Archive | June 2017

For the first time ever, a video game trailer has qualified for an Oscar

As gameplay aligns closer to film than ever before, a video game trailer has qualified for an Oscar for the first time ever. It’s absolutely huge, this. The category? Animation. But how long until gameplay has an Oscar category of its own? Mashable explain further…

Honestly, for me the flip-flopping bears would’ve qualified it for an Oscar alone — but this qualification is a lot more legitimate than just my feelings for animated bears.

Of course, Everything and its 10-minute gameplay trailer (up top) won’t win a Best Picture Academy Award (aside from any kind of La La Land, Golden Globes mix-up joke someone feels inclined to make). It does, however, stand to compete for one in the animated short film category, thanks to its recent win of the jury prize for animation at the Vienna Shorts Festival.

Here’s the jury’s statement on the trailer:

The “Jury Prize – Animation” goes to a film, which beyond being entertaining has a strong poetic and philosophical theme. It serves a highly educational purpose, including an important political statement, that encourages us to let our egos dissolve and gain a new perspective on the world. The award goes to “Everything,” by David OReilly.

Winning a festival prize is just one of many ways a short film can qualify for Oscar consideration — which simply means it’s eligible for nomination.

O’Reilly, a California-based filmmaker from Ireland, captured simple gameplay footage from Everything, then overlaid it with the voice of Alan Watts — late British philosopher, writer and speaker known for interpreting Eastern philosophy — to create a piece of existential art that not only expands your mind, but is also expanding the tradition of what qualifies for an Academy Award.

This expansion is another micro-erosion of the shorts dominance of Walt Disney, which has historically cleaned up the animated short film category. Now, if Everything gets nominated, we just have to hope a member of the voting committee is a fan of video games.

Everything is a game where you can play as literally everything. Flip-flop around the environment as a bear, or zoom in deep to squish around as a microorganism. It released on March 21 on PS4 and April 21 on PC and Mac.

Interesting, that. What is also interesting is the fact that you can study Games Design and Development right here at The Sheffield College. Bet you didn’t know that! To find out more, please click here! 

There’s Still Time To Apply For Student Finance!

There’s always something that should happen in an ‘ideal world’ yet for one reason or another just doesn’t quite happen. In an ideal world you would have completed and sent in your application for Student Finance by now but it’s not the end of the world if not. Far from it.

Many people apply after the deadline each year and get sorted but here’s a few things you should know.

What happens if I still need to apply?

As normal, you will apply for student finance with the Student Loans Company calculating how much you can borrow based on your household income. Your parent(s) or partner will be asked to provide them with a breakdown of their income which can obviously take a little time to process.

If you’ve left it really late and apply less than four weeks before the course starts, the Student Loans Company will make sure you have money for the start of your course by initially working out how much you can have without calculating your household income until they receive that information. All good.

How will this affect me financially?

If you apply less than four weeks before your course starts or the household income process hasn’t been completed yet you’ll probably find your loan amount is a little less than you thought. As soon as the evidence has been processed, your loan will be updated and you’ll be backdated the money you’re owed.

What do the loans cover?

The majority of students will need to cover tuition fees and the cost of living whilst studying. You can apply for both of those.

Tuition Fees cover the yearly fee we charge to study our course. It’ll come straight to us, so don’t worry about that one – it won’t be affected by a late application either.

Your living costs, or maintenance loan, will be affected by late application as explained above. It’ll be paid directly to you in three instalments throughout the year and is yours to spend (but pay back in the end!).

Living with parents

 

 

Up to £7,097
Studying outside London and not living with parents Up to £8,430
Living and studying abroad for at least one academic term Up to £9,654

Do I need to reapply each year?

You do, if you want that loan! You just need to fill out a quick form and then you’re away – but we’ll help with that closer the time.

How do I apply then?

Time is of the essence so we’ll keep this as simple as possible:

  1. Register an account by clicking here.
  2. Complete and submit your application
  • To save time, having these documents/details on you will speed up your application.
    • Your valid UK passport, if you have one;
    • Your university and course details;
    • Your bank account details;
    • Your National Insurance number.
  1. Send the evidence in
  2. Print, sign and return the declaration form – if you don’t, you’ll not get paid!

