BCM325 Research Introduction: Doraemon’s Future Prediction – Are we getting close? – ‘Anywhere door’.

In this short blog I will make a brief introduction of my research project for BCM325: Future Cultures. In particular, I will indicate my research topic, research plan and digital artifact presentation.

Research topic:

Personally, I am passionate about Japanese manga and the famous ‘Doraemon’ is undoubtedly among my favorites. The content is about a robot from the future, Doraemon, who travels back in time to provide help to a boy who struggles in life, through the use of his ‘gadgets’, which are tools of the future (22nd century in particular). As a little boy, I only dreamed of making life easier with those gadgets but have never thought of actually having any of them in real life. However, as time flew, I grew up and technology developed, I started to realise many of those gadgets have been turned into existence. Not a few of them, many of them. Watch this:


As you can see, the cutting-edge technology of the 22nd century that was depicted in Doraemon is on its way to existence in the early 21st century that we are living today. Therefore, I am optimistic that what Fujiko Fujo – the author – predicted in the manga was not just about a Utopian world (an imagined place where everything is perfect, symbolizing people’s hopes and dreams), but actually a future world that is not impossible to reach (Benson 2015). But the question is, are we getting close? Therefore, I decided to commit my research project to partly answer this question by focusing on one gadget that I believe is the best idea in the manga – the ‘Anywhere door’, a door that takes you anywhere you want by simply… walking through it.

Research plan:

I plan to focus my research into two sub-topics. First of all, because ‘Anywhere door’ is actually a means of transport, I will look at the transport revolution to figure out how developed transportation has been since the earliest days of human history. Although travelling to a destination that is thousands miles apart in seconds is a crazy idea, we still have the right to hope based on the incredible improvements in transportation throughout the years. The following infographics indicate the various achievements in transportation that humans have accomplished:

Credit: treehugger.com
Credit: visual.ly

Looking at the above infographics, we can see that transportation has been through a long revolution process from the earliest days. People of the 15th century claimed Leonardo da Vinci’s idea of aeroplane to be crazy (Sails in the Sky, 1938), and now we are travelling intercontinently in less than a day in aeroplanes and claiming Fujiko Fujio’s (Doraemon’s author) idea of ‘Anywhere door’ to be crazy again, isn’t it ironic? We have reasons to hope, and I will put effort into research to find out whether those reasons are rational enough.

Secondly, I want to discover whether there is any scientific foundation to turn this idea into reality. There might be achievements that signals positive progress, but if there is no scientific and realistic base, that progress will have a limit. For example, in Doraemon, Fujiko Fujio once featured a machine that allows two people to switch their heads together to experience the other’s body. This idea has been initiated in real life with the case of  Sergio Canavero, an Italian doctor who is researching to perform the world’s fisrt head transplantation (Brodwin 2016). Although there have been incredible improvements and discoveries in the medical industries, this idea still remains impossible according to several scientific foundations such as the head cannot stay alive on its own, the immune system cannot accept another body or the surgery has to happen in under an hour (Hardy et al 2017).

Therefore, through my research, I want to figure out whether ‘Anywhere door’ is actually science, or just science fiction. Theories about time and space such as Einstein’s ‘General Relativity’, which explains that space can be warped (Agarwal 2017), will be put into consideration .

Digital Artifact Presentation:

I plan to present my findings in form of a video which I believe to be more interactive as it provides more visuals. Along with the visuals, there will be a voice-over as explanation. The structure of the artifact will be mostly based on the outline of this blog post as I will introduce Doraemon as a background for my research topic along the evidence to prove that Fujiko Fujio was a genius for the future predictions. Secondly, my interest in the idea of ‘Anywhere door’ will be expressed and supported by the achievements in transportation history. Finally, I will make conclusion based on my scientific findings of whether this idea lies in the future, or remains a manga legend.


Agarwal, A 2017, ‘Anywhere Door: Doeramon’s Gadget into a reaity’, Research Paper, Aligarh Muslim University.

