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Friday, June 29, 2007

A Century In Video - 1902

Believed by some to be the very first science fiction film. Certainly one of the earliest if not the first.

This one is a classic: "Voyage Dans La Lune - A Trip To The Moon.

Loosely based on two books: From the Earth to the Moon by Jules Verne and The First Men in the Moon by H. G. Wells. Screenwritten and directed by Georges Méliès.

Méliès was a very prolific filmmaker. His IMDb page lists him as director for 561 films - all between 1896 and 1914. Keep in mind that most of these movies were probably shorts. He also acted in 61 films (I presume mostly his own stuff although I didn't check the acting list against the directing list), and he also produced 40, wrote 22 and had an assortment of other roles. I guess in the early days filmmakers had to wear a bunch of different hats. In this particular gem he had the role of screenwriter, director, actor, producer and production designer.

There were a bunch of different versions on YouTube, but I chose one that has an amusing English narrative.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

A Century In Video - 1901

Another great little Edison video. This one shows 23rd Street in NYC in 1901.

Note the woman with skirt issues right @ the end of the video. Hussy!

Found quite a few Edison films for the early part of the century. Good thing too as there isn't much else.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

A Century In Video - 1900

A new project. I'm going to try to find video clips (primarily YouTube I suppose) for each year from 1900 to 2000.

For some years it may be slim pickings, other years may have a plethora. In any case I'll be posting stuff that I find interesting.

I'm also not going to kill myself with a lot of research here. In many (or perhaps most) cases I won't be able to vouch for the year.

But this isn't a doctoral, just an idea that I thought may be interesting.

I'm creating a new label for this project - "Century", and I'll be posting to it when I feel like it. So who knows how much real time it'll take to run through a century. I'm sure I'll post a whole bunch at first and then less, and less, and yawn... Ah hell I may just get bored with the whole thing and give up.

In any case, here's your first entry - 1900

The second of five films about the 1900 World's Fair in Paris.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Hmmmmm, Chicken!

Just a few minutes before snack time!

Sunday, June 24, 2007

This Post Goes To 11

Spinal Tap is reuniting:

How cool is that!

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

What I'm Reading This Week

Here are the two books I've been enjoying this week.

Why I Hate Canadians

I originally read this in it's first release 10 year ago, just after the Quebec referendum. It's now been re-released and updated for its 10th anniversary. I find all of Will Ferguson's writing very funny. But this one goes beyond that. It explains Canadians better than any book I've ever read on the subject. And it doesn't so much explain it to Americans, or Europeans, or Asians, as it does to other Canadians. We are a country of people that have a hard time identifying ourselves. The best most of us can do is to say: "well, we're not Americans". Read this book and have a wonderful laugh at your own expense.

Michael Tolliver Lives

This is the "not a sequel" to the Tales of the City series.

Tales of the City was a wonderful series of 6 books written by Armistead Maupin in the 1970's and '80's. It started as a regular newspaper column in the San Francisco Chronicle about a group of young people in San Francisco in the 1970's. Some were gay, some straight, some male, some female, all a little outrageous... and very fun. The column was eventually published in book form and Mr. Maupin went on to write a few sequels.

Michael Tolliver Lives is a follow up book of sorts. It works as a stand-alone novel, but contains many of the loved characters from the original columns / books. If you don't know this series, Start with the first: Tales of the City and work your way forward. I can't rave about them enough. Or the miniseries that came from the first 3 books - but that's another blog.

Friday, June 15, 2007

9/11 = August 16th

Keep in mind that this was shot in NYC.

Ok people, pay attention:

  1. 9/11 took place on NINE / ELEVEN. As is September 11th.

  2. And the year was 2001. I'll give you that one, 'cause I know it's very difficult for adults to remember something that took place a little less than SIX YEARS ago.

  3. The 9/11 attacks directly hit NYC, the Pentagon & rural Pennsylvania. Nobody in the video remembered the Pentagon. Understandable as it's such a small, unassuming place, with almost no significance.

