Kara Babcock

I read, write, code, and knit.

4 Articles from July 2009

  1. Torchwood Days Two and Three

    Major spoilers ahead.

    Torchwood Day Two was even better than Day One, and so far Day Three has topped both of those combined. Davies successfully manages to raise the stakes in each successive episode, which can only mean a massive climax on Friday night. I can't wait!

    Day Two was definitely Gwen and Ianto's moment to shine. Jack blew up at the end of Day One, so with him (temporarily) out of the picture, Gwen and Ianto are on their own and on the run. Gwen and her husband, Rhys, stowaway on a potato truck on its way to London. There, they meet up with Lois Habiba, a new girl in the Home Office who's starting to wonder for which side she's working. With a little help from her, they go off to rescue Captain Jack, only to find that he's been imprisoned in a block of concrete.

    Cue Ianto! He decides to steal the entire concrete cell with some heavy machinery conveniently left behind by the people who poured the concrete. Oh, and Gwen blows up the concrete mixer to cover their escape. They toss the concrete block off a cliff, and Jack emerges ... naked, of course.


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  2. Welcome to the Walled Web 2.0

    As much as I am in love with the technological achievement that is the Amazon Kindle, I have to chastise Amazon and the producers of other eBook readers for what I see as a step backward.

    You may have heard last week about Amazon deleting books off Kindles. This is worrisome because--as Jonathan Zittrain explains--it emphasizes how much you don't own what you "buy" from Amazon or any other company that digs its claws into you by selling you tethered goods. We sacrifice our freedom to keep what we purchase in return for a little convenience in the purchasing.

    That's not all though. Barnes and Noble, bookstore rival to Amazon, plans on launching its own eReader from Plastic Logic. Now, I'm all for competing eReader devices and competing eBook stores. Competition breeds innovation. But what I don't like is this:

    At this point, B&N's plan becomes clear--the books will be tied to the B&N e-reader, and not downloadable by Kindle or Sony Reader owners. Essentially B&N is trying to set up a closed ecosystem that's a direct rival to Amazon's, and that's based from its bricks and mortar stores and a website, versus Amazon's 100% cloud-based solution.

    A synonym…

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  3. Torchwood Day One and Doctor Who Pics!

    Monday signalled the beginning of a week of mass mayhem, Scotland versus England humour, and alien threats to the security of our planet. Yes, I'm talking about the American and Canadian premiere of season 3 of Torchwood, aka Torchwood: Children of the Earth. If you've been living under a rock for the past year, this is a five-part miniseries format change to accompany Torchwood's move to BBC One.

    For those of you in Canada who missed the broadcast or who don't get Space, you're in luck! You can watch Torchwood online for up to seven days after it airs on television. Now, the CBC has also been good about making its television shows available online; they've shafted Doctor Who and Torchwood over and over, however, so I'm happy to see them finding a new home on Space. Space will also be showing the Easter Doctor Who special, Planet of the Dead, this Saturday.

    I must confess that I'm not in love with Torchwood the way I'm in love with Doctor Who. I watched the first two seasons sporadically. The only character who really fascinates me is Captain Jack, with his TARDIS-conferred immortality. Beyond that,…

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  4. In memoriam: Mug

    My favourite mug, Mug

    Two weeks ago to this day, I broke my favourite mug. I was heartbroken.

    I don't like calling myself a materialist, but we all place sentimental value on certain items when they become important to us. Up until two years or so ago, I rotated among three or four different mugs for my tea--yes, mugs. "Cups" are for prats and amateurs. Hardcore tea-drinkers drink tea by the mug, and the really hardcore tea enthusiasts (I am not) drink it by the bowl in elaborate Japanese tea ceremonies. There's literature about this sort of thing. But I digress.

    Then I started using only one mug. My mug. It just felt comfortable: perfect shape, an attractive colour and calm design on the outside, and a handle that didn't hurt my fingers. It held a good amount of tea. I'd use it for every single cup, rinsing it, washing it out with baking soda every couple of days. I treated that mug like royalty. But ultimately, I failed it.

    We were sitting outside; I was reading and Mug was relaxing on the table next to me, holding some tea. I went to take a sip and was pleased to discover that Mug…

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