Benson, A 2015, ‘The utopia of suburbia: the unchanging past and limitless future in Doraemon’, Japan Forum, vol. 27, no. 2, pp. 235-256

Brodwin, E 2016, An Italian surgeon has renewed his promise to perform the world’s first head transplant after a ‘proof-of-concept’ experiment on a dog, Business Insider, viewed April 29th 2017, <http://www.businessinsider.com/italian-surgeon-head-transplant-dog-experiment-2016-9&gt;.

Hardy, MA, Furr, A, Barret, JP, & Barker, JH 2017, ‘Review: The immunologic considerations in human head transplantation’, International Journal of Surgery, vol. 41, pp. 196-202

‘Sails in the Sky’, 1938, Time, vol. 31, no. 18, p. 69.



MakerSpace video tutorials: Peer review


My friend Clancy, beside his main duty as a student, is one of the mentors at UOW MakerSpace Club, a place for creating, sharing, learning with technology and art, based inside the campus library. Since the MSC has been establishing various technological facilities available for public use such as the 3D printing machine, VR or embroidery machine, there is an emerging need to inform the university community about its existence as well as how to make the best use of it. Realising this demand, Clancy decides to centre his DIGC302 project around the idea of introducing the public about MSC in the form of a video series. Each video is around one minute in length, is filmed from point-of-view perspective using 360-degree technology and is made viewable on VR devices. The main platform used to share these videos is Youtube and below is the first video about 3D printing machine:



In order to get the footage for the video, as he tells me, Clancy takes advantage of some specific events. For example, during Open Day at uni, he was able to introduced about MSC to many visitors (mainly students), encouraged them to experience the available technologies as well as asked them for the consent to film their using the facilities. However, sometimes the filming opportunity comes quite spontaneously as he randomly sees someone using the tech and decides to film. After acquiring enough materials, he then talks to the MSC Coordinator, Nathan, and other mentors who are in charge of different technologies to understand about them (because he is specialised in VR) to write the script for the videos. Based on these scripts, the video materials are then rearranged into the most logical order. The video is then uploaded to Clancy’s personal Youtube channel and sent over to MSC Media team to gather initial feedback. Finally, he makes some adjustments if necessary and uploaded the final version to the MSC Youtube channel, ready to be publicised.


As Clancy tells me, his project has a three-fold utility. First of all, it contributes to the promotion of the MakerSpace Club. Due to the fact that MSC is a relatively new community, it has not been really well-known among campus. Therefore, Clancy hopes that through his project, people will know more about the cutting-edge facilities available as well as MSC in general. Secondly, this project is useful for students who are lack of understanding about various technologies of MSC. In particular, after watching the videos, different students may find themselves interested in different facilities and can apply for a full in-person induction at MSC. Finally, Clancy also finds this project valuable for himself. As mentioned earlier, he is specialised in VR so other technologies such as the carving machine or embroidery machine are a bit unfamiliar to him. Therefore, by spending time learning, talking to experts and making videos about them, he becomes more knowledgeable in those areas. Moreover, the whole video series can be used as a part of his professional portfolio, which can be shown to employers when he gets into the workplace in near future.


First of all, I want to talk about how Clancy’s project has been progressing in terms of concept. According to our conversations at the very beginning of the semester, the original idea is to make videos of the full induction for each of the facilities at MSC. However, this does not seem to be useful due to the fact that a full induction normally lasts around an hour and no one wants to have a VR headset on the face for that long. Therefore, the concept has changed from ‘induction’ to ‘introduction’ as the videos only provide some basic information about the technologies, which provokes people’s interest and encourages them to come visit MSC for an in-person induction. Secondly, Clancy also made some adjustments to his methodology. Originally, he edited the video right after filming. However, working with 360-degree videos is a real struggle as there are a lot of settings to remember. Therefore, by filming a bulk of material and editing all of them later allows him to avoid forgetting any setting.


