B r pe um e ag
Sabbs’ Corner page 22
Is e! su
bite page 1-24
Science page 18
Duck Season ‘11
bathimpact The University of Bath Students’ Union Newspaper
Monday 11th April 2011
Volume 12 Issue 13
Inside bathimpact Campus hits the small screen Channel 4 chose the University of Bath to film their new comedy show ‘Campus’. Scenes were filmed by the lake, in the library and on the Parade in the first episode of six. To read this article turn to page 4 of News
Tuition fee anger
Student organisers and guests celebrating the success of the World Food Programme fashion show in Elements that raised well over £3,000
Bath confirms £9,000 fees Cerian Jenkins bathimpact Reporter firstname.lastname@example.org
he University of Bath has become the latest in a growing number of universities to confirm that it will be charging UK and EU undergraduate students £9,000 per annum as of September next year. The fee adjustment remains subject to the approval of the Office for Fair Access (OFFA), but it seems unlikely that the decision will be challenged or overturned, particularly as it is supported by the University’s Council. In setting its tuition fees at the highest level permitted by the Coalition Government, Bath is joining the ranks of other UK universities such as Essex, Surrey, Oxford, Imperial College, Durham and Exeter, all of whom officially announced the same decision earlier this year. The University of Bath’s Vice Chancellor, Professor Glynis Breakwell, explained that “As one of the UK’s
leading universities, our priority is to provide the highest quality teaching, learning and personal development opportunities for our students. In order to maintain this quality of provision, we need to set a fee of £9,000.” Following the announcement, the University of Bath’s Students’ Union (BUSU), which has officially supported the campaign against higher tuition fees, released a statement saying “...we lost the fight with the Government and as a result fees have gone up nationwide. We now have to make the best of a bad situation and capitalise on enhancements you want to see at Bath”. So, what ‘enhancements’ can we hope to see thanks to our soon-to-be soaring fees? Our Vice Chancellor gave little away, merely stating that as well as apparently providing a ‘package of financial support’ to aspiring, underprivileged students wishing to attend Bath, the University is also “...committed to the continued enhancement of what we offer our students and we
will be working in partnership with the students’ union to prioritise future developments”. In response to this, the SU produced a ‘shopping list’ of possible improvements, which includes; enhanced professional placement opportunity for all students; improved feedback on assessed work; free core text books; free access to sports facilities and; free/ subsidised transport. The list, available in full at www.bathstudent.com/ fees, initially seems very inviting to Bath students. It appears that, should the University comply with these demands, elevated tuition fees will result in an increased emphasis upon student/staff relations, a higher quality student experience and an eventual better value-for-money university. This rather optimistic mentality is not reflected by everybody, however, and criticisms have been levied on a national scale. Many fear that such high fees will act as a major deterrent to potential university students, re-
sulting in a Higher Education system which favours the financially elite rather than the academically gifted. Others feel that holding a degree will not compensate for the amount of debt a graduate will have accrued upon leaving university which will now could be as high as £50,000. According to Students’ Union President Daniel ‘Dot’ O’Toole, it is therefore incredibly important that the students of the University of Bath unite and actively participate in the process of determining how to use this money for the good of the student body. It will, after all, affect us all in one way or another. To voice your opinion or to make suggestions as to how the University could make improvements, please visit www.bathstudent.com or email the Sabbatical team at email@example.com. Furthermore turn to page two for an editorial on this matter, to page ten for a Comment piece and to page 21 for athe SU’s stance to the fee increase.
In Comment this fortnight Jon Gleeve rants about the substantial increase in tuition fees, arguing that there better be some perks with the confirmed changes. To read this article and other rants flick to page 10 of Comment
Immigration crisis In International this issue Sarya Ricke tackles the subject of immigration in the EU. Do governments need to do more to stop the flow? Are there currently enough regulations in place to regulate it? To read Sarya’s analysis head to page 13 of International
Strictly hits Bath In Sport this fortnight Joe Dibben reports on the success of Strictly Hits Bath evening organised by Coach Education students, with some wonderful photographs accompanying. To read the review flick to page 30 of Sport
Monday 11th April 2011
Editorial Team: Editor-in-Chief Gina Reay firstname.lastname@example.org Deputy Editor Hannah Raymont email@example.com Chief Sub-Editor Sam Foxman firstname.lastname@example.org News Katie Rocker email@example.com Comment David James firstname.lastname@example.org International Julia Lipowiecka email@example.com Science Sam Lewtas firstname.lastname@example.org Sport Joe Dibben email@example.com
bite Caroline Leach firstname.lastname@example.org Rowan Emslie email@example.com Publicity Officer Julia Lipowiecka firstname.lastname@example.org Treasurer Rebecca Stagg email@example.com IT Officer Jack Franklin firstname.lastname@example.org Secretary Nick Hill email@example.com Advertising Enquires Helen Freeman H.Freeman@bath.ac.uk 01225 386806
bathimpact Students’ Union University of Bath Bath BA2 7AY 01225 38 6151 01225 44 4061
U n i v e r s i t y
B a t h
S t u d e n t s ’
The University of Bath Students’ Union Newspaper
Tuition fee increase highlights the importance of good representation
ast week a brand new Channel 4 comedy was aired. Campus is a surrealist sitcom set in a fictitious university (Kirke) that was filmed on this University’s campus last summer. At Kirke, an egotistical, power -mad Vice Chancellor rules the roost, terrifying staff members and students alike, barking orders from his elevated office overlooking what we know as Parade. What also happened last week was the University of Bath’s announcement that they would be charging future students the maximum £9000 tuition fees along with the majority of top universities in the country. In response, the Student’s Union have posted a ‘shopping list’ for potential improvements that could come hand in hand with the increase in fees. The University have unofficially stated that they will receive some extra funds from the increased fees. They have not, however, announced how much
The opinions expressed in bathimpact are not necessarily those of the bathimpact editors nor of the University of Bath Students’ Union. Whilst every effort is made to ensure that the information contained in this publication is correct and accurate at the time of going to print, the publisher cannot accept any liability for information which is later altered or incorrect. bathimpact as a publication adheres to the Press Complaints Commission’s Code of Conduct. Please contact them for any information.
University of Bath Students’ Union Printed by Harmsworth Press Ltd.
this increase will be nor indicated how any of this money will be spent. This begs the question: what is the SU’s justification for drawing up a shopping list and posting it online without any idea of what their budget will be? Future SU President David Howells says, “The shopping list is a beginning: if there are other things that students want then we need to know. Now is the time!” Some students have pointed out that to even have this debate represents defeat: after having campaigned heavily against the increased fees on a national level they are now seemingly negotiating the terms of their own failure. Pragmatists would point out that the battle over tuition fees was fought and lost in Westminster; it is the job of a responsible SU to react to the situation accordingly to try and ensure that some good comes out of the changes. An issue that hasn’t yet been discussed is the idea that the SU
have come into this debate too soon – they don’t have their facts yet, so they don’t know what they’re dealing with. What happens if, after engaging the student body in choosing a shopping list and getting everyone’s hopes up the University turns around and announces that the budgetary increase is £100? Suddenly the grandiose shopping list looks absurd and the SU once again come out of a dispute with the University with egg on its face. Nationally, the announcement that the Russell Group and 1994 Group have generally declared that they will be charging the maximum fees (32 institutions so far) has been met with disapproval. Business Secretary Vince Cable has warned that if too many institutions charge the full amount it might be difficult to fill all their spaces. In this case, Cable has threatened to cut student numbers which will certainly hurt the budgeting of the institutions in
question. University of Bath Vice Chancellor Glynis Breakwell signed in December 2010 a letter (along with 18 other VCs of leading UK institutions) that urged MPs and peers to ‘support the Government’s proposals’ regarding the increase in tuition fees. The wide-spread take up of the maximum fee structure has been justified in terms of competition – Bath needs to charge as much as other top institutions so it can continue to compete with top institutions. By this logic very few institutions are likely There is no doubt that the vast majority of people whose lives revolve around campus are irritated by the fees increase. That the SU are seeking to engage students proactively on this issue is admirable. The problem, as ever, lies in the fact that it is the University that hold the cards and, rather than screaming down from the rooftop, it is playing them close to its chest.
Student safety is a key priority for the Union - and for students
U n i o n
ast week marked the discovery of the body of Bath Spa student James Bubear in the River Weir. A few weeks ago, two girls named Sian O’ Callaghan and Becky Goden-Edwards went missing in Swindon. Last Thursday, a student who had gone missing in London was found in Hyde Park. Their deaths have shocked and upset a lot of people; even students here at Bath have been affected by a student going missing so close to a place where we have all learned to feel safe. Sian and Becky’s case became a murder investigation overnight. The subsequent arrests made may have brought justice to the families involved, but there is still little peace of mind for many others who some of whom may only have been effected by this incidentally. James is one of a number of students who has gone missing in this area in recent years. The CCTV
evidence showed him having an amicable conversation with a friend moments before he went missing. We should all consider the dangers that we face on nights out and that is why so much of this issue of bathimpact has been dedicated not only to the tragic events of the last fortnight but also to what students can do to protect themselves from the dangers inherent in living independently. Chances are, the proximity of these untimely deaths is down to nothing but that: chance. The University of Bath very rarely has to deal with incidents of this sort. Any tragedy is clearly one tragedy too many, but we must be careful to balance increasing student awarness with overstating the risks. Bath is a relatively safe place in terms of disappearances so, when it does happen, people are going to be concerned and surprised. It may
seem to many to be simple common sense not to walk home alone in the dark, not to go down dark alleyways and to never let a friend go home alone - no matter how much you want to stay. But that doesn’t stop people from going missing or being hurt. These are some of the kind of issues that the Students’ Union’s THINK Week has been set up to address. The Union, supported by the Advice and Representation Centre, is running a week-long series of events to encourage and advise people on a multitude of things. Personal safety a big part of that. How to stay safe is really important on a night out and it’s not like that’s a rarity at university. The THINK Week volunteers will be on hand to give you information on sticking together, keeping an eye out for other people you know and the best ways to prepare yourself before you
start drinking - always worthwhile. There’s a big push on personal safety not only due to recent events but also because of the general worry about students in general. Students are not necessarily best known for the sensibleness of their behaviour, and though some might consider this advice patronising, it is important and useful information. Safety is paramount in a place where we have, most of us for the first time in our lives, independence. We should take all the advice we can for peace of mind for ourselves, our families and our friends. Bad things happen to people - not regularly, but sometimes - and it can be scary to think someone as close to us as James Bubear can vanish without a trace only to be discovered a few days later. We should just be wary that it does happen; it happens to normal people from normal places when they’re doing normal things.
Monday 11th April 2011
VP Education faces no-conf Student opinions £9000 tuition fees O ver the last week a group of students have been collecting signatures for a petition to bring about a vote of no confidence in VP Education, Matt Benka. In the recent Sabbatical Elections, Matt Benka was only recently re-elected to a second term as VP Education with 52 per cent of the popular vote, running on a platform of promising to improve
quality of teaching. He has come under criticism from the Sabbatical Review Panel who last month voted to give a formal warning about some aspects of his performance this year. No confidence proceedings can be initiated by a petition signed by two and a half per cent of the student population. From a student population of just over 14,000, this is 371 students. If the Union re-
ceives this petition they will make arrangements for a vote to be held on whether the student body have confidence in their VP Education. If over 1,484 students vote in that election (ten per cent of the student body), with 66 per cent voting in favour of the petition then he would be removed his office this year. Check bathstudent.com for any updates on this situation as it evolves.
National award for student shop
ast year’s Global Entrepreneurship Week, which saw eight teams of students competing in the Southgate centre, has for the second year running won an award for ‘outstanding entrepreneurial impact’. The Bath initiative, part of a government-coordinated scheme that runs ‘Global Entrepreneurship
Week’, is unusual because it is run by students, and the award recognises this, as well as the huge success that the event has been. The teams were given £200 to run a business for a day, and also received advice from local business mentors. The winners of the event, Cuppycakes, sold more than £500 worth of handmade cakes in the day,
and shared the profits between them. Andrew Seed, the student who project-managed the shop, has also been invited to South Korea to speak about the event at a workshop aimed at increasing start-up companies worldwide. “[It] was a fantastic experience and a great way to try out business skills without taking on the real-life risk. It’s a real honour to represent Bath’s student enterprise in South Korea and I hope to bring back some great new entrepreneurial ideas.” Siobain Hone, Student Enterprise Coordinator, said: “It’s a fantastic allround entrepreneurial experience for the students and a good addition to their CVs.” BANTER – the Bath student entrepreneurs’ society – is looking for a student to take on Andrew’s job and project manage the event, which is once again going to be held in November. Anyone interested should email firstname.lastname@example.org
Scott Burfiend (2nd year student): “£9k seems excessive, and somewhat of a status symbol for the uni than anything else. I get that fees have to go up, but it’d be nice to see the accounts, and how much Bath stands to lose from the cuts. Is an extra £6k per student necessary? Could they make up the difference in another way? I know £9k would have made me think twice about uni.” Fourth year student: “What about sponsorship schemes, such as the police or the army? Are they still going to exist? There’s going to be a huge demand for them, so some companies might benefit from that.” Hannah Raymont (3rd year student): “Although some of the government’s proposals are admirable, I found out this weekend at home that if fees were £9000 for me then ‘absolutely no way would I have even gone to uni’... though my parents disagreed on this one - as long as it meant getting a degree from Bath or somewhere else decent, then £9000 may be worth it.” Bath graduate: “As The Now Show mocked: ‘What do we want? No fees! And if we can’t get that? Charge £9k so we don’t look like a crap uni!’” Caroline Leach (2nd year student): “I think all the very best universities (Oxbridge, London Imperial etc) are charging the same so Bath does it just to appear the same level as those universities - it won’t cost that much per student, the Academic Reps have been told there’s a huge amount of money available for improvements, it just seems unnecessary to charge so much.” Language student: “It should have been a gradual increase, not just tripling from one year to the next.” What would you want if you had to pay £9k fees? Sian Marie Elliot (2nd year student): “Six grand of it back.” Languages student: “More contact hours, more detailed feedback, more copies of essential course books in the library.”
Missing Bath Spa student found dead last week Cerian Jenkins bathimpact reporter
olice investigating the disappearance of Bath Spa University student James Bubear recovered a body from the River Avon on Monday last week. Avon and Somerset police have now formally identified the body as that of James, who went missing on the night of March 13th. The distressing discovery was made by a member of staff at the Environment agency, and comes some three weeks after James first went missing. His death is not being treated as suspicous. The hunt for James, who was last seen leaving Revolutions Bar on George Street on Sunday 13th March, sparked a huge voluntary operation, resulting in hundreds of people marching through Bath city centre on March 26th in an attempt to raise awareness about his disappearance. Support also came in the form
of a Facebook group, ‘Help Find James Bubear’, established when James first went missing. A statement reportedly from a close friend posted on the group read: “Hi it’s Jacques here. “I am with the family at the moment and Vanda has asked me to let you all know that it has unfortunately been confirmed that it is James. I’m sure the family would like some privacy at the moment to come to terms with this. “Sorry to bring the bad news and love and many thanks to all that has helped through this awful time. R.I.P James, always loved never forgotten xxx” Since the announcement of last Monday’s tragic discovery, tributes and condolences have been pouring in from the group’s 12,500 members. A joint statement from Avon and Somerset Police and Bath and North East Somerset Council indicated that experts are going to be investigating whether
safety measures are needed on the River Avon in the city after three deaths in less than two years. They said, “Avon and Somerset Police and B&NES Council have commissioned an independent report from the Royal Society for the Prevention of Accidents to assess where safety improvements could be made between Churchill Bridge and Windsor Bridge, which is considered the location where most water-related safety incidents take place. This report will be presented to the relevant landowners for them to consider how any recommendations can be acted upon.” Bath police have once again released advice to young people about keeping safe on a night out in the city. They urge people to drink responsibly; share a taxi with others; if walking, stick to well-lit main roads and do not walk alone; tell friends where they are going; and stay in groups and look out for each other.
James Bubear: Recovered from the Avon on Monday last week.
Monday 11th April 2011
The first episode roused giggles from Bath students, many of whom were shocked to see Parade on the small screen.
Filming by the lake
The cast of Campus
C IDPS University of Bath 2011
academic mediocrity’ with buildings of ‘gently crumbling 60’s concrete’. In the adverts leading up to the series debut, a snapshot of the Parade was visible with five concrete letters being placed outside the library reading K-I-R-K-E. Actors are seen walking past Parade Bar and the 4West Café as well as in Level Four of the library. Scenes were also shot at a college and oth-
er office locations in London. Amongst the actors playing the unintelligent academic staff we see Joseph Millson who starred as Carter in Bond film Casino Royale and Will Adamsdale from The Boat That Rocked. In episode one, ‘Publication! Publication! Publication!’ we saw VC Jonty De Wolfe and the other members of Academic Staff in the midst of financial and educational crisis. Jonty is titillated by the success of the Maths lecturer and her best selling book and urges other staff to look to her for inspiration. The first episode roused giggles from many Bath students, many of whom were shocked to see Parade on the small screen. One former Bath student told bathimpact “I was just watching the Channel Four adverts and suddenly saw campus, with the lake and the Parade Bar and everything, I couldn’t believe it, we’re famous!”. ‘Campus’ began on 5th April with Episode One. There will be five more episodes being shown on Channel Four at 10pm on Tuesday evenings.
f you tuned into Channel Four last Tuesday to watch the new comedy series ‘Campus’ things may have looked rather familiar. The University of Bath has a starring role with many scenes being shot on Parade, in the library and by the lake. In the new six-part comedy series, the University of Bath plays the role of Kirke University and the show follows the character of Jonty de Wolfe, Kirke’s ambitious ViceChancellor played by Andy Nyman. The new series was filmed last Summer when the cast and Monicker film crew took over several campus locations to shoot the six episodes. The plot sees Kirke University in crisis, threatened by a cloud of financial doom. The series, however, is not all doom and gloom and ‘Campus’ sees British comedy at its best with a plot that focuses mainly on ‘a love story with lots of sex’. Directed and produced by Vic-
toria Pile, the brainbox behind Channel Four’s BAFTA award winning hospital-based comedy Green Wing, it guarantees to get some laughs from students. The University of Bath, however, was not chosen for its beauty or acting skills. Channel Four told bathimpact that they wanted Kirke University to be a ‘hotbed of
Gina Reay Editor-in-Chief email@example.com
C IDPS University of Bath 2011
On a TV near you: ‘Campus’, starring the University of Bath
Filming on campus
Jonty de Wolfe (Andy Nyman), Vice-Chancellor of Kirke Uni
Monday 11th April 2011
Chris Walter, one of the two cyclists, preparing for the ride
The Road to Burnley Chris Walter bathimpact reporter
he ‘Road to Burnley’ is a unique cycling endurance challenge set up by two students with the aim of raising at least £3000 for Cancer Research UK. The ride will begin at the southern-most football club in the Barclays Premier League as of the 2011/2012 season and will continue via all of the other clubs until they reach Burnley FC. Burnley has been chosen as the final destination for the journey in memory of one of the student’s mothers who lost her battle with breast cancer late last year. Burnley was a
club which she religiously supported with much passion and desire. One of the students is a first year Sports Scientist and the other is a first year English and Philosophy student in Sheffield. Neither has any experience of cycling. They spoke to bathimpact earlier this week and told us, “We are on a steep learning curve and would be grateful of some tips and/or advice from any cycling enthusiasts reading! We are working very hard to make this event a huge success and would love your help in achieving this. As students ourselves we understand that money can be like gold dust but any donation however big or small is really appreci-
ated and is going towards such an incredible cause! If you are unable to help financially, we are keen to find some sponsorship and so if any of you know of any companies or useful contacts that may be able to help us out, please get in touch! We’d also like to thank Trotec Laser Ltd. for their invaluable support.” A full event description and link to their blog can be found at their donation page – www.justgiving. com/roadtoburnley. If you would like to keep up to date on Facebook then search for the event “Road to Burnley”. They are happy to be contacted on roadtoburnley@ gmail.com.
Top tips for keeping safe on nights out Ross Pownall bathimpact reporter
he fear of having a drink spiked should not be a major concern of anyone’s on a night out. If someone offers to buy a drink the natural reaction should not be suspicion. On a similar note, generally people should be perfectly happy to leave their drink unattended on a table before they go to the toilet or into the smokers section in a night club. Most people’s main concern should rather be that the drink is still there on their return and not that it has been tampered with in some way. Perhaps this could be seen as reckless behaviour but
equally this behaviour is accepted as normal - to be suspicious should not be the norm. If everyone brought out a drink spiking testing kit every time someone bought them a drink, then the community as a whole would suffer in a climate of fear and mistrust. The campaign of the Ethical Marketing Team - formed by Management students at the University of Bath - is being launched during the SU’S THINK week between the 11-15 April. They say that their aim is “not to turn our student population here in Bath into cynical and untrusting individuals, but purely to provide some information regarding the motives behind drink spiking and
Anti-drink spiking tips 1) Never leave your drink unattended. 2) Never let someone you don’t know buy you a drink. If someone offers you a drink, don’t feel obliged to accept it and if you do make sure you watch the drink being ‘made’. 3) Never give out your address to a stranger. Remember how freely you are prepared to tell people your campus address and how easy it would be for a potential attacker to learn how to say “I live at Eastwood 36” 4) Make sure you take care of your friends, monitor how much they are drinking and tell them what your plans are for the evening. (this doesn’t have to be a minute-by-minute account of your night club agenda, but simply an indication of where you propose to end up). 5) If you suspect a friend has had their drink spiked (i.e. displaying the main symptoms written above left) make sure you stay with the victim, call the police and take them to A and E. 6) Buy a bottle stopper or drink spiking testing kit (these will be given out at the THINK campus event) 7) Buy a bottled drink if you’re in a busy place where someone could easily slip something into your drink, and keep your thumb over the hole (this also means you don’t pour half your drink down yourself whilst you’re dancing)
what immediate actions you can take if you or a friend feel you may have had your/their drink tampered with.” Working in conjunction with
Symptoms of drink spiking include dizziness, vomiting, memory loss and unconsciousness
the Bath and Avon Police, the THINK team seek to raise awareness of this matter. The campus team states that it is keen to hear from you on the 11th April. They are offering information packs, games and prizes to give away. They are looking to collect 300 signatures, which will give them the popular support to lobby both the SU and other bars in Bath to take a firmer stance against the potential for drink spiking and provide punters with bottle stoppers or drink testing kits. Government campaigns usually handle drink spiking in conjunction with the subject of date-rape. The Ethical Marketing Team seeks to appeal to people who might not usually be seen as the targets for such campaigns: most notably, young men. They want to remind you that “here are actually a number of reasons why someone may tamper with your drink, whoever you are, which really drive home the sickening reality of this issue.” There are other reasons to spike drinks: they are very often spiked in order to carry out a robbery or physical
assault, where the victim is left battered and bruised but unable to identify their attackers beacuse they lack the memory or means to do so. This, therefore, makes it nearly impossible to catch the perpetrator. Drink spiking is an offence punishable by up to 10 years in prison but some attacks are carried out purely for the person’s amusement or to be malicious. It is important, the group states, to highlight these alterior motives. The difficulties in tackling the problems of drink spiking are extensive. Firstly, given the amount of alcohol students consume, the symptoms shown by a drink spiking victim may be hard to differentiate from any other simply drunk student. In the past, drink spiking amongst UK students has
11th - 15th April Dates for the second THINK Week been written off by many in the press as an ‘urban myth’ - a convenient excuse used by embarrassed students who are simply seeking to justify the reasons for losing their inhibitions on a boozy night out. Partly because of this, it is often the generally held position towards drink spiking to view any such story with cynicism - much like rape allegations. A member of he group gives this illustrative anecdote, “I remember an incident where a friend told me they thought they
had had their drink spiked, and my first reaction was also innately cynical, asking “hmm, are you sure you didn’t just have too much to drink?” Drink spiking does happen and figures are rising throughout the United Kingdom. The group argues that widespread cynical mindsets are helping to fuel this expansion. It is very difficult to trace the presence of a drink spiking drug unless it is dealt with quickly after ingestion. For example, Gamma Hydroxy Butyrate (GHB) can exit one’s system after just 24 hours. As a result, most cases are dismissed with a lack of evidence to bring a case forward. This reduces public support to lobby the government and really clamp down on the issue. Fortunately, reported cases of drink spiking in Bath are rare. The police try to ensure that local nightclubs are well lit and that extensive CCTV is in use to remove opportunities for those people that may intend to spike our drinks. If a case is reported to the police, it is taken very seriously and there will be a full investigation. Procedure generally includes a visit to said premises to inspect the prevention processes and they insist on ways whereby they could protect their clients more effectively in the future. On the left are a few proactive steps - provided by the group students can take to making sure they remain safe on a night out. Be safe, be careful and help to buck the increasing trend in the number of drink spiking cases in the UK.
bathimpact The University of Bath Studentsâ€™ Union Newspaper
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firstname.lastname@example.org get involved bathimpact contributors meeting: Tuesday 12th April in 6E 2.1, see you there!
