Monday 30th Movember 2009 Volume 11 Issue 6 www.bathimpact.com
University of Bath student newspaper
Choose furry costumes. Choose freezing temperatures. Choose Rag Sleepout
Cage lights up Bath
HOLLYWOOD ACTOR Nicolas Cage was the star attraction in Bath on Thursday 26th November as he switched on the city’s Christmas lights in an event which attracted thousands. Cage’s appearance, which had attracted national attention, was accompanied by performances from local groups. The actor is said to have told organisers he wanted the evening to be about the people of Bath. Safety and security precautions were stepped up after sixty people were injured at a similar event in Birmingham, where boy band JLS were guests. Organisers had said the area around the stage on Milsom Street could only accommodate three thousand people, and that no more would be allowed in.
Campus’ straw house opened
JUMPING FOR JULIAN: Students take part in Rag’s Sleepout in aid of the homeless charity Julian House. News, page 2.
Prospects? What prospects? Bath bucks the trend, but 7% of our recent graduates are still out of work. James Hemson News Contributor GRADUATE UNEMPLOYMENT is at its highest level for twelve years and undergraduates have their work cut out competing for roles in their chosen sector, experts say. Architecture and construction graduates have been affected particularly badly, with the percentage of last summer’s graduates out of work at the start of this year nearly tripling from 2.9 per cent to 8.5 per cent, according to recent research from the Higher Education careers services unit. Some employers, such as BT, have pulled their graduate
recruitment plans entirely for their 2010 intake, but others are still seeking graduates, with internet security company Symantec among those recently revealing their hiring plans. Symantec has places for thirty nine graduates and thirteen interns this year. Yet figures from the University’s ‘Destinations of Leavers from Higher Education’ survey show that Bath graduates have been less affected by rising unemployment levels than students elsewhere in the UK. Seven per cent of Bath leavers in the 2007/08 academic year were recorded as unemployed, compared to eight per cent across all Higher Education Institutions
nationally. Bath also records a greater number of graduates continuing with studies than the national average – a total of thirty-one per cent at Bath take further education either alone or combined with employment after graduation, compared with twenty-five per cent nationally. Unemployment among Bath graduates has risen one per cent since the 2006/07 academic session. General unemployment among eighteen to twenty-four year olds nationally is currently far higher, at eighteen per cent. James Bywater, head psychologist at talent assessment company SHL, said job seekers are having to be
In impact this week... Fancy a mutton chop?:
Dance to the beat:
flexible about the types of work they are seeking: “Many companies have cut back on graduate recruitment, or even postponed their schemes altogether and this has led many students to widen their search and apply for roles they hadn’t originally considered because they can no longer afford to put all their eggs in one basket,” he said. But fresher students remain surprisingly positive. First year Accounting and Finance undergraduate Olly Griffiths told impact: “I feel sorry for this year’s graduates, but I am hopeful that by the time I graduate the economy will have picked up and I’ll be able to ride up on the next boom.”
‘GRAND DESIGNS’ presenter Kevin McCloud visited the University on Thursday 19th November to ofﬁcially open the ‘BaleHaus@Bath’, a house built of straw and hemp panels, as part of a research project to assess the performance of these low-carbon building materials. The house, which also hosted an open day for staff and students on Wednesday 25th November, is located next to the 25m swimming pool, opposite Marlborough Court. McCloud was shown around the ‘BaleHaus’ before ofﬁcially opening it in front of one hundred guests from the architectural and building sectors. The event was covered by BBC Radio 4, BBC Points West and several local radio stations.
Lazy layabout? Be on TV!
‘DEMANDING, HIGH maintenance or over privileged’ students are being sought to appear in a BBC3 television series. In an advertisement on the BathStudent. com web site, talent scouts appeal speciﬁcally for those who have ‘got a knack for getting your mum or dad to do pretty much anything you ask’, with a lack of experience of cooking, cleaning and household chores also being important ‘qualities’. According to the ad, the series will see seventeen to twenty-six year olds, who are used to relying on their parents emotionally, practically or financially, living ‘parent-free in a large London pad’. To apply or to nominate someone you know, e-mail beontv@monkeykingdom. com.
Monday 30th Movember 2009 IMPACT
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centre retail contest
Laurence Whitaker News Contributor SOCIAL ENTREPRENEURIAL group SIFE Bath have walked away winners of an ‘Apprentice’style business competition run by the Students’ Union. Ten teams took part in the contest to create a new business from scratch, setting up shop in Bath for a day. The SIFE team, who sold Krispy Kreme doughnuts, were declared the winners at a ceremony held in the Guildhall on Friday 20th November. The teams each had a start-up fund of two hundred pounds, expert advice from Bath’s own Nick and Margaret, and an empty shop on Lower Borough Walls to start them off. But ideas were diverse and ranged from Aptus Suits, from which the Lord Mayor is said to have bought a tie, to Winter Warmers, also known as The Bath Soup Company. Fusion transformed the shop into an Indian experience that offered a taste of southern Asia. They offered Indian teas and sweets gave visitors the opportunity to try out traditional head, back and neck massages. Siobain Hone, Student Enterprise Coordinator in the Students’ Union, said that after students overcame the “steep learning curve” involved in the creation of a new business, the experience became “a fantastic opportunity for students to try out their ambitions and play a part in Bath’s retail economy”. The competition stoked up interest in the local community,
STUDENTS AND SUPPORTERS: at the launch of the competition with the Lord Mayor, the Bath Chronicle and Vice-Chancellor Professor Glynis Breakwell visiting the shop. The ViceChancellor called in on SIFE’s own Krispy Kreme sellers. She praised the entrepreneurial spirit of the competitors, and “greatly admired their capacity for innovation and implementation”. SIFE team member Cat Stambouzou said the competition showcased the group’s “work in the community” and demonstrated “how our SIFE enterprise projects are creating economic opportunity for others”. She added: “It was a fantastic experience, and I think all the competitors took home something and enhanced their business skills.” The Vice Chancellor’s purchase of two boxes of doughnuts helped the winners along the way to achieving their £400 profit, selling over seven hundred doughnuts, and becoming only the second team over the ten days who had to restock their shop. The cash they raised will also go to the SIFE
fund, which supports economic opportunities for teams and students all over the world. Runners up Winter Warmers made £380 profit and, after receiving positive comments throughout the day, the team has decided to continue with the business. Mentor Gavin Eddy, from ForwardSpace, was so impressed by the team that he has offered them a start up loan and a free stall at St Catherine’s Artisan Market in Frome, on Sunday 29th November. Bath and North East Somerset Council supported the project as a way to encourage the entrepreneurial spirit in students. Leader of the Council, Cllr Francine Haeberling, said that it would “get students involved in the wider community”. SIFE’s work continues with ‘Strictly for Charity’, which will stage a variety of songs and dances many performed by the Universities performing arts societies, to raise funds for the group’s charitable work.
Bath Rag Sleepout and ‘nearly naked’ calendar Sam Foxman Deputy Sports Editor TWENTY STUDENTS slept on the Parade on Thursday night in the Rag Sleepout to raise awareness of homelessness and raise money for Julian House, a homeless shelter in Bath. Sponsored to brave the wind and rain, and with only cardboard boxes for protection, Bath Rag hopes to raise over £500 through this initiative. Despite adverse weather conditions, there was something of a carnival spirit amongst the participants. Dominos had generously provided them with free pizza and a number of societies provided entertainment early in the evening. Latin and Ballroom gave some dancing lessons, while
performances from BodySoc and Gravity Vomit, the University’s Juggling and Circus Skills Society added some colour to an otherwise dreary night. Weather forecasts had raised the possibility that the event might have to be called off, but circumstances were not so bad as might have been feared. Bath Rag and Student
Community Action have also produced a ‘nearly naked’ calendar with the support of BUMS. A wide variety of student groups have bared all for a good cause and the calendar which has been produced will almost certainly put a smile on your face, for a variety of reasons. The calendar is priced at £6 and has been described as ‘the perfect Christmas present for all the family’ - though perhaps not all of them. The calendar goes on sale on Friday 4th December at the launch party at Flirt! and will be available for purchase from the SU shop or can be pre-ordered online at www.bathrag.com/calendar. If you order the calendar from the website it will be available for collection from Monday 7th December.
IMPACT Monday 30th Movember 2009
Perverted Paris Our lovely correspondent Gina Reay reports on la vie en rose. LA CUISINE Française: Extortionate but Exquisite A few weeks ago, I was teaching a class about the delights (or lack of them) of English cuisine; this then led to a discussion on different types of gastronomy, Chinese, Italian, Thai. To ﬁnish the lesson I asked them, ‘if I gave you a hundred euros and the choice to go to ANY restaurant in the whole of Paris, what type of cuisine would you choose?’ To my surprise, 90% of them said French. Now we know the French are well known for being nationalists, proud of their culture and their country, but they weren’t kidding about the food. It is incredible and I will miss it profusely. The stereotype tells us that the Nouveau Cuisine French cooking is one big plate with one tiny mouthful of a helping in the middle. The reality is very different. The French restaurants in Paris cook like a grandparent would cook for their family. Everything is rich, heavy and mouth-watering. My favourite restaurant, by far, in Paris has to be a little bistro called Chez Paul at Bastille. Extortionate but exquisite; nothing beats good meat, good wine and good company and in a French restaurant, you know that’s what you’ll get. What also strikes me, is how eating here is such a big occasion. I’m used to the English way of grabbing a sandwich at my desk on
my lunch hour and spending the rest of the time browsing Facebook and BBC News – this is not the case in France. In my ofﬁce, each employee gets up to two hours to eat (yes two whole hours, it wasn’t a typo!) The canteen offers the choice of starters, main course, desert, salad, fruit, cheese, wine - you could have a seven course meal if you were really hungry! After eating, everyone will take a coffee and/or cigarette outside, before heading back to work. When I ﬁrst arrived I thought it was such a waste of time, but you begin to realise that it is the complete opposite. Satisﬁed workers = happy workers. Happy workers = better workers. Better workers = more money. If only the English government weren’t so tight! All things considered, however, it’s not the two hour lunch breaks that I’ll miss the most. Nor the steak and red wine at the stylish french restos... it’s the crêpes! Ofﬁcially the best UDM (Unnecessary Drunken Meal) ever invented. Borderline healthy, scrummier than cheesy chips with all the toppings under the sun, screw snails, for me, they’re the best French dish!
HOROSCOPE Madame Soufﬂé GREETINGS FROM the heavens my star children. I am Madame Soufﬂé and I will traverse the astral planes in order to guide you through the year. Fear not; for Madame Soufﬂe will guide you through the darkest patches, with her prophetic words making you a wiser and more resilient person. Capricorn (22 Dec-20 Jan): Being asked “Do you know why they call me big, tough, violent Dave?” is not a good opportunity for a ‘your mum’ joke. Aquarius (21 Jan-19 Feb): Hegel’s last words were “Only one man ever understood me. And he didn’t understand me.” It’s easy to see why. Pisces (20 Feb-20 March): Kiribati: Tarawa. Kyrgyzstan: Bishkek. I hope you’re taking notes, there’ll be a quiz later. Aries (21 March-20 April): There’s a ﬁne line between a prank and attempted murder, the subtleties of which presidential bodyguards tend not to appreciate. Taurus (21 April-21 May): I foresee bad luck for all who don’t believe in horoscopes, and worse luck for those who do. Gemini (22 May-21 June): There’s an important difference between an open bar and a swingers’ bar: about half an hour.
Celebrity News Watch
Virgo (23 Aug-21 Sep): If you spotted the Terry Pratchett reference in last week’s impact, you probably are Terry Pratchett; it was fairly obscure. Libra (22 Sep-22 Oct): This week’s theme: George Foreman Grills. Next week’s: Sugar Ray Leonard does your ironing. Scorpio (23 Oct-21 Nov): Don’t try to justify it as ‘thinking outside the box’; bestiality is just plain wrong. Sagittarius (22 Nov-21 Dec): See the prediction for Aries? Replace the word ‘anchovy’ with ‘minor head injury’, and that’s approximately what’ll happen to you.
Features Christmas Appeal
Anonymous contributor Felix reports on the weird world of the famous. Next issue, a guide to rabbit sex. THERE’S A winner and a loser in every celebrity split: Brad beat Jennifer, Paul beat Heather (moral victory), Kurt beat Courtney (dramatic end game). The latest winner is singer Rihanna, if you can call getting battered by her boyfriend a victory. But even a trip to the ER is good relative to where Chris Brown, the aforementioned Mr Romantic Boyfriend, now stands. Rihanna has courageously come forward and spilled the beans on Brown’s abuse in a TV interview. “He had no soul in his eyes,” she bleats. Is it cynical to point out that this bravery is oh-so coincidentally timed just ahead of Rihanna’s upcoming album release? No. What would be cynical, would be to attempt to predict future celebrity news stories based on what they’re ﬂogging: The seventh Harry Potter movie is due out, so we can expect something from either Daniel Radcliffe or Emma Watson, but probably not Rupert Grint; he’s the ginger comedy sidekick, with all the associated sex appeal that brings. Radcliffe has already got his bum out for the theatre and written some poems, but not yet been caught bonking anyone interesting. Emma
Watson is also duller than BBC 4, although Daily Star readers are avidly counting down the days until she turns 16. (She already has, but: Daily Star readers. Counting. Joke not required.) My money’s on Radcliffe having his ﬁrst celebrity girlfriend, possibly a co-star. Watson to get snapped drunk and leaving a club with her university mates is at 4 to 1. Attention-seeker extraordinaire Megan Fox will surely be promoting her new biography, Jennifer’s Body. This means a few interviews about her loving boyfriend and the possibility of a happy, stable marriage, followed by quickly plugging a ﬁlm where she seduces and murders everything she comes across (and having just written it, I’m not sure in which sense I mean “comes across”). How long since Katy Perry last pushed one of her turds into our collective earhole? Long enough for someone to write her a new album? A quick tell-all interview about her sex life is probably on the cards then. Possibly with rumours that Russell Brand is cheating on her, or gave her syphilis, or accidentally killed her with the suffocating lack of laughs in his standup routine.
CHRISTMAS? ALL about mince pies and getting presents, right? Wrong! “The Christmas Spirit”... oooh, the ghost of Christmas past, right? Wrong! Christmas and the Christmas spirit should all be about giving to others - love, money and, most importantly, time. This year, Student Community Action is going to bring the Christmas Spirit to you with the Student Christmas Appeal. Over the ﬁrst three weeks of December, SCA’s volunteers will be sharing the Christmas Spirit with students, animals and the wider community. Events will include the launch day and cake sale on the 1st of December, on Parade from 11-3, The Shoebox appeal, which will be running from 1st-11st Dec, and the Naked Calendar Launch party on the 4th! Get involved and support us this festive season! Got any questions or want to sign up? Email us on email@example.com with the “Event name” as the subject. See you all soon, love The SCA Committee
The Chronicles of Siânia EPISODE 3: In which I recommend you all have a couple for me.
Cancer (22 June-22 July): Though the stars don’t recommend you ask her out, what are they going to do about it? They’re miles away. Leo (23 Jul-22 Aug): Soon you’ll ﬁnd out how the pigs’ music works.
Sian Lewis Co-Features Editor firstname.lastname@example.org ON THURSDAY I experienced the awesomeness that is general anaesthetic. Man that is some good stuff. The SU shop should consider stocking up in order to help me through 9.15s - one hit and everything was happy and sparkly for a bit before I woke up with a mask and a nurses’s bosom in my face (sadly my operating theatre was really boring and not the chrome shiny number Dr House had lead me to believe I was entitled to. Bloody television). This exciting foray into various hospital drugs (I did, once I stopped drooling and could speak coherently, shout authoritively “Nurse! The morphine!” but none was forthcoming since I was not actually in pain. Damn.) has, however, had one downside - I can’t drink alcohol for a month. This has been a terrible wakeup call, because I now realise
I am an alcoholic. Only now. So many years wasted on coursework and sober conversation about politics when I could have been alone drinking myself into a stupor over Neighbours at eleven in the morning - possibly with a 5’o’clock shadow, blood-shot eyeballs and naked children crying in the kitchen. Now before all you tee-totalling decent people scream in horror at my praising of all things brewed, distilled or fermented, I would like to back up my winophilia. While I am perfectly adept at making friends and doing a bit of a dance without being under inﬂuence, there’s really nothing like drink for establishing lasting, meaningful bonds with people (from “I just love you maaaaaannnnn” through to carrying your best mate home while singing ‘The Wheels on the Bus’). Some of my favourite conversations ever have been while deﬁnitely in a merry state. From my exciting week as a mintyFresh reporter, I know now that despite the Student Union’s many valiant attempts to interest them in dog-walking, charity-working and generally being a good person and a credit to society, most students and deﬁnitely 99% of Bath’s fair freshers are only interested in getting off their heads, possibly stealing some road furniture with which to decorate
their kitchens and then passing out in their own vomit on the playing ﬁelds. It’s what you do when you’re young and your liver works. Again, I really don’t mean that anyone who abstains deserves to be force-fed absinthe with a hot spoon in order to appreciate the w0nder of inebriation, but without cider, for example, there would never have been that time when my unsuspecting friend drank tea made from a ﬂavoured condom, the episode in which anonymous people I may know walked round Oldfield Park naked at 3am just because, the carnage of every Roman Romp I’ve had the pleasure to attend, the various friendship-group incests that inevitably go on when everyone is hammered and of course, the many many drinking games that have made me laugh until I thought a hernia was imminent. Look at it this way - the fabulous summer festival of the Italian town of Marino, in which red wine issues like water from fountains for people to partake of, really wouldn’t be the same if you substituted Ribena. Don’t drink to the point where you pass out, okay? Don’t snort wine (not me, I swear) or do a chilli vodka shot in your eye (not the Ents editor). Don’t drink and drive. Don’t molest animals. But for the sake of hilarity, friendship and because I can’t, have a drink or two guilt-free.
