Book Review: You must be very intelligent by Ulrike Trager.

Karin Bodewits’ partly autobiographic book “You must be very intelligent – The PhD Delusion” is a revealing, tongue in cheek tale about PhD life. We first meet Karin as an idealistic, yet naïve student who wants to add to our knowledge of the world and make a difference in the science world. She jumps at the chance to do her PhD thesis at the prestigious University of Edinburgh- surely the best place to accomplish her goals. 42 chapters and three years later Karin is a different person – frustrated, disheartened and feed up with science. What happened? The realisation that working at a high-ranked university does not protect from choleric, over-enthusiastic supervisors, who change your project every five minutes before losing interest in your work; unsocial, power-mad lab mates trying to steal your publications or underfunded labs making it hard to do any meaningful experiments.

The book shows a PhD student struggling with, for academics all so familiar, bouts of feeling insufficient, lonely, anxious and the pressure to perform to your own standards and what you think others expect of you. That and the reality of science politics – authorship in publishing is rarely fair, lack of job perspectives and security – makes this book a revealing and realistic peek behind the curtain of science. This may sound like a depressing affair, but “You must be very intelligent” is full of witty anecdotes, such as professors sending virtual pets to pretty PhD-students or PostDocs blowing up hotel rooms with dry-ice, making the book a truly enjoyable, yet realistic, read.

For academics, this book will remind them of their own journey and that they are not alone in their struggles. Potential PhD students can use it to make an informed decision and not be blinded by the promise of a perfect science world. “You must be very intelligent” is full of good advice, like the importance of choosing the right PhD position. Knowing the pitfalls, you hopefully ask the right questions at your interview. But this book is not just for academics. Everyone thinking PhDs must be very intelligent can learn a lot from this book and understand scientists a bit better in the process. Indeed, that is what the author intended: “I actively chose to write it humorously and, as a friend pointed out, ‘Sex and the City and Science’ style. I do want to show that scientists are a hilarious, somehow odd bunch of perceived brainiacs, but that at the same time we are also just human beings like anyone else.“

By the end of the book, you may wonder if Karin has given up on science, or at least the way science is conducted these days. But asked if she would do it again her answer is clear: “Yes, science is great! I was naïve and unlucky and rushed my decision about which PhD programme to join. I would still choose a scientific field for my undergrad studies if I were to choose again. Scientists have been proven to be more open-minded and flexible compared to other people. At the same time, we are less sociable, more arrogant and dominant. Not surprising; it is a somewhat uncanny bunch of people and in most universities we are not punished for our strangeness. It is scientific output that counts. To a certain extent, academia seems to be a drip can of weird personalities, where everyone is welcome. It makes for a strange but interesting workplace. It is this environment, where you have the freedom of being yourself, which, despite its drawbacks, I came to love. So, I’d probably decide for a PhD again. A different PhD.”  I think this answer sums up the spirit of the book perfectly. While it is in large parts the tragic story of painful PhD experience, it is also light-hearted and full of lessons. It does not mean science is all bad. Just that there are areas that need to be worked on by the science community. And books like this will help as it starts a conversation.

9783319593210

You must be very intelligent – The PhD Delusion by Karin Bodewits’

Review by Ulrike Träger

Purchase the book here: “You must be very intelligent – The PhD Delusion”

ISBN 978-3-319-59321-0

 

9 Perth rappers to watch in 2018.

Here are 9 Perth rappers to look out for in 2018.

Personally, mainstream Australian hip-hop still hasn’t quite managed to find it’s feet. For me, breakthrough groups like Hilltop Hoods, Horror Show and Bliss N Eso have been progressive for Aussie hip-hop only in that they’ve helped launch it into the somewhat mainstream. However, when artists have to conform to a set of expectations to get commercial play time, their style can become oversaturated. What should be encouraged in Australian hip-hop is originality, innovation, a progressive message, and like Australia’s multicultural society – embrace music and sounds from everywhere. For me, over the past few years, the majority of Perth artists on the scene have been listenable but their lack of ingenuity has failed to really get me excited about hip-hop in my city. However, over the past year, I have been blown away by Perth’s up and coming hip-hop talent. Here are nine artists progressing Australian hip-hop with their own unique sound and making the Perth scene a force to be reckoned with.

