Articles

Day 6: Table-Read / Office Hours

October 11, 2019


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visit MIT OpenCourseWare at ocw.mit.edu. PROFESSOR: Today, we are having
a table read, which basically means that we’re all going
to go around and read the scripts where you have
them standing as if now. The way it’ll work is
that say, Siri goes first. She would read the script aloud. We would all keep our laptops
closed for the first reading. So just listen to her
script as it flows. And then the second
time she reads it, we will follow along on her
script on annotation studio and make notes in real time. And then afterwards we’ll
talk about any feedback that we have for her. And then we’ll just
go around the class. Do you want to say
anything before we start? AUDIENCE: I think not
really, other than the fact that, I’m sure you
guys know this, but feedback is best
when it’s very specific. So as we give feedback
to each other, and you’ve been doing
this for the most part, is to just really
as much mentioning the things that
really work as it does the things that don’t work. Because I’m sure you all
maybe felt this way when we were work-shopping the
other day, but as a writer, it’s very hard to put yourself
out there and have people just give you critical feedback. So if we can also
remember to just give some positive critical
feedback as well, about things that we liked and
things that worked, that helps the person in the hot
seat feel a little bit better. PROFESSOR: Yeah, for sure. And I also wanted to say, don’t
be afraid to repeat comments that other people
have made, especially on annotation studio. If you notice that someone has
made the same note that you were going to make,
just that tag a reply to it saying like
ditto or something. Because that’ll draw
people’s attention to a space that’s worth looking
at a little bit more. AUDIENCE: Andrea had
something to say. I just want to make
sure I don’t lose it. PROFESSOR: Oh, yeah. Sorry. AUDIENCE: Just one of the
techniques that I learned, actually from an
entrepreneurship class, was the technique of
doing the yes/and, as a way of giving positive
feedback where you’re sort of riffing a little
bit or adding something to what somebody just said. And I think you guys did that,
actually, in your comments. And that was received
very positively, because it’s like
yes, you get it, and you’re adding more to it. PROFESSOR: And I will say that
looking over the scripts that were sent in this
weekend, I think everyone’s in a really good
spot as far as ideas go. Like the topics of your
videos are actually very, very fascinating. So it’s a really
good space to be in. I think that the common
sort of room for improvement that people have right now is
connecting specific examples to the bigger picture. And I think that you
get that in your head, but making it a little more
explicit in your script is where your focus
should be on next. And I tried to give some
of that feedback online. And maybe today I can explain
some more of the comments if you didn’t
understand them as well. But connecting the facts
that make up a tutorial video into a bigger picture, like
this is why you should care, is a very tricky thing to do. But hopefully today, with the
feedback of everyone in class, you can have a better
sense of how to do it. And I’ll also say that
at the end of the day this is your video, and the
final decisions are up to you. So it is OK if people offer
different pieces of advice, conflicting opinions. In a lot of my feedback
I was saying this as a matter of personal taste. I don’t really find this
necessary in this part. And that’s OK. Final decisions are up to
you as long as you sort of justify why you’ve made
the choices that you have. And that I don’t want you to
feel like you need to come away from this table read with
a checklist of things that you need to do. And then once you do
them, like, the script is magically finished. Because that’s not
going to happen. And unfortunately, that’s
sort of how a lot of us approach these sort of things. At least that’s how I
first approached them. So it’s OK to repeat people. Constructive feedback is good. The yes/and thing
is a good strategy. And I don’t know if
there’s anything else. AUDIENCE: [INAUDIBLE]
I’m the only one who doesn’t know how to get onto
the annotation software. Does everyone know
how to do that? No? Yes? OK, then maybe I’m
the only one who doesn’t know how to do this. AUDIENCE: Here’s the
homework on the first day. AUDIENCE: Oh. AUDIENCE: There’s a
link on the Tumblr. AUDIENCE: OK. We should probably, in order
to make this run smoothly, all be ready so that
there isn’t a big gap in between the first person. [INAUDIBLE] PROFESSOR: Oh, this will
also be an opportunity to practice hosting. So whenever you’re
reading the script, it’s OK if things aren’t
memorized completely. But try to deliver it
as you would on screen and we’ll give you feedback
on the hosting as well. So for this first
reading, Julia, just go ahead and read
it start to finish. If you have queues for like
b-roll or something like that, just say this is the part where
I’m going to have some b-roll. AUDIENCE: OK, and should I
also describe the animations? PROFESSOR: Um, yeah. Just like briefly,
briefly go over that. And so for this first
read, everyone just close the computers. If you have to make
notes, do it analog. Whenever you’re ready. AUDIENCE: What do a cellphone,
a river, and a cancer cell have in common? The answer is fractals. Fractals in mathematics
are never ending patterns. Scientists can program
these infinite patterns by repeating a simple
mathematical process over and over. So if you zoom in, you’ll see
the shape– the same shape, again and again and again. And here I would
show an animation of that on a computer. Similarly, a tree grows
by repetitive branching. Just like a fractal, a
tree extends its branches one smaller than the
other, but similar. A tree can’t grow
as far and precisely as a truly mathematical fractal,
but we can still study nature in terms of fractals. In fact, so many
things in nature have these pattern
properties– and show animation of all those
things– it sometimes feels like the world itself
is one giant fractal. Rivers of the planet flow
like the blood vessels in our bodies. Lightning bolts become
electrifying rivers of the sky. And just look at this honey–
show fractal honey– here’s something even wackier, a
brain-fractal shaped forest. One way to explain this
abundance of patterns is the fact that nature
is just great at reusing efficient mechanisms. How and why that happens,
we can’t really tell. But although the existence of
fractals remains a mystery, mathematicians have found a way
to study the wacky structures. Clouds are not spheres
and bark is not smooth, but with fractal geometry we
can mathematically explore them. In the 1970s, a mathematician,
named Benoit Mandelbrot, was hired to investigate
noise in telephone lines. Now Mandelbrot loved
connecting images with numbers, so he immediately graphed
the data he collected. And he came up with this–
show Mandelbrot fractal, and also the equation
that comes along with it. At first, the image
didn’t look too special. In fact, it kind of resembled
a turtle with a giant head. It wasn’t until night time
that Mandelbrot looked closer. He zoomed in once and found
a smaller turtle etched onto the original one,
and an even smaller turtle on that one. Mandelbrot kept
zooming and zooming and the turtles kept
shrinking and shrinking, but they were still
all the same shape. Mandelbrot was convinced
he’d seen a nightmare. But when the shape remained
on the screen the next day, Mandelbrot knew he
was onto something huge, a simple equation
applied repeatedly, carried incredible properties. What if, thought he, you
could create such expressions for other natural phenomena? And that’s exactly what
mathematicians do today. Fractal geometry allows them
to model, say, mountain ranges, and then use the models to
study earthquakes or creed realistic special effects
for our favorite movies. So you would show
animating a mountain range from fractal triangles,
and then a scene from Star Wars where that was used,
or other movie. In healthier news,
fractals may also help doctors diagnose cancer
faster and more accurately. They can study the
edges of various cells in our bodies using
fractal geometry. Here the cell on the right
is more jagged and repeating than the one on the
left, which means it’s the more aggressive,
faster-growing cancer cell. This way of
discovering cancer can be that 10 times more effective
than the current methods. So that’s how cancer
cells and rivers relate. But what about cell phones? They aren’t really
part of nature. Well, in the ’90s
a radio astronomer by the name of Nathan
Cohen was having troubles with this landlord. The man wouldn’t let him put
a radio antenna on the roof. So Cohen decided to make a
more compact fractal radio antenna instead. The landlord didn’t notice it. And it worked better
than the ones before. Working further, Cohen
designed a new version, this time using a shape
called the menger sponge. The fractal’s
infinite sponginess allowed the antenna to receive
multiple different signals. The menger sponge is
not really the sponge you’d be scrubbing
your back with, but you can still
think of it like that. Imagine both water and soap
getting through sponges holes, except the water is wifi and
the soap is, say, Bluetooth. Without Cohen’s
sponge, your cellphone would have to look
something like a giraffe to receive both those signals. Not quite as handy, is it? Fractals are
already very common, yet we’re still searching
for more applications, asking questions,
building new patterns, and exploring nature’s best,
here at MIT and everywhere in the world. Look around you. What beautiful
patterns do you see? [APPLAUSE] PROFESSOR: All right. TEACHER ASSISTANT: Can I ask
a question before we start? PROFESSOR: Absolutely. AUDIENCE: Is the reason why you
have us not having our laptops up so that we don’t
want to start writing. Or from your
perspective, as someone who doesn’t process
information auditorily, like with my ears, that was a
really hard activity for me. Is it possible to still
accomplish your goal while looking if we don’t type? PROFESSOR: So the
reason why George and I don’t have people look at the
text the first time around is because when you’re
watching the video, ultimately you’re not reading it with
the script in front of you. And you’ll notice that there may
be moments where you tune out when you don’t have a script in
front of you following along, which is going to be the
experience that a viewer is going to have. And I know that that’s
very difficult to do, because we don’t have the
visuals, which is why we also do it again with the script. But the first time
is more to just like experience it as
close to an experience as the viewer would
have of the video, because they’re not going to
be following along with notes. They’re not going to
know what’s coming next. So whatever confusion you may
feel in this first read-through is probably more similar to what
an actual viewer of the video will feel. AUDIENCE: That helps
me understand that. I can deal with
my discomfort now. PROFESSOR: So how about
for this next part, let’s all go to
annotation studio and look at the
fractals document. Sorry, my internet’s slow. Would you guys find it more
helpful if, for the second time through, everyone got to
read through the script at their own pace and
then offered feedback? Would you rather do it that way? Yes? OK. Then how about everyone take
a look through Julia’s script. Take a couple
minutes to do that. And if you have feedback
while you’re reading through, go ahead and make notes. And then we’ll talk
about it afterwards. All right, has everyone gotten
a chance to at least read through the whole script? OK. Let’s go ahead and
talk about it now, just in the interest of time. Julia, did you want
to talk a little bit about some of the
edits you were already thinking about making
or some of the things that you’re struggling
with right now? AUDIENCE: Yeah, so what the
instructors have suggested is to take out some of
the stories and examples and focus on one story,
which is the one that has to do with the
cellphone, because that is an example of taking
a mathematical concept and applying it to real life. So that way I could delete or
shorten the Mandelbrot story. But also some of the examples
of fractals in nature, I would focus on them less and
kind of put them at the end, maybe describe them less. But instead, explain more what
a fractal is and some equations that come along with it, which
to me is the hardest part, because the equations
of fractals, even though they are– So the equation for
Mandelbrot, for example, is z equals z squared plus c. But the z’s in there
are complex numbers. And you just keep
iterating the equation. So even though it could
be simple to show what’s happening in just a quick
animation kind of plugging in numbers and see
what happens, I cringe at the idea of
simplifying it to that, because that is not necessarily
the accurate representation. So that’s why originally I
did not include the equation. I kind of wanted
to, maybe, animate just the z equals
z squared plus c at some point just to
show what it looks like, but let the reader kind of
explore that on their own if they wanted to. So I guess right now
my biggest problem is can I and should I include
more math in this or not? PROFESSOR: I mean I don’t
think it’s necessarily about the math. I think that the script has
a good specific example. And it has a really
great big picture. Like the pitch is awesome. I think that’s a really
great point to work from. It’s just that the connecting
piece seems a little bit– like there’s not as much
connective tissue there. So when I’m reading
through this, and I saw Nathan kind of
had a similar comment, too, I don’t quite get how all the
specific examples actually relate to that big picture. And for me, personally, it was
understanding what exactly– I don’t fully understand
what a fractal is yet, so I can’t make
that jump with you to all the applications
of fractals. So I understand what you’re
saying how the math itself is maybe a little
complicated to explain, but I don’t understand how
a fractal is math, I guess. Does that make sense
to other people? I don’t know if anyone else
felt that same confusion But it was like, I get
the turtle thing, and I get it’s a
repeating thing, but I don’t understand
how math describes that. AUDIENCE: OK, I guess that’s an
easy fix because you can just say there’s an equation
that goes along with all of these fractals
that we can program. AUDIENCE: I had a
similar– like to me, that’s the big piece
that’s missing with this. That being said, let’s
pause and take a moment, and like you’re big idea
at the very beginning was to talk about how