Please remember that I live in the Vancouver area, which is - contrary to some peoples knowledge (my french cousin amongst others) - nowhere near New York City. Over 3000 miles away. However I didn't need to look up any of the three points above. Why? Well seems to me that 9/11 was a rather significant event, kinda stuck in my mind.

I could understand if Joe Average from Darfur didn't remember as he probably has a few other things on his mind. But someone from New York City?

I think that Americans - and to be fair, probably everyone - love to be on camera. Even if they don't know the answer to something, they'll spout something off, just for the airtime.

As a bit of punctuation, here is part of a CBC special: Talking To Americans

More here.

I tried to find a Canadian equivalent, but all I found was a amateurs video shot in some Canadian mall with abysmal sound quality and not all that funny. it had the potential to be funny, but suffered from a lack of editing. For fairness sake I'll post it here. Don't expect much.

Note: this video has been pulled and I haven't been able to find another version


I would LOVE to go on this roller coaster:

Eejanaika Roller Coaster

Here's some video footage. The shooter includes footage of both watching and riding the coaster. Looks wicked.

Here is the official site which also includes some more video footage

Here's a site I just started visiting: Theme Park Review Downloadable Coaster Videos

Lots of good stuff here. Mostly amateur videos, so the quality can vary.

Note: some of the videos are for members only, but anyone can join for free.

If you are in the mood for queasy, have a look at this site that lists the author's Top 10 Roller Coasters.

All of them looked pretty gruesome, but this one is the one I would love to try:

The Top Thrill Dragster at Cedar Point Park in Sandusky, Ohio

Here's some P.O.V footage:

So far of the coasters I've been on (not that many), these are my top 5:

  1. California Screamin'

  2. Big Thunder Mountain Railroad

  3. Jurassic Park

  4. Splash Mountain

  5. Space Mountain

All are in Disneyland and Disney's California Adventure, except number 3 which is at Universal Studios Hollywood.

Our local wooden coaster is pretty cool too.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Luke, Luke, Clean-Up In Aisle 6 Luke

Have a look at this very funny video. It's about Chad Vader, Darth Vader's not so powerful brother.

He actually reminds me of supervisors I've had in the past (NOT in my present job), who have been a tad power hungry.


And if you liked that one, the other seven episodes can be found at Chad Vader Day Shift Manager

Saturday, June 09, 2007

We're All About Tight Security

One of the goals for all Vancouver Public Library work units is to review our security manual to make sure all employees understand the various policies and procedures.

In the two departments I work in, Newspapers & Magazines and Special Collections we've been photocopying pages and explaining them to other staff during meetings... Fun, fun, fun.

Well a group of our branch employees known as the "Balding Boys of Broadway" (from the Mount Pleasant Branch have taken a different, unique approach.

They have (and will continue I assume) produced a series of videos demonstrating different VPL security concepts.

They have music, but no dialogue, so speakers are not necessary. Although I do thing the music does add a nice surreal touch.

Ladies and gentlemen, the Security Man ...ual. Funny, funny shit.

Note: You won't need a deep knowledge of library operations to get these videos as the concepts hold true for any customer service operation.

Note II: I'll update this entry (or add a new one) as new videos become available.

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Fight, Fight, Fight....

This is a great ad for Absolut vodka

I think they should take this idea to Iraq.

Sunday, June 03, 2007

I'z On Your Computer Makin Da Wurdz

Apparently this is an actual problem. I know that my old cat used to like sleeping in top of the monitor, but I don't remember him sending email - Although I did wonder about all those free Pounce coupons that came in the mail.

Well if you suffer from typing cat, there is a solution.

Introducing PawSense. A program that teaches your computer the difference between your typing and your cat typing. If it detects the cat it disables your keyboard and plays an annoying sound, thereby reducing kitty errors to your PC.

A screenshot:

Although it seems to me that cats like printers and monitors more than keyboards.


And my Favourite.

Of course Brat doesn't need a computer, she goes outside to check her p-mail (Badum Dum!)

I think cats are generally more interactive with things like computers than dogs are. Although this dog is quite curious. (Reminds me of our old dog Baily)