Was going to write some thoughts about the newest album from Alestorm – “No Grave But the Sea” but couldn’t come up with anyone. The album is not bad and I can doubtlessly recommend it to anyone but, well, it’s just a typical Alestorm, except for a song full of F-bombs. Oh, and there’s a deluxe edition as well, so one will be able to listen to it with his or her dog. Yep, “No Grave But the Sea for Dogs”.

Instead, there are some photos from London. We visited the University of Western Ontario and I must confess – I wish I had learned at such university.

St. Peter’s seminary. On reconstruction

The territory belonging to the seminary

First groundhog I’d seen in my life

University building. Damn, this is UNIVERSITY BUILDING?!

The second groundhog in my life

It’s nothing to see here, just a bunny on the lawn next to the one of the busiest streets in the city

The Shape of Voice

We were going to watch this movie since its release in Japan. All reviews, everything we read about it basically yelled:”This is an absolute masterpiece!” Very popular manga (ranked at the number 23 on MAL) as a source, good topic (bullying) and KyAni as a production studio – it was bound to become a brilliant movie.

First of all – yes, this is a great film. It’s rather long, more than 2 hours, but that’s probably it’s the only one weakness. The story, despite being simple and sometimes coming up with twists that even soap operas could’ve been proud of, is touching. I mean, really touching, and it doesn’t look like the authors want to make us shed a tear using some dirty tricks. The story itself is a trick. The story about a deaf girl. The story about what it’s like when you’re alone at school and others even in the best case scenario are just avoiding you. This anime could’ve won Oscar and I can’t understand why it was decided to go with “your.name” instead of the KyAni’s movie.

Minuses? Sure, we can find some. “A silent voice” (I think that both translations are used) mostly is a depressing movie. I’d say that 75% of its time it might be difficult to watch it. We literally had to pause it 5 or 6 times because it was rather painful to continue. Characters aren’t nice. The plot about a person who initially looks like an ideal target for bullying might raise some questions such as “Okay, but what if this girl wasn’t deaf, eh? Would we feel the same?”

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The second part is just my random thoughts with spoilers.

The nomination for the worst character here wins Kawai-san. She is even worse than Ueno, Ueno was, at least, direct.

For me it’s still rather difficult to understand why Ishida, the main characters, didn’t decide to elbow his way through life even when others were against him, it seemed that he could have. Although, maybe the scene when his mother met Nishimiya’s mother affected him so much.

Don’t like the happy end here. Especially the idea that Ishida’s friends saved him from the river. Despite my disagreement with the good ending I’m disappointed that two main characters didn’t make the next step in their relationships.

The idea about crosses on characters’ faces is sort of silly but I’d call it a “positive silliness”.

And yes, his runaway from the hospital was something absolutely absurd and weird.

Haven’t played any game in the Far Cry series but this one, with number 5 in the name, has something in it (maybe I just like the setting). And that could be a great slogan “Souls do not harvest themselves” =)

Nothing interesting happened today (except that we had a TV delivered) so probably it’s time to write about things that surprised us in Canada. About time, eh? A small disclaimer first – we haven’t visited other places except London yet, so I’m when I’m writing “here” it doesn’t mean “here, in Canada” but “here, in London”.

Stereotypes. Canadians are very polite and friendly. True. We asked tons of rather stupid questions, our English is far from being perfect and still locals helped us and didn’t show any signs of hostility and suspicion. At the same time, despite their general positive attitude, it seems that Canadians prefer to avoid close contacts with people. Maybe I got such impression because we’re foreigners who haven’t integrated well enough. One more things about stereotypes – I haven’t heard even a single time that anyone here said “aboot” and “eh?” is a rare beast as well =)

People here like coffee. Whenever we’re walking we saw people with “Tim Hortons” cups. Tim Hortons is a good coffee, by the way.

All people drive. It’s a fact. Now it’s about summer and situation with people on the streets is getting better but still – mostly they drive to a particular point and only then start walking. Buses are half-empty. All shopping malls are located on the outskirts of the city.

There are a lot of people who speak English even worse than I do. Quite unexpectedly.

Canadians do like hockey. Many of my co-workers wear jersey and I’d say that baseball caps with a team logo on them take their place on heads of, maybe, half of population.

Everything is very expensive comparing to Russia. Food is twice as expensive, for example. I’d better skip the part about mobile phones and internet provider services. One of few exceptions is electronics, things like TVs or consoles.

There are a looot of squirrels. And virtually no pigeons.

People here don’t like to wear jackets or hats even when it’s cold outside. Maybe they are used to it, maybe it’s related to the point about “everyone drives”.

There’s a difference between a credit and a debit card, even processing companies are different. Yep, debit cards here are not very familiar Visa or MasterCard but something frightening named “Interac”.

I think, it’s enough for the first time, will make additions to this post when remember something interesting.

Playing Order 1886 and it’s graphics is something that couldn’t be created without witchery and occult rituals =) Good reason to read some tech papers from Ready At Dawn:

http://www.readyatdawn.com/presentations/

And I must add one more link. This is a blog of Matt Pittineo, lead graphics programmer at RaD, and I’d say that this is an extremely useful and inspiring source of information if you want to learn something about modern graphics techniques (and the source code is very clean and easy to read):

https://mynameismjp.wordpress.com/