math isn’t real, right? And this is so amazing
that you’ve come so far. And these stories–
that I just commented– that they make it
real in this way that when we were
first sketching on the board that first day,
you were really struggling to figure out what
were those anchors that were going to help you talk
about that abstract idea. And I feel like you really
are doing a fantastic job at grounding this big
idea in these stories. That being said, this
is when being an expert or thinking deeply about
a topic is so hard, being able to separate
and to figure out what the rest of the
world does or doesn’t know about this thing, right? To you, what is
probably very obvious, and I’m going to be
very honest that I’m not quantitative person, right? So I’m probably at
a sixth grade math level for this kind of a video. And I completely had a
gap for me being like, I faintly recall
having studied fractals in my early middle school years. I remembered that it’s
a pattern and I remember kind of what it looks like. I have no idea how
a mathematician goes from seeing a tree to being able
to break that into an equation, and what that would
even look like, or how it would–
that to me– and how that becomes into a fractal. And to me, that’s a
big mystery to me, that I don’t want you
to explain everything because that would probably
be really boring, honestly. PROFESSOR: [INAUDIBLE] AUDIENCE: Totally. But if there’s some
way, on a high level, explain what a mathematician
is doing in there, why would I study that? Like, the big
questions for me are like, why would I want
to study that tree? How would I go about doing it in
such a way that would bring me to some sort of
mathematical– the why and the how is very interesting
to me in terms of what the mathematician’s actually
doing and why they would do it and then how you would
apply that to other things. So I don’t need you to go
into the whole equation, but I need to understand the
process that a mathematician would go through. I don’t know if you
guys feel similarly. AUDIENCE: I was
thinking with that, what I was thinking
the whole time, I know it’s not fractal
geometry or anything like that, but if you were to take–
you mentioned mountains, and just to describe
how they’re doing this– because they know y equals mx
plus b in sixth, seventh grade. I think that’s when
they start to learn it. So you could just put
like a slope of this line. It’s described by this equation. And it described this
slope of a mountain. And that’s kind of what it does,
just to a lot higher degree. I think that’s
something that they would understand
what they already know with the math behind that. And it’s just a little
bit more complex. And one part where I thought
that you could put that in is in scene three. So you just described fractals
as never-ending patterns. So I think there’s
room there where you could kind of go into–
there’s not even much rearranging you have to do. You could probably just
insert something right there. AUDIENCE: OK. Good to hear. AUDIENCE: I thought
there was really good examples that describe–
I thought it was pretty good. PROFESSOR: Nathan
brought up a point that I also had when I read
this script for the first time about having so many examples. Do you want to
explain that further? AUDIENCE: Well, just
at the beginning I thought that there are a lot
of different examples in a row that were really cool examples. But all of them, I
was like, each one I tried to stop and think,
well how is that a thing? How does that work. But then there’s
another example. I just kind of got
a bit overloaded. AUDIENCE: OK. I think the animation
might help with that because where I talk
about rivers, blood vessels, and lightning
bolts, and honey, if you look at them from above,
like if you have pictures, they look very, very similar. So the idea is kind of
to show the similarity. I guess somebody mentioned that
the brain-shaped forest was kind of overkill with that. So I can definitely
understand that. PROFESSOR: I think that
they’re good examples. But what might be
an issue here is that it’s taking too long to
get to the bulk of the video. And this is something
that George and I were talking about, too, that
you have really three themes in this video, cancer cells,
nature, and cellphone lines. And I like how you open it with
what do all these things have in common. But there’s honestly so much
to explore in each facet, that I’m wondering if you
should just really focus on one, like you had said earlier. Just because the thing that
I kept thinking about– which is along the lines
of Nathan’s thinking, and I mentioned it
in the comments, too– but it really reads
like a BuzzFeed article almost at the beginning, with
all these examples. And I keep thinking about
how awesome of an article it would be with
like GIFs showing all these different things. But there’s not enough
of a compelling reason to make a video
out of it, right? The whole story line of
what’s his name, Nathan Cohen, is actually, I thought that
was really interesting. I don’t know what
example you guys thought was the most compelling
to listen to or read. What did you guys feel
about the cancer cells or– AUDIENCE: From a
biologist’s standpoint, exactly what your concerns are
with reducing the equations and math, that’s what I felt you
did unintentionally with cancer cells, in that you have to
this really punchy statement, like this way of
discovering cancer can be about 10 times
more effective than the current methods. But coming from a
biology background, you cut out so
much in explaining how cancer is detected,
what are the current methods and comparing it to the fact
that the edges of the blubbing cells look like fractals
in the first place. And so for me this was
your weakest example. And I enjoyed
reading your script. And the other examples,
I feel like just because you spent more time
explaining them and fleshing them out, and you have, I think
from your background, a better understanding of the
Nathan Cohen story. They just sounded like
stronger examples. So in my opinion, cut out the
cancer even though it’s cool and cancer is a
very hot topic right now in all fields of study. I think people will get more out
of your video and more focused point if you choose
fewer stories to tell. AUDIENCE: And by
doing so, you actually allow yourself to be able to
allude to the cancer topic without diving into it. If you pick the Nathan
story, for instance, and you go more deeply into
explaining more of the meat that we’re talking
about, it doesn’t mean that you don’t get to
mention how fractals could have an impact on cancer, right? It doesn’t give
you the same depth, but it’s easier to
apply the concept when you understand
something deeply in that way. If that makes sense. AUDIENCE: Yeah, it
does make sense. PROFESSOR: I think in
general, and again this is sort of something that I
saw with a lot of scripts, it’s a lot of breadth
and not enough depth. So lots of examples,
but sort of shallowly sitting on top of them. I think this is an opportunity
to really challenge your audience and teach them
something really substantive that they’re not going
to get in school. And you can do that
through the example. And I think there’s a
lot that you can cut out. And again, we’ve noted
them on the annotation so you can see exactly
what we’re talking about. But if you really rely
on showing not telling, for example scene nine where
you’re describing rivers of the planet, the
brain-shape forest, like you don’t even have
to say any of those things if you have the images pop up. Like there are lots of pattern
fractal patterns in nature, like in rivers, anatomy,
the sky, honey, right? Like you’ve reduced
an entire scene down to basically five words there. The other thing I
wanted to mentioned, because this is sort of a
tool that anyone can use, we talk a lot about
the reveal, right? So Chris was talking about
how you can use the camera to make a reveal. You have a really good
set up for a reveal in the first scene. What do x, y, z have in common. That’s pretty much exactly how
the plants video was set up. What do all these chemical
compounds have in common? They all come from plants. And the reveal is that all
these unfamiliar things come from a familiar thing. Here you’ve got sort
of the reverse set up. You have all of
these familiar things come from an unfamiliar thing. And I don’t think a reveal
works as well, necessarily, when you’ve got that
set up, because people don’t know what a fractal is. And so if you maybe switch
scenes three and two, or maybe get rid of scene
two, and just go straight to seem three, the
answer are never ending patterns seen in nature
and math called fractals. That’s like a subtle
nuance, but a reveal set up to where you lead with
a set of familiar, and then you reveal what the
punchline of an unfamiliar. It doesn’t work as
well, necessarily, because the response
is going to be “what” instead of oh, whoa, plants. You know? AUDIENCE: Can I add one thing? PROFESSOR: Yeah, of course. We talked about how the math
stuff was really complicated. I feel like this–
maybe I’m way out in left field with this one–
but I feel like as soon as you feel like you’re in
that zone of being like, oh, I know a lot about this and
it would be really hard for me to figure out how to share
this with my audience, then to me, that’s our negative
truth is with these videos, is figuring out how to share
those complicated ideas with the lay-audience. As soon as you’re in
that uncomfortable zone and being like, I
know a lot about this and it’s complicated,
that’s where the truth is. That’s it. That’s our gift that
we’re offering the world, is how can you simplify
a complicated idea for the public. So if you’re in that
discomfort place, I fell like we need
to live in there. That’s our zone. That’s just the way I see it. AUDIENCE: Would
it help if like– because I feel like
I’m very curious of all the fractals
[INAUDIBLE], would it help if [INAUDIBLE]
explained it. When she said
[INAUDIBLE], I just couldn’t stop thinking about it. [INAUDIBLE] AUDIENCE: Yeah, it’s up
to Julia to figure out what style helps her the
best, whether talking it out or writing it out or
what is your tool that’s going to help you to get
that complicated idea shared. And that’s each of your
challenges to figure out your own learning. To figure out how
do you go into that challenging place and figure
out how to simplify it. And if it’s talking it
out, then that’s great. But maybe it’s not for
Julia, I don’t know. PROFESSOR: I also wanted to
use your script as an example to talk about a broader
thing that everyone can use, which is how you set up
things with your intonation. So people generally
associate emphasizing things with emphasizing your voice. At first– this is scene 12–
at first the image didn’t look too special. In fact, it kind of resembled
a turtle with a giant head. But it wasn’t until nighttime
that he looked closer and he zoomed in. And there was a smaller
one and a smaller one. And he thought they
were all the same shape. And he had a nightmare. Like that’s sort
of the default way that we try to bring focus
onto a natural subject when we’re hosting. But you can play a lot with
emphasizing with the smaller voice, if that makes sense. So instead of saying he
zoomed in on a smaller one, and a smaller one,
and a smaller one. And then he had a nightmare. You can emphasize the
weirdness by pulling back at an unexpected point. He zoomed in and he saw a
smaller one, and a smaller one, and then a smaller one. Those are two different types
of deliveries that you can use. But you don’t
always have to rely on using your volume and sort
of the brashness of your voice to emphasize certain
topics, because it gets a little repetitive
over the course of the entire episode. So you can do that
for certain sentences, but for others, really
play up the power of actually a quiet volume
and an unexpected pull back that also draws attention too. Does that makes sense to people? OK, does that give you
enough to work with? AUDIENCE: Yes. PROFESSOR: I think it’s
a really good start. And again, let me know if you
guys disagree, but I think that if you jump into
the meat of your episode a little bit earlier, really
dive into the Nathan Cohen story, you can use the
anecdotes to actually explain some of the things
instead of having to take whole scenes to go
over concepts with an analogy that you don’t need necessarily. AUDIENCE: Yeah, I
definitely hear that. That makes a lot of
sense. [INAUDIBLE]. PROFESSOR: And just so
you know, I timed it. And took you five minutes
to read through the script. And I would give yourselves
about a minute buffer room on top of however long it
takes you to read the script and even describe the scenes. Because with b-roll
and with cuts, you’re going to have a little
more time that your video is going to last, in addition
to the time it takes for you to read the script. All right, does anyone
want to go next? How about, the top
one on the list. Why do some people handle
the cold better than others? So this is David. And did you change the script
at all since last time I saw it? DAVID: So my idea was– I
added some more research, to make it more [INAUDIBLE]. But I also think that maybe
the wording in it is not ideal. PROFESSOR: Wording is
definitely the easiest thing to address in editing. So why don’t you just go ahead
and read the script aloud to us. And if everyone can
pull their laptops down. DAVID: So why do
people handle cold– why do some people handle
cold better than others? Why do some people need to where
lots of layers, where others feel fine in running shorts. What makes all the difference? Imagine a giant furnace. To generate more heat, we
need to burn more coal. Now imagine your body
as this giant furnace. Our metabolism is the fire. And sugars, which are broken
down carbohydrates [INAUDIBLE], are the coals. Inside your cells, the sugars
are burned by mitochondria to produce heat and
ATP, a molecule that starts and releases energy
as required by the cell. To generate more heat for one,
our bodies burn more sugars. This the first way
we deal with cold. The second way we
react to cold is that our blood is restricted
by the other– our blood is restricted through
the other organs. The blood circulatory
system exits highways to the different organs. Imagine [INAUDIBLE] trucks
carrying oxygen and heat to the organs. As the speed of the
trucks is higher, more heat falls out and is
lost to the surroundings, hence our body slows
down the flow of blood by tightening the blood vessels. It is the same way as squeezing
a lane on the highway. The third way is during
more extreme case of cold. Our body results to quick
skeletal muscle contractions, called shivering, in an
intent to create warmth by expending energy. It turns out that our bodies
aren’t always equally created. A team of California
geneticists, led by Doctor Douglas C.