Monday 11th April 2011
Avoid the lash at Beau Nash Why, technically speaking, you should avoid The Beau Nash like the plague David James Comment Editor email@example.com
s some of you may know, I have recently stirred quite a bit of friction by criticising ‘Theory’, the now deceased Friday club night organised by the Students’ Union in Elements. Theory organisers, and indeed the SU’s sabbatical team, disapproved of my views in a previous article and even offered a retort. Now that Theory is officially cancelled; aside from the tediousness of sustainability week, the miniscule gathering called ‘Festival’ on the Hill, the cake sales outside the library, the Summer Ball line-up, the newly-elected sabbs, Banter’s recent stint in Korea, the irony of showcasing paper-thin models at a fashion show promoting the World Food Programme and the £15-is-expensive-ifit-only-includes-a-drinks-reception Activities Awards; I’m fast running out of things to complain about. Don’t turn to the crossword just yet, though, as one of the city’s bars has recently moved straight into the middle of my cross hairs. In December 2009, the city centre pub ‘The Litten Tree’ changed its name to ‘The Beau Nash’ after a £175,000 facelift. Richard Nash, later Beau Nash, held the unofficial posi-
tion of Master of Ceremonies (allround host) to the City of Bath during the 18th-century and had the job of welcoming aristocracy and escorting unaccompanied women to the formal gatherings of ‘The Company’ (an elite group of approximately 600 people who were considered the core of Bath’s ‘society’). Whilst he also regulated gambling throughout the city, he in fact built up huge debts on the gaming tables himself and, towards the end of his life, was forced to move in with his mistress. Hence you may wonder why The Litten Tree was re-
The dishwasher has broken down and it’d be unsafe for you to enter
The Beau Nash door staff named after a bigamous and bankrupt malefactor, and you’re right to. I do as well. Last Monday was one of my close friend’s birthdays and she organised a full-on night out starting with jagerbombs and cocktails in Beau Nash before sliding through on guestlist to Second Bridge. It was all too exciting for words.
The Beau Nash, George St, is the standard prelash venue for Mondays
Or rather it would have been, because when I arrived at the entrance of the pub (being fashionably late as ever) I was told that nobody else could enter. After enquiring with the bouncers, they stated that no further people could enter because there were “technical issues” inside. Now I can understand that ‘technical issues’ may arise when the millennium bug eats your hard-drive or an earthquake runs clean through a nuclear power station. I can even sympathise when technical issues mean you miss your 9 o’clock from Heathrow. But what technical natured problems could possibly be affecting a Somerset pub like The Beau Nash. I was curious, so I probed the bouncers further (with questions);
“So what kind of technical issues are you facing?” “Oh”, they said, “The, er, dishwasher seems to have broken down, and it’d be unsafe for you to enter”. “The dishwasher?” I repeated, just to make sure I wasn’t hearing things. “Yes the dishwasher. The boss says we can’t allow anyone else in until we’ve got the dishwasher up and running again. If you fancy a drink, why not try the Slug & Lettuce across the road”. Whilst I realise that dishwashers are essential when running a hustle n’ bustle pub like the Beau Nash, I found it particularly hard to empathise with their situation when there were three other members of staff smoking along-
side blowing smoke directly down my throat. Don’t bar staff know how to wash and dry glasses? I appreciate, with my privileged university education, that not everyone is trained in how to integrate trigonometric functions or conjugate the pluperfect tense (excluding those delightful yet simple folk who study at Bath Spa), but I imagine that the majority of the population (and almost certainly those employed in a bar) would have the skills necessary to wash and dry glasses. Yet, it seems, I could not have been more wrong. Mind you, I shouldn’t be surprised because part of their ‘Famous Bath Figures’ display is Jane Austan. As it happens, a quick Google search confirms that Jane lives in Iowa with her sole facebook friend. I think they may mean Jane Austen (acclaimed novelist of romantic fiction)? Though put the name ‘Jane Austen’ to The Beau Nash bouncers and I’m confident you’d get a pair of confused blank faces in return. So next time you head out ‘laaaarrrge’ on Monday night, I’d recommend following the bouncer’s advice. Head to the Slug & Lettuce. It’s got nicer interior, it’s just as cheap, and, most importantly, they won’t deny you entry because of a few ‘technical issues’.
Credit slating agencies bathimpact Contributor Magali Calabressi explains the power of risk ratings
here is an ongoing battle between Euroland countries that have become victims of closeto-junk grading and credit rating agencies. Such agencies are said to be necessary for investors as they provide peace of mind by analysing, reporting and determining the credit risk of companies and fixed-term investments (i.e. doing the ‘homework’ for investors). Nonetheless, many are expressing a lack of trust, particularly following the failure of these agencies to speculate and later identify the mounting risk that led to the global financial crisis back in 2008. As a result, credit agencies now find themselves competing with each other in order to establish credibility. Inevitably the gravity of their past faults falls directly onto struggling economies, as they now seem to overcompensate in order to seem more proactive; in turn slowing economic
recovery and infuriating world leaders. The Greek finance minister has released a two-page fulmination against Moody’s, one of the leading US credit rating agencies, expressing his acerbic views and making his stand crystal clear. This came after the decision by Moody’s to downgrade Greece to a B+, a grading indicating to investors that the investment is “Highly Speculative”. To put this into context, Moody’s believes that the state of the Greek economy is on par with the likes of Azerbaijan, Guatemala, Morocco and
Panama amongst others. Similarly, Standard&Poor’s rates Greece on par with Colombia and Romania. Up to 2009, Greece was rated A+ by both agencies, which was equivalent to the rating of: China, Spain and Belgium. They even promoted Enron, - a worldleading energy supplier with revenues exceeding $100bn - which collapsed due to a huge accountancy frauds. Greece criticised Moody’s decision claiming it was incomprehensible and unjustified, saying “Ultimately, Moody’s downgrading of Greece’s debt
reveals more about the misaligned incentives and the lack of accountability of credit rating agencies than the genuine state or prospects of the Greek economy”. It’s no surprise governments are unnerved by the side effects of the agencies’ decisions. After all, these have caused borrowing costs to soar, making it even harder for the respective country to bounce back; but it is important to realise that changes have and are being implemented in order to make ratings more reliable and to
Greece’s risk rating
prevent mishaps, like the 2008/9 financial crisis, from occurring. Greek ministers have identified the problem as an incessant circle saying, “credit rating agencies are reacting to the mar-
kets and then the markets are reacting to the rating agencies. You have a vicious circle”. Moody’s downgrading of Greece by 9 notches in just over 18 months infuriated many as, conventionally; it takes a company over 35 years to be downgraded by that same proportion. It is evident that what is needed is a healthy balance. Credit rating agencies should be cautious not to cause sudden fluctuations in an economy’s risk assessments without sufficient evidence. This situation is fragile and, as Jacques Cailloux (chief European economist at RBS) puts it, “We do not seem to have moved on, which highlights how difficult this problem is to tackle”. It is necessary, however, for credit rating agencies to exist, as investors do not have the capital to undertake the analysis required for a safe investment. This is only the beginning of a long road of financial regulations and debate.
Monday 11th April 2011
Loose Women vs. Andy Gray
bathimpact Editor-in-Chief Gina Reay asks the question: Is female sexism acceptable?
walked into the unisex toilets in the campus Parade Bar last night and was greeted with an unflushed toilet, an upright seat and the stench of urine and sweat. This, I thought to myself, was the fresh smell of gender equality. Now, for a long time I have referred to myself as a feminist. Not a radical feminist who thinks all men are arseholes and all women would get it; I believe in equality. I think men and women are both wonderful in different ways and therefore deserve equal rights. Women have died to get the vote and starved
Men should have a right to leave the loo seat up
themselves to free their gender from sexual abuse, public inferiority and objectification. So why did walking into a unisex toilet disgust me so much? This got me thinking about female sexism. The fact that us women whine at men to put the toilet seat down is
sexist. If we really believed in equality, then a man would have as much of a right to leave the seat up as we have to leave it down. If we believed in equality, Loose Women would be virtually illegal. A team of women on a panel discussing how useless men are whilst shamelessly objectifying every male guest they interview is not fair. Men certainly wouldn’t get away with doing the same thing (although arguably Soccer AM is almost at this point). I find it quite unbelievable that in a world where women constantly complain about the curse of inferiority, Andy Gray can lose his job for privately commenting that women shouldn’t be lineswomen whereas Denise Walsh or one of the other loose ladies could quite happily state on air that she would never trust her husband to do the ironing. Now, this does NOT mean that I am sticking up for Mr Gray. His comments were harsh and unjustified. We live in a society where the number of females progressing in the world of football is growing and growing. His remark was therefore laughably ignorant. We do, however, need to realise that if we expect male
Is Loose Women a triumph for feminism or a disgrace to women?
sexism to be disciplined severely, then, in the interests of equality, female sexism should be too. It works both ways, ladies. Women’s magazines dominate newsagents’ shelves, boasting headlines like ‘a sure fire way to tell your man is a cheater’ and ‘why he’s too lazy to have sex!’. Is portraying men in such a negative light fair? No. Ironically, feminist groups are constantly campaigning to have trashy, lad’s magazines taken off the shelves, supporting that they are sexist and,
in effect, mainstream porn. The will to reclassify these rags as ‘pornography’ is absurd, especially when you look at articles and features in female publications like Cosmopolitan and More. Cosmo regularly prints photographs of celebrities posing in the nuddy with everything on show but there bits. How is this any different from the women who pose topless? I firmly believe that the women who choose to do this are stupid and the magazines that choose to print them are written for an audience with a
mental age of eight, BUT, women’s mags are no different. Feminism fights specifically against the idea of ‘one rule for them and another for us’ so why are activists campaigning for a continuation of this approach but one that favours the female gender rather than the male? It is undeniable that the trend of ‘Lad Culture’ and its rules of masculinity are making throwaway comments like ‘get in the kitchen and make me a sandwich, that’s your job’ a lot more commonplace in society. It is, however, just as bad for us to make generalisations like ‘men never do the washing up’. In a world where women are being mothers, wives AND having an education and going into fulltime work, we should be proud that we are finally being respected and seen as peers rather than objects. We cannot spoil this by become hypocrites. For decades we have fought against the theory that ‘the woman’s place is in the home’ yet so often we criticise and generalise the male gender for being a certain way as well. We are finally respected and we are almost equal, let’s not be sexists. That’d just make us as bad as them.
Remove cigarettes from display? Paranoia!
Why Britain’s plans to sell cigarettes under the counter should go up in smoke Vasudevan Rajesh bathimpact Contributor
display? I’m not saying that they should remove everything else as well but I think there are certainly double standards. The confusion in ways to bring the consumption of tobacco down is phenomenal. Awareness programmes and in-
moking is bad for yourhealth: a phrase more cliché than a bollywood love story. Unless you have been living on the moon for the last 20 years, you would have read a similar phrase or seen a corresponding photograph. First there was a 10% rise in the price of cigarettes which already was six times what I used to pay at home in Dubai and now cigarettes are going to be removed from display altogether. The government says that this is to ensure that new people are not tempted to take up smoking. This is particularly ridiculous as hiding cigarettes will almost certainly not stop people from smoking. An 18-year-old will start going to the pub with his mates and see people smoking anyway. This is also partly hypocritical as alcohol which is not necessarily the beverage of immortality is sold freely, advertised frequently and cheaper
It’s not like smokers go around blowing smoke at people’s faces
Cartons already advertise smoking’s health-effects, should they be banned from display as well?
than most countries. Drink responsibly is the guidance issued on beer cans and liquor bottles but when the UK tops the drinking rate in Europe , the word responsibly is changed to relentlessly. The number of alcohol-related deaths in the UK has increased since the early 1990’s, rising from the low-
est figure of 4,023 (6.7 per 100,000 population) in 1992 to the highest of 9,031 (13.6 per 100,000) in 2008. Passive smoking is harmful but people tend to make far too big a deal out of it. It’s not like smokers go around incessantly blowing smoke in people’s faces. So many times I have been out and about
with smokers - even in a place as quiet as Bath - but I never complain. Smoking is a personal choice, neither governments nor anyone else should interfere with personal choice. How can one justify having rows of alcohol and shelves of porn yet removing cigarettes from the
centives should be the way forward for the government, not blind, paranoid policies. I’m not a crusader for smoking and I’m not encouraging anybody to take up smoking. It is dangerous but people already know that and choose to ignore it. That’s why a quarter of the UK’s population still smokes. Anyway, I’m done with this article, time for a smoke. Hello gorgeous, can I borrow your lighter, please?
Monday 11th April 2011
Where’s my helper monkey?
bathimpact contributor Jon Gleeve states that £9,000 tuition fees better include some perks
ishop Grosseteste University College Lincoln, or ‘BG University’ as they are known in the ‘hood of Lincolnshire, became the first university in England to announce that they would be charging below the maximum £9,000 tuition fee cap come 2012. For a mere snip at £7,500 you could obtain a BA in “heritage studies” or if you really fancy a challenge, a BA in “drama in the community”. If a University with a made-up and abbreviated name which is one letter away from being known as the University of Blowjobs, can charge £7,500 for equally made up sounding degrees, then logically: Bath, Durham, Oxford, Cambridge and other leading universities should be to charge whatever the hell they want. By comparing ‘BJ’ University and their future tuition fees to that of our establishment, you get the impression that, in actuality, £9,000 is a bit of a bargain. Although I am not going to applaud the government’s university cuts in any shape or form, I can sort of see where they are coming from. Cuts have to be made from somewhere and it is just unlucky for us that it is coming from the education
sector. I guess they thought it better to inconvenience the humble student body rather than to really piss off the masses by raising the price of public transport by an equally large percentage. Hopefully these new fees will not be a permanent feature; once the economy stabilizes I would like to think that David Cameron and his cronies would see sense to gradually reduce the tuition fee cap back to an affordable level. But this may just be wishful thinking, as when the last cap of £3,290 came in I am guessing people said the same thing - and look
they are understaffed at times and the budget was always running into the red. But, from what I saw, the staff still did a stand up job (I am kind of obliged to say that though)
BG University’s tuition fee
I am not going to applaud the government’s university cuts in any shape or form
how that ended... What I am failing to fathom, however, and this may just be my peanut sized man-brain struggling to comprehend concepts other then boobs and beer for once, is why we have to pay £100 to use any part of the STV
£9,000 each could buy luxury library desks or limo trips to campus
and its facilities next year?! Answers on a postcard please.
I spent the best part of two years working there as a lifeguard and yes,
and they always got by. More money would indeed be helpful (they could blow it on a few extra cross-trainers in the gym or yet another set of uniforms) but not really necessary. In my book, students are getting royally screwed over by the University’s cash hungry management. And if we are going to be forced to pay our way through university, we should certainly get some perks in return. For £100 I expect more than free facilities - I expect whoever’s decision it was to introduce this fee to run around the STV in a pink tutu, serving me alcoholic beverages with mini parasol umbrellas in them, whilst kissing my shoes and affirming how awesome I am. And for £9,000 in tuition, I expect my desk to be made out of solid gold and a little helper monkey to take all my notes for me.
Charlie Sheen: Bi-winning or bi-mental?
The tragedy of seeing your best-loved comedy hero go AWOL with pornstars and tiger blood Jack Penrose bathimpact Contributor
t’s pretty obvious that Charlie Sheen has lost his marbles. To some he is just another nutjob who has had a bit too much of the good life, to others, he’s a hero. Recently he has outdone himself, but should we be surprised at Hollywood’s latest badass who can’t get enough of the party lifestyle? In his own words, Sheen professed to having “tiger blood and Adonis DNA”, as well as other nonsensical claims such as being “bi-winning” and being a “total freaking rock star from Mars”. The thing that I can’t work out is why people are so willing to accept such a clearly dysfunctional and insane movie star in the name of entertainment? When some of our favourite TV and film personalities go a bit off the rails, we start to really question why. Why did Owen Wilson try to kill himself? Why did Christian Bale rant at a techie who dared to
walk around during a scene? Why has Charlie Sheen gone mental? Charlie Sheen started off as a promising actor appearing in the hard-hitting war picture Platoon, and was most recently booed off stage at his first gig on his sell-out solo stand-up tour. Let’s not forget
that this man has over 3 million avid followers on Twitter, and an astonishingly poor receipt of assault charges, who admits to taking “more [drugs] than anybody could survive”, and who lives with two porn stars in an open relationship is he really a hero? An effective role model? Sheen was recently fired from his show Two and a Half Men for making several alarming comments about the show’s producers and creators, as well as complaining he isn’t paid enough (reportedly over $2m per episode, which makes him the highest earner as a TV actor), he’s constantly drawn to the spotlight to try and clear his name, which unfortunately only serves as a purpose of giving himself enough airtime that he can say other questionable phrases such as, “My brain fires in a way that is probably not from this particular terrestrial realm”. He basically gives himself enough rope to hang himself every time he appears on TV or on the ra-
dio to try and dispel rumours that he has lost the plot. In doing so, he proves that he is “bi-mental”, and has his family and friends (if there are any left) in a perennial state of deep concern for the clear issues he has. Is it tragic? I don’t know, I blame the guy himself for getting mixed up with that sort of lifestyle – it’s very irresponsible and is certainly something we shouldn’t look up to, but then again, I’m not a Hollywood actor, so maybe I don’t understand what it’s like to get paid so much money I don’t know what to do with it. I think there is something fundamentally wrong with us as a society for lauding this man as a hero for ignoring the clearly dysfunctional nature of someone who has ruined their career and life through excessive drug abuse and a penchant for anger and domestic violence (which he deems as “passion”). Then again, maybe the reason we still love Charlie is that it’s funny. It’s really funny and en-
tertaining to hear his thoughts on life – I have watched the interview on YouTube countless times, and I also have the power to listen (and to not listen) to it as often as I like. Maybe that’s why we love Charlie Sheen and call him a hero: we don’t
My brain fires in a way that is probably not from this terrestrial realm
Charlie Sheen know the real Charlie Sheen, all we see is a hilarious set of scenes and a list of memorable quotes from a man who is clearly off his rocker. The verdict? Clearly bi-mental, but definitely bi-winning as well – as he stated on his tour to a heckler: “I already got your money, man, you all came here and paid for a show which you had no idea what it was gonna be about” – the man’s clearly having the last laugh.
Monday 11th April 2011
WFP Fashion Show The World Food Programme Fashion Show was a huge success, with 200 fashon-concious students attending and nearly £2000 raised to fund hot meals for children in Latin America. bathimpact contributor Anishka Gheewala was there to take in the sights and sounds.
sarees in a variety of colours, offsetting the vibrant oranges and turquoises with duller colours such as maroon or a dusky green. “The intervals of dancing added to the energy of the catwalk” suggested one onlooker and we even had a bit of the old booty-shake with the African theme outfits, and an opulent red velvet oriental outfit tying together the international theme. BodySoc got involved with a provocative number with music from the pop icon Britney Spears bringing us back to the West. The art exhibition, though slightly sparse showed how much talent Bath has to offer – not just in academics or the sports field. There were photos as well as paintings and this writer had the urge to nick one of them, but refrained from any petty crime that would tarnish her reputation. Ending with an hour-long music set, the event was brought to a successful close. James Cook and Amy Fox excelled themselves, with a mix or original music and covers. A smooth, jazz female voice went fantastically well with unique tones of Mr Cook, with a group of fans in the front waving their metaphorical lighters in the air. Now a thought to leave you with, in terms of dress code in Elements, is fancy dress being taken over by black tie? Dressing up like actual penguins becoming dressing up in penguin suits? Bawdy replaced by Bond? Sam Short
he UN World Food Programme in conjunction with University of Bath students created an elegant charity event on Thursday 31st March, including a catwalk, art exhibition and fantastic music set. So Elements, may have lost its ‘Only Drunk Students’ label, but what was it for? The World Food Programme is the largest humanitarian agency fighting hunger worldwide, including places such as Africa, Latin America and India. The idea is to provide access to food for everyone in the world, especially countries in emergencies such as victims of war or natural disasters. Matthew Mensah is the creator of Catwalk the World, a humanitarian venture that hosts fashion shows around the world with the biggest designers and entertainment artists, using these events as platforms to raise funds and awareness for Stop Child Hunger. University of Bath was one of two universities in the country chosen for the fundraiser. The aim was to raise awareness to the future leaders of the country (so get cracking in the library guys, not long to go!). He also is the founder of another project, Project – Orphanage Africa, basically “a home makeover” for orphans which will be documented shortly in reality-TV style. He was treated to a stunning catwalk with a multicultural theme, starting with the all-important swimsuit walk. The models then moved onto an Indian theme, with
For more photos from the event turn to pages 16-17
Travel Bug - Harrogate The spa town of Harrogate has been called the floral capital of Yorkshire. It may not be the place for a wild student weekend, but it is the perfect place for a relaxing getaway. bathimpact Travel Expert Chris Wotton recommends. Sights
A Place to Eat
Though there are frequent departures by train to Harrogate, it’s a whacking five hour ride from Bath, so this is one to make a long weekend of if you can. The cheapest advance fares rack in at £23.75 single. Taking the cheapie fares will have you arriving into Harrogate in the mid afternoon, so make your first mission getting yourself checked into wherever you’re going to rest your head for the night. Check out Grants Hotel (01423 560 666; www. grantshotel-harrogate.com), which has rooms from £40-£85 per person, with an in-house restaurant that garners good reviews. Rooms at the White Hart (01423 505 681; www.whitehart. net) start at £50 – the hotel overlooks the west stray, a public common perfect for summer picnicking. The modernist Bijou (01423 567 974; www.thebijou.co.uk) has rooms from £65, while on a lower budget the failsafe Travelodge (0871 984 6238; www.travelodge.co.uk) will fit you out with a bed for as little as £19.
For a bite to eat, the bright and airy Le D2 bistro (01423 502 700; www.led2.co.uk) puts on a French twist on local produce and attracts a loyal crowd – the £10.95 twocourse lunch menu is great value. Lighter dishes include mozzarella ciabatta and a nifty steak sandwich, while homely desserts like apple and blackberry crumble top off the menu. B.E.D (Burnsey. Eat. Drink; 01423 568 600; www.bed.ltd.uk) has an innovative menu with plenty of wry humour, and set menus for you to take away and enjoy in bed with your lover(s) – whether for two people or the ‘group sessions’ menu! We want the twice cooked pears dish on their dessert menu. For something more humble and northern, Graveleys of Harrogate (01423 507 093; www.graveleysharrogate.co.uk) is the city’s star, with fish and chips, locally caught seafood and shellfish featuring on its lunch, evening and take-away menus. The Harrogate Arms (01423 567 950; www.theharrogatearms.com) serves pub grub in a friendly atmosphere and has a dog friendly policy; in fact it’s known for having almost as many dogs as human customers!
Many of Harrogate’s sights are housed in original buildings from the spa town’s history, among them the Mercer Art Gallery (free admission; Tuesday to Saturday 10am-5pm, Sunday 2.00-5.00pm; 01423 556 188; www.harrogate.gov.uk), which houses rotating nineteenth and twentieth century fine art collections. The Royal Horticultural Society’s Harlow Carr Botanical Gardens (admission £6.00, concessionary rate £2.20; March to October 9.30am-6.00pm, November to February 9.30am4.00pm; 01423 565 418; www. rhs.org.uk) is worth the 2km trek out from the city centre for its impressive array of plant specimens. To swot up on your spa knowledge, hit the Royal Pump Room Museum (admission £3.00; April to October, Monday to Saturday 10.00am-5.00pm, Sunday 2.00-5.00pm; November to March, Monday to Saturday 10.00am-5.00pm, Sunday 2.004.00pm; 01423 556 188), where you’ll get a walk through the history of Harrogate and get to try the spa water at the end of the tour! The building dates from 1842 and is built over the most famous of the sulphur springs. Afterwards, try the real thing for yourself and take the obligatory dip in the Turkish Baths (admission £10.00-£15.00; 01423 556 746) – there are steam rooms, saunas and more to enjoy in ornately Victorian tiled surroundings. If that is not enough relaxation for you, head to Kanchana (07855 924 215; www.kanchana. co.uk) for fabulously inexpensive Thai massage – Kanchana herself trained at Bangkok’s famous Wat Po temple massage school. A forty minute massage will set you back no more than £19 – a real bargain – or for £45 you can indulge yourself with a full two hour treatment. Though Harrogate is a very Victorian place, it has had its own modern makeover and, if you allow it a chance to impress, it will give and keep on giving in return. Whether you are looking for an escape from the hustle and bustle of university life or a romantic getaway, Harrogate has something for eveyone.
