Amateur iPad art …

There are chunks of thirty minutes when the baby is sleeping, that are the new “productivity zones” for me. Since I was introducing my mom to ArtRage1, I decided to try it out myself. One of the nifty features is the ability to import a photo and create a new layer with variable opacity, which can then be used as a template for a layer on top of it. I used the watercolor brush and made the following:

Baby Gym Photo Baby Gym Watercolor

The original image is on the left, and the watercolor (with some contrast and exposure adjustments) is on the right. For someone who cannot draw what he sees, this has a huge amplifying effect.



Something random I made with ArtRage on an iPad …



The mysterious affair of the price discrepancy

Have been putting off watching Series 13 of Poirot because (1) I have less free time these days, and (2) I don’t want it to end 😦

I looked at ways to watch it legally on the three major platforms, with some curious1 results:


  • Google has one version available and it isn’t clear whether it’s SD or HD (though looking at the thumbnails, I’m guessing the former).
  • Amazon has both SD and HD options
  • iTunes has both SD and HD options

Individual Episode Pricing

  • Google has each episode priced at $6.99
  • Amazon has the SD version priced at $6.99 and the HD version at $7.99
  • iTunes has the SD version priced at $4.99 and the HD version at $5.99

Whole Series Pricing

  • Google has the series (in SD ?) priced at $24.99
  • Amazon has the same price for SD, and $29.99 for HD
  • iTunes has the same prices as Amazon, minus 4 cents
  • Amazon also has the DVD version for the series, at $17.96, and the Blu-Ray version at $34.54

Which format to watch ?

  • If you want to watch a single episode (why ?!), iTunes is the cheapest 2 (both SD and HD)
  • If you want to watch the whole series online, ditto (though not by much)
  • If you don’t mind watching it with a physical disk, Amazon is the cheapest.
  • If you want to play it on the maximum number of platforms, go with Amazon3.

Edit: I ended up going with Amazon since one of the platforms happens to be a Sony PlayStation.

  1. Curious, because I had naively expected iTunes to be the most expensive
  2. By quite a bit, almost 30 percent less than Google or Amazon! 
  3. Unless you’re Apple-only, in which case iTunes, obviously. 

The excellent absurdity of Indiana Jones

Watched the “refrigerator scene” on YouTube and saw this comment in the stream that just about sums it up:

Wait so, in the first three movies, we’ve seen:

  1. A magical box that made Nazis explode and melt faces off
  2. A river raft carrying three people fall from a plane thousands of feet in the air onto a mountain, and not break everyone’s bones and spines in the process.
  3. A cult leader that has the ability to hypnotize and pull a heart out of a person’s chest
  4. Stones that, when placed in a certain hole, restore all vegetation and clarity to an Indian village
  5. A cup that, if you drink water out of it, you age into dust
  6. An 800+ year-old knight guarding said cups

    And you’re okay with all of that, but once Indy goes into a lead-lined fridge and survives a nuclear blast, you guys call it “unrealistic.” Just shut up and embrace the absurdity, like you did before. I personally thought this scene was awesome. The movie, I’ll admit, not as good as the others, but definitely didn’t deserve the flack.


Apropos of the recent article on how “Googling for stuff makes you feel smarter”, here is Umberto Eco on something similar:

A student makes hundreds of pages of photocopies and takes them home, and the manual labor he exercises in doing so gives him the impression that he possesses the work. Owning the photocopies exempts the student from actually reading them. This sort of vertigo of accumulation, a neocapitalism of information, happens to many.

(sound familiar?)