Starting University can be daunting. For most, becoming a University student is the beginning of a new academic challenge and social life. However, with these exciting ventures comes financial responsibility.Add a Comment
Starting University can be daunting. For most, becoming a University student is the beginning of a new academic challenge and social life. However, with these exciting ventures comes financial responsibility.Add a Comment
We are all born as wet as a banana, around 75% water.Add a Comment
As two organisms compete for the one light amid the darkness, their story reveals the volatile nature of power.Add a Comment
Et tu doggy?Add a Comment
On a desert planet, the natives are running away from the menacing shadow of the night.Add a Comment
A mouse and pig are members of the constabulary who go on a quest to return a stolen egg to its distraught parents.Add a Comment
A chance encounter proves fateful for two robots mining on a desolate planet.Add a Comment
A man with social phobia gets followed by a naive and clumsy creature.Add a Comment
Four children devise a plan to avenge Elliott on the lunch lady.Add a Comment
For the fifth year in a row, we are delighted to present the selections for the Cartoon Brew Student Animation Festival, the premier online showcase for animated short premieres by student filmmakers. We like to believe that each year is our strongest year, but this year's selections feel particularly vital, illustrating the remarkable breadth of work currently being produced by student filmmakers around the globe.Add a Comment
Cartoon Brew's fifth annual Student Animation Festival will launch tomorrow, August 5th, with the grand-prize winning work "Mr. Piggy Dies in 25 Dimensions" by Josh Sehnert.Add a Comment
Entry to the UK police force is changing. With Policing degrees are now available at over 20 universities and colleges across the UK – and the introduction of the direct entry scheme in a number of forces – fewer police officers are taking the traditional route into the force.
We spoke to officers, students, and course leaders to get their opinions on the relationship between theory and practice. Does a Policing degree make you a better officer?
On a personal level, a degree can help some students put their own career and practical training into context. Richard Honess had a “positive experience” in completing his Bachelor’s degree in Policing. “I now have a greater understanding of why we do what we do and the context of where our powers and policies originate; and why senior officers make the decisions they do. I have been able to merge my love of the job with my interest in science and scepticism with the development of ‘Evidence Based Policing’.”
“I have been bitten by the academic bug and I about to commence a Masters by Research in Policing, the ultimate in career development with a view to becoming a research ‘pracademic’!”
Experienced officers can also learn a thing or two. Darren Townsend operated as a Constable with 22 years’ service before deciding to take his degree. “The course opened my eyes completely around how policing worldwide operates, decision making processes especially in the wake of political interference, miscarriages of justice, [and] theory behind certain techniques of crime control.”
“In addition to all the operational aspects it has provided me with some fascinating ahandbook fro cademic reading which has generated an even greater interest in my chosen career which I believe will lead me to a greater professional performance and be far more open to opposing ideas, embrace positive change, and understand the difference academia and research can make to my already wide expanse of operational policing knowledge.”
However, some question whether academic study is really the best way to achieve the necessary skills. One contributor, who asked to remain anonymous, challenged the application of degrees in the field. “I personally do not possess a degree of any sort. My qualifications both within the police and previously in electrical engineering are more vocational. I have yet to see the benefit of policing degrees within policing and will be interested to see if, over time, they do improve policing. At lower levels of policing (up to inspector) I cannot foresee their worth: it is about communication and common sense at the front line.”
Paul Connor is series editor of the Blackstone’s Police Manuals and is a Police Training Consultant offering support for those sitting promotion exams. “Possession of a degree in any subject illustrates an ability to apply oneself and to learn but this does not equate an automatic right to pass every examination that follows in your life. This certainly applies to the OSPRE® Part I examination.”
“College of Policing research indicates that there is a correlation between the possession of a degree and success in OSPRE® Part I but a significant number of candidates without a degree pass the examination just as a significant number with a degree fail.”
The relationship between university research and its application in the field has also been put under scrutiny. Emma Williams is the Programme Director of the BSC Policing (In Service) degree at Canterbury Christ Church University. “Conversations about collaboration between universities and policing have never been so rife. Austerity and the need for resources to be used effectively have resulted in the College of Policing supporting the evidence based policing agenda and the commissioning of research by universities. Having spent eleven years in the Metropolitan Police as a senior researcher I am fully aware of some of the barriers that prevent research findings being fully implemented.”
“Officers can sense a loss of professional judgement when research further drives operational delivery and it can be seen as prescriptive and top down. Our degree programme fully encourages officers to use research and academic knowledge to assist them in their own decisions but to use it alongside their own experiential knowledge. Having knowledge of both the political and social context in which policing has developed and an understanding of theory and how it can assist them in their roles is in my opinion critical for this relationship to develop.”