30 Nov. - 13 Dec. www.BathStudent.com/entertainments
Mon.30th November Downtown @ PoNaNa 10pm - 2am Tues. 1st December World AIDS Rave 9pm - 2am Wed. 2nd December Score 9:30pm - 2am
Fri. 4th December Fetish ﬂirt! S.H.A.G 9:30pm - 3am
Sun. 6th December Everton Vs Tottenham 4pm (Premier League)
Club N ights
Sat. 5th December comeplay 10pm - 2am Sun. 6th December Elements of Laughter - Steve Hall 7:30pm - 10pm Mon. 7th December Downtown @ PoNaNa 10pm - 2am Wed. 9th December Score 9:30pm - 2am Thurs. 10th December Better Bus To Bristol 7pm - 3am The S Factor! Final 8pm - midnight Fri. 11th December ﬂirt! 999 9:30pm - 3am Sat. 12th December comeplay 10pm - 2am
Sat. 5th December Manchester City Vs Chelsea 5:30pm (Premier League)
Thurs. 3rd December Better Bus To Bristol 7pm - 3am The S Factor! Heat 4 8pm - midnight
Tues. 8th December Wolfsburg Vs Manchester United 7:45pm (Champions League) Wed. 9th December Liverpool Vs Fiorentina 7:45pm (Champions League) Sat. 12th December Stoke City Vs Wigan 12:45pm (Premier League) Manchester United Vs Aston Villa 5:30pm (Premier League) Sun. 13th December Liverpool Vs Arsenal 4pm (Premier League)
University of Bath Students’ Union
IMPACT Monday 30th Movember 2009
FOOD FOR THOUGHT: THE ∏ ISSUE
As we’ve decided to bore you on a fortnightly basis, we feel it is only appropriate that we introduce ourselves properly, namely with a photograph and disclaimer. DISCLAIMER: Following a conversation with our parents, during which the idea that we write a food column was ridiculed, it’s perhaps pertinent to point out that we have no culinary background, no formal restaurant reviewing qualiﬁcations and no chef’s hats. We do however like food. A lot.
Elinor Huggett and Charlotte McCulloch’s view
SPINACH PIE (Spanakopita)
AS A vegetarian (shock, horror), pies aren’t necessarily the ﬁrst port of call when it comes to preparing a nice dinner. However in keeping with this week’s theme, I decided to research pies. (This involved calling my mum and using an obscure and little known search engine that begins with ‘G’ and ends in ‘oogle’). I came across a recipe for Greek spinach-pie, which sounds delicious and I vaguely recall having had at some point in the distant past. It is also a very different type of pie to the ones we ate at The Raven. Note: if you do not like spinach, chances are, you won’t like this recipe. If, however, like the majority of male Bath students, you want muscles like Popeye, this could be your lucky day! Buy a kilo of spinach, wash and chop coarsely, then pop in a large frying-pan over medium heat with 2-3 tablespoons of oil. Wash up another pan from weeks gone by and heat 1 large onion and 4 spring onions, ﬁnely
chopped, in 1-2 tbsp Olive oil (Oyl?) for 5/6 minutes until soft. Then add the chopped spinach a handful at a time. Cook until the spinach is wilted. After 5 minutes or so you will notice the liquid being released (no dirty jokes please). As soon as this happens, increase the heat and stir frequently until the liquid is evaporated. This should take around 7-10 minutes. Once you have reached this stage, stir in 1/4 cup fresh dill and/ or chopped fresh parsley, according to taste. After two minutes take it off the heat and let it stand until cool enough to handle - this method also works with angry girlfriends - before squeezing it to remove the excess liquid and leave it. In a separate bowl, lightly beat 3-4 large eggs and add the cooked spinach mixture along with: 1/3 lb/ 250-350g drained, rinsed feta cheese crumbled, 5 tbsp of grated hard cheese/ ricotta, a pinch of grated/ground nutmeg, 1/2 tbsp salt and some black pepper. Boozy ingredients optional. Mix well. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Lightly brush a 9x13 inch square baking pan with melted butter. Lay 1 sheet of ﬁlo dough in prepared baking pan, and brush lightly with olive oil. Do the same again with another sheet and repeat process until
you have 4 layered sheets of oiled ﬁlo. The sheets will overlap the pan. Spread spinach and cheese mixture into pan and fold overhanging dough over ﬁlling. The spinach will release juices, so it may also be worth sticking a handful of rice around the pan. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, until golden brown. Cut into squares and serve while hot. Enjoy! INGREDIENTS • Cooking oil • 1 large onion, chopped • 4 spring onions, chopped • 2 cloves garlic, minced • 2 pounds spinach, rinsed and chopped • 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley • 2 eggs, lightly beaten • 1/2 cup ricotta cheese/ 5tbsp Grated hard cheese • 1 cup crumbled feta cheese • 8 sheets phyllo dough • 1/4 cup olive oil • If trying to impress Greek nationals, Ouzo is a must!
THE RAVEN - Review MANY AMONG you will have heard of the Raven: in the run up to my visit, I had heard so many good reports of it that I was virtually salivating by the time the hour arrived. After working
The secret diary of a
Elinor Huggett Features Contributor
Via Donna Jenkins and Anni Kasari’s naughty minds
ARE YOU finding it hard not to flutter off to sexual fantasyland whilst your hot lecturer is trying his best to teach you the secrets of international relations theory? Some of you might be brutally snapped out of your daydream by the realisation that the lecturer could, quite frankly, be your dad - whereas others are just drawn deeper into the bubble by the thought of having a scandalous affair with a man of authority. The Sexperts mingled in Happy Hour to ﬁnd out which of you are open for experimentation with the wrinkledevelopers or admit to being dirty cradle-snatchers. We were quite shocked by the results: it seems that one of you would even go as far as penetrating the Queen! She deﬁnitely tops the league of Britain’s
GILFs (for those of you who don’t know your basic sex abbreviations, Grandmother I’d Like to F***) “Without a question”, he says dead seriously, “you’ve got to do your duty for your country”. Others wouldn’t strive to be involved in such affairs: the general consensus was that age limits are hard to draw but your instinct should tell you that getting with anyone older than your parents is “just a bit weird”. For those of you that aren’t in possession of this kind of self control, fourth year Biology student Isabel gives her advice: “grey hair is the limit. Grey hair equals grey pubes!” (eww). To our absolute delight, we found out that most people would make an exception for George Clooney (personally, we’d rock this sugar daddy’s rocking chair anytime!): he even converts the most innocent of Bath’s ﬁrm-bottomed freshers: “I’d go for George”, says Jamie, 1st year Politics with IR student, to which his friend, architect Luke adds: ”I’d go for Jamie’s mum - she’s well ﬁt!”. Thankfully, it looks like upgrading is the key trend at Bath University as we failed to come across any kiddie ﬁddlers: good on you guys, let’s leave the young ‘uns
up an appetite at the gym, the blonde and I headed to Queen Street, where the legendary pub is situated. We went in, and were surprised to ﬁnd what appeared to be simply an old man’s pub selling real ale: we felt rather out of place. However, on using our eyes more successfully we noticed a sign for the dining room upstairs, and ascended to ﬁnd ourselves in a comfortable, warm room, with a low buzz of conversation. The atmosphere was relaxed and low-key, and the friendly barman informed us we could sit anywhere we wished, and return to the bar to order. The menu has only seven pies on it, and I believe is changed regularly. My fellow critic went for the ‘Heidi’: a concoction of goat’s cheese and butternut squash, among other things, while I couldn’t quite bring myself to have the ‘Porky Pie’, and so went for ‘Chicken of Aragon’ instead. We both opted for mashed potato (perhaps a futile attempt at healthy eating), and while Charlotte chose a Guinness-based gravy, it was my turn to be a bit girlier, with the red wine and thyme option. The pies arrived alarmingly quickly: I was not surprised when I later discovered they were microwaved before being crisped up in the oven. However, they were still very good. The veggie option was
apparently delicious, if a bit peppery, and Charlotte had to go to the bar for some water. I, on the other hand, like my pies like I like my men: the hotter the better! So I welcomed the chef’s freedom with the black pepper. The mash was amazing, perhaps even perfect, although I have to say there was a little too much for me! The two gravies were also very yummy: not overwhelmingly boozy, but with a good tang to them. We rounded the dinner off with sticky toffee pudding, which, although tasty, was probably not needed after such a huge main course, and we ended up feeling a little sick. All in all, I would say that the Raven is a great place: it does what it says on the tin, and is totally unpretentious with it, despite all its ingredients being locally sourced etc. The two waiters were both cheerful, the food was good, if a little expensive: each pie cost a princely £8.20. I would suggest it as a great place to chill out with friends, or warm up after a rugby match, but not so much to take a date.
The Bath Soup Company
SEXAHOLIC The Age Question: the teen or the Queen?
to their GCSEs and concentrate our energies on bedding those secretly gagging-for-it professionals! Calculate your socially acceptable sex age range: Your age ÷ 2 + 7 = youngest acceptable sexual partner Your age × 2 – 7 = oldest acceptable sexual partner
JAMIE’S MUM: A bored housewife
Single Seeking Single THIS YEAR it seems that there are a lot of ongoing matchmaking missions for single housemates. We are keen to put our Cupid expertise into practice and help you fulﬁl this task. Get in touch with us through Facebook (Bath Cupids) and we’ll get your mission on our Singles Database!
BATH SOUP Company is a new enterprise dreamed up by three recent graduates, who feel that there is a gap in the market for wholesome, home cooked soups. They teamed up with Heather England and Luke Tregidgo of Banter (the University of Bath Entrepreneurs Club) to enter the ‘Apprentice’ style student enterprise competition, in which they were given a £200 float and a day’s use of a shop in central Bath. The winner of the competition was simply the team who made the most money, and in the end the BSC came a very close second. When I received the invitation to go and taste their fares at the Banter shop, I jumped at the opportunity: I love soup, and was also intrigued to ﬁnd out more about the company. Jason, Will and Ed put their heads together and chose four soups for the Banter event: Carrot and Coriander, Spiced Parsnip, Leek and Potato, and Chicken. While Jason cooked those up, Ed baked brownies, lemon drizzle cake, flapjacks and shortbread. Sadly, the Spicy Parsnip proved too popular, and sold out before I arrived, but I was lucky enough to try the other three, as well as a couple of the cakes. My personal favourite was
the chicken soup: unlike the usual bland versions of this very traditional soup, there was a whole lot of ﬂavour, and the cream and fresh parsley it was garnished with ﬁnished it perfectly. The leek and potato soup was chunky and warming, and the carrot and coriander was pleasantly aromatic. I followed this hearty and healthy meal with a couple of the delicious cakes: the lemon drizzle cake was among the best I’ve ever tasted. Thanks to Ed’s mum for that recipe! The overall experience in the store was fantastic: softly lit by candles and fairy lights, the seating was in the form of hay bales and comfortable chairs, and live music was provided by a guitarist and a violinist. Everyone was friendly, and the staff wore farmer’s caps to add to the rustic atmosphere. I wiled away a lazy hour of relaxed conversation without even noticing it! In the long run, the team hopes to run a café in a city centre somewhere, selling their home cooked soups alongside a range of other foodstuffs. For the time being, they plan to start selling to us students: look out for a stall on campus soon so that you can try it for yourself! I chatted to them for a while after eating my soup, and found them to be really genuine, enthusiastic guys with a true passion for good food. Of course, that may have just been the glow arising from a full stomach...
Monday 30th Movember 2009 IMPACT
Cameron’s EU credibility crisis James Hemson Features Contributor HARRY HOUDINI created the art of escapology in the Nineteenth Century, managing to free himself from padlocks, straitjackets, and tanks full of water. Yet a modern counterpart of his has perfected the art, struggling free of a “cast iron” referendum in less than 24 hours and escaping from a gaggle of mudslinging opponents. David Cameron may be the spiritual successor of Houdini, but despite his escape from the British press during his “EU-turn”, and his dodgy allies in the EU, he may have damaged his reputation, credibility, and standing, on the continent. Cameron’s woes began after being accused by David Miliband of having allowed Michal Kaminski to become leader of his newly created European Conservative and Reformist Bloc (ECR). Kaminski has had a number of accusations levelled at him, including the claim that he is a neo-Nazi, a homophobe, and that he denies a massacre of Polish Jews during the war in Jedwabne. This, combined with the allegation that the ECR also contains Latvian fascists, has caused the US to ask whether Cameron is a viable option as Prime
Minister. Amid the Kaminski problems, the Lisbon treaty was ratiﬁed, causing a prompt Conservative U-turn on a Lisbon treaty referendum. The escape from media scrutiny and public opinion aside, the new promises made by David Cameron
to repatriate this and that power, to preserve British rights, and renegotiate the rebate, seemed like a lot of hot air, and will have made him no friends in Brussels. Most people have seen these Brussels-centric problems as a mere sideshow to real politics.
However, these two stories about Mr. Cameron may prove more troublesome for his party, if elected, and diminish Britain’s credibility in the EU. The accusation that Cameron is chummying up with weirdos in the European Parliament is not a new
one and has been a cross-bench dilemma. The Labour party have some MEPs in the Progressive Alliance of Socialists and Democrats bloc who have promoted 9/11 conspiracy and others still who have asked the Soviets for cash. However, it is the Conservatives’ move away from the European People’s Party and the big guns of France and Germany in favour of a weak and marginal group which is troubling. This move may put them in a position where they could be effectively ignored in Europe. Similarly the fuss over a referendum has reinforced the view of the British contingent as “habitually niggardly [and] arrogant”. Mr. Cameron’s talk of a new Sovereignty Act, to subject all future treaties to a vote, and calls for the repatriation of powers, may, in the words of French Minister Pierre Lellouche, end up “castrating” Britain’s position in Europe. It is undeniable that the EU cannot simply ignore Britain due to political mud-slinging and Mr. Cameron’s seemingly antiEuropean stance. However, this may knock Britain back in the EU and could even prove to be a dangerous move for a prospective Prime Minister.
SPOT THE DIFFERENCE: Harry Houdini and David Cameron are on a common mission
Political pickpockets gone wild Josie Cox Co-Features Editor email@example.com IN THE aftermath of last year’s ﬁnancial crisis, an increasing number of governments and corporations are hitting the headlines and being damned for forking out precious pennies for unnecessarily high salaries and bonuses. Now it’s time for icing on the cake: Josie Cox’s full coverage of the weird and wonderful details of the UK’s expense claim scandal. Tom Wise, the former UK Independence Party MEP, was this month jailed for two years for fraudulently claiming £39,000 of parliamentary expenses. Wise who may have paved the way for
QUACKING HOME: Island in the sun
six other MPs and peers currently facing criminal charges following investigations by Scotland Yard – may have come under immense ﬁre, but at least he channeled our dosh into something relatively predictable, which is more than you can say about his co-claimers. MP John Greenway claimed expenses for a 59 pence box of matches. Patrick McLoughlin spent taxpayers’ money on having a wasp’s nest removed and Christopher Fraser claimed more than £1,800 for the ﬁnest cherry laurel and red cedar trees for his garden. Michael Gove spent more than twenty pounds on mugs from the Tate Modern gift shop, while we unwillingly ﬁnanced a copy of Windows XP for
Dummies to help MP Kenneth Clarke become computer savvy. Both Keith Simpson and David Willetts spent a suspicious amount of taxpayers’ hard earnings on light bulbs, John Reid splashed out on an ice-cube tray, and then there was the infamous duck island. Lamps in the shape of elephants, horse manure, chocolate Santas, Ginger crinkle biscuits, jellied eels, toilet seats, a pair of Kenyan carpets, a toilet roll holder, and dog food. The list goes on. In the true sense of the saying that blood ﬂows thicker than water, families and loved ones have also managed to get their fair portion of the cake. Lord Tyler of Linkinhorne, a Liberal Democrat peer, used taxpayers’ money to pay the mortgage interest on his family-owned flat in Westminster before selling his share to his daughter a month after he quit as an MP. A Senior Conservative MP (aptly named Bill Cash) claimed more than £15,000 in taxpayer-funded expenses to pay his daughter rent for her London ﬂat, while MP Julie Kirkbride employed her sister as a secretary despite her living 125 miles away. Khalid Mahmood enjoyed nine nights with his girlfriend at a luxury London hotel, costing the taxpayer £175 a night. In a blog entry entitled ‘Overpaid, bullet-proof, and they don’t seem to care...’, British journalist Martin
CARRY ON: Courtesy of www.insitelawmagazine.com Tideswell reveals the uncanny parallels between the spending habits of topdog politicians and those he practiced as a kid while playing a board game called Go For Broke. He explains that the aim of the game, which echoes the aim politicians seem to be pursuing, is to fritter away enormous sums of money as quickly
as possible. “Although, if memory serves me correctly, giving a £65,000 golden handshake to the council’s chief executive for doing precisely nowt was not an option when I played,” Tideswell admits. Perhaps he never played the sequel.
IMPACT Monday 30th Movember 2009
Labour and Politics take on London Laura Craine Politics Society Chair AMAZING, AMUSING and at times astonishing; this is the best way to sum up the Labour and Politics societies’ trip to London! On Monday 9th November a cohort of twenty-five students braved the early hour of 5am to begin their journey to Westminster. After the initial small problem of not being able to find the coach, the trip was underway. Although the coach was under the competent control of Alan the driver, it must be said panic ensued when a member of the group was almost left behind at the services! On arriving in London, the first part of the day involved a tour of the Houses of Parliament. Of course, many people have done this before, however this time was made special by our 4ft tour guide, Stella, who had a fondness for the word “like” to the point she daren’t let a sentence go by without saying it at least three times. As if the trip could not get more surreal, Stella informed us her previous career had been as a Chief in the Navy! After an interesting tour of the Houses, we then proceeded to the next part of the trip. Thanks e n t ire l y t o He c t o r M a c k i e , a member of the Labour society at Bath University; we had been given the opportunity to go to Downing Street for a tour. For most of the students it was to be an exciting opportunity to see the heart of British politics, however for one Tory student who shall remain unnamed, his ulterior motives were discovered when security confiscated his pen-knife. With any potential assassination plans thwarted, we were allowed to continue on our way.
