My first venture into the flickering world of GIFs. Animation brings infinite possibilities but as many overenthusiastic Powerpoint users have found to their cost, just because you can do something doesn’t mean it’s a good idea. Effective animation is a highly skilled artform in its own right, as beautifully explained in the classic Animator’s Survival Kit by Richard Williams. Even making a ball bounce convincingly requires a lot more sophistication than having a circle move along a line. Equally, clever juxtaposition of panels in a cartoon can create a striking illusion of movement by prompting the reader to fill in the gap. Again, this is explained expertly and engagingly elsewhere, in this case in a series of (comic) books by Scott McCloud. Clearly my two frame GIF is neither of these! Many of my cartoons start out as teaching aids and rely on simple Powerpoint transitions to reveal a punchline. A good example of this is the rapamycin one: in the original talk the underground pharmacy is revealed after I’ve given the preamble about Rapa Nui. That works (in as much as it ever raises a smile) when accompanied by a narration and would probably be even less successful as a GIF like this one. I feel that the suddenness of the electric shock sits well with the rapid transition and the absence of tweening.