In my opinion, Clancy is doing a good job by putting himself in the audience’s position. As mentioned in the Trajectory section above, he has changed the concept from the full one-hour induction to one-minute introduction, which makes the video more user-friendly. I consider this is a really important element for every project because one of our main goals is to best serve our target audience. Secondly, I give credit to Clancy’s consultation with experts in MSC facilities that he is not familiar with to acquire understanding about them. By doing this, he not only understands more about them but also knows which should be shown to the audience to maximise the utility. Another good point is in the methodology as Clancy spends a lot of effort in the pre-testing phase. When the video is filmed using the 360-degree camera, the footage is streamed to his phone. However, it appears differently when put into the computer for editing. Therefore, he has to test his shooting so many times to make sure that the final product is well tailored.

Suggestions for improvement

The first recommendation of mine is that Clancy should pre-test the videos to ordinary students besides MSC members. In this way, he might have a sense of what the audiences really want to see. Clancy can do this by gathering a focus group which can give him consistent feedback or uploading the videos onto his personal Facebook page. Additionally, in order to better promote the videos, he might consider reaching other groups within UOW that are working on the same stuffs. For example, the video about the Carving machine can be sent to the Mechatronics group to get feedback as well as to promote it to their audience. Clancy also asked me whether more sophisticated editing effects might improve the quality of his videos. In this regard, I consider he can give it a try but he has to make sure that no matter what effects he uses, the big idea of the project must be consistently maintained.

To Clancy:

If you are reading this, it means we have reached the final stages of our projects as well as the semester. I just want to say thanks for your time spending with me sharing ideas and feedback. I really appreciate how you have trusted to ask and valued my recommendations. Your suggestions to my project have been really useful too. Wish you best luck with the remaining of your project and the upcoming plans of yourself.


BCM212 Final Project Reflection

For the final project of BCM212, I researched about how students make decisions to study at UOW and their majors, as well as how those decisions influence their perception about future careers. In this short blog post I will explain what I did to engage and represent others in my research in terms of ethics, and what I learned from doing it.

First of all, according to Lassiter 2005, an important element in ethical research is that researchers have to be granted consent by participants and to provide protections of participants’ privacy and confidentiality. In order to gather findings, I conducted both online surveys and interviews. In the first page of my survey, I clearly informed the respondents that by turning to the next page, they allow me to use the data for the purpose of this research and they can choose not to participate if they do not want to grant me the consent. All the answers were collected anonymously so the privacy and confidentiality were guaranteed. About my interviews, when asking the interviewees to participate, I informed them clearly that I would film and publicize the interviews, but only for those reading my research report (more details can be found in my Progress Update here). Therefore, I was granted full consent from the interviewees, and in return I provided protection to their privacy by setting the video setting to private on Youtube, so it can be viewed in my report only.

Credit: Baycrest.org

Secondly, as stated by the Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance, ethical research practices must aim to achieve honesty, fairness and accuracy. As stated above, I filmed and publicized the interviews. Because the interviews were all quite long, I had to edit the footage to highlight the most important points. Therefore, I had to make sure that the editing process only aims to achieve convenience for audience without any intention to stage. Before putting the video into my report, I showed it to all my interviewees so they can see that I made no major changes apart from trimming down pauses, embedding background music or categorizing the answers into a more logical order. About my survey, all the figures published in my report were totally based on the data analysis on the website where I set up the survey without any adjustments. The only thing I did was aggregating them and presenting in the form of charts and graphs. I also tried to achieve fairness by not leaning towards any particular argument or interest, but instead I initially indicated my personal considerations and used my findings to reflect back on them. Any unexpected point that came out of my prior anticipation was also clearly stated.

Credit: respect-mag.com

Finally, I want to share my experience from doing this research. The first thing I learned in terms of research values is Accountability. According to UOW Human Research Ethics Committee, objectives of a research include protecting the welfare and rights of the participants and bringing about benefit. I have explained how I engaged and represented my participants in the above paragraphs to justify how I protected their rights. Moreover, I also tried to make my research outcome beneficial to certain people. By discovering the factors influencing students’ decisions to choose UOW and majors in relation with their future careers, I hope to support my UOW peers to be more confident in what they are doing or make any necessary adjustment. I also expect that my research can support future students to decide whether UOW is the best place for them.

