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The internet, and particularly the appearance of eBay in the mid-1990s, profoundly changed the world of watch collecting. Previously, collectors not lucky enough to inherit classic watches from relatives would have to prowl estate sales, pawn shops, auctions, watch collector shows, and vintage watch dealers. Research meant referencing obscure books, grainy photographs and trips to a trusted watchmaker who could open the back of a watch to look for telltale signs of Cheap Omega Watches fakes. Now there are countless websites, blogs and forums for collectors, with troves of useful information on almost any kind of watch imaginable. Interested in electric tuning fork watches? Railroad pocketwatches? How about East German military watches? Odds are there is a website, forum and online xafsplace dedicated to each of them.

How to spot a fake watch Unfortunately, these websites are not only a great resource for collectors but also for those who endeavor to dupe collectors out of their thousands by making incredibly accurate fakes. The same information that helps a buyer determine what is authentic also helps the criminals make fakes looks Replica Omega authentic. There are various degrees of faking a watch and various methods, from simply calling a watch something it isn to staining a dial in tea to prematurely the luminous markers.

Since the difference between an issued military watch and a civilian version can often come down to military stock and issue numbers engraved on the caseback, and the difference in value can be in the thousands, the simplest way to fake a piece is to engrave the caseback. A diligent buyer will consult an expert not only in military watches but in the particular era, military and watch type to find out the nuances of fonts used and accurate issue engravings.

Another popular method of faking involves building a watch out of parts from different eras, such as a newer movement inside an older case -- the aforementioned Frankenwatch. A buyer often can tell the difference unless he opens up the case and matches up movement and case serial numbers. This requires access to the watch or good authentic photographs and the relevant serial number information from the watch manufacturer. Some firms like Omega and IWC are very helpful, have saved records for over 100 years and will provide information to collectors. In other cases, the watch company might be long out of business, which makes authenticating a whole lot harder.

Have we scared you? Good. You be a smarter collector.

What the xafs will bear While we like to convince you that a vintage watch is a good investment in this era of uneasy stock xafss, very few actually are. There are a handful of sure bets though. Vintage Rolex watches, defined by most as the ones made before the era of sapphire crystals, have commanded top dollar and continue to increase in value. A 1960s Submariner, which may have cost $200 new, is now worth over $5,000. The more rare references, such as the military or Comex Subs, command upward of $50,000 at auction. Vintage Patek Philippes are typically sure things as well. While never truly affordable to the average person, a Patek Nautilus bought in the mid- for a couple grand now will sell for upward of $50,000. Other makes, like Audemars Piguet and A. Lange S are also fine investments.

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Was thinking while I was watching it tonight that spends way too much time and effort trying to set up and sell the idea that Batman is not just an anti-hero, he's a quasi-villain and that the people of Gotham City---which is to say, people---need a quasi-villain to defend and protect them because they aren't ready for a true hero. Gotham is a fallen world. The people who live there---here, everywhere is Gotham City---are the children of a fall, the fall. The crime that engulfs them is their own fallen, evil nature unleashed and turned against themselves. The Joker is right. For now. Batman is what people both hate about themselves and the only weapon they can use to destroy what they hate about themselves. Batman is the self against the self. That's why his chief Nemesis, the Joker, is his mirror image. Batman is civilization as it is, human nature held in check by a few rules. The Joker is human nature without those rules. There can be no true heroes until people themselves are heroic. They need a savior. The savior will only come when the time is right, which is when the people are ready, which is to say when they don't really need to be saved anymore.

Until then, all we have is Replica Watches Batman.

That seemed to me too much for one movie. But this isn't one movie. It's part of a series of movies and the plan for those movies don't include only one hero.

What The Dark Knight did, and did pretty well, I think, was clear a space in the Batman myth that can only be filled by one hero, who is not Batman. We may not get to see the series completed because his movie, the one that was intended to start the series that was going to intersect with the Batman movies, bombed. But the space for him is there and it doesn't have to be filled on the screen because it's easy to fill it in our imaginations. The ending of the Dark Knight contains the whole story of the Knight of Light.

