Socials DOL: Battle of the Atlantic

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Image of a German U-boat

The Battle of the Atlantic was the longest battle throughout all of World War 2, in which Canada plays a key role. The battle began just after Britain declared war on Germany; a U-boat, a German submarine, fired a torpedo at a passenger ship known as the SS Athenia on September, 1939. The SS Athenia was on it’s way to Montréal with over 1,400 passengers, of which 112 people were killed in the attack. By cutting off Britain’s supply of food and supplies, Germany could force them out of the war and greatly improve their chance of emerging victorious. The Battle of the Atlantic was a critical component in the victory of the Allies. A week after the attack on the SS Athenia, Canada declared war on Germany, and joined the fight. The battle was going in favour of the Axis powers at the beginning; the German U-boats developed a strategy walled the ‘wolf pack’, where multiple U-boats joined together into one compact formation and torpedoed their target simultaneously. The target wouldn’t have time to react, as multiple torpedoes tore into the vessel at the same time. The U-boats were able to sink numerous merchant vessels with this technique, and it wasn’t until the Allies developed anti-submarine technology enabling long-range detection, and radars to pinpoint where German U-boats were. However, many times the Germans were able to bypass this with tactics of their own, such as surfacing their U-boats until they needed to submerge, since the Allies’ radars could only detect underwater vessels. To recognize Canada’s important role in this battle, the entire Northwest Atlantic was put into Canadian control. Rear Admiral Leonard Murray was appointed as commander-in-chief, and Murray was the only “Canadian to ever to command an Allied theatre of conflict in either the First or Second World Wars,” meaning that Murray was the one and only Canadian soldier to ever be put in such a high position (thecanadianencyclopedia.ca). Murray was incredibly proud of this role, being the only Canadian to receive such honour throughout both global conflicts. When the battle first began, Canada’s navy was small, consisting of 6 destroyer ships and a navy of 3,500 personnel.

At the beginning, Canada’s primary role in the battle was to escort the convoys across the Atlantic Ocean and protect them from German attacks. In order to fulfill its role in the battle, Canada began to mass manufacture ships, crafting dozens of smaller warships known as ‘corvettes’. These ‘corvettes’ were half the size of a destroyer, and possessed one gun along with depth charges; they were cheap to manufacture, and soon became a large portion of the Canadian navy. At the time, escorting merchant boats was “onerous and dangerous work”, and “Canadians shared in the worst hardships experienced in the war at sea” (veterans.gc.ca). This battle was definitely viewed as a difficult one by many Canadians at the time, and it was hard to know who would emerge victorious. Canadians were worried about the fate of the Atlantic Ocean, because if the Axis powers were able to knock Britain out of the fight it would secure a victory for them, and the course of history would drastically be changed. One of the largest ‘what if’ statements asked worldwide is ‘what if the Nazis won WW2?’, and this likely would’ve happened if the Battle of the Atlantic was lost to Germany.

During the Battle of the Atlantic, Canada was pressured to improve its naval force. Many individuals decided to join the Royal Canadian Navy because either they required a job, or they wanted to help fight for their country so the Axis powers didn’t win the war. This battle at sea inspired Canada to expand its naval force, and another value formed: for Canada to build a powerful sea force that other countries could fear. As a country that played an influential role in the outcome of this event, our naval force became a significant part of our identity during the Battle of the Atlantic. Canada gained a reputation for being a country with a powerful naval force, something it wasn’t known for before the Battle of the Atlantic.

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Royal Canadian Navy

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Canadian Navy Fleet

Canada started the battle with “only six destroyers and about 3,500 personnel,” and in order to rise up to its role in the fight the navy had to expand (thecanadianencyclopedia.ca). 3,500 personnel is nothing compared to the USA’s total count of 337,349 active personnel, recorded in 1941 (history.navy.mil). After some mass production of ships and personnel, Canada’s became a lot more economically autonomous in terms of their naval force. By the end of the Battle of the Atlantic, Canada went from a “handful of ships and a few thousand personnel” to a “major fleet, with more than 400 ships and 90,000 sailors. By war’s end, Canada had the fourth-largest navy in the world” (thecanadianencyclopedia.ca). We went from 3,500 sailors to 90,000, twenty-five times the original number. The amount of work that was put into our Canadian navy was insane, and the fact that we were able to expand our fleet over twenty times the original size is something to be proud of. By improving our military forces on the sea, we become a lot more economically distant from Britain, who originally supplied us with ships to battle with and sent boats to protect us. We can now show that we know how to defend ourselves autonomously, without leaning on other countries such as Britain for help.

