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debate Issue 09 | MAY 2014


debate Issue 09 | MAY 2014

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COVER ART by Amber Khoo EDITOR Matthew Cattin matthew.cattin@aut.ac.nz DESIGN/ART Ramina Rai ramina.rai@aut.ac.nz CONTRIBUTORS Amelia Petrovich | Kieran Bennett | Joe Ding | Laurien Barks | Jess Forsman | Raewyn Lucich | Julie Cleaver | Shannon-Mae Read | Jessie Song | Ethan Sills | Mereama Matia | Luseane Tupouniua ILLUSTRATION & PHOTOGRAPHY Ramina Rai ADVERTISING CONTACT Kate Lin kate.lin@aut.ac.nz PRINTER PMP Print Ltd. PUBLISHER AuSM all rights reserved

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DISCLAIMER Material contained in this publication does not necessarily represent the views or opinions of AuSM, its advertisers, contributors, PMP Print or its subsidiaries.

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EDITORIAL Hello all, I was one of those kids who never stuck with anything for long – I wish I could say it’s because I was a drifter, a vagabond, a lone wolf that never settled down, but reality is ever cruel and I was nothing but a no-good quitter. I would beg my parents to start something – be it cricket, taekwondo or violin – and then, after a meagre two months of lessons or practice, I would aggressively reject the notion of ever returning, inventing excuses as to why I simply couldn’t handle it anymore. “They’re all wonky bowlers! There are two trainings a week! Violin is… is… It’s for GIRLS!” Oh yes I was a tyrant. My parents didn’t take my shit lying down however (kudos to them since I was a terror) and would drag me along despite my protests, telling me it was my idea to learn violin in the first place and that one day I would thank them. Oh, now? Yeah alright… Thanks mum and dad… Anywho, I was just as flippant with my interests as I was with my co-curricular commitments; it started with dinosaurs, until I found lizards, until I found Pokémon, until I found Harry Potter, and so on it goes, and will go, until I breathe my last. One stubborn interest however, has stayed with me for the long haul; monsters. I can’t pinpoint the origins of the obsession but it’s been a part of my life since I as far back as I remember. One of the first memories I can recall is of creating peephole haunted house dioramas out of shoeboxes. I’d get out my stationary set and lose myself drawing ghosts, vampires, werewolves and mummies on coloured paper and sticking them inside the shoebox. I’d cut a little eye hole in the side and another in the lid for a small LED (from my brother’s electronics kits) and voila, instant and inventive escapism.

I’m sure I’m not alone in this one; did any of you kids dare yourself to run down the hallway without turning on the lights? You’d stand in the lounge, looking down the barrel of the dark passageway, heart pumping in your chest. You’d count down from 10 and bolt it, surging forward, fuelled by adrenalin until you reached the safety of the light switch. And when it was bedtime, you’d settle down under the covers with a Goosebumps, running your fingers over the embossed cover? Ohhh yes, Goosebumps was my jam and even after all these years, that theme song still gives me the chills. There is just something so marvellously thrilling about being frightened isn’t there? The adventure tourism industry will surely agree – the adrenalin rush of a good scare, be it monsters or skydiving, is addictive. With this love affair with monsters, you can probably guess my favourite holiday. The problem was, dear mum was never a fan of sending her kids off down the street to beg strangers for sweets, and what’s more, it was all for a stupid American tradition. Therefore, to ease her guilt, she’d have us perform a song to each and every inhabitant we disrupted with our outstretched hands. I carried my violin around and my brothers and I would sing “we wish you a happy Halloween” in the style of that god-awful Christmas carol (you know the one). It was a bloody nightmare but in hindsight I’d say our cute factor probably scored us more treats and fewer ladies. Score. The biggest source of sustenance for my hungry monster crush, however, had to be film and television. Labyrinth, The Frighteners, Gremlins, ET and Ewoks: The Battle for Endor were just some of the movies to keep me up at night, staring across the room at my ominous wardrobe in the darkness. Throw into the mix my obsession with Michael Jackson, Goosebumps and all things ghastly and you end up with a pretty damn awesome kid, if I may say so.

This creepy fixation presented itself a fair bit in my early primary years where I would spend a lot of my time making up ghost stories (and falling in love with anybody that told a good one). I was also (block your ears religious folks) that kid who would get a little gang together to try and communicate with ghosts before attempting to lift somebody up using just our fingers. In hindsight I was probably a bit of a creeper but I turned out alright. These days, I tend to keep my monster fetish a little more under wraps (until now I s’pose…) but that doesn’t mean I don’t squeal internally when I watch the Godzilla trailer or start a new Stephen King novel. I still sit through every zombie film I can get my hands on, watch and then re-watch the classics (The Fly, Evil Dead II and The Thing FTW) and I listen to Thriller more than anybody in 2014 should. But what’s really downers is being old enough to understand that the creatures of the darkness live only on screens and that when the lights are switched off, nothing actually changes. I certainly miss the days when I could psych myself into believing in monsters under the bed and reaching hands in the hallway. Not because sleepless nights were particularly enthralling, but because that fear of the dark has been replaced by reality, which in my opinion, is infinitely scarier. Global warming, disease, unprovoked violence, species extinction, spiders that you see one moment and are gone the next, rejection, failure, wearing socks in bed and clowns, that’s the shizz that scares me these days. At least monsters all have a specific and generally obvious weakness. Spiders have none. Monster Squad for life! Matthew

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FEATURE ARTIST

Do you dabble in the arts? To have your creative works feautred in the mag, email rrai@aut.ac.nz

Amber Khoo My name is Amber Khoo. I am a self-taught photographer raised in Candyland with mermaids and fairies. I started photography six-years-ago. For three good years, I was limited to a compact camera that didn't do very much magic for me, so, I resorted to making simple DIY attachments to stretch my compact camera beyond its supposed potential. They were simple additions really, such as using tissue paper as a diffuser, a magnifying glass to stretch the camera's macro ability and coloured cellophane paper as gradient filters (like Instagram filters). When in doubt, I just Google.

When I upgraded my gear and got better at photography, I started a freelance career. I had the pleasure of working with the local papers and photographing food for restaurant reviews. On some occasions, I get to travel to other countries on the job! I've done fashion shoots and themed shoots, collaborating with models, make up artists, online boutiques, online magazines and photographers. I don't have a style of my own just yet. My creations are inspired by other photographers, friends, music and video games. I like to think that my photographs are surrealistic and dark.

Instagram - @firelyamber Facebook - www.facebook.com/ firelyamber Flickr - www.flickr.com/photos/firelyamber


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FEATURE ARTIST


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HORRIBLY EVER AFTER By Amelia Petrovich

Twenty-five days before the event of my birth, Disney released The Lion King. This was not mere coincidence but a purposeful alignment of the heavens and the start of an almost holy union. Me and Lion King, together forever and forever beautiful. I was not the first, nor would I be the last of those favoured few born on the year of a Disney release. The kids of ’91 entered the world alongside Belle and the Beast and later on the privileged few born in ’95 and ’96 began life with Pocahontas and Hercules as their guides. The fact that The Lion King is the single greatest film in the history of ever and therefore everyone born in 1994 kind of wins is neither here nor there - and in fact, being born alongside a Disney flick isn’t even a rare thing at all because the studio pumped out feature films pretty consistently every year from 1988 onwards.

So maybe disregard a lot of what I just said.

But also humour me for a while and just focus on the magic and complexity that is Disney film. When I talk ‘complexity’ I’m not referring to protagonists. The formula for being a Disney hero is exceedingly simple. Bravery + intelligence + empathy + attractive love interest = great success. Pretty much every Disney hero is like this. Simba turns out to be a really brave and kind lion who goes back to save his kingdom from his totally cray Macbeth-esque uncle, Pocahontas teaches John Smith to be considerate and compassionate rather than a great big pro-white colonial bastard and Belle isn’t afraid of the Beast at all, giving him the love and affection he needed despite him being a total git mostly. No, if there is character complexity in Disney films it lies in the villains.

Disney bad guys come in so many different varieties but it seems like the villains of old were a bit more hardcore than those who have surfaced recently. I know loads about world history and societal behaviour (handy hint: I actually don’t) so when I say it’s because nowadays the world is terrifying enough without sadistic queens and stepmothers in the mix I am definitely correct. Ill-informed assumptions aside though, the world of bad guys is a diverse one. Recently I saw Frozen and for a good percentage of the movie I didn’t think a villain would surface at all. For a while there Elsa was looking a little shifty, creating a huge ice-demon because she was feeling anti-social and all but no, BOOM! Biggest plot twist of the year, Anna’s new boy leans in for the kiss and then is all “hah,

fooled you. I don’t even love you”. This is, I think, the biggest dick move any Disney villain has ever made and it also hits annoyingly close to home for some, meaning that Hans is now the official frontman of a band of Disney villains known as the ‘just, like, total assholes’.

