Why did nobody tell me of this? “Batman: the Dark Knight Strikes Again”

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I had no idea that Frank Miller revisited the “Dark Knight” mythos. But today I discovered, seven years after the fact, “Batman: the Dark Knight Strikes Again“, by Frank Miller and his wife, Lynn Varley.

Apparently reviewers were upset that it wasn’t exactly the same as the dark, gritty original “Batman: the Dark Knight Returns”. I think I’ll read it and see how it is for myself..

After Luisa and I dropped Michael off at rez at UofT, we took a leisurely drive along the Danforth. We had lunch at Astoria, and then went to the Carrot Commons. Or, rather, Luisa did, but everything seemed closed for Labour Day.

I noticed what *I* thought was a “new” Mac store across the street and took a snap with my iPhone — RiverdaleMac

I posted it to Facebook, where I was informed it is, in fact, a very old store, that used to be called “The CD Shop” (gee, wonder why they changed their name? :-D).

I trundled over to the book store just east of the ‘Carrot whose name escapes me.
And they had a graphic novels section.
And there I saw the tome above.
And bought it. 🙂

Luisa found me a copy of the latest Cinefex, which I’ll probably also read on the GO train.

All in all, a nice day. Great weather, too.

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My Favorite iPhone apps, Sep 2009

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My Favorite iPhone Apps, Sep 2009

The iPhone Facebook app (free) is pretty good. The recent update has seen its UI overhauled, very much for the better.

There are still things you cannot do with the iPhone app, but for most things it’s just fine.

“Now Playing” (free) is the best app for movies. With it you can find what’s playing near you, at what time, and what score it has on Rotten Tomatoes. It has the phone numbers for theatres, and a Google Maps link to show you where they are.

One feature I appreciate is that it shows you DVDs as well. You can restrict this to show you only Blu-rays, so I find it handy to find out what’s coming out on Blu-ray this week.

“Stanza” (free) — recently acquired by Amazon — is the best text/book-reading app. It comes with built-in links for downloading classics like “Pride & Prejudice”, “War of the Worlds”, and others to your Stanza library.

You can adjust font size, and the page turning is nicely done. It also works in portrait mode.

“WeatherEye” *(free) is my favorite weather app. It doesn’t have the fancy graphs and graphics ofr “MyWeather”, but I find it’s short- and long-term forecasts very useful.

 “TouchTerm” (free) and “VNC” (free and $$ versions) kind of go together, because they’re somewhat geeky. I dunno. But they are very good.

VNC struggles a bit when I view my dual-24″ monitor desktop. It tells me it is getting short on memory. I persevere though, and I haven’t head it crash on me.

TouchTerm is nice to have so you can ssh in to anywhere you like … except your iPhone. *sigh.

“eBuddy” (free) seems to hold the crown currently for multi-protocol IM app. It supports “push” notifications, but only stays connected for a maximum of 30 minutes. The AIM iPhone app, by contrast, stays online for 24 hours without your having to run the app once during that time.

Now iPhones can save websites as “app-like” icons on your screen, and I have a few favorite sites that I do this for.

 “Google Latitude” is a way to share your up-to-the-minute (but not second!) location with  friends. This is very handy when you’re supposed to meet up with people somewhere. When I’m driving I just start it up and leave it running.

Beware, however: the frequent access to the GPS necessitated by Latitude can drain the battery somewhat. It’s best using it when it’s plugged in (in your car, for example).

I use http://ping.fm/m to update all my various micro-blogs like Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, etc. It’s a one-stop spew shop. 🙂

You can also set it up to do real blog posts etc, but this mobile-based web page isn’t suitable for that. How much can you type into a single, one-line text input box?

I’m curious to see how this is formatted on http://clith.posterous.com since I’ve used float alignments to float the inline pictures to the left or right of the paragraphs..

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Pride & Prejudice Blu-ray

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I bought the Blu-ray version of the 1995 BBC miniseries “Pride & Prejudice” a little while ago. They did an excellent job of the transfer.

Take a look at Elizabeth Bennet’s first glimpse of Pemberley:



Just to be completely fair, these are not actual Blu-ray stills. Rather, they’re stills from an mkv down-encoding of the Blu-ray. But they’re of sufficient quality as to demonstrate the amazing difference the new transfer makes. All the colours have been corrected. As well, the soundtrack is much clearer – you hear things you never heard on the DVD.

I’d give this Blu-ray a 9/10 — I took one off because the dark scenes were too grainy. But I suspect this to be the fault of the equipment and film that was used during original filming, not of the Blu-ray transfer; you can’t make it better than the original film, after all.

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Recent 'Net Stuff

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There is a new book that could be as important as
Version Control with Subversion
was several years ago.
It’s called Pro Git,
and the source for the book is available on

Another item of note is an online
Settlers of Cataan dice-rolling app
that Vartan should like, since it keeps track of how many of each roll there has been.
However, it does not track who rolled what each turn, so perhaps not quite up to scratch. 🙂

Then there’s two sites for Mac OS X users who like the QuickLook feature:
QuickLook Plugins
Between the two of them you should be able to hit spacebar with a huge variety of files.

Finally I’ll mention
the Google Maps API V3,
because it has lots of stuff in it aimed at mobile devices (specifically iPhone, Android).
The major feature is going to be how fast it loads up.
I can attest to the fact that V2 does take a long time sometimes on the iPhone.

Yet More Medical TV Shows

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With the passing of shows (some of which we wish hadn’t passed) comes new shows.
I grabbed a few recently and here’s what I thought of them.

Nurse Jackie
Nurse Jackie

Nurse Jackie

Mrs. Soprano strikes out as a not-even-remotely-perfect nurse at a hospital.
She swears, takes pain drugs for her back (shades of House) and has sex with doctors.
But unlike House or Grey’s Anatomy, this show has a much grittier, more real feel to it.
So far though, I’m not sure if that aspect is adding to or subtracting from the show’s appeal.

Edie Falco
is a very strong actress, and I could understand why she might want to have a dark, gritty, and above all *serious* show.
But she also has a comedic side, and that is completely smothered by the cynical realism of this show.

Royal Pains
Royal Pains

Royal Pains

I’ve seen all of 10 minutes of this show so far, but it’s yet another doctor show.
I’m getting tired of doctor shows, but Mark Feuerstein
is keeping my interest (so far).’

We’ll have to see where this one goes.