 

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Link to Desmos Graph

 

For this graphing project I decided to create the iconic Squidward dab, because it is an image that everyone is familiar with, along with bringing back childhood memories of watching spongebob. Additionally, it has a fair degree of complexity to it as well, especially since Squidward was leaning diagonally and you can’t exactly rotate graphs to a specific angle easily. I was able to use a mixture of linear equations, quadratic equations, square root functions, circle relations, and exponential functions to formulate Squidward hitting the dab. I experimented with different graphs to see which one suited the curve the best. For example, I did slight curves with exponential functions, and if the shape was sort of like an arc I used parabolas from quadratic equations. If there was a straight line I just used a linear equation. For example, Squidward’s nose is composed of four different circles, and his arms are linear lines, whereas his head is a mixture of exponential functions, quadratic equations, and circular relations. For every single equation, I restricted the domain and range so that only the part of the graph that I wanted would remain. To move the graphs around wherever I wanted, I changed the position value on the x and y axis, and in the case of a cirlce I extended the circle size on the x or y axis to adjust the curve on it so it fit the shape I wanted. When working with a quadratic equation, I adjusted the steepness on the curve of the parabola to fit my needs. I also experimented with negatives to get my graphs facing the right direction. A challenge I faced was how Squidward was on an angle, so I had trouble on the curves, especially the eyes, because a circle itself wouldn’t do the trick. I had to use numerous circles and put them together to shape out the eye. When I was experimenting with square root functions, I didn’t know how to get the curve in the right direction, and after switching the negative signs around, I had an ‘aha’ moment as the curve magically flipped in the right direction, and I was able to finish graphing Squidward’s hand. The strategies I used were combining the curves from these different graphs to make it seem like it was one large smooth drawing, however this was more difficult than I anticipated, and some areas look a little rough despite my efforts to smoothen them out. This assignment really helped me master using domain and range to limit how much of a function showed up, and how to translate the graph into position. Furthermore, I honed my abilities to manipulate how steep or curved a graph is, and my ability to predict values to fit my picture steadily increases, almost linearly, over the course of this project. I walked out of this project knowing a lot more about the different types of graphing equations, and manipulating their values to formulate a picture, something I didn’t know could be done before!

James Douglas: Father of British Columbia

How does one journey thousands of kilometres across the wilderness numerous times, with only the power of their own arms and legs? How does one cope without hot water, shampoo, or bug spray in the mosquito-infested summers, where you are bitten until you bleed? In Julie Ferguson’s James Douglas: Father of British Columbia we learn the story of James Douglas, and how he was able to persevere through numerous challenges to rise up and become the successful man he is known as today. By looking at the life and experiences of James Douglas, it is revealed that to be a Canadian means to dedicate yourself to your work and to never give up in the face of difficulty.

 

    James Douglas was born in Guyana, 1803, and raised there alongside his brother by his kind and caring mother. Young Douglas, at the tender age of 9, journeyed across the vast ocean with his father to attend school and receive a fruitful education. Little did he know that would be the last time Douglas ever saw his mother. For the rest of James’ life, he was hard at work learning the business of the fur trade and climbing his way up positions and rankings as his peers noted his attentiveness to detail. As a part of the fur trade, Douglas went on numerous bone-numbing voyages across the country supplying furs from fort to fort.

 

However, Douglas wasn’t always successful. He had a fiery temper, and on one occasion he went straight up to a First Nations camp where a suspected murderer was hiding, and shot him dead on the spot to serve justice. Furthermore Douglas made some unwise decisions favouring his relatives and giving them higher-pay jobs. Ever since the start, Douglas wanted to start a successful family and make his father proud of him. He feared the loss of his close family members, and his friends: other fur traders he worked with for years. Douglas struggled with being mixed race for most of his life, his classmates would always tease him for not being ‘pure’. Because of this, Douglas kept his past hidden from most people, and kept to himself.

 

James Douglas teaches us to never give up, no matter how bad the scenario looks. When NWC and HBC merged together, Douglas “and other Nor’westers rightly feared HBC’s larger and more complex bureaucracy – they believed their pay would drop and their jobs would be lost too” (53). Since HBC was so much larger, the NWC employees were at risk of losing their jobs. Although he was a little worried, Douglas wasn’t discouraged at all and continued to work hard. He pushed his fear aside and worked with even more vigor, which payed off as the governor general noticed his hardworking efforts. Additionally, later on when he worked at a higher rank Douglas was required to make sudden trips without warning, leaving his family to go scout potential land for HBC. In doing so, he missed the births of a few of his children, and also, unfortunately, the deaths.