We then were faced with the Holy Grail for British politics students, the door of No.10. After entering we were informed our tour would be of No.11, as Gordon Brown was in the Cabinet room. Of course this was an incredible chance to look around, however the sight of Alastair Darling’s study failed to compete with that of Gordon Brown walking past the room we were all in! A brief moment of excitement ensued as students flocked en masse to the doorway, followed by the news we would now be able to look around No.10! This included the group sitting around the Cabinet table where the weekly Cabinet meetings are held, sitting in state rooms where the likes of Barack Obama have been entertained, and walking up the stairs where the classic Love Actually scene of Hugh Grant dancing to Girls Aloud occurs. The trip was rounded off by tea and biscuits in Alastair Darling’s board room, one last sighting of Brown hurrying away to catch a flight, and of course the classic photos of each student posing in front of the No.10 door. This was undoubtedly one of the best events that will be hosted by a society this year. It was a rare and awesome opportunity to look around somewhere most people have to look at through iron bars, and it is an experience no one will quickly forget. It is the aim of both the Labour and Politics Societies to create exciting events like these, so that anyone who is interested can learn more about politics and experience it firsthand. If you wish to participate in future events keep an eye on BathStudent.com, or email the respective Chairs.
Guardian Student Media Conference 2009:
A taste of the future Josie Cox Features Co-Editor firstname.lastname@example.org “MURDOCH IS admirable in some ways”: a sentence we never would’ve expected to hear from Guardian editor Alan Rusbridger, but then again there were many unexpected moments Sean Lightbown, Sian Lewis and I experienced at this year’s day-long Guardian Student Media Conference hosted in London last week. After a painfully early morning for some of us, and a not so early morning for those lucky enough to have friends living on Oxford Street, we found ourselves sitting coffee-infused in the front row of a giant lecture hall, a stone’s throw away from King’s Cross St. Pancras Station, hanging on every word of some of our personal gods of journalism. Rusbridger and Matt Wells - who heads up the Guardian’s audio department - kicked off the conference just after 10 am with an hour-long talkshow-style chat about the future of journalism, the power of Twitter and the importance of optimism in a dogeat-dog industry. Intermittent attacks on the Daily Mail kept the interactive audience of over 150 students from university publications all over the country on the edge of their seats. During a subsequent question round, Rusbridger proved to be calm and collected, even when asked about accusations of nepotism in the wake of his daughter’s appointment to an editorial position earlier this year. Still grinning at some of Rusbridger’s more quotable statements, like “I wish the BBC’s website would shrivel up and die,” we settled down for the next session running under the title ‘Making it in the Media’. Trust me, it’s easier said than done.
Panellists included deputy editor of the guardian Paul Johnson, economics writer Aditya Chakrabortty, Five News producer Natalie Wheelan and Guardian reporter Alexandra Topping - all eloquent, approachable and pure role-model material for any budding journalist. A personal highlight of the conference was an hour-long session with Guardian reporter Paul Lewis - the man behind the investigation into newspaper vendor Ian Tomlinson’s death during last April’s G20 protests in London. Using a range of documents and footage, Lewis explained in day-by-day detail how he came about getting the scoop of the year, for which he was presented a prestigious investigative reporting award. After the session I cornered Lewis and managed to persuade him to give impact an exclusive interview on the moral issues tied to investigative journalism and the
challenges of revealing tragic truths that nobody wants to believe (watch this space!). After a rocky start, and almost forgetting to switch on my dictaphone, the interview was in the box. A ﬁnal snapshot and I felt as smug as a pig in a mud bath. After a more than satisfying lunch - which was widely described among students as the “best meal I’ll get all week” - we bounced along to the keynote speech by the godfather of journalism and bestselling author of Flat Earth News, Nick Davies. Pacing around the stage, a very hyperactive Davies spoke about falsehood and distortion in the media, not mincing his words when it came to criticizing rivals in the industry: “Daily Mail editor Paul Dacre is a nasty man,” Davies proclaimed. “In the news room he uses the c-word so often that he has been given the nickname the Vagina Monologue,” he added. I don’t think there was a dry eye in the room by the time he ﬁnished. The afternoon brought more inspirational seminars, talks and a coffee break with Tanya Gold, and when the conference drew to a close shortly before 6pm we unanimously agreed that a job at the Guardian is the next best thing to reaching Nirvana. So what’s next? Lectures, essays, exams and lots and lots of application writing. Time to get back to the real world.
Putting the pieces back together again Alain de Bossart Features Contributor LAST SUNDAY the Observer published the results of a recent opinion poll which showed economic optimism to be at its highest level since 1997. “46 percent think the economy will improve over the next year, 28 percent believe it will stay the same, and only 23 percent think it will get worse,” the poll cited. In line with this rise in conﬁdence there was a surprisingly large swing towards Labour giving the government more than a glimmer of hope for the next election. But might this optimism be misplaced? Last December value added tax (VAT) was cut by 2.5 percent to encourage consumer spending. You
may be sceptical but the majority of economists maintain that this policy has worked to some extent. A year on, we have reached the end of this “VAT hiatus” and that 2.5 percent is about to be reinstated. “But I never paid 2.5 percent less for my cup of coffee!” I hear you exclaim. Correct. That’s because many high street stores – partly due to the costs of altering pricing information - never even reduced their prices in the ﬁrst place. Furthermore, this gave recession-worn proﬁt margins a shot in the arm, and no one should begrudge independent boutique stores, like those in Bath, for doing that. But now that VAT is being reinstated, might these very businesses be tempted to raise prices rather than suffer the hit to their margins? Particularly if it can
be hidden in the January sales prices? If this is the case, inﬂation may leap. Against a backdrop of higher than expected inﬂation already recorded in the last couple of months, this could put a spanner in the works of a fragile recovering economy. The temporary VAT cut has worked well to date, but the ramifications for the future are uncertain. With the Treasury’s Pre-Budget Report published on the 9th of December, the critical consideration should be the government’s agenda as it enacts policy in the coming months. With a May election looming, the government is likely to look to policies with the primary aim of improving economic optimism. The real longterm beneﬁts of any given policy will be secondary.
IMPACT Monday 30th Movember 2009
Bad sex in reality
Bad Sex in Fiction
Placement student Enoch K Grubwisser shares his experiences
Herod Laryngitis surveys the year’s best literary bonking
AS ANY discerning connoisseur knows, it’s hard to find a porn film with decent dialogue and a credible story. Countless times I’ve cringed at lines like “is that a complete collection of 19th Century Lithuanian stamps in your pocket, or do you have a huge and deformed penis?” and “put your fork in my cutlery drawer before I call Neighbourhood Watch”. The plots aren’t much better, usually involving library archivists who get inexplicably aroused by dusty pictures of Alan Turing, or bored anaesthetists initiating phone sex with the Speaking Clock. Because of this, many people turn to novels for their regular dose of imaginary sex, and are often disappointed to find that the literati do porn just as badly as the cliterati do literature. Every year, the Literary Review gives out the Bad Sex in Fiction award for most heinously bad rumpy; here’s impact’s pick of the nominees:
MUSSOLINI: “Your flesh has got me – from now on I’m a slave to your flesh.” Paul Theroux’s A Dead Hand takes the award for inappropriate use of religious themes: “‘She took my head in both hands and guided it downward, between her fragrant thighs. ‘Yoni puja – pray, pray at my portal... I did so, beseeching her with my mouth and tongue, my licking a primitive form of language in a simple prayer. It had always worked before, a language she had taught me herself, the warm muffled tongue.” The Jeffrey Dahmer Thanks but I’m Not Hungry award goes to Jonathan Littell for The Kindly Ones: “Leaning over the lunette, my own neck beneath the blade, I whispered to her: ‘I’m going to pull the lever, I’m going to let the blade drop.’ She begged me: ‘Please, f*** my pussy.’ – ‘No.’ I came suddenly, a jolt that emptied my head like a spoon scraping the inside of a soft-boiled egg.” The Explanandum-Phenomenon Pretentiousness Award goes
to John Banville for The Infinities; “They conduct there, on that white bed, under the rubied iron cross, a fair imitation of a passionate dalliance, a repeated toing and froing on the edge of a precipice beyond which can be glimpsed a dark-green distance in a reeking mist and something shining out at them, a pulsing point of light, peremptory and intense. His heart rattles in its cage, a vein beats at his temple like a slow tom-tom.”
BEEFHEART: “Making love to a vampire with a monkey on my knee, the moon poured hollow down my milky leg” The Spanish Inquisition Award for extended torture of an innocent metaphor goes to Amos Oz for Rhyming Life and Death: “Attentive to the very faintest of signals, like some piece of sonar equipment that can detect sounds in the deep imperceptible to the human ear, he registers the flow of tiny moans that rise from inside her as he continues to excite her, receiving and unconsciously classifying the fine nuances that differentiate one moan from another, in his skin rather than in his ears he feels the minute variations in her breathing, he feels the ripples in her skin, as though he has been transformed into a delicate seismograph that intercepts and instantly deciphers her body’s reactions, translating what he has discovered into skilful, precise navigation, anticipating and cautiously avoiding every sandbank, steering clear of each underwater reef, smoothing any roughness except that slow
NICK CAVE: “He slips his hands under her wasted buttocks and enters her like a fucking pile driver.” roughness that comes and goes and comes and turns and goes and comes and strokes and goes and makes her whole body quiver.” It’s Richard Milward’s Ten Storey Love Song, though, which wins impact’s vote, as well as the ‘Here Comes the Aeroplane’ award for most disturbingly infantile narration of sex: “Panting, Georgie starts rubbing her hands round Bobby’s biological erogenous zones, turning his trousers into a tent with lots of rude organs camping underneath. Bobby sucks all the freckles and moles off her chest, pulling the GD bib wheeeeeeeeeee over her head and flicking Georgie’s turquoise bra off her shoulders then kissing her tits... Then comes the enormous anticipation of someone putting their mitts on your cock and balls... after one or two tugs he moans ‘whoah’ then screams ‘whoah!’ and Georgie lets go giggling, then suddenly her face is all serious and Bobby pulls her polished pine legs apart and slithers a hand up her skirt where her fanny’s got a bit of five o’clock shadow like a pin cushion but her lips are nice and slippy, and he slides some lubricunt (sic) round and round, mixing clockwise with anticlockwise with figure 8 until Georgie’s shagging the air with pleasure bashing her feet about. Then, Bobby starts scrabbling frantically across the carpet for Mr Condom, sending five or six multicolour Durexes flying through the air, and he struggles getting the packet open and Georgie has to roll Mr Condom down Mr Penis for him and she has to help insert him into Mrs Vagina.”
SPINAL TAP: “Lick my love pump”
EVEN A blind pig finds the occasional truffle. Even the most inadequate of scientists makes the occasional discovery. My discovery was Judy, a particle physicist from the floor above. We bumped glasses by the linear accelerator; our nervous hands met over the throbbing LED display. “CAUTION! HIGHLY MAGNETIC!’ There was no need to speak. We each knew what the other was thinking. Her biohazard suit clung tightly to her smooth curves, drawing in the eye and keeping out the noxious gases. With firm yet soft hands - hands that had handled the erotic warmth of gamma sources - she reached up and tugged on my labcoat. “My office is lead-shielded. And lockable.” We tiptoed together through the chromium corridors, conscious of the
shirt, her questing tongue pushing apart my lips like a fiery volcano rising between tectonic plates. I pushed back, ripping off her suit in one fluid movement. Bernoulli would be turning in his grave. She turned too, turned to put her body on the desk and I needed no instruction, no thinking. We would do this, bonobo style. Besides, we were out of control, drawn forth inexorably, the slow crashing of two wildly-spinning galaxies, a tangle of spiral arms and black holes. A million years of stellar action compressed into three minutes. We burst together, twin supernovae, fragments of star falling about the room, in our eyes, in her hair. As we lay together, panting, on her desk, the periodic table caught my eye. Devoid of wall space, she had pinned hers to the ceiling, and next to it a curious diagram of the elementary particles, the leptons and mesons
CAUTION: bad sex in progress chemical spills. Her shoes were corroding in the acid; that would save me a few minutes. “It’s not much,” she said, as she waved a slender arm round her office, hitting the book-covered walls with her rough, slightly chewed, fingernails. Before I could say “It’ll do,” she was pressed against me. Her questing fingers were inside my
and... “Where’s the Higgs boson?” I asked. “There isn’t even a space for it.” “Just as well,” she said. “It’d be a waste of space if there was. It’s already been a waste of time and money, why waste space on it as well?” We will not be seeing each other again.
Corrections Even we get it wrong sometimes... I M PA C T W O U L D l i k e t o apologise to Everton manager David Moyes, who we incorrectly identified as the author of Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea. It was actually written by Jules Verne. We mistakenly referred to AT&T as a type of sandwich, containing aubergine, tomato and tofu. This is not the case; it is a telecoms company. In our article “Scientists definitively prove that impact is the greatest newspaper in the world”, we did not mean to convey the impression that scientists had definitively proved impact to be the world’s greatest newspaper, or indeed that any research had been
carried out on the topic, as none had. We apologise to anyone who was confused by this. A spelling error on page 7 of last issue led to Paul Daniels being described to as ‘a major-league arse-candle and clunge-fiend’; the text should have read ‘magician’. We apologise to Mr Daniels. An editorial error in our fourth issue led pictures to be attached to the wrong articles: our report on Roman Polanski’s arrest mistakenly featured a picture of an ice cream (strawberry). This was intended for our article on ‘how to entertain your kids’, which should definitely not have contained a picture of the ageing film director.
Monday 30th Movember 2009 IMPACT
A quick and dirty Professor Science guide to libel
Legal correspondent Tunisia Qwerty redeﬁnes ‘quick’ to mean ‘frightfully dull’ and ‘almost unreadable’ with a hint of ‘atrocious’. DO YOU want to stop people writing bad things about you? More importantly, are you loaded with cash? Then welcome to draconian Britain, where suing for libel is far cheaper and easier than not doing bad things in the first place. British libel laws are notoriously biased in favour of the accuser, so much so that ‘libel tourism’ exists: foreign companies will come to the UK to sue foreign writers for things published in a foreign country. This works as long as the defendant has some significant UK link, like a London office.
be jumped on. A recent high profile case was the British Chiropractic Association v. Simon Singh, writer. Singh wrote an article assiduously showing that chiropractors have been making healing claims which are not backed up and possibly even contradicted by medical studies. Which was all correct and above board. He lost the case however, because he used the word “bogus” to describe the chiropractors’ claims. The plaintiffs interpreted this as “with intent to deceive” rather than simply “false” and the judge agreed. Simon Singh was left £100,000 out of pocket
Il Dottore: In Goldﬁnger, Jill Masterson dies of suffocation when the eponymous villain covers all of her skin in gold. Would this actually be fatal? Jeffrey ‘Oddjob’ Dahmer No; you don’t breathe through your skin. However, being covered in gold could theoretically lead to death through severe heatstroke, though there are no documented cases.
anyone’s alive from outside. Why are “sexperts” always female? Can men be good at sex too? - Will Hung Having vigorously investigated your claim, I can conﬁrm that men can be good at sex too. I asked one such man, a Mr Konigsberg of New York, how he attained such expertise. He replied “I practice a lot when I’m alone” Prof: Do Vegans swallow? Anonymous Sub-editor They might do, but not if they’re allergic to it, which is actually a genuine medical complaint. It was investigated by French doctors who studied the post-coital symptoms of three women, and subjected their partners to “prick tests” (that’s really what they’re called); results are in the paper “Vulvar contact dermatitis due to seminal allergy: 3 cases”.
and silenced. (He continues to appeal.) ‘Without Malice’ is another grey area. Essentially, an article should be in the public interest rather than serving the author’s (or publisher’s) own vendetta. Since there are very few journalists around who are employed by the public, you can see how this may be a problem. In practice this means that an article attacking one individual, whom is not a public figure, is not okay: the public’s not interested. However, describing the unethical business practices of a company is fine. This may end up at the judge’s discretion. For example, it was (rightly) ruled that the Sun newspaper’s relentless hounding of a fairly obscure goalkeeper was not in the public interest and hence libellous. I should point out at this stage that I am merely churning out what I’ve picked up on the subject; don’t take my word for it if things get serious. (If things get serious, run.) Apologies if this painted rather a bleak picture; it’s absolutely true, you see.
Scare of the week “The food in a child’s lunchbox can contain as much sugar as ten doughnuts, research shows.” Yes; it can also contain a gun or a severed head; that’s the whole thing about a box, you can put pretty much whatever you want in there Did Fritzl not happen? award: banker Mark Lowe, for his suggestion ‘put your dog and your girlfriend in the boot of your car for an hour and then see who is happy to see you.’ He’s also been accused of bringing prostitutes to business meetings.
Headline of the week 2: “Police arrest man for not using Twitter” Headline of the week 3: “Taser gun used on 10-year-old girl who ‘refused to take shower’”
Puzzle corner This week Scott Thomas, from the ESML department. MR THOMAS’ latest book contains the fascinating revelation that “A general type or class of event is deﬁned....with a given set of speciﬁed characteristics. If a new example of this type of event is found... then what it means to explain any of these events in the social sciences is to deduce that the new event taking place is an instance of the general type of event...the integrity of the explanatory theory hinges on correctly specifying the general type or class of event and its speciﬁc characteristics”.
Pablo Escobar Entrepreneurship award: Four men have been arrested in Peru on suspicion that they killed people for their fat, which they sold to cosmetics ﬁrms, apparently for up to £36,000 a gallon.
Headline of the week: The Express’ “HERMAN VAN ROMPUY’S FIRST ACT WILL BE A PILLAGING TAX”. To be fair, it’s about time they legalised pillaging, and a tax is probably the best way to keep it under control.