Wallace of the University of California, has found that
many of the world’s people are genetically
adapted to the cold because their ancestors
lived in northern climates during the ice age. This is a very big
chuck [INAUDIBLE]. The genetic change affects
basic body metabolism. The genetic adaptation
is still carried by many northern
Europeans, East Asians, and American Indians,
most of whose ancestors once lived Serbia. But is absent from
people native to Africa. The genetic change
affects the mitochondria, causing it to generate more
heat and less chemical energy, which was very helpful
to early ancestors trying to survive the cold. Other than our genetic
make up affecting how much we can
withstand the cold, our physical makeup also plays
a part in our resist to cold. We lose heat to the environment
through convection of the air surrounding our bodies. When there’s a greater
difference in temperature, or more surface area exposed,
there’s a greater heat loss. We can slow down this process
by reducing the surface area in contact with
the cold surface or by increasing thermal
resistance by insulation. In 1877, American
biologist [INAUDIBLE] showed that the
length of one’s limbs affected the amount of heat
lost to the environment. Bodies with stockier
frames and shorter arms mean less surface area
exposed to the cold. This is so men with
smaller bodies, which have more surface area to
volume, lose heat more rapidly. Fat, which acts
as an insulation, helps increase
thermal resistance, making one lose heat
at a slower rate. Thus more people with–
[INAUDIBLE] people with a healthy [INAUDIBLE] will
be able to withstand the cold. Other than our genetic
and physical makeup, there’s one more way to
resist the cold, meditation. Introducing Wim Hof
from the Netherlands. In 2009 he completed a full
marathon in temperatures below minus 30 degrees
Celsius, dressed in nothing but his shorts. Wim Hof is aptly named
Iceman for his ability to withstand extreme cold
conditions by turning up internal thermostat of his mind. Wim Hof practices
geothermal meditation that allows his
body to produce more heat than the average person. Now this sounds wishy-washy
and non-scientific, but a team of researchers, led
by associate professor Maria [INAUDIBLE], from the
department of psychology at NUS, faculty of arts
and social science, showed for the
first time that it is possible for the
core body temperature to be controlled by the brain. The scientists found that core
body temperature increases can be achieved using certain
meditation techniques. A second study was conducted
with Western participants who use a breathing technique of the
geothermal meditative practice. They were able to
increase their core body temperature within limits. Now that we understand our
genetic and physical makeup, and how it affects
resistance the cold, as well as how to combat the cold,
maybe if the next Ice Age were to come, you will better
be able to withstand and survive it. PROFESSOR: Now, so we’ll
all go look at his script and– actually,
maybe this time we can talk more of the feedback
and you can take notes, because you took a little
longer than I thought it would. So I just want to leave
enough time for everyone. But a quick note, when
you guys read your scripts during the table
read, read it like you would actually host it. You clocked in at
exactly five minutes, but you read a lot faster
than you talk normally. And when people read, they often
have the exact same intonation structure when they
read a sentence. Which is to go, this is how
I’m reading this sentence. I’m reading it, and my
tone goes down at the end. I’m reading the next sentence,
and it’s going down at the end. And so every single
sentence sounds the same. Does that makes sense? And when you do that– and
I know that you’re just reading off of the
script, but it’s a habit that everyone falls into. When you do that,
it makes it very, very evident that you’re
working off of a script. When you talk in real life,
you have different intonations in your voice. You go up. You take kind of pauses. Your voice goes down at
the end of some sentences. Sometimes it goes up if
you’re asking a question. But when you’re reading
verbatim from text, your intonation tends to
fall into the habit of having the same intonation structure. So just be mindful of that. And for people who
are going next, really try to read
your script as you would present in the video. So that was just a quick note. Now how about everyone just
read through the script. Don’t worry about commenting. And then we’ll all just sort
of do live comment feedback on this one. OK, so I think this script
has similar strengths as Julia’s in that you have a
lot of very specific examples. But I think it also
struggles with having a hodgepodge of anecdotes,
and not necessarily a real, unifying,
noticeable theme. My big question
about this script is, is your theme more
about why some people feel more comfortable in the cold
or why some people would survive better in the cold? Because that’s a
point that Jamie brought up in the last class. DAVID: The second. PROFESSOR: The second. Because what I don’t understand
is how these specific examples actually imply better
survival in the cold, because they’re all about
you burn more energy to produce more heat. But are some people’s
genetic makeup actually– does it make them more prone
to surviving in the cold? Or does it just make them
more comfortable in the cold? DAVID: Some people’s
genetic makeup allows them to create
more heat, and therefore better survive the cold. Which is what makes
them more comfortable. [INAUDIBLE] PROFESSOR: But the way
you open up the video, it kind of implies why do some
people wear a lot of layers while other people
can go running. Are you implying that the
people who go running in shorts could survive being
out in the cold longer? DAVID: [INAUDIBLE]. They are able to do that
because– maybe because of the reasons
below, maybe they’re genetic makeup is predisposed
to better withstand the cold. Or maybe they have
a physical makeup that is just there
that helps them to do. PROFESSOR: But is that
scientifically proven? DAVID: Yeah. Based on the– I
cited the documents, the scientific study. PROFESSOR: Because to me, I
don’t know how you guys feel, but to me, that’s actually
not established with the facts that you’ve given. Like if you took the person
who was wearing shorts running and the person
who was wearing a coat and you stuck them in
Antarctica, would the person who was wearing
shorts live longer? I mean the person who
was wearing shorts wouldn’t complain
as soon, right? The person who
bundles up, they’d complain about being cold,
but would they necessarily die first? AUDIENCE: Yeah, [INAUDIBLE]
while you were talking I put on my jacket. AUDIENCE: Like I
have seen stuff. I mean– and I
know whatever I’ve seen there’s probably a million
things out there to debate it, but if people are in hypothermic
conditions– and this kind of alludes to the
metaphysical, I guess, like that aspect of you
talking about with the marathon runner– some people are able
to make their core temperature warmer than it would be in
just like ambient temperature, if they’re actually in
a colder environment. I have seen stuff like that. What I thought would be
cool with that piece, though, was if at
the beginning you say why do some people handle
the cold better than others, well, it’s all these questions. But if you introduced
with like, in 2009, whoever ran this marathon
and he was wearing shorts. Like how was he able to do that. That way I think you’re
taking out that first chunk and you’re replacing it with
what you already have in there. So you’re shortening
it a little bit. And I think it’s more of an
interesting introduction. Because that’s the
stuff that I thought was really interesting,
is like how are people able to do this
and scientists study them and whatever your facts are. PROFESSOR: Yeah, I agree. I think it’s a much
more compelling opening than why do some people
wear shorts outside. So basically moving scene
3C to the beginning. Go ahead, Julia. AUDIENCE: The way that
the scene 3C is currently placed it almost seems like
the odd one out because it talks about meditation. So if you did start with it,
that would be really cool. But also maybe replacing the
word meditation with you’re controlling something
with your brain, just so it seems more like a
scientifically-related concept. And the also,
another thing is you name a lot of
scientists and dates. So maybe you could talk about
those experiments but not, name, people or locations. That might make it
easier because then you don’t have to think about
California and Northern Europe in the same sentence that
mean different things. PROFESSOR: Nathan, were
you going to say something? AUDIENCE: I actually think
it’s more of the second scene. I feel like the
second scene is kind of explaining on a cellular
level and anatomic level how we stay warm. And it doesn’t really connect
to well to either the intro or the third scene. I think it’s actually
really interesting, but right now it’s kind of
like– it doesn’t really talk about why
some people do any of these better than others. And then there’s only like
one part in the third scene where mitochondria is mentioned. I think that just needs a
little bit better connected to everything else. PROFESSOR: How
vital is scene two? DAVID: Basically,
my thought process of how this is going
to go is introduction, and then how our body
handles, and what is the difference between people. PROFESSOR: It’s a very classic
five paragraph essay form, right? Intro, background knowledge,
question, example, right? Which is a very
logical flow of ideas, which is why so many people
write essays that way. But I think it’s also why
it’s reading a little bit like a news story right now. It’s reading a little bit like
a part of a textbook, almost. And it really– the
stuff at the end is really the more interesting
part, to me at least, the reason why maybe it should
be a video over an article. And I think PJ’s idea
of moving the example from the guy from Iceland
as your opening will help with that. And I also agree with
Nathan that you may not even need most of scene two, right,
because the point of the video isn’t to explain
how we stay warm. The point of the
video is to explain why some people are more
predisposed to handling incredibly harsh
environments than others. Like I think the concept of
hypothermia is fascinating, but that word isn’t mentioned
that all in this video. And let me know if
you guys disagree, because this is a totally
personal taste thing, but I feel like that would be
a much more compelling example to use than to say you
stay warm by shivering. And you stay warm by your
blood vessels contracting. Like those are all very true
facts that don’t take away, necessarily, from understanding
how people are more predisposed, it’s just that
you spend such a long amount of time on that. And it takes a while to
get the bulk of your body. It’s like the same thing that
was happening with Julia’s. And it’s very
counter-intuitive because it’s very different from typical
science communication. That’s not how you
write a journal article. With a journal article, you span
like five pages with an intro and set up. But with the video,
I don’t think you need the second thing. I think you need bits and pieces
from it to explain the point, but what do you guys think? AUDIENCE: I think may be to
just like identify second scene. So it’s on a cellular level. And then we shiver. So skeletal. Maybe just identifying it but
not really expanding on it might be something to do. PROFESSOR: Jamie, were
you going to something? AUDIENCE: Yeah, I’m
just processing. This is one by going deep
it allows you to go shallow as well, like with the Julia
with diving deeply [INAUDIBLE] to something else. I’m with you now,
about if we start with the idea of
this runner who was able to beat the
cold with his him, through telling that
story, you can actually tell me about what’s
happening on a cellular level and how he was able
to beat it, right? So one thing that I think needs
to be said somewhere in this is the idea that
if you strip away some of the variables
like what people ate or– as someone who used to be
a serious hiker, if someone has to go to the bathroom versus
doesn’t, that actually makes a really big
difference on staying warm. Because if you think about it,
if you have all this liquid and you need to go
to the bathroom, your body’s warming
all of that up. And if you just
went to the bathroom you’d suddenly get a lot warmer. So taking those
variables out, I’d say all things being the same,
these two fundamental bodies, what’s going on in
a cellular level? That helps you understand
the mind breaking, the cool extreme example
we have of this guy beating the system somehow. But in order to understand how
cool it is that he’s broken and beat the system,
we kind of need to understand what the
norm is for the system. So by using him as
your freak example, it allows you to also
tell the story of how things should work in a normal–
do you see what I’m saying? And then suddenly his story
becomes your streamline, that forward motion
throughout your video. And the backward telling
of the story of the facts about how a person
breaks down glucose or whatever, ends up being
part of that forward motion because you’re trying to
explain this cool, weird freak thing of someone can
actually use their mind to change, or at least to appear
to change their temperature. So I really like
this re-framing. And I think it allows
you to go deeper and to make it more
interesting by doing less. PROFESSOR: I think you also need
to bring the point of the video earlier on, because right
now it comes in scene four at the very end. Maybe if the Ice
Age were to come, we would better be able to
withstand and survive it. It’s really random right now,
because you haven’t really set that up as an argument. So I would say put that
at the beginning, too. Like there was this
guy a long time ago. And he ran this
marathon half naked. Why didn’t he die? Is there something
about him that is genetically– don’t
say genetically superior because that’s very un-PC. But you know, are there
