Sips from the Firehose
A blog that seeks to filter the internet into a refreshing, easily-gulped beverage

Oct 08

Mr. T With a Blowtorch

Posted: under Uncategorized.

I guess we now know where the A-Team got the work done on their custom van. With the red spoiler on the roof.

Considering the amount of automatic weapons fire that van was subjected to each week, I’m guessing these guys have Bondo delivered by the pallet-load…

I wonder what Spanish translation they used for "I pity the fool."

I wonder what Spanish translation they used for "I pity the fool."

It’s strange when you see what cultural icons we’ve long since moved past in the U.S. still have cultural resonance in countries that are still being force-fed our TV re-runs.  When I lived in Venezuela, I remember that every night, on some channel, the old WWII show “The Rat Patrol” was on. I used to see kids playing games with their little toy trucks, pretending to be the intrepid desert warriors who somehow managed to knock out heavily armored Panzers with small-arms fire.

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Feb 09

Ukrainian Sarah Palin Berated by Exasperated Director

Posted: under journalism, Multimedia, new media, Online Video, Politics & New Media.
Tags: , , , , , ,

Hire this director and have him start whipping Christian Bale into shape.

This video had my class rolling with laughter – it’s slightly NSFW (mainly with the cussing in the subtitles, although if your office has Russian speakers, they might object).

This is the mayor of Kharkov, and he was trying to record a TV campaign commercial, but couldn’t manage to string enough coherent words together to spit out a sentence. Apparently, he’s notoriously stupid – “The Sarah Palin of Ukraine” – and is the subject of much mockery & head-shaking.

I was particularly impressed by the torrent of expletive-laced abuse hurled at this guy by the director (who we see in some of the early shots). I think this must have come at the end of an exhausting filming session, because the director is just going off on him in a way that would put Joe Pytka to shame.

Gems include: “Try to have an expression. Come on, at least try. Let’s go, let’s go.” “Misha, stop this crap.  Really, stop it.”

D: “Why the fuck did you take your hand away?
M:”I finished?”

D: “So fucking what. You finished! Sit one second, motherfucker. OK, we have to do this all over again. From the top…”

D: “Your face is boring. Nobody is going to give you any money.”

Please, can anyone out there who has access to the footage of Palin campaign commercial filming post the outtakes to the web? Because I think the wolf-shootin’ turky-genocidin’ Caribou Barbie must’ve had sessions like this.  Then again, maybe she had the offending directors fed to polar bears.

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Feb 07

Kiev, and Everything After

Posted: under visual storytelling.
Tags: , ,

I’m still groggy from the flight over – I got on a plane at 12 noon on Friday, and got off at 7 p.m. Saturday.  In between, I got stuck in the middle seat on all three flights.  And in each case, the good folks at Northwest managed to put the three biggest guys on the plane all in the same row.  I am convinced that that is done just so that they can then watch clandestine surveillance footage and laugh their asses off, as three big guys all try to contort themselves and not elbow each other.

The fog, wet pavement, and industrial setting made me feel like I was in some kind of remake of "The Third Man."

The fog, wet pavement, and industrial setting made me feel like I was in some kind of remake of "The Third Man."

The assignment here is to teach a group of newspaper reporters how to shoot, edit and post video.  I’m also going to take a morning to teach them about some of the emerging ad models on the web, since so many of the problems attendant to online video have to do with the uneven schemes for monetizing this kind of content.

I’m on an internet connection here that is a bit iffy, so I’m going to experiment with a gallery plug-in that may or may not get me marked as a spammer, as well as uploading the shots.  So bear with this experiment, and there should be more eye-candy goodness as the week progresses.

Schipohl Airport is starting to become familiar to me.

Schipohl Airport is starting to become familiar to me.

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Nov 16

Tech Jargon from Another Era…

Posted: under Amusing Nonsense, Digital Migration.

This is just too funny to keep to myself – back in the halcyon days of comedy, before broad ethnic stereotypes became Verboten, and even the Muppets’ Swedish Chef became “edgy” … people used to post things like this in public places:


Alles touristen und non-technischen looken peepers!
Das computermachine ist nicht fuer gefingerpoken und mittengrabben.
Ist easy schnappen der springenwerk, blowenfusen und poppencorken
mit spitzensparken.  Ist nicht fuer gewerken bei das dumpkopfen.
Das rubbernecken sichtseeren keepen das cotten-pickenen hans in das
pockets muss; relaxen und watchen das blinkenlichten.

I kinda miss all the little pretty lights dancing around on my tech gear.

…and, of course, the little machine that goes “Ping~!”

The kinda cool notation here was that all this started back in WWII, when we were all encouraged to hate The Hun –

“We are informed that cod-German parodies of this kind were very common in Allied machine shops during and following WWII. Germans, then as now, had a reputation for being both good with precision machinery and prone to officious notices.”

You still run across stuff like this in upstate Wisconsin, in old bars full of grizzled coots smoking unfiltered Lucky Strikes.

Danny Kaye made a career out of doing faux-German incomprehensible sputtering like this.

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