Credit: Pinterest.

The second research values I have understood is Flexibility. I am aware that planning is crucial in research because it allows me to keep track of my progress. However, there are always times when things come out of control. For example, my video editing took longer than I thought and I was a bit freaked out that I could not finish all the work in time. This challenge pushed me to reallocate my schedule flexibly to compensate for the lack of time. But I still do not  know whether I made it right, because I will be submitting everything in an hour and I’m still writing this one. However, I suppose staying in this ambiguity and uncertainty can be tolerated :P, said Dugan 2013.

Credit: sophieandrews.com.au

Another values I obtained is Creativity. Although I’m not a visual expert, I somehow managed to present my survey findings in form of graphs and charts, in an desperate attempt to be creative and make it easier for readers. I also tried to make a highlights video of the interviews to make my report more interactive and less boring (if it is full of words). If it does not work, maybe I’m not creative enough, but I tried.

It feels good writing these last lines as I’m finally able to rest.



It seems like I can’t rest, I still have exams. T.T


Dugan, M 2013, Tolerating Ambiguity, Known Innovation, viewed June 5th 2017, <http://knowinnovation.com/2013/04/tolerating-ambiguity/&gt;.

Lassiter, L 2005, The Chicago Guide to Collaborative Ethnography, The University of Chicago Press, Chicago, USA.

Media, Entertainment and Arts Alliance, Media Alliance Code of Ethics, abc.net.au, viewed June 5th 2017, <http://www.abc.net.au/mediawatch/transcripts/0921_meaaethics.pdf&gt;.

UOW Human Research Ethics Committee, viewed June 5th 2017, <http://www.uow.edu.au/research/ethics/UOW009378.html&gt;.


About me

Hi all,

My name is Cuong Lam and I am studying the Bachelor of Communication and Media studies at the University of Wollongong – Australia.

As a part of my degree, blogging is an essential aspect. Therefore, this blog will be the main platform where I upload contents relating to my course throughout my studying here in Australia. This is also where I share my opinions about my everyday matters to the public as well as updating the progress of whatever projects I am working on.

Here are my contact details for anyone that concerns:

Email: bcl987@uowmail.edu.au
Twitter: @clamxcat

I hope to make as many friends and receive as many feedback and comments as possible on my blog.

Thank you.
Cuong Lam.

BCM212 Project progress update and Communications strategy

As already mentioned in my Research Proposal blog post, I am working on a project researching about the students’ decisions to choose a university and majors as well as the reasons why they may change their choices and how the majors relate to their future careers.

In this short blog post I will not focus on the content of my project, but on my progress so far and communications strategy for the project instead. First of all, I would like to indicate my method to recruit people to participate in my survey and interviews. For my survey, which you can find here, I have put up a post on Moodle, my university platform, embedding the survey link in which I also explained briefly about my project. I have also tried to get more responses by putting the link up on Twitter with the hashtag #bcm112. So far, so good, I keep getting new responses everyday 😉

About my interview, I was a bit worried about how I can find the suitable interviewees. Fortunately, I have several friends whose stories according to my perception fit into the context of my project. However, another problem is that I plan to film the interview so consent can be a potential problem. Therefore, I am fully aware that only by communicating clearly the project topic which is just a daily and sensitive topic can I get their approval. Below is the example of how I contact one of my interviewees (he allowed me to upload this piece of conversation but I will secure his identity).


For the progress of my project, check this chart below for the details of my schedule from the beginning of the project until the deadline, wish me luck and bravery to stick to this plan guys :).


In general, this blog will me my main tool to communicate to people about my project. In response to my tutor’s feedback about my blog design, I have established an ‘About‘ section on my blog including some information about me and my contact details so who are interested in or have questions about my blog can contact my more easily.

That’s it for this time. I will update my progress real soon. Stay tuned !


Humans and animals relationship: we all share this world.

We humans are living a world that are homes of millions of other creatures. We are fully aware of this, but we are also aware that we are the most superior among all species. Indeed, human beings are ones that have developed themselves comprehensively in terms of both physical and mental aspects, which can be seen in our civilization today. With all the achievements going far beyond other animals’ capability that we have gained, we can proudly say we are the most developed.