Professor: why do you have to open the window blinds on a plane when taking off and landing? Is it something to do with the CIA? - Paranoid Pete There are two main reasons: ﬁrst, so you can tell the pilot if the engine catches ﬁre, secondly, if the plane crashes, rescuers can figure out if
FRITZL/NILSEN: as libel involves damaging someone’s reputation, you can pretty much say what you want about these guys.
This makes it very easy to forcibly silence the press and especially easy to silence bloggers. Even Impact, flagship of good reporting, has been handed legal threats and forced to hastily withdraw or rework articles. There are two legal principles which protect writers: Truth and Without Malice. If your article meets both of these conditions then you’re free to go, apart from the six figure cost of defending yourself which you may or may not be able to claw back from the plaintiff. Truth is a very Ronseal concept: your article is either factually correct or it isn’t. The problem with this is that, contrary to normal laws, the burden of proof rests on the defendant. For example, if you had claimed a faith healer had never magically cured people, you would have to prove this in court - something which is practically impossible to do definitively. Similarly, if you were to make a statement about someone’s dishonest intent then you would be unable to prove it. And beware: even the smallest implication may
THE LHC’S recently gone into action, and so everyone’s talking about the Higgs Boson, but what is it? It’s to do with the ‘Standard Model’ in physics. This is a set of theories which account for three of the four fundamental forces in nature: electromagnetism and the strong and weak interactions; it can’t yet explain gravity. Despite this, it’s very popular (hence the name), as all of the particles predicted by the model have been found, except the Higgs Boson. This is the one which is meant to account for mass, so is fairly important. Let’s hope it’s found before any more pigeon bombing missions take the Collider out of action again.
PERV OF the week: Sweaty old man Paul Dacre, whose paper, The Daily Mail, ran with the story of how “Students get wet and wild during annual foam fight at St Andrews University”.
As if this weren’t lucid enough, he includes a diagram (below)to help clarify things: Last week’s solution Congratulations to Ophelia Unchain, who helpfully explained that “the question ‘what is a fart?’ is really asking ‘what is the nature of the fartum-phenomenon’, and what defines it as separate and distinct from other members of the broader category of ‘excretumphenomenon’”.
Revolutionary discovery of the week: partially sighted drivers have more difﬁculty spotting pedestrians than fully sighted people. Quote of the week: A prostitute claimed “I’ve had sex with about a dozen MPs at different times, all of them Conservatives and all what I’d term upper-class...They’re rubbish in bed - all ﬁngers and fumbling. I ﬁnd them pretty distasteful. Funnily enough, since the expenses scandal broke I haven’t met any.” Truth in advertising award: “The greatest day of your life has arrived, because Singstar Take That is here” Photo of the week: this e-fit, released by Bolivian police. The man was eventually caught.
Monday 30th Movember 2009 IMPACT
Why people believe
Igbo Chunder investigates religion “EXTRAORDINARY CLAIMS require extraordinary proof”, as Carl Sagan put it. However, many people willingly devote vast portions of their lives to following religions, which tend to make vastly implausible claims without having a particularly substantial evidence base to back them up. Why are people so trusting? As always, science is there to rescue us from confusion with a few handy explanations. Thought Biases As a natural hunter, my cat will chase anything moving, assuming it’s alive; wasting an opportunity to eat is worse than frittering energy chasing inanimate projectiles. Similarly, the danger involved in assuming the nearby Burmese tiger is inanimate is far greater than that involved in trying to befriend a plank of wood (unless you try to befriend it with your face). Because evolution hates it when you get eaten, but doesn’t mind you having an imaginary friend, humans have evolved a “disposition to attribute agency - beliefs and desires and other mental states - to anything complicated that moves”. This, perhaps, is also why people worship God; we’re evolved to take Pascal’s Wager.
SIGMUND FREUD: Religion is an illusion and it derives its strength from the fact that it falls in with our instinctual desires. aviation. Thus, instead of accepting that they had no idea how the planes worked or where they came from, the tribes came up with a theory which made sense to them; cargo was sent by the gods, and to receive it, all they had to do was set up a runway and wooden control tower, and pray to the gods to send more. Like these tribes, the Greeks and the Romans weaved myths involving gods to explain aspects of nature they couldn’t understand, as, I believe, the current major religions have. Superstitious thinking
The need to explain An unfortunate by-product of the intelligence of the human race is a kind of arrogance which leads us to believe we can explain everything; indeed, we have a need to try to do so, and cannot be satisﬁed to say ‘I don’t know’. As Bertrand Russell put it, “Man is a credulous animal. He must believe something; in the absence of good grounds for belief, he will be satisﬁed with bad ones”. Many times during WWII soldiers stationed on remote islands came into contact with undiscovered tribes. These tribes, witnessing aeroplanes bringing cargo, did not understand it at all, being unaware of mechanical
In 1947, maverick psychologist BF Skinner put pigeons in boxes set up to release food at constant intervals. He found that when the ﬁrst piece of food was released, the bird would repeat whatever movement it had been making just before that, in order to try and extract more food, having assumed the movement was the cause of the food’s release. Skinner called this ‘superstition’, which is a revealing term, as many superstitions involve a delusion of control; people avoid black cats, walking under ladders or breaking mirrors, because they believe they can control their luck that way. This delusion is prevalent among humans, who not only must believe they understand things, but that they also can influence them by appealing to a higher power. As every religion yet discovered believes “that ritual can change the physical world”, it isn’t far-fetched to suggest that part of the popularity of religion stems from people’s desire to feel more in control of their own lives, and avoid accepting “how great a part of life is dependent on luck”, as “it’s scary to think so much is out of one’s control.” Social beneﬁts
WOODY ALLEN: “How can I believe in God when just last week I got my tongue caught in the roller of an electric typewriter?”
It’s easy to see how man’s natural obedience to authority evolved: people who disobeyed their parents’ instructions on the appropriate way to greet a brown bear soon died and people who failed to obey tribal
elders and social conventions may have been exiled from the group, or even put to death. The tendency to obey ﬁnds a good outlet in religion, which can demand a greater level of obedience than political leaders, because in religion it is actually true that “Big Brother is watching you” at all times. Religion thus fulﬁls a useful social function in promoting ethical behaviour, but also creates a sense of group unity, and encourages bonding, honesty, and other desirable traits. While religion promotes these things, it doesn’t need to, as they are hardwired into our minds by thousands of years of evolutionary
pressure. Perhaps it is more likely that these beliefs were developed by people as a way of rationalizing their natural moral impulsions. Save string Woody Allen’s Zelig is advised by his dying father that “life is a meaningless nightmare of suffering”; his only advice was “save string.” This isn’t very motivating, and it’s easy to see why recipients of the advice “be good and you’ll go to heaven” would be more successful, even if it turns out that belief was mistaken. Fundamentally, we are not evolved to seek truth; evolution does not recognise the thing we call truth. It favours those things, including mental states, which enhance survival at the expense of those which don’t whether or not those things are true or real is irrelevant.
FRIEDRICH NIETZSCHE: “The falseness of a judgement is not necessarily an objection to a judgment... The question is to what extent it is life-advancing, lifepreserving, species-preserving”
Why people really believe Fresher John Wesley argues that science can not only explain religion, but prove that it’s true. ONE OF my favourite facts is that male bonobos will settle disputes by, literally, clashing penises. Alternative resolution methods among these primates include homosexual submission. (Few people realise Katy Perry was actually making a profound primatological point in “I Kissed A Girl”. Kurt Cobain’s scientific masterpiece “Rape Me,” for which he lived among bonobos for a year, is similarly underappreciated.) This dick-duelling behaviour is the perfect visual expression of that moment at parties: you’re telling everyone your cool story, sounding
pretty ﬂy, then ‘That Guy’ pipes up. His story is like yours, but everything involved is bigger, or longer, or more embarrassingly premature. Where previously you were the centre of their solar system of attention, now you’re one half of binary suns. And he’s currently eclipsing you. So you tell another, more wild story, and it all goes down-event-horizon from there. But have you ever considered just how perfect a metaphor this is, how apt, how well designed? And designed is indeed the right word, for it’s impossible to believe that such a coincidence could happen
MUTTONCHOPS: they look good on any species.
by chance. How many random mutations would it take for two systems of member-measuring to evolve in parallel? What does nature know of irony and poetic expression? The answer, which scientists who’ve invested their lives in mistaken pursuit will deny, is that this is the work of an intelligence. One big enough to comprehend every atom of the universe and order them to create Ferraris, and wasabi, and Robert Mugabe. Despite years of study, scientists have been blind; a paper exists, explaining it all, with evidence and conclusions and calculated uncertainties: the Holy Bible. “It’s not peer-reviewed,” scientists will scoff. But, in fact, it is. Having stood up to millennia of criticism and testing and reinterpretations, the Bible is the most extensively peer-reviewed theory in history. “The results are not reproducible!” they’ll sneer. But it is. Because Jesus will return. And then what will they say?
Book Reviews Humanoid 100EH:3# looks at the best science books of the last few years. KATIE PRICE – Crystal: Jordan (Bsc, Dphil) takes us on a fascinating tour through the developing science of crystallography, which attempts to discover how atoms are arranged in solid structures. A surprising number of sex scenes. Jodie Marsh – Keeping it Real: The former model discusses the history of attempts to assess the authenticity of the Shroud of Turin, with a particular focus on the controversial 1988 carbon dating, which hinted that it may be from the Middle Ages.
Jade Goody – Catch a Falling Star: The renowned astronomer gives an insight into the profession, detailing its history and most famous practitioners; Copernicus, Patrick Moore, and Jonathan Cainer. Katie Price - Jordan: Pushed to the limit: Historian Katie Price (MA, Oxon) discusses tensions in the beleaguered Middle-Eastern country, from the destruction and chaos of Black September through to the 1994 Israel-Jordan peace treaty, when the nation was able to take a more active role in promoting peace.
KATIE PRICE: Busy promoting her latest scientiﬁc opus.
IMPACT Monday 30th Movember 2009
Style versus substance Kenny Cunniffe Comment Contributor CHARISMA BEFORE content, looks before personality and charm before talent. Are we becoming so obsessed with style that we’d rather have a Prime Minister who looks good in Speedos than one who has the knowledge and experience to implement good policies? We are all guilty of this. We all put cool before practical. Not convinced that you do? Here are a few examples.... First, perhaps you should admit that your favourite ﬂatmate is not the one who cleans the kitchen or makes you the most cups of tea, but rather it is the person with whom you go out the most. Similarly, I suggest that your favourite lecturer is not the one who is the best teacher, nor the one who is the most qualified or knowledgeable about their subject, but rather the lecturer who makes the most jokes, or the one who gives you a ten minute break instead of five in the middle of a two hour lecture. What better example of style over substance than the recent sham that is the X-Factor; for weeks the better singer has been strewn to the wayside whilst the betterlooking candidate, or the act about whom everyone is talking about, remains to ‘grace’ our screens for another week. The real issue of this article is the style versus substance of the main party leaders. Ask many unassuming people who they are going to vote for in the next general election and you certainly won’t get the name of the local candidate,
and you probably won’t even get the name of the political party, but rather, you will get the name of the leader. People assume that they are voting for Prime Minister in a general election, rather than a local candidate. This is of course not true. It is for this reason that in 2007 people were up in arms that Gordon Brown had taken office without a vote by the Labour Party, let alone with a vote by the general population. Yet this was completely legitimate; the electorate voted in the Labour Party in 2005, not Tony Blair, and if the Labour party supported Brown’s candidacy then he is rightly elected to be Prime Minister of this country. This still does not address the importance of style versus substance, it merely proves the unfair weighting given to personality
types in modern-day politics. I would suggest that it is the media (and mainly the tabloid media) which has allowed personality to so greatly overshadow policy in today’s politics. Newspapers like characters; preferably characters that can be summarised in as few words as possible. Sometimes, when they are stuck, they even assign character traits to a politician with minimal evidence. For example, during his reign as Chancellor, Gordon Brown was portrayed as a prudent, dependable person, lacking in warmth or humour, but nonetheless good in a crisis. After he became PM, the media dropped this dependable tag, preferring to portray him as a bit of a buffoon; a sort of calamitous Frank Spencer character. Blair of course was always good with words, a real charmer, and this lead to the media favouring him over his successor
LOOK AT ME: Cameron shows that he’s jolly good fun to hang out with.
SUBSTANCE?: Now who wouldn’t want to go out for a drink with him? despite his arguably worse track record. It is even said that off camera, Brown is in fact quite entertaining and charismatic, almost humorous according to some reports. Yet this does not fit well with the media portrait of him, and so is often unreported. David Cameron, on the other hand, has been in his position for four years and, to my knowledge, has diddly-squat in terms of substance. Yet he is an orator, and seems to have character, and so the newspapers are giving him quite an easy time. The Conservative Party in the past have gone for more ‘substantial’, if less likeable, leaders such as William Hague or Iain Duncan-Smith to no avail. So now they have chosen a leader with a more acceptable aura of personality and, if political pollsters are to be believed, this tactic will
reap dividends. Simply put, people would rather go for a drink with Tony Blair or David Cameron than Gordon Brown, but does this really make them more qualified to run the country? Yet I am as bad as anybody else. Despite being slightly right-ofcentre myself I would ﬁnd it very difﬁcult to vote for the Conservative party due to their reputation but also due to Cameron’s somewhat slimy personality. But the point I am trying to make is this: wouldnt it be nice if at a general election everyone was presented with manifestos void of any party labels or party leaders, meaning that people voted purely on policy? This is unlikely, and for now we will have to put up with hundreds of awful politicians appearing on TV trying to persuade us which of them would be best to share a pint with. I abstain.
For Dawkins’ sake, stop worrying
Contributor Elinor Huggett argues that scientiﬁc advances have rendered religion redundant. ALTHOUGH I identify myself as an atheist, and have very strong feelings on the issue of religion, I resent certain assumptions that are made about me in this context. No, I do not expect everyone to convert to my way of thinking: I just like the idea of people utilising their freedom of thought in this day and age to come to their own conclusions, rather than just accepting the dogma of a religious body. In this article, I do not intend to discuss philosophical arguments for or against the existence of a deity, but to discuss the social impact of religion today. I do not believe that there is a god, or for that matter any kind of deity. As a scientist, I cannot bring myself just to accept the truth as stated by someone else: maybe I don’t understand evolution to a very high level, but I believe it provides a far more sensible and
reasonable explanation than the idea the world was created six days. Similarly, the Big Bang theory seems much more logical to me than the existence of a deity: at this point I will mention but not delve into the well known argument of infinite regression - the question of where God came from, if He is the only thing that predates the Universe. More to the point, I find the concept of organised religion abhorrent. The idea of a group of people living according to a set of arbitrary rules thought up in centuries past, when society was very different and we were far less enlightened than we are today, seems to me ridiculous. The privilege afforded to members of religious orders is outdated and divisive, and the indoctrination of children by embedding a fear of hell-fire into
them is quite simply immoral. The question of morals brings me nicely to another point: the idea that we need religion in order to provide us with a moral code and regulate society. I personally live my life according to moral principles, rather than specific rules, which I believe is the more effective way. Rather than adhering to rules, I try to consider the feelings of those affected by my behaviour, the repercussions of my actions, and the consequences of my decisions, and cause as little harm as possible. Of course I fail in this frequently, but I hope no more so than the average religious believer. In days gone by, I appreciate that instilling a fear of a higher being may have been an effective deterrent from bad behaviour, but we no longer live in medieval times, and I think a moral code
for the sake of being good to one another is what we now need. These days, we have the means to discover culprits of crimes and punish them. In effect we can now ‘play God’ via CCTV, DNA testing and other technological advances, so the threat of the afterlife has been replaced by the probability of being caught, and as such is redundant. I mentioned the indoctrination of children in an earlier point: in any other context, the majority of enlightened people, when asked whether children should be encouraged to question what they are taught, or simply accept and believe it, would no doubt want the children to think for themselves. So why the contradiction when it comes to the sticky subject of religion? Why is religion afforded such a special place in today’s society?
It is now used as a very powerful political tool: an excuse for bloodshed, as well as a means of manipulating people’s thoughts and opinions. It is divisive, and frequently encourages homophobia, bigotry and racism, without which the world would be a much better place. Overall, I feel that religion is now redundant. Where there may have been a need for it in the past, scientific and technological advances have replaced it. Rather than one book, we have scores of books full of research into the questions religion used to provide answers to, and these are being added to constantly. Personally, I would far rather accept that we have yet to discover the whole truth, than be arrogant enough to presume that such a tiny, insignificant race as ours has found the answer.
Monday 30th Movember 2009 IMPACT
The nearly naked calendar is available for pre-order at: www.bathrag.com/calendar.
Thousands of people gather in the hope of catching a glimpse of Hollywood ďŹ lm star Nicolas Cage switching on Bathâ€™s Christmas lights last Thursday.
IMPACT Monday 30th Movember 2009
Guardian Student Media Conference: keynote speech by godfather of journalism Nick Davies.
Gravity Vomit entertain at the Rag sleepout 2009.
...another loyal reader.
Monday 30th Movember 2009 IMPACT
Apparently work can be fun!