If we go back in time a wee bit more we can also see a glut of antagonists who were just super, super sassy. Granted, the ‘Lord of The Underworld’ title is pretty creepy and no one likes a guy who is mean to someone as spunky as Hercules. However, if I disregard those minor details I think Hades and me could be really good mates. He’s all witty and wisecracking with a distain for the hierarchy of the elite that I could definitely admire in a man. Scar also, even though he is in fact a lion and perhaps would be more accurately depicted with slightly less affinity for the English language, is totally fabulous. That badass cat oozes sarcasm and sass all over the show! “I’m gonna be king of Pride Rock!” “Oh goody…” –so sarcastic! “Long live the King” as he chucks his own brother over a cliff? Masterful! This eloquent feline even has a grasp on dramatic irony, telling Simba that his surprise is ‘to die for’ when both Scar and the audience know he’s about to try and wipe out Simba instead of giving him a really cool present! Wow! It’s evil, but perfect.

Classic Disney film also has the power to chill right to the bone however. Does anyone remember Maleficent or the evil queen from Snow White? Or better yet, that friggin’ stepmother from Cinderella?? Maybe the kids of the 30s and 50s were a lot more hardy than the kids, teenagers, young adults and basically every single human being around today because that right there was the stuff of nightmares. Villains like these were not easy to relate to nor were they sassy-fabulous, they were just pure vindictive psychopaths with pointy features and pretty deep voices for women. I’m happy that I grew up with Scar, a bad-guy to aspire towards and quote the heck out of rather than those crazies who quite frankly still make me want to cry a tiny bit. And they were all women! Why were they all women? Could this be an investigation into anti-female sentiment in the mid-20th century waiting to happen?

I don’t know. But I do know that Disney has an evil psycho out there to suit (or traumatize) every single one of us and if you need a comforting thought to get you through the week I implore you, let it be that.

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NIFTY NEWS SIMON BRIDGES MISPLACES SOUTH ISLAND he felt was right. When asked if he would be standing down following this incident and his loss of Victoria Forest Park, Mr Bridges said he wouldn’t as he had nothing better to do with his time and didn’t want to get bored.

By Kieran Bennett Minister of Energy and Resources Simon Bridges has been forced to apologise yet again after misplacing the entirety of the South Island. Mr Bridges gave a lengthy and flowery apology to the assembled press for losing the South Island after promising it to foreign oil barons. He attempted to defend himself by saying the South Island was “super hard to locate” and that he was only doing what

Mr Bridges capabilities were first brought into question after signing off a nuclear test in Victoria Forest Park and then confessing that he in fact had no idea where it was. “To be honest I just assumed it was a small island in the South Atlantic”, was the minister’s defence in the face of outraged environmental groups. After a tour of the park Mr Bridges finally admitted that perhaps he had got it wrong and that bathing the West Coast in nuclear fire was not the best of ideas. After several calls for his resignation, Prime Minister John Key publically gave Bridges a flick round the ear and told everyone to “just kind of move past it”, and focus on scandal and gossip in the news. The public and assembled press at the time appeared to be satisfied by this explanation and began to wonder what Mr Key would have for dinner. The good mood was not to last however. Mr Bridges met with Chinese oil barons last week who expressed a heavy interest in

wanting to purchase a piece of New Zealand land. Mr Bridges confessed he didn’t know of any piece of the country that hadn’t been flogged of just yet but he was sure there was some kind of large landmass down south that no one was using. Mr Bridges mistake became apparent the moment the first drilling platform showed up of the west coast. When asked why he had sold the entirety of the South Island for oil drilling Mr Bridges countered by saying that it wasn’t the real South Island, just a cardboard cut-out. Our reporter pressed and said that the one million odd residents would say otherwise and Mr Bridges simply attested that they too were only cardboard and that the real South Island was somewhere else entirely. Mr Bridges then spent the rest of the press conference retracing his steps and looking in the same place over and over, trying to find the 58,000 sqkm landmass. Mr Bridges has yet to stand down or really face any kind of punishment for either of his blunders. Mr Key has remained largely neutral on the issue, saying that it was hardly his place as leader of the National Party and the cabinet to ensure his minsters knew the basic facts surrounding their jobs.

VISUAL ARTS STUDENTS' TIME TO SHINE By Mereama Matia Somewhere in a building on St Paul Street, thirty-four third year Visual Arts students are in various stages of stress and panic. The reason for this? Over the next five weeks the BVA Pilot Project shows are happening, and it’s kind of a big deal. The Pilot exhibitions are a platform for third year students to make their grand reveal to the art world, a bit of a “Mum look what I made!” but on a bigger scale. In groups of five or six, the students have to organize their own exhibition. Dates, opening times and location are already decided, but everything else is student run. Each group has to decide on a theme, title, advertising, lighting, food and drink. And pay for it. And make work to show. And then run the exhibition. And then write about it. These shows are an amazing opportunity for a whole lot of learning and a little bit of exposure, and you’re invited! All of the Pilot exhibitions are held at St Paul St Gallery Three. It’s on the corner of Symonds St and Mount St, so you don’t even have to walk very far to get there (if you’re in the city).

The openings are on the next five Wednesday evenings from 5.00pm to 6.30pm, but the gallery will also be open Thursdays and Fridays 10.00am to 5.00pm, and Saturdays 12.00pm to 4.00pm. PS: Pilot Projects are in no way affiliated with aeroplanes or actual pilots. PPS: Contrary to popular belief, budding young artists are not all depressed vegan borderline alcoholic raging feminists with bad personal hygiene and loose morals who wear clothes raided from granny’s closet. Some are. But not all. And not all at once. Visual Arts students may even share the same interests as you! Game of Thrones! Doctor Who! Harry Potter! Sherlock! Food! Marvel! Music! Memes! Cats! A strong dislike of Studylink! Coffee! Tea! Batman! Reddit! Bad movies! Fun! Again, not all. But some!


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ABOLISH THE MINIMUM WAGE

image source: https://www.flickr.com/photos/68751915@N05

By Jessie Song The never ending struggle between Labour and National over minimum wage is always amusing to watch, but since last semester my feminism article had me accused of ‘hating women’, I thought I might as well hop on the ‘hating poor people’ train too. The logic of minimum wage laws is such that people’s subjective preferences can be changed through government legislation. But declaring that the minimum wage should be X, doesn’t automatically change employers’ preferences to X. It’s similar to how the price of a good can’t go up Y amount without you re-evaluating whether you still want it or not. If it’s something at the margin of your value scale (i.e. something you barely would have bought before when it was cheaper) then the price increase will now “price you out” as a consumer.  You can demystify this by looking at employers and employees as buyers and sellers, respectively. The worker “sells” his labour for X. If the minimum he could sell his labour for by law were some arbitrarily high wage (think of the wage as a price), then the employer (the “buyer ” of labour services) would have to re-evaluate his business model. This means

that workers who were previously “at the margin” before the minimum wage law are now “priced out” and thus unemployed. This is why price floors (which is all a minimum wage actually is) tend to result in a surplus of workers (or an increase in unemployment) and a shortage of labour for employers. This is what commonly occurs when the dynamics of supply and demand are not allowed to help guide the market process.  When governments step in and interfere with delicate price signals (which indicate to entrepreneurs how much society subjectively values a good or service), the end result is economic incoordination. Employers are left with labour that is too expensive to sustain, which tends to result in downsizing. Workers are left either priced out of the market or working harder and longer to make up for the decrease in production brought on by the minimum wage law.  Trying to bend people’s subjective values to the whims of politicians usually results in unintended consequences that make our lives harder. Any decent economist will show you that raising minimum wage will only reduce employment among lowskilled workers, especially teenagers and young adults. University students who don’t require a ‘living

wage’ are being priced out of the market and denied the opportunity to earn disposable income and valuable work experience. By raising the minimum wage, they are robbed of those things as well as what it means to contribute their services to society. As young, unskilled workers, they don’t have much to offer employers compared to older, more experienced workers. Their low wage was one of the few things they could use to their advantage.  Without this experience, imagine how hard it would be for students to enter the market fresh out of high school or university, with no work experience and without the kind of discipline and communication skills only job experience could give you. You probably don’t need much imagination, since our minimum wage is already well inflated. Unpaid internships also help give similar advantages for young workers trying to enter the workforce. It is commonly observed that those who so ardently support minimum wage laws do not seem to take issue with internships. Perhaps they do not see the connection, but those that support internships do so for the same reason they support economic freedom applied to wages. Why is it that most people assume minimum wage laws are necessary while turning a blind eye to unpaid internships? 


Ironically, if minimum wage laws were eliminated, we would see more entry level paid positions replace unpaid internships. The reason for this is because today, internships are deemed legal by government while paid labour below an artificial price floor is considered illegal. 

Likewise, outsourcing is also a common result of overbearing regulations on entrepreneurs. Cheap labour has always been available to entrepreneurs. So why have we only seen a mass exodus of jobs within the past half century from the developed world to the third world? 

