Straight to Blu-ray?

Just as you're putting the finishing touches on your DVD collection, another format war is heating up. This time, it's HD DVD versus Blu-ray, with the future of high-definition home video at stake.

What I found fascinating were the rental habits of the early adopters. Let's look at the Netflix Top 10 HD DVD and Blu-ray movies:

HD DVD

1. Million Dollar Baby; 2. Ray; 3. Ocean's Twelve; 4. Batman Begins; 5. The Bourne Supremacy; 6. The Manchurian Candidate; 7. Troy; 8. The Last Samurai; 9. The Italian Job; 10. Constantine

That sounds about right. Some Oscar winners, some epic battle scenes, some high-speed chases. But compare that to the Blu-rayers:

Blu-Ray

1. Crash; 2. Hitch; 3. 50 First Dates; 4. Good Night, and Good Luck; 5. Lord of War; 6. Rumor Has It; 7. Memento; 8. Stealth; 9. Saw; 10. S.W.A.T.

Nothing like Kevin James or Kevin Costner in HD.

Obviously, these lists are driven by what's available in each format. If you'd spent a grand on a Blue-ray player, you might feel compelled to watch anything. Even Basic Instinct 2 (#24 on the list).

But this campaign has a long way to go, and I'm no pundit. Blu-ray promises more exclusive deals with more studios. Besides, if we called elections after the New Hampshire primary, there'd be a Paul E. Tsongas Presidential Library.

One of these formats will be a hundred billion dollar winner. The other will be a punchline on I Love the 00s! on VH-1.

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TASCHEN
Everything You Need to Know About Food in One Book
TASCHEN
TASCHEN

If you find yourself mixing up nigiri and sashimi at sushi restaurants or don’t know which fruits are in season, then this is the book for you. Food & Drink Infographics, published by TASCHEN, is a colorful and comprehensive guide to all things food and drink.

The book combines tips and tricks with historical context about the ways in which different civilizations illustrated and documented the foods they ate, as well as how humans went from hunter-gatherers to modern-day epicureans. As for the infographics, there’s a helpful graphic explaining the number of servings provided by different cake sizes, a heat index of various chilies, a chart of cheeses, and a guide to Italian cold cuts, among other delectable charts.

The 480-page coffee table book, which can be purchased on Amazon for $56, is written in three languages: English, French, and German. The infographics themselves come from various sources, and the text is provided by Simone Klabin, a New York City-based writer and lecturer on film, art, culture, and children’s media.

Keep scrolling to see a few of the infographics featured in the book.

An infographic about cheese
TASCHEN

An infographic about cakes
Courtesy of TASCHEN

An infographic about fruits in season
Courtesy of TASCHEN

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