Showing posts from 2012

48 FPS

A few days ago I watched The Hobbit at 48 frames per second (FPS), and I have to say it detracted from the experience, at least on a first viewing. The picture was of such high quality and clarity that it appeared too lifelike, and I could not get immersed into the story. It felt like I was watching actors performing lines, doing a rehearsal or staging a live play, rather than watching characters in a film. It was missing the magic of the movies. Despite the high ratings on IMDB, I'd have to rate the film a mere 6/10 at this point.

I've seen several other movies shot at the standard 24 FPS since, and by contrast they did seem fuzzier. However, I was able to suspend disbelief and enjoy those movies.

The Hobbit is also showing at 24 FPS in the downtown Toronto IMAX, so I plan to watch it again, to see if it fares better in the IMAX format at the lower frame rate. If I like it, I'll go back and try the 48 FPS version a second time.

James Cameron is apparently experimenting wi…

35 million

Canada's population reached 35 million people this week, making us the fastest growing country in the G8. Immigration is an important component of that growth. As someone born in Canada to parents who had immigrated from Greece, I can understand the attractiveness of this great nation for those looking for a better place to call home.

With the world in turmoil, Canada stands out as a beacon to those seeking a better future. Other nations should look to us as a role model for showing how people of different cultures can work together successfully.

World Toilet Day

Today is World Toilet Day. It's a reminder that, in large parts of the world, the things most of us take for granted are simply unavailable.

The next time you're going to complain about something trivial, it might be wise to pause for a moment, take a deep breath, and put things into perspective.


In Flanders Fields (by John McCrae) In Flanders fields the poppies blow Between the crosses, row on row, That mark our place; and in the sky The larks, still bravely singing, fly Scarce heard amid the guns below.
We are the Dead. Short days ago We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow, Loved and were loved, and now we lie In Flanders fields.
Take up our quarrel with the foe: To you from failing hands we throw The torch; be yours to hold it high. If ye break faith with us who die We shall not sleep, though poppies grow In Flanders fields.
(The Second Battle of Ypres by Richard Jack)
Today is Remembrance Day. We remember those who sacrificed everything to defend the freedoms we enjoy. We should never take those freedoms for granted. Indeed, it is our duty to be vigilant against all forces who threaten those freedoms. Catch the torch and hold it high.

New Money

The Bank of Canada introduces new $20 polymer notes tomorrow. Here's what they look like:

(source: Bank of Canada image gallery)
They're quite a change from the prior notes:
(source: Bank of Canada image gallery)
and are dramatically different from the notes that I grew up with:
(source: Bank of Canada image gallery)
They incorporate advanced security features to prevent counterfeiting and are more durable. While $50 and $100 notes using the new technology are already in circulation, most ATMs only give out $20 notes (the most popular denomination), so many people would not have used the polymer currency yet. Polymer has a different feel to it than paper, so it will seem a bit strange at first when fumbling through one's wallet.

IMAX In Downtown Toronto

Toronto is one of the top cities in the world for movie lovers. The annual Toronto International Film Festival attracts many celebrities, and many studios showcase important films at the event, before they are widely released. With great audiences, one would expect they demand and get the best possible cinema experience.

However, downtown Toronto has just a single true IMAX screen which shows new movies, namely the one at the Scotiabank Theatre operated by Cineplex. It's a wonderful place to take in a blockbuster movie, with a huge screen, and comfortable seats (which appear to have been upgraded this year). There are great sight lines, due to the stadium seating, and the sound system is fantastic. Earlier this year they added reserved seating, so that one can pick exactly where one wants to sit when ordering online.
Downtown Toronto does have a retrofitted (multiplex design) IMAX screen at the Cineplex Odeon Yonge & Dundas location, which AMC recently divested. But, it's …


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