The Dark Knight

On Sunday night, I went to see The Dark Knight, the latest movie theatre incarnation of Batman. I've spent entirely too much of my scarce teenage pocket money on Batman comics, so I still never miss the movie editions, especially since I really like Tim Burton's work as a director. Burton's Batman is an extraordinary rendition of the dark comic strip character executed with the means of motion picture, but doing justice to its origin as a comic hero.

The Dark Knight is very different. I think that Christopher Nolan, its new director recognised that Burton's version cannot be topped, so he changed tack completely. Where Burton's Batman does not claim to be anything else but an entirely fictitious comic hero, Nolan has transformed Batman to a contemporary political metaphor - the Batman of the 21st century, so to speak. Any similarities with real events and persons are fully intentional, I am sure. And let me say that it is all very well done, with one exception: the transformation of the state prosecutor from Gotham's white knight to a madman is less than authentic. The night is darkest just before dawn - which is scheduled for November 4th. 

Incidentally, this movie reminded me of a quote by Max Frisch that I've stumbled on the other day. It's from his New York lectures on journalism, I think, and I cannot recall it verbatim, plus it was in German: You can never describe truth, you can only reinvent it. I think this is quite true, as however much you try to be objective, your description is always a function of your perception and your values. Hence, the most honest (but maybe not the most efficient) way to go about describing the truth is to invent a story that transports clearly what you want to say. In that way, The Dark Knight has quite an unexpected lot of truth.


Ben's Cookies

My London trips have gained another regular stop: Shortly before departure, I'll go down to Ben's Cookies store at the South Kensington tube station to get a selection of freshly made cookies to take home. Absolutely delicious! I'm glad there's no outlet near where I live ...


Here hung those lips?

Interesting stuff, discovered via an episode of vernissage tv. Speaking of vernissage tv, this is rather disturbing stuff, coming from Russia ...


Snap, the fish got you!

I've always been interested in concepts like mosquito marketing, so when I was offered the opportunity to participate, I took it. The guys over at dot-friends offered a free snapfish collage poster if I would blog (fairly & honestly) about it, and so, here goes ...

It's about photocollage posters, a new snapfish offering. Naturally, I've tried it out, and it worked fine for me. The resulting poster is printed beautifully on high quality photo paper. Snapfish did, however, underperform in terms of delivery times: The promise was for the poster to be produced within 1-2 days; effectively it took them three. Mail was delivered in time.

As for the creation process online, I'll say that my enthusiasm is limited. Like I said, it all worked, but it worked in a PC (as opposed to Mac) kind of way: the process allows for very little in design creativity (photos can only be arranged in 90 degree angles, there is a fairly limited set of frame colours and frame strengths - that's it!). On top of that, the website design was not rendered well on Safari, as some of the buttons (important ones like OK) were missing - I had to guess! 

So, in conclusion, I don't think this is a product I will use again, as it isn't much fun to create, and you don't have many degrees of freedom in creating it. Nor is it a steal at CHF 25. Yet, I will keep snapfish bookmarked because they offer a range of less complex, but nice & useful products, such as picture cups, jugs and caps. 

Hmm, this is probably not the kind of review that my dot-friends were hoping for, but since I'm expected to give a review, the free poster I got is not a gift horse that you're not supposed to look in the mouth ...


Pascal's wager

Why are people still so impressed by Pascal's wager after all those centuries? Surely, if there were a god in any meaningful sense (i.e. omniscient and -potent), she would send him to the other place for thinking that he could deceive her by faking his faith. I guess that would count as pride ...

Clarity of mind

Via 43 Folders, I came across the essay Politics and the English Language by George Orwell. Written in 1946, its subject matter is just as current today, although complicated (and amplified!) by the fact that written language becomes increasingly obsolete in the immediacy of the spoken word. Does the written language still matter in politics, or would it enter the realm of the law with its own technicalities?



Originally uploaded by chdreyer
On Friday, I was in Hamburg for a meeting. It was the first time I was there, but unfortunately, I only had time for a sightseeing tour and a cup of coffee sitting at the Aussenalster. It was nice, and Hamburg made a favourable enough impression, with the one notable exception that I haven't found a free wireless access anywhere, not even in my hotel! What kind of a business hotel is it that hasn't understood, yet, that free wireless access is an indispensable amenity just like running water?



Wow - I want one! Not that I have anything to put in it, nor would my living room floor probably be sufficiently strong to support it, but I want one.