Danielle Feinberg: The magic ingredient that brings Pixar movies to life

I loved this video where Danielle Feinberg discusses how Pixar goes about making immersive videos.

Here are a couple of quotes that I like.

Because in the end we are not trying to recreate the scientifically correct real world. We’re trying to create a believable world. One the audience can immerse themselves in, to experience the story. We use science to create something wonderful.

We use math, science, and code to create these amazing worlds. We use storytelling and art to bring them to life. It’s this interweaving of art and science that elevates the world to a place of wonder, a place with soul, a place we can believe in, a place where the things you imagine can become real. And a world where a girl suddenly realizes not only is she a scientist, but also an artist.

Fawn Qiu: Easy DIY projects for kid engineers

If you’re interested in teaching others problem-solving and engineering skills, Fawn Qiu has 3 guiding principles for creating projects:

  • Low floor: Having a low barrier to entry.
    • Is the project affordable? Are materials readily available?
  • High ceiling: Can the project be modified later to teach other lessons?
    • Ex. (mine) – The first project could be a bear that talks when squeezed, and then could be modified to be a bear that uses the Alexa voice API to respond to commands.
  • Customization: Can the project be made unique for any one person?
    • Ex. (mine) – A student could use a bear or any other animal. A student could also change the commands that the stuff animal responds to.

See Fawn’s presentation for more examples and more explanation.

Barry Schwartz: Our loss of wisdom

One of my coworkers recently shared this video, so I thought it worth a watch. I’m glad I did watch it.

A wise person knows when and how to make the exception to every rule.

A wise person knows when and how to improvise.

Rules and procedures may be dumb, but they spare you from thinking.

– Scott Simon

We know why these scripts are there. We don’t trust the judgement of teachers enough to let them loose on their own. Scripts like these are insurance policies against disaster. And they prevent disaster. But what they ensure in its place is mediocracy.

We must ask, not just is it profitable, but is it right.

– Barack Obama

The single most important thing kids need to learn is character. They need to learn to respect themselves. They need to learn to respect their schoolmates. They need to learn to respect their teachers. They need to learn to respect learning. That’s the principle objective. If you do that, the rest is pretty much down hill.