TOYOTOMI HIDEYOSHI

Toyotomi Hideyoshi Rocket Ships

Toyotomi Hideyoshi has been active on the Perth hip-hop scene since 2012. Toyotomi produces an atmospheric cloud trap sound infused with an unlimited flow of mellow, rugged vocals which seem to hit the beat precisely where they need to. ROCKETSHIPS was released last month and is Toyotomi’s first full-length LP release – Get it while it’s hot here. 

Label: Boogie Nights

 SPLIT FIGURE

Split Figure perth rapper

Butter smooth flows and catchy R&B hooks. Fremantle artist Split Figure has only entered the scene a couple of years ago, but bangers like Persian Wine and Brûlée prove he’s got a bright future ahead of him. Stream his latest EP Créme De La Créme on Spotify or Soundcloud.

Label: Unsigned

 T$OKO

tsoko s.o.x rapper

T$oko fka S.O.X aka Tinashe Soko is a Zimbabwean born, Perth based rapper. Solid tracks like Blasphemy/ The Mirror honor hip-hops true roots while hard-hitting singles like Parlay and his latest release 4th Quarter bring the heat to the table. It’s no suprise he supported Future when he came to Perth in September earlier this year. T$oko linked up with Perth producer Jimmy Drones recently for his latest single 4th Quarter, and it BANGS so check it out here… PULL UP!!

 Label: Co-sign A$AP MOB *

LLEHNA

Llehna perth rapper

Llehna is (Including Toyotomi) another member of Perth group TUFFBOYS and has recently released an EP of his own. Llehna’s latest EP Llenhas World is definitely one to listen to. It’s Fast, lyrically creative and almost every track contain hooks that are catchy AF – “swiper no swipey”.  Check out Llenhas World on Soundcloud here.

Label: Boogie Nights

POW! NEGRO

pow negro perth rapper

Fast, crazy and out-of-this-world creative. Fremantle’s hip-hop/ jazz group POW! Negro produce a unique sound that brings a whole lot of energy to the table. I haven’t seen a Perth band blow up as fast as these guys did – and I’m not surprised either. You’re lucky if you caught these guys live at Code Red festival earlier this month – They are killing it and there’s no stopping them. Their latest EP is called Jasmine & Licorice and you can stream it on Spotify here. They will also be releasing a new single ‘Flesh Off The Bone’ on November 25th at Jack Rabbit Slims. See you there.

Label: Unsigned

 HYCLASS

hyclass rapper perth

Maori/Samoan rapper HYCLASS produces some insanely catchy beats which compliments her world-class flow. Her latest project I NEED YOU is a must listen. Her EP offers some ol’ fashioned raps and hip-hop beats that everyone can vibe to. She recently supported Marksman Lloyd at The Sewing Room and you can check out her full length EP on bandcamp here.

 Label: Unsigned

ZIGGY RAMO

ziggy ramo perth rapper

Ziggy Ramo’s music provides an insight into the silent injustices of Aboriginal Australia among other social issues. Ramo’s productions range from poppy funk hits like his latest track YKWD to tracks provide a strong and hard-hitting message like Black Thoughts. Check him out on Spotify or Soundcloud.

Label: Ramo Records

AND BEYOND

And Beyond perth rapper

And Beyond comprises of rapper Insane the Prince and producer ZYTGYST. Insane’s mellow vocals and catchy lyrics make me want to listen for hours. The duo produce a clean, creative and modern sound which compliment their contemporary discourse on topics affecting the youth of today. Check them and their latest single 2 Cents on Soundcloud here.