Monday 11th April 2011
The ceaseless flow: EU immigration crisis How many more immigrants can the European Union take? Sarya Ricke’s take on the controversial issue of immigration.
ollowing the promise made to the people of Lampedusa on 30th March by Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi to free the island off Italy’s coast from fleeing immigrants, the issue of global migration is once again raising a heated debate on how far immigration is truly desirable in host countries (specifically European countries) to the countries’ own populations. Apart from the custom advantages and disadvantages of immigration that have been imprinted into people’s minds, the current affair of migration for economic purposes is the one that is currently under discussion. The European Union is said to be a democratic zone of freedom to all its inhabitants, but how many more inhabitants can it take? How does it aim to continue being the world’s saviour, especially during a time of economic crisis where its own member countries are in desperate need of help. Let’s commence with Europe aiding asylum seekers. Although member countries of the European Union do not advocate the exact same laws concerning asylum seekers, all of them generally take in immigrants that have fled their countries due to reasons that seem plausible in the eyes of European Union. Leaving behind their homes to escape the tyranny that not only rules their country but continues to gain support amongst the population gives the Libyan asylum seekers the right to search for help from others, hence Berlusconi, Merkel and co. seem without a doubt prepared to grant them aid. Along with immigrants seeking protection from the Libya
crisis, many immigrants’ reasons for fleeing their country is due to economic difficulties which is the main dilemma that emphasizes the debate about immigration. The little Italian island of Lampedusa received not only Libyans seeking asylum, but also Tunisians seeking better economic prospects. It is only fair to mention that Signor Berlusconi reacted justly towards the “poor wretches” that fled their country’s crisis, yet even more so towards the Tunisian migrants by agreeing to their repatriation. After proudly bringing down Tunisia’s dictator; Ben Ali, the people realised the poor prospects they have created for their country, specifically for their economy. This does not support some Tunisians’ decision to migrate to more prosperous countries, in other words, the European Union where the intake of immigrants continues to add pressure onto governments by financially and socially having to support them. France’s decision to not welcome Tunisian migrants into the country may have seemed harsh yet perhaps fair, to which Berlusconi’s government, primarily angered, then accorded. Pro-migration groups would disapprove of such unjust behaviour, certainly of EU member states that consented to free movement within the Union upon joining; however is it not fair to say that Tunisian migrants should at least give their economy a chance to recover, which it could more easily do now that pro-democratic mentalities are beginning to surge into the country. Taking advantage of an already democratic system becomes an oxymoron to the pride they gained from dismantling a dictatorship. Therefore, the deci-
sion that France and Italy took seems plausible and adequate, setting a further example to what member states could do about immigration. The European Union does not possess regulations of its own concerning immigration; hence countries do not act together in the decision making. Nevertheless, it is becomingly more visible that countries are leaning towards capping the number of immigrants per year, as supported by the United Kingdom and recently the Netherlands. This harsh, first-come, first-served system seems discriminatory towards non-EU members; however it is righteous to protect the countries from being exploited in terms of financial and social benefits when immigrants do have a future within their own country. On the other hand, is this defeating the purpose of the European Union? Freedom of movement is one of its trademarks and by limiting this ideal it is opposing one of its strongest beliefs. Furthermore,
migration experts believe that Europe needs more immigrant workers that can help maintain the economy, since ageing population is a realistic phenomenon occurring particularly within member states. Global peace is desired by all countries; nonetheless EU members setting immigration caps could cause unrest and anger nonEU countries by provoking racial tensions and moreover, more global conflict. The debate about immigration policies will forever remain a heated one and the matter entails vast amounts of consideration, hence it is sometimes impossible for a country to react appropriately to a situation without upsetting at least one party. The European Union is working towards establishing a common immigration policy which should then make them stronger and cause no conflict between member states. It is uncertain , however, which side of politics they will lean towards: the inclusive left or the restrictive right?
Rebecca Stagg, UK Final Year, Modern Languages and European Studies As developed countries we have a duty to those in dangers and in need to provide as much care and assistance as we can. When a crisis, be it of natural of political causes, arises, it can be difficult to deal with the fallout. We have to remember that we are all citizens of the world and that helping each other should be our top priority, no matter what differences in nationality or race there are.
Simon O’Kane, UK PhD Research in Electronic and Electrical Engineering The concern of those that are against immigration is that it will mean European countries will become overpopulated – that there aren’t enough resources to accommodate everybody. However the immediate problem demographically in Europe is not overpopulation but a top-heavy population, and immigration actually goes a long way to solving that problem. Besides it is important to recognize that many of these people have genuine reasons to be fleeing their own countries and do not take such a decision lightly.
Ana Andreea Alecsandru, Romania Third Year, Politics with International Relations Statistics presented by the European Commission suggest that by 2050, the EU will actually require 60 million migrant workers. Combating illegal immigration is essential for framing a policy on legal migration. However, the focus should be on developing measures to combat human trafficking and criminal organizations. Immigrants should have the right to live and work in the EU under certain conditions, while avoiding negative “brain drain” effects in developing countries, especially in Africa. Do you have an opinion on immigration into the EU? Do you believe that the EU should have a common immgiration policy? Send your comments to: firstname.lastname@example.org
Monday 11th April 2011
First impressions: my British adventure Cristina Tomas bathimpact Contributor
o avoid any possible confusion as to where my perspectives stem from (as it is already confusing enough to most people, including myself at times), I should start off explaining a bit about myself first. Put simply, I am half-Spanish, half-American, grew up mainly in Barcelona but went to an international American school and the result of it all is that I am some sort of international mutt that has ended up at the University of Bath – I don’t know how else to describe it. In any case, I arrived in England late last September, ready to start anew. My sister joined me for the first couple days of what began to look like an odyssey to simply make it to Bath, after which I would be on my own. Luckily for us, we had a nice enough English friend, Chris, cheerily waiting to pick us up at Gatwick and drive us the hour or so back to his family’s house outside of Sittingbourne, Kent. Incidentally, this was also the first time that I can ever remember being in a car driving on the left side of the road, and at every turn, I couldn’t help feeling slight pangs of anxiety at the thought of crashing into another car. We didn’t. This fear has subsequently completely subsided. The next two days were spent with Chris and his very hospitable family, basically out in the (very lovely) middle of nowhere. The novelty of it all was amazing. I suppose most people from
this country would be amused at my exhilaration at being what seems to be far from civilization in the Kent countryside, but to me, it was a very exciting time indeed. Everything felt new and foreign and I had the acute awareness of being about to start a completely different and crucial chapter of my life, in which I didn’t exactly know what was around the corner, but I knew it had to be good. It was from Chris where I got my first informal lessons on the ins and outs of British culture. My first slight cultural disconnect came soon enough. In Spain when you first meet people, you practically spend half an hour giving them all two kisses, one on each cheek. Kissing is a much closer and friendlier way of saying hi, but doesn’t mean to imply any sort of odd advance
and is not meant to be uncomfortable in any way; its just polite. After my sister and I enthusiastically kissed Chris’ parents on both cheeks and got a few awkward laughs from that, he told us to simply wave or shake hands at most, at least until you have gotten to know the person you’re kissing a bit better. On my first night out with Chris, I also learnt that you go to the pub, not a bar, where British pints are in fact larger than American pints, and where in theory a group of friends together at a table (though maybe not if they’re students) will pay for drinks in rounds. My sister and I were embarrassed when he got up and paid for our drinks without even asking. We then had the usual conversation comparing American English and British English. Most of it is pretty cliché and to be expected,
The paradoxes of British culture can be very confusing at times
though I suppose sometimes these differences can make for funny misunderstandings. According to Chris, everyone has got a pants (as in what means trousers in the US) vs. pants (as in what would be underwear for an American) story to tell. Our next stop was London. After two days with Chris and his family, my sister and I parted ways with them and took a train up to big city. The initial plan had always been a bit shaky, but our intentions had been to stay with some friends of our cousin’s who were, apparently (as we had been assured), very respectful and friendly people squatting an apartment somewhere in the Isle of Dogs. The irony! We also had no backup plan and a day to kill before I had to be in Bath. In short, London was a disaster. On the day they had known we were supposed to get to arrive, we found it impossible to get in touch with them, and to this day I’m not even entirely sure what happened. In any case, after walking around the city for hours on end with two suitcases, a very angry and hungry vegan sister, a Spanish cell phone (which could only make extremely expensive phone calls) that was about to die with only had a broken charger to go with it, and also after finding that hostel after hostel was completely booked, we finally came across a more affordable hotel near Paddington Station and decided to call it a day. I think we both learnt our lesson. Sometimes a little extra planning can be worth it. The next morning we left for Bath. Unfortunately, since my sister’s trip
was cut short by the strikes, she barely dropped me off at my accommodation before she had to go off to Bristol to catch a flight back home, and I was left all alone. I felt a bit lost at first and somewhat envied my fellow housemates that were moving in with their parents’ help. Everything and everyone was scarily foreign to me and I wondered how long it would be before I would feel like I’d found my place in this new environment. Thankfully the momentary panic soon left me. That night, thanks to a superbly enthusiastic Fresher’s crew, which we at John Wood still have the pleasure to be friends with, it became a lot easier to break the ice. I also got my first lesson into what “going out on the lash” meant, Bath style. I do think that people drink a lot more here than what I was used to. Sometimes maybe a bit too much more (but who is to say that this isn’t fun at times?!). Since those first few days in September, much has changed for me. To my astonishment, I have actually become used to what was once a novel place, including its weather! All the little things associated with it that used to stand out have now become commonplace for me. Names of places and things, particularly people and faces, words, the different accents I hear, or even finding my way around, have somehow become a part of my reality that I now take for granted. For all of the differences and initial confusions or misunderstandings I once encountered, I have finally feel as though I have become part this place.
Inside the Belgian fries & beer revolution Dominic Gillan Foreign Correspondent
russels, Brussels, Brussels. The topic may not sound immediately enthralling, but imagine Tom Baker narrating it ‘Little Britain’-style… A placement year is different for everyone. Tales of jet-setting around the world, or working 14-hour days for a huge salary seemed somewhat foreign in my sports-marketing post in London’s Silicon Roundabout (the words of the Economist; mostly it’s just known as Old Street Tube Station). An e-mail on a dreary Friday afternoon, however, in late February led to the placement of Holy Grails (ish) for a politics student; an offer of an internship in Brussels, the shiny beacon of international (see ‘cool’) politics. It is always an interesting experience starting something new while being completely unprepared, however the somewhat cryptic nature of my new employer’s website, my
extremely brief contact with them beforehand and the change of scenery to a foreign country amounted to expectations being neither high nor low, but
Belgium holds the current ‘world-record’ for not having a working Government
in some kind of purgatory. Nevertheless as soon as I arrived it was clear that I had stumbled upon a quite excellent placement; an event-organising office (concerned with that most important of the buzzwords… ‘networking’) just opposite from one of the impressive European Commission buildings, with a team of people as friendly as they are international. Brussels itself is a fascinating city. By playing host to most of the EU institutions, it has invented itself as essentially the ‘European Capital’ (at least
to those who, you know, care), and as such seems entirely separate from Belgium itself. Focussing the federal politics of Europe into such a place has created the ‘Brussels Bubble’, 30,000+ bureaucrats and the eager hangers-on (such as myself) that often exist in a world quite unto themselves. Parisian and Londonian culture and influences hop on the Eurostar and within a couple of hours are in the centre of the Belgian capital, leaving the rest of the country (which, let’s not forget, lists Jean Claude Van Damme among its greatest achievements) as something of an afterthought. Belgium’s recent history, however, may suggest that it deserves this status. This is a country with the current ‘world-record’ for not having a working Government (beating the mark that Iraq held – 249 days – in February), though the reaction of the people of Belgium has so far been to have nude protests, abstain from sex (these two seem a tad contradictory) and have ‘beard contests’; welcome to the
‘Fries & Beer Revolution’ of 2011. Mark my words, when we ask our grandchildren what they learnt in history class at school, this may well be top of the curriculum.
Next time: I reveal why one of the Belgian national treasurers (and main fodder for postcard makers) is a fountain in the centre of Brussels of a small boy urinating.
Belgians protesting the lack of working government have taken to extreme measures including 249 people doing a striptease
All photos: Sam Short
Monday 11th April 2011
Duck season has arrived Cannabis without the
We all love the University’s ducks, but how much do we really know about them? Robyn Brook puts us in the know
he ducks at the University of Bath are not appreciated as they should be. We see them at the lake, they say hello to us on the way to the STV and they reassure us that the world isn’t such an evil place after all, especially when you see the little ducklings following their mummy. As Pimm’s drinking season approaches and we spend increasing amounts of time in their company, here’s all you need to know about our feathery friends. The duck population that makes our University home consists of mainly the mallard; Anas platyrhynchos. It’s a dabbling duck and the most numerous duck species in Britain, although they can also be found throughout the Americas, Europe, Asia and North Africa.
The word duck comes from an Old English word that means “to bend down low or dive”. The Mallard is the ancestor of all domestic ducks and can interbreed with other species in its genus. A potentially harmful effect of this vast interbreeding capability is gradual genetic dilution which increases extinction risk for rarer species. The male birds have a bright green head, while the female’s is light brown. It’s the female who produces the well-known loud ‘quack-quack’ call; males produce a softer ‘rhaeb’ sound. Mallards are generally monogamous, although these bonds generally last for only a year. They form pairs around October until the female lays eggs at the start of nesting season which is around the begin-
The mallard ducks are the University’s collective pets
ning of spring, at which time the males ditch their partners and gang up to await the molting period. Spring can be a very stressful time for a female as she lays more than half her body weight in eggs and then has to find a recovery area that is safe from predators. Luckily, there aren’t many ground predators around the University campus. Nesting sites are well concealed and the existence of the next generation is generally not noticeable until the appearance of those adorable ducklings. There can be up to 14 ducklings in a family, all fully capable of swimming as soon as they hatch and, due to filial imprinting, are compelled to instinctively stay near their mother for warmth, protection and to get some lessons in food foraging and habitat areas. When they mature and become capable of flight they will recall their traditional migratory routes and set off on their own to seek out new sources of food and water; that is, unless they’ve become too comfortable with campus life. Back in 2007, the students of Bath referred to all male mallards inhabiting the University as ‘Ken’ and all females as ‘Georgie’. They also observed that in all Ken-Georgie relationships, the Georgie appeared to have the dominant role, since she was usually the one leading her Ken around. Whether the present University of Bath ducks have the same names and roles remains to be seen. Perhaps it should be up to the current student population to decide?
high... coming soon Esther Osarfo-Mensah Deputy Science Editor
ary Janes. Black Barts. Pot. Whatever you want to call it, there’s no doubt that cannabis is well known for the buzz it causes, both in the body and in society. We’ve all heard an American angrily tell a youngster “Don’t do drugs!”, as though they’re more likely to take them than anyone else in the world ever. But does cannabis really deserve the bad light that we all cast upon it? It’s no secret that cannabis has medicinal applications. There have been countless protestations by perfectly non-junky individuals to legalize the drug for medical purposes and now scientists may have made their dreams come true. Research conducted in the US National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism by Li Zhang and his team have been able to pave a way to creating a cannabis-like drug that prevents the user from getting ‘high’, whilst still retaining its pain relief properties. The component in the drug that causes both effects is called tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). It has the ability to bind to two different receptors; one that would allow the user to feel the pain numbing effects, and the other so that they can feel ‘cool’. Sorry, I meant ‘high’. Zhang and his team found using genetically modified mice that had no receptors for the THC to bind to allow them to get stoned. Therefore, the component only attached to the pain relieving receptor that then released the brain signalling hormone glycine into the body. The team then hit the mice with focused heat and
tested how long it took them to respond by observing the time taken for them to flick their tail. The research has proven to be a godsend for many individuals suffering from crippling diseases such as cancer and chronic pain. Cancer suffers go through the chemotherapy sessions to treat the illness, but side effects including violent vomiting and nausea make the treatment almost unbearable for many. Some have aversions to the odour of food, making them less likely to want to eat, thus lowering their energy supplies. THC, given in the form of ‘Marinol’, allows the patients to be free from such side-effects. Similarly, whilst patients with chronic pain are encouraged to take codeine to treat the illness, its tendency to be addictive makes it unfavourable, and the amount needed to take effect is far more than that needed for cannabis. One dose will provide pain relief for hours. Zhang and his team’s findings mean that a drug could soon be synthesized that attached solely at the pain relief receptor in the brain, allowing millions of desperate patients around the world to get some rest-bite from unbearable pain without the risk of getting arrested.
Got a fire? Forget the hose, grab your wand
Faizah Rafique bathimpact contributor or the past four hundred thousand years, as humans, we have been using and controlling fires with only handful of simple methods of dousing the flames. Although water delivering tech has improved greatly, this basic approach of dumping large bodies of water on flames goes as far back as Roman times. Now, a collection of chemists from Harvard University’s Whitesides Research Group have formed a way of bringing fire suppression in to the new digital age by controlling flames with electricity. This could potentially reduce the environmental threats posed by fire retardants, such as organic halides, but also potentially reduce the amount of water damage that is incurred.
Although it has long been known that an electric field caused by a DC current will bend the shape of a flame, the scientist discovered that by using an AC voltage the effects were completely different. They found the field created an organized “flow” of charged particles inside the flame, and that the flame was literally pushed away from the burner and put out. Now if recall the fire triangle; if there’s no heat, there’s no flame. Therefore, by separating the two from each other, the flames can be suppressed. Although these studies have yet to be engineered into possible fire fighting techniques, developments have already been made in using electric field to clear paths through the flames of a burning house allow-
ing fire fighters in and even letting trapped member of the public out. The wand is no cure-all, though, he added. As promising as the tool seems in enclosed quarters, the wand might not work well against forest fires and other widespread conflagrations. “The effects we see depend on the strength of the electric field,” he explained. “It is a challenge is to create such large fields over large areas.” The scientists now want further experimentation into the effects of the shape of the electrode and altering the current, frequency, and voltage involved, in order to see their effects in suppressing fires both farther away and wider in scope. Eventually, similar devices could be installed in the ceilings of buildings or ships—much as water sprin-
klers are now—or carried, backpack style, by firefighters. But there are other applications as well. The world still derives the majority of its energy from burning coal, natural gas and other products. The potential to better control the internal flow of combustion
Hoses are a dying breed
could lead to more efficient energy production, among other benefits. Cademartiri, the lead scientist and spokesman at Harvard University, said, “Finding new ways to affect and control flames, could have repercussions on a quite broad range of technologies.”
Monday 11th April 2011
Creatures to avoid for a pain-free holiday Rachel Shaw describes exotic creatures of the deep to bathimpact
fter a fluctuating few months consisting of usual early year bad weather, most everyone in England is looking forward to the prospects of summer. What goes hand in hand with summer? Sun, sand and sea. Whether you have or have not yet booked that well deserved holiday this summertime, here are a few exotic creatures you may want to watch out for whilst you run in for a cool down dip in the ocean. You all already know about the most published dangers like sharks and killer whales, but what about the smaller, stealthier creatures out there. For any thalassophobic’s out there (individuals with a fear of the sea) you may wish to look away now. Firstly we’re going to look at Southern Europe: particularly Greece, Spain, Portugal and Italy. With a nasty habit of burying themselves in the sand to await it’s prey weever fish make a painful pincushion for your feet. If you wittingly or unwittingly trod on this fish it will
swiftly erect its venomous dorsal fin. Known to have been fatal in some cases the best treatment of the intense pain is a thorough soaking in hot water of the wound. The lethality of stingrays has been greatly over publicized since the death of adventurer Steve Irwin in 2006, even though these creatures are commonly referred to as docile creatures. The venom from most sting rays are actually not fatal. It is in fact the barb of the sting ray that inflicts the most damage it is feels threatened. The barb may pierce the chest or abdomen causing organ damage, though only if the sting ray feels threatened. Moving onto Southern Asia : primarly in Thialand and New Zealand. A common native of the Indo-Pacific ocean, the Red Lionfish was first nicknamed the Turkey Fish after its physical resemblance to the bird. It only uses it’s elaborate venomous fins as a self defence mechanism., rather than envenomation of its pray with them. Their overly-large
A Portuguese Man o’War - beautiful but deadly
fins can be used to corner its pray before swallowing it whole. Again applying hot water has been found the best method of relieving the symptoms of the venom such as headaches, vomiting and difficulty breathing, though medical assistance should be sought quickly. Now in Australia. Despite its deceptive name, the Portuguese Man o’War is an unlikely warmonger. With only the ability to float with the current and tides, the fault for being attacked by this entity lies entirely with you. The Portuguese Man o’War manages to confound most expectations. It is, in fact, not one creature, but consists of several co-existing species of Zooids which work together. The individual species of this colonial organism would be unable to survive alone. It relies on its air bladder to stay afloat above the water and can deflate it, allowing the creature to sink below sea level to escape attack. Its tentacles can extend to up to 50 metres below sea level. Even with a lack of intent at harming humans it still manages to sting 10,000 humans in Australia a year although it is to be found anywhere the current takes it. Best advice- attempt not to be foolish enough to get near it. The Portuguese Man o’War is not like a jellyfish therefore it cannot be treated with vinegar. It is a common known fact that beauty and no brains make a lethal combination, the box jellyfish is yet another example of this. Fatalities
The tiny Candiru isn’t as cute as it seems commonly occur because of these not be so inert. The last thing you jellyfish. Like the Portuguese Man want to do is stand on a stone fish, o’War these creatures have no intent though, its back is textured with on attacking, but accidents will hap- 13 spines that are known to cause pen. Divers of the Great Barrier Reef shock, paralysis and tissue death. are warned to carry a bottle of finger The severity of injuries is a result in their first aid pack. The acetic acid of the quanity of puncture wounds in the vinegar helps to reduce the caused by the spines. Luckily only damaged caused by the sting as an found at the bottom of reefs you are immediate treatment whilst medi- unlikely to come across this fish uncal assistance is sought. The acetic less diving. In the disastrous case acid works to break down the alka- that a wound is inflicted by this line based venom from the jellyfish. creature the venom should be imYou may wish to rethink everything mobilized by applying a bandage to hear on television because urine and a hot compress whilst seeking has been found to have no effect on immediate medical assistance. Lastly, in South America and the the wound other than a deep sense of disgust from the victim who has pacific islands. Do not let this miniature fish deceive you, its diminubeen urinated on. Ever heard of being paralysed tive size only aids the Candiru in its to death? With no antidote to its painful ability. The Candiru have venom, that is exactly what the Blue been found to climb up the penile Ring octopus does. Motor paraly- tract of men who urinate whilst in sis is when the individual loses all a water hole. By hooking itself to voluntary control of all muscles in the urethra, the fish climbs up and the body. One muscle that can be in towards the bladder of its vicaffected it the heart, causing a car- tim, there to remain; nibbling away diac arrest where the heart ceases at the bladder lining until it causes to beat. The only known treatment an internal haemorrhage. Its spines is mouth-to-mouth, which has no make it somewhat impossible to reguarantee of working and requires move without surgery. Suggested advice for avoiding several hours of administration. What appears to be a rock might this particular menace - use a toilet.
Students Fighting Against Drug Abuse Niclas Branzell bathimpact Contributor
n 1969, President Nixon of the USA launched his ambitious “War on Drugs” with the vision of a completely drug-free world. A noble cause it would seem, but forty years and billions upon billions of dollars later, has the war been successful? Is an all-out prohibition of drugs really the answer to the problem? The failures of the War on Drugs are becoming more and more evident and an increasing number of people around the world are calling for a sensible debate and a reform of current drug policies. In the last fifty years, illegal drug use has risen by around 300% and is cheaper and more available than ever before. The prohibition of drugs has given rise to the largest criminal market on the planet, worth £300 billion a year. Furthermore, prohibition has led to the criminalisation of other-
wise law-abiding citizens, especially young people, who happen to prefer other drugs than the sanctioned alcohol or tobacco. Current policies are clearly not working, yet politicians cling on to them because they do not want to be labelled as being “soft on drugs”. To get better drug policies we don’t have to be soft on drugs, but we do have to be ‘hard on drug policy’ by recognising their failures and making sure they actually work. Grass-roots organisations are cropping up all over the world, including in the UK. Students for Sensible Drug Policy (SSDP) is one example. It is a university-chapter based organisation for students concerned about the impact that drug abuse has on our communities, but who also feel that the War on Drugs is failing our generation and society. They neither encourage nor condemn drug use, rather they seek to reduce the harms caused by drug
abuse and drug policies. It is their belief that drug abuse should be treated with compassion as a health issue instead of a criminal issue. SSDP is a good example of how we as students can encourage rational debate among our peers as well as making a statement to policy makers that we demand change. The University of Bath still has no SSDP chapter, let’s do something about that shall we? As we seek a solution to society’s drug problems, let’s do it through scientific research, honest dialogue and informed debate, instead of unquestioned extremism, punishment and propaganda. Let’s not continue doing the same old thing and hope the drug problem will just solve itself; as Einstein put it, doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results is the definition of insanity. Oh, and if you’re interested in starting an SSDP chapter at Bath, get in touch!
Stamping out all the different kinds of drugs won’t be easy
Monday 11th April 2011
The Lazarus Project - should old science be given a new breath of life? Sam Lewtas Science Editor email@example.com
hen Dr Robert Cornish named all his research dogs ‘Lazarus’ in the 1930’s, he was rubbing up a tree science should never touch, especially when your research is so controversial, and that is religion. This is because his rather amazing Lazarus experiments aimed to do exactly what it says on the tin and in John XI 30-35, to restore life into that which is dead. Okay, he was probably a bit mad, but as goes with the territory, utterly brilliant. This was an era of scientific research when the boundaries were more blurred and sometimes research that would be considered unethical and unapproachable to-
day were carried out anyway, and in this case to staggering results. Meet Lazarus II. In a swift and clinical application of ether and nitrogen, and imaginably in what must have been macabre settings, he was put to rest, stone dead. Six minutes later, in goes Dr Cornish’s elixir, adrenalin, the anticoagulant heparin, and fresh (defibrinolysed) blood, all swimming in oxygen rich medical saline. He was then rocked up and down upon a teeter board, to facilitate blood movement. Moments later there was a strong exhalation, not from the staff, but from the dog itself. The heart began to beat again, slowly at first, then racing, and then back to normal. Life had been restored, to a degree, however he stayed within a restless coma for eight hours and 13 min-
The ‘ahem,’ less scientific way to do it....
utes, whining and barking, until glucose solution was administered in an attempt to bring him round but which unfortunately caused a fatal blood clot that saw the end to his second life. Two dogs later he found some of the success he was after. Lazarus IV was brought back to the extent he was conscious, eating and drinking like a normal dog and functional - to a degree. Unfortunately the dog was completely blind and partially disabled. Cornish, however, undeterred and with unsettling determination, moved to Lazarus V, who was to be his masterpiece. He found that the longer the dogs had been dead for, the harder and more incomplete they would be when brought back round. Though dead for 30 minutes, his heart was kept going to just five minutes before the resurrection. This time his elixir was administered by breathing apparatus and the dog’s consciousness was soon restored. He reported that within four days the fox terrier was back to near normalcy. Eventually the controversy surrounding his experiments saw to it that he was expelled from the University of California. Interestingly, related research by Dr John Hopkins was going on at the same time. He was researching the effects of electric currents on animals, where he found weak currents would lead to a state of disorganisation in the heart, now known as fibrillation, while stronger currents would stop the
Robert Cornish with Lazarus IV and V heart just momentarily allowing normal function to return. This has led to an irreplaceable medical practice, known as defibrillation, used in arrhythmias and has been found able to ‘jumpstart’ the heart tissue after a heart attack, bringing people back after being clinically dead. This, however, doesn’t always work, although it has been found in humans that brain death doesn’t occur until at least six minutes after the heart stopped. It goes to show that such controversial science without a purpose, weighing upon one of our innate and unconscious fears of what happens after we are dead,
cannot be sustained forever. The research conducted by Dr Cornish, however, could have led to even more people being saved, who are now resigned to the history books just like his could have been science. Is it right that we put our moral dilemmas before progress? Should the concerns of those who don’t fully understand the research stand in the way of progressing knowledge that one day could save many and even their lives? Hopefully, one day, we may find out. Unfortunately, the chances are that this research will continue to gather dust until it is completely forgotten.