With fewer job choices available to workers due to government restrictions, employers can afford to be less competitive in terms of attracting employees. Since there is a surplus of labour, this means that workers must now have to compete for jobs they would normally have ignored. It gives employers more leverage despite the fact that proponents of such laws intended to benefit workers.

The answer is that wages alone are not the deciding factor for companies and do not tell us the whole story. It costs good money to outsource to less skilled and educated workers (who may not know the same language or speak it well), and go through inconveniences such as intercontinental coordination where more middlemen and higher administrative costs become necessary, and entrepreneurs become more distant from their operation. 

In addition to harming the poor, unskilled, and young, minimum wage laws have an all-around unpleasant effect on workers who remain employed. To make up for the shortage of labour, remaining workers must often work longer hours and perform more tasks than previously required, resulting in an ultimately undesirable and more stressful work environment. Due to this increase in employer leverage, unskilled workers are unlikely to find better options elsewhere and must tolerate jobs they used to consider intolerable.

Imagine if the minimum wage approached a number closer to that of more technical or skilled labour than unskilled labour. This would attract the more educated and skilled workers toward unskilled jobs. If you had the option of forgoing wages and studying hard for a few years at university to get an X per hour wage, or get close to that X per hour wage right out of high school to do unskilled labour, which would you choose?  Not only are those most in need of employment less likely to get the job due to an increase in labour competition, but the market has now reallocated workers who would have performed more socially valued and scarce skilled jobs in the future, to work unskilled labour that other, less educated workers could have done. This in turn means that the efforts and scarce resources that went into educating those skilled labourers who opted for unskilled jobs, is now wasted as well.  There is also something to be said about automation. Have you noticed the increase in self-checkout machines at supermarkets? The more expensive it is to acquire unskilled labour, the more likely entrepreneurs are to replace those jobs with automated technology. These machines may come with a higher upfront cost, but in the long run the numbers work against unskilled workers as long as they are bound by compulsory government laws. 

Not every job is meant to pay a “living wage” or ought to entitle people to a wage higher than what an employer would voluntarily offer. Whether it’s temporary or part-time work, internships, or jobs deemed “low paying,” marginal labour has a perfectly legitimate role in any healthy and free society. We shouldn’t let our own judgments on what is an “acceptable” wage negatively affect others who may not enjoy the advantages and options we have, and may be much more in need of a job that seems undesirable or unappealing to us. Far from helping the marginalized, those most in need of employment are the most negatively affected by minimum wage laws. Those of us who would like to support them can do so first by doing no further harm by leaving the minimum wage alone. We can also help by allowing them the freedom to decide for themselves what jobs are in their own best interest.

It should also be emphasised how much government interference affects not only the poor and unskilled, but society as a whole. Since everyone is a consumer, we are all deprived of enjoying goods and services for more accessible prices. This is a particularly striking blow to those who are poor and are faced with the continually rising costs of living that “well-intentioned” government meddling creates. The poor and unskilled simply do not benefit from minimum wage laws. In fact, the higher the increase in the minimum wage, the less likely the poor and unskilled are to benefit. 

Likewise, the small business owner who cannot afford to pay higher wages, automate, or outsource is also affected. This often results in bankruptcy for many small businesses. The end result is less competition and a more top-heavy market where big corporations enjoy the lion’s share of the market at the expense of smaller companies that could have competed and provided cheaper goods to consumers had they been allowed to sustain their low overhead business model.

There is also a more vulgar and xenophobic side to minimum wage laws. These laws have a distinct history across many countries as purposefully shutting out competition against foreigners in favour of granting domestic workers unfair advantages.  Why do all that when you could have a more educated, communicative, and skilled workforce conveniently located near you? Even if it costs marginally more to employ domestic workers, companies would still rather have the net advantages domestic labour gives them.  The workforce of a developed country is not at an inherent disadvantage to third world labour. But over the past few decades, more companies are choosing to outsource because increasing regulations are reaching the point where hiring domestic labour is no longer the best option. The very laws intended to help the working class, in fact, work against them and contribute to their involuntary unemployment. When you look beyond the obvious and examine the entirety of the situation, it is clear that the unseen consequences are by far a net drain on society. What most people do not see are the full extent of the consequences these laws bring upon the poor and unskilled. They never get to see the workers priced out of the market. This is why it is the role of the responsible social advocate to speak for those who go unnoticed, those who have no voice or political presence. I expect the same people who half ass skim read my feminism article to also send me hate mail for ‘supporting the rich’ however it should be clear by now that such laws do not affect the rich. The poor, the unskilled, the young are affected instead. 

All throughout the 20th century, we can find clear cases of minimum wage laws, and other protectionist policies, which were primarily intended to price immigrants out of the market. Examples include our darling neighbour, Australia (especially aimed against Asian immigrants), Apartheid era South Africa, and the Canadian province of British Columbia (especially aimed against Asian immigrants). There was no wellmeaning rhetoric here, only the cold, hard truth; minimum wage laws historically tend to disproportionately affect minority groups. As Milton Friedman once concisely explained, protectionist policies do protect us. That is to say, they protect the consumer against lower prices and more choices. And so goes the logic for minimum wage laws. Certain groups do benefit, be it incidentally or as a result of ulterior political motives (otherwise the policy wouldn’t have persisted this long). But the rest of us, especially those most in need of employment opportunities, are done a disservice by them. Raising the minimum wage to $18 an hour isn’t going to help “the poor”. It only helps politicians win the votes of people who believe it is moral for government to arbitrarily impoverish some people, in order to raise the income of others.

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image source: flickr.com/photos/tambako/

The EFFECTS OF ENERGY DRINKS by Joe Ding In my youth I squandered my days playing video games, and my nights were fuelled by energy drinks, as I desperately rushed to finish my undergrad assignments before the 9AM deadline the next day.  Now, as a PhD candidate researching the synergistic effect caffeine with sugar has on new fat production in volunteers with different caffeine phenotypes, and as a father to a one-year-old, I try to keep a healthier diet and schedule... Let me tell you a story. Our common ancestors, Caveman and Cavewoman were out hunting. Suddenly, a giant snake appeared. The caveman sprinted away but the cavewoman crushed the serpent's head with her club.  This is the earliest example of the fight or flight response. The man had a flight response and the woman the fight response.  Upon sensing danger in the form of a giant snake, their brains released signals to trigger increased levels of the powerful hormones: dopamine, adrenaline and cortisol.  Dopamine dilated the pupils of the woman’s eyes, allowing better vision and hand-eye coordination needed to wield the deadly club.  Adrenaline increased heart rate and blood sugar, increasing nutrients to the caveman's large gluteus, quadriceps, calves and hamstring muscles as he ran for his life.

Fast forward to the present day; imagine Johnny is cramming for an exam.  He feels a bit tired so he has an energy drink and feels energized. However, this is an unnatural response, caused by caffeine blocking adenosine. Adenosine is analogous to the body’s brake system, telling it to relax. Since there is no immediate danger such as a big snake to run away from, Johnny is left with an increased blood sugar level, since he is just using his laptop and not expending much energy.  Further, since caffeine reduces glucose uptake by skeletal muscles (the body's main glucose sink – in the form of glycogen) the elevated blood sugar level persists for a longer period of time. Half of cane sugar is fructose, which does not enter the muscle tissue but is metabolized by the liver. These factors may result in synergistically increased body fat (greater than the sum of their parts).  Caffeine and sugar both stimulate dopamine release.  This is similar to drugs of abuse such as cocaine.  Dopamine is responsible for feelings of excitement but is a fickle master, luring its victims with false promises but never satisfying enough.  A wise man once said everything is a poison; the right dose of a poison is a medicine.  Unfortunately the threshold for caffeine poisoning is low. Most people will only ever experience mild caffeine intoxication, but what are the consequences of this over a lifetime? Food Standards Australia New Zealand (FSANZ) recognizes that caffeine at 3 mg/kg bodyweight is over the adverse effect level. This level is achieved

by roughly two cans of cola for a 23 kg child or about a 700 mL jumbo sized energy drink can for an 80 kg adult. Adverse effect levels range from irritability, hallucinations, heart palpitations, paralysis and stroke. In cases of severe overdose there have been a few deaths. In an otherwise healthy individual, this would require ingesting a whole bottle of caffeine pills or 20 jumbo sized energy drinks. Under FSANZ Standard 2.6.4 (Formulated caffeinated drinks), caffeine must not exceed 320 mg/L, and the added caffeine content must be stated. Under standard 2.6.4, there must be a warning for young children, pregnant or lactating women and individuals sensitive to caffeine on the label of energy drinks. Interestingly, energy shots, energy pills or bodybuilding type supplements can get past standard 2.6.4 by marketing under the dietary supplement category. The lack of regulation in the dietary supplement area is a cause for concern, especially for young children. E.g. 100 tablets of 200 mg caffeine pills are available for $5.49 USD online with no age-limit restrictions. In my research at AUT, there is evidence that different people respond differently to caffeine with sugar; some may have synergistically healthier or less healthy responses, in terms of new fat production from sugar.  I guess my advice would be to drink energy drinks in moderation (once a week?) as part of a healthy diet and regular exercise.  Think about what you are putting into your body; is it really necessary and does it make you feel fulfilled in the long term? Sorry it may sound cliché, but at the end of the day you can do whatever you want!


educational speakers and resources to schools and interested groups. This is a business that believes when trade is conducted fairly, it has the greatest potential to lift the world’s poor out of poverty. Celebrating its 40th birthday last year, Trade Aid knows a successful business isn’t just measured by how much money it makes, but also takes into account the social and environmental costs of its business. With every decision they make, the question is asked “how will this affect our producers?”