If you would like to access support with your Student Finance application, please give us a ring on 0114 260 2600 and ask to speak to Student Support. Alternatively, you can contact our Student Support Team by clicking here

 

Need Accommodation In Sheffield? These are Sheffield’s Top 5 Student Halls!

For many, a huge part of the experience of going to university is moving away from home. Away from home and into student halls. The opportunity to live independently, to meet new people. It’s a fantastic experience, though not for everyone, with different halls catering to different needs.

Sheffield has a huge range of student accommodation with many located centrally and close to tram and bus links between The Sheffield College’s campuses. So as not to completely over-face you, here are our top 5!

Truro Works

Image result for truro works sheffield

A five minute walk from us here at our City Campus, the tram stop to get to our Hillsborough Campus and the train station, Truro Works is a former cutlery factory comprised of a series of furnished study rooms, bedsits and self-contained flats. Large communal areas and regular social events in the common room provide a community atmosphere.

The city centre is also just five minutes the other way with a pub, gym and supermarket all on your doorstep.

Click here for more…

The Forge

Image result for the forge sheffield

Best known as the one with the Jarvis Cocker poem on the side, The Forge is home to over 1000 students in a series of flats for between three and six people (each with en-suite). Just off London Road, close to the ever popular Ecclesall Road and still just 10 minutes from the city centre, a multitude of bars, restaurants and supermarkets are all within walking distance.

As with anywhere of its size and large social spaces (with gym, pool table, table tennis), The Forge is geared more towards the outgoing and sociable.

Click here for more…

The Anvil

Image result for the anvil sheffield

The Anvil, in contrast, is one of Sheffield’s quieter student halls. Located in the forefront of our City Campus and, again, just a five minute walk to the tram stop to get to our Hillsborough Campus, you get to enjoy the rush of the city in a more tranquil location – perfect for studying!

160 beds, in flat sizes of three, five and six bedrooms sit in the shadow of Bramall Lane, home to Sheffield United, each of which has an en-suite and shared kitchen. However, if you prefer, there are also 22 studios available.

Click here for more...

The Trigon

Image result for the trigon sheffield

Right opposite one of Sheffield’s up-and-coming breweries, The Trigon is a modern mix of purpose-built flats of three to six bedrooms. As with the above, each room comes with en-suite and a shared kitchen.

Just round the corner from Truro Works, The Trigon is also within a stone’s throw of our City Campus and transport links to Hillsborough Campus, as well as being serviced by a live music pub, The Leadmill, supermarkets and a gym.

Click here for more…

Laycock Studios

Image result for laycock studios sheffield

If you thought the others were close to us, the brand new Laycock Studios could be the closest of the lot. Less than a minute from the train station and tram stop to our Hillsborough Campus, and just a bit further walking to our City Campus, the new luxury studios have been decked out with a stylish interior and an on-site gym and quiet study room to keep you busy.

These have literally just been built and the price is per room, not per person sharing – worth bearing in mind!

Click here for more…

For more information about student accommodation whilst studying at The Sheffield College, please click here.

8 Cooking Tips From Professional Chefs

Professional cookery looks hard. It just does. And what’s worse, they make it look so easy. So, so easy.

The thing is, though, once you follow the tips of the top chefs, it genuinely makes everything a lot easier. So, with that in mind, here’s 8 top tips from professional chefs to make it a little easier!

Get things in order

The veggies in your sauces and stuff- cook that first. Do not add raw onions to already simmering tomato sauce and expect it to taste good. Also, huge amounts of random spices make food taste bad. Learn what they are and where to use them.

Preparation is key

Read the whole recipe before you touch anything including the directions. Then get all the ingredients together and measured before anything touches heat. Chop vegetables slice meat mix spices. Cooking is so much easier when you do the prep first and then just worry about what’s in the pan when the heat is on. What do you think the kitchen does all afternoon between lunch and dinner service, get things together so the actual cooking is way faster and easier.

