short circuits

New and noteworthy experiences among DVDs, video games, gadgets and the Web.


His name is 'Nobody' - just ask the goat

What do you get when you cross a 2-ton granite block with a student sculptor suffering from a 2-ton creative block? The amusing gist of the independent Minneapolis film "Nobody." Sam Rosen stars as Lindeman, the befuddled art-school student who's struggling to find inspiration for his final project. The search finds him fraternizing with a goat, protesting with vegans and looking for love. The quirky film is now out on DVD, but you'll have to do a search of your own to find it. The Minnesota filmmakers -- who include director Rob Perez, writing partner and composer Ryan Miller, and executive producer Josh Hartnett -- explain that they skipped the traditional film-festival circuit and self-distributed the film after test screenings found that the target audience fell between ages 14 and 26. The DIY approach carried over to the DVD ($20), which is available only through their website (; $5 shipping) and at Electric Fetus in Minneapolis. The disc's expectedly fun features include more goat time, a featurette contending that Hartnett's house is haunted and commentary that, they say, offers "marginal insight about the film."

Out Tuesday: "Barnaby Jones" (Season 1), "Black Dynamite," "Clint Eastwood: 35 Films, 35 Years," "Coco Before Chanel," "Good Hair," "Halo Legends," "Lark Rise to Candleford" (Season 2), "Law Abiding Citizen," "Lola Montes," "Shaun the Sheep: A Woolly Good Time," "Small Wonder" (Season 1).


It's all art to Bloomington mom

In researching the Twin Cities app-development scene for last week's Technobabble, I noticed a definite trend: It's mostly guys who make up that tech community. So it was a nice surprise to hear from Tracy Finks after my column ran. The self-described "50-something soccer mom-type independent developer" has developed six image-oriented apps for the iPhone and iPod Touch through her Bloomington-based FreshAir Software ( Her latest, the 99-cent HeartConfettiArt, puts hearts and other love-themed items at your fingertips, letting you easily dress up photos of special someones with a splash of romantic flair. The resulting images can be saved, e-mailed and shared on Facebook. The confetti decorations are vector-based, so they look good at any resolution. HeartConfettiArt is an offshoot of FreshAir's popular ConfettiArt, a $2.99 app with an entire library of imagery to dress up your photos. The family also includes the 99-cent SnowflakeConfettiArt, which can be used to dress up winter photos. FreshAir's other apps cover more functional image manipulation. The 99-cent Shoot'n'Zoom offers a full-featured set of tools to zoom already-shot photos, and the $1.99 apps NeonFrames and Crop'n'Frame present a ton of ways to custom-frame your images -- again, all with easy sharing on Facebook, which is a smart option.