Category Archives: Video

Helicopter Tour

[the scene: a muddy airstrip in rural England. A pilot dressed in ragged khakis shepherds a group of assorted tourists to his waiting helicopter. Some of the tourists seem reluctant.]

[pilot] Step right up, folks, this this is the best chance you will ever have to get a bird’s-eye view of the magnificent rolling hills of Yorkshire! Just twenty bucks, a price that can’t be beat!

[tourist, a querulous elderly man] How do we know this machine of yours is safe?

[pilot, smarmily ingratiating] Never had a mishap, and I’ve had ‘er up hundreds of times!

[A portly German man wearing a curled white wig approaches the pilot, huffing and puffing]

My good man, I understand that you have a pianoforte on board your craft. Can that be true?

[pilot] Why as a matter fact, I do! It’s just a spinet, but I’m sure it will agree with you. I do keep it well-tuned and tempered!

[The German man pays his fare and the passengers are escorted into the helicopter by the pilot. Once the aircraft has gained elevation the pilot banks the ‘copter over the rough terrain]

Not as green as it usually is down there, but we’ve been enduring an oven-like drought!



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Filed under Arizona, Food, Stories, Video

The Night Of The Hunter

Bisbee, Arizona has a population of just six thousand people, but this summer I have learned that the local public library is an invaluable resource. The Copper Queen Library, along with a good book collection, also has an extensive library of classic films on DVD.

Last night, as I ate freshly-made pesto with home-made bread, I watched a movie which impressed me deeply, the 1955 film The Night Of The Hunter. Charles Laughton directed this dark film, and the amazing cinematography of Stanley Cortez has the feel of German Expressionist movies of the 1920s.

Robert Mitchum’s performance as the evil and psychotic preacher is the role of a lifetime. Shelley Winters shines as a widow who falls under the preacher’s spell.

This review of the film effectively explains its power, even fifty-seven years later:

Noir of the Week article

You can watch the movie in seven parts on Youtube; here’s the first fourteen minutes.



Filed under Essays and Articles, Video, Visual Arts

An Amazing MRI Video

A French woman named Xea Baudoin posted this video on Google+. She introduced it with this description:

Ancient Asian statue of Buddha was processed through MRI and a hidden treasure was found inside: pearls…

I’d love to see how this was done!


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Filed under Video

B&W Ice Cream

I love this film produced by Louis C.K. It incorporates all sorts of tropes and ideas from old B&W movies, and the music is so appropriate. Swirl it all together, add a potent dose of surrealism, and the result is a very good short film:

Louis C.K. plays the flower vendor, and the other actors are first-rate.

Another one, a rather weird parody of old Western movies:



Filed under Video


How many times have you seen an auroral display? I’ve seen just three good ones in my life.

The first one I saw was when I was a boy in Cedar Rapids, Iowa. I recall the whole family out in the yard gazing up at the night sky. The next one was on a drive back from St. Louis, after a rock concert my friend John H. and I attended. I think it was a Frank Zappa performance — we were quite lucky to see the man play with his band before he died.

The third was a display I saw during my years in Knox County, Missouri.

Here’s a time-lapse video from the latitude of seventy degrees north:

The Aurora from TSO Photography on Vimeo.



Filed under Essays and Articles, Video

Musical Comedy

I loved this, a joint effort of Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert, a musical encounter between a Christian and a Jew:

Thanks go to my old friend Mark Nemoyten for posting this on FB!



Filed under Essays and Articles, Music, Video

Musical Androgyny

Way back in the early 1970s I was living in a commune in Quincy, Illinois. The commune was about half gay. One day Kevin, who died several years ago, brought home a vinyl LP of David Bowie music. I was suspicious of a lot of the gay-favored music, which tended towards flamboyant show-tunes and such, but the album, Hunky Dory, just blew me away. I thought, “Man! What’s with those Brits and their interpretations of American pop? So the Beatles weren’t a one-off thing?”

This tune was and still is one of my favorites:

This one from a couple of years later recently resurfaced after being lost for decades:

Thanks go to Crystal Rehula for this link!



Filed under Essays and Articles, Music, Video