Archive for December, 2011

Today I went out to the cinema despite the freezing cold to see this movie.  Technically, it was excellent, with some superb performances, Gary Oldman and Benedict Cumberbatch both giving standout performances.  Of course, it helped that all the main leads are very easy on the eye.

However, as a woman, I was shocked by how darned chauvinistic it was.  There was barely a single female character who wasn't a) simple arm candy for the main characters b) a glorified tealady c) an adulteress or d) a damsel in distress the rescue of whom is held out as a reward for one of the main male characters

The only positive female character , a smart secretary who seemed to know what was what (who got maybe 10 minutes' screen time) was portrayed as less than traditionally attractive, and was forcibly put out to pasture (retired) very early on.  Sadly, I fear that's not too far from the truth of life in the 1970s British intelligence service.  It's been a while since I read John Le Carré's novel on which the movie is based, so I can't recall exactly if it's as chauvinistic.

When speaking with friends they asked me what I felt was the best movie of 2011.  I actually found it very difficult to answer.  This year there has been no King's Speech.  In the end I had to say Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, if only for Alan Rickman.  Certainly the award for worst movie that I saw goes to Conan The Barbarian!

2012 sounds more promising in terms of movies.  We have Hunger Games and The Hobbit, as well as The Iron Lady.    There were also some excellent trailers before TTSS, the only one of which I remember is A Dangerous Method

I think 2011 was a better year for television than movies.  We had Game of Thrones and now Once Upon a Time, both of which were excellent examples of top quality drama. 

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Posted: December 20, 2011 in Uncategorized

eBook borrowing with Overdrive

Posted: December 1, 2011 in Tech Reviews
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A past blog entry of mine related my frustrations with borrowing from the Bibliotheque et Archives Nationales du Quebec. I expressed my frustration at the difficulty I had finding a book and loading it onto my Kobo eReader.  

Recently, the BAnQ moved to the Overdrive ebook lending system, and I have to say it's a HUGE difference in ease of use.  Last Saturday my husband and I went to see the movie The Help and as I enjoyed it I decided to borrow the book on which it was based.  I logged into the BAnQ's Overdrive site and discovered that both copies of the book were out.  (Libraries can only lend as many copies as they have licences for that book.)  However, there was a handy link nearby: Place a Hold.  I entered my email address to register my hold.

So, this evening I got an email from BAnQ saying the book was available, providing a link and directing me to My Holds page on the Overdrive system.  A couple of well guided clicks and a login later, the book was downloading to my computer and then a drop and drag moved it to my Kobo.  All in all, it took maybe 5 minutes from receiving the email to being able to read it on my eReader.  

Now, maybe it's just because I'm more used to the way the borrowing works, but I do find the Overdrive system a big improvement. I would just like to say well done and thank you to BAnQ for this big improvement in service.