Label: Unsigned

LBFR MIKEY

lbfrmikey perth rapper

LBFRMikey spits evocative, smooth and R&B infused flows as well as hooks that prove the upcoming artist’s mature talent. Mikey frequently links up with Perth producer talent Dub A and together they create a world-class sound. Stream his latest single KATRINA here.

Label: Unsigned

 

Check out a playlist featuring all these artists below:

 

By Harry Cunningham

Meet Murdoch Athletics Captain: TJ Callas

TJ Callas is your Captain. At just 20, he is pursuing a double major in Cyber Forensics and Information Security as well as minoring in Screen Production. TJ is working full time as an intern (Graduate Reporting Engineer) with Empired LTD, a casual retail team member with Super Cheap Auto, training six days a week as WA Athlete (State and National Representatives) and is the Sports and Athletics Captain of Murdoch University. Hailing from Guinea, West Africa 9 years ago TJ has come a long way. As a youth, he was faced with many traumas relating to language barriers, racism, and his own mental health. He says, he owes his success all to his sports and athletics. Today TJ is working hard on his own Athletics Program dedicated to helping youths overcome their trauma. I decided to find out more.

Hey TJ, give me a run down on your involvement in athletics.

So basically I’m a 100m and 60m sprinter as well as a long jumper. My best for the 100m is 10.54, 6.86 seconds for the 60m and 7.20m for the long jump. I train 6 days a week. I am also a Level two Athletics Australia coach with WA Little Athletics as one their coaches for Little Athletics Programs for Schools (LAPS) teaching and demonstrating the fundamental skills of athletics at all levels of athletics discipline which includes running, jumping and through as well as train the Murdoch Vikings Athletics team.

How well did Murdoch Vikings do in the Uni games last year?

We did really well. Last year Murdoch was represented in nearly all event disciplines. Every athlete made it to the final, placing us in the top four or five). 9 out of 13 Athletes made it to either the final or semi-final of his/her competition events. Overall we won 3 medals (two gold and one silver) and we broke a 32 year old record.

What is the main goal for your athletics?

I am hoping to qualify and compete at the Commonwealth or Olympic Games as a 100 meter sprinter. I don’t believe in excuses I believe in results, however with work, uni and training full time it’s very hectic, but I take every opportunity that comes. This is why I tell myself that “I will persist until I succeed”. It does not matter how or when I get there, all on my mind is to make it to one of the games one day by God’s help.

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When did you start using sport to overcome your trauma?

When I first came to Australia I didn’t speak English well, so I used sport to help me learn the language, meet new people and becoming more confident in myself. At that time I didn’t know what depression and anxiety were. I used to get bullied, and when I went through puberty I started to feel insecure about myself at times. When I was in year 8 I encountered racism, as I was the only black kid in the whole school during that time. So to overcome this I started to hang around people who did sports and I associated myself with them. I found when I was doing sport I just focused on what was in front of me instead of worrying about people or other things in my life.

You have a dream project that you’re in the process of creating.  What’s it all about?

Sports Assisting Youths (SAY) is a project I am developing alongside NFP to help youths of this generation grow stronger so they may face their everyday fears and overcome trauma, with the help of athletics. The aim is to have a facility that includes an indoor gym, swimming pool, basketball court and an oval. The facility would be available on a 24/7 basis to anyone who might at any moment be experiencing traumas in their life and cannot see a way out.

What is your goal for this project?

I want to ease the amount of suicide rates among youths. Today too many youths harm themselves due to depression, anxiety and lack of confidence. Reflecting on myself, I once suffered from depression but with the use of sport, it has helped me overcome the many failures, breakdowns, and traumas in my daily life.

How can people help your project or follow your journey?

