At last Thursday’s opening reception for the Film/Animation/Video Triennial – highlighting some of the best work emanating from the department in the last three years – a cluster of RISD students look up into the saucer-like eyes of an alien creature outfitted in a white jacket and matching pants (pictured in bottom row). The human-sized prop is included in a video montage featuring otherworldly pieces students made in Creature-Creation, a Wintersession course taught by faculty member Erminio Pinque 83 IL of Big Nazo Lab.

Elsewhere at Woods-Gerry Gallery, Tess Wagman 18 FS (pictured in top row) is captivated by scenes of an angry King Kong batting away an airplane in Ligget Ln., an animated piece by Taylor Beldy 15 FAV. “This is beautiful,” she notes. “I’ve never seen an animation incorporate elements of printmaking. There’s so much detail here and great use of light.”

In a darkened room, a seated audience watches Shelf Life, the dark comedy Brett Van Egmond 13 FAV made a couple of years ago as his final degree project (video above). Some smile at a miniature set made for Saturday, a quirky stop-motion animation directed by Joanne Lin 16 FAV.

Like moths to a flame, many visitors are also drawn to Mirror, videos of young women shouting into bullhorns or sporting snake-like hair pieces. Jacqueline Lin 15 FAV projected the pieces on suspended canvas (pictured in third row). “These vignettes are really powerful,” explains Evan Grothjan 15 FAV .“You can’t help but take notice of these characters. They’re really well produced.”

Catch the triennial if you can. The show closes on Sunday, February 15.

There was an assembly on Monday where Ms. Lopez explained the fundraiser to the entire student body. Most of the students had already heard bits and pieces about what’s been going on, but Ms. Lopez projected the blog onto a screen and walked through the entire story. She began with Vidal’s original post and ended with the final tally raised thus far. ($707,000 at the time. $875,000 now!)

“The scholars of MHBA are inspiring the entire world,” Ms. Lopez said. “People have written me letters from New Zealand, England, and South Africa, telling me that they care about you.” An especially great part of the assembly was when Ms. Lopez scrolled through the posts featuring teachers, and the students let out a giant cheer when each teacher’s name was announced:

“Even Ms. Powell told her story!” (Cheers)
“And Ms. Stangl!” (Cheers)
“And Mr. Turner!” (Cheers)

Vidal also got a huge cheer when his story was shown. But the biggest cheer of all was reserved for the end, when Ms. Lopez announced: “As a result of this fundraiser, the entire school will be going to visit Harvard. We’re all going to Harvard!”

The kids went nuts.

So far our campaign has provided the funds for ten years of Harvard trips and ten years of summer programs for Mott Hall Bridges Academy, a middle school in the under-served neighborhood of Brownsville, Brooklyn. All funds raised over $700,000 are being used to establish a scholarship fund available to graduates of MHBA. The scholarship fund is named The Vidal Fund, after the young man who inspired the entire story. If you’d like to contribute, you can do so here: https://life.indiegogo.com/fundraisers/let-s-send-kids-to-harvard

'Kill me. Please. Please.' [x]

Winter Soldier! Steve Rogers is one of my favorite AUs and it’s slowly killing me from the inside oops


Today’s Feature Friday is Keri Hoadley, a 4th year graduate student in the Department of Astrophysical & Planetary Sciences at the University of Colorado, Boulder. I found her wearing this amazing dress at AAS 225*, and it turns out the story behind the dress is even more awesome!

See, it turns out Keri is a legit astrophysicist and rocket scientist. She studies how the metals and molecules in star-forming regions interact with the winds of hot, young, massive stars using observations at far-ultraviolet (FUV) wavelengths. That’s the astrophysics.

Problem is, FUV light doesn’t penetrate the Earth’s atmosphere (thanks to the ozone layer), and space telescopes are expensive. Enter the sounding rocket! Sub-orbital rockets fly higher than weather balloons, high enough to make FUV observations! Keri helped design, build, align, and calibrate the Colorado High-resolution Echelle Stellar Spectrograph (CHESS) with her adviser Dr. Kevin France. There’s the rocket science!

Keri says:

The program is unique and valuable in that it allows the student (me) to be directly in charge of every aspect of building instruments for astronomical missions.

And the dress?

I wanted to have something special the night of the launch, since me and my team had worked so hard on it up until then. I had seen space-themed dresses […] before, but I never really fell in love with any of them. I loved the idea, though. So, my wonderful fiancee (Charles Piehl) found some awesome fabric and made me my own space dress, designed similarly to flared dresses I love to wear!

Amazing, right?!? I love the bright colors on the dark background and how Keri pairs it with a variety of colors (above: yellow at AAS 225, below: blue at the rocket launch from the White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico last May).

The good news is the team is scheduled for another launch this year and Keri hopes to have another creative space-themed outfit to wear that night! I can’t wait!