The variance between theory and practice also raises questions about the structure of the degrees themselves. Susie Atherton previously worked on a police and PCSO training programme at De Montfort University. “It was very clear which were the ‘academic’ modules vs the ‘police training’. I do think there could have been better integration. We had to adapt and respond to their needs to make sure the academic modules did fit with their role, but this weakened their credibility as academic social science modules.”
“The new BA programmes promise employability through combining a three year policing studies degree with the Certificate in Knowledge of Policing. My worry is students who want to be police officers could leave after gaining the CKP, as undertaking this alongside 4 academic modules will be onerous and challenging. Students will perhaps question why they need to gain a full degree to get a job as a police officer, incurring 2 more years of fees, unless they wish to take advantage of direct entry. I am also aware of how valuable life experience, working in schools, military service and other roles are to the police service – transferable skills and knowledge about the world which cannot be gained doing a degree.”
“Fundamentally, if such programmes are to work, like any programme, they need proper investment, leadership and to respond to student feedback. Any weakness in these areas would jeopardise the continuation of programmes, but I do think policing programmes are vulnerable, simply because there are other options available”
How do you survive as a psychology student? It might be a daunting prospect, but we here at OUP are here to give you a helping hand through three years of cognitive overload. Here are our top tips:
1. Do some essential reading before you start your degree! Psychology is a very broad subject, so build some strong foundations with a wide reading base, especially if you’re new to the subject. Check out our Essential Book List to get you started (and recommendations welcome in the comments below).
2. Stay up-to-date with current affairs. Psychology is a continually evolving subject, with new ideas and perspectives emerging all the time. Read blogs, journals, and magazines; watch TED talks; listen to podcasts; and scan newspapers for psychology-themed stories.
3. Always keep your eyes and ears open. University is your chance to learn beyond the classroom. Pay attention to life – just watching your favourite TV programme can give you an insight into how a theoretical concept might actually work. Use everyday events and interactions to deepen your understanding of psychological ideas.
4. Learn from everyone around you. Psychology asks questions about how we as humans think – so go and think together with some other humans! Compare and contrast different ideas and approaches, and make the most of group learning or other opportunities, like taking part in other people’s surveys or experiments. Joining your university psychology society is a great way to learn from your peers and to balance work with play.
5. Learn how to study independently. This is your chance to learn what you want, not what you have to. You will have much greater academic freedom than ever before. Wherever you choose to study, you will have to take on your own independent research, and if you see yourself building a career in psychology, then independent investigation is crucial.
6. Hone your note-taking / diagram-making skills. On your laptop, tablet, smartphone — or with paper and pens — you’ll be writing a lot of notes over the course of your degree. Referencing and formatting might not seem like the most exciting aspects of your degree, but good preparation and organisation will make them more bearable (and quicker!). Get to know how best you learn, remember and process information.
7. Get enough sleep. Sitting up late staring at textbooks and computer screens is easy, but it’s not the healthiest habit to get into. Studying well is less about the number of hours you put in, than how effectively you spend those hours. Keep up a balanced diet, stay hydrated, do regular exercise, and find someone to talk to if you’re feeling stressed.
8. Don’t be afraid to admit to your own weaknesses. Psychology is a demanding subject, and questions are more common than neat answers.
9. Try to enjoy your studies. There are many ideas to explore, from behaviour to dreams, memory to psychoanalysis. Keep looking at different topics that interest you to stay motivated. When it does get too much, don’t be afraid to step back and take a break.
10. Finally, remember what psychology is about. You can get lost in surveys and experiments, theories and concepts, but try to always keep in mind what drew you to psychology in the first place. In studying psychology you’re taking part in a great tradition of questioning how the human mind works and behaves – be proud of that.
Heading Image: Student. Photo by CollegeDegrees360, CC BY-SA 2.0 via Flickr
Earlier this month, the class of 2014 graduate films from French animation school Gobelins were published online.Add a Comment
Many students, when asked by a teacher or professor to volunteer in front of the class, shy away, avoid eye contact, and try to seem as plain and unremarkable as possible. The same is true in dental school – unless it comes to laughing gas.
As a fourth year dental student, I’ve had times where I’ve tried to avoid professors’ questions about anatomical variants of nerves, or the correct way to drill a cavity, or what type of tooth infection has symptoms of hot and cold sensitivity. There are other times where you cannot escape having to volunteer. These include being the first “patient” to receive an injection from one of your classmate’s unsteady and tentative hands. Or having an impression taken with too much alginate so that all of your teeth (along with your uvula and tonsils) are poured up in a stone model.
But volunteering in the nitrous oxide lab … that’s a different story. The lab day is about putting ourselves in our patients’ shoes, to be able to empathize with them when they need to be sedated. For me, the nitrous oxide lab might have been the most enjoyable 5 minutes of my entire dental education.
In today’s dental practice, nitrous oxide is a readily available, well-researched, incredibly safe method of reducing patient anxiety with little to no undesired side effects. But this was not always the case.