You can find me on Social Media here:

Facebook Page: facebook.com/athleticsmylife/     

Instagram: @tjcallas

SnapChat: t.callas  

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Interview & Photography by Harry Cunningham

Raviv’s Revelation Review 2017: Lazybones

Life is unpredictable and everyone has their own problems to solve. Lazy Bones is an Australian film directed by Michael Jones. Lazy Bones explores the life of main-character Ben who is an aspiring stand-up comedian and also works as an Uber driver.

The thing I liked about this film is the relatability and authenticity of the storyline. I found myself feeling sympathetic for Ben, as I could relate to a lot of the things he was going through during the film. I liked how the story line had a lot of balance. There were comedic scenes which gave contrast to the deep and meaningful ones. I also liked the technical production of the film. The interesting camera views and angles gave the storyline a unique feel.

However, there were some flaws in the film’s production. I didn;t like the shaky camera and some of the framing for the shots. How could the camera shake so much if it was on a tripod? Sometimes the subject was offscreen when it should have been in the middle. While the story is engaging, the plot is unclear and sometimes confusing. For example, all I saw was the story of a man trying to get his life in order. Lazy Bones plot was almost non-existent.

Overall, I really enjoyed this film. Although there were some problems with the technical aspects of the film. The story made me invest in the characters, particularly the main protagonist Ben. 7 out of 10 for me!

RATING: 7/10

Raviv’s Revelation Review 2017: Baxter and Me

 

Dogs are a man’s best friend. And a woman’s best friend. This film follows the journey of director Gillian Leahy, as she faces many adversities throughout her life. The film explores and reflects Leahy’s relationships Leahy shares with her present and past, four legged friends.

I like how the film explores the intimate relationship between Leahy and her current dog, Baxter. From the sentimental scenes of her and Baxter in the house to the hard-felt scenes toward the end, these were the highlights for me. These scenes presented the pure and unconditional love between the two. Another thing that I enjoyed about the film is that the story is very engaging. The film showed many photos of Leahy’s early life and you can see her journey in her life.

 

“Too many dogs died in Leahy’s life. I understand that most of them were accidents, but can she mention some of the dogs that didn’t die!?”

 

This life, however, is not without its faults. The biggest issue is how utterly boring it is. Seriously, it just drags on for so long. It doesn’t help that the story line travels back and forth, between past and present. I think that if the film explored a single interesting part in Leahy’s life, for example, a drama-recreation or a current representation, it would have made me enjoy the film more. Another problem I have with this film is that some of the scenes are not necessary and waste so much screenplay! They do nothing for the story or atmosphere and go on for too long. These drawn out scenes resulted in my lack of understanding of why the scenes were there, as well as whether I should continue watching. Too many dogs died in Leahy’s life. I understand that most of them were accidents, but can she mention some of the dogs that didn’t die!? It’s depressing and it seems like she was cursed. I felt no emotions from hearing Leahy recount the tragic fate of all the dogs because her narration lacked substance.

Overall, I did not like it. If you are a woman and have dogs, maybe you might like it. I certainly did not. 2 out of 10 for me!

RATING: 2/10

Raviv’s Revelation Reviews 2017: Becoming Bond

James Bond is one of the most iconic characters in the world of literature and pop culture. Originally being a series of books written by Ian Fleming, it has turned into a series of films where many actors play the role of Bond. One of those actors is an Australian model called George Lazenby. This film is a documentary-drama on the life of Lazenby before, during and after playing James Bond.

Let me tell you- this film is amazing! I love the way the documentary mixes Lazenby’s interview with the drama re-enactments. One of the best things about this film is how personal it is. In some moments, Lazenby replaces his vocal audio with the audio of the characters which creates a more authentic feel. The film also creates genuine moments where we feel the emotions from the characters. For example, when something happens to the Lazenby character, the “real-life” Lazenby reflects on it.

Everything is beautifully made and authentic. Throughout the whole film, I couldn’t think of anything I disliked. Everything seemed so legitimate, which made it seem so much more believable. In my opinion, many documentaries lack this quality. By showing the ups and downs of Lazenby’s life, it allows the viewer to learn from him and reflect on their life.

