From Lifehacker: “8 Creativity Lessons from a Pixar Animator”

As one of my absolute dream jobs, I will frame these eight lessons of creativity from Bernhard Haux, a Pixar Animator, on my bedroom wall. If you think I’m kidding, I’m not. Pixar Animation is a creativity hub full of brilliant, imaginative minds. Their collaboration produces the breathtaking animation and detail-oriented storylines. Bringing together vastly different creative energies allows there to be a good mix of voices and ideas on a project. Creativity builds on creativity, and mingling ideas can spur inspiration and better development on ideas. Check out what other lessons this guy uncovered from Pixar at LifeHacker.

Image from LifeHacker
Image from LifeHacker

Undergrad Research Spotlight: Christine Scales

“Participatory memory describes the ways in which people interact with a space in order to remember, commemorate, or pay homage to an event, person, or idea,” undergraduate researcher Christine Scales explains.

Scales, a Professional Writing student, has teamed up with Dr. Liza Potts (Writing, Rhetoric & American Cultures) to study participatory memory. They are working to find ways to document these spaces digitally, and are even working on a prototype for an app that would allow for this type of information to be shared with visitors to the site of the tragic 1927 school bombing in Bath, MI.

Read more about Christine on MSU’s Undergraduate Research website.

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Censorship tells the wrong story
Source: Reporters Without Borders

Censorship. Dead air, loud bleeps, horrible pixelation, and my personal favorite: PG overdubs.

“I’m gettin’ a little tired of these monkey-fightin’ snakes, on this Monday thru Friday plane!”

The rights laid out by the first amendment seem strikingly clear, giving us freedom of speech and freedom of press (among other freedoms). Yet somehow the lines have ended up a bit blurred, with “obscenity, indecency, and profanity” being regulated by organizations like the FCC.

The FCC manages to walk that thin line through a little known technicality: they can only act on complaints from citizens. And what’s more, the modes of censorship we see most today leave almost all of the meaning intact. Has anyone actually ever missed the sentiment behind a “f[BLEEP]ing”?

So the censors really only serve to point out that thin line. They serve as glaring reminders to us all – we are the ones who ultimately decide what is “proper”. And we are the ones who get to fill in the blanks. And the beeps. And those fuzzy chunks of pixels.

If you’re still curious, head on over to The Verge and check out the gorgeous article that inspired this post.

Clichéd advice that actually works: Write what you know

In this video Ricky Gervais shares the writing advice that shaped his style. It’s simple advice. It’s advice that is repeated so often that it sometimes turns into background noise.

Write what you know.

Sometimes this advice is understood very literally. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, as beautiful, intriguing nonfiction can come out of that interpretation. A story about your mother cleaning an old woman’s house can be a work of art.

But I’ve always interpreted it more liberally. A writer may not have the actual experience to back up a particular piece of story – most fantasy authors have probably never ridden a dragon – but the concept still applies. Honesty can still be at the heart of even the most “unrealistic” story. The art of storytelling isn’t limited to fiction, nonfiction, novels or screenplays, but in every medium it relies on resonating with the audience. And nothing resonates like honesty.