 

Through reading James Douglas: Father of British Columbia, we see the struggles faced by our province’s founding father, and the difference between life now and then. After witnessing the challenges James Douglas faced, take his advice and focus on the bright side; never give up in the face of difficulty.

 

John A. Macdonald: Canada’s Master of Words

Shubham Patel

Humanities

May 2, 2019

 

John A. Macdonald: Canada’s Master of Words

 

People often see others for their negative actions, rather than the positives. Similarly, John A. Macdonald’s racist and harmful policies led many people to see him as a villain, and someone we should remove from society because of his negative examples. While some critics view Macdonald as an ‘Architect of Genocide’ because of the damage he caused against the First Nations people, and his racist laws on Chinese immigrant workers, others argue that he saved us from oppression by the United States and created the country we call home. Due to John A. Macdonald’s ability to unify the country peacefully through negotiation from sea to sea, in accord to the values of the time, he should stay in the public sphere.

 

Without John A. Macdonald’s dedication to unify all of Canada from coast to coast, Canada might not exist today. Western Canada and Eastern Canada used to be divided, and without Macdonald’s railroad to bridge the two, we would be seperated and easier to take over by the USA. Canada is a large land mass, and Macdonald’s railway “connected Eastern Canada to BC and played an important role in the development of the nation,” since it was what united the two locations (Lavallé). Macdonald “paid a heavy price” in building the railroad, as he was faced with lots of opposition against his project, including rebellions (Symons). Despite these hardships, he pressed on, determined to connect the massive country and fulfill his promise of physically connecting the west with the east. Think of the saying ‘united we stand, divided we fall’. By uniting the two regions, Canada became twice as strong with twice the amount of forces. If we were still separated, it would be easier for our neighbour, the USA, to invade us and make us a part of their country. It was Macdonald’s dedication that kept Canada it’s own individual country, and saved us from annexation by the USA.

 

On the contrary, those who believe in John A. Macdonald’s removal from the public sphere argue that Macdonald’s actions towards indigenous people and the harm he caused them is unacceptable. However, one must consider John A. Macdonald was only acting with values of his time. His actions fit the beliefs people had in the time, “when such views were pervasive and unchallenged,” part of a “system that existed for more than a century” (Ballingall). It isn’t fair to “judge a historical person’s actions based on contemporary standards” (Innes). These quotes show us that these views were supported in the time, and that Macdonald’s actions were accepted by the majority of people. People only began thinking about Macdonald’s actions as our beliefs changed, and begun to clash with his policies. Maybe in twenty years something that we take for obvious will be widely frowned upon, and some of our most common practices will be forbidden. John A. Macdonald’s actions were justified in his time, and his accomplishments far outweigh his shortcomings.

 

The controversial debate as to whether John A. Macdonald should be removed from the public sphere or not continues, but his dedication to build a physical connection between our country and to unify it from sea to sea played a large role in our success as a country today. Furthermore, Macdonald’s actions are justified in his time and it is our changing values that make him seem faulty. John A. Macdonald’s success in maintaining peace while lawfully uniting Canada should justify his stay in the public sphere. It is essential that we don’t consider Macdonald’s actions from today’s perspective, because it isn’t fair to judge someone for something that was okay in their time but isn’t acceptable a century later. Without John A. Macdonald Canada wouldn’t exist, and we would have no ‘home and native land’ to call home. Without statues to commemorate them, how will we remember all the sacrifices people went through to build what we take for granted today?

 

Sources Cited:

 

Wherry, Aaron. “’A Teachable Moment’: Debating Whether John A. Macdonald’s Name Should Be Scrubbed from Schools | CBC News.” CBCnews, CBC/Radio Canada, 25 Aug. 2017, www.cbc.ca/news/politics/john-a-macdonald-etfo-schools-analysis-aaron-wherry-1.4260366.

 

Lavallé, Omer. “Canadian Pacific Railway.” The Canadian Encyclopedia, www.thecanadianencyclopedia.ca/en/article/canadian-pacific-railway.

 

Symons, Thomas. “Professor Thomas Symons: John A. Macdonald: a Founder and Builder.” The Macdonald Project, http://macdonaldproject.com/education/professor-thomas-symons-macdonalds-qualities-as-leader-builder-withstand-welcome-wave-of-critiques/

 

Ballingall, Alex. “Sir John A. Macdonald: Architect of Genocide or Canada’s Founding Father?” OurWindsor.ca, 25 Aug. 2017, www.ourwindsor.ca/news-story/7520562-sir-john-a-macdonald-architect-of-genocide-or-canada-s-founding-father-/.