Rachel Shaw bathimpact contributor
ast month it was found that although parents may love all their children equally, the certainly do not treat them on par. The level of investment your parent puts into you; whether it be time, money or food can all be determined by how closely you visibly resemble your parent. The study by Pennsylvania State University discovered that through quantifying the visual resemblance between parents and offspring, they were able to find a correlation linking closer physical self-resemblance and increased
amount of parental investment. Furthermore, they found the data can also be used to provide an accurate level for predicting parental investment. They also discovered that a parent invests no more in a child that closely resembles their partner than themselves. The theory behind this insightful discovery into human nature proceeds from males being less convinced of paternity of their child than a female can be. After all, it is rather trickier to convince a woman she gave birth to a child when she really didn’t than convince a male of his paternity. Men often fear cuckoldry, the prospect of raising and investing into a child that is of
no natural relation to them, which is considered a drain upon resources they could otherwise invest in their actual biological offspring. It has even been found that grandparents will invest more in children begot by their daughters rather than their sons. This says a lot about human and animal nature, that lying has become a routine part of our behaviour, we have even had the time to evolve strategies to protect ourselves from the possibility of others lying to us. Therefore, next time you are in need of a little extra money from your doting parents, make sure you choose which parent you pick to ask wisely.
The look-a-like battle for affection
Everybody needs to spoil their mini-me once in a while
Monday 11th April 2011
www.bathimpact.com U n i versity
U n i on
Last Thursday the bathimpact team met in Opium Bar for a social where the theme was decided as ‘look-alikes’. Members turned up in all sorts of attire, dressing as others and taking the mickey all
night long. After some nice cocktails and hugs in Opium the team headed to Kitsch at Weir Lounge and danced the night away. Here at bathimpact we know socialising outside of the crowded
office is very important. If you fancy getting involved with the team and coming along our next team social, email publicity@ bathimpact.com and start getting involved!
University of Bath Students’ Union
14 4 9 A M
Student radio station 1449am URB explain why you should tune in and ask the Vice Chancellor Ask the Vice Chancellor Tuesday 19th April – 10:15 The term may be winding down now, but URB still has one big event to look forward to: Ask the Vice Chancellor. This is your annual chance to put whatever questions you have to the Vice Chancellor, Professor Glynis Breakwell, and hold her to account for decisions made this year that you might not agree with (we’re sure there are many of them!). For the first time ever, Ask the VC will take place in front of a live audience, with you asking your own questions in a Question Time style interview. This will also be the first time that Professor Breakwell will not be given the questions in advance, so make sure you come
along to see how see reacts. We’ll also be going to the audience for reactions and comments live throughout the show, so be there if you want to make your voice heard. If you have a question, please email it to firstname.lastname@example.org. This is not for us to censor the questions, just so we can know in what order to ask people to speak. However, as we’ve exhausted silly questions before (FYI, the VC’s favourite band is The Police), we’re just looking for serious questions this time please. If you can’t make it to the live questioning, you can listen online at www.1449urb.co.uk, where you will also be able to download a podcast of the event.
Monday 11th April 2011
£9,000 fees: why you should care
David Howells, VP Welfare & Diversity, tells you why £9,000 fees should give you the opportunity to demand more from your University
s I am sure you have all read, the University of Bath has joined the growing list of universities planning to charge £9,000 a year for tuition fees. The University and the Students’ Union are now working to determine the shape of Bath’s offer in this brave new world, and what enhancements might be in store, and to do that we need you. I should start by making one thing clear: no current students will be paying more, however long their courses are. So for many students, the question naturally becomes why should you care? Well, quite frankly, there are many reasons, and if you are asking that question Some facts before I begin. The University will be receiving almost £6,000 more per home student from 2012/13. Much of the extra money, however, is needed to cover government cuts to teaching. Beyond this year the extent of these cuts aren’t even known yet. As part of the Government’s agreement to allow institutions to charge up to £9k each much commit a certain percentage of the extra fee to widening participation activities; in our case this is £900 per student. So while the amount of
money from students will certainly be going up, how much extra money there will be to spend on students is still unclear. But at £9k expectations will be going up, and the University will be working to meet them. Firstly, I think it’s important that students have their say on behalf of those who haven’t yet even applied. Whether you are a fresher or a final year, you have experiences of Bath that can be invaluable, and this is the best chance for you to finally change that one thing that needs changing. The pressure on all universities to listen to their students is greater than ever, so why not take this opportunity while you have their attention? Even if it won’t benefit you, it will benefit those that follow us. Having appealed to your good will, I will now appeal to your self-interest. Yes, you won’t be paying the fees, but that doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t benefit from improvements. Much of the offer for 2012/13 needs to be in place before the new students arrive, so that means some of it will need to be introduced next year. If you still have years to go on your course some of the possible initiatives could have real impacts on your
Shopping List •Enhanced professional placement opportunity for all students •Increased e-learning opportunities (eg. lectures online/online submission only) •Improved feedback on assessed work •Free core text books •All course materials •Printer credit •Free NUS Extra card with enhanced local deals •Free access to Sports facilities •Improved contact time with Personal Tutors •Free access to Arts facilities •Free membership of Students’ Union Clubs and Societies •Improved induction / orientation / Freshers’ Week arrangements •Extended student development and accreditation opportunities to enhance employability •Extended and more accessible student support services •Increased contact hours with key academic staff – this to be made more explicit •Improved learning support such as Peer Assisted Learning and Peer Mentoring •Free/subsidised transport (bus passes)
experience, be it more rigorous feedback, lecturers being clearer in their contact times or more online learning materials. But you’ll only have a chance to get what you want if you let us know! To take a concrete example of an area where student feedback is vital if improvements are to be made, let us consider placements. Placement opportunities form the cornerstone of many of our courses, and the University has yet to announce what it intends to charge for them. The quality of placement support has also been a
long-standing issue, and your input into how much placements are worth and what support should be offered could go a long way to addressing it. There is, of course, a group of students to whom fees of £9,000 may not seem so radical, namely all those international students who have been paying at least that for many years. If you are one such student then your opinions are especially important, because you know what paying £9k is really like and probably have a better idea than most as to what you should get for that money. Now that the burden of paying for university has been transferred from the Government to students in the UK, the funding issues for home and international students are much closer, and it is perhaps time for you to get the experience your fees warrant. Postgraduates should also take notice and speak up, because the implications of these changes could have wide-reaching effects on both the taught and research experience; this is already visible in the University’s policy on sports fees. What next, you ask? The Students’ Union has put together a ‘shopping list’ of potential ideas for improving the student experience, which can be
found at bathstudent.com/fees. We need as much feedback as possible on the list, anything we missed, and which things you would prioritise. Really, it’s not that much to digest, and not that hard to leave a post on the forums or drop the sabbs an email. This article has been about taking part and feeding back on what students should be getting for £9,000, but I know that that isn’t necessarily everyone’s take on the situation. Some see this as a reasonable and fair response in light of government cuts, but others see it as a gross and completely unjustifiable charge. If you disagree with the Union’s take we still want and more importantly need to hear your views, so we can continue to represent student opinion. Given how far from the Government’s expectations the Higher Education sector has placed itself with fees, the question of how high they should be set is unlikely to go away. If you have been at all convinced that your opinions are essential and worth your time to give, then visit bathstudent.com/fees and leave your feedback. It really is time to make a difference.
VP Sport, Andy Crawshaw, says au revoir to the SU...
n April 2007 as an 18 year-old, little did I know that the e-mail I got confirming my offer from the University of Bath was to change my life, I wanted to go on placement and race at Henley again. Four years later here I am, Andy Crawshaw BSc and Vice President Sport, having not gone on placement and not raced at Henley; two and a half months from leaving the place that has given so much whilst asking for so little. Unless of course you choose to join five societies, six sports clubs, be an academic rep, be a faculty rep, a Freshers’ Week captain, a Freshers’ Week Event Manager (FWEM), the SA Exec Events Officer and of course VP Sport. Having spoken to so many people over the four years I’ve been here, the one thing you learn is that you never stop learning. Mistakes make you stronger, successes make you more confident, and students make you proud to represent them; yes,
this year has been difficult: a £100 sports fee, the kit deal, the drop in BUCS, and the new tuition fees but to name a few, however those little wins that you can take from watching a student excel or enjoy something they love make it all the easier to handle. A lot of people think that the SU doesn’t affect them, there are nearly 8,000 people in a club, group or society which makes me think many of them are lying. I got so involved I ended up as a Sabb! Some people say that Sabbs are only Sabbs because they don’t want to leave, or stop being a student. My response is that they are 100% right, if I can spend an extra year at Bath actually truly affecting what students get from their time here, why wouldn’t I? It was with a heavy heart I chose not to re-run as a Sabb, it was with an emptier wallet that I chose not to stay here to do a Masters course for that one last rush of being a student.
I would not change a single thing I have done or said, everything has got me to where I am today, granted with a few regrets, but so what, I have loved every second. I will end by saying thank you to everyone I have met, worked with, spoken to or known. More so to the people I have lived with over the years, to whom I owe so much. To Jon, Julia, Lucie, Stu, Kate, Gemma, Owen, Phil, Gareth, Heather, James, Chris, Matt, Meg, Tom, Owen, Jon, Ed, Kieran, Josh, Harriet, Holly, Sarah, Esther, Kathy, Ed, Ellie, Matt, Paul, James, Maria, Alex and Winne; thank you for making the best years even better. To Sarah, Fi, Jess, Sadie and Polly, this year wouldn’t have been the same without you making the boring days fun, those 8,000 students don’t realise how lucky they are. To Dot, Julie, David, Matt and Ann, what an awesome team and what an amazing year.
Monday 11th Apriil 2011
Adieu, Queen of Hearts W ow! Ok, so my life is going crazy (probably just like everyone else’s) there is Activities Awards TONIGHT to be prepared for, Volunteer Celebration is next week, Society Training for the new committees starts tomorrow as well as society one-to-one sessions and then positions for the new Socieites and Volunteering Executive Committees are now up for voting until Friday! All very exciting and a crazy way to top off an amazing year and for me to go out with a BANG! This is infact my last ever column as VP A&D… SAD FACE! I have had the most incredible year! Met some amazing people, tried lots of new things, slept very little and had to manage my time soo very tightly! Sabbatical Officer handover starts on the 13th June and finishes on the 24th June! On the 27th the new Sabbs take full control and will be working their magic over the summer ready for September and Freshers’ Week! WOW! I am excited because on the June 25th I am flying out to the States to teach sailing at a summer camp in Michigan for nine weeks! I am then travelling down the East Coast for two weeks before heading back three days before I start my PGCE course back in Bath! I’m going to miss the SU and its drama soo much but am looking forward to training to be a Physics Teacher!! (In a few words) What have I been up to recently? The past few weeks have been varied and exciting event-wise! The Chamber Choir had a lovely Easter Concert in St Michaels Church last weekend where they covered a large amount of challenging repertoire! BodySoc’s show The Fifth Element (7th – 9th April) was incredible! So many talented dancers and so many students involved! Well done BodySoc!!! This last weekend saw many Bath Students attempt the Paris Hitch…. there were various degrees of success in this! Students had to get to Paris in the shortest amount of time without spending any money!! Winners and totals for this event are still to be announced!! Welsh Soc pulled out all the stops with their Gethan Bevan Rugby Tournament yesterday! The tournament at the Sulis Club was a great day for all with a large number of teams entering to help raise lots of money! Well done Lucy and Lloyd from Welsh Soc who were the master organisers of the event! Yesterday was also quite an experience for yet more reasons as I got to watch many different students attempt to pull a bus through the East Carpark! The fundraiser was organised by Matt Bannister and
Activities Bathwick Hill Fun Run The Bathwick Hill Fun Run has now got a new date! It is now on Sunday 17th April (11:00 AM). That doesn’t leave you long to sign up. Every year this amazing event sees loads of students, both serious runner and fancy dress maniacs, run the short course to raise money for Romanian Orphans. As if doing it for charity wasn’t incentive enough there are some great prizes available for this event including two free Pizza Express Pizzas, four Little Cinema Tickets, a meal for 4 at Nando’s and even more. These prizes are available for the categories of, Most Sponsorship Raised, Fastest Male, Fastest Female and Best Fancy Dress. Team Prizes will be available if interest is shown. So why not sign up today? To sign up simply visit the Volunteer Centre (in the 1E corridor), or just look out for one of our volunteers standing on parade. To sign up you will need to pay a £10 deposit, which you will get back once you hand in sponsorship of over £20. Easy as that.
On your marks, get set...quack! the Duke of Edinburgh Award team! There were lots of people there and it all helped raise lots of money for their summer expedition! The Visual Arts Society enjoyed sculpture workshops over the course of the weekend. This all culminated in the burning of the sculptures on the Lacrosse field! Hopefully photos will be available soon as it was very exciting!!! I also enjoyed another delightful Chaos Concert on Saturday! It was once again impressive; the number of people in the audience and the standard of the ensembles was great! Activities Awards The Activities Awards are this evening! The highlight of the year for all activity areas…the awards take place in the Guildhall tonight when many societies and individuals will be receiving awards from VIPs such as the Mayor, Chair of Council, Vice Chancellor and many other senior members of staff! Congratulations to all who have been nominated the winners should be published by the end of the week on bathstudent.com so if you were at the awards and forget who wins you can check out the internet for more information! I would like to say a big thank you to the working group for all their hard work and dedication! Let’s hope it all pays off! Continuing the celebratory note – the Volunteer Celebration is next Monday evening in the Claverton Rooms. This will be a great opportunity to celebrate all the money raised
this year and all of the fantastic work that has gone on in the community! To find out more contact me (email@example.com) ...or see you on Monday! Coming Up! I am soo excited! I shall be hitting CERN with the Physics Society on their trip to Geneva in Easter holidays! We leave Sunday 24th April and return on the 28th! Well done to Stoyan Phys Soc Chair who has managed to organise the trip through I LOVE TOUR! I can’t wait to eat lots of Swiss Chocolate and see those gorgeous mountains! BRAS have a Brewing Competition on the 13th April, Jewish Society has lots of Passover Events coming up, and Cheerleaders have their competition in Telford so best of luck to them! Alex Pool from Amnesty will also be heading to Belfast for the Amnesty Student Conference so best of luck to him! That is it from me! I am excited to be passing the Arts and Societies over to David Cameron as your new Vice President Activities and Development and the Volunteering Activities over to Naomi Mackrill as your new VP Community and Diversity! Best of luck to these two! I am sure they will do an amazing job! To you all thank you for making this year the best year of my life! Continue to have lots of fun in your societies and volunteering groups! Activities love as always Ann xx :-)
It’s almost Easter, and you know what that means… it’s almost time for the RAG DUCK RACE! For those of you who have never experienced this event before, we guarantee you this is an absolute must-see before you graduate. For those of you that have… need we say more?! On Sunday 17th April at 2pm RAG will be throwing literally HUNDREDS of yellow rubber ducks off Pulteney Bridge in town, where a blood-bath of a race will ensue all the way down the Weir to the finish line at the North Parade Bridge! This really has to be seen to be believed! Each of our fine athletic ducks has its own personal race number, so to be in with a chance to win one of our fantastic prizes be sure to buy your Duck Race tickets now! Tickets are available in advance from the Plug Bar, from Eric Snook’s The Golden Cot in town (http://www.snooksonline.co.uk), and of course on race day itself from our caravan situated on Spring Gardens Road (beside the Weir Lounge). This year the proceeds from the Duck Race will be going to Water Aid, working for the provision of safe domestic water, sanitation and hygiene education to the world's poorest people. Looking forward to seeing you there!
In pole position Nine students from the Bath and Bath Spa Pole Dancing Societies set off to compete at the first ever inter-university pole dancing competition, held in Cardiff. The competition is split into three categories: Beginner (must have been pole dancing for less than a year), Intermediate and Advanced. For each category there is a list of set moves, for example beginners are not allowed to invert. Each contestant must then choose a song from a set list and create a routine to perform for the judges. The routine is then judged under four criteria: Technique, Sequencing and Stamina, Creativity and Choreography and Performance and Presentation. As the routine for the competition is not set, the training has to begin very early, as the choreography is crucial to success, and must be re-watched and adapted repeatedly. Similarly, we all worked on our general stamina and fitness to improve the flow, our flexibility and most crucially the pole dancing itself, training up to 4 times a week. The competition was a huge success, allowing us to gain new ties with societies at other universities and learn new skills.
Monday 11th April 2011
Battle of the Bands
or the past two weeks, The University of Bath's best bands have been doing battle at the Green Park Tavern, vying for the favour of a panel of judges as well as the audience. The prize? A place in the prestigious annual MusicSoc Battle of the Bands final, to be held on 14th April in Elements! The judges, looking for originality, musicianship, showmanship and songwriting ability, were comprised of three of the most knowledgeable and experienced musical alumni in Bath. First up was Stephen Baldwin, seasoned music producer and chair of BUMPS. Next, Sam Faulkner, deputy head of music at URB. Finally, Ross Goodman, former MusicSoc committee member and experienced DJ. These judges would score each band, and send the highest-placed through to the final. The audience, comprised of MusicSoc members along with interested fellow students and local music aficionados, would send through another. Finally, a third band would progress based on a combination of the two. In the first heat, four bands took up the challenge, kicking off with pop-rock four piece The Fragile Bones. Their energetic and charismatic frontman enthused the growing crowd, and their powerful sound impressed many - plenty enough to see them through as the audience vote winners! They were followed by the blues three piece Mandrill Vendetta. In not taking themselves too seriously, the crowd warmed to them despite their lack of polish as a band. Their adaptation of Tool's "Stinkfist" went down well - heavy prog to blues is an unusual crossover! In the end they snuck through to the final as winners of the combined judges and audience decision. Next came Terrible Disguises, an indie rock three piece who have
been around for a few years now, making the final last year as well as doing well in the Moles Student Battle of the Bands whilst that was still running. Their strong, grooving riffs and catchy lyrics make for a great live sound. It was a shame they didn’t make it through, but having seen them be so good in the past, peoples’ expectations were naturally higher. Finally, prog rockers Alive by Analysis (myspace. com/563553170) made a splash with their impressive use of backing tracks and amazing guitar effects. They’d impressed in the Stars in Their Eyes night last semester as Pink Floyd, and it was pleasing to see they’d come up with some great material themselves as well. The judges certainly enjoyed them, as they sent them through to the final with resounding praise!
iPhase 3DS raised more than a few eyebrows with their fusion of electro, punk and comedy...
So now to heat two, where iPhase 3DS (facebook.com/iphase3ds) raised more than a few eyebrows with their fusion of electro, punk and comedy into a quite brilliantly silly stage-show. Whilst the judges stopped short of joining in with the 20-strong conga-line during the final song, they were impressed enough to send them through to the final! Tom & Alex’s Magic Roundabout, a guitar and vocal duo, did an admirable job in following the carnage that had gone before them, with a great vocal performance from...
RAG Week success RAG Events Officer Vicki Jones gives bathimpact the lowdown on Rag Week
AG Week is always the highlight of the RAG calendar with so many opportunities to get involved, have fun, and of course help raise some cash for charity! This year all of the hard earned money will be going to Dorothy Hospice Care who offers physical, psychological, social and spiritual care to patients and their families facing life threatening illness. Dorothy House community fundraiser Emily Knight said: "We're thrilled that Bath RAG has chosen to support Dorothy House this year being one of the Big Four RAG charities for 2010-11 will raise our profile in the local community, as well as raising vital funds.” The first of RAG’s student run events was the infamous Bierkeller, with two out of the three sittings selling out completely! The Munich Bierkeller Men were on top form as students were invited to sing along and bang the tables to a seemingly never ending rendition of “I am the Music Man”. Other highlights of the evening included yodelling, with the kind assistance of the Magic Yodelling Hat, blowing of the Men’s trumpet, and a very sexy dance from a certain young gentleman in the audience!
The (gunge) buckets contained all of the finest products from the Sainsbury’s Basics range...
Elements was full again on Tuesday for James Huelin’s pub quiz! Despite a rather dismal performance by the RAG team, the event raised almost £100, so we’ll count that one as a victory all the same! Then it was straight on to the Silent Disco! With the musical styling’s of DJ AlexCee and DJ Max J vs DJ Kyila, the night was thoroughly enjoyed by everyone who attended, although the singing left something to be desired! Wednesday marked the official ‘RAG day’ and the midpoint of the festivities! Those of you who were lucky enough to swing by the jumble sale on the Parade undoubtedly picked yourselves up a real bargain! The day went from strength to strength, ending with a spectacular
Arts Variety Show in the ALT! This show is a great opportunity every year for absolutely anyone and everyone with a passion for performing to come along and show the world! The Arts Variety Show 2011 included performances from PoleSoc, ChaOS soloists, the Bath Jets, Salsa, BUST, BUSMS, and BodySoc, and was kindly compared by BUST, in addition to their scene from Pygmalion. Of course the Arts Show wouldn’t be the Arts Show without a closing performance from the Sabbatical team, who this year regaled us a rendition of ‘Money, Money, Money’ as a last ditch attempt to collect some much needed coppers before the Gunk-ASabb the following day!
at times), and raised almost £400 in total for their efforts!! Obviously gunk is the food of love, since the Gunk-A-Sabb was followed in the evening by the greatly anticipated Speed Dating event. Eighteen ladies got to spend three whole minutes with each of eighteen handsome gentlemen, and hopefully RAG have managed to play cupid for the second year in a row! Like all good things, RAG Week 2011 had to come to an end. Those of you in attendance at the Weekend Warm-up would have had the privilege to bid on many a willing Raggie for a wide variety of pledges. The Auction of Promises was largely dominated by contracts for cleaning and household tasks, saying something about the state of the kitchens of University of Bath students, but also included some rare gems, such as double bass lessons, personal wake up calls, and DJ lessons from our very own URB team.
“ Of course their attempts were fruitless, and the gunking commenced at 12.15 on Thursday on a very dangerously windy Parade! Each year the Sabbatical team are given buckets just before RAG Week and told to collect as much money as possible. This year’s winner was James Huelin, who collected over £100, and as such won the right to choose his flavour of gunge first! And what a choice he had! The buckets contained all of the finest products from the Sainsbury’s Basics range, including curry sauce, angel delight, gravy powder, smash, peas, and generally anything slightly runny you can imagine in your darkest nightmares. The Sabbs, however, conducted themselves with bravery and dignity (except perhaps Ann Howell who did look like a flight risk
Highlights of the evening included a very sexy dance from a certain young gentleman in the audience!
” Although the overall total is still being calculated for RAG Week 2011, I think everyone who attended an event can agree that the week was a rip-roaring success! RAG would like to say a big thank you to everyone who came along and gave their support, and mark it down in your calendars again for next year, because RAG will be back with even bigger and better things in store… If you are interested in being involved with the organisation of RAG Week 2012, please email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
The Sabbs do their best rendition of ABBA’s Money, Money, Money
Monday 11th April 2011
Battle of the Bands continued from page 24 Alex augmenting Tom’s skilful guitar work beautifully. They, too, progressed to the final on the combined judges and audience decision! Next up were a band two years in the making, Red Herring, a great three piece rock band combining smart use of guitar effects with strong technique and interesting song-writing. They brought along plenty of fans, and it was no surprise when they ran away with the audience vote to make them the third band in the final! Acoustic guitarist and vocalist Peter Johnson was the penultimate act of the night, and won many people over with his short but varied set, comprising of both covers and an original song about the missing student, James Bubear, which was powerful and brilliantly executed. He could consider himself unlucky not to progress, and should be a very strong contender in next year’s competition if he comes back with more original songs of the quality of the one he played this time. Finally, Red Hot Slutty Mutha’s, a Red Hot Chilli Peppers cover band, made light of their make-shift lineup (the vocalist had fallen ill days before) with a great set of classics. They clearly grew into the competition as the set went on, but, predictably, their lack of original material made progress to the final very difficult, and on this occasion, unobtainable. So here’s your lineup for the final: - Judge’s vote: Alive by Analysis, iPhase 3DS - Audience vote: The Fragile Bones, Red Herring - Combined vote: Mandrill Vendetta, Tom & Alex’s Magic Roundabout.
