Dennō Coil or Coil – A Circle of Children

Honestly, I didn’t know what to expect when I picked up Dennō Coil. The angle, youth wearing VR overlay glasses, sounded something like .hack. Fortunately that wasn’t the case.

What Dennō Coil does have is a compelling story line centering around a group of young protagonists and a not altogether far-fetched technological premise. Through the plot the authors have weaved urban legend and the vibrant imaginations of children starting to explore the wider world.

Our storytellers viewpoint for the story is well balanced with much of what happens being caused or influenced by a well-done and well thought out perspective I rarely see in film. It had me going right up to the end, not quite sure what the larger picture was.

So this is definitely one to watch. It’s got competent animation, a very approachable bit of science fiction, and a compelling story line.

Online Picture Gallery in Ruby on Rails

So I’ve decided I need an online picture gallery that looks acceptably good and is fairly easy to edit/maintain.

And the obvious programming language to slot these categories is Ruby on Rails.

What I’m arriving at here is the need for a RoR based gallery for photos that does watermarking, allows for at least a few nifty in-line effects, and is easy to upload to.

Really, the uploading part can be server side. SFTP is both simple and secure, so why invent teh wheel.

But the rest of it just isn’t currently available in any form I’d call “simple” or “well designed”. There are a few cookie cutter Ruby image galleries out there… but they all appear to involve way more code than I think a display app requires.

Going on the KiSS principle the UI isn’t an important feature. It’s the only feature. Everything else can be handled on the OS end (upload, edit, removal) and if those are desirable in-site, they can be added in later. If the user experience isn’t polished that’s all a waste anyway.

So! From scratch (well.. as “from scratch” as it gets with GEMS anyway) it is!

Finally Saw Borat: Cultural Learnings…

At the insistence of Jolene and Jay (actually ran into him at Taste of India, which is cool) I finally saw Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan.

While Sacha Baron Cohen’s humor is definitely not for everyone (pretty over the top) it is exceedingly funny.

To recap: Borat is one of Sacha’s characters. He’s a Kazakhstan reporter coming to America to do a cultural exchange report.

Never mind the fact that Sacha’s speaking an odd mix of bullshit and Yiddish (it’s obviously not a Russian dialect, anyway. This was noted on NPR when they interviewed him). Or that he looks suspiciously unlike a Kazakh. No, he passes just fine stateside (except maybe in New York on the morning commute. Those people are equally pissed off at just about everyone.)

Live comedy abounds as he hoodwinks people on his tour into believing in his character. And to be honest he plays Borat to the hilt. At one point during filming he passes out and snaps back up still in character.

There’s quite a bit of outrageous material in here. Such as Borat chasing his traveling companion Azamat (Ken Davitian) naked down the hallway (of a prestigious hotel) waving a sex toy. Even so, I can’t bring myself to call it offensive; most of it is simply derogatory towards Sacha himself rather than demeaning toward others.

Everything considered, Borat is worth seeing. As long as you’re not offended by the content it’s hilarious. He affectively lampoons people by showing them as themselves, making for some classic scenes.