 

Innes, Robert Alexander. “Don’t Forget John A. Macdonald – But Don’t Honour Him.” The Tyee, The Tyee, 15 Aug. 2018, https://thetyee.ca/Analysis/2018/08/15/John-A-Macdonald-Reflection/

In-Depth Post #6: The Endgame

In-depth night is approaching faster than ever, and it seems hard to believe that this is my final post for the year. I’m currently in the process of recruiting actors for my trailer and selecting locations to film at. An especially difficult task right now is finding a time where the entire cast if free, because everyone has a busy schedule. At the same time, I am making preparations for my trailer by sorting out what footage I need, and the exact effects I am going to be using. I’m not going to reveal that yet, because I prefer to keep the trailer a surprise. I believe I am making great progress so far, and I am proud of how far I’ve come over the past few months. I’m focusing right now on polishing my green screen skills up, which will come in useful because I can replace the green background with essentially anything, so it appears as if I am in another location entirely. The reason green screens are green and not any other colour is because human skin has the least amount of green tones than any other colour, so you don’t fade away along with the green screen.

 

I had a mentoring session as well, and this time we discussed where we would film the trailer at. Based off of my mentor’s experience, they provided me with many useful suggestions of ideal locations where we could shoot. I’m not going to disclose where, because it might give away what we’re going to film, which is supposed to be a surprise. Speaking of which, here are some connections in our mentoring session with DeBono’s How to Have a Beautiful Mind.

 

When we were discussing ideal locations to film videos at, I began to pick up a recurring theme based on the genre of the movie. To make sure my thinking was correct, I asked my mentor if the type and content of a movie determined where it would be filmed, and they confirmed that my logic is correct. Additionally, the time of day also varies depending on what kind of movie it is. For example, horror movies are typically filmed at night, whereas comedy films are typically filmed in a brightly lit area.

 

Additionally, over the past few months my mentor has given me many alternatives. One meeting we were discussing how to put yourself into another scene, my initial thought was to use a green screen, but my mentor gave me the alternative to use rotoscoping and masking the object out manually. This was an alternative I hadn’t thought of before, and I realized this is useful if you don’t have a green screen or if you are filming outside somewhere and don’t have a green screen with you. Another alternative my mentor brought up is lip-syncing dialogue in a video, and then having them say it later into a microphone and lining up the audio to match lip-movements. What this does is improve sound quality, because it is difficult to capture clear audio from the start, due to the microphones being farther from actors so it’s not in the scene.

 

For In-Depth night, I plan on presenting my video in the form of a trailer on the projector. I have selected a date to film the video, and have also found actors to be in my video. I am noting down what I want to specifically record, and what special effects I will use. Now, since we’re at the end of this blog post, here is a green-screened replacement composition that I worked on. I have created a before and after comparison, so you can see everything that I composited and added to improve the scene. In the background I had to colour correct the ruins and city to fit the sandy and desolate landscape, and I also added smoke to fit the desert-like scene. I am proud of the final result, and despite some rough edges around the keyed footage of me, think the composition came out well.

 

 

That’s all for now, see you at In-Depth night!

James Douglas- Ind. Novel Study Check-In

1) “He knew where Montreal was – his old globe has shown him that – but his father’s treasured gift of a map of North America made him wonder what the rest of the country was like. The map showed the land west of the Great Lakes devoid of features except the Rockies, a few lakes, and some rivers, and gave a sense of the enormous distances.” (33)

 

I find this quote interesting because currently Canada is a popular country, and British Columbia alone contains 13.4% of Canada’s total population. Back in Douglas’ time, Canada didn’t even exist yet, and I find it amazing how much our country has evolved in that time. Back then the British ruled the area that is now known as Canada, and it was primarily unoccupied except for the fur trade companies, as we see with the land being “devoid of features”. This relates back to what we learned about Canadian Confederation last year, and how eventually more and more British will settle down into colonies, and eventually lead to the formation of Canada in 1867.

 

In this time, Canada was an incredibly empty country, and so the only people residing there were those involved in the fur trade. Because of this being in the northern part of North America typically meant you were involved in the fur trade business, and your primary method of transportation was by boat. We still export furs as a business and make profits off of them, however the method by which we do this is vastly different, and we carry the business out in a much more modernized way. There are no more gruelling journeys from fort to fort, and news can be delivered instantly to one another.