Well put. Hadn really thought of it that way, but DC has always been really, really keen on drawing those distinctions: that Batman and Superman are a Yin/Yang combination that really need each other to be effective.

(Now if only Warner had let DC be as conscientious about making these connections as Marvel has been.)

Then again, the problem with waiting for saviors is the kind of saviors you get. Sure, Superman is a welcome counterpoint to Batman. but so is Ozymandias. The Watchmen loom large over Nolan Gotham.

Superman is physically invulnerable. Emotionally? I don know. If Luthor hurt Lois Lane, perhaps Superman would take LexCorp apart brick by brick, but I don think he snap and start killing people.

The movie punishes Harvey Dent for trying to be Superman without actually being the Last Son of Krypton.

I admit, I was expecting them to set up Two-Face for the next movie, so I was surprised that they went ahead and unleashed him in the last hour or so. Good lord, but that version of Two-Face made me want my teddy bear last night.

The problem with Dark Knight is that it fails at narrative structure and character development, choosing to instead focus on a morality tale (with the morals actually repeatedly verbalized by the characters themselves). Joker story begins in media res and never really develops into a STORY; instead he is just a force of malevalence and chaos (which he helpfully tells the viewer in case you need it spelled out for you). In the end, the film is just a series of special effects supporting the vague outlines of a story about Batman and allies trying to stop the Joker and various criminals, with a subplot where the citizens of Gotham (and the viewers, by extension) are faced with a prisoner dilemma to illustrate that moral choices are hard. It would be fine as a serial like a comic book or a single episode in a soap opera, but it does not work on its own merits as a stand-alone film. The nearly-instantaneous turn from Harvey Dent to Two-Face is never believable for a minute, and is directly comparable to the change in character in Star Wars Episode 3 from Anakin Skywalker to Darth Vadar. In both films, one minute the guy is a boy scout and the next minute he is ready to massacre children. That kind of about face needs to be belieavable or it just looks ridiculous and feels calculated to manipulate emotion.

Dent is definitely the movie big problem. As Luke says, his downfall--which should carry strong dramatic resonance--isn remotely psychologically believable--especially given that, as the prisoners on the boat demonstrate, preternatural goodness IS a possibility in this world. The Joker is mesmerizing, and I don mind--in fact, I LIKE--that he never develops into anything more than a force of chaos, but then Two Face has to be dragged into the mix, and all you can think is, huh. Nice face effect. Great. Um. There Just Us.")

Any of us could be a Joker, even someone as incorruptible as Dent.

Demosthenese, your points don seem swiss replica watches to explain how this film is anything but a medieval morality play with flashy production values. Repeating the moral or point of the film and its characters (as delivered straight from the movie characters mouths) doesn suggest how the FILM was well-executed as a FILM. Special pleading about "comic conceits" doesn either. I love comics, but I want my comic book films to hold together as a film. To me that means a coherent story, some character development, competent acting, and decent cinematography. The Dark Knight really failed the first two, Ledger was the only actor who delivered on the third, and I will give it the fourth (though I found the cinematography to be a tad confused).

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Beavis and Butt-Head sat at a Beverly Hills sidewalk café, Breitling watches gold Cartier jewelry and Rolex watches dangling over cups of cappuccino. The best doubles team in the world, Gigi Fernandez and Natasha Zvereva, were having one of their typical conversations, the kind that has earned them the nicknames of MTV cartoon characters. "I'm Beavis," Fernandez said. "She's Butt-Head. Wait. No. I don't know. Which is the blond and which is the brunet?" The answer depends on the day-and on who is being the bigger butt-head.