The Oxford Textbook of Anaesthesia for Oral and Maxillofacial Surgery argues that “with increasingly refined diets [in the mid-nineteenth century] and the use of copious amounts of sugar, tooth decay, and so dentistry, were on the increase.” Prior to the modern day local anesthesia armamentarium, extractions and dental procedures were completed with no anesthesia. Patients self-medicated with alcohol or other drugs, but there was no predictable or controllable way to prevent patients from experiencing excruciating pain.
That is until Horace Wells, a dentist from Hartford, Connecticut started taking an interest in nitrous oxide as a method of numbing patients to pain.
Wells became convinced of the analgesic properties of nitrous oxide on December 11, 1844 after observing a public display in Hartford of a man inhaling the gas and subsequently hitting his shin on a bench. After the gas wore off, the man miraculously felt no pain. With inspiration from this demonstration and a strong belief in the analgesic (and possibly the amnestic) qualities of nitrous oxide, on December 12, Wells proceeded to inhale a bag of the nitrous oxide and have his associate John Riggs extract one of his own teeth. It was risky—and a huge success. With this realization that dental work could be pain free, Wells proceeded to test his new anesthesia method on over a dozen patients in the following weeks. He was proud of his achievement, but he chose not to patent his method because he felt pain relief should be “as free as the air.”
This discovery brought Wells to the Ether Dome at the Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. Before an audience of Harvard Medical School faculty and students, Wells convinced a volunteer from the audience to have their tooth extracted after inhaling nitrous oxide. Wells’ success came to an abrupt halt when this volunteer screamed out in pain during the extraction. Looking back on this event, it is very likely that the volunteer did not inhale enough of the gas to achieve the appropriate anesthetic effect. But the reason didn’t matter—Wells was horrified by his volunteer’s reaction, his own apparent failure, and was laughed out of the Ether Dome as a fraud.
The following year, William Morton successfully demonstrated the use of ether as an anesthetic for dental and medical surgery. He patented the discovery of ether as a dental anesthetic and sold the rights to it. To this day, most credit the success of dental anesthesia to Morton, not Wells.
After giving up dentistry, Horace Wells worked unsuccessfully as a salesman and traveled to Paris to see a presentation on updated anesthesia techniques. But his ego had been broken. After returning the U.S, he developed a dangerous addiction to chloroform (perhaps another risky experiment for patient sedation, gone awry) that left him mentally unstable. In 1848, he assaulted a streetwalker under the influence. He was sent to prison and in the end, took his own life.
This is the sad story of a man whose discovery revolutionized dentists’ ability to effectively care for patients while keeping them calm and out of pain. As a student at the University of Connecticut School of Dental Medicine, it is a point of pride knowing that Dr. Wells made this discovery just a few miles from where I have learned about the incredible effects of nitrous oxide. My education has taught me to use it effectively for patients who are nervous about a procedure and to improve the safety of care for patients with high blood pressure. This is a day we can remember a brave man who risked his own livelihood in the name of patient care.
Featured image credit: Laughing gas, by Rumford Davy. Public domain via Wikimedia Commons.
What do you do when one of China's largest TV broadcasters rips off your student film?Add a Comment
At the beginning of the 20th century, two climbers carry a statue of the Virgin to the top of a mountain.Add a Comment
These shorts debuted last week at the Annecy International Animated Film Festival.Add a Comment
The mundane story of a heartbroken man, an online gambling addict, an alcoholic kleptomaniac, and an anxious loner living in the same apartment building.Add a Comment
It is a hot Sunday by the lake. His father is fishing, his mother is sunbathing, and Irvine envisions a magnificent death for himself.Add a Comment
A lonely man drinks a glass of water that changes his life.Add a Comment
The Cartoon Brew Student Animation Festival is made possible by sponsor JibJab and their strong support for emerging filmmakers.
We’ve presented seven truly exceptional student films in Cartoon Brew’s annual Student Animation Festival so far, and today we present our eighth film premiere, i by Isabela Dos Santos, a student in the CalArts Experimental Animation program. It’s a bittersweet moment because Dos Santos’ film marks the final premiere of our 2013 Student Festival, but we can take pride in ending the festival with such a truly unique animated experience.
I uses hand-drawn animation and live-action dance to pose the eternal question, ‘Who am I?’ The film accomplishes the most difficult of the difficult by visualizing inner conflict. Encasing the live dancer is a delicate amorphous figure constructed of wispy lines. These representations of a fragmented psyche—one animated, the other human—converse with each other throughout the film as they try to reconcile themselves into a unified whole.
The choreography of these two figures forms the foundation of the film, and the details of their interaction represent the type of magic that can exist only on film. Dos Santos’ multidisciplinary approach to the film required a collaboration with dancer Yanina Orellana for the choreography and performance, and singer Kate Davis, each of whom contribute something special to the final piece.