Overall, this film is perfect! A must-watch documentary that has elements of re-enactment from actors and news archives. 10 out of 10 for me!

RATING: 10/10

[REVIEW] Toro Y Moi – Boo Boo

[REVIEW] TORO Y MOI – BOO BOO

Toro y Moi (aka Chaz Bundick) takes you on a drive through dreamy landscapes of sound, stories of lost love and a search for connection, in his latest 80’s inspired R&B pop-electronica project: Boo Boo. Boo Boo shows how much the Singer-songwriter-producer has grown sonically and lyrically. There’s no doubt that Chaz’s 2017 release Boo Boo is a solid and well thought out project. However, it seems Chaz is still holding back from his full potential. 

The album kicks off with layers of drawn out synth, which builds a vast, dreamy sonic landscape. The opening track “Mirage” set’s the tone for the rest of the project. Chaz busts downtown rhythms, adding more layers of vocals, claps and synth. Throughout the rest of the first quarter, it seems Chaz is in a state of confusion, reflecting on himself and his past relationship as he realises “Mona Lisa” (the girl he’s deeply in love with) got tired of his lack of commitment – “My baby got fed up with my ego”.”Pavement” takes a dark and twisted turn. Haunted, deep piano keys chime to reveal a feeling of emptiness as voices echo around the track before finding some sort of groundedness in Chaz’s whisper-like lyrics (the breakup?). Chaz attempts to find his feet in “Don’t Try”. He tries to make sense of the dark situation he’s in, “Woke up only cos I had to”, “Don’t try and understand what you are”. “Windows ” echoes new-wave R&B before the instrumental “Embarcardo” slowly opens up a new chapter in his life. Chaz is in love again, which is shown in one of his more upbeat tracks  “Girl Like You”.

He’s tired of playing games and is confident she’s the one for him – “I can meet you downtown, take you where you want to be tonight”. Chaz experiments with contemporary hip-hop and R&B tones as he uses vocal production reminiscent of up-and-coming rapper-producer Nav – “From the bottle, no cup”. Finally, he’s found the connection he was looking for. In “You and I” he realises she was there all along, and that he was just thinking too much.

The 12 track LP shows that Toro y Moi, creatively,  hasn’t slowed down. Boo Boo adds another dimension to Chaz’s variance in sound as he introduces elements of contemporary R&B and hip-hop covered in nostalgic 80’s soul. Boo Boo is personal and tells a story, but I think even Chad feels the emotion is a bit over the top (as the title mocks his own soft side). The album feels washed out at times, and occasionally goes overboard with the nostalgia, losing groundedness throughout its journey. But overall Boo Boo is a solid production, creative and accomplishes what it set out to do. Perfect for a scenic sunset drive (As shown below).

FAVOURITE TRACKS: Mirage, Girl Like You, Labyrinth

RATING: 7.8/10

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[REVIEW] Young Thug – Beautiful Thugger Girls

Young Thug is truly one of the leading contemporary creative forces in Hip-Hop’s wave/ evolution of trap-pop sub-genres. ‘Beautiful Thugger Girls’ isn’t much of a stylistic advancement in terms of his start-stop flow and roaming, stream-of-conscious lyrics – preaching about his extravagant lifestyle. But there’s a difference in tone that reinforces Young Thug’s originality.

Thugger rides the recent wave of organic sounds worked into trap, however there’s no flute instrumentals here. Similar to Post Malone’s 2016 single “Go Flex”, ‘Beautiful Thugger Girls’ seamlessly fuses R&B vocals, acoustic guitar instrumentals and trap kicks. The 14 track LP gives an insight into the numerous relationships around the 26 year old. Whether it’s with the women in his life, his 8 kids or his self perception. Although I wouldn’t look too deeply into this project’s inner meanings.