Entry is just £3.50 for non-members, or free for members (join the society for £3 on bathstudent.com). We’re looking forward to seeing you there for the only night of live amplified music on campus all year!
BAMSA Night a success
n Friday 18th March, the Bath Area Malaysian and Singaporean Association (BAMSA) held their main event of the year, BAMSA Night 2011. The main purpose of BAMSA Night is to provide a platform for the members to showcase the wonderful mix of ethnicity and richness of culture that is intertwined into the lives of the South East Asian people. This was done in style as members revealed their hidden talents on the stage of the ICIA Arts Lecture Theatre and it would seem BAMSA was suddenly full of budding actors, dancers and musicians. The night started off at 6:45 pm with a welcome speech by the president of BAMSA, Justin Heng. Thereafter, two other speeches were made by honorary guests; Mr. Alan Parrot, who prides himself in being a lifelong member of BAMSA, and Prof. David Bird, the Dean of Science. The event was also graced by the presence of Mr. Mark Humphriss, University Secretary, Ms Jo Powell, the representative of The International Office in UoB and Ann Howell, the VP Activities and Development. Guests were pleasantly surprised to find that they stood a chance to win a present that night as a lucky
draw was held right at the beginning where Mr. Alan Parrot and Prof. David Bird drew out tickets numbers of ten lucky people out of a box. The real excitement, however, kicked in when a teaser trailer of the play, titled ‘Bawang Putih dan Bawang Merah’ (which in direct translation means ‘Onion and Garlic’), was shown on screen, giving audiences a glimpse of what they should expect. This was followed by the actual play itself. The BAMSA actors gave it their all, even when it meant having to trash around and scream
Fire in the Arts Barn!
n event funded by the ICIA development fund and organised with the Visual Arts society who came up with the idea of the project: Fire Sculptures. The project it self is being led by artist Deborah Jones and a leading pyrotechnician Alan May. We will be building large scale sculptures of snakes, birds in cages, DNA double helix, architectural abstract buildings, hands coming out the ground, a chair and a massive love heart. The materials we are using are willow tree strands and hay. The sculptures will be built through a series of workshops from 10am til 4pm on April 2nd, 3rd, 9th and 10th. The 2nd and 3rd are in 3WN and exclusive to visual arts members. The workshops on the 9th and 10th are in the Arts Barn and are available to everyone as long as they sign up by emailing the chair of visual arts on email@example.com. Sign up early since there are limited spaces. Once these magnificent sculptures are created they will be burnt down in style at 8pm on Sunday 10th on the Archery Field on campus. There will also be fire lanterns being set off and we hope the weather is clear as at 8pm (sunset), creating a great atmosphere.
We want as many people as possible to come and watch the burning and take photos It will be a lovely and picturesque event and will also bring those pyromaniacs out of the closet. The burning of the sculptures may seem sad, but is follows many ancient traditions. The Viking used to burn the dead bodies of kings at sea on fire boats to celebrate their death and use fire as a powerful way send bodies off into the unknown. Fire in addition is an unused medium in art and we feel it will be an incredibly rare spectacle. The tradition of burning fire trees is related to the pre-Christian folk traditions: in order to revere and invigorate the sun, people lit ‘fires of joy’. People believed that lighting fires like that during the dark winter period will help the sun to grow strong, and the land will be protected from the cold and the evil spirits. We are, however, doing this in the spring) Our sculptures symbolize a number of things, such as the burning of the DNA celebrating the end of the artist dissertation and the snake looks at conquering fears. I hope this is enough information and it will be great to see you at the burning or one of the workshops!!
in agony as done by the ‘would-bemothers’ in the play as they went into labour, much to the amusement of the audience. To finish the icing on the cake, dances were performed in line with the play and this also drew out great responses from the audience as they were entertained by dances that reflect the diversity that exists in BAMSA, i.e. a Malay dance, Chinese dance, Bollywood Dance as well as a Contemporary Dance. During intermission, guests were invited to proceed to the Arts Barn to sample Malaysian delicacies and
some members were given the opportunity to showcase their cooking talents as they sold local Malaysian food to guests. The night ended at approximately 10 pm with a cultural performance titled ‘Dikir Barat’, a dance which mostly involves only hand and body movements as ‘dancers’ would sit on the floor while performing, and with 3 closing songs. For those who missed out on this wonderful evening, make sure you get your tickets early next year to avoid disappointment!
Bath University Student Musicals Society Presents...
The Wedding Singer
The Wedding Singer is a hit new musical just off Broadway based on the popular Adam Sandler film of the same title. The show takes us back to the cool (and slightly cheesy) 1980s and follows Robbie Hart a popular wedding singer in 1985 New Jersey. When Robbie's girlfriend dumps him at the altar, the only person who can pick him up from the depths of despair is his friend Julia, a waitress who is soon to be married to her sleazy fiancée Glen. Thursday 14th- Saturday 16th April 7.30pm plus Saturday 2pm Matinee ICIA Arts Theatre Tickets £7, £5 Concs Tickets can be bought on Parade every weekday from 12-2pm and from the ICIA box office in 1East. This is set to be one of BUSMS best shows yet!
Ch&OS: Best of British Sunday 19th March was the Ch&OS British Music concert. A concert dedicated to the wonderful music that has been composed in Britain over the many centuries. Everyone played fantastically! The orchestra impressed us all with the traditional ‘Greensleeves’. Also, the choir sang Purcell’s ‘Hear my Prayer, O Lord’ beautifully and finished with the very English Vicar of Dibley Theme tune. To bring a touch of pop to the concert, GASP sang ‘Walking on Sunshine’ and the Alley Barbers sang some Beatles classics including ‘Yesterday’. The concert brought in many people from Widcombe and everyone enjoyed themselves! Hope you enjoyed our Ch&OS concert on 9th April in Combe Down – was finally time to feel the Spring spirit! The choir sang the Rhythm of Life and the concert band played the Incredibles Theme tune. A great evening to end the semester!
Monday 11th April 2011
BUST has a heart of blue
ath University Student Theatre (BUST) put on three productions of Carol Churchill’s challenging play Blue Heart at the Museum of Bath at Work on the 24th, 25th and 26th of March. Blue Heart is made up of two different short plays: the first deals with the many different varieties of dysfunction; the second looks at the way in which deceit can obscure meaning. The first half constitutes a fairly short scene about a daughter returning home from Australia but it replayed multiple times with different emotions and outcomes, sometimes including absurdist deconstructions of the form – the male lead leaving the stage and re-entering as a woman in a parrot suit being a good example – that challenged the audience to think not about what the narrative was about but what the theme was exploring. The second half showcased the breakdown of language – as the secrecy and lies became more prevalent more and more words in the script were replaced by ‘blue’ and ‘kettle’ until the scenes became incomprehensible. Again this relates to Brechtian ‘epic theatre’, it doesn’t matter how
The playwright of Blue Heart: Caryl Churchill the second half ends, what matters is that the audience is made aware of the point that Churchill wants to make. This type of theatre can often be dry and alienating. This production, however, was saved by some fantastic individual performances – notably Jack Collard’s muscular and varied Brian; at times a terrifyingly furious patriarch and at another a timid, nervous, psychologically damaged individual. Ably supported by the supporting cast, this intense and challenging section
was a great success. In the second act David Jordan delivered a much understated, subtle performance as the male lead, wonderfully mirroring Jack’s larger than life performance in the first act. His sensitive handling of a much quieter and more verbally technical half completed an extremely enjoyable evening of theatre John Barlow was the first-time director who put together an assured debut, the pacing – so often the downfall of a production – was spot on. This was particularly im-
portant in the case of this play because of its strange construction and alienating stylistic devices. The choice to stage it that evening in the round was well made; the proximity to the actors meant the audience reacted very strongly in full view of those seated across them (particularly notable was the recoiling and screeching that answered the scenes in which Jack screamed and ranted in the first act). This was an effective way of circumventing the potentially alienating themes and style of the actual script.
This play rounded out the term time plays by BUST in sterling fashion. As the society has taken on new talented members it has increasingly improved its productions. Next up for them comes the summer fringe plays – in Bath, Buxton and Edinburgh. They always want new members and the tour is an extremely exciting way to get involved. Otherwise, make sure to check out their production next year: if they are as accomplished as Blue Heart then you’ll all be in for a thoroughly good time.
Monday 11th April 2011
Deserved win for India Ryan Skinner bathimpact Reporter
said in this very newspaper around six weeks ago, that India and Sri Lanka were the two teams that I backed to go all the in the Cricket World Cup. Aside from patting myself on the back for getting that prediction correct, I’d like to congratulate both sides (India in particular) for their performances throughout the tournament. Undoubtedly it was the two best sides that deservedly made it to the final; players like Malinga and Dilshan shone through for Sri Lanka while Yuvraj Singh proved far more than the pie-chucker Kevin Pietersen once labelled him as, the Indian all-rounder was named player of the tournament. The tournament built up slowly admitedly, with England providing the entertainment as the only side inconsistent enough to beat South Africa one day and lose to Ireland on another. But the tournament soon gained momentum with all the familiarities of past World Cups being relived. Pakistan played frantically and yet somehow, sublimely, New Zealand got to the semi-finals again despite having some really terrible players and South Africa ‘choked’ in the knockout rounds yet again. The tournament seemed to peak with the India vs Pakistan semi-final clash. If ever a sporting contest meant more
than merely winning or losing, this was it. Such was the tension and passion of that game, many thought that the final may be an anticlimax. It was anything but - a spectacular hundred by Mahela Jaywardene for Sri Lanka, the bowling of Zaheer Khan and later Lasith Malinga, all world class performances on the biggest stage of all. Oh, and MS Dhoni promoted himself up the order to score 91 off only 79 balls and got the winning runs with a huge six, that was a bit special too. The final was also a fitting send off for Muttiah Muralitharan, the rubber-armed Sri Lankan spinner played on one leg for much of the tournament, such was the desperation of international cricket’s highest wicket-taker to see his side lift the trophy in his last tournament. Unfortunately there are rarely any fairytales in sport, well for Murali at least. Sachin Tendulkar was denied his 100th century in international cricket in the final, but the greatest living batsman was nevertheless paraded on the shoulders of his colleagues along with the trophy around his home ground in Mumbai. As his teammate Virat Kohli fittingly put it “he’s carried the burden of the nation for 21 years so it’s time we carried him on our shoulders.” The Indian team cried tears of joy as the weight of expectation from over a billion fans made way for scenes of mass jubilation in the host nation, a truly fitting end to a spectacular tournament. One Day Cricket had had its last rights read prior to this tournament, but it has been reinvigorated by a
tournament that saw two hat-tricks, 262 sixes and 23 centuries. Lots of runs, lots of wickets and close matches made for an exhilarating tournament, and any match that involved England added a little more spice to the mix. I am glad that I watched many matches in lectures, seminars and even in the library, my grades may well suffer but who cares, because university, well, it’s just not cricket.
Supporting your local team Joe Dibben Sport Editor firstname.lastname@example.org
h, the inevitability of it all. Not so long ago, they even said that we could be automatic promotion contenders. We could have even gone top of the table one weekend. And now we’re on course to miss out on the playoffs altogether, judging by our current horrendous form. Yes, supporting AFC Bournemouth is a tough job, but somebody has to do it I guess. Where would a club like mine be without its supporters? Up and down the country, clubs like mine fight for survival on a pittance compared to what some of their more illustrious Premier League counterparts may have at their disposal. It must be great being a Man
AFC Bournemouth mascot Cherry Bear- surely a good enough reason in itself to support your local football club. Utd fan, or Chelsea fan or indeed a fan of any of the big clubs. You know, because they always win trophies and stuff like that. It must be a fun being a supporter of one of those clubs right? Why don’t I just give up being a Bournemouth fan and do what makes sense, I’m sure Man Utd could do with some more fans to fill up the coffers at Old Trafford? But in all seriousness, where’s the fun in that? The lows as a Bournemouth fan are certainly low. But let me tell you, those highs when they do eventually come are oh so high. As I write this (last Tuesday) as I hear of Bournemouth’s 1-0 defeat at Bristol Rovers, their fourth defeat in five games. But the dream lives on...
3x3 basketball a big success Ioannis Costas bathimpact Reporter
S MS Dhoni holds his bat aloft after having smashed the six which brought India World Cup glory.
ix players, two teams, one ball, one basket and half a court. Those were the only ingredients necessary for the extremely successful 3x3 basketball tournament hosted at Founders’ Hall by the university’s basketball club. For three hours, the only sounds emanating from within the facility were the rhythmic echoes of bouncing balls, muffled by both the screech of shoes sliding on the wooden floor
and the bustle of players calling instructions to one another. The beauty of the event resided in it being open to everyone, regardless of skill level, height and, in a few individual cases, knowledge of the rules. The objective was clear: participation was promoted in detriment of competition. Fancy dress was not only optional, in fact it was encouraged. Amongst the 30 teams that took to the floor, memorable appearances were made by the Nerds and Chefs (playing in full attire – hat included!), however, the prize for best costume was finally awarded to ‘The Avatars’. The World Cup-like competition (group stage followed by singlegame playoffs) saw 110 people eagerly take to the court, more than one trying to figure out the logistics of playing in restrictive fancy dress. Despite triggering a general chuckle when team pairings were read out, the Flying Shrimps, along with another 28 teams, did not succeed in reaching the final. Refereed by four Gladiators, the exciting final was eventually conquered by the three man cell of ‘AND1’. All in all, enjoyment and entertainment were on the afternoon’s menu, an atmosphere mainly created thanks to those occasional basketball players who showed up for a laugh. During warm up, I happened to overhear one such individual quizzically inquire if the game he was about to play had an offside rule... priceless.
Monday 11th April 2011
IDFC down to the final four Amy Hinton
»»BUMS, Economics, MoLES and Mech. Eng. book their places in the semi-finals
Economics celebrate after beating Biology on penalties. Joe Dibben Sport Editor email@example.com
sure enough the game had to be decided on penalties, with Economics coming out on top in the shootout with a 5-4 win. They will meet BUMS in the semi-finals, after the Group A winners overcame fourth-placed Group B side Team Maths 2-0. It’s a game which is sure to be mighty close judging by their earlier meeting this season during the group stage, when BUMS edged out their opposition 1-0 just before Christmas. The later kick-offs saw Group A runners-up MoLES take on Group B’s third-placed side Chemistry. Despite long periods of posses-
sion, MoLES were made to work particularly hard by a resilient Chemistry side. However, MoLES eventually found the breakthrough just before half-time when a David Jennings cross was met by David Mills to send the language boys 1-0 up at the break. Chemistry continued to struggle in the second half, and a second goal for MoLES put them within touching distance of the final four - Orlando Pedretti pulling the ball back from the byline for Paolo Fuoli to double his side’s advantage. Chemistry rallied late on, but MoLES remained relatively com-
fortable as they saw the game out to win 2-0. MoLES will meet reigning champions Mechanical Engineering in the last four, after the Group B winners crushed Group A’s fourth-placed side Management 8-0 in the final quarter-final. It promises to be an intriguing encounter after Mechanical Engineering defeated MoLES 2-1 at the same stage of the competition last season. Semi-finals will take place on Wednesday 13th April at the Eastwood pitches whilst the final will be on Wednesday 20th April. Come along and support your team!
his year’s Inter-Departmental Football Championship (IDFC) is reaching its climax, as four teams booked their place in the semi-finals last week. Following a gruelling group stage, which encompassed some 64 league games and began way back in October, four sides each from both Groups A and B had secured a top four finish, and a shot at the IDFC title. On a beautiful day at the East-
wood pitches last Wednesday, a sizeable crowd had gathered to see all the action, and those present were treated to palpable feast of football. First up in the quarter-finals were Economics, who finished third in Group A, against Group B runnersup Biology. After Economics had grabbed a first-half lead, it looked as if the boys in white and blue were set for a spot in the semi-finals. However, Biology were not done yet, and a dramatic late equaliser forced the game into extra-time after the contest had ended 1-1. The sides could not be separated during the extra thirty minutes, and
MoLES captain David Jennings (gold number 11) prepares to receive the ball as his side look to start another first-half attack against Chemistry. MoLES came out2-0 winners through goals from Orlando Pedretti and Paolo Fuoli and will meet Mech. Eng in the semis.
Monday 11th April 2011
An update from next year’s VP Sport Newly-elected VP Sport Chris Clements outlines his preparations for next year to bathimpact
Next year is one of great opportunity for sport at this university. Whilst I continue to oppose the £100 Sports Fee, it does present a great opportunity to put right a lot of the systematic failings of the university sport structure. Top of the agenda throughout
campaigning week was the need for more social sports clubs. Although not the main point on my manifesto, this seems to be what the majority of students care most about. Everyone should have the opportunity to play sport, whatever their skill and level of commitment they wish to make. The
University’s successful ‘Active Universities’ bid and the proper provision of ‘Pay and Play’ options will provide this. The successful expansion of social sport is one of the primary objectives of my term as VP Sport. In the past week I have already had meetings with a lot of the
major sport figures at Bath University. Whilst the official start date may be June the 14th, I am already working at putting things into place so you can see the benefits from the start of the next academic year.” Chris Clements, VP Sport 2011/12
Strictly Hits Bath and proves to be an enormous success Joe Dibben Sport Editor firstname.lastname@example.org
he Strictly Hits Bath evening organised by Coach Education students proved to be a massive success. Hundreds of students turned out last Monday evening in aid of the Cure Leukaemia charity.
The stand in the Sports Training Village was packed out for a show that could easily have been mistaken for the real thing, complete with its very own Bruce Forsyth (Martin Ansel) and Tess Daly (Matt Taylor). In the competition itself, eight competitors representing eight of the university’s sports clubs were
each paired up with a member of the Latin and Ballrom Dancing Club. The eight couples had only two weeks to prepare a routine, with each couple having been allocated a particular style of dance. The winner of the competition was the kickboxing club’s Nik Zdanov, who, alongside partner
Carly Stoneman, wowed both the judges and the audience with a thoroughly impressive jive routine. The real winner of the evening though was of course Cure Leukamia, after students managed to raise nearly £800 in total from the event for the charity. One of the organisers, Jack
Collard, stated that he was “extremely pleased with the turnout we booked one bleacher and completely filled that out which is just what we wanted.” The organisers of the evening would like to thank everyone who turned out and contributed for making the evening the massive success that it was.
Hayden Phyo (l.) and Laura Jane Brady (r.) shake their stuff during their performance.
The dancers and hosts who helped make Strictly Hits Bath such a great success.
Winners Nik Zdanov and Carly Stoneman (centre).
Monday 11th April 2011
Varsity Rugby 2011 - don’t miss it
University awarded lottery grant Students in Bath are being urged to give sport another go after the University of Bath was awarded more than £113,382 in National Lottery funding from Sport England. Along with 40 other projects, The 3: Thirty Club is being backed by Sport England’s £10 million Active Universities fund to get more university students playing sport, as part of the mass participation legacy from the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. Daniel O’Toole, Students’ Union President at the University of Bath, said: “On behalf of all the students I’d like to thank Sport England for allowing us this opportunity to develop recreational sport here. It’s a chance to boost student participation and further strengthen the excellent community spirit on campus as well as providing a range of social and health benefits.”
Joe Dibben Sport Editor email@example.com
he annual ‘Real Varsity’ rugby matches between Bath and Loughborough are coming up quickly on the hori-
zon and as you would expect, impactsport will be there to cover all the action. Both Bath sides will be looking for revenge after defeats against their bitter rivals last season, and will hopefully have the backing of
an expectant and partisan crowd at The Rec to help them gain that extra inch towards victory. It all happens on the evening on Wednesday 20th April, and the action kicks off with the women’s match at 5pm. That will be fol-
lowed swiftly by the men’s match at 6.30pm. It promises to be an exciting and tense night of rugby, so make sure you get yourselves down to The Rec to support the boys and girls in blue and yellow!
Unicycle hockey- apparently it’s a real sport! Katie Rocker News Editor firstname.lastname@example.org
n only the second year of its formation, unicycle hockey is gaining in popularity. One of the most surreal games ever
invented not to mention that it is also a serious workout. On Sunday 3rd April, armed with ice hockey sticks and a tennis ball or twenty, several members of Gravity Vomit (the university juggling society) raced up and down
a basketball court for an hour, in a mix of friendly games and training activities. There was also room for beginners– several first-timers bumped along the walls, trying to get a little further away each time. It is
safe to say that fun was had by all! Anyone interested in having a go at unicycling for the first time, or getting involved in the monthly unicycle hockey sessions, should email email@example.com
Coles retains doubles title University of Bath student Chris Coles retained his men’s doubles title with partner Matt Nottingham at the England National Under-19 Badminton Championships at Milton Keynes. The pair, who were top seeds, went through the tournament without dropping a game and beat second seeds Harley Towler and Alex Fowler 21-19, 21-16 in a tough final. Coles, a Sports Performance student at the University, came close in two other competitions. He lost his men’s singles semi-final to eventual winner Tony Penty and went out of the mixed doubles at the same stage with partner Jessica Coles.
Mixed weekend for netballers Team Bath’s netballers won one and lost one in their double-header weekend in the Fiat Netball Superleague to remain fourth in the table. The reigning Superleague champions ran out 57-48 winners at Surrey Storm on Saturday, making the most of their possession to outscore Storm in each of the four quarters, but came unstuck by 52 goals to 50 at Loughborough Lightning. Team Bath travel to Wales to take on Celtic Dragons in their next fixture on Friday 8 April before hosting Team Northumbria at the Sports Training Village on Sunday 10th of April. A few pictures from Sunday’s unicycle hockey event in the Founders Hall, which was organised by members of Gravity Vomit.
impactsport Varsity 2011 is coming! All the details inside this week’s impactsport Rugby, p31 Monday 11th April 2011
Inside impactsport New VP Sport sets out aims
The newly-elected VP Sport Chris Clements has recently spoken to impactsport about what he wants to achieve for university sport in the next academic year. Find Chris Clements’ comments on page 30
The Strictly Hits Bath night organised by students at the STV proved to be a massive hit, with all proceeds going Cure Leukaemia. Read more on page 30
Quarter-final day in the IDFC
Bath playoff hopes hanging by a thread after Chippenham defeat »»Chippenham Futsal Club 3-1 Team Bath Futsal Club
Joe Dibben Sport Editor firstname.lastname@example.org fter two defeats in two key games within the space of a week, Team Bath Futsal Club have seen their hopes of qualifying for the FA National Futsal League playoffs blown away. Sion Kitson’s side will now have to rely heavily upon other results going their way if they are to progress to the six-team playoff tournament in June. After a 4-3 defeat in the Founders Hall against Southern Conference leaders Team United Birmingham last week, who preserved their unbeaten record this season and also became the first club in the country to seal their playoff place, Bath knew that only a win at fellow playoff contenders Chippenham Futsal Club would realistically be good enough to keep them in the hunt for a top-two finish. A depleted Bath side had to make do without Bath City footballers Marc Canham, Brendan Dix, Ben Bourdin and Dan Eagles for the pivotal clash at
the @Futsal Arena in Swindon. Bath found it tough going in the first half, and keeper Jose Lima rescued his side on a number of occasions with a string of excellent saves to keep the visitors in the contest, notably pushing an effort wide from England captain Luke Ballinger. In truth, Bath were not seeing much of the ball, and chances for Kitson’s side were sporadic. The closest that they came to opening the scoring was when David Jennings hit the inside of the post from a tight angle after 16 minutes. However, after a Bath attack broke down in the top half of the court, Chippenham took the lead with a lethal counter attack- Gary Banks finishing past a helpless Lima on 19 minutes. Just after the break, there was a second killer blow from the home side, as Jamie Lyons tapped in at the back post on 22 minutes to double Chippenham’s lead. From then on, Bath, when possible, decided to play five outfield players when in attacking situations in an at-
maining, Bath conceded a third goal as they tried to attack with five outfield players, as George Nash flicked the ball into an empty net to all but end Bath’s playoff aspirations. Bath now have to hope that Chippenham lose both of their remaining games to stand any chance of qualification. Team Bath: Lima (gk), Jennings, Parkes, Kitson, Yilmaz, Gardiner, Ingram, Dibben (gk).
tempt to get themselves back into the game. Sure enough, a cheeky backheel flick from Ian Parkes gave Bath hope of a comeback on 26 minutes, his tenth goal of the season, as the visitors started to look more threatening. However, Bath could not build on the momentum from that goal, and instead it was Chippenham who looked more likely to score next as Bath continued to press. Sure enough, with just seconds re-
FA FUTSAL LEAGUE MIDLANDS DIVISION W D
Team United Birmingham 10
Remaining Team Bath fixtures: 07/05- TEAM BATH v Hereford, 08/05- TEAM BATH v Team Newbury, 15/05- Cardiff Cymru v TEAM BATH
Economics, BUMS, MoLES and Mechanical Engineering all sealed their places in the semi-finals of the IDFC after triumphing over Biology, Team Maths, Chemistry and Management respectively. See page 29 for a full review of the quarter-finals
Your sports comments In this week’s comment section, Ryan Skinner looks back at the Cricket World Cup, Ioannis Costas reviews the recent 3x3 basketball tournament on campus, and Joe Dibben explains his love affair with AFC Bournemouth. Go to page 28 and see what you think
impactsport needs you! Do you want to write a match report for your team? Do you have something to say about sport at our university? Interested in sports journalism, design or photography? Or even just passionate about sport in general? Get in touch! impactsport wants to hear from people like you! Contact the bathimpact Sports Editor (jcd22@ bath.ac.uk) to find out more details about how you can get yourself involved and get your team, your views, your designs or your photography seen.