FAIR TRADE – CAN YOU MAKE A DIFFERENCE? By Raewyn Lucich This year Fair Trade fortnight is focusing on fair trade people and the power of you. It is reminding us that we, as consumers have the power. By purchasing a product we are supporting the company who sold and manufactured that product. How much do you know about the products you purchase, and how the people in the increasingly long supply chain are treated? It becomes a rather daunting prospect when you think about all the products we buy. Our food, clothes, household items, cars… the list goes on. Realistically you can’t know about every product, but there are some businesses that are ensuring that they treat all the people involved in the production of their products, and the environment with respect & dignity. You can reward these businesses and make a difference by simply buying their products – that’s how easy it is. Fair trade has been around for over 40 years, but recently, with the rise of social media, and an

understanding of just how unfair and biased our trading rules and practices are, it has gained huge momentum. Still, people have found it confusing and don’t really understand what it is about. The general concept of fair trade is that the buyer pays a fair price to the farmer or producer for their products. Often included in this price is a social premium that is used by the producer groups for community based projects, like education, health and sanitation, or reinvested back into their business. In return the producer has to ensure that they act in an ethical way, for example no slave labour, no discrimination, ethical use of child labour and safe working and environmental practices. Six years ago, having spent a number of years travelling through developing countries, I decided it was time to give some of my time to an organisation that was really making a difference to communities living in poverty, and my journey found me at the doorstep of Trade Aid. Trade Aid is New Zealand’s leading fair trade organisation. It has 30 retail stores and a growing wholesale food business, as well as being a development agency, campaigner against unfair trading practices and an educator, offering

They believe that for fair trade to work effectively, there has to be a partnership. Trade Aid is one of only two New Zealand members of the World Fair Trade Organisation (WFTO) and is governed by their 10 principles. The WFTO principles not only govern the way the producers act, but also the way that Trade Aid, as the buyer acts. For example, to have the welfare of producers at the heart of their organisation’s behaviour, to implement fair trading practices such as advance payments, to build long term relationships, to be transparent in our business dealings and lastly to pay a fair price. A couple of years ago I spent some time with Meera Bhattarai, founder of Associated Craft Producers (ACP) in Nepal. ACP was set up to support low income craft producers, particularly women. Meera explained that while the additional income that the producers received from selling their products on the fair trade market had allowed them to send their children to school, get medical treatment when needed and generally improve their lives, fair trade was also about pride, dignity and empowerment. And this is where you come in. Fair Trade is simply thinking about the people behind the products that we buy, and understanding that with every dollar we spend we can make a difference, we can help to empower communities living in poverty. It doesn’t have to be burdensome, and you don’t have to save the world today. Your challenge for fair trade fortnight is to change one thing, whether it be that next present you buy or your next cup of coffee – you can make a difference. As Ghandi so aptly reminded us, “be the change you wish to see in the world.”

UPDATES

2014 AuSM Pool Competition The first heat is happening this Wednesday at Vesbar, 12pm. We still have two more heats to go before the final so it’s not too late to register! Email Kyle at kyle.richmond@aut.ac.nz to register and let him know which heat you would like to take part in! For more info: https://www.facebook.com/ausm1/events Here to Help The AuSM Advocacy service can help you with any troubles you may encounter during your time at AUT. Book an appointment with us on any campus through the Advocacy page on www.ausm.org.nz or email advocacy@aut.ac.nz It’s FREE and confidential! Get your game on Vesbar now have all your favourite games! Fancy a bit of Jenga between classes? How about showing off your vocab skills in scrabble? Or you could just keep it nice and easy with good ol’ Connect Four! Free to play!

17


JURASSIC PARK WORDFIND

ALANGRANT AMBER BREEDING CLEVERGIRL CLONING

Name:

CRICHTON DENNIS DRMALCOLM ELECTRICFENCE ELLIESATTLER

GENETICS GOLDBLUM ISLANUBLAR JURASSIC MOSQUITOES

PALEONTOLOGIST PREHISTORIC SAMNEILL TYRANNOSAURUS VELOCIRAPTOR

Email:

Circle all the words in the Jurassic Park Wordfind, tear this page out & pop it into the box on the side of the red debate stands, and you could win some super neat-o prizes! Tooooo easy! Winner will be notified by email. While you're at it, care to write us a lovenote, hatemail or even a suggestion? We'd love to hear it!

Anonymous? (If printed)


HARRY POTTER CROSSWORD

Across 2. Number of Weasley kids 3. Hagrid’s Mother 5. The Half Blood Prince 6. Location of Voldemort’s ring horcrux 7. Hufflepuff ghost 9. What Dumbledore entrusted to Ron 11. Luna’s Patronus

13. Where Harry first meets Malfoy 15. Dumbledore’s sister 16. Mrs Weasley’s affectionate nickname 18. Hermione’s parents are both ... 19. Hannah Abbott’s house 21. Transfiguration Professor 24. Candy shop 25. Number 12 ... Place 27. Three Broomsticks barmaid 28. Cedric Diggory’s killer

Down 1. Bewitched bodies 4. R.A.B 8. Buckbeak’s saviour 10. Voldemort’s former identity 12. Neville’s Grandmother 14. Harry’s boggart shape 17. Peeve’s only fear

20. Potter’s ancestors 21. Dark Mark incantation 22. Victor Krum’s school 23. Location of the first Harry Potter theme park 25. Omen of death 26. Shapeshifter

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by Matthew Cattin


Nothing says excessive first world consumer like cooking foods within foods. The world’s resources are rapidly running dry, millions are starving on the daily, and here us privileged folks are cooking up turduckenquas because, like, #yolo, I’m hungry lol. For those that don’t know, a turduckenqua is a culinary obscenity, a poultry inception; a quail, stuffed inside a chicken, stuffed inside a duck, stuffed inside a turkey. It’s completely unnecessary, extravagant and avaricious but hot damn I want to make one so badly that just typing the above description has me sweating beads of unsaturated fat. Oh how I wish I was a matturduckenqua… Maybe this desire taps into feral instincts from glorious hunter gatherer days when bringing home a selection of meats to cook inside one another would secure me the closest rug to the fire and a vast quantity of breeding partners. Or perhaps it’s my new age desire to creatively express the depth and layers of my unshackled mind in the form of a contemporary anarchistic dish. Point is, the concept of biting into a food within a food fills me with unbridled excitement. Here are a few ideas gifted to me by the glories of twistedsifter.com.

APPLE PIEPODS A mind-blowing plot twist on the classic apple pie recipe, this winter treat is a sure fire way to impress the socks off of just about anybody. It’s also a slightly healthier alternative since it cuts down on pastry so I’d recommend stockpiling your plate with ice cream and whipped cream to make up the difference. INGREDIENTS DOUGH LIDS (FOR 8 PIES) 1/2 cup flour 1/2 cup whole wheat flour 1/2 cup corn starch 1tbsp sugar 100g cold butter 1 egg 1/4 tsp salt 1/4 tsp baking powder

3. For each apple, you’ll need to cut off the top (the stalk end) about a quarter of the way down the apple. Then, using a sharp knife (under parental supervision of course) and a spoon, scoop out the insides of the apple. You’re essentially making an apple bowl here so you’ll want to be careful to keep it a consistent thickness. Take your time with this step and make sure you set aside the apple filling and lids because you’ll need them later. When finished, you may want to squeeze some lemon juice on the bowls to keep them from browning. That’s science, bitch. 4. Remember all that apple you scooped out in the last step? You’re going to want to cut that up now into little apple pieces and throw it all in a bowl. Add your cinnamon, flour, sugar and any other spices you’re in the mood for and give it a good mix. You can also add raisins at this step if you so desire but be warned, there are many strange people out there who don’t like raisins. I know… It’s confusing. 5. Re-fill your apple bowls with the apple filling and take a step back to admire your work and contemplate your own mastery. You’re making apple pies… In apples… You are awesome. 6. Using either your judgement or a similarly sized circle cutter, make your dough lids, one for each apple. They need to have a slightly larger circumference than the apples so now’s a good time to whip out your Pi equations. 7. Put a few little holes in each dough lid – this helps release vapour when them pies be cooking. Four or five holes will do, and you can make them with a straw or similar sized hole-making device. Don’t worry about moulding the lids to the shape of the apples either as gravity and heat will do the trick in the oven. 8. Bake at 180 degrees for about forty minutes, or until the dough is a brilliant gold and the apple bowls are soft and delicious. 9. Remove from the oven and marvel at your own genius. 10. Serve with whipped cream or ice cream (or both) and try not to judge your friends and family for the pleasure faces they pull when eating these masterpieces.