It’s stacked with bangers, but it’s not what you’d expect. Stand out tracks like “Daddy’s Birthday” present hooks that are mellow yet punchy -“New coupe, new shoes, ooh” “Red bottoms, I’m kicking shit, yeah I’m flossing on you fools”. “You Said” fully exposes Young Thugs talents as he serenades and flows over fast Spanish guitar work- “Say now, ooh, ooh, ooh”. Young Thug stays true to his original description of the album being a “Singing album”. However, toward the middle of the album, his tracks become more shallow and bland.  “On Fire” takes a minimalist turn compared to the rest of the album. The instrumental plops and bobs, expose Young Thug’s lacklustre repetition of simple, throw away flows. Even his feature with Snoop Dogg and Lil Durk was a slight disappointment. Although his creative lines gave the track some humour – “Roll up some gas, I’m not talkin’ a car”. The album ends on a positive note with “Take Care” followed by “For Ya’ll (feat. Jacquees)”. “For Y’all” is Spanish-trumpet-and-Flamenco-guitar-pop which keeps building on the good vibes. Thugger’s creativity paid off once again, as he produced a menu of tracks that have organic originality and are catchy as hell.

FAVOURITE TRACKS: For Y’all, Relationships, Daddy’s Birthday

RATING: 7.5/10

STREAM: Spotify

 

[REVIEW] Okja

Science Fiction/ Drama (2017)

Director Bong Joon-ho brings a whole lot to the table with his latest Science fiction/ drama; Okja.  As a lover of independent films, this one caught my eye. However, to my surprise, it was filled with many familiar faces from Hollywood. These included Tilda Swinton (Hunger Games), Jake Gyllenhaal (Donnie Darko), Giancarlo Esposito (Breaking Bad). However, this wasn’t necessarily beneficial for the film. The story follows a young South Korean girl who lives in the mountains with her Grandfather (a farmer) who was nominated to look after a genetically modified Super-Pig as part of a 10-year competition. The Super-Pigs were designed to put a stop to world hunger in an ethical and sustainable way – but is this the case? Okja is taken by the multi-national corporation and Mija begins her rescue mission to save her beloved animal.  The film served as consistent entertainment throughout, from the heartwarming bond between Mija and Okja to the comedy and the shenanigans of the Animal Protection Rescue characters. There were also many various on-edge moments regarding Mija’s mission to save her beloved pig from becoming extremely tasty bacon.  The story was creative and thought-provoking, the cinematography was outstanding. As a viewer the film definitely made me reflect on my own eating habits and the ethics of farming. Not for very long though as I was enjoying various mince filled party pies throughout the viewing (laughs). However, I feel like the most annoying characters in the film were the ones from Hollywood. Jake Gyllenhaal played an estranged animal doctor who only showed his love for animals on camera. Although his character was probably meant to be disliked – it was too much for me. Giancarlo Esposito always does an amazing job of being a villain with untouchable power and Mija’s actor (Seo-Hyun Ahn) honored her career’s debut.

Conclusion:

Okja is a great film for these cold Perth nights. So put on some extra layers and dive into the 2 hour Netflix Blockbuster. Heartwarming but it will keep you on the edge of your seat. Beautiful cinematography 4/5.

[NEW MUSIC] No Scrubs – TLC is back

TLC-1

Your favourite 90’s divas TLC are back and in great shape after 15 years.  It’s been a long road for the trio of Tionne “T-Boz” Watkins, Rozonda “Chilli” Thomas and Lisa “Left Eye” Lopes who created smash hits Waterfalls, No Scrubs, Creep, and Unpretty. The full-length self-titled LP features a total of 17 tracks. Some of the stand-outs include “It’s Sunny” a summer pop track with instrumentals from “Boney-M – Sunny”, “Perfect Girls” a mellow RNB acoustic groove hooks “Perfect girls ain’t real” which could have easily been on their classic debut “FanMail”. “Aye MuthaFucka” pumps a confident club jam that proves there’s still no messing with TLC.

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Steam now on:

Spotify

Apple Music