Get the herbs right

The veggies in your sauces and stuff- cook that first. Do not add raw onions to already simmering tomato sauce and expect it to taste good. Also, huge amounts of random spices make food taste bad. Learn what they are and where to use them.

 

Rosemary and thyme go perfect together. Always.

Chop properly

Keep your fingertips behind your knuckles, your knife in front of your knuckles, and keep your blade on the cutting board. Your fingers will thank you.

 

Know the worth of your salt

My brother is a chef at a Michelin 2-Star and says things would be so much better is people added salt during the cooking process and not at the very beginning or at the very end.

And finally, relax and enjoy

Don’t be afraid to experiment and adjust recipes to your liking. Taste things as you go to adjust seasoning, salt, sugar, and acidity levels. Don’t just be a robot following a recipe. Food is an art.

Although, failing that, get yourself enrolled on one of our Catering courses here at The Sheffield College and be tutored by our Master Chefs of Great Britain. Click here for more..

 

10 extraordinary things that also happened on the day Sgt. Pepper was released

That day was 50 years ago today. June 1st 1967. 50 years. Half a century has passed since The Beatles released one of the most influential albums of all time, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.

It was conceptual, ahead of the curve. It blended psychedelic shoegaze with classical Indian instruments. A feeling feeling of the surreal, but a surreal notion which you wanted to be part of. Upbeat and inviting.

But 50 years. 50 years and still so influential. BBC Music have taken a look into what else happened that day our ears were turned on.

1. Dee Time on BBC One

TV was very different in 1967. There were only three channels, most television sets were black and white, and programming was not 24 hours a day. But some things remain constant, like a nice chat show in the vein of Graham Norton or Jonathan Ross. Simon Dee was the host of Dee Time, and in the early evening of 1 June, he played the gracious host to the British comic actress Thora Hird, singer Julie Rogers, film composer Bernard Herrmann and American comic actor Stubby Kaye.

Musical support came from the Northern Dance Orchestra and The Frugal Sound – a folk group with an astonishingly 60s name, who’d released a cover of The Beatles’ Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown) a year earlier.

2. McDonald’s opened their first international restaurant

Although perhaps not as significant an event then as it appears now, the first McDonald’s restaurant franchise to open outside of the United States started serving in Richmond, British Columbia, right in the middle of the Summer of Love, on 1 June 1967. The burger chain would not reach the UK until 1974.

3. David Bowie released his first album

Image result for david bowie first album

There were already some fairly way-out albums in the shops when Sgt. Pepper was released. Country Joe and the Fish had released Electric Music for the Mind and Body on 11 May, The Mothers of Invention had released Absolutely Free on 26 May. The Ventures even had an album out called Super Psychedelics, while Paul Beaver put out a musical interpretation of astrology called The Zodiac: Cosmic Sounds.

By contrast, David Bowie‘s self-titled first album, released on 1 June, was a rum collection of London-centric whimsy, pitched somewhere between Lionel Bart and Anthony Newley, from a man still finding his feet artistically. It’s interesting to note, with the release of Elvis Presley‘s album of songs from the movie Double Trouble, that 1 June 1967 is the only date on which the defining artists of the 50s, 60s and 70s all released original albums at the same time.

4. The Kinks on Top of the Pops

In the week that The Beatles unveiled their masterwork, the No.1 single was the beatific Silence Is Golden by The Tremeloes, soon to be replaced by the even more beatific Whiter Shade of Pale by Procol Harum. For that week’s Top of the Pops – broadcast half an hour after Dee Time had finished – presenter Pete Murray introduced previously taped performances by The Tremeloes, The Hollies, Vince Hill, Engelbert Humperdinck and the New Vaudeville Band, and new footage of The Small Faces and P.P. Arnold. Best of all was a new performance of Waterloo Sunset (also quite beatific) by The Kinks who were sitting pretty at No.2.

Oh, and there was a dance routine from The Gojos – to Arthur Conley‘s Sweet Soul Music at No.13 – possibly depriving the world of the sight of some energetic rug-cutting to the hot No.10 sounds of Seven Drunken Nights by The Dubliners.

