Tag Archives | Education

Character rigs, comic books, and fan art

Character rigging is the process of adding joints, musculature and other anatomy to a character model, and facilitating the control of these through handles or controllers for the animator. In short, think of making a puppet in a 3D software. The process involves not just sculpting a model for the character, but also making it ‘animatable’ for the animator to be able to use it to create poses. Without this ‘animatability’ the model is a simple, dead, expressionless sculpture. This complex process of rigging comprises of, but isn’t limited to understanding the anatomy of the character in question, knowing the workflow of the animator, and applying this information within the realms of the software to create a character rig.

Animation by Nick Whitmire:

And hence, transpires the world of forward and inverse kinematics, deformation and transformation and other such techno-babble, mumbo-jumbo. Surely, some of us understand this pretty well. But for a normal, every-day animator, this could be pretty intimidating, and it is!… Read the rest
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Adults Are the Problem

children's day
Marian Wright Edelman writes at the Children’s Defense Fund:

It is time for adults of every race and income group to break our silence about the pervasive breakdown of moral, family, and community values, to place our children first in our lives, and to struggle to model the behavior we want our children to learn. School children don’t need one more “Officer Slam” as some students referred to the White South Carolina school resource officer who this week shamed the nation with his violent ejection of a 16-year-old Black female student from her classroom for a nonviolent offense. A very welcome counter narrative took place when a White female police officer in Washington, D.C. after diffusing a potentially volatile conflict between two groups of Black teens, then charmed with a “dance off” a defiant teen-age girl who had refused to leave.

Any parent who has gone through the challenges of adolescence could only admire the quick thinking and agile footwork of the D.C.

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Landmark Look at US Charter System Reveals Waste, Fraud, ‘Ghost Schools’

No one even knew how much the federal government had spent on its program designed to boost the charter sector until CMD started poking around. (Photo: GotCredit/flickr/cc)

No one even knew how much the federal government had spent on its program designed to boost the charter sector until CMD started poking around. (Photo: GotCredit/flickr/cc)

This article originally appeared on Common Dreams.

A year-long investigation by the Wisconsin-based Center for Media and Democracy has revealed a severe dearth of public information about how federal and state taxes are being spent to fuel the charter school industry in the U.S.

According to the report released Wednesday—Charter School Black Hole (pdf)—no one even knew how much the federal government had spent on its program designed to boost the charter sector until CMD started poking around. Now, after filing close to 50 open records requests and reviewing more than two decades of federal authorizations and appropriations, the national watchdog group has calculated that sum to be a whopping $3.7 billion.

Furthermore, how those billions were spent was equally difficult to discern.… Read the rest

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Southpaw kid is Totally Metal according to teacher

In this day and age of advanced science and technology, it is always shocking to hear an alleged educator spewing idiotic medieval nonsense.

But when has that ever stopped anyone? You guessed it, never.

Since I’m clearly a cock-eyed optimist I say: when life hands you lemons make some badass totally metal lemonade.

'nuff said. \m/(x1x)\m/

’nuff said. \m/(x1x)\m/

According to Anything Left Handed this kid is now The Most Metal Kid in School:

We had an email recently from Club Member Mary that rather shocked us.  She said…

“I am very disturbed by a news report of a 4 year old being forced to write with his right hand.  This thought process is archaic.

Here is a link about a 4 year old being forced to write with his right hand.

Be outraged for this child.  I guess some Oklahoma educators are still using 1815 methods regarding left-handed people.  Hopefully, this will not cause him to have academic problems. 

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What’s missing in college philosophy classes? Chinese philosophers.

His Hand
Are college students only exposed to Western philosophers? Probably. Does it matter?

Eric Schwitzgebel via LA Times:

Philosophy professors in the United States have all heard of Confucius and the Daoist Laozi. Many have also heard of their approximate contemporaries in ancient China: the later Confucians Mencius and Xunzi; the easygoing skeptic Zhuangzi; Mozi, the advocate of impartial concern for everyone; and Han Feizi, the authoritarian legalist. But most of us have not read their works.