No matter how developed and superior humans are, it cannot be denied we are also animals. It is the same as a $600,000 Rolls Royce Phantom and a $20,000 Toyota Corolla, they are both cars no matter what. Therefore, human beings have to view the relationship between them and all other species as co-existing, as we all share this world together. However, humans tend to assume that they are as superior as they can exploit other animals in order to serve their purposes, which can be defined as “speciesism” (Horta 2010) . I am not talking about the fact that humans eat other animals, because that is how life works. The strongest stay on top of the food chain, and vice versa. I want to mention the way we look at our relationships with other animals and the way we treat them in regard with that relationship.


Species tend to pay attention and have a good impression on ones that are similar them to some certain degree. That is how they realize members of their communities as well as of communities within the same lines (Coppinger 2017). As what you can see in this video, the baby tiger and the house cat get along well with each other because they can recognize that the other are in the same Felidae lines (the cats family) , although they are different species. Humans are no exception. We are interested in seeing animals imitate us in terms of expression or gestures which are visible elements (Charles 2017). In return, animals understand that and they do attempt to impress humans in certain ways. Let’s look at several examples:

It was not 100% accurate, but no doubt we can say they did try 100% of their ability.

This is a really touching short film featuring an old Japanese woman living alone with two cats. Her husband passed away years ago and this is still breaking her heart now. Understanding that their owner still feels upset thinking about her husband, the two cats learn how to perform human-like gestures in order to cheer her up. Obviously this film is staged to a certain degree, but it cannot be denied that the emotions it conveys are genuine.

The two examples clearly show that our pets in particular, and animals in general, do want to co-exist with humans in a respectful way. We like them to perform like us, and they do understand that. Therefore, in order to make our relationship with other species a mutual and co-existing connection, we should do the same in return (Howard 2014). “Instead of respecting their wildness, humans want to hold, cuddle, feed and photograph orangutans; they want to treat orangutans as if they were human … [which has] caused them to become endangered by a rampant pet and zoo trade” (Sowards 2011). This is not how it should be working. Animals show their respect by allowing humans to perform natural habitats and even adapting themselves to it, so why can’t we do the same ? We want to express our love to orangutans, but we are doing it the wrong way. We want them to be happy, but how can they be happy when feeling uncomfortable not being in their natural status ?

Humans and all other animals co-exist in this world, that is obvious. In order to co-exist harmoniously, humans have to know how to respect other species, especially when we are the superior. Try to understand them, and if possible, adapt ourselves to it. This can be seen in this another video, when humans finally try how to please cats, but in cats’ way.

It did not work 100%, but at least they tried.


Charles, N 2017, ‘Written and spoken words: representations of animals and intimacy’, Sociological Review,  Vol. 65 Issue 1, pp. 117-133.

Coppinger, B 2017, ‘Studying audience effects in animals: What we can learn from human language research’, Animal Behaviour,  Vol. 124, pp. 161-165.

Howard, D 2014, Human and Animal Relationships, Springer, New York.

Horta, O 2010, ‘What is Speciesism?’, Journal of Agricultural and Environmental EthicsVolume 23, Issue 3, pp 243–266.

Sowards, S. K 2011, Gender representations in orangutan primatological narratives: Essentialist interpretations of sexuality, motherhood, and women, Berghahn Books, USA.

Poverty porn: calling for change, not charity.

Since the media industry is developing significantly, new genres of media product have been emerging. Among those depicting ordinary topics, there are some that dig into more sensitive, strange and narrow aspects. In this blog post I will focus on the case of ‘poverty porn’, a genre that can be defined as any type of media exploiting the poor’s condition to create sympathy in order to sell newspapers, attract charity donations and support people (Roegnigk 2014).