PIE FILLING For each medium apple you will need: 1 tbsp sugar 1/2 tbsp flour 1/4 tsp cinnamon  METHOD 1. Begin with the lids. Chuck all yo’ ingredients into a food processor and mix until it forms a dough ball. 2. Using a rolling pin, flatten the dough to an even thickness of about half a centimetre. Put the flattened dough on a tray and refrigerate while you make a start on the apples.

PORTOBELLO PIZZAS Everybody likes pizza. That is a given. So what could be greater than making delicious pizzas by using a staple topping ingredient as the base? Not a whole lot. This is the pinnacle of cooking. If you don’t like mushrooms, you could substitute them for eggplant or capsicum, but it probably wouldn’t work as well so just use mushrooms. Thanks.

INGREDIENTS 4 large portobello mushrooms 4 tomatoes 4 cloves of garlic 1 lemon 1 leek 1 onion Olive oil Salt & pepper METHOD 1. Chop up your veggies however you enjoy them chopped on your pizza. If that’s too ambiguous and you require more specifics in your recipes, just dice everything. 2. Splash some oil in a pan and get your garlic and onion going until it’s soft and lightly browned. You could even add a dash of salt and brown sugar at this stage to get them nice and flavoursome. You’re welcome. 3. Throw in the rest of the veggies and sauté the ingredients until everything is soft and cooked. Feel free to go wild with your mum’s spice cabinet, perhaps some Italian herbs or thyme could work a treat with a splash of sweet chili sauce if you’ve got it. Squeeze a table spoon of lemon juice in too, because any food can be enhanced by this wonder fruit. 4. Grease up a baking sheet with olive oil or butter. Pop your giant Portobello shrooms on, bottom side up and begin decorating. Put your delicious filling on top and sprinkle some grated cheese on those bad boys. 5. Put ‘em in the oven and bake for 10 minutes or so at 180 degrees. If you’re in the mood for fancy, garnish with parsley or anything green really; you’re already hella impressive. 6. Serve with red wine, candles and compliments. With any luck, you won’t need to worry about dessert. X.

A few more tips n’tricks. BAKED AVOCADO AND EGGS. If you’re a fan of fancy cooked breakfasts, take the stone out of an avocado, crack an egg in its place, and bake until cooked. You could also add some hollandaise sauce and smoked salmon for extra deliciousness. EGGS IN CAPSICUM RINGS. This is a nifty trick that works well in burgers. Cut your capsicum into rings, put them on a frying pan or BBQ and crack an egg in the middle. If you’ve made a straight cut, the egg will stay within the capsicum ring and you’ll end up with a gorgeous looking (and edible) egg ring, and adoring stares from everybody who sees it.

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IS THE CULTURE INDUSTRY ALIVE? By Julie Cleaver Have you ever watched a Hollywood movie and after the first ten minutes been able to foresee the entire plot line? All it took was a good looking guy to make extended eye contact with a beautiful girl and instantly you knew that they would eventually fall in love, have a problem, resolve the problem and then ride off into the sunset living happily ever after. Or have you turned the radio on and listened to a ‘brand new’ pop song which you have already heard a thousand times? The structure a generic arrangement of verses, bridges and the all-important chorus consisting of inspiring lyrics about partying and big bootys? ‘The Culture Industry’ is a theory that seeks to explain why all mainstream media has become the same standardised and meaningless crap. Though this theory was created in the 1950s, its fundamental concepts are still super relevant in today’s society. Theodore Adorno was a JewishGerman philosopher influential post World War II. With fascism on the rise in Europe, Adorno fled to the US where the great thinker completely expected a communist revolution to occur. It didn’t; instead he witnessed the rise of rapid hyper-capitalism. The Culture Industry is a theory Adorno created to illuminate why capitalism spread so infectiously across America and how this has affected the nature of western culture and living. Quick history lesson; during the 50s, America was reaping the financial rewards of winning war. Under President Eisenhower’s intelligent presidential reign, the country’s economy boomed. The adults of the 50s had lived through the horrors of the Great Depression in the 30s and war in the 40s, so basically, people were ready to spend. Nuclear families flocked to the suburbs and bought motor vehicles, televisions, appliances and other such luxuries. Once everyone had everything they already needed, companies made newer and better versions of pre-existing products and advertised them like crazy, perpetuating a general need to purchase more. People

bought goods, disposed of them when they became out of fashion and then bought more, thus giving birth to the consumer. All of a sudden, though America only constituted 6 per cent of the world’s population, they consumed one third of the goods and services. In an economy driven solely by money everything became for sale, including culture.

THE CULTURE INDUSTRY IS CORRUPTING ART AND STORYTELLING, TWO OF THE PUREST AND MOST FUNDAMENTAL FORMS OF HUMAN EXPRESSION. Adorno’s theory argued that art was becoming generic and user friendly in order to sell itself to the masses, and thus it essentially lost all meaning. Original or revolutionary ideas were altered in order to become marketable. An example of this is the film Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956). Originally a kickass piece commenting on the passionless ‘pod people’ of suburbanised America, the producers forced director Don Siegl to alter the ending so that it was hopeful and conclusive, diminishing the film of all revolutionary qualities. Or if any new ideas were successful and resonated with a large audience, they would too get standardised (copied and made the same), pseudo-individualized (altered slightly) and sold back to the masses as unoriginal genre products. Adorno

argued that pseudo-individualism gave people “the illusion of choice”, when really behind the marginally altered veneer the product’s core was essentially the same as every other thing of its kind. I’m sure you can see where I’m going with this in terms of how relevant these points are in today’s cultural climate… For example, a few years ago Twilight hit the theatres and became a huge box office success, the entire franchise grossing over $3.3 billion. Overnight, mainstream media was swarmed with almost the exact same sort of vampire eternal love shit (such as True Blood, The Vampire Diaries, Lesbian Vampire Killers and so on). Not saying that Twilight was innovative or anything, just pointing out how profitable ideas get copied, made into a standardised product and changed ever so slightly so that they can be sold back as ‘something new’. So although Adorno’s theory was created in the 50s, its relevance today is undeniable. Popular culture is more generic than ever, sticking to genres and formulas in order to ensure sales. The Culture Industry is corrupting art and storytelling, two of the purest and most fundamental forms of human expression. Art allows people to delve into the depths of their imaginations and express themselves with no limitations or intentions and thus through art the human consciousness is able to expand. Commercialising art gives it an objective and thus totally denies the entire essence of expression. Without the ability to share free unrestrained thought civilisation will not be able to grow as a whole. This is bad; however there is something you can do to escape the consumerist mentality, create! Get together with your mates and make some original music, rub your body in paint and hug a tree, think for yourself and create with no restrictions. If you want to take it further record your stuff and share it up on Flickr, YouTube, Soundcloud etc. By doing this you’re able to escape passive consumerism and become an active ‘prosumer’. Hopefully this sort of mindset will be perpetuated and sixty years from now Adorno’s theory will no longer be relevant.

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YOU CAN CALL ME QUEEN BEE by Laurien Barks When I was 13, I discovered that I had the talent that most young girls only ever dream of having: I could spell at an above average level. I don't know what's happened since then; maybe my spelling abilities were stunted, or maybe the pressure to perform became too much... All I know is that despite it being over seven years, I still spell at the level of an advanced 13-year-old. Not pathetic, but far less than impressive. That being said, at the time it WAS impressive, and it landed me all of the boys… At the beginning of grade seven (or year eight for all you ‘down under’ folk), we were all forced to take this surprise governmentordered spelling test, which would determine what grade level we could spell at. I don't want to get all braggy here, but I could totally spell at the level of an advanced 11th grader. I pretty much thought I was the bee’s knees. Well, that year just happened to be the first year that I had ever heard of the Canada-wide spelling bee. Coincidentally, my little backwoods, country school was planning on putting a representative forward to enter it. Obviously, I was all over it and signed up for the school's spelling bee immediately. I don't remember a whole lot of the school's bee, but I do know that it was incredibly short, and I won, which only boosted my enormous ego to incomprehensible heights. I took that enormous ego into the next round of the Spelling Bee eliminations (this time it was a written exam to determine the regional representatives) and again, I triumphed. I was officially in the top 40 out of 9000 and I was basically the coolest kid I knew. Looking back now, I would guess that about 8950 of those 9000 kids were either rebels forced to sign up as punishment, or illiterates who crayoned their name on the signup sheets because it had pretty colours on it. Either way, it was a statistic that I was proud to shout from atop the cow fences, and rub in my peers’ faces (I was a delightfully elegant little girl, I was). As is the case with all delusional high achievers in academically based extra-curricular activities, I became a hero. First a spelling champ, who knew what I would attempt next? Chess? Mathletics? The opportunities were endless. Quite honestly, I'm surprised that they didn't hold a pep rally in my honour. But they did the next best thing. I was made 'Cougar of the Month' (cougar was our school mascot) and got my picture and achievement glued to a piece of paper in the hallway of our school so that all 400 kids could casually glance in its general direction as they rushed to class. Oh yeah. I was freaking royalty. As the big regional spelling bee approached, I continued to love myself more and more every day. I got letters from the Mayor, I got a bunch of free stuff from the spelling bee company, and I got my picture in the newspaper alongside all of the other competitors. My dad told me that I should go study the massive word list that I was given, but my head was so full of pride that I confused the large size with brain mass and just assumed that I knew everything without studying. My refusal to study didn’t stop me from pretending that I was hardcore in front of an audience, though. I remember whipping a dictionary out on the bus and pretending to read it, while the young school children ooh’d and aww’d over my brilliance. This little stunt obviously continued to land me all of the boys.