5. The Mersey Sound arrived

While The Beatles were celebrating their new album, another Liverpool artistic high watermark was being reached. Penguin Books published a poetry collection called The Mersey Sound on 25 May, which brought the same youthful irreverence to fusty old verse that rock and pop music had brought to society at large. It featured the work of three poets from Liverpool – Adrian Henri, Roger McGough and Brian Patten. Funny and touching writers all, their verses were informed by modern life and were deliberately accessible, which made them hugely popular. The Mersey Sound went on to become one of the biggest-selling poetry anthologies in the world, selling over 500,000 copies.

6. Double 007

Movie-goers on 1 June 1967 were caught mid-way between two James Bond movies released that year. Casino Royale, which came out in April, was a spoof loosely based on Ian Fleming’s first Bond novel, with David Niven playing the part of James Bond 007, supported comically by Peter Sellers, Ursula Andress (who had already appeared in Dr. No), Woody Allen and Orson Welles. The film’s score was by Burt Bacharach, which makes the whole thing Austin Powers before Austin Powers was Austin Powers.

But on 12 June, You Only Live Twice was released, Bond’s fifth proper cinematic outing, and Sean Connery’s last in the title role for the time being. He eventually returned in 1971’s Diamonds are Forever, before officially handing over the quips and Martinis to Roger Moore.

7. Rangers nearly won the European Cup Winners’ Cup

Rangers vs. Bayern Munich

Rangers vs. Bayern Munich

As the sun came up on 1 June, plenty of Scottish football fans will have been nursing sore feelings, as Glasgow Rangers had narrowly missed out on winning the European Cup Winners’ Cup in a tense match with Bayern Munich in Nuremberg the night before. While Bayern had fielded some of football’s finest players, including Sepp Maier, Franz Beckenbauer and Gerd Mülle, Rangers had managed to hold them to a goalless draw for most of the match, and even held the upper hand in the first half. Their one goal had been disallowed, however, and so the match went into extra time, at which point Bayern’s Franz Roth broke through Rangers’ otherwise solid defence and scored.

8. Gabriel García Márquez released One Hundred Years of Solitude

Another slow burner, to Anglophone readers at least, One Hundred Years of Solitude was released on 30 May 1967, and only available in Spanish. It was such a fevered success that Gabriel García Márquez faced a reaction similar to that of Sgt. Pepper, with not only intense critical approval, but widespread popular support from vociferous crowds across all of Spain and Latin America. The book, which tells the story of the Buendía family, was not translated into English until 1970, but it provoked a similar reaction, and Gabriel was eventually awarded the Nobel Prize for literature in 1982.

9. The last days of pirate radio

Image result for pirate radio

The 1960s beat boom was greatly assisted by pirate radio stations such as Radio Caroline and Radio London, who were serving a young audience with the kind of broad coverage of pop and rock music that hadn’t yet become part of the BBC’s output. As of 1 June, there were ten stations, with an estimated audience of 10 – 15 million listeners. These were perfectly legal broadcasts, providing they came from offshore ships or abandoned sea forts in international waters, but their days were numbered. It took the Marine Broadcasting Offences Act, which became law in August, to shut them down, an event which coincided with the launch of BBC Radio 1 on 30 September, who took the best of the pirate radio DJs – from Tony Blackburn to Johnnie Walker and John Peel – and gave them new jobs.

By the end of the year, The Who had created a conceptual tribute to Radio London, in the form of their album The Who Sell Out, which linked songs together using real jingles and fake adverts, in the manner of a pirate radio broadcast.

10. Tom Stoppard’s Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead at the National Theatre

Finally, in theatre land, Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead by Czech-born British playwright Tom Stoppard had made it from a premiere at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 1966 to the National Theatre in London, where it began its run on 11 April 1967. As Kirsty Lang says above in the introduction to her April 2017 interview with Stoppard, the absurdist play “launched his career” and was currently being revived at the Old Vic in London starring Daniel Radcliffe and Joshua McGuire.