Continue reading for comments from the filmmaker Isabela Dos Santos—
In 2011, I was chosen for a scholarship program called YoungArts; I got in as an animator, but part of what they do is bring together 15-18 year-olds of all artistic disciplines for a week at a time to generate interdisciplinary performances. I also grew up dancing, but being with the other YoungArts kids really showed me there was so much more to art and humans than my back-stiffening work animating in windowless rooms. It made me all warm and fuzzy inside to be part of those performances. I began attending CalArts that fall and was frustrated trying to “just be an animator” after all those experiences. I don’t know, I just wanted more than was in front of me, and I had this image in my head of dancing with an imaginary monster. In terms of the story, I’ve always been an identity crisis kind of girl, and it goes with the whole, “identified as an animator but I wish I could be a real moving, dancing human” dilemma. I mean, there’s more to it than that, but you can watch and interpret the rest.
I worked with a dance student from CalArts, Yanina Orellana, for the choreography and original performance, and I had the song picked out beforehand (by Kate Davis, a friend from YoungArts). We worked on the dance before any animation, and I filmed it using a Canon T1i at CalArts’ dance theater. Then things got janky and I taped a peg bar to the edge of my laptop and traced key frames of her performance to paper. I used those as reference for timing and the general positioning, but everything was generated with pencil on paper. Paper cuts and graphite-smudged hands can be so rewarding. I ultimately composited the animation to the video using Adobe After Effects.
It was difficult knowing what to fix. Everyone had a different fantasy of what technique or technology I should incorporate, so it was tough to get feedback that was mindful to my sensibilities—I wanted to improve my skills and the emotions in my piece but I would get overwhelmed by the far-out possibilities people kept bringing up. And trying to describe the love/hate conflict about identity was always a hot mess. Just a lot of confusing conversations that semester. But animating to dance was a great tool—the choreography did all the dirty work for me as far as timing. I like that animation pulls something organic and instinctive out of you when you’re not looking, and this scenario encouraged that. And I learned that I can, after all, combine dance and animation this way. That was important to me, even if i didn’t come out perfect.
I watched just about every dance documentary available on Netflix while I animated. Couldn’t get enough of bloody ballerina toes (just kidding). Norman McLaren, of course, was very encouraging to watch in terms of the line quality of his simplistic yet expressive scratch-on-film, or the treatment of dance in Pas de deux. It felt good to stay in the realm of earlier animation pioneers. It reminded me to do what I needed to tell an honest story, not wow people with technology. I also wrote a lot of essays around that time connecting dance with animation, and it inspired me to see beyond both mediums, to really hold on to the humanity of movement, of expression through movement. I loved getting nerdy about all that—seeing animation as a dance—and reminding myself why it meant so much to me to merge the two mediums together. And I kept taking dance classes.
In five years I’ll probably still be skirting around the animation world, but not in the industry. Like I said, there’s so much more to art and life for me—animation is only part of what makes me happy. I is also fit for live performance, with a scrim projection of the animation like a hologram on stage, and I’ve been able to perform it this way a couple of times now, most recently in NYC for a music festival. It’s a lot of fun. So I have plenty of stage/animation work ahead of me, also working in arts advocacy/administration, writing, and making plenty of non-dance-related animation as well. But it’s all independent or collaborative fun, making art “as a participation in the world of ideas,” one might say. I’d like to continue appreciating it that way. It feels good that way.
Last week I was literally sitting on the dock of the bay when along came a kayaker. Hello I shout and she shouts back hello and pulls up to the dock where we proceeded to have a 30 minute conversation. It really is a small world. The kayaker is an English professor at an East coast university and we commiserated about the lack of true research expected of her students and/or the lack of knowledge about how to begin the whole research process. Typically she teaches upper level classes but lately the administration at her university has decided all teachers should have the opportunity to work with English 101 students. I was pleased to hear her say she and some of the other university professors know who can help steer the students at their university…the librarians.
My district and a neighboring district team up every year about this time to have a professional development day for all of the librarians in our area. One of the sessions we will have is called Preparing Secondary Students for Research at the College Level. We have invited four university level librarians and two professors to be a part of a panel discussion covering expectations, academic research, citation tools and ways to develop and boost students’ information literacy IQ’s. When we are in the company of post-secondary librarians we are reminded that our students really are your students.
This was a final project created by Daniel Beaulieu in Vancouver Film School's 3D animation program.Add a Comment
The selections for Cartoon Brew’s 5th annual Student Animation Festival will be announced next Wednesday, June 25. Also, since many students learned about the festival recently at Annecy, we are re-opening the submission period through this Sunday, June 22nd. If you’ve already submitted, please DO NOT send your film again. But, if you haven’t sent your film yet, learn how to submit HERE.Add a Comment