Separately, they are difficult and underachieving. Together, they almost make a whole person. Zvereva, 23, is a counterculture maven from Minsk who listens to heavy metal and won't hire a coach because she can't stand to be told what to do. Fernandez, 30, is a self-described spoiled rich girl from Puerto Rico who has left such a trail of broken rackets she once paid her fines to the women's tour in advance. Why did they team up? "Our partners dumped us," Fernandez says.

If you thought ladies' doubles was a genteel event for tea-sipping blue hairs, look again-and cover your ears. When a match gets tight, Fernandez and Zvereva lighten up by flipping through a book of off-color jokes during the changeovers. "Basically," Zvereva says, "I try to take everything as one big joke."

Their career together is one big last laugh. Beavis and Butt-Head have won nine of the last 12 Grand Slam titles and are the most dominant duo since Martina Navratilova and Pam Shriver, who were the greatest team ever and the last pair to win a doubles slam, in 1984. Fernandez and Zvereva's match record last season was 60-4, and they are the runaway top-ranked team in the world. It is Navratilova's opinion that she and Shriver were slightly better, but it's arguable. "We were power," she says. "They are finesse. It would have been close."

If there is another difference, it is that Fernandez and Zvereva are capable of losing in the first round occasionally. Fernandez is a big serve-and-volleyer whose legendary bad temper has helped keep her from ever being ranked higher in singles than No. 17. Zvereva is an all-courter with lightning reflexes. Among the most natural but mercurial athletes on tour, she has been as high as No. 5 and as low as No. 30. Open semifinals in September, the second straight year they narrowly lost a slam bid. Zvereva had struggled with an assortment of injuries, and Fernandez was admittedly tight. In general they hardly seem the sorts to chase such records. "In some ways what we've done is tougher," Fernandez says of comparisons with Navratilova-Shriver. "They were great. It's amazing we're this good."

Winning or losing, Fernandez and Zvereva are the liveliest act around, including the Jensens, the chest-butting brothers doubles team. They have been known to hit balls between their legs, over their backs and while lying on the ground. "The glory shots," Fernandez says. Zvereva helped them win the '93 Wimbledon title-ironically, over the partners who spurned them, Jana Novotna and Larissa Neiland-when she struck two miraculous, lunging forehands while lying in the grass after falling, to give them match point.

As the saying goes, the rocks in one head fill the holes in another. It is the only way to explain the zig-and-zag chemistry of Fernandez and Zvereva, opposites in style and temperament. As they lounged at the table in Beverly Hills while on a break from tournament play, they were a study in contrast. Fernandez wore a $2,000 Armani suit, Zvereva a suede miniskirt and Big Rig construction boots. "We do a lot of things together, but shopping isn't one of them," Fernandez says. "We're too different." Yet somehow they dovetail in all the important ways.

Fernandez and Zvereva genuinely like each other-no mean accomplishment in the fake watches back-stabbing world of women's tennis. They have stayed together since the summer of 1991, when Fernandez was dropped by Novotna and Zvereva by Neiland. Novotna and Neiland teamed up, so Zvereva and Fernandez shrugged and did the same-and won the first six Grand Slam events they entered. Neiland does not have a regular partner, and Novotna has had a half dozen partners in the ensuing three years. (She teamed with the latest, Arantxa Sánchez Vicario, to beat Fernandez and Zvereva in the Australian Open final last month.) In contrast, Fernandez and Zvereva not only play together, they also spend holidays together.

They exchange gifts after every tournament victory, a practice begun at the urging of Fernandez's former coach, Julie Anthony, whom they credit with bringing them together and keeping them there. With each title, Zvereva gives Fernandez a Russian lacquered box, and Fernandez buys Zvereva CDs for her collection, which numbers roughly 275. "They're like sisters," says Lindsay Davenport, a tour player and Zvereva's roommate in a Newport Beach, Calif., condo. "They're always off somewhere talking."

Their Achilles' heel is emotion, not tactics. Fernandez, the aggressor and strategic leader of the team, is subject to what she calls "my freak-outs," destructive rages that end in penalties and fines. "The best way to beat them is to get them upset," says Davenport.

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