genetic traits about him that would equip him to not only
withstand cold temperatures, but maybe survive
the next Ice Age. Is there something about him,
about humans like him, that are different from other people. That’s what I’m
saying about it needs to get into the meat and
the bulk of the video sooner, because right now it’s
a lot of intro, intro, intro. And the example
doesn’t even come until scene 3C, which is over
halfway through the video. Does that makes sense to
people, what Jamie just said, about using a specific
anecdote to describe a lot of the core concepts
instead of just describing the core concept separately? Does that make sense? AUDIENCE: You can have
a lot of fun with that as it being your main story. Like imagine you running half
naked across the football field with obvious snow out, right? That’s a really fun intro. I mean, there are
really fun things you can do that also
make it concrete. Because you’ve done all
the hard work already, which was coming up with
the science behind it. You’ve already made it
into a concrete story. Here are three specific things
that might be happening. You just need a hook and a story
line to help you tell that. PROFESSOR: The
application is what’s going to differentiate it
from a textbook as well. Because right now, scene two
is a textbook moved to video. And that’s fine, but it’s
not going to be interesting, I think, has all your anecdotes. I mean I have the concern
that this– what’s his name– coldman, Iceman. I had a concern that is wasn’t
scientific enough or robust. But since you added the stuff
about the research from NUS, I do think that’s interesting. Expand on that more. And cut out stuff from scene
two to give you time to do that. So I would say open with Iceman. Open with the big
picture question, what are the fundamental
qualities about him that differentiate him from
other humans like me. Then you can talk about what
exactly happens when people die of the cold, essentially. Like why is that happening, it’s
because your body can’t keep up with burning enough fuel. So you’re talking
about the whole furnace concept in that
reason, but you’re not taking the time to separately
explain it to people. And then– so you
have the example. You have the huge question. You go into the details of
explaining the core concepts. Then go back out to the
research question again. Does that makes sense? AUDIENCE: I think the
really critical part of what [INAUDIBLE] just said that’s
not in your video right now is explaining what happens
when people die of the cold. Because that’ll really drive
home your big question, how will we survive
the next Ice Age. How people died in the
cold in the first place. So what happens when these
systems that generate heat fail. And what about them fails. AUDIENCE: And this
may be too much. So as author, totally feel
free to ignore this next idea, but at the very
beginning you talk about putting clothes on as a
way of combating that cycle. What are the ways that
we– and I don’t want you to dive deeply into
this, but it might be a nice beginning of a wrap up. What are the ways that
we can fight the cold given our current
cellular structure. So I’m born this way. This is me in the world. What can I do right
now to fight the cold. Obviously I can put
on another jacket. What’s my jacket
doing, fundamentally. PROFESSOR: And you talk about
that right now in scene two, but do you see that makes
much more sense in the context of Jamie’s example? So you don’t have to
take the time to say, let me define shivering. Let me define
blood constriction. Let me define metabolises. Don’t take the time to define
those things separately from a context. Just seamlessly integrate
that into the examples you’re already talking about. AUDIENCE: Or would eating a big
spoon of peanut butter help me. I would want to probably
know some concrete things at the end, just wrapping up,
along with the scientific. As someone who used to do some
pretty extreme outdoor stuff, I know that eating a
spoonful of peanut butter actually will help, but why? And just bringing it back
on that very concrete level to your audience, to be like,
because of carbohydrates here. So next time you’re about to
stand out and watch a football game in the cold, eat
a huge bar of chocolate or put on an extra layer,
or something concrete. And not a lot of time. Don’t waste a lot of time. That might tie it
back to the concrete for your audience a little bit. PROFESSOR: I wouldn’t
end it that way, though, because that’s
a little too simplistic for what you could do. So end it by tying it back to
the big question, for sure. And that’s what I meant when
I said in your comments, like what type of
research is going on. Because there must be people
out there who are studying ways to sort of trick our
bodies against the way we’re naturally hardwired beyond
just putting on another jacket. So if you can talk
about those things, I mean that’s
another opportunity to differentiate it from a
traditional textbook content. So right, now the way
your script is structured, is simple question,
facts, background facts, a bunch of research questions,
and then really good question. That’s like a very standard
five paragraph format. I would say restructure it
so that you open with one of the anecdotes, Iceman. Open with the big question. Go into the details in the
context of the example. Then go back out to
the research question. Then you can do what Jamie
says, which is like well, if some people, like
Iceman, just are better off, like what about
for the rest of us? What are researchers
doing or what can we practically do to
sort of trick nature. And then point it back to
the big question again. Does that make sense? AUDIENCE: It might be
worth it to– hibernation’s like a hot topic right now with
all the space travel and stuff that they’re thinking of. So that’s like– I
mean that’s addressing eating a lot, low
metabolic, it kind of, I think, gets all of that. [INAUDIBLE] PROFESSOR: But also they’re
doing that for space research, too, right? There are a lot of
resources at your disposal, so you can talk about
things that have never been talked about before. That’s the whole
point of these videos. That’s what I mean
by don’t leave them as instructional
tutorial videos, because anyone can make those,
but we have current research at our disposal. There’s so many
things that we can talk about that just haven’t
been talked about yet, so I really want you to spend
most of the time of your videos on that. AUDIENCE: And you
might be able to find– I mean I have no idea
who does this on campus– but I bet we could probably
do some research to figure out is anyone in [INAUDIBLE]. I don’t know, someone. There might be someone
on campus that you could talk to that’s doing some
research on this [INAUDIBLE] thing. If you could add a little
of that it would be cool. What’s the pacing that
you’re planning for this? PROFESSOR: Pacing for today? AUDIENCE: Like how many
people are we hoping to get? PROFESSOR: I was going to try to
get as many people as we could. Tomorrow I’m going to do my
last lecture to give you guys more time to work on your video
than we had originally planned. Yeah, so just as many as
we can get through today. Whatever we don’t finish
we’ll do tomorrow. AUDIENCE: We should
probably give people a chance to break soon. PROFESSOR: Yes, absolutely. Let’s do one more and
then take a break. David, do you have any
questions about that? About all of our feedback? DAVID: [INAUDIBLE]. AUDIENCE: So for
example, one section I think could be condensed to
a single sentence, like 3A. So you have this
really big paragraph. It’s like a paragraph
in your essay. You have a citation
and everything. But that section
can just be reduced to some people have
different mitochondria, which generates more hear and
less chemical energy. Like that’s it. That was the essence
of section 3A. DAVID: [INAUDIBLE]. AUDIENCE: You are– you are a
reliable narrator, inherently, in your video. So this is a citation
to something, as something you can include
in the video description below. And oftentimes a lot of
educational channels do. It’s like, if you want to
do further reading on this, you can include it
in the description. But if you say a statement like
that, that because of genetics, because of the
hard-wiring of our DNA, some people’s mitochondria is
more efficient in this way, less efficient in this way. They’re accepting this. And I think because
you’re a scientist and because you’re
making this at MIT, that adds to your reliability. And the fact that, for your
more dubious claims, which in my opinion are the mediation
stuff, because psychology is inherently a
more dubious field, like anything with
people’s brains, we have a very, very loose
understanding of brains. Because that’s where if any
citations go on your video, that’s where you should start
referencing researchers, because that’s where
people are going to go, hm, this kind of sounds
like pseudo science. But people have heard
of mitochondria. People know what
mitochondria do. So if you make a claim that
some people’s mitochondria, not everyone’s, acts differently,
then that’s an acceptable fact. PROFESSOR: David, I know this
is not what you want to hear, but what I actually
recommend you do is write a script from scratch. Write your next draft. Because you have all this
knowledge in your mind already, so it’s
not like you need to look at it to rewrite it. But approach it from
this completely fresh, new structure, of
opening with an anecdote, connecting that to
the big question. Explain the anecdote. And in the process
of explaining it, you can hit the
definitions of why people– or how your body shivers, or how
many Iceman, when he meditated, maybe his blood
vessels constricted. I’m totally making this up. You have to fact check all this. Then go back out to how this
could affect our survival rate in the Ice Age. If you approach it
from– because this is going to take a completely
different structuring. So I almost don’t
want you to even look at this when you try your
next draft, because you’re going to have the
habit of thinking about it in the same
five paragraph structure that you did before. Send the next draft that way. I think in the process, you
will end up not including things just naturally. But if you try to look at
this draft and say what do I need to take out. What do I need to put in. What do I need to move around. I think it might be a
little confusing to you, does that make sense. All right. And I will stick around
after class today, if people want to talk
more about their scripts. But I wanted to give
everyone a chance to read it out loud to people. Oh, when you are reading
also, this is a tendency that a lot of people have. And I just noticed it
because you read last. But carry your words through. You’re going to want to talk
a little bit slower than you usually do naturally. And you don’t want to drop the
ends of words off like this. Because the effect that that has
is you sound robotic on camera, and it’s really hard to
understand the ends of words. So that’s it for
everyone, just make sure that you carry all of your words
out to the end of the sentence. All right, let’s do one
more and then take a break. How’s everyone– AUDIENCE: [INAUDIBLE]. PROFESSOR: You want to
take a break right now? AUDIENCE: [INAUDIBLE]. PROFESSOR: All right,
let’s do a five minute break and come back. AUDIENCE: And I need to
make a quick phone call, so I’m going to be
late coming back in. [INAUDIBLE] PROFESSOR: Go for it. All right, Nathan, take it away. And remember, read it like you
would actually try to host it. AUDIENCE: What does food in
your fridge start to smell, and where does that icky
black liquid come from? Wouldn’t life just be
easier if we didn’t have to worry about that? Well, to answer these questions,
let’s talk about decomposition. Wikipedia says
that decomposition is the process by which organic
substances are broken down into much simpler
form of matter. Well, what does that mean? Basically, in your
fridge, on a forest floor, almost everywhere, there
are fungi and bacteria that live entirely by
eating dead things. These dead things
that make up food can be more or less divided
into three categories, carbohydrates, which
are like things like sugars and starches,
lipids, like fats, and proteins, like meat. All of these are chemically
different compounds, so they each get digested
in a different way. Enzymes like
amylases, which yields us starches, and
cellulases, which deal with cellulose, the
main component of plants, create sugar from complex
carbohydrates, which cells can easily get energy from. Lipase has split
lipids into two parts, glycerone and fatty acids, both
of which can produce energy. Lastly, proteases break
protein into the amino acids that they’re made of, which both
releases energy and provides a bacteria and fungi with
crucial building blocks. So how does a– so how does a
perfectly nice broccoli floret start giving off this
foul black liquid? Well, fruits and vegetables
are almost entirely water, so one the
most basic level, you could say a plant cell
is an extremely complex water balloon. The elastic outside is
the cellulose cell wall, and the [INAUDIBLE] inside
is the intracellular fluid. When a bacteria or fungi use
a cellulases to break down the exterior of
a cell, it’s like if I were to pop the balloon. But liquid and other
materials that come are what cause the muck
you see in your fridge. And so what about that smell? It depends on the food type. Basically, if a meat starts
to get rancid and smell bad, it’s because when lipases break
down the fat and the meat, a lot of the fatty acids you
end up with aren’t too pleasant. If it’s a fruit or
vegetable, [INAUDIBLE] all the time, the smell happens
after that icky liquid forms. Other bacteria that weren’t
involved in initial breakdown, move in and start to
stink everything up. So looking at this
all, wouldn’t it be easy if we didn’t have
to deal with decomposition, if things just lasted forever? Well, maybe but probably not. The USDS found that the average
American household wastes about 25% of its food, and a lot
of restaurants are even worse. Sure, that number could go down
if there’s no decomposition. But other factors
can affect how good a food is, too, like