Currently searching for a placement? Lucy Saunders takes time out from her busy schedule in Grenoble to urge you to be ambitious and look for something a bit different. Who knows what you could be doing this time next year? Lucy Saunders Comment Contributor IF SOMEONE told me last November that this time next year I would be sat in my French apartment in Grenoble with snow-dusted mountains outside my window and relaxing after a day of trying to make crystals I don’t think I would have believed them; things like that don’t happen to me. But here I am! Three whole months I’ve been here, and I feel like my feet haven’t touched the ground. I was all set for a ﬁrst month of being lonely and lost in a foreign country, but after the ﬁrst few days I was already in the pub, (an Irish one no less!) drinking with the locals and my newly acquired work friends. Of course, moving to a foreign country will never go totally smoothly, I had to get used to a whole new culture and deal with a nice array of problems in my first few weeks: the sink in my apartment sprung a leak, my shower was overﬂowing, the brakes on my bicycle snapped twice and then its lock was cut and the bike secured to it was stolen, whilst mine, being so undesirable, was left behind. So not a quiet ﬁrst few months but hey, it’s France, ç’est la vie! But it’s not all problems and missing
bikes! As the lovers of winter sports will know Grenoble is in an amazing location. I am surrounded by mountains, and I love it. I have already been up to the mountains three times, the first in sunny September when I arrived for the best introduction to Grenoble and its surroundings, the second after copious amounts of wine and during my ﬁrst work conference (this one turned out to be not such a good idea) and the most recent visit during which I saw my ﬁrst snow since being here and ended up stuck in a storm on the side of a mountain. I’m also starting to learn the lingo whilst I’m out here and am aiming to be ﬂuent by the end of the year with no Franglais in sight! The nightlife isn’t bad either. It’s deﬁnitely not Bath, although there are several Irish pubs and it has its very own Subway, the Grenoble version however, is a very ‘studenty’ bar, with a random toilet that plays you music and Jedi cocktails ‘selon humeur de barman’. What Bath doesn’t have is a classy London pub, full of international students and Giraffe sized beers, or the pirate pub ‘Barbarous’ where you’d be worried if you didn’t see the bar on ﬁre every ﬁve minutes. And ﬁnally the reason I’m here, which I haven’t really mentioned
so far, but of course is the most important thing about my year. I am on a chemistry placement working at the ESRF, a synchrotron radiation source used to study all types of materials at the atomic level. I not only love being in Grenoble but am also really enjoying my work. The company is so friendly and so international, it’s brilliant! But I could have so easily not been here. This time last year I was going through the application process as I’m sure many people at Bath are at this very moment, and it was hard work, stressful and I was really starting to wonder if it was worth it. I’d applied to many of the big pharmaceutical companies and had not heard back from them when others around me were already getting interviews or being offered placements. Plus I wasn’t even sure I wanted to be spending a year working in a lab somewhere. And then I received an email about a placement at the ESRF in France. I hadn’t covered the work in lectures so didn’t know much about it, but, while walking home from a Snowsports social, I randomly met someone who had done this exact placement (obviously she was dressed as a sheep and I as a boat). That someone got the idea implanted in my head and before
I knew it I was sending off my application. Sometimes you just need another perspective and a bit of encouragement to make that spontaneous decision, because you could end up in a really amazing place. I know what it’s like trying to get a placement sorted, it can be all too easy to succumb to the pressure and just give in, going for the less stressful option which could go
either way. Of course you mustn’t be narrow minded, do something new and you could be pleasantly surprised. Most importantly: remember that you will have to work at the company you choose for a whole year, so if you do get offered something a bit different, go for it, because essentially it’s all about your experience. Be adventurous and look for placements abroad; so far I’ve loved mine.
A series of unfortunate events
This week our prematurely aged contributor rants about the nightmare of trying to get anywhere using public transport. I SHRUG off my fleecy slippers, drain the dregs of my tea, wrap a scarf tight round my neck, slip on a pair of gloves and shuffle out of the cosy comfort of my overheated flat into the cruel cold world outside. The wind bites my
neck and I wince thinking of the upcoming ordeal. Indefinite waiting for the bus (can’t they have one of those newfangled screens that gives you a funny view of time as the bus goes from being 5mins away
to 3mins to 5mins again) then twenty minutes squeezed onto a chewing-gum-covered seat having my ears assaulted by the drum and bass heavy metal pop punk Disney remix seeping out from around the ears of the slightly-too-cool-
to-be-human chap next to me. Meanwhile some naïve young and in love couple squeeze together so tightly that at first I mistake them for Siamese twins. Next it’s the infuriating battle with the sadistic ticket barriers, no more a kindly porter crisply punching my ticket and wishing me a safe journey, no, now I have to face the sidewinder from Space Invaders as it spits my ticket back at me and simultaneously clutches me in its rotating clasping jaws so I’m left waggling my arms hopelessly as a flicker of crimson rage reaches my cheeks. At last I’ve made it to the platform and it’s just a case of standing waiting for my inevitably delayed train. A wait filled with ever more exaggerated glances at my watch as I fret that I’ll miss my connection before consoling myself that it will also be late. Then I spot the tracksuit-clad shaven-headed chav smoking on the platform. A debate of monumental proportions follows in my head; “That’s wrong, shameful, I shall be a pillar of society and go and reprimand him with strong words made powerful by my wise authority... no I can’t, he’s terrifying and cares nothing
for the rules of society or the lives of others, he’ll just spit in my face... but my god, my grandparents went to fight Hitler and I can’t even stop a chav smoking”. Then great relief fills me as the train arrives and frees me from the damning dilemma. A quick snooze then time for my connection. Display boards greet me with tiny flickering green print mocking me with unheard of place names and platform titles with more numbers and letters than the additives in a body builder’s “protein” shake. At last I suss it out and trek over to platform 13.6CD only to find out with two minutes to go that the train has been moved to DG367 wherever that may be. Panting, luggage spilling from my bags, scarf askew, comb-over out of place, I flop down into my seat only to have a blonde haired teenager pop bubblegum, look insolently down at me, point at her swollen belly and demand a seat for her and her gaggle of screaming kids. I wearily stand for her and let my heart sink as I wonder what the hell our country has come to... and I was in the bloody ‘quiet carriage’!
IMPACT Monday 30th Movember 2009
So why do people actually want to be Sabbs? Your VP Communications Ben Cole explains why he thinks it’s a good idea IT’S STARTING to get to that point in the year when people have to work out what they are doing next year. For some people the only option is to get a job; they are career driven, they want to get out into work and get on with their lives. I was in this situation this time last year. I had just finished a placement and wanted desperately to work from 9-5 and have my evenings and weekends back - all I wanted to do was start working. I was bored of my course and filling my spare time with extracurricular activities provided to me by the Students’ Union (you will have to forgive the shameless plug). I started to learn more about the Union and what it provided for students and it started to frustrate me that more people were not involved with Union activity. I decided to counteract this by trying to cover more of the activity via CTV, one of the student groups I had been most involved in at university. At least this way students could see more
of what was going on. This had a small effect on the people that I showed the videos to but was largely unsuccessful, the majority of people remained unaware of what was going on right under their noses. I took a business module in my final year which gave me the chance to meet new people, as well as learn some very ‘useful’ business terms. After talking to the new students I met it became apparent that I had done a lot more extracurricular activity in my four years here at the wonderful University of Bath than had most. I have been involved in Kickboxing, Skydiving, CTV, Gravity Vomit, URB as well as attending Show in a Week and working as part of the Freshers’ Week team. Not only had many not done any of these kinds of activities, they were not aware of them either. It was then that I first considered running for a Sabb position. It took me a long time to actually make the decision; I started talking
as a Sabbatical Officer, there is also a colossal amount of support as well. Students’ Unions have evolved from what they were to become financially stable organisations with professional staffing structures, explicit planning procedures and strong vision and drive. Even though the Sabbs are the public face of the Students’ Union, the Union would be nothing with out the amazing staff that power it and provide the consistency from year to year. They provide so much support and area specific expertise that any idea that is generated can be appropriately discussed and supported. I would recommend to anyone that I meet that they consider running for a Sabbatical position in the Students’ Union, and many of the people that I meet on a daily basis would back this up. If you have any questions about what I do or why it’s a good idea please come and talk to me. Do not panic, the elections are not until March, I just want to get people
considering it, it’s early days but is completely worth thinking about, it’s a fantastic year of your life and there are a few perks hidden beneath the work. It doesn’t matter if you have absolutely no idea how the Union works or haven’t been involved in any of the activity. If you have a passion to help others, want to be involved with representation, want to see change made or generally just want to be around to see how the Union develops then you should consider running for the post. It also does not matter what course you do, what year you are in, what type of study you do or where you are from, every student is eligible to run for Sabb. There are six positions up for grabs; each has a role specific to part of the Union. More information on each role can be found on BathStudent under the Your Union section. As always, each Sabb will be delighted to talk to you about their job and answer any questions that you have about the roles available.
Festival On The Hill
Free Prize Draw Come to our first open student forum HEY GUYS! This is the first year the Students’ Union has had to work under its new constitution after you approved the proposed governance changes last year. As we no longer have Union Council or Annual General Meetings, the best way we, as Sabbatical Officers, can give our membership (you – the students) a report on what we have been doing to improve the student experience, is through an open Student Forum. This is an integral part of the ‘transparency’ that we are continuously attempting to improve and these forums considered very important events in the Students’ Union’s timetable so I urge you to please find some time to join us! The first Student Forum is planned for 7th December in Elements from 13.15-14.05. Within this forum you can expect to see, firstly, a twenty -five minute report from all the Sabbatical
to the Sabb team at the time who were all brilliant, I spoke to my friends, my housemates, parents and my brother (he was a union officer at Nottingham). Obviously, I ran for Sabb and won, and I am so glad that I did! What sold it to me was the sheer amount of experience that is available at such a young age. There are so many doors that are opened for you as a Sabb, you meet so many people from an enormous range of experiences. You get to influence an organisation that has fourteen thousand members. As a Sabb you can directly affect the experience of fourteen thousand people and I am only twenty-three! Being a Sabbatical Officer is like nothing I can ever imagine. It is our vision and drive that moves the Union forward, our ideas and suggestions are put into action in such a quick time scale, it would not be possible in a corporate atmosphere. Although you get complete freedom
Officers in the form of a fun and colourful PowerPoint presentation. Then I will open the forum to all. This is an opportunity for you to ASK US ANYTHING! So, if you’re after more information on the current bus situation; or wondering how the plans are developing with the new Student Centre; or if you have any issues we can be spending more of our time attempt to fix; this is the place to say what you want to say! FREE – yes, I knew that would get your attention! For merely attending the discussion you will get given a free raffle ticket and be entered into the prize draw which we will pick out of a hat after the discussion on the day! Prizes include pairs of tickets to the penultimate and final Flirt! of the year (which are always sold out!) with a bottle of bubbly to share with your mates. Daniel O’Toole - SU President
DO YOU want to get involved in the fastest growing student festival in Bath? Do you want an opportunity to perform and share your talent? Want to play in multi-national sports matches? Looking for an opportunity to share your passion for global issues? Festival on the Hill is a student-run global event, hosted by the University of Bath Students’ Union. The Festival aims to be a celebration of the global mix of students present at the University of Bath and will bring together students from all cultures to celebrate the diversity of the student population at the University. Additionally, it will stimulate personal development and inspire a view based on acceptance and appreciation of the world’s mosaic of cultures. The Festival will also
highlight the importance of awareness of global issues that affect our world. Last year, over thirty societies were involved, performing, playing and “strutting their stuff”. We had all sorts of exciting performances on campus, ranging from break-dancing to barbershop singing, Thai dancing to Street Ball matches, Origami making to a Bulgarian photographic display …..This year, it’s YOUR opportunity to show case YOUR society, and we need your help to make it bigger and better! For more information about how you can get involved with Festival On The Hill come to the interest meetings. The first one is Tuesday 8th December at 5.15.pm - room 3E3.1 and the second is Wednesday 9th December at 12.15pm - room 3E3.8 More info at BathStudent.com
So what does sporting success mean to you? ONCE AGAIN, thank you to all who engaged with the Sabbs, SA Exec or on the BathStudent poll last week. It is fantastic to see so many of you making your voice heard and allowing us to represent your opinions on sport to the University. Next week will be our last engagement with you about sport this semester. We will be concentrating on the sporting success and reputation of the University of Bath and how much it means to you. Do you like being
associated with sport at Bath? Should the University be spending money on maintaining its success at BUCS or at supporting elite level athletes? How important is it that international athletes train at the University and international matches/events take place here? Please do engage with us again on these issues so that we know what you think and if that is not happening we can make a difference. James Christmas - VP Sport
Scarlett Seager VP Welfare and Diversity SUDiversity@bath.ac.uk
AFTER HAVING just completed a truly successful week of campaigning around the awareness of ‘Alcohol and Drugs’ our wonderful AWARE volunteers will be working hard once again in the first week of December, promoting our well-loved Safe Sex Week. Our four focus areas for this years campaign will be: contraception, Chlamydia Testing, STIs (Sexually Transmitted Infections) and World AIDS Day. This is always one of our most successful awareness campaigns of the year and you are certainly in for a treat this December. We have games and prizes, lots of useful information on sexual health, our infamous home-made plastic condom suits at the ready, an amazingly wellwritten and informative ‘Shag Mag’, and much much more! Our AWARE volunteers will also be at Flirt!, ready to answer any questions you might have. You might even be able to get your hands on some free condoms! As always, our volunteers will be dressed in their bright pink t-shirts, and are very friendly so please don’t hesitate to speak to any of them, myself, or our AWARE staff throughout the week. I hope you all enjoy the week!
Ann’s Christmas message SOOO... IT’S practically Christmas. Tomorrow we can open the ﬁrst door of our advent calendars to unleash the festive spirit of chocolate, mince pies, turkey, trees, carols and nice surprises. Yay! I am very excited for Christmas, but more importantly, I am excited for all the Christmas related arts society action before we get to December 25th. I know all of the arts societies have awesomely fun socials and festive drinking sessions planned, so I hope all goes well and everyone has lots of memorable good times. These next few weeks are busy for many of the arts societies, especially Backstage, for whom I think we should take a few seconds to appreciate all their hard work; in addition to the BUST and CH&OS events, in the next fortnight they also have the snowball and the BBC sports awards. Wow. Also, BUST are performing ‘Twelfth Night’ in the Arts Lecture Theatre, 7.30pm 9th-12th December. This show has an awesome cast and looks set to be amazing, so get yourself a ticket from the ICIA before they all sell out. Chaos have their fun-ﬁlled Christmas concert on Sunday 13th December at 7.30pm, also in the Arts Lecture Theatre which will feature Orchestra, GASP,
Choir, Alley Barbers and Concert Band, and will be a real treat for the start of the last week of term. GASP are also bringing joy to the town singing in various Christmas markets and the like, so say hi if you hear them around. In Arts Exec news, I am very pleased to say that the Arts Executive is now complete. I am pleased to introduce as the latest additions to the group Marcus Johns, aka David Hasseleasy from Casual Acquaintances, in Show in a Week and Alix Chadwell, an extremely valuable Backstager who helped make Show in a Week immense. Just to remind you as your Arts Treasurer we have the lovely and very sensible Grace Bramer keeping an eye on your ﬁnances as well as Bodysoc’s very own smiley Ana Rosemin and the awesome brains behind the Show in a Week ﬁnale Eve Elwell. Today (Monday 30th November) we have one of our executive meetings. The possibility of a combined arts societies social will be discussed as well as some publicity and room booking tips to make those processes a bit easier. If anyone has any comments and/or ideas on how to improve this then please email the exec at email@example.com. Also make sure you’re there for the next Arts General Meeting, Friday 4th December at 1.15-2.15, room to be arranged. It’s important to ﬁnd out what’s been going on and to discuss any issues the arts societies have. Also, if any arts society would like articles/interviews to go into this new super cool arts page in impact then please email the Arts impact Page Coordinator Marcus (maj27@bath. ac.uk) with your ideas/entries. Have fun and enjoy the start of advent. Festive love, Ann
Monday 30th Movember 2009 IMPACT
Conducting an interview
Your Arts Ofﬁcer Ann Howell gets chatting to Andrew Castle, Orchestra Manager for CH&OS. SO ANDREW, tell us what made you join the orchestra back in first year? Well, I had played the French Horn for quite a while back home and as I was in lots of different music groups there, I knew I wanted to carry on with it at Bath. How long have you been playing the horn? Eight or nine years now – it feels like a long time. I started learning it as a bit of a joke to be honest! I didn’t know what it actually looked like ‘till I turned up for my first lesson but once I started, I began to enjoy playing more and more and now I can’t imagine not playing it. How good do you have to be to join the orchestra? The orchestra is open to everyone. Some very popular parts may be auditioned like first violin but we won’t turn anyone away. When and where do the orchestra rehearse? We rehearse Monday nights from 7 until 9 in the Arts Barn. Which pieces have the orchestra got lined up to play in the future? We’ve got a few coming up
including Beethoven’s 8th Symphony and in second , quite a well known piece - Danse Bacchanale by Saint Saens - as well as a few others in the pipeline, maybe including a film score. Which events/concerts have the orchestra got lined up before Christmas? We’ve just had a concert actually, on 21st November, but we do have another one coming up on Sunday 13th December in the Arts Lecture Theatre. It’s a CH&OSwide concert featuring all our ensembles, including carols from the choirs and also an appearance by the Bath Spa Band, so it should be a great, Christmassy evening. What instruments do you have in the orchestra? Well ideally all the typical brass, wind and string instruments you can think of, although some are easier to find than others! At the moment we’re especially looking for violas, cellos and trombones, and a wicked percussionist, so if you play one of those then please come along and try out. Tell us about a crazy social episode! Well I can think of a few, including once where we started off going to Plug after a rehearsal and somehow ended up agreeing
to sleep in Level 1 of The Library! We also have more usual socials such as the CH&OS Christmas meal which is coming up soon.
What do you enjoy most about playing in the orchestra? For me, it’s the concerts that are the best – it’s the culmination of many weeks work and gives people the opportunity to showcase their talents as part of the orchestra. It’s a really good feeling when you know you’ve played well and it’s been a good concert.
If I want to play in the orchestra what do I do? Just turn up at one of our rehearsals and if you like it, and hopefully you will, then you can get CH&OS membership online through BathStudent.com. Once you’re a member just click sign up to the orchestra. Easy as that!
If I want to come to your concerts what do I do? Well, you can buy tickets from the ICIA box office and they may be sold on Parade in the week leading up to the concert. Otherwise just turn up at the door and enjoy. We play at various venues in and around the city, and on campus too. Prices are just £3 advance and £4 on the door so come along!
