Although two of the films nominated for Best Visual Effects Oscars star comic book heroes and one is a fantasy, all the filmmakers grounded their vision in reality, and the visual effects studios they hired followed that lead. Reality, according to the consensus of the three nominees we talked with, is the reason “Benjamin Button,” “Dark Knight,” and “Iron Man” climbed to the top of the heap this year.

We asked three of the nominees who supervised CG visual effects for the films, Eric Barba of Digital Domain, Paul Franklin of Double Negative, and Ben Snow of Industrial Light & Magic, why they thought their peers singled out these films, and what trends the films might suggest for the future.

Ford’s Theatre Society will host a Grand Reopening Celebration on Wednesday, February 11, 2009, at Ford’s Theatre (511 10th Street NW). The invitation-only evening will include the presentation of the Lincoln Medal to filmmaker George Lucas and screen legend Sidney Poitier, whose accomplishments exemplify the character and lasting legacy of President Abraham Lincoln.

The evening’s performance, titled “Birth and Rebirth: A Celebration of the Lincoln Bicentennial and Reopening of Ford’s Theatre,” will be followed by a seated dinner at the National Portrait Gallery and Smithsonian American Art Museum (750 Ninth Street NW).

With the release of iPhone Firmware 2.2.1, many were left wondering what had become of the Push notification system that Apple had announced at the Worldwide Developer’s Conference back in June.

While Apple had originally set a September 2008 deadline for the service, Apple removed the feature from beta versions in August and has made no other mention of the service. Steve Jobs is reported to have told one customer that the feature was “running a bit late” and that they wanted to get it 100% right the first time.

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