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Juillard School launches online courses

In 1920, textile merchant Augustus D. Juilliard bequeathed a large amount of money for the advancement of music in the United States. The Juilliard Foundation led to the creation of the Juilliard School in Manhattan’s Upper West Side, New York City. It is now the most prestigious music school in the world. Competition for admissions is fierce: in 2012, 2,657 undergraduate applications were received by the School and 191 were accepted. Tuition fees are $48,670 per school year.

Which course subjects are the most intellectually stimulating?

Which courses are the most intellectually stimulating? If you ask this question to teachers and students of various subjects, you’re bound to get biased answers. After all, those people are in their chosen fields because they found them interesting in the first place. Unless they are doing it because they have to – more on that later.

Gentlemen, start your game engines: building addictive worlds

Bad games can either make you throw your controller at the screen or inspire you to design better ones. If you think you can do better or are just interested in making games, a game design course like that offered by School of Game Design is one way to go to acquire the necessary skills. Game design isn’t producing a polished product, but sketching out the rules and strategies of games at the pre-production stage.

Kaboom! Create killer comics

If you are into comic books, it can seem that their creators are so far beyond the rest of us in skill and imagination that only they have the divine right to produce comic books. The fantastic epics that roll off the presses and into comic book stores seem to be born in another realm to which mere mortals have no access. Yet if you stop to think about it, those people had to start somewhere and were once shaky novices producing forgettable work.

Thinking in yellow: the philosophy of The Simpsons

Matt Groening, creator of The Simpsons, studied philosophy at college. Astute viewers will have noted the many references to philosophy in the show – Homer, for one, is so named as a nod to a great thinker (but he thinks it comes from baseball). Critics have noted for a long time that the show does more than merely play with philosophy. Rather than mentioning clever stuff in passing to show its creator’s erudition, the Simpsons actually does philosophy.

Fingerprints 2.0: DNA forensics

Have you ever wanted to solve a crime? It seems to be a common fantasy – stepping into the shoes of a flinty-eyed detective, assessing the evidence and leaving no stone unturned to tighten the net around the criminal until he is forced to confess. These days a lot of that work is done via forensic science. There are quite a lot of games on the Google Play and Apple Stores based on forensic TV shows like CSI and NCIS in which you analyse the evidence to deduce who committed the crime.