On the day of the spelling bee, we were all assigned numbers, given a practice round, and informed of the rules. I have to say, hanging out backstage was my first exposure to the magically genius minds of Asian people. I had never known any people of an Asian heritage before that day, and boy oh boy, listening to a couple of them speak about their academic achievements was more than enough to snap me out of my 'Dayum girl, you're so smart' phase. I got incredibly nervous and disheartened because I knew, that while I was intelligent, I would never be Asian. I took my comparatively slow white girl brain up on that stage and waited until I was called to the mic. Not only had fate decided to point out that I was not, in fact, as brainy as I liked to think, the bastard decided to kick me while I was down. I went out on my first word. The word was 'fathom.' I used a 'ph' instead of an f. My spelling glory days came to an end as I cried in my mother's arms. Embarrassed and ashamed to show my face in school again. I was not a cougar! My mind did not reflect the cunning stealth of the majestic creature! I re-crowned myself, warthog of the month. While I have managed to recover a notable percentage of my spelling confidence in the last few years, there's still a little pang of shame whenever I think back to that day. I guess it's because, while I never expected to win, being eliminated on my first word was a reality far too difficult to phathom.

25


HOW TO MAKE A PRINGLES PINHOLE By Shannon-Mae Read If you don’t believe that a tiny pinhole can create an image, then give this simple design a go! This kind of camera is called a ‘camera obscura’ which is Latin for ‘dark chamber’.

YOU WILL NEED:

Clean Pringles can with lid •

Permanent marker •

Craft knife/scissors •

• •

Ruler

Thumbtack

Electrical tape/tinfoil Baking paper/wax paper

Step One: Draw a line around the can with the marker about 2 inches up from the bottom of the can. Cut along this line with the craft knife so that the can is in two pieces. Step Two: The shorter piece of the can has a metal bottom. With the thumbtack make a hole in the center of the metal. This is your pinhole (although it is slightly larger than what we have made previously). Step 3: We’re going to use the lid as the surface for the image to appear on. Because the lid is clear, you will need to cut a piece of baking paper slightly larger than the lid to act as the screen. Step 4: Put the plastic lid and baking paper on the small end of the can. Tape it down while making sure to keep the main part of the lid clear. Then tape the long end back on top. To keep this area light proof I have used electrical tape, but if you wrap the can twice in tinfoil and tape it down, it will also work.

How to use: Go outside on a sunny day, close one eye and hold the opening of the can to your open eye. Let your eye adjust to the low light and tah-dah! An image will appear inverted and upside down, but don’t be worried! This is just science stepping in. Helpful tips: • You will get the best results on a sunny day, this will not work at night! Avoid looking at direct sunlight. • When looking through, cup your hand around the opening to prevent light from coming into the can. • If you paint the inside black, it will prevent light from bouncing and make your image easier to see.


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HOROSCOPES.

cattin's kitchen

by Jess Forsman

Taurus (April 21-May 21) Having a healthy attitude to food is awesome. No one enjoys people loudly counting calories or describing how gross their thighs are. However loudly eating like a cow that hasn’t eaten in days inside a lecture theatre is never ok. Stop it. Gemini (May22-June21) This week you will want to strangle your other half, be it your twin or your lover. Either way it is murder. Question is, could you get away with it? Cancer (June 22-July23) Feel like you are walking in circles? You are. Try walking in a straight line to the bottle store you will get there eventually. Leo (July 24-Aug.23) Feeling a bit down? The stars understand; it’s autumn and rain isn’t good for your mane. Invest in ballad songs this week, really get your head banging, fist pumping moves on whilst singing to Meatloaf and Foreigner (if you don’t know these bands… Google them). Virgo (Aug.24-Sep.23) Your willingness to attempt to hibernate during lectures never ceases to astound everyone around you. The volume of your snoring alone is amazing.

MANDARIN SYRUP CAKE By Matthew Cattin

Libra (Sep.24-Oct.23) Balancing textbooks and coffee in each hand - sweet as. Balancing textbooks, coffee, taking a selfie and smacking straight into a door is funny to everyone else but you won’t laugh. Refrain from unnecessary crap, this includes selfies about you getting caught in the rain or #unilife. Scorpio (Oct.23-Nov) Nasty knickers are on this week. Lash out on your assignments, not your mum. She won’t cook you dinner if you do, and she will purposely cook your favourite too. Sagittarius (Nov.23-Dec.21) Bouncing off the walls this week, everything and anything is possible. 10km run? No problem, bench press 100? Easy, 1000 crunches? No worries. Slow down on the caffeine love. Capricorn (Dec.22-Jan.20 No one wants to hear about your love life in the cafeteria. We know he’s a sweet guy and he’s soooooo nice and he gives you chocolate and calls you every night, but ooh, wait, all of a sudden he’s not calling nor texting. Spoiler alert! He is married. Aquarius (Jan.21- Feb.19) Now is not the time to self-improve, no one will see your back hair, furry legs, armpits or faint moustache, ladies it is winter. Ain’t nobody got time. Let’s face it, you’d rather the extra hair to keep you warm at night than lying next to a man who snores. Pisces (Feb.20-March 20) Feeling like a fish out of water this week? In the sweet voice of Dory, “just keep swimming, just keep swimming”. Just stay in between the flags, you may drown. Aries (March21-April 20) Welcome back from the ‘roid rage’ of last week. This week you will be all cute and fluffy and smiley. Cheers ‘happy pills!’.

I LOVE CAKE •

4 mandarins (approx. 350g) – I’ve used oranges too and it’s all breezy. • 200g blanched ground almonds • 1 cup white sugar • 5 eggs • 1 tsp vanilla • 1 1/4 tsp baking powder • Syrup • Juice of 2 mandarins • 1/4 cup sugar

1. Place whole mandarins in a pot and cover with plenty of water. When I say whole mandarins, I mean whole mandarins, skins and all. It may seem weird but have trust in me and you will not be disappointed. Bring them to the boil and let them simmer for two hours. It may seem excessive but they need to be soft as. 2. When the mandarins are nearly finished on the boil, pre-heat the oven to 180C and grease and line a 21cm round spring form tin. 3. Cut mandarins in half and remove any pips – as fun as it is to see your friends spitting them out in disgust, we’ve got to keep standards high. Blitz the mandarins in a food processor until smooth. 4. Throw in all of the other ingredients and blitz until combined – yes, baking is that easy. 5. Pour into your pre-greased cake tin and bake for one hour at 180. Cover it with tinfoil half way through cooking. 6. Mix together your syrup now and pour it over the cake while it’s still warm. 7. Allow time to cool before removing it from the tin, it needs to firm up. 8. Enjoy! It’s gluten free (I think?) and works well with Greek yoghurt or cream. You’re welcome.


image source: flickr.com/photos/meratspain/

ONCE UPON A TIME IN MEXICO By Laurien Barks Before I tell this story, I would just like to say there is no way in hell it would get the stamp of approval from my family. My mother and father would not be impressed if they knew I was offering this information up for publication, but I just couldn’t resist. Plus I know people will understand; everybody loses it sometimes, everybody has been pushed over the edge at some point in their lives. The only difference is that, when you've been raised by a drama queen and his wife, when you have a family freak out... it’s pretty effing hilarious. About six or seven years ago, we went to Mexico. We had rented an apartment and the vacation wasn't exactly of 'dream' status so far. We were about two weeks into a four week holiday, and luck just hadn't been on our side. We had arrived to a filthy apartment, and when we told the manager that there was broken glass and used band-aids stuck to the floor, he gave us a broom (I’m not joking) and said “good luck”. So after beginning our holiday with three hours of cleaning, things weren't exactly off to a great start. After two weeks of being lied to, cheated out of money on the streets, and coming home to noisy neighbours at night, Mexico wasn't really stealing our hearts. While we managed to turn it around and have a blast during the last few weeks, at that point in time we were feeling pretty discouraged and irritable. And thus explains the following actions. The apartment directly under ours had been rented by a group of four or five 20-year-old girls. They were the kind of girls who slept in til 4pm, then got ready to go out for the night. Stumbling back in at about 4am - loud, drunk, and determined to wake everyone in the building became regularity. We had complained to the manager, but as previously hinted, he wasn't the most helpful guy around. We (when I say we, I really mean my parents) tolerated this nonsense for a few nights,

but even the most patient couple in the world has a breaking point. The girls had slammed into the building at about 3am, stomped up the stairs, screaming all the way, and then marched into their apartment to start a drunken karaoke sesh. We were furious, but being decent human beings, we sent Dad down to politely speak with them. He did his usual firm but kind speech 'it's late, we have children, please be more considerate yada yada yada', but was met with an eloquently classy string of swear words, a door to his face, and a continuation of scream-singing Vanessa Carlton and The Corrs for another hour or so. Ohhh, HAIL NO! Little did they know, Dad was only the calm before the storm, the storm being my mother.