moisture and exposure to air. And if we didn’t
have decomposition, what would happen to all
that food we throw away? Food items in landfills are
dealt with by decomposes, and allow the nutrients in
food to return to the soil and eventually
other living things. If things just sat
idle in landfills, we’d end up with a crisis
on our hands, eventually. Aside from just food,
bacteria, fungi, and protists are responsible for breaking
down other dead things, like trees. In fact, they’re more or less
the only things that can do it. So while your house
would never have to worry about termites,
who rely protists in their stomachs, the
forest would pretty soon be flooded with dead stuff. So decomposition,
while maybe annoying when you can’t eat that now
fuzzy peach in your fridge, is essential to the continuation
of our world as you know it. And it’s pretty darn
interesting, too. PROFESSOR: Just
so you know, that was also exactly five minutes. but keep in mind, the
pacing of your reading is a lot faster when you’re
reading off of a script. And then you got to
account for all the b-roll that you’re going
to put in there. So it’s clocking in at a
little bit over five minutes. For this one, let’s look
at the script altogether. And I’m going to go ahead
and make my first point in the interest of time, if
I can find my cursor, which is that this script has the
same issue that I was talking about with David,
which is that I think the coolest part
about your episode is this whole part right
here, these two paragraphs. What would happen if we
didn’t have decomposition, and why it’s
actually super vital. But it doesn’t come until you’ve
gone through all this stuff. And I wonder how much of
this stuff you actually need. Like this whole sentence,
and actually this one, I think you could
take out completely. Go from why does the food in
your fridge start to smell, wouldn’t life be
easier if we didn’t have that to worry about. You could just say,
well, in your fridge, or on a forest floor, there are
fungi and bacteria that survive entirely by eating dead things. And they’re responsible
for turning your broccoli into the black mold. This stuff is informative. I don’t think anyone here
suffers from the inability to be informative. This is all very factual. But I personally don’t
care about it as much as the stuff at the end. How do you guys feel? Yeah. AUDIENCE: I was
kind of zoning out when there was the amylases. PROFESSOR: Yeah. It’s OK to use
technical terminology. But I think this gets
a little too jargony to the point where people
are going to have a hard time understanding why they need
to know what a protease is. This is what I meant
by David’s structure. We’re so used to
writing stuff in this is form, where you
have the question, and you have the background. Then you usually go into
an example or an anecdote. Add then you have some
sort of conclusion where you say– your
conclusion is, so that’s why decomposition is important. In a video, this is your
money shot, usually. This is the thing
that looks cool. Have you guys ever
seen that– it’s a commercial for Sprint where
they have the people cutting their bills in half. Have you guys ever
seen that before? I find that a very weird
commercial, because it takes them such a long
time to get– they interview people about
how much they’re spending on their monthly wireless bill. It’s not until halfway
through the commercial that you get the part where
they’re actually cutting all their bills in half. And I’m like, it they
just opened the commercial with those shots,
then they could go into the interview stuff. But whoever produced that
commercial was like, no, no. We have to establish that people
hate their current cellphone plan. And we have to get them
to talk about who they are before we can show that stuff. That’s not true of video. You can start with the example. You can start with
the big question. And instead of
having a conclusion, you can have a connecting–
instead of this conclusion, oftentimes you revisit
the question instead. So I think you should
move your example up. You should move it up
right after the question. And in David’s case, I
think you should actually do the example, and
then the question. You should talk about
Iceman and then say what is it about certain people
that give them the advantage. For you, I think you
should say why does food in your fridge start to smell? Because it’s like a nice,
familiar intro into the topic. But then I think
you go into what would happen if we didn’t
have decomposition. And that’s not
exactly an example, but do you see what
I mean by just diving straight into the meat in
the bulk of your video? Were you going to say
something, Andrea? AUDIENCE: Well I just remember
when you did your one line or two line summary, which
was so amazingly awesome. And I’d love to see that
in the script, of well, it turns out that there
are lots of other things that like to eat your food, too. And that’s the hook. PROFESSOR: Yeah, I think that
is where the video exists. I don’t think you actually need
most of this stuff, which again I know is like super
disheartening for people to hear that the majority
of what you wrote isn’t actually necessary. But I think that in the
act of writing this, you’ve discovered what
the really compelling part of your script and your
content it, which is this. AUDIENCE: I’d said the big
problem is that, for me, it’s accepting that in the end what
I really wanted to make a video about is how it happens. Because that’s the
part that I look at and when I want to
figure it out on YouTube, there’s nothing that
told me how it happens. And I don’t know, that’s
the problem for me. Because that’s more– I
guess that’s the issue, is that it’s not as compelling
what I want to make a video, as what is probably a
better video as what I’m not as interested in as myself. PROFESSOR: Then I think simply
by moving these two paragraphs, basically, to the beginning,
prefacing all this stuff, you can have the
best of both worlds. And I actually think
that, you’re right, you do want to explain
what’s happening, because that’s like
substantive science that people can
be learning about. So this is a really
compelling hook. What if we just didn’t
have the thing that seemingly inconveniences us. What if things could
just last indefinitely? Is this crisis unrelated to
all the stuff with the enzymes that you were talking about
earlier in your script? AUDIENCE: I think the
crisis is more the– I tried the very in a
couple of like– it’s like nutrient cycling and
nitrogen are very complex topics. So basically I tried
to very succinctly, sum it up that basically you
need to have things returning. PROFESSOR: Then what
if you just simply say you need to have things
returning to the soil just like you have
in this sentence. And then you could say, so what
averts this crisis, basically. And then you can
go into this stuff, that you have
bacteria that break the outside walls of plants. And all the liquid comes out. And that’s like the muck. That’s what rot is, basically. But in doing so,
drive home the point that this stuff is
important and desired. So you set it up with well,
what would happen if we didn’t have decomposition. You wouldn’t have stuff
returning to the soil. You’d have just endless material
piling up on each other. So what averts this crisis? Well, bacteria do this. And by allowing it to
rot and allowing things to go back to the soil,
go back to the question of that’s why stuff
rots in the first place. So actually, maybe it just
needs like a little bit of restructuring
more than anything. What do you think you, Julia? AUDIENCE: I really enjoy
your informal language, so saying things like
pretty darn interesting. So I think also if you can
put the science-y jargon into that informal language,
that would make it more fun. Because that’s kind
of how you talk, and so if you can explain it
that way, that would be great. And also, you can add images. So for example,
for you saying how does a perfectly nice broccoli
florets start giving off this foul black
liquid, you could show this black liquid instead
of mentioning it or describing it and just say, how does it
end up like this. [INAUDIBLE]. PROFESSOR: Yeah,
that’s a great point. It’ll save you a
lot of time, too. I actually don’t think you
need this sentence, personally, because by then
you’ve established that it is interesting,
and you sort of highlight it through your tone. And in general, again it’s
totally a personal taste thing, but I try to avoid observations
that a viewer could come to on their own, or ones that I
could say quickly in passing in the context of a sentence. I rarely try to
have an observation like that merit its own
sentence or its own thought. AUDIENCE: Do you want to
touch the concept of recycling at all, like the idea that some
things that may seem like waste or dead stuff is actually
really useful to other things. I don’t want to complicate this. AUDIENCE: I actually don’t
know what you mean by that. AUDIENCE: Like for instance,
mushrooms are decomposers. Their job is to help
speed up the cycle. And there are other creatures
and microorganisms out there that have an important role
in this part of the materials cycle, that I’m not
sure whether it’s worth mentioning that that
ooze and that black stuff is actually someone’s delicacy. PROFESSOR: I think
that’s what you’re trying to get at with the
whole having the nitrates and everything
return to the soil. And maybe that’s something that
you can hit in just a sentence. Like it goes back– it
allows nutrients in food to return to the soil that’s
vital to the organisms that live in that environment, and
eventually other living things. AUDIENCE: And this
is one where maybe having a visual of
the food chain cycle, like that whole– really hammers
this down visually for people while you’re talking. As the sun creates– like just
a visual map of just the food chain cycle, starting from
the sun and going back to you. And maybe that’s all
you need with this to hone that
biological concept down for people, that life cycle. PROFESSOR: Yeah. AUDIENCE: Going
off of what Julia was saying a little bit
earlier, so right now, the part where you
discuss enzymes sounds a lot like the videos
I’m making right now for MITx. It’s super factual
and really concise, which is good for
those kind of videos. For these kind of
videos, I feel like you need to integrate this
information in the greater structure of the story
like we were talking about. So jumping off of what
Andrea was saying earlier, if you structure it as,
we are not the only people who eat our food. Bacteria and protists and things
like that also eat our food. They use enzymes like
proteases to break the protein in our food to do this. As opposed to
introducing them as list, like these are
different enzymes. If you can figure out a way
where the outer story is, they also are eating our
food and breaking it down. And then bringing up
these enzymes when it’s necessary to define them
instead of just giving blanket definitions of all of
them at the beginning, it helps keep that
viewer engaged, because then they’re
still getting the same amount of
information overall, but they’re getting
it in smaller doses, and when that
information is relevant. So they’re more
likely to remember it later on, because they’ll
see a picture of the meet. And be like, oh,
the bacteria uses proteases to break the
proteins down in the meat because they use those as
amino acids for themselves, or something like that. As opposed to giving
this list of enzymes. PROFESSOR: Yeah. That’s a really good
tip for everyone. I think you Julia,
that’s definitely relevant in your script. David, for sure. Maybe a litmus test is
if you find yourself with an entire sentence or
an entire paragraph that is just a definition on
its own, really rethink how that’s being done. Enzymes like amylases,
which deal with starches, create sugar from complex
carbohydrates, which cells can easily get energy from. Like that’s a textbook
definition of what enzymes and amylases do. And you can explain that stuff
in your examples of well, it turns out we’re not the
only things that eat our food. Bacteria do that, too. I don’t think it’s
super accurate to say that enzymes eat our food. But you know what I mean, never
leave an island of a definition out on its own. I guess. Like don’t have
this random– don’t leave random islands of
facts just hanging out in the middle of your script,
for the purposes of this video. I think this is
an important idea. I think you can integrate in the
context of an example, though. Does that make sense? Is that making sense
to other people? Yeah, what were you
going to say, Joshua? AUDIENCE: [INAUDIBLE] I
had the question in my mind that the topic of
smell wasn’t addressed. PROFESSOR: Oh, right about here. Yeah, right now you
set up sight and smell as two unrelated things. But I think you don’t have
to separate the smell out. You can say, when the
bacteria break down the exterior of the cell,
and the crap oozes out of it, it also is leaking out chemicals
that cause rancid smells. So you don’t necessarily
have to differentiate that it is a separate topic. One more thing, again
this is a personal thing, but I just think the word rot
is a lot more visceral and a lot more the familiar to people. So I know that you talk a
lot about decomposition, but maybe if you
open it with why do things rot in the first place. What would happen
if things didn’t. That might be a little bit
more welcoming to viewers. Any final thoughts
about this one? Again, I think in
general people are in really good shape with
their ideas, and the concepts, and the topics of their scripts. It’s really a matter of
restructuring it, escaping away from the traditional
five paragraph structure and really hitting into
money shots right away. That’s going to help
your videos the most. Andrea, would you
mind reading next? AUDIENCE: Can you
pass the mic over? Everyone gets to hear my
nice bronchitis voice. I’m going to mime through
most of this, too. Mmm, delicious. Eating foods is one of the
great pleasures of life. And to enjoy foods from
apples to candy bars, we rely on one part of
our bodies, our teeth. Teeth are the
hardest substances in our bodies– little