As a result, most U.S. university students are not exposed to Chinese thinkers in their philosophy classes. Looking at the course catalogs of three major universities in Los Angeles — UCLA, USC and Cal State L.A. — I find 23 philosophy department course listings that mention ancient Greek philosophy or specific ancient Greek philosophers such as Plato or Aristotle. Four such classes are on the fall 2015 course schedule. In contrast, neither USC nor Cal State L.A.

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Beyond Words: Manly P. Hall Teaches You How to Read

“A mind needs books as a sword needs a whetstone, if it is to keep its edge.” Tyrion Lannister

Ever wish you could get the most out of the material you read? From articles to books to academic papers to opinion pieces, there is a sea of old and new information out there (more like an overwhelming tsunami of it) that’s not only become increasingly difficult to keep up with and sift through, but to comprehend in the first place. In this lecture (“Mind and the Book“), Manly P. Hall doesn’t offer a “one weird trick” shortcut, but a deeply involved, integrative, and discerning discipline. It’s genuinely some of the best advice on reading (including its foundational importance and principles) that I’ve ever come across – and he puts it in such shatteringly obvious and crystallizing terms that the toolkit he provides will be sure to stick with you regardless of what you may read (and how “hard” it may be to understand).… Read the rest

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Reform Higher Ed? Treat Badmin Like Bankers

college lecture
David Mihalyfy argues that in order to reform higher education, America should focus on “higher ed’s pre-modern governance system, which lacks transparency and accountability and thus easily permits diversion of funds by ‘badmin’, as institutional guardians with the wrong values have been evocatively called.”

via CounterPunch:

Culture oddly normalizes everything, including the legal oligarchies hijacking our universities and harming our country. The bolded terms of our schools’ civics textbooks laud our government’s system of checks-and-balances and ultimate citizen control, from division of powers and the bicameral legislature all the way through the increasing enfranchisement of Women’s Suffrage and the Civil Rights Act.

Our universities, however, little resemble our properly praised although sometimes frustrating form of government. Instead, university authorities are “beholden to none“, as the American Council of Trustees and Alumni declares; customarily, trustees are either self-appointing or politically appointed, and thus everyone from funders and beneficiaries to frontline mission fulfillers exert virtually no real formal control.

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My disabilities do not define me. I am Jim

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) allowed access to special education for people with disabilities. Tim Kwee, CC BY-NC

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) allowed access to special education for people with disabilities. Tim Kwee, CC BY-NC

I am an educator of educators. I teach others how to be the best teachers. But, I’m also different.

I have learning challenges.

I found my way and my life’s calling thanks to dedicated educators.

As we celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), I am reminded of my personal journey.

My disabilities could have defined me. But they did not. I do not consider myself dyslexic or learning-disabled.

I am Jim. And here’s the story of how I overcame my challenges and the educators who helped me along the way.

My disability

Born in 1970, I suffered a head injury as a young boy while roughhousing with friends. Perhaps that led to my learning problems. Perhaps it didn’t. Doctors aren’t really sure.

What I do know for sure is that in kindergarten, I could not spell my name – James.… Read the rest

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The Disease of Reflexive Cynicism

Jef Safi (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Jef Safi (CC BY-NC-ND 2.0)

Fuller Pendleton writing at This Civilization in Ruins:

Reflexive thinking seems to pervade the landscape.  The causes are unclear, but its existence is undeniable.  We jump to conclusions, we utilize stereotypes, and all other manner of mental shorthand in order to come to decisions about people, things, and potential courses of action.  With more information than what can be reasonably processed in the amount of time we have to make many decisions, we have to use mental processes to sort between what is noise and what is a signal, pointing us towards a correct path.

When mental shortcuts used to evaluate the motivations and intentions of others tend in one person to cause them to be taken advantage of due to what is perceived to be their innocence or inability/unwillingness to question much of the motivations of others, we call that person “naïve.”  We evaluate it to be a kind of intellectual immaturity to trust the benevolent intentions of others, or to overestimate our own ability to proceed along a path we’ve set upon. 

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