Arts societies calendar 5th December – Chamber Choir: Music for Advent & Christmas Venue: St Nicholas Church, Winsley Time: 7:30pm Tickets: £4 (Including glass of wine), Concessions/SU: £2 9th December – Chamber Choir: University of Bath Carol Service Venue: Bath Abbey Time: 7.30pm Tickets: Free 10th December – MusicSoc: Live Music and Jam Night Christmas Special Venue: Green Park Tavern Time: 8pm Tickets: Free 9th-12th December – BUST: Twelfth Night Venue: ALT Time: 7:30pm Tickets: £7, Concessions/SU: £5 13th December – Ch&OS: Christmas Concert Venue: ALT Time: 7:30pm Tickets: £3 in advance, £4 on door
CH&OS Christmas concert ON SUNDAY 13th December at 7.30pm, the Choral and Orchestral Society are holding a Christmas Concert in the Arts Lecture Theatre, with a guest performance from the Bath Spa Band. This is
a chance to deck yourself out in your Christmas finery, sing some carols, enjoy some Christmas songs and a mince pie or two. Everyone is invited, so bring all of your friends and family along to
enjoy an evening of Christmassy fun. Tickets are just £3 in advance (£4 on the door) and are available from the ICIA Box Office in 1E 2.1.
IMPACT Monday 30th Movember 2009
Zap SINGLE OF THE F O R T N I G H T : Arctic Monkeys Cornerstone
FEATURED SHOW: U R B h i t i t u p Rag Sleepout Nylo visit CTV The 3rd Degree at the Student IF YOU were on Parade last Thursday ANOTHER EXCITING, even if with Phil Byrne Radio Awards evening, you’d have noticed how stressful, event this week has been the Thursdays 5-7pm ON TUESDAY 24th November, RAG motivated people to sleep out visit from the Italian band Nylo, who
THE ARCTIC Monkeys’ tender side comes out in the second single from their third album Humbug. The story of a hurt lover’s inadequate search for a replacement of his former partner, Alex Turner reminds listeners of the soulful side seen in tracks like Mardy Bum and 505. Listen out for it on 1449 AM URB for a beautifully cathartic three and a half minutes.
PHIL BYRNE - A man with a voice so dangerously, dulcetly, monotone, women have been known to pass out in a passion-induced shock within the space of a thirty second link. Check the man out for some of the biggest tunes around. Regular features include the hottest track in the world according to Phil Byrne, which vary from Trance King Tiesto, to Rock’s new saviours Them Crooked Vultures. As well the huge albums; a look back at some of the biggest albums in the development of Mr. Byrne’s fine music taste. Phil Byrne: a monotone man with an obscenely good taste in music. You’ll be relieved to hear that listening to the show doesn’t actually cause third degree burns or injuries of any sort.
Profile: MUSICSOC EXISTS to promote music at the University and in the local area: jazz, electro, metal, dubstep, dance, drum n bass, indie, country, blues... we love it all. Aimed at both music fans and musicians, we offer loads of great benefits. We have a rehearsal room on campus, a monthly gig/ jam night and a battle of the bands for uni musicians; live music events and club nights for music fans; and of course - plenty of socials for everybody. Through these events, you can discover new music and meet other members. On top of this, we’ll make sure you know about the best events and opportunities available in and around Bath. We can also help if you want to learn an instrument but you haven’t had the chance so far. You can find good, affordable tuition from one of our many very talented members. Just join up and search through our online Tuition List. Our members also get a number of discounts with their MusicSoc membership card, including half price entry to ULive music events in Elements, ten percent discount at Sounds International music shop, cheaper entry to a number of club nights, and free recordings in association with BUMPS (Bath Uni Music Production Society).
Upcoming events LIVE MUSIC and Jam Night Christmas Special Venue: Green Park Tavern, Date/Time: 8pm at 10/12/2009, Entry: Free for everyone A unique opportunity to meet some other musicians with the same interests as you, and have a shot performing in front of a live audience!!! Even if you don’t play an instrument, come along and hear some leading local bands perform. There will be two bands performing, and a jam session sandwiched in between. For the jam session, a number of session musicians will be on hand to play a wide variety of backing tracks (including a few Christmas classics), and anyone from the audience can step up... and join in!! DJ-ing Workshop Date and Venue: Tbc Price: free for members For those that missed the ICIA course we will be organising a oneoff session, where participants can get an introduction to DJ-ing. For those that then decide they wish to peruse this interest further, we will provide contacts for further tuition. If you want to know more, contact firstname.lastname@example.org. ac.uk
1449 AM URB hit up the Student Radio Awards en masse in true style. In suits to kill and dresses to thrill, your DJ’s tore it up at an event featuring: Tim Westwood, Zoe Ball, Zane Lowe, Greg James and many more. Your student radio station represented the University of Bath with a whopping five nominations including Best Student Radio station. The competition was immense with the true range of student radio talent on display. In the end URB came away with a worthy Bronze in marketing and branding and a hunger for further glory. A massive thank you must be said from everyone at URB to last year’s committee whose tireless efforts made the night’s recognition possible.
to see what it is like to be homeless. It featured dancing, juggling, and playing with ﬁre, and eating pizza, which all involved seemed to enjoy. As usual, CTV was around ﬁlming the event and also interviewing sleepouters in our self cardboard box castle. Check out the videos on our website, www.bathctv.com.
popped into our studio one morning to perform in a very plugged session of our Unplugged scheme with URB and BUMPS. Despite being told off for the noise the drums made, we can proudly say that CTV loves Nylo. Look out for Bombay Bicycle Club, who’ll be visiting us on 16th December.
Student Sudoku created by Katie Rocker EACH SUDOKU has a unique solution that can be reached logically without
guessing. Enter digits from 1 to 9 into the blank spaces. Every row must contain one of each digit. So must every column, and every 3x3 square. Enjoy this one, it’s my favourite.
exquisite, the trio producing a great start to the evening. The MusicSoc Live! events in the Green Park Tavern are notable for the length and diversity of the jam section of the night, with the house band’s extensive back catalogue augmented by the improvisational skills of many talented audience members who are able to join in at any point. This night was no different, with a rousing rendition of Jimi Hendrix’s “Red House” kicking off the jam in style – particularly impressive was the vocalist, whose emotion-wracked voice was reminiscent of the greats of blues rock. Artists including Clapton, Incubus, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, The Specials, Kings of Leon, and Bob Dylan were well represented – including some great brass work by former members of Battle of the Bands winners Huge Juice. A suitably cheesy ﬁnale was provided by Survivor’s “Eye of the Tiger”, and then it was all down to
the headliners to close out what had already been a fantastic night. Terrible Disguises’ music fuses all the best parts of indie rock and augments it with an incredible guitar sound reminiscent of the classic late 80’s rock bands, coming at you with all the poise and attitude you could ever hope for. Kyle Barford, on bass and vocals, has a relaxed swagger about him that dovetails well with Jake Lourie’s crunching, occasionally squealing guitar work, and Matt “Choco” Thornton’s pounding drums. Their amazing performance capped off what had been a thoroughly enjoyable night for everyone, and we can only hope that the next one, on December 10th, lives up to this one. For more on either of the bands, visit www.jamesdouglasmusic. co.uk or www.myspace.com/ terribledisguises, for more on MusicSoc, contact email@example.com
Review of MusicSoc Live Music and Jam Night on 12/11/2009 at Green Park Tavern THE NIGHT began with the impressive acoustic stylings of the “Special Guests”, featuring house band member James Douglas on guitar and vocals, ably accompanied by Lucie Bradley (also of the house band) on keys and vocals and AnneMarie Fairhurst on violin. Their jazzy, blues inﬂuenced sound came across fantastically well; the audience was captivated by Douglas’ occasional forays into the visually and aurally impressive percussive acoustic style with which he is forming a formidable local reputation. Bradley’s vocals were beautiful and Fairhurst’s violin
GLOOMY NYC inhabitants Interpol have announced a new album for release. It’s without a name at present, and the release date is merely pencilled in as ‘early next year’, but this is the kind of news Sport Editor Sean Lightbown would have us shot for not printing. Drummer Sam Fogarino gave a bizarre interview to Paste Magazine, in which he likened the recording sessions to ‘four alpha dogs in one room’. That can only be good.
U2 have been announced as headliners for Glastonbury. This is quite upsetting to us, as we were hoping to go this year.
...The Ugly Everyone’s favourite Cardiff spawned DIY twee popsters Los Campesinos! have released the mildly gruesome album art for new LP Romance Is Boring (see below). Singer Gareth is a Bath native, doncha’know. And a lovely chap according to our Ents editor. Unlike this cover, which is wince inducingly reminiscent of gory skateboard wipeouts.
Roman Polanski has posted bail, but won’t be allowed to walk free. The legendary director, whose ﬁlms include impact’s favourite ever Chinatown, has paid $4.5million to be transferred to house arrest. We realise that this and the U2 news may be interchangeable, depending on personal preferences, and will happily supply scissors and glue to readers wishing to re-arrange as they feel appropriate.
Monday 30th Movember 2009 IMPACT
“...And now, I’m going to electrocute a gherkin” Robin Ince & Friends Komedia 25th October 2009
Ents Editor Philip Bloomﬁeld was left so confused by science-based comedy that it’s taken him three weeks to publish an article on Robin Ince’s sold out roadshow
THE WHOLE point about science is that it’s entertaining. The spirit of discovery and invention lives on because people enjoy it. It sets their minds aﬂame. Simon Singh understands this. He’s the quintessential physics nerd: gawky, wearing a vest top over his shirt and chinos and brimming with nervous energy and excitement. But that’s what makes him so entertaining: he’s infectiously real. Whether explaining to us why we might hear satanic lyrics when Led Zeppelin is played backwards or recounting the history of the Big Bang, via way of the aforementioned unlucky gherkin, he’s charmingly witty and brilliantly engaging. Whilst it’s clear that the enthusiasm of Singh and other scientists have rubbed off on tonight’s host Robin Ince, it’s a shame that some of their mannerisms haven’t. The comic is at his best when he’s being acerbic; but when his main target is Ann Coulter and other such creationists,
he sometimes lets his rage-againstthe-idiots shtick get the better of him. The result is the occasional smirk and giggle: it’s not much fun watching someone kick a long dead pig in the kidneys a few times. That said, a few BNP gags and a scientiﬁcally incorrect joke about Toblerone definitely hit the spot. Josie Long is comedy’s rising star, by all accounts. As such, I’m dubious as to whether she can overcome her cutesy Lahndahn accent and actually make me laugh. Of course, it goes without saying (to all who have already seen her) that she nearly split my sides. Whilst she doesn’t talk about science per se, it doesn’t matter when her bubbly personality is edged with razor sharp bursts of cynicism: “I moved in with my boyfriend this week... he doesn’t know yet”. But what’s best about Josie is her delightfully surreal and tangential take on the evening’s subject matter: we go through bee-
keeping to dreams via way of A-level mathematics and school cliques. Do believe the hype. If only I could say the same about Peter Buckley-Hill. His rave reviews at Edinburgh might have led some to believe that he might be the surprise package tonight. Sadly, although he starts brightly, rifﬁng on E=mc squared and ‘spoon’ tectonics, he fails to really connect: many of his routines are slightly too longwinded and confusing to follow, although as is often the case an extremely inappropriate Karen Carpenter joke has me in stitches. I’m irked by his constant attempt to get audience participation as well: is it really necessary to have oohs and aahs? So what’s the moral of the story? Science doesn’t need to be dressed up in comedic rags to be entertaining. It’s a strange and funny world we live in, and all it takes is someone like Simon Singh to spark a little enthusiasm...
Pictures that moved us: Bath Film Festival 2009
PREMIERING IN Bath two weeks before nationwide release Cracks is the debut ﬁlm from Jordan Scott (daughter of Ridley) and stars Eva Green as a teacher in a 1930s girls’ boarding school. A new exotic pupil arrives at the school and shatters the closeness between ‘Miss G’ (Eva Green) and her diving team protégés. It’s a dark tale of lust and obsession which develops slowly throughout the ﬁlm as the spectator begins to realise that tragedy is inevitable. It’s beautifully shot with lush, windswept landscapes that echo the inner tormented sentiments of the teenage girls. A thoughtful debut. The Sky Crawlers is the latest ﬁlm from creator Mamoru Oshii (Ghost in the Shell) and is set in a dystopian future where cloned children fight industry-organised battles in the sky. At two hours it’s a long haul and the stunningly animated battle scenes are spread too thinly throughout, with a lot of the ﬁlm being taken up showing characters either smoking or deep in reflection. You can’t fail to be impressed, however, by the incredible design, and the dark message of ‘fighting to keep the peace’ which takes on a greater signiﬁcance when compared to modern day conﬂicts. Mexican feature ﬁlm Sin Nombre directed by Cory Joji Fukunaga had me choking back the sobs as it tells the intertwining narratives of different Central American characters trying to make it to the American border. The depiction
Didn’t make it to the Bath Film Festival? Here come Jen Wallace and Philip Bloomﬁeld to give you the lowdown on what you missed, you idiot.
Hazell Moore went to see what is arguably one of the most important and thought-provoking films of the year, but warns that Home isn’t for the faint of heart.
of the Mexican gangster lifestyle is particularly harrowing considering the age of some of the gang members, and the limits they’ll go to to be part of this violent community. It’s not a happy tale, but it’s an important one, giving a face to the thousands of immigrants who try to make a better life for themselves and their families across the border. The only real disappointment was the eagerly anticipated Lords of Dogtown. Even a larger than life drunken Heath Ledger can’t save this dramatisation of the Venice Beach skate scene from being gutwrenchingly cringeworthy at points. Although it redeems itself towards the end, there’s an uneasy feeling of Hollywoodisation throughout. Especially for viewers who’ve seen the enthralling Dogtown and Z Boys, the documentary upon which this was based, Lords of Dogtown is a clear example of the need to sometimes let the footage speak for itself. However, even the hammy dialogue and bitty screenplay can’t spoil the fantastic soundtrack. Though we could have done without the awful cut and paste hardcore punk club scene with Black Flag’s “Nervous Breakdown’ strung carelessly over the top. Let’s hope, therefore, that no-
UNLESS YOU’VE been living in the Bath Bubble for the past month, you may have noticed the street gallery called Earth from the Air. It consists of over 120 photos from around the world, but what’s it all about? Well, there was a feature ﬁlm called Home about it on at the Abbey, telling me that it was a bit more than just inspiring photo journalism. With a sell-out audience of over eight hundred people and the feature film being shown in 181 countries from around the world, it proved to be the most popular film on at Bath’s Film Festival this year. It started off with two able speakers describing the nature of the gallery, and it wasn’t long before you realise the political character of these beautiful photos. The photographer, Yann Arthurs-Betrand, is UN Environment Goodwill Ambassador and campaigns for Climate Change. Home and Earth from the Air is a public awareness scheme on how humanity is threatening the beauty of the world. The film starts with a booming American voice educating you on how life on earth began from singlecelled algae, which seemed a bit unprecedented in the Abbey! But the next hour focuses on humanorientated destruction of the world. With beautiful imagery, and a voiceover throwing “shocking” facts about how and when the world is going to end. The ﬁlm focuses on lots of world issues, ranging from the classic reruns
SIN NOMBRE: Con awesome tattoos
JAMES BROWN: Vocal power one ever attempts to dramatise the events documented by the wonderful Soul Power, the latest in a line of brilliant backward looking musical documentaries. The film takes unseen live and archive footage, interviews and newsreels to recreate an access all areas view of the infamous ‘Concert in the Jungle’ which preceded George Foreman and Mohammed Ali’s showdown in 1974 in Zaire. Of course, there’s some fantastic interviews with Ali at his most bombastic, but James Brown steals the show with an awe inspiring performance. All in all, Soul Power is like a perfectly preserved time capsule to the 1970s, capturing all the excitement, emotions and even some of the politics of the era. Who thought that a concert film could ever do that? On a final note, the ICIA’s presentation of Cleo de 5 à 7 introduced by Peter Wagstaff from the department of Modern Languages was a wonderful example of a female director contributing to the French cinema era of the ‘Nouvelle Vague’. The depiction of two hours in the protagonist’s life leading up to the results of some medical tests is exemplary of the revolutionary techniques used at the time and her journey around Paris’ 13th district is ﬁlled with touching moments of creativity and beauty.