animation holding a tooth– harder than
our bones and even harder than iron or steel. While we chew, our teeth
actually experience forces up to 225 pounds. That’s like having a mountain
goat jump up and down on our teeth hundreds
of times each day– little animation
of a mountain goat. So why doesn’t our
jar just crumble under all of those forces–
explanation graphic. Between your tooth– PROFESSOR: Are you guys
following along on your script? AUDIENCE: Between your
tooth and your jawbone there’s a specialized
piece of tissue called the periodontal
ligament, or PDL for short. The PDL can easily
absorb the normal forces that a tooth
experiences while we chew, say, an apple,
cushioning or protecting our jaw bone from our teeth. And inside the PDL there are
all different kinds of cells. One type, called
mechanoreceptors, sense forces of movement or
pressure applied to the tooth. If the force is large enough,
such as biting into an apple seed, these receptors
tell your brain to stop biting down– graphic. But what if we want to force
teeth in a certain direction, like with braces? As the braces pull
on the tooth, the PDL is squeezed in one direction
and stretched in the other, kind of like a rubber band. And here’s where it
gets really interesting. To make room for the
PDL, cells called osteoclasts come in and
dissolve a little bit of the bone in your jaw. Another type of cell called an
osteoblast comes in and then builds up the jaw bone so
the PDL cushion can get back to its proper shape holding
the tooth in its new position. Cut to image of the entire body
with the skeleton highlighted. Your jaw isn’t the
only place where these osteoclasts
and osteoblasts alter your bone structure. In fact, this bony
remodeling process is happening throughout
your body all the time. When braces– where braces use
osteoblasts to physically move things around that are
already in our bodies, what if we try to use them to
replace things in our bodies, like implants? Implants are kind of like
spare parts for our bodies. And MIT engineers are
using the properties of osteoblasts and osteoclasts
that are already in our bodies to create a chemical
coating for these implants. Just like in a
mouth with braces, this osteoblast coating
will create natural bone to help lock the
implant in place. And this is a new section. Right now, implants
are designed to have the same functionality as the
body parts they are replacing. But in the future, scientists
could make implants that work better than
the original body parts, using bone remodeling to make us
lighter, stronger, and faster. And then, at a certain
point, like at the end, I’m actually wearing this
weird cyber thing over my eye. That’s the end. [APPLAUSE] PROFESSOR: So you’re clocking
in at about four minutes, which is good. And I thought the delivery
was also a really nice, too. AUDIENCE: I got so much more
out of it than reading it, which is funny because
I don’t usually process things that way. Yeah, but the way that you did
it was so slow and dramatic, like the way that
you emphasized, it was helping me process it. It was really good. PROFESSOR: I like the way that
you emphasize the word same. Lot of people would
do the same thing. They would just sort of
accent the word the same. But you sort of linger on
in it, it’s same thing. And I actually really like that. I think it’s a delivery
that is not necessarily intuitive to a lot of people,
but it works really nicely in that context. All right, so this has
changed quite a bit from your original
idea, which was the first on how braces work
to more about bone remodeling and rebuilding. Does anyone have comments
off the bat about the script? Yeah, Julia. AUDIENCE: I really enjoyed it,
especially at the beginning when you’re talking about our
teeth are stronger than steel. And you kind of
demand the attention. And also when you mentioned this
is where it gets interesting, so I kind of, oh, I should
listen to this is the reaction. The only thing I kind of
wanted to learn more about was how can you withstand the
mountain goat on your teeth. That was something very–
it had a large wow factor. And to me that was like, oh,
how does that actually happen. That’s the only thing I
wanted to know more about. But other than that I
enjoyed the information. And it made a lot
of sense because it wasn’t very scientific, as in
didn’t have a lot of jargon. AUDIENCE: I did get great
feedback from Elizabeth, and [INAUDIBLE], and
Jamie, and George. I think the crumbling
job was Elizabeth. PROFESSOR: I agree that
you did a really nice job. You don’t start with a
money shot, necessarily. Like you don’t start with
the big picture question, but I think it
works in the script because she has so
many shareable facts off the beginning. And it’s not a traditional
five paragraph set up where she talks a lot about
defining what the PDL was, which is kind of what your
earlier iteration of the script did. But I think this is a great
example of not necessarily defining every
single fact that you need to know about
dentistry to get the point. I want you to follow
along because you’re setting up sort of– it’s sort
of establishing characters. Like the PDL is a
character in the story. And what all of these
shareable facts do is that it creates
the persona of the PDL as being something
really strong, and something really robust. And the fact that
we’re now, as humans, going to try to manipulate
that, it establishes the challenge in
that, which I think is a really nice
thing that it does. This section is not
as related to it, but I think the
video is short enough to where you can include
it, because it’s just kind of a cool fact. Do you guys find
that distracting? Or do you think it’s
OK to leave in there? AUDIENCE: [INAUDIBLE]. AUDIENCE: I have a different
question to go with that. So there’s something that’s kind
of missing at the end, which is the four minute question. I don’t know that this is
actually a four minute one, because if you
add on my comment, it might add some
[SOUND] to the end. I feel like the end ends
kind of abruptly for me. And so I think we get
back to your question once we know where we’re ending. But part of me wants– you
asked some really good questions at the very end about
what if we manipulate the body to be better, stronger,
lighter, all of those things. Then it asks all these moral
questions, of like, is that OK. I mean, what about the Olympics. What does that do for people who
have replacement arms and now they can throw faster. There’s all this world of
questions that have nothing to do with the actual
physicality of pulling it off, but it makes you wonder about
this super human race that could be created by replacing
a lot of our functional parts with things that are
better, faster, stronger. All of the above. But aside from
even going there, I feel like I want
you to tie it back to the apple at the
beginning somehow, and teeth. So I don’t know if
it’s possible to allude to all of the moral questions
that this might bring up without having to
go deeply into it, because we don’t
have to answer that. We just have to get
people thinking. And maybe tying it,
somehow, back to the teeth, somehow, because that’s
what we started with. I’m not sure what that
direct [INAUDIBLE] is yet. But that, to me, would
feel– so you start with– and the apple is very central
and the teeth are a very central part of the story. And then we sort of go forward. But forget why we
started there at the end. And I’m wondering maybe
you guys have a clever way to tie it back to that concept. But I feel a little unsatisfied
leaving that apple at the front and not coming back at all. AUDIENCE: Maybe if
you added [INAUDIBLE], not just in the future
can scientists do that. But they’re already kind
of doing that with braces. And then it goes
back to the teeth. AUDIENCE: There you go. Right. And just bring it
back to the idea that they’re doing all
these crazy things. Think about your arms,
your legs, your nose, or whatever piece of
your body that you might want to trade out and upgrade. But every day people around you
are doing that with their teeth and we take it for granted. Just something that– just
a quick tie back to that. AUDIENCE: Also, and that kind of
goes along with the goat thing. The fact that these implants
work better make people want to replace the
bones in their body. Just I want stronger arm
bones, or something like that. So I think, for me, that’s
another question that I had, what are the implications of
these implants for our society? AUDIENCE: Are they,
right now, are they prohibitively expensive. Are they– you don’t have
to go totally out there. But I think you’re right. And as an audience member you’re
wondering, oh, I love running. Maybe I could run
faster if I just traded my legs for different ones. Like why couldn’t I do that? Are we ten years away from that? Ten thousand years away
from being able to do that? PROFESSOR: The only
thing is I’m worried that this is opening
up a huge can of warms at the end of your video. So maybe a quick way to sort
of gloss over it, and maybe this is a little
cheap, but what I would do if I were trying
to fix or rework some of the ending– and
endings are so hard to write. I don’t know if you guys
have experienced this before, but I’ve always found the
ending to be the hardest part to write in the script. But what if you went, your
jaw isn’t the only place where these osteoclasts
and osteoblasts alter your bone structure. In fact, this bony remodeling
processes happening throughout the entire body. And where braces use osteoblasts
to physically move things that are already in our
bodies, Engineer use the properties
of these cells to replace things in our bodies. Now the idea of building
ourselves as bionicle people and replacing our bones
with stronger ones may sound like something
out of science fiction book. But when you think
about it, that’s what the things that most
teenagers have to use do as well. Then add an ending
sentence that I can’t think of right now,
crunch, into your apple. So that way you’ve
kind of reduced– AUDIENCE: Yeah,
that’s what we need. It doesn’t need to be long, but
it needs to tie those concepts. Yeah, I like that a lot. PROFESSOR: And I can talk to
you more about it afterwards because I can’t ad lib a
great script impromptu. But that way you’re sort of
condensing all this down, because I really love the
example of the implants. But I want your
focus of the video to be on braces, basically,
so that way you’re just sort of hinting
at it and then tying it back to the
beginning with the apple. AUDIENCE: Do you– people know
that if your braces come off and you don’t wear your
retainers they go right back. Which I just wonder if someone
who’s listening to this is like, well, if you
follows Andrea logic, my teeth have
permanently rebuilt their cellular structure
in this new space. Why would I need to do that? PROFESSOR: That’s a good point. AUDIENCE: Like if
understand what you’re sharing in this from a cellular
level is actually going on, I shouldn’t have
to wear a retainer, because my cells have–
things have ground together. And a change has actually
happened in my mouth. It’s not just the movement,
but it’s physically changing my mouth, right? So why should I have
to wear a retainer if my mouth is actually
changed because of my braces? PROFESSOR: Can you just
add a line in there after you say that the
PDL cushion gets back into its proper shape. And then having
a retainer make– because bone remodeling and
rebuilding happens constantly. I think that’s the
one fact that isn’t in there that might be
the crucial point here, that even after you get
braces your osteoclasts and osteoblasts are continually
remodeling your jaw. That a retainer make sure that
the osteoblasts and clasts reformation is happening
in the right place. You can just throw in
a quick sentence there, or a quick afterthought
to that sentence. And I think that clarifies that. AUDIENCE: I think another
thing to point out is that your descriptions of
the science that goes behind it don’t seem very heavy. So if you wanted to
add more science, maybe, I think that would
be OK in this video. I wasn’t distracted by the
science that was there. So if necessary, to
add more about the PDL, that could be done. AUDIENCE: Well, I originally
had a lot more about the PDL and I ended up cutting it out. PROFESSOR: I mean the reason why
I suggested that you take some of the stuff about the PDL out
is because the video was really starting to seem
more about the PDL and less about bone remodeling. So I agree that the way
you’ve worded things, it’s not too jargony. So if you wanted to add
more about remodeling and rebuilding, and more
about the osteoblasts and osteoclasts, maybe how
that bone remodeling happens to you in your leg bones
all the time when you grow. I think that’s a perfectly
nice place for that addition. If you want to make room for it,
I do think that– what is it– the mechanoreceptors part. It’s a neat thing that I’m
OK with having in there. But if you need to
make room for more science about the
osteoblasts and osteoclasts, I think it’s OK
to take out, too. But I would hesitate to
talk more about the PDL, because then you’re
really getting into a different type of video. Which if that’s what you want
to pursue, that’s totally fine. But I think to me the
video is really more about bone remodeling than it is
about the periodontal ligament. So that’s my only hesitation
with adding more facts about the PDL. Does that sound good? All right, any last
thoughts Andrea’s? No. All right, Paul, do
you want to go next. Or PJ. Paul is actually a PJ,
as discovered last week at the end of class. AUDIENCE: My parents
told me the other day that I didn’t have a first
name for the first three days I was born. AUDIENCE: Wait, so
you’re formally PJ? AUDIENCE: No, I’m formally Paul. But it took them three
days to [INAUDIBLE]. AUDIENCE: But
everyone calls you PJ? AUDIENCE: Uh, it’s 50-50. AUDIENCE: OK,
because I was like, gosh, why didn’t we
know this sooner. PROFESSOR: Yeah, this was
my reaction last week, too, at the end of class. Oh yeah, the doc is gone. Siri’s updating it– or Sari. Sorry, I don’t know
why I keep doing that. Wait, so your parents knew
that you were going to be a PJ, they just didn’t– AUDIENCE: No, no,