whispered, “then we'll do it again!” (I swear on my life, that I am not making this up... I was horrified and hilariously entertained all at once). Sure enough, in a half hour we did it again... We repeated this pattern a couple of times. The rest of our rampage included Dad stomping down the stairs to do a laundry run and my mum shouting down the hallway after him, "TED! YOU FORGOT THIS TOWEL!", more floor banging with various objects and Dad knocking on the girls' door and shouting “MORNING GIRLS, I'M HEADING OUT FOR COFFEE... CAN I GET YOU ANYTHING?” I love my family. I really do.

So after many sleepless nights courtesy of these girls, Mum finally decided to return the favour. I was awoken at 6:30am the next morning by my mother hunched over me, crazy in her eyes, saying, “turn on the radio as loud as you can...and the TV!” My brother and I groggily exchanged a 'what?' look and then watched in horror as my mum took out a mopping bucket, grabbed it with both hands and started banging it repeatedly against the floor as hard as she could. “MUM! WHAT ARE YOU DOING!” we cried in unison. "I don't sleep, they don't sleep”, she replied with an eerie calmness before continuing “now grab that brick and start banging the ground with it”.

You might be wondering if there were other occupants in the apartment building. There was one other couple. We heard from them. They were less than impressed but we did apologize to them and explain ourselves. That was really the turning point in our holiday. After that massive release of frustrated tension, we were, unsurprisingly, pretty chilled out and ready to have some fun. I don’t know why my parents are embarrassed by that occurrence. I think they taught their children some valuable lessons that day.

I remember sitting there in shock as I watched my poor sleep-deprived mother lash out. But then I saw my father slam the bathroom door over and over again and my brother turn the television on to full volume and I realized that I was not dreaming. My family was going nuts. Well, I wasn’t about to be left behind. I grabbed a broom, flipped it upside down and went to town banging the staff against the floor.

1) Don’t bottle up your feelings or you will eventually lose control and do something you regret.

And, folks, my mother's evil plan was not even complete yet. After about 5-10 minutes of constant noise, she forced us all to be silent for about a half hour. "Let them fall back asleep”, she

If I can manage to pass these lessons along to my children one day, with even a fraction of the flare that Mum and Dad used, I’ll be one proud lady.

2) Tolerance is key. Unless you’ve been tolerant for three days... Then you need to slap some sense into the mothereffer that is disrupting your life. 3) Revenge takes creativity.

29


different, so Body of Faith is not very Stage Two-esque, but we’re hoping that will be part of its appeal.

What was it about Body of Faith that caught your attention?

It’s beautifully written. The words lift off of the page before you even hand them over to the actors. It’s a collection of true stories, there’s nothing fictional about it. It tackles not one, but two of my favourite controversial topics; religion and sexuality - both so relevant to modern society. I especially enjoy the fact that no single religion or sexual orientation is preached or forced, this play is very much a stunning representation and glance into the lives of a community that is really just starting to be introduced to the world of modern theatre. The script really breaks the binary of what a lot of people perceive theatre to be. It’s a lot more abstract and artsy than what many of us are used to, but at the same time, it manages to reach a lot of people. I wanted to direct a play that was less about escapism, and more about appreciation, appreciation of people, of themes, and of the malleability of the word ‘art.’

How has it been working with such a non-traditional play?

I’ve absolutely loved the fact that Body of Faith is so non-traditional. I feel like it allows for a far broader spectrum of creativity and originality. We can really make the play our own without having to worry about how it will compare to other versions of itself, or people’s preconceptions. It’s so open to interpretation, and that’s pretty much every director’s dream. The fact that it’s a collection of stories rather than one big one is a big part of its genius, I think. The writing paired with the cast’s dedication has really turned it into a powerful piece of work. We get to see and be a part of several stories instead of just one, and it’s so skilfully written that the audience gets incredibly attached to a new character every three to five minutes. It’s such a cool experience!

Tell me a bit about the play’s style?

I would describe this piece as an ensemble piece, meaning that the cast of 18 has a part to play at all times. It’s a group effort. Whether they are vocalising a monologue, performing a group scene, being a piece of set, contorted into a weird stylized position to symbolize a theme, or dancing about, they are always present, and they are always storytelling. The word the drama geeks use is ‘Brechtian,’ but all that means is that we throw the idea of ‘becoming a character’ out the window, and instead tell a story by other means. Physical representation, song, dance, written words, anything goes!

How have you found working with what many would consider a risqué script?

I actually thought it would be a lot harder than it has been. I thought it would be awkward for me trying to show people how I wanted them to describe their fisting endeavours, or tweak their orgasm noises, but it really hasn’t been. I think I owe a lot of that to the hilarious cast - they’ve been so willing to just throw self-consciousness out the window and really give their all to the script.

Do you think audiences will be shocked?

Mmm maybe a little. I mean, we’re trying to warn everyone that this might not be the play to take your grandma to for her birthday. We’re doing our best to prepare everyone for the sexual themes and occasional curse. And I’ve also done my best to stay true to the script and not exploit the sexuality for shock factor. It’s not an explicit piece; it’s not about amplifying sex just for the sake of it. Every reference or abstract representation has a purpose and is a part of who a character is. It has a much deeper importance and place in the play than just a cheap thrill.

BODY OF FAITH Debate spins a yarn with Laurien Barks, director of Stage Two Production’s upcoming play Body of Faith, a compelling theatre event that explores the complex relationship between faith and sexuality. Body of Faith isn’t your standard theatre show – I mean it’s no Shakespeare or Tennessee Williams - where did you come across the script?

When I get bored, it’s a dangerous thing, because I don’t just think ‘maybe I’ll go for a walk’ or ‘I should watch a film.’ No, my thought process is more like ‘I know! I’ll direct a play!’ So, that’s pretty much what set me off on my search for Body of Faith: I needed a play to direct. I scoured the internet and libraries for something that would get me salivating with passionate inspiration, and as soon as I laid eyes on the mere five page sample of Body of Faith, I knew it was something that I had to show people. We’re taking a bit of a risk with Body of Faith this year, as past years’ productions have been quite traditional and well known plays that people come to see out of familiarity and fandom. We wanted to keep the club fresh and change things up by doing something incredibly

Is there a certain pressure that comes with portraying true stories?

Yes and no. You’re always going to feel a bit more conscious when it comes to telling another existing human being’s story. You want to be sensitive and as accurate to their experiences as possible. But at the same time, this is a play that was written to portray the idea of equality through the technique of ambiguity. It’s very much a ‘my story, their story, your story, our story,’ sort of piece. So the ownership of certain emotions and experiences becomes somewhat redundant in comparison to the effect and recognition of them.

What do you hope audiences will come away from Body of Faith with?

I hope that audiences will come away with deeper insight into both the themes of the play, as well as the physical artistic portrayal of it. It’s such a complex piece in terms of the issues it highlights. I think a lot of us tend to label certain controversies in a very simple ‘black and white’ way when we’re not directly involved with them. I hope Body of Faith offers a bit of colour to people’s insights and opinions when it comes to the LGBT+ community and the idea of a religious identity. I also hope that people can appreciate the way in which we have chosen to style the play in an artistic sense. We don’t see a lot of extremely non-naturalistic theatre, and even if people don’t understand all of the artistic choices, I hope that they can still appreciate the effectiveness of it. You can check out Body of Faith at the Musgrove Studio from May 28 – May 31. Tickets are available from www.maidment.auckland.ac.nz 31


REVIEWS

Do your strong opinions drive away your friends? Send us an email at mcattin@aut.ac.nz to contribute to our reviews section.