 

2) “To Douglas at first glance, the voyageurs appeared to be ruffians – swaggering and unruly. They yelled boisterous greetings to one another as they gestured with short pipes filled with tobacco. Each carried a painted paddle over his shoulder and sported a multi-coloured ceinture fléchée (sach) to hold up his canvas trousers. On their heads bobbed red or blue woolly caps. In fact, they were Canadiens from the farms along the St. Lawrence River, supplemented by a few Natives who made a living transporting the company’s furs and supplies back and forth to Fort William, a one-way distance of nearly a thousand kilometres.” (35)

 

I picked this passage because this is James Douglas’ first experience in the fur trade. He just arrived with others from the Northwest company, and is experiencing a completely new change in his life. In this passage, we are also shown how physically exhausting the amount of labour workers performed was, and the enormous distances that fur traders had to become accustomed to paddling such as “nearly a thousand kilometres” just one-way. They didn’t have the luxury of fast transportation to their destinations, and they had to roughen up to persevere through the long journey, as we see when Douglas says the “voyageurs appeared to be ruffians.”

 

This quote packs in lots of information about Canadian values at the time as well. Determination and perseverance are big ones, because life was the opposite of easy in those days. The French ‘Canadien voyageurs’ of the time had to face the severe temperatures of the seasons and the contagious diseases that spread in the winter. Because of the hardships of life as a fur trader, Canadians were dubbed to be tough people, with their tobacco pipes and wool hats to keep them warm. Nowadays it’s safe to say things are quite different. A common stereotype of being Canadian is ‘politeness’, and based on the description of the “swaggering and unruly” men that are described in this passage, the values have changed over time.

 

3) “‘The first settlers Selkirk recruited nearly starved that first hard winter,’ another interjected. ‘They would have had it not been for the local Métis.’” (42)

 

I picked this quote because I find it interesting how the local Métis people saved the lives of the original settlers who founded the fur trade business, and they are one of the reasons that the business was even able to sustain itself and not collapse. Moreover, this passage shows us how the First Nations people have owned this land long before we arrived, and it is another example of how much help they’ve provided us with. Selkirk’s men wouldn’t have survived long enough to create the settlement without the Métis. However, Selkirk took the Métis’ land to expand his settlement; he wasn’t even grateful to their help despite them saving the life of him and his men.

 

Canadian identity has always included Aboriginalism; the First Nations lived here long before we arrived. Through this passage, the Canadian value from the Aboriginal perspective is to help others when they need it, which they do by providing Selkirk’s men with food and provisions to last them through the bone-chilling winters that ravage the developing settlement. From Selkirk’s side, a Canadian value is to do whatever it takes to develop your settlement, even if it means going against those who helped you in the past. Nowadays helping others is definitely one of our values, and we still continue to help those who are in need in our day-to-day lives.

 

4) “Douglas’ brigade had unknowingly overtaken Simpson’s party, so [sic] were ahead of their rivals. Simpson, equally unsure of the Nor’westers’ location, armed his men to the teeth for the portage, expecting trouble at any moment.” (49)

 

The reason I picked this quote is because it shows the tensions between the two fur trade companies, and how much HBC and NWC despise one another. In this passage Governor Simpson “[arms] his men to the teeth,” because he knows the rival company is nearby, and they can’t get along peacefully. Both sides expected trouble because there were numerous violent encounters in the past, where in some cases even death was involved. The fur traders had to be very cautious when navigating through the land, because ambushes were common, and so most people travelled in large brigades with a group of people.

 

In this time, these two fur trading corporations constantly clashed and the workers on either company were fully pledged to that company and automatically disliked the opposition. Loyalty to their company was a very important value to the residents of the time, along with caution, because when you’re in foreign territory with danger around every corner you learn to become careful. However, over time we have developed and become an overall safer country, so we aren’t as cautious now. We aren’t in as much immediate danger, and life has become easier as well.

 

5) “In England, after months of politicking and negotiation, the rivals [HBC and NWC] finally came to terms and announced in late March 1821 that the two companies would amalgamate on June 1.” (52)

 

I picked this quote because, despite the fact that I know HBC and NWC would merge in the future, it was a little difficult to actually believe it happening after knowing how much the companies despised one another and fought so much over the past. This quote illustrates the dire situation, and actually how much financial trouble the companies were going through. The demand for furs had decreased, and since the profit of the rival companies was centred around furs, this put them into jeopardy. In turn, they were forced to merge into one greater company if they wanted to last and to sustain themselves; they amalgamated after a lot of negotiation in England, where the companies originally started from.

 

Because two opposing rivals were forced to work together for the greater good, cooperation is a major Canadian value of the time. Either side didn’t want to join into one large corporation, however, they didn’t have a choice so they amalgamated for the preservation of both sides. In the present day, Canadians are also known for being cooperative individuals, which fits into our stereotype of being ‘polite’. We tend to get along with other people, so this value still does exist in today’s day and age.

 

Theme: No matter where you start off, you have the potential to climb up and become successful later in life if you work with enough determination.