they didn’t know what my name was going to be. PROFESSOR: Oh, ok. AUDIENCE: It’s amazing
how many people do that. Did they know you were
going to be a boy? AUDIENCE: No. They did it old school. [INAUDIBLE] No, I don’t. I’m the youngest [INAUDIBLE]. AUDIENCE: You run out of names. PROFESSOR: Is it up now? Refresh. Yeah, it’s still
showing up blank for me. Do you mind reading it
from your Google doc while Sari figures that out? AUDIENCE: All right. PROFESSOR: All
right, laptops down. And remember, read it
like you would host it. AUDIENCE: Let’s take the
small foam box, Orca One, and cut a hole in it. Now, let’s put this box in
water and see what happens. As you can see, the
box unfortunately sinks due to the weight
of the added water. Now what if that box contained
cargo, or oil, or even people. That would make for a very bad. Now let’s take Orca Two
and do the same thing. You can see that Orca Two
do not sink, all though it is sitting at an angle. So why did Orca Two not sink? As easy as it sounds,
this simple demonstration is essential to the design
of huge, complex ships, ships that are responsible
for safely transporting 90% of all our stuff. As naval architects,
how do we design ships carrying our stuff to
make it into port safely and not sink? Well, let’s take a look inside. Here we have Orca One
and Orca To from before. Even though these boxes do not
engage in international trade, they behave just as 1,000
foot steel cargo ship would. If we remove the top the
boxes and take a look inside, we see that Orca Two is
divided into compartments by these walls, called
transverse bulkheads, while Orca One is not. These compartments
are water tight, meaning even if
damage– [INAUDIBLE]. So these compartments
are water tight. Even if damage occurs in
this part of the ship, water rushing in won’t go
into other compartments because the damage is isolated. We refer to Orca Two
as being subdivided. It is unclear when
subdivision started being used in boat building, but
accounts of Chinese trade ships as far back as the
fifth century indicate that water would enter
ships without sinking. So how exactly does this work? Well, when we divide the
ship into water compartments, we are limiting
the amount of water that can enter the vessel. If we divide a ship into 10
equal watertight compartments, and one compartment
sprung a leak, only that compartment
would take on water. This would likely cause
the ship to heel and trim, but it would not
cause a complete loss of shipping cargo. And the ship would be able
to hobble back into port and get repairs. But why is it so important,
you might be asking. Because ships are huge and
they carry a ton of stuff. A ship the size of more the
four football fields can carry 715 million
bananas, that is about one for every European. Also, US takes in
almost $2 trillion worth of goods every
year through ships. So by subdividing
ships, we’re ensuring the safe delivery of
our stuff and the health of international World Trade. But sadly, even with subdivision
vessels still can sink. It is both expensive
and impractical to design a ship that can
withstand any amount of damage, so Naval architects consider
the likelihood of damage in writing ship
design regulations. Also, the use of computers
in naval architecture allows us to simulate a
likely damage scenarios, so we can better prevent
them from happening. So the next time you use your
cellphone or eat a banana, remember the amount
of engineering that went into safely
delivering it to you. PROFESSOR: You are good on time. It was about four minutes. It’s up now? So you guys should be able
to access the script now. Does anyone have thoughts
about this off the bat? AUDIENCE: PJ slash Paul, there
have been moments in class when I feel like your
personality has come out and I’ve your eyes
sparkle and your voice– I feel like there’s
two versions of you. There’s probably
serious coastguard man. And there’s like [INAUDIBLE]. And I think the thing that we
need to make sure we tap into is not super serious
coast guard man, because when you read
that just now, I was like, he’s talking like this
and I’m kind of board. AUDIENCE: That
was me inflecting. PROFESSOR: Remember that
you have to exaggerate in front of the camera. AUDIENCE: You’re smiling. You’re dynamic. Your voice is alive. I know it’s in there
because I’ve seen it. And when we talked about giving
fifth graders pornography, it was definitely there. PROFESSOR: Wait, what? AUDIENCE: Teaching faux pas
that I had back in the day. So I know that that
personality in you is totally there,
regardless of the content. I feel like you
need to find a zen way to channel that part of you,
being whatever video content you do, because there’s
something innately very fascinating about this. Like content’s really cool. The fact that you have this
is really awesome experience that none of us have and I
totally think is amazing. But if you gave it the way
that you gave it right now, you would kill us. So we’ve got to
figure out how to get that energy in your being. AUDIENCE: I agree with you. AUDIENCE: What was your two
line summary of the whole. AUDIENCE: So my initial
one was wasn’t that great. But like it’s pretty much taking
something simple that people know how to do, like
floating and sinking, and how there’s a
lot of complex things that are designed and built
to carry a lot of really important things
that we depend, based off very elementary principles. PROFESSOR: I will show you
your two sentence pitch. [VIDEO PLAYBACK] -Yes. -It feels a lot like a document. -What do you mean by that? -Kind of like the
image I get like kind of walking through a museum. [INAUDIBLE] -Tell us what it is. -So it’s about subdivisions,
subdivision in ships. So if you take something
that floats, like a shoe box, and you put a hole
it in, it’ll sink. But if you divide that shoe
box into watertight sections, this one compartment might
not cause it to sink. And how we’ve advanced to a time
where a ship can be extensively damaged and still stay afloat. And people won’t die. [END PLAYBACK] AUDIENCE: Sort of like
the first little section that you gave about
it, it’s almost like I’d like you
to say that and then say hey, we can just do this
experiment live right now. Why don’t we just
do this, right now. Let’s take this– and here’s
a small foam box, that I’ve decided to call Orca One. AUDIENCE: Right. OK. PROFESSOR: And I think again,
I mean the showing not telling is really hard to script when
you haven’t actually worked with the video stuff that much. And maybe as you shoot,
you’ll realize, oh, I don’t actually need
to say, as you can see. I can just say the box sinks. And you don’t need
to say– you don’t put any contractions
in your script, which I think is interesting. And when you deliver the lines,
you’re not going to say do not. You’re just going to
say it doesn’t sink. AUDIENCE: I say
let’s right there. PROFESSOR: Oh, OK. One apostrophe. AUDIENCE: Doing
this, you’re probably going to ad lib based
on what happens, just like the crazy
Russian hacker guy who’s like, OK,
that didn’t [INAUDIBLE]. And that’s what gives it,
kind of, your personality will come out as
this is happening. AUDIENCE: So with the
introduction I was– Elizabeth and Sari’s comments kind
of allude to there’s got to be some
sort of like– just to know what we’re
talking about. So I did that. And then that turned
out to be bad. It was a bad introduction. So the George said,
just get right into. Just get right into
the box and how this– so I’m kind of
confused, though, what– AUDIENCE: What you
just said was perfect. AUDIENCE: With? AUDIENCE: We all know that some
things sink and some things float. But it’s actually
not that simple. And this fairly
rudimentary concept is something that naval
architects use every day. PROFESSOR: Wait, but
that was the original– do you mind if I pull up the
Google doc that you sent me before? AUDIENCE: I just felt like
it started really abruptly. And you needed just a
little, little, little bit. AUDIENCE: Yeah. Even just having a
mock Navy ship smashed and then watching
it sink or float. Because like, what you’re
talking about is the grey zone in between sinking and floating. And you want us to get in that
grey zone quickly with you. PROFESSOR: Yeah, I like that
you’re starting a right away. Like I know that we
had talked about– Josh had mentioned that
during his workshop, like to start in the action. But I think that
your intro itself is visually interesting enough
and topically foreign enough to most people, to where that in
itself is a bit of a hook, too. And by setup, we don’t mean
like an entire paragraph. I think like that one
sentences is fine, actually. And when you guys
shoot, I really challenge you guys not
to use a script, which sounds terrifying. And often times that’ll
just mean, what line do I have to say here. I’m going to say this line. And you put down your script. And you deliver it ad lib. But it’s going to come out so
much more natural that way. When you talk in real life,
you turn your head a lot, that’s what makes you seem like
a human, versus a humanoid. Not saying that the
delivery was this time. But there are a lot of things
that people do naturally that they don’t realize. And so I think it’s fun
to point it out to people, because when you’re shooting
in front of a camera, it’s very hard to
remember those things. It’s really hard to be
natural in front of a camera, basically. But like all of you guys
were saying– or some of you guys were
saying, like I’m not good in front of the camera. And I watched some of the
raw footage from class. And you guys are all great. And it’s technically in
front of a camera, right? So you’re just not looking
and not aware of it. So it’s somehow being
able to extrapolate how you are in this
classroom and carrying that over to when
there’s a camera right in front of your face. And I do think that it’s the
little things, like sometimes you tilt your head. Sometimes you look
off and not directly in front of the camera. Blinking is a big thing. I don’t know if I mentioned
that in earlier classes. But if you look at your footage
and you’re like I seem off and I don’t know why. I feel like my voice is fine. I feel like my pacing is fine. Try to notice how
many times you blink. A lot of times people
will keep their eyes for a really long
period of time. And they don’t blink where it
makes sense in their speech. And so they’re just
talking like this. AUDIENCE: [INAUDIBLE]
who does this. When he gives presentations
it’s totally creepy. PROFESSOR: Yeah. Yeah so– AUDIENCE: I’m like,
dude, you have to blink. PROFESSOR: Blinking, head
tilts, looking off to the side like you would normally,
those are little techniques that you can think about
when you’re hosting. And it’s sort of counter
intuitive to force yourself to be
natural, but sometimes that’s what you have to do. AUDIENCE: I really recommend,
if you haven’t already– I think most of you have already. But for your reflections,
think about doing a vlog, because vlogging is like the
basest form of video creation in that you like literally
stare at your computer. And if you want
to get comfortable with the idea of a camera,
you can set up your camera as though you were
recording yourself for your video, or
something like that. And just talking to it. Because we have no expectations
for your daily reflections. You can be like, I was really
scared going into class today. And then you can stop thinking. And you can look off camera. And you can say um. And we won’t judge you at all. And it gives a good
reference point for when you do have a polished video. It’s like do I have
even some of the quirks that I showed my vlog. PROFESSOR: Yeah. AUDIENCE: And it just gets
you more– I don’t know, I was really uncomfortable
in front of the camera. And I still kind of am. But vlogging and
doing that process and seeing how, oh, if I make
a mistake, like forgetting what I’m going to say, I can just cut
that out and seal it together. It really gets you a
lot more comfortable with just seeing your face on
the screen, which is a really foreign experience for people. PROFESSOR: I think the
overall format of the script is pretty strong. I don’t think you need to
change a whole lot in terms of the format. Adding a little bit of context
at the beginning would help. Stuff like this
sentence, though, I don’t think you would
ever say these two sentences in real life,
in your speech, right? AUDIENCE: That’s what I said. I think while he’s doing it,
he’s going to be ad libbing. PROFESSOR: And again, you
don’t have to script it. It’s OK if you deviate from
the script a little bit when you actually
deliver your lines. But this sentence,
that would make for very bad day, or the one
that at the end of your video, you know, that’s why we can’t
enjoy– or decomposition is awesome. You don’t necessarily have to
say that out loud to people, they’re just going to
kind of know already. The one comment I
wanted to make was that the context–
I think introducing a little bit of context
at the beginning will help with this issue,
because right now without it this jump seems really
huge all of the sudden. Talking about sinking
and then talking about economy and money,
all of the sudden. I don’t know if any of you
guys felt that way, too. But it seems a little
like, oh man, first we were talking about
cardboard boxes, now we’re talking about
trillions of dollars. And I think it’s a
good point to make. Because you do want
to take people out to the bigger context. Yeah, but it is a little abrupt. And instead of saying, but sadly
even with this subdivision, I think you can set
this up as a question. So we have the subdivision,
why do ships still sink? AUDIENCE: And last comment,
then I have to hit the road. But if any of you didn’t
get feedback from me and you want it, because I
have to leave a little early. Just email me. My [INAUDIBLE]
address is not the one that grants me access
to Google Docs. So if you want, just
email me and I’ll give you my gmail account so
that I can actually read it. The naval, ship is such a
cool thread throughout this, that I don’t think
you necessarily– like if you can use the
cardboard box as Navy ships, and not have them me
be just abstract boxes. And if the cargo