*No, you will not stop hearing about this conference until 2016.


Amazon Prime is running this special where kids who sign up with their .edu emails get six months of Prime for free, and then 50% off Prime after that. 

What’s included in Prime?

  • Free two-day shipping on eligible orders from Amazon (I’ve never ordered anything that wasn’t eligible)
  • Free access to Amazon Instant Video, kind of like Netflix
  • Access to Kindle Owners’ Lending Library (yay for books!)

I’ve had prime for about a year and it’s absolutely lovely, I can order whatever I need and have it at my doorstep almost instantly, it gives me discounted prices on lots of stuff, and also, you can order Kinder Chocolate in the US and have it shipped to your dorm muauauauaua.

Once you’re signed up, you can refer others and earn credit for each person you refer! 

Click here to sign up (with your .edu account) and get free stuff and Kinder Chocolate.

(The above link is my referral link, it won’t change anything in the sign up process for you, but it will give me credit if you sign up. It would mean a lot to me (and my wallet) if you’d use that link.)

Close your eyes - Chapter 1

TITLE: Close your eyes 


AUTHOR: alessialoanna

WHICH TOM/CHARACTER: Loki (before the first Thor movie)

GENRE: Action, Comedy, Romance

FIC SUMMARY: Elodie always believed in Norse mythology and wants to investigate in Iceland. When she sets out to see the northern lights one evening something strange happens and she finds herself in a whole new environment.


AUTHORS NOTES/WARNINGS: This new project is inspired by the wonderful and amazingly beautiful shots of Asgard in Thor-The dark world so I just had to set this new story in Asgard. I hope you like it and I wish you a lot of fun with Elodie, Loki, Thor and the whole gang :))


Close your eyes.

Take a deep breath.

Now picture the universe with all its thousands and millions of stars and planets, solar systems and moons, suns and black holes shining bright as little fireflies in the night sky.

When you were a child, did you ever think about what is out there or even beyond?

What secrets lay there undiscovered?

If you´d ask me, I would say yes, I did.

I always did.

From the moment that I could talk I listened to my grandmothers stories about the Norse gods and myths and without a doubt I believed everything she told me.

Keep reading


Featured Extramural Student: Olga Sinyavskaya

“This experience has been helpful because I’ve stepped outside of my comfort zone. I’ve met people who are totally different from me and I’m gaining more independence. From traveling around Switzerland, I’ve seen how despite the multiple languages present here, there is still a feeling of unity and understanding.”

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Get to know another one of our students, Lael! 

Apply for your DTS today! www.ywamorlando.com/discipleship-training-school

Scot Pankey is the theater teacher at A. Maceo Smith New Tech High School — and the co-star and director of the video you’ll find below, in which Pankey and his students dance ’round the Stag Road school to Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars’ “Uptown Funk.” If you haven’t seen it yet, you will: Posted to YouTube Saturday, it’s already hit 23,448 views, and it’s making the virtual rounds. Pankey says he posted it to Facebook yesterday, and it’s been seen more than 40,000 times there.

“I heard the song before Christmas and fell in love with it,” he says. “We are a project-based school — there are only two in the Metroplex — and that means you give the students a project, put them in teams, and they have to come up with solutions. They had three weeks to work on it, then present as a group what they learned.”

He decided to make this their first project of the new year. And he told his students — from six different theater classes — that he’d do it with them … if they’d let him.

“I told them, ‘I am not a dancer, but I’d love to do this and go on this journey with you, and we can all learn from it and have a good time,’” he says. “And they were all on board.”

The video was shot by Bryan Urraca (student council veep) and Johan Cruz (senior class president) and was edited by Jonathan Vega, and done in a single take. Which makes it that much more impressive. After all, just watching it exhausted at least one newsroom colleague who’s not even 40.

“We had a great time,” says Pankey. “I am overwhelmed by the response. I am honored. It’s all been very positive.”

Easily better than the last three seasons of Glee. So I’ve been told.


Featured June Student: Mary Garner

Major: B.S. in Chemistry

Current Plans: Mary received a prestigious NSF Graduate Research Fellowship. She will attend the University of California, Berkeley to pursue a Ph.D in Chemistry in August 2014.

I was always interested in science and I enjoyed a rigorous curriculum, but I wasn’t really sure what I wanted to do with that interest—not even what I wanted to major in, let alone what career I wanted to pursue. But thankfully all that changed after I took general chemistry. One day, I went to my professor, Dr. Veige’s office hours, with a list of questions. I was really enjoying the course and I wanted to dig deeper. I guess seeing my genuine interest caught his attention and actually, right then and there in his office, he offered me a position in his research group. I was kind of shocked at first since I didn’t really even know anything about chemistry or undergraduate research, and I wasn’t even looking for a research position. The day I went to the lab and started working, that was it; I knew I needed to study chemistry.

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