 

James Douglas saw his mom for the last time when he was nine years old, and his father left him with a foster family because Douglas was technically an ‘illegitimate child’, having been born before his father married his mother in Guyana. His father visited often and taught Douglas a lot to help him out in school, but unfortunately wasn’t allowed to take his child into his own home because he had remarried and didn’t know how his new family would react to James. Despite all of his struggles in his youth being a mix-blood, James pursued onwards and worked hard all the way to become the ‘Father of British Columbia’. As high-ranked officers noticed James’ hardworking attitude and determination, coupled with his intelligence, it wasn’t long before he began climbing up in ranks to where he is now.

In-Depth Post #5

Over the last month, I have spent lots of time working on polishing up my effects and coming up with an idea for a final trailer to present on In-Depth night. I am planning on an action/sci-fi movie trailer, so there are going to be a lot of special effects involved. In preparation, I am working on polishing up effects and getting better at creating visual effects. Right now I am experimenting with UI (user-interface) elements and creating futuristic screens. Overall I feel like I have a good hang of video editing, and I am just learning more and more video tricks to help with my final product.

I am still continuing to practice my colour grading skills, so I can make my shots pop out more and add that little extra bit of vibrance. This relates directly to the mentoring session I had, where we discussed a ‘flat’ shot versus a ‘dynamic’ shot. We looked at examples online, where there was a comparison of no colour grade versus a colour graded shot. Then my mentor taught me about video in general, because what’s the point of video editing if you don’t know what you are editing in the first place? We talked about bitrate first, which is simply put the number of bits per second of video and audio files. Generally, the larger the bitrate the higher the file size and quality, and vice versa. Additionally, with a higher bitrate of video, you also have more colour tones. A 4-bit video only has 16 possible colour tones, but an 8-bit video, which is most videos, consists of 256 possible colour tones. 16-bit video consists of a 65536 possible colour tones, and even higher a 24-bit video contains a mind-boggling 16777216 possible colours. You get the point, the higher the bitrate the more colour tones you have in your videos.

After bitrates, we discussed chroma subsampling, which is another complicated topic. To keep things simple chroma subsampling is a type of compression that reduces colour data for luminance data, which is also known as brightness. This lowers the storage, while not hindering the actual video so it’s a win-win situation. Additionally there are different formats of compression, such as .mp4, .AVI, etc. They are all different ways of compressing the video file, but .mp4 is the most common video format.

I made sure incorporated Edward DeBono’s ‘How to Have a Beautiful Mind’ into my mentoring session; here is a transcript of our conversation:

Mentor: So can you tell me why many HD videos on Youtube still look blurry and pixelated even when they are 1980×1080?

Here my mentor uses the blue hat because they are focusing our conversation to a certain topic, and setting up “the sequence of hats for the session” (p.101).

Me: Based on what you said before, is it because they have a loss in compression?

Mentor: Yeah exactly, while uploading the video to Youtube’s servers there may have been a change or loss in the compression of a video, which is why the quality is skewed.

Here the white hat is used, because I stated a hard fact that my mentor confirms. I tell my mentor what I know based on previous experience, and they give me more information to elaborate on my answer.

Me: So does that mean they have a lower bitrate?

Mentor: In a sense, yes, but it doesn’t always have to do with the bitrate. Sometimes it just has to do with the encoding of the video, and the compression. For example newer codecs such as H.264 have higher quality than an older codec such as H.263.

Me: Oh, okay. Also, when we looked at the colour grading examples, what causes a video to look ‘flat’, and how can you add more depth to them?

Mentor: Well the luminance of the video has a large impact on how much ‘depth’ your video has, and the contrast between subjects and the background. You can add more depth by increasing the darkness of darker areas in your scene, many movies only have a dark grey in place of true black, so it doesn’t look like a void, but sometimes it just makes your image seem two-dimensional. This reminds me, you should increase the contrast of your videos as well, to add the illusion of a three-dimensional look.

Here my mentor uses the yellow hat to explain to my how depth is created in video, and how adding contrast adds depth to a video and makes it look less flat.

Me: Speaking of luminance contrast, is there a possibility that using contrasting colours will also add depth to your videos, since according to your previous statement contrast makes a video pop out?

Here I use the green had to probe for another possibility, and if luminance is the only way to make a shot pop out. I demonstrated my perception and creativity to find an alternative method to add depth to my videos. Additionally, I use the yellow hat again when I demonstrate my optimism to share another viewpoint, and when I give my hypothesis as to how this idea would work.

Mentor: Clever point! That would also work because you are still adding contrast to your shots, and making them look less-saturated. You are making excellent progress so far, and you seem to already know so much about video editing.