ship carrying bananas is carrying military personnel. You don’t have to go outside
of that genre in order for this to be a really cool video. In fact, I think
it’s cooler if you stick with the military theme,
because that’s something that’s actually– especially to middle
school boys who like blowing up things– that’s even
more authentically cool than bananas. And plus, if you
can even make Orca, the box, look a
little bit like– AUDIENCE: I already made them. AUDIENCE: You made them? But even if you just [INAUDIBLE]
and put some stars on them. It doesn’t have to be crazy
fancy to still get the idea that this is like
a Navy ship, right? But I think that if
that Navy theme hums throughout the whole
thing, then it’s like that becomes a
really cool theme. PROFESSOR: Yeah. AUDIENCE: I gotta run. I’m gonna miss my train. But you guys are
awesome. [INAUDIBLE]. PROFESSOR: Julia, do you
want to say something? Thanks, Jamie. AUDIENCE: When the
football fields and bananas were introduced, that was kind
of taking me out of the video and making me think of monkeys. And then at the
end, also, you’re mentioning cell
phones and bananas, but you never mentioned
cell phones before that. So I do like the idea
of kind of keeping with the military theme. Also some of the–
there was a part where you had to
questions– a question at the end of the
paragraph, and that was for two consecutive paragraphs. PROFESSOR: Yeah, right here. [INTERPOSING VOICES] PROFESSOR: That’s a good point. AUDIENCE: Taking
out of the video. But other than that, I
really enjoyed the content. This is very different
from the original draft, but I would very much
enjoy watching this video at this point. PROFESSOR: Yeah,
originally you had talked about Archimedes’
principle and buoyancy, but I think this is a lot
stronger because you’re actually getting into why
the compartments itself. AUDIENCE: So just like pretty
much fix those questions and take out the whole
merchant marine-type thing. PROFESSOR: Yeah,
I think the point that you’re trying to make with
those examples is basically just the sheer
importance of making sure your ships stay afloat. And I think you can do that
with other examples that are a little more
unified to the theme. I will say that this
stuff at the end, like this sentence right here,
no, this portion right here. If you want to expand
on that a little bit, I think it would be
interesting, because it’s more of like a current
event engineering problem. And again, like that
makes the video more unique than a typical
engineering textbook. You’re talking about what are
the actual problems that I myself as a naval
architect am dealing with. And you can talk about the–
I don’t think you need an also right here, because
this is really a continuation of
this explanation. Ships sink because they’re
expensive to design. So you have trade offs
in the engineering of it. But we use computers
to simulate the damage, so we know exactly
how to subdivide them and what the best way to
design those subdivisions are. And then instead
of this sentence, I mean this point is a little
bit different than the point that you’re intending, which is
that very simple principles are what allow huge, seemingly
complicated machines to work. So maybe you can somehow
revisit that point at the end instead
of this sentence. I think that would
end it a lot stronger. AUDIENCE: So was your advice
generally to drop the cargo ship. AUDIENCE: That
wasn’t even in there. I added all that. It was more, I’d say, the
equations and stuff like that. PROFESSOR: [INAUDIBLE]
the draft that he sent us, and there was a big part
about Archimedes principle and buoyancy. Which again, is super
informative, very accurate. It’s the type of
material that they’re going to learn in school. But it isn’t necessarily
vital to– this is more of an engineering video
than it is a physics video. And I think that’s very valuable
because there’s actually not a lot of material
on this out there. So I think it’s more
unique [INAUDIBLE]. I’m going to give him
a chance to– like someone who’s teaching
Archimedes principle may find this video really
[INAUDIBLE] in class because it gives them
a different context. So you took out this
big chunk, but I think that you replaced
it with something a lot better for the video. AUDIENCE: I’m looking
at simple demonstration is essential to the design of
huge, complex ships, ships that are responsible for
safely transporting 90% of all our stuff. PROFESSOR: Wait, where is this? AUDIENCE: It says new
angle way up at the top. AUDIENCE: Yeah. AUDIENCE: I mean–
I kind of thought the container ships are sort
of a theme in the entire thing. PROFESSOR: Yeah, I don’t think
cargo– I’m not saying get rid of the cargo stuff at all. AUDIENCE: OK, because
I mean, that’s my bread and butter is merchant ships
and not– because I’m not really in the Navy or anything. AUDIENCE: And then the
tie-in with the cell phone thing is that
safely transporting 90% of all of our stuff. If you take like a zoom in
on a cell and flip it over and it says “Made in China”
that’s sort of like how did this get from
China into my hand. PROFESSOR: I don’t think that
you should get rid of the cargo stuff completely. Sorry if it sounds like we’re
having competing opinions. I think the thing
that throws us off is the connections to
the examples you make aren’t necessarily immediate. So I hear four football fields
can carry 750 million bananas. Wait, why is he talking about
bananas all of the sudden. AUDIENCE: I was just trying to
say like how– yeah, I got it. I’ll try to revisit that. PROFESSOR: And maybe
it’s as simple as adding a single sentence
right here, about they carry a ton of stuff,
a lot of products that we have to import
from other places. Things like bananas. And a ship the size of this
can carry 750 million bananas. So it just sets up the
example a little bit more clearly, if that makes sense. Any other thoughts for PJ? So I think that we’re at a
good stopping point here. I don’t want to hold
you guys over today. So we have Kenneth and
Joshua left, right? So tomorrow we will
finish up the table reads with their stuff. And then I’m going to give my
final talk on post production. So this is everything
from editing, to music, to thinking about what you do
with the footage that you take. We’ll also tell
you tomorrow what groups you’re going to film in. Was anyone planning on
filming stuff tonight? No? That’s fine. Just use tonight to
rework your scripts. As far as deliverables
and assignments, I think really reworking your
scripts tonight and tomorrow should be the main focus. So I’m not going to have
anything particularly due. How about all that footage
that you shot last week, I’ll let you guys tinker
around with the editing of that after I give my editing lecture. Does that makes sense to people? So for tonight,
rework your scripts. And for people who haven’t,
I mean Kenneth and Joshua, if you want to update
stuff based off of the things we talked
about today, that’s fine. And you can just
send Sari an update. Make sure to do your
daily blogs, though. That’ll be really helpful. And then just come to
class ready tomorrow to finish up the two reads
and then do some editing. Does that sound good? The first cut of your video is
going to be due this Friday. Do you think that is
feasible and reasonable? So this would be the first
draft of your video, basically. Like you’d have to film
everything for it this week. AUDIENCE: Is there a day where
we’re submitting the shots– PROFESSOR: The shot list? Yeah. I would like to see that
by Wednesday, if possible. But that’s really more for
your benefit over mine. AUDIENCE: And Wednesday,
Thursday and Friday will be in class workdays. PROFESSOR: Friday’s
the screening. What I could do– so this
weekend is a three day weekend. We don’t have class next Monday. If it would help people to
use that weekend to film more, I could have the
rough cuts due– or we could screen
the rough cuts on Tuesday instead of Friday. Would that help people? AUDIENCE: My
question is, I guess, what are like the
things you generally would do between a rough cut and
a final cut that would like– PROFESSOR: So, I will talk a
little bit about that tomorrow. I’ll actually show you the
rough cuts of our old videos. But a rough cut
takes all the footage that you’ve shot and puts it
together into a draft that doesn’t have music, and
may be missing some scenes, or may require
reshooots of scenes. So usually what happens between
a rough cut and a final cut, in addition to music and
maybe better editing, is you almost always end
up reshooting something because it doesn’t look that
good in the context of all your other footage. So the only reason why I
had a rough cut due so early is because I wanted
to leave you guys enough time to reshoot
if you needed to. But if it’s going
to be too much work to get the rough in
place in the first place, I’d rather you really try to
get as good of a rough cut as you can than try
to rush one together. DAVID: [INAUDIBLE]. PROFESSOR: Not necessarily. So if it– are we on consensus? You guys want rough cut due
on Tuesday instead of Friday? Because that totally
works for me. Basically, after tomorrow,
and aside from the screening of the rough cut, every
other day of class is work time for the projects. AUDIENCE: And that
next week it’s Tuesday, Wednesday, or
Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday? Because doesn’t the class end– PROFESSOR: The class ends–
so today is the 12th. Yeah, so the class
ends that Thursday. It was sort of optimizing like
leaving enough time to get the rough cut, but also
leaving enough time to give you time for reshoots. Our screening is the
evening of the 22nd. Yeah. AUDIENCE: But then
what happens, though, the last week [INAUDIBLE]. PROFESSOR: So the
last week of IEP we’ll pick scripts to produce
for season three of Science Out Loud. And if you guys are
interested and if it fits into the casting, then
we would produce your video, basically. I’m I’m sorry to the SUTD
guys, you have to go back. Yeah. You could stay another week. So that’s why we
end so early, is because you guys have to
go back and then we’re producing season
three in parallel. So that’s all I have. I’ll make the rough
cut due Tuesday. If you finish stuff
before Tuesday and want me to look over
it, I’m happy to do so. Because I know
that the turnaround is insanely quick for this. And I know that we’re
cramming a ton of stuff into these three weeks. AUDIENCE: Do we need to meet
up with our groups to film over the weekend, then? PROFESSOR: No, and
tomorrow we were going to hand out assignments
for who your groups would be. If you can shoot
stuff on your own, like b-roll, feel
free to do that. Like you don’t have to just
use class time to work. If it’s more convenient
for you to just catch some stuff on your own, do
a tripod selfie type shot, go ahead and do that. But no, you don’t have to
just only work in class. Everyone has their own camera
and their own equipment, right? OK, yeah. So tomorrow we’ll do editing,
finish the table reads. You’ll have the rest
of the week to work. We will screen rough cuts
on Tuesday the 20th, then. But that means that you won’t
get feedback from your peers until Tuesday the 20th. That OK? So basically your
rough cuts are going to be so good that
you’re not going to have to reshoot anything. No, I’m just kidding. It’ll be fine. AUDIENCE: How good
does our video need to be in terms of the visuals. PROFESSOR: I mean I totally
understand that you have a week to do this, basically. So if you can’t, you know,
do a full-fledged animation, you can’t fully
realize those things, I completely understand that. This is going to sound stupid,
but just try your best. Because that’s why
I have– creating the rubric for this class
was really hard, actually, because I knew that all
these constraints were here. And so I couldn’t raw scale
points, like 10 points it’s lit correctly, because
that’s just unreasonable. But what I really
want is the intent to be there, the thoughtfulness,
the understanding and self awareness of maybe
what’s lacking, what you’d like to
develop further. If you can’t– if a film
location falls through at the last minute and you
can’t film there, stuff happens. I totally understand. If you can just maybe write
what you wanted to do instead, that’s totally fine. But– AUDIENCE: Same thing
with animations. I’m sure some of you have very–
especially with the fractals. Zooming in on fractals,
that’s a difficult animation to accomplish, especially if you
haven’t done animation before. Think of using still images,
because it’s really easy to overlay a still
image, or even something you draw yourself. And it would just kind of like–
what Science Out Loud videos do. As opposed to making
this really complex, like multiple moving pieces. The more moving pieces
you have, the harder it’s going to be to do faster. PROFESSOR: We will be around
during class every day. So if people want
specific help, like Sari’s done some
animations herself, too. So we can help you
with that stuff if you have specific questions. But shoot for the best you can. Definitely don’t be like, well,
I’m going to leave this out because I’m just going to
justify to Elizabeth later that I couldn’t get it. Try to do the best you can. But I understand the
constraints that you’re working under for sure. So don’t stress out about that. AUDIENCE: And feel free to email
us, because some things like after Elizabeth’s
editing lecture, there might be something like,
you’re in the editing program, and it might take
you three or four hours to figure out
where this tool is and how to do this one thing. Like my audio disappeared, what? But if you bring
it to one of us, chances are we’ve
encountered it before it and can fix it in a
couple minutes, hopefully. PROFESSOR: Sari’s probably
a lot better at that than I am, just to be honest. Does that sound OK to everyone? I do apologize for
the quick turnaround. I know it’s a lot to
cram into three weeks. So I understand the limitations
that we’re working with. All right, well I’ll
stick around after class if people want to talk
about their scripts more, or have other questions. But you guys are free to go. I’ll see you tomorrow.

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