This episode features one of the most famous bits from the entire Connections run, so of course I had to gif it…

(2 January 2016)

“Hundreds of thousands of people come here and get totally looped. In spite of the fact that it was a German who said, way back, ‘Beer spoils the blood, burns it up, causes great thirst, horrible red faces, also leprosy, swelling of the body, injury to the head and all internal parts of the intestines.’ You’d think that’d put ‘em off. Doesn’t.” – James Burke, Connections

Oh, how this one fought me. It’s been… two months? Yeah, two months. I couldn’t pick which bits to use. Ended up certain that I wanted to use The Famous Bit From This Episode (being “Eat, Drink, And Be Merry,” the eighth episode of Connections). Couldn’t for the life of me figure out what else to use. It’s not that this is a bad episode. In fact, it’s one of the best of the bunch. But… for my purposes, it was a bear. Every time I sat down to suss out the first gifset, I ended up getting frustrated and wandering off.

My original intention was to have the Connections gifsets done by the end of 2015. Hah!

Well, here we are. Aaaaaand I need to avoid using bits from dimly lit locations in the future. What future is left for this project, anyway. Stripping the palette to make GIF format images does weird things to the look of the segment. Sigh.

If you’re a fan of this TV series, you can probably guess what the next set is going to look like… and then we’ll finally be on to the penultimate episode. There’s light at the end of that there tunnel, honest!

(8 January 2016)

“The third man was called Hermann Oberth. And people noticed what he did, because in 1944 what he was trying to do was destroy London. His particular version of the Thermos flask became known as Vengeance Weapon 2. And before the war was over it had killed thousands of Allied troops and civilians. You see, all three men had understood that certain gasses ignite. And that the Thermos flask permits you to store vast quantities of those gasses safely in the frozen liquid form until you want to ignite them. At which point you take the top off the flask, the gasses evaporate, you apply a light, and BOOM. Now, two gasses do that better than any other. And it was Oberth’s assistant who put them together most efficiently.” – James Burke, Connections

The closing bit to “Eat, Drink, And Be Merry” (the eighth episode of Connections) is a great bit of television bravado: A long walk-and-talk timed to coincide with a rocket launch. Sure, the first long bit could be redone over several takes, as long as you had enough lead time, but that last segment? Any flub, and you’ve ruined the effect. And remember, this was the late 1970s. No CGI, no fancy compositing.

I’m just glad I was able to more-or-less do the bit justice.

Up next? Cannon fire and limelight and celluloid and the mythology of Thomas Edison, in “Countdown.” Join me, won’t you?