YANN-ARTHUS: No relation to Belgian one-hit-wonders Plastic Bertrand
of how oil is going to run out and how it affects the ozone layer, but also to the more peculiar of non-renewable fossil water and the affects of cattle farms. This is where the focus shifts onto global warming, with artfully crafted glaciers melting on screen accompanied by the same American voice damning the whole of humanity to an apocalyptic nature in just ﬁve years if we don’t change our habits. It ﬁnishes on a positive conclusion, by showing what countries are doing to combat climate change, through national parks, business restrictions, and international co-operation. If you can bear an hour and a half of pessimistic predictions and facts, then stick through it, because the visuals are breath taking. Home also achieves what Yann Arthurs-Bertrand intended, as people were leaving the Abbey talking about how they’re going to change their attitudes towards recycling and walking everywhere. However, I’m sceptical about how much impact this ﬁlm had on people’s habits, but I can only hope you prove me wrong. Those interested can watch Home free online and get involved with the project at http://www.youtube. com/homeproject
IMPACT Monday 30th Movember 2009
Doin’ It For the Fame Introducing: Riha-noire Do Stay In
Former editor Hannah Raymont is bizzarely Alex Drake spins Rihanna’s latest effort to impressed with Gaga’s latest double disc ﬁnd a more edgy and aggressive sound The Fame Monster Lady Gaga Interscope Records Out Now
Rated R Rihanna Universal Records Out Now
BEING BOTH such shy, retiring types, it is only beﬁtting that Lady Gaga and Beyoncé should collaborate on a track called ‘Telephone’ featured on The Fame Monster; a reworking of debut album The Fame bumped up with eight new tracks and turned into a two-disc affair. Much as part of me loathes admitting it, The Fame did actually grow on me after I dismissively reviewed it in 2008, but it is a ﬁckle album which proves that an overdose on synth-pop isn’t quite as heady as some might suggest. To her credit though, the wacky New Yorker has pulled out some well produced tracks, predominantly under her own steam too, unlike many of her contemporaries. In spite of that, thanks to Gaga’s offensive on the radio and nightclubs, I suspect people are getting a little bored and, in many circles, rather sick of the constant scandals surrounding the famously extrovert pint-sized diva. Cue Fame Monster. Composed of new material inspired by Gaga’s travels and experience in the spotlight, Fame Monster is a mixed bag. We see Gaga treading new ground in spikeheel platforms but she doesn’t stray too far from the path laid out by The Fame. By far the stand out track is the previously mentioned ‘Telephone’ which is Beyonce and Gaga’s explosive joint effort. Judging by past patterns,
THEY SAY that break-ups can be the best moments for musicians to record new material as it’s when they’re most emotionally inspired. Whether this is true or not, Rihanna has certainly gone through a lot in the last year and recorded her new comeback album in the wake of the most famous domestic violence case in recent memory. Rated R practically shouts out its subtext over very dark, dramatic and edgy beats as she continues to grow as an artist. From the very beginning it’s clear that the Barbados native is intent on distancing herself from her poppy princess past as there are unmistakable undertones of anger and regret on the record. A lot of it deals with getting over Chris Brown as she tries to put on a strong front but at times this noireesque side confuses the direction of the album. It was a very bold move to drop ‘Russian Roulette’ as the lead single because the song captures the fear and vulnerability of roulette whilst paralleling it to intentions of suicide with lyrics like “If you play, you play for keeps, take the gun, count to three”. It just doesn’t seem a typical sort of track to promote a young female stars latest album. A more up-tempo ballad such as ‘Hard’ or ‘Rude Boy’ would have seemed more appropriate.
GAGA: The lady is a vamp. this one promises to be at least as omnipresent as ‘Poker Face. ’ Opener ‘Bad Romance’ reveals the promised ‘darker’ side to Gaga, which shows itself to be almost Marilyn Manson-esque, even if only in the way that Gaga’s voice seems to drop a few octaves. ‘Alejandro,’ on the other hand, sees Gaga impersonating a Mexican coupled with synthesizers plucked straight out of Ace of Base’s back catalogue. Despite this, it’s somehow not quite as dreadful as it sounds, but not exactly groundbreaking either. ‘Speechless’ simply doesn’t deserve the time of day while ‘Dance In The Dark’ largely follows in the same vein as ‘Bad Romance,’ in a clash of sounds clearly inspired by 80s titans New Order and Depeche Mode. Overall, seeing that the successful combination of showbiz and synthpop has kept Gaga clad in customised Kermit outﬁts and in a lucrative deal with fashion designer Marc Jacobs, I won’t hold my breath. Bizarre she may be, but believe me, this girl knows what she’s doing.
Laurence Whitaker is hard to please, so it makes a strange sort of sense that he liked our beloved Komedia more than the act itself.
Scott Matthews Komedia 16th November 2009
UNEXPECTED DISCOVERIES are often the best. As such I accepted impact’s invitation to send me down to Komedia with zeal. I’d never heard of singer-songwriter Scott Matthews but a chance to see a gig in town at a venue I’d not yet visited sounded great. And it is a stunning venue, for those of you who’ve not yet been: deep red blue and gold patterned walls stretch up to a beautifully ornate ceiling and cabaret club style tables criss cross the ﬂoor towards the stage (each complete with atmospheric candle, of course). After a tremoulously nervous but surprisingly enjoyable James Summerfield (he was so choked that I couldn’t understand a word of his lyrics!), Scott ambled out onto the stage to be greeted with a warm round of applause. Having sifted youtube and found him to be pleasantly similar to Ray LaMontagne, I was suitably excited. He turned out to be a wonderfully amiable performer full of smiles, self deprecating humour and friendly banter. But his downfall came with the start of every song; after a perfectionist period of tuning up he’d open his voice and what came out was,
SCOTT MATTHEWS: Brown jacket, muddy voice. well… brown! Half mumbled, half strained, his words were unclear and his strumming down beat didn’t help matters. His songs seemed to come less from a traumatising life than a life traumatised, resulting in my mind wandering. (My plus-one opted to shift between sleep and applause.) The light was blue, the shirt was blue and the songs were deﬁnitively blue. The array of guitars was impressive. There was a brilliantly original part where a self proclaimed drummer was brought out from the audience to beat along with one song which lead to a sock being thrown on stage, in an odd pastiche of underwear throwing. It was these moments that provided enjoyment in an otherwise detached evening from a very likeable, understated midlands man who’s got himself an Ivor Novello award and a fan base. Sadly, I won’t be adding myself to their number.
Misﬁts E4 Thursday, 22.00
RIHANNA: Rated; not slated Rated R does have its ﬂaws like any other album as Rihanna tries too hard to show she’s tough with lyrics like “I got my middle ﬁnger up, I don’t give a fuck”. Meanwhile the mere fact that she has dared comeback after all the trauma is point enough that she is a strong and dedicated artist. All the aggressive posturing isn’t needed to prove her point. You’re dark, ﬁerce and edgy. We get it! With all this being said, Rated R is still a pop album and it’s a pretty good one at that. It doesn’t hit the heights of Good Girl Gone Bad and doesn’t feature any tracks as catchy as ‘Umbrella’ or ‘Disturbia’ but it captures a side of Rihanna that no one has seen yet. She is a woman caught in a ﬁght between her two alter-ego’s; the heartbroken girl versus the strong ﬁghter woman. You’ll have to give it a listen to ﬁnd out who comes out on top.
Ents Editor Philip Bloomfield watches a masterclass in how not to make Wavves. Wavves Thekla Social, Bristol 19th November 2009 THERE’S ONE thing I hate above all else in live music: mediocrity. The way I see it, if you’re going to be average, you might as well try hard and make it a really terrible performance. Stand there and lob insults at your audience. Get so drunk you try to play your guitar backwards and upside down. Throw up all over the snare drum ‘cause those pills you took don’t mix so well with neat JD. Hell, storm off stage after two and a half songs, blaming the venue for not providing you with the right continental lager. But at least give me some entertainment. That’s the one thing Macaulay Culkin-a-like Nathan Williams is not doing tonight. Given the performer, I should perhaps have expected it: Wavves have a reputation for being brattishly average, brattishly terrible and on occasion brattishly good fun. The omens were bad before he even took the stage as Zach Hill, Hella drummer and percussionist extraordinaire, has pulled out with a broken wrist, leaving Williams without a band. Thankfully, Jay Reatard’s old band is on hand to help out, yet even they can’t inject the requisite energy into a lacklustre performance. Williams’
teenage slacker act is part of the charm, but he looks like he’d rather be anywhere but here, sneering into the microphone without the barest effort to play the part. He doesn’t even manage to look the part: for all the pouting and sneering, the oversize denim jacket lends him the demeanour of a kid playing air guitar in his room. What’s so infuriating is that for his stoned dropout chic, he can actually write a tune or two: the anthemic ‘No Hope Kids’ and the frankly wonderful ‘So Bored’ are as good as anything thrown up by the current wave of zeitgeist chasing loﬁ rockers; the latter’s out of shape Beach Boys harmonies providing the first and only rush of blood to impact’s bourbon soaked limbs. But there’s never any real sense of momentum: despite only playing for 30 minutes, the band completely fail to build up anything resembling a head of steam. Overall, a disappointingly limp performance from someone for whom the hype can’t be described as anything except entirely undeserved.
WAVVES: So boring
NEW CHANNEL 4 drama Misﬁts, described as Skins meets Lost, centres on five young people completing community service, when an unexpected storm occurs, giving them superpowers. Now, the graphics for the ﬁrst ten minutes are absolutely awful, and there’s no excuse for it. But carry on watching, because the comedy is priceless. The clash of backgrounds and personalities makes for an all-round brilliant programme, and Irish quickwit Nathan (Robert Sheehan) is of particular note. Retaining a degree of seriousness keeps the heart racing, whilst the humour means this superb new drama remains balanced but also has lots of comedic value. It is also oddly quirky, as you try to work out who has what powers (and they’re not all your typical Heroes powers of mind reading and invisibility). You won’t know what to expect, but you will get sick of the kiddiwinks saying “it was the storm that did it.” But until (if?) Kitsch returns to Komedia, you could do a lot worse than stay in and watch the glorious Irishman be funny. Hazell Moore
John Foxx - The Quiet Man Saturday 5th December ICIA Arts Barn, £5 JOHN FOXX is not a name the majority of us will recognise. In fact most of us weren’t even born when the original frontman of the electro group Ultravox! started the project that is on its way to the University of Bath this week. That is not to say however, that The Quiet Man is outdated - it is quite the opposite. An old grey suit found in a charity shop influenced Foxx to explore the effect of the growing city and its inﬂuence on our lives and memories. ‘Foxx is an amazing musician […] full of visionary ideas,’ declare the Klaxons regarding this project. Beginning as an album track, the project has been developed into an eclectic mix of melancholic electronic music featuring a grand piano, live and recorded speech combined with an improvisation of images and ﬁlm cut together on multiple screens. Georgina Cotton
Monday 30th Movember 2009 IMPACT
Entertainment Alphabeat... Probably the best pop band in the world
Jen Wallace talks Ace of Base, The X Factor and the recipe for perfect pop with Denmark’s bubbliest export. really sucked, but it was a great way to start. You can probably still ﬁnd them somewhere on the internet. . . .
ALPHABEAT: That’s not Jen Wallace. She was too blurry for inclusion
I’M SITTING in the dressing room of the Thekla. Alphabeat are here. I’m about to talk to vocalists Anders SG and Stine Bramsen. Yes mum, I’ve ﬁnally made it in life.
competition, and the one of the judges from the competition went on to be our A&R guy in Denmark. Suddenly people started noticing us and then we were number one in Denmark.
So, ﬁrst things ﬁrst, how did it all begin? Anders: Well it all started 8 years ago, we were a band in high school and we thought that we needed a girl, so we put up advertisements around the school, we were 16 at the time. Stine auditioned along with another girl, and she was the clear winner. 4 years later we managed to get a Danish recording contract after winning a big
What are your musical backgrounds? Stine: Personally, my background isn’t so musical, but some other members of the band. . . Anders: Yeah I had some friends when I was younger who had a studio in their house, which is where we listened to a lot of music and recorded some of our earliest songs. It was very cheap and the demos we did
ALEX PEARL: Pick up a Penguin “ONE OF the cornerstones of the ICIA is that we work with other disciplines in the University. Because this is a top research university, with all these fascinating departments it makes sense to work to the institution’s strengths” impact is talking with Dr Dan Hinchcliffe, the Head of Visual Arts at the ICIA. We’ve started off with a key component of his programming strategy: Visual Arts at the ICIA has a rich history of interdisciplinary work. Whether having an artist looking at the theme of work through the lens of the SPSS department, or creating a ﬁsheye view of the world from the biology labs, the Visual Arts section has an established tradition of interdisciplinarity. His remit also includes what many students will identify as more traditional ‘art’: painting, sculpture, photography and other associated artforms. This straddles a range of classes and workshops; whose popularity is measurable by how quickly the places have been ﬁlled this semester, as well as artist residencies and on campus exhibitions. An added bonus of the classes, he says, is the free materials available to students. Whether it’s clay, paint, canvas or plaster; all materials are included free of charge, which would normally be a considerable expense, especially for a student. And whilst the breadth of classes on offer is impressive, it doesn’t prevent Dan pursuing engagements with career
What music did you hear growing up? Anders: Everything I listened to inﬂuenced me today. I grew up listening to Ace of Base, and I think that is a clear influence on the new album. I also listened to Michael Jackson... Stine: I loved Whitney Houston! Anders: Then I started listening to rock music as well in an attempt to be cool. Ace of Base have always been cool. Anders: Really?! Anyway, do you think you have a ‘European sound?’ Anders: Lots of people say that but I don’t know what it is. It’s deﬁnitely not a conscious musical choice; it comes from within the band. So what’s the new sound? Can we hear a progression? Stine: Deﬁnitely, it’s been a natural thing. It’s been more than 4 years since
we wrote the songs on the last album. We have new inﬂuences and we have written the songs more as a group than before. And we used laptops this time, which has affected the sound. Anders: It’s a new way of songwriting. It’s been really fun as a band. The new album is quite synthetic so we try and bring something more when we play live. We like watching bands that bring something else, so we try to as well. We’ve been lucky as our audiences have been really positive towards our new stuff, people are singing along straight away to brand new songs. As you are described as ‘pure pop’ if you had to write a recipe in a cookbook for a perfect pop song, what are your key ingredients? Anders: The most important thing is the concept. You have to have a great hookline or theme for a song. I really like lyrics with storylines. Stine: And the beat. You need a good production. And dancing. . . Anders: Of course. We always try and make songs people can
dance to. How do you feel about shows like ‘The X Factor’? Stine: Very entertaining. . . Anders: I think it’s cool, we have the same thing in Denmark, but the people who win it never become famous. But here in the UK, you can really create a popstar from these shows. Stine: Yeah if you find the right singer, it can be really positive. Anders: Like Leona Lewis, you can’t deny that she’s talented and ‘Bleeding Love’ was a great song.
How has singing in English affected you? Anders: It’s really helped us. We did something no one else in Denmark was doing at the time. I think it is the key to our success. It’s not easy writing in a language that’s not your mother tongue, but we find words that for us our really interesting that English people might not realise, like ‘Artyfarty’, we used it in a song because we loved the expression. I don’t think an English person has ever used that in a song, although we try and make more sense than Shakira.
Our Play’s Not Bad
Ents Editor Philip Bloomﬁeld takes a look at the innovative and humourous Visual Arts programme in our ﬁnal article on the ICIA. Resident Theatre Correspondent Laurence
artists. Venue Magazine recently said of ICIA: “ Its three art spaces are worth special praise for filling the gaping hole caused by Bath’s general disdain for contemporary art. Under the guidance of Dr Dan Hinchcliffe they have in recent years hosted heaps of the country’s most engaged and relevant makers of art, in shows that, while small and ostensibly humble (one gallery is a thoroughfare to the students canteen), take up long-term residence in your memory”. “Our current theme at the moment is “plotting arts and place”, he explains, describing Alex Pearl’s Goodbye to most of the Daydreams currently showing through till February in Art Space 1 opposite the library. Pearl is interested in the idea of attempted heroism and resulting disappointment, and his current exhibition draws on the diary of Captain Scott, the ill-fated polar explorer. On Facebook, Pearl has encouraged people to play the ‘Black Flag Game’. Inspired by Captain Scott stumbling across Amundsen’s Black Flag at the South Pole and realising he’d been beaten to the landmark, the idea is for participants to place a Black Flag in a location and then retire to a spot from which to observe others and witness their disappointment at being beaten to the spot. It’s evident that this kind of art, which involves audience participation combined with creative and humorous use of space is something favoured by Dr Hinchcliffe.
The impending destruction of the Arts Barn provides another angle for visual artists. Lucy Harrison, an artist whose interest centres on the nostalgia associated with demolished buildings, has come to the University to start a residency based on the soon to be demolished building. The current exhibition is the ‘first phase’ of her residency, and the focus is on the last months of the building. Her ‘second phase’ will take place in 2011 in the new Arts Complex, and will be used as a reminder of the Arts Barn’s value at the time. As part of the exhibition, Lucy has interviewed staff and will now begin to engage with students with the aim of forming an audio-visual collage of recollections of the Arts Barn. Her previous work has centred on East London prior to the Olympic Development, and topically, East Berlin before and after the fall of the Wall. Dan himself is looking forward to the new Arts Complex, especially given the increased dedicated gallery space which it will afford him, and he concurs that the new build has put a spring in the step of the ICIA. It will ensure an increase in active participation in Visual Arts exhibitions, along with an increase in class sizes and programming. For Visual Arts, the future seems to be bright.
LUCY HARRISON: Probably not related to George, but just as talented
Whitaker goes to watch a reﬂexive play on the subject of amateur dramatics, performed by amateur dramatists. How convenient. Our Country’s Good Rondo Theatre, Bath 14th November 2009 I ARRIVED at the Rondo Theatre ﬂustered and frustrated in time to take my seat as the lights went down and the show began. Nestled on a back street way out of town, it had taken me close to an hour of trudging through cold streets begging passers by for directions before I found it. Yet it would turn out be worth it: what I discovered was an idyllic barn-like theatre oozing character and homely warmth. The play is set in Australia, in the era of convict colonies and follows the lives of convicts and army ofﬁcers as they go about putting on a play for the ﬁrst time. Based on a true story, the play, written in 1988 for the Royal Court, manages to tell the tormenting stories of the convicts whilst also exploring the wonder of theatre and the escapism it provides for actor and
audience alike. It was a moving play that had me in hysterics early on and in tears before the end. The amateur cast were sublime without a single noticeable slip-up. The simple set allowed full focus to rest on the message of the play and the intense emotions of characters. The slow change from hopeless self abuse towards dreams and human compassion that the characters undergo whilst rehearsing the play was beautifully captured. Particular praise must be given to Darian Nelson playing both the stern abusive Scot and the comic kindly Irishman in alternate scenes. The sad irony was that in a performance celebrating the power and beauty of theatre the small auditorium was barely half full. To quote the play “it can do no harm and it might do some good” so get out there and see something new. It’s a hefty trek out of town but at £7 a ticket this is a great venue for a cultured student night out.
OUR COUNTRY’S GOOD: impact approves of the new X-Factor panel
Monday 30th Movember 2009 IMPACT
Thierry Yawn-ry: Let’s give it a rest.
Alex Drake calls for some perspective in the ‘Hand of Le God’ debate.