Monday 11th April 2011
The Crime Issue
Monday 11th April 2011
Editor Gina Reay email@example.com Deputy Editor Hannah Raymont firstname.lastname@example.org
bite Editors Caroline Leach email@example.com Rowan Emslie firstname.lastname@example.org Publicity Officer Julia Lipowiecka email@example.com Chief Sub-Editor Sam Foxman firstname.lastname@example.org Advertising Enquires Helen Freeman H.Freeman@bath.ac.uk 01225 386806
bathimpact Students’ Union University of Bath Bath BA2 7AY 01225 38 6151 Printed by Harmsworth Press Ltd.
Welcome to the eighth issue of bite. This fortnight we’re exploring the criminal underworld, particularly looking at when seemingly normal people get involved with our article on vigilantes. Student crime is looked at over on page 5 as we discuss that ubiquitous orange cone and ask why it has ended up in so many student bedrooms. Over on the more arty side of things we bring you the confessions of a geek, an exposé of adult trash fiction and an investigation into why cliffhangers aren’t always such a good idea. And of course we’ve got all your usuals, Never Have I Ever, AV Positive, puzzles and, if you need some cultural activities for the month ahead, go straight to The Guide on page 11. If you like what you see or fancy writing for us yourself then please get in touch; either by using the email addresses on the left or by coming along to one of our contributors’ meetings which take place fortnightly. Search for bathimpact on Facebook or Twitter for more information.
A perversion of justice? Pages 2 & 3 Foxy knows... Page 3 Stop that thieving student! Page 4 So crime doesn’t pay? Tell that to Robin Hood. Page 5 AV Positive: Adventures of a placement student. Page 7 Never have I ever.... had an inappropriate sex dream. Page 8
A perversion Written by Hannah Raymont
ailing from that trash TV heaven across the pond, Dateline NBC’s hit series, To Catch a Predator, has been confined to an ever-growing pile of reality-TV relics since its last episodes were filmed in 2008. Brit TV critic, presenter of How TV Ruined Your Life and general funny guy Charlie Brooker reviewed the US investigative series at its apogee 3 years ago and I have to concur with him when he says that there really has to be something seriously, seriously wrong with any TV show that makes you feel slightly bad, or even sorry for potential paedophiles (or sexual predators, as the show liked to call them, as they mainly deal with people soliciting sex from teen minors rather than younger children) who are caught red-faced and bumbling live on camera, for millions of viewers to see. Yes, there is indeed something incredibly perverse about watching perverts getting stung, but as far as mindless yet gripping television goes, To Catch a Predator, which plays cleverly on humanity’s natural desire for a bit of schadenfreude here and there, in combination with a convincing investigative slant, is strangely addictive. The whole show works thus; a decoy from ‘vigilante’ group Perverted Justice (PJ) poses as a minor online, kitting out a suitably teeny-bopper style profile on popular social networking sites such as MySpace (Facebook still hadn’t quite reached its zenith back then) or in Yahoo! chat rooms then lies in wait for a predator to pounce. When an adult starts chatting online with a PJ decoy, the person working on PJ’s side, posing normally as a 13-year-old girl or boy, will give non-committal answers such as ‘if you want’ and has to give realistic and childlike answers to adult questions such as ‘have you lost your virginity?’ or ‘would you ever try anal?’ or even to requests for them to get a younger sibling or a pet (no, I am not joking) involved in a sex act. On Perverted Justice’s website, as well as the numerous reports detailing predators that they have caught, incidents of sexual assault reported in the news or predators that they are still looking for, you are able to read the chat logs for yourself, which provides for some pretty graphic and sickening reading. The chat logs are also annotated with commentary from PJ which tells how they felt having to read what a sexual predator would dare to say to somebody who they think is merely a teenager. Then, a meeting in person would be set up online in the chat room, with the predator sometimes requesting to speak to the ‘child’ on the phone first. Youthful looking actors in their late teens or early twenties from PJ are on hand to pretend to be the minor in question, and young female actresses were required to pretend to be teenage boys on the phone in the early days of the organisation. To Catch a Predator originally started hosting their police stings around major suburban areas (such as Riverside in California) but has had equally startling results in remote rural neighbourhoods (like Darke County in
Cakey Katie: How (not) to bake M&M cookies. Page9 Cake of the Facebook gods. Page 10 A meal to die for... Page 10
The Guide Upcoming gigs, comedy, films and exhibitions near you. Page 11
Fashion Doing it for the thrill: pleasure thieves. Page 12 Bath Style - Our photographer asks some fashionable types. Pages 12 & 13
Music Bringing to justice Down With Webster. Page 15 Stop the tragic abuse of millionaires. Page 16 Cover songs that should be illegal. Page 17
Theatre How an old set of prison gallows became a stage. Page 18
Videogames Life changing, yes, psychopath generating, no. Page 19
Literature Jack Parker - an extract from a debut novel. Page 20&21 Comic books have changed how we look at crime. Page 22&23
The show’s host Chris Hansen and his trademark line
Monday 11th April 2011
Written by Sam Foxman Ohio), where men (I say ‘men’ as it is largely men who are found out to be paedophiles) drive for hours to come to a house rigged with cameras where they will meet not a young girl or boy, but a tall, dark stranger… To Catch a Predator was hosted by the drawling, towering figure of Chris Hansen (or ‘Chris Handsome’ as some female admirers have dubbed him) who would enter the reception area of the phoney house and interrogate the ‘predator,’ watching him squirm as he read aloud transcripts from an online chat between him and the PJ decoy. It is quite difficult indeed not to smirk when Chris repeats choice quotes that, er, get straight to the point, (‘I want to [blank] your [blank],’ for example ) from the transcript in his hand in his trademark deadpan voice and with a completely straight face, while the drooping man on the bar stool opposite blurts out excuse after excuse, even with some of them admitting to having seen the show before and knowing full well what will happen to them afterwards. Nevertheless, the severity of what these men were prepared to do soon hits home and despite the heavy odour of entrapment (which PJ vehemently deny time and again), the men consciously come to the house with devious intentions in mind and are therefore, by definition, guilty. In some US states, the predator does not even have to drive to the house and is guilty of a felony if he simply has a lewd conversation with solicitation of sex from someone he thought to be a minor. PJ has of course come under attack from its critics, who claim that they are in effect an evil vigilante group and have even been accused of discrimination on gender grounds, or that they must be a feminist group, given that they never catch any female sexual predators. As they say, it’s ‘not for lack of trying.’ There are just not that many female sexual predators who prey on minors out there. PJ have had just one incident of a woman guilty of lewd crimes with a child, but we just have to look at the ‘paedophile ring’ stories in the papers to see that both adult men and women are equally capable of abusing their authority and the trust of children in their care. While some may disagree with the way PJ go about their ‘stings’ (that they carry out in conjunction with law enforcement), it only has to a be a good thing that potential predators see shows such as To Catch a Predator as a deterrent and that offenders on the show are arrested before they have a chance to hurt the ‘minor’ in the house. Maybe a large volunteer organisation (well, ‘volunteer’ until they were paid by NBC for their services later into the To Catch a Predator series) like Perverted Justice would fit in well with the coalition government’s idea of a multi-participant ‘Big Society,’ but what Perverted Justice is often unable to do is to reach the children most likely to fall prey to sexual abuse. These children are not the ones that complete strangers lech at in chat rooms, but the sisters, nephews and other children already well known to a potential paedophile that will most likely fall victim to what is often horrific treatment. Sadly, no real justice, no matter how Perverted, exists for them.
Excerpts of the ‘chats’ are shown along with the predators’ confessions
f you want to know anything about crime, I’m your man – allegedly. I can tell you what you need to do if you want to walk on the wild side: break all the rules; be a lone wolf. The simple fact is that crime, whether you like it or not, is basically definitely cool. It’s not as cool as blowing smoke rings while surfing in a tuxedo, but I don’t think there’s any doubt that crime is probably the quickest way to a reputation as an industrial-strength badass. So if you want to be cool quickly, if you want people to look at you walking down the street and scurry away in fear, if you want people to avoid eye contact so that they don’t end up ankle-deep in concrete or sans-kneecap then read on and discover the secrets of the criminal mind. If you’re still reading this, you’re basically an idiot. Crime isn’t cool. Nothing about crime is clever or funny. Bad things can be fun to do, but the law more or less makes sense as a limiter on how much of a dick you should be. Don’t be a dick. That’s the main principle that underpins common law and it’s generally pretty good advice for life if you don’t want to be spat at in the street or kicked in the mouth. You should probably be a bit of a dick if you want people to think that you’re in any way interesting or, for example, sleep with you, but to sin to the extent that you break the law is idiotic and unlikely to get you laid. Except that, worryingly, it isn’t. People love the notion of crime and they are fascinated by the people that commit it. There is something about the criminal mind that people really enjoy and in some cases admire. Sure, some people are simply notorious – we’ll come back to them – but some people are praised either for their criminal ingenuity or for their brazen courage in doing whatever idiotic thing people happen to think is courageous. When people are idiots and get away with it, bravery is often cited as being their overwhelming characteristic. Brave people – this is almost a fact – are idiots. Fact. Gangsters and similar folk – basically anyone bad who is associated with either attractive women or large amounts of cash – are cultural icons. These guys are cowards, pussies and businessmen. They’re boring. Sure having money or attractive women is something we should all get on board with, but that can be done without guns and that’s probably better for general wellbeing. Of course, some people aren’t thought of as particularly cool by too many people. Some criminals are just scary, in a way that isn’t much fun for anyone. These are people who do things that are universally decried as ‘evil’ by our increasingly tabloidised nation. Unless you’re obsessive and full-on mental it’s probably not practical to have your own acid bath, let alone to actually dispose of bodies in it. But still we obsess about serial killers and similar dark folk. At least, on this one, we’re all agreed that these people are bad. Unless they make the terrible dickishness into a movie. If at the end of this you still want to be a criminal, here’s my advice: take your time. The ones that people remember are the ones that get away with it for a bit and are subsequently gunned down by the police. Work quietly, work carefully, work slowly, but, when you get caught, go out in a blaze of glory.
Cool criminal? NO. Haven’t you been listening? He’s a douche.
Monday 11th April 2011
Stop that thieving student! (The one with the traffic cone for a hat) Written by Alice Preedy
he morning after the night before: wake up blearyeyed, a pounding head, possibly in the clothes you wore out the night before. As you lift your head, you suffer the horror of observing the state of your bedroom in the cold light of day; a trail of destruction of half-eaten kebabs, empty bottles and who knows what else. There is, however, one object that I would guess almost every student has or will wake up to at some point. Be it at the foot of your bed, in the corridor of your halls, or lying at the end of your street if you were too worse for wear to carry it that last stretch, a traffic cone will inevitably rear its pointy head one hungover morning of your university days. Although the stumbling student with a traffic cone on their head might have become a stereotype, perhaps it is not an unfounded cliché. For example, traffic cone thefts by university students at Loughborough and St Andrews became such a regular occurrence that local authorities decided to launch ‘amnesty’ campaigns, giving students a chance to return their ill-gotten gains without fear of prosecution. So what exactly fuels this nation-wide traffic cone rescue mission? Some students point to the many uses of the traffic cone; as a megaphone, a hat and other such vital functions. Other cone-enthusiasts say their nocturnal thefts are motivated by desire for a souvenir of their night’s drunken escapades. Sometimes it seems a hundred bleary-eyed photos of you, everyone you know, and everyone they know, just aren’t enough. Whatever the reason, it seems the drunken compulsion to steal this holy (fluorescent orange) grail is ingrained in the student psyche. For many of us, myself included, such late night conerelated antics will constitute a special memory of our time as a student. Seeing my drunken friend run facefirst into a wall thanks to the cone on his head slipping down to his eyes is something I’ll always cherish (and mock him for). But for security guards and other more legally-minded people, this prized student experience is instead considered a mindless criminal act. Our desire for a bright orange trophy may seem nothing more than harmless fun as we stumble back home, but stealing traffic cones does constitute a criminal offence. We can be fined and even cautioned for following this tradition of drunk students everywhere. Nevertheless, the student mission for cone relocation (also known as petty theft if you’re going to be picky) will most likely have a long future ahead of it. After all, old habits die hard. To those of you still concerned about the criminal activities of our nation’s students, look on the bright side; there are a lot more expensive and more likely to be missed items that students could steal than a traffic cone. A final thought for any students with their cone-stealing virginity still in-tact. If you do ever experience the urge to make off with one of our pointy orange friends, try to remember that the next day you will be faced with the inevitable cone-kidnapper challenge of how to get rid of the damn thing (and FYI, this is something which is probably best to work out before your parents next visit and they realise that their innocent offspring is actually a bit of a drunken prat…).
A more creative way to utilise your collection of “holy (fluorescent orange) grail”s
Even polar bears cannot resist the temptation of the traffic cone hat
Monday 11th April 2011
So crime doesn’t pay? Tell that to Robin Hood. Written by Steffanie Ransom
ops and robbers. Gangsters with tommy guns taking part in a heist. Cowboys and Indians. Who among us can’t remember a time when playing games such as these were the best part of your day? (Or maybe you did this yesterday, I don’t know...) From a very young age, we are completely absorbed with the good guys vs. the bad guys, to the point where learning that life isn’t so black and white can be a frustrating lesson. For most people, however, it’s easy to label criminals as the bad guys and the law-abiders as the good guys. Or is it? Fascination with criminals, be it serial killers, gangsters, thieves or other baddies, is convoluted in our history, some pointing out that immortalising, what would be called in the modern day and age, terrorists ensures that they live on forever, a fate better than they deserve. Others say that we can’t forget because we must remember (I know, get your head around that one) the lives that were lost and the consequences of the law-breakers’ actions to discourage others from acting similarly. However, despite the resolution of the people, it is getting increasingly harder to forget these individuals thanks to our friend, the media. Movies, books, TV series, paraphernalia, anything you can get your hands on can and will promote interest in and reap money from this apparent interest in criminals; there have been movies about John Dillenger (pulling in viewers such as my housemate who have the inclination to go and see any and all movies with Johnny Depp in), Robin Hood and Jesse James in the past five years alone. So why are
these people who lived their short lives committing serious and often violent crimes celebrated? To answer that, I turn to my personal favourite famous criminal: Al Capone. I know, I know, of all the criminals, in all the world, why did he have to come into my head? At his worst, Al Capone was nothing more than a crime lord specialising in bootlegging, prostitution and smuggling during the Prohibition-era America. Despite that, Al Capone was the original gangster; his genius cannot really be questioned. In a time when the government thought it best to outlaw alcohol (what WERE they thinking?!), Capone capitalised on the demand for it and pretty much ran the better part of Chicago during the 1920s and 1930s; people loved him for what he brought them, and the law couldn’t touch him. Besides, there’s that classy side to the Prohibition-era that is hard to dispute, and when you introduce Tommy guns and that ‘Whaddaya talk’ gangster tough guy accent (best and most effectively replicated by one Robert De Niro), I just tend to forget all the horrible, murderously sickening things he took part in, namely the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre, and respect his life as an outlaw. Yet Capone isn’t the only outlaw who has captured the hearts (this time not literally) of the people: Jesse James, the original western bandit, and Robin Hood, the legendary outlaw who stole from the rich and gave to the poor are also glorified in film. Society seems to have an attraction to powerful men who have the stones
to stand up against a corrupt government system which ignores the needs of the underdog; the popularity and success of men such as these came from their recognition that the power and voice of the collective underdog is stronger and louder than the few alphas. And with an army behind you, what can’t you do? Evade your taxes forever, apparently. With fame, money and in some cases power, however, comes a price. All of the criminals I’ve mentioned thus far died for their crimes, some at relatively young ages. When the law finally did catch up with them, you can bet they weren’t too happy. So what does any justice system do when a criminal has murdered people AND embarrassed them? In an age and/or country where criminals were not tolerated and capital punishment abounded, many were shot point blank or were later executed by the state. Perhaps criminals, famous or not, are treated by us mere mortals as a species apart, not because they are or should be called idols, but because they dared to live a life that is not morally driven, which is a choice that will always remain fascinating to those that do. My last words for this article will quite fittingly be the last words of criminals, some famous, some not, facing the death sentence. Whatever your opinion on the death sentence and whatever the crimes of those men, I hope you can see, through their humour and honesty in the face of death, that despite the extraordinary lives criminals can lead, they were just human after all.
Well, gentlemen, you are about to see a baked Appel. ~~ George Appel, d. 1928 Executed by electric chair, New York.
I don’t hold any grudges. This is my doing. Sorry it happened. ~~ Steven Judy, d. March 9, 1981 Executed by electric chair, Indiana.
I’d rather be fishing. ~~ Jimmy Glass, d. June 12, 1987 Executed by electric chair, Louisiana.
How about this for a headline for tomorrow’s paper? French fries. ~~ James French, d. 1966 Executed by electric chair, Oklahoma.
Good people are always so sure they’re right. ~~ Barbara Graham, d. June 3, 1955 Executed at San Quentin.
Russell Crowe’s biggest crime? His Yorkshire accent.
Monday 11th April 2011
AV Positive: Adventures of a placement student Written by Sam Lawes
ear reader, if you have followed my ramblings over the last few editions of bathimpact, thank you for your patience and loyalty. If you are reading my column for the first time, I’m glad the headline appeals to you – you’re obviously a discerning reader. Today’s offering is about how both sides of the referendum are simultaneously trying to brainwash me. And no, I’m neither paranoid nor on any form of medication. I’m a third year Politics student on placement with Yes! to Fairer Votes. We’re campaigning for a yes vote in the May 5th referendum, in which we’ll be asked whether we should reform our voting system by upgrading to the Alternative Vote (AV). Opponents say that the proposed reform is costly when everything else is being cut, complicated to understand and unfair. Proponents reply that AV will re-enfranchise those whose votes are currently wasted, making politicians work more for their constituents and less for their parties and excluding the likes of Griffin’s BNP – who are campaigning vigorously against the reform. Believing the spin It’s not only you lot who get spun, you know. If you think you get it bad, try campaign emails. Staff on a single-issue campaign do, of course, need conviction to put in far beyond the hours for
which they’re paid (if they are paid, that is). They need to believe in what they’re fighting for enough to irritate their friends (guilty), upset their partners (guilty), stay up half the night (guilty) and so on. Both the yes and no campaigns receive regular emails to ‘top up’ their enthusiasm. I, like campaigners on both sides, am signed up to the no campaign’s emails as well as my own: they make for entertaining reading. Each side makes similar claims about how the national campaign is going. A no email recently proudly proclaimed to supporters that “No to AV are winning the arguments in this referendum”. Around the same time, Yes! emailed to inform us that No had already “lost the argument”. Incidentally, the issue in question was the cost of AV, which I am happy to report was laid to rest when a government memo which examined the cost of change was leaked to the press. It turns out that it will cost no extra money whatsoever. Parties and stuff If being brainwashed by whichever side of the debate you’re on isn’t enough, you’re also at risk of being brainwashed by the political parties you’re dealing with. Obviously I don’t have much to do with the Conservatives, the only openly anti-AV party in Bath (as the BNP doesn’t have a presence here). Labour, the Lib Dems and the Greens, however, are all keen to either
convert me or at least get me to deliver some of their leaflets. Several Labourites have pointed out to me that they first proposed AV, and that it’s really about re-enfranchising the disillusioned poor. The Lib Dem campaigns director (a Bath graduate and sitting councillor for the Uni and Bathwick Hill) takes every opportunity to remind me that it was only the Lib Dems who finally brought about this chance of reform. Our Green activists have taken to using our secret Facebook groups (oh yes, we have ‘em! Not so dull being campaign staff now, eh?) to write long comments about why we should all immediately defect from whichever party we currently support and join the Greens. It even happens when I’m on the job A final warning to anyone who is still considering signing up to the next referendum that comes along: you’ll get pounced on by other campaigners. We held an outdoor street theatre performance last month to get people interested. Bath Spa drama students had written a caricature of a manifesto launch and it was hilarious. Halfway through, a save-the-rainforest group noticed that we had drawn a crowd. They came over and promptly signed me up to pay £10 per month to help gorillas with their shopping bills or some such thing. God knows, but I agreed. Force of habit, I suppose. That’s what you get when your job is all about saying ‘Yes!’
This roadworks picture is one of 50,000 that have just been delivered to us in Bath and North East Somerset. More about people’s resentment of lazy MPs than about the reason why AV might help, you’ll notice.
Yes! to Fairer Votes in Bristol ‘axeing’ safe seats last week.
Monday 11th April 2011
Never have I ever… said no to a man in uniform Written by bite’s sex & relationship columnist
bout a year ago my lover broke his arm playing rugby. Naturally, I asked if there was anything I could do to make him feel better- two days later I was on my knees in a nurse’s outfit. Not exactly the aid I had in mind, I was thinking more a few paracetamol, a cup of tea and a cosy night in. As it turns out, rather surprisingly, what he had in mind worked much better for both of us. While I was getting down to it though, I began to wonder, what is it about uniform that turns us on so much? Of course we all love a bit of nakedness and any man’ll be foaming from the mouth if you drop your dressing gown to reveal a slutty dress and some red stockings. But what exactly do we find kinky about the emergency services? What makes us crave NHS nookie, Police Service pleasure and Fireman fun? For me, it’s the idea of heroism, bravery, strength and authority. My fantasy has always involved a scantily clad fireman, rippling with muscles of course, sliding me down his sizeable pole to ‘safety’. There’s something
about life-saving that we just find oh-so-sexual and uniform is a clear symbol of this. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, role play can do wonders for your love-life. Dressing up in new clothes can transform you into a new person and if you choose to indulge in uniform-fun, part of your back-story is handed to you on a plate. If you’ve been with your man a while, role-play can add some much needed adventure, almost making it feel like you’re sleeping with someone else; giving you once again the butterflies in your stomach which turned into indigestion and period pain after your six-month anniversary. If you’re as big a fan as Sex and the City as I am, you’ll remember the time when Samantha met Smith. For weeks they attended mystery dates, acting as different people. He would always be the macho character and she would be the misunderstood damsel in distress. They’d meet in mysterious locations; have an hour of uniform-based conversation compiled mainly of sexual innuendos, followed by three hours of ruthless fun. I’m
not asking you to go to this extreme though, meeting in a bar dressed in nothing but a cream Mac can be rather daunting and quite chilly as well. Uniform fantasies can be kept private. Why not be daring and cook a meal in nothing but an apron? Delia Smith would be proud. Uniform can be fun for both men and women. As much as I’d love to be taken over the shoulder by a hunky, tanned sex bomb, I loved kissing every inch of my man’s body dressed as Coco the promiscuous nurse equally as much. Men often like to be ‘saved’ just as much as women do and playing dress-up can be a fantastic way to indulge in female dominance. Girls shouldn’t just lie down and take it, it’s just as much, if not more, fun to be in charge, and dressing up as Una the angry Policewoman can give you the confidence and the authority to do this. Next time you’ve got an evening alone with your man (or he breaks one of his body parts!) head to Ann Summers, pick up an outfit and surprise him when he gets home. Chances are he’ll be gagging to get arrested, take his medicine or even hose you down.
Fireman Sam you cannot ignore, that uniform is just far too distracting. Sam is my hero next door.
Monday 11th April 2011
Cakey Katie: how (not) to bake M&M cookies Written by Katie Brown
I’m Katie, a final year language student, and I’m a baking addict. It’s a great way to relax after a stressful day and it means you get lots of yummy treats without spending a fortune. So now I’m on a mission to bake at least one different dessert every week this year, posting the recipes and pictures on cakeykatie. blogspot.com. I’ll be sharing my favourites with you right here in bite.
I was going to write about another tart, as I do love them, but I wanted to prove that I can make other things, too. This was also a personal challenge for me, as my first attempt at making cookies was an utter failure. Ingredients 12oz self raising flour 8oz caster sugar 8oz butter A packet of M&Ms (alternative fillings are acceptable, but I like the colours) NB: these are egg free so no salmonella worries when eating left over dough. This is also a crazy amount of ingredients so get a big bowl!
Method 1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C 2. Work the flour, sugar and butter together in a bowl with your fingers until they form a slightly sticky dough. 3. Mix in the M&Ms 4. Make small (or slightly bigger depending on what size cookies you want obviously) balls of dough with your hands, then squish them on to an oven tray covered with greaseproof paper 5. Cook for 10-15 mins. Keep an eye on the cookies and take them out of the oven when almost cooked but still a bit squidgy in the middle because they will harden as they cool. This recipe makes a LOT of cookies, so you will probably need to do several batches (5 in my case!)
Here’s some I made earlier... not quite to the standard that you’d expect on Blue Peter, or on my blog! This is what happens when you leave the cookies in the oven for too long; remember, when it comes to cookies undercooked is always better than overcooked!
Monday 11th April 2011
Food: Cake of the Facebook Gods Written by Steffanie Ransom
ave you ever been revising/studying/procrastinating and felt the overwhelming need to bake? No? Well have you ever felt the need to stuff yourself full of homemade chocolate cake then? I’m going to be presumptuous and answer for all with a resounding yes. Yet you get to the kitchen and find the most frustrating obstacle standing in your way: who on earth owns baking scales and cake tins at uni? If you’re like me, you bought the bare essentials: cutlery, a plate, a bowl, the odd mug. Well, that last one is your ingredient for success, if you’ll pardon the pun. One mug: the answer to your lack-of-cake-tin problems. This is all because, thanks to Facebook, we now have the ‘5 Minute Chocolate Mug Cake. Do as follows and, at any given time, you are only 5 minutes away from sticky, chocolatey goodness.
