in other places but keeps it interesting for me so I don’t feel limited by it.”
Weisz started making YouTube videos five years ago. He started by making one-man a capella videos. They’re essentially a multi-track recording of one person singing a bunch of different parts and then it turns into a music video where they’re singing all the background sounds and lyrics. He’s worked his way to where he is now: with over 4,000 subscribers on YouTube.
For Weisz’s recent video, “How my teen-proof JUUL could end teen vaping,” he asked the question “Can you make a JUUL Teen-Proof?” As explained in the video, he created a JUUL that has high-frequency sound as a deterrent for teens to vape. He set it to a tone of 17,000 Hz. This frequency is one that most of everyone younger than 22 can hear and generally, people over 30 cannot hear. The way it works is pretty simple. JUULs activate when you take a rip. To conserve power, the vape coils aren’t powered up unless you’re sucking on the tip. Because of this, you can use the flow of current to activate a switch. When you rip the JUUL pod, half the current goes through the JUUL and the other half goes through the transistor. Then, it activates the sound circuit, which is extremely unpleasant to listen to. He asked his Denison peers in Slayter Student Union their opinion on its effectiveness, along with people in Columbus that he randomly stopped to pose the question to.
In September, The Denisonian reported on the dangers of vaping and related deaths connected to vape products. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported 380 confirmed and probable cases of vaping-related lung illnesses in 36 states at the time. This summer, Ohio Governor Mike DeWine signed the “Tobacco 21” bill which states that as of October 17, 2019 it is illegal to give, sell, or otherwise distribute cigarettes, other tobacco products, or alternative nicotine products like e-cigarette or vaping products to any person under the age of 21. Research indicates that approximately 95 percent of adult smokers begin smoking before they turn 21.
Weisz talks about the relevance of the video: “There are a ton of people who say ‘oh this is a problem’ or ‘we need to do something about this’ but not coming up with solutions or have really horrible old-style solutions [such as banning JUULs and vaping products]. I’m a 22-year-old dude in my basement and I’ve come up with arguably a better solution than what is already out there and I’m one guy. Governments have professional teams. Somebody can come up with something better than this. But I was able to do this in a month with no budget.”
Currently, Weisz has over 4,000 subscribers.
At Denison, Weisz thinks that most people don’t know or don’t care that he has a YouTube channel. To his knowledge, he’s the only YouTuber on campus.
A question that Weisz gets often is: How does one become a successful YouTuber?
Weisz tells people to make a really crappy video and post it to the internet. And then do that again.
“And then after you made about three, it starts to get a lot easier…. If you’ve made one video it’s easy to just stop,” says Weisz. “It’s a lot of work and there’s very little reward immediately. You really have to do something that you care enough about to make the videos anyway and you have to share it with other people.”
Weisz currently lives in Columbus, Ohio and is going to graduate after the fall 2019 semester. Currently, he’s searching for data analytics related jobs in the Greater Columbus Area but would love to be a YouTuber full time one day.
To check out more of Weisz’s content, follow him on Instagram and Twitter @weiszcracks, and check out his website www.louisweisz.com for more updates on his creations.