How I Created My First Comics…

…and learn how to love and accept myself as I am.  

I am so grateful to the University of Tartu for this amazing opportunity to take the optional courses any courses that you wish for free. So, you can study Japanese, Italian, Czech or another language that you want, or watch movies about God (that I did last spring semester), or… learn how to draw even if you do not have any experience in this area.

After viewing different options that the freshly opened Center of Arts proposed for this fall semester, I decided to attend Comics class, because I am a big fan of Marvel and DC comics and I have always dreamt to draw my own one day.

But can I really make it? Continue reading

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Cancer biologists from the University of Tartu help make an important discovery on Alzheimer’s disease

Cooperation between researchers in the United States and Estonia helps to discover changes in brain tissue, which are associated with the very early stages of dementia.

The cause of nearly half of all cases of dementia is Alzheimer’s disease. It is estimated that 47 million people are suffering globally from Alzheimer’s – nearly the population of Spain. Due to the ageing of the population, it is predicted that 131.5 million people will be suffering from Alzheimer’s by 2050 – this is slightly less than the entire population of Russia.

One of the lead authors of the study is Argentinian Pablo Scodeller, who has decided to tie his future with Estonia. Author: Private collection

Even though the disease is one of old age, present somewhat more frequently in women than men, it shouldn’t leave anyone indifferent. In addition to deteriorating the patient’s quality of life and the relationships with their loved ones, the disease also has a big impact on the economy. Based on official forecasts, the disease, which is already costing the world billions, will become a trillion dollar disease in 2018.

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5 Tips How To Enjoy Every Second of the Annual Ball

  1. Find a companion or some good friends to feel carefree & happy.

    This event is the chance to feel glamorous! Photo credit: Pixabay

  2. Get together with your friends for a few hours before the ball to get ready. Maybe your friend is a clever makeup artist and will help you out with a sultry smokey eye? A good music and some party games are also some of the many ways how to lift the mood!
  3. Keep an eye on the performers who will take the stage. So you’ll be sure that you don’t miss good events and will take everything from the evening program.
  4. Make sure you wear comfortable shoes because you can dance OH SO MUCH at the ball! It would be sad when the heels are too high or shoes are so uncomfortable that you have to just sit on the chair.
  5. Forget your school, work, and worries.  A spectacular event like this only takes place once a year, so you HAVE TO ENJOY IT!

You don’t have to be a professional dancer to enjoy every minute of the ball! Photo credit: Pixabay

Mari-Liis Koemets is one of the organizers of the ball. 

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Creating knowledge post-Brexit

As the UK’s journey towards Brexit has reached the halfway point, the Guild is not the first network to state the importance of the free and easy movement of staff and students, and collaboration in research; nor should we be the last.

Yet, we also emphasise the significance of collective investment in innovation. To ensure Europe’s leadership in the knowledge economy we require concerted action between industry, SMEs, start-ups and universities, across borders. To achieve this, we need the common frameworks and programmes that currently exist through the EU, as well as dependable long-term planning and resources.

“We need, more than ever, international frameworks that enable scientific collaboration: common standards on research ethics, open access, intellectual property, and human resources.” Photo credit: Pixabay

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From Think Tanks to Harvesting Potatoes – a Student Trip to Latvia

The Latvia trip was a five-day journey organised by our MA-program in the very beginning of the year. Aside from the variety of events that were educative in so many different ways (especially as an introduction to the Baltic States in general, and Latvia in particular), the trip also made our class of students gain a closer bond. When we arrived in Riga on Wednesday we were free to explore the city on our own, in the day and night time, and we were invited for a dinner in a medieval-style restaurant where we met professors and students from a similar EU-Russia Masters of Riga University.

Students got to experience harvesting and cooking potatoes. Photo credit: Chun Sing Iverson Ng

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sTARTUp Day, the Biggest Business Festival in the Baltics – How did it all Start?

On the 8th of December the second edition of the start-up flagship event sTARTUp Day will take place in the AHHAA centre. Almost a year ago the first edition of sTARTUp day was organised, and it proved even bigger and better than anyone could have ever imagined. However, very few people know the history of the biggest business festival in the Baltics came into being. In order to tell the whole story, I asked last year’s head organizer, Lauri Sokk, and the man that started it all, Andres Kuusik, some questions.

Have you already bought your tickets? Photo credit: sTARTUp Day team

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Female Viking Warriors?

Stories about female warriors are frequent in Old Scandinavian poetry and prose. Several Eddic poems tell about Valkyries, (semi-)mythological warrior women taking part in battles, sometimes flying in the air, often acting as the god Odin’s agents. Many 14th century Icelandic sagas as well as Saxo Grammaticus’ Danish chronicle from c. 1200 describe (human) women as warriors, shield-maidens, sometimes as war leaders. The image of female Viking women is an important part of the general image of the Viking Age, known form both high and popular culture from Richard Wagner’s operas to modern TV series.

This is how the grave probably looked. Photo credit: Þórhallur Þráinsson

But during the last 100 years the scholars have been quite skeptical towards the reality behind the female warrior in the Viking Age. It has mostly been seen as a literary motif, a poetic fantasy. However, in a very recent article, a group of Swedish archaeologists (Charlotte Hedenstierna Jonson et al.) have taken up the problem again and delivered a provocative conclusion: the existence of female Viking warriors can be proved by DNA analysis of a skeleton in a 10th century grave in Birka, Sweden. The starting point of the article is precisely the stories about female Viking warriors in the Edda and saga sources, and their conclusion is that the picture given there is now confirmed. Continue reading

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