Ingredients: 4 tablespoons flour 4 tablespoons sugar 2 tablespoons cocoa 1 egg 3 tablespoons milk 3 tablespoons oil 3 tablespoons chocolate chips (optional) A small splash of vanilla extract 1 large coffee mug Method: 1. Mix your dry ingredients, egg, milk and oil into your mug and mix well. 2. Add the chocolate chips (if using) and vanilla extract, and mix again. 3. Put your mug in the microwave and cook for 3 minutes on high power. The cake will rise over the top of the mug, and it may look too liquidy, but the bottom is always drier, so undercook rather than overcook for best results! Let it cool, and tip out onto a plate if you’re feeling particularly refined. 4. Serve with ice cream / cream / strawberries / anything else you like.
Been out for a meal in Bath recently? Tell us about it! Whether you had the worst meal of your life in the classiest joint in town or you spent a blissful Sunday afternoon rediscovering the joy of a good pie in one of Bath’s many pubs, we want to hear from you. So put pen to paper, or fingers to a keyboard, and write us a review of around 500 words. Send us some pictures, too, and you could find yourself starring in these very pages. Send your submissions to email@example.com or come along to a contributors’ meeting. They take place fortnightly on Tuesday at 6.15 in 6E2.1. Our next one is on April 12th.
If you visit the Facebook page yourself you’ll find many a success story (‘Thank you, you saved my marriage’ being my personal favourite) and many a twist to it, for example adding cointreau to make a chocolate orange version, or use white chocolate drinking powder as an alternative. The options are endless. Go on, indulge your creativity. Then start revision…
It doesn’t get any stickier than this.
A meal to die for...
Mmmmmm ice cream
Written by Caroline Leach
magine you live in Texas. Difficult I know, but try anyway. Now imagine you’re a serial killer and you’ve just been caught, incarcerated and sentenced to the death penalty. What’s the most important thing on your mind? Well if it were me, it would probably be what to pick for my last meal. The choice is just such a difficult one. I mean, do you go for something traditional, like shepherd’s pie or a roast chicken, a meal that reminds you of simpler times when your mum would call you down for dinner and tea would be on the table ready and waiting. Or do you go all out? Lobster, oysters, maybe even caviar, the state are paying after all, so why not have some fun at their expense?
Personally I think I’d have to go for the homespun option. I know the extravagance of seafood or truffles might give a temporary thrill, and cracking the shell of the lobster would certainly offer some temporary stress relief, but, I would imagine, in the hours leading up to your death, inner peace is what you aim for, not petty digs at the government that has chosen to exterminate you. So chef, it’s a lasagne for me please. A roasted mediterranean vegetable one to be precise, just like Delia (and my mum) makes. A little bit of garlic bread on the side, although I’d prefer dough balls with garlic butter if you’ve got them, and a fresh green salad to go with it. I’m sure that after munching my way through that I
could go to my grave happy, or at least moderately so, basking in the warmth of childhood memories delivered to my tongue via pasta, cheese sauce and the deliciousness created when those two phenomenons of flavour unite with the pinnacle of taste sensations, the roasted vegetable. So, if you’ve run out of ideas on what to have for dinner tonight, perhaps it’s time for you to take a trip down imaginary lane and put yourself in the shoes of an unfortunate serial killer who was stupid enough to do their crime in Texas, and who has now run out of time. Literally. So imagine this is going to be your last meal, what are you going to pick? You never know, your taste buds might surprise you.
Just three examples of famous chef’s choices for their last meal, photographed by Melanie Dunea
Monday 11th April 2011
The Guide Flickr
This is what one of the best live bands you’re likely to see this year look like (The Guide knows, trust it). Go and see Zun Zun Egui!
Cee Lo Green – 02 Academy, Bristol – 13th April Yeah, that’s right, only the best pop artist of last year – no Lady Gaga isn’t better, she’s just easier – is coming to the south west of England. The Guide is extremely excited, Cee Lo’s album (go and get it if you don’t have it) is the one The Guide plays to get excited for a night out, dancing around in the kitchen just hoping maybe tonight will be fun… Oh Cee Lo, you know just how to get a girl/boy (delete where appropriate) all giddy. Do you think he’ll do the radio version or the naughty version of ‘Forget You’? He’s got such a big cuddly face it’s weird when he does the sweary version, like a Care Bear cussing you out. Indeterminacy – St Georges, Bristol – 19th April This is a slightly odd one but The Guide thinks you’re an adventurous open minded lot so here goes. This is a performance of legendary modern classical composer John Cage’s work. It includes Stewart Lee (of stand-up fame, he also wrote Jerry Springer the Opera) reading extracts, at random, from 90 different short stories, also chosen at random, while two incredibly talented pianists – described as ‘fearless’ by the press release, so don’t try and nut them – perform some of Cage’s sparse, technical and strangely soulful compositions. There’s no way to describe this, particularly, but it’s probably mostly a music event. Zun Zun Egui – The Croft, Bristol – 23rd April The Guide’s favourite local band are back in Bristol after having toured America and Europe (on the cheap) for the past ten months or so. They bring their peculiar brand of post punk tinged with West African guitar parts and Latin American beats back home in aid of the Japan Earthquake Relief effort. An extremely worthy cause and an extremely good live band. They’ll be joined by various other local acts who combine funky dance with world music influences. They are seriously fantastic live and have a new EP that The Guide is shocked to realise it does not own, so it’s a trip you, dear readers, would not be making alone! On until very late, get out there, raise some money for the cause and dance your lil asses off.
Krater Comedy Club – Komedia, Bath – Fridays & Saturdays Komedia is a beautiful venue but, weirdly, one that not a lot of you will have been to. It has an incredible interior and is very keen to get students to come down and partake in their interesting weekly events. Krater is two comedy nights that has hosted some of the best TV comics around, years before they made it big. Picture it: you can say years later, in a Brando drawl, “I was there. I saw it, I saw him before he knew anything. I heckled that guy and he had a crisis – a make or break moment. When he came back at me and the rest of the audience laughed at me til I cried, I knew he’d make it” To Kill a Mockingbird – Theatre Royal, Bath – 18th-23rd April Nelle Harper Lee’s classic one hit wonder, a story of small town racism, simple heroism and coming of age all wrapped up in one claustrophobic story. Adapted for the stage the power of Atticus Finch – the lawyer who stands against injustice even when the whole town tries to stop him – will come right at you, slap you around a little and set you back on the straight and narrow. The role is reprised by Duncan Preston who received rave reviews when he played the same character in 2007. Well worth a bus down to town. Jeckyll & Hyde – Hippodrome, Bristol – 3rd-14th May Broadway’s latest smash hit hams up the classic tale of Dr Jeckyll and Mr Hyde: the story charting the danger of science without ethics, of the human propensity to destroy rather than build and of the triumph of nature over man. This particular show stars an ex-singer from Wet Wet Wet, Marti Pellow, and, perhaps because of the amount of now mothers who used to be in love with him as teenagers, is not recommended for children under 12 lest they be scarred by the young-again hysteria of their beloved mummies.
Atlas Shrugged Part 1 – Cinemas, Everywhere – 15th April Do any of you have those friends who mindlessly go on and on about how capitalism is evil and how all politicians are lying greedy pigs who mate with bankers to create an elite class to keep you skint? This is a movie adaptation of the book that convinces people this is true. It also convinced all the worst people in the world that they should be douchebags to everyone all the time because it’s better for them, back in the ‘80s. Originally written by Ayn Rand, for some people this is the bible of the 20th century so a movie version is massively awaited. It has a ‘meh’ cast, lots of untested actors, it might be interesting. Or make you hate things and start ranting about Chomsky in public (you know who you are). Thor – Cinemas, Everywhere – 6th May Question: which ancient Norse God could pull off anger management issues, a skirt and a massive hammer? Answer: go see this film and you’ll find out. Starring super hunk Chris Hemsworth as the suitably muscular titular role it promises action scenes, killer abs and, gasp, Natalie Portman as his love interest! She is just one of those good ones, uniting men and women, young and old who join hands and agree that she is tiny and perfect. Availble in 2D and 3D, this should be good fun and couples both have people to ogle at so everyone’s a winner. Magical Consciousness – Arnolfini Gallery, Bristol – 12th May – 3rd July This is a group exhibition that seeks to weird out your eyes. The title refers to the philosopher Vilém Flusser who identified the act of looking – the physical action – as having a greater potential for discovering insight than in what you might actually look at. The works try to make you conscious of processes rather than simply delivering a pretty image to you. The main thing is that you are there looking at the pieces, not what they are, get it? No? Whatever. Take a girl to impress her.
Monday 11th April 20111
Monday 11th April 20111
Fashion: Our photographer asks some fashionable types about crime www.bathimpact.com
Photos and interviews
Lucy Liu - 1st Yr Maths, Sam Fairburn - 1st Yr Mechanical Engineering Is fur a fashion crime? Do you wear fur? Lucy: I only wear fake fur, it’s far cheaper and I guess it’s a moral thing as well. If it was the same price as fake fur I’m sure more people would wear it though. Would you ever buy fake designer items, if you couldn’t afford the real thing? Both: No never, they’re tacky.
Shirin Merola - 2nd Yr Politics with IR Worst dressed celeb? Lady Gaga, she’s just too weird. What is a fashion crime in your opinion? Not dressing to your body type.
Doing it for the thrill: pleasure thieves
Ceyda Eren - 3rd Pharmacy Do you wear fur? Is it a fashion crime? Yes unfortunately! It looks nice. I do feel really bad sometimes, but it’s really gorgeous so I just go for it. Are there any fashion laws you live by? It all depends on my mood, I’ll wear anything together.
Written by Holly Narey
drifting aimlessly into shops in gangs, palming their target, calmly walking out again past the security guards, and then racing off cackling. This trend isn’t new. These troublemaking troupes of listless bourgeois looking for the rush of danger crop up time and time again in history; in the 1920s girls were known to hide items in their bloomers to avoid detection. An unusual place that modern day women have used to smuggle goods out of a shop is in their own rolls of fat; in December 2010 two women in Oklahoma were found hiding $2600 worth of TJ Maxx clothes in their own body fat. One woman was attempting to smuggle out three pairs of shoes under her breasts alone; her ability to do this suggests that she has more problems than just criminal tendencies. The desire to shoplift can, of course, come from many different sources, not just boredom. An obvious incentive is the desire for nice things; especially when surrounded by those more affluent than yourself, it is natural to crave to be equal to them in the things you possess. One bizarre influence on someone’s likelihood to shoplift is whether they take anti-anxiety medication; some people treated with certain drugs find themselves calmly stealing things they don’t have any desire for. Peer pressure can also be a strong influencing factor; if everyone around you is doing it, people become desensitised and it becomes the norm. It is in these cases that it becomes a bigger issue; especially when the act of stealing becomes habitual, rather than a phase that is grown out of. Most troublesome teens do get over this as they get older; some will get caught, for others the buzz loses its strength or is replaced by other distractions; alcohol, drugs, sex, or, simply the will to rebel is quashed into oblivion by the realisation that they have to fix up their act; lose the apathy and struggle through their academic life to come out the other end with a future worth having. Occasionally still, however, one of my friends will leave a shop and glance round, grinning, sheepish. Whether it’s still the old wish to break the rules, or just a nostalgic echo of that old feeling, there is definitely, to many, an appeal to the perfect execution of what is, I hope, in most cases a victimless crime.
wo 13 year-old girls emerge from a shop, and as they walk away, one glances at the other, grinning, sheepish. The second girl looks quizzically at the first and in response the first girl simply reaches into her pocket and pulls out an object. Whatever it is; an eyeliner, a small piece of plastic jewellery or even simply some sweets, this near-worthless item holds more significance than a legitimate purchase of any size. Slipped into a pocket while the security guard wasn’t looking, this object glows with the danger of the action just performed, and they feel the rush; the guilt, the pride, the fear, the feeling of superiority to those older and wiser. Britain, once thought of as a nation of shopkeepers, has become a nation of shoplifters. We now shoplift more than any other European country; an average of one theft a minute. Much of this theft is not for necessity by those who cannot afford what they are stealing; much of it is by the middle and upper class. This trend is not exclusive to the UK, but something happening worldwide; look at Winona Ryder; found shoplifting £3000 worth of clothes, Lindsay Lohan, charged for stealing a $2500 necklace, and Caroline Guiliani, found stealing $150 worth of makeup with $320 in her wallet. Shoplifting is often a common phenomenon in middle-class teens. While this can, of course, be a warning sign for the start of a real problem, in many cases the items stolen are of little value, and easily affordable by the thief; it is simply an opportunistic act; a product of boredom. The media bombards them with stories of romanticised rebellion and endless drama, and when it comes down to it, these formative years can be disappointingly mundane. Often called the Best Years of Your Life, those going through it are often in reality oppressed by parents and restricted by the purgatory of their age range. It is a logical step to begin looking for excitement in places other than chaperoned discos and innocent sleepovers. The skirts get shorter, the mascara gets caked on, and the parents shake their heads. These kids are simply looking for a thrill while they wait for their real lives to begin. It has been found that statistically, in the UK, it is more common for girls to shoplift than boys;
Pundarik Hanyanant and Joy Nichamon - Both Marketing. What is your opinion on fur? Is it a fashion crime and would you wear it? Pundarik: I wouldn’t do it. In my country it’s this kind of weather as well and no one wears fur. What is a fashion crime in your opinion? Joy: Not wearing clothes suitable for the occasion, or wearing something branded but it not matching the outfit they put it with.
Monday 11th April 2011
Music: Bringing to justice Down With Webster
Written by Sam Foxman
atrick Gillett, known as ‘Pat’, Cameron Hunter, known as ‘Cam’, Martin Seja, known by the alias ‘Bucky’, Tyler Armes, Andrew Martino, who is known as ‘Marty’, Dave Ferris, or ‘Diggy’ and Kyle Fairlie, called ‘Kap Ten’ or ‘OneOh’ or simply ‘Kap’, you have been found guilty of conspiracy to commit crimes against music. There is no punishment sufficient for your crimes. I am given to understand that the gang known as Down With Webster formed while at junior high school where, inexplicably you won a talent competition. This early success evidently inspired these young delinquents to go on a spree of disastrous musical adventure which has only just been caught. You have been found to have committed ‘hundreds and hundreds’ of concerts with an apparent complete indifference to the ears or the eyes of your audience. You said in your statement to the Music Police that, “Every show is a party and we dare the audience to have more fun than us. Usually it’s a tie.” I am not inclined to accept that this statement is true. The curious euphoria that you seem to induce in these young, impressionable audiences seems to rest more on the fact that the audience comprises principally of Canadians, whose taste in music has already been before this court (see the landmark 1997 Celine Dion ruling).
I will now turn my attention to the most egregious part of your entire operation. Your lyrics. ‘Time to Win, Volume 1’ is the title of your first album. For this reason, the court has considered your lawyer’s plea of insanity. The whole nation is living in terrified expectation of the second volume of this masterwork. The focus of the court’s attention has been on ‘Woah is Me’, evidently your magnum opus. To begin, this title is nonsense. The lyrics, frankly, are offensive to hear. “Woah is me: I’m so woah. See me decked out from my head to my toes.” What exactly being ‘woah’ is is entirely unclear and genuinely unsettling. “Think you’re a big deal? Big deal. I’ve been a big deal ever since Big Wheels.” That’s properly mental. I have to now turn to address you, Mr Fairlie. This court is concerned that no one appears to know precisely what a ‘hype-man’ is. I imagine you in some way imagine yourself vital to this unstoppable musical trainwreck, but I can only conceive that your role is to participate in the routine deception of the band of idiots that follow you around like a flock of demented geese. You are a particular example of the shallow hollowness of the whole ‘Down With Webster’ project. “As long as any of us can remember, all we wanted to do was make music. While we came from different
backgrounds, found inspiration from different influences, and developed different styles, we were united by our love of music. It is the reason we saved all of our money to buy albums, memorized every word, learned each chord, bass line and beat.” That was your statement to the court. Now, I understand that you grew up in Canada, but that cannot be an excuse for crimes as heinous as this. Canada has an unfortunate tradition of producing some genuinely disastrous music, but this noise - its hubris, its unjustifiable swagger and its total lack of logic - is deeply upsetting. The court has heard evidence from Timbaland, who received a shorter sentence in return for his testimony, that you are, “...the most amazing, creative and innovative band that will come out in 2010. They’re the illest group I’ve ever seen live in person.” Timbaland is a wellattested violator of music. I consider this testimony to be particularly damning. Despite all that has been said to mitigate the circumstances of your crimes, I have never before seen a band so totally indifferent to the crimes that they have committed. Throughout your interviews you have shown no shame and no remorse. You claim that you love music, but you are destroying it. You will be remanded until sentencing.
Monday 11th April 2011
Stop the tragic abuse of millionaires Written by Holly Narey
ll over campus, generous, warm-hearted people can be seen raising money for various charities; Dorothy House, Oxfam, Barnardo’s; however there is a needy cause that we are, sadly, ignoring. This is, of course, the downtrodden, wretched music industry; the record labels, floundering in the recession as we, the heartless, pirating masses, ignore every plea and overcome every new obstacle to rob them of the revenue they deserve for all of their hard work. The CEO of one of these victims of our selfishness; Howard Stringer of Sony Music Entertainment has an annual income of only $4.5 million, more than double the royal budget of the Queen. Our cruelty is causing $12.5 billion of economic losses every year. Thankfully, however, this hasn’t stopped the industry’s relentless growth of over a billion dollars a year; even in the face of the global economic collapse. From 2009 to 2010 the rise was from $65.0 billion to $66.4 billion, and then to $67.6 billion in 2011. Looking at these figures, growth seems steady, and it doesn’t really look like they are that short on cash. When it comes to punishing the guilty, however, these guys don’t pull punches; a person found illegally downloading music can face punishments ranging from a stern reprimand and maybe a temporary internet suspension, to five years in jail, an unlimited fine, or a minimum fine of the equivalent of $750 per song. Sensible, I’m sure you’ll agree, for the theft of something the price of a bread roll. They’d probably deport people to Australia if they could. It seems we are at an impasse; the real problem here is that as students we have, in no uncertain terms, extremely limited funds. With living costs steadily rising and our debts mounting we just can’t afford to buy everything we would
like to, and so if we have the option of obtaining something for free with little effort and, if we’re completely honest, a total lack of guilt, I for one will jump at the chance. Video to mp3, file sharing networks, and torrenting, each of these methods is as quick and easy as buying a song at the iTunes store, with the added bonus that your bank account remains unscathed for a few more happy hours. When the Recording Industry Association of America shut down the peer-to-peer file sharing network Limewire, us pirates heaved a sad sigh of “Ooarr” and took a consolatory swig of grog. Luck, however, (along with an army of nerdy programmers) was on our side and the numbers of people using the alternative network; Frostwire, has risen rapidly since its predecessor’s demise from 10% of peer-topeer sharers to 21%. Numbers of people using Bittorrent is also rising in the wake of the loss of our old friend. Really though, in the past, we had no choice in the matter; while they may not have quite been of the same sound quality, illegal music downloads were superior to those obtained legally from sources such as iTunes, who with their usage of Digital Rights Management; that sneaky layer of software limiting the number of devices you can copy the music to, made you feel like you were only borrowing these files from the music police; you felt no real ownership. If you compare this to the ancient technology of the CD, where you can pick it up and stick it on as many computers as you like, it seems like a step backwards, not a step forwards. Luckily though, Amazon got on the case and thanks to their introduction of their music downloads stripped of DRM, legit music-buyers could feel the freedom of old, and iTunes have swiftly followed suit. Sadly for us overdraft-loving scroungers, buying is often not a viable option no matter how good
the product. There are alternatives to piracy when it comes to listening to music without purchasing it; last.fm and Spotify being obvious options. Spotify, with its effortless interface and astonishing music collection is an excellent resource for sampling music, but with monthly charges if you want to escape the loud, jarring adverts interrupting your playlists it becomes less of an option for broke students if you don’t want to go slowly insane. At the end of the day, music that deserves to will survive; consumers may be sharing and downloading the music files, but this file sharing spreads the name of an artist and enlarges its fan-base; a fan-base that will then pay out for concert tickets, merchandise, and the odd CD or vinyl when the guilt of knowing that they are ripping off their heroes hits home. Surely this is the way it should be; musicians should make the majority of their money through performances, not through sale of recordings. Dentists have to earn money through continual tooth surgery; they can’t just take a recording of them putting in a filling and expect to be set up for life. Same for musicians; if you have a talent show it; digital music files should promote the artist, not act as their primary source of income. No matter how many people they put in jail and give unlimited fines, no matter how many websites they close, or computer programmes they shut down, the endless number of people who want their music for free and with the intelligence to find a way will mean that either the music industry should find a new way to do things, new legislation on piracy must be written, or a whole lot more jails opened. They’d better include a cell in there for me. Hoist your flag, me hearties, yo ho.
Metallica alienated much of their fanbase in 2000 when they sued Napster, triggering its demise. And then they released St Anger. Talk about insult to injury.
Monday 11th April 2011
Cover songs that should be illegal Written by Mark Brandt
ver since humans started banging rocks together, music has constantly evolved. Now though, some people argue that originality has been all but lost – boy bands and popstars all over the world shift millions of records without breaking the mould, simply sticking to the known formula that sells records (repetitive, regular rhythms + catchy lyrics + sex appeal). I’m not inclined to believe that all hope is lost just yet. Naturally, every musician is influenced by another and often they will pay tribute to them in a cover song or album. Fortunately, most of these songs are at least passable if not enjoyable, but there is an unavoidable minority of unendurable abominations in the cover section that really, really should not have happened. Don’t get me wrong, this article is not a slagging match of appalling artists (some of them I respect with their own music), instead exploring what on earth went into the thoughts and creative processes when they decided to “put their stamp” on another’s creation. In some cases, the artists do it as a joke or a parody. Examples can vary from one-offs like Children Of Bodom’s “Oops!...I Did It Again” or Nifty Scent’s reinterpretation“In Da Tub” (“go, go, go shower if ya dirty”), to entire careers of those like Weird Al Yankovic and Richard Cheese. This approach to fame is generally hit-and-miss (or career-ruining in some cases), but at least some of them are not crimes against music per se, and the others are just an embarrassing listen. The better ones are incredibly entertaining to listen to, although they generally require knowing the original song to get the full effect of the parody. Thankfully, these are intended to be jokes, unlike the next category.
Many examples spring to mind when the word “cashgrab” comes up. All Saints’ version of “Under The Bridge” and Busted’s“Teenage Kicks” are two of my personal peeves along with the discographies of Steps and other such pop groups that butcher classics. There’s also a bounty on Jedward’s heads after “Under Pressure”. While I completely understand why these songs were recorded from a financial viewpoint, I still shudder when I hear mention of them. A band or artist should be able to make a name for themselves without riding on the coat-tails of their betters, although the way commercial music is evolving, that unfortunately seems its destined path. Next up are those who re-interpret songs in their own style. Naturally, there are many well-crafted versions such as Johnny Cash’s “Hurt”, Jeff Buckley’s “Hallelujah” – these are artists who have put their own spin on established anthems... and then there’s my recent discovery of Duran Duran’s version of “911 Is A Joke”. The middle aged, extremely white millionaire Simon Le Bon can rap as well as I can somersault (read: not at all), and I cannot wrap my head around how and why they came to the decision to cover a gangsta rap song by the probably the most militant rap group in history (Public Enemy). The same with Take That’s pitiful rendition of “Smells Like Teen Spirit”, which is as bad as you can imagine and then some again. Kurt is no doubt rolling in his grave at the very thought. And so we come to the main section of cover songs; those who actually pay tribute to an influence on their sound: like Placebo’s “Across Five Years”, which make sense in terms of style. Others, like Marilyn Manson’s
“Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of This)” offer an interesting take whilst also showcasing the performer’s own eclectic listening habits. However, aside from the obvious carbon-copy versions, the main issue I take with these covers is this: there is a list of songs which have been covered to death. “Enjoy The Silence” by Depeche Mode has been re-done at least 50 times, and I need only mention The Beatles’ legacy (over 1000 bands). On occasion, it seems like there is no sense of originality any more, when searching for a song and finding a myriad of covers, especially those that add nothing to the original. In this case, I’d say there is a dilemma of quality vs. quantity, and the main questions is whether so many covers are really that necessary. At the same time, artists should be allowed to express their influences, so I’m convinced that the rise in number of covers is not going to abate any time soon. Plus, you know, the whole familiarity = money thing. For me, a successful cover is one that either brings a refreshing twist to an old song, or is more well-known than the original version (for good reasons rather than for bad). The majority of the covers I have mentioned in this article fail to fulfil these criteria, and so are generally considered as “bad”. In this case there is a large gap between the criminally poor and the criminally underrated, it doesn’t just boil down to a subjective matter of taste. That said, I will admit to a guilty pleasure of mine, just because you can’t help but smile at it: Rolf Harris doing “Bohemian Rhapsody”. Is that a crime? (Editor: Yes Mark. Yes. I really hope it is. I’ve called the police just on the off chance... Not that I’d condone doing anything like that.)
“They teach ya like an ace they can’t be betrayed/ I know you stumble with no use people/ If your life is on the line then you’re dead today.” Word.
Monday 11th April 2011
Theatre: How an old set of prison gallows became a stage www.bathimpact.com
Waiting For Godot: “A play in which nothing happens, twice” according to Vivien Mercier. It did something, though, for Rick Cluchey and other inmates.