Transcendence Directed by Wally Pfister Starring Johnny Depp, Rebecca Hall, Paul Bettany

old idea to upload his consciousness onto a quantum computer system. With the aforementioned terrorist group R.I.F.T closing in however, Caster’s now digital consciousness is uploaded hurriedly online where it becomes something of an omniscient entity, everywhere and anywhere at once. I would have been happy had the film’s premise restrained itself at this point in the story; Caster’s consciousness is online, he’s able to operate and infiltrate any device connected to a modem and at this point, the audience is uncertain as to whether he is a light or dark presence. That shizz is scary and compelling enough as is. However, they take it a few steps further, introducing self-healing henchmen, self-repairing electronics and whole stack of other ridiculous, what-in-tarnation moments that made me sadly shake my head.

Reviewed by Matthew Cattin It’s always frustrating to see a decent film idea squandered by its own lofty ambitions and unfortunately, Johnny Depp’s latest (and third consecutive) film flop Transcendence plugs direct into this trap. Initial expectations were very high – I’m big on my scifi and judging by the early trailers, this seemed one of substance. However, upon release, the unfortunate film was slandered by critics and my excitement dwindled. I therefore took my seat in the cinema with rather low expectations, but open to be proven wrong. Transcendence starts strong. Depp plays the happily married scientist Will Caster, a front runner in the AI revolution and apparent nice guy whose life is cut tragically short when a radical terrorist attack gives him a death sentence in the form of radiation poisoning. With a month to live, his wife Evelyn (Rebecca Hall) convinces him and his bestie Max (Paul Bettany) it’d be a grand

The Other Woman Directed by Nick Cassavetes Starring: Cameron Diaz, Leslie Mann, Kate Upton

From there on, Transcendence is… Rather shit. A shame really since it definitely had potential to be a solid scifi flick. The performances are nothing special either. Johnny Depp is rather mechanical, even before he’s uploaded, and portrays none of the emotion I’d expect from somebody facing a premature and inevitable death. Morgan Freeman plays himself, again, to no great effect - I swear casting agencies just throw him in for habit’s sake these days… Rebecca Hall and Paul Bettany were decent, but nothing spectacular - this being, however, more likely the fault of direction than any shortcomings of their own. After a fairly slow (by blockbuster standards) beginning, I expected the film to tilt to the other extremity Hollywood so enjoys, unbelievable action, unlikely coincidences and uncanny saves (think Avengers). However, the film didn’t really give us much on that front either… After an hour of build-up, it supplied a spot of underwhelming action and a shitty ending to top it all off. Unimpressive to say the least. I don’t regret the two hours I spent on Transcendence; It was a rather thought provoking concept. But that doesn’t mean it was any good… It wasn’t.

warming if pulled off right and comedies with female leads I generally find funnier than ones with male leads. But this movie just takes years of genre fine tuning and throws it all away in two hours of plotless, unsatisfying screeching. Cameron Diaz is Carly, an apparently successful lawyer who falls in love with who she thinks is the perfect man. But when she pays a visit to his house she discovers that he has a wife, the easily stressed and uneven Kate played by Leslie Mann. After about an hour of yelling at each other, getting drunk, yelling at each other, getting drunk and yelling at each other, the two learn there is a third woman that cheater Mark is seeing, and after ambushing her on the beach as she randomly runs in slow motion, the three get drunk and yell at each other before deciding to get revenge on Mark with only 45 minutes left.

Reviewed by Ethan Sills Warning: if you enjoyed this movie, it is best you put the magazine down, walk away and don’t read on, as you aren’t going to like the next 400 words. All those with taste left? Good. I shall continue. This is perhaps the most dreadfully long, tediously uneventful movie I have watched all year. That is not because it is a female led rom-com, it is because it is an awful female led rom-com. Rom-coms can be hilarious and heart

I can sum up my feelings in one word: urrrrrrrgggggggghhhhhhhhh. I was hoping that it would be funny, or at least bad in a good way. Sadly, I wasted nearly two hours on this unfunny, boring, dumb excuse of a comedy. I don’t know when unintelligible screeching became funny, but this movie makes great use of that instead of dialogue, in the same way it uses dozens of musical montages to avoid telling its story. The people involved seem to think there is an empowering story here, but most of said empowerment is brushed over, Kate Upton’s character Amber is labelled ‘The Boobs’ and does nothing, and their final takedown is sped over with more drinking and three more montages. And laxative jokes, seriously? You would have thought our society had matured past those… Pure and simply, just do not watch this. I am sure some people will enjoy it (the elderly man in front of me was having a hoot while his wife was much less amused), and while Diaz and Mann manage to make their characters work, there are better movies in this genre to see instead and better things to spend your money on. Buy a knife and stab yourself in the ear drums instead – it will be a much more pleasant experience than enduring this.


The Amazing Spider Man 2 Directed by Marc Webb Starring: Andrew Garfield, Emma Stones, Jamie Foxx

ASM2 follows Peter Parker continuing his vigilante actions as Spider Man, the film opening with him in pursuit of a Russian mobster trying to steal plutonium. Life is not perfect though, as Peter’s relationship with Gwen Stacy is rocky and he is still wondering why his parents abandoned him as a child. To make things worse, childhood friend Harry Osborn has returned to replace his father as head of Oscorp, the source of most of Peter’s woes, while former devoted fan Max Dillon has mutated into the unstable Electro, making Peter’s life not quite so… amazing… (sorry for that). I was not a massive fan of the first film, largely because it rehashed the same storyline of the original trilogy. With this sequel though they are able to move away from setting things up and provide a different storyline. There are definitely some highlights, such as the impressive special effects and real life couple Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone bringing a genuine chemistry to Peter and Gwen’s relationship. The movie ends with a shocking twist I did not see coming, one that will shake up the future sequels.

Reviewed by Ethan Sills Love them or hate them, superhero movies are not going anywhere anytime soon, and as a result, there is no stopping their sequels whether necessary or not. We are getting a brand new Batman despite the dust having barely settled over The Dark Knight Rises shitstorm, and though the successful first trilogy is barely in its teens, Sony is continuing with its rebooted Spider Man franchise. The internet raged for months last year about Ben Affleck’s appointment as Batman, so Warner Bros is probably sighing with relief that ASM2 has come along and given comic book fans something else to complain about.

Philomena Directed by Stephen Frears Starring: Judi Dench, Steve Coogan, Sophie Kennedy Clark

However, the story is an awkward combination of a dozen different elements. We have a love story, an origin story and two (three if you count Paul Giamatti’s semi-cameo as The Rhino) villainous plots being juggled, and none of them fit together particularly well. It has the same issue as the first film where it feels as though a lot of scenes were cut (one highly repeated scene from the trailers is weirdly not in the movie), and it slowly chugs along for about 90 minutes before then rushing through the climax. I enjoyed this more than I expected, as the humour and action is enough to keep you going between some overly long and unintentionally awkward scenes, and die-hard fans will most likely enjoy the ride. But compared to most other super hero movies of recent years, AMS2 is a joke in comparison, and with two more Marvel properties gracing our screens this year, I’d save your money for one of them instead.

he learns about Philomena Lee, an elderly Irish woman who has revealed to her daughter that she had a son fifty years ago, but he was adopted out by the nuns who had taken her in. Appalled, Martin takes on the story and helps Philomena in the search for her son, which takes them to America as they slowly uncover the truth. This movie is heart-warming, plain and simple. Philomena is the grandma of movies; not exciting, but simply warm, pleasant and wholly delightful. Judi Dench is brilliant as the dotty but well intentioned Philomena, perfectly balancing a woman torn between anger and religion and playing the fish out of water solidly. I could forgive and understand if someone does not like this movie, but if you don’t love Judi Dench in this role (in fact, if you don’t love Judi Dench as a person) then I am sorry to tell you that you have no soul. Comic actor Coogan was the more restrained character here as the stuffy Martin. There was less room for him to develop but he was still an interesting character, and he and Dench were a fantastic odd couple.

Reviewed by Ethan Sills Oscar season had been and gone and we are well into the blockbuster season, so it would be fair if people are sick of hearing about those films nominated. However, with Mothers Day fresh in our minds, it seems like the perfect time to talk about the most pleasant and relaxing of this year’s nominees – the utterly charming Philomena. Steve ‘Alan Partridge’ Coogan stars as journalist Martin Sixsmith, who is in a mildly depressed state after being fired. Whilst discussing work at a party,

I guess the downside of biopics is that the screenwriters and directors cannot change what actually happened, even if a small alteration would have made for a nicer story. In this case, I personally would have liked to see the evil nuns receive some punishment for their actions – the conclusion feels a little anti-climatic as a result, but I think it would work well if you don’t have those expectations in mind. Philomena is not a movie that is going to generate a widespread fandom or anything (Philomaniacs, anyone?), but I think everyone will find something to love here. It is not a visual pleasure or director’s showcase; just a nice, straightforward and entertaining story, buoyed by the lead performances and its fine balance between subtle humour and emotional drama. If you haven’t done anything to celebrate Mother’s Day yet, then settle down with whoever the maternal figure is in your life, watch this and feel great and grateful about the relationship you have.

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Debate issue 9  

Issue 9 has arrived and it's looking rather dapper, thanks to our feature artist Amber Khoo. We also have stories about Evil Disney Villains...

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