Alex Drake Deputy Ents Editor
UNLESS YOU’VE spent the last couple of weeks hibernating under a relatively large rock you will have come across a discussion revolving around Thierry Henry’s ‘Hand of God’ moment. The controversial topic has spread like wildﬁre ever since France overcame Ireland in heated circumstances for a spot at the 2010 World Cup. There was a point last week where no matter where you went or what
you did, you would end up giving your opinion on the matter. It also seemed that everyone and their grandmother had an opinion the matter. Opinions gradually got more and more extreme and I for one would like to bring a bit of balance to the subject and judge it in its true context. On one side we have those who don’t blame Thierry for the incident but see the referee as wholly responsible. How could a paid professional fail to notice such an obvious piece of foul play? As the referee didn’t blow his whistle he is therefore the sole cause of Ireland’s
MAIN OFFENDER: Henry’s handball has sparked many pics like this.
misery, or so this line of thought would go. Now, this is unreasonable for one major reason: the referee is human and as such is prone to human error. Neither he nor his assistant were in a position to see the incident and therefore couldn’t call it. Apart from that he actually had a very good game - they correctly called Anelka’s dive in the box moments earlier. People forget that one of the reasons we love sport is for its unpredictable and controversial nature. Incidents of this sort have occurred for decades and will continue to occur until referees are replaced by machines and videoreplays ﬁnally get introduced. On the other hand we have those who have lost all their respect for Henry, and will forever view him as a cheat. They accuse him of deliberately conning the referee to gain a massive advantage for his team and therefore deserves to be viliﬁed. Again, this isn’t an entirely fair viewpoint. Thierry Henry is one of the greatest players the game has seen and shouldn’t be judged on this one incident. During that split second in extra-time when he handled the ball he made the wrong decision, but how many of us would have done the same had the stakes been that high? We have all cheated at some point and at least Henry was man enough to own up to his crimes. Whichever side you’re on just try to view the incident within its context and appreciate both side of the debate. Now that we’ve agreed upon that, can we all move on?
MoLES and Maths stake their claims
GROUP A Team
Sean Lightbown Comp. Science 3 2 0 Sports editor Management 3 1 1 firstname.lastname@example.org Sports Science
over Economics. This was a hard -9 3 fought contest, in which both sides 7 -2 0 offered speed and skill along with 37 -33 0 some crunching midfield tackles. Yet despite Orlando Pedretti’s brace sealing victory, the game will be remembered for MoLES ‘keeper Alex Bell brilliantly saving two penalties. However, with the postponement of many ﬁxtures, both sides must not get complacent. GROUP A Education and Pharmacy Team Played W D L + +/- Points have yet to play since their MoLES 3 3 0 0 22 2 20 9 respective 11-0 and 8-1 Economics 4 2 1 1 12 3 9 7 victories in the ﬁrst round of Mech. Eng. 4 2 0 2 21 10 11 games, 6 and new boys Sports Comp. Science 3 2 0 1 10 10 0 Science 6 have also yet to play GROUP B more Management 3 1 1 1 10 7 3 4 than a single league Team Played W D L + +/- Points These sides, along Sports Science 1 1 0 0 3 2 1 match. 3 Team Maths 3 3 0 0 19 1 18 9 with all the others will no Physics 3 1 0 2 6 15 -9 3 Education 1 1 0 0 11 0 11 3 doubt do their upmost to BUMS 2 0 0 2 5 7 -2 0 Pharmacy 1 1 0 0 8 1 7 3 ensure the current leaders are Chemistry 3 0 0 3 4 37 -33 not30there for long. Architecture 2 1 0 1 3 5 -2 GROUP B E3l s e w h e r e , m i n n o w s Elec. Eng. 3 1 0 2 11 16 -5 Team Played W D L + +/- Points Computer Science caused a Biology 1 0 0 1 0 2 -2 0 major Team Maths 3 3 0 0 19 1 18 9 shock with a 3-2 victory Chem. Eng. 1 0 0 1 0 11 -11 0 over3 trophy-holders BUMS. Education 1 1 0 0 11 0 11 Nat. Sciences 2 0 0 2 1 17 -16 0 BUMS, missing some key Pharmacy 1 1 0 0 8 1 7 3 players, found themselves Architecture 2 1 0 1 3 5 -2 3 3-0 down midway through Elec. Eng. 3 1 0 2 11 16 -5 the3second half. Despite a Biology 1 0 0 1 0 2 -2 0 valiant ﬁghtback, however, a more Chem. Eng. 1 0 0 1 0 11 -11 0 solid Comp. Sci. defence were Nat. Sciences 2 0 0 2 1 17 -16 0 able to hold on and seal a memorable win. Tables are correct as of 26/11/09 TEAM MATHS and MoLES have 3 1 0 2 6 made excellent starts to their BUMS 2 0 0 2 5 campaigns, as the IDFC group stages Chemistry 3 0 0 3 4 near the winter break. Both sit top of their respective groups, each with three wins from three games, and a goal difference head and shoulders above the rest of the competition. A highlight was MoLES’s 2-1 win Physics
The confessions of an armchair NFL fan
Phil Bloomﬁeld talks about his love for a game of two halves and four quarters. And possibly overtime.
Phil Bloomﬁeld Ents Editor email@example.com
HUNTER S Thompson loved it. Richard Nixon loved it. It’s given us the Hail Mary, The Heidi Game, The Holy Roller and Manning to Tyree. It’s infuriating to watch and bafﬂing to deduce tactically. The celebrations are simply outrageous and the crowds uproarious. It’s the only game where there are regular penalties given for having too many players on the ﬁeld at any one time. And I still don’t quite understand all of the rules. It is of course, the NFL, American Football, and, by the grace of University of Bath timetabling, I’m able once more to watch it at insomniac o’clock on a Sunday evening on Five. I can’t quite describe my fascination with American Football, least of all attempt to brief you on its history, precise rules and origins. But since my return to Bath, I’ve spent many a waking hour digesting highlights, trying futilely to familiarise myself with the ever evolving and complex rules, but most of all involving myself in NFL lore and legend. It all started a couple of years ago, with what has been acknowledged as one of the better Superbowls of
recent years, between New England’s Patriots and the New York Giants. I’m hazy on exactly how a team reaches a Superbowl, but a brief bit of research reveals that the teams take part in area based leagues (a little like Champions League groups) which then enable them to qualify for the knockout stages, known as the playoffs. The Superbowl is then between the ﬁnal two teams. Confused? It doesn’t really matter. The appeal of NFL for me is the spectacle. It’s a game which has fully embraced the nature of the spectator sport: as a result, the action is in 15 minute bursts, during which there are numerous pauses so you can advance to the fridge to crack open another one. It’s a sport in which showboating is encouraged and applauded: see the New England Patriots celebrations, which involve supporters dressed as Minutemen militiamen ﬁring blank muskets into the air and the 1812 overture. And the action isn’t just off the ﬁeld: players indulge in various forms of showboating, taunting and all kinds of smoke and mirrors. Hairstyles, futuristic visors or grills, facial hair and war paint are all part of the procedure. It’s tactical. NFL has been described as “organised war”, and it’s hard to
avoid that description: sporadic bursts of action in which scuttling armoured players block, run, throw and tackle. There’s a satisfying crunch when a defensive tackle makes a big hit, or when a running back steams straight through his cover to pick a spinning ball out of the air and complete a pass. But most of all, if the attacking or defending team makes the wrong tactical decision on where to place and assign their players on each ‘down’, then all the speed, skill, strength and
guile in the world will rarely save them. Watching an offense outwit a defence by deception is just as satisfying as seeing a panicking attack falter in front of a wall of bodies that seems to know exactly where that ball is going to end up. There’s trash talk. Some might be familiar with Lester ‘Mighty Rasta’ Speight’s comedic turn as asskicking Office Linebacker Terry Tate, but reality isn’t far away from those catchphrases. Try “I like to think
NFL TERMINOLOGY: If you weren’t sure, this is called ‘annihilation’.
my best hits border on felonious assault” from Jack ‘Assassin” Tatum, or “I’ve been big since I was little” quoth by William “The Refrigerator” Perry. Maybe the best came from Rickey Williams though: “I didn’t quit football because I failed a drug test, I failed a test because I was ready to quit football.” The game has its own unique language. You’ll be bemused to learn that a ‘pick’ is an interception, a ‘sack’ is not the manager being given the boot; but a quarterback (the ‘thrower’, in layman’s terms) being tackled, and that a ‘tight end’ is not an excellent posterior but in fact an offensive player. The teams themselves have brilliant and ridiculous names. Personal favourites include the Cincinnati Bengals; who have a dashing tiger striped kit, and the innuendo laden Green Bay Packers. And of course, there’s the San Francisco 49ers, named after those famed gold prospectors, alongside whom line up industrial Pittsburgh’s native Steelers. So maybe that’s given you a taste of what NFL’s about. As a firmly amateur sports fan, I’m hooked already. And hell, if you can’t sleep on a Sunday night, it’s something to keep you amused.
IMPACT Monday 30th Movember 2009
Mixed fortunes for hockey ﬁrsts
- Men beat UWE in battle of - Women unfortunate in the South West. Exeter defeat. MEN’S 1STS HOCKEY UWE
Will Mumma Sports Contributor THE MEN’S 1sts were given a huge boost this week with the return of Lewis Prosser and Ben Carless from international duty in New Zealand. You may be thinking that from my previous articles, that the Carless family are not rated in the hockey world; however, Ben disproves Mendelian inheritance by actually having a modicum of talent unlike his retarded older brother. With this re-injection of talent and the team on a winning streak the team headed to the ‘University’ of West England full of confidence. The game started at a quick pace, with the rangers exerting their usual dominance on the game however with no real penetration. The break through finally came from an unlikely source with Jonny Mao popping up in the D and kicking the ball home; luckily this wasn’t seen by the umpire and Rangers took the lead. Almost immediately ‘U’WE broke through the backline and earned a corner, a decision which Chris Day clearly didn’t agree with. In a momentary fit of rage the usually cool headed goalkeeper ran at the umpire, and whilst adopting the crouching goose position, karate kicked him in the head, removing his teeth and breaking his nose. Chris was very lucky to get away with just a warning. With a seemingly comfortable lead, the rangers started to become complacent and without realising it found themselves a goal behind. It was left to Jonny ‘Big Bird’ Haynes to draw the teams level with a wonderful solo effort resulting in a world class finish, or so the celebration would have suggested. Just before the half time whistle James Christmas, your inspirational VP Sport, found himself in open space in the opposition half and beat the ‘U’WE goalie with a beautifully crafted chip only to have the goal disallowed for being offside. With another incomprehensible
half-time team talk from Spud together with Junior’s words of wisdom (“boys, if we keep the ball, we’ll rape them”), the team stepped up a gear with Vernon Rae and Jonny Kinder netting again following some beautiful build up play. The Rangers defence proved solid yet again strengthened even further by the return of Andy Machin and his sizeable derrière which is used to great affect to beat off the rampaging forwards. The game was finally sealed with a goal by Chris Cargo following a topped short corner strike which somehow bobbled its way over the line.
WOMEN’S 1STS HOCKEY BATH UNIVERSITY
Jo Slade Sports Contributor THE LADIES 1st team were looking to bounce back from a poor defeat away at UWIC this week with a win at home to Exeter. The previous fixture saw Bath lose narrowly 3-2 and were fully confident that they could grab the three points this time around. After a confident start, Bath
SANTA GOLD: VP Sport James Christmas in action for the ﬁrsts.
somehow found themselves 2-0 down after a couple of errors and dangerous finishing from Exeter. Bath’s confidence took a blow but continued to string together good passages of play and created many first half chances that saw the ball whistle just wide on a few occasions. Again, somehow, Exeter forced the ball over the line in a scrappy short corner. Much to everyone’s shock (including the people on the sideline) Bath found themselves 3-0 down at half time despite playing the better hockey. The second half saw the Bath Ranger girls refusing to be defeated and confident that they had plenty of time to get back in the game. Bath kept it tight and continued to look dangerous on the attack but again failed to convert chances and short corners. Exeter added a 4th with about 20 minutes to go and this was the last blow. Final score was 4-0 but this really was not a fair reflection on the game. Better luck next time!
Honours even for ﬁfth string. MEN’S 5THS HOCKEY SOUTHAMPTON UNI
James Annakin Men’s 5ths Captain
THE MEN’S 5ths, currently battling Bath Spa at the top of the league, had a tricky away game against Southampton who were just a point behind us. The ﬁrst ﬁfteen minutes were even and it took a goal by Peter Sutherland that would have made Dennis Bergkamp proud as he broke into the D, left a couple of defenders in his wake before coolly slotting it home in the corner. The game then settled down before Southampton equalised. leaving us even at the break. The second half did not start well for Bath as we found ourselves under as much pressure as a wonky chair being sat on by a giant panda but, thankfully, with about ﬁfteen minutes to go a slick short corner routine saw Alex Hewson deﬂect the ball into the roof of the net. We looked to make the most of the change in momentum but were hindered by some questionable umpires that had been provided by Southampton. With just forty five seconds to go, the lucky sods broke and scored an equaliser that crushed us like Baxter being punted over the bridge crushed Ron Burgundy. So we were left with a disappointing Burgundy: couple all draw. Devastated.
Statto’s Trivia...for when that essay can be left for a few more days. GOOD MORROW, faithful readers. I fear I may have opened a can of worms with my question on tennis in the last issue of impact. Before I get on to that bit, I’ll congratulate the winners of the others. First up, a big ‘well done for using Google’ (Ed: we jest) to Christopher John, a BBA fresher who correctly identiﬁed Robbie Earnshaw as the only person to have scored hat-tricks in England’s top four leagues, the FA Cup, League Cup and at international level. Well done Chris, you win this paragraph.
Tim Leigh was as quick as a shot, taking a mere twelve days after publication to identify the only cricketer to have taken six wickets and scored a century in an ODI. The answer is England’s own Paul ‘scratchy double hundred’ Collingwood, against Bangladesh. So, erm, yes... the tennis question. What is the minimum number of strokes a player can make in order to win one of the Grand
Slam events (assuming no walkovers) in tennis? James Edgerton had the right idea, but sadly lacked the ﬁnish; he worked out that that all the player’s serves would be aces/unreturned, and all the serves he faced would be double faults. Therefore, he would only hit four shots per service game, and none on his opponents serve. Over his nine games, it would be thirty six strokes a match. Multiply this by the number of rounds (seven) and ta-dah! You have 252 for a men’s singles title. But I didn’t say men’s, did I? Women play tennis as well, you know, and only need two sets to win a match. Therefore, they only need six service games to win each match 6-0, 6-0. So, four strokes a game, multiplied by the six service games is twenty four. Multiply this again by the number of rounds (seven) and you have 168, which is right. Right? Wrong. What about mixed/ women’s doubles? Each player would theoretically only need to serve three times per game, provided they won 6-0, 6-0. And if the only serves they received were double faults, that
would make only twelve shots a match. In some they also only have to play ﬁve matches to be champions. Therefore 12 x 5 = 60. Surely this is the answer? Well, I thought so, until it was pointed out to me that, under LTA rules, throwing the ball in the air and missing it on your service is technically a fault. So if you double fault all you service games by this method, your opponents double fault theirs and your partner aces all his/ her serves, you can technically win a doubles Grand Slam title without hitting a single shot. I await your hate mail with trepidation. So, here we go with this week:
Who is the only English footballer to win three top-level championship titles in three different countries? In cricket, what does the term ‘Nelson’ refer to? Email your answers, corrections and posers of your own to firstname.lastname@example.org. Tar-rah!
Santa and his little helpers beat UWE. Page 26: Hockey.
Tennis boys serve up a storm for London - Whitewash for first team against London Metropolitan. - Bath second string slide to narrow defeat. MEN’S 1STS TENNIS BATH UNIVERSITY LONDON MET 2ND’s
Sam Foxman Deputy Sports Editor BATH MEN’S 1sts Tennis managed an impressive 10-0 victory over London Metropolitan’s 2nd team. Bath were 6-0 up after the two doubles matches (each worth one point) and the first two of the singles matches (each worth two points). Being unable to win, the London side decided to forfeit their second pair of singles matches. The first doubles pairing of James Mott and Michael Joakim managed to regain the momentum in their doubles match – they saw a 7-1 lead fall to 7-6 before finally taking the necessary eighth game to win the match. Rich Abbott and Steve Knowles took a more comfortable route, beating the London Met 2nd pair 8-4. The first pair of singles matches were both won in straight sets by the Bath players. The swift despatching of their opponents
almost certainly contributed to London Met’s decision to retire with four points left to play, retaining a little dignity and getting home at a slightly more convenient time. Steve Knowles match finished very quickly, losing only one game in the course of the match. An accomplished all-round performance put Bath on the front foot early on. James Mott’s powerful serve went almost unbroken throughout his match and a combination of hard-hitting play from the baseline and aggressive net-play allowed him to take his sets 6-1, 6-3. The second set dragged on after Mott was broken serving for the set. He seemed increasingly bored with the lack of any significant challenge from his frustrated opponent. This win ended any hopes that London Met might have had to win the contest, and shortly afterwards they took the decision to retire. Bath 2nds were less effective, losing their match 6-4 with only one win from four singles matches.
Employability through sport PRICEWATERHOUSECOOPERS WILL host a workshop on campus about how skills derived from sport can help students become more employable. The session will run in conjunction with Skills for Work and Business (SORTED), and will take place on Thursday 10th December between 5.30pm and 7.30pm. This session clarifies the meaning of “employability” and how sport can play a major role in developing these necessary skills, understanding them through sport and relating them to employer competencies. It will also provide some useful techniques that will enable you to sell your skills effectively to your chosen employers during the application and interview stages. To attend, you must be signed up to SORTED. More information on how to do this is available at http://www.bathstudent.com/ organisation/7184/
SNOWBALL OR NO BALL: Sports clubs queued in the SU corridor for up to twenty hours in order to get their hands on tickets for the annual Snowball. People brought laptops, alcohol and even TVs to keep them occupied during that time. Tickets are now on sale to students, including non-Sports Association members, from Plug.
The University of Bath Students' Union newspaper