Written by Rowan Emslie
n November 19th 1957 a small theatre company entered San Quentin Prison in California to perform Samuel Beckett’s play Waiting For Godot. One of the inmates who went to see the performance was serving a life sentence for armed robbery and kidnapping, a young man who had almost been sentenced to death two years before, who sat in the audience, looked up and “saw myself on that stage”. With a life in prison facing him, he needed something to occupy his mind so he decided to start a prison drama workshop which rehearsed and performed, at first, in the old gallows room. The San Quentin Drama Workshop still runs today. It is one of the oldest examples of prisoner led rehabilitation, a movement that has become more and more popular over the years, as well as being an artistic group of some renown. What’s more, prison drama groups just like it have sprung up all over the world and, very often, it is the very same play that they start with. That inmate, now free and 87 year old, is called Rick Cluchey. Before 1957, Cluchey says he had never had any engagement with theatre – “not even to rob one” – but he has gone on to perform, direct and write plays both in prison and out of it (his sentence was later reduced to 11 years in the light of new evidence). He has been directed by Samuel Beckett himself and has become an important voice in supporting rehabilitation programmes in prisons all over the world. In 1965 Cluchey wrote a one act play, The Cage, condemning the brutality and inhumanity of life behind bars. When he approached the Chief Warden about putting on a production of this play he was told that, so long as it
wasn’t set in San Quentin, it would be fine. Unfortunately, the entire play was a reflection of Cluchey’s own frustrations and experiences so, rather obviously, it was set in San Quentin. Thinking on his feet, he changed all the names of the characters to French names and the production went ahead - they performed and rehearsed on the old prison gallows. After the performance, Cluchey approached the Warden again and asked him what he’d thought of the play. The warden replied, “I didn’t realise things were so bad in France!” Over the years, the way prisons have been seen, institutionally, has undergone a gradual change. In the 19th century, when most enormous institutions were originally built, they were horrible concrete cages where the meanest, nastiest bad guys got locked away and forgotten; this made the streets safer and deterred people on the outside from wanting to do crime. What happened to these men when they were inside could only help to make them repent more quickly. By 1957 there were many people who rejected this notion, arguing that inmates had human rights as well and could not be subjected to beatings, sexual abuse and other cruel treatment in prison simply because they had broken the law. Over time this lobby grew – capital sentencing has been abolished in most countries because it is seen as a breach of basic human rights. Also, the idea of prison being about punishment and hardship so as to scare people into not breaking the law has been roundly rejected – no study has ever shown that even the threat of the death penalty ever significantly affects crime rates. So, without fear, how does society stop people from committing crimes?
As more and more people have come to mistrust the old style prison system an increasing number of voices have called for rehabilitation, rather than punishment, to become the main focus of prison. Even the Conservatives have recently backed the idea – it costs less money and delivers better crime statistics after all. There are now projects like the San Quentin Drama Workshop all over the world. They are widespread in Europe and America and growing ever more popular in the developing world. In 2009 this idea was expanded to include the disenfranchised people of a South African slum – the idea of inspiring the disaffected and the mistreated is the same as it was in prison half a century before. Prison is never going to be seen as a good place to be but perhaps it will come to be seen as a good place to learn and to grow. Through exploring both the complex ideas and themes that emerge in theatre while being able to create something entertaining and interesting people are able to learn that not only can difficult or frightening situations be withstood but they can be bested. The way in which the creative process shows, in a small and very personal way, how you can make something that other people (or even just yourself) enjoy is a hugely important lesson for anyone to learn. It’s the reason schools seek creative ways to deliver education, why babies are encouraged to play while they learn, why creative thinking is so prized in business, law, politics or banking. Prison should represent a low point in someone’s life. It utterly fails if that low point becomes the accepted norm – perhaps the way in which Cluchey’s life played out shows a little of how to avoid that.
Monday 11th April 20111
Videogames: Life changing, yes, psychopath generating, no. I
would consider myself a gamer, and perhaps a slightly elitist one at that; to sum up I suppose I don’t like FPS games much, for me the smallest bit of immersion and story comes before fast paced action, in many respects I see this as a higher pleasure; a debate rather than a bar brawl. And I suppose this is my major gripe with people such a Boris Johnson saying things like this, “I want to counteract the damaging influences: drugaddled celebrities and violent video games...” It is very easy to blame computer games for crime, if you’re an idiot. I’ve robbed multiple shops in digital form and you could say I’m just a step away from walking into a bank and doing the same thing in real life. I mean, I’m not, obviously, because I’m way too afraid of authority. I suppose the fact of the matter is, somewhere, some crazy person will do something like that but can you specifically identify the source of inspiration for such an act? Angry mums would say that it’s desensitising us to violence and crime. But what is it that actually stops us committing crime? Is it a set of laws set down by the government that would be detrimental to us breaking them? Or is it an overriding sense of morality; a drive to do the right thing? Personally I would say it’s the former merely disguised as the latter; and to hopefully convince you to a degree of my opinion, I’d like to draw upon the potentially corrupting source that is gaming.
Written by John Barlow Playing god, a term used many-a-time in games from Black & White to Call of Duty, is where in some respect you control and manipulate outside the realms of usual human possibility. In essence, because you can, you do. Who hasn’t taken the ladder out of the pool in Sims and watched the character die, simply to reload and carry on like nothing happened? I suppose this is the crux of the matter. if it is enough for the genre to be classed as immoral by simply removing the constraints of time; does the ability to experiment with all possible outcomes automatically steer us to evil. But first before I answer that question I’d like to ask, what is immoral? Take a look at all ‘moral’ systems: religion blackmails you with an afterlife, the government threatens you with prison. Mortality, or at least the quality of your mortal life, seems to be the best way to make us moral. We obey because we know we would not like the same inflicted upon us. Now where games come into this, is in that as humans we simultaneously crave both comfort and freedom: laws give comfort as a whole and breaking them gives freedom. This creates a horrible dichotomy where only one can be achieved without sacrificing the gains of the others. Gaming allows us to pursue our freedom it lets us break free from laws and regulation and get immersed in a new world, while at the same time letting us keep well within our safe boundary’s we erect. Is this not much
more favourable to the alternative of repressed desires? I would say yes. Lest we not forget, as I mentioned earlier there is more to gaming than breaking stuff getting mad and killing shit, occasionally you find games with such personally compelling story’s and with such depth of game play you can’t help but be moved, to lump such masterpieces as Final Fantasy VII in with the likes of Grand Theft Auto is quite a travesty. To condemn an entire industry on the basis of a few tongue in cheek comments in a title or one or two psychopaths re-enacting a scene from a horror game, is like condemning music on the basis of Justin Bieber, or film for the rise in gun crime in the 20th century. It turns out violent crime has always existed and is much more likely to be brought about by social exclusion, poverty or poor education systems: some crimes might be copy cat in nature but the vast majority aren’t. Hysterically responding to the one-off crimes is a ridiculous thing to do and, what’s more, does a fine job of distracting people from the real issues. Yes, games have mature content but life has mature content. Intense games are pretty heavily monitored and regulated just like films –fear not mothers of the world, there is an age rating system! Perhaps instead of looking at the negatives of gaming we should look at the positives, so to wrap up I’ve comprised a small list of situations where gaming has helped my life. Enjoy.
THINGS WHAT I LEARNT FROM VIDEOGAMES 1.
Work ethic and literacy
At a young age, Pokémon taught me to read, and it also taught me that levelling up via rare candy doesn’t make your Pokémon as powerful as hard work, grit and determination. 2.
Economics and the basics of international
relations Age of Empires taught me that the backbone of any great nation is its workforce, if you overcommit your forces a diligent attacker will make all your bases are belong to me/him. 3.
How to deal with life’s little problems
Eat mushrooms, spout fire, save princesses and jump on turtles. 4.
How to drive
It’s just hold down the accelerator and drift right? WARNING FOR IDIOTS: This screenshot isn’t representative of all games and it’s not real life.
Monday 11th April 2011
Jack Parker - an extract from a debut novel As a special treat, readers, we’re bringing you an extract from Jack Parker, a new crime/ noir/comedy novel by bathimpact writer Dave Langdale. This is an extract from the first chapter which you can read in full online along with several other chapters he has posted:
Please go on there, read them, send him your love and force him to finish the damn thing .
Written by Dave Langdale
y name is Jack Parker and I’m a Private Investigator. I used to be a small time operator in the big cities. Run of the mill, you know; following men for suspicious wives, reclaiming stolen jewellery from petty thieves and working my way slowly through the female staff at Delightful Donuts. I had a two-bedroom apartment in the middle of the city, a steady wage and a few old buddies from the force I drank with on a weekend. I even went to a few ball games. Life was good. That morning, however, my life was about to change. As soon as I woke up I could tell it was going to be a bad day when my temples started throbbing. I groaned. How much did I drink last night? A ray of sunlight pierced through the curtains and I could hear the birds singing to each other while the kettle whistled madly. I didn’t remember putting the kettle on. I clambered out of bed, still bleary eyed and staggered
into the kitchen. The kettle was steaming impatiently and the whistle wasn’t doing my headache any good, but the place was empty. I took the kettle off the heat, poured myself an instant coffee and searched around the apartment. Nothing. It was when I got back to the kitchen that I noticed it. A subtle note pinned to my fridge with a police badge fridge magnet, my old trick. Cute. We’ll see you soon Mr. Parker I got myself some painkillers and sat down at the table. Not only was it bad that the cops wanted to see me, it was bad that I was a big enough problem for them to go to this sort of trouble. I didn’t remember doing anything illegal, but from my experience that wasn’t always the only requirement for police interest. I sighed and wondered if the marching band playing behind my forehead would subside by the time I got to the office.
A classic bit of noir imagery: the trilby, the cigarette smoke, the trenchcoat. Jack Parker is here.
I was wrong, wrong that my headache would go away, and wrong in thinking that I would make it to my office. I pulled my coat tight around me as I stepped out into the morning chill. The wind was cold and the sun only threatened warmth from low on the horizon. I lit a cigarette, squinting up the street from under the rim of my hat. The road was packed with cars and the street with people, all rushing somewhere important. A couple of policemen were wrestling with a drunk in an alley, angry shouts erupted from a standstill in traffic and pigeons flitted around looking for their early breakfast while children tried to catch them. I breathed deeply through my nose, smelling the morning air tainted with my cigarette smoke. “Ah, the city,” I said, setting off to join the bustling crowds. It was about twenty minutes on foot to my office, a walk I didn’t mind making every day. I didn’t mind pushing through the endless crowds or the constant noise of cars and people. The reason? Delightful Donuts. I tossed my cigarette and pushed open the glass door. My coffee was already on the table. I smiled. “Morning Mr. Parker, everything good?” “How long I been coming in here Sam?” “Oh I’d say about ten years Mr. Parker. Why?” “And how many times have I told you to call me Jack?” Sam gave a warm chuckle, “Every time Mr. Parker. Every time.” I sat down at my usual table slinging my coat in the chair next to me. The place was empty except for an old couple in the corner talking about the small things in life. “How’s business?” I asked, taking a sip of the best coffee in town. Big Sam tossed his apron on the counter with a sigh and came round to sit next to me. “Oh you know. It pays the bills,” he looked at me with his weary, lined eyes and gave me a sombre smile, “Jeannine quit last night. Can’t say I blame her.” “She give a reason?” “Something about family pressures. You know, the usual.” “I liked Jeannine,” I said, remembering her blue eyes and girlish giggle. “She was quite fond of you too I heard,” he chuckled shaking his head, “but if I keep losing staff like this I wont last much longer.” “Anything I can do to help, let me know Sam.” “You’re a good man Mr. Parker.” We gave each other a pat on the shoulder before the door jangled and he bustled back behind the counter. I took another sip of coffee, lost in thought over Sam and his girls. I never noticed the two suits until they sat down on either side of me. “Good morning Mr. Parker. I trust you got our message?” I glanced over my coffee at the two suits and almost choked. “Fox? You could have just left an answer message.” Johnny Fox was an overweight cop almost due to retire. He rolled his eyes at me, tossed me a cigarette and lit up his own. I didn’t know the other guy. He sat stiff-backed, looking at me with the kind of face that would make even old Scarface nervous. This was bad. The cold cops were the worst kind. I sighed and lit up my own cigarette. “Ask Mr. Serious here. He wanted to put you on edge.” He rolled his eyes again. “How’s things Jack?” I glanced at the blank eyes still watching me, drained my coffee and turned back to Fox. “Dandy. Do I need a lawyer for this?” Fox shook off some ash into my empty cup and laughed through the smoke. “Don’t worry Jack. You’re not in trouble. Sergeant Stone here was just rattling your cage.” “Remind me not to invite him to my birthday party.”
Monday 11th April 2011
www.bathimpact.com Stone took over, his voice, deadly serious, drawled out like he was reading from a textbook. “Mr. Parker the city requires your cooperation with a problem that is of the utmost importance. As you no doubt know the Sprawl is a dangerous place for police officers to go but, nevertheless, it is still within the realms of the city so we cannot ignore it. This is where you come in.” “There’s been a string of funny murders in the Sprawl,” Fox took over. “What’s new?” I said. “That’s what we thought but they’re not the usual kind. They’re calculated, cold and there doesn’t seem to be a motive. Not only that, but they’re vicious Jack. Really vicious. Even the locals are worried and that means it’s bad.” My stomach gave a turn. Stone’s voice bored into my ear again. “We can’t send our detectives in for any length of time. It’s too dangerous.” “Why me?” “You were the best Jack,” Fox said with a sigh, “If it wasn’t for what happened…you know…back then, you could have been chief.” I felt like someone had thrown a bucket of cold water at my chest. “I had to leave Johnny,” I said after taking a long drag on my cigarette, “I had to.” “I know Jack. No one doubts you but it doesn’t change the fact you were the best.” “What if I say no?” Fox shook his head and gave me a weary smile. “Believe me Jack, I know your history with the force better than anyone but this is bigger than me.” “Unfortunately Mr. Parker you don’t have a choice. You will remember a number of your successful cases were under investigation for the planting of evidence but due to your service record they were over looked. It would be unfortunate if we had to re-open those cases and taint your reputation. I trust you don’t want us to try and persuade you further?” Stone gave me a wry smile, which I didn’t return. “Your things are already being moved across to an apartment we are renting out for you for the duration of your investigation along with the case notes and collected evidence. You will be paid of course and anything you need, within reason, will be yours. There’s a train that leaves for the Sprawl in an hour. Here’s your ticket.” He slid a ticket across the table towards me. I left it under his fingers and gave Fox a stare. “I don’t need this Johnny.” “I’m sorry Jack, but we need you.” I sighed and flicked my cigarette into the cup. I thought about arguing, maybe about the cases I still had outstanding or the secretary I was paying but knew it was no use. They would have already taken care of everything. “Who’ve you got taking over my cases?” I asked. “Just some junior cops. I take it this means you accept?” “Not much choice is there Fox?” I stood. They followed. “Thanks Jack. You’re helping us out big time,” Fox said, holding out his hand. “I’m a real saint,” I said shaking it. “We’ll get in touch with you Mr. Parker. Have a safe journey,” Stone said, offering his hand also. I gave him a thin smile and put my coat on, ignoring his outstretched hand. I tipped my hat to them, slipped some money on the counter for Sam and walked out the door. Goddamn cops, always looking for someone else to do their dirty work. I looked at the train ticket and ran a hand over my stubble. What had the old bastard got me into this time? I stuffed it into my pocket and headed for the station. No more Delightful Donuts for a while. I didn’t know how I was going to cope.
Jack Parker continues to miss donuts in the subsequent chapters. We don’t blame him in the slightest.
When these guys can’t cut it, they go to a chronic smoker. Jack Parker clearly has some serious skills.
Monday 11th April 2011
Literature: Comic books have changed how we look at crime Written by Ben Hooper
here is a huge fascination with crime and deviance in all popular media, whether it be film, music, poetry or prose. Even the daily news we receive from newspapers, magazines and live broadcasts is saturated with the darker side of human existence, caused by the industries’ projection on what is popular; and it is without doubt that it’s what we want. Russell Howard’s Good News defines a perfect microcosm of the desires of the media sponges that are the populace; albeit with a sense of levity, his heart wrenching final short from each show is always very tasteful and of course humbles its viewers with such heroism, but it’s more of a final thought for the road than anything else. If he weren’t poking fun at homeless people or screaming about the idiocy of politicians then no one would really be interested. This article aims to assess two mediums of literature and perhaps frame them in some sort of social context. Crime novels versus Comic books: The image of Hercule Poirot stepping off the steam train excites a certain delight in the darkness of humanity in many people, longing for the impending murders that somehow manage to follow Poirot wherever he goes; I mean people say he was a great detective?.. So would I be, if every single day of my life I happened to be surrounded only by people with a pig’s capacity for logic and the murderous capabilities of Jeffrey Dahmer’s virgin sister. Crime novels as a genre of literature are highly sought after and one of the most prominent as far as modern publishing goes. Edgar Allan Poe, Agatha Christie, James Ellroy and Ian Rankin have encapsulated mass audiences. Christie’s novels have been translated in to over 100 languages and are only second to the Bible as far as sales go. Now, most of us (in gen-
eral) disapprove of ‘crime’, on the whole, depending of course on the social context. From a social point of view, one might be frowned upon for jumping a red light, for instance, more so perhaps than for driving without insurance. It’s a dirty subject, full of unpleasant themes and characters. So what is it that makes crime in literature such an acceptable escape for many? Much of crime fiction is slightly outdated, though classics such as our dear man Hercule will always be held in high regard. Newer crime literature seems to have to climb higher and higher the ladder of the absurd to have an impact. With daily newsreels of the atrocities of man and films such as the human centipede (watch with caution, and make sure you’re not eating cornflakes – woops), fans are becoming harder to shock and perhaps harder to keep interested. Here’s where the comic books come in. There are classic comics just as there are classic crime novels, but is it just me, or do all comics seem to reek of the same theme? Villain arrives on scene living out the narcissistic fantasies of his creator, clad in metal, muscle bound and in the form of a demi-god representing the archetype of the American dream, at least as far as the golden age of American comics go. This obsession is almost less of crime and more of the battle of good vs evil, wherein of course the ‘evil’ party commits many a crime. You may have noticed the massive surge of this golden age of comics smashing their way into the pool of endless Hollywood screenplays where manatees select at random (Editor: this is a South Park reference- cartoon wars) films to be produced like Dairy Lee Dunkers, slapped in a cheesy pot and stuffed in front of kids faces. If you haven’t noticed, here’s a
few comic book Hollywood adaptations of the last ten years: Spiderman, Iron Man, X-men, Superman, Batman, The Green Lantern etc... All, to various extents, have incurred the wrath of fan boys for not staying true to the original version. Usually the chief crimes are changing plotlines or changing characters. Please note that people who are unhappy with the situation are not objecting to the crime being portrayed – Heath Ledger’s Joker was a much more extreme and violent version of character than had ever been seen on screen – but to the storytelling that surrounds it. Crime has taken a back seat. Comic books being written these days – those yet to be watered down by the silver screen – have a very different take on what constitutes good storytelling. The heroes are no longer simply ‘good guys’ and the villains are more rounded as characters; often it’s difficult to distinguish between the two (as in Watchmen which, sadly, has been watered down on screen in recent years). Not only do some modern comics play with the traditional tropes of good vs evil that crime writing is often associated with but others take things in a different direction entirely. These are series that seek to shock, to ‘sex up’ the mayhem caused by their protagonists. Many comic books, including USAian, have pushed and or are pushing the boundaries of literature and of what’s ‘acceptable’. In particular my attention is drawn to ‘The Rapeman’, a Japanese comic about a schoolteacher by day turned masked avenger by moonlight, “Righting wrongs through penetration.” For victims who are subject to his targets’ unrequited love. Quite offensive to say the least but nevertheless published and more importantly, purchased. Here, it is the crime that defines the character and not the other way around. (continued next page)
The likes of Poirot have fallen out of favour in the last few decades. This type of crime writing has become seem as old fashioned and subsequently less popular.
Monday 11th April 2011
While Batman & Superman scenarios have been worked and reworked the influence of comic books (and them) has extended widely into popular culture.
Superman is ‘super’ because of his powers, not because of what he does with them. Batman is defined by his past – the murder of his parents and the bat cave he discovered in his grief. Spiderman is, simply, bitten by a spider (well, a magic radioactive spider). None of these characters have to be good or bad but basically always are. By taking this accepted pattern and twisting it – as in Rapeman – you have a character who disturbingly reminds you about the terrible reality of his plotlines and his motives, rather than acting as a convenient hope figure who fixes crime. Many are becoming fearful of this sort of influence, especially when regarding the minds of the blossoming human saplings in the digital age, with thousands of online sources to choose from (not to mention computer games). Some see the attention given to crime as a threat, manifested by the intake of film, comics, etc and played out in living rooms across the world by kids on games consoles – somehow making it acceptable in the real world? Well forgive me for being an optimist, but I have faith in most humans to realise that you can’t just get all GTA in real life. You can’t enter a code for all weapons and blow up 17 hookers before dying in a raging inferno, only then to be released from hospital, not the cop shop, with no clear sign of injury, and munition supplies fully intact. Obviously morality as opposed to punishment should be the main deterrent for this kind of action. But how do we as members of society justify our pop culture and love for this darker side of our existence? Yes yes, all those lovey-dovey films do their part, though even they contain their fair share of ‘immorality’, infidelity, fistycuffs and the like. One thing I have to get off my chest, why do people not seem to be really hurt by a crushing blow to
the face? That’s just not real and it definitely isn’t cricket. Naturally, real life isn’t a fairytale and we should expose and discuss human and social characteristics through these art forms. But do they go too far to make a point or sensationalise crime and deviance to make it seem more appealing? Probably not. The crime we see and read is ludicrous – Joker sprays acid out of his lapel flower! The characters are utterly unreal and the worlds they inhabit are similarly fantastical. What we enjoy is the fantasy, not the crime. This is just one of many reasons you are unlikely to ever see Sam Raimi direct a big screen version of The Rapeman. It is probably the influence of comic books – in terms of how they have entered popular culture, become widely read and imitated both on screen and print – that has created this cartoonish version of fictional crime that exists all over the place. Batman never dies or ages, constantly rebooted in comic books and film franchises. Likewise, his nemeses will return time and again, stuck in their strange universe out of time. This is the acceptable face of crime, because no one over the age of 9 is likely to believe in it. Mainstream books like to deal with similarly ridiculous themes: the slasher going from one victim to the next, hiding his crimes in more and more ingenious ways while a hard-bitten, flawed, anti-hero cop pursues him and his own demons. That isn’t the way the world works. Hate to break it to you but basically every murder is done by a family member or a sexual partner of the victim. Serial killers are extremely rare, rare enough to be statistically irrelevant, plus absolutely none of them last as long or kill nearly as many people as any character in a novel or comic book. Why do they make these lunatics seem real and ubiquitous? They’re
Everything a writer learns about the art or craft of fiction takes just a little away from his need or desire to write at all. In the end he knows all the tricks and has nothing to say.
trying to sell products! And the longer they’re at it, the more cynical they’ll get. Both forms deal with crime not as a terrifying reality but as an unreal arena of conflict in which the writers can explore their characters – and that’s the main appeal of crime writing. As a society we want crime to be like this, we want it to be silly and thrilling and, basically, non-threatening. That way it seems like something that won’t affect us, simply the fascinating heroes and anti-heroes that we will watch and read again and again. New influence to a genre can only be a good thing. Hopefully the creativity of crime writers will flourish across both forms. Keep them evolving, keep them examining crime in new and interesting ways, don’t let them fall into the trap that crime-writing legend Raymond Chandler described!
Monday 11th April 2011
Handily placed on the back of bite, ready for your emergency coffee break. Comics are once again courtesy of bathimpact’s resident artist, Darius G.
Edited by Katie Rocker
15. 17. 22. 24. 26. 28.
2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 14. 16. 18. 19. 20. 21. 23. 25. 27. 30. 33. 34. 35. 37. 38.
Moveable (6) Without lying (8) Handwriting; speech plan (6) Done (9) Building (12) Arm, leg (4) (Royal) rule (5) Person paid for sex acts (10) Part of bridle (4) Sonar-using sea creature (7) End of a marriage (7) Winged bird-woman (5) Hilly area (11) Speak to (7) Improve (7) Group of islands (11) Fetch (8) Kick the bucket (3) Solution to all problems (7) Stopped (6) Creep around (5) Explosion (5) Twin brother of Romulus (5)
29. 31. 32. 36. 39. 40. 41. 42. 43.
Anvil user (10) Discuss a compromise (9) Take away (8) Name, position (5) Most widely spoken constructed language (9) Foolishness (5) Impure, contaminated (7) Musical note (6) Without feathers (7) Breakable (7) Drug form; early writing medium (6) Control (6) Merge; electrical trip (4) Surgical procedure (9) Stripy horse (5) Chase (6) Personal clock (5) Pointing at a target (6) Showy bird (7) Money plan (6)
Solution for last issue
Brain Teasers 1. I have legs but walk not, a strong back but work not, two good arms but reach not, a seat but sit and tarry not. What am I? 2. What occurs once in a minute, twice in a week, and three times in every year? 3. What object has keys that open no locks, space but no room, and you can enter but not go in?
Brain Teaser solutions
1. 10. 11. 12. 13.
1. An Armchair 2. The letter ‘e’ 3. A computer keyboard