In this last statement, my mentor uses the red hat to express their feelings on my progress, and what they felt about our In-Depth project based on their “emotions, feelings, and intuition” (p.93/94). Additionally, my mentor uses the black hat to tell me how they felt about my videos and an honest point on how I can improve my work. By telling me how to make my videos pop out, I can make them look that much more vibrant on In-Depth night.

Here are some screenshots of me working in After Effects, and me further exploring the software:

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Is Canada A “Postnational” State?

Canada is plainly a country, with smaller ‘nations’ within our borders. It “has borders, where guards check passports, and an army,” and with our government that possesses sovereignty over the country we fit into the very description of a country: “A region that is identified as a distinct entity in political geography” according to Wikipedia (Foran, 2017). A postnational state is one “where respect for minorities trumps any one group’s way of doing things,” and this clearly is not the case for Canada (Todd, 2016).  Although we undoubtedly welcome diversity and welcome immigrants, we do not let our admiration of different cultures change our laws and the way we live entirely. We still celebrate Canada Day on July 1st every year, we still celebrate Thanksgiving in October, and we still continue to live our lives like we did before. We are only changing our perceptions, not our entire lifestyle. Furthermore, our governments’ regulations end up trumping the ways of a culture rather than vice versa; Quebec banned the use of the niqab because of their laws, even though the niqab is an important garment for Islamic cultures. That is not what it means to be post-national. We have nations within Canada, “the French-speaking province of Quebec already constitutes one distinctive nation, as do the 50-plus First Nations spread across the country. All have their own perspectives and priorities,” and cultures that bond them with one another (Foran, 2017). As a whole, Canada cannot be considered a nation because of our geographical borders, recognition on maps as a country, and we just have everything that the definition of a country implies. Canada is a country that is a home to multiple different nations within, such as what you see from the quote. With our “high proportion of immigrants and official policy of multiculturalism,” it isn’t difficult to label Canada as a post-national state, but by definitive terms we are not such (Todd, 2016). Sure, we are an incredibly diverse country housing some of the most diverse cities in the world, such as Vancouver and Toronto, but we still have control and sovereignty over the cultures in Canada. We have enforced rules, borders, and a military to protect our identity, and while that identity lasts we are and will remain a country.

 

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/jan/04/the-canada-experiment-is-this-the-worlds-first-postnational-country

The dangers of Trudeau's 'postnational' Canada

In-Depth Post #4

Three weeks have passed since my last post, and I have met with my mentor in that time. This meeting we discussed polishing my visual effects, and to really sell the effect. For example, my mentor pointed out that my effects were much higher quality than my actual footage, which was something that I should work on. By adding a few pixels of blur to my effect layers I can make them seem around the same quality as my footage, so everything looks all the more realistic. Additionally what we discussed is realistic camera shake to my finished effects, so “the effects look natural and smooth, versus a perfectly still shot that gives off an artificial vibe”. Moreover, my mentor talked to me about colour correction, and how much colour correction improves a video. We looked at examples of video’s before colour correction and after, and the change if very dramatic. At the end we talked about developing a script for my final project, which is most likely going to be a sci-fi style movie trailer. My mentor told me to start thinking of a script for the trailer, and to begin planning it out. Then the next time we meet I will show my thoughts, and my mentor will provide me with feedback.

 

Progress Report:

 

I worked on going back to my previous files and improving the visual effects, such as adding some blur and grain to the effect so it better suits the video. Additionally I practiced basic colour correcting with DaVinci Resolve, which is a software designed around colour correction. I changed the saturation and hue of a video clip to make the colours pop out more, and also adjusted the brightness and contrast of the clip. This is useful if the scene is too bright or too dark. To take it even further, I masked out specific areas of the scene that I specifically wanted to correct, and applied colour changes to that specific selection. For example I masked out the sky and tinted it a red colour to give off the impression that it is evening. I plan to finish my script and plan for my movie trailer in the next week, so that I can begin planning how to actually shoot the footage and create the visual effects for it.

 

How To Have A Beautiful Mind:

 

During my meeting with my mentor, I was able to incorporate some of DeBono’s concepts from How To Have A Beautiful Mind.

 

How to listen:

 

Me: So I heard you use two terms that sound similar when explaining video colour: colour correction and colour grading. What’s the difference between these two?

 

Mentor: Well, the terms are actually quite similar. Colour correction is done first to a shot, and it is mostly just the larger areas of adjusting a video. This includes the contrast, exposure, brightness, and white balance. Then afterwards, colour grading is more precise. In colour grading you adjust the curve levels, hue, tone, and colour temperature of a video.