After its first London run, the play went to Broadway in New York in October 1967 and was turned into a Hollywood film in 1990. Gary Oldman was cast as Rosencrantz, Tim Roth as Guildenstern and Stoppard himself directed.

12 words from 100 years ago we love to use today

100 years ago. 100 years ago the First World War was approaching its third year of battle, of resistance. Approaching its close – though that wouldn’t arrive until for a further year.

The First World War was full of atrocities, horrors and of warfare, yet it also became a melting pot. A cauldron of culture as troops from all over the world were pitted together as an alliance. An alliance which needed communication, a multifaceted communication which served all. Words pinched from here, there and everywhere. Words which still remain a key part of our diction.

Here’s 12 of the best, as collected by BBC Radio 4:

Plonk

Abbreviated from the French “vin blanc” meaning white wine, this typical British soldier’s alliteration eventually became the word for any kind of wine, as in, “pass that bottle of plonk”.

Binge

Continuing with the theme of alcohol, binge was originally a Lancashire term meaning to over-indulge. Whilst the word can have negative connotations around food and drink, it’s also used to describe life-affirming entertainment – from shamelessly listening to podcasts back-to-back, to watching the entire run of your favourite TV series in one sitting. Bliss.

Having a chat/chatting

It’s good to talk and even better to chat, but where did the term come from?

Soldiers from the Commonwealth were often billeted with the British “Tommies“, and that included several regiments from India. In this instance the Hindi word for parasite (“chat”) was the inspiration for this saying. As the prevalence of lice was an everyday problem at the front, men sitting around picking them off their skin led to such groups being described as men “chatting”. In later years this has morphed into the term “chatting” or “having a chat” to mean a group of people, or even two people, sitting around casually talking to each other.

Crummy

Lice were also directly responsible for this American slang term coined by US infantrymen, meaning lousy or of inferior quality. The eggs of the lice were white and resembled tiny crumbs of bread, hence the word “crummy”.

Skive

From the french word “eskiver” meaning to dodge or avoid, this was used during WW1 as slang for shirking duty. In recent times “skiving off” implies a deliberate intent to stay off work, usually coupled with an elaborate excuse such as a dead aunt or an illness of some kind.

Camouflage

Another French word meaning disguise. In 1916 the word began to be used specifically as a term for obfuscating military targets using materials to blend them into their surrounding environment.

Cushy

Another word popularised by British soldiers but of Indian origin, this time springing from the Urdu word for pleasure – “Kusi” – and the Hindi word “Khush”, meaning happy, easy or pleasant. “Cushy” is now defined as “undemanding, easy, or secure” and applies to any relatively comfy situation, and back then was used in a similar way to describe any military posting that was agreeable i.e. a cushy billet, or a cushypost, but also referred to a wound that was non-fatal yet debilitating, granting the victim some precious time away from the front.

Dud

This refers specifically to a shell or a bullet that failed to go off. Now its definition has expanded to include any object that does not work properly, or fails to work at all.

To be in a flap

This was a Naval expression dating from 1916 and refers to the flapping of birds, and means to be worried or excited. Later it became widely used by ground forces in WW1 and led to the term “unflappable” which appeared much later and means “marked by assurance and self-control”.

Over The Top

When someone is exaggerating or behaving in a more pronounced way than need be they are being “over the top”. Of course in WW1 this literally meant going over the top of the trench to charge the enemy, and most likely being mown down by machine-gun fire in the process.

Scarper

Another bastardisation of language, this time from the Italian word “escarpare” which means to run away. During the war the German fleet was scuppered at Scapa Flow and this re-established the word among English soldiers – to “scarper” being to “leg it” as fast as possible!

Bumf

Nowadays this refers to large amounts of paperwork, or useless and unwanted printed material such as junk mail. Soldiers in WW1 often used it to ridicule the ludicrous amount of orders and unnecessary paperwork that came from their superiors, likening it to toilet paper, i.e. “bum-fodder”.

If you have a fascination in the English Language, the origins and the evolution, or are more swayed by the back stories of World War One, take a look through our A Level offer at The Sheffield College today!