Human beings do feel sorry for the inferior, which I suppose you guys will all agree with me. Once we see a starving kid, a homeless person, an innocent citizen suffering from war or similar stuffs, we feel sorry for them at a certain degree. I understand that, you understand that and above all, the media understand that too. It is not difficult at all to find poverty porn elements in everything we encounter on a daily basis. We see such pitiful cases in pieces of news, TV shows and even images on Facebook. Exposure to such media products do make us sympathize with ones featured, but have you ever wondered what are the purposes behind all these ?

Obviously we can all understand that by showing such content, the media want us to be aware of other sides of the world which we may not know or even think that they exist. Moreover, we have a chance to realize the degree of seriousness of them by coming up with materials capturing what actually happens.


“If I don’t take pictures like these, people like my mom will think war is what they see in movies” – war photographer Kenneth Jarecke.

That is the way it is. If we do not know enough, we can never develop enough sympathy or empathy. In this way, it cannot be denied that the media is doing a good job by introducing poverty porn to inform people (Middendorp 2015). However, the consequent actions that are called from poverty porn is what actually worth concerned.

I still remembered one detail in the video above about the story of Hollywood actor Jack Black and a homeless kid in Uganda when the kid told JB “I want to go with you” and he replied “I don’t think I can take you with me”. I liked the whole video in which Jack Black tried to raise funds to offer homeless kids education, except for that detail. Personally, I think that detail makes the whole mood of the video seem to be hopeless. I was born and grown up in Vietnam, a developing country in Southeast Asia in a middle class family. Although I live in one of the most modern city in the country, Hanoi, which is also the capital, I still encounter similar circumstances quite often. I see homeless kids on the street all the time and like anybody else, I always want to help them. I am pretty sure that when I was small, more than once when I saw a homeless kid I told my mom: “Can we take him home with us?” and I received the same response: “No we can’t. We don’t take them home, but we support them. That’s the way it is” and mom gave me something, maybe a little amount of money or food, and told me to gave it to them. And from those moments on, I realized that is how life works. It is not fair for everyone, but who are more privileged can support inferior ones, to make it less unfair (Beresford 2016).


The above points lead me to my final conclusion. I do not say that people should not adopt homeless kids or offer the poor people or those in harsh situations a new better life. The ones who do that are so admirable as they turn on the light in those dark segments of life. However, that should not be the purpose of poverty porn. By introducing poverty porn, the media should not encourage people to adopt homeless kids because that does not solve the problem radically (Dortonne 2016). There are millions of abandoned kids that we cannot adopt them all, and we avoid the issue by taking home the kids that stay in front of our eyes and fool ourselves to forget the all the remaining kids behind our back. Media makers, through poverty porn, should encourage people to support the inferior instead, by offering them opportunities to earn a better life themselves (for example, education) and beyond that, challenge the policies that push them into, or do not let them get out of those situations (Allen and Silver 2014). Instead of “neglect and obscure the systemic challenges and compounding disadvantages that people face”, the media should “deliver policies that can affect the challenging realities” (Allen and Silver 2014).

Poverty porn should call for change, not for charity. Because that is the way it is.


Allen, K and Silver, D 2014, It’s easy to hate ‘poverty porn’ but harder to fight inequality, The Conversation, viewed March 31st 2017, <https://theconversation.com/its-easy-to-hate-poverty-porn-but-harder-to-fight-inequality-33555&gt;.

Beresford, P 2014, ‘Presenting welfare reform: poverty porn, telling sad stories or achieving change?’, Disability & Society, Vol. 31 Issue 3, pp. 421-425.

Dortonne, N 2016, The dangers of poverty porn, CNN, viewed March 23rd 2017, <http://edition.cnn.com/2016/12/08/health/poverty-porn-danger-feat/&gt;.

Middendorp, C 2015, Poverty porn: look at these vulnerable people, The Canberra Times, viewed March 23rd 2017, <http://www.canberratimes.com.au/comment/are-pictures-of-the-vulnerable-poverty-porn-20151003-gk0qv6.html&gt;.

Roegnigk, E 2014, 5 Reasons poverty porn empowers the wrong person, One.org, viewed March 23rd 2017, <https://www.one.org/us/2014/04/09/5-reasons-poverty-porn-empowers-the-wrong-person/&gt;.