 

Me: Oh, okay. So I would colour correct first and then grade afterwards?

 

Mentor: Basically, but before we dive too deep into colour correction I want you to learn the basics first.

 

DeBono says that if “you listen carefully and attentively you will get more value from listening than talking” (p. 67). By probing further into what my mentor says, I was able to learn new information about colour correction that I wouldn’t have if I wasn’t listening so attentively. Furthermore when my mentor stated they “personally didn’t use the hue modifier to colour correct their videos,” I gained an insight to my mentors values, and how they had their preferred methods.

 

How to Ask Questions:

 

Mentor: When you add blur to any of your videos, be careful because digital blurring may cause dirty edges to your clip.

 

Me: Really? How does that happen?

 

Mentor: It’s actually quite complicated. It has to do with the video colour interpretation of a camera, and how it is calculated.

 

Me: Oh, but I still don’t fully understand how this works. How is the colour calculated?

 

Mentor: I actually have a video about this that I can show you.

 

(We watch the video- you can view it if you want at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LKnqECcg6Gw)

 

DeBono says that questions generate interaction, and by questioning the reasoning behind my mentors statements I was able to create an interaction between us by watching a video that explained the situation. Due to my asking for an explanation behind my mentors words I was able to clarify an explanation, and fully understand the topic we were discussing. If I didn’t ask for clarification then I likely might not have seen the science video, and then I wouldn’t have understood the reasoning behind my mentors words.

 

Now, here is my attempt at colour correction! The video starts off with the original clip, and then wipe transitions into the colour corrected video that I created so you can see the footage before and after. I went for a reddish tone, to simulate a cinematic-style evening compared to the boring original scene. I used the curves modifier, the hue and contrast modifier, and the brightness and exposure settings to get this final look. I will continue practicing and improving my colour correction skills, and I will continue to get better and better at video editing!

 

 

And that my friend, is the end of this years fourth In-Depth blog post!

 

Romeo and Juliet– Critical Response

    The relationship between Romeo and Juliet is not something you typically see in this age. Many people think of Romeo and Juliet as the perfect relationship, but in reality if they read the play then they will realize it is merely puppy love. First of all, it is important to note that Romeo and Juliet have known one another for barely two days, and they are already getting married. When Romeo first sees Juliet, he remarks that “she doth teach the torches to burn bright! […] Forswear it, sight! For [Romeo] ne’er saw true beauty till this night (I.V.44-53).” In this quote we see Romeo becoming attracted to Juliet based solely on appearance. He is commenting on her looks, and doesn’t even bother knowing her personality before declaring his love for Juliet. This is similar to the infatuation young teens feel towards each other when they are first experiencing “love”. Their brains aren’t matured yet, and so their idea of “love” is skewed. Additionally, when Juliet says her “love has grown to such excess [she] cannot sum up half [her] wealth” we view her opinion on their relationship (II.VI.33-34). From her perspective, their love is so rich that she can’t even count half of it. Keep in mind the two have known one another for merely two days, and Juliet is expressing how rich and beautiful their relationship is. Often adolescents take rash decisions because their prefrontal cortex is still developing, and they instead rely on their amygdala to make decisions. Often these decisions are rash, and I believe this is what occurs in the play when Romeo and Juliet decide to marry one another. Of course, my response is only based off of where we have read up to in the play so far, so we will gain a further insight of Romeo and Juliet’s relationship later on.

 

    To an extent, Kulich’s argument is true and historically accurate. When she states that males were legally allowed to marry at fourteen years of age and females at twelve, this is a true fact from the Elizabethan era. However, when Kulich states that once an individual became fourteen then they would be given the same rights as an adult and freedom to do whatever they want, this point is historically inaccurate. Most of the marriages this young were forced and the humans actually being wedded did not have much say in the event. Additionally, in these cases parental consent was required, which is not what happens in Romeo and Juliet. Moreover, parents married their children at such a young age to bridge closer to another family, and so that they can improve their relations. In Romeo and Juliet, this could have been a possibility where the Montagues and the Capulets marry Romeo and Juliet to end their feud and bring peace. Nonetheless there still would have been lots more parental influence involved and definitely not as much freedom as Romeo and Juliet both have in the play with their relationship. In conclusion, the love between Romeo and Juliet isn’t something that would have historically happened based on the beliefs and values of the time, proving Kulich wrong that Romeo and Juliet’s relationship is something that would’ve likely occurred in their era.

 

http://www.william-shakespeare.info/elizabethan-wedding-customs.htm

 

https://www.bl.uk/shakespeare/articles/marriage-and-courtship